Friday, February 28, 2020

This is Waaaaay Overdue

In September when Sandy was up for our girls' weekend I snapped a few pics of the nine-patch that she was working on but they got totally buried. Well, since then she has sent through a few more goodies to share so today's the day!

This was a great quilt to be working on in September because the fabrics are very autumnal. Having two sizes of nine-patch blocks to work with gave her the opportunity to use the smaller size as cornerstone blocks in her sashing.

We had laid it out on the floor to chat about border options as you can see by the telltale 'quilter's stance' in the pic. For the life of me I cannot remember where we landed but it appears that a border made from the larger squares was definitely in contention.

Earlier this month she sent through pics of a new scrappy project that she'd started that falls into the 'what was I thinking???'' category - a Postage Stamp quilt made with 1.5" squares. She's been busy working through all of her fabrics to get lots of variety.

She describes it as an easy peasy hand stitching project while curled up with Netflix and at last count just over 200 blocks were finished. Obviously her love affair with nine-patches is far from over.

If you look closely you will see a very special little square from the Bite Me fabric that I had gifted her Minion-loving husband Ed. You will recall that he was planning to have a cape made of it 😉 and was quite taken aback when he realized that she had cut a strip from it! Not to worry Ed, it's all for a good cause.

#QuiltBee: Blueberry Pie quilt blocks
And, she has finally cut into that dreamy fat quarter stack of blues and yellows that she scored a deal on late in the fall. Isn't this gorgeous? It's another nine-patch block format called Blueberry Pie and is a lovely combo of HSTs and Flying Geese. This one is being done on the machine but but the ripper has been close at hand. She feels that she makes way more mistakes when she's not hand stitching but has figured out that getting out an assembled block for reference before she fires up the machine is a good idea.

There are another eight blocks in the works right now... six will have the darks and lights reversed. Final sized has yet to be determined but so far she's thrilled with this one, and why not? I

And her last pic came with this message, "I know you’ll get this! I’m excited for the little package of triangle trimmings! Seemed a shame to throw them out when they could be stitched into something else, right???". Girl after my own heart....M

Sunday, February 23, 2020

More Hexies

Slow and steady has been the approach on Anna Levens lately and it is paying off. A couple of days ago I finished off filling in the second corner of the centre panel with EPP hexies so now I'm working on the third.

Initially I thought that I was going to be working on the baby quilts that I showed you the last time but the weather has been so spectacular today that I just couldn't get myself to go downstairs. Instead, I'm hanging out with Anna and seeing if I can get another row or two added to the cause. Not a bad trade-off....M

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Boy Oh Boy!

Shortly after the new year began I got a call from a dear friend from university days that her daughter was expecting her first child. Needless to say, the thought of them becoming grandparents was more than exciting, but when they found out it would be identical twin boys, well, it was hard for them to contain themselves.

So that's a perfect excuse to make a couple of baby quilts, isn't it? They aren't due til mid summer but knowing how pokey I can be at times I decided to get a jump on them. I found Amy Smart's tutorial for a darling Lone Star quilt and got to work picking fabrics. I'm going with shades of blue, green and aqua and a variety of whites and creams.

Not all of them made the final cut but I do like the mix. The quilts will be similar but not identical so I've split the blocks into two different piles. I'll likely bind them in different fabrics so that they are easy to tell apart.

All of the blocks are cut and the over-sized HSTs together so it was time to play on the design wall. This was my first layout but it was so so - you can see that there are two greens that are very similar and they just weren't working where they were.

#QuiltBee: Lone Star baby quilt
So I switched things up and really prefer the second layout. I spent the day helping the gals at the church quilt so nothing more was done but I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend both flimsies will be together....M

Monday, February 17, 2020

A Carpenter's Daughter

It's a long weekend here in Ontario as we celebrate Family Day so yesterday I spent time with my sister Anne, yakking and stitching. She pulled out her Carpenter's Star that's been basted and ready to go for a few months now and we explored ideas on how to quilt it.

In no time at all she was off to the races. The palette is soft and dreamy and in my mind evokes beautiful large snowflakes. We both commented on how just a little quilting changes the look of a flimsy almost immediately.

She's having fun and apparently made lots of progress after I left. Our father was a talented carpenter in his day and it warms my heart that here she is working on a quilt pattern that speaks to his life and work.

I didn't stitch but was busy cutting more hexies for Anna Levens. I have lots of lighter prints ready to baste to the papers but need the occasional richer print to add to the mix. It was a lovely way to pass the afternoon. I hope that if you are celebrating Family Day that you find an opportunity to share it with someone close to you, too....M

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

I Outfoxed the Squirrels!

It turns out I really can focus when I need to. I kept my head down and the squirrels out of my sewing room and now all 80 of my Pineapple Tidbits blocks are together (no squirrels were killed in the making of these blocks!).

When they were all prepped I pulled out the biscuit tin that I'd been storing them in over the years and did a final count - there's actually 83. My sister Frances is making the same quilt (we took the course together) and just recently resurrected it, so I'll see if she can use the extras.

