Saturday, September 16, 2017

Libs Elliott Class: Embracing the Chaos

Last Saturday, the London Modern Quilt Guild hosted Libs Elliott to teach an "Embracing the Chaos" workshop.  I signed up for this workshop months ago, but of course waited until the night before the shop in my stash for suitable fabrics and gather my supplies.  I needed to find around 10 co-ordinating fat quarters --I started with the fabric in the middle of this photo and added the other fabrics to the pile.  I ended up using the chartreuse fabric on the upper right but not the yellow on the upper left. 

Some of these fabrics have been in my stash for a while and a couple were recent additions.

Libs told us about how she designs her quilts using a grid and a randomizer on her computer to place pre-chosen blocks into the grid.

She brought along three quilts to show us and we spent quite a bit of time examining them and asking questions about how she chose her fabrics, colours and how she put the blocks together to make her quilts.

She recently was asked by Absolut vodka to design a special label for their Canada 150 bottles.  Several of the quilters brought along their bottles for her to sign.  (All bottles remained sealed during the workshop!)

Some people used pencil crayons to colour their designs before cutting into their fabrics but I jumped into using fabric and picked the fabrics as I went along making the blocks.

By the end of the day, I had all my blocks pieced except one. I pinned my rows together and labeled them so that I would be able to lay them out when I got home.

Earlier this week, I put my last block together and sewed all the blocks into a 30 by 30" flimsy.  I have picked out some thread for quilting and just need to get this top pin basted and quilted.  I will do another post when it is done.  This was a fun workshop and I would recommend taking a class with Libs if you ever get a chance.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Snow in September

Even though I have not done a Slow Sunday Stitching post for a couple of weeks, I have been working on my counted cross stitch snowmen picture when we are travelling in the car.  This works well when the sun is shining and I have lots of light to see what I am doing, but part of our drive last weekend was though a rain storm so the stitching got put back into the bag.  This picture was taken just before it started to rain.

The last time I posted about my CCS project, it looked like this:

I added a second bird...

And more snow...

Now, my picture looks like this:

It just might get done before the snow flies.

BTW, I bought some Thread Heaven and since I started using it, I am getting a lot less tangled threads.  Thanks to whoever it was that suggested that!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Christmas Lights and a Tree

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts released the pattern for the last block of the Holly Jolly Christmas quilt a couple of weeks ago but I did not have time to make it until last night.  This one did not have as many pieces as some of the blocks so I was able to cut it out, sew it together and press it all in one night!  Some of my fabrics that I put aside for this quilt are down to very small scraps so that limited what I could use for my "lights".

I also made a Christmas tree block from some of my green scraps to add to this quilt.  It is the same type of block as I used for my pillows last fall-my own design!

I want to have 16 blocks for this quilt--I am using 14 of the 15 blocks made through Lorna's quilt along (I decided not to use the partridge in a pear tree block) and the tree block is #15.  I am going to make a snowman block for #16, again, my own design.  I hope to get it done soon so that I can work on getting this top together and off to the long arm quilter's house for quilting.  I have already bought the backing fabric and I found some red and white stripes for the binding.  I will be finalizing the layout as soon as at the snowman block is done.  It has been fun making the blocks but I am ready to get this project done!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Another Baby Quilt in Waiting

As you know, I like to make a few baby quilts to have on hand in case the need for a baby gift arises. I put this quilt top together over a year ago and had the top, batting and backing in a plastic storage container in my sewing room.  At one time, I had 5 quilts in a pile, waiting to be quilted.  Of the original 5, I have only one left to do. I have added another one to the pile in the meantime so there are two waiting to be quilted at the moment.

My husband was away last weekend, so after completing all my errands and jobs around the house, I pin basted this quilt and another wall hanging.  I did not have the right colour of thread for my wall hanging so this one moved to the front of the line for quilting.  I used some dark orange thread  and my walking foot to quilt this baby quilt.  The pattern is inspired by a class I took last summer with Jacquie Gering--Machine quilting with your walking foot.  

I used some nice soft flannel on the back--you can see the quilting in this picture. 

I finished off the binding last night after supper, but it was too dark for pictures.  I sent a text to my favourite quilt holder before coming home from work today to let him know that I wanted to do a photo shoot when I got home. 

The fabric in this quilt was in a jelly roll that was purchased ages ago. I added some solids from my solids collection to make the blocks and found a nice light green solid for the binding.  Everything came from my stash!

There won't be any quilting time this weekend as our schedule is jam packed but I may find some time to do some counted cross stitch in the car.  I am linking up with Kathy and the other slow Sunday stitchers. 

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Design Workshop with Jacquie Gering

I spent three days in workshops with Jacquie Gering last week.  You can read about the first workshop here.  The second workshop was two days of learning to design the Jacquie Gering way!  We were told we would not need our sewing machines until Day 2!  We spend much of the first day using paper and scissors to experiment with achieving "exchange" (balance, harmony...) in our paper designs.  My first attempt is shown above and I got a gold star from Jacquie for this one!  My second attempt was not even worthy of a picture before it landed in the trash can!  I made two more--

By lunch time, we had lots of ideas up on the design wall on one side of the room.

