Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For Wednesday - I have some progress to share.

5 x 4 Blocks - Hive 12

Here are all 6 of the blocks I made for my hive in the 5 x 4 Modern Bee. Each person picks colours and then you make 6 of whatever block you like in each person's colours. This block is an adaptation of Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations' tutorial which is here.

This one is for Megan, who asked for purple, orange and grey. I am becoming very partial to dark grey backgrounds. The purple and orange look very sharp on the grey.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - Block for Megan - Hive 12

I am totally enchanted with these butterflies. This next one is for Elizabeth who asked for blue, grey and lagoon/peacock on a white background. The lagoon/peacock wing is a bit more peacocky in real life.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - block for Elizabeth - Hive 12

These are 12" blocks. I am imagining them much larger and meeting corner to corner in a quilt. This next one is the one I showed you before. It is for Christina who asked for kelly green, navy/dark blue and yellow on a white background.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - block for Christina, Hive 12

Here is Erin's block. She asked for blue, green and grey on white. But not lime green, which is what I have the most of by far.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - for Erin, Hive 12

Seems I need to show you each one, thank you for your patience. It was really challenging to pick the fabrics for each person. Now, I have a lot of fabric, but I worry that I have not picked the right shade or that the recipient will be annoyed that there are bits of other colours in there too.

This next one is for Kathleen who asked for blue and orange on white. As a member of the Aqua and Orange Bee, I am partial to these colours.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - for Kathleen - Hive 12

Finally the one for me. I picked blue and grey on white. I am happy with any shade of blue, here I tried to avoid too much aqua as the other blocks seemed to have a lot.

5 x 4 Modern Bee - Block for me - Hive 12

Today I came home to find a package with  the Freebird for Moda fabrics that I won in Judith at Rags to Bags's give away. She sent this from Ireland on September 10 and today, September 27, it is in my hands here in Canada. That's only 17 days to go 3900 miles, 6720 kilometres. There are 7 times zones between my house and hers, so when it is morning here, it is late afternoon there. (By the way, I sent Judith a package on September 13 and she got it on September 21 - even faster service from here to there). I only wish my swap packages could travel as fast as these fabrics did.

Freebird for Moda - all the way from Ireland

Thanks Judith for the give away and these lovely fabrics.  Judith was supported by River Fabrics in her give away so thanks to Janette at River Fabrics too! Now I get to figure out what to make out of them.

I am going to link this to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced in the morning. All kinds of wonderful projects are linked there, I hope you will go and take a look.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 
 I am also linking to a new Canadian WIP group called The Needle and Thread Network, where everyone is welcome but shy Canadians are especially encouraged.
I am off at 4 a.m. on an airplane, enjoy the rest of your week.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quilting along, and making bee blocks.

Across the Sea QAL quilt top

I have finished the quilt top for the Across the Sea QAL. The QAL quilt has 20 blocks and then a lovely border. I decided to add 10 blocks for a total of 30 blocks and skip the border. I think that the Kona Charcoal without a border with these very bright prints looks very modern and fresh.

Across the Sea QAL - quilt top done

Here it is on my floor. It was very hard to photograph this one today, the colour is truer in the shady part. I am going to try to get it sandwiched soon and start quilting it.

4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee - Block for Christina, beehive 12

This block is for the 4 x 5 Modern Bee (people on flickr have already seen it but I did not get a chance to share it here yet). I have to make 6 blocks, one for each of my 5 bee mates and one for me, using everyone's colours and my own fabrics. I have been thinking of circles a lot lately and then when I saw Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations' tutorial, I decided to use and adapt it to make this block. I don't have a go cutter so I used Eliza's Backporch templates and then trimmed and sashed the block to get it all to work.

Design wall quilt - bits of blocks - what I did this weekend

Here is a work in progress shot. This wall quilt hangs right beside my sewing machine. You can see that it is turning into a design wall quilt. The three additional blocks still need sashing, and there are some bits from my colour palette hanging there too. I have two more blocks to make for this bee.

I was wondering, maybe I should do a video about how to sew these curves without pins or pain, maybe next weekend. Also, this block and the butterfly/flower is reminding me of the CBC logo. The CBC is Canada's national television/radio broadcasting corporation and we all grew up watching the CBC TV logo. The logo morphed into other variations on quarter circles so almost anything using pieced quarter circles reminds me of it too.

It has been busy at my work, and I am out of town a lot this coming week, so I am not sure there will be much more here till the weekend.

Enjoy your week.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Learning about colour

Playing with my palette

I have been playing with my palette - I tend to think of this palette as "grown up" or "sophisticated". I first built this palette for my Love of Solids [a modern swap] items. It was inspired by my partner Natalie at Threaded Mess's photos (she has her package now so I can say) and by my beach. Since the swap is over, I have joined Lynne from Lily's Quilts in her Dead Simple QAL because I want to play with this palette more.

