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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Rookie No More

Sandy just continues to amaze our circle of quilters. The other day she sent through a few pics of a new finish called the Westalee Ruler quilt. I have to say, I am in awe. For someone who until a few years ago had not made any quilts this is an amazing (and beautiful) achievement. I consider myself as having a fair bit of patience but I'm not sure that I could do this.

It's a quilted sampler with each panel machine quilted separately and then put together with binding. Love the muted palette. This was apparently to be the back side with the other side all in white, but she prefers this side now that it's finished.

Most of it was done on her Brother but some of the templates were larger than the throat of her machine so she broke down and made this what she likes to call 'her most expensive quilt ever' - course, templates, fabric ... and, a new Pfaff machine!

She took a beginner course at a shop called Sew Creative (apparently Joan who works there has the patience of a saint and Sandy is now an expert with her seam ripper). The class started in September and involved about 30 hours of quilting. The quilt is about 60 x 60" but it took 12 yards of fabric! Apparently the heavy quilting really pulls the fabric in.

Assembling it took some time, as each piece had to be bound on both sides. They usually did four blocks per class, so once they got the technique on a block down pat the rest was homework and they were provided with excellent videos for future reference.  

These are the templates that she used but apparently there are lots more to be had so she's already looking forward to the next course this Fall. In the meantime, she's looking forward to playing with her new machine some more and making some table runners. I say again, I am in awe. I don't think she's in the rookie camp any more....M

Sunday, January 21, 2018

From Here to Eternity

omigosh quilt block: QuiltBee
I've been distracted. Again. There are already two quilts that I consider my 'forever' projects - Minnie and Anna Levens - and they will now be joined by a third, the late Sue Garman's Omigosh. I have succumbed. This one will be done by machine whereas the other two are my hand stitching projects, which you would think would give it a definite edge, however, it involves seemingly billions of 1.5" nine-patches. OMG!

omigosh quilt block: QuiltBeeI debated long and hard over this one (I mean, seriously, those little blocks finish at half an inch!) and then before Christmas cut a few strips to see if I liked working on it and, ultimately, liked the blocks. I had a hard time committing. It got put away over the holidays but the other day I pulled it out again and played a little more. I  finally realized that it all came down to colour.

omigosh quilt block: QuiltBee
Many of the quilts that I'd seen done up in this pattern were made from reproduction fabrics and that's where I started, but they just weren't doing it for me - it's not a palette that I use in our home and I just couldn't get excited about it. I toyed with quitting but it just wasn't letting me go so I sewed a few more blocks. Now that I see a small collection of the 1.5" nine-patches made from my scraps it has made all the difference.

omigosh quilt block: QuiltBee
And, when they came together into the larger nine-patch (a huge 4.5"!!!) well - again - OMG! I'm toying with a slight change to the design but still need to work that out. Either way, it may well take me from here to eternity to finish, but it's so darned cute that it will be fun trying....M

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Today's Lineup

hexagon diamond for Minnie quilt - QuiltBee
Some days are better than others for pulling colour combinations that work. The other night I was on a roll though so I just kept pulling different combos of little hexies for more Minnie diamonds; this is one that I particularly like.

hexagon diamonds for Minnie quilt - QuiltBee
Actually, these two play very nicely together.

So this is my current hexie lineup. It's back to being bitterly cold so it's an inside day for me, and I have lots of stitching to keep me company.....M

Friday, January 12, 2018

Moving Things Along

Snippets quilt - QuiltBee
This is what Snippets is starting to look like. The blocks are just up on the design board and not sewn together yet, so the diagonal grid will ultimately become a bit tighter. These blocks will measure 27 x 45" once they are sewn together.

Snippets quilt blocks - QuiltBee
I've got about 15 more blocks made and probably the makings of another 15 assembled and ready to go.

Snippets quilt blocks - QuiltBee
A stitch here and a stitch there and the pile gradually builds. It's a great little block and I'm just loving the fact that each block is different, motivation in and of itself to sew 'just one more'....M

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The Long Goodbye

hexagon diamonds for Minnie quilt - QuiltBee
I'm one of those people who likes to have my Christmas tree up for as long as possible (one year I managed to keep it up til March Break, and it wasn't an artificial tree!), but I've run out of time. The city is doing a tree pick-up tomorrow so today was the day to take it down.

Christmas cookies - QuiltBee
Knowing that, I spent yesterday curled up on the couch with Minnie - who I haven't seen since July - listening to Christmas carols and finding some solace in Christmas cookies (the Official Cookie Tester was happy to help out with the cookies tho not so keen on the carols...). The bone cracking cold temperatures outside only confirmed my idea that a spot near the fireplace was the place to be.

When I press a hexie diamond I ensure that all three accent hexies are pressed flat.

This recesses them a little bit on the finished side and adds just a bit of dimension. Not sure if that will hold up when (and if) this quilt is ever quilted, but I do like the look it gives to the block.

As of a few hours ago our tree was kicked to the curb and the living room feels a little empty; I really miss the soft light that it shines through the house. Sadly, there was one fatality as the decos came down - one of my little Faberge-like eggs is no more.

On the upside, it has started to snow and temperatures are supposed to rise, so we may be coming out of this deep freeze. I'll be spending the rest of the day watching football playoffs, enjoying my hand stitching and snacking on a few more cookies.....M

Friday, January 05, 2018

Borrowing From the Neighbours

Snippets quilt - QuiltbeeSnippets blocks are starting to come together. I'm lovin' the scrappiness.

Snippets quilt blocks - Quiltbee
There's a little bit of everything in it...
Sujata Shah used a phrase in her book Cultural Fusion Quilts that has stuck with me as a good reminder of how to create depth - use two or three shades of the same colour. She calls it 'borrowing from the neighbours'. Works like a charm.

I've also used a few checks and different scales of print. Every block is different (sort of like that old commercial for Bits & Bites, where every handful is a different combination ­čśĆ).

chicken pot pie - Quiltbee
I also took my first stab at making Chicken Pot Pie. We've been enduring the cold wave that seems to have a grip on most of North America and I just needed some comfort food. I don't think that I've ever made Pot Pie before but I definitely will again. This recipe is to die for and had the Official Cookie Tester coming back for seconds. Instead of making individual pies I just made one large one and it worked out well. Stay warm!...M

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Happy New Year from the Trimming Table!

Much as I was looking forward to getting some sewing done over the holidays I did as much pressing and trimming as anything. This happy little pile of Snippets trimmings looked enough like confetti to double as a celebratory burst to use in wishing you a very happy and healthy 2018 (2018 - how did that happen?!). If you are like me, you are already making stitching plans for the new year, probably more plans than will actually get made, but that's half the fun of it, isn't it?

Now that the rotary cutting has been set aside I've got lots and lots of blocks to play with.

Several times as my eyes rolled into the back of my head with boredom I was tempted to stop trimming and put a few blocks together but I was determined to get all of the trimming done first. Now the real fun begins with lots of different block layouts.....M