Friday, October 30, 2015

Creamsicle Wheelchair Quilt #10 and The Stack!

I got this finished last night, but have only just now sat down to write the post, a couple hours after a lovely dinner with our next-door neighbours who are Florida bound in the morning.  I'm really happy with the way this quilt turned out.  It is also a goal on my Q4 FAL list at On the Windy Side.  The orange and pink on the white background kept me thinking of creamsicles from the popsicle man who used to pedal around the neighbourhood when I was a kid.  So I named this quilt Creamsicle. 

You may recall this quilt started with the four paper-pieced blocks someone had donated to sell at the quilt show in September 2104.  I sewed them together, and then started building around them.  First I put the chocolate brown frame on, and let the quilt simmer.  When I was working on Stardust, I saw a similar half-rectangle triangle border around a pink quilt in the Two From One Jelly Roll book, and knew it would work with this quilt.  I pulled some colours from my stash that are in the floral fabric.  I used That Patchwork Place's Birangle ruler, probably not exactly in the way it is intended, but, hey, it worked perfectly.  These aren't paper-pieced, but they turned out pretty exact.  I had the HRTs all face the same direction to enhance the twirling effect.  Bella approves of the chocolate browns in the quilt:

Once the pointy borders were done, I had a 30" square, so I knew I needed to add length but not width, and I started hunting for a fabric that might pull some of the colours together.  I remembered this fabric in my stash of backings, and had a "SCORE!" moment when I put it beside the quilt.
This is Northcott Silk's "Treasures of the Gypsies" an ancient fabric in my stash
I put a 4" border at the top and bottom of the quilt and a 1" border on the sides.  The binding and ties is Kona Bay gold (it has a gorgeous hand much like Art Gallery fabrics), one I'd grabbed as a potential fabric.  I used the last of it on the back, which is made from the last of the emerald green wide-backing, and a plaid piece all from the guild charity fabric bin.
The horizontal green piece is the pocket; love the tension on the back AND the front! Avril and I are communicating just fine these days.
For the quilting I wanted it fast and easy, and tried really hard to do the jigsaw-style meander you see in the centre of the quilt ALL over the quilt...  I almost did.  I did the jigsaw meander in the borders, and in the centre four blocks, where it helped to tamp down some of the bias poofy areas.  And then I did some ghost half-rectangle triangles in the white areas, and then, yep, fun feathers.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design around four orphan blocks
Size:  31.5 X 37.5"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric and fabrics from my stash and scraps
Batting: Warm 'n Natural (I think--from guild)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 31 357 stitches :-)
Threads: quilted with Floriani's Fufu's rayon thread in rust for the meander, and Isacord in white in the white and HRT border

A few things are wrong with this quilt, and I bet you didn't notice!
1.  The centre brown fabrics in the pinwheels are on top of each other instead of diagonal from each other.  Did not notice until I had the centre pieced and framed.
2.  The white is not quite right.
3.  I should have quilted the feathers going in the opposite direction to enhance the spin; the way I did them, they compete with the HRT direction.  I didn't see that until writing this post.
4.  I forgot one ghost HRT.
Does any of that really matter? No!  This isn't going into a show, and I know it still looks pretty hip, and will warm the lap of a senior in a wheelchair. :-) AND!  The tension woes I've been having from time to time are now solved thanks to a YouTube webinar from Handiquilter that Jasmine of Quilt Kisses sent me.  The trick for stopping the rayon thread in particular from shredding?  Longarm needles have round shanks, so carefully setting it into the machine with the eye at 5:30 instead of straight-on 6 o'clock can stop the shredding.  It did for me.

I've mentioned being excited to take the picture of the final stack of wheelchair charity quilts I've made for our guild's Christmas project.  Drum roll...
This makes me SMILE! There are 8 here.
The first two I donated on my own to a seniors' residence here in town.  Those first two sparked the guild's project.  Here are the eight I've made for the guild spread on the patio:
When I stacked them back up, it just so happened that all the ties were on the same side, so I had to set them that way for one more photo:
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF.
Now I am working on my own stuff!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Small Quilt

Twice a year, Amy at Amy's Creative Side hosts this spectacular online show for the bloggers left behind when the Quilt Show happens in Houston.