I cut up a bunch of 1.5" squares. Many people are using software and colour swatches, which is very techy and cool but I am having more fun doing this hands on.

Laying out a coaster

I wish I knew if there was a right way to get the randomized pixel-like, sun shattered look. My approach is to make sure I include at least one or more of the "colours" - blue, aqua or gold. Then I just pull out other squares in the "neutral" shades, and put them down on the table, quickly arranging as I go and trying to use mostly different shades.  I give myself about 10 seconds to change anything that bugs me. Then I sew.

Maybe more coasters?

I sew quickly because I am more of a controlling, logic type of person than a creative, artsy person and I fear that with any time at all I will start arranging these into some kind of discernable pattern - my math brain really wants to do that.

Playing with my palette - some coasters

Here are a couple completed coasters I made last week. These have already been given away.

FTLOS - small items

Here are the 8 I sent my partner in the swap. Each has a different colour layout, and I find I like every single one. I am coming to the conclusion that my few "rules" seems to lead to a result that pleases me all the time. It is also interesting to notice how even slight differences in the light actually change the colours, although they continue to work well together.

Longer strip

This is three of the small 16 patch units sewn together. Next, I am going to try to lay out this many squares before I sew them together. I want to see whether the grouping I end up with it is still reasonably random and if I like it.

I have lots to learn about colour and this palette is so much fun to play with. I have some pillows and placemats and coasters and at least one wall quilt (click here to see the mini quilt I made for the swap) to make for me from it, I think. And I have some coasters to make for a friend in a private swap. I am still not sure I want a whole large quilt, but who knows.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend, I am hoping to do little but sew.

ps. I have linked this post up to {Sew} Modern Monday. I hope you have a chance to visit the wonderful projects over there.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

One more link, to the Needle and Thread Network.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday - WIP is happening again!


Last night I joined the blocks for my Kaleidoscope Quilt. I missed all the QAL deadlines, but I am very happy with this quilt so far. The excellent QAL instructions from Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy are here and the flickr group, where many many excellent variations on this classic pattern can be seen, is here.

Kaleidoscope - detail

Here is a closer view. I have to say, 12" blocks are so fast compared to the tiny mini quilt blocks I have been playing with lately. I am hoping to sandwich and quilt this one soon, maybe this weekend.

Scooty Patootie - For Katherine, Aqua & Orange Bee

This is Scooty Patootie! The paper pieced pattern is by Kirie at Shape Moth and, although it is complex, the pattern was excellent. This is a block I made for Katherine in my Aqua & Orange Bee.

For Katherine, Aqua & Orange Bee

Here is the other block I made her. Katherine asked for a vespa, circles and the letter "K". The fabrics she sent demanded to be made into cute patchwork so this is what I came up with. She sent us the vespa fabric - it is pretty cute itself.

I am waiting for some more background fabric to finish my Across the Sea QAL quilt as I have decided to make it 10 blocks bigger. I am playing with my palette for the Dead Simple QAL, and I am trying to organize myself so that I can get back into my other projects - including the Farmer's Wife and the Mystery Quilt. And easing into fall - back to school and work routines around my house, which is not that easy it seems.

I am linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. As usual, there is excellent progress to view there, I hope you take a look.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blocks, and more blocks

Blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed

I love wonky stars! I was reading Liberated Quiltmaking II, by Gwen Marston this summer, and I have wanted to make more of these ever since.

Blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed

These four are going off to Ireland tomorrow for Judith and Sarah's Bee Blessed. I love the idea of making a small contribution to some tiny humans so far across the world. These blue ones use some of the leftover scraps from my Kaleidoscope quilt (which I hope to get back to very soon).

Double Star - Block 9 Skill Builder Sampler QAL

This is Double Star, which is block 9 from the We can do it! Skill Builder Sampler QAL. In these colours is seems very intense.

Breaking Out - block 8 Skill Builder Sampler QAL

This one is called Breaking Out, which is Block 8. This pattern has a lot of potential. I am pleased to be learning to make flying geese which remain triangles and actually fit together. Like most things, I have improved with practice.

Virginia Star - Block 7 Skill Builder Sampler QAL

This is a Virginia Star, which is block 7. I really love this traditional star and could not resist the fussy cutting and reversing the usual colour arrangement - such a simple star can look very dramatic.

Greek Cross Blocks - Across the Sea QAL

And, after stalling out on Sarah and Jennifer's Across the Sea QAL, I was inspired by Fiona at Poppy Makes. She was using a dark grey/black background with bright prints and her blocks are wonderful. So I pulled out my Kona Charcoal and am having a lot of fun now catching up to the QAL.

