Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #7

New Projects: As I mentioned last week, no new projects until I finish a few. With all these great quilt-alongs popping up across the blogosphere though, it's really hard!

Completed Projects:
One Thing One Week Challenge with Amy's Creative Side - finished!

Current Projects:
Bottled Rainbows (2) - Patrick and I have done two of his blocks -- the dark and light purple. We are both loving this project! It's wonderful just spending some quiet time with him, talking about shapes, colours, school, life. Every day, he's asking if we're going to do more. Yay!

Project Y - This week, the top went from this...
to this...

Colour me happy!

Micah's Growth Chart - No progress.

On Hold:
Landscape quilt
10X Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Stained Glass Lillies
Christmas tree skirt
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Spiral/Spring seta colour

UFOs that may one day get finished, but really who knows?
Converging Stars
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday #6 Recap:
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 1
Currently in progress: 4
On Hold: 9
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 39

Thanks for visiting my blog. Now, let's go check out Freshly Pieced to see what others have been up to this week.


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Chilling in Chile!

It was so blessedly hot yesterday that I was actually missing a bit o' winter. With a few hours to go travelling last night, why not go somewhere where it is a little chillier right now? So Chile it was, or Republic of Chile as it is officially called. According to the Weather Network, it was a cool 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) in Santiago, the capital of Chile. Perfect.

A few interesting things about Chile - it is one of two countries in South America that do not border Brazil (Ecuador is the other one). And it claims a good chunk of Antarctica, although all claims are apparently suspended under the Antartica Treaty. Also, Easter Island is one of its main tourist attractions.

On to the quilting blogs with Quilting Bloggers. Yay! Chile is largely a Spanish speaking country so most of the blogs were in Spanish. I speak English and French so this was interesting. Thankfully a few of the sites had a translate button - love it!

Cats, appliqué and embroidery were some of the common themes I found among the blogs. What I found very interesting is that the embroidered words were often in English.

On el Blog de Miriam, I found a beautiful Quilt Pablito. And a very cute appliqué Bee Block. If I interpreted correctly, Miriam went to Puerto Ibáñez, a border town near Argentina, with a friend of hers and she posted some gorgeous photos of the mountains and countryside.

On Poco de Patchwork y Mas, I found a graffic black and white appliqué pattern that I want to try.

Maria Elena's blog is bilingual (Spanish and English) so it's much easier for me to follow. First I find a really cute table runner and table topper. She also describes and shows how she machine quilts. I also love the scrappy look of her Patches Tablecloth.

Glad to see hexies are popular in Chile too. Mi Rincòn Favorito de Patchwork made some neat hexi curtains and a fun brick quilt.

Now if I could visit Santiago, I would definitely check out The Quilt Shop in person. I found these beauties on their site, although it looks like they are from a quilt show in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Yasmin from Patchwork Mi Pasion has a couple of great slideshows on her blog. You won't see it with an iPad though -- not sure why. Loved her A Boy Story. Fun! Also, Yasmin posted some photos (scroll down) of what I think is Joanne Rose's Red and White quilt exhibit in New York? And I really liked her placemats.

Another fun trip, more great quilts and inspiration. Hopefully I understood and interpreted this information correctly. I also hope you enjoyed this too. If you liked this visit, check out my other visits Around the Quilting Blogosphere.

Cheers,
M-R

Monday, 27 June 2011

Project Y Top is Finished

I had a few uninterrupted hours to quilt this weekend so I was able to finish the Project Y top (really must think of a name). Even with the sketches, I ended up playing around with the fabrics and the layout on my design wall. In the end, I found that I liked the Modified Radiating Outward layout best. It felt bolder and the piecing was simpler and cleaner than the Radiating Outward layout. The photo below makes the colours look much brighter than they are in real life. I'm very pleased so far with how this is turning out.


Now for the backing. Since there isn't anything else similar in my stash, I'll be trying to use up as many of the scraps from the front as possible. 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

One Thing One Week Challenge Done

Nailed it! ;) Okay, well, I didn't give myself too big a challenge this week, being the last week of school and all. That said, I did finish the last of three lunch bags for my sons' teachers. The teachers seemed to really appreciate them so Yay! These bags were made using Ayumi Mills's lunch bag tutorial at Pink Penguin. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow and I'm quite happy at how the bags turned out. I think that I'll be making more of these...


