Monday, 29 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Today I'm participating in the Around the World Blog Hop, which has been working it's way through Blogland recently.  I was tagged by Ann at Anniemac Original, who has a great sense of colour and style.  If you've never come across her blog before I encourage you to hop on over and check out her work!

So, shall I tell you a bit about my quilting/blogging journey?  

What I'm working on...

I tend to work on one or two projects at a time, rather than trying to juggle several WIPs. I just love the sense of accomplishment of finishing a project, and the excitement of starting a new one.  Right now I'm at the basting stage of a random scrappy 9-patch-ish project that was inspired by some cute vintage prints.  

I'm also incredibly close to finishing up the quilt top for a long-term EPP project, which has been consuming my sewing time lately.  Once the top is done, I'll be basting it up then hand-quilting.  I love hand-quilting, and haven't worked it into a project in a long while so I'm excited about that.  Hmmm...I've just now realized that I'm about to have two projects in the basting phase.  Bleh.

How my work differs from others in the genre...

I knew this would be a difficult question to answer, but geez!  I suppose I try not to let my style be defined trendy colours, or block-crazes (remember when Economy Blocks were EVERYWHERE!?).  I just work on what speaks to me at any given time, and draw inspiration from my daily life. I rarely use a pattern and when I do I tend to put my own spin on in it some way. I've also never sewn entirely within a single fabric collection.  Pulling fabrics for a quilt is my favourite part of the process, and using a pre-curated bundle would take all the fun out of it!  

Why I create what I do...

I love making things from scratch - the act of creating something from nothing. This is why I love quilting, the act of cutting up a bunch of fabric and reassembling it into something that's beautiful and functional and unique.  The opportunity to experiment with new techniques or colour schemes is a big plus too.  

How my creative process works...

I'm always keeping my eyes open for possible quilting inspiration.  Like, tile patterns that inspire EPP, or piecing inspiration in the trusses of a railway bridge, or the way a handful of pistachios can inspire a fabric pull.  I also find inspiration in magazines, books and of course online!  
Once I've got a concept worked out I usually sketch up my designs using old-school graph paper and fine-tip Sharpies, make a few tweaks to the sketch, pull fabrics and begin making.  Of course, the design wall is a valuable tool, which helps me see my progress and make further tweaks as my work progresses. 

Well, there you have it - a little bit about me and my quilt-love.  
I've tagged two talented quilters for the next round:

Amy from Indigo Cottage Quilts has a great conversational writing style that's a lot of fun to read.  I'm loving the Hallowe'en table runner she's currently working on.  Confession time: Amy and I are bending the rules a wee bit and co-tagging each other, so her Around the World Blog Hop post is also up today.

Kat from Kat & Cat Quilts will be posting next week.   Kat's FMQ skills are impressive and her Scrappy Crumb Paint Box quilt is awesome - I'm totally inspired to clean out my scrap bins this way!  

Thanks for hopping over.  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WIP | Hex-Crazed

You know that point when you're nearing the end of a project, particularly a long-term project, and the completion of said project becomes an all-consuming obsession that occupies your every waking thought and haunts your dreams? Yup, that's where I'm at!

I'm working on the final edge of my "I'm Too Hexie" (aka "Hexie and I Know It", aka "Hexual Healing" aka "Hexie Back") quilt top and it's so close to being done I can taste it! The pieces above are all I have left to join to one another then join to the rest of the quilt top.

I've been so obsessed lately I've actually resorted to bringing my EPP supplies to work so I can squeeze a few sewing minutes into my lunch break.  My colleagues think I'm nuts, and maybe I am.  

Those of you who are keen observers will have noticed that both of my quarter diamonds are the same handing - two lefties and no righties.  *Sigh* I'll have to rip and re-work some of that red one, which is a real drag when you have Finish Fever. 

I'm linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced.
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WIP | Vintage Inspiration

My parents are preparing to down-size, which means that my mom is finally willing to part with some of her craft hoard.  Truthfully, there's not a lot in her stash that I care for, but I couldn't resist these darling vintage prints. Aren't they sweet?!

Inspired by these colours and the old-time-y vibe, I pulled a stack of coordinating fabrics from my stash and set to work cutting them into 4 1/2" squares and a few HST units.  Lots of them - I got seriously carried away and cut some 70+ more than required.  Oh well, more for the scrap bins.

