Showing posts with label Picnic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Picnic. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

18 in 2018

Ok, so yes, just a couple of days ago I remarked that resolutions about UFOs have not historically been successful for me. But, I know several people had great success with 17 in 2017 last year. And, having now read the "rules," I see that 18 doesn't mean 18 different projects, it could be 18 milestones in one project. So that sounds reasonable! And since I'm sewing anyway, I may as well join in. Click here to read all about it!

It's been quite difficult to whittle down the list, actually. I did have to add some "bonus" goals. In any case, these are the projects I will be happiest to get finished. The biggest challenge will be the projects that need quilting. There are also a few easy wins and old stinkers that I'm ready to see the back of! So, in no particular order as far as scheduling goes...

1. Bind Homegrown placemats. Yes, I still haven't bound these dratted things, and I think they qualify as both an easy win and a very old stinker.

2. Finish quilting and bind Picnic. This quilt has been occupying the "chair of shame" beside my sewing table for at least six months. I'm keen to start looking at something else!

3. Under Picnic on the chair of shame is my old yoyo project, Spring Planting. It's half sewn, and getting it to the flimsy stage is its first milestone.

4. Quilting and binding Spring Planting will be the second milestone on that project!

5. Quilt and bind Sunshine.

6. Quilt and bind Nettie.

7. Quilt and bind Daydream Baskets.

8. Quilt and bind Circa 1998.

9. Sew borders on Allietare to finish the flimsy.

10. Finish sewing together my Technicolor Turkey flimsy

Bonus -- Quilt and bind Technicolor Turkey. (That's definitely a "stretch" goal!)

11. Finish the Aunt Millie fused applique, piece the alternate blocks, and assemble the centre.

12. Piece, applique and attach the Aunt Millie border to finish the flimsy.

13. Finish the Moth in the Window blocks.

Bonus 1 -- Cut the sashing, lay out, and assemble the centre
Bonus 2 -- Design, make and attach an applique border

14. Make a final decision on the border, then piece and attach it to finish the Hanami flimsy.

15. Finish the 49 Cheddar Broken Dishes blocks.

16. Cut the sashing, lay out, and assemble the flimsy.

17. Finish the Rose Boll sawtooth blocks

18. Finish the alternate string blocks for Rose Boll and assemble the centre.

Bonus -- Piece and attach the Rose Boll border to finish the flimsy!

I didn't put links in for all the projects, you can click the labels at the bottom of this post to find more information on any of them. My New Year's resolution to make four new, small wall quilts is still the top priority. But, I would certainly like to make progress on all of these. And also a few that didn't make the list!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Butterflies and Break

Butterflies, Bees
and Blogging Break

I have several photos today. It's time again for the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, in support of awareness of butterfly and bee habitats. Earlier this month we made a visit to Hy-Hope Farm north of Pickering to stock up on butter tarts and take some photos. It is always photogenic there! Later in the summer they will have more local produce, but this time they had a great display of flower baskets.

They also have a working apple orchard:

So, that is plenty of work for the bees. The trees were just coming into bloom. Look at this one:

Isn't that cool? I've never really noticed that growth pattern before.

It is several years now since the City of Toronto, and a year later the rest of Ontario, banned chemical herbicides and pesticides. Now every spring the city is a sea of dandelions! But apparently, dandelions are good for bees:

So, in a few more years it may well be uncool to mow the lawn!

In quilting news, I managed to sew up another six Moth in the Window blocks, from the pattern in Addicted to Scraps by Bonnie Hunter:

That one on the top right there is very disappointing, given that both fabrics are very nice. But, I'm not going to redo it! This past week I think I have finally learned my lesson about contrast, as you will see in a bit.

The first time I shared this project in April, there was some discussion about whether my lucky white butterfly was a butterfly or a moth. I looked it up, and the answer is butterfly! But, it can still be a pest. :D  And the difference between butterflies and moths is interesting too.

For the past two years I've taken a 2+ month blogging break over the summer. This year I want to try some new things before it gets too hot, so I think I'll break earlier. I find it is easier to experiment with new techniques when I'm not worried about analyzing everything for my blog.

Yesterday I got this new book by Katie Pasquini Masopust, Artful Log Cabin Quilts, and this is going to be my first big distraction. The combination of improv-pieced log cabins and abstract art quilts is very appealing. I started a new project right away!

As you see, I did not make a strong start. There is not nearly enough contrast in here to make it worthwhile. I am amazed at how many fabrics I have in the exact same value of olive green!

But, the one smart thing I did was start with the corners of my project. So, I will keep them and improve the middle.

The book has a lot of information about what makes a good photo, particularly regarding the range of contrast. Sadly, I did not pay close attention. This was my starting photo:

These are the waterlilies that grow along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk in Algonquin Park. It seemed like a good plan, but now I realize there are too many flat areas of colour for this technique. Anyway, I think I can save it. And, I have quite a few more ideas after that...