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #6

Happy Wednesday!

New Projects:
One Thing One Week Challenge - Yes, I signed up for the One Thing One Week Challenge with Amy's Creative Side. I started the lunch bag for my son's teacher Monday night, but need to finish it before Thursday (last day of school) so that is my One Thing.

No more though, too many projects on the go! But I really do want to do a Canada Day banner similar to Riel's at the Q and the U and Canada Day is coming up so there might be one more. But no more after that until I finish more projects!

Completed Projects: Nada

Current Projects:
Bottled Rainbows (2) - I pieced the Patrick's blocks this week. We're going to do quilt-as-you-go on these ones. I've never done quilt-as-you-go before so I'm keen to learn this technique, as well as the ticker tape technique. Daniel has chosen his backings, which coordinate with his block colours so we will hopefully have a bit of a bottled rainbow on the back as well. Patrick finishes school on Thursday so we'll choose his backings on Friday. This may be a bit too ambitious, but I'm hoping that we can do one block a day so that I can do the sashing on the back and the binding by hand when we go out East at the end of July. Fingers crossed!

Project Y - Good progress on this one, except on a name. I finished piecing the blocks on the front and most of the ones for the back. I also figured out the layout that I'd like.


Now to figure out the colour layout for the rest of the top. I'm sure there are more proper words for how I've arranged the colours on the samples below, but I don't know what they are. So I'm naming them with what works for me. The pink and magenta scanned much closer in colour and value than they are on the originals.

Option 1 - Cascading

Option 2 - Radiating Outward

Option 3 - Modified Radiating Outward

Option 4 - Random

What do you think? I'd love any comments or suggestions.
 
Micah's Growth Chart - No progress.

On Hold:
Landscape quilt
10X Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Stained Glass Lillies
Christmas tree skirt
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Spiral/Spring seta colour

UFOs that may one day get finished, but really who knows?
Converging Stars
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday #6 Recap:
New projects: 1
Completed projects: 0
Currently in progress: 5
On Hold: 9
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 39

Thanks for visiting my blog. Now, let's go check out Freshly Pieced to see what others have been up to this week.


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 20 June 2011

Visiting Kenya

Karibu (Welcome)! Let's go to Kenya today. Before we get into all the beautiful quilting going on there though, I need to get a better picture of the country. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but up until last year, I always thought Kenya was in West Africa where Mali is, but it is actually on the equator in East Africa. I made a quick stop at Wikipedia to find out more about Kenya. It is on the Indian Ocean and bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Its capital city is Nairobi and it has numerous wildlife reserves containing thousands of animal species. According to Wikipedia, it covers 580,000 km2 (a little bigger than France) and has a population of nearly 39 million residents.

I learned that Kenya's population has rapidly increased over the past several decades, and as a result, about 73% of Kenyans are under 30. In fact, in the last 80 years, Kenya's population has grown from 2.9 million to 37 million! I also learned that it's quite a diverse country as well, and most Kenyans are bilingual in English and Swahili.

Did you know that Kenya is believed, by archeologists like Richard Leakey (remember this name), to be the cradle of mankind? There is evidence that it has been inhabited by people for as long as human history has existed.

According to Wikipedia, "The English meaning of the word Kenya is 'place with ostriches' – in reference to the black and white plumage of male ostriches. When viewed from a distance the snow-capped peak of the mountain is like the white feathers of a male ostrich."

The country traditionally produces world renowned tea and coffee, and more recently became a major exporter of fresh flowers to Europe. Tourism is now Kenya's largest foreign exchange earning sector.

Okay, enough of the geography, let's check out some of the quilters who live in this intriguing country!

Quilting Bloggers shows two blog listings for Kenya. The first blog is Dena Crain's. She's a very talented and well-known artist and teacher. She's originally from the States, but has been living in Kenya since 1990. Her longtime partner is Jonathan Leakey (businessman brother to Richard Leakey, the anthropologist mentioned above, and son of Louis and Mary Leakey, renowned paleontologists -- quite the family!). She did a workshop and lecture for our Guild here in Ottawa last year. I didn't get a chance to take her workshop (which I heard was excellent), but she gave us a wonderful introduction to Kenya, the quilting scene there and her work. In addition to travelling, she also teaches through Quilt University, giving quilters across the world the opportunity to learn from her - Yay!

