Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy Spring!

Snippets quilt blocks: QuiltBeeAccording to the calendar, spring has sprung today, but there's still a lot of white on the ground in our neighbourhood. Ah well, hope springs eternal. The weather forecast has lots of sun and warmer temps in it so fingers are crossed that it will soon be greener outdoors. Indoors, there are lots of spring colours to get me in the mood.

Snippets quilt blocks: QuiltBee
This is Snippets and was started on a total whim earlier this year as a potential baby quilt. I just found fabrics that I liked and started cutting - no calculating, just cutting and sewing. Well, the last block is now together and there are 54 of them, so I'm thinking that's for one big baby! Looks like I may have enough for a baby quilt and a full-sized quilt.

And these are the only two blocks that didn't find a home after all that cutting. Because there was no calculation up front of how many I'd need I thought I might be waaay over with either the HSTs or the hourglass blocks, but apparently not. Yay!

Snippets quilt blocks: QuiltBee
So, it's time to play with the final layout and get this together. Because it's so scrappy I could almost assemble it without laying it out but I will just to be sure that I've got the colour distribution that I like.

I've used a lot of this pretty blue floral...

Snippets quilt blocks: QuiltBee
and this yellow, so even though its scrappy there will be a bit of continuity. And, all of the blossoms in the quilt will keep reminding me that spring truly is around the corner. Linking up with kokaquilts for Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share....M

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Wearin' o' the Green

God's Green Earth quilt: QuiltBee
Happy St. Paddy's Day! I'm not Irish, but they say everyone has a little Irish in them on St. Patrick's Day, so, on the eve of the big day I've got a little green parade for you - my little 6.25" Crown of Thorns blocks made from the God's Green Earth trimmings.

Mini Crown of Thorns quilt blocks: QuiltBee
The pile isn't huge - I've got 12 made now - but the blocks are so stinkin' sweet and fun to look at.

Mini Crown of Thorns quilt blocks: QuiltBee
Much of God's Green Earth is still on the design wall and all of the blocks are now together, so it's time for the final layout. I've enjoyed having it on the wall because it's beautiful to look at as I sew but I have others that need to be laid out on the wall too so it's time to put all the pieces together and see where I land.

There'll be no green beer for me tomorrow, but I think I will enjoy a snack of my favourite Irish cheese/crackers with a glass of wine to celebrate the arrival of the weekend.

Mini Crown of Thorns quilt blocks: QuiltBee
I'll leave you with a wee Irish blessing as you ponder your celebrations:
  May the road rise up to meet you,
  may the wind be ever at your back.
  May the sun shine warm upon your face
  and the rain fall softly on your fields.

What a lovely thought with Spring just around the corner....M

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


pieced hexagon quilt: QuiltBee
Hexies are one of my favourite shapes to work with, and I know that I'm not alone. It's as though I've been caught in their spell (hex: verb cast a spell on, bewitch. noun a magic spell) and more often than not I find myself leaning in to quilt patterns with them. I know I'm not alone.

Lots of other folks have been inspired by them too, and not just for quilting. There are so many wonderful ways to integrate hexies into your life and home. I've come across a few that I like and that could nicely be converted to interesting quilt patterns.

What a lovely transition from hardwood to tile. This is reminscent of a Jen Kingswell pattern with the hexies along the top and vertical strips of fabric.

Stars in the tub, what's not to love? This would be a fun quilt. You could either find the perfect fabric to fussy cut those hexies or make tiny wonky stars within the hexies.

And how about this for a library reading area? Wouldn't it make a great hand stitching corner?

pieced hexagon quilt: QuiltBee
I could go on, but you get the idea. Front or back, hexies do cast a spell. Maybe it's the 'bee' in me....M

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Scrappy Sendoff

Wonky Stars in Postage Stamp Quilt: QuiltBee
The gals at the church were looking for a quilt top to work on. I thought it was going to be a charity quilt but it seems to be one that they want to raffle. Either way, it was a good opportunity to move a flimsy along and get it into use, so I donated my Postage Stamp to the cause. This is from the row of large fun wonky stars that I added to one edge.

All of those 2" squares made up into a good sized quilt - 98" x 88". With the exception of the stars, it is all hand stitched.

Postage Stamp Quilt: QuiltBee
To help move things along I also gave them the fabric for a backing (I was happy to be able to dig into my pile of backings as well!).

