Thursday, August 10, 2017

Maker Mini Wall Hanging

A little while ago, I signed up for Quiet Play's newsletter and got a free pattern as a little Thank You!

I had seen these all over Instagram - how cute is that?!  I'm not usually a big fan of paper piecing and there are some really tiny pieces in this block (the whole block finishes at 10"), but I just had to make this one.

It took a few evenings to get this sewn up - I got really close to my seam ripper in the process - but I'm really happy with it.

For the quilting, I went with fun wavy lines with the walking foot.

And now it's hanging on my sewing room wall - reminding me every day that I'm a maker!!  :-)

Quilt Stats:

Pattern: by Quiet Play
Size: 10" x 10"
Fabrics: All scraps
Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt
Recipient:  Me

I'll be linking up at A Quarter Inch from the Edge for TGIFF.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 FAL Meet the Hosts: Lucy from Charm About You

Hello! I am Lucy, Charm About You blogger and one of the Finish-A-Long hosts, here to share a little more about myself.

I come from a creative family, everyone is an artist or crafty type - whether it's by profession or a hobby. My creativity and love of art was encouraged as I was growing up but it wasn't until I was at university when I made my first quilt. It was really, really bad. I used the type of wadding meant for furniture, it was nearly impossible to quilt and it put me off for a long time. Fast forward and after breaking my elbow in a roller derby accident, with two small children to look after at home, I needed a safer hobby and I returned to quilting.

Eager to learn, I got some great advice and support from the two women in my family that quilt, I read lots of blogs, tutorials and quilt books and then went for it. I made simple quilts and a sampler quilt, building up my skills trying out new patterns and techniques. The addiction gripped me and the more quilts I made the more I discovered which elements I was good at, enjoyed and wanted to do more of!

I live in Manchester, UK with my husband and our three kids. They are wonderfully supportive of me and put up with the piles of fabric and works in progress that have filled the house. During the evening I love to do hand sewing, whether that be English Paper Piecing, hand piecing or quilting. It's my time to relax and I find it really hard to sit without sewing now!

I was lucky enough to get a job at Patchfinders, a local quilt shop, where I also began teach quilting classes (and still do!). It was brilliant to be able to 'talk fabric' with so many people - I learnt a lot about style, colour, print etc. from being in the shop and witnessing the whole process of how people chose fabrics for their quilts. The same sort of inspiration and delightful insight into creativity comes from the people in my classes and is one of the many reasons I enjoy teaching.

Then this year I also started doing demonstrations on the Sewing Quarter shopping channel. It involves travelling to work and train journeys equal sewing time! One of my recent finishes was the Everything In It's Place Bag, which I wanted to make to hold all the sewing 'stuff' I can't live without. It feels so good having my supplies with me and there's such a buzz that comes with using handmade. 

The tangible products we create, the snuggly comfort of quilts and the fact that they are enjoyed and used is a big part of the joy of making. I am also drawn to all the possibilities of patchwork and quilting, the various techniques you can use, the choice of fabric - prints / solids / colours and all the patterns. Machine sewing is my choice for quick sews, the precision of foundation paper piecing and meditative chain piecing. More recently I have had to hone my skills at machine binding because I just don't have the time to hand sew binding on the quilts I make for work. Hand sewing would generally be my preference for patchwork and quilting, though I really love being able to switch between the two and do machine sewing when I have that need for speed.

Having insatiably explored various patchwork and quilting methods I share tutorials and tips on my blog, from cross hatch quilting to cleaning your cutting mat;  free patterns and fun things to make.

Visit my Etsy shop for patterns like the popular Stitchy Pie needle case and my most recent A Piece of Me pouch. Later this year I will be adding quilt patterns too, all being well!

I have a 'to sew' list, along with a notebook of design ideas - making them into patterns is my intention and my goal for the next few months is to make time to do that. I would love for you to come and visit me at Charm About You or jump over to Instagram and follow me there, I share all my finishes and everything I'm working on.

So how is everyone getting on with their Finish-A-Long list? Any finishes checked off yet? If not, don't fret - there's still about 7 weeks before the link opens... just remember that time flies when you don't stick to one project!

Hope you all have a great week! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nautical Baby Quilt for Grand-baby #2

In exactly one month, my second grand-child is due and I cannot wait to meet him.  And of course, you know I was going to have a quilt ready for him when he finally got here!

His parents decorated the nursery with a nautical theme... lots of blue and grey with a touch of red and chocolate brown.  As soon as I got the theme and the colours, I spent some time on Pinterest to gather inspiration and then got my paper and markers out to come up with a design.

