Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is a Hexie Flower a Sign of Spring?

There are no signs of spring here in Cape Breton except the quilty kind. I pulled out my scrap box and decided to make my own signs of spring - some little hexie flowers. I can't lay out my projects on the deck to take a picture because of the snow, so instead, I carefully opened the patio door so the snow wouldn't fall inside and leaned over to lay a few hexies on the snow bank for a picture.

Needless to say, much of the deck was in the shade!

The hexies looked so lonely so I scoured the house and found a batch of hexies already made...

so I pinned those to the snow bank too!

I have no idea how to use them. I may use them as alternating blocks in a 9-patch cuddle quilt. Today it is very cold but the sun is out so I think I'll continue making more signs of spring! 

Speaking of spring, Darlene at A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop in Digby, Nova Scotia is hosting her first ever quilt retreat on May 15 and 16 and yours truly is signed up and ready to go. Find out more about it by calling Darlene at the phone number listed below or by emailing her at 14dadeon at gmail dot com. 

It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grandmother's Choice Fills the Room

We live in a small house that seemed plenty big while raising our two children. But now, with the children living away, the house seems to have shrunk, or is it only when I try to lay out a quilt on the floor in the livingroom?

This is my Grandmother's Choice-Votes for Women quilt, with 50 different blocks, scrappy triple sashing and 9-patches, just waiting for me to sew the final seam to pull it all together. If you want to find out more about it, or make your own, just click HERE.

The quilt is so huge, I sewed the two sides together as two separate units. There was no arranging of blocks on a display wall. It was just pull a block, sew a block, trying to keep similar colours a little separated, but not always. The same with the sashing and 9-patches-keep it scrappy, but try to have different fabrics side by side. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, but I didn't notice 'till all was sewn together and I'm fine with it. No biggie! 

When I was sewing my very last row together, I found I had a couple of blocks that just didn't work for me, so I made a few more blocks using Barbrara Brachman's free patterns from another QAL. The blocks are all 8" finished and they seemed to fit right in!

I finished sewing everything together, trimmed the sides, and now am deciding on some borders. Right now, the quilt is 80" x 95", but when finished, it may be about 93" x 108", plenty big for any bed. I'll probably use a narrow beige/cream border, followed by a wider red border to tie into the sashing and 9-patches.

For the rest of today, I'll watch the snow continue to blow. We received 50 cm. of snow on Sunday and today we are expecting another 25-30. Will winter ever end? Here is my quilting chair waiting for me to sit in it, and you can see the deck behind where I usually lay out my quilts. No clothesline pictures coming for a long time!

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Downton Abbey Ladies are Done!

Yes, in between snow storms and chilly, sunny days, my sewing room has been my little haven. I have finally finished sewing those Downton Abbey fabrics together in the Towne Square, all sewn together. The pieced borders came together quickly once I finished making the shoofly and square in a square blocks.  

I arranged them around the quilt and posed the "ladies" on my ladder since my clothesline is still broken and the deck is filled with snow.

Seeing the quilt "almost finished" put me in high gear, and within a day or two, I had added the remaining two borders. Although the quilt was supposed to finish at 76" square, I added some extra inches so it now finishes at 90" square.

I arranged it on the snow bank on the back deck but wasn't able to spread it all out, so took a few different pictures of it folded in various ways so you could see some of the fabrics and blocks.

Finally, I took a few pics inside on the bed to give you an idea of the size...

and a few more closeups just because...

This has really been a huge project for me and I am so excited to have finished it up. Sometime this week, we will travel to the LAQ to leave it in her capable hands as this quilt is much too large for me to even think about quilting by myself.

Now my sewing room is covered in blocks for another large quilt-in-the-making, Grandmother's Choice. I have started sewing the rows together...only 45 more blocks to go with all those triple sashed units and nine patches too...what was I thinking?

After this quilt is finished, it is time for some smaller projects. My sewing room and my house are just too small for these huge quilts!

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Grandmother's Choice Triple Sashing

A few years back I participated in Barbara Brachman's Grandmother's Choice-Votes for Women BOW. You can find out about it HERE and start your own quilt anytime! I used primarily reproduction fabrics from my stash, with a random mix of reds, blues, golds, greens, blacks, etc.  Actually, I guess I used just about every colour out there! 

Every block is different. Some blocks were easy as pie, some blocks were a bit challenging, and some blocks I changed to suit my taste. The result is a stack of blocks that have been waiting for me to start setting into a quilt.

Barbara suggested a setting for the quilt HERE and provided yardage and ideas. I took my time to decide on the setting since there were lots of wonderful ideas coming from Barbara and the other quilters that participated. Barbara showed many of the finished quilts and quilt tops on her blog, plus she set up a Flickr group HERE where quilters could post their pictures. I kept being drawn to the idea of using a scrappy triple sashing with the blocks set on point. I found a picture of a similar quilt and counted 49 nine-patch units and 117 triple sashing units, so guess what I have been doing lately?

I decided to go with reds/burgundies and creams. I bought a couple of dollar store baskets to hold the strips and off I went.

I have all the 9-patch units finished and have made 90 of the sashing units...definitely in the home stretch! 

In between all this, I have been sewing a few secret projects and just yesterday, during our sew day at the Civic Centre, I finished all the blocks I need for the pieced borders for my Downton Ladies quilt. We have yet another blizzard outside, so it's another perfect day to sew!

It's a great day for quilting!