Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hand Quilting at the Curling Club

I have had this wool project basted and ready to hand quilt for months now.  It may become a pillow or it may become a wall hanging...I am not sure yet.  I spent some time working on it while watching my daughter curl on Friday night.  I am quilting around the wool appliqué and have not decided what to do after that.  

My daughter curls in a mixed competitive league.  One of her teammates asked if I was crocheting.  His girlfriend admired my project.  She knew it was not crochet. 

I hope to get some more stitches in this week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Improv with Intent: Workshop with Cheryl Arkison

I spent a glorious day at a Cheryl Arkison "Improv with Intent" workshop in St. Mary's, Ontario just over a week ago.  We started out with a playing with fabric exercise. Each table group had a pile of Cheryl's scraps on it and we were told to grab two pieces and sew them together.  Then, pass it to the person on our left.  Then, we added another piece...etc. 
We ended up with several improv blocks that Cheryl displayed on a design wall. Cheryl encouraged all of us to play with fabric on a regular basis and not to always work from a pattern.  Personally, I would rather play than follow a pattern...

We were to bring an idea, or a picture or something that would inspire our improv project for the workshop.  I brought a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.  My husband and I took an in depth tour of Fallingwater near Ohiopyle, PA earlier this year.  We have toured several of FLW's buildings including Kentuck Knob near Ohiopyle, PA, Talliesen in Spring Green, WI, the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, NY and Greycliffe in Derby, NY, as well as his studio in Oak Park, IL.  All of his buildings and the stories that go with them are fascinating.

I started by making a couple of architectural features of the house that stood out for me.

This column of windows is sandwiched between the two chimneys of the house. The chimney fabric actually has a brick pattern on it.

Next, I worked on the stairway that goes down from the living room of the house down to the water.

Here is everything I had on the design wall by the end of the day.

Everyone had a chance at the end of the day to explain their projects and talk about what they were going to do next.  I did not want to go home...I just wanted to keep sewing.

Here is Christine and her blocks that she had done by the end of the day.

Thanks, Cheryl!  I had a wonderful time and can't wait to get working on my project again! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cheryl Arkison's Lecture

A week ago, I went to a truck show/lecture by Cheryl Arkison from Calgary, Alberta. She was in Ontario for several days to do a couple of trunk shows and teach 4 classes in London and Toronto. She brought a suitcase full of quilts to show to us! Cheryl loves to use scraps and made the above slab quilt using her scraps which she had sorted into piles by colour.

This quilt was made using her low volume scraps.  I love how soft it looks!

Cheryl recommends making baby quilts no wider than 40 inches so that you don't have to piece the backing. This baby quilt was quick and easy to make.

A crossword puzzle was the inspiration for this quilt.

The wonky yellow triangles are made log cabin style.  Who said you should not use yellow in a quilt???

This quilt was inspired by reading Gwen Marston's book, Liberated Quiltmaking.  I have a copy of this book and several others by Gwen on my shelf.

Cheryl went through a green phase and decided to try making the corner stones and sashing the focus of this quilt.

Inspired by a mountain meadow, this was my favourite quilt that Cheryl showed.

A perfect quilt for a sewing room wall!

Her husband challenged her to make a quilt that looks like an equalizer on an old stereo.   The lights just glow on that black background!

I bought a copy of Cheryl's latest book and she signed it for me.  It was a fun and inspiring evening.  Now, I just want to spend my time in my sewing room playing with fabric...  Thanks, Cheryl!

It is Slow Sunday stitching time tomorrow...  I bought home a Quilt of Valour from the London Friendship Guild meeting this past Thursday night so I will put putting the binding on it tomorrow. Somehow, between the meeting and home, I have misplaced the binding.  I think I might have some fabric around here somewhere that I can use instead...

