Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Catching Up

I've fallen a bit behind in my 150 Canadian Women QAL, at Next Step Quilt Designs, but I'm catching back up.
55-Adelaide Hunter Hoodless, helped organize Canada's first YWCA conference, which resonates with me, since one of my first part-time jobs was teaching swimming at the YMCA; she was also instrumental in getting Home Economics included as part of the school curriculum; 56-Helen MacMurchy, a doctor, her belief in preserving the White Race through the use of eugenics have me more than a bit upset; she did a lot for women's issues, yet this is clouded by her actions that led to the wrongful sterilization of many immigrants; therefore I think the light and dark of the chevrons is a good depiction of the positive and negative sides of this woman; 57-Gabrielle Roy, French Canadian author, teacher; I studied "La Petite Poule d'Eau" in university, which is why I chose the chicken coop-like fabric for the HSTs. She wrote about immigrants, the poor and underprivileged and was fluent in both English and French.
Interesting in that block 55 was pieced they day before we left Florida, and then the next two were here.  What is the little chevron strip? Well, I could not toss the trimmed triangles from the corner-square method to make the flying geese in block 56, so I just cut off the dog ears, and then sewed them back together as leader/enders and will use them perhaps on the back of the quilt.

Leanne at Devoted Quilter put out a call for 10.5" blocks to help her make 21 quilts for seniors whose residence was entirely destroyed during a fire a week ago. They all got out safely, but lost everything.  Partly to fulfill the RSC colour of the month which is multi-coloured, as well, I dug through my scraps, which took longer, seeing as I had to find some, then find the bins they belong in, since they got compressed for the move.  Story of my life these days. Something simple and quick takes hours.
I made her 10, 6 feminine ones and 4 masculine.  I was tickled to find the taxi cabs, leftovers from a hobo bag I made after a trip to NYC in 2007 for an English Teachers' Conference.  Glad to have had enough of that Kaffe one, and the Union Jacks too!  Fun!  Leanne needs over 800 blocks, so be sure to head over and check out her post, and how you can help.  I see now that she doesn't need any more new donations of blocks, but still could use batting and backing donations.

Spring continues to bust out all over around here:
We've been watching this beauty unfurl her blossoms as we walk the Greenway over the past couple of weeks.  AMulberry is my guess.

We set out three various bird feeders, this one of niger seed.  Although they don't eat it, the cardinals found it before the goldfinches. Gosh, the males are so brilliant! 

Happily, I can still walk to my lake at the end of our street, gaze at, and listen to the water should I feel the need, within less than a minute,
and wave at Julie on the other side, and beyond her, Tish! 

Be sure to check out the Freefall QAL Step 3 instructions where we piece the 6 leaves that float on background fabric, as well as make the blocks for the large shadow leaf point.  A link up for this step will be on Monday, April 24.

Linking up
Sew Fresh Quilts
so scrappy

Monday, April 17, 2017

Freefall Quilt Along Step 3 Construction of 6 Leaf Blocks

In this step we will be creating the leaves that float on the background fabric, as well as the shadow leaf point.  There are six leaves that float on the background.  You can download a copy of this post in PDF form from my Craftsy Store.  Either click the link in my sidebar or here for a direct link to the PDF.  The templates in part 2 of this post, those that make up the large shadow leaf point, are also available in my Craftsy Store.

Gather your leaf pieces that are going to float on the background that you set aside from Cutting Step 1, along with the background pieces.  You will still have several pieces left after this week's work; we will use them in Step 4.  Just as in Step 2, you will have one 2 3/4" X 3 3/4" rectangle left over; do not cut this into side triangles yet.  Make just six leaves as you did in Step 2, substituting the background fabric for the shadow leaf fabric.  Here are all the pieces for two leaves ready for assembly into blocks.

Shadow Leaf Corner Unit

This unit requires templates very similar to how we made the templates to cut our fabric for the 3" finished leaf point.

Note: There are 3 blocks that make up the shadow leaf point.  Each of the 3 blocks is 7.5" finished.  There is the 'tip' block and then the two sides of the tip, each a mirror-image of the other.

Note also that if drafting is not your thing, you can download these 3 blocks in my Craftsy Store, thanks to Tish of Tish's Adventure's in Wonderland.  Thanks so much Tish!

