Sunday, November 30, 2014

Muse - Ta Da!


I've named this quilt Muse. The pattern is called Consider, and soonest I will be ready to get this pattern to my pattern testers and then release it for any of you who might want to make her. The pattern was inspired by the work of Josef Albers, as was my pattern called Canvas.


Muse is made of purple and pink Kona cottons and Kona Snow. She is about 54" square and was quilted heavily. That kitten is Sundance, the smaller of the two brothers, and he is now about 4 months old.


I used my APQS Millennium Long Arm Quilting machine to quilt Muse. I hand guided the machine - no computer or pantograph was used. The centre motif is matchstick quilted in a few variations and the border is quilted less densely.


I used Aurifil and Superior King Tut 100% cotton threads in a variety of colours.


The small purple and pink rectangles are each the same fabrics. From a distance you get a bit of the optical colour change that the Albers paintings studied but up close the effect is mostly gone.


For the back I chose three print that I love. Next time I will make an effort to match the print in the middle - I did not even try and it would have been easy to do. The binding is more Kona Snow and was handstitched down on the back.


The piecing at the bottom of the centre motif is straight, the quilt just hangs a little wobbly, and I am thinking a bit of blocking would fix that. The wobble is caused by the change in the density of the quilting and its effect on the draw in after a wash and dry. All these photos of Muse are after a wash and dry.


While I was photographing Muse, the kittens came to help. Sundance, above, climbed onto my quilt Sunset, which I had set on a chair to hang up Muse.


And I turned around and Butch was sitting still and in the window. That is the best photo I have managed of either kitten so far. The brothers are about 4 months old now.

A Lovely Year of Finishes 

Muse was my November goal in A Year of Lovely Finishes so I will also go and link her up there.


 I'm going to show Muse off at some other linkup. First at Monday Makers with my friend Aylin.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Finish Along 2015 News

How long you been finishing your unfinished projects in the Finish-A-Long?  

FAL button 2 

Since its inception in the U.S.A. in 2012 with Rhonda at Quilter in The Gap...

2013 button

or since I hosted it in from Canada 2013 here with me at she can quilt...

Finish Along 2014

Or did you join in when it moved to Scotland with Katy at The Littlest Thistle?

Regardless of how long you have been finishing with the Finish A Long, you are aware that every year the hostess changes. Today I get to share with you who will be hosting in 2015!!! It's ........

Adrianne who blogs at On the Windy Side!!!!!

Adrianne has been an internet friend of mine for a long while now. In fact, she has been part of the FAL for a long time - you might remember that she shared a wonderful tutorial for oven mitts in Q2 of 2013 here on my blog. Adrianne lives in New Zealand, which means that the FAL has moved to a fourth country and a third continent - it is truly a world blogging event.

I hope you will plan to be a part of the FAL in 2015, I sure will be. You can get started by grabbing Adrianne's button, checking out the 2015 FAL rules here, and planning your Q1 2015 FAL list. 

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Don't forget to finish more of you Q4 FAL 2014  list too. I have been checking mine carefully and hope to get more done, after all we have a month left.

Enjoy your Saturday, we have had a snow storm and are now in the deep freeze, winter is here in earnest now, and at least it is pretty.



Friday, November 28, 2014

if you were shopping... #16

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays I will share with you the news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

It's Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday and after that Cyber Monday - all American sale and shopping traditions that have become a real part of online shopping around the world now. So most everyone has some kind of sale or special this weekend, if you are inclined to shop, maybe for gifts even.

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is ready to start their Stuff your Stocking event. You register for special savings offers and then buy the special only if you like it. Your order arrives in time to fill your stocking with things you love, while you focus on filling those of the rest of your family. This is a great idea you might want to mention to those folks in your life who might want to get a gift or two for you.

Yes, that's right, the Fat Quarter Shop has 25% off the entire store until Saturday November 29, at midnight CST. 

Massdrop has a few great deals on right now, including this one for yardage of Zaza Zoo.

This weekend Green Fairy Quilts has their Jelly Rolls on for $26.89 which is a fantastic price. They have more specials being announced this weekend, on Small Business Saturday check out their Fat Quarter Bundles and on Cyber Monday watch for a deal on Layer Cakes.

Oakshott Fabrics keeps adding more beautiful free patterns, this latest is called Walk in the Woods by Heather Hasthrope.

Fabric Spark has 20% off all fabric yardage through to Cyber Monday. Use the code Black20 at the checkout.

Southern Fabric is featuring 25% off storewide, with even greater savings on many items. The store is well stocked with beautiful fabric for the sale too.

