Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Pippi Longstocking Pumpkins

improv crow: QuiltBee
Remember Pippi Longstocking? She was the main character in a series of children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. When we were growing up she was also a star of children's television. Wildly independent and with red braids that wildly sat perpendicular to her head, she had a certain eccentric fashion 'flair'. I'd forgotten all about Pippi until Roberta commented on my Pippi Longstocking crows with their little striped legs and it made me laugh. She was SO right!

pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
Happily, both crows are now complete and resting atop their patchwork pumpkin perches.

improv star: QuiltBeeI almost lost patience with the fiddling needed to make the crow and leaf work, but that's what happens when you make up the pattern as you go, isn't it? Still love those little stars.

pumpkin table topper: QuiltBeeI like to use a narrow border on small items like table toppers so I included a 1/4" green border.

That pumpkin print is pretty sweet, too.

pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
One of these will be for the Holly Bazaar silent auction so I'm going to have Roberta quilt them for me as I'm not sure that my limited straight line quilting will do them justice....M

Friday, September 14, 2018

Snow Goose

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBee
Last time I showed you Roberta's Due South which reminded me of all of the Canada Geese that will be flying south soon for the winter. Well, today we're stepping into the next season with her beautiful Snow Goose.

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBee
To say that I became a little weak kneed when I saw this one would be an understatement. I had seen a block back in the spring but now the entire top is finished and it is gorgeous! Scrappy, lots of flying geese, tiny nine patches - I could go on. Right in my wheelhouse.

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBee
The reds and greens are very reminiscent of the Fig Tree colours in Fly Away Home, which I totally gravitate to, and there's a gorgeous teenie tiny paisley tucked away in that sashing. The whole thing just makes me think that I need one too!

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBee
Not surprisingly, the fabric line she used is called "Snowfall" and its by Minick & Simpson (gotta love anything by those sisters!!). There are some wovens in it too, which just really make the quilt.  

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBeeShe worked on it through the winter and finished it up this spring so now she is 'waiting for the LA'er to get off of her butt and get it quilted so she can get the binding on it'. (Ahem...she would be the longarm quilter in question 😊.)

Roberta's Snow Goose quilt: QuiltBeeI don't have a pic of it but the binding will be a beautiful red plaid which will be so nice cut on the bias. And you know how I love my bias check bindings. Sigh.

Sharing this beauty with everyone at Finished or Not Friday...M

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This Is A First

Over the years I have had the great good fortune to be able to share quilts made by my mother, family and friends. Today I have a new friend to add to that list. You've heard me mention my longarm quilter Roberta. Well, her little terrier Ivy has a new finish to share with you.

Called Due South, it is a pattern by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company who also writes most of the posts for Moda's The Cutting Table blog. Rather timely, don't you think, given that any day now our geese will begin the long flight south for the winter?

Roberta's Due South quilt: QuiltBee
Apparently it will be her summer reading quilt and I think it is perfect for that. It reminds me of Fly Away Home which I made a few years ago but with stars added. Still love all of those geese on an angle.

Roberta's Due South quilt: QuiltBee

She used the gorgeous Nest fabric collection by Lella Boutique, which is new to me. Isn't that backing just adorable?

The quilt came together in about two months, which is apparently the quickest she has finished a quilt in a very long time. Little wonder, as she is so busy quilting for everyone else! 

Roberta's Due South quilt: QuiltBee
She made four geese at a time and then trimmed them to size. Once they were all finished it came together very quickly.  

Apparently there was some stewing for a bit over the outer border before she decided to just follow Carrie's lead, and she is very glad she did. It really lends to the feel of the quilt.

Roberta's Due South quilt: QuiltBee
Roberta has made many of Carrie's patterns over the years loves the talent she has for putting together complicated looking quilts with ease, as she is a great pattern writer.

It's all quilted and she was just finishing up the binding when I saw it. I hope I didn't drool on it when we were snapping pics because I just luuuv that floral print.

Ivy took it for a test drive and it seems to fit the bill. Spoiler alert: I've got another of Roberta's quilts to share with you the next time....M

Friday, September 07, 2018

Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween wonky stars: QuiltBee
I've got a couple of pumpkin table toppers that I am making for the Holly Bazaar but no real pattern. But seeds of ideas have been percolating and I think I've now got a design that I'm going to like.

