Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Make a Mini, Make a Friend!

I am just home from QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville, TN!  This is my first of several blogposts about my experiences at the conference...there is so much to share!  

When I signed up for QuiltCon, I also signed up the for the Make a Mini, Make a Friend Swap.  They had over 600 people participating in the swap with some people mailing their mini quilts to each other if they were not attending the conference and others exchanging their quilts at a pre-arranged time at the conference.  I was given the name and preferences of my swap partner last fall --Evie lives in Maine, USA and likes curves and bright colours.  I decided to use my new Drunkard's Path rulers to make her quilt. 

Two years ago, I took a design class from Jacquie Gering.  She often uses fun foam shapes to design her quilt before cutting the fabrics for her project.  I took out the fun foam, cut out several quarter circle shapes and started to play.  I did not take pictures of all of the designs that I tried out but the picture below shows my final arrangement of the shapes. 

I found a fat quarter in my stash with brightly coloured maple keys on it...perfect for a mini quilt from Canada. 

Next, I had to choose a background fabric...  I tried several options from my stash including solids in various colours, greys, etc.

 This Essex linen in navy was the perfect background!

I sewed all 12 units together and then added sashing to separate them from each other, working from the centre out.

At the last minute, I decided to spin my design by 45 degrees...

I looked over all my quilting thread options and decided on orange, my favourite colour!  I found some backing fabric in my stash with spools of thread on it.

I used my walking foot to add curved and straight lines to the quilt.

Then, I added some orange binding to frame my design.  I called it "Maple Keys from Canada".

Evie and I met up at the swap fairly easily as we had sent pictures of ourselves to each other ahead of time.  Evie's picture included a quilt in her favourite colour...orange!  I had already finished her quilt by then so I was thrilled that she also loves orange.  Evie loved her quilt and I loved mine!  She made my mini quilt with liberated stars and faced the quilt rather than binding it.  I will hang it in my sewing room.

Here is a picture of a small group of us with our mini quilts.

Here is a picture of my mini quilt showing off the spiral quilting.

I will definitely be signing up for the mini quilt swap again.  It was fun to make something for another quilter and to make a new friend!  

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Sewing in the Car

This was the view from my hoop last weekend.  We went to visit my daughter and Finn for Family Day weekend and I had lots of sewing time in the car on the way there and back. 

As you can see, much was accomplished! I am just about to turn the bottom left corner of this project.

Our family usually does one fun outdoor activity on Family Day weekend, and this year was no exception.

We went skating on a skating trail through the woods about one hour from where my daughter lives.

That is my daughter way off in the distance.

It was a glorious sunny day ...perfect skating weather.

The squirrels and birds were out to entertain as well. 

Finn was his usual cute and cuddly self.  We gave him a bath so his fur was extra fluffy and soft.

There may have been some stash enhancement at one of my favourite quilt stores as well... Mad About Patchwork. The turquoise fabric will be used to bind my Just Sew quilt.

I will be linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching gang.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Halfway There

I have been adding stitches to my Frank Lloyd Wright cross stitch project this week and I am now about halfway finished this window.  Here is how it looked last week:

I often stitch  in the car as we travel to visit my MIL.  This week there was some car stitching as well as some evening stitching as I watched "Call the Midwife" on Netflix.  I am now working on the bottom half of the picture, which is a mirror image of the top part. 

This project is very easy to do in the car as I don't have to look at the pattern very often. My daughter is also adding stitches to her Prague cityscape and I hope to have a picture of it to share next weekend. I will be linking up with Kathy on Sunday morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just Sew

Christine came over to sew on Monday night and I managed to finish off my "Just Sew" wallhanging flimsy.  The letters are made from a Kaffe print that I have had in my stash for a while. I already have a plan for the quilting and binding...  The finished quilt will hang on the wall behind my sewing machine.  

