Friday, November 25, 2016

Serendipity: A Bee Sewcial Swap Mini

Last year at QuiltCon, my Bee Sewcial group and I met up and during our lunch we talked about organizing a swap. Given that our group is a bunch of over-achieving doctors, lawyers, university professors etc., stuff gets DONE. This swap was no exception.

We were to make an approximately 15"x20" mini quilt top featuring one accent colour of our choice paired with a scrappy low-volume background. Then we were to cut it apart into roughly 5" bits, send 10 of them to the other swap participants and keep two for ourselves.

My accent colour was yellow. I started with this piece:

Bee Sewcial Swap Starter piece

Then chopped it up and ended up with these:

Bee Sewcial Swap blocks ready to send

Whenever I'm not sure what project to work on next, I look at my Finish Along List. Well lo and behold, wouldn't you know this mini was on my Q4 Finish Along Goal List so I puzzled it together and pieced it in one day. Amazingly, it only required two small strips of additional low volume fabric to bring the blocks together into a rectangle shape.


Because it is small - about 15"x19", I was able to quilt and bind it the next day:

Serendipity - quilting detail

I call this Serendipity because it surprised me with how easily it came together, and because it makes me so very happy.

My heartfelt thanks to Leanne, Stephanie, Hillary, M-R, Melissa, Marci Anne, Kari, Karen and Debbie for your contributions!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stuff I'm Working On

I had my lovely annual quilting retreat at Loon Lake a couple of weeks ago. Five days/four nights of nonstop sewing and communing. Perfect!

I flew down to Vancouver and met up with Kristie OCD at YVR and we drove together, taking our time to stop and shop for shoes, sewing notions and snacks (PRIORITIES!!). Flying presented a logistical challenge in the form of my suitcase's size and weight, but I manged to fit in everything I needed. Luckily, I was able to borrow a sewing machine from Krista Poppyprint, retreat coordinator extraordinaire.

I spent the weekend sewing almost entirely/exclusively for myself. It was glorious! I kicked things off with a set of cloth napkins using fabric from the free table, as well as rainbow buntings to go with the comfort quilts:

Napkins and Buntings

I then turned my attention to my longtime WIP of a Design-Your-Own sampler using my all-time favourite fabric line, Wonderland by MoMo (Moda).

I made strip sets, large and small blocks and a long strip of HSTs arranged like big flying geese. There are several large blocks in the layout. This one is 22" finished, source Quilters Cache:

22" Interlaced Block

A lovely pile of finished quilt parts:

Wonderland Sampler blocks

Lots more to go but that's ok!

Then I turned my attention to my Glam Clam WIP, which needed more clams cut and stitched. This one's not a fast quilt to assemble (not for me, at least), but I am enjoying the time I spend with these fun fabrics.
Glam Clam progress

Gosh it was a fun time that once again went by far too quickly.

Improv Rainbow Throw Pillow

I had some strip sets left over from Anne's Bee Sewcial assignment, and I needed to make a throw pillow to donate to my daughter's school's fundraiser. Happy happenstance!

I pieced the strips with some chambray-type fabric of which I appear to have purchased a LOT of yardage. (I wonder what I was planning for it? I guess we'll find out eventually!)

I used Thermolam fusible fleece (Pellon TP971F) and quilted with Aurifil thread in various colours - grey in the background area, plus red, orange and yellow in the pieced bits. I just used my walking foot and stitched wavy lines from side to side. I like how the thread colour carries the colour of the pieced strip into the borders.
Silent Auction pillow - front

This is the back, which got the same treatment, but vertically.

Silent Auction pillow - back

My pillow was very well-received and my friend told me that she was engaged in a fierce bidding war for it with a sweet little boy who, according to his mom, loves colour. Mom wants me to make him a pillow as a surprise for Christmas and suggested a trade for some wine - one of the benefits of a school where all of the winemakers send their kids!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Hate These Quilts

To be more specific, I hate that the reason these quilts had to be made: Cancer. There are a group of us who met in prenatal classes and the newborn support group that came with it when G was born. One mom called us the Supermoms and it stuck. One of the Superkids, a girl G's age, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. This one hit close to home, obviously. I cannot begin to imagine what Annabelle and her mom and dad and little sister are living through right now.

But I'm doing what I can to help: making stuff.

