Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Smaller They Are, The Harder I Fall

Tiny scraps have taken me hostage again.

As I've been trimming the Bowties for God's Green Earth I've been setting the small pairs of triangles aside. When the pile got too big I sewed them together with a scant seam allowance to create a pile of lovely little HSTs that finish off at 1.25".

Rather than wait for that pile to continue to grow and be shoved into a 'some day' corner, I went on the hunt for a new HST block to try. Enter Crown of Thorns.

At first I wasn't sure that I was going to be accurate enough to have blocks that looked any good, but by the second try I figured out the right pressing formula and it made all the difference.

The blocks are just a little over 6" and just adorable. These photos are a little on the dark side but rest assured that in the right light they almost sparkle.

I've got a feeling that the Crazy Lady might ride again because I'm imagining an entire quilt of these little cuties alternated with neutral blocks, but I don't know if I'll have the stamina for that. There might be enough for a border though, or to incorporate into a medallion quilt.

Time will tell, but in the meantime I'm enjoying seeing them up on the wall and imagining the possibilities, something I wouldn't have had if I had just pitched all of those little beauties into the waste basket. Now back to God's Green Earth so that I can get more scraps!...M

Sunday, July 23, 2017

All Together Now

It started soft and low but, if you listened very carefully you could hear the sound of the Hallelujah Chorus rising up from the love seat earlier today. That's because I was busy putting the last couple of stitches into the centre panel of large hexies on Anna Levens. All of the large hexies are now one big piece. Whew! There's still more small cream hexies needed to finish off the border around them all but this is a big milestone for me.

Despite all of my moaning and dripping about EPP, I seem to have finally found a method that works for me and lets me sit in a comfy chair, not always spread out on the kitchen table (the quilt top is spread out on the kitchen table, not me!).

There were times that I never thought I'd see this day, but here it is. Yippee skipee! Time to get back to my needle while the hexie gods are still shining on me. I'll leave you with another small miracle, and that's a photo of my lilies. They are just gorgeous this year....M

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Last One

My summer evenings have seen me struggling to get my hexies together for Anna Levens.

As the piece gets larger I'm finding it more challenging to hold it properly so that I can sew everything together, so I've resorted to laying it out on the table and working from a flat surface, but I have to say EPP is not my thing. No-sir-eeeee!

It could be because I use a ladder stitch rather than a whip stitch to join them (I do that for my bindings as well), but whatever the reason I find the whole process much more time consuming that just picking up hand stitching and going to town.

That said, I'm happy to report that there's only one more to go and this centre panel will be together; then I'll need to finish up the border of small cream hexies around the entire thing. I'm trying not to think about how many hexies I have to add after that.

All of this hand stitching can work up an appetite so on the weekend we experimented with pizza on the BBQ. My sister Frances was in town so she made up the dough and then we topped it with prosciutto, peaches and mozarella; when it came off the grill we added arugula and a balsamic drizzle. YUM! We had enjoyed this while visiting our friends Rhonda & Brian a couple of weeks ago and I was dying to try it - thanks for the inspiration Rhonda. If you are not into making the dough you can use flatbread and it works equally well, you just won't need as much time on the barbie....M

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Things Are Greening Up

Whenever I can duck into the sewing room I've been putting together two or three Bowties at a time and my pile is starting to add up.

Here, in no particular order, is what I have so far. This is a fun block.

I'm using two different neutrals in each block, as compared to Maryse's approach where both neutrals in a block were from the same print and I'm liking the effect.

It softens up the overall layout and make it all that much more scrappy.

Love these little mice!....M

Friday, July 07, 2017

Some Days You Cut, Some Days You Sew

I've been one with my rotary cutter lately, cutting for God's Green Earth, and having lots of fun with it.

When I started this project I wanted to do the bulk of it with my stash, but the more I looked at Maryse's fabric selection the more I realized that my fabrics didn't have the same graphic depth. I did find this little pile, which I think will work nicely with the greens.

