Sunday, May 22, 2022

Spectacular Slow Stitching

Often the scraps and leftovers from a quilt become the seeds for beautiful projects unto themselves. Such is the case with these gorgeous little Kantha bags that Jane is stitching.

Using scrappy strips from her Untraditional Log Cabin which was finished earlier this year, she sewed panels that are roughly 6 - 7" square and then spent time leisurely hand stitching them with a variety of coloured embroidery flosses. Even before they are made into any thing they are gorgeous and the texture when you run your hand across them is just wonderful.

We spent a day together earlier this week, so while I worked on bindings she started making them into little lined bags.

Each one is as spectacular as the next and she had lots of fun picking coordinating linings and zippers. Like with the quilt, the riot of rich colours pulls you right in.

In the end there were two sizes; the larger one is about six inches square and a smaller one that is more of a change purse size. There's still tassels needed to be added to the zippers to finish them up, but even without the tassel they are mini works of art. LUV!....M

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Helping Mom With a Finish

Since 2017, Anne has been continuing to hand piece blocks for a quilt called Roses at the Window, begun by mom in 1990. 

When she first uncovered the box with all of the contents and instructions needed she was in awe of mom's organization skills and fondly referred to this as her quilt-in-a-box, working at it off and on as a hand stitching project.

A short while ago, after mom's goddaughter Bernadette was diagnosed with breast cancer, my sister Betty offered that we would give her a quilt made by mom. Bernadette was thrilled. It's taken a little longer than planned, but the quilt is now ready for delivery.

With all of the blocks sewn, I helped Anne assemble the top. We needed to incorporate another cream to the sashing, which ended up working out well. We also decided to cut it down in size a bit and incorporated the surplus blocks into the backing. 

A border of dark green worked to nicely frame it.

And Roberta found a beautiful leafy floral pattern to quilt it with which really suits the floral print and leafy green backing. In the pattern, there were roses appliqued overtop of the grid of blocks but we opted not to go there.

Betty was keen to help out as well, so she finished it off by doing the binding and giving it a good wash. So, it's officially out of the box and ready to go. Bernadette's oldest sister is visiting this weekend so Anne will be able to hand deliver it. This was a great team effort to not only finish up one of mom's projects, but to be able to share her quilting legacy with extended family on this Mother's Day. Mom would be thrilled; I know we three are....M

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

To Scream or Not To Scream...

There's been a little Shakespearean tragedy (or maybe it's a comedy?) playing out in the sewing room.

Keen to get Halo closer to the finish line now that the baby quilts are done, I've been focused on finishing up all the necessary pie shapes needed so that I can move on to assembling the blocks. I was getting to the end of the line so I started cleaning up the fabrics and templates and decided to take a look at the pattern again. 

It took a bit of time to register, but eventually I figured out that I have been laying the edge pieces out incorrectly. 

I should have been building it so that the edges finished in complete circles, as shown at the right, but I was finishing off with half circles/a straight edge. Ah, the power of the pattern.

Things were eventually rearranged to where they should be but what made me want scream was the fact that I had sewn so many unneeded 'T' centres for the blocks - 15 in all. So I resorted to my tried and true crisis management technique: turn out the lights and leave the room.

Sanity prevailed a day or two later and I returned to begin sewing the blocks - finally! I have to say that I'm just loving seeing them come together.

SO scrappy!

I take the pieces for one block down off the wall at a time and it helps me track how many I've made and how many are left to go.

As for those 15 extra T sections, not sure what their fate is. Maybe some day they will become a runner or a baby quilt, but right now I'm not up for cutting more pie-shaped pieces to finish them off. Time will tell....M

Friday, April 22, 2022

Winter White

We woke this morning to news that the province of Saskatchewan is expecting 20 - 50 cm of snow this weekend; that's in addition to the 50 cm they got last weekend. Yikes! Not the forecast you want at the end of April, but the thought of snow reminded me of a post that I've been neglecting to share. Winter White is a recent finish by Betty and she has kindly drafted the story of her latest finish for me to share. It's been sitting in my gmail account for several weeks now but I very seldom open it, so I only recently realized that it was there. Sheesh!

