Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bride of Paradise Top - DONE!

When I bought this pattern back in August of 2010 I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into.  Last night I appliqued the last flower bud on and the top is done!  I'm itching to get quilting it but I will stay focused and finish my current handquilting project - my Lily quilt.
 The pattern was by Threadbear - Civil War Bride Quilt.  The original 1860 antique quilt top is in the Museum of American Folk Art - maker unknown.   I made many changes.  The borders are all of my own design as are the blocks including my husband, children, squirrel and church.
This first picture is under the fluorescent lights in my basement.
This picture is with natural light.
What a fantastic time I have had working on this. I know my applique skills were challenged and I grew as a quilter.
It's very large for a wallhanging - I have no idea where I will hang it once it is quilted. My daughters were hassling me last night because the border squirrels and birds could use a stitch or 2 of embroidery - eyes...  Technically its not done :0)  But close enough for me!  It has unfortunaltely already gone into the ufo bin to await quilting.  Hopefully it doesn't have to stay there too long.
And now - what next?!!
Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

blocks done

I was sure glad to stitch the last set in seam for this quilt.  The pattern is Circle Game - (somewhat modified) by Jen Kingwell.  The blocks are done, pressed and trimmed - they are all ready to sew together.  Now to puzzle out the best arrangement for them - lol!
 This probably won't be the final arrangement but I'm getting close I think.  A friend and I took an afternoon and drove down to Okotoks to the charming quiltshop there. They had a sale - 20% off everything if you were wearing an apron.  I wore an apron!  And, found a good red for a narrow first border.  There should be nothing to stop me from getting the top together this weekend.
 I thought I would show side by side a couple of the blocks I made using the pattern and just a couple little changes.  These 2 are exactly the same but I split the diamonds into 4.
This one has string pieced melons and a four patch instead of a nine patch in the centre as well as being set on point. 
It was fun to play with the block patterns this way :0)

My friend that I've been sewing this quilt along with has her top together.  You can see how different hers looks in progress here.  It's been such a great learning experience!  We haven't picked out our next project to do together yet ... but we will!

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

a bit of this and that

March has been a busy month!  I don't have a lot to show for myself but I have been sewing - a little bit every day.  
I've been trying to focus on this last border for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  It's almost finished.  I was very pleased to applique the last of the squirrel/bird feet!  I'm going to stay clear of projects with feet like this in the future :0)
I've been sewing along with the Thimblecreek mystery quilt this year.  The blocks today are so much fun - little beach balls :0)  Three more to go.
 Here are the rest of my blocks.  I'm mixing in some Dutch chintz fabrics - I love sewing with them.  I've been sewing them with my Featherweight machine. I had a problems with my main sewing machine for a few weeks (happily it was fairly easily resolved with a new foot pedal) but in the meantime, I had pulled out my Featherweight.  I am rediscovering how fun it is to sew with.
 I also was rummaging through my ufo bin and found a handful of these leader/ender blocks.  I've been working on them again and enjoyed playing around with them this weekend.  I'm not sure what they will become.  They sure are good way to use up little scraps but a distraction from other sewing...
 I hope to have something more exciting to show for myself next time.  Until then -
Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

finally a border

The annual outdoor quilt show is coming up in May and when thought about what to put in it this year...  I came up blank.  I haven't finished anything this year except small stuff.  I've made great progress on a number of projects but nothing finished to show.
 Well that just wouldn't do.  How can they have a quilt show with no quilts?  I simply must contribute something.  I have wanted to finish this Zigzag quilt for a long time.  I was stuck on the border. I thought I was going to use the red and white polka dot fabric for the border but I just didn't like it.  I couldn't let go of the idea so this quilt got stuck. 
 My daughter came downstairs to do some sewing with me on the weekend and I dug it out and together we chose this medium blue print. I've had it for ages - set aside for another, even older ufo.  Well it seemed just right so now I must pin baste and machine quilt this.  That should be doable by mid May - right??  This Zigzag quilt is a ufo from a quiltalong that Lori hosted on her blog Humble Quilts in 2012.  She called hers Mountain Trails.

