Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Two & a Half Year Project

Well I have a pretty special finish to share today. In the month of June in 2014, I received my first of twelve BOM from Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Quilt.


I joined for many reasons. First of all, I love a surprise. And a surprise that involves fabric is even better! Second, I wanted to further my skills as a quilter. I can't tell you how much I looked forward to getting these blocks every month. And the fabric line is gorgeous. It is called "Snowbird" by Laundry Basket Quilts.

Here's a quick peek at all the blocks.

Block One "Magical Anna" by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.

Block Two "Sweet Jordan" by Karla Eisenach, Susan Kendrick and Lisa Burnett of Sweetwater.

Block Three "Feisty Phyllis" by Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way and Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms.

Block Four "Beautiful Joy" by Sandy Gervais of Pieces From My Heart.

Block Five "Brilliant Lissa" by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson.

Block Six "Honorable Jake" by Vanessa Christenson of V and Co.
 
Block Seven "Dear Marysia" by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts
 
 
Block Eight "Joyful Julie" by Kate Spain. I couldn't find a picture of the finished block eight so you have a close-up picture of the block on the quilt ;)
 
Block Nine "Dear Robert" by Lynn Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters

Block Ten "Sunshine Lily" by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.
 
Block Eleven "Sister Mary" by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs. 

Block Twelve "Fast Eddie" by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.

And now for the reveal....






I sent this quilt to Mira's Stitch N Post to be quilted. I wasn't sure how to quilt it and doing this on my Singer 9960 just wasn't practical. Now that I have my Platinum 16, I will probably quilt the larger quilts on that machine now...possibly all my quilts.


It was an incredible journey. I would love to sign up for another BOM sometime in the future. Next year I would like to concentrate on getting my WIP pile to a manageable level....I think I have 9 projects in various steps of progress. 

I'm sorry this journey is over but the ending was beautiful :)


Sunday, 13 November 2016

WIPs...and a new toy :)

I'm working my way through my WIP pile. Lately I've been working on these blocks for my Blueberry Ice Quilt.


I have 9 out of 16 complete. I'm piecing 10 and 11 at the moment. And I'm also in the process of making a baby girl quilt. It's a quick HST quilt. The squares were not perfect 5" squares as advertised....so I figured the best thing to do is make them into HST units then trim them down. And it worked perfectly.

This is layout #1
and 

Layout #2 :)

I decided to go with Layout #2.

I also added a border to make this quilt a little bit bigger. I barely have any batiks in my stash so I added a print as the border. It goes well with the pink batiks.

I started quilting this baby quilt on my new machine....


Yup! I took the plunge! My fabric/sewing savings account took a hit but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. This Platinum 16 is used (only way I could justify buying it!) and works like a dream. The original owner showed me a rundown of the machine. She was only trading this machine in since she purchased a longarm machine. Lucky me!

I only got to really play with it when I finished that quilt top on Friday. I had been away for work all week and purchased it last weekend. I am so in love! Here's the quilting I've done so far on the little baby quilt.


And some close-ups.

Flowers in the smaller diamonds.

Loop de loop quilting for the background. Back and forth lines for the large pink diamonds.

A peek at the backing.

A close-up of the middle.
 
I am still trying to get use to the tension. I think that will take some time to figure it out perfectly but I am happy with the first attempt. The only part I have left to quilt is the border. I can't decide what I want to do so I left it on the machine and started doing more Blueberry Ice blocks. This is also located in my large guest room...my sewing space is expending to other parts of the house ;)

What's been happening in your sewing space lately? I would love to hear about it!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A finish!

I finally finished the Snowflake Table Runner that I had started a few weeks ago. I took this project with me to Cape Breton but I didn't even end up working on it. My sewing mojo was just not interested in working on it. But I buckled down this weekend and got it finished!


This was a fun project. I really like the hexie shape of this Table Runner. I guess Table Topper is probably a better name for it. I decided to bind the topper with the same blue Snowflake fabric shown in the middle. I also decided to make some coasters to match the Table Topper.


These are so cute and quick! I definitely plan on making more of these in the future. I found this tutorial at Quilting in the Rain. The post has a video done by Monica at It's Just Sewing. Such a quick Christmas gift too. The best part is being able to put your wine stem in these coasters....I may have to make a set for myself ;)
 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Longarm Service....the Wait...

Well I decided to take my finished Fat Quarter Shop 2014 Mystery Designer Quilt top to a longarm service....to be truthful, when I left my previous quilt top there, I felt like I was leaving an extension of me. I had taken another quilt top to a longarm service before and the result was disastrous! I have not stepped back into that fabric shop. So I did more research this time, chatted with some fellow quilters and decided on a small shop in Cape Breton :)

This quilt top has been the most challenging quilt top that I have made to date. It also has many, many, many hours put into it. So not to have it in my possession is very unsettling for me.

