Thursday, October 29, 2015

Twirl - Blogger's Quilt Festival Original Design


Let me tell you about Twirl, the newest quilt I have designed. She was made from scraps of different pink Kona cottons (maybe 12 colours) and Kona Navy. She is about 62" square after dense quilting and a wash and dry.


Twirl fits nicely on the top of a queen size bed and is a pattern well admired by my kittens. They know that navy is perfect for showing off every hair they may shed.

I am really happy with this design, I love medallion quilts and I wanted to explore a modern medallion with loads of negative space. I used the Allium block that I designed when I made Echoes, which creates lovely secondary patterns in this arrangement.


When I put Twirl on my M illennium Longarm Quilting Machine to quilt, I had a moment. I thought, gee it's time to try something different, so I put two layers of cotton batting. It turns out, for me at least, double layers of batting on a big quilt is not a great idea at all.

The quilt is really heavy and she is not that drape-y, especially with the dense quilting from 1" to matchstick. She is, on the other hand nice and warm and I am hoping for just a little more softening up with the next wash, but I will be sticking to single layers of batting in future.


On the back of Twirl I placed 7 of my favourite fabrics in nice big chunks.


I had hoped to have a pattern ready for Twirl by now, but life has unexpectedly intervened. Watch for it soon.

If you are new to my blog, welcome. You can quickly see my quilting style by checking out the My Quilts tab. I have entered Twirl in the Original Design category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side. There are so many beautiful quilts entered in the festival this year!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Twirl was also on my Q4 Finish Along list!

I'll be catching up today,



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October Scraptastic Tuesday Winners

I have to say that it is a fine day here in Canada today. We had a national election yesterday and it feels so good to wake up in a country returning to its inclusive, optimistic self.

I am on the road for my day job, yet again, and am returning on a late night flight tonight. I have been dreaming of my sewing room and have a scrappy project planned. I am finishing off a new pattern - Twirl - and want a scrappy version as an alternative to the solid version that is almost done.


My idea for the scrappy version is to use scraps of saturated jewel tone prints for the main piecing with a low volume background made from only my scrap bins, like Hush, which is the quilt in the photo above.

By the way, if anyone wants to pattern test Twirl for me, let me know - all I can offer is my heartfelt thanks and a free pattern, and I will share your completed project here if you make the quilt. You can see the design on my instagram account (@shecanquilt) or hopefully the first finished quilt will be ready to enter into the Bloggers Quilt Festival, which starts this Friday (I know, can you believe how fast time is flying this spring??)

Now onto the Scraptastic Tuesday Winners. As my scraptastic partner Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow points out, it has been a full year of Scraptastic Tuesday now and we sure enjoy this project. Neither Nicky or I have run out of scraps, in fact mine keep getting replenished, so we are going to keep this up for the coming year.

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which have been awarded randomly among those of you who link up to the lucky winners listed:
It's a busy work day today, so winners, please watch for an email later on to get you matched up with your prizes.

Please plan to join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I for the November Scraptastic Tuesday Link Up on November 10, which will be the second Tuesday in November.



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday October Link Up is open

I had some time to sew yesterday, and I was able to make a scrappy addition to my Pip group assignment for October. This is an international (Canada, USA, Scotland, England, France and Australia) group of 6 quilters to make a round robin mini quilt. Every two months one gets a new project to add onto, a block, a border, some stitching, as you like. As the project is to remain small, I am finding that making an addition I like is a great challenge.

Pip block so far

The photo above (left blocks) shows my first two attempts at adding rolling hills to this set of beautiful blocks. The top half  of the right part is Lynz's starter and the bottom half is Dee's addition. While both of my first attempts are interesting, I ultimately decided that neither was what I had actually envisioned.

Making rolling hills

So I pulled out my scraps of green solids again. Although I fold these pieces each time I am finished with them and put them on my solids fabric shelf, they are very much scraps I think. No piece is larger than a fat quarter and it is rare event to find a full fat quarter of any colour. But I find the solid scraps are much more inviting to me to work with when they are folded away on the shelf than in a scrap bin of some sort.

Making rolling hills

In my mind, I wanted the hills to roll in a method similar to the stunning work of Sherri Lynn Wood. So I decided it was time to actually pull her book from my shelf and read about her score #9 from her fantastic book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. In the book, Sherri Lynn teaches improv approaches, not how to make a exact copy of any particular quilt, and that is just what I needed for this project. Then I set about cutting and trimming off some strips.

making rolling hills

As I worked into the dark evening, the quality of my pictures deteriorated. But I kept my book at hand for inspiration and built a curved chunk.

