April 17, 2015

Linked – A Wedding Quilt for Grant and Robyn

I've named this quilt "Linked" and it is a wedding gift for Grant and Robyn. Grant is the son of a good friend and they were married last September. I'm late I know, but that's how I roll.

Pat, Grant's Mom, gave me some ideas for colours and so I pulled these from my stash and paired them with Sketch in light grey for the background. The darker central squares are from a dark mottled grey fabric. I can't remember what it's called but it has a weight similar to the shot cottons. The binding is a scrappy mix of leftover fabrics from the blocks.

The back is a large piece of fabric I was so happy to find at IKEA when we were in Edmonton last summer. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would match the quilt fabrics perfectly ... and it does! I also like that is has gems on it. I added a little bit of coordinating fabrics to make it the right size.

The pattern I used is "Movement in Squares", a free downloadable pattern at Ivory Spring. It came together rather quickly. What was different for me was that I really had to plan which fabrics I was going to use where before I started. I'm used to being able to move blocks around once they're made but you can't do that with this pattern.

The pattern instructions said to press seams to the side but after doing that with two blocks and being unhappy with the look and with the way my seams didn't match up nicely, I remade the squares with seams pressed open and it worked so much better. The blocks looked better in general and the seams matched up nicely. I just don't get pressing seams to one side. I so much prefer pressing them open even if it does take longer. I should also add that I don't recommend cutting all your fabric before starting to sew. I found I had lots of leftover strips that I didn't even touch. Those are what I used for the binding but as I read the instructions, I think they were meant for the blocks. I'm confused. I'm not sure if I misunderstood the instructions or if the instructions were wrong. It might just have been me. It's probably me because I believe it's a popular pattern.

For this project, I needed to be very organized. I used one paper plate per block. I wrote the block "letter" on the plate and kept the pieces for that block on its plate until the block was complete. It worked for me.

Lisa kindly quilted this with an all-over boxy pattern using her longarm quilting machine. I love it!

I even allowed myself to be in a quilt photo! Mom's idea.

Quilt Stats:
  1. Name: Linked
  2. Size: 55" x 62" (58" x 65" before washing)
  3. Pattern: Movement in Squares
  4. Fabrics: Sketch in light grey for background and various fabrics from my stash (mostly Denyse Schmidt Chicopee) and an Ikea fabric for the back with some stash fabrics.
  5. Quilting: Longarm quilted by Lisa
 Pssst – Now I need to get going on a baby quilt for this couple. And I'd better hurry!
April 23 - I finished the label. It's now ready to deliver!

I used a  vintage handkerchief that had a monogrammed W on it, the first letter of their last name.

Counting Stars – A Wedding Quilt for Helena and Mat

I'm so happy to have finally completed this monster quilt! It wasn't supposed to be so big. It was supposed to be considerably smaller but in "winging it", I hadn't properly considered how much space those 3 big stars would need. Ultimately, I didn't want to crowd them, so a giant quilt this became.

It's the most time I've ever put into a quilt. Those little wonky star points took me SO LONG! I had no idea wonky star points could take so long! For each of those blocks ... 4 per star ... you cut, sew, trim, press, square up, sew, trim, press, square up. That's a lot of steps for one little 3.5" block! And multiply that by over 400 ... sheeesh! I'm glad I was a little naive about this project because otherwise I probably wouldn't have started it. But I'm so glad I did. I'm so happy with how it turned out and I'd long wanted to make one like this since I first saw Oh Fransson's "Sparkle Punch" tutorial. I would provide the link to it but I see that the Oh Fransson website is currently under construction. Her tutorial was for a quilt that was entirely made with the medium sized stars. My variation is not original. It is very much copied from a quilt by The Girl Who Quilts.

 The backing fabric is the famous (in the modern quilt blog world) number fabric from Ikea (now discontinued) fleshed out with some black and white "Bramble". The binding is a mix of fabrics used in the stars. I like the rich colours edging all that black and white.

