Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Snowy Quilting Day

What to do on a cold and snowy day? Stay home and sew of course! And long for the warmer weather now gone - but that's another story!

I've planned a completely scrappy quilt for ages, and I even spent time at a retreat last year sewing strips into long rows with the idea of making one of the quilts in Sunday Morning Quilts (one of my favourite books!).

I got all those strips out and looked them over, but I really wasn't feeling it. It seemed like it was going to be too dark and chaotic. Then I saw Cathy's quilt at the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the Scrappy category, and bingo! That's the one!
Cathy blogs at Blueberry Patch, and I always love her quilts. this one is Scrappy Crossroads.

By great good luck I have the book with the pattern, it is Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner.

Two days later and I have made 7 blocks, the first row. Only another 49 blocks to go! When I see how much of a dent I've already made in my pile of strips, I can only imagine how many more scraps I'm going to be digging out!




When sewing my original strips I had limited myself to red, pink, turquoise, grey, and white.
I'm going to stick with those colours, it seems like plenty, though I'd dearly like to work in some small pieces of purple here and there. We shall see!

Linking to Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt
                  Sew Cute Tuesday   at Blossom Heart Quilts
                  Show and Tell Tuesday at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics

             

Till next time,

Sue

Monday, November 10, 2014

Double Crossed and a longarming problem

I went to a retreat at the beginning of September, and decided to start a quilt I had been planning for over a year.  The pattern is Double Crossed by Amy Smart who blogs at Diary of a Quilter. I had long ago bought and stacked the fabrics I hoped to use for this project.

Then I had second thoughts: should I use a different pattern?  Several attractive patterns came to mind. Should I change out some of the fabrics? Finally I decided to go with my original plan and packed it all with me.

Here is the finished quilt:



Along the way I added a light grey, another dark turquoise, and that salmon colour that is from the new Zen Chic line. Opinion at the retreat was divided on that fabric, but I'm glad I put it in.

After arriving home I made enough more squares to put the top together, pieced the back and got it ready for the longarmer, since the top was now about 86" x 94".



Here's my back, completely directional, and with my pieced blocks inserted.

A closeup of the fabrics, the sashing is actually a pretty dot, not plain white.



And here's what went wrong at the longarmer. She placed the length of the top across the width of the backing.

It's taken me at least a week to put things right again, to the point that I'm happy with it again. I had added unrelated fabric strips on both sides of the back that were planned to be cut off again as they were within the 4" extra each side. They were now quilted in and part of the quilt. I had to sew on strips to cover those pieces and quilt over it again. The quilt front was placed right at the bottom of the backing, and in places came down further than the backing. I didn't want to trim my blocks, so I added a thin strip on the bottom of the back to cover the shortfall. Worst of all, there was a large piece of unused backing at the top. If I cut it off, the quilt would be very wide and too short. I would also be cutting off most of a block of my pieced back. So I made more blocks for the front. 13 more blocks in case you are wondering. I also put a 6 " strip of patterned fabric at the very top since I didn't have enough variety of fabrics to make another row of 13 blocks. I also had to join more batting. And then I quilted it all.

Finally I was able to trim and bind it all and see how it turned out:
Well, the quilt is now bigger than I planned, but a comfortable size for a queen size bed. Even for a king: one of my daughters has put in a request for it.

My quilting was all on the edges, so not too much of a pain, and it blends in quite well.

I wish I didn't have a top border, when there are no other borders, but folding the top down covers that, and I love looking at a bit of my back anyway.

The extra I added to the back at the bottom can be seen if you are looking closely, but really, do I?

Lesson learned - no more cheaping out with an inexperienced longarmer. I'm booked to take a class, and from now on I hope to do all my quilting myself. Smaller things were already done on my home machine. Larger quilts will be done by me by renting time on a long arm. And any future quilt disasters will be my responsibility and no one else's!



Linking to: TGIFF at Quilt Matters
                   Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts


Till next time

Sue


Quilty Doings - Charm Pack Cherry

After I saw the Charm Pack Cherry free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop, I wanted to try it out for a lap quilt for myself.

The fabric I used is Color Me Happy by V. and Co. The pattern makes a lap quilt sized 52"x54", and uses two print charm packs, and two solid charm packs. As usual I wanted a larger quilt, so I used three charm packs and white Kona yardage and made a quilt sized 64"x74".

The pattern is a variation on the Disappearing Nine Patch. There are two blocks, one has 4 background squares out of 9, and the other has 5 background squares out of 9. They are then cut, reassembled and put together according to instructions. You have to pay attention a bit, but all went smoothly.




 The back is handprinted fabric I bought in India. I'm glad to have it out and in use.



It's a border print, soft and pretty. It would have made a nice blouse too, too bad I didn't buy more!

