So apparently I’m not a very good blogger…it’s been over two months since my last post! Terrible. My excuse is that I’m working full time now, which you know is a good thing but that means less time for ‘important’ things like quilting…and blogging.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t done ANY quilting. Back in April I made a baby quilt for a dear friend of mine with super cute forest fabric that I was dying to buy. I love how it turned out and the maple leaf panto I used to quilt it just fit the overall theme perfectly.
I recently (like last night) finished another baby quilt for another dear friend. I was hoping to have this time for when the baby was born but surprise! Baby couldn’t wait to meet the world and came early. This was the first time I’ve done free motion meandering…and it turned out pretty great! Even when meandering on paper, I always trap myself in a corner or something so I wasn’t all that confident when I started. Near the end of the first row, I was getting the hang of it and finished this in no time. Now I have to decide if I should give it right away or wait until Thursday so I can show it off at the Kanata Guild meeting. What should I do??
When you’re working on a quilt (or whatever), are you in silence? Do you just hear the hum of your machine as you stitch along? Or do you have something on in the background, either the TV or music?
I usually have music playing. I’ve tried with the TV on but I get distracted because I usually end up paying more attention to the screen than my machine (and out comes the seam ripper). If you ever see me at a retreat, at some point in the day I’ll have headphones on. I’ve been told this can come across as rude but I’m not trying to be rude! I just get in a groove and become more productive…and I just love music.
My iPod has….well, to be honest, WAY to many songs so I’ve started a Spotify playlist to listen to while I work and I want to share it with you! I’m going to add 10 new songs every Friday. You can follow my Spotify playlist by clicking here or you can search Spotify for “girlxfabric” and follow from there.
The final installment of the Kanata Mystery Quilt was provided at the February meeting so now it’s time to finish! All my blocks are pieced and ready to be sewn together.
The “mystery block” is called Cat Nip and the quilt pattern is The Cat’s Meow. I’ve never seen it prior to this although some ladies who participated had previously seen the pattern. In all honesty, I’m not sure I would have done this if I’d seen the pattern beforehand but I guess that’s the point of a mystery quilt!
All the completed quilts are to be shown at the Kanata Quilt Guild June meeting so for now, this quilt is being put on the shelf because I have so many other projects that need to get done before. I have a couple baby quilts that need to get finished before March/April. I have one top done already and can’t wait to show the finished quilt. It might be one of my favourites (I know I say that about most of my quilts but…shouldn’t it be that way?) so stay tuned for that post.
Speaking of plenty on the go, how do you keep track of your on-the-go projects? I recently started using a project tracker in my Quilter’s Planner Mini and it’s a game changer. I can see at a glance what I have on the go, at what stage of the process and other useful information. Because it’s been so useful for me, I’ve decided to make my own and share it with you! You can find a free printable project tracker below. Feel free to print as many copies as you like/need and share it with your friends as it is for personal use (please don’t try and sell it).
I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted! I feel like I should have a bunch of finished projects to share but…I don’t. I have finished the second part of the mystery quilt though! Talk about half-squares triangles! This installment needed 96 HSTs – 1.5″ half. square. triangles. (Yes, that’s small)
If you have a bunch of half-square triangles to do, I suggest trying the Laundry Basket Quilts triangle paper. This stuff is a life saver when it comes to large quantities of small HST. It makes 32 HST in one go, amazing right?! I mean there’s still the task of cutting but it makes it all super easy and quick.
I have another tip to share – chain piecing and the Cutting Gizmo. Many beginner quilters don’t use or never heard of chain piecing. This technique is basically stitching pieces together with one continuous length of thread without stopping in between pieces. This saves time (and thread) because you aren’t constantly stopping, snipping, and starting again. I feel like I’ve mentioned this fantastic tool before (maybe?) but The Cutting Gizmo is a must have if you chain piece. It makes snipping the connecting threads so easy and super quick!
I have just one more piece of advice to give to all quilters of all levels – NEVER BE AFRAID TO SHOW OFF YOUR WORK! I started quilting in July 2016, joined 2 quilt guilds and have participated in almost every ‘show n tell’ in both guilds. It doesn’t matter how talented you are (or how untalented you think you are), you are making works of art. Your passion for what you do shows through in every stitch and whether you know it or not, you are inspiring other quilters to make their own masterpieces.
I hope you had a very merry Christmas and happy holidays! This year was one of those Christmases where I wasn’t really sure what I wanted so my wishlist was very short. But because my family is awesome, I was happily surprised by a few gifts under the tree especially the fabric kit for Postcards from Sweden by Jeli Quilts – I was definitely not expecting that!