I also made another comfort quilt block for the Elgin Piecemakers Guild.  I am trying to get all of this year's blocks done now so that I don't have to make them at the last minute for each meeting.  This block was to be made with burgundy, turquoise and light gray.  Again, I used my drunkard's path rulers to make this block.  It is amazing how many different blocks can be made with these units.

My daughter had a snow day and worked from home one day this week.  Finn was quite happy to cuddle up beside her as she worked.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Birthday Sewing Day with Friends

Friday was my birthday and my day off, so I invited a couple of friends over the lunch and an afternoon of sewing.  My husband gave me "Spelling Bee" by Lori Holt for my birthday so all of my plans for other projects went out the window and I started a new quilt with patterns from my new book.

I decided to make the sewing machine block first.  I dug through my stash and found fabrics and then spent a while cutting out all the pieces and labelling them.

Once everything was cut out, the block went together quite quickly. 

Next, I decided to try some letters.

I forgot to take a picture of the "s" before sewing the first word together.

There is another word to add but it is not cut out yet so you will have to wait...

My friend, Pat, did some sock knitting as well as some counted cross stitch.  She is making an Easter Bunny card for one of her grandchildren.

Christine made herself a knitting needle roll up case, inspired by one that once belonged to her Grandmother.  She found some instructions on the internet.

I have been working away on Frank Lloyd Wright's Office Window in Oak Park this week. The top half is almost done.  The backstitching of this one will be done in gold metallic thread after I have finished all of the cross stitching.

I will be linking up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitching group in the morning.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Two Blocks for the Price of One

I was home alone one evening this week and decided to make another Elgin Piecemakers Guild Comfort Quilt block, this time with a navy print and white.  Again, I got out my new Drunkard's Path rulers and started to play.  I cut the larger piece out bigger than the template as I had decided to cut the blocks in half diagonally and I still wanted a 12.5" block in the end. 

I sewed the triangles together to make 4 HST's and then laid them out for my block.  Uh, oh!  I ended up with a weird face with big ears....this was not what I had envisioned!

I went back to the cutting table and cut out four more blocks  and sewed them together. This is more like it!

In the end, I have two blocks, one spinning one way and the second one spinning the other way.  

One will be used the Comfort Quilt and the other will be used in a future project.  Here are my twin blocks:

Several of these blocks would make an interesting quilt...

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Challenge Project and Frank

I've been working on my Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Office Window again this week and I have turned the second corner!  I will be working on Frank again tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

This week, I have been working on a Black, White and one other colour challenge for the London Modern Quilt Guild Show in September.  Each person in the guild was given a half yard of three fabrics: black, white and one other colour--Here are my fabrics:

The task was to create a 20 by 20" modern quilt using only these three fabrics.  I have been thinking about what I might make for months now and this week, finally made my quilt.

I used my new Drunkard's Path rulers (again!)  It's fun to see how many different ways the blocks can be put together to make unique quilts.   I was in a bit of a conundrum with the quilting and the quilt spent a few days on the design wall for me to look at it and figure out what to do next.   Friday afternoon, I plunged in and quilted the coral part 1/2" from the edges.

Using coral thread for all of the quilting, I sewed one inch out from the coral part of the quilt from  point to point and then echo quilted the rest of the black and white parts of the quilt.  I was not sure how this would look, but I am very pleased with the results!

The backing fabric was in my stash.

The finished quilt:

I added the coral binding yesterday and finished the hand sewing today.  I will add a hanging sleeve before the deadline in the spring.

Finn likes to sit here and look out the window at the squirrels. 

I've decided to keep track of my stash numbers this year.  I would like to use more than I add to the stash this year. January was a good month in this regard!

Fabric used/removed from the stash in January:  17.1 yards
Fabric purchased/added to the stash in January:   11.5 yards
Net Fabric used/removed from the stash in January:  5.6 yards
Net Fabric used/removed from the stash in 2019:  5.6 yards

I will be linking up with Kathy and her band of slow stitchers in the morning.