Monday, October 31, 2016

Spiral Quilting

I find that I now call all quilts that I make-
'learning quilts',
and this next one is no exception.

Last fall, I thought it would be fun
to learn to make wonky log cabin blocks.
As soon as I had a few lined up on the table,
 they told me they wanted to be spiral quilted.

After searching Pinterest,
and checking out a few tutorials,
I contacted Linda, author of Flourishing Palms.
and requested a Spiral Quilting Tutorial.
She didn't disappoint, 
as shortly thereafter, she published a very in depth
and well written tutorial.
Thanks, Linda!

But, it was getting late in the season for me,
and I was only able to complete a couple of blocks
before it was time to  pack things up
and migrate south for the winter.

Last week, I pulled out this UFO and completed it.
I didn't forget how to make the wonky log cabin blocks,
but I did have to brush up on the spiral quilting.

"The big X in the centers?", you ask?
Remember I said this was a learning quilt?
Welllll, I was so excited to start the spiraling process
when Linda published her tutorial,
I forgot to put a backing on my block, so
I quilted them all the same after that little faux pas,
and needed some way to anchor the backing.
To quote a quilty friend of mine,
"It's for a baby.  He/she won't know the difference."
(You know who you are.)

After I put it all together, 
I'd wished I'd made it much larger,
but unless I wanted it to be a UFO for another year,
I had to go with 36"x 36",
calling it my one and only gender neutral baby quilt.
Now, I'm ready for anything,
boy babies, girl babies, and 'I don't know' babies!

The fabrics were passed on to me from
 friends in the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.
I don't often have yardage to work from,
so I thank you very much!

From soggy Cape Breton,
I wish you a sewl-ful week!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

This and That

Autumn is a difficult time of year for me to begin anything new,
and it's sew hard not to!
But this is when I have to focus on finishing up everything
I started during the summer to get ready to travel south.

Elm Street Quilts is hostessing Bag It!
and I love making bags.
Hop on over and check out all of Patty's tutorials
for some gift giving ideas.
Be sure to scroll through her posts so you don't miss a thing!
Maybe you will even win some excellent prizes!

If you hurry,
you can sign up for EasyPatchwork's
but the deadline is today.

I'd like to congratulate the winners
of my Free Spirit Fabrics solids give away.
The random number generator chose
Sheila, author of Sheila's Quilt World
and The Lueken Family 
to each receive a jelly roll.
Sunny (Quilting Dreams) and Lynn (Hey Boo)
were the lucky recipients of the charm packs.
Everyone has been notified
and some have already received their prizes.
I wish I could have sent a prize to everyone!
That said, it was so much fun, let's do it again soon.

I'll be back, maybe with some pictures!
Although life has gotten in the way, but on a positive note,
I have been sewing a little.

Have a wonderful, funderful day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

On My Design Floor

I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to wall space,
so I depend upon my floor to lay out quilts as I work.

I like to keep a couple of baby quilts on hand,
and it seems they all tend toward the female gender!
So, at my Crafty Daughter's urging, I'm concentrating on boys.

This week on my design floor, I am putting together a chevron quilt

As always, just click on the pictures to enlarge.

which looks  quick and easy,
but this is ME!

I'm pretty pokey, slow, and deliberate,
and it's taking me days to make.

I was sewing with someone last month
who whipped up a chevron quilt
It was kind of comical.
I sat in one corner, stitching away,
putt, putt, putt,
and she sat in the opposite corner,
zoom, ZOOM, ZOOM!
YOU know who you are!

Today, I'm squaring up all my blocks.
I used the 'make 8 HSTs at once' method
following this tutorial.
I knew I wanted my quilt to be no more than 40" wide,
so I consulted the provided chart

and decided to cut my beginning squares 8.5" to get 5.5" blocks..
When I sewed them together, I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance
to give me plenty of room to square up the blocks.

When I am squaring up blocks, especially larger sizes,
I place it slightly askew on my cutting mat

to make it a little easier to take that final slice across the top.
That way I'm not contorting myself
and causing my ruler to slip.

Using this method of constructing HSTs means cutting across the bias.
I never spray a finished block with water or starch,
because it causes distortion,
which causes frustration.
Instead, I use spray starch before I cut my strips/squares.
Seems to work very well, for me.

