Friday, 30 September 2011

Patrick Spies a Bottled Rainbow

We are done Patrick's Bottled Rainbow quilt! I'm doing my Happy Dance right now. Both boys' quilts are done and on their beds. Patrick did a great job with his mosaics and he's pretty proud of his quilt. Yay! For details on how I made this a kid-friendly project, check out my post about Daniel Spies a Bottled Rainbow.

Patrick Spies a Bottled Rainbow - Front


Happy boy!

I'm just about done the binding on Project Y so I'll share that one next week. I'm very happy with how the quilting turned out. I think this one is my favourite quilt to date. 

Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Works in Progress #15

Even though it was a little nutty around here last week, it feels like we've settled into more of a routine this week. On the quilting front, it seems like I've had less time for sewing and quilting, but got more done. Odd. But I'll take it.

New Projects:
A couple of new small projects started and completed:

1) Camp Wrap - I've been wanting to make a camp blanket with all my old childhood badges and crests for some time now. With my son's Beaver camp this past weekend, I finally had my reason and a deadline. Years ago, I bought a beautiful charcoal grey Alpaca wool wrap in Ecuador, but I never use it. I love it for sentimental reasons so rather than buy a blanket, I thought I'd repurpose the wrap. It's a little cheesy (okay, a lot cheesy), but what else am I going to do with that wrap and those badges? I'm so pleased with the results. The wrap fits beautifully and is perfect for campfires. And now I blend in with the other leaders... ;)

2) My Oh-so-Canadian Mug Rug that I blogged about earlier this week:

Completed Projects: Two!

Current Projects:
Bottled Rainbow - This baby is just about done! Giddy is what I'm feeling about having this one done. I'll do a post about it on Friday, but here's a sneak peek...

Project Y - I finally thought of the perfect name for Project Y. Yay! I'm not telling anyone what it is until it's done though because then I'll probably rethink it. I'm still free motion quilting this quilt. This one will probably be done next week. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.

Stained Glass Lillies - no progress

On Hold:
Landscape quilt
10BX Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
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 #15 Recap:
New projects: 2
Completed projects: 2
Currently in progress: 3
On Hold: 9
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 41

What have you been working on?

Thanks to Lee with Freshly Pieced for hosting W.I.P. Wednesday. If you have a few minutes, go check out what others have been up to this week. Thanks for coming by!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Small Fall Finish

I spent an awesome weekend camping with my son's Beaver Colony. The leaves were starting to turn, with gorgeous greens, yellows, oranges and reds everywhere you looked. The lake was as smooth as glass and the night sky was brimming with stars. So beautiful and so peaceful...when the kids were asleep. ;) After the craziness of last week, it was just what I needed. I came back inspired to do a small project. My youngest son obliged me by having a long nap this afternoon, which meant I was able to make this mug rug.

Doesn't it go perfectly with my new tea mug? I do love a big cup o' tea in the morning.

It's my contribution to Celebrate Color at Stitched in Color and Mug Rugs of the World at Quokka Quilts. It doesn't get much more Canadian than this, eh?

Celebrate Color

I'm also going to link this in to Sew Modern Monday
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

And the Bloggers Dinner Party!
Bloggers' Dinner Party

Hope you are having a great Monday!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

To Serbia With Love

Cathedral of Saint Sava, Belgrade,
the world's largest Orthodox church
Source: Wikipedia

What with the munchkins home for the summer, getting back to school, and gearing up for our Fall/Winter activities, it's been a while since I've had time to do any virtual travelling. When no one was looking the other day though, I snuck off to Serbia!

As I've mentioned before, I like checking my blog's Stats page to see where my visitors are coming from. I've noticed that Serbia has popped up a few times lately so I thought I'd make my next trip there. I've never been in person either so I wanted to learn more.

Beyond the Kosovo War in the 1990s and some of the more recent conflicts with Kosovo, I didn't know much about Serbia so I made a quick stop at Wikipedia to learn a bit more. What an interesting country and history! A landlocked country in the Balkans, Serbia is a little smaller than the state of Maine in the U.S. and was a part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. An odd little item I noticed is that Serbia has over 9.60 million cell phone users, which surpasses the total population of Serbia itself by 30%. That's a lot of people who have more than one cell phone, don't you think?

According to Wikitravel, there were seventeen Roman emperors born in the territory of today's Serbia and they all left monuments and built palaces in or close to their birthplaces. Would love to check that out someday in person!

On to the quilty blogs...Quilting Bloggers, my travel agent of choice for these trips, has only two quilt blog listings for the country known for giving the tennis world Novak Djokovic.

