Friday, 29 July 2016

Rainbow Rose Update

     My goal for July was to finish my Rainbow Rose quilt top.  I am sad to say that I will not accomplish this goal by the end of the month as Dwight and I are going away for the weekend.   I probably wouldn't be able to get all that quilting done on time anyway.  But no worries I'll just push this goal into August and hope to get around to quilting it then.  

 cat approaches quilt.

     As you can see, I did manage to get the borders on the quilt.

Cat rolls on quilt. Notice how dirty he is.

     It was always my intention to make this quilt as a comfort quilt for the outreach program of my local Guild.  The optimum size for comfort quilts for our purposes is 50" by 60".  The baby size was to small and the lap size was too big (this is starting to sound a lot like Goldilocks and the three bears) so I opted to extend the quilt with  offset borders.

     I'm happy with how they turned out and now that Jane the Janome is back at home I'll be happy to quilt my quilt.  I know I could have used the other machine but I'm spoiled.
     I'm not sure if there is still time to link up my finished top to the Rainbow Rose linkup at Modern Quilters Ireland but I'm going to give it a go.  I'm also linking up to the OMG linkup for August at Red Letter Quilts.  I haven't reached my goals for two months now so I'm hoping that it's three times lucky.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Playing with Solid HST's

     I just finished up a one week staycation which I bookended with this little project.

      I've always admired the work that Jayne at Twiggy and Opal and Carrie at Zenquilter do, playing around with geometric shapes. This is something I have wanted to do for some time and I decided that now was the time to do it.  I love bright solid fabrics and I've been accumulating quite a few over the last year, but this being my first go at this practise I started out with these strips: three yellows, two greens, two blues and two purples.

     These are left over strips from a block of the month that I joined a few years ago and never kept up with.  I saw a post for random grey half square triangles on the Stash Bee blog.  Sorry you have to scroll quite far down the page to see it.
The post was by Amanda who blogs at Fabric Engineer and I thought I would give this method a shot.

     The fabric cut down nicely to 3 1/2 inch squares.

     I put the squares into a bag and pulled them out without looking at them.  As long as the two pieces I pulled were not identical I sewed them into half square triangles.  Here's a shot where I put some up on the design wall to get an idea of what was going on before I trimmed them.

     At this point I wasn't too sure how I felt about this process because there seemed to be an awful lot going on with this grouping, but as I was trimming the blocks down to 3 inches I started dividing them into piles by colour.

     I could see that I had only two blocks with both green and blue in them.  I had a lot with blue, a lot with green and a few with neither green or blue.  I decided to go with the blue grouping and to arrange them on the design wall in a way that I found pleasing to my eye.  I started out with this.

Then winnowed it down to this.

I sewed it together with my trusty little machine and when my better machine came back from servicing I quilted it with straight line quilting using a golden orange Aurifil 50 wt thread which I believe is number 2135.

          I had a great time working through this process and I love the little mini quilt that resulted and just in case you are wondering what happened to the other blocks.  I counted the green blocks and put them back in the bag.  I then took them out of the bag drew them out without looking at them, then placed them in order on the design wall.  This is the result.

     What do you think?  Should I sew them together as is or shift them about?

     While you are contemplating that I'll leave you here with a picture of Benni just incase you missed him.  I'll be linking up with Beth of  Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday and with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social,  and because this was made from strips that I consider to be scraps I'll link it up to the next Scraptastic Tuesday link up with Leanne of She Can Quilt.

     And then it's back to work.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Strike one off the List

     Here's my first finish of Quarter Three of the 2016 FAL, my original list is here. It should have been finished in the 2nd quarter but I just could not muster up the energy to bind it after I finished quilting it.

     I pieced and half quilted this little baby quilt about 5 years ago.  I really liked the fabric and although there were no babies in my life around that time I thought I'd make it in advance.  I should have known myself better.  Of course when I was 1/2 way through quilting it somebody asked for a quilt for their girlfriend, or somebody got married, so it got put in the curing pile.

     Three babies have been born in my family since this quilt was abandoned but of course I had to make something new and more exciting for each of those quilts.  One of the good things about picking up a project you worked on years ago is that you get to see how much your skills have improved.  There is one very crooked quilting line in this quilt and I'm choosing to believe I sewed that one 5 years ago, not last month when I picked it up again.

