Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Tale of 3 Quilts and 3 Quilters

I have 3 friends (well, I hope I have more than 3 friends, but there are 3 in this story)....who have birthdays exactly 333 days apart from each other.  22 months ago, when the eldest was about to celebrate a milestone birthday, they decided to have a quilt challenge.  They each bought the coffee cake layer cake (because 40 fabrics sounded like a good milestone-type of number and because they always drink coffee together), and had to create a finished (quilted, bound and labelled) project by the  time the youngest also had her milestone birthday. 

Apparently the rules were changing as they went, and then someone asked if it would count if I quilted their project...and so it evolved that I was lucky enough to quilt all 3.

I often get to see the same quilt pattern in different fabrics, and I find it so interesting.  Not so often that I get to see the same fabrics in different quilt patterns.  I love this challenge.

I hope you've got some time, because here comes a whole lot of pictures.

First up, Lori's quilt.   I don't know the name of this pattern.

 Because the pieced outer border had random sizes, I randomly filled some of the 'keys'.

 Lori pieced her backing, and pressed all  the seams open in the backing.  It was no problem quilting it that way.  A great habit to get into for pieced backings.  Lori also staystitched around the top (red stitching seen in some of the photos) and the backing before bringing them to me, a good technique with a pieced border.

 The large pieces in the border got feathers.

 Absolutely lovely. 

The only fabric Lori added was the sashing.

Are you still with me?  Here's Kerri's quilt.  These are Gretchen blocks.  Paper pieced. The pinwheels are the added fabrics.

A before shot...
 The goal was to make the pinwheels pop...
 This quilt received a lot of ruler-work.  I love the 'squared' circles that formed around the pinwheels when I stitched the curved cross-hatching.
The movement  and texture in this quilt is just wonderful.  It was another one of those tricky quilts...until I pulled it off the frame, I just wasn't sure if the texture was going to appear or not.  It did.

And Colleen's quilt....a Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Star.  Colleen added a few fabrics to the arcs, and the background, stars points and centers were added fabrics.  This is the bed runner pattern, but Colleen shortened it, and it will live on her dining room table.

The before shot...

 Would you believe I ran out of bobbin thread with only those 3 tiny feathers to finish the quilt?   True story.

 The fabric placement in this quilt is spot-on, and I know from observing the process it wasn't easy.
The quilts were all 'revealed' at guild last night, and Colleen read her label, about how each quilt is the same but unique, like the 3 friends, and that there were 'common threads'.    That was the perfect introduction for what I had to say about the quilts...
  I shared that the 3 quilts all have the same style of feathers, they all have areas that are stitched in the ditch, but then the quilt patch itself is left  unquilted, and that the curls from Lori's sashing appear in Kerri's pinwheels.  The spot I was intending to put the curls on Colleen's quilt didn't work, and by then I had enough of the other elements quilted I couldn't change them either, but the feathers do have the curls as well, so I guess we can say her quilt has curls too. 
 The quilts all have unique quilting elements, and a unique quilting thread as well.

These ladies have been friends for more than 20 years...and when my youngest thought about that, she said she hoped she was still friends with her 'oldest' friend when they were 21.  I know I treasure my friendships of more than 20 years.   Those friendships are such a blessing.

It was so much fun to be a part of this challenge.  Thanks for including me ladies!!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Jelly Roll quilt

This bright and wonderful quilt is Nancy's, and is a gift for her lucky grand-niece.

A great pattern, from 2nd Avenue Studio, it's simple and easy to sew.  Nancy chose to do the alternate block, and mixed up her 'surrounds'.

 And yes, the backing really is that pink.  A little girls dream.

The butterfly border Nancy found is just perfect for this quilt. 

Hope you're cuddled up and staying warm today.  My DH is at the Western finals football game today--- 15 below but sunny, so hopefully he's not a popsicle when he gets home.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Tea Time in Bali #4

This is Vicki's quilt, and it was a gift for her SIL's birthday.  It's been gifted now, so it's safe to share.

I don't know if any of these photos capture the true colours of this quilt, which is vibrant and rich.  The first one might be closest. 
 This quilt has such a strong autumnal feeling, Vicki wanted to keep that and we chose a Forest Floor pantograph.

 The leaf below was my favourite leaf to stitch out

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Month

Wow, hard to believe it's been more than a month since I've last blogged.

It has been a busy month though...

I was lucky enough to go to the Pacific Northwest Quilt Festival (formerly called MQX) in Portland in early October.

I packed like this:

And I got to meet many of my quilting 'internet' friends.  I wasn't very good was horrible at taking photos...I have one of Kay Bell with her quilt, which won two teachers choice ribbons.  Kay has much better photos on her blog

Kay lives in Scotland,  and we 'met' years ago on a yahoo group when we were both quilting with 9" machines on a grace frame.  I was in awe then of what Kay could accomplish on that setup, and to see what she can do with her APQS was great. 

Met with many others, which was lots and lots of fun.

Took some great classes...with Claudia Pfeil, Angela Walters and Jamie Wallen, among others.

Coming home, both bags were full.   I shopped at Fil-tec, Superior Threads, Gadget Girls, bought some books and had class samples to bring home.    (customs is often surprised at how much I can spend on thread)

I almost had a security problem at the airport---I had planned to check both bags, but at check-in, the lady said the smaller bag could go carry on.  Sweet, didn't have to pay for that.  Stopped to browse some shops and have a snack before going through security, and realized that all my toiletries and some scissors etc were in the bag that I was now going to carry on...Ooops.  Quick trip back to the check in counter and they checked that bag as well.  Glad I realized BEFORE going through security.

And then I came home, did a little more work on my Work in Progress, before heading off to a 4 day retreat in Banff with my guild.   

This is what my personal "to be quilted" bin looked like before I went to Banff,

and this was after

I was able to piece 4 tops!  A greatly productive weekend.  I hadn't brought enough projects with me, and had to run to Sugarpine in Canmore on Saturday morning to buy another project.  My girls immediately entered negotiations over who would get the purple one when I came home and showed them the quilts.

And then I  did still more work on my quilt from Kim Brunner's craftsy class, but it took a while, because for some reason I needed a few naps that week.

I got it to the point where I could take it off the frame, and did so, because I had customer quilts that needed doing.  Also, I needed to rethink the background fill.  See below, where I've quilted in the bubbles, or pebbles.  The problem is the scale of the bubbles is the same as the 1/4" lines around the arc'd portion of the star, and so I've lost those lines. 

There are several design flaws here (my own, not Kim Brunners).  One is that I used stash to create the quilt, so I have a busy border, and don't get enough pop from the quilting there...should have quilted it differently, but it was a class, and I wanted to practice what was taught.  Another is that Kim had a white background (where I've got the turquoise) and she used contrasting threads to create the compass stars.  I used a matching thread (which is a GOOD idea when you're learning something new), which is fine, except that when I stitch the backfill, I lose my design.  If I'd had a contrasting thread it would have helped.

But, this quilt was about learning.   And I kept that in mind and didn't pick out quilting when I made errors, and I definitely learned a lot about using templates, so it was very successful in that way.

So, this quilt is still in progress, once I've caught up with my client quilts I'll reload it and finish the fill.

This quilt plus the customer quilt before, and the two after were all very ruler and time intensive quilts.  That means fewer quilts to show and share here. 

And I've really enjoyed the edge-to-edge design I worked on today :)

The other thing that's kept me busy and away from the blog this month is that we have 3 birthdays in my house this month...that's a lot of cake to eat :)