Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall Resplendence - A Finish

This small quilt really packs a punch IMHO.  And it is one of the goals on my Q3 FAL list! I sewed the top last summer/fall when I was doing all the wheelchair charity quilts.
I pulled colours from the leaf print to make the half hexies.  Two of the half hexagon fabrics, the orange and the green, are in the same line, a VIP from Cranston Print Works Company.  The rest are all scraps.

I drafted a pattern for the half hexagons, which isn't hard to do: you just need the finished measurement of the short sides, and then if you think about it, a half hexagon is made up of 3 equilateral triangles, so voilà, template made.
Dave, husband to Tish, and author of the blog, Dave the Quilt Engineer (each of them are having a giveaway, on until tomorrow btw) said in his post about his diva of a cat, "'if it fits, I sits' (not just for boxes)".  Thus it is with my Bella.  See what I mean about cats getting the same memos?  As soon as I laid this down, hot off Avril the Avanté, to get a photo, Bella was like, "Mmmrrow? for sure I'll test it for you, and don't even worry about my good side; they're ALL good!" as she blinked, owl-like at me.

She was sure to get involved in one of the most exciting parts of the quilt process in her mind's eye, binding:

Here is the back, assembled from leftovers:
Brady's Halloween quilt, two chunks from non-blogged about quilts: a piece of brushed cotton from a Thanksgiving quilt, and the brown from another very cuddly quilt.
Love the texture I got from a pretty simple quilting motif.  I did wavy 'organic' lines in the leaves sections and this circles with wavy line connectors, very similar to a design Judy of Quilt Paradigm used on one of her latest quilts.  I don't have a circle template for my longarm, but I do have one to trace around, so I traced the circles onto the fabric and then just FMQ-ed them as well as the wavy line connectors.  They aren't perfect; you can see a wobble in the black fabric, but I'm okay with it; I'm not a robot.
The label.  I wrote right on the piece of green I needed as the pumpkin brushed cotton wasn't quite wide enough.  This is the 10th use (that doesn't seem right somehow, feels like it should be more, hmm) of my mmm! quilts labels from Ikaprint. (no affiliation but Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts is, so go there first and click on through!

I haven't decided whether I will keep this one or sell it or maybe donate it to a needy place.  Speaking of donating, I finally dropped off the first quilt I made for the Henry Glass Fabrics Desire to Inspire Challenge.

This is in the vestibule of the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre in Windsor.  I asked for this one to go to a boy as it is more masculine in feel on both the front and definitely on the back.  I now realize that I have never given you a more in-depth look at all of my projects for that Henry Glass challenge.  I need to do that.  I already gave the Centre two I made in April when it was Sarah's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.

Back to Fall Respendence.
Loving the slowly opening mums! Here we'd set them out to catch the rain, which is still falling off and on today.
We need to take the boat out once or twice more in order to make room for some fresh gas to put in it while she waits over the winter.  But she did make a good backdrop even though it was drizzling while I was taking photos!

One of my favourite style of shots. Mmm!

It's nice to check another off one off the list...haven't made great progress this quarter.  I've been doing other, unforeseen quilting, as well as experiencing some other life stuff, so I apologize for not getting back to you in a timely manner if you've left a comment. I hope to catch up this weekend.  Remember to vote in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival! Easy peasy, just click the 3 that you like in each category.  Here is the one I entered, Rainbow Kitty Rows in the ROYGBIV category:
The post I wrote for the festival is here
Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  based on a tutorial from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Size: 42 1/2 X 49 3/4"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Batting: Warm n Natural
Quilted: on Avril the Avanté;  52 236 stitches
Threads: pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Essential variegated thread 21224 Autumn Splendor

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts
And My Quilt Infatuation
and Leanne of She Can Quilt for the Q3 FAL.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival ROYGBIV

I nearly missed the festival this year, but have decided at the 11th hour, to put in a quilt.  This is Rainbow Kitty Rows, my quilt for the Modern Quilters Ireland Rainbow Rose QAL that Ruth of Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner designed this past summer.  It is going in the ROYGBIV category in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side.
This is made from all scraps and stash.  The rainbow kitty fabric is Laurel Burch, left over from my Merry Catmas quilt.