This is my second entry into the festival.  This is Jack and Friends For Brady, and I'm entering it into the Small Quilt category.  Clicking on that link will take you to the page where you will find all the quilts entered into this category. 

Every year in late August/early September, my daughter and grandson come here for a visit.  They time it for the season opener for the Detroit Lions, and also, she hopes, for not such hot weather.  I usually fly out to Alberta to visit them in November.  Last November, Brady, then age 6, who takes such an interest in everyone around him and also in their doings, first of all wanted me to teach him to knit (he did do some wrapping of wool and slipping off of stitches) and second, he intently perused the first several pages of my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, found the picture of the quilt "Jack and Friends" advertising their website, All People Quilt, and asked me to make it for him.  So I did this past September, so he could go home, once again, with a new quilt! 

If you want to read more about this quilt, click here for the original finish post.

This child loves quilts.  Loves.  Sadly, his mother (how can she be carrying my genes?) does not.  I quilted it with glow in the dark thread, and boy, did we have fun downstairs, he pushing the "gas pedal", me steering, quilting this baby!  He'd run to the light switch, hit it, I'd leave my sewing machine light on until he got beside me, and then I'd hit it, and there'd be a few seconds of silence while our eyes adjusted....

Ooh, look at that!
Can you see your name?
Can you see mine?

Nana, can we quilt some more now?

Rocco our pittie, loves kids; Brady loves Rocco, but is sadly allergic to dogs and cats. Rocco also loves quilts!
I did some dot to dot work in the border triangles and an all-over meander in the rest of the quilt. I outlined the jack-o'-lanterns (they look really cool in the dark) and many of the Halloween images.  I dug through my scraps to find these rather than do all jack-o'-lanterns.

I did 12 blocks instead of the 9 in the original pattern, and I changed the outer border to make it bigger. Rather than doing prairie points, I made it into a sawtooth border.  I bought the jack-o'-lanterns fabric, the purple owls and the bats; the rest is all scraps and stash fabric.

It's on his bed now as a topper; it's just a small lap quilt measuring approximately 36X42".

On Friday, Oct. 30, voting opens, so visiting Amy's Creative Side then will allow you to select your favourite quilts in each category.  BUT! You can also vote your 3 favourite quilts out of the entire festival in the Viewers' Choice Category by clicking here.  There is still a little time to enter, and there are some fabulous prizes to be won!

My first entry, Parisville Weave, is here.

I'm also linking this post up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. Check out her fantastic eagle block she showed us today.  Love it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Modern Quilt

I always love seeing all the entries and eye candy in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival that Amy at Amys' Creative Side so kindly hosts during Quilt Market.  It's a roundup of the latest and greatest finishes bloggers have created.  She offers some incredible prizes in each of the categories as well.  Quilty loveliness no matter which way you slice it, right?

I am entering Parisville Weave into the Modern Quilt category.  I finished this quilt at the very end of August. I've petted, cuddled, and slept many a night under this quilt; it brings me great joy! It measures approximately 75X87".

I really need to find a better way to display large quilts.  My husband is so cooperative, but for the larger ones, his armspan doesn't quite do the quilt justice. Still, I was able to get some great shots.

One of my neighbours was gracious enough to let me shoot some photos from his walkout-basement home so I could get a full-on shot.
I really went to town on the quilting on this one.

I quilted it on my Avanté, using ruler work for the dot to dot designs and free-motion quilted for all the others.  There is a little Angela, a little Christina, and a little Kathleen here.

I fell in love with the aqua and red colour combination when I saw the quilt, and decided to purchase the kit.  I quilted it almost entirely with Isacord threads, and a variegated Coats and Clark one for the Christina Cameli meander.

This is a pattern and kit from Quilt Sampler Fall 2011 magazine.  It is mainly Tula Pink's Parisville line of fabrics but there are some Art Gallery fabrics in it as well, and Kona solid for the side setting triangles.

