Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Fabulous Eye Candy

Here's a second installment of photos that I took at the quilt show on the weekend for you to enjoy.

A few of the quilts this time around were embroidered and the photo on the left was the centre panel from one that was hanging behind a quilt appraiser in her booth; it had a very Jacobean feel to it.

This is a border detail from the same quilt...

Then there was this delicate cross stitched quilt; it has been ages since I have seen a cross stitched quilt. Which reminds me...I started a blue cross stitch years ago, I think that it was a Mary Maxim kit, but have no memory of ever finishing it. I wonder where on earth it ended up? This one was also so nicely hand quilted, which was nice to see  as so many seem to be machine quilted.

This Pickle Dish was a real stunner and reminiscent of the amazing show, Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts that was held in New York City last spring. Oh how I wish I could have seen that.

An Amish colour palette worked beautifully on this pattern - not sure what the name of it is but it looks to be a Mariner's Star of one sort or another. The fabrics appear to be solids but if you look closely many are prints.

Here's  a snippet from another two-colour quilt, but done in prints, by Betty's friend Donna Steele. Have I mentioned that I love blue & white quilts (Dawn?)? Donna works in a local quilt shop and last year, out of the blue, gave me this wonderful, huge, bag of scraps from the samples she made for the shop. What a treat!

While this is one that I wouldn't necessarily make myself, it was beautifully done. It's called Vintage Valentine and the applique on it was perfection. Somebody put a lot of love into it.

Here's a closer look:

A cozy Log Cabin with a bit of a twist for the centre of the blocks.

And of course, a little whimsy. Check out her little 'I love quilting' button!

This is just a small fraction of what we saw but it will give you a sense of the wonderful variety that was there. Lots of fun....M

Monday, May 28, 2012

Quilt Show Eye Candy

Yesterday Betty and I went to Petawawa to browse the Pembroke Log Cabin Quilters Guild show, so lots of eye candy for you today. There are so many really creative women in this Valley and that was very evident as we walked the aisles.

Something that I think was new this year (they have a show every 2 years) was a corner that showed off the work of teens and pre-teens, which was truly inspirational. The future of quilting is in good hands by the looks of their projects. They also had a table set up where children could get a hands-on introduction to the craft and there was lots of interest by both boys and girls; unfortunately, I didn't have the where withall to snap a photo or two of them hard at work.

One of the first quilts we came across was a truly great scrappy quilt with the stars reversed out in white. If you looked closely at the fabrics it was everything from soup to nuts but it worked, big time:

This one was really lovely - the photos don't do it justice:
You can never go wrong with a nine-patch, in my books:

This one was truly spectacular. It was the backdrop for one of the vendor booths and was beautifully done - apparently it took 2 years to make. Had this been me, it would still be in my work basket...

And speaking of spectacular, this one was SO gorgeous - all of my favourite colours. It turns out to be made by a long time friend of mom's, Jill Schooley. It is a smaller quilt, about 4' x 3' and looked stunning on the wall; it is machine quilted.

More tomorrow....M

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Am So Easily Distracted

Sometimes I think that my mind should just slow down a bit. I was busy working along on cutting and sewing more pinwheels for my Spring Garden border and when it came to the polka dot fabric I took a right turn. This fabric is actually the remains of a sundress from years ago that still has lots of wear in it. I've been wanting to do something with it to move it out of my stash and as I was cutting I got to thinking about a Scnibbles pattern called Spot that I saw done up in two colours recently on the Inspired By Antique Quilts blog. Just loved it. To the point that I thought I might order the pattern.

Just for fun I laid out a few of my pinwheel triangles to see what it might look like.

Then itchy fingers got the best of me and I decided that it would be fun to draw it out, so I did. And then, since the fabric and cutting mat were right in front of me I thought, what the heck, I'll try a sample block.

Well, I now have three together...

...and another three prepped and ready to go. The gingham print in the centre is proving to be interesting because the overlay of cherries and leaves will create lots of different dabs of colour throughout. I'll use it for the corner blocks as well.

The blocks will be 4.5" square when they are finished and I still need to cut the strips and corner blocks that will border these but I think it would be a great little baby quilt. I would like to sew this one by machine but I'll have to get it back from the shop first. I think it might be time to call and see what the status is.  Now, do I work on more 'Spots' or is it back to the pinwheels?...M

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm A Rookie At This

Shortly after I started blogging last fall I came across an online quilt festival for bloggers. Well, it's back so I've decided to enter. The Spring Bloggers' Quilt Festival is hosted by Amy's Creative Side and is a great way to see lots and lots of eye candy in one spot - go take a look. I'm number 510 so that gives you a sense of how many quilts you can see.

My entry is one that you have seen before - it's Frothy, the Kaffe Fassett design using large triangles of floral prints that create alternating blue and cream/pink squares on the point.

As seems to be the case with my quilts this one took a long time to finish, primarily because it just needed a binding and it took me ages to get up the gumption to see if I had enough of the yellow fabric that I wanted to use. What is that??

Well, it's finished now and I think is my favourite quilt to sleep under. We have it on our bed and I love crawling in under it. I never tire of looking at the collection of floral prints, the tiny strawberry print for the backing still makes me smile, and the yellow binding (yes, there was enough!) is just the icing on the cake.

The large spiral quilting pattern just adds to the sense of frothiness - love it!....M

Happy May 2-4 Weekend!

