Sunday, March 24, 2013

Modern Low Volume Swap

Looking to add some low volume fabrics to your stash? 
 I am!  So I was thrilled to discover that Rebecca has a new swap started that is all about low volume fabrics.
Want to join the fun?  Don't delay as the sign-up spots are filling fast...
Low Volume Swap Icon
I'm feeling double lucky today...
 as not only did I make the sign-ups for the swap
I was able to use the gift certificate that came as my prize in the Emerald Challenge to buy my fabric.
Seemed like a bit of serendipity to me. ;o)
Want to see what I chose as my low volume fabric for the swap?....
Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Trees Grey
I'm pretty excited about the prospect of having an assortment of low volume fabrics to work with for some projects that have been tumbling around in my mind.
  Hooray for swaps!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Summer Sparkler Quilt Finished!

Before I tell you about my latest quilt finish, I have some exciting news to share.  Yesterday, the winners for the Pantone Emerald Challenge were announced and my entry in the "Just the Top" category was awarded third place.  I'm still in shock....

There's a link party/gallery, hosted HERE - so hop on over to see all the beautiful Emerald Challenge creations. 
Here's the link to see the top choices in each of the three categories of the challenge.

  Huge thanks to... Ali for being our wonderful hostess and organizer of the challenge, everyone that participated (loved all that Emerald inspiration), to wonderful sponsors and judges of the challenge.  It was fun!  I'm already wondering what colour Pantone will select for 2014.... ;o)

Now, onto my second quilt finish as a part of the FAL 2013
 ( yay! this means there's  another WIP crossed off this list!)

My newest quilt is "Summer Sparkler" - as it makes me think of picnics and fireworks.

The block design is from Elizabeth Hartman's book,
  The Practical Guide to Patchwork (it's her Rain or Shine block). 

I made a twin size version rather than a lap-sized quilt and deleted the yo-yo's from Elizabeth's pattern.

The quilting I chose is a simple meander  using a light gray thread for both top and bottom - so it blends on the quilt top and contrasts with the blue backing. I'm loving the way the quilting is taking center stage on the backing.  No real surprise that I love meander quilting. ;o)

I'm linking up with Amanda Jean's

Monday, March 18, 2013

A few more

crazy 9 patch blocks for the quilt I'm making for my husband have been finished - blocks which add in some new fabrics to the previous mix of oranges.  I even tucked in another chocolate brown fabric (courtesy of Flea Market Fancy - love those posies!). 

The dark brown fabrics  are like an oasis in a myriad of orange and I love how they add a little resting place for the eyes.

 All those crazy 9 patch blocks have been united to become a flimsy!  I'm still working on a few others to add to the quilt back and then I'll be all set to begin basting.  Whew.  Another finish is within sight!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hop to it!

How about a last minute entry for the Emerald Challenge?
2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge
Yet again, I used the Diamond Pillow Pattern (click here for pattern) created by Amanda Jean Nyberg.  I love this design! This time around, I simply chose a selection of greens to piece together with an emerald green corduroy background,
added a bunny applique

complete with a sweet vintage button for his tail

to make a Spring pillow (it finishes at 20" square).

The quilting is simple scallops on the patchwork squares and circles for each of the four corners.  Two favourite Denyse Schmidt prints were used to complete the binding and the pillow back.  Lots of green yumminess!

I love it when a last-minute idea comes together successfully (even if it means cutting things close to the deadline ;o).

There's a link party/gallery, hosted HERE - so hop on over to see all the beautiful Emerald Challenge creations. 


 You can also find everyone participating HERE on the Flickr group. 


 Here's hoping all our green creations will encourage some Spring weather... bringing an end to all the snow we keep receiving. ;o)

Friday, March 15, 2013

My entry for the Emerald Challenge!

The deadline for the Emerald Challenge is fast approaching (March 17th), so with my graph paper version in hand ( completely inspired by this quilt ),
I cut,
I stitched, 
 and I pressed.

I now have an entry ready for the category of unfinished quilt tops!

"Garden Plot" measures 34.5" by 40.5".
Couldn't resist hanging it on the window for that "stained glass" look .
Following the rules of  using one neutral and one secondary colour to accompany the focus colour of Emerald (other shades of green were acceptable, too) - I carefully selected four Kona green FQs to make my blocks on a white background, with blue (navy to turquoise in that Amy Butler print) .  Generally, I tend to always use prints, but this time I wanted to challenge myself to use predominately solids. 
I'm amazed how the greens change their look depending on the lighting.  This was taken outside on the snow.
I'm still deciding how I will finish this - choosing the binding, backing and quilting is still up in the air.  Meantime, I'm happy that  Garden Plot has at least become a quilt top and I'm excited to add it as an entry to the Emerald Challenge.
2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge
My entry for the challenge will now join all the others online.
There's a link party/gallery, hosted HERE - so hop on over to see all the beautiful Emerald Challenge creations. 
 You can also find everyone participating HERE on the Flickr group. 
 You're going to be so inspired you'll be grabbing your green fabrics to get sewing!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How my second orange quilt became my first...