Here is the back, backing I picked up from Fat Quarter Shop in their sale section.

For more information on the construction you can go here, and for more photos and detail of this quilt you can go here.

Voting begins in two days.  Thanks so much to Amy for organizing this and for everyone who does take the time to enter.  It's a fun and inspiring celebration. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stardust Wheelchair Quilt #9

I really really love this little quilt.  It is #9 of the wheelchair quilts I have done this year, 8 will be for the guild charity project and 2 were done on my own this past Spring.  It is also another goal on my Q4 FAL list at On the Windy Side.  Two down, six to go...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Musings on Comments

Several of you commented to me that I've really been getting a lot done lately.  And I do think I have.  The main reason was that I stayed out of QBL for a week or so.  By that I mean I did post (4 that week I believe) but I didn't respond to the comments right away (some were 2 days later) and I didn't visit back the blogs right then either (those visits happened over the period of about a week, and I may have read a few posts in a row that I'd missed).  I've really been reflecting on this phenomenon.  We talked about trying to find a balance amongst the New Quilt Bloggers group I was a part of this past summer.  My good friend Julie of Pink Doxies recently wrote a great post on this subject and what she has done to find a better balance.

Here's my take, and do with it what you will.

What I did seemed to work for me.

Although I did have some angst about not being on top of the responses to your lovely and thoughtful comments, it was gone when I did respond.  I did not ignore one of you.  :-)  I visited you randomly and then I spent time visiting you these past 3 days in a purposeful manner.  Gosh that sounds rather like teacher jargon, but it's not meant to be.  It took me 2 hours just this morning to get completely caught up with visiting and commenting.  Okay, I spent about 10 minutes doing the banking thing I always do on Saturday mornings too!  Still. TWO hours.  Yesterday I spent many more, writing yesterday's post, and responding to all the comments from that Autumn-Coloured Glasses post, and getting my gmail inbox down to zero.

I've heard from several friends in QBL lately of varying degrees of angst regarding not posting enough, time taken away from sewing, not getting many comments, the volume of blogs they follow being out of control, stats of viewed posts, readership etc.

Here's the thing:
I don't really think about the number of comments I get, unless it spikes and then I think whoa, that resonated.  I don't expect each of you beloved commenters with whom I have a back and forth chatting by email/iMessage relationship to comment on each and every post.  If you miss a few, it's okay!  If you comment on a couple posts in one email or comment that's okay too!  If you don't comment on a few or several posts in a row that's also okay!  Life happens, as we all know.


Here are two gifts from me to you:
In this week of firmly sticking to doing only what makes me happy and inspired, I want to tell you all to please, not feel you have to comment on every post. Start with this one.  Read it, if you do, and then leave.  It's okay.  I feel your reading vibrations here in lovely Kingsville anyhow. :-)
on the Chrysler Canada Greenway yesterday, the southernmost section of the Trans-Canada Trail

Don't be offended if I don't comment on every post you write either.  I am hereby giving myself permission to sometimes not.  It just means I'm finding ways to cut down on time taken from me and my Bernina. (cue "Me and My Shadow" song now in my head)

However, I do need to point out something I wholeheartedly and firmly believe:  comments do make the QBL go round.  That and only that is what has led me to form close relationships with, well, lots of you wonderful wonderful people.  You are my guild, my homies, lol.  I nearly put the exact number of my extra-special, in-my-heart blogger friends down, but no, we know who we are.  In all honesty, the number who I consider close friends is about a fifth of my bloglovin' followers. I'm not counting my friends and family in this group who rarely if ever comment! (Linda, you're the exception; you comment on each and every post, have done since Day 1, and I love you for it.)

I must say comments do increase the close relationships numbers, and I know that that number will most likely go higher because of them.  For example, I've recently met Janine Marie who blogs at Quilts From the Little House, through comments she made here and my visits to her blog.  We've discovered several things we have in common!