One thing I appreciated about Dena Crain's lecture, which is also evident on her blog, is how much she loves Kenya and the countryside. And like Jill in Thailand, Dena tells you where to shop for fabric in Nairobi!

I found Dena's blog post called "10 Sewing Techniques Every Quilter Should Know" very helpful, as was her "10 Steps to a Better Quilt". She also has a free downloadable pattern called "Calligraphy" that looks fun to try. And then there's her Gallery. Wow! I love her Designer Pinwheels (also a class through Quilt University), her African Rock Art Quilts, her Jua Kali, her Spirit Works, her Bubbles quilt, and her Conversation Piece quilt. What a talent! Ever practical, Dena also includes a tutorial on making mosquito nets, a must in Kenya.

The other blog listed in Quilting Bloggers is the Kenya Quilt Guild, of which Dena is a founder (along with Canadian Anne Mains - yay, another Canadian!). They recently had a series of workshops with Paramjeet Bawa, an art quilter and teacher from Kuwait, where they did a beautiful thread sketch landscape.Wow, to have such control!

I had a ball looking at all the beautiful quilts from the Guild's 2010 Exhibition. What a wonderful variety of styles. I especially loved Gretchen Mwaura's Dreams Come True and the Challenge Quilt by Jasbir Sokhi. In 2009, the guild hosted the Artful Bra Exhibition at RaMoMA. Members donated decorated bras which were then sold to raise money for breast cancer treatment and education. What a great idea!

I was about to quit for the day (son #3 was waking up from his nap), when I came across a Kenya on The Quilt Show’s “The Daily Blog” post on the Guild site. In February of this year, Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims went to Kenya in February with Jim West's Sew Many Places Safari. They posted three video clips on their blog about their visit, including a visit they had with the guild. The videos definitely added to my visit!

Well, that's it for today, I think. Once again, I feel like I've barely touched the surface of the quilting culture in this country, but I still learned a lot and had fun along the way. I hope you did too!

So I hope you have a nice day or as they say in Swahili "Nakutakia siku njema!",
M-R

P.S. On the translation site of useful Swahili phrases, I found "Gari langu linaloangama limejaa na mikunga," which translates to "my hovercraft is full of eels". Since it is highly unlikely I'd ever get the opportunity to use this useful phrase in real life, I just had to put it here. Cheers!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Always Learning

I love it when I learn a neat trick that simplifies a quilting technique, don't you? I found a couple recently that I thought I'd share here.

One Seam Flying Geese?
I came across this very cool new way to do Flying Geese with only one seam. This is from The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, but it is available on You Tube. Definitely in the right direction for me!



If you have any problems with the embedded video, check out the video directly on You Tube.

Tumbling Blocks - No Y-seams?
The thought of Y-seams has kept me from doing any Tumbling Blocks quilts, but when I found this video, well, I guess I'll have no more excuses. Straight seams only are used in this neat way of doing 3D Tumbling Blocks. Love it!


If you have any problems with the embedded video, check out the video directly on You Tube.

From Headbanging to Threadbanging
This is a clip from ThreadBanger, the home for people who want to make their own style. They feature DIY projects and tips for everything 'thread' related. This clip features Caroline Hwang and her quilting, showcases some viewer quilts and then offers some suggestions on further surfing. Nice to see where 'them young'uns' are getting some of their inspiration!



If you have any problems with the embedded video, check out the video directly on You Tube.

If you know of any other cool tricks like these (videos are not necessary), let me know. I'd love to learn them and share them with others.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

From Light to Dark And Back Again is Finished

Yay! Last Friday morning, it occurred to me that I'd like to have some handwork for the weekend (something to do during our Garage Sale and watching TV in the evening). I whipped through the housework as fast as I could  so I could finish freemotion quilting (FMQ) From Light to Dark and Back Again and get the binding on Friday afternoon. I would have gladly skipped the housework, but my in-laws were coming for the weekend and well, did I mention that I have three small boys? Like my boys, the house needs to be tamed on occasion. It was the fastest houseclean I've ever done. Nothing like a little quilting incentive. ;)

Anyways, as I'd mentioned in a previous post, I was struggling with the straight lines and corners of the Echo Maze design (from Leah Day's site). Something finally clicked though and I finished quilting it in just over an hour! I think it was the "muscle memory" that kicked in and it actually became fun. The binding was on 30 minutes later and I was ready for the weekend! Woo hoo!