This long weekend is our unofficial start to the summer season, and this weekend's weather is not disappointing. For once in what seems like ages the weather is not only sunny, but very hot and dry, which is heaven for everyone who starts their warm weather travels opening up the cottage or with a traditional camping trip.

I have a rhubarb plant in my perennial gardens, a great gift from my sister Fran many years ago, and since Victoria Day weekend often co-incides with the first picking of rhubarb it has become a tradition to make Rhubarb Torte and take it to Jane's cottage for everyone to enjoy.

This heavenly concoction is known to make anyone who has had it weak-kneed. The buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust covered in a rhubarb custard and topped with fluffy meringue is food for the gods. Maybe it just tastes so good because of the limited season that it is available in, who knows? Who cares?

When it comes out of the oven the meringue is always so high and golden - it drops a bit and then creates beautiful tiny beads of sugar, just adding to its appeal.

I particularly like it when there is still just a hint of the heat of the oven's warmth in it.

The plate says it all. Here comes summer!...M

p.s. If you'd like to try it, here's the recipe:

1 c flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c butter

3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/3 c cream
2 1/2 c chopped rhubarb

3 egg whites
6 tbsp sugar

Mix and press crust into 9" x 9" pan; bake 20 minutes @ 325F.

Mix together filling ingredients & pour over crust. Bake 40 minutes, or until set. Cover with meringue.

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar; mix til stiff; place on torte. Bake 15 minutes at 350F.

Double this recipe for a 9" x 13" pan. (I did this for the first time this weekend but I have to say the results are better if you just make a single batch in the 9" pan - it might have been my pan though.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Keep On Truckin'

I have one neice and one nephew, hence my 'favourite' neice and 'favourite' nephew, both of whom I love dearly. They have grown up amidst a constant clatter of aunts and uncles, and lots and lots of creative and quilting stimulation, so I guess it should be no surprise that the quilting bug has bitten each of them at one time or another in their lives.

Ted's Truck
Ted is now 23 but when he was about 7 we were all at my place over Easter weekend working on one quilt or another - possibly several - so he decided that he wanted a quilt to work on too. His own quilt; one with trucks.

So Anne, Betty and mom put their creative hats together and came up with a stylized truck block, including pom poms for tires that Nana would make. He was thrilled! He sewed many of the blocks by hand initially and then when Fran was home one summer she introduced him to the sewing machine, which he loved because it had a 'gas pedal'.

Over the years he put most of the blocks together and then last summer his mom, Betty, started pulling it all together into a top (quilts have a long gestation period in our family at times).

Anne joined the blocks, borders were added and before you knew it Ted had a beautiful, colourful truck quilt top.

It recently went up on the quilt frame and Betty has started quilting.

She has a great eye so I have no doubt that it will be a work of art by the time it is finished.

The quilter's nerve centre
Soon he will be driving trucks in his sleep - lots and lots of colourful trucks...M

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Change And A Rest

My machine is still not back from the shop (I think the technician was called away) so it has forced me to back away from the machine and focus more on hand stitching, which isn't a bad thing at all as it is so relaxing and flexible - you can pick it up anywhere. So I have. I've done up a new set of pinwheels with each blade a different colour and I really like them - a lovely, random riot of colour.

And, after some excellent art direction from a few friends I've decided to stick with my initial instinct and sew a band of these for the border square to the centre rather than on the point - it creates a little more interest instead of having all of the blocks on the point.

I've placed a few near the existing blocks - just remember that there will also still be a narrow green band incorporated into the border as well.

Lots more triangles paired up and ready to sew.

More Candied Hexagons
I've also put together another half dozen hexagons for Candied Hexagons. Several have fussy cut centres and I think that they came out really nicely. This one should go together quite quickly when all of the blocks are done - one of these days they will be laid out to see how they look together and figure out how many more I need to make - the current count is 66 blocks.

And I have this sneaking suspicion that my new Flying Geese ruler will get lots of use down the road - check out this beauty on Sherri's blog!...M

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Just When You Think That You Know What You're Doing

I've been mulling around the next steps for my Spring Garden quilt to figure out how to finish it off and doing lots and lots of doodling to help me visualize potential options. I want to keep it light and airy and fun, especially since the backing is going to be such a light and fun print, so I've landed on doing pinwheels. It just seemed like the right block to compliment the three that I've got in the quilt so far.

So, I'll sew a narrow border in green, probably less than an inch wide, around what I've got so far, a wider white band, and then incorporate blue and white pinwheels in the prints that I showed you earlier, along with a few more to continue the scrappy theme. Then there will be another white band and I'll bind it with green again. Or so I thought.

I made up a few pinwheels to see how they translated from the sketch to the quilt itself and then started second guessing myself. Maybe instead of each pinwheel being the same colour I should toss it up a bit more and make each blade of the pinwheel a different colour so that the border is blue & white but less rigid?

This is what they'll look like against the quilt...and they will sit approximately this distance from the existing blocks, maybe a little further. What's not included here is the narrow green border that will go next to the centre blocks.

Or what about putting the blocks on point to reflect the blocks in the middle of the quilt? I quite like the look of it because you get more of a sense of the pinwheels spinning, but it will mean more work adding the set-in corners than just sewing a band of blocks square to the edge.

So, I'm further ahead but still have some thinking to do. Your thoughts?...M