Fluffy Sheep Quilting has 20% off the entire store from Black Friday to the end of Cyber Monday, Dec. 1. Enter the code Black at checkout. Cindy has a bunch of new fabrics in too, just in time for the sale.

Becca over at Sew me a Song has a Thanksgiving Shipping special from now thorough Cyber Monday of $ 0.99 in the USA, $5.99 in Canada and $8.99 to Everywhere Else in the world and the shop is full of the most fantastic fabrics and bundles.

Mad about Patchwork  is having a Handmade for the Holidays sale November 28 – December 7. There are kits, all notions (rulers, thread, interfacing), pre-cut charms and rolls, flannel and fleece on sale at 15% off with the coupon HANDMADE until December 7. All purchases over $60 will receive a bonus gift, a one-of-a kind handmade pincushion with the Mad About Patchwork label.

And in the holiday spirit of giving, Mad About Patchwork is donating a portion  of all sales from November 28 – 30 to The Snowsuit FundThe Snowsuit Fund is an Ottawa-based charity that raises funds for the purchase and distribution of snowsuits to needy children in the community

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scraptastic Tuesday

My hopes and dreams for me in hosting Scraptastic Tuesday with the ever talented Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow is that I will use my scraps and existing fabric for my projects. I feel like I have a mountain of scraps and it is growing.

I also want to make more scrappy projects as I think that a big variety of prints makes quilts sparkle in a way that the more cohesive colour story of a single line of fabrics does. Also, I have become very fond of scrappy but neutral backgrounds too.

But in all of this I have become a bit overwhelmed, and add to that my seasonal - think dark all the time - startitis is starting to kick in. So today I have nothing new in the scrappy or scrap projects of any note to share. Here is where I am at:

Liberty sampler - the every talented Nicky is posting a sort of scraptastic QAL from time to time to make a sampler of her own design. Her designs are brilliant and so I am trying to catch up. But I hit a bump in the road when my sewing machine stopped sewing the Liberty tana lawn fabric nicely - its all bunching up with terrible tension. I am working on a solution, which may be as simple as a thinner needle. Any other ideas?

Friends - a quilt - back

 I have at least 6 quilt tops ready or almost ready for quilting. They all need backs and I have been making pieced backs with larger bits of my favourite fabrics, like that one above. I am calling these scrappy projects as although the pieces are larger, they are fabrics that have been cut once and are not destined for any other specific use. So I am going to be making more scrappy backs this week.

Dreaming of a low volume project

I have been cutting strips as I work with, find and sort of tidy scraps and also larger pieces of fabric. The strips are for more blended scraps blocks. These blocks are more fun to make if you have a pile of strips all ready to go so I am on a mission to get that pile at the ready. While I am cutting strips, I am also sorting a courthouse steps quilt in my mind that will use some of the same fabrics. As cutting fabric is not my favourite thing, I am hoping to only have to pull this pile out once.

Sorting and organizing are becoming urgent - I spend more time trying to find the right scraps than sewing them. You have all given me so many ideas that I am just trying to find the right approach for my own odd style. One thing I do know is that organizing the folded fabrics, scraps or new pieces, by colour is a good idea for me, so I am working on that too.

There you have it, a sort of Scraptastic to do list. Wish me luck, and go and check out Nicky's futuristic scrappy project, it's fantastic.

Besides this, I was hand sewing a binding last night but it was not even a scrappy binding, so I will share more about it later this week.

We will have our next Scraptastic link on December 9, and I hope you will join us with a scrappy project or scrappy ideas or even your own list. In the meantime, feel free to post about your scraps and use the hashtag #scraptastictuesday and/or our button and we will check out your progress (and it does not have to be Tuesday even).



Monday, November 24, 2014

Blogathon Winner and some quilting progress

Blocks for the EdmontonMQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt

First I want to talk about my quilting progress. This past weekend I had time to do a few different things. First I made those five 10" blocks. My MQG is making a quilt for the MQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt challenge and these were my assignment. Guild members will assemble the quilt and back this week and then it all comes to me to quilt it. Off to another member to bind, also somewhere in there we need to add the hanging sleeve, then a visit with all our members at our Dec 10 meeting and then in a lovely box on her way to Austin, Texas. I am so excited because I am going to QuiltCon and a quilt made by my guild mates will be hanging there too.

