Sunday, 30 September 2012

Colour My World Orange - When a Good Black Hole Goes Bad

I'll be honest -- this one is bad. I went to bed, thinking that it was pretty bad, but it didn't look so bad this morning when I woke up. Then I started taking pictures and well, let's just say I'm not feeling the love. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

It's supposed to be a representation of this photo of a black hole at the core of NGC 4261:
From The Hubble Site
But I'm thinking that it looks more like an amoeba ate that black hole. Hmm.
Black hole-eating amoeba.

Is this its better side? Nope.
I originally had something else in mind for this challenge, but I want to use it for the Wicked Blog Hop later in October.

It wasn't until Thursday that I came across this Crab Nebula quilt by Jimmy McBride in the latest Quilter's Newsletter that I decided to try something spacey. I found the photo on The Hubble Site. I picked a very simple one, but wow, there are some stunning photos on that site.
This way then? Nada.

I then used the photo quilt technique by Maria Elkins that I've been wanting to try for a few years now. Once the layers were fused on, I did tight quilting using mostly Aurifil (#5009, 5002, 1104, 2230, and 2240). At least I still love the thread!

Perhaps in better light? Niet.

Like my other challenge pieces, this one measures 14.5" square, finished with a zig zag stitch.

October's colour is grey. More to come this week on this smoking colour! Maybe next month, I'll do a black hole eating an amoeba...

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, 28 September 2012

A Wee TGIFF! And I Know You Wanna Be Canadian Please

Happy Friday, all! First, I must show you this AWESOME video. I wouldn't be surprised if the applications to become Canadian skyrocket in the coming months as a direct result of this video. ;)

The sad/funny thing? I named a bunch of the moves correctly before the names popped up!


This small finish was started in the workshop I took with Heather Lair this summer. It's torn-strip appliqué and uses mostly the hand-painted fabric I made in her class. This is how it looked at the end of the class:

And this is Torn Landscape finished:
Torn Landscape
I'm pretty happy with it considering that it's a first attempt and was started in a rush. The texture of the raw edges is better in real life and I plan to try this again in a larger piece. It's 4" by 6" and finished with a satin stitch around the edge. I can see using a lot of scraps up with these kind of projects. If you'd like to see more of this style of landscape, check out Heather Lair Designs. Her work is gorgeous!

I also finished this little selvage pincushion. It's filled with crushed walnut shells (pet supply store). It's my first selvage project and first pincushion. I liked working with selvages so there will be more to come...

Linking up with Kristy at Quiet Play. She finished a stunning paper pieced Iris wallhanging. Seriously awesome!

And since I did get some randomness in today, I'm also linking up with Cindy at Live a Colourful Life for Really Random Thursday...even though it's Friday because this randomness was just too awesome to wait until next week.
Live A Colorful Life
And since I'm also feeling felicitous of being Canadian today, I'm going to link up with fellow Canuck Felicity for Friday Felicities.
Have a great weekend! Hope you get some dance time in!

P.S. I'll be putting up the Colour My World Orange Challenge linky on Sunday. :)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Hustling From Now Until The End of the World

I survived Beaver camp -- yay! -- but brought home a cold -- boo! We actually had a fabulous time and the weather was much better than forecasted. Phew! It was so fun introducing Daniel to canoeing and camping and watching him experience a campfire and sleeping in a tent for the first time. Now that I'm back from hustling kids to and fro, I can get back to hustling other things...


HBC Point Blanket Quilt Top
Back in January, I set some pretty big quilty goals for this year. I've been meaning to review them, but other things kept snagging my attention. When I started seeing posts for The 100 Day Hustle with Kelsey Sews though, I thought it was a perfect chance to get back on track! Great idea, Kelsey!

Let's review and update my goals - updates are bolded in burgundy:

