Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Watch for Elephants

 My Dad has always loved elephants, and, when we the kids would get bored on long drives (no iPods, no NintendoDS, no CD's even), he'd tell us to watch for elephants.

One day, when we lived in Grande Prairie, he came rushing into the house, wanting us to get in the car RIGHT NOW---no shoes or coat needed.  He'd actually seen an elephant walking down main street, but by the time we got back there, the elephant was back in the circus grounds.

Since then, Dad has travelled to Asia and Africa and seen many elephants in the wild, and also ridden elephants. 

So, when I saw this kit, I just had to have it. 

It's applique, which I just don't 'do'.  So, wouldn't you know it, I double checked on the first 3 fabrics, that I was fusing to the wrong side of the fabric, but when I got to that gorgeous Stonehenge fabric for the body of the elephant, all I could think about was centering this patch over the truck and this patch on the ear...and so I fused the pattern to the right side of the fabric, which is the wrong side of what I wanted to do.  So, I walked away for a few days, came back, and yay, had enough fabric in the kit to do those pieces again.  Yes, you guessed it, I made the same error AGAIN!!  (Now you know why I don't applique).  Luckily, I recognized the fabric as Stonehenge, Along Came Quilting had some in stock, and I eventually got it right.

I changed the borders from the kit--the kit had that zigzag fabric on 2 sides only...but too much of that fabric scrambled my brain anyway, so I changed it up a little, added the black.

To me, it seems as if the elephant is walking right towards me.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Tessellations part 2

The boy's drawing came home from school for some more detail work...and he said I could share here.  It's kinda quilty, because the birds have feathers :)   He said most of his classmates couldn't see the birds, but I sure can.  I hope you can too.  I bet his friends see the birds now that he's drawn on the feathers.

I think a lot of quilt blocks are tessellations...this drawing reminds me of pinwheel-style blocks. 

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Pair of Stars

These quilts belong to Colleen, and are for twins of a friends of her mothers.  I like how they are the same but different, perfect for twins.  Sadly, I'm forced to admit that, while sure she would have pieced them slightly differently, I didn't see it until I took the picture, I guess I was just focused on the quilting.   One parent is a musician, so the green fabric is music themed, and the other parent is a small animal vet, so the backing has really cute puppies all over, but the only picture I took of the backing was blurry, so I won't inflict that on you.  Maybe you can see enough on the edges to imagine how cute it is. 

We took a road trip to find that backing, Colleen had looked all over Calgary and not found something she liked, and phoned the Quilting Bee in Olds to see if they had anything appropriate, and they did.  So, out to Olds we went, and she found something that would work at the Craigs (which has a surprisingly good fabric department), and 3 fabrics to choose from at the Quilting Bee.  We also found a fantastic shoe store, and I came home with 2 pairs of shoes!  Fun day.

A simple loopy meander in a soft yellow thread.

 Colleen pieced the backing so that I could load both quilts at once, which saved her on the quilting fee, as she wasn't paying 2 minimum charges, but instead for just one larger quilt.  Perfectly flat and square as usual.  Thanks Colleen.


My son was working on a tessellations drawing for school this weekend, and I have always loved to see what the Grade 5's do each year for their tessellations.  He took it back to school, so I don't have a photo to share.
 I downloaded pictures from my camera today, and lo and behold, I have created something similar on the back of this quilt.  I cannot yet show you the front of this quilt, but look at the tessellations on the back.  This might be another one of those quilts where I like the back better than the front...the front is lovely too, but for now, you'll just have to take my word on that.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


This is a quilt I made for my Grandma in 2010, at her request, as a coverlet, or a 'flimsy' as it's called in the quilting world.  I zigzagged every seam as I pieced it, with a really thin thread (to avoid thread bulk).  So, I wasn't sure how it would quilt, now that we have decided to quilt it, but those zigzags didn't bother me at all.  The first picture is before quilting, and the 2nd shows the zig zagged seams.

The pattern is called Crossroads, and it's by Allison Spence of Needleworks. 

I see the diamonds in this pattern, before I see the stars, so that's what I wanted to emphasize with the quilting.  Then I recalled advice I got at MQX last fall, to 'frame' things, and I love the look of the channels that are filled beside ones that aren't filled.   Grandma wanted fairly loose quilting, but I also wanted some practice with ruler work, so this is what she gets.  Because it's a wool batt, it still drapes very nicely and isn't stiff at all.  This is the first quilt where I've SID'd (stitch in the ditch) the whole thing...I AM getting better at it.

Then I did some line dancing and connecting curves through the stars and the paisley squares.  I LOVE the texture I got on this quilt!

oops, I can see where I mistakenly filled too many channels, and need to do some frogging (rip-it rip-it).  Can you see the one diamond corner that is flat?  That's tonights task while waiting for my daughter at her dance class.

I didn't quite have enough of the paisley left for backing, so I used this lovely wide-back, which shows the quilting off beautifully (if only it didn't show off all the wobbles as well, sigh).

Did I mention I love the texture on this quilt?  I think it's worth the hours and hours it took me!! 

Mystery Quilt

This was a mystery quilt at Needleworks a few summers ago, and I pulled all the fabrics from my stash.   I added the outer border, and maybe the outer two borders.  I used every inch of fabric...I think I've got a 6" square left.   I've quilted it with a Tuscany wool batt and flannel backing, very cosy.  I just love the turquoise in this quilt. 

I consulted with my daughter, and she thought we should leave those poofy squares looked better before being and learn.

It's crinkled up nicely in the wash...but it makes it a bit harder to see the quilting in the photos.

 There are ferny feathers in the borders, and the pink and green fabrics have fern's printed on them.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

He Loves Me

This Yellow Brick Road was made by Colleen, nice and flat and square.  It was quilted with Anne Bright's pantograph, "He Loves Me", a nice floral panto.  It's nice to quilt a panto like this, and to realize that my freehand flowers don't have to be uniform...these flowers have some pretty wonky petals, but they look lovely.