KQG Mystery Quilt Pt 3. (+ FREE PRINTABLE)

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.

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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).

Click here to download girlxfabric’s Projects at a Glance.

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KQG Mystery Quilt Pt 2

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.

Whatcha doing?

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!

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.

Mystery creates wonder…KQG Pt 1

I’m participating in the Kanata Quilt Guild’s mystery quilt! Since I started quilting, I have yet to make a quilt top that is from an ‘actual’ pattern – they have all been my own designs.  You would think that since I’m a beginner I’d want to follow a pattern but….nope! So this will be a first for mystery quilts and a first for actually having a real pattern to follow.

I was a little hesitant to sign up because I actually don’t like the ‘mystery’ part of a mystery quilt.  How can I choose the right fabrics if I don’t even know what I’m making??  Luckily, my first ever quilt retreat was with the ladies from the Kanata Quilt Guild and most of them were working on their mystery quilt. I was able to see what fabrics others had chosen and get an idea of what I’d like to do.  I decided to go in a completely different direction than everyone else…I went the way of Christmas fabric. I absolutely LOVE the fabric I chose so I’m excited to get the next installment.  The backing fabric is the cutest ever but you’ll have to wait until the quilt is done to see it!