     It's a pretty little quilt and I'm happy to have it finished.  I'll be adding to Gabriel's collection of quilts.  No baby can have too many quilts, I say.  I'm linking up to TGIFF hosted this week by Jenn at Quarter Inch From the Edge.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Snow Flake Shimmer Quilt Along

     I am very excited to be joining Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl in her Snow Flake Shimmer Quilt Along.  The design of the quilt is very striking and the pace of the quilt along looks like something I can manage with my current commitments.  I've also found some fabrics that I think will look awesome in this quilt that I am excited to share with you.

     Before Yvonne revealed the pattern and fabric requirements for the quilt along, Michelle from Kallisti Quilts posted a photo in her newsletter of some newly arrived Yoko Saito fabrics.  They were frosty blues and greys and they pretty much hollared snowflake shimmer at me.  So when Yvonne posted the fabric requirements I took a little field trip with some friends to Michelle's house to see what she had. If you don't know it, Kallisti Quilts is a great online fabric shop that sells Japanese and African imports.  It's in Waterloo, which is very close to Guelph, where I live.

      Both of these fabrics are from the Centenary Collection by Yoko Saito & Lecien.  The one in the left is number 31243.  I originally had my eye on a bluer fabric but it was a bit lighter and when I saw it in greyscale I didn't think there was enough contrast between it and number 31242 on the right.  There was a really beautiful dark blue fabric in the collection as well that would have worked well as the background but because I needed 4 1/2 yards for background I decided to go with a cheaper option.  I chose Kona Charcoal for the background.
     Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you thought you were both talking about the same thing but it turned out that you weren't.  I told Michelle the amounts I wanted for each fabric before she went upstairs to find the bolts and cut it for me.  When she came downstairs she repeated the amounts she had cut of each fabric to make sure it was right, but somehow the amounts got reversed.  There's a lesson to be learned in this story but I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe I should have unfolded the fabric and looked at it before I left her house because it's pretty clear I can't hear properly.  Oh well I'll just have to visit her again and get more of the lighter fabric and while I'm there maybe I can find something to go along with this beautiful African fabric I purchased on the last visit.

    There may be more visits to Michelle in my future as my son and his family just moved to an apartment about  a ten minute drive from Michelle's house.  I'm not sure I can resist the temptation, although you do have to phone and make an appointment first so that may slow me down.

      I'm linking my post to the Snow Flake Shimmer linkup over at Quilting Jet Girl.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Mid Year Reveiw


      Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl is hosting a mid year link up where we can share our progress with our 2016 goals.  I've been thinking about about writing a post about my 2016 goals so the timing was perfect.

     Any of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that my Aunt had a fall back in February and that her ongoing care has taken up quite a bit of my time and my mental and emotional energy. Things have settled down into a somewhat manageable rhythm for the mean time but I had made quite a lengthy and ambitious goal list and I've had to let go of major expectations around it.  ( see goal 4 under self care)

 So on to the goals  section one quilting.
1. Complete at least one quilt a month. Well I knew this was a stretch and I haven't been able to do it.  I've managed to complete three quilts totally on my own which is one every 2nd month. 
My finishes are: Pick Up Sticks, Shoo Fly and Can't Cut With Scissors.

2.  Design and make my own quilts, and quilt blocks.To help me with this goal I'll be reading Cheryl's Pattern Writing Blog Series starting in January, and I'll be mining the back posts on Yvonne's blog to re read her posts on block design.   I'll be starting my own process by turning my contribution to the Fabri Quilt block challenge, the  Graduated Cross Block into a quilt.  I've bought the fabric to make a quilt using this block and I'm excited to get  started on it.

     I did read Cheryl's pattern writing series and I have managed to make the graduated cross into a quilt top. I've also played around a little bit with Quiltography, I joined the Facebook Group Quilt Design a Day (this was before the fall)
So I haven't let go of this but it's been slowed down.

3.  Enter a quilt in to a show. One of the groups I am in has entered a group quilt into the show at the international ploughing match and I did contribute "Can't Cut With Scissors" into the Toronto Modern Guild display at the CQA show.

4.  I'm really excited to be in Hive 8 of the Stash Bee.  I enjoy the social aspects of blogging and hope this continues in the bee.  My goal is to complete all my blocks on time.   Totally rocking this goal.  Yay!

5.  Improve my quilting.  Making Progress here as well.

6.  Continue to explore Modern quilting techniques such as improv, negative grid and minimalism.  Yep, this one is going along nicely.

