Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Flurries with no chance of housework...

My daughter and wee grandson were out of town for the weekend so I geared up for some serious production in my sewing room this weekend while pining away for baby snuggles.  I had to put my energy somewhere that would distract me.

I'm teaching my quilt pattern, Amish Block Party ( Amish Block Party )  this weekend at the Creative Threads Conspiracy on Denman Island.  For the past 2 Saturdays I've been busy cutting my 1 1/2" strips and I've now started joining the strips into stratas so mine are ready to demonstrate on Saturday.  I'll post pictures as much as I'm able.   Here is the trial layout of my first 'cube'

I also got a bad case of quilter's ADD on Sunday.  I just needed to let out some of the distracting energy so I began cutting out this quilt:

Pattern:  Vanilla and Blooms by Fig Tree Quilts

And dug through my stash for purple, pink and teal/turquoise for 3 quilts for 3 sisters for Christmas.

More on these quilts later, but what fun to just pull out these fabrics from my stash and gaze upon their beauty.  They wanted to come and play so badly!   This will likely be more 'sewing in secret' as I don't want the recipients to know what I'm up to.  So you can see the fabric but the rest is ...

As if all of that wasn't enough, I also cut up some 3 1/2" squares out of a bright batik kit I bought at Sisters Quilt Shop in Chehalis, Washington on my May shop hop.    It was a whirlwind weekend of cutting with my Accuquilt GO cutter with the rotary cutter and rulers riding tandem.  I failed to take a picture of those but never will appear once the bins make their way to the side of my sewing machine sometime soon.

I can safely say that I have more than enough stuff cut up and ready to sew for my November retreat.  It's back to work today so this lunch hour missive must come to a close.  Thanks for visiting!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sewing in Secret

I do love posting my quilting projects as they are unfolding.  Often I will post my fabric choices and perhaps the first of many blocks, and finally the layout and ending with the finished project.

There are times though when the recipient of one of my quilts is on my social media connections list and this makes the sharing of photos along the way restricted because I want the element of surprise when they receive the quilt.  This is when I sew in secret.

This quilt is such a one.  It was designed for a special baby due in November.  We don't know the gender but the parents chose the theme of the Hudson's Bay colours.  Fun!!!  The baby shower was last night and the quilt was finally presented so I can now share the photos.

The finished quilt.  The binding was finished in the car en route to the shower.  Nothing like a deadline to get er dun!

I chose "matchstick" modern quilting for this one.

Uneven rows...on purpose!

Starting to lay them out on the design wall.

The first three blocks

Yup!  This will work just fine.

Fabric choices -- Hudson's Bay Colours

Adding scrappy neutrals makes it interesting
And there you have it.  It was a very fun quilt to make.  The pattern is called "Scraps Galore" by Ursula Riegel of Designs to Share.  She is a local pattern designer and her patterns are widely available, at least in North America.

I hope you enjoyed this post going backwards to the beginning of this project.  I will be making this pattern again for sure.  So stay tuned for another colourway which I'm doing for my grandson.

Until next time!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Update from my sewing room

What is it about September that makes me feel creatively rejuvenated?  Is it the same for you?

September turns my thoughts towards hand quilting in the evenings now that the summer heat is gone and being covered in a quilt is a welcome thing!  It makes me aware that our "Granny Squares" November quilt retreat is just around the corner.  It also gives me excitement that another Quiltville mystery quilt is just a few months away.

Weekends are precious to me because I'm still working Monday to Friday full time.  I squeeze in quilting on evenings when I have the energy and most definitely on weekends unless those plans are preempted.  Yesterday was a day of feeling very accomplished.  After a great church service, and lunch out with my hubby and some friends, I came home with a goal to finish some test blocks for an upcoming quilt pattern.

Here's a sneak preview of two blocks that will be going into this quilt:

Besides getting these two test blocks done I also got some hourglass units all pressed and ready to assemble into blocks.  I joined in Bonnie Hunter's 'leaders and enders' 2017 challenge.  I used Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics together with a lovely pale butter yellow for the neutral. 

