Sunday, October 4, 2015

Q3 Finish Along Check-in

Q3 was a bust. There's really no other way to say it. 1/3. 33.3%. No bueno, as a friend of mine likes to say.

Let's review, based on my Q3 Goal list:

1. Jeweled Squares got finished and renamed Strip and Squares Everywhere:

Strips and Squares Everywhere

I am still so happy with this finish! I may write up a pattern for this one as well. We'll see.

2. Lone Star and Churn Dash are still not finished. I did make progress, though. The Lone Star top is all done, and awaits quilting. Churn Dashes are being made but I'm still a ways away from the total number I need. I consider it a long term project.

This was a busy quarter for me. A hot and busy summer, and the distraction of having to get our place ready to list and sell (it's now sold, thank goodness). I also made two mini quilts for VMQG's show within the Vancouver Quilters' Guild show later this month, and I'll share those once I get a decent photo. 

Linking up with Adrienne on the Windy Side, the 2015 Finish Along host.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bee Sewcial: October is my month!

When we were choosing months for Bee Sewcial, I selected October because it's my birthday month and I feel like having my wonderful bee mates making blocks for me during my birthday month is an extra bit of celebrating.

Like Hillary's assignment in September, October's also involves minimalism. We'll be making blocks that are minimalist, abstract winter landscapes. I scoured Pinterest for images of winter landcapes (my inspiration board) and the ones that appealed the most to me have trees in them, usually silhouetted against a white winter sky and snowy ground. I dig the ones with fences or mountains too.

My sample block, made with shades of grey, with black and white as well, is inspired by the idea of a row of moonlit trees along a road.

#beesewcial October sample
Minimalist, abstract trees on a road in the moonlight.

You don't need to choose a particular image and render it in a minimalist abstract way (I didn't) but feel free if you want. The inspiration board is simply that: inspiration.

I'm not too fussy about the greys - I've got a variety in this block, most of which are warmer greys like Kona Ash, but there's a touch of cool grey too so don't be afraid of, say, Kona Silver or Kona Medium Grey. There are a couple of shades of Art Gallery solids as well as a Bella Solid too, I believe. In other words, I'm not picky. I would like some grey in every block but it doesn't have to be the majority.

So to recap:

Palette: black, white, shades of grey
# of blocks: equivalent of two 12.5" unfinished. Can be two separate blocks or one big block (vertical or horizontal arrangement acceptable).
Theme: winter landscape.
Style: Abstract, minimalist
Being Sewcial: Everyone is welcome to sew along with us in October using the #inspiredbybeesewcial hashtag. Please leave the #beesewcial hashtag for Bee Sewcial folks only. And please tag me @felicityquilts so I can be sure to see what you're sewing.

Finally, watch the Flickr pool as well to see the photos pop up.

Happy stitching!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Blocks: Bee Sewcial and VMQG Block Lotto

This month's Bee Sewcial assignment is from Hillary Entropy Always Wins. Minimalist blocks in black and white, our choice of design but she asked that the design be meaningful to us.

After seeing a few blocks start to pop up in the Flickr pool, I noticed that they were all white with black designs so I knew right away I wanted to do a black background with a white design. I chose a plus sign for its symbolism of "positive" - having the white plus sign on the black background is about looking for the light in the darkness and that kind of thing.

Bee Sewical Block 2 for Hillary 

Then with the second block, I stayed with the theme of positive, but maximized the engagement of the negative space to create the symbol.

Bee Sewcial Block 1 for Hillary

Next month it's my turn to set the theme - stay tuned!

I also had some fun making some VMQG block lotto blocks. Cute I Spy economy blocks:

I Spy Economy Block for VMQG block lotto

I Spy Economy block 2 for VMQG block lotto

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!