This topper that I saw on Cozy Little Quilts was the inspiration (its by Pattern Basket) but I wanted it a little edgier - maybe even a little wonky - so the pumpkins will have a few wonky stars scattered about and an improv crow will be perched on top (she says with confidence). The wonky stars I knew I could do; the crow, not so much.

Halloween wonky stars: QuiltBee
Actually, once I started making the little stars I didn't want to stop. My squares were cut to 2" so they are tiny and sweet, finishing at 1.5". I used the same three blacks for the star points and made the centre block on each of them from a different print. This would make a very cute Halloween quilt or throw...

Corners were added and then it was time to think about a leaf for the pumpkin.

After that it was a bit of a math session to figure out my crow. I used this tutorial as a starting point and then figured out my measurements...

improv crow: QuiltBeeSuccess - a crow is born! (Don't you love those little stripey legs?). Now to put it all together and figure out the border(s). The second topper should go together much faster....M

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Quilters Meet & Greet

After years of selling her quilt designs online, Benita from Victoriana Quilt Designs started a blog and is enjoying discovering the blogland quilting community. She is so excited that for the month of September she has set up a Quilters Meet & Greet and has invited several others to share a little info about our quilting adventures, so here goes.

Sea Glass

I don’t remember a time when quilts were not a part of my life. It is a bond that I happily share with my mother, many of my ancestors, and a circle of family and friends.

As a young girl, I remember crawling under the quilt frame that was set up in the kitchen as mom, aunts and friends stitched and chatted above me. Lying on the floor and looking up, it was like being in a fantastic tent with the ‘ceiling’ pattern changing as stitches were lovingly added to the hum of their chit-chat and laughter.

In my teens and twenties I made quilts for friends, honing my machine skills, including a king-sized wedding gift for my brother and his new bride. That thing was HUGE!

Goose Tracks
I came to my love of hand piecing thanks to Sigrid, a good friend of my sister Betty. A beautiful stitcher, she had a wonderful colour sense and was a huge Jinny Beyer fan.

She made me see how relaxing it is to just sit and sew without a machine. She also revealed that the richness of the final product often lies in a myriad of prints, generating lots of interest (and the opportunity to buy lots of different fabrics!). Goose Tracks is the first quilt that I made after her sudden passing and it is still a sentimental favourite.


So, I slip between hand stitching and machine stitching, depending on my mood and the pattern; some call out to be hand stitched more than others.

My latest hand stitching infatuation seems to be hexies. I have been working on Minnie for a few years now; it is based on an old Welsh pattern and is made of 5/8" hexies. Stitching it feels like knitting to me.

Anna Levens

Last year I gave EPP a try when I started to work on Anna Levins. I have to say that I much prefer just sewing the hexies without the papers but I couldn’t figure out how else to get a clean frame around those beautiful floral centres. But that’s part of the learning, isn’t it? 

6.25" Thorn of Crown blocks from trimmings

And I love scraps, seemingly the smaller the better. I have a tough time throwing even the tiniest pieces away and they often end up becoming the impetus for new projects.

My sewing room

Most times my sewing room is one small step from total disaster, but it’s how I work. My fabrics are sorted by colour - and in a few cases by theme (Christmas) - so it’s easy to see things without having to dig into bins. Once my ‘favourite niece’ asked if I thought I had hoarder tendencies - can you believe it??? 😉

Sweets for the sweet
The Official Cookie Tester is always on hand to sample baked goods when I need a break from stitching and, to be honest, I think he quite enjoys his responsibility.

Candied Hexagons in the hoop
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Roberta at Cocoa and Quilts, my longarm quilter. Having grown up in a family of hand quilters it took me a while to come around to the notion of having some of my quilts machine quilted, but I am such a poky quilter (I always have a quilt in the hoop but it tends to stay there for a good year or two) that if my pieces are ever to be slept under I had to adapt. Roberta’s work is so precise and perfect, and our visits just make my day. Her little dog Ivy is pretty sweet too.

Betty's Fruit Salad
My blog has opened up a world of inspiration that I had never imagined - it amazes me that I can check in on quilters around the world. And I also look forward to sharing the beautiful work of my circle of creative family and friends. Seeing this wonderful craft live on is good for my soul.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight

Bonita has created a great contest for the Meet & Greet that will run all month long. Every blog you visit gives you another entry for the Great Grand Prize (only 1 entry per blog) so be certain to visit the other guest bloggers.