Here is the quilt top that I dropped off.


The picture taking was quick that day. And when I took it into the longarm service shop, I really didn't think I would be leaving it there. I didn't do the stay stitch that was indicated to be required or cut the backing to fit. I was surprised when the person said that no stay stitch was needed or to cut the backing. She was actually happy that I didn't cut the backing and she cut it while I was there. So before I lost my nerve and ran out with my quilt top, I took a deep breath and did the paperwork.

I really don't know how I was going to quilt it anyway so having a longarm service do it for me was the best decision. I really can't wait to get this quilt back in my possession!

Anyhow to keep myself from thinking about my quilt, I've started on a new quilt top.


And if you think you've seen those fabrics before, you have. The fabrics in this quilt are the Snowbird Collection by Laundry Basket Quilts. The same collection I have in the quilt above. I ordered more of this fabric line to make the Blueberry Ice Quilt. And I still have a good amount of this fabric collection left! A little obsessed! At least I'm not denying it!

Have you ever sent your quilt to a longarm service before?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Under the Sea Baby Quilt

Finally I can reveal this baby quilt that I designed for my future niece or nephew. My sister has assured me there is only one coming....I was hoping for twins ;)

My sister's nursery is a Sea Creatures theme. I tried to find a baby pattern and couldn't find anything that I liked. I knew I wanted to make something that the baby could use for a long time and the quilt had to be gender neutral. I had purchased a Fat Quarter bundle of Sea themed fabrics years ago and decided this was the perfect project to use them on.

I decided that I didn't want to waste any fabric on this project so I decided to make tiny HST when I was making the 'Bubbles"


Don't you love those goldfish! I think this was my favourite fabric out of the bundle!


This is the original layout of the quilt.


My original layout changed during the top assembly.

I made these tiny pinwheels with the tiny HSTs I made earlier.


I only had so many of them so I decided to make a top and bottom border with them.


And then I decided to quilt this one with a scalloped stitch to make the quilting look like waves.


I used Aurifil's Storm At Sea Variegated thread for the quilting and I really love how it turned out. And the backing has more whales as well.

Close-Up of the whales on the backing.

Quilt Reveal!


Now just waiting for the arrival of the little one :)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

99 Days til Christmas

So currently I am working on a Christmas gift. I know the weather is still warm out there but Christmas does sneak up on you when gifts are required to be made. I started paper piecing this snowflake last weekend...

I'm hoping to turn this gem into a table topper. I still have one more side to paper piece then I need to assemble it all. I downloaded this snowflake paper piecing pattern on Craftsy from Quilting Mod. So far I'm liking how this is coming together.

I also finished the baby quilt that I was working on for my niece or nephew. I'm hoping to reveal that baby quilt next weekend! Stay tuned for a post on that little gem :)

A couple of weekends ago, I also had a pretty big issue with my Oliso iron. The self destruction sequence must have been initiated. I just wanted to share on here, the very important lesson that I learned. Never leave your iron plugged in when you leave the room! Here's a few pictures to show what happened in under a minute with my iron.


My iron was in the "Off" position and up on it's little legs. I had just ironed some fabric and was getting ready to move over to my cutting area when I heard crackling....then you could smell the burning. I managed to get the iron unplugged very quickly so that no further damage occurred. The plug was extremely hot from all the current going to the iron. I'm pretty sure if this would have happened while I had been out of the room, there would have been a blackened, smoky mess! Not to mention a possible fire.

This picture is difficult to see but the little foot has some brown, melted spots on the inside. I contacted Oliso the next day (since this happened on the holiday) and the representative was quite helpful. The only downfall is that she couldn't tell me if the product was under warranty. She sent me the repair form but I wanted to know if the product was under warranty because I did not want to pay for shipping to have someone tell me there is nothing that can be done. She was quite helpful in sending me a shipping label so the shipment of the iron has not cost me anything. It has been shipped off to California so I am just waiting to hear back from the company. I will post an update when I hear anything. 

To say that I wasn't upset about this is an understatement. When you purchase these irons they are costly. I've only had this iron for just over a year. I was expecting to get quite a few years out of this iron. So I'm hoping they will repair/replace this one. If not, I will definitely not be purchasing one in the future as much as I liked this one.

I hope the outcome of this situation is a good one. For now, I am using my Panasonic cordless iron. I can't let a faulty iron get me down :)

Hope you are all having a great quilty weekend!