I spotted some very fun cell phone covers on Ivana Member of Snoopy Gang's blog -- what a fun blog name. From what Google Translate tells me, it's because Ivana raises beagles. Some of her posts are in both Serbian and English - handy! In addition to some cute puppy photos, Ivana has a post about some mug rugs she received from her mug rug swap partner Inge from Denmark (hmm, maybe I should go to Denmark next). In the photo of the mug rug, I spotted some fabric I have (in green though). I picked it up in Holland on our last big travel trip before kids. Ah, Amsterdam. What a great trip that was!

Anyhoo, back to this trip. Lily Art Design, the other blog listed for Serbia, has only been blogging for a couple of months. She has some beautiful free motion quilting going on here and here! And I'm liking her Winter Snowflakes.

If one or both of these ladies has been visiting my blog, thank you and keep up the great work with your blogs!

Now I'm curious how many cell phones these two have...

Well, that's all she wrote for this trip. If you enjoyed this, check out my other trips Around the Quilting Blogosphere!

Живели (Cheers!)

Monday, 19 September 2011

A Thank You and a Quilt-As-You-Go Tutorial

I was so thrilled on Friday to see that five people linked up to our Thank Goodness It's Finished, Friday party. I have to admit that I was a little afraid of being the only one hanging out with Grier so thank you to Debbie, Diana, Kelly (have you had the baby yet?), Cheree and Rhianon for linking up. Your work is beautiful and if other readers haven't had a chance to go check out their link-ups yet, please do!

As I promised on Friday, here's the quilt-as-you-go tutorial for what I did with Daniel Spies a Bottled Rainbow. This was the first time I'd done quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) and I'm hooked. What a fabulous way of quilting large quilts in manageable sections! There are a number of ways to do quilt-as-you-go (check out YouTube), but I think this is the simplest.

Connecting two quilted blocks:

1. Cut 1" sashing. The length of sashing you will need will depend on the size of blocks.

 2. Place one piece of sashing on the front of one block and one piece on the back with the right sides facing the block.
3. Line the sashing flush with the block edge.
4. Sew a scant 1/4" seam.

 5. Check the back of the block and that the back sashing is also correctly sewn at a scant 1/4" seam.
6. Iron the sashing at the front of the block up.
7. Trim the sashing flush with the edge of the block. Tip: I started trimming these away from me (as you are supposed to for safety reasons), but I noticed that the sashing fabric was getting skewed. Once I started cutting towards me, the cuts were all straight.

8. Place your sashed block onto the block it needs to be sewn to, right side together. It is easier to maintain your 1/4" seam if you have the sashed block on the top.

9. Sew a scant 1/4" seam.

 10. Place your attached blocks on the ironing board and set the seams.
 11. Flip the top block over so that you see the front of the blocks. Iron.
 12. Flip your blocks so that back is facing up. Your blocks should butt nicely together within the sashing. Iron.
 13. Iron the back sashing over to cover the block joint.
14. Fold over the raw edge of the sashing to cover the sewing line and pin in place.

15. Blind hem stitch the sashing in place (I'm a lefty). NB: You can machine sew this down, but you will have a sewing line on the front of your quilt. If your sashing, block colour and thread colour are all the same, then this is a great, quick way to finish the seams.

16. Connect all the blocks in each row. 
17. Connect the rows together using the same technique.

18. Voilà, you have a quilt-as-you-go quilt. Just add your binding and your label, and you are done!

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post them in the comments. If you have a question, chances are that other people do too.

Happy Monday!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thank Goodness it's Finished, Friday Party!

A warm welcome to you from
our garden gnome Grier

Welcome! After a long week (and boy this one felt looooonng), it's nice to take some time to enjoy what we've accomplished. I'm so thrilled you are here!

As I mentioned in my Works in Progress posts, my two older boys and I were working on some twin-sized (+) Bottled Rainbow quilts for their beds. I needed a summer project that would keep them quiet for an hour or two in the afternoons when their little brother napped and they needed quilts for their beds in the summer. They share a bunk bed so I was pretty happy that their quilts would look similar, but not the same.

Daniel's quilt, called Daniel Spies a Bottled Rainbow, is the first one done so that's the one I'm sharing today. A lot of the mosaics have fussy-cut novelty prints, which gives the quilt a bit of an I-Spy feel, hence the combination name. And because I'm oh-so-creative with names, Patrick's quilt will be called Patrick Spies a Bottled Rainbow. ;) The finished size is 65" by 82.5" - an extra wide twin quilt.
Daniel Spies a Bottled Rainbow - Front


Happy boy!

