Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Colour My World Grey

Happy Halloween, all! I have no idea where October went, but here we are, one of my favourite days of the year! It's also the last day for OctoberQuest at TGIFF! so get those finishes linked up before midnight to be eligible for the two gift certificates from Mad About Patchwork.

This is the first colour in a few months for the Colour My World Challenge that I've been really excited about. Well, I wasn't excited at the beginning of the month, but I was once I got a fun design idea. I suspect some of the excitement may be due to sleep deprivation, but we're going with it!

This month I wanted to use machine-pieced curves -- drunkard's path block, to be precise. Previous attempts to do precise machine-pieced curves have not gone well, but it's one of my goals for this year.  I even used EQ to design it (with only a little lot of cursing this time).
Grey Challenge in EQ
I used four tones of grey solids. The piecing went okay, but it is wonky at some of the points. Also there's a lot of bulk at the points (probably why the curves for most drunkard's path blocks don't go right to the seam -- lesson learned). I still need more practice, but at least I'm closer to being able to make this.

Once my little challenge piece was pieced (ha ha), I played with some quilting designs using trial quilting sheets. Originally I wanted to do some wind effects, in honour of Hurricane Sandy, but as I played around with the designs, this is what came up.

Colour My World Grey - Front
I used white and grey Aurifil, as well as some black Coats and Clark, to play with value in the quilting too. Once again, taking the time to play with the quilting designs using the trial quilting sheets paid off and I'm very happy with the quilting.
Quilting Detail
Quilting Detail
Quilting Detail
 And the back...
Quilting Detail - Back
As with my other challenges, this one is 14.5" by 14.5", with a zig zag stitch finish until the other challenges are done.

Next month's colour is blue! Let's see if I can get the info post up sooner than the 22nd this month. ;)

Linking up with Lynette at What A Hoot! for OctoberQuest with TGIFF!

And since this is something I've been working on this week, I'm linking in to WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network and to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Right Click to Save Image

Blessed Be!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Modern Goodness - TGIFF! and Blogger's Quilt Festival

Happy Friday! For those coming from TGIFF! and the Blogger's Quilt Festival, welcome! Today, I'm sharing my Modern Goodness quilt.

The quilt uses shades of green and grey, specifically lime, cactus, ash, charcoal Kona and medium grey from Heritage Solids. I've been wanting to do an equilateral triangle quilt for some time so when I saw Julie Herman's HexNMore ruler, I knew it was for me. I have to say that I love this ruler - four shapes in one, it's so clever. I already have a few other projects in mind using this ruler and one is even a hexie project.

Front: Modern Goodness
The back is made of scraps from the front. I do enjoy the challenge of trying to use what what's left from the front.
Back: Modern Goodness

Quilting Detail - Stars

With the graphic design, I thought simple quilting was in order. It's quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. 5016 in straight lines, echoing the seams. A fun surprise was the pattern the quilting made -- stars that show up beautifully on the back! Love! I bound it in the lime green for some pop along the edges.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 43" x 50″
Special techniques used : bias-edge piecing
Quilted by : M-R Charbonneau
Best Category : Throw, Favourite Two Colour quilt

The TGIFF! party this week is over with Lynette at What A Hoot! She has finished a gorgeous reproduction quilt. It's the last week for OctoberQuest so if you've finished one or more quilts this month, link up!

There's always fabulous inspiration with Amy and the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Definitely worth a looksee, as well!

Amy's Creative Side

Thanks for stopping by and happy quilting!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Colour My World Grey

Color icon gray v2.svg
Whoops, I did it again. I almost forgot to write the info post for Colour My World Grey this month. Only three months left and I have to admit that I'm struggling a bit with this challenge. I'll complete it though 'cause this is the real challenge part. :)

So let's talk about grey or gray, depending where you are from. Grey is the British, Canadian, Australian, Irish, New Zealand and South African spelling and gray is the preferred American spelling, although both are acceptable variants.

Grey is not a colour I used in my quilts until I made this burgundy and grey one for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law four or five years ago. I had the hardest time finding grey batiks. Of course, now they are all over the place!

According to Sensational Color, "Gray is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color."

