Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pups Three and Four.

     This will be a quick post.  I'm pretty tired as I'm fighting off a cold after all my time away from home.  So I'm behind with the dog gone quilt along and I'm hoping to catch up this weekend.
     Here's pup three.

     And here is pup four.

     Here they are together.

     But wait.  One of these pups is not like the others.   I haven't decided yet if I'll take it apart and fix it.  I've been thinking this quilt will be good for counting and learning about maybe it will be o.k. to have a pup that's a little different.  I'll see how I feel about it when I get to the end.
Linking up with Lorna at Let's Bee Social

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Playing With Improv

     Kaja of Sew Slowly and Ann of Fret Not Yourself are sharing a series of blog posts on improv quilting and today they are having a link up.  A couple of weeks ago Kaja shared this technique on her post Why Don't You Try This.  The gist of it was take a shape, make a nine patch with multiples of that shape, see where it takes you.

I decided to play along.  I went into my aqua scrap bin and found this piece of Anne Marie Horner fabric.

     I cut nine free hand ( ruler) squares , played around somewhat with the arrangement and settled on this.

     There is a silk pin on the left hand edge of the photo which gives you an idea of the size.  Then I started added things.  Sometimes switching the size and shape of the patch and sometimes switching the arrangement.
   Here's where I'm at so far.

     All but about two of the additional pieces have come from my aqua scrap bin.  Even the black stripe, as it is part of an unused block.  I've been working on this piece sporadically around other projects, adding a strip here and there as it tickles my fancy.  I love working like this.  It's very intuitive and freeing. Because there is no bigger plan and I'm using scraps I can play without stressing over the outcome.

     I've been using the back end of my rather large sewing table as a design surface.  It's the first thing I see when I go into the sewing room.  However it's also the first place the cat jumps up on the table. No worries.  He adds to the design process as he shuffles them around and knocks them on to the floor.  I'm linking up to AdHoc Improv Quilters (AHIQ)at Kaja's blog.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

September Catch Up

     I've been doing quite a bit of sewing lately but it's been hard to find the time to write about it.  Here's a little catch up on some of what I've been doing.

    Eileen of Eileen in Stitches put out the call for blocks for a quilt she is making for her grandfather. She asked for blue and neutral blocks with stars as a theme and various possible sizes.  I made this eight pointed star block that finishes at 12 1/2".  I'll be putting it in the post tomorrow.  I hope it works well with the other blocks in your quilt Eileen.

     I've also been participating in the Meadow Mist Designs Midnight Mystery Quilt Along.  This month we are making square in a square blocks.  

     There are a couple of finished but untrimmed ones in the photo below along with last months flying geese blocks.

     At this point I'm thinking that this quilt is going to look like a big wedding cake, with white and pink icing.  We'll see how it progresses.  I'm glad that Cheryl is taking this quilt along slowly.  I'm not happy as a production quilter so I like to be able to work slowly on this around the other projects I am  working on.
     I'll be linking up late to Let's Bee Social when I return from my business meetings.  Life should settle down a little after that and I hope to share more sewing adventures moving in to the fall.



Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Pup One, Pup Two

      Today I'm sharing my progress on the dog gone quilt along blocks.

     May I introduce you to Pup One

     and Pup Two.

     These guys are the smaller size of the Dog Gone Cute quilt along that Lorna is running at Sew Fresh Quilts.  I'm having lots of fun making these blocks.  Some of the pieces are quite small but I'm liking the results. 

Here they are together.

 They are going to make one cute lap sized quilt.  I'll have to make extra puppies to get it to the size I want.

     The background fabric is quilters linen by Robert Kaufman which is 100 percent cotton but with a textured look to the fabric.  I've used it before in grey and I really love it.  So far the pups are made of scraps.  I'm planning on a rainbow of puppies.  

     I'll have to wait to share other things I have been working on because I'm off to my second meeting of this week.  This is my busy season at work, and my life is very full. On Saturday I'm at a trade show for the day and I'm spending Monday to Wednesday of next week in meetings in a neighbouring city.  

I'm linking up with Let's Bee Sewcial at Sew Fresh Quilts.


Sunday, 13 September 2015

A Rather Slow Update

I went on a trip with my sister to Mexico last week!  It was a wonderful trip.  I can't even tell you the last time the two of us had time together alone. We spent a lot of time talking and catching up, a lot of time lolling on the beach...

     and a little bit of time doing aqua fit in the pool (1/2 hour a day), and we did a day trip to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum.

     I of course had high hopes that I would get lots of hand sewing done.  This is a sample of what I brought along.

     I managed to finish one complete star...

     and one blooper....

     This is what happens when I try to sew on a beach.  Too many distractions I guess.  I can see that I'll be doing some slow unsewing today, although I can see some possibilities for using these 2 1/2" diamonds for modern abstract designs based on this mistake.  Unfortunately I have more ideas than time.

