Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Let's Hear It For The Christmas Heat Wave!

It's been so hot lately that we've been looking for as many ways as possible to cool down. In the evenings I just head to the coolness of the basement to sew rather than outdoors to 'glisten' (we had an aunt that used to say, "Men perspire, horses sweat and ladies glisten").

And all that downstairs time has been great for my Country Charmer deadline. I was hoping to have all of my blocks together by the end of August, and I did it. Yaaaa! Let's hear it for the heat wave!

Whoa! What went wrong here?! This was one of the last blocks to be put together. Think that I was getting a tad anxious to reach the finish line? Despite ripping the odd little seam here and there this was the only mishap I had in 30 blocks, so that's not bad.

So I've chain-stitched the columns of blocks together, including the sashing blocks.

And now I'll start sewing across the rows. I am really liking it and anxious to see it all together rather than just the 'skeleton' that you get from the first phase. The weatherman is calling for another hot weekend so who knows, maybe I'll have a quilt top by the end of it!....M

Saturday, August 29, 2015

See Jane Run...

This is yet another project that Jane was working on last weekend. She was so busy I felt that I was just standing still, and she got lots done. This is a table runner that she found in her stash when she went looking for something else, so out it came to be quilted and used this Fall.

She picked a large leaf print for the backing...

The blocks are a collection of blocks that she had wanted to try making so it has a bit of a sampler feel to it. The black strip with the large leaves is a print that she incorporated; it is all hand stitched. In my mind, she is the Queen of Autumn and this project really reflects her love of the season.

Once she had it pin basted we headed outside to the picnic table under the trees where she cut this great plaid on the bias for a binding. By the end of the weekend she had started quilting it so I expect it will be done in no time at all.

While she worked on binding I worked on cutting hexies for Minnie. Jane had pulled a few pinks from her stash for me, so I happily cut a few strips as I have been having a hard time finding pinks that suit.

She also had this little bundle of scraps set aside for me thinking that they would work nicely in Minnie, and she wasn't wrong, so I came home with lots of new fabric strips to incorporate into my quilt....M

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Backing It Up

Jane was on a roll over the weekend, moving lots of projects along to the next step in their process. One that I just had to share with you is the backing for her Fruit Salad.

She has had a strip of oversized triangles about 6" wide that echo the triangles in the quilt top ready to go, she just needed to cut her coordinating fabrics and put the backing together, and that's what she did. The top is all hand stitched, as is the triangle strip, but she decided to speed things along a little bit when attaching the two larger pieces and used the machine.

This quilt is so stunning and that strip of triangles is just the icing on the cake. The two pieces of fabric for the backing are very similar in colour, with the dots being a little more teal and the paisley a little greener.

Here's a reminder of some of the yummy fabrics that she worked into it.

She's toying with quilting it using Perle cotton and big stitches, which I think could be lots of fun. Stay tuned....M

Monday, August 24, 2015

Branching Out

Late last week I was talking to myself (I think we all do this a little bit, right?), reminding myself that I had lots of projects on the go, a few self-imposed deadlines that I'd like to meet, and no time to be practicing the art of distraction, in particular trying a new technique that I'd seen Paulette playing with on her blog - improv trees and birds, for which she kindly provided links to tutorials. That resolve lasted about 48 hours.

I went to see Jane at the cottage for the weekend with plans to get some hand stitching done. I did some work on Danuta's Garden, but yesterday we decided that we needed to give improv trees a try. What fun!

Jane is already in Fall mode so she worked with two large leafy prints similar to what she had seen in the tutorials.

I didn't have a photo of Paulette's work but I remembered it feeling very wintery, so that's the direction I went in.

Our mystery guest also tapered her branches more than mine so she ended up with lots of great perspective in her two trees. I will say though that using tapered branches creates a bit more challenging assembly as it really skews your block as it grows. Jane put a border on this one and is planning lots of ghostly embellishments to create a Halloween wall hanging or runner.

This one in particular looks to me like you are standing at the base of the tree and looking up into all those leaves.

Here's our tree collection - not bad for an hour or two of fun.

When I got home I played some more and made the five blocks on the right. They are wildly addictive and it will be fun to see where they take me.

I thought that they would go well with the two I made yesterday (on the left) but the turquoise background is too intense for the new blocks, so I will make them into something else, maybe pillows for the Holly Bazaar. Anyway, so much for giving myself a good talking to....M