Monday, December 12, 2016

something I find very interesting!

A package came in the mail - I was very excited to open it and see the fabric inside.  Windham fabrics has a new line out called Vine Inspired By Susan McCord and I just had to order some to see it in person.  Having spent years appliqueing this quilt - one panel at a time - I was very interested to see their cheater cloth of the same design.
 So here it is - laid across my finished top.  (the cheater cloth is on the right)  It is a bigger scale than Quiltsalott Janet's pattern and bigger also than the original I believe but I haven't seen the original for myself.  Janet found out about this line and had emailed me about it in the summer. 
 It has 4 panels across the width of the fabric.  It's so flat, smooth and light compared to my top.  For a few seconds I toyed with the idea of using it as backing.  It would make my quilt reversible - LOL!  Perhaps not...
 My vine
 Printed panel vine
 Of course I had to have a few other prints from the line :0)

And handquilting continues on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I am really enjoying it!  The 1/2 inch parallel line background fill is going faster than I thought it would.  I shouldn't be surprised though - what's not to like about handquilting??

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

another ufo to work on

I found myself without handwork a few evenings ago and I dug out a ufo to work on.  Whyever did I put this one away??  I love these colors together.  I did discover that reading glasses help out with EPP...  I just bought them and wearing them makes me feel old...  I was gratified that I found they made no difference with handquilting so I only have to feel old on alternate nights.  I'm sure I will get used to them.
 The reason I was without handwork was because I finished the 3rd block of Radical Rose and Reel.  I'm going to take a break from this project now to applique a border for my signature quilt.  I find I like the variety of flipping between a couple of projects. 
I should have more discipline and make a 4th block so I could see how they come together at the corners but - its a hobby and I feel like doing something different for now.  Here are the 3 I have so far.  I found a couple more reds and greens to add in at a new-to-me shop in Blackfalds, Alberta - Peaceful Patch Quilt Shop.  I can't wait for the next time I can stop in there :0)
The colors look so Christmassy  - I think we will put up our tree tonight.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 14, 2016

picking up a ufo

I continue to progress slowly on a number of current projects but this ufo is something new to post about.  For my 40th birthday my husband threw me a lovely party and at the party I had everyone sign their name onto a rectangle of fabric. A while after that I started making album blocks with the rectangles in the center but indecision about a number of things kept these blocks from becoming a completed top. 
 So a couple of weeks ago I pulled them out and decided on a setting.  I was short 2 blocks for this setting so I made a couple more blocks.  I've added a number of signatures from people who weren't at the party but I wanted their names included this special quilt project.
 What really got me going on this project again was the decision to put on wide borders filled with lots of applique.  I think it will be exciting to design the borders and of course exciting to appliqué as well :0) The background fabric from the blocks was long gone so I found a print with a little bit of red in it to use for sashing and borders.  I had trouble deciding between 2 prints with red in them so - I decided to use both.  One print for setting and borders and the other for cornerstones and setting triangles.
 I've just about got it all together.  It takes longer than I thought to add all that sashing and setting triangles! I hope it's a completed top soon so I can get to the applique part!
There has also been a fair bit of non-quilty sewing going on lately.  Every couple of years I make new flannel pajamas for my kids. I'll post a picture of that when they're all done.  There was also some Halloween sewing - mostly some altering of stuff we already had but my son decided just a couple of days before Halloween to dress up as a Ranger from a book series he liked reading.  He wanted a green cloak and so I needed something that would sew up fast.
Online I found a pattern for one made with fleece and it went together easily. Since Halloween I've seen him a couple times curled up in a chair reading with it on  :0)  Fleece is warm and comfortable and more interesting than a sweater - lol!  The girls were 3 of the characters from the game of Clue.  Can you guess which ones??

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

background fill

I haven't posted in awhile and I was surprised when I loaded my pictures how much I had to share.
I'll start with my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I completed the outline quilting for all of the blocks and last week I started with the background fill quilting.   

 I wanted to do parallel lines on the diagonal instead of a crosshatch. I decided on a 30 degree angle to try something new.  The lines are 1/2 inch apart.  There is a fair amount of starting and stopping so it's going to take awhile.  I was very happy to finally be successful in using a hera marker to mark the lines.
 Once the background fill is done I can easily see where I need to add more quilting to the block elements - like this tablecloth and the birds' bodies.

I also finished this Kim Diehl quilt top.  I'm really pleased with it but now I need to work up the determination to pin baste it for machine quilting. Basting is not my favorite...
 A close-up of one corner to show this red floral fabric I used for the borders.  It's a French General fabric and I love it!
 I also made a little table topper with some French General fabric. It's a Carrie Nelson pattern called Little Bites that my guild decided to do as an easy project together.
I was able to use up a couple of mini charm packs I had had in my stash for awhile.

And a couple of weeks ago my DD#2 had a day off from school and she wanted to do some sewing with me.  (I LOVE it when my kids want to sew with me)  She wanted to try making a pencil roll for her coloring pencils. 
We found a tutorial online and made some adjustments for the number of pencils she wanted to put in it.  It was a fun little project and I think she is pleased with the results.  Did I mention LOVE it when my kids want to sew with me?  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Radical Rose and Reel block #2

I'm excited to have finished the second block of my Radical Rose and Reel quilt.  I added a couple new greens to the ones used in the first block. Keeping this a scrappy project makes it more fun for me to sew  :0)  
 Here are the first 2 blocks together. I'm looking forward to having 4 blocks completed so I can see how the shapes interact at the corners. 
 I've already started block #3   The pattern is Radical Rose and Reel from Collector with a Needle

Design floor space has been made available so I've been able to get some more work done on this Kim Diehl quilt.  These are the first 2 borders.  2 more rounds to go.  I just love that French General red :0)  Glad this will soon be a finished top.
Happy Quilting!!

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!!