Friday, December 8, 2017

Rainbow Vibes Finish

This little quilt has been all done for a couple of weeks, and actually has gone to a few yoga classes with me. I just haven't sat down to write up the finish post.  It was one of my Q4 goals for the 2017 Finish Along. My list is here.

This is my own design, Ribbon Stars, no revolutionary block, but a bit of a fun setting. This is the fourth time I've made my pattern, each version a bit different. You can get it for free in my Craftsy store. (affiliate link) I hope you're remembering (gulp, I haven't every day) to check the deal of the day with their Twelve Days of Christmas specials. Today is 60% off Boundless Lily and Loom; I actually bought some in a previous sale that I am going to get my hands on tomorrow when it arrives!

Like the majority of my quilts, this one has a bit of a story, one of the 'full circle' kind.  It begins with me reading Benartex's blog, Sew In Love With Fabric. Last summer, 2016, they announced that they were going to be putting out an ezine, Modern By the Yard, and if you subscribed, and then sent them emails of five friends who you think would also like to subscribe, you could win some fabric. Well, I did! To all three of the above! They sent me two bundles, 15 fat quarters in total:

and asked me to let them know what I made with the lovely fabrics. I used some of the yellows in various projects here and there, and some of the purple and orange in my Uncle Frank's quilt, con fuoco. The bundle of Fleurish, by Maria Kalinowski, sat in its stack, (despite being cut into, I always folded it back up all purty) for some time.  I don't know exactly when, but I decided to remake Ribbon Stars, with no borders, using Fleurish. I decided I'd do three stars with cool colour star points, and three with warm, and run the ROYG in the ribbon centres. Outside of the no waste flying geese, I sewed the top on Billie, my 1947 Featherweight.

This was before I'd bought my Little Foot (which I adore --that is an affiliate link btw, and I see it's still on sale), and was using the seam guide you see there. The seam guide works great except for sewing on either side of a drawn line... And thus, I made Rainbow Vibes. There was no red in the bundle so I used one from my stash that blended really well with the others.
Finished flimsy back on October 8 in the hedges
Does anyone know just what this hedge and vine is? Our neighbour doesn't. It's amazing how it grows so densely around the chain link fencing; you would never know the fence is there.
So strange to flower in October! There are red berries in another place, but our neighbour says there are two bushes along here, a trumpet vine (of which there is extremely little, drat) and wisteria (but I thought it was purple). I am pretty sure I've determined there are three different plants along the fence.
Anyhow, the quilt top got set to one side while other projects took a front seat.

At the end of November I popped it on the frame and spent a couple of days quilting it.

Judi Madsen's star motif - love this, third time I've used it. Such fun to quilt. Here you see my blue lines marking the square shape I created in the background.

The white space was calling, so I had some fun! I tried very hard to emulate Kathleen's Onion Peel quilting motif. It looks simple... I drew it several times... but it's harder than one thinks! Maybe doing it for the first time on a 45° angle was not such a good idea... Meh, this is my quilt, and overall I like the effect, and hey, one has to start somewhere right?
You can see some of the Onion Peel motif on the right, some ghost pinwheels in the top left corner, and the dot to dot motifs I did.

I used an older rainbow stripe from my stash to bind it, (it matched perfectly!), machine stitching it for speed.

I tried to get the sun to show the quilting texture, hanging it off a tree branch of course:

But I actually got a better see-through pic there, LOL
Love it! We had a gorgeous November, as you can see from the healthy green grass. This was the 24th.
I actually (gasp!) forgot to sew on a fabric label before quilting it, so I did one in the corner, Jasmine-style.

I had barely finished writing on the label, when someone made herself comfy on the quilt. Cat-approved, as always!
The backing is a piece I snagged at JoAnn's in Detroit on a good sale, knowing I'd need a few rainbow-type backings for my RSC2017 projects. Here's another look:
Yes, that shot is after it was all washed up, nice and crinkly texture.

