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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Look what came in the mail for me from my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap! The most wonderful tote bag from my internet friend Alison, who blogs at Little Island Quilting. Alison is one of my favourites, her quilts are always beautiful and she picks the best colours and patterns. I had hoped for a bag with some improv piecing and she did not disappoint. In fact as soon as I saw the pictures of this bag I was hoping it was mine.
Look at this side - she kept it a secret. There is a beautifully pieced maple leaf just for me. I made sure to photograph it outside where you can see our Canadian winter already beginning. And I have to tell you the beautiful quilting, and more improv piecing just makes me so happy, as do all those solids. The inside, which I neglected to photograph and now it is getting dark, is a geometric orange prints - one of my favourite colours!
Thank you Alison, this bag is just perfect for me and I will use it often. Oh, and Alison sent me the leftovers of that beautiful leaf fabric in lieu of a key fob. It is as if she spoke with my family who would have told her how my keys are tossed everywhere and a lovingly made fob would not last long - the fabric is a perfect substitution as I just love it.
I leave you with a teaser of texture and green linen. Come back tomorrow and I will show you the rest of this little quilt. For now I have to get ready to hand out the candy, I hope your Halloween is a bit warmer than ours.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Let me introduce Butterflies, a quilt I made and showed off this past spring. She is my quilt entry in the Blogger's Quilt Fall 2012. This quilt was made from Kona White and scrappy bits of Terrain by Kate Spain. That picture is after she was crinkly from being washed and dried.
I machine quilted Butterflies densely. First I filled the sashing with straightish lines. Then I free motion quilted the butterfly wings in a swoopy wing shaped motif. The washing and drying really added a lot of texture to the quilt.
I sewed the curves without pins - you can read about my technique and view my video by clicking here.
The butterfly motif is a traditional block made with drunkard's path 1/4 circle curves which are trimmed close to the edges of the curved units. I was first inspired to make this block when I saw this little quilt Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations made. This block is in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns, page 403, #3364, Fan Quadrille - by Mountain Mist. The blocks look modern and fun with bright fabrics, some negative space and dense quilting.
I put these fun trees on the back as it seemed to me they went together with the butterflies. The print is called Trees by Timeless Treasurers.
That picture is before washing. This quilt is about 44" x 56". If you were putting this quilt in a category for the Festival, I think that it would best fit into the throw quilt category.
The scrappy binding is made from the leftover Terrain fabrics.
Blogger's Quilt Festival statistics:
size: 44"x 56"
quilted and pieced: by me
technique: curved piecing
catagory: throw quilt or home machine quilted quilt
There will be hundreds of beautiful quilts linked up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival which is hosted by Amy, from Amy's Creative Side. I hope you will show one of your quilts too - you have until October 31 to link up. I will be spending some time over the next couple of weeks going to see them - I recommend you do too.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Pink Castle Fabrics kindly donated that beautiful bundle to sponsor the Mod Pop Quiltalong, where a bunch of brave and courageous quilters are making Julie from Distant Pickle's Mod Pop Quilt with me. The rainbow bundle was the incentive to get over the fear and worry of sewing curves. Thank you to Brenda and the gang at Pink Castle Fabrics.
Fourteen quilters have mastered their curves and the Mod Pop block and were entered. Look at their curves:
I counted them in order from the first block posted by each person, and the winner is Anne. She is asdesigned on flickr and she blogs at Play Crafts. Congratulations Anne - her blocks are those beautiful deep blue/navy and grey ones.
It is not too late to join us, we are all going to piece these fun blocks for a bit.
In other quilty news, I forgot to show you the key fob that I made for my secret partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap. A small little thing but so cute. I used the pattern by Leila from Where the Orchids Grow. I am going to make some more, these would make great little presents and the holidays are coming.
I am going to send the beautiful Marmalade hexies to Helen who blogs at Archie the Wonderdog. She has a nice pillow planned for her front room.
I have been figuring out how to make palettes from pictures. I used the very easy to use palette builder at Play Crafts and a picture from our trip to Hawaii the summer before last:
Now, I was not thrilled by that palette, I was hoping to see more of the aqua out there in the ocean. So I cropped the picture:
Much better, of course one can take control of one's palette, right? Now I have to get on with some English Paper Piecing for the Travelin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop. My day is November 5 but I am not so great at EPP and will need the time. In the meantime, there is a new EPP block every day in this blog hop, the list is here if you have been missing the fun.
