Tuesday 31 May 2016

Circle of Friends

     On Saturday Dwight and I travelled to Toronto purely for pleasure this time. ( It was my third trip in this week.)  We joined several of our friends for a pot luck in Gillian and Gordon's lovely shaded garden.  We have been meeting pretty much once a month with this group of friends for over thirty years and one thing we do at each get together is sing.  One song we sang on the weekend was the Beatles classic "I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends".

     So friends I share with you the lovely bounty that has arrived in my mail box this last couple of weeks.

     These are my "Circle of Friends" blocks that I have received from my fellow hive 8 mates from Stash Bee.  They look like someone spilled a bag of jujubes on the back patio, don't they.  It's so much fun having these packages arrive in the mail box, and I haven't even received them all yet...so the fun continues.  Some of the packages come with extra goodies as well.  This is something I wasn't expecting as this is my first time participating in an online bee.

     Here are some closeups of some of the focus fabrics:


     This is going to be such a fun quilt!  If any of my RCQG followers are reading this post...we just might have some fun of our own with this block next Spring.  

     I'll be sharing this post on Wednesday at my friend Lorna's link up Let's Bee Social.
This is week 5 of May is for Makers and I shared my pattern buying love this week with Lorna by buying her patterns Rural Squirrel and Cat Treats which you can see  here  in her  Etsy Shop

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Can't Cut with Scissors and May is For Makers Week Four

     It's time to link up with the Ad Hoc Improvers and I just happen to be working on Improv.  It's been a while since I showed progress on this little quilt.   It's my challenge piece for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild and if I can get it delivered by June 1st it will hang with a bunch of it's friends at the TMQG's display at the Canadian Quilters Association show.

     At the moment it's about 9" by 15 1/2 ".  It need to finish at 14" square.   We were given a choice of several specific Kona colours and were to pick 2 or 3 and to use only those fabrics to make a 14" square modern quilt with any type of quilting but no embellishment.

     I decided to make my quilt using score one from the "Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters' by Sherri Lynn Wood.
I chose Storm, Ash and School Bus for my three colours and I have been having a challenging time trying to cut more or less straight lines with scissors.  The working title is can't cut with scissors.  I'm hoping I can get it done in time to put it in the over night post next Tuesday.  That should be easy but of course I've got a million things going on between now and then.  I'm linking up with Ann and Kaja for Ad Hoc Improv Link Up.

     In other news the patterns I'm sharing for May is For Makers are pretty much the opposite technique to Improv.  They are both paper pieced patterns.

The first purchase is Triple Goosed, a pattern from Jeli Quilts.

     The second is Butterfly Garden by Jen Sorenson of A Quilting Jewel.

     I've been having a lot of fun with May is for Makers.  There is one week left and I've already shared 5 patterns.  It's been fun seeing some of the choices that others have made as well.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

May is For Makers, Week Three

     I'm finally getting around to writing a May is for Makers post.  This is week three of May and the pattern I chose to purchase for this week is Broken Frames by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.

     I chose this pattern because it is designed for charm squares.  I have a  few different charm packs that have been lingering in my stash. I'm happy  to have a pattern that  works well with a single pack.  I'm also on the lookout for simple patterns that  work well as charity quilts.  That would be easy, goes together fairly quickly and looks great.  This pattern fit the bill for both needs.

     I had a sewing day with my two friends on Saturday and I brought the pattern along with this grouping of fabrics.

     I picked this grouping because I thought I had enough grey and black for the background and frames.  When I looked at the fabric requirements though, I didn't so we took a field trip to the local quilt shop.  That was fun.  I got a fair bit of progress done despite, the trip to the shop and the time spent helping Cindy wrestle batting into a tube to make a nesting bed for her grand daughter.  

     The two rows on the right of the fabric are sewn together the two rows on the left are just attached by the threads between chain pieced blocks.  I'm liking it so far.

     Here are the patterns I bought for weeks one and two.
Beacon, by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.

     and Spinning by Beth of Cooking Up Quilts.

     All three of these women are wonderful designers and great supporters of the online quilting community.  I'm linking up with another great supporter of the online quilting committee, Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  I'll be buying some of her patterns later in the month.

Monday 9 May 2016

Crushin on a Finish!

     I managed to get my OMG goal finished already!  I did not expect to finish it  early when I set the goal but one look at my Quilter's planner for May and realized that the only way I was going to get it done was if I put on the pressure at the beginning of the month.

