Wednesday, September 13, 2017

some applique

My guild met Monday night and the next block challenge was released and it turns out to be ...  Architectural Elements...  Ack! I waited 2 months for that?  I guess that's why its called a challenge.  I'll have to put my thinking cap on...
 It's much easier to come up with the extra blocks I am making to go with the 5 blocks for the challenge.  I recently finished this extra block.  It's a Sharon Keightley design I found in issue #23 of Today's Quilter magazine.  Sharon's block is made up in very different colors but I was smitten with the design. 
 It was a fair bit of stitching for one block but that's no problem :0)

Here it is mixed in with the others.  I really like playing with what works on the dark background fabric.  To recap -
Challenge #1 - Iconic 
Challenge #2 - Where you live
Challenge #3 - Adventure
Challenge #4 - Architectural Elements
(the star block is an extra too)

Now I'd better go find my thinking cap.
Happy quilting!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lady of the Lake block

I decided to try something new and join a quiltalong with the Fat Quarter Shop.  There was an opportunity to sew a Lady of the Lake block from a pattern that is part of their Classic and Vintage Quilt Along.  I love classic and vintage quilts - how could I resist?

 Of course I couldn't stop at just one block especially since there were parts already made for a second block. 
 Lots and lots of fabric auditioning occurred, digging deep into my big bag of Minick and Simpson scraps.  Blocks 2,3 and 4 sewed up quick once I picked out fabric.
 I did not have time to make all the blocks for the Lady of the Lake Classic and Vintage pattern. I made a table topper instead with just 4 blocks.  There were decisions to make about how to position the blocks.  Asymmetrical blocks are fun to play around with. 
A couple of borders later I have a finished top.  This sewed up quick and I think it will make a great Christmas gift.  (this gives me lots of time to get around to quilting it :0) 

Other bloggers are previewing this pattern and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have made with it.  The links are on the FQS blog here.

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

a summer post

Summer is my favorite season and it always goes by way too fast!  I've been busy with my kids but a few stitches have been taken as well.
I took some time away from more current projects to sew up another Tree of Life block. These are so fun to plan and stitch.
 Here are the first 4 blocks for my guild challenge quilt.. I'm still thinking about the bright yellow in the Wandering foot block.  It's pretty powerful and I'm considering appliqueing another fabric (the red) over part/most of the yellow. What do you think? I like the yellow with the navy but its a little overpowering. I have to wait until September for the next theme.
 We went to Kelowna to visit my parents last week.  I made this napkin holder for my Mom.  It's good for holding napkins outside so they don't blow away in the breeze. 
 My husband and I had a chance to go out for lunch at a nearby winery.  The view from the restaurant is so beautiful.   It was pretty smoky from northern BC forest fires while we were there.  Normally the lake is a gorgeous blue but I was happy that we could at least see the lake that day.
 I finished making my 36 patches into blocks a few weeks ago.  I am now rethinking my setting options... again.  I think I'd like to add some pretty sashing but I can't quite find the right print.  This is one I have in my stash which I like the best so far.  In the fall I will get back to this project.  And in the meantime on my summer travels, who knows what fabric I might find?
 
I also keep working on blocks for my son's quilt. Hand quilting my Bird of Paradise quilt is nearing completion.  And I started appliqué block #5 for Radical Rose and Reel.   Lots of projects keeps things exciting around here :0)

Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 19, 2017

a guild challenge

We went camping this past weekend at the same place as always.  Shunda Lake is always so peaceful and beautiful.  This stump from my header changes a bit every year.  I did not get a lot of stitching time there this year as we did more hiking and kayaking but I did manage to take a few stitches in this Wandering Foot block.
 A major reason for the less stitching time was that my son, my husband and I climbed Mt Coliseum.  The view is pretty incredible from up top but it was an intense hike - straight up the mountain.
It was fun to share this experience with my son who recently turned 13.  For his birthday I made him this small zippered bag for carrying his book when he goes biking. He used to borrow an old one of mine so now he has his own.
This next project is part of a guild challenge.  Every 2 months a theme is pulled out of a bag full of ideas and we're supposed to make a block or border or quilt element to go with the theme.  The first theme pulled out of the bag was "Iconic".  I was stumped! What came up on my internet search for Iconic were movie stars and political figures that really didn't inspire me.  I had already decided I was going to use a dark background and had purchased this navy dotted fabric so I was determined to come up with something. 
My DD#1 saved the day by suggesting using an Iconic book for my idea.  (she is such a bookworm :0)  I immediately thought of the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird"  - it is a great book.  So here is my mockingbird perched in what is supposed to look like a pecan branch. (I have never seen a pecan tree or a mockingbird so I took liberties and the flowers are there for color)  The bird's eye remains to be embroidered...
We just watched the movie a week ago - which is in black and white so this color picture on the cover of the book seems odd.
 