 Here is a closeup of my quilting. I intended to do clamshells, but because of the size of the squares I ended up with jujubes instead! It's alright, I like it this way!

Quilty doings, I Spy

I have a lot of time to report about, since my last post was my zig-zag quilt, seen here.

Over the summer, I determined to make 3 charity quilts. They are not small, 60 X 70, so it took some time from start to finish. All 3 are I Spy quilts, one has more 'girly' squares , Disney Princesses, mermaids and the like.







All three quilts are intended to be I Spy, matching, and alphabet. I hope they will provide a bit of fun for sick kids and their parents.

There are still I Spy squares left over. I'm keeping back two sets, one for my little grandson, and one for a grandchild-to-be. Even when I've done those, there may be more to make. I have a weakness for I  Spy, and a drawer full of novelty fabrics to use! I used 5" squares for the charity quilts, but I also have 4" squares from several swaps

Friday, July 25, 2014

Zigzag finish

It's such a happy feeling to have a quilt finished quickly. Well, quickly for me... I won two jelly rolls of Kaffe Fassett fabrics at a retreat last summer. So it was made in less than a year, with long periods when it languished as a WIP!




The fabrics are so bright and busy. After lots of thought I used a pattern from the Moda Bake Shop called Little Rays of Sunshine. I think it suits the fabrics without making them overwhelming.



The backing is from stash, I had been looking for a good use for it, I like the colours and the floral design. I would prefer the background ivory instead of white, but overall I'm happy with it.

The binding is scrappy from the left over jelly roll strips. I did my usual 2 1/4 inch cut, and sewed to the back first and then the front. Doing it that way is tidy and almost foolproof, and can be done on a huuuge quilt in just 2 hours. The quilt measures 100 x 104, so I broke my own rule and took it to be longarmed. The quilting is in ivory thread, an all over interlocking rectangles type design. I think it is really successful.

Yay! I love it!!

Linking to:
Finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts
TGIFF @ Quokka Quilts
Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Favourite Quilt

I have been reading the Sew Mama Sew series this month on favourite quilts. (I'm Canadian, that's how we spell favourite. Bear with me!)

Here is the link to the start of the series on June 1st. I have a lot of reading to do, to catch up on which quilt people have for their favourite, and why. The ones I have already read were so interesting! It started me asking myself "Which is MY favourite?"

I will follow the question and answer format used by Jessica of Quilty Habit throughout the series.


This photo is bleached by the bright sunlight, but I like the shadows, and you can certainly see how bright the colours are!

 Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?

I started this quilt after seeing lots of pictures of Camille Roskelly's Swoon pattern, and joining Katy's Swoon Along on Flickr. That was in 2011. I finally finished it in August 2013.
The fabrics are mainly Gypsy Bandanna by Pillow and Maxfield with some other stash fabrics added. I used about 13 different fabrics from that line.

 Have you shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests? 

I showed it in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, not otherwise.

 What do you like best about the quilt?

The colour and fabric combinations in the stars. I love brights, you can tell! The binding is a diagonal rainbow stripe, perfect. Everytime I look at my quilted feathers, I smile at my fears, and how (relatively) well it turned out!
 How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

There were a lot of "firsts" in the making of this quilt. It was my first real attempt to use value and contrast. The blocks can look so different according to fabric placement. In a wild moment I decided to make the blocks different sizes but I had no idea how to figure out placement. I used Quilt As You Go, and I quilted it densely with feathers in the background. Another two firsts.

If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently? 

I would try to be braver, spend less time thinking, and finish it faster!




 Where is the quilt now?

It is on a quilt rack in my hall, and whenever I put it on my bed I get a nice feeling of accomplishment!

Linking to:
My Favorite Quilt at Sew Mama Sew


Sue





Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Spy

This little quilt was made in record time. I started it in May, and finished today.

I can tell you quite honestly that I love I Spy quilts using any pattern. The variety and interest of the squares, the mixture of colours, the whimsical nature of the prints delight me.

My first I Spy quilt, pictured here, and on my blog header, was a very big one, made for my two little GDs. Since then I kept collecting squares, because I knew another I Spy would be in my future. As it turns out there will be several!
I've decided to make a couple for the Children's Hospital here in Calgary.

This is the first:


My helper is about to photo bomb in the right corner!

It's a simple 9 patch arrangement of 5 inch squares.

Here are a couple of closeups of the blocks. I thought I would say favourites, but I couldn't decide!




As you see, it is a mixture of older fabrics, some of it donated, and newer ones. The quilt is 60" x70".
The backing is blue swirly flannel, and the quilting is straight line double lines.

The next one is going to have a rose coloured sashing and purple backing. So much fun!

Linking to:








Till next time,

Sue