Making rolling hills

Remembering that I was making a block of about 6" square, and that I have loads of green scraps should this turn out to be a mistake, I held my breath and cut my curved chunk into two pieces.

Making rolling hills

I played around with arrangements. Then I again cut the pieces to match the curves so that I could piece them together.

Making rolling hills

My method of joining the curves differs from Sherri's book. I used my no pin method (the blog post and video is here) as it works well for even seriously pieced curves and is so much faster and easier for me.

Making rolling hills

At one point I took one of the first two attempts at making the rolling hills and cut a chunk off of it for the bottom bit.

Making rolling hills

At one point on Flickr, Dee had suggested adding some "sky" to the hills. I decided to take up her suggestion and found a blue that exactly matched the blue in Lynz's starting piece so as to tie the two together. I also stay stitched the edges about 1/8" from the edge so that those bias cut edges do not stretch too much as the block makes it way around the world, next to Susan in Australia. Here is the finished piece, ready to mail before I change my mind again.

Now, its time for you to link up and share your scrappy projects to inspire us all.

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which will be awarded randomly among those of you who link up:
  • Massdrop - a Scented Half Yard Bundle
      Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I by linking up a blog post or flickr or instagram photo sharing a scrappy project, in progress or finished, or your thoughts on dealing with your scrap mountain:
      • You don't have to have joined us before, everyone is welcome.
      • One link per person, and it will be your entry into the random draw for the prizes. It is the same link up here and at Nicky's blog - Mrs. Sew and Sow - so you only need to link up on one of our blogs.
      • Please visit at least a few of the links, they are very inspiring, and leave comments too as everyone loves to connect. 
      • Use the Scraptastic Tuesday button if you like (code is on the sidebar) and invite your friends to join us too. 
      • The link is open until next Monday night at 10:00 pm MST. We will announce the winners next Tuesday. 
      • If you have trouble linking up, let me or Nicky know and we will get you sorted.


      Sunday, October 11, 2015

      Q4 FAL list - loads of UFOs

      2015 - Unfinished projects list

      I posted that mosaic for Q3 of the FAL and well, I finished one of the projects. One of 35. On the other hand, I finished one of my UFOs, that's fantastic! Anyway, I missed linking it up in the finishes, but you have seen Pink already (go here).

      Today I am posting this list again for Q4 of the FAL. The truth is my sewing time was pre-empted this summer with moving my house and much of my office, new routines, getting the youngest off to University in another province, unpacking, painting, etc. And all that will continue to the end of the year, but I am going to be sure to do more sewing too, as I miss it. So the whole list is going up again.

      So following the mosaic, here are the projects in order and what is next to do  (left to right, top to bottom):
      • Magenta and navy courthouse steps: I am almost finished with the quilting now, then bind and it's done.
      • Scrappy Liberty Medallion: I need to finish a couple more rounds of the top, make the back, quilt, bind.
      • Scrappy blocks neutral: These need to be made into a quilt.
      • Scrappy blobs: These might be added to the scrappy blocks or become their own quilt, either way they need to be a quilt.
      • Blocks from Luke Hanes QuiltCon workshop: I might make these into a series of coasters, sort of mug rug sized or maybe a quilt.
      • Liberty sampler: I need to make these into a quilt, maybe adding more from Nicky's sampler or maybe finishing them as is. Also they might become the back of the Liberty Medallion?
      • Improv scrappy Xs: I need more of these and then they need to be a bed sized quilt. 
      • Improv guitar case: I need more "fabric" and then to design and finish the case.
      • Giant pluses: I started this with some of the magenta and navy fabrics and I need to finish this quilt.
      • Improv Log Cabins: A quilt, and soon.
      • Pickle Dishes: Also a king size quilt and soon. Luckily Nicky has a DWR along going on and that might help.
      • Beachy neutrals: I need to finish this project, as I remember how much I love it.
      • Mystery Quilt: This one needs quilting, and I am now totally ready to do it. 
      • Jungle Abstract Lion: This quilt is a priority as it needs to be done by the end of August. I have the fabrics and the pattern is printed, so I am ready to go on it.
      • Pillows: I am going to make this beautiful fabric into pillows for the new house.
      • Lightning quilt for Christa's blog hop: This one is done, so it is not on the Q4 FAL list.
      • Florid Blooms: This is dwr #2 from Victoria's class at QuiltCon. That DWR along will help.
      • Farmer's wife blocks: I have more of the fabric but this project has been stalled forever. I might just finish them into a smaller quilt and call it a day.
      • Blue Bee Blocks: these were from the 4 x 5 bee, and are beautiful. They are ready to be a quilt.
      • Improv back: This needs to be taken apart and either more blocks made or pieced into a white background. Initially it was to be the back for the beachy neutral quilt but I don't thinks so now. It would make an excellent baby quilt.
      • Liberty one patch: I put this together ages ago to be a quilting practice quilt so now I should quilt it.
      • Irish chain in green: I forgot about this one, time to finish it.
      • Polaroid blocks: I am going to piece these into an i-spy quilt.
      • Bee blocks: I started quilting these and the quilting was horrid. So it is on a time out but it's time to pick out the quilting and start again to finish the quilt.
      • Bee blocks: these are wonderful blocks and they need to be a quilt.
      • Bee blocks: these are from my very first bee and they are wonderful. They need to be one or two quilts.
      • Quilt kit: this is my only ever quilt kit and it's beautiful so I need to finish it too.
      • Bee blocks: the stars are fantastic and will be a quilt too.
      • Place mats: I have three in various stages, time to finish them.
      • Hexagons: These could be a nice pillow, why aren't they already?
        - not included in the mosaic, but not forgotten:
      • No quilt - I have some great blocks, I need to make some more and finish this quilt. With so much quilting on my list, I need to say "No" a lot more a the day job.
      • Blended scraps - I started another version of this quilt, and I need to make more blocks and finish.
      • Giant star:  I made a top and it has not even been photographed, so I need to get it out and quilt it and take photos.
      • Pink Allium quilt: again, no photos, but blocks are made. This one is a priority as I would like to sell the pattern.
      • Another Allium blue quilt: The top is done, why it is not quilted and finished and photographed is not at all clear to me. It is a different layout and could also be a pattern. 

