Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Weekly Blockheads

Are you keeping up with the weekly Blockheads pattern release?! I had no idea when I started this project how much fun it was going to be! I have tried some new techniques, enjoyed a few challenges, and practiced making favourite blocks. 
This is block #11 called Lisa's Star - click here for the link to the pattern.

This was a particularly rewarding block for me to sew. 
I must have muttered "I love this block" 10 times while I was making it. 
I'm telling you, I was totally in my happy place! I carefully cut everything and squared down each unit at every step of the construction and it's perfect! Just look at how small these adorable little pieces are!!  It's totally ridiculous how happy this makes me... and also a little concerning! LOL

Here are all the blocks together on the design wall. This will be a very interesting sampler quilt!
What will the Moda designers have us sewing this week?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Quilt Bee Report

Photo by Mitzi Designs
My quilt guild recently hosted a bee day and we had a very productive day working on various charity quilt projects. The comfort quilt committee did a terrific job of organizing projects for us to work on. And we had our very own photographer Mitzi documenting our day in photographs.

This is the package I worked on in the morning. See how everything is measured, labelled and perfectly organized to make the quilt top! The 12" blocks in the bag were made by guild members throughout the year using the pattern called "Divide and Conquer" (a free download at Pellon).

Here's the finished quilt top.
Kind of funky and definitely not my cup of tea, but I'm sure it will find a home with someone who likes it more than I do!
It's a true challenge to work on a project with colours you didn't chose, blocks you didn't make, where sewers have used a wide variety of 1/4" seams, and get it all to come together in some kind of coherent fashion. It was a great brain exercise for me. It will be quilted and finished by someone else in the guild.
Photo by Mitzi Design

Then I worked on piecing blocks for another project. Our photographer got some interesting photos and here is one of them. I was piecing blocks on Lucy (my long bed Singer 301).

Photo by Mitzi Designs

Here is a photo of Colleen and I. We were working on the same churn dash blocks using different colourways of the similar fabrics. 

It was a relaxing day of sewing quilts and visiting with friends, almost like an old fashioned Quilting Bee!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Everyone knows how much I love the 100 Blocks magazines. It is creatively refreshing to flip through the patterns and see a wide variety of 12" block designs. When I got the latest issue #15, I was smitten by Bonnie Hunter's block - no surprise I'm sure! On the design wall today is my version of Bonnie's block.

I made this block from a baggie of scrap triangles given to me by a quilting friend at my guild. Although I set myself a challenge to use only the triangles in the bag, I ended up needing to add white squares and rectangles for the outside rows.

Total # of block pieces = 133!

These are some of the HSTs being squaring down using the BlocLoc ruler. 
WOW this was fun block to sew! It will probably be finished as a miniature quilt one day.

The link up for design wall Monday is now being hosted by Judy over at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up of hand stitched projects!
I am doing my favourite type of hand stitching today - binding. I finished the quilting this week on Grand Illusion (with my new Machingers). I really like this blue French General  fabric that I'm using for the binding. This quilt will be donated to my local quilt guild's comfort quilt collection and I'm so happy that it will be done before the last meeting of the year.

If you have a hand stitching project that you would like to show us, link up your blog post below. We hope that whatever you are stitching will be relaxing and fun! Enjoy!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Quilting Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion is closer to becoming a finished quilt. A backing was made from fabric pieces leftover from piecing the quilt top, including the sashings that I removed because they had a green fabric that I decided I didn't like in the quilt. It's much more labour intensive to piece a quilt backing than to buy yardage or a wide backing, but I'm so happy about using up all these leftovers! And it's almost like having a reversible quilt!
The machine quilting will be all stitch-in-the-ditch between the blocks and straight through the middle of all the blocks (horizontally and vertically) using the walking foot. It's boring, but a quick way to finish a quilt.

I thought I might need to invest in a a new pair of Machinger gloves (used for greater control when machine quilting) because the coating on the fingers seemed to be wearing out. But when I compared the old gloves to the new ones, I could hardly believe it! Oh my goodness I was WAY past needing new gloves!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blockheads #10

This is block pattern #10 called "Basket and Flower". It was posted last week for the Blockheads sampler project. 

I am not an expert appliquer, so first I watched the applique tutorial that Jan Patek posted on her blog. That was really interesting so I tried her techniques on this block. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out the order in which to stitch the pieces down. 

From watching the tutorial, I learned not to stitch down the places where another piece should be underneath, such as the stem slipping under the basket.
But I couldn't figure out if the flower should be under the green part or on top. Or if the leaves should be under the stem or on top. Since the "on top" position was much easier to sew, that's what I did! 
To see my other blocks for this project, click here.
I'm heading over to the Moda blog to see block #11 which should be posted today... is it applique or piecing this week?!?!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bear Quilt

I have been making progress on the bear quilt this week. This quilt started last fall in a quiltalong over at Sew Fresh Quilts. I was just going to make a small wallhanging but it is growing into a full size camping quilt inspired by a bear incident while camping last summer.
The letter blocks (of the name of the park we were camping in) are sewn together, although I think the L's need to be a bit closer to each other so I'll fix that. More bear paw blocks will be made this week to add to the top and bottom of the quilt to make it bigger. And the next borders are being calculated. 

One of my ideas was to incorporate some sausages into this quilt because my 2016 bear encounter occurred when I was cooking a sausage supper for 10 hungry campers (mostly famished teenagers) on a Coleman stove. 
hungry campers returning from a hike
The bear and the hungry family, just returning from a long hike, both wanted the food! The nearest store was more than 1/2 hour away (total of 1 hour to get more groceries to restart the cooking) and at this very remote store the cost to buy only 5 sausages was $25! So you can understand why I was determined to not give the bear our food! 
I remember thinking "he's a fairly small bear, I'm sure I can convince him to go away". I was actually thinking about challenging a wild bear! Thankfully the screaming of everyone on the camp site while they escaped to the vehicles scared the bear away and I didn't have to physically defend the sausages. But I was at the ready, and did not intend to leave the stove/food!
The bear quilt definitely needs some sausages don't you think?
However it's difficult to create fabric sausage blocks without them looking... ummm... phallic. My practice blocks were so terrible I'm not even going to post a photo of them. It turned out to be difficult to track down some sausage fabric. But my quilt friends came through for me and tada...  2 different sausage fabrics arrived from my friends!
Should these be part of the main quilt, part of a border, or pieced into the backing? I'm waiting for the bear (or you!) to tell me what to do!
Linking up to Let's Bee Social!