Friday, 19 August 2016

In the Garden: A Finished Quilt

One of my husband's aunts is turning 65 this year. She is a kind, generous and very humble person and has never asked for a thing in the 15+ years I have known her. But two years ago she hinted that she was going to be turning 65 and she sure does love my quilts....

Well how could I say no to that? I asked her for colours and she said "brown and earthy." I hate those colours. Yuck. And I have to love the fabric to love making the quilt. So I found the perfect Lewis & Irene print for my starting point and then went with it. This unusual colour combo is the result and I really love it!

Here is In the Garden:
I still am not sure if the flying geese look better up or down. The recipient can decide!

I love how the small flying geese look next to the big ones.

I did lots of straight line quilting at random places to add some texture to the quilt overall (as well as secure all those geese!) This picture also gives you a good shot of the Lewis & Irene print that started the whole thing!

There are a few playful details like this mouse block which is a bit of whimsy, perfect for the whimsical recipient.
The binding is Carolyn Friedlander in this lovely dark shade of brown.
The back is my go-to Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets in chocolate. I didn't even try to match up the pattern. I went with all one fabric this time because I specifically ordered this from a clearance sale at Pink Castle Fabrics and since brown is NOT my thing I didn't want too much left over!
I used white Aurafil for all the quilting and I like how it adds subtle texture and interest on the reverse of the quilt as well.
I will not be seeing this aunt until (Canadian) Thanksgiving, which is two weeks after her birthday. My mother-in-law saw the quilt and is sure that the aunt will absolutely love it. I hope so because I sure love it!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Midnight at the Museum: A Finished Quilt

I have wanted to make a triangle quilt for a very long time. I bought a 60 degree ruler for this purpose but never seemed to have the right project. Then when I did this pull for a five-year-old who is in my close group of friends, the idea of triangles seemed just right.

Now. The ruler is awesome. And the quilt is awesome. But I did not read the directions about how to assemble the rows and that bit me in the butt. EVERY SINGLE POINT was cut off when I assembled the rows. It was entirely user error. There is a tricky way to put them together so this doesn't happen but I didn't bother to check that until after all my rows were all assembled. My friend A suggested I call it an artistic choice. I voted yes! (Now WAY was I ripping out every single row!)

The end result is still adorable and the error is probably most noticeable to me. The quilting helped to fix the illusion a bit so overall I'm very happy with the end result.

Here is Midnight at the Museum:
I totally love how these prints work together. The pops of lime green really make it for me.

Though most of the prints are from Lizzy House Natural History or Pearl Bracelets, there is also the only Cookie Book print from C+S that I like, some Herringbone and a few other navys that are from my stash. Don't they play nicely together?

I used the blue Mini Pearl Bracelets that is the majority of the backing for the binding too.

I had more than enough of the mini Pearl Bracelets to do it in all one print but I so much prefer to have a pieced back. I had a strip of this beautiful print from the elephant quilt I made my new nephew and couldn't resist adding it.

Doesn't this add more interest and fun?

I did angular straight line quilting and I love how it looks on the back (and the front) where the lines intersect!
The quilt's colour scheme and overall look both delight me and I definitely want to try another triangle quilt in the future...but this time following the instructions!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

When Love Wanes

Ages ago I put together a bundle of oranges and turquoises and set it aside to make a Squares and Strips quilt. Every year it seems to make it to my "To do" list but I never get to it and I was starting to wonder why. Why was I not excited? 

I pulled out the bundle, to which I've added a couple of prints over the years, and contemplated. Once you pull fabric for a project, if that love wanes and you no longer are inspired, should you keep it in the to do pile? I decided to look at it carefully, draw it out in my sketch book, and if it still wasn't speaking to me then I would abandon it. I've learned the hard way that if I am not loving the fabrics, then the quilt itself will feel like labour instead of pleasure.
Here is the bundle.
I drew it up in my sketch book and started to fill it in. And something clicked for me. There was too much of just two colours. When I started adding more teal to the mix, like that one on the far left of that top picture, there was more depth to the quilt and more interest. And, most importantly, I was more excited.
Sometimes sketching it out helps!
So then I went into my stash and update the bundle a bit and I was much happier.
Doesn't teal make it so much better?
And then that yellow-y orange was bothering me so I pulled it, added a Lizzy House print (of course) and now I'm happy and wanting to work with it again!
Here is the new pull. This is something I could see being worth working with!
Have you had that happen? Put together a fabric pull and then had your love wane? Did you stick with it or is your less-than-loved bundle still sitting on a shelf somewhere?

Friday, 29 July 2016

Glisten: A Finished Quilt

A co-worker is expecting her first child this coming December and she is very excited. They are having a baby girl and when I inquired about the colours of the nursery Mom still hadn't decided, but all options involved grey. This lovely woman has endured many health challenges to get to this point and I'm so thrilled for her. Obviously Baby Girl needs a quilt!

I pulled the turquoise colourway of the last of my Violet Craft Brambleberry Ridge out of my stash and then hunted around for some additional prints. The gold in this fabric is subtle and classy (like the mom!) so I knew it was a good fit but I wasn't sure if anything would go with it. Ultimately I added in a sweet Lizzy House Diamond print, a Denise Schmidt print from ages ago and then two unusual greys that also have gold from Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai line that was recently released. I also pulled out a half yard of Katarina Rochelle's Imprint fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics. After a consult (Thanks C and A!) I decided that it provided that visual break that I would normally use Kona White for, so I went for it.

