Friday, 12 May 2017

Free Fall Progress

     The past two weeks have been even busier than normal. I've been to three different guild meetings, one bee day, a workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood in Toronto and a training for my job.  I've also had a cold and allergies so it's been hard to sit down and share my experiences here.   I do however, have some progress to share on the Free Fall quilt along.  None of the progress you are seeing here is mine though.  There is a little bit of Cyndy progress and a lot of Wendy progress added to my blocks in this photo.  The lighter leaves don't show up too well so you will have to use your imaginations.



     One of the 1/2 and 1/2 blocks is missing because a small piece of fabric was with me and not with Wendy. Actually now that I think about it there is some progress by me as I fixed the leaf points that were going in the wrong direction.   We are making our quilt larger than the original so there are a few more blocks to come.  There is a sew day at our local guild on Saturday and we are planning to put the top together there....I know Sandra has yet to post the  instructions but I think we can figure it out.
   
      Things will continue to be busy in the next while as we will be visiting my sister over the Victoria Day weekend.  Fingers crossed she's not flooded.  Two weeks after that our second grandson will be delivered by C section and lucky me I get to babysit his older brother for a couple of days while his Dad is at a work training.  Life is good.  Just no time to sit down.  I'm linking with the Free Fall Link up.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

One Monthly Goal for May

     It's time to set my Monthly Goal for May and I've decided to tackle putting the top together for my 2016 Stash Bee Top.
I chose the Circle of Squares or Circle of Friends block for that project.  It's been a year since I posted the tutorial to my bee mates so it it will be nice to put it together for that anniversary.


          The pattern for these blocks came from Janeth of Toefeather.  I altered the pattern to make 15 1/2" blocks not thinking about the fact that my biggest squaring up ruler is 12 1/2".  Lisa of Lisa in Port Hope shared  in a comment with me how she squares blocks using her cutting mat, but I've managed to borrow a really big squaring up ruler from Cheryl so I will be able to use that. 

     So while I wait for the last of my 2017 bee blocks to arrive, I'll move the 2016 blocks closer to completion.

     What's your monthly goal for May? 
 I'm linking up with the OMG goal link up at Elm Street Quilts.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

I Made Myself a Tiara

      Ever since Molli Sparkles announced the Honey Pot Bee, I've wanted to have a tiara.  It just seemed fitting for the Queens and Kings and Princes and Princesses mentioned in the write up.  Well this morning I finished making my tiara or perhaps it's a crown.  The pattern for this crown, the Sew Royal block is from this tutorial by the Sparkling man himself.   



     I used purple mirror dot fabric that I picked up at the Toronto Modern Guild's sale a few months back.  The darker purple fabric is from that sale as well.  I bought both fabrics with the intention of donating them to my local guild's community outreach stash. I'll still donate the fabric to the guild but these fabrics were just perfect for  a crown block so I decided to use just a tiny bit for myself first.

     I'm posting this on Sunday night the last day of April , just squeezing it in before the deadline One Monthly Goal.   After two months of not meeting my goal I went with a smaller goal this month and I'm happy to say I reached it.  My goal was to make four blocks for the Honey Pot Bee.  The crown is one of them and here are the others, in the order I made them.

The Starflower block which was Molli's pick for January and comes from a tutorial by Jennifer of Ellison Lane.



     The Stripey Stripe block which was Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts block design for April.  I think this was my favourite to make so far.  It's very clever and quite simple to make.


     The starry sky block chosen by Kitty of Night Quilter for April . The paper pieced pattern was designed by Persevering Mom.



     Here's my blocks all hanging out together.  There should be two trees but I could only find one, which gives you an idea of the state of my sewing room.



     I'm not 100% sure the crown will work in the same quilt as the other  blocks but maybe I'll just try throwing some more purple into the mix and see what happens.  I'm linking up with the OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts and with Beth at Cooking up quilts for Main Crush Monday Tuesday this week, because I'm pretty happy to have met this goal.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Improv Row for a Group Project.

       
     It's been a while since I've worked on any improv projects and truth be told I have not been keeping up with the adhoc improv quilt link due to other demands on my time.  I do however have a piece to share this week.  Here's a detail of one of my favourite parts of this piece.







     It all started out with a challenge that Cheryl brought to our small modern group.  Cheryl is the co chair of the community outreach committee of the guild.  She had some blocks from the block of the month program that weren't quite working with other blocks from that month.  Here's the original block.  It's 20 inches square.  Mine had slightly different fabrics, but they were the same range.



     Cheryl cut the blocks in half on the diagonal giving each of us a piece that looked like this.




     Our task was to take the triangle, along with some pieces of fabric she gave us and to make a row for a quilt adding other fabrics from our stash that went with it and grey fabric.



      I started cutting,slashing and adding pieces until I ended up with this piece which I rather liked.





      I had my starting off piece so I worked on adding components.  Things went up on the design wall.  Here's the start of something.



     And here's further refinement.  



     I worked on this row over a course of several weeks around other projects.  There were some challenges for me.  Some of the additional fabrics we were given were ugly ducklings to my eye and incorporating them was a bit difficult.
Another problem was that I didn't have enough of the grey fabric I was using as background so I had to figure out how to solve that problem.  A couple of the improv pieces I have worked on have had size requirements and trying to get your free flowing design into a certain size can be a bit daunting.

     My daughter Madeleine relaxes with rock climbing and she loves bouldering.  Bouldering takes place on a three dimensional structure and a course is set that requires the climber to problem solve a way up the route.  I think the process she enjoys with bouldering is similar to the process I enjoy with improv.  It takes your brain into a focussed place where you work out your next step.

