Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fancy Foxes

Need a quick, fun quilt for a baby or small child? I highly recommend Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox II pattern.

Fancy Foxes for L

The VMQG had a workshop taught by Jade Stitch Mischief and it gave me the opportunity to piece the quilt top in a day, and then a Quilt By The Bay day retreat hosted my dear Krista Poppyprint resulted in a finished quilt.

I kept the quilting very simple - organic straight lines done with a walking foot but without any marking. I switched up the space between the lines to add a bit of interest. Also because the close-together quilting was taking FOREVER.

  Fancy Foxes quilting 

This one is for my newest nephew, L. His mom, my sister in law, told me they were going with a navy/grey theme in the baby's room so I had a lot of fun choosing fabrics from my stash. There's some William Morris reproduction fabric, some London Calling by Robert Kaufman (Liberty-adjacent pattern), a Moda Essentials print, some Kona solids and a blender (the grey jewels) whose name I've forgotten.

  Fancy Foxes 

 I can't wait to meet him this summer when I see my family - until then, I hope this quilt is a nice virtual hug.

P.S. This pattern, while quick to put together, has a lot of fabric waste as you cut off corner triangles on a couple of large pieces. If you want to save the bits, go ahead and stitch a second line ½" from the first and cut between the stitched lines as in this tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew. That gives you a pieced HST for use in another project (or the quilt back, perhaps).

P.P.S. Did you notice the glasses? The pattern comes with a template for glasses. I modified it to make the glasses cat's eyes like mine.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Finish Along: Q2 Goals

Welp here we are again, setting goals for the quarter. I didn't have a great showing last quarter but what're ya gonna do? Life happened. Day job work and life in general are busy and stressful at the moment, so much so that I contemplated not putting a list together. I don't have much in the tank in the evenings, even for quilty stuff. But the goals are very motivating for me and help me stay focused on what I want to do so let's do this!

1. I came very close to finishing my Bee Sewcial quilt in time for my Q1 goal. I've (possibly temporarily) named it Winter. I didn't want to rush the quilting like I usually do and regret the output. As it stands, I've begun some walking foot quilting but I already know I want the quilting lines to be closer together. Back on the list it goes!

Winter quilting

2. My piece that I made during the Small Studies workshop I took with Gwen Marston at QuiltCon this past February. I really feel like the class was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Gwen is the bee's knees. Looking forward to finishing this little piece (it's about 8"x9"). I've got a few more parts that didn't make it into the final piece, only because I temporarily lost them on my worktable during the workshop. I may or may not add them. We'll have to see how things shape up.

Small study 

I'm leaving the list at this because I'm a dummy and signed up for/committed to two different challenges that are due in the coming 6 weeks. I've not started either one, though I at least have a design in mind for the one that's due May 1st!

2016 FAL

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Finish Along Q1 report

My Q1 Finish Along list was pretty simple - four projects. That's it. How did I do?

1. Bee Sewcial Winter quilt. Not yet finished, and probably won't be before the deadline. I've begun quilting this quilt, and it's going okay but I don't want to rush it just for the sake of getting it in under the wire. I will carry this project forward to Q2.

Winter quilt, quilting

2. Modern Stripes. YES! It was admittedly a "gimme" (only had the binding left to do when I put it on my Q1 list) but hey. It's a finish. The link with all the photos is here but I will link up this post to report on it.

Modern Stripes quilting 

3. Gee's Bend Mini. No. It's currently AWOL, actually. I blame the move. Sigh.

4. Mod Corsage. Actually, I did a bit more appliqué and used this sweet block as my starter block for this year's VMQG Round Robin.

  Mod Corsage Round Robin starter block

The Finish along really helps keep me focused on finishing the projects I really want to finish. Why not join us for Q2?

A Sunny Mini

A friend and co-worker left our department and I gave her the choice of what handmade item she'd like as a going away gift: a pillow, pouch or mini quilt.

Lesley chose a mini, and I'm so glad she did because I had the perfect design all set to go. Lesley is easily one of the most cheerful, sunny, positive people I know. So something involving a bright sun was a no-brainer option for her gift, which I called "Let Your Light Shine Bright."

Let Your Light Shine Bright

It's not very big - maybe 13"x14"? I can't exactly remember. But it began with two improvised "slabs" of fabric - one blue and one yellow. I used a circle ruler to make the inset half-circle. The letters and sun rays were cut out of fabric to which I'd adhered fusible web. I drew the letters freehand (and in mirror image!).

Stitching down the appliqué via freemotion quilting plus some fun designs in the sun was the only quilting I did on the piece.

Half-circle sun and quilting

A cute yellow binding was a nice finish, I think.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bee Sewcial January and February

I re-upped my commitment to Bee Sewcial when Leanne and Stephanie decided to keep it running for another year. I absolutely LOVE the monthly challenges and besides, one of our members (Debbie A Quilter's Table) won First Place in Group Quilts at QuiltCon West with a Bee Sewcial quilt - who wouldn't want to continue in a group like that if they could?

Speaking of QuiltCon, many of us Bee Sewcialites (current and former) met up at QuiltCon, had our photo taken in front of the quilt and had a great lunch together. A QuiltCon highlight for sure.