Julia

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ah Summer....

Well the summer seems to have gone by quickly for me. I have been busy in my sewing room and I did have a chance to go on a few vacations. Blogging and reading blogs has definitely taken a lower spot on the priority list. Sometimes a break is needed. I'm hoping September will be a return to a regular schedule of blogging and catching up.

Here's what I've been up to in the last month (the projects that I can share anyhow):

This pile of fabrics, all from my stash, are for the Meadow Mystery Quilt-A-Long hosted by Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs. I joined the Midnight Mystery Quilt hosted by Cheryl last year and had so much fun that I decided to join again this summer. I'm a bit behind since the cutting and first piecing instructions are out. I'm hoping to catch up this month.

I took a trip to Newfoundland a couple of weeks ago. It was a spur of the moment trip since I had less than a week to prepare to go. I was visiting family out there and made these make up bags for my two younger cousins.

They look much better when they are actually filled. They came out a bit slouchy I find. Some of my favourite fabric collections went into these and they were in my stash ;)

You can find the video tutorial at So Sew Easy.

I also quickly whipped up a bag for me to take to Newfoundland. I wanted to make a slouchy bag but couldn't find any patterns that I really liked. So I found one in my Sew Serendipity Bags book by Kay Whitt and modified the pattern a bit to what I was looking for. The end result is this gem.

I had bought this fabric a couple of years ago on a bus tour trip down to Maine. At the time, I didn't know what I would use this fabric for since the print is so large but I think it fits nicely for this purse.

I tried to cut out the pieces are best as I could to show the design. This side came out better than I pictured it.

And the simple inside that has binding on the edges. This bag was difficult to put together. I used the seam ripper A LOT! and it's a bit bulky to sew but the end result was worth it in the end!

I am currently working on a baby quilt for my new nephew or niece who will be arriving next month. I'll be able to share pictures when the baby quilt is delivered to my sister and her husband. I just finished the quilting this morning and only need to trim and add the binding.

I hope you all have had a good summer and have taken time to unwind. I needed a bit of breathing room and I'm feeling better now that I've had it. I realize there will always be a struggle of what I want to do and need to do. There are only so many hours in the day to strike that balance. I'm trying to find mine ;)

Wishing you all many happy sewing days in September!

Julia

Friday, 22 July 2016

Time Slips Away

I realize that it has been almost a month since I shared a new blog post. Oopps. Time definitely slips away. I went on my week long sewing trip at the beginning of the month. It was INCREDIBLE! Best year so far and plans are already in motion for 2017! Even though I haven't been writing up any blog posts, I haven't slowed down much in my sewing room. I have all these finishes and progress pictures to share with you all today :)

First up are these cute little triangle pouches.


These beauties are for my sister's baby shower (minus the blue dragonfly one which she already claimed!) Here's a link to the tutorial by Crafty Gemini :)

Next up is this awesome rope bowl.

So much fun to make! And so practical. This size was made with 50' of 1/4" braided cotton rope. I followed this tutorial from Julie Hirt. I also first started doing foundation paper piecing through another one of her tutorials. She is incredible!

I also worked on my FQS Mystery Quilt from 2014!
Oh those strips! And huge squares!


So much love went into those blocks...

Here is the center of the quilt top. I still have add the top and bottom borders....Still in the WIP pile....Hopefully I'll have it finished in the next couple of weeks. This quilt will never be leaving my house!

Another project I started was Violet Craft's Hummingbird Paper pattern. And it's free from Violet Craft! I had the opportunity to meet her in Michigan (and get a hug!). She's an incredibly down to earth person. So I got this far on my sewing vacation...



And then I was working on the final piece....and I was talking....and I did this while trimming...

Oopps. So I decided to wait until I returned from my sewing vacation to finish off this beautiful hummingbird.

When I decided to make this block, I knew I wanted to put this block as part of a pouch. So here's what I came up with :)

I love this hummingbird!

The back.

And the inside :)


And just to give you a better idea of how large this pouch is...

That's my iPad 2!

And finally the baby quilt that I was working on my last post. I am calling this quilt pattern "Building Blocks" Most of those FMQ motifs were all new to me. I learned so much in doing this small baby quilt.

This baby quilt pushed me outside of my comfort zone but I feel thrilled that I finished it. Not sure where this one will end up. For now, it'll stay here.

Here are a couple of close-up pictures.







And the pieced backing. I just love the various textures in this quilt. Perfect for a baby ;)

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my sewing life in the past month :) I hope you get to enjoy some gorgeous weather over the summer! And some quilting time ;)