Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cheryl's Quilt

Fabric Strips for Cheryl's Quilt

On Wednesday, I drove to Toronto to pick my sister Cheryl up and bring her to my place for a couple days. Before we left, we stopped into my favourite quilt shop because they were having a 25% off sale. Needless to say, I did come home with some wonderful fabric and some notions. I did show restraint though because I bought small quantities of most of the fabrics so I really could have done much worse in the $ department. Once we got home the fun began! Cheryl had already prewashed her fabric so she started ironing it while I started cutting. Look at all her lovely fabrics! She has never made a quilt before so I gave her a bit of guidance and she was off and running. By the time Thursday evening rolled around she had two blocks already made. I think they look fantastic.
Cheryl's Quilt Blocks
We had a wonderful visit while she was here. We did a bit of shopping and a lot of laughing! I drove her home very early Friday (6:30 am) and we spent part of the day at her place trying to see if we could get a very sad sewing machine to work properly. We did our best but it doesn't seem to be able to do the job. I have my mother-in-law's very old Kenmore sewing machine here that Cheryl can use (my mother-in-law is 95 years old and lives in a nursing home). I will deliver it this week and hopefully it will work out for her.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Project Linus Update

Project Linus Pink Quilt Top
My pink quilt top is almost ready to be layered and basted! I have one small adjustment that I want to make. The center flower square is "off" a little too much for my liking. I don't mind if things don't line up absolutely perfectly, this is a home-made item not factory made and that is part of the charm, but this center square is just too "charming". I will just try to unpick the center and see if I can align it a little better. Other than that, I am very happy with the way it has turned out. Next saturday, I expect to show my little pink baby quilt all completed. I want to try and quilt it using a different style of free-motion quilting other than meandering. We will see what happens when I sit down at the machine and start. I do have some ideas like simple loopy lines etc., in mind so that shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish. Now I am off to see what everyone else worked on this week for the pink scrap challenge.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In Results

Plans for Future Quilts

Cutting, cutting and more cutting!

I started my Friday night a little early because, well,  I just couldn't wait to get started. First, I spent some time working out plans for future quilts. I must be going through a creative period because I just keep getting lots of ideas. I don't know if all my ideas will work out and turn into wonderful quilts but hopefully some will! I also spent quite a bit of time cutting fabric into strips. I have at least three quilts in mind that I can use similar fabrics for so I just went on a cutting binge. I'm not done because I still need to cut an assortment of fabric strips in other colours as well. I don't have to be in a hurry, I have plenty to work on right now. I think I will just spend a little time here and there cutting fabric into strips and then when I am ready to start my new projects I will already have a head start!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

Tonight I will be participating in the Friday Night Sew-In. I am looking foward to spending my Friday evening in a virtual sewing bee working together with other women (and men) on projects that are important to us. I currently have several projects on the go that need to be finished but I just can't seem to get ideas for other projects out of my head. My plan tonight is to get some of these ideas/designs onto paper and choose fabrics and start cutting my fabric into strips. At the least it will allow me to see whether I will need to make any fabric purchases, hopefully, I will find all the fabrics I need within my stash. At the most it will allow me to stop dreaming about these ideas and make them a reality. Why not join in the fun - just click on the picture and sign yourself up for the Friday Night Sew-In.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Quilter in the Making and Other Ramblings

New Fabric
Yesterday, I spent some time with a couple of my sisters, Cheryl and Christine. It was so nice to visit and chat with them. We also got in a very quick visit with my Mom and another sister Sandra. The three of us headed off to my favourite quilt shop and yes I did buy some fabric. I found 2 fabrics that would be terrific to use for backings and then I got .5 meter cuts of a couple other fabrics and 3 fat quarters (please excuse the shadows in my picture). My sister Cheryl also bought .25 meter cuts of several fabrics. She has never made a quilt but she plans on making one very soon. She has been collecting fabric for the last while (a very nice collection I must say) and she will be visiting with me in the next couple weeks and bringing her fabric with her. The plan is to get her fabric all cut and I will show her the basics of getting her blocks sewn together. We will do a couple sample blocks and she will decide which she likes best and she will continue making them once she gets back home.

My husband got the latest Harry Potter movie for his birthday so we spent last evening watching the movie together. Really he watched it and I spent my time working on hand-quilting my Seven Sisters quilt. I am so excited (REALLY EXCITED) about my progress and the way it looks. Sorry, I haven't removed any of my basting threads yet - I hope my quilting is visible. I will say that I am nearly half way through quilting it and I just love it! Oh no - what is the dog doing on my quilt - everytime I lay anything on the floor she magically appears!
Molly inspecting my quilting!
Today I plan on spending some time making some cushions to go in the bottom of Molly's crates (currently we just use an old towel and it always seems to get all bunched up). She has two different crates for sleeping in and one for travel. Molly will be getting spayed on Thursday and I want her to be as comfortable as possible while she recovers. Poor baby has no idea what is coming!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Pink Project Linus

Project Linus Pink
I am having so much fun working on this little quilt and so far I am loving how it is turning out. I have chosen a cute block - a 4-patch variation and its construction is relatively simple. So far, I have used 1.5" and 2" pink strips from my bins and 3.5" solid white strips that came from my stash. I think the hardest part of making this quilt was actually choosing the block design. I have decided to limit my selection of fabrics to just two different pinks. My 4-patch is made of 2" strips of pink and the corner blocks and strips are made up from 1.5" strips of pink fabric sewn to the 3.5" white strips and then cut into 1.5" segments. The finished block will be 5".

