Saturday, January 30, 2016

VW Beetle Quilt "Road Trip"

It was a great week in my sewing room! I finished my VW Beetle quilt and hung it on the line for some pictures.

The design was inspired by Cindy Cooksey's Road Trip pattern which I purchased online at Jukebox Quilts HERE. She put together 9 VW beetles in a wallhanging, but I decided to make my quilt larger.  I wanted to use my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabric for the beetles. You may recall I first used some of it with my Super Nova Scotia quilt.

I also had dozens of HSTs in my stash that were made as "extras" as leftovers from the Super Nova Scotia quilt.  I joined these together into blocks of 25 and used them as the alternate blocks.

For the machine quilting, I used stitch in the ditch for the HST blocks.

I had machine appliqued the beetles to the white background with invisible thread and chose to do an echo quilt design around the beetles using white thread.

I used straight line stitching for the borders to give the illusion of never ending roads, mirroring the "road" quilting underneath the beetles. The finished quilt is about 46" x 56". It has taken its first road trip, in between snow storms this week, and is now located in the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. I call my version, "The Places You'll Go". 

So many of us, in my generation, have VW memories. I have two. I practiced learning to drive on my sister's boyfriend's (now her husband) VW. I had no problem with driving it forward, but once I got into the bushes, I had to run  across to the local tennis court to get him to come back and show me again how to reverse it!  My second VW beetle memory is when I was dating my boyfriend 
(now hubby) in university. He was on his third VW when I met him. This one was painted bright purple. Unfortunately, while I was dating him, his front passenger side/seat was being repaired so when he picked me up for our dates, I had to sit in the back seat while he chauffeured me around! Oh the memories! Do you have a VW story? How about sharing it in your comments or emailing it to me at lcarruthers3atgmaildotcom.

And just so you know, it always seems to be a windy day when I finish a quilt!


It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

QOV Flying High

What a great feeling, to finish the Quilt of Valour that I blogged about last week HERE , hang it on the line, and snap some pictures. It wasn't quite so great to have to plow my way through the snow drifts to get to the clothesline!  There was a bit of a path going along the side of the house where the wood is piled so I stopped there first. That was the easy part.

The hardest part was finding the steps underneath the snow to get to the back deck and the clothesline. And did I mention the wind?

I had to wait and wait for the quilt to "fall" in between the gusts of wind.

But patience finally paid off...

I machine quilted an edge to edge design with swirls, which, as a beginner at this, I like to call "Wonky Swirls". They can only get better, right?

QOV prefers that you make a presentation/pillow case to go with the quilt. Knowing how tricky it is to carry a quilt in a pillowcase, I decided to peruse blogland and found a great idea at Amazingmae for a Roadtrip Pillowcase with handles. I used the Easy Tube Pillow Case method by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company on Youtube HERE to make the case. Then I used Amazingmae's idea for the handles, but shortened them to 12" and used a 14" strip of Velcro at the ends. When filled with the quilt, or a pillow, it is ready to go! 

Today I am working on a VW Beetle quilt. It is a 20 block quilt and I now have 7 blocks quilted, so I better put the pedal to the metal! Here is a sneak peek. Anyone else remember those "bugs"? When I first started dating Woodworker Hubby in the 70's, he had a purple bug!

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Quilt of Valour

* Edited on January 17. I found a little more information about the pattern designer so added it below. 

Today I am putting the final border on a quilt that will be donated as a Quilt of Valour. This is a program that supports " our Canadian armed forces members past and present, with quilts of comfort in their time of need."  The program originally started in the USA and is now in Canada. 

I had heard about the program a few years ago and started hoarding a collection of red fabrics to use. When I found some Northcott Stonehenge Oh Canada 4 flag fabric designed specifically for QOV,  I was ready to roll!

Northcott has designed many fabric lines with several free patterns that use their Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric. This is the design I started with for the centre of my quilt, using the three flags surrounded by pieced flying geese blocks. This quilt was designed by Elaine Theriault for Northcott using fabrics from the Oh Canada 4 fabric line. She has a great blog at Crazy Quilter on a Bike so please visit her often to be inspired!

I only had the flag fabric from Oh Canada 4, so had to adapt everything else. After I made the centre, I added a few borders and then changed up everything! I wanted to use maple leaf blocks for one of the borders. I googled the block and found lots of free patterns for a 6" finished block. I made the stem the easy way. I cut a 1" wide strip of fabric 5 inches long for each stem, pressed the long edges in 1/4", sewed the stem to the square close to the long edges, and squared the block.  Easy peasy! 

I used about 6 different red fabrics to make the blocks with a variety of creams for the backgrounds. Here are my first six...