Would you like to see the front all crinkly?
I actually think the first shot, of the unwashed quilt, shows the quilting a bit better. I am happy that I did get a kind of "squares" effect in the centre row. I also like the effect of the ghost pinwheel blocks in the top two corners.

So this quilt happened because of my win of Benartex fabric with the launch of their ezine, Modern By the Yard. By the end of this year I will have had three of my designs featured in various issues of this ezine! Kind of comes full circle, doesn't it? And the third quilt, the latest is...another rainbow quilt, 😊🌈 but because it's coming out in the next issue, I can't show you. I do think you will like it! I can show you the fabric:
Dot Crazy by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, should be in stores now

I designed another shadow quilt, which I plan to run as a Quilt Along in the spring of 2018, like I did Freefall, so watch for the ezine. You may want to sign up for email notifications for the Sew In Love With Fabric blog, so you'll know when the issue is out and you can download your copy!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Ribbon Stars mmm! quilts design here on Craftsy)
Size: 36X39" pre-washing; 35X37 3/8" after washing
Fabric:  Fleurish by Maria Kalinowski for Kanvas Studio
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/polyester
Quilted: on Avril my Avanté;
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Superior Threads So Fine! #401 50 wt and Aurifil 3817 50 wt

Linking up
Confessions of A Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
TGIFF at Devoted Quilter
My Quilt Infatuation
2017 Finish Along when it opens

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wayward Transparency Flimsy Finish

So pretty! I'm so happy with it! This is Yvonne's QAL currently running on Quilting JETgirl.

It took no time at all to put the four blocks together, and even though I knew they were large blocks, at 24.5" unfinished, when I pulled the quilt out from under the needle, completely pieced on little Billie, my Featherweight girlie, my eyes widened because it is a very decent size! 48.5" as it sits.  This is Tish's layout idea. I love the movement.  Isn't that light pink print, a Joel Dewberry, just so cool? Makes me think of the Nazca drawings in Peru.

As per usual, by a Great Lake, it was a windy day today, very windy!! Good thing this tree sheltered the quilt somewhat, but here are two out-takes for your viewing pleasure. No sun, so no stained glass effect shot, drat. Oh well.

So cross that one off the list, and on to the next!

I've already seen alerts on a couple blogs, but here is one for my peeps. I'll make it short and sweet:
Craftsy like my LQS, and several other quilt shops, is having a Twelve Days of Christmas event, with daily deals on classes and supplies. And of course there is going to be a huge finale, on December 11 and 12: the top 200 classes will be on for less than $20, and supplies will be on for up to 50% off. Might be worth putting that little item on your Christmas List right?! Or maybe you've been contemplating a new machine? Well...

Sewing Machines Plus has its biggest sale of the year going on, 10% off machines, and 0% financing. They carry fabric now, and they ship anywhere in the US on orders $49+. December 11 is a big day here too; if you want a machine or order by Christmas, this is the 'order by' date.

Linking up
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

OMG Times Three

1. OMG

One Monthly Goal

I did not get my 150 Canadian Women top to the flimsy stage last month so I am moving it on over to this month. It's a pretty huge goal, but I did move it along by getting all 150 sashing 1.5X6.5" strips attached.
Stacked all in one pile, they'd equal 8" high of blocks!
I've since realized that we are not doing a 10X15 block layout, which would have created a rather long skinny quilt, but a 12X13 block layout. That means I need 156 blocks, so I have to make six more. Kat suggests just plain red 6.5" squares, or a maple leaf... I have a few ideas, just need to get them into the fabric. I also bought a half metre of "With Glowing Hearts" from my LQS that is a plaid-looking fabric with red maple leaves that are 1" square on it! Perfect for the cornerstones.

