Friday, 20 May 2016

Quilt of Belonging: A Finished Quilt

It is finished! After collaborating with a lovely group of grade 2 students (mostly 7-year-olds), we have a finished Quilt of Belonging. Each block was created by an individual student to represent who he or she is. Then I added the colourful frames and black sashing to mimic the original quilt.
 The kids were beyond thrilled to see it, wanting to touch their blocks and oooo and awwww over others' blocks. One kid said to me "My favourite colour is green and you put mine in green!" with a grin from ear to ear.
The teaching assistant used her embroidery machine to do this block.
 The back shows how I did each block with a different free motion quilting style. Some were more successful than others but the overall effect is pretty cool.
This is half navy and half black with that rainbow stripe made of scraps from the front. Then I had to piece in that other navy print because I wanted to use what I had and not spend any more money. The rainbow idea came from quilty friend C- thanks!
The quilt will hand permanently in the school. I am just working on the QR code that will accompany it, taking people on a journey through our journey!

I'm happy I finished it...and on time for the school opening!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Those Pretty, Tiny Scraps

Quilting is an expensive hobby, with fabric being the easiest to acquire. It seems like a waste for even the smallest scrap to be thrown out, but what to do with them? The larger scraps I keep for scrappy future projects, especially paper piecing. The smaller scraps of weird sizes and the non-printed selvedges get sent to my daughter's school for art projects. That leaves these tiny little scraps, so pretty and so hard to throw out.
Don't they look pretty?
Some people, Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge included, snap pictures of the scraps to make it easier to throw out. But I did some research and came up with another solution...suet cages.

Suet cages are meant to feed birds, but the cages can be stuffed with the tiny scraps instead for birds to use to make their nests. Just fill up the cage...
Stuff them in there!
Close it up...
Pretty in the cage, too!
And hang it up. Try to pull out a few thin strands so they attract the birds' attention.
Pretty even in the woods!
Of course you need to make sure only appropriate materials goes in there- no plastics or other synthetic materials.

I've been monitoring the cage and a few birds have been interested for sure. I feel much better knowing that even the beautiful tiny scraps are going to good use!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

WIP Wednesday: The Blues

So what am I working on this Wednesday? Well, it is May, and May means the end of the school year is not so far away. The tradition thus far has been to make my daughter's teacher a quilt to thank her for caring for and educating my awesome kid.

My "cool" scrap bin has been getting unruly, so I knew I wanted to dig into my scraps and put together something that would be for her teacher but also cut down on my scrap problem.

I have a rather generous amount of blue scraps, so I pulled out everything I could find that seemed appropriate (not so much the shark fabric though) and cut a big stack of 3.5" squares.
To be clear, I still have lots of blues in my scrap bins but these did make a dent!
Then I pulled out some white scraps, where I found some white-on-white 3.5" squares that were cut but never used for a project from last year. It was meant to be! I used those as the centers and made 9-patch blue blocks. Then I played with them to get balance and came up with this organization:
I like this scrappy look!
I've now cut out the sashing (from Kona White) and I'll get to work making this a lap-sized quilt for her teacher. Nothing like a hard deadline to get the sewing mojo flowing!

Monday, 9 May 2016


If you have not been made aware, there has been a massive fire burning in Northern Alberta here in Canada that managed to grow so large and out of control that the city of Fort McMurray (80,000 people) had to be evacuated in a very short time period. Much of the city is in total ashes. Beloved pets have been lost as the emergency nature of the situation meant some people had to leave from wherever they were in the city and couldn't go home. 

Despite the horrific destruction, no lives have been lost. And people are rallying around the residents of Fort McMurray to support them. Part of this is a movement among quilters (mostly Canadian, but many international) to send quilt blocks to make quilts for the residents upon their return (Though some may never return. The devastation has been that complete).

If you would like to make some blocks, this is the information and this is the tutorial. I will be sending five blocks and quilty friends A and C have each made 6 blocks (we will send ours in one big package). Otherwise if you would consider donating to the Red Cross, please do. These people will need a lot of support. (Two babies were born at the evacuation centers- can you imagine??)
Add caption

Friday, 22 April 2016

Little Eye: A Finished Quilt

Be warned: this is a very picture-heavy post!

For years I have wanted to make a modern I-Spy quilt, influenced mostly by this quilt by From the Blue Chair.

I finally made that wish come true with this quilt, Little Eye (as in, I spy with my little eye...) for my youngest daughter. It was meant to be a second birthday present (she has a January birthday) but it was not meant to be.