The next guild theme pulled was "where you live".  That one was easy.  I live in the province of Alberta and all of our car licence plates read "Wild Rose Country"  As the wild roses were/are in bloom it was easy to come up with a rose wreath for my second block.  
 
 I took a picture of these on my morning run last week Monday - they were right next to the path. 
The next theme pulled was "Adventure".  After a little thought I settled on the Wandering Foot block from the first photo of this post.  It's not finished yet so I'll post it again later.  The guild challenge is only going to go for 5 themes.  I have already decided to make at least 12 blocks so I will be making some extras along the way.  
And, finally I have to post a picture of my amazing and sweet DD#1 who graduated from High school this year.  I am tremendously proud of her. She looked so beautiful in her royal blue dress. 
 I am still coming to terms with the fact that she is now an adult and plans to go away to school next year.  Oh the places she'll go :0)

Happy Quilting!!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Time flies

A blog post is long overdue.  Its been a tremendously busy few weeks since I last posted.  I did take time out to go to the annual outdoor quilt show at Heritage Park.  It was such a gorgeous day!  Sadly I did not have a quilt to put in this year - can you believe I didn't finish a single quilt in the last year!?  The park featured several of their antique quilts in an indoor exhibit - what can I say - they were my favorites.
They were hung in front of windows and not flat either but I was happy to see them on display.  This was a fabulous 4 block applique quilt.  I just love this block!

 
 Simple grid quilting - very thin batting.
 I thought it was interesting to see this faint red stripe running through the background of one of the blocks.  A repurposed flour sack??
 3 days later I was back at the park accompanying my youngest daughter on a grade 4 school field trip and spied the quilt again displayed on this bed in the ranch house.  Imagine sleeping under something this lovely  :0)  I like that Drunkard's Path quilt too!!
 This was another of the antique quits displayed on the quilt show day.  The handquilting is very fine on this one and I love the striking border.
 There was a wonderful exhibit of quilts celebrating Canada's 150th birthday this year.  I thought this one was great.
 This was another fabulous entry into the show.  That is a lot of little triangles - marvellous!
 I was thrilled that 2 of my daughters wanted to come to the show with me.
I had to laugh at this tag - what a name for a quilt.  I never have nightmares about applique :0)
 Here is what I've been appliqueing lately. I'm almost finished the first side border for my signature quilt.
 And I've been working away on my border background fill on my Bird of Paradise quilt. I've turned the second corner so I'm just over halfway now.
 I'm not sure it was the best choice for the border background.  It looks kind of boring.  It is fun to stitch though. All I did was switch the direction of the 30 degree lines. I wanted the background to be quilted just as densely as the middle.
In the end I decided this quilt is really all about the applique so its alright for the quilting to be boring and not detract from the applique.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summertime top finished

I finally finished this large top.  I've been calling it Summertime.  I was happy that my plan to sew the zigzag sashing using partial seams worked well and I didn't have to set in any seams at all.   
 
 I was surprised to find myself including a cream zinger border - I was sure red was going to look better.  The cream frames the quilt yet doesn't detract from the blocks or the very pretty main border fabric. 
 So now it needs to be quilted.  I thought long and hard about sending this one out to be longarm quilted.  I've only once before machine quilted a quilt of this size and it wasn't very fun.  The bulk of the quilt was so hard to manage in the small opening my machine had.  Even long twin sized quilts are hard to manage with that small opening.  There were several other things that I was unhappy about sewing with my regular machine as well.  So, I decided to take the money I'd have paid the long arm quilter and put it towards a new machine. 
 I ordered it online,  sight unseen - based entirely on what other people said about it.  It's an industrial straight stitch machine with a much larger opening - a Juki TL 2010Q.  I've only had a it for a few days now but so far I LOVE it!  I haven't tried quilting with it yet but it's lovely to piece with.  My old machine can go in the closet and get pulled out for mending or sewing clothes.  I hope to try some free motion quilting with it later this week.
 The wild crocuses are blooming now.  I love to go see them on the hills. 
Soft, furry and purple coming out of such dead looking grass - spring is really here :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

a May basket and starting something new

I have been enjoying some other blogger's posts of May baskets and it got me thinking about this appliqued basket block that I've never done anything with.  Finished in Sept 2009 - I think it needs some attention but I really don't know what to do with it.  
 I have started another new project.  My son is next in line for a new bed quilt.  I was chatting with him a couple of weeks ago and he reminded me that I should make him one.  He's turning 13 soon and I figure if he actually brought it up he probably really wants one. 
 I already knew he wanted green and blue for the color palate.  I dug through my tremendous pile of magazines and gave him 5 or 6 options for the pattern.   He chose this Betsy Chutchian pattern called Just Toasty in the Oct 2016 AP&Q magazine. 
It will need a different name because there is nothing toasty about this  :0)  The blocks are big with few pieces so this should go quickly??  (I hope)  I will need to make a lot of blocks for this quilt needs to be a really long one to stay tucked in on his extra long bed. 

Happy May Day! and Happy Quilting!