Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jacobean Elegance minus borders

After finishing the last of the appliqued pomegranate blocks I am well on the way to putting a Jacobean Elegance together. Just the final borders to add.

This past Friday was the monthly meeting of my quilt guild and a reminder of a need for quilts for children going into foster care inspired me to put this top together. Quick, easy and a great scrap buster. Most of the blue fabrics are about 20 years old! Hopefully it will bring comfort to some little boy.

Finally I have played with making a few Dresden plate blocks. I can't believe I haven't tried these fun blocks before but I am sure there will me more in my future. These will be added to my sample bright blocks which I hope to turn into a quilt someday.

Hope you are finding time for some stitching this weekend.

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Soupçon finished

Wow, I can't believe it has been over a week since I last posted. I have spent less time blogging lately and more time sewing so at least I have a bit to show for my time away. First up is Soupçon which I finally quilted. I had actually planned to make this one larger but after moving into our new home I decided it would be the perfect thing to hang in the powder room once we got around to painting the walls. Painting was finished yesterday, a lovely teal color, so I got this quilted and bound right away. I had planned some interesting filler quilting but ended up just doing lots of ditch work to highlight the piecing. Simple quick and I like it.

I have also been appliquéing the pomegranate blocks for my Jacobean elegance quilt. These were all prepped about a year ago and I have been rather slow with them. I had saved them as a good transition project during our move and had even cut out the parts for piecing. I took a quick count of my finished blocks this week and was surprised to discover that they were almost done. That was just the incentive I needed to get moving on this UFO. The flying geese are all pieced and the appliqué blocks just need to be trimmed and I can get this assembled.

Since the flying geese were made using the sew and flip method, I used the trimmings to make 1/2 sq triangles which will be used in anther small project. Turns out I prepped one extra pomegranate block so I will use it to make a little pillow or wall hanging.

And finally I finished piecing the maple leaf quilt top. Since fall colors are not my favorite, I was unable to come up with a backing in my stash and trips to 3 different quilt stores were unsuccessful. Finally out of desperation I headed to Joann's and found one on sale that seems to work. Best of all my DIL approves!

 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Di Ford Mystery Part 3

I have finally finished part 3 of Quiltmania Magazine's Di Ford designed mystery. Though I started this project with great gusto back in Feb., this part really stalled me. Not really sure why but I think it has something to do with the colors I selected for the project. They just seem a little muddy to me and as a result I don't love the project as much as I did when I started. I was trying to recreate the look that is in so many of Di's quilts which is a bit darker than I usually work and I am finding it is just not me or perhaps it is just the time of year as I do prefer working in brights during the summer months. But I will keep working on this one as I do like it overall and will try to add a little lightness in the next round. Who knows once winter arrives I may think it is perfect.

Now I need to start pulling fabrics for the next part!

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another finish!

As I was in my sewing studio yesterday, piecing a few more maple leaves, I realized that later this week we would be seeing our youngest son for a couple of days before he heads back to finish his last year of grad school. Hmm, wouldn't it be nice if somehow I could finish that quilt I pieced for him what back in January. So the piecing ended and I located the top and partially pieced backing and got to work. It is going to be a long time before I am back on the longarm machine so this was another one to be tackled on the domestic machine. I decided that, with the help of DH, I could spray baste it and do some simple free motion ditch quilting and I might get it done on time. And amazingly two days it is done. And bound, including hand stitching the binding. This is the pattern Ruby, Opal and Pearl from the Moda Bake Shop.

And here is the pieced back as suggested in the pattern. I know he will like it cause he saw the fabric when I won it in a blog giveaway and claimed it as perfect for his apartment. It may not be a masterpiece but it is certainly good to have it finished so it can be used!

 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A fun surprise and more playing with batiks

First up I just have to share the fun little fabric basket that I received from my SIL in the mail this week. A few weeks ago I sent her a tote and some fabric and made a tote for myself. And look at the adorable basket she sent me - a perfect match to my tote!

I am using for my thread scraps on my handwork table. Love it!! Thanks Sherry. It is such fun having a quilting buddy.

I also finished the appliqué on my batik quilt. Though the lighting is bad in the photos, I love how it looks in the room.

I intend to change out the pillows and table runners in these rooms so this quilt will be perfect for this subtle pillow fabric.

And working with batiks got me thinking about a few more that I had in my stash. I have several in leaf colors that I have used in appliqué and With fall coming I wondered if I had enough to make a fall quilt for my daughter-in-law. She had casually mentioned some time ago that she would love a fall throw for their family room. I knew she wanted something that was not specific to any holiday and as I am Canadian, I thought perhaps a Maple Leaf quilt would be fun. I found a pattern on the Moda Bake Shop site for a Super Sized Maple Leaf Throw and started pulling fabrics. Here is my first test block. The pattern has no stem so I just drew a stem and hand appliqued it to the square before sewing the block together. The instructions were a bit confusing but I was able to make it work after a bit of trial and error.

I made several blocks and took them over to her house to check the colors in their room while babysitting. Unfortunately due to a comedy of errors that included showing my DIL photos on my phone, she saw something that gave the surprise away and we ended up just pulling the blocks out and throwing them on her couch to see how they look. Fortunately she likes it and we all had a good laugh about how I cannot seem to manage a surprise! Seven more leaves to make and arrange in a fun setting and I will get another quilt made using only my stash.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Indecision and adjusting

I have been playing around with my Snowbirds batik project and finally decided on a pattern for the appliqué I wanted to include. Yay, I feel my appliqué mojo returning at last! This block is from a medallion quilt by Lori Smith. I knew I wanted something with birds and after spending several hours unsuccessfully trying to draw something myself I found a pattern in my stash. It wasn't quite what I thought I wanted but I actually quite like how it came together. Now for the indecision and adjusting. I always cut out and glue up my whole block before I start stitching so I am satisfied with the color placement before stitching. I then take a photograph of the block and look at that to make sure I don't see anything I am not happy with. Here is my first final version of the block.

I thought I was pleased with it until I looked at the photo. A lot of brown running in the center. Changing one piece helped with that but the photo revealed another issue.

Now because of that light color under the top flower it appears to be floating. I like the color but it is just not quite working for me, so I tried again.

Ok, I think I am happy with this version. The flower is now grounded but there is not too much brown. Much better to me. What do you think? Of course, I may end up changing it yet. Often my final test is posting it on my block for one final review!

 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Catching up with Jane

The piecing continues as I play catch up with the Austen Family Album block of the week by Barbara Brackman. I am still a bit behind but I did manage to put 4 more blocks together. Whenever possible I am trying to make fabric selections that will remind me of Jane Austen and her novels but not every block seems to lend itself to the concept. But I still had fun with these and in the last block I was able to include a bit of toile with a girl playing what might be a pianoforte. She reminds me of Darcy's sister Georgianna in Pride and Predjudice. I love using the tiny dot fabric too as it reminds me of the sashing fabric of the quilt made by Jane herself. These details are really just for my own amusement but they certainly add fun little memories for me.

I really do enjoy working on sample style quilts. It is a pleasure to select the fabric for each block though it can be tricky to make sure the whole quilt remains balanced. I am still not sure how I will set these but I put them all up on the design wall just to see how they were looking together.

Finally I have been playing with the batiks that I showed in a previous post. I made a bunch of simple hour glass blocks from one set of charm squares and some added fabrics. It is looking a little darker than I had hoped but I am still working out a plan for these so I am ok with them. I don't think I am a big batik fan yet but I do love the colors.