Sunday, 31 December 2017

One More Finish for 2017

Earlier in the year, when I wrote my list of WIPs (works in progress) and projects I wanted to do, I had make a  tuffet and to use the fabric I'd been gifted at Christmas 2016 on my list. 

First, the Tuffet.  Many of the ladies in my guild made a tuffet in 2016/2017, but I really couldn't think of a place to put one in my house (we are already well hassocked/ottomaned/stool-ed)  And then I saw the Minis.  The Mini Tuffet I made in the summer--I think I should have waited to have a second person to help with the actual tuffeting, it would have been easier and I would have been able to pull it in further.    I haven't used it as such yet, but it is meant to be a pin cushion. 

I used scraps from the writer-ly quilt I made for my Daughter ,
and the kit was bought from Fabriculous at the Heritage Park Quilt Display in May---I was working in the booth across the aisle, and kept looking at those kits all day.  One came home with me :)

The next project is my second set of Retreat Bags   I had made a set in the summer, and my youngest uses the small bag and I use the large bag as bathroom kits.  My quilting friends (my squad as youngest calls them) wanted to make Retreat Bags too, so we got together this week to shop, cut and start making the bags.  I was pondering what fabrics to use, and realized that it would be a great use of the FQ bundle I'd received for Christmas 2016, giving me a chance to finish 2 goals in one.  Yay! 

 We tried using flex foam as the stiffener, instead of fusible fleece.  It sure makes the bag stand open well. 
 The large bag needs more than FQ's so I used two different fabrics for the lining, and the pocket fabric is also on the bottom of the exterior of the bag.  So this bag used 4 FQ. 
 The smaller bag uses only 1 FQ for an exterior fabric, one for the interior, and I had to cut into a 3rd FQ for the pockets.
 I had to show both sides of the exterior of this bag---aren't the strips fun?

 And the small bag fits right into the big one, for a good size comparison. 
I've learned a lot making these bags, about bag construction, zippers, and making zipper ends.  I'd recommend Emmaline's patterns to anyone.  It's also so nice to be able to support a local (Alberta) supplier and pattern maker.

I had hoped to get a few more of my own tops quilted in 2017, but there's always next year :)

Happy New Year and thanks for reading my blog.  I learn so much and take so much inspiration from other blogs I follow, I just hope I can inspire or inform a few people as well.   Or, at the very least, entertain you with some photos of nice quilts and my ramblings. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

City Slickers

 These two quilts are made at the same time--from the same two jelly rolls (one colors, one neutrals), and the pattern is City Slicker by Highway 10 Designs.     I figured out you could get two lap quilts this way.  If you want to see it in twin size, with dark instead of light for the neutral, I made this one.
I quilted these just after Chicopee Squared, and I wanted to try the echoed squares quilting pattern again, with the echoing, so I tried it again.  Gail did the piecing on these quilts, and they are for the church.

The first one:
Yay, it worked, I figured out the spacing for the echoing, using the piecing for guidelines, and I got the echos in  this time. 

The second one:
I decided to increase the scale yet again.

And below they are side by side to see the scale difference
I like this echoed squares quilting pattern a lot.   I like it even better as a  backgound filler like I used in my Elephant Abstractions quilt.   BUT, as an E2E, I don't like it as much as the square spirals I put on Bobbie's Simplicity

Both designs provide great texture, and use very similar angles and lines.  These Echoed Squares are should be more regularly sized than the Square Spirals, and thus require a bit more thought and attention while stitching, and perhaps even the right pattern so the piecing can be used to place the echoed squares without marking.   I think that is why these City Slickers were more effective than the Chicopee Squared quilt, the piecing made it easier to place them more regularly, and to get the echoes going.     

It was the quilting on these City Slicker quilts that Bobbie liked so much, that she asked for linear quilting on her quilt as well.

I really enjoyed being able to work on these 4 quilts in a 'series' so to speak, and to then be able to pick my favourite quilting from the 4, and I hope you have found this process interesting as well.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Chicopee Squared

This is a quilt that I made, a kit I purchased from Flare Fabrics quite some time ago (2015?).  It traveled to two retreats with me, before I got the blocks made.   The fabric line is Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt. 