Although I'm not crazy about this quilt
(it looked different in my head)
I'm excited to get it together and under Janome's needle
because I'll be using variagated thread for the first time!

All my fabrics are 1/2 yard cuts from Northcott,
three different lines that played so well together -
Rainforest Romp, A Day in the Amazon, Freestyle,
and for the backing, At the Zoo, from Henry Glass Fabrics.

This is a pretty wordy post, for me.
If you made it all the way to the end,
and you are interested in my scraps for your donor quiltmaking,

please just mention it in your comment!
There's no sense saving them until I revisit them.
Life is paved with good intentions, but it could be forever
before I unearth them again!
so, they're up for grabs!

I hope you are having a quilty day!
If the sun is shining in your corner of the world,
get out and celebrate the day!
Your sewing machine will wait patiently for your return!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Catching the Spirit Give Away

click picture to enlarge

In life, I have always been 'a free spirit'.
The Urban Dictionary defines a free spirit as 
   one who is not restrained.

With designers the likes of Kaffe Fassett,


 Free Spirit Fabrics epitomizes that definition.
Check out their blog for more give away opportunities!

But did you know that Free Spirit also has 
a quality line of solids?

As my sewing experience has grown,
due largely in part to quilting's incredible online presence,
I have become a little bit of a fabric snob.
The very first time I handled Free Spirit solids,

You might remember this Bright Birch Trees quilt I made from all Free Spirit solids,
except the scraps, of course.

I never looked back.
They sew like a dream, they hardly ravel, I've had no bleeding issues,
And I just LOVE how they feel.

With the exception of the Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild's
Kona signature colors,
I've been purging my solids stash,
and am in the process of replacing them with... guessed it!
Free Spirit Fabrics!

To help YOU  'Catch the Spirit',
Free Spirit Fabrics has very generously provided
some fabric bundles for this give away.

I have two 20 piece jelly rolls of pretty pastels to give away,
 plus two prizes of  two 20 count charm packs of the same.
Four chances to win!

Entering is easy peasy!
Just leave a comment!
(I'd really like to know what makes you a free spirit!)

If you happen to be a follower of my blog,
a second comment telling me so will give you an extra chance!

I'd like to extend a big thank you to Free Spirit Fabrics
for making this give away possible!

Thanks for popping in for a visit!
Good luck!

This give away will end at midnight, Atlantic Time Zone.
Monday, October 10.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

October, Already?

Another quick post.
My brain has been sewing,
not writing!

The winner of the Chunky Alphabet Give-away is:
#26, Carol, author of Beads and Birds.
Congratulations, Carol!
Carol is a new-to-me blogger
and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted.
I have met so many new bloggers this year!

Several of you commented that you've never made a zippered pouch.
I know it sounds intimidating,
but Patty at Elm Street Quilts
has a fantastic tutorial for a basic pouch
that you really must try!
She takes all the mystery out of the process
in easy to follow steps.
It's my "go to" tute!
As a matter of fact, I just whipped up another one.
I'll show you later.

Although my sewing machines have been humming,
I don't really have anything to show,
no finishes,
no 'in process' photos,

I decided it was time to try some graffiti quilting free motion doodling,
that it would be the best way to hone my skills.
How many samples can one make?
There is such a big difference between FMQing on a small square
and FMQing on a big quilt.

I decided to tackle my wonky churn dash Checkmark quilt.
It is a pretty bizarre design that, to be honest with you,
 I figure no one will really want,
even though it was lots of fun to make.
So, why not?
Maybe I'll keep a quilt for myself for a change!

I keep a FMQ journal,
log my time, and discuss with myself
what works, what doesn't.
I'm mostly practicing control and travelling.
On this quilt, I am using Aurifil 50 weight white thread,
and sometimes its difficult to see where I have already stitched.
I love my Janome with a passion,
but there isn't a lot of visibility,
so it's a double whammy.

And blinking!  I forget to blink,
so I'm practicing that, too!

And that's about all from
my little corner of the world!

Be sure to click on the picture to see it better!

Here's a little Tern feather
that was floating by on the surface of the water
last time I was out in my kayak.
Won't be many paddling days remaining.

Happy October!