Make the Leaf Point Sections Templates
1. Draw a 7.5" square on paper, either newsprint or freezer paper, leaving extra paper around two, or all sides.  Make the lines dark enough that you can see them on the reverse side.  Make two of these squares.  Tape the two squares together lightly (we'll take it apart right away) side by side.
TIP: place a piece of tape in the middle of the line on both sections where you are going to tape the sections together. Then tape the two together with another piece of tape over top of those two. This ensures easy removal with no fear of ripping your paper. The edges of your drawn squares overlap (see below).

2.  Draw a line that goes from the top right corner to the bottom left corner of the rectangle.  Label the background and the shadow leaf sections as shown.  'BG' is background.  Draw two small arrows as shown. This will help you orient section 2a for the next step.

3.  Carefully take apart the two sections.  Now flip section 2a onto its back.  I like to trace that line on this reverse side where your little arrows point just so I can see it clearly; if you can see it through the paper, then there's no need to do this. Rotate the square so that it is now below section 1.  See below. Use the little arrows you made that will show you which edge touches section 1. Align the edges as you did for the first side, nothing the overlap. Tape lightly together again.  Draw a line as before, this time beginning at that same top right corner, and ending at the bottom left corner.  You will notice that you trace over the same line on section 2a, just on the back side.  Label the reverse of 2a as shown.  Carefully fold along your seam lines as you did for the small leaf blocks.

Cut Shadow Leaf Point Pieces
4.  Lie your leaf point template on the wrong side of the shadow leaf fabric. You may want to use a light dab of gluestick to secure this piece; if you've used freezer paper, use a dry iron, no steam, to adhere the freezer paper to your fabric.  EITHER make a template from this section, adding 1/4" seam allowance around all four sides of the leaf point shape OR use this as a large paper-piecing template.  Your preference.  I did templates for the Windfall big quilt, paper-piecing for this wallhanging size.

5.  Use that side section as a template, tracing it onto new paper, adding seam allowances around all three sides.  You will use this template to cut both the side triangles for section 1 and the triangles in sections 2a and 2b.  Place your shadow leaf fabric wrong sides together.  Cut a set of two triangles using the template you have just made.

Cut Background Fabric for Shadow Leaf Point
6. With right sides together of the remaining 8.5" strip of background fabric you set aside from Cutting in Step 1, use this same template to cut two mirror image side triangles for the leaf point.  If you place the template on a double layer of fabric, wrong sides together, you will get these two mirror images with one cut.  Then use either side of Section 2, a or b, template to cut these pieces as shown below.
Note that you can snuggle these two closer together to give you usable scrap! Just remember to allow for 1/4" seam allowances around all sides of both templates.
This is what you will have:

Piece the Shadow Leaf Point sections.
1.  Either use the templates as paper-piecing templates or simply sew your pieces together.  First sew the side background triangles to either side of the leaf point section 1.  Press to the background.  Square to 8", lining up registration marks on your ruler as shown.

First photo: have the 4" dot on your ruler at the 1/4" seam line of the sides of the leaf point and the 7 3/4" dot on your ruler at the top point of the leaf point. Trim and then rotate the block.  Second photo: line up the 7 3/4" dot on the 1/4" seam line of the sides of the leaf point, and the 1/4" dot at the leaf point.  Trim.

2. Next sew the two sections of 2a and then 2b together.  Press to the leaf fabric.  Square to 8".   Line up the 1/4 dot on your ruler with the 1/4" seam line at the corner of the block, and 7 3/4" dot on the lower left 1/4" seam line.  The other block section will be the same except for the 4" dot will be lined up on that 1/4" seam.

All this pressing to a specific direction and lining up of registration marks on the ruler with the 1/4" seam line will ensure your seams will nest, giving you a continuous line of the large point of the shadow leaf.

Set these three blocks aside for now.

There will be a linkup next Monday, April 24.  I am absolutely loving everyone's first 8 leaves!  Remember to hashtag freefallqal on Instagram and tag me, @mmmquilts if you post progress there.

See you in two weeks when we will be making the half background/half shadow leaf floating leaves!

Linking up with
Cooking Up Quilts
Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, April 10, 2017

Freefall Link Up #2

Hope Spring is springing up everywhere in your corner of the northern hemisphere! Daffodils are blooming all over: they are in the lawns, under trees, along ditches, really quite glorious, not just in flowerbeds as they do in Alberta. My mum used to describe this custom in England, which we thought was rather odd, since no one does this in Alberta, but then I saw them exactly as she'd described, all over France.  Golden showers of Forsythia I spot as well, must get one if there isn't one here at the new place... Nope haven't even had time to inspect the wares of the garden of the family who lived here all but 5 of its 70 years.