None the less, here is Little Eye, all finished (and already in very heavy rotation):
I really liked the mix of colours and totally random sizing and placement of the fussy cut pieces in the inspiration quilt. I think I was able to capture that pretty well.
The sashing is Kona White (obviously) but the other Konas (I am listing these especially for Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge) are: Pomegranate, Cypress, Kumquat, Celestial, Punch, Black, Wasabi, Jade Green, Kale, Salmon, School Bus, Capri, Magenta, Tulip, Ash, Shale, Ultra Marine, Willow, Prussian, Berry, Windsor and Glacier. There is also an Art Gallery solid in there (Yarrow?) and two colours I'm not sure about but could check now that I have a brand new 303 colour card!
The back is a Heather Ross print from her Tiger Lily line that I adore and pre-ordered as soon as I saw it. My daughter loves cats (her first word was kitty) and these are kitten and a Mama cat playing and walking around.
Here's where the post is going to get a bit nuts...I wanted to take a picture of each block so I have a record of each fussy cut fabric. Feel free to stop reading now. :)
Castle Peeps by Lizzy House

Penguins by Kokka

Far Far Away by Heather Ross

The Lovely Hunt by Lizzy House

Hedgehogs from the OOP Outfoxed line by Lizzy House

Natural History by Lizzy House

Kitten fabric from Tiger Lily by Heather Ross
 Not only is my daughter loving it (we play actual I-Spy with it...she calls it "Play quilt") by my cats are on it whenever it is out.
Thanks, Marlowe.

Honeymoon from Cotton+Steel

Whale fabric- anyone know what line or designer this is? Also, you can see my daughter's name in FMQ in this block. I did this in three different blocks, in different directions, to add some personalization to the quilting.

Wee Wander

This pig fabric is from Andover, but not sure of the line.

This handsome llama is from Laurie Wisbrun's etsy shop Scarlet Fig.

Photo bomb: Marlowe. Fabric: Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft

I know this is Sarah Jane as the designer, for Michael Miller, but I'm not sure which line.

Matryoshkas by Riley Blake

Nursery Versery by Heather Ross

Zephr I think? Cotton+Steel

More Wee Wander

One wee Cotton+Steel tiger

These delightful clouds are from the Zephr line for C+S

This is a Spoonflower print I bought in the first few months I started sewing.

This block is special. It is not a fabric; this is embroidery from a pillowcase that was made by my grandmother, whom I never met. The pillowcase was aged and no longer usable but the embroidery held up beautifully so I rescued it to put it in this quilt.

Ballerina from Tiger Lily by Heather Ross. Paw is by Marlowe.

Fox and the Houndstooth

Rare OOP Heather Ross fish fabric. I special ordered a little scrap bag of Heather Ross prints particularly because I love this one print so much.

Lizzy House Natural History

A charming sloth from the Honeymoon line of fabric by Sarah Watts for Cotton+Steel

Another rare OOP Heather Ross

Wee Wander

This is from the Tokyo Train Ride line by C+S
I think that is all of them!

I did a meandering stipple throughout using white Aurafil. The binding is Kona Steel with a strip of Ultra Marine for fun.

I'm so glad I made a quilt that is actually staying at our house and that my youngest already adores!

Which is your favourite block?

Linking Up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Up Friday!

Friday, 15 April 2016

AeroPlus: A Finished Quilt (and terrible pictures)

A friend who recently gave birth to her second son in as many years lives quite a distance away from me- about a seven hour drive. I made her new son a quilt, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay the ridiculous shipping costs. Some texting late on a Thursday night had us finding a solution- I would take the quilt with me to a school I had a meeting at the next day(Friday), leave the quilt with the vice principal (who is my quilty friend C), have a teacher at that school pick it up from the VP and bring it home with him to Orangeville (an hour away from me), and then he dropped it off at my friend's mother's work so that the mom could bring it with her to visit my friend in two weeks. Phew!!

This last minute game of hot potato meant no time to get decent pictures of AeroPlus. You will have to put up with iPhone pictures, taken while standing on a chair (hubby was out late at ultimate frisbee so I didn't even have a quilt holder!) and at night. Too bad. 

Here is AeroPlus:
I love the blues, oranges and greens. There is a hint of yellow. All colours are based off the Ann Kelle airplane print that inspired this combo.

The binding was a 50/50 mix of these two Bonnie and Camille prints. I love them as binding fabric.

I used a free Greek cross tutorial (can't remember which one!) and made all of these fun blocks based on the colour scheme in this print right here. I then quilted straight lines on either side of each seam.

The back is mostly one print, with a fun little corner with some additional prints for interest.

I love love LOVE this navy on blue dot from Bonnie and Camille. I wish I had bought 10 yards, seriously.

This was the quilt all rolled up and ready to wrap. It is now in the hands of my friend's mom, and she will get to see it in a couple of weeks!
I am really happy with the quilt, if not the pictures, and since baby is only just over a month old I think that's not too shabby timing-wise!

This combo of prints was supposed to be used initially for a neighbour, but then she asked for greens, blues and animals. I set this pull aside and I am so glad I did because it turned out so nicely for this baby instead!

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.