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 Straight, 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!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bee Sewcial: April

The Bee Sewcial queen bee for April was Diane (Random Thoughts Do or Di), who gave us two inspiration photos:

Bee Seecial April

Bee Seecial April

She asked for the equivalent of two 12½" unfinished blocks, and wanted them to contain round shapes (vs. just curves) with at least one block containing black.

Here are mine:

I made the bull's eye first, because I was really inspired by the second of the two inspiration images. All of the curves were cut free-hand with a rotary cutter. My technique is just the one described here, except my shapes are quite a bit rounder than hers.

Once the circle was done, I needed to make one more block. I intended to trim those oval blocks to 6½" x 12½" to meet the required size but then I decided to leave them alone to give Diane a bit more flexibility when she is putting her quilt together.

Participating in Bee Sewcial is proving to be a truly wonderful experience. My creativity is sparked every month and I'm feeling challenged in all the right kinds of ways. I'm absolutely loving it. And I'm not the only one: it appears that the MQG has taken notice of our Bee's approach and has identified our approach as an example of "improv with intent," which is the theme of the QuiltCon West Charity Quilt project for MQG members. I feel famous-adjacent!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spring Bloom Giveaway Winner

Spring Bloom giveaway winner is drawn.

I somehow lost the numbering on my blog comments so instead of, I went low tech/old school. I printed out the comments, cut them apart and had G dig around to select one.

The winner of the Spring Bloom FQ bundle is.....Cheryl, whom I've emailed.

Thanks again, Amanda, for inviting me to participate in the blog hop, and a big thank you to Windham Fabrics who sponsored the blog hop with fabric for me and the winner!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And....BLOOM! Spring Bloom Bloghop with Giveaway!

Hooray! Today's my stop on the Bella Caronia Spring Bloom bloghop celebrating the release of Amanda Caronia's first fabric line with Windham Fabrics.

Windham generously provided me with a FQ bundle containing all 15 prints from the fabric line plus some solid yardage - lucky me! And one lucky commenter will win their own FQ bundle courtesy of Windham Fabrics - find out how at the end of the post. EDIT: Giveaway closed!

I knew when I saw Spring Bloom that I wanted to make something simple that let the bright and cheerful fabrics shine through. Introducing And.....BLOOM!


A plus quilt pattern is quick to piece but takes a bit longer to plan and lay out. I wanted to float some of the pluses (which inspired the "And" part of the quilt's name), but mostly make them look like they're cascading down toward the quilt's bottom (runner-up name: Cascade of Blooms). I believe I succeeded - I really love how the layout landed. The quilt is lap sized - about 56"x78".

Edited: To answer a question below, I cut my squares at 5" and had more than enough fabric in the FQ bundle to make all these full pluses and a few part-pluses with a handful of squares left over. I used about a yard and a quarter's worth of the solid, which is a mottled grey from the Windham Fabrics Artist's palette.


Then I embarked on the quilting. I consulted Christina Cameli's (A Few Scraps) new book Step by Step Free Motion Quilting for a motif for the solid background and went to town on the ol' FMQ. Fun!

And....Bloom! quilting

Using Aurifil 50 wt in a light grey (2600), I quilted each plus with a different motif, and used about 6 main motifs in all:

And....Bloom! fmq

I think I like the bubbles best.

And...BLOOM! more fmq

Backing used a few left-over cuts from the front plus some random fabric from my stash.

And....BLOOM! back

And binding was scraps as well, and it was applied entirely by machine. I stitched it to the back and brought it around to the front and stitched it down.

And...BLOOM! binding

And there you have it - these fabrics look lovely in a quilt! Visit the other stops on the bloghop for chances to win and to see the other beautiful projects made with Spring Bloom!

April 23 Jessica Darling

To have a chance at winning your very own FQ bundle of Spring Bloom, please leave one comment on this post. International entries are welcome.

As always, if I can't contact you, I can't get your prize to you. PLEASE make sure your email is linked to your commenter profile or leave it in your comment.

I'll randomly select a winner at approximately 8pm Pacific on Friday, May 1st. Good luck!

