Saturday, February 27, 2021

QuiltCon Together: Class #4 and the Mini Swap

Once I got started on my "Put a Ring On It" quilt (one of my classes at QuiltCon), I just wanted to keep sewing until I finished the quilt top.  I sewed while I listened to panel discussions and some of the lectures.  I have to admit that trying to do two things at once led to a few mistakes which meant my trusty seam ripper saw some action this week...  Here is my finished quilt top.  I need to pick out some backing from my stash and figure out how I am going to quilt this wallhanging. 

 My 4th class was taught by Sarah Bond. My mini swap partner last year was a fan of Sarah Bond and I had not heard of her before then.  I jumped at the opportunity to take her Chainlink Diamond class at QuiltCon. I purchased a jelly roll for this class and used some yellow Hashdots fabric from my stash for this project. I don't usually buy precuts. 

I only had enough of the yellow fabric for a lap sized quilts so I picked out the blue and green strips for my quilt. I will do another lap quilt, likely with the same pattern, with the yellow, orange and white strips and another background fabric. I sewed my strips together and cut these:

Here are the first few blocks. 

More blocks are being sewn and perhaps by next week, there will be a quilt layout to show to you.

Every year, prior to QuiltCon, members of the Modern Quilt Guild are given the opportunity to sign up for a Mini quilt swap.  I have participated in the swap for the last three years.  When signing up, you can give a few ideas to your swap partner about your likes and dislikes.  This year, I asked my swap partner to make something that tells me about where they live.  My swap partner was Molly W from Houston, TX.  She told me that she likes curves. I received some new drunkard's path rulers for Christmas so I decided to use them to make Molly's mini quilt.   I dug through my stash and found some fun fabrics to use. I drew a design out on paper and coloured it in so use as my pattern. 

Next up, cutting all the pieces I would need:

I tried out my original layout after sewing each of the units together, but I did not like it.  

I tried turning the smaller units, but still was not thrilled with the result.  By this time, it was bedtime so I decided to sleep on it. 

At 4am the next morning, I woke up with another idea, and headed down to the sewing room to rearrange my blocks.  I went back to bed and sewed everything together the next day, much happier with the final layout. 

Lucky for me, the inspiration for the quilting came to me as soon as I figured out the design.  I had some 28 wt Aurifil thread in orange and turquoise in my thread drawer --the perfect colours for my walking foot quilting. 

I have wanted to try facing a quilt for a while so this seemed to be a great opportunity to try it out.  I watched a video on YouTube and I was off to the races. 

The corner triangles can be used to hang the quilt with a piece of dowelling.  The white corner is the label as well. 

And here is the finished quilt, just before I put it in the padded envelope to mail it to Molly. 

Here is the quilt that Molly sent to me:

Here is part of what Molly wrote about in her letter to me:

"Houston is the 4th largest city in the country, but because of how Houston was built, the suburbs are very close to the city. Once you get outside the suburbs, there is nothing, just grassland, dirt and livestock... With all of the space between the cities in Texas, it is relatively easy to get outside of the major light pollution and see some beautiful stars.  To represent all of this, I have made you a night time version, looking at Houston from the outside. Beaded constellations shine down on the Houston skyline with a longhorn looking in on the city."

Molly also included some fun facts about Houston, a city I have never visited.   Thanks, Molly, for a wonderful mini quilt and your letter!  I look forward to signing up for next year's swap as well. 

For my slow stitching this week, I worked on Love Birds, finishing the second large blue flower and starting on the leaves for the next stem of flowers. (the picture was taken before the leaves were stitched.) 

My daughter has had a busy week at work so only had a little bit of time for stitching this week.  She added some details to these flowers and some tassel flowers as well. 

Finn, as usual, has been very helpful, closely inspecting her work for any mistakes. (or perhaps there was something good to eat just beyond the computer...)

The weather has warmed up a bit over the last week so the snow is starting to melt.  I caught a few drips in mid-drop this week...

I will link up with Kathy in the morning for the weekly Slow Sunday Stitching catch up.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

QuiltCon Together - Virtual Classes

Like all big events right now, QuiltCon has gone virtual this year.  I took the opportunity to sign up for four virtual classes and I also purchased a lecture pass. I cleared my schedule (not that there is much on it these days!) and cleaned up my sewing room so I would be ready!  I gathered all of the supplies I needed for my classes and put them into 4 bins.  One teacher recommended that we cut out most of our pieces before class so I managed to get that done too. I decided from the beginning that I would use fabrics from my stash for my classes which meant I had to be creative with my colour choices.  (I did have to purchase a jelly roll for one class as I did not have one in my stash.)