Those rainbow arching kitties in their haphazard rows are on the back too.
I had lots of fun quilting this one and I am so pleased with how it turned out.
Pre-binding, and pre-washing, but the light was really good here to show off the quilting definition.

I used Aurifil variegated in the star and the carpenter's wheel star surround, and Isacord white in the Kona Snow background.  I'm pleased that the effect of the quilted 'frames' is how I envisioned, that the pieced block sections float and the quilted frames weave underneath.
I did lots of micro or matchstick quilting behind the ghost geese to flatten them down but so worth it.  I was also surprisingly pleased by the wavy quilting I did in the carpenter's wheel star surround.

I also like this flimsy shot:

You can read more about the quilt here.  It hangs by my longarm on the wall, a great colourwheel to have as a reference as well as a great boost to my spirit that I did that!  On Avril!

Under our Pee Gee Hydrangea trees, which are still blooming like crazy two months later, as it's been so warm. I have a bouquet of them sitting on my counter as I type this!
Hope you'll hop over to the festival and take a look at all the wonderful creations, truly inspiring and good food for your creative soul.  Voting begins this week; click here for the Viewers' Choice voting form.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Stash for Fall...and Needles

I've added some vibrant hues to my stash, and they are a perfect set for today as we officially started Fall a few days ago.  btw it's exactly three months to Christmas, just sayin'...
This is Windfall, generously sent to me by Paintbrush Studio Design and what an incredibly rich array of colour!  There are just two tone one tone leaf 'prints' in the collection, a maple-shaped leaf and an oblong, birch-shaped leaf, but just look at the variety of colours in which they printed those two patterns--mmmm!

I got a fat quarter pack and a little yardage for the project (or two) I have in mind.  I already made a button basket out of some of the red, which you can see here.  I will be taking part in a hop later in October, hosted by Bernie of Needle and Foot.  You can take a peek at the others's fabric in the hop (we each chose a different Fall line) by clicking:
Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Janine at Quilts from the Little House
Mari at Academic Quilter

Here is one more shot of this gorgeous fabric (and what a lovely hand it has) by one of our chrysanthemums, such a pleasing mid-Western tradition (or is it American, period, and once again, our southern section of Canada has adopted it?) of front porch displays that evoke thoughts of wonderful pumpkin pie and apple cider and muffins and football and cozy hours by one's sewing machine...
Even though I still wore flipflops, capri pants and a short-sleeved t-shirt yesterday to lunch with a friend and then later to dinner with a group of other friends, including a most enjoyable cruise on the Detroit River in one of their boats, I was able for the first time since Spring, to wear one of my beloved dress scarves around my neck!  Which reminds me....I have some fabric somewhere to make an infinity one, hmmm, gotta put my hands on that.

I am still hand-stitching the binding down on Dayna's quilt, but I loaded another, which is on my Q3 FAL list and got a start on it yesterday morning:

Flowing 'organic' wavy lines in the leaves sections and a design my good friend Judy used on a recent quilt that I decided to try here. My circles aren't quite perfectly round, despite drawing them on using a circle tracing template, but once the quilt is washed and crinkly, it will be just fine right?!  I'm loving the Essential 100% cotton variegated thread from Connecting Threads, (no affiliation) a gift from another good friend, Preeti.  :-)

Which reminds me of two things:
1.  The Bloggers Quilt Festival  - one day and 10 hours left to enter...I haven't done that yet!! It's been a rather crazy last couple of weeks for multiple reasons.  SUCH inspiration you will find in each one of the categories.

2.  Did you remember to snag yourself a class for $20US/$26CA this weekend at Craftsy?  (affiliate link) Think I may watch some more of my latest Angela Walters one while my husband cries over, er cheers on, his beloved Detroit Lions.

