Wednesday, 21 January 2015

housekeeping stuff and one quick quilt

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Pardon the funky codes above, I am "claiming" my blog on Bloglovin.  I am about a year and a half late jumping on that bandwagon...

Since it would seem wrong not to have a quilt on a blog post, I present to you a quickie that I made a couple weeks ago:

Nice print on the front, solid flannel on the back, sandwiched with a nice thick-ish batting and quilted along the natural lines of the fabric. You can see the texture really well on the back.

Now, I have another handmade gift ready for an occasion where a pieced quilt is not necessary! 

I must say I am a bit reluctant to call this a "quilt" and I tend to use "blanket" for these types of (insert appropriate term here) because it is not pieced.  And the term "whole cloth quilt" would seem more appropriate for some handquilted heirloom.  Not sure.  Would you call this a quilt?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Not bad for a week-end

I've had one of those weeks: the common cold has been making itself at home in our family and the energy levels have not been at the highest.  Thankfully, we did not have too much on the go, and I was able to find some time to quilt.

My biggest victory of the week-end: After weeks, months, years, three to be exact, this quilt is finally hand quilted!

As I have shared before, because the quilting goes in all directions, I had devised a system to keep track of what I had left to do, on a spreadsheet.  Every so often, I would update the spreadsheet to motivate me.  Only 250 more squares!  Only 30 more hours!  Only 123 squares!  Only 12.5 hours!

After I quilted 8 squares today, I sat down to update the chart today, and realized I only had 3 more to do.  I made quick work of that and finally, finally I can call this "beast" done.

Well, it's not finished yet, but it might as well be.  All I have to do is sew the binding on it and it's my very favourite part.  I am not going to rush this... I am going to savour the moment and finally enjoy working on this quilt again.

And speaking of  old, languishing projects, I found these unfinished blocks the other day...

These are paper pieced (not sure what I was thinking) and the white bits are actually the paper background.  Well in one evening, I had 6 more made.  I trimmed them, removed the paper, added the white corners and assembled this top:

It only finishes at 32", so I will add a white border all around to make it a useful crib size.  There was snow outside and a little bit of light left, so I thought I should do a quick photo shoot...

I even had a willing volunteer to act as a quilt holder!

Looks like NOT making lists is the way to go if I want to get stuff done...

Hope you had a nice quilty week-end!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

A Blank Page...

It's been 2015 for more than a couple weeks, but I have not felt the need to set some goals for the year.  Probably have something to do with not having met most of my 2014 goals.

What were they?

Fabric fast: Well, that lasted about a minute and a half!  Here are a few of my recent acquisitions...

pre-Christmas order Warp and Weft... insane prices...
Put a lid on it, Michael Miller.  Isn't it the best?

Some Happy Go Lucky yardage purchased from Ella's Cottage

Husband's last trip to Ottawa: obligatory stop at the Running Stitch...

Seriously, I did not keep up with the Fabric Fast, I certainly put more thinking into my buying, and I made a conscious effort to use what I have.

No buying book and magazines - I have been tempted a couple times, but with everything available online, I have not missed it.

Keep track of spending?  Can't say that I have...

Keep my creative space organized with a good clean up every quarter: Well, that did not happen, and it's really too bad because I do work better when the room is clean and organized.  I know myself too much to vow to keep it clean this year, but it is something to strive for.

Wash and iron my stash washing and ironing any new fabric acquisition within one week.  Ha ha ha.  Nope, that didn't happen either.  That Happy go lucky yardage, above?  Purchased last summer, still unwashed...  I am was a dedicated pre-washer but looking at the pile, I am wondering if it's really worth it... 

Split my collections:  I give myself an A for this!  See this collection:


I did it!  I split that collection and used a good chunk of it. I actually wasn't that crazy about the collection itself, but I love most of the individual prints.  There are some great low volumes, some nice dots, some blacks and whites... it would have been a shame to wait for the perfect project to use it all.  I'd still be waiting.

