Monday, 14 December 2015

Winner | Cotton + Steel Giveaway

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter my giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Cotton + Steel fabric! 

The lucky winner is Lisa, from Sunlight in Winter Quilts!!  Congratulations, Lisa!

I so enjoyed reading about everyone's big sewing plans, and even discovered a few fun new projects to add to my own Quilty Bucket List (Dear Jane quilt, anyone?).  And as always, Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day is a such a fun way to discover great blogs and Instagram accounts to follow along with.

Thanks again to everyone who entered for helping make my very first giveaway a success!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Giveaway | Cotton + Steel Fabric Bundle

Welcome to my very first giveaway, ever!  

If you've visiting via the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day, thanks for stopping by! And big thanks to Sew Mama Sew for this fun opportunity to discover new blogs and potentially score some sweet quilty goodies and handmade treasures!

I'm giving away a fat quarter bundle of Cotton + Steel fabrics: Tangrams in Indigo, Hot Cross Buns in Natural, Typewriters in Black + White, and XOXO in Plummy Silver Metallic.

This is an international giveaway and will be open until 11:59pm EST on December 13th. To win, all you have to do is leave a comment below...I'd love to hear what types of projects are on your quilty bucket list.  You can get a bonus entry by following me and posting another comment letting me know how you follow (Instagram, Bloglovin' etc.)  Easy Peasy!  (If you're a no reply blogger, please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you're the winner)

For those of you who are new here, I've put together a little collage of some of my favourite makes so you can get an idea of my style.  I'm a modern quilter, with a strong appreciation for traditional blocks and techniques.  I usually create my own designs, and I love free-motion quilting, english paper piecing, and hand quilting.  

1. Old Salt Baby Quilt 2. Talisman Quilt 3. Glam Rock Baby Quilt 4. Marsala Quilt 5. Anthology - FMQ Sampler 6. Hexie and I Know It  

Thanks again for stopping by, and good luck!

***EDIT: This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to the winner, Lisa J from Sunlight in Winter Quilts!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

WIP | Feather Bed Quilt

Can I make a bold statement?  I don't think anyone has a mastery of colour and pattern, quite like Anna Maria Horner.  At least, not in the world of quilting textile design.  Sure, the likes of Carolyn Freidlander, and Alison Glass are right up there, but whether you're into florals or not, Anna Maria stands in a class of her own. 

Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed Quilt has been on my quilty bucket list since I first laid eyes on it.  And now, several years later, I've finally started making it.  I'm not ordinarily one to work with a single Designer or collection in my projects, but for this one I wanted to stick strictly to Anna Maria's fabrics. Even though there are several different collections represented here, they all work beautifully together.

I'll confess, I was late to the AMH fangirl party, so my collection is still in it's infancy.  I've been gradually building my stash, and am finally feeling like I have a diverse enough collection for this quilt.        

I chose Kona Prussian for the background - I just adore the way the colours shine against this rich, blue backdrop.  The spine of the feathers is a super pale blue which reads as a white until you look closely.  

This is my first attempt at using templates, and I'm not going to lie, cursing was involved!  I don't think I've ever ripped so many seams in a single block before.  I was even tempted to bail, but the resulting feather block was so darn pretty, it was worth all the aggravation.  And I'm happy to let you know that the next few blocks came together much more smoothly!  I'm loving this quilt so far, and can't wait to have more to share!

I'm curious...who are your fabric design heroes, and what is it about their work that speaks to you?

I'm off to link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, American friends!


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival | Marsala

It's that time again!  Twice a year (coinciding with Quilt Market) Amy at Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Thanks Amy!  If you're visiting via the festival, welcome and thanks for stopping by!

This time around, I'm submitting my newly completed Marsala quilt in the hand-quilted category.

I designed this quilt featuring an oversized (30" square) Young Man's Fancy block as the focal point, with HSTs radiating and floating outward.  The colour palette is inspired by Pantone's 2015 colour of the year - Marsala.  Marsala lends itself to traditional elements like the Young Man's Fancy block, but I chose to freshen it up by introducing lots of negative space.  Which, if you look closely isn't entirely white.  I broke up the background with a super-pale greeny-grayish-blue solid as a complement to the Marsala and other peachy/coral hues.  The quilt was bound in the same pale blue.  From the beginning, the fabric pull has reminded me of a crisp autumn morning.