I rarely look at my stats pages more than oh, once a month.  I'm not doing this for the stats.  I just know I do love writing this blog, and it has taken off and improved my life in many ways, ways I could never have foreseen, and I am so grateful for all of the growth that has occurred and continues to occur through it.  I'm just tickled when I see how many people do read this blog, or how many followers I have on bloglovin'.

Therefore I want, make that I am going to always feel happy about my blog, about QBL and about the fabulously talented and interesting and warm and caring people I have met and continue to meet through mmm quilts.  Working this way, where I post, don't always immediately respond, and then visit blogs in chunks, actually has seemed to work a bit better.  I still spend too much time on here IMHO, but part of that is my own doing, as I (cough) tend to overthink things, and over-proofread and wordsmith my writing.

My second gift to you this morning (oops it's now this afternoon) is a terrific easy and so healthy recipe I made this week for company we had for dinner.
Roasted Beet Hummus
Happily displayed on a Thanksgiving runner I made circa 2002/2003 (no label, gasp, I know).  I know this because that fancy stitch was done on the Husqvarna I had for a few months before I traded it in on my beautiful Bernina.  Fabric pumpkins were made around that time too.

Roasted Beet Hummus
--taken from a great site that I've mentioned before, Blue Zones, you can find the recipe here.

2 medium beets (or 1 large)
1 16-oz can chickpeas (unsalted; I rinsed mine first)
1/4 c lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp Tahini
1/4 c olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

1.  Rub beets with a small amount of olive oil, wrap in foil and roast (about an hour) at 375F until very soft.
2.  Cool the beets, slice and put in food processor (I used my blender).
3.  Add remaining ingredients and blend to desired texture.
4.  Serve drizzled with a little olive oil. (I added a sprig of parsley for decoration.)

We've had it with crackers, but it would be great on a wrap too.  Hey! It's after 12 noon, so that is what I am going to go and do this very minute (once I proofread this only once, wink) and then spend the rest of this rainy afternoon sewing.

Happy Saturday and weekend to everyone. <<Mwah!>> to you all.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wheelchair Quilts 7 & 8 Finished

These are such pretty fabrics that were languishing in the charity quilts fabric bin of the guild.  Lots of scraps from other people's projects in there... That green, which is a wide backing, is just the richest emerald!  This is one on the list of my Q4 FAL goals at On the Windy Side.  Feels good to scratch one off the list. I had the two together as they were really quite quick projects.

I basically doodled various curly designs across the quilt, using Christina Cameli's Fervent as well.  It was fun!
This quilt is another rendition of my Fairy Steps wheelchair quilt from Pam & Nicky Lintott's Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts.  That first soft pastels one I made is my favourite, but this is also so pretty.
The back against the backdrop of the neighbour's Burning Bush. This is a young one; the older ones around town are really "on fire" with their brilliant reds.
A closer look.  Do you see where I have to go back in and add another curlicue or two?
I used up every bit of the floral fabrics and even a couple pieces from cutting the half hexies for the other quilt, as well as trimmings from the front columns to make the back pocket
Quilt Stats:
Pattern: slightly modified Fairy Steps from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts
Size:  29 X 35.25"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric
Batting: Pellon Legacy 100% polyester (love this batting!)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 48 009 stitches :-)
Threads: quilted with Floriani's Fufu's rayon thread in olive green

The second quilt in this post is the half hexie quilt, a tutorial on Cynthia's Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework blog.
I made the binding from the strips left after quilting and squaring the quilt; love the two fabrics! I also had totally run out of the emerald green, so it really was as quilters of old used to do: make do!
There are a few differences in fabric in this one: the addition of the very soft pink and the lemon yellow.  Hmm and I see I also had no white in this one, and only the one floral.  This is the second Half Hexie I made; the other is waiting to be quilted (it may first need a backing pieced from leftover flannels).  The quilting design is one of my all-time favourite designs to quilt.

