Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday and a round robin


Let's start with the "art" shot. This little piece is not actually bowed, it is a rectangle of 5" x 8.5" and the finished strips are about 1/4" wide, give or take. I think I will refer to this as industrial modern matchstick piecing.

an idea

It started as an idea that came together as I made a latte last night in my Colorado mug. The heat wave had been replaced with light cooling rain and finally I was able to sit and sew comfortably again.  I gathered some leftover bits of some blue, teal and yellow solids and cut 3/4" strips.


I worked carefully but I was far to excited to press each addition. I finger pressed. This is a photo I put on instagram to show the scale.

Lines - scale

This was my last photo last night on instagram. You can see that the lines are not perfect, I think for me to do better I would need to paper piece it. Otherwise, with regular piecing on a small piece just 8.5" or so (I made it a bit bigger and trimmed it) you can already see that the strips are slightly wobbly and the piece begins to bow a bit in the middle of the long sides - thus, industrial modern, it has character and texture like that old wood or brick wall, not perfection like the paper pieced block would be. I am in love.


This morning I stay stitched the edges 1/8" from the edge so that the piece would hold up to shipping and handling. It is off on a world tour as part of a little round robin group I have joined called PIP, with first stop Susan from PatchworknPlay in Australia.

PIP - these are about the "feeling"

I made this mosaic, after I finished the piece, to inspire the group. We are making enough blocks to make a mini quilt or a pillow in the end, so the additions are all small bits like this one, or maybe just embellishment, etc. My mosaic is about "a feeling" more than anything - texture, minimalist, contrast, shape. I am hoping the group will use whatever colours or fabrics inspire them, to make something they love, to add to my block - there are no expectations on my end. I am excited to see what returns to me in a year (we are having two months between additions, a very civilized round robin).

And how is this about scraps you might ask? Well, two things. The strips were cut from scraps and worse, now I have to start saving these small strips - I was letting bits this tiny go to the garbage before. I am so looking forward to exploring this concept of matchstick piecing more. I think I best get a special box to keep them in or they will be lost with the regular bits of scraps. And of course, they will only add to the scrap mountain, oh well.

I wonder what Nicky, from Mrs. Sew and Sow, is doing with her scraps this week, check her out and see if she is saying. Oh and do plan to join us for the July Scraptastic Tuesday link up, the second Tuesday of the month, July 14.



Monday, June 29, 2015

Gardenvale winner!

Thank you to Green Fairy Quilts for sponsoring this lovely give away!
Kathy is the randomly drawn winner and I am sending you an email next.

Thank you to everyone for your comments, which I have been reading but not replying to. It looks like it's going to be a nice summer / winter for most of you.

I'm on the run this morning, and got virtually no sewing done yesterday as it was a very hot day here. Tomorrow I have a finished quilt from earlier in June to share, see you then.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some making - Bee Sewcial blocks

Version 2.0, for Debbie, Bee Sewcial

For June in Bee Sewcial, Debbie, from A Quilter's Table asked us to make Mid-Century Modern inspired blocks in colours from a fairly dark mid-century palette (here). She gave us a great pinboard for inspiration. This bee is about derived inspiration, the Queen gives us a bit of direction and we make what we are inspired to make. In the end, I made those blocks above.

For Debbie, Bee Sewcial

This block I made with no hesitation at all. The melon shapes called to me first from the inspiration board. I had a harder time with the colour choices but in the end I just picked my favourites and went for it. I want to come back to use this shape for a quilt soon I think.

Making Bee Sewcial blocks

Then I was busy at work, and traveling about, etc for much of the month. When I got back to this bee project, I decided to focus on the rectangles and triangles that are so present in the mid-century modern prints. (By the way, I also need to get back to my real camera, the iphone instagram photos just do not make me happy.)

Making Bee Sewcial blocks

Again, I picked my favourite colours - the background is navy and looks great in real life. I played around with placement and filled in the background.

Version 1.0

That photo above is where I thought I was going to finish. But that squarish block just looked wrong. I looked and looked at it and then I just chopped it in half.