7.  Use my stash and come up with my own Stash Manifesto.  I did come up with the manifesto and I think I'm doing a reasonable job with this goal.  Thankfully I didn't promise not to buy fabric!

Section 2 blogging:

1.  Post at least twice a week.  I've done a pretty good job here.
2. Post a tutorial or two.  Not yet.
3. Host a linky party.   I hosted TGIFF and I believe I hosted this the week my aunt landed in the hospital so I should get a triple gold star for meeting this goal.  I would have hosted a couple more but you have to pay a monthly fee to have further link ups and I wasn't sure I'd use the service enough this year to warrant that.

4.  Learn how to get a working button into the body of a post.   The years not over yet !

Section 3 self care.

1.  Meditate daily.  Nope.  I'm not doing it.
2.  Get some exercise.  I haven't figured out what this one is going to look like yet..possibly aquafit, possibly hand held the very least I will do my knee strengthening exercises on a regular basis.   It's a good thing I have to walk to and from work...but this goal was intended to be in addition to that and it's not happening.
3.  Go back to keeping a gratitude journal.  I have done this very sporadically but I did do a Five Things Friday post this week so that's something!  Five Things Friday is hosted by Amanda of Gypsy Moon Quilts.
4.  Retain my flexibility and don't get too anal about meeting all the goals.  All I can say here is I'm glad I put this one in!

     I'm linking my post  to the 2016 Mid Year Review linkup
hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.  I'm really glad I took the time to review my goals.  I'm making better progress in many areas than I would have thought.  I know that quilting and blogging are part of my self care but if I want to continue with these activities into a long future  I'm going to have to spend more time in the other areas of self care.

Friday, 15 July 2016

5 Things Friday

     I'm participating in the 5 things Friday linkup for the first time this week, and I am thankful for Rain (it's been dry here for weeks on end and we finally got some good rain showers to quench the earth's thirst and cool things down.  I'm thankful that I am on a staycation for a week and get to enjoy my sewing room and garden.
     We'll be helping my son and his small family move and I am thankful that I will get to spend time with my son, his wife and my baby grandson.  I'm thankful that I have a job with wonderful employers and coworkers.
     I am thankful for the abundance of local fresh food available at this time of the year and that we have the means to afford it.

And here are my 5 smile photos

After reading Stephanie's comment I thought i should explain the above photo.  It's rain water in the carrier on the trike.  the toys are symbolic of my grandson although he is way to young to use any of them yet.

      Thanks to Amanda at the Gypsy Moon Quilt Company for hosting this linkup.


Saturday, 9 July 2016

2016 Finish Along 3rd Quarter List

     It's time to link up the hopes and dreams for quarter three finishes.  The 3rd quarter is always a little tricky because it's summer and I never quite know how busy I'll be with other things and how much actual sewing I can get done:  As usual, I'll start with the leftovers.

     Graduated Cross quilt: tops done and it needs to be quilted.

     I still need to quilt this disappearing nine patch which is a donation quilt for my local guild.  It was my June goal to fmq it but I got very busy and the machine developed problems to boot.

     This years mystery has already started so it would be nice to get last years mystery quilted up.

     Now I do know that it would be a stretch for me to get even three quilts ,quilted in three months...but I'm going to add to the list because you just never know what you will feel like working on.

     The baby quilt is back in because honestly I came so close to finishing it last quarter that it should be finished next week.

      And I'll add the rainbow rose because why not.

     I'll also add in the Clamshell because I'd like to get some more work done on it.

    And the last thing I'll add to the list is a garment because they come together a lot quicker than quilts. I'll be continuing along with the sewing with knits by making myself a Washi dress with this Anna Maria Horner knit fabric.  I know it's a bit vibrant but I think I can get away with wearing this bold colour in the summer and it was on sale.  I'm just risking $17.50 here. Not to mention the fact that I'll be sewing it with my friend Wendy who is a very experienced seamstress, so it should turn out o.k.

     That's it for me.  What's on your list.  Linking up to the Q3 goal setting linkup with LeeAnne at She Can Quilt.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Meadow Mystery Fabric Pull

     I really enjoyed quilting along with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs last year for the Midnight Mystery, so I decided to repeat the experience and join in with the Meadow Mystery. 
She released the fabric requirements yesterday.  Here are my choices.