Without further ado, here's the story of her latest beauty.

"When I started this quilt a few years ago, little did I know that periwinkle – one of my favourites – would be the 2022 Pantone colour of the year. I just knew I wanted to make these tones pop in a predominantly white quilt.

When Steve and I were married in June of 1984, I made my 'going away' outfit from this lovely periwinkle floral chintz, which I purchased from Riopelle’s on Bank Street, Ottawa. As was the fashion, the top had puffy sleeves and a sailor collar, and the skirt was fully pleated.

Channeling Laura Ashley, I wore this outfit for several years and then stored it away as a memento. Once I realized that my waist was never going to be that size again, I took a ripper to it and salvaged the fabric. There was lots to work with.

At that time, I sewed most of my clothes – it was easier to sew a garment than to buy it off the rack, so I frequented the downtown Ottawa fabric stores often. When the Zeller’s on Sparks Street was closing down I snapped up the tiny floral print in pink, blue and yellow, along with the large pink on white grid that I’ve used for the backing. All quality cottons.

The solid periwinkle was also repurposed from a silk-lined linen top that my sister Dori passed on to me.

The white-on-white prints – a mix of warm and cool – are from my sister Marie, and the delicate batiste is from my friend Nancy. The embroidered entre-deux trim is also from her, a leftover from when we used to do traditional French sewing together.

The tiny checked binding in periwinkle and white came from a dress shirt that belonged to my brother-in-law Charlie, who has excellent taste in clothes and fabric!

As for the pattern, I had never made a medallion quilt before. I did have a pattern for the main block, but not for the quilt top. I just winged it – and am still amazed at how the math turned out. It’s also the only square quilt I’ve ever made.

Pieced and quilted completely by hand, it’s another klepto quilt to add to my collection. I’ve christened it Winter White, a perfect pairing for my all white Mother-of-the-Bride quilt."

What a beautiful combination of warm memories and re-purposed fabrics!....M

Sunday, April 17, 2022

A Soft Quilt For Baby

Once I got the pin dot sashing sorted for the baby quilt that I'm calling Monkey Business it came together very quickly.

When I started this quilt I had plans to use the taupe strawberry print for the outer border but as it came together all I used it for was a few cornerstones towards the centre. It just didn't seem to need much more. I'll bind and back it with the strawberries and I think that will work just fine.

It's a delicate look without much fuss or bother but still enough interest in the prints to keep the attention of its intended user.

Lots of colours that play well together.

This might be the first time that I've made Monkey Wrench blocks but it won't be the last; they are fun to work with.

With another COVID wave working its way through the area it's another quiet Easter for us. Happy Easter everyone!....M

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Breakthrough for Baby

With the blocks ready to go for baby quilt number two I was struggling to figure out how to make everything work. I have this great Fig Tree strawberry print that I want to use for the borders and backing but just wasn't finding the right fabric to use for the sashing. A pink pin dot from the stash would work nicely, but since I don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl I don't want to make it too feminine. Something more neutral was needed.

Time for some klepto quilting! I'd mentioned my quandary to Roberta and she came up with a beautiful taupe pin dot to save the day. It's a little hard to see it in this pic but it's creamy and the perfect blend for the strawberries. Pinch me.

There's a little bit of everything in the Monkey Wrench blocks but they all seem to work with the berry print. A lovely blue...

a dusty pink floral...

and a taupe polka dot, just to name a few.

There's also a few bordered Nine Patch blocks that will be tossed in. It's a nice mix.

Of course, Jack (the Ripper) had to save me from myself on one of the last blocks that were pieced. Guess I was just taking things for granted at that point.

Anyway, it's on to sashing and borders. I'm quite excited to see this go to the next step....M

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

One Down, One To Go

The little Pink Hearts baby quilt top is together now and ready for quilting so I'm movin' on to number two.