So, I'm not going to post regularly this summer, but I may pop in once or twice. I have at least three projects that are very nearly done, including Picnic...

...which is quilted and just needs binding now. I'm sure I'll post them right away if they get finished!

In the meantime, check out all the other butterfly and bee photos, fabrics, projects and info at the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, right here. Happy stitching!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Picnic Flimsy

The Ad Hoc Improv Quilters link up is on again! Like Audrey, this week I have been diligently sewing the improv quilt I started in November. I finished the flimsy today!

At about 86" x 93" (218 x 236 cm), the darn thing queen size quilt is too big to photograph in one piece. This is almost all of the centre:

Modern Utility Quilt #1, "Picnic"

And this is the border fabric I chose:

The white dots are 1" (2.5 cm). I was thrilled to find something that matched the colour and scale of the blocks so well! The fabric is a Riley Blake wide back, which conveniently let me cut the borders in one piece. And it will conveniently be the back, too. After much thought, I decided that the most forgiving way to cut and sew the border would be to have about 3/4 of a dot showing on the inside and outside edges.

Since the quilt is "improv," I was unsure if I should sew the blocks with matched corners. At first I thought I wouldn't worry about it. But then I decided that I would quilt it myself on my home machine. So I thought it would be better to match the corners, spin the seam allowances on the back, and reduce the bulk in the corners.

In December I finally bought Sujata Shah's book Cultural Fusion Quilts. This quilt is inspired by the "Windmills" quilt in that book, although I see now there are quite a few differences in mine. But, Shah also matches the corners on her blocks!

I know most of my regular readers bought the book long before me, but if you haven't, you should! It is excellent, and I have more projects planned that are inspired by Shah's techniques.
So, this is my first improv flimsy, and my first bed-sized flimsy! To read all past and future posts about this quilt, please click here.

I do plan to quilt it myself, but I have many others to get through first, so it likely won't be until the fall. After my big "scope creep" insight during Allietare, I've simplified my plans for the improv letters that I made last fall. At some point I'll get back to those, and I have a couple more ideas that I'd like to get started. Right now, though, I am quilting Mod Trips, and then I really will finish Allietare.

In the meantime, check out all the other great posts at the AHIQ link up here. I highly recommend Cathy Perlmutter's post, which you can read here. If you are wondering how to get started with improv, Cathy will get you going! Or at least, laughing. :D

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Today I have a choice of musical accompaniment for you! Vintage:

Or new:

Cline's voice is just liquid, but personally I think the second track is a good cure for the first! It's not healthy to spend too much time that blue. :D

But, why am I writing about cheating today? Because I've done a lot of things that aren't Allietare, that's why!

It started with those Hourglass leaders and enders. I forgot how long it takes to prep them for sewing! With the first step done, now I have to cut them apart, iron them open, and draw the line for the second step...

...300 150 times. (300 blocks, 150 sets.) And then I realized that I should keep up with the final cut and iron too... I don't have it all left to do at the end. So, the leaders and enders did get me a little sidetracked, and they're not quite as unobtrusive as I first thought!

To clear my head, I sewed four more rows on Aloha Kisses:

Then I thought that if I'm going to cheat on Allietare, I should do something that really needs to be done. So I finally sandwiched and pin basted Mod Trips:

That's a very traditional back for a modern quilt! I was going to make a pieced back for it, but when the mood struck me to baste it, I didn't want to stop and make the back. So this is a wide back that I bought for something else. Now I know that if I have a specific desire for a pieced back, I should make it at the same time as the front!

AHIQ is next week again, so I've also been making a push on the "modern utility quilt" I started in November:

I am definitely naming this one "Picnic." This week I joined the rows in pairs. Then I just have to sew together the pairs, and add the border.

Next, while I was working on Allietare in December, I decided to join in my guild's Crayon Challenge. This is the crayon I got:

Long time readers know that I have a blindspot in the fabric store when it comes to purple, and I have hardly any in my stash! But, it was a good excuse to shop. The idea of the challenge is to use a wide range of values in your colour. These finally arrived this week:

They are gorgeous! I already have all the blocks made, and the layout finalized. Now I'm afraid that's the last you'll see of it until after the last guild meeting in May.

I also received my Kaffe border fabrics for Allietare. They are gorgeous too! In fact, I like them so much that I decided to make the borders wider, and cut a row of blocks. Instead of a 5 x 6 layout of the black star blocks, I cut it down to 5 x 5. Now I only need 25 black star blocks, and 16 red blocks.

Reducing the number of blocks, however, has not saved time. I felt it would be a good opportunity to "optimize" the blocks, and make sure that my most favourite fabrics stayed in the quilt. The red blocks went back on the wall:

The four finished blocks are on the left, and I chose my favourite pieces for the last 12 on the right.

I also had to optimize the fabrics for the black star blocks. It turned out that most of the Week 4 sections with blue backgrounds, like this...

...were the ones that didn't make it into the quilt. Now that the mystery has been revealed, I see that the white backgrounds work better there. So that is one advantage of being slow!

