Monday, July 30, 2018

Do I Hear 'Three'?

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
YES! Unbelievably, I have finished a third quilt this month and it is another one that needs to be carbon dated to figure out just how old it is. I'm guessing close to 20 years in the making.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
Kaffe Fassett's Blue Diamonds is truly one that I thought I would never finish; just pack it up and hand it off to someone else was a real possibility at one several points.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
I started this one before we moved to this house, and we've been here for 14 years, so you do the math. It was half sewn together before the move but I struggled to get good joins at the corners so I'd stop work on it more than I would pick it up.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
Needless to say, it wasn't the first thing that I unpacked when we moved, staying hidden in a TO DO bin until I set up my sewing room a couple of years later. Last year I decided to finally finish the top and then this spring sent it off to be quilted. By this time there was no love lost between it and me so I was fully prepared to use it as a charity quilt.

Once it was quilted though it was a different story. Suddenly it had texture that took some of the pressure off of perfect points and blended the fabrics into a cozy collection. And that pieced backing that I also grumped about seems to have worked out perfectly.

Roberta used a pretty pattern with a butterfly motif to compliment all of the florals and a delicate blue thread to quilt it.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
The Official Cookie Tester has taken a real shine to it too and says that it has a very French feel; I tend to agree. I remember having a difficult time finding enough different blue and pink large florals to use in it so there are some rows that are a little scrappier than others to make it work.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
And the scrappy doesn't end there. The pink and blue striped setting triangles around the edge just make me smile. They are the real 'make do' part of the quilt, the blue coming from an old shirt and the pink was once my nightshirt.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
Not only do I like the inclusion of the stripes, I like how they work with the florals. I couldn't resist placing one or two on an angle for more interest.

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
This fabric with the red cabbage roses and daisies is by far my fave, in part because I didn't have a lot of it,

Blue Diamonds quilt: QuiltBee
and this cream cabbage rose that I've used around the border isn't very far behind.

The bright, geometric binding is fun too.

So, at the end of the day I guess the moral of the story is not to second guess a WIP until you see the finished product. It always seems to come together in the end....M

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Woo Hoo - Number Two!

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
Stop the presses! Believe it or not, I have finished a second quilt this month! Spring Garden is now bound and ready to be enjoyed.

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
I'm fond of this one for so many reasons. It's my original design and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
It all started on a whim to make some of the block-in-a-block blocks (that's a lot of 'blocks'!). Then I had to figure out what I was going to do with them. Add in a lot of scrappy nine-patches and then a ring of four-patches, and suddenly it was looking like something.

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
I think that my favourite part of the design is the row of negative space blocks between the centre of the quilt and the blue border. It turned out better than I ever imagined and gives it a very lace eyelet look, don't you think?

And it's so beautifully quilted. Roberta used my favourite feathered swirl pattern on it and it is perfect.

I could look at that pattern all day.

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
Actually, Roberta is thinking that she might need to make one, which I am both flattered and excited about - I'll be interested to see her interpretation of it. You'll remember that Anne made one too.

Spring Garden quilt: QuiltBee
I was so excited to have it finished that I didn't waste any time pressing it into service - it is now happily dressing the bed in our guest room. LUV!....M

p.s. Joining the gang at Finished or Not Friday.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Slowing Things Down

hexagons for Minnie quilt: QuiltBee
This week we spent a few days at one of our favourite spots along the Rideau Canal/Rideau Heritage Route, relaxing by the water's edge and enjoying having someone else do the cooking, so Minnie came along for the ride.

The hot weather continued all week but we found a beautiful shaded perch from which to stitch and read.

With views like this...

and this, it sometimes got a little difficult to stay focused on stitching.

hexagons for Minnie quilt: QuiltBee
But stitch I did, and I came home with a nice little bundle of Minnie diamonds.

hexagons for Minnie quilt: QuiltBee
They still need a press but there will be more of the same today since we are finally getting a good rain, so I'll be curled up with my little hexies and joining Kathy and the gang to do a little slow Sunday stitching....M

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Starry Starry Night

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
At long last Martha's Star is complete (that only took about 15 years!!!) and we are looking forward to having it on our bed and sleeping under the stars. If you've been following along you will know that I started this one years ago, working with my mother on selecting the fabrics and assembling the stars.

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
After her death I changed the pattern up a bit to add in the red Irish Chain blocks and it really picked up the feel of the quilt.

There are some quilts that are more memory quilts than others, either because of when/why you made them or because of the fabrics. This one rings true on both. It's also a big reason why I had it hand quilted.

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
Believe it or not, a couple of the stars are made from fabrics that we used to make kimonos out of for a high school musical, Tea House of the August Moon, and I'm here to tell you that high school was more than just a few years ago!

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
This is another kimono fabric. I just love them - they remind me of Dutch chintz and work beautifully with the other more traditional calico prints.

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
So, it's a wrap. I could have knocked about a year off the timeline for this one if I had just bound it when I got it back from the quilters last spring, but hind sight is always 20/20. It's ready to be used and loved now and that's the important thing....M

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
The days of hot, hot, muggy weather have finally passed, and even though it is close to 30 C most days, it feels absolutely balmy by comparison - perfect weather to get back to the binding on Martha's Star.

Martha's Star quilt: QuiltBee
In the evenings I have started taking it out on the deck to enjoy stitching in the fresh air and gentle summer breeze until the fading light sends me indoors.

It's a large quilt and I'm not really speeding through it (I think I'm just over a quarter of the way there) but it is a lovely way to pass the time.....M

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Enjoy the Little Things

What do you do when your air conditioning quits over a long weekend in the middle of a heat wave? You find a good, big fan and set it up near your machine so that you can sew tiny strip sets to keep yourself from going mad with the heat. I'm happy to say that after four days we finally have a fix but there were times that it almost drove us to distraction.

The Omigosh quilt requires a lot of this...

but the payoff is these wonderful little blocks. And now I have eight more to add to the list.

I also get to enjoy a little light (fabric) reading as you sew with a reminder to enjoy the little things...

p.s. This is a lousy pic but I just had to share it. As I sewed the Official Cookie Tester sat in front of another fan to watch World Cup soccer. To the untrained eye this looks like random strip sets, but it was his illustration of the extra kicks that saw England win over Columbia. 😃

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Three For Three

I surprised myself yesterday and got the binding sewn onto Martha's Star, so I will enjoy a relaxing day of hand stitching today. Just as well, as it is stinkin' hot and humid outside, and looks like it will be for the next several days.

Normally, I make my bias binding and then sew it onto the quilt right away so I'm working with a hot mess of binding strip in my lap, but because I made three (very long) bindings in advance this time I rolled them into a ring as I pressed them and they were delightfully easy to use. I just sat the roll next to the machine and pulled off what I needed as I went. Might be a lesson in there for the future...

Anyway, the first one went so well that I tackled a second one...

and then the third! So, now I have no lack of stitching to do for the next little while.

The bindings were made either from the backing scraps (green dots) or remnant pieces, so I just kept cutting until the pieces were used up. Looks like I have enough to do four more quilts!

To my Canadian friends, a very happy Canada Day! Have fun celebrating our 151st birthday and be certain to find a place to stay cool....M

p.s. Just noticed Google's image for the day. Doesn't it look like all those little people are working on a design wall? 😉