Saturday, February 28, 2015

Setting Her Sails

Anne, Jane and Linda spent a weekend at Jane's cottage a short while back stitching and crafting, braving the chilliest temps that we've had all winter together, and Anne was able to snap a few photos of the sailboat baby quilt that Linda just finished for her new grandson, Logan. It's adorable!

The prints are all so graphic and cheery. He will enjoy hours of fun looking at it when he should probably be napping.

The backing is a cute collection of sea creatures and a perfect choice. Jane described the quilt as being everything that you see at sea, both above and below the sea, which I think captured it perfectly.

Such a sweet collection of fabrics. I'm still totally lovin' the green print in the sail on the right side of this boat; the green button print beside it isn't half bad either, or are those polka dots. Such a talented grammy.....M

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Strawberries & Cream

Strawberries & Cream is now quilted and bound and ready for a little gal to snuggle into. It's quite a romantic little quilt and totally reminiscent of strawberries and cream, so that's what I've called it.

Backed with a cream pink polka dot and bound with my fave - bias gingham, in pink - it is totally little girl but I think it would also make a really nice large quilt for an older girl. I toyed with making the backing a large print but this one just kept going to the top of the pile.

Several of you had suggestions about my question as to whether I should add more rows of stitching or not. Well, I did add a few double horizontal rows and really like the effect - it's an elongated grid but still nice and open and keeps the quilt soft. And now I can rest easy that the batting won't shift/tear.

Time now to start thinking about how to quilt the Strippy X blue/grey baby quilt so that these can be bundled up and sent off.....M

Monday, February 23, 2015

Going Off The Grid

The quilting has begun on the little heart quilt. This one will be quilted on the machine because not much would ever get into the finished bin around here if I was to rely on the speed of my hand quilting.

I wasn't sure how to quilt this one (big surprise - it's the part of the process that I think challenges me most). For a while I thought it might just be randomly placed vertical rows of stitching but I ended up sewing along either side of the vertical seams.

Very tempted to leave it as it was, I let it sit overnight to see if I still agreed with myself in the morning. I liked the look of it but was concerned that there needed to be more to stabilize the batting between the rows of stitching, either vertically or horizontally. Either way, I didn't want it to be over quilted and stiff. So, I'll do double rows of stitching horizontally every three blocks - a modified/elongated grid. Quilting along all of the horizontal seams just seems like overkill.

It was also a day for trying out a new recipe. I pinned a Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake recipe that Julia had Pinned and made the day before so I thought it would be a nice treat for the Official Cookie Tester - he is the king of bananas. A nice sweet treat to end the weekend....M

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter White

My niece Julia recently moved into her first home (such a sweet place!) so mom Betty has been busy helping make it a cozy little nest. Years ago I had made a duvet cover for Julia that looked like a quilt so the hunt was on for a pattern that could be used for a new duvet cover.

Julia liked the feel of a quilt but wanted something quite simple and sophisticated. She also wanted a very subtle colour palette and nothing that was too 'girly'.

They pulled together a collection of subtle greys and creams, including grey linen. Keeping the need for clean and simple lines in mind, Betty used the Moda Love pattern - a great, oversized quilt block that nicely shows off the fabrics. Love the scale. This pattern has lots and lots of possibilities.

It won't be quilted - it will stay as it was finished. I'm thinking of making a duvet cover for our bed but I think I'd quilt it - not sure. It looks great as it is.

It was backed with this pretty blue/grey floral that I've had on the shelf for a while - absolutely love it. The huge floral is a beautiful complement to the subtle prints without making it too feminine or frilly.

Such a beautiful housewarming gift and something that they will treasure for many years, I'm sure.....M

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Big Chill

We woke to -41 C yesterday morning, which meant that there wasn't a whole lot of activity happening on the streets. It's been a long time since temps have dipped this low so it was the perfect excuse for sitting by the fire and quilting.

But first I decided to press a pile of hexie diamonds that have been accumulating for Minnie. The box sits by my chair in the study and I often work on them when I watch television; as I finish each diamond I've been tossing them back into the box and it was surprising to see how many were ready to press.

Of course after they were pressed it was too tempting not to lay a few out and see how they look together. The layout for the quilt is different than what's shown here but it gave me a good sense of the mix.

And then it was time to find a spot by the fire and quilt Confetti. Believe it or not, I rounded the corner and am now working on the last border; this quilt might actually get finished yet!....M

Friday, February 13, 2015

Be Mine, Valentine

My little heart baby quilt is all together now and, if I do say so myself, pretty in pink. It's one that you just like going back to look at again and again because of the variety in the pinks and the mottled cream background.