Finish, finish, finish.  I had a long list of WIP, but only managed to finish 3 quilts, none of which were on the original list.  That's pretty sad, if you want to know.  This said, I did work on a lot of smaller projects: pillows, bags, lanyards, zipper pouches which were all quite satisfying.

Give, give, give  I did give some scraps away but I could probably use a major de-stash.  While I did not donate a bed-size quilt to a worthy cause, I did give a baby quilt for an auction organized by our home-school association.
This quilt went for $125 at our school auction.  I was pleased!

I also gave this pillow to someone who really did not expect a gift and I must say, giving a quilty gift to an unsuspecting (and appreciative) recipient is something worth repeating.  So rewarding!

Connect  I left my old guild and joined the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  Though I did not make it to all the meetings and sew-in, I enjoyed every occasion I had to participate in their activities.  I probably made it to 5 sew-ins, one short of my goal of sewing with other people.  I joined my first online bee in 2014, and decided to join again for 2015. I even learned to use Flickr.  Sorta.

So I did not keep my quilty resolutions, and did not meet all my quilty goals... but I am still pretty happy with what I have accomplished.

As for 2015?  It's a blank page.  While I do have a few things in the back of my mind that I'd like to do, I will refrain from writing them down.  Just go with the flow and see where that leads me...

What about you, have you set some goals for 2015?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Blame It On The Bee

I joined an online bee again!  Be warned, these things are dangerous...

We wrapped up the CanadiansQuilt Bee with this December block, simple trees requested by MR of Quilt Matters, and soon enough, it was time to begin a fresh new year with the Canadians Quilt Bee 2015.

flash was not working, but you get the idea

The January Queen Bee, Shena, of Apple Pie Patchwork requested these Scrappy Mountain Blocks.  The blocks are based on this tutorial, but I simply followed Shena's instructions.

There is lots to love about these blocks.  They are so versatile, the layout possibilities are endless.  Check it out: quick reorganization:

But the best part about them, is that they are actually super easy to make.  I kid you not.  really easy!  go check out the tutorials for yourself...

So after I dutifully pieced and mailed the bee blocks to Shena I thought, hmmm... let's make some for myself.  And here we are after a couple evenings of work.

That is why I say these bees are dangerous.  Last year, it was the February queen who inspired me to make an entire quilt from her chosen block.  This year, why wait until February?  The Scrappy Mountains were screaming "make me, make me" as soon as I saw them!

So here's a little sample of the possibilities:  We have chevrons...

And mountains all going the same way (should have taken the picture from a different angle... they look weird tipped sideways...)

Not sure how to call this one but it sure has a lot of movement...

And here they are, all mixed up rather than paired with their mate.  Can you spot the error?

First one in the third row...Yeah, much better!

This palette of yellows, soft pink/reds and blues is completely accidental.  I actually set out to make another colourful, anything goes kind of quilt with scrappy low volumes and brights, similar to my Plus Quilt.   But now, seeing these together, I am wondering if I should just keep going with this palette.  I would probably have to remove the old brown Kaffe Fassett (first one second row) and the dark green-ish AMH (first one of the fifth row).  I think I have enough blues and yellows and reds to keep me going for a while...

What do you think?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Christmas Makes, Part 1

Hello there!

While everyone is posting about their New Year Resolutions, I am just catching up posting about my December production.

First, look what I made for my Guild's ornament swap:

Here they are in their normal habitat...

And what do you do when the wrapping paper (and scotch tape) is nowhere in sight but you have a whole lot of brown paper?  Why, you sew it, of course!

No, I did not make all of these... they are some of the ones that were exchanged and I got the nice little green stocking on the middle left side, made by Jeanette.

And now for gifts... First, I made this bag - special request from my husband to carry his dice to weekly Dungeons and Dragons games... (you read that well...don't ask!).

I especially like the quilting on that:  I just followed the fabric.

