Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Pleasant Surprise

Part of the reason that it's taken so long for me to start sewing the larger diamond blocks for Minnie together is that I found the prospect a little daunting. I knew that I had to have my wits about me to get it started, but now that I have, I am very pleasantly surprised at how well it is coming along.

The diamonds are being joined in diagonal rows and they are all now assembled except for the last two, each of which needed another large diamond sewn together before the blocks could be joined. 

I tried using existing setting triangles as the starting point for the blocks that I needed to make but found that I had really picked through my hexies and in many cases don't have any more of the fabrics that I was looking for, so I used bits and pieces for one and am sewing the second one from scratch. I'll start sewing the outer border on them today as I send out prayers to the Ukrainians as they suffer through this totally unwarranted and brutal war waged by Russia. They are proving to be strong and resilient and will need all of the support that we can give in the coming weeks and months.

And a quick reminder that if you'd like to get in on the Quilt Design Book giveaway you have until end of day tomorrow, February 28, to leave me a comment....M

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Who's Up For A Giveaway?

One of the great joys of hosting my blog continues to be the ability to also share the beautiful work of my many creative family and friends, but one friend that's been a little shy is Ann (this one is Ann without a 'e') so today I'm pulling her out of the shadows a bit to host a little giveaway for everyone.

Ann is drawn to bright, fun and funky quilting projects, like this Simple Modern Christmas throw by Susan Madu (sort of reminiscent of all of the Little Trees quilts that you've seen over the last few months, isn't it?).

And Dresden Neighbourhood.

She's also an absolutely fabulous Gran to Rose and they spend lots of time together - playing, reading, baking, cooking and recently, sewing. Before Christmas the two of them worked on tote bags for gifts for Rose's friends...

and since then she and Rose made this Warren the Charity Bear stuffie using a pattern from Shiny Happy World. I'm guessing that a quilt isn't far behind.

Ann is a kind, generous soul, always dropping a note or a little care package into the mail when you least expect it. Recently, she sent through a note wondering if I had any use for a quilt design book; she had picked up The Quilter's Planner Design Book but on closer review decided that is wasn't her thing so we agreed that there might be someone else out there that would to enjoy it.

It's broken down into several sections. There's a place to track the progress on your projects (I do this with an Excel spreadsheet, to some extent), bee blocks and swap projects,

a number of sheets for planning projects as well as several pages to park ideas for future projects.

At the back there are several very helpful reference pages like a cutting estimator to help you easily figure out the number of squares that you can cut from yardage and the diagonal measurement of squares (helpful for calculating sizes for setting quilt blocks on point).

There's also instructions for a few basic piecing methods like HSTs, Four-at-a-Time Flying Geese, Square-in-a-Square blocks and Hourglass units (I have to admit that these pages were a real temptation for me - it's always nice to have a good reference that you can easily put your hands on). 

There's even a colour wheel with a good explanation of monochromatic, complementary and analogous colour schemes, as well as hues, tints and shades, etc. And, it is spiral bound so it sits nice and flat, regardless of which page you turn to.

It sounds like a bit of an infomercial but I wanted to give you as good a sense as possible of what it contains. If this sounds like something that you could use, just leave me a comment and I will draw a winner on Monday, February 28. Unfortunately, my ability to have comments emailed to me from Blogger is still hit and miss, so I might not get back to each of you directly, but rest assured that I can see all of the comments in the back of the house so I will be able to monitor everyone that enters the giveaway. Good luck!....M

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Cue The Cupid

It's the season of love with Valentine's Day just around the corner, which will keep Cupid busy for the next little bit. Around here there's been a little heart-shaped sewing going on.

Friends of ours are expecting their second daughter in June so I've decided to make a quilt for them. I landed on simple, scrappy four-patch hearts after seeing a plethora of pattern options surface on Pinterest.

As usual, the more variety in the fabrics the better it is - I think there are 10-12 different pinks, which will lend itself to a bit of 'I spy' as she grows older.

It's been the perfect excuse to use a few novelty prints from the stash too, like this little kitten-themed one. Apologies for the lighting.

And a few of the selvages are cute, cute, cute.

Things were pretty busy for me two years ago when their first daughter was born and I didn't make one for her so I'm thinking that I will make a second quilt and deliver them both at the same time. Right now scrappy stars seem to be the pattern of choice but lots could change before I start that one 😉. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!....M

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Minnie's Time Has Come

To say that my hand stitching time has been sporadic this year is being kind - I've barely lifted a needle, aimlessly looking for something to catch/keep my attention, often sitting in to the machine instead. It's not for a lack of options, because there are a few projects on the go - I just wasn't interested in working on anything quite yet so my evenings were more often than not spent watching shows that The Official Cookie Tester had taped, hands doing not much more than holding my tea. But over the weekend that all changed; Minnie is back in the house!

I laid out all of the large diamonds and setting triangles and started planning. It's going to be lovely.

My guess of how many large diamonds I needed is pretty close - I've got two more to make and then the corner pieces. I'm going to assemble several rows and then fill in the missing spots later.

There's lots of extra parts (setting triangles) because I hadn't really calculated how many I might need, so I just kept stitching. I'm hoping that I can add to one or two to give me the large diamonds that I need and then cut a few back for the required corner bits.

It's quite exciting to finally be at the point of assembling all of the bits and pieces into a flimsy!....M

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

I'm Doing A Happy Dance Too!

It looks like January was a good month to make a flimsie as over the weekend I too finished putting one together. It's Wintersweet, and it's in the same record-setting territory as Anne's flannel beauty Home Quarter

I don't know the last time that I would have put a quilt top together in under a month, but I'll take it! As a reminder, the pattern is from Cakestand Quilts and it's free; she also provides an easy-to-follow tutorial. 

There hasn't been any movement on Halo so no design wall for me - laying it out on the floor outside the sewing room was my only option. This is the view from the top of the stairs. I like!

I'm so glad that I included the low volume neutrals with the white - it's given the entire thing a nice soft feel. Crisp and soft all in one.

Just noticed the two green and white polka dot squares sitting side by side. Despite shifting and rotating strips to avoid this it looks like a there are a couple of spots where it happened. Ah well, I was getting dizzy making all the changes so one or two were bound to squeak in there. Just chalking it up to 'scrappy'.

Now it's time to contemplate a backing. I have several in my stash but I'm not certain that they are quite right. There is also a beautiful green botanical tone-on-tone from Laundry Basket Quilts that's been waiting for the perfect quilt so I'll give that a look too; just not sure that I want the backing to be too dark. We'll see what we see. 

In the meantime, I'd better lay it out on a bed to see if it's big enough - I didn't think to measure it.....M