Saturday, April 19, 2014

This week's projects...

Last week, I cut out 32 light squares and 32 medium to dark squares and made these half square triangles--64 in total.

I started making Scrappy Mountain Majesties blocks earlier this week. This is a free Bonnie Hunter pattern.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours at the sewing machine and made some more blocks:

I really like this arrangement of the blocks!  Lots to look at in these fabrics--flowers, barn-board, fall leaves...

By the time I went to bed last night, this is what my design wall looked like...can you see the green bean fabric?  My daughter's favourite vegetable is green beans!  The sunflower fabric is leftover from a dress I made for her when she was 10 years old.

Tonight, I finished off the rest of the blocks:

This week, I will get these blocks put together and add a couple of borders. Now that I look at the picture, I see a couple of blocks I would like to move around.

I also did some hand sewing this week:

The blocks for this quilt were made by Nancy at Life is a Stitch. I assembled the top from Nancy's blocks and pieced some batting. I found some purple fabric deep in my stash that I used as backing and binding.  Cathy at Eagle's Wings Quilts quilted the quilt and I did the binding. This quilt will be donated to the London Friendship Quilters' Guild charity quilt committee for a child in foster care.  Someone is sure to love the cats in the spinning four patch blocks!

Can you see them?
These cats are winking at you!
Nice job on the swirly quilting, Cathy!
I have not done a stash report in ages.  As you know, I have made some purchases recently. Pam from Mad About Patchwork was the vendor at our most recent London Friendship Quilters' Guild meeting and it is futile to resist her fabrics!
 Fabric used since my last stash report: 7.3 yards
Total fabric used this year: 49.65 yards
Fabric added to the stash since my last report: 19.5 yards
Total fabric added this year: 44.15 yards
Net fabric used this year: 5.5 yards
The good news...I am still in the black and I have a couple of backings to piece soon! This should help the numbers for my next stash report.
Have a good week. Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stitch and Flip Workshop with Jacquie Gering

Jacquie Gering of Tall Grass Prairie Quilts fame was our guest speaker and workshop leader this past week at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild. You can see pictures of Jacquie's trunk show at the guild blog here. My post is going to concentrate on the wonderful stitch and flip workshop that I attended yesterday.
Jacquie started with a talk about how to make a stitch and flip unit.  She showed us several types of units and showed us examples of how they can be used to make various shapes and direction changes when putting the units together to create an infinite variety of designs.
During the workshop, Amalia came up with another type of stitch and flip unit that Jacquie called the "Amalia's Adjacent". You can see 4 of these units in the green star in the middle of Amalia's project.
This is Jacquie's design wall where she showed us examples of what we could make with the various units.
This quilt was made with stitch and flip rectangles instead of squares!
I started by cutting lots of 3.5" squares and green and yellow triangles.  I chain pieced lots of units and then started playing with them on my design wall.
First, I made a yellow flower with a long stem.

Next, an orange flower...

Then, my design wall fell down and all my pieces fell on the floor in a was not pretty!  I got them back up on the wall and got my pins out to pin them to the design wall so would not be in disarray again!

This little star is made with 1.5" squares and finishes at 3.5".  It became the centre of my next flower.
A star within a star!  Gwen Marston calls these liberated stars.

(You can see the pins holding everything up in this picture!)  I also started playing with curving the stems.

Every so often, I wandered around the room to see what everyone else was up to.  Lots of inspiration everywhere!  This is Carol arranging her units at the beginning of her project. You can see more at her blog here.

Jacquie also talked to us about how she quilts her pieces.

She often uses different coloured threads--in this case, a lighter gray on the horizontal and a darker gray on the diagonal (in this picture).

Here, purple threads for a few rows of stitching and then turquoise...

I really liked this one! She also explained how to do matchstick quilting which is straight lines about 1/8" apart (or closer).

Jacquie was kept busy all day, going from design wall to design wall, helping us all to make the most of our creativity and helping us to think through the challenges and fun of putting these units together. She had lots of energy and we all laughed a lot as we learned from her and each other.

