Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Nice Collaboration

My daughter had a birthday party to go to this afternoon, so of course, I had to make a personalized pillow.  I'm kind of a last minute gal so when I got up this morning, it was time to spring into action.  I went for a walk with my daughter and we talked about the pillow.  She wanted pink and blue and once she saw some tulips, the pillow had to have tulips as well.

She chose the fabrics and the thread colour and drew the tulips on freezer paper for me to iron on fabric and cut.  I would have liked to get her to do some of the sewing, but I was running out of time.  Nevertheless, it was a true collaboration.

Here's a little "oops": Not enough overlap with the pink panel on the back... something to remember next time:

This said, I don't think the 7 year old recipient will mind. 

I am so glad I listened to my daughter's ideas... I would have never come up with this design on my own, and I am so pleased with the result.  Very cute and girly, but something that will age well.  It was lots of fun to make, I just may have to do that again...

Anyone got a birthday coming up?

Friday, 25 March 2016


Like most quilters, the members of my guild, Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, love giving.  At our last meeting, 11 quilts were donated to the Lodge That Gives, a home away from home for patients receiving cancer treatments at the local hospital.  I can't take any of the credit for this, as I did not participate.  This year, thought, I am stepping up and participating in our new charity activities.

We have taken on two charity projects.  I love that when it came time to vote, the members did not want to choose one suggestion over the other, but decided to embrace both projects that were presented.

We'll be making quilts for the children's hospital, something I'll talk about in another post, and we'll also be making 87 pillows to brighten up resident's rooms in a local nursing home, an initiative of my guild mate Jeanette.

I have made five pillows so far and I know many of my guild mates have also started, making one or two or, in some cases, many more.  There is a nice mix of modern and traditional, bright and subdued, something for every taste!

Most of mine are made from my older, neglected stash, using more traditional patterns.  I figured that, while most people would enjoy all the modern pillows, some folks might prefer traditional styles.

Of course, I couldn't help using this awesome (sort of) fish fabric that made its way into my stash many moons ago...  There's got to be at least one resident who is going to enjoy it!

Making pillows is such a great way to use fabric, and try different blocks and quilting motifs.  I've really enjoyed making those and I hope that they will be enjoyed by the recipients.

Here they are all together:

What charity project(s) are you participating in ?

Linking up to TGIFF which is coincidentally hosted by another one of my fabulous guildmates, Anja, who blogs at Anja Quilts.  Also linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Throwback Thursday - Nine Patch

Here we are for another Throwback Thursday.

This quilt was made in 2008 for my mom.   It is a lap quilt made with mostly civil war reproduction fabrics, the odd shirting, and a coupe larger florals.  Although this wasn't a scrap quilt (I did not have a stash at that point) I included a couple of odd blocks with mismatched fabrics to add a bit of interest.  You can see an example of this in the blue/beige nine patch block in the center of the photo where one of the four side squares is solid blue.

It is entirely quilted by hand, which was quite the undertaking, but at the time, I did not have the skills to machine quilt, so this was actually the "easy way"...

A couple of years ago, during a visit at my mom's very windy corner of the world, I decided to have a clothesline photo shoot!  I knew these pictures would come in handy one day...

That was quite the wind, but the quilt did not fly off.  In case you are wondering, the super duper clothespins are from Lee Valley .  You're welcome ;).

Even though I am making more modern quilts these days do have a soft spot for all things vintage including 1930s and civil war reproductions.  I still love this quilt as much as I did when I made it, and my mom does too!

Linking up with Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge, and off to see other people's oldies!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Good Night / Bonne Nuit - A finished quilt

It's another finish, and one I am so excited about!

You can scroll down for the finished pictures, or read all about the making of.

Spring/Summer 2013 - having been quilter for many years, it dawned on my that our bed was the only bed in the house that did not have a quilt on it.  Sounds familiar?  So I set out to make a simple quilt made of 3"x 9" strips, using some favourite fat quarters I had been accumulating.

The top went together quickly and it sat for a few months until I took it to the cottage with me and thought it would be a great idea to have a little clothesline photo shoot.  Big mistake.

The pictures are pretty, but the quilt top frayed and had to be repaired.  I could not get myself to do it, so I set it aside until the following winter.  Lesson learned: Do not hang an unfinished top on the clothesline on a windy day.

January 2014, I got a fantastic idea for the quilt back.  My long time readers may remember this word scramble: B  D  E  G  G  H  I  I  N  N  N  N  O  O  O  T  T  U.

Which of course, as the title of this post suggests, spells...

I was pretty pleased with my efforts, but the quilt sat for another two years.

December 2015 -  with the encouragement of my visiting mom, I replaced the frayed pieces.  She convinced me it wouldn't take long, and of course she was right!  Then I showed her my "bonne nuit good night" section for the back, and the first thing she says was: "why would you want to hide that on the back?"  And of course, mom was right again!  Just a matter of ripping one row and adding a row with the message, right?

Wrong! The message almost took the whole width of the quilt - which was fine when it was hidden in the back, but would not look good on the quilt top as it was wider than the bed itself, and the beginning and the end would be falling on each side of the bed, so that you would only see "ne nuit  good ni".  Not cool.

Some letters could be narrowed easily, other had to be redone, spacing had to be adjusted... with little spare fabric to play with (most of them used to be fat quarters and were all used in the quilt).  I also switched the English and French sides of the message, to correspond to the English and French sides of the bed. Oh! What work, but well worth it.

I plowed through, sewed the top back together, produced a backing and sandwiched and quilted it, the largest quilt I've ever quilted (96" x 97").

Large loops for the main part...

 ...and tiny loops in the beige background to make the message pop out.

