Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Cardinal

Last week, Sew Fresh Quilts posted the next pattern for the Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew a long.  This was another one of those blocks that has lots of little pieces and angles and seams that need to be matched precisely.  So, I decided to only do 1 block!  Wow, can't believe the self discipline LOL.  Once it was done, I was already sorry I hadn't done a second one, but I can always do one more later, "when I have time", right?  Hmmm...I'll bet that'll never happen!  Here is the also had an eye that required cutting a 3/4" square.  Good practise for precision sewing for sure :-).

Love this cardinal.....the greens are off on the colours..they are much prettier in real life.

I find it a lot easier to lay out all the pieces on a small cutting board as I cut them.  I also press the squares in half and lay them out properly to get the right angles.  This helps a lot when sewing them together and you don't have to label all the pieces with the proper size.  I can then carry the board to my sewing machine and stitch it together.  Works for me :-).

Monday, 27 March 2017

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Saturday morning arrived with the uploading of the next block in the Jolly Little Christmas Quilt a long.  My husband was away for the day so I sent off an email to my friend Deb, who is also working on these blocks, and invited her over to sew a long :-).  We had a fun day together.  It took awhile to cut all the patches for these partridges.  There will definitely not be 8 of these blocks in my future anytime soon :-).  But, we valiantly cut out two blocks each. 

I finally got the blocks finished this afternoon after a lot of "reverse stitching" and careful pressing and pinning.  The eyeballs of the partridges (hard to see on the photos) are 1/4" finished!!  You can hardly hold these pieces to sew them together LOL. I made a mistake on my polka dotted pear and had already trimmed the triangles off when I realized there were only supposed to be two triangles, not four.  I didn't have enough fabric left to cut out another square, so I had to piece there is a blemish on my poor pear.  As my husband said, "It's patchwork"!  I do love the way they turned out. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Deb's partridge pieces

My set up for sewing.  I've used this trusty Singer 15-88 treadle machine to piece all my blocks :-)

Deb getting ready to sew

my more modern partridge

the more traditional partridge

...with a few of the other blocks

....with a few of the modernish blocks

Friday, 24 March 2017

Elgin Piecemaker's Pillow challenge

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild does a challenge every year.  This year Julie and Joanne were in charge and they came up with a very appropriate challenge for Canada's 150th anniversary.  We were all given a 20" pillow form and a 10" piece of Kimono Maple Leaf fabric.  The challenge was to come up with a pillow cover that represents what Canada means to us.  We had to use the complete square of the maple leaf fabric.  

I had an idea almost right away as I was inspired by the neutral backgrounds with applique over it.  I could piece together a background with symbols and words that represent Canada and thought of appliqueing a maple leaf and a tulip on the front to reflect my Dutch heritage.  With three friends, I took part in the 401 Quilt Run shop hop in October 2016 in Eastern Ontario.  Visiting the 14 shops on the shop hop gave me ample opportunity to find appropriate fabrics.  Many of the fabrics represented my Mother's love of sewing and had sayings reflecting her values, love of family and gift of hospitality.  I even found a fabric with rings on it symbolizing my parents engagement by mail in January 1954.  My Dad had immigrated to Canada already with his whole family and my Mom followed about a year later.  We still have the envelope that the ring was sent in by registered mail :-).  

When I actually started the pillow, I ran stuck on the applique because I had to use the whole square of maple leaf fabric and could not think how to cut a tulip and a maple leaf out it!  So, I cut out a maple leaf and appliqued it on the back and put the frame on the front and then I added some tulips to the back as well.  I used up every mm of that maple leaf fabric LOL.

Last night, we had the grand reveal and Cynthia from Cherished Pieces and Jesse, one of our former members, were the judges.  They sure had their work cut out for them. The pillows were amazing!  Many of the backs were as nice as the front and the stories behind the quilts were very moving!  It was a great exercise in stopping and pondering this great country of Canada and what we appreciate about it. (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

the Kimono challenge fabric

result of shopping excursion :-)
my pillow front
the back of the pillow
The group with all the pillows

This is the write up that accompanied my pillow:

My Canada

“My Canada” is inseparably linked to my parents’ immigration from Holland to Canada.  I chose neutral fabrics with symbols and words, each representing an aspect of Canada or a memory of my parents to whom I am grateful for my Canadian citizenship.   Word fabrics were chosen to describe my Mom’s life rules and talents and her love of sewing and hospitality. 
The iconic Canadian maple leaf was cut from the Kimono Maple leaf fabric and appliqued to the back of the pillow on tulip and bicycle fabric representing my roots in Holland. The remaining maple leaf frame was sewn on the front to create another silhouette of this great Canadian Symbol.  From front to back, I can rest comfortably in this great country Canada, which is my own.  This pillow will be proudly displayed in my home for Canada’s 150th celebration.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Canada 150 blocks 49- 57 caught up

Tuesday is the day the new blocks are posted for the Canada 150 blocks from Next Step Designs.  I finally finished last week's blocks this morning and got today's blocks finished this afternoon!  Nice to be caught up again :-).  I had not gotten around to taking a picture of the week before so here are the blocks from the last three weeks.  Really enjoying working on these blocks every week.

Blocks 49, 50, 51

Blocks 52, 53, 54

Blocks 55, 56, 57

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Candle mania!