So, about that hand-quilting.  I have to confess that my original intention was never to hand-quilt this baby.  My plan all along was to finish it quickly with straight-line quilting, list on Etsy and move on.  I even machine quilted a 9"W section before I decided that I just wasn't feeling it.  So I ripped out all that machine stitching, which was painful!  

I recreated my original straight-line quilting plan, but added diagonal lines along the HST seams, and offset by an inch on either side of the diagonals.  I really love the texture this created, plus following the random HST placement resulted in a beautiful asymmetry to the quilting motif, which also supports the asymmetry of the piecing. 

I'm so glad I abandoned my original quilting plan and hand quilted instead. I'm much happier with this result.  And there's something so joyful and meditative about hand-quilting - at least for me anyways. 

I hope you're enjoying the Blogger's Quilt Festival! It really is a treat to see so many talented people sharing their best work!


P.S. This is also my first finish for the 2015 Finish Along - Quarter 4

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

WIP | Midnight Mystery Quilt

Since we're at the halfway point in Meadow Mist Design's Midnight Mystery Quilt Along, I thought it would be a good time to share an update on my progress so far.

The concept of a mystery quilt is both liberating and terrifying for me.  As a bit of a control freak, not knowing how this will turn out is a touch unsettling.  But, I'm actually enjoying seeing this quilt slowly come together and am so intrigued to see how it will turn out.

June and July were all about fabric selection and cutting.  In keeping with the midnight theme, I chose a twilight-ish palette, with Essex Linen in Flax, Kona Berry along with an assortment of similarly hued prints, some low volume fabrics with a splash of metalllic, and Kona Coal.  

In August, we created Flying Geese units...

In September, we created Square-in-a-Square blocks...

And this month, the instructions called for some jumbo Courthouse Steps blocks.  

Pretty fun, eh?  

If you're interested in joining in with the quilt along, it's not too late to catch up.  You can find all the instructions, and sign up for the monthly updates right here.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

2015 Finish Along - Q4 Goals

Can you believe it's already the fourth quarter of 2015? Where did this year go?  Many thanks to Adrienne at On The Windy Side for running the show this year!

Up until now, I've taken the approach of listing every single one of my WIPS - even the long term projects that I have no hope of finishing.  With only one finish in each of the last two quarters, I'm thinking there might be a flaw in that approach.  Perhaps a little more focus is in order.  Plus, with vacation and birthdays and Christmas and so on, it's not likely that this will be a terribly productive three months anyways.

So, here's my new, improved and shorter list of WIPs for the final few months of 2015...

1.  Pantone Challenge Quilt:  Yes, I'm aware that the Pantone colour of the year challenge wrapped up back in April.  I decided to hand-quilt this one, which has been so very enjoyable, but has slowed things down a touch.  I'm hoping to be finished with this quilt before Pantone announces the 2016 colour of the year!

2.  Vintage HST Quilt: This quilt is in the fairly early stages, but it's been coming together quickly.

3.  EPP Medallion: With the return of colder weather, I'm ready to get back into this project.  This is my long-shot WIP of the quarter...It's unlikely that I'll finish this one, but you never know.

There you have it, a manageable list for Q4.  
I'm off to link up my list, and scope out what everyone else is working on!

Happy Quarter 4!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Stash | 003

I've been doing some stashing lately.  And no, it's not very cohesive stashing.  Actually, that seems to be how I roll - purchasing whatever speaks to me in a given moment, without necessarily having a project in mind, or more likely, several very different projects in mind.  The retailers I shop from must think I'm nuts.  Maybe one day I'll order a nicely coordinated bunch of fabrics...maybe.

Last week-end my sister and I attended Quilt X, which is a brand new quilt show co-created by the owners of a couple local-ish quilt shops.  There was a nice variety of vendors with a little something for everyone, a small quilt show that featured different interpretations of the same pattern, a series of workshops, and a guest lecturer. 

Fabric Spark had a booth at the show, which was quite exciting for me as it's one of my go-to online shops.  It was great meeting Daryl and chatting fabric with her.  I picked up a few more Anna Maria Horner FQs for that Feather Quilt that I plan to make one day, and a yard of Rashida Coleman-Hale's Tangrams in Indigo.  I have no immediate plans for the tangram fabric, but it was too awesome to pass up.  