Forget fifty shades of grey, the human eye can actually distinguish about 500 shades of grey. That said there are few names for them. According to the Oxford Dictionaries blog, there are only a few names for shades of grey e.g. dove-gray, battleship-grey, pearl-gray, cinereous and cinereal. Seriously, who uses cinereous or cinereal?! Both mean ash-coloured, by the way. Wikipedia suggests a few more grey names like Davy's Grey, Cadet Grey, and even Xanadu, but most shades of grey are described in terms of how light or dark it is.

Some random interesting grey tidbits:
  • Grey is often associated with things that are dull and boring and represents pessimism.
  • "Greys" has been used by environmentalists to describe technophiles as being those who like granite, concrete and other city materials versus "greens" for environmentalists.
  • The expression "grey area" is used to describe situations that have no clear moral value, or more positively, to balance an all-black or all-white view (for example, shades of grey represent magnitudes of good and bad).
  • Scandinavian folklore often depicts their gnomes and nisser in grey clothing. This is partly because of their association with dusk, partly because these races, including elves, often are outside moral standards (black or white). 
  • "Grey power" is used to refer to the economic or social influence of the elderly.
  • The Gray Panthers work for economic and social justice.
  • Having a lot of "grey matter" (brains) is a good thing. 
  • Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. 
  • Those who can read auras say that those who are suffering from the mental illness of depression have grey auras.
  • Driving a silver or grey car says that you are elegant, love futuristic looks, cool. Yeah, baby, yeah!
Some other fun resources for grey:
So what do you think you would you do with the softer black or the white with edge? Linky party will go up on Wednesday, October 31st!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Now There's Some Cheek!

Cheeky Pumpkin
Welcome to my stop on the Wicked Blog Hop! The tour starts today and runs until October 31st. I'm very excited to be a part of kicking this Wickedness off!

If you are new to my blog, welcome! I have an eclectic assortment of finished quilts and projects on the go at any given time and I love to try new techniques. I also co-organize TGIFF!, a fun, touring finish linky party with Laura of Quokka Quilts. We are celebrating our first anniversary this month with OctoberQuest, where participants get a chance to win one of two $50 gift certificates to Mad About Patchwork!

For this blog hop, participants were asked to make a 10.5" or a 12.5" unfinished block that fit the Wicked theme. I wanted to play with dark purple and orange. I had thought about doing this for my Colour My World Orange challenge, but wanted to use purple and green so I saved this project for the Wicked Blog Hop 'cause what's more wicked than an asymmetrical 1/4 pumpkin? Such wickedness not to show the whole thing! Don't you wonder what it's hiding? So cheeky!

This block is made using fusible web appliqué and it can be made either 10.5" or 12. 5". You could also add some wording or do some funky quilting in the negative space. This would also be a great project for some thread painting on the pumpkin or satin stitching the edges down. Or you could just leave it plain. Oh, the possibilities!

To make this Cheeky Pumpkin:

5 values of orange going from light to dark -- 1 is the lightest and 5 is the darkest (Tip: Take a photo or a photocopy of the oranges to make sure that you can see the differences in value). You can use prints or solids (I used a mix of both)
2 values of green
11" by 11" or 13" by 13" purple for the background
Paper-backed fusible web (SteamASeam 2, Misty Fuse)

1. Print out the pumpkin template (Note: The template is the mirror image of your final pumpkin).
2. Your orange value 2 fabric is the foundation for your pumpkin. Use the template to trace the shape of the whole pumpkin onto the freezer paper (Tip: Use a light box or window to help see the lines through the fusible web paper).
3. Cut it out roughly and iron it to the back of your orange value 2 fabric.
4. Cut out the pumpkin along the lines, remove the paper and lay it on your purple background.
5. Trace all the orange value 1 shapes onto the paper side of the paper-backed fusible web. Roughly cut them out, iron to the back of orange value 1 fabric and trim to the traced shapes. Remove the paper and place in position on the pumpkin, using the template as a guide.
6. Repeat step 5 for each of the orange values starting with orange value 3. As you will be layering value 4 on top of orange value 3, make the bottom of your orange value 3 pieces longer so they will tuck under value 4. Do the same with orange value 4 fabric shapes for value 5. Layer them on the pumpkin, using the template as a guide.
7. For the stem, trace one foundation stem piece for green value 7 (the darker one) onto the fusible web.  
8. Repeat step 5 for green value 6 (the lighter one) and layer it on top of green value 7.
9. Once all the pieces are in position to your satisfaction, iron them down to they are secure on the purple background. Embellish as desired and trim the block to your desired size.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment or send me an email. Let me know if you give this a try, I'd love to see it!