We were away for the weekend so I could not work on the new Jolly Little Christmas sew along block.  But, Monday morning I got right at it and in between all kinds of other March break activities, I got them finished last night.  I could not resist making 8 of these as I had chosen colour combinations and couldn't decide which ones to leave out, so made them all :-).  I really love these candles...maybe my favourite block so far?  Here are the 8 blocks (four in a more tradition colourway and four in modernish fabrics).  (Click on the photo to enlarge them.)

All the blocks to date

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Catching up on Canada 150

Tonight I caught up with the Canada 150 blocks again.  These blocks are a lot of fun to make.  Lots of different techniques to use as well.  I had the first three finished last week already, but hadn't had a chance to blog. (click on the photo to enlarge)

Blocks 40 - 42 I picked up this awesome crow fabric recently and figured crows are pretty Canadian so they found their way into a block LOL. 

Blocks 43 to 45 I changed block 43 to a mitered corner so I could get the stripes to make a 3D effect.

Blocks 46 - 48

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Jolly Little Christmas sew-a-long Poinsetta

Last Saturday, another block came out for the Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew a long hosted by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  These blocks are just pure fun!  I made one block for the Christmas lap quilt that I hope to make when all the blocks are finished and also three more to make a table runner or maybe a pillow or two.  

The block on the right will go into the modern layout for a lap quilt and the other three are from the more traditional line of fabrics.

Friday, 24 February 2017

A quilt for Joey

The London Friendship Quilt Guild ran a row of the month project last year.  Each month, we received a Canadian themed block, representing various regions and symbols of Canada.  Cathy Shepherd designed the sashings that were added between the rows and around the quilt and a row of flying geese at each side and wrote up the instructions.  I had collected some Canadian themed fabrics and decided to make this quilt for my grandson, Joey, as his bedroom doubles as the family guestroom and he sleeps in a queen sized bed.  I asked him if he'd like this quilt and he agreed as long as it had a beaver in it!  Yes, there was a row of beavers planned for this row quilt :-).    The quilt turned out massive!  I had Julie Cassidy quilt it as I did not want to tackle that one under my domestic machine!  I took Joey to Julie's home to see the long arm machine and he got to pick out the quilting design as well as the thread colour.  The quilt is quilted with polar bears, moose and trees in a thread called "prickly pear".  It is perfect for this quilt.

I did not end up using that many of the Canadian fabrics in the front as they were too busy, so used the collection I had accumulated to piece together a backing.  The result is a completely reversible quilt!  (click on the photos to enlarge for a better view)

This was the collection of fabrics that I used for the quilt (with a few later additions).
the Beaver in the quilt was paper pieced
The inukshuk and moon over the mountain blocks were appliqued
the Polar Bears were also paper pieced
Moose quilting in prickly pear thread

Polar bear and trees quilting on the barn blocks

The finished quilt front
Finished quilt back

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sew Fresh Sew along and Canada 150 progress

On Saturday, I finished sewing the next three blocks in the Next step Design's Canada 150 quilt.  I'm happy that I am keeping up with the blocks each week.  And, a friend let me root around in her red scraps so I have some new variety :-).

Blocks 37 - 39

On Saturday the third block in the "Have a Jolly Little Christmas Quilt along" from Sew Fresh Quilts was published.  This one was a Christmas bow.  I made two bows, one for each colour way I'm using.  They turned out very nicely.  This is a really fun project!

I had to pay attention to keep all the letters going in the right direction for this one :-).

I was afraid the red dots would be too light, but I like the way it turned out

Quite a few of the blocks plus a variety of odds and ends on the design wall :-)

Selvage caddies

A few weeks ago, a friend was celebrating her birthday.  I came across these cute selvage caddies in a book (I lent the book out, so can't remember the name :-).  I dug into my special stash of Kaffe Fasset selvages and could not decide which colour I would use so I ended up making three.  I gave the blue one to my friend, and made the orange one for myself.  I decided to give the green one to my other friend whose birthday is in September.  But, I gave it to her already because by December I'll probably forget where I put it LOL.  I did sew a few dividing rows in one side of mine and stitched a row of stitching half way the middle section to stop my pair of little scissors from dropping all the way to the bottom.  The pouch on the other side holds my red clips.  It's the perfect little caddy to drape over the arm of a chair while hand stitching the binding down.

If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the stitched lines to hold the scissors and thread

Drapes perfectly over the arm of an IKEA chair.

Green and orange caddies.

I forgot to take a picture of the blue one so asked my friend to send me one :-)

They were a lot of fun to make.  Next time I will pay attention to make sure there are words or colour circles on the top of the pin cushion :-)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Mittens - second week of Sew Fresh sew a long

Today the pattern for the mittens block was uploaded on the Sew Fresh Quilts blog.  I am really enjoying this "Have a Jolly Little Christmas" quilt a long.  I made 8 blocks to go along with the 8 stockings that I made two weeks ago.

These are the mismatched mittens with a different colour in each pair matching the Ink & Arrow Christmas fabric I purchased last fall.  I went back to the shop and they had the fabrics in the clearance 40% off.  Bonus :-).

I did the more traditional ones matching the mittens in the block.  Love these too.

Here are all the blocks together on the design wall.  Pure fun!

Thanks so much Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts for designing these fun blocks for us.  How many sleeps til the next block comes out? LOL