Friday, March 29, 2019

Elgin Piecemaker's Challenge Reveal.

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild has issued a challenge each year for the past few years to the members to create a project with certain parameters...this year we each had to bring a yard of batik to our November meeting.  I brought the bright blue fabric at the top of the picture below.   We stood in a  circle, each holding our yard of fabric in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other hand.  We were instructed to fold our fabric in half, make a small snip with the scissors at the fold and then rip the fabric in half, drop half on the floor in front of us and pass the other half to the person beside us.  We continued to fold it, snip it, rip it, drop it and pass it until we ended up with 7 pieces of fabric.  The challenge was to create a project using our fabrics and any other fabrics we wanted to add to it by our March meeting, when the projects would be revealed. 

I had three challenge projects to make after Christmas and wanted to have all of them done before QuiltCon in February.  I decided to make a bag for my counted cross stitching.  Since I do a lot of stitching in the car, I wanted it to include a place to keep my scissors and an extra needle or two, both of which can easily go missing in the car.

I used two of the fabrics on the outside of the bag.

Fabric number 3 was used for the zipper tab.

Fabric #4 was used for the lining of the bag.

I made a scissor holder with the 5th fabric.  The scissors fold up so they won't poke through the bag.  Since they are attached to the bag, they will not fall on the floor or in between the seats if I drop them.

The last two fabrics were used to make a needle book for my extra needles and a few pins.

My embroidery hoop and cross stitch supplies all fit into the bag. This is a big improvement on the ziplock plastic bag I was using previously!

We had two guest judges who chose a first place and runner up from all of the projects.  Then, everyone in the group got to pick their favourite for the viewer's choice award. There was a lot of variety and creativity in everyone's projects...Wall hangings, table runners, a pillow, a purse, and mini quilts.

Julie won the honourable mention award for her bag.  The judges were Lorna and Heather.

Debbie won the Judges choice award for her modern table runner.  She stayed up all night to complete her project on time!

The viewer's choice prize went to Diane for her mini American Beauty quilt.

Congratulations to the winners and to all who participated in the challenge.  It is amazing to see what everyone made with their challenge fabrics!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Retreat Weekend

I am just home from a three day retreat with the London Modern Quilt Guild.  We stayed at an inn about 45 minutes from home and did our sewing in the ballroom.  They supplied lights and extension cords at each table as well as irons and ironing boards and bed risers for the cutting tables.  They have hosted a lot of quilting retreats for various groups over the years so they know how to get things set up just right!  The room was buzzing with activity each day from before breakfast to late into the night.

I brought three projects with me and had time to work on all of them over the course of the weekend.

Project #1 Tula Pink 100 Blocks Sampler

Before arriving at the retreat, I had 24/100 blocks made for this quilt.  I had made six more this past week when Christine came over to sew one night.

On Friday, I added 19 more blocks to my collection.

It is lots of fun picking out the fabrics for each block...

including a little pop of colour in most of the blocks.  My Friday blocks are shown below.

Saturday, I added 16 more blocks to the pile.

Some blocks had a bigger pop of colour than others...

I am up to 59/100 blocks completed now and will continue to work on them as time permits.

Project #2  Flannel Vortex Baby Quilt

I have a large bin of flannel scraps that need to be tamed.  I have made a few "scrap vortex" quilts in the past in an attempt to use up my scraps but the bin continues to overflow.   I am using brightly coloured scraps in this quilt and even had a few blocks leftover from my last quilt as a starter for the next one.  I chain pieced lots more flannel chunks to each other for about two hours on Saturday evening. I am on my way to piecing more blocks for my next vortex quilt!

Project #3  Scrappy Trips Lap Quilt

When I was hunting through my fabric storage area for an extra project to bring for the weekend, I came across a bag containing a jelly roll and some co-ordinating fabrics purchased at least 10 years ago for a specific quilt, but of course, there was no pattern in the bag.  I found some solid yellow fabric that went with the jelly roll and brought everything along in a new and bigger bag hoping for inspiration to make something over the weekend.  Well, inspiration came on Saturday and this became my sewing project for Sunday.  I decided to make a Scrappy Trips quilt from Bonnie Hunter's free patterns at her Quiltville website.

I cut my strips to the right length and laid them out by colour.

I had a chain piecing production line going all day long!

I ran out of thread but had brought an extra spool in case this happened.

My first block soon became 4 blocks.

And then 9...

A while later, I had 12 blocks done and ready to be assembled into a quilt top.

I used one of the fabrics in the bag to add a border around the quilt and it was done, just before it was time to pack up and go home.

I have a plan for quilting this one in mind already.  There was enough fabric in the bag for the backing and I will likely use the solid yellow for the binding.  The colours remind me of Spring.  This quilt will be given to someone who does not read my blog.

I am back to reality suitcase is unpacked and my sewing supplies have been put away.  I look forward to the next retreat in the Spring of 2020.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

National Quilting Day!

What a great excuse to start a new project!  Yesterday was National Quilting Day and the London Modern Quilt Guild organized a sewing day to celebrate.

About 15 of us sewed our hearts out all day long, breaking briefly for lunch mid-day.  A couple of weeks ago at the Elgin Piecemaker's sewing day, I noticed that two of our members were working on Tula Pink's 100 blocks quilts.  I bought that book a few years ago and never made the quilt so I decided it would become my next bed sized quilting adventure.  I decided to use my extensive collection of black and white fabrics along with three pieces of Zuma fabric I purchased at QuiltCon in Nashville as accent colours.

I made 4 blocks at home last week, just to kick off this project and then at the sewing day, I made 14 more blocks...

Some blocks will just be black and white.

I really like that scissor fabric.

The sewing machines are fun too.

More scissors!

Black and white with a pop of colour.

As I finish each block, I am writing the date in the book so I know which blocks I have made.

My daughter speaks French.

I have three fat quarters of the Zuma prints which have an ombre feel.

My husband's grandfather was a beekeeper.

This window fabric has appeared in a few of my projects!

How about some cute little owls?

Each block is 6.5" square.

The two blues in this block both came from the same fat quarter as did the yellow and pink squares below.

The pattern called for a coloured border around the above block as well, but I decided the big square in the middle was enough.

The bird fabric has many fussy cutting possibilities.

The first 6 blocks, grew to 8...

and then to 18!

Only 82 more to go!

Spring arrived in my garden today.  My witch hazel is in bloom.