2.  OMG

Ontario-inspired Maker who is German
Her name is Claudia, and she lives in Germany. She reads my blog, every post! Awww.  Earlier this year, in April to be exact, she was in Florida for some time. Well, she decided to do my Freefall QAL which was running on the blog around that time. She says the fabrics she chose were inspired by the previous October's trip to Toronto, which sits on Lake Ontario:
She was visiting a neighbour's daughter, who has married a Canadian and lives in Toronto.  She writes:

It was such a nice time last year in October, with all this sunshine, it was warm and all this wonderful colors around us. Great. I am sure we will be visit this area again sometimes.

I am so awed and grateful that she DID my QAL, (I have another in the works, yep, another shadow quilt! for Spring 2018 in the works), that she took the time to write to me to tell me and send me these photos, that she was in Florida (you may recall we spend a few months there in the winter), and that she was inspired by one of our Great Lakes' Fall colours. How absolutely wonderful is all that?  Wonderful, glorious, is her rendition of Freefall:
Rich lush batiks! In lush Florida too!
Look at the quilting!
Close-up of the quilting and the batiks--yum!
Thank you Claudia, from the bottom of my heart!

3. OMG

Over the Moon Girl

My daughter Dayna and her boyfriend Tyler spent American Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago. Their first day there, he dropped to one knee by Lake Michigan...

Yup, he's now her fiancé.😃 And I am One 'Maman' Grinning with happiness for them. It does my heart good to see my daughter literally brimming with joy, hear the excitement and happiness in Tyler's voice and on his face as he told us what he was going to do and asked for our blessing, and then get the call/FaceTime of utter elation and tears of happiness from her after he proposed. Next year is looking to be filled with much joy!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hallelujah: Glass Dish & Mug Rug NOT Fail

That's a great song written by Leonard Cohen.  My favourite rendition is by kd lang. Both great Canadians. :-) I may have uttered that phrase, or at least heard the choir sing it, a couple of times over the past few days. I showed you on Instagram this little dish I made from beach glass I've been collecting on the shore of Lake Erie at Seacliff Beach, close to my home.
It looks so pretty in the sunshine! It really is that pretty.

I am fascinated by beach glass, but until rediscovering this beach this summer, I had not had much success at finding it. A few friends that also know of the beach's plentiful treasures think it's the way the currents flow around there that tosses loads of beach glass and a fair amount of lucky stones on the shore. Lake Erie was, sadly, quite the garbage dump on both country's sides, for decades upon decades.

Just yesterday, the wind was gentle, the temperatures quite lovely, though not as fabulous as Wednesday when we soared to 19C/66F! However, that day the wind was shrieking, so not great for a walk on the beach. We remedied that yesterday:
Leamington, Ontario -- can you say 'ahhh...' -- ya thought you could
On a dog walk, it isn't as leisurely to keep stopping to pick up bits and bobs that one finds; however, I still managed to snag this treasure trove within a half hour:
Trust me I ignored a ton of pieces. That's the most greens I've found yet in one stroll! The teaspoon is there so you see the size of the pieces and of the dish. I just love the sugary coating the glass gets after years of being tossed around in the sands and water. Some pieces actually have grains of sand embedded in them. Yesterday I found those five pieces of pottery, worn smooth, but no designs visible on them, as we have found before.

And YESSS!! One lucky stone more for my collection, this one, another J, quite faint (I nearly tossed it back thinking na, it's just a stone). But no, got home, had a closer look, and yup, definitely a lucky stone. You can read more about them in this post, but they are the basically the otolith, or ear bones of a sheepshead fish. These bones are particularly plentiful in Lake Erie, and have been found in ancient burial sites, so they were clearly prized then too.

So how did I make that little dish?
I found this tutorial by Debi's Design Diary on Youtube.