I'm very happy with it, despite running into a bit of a glitch near the end. If you look closely you will see that the I probably should have had a short sashing piece added to the corner block before I added the corner triangles. I had figured it out for two of the corners but not for the other two, just based on how I had sewed on the sashing.

In the end it was easier to rip out the two that had sashing than to try and add in sashing on the two corners that were missing it. Confused? I was too for a while because I couldn't figure out why things weren't lining up, but I got it sorted and all's good now.

This little pink radish print (I think that it's called Planted With Love) is going to be the backing. It's a very soft grey, which is better than pure white, and looks cute with the hearts - just hope it's not pink overload. 

I had thought that both quilts were to be for girls but it turns out that they don't know if baby number two is a boy or a girl, so that meant some rethinking. I've landed on Monkey Wrench blocks in an assortment of colours, which will hopefully keep things a little more gender neutral....M

Friday, March 25, 2022

Quilt Art

So many quilts catch our eye but there are some that are just meant to be hung and enjoyed for the works of art that they are. One such work is Jane's recently finished Untraditional Log Cabin.

Last summer she pulled out her collection of predominantly Kaffe fabrics and a fabulous collection of greys that she had picked up at Quilt Canada when it was in Ottawa a few years ago and started cutting strips. 

She set to work hand stitching gorgeous blocks, using orange for the centre 'hearth' block and staying within a single colour range for each.

Once she had built up a good inventory of blocks it was time to test a few layouts.

It was hard to look away.

We played around with this 'peaks' idea but eventually landed on an asymmetrical design, diagonal strips emanating from near the bottom left of the quilt - it just showed off the colours to their max.

She looked at a few more options before deciding on her fourth choice - diagonal rows of blocks offset slightly from one corner. Now she knew how many of each colour she needed still to make.

Roberta quilted it with Abundant Feathers. Oh my! 

It is such a lovely contrast to the grid of the blocks and softens it up so beautifully.

She chose to bind it with an orange print that nicely echoes the orange squares at the centre of each block.

Early on Jane knew that she wanted this one to hang in her bedroom, but for a little while it found a home across the back of her sofa, which is the dark grey that you see, a terrific combination.

Recently we got together and figured out how to make a hanging sleeve and finally got it hung (I do believe that there may have been one or two squeals of delight as it was revealed 😉).

I haven't checked lately but I suspect that it's a little tough getting much shut-eye with this beauty staring back at her from the end of her bed....M

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Roberta's On A Roll

It's International Quilting Day. Over the past two years, Roberta, my friend who does my longarm quilting, has gone above and beyond, stitching seemingly everything in sight as her clients turned to quilting to cope with the lockdowns and stresses of the pandemic. Believe it or not, she has also managed to squeeze in a fair bit of her own work, so it seems like the perfect time to showcase more of it. 

In addition to the two Snowdays quilts that I shared with you last time, since the holidays she has been finishing projects like they are going out of style!

This hanging is Back To School from APQ. Designed by Sheryl Johnson and Linda Sawrey of Temecula Quilt Co., it's one that I've also had my eye on for a few years now. I just love it.
That combination of scrappy, houses and baskets is just so hard to beat. I think that it would make a beautiful full-sized quilt as well. Her little victory on this one was eeking out just enough fabric for the binding that she found in her stash.

She's also finished up this spectacular Ohio Star. The colours are so rich.

All of those gorgeous fabrics combine beautifully to make these stars shine.

This is another one where she got lucky with finding enough for her binding in her stash.

Miss Ivy seems to have picked this next one as a favourite for napping on. It's Eventide from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Lots more stars but in a very different palette. Beautiful. I am always amazed at how similar our taste is.

And then there's this runner that now graces her entranceway (definitely as star theme going on, wouldn't you say?).

She is so busy quilting for others that I have absolutely no idea how she finds the time to do even half of this, but I love getting to see all of her creations. One thing is for certain, Miss Ivy is overwhelmed by all of the productivity and needs to nap every now and then to keep her energy up 😉. Happy International Quilting Day!....M