Then I went to a couple of shops to see if I could enhance what I had with a few more complex prints and a few new neutrals.

All in all, I'm close to having much of what I need cut, and I like the mix. It's been a huge help to have Maryse's quilt to refer to and give me a good sense of the mix that worked so beautifully in her quilt.....M

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Finishing Touches

Since I gave Stephanie her Confetti quilt for a retirement gift last year she has been on the lookout for pillows to coordinate with it. She's got a bundle of remnants that she has been carrying around trying to find something that works, but hasn't had much luck. Well, her luck has changed.

When we found this collection of fabrics (the bundle on the right are the fabrics used in her quilt) I offered to make a couple of pillows for her.

She now has two 24" pillows and is thrilled. At one point we thought that there might be enough of a couple of her remnants to work into the pillows, but given the lengths that we needed that was not to be.

We got the idea for the pattern in the shop where we bought the fabric, which took all the thinking out of it (well, almost).

They are quilt-as-you-go with very simple lines of quilting.

I still want to make up two pillowcases for regular sized pillows that she can use in behind these on her bed in the dark red/orange check print. It should make for a nice statement. She's thrilled, and so am I because they came together much faster than I had imagined. Wonder how long it will take me to finish the pillowcases?....M

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Canada Day 2.0

If you saw yesterday's post you know that it was pretty wet and rainy here, which meant cancelled Canada 150 fireworks. Apparently they are a go for tonight but there's also a thunderstorm in the afternoon forecast, so there's no guarantee. Fingers are crossed.

As I wait, I'm working on hexies. I've made a start on my red & white Canada 150 hexie diamond to include in Minnie - just need to add the outside ring of hexies.

It was a toss up between the cream floral and the tiny red & cream print; the floral wins because they are already cut 😊.

Those little stars seemed like the perfect celebratory print to include in this one.

I'm working on larger hexies too. There are now six hexies together for Anna Levens and I'm turning under more cream hexies to add the next row.

And, given that the rains had let up for a bit this morning, I went out to check on the rhubarb. To my delight there is still a good crop there (despite the soggy, soggy earth) so I've got the butter softening up to mix up a Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake. YUM! Love long weekends!....M

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Oh Canada!

It's a party that's been 150 years in the making and today's the day! Happy 150th Canada!

Mother Nature isn't totally cooperating though - it's been wet and soggy for what seems forever and last night's thunderstorms are threatening to mess with tonight's fireworks, but we'll see. In typical Canadian fashion though folks don't seem to be letting a little rain get in the way. Huge crowds have gathered in Ottawa and are welcoming, among others, royal guests Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Nothing like a royal visit to create a little excitement.

In the months leading up to this day there have been all kinds of special ways to celebrate popping up, quilty and otherwise. One of my favourites is a partnership between Absolut Vodka and Canadian artist Libs Elliot to make a new bottle design and a quilt using code to generate the design - check out the video. I don't think I've ever made a Cosmopolitan, but this seems like a perfectly good reason to try.

I've shared a few Canada 150 quilts and fabrics with you over the past months and I'm certain that you have seen lots of them popping up on Pinterest, so I won't repeat myself. I am going to dig into my little hexies though and see if I can't make a red and white diamond to include in Minnie for posterity.

I'll also leave you with a lighthearted short animated film that I grew up watching called the Log Driver's Waltz though - it's a genuine bit of Canadiana.

I live in a small city on the shores of the beautiful and historic Ottawa River, a hotbed for log drives over a century ago as this country was being settled. Not only is it a fun little ditty, it begins with a short clip of log drivers in action, demonstrating their incredible skill at getting the logs down river to the mills (and staying alive!). It's also a nod to the Ottawa RedBlacks football team who have adopted the red and black plaid of the lumberjack as their unofficial team uniforms. Happy Birthday everyone!....M