Orange Twirl won't set records for my fastest finish for a quilt, but it's setting records for how happy it makes me. 
 I'm loving all those delicious orange fabrics, which comes as a surprise - until a year ago, I honestly had next to no orange fabrics in my stash (I'm more into blues, reds or pinks).  Then, I found out that orange is my hubby's favourite colour (oh, the things you can discover after 20+ years of marriage! lol) and I decided I NEEDED to make him his own quilt.  In his favourite colour.  A quilt that would be a gift for him and a colour challenge for me (...however, this isn't the one for him...progress on his is being made ;o).
  So began my quest to collect some orange fabrics. 
 Here are the first fabrics I gathered for his quilt....
Now, Orange Twirl was started  as a way to use up the leftovers from making the blocks for my hubby's quilt ... and well, I got so carried away with this design, I needed more orange fabrics to make a bigger quilt.  Funny, how that happens. ;o)   My orange fabric quest wasn't over! I stalked fabric sales online and in real time, looking for more orange fabrics and on and off I added more blocks over the course of the year. 
 January 2013  I added this quilt-in-progress to my Finish-A-Long list.  After mentioning in a post that I still found myself needing more orange fabrics, so I could make a twin-sized quilt, several lovely blog friends stepped up with offers to send me some orange fabrics from their own stashes. 
Without their help my finished quilt wouldn't be this lovely.  Many thanks to Nicolette, WendyCarol and to Maria.  My finished quilt comes with a global spin of friendship -beautiful orange fabrics came from the Netherlands, England, USA and Sweden, making this Canadian girl's heart swell with emotion.
Without further ado, here is my finished quilt!
Orange Twirl Quilt!
I wrote previously that I was going to rip out my free motion quilting - I was stuck on the fact that all those swirls disappeared on the printed fabric.  After taking a step back from the quilting (without breaking out the seam ripper first), I decided that the fabric was the real feature of this quilt and to not sweat the quilting.  I think I just had the memory of using this same quilting design on a solids only project and how the quilting just "popped".  Realizing that unless I chose a contrasting thread to quilt with, the quilting would only show on the solids in this quilt and disappear otherwise, meant I could see it for what it was - a fun FMQ design that adds lots of texture and I was fine with that.

For the backing, I decided to go with a stripe that has orange and the other touches of colour found amongst the variety of fabrics used in the quilt top.  It's bright, happy and playful, while allowing a better look at the quilting.
A dotted binding comes as no surprise, right?  ;o)
Seriously, choosing a binding fabric was the toughest part - I auditioned about a dozen options, but in the end went with Robert Kaufman's Spot On (I love this happy dot fabric!).  There's one corner of the quilt where you can see that the binding and block are the same fabric, which I usually try to avoid doing, but since I love dots, I ignored my usual rule.  ;o) 
Now that this quilt is crossed off my FAL list, I can make some headway on the other quilts still languishing as WIPs (such as the one I started for my hubby ...which was supposed to be my first orange quilt ;o).
I'm linking up with Amanda Jean's

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Working on it Wednesday...

Another day, another project. ;o)
No sooner did I take the "Pop Star" quilt top off my design wall for basting, then I brought out the crazy-9-patch blocks for my ManDarin quilt.  I pieced these blocks just over a year ago and then they were put away when my hubby decided he wanted to design something to go with them.  His plans have changed, so I'm going ahead towards a solo finish for this quilt.

I have 7 sets of 9 blocks, which is a pretty good start for a quilt.  Today, I trimmed them square at 7.5" and began working on a layout with no sashing or borders.  Yay!

Knowing how much my hubby likes quilts large enough for him to wrap up in (whether he's on the computer or watching a movie), I'm going to need to make a few more blocks.  I think a quilt that's 8 blocks by 10, should do the trick (and will fill in the gaps on the design wall - some of which you can see below).  More orange blocks are in the works.  My hubby is already loving the look of his quilt and I'm excited to finally be closing in on a finish.

 The ManDarin quilt also happens to be on my Finish-A-Long list for the first quarter of this year - the list which has me aiming to finish 5 quilts before the end of this month.
How am I doing?  Two quilts done and 3 to go!

she can quilt

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just like that...

