Thursday, October 30, 2014

playing with blocks

Now that I have a few Wanderlust blocks made I can play with how to put them together.  Right now I am favoring a straight set like this first picture.
 Bonnie Hunter's pattern has them off set by half and a zigzag pattern develops. I like it too. 
It's fun to play :0)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

a fall finish

I found a fall ufo to machine quilt for a quick finish. I hadn't finished anything in ages -  it feels good :0)
 I hadn't done any machine quilting in months so that part didn't go as well as I would have liked...
 I think it will be better after I wash it.  I'm planning to display it here on the kitchen table so I imagine it won't be long before it needs a wash.
 I always enjoy feathering borders.  I was having a hard time finding a deep rich black to bind it with until I found this black and brown stripe.  I love striped binding :0)
While I was at the LQS I picked out some fabric to make owls for my Bird of Paradise border.  I really don't have these colors in my stash at all.  Anyway, I got home and went to wash them and they had been left on the cutting table of the quilt shop on the other side of the city.  There was other fabric purchased (stash enhancement) and that was what I brought home.  A quick call to the store and the owner promised to send them in the mail.  Canada Post can be dreadfully slow so I wasn't expecting to see them until next week but only 2 days later they arrived.  I will be appliqueing owls this weekend  :0)

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a new project

I started a new project. It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern called Wanderlust in the July/August 2014 Quiltmaker magazine.  I like so many of Bonnie's quilts but have never made one.  Every fall when she gets started on her annual mystery quilt I am so tempted to join in but can't quite let go to invest  in something so unknown. 
 I liked this block when she first showed it on her blog - I think it was her submission for Quiltmakers 100 blocks or something.  Then she made a quilt and it was on the cover of the magazine - tempting me all summer, everytime I walked by the magazines at the grocery store.  After a month I caved... and then this week I started slicing into some fabric.  It's coming out much brighter than I had thought - it seems to have a mind of its own.
 I did make one more 6 inch block.  I wanted to use some of this awesome green striped fabric I found - I love it! 
And, I received a bag of 9 patches in the mail this week. I took part in a repro 9 patch exchange that Barb organized.  It was so fun to open it up and look at all the fabrics people used.  I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet but I will enjoy considering different ideas. 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

top border

Last night I finished stitching the last leaf onto the top border for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I thought I would lay it out with the top row of blocks to get an idea of how it will look.  I am keeping them as blocks for now because they are easier to store.
 It's not a mirror image from side to side but I was aiming for balance and not perfection.  I love the borders on the original quilt - that top border is much freer than mine.  I am trying to personalize this quilt while keeping the elements of the original that I like.
 So my plan is to make the bottom border next.  Then maybe I will have to sew the top together so I will know exactly how long to make the side borders.  The original quilt is put together this way.  It's interesting to do things differently sometimes :0)
 I also find it interesting sometimes to draw and quilt my own quilting designs.  This is what I have drawn for the corners of my Crowfoot quilt. I guess its kind of a feathered pineapple.  I tried quilting it with white thread and I am pleased with how the quilting shows up. There is likely still some soap lines making it look whiter in this picture but the soap markings don't last for long.
I spent a bit of time trying to make a more precise drawing but in the end I decided a freer look was okay too. Here are my templates for tracing and the $2.00 coin I am tracing for the center circles.  I just love quilting feathers and look forward with great pleasure to quilting the feathered vine in the border as well.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

circle progress

Temptation just lurks all over blogland to start something new.  I've been distracting myself by working on as many current projects as possible. I've nearly finished my applique border. I have made it to the final border with my large handquilting project and I pulled out these circle blocks to put some more surrounds on.  I have 6 blocks finished so far. I love the secondary design created when they come together.
There are16 blocks in this Circle Game quilt so I need to not lose focus! 

 I did decide enough is enough with these 6 inch blocks.  I think if I make one more block I can put it together as a lap-sized quilt.  The blocks were so fun to make- endless variety and it was great to play with my scraps but its not really the kind of quilt I fall in love with.  I'd rather put the sewing time into making a quilt I really love.
Then there was this little experiment.  I enjoyed cutting and putting this little table topper together but ahhhh!  It doesn't lie flat.  Should I take it apart and try to fix it?  Keep going and hope it will quilt out? Or, abandon it as little distraction that didn't work out? It is my personality to just keep going and see how it goes.  What do you suggest?  :0) 

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

some exciting new fabric

I had some exciting guests for lunch today.  My Mom's cousin and her husband came to visit all the way from the Netherlands.  And just look at what they brought for me - Dutch Chintz!!
 I am just thrilled.  The colors are gorgeous and I want to start working them into all of my projects!
 Even the writing on it I like  :0)  I feel like this is a tangible link to my Dutch Heritage - just like the fabric selvage says.  I can't wait to start sewing with it!
 I have been doing some stitching.  At my guild meeting last night I started a small project using a charm pack of French General fabric - Rue Indienne.  I should have the little top together in the next day or so. I don't really like using charm packs.  I don't like having to line up pinked edges and sew an accurate 1/4 inch seam.  I also always wash my fabric before I use it and this time I couldn't because I needed the full 5 inches of width to cut the diamonds.  Somehow though - I can't seem to stop buying them - lol
I also have been progressing on my Bird of Paradise top border.  I'm starting to think about the side borders.  I think I will draw them first before starting to stitch.  Winging it has been fun but I think I'm done now as I try to get the second side to balance with the first :0) I'm pretty sure the original quilt's top border was done by "winging it" :0)

Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 12, 2014

when is enough enough?

I enjoyed making a few more 6 inch blocks in the last couple of weeks.  
 I thought I'd lay them out together for a picture since the "design floor" was available.  (the toys that often cover this space were cleaned up)
 I have 58 blocks made (only 56 in this layout)  I don't know how I will set them and I don't know how many more I will make.  I do know there will be more :0)  When is enough - enough? 
We definitely had enough of this white stuff fall this week.  We had 35 centimetres over 3 days.  Heavy and wet it caused a lot of damage to our trees and garden.  DD#3 didn't let that stop her from enjoying it.  It should melt tomorrow and hopefully stay away for a few more weeks so we can have fall.
Happy Quilting!!