This block finishes with the same shape of colour and neutrals as the Modern Cross Log Cabin Block but is far quicker. I love that you can make the same thing different ways! Here is the Modern Log Cabin Block, using the same fabrics as one of the Greek Cross blocks, for comparison:

Modern Crosses Quilt Block

In other news, I have been very lucky lately. I don't enter all the contests on blogs, I try to leave prizes that are not really "me" for others. Still, I have won three times in the last while - which for me is amazingly lucky.

I won a wonderful Rowan Magazine from Alison at Little Island Quilting. Many of you may not know  that knitting is my very first fibre art love, one day I will start showing off a bit here. I have some new yarn and am inspired by the lovely things in this book, which has already crossed the globe and arrived here.

I won a wonderful package of Momo Freebird fabrics from Judith at Rags to Bags who was introducing River Fabrics, a UK online shop. I am excited to see them in person and I am not sure yet what they will become.

And I won a bundle of Christmas fabrics - Reindeer Games - from Erin at Bittle Bear. I met Erin in my quilting bees and she had some give aways to kick off her blog and new quilting business. I was hoping to make some kind of holiday quilty thing this year and these will arrive just at the right moment for that.

Thank you again to all of you for the generous and lovely give aways!

It is September 11, a day forever imprinted in my memory. It is important to remember the evils of humans, but we do that, in part, to be reminded that we can make a positive difference for the future. I am focusing as much as I can on that last bit.



Monday, September 5, 2011

Honey, I'm home!

FTLOS - small items

These are the coasters that I finished this afternoon for the small item for my secret partner in the For the Love of Solids [a modern swap]. I decided to quilt each one differently, so they are siblings, not octuplets.

You saw the 1.5" squares I had cut up a couple of weeks ago. I just picked 16 squares for each coaster, played with them until I liked the layout and sewed them together, making a couple coasters at a time. They are backed with the same linen from the wall quilt and have a layer of batting in them.

I have also been, again, enticed by Lynne at Lily's Quilts. She has the best quilt alongs and there is always something fun happening where ever she is. So when she announced the Dead Simple QAL, which is to focus on colour palette, not on fancy piecing, I asked her if I could join with my large palette from FTLOS, since I am so not done with this one yet. She said sure I could.

Dead Simple Quiltalong

So, in case you love it as I do, here is the colour palette again. I am not sure that I will make a whole full size quilt, but I sure could use some coasters and placemats and pillow covers and maybe a wall quilt for me made with this palette.  Surely at least one of those will fit into the general theme of this QAL, although I wonder if I will be convinced that at least a lap quilt is in order.

My palette for the Dead Simple QAL - yes, it is the same as the one I used for FTLOS swap

I am sure that I will get some good advice, inspiration and encouragement from the QAL, maybe you should join in the fun too?

I am safely home, having driven almost 1000 kms in two days. I took two ferry boats. I drove through two huge mountain ranges - which are as beautiful as any in the world. I drove on  roads with signs that said "High Mountain Road". I went from sea level to 4010 feet about 4 hours and then back down again. And I followed two major rivers as I wound my way through the mountain passes, just me and my dog, heading home after a long summer's break. And I saw at least 10 million evergreen trees (pine, spruce, fir). These trees just break your heart, they are so amazing, there are so many, and they are just pumping out oxygen all day long.

I live on the prairie, where we have huge skys and we can look out and see the curve of the earth, things are so flat. So, I love the sky, day or night. Driving through the mountains is one of my favourite things to do, the sheer power and size of the earth, and of nature,  and the vastness of the Canadian wilderness, is always a great to see and it is so different from my home.

I just wish I did not have to drive to see it, two full days behind the wheel is one too many for me, but a good sleep and an afternoon making coasters has solved all that.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work, I hope you enjoyed Labour Day.



Friday, September 2, 2011

August wrap up, and beach inspiration before returning to the City

Fresh Sewing Day, What I have done in August 2011

It is time for my Fresh Sewing Day August wrap up post. I have been mostly on vacation at my cottage this month and it has been great. However, not really that much sewing has happened, I focused on my two swap quilts and some blocks. I did spend some time at the beach and a lot of time making jam from my crazy bumper plum crop and generally gardening and lazing about.

I am linking to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts, head on over there to enjoy everyone's August wrap up.
Fresh Sewing Day

My Love of Solids [a modern swap] wall quilt was inspired, in part, by the beach (the wall quilt is the first one in the mosaic above). I promised to share my beach inspiration mosaic, with photos taken from the beach down the road from my cottage.

Beach inspiration - 2011

As hard as it is to leave, tomorrow my dog and I start the two day, 900 kilometre, car journey from this island in the Salish Sea (Pacific Ocean) back to my home on the prairies in Alberta. My kids and husband have gone ahead, the youngest has had a week of school already. It is Labour Day in Canada on Monday so I have a holiday Monday to unpack and maybe sew a little before I go back to work.

Enjoy your weekend!