Project Linus Pink Block Construction
I still have to think about the layout and whether I will be adding borders. It all depends on how many blocks I can make from my available fabric strips. I want to end up with a newborn size quilt and I have to follow the Project Linus guidelines for the finished size. They do provide quite a bit of leeway within each size category so I should be able to work it all out.

Happy Birthday today to my husband John! I am off to finish getting ready for our celebration so I will be checking out what everyone else is working on tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Another Soldier Star Update

Design Wall

I got a little distracted from working on this quilt top because I started sorting and cutting up my scraps. Let's just say that I don't think I will ever get that job finished. I am a little ADD when it comes to working on them - who can stay focussed on such a boring task. Not only that, I thought I was done but then I moved another pile of fabric and lo and behold there was another huge pile of scraps hidden underneath. I will try to whittle away at that pile over time but I guess I will just have to make the effort of dealing with my scraps as I make them so that I don't have to face such an overwhelming task!

My design wall is almost full and I still need to make 15 more blocks. I think I am spreading the ADD around because even though I need to make more blocks for this quilt I am already thinking about how the leftovers from this quilt would look in some kind of 9-patch pattern. For now, I need to get cracking on those last 15 blocks. I have just about everything prepared and ready to be cut or sewn together - I just have to get it done.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Pink

Pink 2" Strips and Backing Fabric
I am all gung-ho this month for the pink challenge. I have written before that I am really quite practical and that if I am going to spend my quilting time making a project I really do want to make something that is useful to me or someone else. I absolutely love making quilts - they give me such joy to make. They may not be perfect and some may not even be beauties, but I do put a lot of myself, my joy and my time into making them. I do not have a need for a pink baby quilt at this time and I have other large quilts planned that are not necessarily pink so I have decided that to participate in this month's challenge I will make a pink baby quilt and donate it to Project Linus. I have been thinking about making donation quilts for some time and this seems to be the perfect opportunity to get started. I had intended on pulling out my pink bits and pieces of fabric today and to start sewing them together into a quilt top but I must say that I am totally overwhelmed by my unorganized, chaotic piles of scraps - they are taking over my cutting and my ironing space. I have made several quilts recently but have not taken the time to deal with the scraps and remnants that seem to magically appear when making quilts. So, once I have dealt with a good part of the mess, hopefully within a couple days, I will start making my pink baby quilt and I will have something to show next week. Of course, while I am sorting and cutting my scraps I will certainly be on the lookout for any bits of pink!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Soldier Star Update

I have been making progress on the blocks for my latest quilt top and so far so good! I had made the first four blocks completely so that I would have an idea of how they would come together but since then I have been working on just the hst corner blocks. As I was putting them up in groups on my design wall I was thinking that they would make an interesting block all in themselves. I am sure there is a name for these blocks - I just have to search around for it. This quilt requires a total of 42 large blocks so if I have counted correctly I still need to make another 15 sets of the hst sections. This is probably the most time consuming process of the whole block construction. I needed to pause my work on this quilt top so that I could get the quilting and binding done on my Baby Bliss quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. So, I started working on it again yesterday and instead of making the rest of the hsts I decided that I need to complete all of the blocks that I have underway first. I think that will give me a better idea of the overall look of the quilt and I can decide whether I want to add more of one colour or another to balance the composition.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Baby Bliss

Baby Bliss all done!
Woohoo! I just finished up sewing on the binding for this baby quilt today. This little quilt turned out to be such a cute little thing. I am very happy that I noticed that it needed the sashing along the outer edges before I actually had it all finished - I think it really did need it. I love the look of the quilt top and I also love that I got to use some leftover hsts from another family quilt. It is kind of fun when we look at the finished quilts together and we start pointing out which fabrics are shared among other family member's quilts. I ended up using leftover butterfly fabric from the backing of Bella Butterfly as the binding for this quilt. It really does fit very well because the butterflies are in both red-purples and blue-purples. This quilt is quilted in straight lines with white thread along each edge of the sashing - vertically and horizontally. I really did cut it close for one width of backing fabric - it finishes at approx. 41" x 47". This quilt is big enough that Lily will be able to use it for several years. A really sweet quilt for a really sweet baby girl.
I do wish I could take better photos of my quilts - they really do look quite nice in person!