Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tula Pink Flying Geese Quilt

* Updated with clothesline pictures! 

It's always busy these days in my sewing room. I'm working on several projects here and there, having such fun every morning when I wake up and decide which project to work on. It really just depends on my mood, whether I decide to work on a project that takes time to figure things out, or a project that is simple enough that I just sit and sew.  

My latest quilt was totally inspired by the fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's "Elizabeth fabric" I purchased last year.

 I googled Tula Pink quilt after I got them home, found the free down loadable pattern called Misdirection Quilt HERE , and quickly decided this was the quilt I wanted to make. I even purchased some yardage of three different Kona solids to make the quilt as close to the original that I could.

The next thing I knew, my mind was changed and I decided to leave the Kona solids in my stash and use a bundle of creamy FQs instead.  What a bundle it was! I have tigers, circles, text prints, buttons, scissors, and more sewing notions all mixed up with my flying geese! I call my quilt "Lost" because those poor flying geese are definitely lost in those snippets of Tula Pink fabrics!

I adjusted the size a little as well, reducing it from the original 56" x 80" to finish at 56" x 64". I'll try to add a better clothesline picture to this post later on if the weather improves. (Updated already, though I wish the sun had been shining!)

Piecing the quilt was the easy part. I made 8 flying geese from each of the Tula Pink FQs I wanted to use combining them with the neutrals I thought worked well, plus made a few extra geese along the way. The hard part was finding space to lay out the quilt top as I went along. I ended up using the quilted side of a flannel tablecloth as my design floor and literally "dragged" the layout from my larger living room floor to my smaller sewing room floor and then sewed each row together.

In fact, because of the space restrictions, I could only sew half the quilt together at a time. I labelled all my rows by using fusible interfacing to write the numbers on and pressed onto the right side. The row numbers peeled off easily when I had everything sewn which definitely helped reduce errors.

I used a bit of a plan with the colour families, the greens, blues, and pinks. I saved the "Elizabeth selfie" fabric to use on the back. 

I plan to use straight line quilting for this one. I am adding
"Lost" to my to-quilt pile and will totally enjoy looking at those prints again when I take it out to quilt. Thank you, Tula, for creating such a fun batch of fabrics to use in my latest cuddle quilt!

Tula's fabrics even look great from the back!

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sprigs and Twigs and Hexies Too!

Another day dawns in my sewing room with the sun streaming through the windows and the temperature above normal. It is the perfect day to finish up a quilt top so I can get it on the clothesline for a picture. Today I hope to finish the Kim Diehl quilt I am working on. I adore Kim's designs and have several of her "Simple" books, but this pattern for her "Sprigs and Twigs" quilt is available through Fons and Porter's online shop HERE

Of course, I have adapted the design just a tad, starting with the size. I am keeping it to a cuddle size quilt so made 9 blocks instead of 16 for the quilt using red and white 9-patches for the centres and a variety of scraps for the frames. 

One of the reasons I fell in love with Kim's design was the wonderful applique on the wide borders, but I also love the look of hexies. I have been making scrappy hexies for some time now so had quite a batch on hand so decided to use them for the border instead. I tried several layouts on the deck, in fact, the fallen leaves kind of played havoc with my impromptu design wall!

Once I decided on a layout, I pinned the hexies in place and went to the sewing machine. I am using a smoky invisible thread with a blanket stitch which seems to be working really well. When I do machine applique, I always use a light fusible interfacing on the back side to give more stability to the applique. 

I still have a few more hexies to stitch in place, but I am sure loving what I have done so far. Thank you, Kim, for the quilty inspiration!

As you may have gathered, this is the perfect quilt design to use up those bits and pieces from past projects.

Now I just have to figure out how I will quilt it when it is finished.  I am thinking of combining walking foot straight stitching with echo quilting around the hexies in the border, but that will be a decision for another day.

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Super Nova Scotia and Sunset Ridge Quilts

I really love Blogland. It is like opening a box of chocolates every day. I may not post as much as I used to, or comment as much as I used to, but I still use it constantly for inspiration, ideas, and patterns.  This week was such a successful week for me. I finished sewing together my Super Nova quilt top, a free quiltalong design offered by Lee at Freshly Pieced. You can read more about it on a previous post HERE

I decided to make the 9-block version, using a 3" border instead of the 5" border to finish at 58" square. I figure this way the quilt will work as a cuddle quilt, a couch quilt, a dorm quilt, or even a
" bottom of the bed" quilt. So many ways to use a quilt! Now the fun begins as I think about how I will quilt this baby, a quilt I am affectionately calling my "Super Nova Scotia" quilt! Those blues, greens, and even the reds and oranges are all the colours of Nova Scotia on a crisp fall day. 

The next project I worked on was making a charity quilt for Victoria's Quilts of Canada. This is an organization that provides handmade quilts for people who have cancer. They are always looking for donations of quilts, quilt tops, fabric, or time, so I figured the best way I could help from my little town was by making a quilt from start to finish. I went online to get the quilt specifications and decided to make a 50" x 70" quilt for an adult. There is a VQC branch in Nova Scotia around Amherst and I will be getting in contact with them soon to arrange delivery. 

