Thursday, 8 September 2016

TGIFF! - Ego Check

Welcome to TGIFF! Yes, I'm hosting again this week. Yay! So you know how I shared my best work to date last week? My We The North Since 1867 received amazing feedback. Thank you all! I'm still replying to comments from last week.

Well, this week is a little bit of a reality check for me. The universe always has timely lessons for me to "not get too big for my britches," as the saying goes.

So here's the story.

It's back-to-school time in our house, right? Our oldest son is starting grade 7 at a new school and needs a new pencil case. Clearly on some delusional high from last week's successful finish, I offered to make him one. Not an easy flat or box style one, but a tube one with an f'ing zipper! 3D projects are not my strong suit.

We picked out some great fabrics.


And I even had the zipper on hand, which is weird because I don't buy those zipper things. Must have come from my grandmother's sewing kit.

I found a great tutorial online. Now, I'll be very clear here. I, M-R Charbonneau, of sound mind and body, in no way, shape or form, hold the lovely writer of this tutorial responsible for my 'modifications' and resulting product.


I redid the zipper three times and the tube ends twice. There were many curse words and much questioning of my sewing ability. In the end, it got done. And done is better than perfect.

Oldest child is still quite happy with it so that is what matters. And really, within a week, it's going to be dingy from hanging out at the bottom of his bag and falling on the floor repeatedly (he is remarkably similar to his mother in his clumsiness).




Thursday, 1 September 2016

TGIFF! - We The North Since 1867

Welcome to TGIFF! I'm definitely doing the Carlton Happy dance with my finish this week. It's why I've been so quiet on the blog; besides our vacation, every spare moment was spent working on this quilt since early July.

I shared the finished We The North Since 1867 top last month. I actually designed this quilt last year, but then struggled with the motivation to start it. Fear is such a little bugger. Once I got started though, the obsession took over. Tea and Buffy the Vampire Slayer kept me company on many a late night.

I made We the North Since 1867 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary next year.  Yeah, I know I'm a little early to be doing a sesquicentennial quilt, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I love to travel and experience other countries and cultures, but I love coming home too. I feel pretty lucky to be born in this cool country so I wanted to make something to celebrate it.

Don't let the simple design fool you; it has a lot of meaning behind it (at least for me). It has 13 values of red (mostly Konas) for the 10 provinces and three territories.

When we typically talk about Canadian culture, we often use the term 'mosaic' to describe all the nationalities that now call this place home. I wanted the central maple leaf to convey that idea as well, but I wanted more of a glass-like feel to it to remind us that it is fragile if we are not careful.


I machine appliquéd 1867, the year of Confederation, to the lower right of the maple leaf.


For the quilting, I used two colours of Aurifil thread (Red 50 wt. 2260 and Charcoal 50 wt. 2630), representing our two official languages. The quilting is the walking foot technique that I learned from Heather Lair. The spacing is 5/8" between the lines. Done on my Bernina domestic machine, the quilting alone took about 30 hours. Yes, totally crazy, but worth it.



I outlined the central maple leaf with some hand stitching and included some hand stitched partial maple leaf 'watermarks' in the background.





I also hand stitched one small red maple leaf in the upper right to represent our 'little' country in 1867 (only 4 provinces and 3.4 million people at the time).


We the North Since 1867 is done and it turned out just as I had hoped. Bliss.


For those who like to see under the covers, here's the back (it's really hard to photograph red):


Size: 34.5" x 44"

I know I say this a lot, but this is now my favourite quilt. Sorry, Happy Canada Day, Eh! I still adore you too though.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

We The North Since 1867 - A Work in Progress

Well, I'm clearly on a red and grey kick right now. I designed this quilt last year in honour of Canada's sesquicentennial celebration, which will be next year, and I've been sitting on the design ever since trying to get up the courage to do the foundation paper piecing.

I'm not a fan of foundation paper piecing, or I wasn't until this project. ;)

The palette plus charcoal grey:


The first half - so far so good! 


Loving the value play. 


My 11 year old commented, "Those corners are 'tight,' Mom!" Thanks sweets! :) 


A satin stitched date. 


Ready for basting!


The completed top! I am so thrilled (and relieved) that the paper piecing worked for this design. It turned out as I had envisioned in my head. Yay!


Now for the quilting!

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Triad - A Quilt-It Modern Blog Tour Finish

I'm pretty excited about the finish I'm going to share with you today. It's part of the Quilt-It Modern Blog Tour featuring Riley Blake Confetti Cottons and Crayola Colors. If you are new to my blog, welcome!

Now if you have been following me for any amount of time, you know I love solids. I'm new to Riley Blake solids though and I must say that they are pretty divine! They have a great hand and they are great to cut and sew.

Through the magic of blog time, I turned this delicious bundle of Riley Blake solids (Charcoal, Cayenne, Geranium, RileyBurgundy, RileyRed, RileyRaspberry, Rouge, TeaRose) ...


into this ode to the triangle, which I call Triad.


Why the name? Threes abound in this quilt -- triangles have three sides of course, the three floating triangles, three main sections of the quilt design, three layers of the quilt, three thread colours. So Triad just seemed pretty apt.


While I hadn't planned it, shortly into the process of laying out my little triangles on my design wall, I was reminded of one of my favourite t-shirts, which you can see in these pictures (Hi Maritime MQG!). Clearly my subconscious at work, eh?



This was definitely a quilt that I wanted people to step closer to look at the details so I went to town on the quilting.


I started with echoing the triangle seams, which gave a fun star effect at the triangle intersections and many little triangles.  


For the negative space, I used the walking foot technique I've used in various ways on HeathiaCodexSeparation of Church and StateA Stitch in Time and Night Flight. Only this time, I used two colours on the top (a red Aurifil #2250 and a charcoal grey #2630) and a lighter grey (Aurifil #2625) on the back and kept to the triangle theme of the design.

I did two triangles in the red thread and filled the rest in with the charcoal grey thread. While this is a very time-consuming technique, the texture is so worth it! This technique looks so great against solid fabric.


I also threw in a little Fibonacci sequence in the large red triangle. Can you spot it? Hint: 1-1-2-3.


Let's go even closer...



The back is a lighter grey and it shows off the texture nicely. Finished with a non-mitred facing.


Final size: 22" by 37". I think Triad is my new favourite quilt. :) 

Have you seen the other projects created so far on the Quilt-It Modern Blog Tour? If not, definitely take some time to check them out. Fabulous projects! Serious inspiration. 



6/27 - Salty Oat
6/28 - Allison Sews
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