Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Minnie & Me

Minnie is still sitting by my side when we watch TV but only lately have I picked up my needle again. With all the rush to get a few QFS flimsies ready I didn't have the energy left for hand quilting, but this past week or so I have picked up my needle again.

It's such a treat! I love revisiting every flower and diamond.

I remember being determined to incorporate the tiny white floral into this block. It was a very small scrap from Jane and is just the prettiest wee print. I do remember it being a bit tough to work with (I think it's a polished cotton, so a little heavier and a tighter weave) but it was well worth the effort.

And you can't argue with the end result....M

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Repurposed Blocks

I love being able to find a new life for orphan blocks. Recently, while digging for something completely different, I uncovered several that were left over from Martha's Star. That quilt was finished in 2018 so they were more than ready to be used!

It didn't take me long to figure out that if I just added a border to them they would be ideal to add to our Quilts for Survivors bundle (blocks need to be 16.5" unfinished). It was interesting to see the different character that each border produced.

This red was a little tough to capture - it's got a little more orange in it than it shows, but I think it goes beautifully with the navy paisley in the star.

And this green border is actually much nicer than the picture is showing, tho it proved to be difficult to capture on camera.

I think that this one is my fave; that red print is just perfect with the blue.

This was a speedy way to breathe new life into an old project and ensure that those blocks don't sit dormant for another six years....M

Sunday, April 07, 2024

A Surprise Ending

The sewing gods were with me on my mission to get Kaleidoscope to the finish line in time for displaying during coffee hour this morning. I caught this glimpse of it when the laundry room door was opened. LUV.

I was so happy with how well it came together; alternating the direction that the corner seams were pressed worked beautifully, making joining the blocks and rows a breeze.

By late afternoon yesterday it was finished, but when I looked at it I knew that the proportions were wrong. I debated adding borders on each side and maybe narrow borders top and bottom, but that just wasn't gonna do it.

So, I rummaged through my cuttings. I had used up all of one or two of the fabrics that I had but I'd be able to cobble together enough triangles to make six more blocks if I put my mind to it. And that's what I did. 

Sewing like a house on fire, that column came together in record time and after dinner it was attached and ready to go; the final size is 60" x 72". It looks so much better and you get to see more of the circular pattern as well. Eureka! 

Once it was pressed I started prepping the sign to accompany it (around 10 pm) and that's when it hit me - I didn't need it for today after all, I need it NEXT Sunday. Whaaaaaat??? Ah well, at least it's ready!

Moral of the story: double check any panic attack deadlines that run through your fevered head when you are dealing with a cold ­čśĆ. Still love it....M

Friday, April 05, 2024

My Perriwinkle Squirrel

You know what squirrels are like - they pop up out of seemingly nowhere. This one came to life with a sudden jolt early Wednesday morning when I realized that we needed a Quilts for Survivors flimsy to display during Coffee Hour on Sunday. Yikes!

With my morning coffee in hand, a cutting frenzy began (I'm blaming the fevered pace on a wicked head cold that I've been dealing with this week). I'd had my eye on the Kaleidoscope pattern thinking that it might work up quickly. It would also give me a great way to dig into a pile of blues that had been given to me. The two teal/aqua prints at the bottom left were dropped off by one of the quilters at the church for someone to put to good use; the two aquas above them and the polka dot and that tiny scrap of check in the top corner are from my stash. In no time at all I had everything cut except for the white bits. Whew!

When I sat down to sew in the evening, the true effect of my fever became apparent: I. Had. Used. The. Wrong. Ruler. Aggggggh! 

I dug through my rulers and found one that was 45 degrees, so that was a good start, but it meant that I had to trim everything that I'd already cut. What a waste of fabric and time. The painters tape that I used as my cutting guides looks like it was chewed off by a crazy lady, and by that point in the process it probably was.

Kaleidoscope can result in any number of patterns depending on where you place the colours for the pie-shaped pieces and the corners. I had a few combinations running through my head at the same time so it was going to be a big mystery as to what pattern finally emerged. My design wall was a godsend.

Slowly, it began to reveal itself. I'm saving all of the white corner pieces to do at the end, once all of the block spinning is finished and I know where everything is going to land.

Nothing got done yesterday because I was feeling just lousy so if this is to be finished by Sunday the next two days need to be pretty productive. Thankfully, the blocks are about 12", which is a good size. Wish me luck!....M

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Where, Oh Where, Did March Go?

Boy, to say that this past month was full is an understatement, but despite my lack of visibility here in blogland I have actually accomplished quite a bit. I finished four flimsies! When I started doing the tally I didn't quite believe it because I just don't tend to pump them out that quickly, but four it is, and it feels really good.

One was started from scratch and, incredibly, the flimsy was finished a few weeks later. The quilters at our church are once again supporting Quilts for Survivors this year, which, in addition to making blocks and flimsies/quilts, includes a free will offering at coffee hour to help with the cost of shipping quilts to survivors, so I needed something to show everyone what our quilters have been up to and get them excited about this initiative. 