I laid out the blocks first this way with all the blocks arranged facing up but it wasn't to my liking.

Then I rearranged the blocks so the leaves travelled in the same direction all around the quilt and that is what I decided on. 

To keep the corner maple leaves from running into each other, I used a cream block with a red centre for the corner blocks and surrounded it all with a red print border.

I have another red border to add, but I didn't think the weather would cooperate for a picture later today. The quilt will finiah around 56" x 68", a cuddle quilt size. Tomorrow I hope to sandwich the quilt and will start machine quilting it. When finished, I will make a pillowcase for it and send it off to the Nova Scotia provincial QOV rep in Halifax. She will attach a special label and will see that it is passed along to a new owner. 

Both my father and my father-in-law served in World War II and are no longer with us so I really wanted to do something in their memory. Quilts of Valour-Canada was the way I could help.  They have a goal to have 10,000 quilts made and donated by 2018. To date, over 6,000 quilts have been donated, with one more soon to be ready! Please visit Quilts of Valour-Canada if you would like further information on how to donate a quilt or if you know someone who you feel should be a recipient of a quilt. If you live in the USA, the link for Quilts of Valor is HERE

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sprigs, Twigs, and Hexies Too

On  the weekend, I finished making one of my all-time favorite quilts.

I call it Sprigs, Twigs, and Hexies Too. I was inspired to make this quilt after seeing Sprigs and Twigs made by quilt and fabric designer Kim Diehl. The pattern can be found in her book Simple Appeal and also in the April 2013 edition of Fons and Porter magazine Love of Quilting.

I adapted Kim`s design a bit by making the quilt smaller and changing the appliqued border to a hexie border, hence the name Sprigs, Twigs, and Hexies Too! 

The centre of the quilt came together very quickly, by sewing strips around the 9-patch centres. As for the hexies, I had most of them made, just waiting for a project. I took my time appliqueing them onto the quilt top by machine with invisible thread.

I wanted a soft quilt, so I stitched an X in the centre of the 9-patches and then used stitch in the ditch for the rest of the blocks and around the centre of each hexie, with a row of echo stitching around each hexie. 

I was going to use a black binding but at the last moment, changed it to a rust and I`m so glad I did. 

The quilt is about 54" square, perfect as a cuddle quilt, wall hanging, couch quilt, bottom of a bed quilt, bed can be so many things! 

I am always so excited when I finish a quilt. I think it is because now I get to start something new!

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Georgia on my Quilt

Happy New Year! Hope all is well and that many of you are embracing the new year with family, friends, and fabric. We are quilters, after all!

I had the wonderful opportunity over the holidays to make a little quilt for a sweet little gal. She was moving from her crib to a toddler bed so the quilt didn't have to be too large. I used several fat quarters of Ladybug Garden fabric by Riley Blake and some polka dot fabrics as accents. The cutest little ladybugs, bumblebees, and flowers are travelling all over this quilt with a couple of appliqued daisies embellishing the letters.

To quilt it, I machine quilted it on either side of the stitching lines and halfway in between the bricks. I switched to free motion quilting using a tight loop de loop so that the letters would pop. 

The quilt is about 36" x 54" so was small enough to pin baste on my dining room table. I have been in the habit of spray basting my quilts but decided to go back to pinning for this one. 

It was super quick to pin and to protect my table, I used a Scovill Dritz foldable Deluxeboard that I have had for over 20 years. It sure comes in handy!  

I knew I wanted to feature Georgia's beautiful name on the quilt and was having a dilemma on how to make the letters.  I went online before Christmas, looked around at "letter" quilts and books and decided to order "Quilt Talk" by Sam Hunter. The book is filled with Quilt Talk inspiration, 12 designs, and comes with the paper pieced patterns for the alphabet, numerals, punctuation and symbols.

I found the idea for the quilt at My Sew Called Life HERE and adapted it a bit regarding the size of the bricks and the finished size. With snow on the deck, I couldn't manage to get to the clothesline so hubby held it up for me in the kitchen so I could take some pictures.

The quilt was packed up, mailed away, and arrived safely within a couple of days. By all reports, the quilt is being enjoyed and cuddled by Georgia. I also included a small doll quilt made using the same fabrics because dollies like to be cuddled too!

What am I working on today? I just started to machine quilt my Twigs and Sprigs quilt which you can read about HERE.  Again, I pinned it and it seems to be coming along pretty well. 

Thanks so much for coming by. I have a little note to Janie from the bus tour...if you are reading this, thanks for your sweet comment on my last post. I wasn't able to reply to it, but I certainly enjoyed hearing from you! 

It's a great day for quilting!