Thursday, February 27, 2014

Like A Breath of Fresh Air

Back in the Fall, Jacquie and the gals from the Mira Stitch 'N Post, a LQS located about an hour away, came to town for a weekend and set up shop at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. They offered several workshops and brought a huge selection of fabrics, sewing machines, and notions. In addition to their always economically priced fabrics, they had a huge table of fabrics at even further discounted prices. I sure had fun adding to my stash!

I signed up for their Saturday workshop to make a "braided" quilt using jelly rolls and the Hex N More ruler that they sell in their shop. I have such a large fabric stash that I decided to use fabrics I already had, choosing a large variety of teals, aquas, greens, and lights, cutting them in 2.5" strips and then using the ruler to cut the shapes.

This ruler is awesome! It has so many uses that I know I will use it again. In no time at all, I had lots of half-hex shapes cut and ready to sew. 

The braids are slightly addictive. They start out short..

and then they grow...

and grow some more!

I wanted the colours to pop so used a solid Kona white for the sashing.

As you can see, the quilt had grown by leaps and bounds and was outgrowing my design "floor"!

It was time for the borders. I had two goals with this quilt: I wanted it to be bed-sized and I wanted to highlight the teals. I liked that the greens were adding some contrast, yet I wanted the overall color impact to be teal. Because of this, I chose a stripey (is that a word?) light teal first and bordered that with my favorite large-print teal. 

The result is "A Breath of Fresh Air", a semi-planned scrappy quilt that promises warmer and sunnier days ahead. The quilt finishes at 75" x 100", a great size for a "summer" bed quilt. Thankfully, Woodworker Hubby cleared a path on the deck from this week's load of snow so I could get to the clothesline and take a few pics. 

"A Breath of Fresh Air" is now ready for the next step. Hope you enjoyed this week's show and tell. Thanks so much for dropping by for a visit. It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Country Homecoming a Start!

What's a quilter to do when one of her many totes of fabrics is overflowing with homespuns?

Well, this quilter couldn't look at these pieces of fabric anymore. This quilter wanted to build a homespun neighbourhood just like Paulette at Sweet P did last year with her friends. You can read all about the start of her homespun neighbourhood HERE and see her finished quilt HERE. I think you will agree, her finished quilt is drop dead gorgeous!

I watched Sweet P build her neighbourhood from afar and put this "Country Homecoming Quilt" on my ever growing "to do" list.  The pattern is in the book, "Primitive Gatherings", the quilt designed by Terry Burkhart and Rozan Meacham. 

The idea for my own neighbourhood gathered dust and the tote of homespuns remained unopened until new inspiration came along last week thanks to Nancie Ann Quilts. Nancie posted about her participation with another group of bloggers and quilters who had decided to start a new QAL to make this same "Country Homecoming" quilt. You can read all about this QAL at Kim's Big Quilting Adventures 

I was too late for the first linky party and may actually just work along at my own pace, but seeing all those wonderful country houses definitely got me into my sewing corner. It took a little organization before I could begin construction...

Ms. Sweet P herself answered my plea for help with the construction details, so I followed her suggestion of using freezer paper templates (several layers ironed together) and some starch to make the windows and doors. She sent me a link to an excellent tutorial on using this method here. 

I decided to attach the applique by machine using a small blanket stitch. This did the trick and I now have two finished houses. The windows twisted a little on me as I appliqued them. Ms. Sweet P reminded me that the quilt is supposed to be primitive, so I will choose to be content with my slightly wonky windows. I'll wait until after the houses are sewn into the quilt before I add the stitching for the window panes.

I used lots of starch to prevent the houses from fraying while they wait for the neighbourhood to expand. I'm going to take my time with this quilt, a few blocks at a time. I'm in no rush to tackle that appliqued border!

Thank you Sweet P and Nancie Anne for your inspiration to begin construction!

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Blogger Girls BOM 2013

I have a quilt finish...a real finish, with the piecing, the quilting, the label and even the binding all done! You have seen a lot of this quilt in the past year, in units, in blocks, in rows, and as a flimsy. You may have even seen it when it was quilted. But today I get to show you the entire quilt. Of course, you will also see the props I used...snow, snow, and more snow.

The quilt is the result of my participation in Monique Dillard's Blogger Girls BOM 2013. Although the free BOM has now been removed from her  blog, she has started a new one for this year. Check it out HERE.

Her BOM's are six months in length with one block designed every month in two variations. As you can see, I chose to make the 12 block version. Woodworker Hubby says this quilt is his all-time favorite quilt, quite a compliment from a guy that can be very honest in his critiques! He had to do some shovelling for me so I could hang it ouside for a picture.

He shovelled me right out to the clothesline...

He even helped me name it. We were brainstorming one day while we were skating at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Center. I asked him what he thought of with the colours black and red and he said blackberries. So let me introduce you to "Blackberry Sampler".

I adore the quilting that was done by Ange from one of my "almost" LQS's, Quilting on the Mira.

My label says it all...

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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stillwater Creek is a Flimsy Finish

Slowly but surely, I am returning to my sewing corner. Last week I seem to have hit the wall with my arm issue, but this week is a great week! I think all that exercising, massage, and physio treatments have finally done their work. 

Rather than jump into a new project, I decided to tackle a quilt that I had started awhile back. "Stillwater Creek" is a Pam Buda pattern made using one of her first lines of fabrics called Heart of the Prairie. This is the final quilt, of three, that were featured on the Alaskan Quilting Cruise of 2012. I had all the units sewn together while on the cruise so all I had to do was start sewing them together. I took my time and divided up the tasks with lots of rest in between. This was the perfect project for me to get back to it. One block quickly became four blocks...

The flying geese were a snap to sew together in strips...

and in no time at all, I had the quilt top finished. I forgot to take a picture of the full top. I kept waiting for a sunny day but the weather man just didn't cooperate. Instead I folded it over a chair for a few pics before I sent it on its way to be quilted.

You'll have to trust me that mine looks very similar to Pam's! The quilt is about 70" x 80".

This week I received a wonderful package of quilty delights from Darlene at A Needle Pulling Thread. Her shop is about five hours from here, but picking up the phone made the miles disappear. I love the way she has pictures of her new fabrics, notions, and magazines on her Facebook page. After a quick phone call, I placed an order for the newest edition of Primitive Quilts and Projects, some wool to make a few more snowmen for "Winter Blessings", some gorgeous blue fabric that was on sale as her 'fabric of the week', a stitchery pattern, and a bundle of Carrie's Madders. fabrics. Darlene also enclosed a lovely gift card and a cool is that! Have a peek...

Also in my package was a scrumptious stitchery pattern by Crabapple Hill called Snowmen A to ZZZZ.... This may be one of those year-long projects, but looking forward to getting it started when I finish a few other projects. The picture of the pattern doesn't do it justice. To see how gorgeous this quilt is, drop by Flourishing Palms. She has created a stunning quilt with this pattern, very inspirational! 

It's a great day for quilting, watching the Scottie's Tournament of Hearts, and watching the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Thanks so much for coming by!