The girl is a hoot, and I love that she shows you her first epic fail attempt, and then gives you some tips. I used a lot of glue, as she advised, Elmer's School Glue, but found that too much is not good; the glass pieces slid around, which gave me the kind of lip or angle you see at the top.  At first I was disappointed, thinking it would look dumb, but I really like the kind of curve that was inadvertently created! Also, the glass pieces are heavier than you think, and with too much glue, they don't stack, they slide around. I found that I was better off doing a few rows at a time, waiting a few days (I know, it takes forever to dry) and then adding a couple more. Below you see it after two weeks or so of building, drying, building some more, and finally taken off the original dish I used for a mold.

Another tip is in the wrapping of the dish you use as a mold. I wrapped it with Saran wrap as she says, but on my next one, I'd like to smooth out the Saran wrap on the sides of the dish somehow because the glue followed the folds of the wrap and created a bit of a crease-like effect inside the finished glass dish.

Here's a look at the creases:

If you look closely, you can see a bit of a whitish line where the glue followed the crease line. This was only a day or two after I put the final row of glass pieces at the lower edge of the side. Where the glue is white and not clear is where I'd set in my final pieces.
Saran wrap all removed. So pretty! Notice the bits of dried glue around the top edge.

Elmer's School Glue is the main glue I used but MacGyver also had some Weldbond I used when I was just about out of Elmer's. It dried faster, just as clear, and I think is even stronger.  Debi suggests using a Dremel to smooth out the top edge and remove any chunks or lines (as in those creases) of glue. So MacGyver got out his handy dandy Dremel and went to work. The first brush didn't do much of anything, so he went to a brass wire one. For future note, stay with the brass. It still wasn't removing the glue bits like he wanted, so he went to a stainless steel wire one, and that made black marks as it took off the glue. 😞 He tried to remedy it, but it made the marks darker, sniff. Oh well, this dish will be used as a candle holder, so not to worry, as the marks are inside.
Tried to find a darkish spot in the house on a sunny afternoon, so the bathroom shelf it is! Flameless votive inside. I love it!
All in all as a first attempt, and nearly an epic fail after the first few hours, I am super-happy with this! And the fact that it is made with garbage or trash found on a beach, each piece with its own story to tell, makes it that much more special.

Another near fail this week was this mug rug.
I did not pay close attention to my own instructions for the Leaning Tree mug rugs...doh! The big tree should be oriented with the wider edge at the bottom. Therefore my tree was too tall and not wide enough.  Sigh. I'd already cut the pieces for the mini trees, so how could I salvage the big trees? No trunk? Hmmm, a possibility, but they wouldn't match the mini trees. then I thought of putting in the frames so the mini trees would equal the big tree height. But then the mug rug was too narrow, so I added the frame between the big tree and mini trees section. Yes! It works! "Hallelujah!" this time of the Handel Messiah kind!

I love these soft pink and mint colours together; reminds me of candy ice cream we used to get at they still make it? The best was Lucerne's my mum bought at Safeway. Yum! I can totally taste it just thinking of it. Once I quilt these, I'll post the finish. Ha! I only just now see I should've paid better attention to the mint doves fabric when used as the background; the doves sure are doing some trick flying!

My third topic is a bit of a fail. Sadly I do not have my OMG One Monthly Goal, finished, the flimsy for the 150 Canadian Women quilt. Sniff! I do have all 150 of the 1.5" X 6.5" sashing pieces sewn to each block, and I did find the most perfect fabric to use as the cornerstones, which I showed you in the DrEAMi! post just before this one. Ah well, two out of three 'ain't bad', right?!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

DrEAMi! Linky #10

Well are you feeling a little dazed after your Black Friday shopping craze? Or did you resist? Or did you stay at home and get your Amazon on? Or did you do both? (like, uh, me?!)

This funny but wise advice comes from Tish of Tish's Adventures In Wonderland, good advice for me. Yes, I dither.  Sigh. Overthink.  Second-guess--I'm the queen of it. One decision I'd made earlier this week was to support my LQS first. She had 30% off all fabrics and yarns (and she has loverly yarns and fabrics, she does, Preciousssss...ya, Gollum much) Look at these pretties...
Sorry, I cut off the Amy Butler one; it's "Violette". Doesn't it look scrumptious with the blue batik remnant I got? Remnant??! I may have to go back and see if she has any more, or a similar one....I started to twitch when I took them out of the bag and they fell together-LOVE! Not shown is a huge ball of yarn I bought to make Brady a slouchy tuque for Christmas, free pattern from the store.