When Momma Bear started quilting years ago, my best friend (Kimmeh) and I asked her to make us each a big block quilt. We got the fabric, set the layout and even used minky for the backing (sorry Momma bear!) At the time, these quilts were amazing…a bit very bright and so not colour coordinating but we loved them. Fast forward 14-15 years, we are now both 30 years old and our tastes have matured quite a bit….and Kimmeh’s quilt is confined to her bedroom because it doesn’t do anything for the rest of the house decor. As soon as I started quilting in July, I knew I was going to make her a new quilt for this Christmas. She was in desperate need, amirite?
I really wanted to keep this quilt for myself because…well, I did a pretty amazing job on it. This definitely is one of my best quilts to date and the first time using a pantograph on a quilt. That experience was fun – it’s not as easy to follow lines as you would think, and the thread kept breaking (if you know why, please feel free to provide some advice in the comments) but I would definitely do a pantograph again (and will soon!) Continue reading →
I mentioned last post that the finishing instructions (final week) were published at We All Sew on November 28. Last night I finally got around to finishing this awesome table runner!
Like the sample in the quilt along, I was going to quilt straight lines to keep the modern look but….I can’t sew a straight line. Instead I got to try a pantograph for the first time! Here’s the story: I have this other quilt (that I love but can’t show right now because it’s a Christmas gift) that I wanted to quilt with a pantograph. Seeing how I had never done it before, I figured I should practice on something small(ish) before attempting to do a whole lap quilt. Enter the Sugar Plum Table Runner. The pantograph was the perfect size and fit the modern/whimsical look of the piece. I think I did a pretty darn good job as well.
This past weekend I enjoyed a mini retreat with Momma Bear and a friend. I even got to try a Pfaff Passport 2.0! Using the amazing little machine, I finished the table runner ‘pillowcase style’ as per the quilt along. I really like the no border look and a pillowcase finish, while similar to a faced edge, is much easier to do on smaller projects. I just need to add my label (always add a label!) and this table runner is ready for Christmas dinner!
I enjoyed participating in my first quilt along and would highly recommend joining one if you never have. It’s a fun experience and having a set date for the next part to be available really motivates you to keep on track.
Sewing right sides together and then turn inside out for a pillowcase finish.
It’s been a while…and I haven’t really gotten anything done! Shameful I know but it’s Christmas time – there’s shopping to be done! Anyway, here’s a quick update on some of my ongoing projects:
Sugar Plum Table Runner – The final week was published at We All Sew…I’ve gotten the blocks sewn together but now I just need to quilt it and bind it. I’m still not sure how I want to quilt it. I was thinking of doing straight lines as per the quilt along since it is a modern design and all…but to be honest, I’m not the best at sewing straight lines so can you see my dilemma?
KQG Mystery Quilt – The second installment will be provided at this week’s meeting (Dec 5 @ 9:30am at Glen Carin United Church if you are interested in coming). I heard that it has plenty of small half-square triangles which I’m so excited for (not really).
Pattern Making – YES! PATTERN MAKING! I’m sort of doing it? I’m stuck between “Yes, let’s be an awesome pattern maker” and “But this is an original and no one else should have one”. While I continue that inner monologue, I have started a pattern for My Fair Isle and instead of using the finished square size of 1 inch, I thought I’d try to make it mini (1/2 inch finished square) but…………………yeah. Maybe I’ll go back to that idea in the new year. There’s always Christmas in July right?
That’s what I’ve been up to on the quilt side of life. Hopefully I’ll have something finished to share for my next post!
I was really enjoying my new journey in paper piecing…until this snowflake block. Not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The actual paper piecing part was fine but then sewing those four blocks together to make the final block AND get the points matching was another story. One block I had to unsew twice before getting the points to somewhat match. The second block I only have to unsew once. But I guess that’s what makes quilting fun because if everything was perfect every time it would be boring…right?!
The center block is a traditional pieced star block that I really love the look of. It’s my second favourite block of this table runner (the poinsettia is the first). If you are doing this quilt along, I would suggest doing the Magic 8 Method for the half-square triangles. You need 8 HST so this way is much faster (and easier) than doing them the ‘regular’ way (as explained in the quilt along instructions). For this block you need an finished size of 2 x 2″ which means to do the Magic 8 method, you will need to start with a 6″ or 6¼” block. Continue reading →