Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wintry Quilts

With a blizzard howling outside, it seems only appropriate to post the pics I took yesterday before the blizzard! We have been having some late winter snowy weather that has resulted in a blanket of snow on the deck. When the sun came out yesterday, I opened the patio doors and laid out a few baby quilts I finished recently.  

I had a fair bit of flannel left over from other projects, so I cut a bunch of 7" squares and put them in a format that seemed to work for this little quilt. It finishes at about 34" x 45" with a flannel back and serpentine machine quilting.

This next quilt was inspired by a quilt kit I saw in the MSQC catalogue. The blocks are a version of a log cabin, though the fabrics I used are pretty similar so that you can't see much variation in the picture. Again, I used a serpentine stitch and flannel on the back.

Here is a close up so you can see some of the cuddly baby fabrics. This quilt finishes at 34" x 45".

The next quilt is still in the making. A wonderful quilting friend gave me a jelly roll of Riley Blake's Cotton Medium Dots so I started to make bow tie blocks with them. 

I had lots of background polka dot fabrics so played around using a white and black minidot background for the brightly coloured bowties, and a black and white minidot for the white polka dot ties, though I don't think you can see the background fabrics too well in my pictures.  I still have some borders to add, the white and black minidot fabric, but that will wait for another day. 

One more wintry picture just because...

The blizzard seems to be dying down and the sun is struggling to come out. Sure hope Spring is on the way. Thanks so much for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Three Finished Quilts

I love this time of year in my sewing room. It's a time to catch up, finish, and sometimes start, all on the same day! I really had fun finishing up my little KT wallhanging/tabletopper. 

Unfortunately, I broke 2 FMQ feet while quilting it. Bad luck? Murphy's Law? I had decided to do a FMQ daisy design for the centre blocks using variegated thread, capturing the daisy theme from the appliqued borders. Love the effect...far from perfect, but really fun to do! 

For the appliqued borders, I decided to use echo quilting using my FMQ foot to speed up the process. Along the way, the FMQ foot that came with the machine loosened and somehow dropped to the bed and the plastic foot split and became wedged to itself. So off I go to my accessory drawer and found another foot I thought would work. It did work, until the metal bar on the side broke in two! So I finished the echo quilting using my straight stitch foot. A new Pfaff foot is on order! 

My bonus baby quilt is a finish, made from leftover fabrics and strips from my Lazy Log Cabin quilt. The quilting was done 1/4" from each seam line.

Sometimes easy quilting is best for keeping the quilt soft and cuddly. The quilt finishes at about 36" square so could be used as a baby's play mat, stroller quilt, or just to cuddle in.

I made it a little more cuddly by adding flannel polka dots to the back.

I also finished a red and cream slab quilt for the Halifax Ronald McDonald House in Halifax using the Canada 150 fabrics. 

I wasn't sure if I trusted all those reds so carefully washed the quilt when I was finished.

I attached the Big Quilt Bee label that I was able to print out on my Printed Treasures printable fabric. The link is available online HERE.

I am so grateful to be involved in this Canadian-wide quilt initiative for Ronald McDonald Houses spearheaded by the Canadian Quilters Association.  I was also excited to hear that my little modern guild group based in Halifax, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, has also chosen Ronald McDonald Houses as its charity of choice for 2017. We will be making string block versions for donation in November. Gives me lots of time to play with fabric!

Thanks so much for coming by today. I don't seem to be blogging as much as before, but I am sewing and quilting more, so all good!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Asterisks Quilted and Lazy Log Cabin Ready

I do believe my Asterisks quilt may be one of my all-time favorites! It was such a fun quilt to make, with those wonderful fabrics by Me and My Sister. If you missed my last post about it, you can click HERE to see the quilt story. 

Once the top was finished, I knew I would quilt this one quickly! The designer suggested horizontal wavy lines about 2"- 3" apart, and coincidentally, so did my blog friend Linda who blogs at Scrapmaster HERE, so that is what I did. The quilting created a really cozy little quilt, so soft and so cuddly. It is too dark outside to take pics today, so I did my best with the kitchen chair.

Do you notice that the snow is gone from the back deck? Could Spring be on its way?

I used a white tone-on-tone backing and it seemed to work well.

And if there isn't room for a quilt, you can always use it as a soft cushion...

or maybe use it as a neck roll?  I do love these colours!

I still have so many beautiful scraps left from this fat quarter bundle, so I'm sure you will see these fabrics again sometime soon. 

Continuing on the theme of "bright colours", I ordered a couple of green and aqua bundles recently from Runaway Quilting, a Canadian quilt shop which also has an online quilt shop HERE.  The fabrics arrived really quickly, especially considering they had to come across the country.

I decided to make my version of a Lazy Log Cabin quilt. My inspiration for this quilt was seeing a gorgeous quilt made by Andrea at Tideline Quilts. She posted a picture of the quilt on her Facebook page on February 7 and with her help in giving me the name of the pattern, I was able to find the instructions. 

The quilt began with a lot of strip piecing.

By cutting the strips into triangles and sewing them together, the blocks came together pretty quickly, resembling log cabin blocks.

The 2 fat quarter bundles were almost enough for the entire quilt...I just needed to add a few short strips from my stash. The blocks are 12.5" unfinished so the quilt will be about 48" x 60".

