Thursday, October 30, 2008

Batik Baskets

This quilt has been sitting, sandwiched and ready to quilt, by my sewing machine all week. I never started quilting it as something about it just didn't sit right. I decided it was the leaves, and yesterday cut out new leaf shapes and fused them right over the originals - I like it much better, more to look at and more movement.



I've had a great month of piecing and playing - I have three quilt tops ready to quilt, but none necessary for any particular time. Today I think I'll take a look at my baskets and drawers and bags to really see what wips and ufos I have.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jelly Roll Snowman

I got the Jelly Roll Snowman quilt done - playing with EQ and my little design board I finally came up with something that used up all the pieces I had. A visitor posted a message with a good idea but it was too late :)




The quilt can be folded up with just the centre showing and placed like a pillow when I have guests



And... here is a pic of the Delectable Mountains flannel quilt


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Redwork Snowmen and a Jelly Roll

The top for the Delectable Mountains was done on Friday - however no good picture yet.

Then I started on yet another top that I wanted to be for the Christmas holidays. I'm beginning to think that I wasn't meant to make a Christmas quilt or wallhanging - every attempt, other than the first successful wreath I made years ago, has turned out badly. Just not what I wanted.

This one holds more promise, but I'm still feeling kind of stuck. It all started with a jelly roll, and a disk of redwork machine embroidery snowmen (Snowman Collector by the Stitch Connection). I wanted to combine these into I think a lap quilt, but now I'm thinking a wall quilt. That wreath from years ago is looking kind of tired :)

I started making strip pieced hsts, then proceeded to four piece rail fences, then played on EQ to decide if I should make the snowman a centre or a border. Three days later, and this is what I have -


I will definitely add some heavy red decorative stitching around the snow people, before quilting. I'll need to add a small plain border to the centre to make it big enough for the rail fence blocks, and add some kind of pieced corner blocks. Then there is the problem of the hsts - even though they came from the same pack, the way I divided them - lights and darks - made it so that there is suddenly this blue colour in the hsts - the background of the redwork is a very pale yellow which matches the yellows in the fabric design - but the only blue so far is the bits in the hsts. I have enough of the hsts to go around the whole quilt, to make it lap size, but I'm not sure that's what I want to do. I'm hestitating sewing the rest together in case I want to re-arrange everything. I really should just put it away for now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Isn't chain piecing great?!

While planning the Delectable Mountains quilt top that I started ages ago, I had cut the preliminary squares, and sewed the diagonal lines, as in a giant half square triangle. I had also cut a few of these and made the blocks.

This week I went ahead and cut up those giant hsts into strips to make the delectable mountain blocks, v-e-r-y carefully laid out each set on a mat (this is where I get confused - I think that laying them out in their mirror image required was like one of those put the round peg in the square hole kind of test :)). I then chain pieced all those blocks together - look at this!


And then....I looked at the pattern. Oops. Something in the layout diagram doesn't look right compared to what I have...much reading later, I 've discovered that some of these blocks were meant to be half blocks, and others full mountains. So now I have some ripping out to do.

I thought I wasn't getting much done this week as I've been obsessed with quilt planning on EQ - spending literally hours having fun making virtual quilts. Two I'm going to get started on planning (I like to have my fabrics all cut if possible, or sorted into groups for different blocks, then I can just sew any time I want. One quilt used birds in the air blocks, the other is an applique scrappy quilt using circles and squares.

This is a block called Spin Wheel by Peggy Glebrich, from Fons & Porter June 08. I loved this block when I saw it in the magazine, then I discovered that I could make this block with Inklingo shapes printed out on the fabric, making it super accurate and easy to sew either by hand or machine.



I also started a few of these chain blocks that I had already cut up using scraps of 30s fabrics. The pattern is from Peggy Waltman called Colourful Thoughts , and I've put those aside to cheer me up on the dark grey days of winter. (Making my photo skills worse, is that on a laptop, colours can look much different depending on the viewing angle - these colours really are nice and bright!).



Last Friday I did get done the second block of Cherry Berry Album - but haven't done much applique at all this week
.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Piecing by hand

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with opportunities to catch up with both "sides" of my family - however on Tuesday, with a belated birthday lunch planned with my Mom - I encountered a major flare up and have been on the couch ever since.

