Monday, January 30, 2012

Featured - how cool is that!

Before washing, ROYGBIV back

Today, two of my quilts are featured on the internet - I am both thrilled and a little overwhelmed. The ROYGBIV Log Cabin Quilt is featured at Quilt Story.


And Shattered is being featured at Modern Day Quilts.

Modern Day Quilts

Pretty cool! Thanks to Heather and Megan at Quilt Story, and to Heather at Modern Day Quilts - they made my day, twice!



Sunday, January 29, 2012


FLQS - so far

This is my latest creation, so far. It is made from an assortment of yellow, orange and red cotton prints and Kona Charcoal.

Maybe some pointy points?

I started by making some pointy points. I had been making paper pieced points, and was not done with them yet. I am in the the Fab Little Quilt Swap and I am hopeful that my secret partner will like this.

A circle of pointy points

I made the pointy points into a circle. I used the paper pieced template for this circle of points from a pattern called Bubble Gum Burst by Barbara Barber from a book I have called The Expert's Guide to Foundation Piecing.


Then my friend Linda from Linda Rotz Miller Quilts and Quilt Tops mentioned that she wondered what would go in the centre of such pointy points. Well, that got me thinking that I should put something pretty interesting in the centre.

My secret partner likes tiny patchwork and you will recall my Modern Christmas Tree Ornaments - tiny patchwork is my friend. So I cut up 49 one inch squares, each one from a different fabric.


I sewed them together, they finish at 1/2" so this little piece is about 3.5"square. Then I cut them in a circle.

Oh, in the interests of being real, I have to mention that the first time I cut the circle too small. Yup, I hauled out all 49 fabrics again (only a few came from my scrap box), cut another set of 1" squares and did it again.

I had thought I would just inset that circle with my sewing machine, no problem. Ha, that was not to be - I was brought back to the real world pretty quickly on that.

So this is my very first ever hand appliqued piece. I used the tiniest stitches I could manage.

FLQS - with papers in

Although it fit nicely, it puffed up like a fried egg. Or worse, a flower. I was going for edgy, artsy, modern and cool. Not cute.

FLQS - with papers in

See, fried egg. Not edgy, artsy or modern. Not cool.

FLQS - papers in

But remember, it was paper pieced. I had left the paper in place so that all those bias seams would not stretch while I sewed in the middle. When you take the paper off, there is just the tiniest bit of ease as the seams relax.

FLQS - now it is flat

The pointy points have 40 seams. Just enough ease to flatten it out, with just the steam from my iron (I am not a starcher, I don't even have any).

FLQS - so far

So here it is again, so far. It will be set into a square of the same Kona Charcoal and then I will quilt it, likely in grey like my Shattered quilt. I expect this mini quilt to finish somewhere near to a 15" square. I am having so much fun, inspiration has struck again.

I will update you soon.

PS. I am linking this to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story, where you will find many other lovely projects too.

Fresh Poppy Design


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wednesday - definitely some progress.

Mystery QAL Blocks so far

My progress on the Mystery QAL is slow but steady.  You can see those jaggy strips have been added to that large orange star at the top.

Also, are the blocks laid out as I think they will be pieced in the final quilt. That friendship star up at the top left is at the outside of the borders, which are not yet done. And there are braided strips to go between the stars at the bottom of the picture and some background rectangles.

Mystery QAL - Braid strip

So, later on in this evening I made the first braid. They are fun to make (the braid tutorial is here) and the effect is pretty slick for a really easy process. That is, if you cut it correctly.

Mystery QAL - braid strip

Well, I know the rule, measure twice, cut once, but I was tired and thought I had it right. So I cut the left side first and there was nothing to do then but cut the right. I am going to use this off kilter braid anyway because I like its asymmetry and it will remind me to slow down and think a bit more as I go.

And so there is just one more braid to do and then the I can piece the stars and finish the border to complete this quilt top. If all goes well this one will be ready for quilting soon.

Cathedral Window Pincushion - partner would you like this one?

This is the pincushion I made for my secret partner for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper group. This month we are swapping pincushions. I decided it was time to try a cathedral window out and a pincushion was a great opportunity as it is just one block. I used this tutorial from My GoGo Life, which is excellent.

Quatrefoil Block for Alisha - Modern Blocks Bee

This lovely block is called Quatrefoil from the Modern Blocks book. It was the January block for Alisha in my Modern Blocks Bee. This block has grown on me, I think that a whole quilt of them is going to be wonderful.

Little Arrowhead Shawl
And I promised to show off more knitting. This little shawl is called Little Arrowhead Shawl which is a pattern by Pam Allen. The yarn is Noro Silk Garden Lite.

Little Arrowhead Shawl

This picture shows both the lace and the true colours. This is a small scarf size piece to wear around your neck more than your shoulders, and I wore it all day today.

Travelling Woman Shawl

This one is a pattern called Travelling Woman by Liz Abinante. I love this pattern and have made a few of these, which again are quite small and fit nicely around your neck or over your head if it starts snowing. Again the yarn is Noro Silk Garden Lite, which is one of my favourites because it comes in so many stunning colours.

Travelling Woman Shawl

Once I started quilting, my knitting output decreased, but I often carry a project in my purse to work on when waiting somewhere or stopping for a coffee with a friend. I had a few of these shawls in a pile to have ends mended in and to be washed and blocked. Rhonda, at Quilter in the Gap, recently mentioned that she had a 15 minute drawer and I gave her a hard time for not finishing all those little bits off. Well, that made me think that I best deal with my own pile of almost finished knitting. I will show you some more of the knitting finishes next week.

