Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Abby's Quilt--An Update.

I have not been doing a lot of sewing over the last couple of weeks. My daughter was home for a few days and my aunt was here from Scotland for 10 days so there was lots of visiting and special family meals, but not a lot of sewing!  This past weekend was the London Friendship Quilters Guild Quilt show.  This week, Christine and I finally both had time to get together to sew!  I worked on Abby's t-shirt quilt. 

I added these neat yellow stripes (and one red stripe) beside this quote by George Bernard Shaw.

Last night, I made some "parts" including these red squiggly lines and some 60 degree triangles.

I also made some hour glass units.  I did not sew any of these parts together last night...I wanted to mull over the possibilities first.

Tonight, I made some blue broken dishes blocks.

I sewed some parts together tonight as well. I have more ideas to try as well... but there is a problem...

I am running out of the gray background fabric!  YIKES!   I made an emergency call to my friend, Pam, at Mad About Patchwork.  She is going to send me the gray fabric I need tomorrow.  Thanks, Pam! 

When my aunt was here, I took her to The Little Red Mitten, a local knitting shop.  My aunt purchased a couple of knitting patterns and enough wool to keep her busy over the winter with her projects.  The lady who helped us had nifty knitting fingernails!  I wonder if there is nail art like this for quilters???
Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Day with Kaffe and Brandon

A few months ago, Christine and I signed up for a colour workshop (Overlapping Tiles) with Kaffe Fassett and Bandon Mably that was being organized by Chantal at Hyggeligt.  This past Thursday, I got up very early and was out the door by 7:15 am to drive to the workshop.  I had gathered up some fabrics from my stash a couple of nights before the workshop. 

I picked the colours from a piece of yellow Kaffe Fassett paperweight fabric.

The van beside me in the parking lot had this sign on the window...I could relate!

This sign greeted me as I entered the building.

Kaffe was knitting as people came in and got set up for the workshop. Take a look at his socks!

I sorted out my fabrics and set up my cutting board.  There was no sewing at this workshop. Pretty soon, Kaffe and Brandon introduced the tasks for the day. We soon got started cutting out 3.5" squares and putting them up on our design walls. After filling up the top half of the design board with tiles, we were encouraged to step as far back as possible and take a look at how the colours were working together. Kaffe talked about our "colour stories". 
I had originally included some gold fabrics as well but Kaffe suggested I take them down off the design wall as they did not fit in with the bright colours in my quilt.  Brandon suggested I add a few fabrics he had chosen from their fabrics--Hyggeligt had a table with fabrics for sale at the venue. At first I really wondered about his choices but once I added them in, I loved how they enhanced my project.
Kaffe and Brandon came around later in the day and suggested "Surrey" as my constant for the squares between the tiles.  I really had a hard time wrapping my head around this recommendation!
I purchased a half yard of fabric and cut it up to try it out with my tiles.  It worked!  I ended up taking out the light coloured tiles and adding some brighter yellow tiles. 
Brandon and I with my quilt.  My shirt goes with my quilt!
At the end of the day, we cleaned up all our fabrics and did a tour of all of the design walls around the room. Kaffe talked about each design wall. It was amazing to see all of the different quilts being created--all so different! 
Kaffe's shirt matched this one!
Here he is talking about my quilt.
I purchased "Shots and Stripes" the day of the workshop and Kaffe signed it for me before I went home.
Now, I just have to cut out more squares and add more columns of tiles to my quilt. I would like to make this into a queen sized quilt for my bed.
And so, now I have one more UFO to work on!  It is a good thing there is a quilt 'til you wilt day coming up in November.  I may need several QTYW days to get everything done!
Sew many quilts, sew little time!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Quilt For Abby

A while back, a friend contacted me to see if I knew anyone who could use some t-shirts to make a quilt for his daughter, Abby. Right away, I said that I would be happy to make a t-shirt quilt for Abby--a t-shirt quilt has been on my bucket list for a while so this project is a good opportunity to try something new.  We soon got together for supper and I was given several bags of t-shirts that could be used in the quilt to take home with me.

I started by washing all the t-shirts and putting them out on the floor to take a look at all of them.

As you can see, all of the t-shirts are from the annual "Run 4 Rett" fundraiser. Abby has Rett Syndrome. Her family and other families and friends of girls with Rett Syndrome raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome every year with this run/walk.  My family has participated in the Run 4 Rett --my daughter's t-shirt is the one on the lower left in the above picture.

Before Abby was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, I had never heard of it before.  Here is some information from the Ontario Rett Syndrome Association:

What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by the loss of spoken language and hand use, coupled with the development of distinctive hand stereotypes. This disorder is seen in infancy and occurs almost exclusively in females. It is usually caused by a mutation of the MECP2 gene on the X chromosome. Rett syndrome is found in all racial and ethnic groups throughout the world. It affects one in every ten thousand live female births. Early developmental milestones appear normal, but between 6-18 months of age, there is a delay or regression in development, particularly affecting speech, hand skills and gait. A hallmark of Rett syndrome is repetitive hand movements that may become almost constant while awake. Other more common medical issues encountered include epileptic seizures, muscle stiffness, osteoporosis and scoliosis. Despite its multiple handicaps, Rett syndrome is not a degenerative disease. Many individuals with Rett syndrome live long into adulthood. There is currently no cure.

I talked to a few friends who had made t-shirt quilts before and got some advice about how to stabilize the stretchy knit fabric. Since this is the year that I am (mostly) making quilts without patterns, I had to figure out how I was going to make all these t-shirts look good in a quilt. I used non-woven iron-on light-weight interfacing and ironed it on from the interfacing side so the iron would not smear the writing on the t-shirts.

While in Ottawa at Mad About Patchwork a few weeks ago, I showed Pam a picture of the t-shirts and we discussed ideas for background material for the quilt as well as fabric for an outer border.  We decided that "Pewter" gray from her extensive collection of Kona Cottons would be the perfect background material and I would find other fabrics in my solids stash to add in for accents. The outer border will be a surprise when the quilt is revealed later...

You have probably noticed that the t-shirts are in all different sizes and shapes... First, I had to figure out how I was going to arrange the shirts. I knew I wanted this t-shirt to be in the middle.

I am using solids that go with the t-shirts and the outer border.  Each block has a different type of border around it.

It is fun to figure out something different for each part of the quilt.

Abby's dad has seen these pictures and he said it looks "very cool".

Once I get sewing, it is hard to stop.  I am missing being at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat this year for 5 days of non-stop sewing.  (Gwen Marston organized these retreats for 30 years and "retired" from the retreats after last year's retreat.)

This is as far as I have gone so far.  I have lots more ideas of what to do next. I should have more progress to post in a week or two.

If you would like more information about Rett Syndrome, follow this link:  http://www.rett.ca/

Thanks for stopping by!