Eye of the Needle
Bada BOOM!  Once more a post comes full circle, and how I love it:  This is the last Sunday of the month and many of you are looking for Sunday Stretch, and this promised pose for your hips especially when you have bad knees... It will be here within the next couple of days, promise.  This one took precedence as will hopefully one more, my entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  :-)

Linking up with
Molli Sparkles

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Brady's summer jammies shorts are done!  Well they were like over two months ago; I just haven't posted about them.

Minions on the left; Ninja Turtles on the right!
Easy enough to sew two at the same time.  I found the Ninja Turtles fabric when I was looking for something else...  My sister, Wendy, gave it to me years ago (if you zoom in you might see a "c"1991 in the fabric), leftovers from snazzy baggy pants she made her boys who were about Brady's age in the mid-90s...Yup, that's 20 years ago!!!! Egad. How did that happen? I had thought it would be great for stack 'n whack (but there weren't enough repeats) or maybe parts of it for colourwash (you can use both sides of fabric depending on the fabric) and then realized get a grip Sandra, ain't gonna happen; use it for an I Spy kid quilt...  And then.  I thought hey, it might work for a second pair of shorts!  Only enough for one leg out of each colour, so they are WILD! I thought he'd love them as he loves the Ninja turtles. He was trying to teach me who was who the other night: Raphael, Donatello...

btw that Ninja Turtle fabric glows in the dark!

So he modelled them earlier this summer when his grandpa was out west visiting him:
He wore them while he was here this past lovely 8 days.  He didn't bring his Minions ones but he loves those too.

As I type this part now, he has lifted off out of Toronto a few minutes ago, headed back home with his mum.  Sniff.  Listening to his almost constant chatter gives me a glimpse into his amazing brain; the depth of thought this child has is nothing short of ahhh-mazing.  Such a thoughtful, gentle, intelligent, sweet, compassionate child I have never before encountered.

Going to assuage my sadness by applying this 378" long roll of eggplant binding onto Dayna's quilt this afternoon:

Quick note that you might want to assuage your feelings of hmmm, sadness that summer is nearly over or boredom or freedom now that your kids are back in school, or no reason LOL, by picking up a class from Craftsy...I got a surprise email today that they're putting every one of their classes on sale for less than $20US ($26CA) starting tomorrow.  Wow! That's an affiliate link, as you know ;-)
Click here for my reviews of some of Angela's classes.  I should be back within a day or two with a review of the latest one of hers I snagged, which I started watching (which made my mind go about the same speed as Brady's plane, 500mph with ideas):
Machine Quilting Borders and Backgrounds
as well as Natalia Bonner's brand new class
Free-Motion Motifs for Classic Blocks 

One of my good friends from my teaching days, and a faithful blog reader, Janis, sent me a couple of photos of what she has been busy sewing up for her twin granddaughters, just a month older than my Brady!

IT'S MY PYRAMID POUCH PATTERN!  Yes I yelled that in excitement!  It's my pattern that I designed for Moda Bakeshop (see sidebar link, no affiliation)  When I saw this, I actually said, "Oh! Yay! Wow!" and immediately asked her if I could post it sometime...  Isn't her owl fabric to DIE for?? And her accompanying colours?  and LOOK at her points!!  Okay, where else can you say that phrase without sounding rather rude? LOL
How I love these!  And I love that someone else is making my little pouch. :-)  Diann of Little Penguin Quilts made one too; click here to see hers.  This has lifted my spirits today.  Thanks so much Janis for sharing this!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I don't do well with change; I'm a creature of habit.  I like stability.  Change usually means a challenge of some kind is involved, and I do understand how "without challenge there can be no change" (that was an inspirational quote that came my way recently).  With change comes growth.

