Friday, 18 April 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That

Happy Easter all! Did you hear? Craftsy's having a super Easter sale. Sweet!

Enjoy up to 75% off all Fabric with Craftsy's BIG Easter Sale happening now!
Enjoy up to 75% off at Craftsy's BIG Easter Sale 



For those in the Ottawa area, I'm teaching a Modern Free Motion Quilting Sampler class on Wednesday, May 7th from 10 - 4 p.m. at The Country Quilter in Richmond. It's already almost full (woo hoo!) so if you're interested, sign up soon!


I've been working away on Scrap{Bee} 2.0. I finished the quilting last night. Yay! I thought I'd block it because of the different types of quilting and the improv piecing had some puffs here and there. Should have known that blocking this quilt wouldn't be straightforward as nothing has been simple to date. LOL!

Mug shot of the culprit!

As I was laying it out though, I saw that the dark red had bled. A lot! I've been pre-washing all my fabrics for at least five years, but these fabrics were pulled from the scrap bin and are older than that. I wish I had remembered that! I also wish I'd remembered that I had made some colour catchers and it would have been the perfect time to test them, but do you think I did that? No, I completely forgot about them until this morning. Luckily the Spray N'Wash looks like it worked. Phew!

Now I'm itching for it to be done drying so I can get the binding on. I think binding is my favourite part of the whole quilting process. Seriously. I love binding because I can do it while watching TV or a movie. This quilt is big enough for several movies too. :D Any movie recommendations? 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Modern Block Monday - Feathers

I've loved Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed quilt for some time. For my OMQG bee, I chose the Feather block. Now what I didn't realize when I chose it, is just how tricky it would be to figure out how to make just one block. According to the free pattern (Thank you, Anna!), one block contains two feathers. A friend gave me this great link that makes the feather cutting simpler. I fiddled with Meredith's measurements and figured out that 10" strips will make two feathers. Here is my practice block:

March OMQG Bee 2 Block

The making of the strip blocks for the feathers is fussy, but otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward block. I really love the look. I can't wait to see what my bee mates come us with.

In case there are some of you who just want to make two feathers (maybe for a bee or a pillow), here are the instructions I gave my bee mates:

Please read through all of the instructions before beginning. 

1 fat quarter of a background fabric (cream) 
2 - 1" by 19" strips for the feather stem (grey)
Feather edges -  A variety of 10” fabric strips of varying widths between 1.5”-3”. Bright, medium value fabrics work best.


1) Print out and tape together the templates from Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed Quilt pattern

2) For the feathers, use 10” strips in varying widths of 1.5-3”. You will need enough for your feather template to fit on (12” high is good). Follow this tutorial for assembling and cutting out your feather edges — it's more fabric economical than Anna Maria’s instructions.

3) Using the remaining templates, cut out 4 F pieces first, then 4 B pieces, 2 D pieces, and 2 E pieces from the cream background fabric. 

4) Assemble the feather blocks according to Anna Maria’s pattern instructions on pages 4 and 5

You should now have two feather blocks of approximately 18.5” by 9.5”. 

Clear as mud? Feel free to post any questions or comments below.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

TGIFF! - Fibonacci Is Not Random - Part Two

On Tuesday, I mentioned that fixing my Fibonacci Is Not Random triptych is a goal for this quarter. Inspired by The Da Vinci Code and a Quilters Newsletter article on the Fibonacci sequence, I designed and made this triptych for our dining room in 2005 (Parts One, Two and Three).

The centre (Part Two) uses 1" squares on a fusible grid. It was a beast to quilt on my old machine because it was thick and stiff. Originally I wanted gold thread in lines radiating outwards, but my machine was having none of it. In frustration, I used cream cotton thread on the grid and extended the lines outward in the background in gold. Lots of nests and tension problems. I think I redid it several times. Finally, I just tied off the cream threads at the back as best I could so it looked like this. Attractive, eh?

Fast forward a couple of years and it gets damaged with caulking while we were installing crown moulding. I cleaned what I could, but there was still significant residue on the binding of all three pieces and some across the front on one of them. None of the stain remover stuff I had at the time worked so I was going to have to replace the binding. Ugh! I wanted to work to work on pretty new things though so into the WIP pile it went.

Fast forward to Wednesday, when it became clear that Scrap{Bee} 2.0 wasn't going to happen for this week. I took the binding of Part Two off and decided to redo the quilting, adding a few more radiating lines. My Bernina handled the thickness like a dream!

Would you believe that I even found matching extra binding in my scrap bin? It was meant to be! I used part of it to replace the damaged section of Part Two's binding and will even have enough to replace the damaged sections of the binding on the other two pieces.

On a whim, I tried Ease Out on the caulking on the damaged piece and it worked almost perfectly! Woo hoo!

So much better! Okay, maybe it's not that noticeable, but I'm much happier with it.

You know, while I would choose different fabrics today, I still really like this piece and the value changes. I liked asymmetry even back in 2005. :)

Final size: 13" by 35" at the tip.

Now to fix Part One and Part Three...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

One Goal, Two Goals, Red Goals, Blue Goals

I'm having a hard time staying motivated to quilt my Scrap{Bee} 2.0 quilt. It's big and it's cumbersome. The quilting is supposed to be wonky to work with the wonky blocks, but I find it sometimes just looks bad. This quilt is apparently going to test me all the way to completion. So I'm making it my April goal for A Year of Lovely Finishes to finish this one.

I was hoping to finish it for TGIFF! this week, since I'm hosting, but it's not looking close enough, is it?

I'm also going to do my Q2 Finish-A-Long goals in this post too.

Q2 Goals for FAL 2014:

1) Scrap{Bee} 2.0: As mentioned above.

2) Carsick: I think I'll need a smaller project before I tackle this one, but I'm putting it down to finish this quarter too.

3) Blue Improv: I really enjoyed the process of making Purplelicious so now I'd like to see if I can do one with blues, starting with this block.

 Or this one.

4) Re-finish Fibonacci Is Not Random: The binding was damaged several years ago so it needs to be replaced. And if I'm going to take off the binding, then I might as well add the quilting I had always wanted to do, but couldn't at the time.

5) Finish the two patterns I have in the works. Before I start any others. :) It's hard to write good patterns when you are terrible at following them. LOL!

What are you hoping to finish next? These lovely parties have some great prizes. Just sayin' :)

Finish Along 2014
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