Wednesday, 27 May 2015

One Big Block

     This is what's on my design wall right now.  It's one big block 24" by 24 ".

     I'm testing a pattern called Grande Scrappy Tiles for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  This is my first time testing a pattern and I'm really enjoying the process.   The quilt is designed to get the look of improv piecing by orienting the blocks in different directions.    I mostly used fabrics in my stash and looked  for modern graphic fabrics in blues reds  greys and yellows. I threw in the red ninja fabric for fun.

     Some of the pieces in the block are quite large.  If you don't already know this, the way to cut fabric pieces that are larger than your ruler is  to place two rulers together like this.

          Here I am cutting an 8 1/2" strip.  The smaller ruler is placed at the 2 1/2"mark on the ruler and the 6 inch ruler is placed against it.  

     The Grande Scrappy Tiles block is made in smaller sections which are then pieced together.  Before sewing the sections together I placed them on the design wall to see  how they looked.

     When I did this the medium blue fabric in the top row jumped out at me.  The colour was good but I in my mind the style of the fabric didn't fit with the other fabrics.  I exchanged it for the simpler textured  fabric you see in the first photo.  I'm happier with the textured fabric as the look is more cohesive.  I'm liking how the fabrics work together (this is only a few of them) and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.  I'm linking up with Laura of Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Post That Almost Wasn't

     I finished my Penny Patch Quilt top at 8:08 am on Tuesday morning.  It was a beautiful sunny day it would have been perfect for taking pictures but I start work at 8:30 on Tuesdays.  It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to work and I was still in my pyjamas.
No Problem I thought , I'll take the picture after work and I'll still have time to get the post together in time to link up on Wednesday.  
     By the time I left work at 5:00pm it was cold and rainy.  After supper it had stopped raining so I tried to take some pictures.  The outside ones didn't look good and the inside ones didn't look good.   So I thought if the weather is good in the morning I'll take the pictures then and I'll come home at lunch and write my blog post.
     On Wednesdays I start work at 7:30am.  So I took these pictures quite early and I think the quilt looks really lovely in them.

     I love this quilt top so much  I love all the different low volume prints in the background and the softness of the pinks and greens.  The Penny Patch was a quilt along with Rachel Houser of Stitched in Color, in the fall of 2013.  This was the first project I participated in online and it was before I had the blog and before I knew how to get a photo on the computer.  I chose to do this quilt along because I wanted to try using a low volume background and because Rachel gave good advise about colour proportions.
      We had a family crisis which interrupted my progress and then a family wedding.  I'm really glad to finally have the top finished.  This was my May goal for a year of lovely finishes.


     Here's another shot of the lovely softness.  Don't the backyards look so peaceful in the early morning light, with all the fresh green of leaves and grass. But of course my story doesn't end here with all the peacefulness.When I was moving the photos from i photo to the desktop  the computer froze.  I couldn't do anything to unfreeze it.  I called my husband to see if he had any ideas but I had already tried all his suggestions.  So I went to work with the computer still frozen.

     One of  my co workers suggested that I hold the power button down for a long time and that might fix the problem.  It was very quiet at work so I came home early and her suggestion worked!  Yeah!   So here I am linking up late to Let's Bee Social.  I wonder if I will get any visitors?

Monday, 18 May 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

     After taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks, I posted an update on Slow Stitching Sunday and then checked my inbox.  I had a lovely email there from Chantal telling me that she  nominated for the  One Lovely Blog Award.   I met Chantal at the Slow Sunday Stitching linkups on Kathy's blog, where she left very kind and encouraging comments on my posts.

        The idea of the Lovely Blog Awards is  for bloggers to nominate fellow bloggers, mostly newer, that they wish to recognize.  The goal is to bring attention to blogs that we think are lovely and enjoy reading.  We hope others will enjoy reading these blogs also. When you accept the award you agree to three things:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
2. Share 7 things  about  yourself.
3.  Nominate 1o other blogs for the award. Note this was how this information came to me but I have since found out that a year ago the 3rd agreement just said nominate other blogs for this I say if 10 seems overwhelming just go with the number you are happy with.

     Chantal  blogs At the Corner of Scrap and Quilts.  Here she shares her quilting successes and  sometimes mishaps along with tidbits about her life.  Her warm friendly French Canadian personality really shines in her posts which are often filled with humour.  Thanks so much for nominating me Chantal.  I am honoured to receive this nomination from you.