I used lots and lots of different neutrals for the background, incorporating some tiny romantic florals as well. I suspect that I will be making more of these...

It's really sweet and the perfect way for me to send out my Valentine wishes. Happy Valentine's Day!...M

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Let Me Call You Sweetheart...

Maybe it was the overcast weather, maybe my short attention span, but whatever it was I was keen to work with some brighter fabrics long before I finished off the little blue and grey Scrappy X quilt - love it but I really enjoy working with more colour better - so I thought I'd make another baby quilt, this time in pinks for a little girl.

I just started cutting 3" squares in pinks and before long had another quilt laid out on the design wall (I know you're getting sick of hearing it, but this design wall is just making things sooo much easier than working off the floor - love it!). Do you think that maybe there was a little Valentine's Day inspiration creeping in from my time on Pinterest...?

The background is more of the same - 3" squares in creamy neutrals -  a very strawberries and cream feel to it - maybe I'm trying to channel summer weather instead of the big chill that we've had this winter.

I chain pieced the columns together and then set about pressing the seams for each row in opposite directions. This morning as I was waking up I realized that if I laid a press cloth/piece of fabric overtop of the rows that were already pressed it would be easier to press each subsequent row. Old dog, new trick. I'll have to remember that....M

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Ready to Quilt

My little scrappy Strippy X is all together now and ready to be quilted and I'm more convinced than ever that making it a baby quilt rather than two table runners was the better choice.

It's made with my Sea Glass remnants so there is a definite 'family resemblance' to them but still a difference - there's more cream in this one. And you don't see it in these photos, but I've also added a cream border.

The border is deeper at the top and bottom, about 4", and about 2" on each side (you know, so that I could ever so slightly avoid that square quilt thing...). The creams throughout the blocks are a scrappy collection of mostly three tone-on-tone prints so I used one of these for the border.

Now to give some thought to how to quilt it. This one will be done on the machine so it will be fairly straightforward quilting - I still have not cracked the FMQ nut. I'm thinking of something that will follow the diagonal lines of the blocks. I'm also thinking that it will be nice to move on to a less muted colour palette...M

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Back to Blues

The idea of picking up that little pile of scraps and whipping them up into something useful quickly seems to be fading, but I still want to get it finished so it was back to making Strippy X Blocks in blue and grey. I had enough blocks to make two runners three Xs long, but they didn't seem substantial enough.

So I made nine more blocks for them each of them to be five Xs long. They were fine, but I couldn't say that I was overly excited about them. When you look at them from a distance they almost look like DNA strands, don't they?

I started sewing the blocks together but there was still this nagging feeling about the whole thing. Now that I have my handy dandy design wall I decided to see if I liked them any better if they were all one piece laid out in three shorter columns. Much better.

But that meant that I'd need to make even more strippy blocks. My 'speedy' little project was taking longer and longer, but I decided that it was worth it, so I found a few blues and greys to add to what was already cut and made four more blocks.

The tutorial suggests that you sew one long strip of the scraps and just cut the lengths that you need for each block from it, but I found it easier to make strips that measured just over 9" and work from those.

So this is the final layout and I like it best (the left hand column is shorter because all of those blocks are sewn together). It's 36" x 36" and is going to be a charity baby quilt. I'm not one for square quilts but I think for a baby quilt I can make an exception. It will likely need a cream border but I'll get it together and then see if I'm right....M

Monday, February 02, 2015

Sweet Charity

While most of North America was prepping for their Super Bowl party yesterday Anne and I decided to get together and work on a new baby quilt. It was also an excuse for me to drop off a small design board that I had made for her with the cuttings from my insulation panels. The panel is about 4 x 5 feet, so a good size to use for smaller projects.

The inspiration for the fabrics started with this deal that I had snagged the day before - $5 a metre is just too good for me to refuse so I picked up enough to back a few baby quilts.

And these were the fabrics that I pulled to go with it. Anne had a few blues and turquoises that we added to the mix and we used Kona Snow for the sashing between the blocks. A nice cheery collection to ward off the really chilly temps we've been enduring of late.

We started with 5" blocks so by the time they were sewn and trimmed they were 4.5". It took the afternoon but by the time I left we had all the blocks cut, sewn, and half of the white borders added and Anne was starting to sew together rows. It's darned cute, if I do say so myself.

Anne paints as well as quilts so, clever girl that she is, she set up her easel to hold the design board and positioned it right next to the sewing machine, which really moved things along quite nicely. I think she's going to get great use out of her new toy.....M