Now. While my Bee Sewcial participation has been timely, my blogging about it has not been! January flitted by and so did February and well here we are.

Stephanie Spontaneous Threads kicked off January with a prompt about lines and intersections, and chose some of my very very favourite colours - shades of grey + curry + a pop of colour.

Bee Sewcial block 1 for Stephanie

Block 2 for @spontaneousthreads, #beesewcial #inspiredbybeesewcial. It's a fair bit like the first one but I was enjoying the lines so much, I just kept going. 

Then for February, Karen Capitola Quilter had a really cool idea combining form and function and colour ("Stretch Denim (Let's Get Comfortable)") and oh it was great. My first block was kind of typical of me - some improv waves, some chambray.

Bee Sewcial February block 1 for   Karen

For Block 2, I waited until the Bee Sewcial ladies could give me an in-person tutorial on insetting shapes into backgrounds. Success! Check out that "hole in my jeans"!

Bee Sewcial February block 2 for  Karen.

The technique is a combination of the 6 minute circle (you can search it on youtube) and some others and now I know how to do it yaaaaaay!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fancy Fox II: Pillow

Every year, I donate something handmade to the silent auction at my friend/former co-worker's ringette team fundraiser. First it was a quilt, then I downsized a bit to pillows (this one, and this one).

I made four Fancy Fox II blocks into a quilt top in a VMQG workshop a few weeks ago, and they were so fast to make, I thought of the pattern right away for this year's Beaver Bash pillow.

fancy fox pillow

This is a 100% stash project. Foxy's face fabric is by Kate and Birdie (Canadian!) for Moda. The line is called Autumn Woods, from a couple years ago. The grey paisley is also Moda - the selvage says Moda Classics. Fancy Fox II is a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

It's quilted very sparsely - just an echo around the face and some stippling in the background. Since I used fusible fleece, I wasn't too worried about quilting density.

The pillow cover is about 20" square, and I stuffed it with a 22" pillow form to make it nice and plump.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Placemats

Finally! The placemats I made back in 2011 were so old and worn out, I decided it was time to make some new ones.

I used two charm packs of Mochi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel. Such fun, bright, funky fabrics! The pattern is just a quick Disappearing 9-Patch.

I backed them with some fun Moda grunge, which I also used for the bindings. And the quilting is different on each placemat. 
New placemats made with Mochi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel.

What have you sewn lately?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Modern Stripes

I was the lucky winner of this gorgeous bundle of Cloud 9 Organice Solids at a VMQG meeting last year:

Modern Stripes in progress

I had this FQ bundle for a long time before the right design came to mind. As much as possible, I kept the different values of the various colours together and pieced them into strip sets of varying sizes:

Modern Stripes in progress

Friends, I love this quilt. LOVE. IT. The fabrics are so lovely. So soft with a really nice hand. Highly recommended.

Modern Stripes

It's about 60x72 so I quilted it on the longarm with a clamshell design that goes side to side. I switched it up with a slightly different clamshell when I remembered.

Modern Stripes quilting

The back is two different Kona Greys (Charcoal and Medium Grey) plus a bit of a leftover strip set that I cross-cut and pieced in a little checkerboard just because. This shows the nice magenta binding to its best advantage. 

Modern Stripes back

It's a Finish Along finish too. This one's staying with me!

2016 FAL

Lone Star

I've long admired Lone Star quilts, but it wasn't until I saw the beautiful one that Lynne (Lily's Quilts) designed for Make It, Take It that I felt I was up to the challenge.

Lone Star

The pattern uses strip piecing to make this pattern really accessible. I scaled it down slightly, choosing to cut my initial strips at 2½". The finished quilt is about 35" square - a great wallhanging or baby quilt size.

I don't know what inspired the colour story here - I started with that Anna Maria Horner echinacea print and added complementary colours. The background is Essex Linen in Black, one of my all-time favourites.

Lone Star quilting

Simple wavy lines for the quilting were done in an organic design for a quick finish. This was a 2015 Finish Along project that I didn't properly blog because the photo I took in my sewing room really wasn't up to snuff. Not that this one is much better. We moved and I lost my lovely arbour hanging spot that I could use without help. Now I need quilt holders and that is a whole new challenge, never mind finding a suitable backdrop. Consider it a work in progress, I suppose. *grin*

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bee Sewcial, Year 2

I loved loved loved being part of Bee Sewcial last year, so I stayed on for the second round!

Before I show you what I made for Stephanie Spontaneous Threads this month, here is a mosaic of all of my Bee Sewcial blocks from 2015:

Bee Sewcial 2015
Click through to my Flickr photostream for individual links

2016 kicked off with some of my favourite colours: grey and yellow. Or, more specifically, Kona Medium Grey and Kona Curry. Yum!

Bee Sewcial block 1 for Stephanie Block 2 for @spontaneousthreads, #beesewcial #inspiredbybeesewcial. It's a fair bit like the first one but I was enjoying the lines so much, I just kept going.

The theme was linear and intersections. I didn't intend for both blocks to be so straight and narrow but that's how they evolved. I kind of love them.