    In the end I added a darker grey.  This required me to go back and add some of that grey to the other side of the row.
Here's my final result.  I'm quite happy with it.  I don't think the dark grey is perfectly balanced in the row but I'm pretty sure it will balance out in the quilt.



     It's interesting.  I have seen rows made by 6 others in the group and they are all quite different, but the fabrics tie them together .   When It's all put together I'll share a photo.

Linking with:  Adhoc Improv Quilters
                     Lets Bee Social

Monday, 24 April 2017

Free Fall Quilt Along Progress

     I've been feeling pretty happy lately.  Although it's still a bit cold, it's been more Spring like.   The longer days filled with bird song and sun make such a difference to my mood.  At work things have been a bit of a strain with our computers and consequently cash registers, and debit machines acting up but I think things have all been sorted out now.  It's amazing how much things like that can take a toll.

     I've been working on catching up with the Honey Pot Bee ( I'll post about that later in the week) and I've been keeping up with my part of Sandra's quilt along Free Fall.  It's great doing this quilt along with my friends as I have less to do and I'm able to keep up.   Here are my blocks for this week.


     But the joke is on me because as I look at them I can see that I made a mistake in two of them and I'm going to have to fix them.  So I guess I'm not all caught up. It's a pretty easy fix that I'll do tonight.  All the fabric for this quilt is at my friend Wendy's so I have no shadow leaf point to share and I suspect it's not done yet.
    
   The three of us are making this together as a donation quilt and we are expanding on the size and the number of leaf blocks in the background section so one friend is making three blocks on this off white background and one friend is making four.  That friend is making one less of the blocks on the shadow background.  At the last link up I hadn't quite completed my blocks on the shadow leaf background.  So here they are.  Let's see if I made any mistakes with these.


     They look pretty good.   I'm off to work in a few minutes so I'll leave you here.  I'm linking up with Beth of Cooking up Quilts, Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, and Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts.  This last link up is pretty new to me.  It's a weekly link up of charitable quilts called Sew Some Love.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Oh Happy Mail

     It's my turn this month as Queen Bee for Stash Bee Hive 4 and the Happy Mail has started to arrive.   Here are my first arrivals which came last Friday.  Aren't they awesome!



     I decided to use one of my designs from the 30 quilt designs challenge I did with Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, for my block.  This was one of my first designs and it is based on a flag from Canada's history, the Carignan Saliere flag.



    I'm using my blocks to  make a quilt for my niece and I chose my palette based on a woven blanket she has.  It's an off white with blue lines running through it and little pops of red.  My plan is to make the quilt primarily with blues, greys and low volumes with a bit of red here and there.  Here are my sample blocks.  



     It's a pretty simple block to make, essentially combining a pinwheel with a plus sign.  My blocks finish at 12 1/2 inches so I made my 1/2 square triangles at 5 1/2".  The two shorter pieces of the plus sign where 2 1/2" by 5 1/2 " and the longer piece of the plus sign is 2 1/2" by 12 1/2".  I've been thinking  about arrangements with this pattern and there just might be another quilt top in the making.



        I've been planning this quilt for my niece for some time and I have tons of blue and grey fabrics to fill in the spaces between the reds. My daughter was home for Easter and she gave a thumbs up on the blocks so far.

      Being queen bee for the month is so much fun.  I'm sitting back enjoying the good weather and watching my beautiful blocks arrive.  Linking with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday which is held on Tuesday this week because of the New Blogger Blog Hop.   Are you following along?  It's always so much fun to meet new bloggers through the hop.  I'm also going to link up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Main Crush Tuesday

   We have had some glorious weather over the last few days and I am happy to say that Spring seems to have arrived  So one thing I'm crushing on is the weather.

  I'm also crushing on getting together with my quilting amigos again to work on a common project.   This time we are jointly making the Free Fall quilt to donate to our guild's charity project.  Free Fall is a quilt designed by Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon.  She is running a quilt along for this pattern right now, so you can join us if you like.
As my friends and I only get together about once a month for group sewing, we started out a bit behind.  We spent our day together sifting through our fabrics making choices on fabrics for the smaller leaves and then cutting them.

    We divided the leaf packs and took them home to sew as homework.  This is my progress as of Sunday night.



     There are 8 blocks with small leaves on a shadow leaf background.  I took three of these.  The photo above gives you an idea of what the completed block will look like.  The photo below gives you an idea of some of the other colours we will be using.



     In the end the palette for this quilt moved away from blues chosen originally for the small leaves, to greens and light oranges with a few accents of purples and browns. It will be a colourful and happy quilt. I am happy that my friends agreed to work on this quilt along with me as things continue to be quite busy for me, so I don't have to stress about keeping up.

     Did you notice the bright white background in the photo .  That's something I'm quite excited about, and the third thing I'm crushing on this week. I bought a Tasmanian  sewing table from Nova Sewing in Hamilton Ontario.  My wonderful husband picked it up and put it together for me.


  The exciting thing about this table is that the sewing machine drops down, making it level with the table top.  My blogging friend Kate of Smiles from Kate has this table and assures me I will love it.  I've started machine quilting my own quilts now and so many people have told me that things will go much more smoothly with the sewing machine dropped to table top level.  I have yet to try quilting but for piecing I can tell that my arms are better placed for ergonomics than with the table I used to have.  I'm looking forward to my next quilting experience.  I'm linking up with the Free Fall linkup and with Main Crush Monday Tuesday this week.  Then I'm going to read some more posts from the New Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Leanne of She Can Quilt and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl.