Monday, September 30, 2019

The MOB Quilt

Today my favourite niece Julia and her husband Ryan celebrate two years of wedded bliss. To mark the occasion Betty, Julia's mom, made not one, but two quilts - one for them and one for her and Steve. I've invited Betty to be my guest blogger today to share, in her words, the story of the gorgeous MOB (Mother-of-the-Bride) quilt which she just finished up a couple of weeks ago.

"When Julia and Ryan announced they were getting married about four years ago, I think I had already started working on a Star quilt that would be their wedding gift - call it a mothers intuition! Since they set their wedding date for September 2017, it gave me lots of time to complete this heirloom.

With the wedding approaching and the gift complete, I decided to start work on a mother-of-the-bride (MOB) quilt as a memento - one that Steve and I would sleep under for years to come - AND to keep my mind distracted from the myriad details it took to complete that special day!

In keeping with the bridal theme, instead of using new fabrics I chose heirloom linens featuring intricate hand embroidery, crochet and cut work. I worked with antique table runners, hankies, fine garments and doilies, many of them I inherited from my Moms collection - all so meticulously laundered and pressed by her.

I worked with a simple set of patterns and borders comprising 2 squares, and quilted along the stitching lines for the most part.
In each of the four corners, I set a collage of larger dollies bordered by a heavy brocade that looked like it may have come from a mini-skirt worn by a chichi '60s bride, perhaps?

The quilt is now trimmed and laundered. When I hung it out on a sunny day recently the piecing puckered so nicely, woven together by hand-quilting and antique lace.

I love the random tones of ivory and white, punctuated by bits of coloured embroidery. Reminds me of our parents wedding cake topper that sat preserved in the family cedar chest for decades.

As charming as the quilt front is, its on the back where I placed the final touches: a sweet mother-of-the-bride hankie that Julia gave me on her wedding day, anchored by a memory heart that she gave her dad, Steve. Set against a lovely French-inspired floral that was a gift from my sister Marie (QuiltBee), these two mementos provide the perfect signature on an heirloom that marks one of the most special days in the history of our family!"....M

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Barn Scraps

#QuiltBee: Courthouse Steps quilted fall placemat
There were lots of 1.5" strip leftovers after making the Log Cabin blocks for my barn block so I decided to put them to use right away and make a set of place mats. I had made a Christmas set a year or two ago and we love them so much that we use them year round, so this might be a good excuse to switch things up a bit. Then again, they may just go into the pile for the Holly Bazaar just so that there is more than table runners on offer.

The addition of the purple was a bit of a debate with me, myself and I, but I'm glad that I used it - it adds a nice little punch. There was more cutting to get the variety I needed - I didn't want to repeat any fabric, so that meant more strips.

#QuiltBee: Courthouse Steps quilted fall potholders
Soooo, there are now four pot holders in the same palette to help use up more strips; I think they will also go into the Holly Bazaar pile. If you look closely you will see that the place mats are made as a Courthouse Steps block and the pot holders are traditional Log Cabin blocks....M

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

First Days of Autumn

#QuiltBee: Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner
The leaves have started to change and the temps are decidedly chillier. What better way to welcome autumn than with my new Rhubarb Crisp runner?

#QuiltBee: Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner
The colours really do invoke the coming change in the landscape - all of those rich reds, golds and greens. And all of those itty bitty geese and stars - what can I say? Luv. Thank you Jo Morton.

#QuiltBee: Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner
You will recall that I made three of these runners, two of which will be used for charitable causes. The one that I kept for myself has the larger of the two backing prints, which I love, but it is still proving to be a challenge to get an accurate photo of it. Ah well.

#QuiltBee: Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner
Happy autumn!

After seeing/quilting them Roberta took my tiny flying geese BlocLoc ruler for a spin and is now totally hooked. She picked up a set for herself and seems to be firmly entrenched in the 'star chamber'. Not quite sure what they will be used for yet, maybe a Christmas version of the runner, but she just can't pull herself away from them. Whatever it is, you know its going to be beautiful....M

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Welcome, Feathered Friends

Last weekend Linda graciously hosted the gals for a quilting weekend. In between stitches we got out for a hike to clear the cobwebs and stretch our legs and this cute little birdhouse marked the beginning of the adventure. You likely can't read the little sign on the left but it reads, 'Welcome, Feathered Friends'.

Once back inside the needles continued to fly and I'll share more about that later in the week, but today it's all about the hand stitching. Betty made the binding for her Mother of the Bride quilt and got it all stitched down. The quilt is really something with all the antique linens and lace - such a treasure.

Sunday we had a planned power outage from 9 am through to 2 pm, so no machines humming in the background. Instead, everyone picked up their hand work. Linda is almost finished the Christmas Cabins quilt she and Jane started at our last getaway for her grandson (wait til you see it!); she spent her time cutting and sewing a 6-inch block border - the final touch on a truly wonderful quilt.

