Tuesday, 19 August 2014

WIP: A Whole lot of EPP

First off, a big thanks for everyone that reads my blog regularly (and for those that just read now and then, and those who are reading it for the first time today, and really everyone who ever read it).
I checked my page views this week and I am at 10058!!! I think that I pretty exciting and I had no idea that I would ever make it that far. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Summer has been great for hand stitching while my kids play in the yard. It has been a super hot summer so we are all getting in lots of time outside and if we are at home I almost always have my hand sewing with me. It lives in sandwich sized plastic bin on counter so it is always ready to go.

Over the last couple weeks I have completely the third block of Project Seventy-Two, which was made with 72 half-hexagons.

 Project Seventy-Two is coming along nicely (I think). I would love to say I have a clear game plan for it, but I don't and I am not in any rush to get one. I knew I didn't want the blocks to touch one another so I chose to separate them with setting triangles of a fourth contrasting colour. Here are the first two triangles, also make with half-hexies, sewn onto 2 blocks.

I am also playing catch up on the Hexie Block of Month hosted by The Hexie Blog.
Here is the June BOM

The July BOM

And the August BOM

As if that wasn't enough stuff on the go outside and away from my sewing room, I also finished 2 wedding gifts (read about them here, and here).

And made a dress for Monkey to wear to the second wedding (which I finished sewing in the truck on the way out to event)

And finally, I felt it was time to sew something for me (or rather, work on a project for me that I started back in the spring). The main piece of it almost all quilted, and I am still trying to decide on the rest of the details.

Sorry for the post overload today, and thanks for sticking around to the end.
Linking up with Sarah at Sarah Did It! for HeLP for Hexia-aholics,  Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP:Wednesday and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Snapshot of skiers - Quilted Pillows Finish

A whirlwind project. Started and finished in 3 weeks. Finished just in time for my cousins wedding.
It started with a very large number of very tiny pieces.

Slowly they came together.

When my eyes got tired from staring at the tiny pieces I made some patchwork envelope style pillow backs.

I did some stitch ripping after assembling some pieces in the wrong order.

But eventually I had a skier pieced and ready for a border. But due to some miscalculation and lack of planning, I did not have enough purple to do square borders

So I extended the mountain range.

Backs were quilted with simple straight lines and the lines of mountains were echoed on the front. 

Ski poles were added using the variegated purple thread that most of the quilting was done in. 

Envelope backs were stitched to the quilted fronts, and then a pretty binding was added by machine.

And then 2 pillow form were stuffed inside!

One for my cousin.

And one for her new husband.

Now for a few details,

Quilt Stats:
Name: Snap of Skiers Pillows
Size: 20" x 20" (each)
Pattern credits: Amy Friend from During Quiet Time for her Vintage Skier Paper Pieced Block, the rest of the design is my own.
Piecing: Skiers, paper pieced using 60wt Presencia Thread, Patchwork and borders, pieced using 60wt Presencia thread
Batting: Quilter's Dream Select (pieced together scraps using batting tape)
Quilting: Quilted on my Grandma's Husqvarna Viking Sewing machine. Thread used white 60wt Presencia, light green 50wt presencia and 30wt Wonderfil Mirage variegated purple thread. 
Binding: Machine stitched. (The machine wasn't super happy about going through 8 layers of fabric and 3 layers of batting on the overlap of the envelope, but it survived)
Notes: I would have loved to make a quilt for my cousin and her new hubby as their wedding gift, but with both time and budget constraints pillows were a much better option. They are both great skiers, so when I saw the Vintage Skier Block by Amy Friend I knew I would be perfect. I was slightly intimidated by the tiny pieces but I went slow and used lots and lots of sewline gluestick glue to keep pieces in place while I stitched and finger pressed all seams really well. I am so excited that it worked and I am pretty sure I built my paper piecing skills by leaps and bounds. It was a super fun project and the wedding was beautiful.

Skier pillows at Mt. Norquay where the couple was married. Congrats!!!

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday

Thanks for having a look

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bento Box aka JamJar2014 Quilt Finish

Way back early the new year, I had a long time friend and her husband asked if I would make a quilt for her brother as wedding gift. I was super excited to help out, and directed them towards several patterns that I would like to make and let them choose what would suit her brother the best.
They picked the Bento Box pattern by Tracey Brookshier.
Then one evening while I was working they met me at the quilt store where I work and I let them loose to pick fabric. My only directions were 21 prints to make half the blocks, and we would choose a contrasting colour to make the other half.