Here is Glisten, named because the mix of soft blues and gold remind me of a pond glistening in the early morning light with a bit of early morning fog softening everything:

Simple patchwork seemed to make sense for this project, and I'm glad I didn't overthink it.
 There is one Brambleberry Ridge print that has just a hint of pink from some roses. I think it adds a little bit of interest. I echoed that by having a mostly grey and turquoise binding with a hint of pink in the corner! (Can you see it?)
I echo straightline quilted it on the sides of each seam.
 The back was a long-ago acquired Art Gallery print that never had just the right purpose until this quilt. It was just a tiny bit too short so I added a strip of that sweet grey low volume swirl (I think it is very old Rashida Coleman Hale? Pre-Cotton+Steel?)
Feminine but not too baby-ish.
Though baby isn't due until December I knew this quilt had to be made this summer because my September-June promises to be really busy!

I hope she really loves this quilt and that the long desired and already cherished baby girl spends some tummy time enjoying Glisten!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

WIP Wednesday: Soaking Up Summer

I am starting an exciting new job in September and I anticipate having exactly zero time to sew and quilt. I will try to make a point to make a bit of time but I'm not hopeful. With that in mind, I have been knocking out some quilts that need to get done this year and that I don't think I can do come September.

First up is a very sweet, soft baby girl quilt for a co-worker who is expecting in December. I hope she loves these prints. This simple little patchwork quilt is so sweet!
Scrappy binding from my binding leftovers. They worked perfectly with this quilt!
I also cut up all the prints for a Banners Quilt using Star Wars fabric. This is for one of two quilts I need to make to finish off making a quilt for all the children in my one group of friends.
Star Wars!
I couldn't get any further with Star Wars because I need 3 yards of Kona Titanium as the background fabric. What to do? Start cutting the other quilt for that group! This one is another little boy (Star Wars is for an 11-year-old and this blue/green quilt is for a five-year-old).

I have been hemming and hawing as to which pattern to use and decided to break out my 60 degree equilateral triangle ruler that I bought ages ago.
This ruler makes things a breeze! I opted for 6" triangles.
I am SO SO pleased with the results. I want to keep looking at it. I love all the Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets (regular and mini) mixed with lots of Lizzy House Natural History plus some other prints from my stash that work perfectly with this navy and lime colour scheme.
I think it is totally awesome. I'm thinking of keeping it.
So that makes four quilts on the go right now, but I am making excellent progress with all of them!

On a side note, I am participating on Instagram (@lynnfilliter) with the #ilovemystash challenge from @sewinlove. One of the prompts was a floral print and I pulled out this Art Gallery fabric that I don't even remember ever acquiring. One of my closest friends commented how much she loved it and that I couldn't get out of my head how right it would be for her. And so I went through my stash and curated a bundle to go with it!
Unusual colours? Yes. Perfect for my friend? Also yes!
So the bundle has been put aside to eventually make her a quilt with it (she already has First Snow so I think she can wait a bit!). I'm not going to tell her though...then there is no deadline!
Looking pretty.
And that is my WIP Wednesday!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cursing While Basting

My absolute most hated step of quilting is basting. I have refined my technique over the years so I'm pretty efficient but I still avoid doing it until I really need to.

I finally decided to baste the Flying Geese quilt I made for my husband's aunt. The quilt top, backing and batting have been hanging over my railing for a couple of weeks now. When one kid was at a movie and the other was napping I decide to bite the bullet and get it done.

It did not go well.

My technique is to tape the quilt back using wide painter's tape to my dining room floor. Then I layer on and smooth out the batting and attach it one half at a time with 505 spray. Then I add the quilt top and half at a time secure that with spray. Roll the whole thing up and you're good to go.

I couldn't do without my 505. A gazillion pins? No thank you.
The darn backing would NOT cooperate. It kept shifting around. The tape would not hold to the fabric no matter how much I used or how firmly I pressed it. This has never happened to me before! And it was a nightmare of shifting and swearing and smoothing and retaping and shifting again. I'm sure I redid it and resmoothed it about six times.

Now I've started quilting, starting in the middle and working out. I am about a foot from the edge and I can tell things are shifting again. Insert more swearing. I've hung it back up on my railing and I will tackle it when I have the patience to try to work through the backing issues. 

What gives? I've used Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets as backing multiple times without issues. Any insights into my basting woes?

Friday, 22 July 2016

Sweet Pepper Jelly: A Finished Quilt

Way back in 2013 I subscribed to the Sugar Block Club with Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock. I was still relatively new to quilting and thought it would be a good skill builder. And it was! I used a blogger bundle of fabric from Rita of Red Pepper Quilts (at the time she was one of my favourite bloggers; as of late my taste has diverged significantly though I still admire her skill!) as well as a few prints from my own stash (that I might not even buy today!).

It was my first attempt at paper piecing (I believe four of twelve blocks require paper piecing) and I was not so great at it. And all my blocks ended up slightly different sizes ranging from 10.5" to 12". I saw no way out, at the time, to putting it together into a quilt top. And so it languished.

I would say it was my first ever true WIP, and I am not someone to let things go unfinished. It has been nagging at me for years to finish it. This was the summer!

I put away my reservations, embraced "Finished is better than perfect" and got to work.

And here is Sweet Pepper Jelly, a quilt with many imperfections (and that includes the quilting) but which is DONE and will now be our "out and about" quilt that stays in the car for picnics, chilly mornings or general quilt needs.

A sampler quilt, in an odd mix of fabrics, but DONE!

I did loopy swirls in all the borders and tried something different with each block, to varying degrees of success.

The back is this infamous IKEA print, picked up and stored for the last three years with this exact quilt in mind. It is much lighter weight than quilt shop quilting cotton but it sure packs some visual punch! This was my first scrappy binding, made in 2013 and not attached until mid-2016. I love how it works for this quilt.

You get a bit of a sense of the different quilting looking at the back like this.
It feels so good to have this quilt DONE. Only one more WIP sits languishing in my closet Aviatrix Medallion which I am not prepared to tackle again right now!