I couldn't reproduce Andrea's quilt as she had made many more blocks for a bed-sized version, so I tried out several layouts with the 20 blocks I made and decided on this one...

Here I am poking my head out above the quilt on a very sunny, windy day, with thanks to Woodworker Hubby for taking the picture.

One of the joys of making this quilt was the leftovers!  Do you see the ends on the left? Well, there was also an end left on the right. 

I kept the ends, recut them a little smaller, added a few hourglass blocks, and I now have the makings of a little baby quilt! 

As you can tell, it's always a great day for quilting!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Asterisks and Flowers

We continue to have lots of snow so I am having many Snow-Sew Days, but if truth be told, as a retiree, I do have lots and lots of Sew Days. I just give them a different name in the winter!

I finished my Asterisk quilt top earlier this week. This was a quilt designed by Karen Griska published in Quiltmaker Reader Favorites Volume 1 Summer 2015. The pattern had been previously published in May/June 2010.

I used some delightful fabrics designed by Me and My Sister through Moda. How could I not love fabrics called LOL and Ticklish! I had so much fun playing with these gorgeous fabrics. Although I aimed at using contrast in the blocks, I wasn't too worried if the fabrics were a little close in tones and shades. The results just reminded me of an English flower garden.

The rows came together pretty quickly...

Rather than using a pieced border, I used two smaller borders, a blue tone on tone batik and a wider border of the floral Ticklish fabric.

Hubby managed to hold the quilt pretty steady for the picture. I like the finished size, about 50" x 55", so I should be able to quilt this fairly easily on my domestic machine. 

After finishing this quilt, it was time to dig into my UFO bin. 

This little quilt was started many years ago. The kit was purchased at Harbour Quilt Company outside Antigonish, a LQS that has since, sadly, closed down. Kim, the owner, had designed this quilt in 2008 and I purchased the kit when she was closing her doors. This little quilt has sat unfinished for several years. All the applique had been prepared and one corner had been done when I put it away. 

Because the pieces had already been prepared using the fusible applique method, all I needed was a few sessions in my sewing room to press everything in place and then a few days doing the machine applique.

One day this week, between the three snow storms we had in six days, I opened the patio door and laid the finished top on the snow for a picture. And yes, the snow is still there!

This top finishes at 41" x 41". I have always loved using Kansas Troubles fabrics and really like the way Kim incorporated them in her design.

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Cottage Year is Finished and the Canada 150 CW Quilt is a Start

We seem to be having a lot of snow days lately, or as I like to call them, Sew Days. It's always nice to finish a quilt top, especially one that was so enjoyable to make from start to finish. A Cottage Year is just that kind of quilt.

If you recall, the embroidered cottages had been put away for awhile. See my post about them HERE. Once I pulled them out of the closet, it took no time for the blocks to be made. I began by framing them with a black solid.

After that, the log cabin blocks grew pretty quickly.

The blocks are sewn into the quilt in the order of the months, row by row, from January through to December. 

As usual, I used a large assortment of cream and red fabrics. My pre-cut of choice is fat quarters so I have quite a few tucked away in my plastic totes. Then I started to build...


and build some more...

My new version of A Cottage Year is a little different than my first, but I think I like it more with the darker reds/rusts.

A Cottage Year is now in my growing pile of tops to quilt. I have discovered that I have to be in the right frame of mind to FMQ as it ties up my favorite sewing machine for awhile. These days I am loving putting together quilts, so I think I'll wait awhile before I get into my quilting mode.

One quilt that I am loving putting together is the Canada 150 Canadian Women, a free QAL by Kat of Next Step Quilt Designs. She has designed a quilt to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary that is being celebrated this year.  Every week she provides three 6.5" unfinished block patterns for the 150 block quilt. 

With each block comes a story of a Canadian woman that has impacted our country. It is a perfect QAL for me, as 3 blocks a week seems to be manageable and with each block I learn a story about a woman who made a difference.  I started with a layer cake of Sentiments by 3 Sisters and after 4 weeks this is what I had.

There is a Facebook group Kat started where people post their blocks HERE. I started to like those blocks with more of a variety of tones and shades of reds, so I am now adding more shades and tones of reds and creams from my stash. 

The quilt can be made in a few different sizes, depending on how many blocks you make, but I am aiming to make a queen size quilt with 150 CW blocks and 6 filler blocks. To make it easier to piece, I am dividing the quilt into 4 segments and will sew each segment when I have enough for a 6x6 section or a 6x7 section, using a 1.5" sashing. Here is my first segment almost finished...

You can join Kat's QAL anytime by signing up for an email or just visit her site where the blocks are posted every Tuesday for free HERE. Each set of blocks is available to download for 2 weeks only. If you miss any blocks along the way, or want to start now, you could start with the next set of blocks. At the end of the year, Kat will have a CD available for all the blocks for a nominal fee. 

It's such a treat, to make these little blocks every week and at the same time, be inspired by Canadian women.  If you do the math,you'll see that the blocks won't be finished 'till November, but that's perfect for me! Thank you, Kat, for giving me such a special way to celebrate Canada's birthday year. 

It's a great day for quilting!