Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Passion for Whimsy

Jane has a wonderful imagination and is never shy about sharing her love of whimsy. She loves to play and that is more than apparent in her funky little Easter Baskets quilt. She stopped by last week with an armload of quilts for a quick show and tell after picking them up from Roberta. What a treat!

Started and finished during the pandemic, Easter Baskets was inspired by Anna Jantina from the Netherlands, the same quilter who also inspired several of us to make Little Trees. Could it be any more fun? Like the majority of her quilts, it is hand pieced; I think she wins the speed-piecing award!

Anna used bias strips for her quilt handles but Jane wasn't up for that so she switched it up to use a variety of colours of rick-rack. It worked beautifully, making what was already a charming quilt into one that was doubly so and giving it a certain folk art feel. The blocks finished up at 4" x 6".

And the large floral print for the border is perfect too - its got a softness to it that is hard to describe but it works so well with all of the soft, creamy colours and smaller florals that run throughout. I didn't get a photo of it, but it is backed with a beautiful butter yellow.

Absolutely adorable! She wasn't sure about adding in the darker prints but is really happy that she did and I agree - they add more depth to it.

A happy, scrappy masterpiece. My favourite basket is in the top row of this shot - the large floral Martha Negley print with the gingham trim and dark handle.

One last pic, for good measure.

Okay, maybe just one more....M

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Dust is Settling

Despite my little dust up with Diamond Dust, the two missing blocks are now together and so is the flimsy. It's amazing how things come together when you just buckle down and get on with it 😉.

I'm quite taken with all of the half-inch squares dancing across the quilt - lots and lots of variety to move the eye around. This was a great way to use some of my one-inch strips. Soon I'll need to give some thought to the quilting pattern - something that can really take advantage of those white nine-inch blocks.

The quilt is very white and needs a little something to ground it so I'm going to add a border, as wide as I can get, out of this mauve floral. I think that there is more than a metre of it. I'm thinking that a little pink gingham backing and binding might work; we'll see what's in the stash.

The red in the blossoms was a pleasant surprise that is saving my bacon a bit. There are a few deep red squares  in the blocks (you can see on in the bottom left) that looked like they might be a little too intense when I laid everything out but they tie in nicely to the blooms. Happy, happy.....M

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Jane's x and + Quilt Shines Like a Jewel

The late day sun provided the perfect setting for displaying Jane's most recent finish, her drop dead gorgeous x and + quilt. All of its rich and vibrant colours seem to shine like jewels or stained glass, don't they? 

The blocks finished at 10 inches so the quilt is about 70” x 90”. She decided against putting a border on it and I think that was a great choice - none needed. 

It was a fun quilt to piece by hand with the cutting being the biggest part of the job by far. Lots of favourite little bits of scraps that she had been saving found there way into it, including some lovely Anna Maria Horner fabric that she had bought at least 10 years ago.

Says Jane, "I don’t have a backing for this one yet, but I am thinking something “quiet” may be in order. LOL!"

Sipping lemonade while stitching on the deck was an added plus (pardon the pun 😉).

Her palette of choice has definitely been brights and I cannot wait to see this one in person. She would love to do a low volume quilt soon but her stash is sorely lacking on low volume fabrics. I'm thinking that a bit of klepto quilting might be in order....M

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Blue Smoke in Every Direction

I was all gung ho to move a couple of quilts along over the weekend but it seems as though the quilting gods and I were out of sync. 

I had pulled a mauve floral for the Diamond Dust border and decided that it was time to see if everything worked together.

So I laid out the blocks in the hopes of getting them sewn together. Not so fast. I am two blocks short! How did that happen??? 

Miffed, I packed them all back into a pile and decided that I would focus on the Yellow Houses instead. 

Guess it just wasn't my day because I was short three blocks for this one! Whaaaat??!

I have made at least six extra white houses and not enough yellow. No combination of layouts was going to get me to where I needed to be without making more yellow houses. The blue smoke in the room got decidedly thicker.

I'm not keen on cutting more but I might have to. I was so steamed that these blocks got packed up again too but I may lay them out one more time to see if, after I add the borders, it will be large enough for a throw. The extra blocks could be made into a baby quilt with an alternating block of some sort, possibly an Irish Chain

So, now I'm desperately trying to put on my big girl pants, one leg at a time, to figure out what to do. The easiest is probably to start by making two more Diamond Dust blocks but I'm still not in the mood for that. Hope it doesn't mean that there's a squirrel lurking somewhere....M

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Lots and Lots of Little Trees

Jane has inspired four of us to begin work on our own Little Trees - Linda, Anne, Sandy and I - and I've been anxious to see how everyone's tiny forests look and compare. All of the gals are having tons of fun with this one and were happy to oblige with a little show and tell.

For Sandy, this is the perfect little project to have on hand when there’s not a lot of ambition to be juggling a bunch of fabric. To date, she has 87 trees all pressed and trimmed and a whole whack of them in various stages of construction, which means she will be pulling out her iron again soon! 

I had suggested that she iron the seam attaching the trunk to the tree flat to avoid the bulk and that's working well. After rummaging in her scrapbooking stuff she found her bone folder to help hold those seams in place and avoid burning her fingers; worked like a charm.


Linda has been busy too, with 110 trees made up so far.  

She is starting to assemble a piece that is 12 blocks wide by 9 blocks long. Once she sees how that looks she will decide about borders. According to Linda, 'Looks dang cute thus far!'. Totally agree.

Anne's little forest is 50 strong and feels more autumnal than Christmas to me with the oranges and greens. Love all the brights.

It's always amazing how the same pattern takes on a completely different feel depending on the fabric choices.

I go in fits and starts with mine and have had a huge bundle in need of pressing, so I finally got to that, trimmed them all and did a head count. I'm up to 153 so far. Maybe I should start laying them out too and see where it takes me.

The joy of pressing is that you get to revisit the fabric combinations in each block. Love this one, but then I find another and love it too! I've been very conservative with the backgrounds for all of my trees, leaning to the lighter prints, but I might want to follow Linda's lead and venture into using a few stronger prints.

I loved seeing where everyone is with this project and look forward to seeing each of the quilts develop. Hope you did too!....M