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 3)

Week 3 of the Sugar Plum Table Runner is available and it’s the last two three blocks of the project (2 snowflake paper piecing blocks and 1 traditional piecing star block).

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?!

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Modern Pine Tree – Golden Star – Snowflake – Poinsettia Flowers

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

Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 1 & 2)

One thing about being a new quilter (or new at anything) is that there’s always a bunch of “firsts” – First time cutting fabric, first time sewing, first time “unsewing”,  first time doing a mystery quilt, etc.  Well I have two new things to add: first time doing a quilt along and first time foundation paper piecing.

A quilt along is very similar to a Block of The Month program except the instructions are usually provided weekly.  These are great multi-week “lessons” for quilters of all skill levels.  Fresh Lemons Quilts is hosting a quilt along for their Sugar Plum table runner at BERNINA’s We All Sew blog.  It’s a modern Christmas table runner with a mixture foundation paper piecing and traditional piecing.

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Colour palette for Sugar Plum table runner

I was a little hesitant to participate in the quilt along because this is my first go at paper piecing….which seems like a very intimidating method (especially if you look at Judy Niemeyer quilts).  Thankfully these aren’t extremely complicated blocks and the detailed instructions make it very easy to understand and follow…but that doesn’t mean you won’t have (user related) issues.  I had to “unsew” a few times because the pieces weren’t right (put on wrong, more than a quarter inch seam, etc.) and one block I just tossed in the garbage halfway through because it was looking terrible. Having done 12 paper pieced blocks so far, I really enjoy the process and the end result is amazing.  Everything is so precise and on point.

Check out BERNINA’s We All Sew blog to participate!  Week 1 has the fabric requirements, templates, and cutting instructions. Week 2 has the pattern instructions for blocks 1 & 2.

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