Chaos ensued.

They came back with flannels, cotton prints and batiks. Sure mixing cotton and batiks isn't unheard of, but flannel and batik together sounds like a recipe for a quilting disaster.

Most of the fabrics were chosen because they represented something the bride and groom like.
Santa Ornaments - the bride loves Christmas
Wine, Beer, Cigars - the couple enjoys socializing with friends and family
Beavers - they are Canadian
Hunting - hunters, as the groom hunts and dancing bears - they met through dance
Woodgrain - the groom lays hardwood flooring for living
Hearts - the quilt is a wedding gift, it only seems right to throw some hearts in the mix
Peeps - family joke about the marshmallow easter candy
Bandaids - the groom is known to always have bandaids around
Music - music is a big part of their lives, the groom sings in an a cappella group

A few of the other fabrics were picked simply because they were pretty, and a few fabrics were swapped to try and make the slightly wild colour palette more cohesive.

Lastly we picked a contrast fabric that would be in all the blocks. A straight solid didn't do the trick, so we picked Tonga Batik Blender in Java.

To manage the differences in fabrics I starched everything quilt heavily with Mary Ellen's Best Press before cutting and sewing. I pre-washed all the flannel, and it still didn't really get along with the batiks, but I made it work.

Here are few of my favourite blocks. The hunting and santa fabric was fussy cut and it was perfect that most of it worked into 2.5 inch squares.

I had my friend come over once all the blocks were squared up and we played with the layout. We tried keeping the 4 patch blocks as pairs, and that didn't feel quite right, so we mixed and matched and came up with the final layout.

My friends requested a hashtag on the quilt. I thought no problem, we can make the focal point of the back. It was done using raw edge applique in Kona Valentine to match the pinks used on the front of the quilt. 

I quilted it on an APQS Lucey Longarm with the Sparrow Studioz & My Sewing Room rental program in Calgary. I used a pantograph called Happy Times and Glide-Tec polyester thread, black on the top and dark grey on the back. This was my first time longarming a quilt and I doubt that I will be able to go back to finishing big ones on my domestic machine. I think the pantograph worked great with the camo print used on the back and the scale was great with the size of the blocks on the front.

Once done on the longarm, it was binding time. I had saved the bandaid fabric just for this. I love stripey bindings, and as I suspected, the bandaids look like a funky stripe when reduced down to a 1/4 inch. Binding was attached by hand to the front and hand stitched down on the back.

The last touch is a personalized label, as every quilt should have. With a sew-in QR code from stkr.it which my friends will use to customized their message for the bride and groom. 

I passed the quilt off to my friends earlier this week, and this morning we had brunch with the bride and groom and presented the gift, just a few days before their big day.

Everyone was thrilled with the results and I am so happy for couple and their wedding next week. It was great to be asked to make this for them.

And now for details.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Bento Box by Tracey Brookshier
Size: 71"x83" (I only lost an inch in seam allowances and trimming from what it was supposed to finish at)
Piecing: Done with 50wt Presencia thread in black on my Grandma's Husqvarna Viking 
Quilting: On a rental APQS Lucey Longarm with Glide-Tec thread
Batting: Quilter's Dream Select 
Binding: 2.5 inch double fold binding, machine attached to the front and handstitched to the back using  50wt Presencia thread.
Started: Fabric picked in late February 2014, started sewing in March, took long breaks and made other things in between. Quilted in June. Bound in July during a heat wave. I should not hand bind big quilts in heat waves. Finshed a couple weeks before the wedding. 
Notes: I am not generally a fan of scrappy quilts. I was slightly horrified by my friend's fabric choices and was quite worried that it was going to look terrible when it was all done. I think our choice of contrast fabric saved it. The Java batik played so nicely with all the other colours and kept them from actually touching. As I started making the blocks I became a bigger and bigger fan of what was happening and knew that it was going to be perfect for the couple. I had a really hard time not sharing more photos along the way. I sent many photos to my friends as I went through the process and it was so nice to keep them involved with layout process. This quilt was commissioned and the arrangement we had was that my friends would buy all the supplies and cover some of my time. I think that is a good  system and I will use it again if I am asked to make another quilt. 

Finally, I wish #jamjar all the best as a married couple. So excited to be attend the event next weekend.


Oh, and I am totally linking this up with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!