Annabelle likes purple these days so I emphasized that colour in her quilt:
LOVE for Annabelle

I quilted some extra love into it and even named the quilt LOVE.
LOVE for Annabelle, quilting detail

Here's a better view of the overall freemotion quilting I did (on my Juki 98Q, Aurifil thread all the way):

LOVE for Annabelle, quilting detail
For a quick and durable binding, I attach to the back and stitch to the front by machine.
LOVE for Annabelle binding detail

The blocks are Amy/Badskirt's, upsized to 20" finished.

This will be packaged in a matching pillowcase:

Annabelle's pillowcase
The second quilt I made is for Annabelle's sister, Cassidy. Cancer affects the whole family and I wanted Cassidy to know she was thought of too. Blue Hugs:

I constructed Blue Hugs using the Quilt as You Go method, in which I pieced and quilted the large blocks at the same time, then connected them using a thin sashing:

 The back of a QAYG quilt can be pretty fun, too:
Here's its pillowcase:

Get well soon, Annabelle!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bee Sewcial Catch-Up

So Bee Sewcial is chugging along, and while I've done most of my sharing on Instagram (@felicityquilts), I do want to make sure to record my activities here for posterity.

July's blocks were for Debbie A Quilter's Table. "The Bacon Consideration" prompt was fitting given her blog name. I dove into my rusty reds, browns and creams for this one and had fun with some fluid improv waves. I purposely made one block have more "fat" on it than the other to add a little realism - not all rashers are full of lean, meaty goodness.

Bacon block 1 for Debbie @aquilterstable
Bacon block 2 for Debbie @aquilterstable

We broke for August, then September's theme was Transitions, and Anne Play-Crafts gave us a beautiful piece of art to inspire us. She also asked for a large rectangular block. This was mine:

September #beesewcial block for Anne @playcrafts
Flickr and I had a disagreement about that watermark. Flickr won and that's why it looks this way.

And finally, Kari Quilts for the Making invited us to create an Army of Self-Love, a theme I love. These hourglass shapes are all colours and sizes, meant to celebrate the diversity of our bodies, skin and beings.
Army of Self Love Block 1 for Kari

Army of Self Love for Kari Block 2

I've probably said this before, but every month when I photograph the block(s) before sending them off, I think to myself that I would definitely love a whole quilt just for me made from them.

Speaking of whole quilts just for me, take a look at how beautiful my Lake Country blocks are!
Lake Country Bee Sewcial quilt in progress

I want to make a couple of more blocks, and then it'll be time for me to piece it. I'm so excited!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 (Original Design): Points East

Points East is my second Blogger's Quilt Festival entry for 2016. I'm entering it in the Original Design category.
Points East
I made this to enter into one of the MQG's fabric challenges. MQG members could sign up to receive a half-yard cut of Riley Blake's Sashing Stash print, which contains different motifs that you can fussy cut or strip cut or whatever you'd like.

I began by mulling for quite a while, and finally settled on a design that incorporates a wedge. Here are the beginnings of my experimentation:

When I decided I liked it, I went ahead and pieced the top, keeping in mind that my niece was expecting her second baby later in the summer and that I wanted this quilt to be for her so I kept it at baby size.
Points East quilt top
Notice at the bottom of this picture that the selvages are still visible. When I piece a quilt using fabric cut WOF (width of fabric, selvage to selvage), I don't tend to trim the selvages off first unless necessary. For instance if the pattern required precise piecing, I'd definitely trim. But in this case, I was putting the top together on the fly and I knew I'd be FMQing it. So, I left the selvages alone and trimmed after quilting.

Speaking of quilting, I quilted it with free-motion designs using my Juki 2010Q, which I love.
Points East quilting in progress
Binding was made with the leftover challenge fabric and voilĂ ! A 40" x 50" baby quilt I called Points East because the wedges kind of look like direction arrows.
Points East
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Feel free to cruise around and take a look at what I've been up to and definitely make sure you visit the Blogger's Quilt Festival to feast your eyes on the beauty of hundreds of quilts!

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 (Modern): Dancing in the Moonlight

Hello! I believe the Blogger's Quilt Festival is in its 6th year - amazing! Thank you so much, Amy, for putting it together! This small quilt is the first of my two entries in this Fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Dancing in the Moonlight

Dancing in the Moonlight was pieced improvisationally. I enjoyed leveraging the contrast of the purple against the neutrals to play with the two parts of the quarter-circles. I shared the quilt on social media when I finished it earlier this year for a challenge. Well, I *thought* I'd finished it. 