This is a wedding gift for Helena and Mat. Helena's is a good friend's daughter and she's only a month older than my daughter. The wedding was in November but I typically run late on wedding quilts. I almost immediately chose this design for Helena and Mat. They recently had their own house built on the land that Mat farms. It's right out there in the open with expansive prairie views on all sides and a vast sky from horizon to horizon. Imagine all the stars they see every night! I know. I grew up in the same environment and I spent many nights standing at my north bedroom window looking up at the stars. I thought that sleeping under the stars indoors would be appropriate for these newlyweds.

My colour choices came from the multi-coloured fabric in the big star. I chose the medium grey background fabric (Moda Weave) to make the quilt a little less "girly". In fact, I tried to avoid blatantly girly fabrics. I love the background fabric. It has a nice linen-like look to it ... textural ... and it has a nice sheen, too. Depending on the lighting, the grey can appear lighter or darker than it actually is. I was able to see Helena and Mat's house after I'd already started the quilt and I was tickled to bits to see that their house decor includes a lot of grey and turquoise. I think this quilt will nicely compliment their current style.

I just love those little mini-stars. They're so cute!

I like to imagine that someday children will spend time picking out their favourite stars and playing "find the matching stars" game with the quilt before drifting off to sleep. I fussy cut two of my favourite Heather Ross "Far Far Away" fabrics for two of the star centres.The Owl and the Pussycat and the Sleeping Beauty are especially appropriate, I think.

It is always a pleasure to make a quilt with people in mind. With every stitch you think of them.

Quilt Stats:
  1. Name: Counting Stars
  2. Size: 78" x 100" (74" x 96" after washing)
  3. Pattern: Variation of Sparkle Punch by Oh Fransson (no link available) but inspired by this quilt made by The Girl Who Quilts 
  4. Fabrics: Background:  Moda Weave in Medium Grey | Stars: Various fabrics from my stash | Backing: Number fabric from Ikea and Bramble | Binding: Scrappy binding from fabrics used in stars
  5. Quilting: Done by Lisa on her longarm machine

My Mom helped me take photos of this quilt today. It needed taller holders than we pip-squeaks! And thank goodness for the kindness of strangers who kindly operated the camera!

April 22, 2015 - I finished the label. Now the quilt is ready for delivery. I made a scrappy star and wrote on the centre. I'm not very happy with my printing on this one. I think I needed to use a finer pen for starters.

April 16, 2015

My House and Neighbouring Houses in a Quilt Block

I made this block for Julie's "Neighbourhood" traveling quilt. The middle house ... the yellow one ... represents our house and the others are similar to the houses on either side of ours. I included a representation of me in a red coat on my scooter, because I do a whole lot of scooting and I added a little bit of garden on the other side of my house. I used the "Dwell" pattern (from the Simply Retro book by Camille Roskelley) for the houses.

I realized, too late, that I made a mistake. My signature peace sign fabric on the door of my house is upside down. Oh, well. I can be a little topsy-turvy myself, so it's fitting.

February 1, 2015

A Perfect Little Wallet for Christmas from Patti

We had a gift exchange at our Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild's Christmas party and I was so lucky to come home with this perfect little wallet made by Patti of Retired to Quilt. She does such beautiful and inspired work! You should look at her blog to see the other beautiful things she makes.

It was my favourite accessory at a Christmas dinner I went to in Regina.

A Rainbow Dresden for Sheila's Traveling Quilt

I love this traveling quilt project that's happening with our Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild.

I'm a little late finishing my addition to Sheila's traveling quilt. I was supposed to have it done for last Sunday but instead of machine appliquéing it as I planned, I decided to do it by hand, which takes a lot longer. I'm glad I did, though. I think it's pretty sweet!