In addition to these fabric purchases, I also picked up bottle of Flatter spray in the most yummy Fig scent (I'm a sucker for anything Fig related - I love those things!), and a copy of Carolyn Friedlander's Tangelo Quilt pattern.  

I also managed to stumble across some gems at Len's Mill Store.  Yes, that's Melody Millers's Black + White Typewriters, and an FQ bundle of Anna Maria Horner's True Colours in reds/pinks/oranges.  For those of you in Southwestern Ontario, you'll understand what a score it was to find these beauties at Len's Mills!  

I don't have a plan for those typewriters yet either; fabric that good creates a lot of pressure to use it well, don't you think?

I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.

Happy Sunday!


Friday, 18 September 2015

Finished | Glam Rock Quilt

It seems as though I've been starting new projects left and right these days, so I'm pretty pumped to actually have a finish to share this week!  

I created this quilt by cutting up some striped fabric and then sewing it back together. Since I recently shared all about the process/progress, I'll spare you those details again. Instead, today's post is chock full of pictures, it was hard to stop photographing this quilt!

The quilt is 42" x 54" and the blue, black, and white stripes are complimented by a poppy red binding. And since this quilt is destined for my soon-to-be-born niece or nephew, I couldn't resist adding a little message in the binding. 

For those of you who have used the decorative fonts/stitches on their machine, am I supposed to trim those threads on either side of the hearts? They look kind of weird right now, but I'm afraid that if I trim them they'll unravel over time. What should I do?

My favourite things about this quilt are the bold binding, and that this is a baby quilt that the kid could totally take to college one day too. 

This is my first finish, and probably only, Quarter 3 Finish from my FAL list.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, come on over and check out some more quilty projects!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

WIP | Vintage HSTs

I enjoy the occasional thrift shop treasure hunt, and each time I go hunting I can't resist checking out the old linens and craft supplies.  Over the years, I've accumulated a stash of vintage textiles and I decided that it's time I worked those textiles into a quilt.  FYI - other great sources for vintage fabrics are: yard sales, Etsy, and my personal favourite: Mom's 1980's era craft supply hoard.  

I decided on a simple design - HSTs paired with Kona Bleached White.  The crisp white contrasts nicely with the sometimes muddy vintage colour combos, and the negative space balances well with the busy patterns.  In order to minimize the chaos factor, I've created blocks constructed of 4 matching HST units.  

I'm liking the way these block look set on point - but what to do about the setting triangles around the edges?  Maybe a pale apricot? pistachio green? or keep it simple with more white?  Thoughts or suggestions are most welcome and appreciated!  

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Happy Wednesday!

PS: It feels wrong to consider the eighties vintage, doesn't it?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

WIP | Stripes are Fun

I'm nearing completion of this improv-ish, Opart-y quilt, and it occured to me that even though I've shared some progress on Instagram (@lizzyclips), it's been virtually ignored on the blog.  

Since all that's left to do is bind this quilt, I thought I'd recap my progress/process from now back to the beginning, Benjamin Button style.  

Since the piecing is the star of this show, I wanted the quilting to enhance it, without taking over.  So, I chose to straight line quilt, following along with the direction of each of the stripes.  I used the edge of my foot as a guide so the quilting lines are about 3/8" apart.  I didn't get too hung up over perfectly spaced or perfectly straight lines, I don't mind that in some places the quilting lines are a little organic.

I struggled for a while in searching for the perfect backing for this quilt, until I came across Carolyn Freidlander's Lightning in blue.  The colours are an exact match and I love the way the sketchiness of this print contrasts with the rigidity of the piecing on the front.

Piecing was a lot of fun!  I didn't really have a plan, but rather took a make-it-up-as-I-go approach.  It was important to me to ensure that the stripes matched up as best as possible, so I used the 1" wide stripes as a guide and was careful to match the stripes whenever possible.  This is my kind of improv, by the way.  There's a nice balance between freedom and structure.  I worked in bands of about 18" wide by 54" long, then joined the bands together to create the quilt top.  It was a bit of a puzzle to figure out the composition of each band, while ensuring that it would align nicely with the adjacent band.