I seem to be on a quilt making roll.  I've completed two quilts in the past week and over the weekend I put together my newest quilt top
(this time using the Made in Cherry -free PDF pattern- from Sarah Fielke).
I piece my quilts using my Singer 15-91, affectionately known as Belle.  She's worth her weight in gold!
I'm already underway with the backing and with any luck with have this top basted before I turn in for the night.  Whew!  Feels good to be ticking off projects on my sewing list.  Not that my list will ever be clear, but that's part of the fun. ;o)

Stay tuned for some quilty finishes...  until then, happy stitching!

Friday, March 8, 2013

FAL Progress

Back in January, I listed 6 works-in-progress I wanted to complete for the first quarter of the year ( you can read about them in this post...)  as  part of...
she can quilt
 How am I doing on that list?
I've showed you my first finish (here) and am hoping to show you a couple more finishes (if the weather cooperates for some outdoor photos this weekend ;o).
Today, I wanted to share the progress I'm making on another quilt I have listed in the FAL.
I'm using the pattern, Made in Cherry, from Sarah Fielke and trying out some new to me colours.
I've started laying out the center of the star for my quilt!

I'm loving the violet/magenta colourway and have made a change in my plans for the background colour. 
I will replace the teal colour in the top right photo for the bright green in the lower right photo.  Even though I like both, I'm really loving how that bright green makes the violet/magentas "POP"!  Oh, it's so fun to get to play with fabric and colour.   You now know what I'll be doing every spare moment this weekend. ;o)
Wishing each of you a wonderful weekend!

Good friends are..

Ages ago, I started stitching a sweet saying I came across and showed you only the beginning line.
Although I finished the embroidery months back, I wasn't sure how I wanted to frame it.  Thanks to all my time last week sewing with scraps, I had a light bulb moment in how to proceed with this project.
I grabbed my container of blue scraps and started piecing them together to make a scrappy border to frame the stitchery.  Then I  densely quilted straight lines onto the patchwork for extra texture.  The finishing touch? A simple applique  and a  special star shaped button from a lovely friend. 
Here's to all the stars in my life...
I'm linking up to Finish it up Friday with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sew much fun...

 I love free motion quilting!
(here's a quick peek at my latest quilt that's nearing completion)
This will be my second quilt finished this week and it will be another WIP I can cross off my list. ;o)
How about you? 
 Do you love free motion quilting? 
Do you prefer straight lines or curvy for quilting?
 Maybe hand-quilting is your passion...
For me, meander quilting on my little Janome is something I look forward to as I find it an easy quilting design to get into the flow of and have become so comfortable in stitching. 
Believe it or not, I was almost disappointed when I finished quilting because I enjoy it so much. LOL
Next up, is the binding.  I love this stage of finishing because it means I'm nearly done (and I like handstitching that binding on.  I feel like it's the last measure of hand made love I can add to my quilt, so I take pleasure in this last step).
Speaking of finishing, it's been a wonderful week of finishing for me - maybe due to the longer days this time of year brings? ;o)  Whatever the reason, I'm delighted to be crossing some projects off my sewing list.  You'll even be seeing some of those finishes soon.  Goodness knows that sewing list is never ending... but that's not a complaint.  I feel so lucky to have something I enjoy sew much.  Fingers crossed I can keep up my level of sewing productivity as there's always more I want to accomplish than there is hours in a day.  How lovely to have more fun things to look forward to making!     Hoping your week has been filled with fun....
PS.  Has anyone else been experiencing trouble loading photos on Blogger?  It's been an incredible struggle for me.  It doesn't matter if I try loading in compose or in html... it keeps saying "no response".  Such an aggravation!  Any tips to help out with this?  I would appreciate it greatly!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A good day

We've been having such a mild winter, we've even hit the double digits above zero, but Sunday brought freezing temps and several inches of snow
 (good thing I did my errands and grocery shopping on Saturday!). 
Sunday was a good day to stay home,
 admire the fresh snowfall,
 bake some bread,

Mmmm...  homemade whole grain bread - my favourite! I've shared the recipe and a tutorial so you can make some too! (click here)
chop fresh veggies for a huge pot of lentil soup,

and  work on handstitching the binding on my Orange Twirl quilt!

 Check out those Wonderclips holding my binding in place.  First time I've used them - I think they're great!
P.S.  Thanks to all of you that voiced your thoughts on my last post.  Rather than unpick all my quilting, I decided to give myself a night to think on it -  I think I needed to just step back from it.  Turns out, the quilting wasn't as bad as initially perceived, so I went ahead with the quilting and finished it! ;o)
Now, if the weather will warm up a bit, I will see if I can get a couple of helpers to hold the quilt for a little photo shoot. 
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