After looking at it for a while longer, I realized I wanted to add some hand stitching to increase the texture of this quilt. Using Aurifil 12 weight cotton thread in a creamy white colour (2310), I added several lines of stitches about ¼" away from some of the machine quilting lines (done with Aurifil 50 weight in white).

Dancing in the Moonlight quilting closeup

NOW it's finished. 
Dancing in the Moonlight

I'm experimenting with the side of our new house as my new photography spot.

The fabrics are all Northcott Colorworks Solids in the colourway dictated by the original challenge. I totally loved what came from having a restricted palette and a restricted amount of each fabric to work with. I'll have to try that approach again, I think.

I've decided to put this into the Modern category. Go and see the many, many amazing quilts that are being shared as part of the festival at this link: Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dog Days of Aoife

Each time a friend left our team at work, I offered to make them a little something. Bronwyn got a pouch, Lesley got a mini, and Nicole got a pillow.

Faye requested a small quilt for her fur baby Aoife (an Irish name, pronounced EE-fa).

My mind went right to the charm pack and additional yardage I had of Sherbet Pips, with the adorable little doggies on it. I cut the quilt out before we moved in July and then life happened.

Last week, I went to an open sew day at one of my new LQSs, Cherry Tree Quilts and pieced the top:

It's very quick to do - (40) 5" charms plus (8) 9½" squares of coordinating fabric.

Quilting was very simple too - just diagonal lines. I used a Hera marker to mark the lines.

Very happy with the now-washed, nicely soft and crinkly finished product:

Dog Days of Aiofe

It's about 36" square, and it's bound (by machine) with more Sherbet Pips and a tiny bit of Little Apples.
Dog Days of Aiofe

Bonus pillow made with the leftovers:

Sherbet Pips Cushion Front

Sherbet Pips Cushion other front
Other Front (they're both cute!!)

Again, really simple. 5" squares plus one 9½" square. I think I'll donate it to the school's fundraiser.

**Administrivia note: I am way behind in blogging my work so I hope you're ready for a veritable barrage of blog posts as I catch up.**

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bee-ing Sewcial - June

It's my turn again to have my amazing Bee Sewcial bee mates make some blocks for me. I'm still finishing my quilt from last year (Winter) because I really want to take my time with the quilting.

But here we are at my month once more and once more, I'm in the throes of packing and moving. During my first Bee Sewical month, I was preparing to move out of our townhouse that we'd sold. This time, I'm preparing to move from our rental apartment to our new home, and I couldn't be happier.

In fact, my new community is the inspiration for the Bee Sewcial blocks I'm asking my bee mates to create. Naramata, located in BC's wine country and perched on Okanagan Lake, is absolutely beautiful. I mean, really beautiful.

My inspiration prompt is Lake Country, and these were my directions:

I plan to put together an impressionistic-looking lake/tree/sky quilt, and I want the blocks to feature strips vs. squares. And please have all of the strips oriented in the same direction of your block which can be any size so long as the final size of the block(s) are equivalent of 12"x12" finished.

As for colours, I would like the blocks to be in lake country colours - greens and blues. One colour per block, as shown in my samples:

Bee Sewcial June Bee Sewcial June

I'd also like the blocks to have a little less value contrast than the ones I made for my examples. So keep it to medium/dark or medium/light if that makes sense.

If you're sewing along with us, the hashtag is #inspiredbybeesewcial. Check out what my lovely bee mates are working on with #beesewcial.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Small Study

While at QuiltCon West in Pasadena this past February, I took a workshop with the inimitable Gwen Marston. A once in a lifetime opportunity, really, since she is not going to be travelling and teaching anymore. I'm not even certain she will be continuing her retreats on Beaver Island.

Surreptitious selfie with Gwen Marston

The day I spent learning from her was the absolute highlight of the entire trip for me, and that's saying something since it was a pretty fabulous trip all around.

This is the finished product, which is about 10½" square. Working with 3/4" strips was challenging but I loved the ability to see my composition come together right before my eyes.

Small Study

Gwen is a really marvelous teacher, and the work that came out of the class in just one day was absolutely wonderful:

A selection of Small Sketches by students in Gwen Marston's QuiltCon West workshop.

And finally, here we are after the class.
Gwen and me.

This sweet lil' mini is on my Q2 Finish Along goals list. Yay for finishes (it was my only one for the quarter)!