Monday, April 27, 2015

Elephant Parade

Continuing on with my series of baby quilts, I present to you "Elephant Parade", the third baby quilt I made and gifted to my DD and SIL for their first baby due in June.  

This quilt design was offered early in February as a free quilt along by blogger/quilt designer Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. The minute I saw it, I knew I would make it. Lorna is so gifted at quilt design. She knows what works and what appeals to quilters, so I, and many others, jumped on the elephant bandwagon and started sewing. Although she offered Elephant Parade as a free QAL, I purchased the pdf pattern from her so that I could print out a few pages at a time. Because it was to be a gift, I didn't share pictures of my progress on my blog, but now that the quilt is at it's new home, here goes...

As usual, a windy day for the photo shoot, complete with snow banks and Woodworker Hubby doing his best to hang on to the elephants! I quilted it from edge to edge with a serpentine stitch and love the effect of movement it gives the quilt. Thanks, Lorna, for the idea!

The quilt started with a lot of little pieces yet it was very easy to follow along due to Lorna's excellent instructions and pictures.

Before long, the mama elephants were pieced and waiting for their embroidered eyes.

They just weren't complete without their babies...

I love the little critters that Lorna added to the design...

and what a great idea to add the flowers and a little red bird or two!

I couldn't wait to sew everything together and I even managed to follow the instructions so that all the elephants and critters were going in the direction they were supposed to be going! 

This was a joy to make and a joy to give. I put a cosy flannel on the back and hope that grand baby boy will enjoy this quilt for years to come. Lorna has set up a Linky party so if you click HERE you'll see lots of terrific Elephant Parades from all over the world. 

Do elephants really fly?  

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Quilt for All Reasons

I just returned from a wonderful visit "out West" visiting my DD and her wonderful hubby. I was so excited to be there, enjoying lots of hugs and the emotional highs of seeing baby-in-the-belly move! As a proud mom, I sat by DD's side at her baby shower as family and friends shared the presentation of baby gifts and embraced the excitement over this little boy baby who is due to arrive sometime in June. Needless to say, I brought a suitcase full of hand crafted gifts with me that were very well received and now I will share some pictures with you in the next few posts.

Of course, I made a few quilts... The safety concerns of newborns dictate that very little bedding be used in their cribs but we quilters know that a quilt is so much more than a bed covering. Whether the quilts will be used as wall hangings, play mats, for warmth in strollers or car seats, as bed coverings when the little boy is in a big boy bed, or taken from room to room in his little fist as a cuddle quilt, I know these quilts will get lots of love.

One of the quilts I made was bought years ago as a kit at a LQS that has been closed now for several years. When we found out that we were to be grandparents of a little boy, I immediately went to my cupboard and pulled out my Just Ducky flannel kit. The pattern, designed by Bonnie Sullivan, was also featured in the December 2009 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting

The kit included a variety of lovely flannels just waiting for me to cut into them.

The pinwheel blocks worked up quickly...

and the duckies were just too cute! 

I used a small blanket stitch to do the machine applique

and embroidered the eyes for safety reasons-no buttons on this quilt! 

A few seams to fit everything together..

Viola! A finished Just Ducky quilt, all ready and waiting for our first grandbaby boy!

The kit included a flannel for the back and a wonderful check for the binding....such a cosy cuddle quilt! The size, 44" square, translated into a quilt that took very little time to machine quilt.

As you can see, my loop de loop quilting is continuing to be my "go to" choice of quilting designs.

I love making baby things! 

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Modern Challenge

A few months ago, I became a member of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  I had watched with interest from afar as the quild was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in November of 2013and watched with excitement as the membership grew so quickly. My friend Linda who blogs at Scrapmaster, was one of the first members and her enthusiasm for this group of quilters was contagious from day one. The quilters are such a fun group, embracing modern quilts and supporting each other, from newbie modern quilters to those whose roots lie in a more traditional past. They have so darn much fun at the monthly sew-ins and their facebook page HERE is a constant source of information sharing.

I may have my own roots in traditional quilting but I sure like the bright colorful quilts and the use of negative space to showcase quilting. Although I live a few hours away from their home base, MMQG opened up membership recently for people like me from away who may not be able to make meetings or sew-in days, but were interested in being part of the group. As a member of MMQG, we are automatically a member of The Modern Quilt Guild, and as such, receive news of upcoming events and challenges. 

Awhile ago, the MQG announced the MQG 2015 Fabric Challenge The challenge was simple: make something fantastic that is quilted, make something that you have never done before, challenge yourself to learn something new, and use only "The Cottage Garden" fabrics designed by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish  and coordinating RB solids and basics. If you were quick enough to and  register and respond, which I was, you were then mailed a free fat eighth bundle of six of the fabrics. If people were too late for the free fabrics, they could still enter the challenge by purchasing the challenge fabrics at a participating quilt shop. 

I was in from the get-go because I just can't get enough of fabrics that are teal, aqua, get the picture. Here is my challenge quilt story.

The fabrics arrived...

The fabrics were sorted...

I then designed a small quilt and ordered some coordinating RB fabrics to match up with a grey RB blender in my stash. Woodworker Hubby couldn't imagine my making a quilt with those little bits that arrived but I knew I could do it with some whites! I started by cutting 1 1/2" strips from each fabric.

Then I had a look at the RB fabric I had ordered for the backing, a teal that matched the quilt perfectly. Not sure if it matters to the Challenge judges that I chose a RB print for the backing, but it was too pretty not to use!

I am by no means a designer but I played a little bit with an idea and then it started to take shape. I sewed the six strips together and unsewed little bits as needed. That seemed to save time for my spiral.

My little design sheet was pretty messy but it sure came in handy. 

Then the spiral grew and took on a life of its own. I started in the centre with a 1 1/2" square of the grey and ended up with the grey leading off the page, er, I mean, the quilt.

The challenge for me was to quilt all that negative space in a spiral design which I had never done before. I started the spiral in the centre of the square using my free motion foot to follow the lines I had drawn on the quilt using a Frixion pen. Once I got going a little bit around the centre, I raised my feed dogs and changed to an echo quilting foot. 

After the quilting was done, I attached a scrappy binding. I actually sewed the remaining lengths of 1 1/2" coloured fabric strips to strips of white in order to have enough width to bind the quilt. Once it was done, I added a sleeve and then my clothesline (Woodworker Hubby) went to work.  

The hardest thing was to wait for the wind to die down! And yes, that is the snow bank lining our driveway after yet another dumping of snow yesterday morning.

 I love seeing the giant spiral from the back!

So there you have it. My "modern" quilt for the challenge, "Double Spiral", the combination of the pieced spiral quilt top and the spiral quilting. Now I have to get back to my traditional Grandmother's Choice. I am adding the final border today.

I will be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks so I'll see you back around the middle of April. Happy Easter!

It's a great day for quilting!