Thanks for a great day, Jacquie!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hand Quilting in Dutton

This past Sunday, Donna and I went to Dutton where the West Elgin Dramatic Society put on a play called "Quilting Pieces".  The play consisted of 10 vignettes about various aspects of quilting and how it has affected the quilters and their families over time. Several dozen community members were involved --the oldest was a woman in her late 70's and the youngest was 7 years old. It was wonderful to see all of the members of the cast and crew working together and having such a good time putting on this play!
Before and after the play, as well as during the intermission, Donna and I demonstrated hand quilting for the people who attended the play.  Other members of the Elgin Piecemakers and some other quilters from the area have signed up in pairs to do this at each performance of the play. If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that I do not do a lot of hand quilting, if any. I work full time so I choose to spend my sewing time machine piecing and I have my quilts machine quilted by a long arm quilter, but I do know how to hand quilt. I am hoping to hand quilt my liberated squirrel quilt this summer.
Donna and I had quite a few people come over to watch us quilt and ask us questions.  We were working on a quilt which will be given to an adult chemo patient at our hospital. This quilt was pieced by Nancy who used to belong to the Elgin Piecemakers. She recently donated several quilt tops to our guild to finish as charity quilts.
This quilt will be a bright spot in someone's days during their cancer treatments.
If you live near London, Ontario, you may want to take a drive to Dutton this weekend to see "Quilting Pieces".  Say "hello" to the hand quilters during the intermission!
This weekend, there is a quilt show in Shedden at the local community centre. I have two quilts and the table runner above in the show this weekend.  There will be lots of quilts, several vendors and a great tea room as well.
Last night, Christine came over to sew and I put my charity quilt blocks together so now the top is done. This will also be donated to the chemo unit at the hospital after I get the quilting done.
I finished cutting fabric for a new project tonight--a gift. That's all I can say about this project for now until it is gifted!
I will do a stash report next time.
Here is a picture that I took when my husband and I were out for a walk last week.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Road Trip!

Today was our long awaited fabric acquisition road trip...Cathy, Karen, Christine and I set off early this morning for Guelph and Elmira.
Christine was our driver with tea in hand!

Cathy is not a morning person and needs lots of coffee to get her going.

 Our first stop was Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph.

This wonderful shop has a whole room full of knitting yarn and this made Cathy very happy!  She even brought her knitting needles along so that she could knit with her new yarn in the car. She is making herself some socks.

Greenwood Quiltery also has lots and lots of great fabric!  We fanned out and went searching for what tickled our fancy.
Here are my fabrics, and some basting pins that I have wanted for quite a while.

Christine purchased some fabric for a wedding gift. Cathy also bought some border fabric for a UFO she plans on finishing soon. Karen and I with our purchases...

By that time, we were getting hungry!  Lucky for us, there is a wonderful little café called With the Grain just across the road from Greenwood Quiltery. We had to wait a bit for a table, but it was worth the delay.

They bake their own bread, scones and desserts. We all had sandwiches on fresh baked bread and I even bought a loaf of flax bread to bring home!

My sandwich--olive hummus and a cup of Moroccan soup.

Cathy chose egg salad...

Karen had grilled cheese...

And Christine had Chicken salad..

I will definitely go back to this little café again!

After lunch, we all purchased some baked goods to share with our families at home...

Everyone will need extra exercise this week to wear these off!

Next, we did a side trip to see a model train layout where my husband is a member of a club that had an open house today.

Soon, we were on the road again and on our way to Quilter's Nine Patch near Elmira.

Karen and Christine both found what they were looking for at this store.  Karen needed some civil war fabrics she needed to finish off a quilt for her bed. Christine was looking for some border fabric for her 9 patch mystery quilt. Success!

Here are my purchases...

 My favourite fabric is the bicycle fabric!

All this shopping makes a quilter hungry and thirsty (again). We stopped in at the Crossroads restaurant for tea and pie. (Sorry no pictures, but the pie was excellent!) 

We arrived home in time for dinner after a quick stop at Len's Mills store in Woodstock where Christine was able to find some background fabric for a wedding gift quilt.

It was a great day!  We will need to do this again sometime!