Hartley base and ruler for my Millennium Longarm Machine

I woke up on Saturday feeling like I was ready to try using a ruler on my APQS Millennium Longarm Quilting Machine. If you are going to use a ruler, you need a ruler base - this one is called a Hartley Base - that slides under the quilt and gives you a flat area to place the ruler on. Also, you need special rulers that are at least 1/4" thick or the hopping foot will hop over them and broken rules, needles, and possibly finger damage can happen.

Quilting with a ruler

This small quilt top seemed like a good one for some really straight lines so I set her up to go. These blocks are from a bee I was in some time ago called the Modern Blocks Bee. Well, I tried a few different blocks and ideas and now the ruler and base are back in their bin on a time out. I have some parts of the quilting to pick out - despite my total aversion to doing that and then I will try again. This quilt is on my FAL Q4 list and I am determined to finish it before the end of the year.

Rulers, well really anything that involves a diagonal line, on the long arm seem to be very hard for me. I have to admit that the rulers made stitching in the ditch both fast and really tidy but these radiating lines were not a great idea and mostly look a fright. That photo is the very best block. Maybe I need to find an in person class for some tips.

Ocean Waves in progress

While I was thinking about my FAL Q4 list, I gave some thought to the fact that November was racing by. My Ocean Waves holiday/winter quilt is both on my FAL list and I want it to cuddle in over the holidays. I need 6 more blocks, which have 12 HSTs each, so I cut the fabric and got started on them. Next step is to trim the HSTs. I need to do that tonight as I really don't like trimming the HSTs so the sooner the better. But I was too tired last night, and I really try not to go near a rotary cutter when I am tired, as I love my fingers a great deal.

A quilt back

After the fiasco of the rulers, I wanted something fast and fun to quilt. This is the back of another little quilt, I will be able to show you the front soon. Quilting these lines freehand took no time at all. I took the quilt off the long arm, turned it and remounted it on the frame to do the cross hatched lines. It is simple to move horizontally on the long arm but really slow to do vertical lines as you need to roll and unroll the quilt. I learned that I can turn and remount a quilt in 15 minutes, so no need to avoid that anymore in future.

By the way, I still adore those fabrics, all of which are from Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft. I need to use them to make a quilt for me, and for more quilt backs to.

This morning I used the random number generator to pick the winner of the Blogathon Canada draw for the beautiful Doe bundle sponsored by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. The lucky winner is Kay, who said, "I live in Vermont (USA), but only 5 miles from the Canadian border, so Montreal is a frequent destination." Congratulations Kay and thank you to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop for sponsoring Blogathon Canada and so many wonderful prizes.

I sure enjoyed hearing about where you are all from and what parts of Canada you know and don't yet know, thank you to everyone who participated. And remember, you can always check out the Blogathon Canada links later to meet more talented Canadian bloggers.

It's after dinner and dark already. I think I will play with some scraps tonight.



Friday, November 21, 2014

if you were shopping... #15

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays I will share with you the news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

Over at Mad about Patchwork's weekly bundle Snow Squall - I love this one! The weekly curated fat quarter bundles are 20% off until Sunday night.

Things are busy over at Sew Sisters. First, Blogathon Canada continues until Saturday and all the giveaways are open until Sunday night. Go here for my giveaway and links to the others. And they are starting their Stuff your Stocking event. You register for special savings offers and then buy them if you like or not, and then the order arrives in time to fill your stocking with things you love, while you focus on filling those of the rest of your family.

The Fat Quarter Shop has this beautiful Tangled Quilt Kit, perhaps another gift idea for a quilter you know (including you?). They are also receiving new fabric every day and have pretty much anything you might be shopping for.

Massdrop has a two Catnap by Lizzy House bundles. I keep going back to try to decide if I need more of these prints as I do love them.

This weekend Green Fairy Quilts has their charm packs on for 40% off with get free shipping in the USA.

Oakshott Fabrics has put together a gift ideas up to £25 and these beautiful fat eight bundles are on it, as well as some other beautiful ideas.

Fabric Spark is starting Monthly Sparks at the beginning of the year. You sign up for a specially curated bundle of fat quarters - curated by talented bloggers - which arrive monthly for all of 2015.

Southern Fabric has a special daily deal, and today it is this lovely Fancy Free charm pack. You can also sign up to get an email with the deal each day.

Besides beautiful fabrics, Fluffy Sheep Quilting carries a large selection of Perle Cotton, Auriful 40wt and 50wt thread and some Baker's Twine.

Becca over at Sew me a Song now has this beautiful Flower Sugar by Lecien bundle, and plenty of other new arrivals too.

Yahoo, it's Friday, I hope you enjoy your weekend!