 I was stuck on a layout.  I loved Bonnie's quilt design shown below...

but it won't work for my fabric choices.  Stay tuned though!  I had a breakthrough and now have an idea. I'm now excited to get these hourglass units counted and stitched together to make something that I think will be quite lovely and will have a bit of a modern feel.

I also finished some binding ready for a quilt expected to return from my long arm quilter in about a week.  I thought I'd show you my little trick of winding my bindings.  You know those 6 1/2" rulers?  They make a great hard surface for wrapping the bindings.  Maybe everyone does this?  But I love how they are now very manageable and ready for when my quilt returns.

All folded, pressed and ready to add to my expected quilted quilt.

Besides these little cleanup projects, I also managed to cut down some squares from the fabric remaining from my grandson's quilt pictured below to make him another one using the same colours.

I will be using this pattern:

As you can probably figure out, I have a few things that will be coming with me in November for our retreat.

I'm also teaching on Denman Island on October 21st for the Creative Conspiracy retreat so this week I'll be busy preparing these fabrics for my third Amish Block Party which is my own design.

It was a very fruitful time in the sewing room this weekend! 

Until next time,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Table Topper to Wales

A few years ago we had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful lady named Dilys and her great-nephew Dean who stayed at our B&B.  They were visiting from Wales and stayed with us for a week as they explored our region and up island a bit. They've just returned to the west coast for another visit but won't be coming to the island this time.

Dilys purchased one of my quilts (shown below) to take home with her on her first visit to us.  I was so blessed.

We became facebook friends and have stayed in touch.  That's one of the many blessings of having a B&B.  You make new acquaintances and sometimes they become friends.

I received a facebook message from Dilys a few months back asking if she could commission me to make her a quilt for a table.  Long story short, I said 'yes' and set out working on a design that would fit her dimensions and her colour scheme.  This is the result:

I couriered the finished quilt to her friends on the mainland.  She received it today and loves it.  It makes me so very happy to have made something that pleases her.  She flies home to Wales on the 22nd so this will fit nicely in her suitcase.

I will be writing up a pattern for this one so watch for it here:

The weekend is here so it's time to finish up something on my design wall that needs attention.  Hope you're all working on something fun too.

In stitches,


Saturday, July 22, 2017

This and That...

I'm almost ashamed that I haven't written anything for months.  There definitely has been some quilting going on, as you will see from the photos shared below, but there has also been a lot of other life happenings.

We are expecting our first grandson August 23rd but it will likely be earlier than that.  Of course there is a quilt for him and I had great fun shopping with my daughter for the fabric for this quilt.  She had picked out the pattern (from my stash) years ago.  I have made two quilts for other people based on this pattern and even back then she said it was her favourite and would like one in the same pattern for her first child.  And so it was ...

I backed it with Minky and no batting so it's light weight but warm and she loves it.  She said it's her favourite quilt of all I have made.  So...mission accomplished!  There's a very happy Grandma smiling from ear to ear over here.

I have another idea in my head for another quilt for him using the leftover fabric so in the same colourway.  I haven't started it yet but it's in the hopper.

I also finished and gifted this quilt to a dear couple who are newly married (less than a couple of years).   This is a Bonnie Hunter Quiltville pattern called "Razzle Dazzle".  It was supposed to be our cruise project last year but I had to make it at home when the machines were cancelled on our cruise with Bonnie.

This baby quilt went to my great nephew who was welcomed into our family earlier this year.

I'm currently trying to finish this quilt top.  I've booked a long arm quilting appointment for August so I've now got some motivation to get it done and the backing and batting organized.

I thoroughly enjoyed piecing together with nine patches.  They finished at 3 1/2" before sewn together into the blocks and it was just a pleasure to work on them.  They were cute and tiny and I love them!

There's been lots going on in my corner of the world as you can see.  I've just not been publishing for awhile.  Thanks for visiting today!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Worldwide Quilting Day 2017

How wonderful to have Worldwide Quilting Day on a beautiful Saturday in March!

