Monday, May 29, 2017

Finished Quilt!

Pinned to the design wall today is a finished quilt! This is my version of Bonnie Hunter's pattern called Grand Illusion. It was her annual mystery quilt that started in November 2014. 

The quilting was quick and easy - just a horizontal and vertical grid with the walking foot.
This quilt taught me that I really am a scrappy quilter. I purchased new yardage for this quilt and struggled with it the whole time. I learned that I don't want to sew with new yardage because it just doesn't make my heart sing. Why use one green fabric when 10 or 20 greens will make me happier?!? 
Thank you to Bonnie for another wonderful mystery quilt experience! 
To see more projects on design walls, hop over to the link up at Small Quilts.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly linkup where we celebrate the art of hand stitching! Make a cup of your favourite beverage to enjoy while you visit the blogs of slow stitchers around the world. It's the perfect way to start your Sunday! 
Today I want to share with you a bit about the Mennonite Relief Sale that I attended yesterday. This is an annual auction of over 200 quilts.
It was a lovely day with great weather, yummy food, and a good turnout of generous people ready and and willing to donate to this worthy cause. These are some of the tents where you can purchase food, plants, crafts, and I'm not really sure what all because I was over at the quilt auction.
Here is a photo of what the quilt auction arena looks like. The tilted bed on the right is where the next quilt being auctioned is viewed. You can see they are just putting a version of Celtic Soltice on the bed to be auctioned next.
hand quilting with Judy
Last year when I attended the Creativ Festival in Toronto, I enjoyed some hand quilting time with my friend Judy Pearce. This was a project that anyone could add a few stitches to, so of course I did. It was hard to tear myself away from visiting and quilting. At the time it was like finding an oasis in the middle of a desert!

Yesterday I saw that finished quilt auctioned and it sold for $275. 

This quilt is called Whirligig and was made by a small group of my sewing friends. It's the 6th quilt we have made specifically for this auction and we were delighted that it was sold for $700!

It was very inspiring to see so many gorgeous hand quilted treasures being appreciated and sold to new homes.

So now it's your turn! What are you hand stitching this week? 


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Quilt Auction

quilts waiting for new homes
Today is the Mennonite Relief Sale when there will be over 250 quilts auctioned to raise money for relief from hunger, poverty and natural disaster world wide, and for development and peace keeping efforts. It is an organization that is near and dear to my heart, and I have been attending this annual event for many years. 
My small group of quilting friends (the "Sew 'n Sews") have made and donated several quilts over the years, raising over $2,000 for this worthwhile cause. 
You can see the group quilt we donated for this year's auction here - Whirlygig #107. It's a hand quilted scrap quilt made from the fabric stashes of 5 very diverse quilters. 

And in keeping with the them of all of the efforts by the hundreds of people that go into raising money for this very worthy cause, I saw this sign today that I just had to make a U-turn to take a photo of. Love it!

Friday, May 26, 2017

150 Canadian Women Update

This is a quilt project to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada by remembering the lives and contributions of 150 Canadian Women. The project is hosted by Next Step Quilt Designs. Three blocks are posted every 2 weeks and you'd think that wouldn't be hard to keep up with. But it has been a challenge for me. I made several blocks this past week, but have a lot more to make in order to be current.
First I print out the instructions and put them in a binder (a RED binder of course). Next I select some red and white fabrics for each block. I have purchased a few of the commemorative fabrics to include in some of the blocks.
Then I read about the woman's life that is being honoured in each block. The history has been fascinating to read and with each block I feel inspired by the women who faced very difficult challenges, most of whom were way ahead of their time. Like Helen Harrison who was a pilot from British Columbia who was the only female pilot in Canada who was paid as an aviator in 1940. Even though she had been a flying instructor in South Africa and was the first woman to fly and teach on military planes in the British Empire, she was rejected by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the second world war because she was a woman! 

While I reflect on the story of each woman's life, I get to work sewing the block components. Some of the blocks are straightforward and some are very complex, just like the lives they commemorate. 

Here is another interesting 150 celebration project by Canadian artist Libs Elliott. She teamed up with Absolut Vodka to make a new bottle design and a quilt using code to generate the design. You can see the quilt on her instagram here, her Facebook herehere's the video...Enjoy!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Improv Inspiration

Being inspired by the quilt bloggers posting their projects over at the AHIQ monthly link up, I got out my pink and white improv quilt again. 
It went into the UFO closet last year because the pink just became too much for me! I'm sure a little girl would love all that pink, and even though I like pink, this much pink is hard on my eyes to work on!

This quilt combines two types of blocks started in two different classes:
1) quarter log cabin blocks made in a class with Bethany Garner. The fabric pieces were cut with scissors and pieced in a free from way. 
2) strips sets made in a class with Cinzia Alloca.
This quilt layout just needs a little TLC to make some major progress, but it is competing with The Bear for time in my brain.
Suggestions are welcome!!
Hop over to the AHIQ link up and see all the wonderful improv quilts being made.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Weekly Blockheads

Are you keeping up with the weekly Blockheads pattern release?! I had no idea when I started this project how much fun it was going to be! I have tried some new techniques, enjoyed a few challenges, and practiced making favourite blocks. 
This is block #11 called Lisa's Star - click here for the link to the pattern.

This was a particularly rewarding block for me to sew. 
I must have muttered "I love this block" 10 times while I was making it. 
I'm telling you, I was totally in my happy place! I carefully cut everything and squared down each unit at every step of the construction and it's perfect! Just look at how small these adorable little pieces are!!  It's totally ridiculous how happy this makes me... and also a little concerning! LOL

Here are all the blocks together on the design wall. This will be a very interesting sampler quilt!
What will the Moda designers have us sewing this week?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Quilt Bee Report

Photo by Mitzi Designs
My quilt guild recently hosted a bee day and we had a very productive day working on various charity quilt projects. The comfort quilt committee did a terrific job of organizing projects for us to work on. And we had our very own photographer Mitzi documenting our day in photographs.

This is the package I worked on in the morning. See how everything is measured, labelled and perfectly organized to make the quilt top! The 12" blocks in the bag were made by guild members throughout the year using the pattern called "Divide and Conquer" (a free download at Pellon).

Here's the finished quilt top.
Kind of funky and definitely not my cup of tea, but I'm sure it will find a home with someone who likes it more than I do!
It's a true challenge to work on a project with colours you didn't chose, blocks you didn't make, where sewers have used a wide variety of 1/4" seams, and get it all to come together in some kind of coherent fashion. It was a great brain exercise for me. It will be quilted and finished by someone else in the guild.
Photo by Mitzi Design

Then I worked on piecing blocks for another project. Our photographer got some interesting photos and here is one of them. I was piecing blocks on Lucy (my long bed Singer 301).

Photo by Mitzi Designs

Here is a photo of Colleen and I. We were working on the same churn dash blocks using different colourways of the similar fabrics. 

It was a relaxing day of sewing quilts and visiting with friends, almost like an old fashioned Quilting Bee!