Next, we looked at some of Jacquie's quilts and discussed the designs, some of which she loved and others that she did not love.  We talked about ways that some of them could have been designed differently to create different looks.

Our design challenge for the rest of the afternoon was to play with some paper blocks that Jacquie gave to us to create more quilt designs.  I could not believe the number of possibilities that the participants came up with in this exercise!  Here are a few of my designs.

On the second day, we discussed moving from paper or craft-foam designs to fabric.  I decided to skip the mock up of my design idea on using craft foam and moved straight to fabric.  I make 18 liberated drunkard's path units and started playing with placement on the design wall.

I have done a lot of garment sewing in my life so a few curved seams did not faze me.

At first, my blocks were too big so I ended up cutting them down to a smaller size and playing some more.

Jacquie and I played with this 16 patch design for quite a while, moving pieces here and there and trying to find a pleasing design.  After a while, she left to work with someone else.  I stared at what I had on the design wall and all I could see was the curved arrow on the upper right corner.   I then came up with this idea...

Others in the room, including Jacquie, concurred and after a bit of tweaking, this became my final design.   I sewed the blocks together and had my top together before the end of the day.

This was a fun and challenging workshop with ideas that will continue to influence the quilts that I make for a long time!  I already have my quilt basted and ready to quilt.  The quilting pattern is already chosen. I just need to find the right colour of thread...

Thanks again, Jacquie, for an amazing three days!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekend Sewing

I had a busy day yesterday--I went to the local Farmer's Market, did the laundry, dishes, cleaned up a corner of the garage, had a picnic lunch with my dad and went for a walk in the park with him, followed by errands, reading in the gazebo, dead-heading some flowers in the garden and watering my plants.  Whew!  By the time the evening arrived, I was ready for some ME time in the sewing room!  My regular readers will know that I attended a couple of classes with Jacquie Gering this past week.  You can see my post about the first class here.  I had a few more houses to complete when I got home so I made a couple on Thursday night when Christine was here to sew and completed the third one last night.   Here they are:

I call this one "Penthouse".

Would you like to live in this apartment building?

I needed one more house with a green background and had very little green fabric left so I had to piece it to build this house, "Corner Window".

I will work on a layout for my houses sometime soon.

I also made one more liberated sampler block--this one is a pinwheel.  I have 9 blocks made for this quilt now--there will be 64 blocks.  They are 6" blocks.  You can see the rest of my blocks here.

Cathy and I often FaceTime to sew together.  She is doing a giant EPP project and I work on my counted cross stitch snowmen.  It's fun to chat while we sew. I worked on the snow and a little bird.  I love how technology lets me sew with a friend without the travel time!

I hope for some gazebo sewing time later today to add some more stitches to this project.

I am linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers.   Have a great day!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Building Houses with Jacquie Gering

I have taken classes with Jacquie Gering, past president of the Modern Quilt Guild, several times.  The first class was stitch and flip which I took with other members of the London Friendship Quilters Guild.  You can see my stitch and flip garden here.   My next class with Jacquie was at Black Creek Pioneer Village "Quilts at the Creek" and was all about improvisational piecing.   Last year, Jacquie was in St. Mary's and taught a two day "Quilting with Your Walking Foot" class.    Jacquie was a teacher before she quit her job to quilt full time.  She is energetic and enthusiastic and takes great delight in passing on what she has learned as she explores modern quilt making.  Jacquie is a life-long learner and encourages her students to keep trying new things.  Jacquie teaches concepts and then sets her students free to make their own individual projects using what they have learned.

This past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I took two classes with Jacquie.  On Monday, Christine, Carol and I participated in her "Mid-century Modern Houses" workshop in St. Mary's, sponsored by Hyggeligt, a fabric store specializing in Kaffe Fasset fabrics in St. Mary's.  We were asked to bring a focus fabric (a print) and lots of solid scraps as well as some larger solids and a background fabric.

First, we cut up our fabrics into squares and rectangles of various random sizes.

You can see my focus fabric has cameras on it!  Jacqui encouraged us to use fabrics with colours from our focus fabrics as well as fabrics that just "go" with those colours, including some bolder colours.

We chain pieced pairs and then put the pairs together to make building blocks for our houses.

Here is my first house:

We started with simple and then explored other shapes and sizes of houses.

This house has a carport!  One of the other quilters thought a smart car would fit perfectly in my carport!

Next, I added a house with an attic.

Every house quilt needs an outhouse!

Here is my neighbourhood by the end of the day.  I have more ideas for future neighbourhood development... The turquoise grunge fabric will be my background.

Thanks, Jacquie for a fun day!   I will blog about the second class later.