The back:
Used up all of that purple floral too!  Smaller pocket because that's all I had of that floral.
 Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Half Hexie quilt from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Size:  30.75 X 36.5"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric plus a piece from my own scraps
Batting: Pellon Legacy 100% polyester (love this batting!)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 20 750 stitches (interesting! half the amount of Fairy Steps 2, but it is a much more open design with no echoed curlicues)
Threads: quilted with So Fine #403

None of the wheelchair quilts have been washed yet.  I might give the first seniors' residence where I sent my first two quilts a call to see what they prefer.  I have two more to finish, and then I'll show you the stack!  Now that makes me grin from ear to ear!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF at A Quarter Inch From the Edge, A Quilting Reader's Garden, and on Sunday with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  Whoop! Whoop! indeed. :-) 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Seeing the World Through Autumn-Coloured Glasses

I usually do my posts later in the morning, sometimes afternoon.  This is because the seeds of the post often germinate during my morning walks with Rocco.  My husband passed the comment a few months ago that each of us is quite like our respective dogs personality-wise.  At first I thought, um no?  However, since that comment, I have been realizing more and more how true it is.

Rocco sees the world through rose-coloured glasses.  He loves everyone, human, dog or cat, at first meeting, without exception...

...even those that, shockingly, are inanimate!
He forgives in a heartbeat, he moves on; in all honesty, for the most part I do this.  I believe he sees things in perspective.  Our problems are really pretty minuscule.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stardust Flimsy and the Coolest HST Method

This is wheelchair quilt #10 (counting the first two I donated on my own).  At 36 3/4" square, it is the widest of the ten quilts, and I hope it will be okay as far as not getting caught in the wheels.  I love love love this quilt and plan to make one of my own to take as my 'sit-upon' quilt when I teach yoga.  It was definitely a little more finicky and involved (the small squares and star points finish at 2") than the previous quilts I've made.  Worth every stitch (okay, and a few reverse stitches ha).

This is outside on the front step in natural light.  Again, all five fabrics were in the guild's charity fabric stash.  The two blues are Moda, Brannock and Patek,  and of a superb quality. I loved working with them.  The red is Springs Industries by Ro Gregg, and of a similar quality.  The background is either a decent quality muslin or maybe just a solid, no selvages on it.  The medium blue also has no selvage on it.  Clearly these are older fabrics because of their deep colours, and no names of fabric line on the selvages.

This is a more masculine quilt, but could be for a woman quite easily (after all I could quite easily keep it!).

Here it is on the design wall before the final 2" finished border.
This shot shows the background more as it truly is, a linen colour, not the modern white as is popular now, but this colour just works beautifully with the tones of the other fabrics.

This quilt is called Stardust, and is another in Pam & Nicky Lintott's Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts, a terrific book, from our guild library.  I've made two versions of Fairy Steps for wheelchair quilts from this book; I might just have to get it for my own collection!  I already have two of their books, absolutely love their quilts.

The HSTs for the star points have the coolest technique!  I want to share it with you.  How can you get a 2 1/2" HST from a 2 1/2" strip?  Read on!
1.  Iron the two 2.5" strips of fabric together so they stick together.  Trim off one end to 45 degrees.

2.  Because I don't have the Omnigrid 96 ruler they use, I made my own template.  I first cut a triangle out of fabric that was 1/4" wider than the point of the diagonal which you see at the bottom of the blue triangle.  That would be the dog ear you trim when you cut your strips (squares) at 2 7/8" to yield two 2" finished HSTs.  I cut a pair using this template.  Then I made a paper template using one of the triangles.  I taped the paper to the underside of my ruler as you see below:

3.  In this second cut, I butted up the paper template to the blue triangle that is sitting on top of my strip set.  Cut carefully along the edge of the ruler.  You will notice there is a little gap where no ruler is! Egad.  Cut carefully.  I had no problem, but you might want to move the template up that 1/4".  You will get a diamond shape out of your strip set.

4.  I still haven't moved the dark blue triangle, as I gently lift my ruler and reposition it so that I can now cut the vertical line that separates the diamond into 2 triangles.