I have a fondness for star blocks so when I came across a great inspiration block on Pinterest that incorporated gingham it seemed like a good jumping off point. My gingham looks black but it's actually dark brown. In fact, when you step away from the quilt, it looks almost grey.

A little digging and I came across this cinnamon floral - the pansies are just beautiful. With only a small piece, it was a good challenge to see how far I could stretch it. 

This was one of the first blocks that I made with it and I like it, but given how the blocks evolved I think I would have preferred it if I had cut it into a few smaller pieces rather than making that large 8" centre. Ah well, it works. And it forced me to get creative.

Originally I was just going to make up a few 16" blocks - the size that QFS prefer - but the more I made the more I knew it would become a quilt. The stars are made from 4" HSTs and squares.

Start with a few brown and cream stars...

Add maybe a brown and cream vine...
Mix in lots of creamy neutrals, and...


We'll need to have additional blocks and quilts/tops to display every second Sunday from here to the end or June (or whenever we reach our fundraising target) so hopefully other quilters will help out on that front. Many of my quilting friends have said that they will add items to our bundle so fingers crossed that a few of them are ready in the weeks to come. 

I've got one or two patterns in mind so probably best to get started on one to help fill in the blanks....M 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Getting Sentimental

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with bone cancer. Despite a valiant effort, she succumbed to her illness last fall, leaving a huge hole in many, many lives. She was determined, practical, no nonsense, funny and very caring and we continue to adjust to life without her. 

In the last months as Lynne went about organizing her affairs, she passed a few items along to be cared for by others, including this quilt. She had no plans for it, she simply wanted to see it completed. Since early January, several of us have been sharing a sentimental journey as we quilt it.

These charming gals with their parasols were made by her mother decades ago and never quite got finished, so that became our task. We added borders and set about bringing everything to life.

Each dress and bonnet is beautifully coordinated and you can imagine the maker selecting just the right combinations. Not surprisingly, there appears to have been a little 'make do' in it as well. If you look closely, the floral print in the bonnet differs every so slightly from the rest of the dress and the parasol.

It's been fun to pick our favourites - this gal in blue is mine.

After adding a few defining line to the skirts and umbrellas the bulk of the stitching is crosshatching. This is the block that I worked on this past Friday.

With any luck it will be wrapped up by the end of this week. Our hope is to get it bound in time for Easter weekend so that it can be given back to her daughter as a memento of both her mother and grandmother. She doesn't know that it's coming, which will make it doubly special....M

Friday, March 08, 2024

Spring Baskets and Tiny Brights

A trip to the lake for a visit with Jane always generates lots of ideas and gives me a chance to get caught up on some of her creative ventures. This time I got to see her new basket quilt coming together and help provide a little art direction too.

Lovely pastel plaids from men's shirts that are decades old combined with beautiful blue florals create a soft and charming bundle of 8" baskets with a genuine vintage feel.

She's also incorporating remnants from a quilt that she made several years ago. It's like that yellow and blue HST picot border was made with this quilt in mind. Her next decision is what to do at the corners.

My visit reminded me that I have photos of several of her recently finished projects still sitting on my phone, so let's get caught up a little, shall we? Back in July, I shared the flimsy of her colourwash, which is now quilted and enjoying pride of place tossed over one of her living room chairs.

The colours are so vibrant and the circular panto (whose name I forget) is ideal against the structure of all of those tiny boxes.

It has SO much texture!

And she wasn't shy when it came to picking her backing either. It's bound with the same fabric.

Such a beautiful example of why we hang on to those tiny scraps - a little bit goes a long way....M

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Morning Star

I've developed a very bad habit of taking lots of photos of my friends quilts and leaving them to languish on my phone. I love scrolling through then periodically but they won't easily be shared that way! Case in point, this sweet star quilt that Anne finished up last year using remnants of the Snow Goose that she started in 2019. I'm calling it Morning Star.

Her Snow Goose palate was centred on rich teal and gold with softer blue accents.

Its leftovers have since found their way into this cozy little lap quilt. It's amazing, all she did was strip out the golds and it has such a different look.

Using the Nine-Patch blocks that anchored the corners on Snow Goose, she created these tiny star blocks. It was a peaceful hand stitching project.

The snowy blue and white backing and tumbling snowflake panto keep everything quite soft and dreamy. 

This is just one of many quilty treasures stored on my phone. I'll make a point of catching you up on some of the others over the next little while....M

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sunday is for Visiting

I have many wonderful memories of Sundays when we were growing up. It was a quieter day - the one day of the week that the shops weren't open - and we often went visiting or would have company in to catch up on life and have some fun. As I quilt Minnie and come across fabrics that I had forgotten about, I feel that I'm enjoying a visit with so many dear friends - all those precious bits that came together in my hexies.

Tiny remnants take me back to exactly where they came from or what they represent, like the soft blue-grey floral hexies that run across the top of this diamond. I was thrilled when Jane gave me a 1.5" strip of it to include in my quilt. Ah, the joy of someone else's stash!

Or this red and white diamond that I stitched on Canada Day several years ago.

I'm loving the texture that is beginning to appear. It makes me want to quilt all day long just to see the next large diamond emerge....M