     I started motoring, and once I started I just kept going.  So let me introduce you to Charlotte's quilt. I have a name for this quilt but I'm keeping it a secret until I get it quilted and bound.  The quilt top finishes at 48 inches by 60 inches.

     I kept myself interested through the production sewing by sewing the blocks into rows every four blocks completed, and by sewing the rows together when I got them done. 

    When I got one row together I thought awesome.  Two rows together " this is going to be the best quilt ever".  Three rows together "Oh, oh  this kid is going to get eyestrain looking at this quilt".  Thankfully row four contained the orange block and I could breathe easy again. I've been toying with the idea of adding more orange blocks to the quilt but maybe I'll just bind it with orange.  What do you think?

     My plan is to hand quilt with big stitch quilting...hmm maybe that's a way to add more orange.

  I am super excited to have this top finished as it my first block design and my first quilt made with my own block design.

     I'm also excited to have finished it this week because if you open up your quilter's planner to this week, there it is in print.

     I'm linking this post up to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.  Speaking of which this week I've committed to purchasing one of Beth's  patterns as part of the I am a Maker Commitment and because I wrote about Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl last week I'll purchase one of her patterns as well. I'll let you know which ones I pick in a later post.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

One Main Goal for May

     I did not manage to finish my goal for April although I did move towards my goal of completing the blocks for the graduated cross quilt.  Here's a pile of the striped components for the blocks.

  That's what I managed to finish by the end of April.  Since then I have made the middle components of the blocks and have started sewing the rows of components together.   This is a lot of production sewing which is not my favourite way to sew.  I am however making great progress so  rather than having completing the blocks as my May goal, I'm going to up the ante and go for completing the quilt top.  This may be a mistake on my part but I might as well aim big.

     Speaking of One Monthly Goals.  I won a prize in March.  On Monday this wonderful package arrived from Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.  She hosts the OMG linkup in case you don't know.

     I was very excited to win the book Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts.  This was a perfect book to add to my quilting book collection as I have started quilting pretty much all my own quilts now and I can use all the help I can get.  Christa's book is full of lots of great ideas and I can't wait to try some of them out.  It's also got some pretty interesting quilt patterns to try out as well.

     Heidi also included this sweet little card purse which she made which was a nice added touch.  Here's a closer photo of it.

     This made the package even more special.  Thanks so much Heidi.  If you would like to see the other great gift I received in the mail from Yvonne, on the same day go here.

     I'm linking up to OMG for May with Heidi at  Red Letter Quilts and with Lorna at Lets Bee Social.

Monday 2 May 2016

Main Crush Monday

     I have a lot of things quilting wise to be happy about lately so it's a bit difficult to share one main crush so today I will share two.  I think both of them are related in that they involve the generosity and kindness of members of the online quilting community.
     I'm the Queen Bee for Hive Eight of the Stash Bee this month.  I had a hard time picking a block until I saw this post at Smiles from Kate.  I asked Kate the name of the block so that I could look it up.  Kate in her kindness not only gave me the name of the block  Circle of Squares  but she gave me a link to the creator of the block Janeth of Toefeather and she gave me a link to a pdf download of instructions which lead me to this tutorial where the block had been renamed Circle Of Friends.   These two tutorials give instructions for a 12 1/2 inch block.

      I made my block at 15 1/2 inches and posted the tutorial for that size here.  So if you would like to make this block you have several options.

     The other thing I'm crushing on is this lovely mini quilt and card that came in the mail last week.

     These came from the wonderful Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.  I am one of Yvonne's patrons and I'd like to take this opportunity to share why I chose to support her.

     I think it's really important to support each other as artists and artisans...I also feel that quilting which is primarily a women's art/craft is undervalued....so even though I am not any where near wealthy I think its important to help out people as they are building up their business.  We have all done this in other ways, by buying the quilter's planner and by buying patterns and by testing patterns for people.

     Yvonne offers an incredible service to the online quilting community.  She visits oodles of us and leaves us valuable and encouraging comments.  She also writes the most thoughtful blog posts and shares resources which help us to really think about what we are doing and where we are going as quilters.  To me this is a valuable resource which deserves compensation.

     I didn't do this for the perks like this beautiful mini quilt, or the pdf patterns I receive for her tutorials.  I did this because Yvonne was already providing me with an invaluable service,  which is sharing intelligent insightful articles that help me to think and to grow as a quilter, a designer and a person.  Thanks Yvonne.

     I'm linking up to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
where she shares a new pattern release.  Beth also supports the online community by providing a place to link up, so thanks to you also Beth.