Voilà!  These chain piece through the machine so nicely now that the dog ear point is not even there.  You sew 1/4" from the bias edge and you only need to trim the lower dog ear.  Best of all, you get a 2 1/2" HST which will finish at 2"!  Love this.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Q4 FAL List

Phew, sneaking in under the wire (15 hours left), not because I have put it off, but I've written a post each day this week, something that hasn't occurred in a while.  I thought the list was going to be short, just two items, yep, carried over (massive sigh from me and from my daughter, Dayna, I can hear it now) that are horribly neglected and, as a result, long overdue gifts.

Dayna's grad quilt, my own design.  Needs borders, for which I am pretty sure I now have a plan.  And massive quilting in all the lovely white space, about which I'm very excited, now I'm feeling pretty confident on Avril!

My nephew's happy new house revamped quilt, with different fabrics bought than the original plan.  This has been in the percolating stages for over a year.  For shame.  Yet one good thing is that in the early spring I got a peek at his basement, which he  is finishing, so that is what led to the new colours.  A good friend and I bought the pattern together a year and a half ago at the Sarasota guild show.

I thought that'd be it.  Focus.  Ya, me right? Fat chance.  So here are some other projects that have to get done this quarter, so I may as well put them on the list.

I finished this flimsy yesterday.  It was started by a guild member at our Wheelchair Quilts sewing day, and she couldn't wrap her head around the offsetting that is needed to get the rectangles on the angle, so she got very frustrated and gave up, giving me back the kit I'd cut.  I thought I'd put it together so she can see it for next week's guild meeting, as she did sew the little triangles onto each rectangle.  I've already made this pattern once, Fairy Steps, here for the guild's charity project for Christmas.  I have 3 more kits cut, hoping they'll go at the meeting...

As it's a small quilt, and went together quite quickly, I am putting it together with the half hexie quilt I made the flimsy of this week as well.  These are basically the same fabrics, with just a couple of differences.
So goal #3 is to get both of these done.  They're pinned onto the vapour barrier in the basement, I know! 

Another one from Pam & Nicky Lintott's book that I started before Fairy Steps.  This wheelchair quilt is a little more involved than I'd thought...  Yep that red is in the previous two quilts as well!

And another wheelchair quilt that is going to require a little work yet.  This one makes ten of them I've made altogether.  I've sewed on the chocolate brown frame since you last saw it, and pulled fabrics from my stash to make a wonky piano keys outer border to finish it up. These were four orphan blocks amongst the guild's charity fabric stash which I sewed together and found the second white points star in the centre.  Cool.

My squirrel! distraction I posted this week that I really love.  I plan to make a pieced flannel backing, as I found my flannel scraps and this Fall quilt needs a cosy backing.  I'd love to get this finished, totally do-able as I plan to do an simple FMQ design.  This is a long shot, but hopeful.

7.  Make a stocking for Brady.  I've wanted to do one for a couple of years now, and I've decided that it needs to happen.  This year.  I plan to find a stocking pattern in an older issue of American Patchwork & Quilting or off their website, All People Quilt, and make it my own, personalizing it for him.  I just have a bunch of Christmas fabric here, as I don't have the actual pattern picked out, nor designed!


This is going to be a quilt for a dear aunt who turns 75 years young this December.  I actually have 3 cows done.  I didn't have yellow scraps with me while we were still in Florida in early Spring, pulled the yellows once we were home in April...and the cows went out to pasture, never to be seen again this year.  Each month I see Leanna's adorable creations, I think, damn! gotta get back at those.   It might not get to her on time.  Just sayin'. 

So from 2.... to 8.   It's totally do-able, if I sew like I have been this past week.  Oh yeah, I hemmed two more pants for Dayna (fun) and I even made another tiny pincushion with scraps from a wheelchair quilt and John's Shamrock quilt. It's the one on the left, 4" square.  These are so cute!

The one on the right is scraps from cutting my mystery quilt, which also has Shamrock (and Mystery) leftovers in it!  I haven't closed the opening as I still have to find a source that doesn't cost a fortune for crushed walnut shells (talk to the squirrels out back I know ha) or silica sand.  MacGyver sourced out both at Princess Auto, but in a 50-pound bag, cough.

Linking up with the lovely Adrianne in New Zealand at On The Windy Side.