It shows up a little dull in the photos but it is an interesting green and works well with all of the colours in the top.

Postage Stamp Quilt: QuiltBee
I snuck downstairs after a service to peek at their quilting progress and they are well on their way.

Postage Stamp Quilt: QuiltBee
Not sure if those diagonal lines continue through to the centre of the quilt, but if they do it will be great. There's so many seams in this one that I'm certain that it was a bit of a challenge to find a stitching pattern the was easy to work with.

Fun as those wonky stars are, the layout appears to have been too asymmetrical for the gals - they have added a band of larger blocks and a few strips to the opposite side. No problem. It's theirs to do with as they wish and they appear to be having fun with it.

Wonky Stars in Postage Stamp Quilt: QuiltBee
I'm so happy to see this one moved along, soon to be on someone's bed. There are more flimsies that need some attention so I think it might be time to go and visit Roberta to have her work her longarm magic. No point making them if they aren't going to be used...M

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunshine - Glorious Sunshine

Anna Levens quilt - hexies: QuiltBeeIt's been an intense week around here but yesterday the clouds lifted considerably and today the weather seems to be mirroring that change. It's nice and sunny, though a little on the chilly side - the perfect day for a little hand stitching.

Anna Levens quilt - hexies: QuiltBee
Anna Levens continues to grow. I was needing to add more colour into the mix so that the cream hexies that outline the large hexies have some definition, but I'm still tending to fit in a lot of neutrals. It's a bit of a dance.

Anna Levens quilt - hexies: QuiltBee
And, it was taking me ages to figure out which hexie to place next - I was thinking too much -  so now I'm planning a row at a time and it's moving things along at a better pace. Hopefully I have a completed corner to share with you soon. Happy Sunday!....M

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Old As Dirt

Old As Dirt mug: QuiltBee
A few years ago Jane made a birthday cake for her friend Ed that included a toy dinosaur and the words 'old as dirt' tucked in between the candles. It cracked everyone up and still makes me chuckle. Well, last weekend dear Jane celebrated her retirement and a wonderful milestone birthday, so my lovely and talented niece Julia created a great set of custom 'old as dirt' mugs for her, adding in '...and loving it!'

Old As Dirt mug: QuiltBee
(I got two so that Jane can share a cuppa with Ed ­čśë). She had a good laugh when she opened them.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBeeThere's also been lots of 'secret squirrel' sewing hiding in the blog shadows in anticipation of the big day and I can now let the cat out of the bag. I had The Pumpkin Patch at Midnight machine quilted and finished it up to gift her.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBee
This is one that has been in the works for a while. I gave her the flimsy a couple of years ago and then promised to machine quilt it for her. Well, long story short, I chickened out. I just didn't want to wreck it. Roberta of Cocoa and Quilts to the rescue!

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBee
She has done just a perfect job of the quilting - so much better than I could ever have done. The spider web stitching is ideal for the improv webs...

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBee
and this wonderful little pumpkin pattern stitched throughout the border sets it off perfectly.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBee
I still love the pieced triangles that join all of the spiderwebs with their shards of colour. Roberta stitched 1/4" in from the edge of each triangle and then used a lovely swirl pattern to soften things up.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt hanging sleeve: QuiltBee
The backing is a little funky too. These great pumpkins combined with the orange and black harlequin print add a little fun. The quilt is about 5 feet square so it can be used either as a wall hanging or a tablecloth. If she wants to hang it I added a split sleeve to the back (Roberta showed me how to make a split sleeve that is stitched into the binding- the first quilt sleeve I've ever made). And a Hang It Dang It was included if she is keen to have it on the wall.

Pumpkin Patch at Midnight spiderweb quilt: QuiltBee
Jane is the Queen of Halloween and, much as I love this quilt (I think it's one the most favourite items I've made), I couldn't imagine it going to a better home, especially one where I have a good chance of having visiting rights....M

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sweets for the Sweet

heart quilt block: QuiltBee
I made a sweet little heart block to celebrate Valentine's Day - just love those corals, hot pinks and oranges. It will be added to my pile of Kitchen Sink blocks.

heart quilt block: QuiltBee
It's about 6" square and I think that it will find its way into a backing some day.