Luckily, I had a printed some inklingo shapes while cooking the pumpkin pies on the weekend. I got to work on hand piecing, and enjoyed being able to sew quilt blocks while laid up - different than the applique sewing I usually do while I'm in recovery mode.

So here are the little shapes I made - these are from "Monkey Exercise #1" from Linda Franz's Inkingo website.




I'm always curious about how dh and I ever get along - we are so different in many ways - here's an example. I picked out my favourite two of these shapes, and asked him to do the same. While we did both agree that our least favourite was the blue and pink star, with blue triangle edges (it looks like a radioactive symbol!); his second least favourites were my favourites - the white hexagon with blue edges, and the brown pinwheel. Huh - maybe I should give this little quiz to my son and his fiancee!

I tried to take a picture of the inklingo shapes with their printed stitching lines and cross hairs, but I couldn't get the lines to show up on the picture. (Another reason why a digital photo class would be interesting).

I got involved in Inklingo because I discovered that you can print half square triangle sewing grids directily on the fabric - similar to Triangulations and Thangles. With the one "collection 2" I can print half square, quarter square, and flying geese. I don't mean to sound like a commerical, but really the Inklingo method is worth a try - www.lindafranz.com

I will be looking out for ideas on a hand pieced quilt top - doesn't have to be diamonds or hexagons, can be squares or triangles or just about anything.

I'm looking forward to hopefully getting in to the basket top quilting this weekend, maybe some machine piecing, and finish the second Cherry Berry Album applique block.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Green Kaleidoscope

That's an original quilt name! I have to think of something different...



I really enjoyed sewing these blocks. They were more challenging than the usual strip piecing or basic triangle and square shapes, yet not so challenging that caused frustration or moments of arrrggghhh. I used Marti Mitchells' kaleidoscope ruler (small) and her Kaleidoscope ABCs book. The book was important to my enjoyment of making these, I think. While I could have figured out the piecing of these on my own, her step by step instructions and drawings were key to successful sewing and results. There was some chain piecing, and some fiddly bits. On almost all my blocks, that points do meet in the middle, and I don't think there are more than a few with a very tiny tip cut off, they all sit nice and flat. I think I'll start cutting up small kaleidoscope pieces from scraps, to gradually build a scrap version.

And...this weekend I got involved in Inklingo, but that's another post :) Take a look at http://lindafranz.com/ Linda is a Canadian designer that has come up with a truly original and easy to use method of printing your quilt pieces on directly on the fabric for cutting and either machine or hand piecing. Don't miss the free download - give it a try!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cutting up fabric, for....

I've started some quilt piecing, but I'm not sure where I'm going.

First up was an attempt at stack and whack, but I got stuck at the stack and didn't get to whack. I am trying to use my stash, so I picked out a piece of floral print that had a 12" repeat, but I didn't measure its length, and I didn't read the directions quite right, so I ended up with 6 stacks and not enough fabric left to do any more. Hmmm....then I cut those stacks into squares, and then into hsts, figuring maybe I could make it do something interesting, but no luck. Now that I had that fabric pretty much used up for nothing, I thought I'd make some kaleidoscope blocks from it. So I cut up some scrap pieces in colours that came from the floral, and I thought I'd make alternate blocks - one scrappy, one with the floral.



I tried to work on the basket applique yesterday but I kept walking by the design wall with those kaleidoscope blocks on it. I didn't like the 6" size, as a lot of blocks are needed in a quilt top to make the effect, and I didn't want a top much larger than 25". I didn't much like the scrappy colours combined with the floral, either. Then toward the end of the day, I decided to ditch that whole idea and start again.

So, I proceeded to attempt 4" green and ivory kaleidoscope blocks. This is what I have so far, and I'm not too impressed. It needs some kind of pop. I have fifteen more to finish piecing - there all set, just need the final seam to make two haves a whole.




I think that there are some days, or weeks, when its better to just follow a pattern using specific recommended colours; playing can just be frustration - until you reach the ah ha! moment. Maybe once the blocks are sewn together they'll look better, maybe they need sashing....I think I'll play on eq.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last spring I had started a quilt top from Beth Ferrier's book, Out of the Cupboard and Onto the Bed.