So I hope you have had time to sew up the first 8 leaf blocks.  I have been remiss in my Instagram surfing, so I apologize if I haven't commented and liked your photo if you've posted there.  As long as you tag me, mmmquilts, I should find you, and remember to hashtag freefallqal I will find you.

There are some gorgeous fabric pulls out there!  I've got almost all my fabric home now, but no, it is not out of all the totes; I haven't even unpacked the Florida sewing stuff yet, sniff.  Hopefully soon I can start my second Freefall quilt.  I will be linking this post and attached linky up with
Cooking Up Quilts
Patchwork Times

So you work will be given more exposure !

Step 3 will be out on Monday, April 17, and this link up will remain open through Sunday evening.

Link up #2

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I Like/Love #2

Ten Things
1. I really do love Craftsy.  Yes, I'm an affiliate, but I wouldn't promote anything I didn't buy, or really like myself.  I love Angela Walters, no secret there, and her latest video is once again, terrific.  This time she's paper-piecing! And it's her own design.  Here's the video:
I've already downloaded the pattern for Angela's quilt!  I already purchased some Boundless batiks, and can't wait to work with them....I think I know where they may be, hmm...

2. You know I love Craftsy classes, and own many.  This weekend, beginning tomorrow, in celebration of Spring, all their classes are on for $19.99! That is SUCH a great deal, owning that class for life. I can tell you from personal experience that Angela's Craftsy classes come a very close second to her real life classes; she is every bit as funny and personable, and educational, as she is when she's in the flesh and blood.  Did you know there are many many free classes on Craftsy? From knitting, to woodworking, drawing to baking, and the 2017 Craftsy block of the month quilt! Just think, you can do this quilt along with Nancy, but use your own fabric! Shh! Don't tell.

3. I like pre-scheduling posts!  This has been a  lifesaver as we settle into our new home.  My Freefall QAL, DrEAMi! are just a couple of the few, including most of this one, that I've prescheduled.  I am waaay behind in responding to comments, but I will get there, I promise.  I'm so pleased to see that 130 downloads of steps 1 and 2 in PDF format from my Craftsy store have occurred so far.  Wow.  The next linkup is Monday, of your first 8 blocks.

4. I love good friends like Tish, for many reasons, but one recent one is for linking up posts when I am unable to.  Thank you my sweet friend, mwah!

5. I love learning and educating myself about new things.  One is a knitting show on Craftsy.  This latest episode shows how to cable without using a cable needle!  It also shows some beautiful merino yarn, and a great pattern for a cowl.

6. I love Spring.  The rebirth, the hope, the promise...
Those hardy, oft-hated, but such bright happy dandelions!  Daffodils are starting to bloom too!
...the possibilities, the wonder.
I first noticed these buds on the tree outside my sewing room window the day we moved in.

7. I love the smell of the colour green, the fresh smell of new grass, the wet, earthy smell of Spring.

8. I love history.  HIstorical fiction, like the current book I'm reading, New York.  It is very good so far.

9. History before my eyes.  History repurposed.
This is just one of the old railroad markers along the repurposed railroad bed in Essex County, which is now a 50-km long walking/biking/horseback riding trail, known officially as the Chrysler Canada Greenway.

10. Finally, I like British TV.  A new-to-us series is 'Happy Valley', on Netflix, recommended by both my mum and neighbours in Florida, who hail from Duluth.  It is a bit terrifying and disturbing to me, but intense with excellent acting.  Of course, the lovely Sarah Lancashire, who MacGyver quite likes, is the main lead, a police sergeant.

I will be connecting with LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color this week.  If you'd like to read more I Like/Love posts head over there where she does her own, and points you to a few of us in QBL who join her.
Have a wonderful Thursday on this beautiful blue/green planet.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Freefall Quilt Along Step 2 Construction of 8 Leaf Blocks

Welcome back!  We are ready to sew, right?  This week we are making the eight leaf blocks that float on the shadow leaf block.  Does that sound confusing or what?  Not to worry, this first step is easy-peasy.  You need your Ziploc baggie of leaf pieces that float on the Shadow Leaf and your stack of pieces that you cut in Step 1 for the Shadow Leaf.  Here's what we are making:

My Shadow Leaf is green and these are the eight prints I am floating on it.


* Note that the Shadow Leaf fabric, green in my case, will be referred to as background fabric in this section to avoid confusion between leaf and shadow leaf terms!