This project began as a handful of half-yard cuts that I discovered in the bargain bin at my LQS, and a healthy dose of inspiration from the likes of Libs Elliot and Victor Vasarely.

So, there you have it.  A backwards view of how I've created this project thus far.  Stay tuned for the final reveal - I'm pretty pumped about my plan for the binding!

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Desert Caravan | Quilt Block Tutorial

It's my turn today (along with many other talented bloggers) to share my creation for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop.  Yay!  

My creation is loosely inspired by this Kilim Rug.  The design process involved lots of graph paper and coloured markers, and sketching, simplifying, and editing some more until the end result barely resembled the initial concept.

Have you been following along with the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop?  If not, it isn't too late to check out the many tutorials that have been created for this fun event.  

Today's Hoppers, hosted by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter are:
In addition to these lovely ladies, be sure to check out our other hosts, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, and Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination.  They'll link you up to lots more block tutorials, and a generous giveaway of the Fabri-Quilt Watermelon Summer Bundle!

And for some more good news, our hosts will be assembling the blocks from this weeks hop into charity quilts in support of: Meyers Center (a non-profit organization that helps prepare physically and/or mentally disabled kids for school), Teen Impact (an organization that helps kids with cancer) and Project Linus (an organization that gives handmade blankets to critically ill children).

Each blogger in the hop was provided with a fat eighth bundle of the six colours that make up the Watermelon Summer Palette, from Fabri-Quilt's Prairie Cloth Solids Collection.  We were challenged to create a new quilt block using the fabrics provided, and incorporating at least 3 of the colours.

So, lets get on with that tutorial, shall we?


The instructions below will yield one 12” x 12” finished block (12 ½” x 12 ½” unfinished). At most, you will need a fat eighth of each of four fabrics.  Use a scant ¼” seam allowance at all times, except where noted otherwise. If you’re using printed fabrics, make sure you always join your pieces/seams with right sides together.  I recommend that you pre-wash your Fabri-Quilt Prairie Cloth Solids with similar colours.

Step 1 – Cutting

Refer to the chart below to cut your fabrics. 

A – Coral
4 ½” x 4 ½”
B – White
2 ½” x 2 ½”
B – White
2 ½” x 4 ½”
C – Lapis Blue
4 ½” x 4 ½”
C – Lapis Blue
5 ¼” x 5 ¼”
D – Aqua
3” x 3”

Step 2 – Piecing the Corner Units

a)  Stack a B1 piece over the top right corner of an A piece, aligning the top and right edges.  Mark a line from corner to corner of B1 as pictured below. 
b)  Sew along the marked line, with your needle positioned slightly towards the corner in order to create a scant seam. 
c)  Trim away the corner leaving a ¼” seam, and press seams towards the centre of the unit.
d)  Repeat the above steps for the lower left corner.  If needed, trim the corner unit to a size of 4 ½” x 4 ½”. Hint: Use the edges of A as a guide for trimming.

Repeat 3 more times to create a total of 4 Corner Units.

Step 3 – Piecing the Flying Geese Units

The directions listed below, and cutting instructions above detail the “No Waste” method for flying geese.  If you prefer to use an alternate method, please adjust the cutting directions accordingly. The four Flying Geese units finish at 4 ½” x 2 ½”.  

a)  Stack one D piece over the top right corner and one D piece over the bottom left corner of C2, aligning the edges.  Mark a line from corner to corner.
b)  Sew a scant ¼” on either side of the line, then cut along the marked line.  Press. 
c)  For each of the two resulting “Heart-shaped” units, place a D piece over the corner of C2. Again, align the edges and mark a line from corner to corner to corner.
d)  Sew a scant ¼” seam on either side of the line, then cut along the marked line and press.  
e)  Trim the resulting Flying Geese unit to a size of 4 ½” x 2 ½”, making sure that the point is ¼” from the edge of the unit. Trimming the Geese should also take care of the dog-ears, (the pointy corner bits that extend beyond the finished unit) but if not, trim them off as well.
f)  Join each Flying Geese unit to a B2 piece, at the fabric D side of the Goose as pictured below. Use a true ¼” seam.  Press the seam toward B2Hint: I like to piece this with the “Goose” side on top so I can see exactly where the point is when I’m sewing. This helps prevent the tip of the point being cut off)

Step 4 – Joining the Units into Rows

a)  Join the units into three rows, as pictured below.
b)  Press the seams in Rows 1 and 3 toward the Corner units and Row 2 toward the center, C1 unit.  This will allow the seams to nest together when joining the units.  Hint: if you are making several blocks to create a quilt, I recommend you alternate the direction the seams are pressed for every other block so you don’t end up with bulky seams when joining the blocks together.