I got as far as piecing the baskets and making the centre, sewing the diagonal setting squares, and then I decided I didn't like how it was looking. It went to quilt jail - the baskets on my shelf, way up high where I need a stool to reach. So I brought it down and went to work on the vines and leaves - I plan on using a free motion thread painting idea to sew down the fused applique leaves, following ideas from Anne Fahl's Colouring with Thread. Now that I have put the leaves and berries on, its looking much better - I think I even like it!



This month I would really like to try some new things - I have a few tops planned and cut out, but what I would really like to do is play with ideas that have been brewing, and some rulers and books that I've bought but not used. On the list is a kaleidoscope top, a stack and whack, some kind of diamonds or stars - all small wallhanging or table topper size. They say if you state a goal, you're more likely to get it done! So in that spirit, I bought myself three more books! - The Its Okay if you Sit on my Quilt book, which I have always wanted but never got; Stars by Magic by Nancy Srebro-Johnson, which I truly hope will let me make lemoyne stars by magic; and the Border Workbook which I will use to create some kind of new, wonderful, easy! border for my Mom's strippy basket and stars.

I also have to let myself cut into my nice fabric for these quilts - I find that when I know I'm experimenting, I tend to hold back and pick bits and pieces that aren't all that nice, therefore undermining my efforts. So, if I have to cut up a whole beautiful fat quarter just to use one or two strips, so be it!!

Mike gave me a wonderful OttLite for my birthday, so now I can sit and happily applique on the darkest winter night with the best light. It sits on the table next to "my" seat on the couch and can reach and move to exactly where I want it - it even has a magnifier! Although why I'd want to magnify my work I don't know...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sally Post Floral Sampler



This quilt pattern was presented by Gayle at Sentimental Stitches,(http://sentimentalstitches.net/) recreating an original quilt by Sally Post, c. 1854. When quilting, I put buttons on the sashing squares and yo yos on the border corner squares, to pick up the 30s fabric theme that I used.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A 1st and a 4th!


I have had the most exciting morning....I'm suprised I'm still standing after all this shock and to-do.

This morning was the day the quilts would be displayed with their winning ribbons. A Toronto television show thats very popular because they are so viewer oriented were doing their live eye broadcast from the Markham Fair, hosted by Jennifer. My daughter emailed them before school and asked them to film the quilts so that her Mom might see what quilts had ribbons, as she was very very nervous about her entry and results.

One thing led to another and just before 9:00 I was on the phone...on the air.... live!... while Jennifer talked to me with the show host to announce if I had placed in the "quilt competition". They showed Folk Art Finery and said I had won 4th out of 12 entries! I was soooo happy!! I had done some unusual and difficult to me quilting on that quilt, and i was just happy happy that the judges had recognized my hard work.

But that left dh and I wondering what happened to the tied quilt. Its cold and windy here today, and I need to use the wheelchair tbecause the homecraft building is quite a walk from the parking lot,so Mike went off for me (of course with camera). He called and said At Home and Away got 1st. 1st! And I designed it :)








Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How does colour and print effect you?

I am ironing some fat quarters that I've recently received and washed...the following is a photo of one of these. This print just made me feel, well, nauseous. I really don't like it. I could hardly look at it long enough to know why I don'tt like it.



The next photo shows one that I had ironed earlier in the pile, and this one I loved - loved it so much, it gave me the feeling that I wanted to step into it, or crawl into it and have a nap, lol. Does that sound too weird?



Just in case it was the structured pattern of the 2nd piece I liked, and the unstructure of the 1st piece that was bothering me, here's a photo of a similarly unstructured piece with different colours, that I do like.



The colour difference between piece 1 and 2 is the addition of a pink and a green - I like these colours! I use them a lot! So, I just don't know what turns me off that particular piece.

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About Me

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southern Ontario, Canada
I began quilt-making in January 2001, as therapy following diagnosis a chronic autoimmune condition. I enjoy creating and exploring hand and machine applique, machine piecing, english paper piecing, machine quilting, and machine embroidery. I have been working with Electric Quilt for several years and I'm comfortable with just about very aspect of using EQ to design pieced, applique, and embroidery quilts. I'm an early retired Mom with two teenager and a son who'll be married in Fall '09. My husband is my biggest quilting supporter.

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works in progress

  • pushin' up spring b.o.m.
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  • hop to it - my garden album (blue & white)
  • baskets
  • checkers
  • strip mine
  • prairie vine - needs applique border
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