It is a working day, time to get a move on.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I made a big 6" square pincushion. And after I posted that picture last night, it turned up in Flickr's Explore. I used the Vintage Sewing Machine and Notions pattern from Charise Creates and just made the sewing machine part.
I keep poking myself when I pick up my thinner pincushions and the pins poke through so I made this one thick - it is about 2.5" thick. I used one of the text prints from Sweetwater's Mama Said Sew.
The machine label is from one of the wonderful charms I received from Sarah at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard's Japanese Charm Swap. And you can see the word Sew on the thread spool if you look carefully. This pincushion is for my secret parter in the Fab Little Pincushion Swap - she said I should make what I wanted and it turns out that I wanted to paper piece teeny tiny bits yesterday.
Now I want a black sewing machine with flowers all over it.
I also finished piecing the top of my Liberty Squares quilt. There are 6" squares of all of the Liberty tana lawn scraps that I bought at the Liberty store when I was in London at the Fat Quarterly Retreat. I just could not get into the chaos when they had no solid so I used Kona Jade Green - which is a rich greenish aqua to space them out.
This bird is our favourite of the fabrics. I am going to have to see if this one is still in print and if so buy more.
Here are a couple more. The detail and colour in these prints is amazing - the fact that Liberty has been making fabric since 1875 sure shows.
It was really hard to get a decent picture of this top today, the light is weird and it is windy. This detail shot gives you an idea and I will show it off again soon. My plan for this one is to do some basic quilting to hold it together and bind it. Then I am hoping to use those solid squares to practice a whole bunch of free motion quilting on it, while still being able to use it as I go. Let's see if that works out.
I have more internet quilting homework but mostly this weekend I just had fun. I hope you did too.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I ordered some plastic hexagon and parallelogram shapes so I could English Paper Piece without dealing with the paper. I ordered from Foltvilag Web Shop which is in Hungary. I find it so much nicer to use plastic templates for EPP. These templates also fold in half for edge bits and you can put a pin through them for starting. They arrived on Thursday.
I immediately needed to try the templates out and did not feel like cutting fabric. So I had this very cute little 2.5" charm pack of Marmalade fabric by Bonnie and Camille that Chrissy (she has a lovely store too, Sew Lux Fabric) had given me because she thought she was late in my bee - which she was not really and, seriously, this is me we are talking about, a woman with a million other projects to work on, but it was such a nice thing for her to do anyway. These little tiny fabrics were the perfect size and I used them without any trimming.
The templates work really nicely and I stitched away. You can see the flowers are beautiful, with a very sweet and vintage feel. But this adorable fabric is just so not me. And I really did not truly realize that until now, so some insight has been gained.
Maybe I could gift them - I could sew them onto drawstring bags or zipper pouches or a pillow and give them to someone who loves sweet and vintage. Or maybe send them as is to a quilting friend who would use them. What would you do with them?
I am now warmed up for my turn on November 5 on the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop. I am going to have to find a set of fabrics and layout for my hexagons that is more "me", but first I am checking out my photos for one with a good palette. And I expect to do that today, as I am itching to try out those 1/2" hexagons, they are so little.
Enjoy your weekend, snow is falling again this morning but I am sure it is not here for long - and then it will be autumn again.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I have been working on my larger Mod Pop quilt and sharing some tips on piecing curves in the Mod Pop QAL. We are having a giveaway too to get people over curve phobia, entries need to be in by Oct. 21. I love these blocks, now I am keen to get the quilt top done and start the quilting. I am just waiting on a more fabric supplies to arrive so I can make a big push on the block making.
These liberty tana lawns are now joined with a beautiful green/blue solid in groups of 4 but it was too dark last night to get a decent picture. Hopefully this week those will become rows of 12 squares and soon a top.
This is a 3" Ohio Star made with Oakshott Liparis and light grey Essex Linen. I have made 2 stars so far.
I think that they are going to be a Christmas runner or wall hanging or something, not sure what yet. I love Ohio Stars and plan to make a bunch more.
So on the WIP front, I am sewing blocks, for several projects, not focusing on any one project, but having fun.
I have also been making bee blocks over this last week or so.
Free Bee - an improv group - for Dan. This piece is about 17" x 14".
Some extras too with the leftovers.
Free Bee for Ethne. This is a triangle with 18" sides.
Always Bee Learning, New York Beauty for Michonne. Paper piecing and I are not getting along that well this month, but the block looks good none the less.
Free Bee for Nicolette - inspired by the windows of Provence. And now I am almost caught up on my bee blocks, just a couple more to do and then there will be fabric arriving soon for a couple of more bees.