 This is the little project my daughter got started on.  A friend of mine had gifted her with a lot of these little bits cut off from a couple of charm packs - and then washed. They were narrow - less than 1 1/4 inch wide and frayed on both sides. 
She lined them all up and sewed them like strings together and made this little block.  I was quite impressed!  But, now she is stumped to know what to make with her "made fabric".  There are enough strings to make one more block. I suggested a bag or a pillow but she wasn't keen on my ideas.  Do any of you have other suggestions? 

Yesterday my Circle Game friend came over and I pieced the last extra block I will need for my Circle Game quilt.  After drawing with my compass for the previous 2 blocks it was nice to just modify with my friend a couple of the blocks from the pattern.  With a line change here and there these blocks look very different.  She has been posting about some of her blocks too - here
All that remains is to finish the block surrounds and put it all together.   Then we get to choose a new challenging project to work on - I can't wait!

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

small decisions

I've been working on my Circle game quilt some more.  I drew another block this week and it was kind of exciting to see it progress from paper to fabric.  I'm trying to make blocks that fit in with the rest from the pattern without being too similar. When I planned this block I intended to make the star centre red.  As I rummaged in my template bags I found this beige centre that is the perfect size.  I was surprised at how much I like it. 
 I went ahead and basted a red centre too. I had to be sure.
 And now I can't decide - lol!
 Surely if I laid out all the blocks together the quilt would tell me which colored centre to use.
But no - I still like them both :0)   I'm sure I'll decide soon and just sew one of them on.  2 more blocks to go!  I found the perfect border fabric in the sale room at a nearby quilt shop.  I'm excited this will be a completed top.
I also made the Clue #2 of the Thimblecreek Mystery.  I even managed to cut into some of my Dutch chintz fabric.  The first cut has to be the hardest right?

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

intersection of time and inclination

I should be working on my Bird of Paradise border.  I'm so close to finishing it- over 5 years I've been working on it but instead I have been working on is this.  Audrey posted on her blog Quilty Folk about the magic intersection of time and inclination for working on things.  Clearly there has been time what is lacking is the inclination.
 I am loving appliqueing these blocks though! My teenaged daughters recently discovered Downton Abbey for themselves and are watching their way through all of the seasons. How can I resist sitting down with them to watch and do some handwork?  Somehow I doubt this will be a 5 year project...

I got back to working on my Circle Game quilt.  I decided to make 4 more blocks and make a rectangular quilt that someone in the family can use on a bed.  I drew this fairly simple block on freezer paper, made templates and sewed it last week.  Now I only have 3 more to come up with.
 And I thought I would never need to use a geometry set again once I finished high school  :0)

After watching others make the Halloween Thimblecreek mystery quilt last year I could not resist joining in on the mystery for this year.  These are the first 4 blocks.  What is it about 6 inch blocks - so irresistible :0) 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a new old project

We've been away - without internet even for a whole 7 days and we survived!  So, there was time to sew :0)
I wanted an easy prep applique project to bring along and remembered my intension to get back to this project.  I started it at retreat in March of 2014.  It is a Kim Diehl pattern from the 2014 April issue of Fons and Porter magazine.  I posted about it here.  Anyway I started the project in Kim's machine applique method but now have switched to hand applique which I love.  This is my newly appliqued block. 
 I lay it next to the machine appliqued blocks from a couple years ago and they look okay together.  I will make some more blocks before I decide if I want to put both styles of applique into the same quilt. 
 What do you think?  Would you put hand appliqued blocks next to machine appliqued blocks (appliqued with invisible plastic thread) in the same quilt?  I really disliked doing the machine applique and I won't go back to it but it sure is a lot faster!

While we were away I also managed to make a Star-a-day block everyday :0)  I'm up to these 15 blocks now and I am considering aiming for 365.
They are amazingly portable to bring places which I really like but I don't think I'm getting any better at hand piecing yet.  Oh well, maybe in a 100 or so more stars...

Happy Quilting!!