Sunday, 4 February 2018

Pineapple Pergatory

When I saw Elizabeth Hartman's new pattern Pineapple Farm I immediately thought of my mother-in-law and sent her a picture. Her enthusiastic response had me delighted because she is usually quite reserved. I didn't pause to consider just how much work Elizabeth Hartman's patterns tend to be. This one is no exception.

After my mother-in-law directed me to a colour scheme- rusty reds and terracottas (so out of my own comfort zone) I got to work collecting a sufficient stack of fabrics. Then I started cutting. And cutting and cutting. 

Below is the cutting involved for three 10x10 squares that will make two pineapple bodies. It is painstakingly slow work with very precise tiny measurements (like one 7.5" x 1.5" piece and one 1.5" x 3.25" piece and...you get the idea).
These three cut pieces end up being arranged in a very specific and complicated arrangement (see below).

This is what the pieces look like when arranged just so. The diagram is quite complex and time consuming to make sure you do everything in just the right way.

There are a lot of pieces in this quilt. This was me cutting 400 tiny 1.5" x 3.5" rectangles.

When you rotate the block after it has been sewn together and trim it down to size, this is what you get on the right. I still need to add the corner pieces to make it more pineapple-shaped and make the green leafy top.

This was another block ready to sew together. I came up with a system
This is part of my system- I arrange the two layouts on the large square ruler and on my portable, turning cutting mat and then transfer them beside my sewing machine to carefully assemble before moving on to the next pair.
I have been making progress, but there will be 80 pineapples in the lap size and even after I trim them all I have to add tiny squares to the corners to give them the shape (4 squares per block for 320 squares worth) AND I still need to make all the tops of all the pineapples...so I have a long way to go. My deadline is April when my mother-in-law returns from six months in Florida. I should have plenty of time if I can keep up my motivation!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Sunshine Menagerie: A Finished Quilt

I have had a fat eighth bundle of Bungle Jungle sitting around for four years, since I made quilts for twins that were arriving for close friends. When I found out that my cousin was expecting a little boy  I thought it was a great opportunity to pull out the fat eighth, pull out the turquoise and yellow colour way and put together a sweet and simple baby quilt for her.

Here is Sunshine Menagerie:
The squares are 8x8 with some squares made of two pieces for some visual interest. I added one other yellow print from my stash because I didn't have quite enough from the fat eighth bundle.

The quilting is very simple straight-ish lines on either side of the seams, plus a double line down the centre (vertically not horizontally) because 8x8 blocks are quite large to leave without some additional quilting. I want this one to hold up in the wash! 

The back is a yellow I had in my stash with a strip of this Joel Dewberry print on the side. That same herringbone print is also the entire binding.
Simple and sweet and on the way to a new baby for tummy time and snuggles!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Festive Forest: A Finished Quilt

I am not one for seasonal quilts (I think they should be able to be used year round) and I am not one for traditional Christmas colours (our colours are dark blue, turquoise and silver) but when I saw that Violet Craft was releasing a green, red, white and gold version of Brambleberry Ridge it just spoke to me. I used a tutorial that was free (see my previous blog entry on the process). I ended up being quite delighted with the end result and my daughters were using it before I even finished the binding. Maybe it can spend the non-Christmas season in the basement?

I didn't finish until after Christmas (because who has time to sew down some binding in the middle of the chaos that is multiple Christmas events?) but it was still within the time my Christmas tree was up so I consider that a win!

Here is Festive Forest:

It sure looks pretty against the white snow! There are two blocks that are actually made up of four mini trees. I love the variation it adds.


My husband hates the wonky nature of the improv trees, but what does he know? ;)

I didn't have quite enough of this pretty red print from Brambleberry Ridge (I guessed on the yardage when I bought it which is typical me) so I put in a pit of this Laurie Wisbrun red fabric that I had in my stash.

I used this loopy pattern to quilt it because it was quite fast and because my initial plan did NOT work out. I just went with it. I quite like it!
And there is my first finish of 2018! Hopefully many more to go!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Quilty Goals for 2018

For my 2017 goals I vowed the following:
1. Finish my Aviatrix Medallion (I finished the quilt top but have not basted or quilted it).
2. Make an orange and turquoise quilt (Accomplished! Made and gifted!)
3. Make a quilt for my daughter's teacher (Accomplished! Another one will need to be made for her Grade 4 teacher this year).
4. Snail Along. (Accomplished! Finished, bound, being used!)

5. Ochre quilt for a friend (Not even touched. It remains a pretty stack on my shelf).
6. Improv Christmas Tree Quilt (Almost finished...just need to hand sew the binding!)
7. Pineapple Farm for my MIL (Nope. But I have to have it finished before she returns from Florida in April because I promised her I would).
8. Improv Scrap Rainbow Quilt (The top is finished and it is basted- with pins!- but I need to get it quilted).
9. Gamer Quilt for Hubby (I cut the letters but I haven't gotten any further than that).