There were a few gatherings in my city to celebrate ... my regular Victoria Quilters' Guild held their "Spring Fling" workshops.  One of the local quilt stores, Cloth Castle, held free classes and a friend of mine happened to take in two of those classes.  I was with my other guild, the Westshore Quilters' Guild for a sewing day and potluck to work on the charity quilt project for Canada 150 and the Ronald McDonald houses, being organized by the Canadian Quilters' Association.  It was great to reunite with some friends and sew the day away on the slab blocks in the directions.

All of the "Canadiana" fabrics (which were one requirement for each block) were in one happy pile in the centre common table.

I brought my leftover fabric to add to the pile and it was all gone by the time I left at 2:00 p.m. so I'm glad it will be used for this good cause.

I dug through the pile and wasn't feeling the normal turquoise and red of my last quilt, pictured here:

Instead today I was intrigued by some leftovers in the communal pile.  Look at this little pile of bonus half square triangles!!

So I sewed up some hourglass units with some of them and then took some of these scraps and made this one:

A bit on the dark side but Canadiana all the way!

My second block was based on an abandoned small block in the communal pile.  To that I added some half square triangles from the rescued pieces.  I am secretly thinking how proud Bonnie Hunter would be of me right now!  :)

Every time I looked up at the wall, another 6 blocks were added!  Amazing work by about 29 or so ladies.  Some who couldn't spend the day came by to drop off blocks.  Overall, it was a fun and productive day and I came home lighter than I left (for once!)  All the fabric I took to contribute stayed there and so did the little baggy of half square triangles that I sewed together from the bonus triangle units.  Someone will hopefully use them.

Here are some photos from around the room at our contributions from the day.  It felt great to spend Worldwide Quilting Day with these ladies, doing these blocks for the #bigquiltbee

We enjoyed a wonderful potluck lunch.  This is a great room!  The lighting is perfect and it's very spacious.

And with that...I packed up and headed home thankful for my craft and the ability to contribute to a wonderful cause.

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

Until next time,


Monday, January 9, 2017

En Provence - Thanks for the Memories!!

I am just about finished my Quiltville 2016/17 winter mystery quilt.  I was on the Mediterranean cruise with Bonnie last August and was actually in Provence so I just HAD to take part in this year's mystery.  And besides, purple is my favourite colour.

The one thing with a mystery is that you can choose fabrics that complement each other but until you know how they will be used, you can't set your choices in stone.  I had a hard time accepting my yellow.  It seemed just too muddy.  What I loved about Bonnie's quilt was the 'light' created in the centre of her main blocks.  I wanted that effect and I didn't really care about which colour it took to get that effect.

Here are my original fabrics pulled from my stash and augmented slightly with a purchase or two:

 I tried many variations:
Following Bonnie's fabric placement. 
 Too muddy in my opinion and doesn't give enough contrast between green and yellow and doesn't produce the light I was hoping for.

Replacing neutral four patches where the yellow was.
Maybe if I switch out yellow altogether...

But not quite right.  It changed it too much and once again I'd lose the light I wanted to radiate from the block. It's OK... but still hoping for some yellow in this quilt.

 Let's try switching out the yellow to another fabric. 

Changing the yellow fabric.

 Meh...Same effect.  Not enough light.

And finally...

This!  This I like.  From a distance it radiates light.  The colours aren't overwhelming but I was trying to avoid another 'bright' quilt.  My Grand Illusion was just too over the top so I wanted to tone this one down. 

And here are the blocks before the sashings:

I have just a small amount of yellow in the centre of my main blocks.  These blocks will be joined by sashing rows (the magenta tri-recs stars).

And finally, I've got the top together.  Voila!

I just have the borders to go on and will have to make some more neutral four patches before that happens.  I love the neutral border that Bonnie did on hers and I won't be changing mine one iota!

Another gorgeous Quiltville/Bonnie Hunter design.  It was fun!!  I tried not to obsess over the colours.  I confess I did have one sleepless night deliberating about it all and bemoaning the fact that I chose the wrong colours and it would be a dull quilt.  But overall I'm very pleased.

I will be quilting it myself but that will be another blog post at a different time.

Thanks for reading and here is the link back to Bonnie's Linky Party:

Until next time!