      2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

      If you have not joined in yet, the Finish Along is a low key way to try to get some of your UFOs out of the sewing room - go to Adrianne's blog On the Windy Side here to join the Q4 link up. Everyone is welcome. By the way, you don't have to own up to all your UFOs, one can just link up a few or even one project to finish.

      I'm off to get my dressing made and the turkey in the oven, it's Thanksgiving in Canada today and we are going to have a wonderful dinner. Happy Thanksgiving to you!



      Saturday, October 10, 2015

      if you were shopping ... #45

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

      The lovely folks at  Oakshott Fabrics have a stunning new bundle - Aruba - which is full of colour. You can enter to win one too, head over to Oakshott here to enter by October 16, 2015. Oakshotts are also celebrating Thanksgiving with us by offering a great shipping deal to Canada: 

      Order value
      Shipping charge
      Promotion code
      Up to £99
      £8 (normally £16)
      (Automatically applied)
      £100 and over
      To claim your ​FREE SHIPPING, please enter the promotion code when prompted at the checkout. Offer relates to trackable courier shipping. Orders must be received between Friday ​9th and Tuesday 13 October 9.00am (UK time).

      Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has some beautiful new fabrics, including Sketchbook by Sharon Holland. They have also have just received the fantastic Tula Pink Coloring Book

      If you want a little of many fabrics - say for a scrappy quilt or pillow, Becca from Sew Me a Song is making the most fantasic bundles, including this Never be at a loss for Words fat 16th bundle. And Becca has been receiving such beautiful new fabrics too, including Loominous by Anna Maria Horner.

      Fabric Spark has fantastic new fabrics, it's hard to decide what to share. There are beautiful low volumesTula Pink and so much more!

      Green Fairy Quilts is having a crazy random sale of all sorts of items - yes, I saw that fat eight bundle of Jen Kingwell's Gardenvale in the sale! - : 

      Fat Eighth Bundles - 40% OFF 
      Bella Solids Junior Cakes - all $14.30   
      Books - 30% OFF  
      Mini Charms - all $3.29 
      Honey Buns - all $19.88 
      Honey Combs - 40% OFF 
      Quilt Kits & Bag Kits - 40% OFF 
      Turnovers & Slices - 40% OFF 

      And at Green Fairy Quilts all their notions and thread (Auriful boxes!) are 40% off too.

      Mad about Patchwork has beautiful new fabrics in, including Tiger Lily by Heather Ross. They are also starting a Blueberry Park Club featuring the Karen Lewis's new collection. 

      The Fat Quarter Shop has selected Cotton + Steel Basics as their Basic of the Month and marked them all down by 20% for all of October.   has exclusive 12 wt Aurifil thread sets (10 spools of 54 yards each), perfect for hand quilting. This is the Macaroon Finishing Set. They also have beautiful quilt kits, including the Snack Time Quilt Kit featuring Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou.

      Fluffy Sheep Quilting has been receiving beautiful new fabrics, including low volumes and great Halloween prints.

      Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!