I am linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and with the Canadians at the Needle and Thread Network. As always, I hope you will go and have a look at the wonderful work you will find linked at both of these.

                       WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Sunday, January 22, 2012



Shattered - a wall quilt.


I was thinking about making a mini-quilt for the Tangerine Tango Challenge. And I had been paper piecing jaggy strips for the Mystery QAL. Then I got an email from Hadley, Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle, who said "...ask me again for ideas when I am not shattered!"


Well, then the Rolling Stones were playing in my head - playing Shattered. Loudly. And I knew what to do.


I downloaded the song (Shattered) from i-tunes because it is nicer to hear it in stereo - you can get preview it on itunes or listen to it here in a live version by the Rolling Stones on youtube. I grew up with this music, but I guess not all of you will have this song in your bones. And I understand feeling "shattered", as Hadley meant it,  but it is not something most Canadians say.


This quilt is 13.5" by 14.5". It is made from tangerine and other orange cottons on a Kona Charcoal background. The quilting is machine stitched with a darker grey thread using a walking foot but I did not mark the quilt before stitching. I let the shattered inspiration carry me along. The binding and back are also Kona Charcoal.

The email came Thursday and I started it that night. Finished hand stitching the binding this morning. Inspiration, when it hits, is a powerful thing.

Edited to add:

A big thank you to Jodi at Pleasant Home for featuring my blog today for her Needle Little Inspiration feature (I honestly did not know this in advance of this post.) She has written the nicest feature about me.
simply square button
And, I am linking this up with Sew {Modern} Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations, and with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, where there are always other wonderful projects to see.

Fresh Poppy Design{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's progress and a concern

Jaggy Edges

I was paper piecing last weekend. I so love the dramatic results of paper piecing but it is a slow and patient process for me, with the seam ripper close at hand. The green strip is the new one, the pink one was done earlier. Wouldn't a quilt with large pointy triangles arranged like this look great - I might have to figure out how to make it.

Jaggy edges - another arrangement

Or maybe arranged like this? Maybe a mini quilt? These bits are part of the Mystery QAL quilt, which I am working on finishing.

Top done

This is the Summer's Blush pattern by Bloom top so far. I am trying to decide if I want borders or not. I am thinking about using a heavier decor weight or linen for the back and using this as a beach/picnic blanket. And I am going to need another name for this quilt, it is just not blushy.

Aqua and Orange - Blocks for Betsy

These blocks are for the Aqua and Orange Bee. I had such a nice time making them and just love the colour combination.

Aqua and Orange Bee - blocks for Betsy

I am making progress on other projects and hope to be able to show off another finish this weekend.

My concern is with SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of proposed American legislation. My kids spent a few nights passionately explaining to me how this legislation would break the internet as we know it and, in my opinion, they are right. I knew that without the kids, but what was so interesting was that they knew about it, were able to debate it rigorously and felt so strongly about it.

Go to Wikipedia here to read more, today English Wikipedia is dark. Or go here to see what Flickr has to say. Or google it. The whole internet world will be affected, not just people in the United States, and so hopefully we all will take notice and act.

I am linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and the Needle and Thread Network, please go and visit all the wonderful bloggers and their work posted there.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Monday, January 16, 2012

A quilt for my bed - Ta Da!

A quilt for my bed

It's all done - quilted, bound, washed and tested out. This quilt is king size and, after washing, is 93" x 94".

A quilt for my bed

The fabrics are called Poppy and Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn, together with Essex 100% linen. I put a really soft high thread count king size sheet on the back, in the same not quite white colour of the linen.

A quilt for my bed

This quilt was a long time in the making. The first bit of the fabrics were part of one of my first on-line fabric purchases, almost two years ago and then I kept buying a few more until I had enough. Then I searched for a pattern that would show off the large scale prints. The pattern I picked is called the Wedding Quilt by the Purl Bee and I adjusted the block size to make the quilt king size. I pieced the top in June, encouraged to get the quilt for me to the top of the list by  the Naked Bed Challenge.

A quilt for my bed - quilting

I quilted it in organic straight lines with a walking foot and used a slightly variegated hand dyed ivory/golden 50 weight thread from Valdani Inc. I did not want it so heavily quilted that it would lose its softness and drape. The linen is a little heavier and stiffer than cotton. Quilting this on my Horizon was not dreadful, and I would do another king size quilt again. This size is likely my limit for quilting on a regular sewing machine.

A quilt for my bed - binding and quilting detail

The binding is one of the aqua prints. It is hand stitched on the back. That took a fairly long time to do, but was a nice relaxed ending.

A quilt for my bed - binding detail

Here is a detail of the binding and you can see the print that is the binding just to the left of the red poppies in the photo. I wanted this quilt to be large enough to actually cover both of us in this big bed and so there is a bit of overhang on all edges and it reaches over the pillows.

A quilt for me - done.

Here is the best hanging up picture that I managed. My helpers stood on chairs and stairs and we set up lights to make the dark hallway bright enough. It is really hard to hold a quilt this big and you can see this photo cuts off the top and the edges a bit.

Edited to add: I am linking this post up to Rhonda at Quilter in the Gaps FAL First Quarter Report. My post of my FAL goals is here.

I am posting this to Sew {Modern} Monday and will add it to Fabric Tuesday tomorrow. It is also my first finish in the Finish-a-long over at Quilter in the Gap, which is working for me so far!

Fresh Poppy Design
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Enjoy your week, we finally have snow and -26C temperatures. Winter has arrived.