Monday, November 9, 2015

All Cooped Up

I was at a quilting class, "Improvising with Intent", on Saturday with Christine.  Cheryl Arkison from Dining Room Empire was our teacher.  I will do another post soon about the class and her trunk show but I wanted to show you our treats:  
Quilter's Chocolate!
Tonight was sewing night with Christine.  I worked on an attic windows setting for my chicken blocks I made earlier this year.  I am going to call this quilt "All Cooped Up!"   The 3D boxes really show up with this picture. I have some fun fabric to use for the border which I will add once the blocks are together. 

I also made two pillowcases for our local "Inn out of the Cold" program.  The Elgin Piecemakers Guild members each make two pillowcases to donate each November. 

Christine worked on a placemat for Meals on Wheels and on a pieced backing for a quilt top she made earlier this year.   Next week, we are going to make Christmas stockings for a homeless women's shelter before working on our own projects.  I already have fabric picked out for the stockings...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Baby Quilt in Waiting

This week, I finished off the baby quilt I started a couple of weeks ago.

I pin basted it, machine quilted it and attached the binding when Christine came over to sew on Tuesday night.   It was a very productive evening!

I did an organic cross hatch over the entire quilt with light gray thread.

I took these pictures outside this morning, before work. A few colourful leaves are still clinging to the branches of our worplesdon sweetgum tree.

I bought two of these little chipmunk fence sitters at a store in London, Ontario. They help the real chipmunks in my backyard to feel welcome!

I like the turquoise binding on this quilt.  I finished off the hand stitching last night.

The backing is soft flannel.
Someday, this will be gifted to someone who has a baby girl. In the meantime, it will live at my house.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Frank is DONE!

Drum roll please!  I am happy to announce that Frank is done!  I finished the last stitches last Sunday afternoon while on our way to our nieces' birthday party. I now need to wash it and have it framed. I am hoping to hang Frank in my new sewing room. 

This week, I made two place mats for Meals on Wheels. The place mats will be put into gift bags that are delivered along with the meals on Christmas day.  This is an annual project for the London Friendship Quilters' Guild. They are ready to take to our next meeting so labels can be added.

I also made binding for a charity quilt made by members of the Elgin Piecemakers for an adult chemo patient at our local hospital.  I only have part of one side to finish stitching tomorrow. Each member of the guild made a different coloured slab--they were put together into one top which was quilted by one of our Heather's husband. I offered to do the binding.

Did I ever mention that I love orange!!!???

I will be linking to slow Sunday stitching at Kathy's blog.

I went fabric shopping this past week. I just wanted to get some flannel for the backing of the baby quilt I just made..., however,  several pieces of fabric leaped into my bag and came home with me. 

The two darker fabrics are for pillow cases for our local Inn Out of the Cold program.

I am sure it will all be put to good use, someday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sewing Night with Christine in my New Sewing Room

Christine came over to sew for a few hours last night in my new sewing room.  When I ordered my sewing furniture, I designed it with a spot for a friend to sew.  Last night was the first time someone tried it out and it worked out beautifully. We both had lots of room and could easily sit and chat while we sewed.   I put the blocks together on my baby quilt first.  I need to purchase some fabric for the backing before I can quilt it.

Next, I made a charity quilt block for November's meeting of the Elgin Piecemakers.  The colours are lime green and navy. It originally was supposed to be a disappearing 4 patch but I measured wrong so it turned into this:

At the October meeting of the London Friendship Guild, we were asked to make a few 6.5" blocks for a charity quilt.  --A brightly coloured 2.5" square surrounded by a light fabric...I made 4.

In November, we are also supposed to bring in two placemats for Meals on Wheels to the LFQG meeting.  I used some leader/ender tumblers to make one placemat.  I even quilted it so it is ready for binding.  I have more tumblers cut out to make a second one.

The backing fabric has snowmen on it.

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago as we ate our last meal on the patio for this year.  One of the shadows looks like a chicken to me.

We are supposed to have some rainy and windy weather for the next day or so...I think we are going to have naked trees by the end of the day tomorrow.