Saturday, September 13, 2014

Road Trip Case

The Road Trip Case is a really fun, practical project for the Rainbow Loom lover ("loomatic" as G says) in your life. The pattern, by Anna Graham (Noodlehead) , is very well-written with good diagrams.

I was a teensy bit afraid of the vinyl, but it all worked out beautifully. The pattern deals with it in a very simple, clever way. I put some clear tape on the bottom of my presser foot for when I was sewing on top of the vinyl and it was really fine.

Road Trip Case inside

I quilted the exterior (not that you can see the stitches) and used a variety of bright, fun fabrics.

Road Trip Case exterior

G loves it and immediately filled the clear pocket with all of her Rainbow Loom makes. Success!
Road Trip Case

This is a Q3 Finish Along finish - yahoo!

Finish Along 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

So the Around the World Blog Hop appears to be sweeping through the blogiverse, and I got tagged by the lovely Leanne of she can quilt. Leanne is a quilty friend I met via blogging and whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person as well. She makes really beautiful things and has been rocking the quilt show circuit lately - racking up some sweet ribbons and prizes. Rock stah!

The rules of the blog hop are that I'm to answer some questions, and then tag three bloggers who would then participate by answering the questions, and tagging three others and so on.

It is a good way to discover new blogs, I concede. I'm not so much into the "tagging three others" business so I'm going to cheat a little and direct you to the very talented Leslie who blogs at Leslie Unfinished - check out her blog to see all the wonderful projects she shares. I have it on excellent authority (i.e. Leslie) that she's been tagged to participate in the blog hop and so please do go visit her on the 15th (or before! or now, and again on the 15th!).

1. What am I working on?

I *just* finished a very long-time WIP (seriously - we're talking 4 years) and I feel so liberated! I am not shy about abandoning projects that don't work anymore, but because these blocks were made for me by others as part of a bee, I felt it behooved me to find a way to finish the project.

Love is All Around _front

Now that that quilt is done, I've turned my attention to an overdue project for my nearly 7-year-old daughter: a carrying case for her Rainbow Loom (Road Trip Case pattern by Anna Graham/Noodlehead).

Road trip case in progress

I need to get that done before the pattern for her "Elsa" halloween costume arrives and she starts hounding me about it. She's quite the taskmaster!

2. How does my work differ from others'?

DQS10 Finished!

This is a really tough question! I don't usually make quilts based on patterns, and even if I do use a pattern, I'll often make fabric choices that are unique to me so most of what I create tends to have my own spin on it.

New Wave fabrics

I'm way too cheap to buy fabric full price so I rarely - if ever - work with the very latest fabrics, and I almost never work within one single line of fabrics unless it's a specific challenge because fabric-choosing is one of my favourite parts of the process (exception: Wonderland by MoMo [I don't know why]). I don't think I've yet reached the point where my work is a defined style, and I'm not even sure that's where I want to end up. I just make what I feel like making.

wonky stars front

3. Why do I write and create?

I create because I need to - I sew pretty much every evening - once my daughter's in bed, I spend at least 20 minutes (my personal daily goal) and often up to two hours sewing. It calms me, it centres me and it makes me happy. I really feel it when I haven't had time to sew. I feel agitated and unhappy when I can't get to my machine.

pretty pincushion front

As for the writing, well, that really seems to have tapered off, mainly because of other commitments: home, my guild, work etc. I do blog when I can and I'm always grateful for those who read and take the time to comment (another thing that has tapered off for me). For me, the making part is my priority, and I will usually choose sewing over blogging.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

It depends! If the thing I'm making is for someone else or for a specific purpose, the planning/thinking process is a lot different - and usually much, much longer - than if the project is one that I'm making on a whim.

Sea Glass on Sand

I made Sea Glass on Sand because those little blue/green triangles (shards from another project) really wanted to be made into something. Ditto some leftover bits of fabric from a mini quilt - I couldn't throw them out so they got made into this mini:

Confetti Quilt Full Frontal

On the other hand, this commission quilt was planned based on fabric I had on hand and my client's request for something traditional but not too old-fashioned.

Vintage Star with quilting

What every project has in common, though, is that I'm making. Always making. I make things to be admired, used, loved, worn out, remembered by....but I'm always just making.

Okay! So I said I wasn't going to tag people and make them participate, but how about I give you links to three blogs that I enjoy and I think you will too:

  • Carly at Citric Sugar makes gorgeous and original stuff and is hilarious to boot. Also Canadian, which: yes!
  • You likely already know about Krista of Poppyprint - she's very skilled, very creative and a great friend too. (A fellow Canadian and VMQG member.)
  • Last but not least, another Canadian and fellow VMQG member: Janet of What Comes Next? I credit Janet with helping me over my fear of FMQ feathers ("Just start. Just try it. You'll be great."). Her FMQ is inspiring!
Thanks for visiting and to Leanne for asking me to play along.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Love is All Around

Love is All Around

This is one of my oldest WIPs. In late 2010, I asked my bee-mates from the Sew & Bee Happy bee to make me Circle of Geese blocks. I tucked them away until I joined the Finish Along and took stock of my WIPs and made a plan to tackle them.

