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!

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!