Friday, 5 February 2016

TBT: the one with plaid

So my friend Jenn over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge runs a TBT linky party once a month. I like these trips down memory lane, remembering the how and why and what happened to those quilts of the past.

Today, I give you Bricks and Morter. One of my earliest children.The book says June 27, 1999. Here is the Photoshoot back then. Draped over a car at camp. That's right, I had the knack even back then!

It was bright and happy and well...plaid, which I still love. Today it is not quite as bright and shiny, but I use it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This quilt started its life as a camper, moved on to live in Roxbury while my hubbby and I were long distancing it, and now is my car quilt. Being there in case of emergency and protecting the back seat from dog and husband paws alike. 

It has been used. Which is what I think quilts should do. Be used. Being almost 20 years old, there is a lot of this happening

The fading is pretty heavy

And check out the dodgy binding and burn holes. Yes, burn holes.

This patch, which was clearly expertly attached, covers the biggest hole. Early weekend at the camp meant many quilts by the campfire. This one was a victim. Mind you I don't blame it entirely on the fire or the user. I blame the vodka. But that's another story, for another night.

Right, so here are a few poorly lit photos of this cherished member of our family. I'm glad I could share it with you.

Now, off to sneak off for some Friday Night Sewing! Oops, guess I missed the Thursday in TBT.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

I'm feeling mighty lucky

In an effort to learn stuff, I joined the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club this year. Each month you get a skill lesson with practice challenges. The first month was all about bias tape applique. Never done that before! So off I went to buy a bias tape maker, some double sided tape and hit the stash for some fabrics. Sewing time is limited so I skipped practice suggestions and went right for a challenge and made a mini-quilt of my own design. Don’t get all excited people, it’s only some circles…

After I picked some colors (Kona Tangerine, Watermelon and Melon) I hit the white and made a quilted base for the applique. Then using my handy mixing bowls, traced the circle I wanted to follow for the applique.

Then it was on to making the bias tape. Those little bias tape makers are so cool! I added the double side tape and started sticking it down.

And then, sewing! I used a pretty variegated thread since I did not have any to exactly match the colors of my circles (trying to work from my stash!). I added three circles to the piece.

Once the applique was on, it still needed a little something, so I echo quilted in the variegated thread just a bit.

Final step, binding and a trip to the yard for some photos.

Overall, this 17" mini makes me pretty happy. I learned something new and I have something made in these crazy colors, which are not me, but I have been completely obsessed with lately.

Have you taken on any new skill challenges lately? Would love to hear all about it!

PS - I will be linking this finish up with my 1st Quarter accomplishments for the 2016 Finish A Long.

Oh, and this was the sky in my front yard just before I took these pics. How great is this!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

I need a plan!

I do better with goals, deadlines, plans. So time to get back on the horse. 2015 was my "wild and crazy, no rules year". It was stressful. I guess being a Project Manager is not just a job but part of my inner most workings. I need a plan, a map for the weeks and months to come, and I need to report on it.

So with a few minutes to spare, I am jumping on the wagon with Stacey at SLOstudio for the 2016 Finish-A-Long. In years past I participated in A Lovely Year of Finishes (which I am sad to say ended this year). ALYOF was a monthly goal setting party and I really liked that structure to help keep my WiP work focused. But two posts a month seems daunting right now. The 2016 Finish-A-Long has quarterly reporting which I feel will be less hectic.

The stack of sheets. Oh, and a dirty sock. Don't judge me.

So my goal for this quarter is a biggie! I took on a commission before the holidays - to make five queen sized quilts from vintage sheets for a family. The sheets belonged to their aunt who they were all close to.

I am keeping it simple with just square patchwork, and have the five quilts cut.

Today was Maritime Modern Quilt Guilds Sew In, so against all winter weather odds, I packed my sheet bits and bobs and headed in. I finished the first top!