     I linking up to Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday today and Jess's Star Count on Monday.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Fabri-Quilt Block Challenge.

     In the Spring I participated in the New Quilt Bloggers blog hop.  This was a great experience for me so when the call came at the end to participate in another blog hop this fall, I jumped right in.  This time we were given a fat eighth of each of the following fabrics and asked to design a 12 1/2" unfinished block . The fabrics are from Fabri-Quilt and the colour palette is Watermelon Summer.  The colours go together beautifully.

top row chartreuse, turquoise,coral
bottom row:light aqua,lapis blue and white

     Over 60 of us are sharing blocks during the blog hop this week. This is day three.  Stephanie of Late Night Quilter is the host for todays blog hop and there are 15 of us participating. There is more information on this at the bottom of the post

     I tend to be a follow the pattern kind of gal so the experience was a bit daunting but a  lot of fun also.  I was seeing potential block designs all over the place, and I had a hard time deciding what to settle on. In the end I decided to keep it simple and bold. 

      I'm sharing tutorials for two blocks today.  They are easy to make so if there are confident beginners reading this post, these blocks are for you.  You do need an accurate 1/4" seam, and I recommend washing the fabric first.

     The block on the left is the Double Diamond Star and the block on the right is the Graduated Cross.

1.  Double Diamond Star Block

Cutting instructions:   From each of the fabrics cut a 4"strip.
sub cut the strips into  four 4" squares.  You will need:

2 squares each of chartreuse, lapis blue, white and turquoise 
4 squares each of coral and light aqua.

Pair two  coral blocks with  two chartreuse blocks .
Pair two coral blocks with  two white blocks.
Pair two  light aqua blocks with two  turquoise blocks 
Pair two light aqua blocks with two lapis blue blocks.

      Draw a diagonal line corner to corner across one square for each pair, using a removable marking device.

     Sew the squares together, one quarter inch on each side of the line.  Cut through the squares along the line.  Press the seams towards the darker colour.

     Trim the blocks to 3 1/2". You will have a total of 16 half square triangle blocks.
4 coral and white (A)
4 coral and chartreuse (B)
4 light aqua and turquoise (C)
4 light aqua and lapis blue (D)

       Take one of each A,B,C and D,  and sew them into the following unit being careful to orient the fabrics exactly as shown in the picture.  Press the seams open.

 Make three more of these units.  Rotate the  four units as in the photo below  and sew them together to create the Double Diamond Star. Again press the seams open.

      I named this block the Double Diamond Star because of the secondary pattern that will form when multiple blocks are sewn together, creating rows of light aqua and coral diamonds.

2.  Graduated Cross Block

This block was made with the leftover fabric from the double diamond star.  The white fabric was in short supply which is why the striped units are constructed as they are.


 From each of the turquoise, lapis blue, chartreuse and light aqua fabrics cut one  1 1/2" strip the length of the fabric.

From the white fabric cut a 4 1/2" strip the length of the fabric. Sub cut this strip into four 4 1/2" squares.  From the remaining white fabric cut
one 2 1/2" square   
four rectangles 1 1/2" by 4 1/2"

Cut the light aqua strip into 
two rectangles 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" and 
two rectangles 1 1/2" by 4 1/2".

Sewing:   Use a quarter inch seam throughout.

Sew the chartreuse 1 1/2" strip to the turquoise 1 1/2" strip. Sew the lapis blue strip to the opposite side of the turquoise strip. Press the seams open

Sub cut this strip into 4 units 4 1/2 inches wide.

     Sew a white 1 1/2" by 4 1/2 " rectangle to the lapis end of the block making an A unit. Press the seam open. 

     Make four A units.

Sew the the two light aqua 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" rectangles to two opposite sides of the 2 1/2" white square and the two 1 1/2" by 4 1/2" rectangles to the remaining two sides. Making a B unit. Press the seams open.

     Sew the A and B units along with the 4 1/2" white squares into the three rows pictured below.  For the middle row I pressed the seams toward the centre .  For the other rows I pressed the seams towards the white squares.

     Sew the three rows together into the Graduated Cross Block.

    I named this block the Graduated Cross because the colours of the cross go from light in the middle to dark.  This gives the block a luminous quality.  I think this would make an awesome quilt with different graduating colour ways in different blocks.   

       My blocks are on route to Texas where they will be made into donation quilts with the other blocks from the hop.  They are going to be really colourful and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilts.

     Here are the links to the other participants in today's blog hop.  Please check them out. I'll be visiting them at a later date as I am on vacation with my sister in sunny Mexico! We left today.  I'll respond to comments when I return.

     And don't forget to visit our hosts for opportunities to win your own 1/2 yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer fabrics.  I'd love to see what you do with them.  The hosts are:  
                                Yvonne@Quilting JetGirl
                               Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Good luck with the draws!