I'm happy with the colour play and think this layout worked well to showcase the value transitions of the fabric (Nature's Palette by Lyndhurst Studio). I'm also happy with the pieced back that used all but one square of the remaining fabric. Do I have a purpose for this quilt? Actually, I don't. I always have a purpose for my quilts so this feels very weird. I'm sure one will come though.

Lessons learned for me:
1) Next time I want to use monofilament with a black top, I'd use smoky monofilament thread. I just had clear and had forgotten that smoky existed until I was in the store looking for items for another project. I find that the clear is too shiny on the black, but I ain't changing it now!

2) If the monofilament keeps breaking, check your tension and/or change brands of monofilament. I started with Gutterman, but switched to Unique.

3) Remember not to get too hung up on perfectly straight lines and corners during freemotion quilting. Once the quilt is washed and dried some of those imperfections will be hidden "in the valley" of the fabric. And the rest is, well, wabi-sabi, right? Yes, let's go with that. :)

And now for some photos:


From Light to Dark and Back Again - Front
From Light to Dark and Back Again - Full View
Corner Detail
Corner Detail
From Light to Dark and Back Again - Back
Back Detail
Back Detail


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #5

I can't believe it's already Wednesday again. I'm feeling very inspired by my virtual trips to Finland and Thailand so I've added a few projects to my Bucket List and links to my list of Favourite Blogs. So much beautiful work out there in the blogosphere!

New Projects:
Bottled Rainbow - It's off the Bucket List! I pieced the blocks and showed them to the boys. As predicted, son #1 now wants to do one too. Yay! So that's actually two (or three, depending on how you look at it) quilts off the bucket list (Bottled Rainbow and twin-sized quilts for the boys' beds). Good thing I bought 1/2 meters. Not enough white though -- oh darn, I guess I'll have to go to the fabric store again. What a pain! ;)



Completed Projects:
From Light to Dark and Back Again - Just need to get the label on it, but otherwise this puppy is done! Once I get the label on, I'll take more pictures and do a post. Woo Hoo! Here's a sneak peak of the back:

Current Projects:


Project Y - No progress

Micah's Growth Chart - No progress. A couple of people have asked about this project, so if people are interested, I can do a tutorial.
Completed Tops Awaiting Quilting:
Landscape quilt
10X Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random

On Hold:
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Stained Glass Lillies
Christmas tree skirt
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Spiral/Spring seta colour

UFOs that may one day get finished, but really who knows?
Converging Stars
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday #5 Recap:
New projects: 1
Completed projects: 1
Currently in progress: 5
On Hold: 6
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: Hmm, two removed, but two added - 39

Thanks very much for visiting my blog. Let's go check out Freshly Pieced to see what others have been up to this week.


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Taste of Thailand

I had so much fun "travelling" to Finland last week that I've decided to do more of that kind of travelling. It's certainly easier on the bank account. It's been cool here the past couple of days, which has put me in the mood for Thai Green Chicken Curry (one of my comfort foods). And that made me curious about quilters in Thailand. See, everything comes back to quilting. So last night, when the munchkins went to bed and Chuck was otherwise occupied with some hockey thing called Game 6 on TV ;), I made myself a big cup of tea and went a-travelling to Thailand. 

Have I mentioned how much I love that the Quilting Gallery has a list of quilting blogs available by country? So fun!  

Quilting Bloggers Logo


So what did I find? Well, first I found Bangkok Mom who professes to be lazy and showed her sewing room to prove it. I don't buy it though, because then I found her Cathedral window project, and her beautiful baby quilt. In my book, anyone who takes on a Cathedral window quilt, can quilt in 40 degree Celsius (~100 degree F) + weather, and writes her blog in English even though she is not a native English speaker cannot possibly be lazy.

Then I found Bangkok Suburban quilter. It doesn't look like the blog is still active, but I loved her private mini quilt swap.