Linzerheart cookies QuiltBee
The Official Cookie Tester will enjoy a few sweet treats today as well. Happy Valentine's Day!....M

Friday, February 09, 2018

Omigosh Redux

Omigosh nine patch blocks: QuiltBee
Still not much stitching happening on this end but I do believe that my cold is finally breaking so hopefully by the end of the weekend things will be back to normal. I was off today so I went down and halfheartedly moved a few pieces of fabric around in the sewing room, but that was it. Not very productive. I did, however, notice my Omigosh blocks so here's an update on where that project is going.

I've got all of three nine-patch blocks sewn - that's 142 squares together now ­čśĆ. Lined up they would measure 5 x 15" finished - ha!

Omigosh nine patch and churn dash blocks: QuiltBee
Earlier I had mentioned that I was planning a few changes to the original design which is very scrappy. The longer that I looked at it the more I wanted a little more structure to mine. I also wanted to simplify it a bit, so my Churn Dash blocks are all going to be in shades of beige and brown.

The idea came from the Edyta Sitar-inspired Basket of Scraps runner that I made a while back (ahem, not quite finished). Those browns really set off all of the tiny squares in the basket beautifully and once I hit upon the idea of using the same scheme for this project there was no turning back.

Omigosh nine patch and churn dash blocks: QuiltBeeI'm also simplifying the Churn Dash blocks - there will be no tiny four-patches on point in the cream blocks, just a scrappy collection of creams and neutrals. I toyed with totally mixing the creams throughout the blocks so that all four corners were different too but it was easier just to make them all the same and I think adds a little subtle structure as well.

This photo is a little on the dark side (not the Star Wars kind of 'dark side', but dark) but the overall feel of the blocks together is very warm and almost caramelized. So anyway, that's the plan, at least for now....M

Monday, February 05, 2018

Strong Headwinds

Anna Levens quilt: QuiltBeeA head cold doesn't make for great thinking skills or much motivation so things have been pretty quiet on the stitching front as of late. Occasionally I've picked up Anna Levens and added a hexie here and there, but it hardly makes for stellar updates.

Waiting for the drugs to work their magic and my mojo to return....M

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Stuck in My Scrap Basket

Most sane people would cut the 1" strips for the Omigosh nine-patch strip sets from yardage to move things along and see some real progress, but to me, this is the perfect excuse to use up all of the teenie, tiny scraps that I save.

I have weeded through my largest scrap basket - a real catch-all - finally pitching anything that I couldn't get even a single one-inch square from and pressing the bits that remained. Once I'm through with it I will move on to other baskets of scraps that I've sorted by colour and finally supplement it with yardage, but I've got a ways to go.

The tiniest of pieces are being trimmed into 1" squares/strips. It's such a kick to give those little scraps that I just couldn't part with a purpose. They are the last lovely bits of some of my favourite fabrics and some day they will be a quilt. Yay!

A few unexpected treasures have also been unearthed, like these strips of a fruit print that mom used in a quilt - just wide enough.

It was all too much for one of my rotary cutters though, who gave up the ghost...

fabric strips for Omigosh quilt: QuiltBee
You wouldn't think that it would be worth the effort but after just a little sorting and pressing I've cut two nice little piles of cream and coloured strips and a small collection of 1" blocks. It would have been so easy to just pitch the works but then I wouldn't have all of this, would I? I am so thrilled to finally have that basket dealt with and now I'm keen to see how many two-inch nine-patches this makes.....M

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hexie Parade

hexagon diamonds for Minnie quilt: QuiltBee
Diamonds of hexies for Minnie seem to be everywhere lately, but I think that today it's time for a change of scenery. The latest bundle revealed some new and lovely fabric combinations, and I toyed with sewing fours together to create the larger diamonds, but I'm thinking that I want to work on a different quilt. Lucky for me, staying with hexies is very much an option.

hexagons for Anna Levens quilt: QuiltBee
Anna Levens has been quietly sitting in the corner, draped over Candied Hexagons, which is in the hoop. I think today both of them will see a little love. I'll add a few more hexies to Anna to work at filling in the sides...

,,,and then tonight I think it's time to put a few quilting stitches into Candied Hexagons. It's been dormant since last spring and with all of the hustle and bustle of a fall wedding and then the holidays, it just hasn't seen any attention of late. Today's the day!....M