I made a number of adaptations to Rachel's wonderful Bottled Rainbow design so that it would work for us as a project I could do with the kids. If you are not familiar with how her Bottled Rainbow quilt is made, then what I say may not make sense. Sorry! I'm just trying to be brief about this.
  • I made the blocks 17" by 21" figuring that I'd have to trim them down to get them to be all the same size. I ended up trimming them to 16.5" by 20.5", giving a finished size of 16" by 20".
  • I used the blocks vertically instead of horizontally.
  • I made all of the base blocks first (white centre with coloured border, white centre stitched-in-the-ditch attached to the batting).
  • We did the mosaics of one block a day. The boys got to pick which one we worked on each day (same colour for both boys).  
  • The boys and I had a ball sorting through my scraps to match them to the blocks.
  • Two things I learned after doing the first couple of mosaics: 1) Try to make the pieces big so they take up a lot of room and so it is quicker to zig zag stitch down, and 2) Minimize how curvy or intricate the scraps are so that it is quicker to zig zag stitch the scraps. (It took me 30-40 minutes to zig zag stitch some of those blocks. Oy!)
  • Once all the mosaics were done, I had the boys pick the backing for each block so I could make this a quilt-as-you-go project. I had hoped that the back would also look like a Bottled Rainbow, but that didn't really work out as often the dominant colour of the backing they chose was not the colour of the front of the block.
  • For the quilting, I first stitched in the ditch around the white centre. I chose a different freemotion quilting motif for each border of the block. I also made sure that the quilting motifs for the blocks on both boys' quilts were different (ie. Daniel has stars on his yellow block, Patrick has circles). The one exception was the red block. They both got hearts on that one 'cause Mama looooooves them so much. :) 
  • The fabulous sash and binding stripe is Celebrate Seuss by Robert Kauffman. Love, love, love!
  • I took a bunch of photos when I was doing the sashing so I can do a tutorial on the quilt-as-you-go technique next week. I'd do it here, but this post is already too long. And really, y'all want to see other finishes, right?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Works in Progress #14

For those visiting from WIP Wednesday, welcome! We're having a TGIFF party on Friday to showcase recent finishes. You are most welcome to link up too. The more, the merrier! Even if you don't have something to share, come back and check out the fabulous finishes.

On the docket for me this week...

New Projects: Still no time for new projects.

Completed Projects: Yes, I have one! It's been awhile, but I have one. I'll be sharing it on Friday as part of the TGIFF party, but here's a sneak peek.

Current Projects:
Bottled Rainbow (1) - One down, one to go...

Project Y - Began the freemotion quilting. I'm using Sulky Blendables and they aren't kidding; it blends beautifully on the diamonds and the purples. Can you even see it in the photo below? I'm still on the fence whether I'll use it on the yellow and orange though. I'm worried it may have too much contrast. I'll do a test on a scrap tomorrow and decide then. With the Bottled Rainbows done/almost done, I'll be focusing more on this one next. I'm thinking that this one might be perfect for the Celebrate Color contest.

Stained Glass Lillies - Still slowly appliqué-ing away.

On Hold:
Landscape quilt
10BX Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
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 #14 Recap:
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 1
Currently in progress: 3
On Hold: 9
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 41 - ack! Yes, I added two. One was inspired by a great book I read this summer and the other was inspired by some fabulous fabric that I picked up on my vacation. If only there were more hours in the day...

What have you been working on?

Thanks to Lee with Freshly Pieced for hosting W.I.P. Wednesday. If you have a few minutes, go check out what others have been up to this week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

We're Having a TGIFF Party!

Yay, we're having a party! Thank you to Debbie, Diane, Kelly and Rhianon for being the first ones to say that you'd be up for this little Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday (y'all can be creative with the acronym if you like ;) ) linky party. You rock!

To make it as easy as possible for as many people to join the party, here's what we'll do:

1)  Link up a recent (within the last month -- See? Easy, right?) quilting/sewing project post. Please link to the specific post, not just your blog home page.
2)  Link back to my blog in your own post. I don't have a button for this shindig so just a regular old link will do just fine. :)
3)  Like at any good party, let's take some time to mingle and check out other people's TGIFF links, and comment away.

So we're on for this Friday, my blog, anytime after my post goes live (probably ~ 7 a.m. EST).

I'm a firm believer of the more, the merrier so feel free to spread the word.

Can't wait to see those finishes!

Monday, 12 September 2011

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours...

A finish, I mean. I have one! Funny how this one happened so soon after the kids went back to school.

I was thinking that it would be much more fun though if I could see some of your finishes too. What would you say to having a linky party to celebrate our recent finishes? Say this Friday? Call it a Thank Goodness it's Finished, Friday kind of thing. That would give me time to figure out the Linky party thingy.

So what do you say? Anyone in on this virtual show and share? If there are at least two or three of you who reply in the comments section that you are interested, I'll set it up.

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