If you are going to Thailand, you've got to check out Jill's Quilt Site. She's your quilting tour guide of the country. She has a wealth of information about where to shop in Bangkok for quilting cottons (Sampeng Lane), and even provides a map and photos of the shops. Awesome! Jill also posts about what events are going on in and around the city that might be of interest to quilters.

It's also clear that there's a special place in Jill's heart for "Our Home," a home for girls and young women in Rayong, Thailand. The girls come from all over Thailand and have no family of their own. The girls learn social skills, as well as quilting skills, and they are rightfully proud of their quilting. Jill keeps the post about Our Home as her first post, but then has her most recent posts just below that. I didn't know you could do that with a blog so I'll have to figure out how she did it.

There weren't any more blogs for Thailand listed on Quilting Bloggers, but I noticed a couple of links on Jill's site to some expats' sites so I decided to do some more exploring. First, I checked out Karen Sengel's site. Wow! Karen was born and raised in the U.S., but has been living abroad for a long time. She's an international teacher living in northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Her work is really stunning and you can see how inspired she's been by Ruth McDowell. I think my favourite is Pomlamai. And then there's Pausing and Hanoi Colors and 60 Minutes? Okay, I can't pick just one. Definitely worth a look-see!

Jill's site also linked to Marjolein Bastiaans's site. She is also very talented and inspired by her surroundings. I adore the Family Portrait she did - what a cool idea! I'd really like to try that that idea with my family. Her other portraits are beautiful too. I also loved her Heliconia and her Grass is Always Greener group.

Ahh, feeling wonderfully inspired by my trip to Thailand. I'd really love to go shopping on Sampeng Lane and check out all those beautiful quilting cottons. This little visit eased my craving to travel (a little), but not my craving for curry so I think curry will be on the menu tonight. I make a modification of the recipe on the back of Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste bottle. Even my youngest eats this up. Here it is in case you are in the same mood.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked 
1 can of coconut milk
1-2 tbsp green curry paste (if you're not used to curry, use less that 1 tbsp of paste the first time)
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup bamboo shoots (I prefer a can of the julienned ones to the flat ones) or 2 cups boiled, bite-sized potatoes
1 can of corn and/or 1 cup of frozen peas
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp of dried basil (or fresh if you have it on hand)
Rice

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, simmer coconut milk and curry paste over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

How easy is that?

Enjoy! เพลิดเพลิน!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Fun Film Clips for a Lazy Sunday

The film "Quilt" by Gayle Thomas was made in 1996, but only recently became available on the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada's website. The NFB says, "A tribute to the unique and long-established art form of patchwork quilting, this abstract animated film uses computer and experimental techniques to choreograph quilt motifs and designs to music."

I find it inspiring every time I see it so I thought I'd share it on my blog. Fun music, great colour, endless possibilities! Enjoy!


If you have any problems viewing the embedded video, here is the link to the Quilt video on the NFB site.

And this next one is just pure nostalgic indulgence on my part. It has nothing to do with quilting, but I loved catching this on TV when I was a kid. A little Log Driver's Waltz, anyone?

According to the NFB, "This lighthearted, animated short is based on the song "The Log Driver's Waltz" by Wade Hemsworth. Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitor. Driving logs down the river has made the young man the best dancing partner to be found."


If you have any problems viewing the embedded video, here is the link to the Log Driver's Waltz video on the NFB site.

Oh, happy day!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Jumping on the Bottled Rainbows Bandwagon

I do love a good bandwagon and I've been eyeing the Bottled Rainbows quilt along for some time now. I know that I probably won't make much of a dent in my stash of scraps (there are just so many!), but I just love the colours and I'm eager to try the ticker tape technique. I've managed to convince my four year old that he wants this to be the next quilt that "he" works on. Win-win, don't you think?

So I'm in, but I'll need to do some work fast to catch up to the group because they started in February! I bought the remaining fabric that I need yesterday. It's washed, ironed and ready to cut. Yay!

Bottled Rainbows {the button}

Thursday, 9 June 2011

So I Went to Finland Last Night

When I started my blog, one thing I hadn't really thought of was that people from far away countries might come and visit my blog to see what I do. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was pretty amazed when I saw that there were people from Israel, Finland, Slovakia, and Germany, as well as folks from Canada and the U.S. who found my blog. So cool!