One of the borders on Linda/Jane's creation needed a rework so after I ripped it out Jane got busy and sewed everything back together the way they wanted it.

Anne has started her version of Snow Goose in rich turquoise and gold colours, sewing the various components by machine. She started assembling her blocks by hand and is thrilled with how it looks.

Betty moved to working on her version of Tumbling Blocks. It is gorgeously rich in colour but still not coming together in a way that she's thrilled with so I expect that there will be some ripping and reworking happening on it soon.

And I spent some time with Minnie, which is where I will pick up things today. There are a few last diamonds that need assembling and then more work on the half-diamond setting triangles, so I'll play with that while we wait for it to rain. It has been really dry of late and a good downpour or two would be more than welcome here....M

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Barn Raisings

#QuiltBee: barn quilt block
Its been a full court press to figure out what I was going to do for the Carp Fair 'Beautiful Barns' block challenge because it needs to be submitted by the 25th, which means it needs to get into the mail a few days before that. No time to waste.

With the exception of the bottom border of Log Cabin blocks, it is built in vertical strips. I did that because I was paranoid that I would miscalculate someplace along the way and it wouldn't be wide enough (it needed to be 18.5" unfinished). Guess I know myself too well because I came up half an inch short. Thankfully I had more cream so I replaced an edge piece.

The silo is a fave of The Official Cookie Tester. It gave me pause as to the best way to construct the roof. First I appliquéd the roof to the background and then attached both pieces to the silo, and it worked well. I tried a new appliqué method - back basting - and really took to it, so much so that I appliquéd the pumpkin and the tree. Its a no fuss, no muss method and one that I can see adopting.

He also insisted on the weather vane so I needed to channel all of my 4-H embroidery skills from years gone by to make that happen. It seemed sort of appropriate though, given that this is a project for an agricultural fair.
We were encouraged to incorporate fall colours into the blocks so I thought a few Log Cabins would work.

Betty dropped hers off for shipping this morning and it is much more graphic than mine; she stitched hers all by hand.

We got a good laugh at what experts we had become in determining barn roof angles and the blue smoke that came from assembling them 😄.

The Friendship Star block is a remnant from a truck quilt that her son Ted sewed years ago when he was just a little tyke - it works perfectly. I also like the way she incorporated bits and pieces of a second red into the barn.

#QuiltBee: barn quilt blocks
Both are now on their way back to Jean in time for next week's judging. I'm hoping that we are able to see all of the entries to see how everyone else interpreted the challenge - might just have to plan to attend the fair at the end of the month....M

Monday, September 16, 2019

Take Me To the Fair

I was away at a quilt weekend with the gals but when I landed home last evening I saw that there was some fun mail that had arrived on Friday. Our friend Jean is a key organizer of the Carp Fair (Best Little Fair in Canada) and encouraged Betty and I to take part in their Beautiful Barns quilt block challenge this year, so we accepted.

The kits include our instructions...

five different fabrics that must be used which we can supplement with other fall/harvest fabrics, if we like...

and lots of barn block inspiration. 

All blocks will be judged at this year's fair and then assembled into an item(s) to be raffled/auctioned at the 2020 fair. They need to be submitted by the 25th so pitter patter, time to get at 'er!.....M

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Looney Tunes

Well, either I have gremlins in my sewing room or I am just going looney (right now the safe money is on the latter). I had made a bit of progress on my wonky baskets and wanted to see what they all look like together, but apparently that was a big ask.

I was certain that the two original blocks were together in the sewing room but when I picked up what I thought was 'them' it was only one. Whaaaaaat? So the search was on. I mean really - how far could it have gone? I had only just made it! I got into such a tizzy that if I hadn't had photographic proof that the block existed I would have seriously doubted that it did. I know my sewing room is in need of a tidying up, but this was ridiculous.

Just before I went off the deep end I found it sitting on a chair just outside the room. Sheesh. I am literally becoming a basket case.

So now there are four blocks and there's a fifth under construction.

When it is finished I will definitely pay attention to where I lay it down....M

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Making Do

Though I know that I still have a ways to go before Minnie is finished up, I do feel as though the end is in sight. One way to tell is that I am running out of some of my hexies, so I've decided to make the most of those that I have cut and work in a few last precious fabrics as best I can, even if I don't have enough for a particular section.

These are the last pieces of these two mauves so I combined them into a single blossom, and I like the look.

So I'll take it a step further and use two pinks in this diamond, rather than having them all the same. I think that there is one more diamond somewhere in the bunch where I did this. It will be fun to try and find the 'make do' diamonds when it is all together.....M