You can see from my sticky notes both just how far back this project dates and how I changed my mind about its size as time went on. Guess at one point I decided that it had a better chance of being finished as a lap quilt rather than a full sized quilt and I think that was a good decision.

It was fun to look through the earlier blocks and recognize fabrics that I no longer had in my baggies; I particularly love this red and white check. The zigzag around the edge of the block just helps keep the block and its flannelette foundation together and I think will be a big help when its time to assemble the top, particularly at the corners.

They all begin with a red square and at one point in the process I decided that maybe I should avoid having red elsewhere in the block, but recently changed my mind on that again. I'm glad that I did - it just adds a little more interest.

So once I finish patting myself on the back I will bask in the glow of knowing that I have finished my blocks, succumb to other stitching temptations for a bit and wait for the motivation to assemble this quilt to strike....M

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Love Letters

#QuiltBee: Valentine mug rug
Valentines Day is on the horizon and Jane has been busy, busy, busy getting ready for it; she adores Valentines and is always on the lookout for interesting projects. This mug rug is her latest creation, the inspiration for which she found on Pinterest.

#QuiltBee: Valentine mug rug
For a mug rug it is rather generously sized - approximately 12" x 16". It is doubtful that she will use it as a mug rug but more likely as a small wall hanging. Luv these polka dots.

#QuiltBee: Valentine mug rug
The hearts are tiny and sweet and beautiful all together.

This year she's also fashioned pretty Valentines from delicate hankies. There's a light batting to give them a bit of body. A few lace embellishments were added after this photo was taken.

#QuiltBee: tiny Valentine envelope block
And then there was this tiny envelope block that will become part of another mug rug. Isn't it adorable? It is just four HSTs but it's the size that that makes it. Made of 1.5" strips, the block is only 4" after you add the borders. Just. So. Stinkin'. Cute!

#QuiltBee: Valentine cards
For years she has also made beautiful cards to celebrate the occasion. She used to sell them to the folks in her office but now that she's retired and moved away from the city that doesn't happen as often, however, a local coffee shop has put them on their counter so she is interested to see how they do there. I'm betting that they fly off the shelf.

Those teenie tiny little envelopes had me squealing and she revealed that they were cut with Linda's Cuttlebug. Well, Linda, kind soul that she is, surprised me with a little stack of my own to play with. Not sure that I will even come close to what you see here, but I'll have fun trying....M

Friday, February 07, 2020

Keeping My Head Down

#QuiltBee: Pineapple Tidbits quilt blocks
I'm trying to keep my head down and the squirrels at bay as I close in on the last of my Pineapple Tidbits blocks. There's about half a dozen left to go but it is that dangerous point in a project where you start thinking, 'Maybe I should play with something else'. Focus. Focus.

#QuiltBee: Pineapple Tidbits quilt block
A block takes about 45 minutes to assemble so I've been attempting to prep two at a time and then sew both in one sitting. Sometimes I get two finished, sometimes it's only one, but slowly they are building to a big finish, which is so incredibly hard to contemplate given how long they have been in the works.

#QuiltBee: Pineapple Tidbits quilt block
Several still need to be trimmed to size but at this point I will just wait and trim everything else that needs doing in one shot. There's also a big pile that will need the edges zigzagged but again, I'm concentrating on getting the blocks finished and then working through that.

#QuiltBee: Pineapple Tidbits quilt block
I love that there is everything and anything in these blocks - it's a terrific use of the 'uglies' and triggers lots of memories - and I keep imagining what they will look like after they are dyed. Onward!....M

Sunday, February 02, 2020

A Change Of Plans

Some weeks are busy, busy, busy, and this was one of them. There was baking cookies - several hundred for Winter Magic, a winter festival that the Friends of Bonnechere Parks hosts every year - quilting, and running errands, so lots on the books.

I intended to slow things down a bit today and spend it binding a small charity quilt that the gals from the church just finished quilting. It was found in a bundle of quilt tops from an unknown maker and they decided that it was time to be quilted and put to use.

There was no fabric for the binding with the flimsy so I offered to see what was in my stash that might work. Three options emerged and of the three I chose to go with the tiny calico because it did the best job of adding a little life to this piece.

Its not an exact match but does pick up on the golds in the floral prints that was used in the quilt. Those tiny bits of cream also tie in nicely with the backing.

Late Friday I got the binding made and attached and yesterday I gave it a start. It's not a large quilt - 62" x 48" - so I expected to have it done by the end of the weekend.

Well, things went much better than anticipated and it was finished waaaay ahead of schedule. I really like the binding; the colours in the quilt are a little on the dull side so this gives it a little bit more life. The cream backing is on the light side for my taste, but it too was pulled from the bits and bobs that the gals have for charity quilts and it will do nicely.

#QuiltBee: hexagons for Anna Levens quiltSo, Plan B. Its Superbowl Sunday today with lots of good football to be had. Me thinks its back to Anna Levens and my hexies, and that's not a bad thing. Happy Groundhog Day!...M

p.s. The Official Cookie Tester was in his element this week - he even got a tin of cookies to share at the office.