       The fabrics are from left to right
A. Timeless Treasures fabrics of Soho (medium)
C. Sarah Watts, Sketches and Memories of Costa Rica (dark)
D. Dear Stella 370 ( light medium)
B.  Don't know what it is as there is nothing on the selvedge (dark).
These are lying on fabric E which is Kona Ash (light)

     I found picking the fabrics for last years mystery quite difficult so I asked Cheryl to send me the fabric requirements in advance.  I live within short walking distance of my lqs, Greenwood Quiltery and I was drawn to a collection of fabrics they had there which included the purple above, as well as dark blues, aquas, and golds.  I was mostly drawn to the fabric line because of this fabric here.  It comes in three colour ways and it is gorgeous.

     I was considering this fabric for one of the darks and I asked Cheryl for her opinion on it.  Cheryl shared a tip with me which I will share with you.  She suggested I look at the fabric in two inch increments and see if it remained dark.  When I did this I realized that in some places it looks dark and in some places it looks medium.  The Sarah Watts fabric also has variation in value but you can see in the photo below it tends to remain dark.  Thanks for that tip Cheryl!

     And also thanks to Hilary who helped me find just the right pink and the Kona Ash for the background.  I love this fabric pull and I hope it looks great in the quilt.  I still need to pick up some fabrics for Yvonne's quilt along "Snow Flake Shimmer Quilt Along" I've had my eye on some Yoko Saito fabric for that quilt.  We are going on a field trip to Kallisti Quilts on Wednesday.  These particular fabrics are not listed on the website so I'm hoping Michelle still has them.  If not I still have a bit of time to find something else.  I'm looking forward to joining in on both of these quilt alongs.  I'm sure they will be quite different from each other but I might be surprised.



Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Continuing on With The Rainbows

       O.K. I failed miserably at finishing my June OMG....didn't even touch it.  I forgot how busy June could be when I set that goal.  I also didn't count on my sewing machine acting up.  Yes Jane the Janome has started skipping stitches and has been breaking thread, and yes I have changed the needle and rethreaded her to no avail.  It could be because
I ran over a basting pin when I worked on my daughters quilt but the machine didn't start to act  till some time after that.  I'm happy that I have Jasmine the Janome her more basic sister still in my possession as I have been using that machine for piecing. Jane is going to the sewing machine shop to get some t.l.c. tomorrow. 

      I've been working on the Rainbow Rose Quilt Along hosted by Ruth at the Modern Quilters Ireland. I fell behind a couple of weeks ago but I've managed to catch up.

     This has been a fun quilt along and it's the first time I've worked on a colour wheel progression project.  I'm pretty happy with the colour progression although I think the Tula Pink purple striped fabric is jumping out of the quilt right now.  I guess it's the psychedelic portion of the quilt and I'm leaving it. I think it adds to the 60's vibe of the quilt.

     I'm taking my cue from Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland and setting my OMG for July as the finishing of this quilt.  I have to add some negative space to the quilt to get it to my desired size of 50" by 60".  Then I think I'll do some walking foot quilting on this one.

   I'm linking my post to OMG hosted by Heidi of Red Letter Quilts and to Let's Bee Social with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Rainbow Hearts

     The last couple of weeks of June have been very full with quilt shows and weddings and end of year committee meetings.  It's been a while since I've sewn anything much and a while since I've posted.  This all changed on Friday.
     I spent a quiet Canada Day gardening (well attacking the weeds) in the backyard and then putting together 8 heart blocks (tutorial  from Cluck Cluck Sew) to add to the 36 blocks I had received from friends.  

     Then on Saturday I got together with Cyndy and Wendy and we put the blocks together.  It was good to work on this project together.  Usually when we get together to sew we are each working on our own projects and we help each other out but this time it was a collaborative effort.  One person would sew blocks together into rows, while another ironed and the other sewed the rows together.
We made some additional blocks as well to fill in the colour gaps and again one person would be cutting, another marking the sewing lines and one person sewing.

     Here's the finished product.

     What started out as one quilt top became three quilt tops. Thanks to Cathy, MaryAnne, Cyndy, Cheryl W., Lana, Wendy, Cheryl C. and Katrina. Working on this project gave us all a way to respond to our feelings of sadness and helplessness around the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub.  I for one, was touched by the generosity of so many of my quilting friends. I'll be mailing the tops to Orlando on Monday just before the impending postal strike.
     I'm linking this up to Main Crush Monday cause I'm crushing on quilting friends and the quilting community, that so often fills me with hope.