Thanks Wendy for organizing a great hop! Hope you had a Wicked time while you were here and do check out the other fabulous stops on the Wicked Blog Hop tour today:

Quilt Matters (Oui, c'est moi!)
Sew Paint Create

See you on the quilt side!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Works in Progress Wednesday - Save Big Bird!

Another two-fer. And this pattern will probably continue for the next little while. Son #1 wants a Harry Potter birthday party and I'm only too happy to oblige. I'm trying to play it cool with him, but I'm so EXCITED; it's a little ridiculous. Thankfully, there are tons of great Harry Potter party plans and ideas out there that I don't have to think them up myself. :D It's going to be Legend...wait-for-it...ary!

Don't forget that you can still link up finished quilty projects to TGIFF! for OctoberQuest! For each finished project you link up, you'll have a chance at one of two $50 gift certificates from Mad About Patchwork. Also, all participants get a 10% discount at Mad About Patchwork for the month -- TGIFF10 is the promo code. This week's party will be at Echinops & Aster!

New Projects:

Save Big Bird: They are doing a silent auction at the hubster's work so I made another wee spy quilt for the auction. Still smarting from the last silent auction experience, I decided to have a bit of fun with this one, even if it's a bit of just-in-my-head fun. I put some Sesame Street fabric for the back in protest of Mitt Romney's hope to axe Big Bird and PBS. Yes, it's my little quilty political statement. Maybe this will get me a job in the States should I ever move back there...'cause some people still have me in their binders, you know Mitt (For a giggle, check out ;) Okay, so very few people at the hubster's work will guess why I used this fabric, but it kept me entertained. :)
Monkey #1 sneaks into the picture

Completed Projects:
Canadiana - Hudson's Bay Point Blanket QuiltFinished! Finished! Woo hoo! Blogged about here.

Current Projects: 

Modern Goodness - Finished the backing and started quilting it. I forgot to take a picture of the back before I started quilting it though.

Spiral/Spring seta colour
Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday Recap: Woo hoo! We're under 20!
New projects: 1
Completed projects: 2
Current projects: 1
On Hold/UFO: 17

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Q3 FA{I}L So On To Q4

2012 Finish-A-LongWith the kids home from school and fall activities, I knew the third quarter for the Finish-A-Long with Rhonda from Quilter In The Gap was going to be tough. I thought I could still finish three projects though. Apparently not. Oh well, let's move them to Q4 and add one more...

1) Hudson's Bay Point Blanket Quilt: It may not have gotten done in Q3, but it's done for Q4!

2) Seeing the Forest for the Trees Quilt:

All of the blocks are done and the sashing is cut.

3) Red and Tan Wedding Ring Quilt:

Trapunto in the centres and finish this way-overdue wedding present. And do the tutorial for trapunto!

4) Modern Goodness:

Will be working on the backing next...

How about you? Any goals for this quarter?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

TGIFF! - Canadiana à la Hudson's Bay

Buoy in St. Andrews-
New Brunswick
Welcome to the next TGIFF! party for OctoberQuest! Is the opportunity of winning one of two $50 gift certificates to Mad About Patchwork getting you to pull out that WIP or UFO to finish? We hope so! Also don't forget that you can also get 10% off your purchases throughout the month by using the TGIFF10 code.

My finish this week is about six months in the making, but has been on my wish list much longer. The Hudson's Bay Company's point blankets have an interesting and not-always-positive history. I had one as a child and although I loved the colours, I always found the wool too itchy. Why not try the design in a quilt?

Quick recap:



There were a couple of things that stumped me with this one, the first being that I wanted to match the thread to the colours on the front and was worried about the coloured top threads showing up on the back. Also, I was unsure how to keep the back stripes perpendicular and square to the front ones and how to keep the tight horizontal straight-line quilting from distorting the vertical stripes on the back. I hemmed and hawed, wondering if there were some tricks or techniques I could use, but ultimately I knew that I had to baste very carefully and just do it.

And done it is! Woo hoo!

Front - Canadiana
Back - Canadiana
Detail - Straight-line quilting

For the straight-line quilting in the off-white areas, I tried using a hera marker to help mark the straight line. Not successful on white or such a wide quilt. I kept losing where the line was. Once again, I forgot to use the little straight-line quilting guide that came with my walking foot. D'oh!