1) Not just starting quilts, but finishing them!
  • Since I'm hosting TGIFF! once a month, I'd like to have a quilt finished per month. Some of these will hopefully be:
    • A quilt to cover our own poor bed! - My Hudson's Bay Point Blanket quilt is half-way quilted - Doable!
    • A leader/ender quilt for the guest room - Hmm, not sure about this one!
    • More charity quilts - Achieved, but this will be ongoing.
    • A few things off my bucket list - Achieved. Tulip à la Elaine Quelh, HBC point blanket quilt in progress.
    • FINISH MY EXISTING WIPs - they are out of control! - Yikes! I better hustle!
Modern Block Monday - Diamond Ripples
2) Design:
  • Design a quilt to share online. - In progress. I shared the measurements and instructions for the HBC point blanket quilt top, but not the back or binding yet.
  • Modern Block Monday - Make and share a block from Modern Blocks every Monday. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book! I don't think I'll do all of the blocks in the book but I'd like to make a Modern Block Sampler. - 24 blocks done. Will need to pull this out to see what's left to do.
  • Raise my EQ so that I don't turn into a Wild Thing every time I use Electric Quilt. I will start learning EQ from the beginning AGAIN! This is attempt number 3, but I'll post my misadventures here so I don't give up this time. I really don't get what the block (ha ha) is that I have with this program but I will succeed this year. As I figure out this program, I'll make and post some of the designs that I make. - I designed two quilts on EQ this year. Still turn into a Wild Thing though.
  • Do a tutorial on the growth chart. Done! You can check it out here.
Tulip à la Elaine Quelh/
Colour My World Purple Challenge
3) Colour:
  • Colour My World Challenge - This one is going to be a fun experiment and challenge! Each month, I will be doing a small project (12" by 12" or 14" by 14") focusing on one colour. Red, blue and purple will probably be easy. White, orange and brown, not so much. The Colour My World Challenge is going very well! 
  • Once I figure out EQ, use it to experiment with different colour schemes, especially those outside of my comfort zone. Achieved, but by using the Stash Play game.
4) Technique:
  • Achieve a consistent 1/4" seam allowance. Seriously, I've been quilting for um-13 + years and I still can't do this properly. It's why I don't make blocks. This will change. - Achieved! 
  • Learn and practice more free motion quilting - participating in the QAYGFMQQAL and the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Project should help achieve this goal. Achieved with What the FMQAYGQAL?, although my participation in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Project has ebbed a bit. Will fix that.
  • Learn and experiment more with new-to-me techniques:
Very good progress overall for the year, but still some BHAGs (Big, hairy audacious goals) left to go. To recap, for my 100 Day Hustle, I will:
  • Finish the HBC Point Blanket quilt and share the rest of the instructions online.
  • Catch up on the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.
  • Try machine-pieced curves.
  • Finish five projects from my On hold/UFO mashup list, one of which will be a quilt for the guest room.
  • Keep working with EQ.
Right! Gulp! Off to hustle now...
Kelsey Sews

Friday, 21 September 2012

TGIFF! - Oh My {Modern} Goodness!

It's Friday and I'm definitely celebrating! I finished my Modern Goodness top. Woo hoo!

I'm finally getting a consistent 1/4" seam!

So most of my points are meeting properly!

Here is the completed top, trying to blend in.

But I think there's some good pop.

Some lessons learned...the hard way... :)
  • When you've got a specific colour layout, number the rows and/or the blocks. 
  • Sew the bias edges of your triangles first. The Hex N More ruler actually helps you know which side is on the crossgrain (the tip is cut off). Try to sew this side last as it is the most stable (minimize stretch).
  • Starch or Best Press is also helpful for minimizing stretch.
  • Be very careful not to pull on the triangle edges as they are being sewn so you don't stretch the sides of the triangles.
  • Use the little seam tips in the triangles for lining up points when doing rows. Once the rows are sewn together, then trim off the tips to minimize bulk. 
I also finished September's Don't Worry {Bee} Happy block for Charlotte of Twelfth Zodiac. Such great taste in colour and fabrics the women of this Bee have!

I'm linking up with Jane of Where Jane Creates because she's hosting TGIFF! this week. She has finished a lovely 10 year WIP. Way to go, Jane!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I will be spending mine in the rain with nine Beavers. If you don't hear from me next week, send some hot toddies. ;)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Random Acts of Randomness

Cindy from Live a Colorful Life has started a great new linky party called Really Random Thursdays. I just happen to have a couple of random things that I'd thought I'd share with you today.

The Quilt Balloon
Hot Air Balloon Festival in Gatineau, Quebec, 2012
A few weeks ago, we took the kids to the Hot Air Balloon Festival across the river in Gatineau. We love this festival -- there's just something so simple and awesome about seeing a hot air balloon fill up and lift off. This year, we took some good friends of ours and the kids went ballistic when the balloons took off. It was hilarious!

Anyways, my oldest turned to me at one point and said, "Mommy, I know which balloon is your favourite." "Really? Which one?" "The one that looks like a quilt!" he replied proudly. How adorable is that?! And he was so right. :D

I pinned the TinEye Labs site a while back to share on the blog, but keep forgetting. On TinEye Labs Multicolor Engine, you can select up to five colours from its palette and it will pull up images from Flickr that include those colours. Such wonderful photos too! But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. They also have a color extraction feature that allows you to upload a photo or enter in an image url and it will pull out what colours are in the photo and their percentage of the whole. Serious awesomeness. (I have no affiliation whatsoever with the site, BTW).

Live A Colorful Life
So happy random Thursday!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Works in Progress Wednesday - September 19, 2012

I'm struggling a bit with low energy this week so this will not be a 'scintillating' post by any means. ;)

New Projects: No! There is a moratorium on starting new projects...but not designing new projects. I've been playing with a couple of designs for another triangle quilt.

