Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner

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??

Only 361 days until Christmas!

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?

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Greek Cross quilt for Kimmeh

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

Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 4)

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!

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Sugar Plum Table Runner finished in time for Christmas dinner.

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.

This fabric & That pillow

Although Momma Bear and I sometimes have different tastes in fabric choices, I’m lucky enough to have her stash and pattern library at my disposal.  Taking full advantage of that, I decided to finally make the Comfort & Joy pillow from This & That.  A pattern that we she had bought a few years ago.

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Comfort & Joy charm pack pattern from This & That.

The pattern is for a 16 x 16″ Christmas pillow – you  can always resize for whatever size pillow form you want.  This is a great pattern for using fabrics from your stash.  While I browsed Momma Bear’s stash, I decided on two sets of coordinating fabrics; one set was (for lack of a better word) matte Christmas fabrics, and the fabrics in the second set all had some gold metallic accents throughout the fabric.  I really loved both sets but ultimately decided on the metallic set.

This is my second pillow and the second time using a pattern (I can’t design everything I do, right?) BUT it is the first time doing applique!  Which is not as easy as it seems…although it doesn’t really seem that easy.  I used Heat n Bond Light Weight and maybe I’m not using it right, or it’s an old package but the letters (JOY) weren’t completely sticking to the fabric!  Momma Bear prefers Steam-A-Seam so next time I applique I’m going to use that instead to see the difference.  That whole process is pretty easy….it’s stitching down the applique pieces that is difficult.  That’s when I became a frog…Satin stitch? Rip it.  Zigzag stitch? Rip it.  Straight Stitch? Rip it.  Blanket stitch? Winner winner chicken dinner!  I did a pretty darn good job of blanket stitching around all the pieces – using coordinating thread colour helps too!

My Fair Isle

If I could knit, I would always knit the Fair Isle pattern.  However, since I don’t know how to knit, I’ll just design a Fair Isle quilt instead.

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My Fair Isle

Feeling creative, I drew out the design on graph paper (shhh…don’t tell Photoshop) and went to work on figuring out if this were to be a full size quilt or a wall hanging….or something in between.  I settled for wall hanging with a final approximate size of 23″ × 23″.  Yes, that means tiny 1 inch and 2 inch squares make up this beauty.

I like how this turned out even though it’s far from perfect.  Originally I was going to quilt an overall 1 inch grid however I changed my mind (and took out some stitches) after realizing how not-so-good that would look.  I ended up just quilting a quarter inch echo in coordinating thread.

Did you know that there are multiple ways of binding a quilt? I sure didn’t.  There’s a way to bind a quilt called “Faced Edge” (I’ve also seen it as “Knife Edge”).  Basically this means facings, instead of bindings, are used to finish the edges of a quilt.  It gives the quilt a very modern and contemporary look since the quilt design finishes at the edge.  That’s how I finished this wall hanging and I’m definitely going to try this method again for wall hangings.

and sew, the adventure begins…

Let me take you back to July 2016. That was the month I decided that I was to be a quilter.  Ok, so that decision was easy – after numerous years of watching Momma Bear create beautiful works of art, I thought I would give it a go…I definitely have the best ever mentor/instructor/inspiration right at my fingertips.  Now I have to decide on a pattern…and fabric. Oh the fabric!  This will always be my downfall as a quilter.  There are just TOO many fabrics available!

There’s a pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Co. called Tag Team that I saw in one of the BLOCK magazines.  I loved the look but hated the borders. (Side note: I’m not a huge fan of borders.  I know sometimes they are necessary but if I can make a quilt without one, I will.)  This was going to be my first quilt…sans borders.  So off to Photoshop I went to create my pattern.

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I enjoy working in Photoshop because I  can see what the pattern will look like with my colour choices and have the ability to change whatever I want to.  I knew that I was going to use Kona Solids and originally I was going to do a gradient from aqua blue to deep purple…then blue to green…then pink to purple…then light blue to dark blue.  I liked the colours but I didn’t love them.  Then I tried blue to grey. Winner winner! Loved it! Couldn’t wait to start it!   Continue reading