I chose to make a dresden plate because I recall Sheila comment, at the last Saskatoon Quilt Guild show, "I can never resist a dresden". So here's a dresden just for her. It's the first full dresden I've ever made. I made a couple of wee half dresdens to put on some mug rugs. 

The inner circle is a happy afterthought. I didn't line up it up to to be exactly opposite the outer one. I just placed it where I liked it best. I left enough fabric around the dresden so it can be trimmed a bit if needed for fitting it to the rest of the blocks.

I used the E-Z Dresden Ruler for this. For the outer ring, I cut fabric bits 4 inches in length and then lined it up with the 2" to 6" section of the ruler. The inner ring pieces are cut to 2 inches and then lined up with the bottom of the ruler and the 2" mark. I think the inner ring is 6" across. I didn't measure the outer ring but I left ample background fabric (20" square) so it can be trimmed down a bit if necessary.

I hope Sheila likes it. Sheila blogs at Stitched by Sheila. I love her style.

Here are the other pieces to which my block will be added.  

And a few process photos. Much pinning was done to keep things stable for the hand work. 

More Christmas Oven Mitts

Catching up with Christmas now that I have a few pressing quilt projects finished, here are the oven mitts I made for my daughter, Hannah, her BFF, Dani, and Dani's Mom, who had us over to her place over Christmas.

Dani's Mom has a love affair with all things Paris, just as Patio and I do. These are for her.

Dani and Hannah, who loved their recent trip to Jamaica and who both remind me of my inner-hippy, needed these oven mitts.

Here they are modeling them.

And here is their friend, Ben, showing off his Christmas pie while wearing Hannah's oven mitts. We had such a wonderful Christmas in Vancouver with Hannah and her many friends. We missed having Luke, our son, with us but he was on a beach in Bali at the time. I can hardly wish him away from that.

I must say, I wanted to make myself and Luke some oven mitts, too, but damn, they are hard on my machine. All those layers really challenged my machine! I broke a few needles, too. I won't make the other oven mitts until just before I'm ready to take my machine in for a servicing.

December 8, 2014

Arrows for Lisa's Traveling Quilt


I had been wanting to try these arrows and when Lisa's traveling quilt came to me, I knew this was the right project for them. I used the free tutorial by Carla at Grace and Favour. It's a good tutorial. Easy to follow. The process leaves lots of big scraps but they're big enough to work nicely into other projects, so I don't think of it as waste. For my arrows I fussy cut the arrow heads and the little pieces that form the very bottom tail of the stem.

I love Lisa's colour palette. It's not one I would have thought of. Lisa started with the feathers (another project I want to try - Anna Maria Horner has a free pdf pattern and tutorial for them) and Jaclyn added the flying geese. I especially like the row of narrow flying geese. I've never seen those done like that before. I didn't attach my arrows. I've left them for others to attach as they see fit.

For the end of January I have to have my contribution to Sheila's traveling quilt finished. I know what I'm going to do but won't get started until the new year. The traveling quilts (11 of them) are a time consuming project but I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on it and I can't wait to see what's happening with my Zodia quilt.

Here's the doll quilt I made with my leftovers.


A Quilt for Juliet's Baby Dolls

Carol's grand daughter, Juliet,  has discovered dolls! So she needs a quilt for them, right? I had some leftover trimmings from another project and was happy to put them into this little project. This one really was a quick project ... even for me! It's pretty cute, I think.

I had leftover bits from making arrows for Lisa's traveling quilt project. I added a few bits of other fabric from the scrap bin. The text fabric is especially dear to me. It's what I used as background fabric for my daughter's quilt and also on Juliet's baby quilt. I was glad that for this project, the scrap piece has the phrase "City of Bridges" in it. *smile*

I made a little pillow out of the backing fabric and because I didn't really like the way the way the centre sting pieced triangles fit together, I covered the joint with a little coordinating yo-yo.

Carol tells me that Juliet has already been tucking her babies in with it multiple times.

The doll modeling the quilt in the photos is my own from when I was a little girl.