1.  You are going to piece the leaf points for all eight leaves following the Paper-Piecing Without Sewing Through the Paper tutorial.  Take out ten of the eleven 2 3/4 x 3 3/4" shadow leaf rectangles, and cut as per the tutorial.  You will have:
  • eight sets of side triangles, 16 total
  • two sets of side triangles extra that you will use for a later set of leaves
  • one 2 3/4 x 3 3/4" rectangle left over.  **Do not cut it yet but set it aside with the extra side triangles for later. 
Follow the tutorial now to make 8 leaf points.

2.  Make the HSTs.  Draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of three of the 2.5" leaf fabric squares.  I like to use my Hera marker for this step.  Stitch 1/4" on either side of that marked line and then cut apart on the marked line.

However, for small squares like this, if you have an extension table for your machine with registration marks on it, as I do, you may not have to mark!
Repeat with the other two pairs of 2.5" squares to make 6 HSTs.  Press four to the background fabric and two to the leaf fabric, or all open, whatever you prefer.  Square to 2".
**You may want to check out this tutorial I wrote on how to trim two HSTs at the same time.  You could have two sets of HSTs trimmed in the time it takes to trim one!

Assemble the leaf block

Lay out the pieces for the block as shown below:

1.  Sew the top pair of HSTs (the ones that are above the 3.5" square of leaf fabric) together.  Press open.  Next sew one HST to each of the three rectangles, orienting them as per the layout photo. Press the two units with the background fabric rectangle to the background rectangle, and to the HST on the unit with the leaf fabric rectangle.  Finally sew the sixth HST to the 2" square.  Press to the 2" square.  This is what you will have:

2.  Now piece the top section and bottom section.  Sew the pair of HSTs to the 3.5" square of leaf fabric.   Sew the leaf point to the 2" square unit.  Sew the two rectangle units to the right of the 3.5" background square.

3.  Then sew the top three sections together.  Sew the bottom two sections together.  Finally, sew the top to the bottom section.  Press.  Square to 8".  Make 8 of these altogether.

Remember if you have any questions, leave me a comment below or shoot me an email (click the profile on my sidebar) and I will answer you.  Happy sewing, and thank you SEW much for joining me.  Thank you for your patience with me in taking longer to respond to comments over the past and next several days while we are settling into our new home.

A copy of this post is downloadable in PDF format in my Crafsty store. (affiliate link)  You will find templates made by Tish in EQ7 for the leaf point if you prefer to print rather than draft your own.

How about a quick little peek at some of my fabric sponsors' wares?
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is in Toronto, Ontario.  They are offering a $25 gift certificate.  They have monthly deals, a Canada's birthday BOM, and lots worth checking out.
Needle & Foot is in Grass Valley, California.  The youngest shop of the three here, but a terrific selection of fabrics awaits you, and custom-made articles as well.  Bernie is offering 6 fat quarters OR 3 half-yard cuts.
Fat Quarter Shop is in Manchaca, Texas.  One of their most popular features is the 24-hour flash sale, but their QAL and BOM and featured quilt patterns have me visiting them on pretty much a daily basis! They are offering a $25 gift certificate.

Hope you will support these online shops who are so supportive of activities in QBL!

There are several pattern designers sponsoring the Freefall QAL, more on them next time.  You can check them out in the Intro post by clicking the Freefall Quilt Along tab at the top of the blog.  All posts are there as is the schedule.  Next Monday, April 10, the second linkup will open and remain open for a week to give you plenty of time to complete your 8 blocks. Happy sewing! Remember to post on Instagram as well, and use the hashtag freefallqal so we can find you!

Linking up:
Cooking Up Quilts
Patchwork Times

Saturday, April 1, 2017

DrEAMi! Linky #3 Llamas and Laundry

Welcome to the third linky party for those Drop Everything And Make It! moments.  What's got you dropping your current project and running for your stash?

For me this past month, it involved llamas and laundry.  Yup you read that right.
That's the back.  Isn't that just the best fabric?!

Here's the front, various coordinating 2.5" squares of scraps and stash:
Click here to go read about it.

Laundry!  With a few hours to spare before the sign-up deadline, I messaged Jen at A Dream and A Stitch through Instagram that I would like to be part of the Quilter's Laundry Day blog hop.  I had a week to make the mini quilt.  I didn't quite drop everything; I finished the flimsy for the Freefall QAL, which was only a couple hours' worth of sewing away from being finished, and then, dropped everything and threw myself, quite happily, I may add, into the creating of this mini:

Click here to read about this one.  Now you might be thinking, no wonder you only completed 3.5/8 Q1 FAL goals.  I know.  I'm guilty.