On my walk one recent morning I noticed a huge area roped off in the 'bowl' area of Lakeside Park. My first thought was, 'What event is going on that I did not know of?' And then I realized it's the tree service crew, and with an area that size roped off, they must be taking down a huge tree... Oh no!!  So I talked to one of the guys who was waiting by a backhoe in the parking lot that I was at that very moment passing.  I saw the ropes around one of the two massive cottonwood trees as I got up to him.  Sure enough, my worst fears were realized: they were taking it down because it was all rotted around the bottom.  I said, "So sad; it must be 100 years old."
"More like 140-150," he responded. "We just do what the town tells us."  He must've noticed my distress.  I turned away and took a few steps, tears welling up, feeling a bit silly for getting upset about a tree, but all that tree has witnessed since around 1860--that's around when Laura Ingalls was in the Big Woods, no?!  (I just happen to be reading a chapter each night to a certain darling grandson who is 'in the house!')  Well I stopped, turned around, and took a picture of the park as it was that day.

Seems fitting that the early morning sun was shining full on that tree.  When next I see the gap, I will know that it was once filled by this majestic beauty, who, you may notice if you zoom in, has already had some limb surgeries.  A few days later...
There are still a good-sized pile of humongous logs to dispose of

Likewise, I had a similar challenge in the RSC colour for August: a grey-purple or simply greys with acid green accents.  I'd already done purple, so I didn't want to repeat it, and I couldn't see a place for greys within a rainbow quilt.  So I didn't do the August colours, feeling a little rebellious and annoyed.  I did visit several of the other bloggers during the August linky parties to look at what they'd done, and I started to see that maybe I could do my Whirling Star block in greys.

I dug in my rather limited grey stash and even more limited grey scraps, and made a couple of blocks.  While I was at it, I cut and sewed two in the September colours, reds with a pop of gold.
I must say I am pretty happy with how they each turned out!  I also learned what colour acid green is. So through this challenge there was a change...I am going to include my grey blocks in my quilt.  Thus I believe I've grown a little through working through the August colours.

I know there will be change in my favourite park with the loss of that tree, but I know they will plant a new one, and in maybe only 50 years from now some other nature lover will walk by and smile when she sees it.
Linking up with
Scrap Happy Saturday at soscrappy

Friday, September 16, 2016

More Stash Additions

I had planned to post this on Sunday, but with Craftsy announcing a Fairwell to Summer Sale this weekend, (see sidebar button, or click that hot link) I thought you needed to see these and maybe take advantage of some great prices...after all that's what I did during the last sale!  These are back to pretty much rock bottom prices, just so you know...  The links to these two Craftsy items are affiliate links, so enabler helping enablers helping back to enabler right?!  Full circle.

I told you that I'd finally caved and bought Blueberry Park.  Well I also bought a Cotton and Steel Fat Quarter box.  I've had my eye on these for some time.  It's a great way to get some unusual fabrics that I wouldn't necessarily buy were I browsing through a quilt shop.
40 pieces of scrumptious
There is the box of hues for your optic sense pleasure!  Isn't it fabulous?  I ran my hand over it several times, took one out, oohed and ahhed over it, wiggled it back in, and then thought okay, I need to see these!  I thought you'd like to as well.  Here are five photos of 8 fabrics each so you get an idea of what that delicious row of colour actually looks like with more than a half inch strip showing.
The top one on the left is "Spellbound" (in house designers I believe); opposite it is Rashida Coleman-Hole "Tinsel"; Melody Miller "Playful" is the jacks fabric (I love some of these retro themes); Sarah Watts "Tokyo Train Ride" is the second from the top on the left;
Unfortunately I don't know all the collections, since only a few had the selvage information on. I've left those as visible as possible.  I've said in the captions which collections I know or have found out through Google.
On the top left, is "Playful"; the very bottom is "Spellbound"; above it is Melody Miller "Mustang"; on the right second from the top is another from her "Playful" collection (one I would never have bought although I sure do remember the Viewmaster!); the very top on the right is Alexia Marcelle Abegg "Mesa"

On the very bottom right is Kimberly Kight  "Cookie Book"; second from the top on the right is another piece from "Spellbound"

The top left is "Mustang";

Sarah Watts "August" top left, Rashida Coleman-Hale "Moon Rabbit" is second from the bottom left

If you recognize any of these, and I haven't mentioned the collection, please let me know in the comments. I have always been a bit of a nerd about fabric designers.  :-)

Let's open the Blueberry Park, shall we?!  Here are the 25 fat quarters you get:

So this is a moment where I need to quote my daughters.
I.  Can't.  Even.