Now, all the Week 4 sets are done:

Next week I will finally get to the layout of the black star blocks. I'm hoping that once all the decisions are made, it will go fast from there!

I certainly recognize that all this fiddling around with the colours and layout slows down the finishes. But, I have also realized that the opportunity to play with the colours and patterns is the main appeal of quilting for me. So as the saying goes, I'll keep "following my bliss!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No Picnic

Last week I finished all the blocks for my Modern Utility Quilt. I was determined not to slow down on this one! For example, when I made a cutting mistake, I just added an extra strip to bring the block back up to size:

Extra strips are a classic improv device, I think, but this first one really was a corrected mistake. The second one, well... let's just say I was not averse to another mistake! But after that my orange strip was gone and I buckled down.

My plan was to just motor through. The quilt is too big for my design wall, and since it's already so busy I thought it would be best to just distribute the fabrics evenly and sew it up. First I sewed all the blocks into pairs, and then some of the pairs into rows of four.

Monday morning I awoke with the conviction that I was selling myself and the quilt short with just a random layout. I thought maybe there could be a few "crystallized" areas near the centre of the quilt. And, I realized that I could put just the centre of the quilt on the wall, and then fill in randomly around it while I sewed it together.

Out came the seam ripper, and I hunted through all my sewn pairs for four blocks with this same light citrus-themed background.

Then I thought it would be nice to carry the same background out into the spokes around the corner. There was a lot of hunting and seam ripping required to find the right fabric combinations. Plus, it's trickier when some of the blocks point left, and some point right.

Then I wanted a cross with all red sushi fabric backgrounds, in more or less that spot on the quilt. More hunting, shuffling, and seam ripping.

And finally, an all-green cross a little further down.

Then I just started filling in around those three points. I had to rearrange the sushi cross with the fat ends together, because that's how it fit into the pattern.

Even though I spent an hour or so with the seam ripper, all my prep work sewing the blocks into pairs did pay off at this point. The main layout came together quickly:

There's just a hint of a glow in the centre, and a few interesting repeats to catch the eye. There will still be a full row of crosses to add to the top and bottom, and along the right side.

After my experience with the blues in Collector, I knew the greens would be important here, so I was careful to keep them even. Once again though, contrast is king. I don't know why I am surprised, but I am! I thought the almost solid pin dot fabrics would be more important, but it turned out that the high-contrast large ginghams, and the red and white apple fabric, are by far the most demanding.

I am keen to see it all sewn together now! And then, there will be the question of a border. I know, how will I manage to put a border on this? We'll have to see, but, I do want to add about 4" around, and I don't have enough fabric for more blocks. A debate for next time!

But for now, I'm linking up with the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters again this month. Back in my first Improv post, I mentioned that I wasn't yet in danger of never going back to regular sewing. Now I can feel my whole point of view shifting! I still have traditional projects that I want to finish, and start, but I've already thought of at least five new projects for Improv as well. Maybe I will finally start to reduce my stash!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Modern Utility Quilt

In her wrap of the second AHIQ link up, Ann said that "Modern utility quilts are an official movement."

Well, I thought, "my letters and words are not destined for a utility quilt."

But... I really could use a small quilt to cover my hand sewing chair, especially during the summer. And then, I was very inspired by the windmill quilts made by Ann and her quilting sister. Especially all the gorgeous Hawaiian fabrics her sister used. This seemed like a good way to use up some of those big prints in my stash!

My stash has a box called "Novelty," and I knew I had this fabric in there:

I bought it on a whim at a show, and I thought I'd probably never use it. But, now it is the inspiration for a whole quilt! I love the pink, red and white palette.

The Novelty box had other food-themed fabrics as well, including a couple yards of this sushi fabric:

I remember that I actually wanted more than two yards, but it sold out before I could buy it! I do love all the colours, especially the rich Chinese red. And that teapot is looking pretty good sewn up, too:

I found enough pink, white and red foodie fabrics for half the quilt, and then I filled it in with some ginghams (tablecloths!) and dots. With a hint of cucumber, citron, and lime:

Sounds tasty, doesn't it?

I think Ann's quilt is from Sujata Shah's book, Cultural Fusion Quilts. Ann's quilt blocks are square, but I thought they might look good as rectangles. A little more modern, a little more dynamic. The only catch with a rectangle is that you have to make half pointing left, and half pointing right.

Here are a few on the design wall, just to see:

I really, really wanted to do the whole thing fast and have a small flimsy finished in time for next Tuesday's link up. Unfortunately, I lost my head and ended up cutting way, way too much. So now it is queen-sized! Another big quilt! We'll see how far I am by Tuesday. Right now I'm only half way through the blocks:

And now I still won't have a suitable utility quilt for my chair. But, I bet the same block would look great in all my old Asian fabrics! And I think the box of Christmas fabric I have would benefit from some of this too. Maybe next year!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...