Monday, September 19, 2016

slow progress

Well the kids are back to school and things are returning to "normal".  I have made good progress with handquilting my Bird of Paradise quilt. I have finished the outline quilting on most of the blocks - 4 more to go and I will get to the background fill quilting.  I finished outline quilting the Bride block today :0)
 I also finished making the uneven 9 patches needed for this next project.  I pieced the applique blocks together and started adding 9 patches.  I did use the 2 blocks I appliqued with Kim Diehl's machine applique method and so had to be very careful not to iron over the invisible thread when I sewed them together to the hand appliqued blocks.  I wasn't sure I would use them together but in the end decided to not waste them.  I am really hoping this becomes a completed top soon!
It's shown folded in this picture as toys have currently taken over my design floor space...
Slowly more Star-a-day blocks are getting made.  Here I wildly threw a few on a new piece of purple I bought recently.  Anyone who knows me well will smile at this - I don't like purple and I have almost none in my stash. Every now and then you need a little purple but there is no way I would ever set these stars with purple - lol!

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A busy summer

Hi!  It's been awhile since I last posted.  Its been a very busy summer and while it was flying by there was little time to sew and no time to post.  
 I started this applique project the day after the August American Patchwork and Quilting magazine arrived in my mailbox.  It was a good, small project to take along as we travelled.  It's a Kim Diehl pattern - I quite often like the little projects she has in this magazine. I don't however, like Kim Diehl's applique method so I thought I'd go ahead and use needleturn applique to make this. Usually that works out ok but I found this project to be a bit tricky for placement - probably because its a rectangle and the symmetry is a little different.  Usually I think a bit of wonkiness adds charm but I'm not so sure with this project.  Anyway, I'm moving forward.
 I also didn't want yoyo's and so appliqued circles instead.  I used a quarter coin for the size because it was fast and I didn't have much time to get them prepped.  In hindsight I think the circles are a little small but they are staying as is.

This week we are finally home to stay and I found a few minutes to sit down at my sewing machine and start on the little pieced border for this project.  I had missed sewing at my machine :0)  The magazine's method for the square-in-a-square blocks was not to my liking (bit wasteful) so with a bit of math and some trial and error I am doing it a way I'm happier with.
School starts next week so I will be back to a more regular schedule soon.
Happy quilting!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

little stars

The summer continues to fly by. I have sewn a few little stars here and there and tucked them away in this tin.  Right now it is sharing space with my leader/ender project of unbalanced 9 patches.  I'm over halfway with the 9 patches but not even 1/10th the way with these handpieced stars...  365 stars is A LOT!
 One day this tin will be full with just stars - right?  Today there are 31.
It seemed like a fun idea to play with setting fabric colors.  The Star a Day pattern has you put the stars together with a neutral for the alternate squares.  I think I want more color. 

Here's pink.
 And green.
 I kinda like this green :0)
 I will keep making stars for awhile before I decide.  I will try lots more options I'm sure.

Last week I biked from Canmore to Banff in the mountains with my oldest (taking the picture) and youngest daughters.  It was such a gorgeous day!  
I thought I'd sew some stars when we took breaks from cycling but I was too busy enjoying the view.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

block one is done

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur.  Lots of extended family stuff and many people staying with us.  Happily there are always a few minutes to sit and stitch in the evenings while visiting.  A couple of evenings ago I finished the first block of Radical Rose and Reel.  (Pattern from Collector with a Needle)

 I'm very happy with the mix of prints so far.  I will probably mix in a few more as I go along.  I'm also happy with a mix of back basting and needleturn applique. The back basting is going better but for the easier shapes needleturn is definitely faster and more relaxing to stitch. 

I debated awhile about the fabric choice for the very center piece.  I thought I might do it in navy but in the end I decided to keep it red. I have started prepping block #2   :0)

The garden blooms have been lovely this summer - this lily is a favorite.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

camping sewing

We had our annual camping trip to Shunda Lake this past weekend.  It was a lovely family weekend.
 I knew I'd want some sewing to bring.  I didn't want to bring any current projects with me - I wanted something smaller.  The August American Patchwork and Quilting issue had arrived in my mailbox and I was instantly drawn to a small Kim Diehl applique pattern in it.
 I did some prep at home.  Inspired by Barb at Fun with Barb - I tried machine basting the stems.  That was a fast, great idea I will use again.
 We had pretty good weather - it is such a beautiful place. 
 We did some hiking and kayaking.  I wish I had pictures of the eagles we saw but I wasn't brave enough to bring my phone with me kayaking. 
I took other pictures instead - doesn't this old bus have interesting character!