Just like my Pedal Pusher quilt, I'm going for a random, scrappy style.  However this time around, rather than sewing the squares into strips, I joined them into 9-patch units.  I'm finding this is coming together a lot more quickly, but I'm still able to achieve the randomness that I'm going for.  Here's a sneak peek:

This quilt top won't take long to finish, which doesn't give me much time to come up with a quilting plan.  Maybe a diagonal grid, or orange peel, or stippling?  Or perhaps some fail-proof straight lines?  Any suggestions would be most welcome! 

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!


Friday, 12 September 2014

Finished | Old Salt

Ahoy!  I'm pleased to announce that I finished my new nephew's quilt just in the nick of time.  

Don't the colours and motifs of this quilt remind you of the ocean?  I can't help but imagine seafaring stories of old ships, brave mariners and daring adventures on stormy seas.  Think Captain Jim - the beloved lighthouse keeper and teller of tales from Anne's House of Dreams (from the Anne of Green Gables series, which I now feel compelled to re-read yet again).  I can almost taste the briny ocean breeze.

I had a lot of fun creating this quilt.  I picked a few block styles and sewed them up in varying sizes and colours then placed them on the design wall, fiddled with the layout for a while then began to fill in the gaps with additional pieced elements and blocks of fabric.  I tried to stick to 3" modules (so finished block sizes of 6", 9", 12" etc) in order to keep the layout somewhat organized, but I did have one quilt-math issue that sort of messed with that plan.  This is what borders are for, people. The improv style was liberating, with just enough structure to satisfy my OCD self. 

The nautical vibe of this quilt was inspired by the Whale print of the Hearty Good Wishes Collection (by Moda), pictured below at the top right of the image.  This fabric is cute without being cutesy.

Simple, straight-line quilting in white thread finished this quilt off quite nicely.  I spaced the lines about an inch apart, although if you look closely at this detail shot you'll see that at one point I got distracted and used the edge of the presser foot as a guide instead of my actual guide.  I sort of like it though, and the location just happens to follow the "rule of thirds" so there was no ripping out this mistake.  phew.

This quilt finished at 42" x 51".  My favourite things about this quilt are:

  • The Whale fabric
  • Working in an improvisational fashion
  • the recipient!  My nephew, Marshall, was born on September 4!  Love that kid!
Happy Friday!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Wrap Up

What happened to August? Or July even?  This summer has been a blur for me, I hope it's been a fantastic one for you!

I may not have done a tonne of sewing this summer, but I did get up to some quilty shenanigans these past months...

1.  I'm wrapping up this quilt for my nephew.  This is bordering on a fail on my part since the little guy was due to arrive 2 days ago.  He's still hanging in (literally) and I'm determined that he'll be welcomed into the world with a finished quilt.  

2.  I started reading Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood which doesn't seem quilty at all, except that each of the chapters is titled with the name of a traditional quilt block and is accompanied by an image of the block.  I've already started dreaming up my next quilt project, which will feature the Young Man's Fancy block.

3.  I headed out to Ottawa for vacation, where among other things, I did a little shopping at Mad About Patchwork's new brick-and-mortar shop!  I've always had a great experience shopping from them online but it's nothing like seeing the fabrics in person, and they've got such a great loft space that's filled with natural light.  The owner, Pam, happens to be my sister's best-friend's mother-in-law's next door neighbor!  Small world, eh?!

4.  Fancy is finally finished! Finally! Gahhh!  This one took forever but I'm thrilled with the end result.  If you're so inclined, you can read about the sometimes painful progress in this WIP post and about the finished quilt in this post.  

5.  My Pedal Pusher quilt was sold at a silent auction to support CanPKU and my Brother-in-Law's bike ride across Canada.  I never learned the final amount that the quilt sold for, which is probably a good thing, because I doubt it was anywhere near the value of the quilt.  The good news is that overall, the ride raised over $60,000 - far exceeding the original goal of $25,000!

So, those are some of my quilty activities this summer, looking forward to more quiltyness this fall.

Happy Labour Day!

Linking up to Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and the Small Blog Meet!

Fresh Sewing Day
Small Blog Meet