Opening this pack for this post was like Christmas.  Like a box of 25 of my favourite chocolates where I savour each one (and those I don't care for, I generously give to MacGyver lol).  I did not realize these are printed onto Kona cotton.  So I am sure each one has its own assigned colour so you can coordinate with solids.  May I just say two things?
1.  I want to have a DREAMi moment (Drop Everything And Make it)
2.  I bought this for no specific quilt purpose, and...

Hope you stock up on a wee bit of insulation for the Fall!  I'm off to enjoy every.  Single.  Precious.  Moment.
with this most adorable, intelligent, kind, patient, polite, skilled 8-year-old (like HOW???) boy!  He was working on another Lego while I was working on this post!

Linking up with
Confessions of a Fabric Addict (doin' a happy dance for more than one reason, right?!)
Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rounded Edge Bag #2!

This is another rendition of my Rounded Edge Bag tutorial here, that was also featured on Totally Tutorials. :-)  By the time you are reading this post, it is in the hands of a very good friend of mine.
It has bias binding piping in the sideseams to give it a bit of a pop.  I'll show you how to make the bias piping in a moment.

This bag happened because a sweet quilty friend of mine, Tish, of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland, sent me a bundle of fat eighths of Gooseberry by Bonnie and Camille, just because.  She figured I needed some, she said.  I figure she needs some back, and in the form of 3D sewing.  :-)
I had got a mini charm pack of Gooseberry from Fat Quarter Shop on one of their Flash Sales, so I thought I could use what Tish sent me and a bit of the mini charms to create a bag for her using this fabric.  The bag would go in with her mini round robin quilt I had to mail to her.  This is why it took a little bit longer than it should have to get into the mail.

Here's side 2, since each side is a bit different:
I quilted it on my Bernina with my favourite overall floral motif with random leaves.  On the side rectangles, I did Christina Cameli's 'Pragma' motif.  This was a fun design!  I added a bag handle to this because I had forgotten to add one in my green original one, and they are very handy.

You might (or might not) notice I added in a couple charms not from Gooseberry that really worked nicely, an older Daisy Kingdom one, an Art Gallery one, one from Amanda Jean's "Good Neighbors" line, and the buttons, or circles with 3 dots, hmm maybe not buttons, although I do see buttons...

A view of the inside shows you I used a laminated Kona cotton whose colour is absolutely perfect for the lining and a small inside pocket:
Note the label?!
Another darling friend, Lara, of Buzzin Bumble, sent me a chunk of this way cool fabric, two winters ago.  I've used it in a few bags now and just love it.

I quilted the bag with two colours of Essential thread from Connecting Threads. (no affiliation)  How I LOVE their thread!!!  I totally forgot to put the Tea Rose one I used for the dot to dot in the flying geese in the photo, duh! It's a really pretty one too, but not variegated.
The creation of this little bag, which measures 8X10", is just so... I don't know.... ahhhh!!  That gorgeous Ocean Jewels variegated thread is a gift from Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts, (click there and you will see she, like me, has been making some little bags) sent to me last winter.  Like I have the very best of friends, so thoughtful. :-)

All right if you are still with me, here is how I made my own bias binding to go around the bag. It's a snap.

Lay a ruler (I used my 15" square) with a 45-degree angle line marked on it, having that 45-degree line along the straight edge of the fabric.  Cut.  You will have a large triangle like the one below.

Carefully turn the triangle so the just-cut edge is to the left, and slice off three 1" strips.  You could use the 'cutting backwards' technique I showed you here, so you'd start by slicing off a 3" wide strip, and then moving the ruler back to the 2" line, and finally the 1" line to give you your three strips.
Voilà!  You have your three strips to go around your bag.
Now join the ends as you would a straight of grain binding, but being extra-careful because the bias is mighty stretchy, then press in half, and you have the 1/2" wide bias binding ready to be sewn into the side seam of your bag.  :-)

Linking up with
Cooking Up Quilts
Patchwork Times