The binding was again another challenge.  I wanted a single fabric - not scrappy - and something that was already in the quilt.  Linda came to the rescue with a piece of that Amy Butler green/pink floral which, combined with my own leftovers was just enough to make 386" of binding.  Thanks Linda!

I've said many times that I truly enjoy hand sewing the binding, and it's one of the things I usually save for working on the plane when I travel, so I had fully anticipated working on this quilt on my recent trip to Toronto.  Until I realized a 97" x 96" is so huge, I need a big duffle bag to carry it!  So this quilt did not travel to Toronto.  It went to waiting rooms, swimming lessons, a guild meeting, a family dinners, gymnastic class, and even a car ride.

It's been finished for over a week but I had to wait for a sunny day for proper pictures.

February in Canada, no snow... really, really odd

Ah, the texture...

Little upside down action...

On that note, Bonne Nuit / Good Night to you!

Linking up to TGIFF hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts and Finish it up Friday at Amanda Jean's Crazy Mom Quilts. Hop over to see what others have finished!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Scrappy Mountains - A Finished Quilt

Here's my first finish of 2016!

It's technically a January finish.  I've put the last stitch on this baby last Sunday on my flight back from Montreal, as evidenced below...

... but a dark and rainy week made it impossible to take decent pictures.  Snow + Sun today made for a good photo shoot, though the wind was a challenge.

This quilt has been one year in the making.  Inspired by the bee blocks  requested by my Canadians Quilt Bee 2015 bee mate Shena of Apple Pie Patchwork, I set out to make 100 blocks (they are made in sets of 2). There are different tutorials for that block.  I used Shena's tutorial found here.

My MMQG pals helped me decide how to quilt it and provided encouragement as I started quilting during a Sew-in...  Man, that thing was a beast to quilt!

I went with outline quilting of the bright mountains and meandering in the low volume reversed mountains, all with a light beige Aurifil thread.

For the binding, I requested opinions in an earlier post.  Lorna, of Sew Fresh Quilt, was the only  commenter who broke from rank and did not pick one of the choices I gave.  Instead, she suggested a low volume binding, which I thought was brilliant.  Of course, I had to put my own little twist on it, so I included a small red section.  Can you spot it?

The backing is a giant scrappy mountain to which I added a few extra strips.  I used the same method as for the blocks - which was a mistake.  Because of the large size, it was awkward to work as a single block.  It would have been less time consuming to just use strips and sew them at an angle.  Regardless, the result is the same, and kind of fun.

I have yet to decide where this quilt is going to live.  I love it so part of me wants to keep it, but I am wondering if I should save it for a gift.  I have a couple quilt-worthy people I can think of.  So while I ponder this question, here are a few more pictures:

Quilt roll before wash...

...and quilt roll after wash.

Oh, the post-wash texture...

And one last shot, the usual hammock picture:

I seem to have found my quilty groove again... so on that note, I am off to quilt some more!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Throwback Thursday - Quilt for my Niece

It's Throwback Thursday again!  Not sure what that is all about? Then go check out my friend Jenn's blog - A Quarter Inch from the Edge.

I don't know how that happened, I mean, I am so young and so is my sister, but somehow, I have a nice who graduated from high school... 6 years ago!

She had been visiting a few months before and when I took her to the fabric store, I had taken mental note of her favourite fabric:

I cannot tell you the designer, the manufacturer or the name of the pattern - I didn't care too much about these things in my pre-blogging days (and to a certain extent I still don't).  But not only is this one of my favourite fabrics ever, I have also seen it over an over again in decoration magazines and other similar places.

Anyhoo, In anticipation of making a quilt for my niece, I went back to the store and bought whatever was left on the bolt.  That was the easy part.  The tough part was to find matching fabric.  Not as in "perfectly matching" but something that "played well" with it.  It proved extremely challenging.   Don't believe me?  I dare you to go in your stash and find fabric that plays well with this large brown floral.  Go ahead.  I'm waiting!

After a long search about 4 different stores (back in the day, before I ever considered online purchases) I found sufficient matching fabrics.  Can you believe none of these are not from the same line or even the same manufacturer?  All that trouble... and when I presented the quilt to my niece, she had absolutely no recollection whatsoever of having laid eyes on the fabric.  Oh well.

Making the quilt was actually easy.  The pattern is from a Kaffe Fassett book although I am not sure if I followed the pattern or simply used the idea of making squares of three different sizes (3", 6" and 9").

Oddly enough, I had a large chunk of my focus fabric remaining (one would think I should have used it in the front since it's the only fabric I truly love in this quilt), so the back went together quickly...

A little machine embroidered label...

Quilting is a bit rudimentary...  this was probably my second or third time free motion quilting.  I like to think I've come a long way.

On a trip to Montreal last month, I had a chance to take the quilt for a photo shoot.    My nephew graciously agreed to be a quilt holder...  Or perhaps he is just hoping he'll get a quilt when he graduates too...

Again, I think I am way to young to have a nephew that tall, but I have to say he came in pretty handy! 

Thanks, Jenn, for providing the encouragement to revisit our quilts from the past!


On a completely unrelated note, a photo shoot is not the only thing I've been up to on my recent trip to Montreal.  On my last day,  I was able to catch this exhibition...

I was thrilled to meet the two Montreal MQG founders Cinzia Allocca (Deux Petites Souris) and Josée Carrier (Charming Needle).  Always nice to meet quilty celebrities in person!  The only bad thing is that I was literally on my way to the airport (and accompanied by a nine year old who does not dig modern quilt exhibitions) so there was not a lot of time for chit chat.

My pictures of the exhibition are not that great, so I invite you to go check out the Montreal MQG blog, or member Shannon Fraser`s blog for an excellent recap.  Always inspiring to see other people's work!

On that note, time to stop blogging and go sewing!  Cheers!