Friday, August 21, 2015

Create Along With Bee Sewcial

About a year ago a unique sewing bee formed that asked each member to choose a monthly theme/inspirational source and color palette. 10 quilters would then go forth and make "blocks", blocks become a quilt, one for each month. In this process we bee members have gained new skills, explored different designs and close friendships have grown. Somewhere in this whole creative endeavour other talented people have observed our journey and have asked to participate. 

The bee is currently full but we didn't want to keep this good thing to ourselves, so we have created a companion community #inspiredbybeesewcial, and we invite you to sew right along with us. We will continue to post our monthly inspiration on IG with dual hashtags. We ask only that you use #inspiredbybeesewcial when you post your makings. This larger group #inspiredbybeesewcial is about being a respectful, supportive, creative, collaborative community and making ourselves better designers and sewists. If you would like to be part of this companion community, you may follow the monthly "instructions" on our blogs and tag your pictures on IG with #inspiredbybeesewcial. You will find us commenting on all your creativity over in #inspiredbybeesewical creative space.

So, are you ready? Hillary @entropyalwayswins is point for September. Look for her mission to us all in the last week of August. The other co-conspirators (and people you might want to follow just so you don't miss anything) are: Leanne @shecanquilt, Debbie @aquilterstable, Diane @ylmommyx4, Marci @marci_girl, Me @felicityquilts, Karen @capitolaquilter, Kari @quiltsforthemaking, Melissa @weshallsew and Stephanie @spontaneousthreads

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Strips and Squares Everywhere

Strips and Squares Everywhere

Strips and Squares Everywhere

This is a finish that was 4 years in the making! It got its start during an online bee on Flickr, and (EDITED) continued to a second bee that I was in that year. Everything began with The Maple Leaf Bee and continued with Sew Buzzy. Both bees were the kind where the Queen Bee sends out fabric to the other members of the group with instructions for what we'd like. I loved the look of Kaffe Fassett's Jewel Squares quilt, with squares of differing sizes all working together so that's what I asked everyone to make with my fabrics (Spa by Rosemarie Lavin plus one print from Hope Valley by Denise Schmidt and Kona solid in White).

I got my blocks back but the project stalled because I needed to make a lot more blocks to get a decent sized quilt.

Strips and Squares Everywhere
Fast forward about 3 years and I started putting this project on my Finish Along goal lists. Finally, I got to work on it in the past few weeks. The design changed a bit in the time since I conceived of the idea and I'm really happy with how it ended up - it's an ode to Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife layout with the strips in between blocks.

Strips and Squares Everywhere up

I quilted it on a longarm in a simple, organic loopy loop pattern that I like for its simplicity of execution, not to mention how quickly it gets done. I used a lime green thread and I love how it looks!

Strips and Squares Everywhere quilting

Final size - pre washing - is 60" x 72", a double-ish size that covers the top of our queen size mattress with a small amount of overhang.

Strips and Squares Everywhere

Bound with scrap strips and backed with some groovy IKEA fabric and some leftover fabrics from the front. I'm so happy that this is done - I feel a lot lighter for having it off my Finish Along list!

Strips and Squares Everywhere back

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bee Sewcial July for Karen

July's theme for Bee Sewcial stumped me at first, like all of the previous months' seem to have.

Karen CapitolaQuilter asked for the design to evoke the concept of Reflections, and let us know that the reflection didn't have to be literal but that one element of the block needed to be reflected somewhere else. SO COOL. A beautiful palette was also really inspiring.

BeeSewcial improvisational "Reflection" July (ME!)

My first block was originally going to be something inspired by Jade Stitch Mischief's quilt for the last Quilt! Knit! Stitch! challenge (modern metallics) featured here. A stand of trees with shadows. Through the design process (and because one of my fellow bee members beat me to the original design), my idea evolved into this:

Bee Sewcial Block 1 for Karen

It's kind of a "business on one side and party on the other"-type situation and I'm cool with that. It's bigger than required, but Karen can trim as she sees fit. I kind of like that the bottom solid bit is thicker than the others.

After I made the first block, I stepped away and thought about block #2. Hillary Entropy Always Wins made a beautiful block that looked like triangles/mountains reflected on water and taking that as my jumping off point, I thought of doing something curvier. I started with the idea of a half-circle and then reflected it with freehand curved bits. I'm really, really happy with how it turned out:

Bee Sewcial Block 2 for Karen

Sunset on the lake, someone said on Instagram, and I agree.