When I pulled out these blocks to work on them, I realized why they'd sat. Such is the challenge with bees - the quality of the blocks you receive can definitely vary. And so these blocks proved to be quite challenging to work with. A traditional setting, even with sashing, wasn't going to work.

Love is All Around _up

I thought about putting the Circle of Geese blocks at the centre of some scrappy log cabin blocks. At one point, Quilt As You Go occurred to me, and then I remembered a block that I'd pinned for my DIY sampler by toefeather, and the layout was perfect!

Love is All Around _front

I did do QAYG, following Marianne's tutorials for stitch and flip strips, as well as how to join the blocks using wider joining strips. I chose a backing fabric that would blend nicely when all the pieces were put together.

Love is All Around back

The quilting is quick, simple, organic straight lines using white Aurifil 50 wt, which is a dream to stitch with. I used it all throughout this quilt's construction.

Love is All Around closeup

The QAYG technique definitely doesn't save time, but I must say that this is the squarest quilt I've ever made so there's that! The binding was chosen by G and deemed appropriate for the quilt's recipient: her 5-year old cousin.

Love is All Around binding

The finished quilt - before washing - is 60" square. I'll likely use the QAYG technique again - it certainly makes handling the bulk of a large quilt a lot easier. I'm happy to have a Q3 FAL project done.
Love is All Around

Finish Along 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Miss Kate in the Stars: a Mini

So the VMQG had a mini quilt swap just within the guild and - you guys - I'm powerless to resist a guild swap. POWERLESS!

This was the kind of swap where you're making for someone but you don't know who's making something for you. I made this mini for the lovely and very talented Jade Stitch Mischief who's currently rocking the house in Sewvivor.

Jade's swap questionnaire had Bonnie and Camille at the top of her "favourite designers" list, and then right after reading that, I saw that she'd re-grammed a giveaway for some Miss Kate with the hashtag "ilovemisskate." Well it just so happened that I had a charm pack of Miss Kate curing in my stash! Kismet!

Miss Kate in the Stars

I adapted this lovely block by Judy Martin called Star Struck so that I could use charms without trimming them down and so I didn't have to calculate corner triangles for flying geese, and came up with the mini I called Miss Kate in the Stars.

When it came to quilting, I chose to FMQ the crap out of it - lots of loopy loops here.

Miss Kate quilting closeup

Miss Kate closeup

And some tiny feathers to highlight that centre pinwheel.

Miss Kate Mini quilting

I'm absolutely delighted to say that Jade loved it - I'm sad that I wasn't at the meeting to give it to her in person, though. I had so much fun making this mini, which finished at about 18" square.

Does your guild do swaps? You should totally join up if they do. They're a great way to stretch yourself creatively and to get to know your fellow guild members. Go for it!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sew Canadian Blog Tour

Welcome! It's my day on Mad About Patchwork's Sew Canadian studio tour. Hop on over to the Mad About Patchwork blog to see my space and to find out how you can participate too (and enter a giveaway to win stuff)!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Modern Shadow: An Off-list Finish

It's too hot around here and as a result, I've been too cranky to sew, so I think I'll blog instead!

This is one of those projects that just popped into my head, demanding to be made. As I fell asleep one night a couple of months ago, I saw my pattern Easy Going Modern made up in an ombre arrangement.

Modern Shadow front

So I went to my stash and dug around in my greys and pulled 5 shades of Kona Solids: Silver, Medium Gray, Coal and Charcoal plus Ash.

Modern Shadow

I got a bit stuck on the quilting, but I'm glad I didn't rush into anything because this curvy motif - done with two different shades of grey Aurifil 50 weight thread - really complements the right angles.
Modern Shadow quilting

Modern Shadow upward

The backing is a fabulous IKEA duvet that I thrifted.
Modern Shadow back

This finish was a just-for-fun one - "off-list" meaning it's not part of my Finish Along list. But I think I may be keeping this quiltie for myself because it's a nice lap size - about 56"x78".

Linking up to Finish it Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Petal Pinwheel Triangles: A Challenge Quilt

This was a fun little challenge. Michael Miller sponsored this most recent activity through the Modern Quilt Guild and we received 6 fat eighths of fabric from the Petal Pinwheels line to create with. My quilt is 36" square.

Petal Pinwheels and Triangles

I used my Tri Recs ruler again to make two sizes of triangles. The larger ones came together nicely but those teeny ones? Let's just say there were three rows planned.

Petal Pinwheels quilting

I do love how the finished design shook out, though. I was really inspired by Mary Molly Flanders' triangle quilt here and this is my more minimalist version of it. Requisite upview here.

Petal Pinwheel Triangles upward

Quilted with Aurifil 50 wt thread in a fabulous medium grey. I did some straight line quilting, and echoed the triangles in a few rows. I really quite like it.