I love travelling. With three little kids and one income at the moment, travelling is definitely on the back burner. But last night I decided to chuck it all and go travelling! I checked out Quilting Bloggers and browsed their country listing. Hmm, where to go tonight? Finland! Now, I don't speak Finnish, but quilting is a universal language, no?

I'll apologize ahead of time for all the links, but I wouldn't feel right posting their photos without the bloggers permission. And really, you want to come with me, don't you?

Well, I was not disappointed with Finland! A number of the blogs were either bilingual or just in English, which I wasn't expecting so it made touring very easy.

I saw stunning scenery and beautiful rainbows and learned about cyanotype printing. I also went across the ocean to learn more about the American Civil War! Yes, Satu from Kotka, Finland is doing a Civil War Diary Quilt and includes excerpts of civil war diaries with the accompanying blocks on her blog Quilttales. Beautiful work!

Then I found Life's a Quilt by Hedgehog in Vaasa, Finland. I loved the colour combination of her Squares quilt, her Places quilt (very cool idea!), her Kihnu table runner, and her Elephant and Flamingo quilt. Gorgeous. And there was also a great photo of a Mitten wall from Kihnu.

HanneLinen is also a treat. Art quilting, felting, some neat ideas on what to do with woven textiles and a ball of beeswax strips.

I spotted a cool Dear Jane arrangement on Ingebord's Lotta blog.

So loved Syko's blog. Kajsa Wikman is the face behind the blog and she has a book out that I'm going to try and find, Scandinavian Stitches. Her blog is in English and it's fabulous. Check out her Hidden Messages quilt, and these pillows, and these soft houses! I had to wipe the drool off my iPad after visiting this site.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the trip! I had a blast and learned a lot. Now, where to go next?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #4

Good quilting week! I'm rejigging my categories below because I realized that some of my "On Hold" projects may actually be on hold permanently. They would probably be better categorized as Unfinished Objects (UFOs) -- sad, but true. I may take them off eventually, but I'll keep them there for now because I do sometimes go back to an old project.

New Projects:
Project Y - Earlier this week, I blogged about a new project using some Kaffe Fassett I had bought. I finished some of the squares yesterday and I'm loving them so far, especially how the stripes make the blocks look much more complex than they actually are. The stripes are a little tricky to line up, but I'm doing my best to not care about that and just let it be scrappy and free form.

The best surprise was that the largest square in the photo above is actually made up of the 'remnants' of the 'real' squares. I'm going to use the remnant blocks on the back of the quilt so I use up as much of the fabric as possible.

Completed Projects (also a new project):
Lunch Bag for Daniel's teacher - One down, two more to go - Yay!

Current Projects:
Value-able Colours/Project X - I thought of a name for this one - From Light to Dark and Back Again. I've been working on the free motion quilting and I must say that I'm in the "I hate the quilting" zone with this quilt. I'm trying to do a big version of Leah Day's Echo Maze all over it, but the straight lines still feel unnatural to me. I'm also using monofilament on the top and black on the bottom. The first monofilament thread (Gutterman) I was using kept breaking. I switched types (I think it's YLI now) and it is going much better. Nevertheless, it feels like I'm fighting with the quilt, which aggravates my hands (old tendonitis injuries). So I've decided that I'll work a little bit on it each day and then work on other projects when I get tired or discouraged. But I will come back to it again the next day.

Micah's Growth Chart - I also starting working on my youngest son's growth chart. The theme for Micah's chart is fire. Patrick's was water and Daniel's was grass/earth. I finished Patrick and Daniel's earlier this year and they are now hanging in the downstairs hallway. It's incomplete without Micah's chart though. Micah's is going to be the most complex, which is why it's taken me a while to get going on it. I did the name plate for it this week and bought the remaining fabrics.

Completed Tops Awaiting Quilting:
Landscape quilt
10X Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random

On Hold:
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Stained Glass Lillies
Christmas tree skirt
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Spiral/Spring seta colour

UFOs that may one day get finished, but really who knows?
Converging Stars
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday #4 Recap:
New projects: 3
Completed projects: 1
Currently in progress: 5
On Hold: 6
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 39

Check out Freshly Pieced to see what others have been up to this week.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 6 June 2011

Lunch Bags for Teachers

Saturday night, while Chuck watched the Stanley Cup finals, I took the opportunity to finish up a small project. Yes, I'm probably the only Canadian not watching the finals. I really wish the Canucks well, but I'm going to take advantage of the quilting time.

