Friday, December 23, 2011

Season's Greetings!

A new addition to our family, Conan, and he's keeping us on our toes!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Brightest Day

Last year I promised a friend that I would make a comic book quilt for her daughter that was born last year....I had some liberated comic book logos (and here) I had made a few years ago and not made into a quilt, this would be a great excuse to finish it....well, no way could I think of how to put it all together. So I ended up making up an entirely different quilt then I intended.

I started with the green lantern block and then I made more in the same colours of the Green Lantern Brightest Day/Blackest Night Rings. I was almost tempted to make each of the different symbols, but decided that was too much for my brain to figure out!

Using up only scraps I foundation pieced the rainbow squares and eventually settled on this layout.

Quilting it was the next challenge and the hardest part of making this quilt! I struggled with the machine, I ripped out lots of stitches, and even broke a few needles. I discovered new meaning to quantitative easing!

But in the end I think it turned out all right. I hope Vivian has lots of fun with this quilt and it keeps her warm on cold nights.

As for my other superhero quilt....I've finally got some new ideas...maybe for next year.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Waiting for Jean-Marie

My employee Tom is going to have his first the next couple of days or week soon. He and his partner Sarah know it's going to be a girl and they are going to name her Jean-Marie. I finished this quilt for them and that is their cat Scamp waiting for Jean-Marie.

I hand pieced the scraps together over the last year or so. I needed a hand project to do in front of the I would hand sew my 5 inch scraps together in blocks of 5 or so and then I sewed them together in long strips. When Tom told me he was going to have a baby, I decided to use them for his baby's quilt. His favourite colour is purple, but I thought the orange was brighter and more cheerful, so I made the liberated stars in purple instead. I put the top together at the retreat and batted it up there,too. When I got home I machine quilted long horizontal wavy lines across the scraps and stippled the borders. It's got a nice thick flannel on the back for fuzzy warmth.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BIQR 2011: 37 Sketches

Long time no blog post! Yes it has been awhile! I have been madly quilting ever since I got back from the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat. There is nothing like the combination of scenic Elk Lake and the greatest quilt teacher, Gwen Marston, to get your quilting mojo going!

Gwen had plenty of her new book: 37 Sketches on hand. Gwen was extremely proud of this one, her first hardcover art book. She described in detail how fun it was to choose all the details from the debossed lettering on the cover, to the tophat, to the colour and type of end papers.

Usually the first morning of the retreat Gwen does a trunk show based on the theme of the retreat, then she leaves the quilts in a pile available to us to look through at any time. This year she hung her "37 Sketches" on the wall for better viewing and to reinforce the artistic and design component of this year's theme.

She used these quilts as an artist uses sketches to explore colour, technique, design and composition. She created a workbook of many of her ideas and techniques.

I brought a handful of matching fat quarters in solids in a colour palette that I wanted to work in plus all the solids I had on hand and started from that. But boy it was hard to get started at first. I wandered around and looked at what other people were doing, spent some time gazing at the 37 Sketches, picking out my favourites and the bits about them that excited me. Gwen's first demo was the narrow wavy line, a technique she learned from Jean Wells.

So I started with that... a snazzy, kaffe fassett fabric inserted into a plain gray...well I guess I need another wavy line! And so it goes, building onto each piece. You try out a bunch of different techniques and use what works, and cut up some that don't.

Some of what you don't use for one, may end up in another. On Day 2 I wanted to use lighter colours and work in a more landscape shape. In my first piece, my floating squares did not dance enough, so I experimented on that.

On Day 3 I wanted to work using a log cabin method. At first it was very prim and proper and then as I used bigger pieces I could add more interest in each side.

Gwen set up a gallery for the students to show their work, too. On the last day we were given a pointer and asked to describe how we chose the things we did.

This year Christine and I brought our friend Gail, far right, to the retreat. She was thrilled to meet Gwen and had a great time. You can read her version of the events at her blog The Cozy Quilter in One, Two, Three parts.

Another fantastic retreat!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The room is getting bigger!

and the end is in sight! Just rolled over the 2 sides, I think for the last time...! 2 more weeks of work, I think.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You cannot rush handquilting!

I know, I know, I have not blogged very much lately... It's been a very busy summer! Work has been busy and time consuming. We have been visiting and going out with many friends. As for quilting, it has been too hot in my sewing room which is in a kind of attic. However I have been very good and doing a bit of handquilting almost every day (in the morning, that's me in my pj's) long as my fingers are not too sore!

I have quilted all the way around the outside and have turned under the two ends of my frame!

I am not marking the quilt, but just quilting it as I go and am enjoying the process, but it is sooooo slow especially when a deadline looms ahead!

I have 2 baby quilts to finish and another to start (this one is designed on paper and the fabric washed and ready to be cut). I have to machine quilt my black, white and red quilt, and start my bed quilt, plus 3 other quilts in various states of completion.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy day after Canada Day!