Petal Pinwheel Triangles closeup

And a shot of the hilariously hideous fabric I used on the back. Seriously. What was I thinking? Actually, I'll tell you what I was thinking - it's a sweet gender neutral print for backing a baby quilt. Nailed it, amirite?!

Petal Pinwheel Triangle back

Bonus: this is a Q3 FAL finish! Yay!

Finish Along 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Morris 16-Patch for Quilts of Valour

When I first started quilting, I fell hard for Rose & Hubble's reproduction William Morris prints (The William Morris Collection) and collected quite a few of them. I used some here and there, but many sat in their original FQ bundles in my stash because I wanted to keep them together in a project. I never did find the perfect project for me, but when I heard Lezley Zwaal, founder of Quilts of Valour (with the extra "u" - CANADA!) on Brandy Lynn Maslowski's Canadian Quilt Talk podcast, I knew I'd found just the right project for these beautiful fabrics.

Morris 16-Patch

The St. Louis 16-patch comes together very quickly when you strip piece (I followed this tutorial but cut my strips slightly narrower to accommodate the size of my FQs). And even faster when you cut the correct number of strips for your quilt! I somehow concluded that 1 FQ of print + 1 FQ solid = 1 block. So I have enough strips to make another quilt at some point. Nice math, there, Felicity. Whoops.

Morris 16-Patch closeup

I quilted it very simply - diagonal lines (eyeballed, not marked, because: lazy) in one direction.

Morris 16-patch up view

Bound simply as well, just using leftovers from the various print fabrics, this quilt is a solid lap size - 55" by 68". I'll be sending it off soon to QOV. And that's another finish for my Q2 FAL list - I linked a photo but didn't blog it so here we go!

Morris 16-Patch full frontal

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finish Along 2014: Q3 Wish List

Finish Along 2014

I've been rather pressed for time lately so I didn't do my traditional FAL Round Up post (though I did link up my finishes - 3 out of 5 done plus a bonus finish not on the original list yay me!). I still do want to put my Q3 list out there, though - there are prizes at stake, folks! (Check out the FAL if you haven't already. Prizes and tutorials abound!)

For Q3, I hope to finish:

1. A Road Trip Case for G to store her Rainbow Loom supplies - hoping it will keep the detritus to a minimum. These fabrics are *very* 6½-year-old girl, aren't they? :) Status: pieces cut out and interfaced.
Road Trip Case fabric for a 6.5 year old. Great pattern by @noodlehead531.

2. Circle of Geese bee quilt. I received these blocks in my very first online quilting bee. They've sat in a box ever since but this quarter, they're going to become a quilt for my youngest niece (age nearly 5). I just saw her this past week and when I asked her what colours were her favourites, she answered: "Pink. And purple. Also blue and green. Yellow!!"  I think I might try Quilt As You Go using some scrappy strips in a variety of colours I have in my collection. Status: 11 blocks on hand.

3. Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels challenge quilt - this one's due on July 25th. I need to hustle! Status: design complete.

4. Liberty + Kona Solids St. Louis 16 Patch. I love how quickly this pattern comes together, as well as its traditional simplicity. Will be putting some lovely Liberty Lawn FQs to good use in this quilt for me. Status: fabrics acquired, pattern chosen.
Liberty plus Kona solids quilt status: fabrics paired up. #squee #liberty #wip

5. My Wonderland Sampler kind of stalled out, so I hope to revive it this quarter. Status: a few bits and bobs put together.
Feeble progress on my #dyosampler.

6. Adding this is making this a Stretch Goal kind of list, but here goes: getting my Wonderland quilt all quilted up and sent off wherever it's going (possibly Siblings Together). Status: basted and ready to quilt.
Wonderland Quilt Top

I'm going to leave it at that, because this quarter I've signed up to do a mini quilt swap with the VMQG, I've got a family holiday coming up in August when no sewing will happen, plus there's school preps to think of (!!).

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sew Canadian: a Summer Studio Tour

Have you heard? Mad About Patchwork, a modern Canadian quilt shop, is hosting a very fun tour of Canadian quilters' studios this summer. It's called Sew Canadian, and they've invited me to participate!

Beginning on July 6th, you'll be treated to two studio tours a week and an opportunity to link up photos of your own creative space for an opportunity to win a lovely prize. Here's whose studios you'll be getting a glimpse of:

July 6th – Patti @Retired to Quilt and Krista @Poppyprint
July 13th – Dominique @The Running Thimble and Cinzia @Deux Petites Souris
July 20th – Anita @Daydreams of Quilts and Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts
July 27th – Shena @Apple Pie Patchwork and Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
August 3rd – Felicity @Felicity Quilts and Josee @The Charming Needle
August 10th – Janet @What Comes Next and M-R @Quilt Matters
August 17th – Erica @Happy Fabric and Jacqui @Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @Mad About Patchwork and Laura @Waffle Kisses

Fun, amirite? Subscribe to Mad About Patchwork's blog and check out the wonderful studios they'll be sharing throughout Sew Canadian.