Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Sewing

What a great summer so far! Excellent weather with lots of morning walks along the Port Hawkesbury waterfront, and early evening walks along the newly improved Port Hawkesbury walking trails. In between all that, thee has been lots of time for sewing, visits to family, and preparations for DS's wedding in late August. Life is great!

My sewing room continues to entice me with a combination of UFO's and brand new projects. Kim Diehl's Saltbox Sampler was started years ago with my friend, Santa Mary, but put away when we weren't able to get together due to her work commitments. I decided to pull it out recently and finish mine.

The quilt will finish at about 42" x 42" so it's one  I should be able to quilt myself. Kim's version was machine quilted in a variety of ways, and I think I should be able to follow along fairly well with changes as needed.  Saltbox Sampler is in Kim's book, Simple Charm. 

I then resurrected some coffee-themed panels I had bought years ago. One panel was cut apart, then sewed back together (what was I thinking?) and another panel was cut apart for placemats.  

This little quilt should be perfect as a kitchen quilt or couch quilt!  

I did some edge to edge meandering which results in a lot of texture.

Although my quilting seems to be improving, I don't mind a backing that hides a few things!

The placemats were a lot of fun to easy to quilt because of their size and finished up in no time. I had found some that coffee bean fabric somewhere in my travels and it was just the thing to bind them with!

I actually used my Janome "My Excel" very old, little workhorse, to do the FMQ and it worked like a charm on these placemats.

Of course, every week I get three new blocks to make as part of the Canadian Women 150 quilt designed by Kat Tucker of Next Step Quilt Design. I am feeling soooo accomplished as I am still up to date after starting this last November!  

As for today, I am working on making sailboats! Living on Cape Breton Island and walking the waterfront every morning has inspired me to make boats! I purchased the pdf pattern for Smooth Sailing online at Gigi's Thimble HERE. Amber has written an excellent easy pattern which is coming together very quickly! Here are a few of the 16 boats being assembled. 

What drew me to this pattern was the way Amber strip pieced the sails...a great way to use a Happy Go Lucky FQ bundle by Bonnie and Camille that I had bought a few years back, with a little stash additions! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

NSQBQ Round-Robin Quilt Challenge

What a day I had yesterday! I headed to New Glasgow to meet up with fellow members of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet (NSQBQ) to do the exchange with them of our Round-Robin Challenge Quilts. My fellow quilt bloggers are Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World, Linda of Scrapmaster, and Karen of KaHolly.

The challenge was made last Fall with the idea that the blocks would travel from one to the other all winter and then we would exchange our finished blocks in the Spring.  Each of us made a 12" centre block of our choosing, and then the block travelled to each person who then added a 6" unfinished border. We weren't able to meet 'till yesterday when sweet Sheila offered to host us at her beautiful home, providing us with a scrumptious lunch and home made strawberry shortcake for dessert...yum! 

The four quilt tops were exchanged with so many oohs and ahhhs! 
Left to right is Karen, Linda, myself, and Sheila. Thanks so much to Linda's daughter Niki who was able to talk some great pics of the four of us with our quilts.

It's amazing how each of us used the other's centre block for inspiration and created our borders with some of the fabrics that were travelling along with the quilt and other fabrics from our stashes or LQS.

I'll show you a picture of each of us with our quilt and the story behind it. I'll start with me!

I chose to make my centre block using an embroidered design from Gail Pan's "Patchwork Loves Embroidery". You might recall I used this same embroidery design in a quilted tote I made for Sheila in a previous challenge. I love shades of reds and blues combined with whites so used fabrics from my stash to put the block together. Off it went on its trip to visit my friends' sewing rooms!

I was amazed, stunned, and almost(!) speechless when I saw my finished top yesterday, and then I couldn't stop talking!

The first border around my block was a multi-coloured collection of tiny little spools, made by Karen and pieced with perfection! She added that decorative strip of red and white squares bordered by the blue. Next, Linda added a unique ribbon border using shades of red and blue...perfect with the white background she chose. Sheila brought the quilt back to its centre by making 4 embroidered borders, each with a different quilty quote in her own hand-writing and appliques of everything you can think of that is sewing related, including spools, a Singer sewing machine, quilt shop signs, a seam ripper and pin cushion with beaded pins, a rotary cutter, and even a three-dimensional quilt hanging on a clothesline. She chose to make 4 friendship stars in the corners, a tribute to our gang. Please click on the quilt and enlarge to your heart's content to see this beauty.  I was flabbergasted! Thank you friends. You rock! I will take some time before I start to quilt this treasure. I want to get it right!

Next up is Linda.  She made her centre block with a bold and colourful group of flying geese in a circular pattern. I was the first to add a border. Linda loves "negative space" for her quilting  so I chose to make a wonky star with the bright fabrics and leave her lots of background to do her awesome quilting on. Sheila added those terrific arrows, again using the centre theme of flying geese blocks, and Karen added the final border using 'pick-up sticks' blocks. If you look closely, you'll see Karen personalized some of the white strips. Amazing idea and amazing impact on the quilt!

Sheila's quilt is a starry delight with some geese added to the mix! She made her centre star using some sewing related fabric. Linda added to this with her large blue star. Karen used some great fabric and made a border of flying geese in graduated sizes, framed by the green fabric and the corner square in a square blocks. Genius!  I decided to return to the star theme and added a border of scrappy stars, choosing blues for the corner stars to mimic the blue star in the second border.

Karen's quilt began with a striking centre block of black and white prints arranged like a modern dresden plate block paired with some bright frames. Sheila's pretty little hexagon flowers complete with embroidered leaves brought it all together! When it came to me, I decided to play with blacks and brights, using scrappy 9-patches. Linda completed this little quilt with those adorable x-blocks used with black prints on a modern background printed with x's! Again, all these quilts should be clicked on and enlarged so you can see the beauty of these pieces.

Make sure you also visit these gals' blogs to see their quilts and read their stories. Just click on their names in the first paragraph. We plan to have all the quilts completed by the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival being held in October. Our group of 4 will have our very own Quilt Show and Sale as part of the Festival. We will be in the Amherst Curling Club on Friday, October 13 from 10-5, and on Saturday, October 14 from 10-3. See you there!

And just one more shot of my quilt. I took a picture of it on the deck when I got home...I love my quilt!

It's a great day for quilting!