Others would have perhaps used photoshop or drawn it out but I just decided it was not working for me - despite a lot of positive feedback on instagram. So I cut first and then decided how to fix it. As I was cutting I thought, well the worst is that I have to start all over.

Version 2.0, for Debbie, Bee Sewcial

In the end, the fix was easy, just rotate it and stick the cut off part on top. Now I like the block a lot, either placed vertical or horizontal, and it has a lot more of that mid-century modern feel to me. Maybe in part it is the rectangular shapes of the prints from that era that made it feel wrong as a square shape, but I am much happier now.

And then I carried the blocks all week and did not get to the post office, so that on the list for Monday lunch as waiting to the end of the day - and then being too late for the post office - clearly isn't working for me.

Don't forget to enter the great giveaway sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts for that layer cake of Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell - enter on this post here. The draw will close at 6 am tomorrow (Monday) when I wake up.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Another reminder -  Q2 of the FAL is also ending and the link for Q2 finishes will open on Tuesday over at Adrianne's blog On the Windy Side. Get your finishes finished and posted. I hope to get one more done in time, we shall see.

I have more sewing to share this coming week and I am excited to have more time for blogging and sewing as my real job winds down a bit for summer, so stay tuned. Of course, I have another "vacation" project to do too, I'll share more about that here shortly too.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Gardenvale Giveaway sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts

Today, Judi and Clint Madsen from Green Fairy Quilts have generously sponsored a giveway of layer cake of Gardenvale, by Jen Kingwell!

When Clint suggested a give away, I suggested the Gardenvale Layer Cake because I know several of you are making or considering making a Jen Kingwell pattern. I am just now ready to get started on her My Small World quilt pattern. After I met Jen and Richard at Quilt Market and saw her actual quilt, I was sold - even though this is not my usual style, I am making it anyway. My copy of Quilt Mania - with the pattern in it - even arrived from France late last week. I was thinking that if you were working on one of Jen's scrappy quilt patterns, a layer cake of her own fabrics would be a nice addition to your fabric options.

Let me tell you a bit about Green Fairy Quilts. Judi Madsen - her beautiful blog is here - is a fantastic, award winning long arm quilter, author, and pattern designer. Her work is stunning and inspirational. The shop is run by Clint, who selects the fabric, runs all aspects of the website and takes care of customer service. He is a dream to deal with, always quick to respond to a request or question.

I regularly purchase from Green Fairy Quilts and am never disappointed. They focus on a wide selection of the best priced precuts, threads and notions. In fact, Green Fairy Quilts is prepared to beat any advertised price plus shipping costs from that shop with their price plus shipping costs, auctions excluded. They also have free shipping in the USA and free shipping for larger orders for the rest of the world. Besides fabrics, I have purchased a lot of beautiful thread from Green Fairy Quilts, they have a huge selection. Besides the prices and products, I love the excellent customer service.

So to enter the giveaway, which I will draw randomly, you can have up to three entries, each comment is one entry:

 ---- this giveaway is now closed -----
  • Leave me a comment, if you like you can tell me what your summer/winter holiday plans are,
  • Sign up for the Green Fairy Quilts Newsletter here and come back and let me know you did or already do. The newsletter is the best way to keep up with their regular sale features and new products. And,
  • If you follow me somewhere, on the blog or elsewhere - I'm shecanquilt most everywhere - leave a third comment letting  me know where and how.
Edit:  Please, please, leave me your email or your instagram or twitter handle or some way to find you if you win! I was about to reply to the comment of "bidtl" to say I have won a give away as commenter #1 but she is no reply. 

I'll leave this give away open until about 6:00 a.m. Monday June 29 and I'll announce the winner then.

Now I am off to have dinner and then to start pulling fabrics for my quilt.



Monday, June 22, 2015

A ribbon at the Quilt Canada National Juried Show


As you have noticed, I am far behind on sharing my news here, so I am going to try to catch up over the next while as my day job quiets down just a little for the summer.

Welcome sign

In my brief stop at Quilt Canada at the beginning of June, I was able to see the quilts in the show (you can see them all the quilts in the show to by going here). They were truly all fantastic, each quilt a winner in my mind. It was such a treat to see them in person, and I sure wish I had been able to stay longer.