I have also joined a bunch of blog hops and need to share that news soon and get to work on the projects for them. And I have a couple of tickets to tell you about. I guess I have blogging homework to catch up on too.
I am going to link up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the Needle and Thread Network - buttons for both are on the right side of my blog. I have gotten out of the WIP Wednesday habit and now I am less organized, so I am going to see what I can do to improve on that too. There will be wonderful inspiration at those links, I hope you have time to visit some of them.
The wind is blowing today, it feels like winter is on the way.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The bag for my secret partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap is finished. The swap mandated that we all use the Skip to My Lou pattern for a Simple Reversible Totebag. It took me a long while to settle on what to make as my partner is wonderful and I did not want to let her down.
Eventually I decided to give applique a try and add some hand stitching. This idea of leaves on squares was present in many of the mosaics of the swap participants. I went to the pattern by Brioni Greenberg in Fat Quarterly Issue 4 for some guidance and inspiration and then adapted it.
I wanted the bag to be asymmetrical so I added some hearts to connect the back to the front. I hand stitched with perle cotton and also with some Wonderfil 12 wt orange thread. The applique, orange machine stitching and machine quilting on the back were done with a 40 wt Aurafil orange thread.
The newspaper text print is by Sweetwater from their line Mama Said Sew. I had to add an antique black glass button next to the button definition. The other fabrics are some linen and some cotton neutrals, a Chicopee print by Denyse Schmidt and French text is from a line called Penelope by Holly Holderman.
The back has more definitions, including embroidery, selvage and patchwork.
A little hand stitching on the back too. The heart fabric is special, it is from Umbrella Prints and is one of their quilting weight fabrics.
Although there were a couple of false starts, in the end this bag came together really nicely. It is reversible but I am going to hold off showing you the inside until my partner gets it as it might just alert her in advance. Now all I have to do is make a key fob and I am ready to send this off.
And, this is my first finish for Rhonda at Quilter in the Gaps Finish-A-Long. One down, 8 to go. I still am in need of a lot of luck.
I hope you have enjoyed your weekend.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Time for me to fess up - I have a lot to finish. So here is the plan for Q4 of Rhonda from Quilter in the Gap's Finish - A - Long.
1. Mouthy Stitches bag - Above is my start, for my secret partner. It is a good bet it will get done as there is a deadline.
2. Large Mod Pop - I am loving these warm colours and have some additional fabric on the way. I am hosting the Mod Pop QAL, surely that is incentive to finish.
3. Windmills and Trees - this is Lynne from Lily's Quilts' pattern which I am pattern testing. I have a bit more to do on the back and to quilt and bind it. I think this one will be done soon as every part of it is fun to do.
4. Low Volume top with circles on it. Well, I have been getting a little help on the circles but it is not much further along than this picture. I love this project, time to get it out and finish it off.
5. Polaroids - that is actually a picture of the 50 I sent to the swap that Debbie from A Quilter's Table hosted. I made a very similar set of 50 for myself and I got 50 back in the swap. They are all so cute. Time to plan a quilt and use these lovelies.
6. Dresdens - I would love to get this quilt moving again as these were so fun to play with. But this is item 6, wish me luck.
7. Quilt the Mystery Quilt - This quilt is just so nice, I hope to brave the quilting. If I just did a little a week, it would soon be done. It has been on my FAL list every quarter, I truly want it to be done.
8. This is another repeat FAL project. LBSP blocks, again designed by Lynne from Lily's Quilts. This is going to be a great quilt but I have not been in a hurry to finish it. However, I want practice quilting and this would be a perfect quilt for that. Do you think it is even possible?
9. A stack of Liberty tana lawn fabrics. I need to decide on a solid and then I am going to make patchwork, squares of prints and squares of solid. This is just an indulgence quilt, for me, just because. I need to make it. Who knows, it might get done.
You know there are more projects in my drawers, beautiful Bee blocks to finish up into quilts, and a Proverbial Quilt to start, for example. But I know you already are laughing very hard, thinking that there is just no way I will get these done, so I am stopping the list here. Wish me luck, I will need it. Lots and lots.
It is not too late for you to get out your WIPs and post a list for Q4 of the FAL. The FAL has, in fact, helped me to finish a lot of projects this year, and it is fun. Head over to Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap's blog to link up or just to see all the amazing projects that are on the go.
If you want to see my photos for Rhonda's photo a day, there is a tab at the top of this blog or click here or you can search #quiltphoto to see even more pictures.
Needless to say, I hope to sew a lot this weekend.