1.  I work full time in a Health Food Store and quilt part time.

Liberated Strip Pieced Quilt

2.  I'm the only quilter on my side of the family, but my husband's family is Mennonite and several are accomplished quilters.  The first quilt that came into my life was hand pieced by his grandmother and hand quilted by the women at the church he grew up in.  It was given to us as a wedding gift.

3.  When I started to quilt approximately 10 years ago I was really starting from scratch as I was one of those people who really struggled with Home Economics in Junior High.  I remember throwing a dress in the back of the closet in frustration.  I now know I could call that a "work in progress " rather than thinking of it as a failure.  I did finish it eventually so I guess it became a  "lovely finish".

 4.  I'm not crazy about applique but I love English Paper Piecing. 

E.P.P. Sewing Kit  Source Quiltopaedia

5.  I belong to two guilds.  One is a traditional guild and one is modern.  I like to work in both styles.

Top picture Double Wedding Ring  bottom Giant Chevron quilt pattern from Jess at Elven Gardens blog.

6.  In the larger traditional guild I volunteer with the committee that co-ordinates the making of comfort quilts for the sexual assault unit at the local hospital.  I love doing this and think it is one of the most important things that we do as a guild.

7.  Theoretically I love gardening with Native (to my area) trees and plants.  I say theoretically because I am always enthused about gardening in the Spring but my enthusiasm wanes in the heat of the Summer.  The garden is large and overwhelming, but we chip away at it and it gets better every year.

     But now on to the fun part where I nominate 10 lovely blogs.  So here they are in no particular order.  I love all these blogs and I hope you do too.  I hope that you visit them and if you do please say hello from me.

1.  Preeti from Sew Preeti Quilts
2.  Iris from Crazy Dutch Bird Quilts
3. Catherine from Ditsy Gran Quilts
5. Pamela from  hokkaidodudasai
6. V. Hair ofSewing Softly
7. Kaja of Sew Slowly
8. Maryse of Maryse Makes Things
9. Terry of hexy lady
10. Ann of Annie Mac Original


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Slow Stitching Update

     It is a truly beautiful day today with everything starting to turn green and fresh in the garden, the sun shining and a lovely temperature.  It's amazingly quiet in town.  Perhaps many people have gone away for the weekend.  I'm a bit stiff from working in the jungle, garden yesterday, digging and planting and moving.  

    Today I go to a wedding shower for a co worker and I'd like to finish sewing my penny patch on the machine but I will have time for a new hand work project.  I'm knitting the tension swatch for the Japan Sleeves Sweater. (That's the penny patch in the background)

     My local quilt/knitting shop is running this as a class.  I'm an incredibly slow knitter so I figure if I take the class I actually have a hope of finishing the sweater.  I fell in love with the pattern right away, the sleeves are a lace panel and the body is fairly simple stripes.
Don't you just love the colours of the yarn.
     I've also started to attach some of the background squares to my epp stars.  I don't want to be stuck doing all the background at the end.  These stars my be taking a back seat to the knitting for a while, although I can't do complicated knitting when I'm tired so maybe the stars will see some action after all.

     I'm linking up with Kathy an the other slow stitchers at Slow Stitching Sunday

Friday, 1 May 2015

Embraced by Grey

     O.K.  Is it Grey or is it Gray.  The colour I mean, seems we spell it differently if we are English or American and I guess we Canadians just get mixed up in the middle.  That is the name of my quilt that I entered in to the  local quilt show as part of the Modern Group display.

     It's a wall hanging 20" by 30" but here it is lying on the floor.  The modern small group in my guild decided that we would all make a smallish wall hanging with the common element being the use of grey fabric.  Our small group has been  meeting for just over a year .  We are still getting our feet wet trying modern techniques.  I used the pentagon impov technique from 15 minutes of play by Victoria Findley Wolf .  It was a lot of fun using up some of my grey scraps.  I started out with closely set straight line quilting but the quilt was shifting a lot and I hated it so I picked it all out and opted for minimal quilting following the angular lines of the piecing.  Maybe I should have done more quilting but the deadline was looming so I decided to just finish it.

     I did most of the improv quilting during the winter.  I've always had a hard time in winter when the sky is grey .  This winter as I was piecing the grey scraps around the bright centres I realized that I could look for the light within the grey and perhaps change my attitude about the greyness of winter.  It seemed to work.  Whenever I felt oppressed by grey I shifted my thoughts to feel embraced by grey.  I'm hoping I will be reminded of this when I look at the wall hanging in future winters.  I'm sharing this finish at TGIFF which Laura is hosting at Quokka Quilts.