My first news is that Echoes won the first place spot in the Original Modern Wall or Bed Quilts category at the Canadian Quilters' Association National Juried Show. I was able, very briefly, to stop in and attend the awards ceremony and spend a couple of hours at the show before I had to head off for more work related travel. It turns out that one cannot take photographs at the show - but you can see all the winning quilts here).

Echoes - on king size bed

Here is Echoes on my king size bed after she returned from the show. It is really hard to photograph this quilt well as she is about 70" square. Echoes is my design and she and her pattern appeared in the QuiltCon Magazine which you can buy from Interweave here or you can get the single pattern here (and it is even on sale today). I am very proud of this design and have some variations that I am working on now.

Ribbon for Echoes

Thank you so much to CQA and to which sponsored the $1,000.00 (I know, gasp!) prize, I am thrilled and honoured to have won this ribbon and prize.

Having said that, I did not expect Echoes to win a ribbon, and certainly not first place. My original blog post about Echoes is here and if you look very closely at the photos in that post and this one, you will see that not every point was perfectly pieced. Don't get me wrong, they are pretty excellent, and it is really hard to perfectly piece these curved points perfectly, but I know that I could have done a bit better if I had worked harder.

The judges came up to me at the Awards Ceremony to chat about my quilt. I did not ask they why it won, but it was clear by their comments that it was the minimalist design on the large quilt that won the day. So there you go, don't stress about every tiny bit of perfection, just enter your quilts in shows.

Here are the comments I received, there are three sets from three judges. I do hasten to point out that I did not use channel locks to quilt this quilt - I did quilt her on my long arm but the lines were drawn freehand with the stitch regulator (which keeps the stitch length more constant) on. Oh and you can see the back in the original post here:

  • Successful design elements allowing effective amount of negative space. The variegated thread is a brilliant design element that elevates the quilt through the parallel line quilting. Pay attention when joining your blocks as high contract will display inaccurate seams.
  • This quilt delivers a bold visual impact achieved through the position of the blocks that add dimension and colour. The echo quilting, using variegated thread, adds texture and interest throughout the negative space. Interesting choice of backing - always exciting to get a little "surprise"! Ensure the quilt is square when finished.
  • Choice of colour and the asymmetrical, linear placement of a simple repetitive form on a large dark negative space has created a stunningly sophisticated quilt in keeping with the modern quilt aesthetic. The closely spaced linear vertical channel quilting adds appropriate and dramatic visual texture, creating balance in the overall composition. Added attention should be given to finishing techniques.


Hint was also hanging in the show, in the same category. This is the quilt I expected would take a ribbon, she is a perfectly constructed as I was able when I made her. Hint is also my original design - another in my cycles series - and she was designed and made for Oakshott Fabrics. You can purchase her patten and a kit of the fantastic Scandinavia fabrics she is made from here. Michael Oakshott kindly sent her back to me for the show - where she looked stunning hanging on the black background fabric - and she is going home this week. Hint received similar comments from the judges, they loved the design, quilting and backing, and they suggested that the binding was not perfectly stitched and that I should check better for loose threads.

Hint - detail

My original blog post about Hint is here. I am so in love with this quilt and pattern and am plotting with Michael to make a bed size version this summer. As you can see from the photos, both Hint and Echoes have been washed to bring out the texture of the linear quilting.

Landmarks 2

Here is Landmarks 2 (original blog post is here). I was invited last summer to make this little quilt to be part of the CQA's travelling exhibit "It's Time For Colour".  The last stop on the tour was Quilt Canada, and I was allowed to take her photo.  She, and all of the other quilts in the travelling exhibit, has been sold, with the money raised going to the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, so this was my last chance to see her in person.

I also got a chance to see some old friends and to meet some new ones - although not as many as I hoped, as I had to rush back to work. The Canadian Quilters' Association does a beautiful job with Quilt Canada, and I hope to be able to attend for longer next year. I hope to see you there.