At home I've continued to put handquilting stitches into my Bird of Paradise quilt.   The outline quilting continues to be so fun to do as I get to revisit all of the applique. 
 I also made a little quilted pouch for a friend's birthday using a great tutorial I found on Pinterest.  Here's the link.  It's from a blog called The Sewing Chick.  I especially liked the instructions for the zipper.  I've started another pouch from a different pattern but I'm going to use the same zipper instructions for it.
This one might have some goodies inside :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Circle game complete

It took a few weeks longer than I thought but I finally got the borders onto my Circle Game top.  It's finished - hurrah!! 
The pattern by Jen Kingwell has 16 blocks and an appliqued border.  I chose to make 4 extra blocks and use this beautiful large print as my main border.  I was thrilled to find the border fabric - the fabric line is years old but I bought all 3 metres that they had left - found on sale at the quiltshop in Canmore.  I was SO happy to find it.  The zinger border just had to be red and I was pleased to find it at the quiltshop in Lethbridge.  Minick and Simpson fabric can be hard to find where I live.
 I had trouble taking pictures - its a pretty large quilt. I will probably not quilt this right away.  I'm really not sure how to start. Ideally I would handquilt it but it could be years before I get to it.  I will have to think on it. 
 It would be nice to see it hanging in the outdoor quiltshow next spring...

And I can't resist posting a picture of my beautiful DD#2.  She had her Grade 9 farewell last week.  She'll be off to high school next year - wow!
Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

a start

Spring is just too busy!  I've been scrambling to find time to get started on my new applique project.  I want to make Radical Rose & Reel a pattern from Collector With A Needle by Dawn and her daughter.  It was a big decision to settle on what to start next and I deliberated many choices. I went over to Dawn's website to consider Harrison Rose that Hilda is making and as soon as I saw Radical Rose & Reel it was love at first sight :0)
I ordered background fabric - I love appliqueing on Moda Bella Solids and they can be hard to find where I live.  I settled on Eggshell - I feel it is a bit of a gamble to order fabric online but I'm really happy with how it looks - not as stark as white but not yellowy either.
Then I chose the other fabrics.  I love, love antique red and green quilts but I just couldn't picture myself appliqueing the exact same block 9 times with only 3 fabrics so I decided to go scrappy with prints.  I think they are all similar enough to pull off the look of the antiques I love.

I usually applique with the freezer paper-on-the-top method but I thought this pattern might work better with backbasting.  For that I had to draw the pattern onto the back of the fabric.  The 24 inch block is BIG!  The only window large enough was the livingroom window.  (the pattern has a full size 30 inch drawings too)  I am finding the pattern to be fantastic - it has the quilting lines marked on it too! Of course I can't wait for that part either!!
Today I started with some backbasting... prepping for it goes really slow... I hope I like it.  I can always switch back to my freezer paper-on-the-top if I don't.  Maybe tonight I can take my first applique stitches :0)
There has been a very little bit of machine sewing as well.  I am following along with the Thimblecreek mystery quilt and I have my 40 -  six inch blocks ready for the setting instructions.  Shown here is one of each of the block patterns. Anyone following this mystery will notice that I didn't make the house and tree blocks - I'm pleased with the blocks I substituted them with.  I hope I like the setting!
 I've been quilting away on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  Outline quilting goes fast and is so relaxing.  So far I am very happy with the basting - don't miss the vertical lines at all.  I will try some background fill quilting when I get 4 blocks outlined.
I have about 3 1/2 blocks done now so it should be soon.  Every once in awhile I feel a little bit guilty about abandoning my 1/2 quilted Lily Quilt - I tell myself I will get back to it when the novelty wears off of quilting this one.  I wonder when that will be?

Happy Quilting!!