Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The orphan found a home - "Grand Illusion" Quiltville's 2014 mystery quilt

Some people open their doors to stray dogs and cats.  Me?  Well, yes I probably couldn't turn a stray animal away, but neither can I turn away a quilt that needs finishing.

This beautiful "Grand Illusion" was passed on to me by a friend who realized that all the little pieces that make up a Bonnie Hunter quilt just aren't her thing.  She's much happier doing paper piecing.  But me?  I love all the small pieces.  My friend had the majority of the quilt put together.  I just had to assemble the rows, finish the pieced borders and sew it together.

I could hardly wait to add the quilting stitches to it.  I chose a pantograph called "Cashmere".
I usually like my thread to disappear but because of the mostly dark colours in this quilt decided to go a bit wild and quilt it with a darker teal thread (Glide brand).

Laying down the first row

Millie with Quiltpath in motion!

I'm very happy with the results on this quilt. I love the movement and the feathers.  I haven't bound it yet because I will need to find a suitable batik for binding.  Or I could just use a black that I have in my stash.  No rules right?  Who says it has to be a batik binding?  Who am I kidding?  I'm kind of a purist so I know I won't be fully satisfied unless it's a batik binding. That will have to wait until Saturday when I can get to the quilt shop.

I haven't decided what to do with this finished quilt yet but have a couple of ideas.

The binding pile is growing!  That's one thing about having a longarm - I'm finishing quilts so quickly that I'm getting behind in my binding.  Oh...and I haven't done any hand quilting or worked on my eternal hexi project (La Passion Hexagon quilt by Grit Kovacs) since Millie arrived in the house.  You could say we are having a bit of fun over here.

And on to the next one!


Quilt Stats:  Batik front; Backing from Connecting Threads; Glide Thread; Hobbs 80/20 batting
Completed:  February 2018.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New member of the family! Meet Millie

I took the leap!!  I have been mulling purchase over for a long five years!  I've talked myself out of it plenty of times. 

Then I turned 60 (epiphany birthday in some ways) and realized that long arm quilting would be a great retirement job.  If I start now, by the time I'm ready to retire hopefully my business will be established and it will be a great transition away from law to working from home.  It was my family that convinced me that it was such a good idea that they would give up the dining room to make this dream happen.

So I re-established my contact with the APQS dealer and the deal was done. My hubby and son got it set up and then the setup of the Quiltpath computerized quilting software and the training was scheduled.  This was great timing as my daughter and I had produced four quilts (see last post) that needed quilting in time for Christmas.

Like a kid at Christmas, I couldn't wait to play with my new machine so we set about quilting right away.

Here are some pictures of those first quilts:

Waltz Around the World - we had our training on this quilt
Daughter doing free motion before training.  We just couldn't wait!

Charity quilt finally getting finished!

Quilt path software is amazing.  There is a learning curve however.

Now to start quilting the Christmas quilts!  Bossa Nova pantograph

Add caption

So there's a sampling of our first quilts off Millie.  Stay tuned for further long arm adventures.

Friday, November 3, 2017

She's caught the bug!

In my last post, I showed you some fabrics in pink, teal and purple that were pulled to make three quilts for three little girls for Christmas.

I had an unexpected blessing...a huge blessing in fact.  My daughter, who was a self-professed knitter only and "no way I want to quilt" person decided she wanted to help me with these three quilts.  And just like magic...the quilting bug hit her.  And it hit her hard.  She enjoyed it!  And she's still enjoying it!  She's telling her friends that her mom is 'beside herself' because she's been 'encouraging' her to quilt for years, blah blah blah.  I'm actually still quite amazed and pretty giddy over the fact that she is picking up my beloved craft.

Here's what we've been up to with these gorgeous colours:

Teal and Purple

I didn't mention it but she has a 3 month old who is safely in the 'pouch'

He's cozy and mama is happy :)

Teal seams pressed open

Pink!  And my GO cutter which cut all the triangles.  Love that thing!
All the strips are now ready to be sewn together.  Now comes the next to pin and match intersections.  The triangles cut by the GO cutter make the seams foolproof.  We are having a blast together.

Oh...and get this!  She's going to jump in with me on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt "On Ringo Lake".  Guess who already has her fabric?!

These are my colours (all from stash):

We are ready to party!!

Until next time!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Flurries with no chance of housework...

My daughter and wee grandson were out of town for the weekend so I geared up for some serious production in my sewing room this weekend while pining away for baby snuggles.  I had to put my energy somewhere that would distract me.