Step 5 – Join the Rows into a Block

a)  Join Row 1 to Row 2, then join Row 3 to Row 2 as pictured above.
b)  Press the seams toward Row 2.
c)  Verify that your block is 12 ½” x 12 ½”, trim the edges if needed.
    d)  Admire your completed block! 

Here are a couple ways this block could look assembled into a quilt top...

Typical Alignment - Blocks are placed side-by-side

Half Drop Alignment - Create some interesting shapes in the negative space!

Set on Point - this minimalist layout changes the look of the block completely!


There you have it!  If you create your own project using the Desert Caravan block, please do share a picture or two.  I'd love to see how you interpret this block.  

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers in the hop, visit our hosts and enter to win your own Watermelon Summer bundle!

Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sunday Stash | 002

It's Sunday, friends!  I hope you're enjoying a restful day with lots of sewing and maybe some lemonade.

I had been doing so well at not fabric shopping for the past few weeks, and then this happened...

From left to right we have:
  • Woven Path - from Maureen Cracknell's Wild and Free collection 
  • Haystack Bouquet in Sunny & Going Up in Citron, both from Anna Maria Horner's True Colours
  • Aloe Vera in Butterscotch and Banner Days in Tomato From AMH's Pretty Potent line
  • Lightning in Blue from Doe, by  Carolyn Freidlander
I've got some exciting plans for these pretties.  I was totally smitten with how Woven Path worked up in my tiny improv log cabin quilt and I can't wait to recreate the effect in a full size quilt.  The AMH fabrics are destined for a feather quilt (I've been in love with her Feather pattern forever and I'm finally going to make one, using Anna Maria's fabrics of course, so I've got some collecting to do).  Finally, the Lightning fabric will be the backing for the Stripes Quilt I'm working on.  I struggled for weeks with selecting the backing, and waffled between several of the great new Cotton + Steel prints that have recently hit stores.  But when I came across this fabric I knew it was "the one".

All of these beauties were ordered from Mad About Patchwork - a lovely Canadian vendor with a beautiful selection and wonderful customer service.

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash, hosted by Molli Sparkles.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

#TBT | Grandma's Garden Quilt

Today's Throwback Thursday is an extra special one, and also an extra difficult one.  

When my Grandma moved into a nursing home a couple years ago, my sister and I teamed up to make her a quilt as a housewarming gift. We got together to shop for the fabrics, choosing prints with lots of bright colour and floral motifs. Grandma had always loved her garden so we wanted to make a quilt that would reflect her passion. 

Sarah and I each made ten 12" x 12" blocks using the fabrics we'd purchased, plus some coordinating stash bits thrown in for good measure. There's a healthy mix of traditional blocks and modern, improv-ish blocks. We arranged the blocks and pieced them together. My sister FMQ-ed an all over stipple and then I completed the quilting with some hand-stitched birds.  The finished size is about 48" x 60" - large enough to be snuggly without being too heavy or cumbersome. 

Between the flowers, the birds, the butterflies and the riot of vivid colour, this quilt reminds me of Grandma's garden, her love for nature and her vibrant personality. Grandma was thrilled with the gift and featured it prominently in her suite. 

Sadly, Grandma passed away on July 25th. She was a wonderful woman and I will miss her terribly. 

My aunts offered the quilt back to my sister and I, and since I'm Grandma's namesake, we thought it fitting that I keep the quilt. I'm so grateful for the gift and the small measure of comfort it's brought me over the past week. It's probably my imagination, but I'm convinced that it still smells like her. 

Sorry for the downer this week, guys. I promise more cheeriness next time. 

Jen at Quarter Inch from the Edge has started up a brand new Throwback Thursday linky party which I'll be joining. Please stop by and check out the projects, and while you're there why not link up a project from your archives too?

Happy Thursday,