Not too bad in terms of accomplishing the list, but obviously I fall off the wagon and do other things instead of the things I said I wanted to finish.

So, let 2018 be a year of finishes! The goal is to have NO WIPs by the end of 2018!

That means I will need to finish the following (all WIPs):
1. Turquoise and yellow quilt for my cousin's new baby that I made but have been avoiding basting.
2. Teal and grey baby quilt for a friend.

3. Finish binding my Christmas Improv Quilt.

4. Quilt the Rainbow picnic quilt.

5. Quilt my Aviatrix Medallion.
6. Finish a Knuffle Bunny quilt I have waiting.
7. Pineapple Farm Quilt (for April).
8. Gamer Quilt (for hubby...maybe March for his birthday?)
9. Finish the QB travelling quilt that I have been doing with friends...assuming C gets out of thumb jail after some minor surgery on her hand in the new year.

So, nine WIPs all in some stage of completion. I am shocked to reflect on having 9 WIPS as a couple of years ago it would be shocking for me to have even one WIP!

Plus add that I will need a teacher thank you quilt for June. It involves, at least to some degree, some bright pink Hello Kitty fabric. That should be interesting!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Something Non-Quilty

I made a poncho!

So, my daughter, a first year Girl Guide, saw my camping poncho which is quite heavily laden in patches and badges. She declared she wanted one.

Enter the ever-patient help of my skilled friend A. She not only bought the fabric for me when at a store that carried the fleece I needed but she talked me through every single stage.


This is A's kitchen floor, with A in the background.
She talked me through each step, making up most of it in her head thanks to her experience.  

I decided to vary the poncho from my own by adding contrasting binding. Isn't it cute?
On Christmas Day I gifted her the poncho (except that I still need a toggle for the string in the hood). She LOVED it. She wore it all day despite the fact that it is intentionally on the large side so she can grow into it. 
Now I just need a toggle and to add some of the badges that don't go on her sash (ones from camps, etc).

I absolutely could NOT have done this (with any measure of success, anyway) without patient friend A talking me through it! So thank you again, A!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

2017 Year in Review: 16 Quilts

As 2017 winds down and I revisit what I finished this last year, I always find myself quite surprised because how DO I find the time on top of a full time job and two small kids (not to mention all that TV I watch- ha!).

I finished 14 quilts in 2017  (I just noticed I forgot Molasses! So,15 quilts! Oh my gosh, edit 3- Open Window got missed too! I suck!), but I will have probably 3 January finishes because I am so close with a few. Before I focus on my 2018 goals (in another post) here are my 2017 quilt finishes:






I also made a chubby charmer bag for my mom, a bunch of lined drawstring bags and worked on numerous other quilts. And I joined a quilt guild for the first time! Check out @wemqg on Instagram!

I don't know if I can pick a favourite for this year, but I know I love and use the (only) one I kept (upper left corner) which was a result of a mini charm swap done last year. I also love the triangles (bottom right) that I made for my goddaughter (and it is HUGE). Finally, the one done not only by me but by a collection of caring quilty people to send to Quebec after the horrific mosque shooting to remind the survivors they are home has such a lovely sentiment. 

I think I remembered them all! Can't wait to dive into dozens more next year!

Which of my 2017 quilts do you most feel drawn to?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Molasses: A Finished Quilt

A long time ago, on an Instagram feed far far away, I saw Pen and Paper Patterns post about her garden snail quilt and I was instantly in love. Then I found out that Gnome Angel was going to do a slow sew-along and I conned my friend C over at The Edgy Perfectionist to join in (and I talked Jen at A Quarter Inch from the Edge to do it too...but she ran out of steam. I think having twins might have contributed to that!).

Each week I made one snail using a different Lizzy House fabric and posted my snail to my Instagram. At the end of 42 weeks I had 42 adorable snails and with a little sashing (and a big score of long OOP Lizzy House for the backing) I now have a finished quilt!

Here is Molasses:


Each snail shell is different, but all prints are by Lizzy House.

I like how the wind shows you the back and front in this shot.

The backing is this Castle Peeps fabric from 2004. Thank goodness for strange outlet fabric stores that carry such treasures (I think it cost me maybe $10/yard?)

I did organic (my term for I didn't want to measure) straight line quilting in a light grey down the quilt. It is more functional than decorative and I really like how it looks.
This quilt will be staying with me. I couldn't give it up! But I do have to note that despite using all Lizzy House I have not made even the slightest dent into my stash. What a shame.