My first class, "Put a Ring on it", was taught by Latifah Saafir. This quilt uses the Clammy rulers that Latifah invented and she has produced multiple patterns that use them. The classes are available during QuiltCon Together on demand--they were pre-recorded by each teacher and are divided into steps so that you can stop the video to complete that part of the project before proceeding.  I decided to take this class the first day--Thursday.  Since I had most of the cutting done, I could dive right in to making a block. As you can see, this involved lots of curved piecing.  This is my first "Petal".

Soon I had 4 done. 

I started to put the block together. 

TaDa!!  One block (or ring) together.

I have since finished one more ring and will get back to working on the remaining rings and joining them together on Monday. 

My second class was Big Stitch hand quilting with Sarah Fielke. I had prepped my quilt sandwich with some Essex Linen ahead of time. Sarah suggested we do a sampler or practice piece to start.  She demonstrated several stitches that would be interesting to use for quilting and gave lots of tips on ergonomics while hand sewing.  I decided to make some circles to quilt and traced out several circles using dishes from my kitchen.  I had a spool of 12 wt turquoise thread and used it to do a chain stitch around the first circle.  

 My second circle was completed using orange Prevencia 8 wt thread. 

Here are the two circles. 

A third green buttonhole stitch circle was added today.  

I had a live chat with Sarah and 4 other members of the class this afternoon.  Sarah was very helpful in answering all of our questions.  It was Sunday morning in Australia where she lives. This hand quilting project is a work in progress and will take a while to finish. 

My third class, Hand Embroidered Quilt Labels, was with Claudia Martinez.  I have done lots of embroidery before but have never made an embroidered quilt label.  I decided to make a label for my Lupins quilt, which is still not put together but all of the blocks are done.  Maybe making the label will light a fire under me to put the quilt together!  I started with the lupin. I used stem stitch on the stems and small lazy daisy stitches for the flowers.  There are four strands of thread in the flowers in two shades of purple. 

 I have lettering to stitch as well but did not start it yet. 

Tomorrow, I will take my 4th class with Sarah Bond. I will report on it next week. 

While "attending" some of the lectures, I have been working on "Love Birds".  

My daughter is still stitching every day on her coffee stitch along with the Barmy Fox.  There are four more days left in this project. 

I love the blue buttonhole stitch flower, top right.  It's fun to see what gets added to the picture each day. 

Finn went for a walk in the snow tonight and came home with a snow beard. 

Have a great week. I'm having lots of fun taking classes and learning new things at QuiltCon Together.  The organizers have done a fantastic job making this virtual event possible for thousands of quilters all around the world.  I will link up with Kathy and the slow stitchers in the morning. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

This and That

 I made steady progress this week on "Love Birds", a counted cross stitch picture I am making for C and M for their wedding which took place late in 2020. My goal this past week was to finish the leaves and start the next large blue flower.  Mission accomplished!  

Here is a closer up view of the section I worked on this week. 

It may take a week or two to finish the blue flower.  There are a lot of stitches in it!

My friend, A, celebrated a birthday this week so I made her a zippered pouch using some gardening themed fabric from my stash.  She is an avid gardener and was pleased with her bag.  The lining is a polkadot fabric. 

This week, I finished my "make a mini, make a friend" quilt for my swap partner in the Modern Quilt Guild, part of QuiltCon Together 2021(a virtual event this year due to COVID-19).  My partner lives in Texas and I asked that she make a mini quilt for me that tells me something about where she lives.  The quilt she sent to me arrived this past week but she has not received the one I made yet.  Once she has it, I will reveal both quilts here.  I did some colour blocks as my leaders/enders while making the swap quilt. These four blocks will be for quilts in future months.  The yellow and gray blocks are the last four needed for the February quilt. 

I am in the midst of prepping for some workshops at QuiltCon and if everything is ready early, I may have time to work on the February Colour block quilt this week. Two of the workshops are hand stitching--one is a hand quilting class with Sarah Fielke and the other is a hand embroidered quilt label class. I should have something to report on my classes by next week's blog post for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

I picked up two framed cross stitch pictures this week. The Frank Lloyd Wright window has been stitched for quite a while and the multicoloured blackwork was finished before Christmas.  As you can see below, both are now hanging on the wall!  The woman who does my framing does a great job!

As usual, Finn provided loving support during my daughter's stitching time this week.  There is a good reason that we call him the "Velcro" dog.  This is a stitch-along from the Barmy Fox on Instagram. 

Here are a couple of pictures taken while I was out for a walk one day this week.  The red berries are high bush cranberries. 

As usual, I will link up with Kathy and the gang of Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning. Have a great week!