Thanks so much for stopping by....M

My other favourite 'stash'

p.s. It may come as no surprise that my favourite tea is made by Stash 😉.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

The View From Here

garden water feature: QuiltBee
Today, as part of her weekly Slow Sunday Stitching linky party Kathy sent out an invitation to share photos of your favourite place to quilt, so here's mine. This is the view of our herb garden.

garden water feature: QuiltBee
We had a small pond and water feature installed next to the garden when we built the house (we call it 'the duck' but its really a goose 😉) and I think it was one of the best decisions we made.

The soothing gurgle of the water is hard to resist and as the garden fills in it gets increasingly lush. It has also been known to have sedative powers, making this the perfect spot for a quick nap under the umbrella.

Every second year this rose bush treats us to a gorgeous display as well.

hexie diamond quilt blocks: QuiltBee
Soothing as it is, this little corner can be responsible for any number of stitching distractions (too relaxed), including goofing up on assembling Minnie diamonds - the pink and soft green hexies should meet. Sheesh. Small price to pay I suppose. Hope you are enjoying stitching in your favourite spot today....M

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Holly Bazaar Planning

Churn Dash blocks: QuiltBee
Hard as it is to realize that we are now at the end of August and that the Holly Bazaar is just a little over two months away, it seemed like a good idea to start doing some planning for what to make. I will need something to put into the Silent Auction and then additional items for the craft table. September and October always seem to be busy months for me so I like to get this stuff sewn up as early as possible; inevitably something seems to need binding the night before.

Time to clear away what's on the sewing table, so I finished off another pile of Churn Dash blocks for Omigosh.

I've been Pinning ideas like crazy but the other night I decided that it was a good idea to just sit down and start making a list. There's a pumpkin table topper that I'm going to try and make, with a couple of my own touches added in. I had cut some orange squares a while ago so it's got a start at least.

star quilt block: QuiltBee
Then I did a bit of a walk around in my sewing room (not that long a walk because my room isn't that big!) and it was surprising to see how many projects are in play that could become more toppers. There's these little stars...

and in one of my cubbies I found the makings of two improv trees. I need to make a third tree and then figure out where to go from there, but again, a good start.

Lemoyne star quilt block: QuiltBee
And a Lemoyne Star that would look cute with an HST border, maybe four or five deep.

I also found three Christmas stocking panels. Linda gave them to me a few years ago at our craft weekend so I think I'll quilt them and put them together.

And finally, a bundle of silver and gold fabrics that might be nice in a log cabin pattern; still have to figure this one out a bit more.

There's also a few potholdersideas rolling around in my head but I'll see how far along I get with this list before I start them.

So it was a worthwhile exercise. Now I at least feel like I'm a bit in control and know where to start directing my energies. Good thing because the bazaar will be here before I know it!....M

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sandy's BIG Finish

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
I was so excited by pie making that I forgot that I have one more of Sandy's quilts to share with you - she's called it Under the Sea. You saw the start of it two summers ago when Ed kindly modeled it for everyone as she was working on the borders.

The inspiration for the colour scheme came from this painting that followed them home from Australia one year. It arrived in a crate the size of a mattress and they left the marks on the bottom of the frame ... part of the journey!

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
They are avid divers so Ed found several fat quarters with sea creatures ... seahorses, crabs, whales, starfish, octopus, shells, turtles ... and it grew from there.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
The top is hand-pieced. Once is was finished it sat in a bin for almost two years because she had no idea how to handle all of that fabric for quilting - way too big and heavy to manage on her hoop.

Sandy decided to have it quilted this past winter, but that was easier said than done. It measures 112 x 120" to fit their king bed but it was so large that it was too big to fit on a longarm.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
Time for plan number two - she'd quilt it on her machine. I cannot even begin to imagine quilting a full-sized quilt on my machine, let alone a king!

She admits that it was a challenge, but with lots of folding and rolling and tucking under her chin she eventually found a way to stitch-in-the-ditch. Once she got on a roll she had a lot of fun seeing it come to life. She thanks her lucky stars for spray adhesive, and especially for her two eight-foot table - she's not sure how she would have managed without the table space. Plus, she was really lucky to get batting and backing that was large enough not to have to piece.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
Now her masterpiece enjoys pride of place in the master bedroom and looks fantastic. It's the perfect spot to dream of new diving trips...M