Lee from Freshly Pieced recently blogged about making some lunch bags as teacher gifts with her new line of fabric. I loved that idea and the fabric she designed. Since her fabric isn't available yet, I checked around my stash and found some fun fabrics to use. I used the same Lunch bag tutorial Lee used; the fabulous design by Ayumi from the Pink Penguin. It was an easy, straightforward project. And this is what came of it.


I still want to do two more, but need to go pick up more stabilizer first. One of the two will use these fabrics:



Yay, one project completed this week!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

New Project - Stripey, Concentric Squares on Point Surrounded...or Project Y

A few months ago, I bought some of this Kaffe Fassett striped fabric. I don't know the name (not on the selvage, nor can I find it online easily -- grrr!), but here it is:



I just loved the colours in the fabric and thought it would be great in a concentric square block quilt or in something similar to this Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy's Hankerchief Corners quilt.


I naively thought I'd be able to find some compatible colours in my stash, but that was not the case. There is absolutely nothing similar in either colour or hand of the fabric. So that poor stripe sat alone in my stash, feeling different and alone (though not unloved). Yesterday, I went back to the store to find some fabric for another project, when I saw some of the rest of the Kaffe line. Just had to pick up some friends for my lonely stripe!

Now, I don't have nearly enough variety to do the hankerchief corners, so I will do something different. Here's my sketch -- very rough at the moment, but it's essentially nine concentric square blocks of varying sizes surrounded by the other colours below.


I'm going to try designing the quilt more accurately in Electric Quilt, but it may end up being a design-as-you-go if I get too frustrated. 

Oh, I just remembered that I have a skirt made with similar material that I found last summer (pointed it out to Chuck and, lo and behold, the 'boys' bought it for me for my birthday!). No wonder I loved the stripe fabric. Similar, no?


This skirt is also unlike anything else I have in my wardrobe, and it really isn't my style, but I really like it. It is also completely impractical for the life I lead running around after three little boys, but I vow to wear it more this year.

Hmm, I wonder if I subconsciously bought the stripe fabric because I felt guilty for not wearing the skirt more. And if I take that logic and extend it...Oh my goodness, I'm making a quilt for a skirt?!

Well on that bizarre note, I'm going to go finish a project while watching "That Skirt's Just Not That Into You"...I mean He's Just Not That Into You.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #3

Finished Projects:
3 Wee Spy Quilts - Done! Two are for friends in the States who recently adopted two girls from Africa. I included a couple of U.S.A. squares for their quilts. I hope the girls will like the bright colours. I'm also hoping that I'll get to meet the girls when their parents come up for their annual cottage vacation in Westport. The third one is for friends here in Ottawa who had a baby girl. Hopefully, I'll get to meet her this weekend and give her the quilt in person. Her older sister has one too.

I've made 36 of these over the last six years for my kids and my friends' babies. Each one has a different border, backing, and matching bag, as well as a different arrangement of the squares. As quilts go, this is a pretty quick and easy quilt to put together and it's durable. I include a little card that gives the parents' some ideas of what they can do with it beyond just using it as a playmat/quilt. We play I Spy with ours, of course, but we also tell stories with it by adding something from each square to the tale, practice counting and picking out colours, etc. It's also a great way to use up some novelty fabrics that you now wonder why you purchased. ;) My friends tell me that their little ones love them and that they get compliments for them wherever they go.

Current Projects:
Value-able Colours/Project X? - Midway through freemotion quilting it.

Completed Tops Awaiting Quilting:
Landscape quilt
10X Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random

On Hold:
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Stained Glass Lillies
Micah's Fire Growth Chart
Converging Stars
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Chop Suey
Green Bed Drape
Christmas tree skirt
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash
Spiral/Spring seta colour

WIP Wednesday #3 Recap:
Completed projects: 3
New projects: 0
Currently in progress: 17


Check out Don't Call Me Betsy to see what others have been up to this week.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...