Completed Projects:
Heathia - It's done and shared.

Wee Spy Quilt - Made for a silent auction to raise funds for a local park renovation. Um, it didn't raise much funds. Oh well. It's getting a new home in the Queen Charlotte Islands! 

Current Projects: 

Modern GoodnessMaking good progress and I'm almost finished the top.

Torn-strip Appliqué Landscape - no progress.

Appliqué/Quilt/Paint Thing - no progress.

Mini I Spy Charity Quilt - no progress.

Spiral/Spring seta colour
Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

Out-of-Control WIP Wednesday Recap:
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 2
Current projects: 7
On Hold/UFO: 14

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Stash Play - Saffron Tones

It's Stash Play time and I hope you'll play along. This is great little game to practice colour and fabric selection. As I explained last week, the 'rules' are really simple. Go to Design Seeds (or any other palette source) and choose a colour palette. The palette you choose can be one that you actually want to use in a quilt or one you just want to play with.

Once you've chosen your palette, find fabrics in your stash or even from online shops that work with the palette. You can stick to the palette closely or use it as a jumping off point for finding a solid fabric selection from your stash. No big colour analysis needed or even doing solids vs. prints like I did last week or the week before; just find fabrics that work with the palette. Also, feel free to choose more fabrics than the number of colours on the palette. My palette today has five colours, but my print fabric selection has 13. Do a blog post and link up below so we can learn from you. Sound good? Excellent.

Let's play...

Today's challenge for me is Saffron Tones from Design Seeds. Warm colours, cool neutrals.

saffron tones

In solids: Yes!
From left to right: 1. White - Heritage Solids
2. Ash - Kona
3. No idea - Heritage Solids
4. No idea - Heritage Solids
5. No idea - Heritage Solida
In prints:

1. Annie's Seed Catalogue by LakeHouse
2. White on white print - No idea
3. Handspray by R.J.R. Fabrics
4. Grey mottle - No idea
5. Colonial Garden by Northcott
6. The Typographical Elements Collection by Andover
7. Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose for Moda
8. Orange mottle by Cranston Village
9. Garden Glory by Northcott
10. Mustard mottle - No idea
11. Orange striated fabric - Robert Kaufman?
12. Innocent Indulgence by Wilmington Prints
13. Yellow swirl - No idea
14. Over the Moon by Spring Industries
I found the basket weave (Garden Glory) too strong, but the rest works nicely, I think:

1. Annie's Seed Catalogue by LakeHouse
2. White on white print - No idea
3. Handspray by R.J.R. Fabrics
4. Grey mottle - No idea
5. Colonial Garden by Northcott
6. The Typographical Elements Collection by Andover
7. Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose for Moda
8. Orange mottle by Cranston Village
9. Mustard mottle - No idea
10. Orange striated fabric - Robert Kaufman?
11. Innocent Indulgence by Wilmington Prints
12. Yellow swirl - No idea
13. Over the Moon by Spring Industries

Thursday, 13 September 2012

TGIFF! - Heathia

Happy Friday/almost Friday everyone and welcome to TGIFF!, where we share and celebrate our quilty finishes.

I'm definitely doing the happy dance with my Heathia finish this week.

This wallhanging was started in a workshop with Heather Lair this summer. We looked at the fabulous work of Sonia Delaunay, a Russian-French artist and designer, who inspired some of Heather's art. As my piece really combines both of their influences, I decided to call it Heathia. :)

When I shared this with you a couple of weeks ago, it was at this stage:

Top Before Borders
To finish it, I laid it on a larger piece muslin to give it a border effect. Then I quilted it within a 1/4" of it's life with my walking foot. Heather showed us a way to add another layer of design with this style of quilting - love, love, love. I used Aurifil (28 wt. light blue-grey - 2612) that Alex Veronelli of Aurifil generously sent me in the spring. I've been looking for a project to play with some of those threads and I knew this one was going to be perfect.

Quilting Detail

Quilting Detail
I know I've said it before, but I love Aurifil thread! I quilted just over half of this piece with one bobbin. I kept checking the bobbin because I was sure that I was running low, but nope. It's nice and thin so the bobbin holds a lot more than some of the other threads I've used and there's very little lint. I really like how fine the thread looks on this piece too -- no knobbies (is that even a word?).

I loved doing the quilting this way; it adds great texture to the quilt. When I got bored doing lines in one direction, I'd just switch it up and start going in another. I think the 1/4" spacing between quilting lines gives enough continuity so that you can switch directions or shapes easily. Does that make sense? I also added in one circle of red orange thread for a bit of pop in the quilting.

Check out the back:

Heathia - Back
I faced it in blue (using this tutorial by Susan Brubaker-Knapp) because I thought that the blue facing would add a little pop of colour from the side. I'm wondering a bit if I shouldn't have used the muslin though.
Heathia - Front
Quiltography: "Heathia," by Michèle-Renée Charbonneau, Ottawa, 20" by 28", 2012.