Ya, it took me a wee while to make my decisions. Look at the plaid-looking one from the 'With Glowing Hearts' line, the black, grey and red maple leaves. It is going to be the cornerstones for my 150 Canadian Women quilt! Perfection! I was going mainly for two things: a couple more pieces of that Canada 150 line, so yay, mission accomplished, and a good Minky for a quilt backing that is in the works, (she has a fantastic assortment of Minky, like an entire little room, I kid you not) and that grey is just gorgeous, think the plush richness comes right off the computer screen at you, doesn't it? I have petted it uh, a lot? 😬 Might sleep with it, just saying'.

Longer in making my decisions was I online, sigh... However, I did get the Lily and Loom 'Modern Hand Drawn' from Craftsy (affiliate link) that I showed in yesterday's post. I investigated Fat Quarter Shop, and helped clear out some of their clearance section as well as took advantage of a couple of their Black Friday deals like a new rotary cutter. The two I have, a small and a large, are ancient, but still do the job. This one is turquoise, and has extra grooves for your fingers. We shall see. You will know!

So besides going down various rabbit holes and chasing various squirrels of sales, what has grabbed your attention this past month? I did have a squirrel, although it wasn't exactly unplanned, just a 'put to one side' idea that suddenly took over for a few days...
This is Little Green Cow, also named Jade. You can read about her here.

Remember that my own pattern is on sale through Monday for just $4 on Craftsy. That link will take you to my store where you will find it, and five other patterns that are all free.😊

Here are a couple of the squirrels from last month:

Elaine made an adorable witch's hat:
Check out her embroidery of the spider and her web:

This is Vicki's DrEAMi! just so adorable. Uh she's made more than one...I would hazard a guess that she's made a dozen of these this Fall??

Well, let's scurry on up a tree to see what we find has been furiously made from start to finish this month!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Little Green Cow

aka Jade.  aka LGC. She is now residing happily in her new home, so I can tell you all about this little project I made 10 days ago. No, it's not a Christmas cow; it's a green one, with a pop of red.

My friend Helen, of Word Weaver Art, retired from teaching a few months ago. She found my blog through a photo of two cows of mine that someone had pinned on Pinterest. Note that these cows are not my own design; you can find the free pattern at Piecemeal Quilts. Helen has done some marvellous (moovelous!) paintings of cows. So that was the first connection of many many more. She said the other day "no longer surprised" at the connections, similarities, coincidences between us when I wrote something about my grandma, whose name was Millie, and she'd written with a day or maybe it was on the very same day, about a painting of her niece with the same name! You can read more about our story here on her blog, and here on my Cows quilt post, and how I apparently influenced her in her decision to retire this year. There isn't a week goes by that I don't stop to marvel at how much this little blog venture has enriched my life.

I knew for a couple months ahead of her actual retirement that I would make her a cow. Wallhanging? Cushion cover? Hmmm. What colour??? She is a painter, she works with them all, and I didn't recall her saying anything about a preference. I tried to find out, surreptitiously, discovering, she, like me, likes the cooler colours best. That still didn't help.

So I stalled. Did a myriad of other projects, with this one, and a certain quilt for a certain grandson that is still in the stalled stage, percolating in the back of my brain. The oomph I needed to push me to bring it to fruition happened when she told me she was sending me a little surprise in the mail. Well! Get off your butt, Sandra, and get this cow in the stanchion to be milked...ha. And so I dug out the pieces for the cow and got to work.

So I literally Dropped Everything And Made It over the course of a few days. Yup, it became my DrEAMi! this month. My linky party opens tomorrow, in case you chased a squirrel this past month.

