Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Modern Block Tuesday?

I have some bee blocks to share with you today. This was July's String X block for Pam @ Mad About Patchwork. She's making this fabulous String X block quilt and asked us to just make the strips. She provided a few of the fabrics to help guide us and give continuity to her quilt. I was pretty happy to find a number of fabrics in my stash that went well with her aqua, gray and taupe colour scheme.

August's block is for Patti @ Retired to Quilt. She chose Simply Woven block in grays, pinks, dark blues, greens, and purples. I struggled with getting a set of fabrics in those colours that worked well together. Getting the greens and pinks I had to work together was the issue mostly, but I'm happy I finally found two that worked.

I've actually done this fun block before in solids: 

Woven Block

Once again, I'm amazed at the difference fabric and colour selection can make. So many possibilities!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Banner Day for Otis - A Finished Top

The top is done! Good thing too, because my new nephew, little Otis, has made his debut! And with the completely objective eye that only an aunt can have, he's stinking adorable too. I got to hold him yesterday for the first time. :D

When I last shared this project, I was debating the striped cording. You guys gave me the thumbs so away I went. With the layout I was trying to go random with the colours and sizes of the bunting triangles, but I just couldn't do it.

The bunting was appliquéd to a white background and I secured them using a glue stick instead of pins before sewing them down. There are fewer bubbles between the bunting and the background this wekk so I'm much happier with the result.

Now I'm debating the quilting. Using plexiglass sheets and dry erase markers, I tested out some different motif combos. There are so many ways to quilt this with all over designs, but I wanted to accentuate the bunting somehow.

Option 1: Lines, wishbones and swirls:

Option 2: Loops, lines and wishbones:

Option 3: Loops, lines and stippling:

Option 4: Pointy curves (yeah, I can't think of what these are called right now):

I'm a bit behind on replying to comments rights now, but I hope to get back to you all once I'm done cuddling Otis some more. Hope you are having a fabulous day!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Room of One's Own

Have you been following along with Mad About Patchwork's Sew Canadian studio tour this summer?  I have really enjoyed stepping into some of my fellow Canuck quilters' sewing spaces and seeing how they organize their space. Today, it's Janet @ What Comes Next and my space being featured.

I thought I'd do a post here to elaborate on the information and photos I provided for the Sew Canadian post at Mad About Patchwork. My sewing space has evolved a lot over the years -- from the bottom of a closet, to a couple of shelves, to a bookcase, to a bookcase and closet, to now. My current sewing haven is an L-shaped guest bedroom/former in-law suite on top of our garage. The room is straight out of the 60s. There's a little apartment-size kitchen that we made into a craft space for the kids, a fake fireplace mantel, and a tiny little bathroom. One day, we'll renovate the room to make it into our bedroom, but for now it's my quilting aerie and my favourite place to be.

Against one wall, I have two shallow bookcases packed with my scrap boxes, selvage collection and other art/quilt supplies. I found the selvage jars and red and blue containers at the dollar store.
I also love using old tins to store safety pins, buttons, fastenings, cords, etc. It's no coincidence that a lot of my tins are chocolate tins. ;)

I found the scrap containers as a set at Costco a few years ago. I love that they have clear fronts so I can see at a glance what is in them.

Moving to another area of the room, I have a five drawer organizer to keep the things I often reach for when I'm at the sewing machine to the right of my sewing table. And yes, I did tidy this up for the photos.

The top drawer has snips, scissors, seam rippers, extra blades, pin cushions, etc.

Next, I have threads that don't fit on my thread holder and my handy dandy Aurifil colour card. 

The third drawer is where I keep my current leader/ender project. I keep pressed units on a repurposed cardboard can tray so I bring it to the ironing board and also...

Get to the 1.5" squares and finished granny squares below it. 

The fourth drawer has my free motion quilting tools -- gloves, practice quilt sandwiches, etc. 

The bottom drawer stores miscellaneous design tools -- markers, colour tools, bendable ruler and so on. 

Across from this organizer, I have another drawer organizer for leftover binding scraps and other scraps cut into a variety of widths. 

Moving to my cutting table, I keep my cutting table pins attached to a magnetized pin catcher in a basket. See those yellow containers? Those are the little toy containers from Kinder Surprise eggs. I use them to store and throw out bent pins. I definitely don't need that many at the moment, but I figure I'd better keep them now because the kids won't eat Kinder Surprises when they get older.

I use a cutlery caddy for my cutting table tools. 

I'm super psyched about the newest addition to my sewing room. This was my design wall -- a flannel backed table cloth. It's a great temporary design wall, but trying to lay out anything larger than a lap quilt is really frustrating. I only have about a 48 inch-wide wall though so what to do? 

My solution was to get (4) 24" wide insulation boards and cover them with batting. One king size batting was perfect for covering the boards. The batting is cut and wrapped around the boards and secured with duct tape. I'm not convinced that this is going to work long term as the duct tape seems to separate a little from the insulation board. It's holding right now though so we'll see. 

Now I can lay out the boards for a baby/lap size quilt...

Throw or twin-size quilt...

Or a full/queen/or kind size quilt! Putting out all four boards cuts off part of the room though, so they'll only be laid out like this temporarily. This is also very handy for taking photos of large quilts.

Don't forget that you can get in on the action too! You can add a photo of your own space to the linky party, whether it's a corner of your kitchen table or a studio addition to your house. At the end of August, they’ll be drawing one lucky series participant and one lucky linky party participant to win an Ombre Sewing Studio Kit by Sew Fresh Quilts. So get inspired and get sharing!

More great spaces are coming too:

August 17th – Erica @ Happy Fabric and Jacqui @ Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @ She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @ Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @ Mad About Patchwork and Laura @ Waffle Kisses

Have a great one!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

TGIFF! - A Bright Modern Totems

A couple of news-y bits before we get to the main TGIFF event...

For those in the Ottawa area, bring in your empty Aurifil spool(s) to the The Running Stitch on Saturday, August 9th for a Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Off sale! The specifics can be found on their site.

Also, my TGIFF! partner in crime, Laura @ Quokka Quilts is hosting a new QAYGFMQAL (Quilt As You Go Free Motion Quilt Along) -- so excited! She also has a sweet giveaway from the Fat Quarter Shop so be sure to check it out!

Ooh, and Craftsy's having its Dog Days of Summer Sale right now. Enjoy up to 50% off ALL online classes! Take advantage of big savings today. Hurry, offer expires August 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. I've been eyeing that Joe Cunningham course myself...


Welcome to TGIFF! Today, I'm very happy to be sharing my test of my soon-to-be-released Modern Totems pattern for TGIFF!

My first go at this quilt was with more of a Spring-like palette, but this time I went Bright! I used a Snap Pop charm pack by Sandy Gervais for Moda that I got from Sew Sisters and used Kona White for the background. The binding is Blooming Glory from Woodrow Studio. Look at me, throwing fabric names about like I know what I'm talking about! Next time, I'd like to try this design in  solids...mmm!

It was right down to the wire with this one and I must fess up that I haven't even buried the threads yet.

The quilting -- done with my favourite white 50 wt. Aurifil 2021 -- was horizontal squiggles in the totems, spirals in the squares and stippling in the background. 

The backing is that wonderful IKEA Numbers fabric that I stocked up on. It works so well with the hot pink binding. I know, I used pink!

The quilt finishes at 54" by 60" -- a great lap quilt and just perfect for the recipient I have in mind.

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