I'm teaching my quilt pattern, Amish Block Party ( Amish Block Party )  this weekend at the Creative Threads Conspiracy on Denman Island.  For the past 2 Saturdays I've been busy cutting my 1 1/2" strips and I've now started joining the strips into stratas so mine are ready to demonstrate on Saturday.  I'll post pictures as much as I'm able.   Here is the trial layout of my first 'cube'

I also got a bad case of quilter's ADD on Sunday.  I just needed to let out some of the distracting energy so I began cutting out this quilt:

Pattern:  Vanilla and Blooms by Fig Tree Quilts

And dug through my stash for purple, pink and teal/turquoise for 3 quilts for 3 sisters for Christmas.

More on these quilts later, but what fun to just pull out these fabrics from my stash and gaze upon their beauty.  They wanted to come and play so badly!   This will likely be more 'sewing in secret' as I don't want the recipients to know what I'm up to.  So you can see the fabric but the rest is ...

As if all of that wasn't enough, I also cut up some 3 1/2" squares out of a bright batik kit I bought at Sisters Quilt Shop in Chehalis, Washington on my May shop hop.    It was a whirlwind weekend of cutting with my Accuquilt GO cutter with the rotary cutter and rulers riding tandem.  I failed to take a picture of those but never will appear once the bins make their way to the side of my sewing machine sometime soon.

I can safely say that I have more than enough stuff cut up and ready to sew for my November retreat.  It's back to work today so this lunch hour missive must come to a close.  Thanks for visiting!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sewing in Secret

I do love posting my quilting projects as they are unfolding.  Often I will post my fabric choices and perhaps the first of many blocks, and finally the layout and ending with the finished project.

There are times though when the recipient of one of my quilts is on my social media connections list and this makes the sharing of photos along the way restricted because I want the element of surprise when they receive the quilt.  This is when I sew in secret.

This quilt is such a one.  It was designed for a special baby due in November.  We don't know the gender but the parents chose the theme of the Hudson's Bay colours.  Fun!!!  The baby shower was last night and the quilt was finally presented so I can now share the photos.

The finished quilt.  The binding was finished in the car en route to the shower.  Nothing like a deadline to get er dun!

I chose "matchstick" modern quilting for this one.

Uneven rows...on purpose!

Starting to lay them out on the design wall.

The first three blocks

Yup!  This will work just fine.

Fabric choices -- Hudson's Bay Colours

Adding scrappy neutrals makes it interesting
And there you have it.  It was a very fun quilt to make.  The pattern is called "Scraps Galore" by Ursula Riegel of Designs to Share.  She is a local pattern designer and her patterns are widely available, at least in North America.

I hope you enjoyed this post going backwards to the beginning of this project.  I will be making this pattern again for sure.  So stay tuned for another colourway which I'm doing for my grandson.

Until next time!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Update from my sewing room

What is it about September that makes me feel creatively rejuvenated?  Is it the same for you?

September turns my thoughts towards hand quilting in the evenings now that the summer heat is gone and being covered in a quilt is a welcome thing!  It makes me aware that our "Granny Squares" November quilt retreat is just around the corner.  It also gives me excitement that another Quiltville mystery quilt is just a few months away.

Weekends are precious to me because I'm still working Monday to Friday full time.  I squeeze in quilting on evenings when I have the energy and most definitely on weekends unless those plans are preempted.  Yesterday was a day of feeling very accomplished.  After a great church service, and lunch out with my hubby and some friends, I came home with a goal to finish some test blocks for an upcoming quilt pattern.

Here's a sneak preview of two blocks that will be going into this quilt:

Besides getting these two test blocks done I also got some hourglass units all pressed and ready to assemble into blocks.  I joined in Bonnie Hunter's 'leaders and enders' 2017 challenge.  I used Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics together with a lovely pale butter yellow for the neutral. 

 I was stuck on a layout.  I loved Bonnie's quilt design shown below...

but it won't work for my fabric choices.  Stay tuned though!  I had a breakthrough and now have an idea. I'm now excited to get these hourglass units counted and stitched together to make something that I think will be quite lovely and will have a bit of a modern feel.

I also finished some binding ready for a quilt expected to return from my long arm quilter in about a week.  I thought I'd show you my little trick of winding my bindings.  You know those 6 1/2" rulers?  They make a great hard surface for wrapping the bindings.  Maybe everyone does this?  But I love how they are now very manageable and ready for when my quilt returns.

All folded, pressed and ready to add to my expected quilted quilt.

Besides these little cleanup projects, I also managed to cut down some squares from the fabric remaining from my grandson's quilt pictured below to make him another one using the same colours.

I will be using this pattern:

As you can probably figure out, I have a few things that will be coming with me in November for our retreat.

I'm also teaching on Denman Island on October 21st for the Creative Conspiracy retreat so this week I'll be busy preparing these fabrics for my third Amish Block Party which is my own design.

It was a very fruitful time in the sewing room this weekend! 

Until next time,