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.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hidden Forest finished

Wow, it feels really great to have an actual finish for a change. Since my longarm will not be set up until the basement is finished, and that will be awhile, I decided I better start doing some quilting on my domestic machine. I have so many tops sitting around that it is becoming rather overwhelming so I decided it was best to start small. You may remember this from last year, my adaptation of hidden Forest by A Vintage Spool. I love how the quilting turned out but I think I need to start working on a new filler pattern, I keep using this paisley design cause it is just so easy and fun!



Monday, July 21, 2014

An Appliqué slump means more piecing

Today I realized that I have not been doing much appliqué lately. I assume I am just having a slump and I will get back to it soon. Still working away on the Di Ford mystery but not much to show right now.

Instead I started another quilt, Science Fair by Jaybird quilts. Frankly at the cost of the special ruler I figured I better get some use out of it to justify the expense! One of those impulse buys that shocked me at the cash register. Anyway the pattern uses 2 1/2 in strips and I had a jelly roll just waiting to be used. The lap size only requires 26 strips and I originally planned to just use strips from my Comma by Zen Chic jelly roll. But sadly I could not find a suitable background in my stash to work with both the black and the grey in the line.

Instead I decided to split the jelly roll, add a few strips from my stash and I ended up with enough to make a lap size and a baby size. Here is the lap size fabric with the dark fabric for background and a few of the blocks laid out. I decided to remove the yellow and add a bit of teal. Yes, I do love this color combination and it goes well in my guest room so I keep coming back to it when I am working in brights!

And here is how they are on the design wall right now. I need to ponder this layout to make sure it doesn't need some adjustments.

And the fabric left for the baby quilt with the light solid background. It reminds me of bumblebees so perhaps a few little bee accessories would make this a fun baby gift.

Finally, since I ended up with one extra of all the triangles, I arranged them into this large scrappy hexagon and will make a little pillow.