(This project is one of my Q2 FAL projects - two birds, one stone etc. etc.)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bella Caronia Bloghop

I'm really excited to have been asked to participate in a blog hop for a new fabric line called Spring Bloom by Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics! I met the designer Amanda at QuiltCon, and now I get to introduce her - and her first line of fabric - to you!

The hop kicks off today on the Windham Fabrics blog and Amanda's blog, and continues daily through May 2nd. I am joined by some really talented quilter/sewist/designers as you can see from the blog hop schedule:

April 23 Jessica Darling

I was given a FQ bundle to work with along with some solid yardage, and I'm busy working on a project to showcase these lovely fabrics. I'll be sharing that on my stop as well as offering a sponsored giveaway of a Fat Quarter bundle of the Spring Bloom prints, all of which are so cheerful and bright.

Follow our progress with the #springbloommakers hashtag on Instagram too!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ultimate Equipment Tote

I mentioned in my post on the Make It, Take It bloghop that I'd made one other project from the book besides my own. And here it is!

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild had Krista share her trunk show and book at our March meeting. As a little extra celebration, the executive decided to suprirse her with projects that we'd all made from the book. When we were divvying up the projects and "claiming" the one we most wanted to make, I was quick to choose the Ultimate Equipment Tote for mine.

Equipment Tote from Make It Take It
Tote Exterior. I used pinstripe denim and quilted lines in the other direction.

The pattern is by Berene (Happy Sew Lucky). I love it! Its construction is amazingly clever and it is a wonderful way to tote my cutting mat and rulers to retreats and sew-ins. No more chipped ruler corners! The tote finishes at 26½" x 19" and it fits my 18"x24" cutting mat and my quilting preview mylar that Krista Withers taught me to use.

Equipment Tote open

For the tote's exterior, I used some pinstripe denim, then quilted straight lines perpendicular to the pinstripes to create a grid. I made one change to the pattern in that I used Annie's Soft and Stable instead of batting, so the bag has a lot of structure even when it's empty.

As for the interior, I adhered to my new motto about fabric (Just Use It Already) so this bag has some favourites. Precious Mendocino mermaids for the exterior of the ruler caddy (you can see a bit of it in the photo above), some Collage for the front pocket and some beautiful Doe for the interior accents:

Equipment Tote Ruler Insert
A 24" long ruler lies along the width of the caddy.

The fact that I get to see and use some beautiful, favourite fabrics makes me love this tote even more than I imagined I would. So do it - USE THE FABRIC. You may think it's making you happy in your stash where you can pet it an admire it, but believe me when I say that using it in a project (that you keep) is even more satisfying.

Edited: I am linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story for the first time in forever! Yay!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Finish Along Q2 Goals

This quarter, I have a mix of old and new projects that I want to get done:

1. Finish up my project using the lovely Spring Bloom by Bella Caronia that was sent to me by Windham Fabrics. This is Amanda Caronia's first fabric line and I think it's just beautiful - the different prints work so well together and the mix of colours and scale is really pleasing:

Stay tuned for a giveaway when this one is finished!

2. Resurrecting this WIP because I'll have access to a longarm to quilt it soon. Even though it means unbasting it. Oh well.

Wonderland Quilt Top

3. Stupid Jeweled Squares. It has taken so darn long to get to this project and now if all goes well, we'll be moving out of our current place sometime this year. The current place happens to contain the master bedroom for which the colours in this quilt were chosen. Ugh. I mean, they're still nice and I still like them but still: ugh.
Jewel Box Squares so far...

4. Gee's Bend Mini.

It's all basted and sitting in my quilting frame because I'm hand quilting it!

I think four projects is enough. I've got my MQG Riley Blake challenge to work on (doesn't count for this list because it's still just a pile of fabric and I have no inspiration yet), and a few other WIMM (works in my mind). I know you know how it goes.

Come and play with us for the Finish Along! There are prizes!
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, April 10, 2015

Make It, Take It Giveaway Winners

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments and for participating in the hop. I've used to randomly choose two winning comments. Luckily both commenters had valid emails either included in the comment or linked to their Blogger profile!