Both blocks ended up similarly sized - around 14" square or so. Bee Sewcial is a bit of a different bee - we don't ask for specific blocks to be made. Rather, each month the Queen Bee shares the theme/feel/inspiration she's looking for and lets us loose to create with a certain colour story. It's a great example of "Improv with Intent" that the Modern Quilt Guild has identified as the approach for the QuiltCon 2016 Charity Quilt Challenge.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Q3 Finish Along Goals

It's been really hot here - that's the only thing that can discourage me from doing anything fabric/quilt related. TOO HOT.

But I can still build my Q3 goals list, and so here it is.

1. I'm really, really, really hoping to get Jeweled Squares done this quarter. I don't have any urgent or priority projects needing my attention so I am truly optimistic about this one. Here, have an updated photo:

Jeweled Squares

2. I've decided to make myself a Lone Star using Lynne Lily's Quilts' pattern from Make It Take It. Just because. I started with these:

LoneStar Fabrics

And now I'm here:
Lone Star

3. Okay, this one's ambitious, but I feel like this might be the quarter that my scrappy churn dash project gets done as well.

Scrappy Churn Dash mosaic

Okay, that's it for now! What are your plans for this quarter? Link up to the Finish Along and play with us!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Q2 Finish Along Roundup

Not my best showing this quarter. I had four projects on the roster:

1. My Spring Bloom project, which I did finish:

2. A long-ago-pieced quilt top that I wanted to get quilted. Success!! This is its post.

It finished at about 50" x 60" and I quilted it on a longarm. I'm so happy that it's not sitting unfinished anymore!

Wonderland quilt front

Wonderland Quilt detail 4

More photos are in my Flickr stream, here.

Items 3 and 4 (Jeweled Squares and my Gee's Bend mini) aren't done. Instead, I finished a whole lot of other stuff, including:

A mini quilt to practice stitching on the longarm. I cut up a so-old-it-is-practically-vintage FQ bundle of Tina Givens fabric and pieced it in a really simple patchwork arrangement.

Baby Quilt

Different quilting in each square. That bottom right design is done with a ruler. So cool!

Baby Quilt quilting

Selfie (which I am thrilled to say was one of 19 quilts that got accepted to Quilt! Knit! Stitch! Black to White exhibit!!!!!!):
Selfie full

And the notebook covers for teacher gifts blogged here.

All in all, not a bad quarter. Stay tuned for my Q3 goals. Better yet, make some of your own and join in on the Finish Along!
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Teacher Gifts

I don't even know myself anymore - I completed teacher gifts more than a week early. After my success with Amy's tutorial on the VMQG blog for a quilted notebook cover for our inter-guild swap, I decided to make three more: one for G's classroom teacher (whose Mom reads this blog, I found out quite coincidentally), and one each for her two music teachers (we really lucked out with her school, I have to say).

First up, Mrs. I's, which is doing double duty as my MQG Riley Blake Challenge project (#multitasking)!

Notebook front
I took a queue from the red accents in the bird fabric for the elastic closure and page marker.

Notebook open

Notebook back

Quilted with my walking foot and my trusty Aurifil 40 wt in turquoise (5006):
notebook quilting

Next, Ms. Y-E:

blue notebook front

blue notebook closeup

That's some original Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope fabric as well as some random stuff from my scrap bin.

And finally, Ms. K:

Pink notebook cover front

pink notebook inside

Also a scrap project. I had a lot of fun choosing fabric combos and in fact I think that activity took longer than the actual notebook covers themselves! If you look reeeeeaally closely, you can see a tiny bit of the lining fabric: black and white musical note fabric, fitting for music teachers.

These three wonderful women recognize and appreciate the time and effort that goes into handmade gifts, which is why I am so happy to do it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bee Sewcial - catching up

I've been on time and up to date with my Bee Sewcial commitments, just not the blogging part!

May's blocks were for Marci who asked us to approach her blocks with "structured improv." That meant she wanted us to sketch something first, then use improvisational techniques to put it together.

Marci was building a village/town/landscape with her quilt and asked for blocks of houses or buildings, the landscape, grass, hills etc.

Here were my sketched blocks:
Bee Sewcial sketch for Marci's blocks

The top one is supposed to be rolling hills, pieced in Sherri Lynn Wood's improv wedge/curve style. The bottom is supposed to be an aerial view of a countryside or farms, with different fields and roads running through.