My husband had also requested a bag to carry his electronics when he travels: ipod, various chargers, extra headphones, etc.  Up to that point, he had been using a Ziploc bag...

But what started as a simple bag transformed itself into a fully fledged toiletries bag! It does not look like much from the outside, but do not be fooled...

... the inside is where it is all happening.  Ta-Da!

I am not going to lie, this took much longer than anticipated and was actually quite a pain to make, but the result was worth it.  I especially like the quilting in the green and gray fabric.  again, I just followed the design of the fabric.

Of course, this was not what he had asked for... He still needed a simple bag to replace the Ziploc... so I whipped up a zippered vinyl pouch.  Too easy!

Seems like I made a number of other items: lanyards, zippered pouch, tea wallet...  I am going to save some for a future post.

Did you make some of your Christmas gifts?

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Refashion Sunday - the Double Edition

Ever since I made a skirt out of an old sweater, I have been meaning to make another one.  I was waiting for just the perfect sweater to come my way when my mom showed up with this extra large beauty...

Even though I meant to make a skirt, that is not the first thing I thought of when I first saw those beautiful stripes....  but I digress.  Let's make a skirt in a couple easy steps:


1 - Cut the sweater just under the arms

2 - Trim a bit off the upper part of the sides, where the sweater starts widening for sleeves.

3 - Create a waist.  I used a wide elastic, about 1 3/4" wide, and a piece of stretch jersey about 4 1/2" folded to cover the elastic.

4 - Attach the waist to the skirt using a stretch stitch  (no picture) and... Voilà!  Skirt!


So, what to do with the arms of the sweater?  Leg warmers? Not exactly.  the sleeves screamed "Leggings" for my favourite girl!
1 - I used a pair of leggings that more or less fit her (yes, they have holes and she'd still be wearing them if I had not stolen them from the laundry pile).

2 - I used the leggings as a pattern, just making them a little longer.  I am lucky the sleeve was just wide enough to accommodate the crotch where it is much wider. 

3 - I had to add a separate waist, made of the same jersey as my skirt (would have been too thick anyway), with a narrower elastic inside.  There was a lot of sewing and unpicking because I forgot to use a stretch stitch, which I think is essential in a fitted garment like this, and the frustration lead to no pictures being taken of that step.

In the end, it was all worth it:

A matching set - the first - and maybe the last - matching clothes for mom and daughter...

As much as I love her cute little face, I decided not to share pictures of my family in this forum, but I assure you there is a lot of cuteness going on:

 So here is the before and after transformation:

From to big sweater to matching skirt and leggings!

I am counting this refashion as a double success!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Personalized Pillow

December 6.

I grew up in Montreal and for me, this date is forever linked to the killing of 14 female engineering students at École Polytechnique.  It's been 25 years, but I remember is like it was yesterday. 

When I moved to Halifax, I learned that December 6 was also the date of the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons.  It killed 2000 people and injured 9000 more.  Today marks the 97th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

But December 6 is also a very happy date because someone special is celebrating a birthday!  And what`s a birthday without a personalized pillow?

I was going to go with the blue-green combo I can't seem to get enough of these days, but taking a page out of Adrienne's book, I went for orange as my accent colour. 

I also quilted wavy lines, again, totally stealing from Adrienne.  Really, really like the wavy lines.  It is easy, and very forgiving, and it looks really nice!  Thanks for the double inspiration, Adrienne!

In other quilty endeavours, I made another zippered pouch.  This time, using laminated fabric for the inside.  The outside fabric was from my husband's last trip to Hawaii.  He went a little crazy with the Hawaiian prints, so expect to see them make an appearance in my projects from time to time.

I finished hand stitching the binding on a simple quilt made from a Snoopy vintage sheet and backed with some "what was I thinking" fabric that was languishing in my stash.

And before I leave, look what has started arriving in the mail... sewing machine blocks from my bee mates!  Yay!

It's been a good quilty week around here, but I have so much more to do before Christmas.  What about you?