(There were at least a dozen commenters who gave no way to contact them had they won. If you're wondering if that is you, ask yourself if you've ever received a reply from a comment you left on a blog post other than a giveaway post. If the answer's no, it's possible you're a no-reply blogger. Read this helpful post to remedy your situation so you can be eligible to win stuff!)

So anyway back to the good news!

Winner of the digital copy of Make It, Take It, courtesy of Martingale is Sarah@123 Quilt:

And a hard copy of the book will be heading to Saskatoon to live with Patti at Retired to Quilt!

Both winners have been notified by email. There are a couple more stops where you might win a book:

Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Make It, Take It Bloghop (With Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the Make It, Take It bloghop!

Way back over two years ago, Krista Poppyprint told me that she was going to write a book on retreats and asked if I'd contribute a project. I couldn't say yes fast enough. I was - and am - absolutely thrilled for Krista! All of the opportunities and success that this book and her Chess on the Steps pattern have brought to her are the culmination of over 10 years of really hard work and beautiful creations and I am so delighted to be a part of it all: as a contributor, a frequent participant in her day and overnight retreats, and as a friend.

Make It, Take It is a book that celebrates retreats, and features projects for taking your equipment, and projects you can make while you're there. Have you ever been on a retreat? If you have the chance, do it. I think what makes it so special for me is that it’s not just the time; it’s the space. Physical space for basting a big quilt is wonderful but more than that, retreats afford me metaphysical space that I need, too. On my annual overnight retreat, meals are announced with a chime. When it sounds, I slowly stop what I’m doing and go eat a meal someone else has planned and prepared. I eat it in communion with other women who, regardless of who or what we all are in other aspects of our lives, share a passion for creating. I’m a wife and a mother who works full-time outside the home, so freedom from the usual obligations and responsibilities of family and home and work is what I love most about retreating.

My pattern in the book is a set of placemats designed for a round table. If you aren't into scrappy projects, these placemats would look fabulous with just two colours of strips, maybe with a fun contrasting binding? Or you could use precut strips from one fabric line. Lots of choice! If you did your cutting ahead of time, you could get a very good start on a set of 4 during a long day retreat, and certainly finish them at an overnight getaway.

I came up with the concept after a visit with my Dad when I noticed his rectangular placemats weren't really working all that well on his round table. I didn't tell him I was making them for him (because surprises are so fun!), and it took quite a while before they actually went from idea to finished project (because of course they did). Once the placemats were finally done, I proudly mailed them off and he sent me a lovely thank you email when he got them. Shortly after I got the email - we're talking minutes here - my Dad called. He told me again how much he appreciated the placemats, how lovely they were. Then he paused and said, "Felicity.....I got a new table." I'll give you one guess as to the shape of the new table. Correct! NOT ROUND! Good sport that he is, Dad uses the round placemats on his square table (and they work really well, actually).

There are lots and lots of other projects in this book, and they're all fabulous. I've made one other one so far (blog post to come). Have a look a this list of contributors and fellow bloghop hostesses who'll be sharing their projects over the course of the hop:

Friday, April 4 Blog hop kick-off: Krista at Poppyprint
Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time
Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts
Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch this! (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)
Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lilys Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life
Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

Now for the exciting part: how you can win your very own copy of Make It, Take It! Two books are up for grabs: one digital copy (courtesy of Martingale, the book's publisher) and one hard copy (courtesy of yours truly).

Simple entry rules:
- Comment on this blog post.
- One comment per person, please. I'd love to know where in the world you are, so if you want to include that in your comment, that's cool but optional.
- Make sure your email is attached to your profile (or if you're unsure, just include it in your comment to be safe, using AT and DOT to avoid spam) because if it's not there, I will have to choose another entry.
- International entries are welcome.
- I'll close this post to comments at some point on Friday, April 10th, probably around 8:00 pm Pacific, then use Random Number Generator to select TWO winners. One will win the digital copy, the other will receive the hard copy.  Edited: Giveaway closed and winners announced. Thanks for entering!