Here are the blocks that resulted;

Bee Sewical Block 1 for Marci
Bee Sewcial Block 2 for Marci

I'd call that a success and thankfully, Marci likes them too (or so she says - hope she's not just being nice!)

Now June's assignment was from Debbie, who asked us to go with a Mid-Century Modern theme in both design and colours. She even created a Pinterest inspiration board.

My blocks are kind of improv, very slightly wonky and they were a lot of fun to make:

Bee Sewcial Block 1 for Debbie

Bee Sewcial Block 2 for Debbie

The photography could be better but they're already all packed and set to go to Washington State.

And now you're up to date on my Bee activities!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Selfie: My Black To White Challenge Quilt

I really wasn't intending to enter the Black to White Challenge for the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! Show.

Then Stacey (@hushrules on Instagram) did a wonderful presentation on Youpatch at the May VMQG meeting and I became intrigued. I came home and fiddled around with a few stock images, seeing if I could develop a pixelated quilt that appealed to me, but I wasn't successful.

A night or so later, I happened to take a selfie:
A possible quilt.

I assure you that the outcome - which I really like, not going to lie - was purely accidental. The angle of the afternoon sun coming onto my face and hitting my glasses frames is what created the shadow on my eyelid that looks like makeup. I happened to be looking down at just the right angle.

Anyway, an idea began to germinate. I applied a black and white filter in instagram and uploaded the filtered photo to Youpatch. A little playing with colours and I had my pattern. Less than a week later, thanks to a full day Quilt By The Bay retreat, the top was done and the quilt was basted and I had (EDITED) less than a two weeks until the Black to White challenge deadline.


I had this done even before they announced the deadline extension - conduct definitely not befitting the president of the Last Minute Club, but what can I say? I quilted like a woman possessed.

Selfie quilting closeup_

All of the quilting is free motion, and I used Aurifil 50 wt in black, grey and white. I tested some ideas on my trusty mylar overlay but ended up winging it when it came to actually quilting. 

Selfie quilting detail

The quilt is about 35" square and the smallest piece finishes at 3/4" square. I am thrilled to report that my piecing accuracy is spot on - all of the blocks fit together really nicely. Yay me!

Selfie up

Colours in the quilt are Robert Kaufman Kona solids in Black, Coal, Medium Grey and Snow.

Selfie quilting closeup

This one really shows the different thread colours:

Selfie back

I expect to hear soon whether it's been accepted to the challenge but nevertheless, I absolutely adore this finish. 

Selfie full

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival

There is always a feast for the eyes over at Amy's Creative Side when the Blogger's Quilt Festival is on! I'm happy to link up The One That Got Away in the Original Design Quilts category.

I love this quilt, I really do. It was made on a whim and it's easily one of my favourites.

More details about it are in my original blog post, but this quilt came together as I tried out a piecing technique to create those wonky-pieced rectangles.

The decision to have one rectangle be The One That Got Away came to me as I was putting it all together, and I love the whimsical element it adds to the quilt.

It is quilted with Aurifil 50 wt in two sets of concentric circles to emphasize the design. I'm proud to say that this lovely will be hanging in Quilt Canada's National Juried Show next month!

Enjoy the festival and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Improv Notebook Cover

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is doing a notebook cover swap with our cousins across the Georgia Strait, Modern Quilt Guild Victoria. So fun!

Amy wrote a great tutorial, so my cover worked out absolutely perfectly. If you're looking to make a notebook cover, you'll definitely want to check out her instructions. Here's what I made for my partner, who - lucky for me - likes improv piecing:

Notebook front

I began with the grey triangle and wasn't too sure I liked it but then I added those aqua strips and all was right with the world. I continued on with adding some strips and then quilted it with a combination of concentric squares/triangles and straight lines.

Notebook full front

The back is a little plainer than the front:

Notebook cover back

The red ribbon is a bookmark and the red strip you see in the photos is (bra) elastic with a cute scalloped edge that works to hold the whole thing together.

Here's what the front and back inside flaps look like - more red accents. The whole thing is lined with that red.

Notebook inside
Notebook for swap inside back

I hope my partner likes it!

And bonus - because this is made entirely from scraps, I get to link up this project to Scraptastic Tuesday with Leanne she can quilt and Nicky Mrs. Sew and Sow. Yay!