Distortion on
the back from
the quilting
Back - Flips on the monkey bars
Even though I did stabilize the quilt by quilting every four inches first, there were a few areas of the vertical stripes on the back that did get slightly distorted when I filled it in. Not enough to make me unpick though. It's the back after all and this quilt is going to be used until it's threadbare, stained and holey. Lesson learned: stabilize it every two or even one inch before filling in more densely.

For the colour pops of thread on the back that I worried about, I tightened the top tension just a little bit so that the top thread wouldn't show on the back -- it worked very well!

Now I have my own soft, cuddly HBC point blanket quilt! And you can too. I posted the instructions for the top back in May and I will post the material requirements and instructions for the back and binding of this quilt soon.

Now it's your turn, fine people! Link up those fab finishes, grab a glass of something fine and give thanks for the week that was.

A reminder of the rules for OctoberQuest:
  1. Your quilty project must be completely finished (As much as we love celebrating quilt tops or completed blocks, they will not be eligible for the prizes).
  2. You may enter more than one finish and even more than one finish each week. Just add a link for each finish to one of the linky parties. The linky parties will stay open from their start date until the end of the month.
  3. Your post/photo on Flickr/Picasa must have a link back to the TGIFF! site and the particular party you are participating in. 
  4. Link up your quilty finish in any of the TGIFF! linky parties this month:
  5. OctoberQuest will be open until October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be picked via Ms. Random Number Generator on November 1st and notified via email. Please make sure we can contact you via email or we will need to run Ms. Random again.

I'm also linking up with Sew Modern Monday at CanoeRidge Creations. Some great modern inspiration over there!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Let The Quilting Debauchery Begin!

I've been focussing on the HBC point blanket quilt and I'm very happy to say that I'm done the quilting!

When people ask me how long it takes to make a quilt, I give the usual, "Oh, it depends on the size, how detailed the pattern is and how intricate the quilting is." I find it's usually the piecing that takes the longest, but I now have a quilt where the quilting took about 10 times the amount of time that the piecing took. I'm now on the binding and I'll be sharing this quilt next week when it's my turn to host TGIFF!

Speaking of TGIFF!, our first Friday of OctoberQuest is up and running over at Better Off Thread. Janice has a gorgeous Over The Rainbow Mini Quilt to share and there's already a number of beautiful projects linked up from which to draw some inspiration! You are also more than welcome to link up one or more of your own finishes throughout the month of October and you'll be entered into a draw for one of two $50 gift certificates for Mad About Patchwork. Also, if you missed the announcement on Tuesday, Mad About Patchwork is also offering 10% off purchases for the month of October to TGIFF! participants - the code is TGIFF10.

Not that I'm eligible, but I'm eyeing this bundle of 13 fat quarters from Patty Young's Andalucia collection for Michael Miller...yummy!

Andalucia Bundle

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, my favourite holiday. :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get to enjoy some turkey if you are celebrating Thanksgiving too. Gobble Gobble!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Works in Progress Wednesday - October 3, 2012

I'm looking at my crazy-ass WIP list and trying to figure out what I can finish this month for OctoberQuest with TGIFF! I'm very excited that Mad About Patchwork has offered up a couple of gift certificates as prizes and a 10% discount for all participants this month. I think it's going to be fun!

It's been two weeks since my last WIP post so this is a twofer. While it looks like I've done a lot, what this actually means is that I haven't been getting much sleep. Add in that son #3 has a nasty cold and is up 3 or 4 times a night and what you have here is a walking zombie. Not enough hours in the day!

New Projects: The moratorium on starting new projects is barely hanging on by a thread. I'm planning my Don't Worry {Bee} Happy blocks for my month, which is November. I've got to start cutting...

Completed Projects:
Torn Landscape:

Selvage Pincushion: Filled and sewed!

Don't Worry {Bee} Happy Block for September:

Colour My World Orange: My sad little black hole-eating amoeba.

Current Projects: 

Modern Goodness - Finished the top. Next up is the backing using some of the scraps from the front and some quilting in lime green.

Hudson's Bay Point Blanket Quilt - Almost done the quilting! Thank goodness for audio books to alleviate the mind-numbing boredom of straight-line quilting a queen-sized quilt. This one is going to be getting my focus over the next few days.

Spiral/Spring seta colour
Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

Out-of-Control WIP Wednesday Recap:
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 4
Current projects: 2
On Hold/UFO: 17

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