Saturday, June 20, 2015

if you're shopping... #39

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

The Fat Quarter Shop is celebrating its 12th birthday with daily sales - they are about half way through the 12 days of sales now.

This weekend, at Green Fairy Quilts there is a huge 2 day sale on Jelly Rolls

Mad about Patchwork has this beautiful Kona Flame bundle on at 10% off for June.
Oakshott Fabrics is featuring this stunning Shoreline Quilt by Casey York which features Oakshott's Lakes Collection.

Fabric Spark is featuring a summer of fabric love promotions and surprises. This weekend until midnight EST June 21, there is free shipping in Canada - use the promo code FREESHIP - and there is also $5.00 shipping to the USA with no code required.

New fabrics keep appearing at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. This print from Zen Chic Reel Time is one of my new favourites.

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has a lot of new bundles in stock!

Becca over at Sew Me a Song has been making small bundles, perfect for scrappy and fussy cutting projects (like maybe My Small World). This cute bundle of fat 8ths is only $7.50 and she has others too.

Enjoy your weekend!



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday June Link Up Winners!

I have no sewing to share today. I spent last week away at a work conference and last night I just needed to go to bed early. 

It's time to announce the randomly drawn winners from the June Scraptastic Link up. First, thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

Here are the prizes and the randomly picked winners. If you are a winner, congratulations, and we will email you later today. You can click on the links to go to the projects by the winners:

Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I on the second Tuesday of July for the next Scraptastic Tuesday link up (July 14, 2015). In the meantime feel free to use the hashtag #scraptastictuesday and/or our button anytime you are sharing your scrappy projects.

Tonight I hope to get back to doing some sewing.



Friday, June 12, 2015

if you were shopping... #38

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

Sew Me a Song has Annual School's Out Flat Rate Shipping Special - $2.50US / $9.00 Canada / $12.00 everywhere else, from Thursday 6/11/15 through Sunday 6/14/15. No coupon code needed.  Rate will be applied at checkout.

This weekend, at Green Fairy Quilts there is a crazy random sale: Moda Yardage - 35% OFF, Fat Eighth Bundles - 40% OFF, Bella Solids Junior Rolls - all $14.30, 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 

Oakshott Fabrics is showing off this beautiful Dolly Mixtures quilt by Anne Williams, which features Oakshott's Colourshott 31 - 57 shades. You can find the project and a giveaway [ I am told this giveaway is for UK residents only ]  in the latest issue of Popular Patchwork and claim a free giveway pack too.

Fabric Spark just keeps getting more new and beautiful fabrics!

Fluffy Sheep Quilting some adorable new fabrics, especially this one - Festival Forest Sweater Weather.

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has is starting a Kaffe Club. They also have new Kaffe Fassett yardage in stock.

Enjoy your weekend!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday June Link Up

Scraptastic Tuesday

It's the second Tuesday of the month, and time for the Scraptastic Tuesday link up hosted by Nicky - Mrs. Sew and Sow and me.

Scrappy Liberty Medallion

I've been playing with my Liberty scraps and my Nine Patch blocks have become a medallion. It's about 52" square right now and I am thinking it needs another round of a small border and then one more round of larger Nine Patches and it will be done.

Liberty Nine Patches

You will recall that I was making nine patches and got stuck on how to put them together. They felt busy and boring to me.

Scrappy Liberty Medallion

On the weekend, I though, maybe what I need is a focus, so I made the one larger nine patch with my few larger pieces of Liberty fabrics. I laid them out and it seemed that they were asking for an interior border.

Scrappy Liberty Medallion

I wanted this to be a simple and old fashioned sort of quilt with all Liberty fabrics and really simple piecing, so I just added a scrappy strip boarder in the centre with the lightest scraps I have.

Scrappy Liberty Medallion

After playing around a bit, it seemed to be a bit more fun to use the blue blocks for the corners, and last night I pieced the top together so far. I am pretty sure I will add a bit more, I just need to see if I large enough scraps left over to make these larger nine patches or if I need to make another block for the edge round, maybe 16 patches?

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:

  • Massdrop - a Mushroom World Fat Quarter 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.