The fabric for the quilt was ready and waiting. Last year I made a Triple Barnstar Quilt with a kit I purchased from Craftsy using Free Spirit Birch Farm fabrics by Joel Newberry. (At the time of this writing, the kit is still available for purchase at a very reduced price HERE.) There was so much fabric left over, and all so coordinated, that I cut it up in 2.5"  x 8.5" strips and put the fabric away. Last week I found a great quilt pattern in the Moda Bake Shop by Chrissy at Sew Lux Fabrics called Sunset Ridge Quilt. It was a quilt that used strips so I adapted the pattern just a tad to make my version of the quilt using my strips and some white tone-on-tone I had in my stash. 

It was such a fun quilt to sew together, piece by piece. 

Soon I had three rows and I was liking what I was seeing!

I stopped at 6 rows because that made the quilt the proper size, leaving me just a few leftovers to put towards something else. I sandwiched it on the deck one day, trying to make sure there were no fallen leaves getting caught between the layers!

I chose to quilt Sunset Ridge with a serpentine stitch on my Pfaff Expression 3.5, using stitch # 62 with a 9/50 setting. I stitched in the ditch from top to bottom and am really pleased with the results. 
Here are a few closeups to give you a better idea of the quilting.

VQC require that quilts be backed with flannel, so I used some tan Woolie flannel and stitched the binding by machine so the quilt would last through many washes.

I am so pleased with the final quilt and hope it will be loved and well used by its new owner.

Thanks so much for coming by today. It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fabulous Fibrearts Festival

I just returned from a fabulous weekend at the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival, an annual event held in Amherst, Nova Scotia. For me, it was like Christmas! As I already mentioned to fellow Nova Scotian blogger friend Karen of KaHolly, who hitched a ride up to the Festival,  I had a wonderful weekend that was packed with so many highlights! I visited with my mom and two sisters who live fairly close to Amherst and shared time with two of the three of my fellow members of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet, Linda at Scrapmaster and Karen at KaHolly, but unfortunately, missed Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World who arrived on a daytrip. 

I met up with fellow members of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild at the colorful display of quilts at the Town Hall. Here are some pics of the amazing display that delighted visitors when they entered the doors of the Amherst Town Hall.

When I could tear myself away from all the fun being had by the gals there from the MMQG, I participated in two days of machine quilting workshops offered by Linda Hubbard, who blogs at Stitch Lines. One workshop was entitled Machine Quilting 101 and the other was Walking Foot Quilting. I have been sewing and quilting for more years than I care to remember, but Linda's workshop provided me with a huge arsenal of new tips and tricks and machine quilting information that I plan to put to good use for years to come. I especially loved seeing the samples and demos of the huge variety of stitches that can be done on any domestic machine. Linda's work is meticulous and her bindings to die for! Linda has taught quilting classes for years and has judged many quilt shows, so I felt very fortunate to be able to attend her workshops and learn so much.

What else did I do? I enjoyed the Zonta craft fair and several quilt shows. The church was a little dark so I didn't take any pictures, but you can see a few of the quilts at The Fabric Cupboard's blog HERE. I bought some fabric treasures from Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium fabric shop located right on the main street of Amherst and the pop-up shops of Darlene's A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop and The Fabric Cupboard. Who could ask for anything more? As I said, just like Christmas! 

Now I'm home and ready to quilt. Life is good and it's a great day for quilting, even with those little white flakes starting to cover the ground. Did I mention Christmas?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Couple of Baby Quilts

Early in September, my nephew's wife had a baby girl, so of course, I decided to make a quilt for the new addition.  I had some lovely pink and turqoise flannels in my stash and added a sweet elephant novelty print for the giant star in Star Bright.

This is a free quilt design by Kate Blakesley that you can download at Swim.Bike. Quilt. The pattern was so easy and the entire quilt took only a couple of days for me to make from start to finish. I love how the start is offset, kind of a modern take on a traditional quilt! 

I used a serpentine quilting stitch, about two inches apart, so the quilt would be nice and soft for baby.

I decided to piece the back to add a little interest.

Going from pinks to blues now, my new grandson is almost four months old and of course I had to make one more little quilt for him. This is a small one, about 36"square",  perfect to use as a play mat or a stroller blanket. I used a rail fence pattern and managed to use many of the flannels I had already used for his bibs, burp cloths, etc. 

This one is even more cuddlier than the others I made him and also matches a receiving blanket I made earlier.

Loop de loop machine quilting was my choice, with another pieced backing added of full of fun novelty prints!

I suppose it won't be long before I am making him a big-boy quilt!

Thanks so much for coming by to visit today. Hope you enjoy the weekend ahead.  I'm looking forward to a wonderful weekend of family visiting and lots of turkey!

It's a great day for quilting!