Woo hoo! Long weekend! Gorgeous summer day on July 1st, Canada Day! Had a bit of a party to watch the fireworks which are launched from the park at the end of our street. Great fun!

Although, I don't understand people who bring their dogs. A young couple bring their huge Rottweiler and can barely hold onto the dog, it is so strong...The dog is excited the fireworks are going off, lots of people and other people with dogs, a German Shepherd in particular...the Rottweiler wants to go sniff the other dog, the guy has to practically sit on the dog to keep it in place then decided to hand off the dog to his thin little girlfriend, who of course doesn't have the strength to hold the dog in place and it goes running to the German Shepherd. She drags it back and has to sit on the dog to keep it in place...there are hundreds of people there the potential for disaster is great and they can't even control their dog. Neither dog is muzzled even though it is the law in Ontario. who is going to break up the fight if the dogs decide to get hostile, what if someone inteferes and gets bit, will they be happy if their dog gets put down...I ask you why bring it at all???

Have been doing some quilting lately...I have finished the top to Brightest Day, it now needs to be quilted. Can only show you a teaser as it is a gift.

I have 2 more baby quilts to design and make....and have been trying to handquilt every day. I was going to do some every evening but in the summer I can never find the time, so I decided a half hour or hour each morning is better. I am now making some progress. yay! I have a deadline on that one of September.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

My Plate is Full!

I am working on this Tulip Quilt for my mom. The pattern by Lucy was featured in Quilt Mania #76 English version and Liberated String Quilts by Gwen Marston and is based on an antique quilt by Nancy Ray. I saw Lucy's version at BIQR 2009. My mom, despite her Dutchness, does not want orange sashing, we are thinking of yellow. very spring! I am not in a hurry with this one, I just like to keep it on hand to keep my hands busy while watching tv.
This is a sneak peek at Brightest Day, a Green Lantern themed quilt a present for a baby girl, by the time I finish this she'll have moved to a big kid's bed, that's ok, I suppose, since the quilt is taking on a life of its own, and is a lot bigger than originally envisioned.

After some encouragement, I have decided to finish my Test Pattern quilt that I made at my first BIQR retreat. In keeping with the testing part, I decided to test out my dad's quilt frame he built for me. I will be hand quilting this baby in a frame! I had to move my hubby's weights from the room-where-we-dump-things to set it up. I want to thank Gwen Marston, Joe Cunningham and True Blue Canadian for their written advice on how to set this up.

The view from below! I found some Kaffe Fassett fabric on sale at Lens Mill Store that is perfect for the back!

Those are just the quilty projects I am currently working on, not to mention a guild challenge, started, but probably won't finish.

Other obligations on my plate:

-CQA/ACC Quilt Ontario 2011 May 25-28 At work:

-Record Store Day April 16

-Free Comic Book Day May 7

-3 Magic Tournaments April 24, May 8, May 15

-Graphic Novel Group April 9, May 14

June is looking like peace and quiet! and maybe winter will be over by then!

Friday, February 04, 2011

A taste of things to come!

Yes, I have a new project on the horizon....I just spent my christmas gift certificates from Hyggeligt on this luscious bundle of fabrics! Hyggeligt is just down the street from my store so I can pop down there for a break and get my dose of sunshine in fabrics! Chantal has the brightest selection of fabrics I have ever seen in London. She specializes in Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, and Liberty fabrics, the only place in London where you can get that type of fabric (and she does mail order for you outoftowners!) I also picked up earlier from her Cherry House's City Quilts book. I really like Cherry's urban styles and use of solids....but having said that I will be adapting her City Harbor pattern with the above fabrics and making a queen size spread for my bed.
I can't wait to see how it turns out! Her original pattern is 66x71 in and I will be increasing it to 96x104 with each of the bars being 4in, so I will still have the same number of bars.
It may be awhile before you see any photos for this piece as I have vowed to quilt my t-shirt quilt first and make some more blocks for a comic book quilt I am working on...and then this project will be my reward!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plaidtastic, quilted, bound and done!

Inspired by Amish designs, driven to wonkiness, with a splash of batik, and quilted with the spirit of Gee's's Plaidtastic!

Lazy Gal Liberated Amish Quilt Challenge 2010

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Year in Review

This represents only items completed in 2010. More than I thought, but mostly small items.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Keeping busy

What I was not able to finish before Christmas, I was able to do in the couple of weeks after! Here are a couple of placemats I started in November 2009! finally done! I am using these small pieces to practice my machine quilting. I think I am getting better. Free pieced letters inspired by Lazy Gal.

Here is a doll quilt I made for a friend's daughter. I made the top ages ago from scraps my SIL gave me...I think they were left over from a jelly roll, so I tried out a bargello style from them.

Again I am practicing my machine quilting.

I pieced the back and even the batting from leftovers.

This top for a crib quilt is made from leftovers from my cousin's baby quilt I made last year...when I ran out of the green fabric, I used the stripey fabric.