After Sew In, I continued sewing at home and I'm well into top number two. Now, to get all five quilts completed by the 31st...a lofty goal...but lets see how far I get... stranger things have happened

How cute is this embroidered detail? I have the Mr. too.
Have you linked up with the 2016 Finish-A-Long? There's still a few minutes before the linky closes. Off you go!


PS - for is my list of WiPs that I will be working on throughout the year:
  • Vintage Sheet Custom Quilts (Five Queens)
  • Metro Twist (Quick Curve Ruler Project)
  • Baby Quilt (Alex)
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Chicopee Triangles
  • Square Baby Quilt (three!)
  • QAYG Pillow Class Sample (Quilt Atlantic)
  • Modern BOM Quilt
  • Cammo Quilt
  • Mighty Lucky Monthly Project

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Yes, its a New Years Goal post. It's ok to skip

As of 8:13 pm Atlantic Time, this ladies and gentlemen is, on the right my stash, on the left the stack of bins, Works in Progress.

I also have two dresser drawers with yardage for backings and scraps. I did a big fabric de-clutter this past summer so I am feeling like my stash is not out of control or anything wild like that. BUT I do have lots of fabric. I mean enough fabric and current WiPs or ideas of things I REALLY want to make (for which I already have fabric) to keep me busy for the next couple of years, maybe three.

So really, why do I keep adding fabric to my stash? Because I love fabric. I want it. All of it. The end.
So am I going to say that I will not add any fabric to my stash this year, hell-to-the-no people, but I am going to be very mindful of sewing from what I have.

I do like myself some rules, mostly so that I can break them every so often if I am honest, so I am jumping on board with Jennifer at A Quarter Inch From The Edge for The Year of The Stash. Here is my manifesto as it were
  1. I'm going to look at what I have. There is some good shit in those bins. Time to use it. No more hoarding.
  2. I am in a Travelling Quilt Bee this year and have also signed up for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. So if I need things to accomplish those things. I'm doing it. Likewise I will get any fabric, batting, notions to complete WiPs. 
  3. Lets face it, if I am on any sort of road trip and get a chance to go to a fabric shop that is not on my usual route, I will probably buy something. I mean seriously. 
  4. Buy Local. This really should not be a fad. When I do need to spend, I will spend my hard earned dollars at my local LQS (or a Canadian on line shop if needed.)
  5. And, you know you want it, you would miss my OCD ways. I will track for my own enjoyment my WiPs, finishes, ideas and any stuff bought, just to see how I make out this year. Cause the tracking is half the fun! 
All right, that's it for now. Off to link up with Jenn!

Final note...In the spirit of this goal post I sewed out of my stash last night. Two pieces of fabric that I was hoarding are now a useful garment for the winter that is upon us. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Playing with words

I like words. As long as I can remember I have collected words. In school it was a diary with quotes and things I liked. Later, cuttings from magazines pasted in a "scrapbook", then Pinterest and a "Words" board. I am not such a great putter togetherer of words, but I like them and I have always wanted to do a quilt with words. I have had a million, well maybe ten or so, ideas over the years for word quilts, but they have never really materialized. Until now.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I was invited to participate in a Travelling Quilt quilt bee. How it works, you come up with a quilt idea, start it, then send it off to your bee mates. Each month we get a quilt to add to from each member in our group. At the end of the year the last person with the quilt quilts and binds it and then we each get back a finished quilt! I am stoked about this whole business. A little nervous about my skill level, as checking out my fellow bee mates, theses are some seriously skilled Canadian quilters. But I think I can keep up and it's all about the challenge for me this year.

We have had some amazing snow days this week, and I am on vacation (yahoo!) so into the studio I went a couple of days ago and started thinking about what kind of quilt I wanted my bee mates to contribute to. Words!!! I am going to start off with a phrase that inspires me, and then I will ask all to add to the quilt. They can add a word, a phrase, whatever they want! I think it will be cool to see what comes back, and the thing will have travelled the whole country!