 I was playing with scaling up Angela Walters Echoed Squares for an E2E design, I love the effect of it as a background filler in the bottom right  on my Elephant Abstractions so much. 
 I didn't size it right after the first few rows though, and lost the echo.  It is still a neat quilting design, even if it isn't quite what I was planning (this happens to me more than you might imagine).
 A nice flannel on the back, and some Hobbs 80/20 gives nice loft, as well as making it easy to wash for its recipient.   The solid fabric looks quite white here, but it's really a soft grey.
 This quilt is a graduation/18th birthday quilt for our niece.  She graduated in June, but her birthday is in December, so it was OK to wait :) 
 This was a generous kit, and there was enough fabric remaining in the quilt to make a whole lap quilt, no added fabric required.  I'll show you the lap quilt once it's quilted, but I used the yardage enough that I had to make a striped cuff for the pillowcase I made to go with this quilt.  I'm quite pleased with how it looks.

Rainbow Lollipops

This is the Rainbow Lollipops by Don't Look Now that C made for her niece.

 The applique on this quilt, as on the Little Monsters quilt that C brought me earlier this year, is so precise.  
My instructions this time were: as little on the applique as possible, flowers and swirls in the background--I also threw in some pebbles from time to time--makes it easier to sneak in tight spaces.  We decided not to try and stitch in the grass, as I didn't want to muck up any of her nice points.  And, of course, this is a bed quilt, meant to be used, so I tried not to make the background quilting too tight. 

 That grass fabric that runs all down the length of this quilt is all cut from one piece of fabric....C has so much more patience for cutting shapes and hand sewing than I ever will.  One of the very best things about longarm quilting for others is getting to play with these quilts I'd never make myself. 

 You can see on the back how some appliques were just stitched around, and some have a little detail stitching within the body of the applique. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Winding Ways

 Katherine made this winding ways quilt for her daughter.  Isn't it lovely?   I've asked to be adopted.

 She tried the Quick Curve Ruler method, and didn't care for it, so Katherine then cut all her pieces using accuquilt dies and found that much more to her liking.  It's a good reminder to try some sample blocks before forging ahead and cutting all the fabric for a project.  I've been taught this before--but all to often I tend to forge ahead.
 Katherine asked me to quilt this quilt similarly to how Dara Tomasson of Stitched Quilting Co quilted a similar quilt   I had seen Dara's pictures when she first posted them, and really liked them, so it was easy to take inspiration from her work. 
The feathers provide such great movement, and really help define the light circles.  However, you can still see the dark circles--so you can focus on whichever of those you please.  I love working on Katherine's quilts, and admiring her fabric choices.
The quilting is entirely hand guided, and not marked, so there are some variations in how the 'petals' are quilted--but I like that effect.

 We used wool batting, which gives such great texture, as well as being warm and cozy. 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

En Provence #2

 This is Vicki's En Provence, which was 2016's Mystery Quilt at Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville.
 Vicki chose great fabrics for this quilt--we went fabric shopping together, and have two common fabrics.   Bonnie Hunter's quilts are notoriously scrappy, but Vicki went for controlled fabric choices, which I think calms it down nicely.  I love the Tula Pink fabric she chose for her pink/orange stars.
 It's so hard picking fabric for a mystery quilt--you don't know quite how anything is going to look.
 It's hard to see in the photos, but Vicki used 4 or 5 fabrics in her neutral patches, so up close that adds a lot of dimension and character to the quilt.
 A simple, curling, E2E quilting design was all that was needed on this quilt--the piecing is strong and stands on its own. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017


This is Heather's Starlings quilt, which is a pattern by Pretty By Hand
 It is always nice to see patterns by local designers.  Pretty By Hand does some fabric designing too, but these aren't her fabrics in this quilt.

 Heather asked for E2E quilting, something swoopy and curly to echo the movements of starlings, so I became determined to learn JoAnn's echoed swirl pattern.  I've tried it before, and it always just turns into regular swirls, but this time I watched the video and drew it out about 3 times, and then I was good to go.  The key, which I was missing before, lies in the echoing.

 Above is  a grouping where most of the starlings are going in the same direction.    Have you ever seen a Murmuration?  I've never seen it in person, but the videos are amazing.  If you click the link it will take you to an amazing video.  Or just google, and find your own videos, there are several out there.