Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Finish Along Q4 Goals

Hmmm. What to do, what to do? I've got many MANY more WIPs than there is time in this final quarter of the year. It's a bit hard to predict everything I'm going to work on. I know some that are "for sure" additions to the list but I want to make this aspirational.

1. My top priority right now is making an Elsa costume (of course) for my sweet G. For the longest time, she insisted she would be an Enchantress and had even drawn up a diagram of what her gown was to look like, together with an additional drawing of the cloak and wand that were required to complete the outfit:

Enchantress cloak diagram.

I think that's like 6 pockets - yikes!


At this point, I'm kind of glad I get to sew with a pattern (even if the yoke has to be adjusted to look like the "real" Elsa dress and I have to make a detachable train/cape because ELSA'S CAPE ISN'T ATTACHED IN THE FRONT MAMA ONLY IN THE BACK AND PLEASE USE SNAPS SO I CAN PUT IT ON AND OFF):

Here we go! One Elsa dress coming right up. So glad I have a serger! #finishalong

2. A mugrug for a coworker. It's designed, the fabric is chosen, and it's next in line after the Elsa dress is complete.

3. I signed up for the fabric for the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture challenge from the Modern Quilt Guild - there's a special category in the QuiltCon show for these quilts. I've got a design and more fabric on the way. November 30 is the entry deadline.

My #quiltcon Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge planning.

4. Oh, hello, fully basted Wonderland quilt that just needs quilting. You're going to be one of my Loon Lake retreat projects in November. Stop looking at me like that. I know you've been on the FAL list every quarter this year, okay? I feel like this is your quarter.

Wonderland Quilt Top

I see on Flickr that this photo was taken in JUNE 2012. *sigh*


5. My Mod Mood quilt was begun at QuiltCon 2013. Going to try to get it into a finished state to enter into the QuiltCon 2015 show. I'm hoping the FAL and the show will be motivation to finish. Here's where I got by the end of the workshop:

My Get Your Curve On WIP

6. Digging deep into the past for this collection of bee blocks. I got these blocks in 2011! Wow, I wouldn't have guessed that long ago but there you go. These colours go with our bedroom so I really want to make the blocks into a bed quilt. I may revise my original design (numerous blocks with the "boxes" of varying size) to something a little more quick to finish. Stay tuned; in the meantime, kindly admire my bee mates' handiwork!

Jewel Box Squares so far...

I think that's enough for now. There are a couple of other projects that are only at WIMM (Works In My Mind) vs. WIPs so they aren't quite at FAL goal status: a new tote bag for work with some fabulous Melody Miller linen/cotton blend fabric; an item for my partner in the Teeny Weeny Swap, a swap the VMQG is doing with two Australian MQGs (FUN!); possibly also a Super Tote.

Plus, I've ended my online bee embargo and you'll hear more about that in coming months - this blog is kind of a WIP/UFO that isn't getting enough attention but ironically, when I have little things to share - like bee blocks - I tend to write more frequently.

Linking up this list to the Finish Along linky over at Katy's blog. There's time to join if you want. The more, the merrier!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finish Along Q3 Wrap Up

I think I start every single one of these Finish Along posts the same thought: Wow, that quarter went quickly!

But it did! School got out two weeks early and started three weeks late because of a dispute between the teachers' union and our provincial government. The kids were finally back in school the week of the 22nd. That put a crimp in my productivity because my alternate Mondays off were not enjoyed sans enfant.

But I did get some stuff done, though not everything on my list (of course):

1. Road Trip Case. YES! I sewed with vinyl! It wasn't awful!

2. Circle of Geese bee quilt. YES! Renamed Love is All Around, it's with its new owner and rumour has it she wanted to call me at 7 am Eastern time (so 4 am my time) to thank me!

3. Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels Challenge. YES! It's on reserve for when I need a baby quilt sometime in the future.

4. Liberty + Kona Solids St. Louis 16- patch. YES! Sneak peek photo only; full post to come soon but I wanted to make sure I linked up this finish (this post counts for it in the linky).

Liberty 16 patch sneak peek

5. Wonderland Sampler and Wonderland Quilt: Nope and nope. But that's okay. They'll get done but not before I deal with making an Elsa dress for someone for Halloween (not me).

Thanks, Katy for the Finish Along - there's so, so much work involved and I'm so grateful. It's a wonderful motivator for me. There's no way I would've made time to make myself a quilt (which is what the Liberty 16 patch is) without it.

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