I started with the phrase "Go Somewhere New". Simple, but powerful for me. I love going new places, exploring new things. And I need to get off my bum and do more of this. Also, I think it's kind of fun that my quilt will be going somewhere new each month. Lucky devil.

Once I had the phrase, I knew I wanted to paper piece my letters. Now my friend over at Purple Boots and Pigtails, who taught me improv letters this year,  will be appalled that I went to paper piecing. But I have not mastered the art of normal sized improv letters, they are all gigantic when I am done. I used Elizabeth Hartman's Fridge Magnet pattern (which I would give you a link too, but I no longer see this pattern in her shop). This pattern is meant for her special freezer paper template technique, but frankly, that looked like way too much work, so I just modified the pattern by tracing the letters in the reverse so that I could paper piece.

Given that this quilt will be ALL MINE in the end, I used some of my favorite new fabrics. Alison Glass's Abacus and some AMH Luminous. The luminous may not have been the easiest thing to Paper piece with, but it does give my letters a little bit of texture and some sparkle! Everyone needs sparkle.

Once the words were done I also wanted to add another shape to this starter block. I went with flying geese because I loooovveeesss them. I started making them using this method, but quickly had a hot mess on my hands. No points, weird sizes etc. I was rushing I think, excited to get it all together.

So I went back to paper piecing for the geese as well. Much better. The Points don't lie.

In the end I have a starter block that is likely way too big (28 x 15), and I don't expect my bee mates to make something so large, but I LOVE it. And I feel like I designed it all by my lonesome, so I love it even more.

As I am writing I realize that I will not see this wee bit of work back for a whole year! Weird and exciting. Cannot wait to see what the other chicks will add...

Have you taken on a new quilt along or bee, or something equally fun for 2016? I took a total break from all organized things in 2015 and it was good. But I need something to keep me focused and this bee will be fun me thinks.

Happy New Year!

ps. if you would like to follow snippets of our traveling quilts and happen to frequent Instagram you can find us at #travelingquiltscanada

Monday, 14 December 2015

A Patch of Geese: A Finish

Where did a month go? It went to hectic places people. But who wants to hear about that? Not me, let's talk quilting!

This quilt started nearly a year ago (and was finished and photographed a month ago I might add - hence the leaves still on the tree, they are gone now!)...I wanted to find a way to thank the owner, Chris, of Patch Halifax for her support of my wee Guild, the MMQG. Since opening just over a year ago, Chris has generously allowed us to meet at her shop for our monthly meetings. This has meant the world to us.

So of course, making a quilt for Chris was an obvious answer! I threw out the idea to the Guild and I quickly had eleven of my quilty peeps volunteer to make flying geese blocks. We used the Migration Block Tutorial.

Once I had all the blocks in hand, picking out a layout was a bit of a challenge. I wanted something simple, but those blocks are pretty busy! So I decided to make a "Patch" of geese in some negative space. Simple straight line quilting with some coordinating thread gave the whole thing a little something something.

Some of the blocks were not quite big enough for the main patch, but I did not want to leave anything out, so I chopped those babies up and made a pieced strip for the back.

When we gave the quilt to Chris at our November meeting she was so pleased. Chris recently had a new baby boy and with another little one already at home, getting a gift just for her was a nice treat!

We all know that the process of making a quilt makes us feel good, I mean why else would be cut up fabric and put it back together again? But making this quilt, with my Guild mates, felt extra special. I love giving things that I know will be loved in return.

Speaking of love - I have to share this last picture. My Husband was helping me take pictures on a very windy fall day and when I was going through the pictures...I found favorite. The PJs and rubber boots...that's my man!

My wee Guild is not so wee anymore and we have outgrown Chris's Shop, not a bad problem to have, but I will really miss meeting in such a creative atmosphere and surrounded by all of that fabric! That we have to move makes me even more happy that we were able to gift Chris this flimsy to remember us by! Mind you I am sure none of us will be strangers to Patch...did I mention the fabric?

Well I better get back to the Christmas sewing. Its a race!
Ho Ho Ho