Thank you so much, Heather, for teaching me how to do this. I definitely see more of this style of work in my future.

Colour My World Orange

Color icon orange v2.svg
I can't believe I forgot to do the intro to orange. Well, better late than never! This month's Colour My World challenge colour is orange. What a more perfect colour to explore as we head into Fall (at least in the northern atmosphere). The leaves are already starting to turn here. Lovely!

Orange is a really interesting colour. The real question about orange is, which came first -- the colour or the fruit? Well, according to Mental Floss, where "knowledge junkies get their fix", the fruit came first. Before the word orange was introduced to the English-speaking world, the colour was referred to as some Old English word (ġeolurēad) for yellow-red. Aren't you glad the word orange came along from Old French/Sanskrit/Dravidian languages? According to Wikipedia, there's also no true rhyme for orange in the English language. Go ahead, give it a try...

Orange is the complimentary colour of blue and as such is highly visible against a clear sky. Makes sense that safety orange is often used in clothing and objects that need to be highly visible, such as safety equipment and signs, eh? As unflattering as it is for most of us to wear, prisoners are often dressed in orange clothing to make them easier to see if they try to escape. Sucks to be them!

Orange is also an energizing colour and stimulates the senses. According to Dream Moods, orange denotes hope, friendliness, courtesy, generosity, liveliness, sociability, and an out-going nature. If you drive an orange car, you are fun-loving, talkative, fickle, and trendy. And did you know that San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is actually painted a Deluxe International orange, not red?

Interestingly, orange represents the sin of gluttony. It's also the name and colour of the Orange Order. And I'm sure few can forget the tragic consequences of using Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Have you seen Annoying Orange? It's aptly named.

Orange is also used positively throughout the world though. Orange is one of the colours to denote Thanksgiving and Halloween in North America. It's one of the colours of the New Democratic Party here in Canada.

Orange is the colour for Thursday on the Thai solar calendar in Thailand. Anyone may wear orange on Thursday and anyone born on a Thursday may adopt orange as their colour.
Saffron, red and white have always been the most prominent colours of Hinduism and have been regularly worn, particularly in religious ceremonies, in India for more than 2000 years.

Orange is also the national colour of the Netherlands. The Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau, gets its name from it's former holding in the south of France, the principality of Orange. The title Prince of Orange is still refers to the Dutch heir.

"The Gates", an enviromental art exhibit by artist Christo and his wife Jeanne Claude, debuted in New York City's Central Park in 2005. It contained 7503 orange-coloured fabric panels throughout the park.

If you'd like to do some more reading on this colour, here are a few resources for the colour orange:
I used to hate orange. What a brash colour, I thought. It's definitely grown on me over the last year or so though and I'm looking forward to this month's challenge and getting know this colour better.

What would you do with this colour? What does this colour make you think of -- leaves, pumpkins, oranges, safety signs, tiger lillies, tigers? If you'd like to participate in this challenge, I'll be putting up the linky party on Sunday, September 30 and will leave it open for the rest of the year.

See you on the quilt side,

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Works in Progress Wednesday - September 12, 2012

Oh WIP maker, it has been six weeks since my last WIP report and I'm afraid that I've fallen off the wagon. I have started four projects and only completed two. Sigh! In my defence, they really are fun projects. :)

New Projects: 

Modern Goodness - Loving this new project!

Heathia - It's done. Woo hoo! I'll be sharing this on Friday when I host TGIFF! Remember, if you've got a recent finish, you are welcome to come link up and celebrate. Here's a sneak peek:

Torn-strip Appliqué Landscape -

Appliqué/Quilt/Paint Thing -

Completed Projects:
Don't Worry {Bee} Happy - August's Block is for Alisha of A Squared Craft Affair.

Colour My World White - Finished and shared.

Current Projects: 
Mini I Spy Charity Quilt - Top completed. This is the project I was working on when I cut my thumb. I had intended to do the Jester quilting motif for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge, but got a bit sidelined by the rotary cutter. I know y'all are, I didn't bleed on the fabric. :D

Hudson's Bay Point Blanket Quilt - Half way quilted. Good Lord is straight line quilting boring!

Stained Glass Lillies - Progress on the stems/leaves. Yay!

On Hold/UFO Mash-up:
Modern Block Monday Sampler - No progress. On hold until the Fall. Oh crap, it's Fall. I'll be pulling this out and 
Selvage pincushions - No progress.
Chop Suey
Wee Spy quilt
Spiral/Spring seta colour
Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

Out-of-Control WIP Wednesday Recap:
New projects: 5
Completed projects: 2
Current projects: 4
On Hold/UFO: 15

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