Monday, October 17, 2016

Worth making again

Quilters know that there are so many wonderful quilts out there that we will not be able in one lifetime to make them all.  But even so, some quilts really are worth making a second time.

Bonnie Hunter's Star Struck (find it among the free patterns at is one pattern I keep returning to.  This summer I realized it was time to bring out the plaids once again and cut the pieces for more of those stars.

This uses assorted plaids for the stars, assorted lights for the background stars, a constant red for the little hourglass units.

I love the gentle look of the plaids, many of them from recycled shirts.  I enjoy letting my eyes wander around the quilt to see how the various fabrics interact in the different combinations.  A motley variety of background fabrics was used here, but even the busy ones seem to settle down and blend in with the others once it is all put together.

This quilt will be donated to one of my favourite Good Causes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Quilter's Dozen

Every summer a group of quilting friends meets for a day of show-and-tell, visiting, and lunching out. We have an annual challenge and enjoy seeing how each person has dealt with the theme.

This year's theme was A Quilter's Dozen.  My interpretation of the challenge used a dozen Wildflower blocks (my block that is included in the current issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine.)  I made my blocks (twelve inch blocks, of course!) with a dozen fabrics which I carefully rotated through the various fabric placement positions in the block.  This resulted in some block colorations that I would NEVER have selected by any other method.

I was really pleased with the red and the orange in this block.

My original idea had been to make a quilt that was predominantly blue and gray, but along the way it seems that a lot of orange and red had slipped in. So when the twelve blocks were finished I chose elements from the block for the borders and the centre motif, and I used more of the cooler hues there to push the quilt back into the blue range.

Then I put the quilt on my longarm and quilted feathers and pebbles and spirals until I had filled the surface.
The most difficult part of the project was getting a decent picture!  Finally a day arrived when the sun shone and the wind did not blow too wildly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mail call

Many things in life are going digital now and it seems like we find fewer items in the snail mail all the time.  But today it was worth the walk down to the mailbox -- I found treasure there!

Advance copy of the September issue of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Of course, I turned to my own quilt first!

My quilt looks pretty good in its "glamour shot", don't you think!

I've had time now to look at the rest of this issue, and I can see some lovely designs, everything from a table topper to a baby quilt, to lap quilts and larger bed quilts.   There is plenty of inspiration here to keep a quilter happily quilting for a long time.

You'll be able to pick up your very own copy of this magazine in a week or two -- so watch for it on your newsstand.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another try at Celtic Solstice

I pulled out THAT project again -- the one from December of 2013 when Bonnie Hunter began the Celtic Solstice mystery quilt.  This time I made some good progress.
Both sets of blocks are completed at last.  (I've made a few changes in the star block to make the green chains run across the quilt in both directions.) 

Here are a few of the blocks laid out as they will be sewn. I find myself second guessing my colour choices, but all in all, I think I like the way it works!

For now all the blocks are back in their bag, and I was able to return the extra fabric to the stash bins. One of these days I'll take this to a group Sew Day.  Sewing all the blocks together to make the top will be the perfect project to work on while sewing with friends.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Quilter Power

A few weeks ago we received a request for a quilt for a local fundraiser event.  The timeline was tight -- only a week until the event was to occur.  We put out a request to local quilters for a quilt or a top.  Almost immediately a top was offered -- and of course, the colours were perfect.

Within 48 hours we had it backed, batted, quilted, bound.  It was completed in time for the fund-raiser where it helped raise  money for Honour House in New Westminster.  And the event organizer has signed up for our next beginning quilter's class!  (But she may find that not every quilt comes together quite as quickly as this one did!)

Disappearing 9-Patch quilt donated to Honour House fundraiser.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chinese Coins Strip Quilt

My friend Kim does wonderful things with colour.  When she brought this little top to show-and-tell I fell in love with it.  I just might have put it into my bag at the end of the session and brought it home with me because Kim has a reputation as a serial "topper" and I couldn't bear the thought of this piece languishing in a trunk.   And it just might have been languishing in my sewing room for quite a while (I looked it up -- we were working on strippy quilts four years ago.)

I rediscovered it the other day and put it on the quilting machine. I have been quilting edge-to-edge designs on "quick quilts" recently so I changed the pace a bit and indulged in some more complex designs on this one.  I love the way the feather quilting curls through the pieced strips.

This quilt needs to find its way home to Kim soon, but I'm going to leave it on the living room floor where it catches the light just right for just a few more days.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Back to the never-ending scraps

This is what is on my wall today:
Auditioning units to make Woodland Clover blocks.
The pattern is based on the cover quilt from Pat Speth's More Nickel Quilts book.

I say "based on" because would I follow the author's instructions and start with a nice pile of neat 5" squares?  Of course not! Instead I dived into scrap bins and pulled out strips and odd bits of various sizes.  Surely this will be the quilt that finally uses up all those pieces!

When all the cutting was done I had enough pieces to make 20 blocks -- enough for a small quilt that will be donated to a Good Cause.  (The cutting took a long time because there was all that finding and measuring and trimming that wouldn't have been necessary if I'd started with squares.)

This is what a stack of pieces for 20 blocks looks like.
 This may not make a discernible impact on the scrap pile!

As I was pressing my units I noticed this:
Some of these patches have been around the block a few times already -- can you see the tell-tale creases that show seams have been unpicked?
Makes me wonder how many times I will re-use a piece before it is finally gone!

One of these days I might actually go the Main Stash and start with larger pieces of fabric, but at the moment I'm having too much fun in the scrap heap.