It was on my mum's quilt post where I wrote about my mum detesting 'buh-LOO' that I discovered green is her favourite. I remember her saying something about a rich red that makes a sumptuous combination. I had bought this paisley fabric, not a Christmas print, when I was fabric shopping with Julie of Pink Doxies this past winter in Florida. I loved it, having had a thing for paisleys for some time...oh I had the best most favourite royal blue paisleys skirt I made and wore many many years of my teaching career. I spied it in my greens pile of fabric, and that was my starting point. It took longer to choose the fabrics than it did to paper-piece little Jade, and this is no beginner-friendly pp pattern! I liked the bling of gold polkadots in the background fabric, the blaze fabric is one I've hoarded for at least a decade for a Christmas kaleidoscope quilt, so it hadn't been cut into, LGC's eyes are my favourite shade of blue, royal blue, and her lips are a maple leaf fabric scrap. Her muzzle has grass tufts on the fabric, one that's called 'Watercolor' by P&B Textiles, fitting for a painter, no?

She was layered and quilted up:

I love doing the beads design between rows of quilting, and the clover meander is another favourite. Yup there is one 4-leaf clover! There is also a handwritten H hidden amongst the clover, on the right side of the photo above, and my initial, S, and hers, H, in side by side beads on the left in that photo.  See below as well:
the H:

and the S and H together:

Here is the front freshly out from under the Bernina's needle:

and it wasn't long before it became a cushion cover:

It just screamed for a flanged binding with that pop of red again. Sadly I don't have enough of the maple leaf fabric, but I found another very very similar that worked beautifully.

Here is the back, envelope style.

What is that white fabric peeking out? It's the fabric label I sewed on so that when the cover lies flat, it's invisible, but once a pillow is inside, you see a bit of it and then you can investigate, and find the details.

One last shot before the quilt details:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Cows by Piecemeal Quilts
Size: 18.5" square
Fabric:  À la Carte by American Jane Patterns by Sandy Klop for Moda Fabrics is the main fabric, with stash and scraps
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/polyester
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton on Billie, my 1947 Featherweight; quilted with Isacord (aka Mettler) polyester white 0015 and green5324 40 wt

Now I'll leave you to go shop if you aren't already out there, or maybe you are home and done? Or maybe you're like me and waiting until the crowds subside...I'm only heading to one place, my LQS, A Stitch in Time, in Leamington, where she is having 30% off all fabric (she has an awesome selection of Minky) and yarns.

There are some great deals online too. My own pattern is on sale for almost 50% off, only $4. I haven't looked yet, but I think Fat Quarter Shop is having some amazing deals, (no affiliation, but I love their shop), and Sew Mama Sew sent a great list of 30 deals offered in an email, so if you're on their list, you got it. Another great deal is through a new company, Pattern Drop, great idea, a pattern a month, that you can find at Quilting JETgirl. Basically pay for 8 patterns but get 12, so 4 are free. Sweet!

Affiliate links below, if you purchase something through my links, I get a small commission.
You know I am an affiliate for Craftsy, and they are having the lowest price I've ever seen on all their classes, $17.87US (I have Christina Cameli's latest in my cart) along with some pretty sweet deals on fabric, this one, in two colour ways, I particularly like, Modern Hand Drawn by Lily and Loom:
Connecting Threads as well has terrific deals, (did you take advantage of the other flash sale, 50% off batting, earlier this week?!): They are offering 25% off their entire, yep, entire site. They already have some of the lowest prices out there, so wow.

Sewing Machines Plus (new affiliate for them). I bought my Little Foot 1/4" foot which I love, and you can read about here from them. I bought it, was not given it, just so you know! They also stock a lot of thread...

Okay, have fun!
Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilt She is also hosting TGIFF this week.
mmm!quilts for DrEAMi! (when the link is live tomorrow)