So have you been 'caught' by a squirrel this past month?  Tell us all about it!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Freefall Finish

This seems rather anti-climactic since you've seen the flimsy and a lot of the components on both the 'paperless' paper-piecing post (how's THAT for alliteration, unintended to boot?!) and the Cutting post, and then as featured on Paintbrush Studio Fabric's blog, and beyond, eeek, like Aurifil and Pinterest omg...but all that aside, presenting Freefall!
This was one of my Q1 FAL goals, and I'm so happy that I can check it off as done!  My list is here.

This is the wallhanging size of the big quilt I made, Windfall, which was done with Paintbrush Studio Fabrics as well, in the Windfall line.  I don't think I could pick my favourite as I adore both of these lines so much.  We are doing the wallhanging as a quilt along, and it is not too late to join in if you haven't heard about it or have been sitting on the fence!  Steps are coming out bi-weekly, quite do-able IMHO. Click the Freefall Quilt Along tab at the top and you will see what's what so far.

The flimsy went together very quickly.

Layering was next.  I spray-glue baste...I first heard about it in a Stack 'n Whack class I was teaching back, uh, let's leave it at some time ago, from a student in that class.  The way she described, 'throw my quilt in a corner'...'leave it sit for a while'...'washes out not problem'...'no pinning'...'changed my life'...well it certainly changed mine!  So I spray-glue basted this puppy. No. Wait.  First I had to decide on a backing.  I nearly went to the LQS to buy something but then I thought why not use some of the leftover fabric since A. I have some and B. I love it so much that having it on both sides is a bonus and C. I love patchwork, ergo interesting backs! So I cobbled together several of the prints, layered and started ditching.
Ditching front and back
I always always stitch in the ditch.  It stabilizes the quilt, and even if you are FMQ-ing the death out of the quilt, the lines will disappear.  I think sometimes that puckering happens when people jump in and start FMQ-ing without having ditched.  Just my opinion, but I've never had a pucker or fold on the back in over 20 years now of quilting.  This quilt has 25 blocks, so I stitched the grid they make.

As always, Bella helped.
She loves new fabric, new quilts, and takes her hold-down-a-quilt job very seriously.

I decided to do straight-line quilting in the shadow leaf.  Not having a ruler foot for my Bernina, I used my walking foot.  The next dilemma was to decide on a thread.  There are many colours that float over the green so I didn't want to use green and have it blend/pop/blend/pop kind of thing.
Using the edge of my walking foot to get 1/2" spacing

Because there are layers of leaves in this quilt, I ignored those that float on the big shadow leaf. I remembered Angela Walters saying that she turns to a pale grey or pale yellow when going over many colours.  I had Aurifil 2600 with me and laid out several coils across the leaves.  Yep, I think it would do it!


I thought it worked so well that I used it for the background, where I went with a contrasting motif, swirls, hoping to evoke the swirling winds of Spring.

I always quilt in a surprise or two.
Had to put a ghost leaf in this one too! Windfall has three I believe.  I tried to keep the lines of the swirls about the same distance as the straight ones, but they ended up being a bit closer I think.

As I often do, I made the label an integral part of the backing.  And of course I now also (usually remember to!!) attach my label from Ikaprint.  You can see I used the purple 'brick' print as the binding; its twin, the pale low volume one is the background on the front of the quilt.  Aren't there some oh-so-cool prints in this line?  The dots! Those raindrops!!

Here's the back:
I'm SO glad I did decide to build the back with the leftover prints.  Paintbrush was very generous with the yardage they sent me.  Here's the front again, as pegged to the fence with the evening sun just touching parts of it.

And, not in a tree, but tree in the background:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  original design based on two quilts in Shadow Quilts by Magret and Slusser
Size:  38"; 37 3/8" after quilting
Fabric:  Freeform by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Aurifil 2600

I have lots of ideas for shadow quilts, and actually drafted another for the design challenge that finished earlier this month. I'm working on a floral one at the moment.  Remember Step 2 instructions come out on Monday, April 3.  Those will be the first sewing ones.

Linking Up
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Celtic Thistle Stitches
Busy Hands Quilts
Cut & Alter for the Q1 FAL