I then texted the design to my daughter-in-law to make sure something like this is what she had in mind and she loved it!  I knew I'd be able to find everything I needed right in my stash so started "shopping".  I pulled some Kona Silver for the background, three different blue fat quarters, two red ones and a brown one.

I figured out the piecing for the sailboat and the fish myself (they were both pretty easy) but for the anchor, I used this tutorial by the Hopeful Homemaker.

I thought wavy lines would be perfect for a nautical quilt so used my walking foot and some Aurifil thread in Dove (#2600).

The baby shower was on Sunday, July 16 and I'm happy to report that the mom-to-be was absolutely thrilled about the quilt.

Quilt Stats:

Pattern: The overall design is mine, but I used a tutorial by Hopeful Homemaker for the anchor
Size: 36" x 56"
Fabrics: Kona Silver and a few different fat quarters from my stash
Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt
Recipient:  Grand-baby #2

I'll be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Pretty Piney for TGIFF.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 FAL Meet the Hosts: Izzy from Dizzy Quilts

Hi - I'm Izzy from Dizzy Quilts and it's my turn to tell you a little about myself!

I'm a mother, step-mother and foster mother to six children, grand-mother to one gorgeous little girl and wife to my soul mate. During the day, I manage a team of e-Learning designers/developers at a global financial company.

All of this keeps me pretty busy, but I've always made time to be crafty - when I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knit and I made all my teddy bears knitted sweaters!

During my teenage years, I was a little too busy with school (and with boys!) to craft, but a few years later, when I had my first child, I started sewing.  I made some baby clothes and I made curtains mostly. I even took a sewing class to learn how to make garments for myself, but I never got the hang of that - nothing ever really fit right.

About 9 years ago, I walked into JoAnn's to get fabric for new curtains and spotted the cutest little quilt kits. I bought one, put it together and haven't looked back since! I was completely and totally hooked.

The first few quilts I made were very traditional - lots of small pieces, small florals, etc. I really had no clue what I was doing, but learned so much with the making of these quilts.

A lap size log cabin quilt made for my step-mom

I started making these quilts for pretty much everyone in my family.  And pretty soon, every bed in the house had a quilt on it.

Quilt I made for my sister-in-law - this is Bronx testing it.

I even made quilts as curtains!!
Around 2010, I discovered quilt blogs and the online quilting community.  That literally changed my quilting life!!  I started my own blog, met some amazing people and a couple of years later, found the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

Through the members of this guild, I learned about modern quilting and I fell in love with quilting all over again.

I started making modern quilts and building a stash of really colourful fabrics and solid neutrals.

When I first started quilting, my least favourite part of the whole thing was the actual quilting. My sewing machine was pretty small and wrestling with a big quilt in that tiny little space was painful and I very often ended up with puckers on the back of my quilts.  And then I changed two things: my sewing machine and my basting method.

I purchased my Juki TL-2010Q. It is literally a dream to quilt with. Lots of room to the right of the needle and super consistent, fast stitching.

I also learned how to board baste my quilts - which has saved my knees, my back and to a certain extent, my sanity!  :-)

And now quilting is actually my favourite part. I look forward to finishing a top just so I can get to the quilting. My dream is to some day own a long-arm machine, but I would need to get a much bigger house before that could happen!

Last year, I became the Vice-President of the Montreal MQG and that has been a lot of fun. The group is growing and we have such amazing people and quilters.  Each meeting is a great source of inspiration and I'm learning so much.

When I was approached to become a FAL host last year, I was so flattered and so happy. I love hosting these link-ups - so much inspiration and so much talent every quarter.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please leave a comment!  :-)


Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Piece of Me Pouch...

Last week, Lucy who blogs at Charm About You released a new pattern: A Piece of Me Pouch.  I read about it on Saturday (I do all my blog reading on Saturday morning while drinking my coffee) and right away purchased a copy of it.

We were celebrating my step-daughter's birthday on Sunday so I decided this little pouch would be the perfect gift for her.  Her favourite colour is purple so I pulled out two purple fat quarters and got to work!

This was a super easy and fun make!

I picked a fun stripe for the binding to finish off the pouch and love how it looks.  The pattern says to hand sew the binding to the back but I'm not a huge fan of hand sewing so I tried to sew it on by machine. I basically used the same method I use for my quilts.

It didn't turn quite as nice as I thought it would but it definitely not so bad that it needed to be unpicked!

My step-daughter loved the pouch - she plans to use it to store important papers and documents such as passports and vaccination books.  :-)

I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Janda Bend Quilts for TGIFF.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Magnolia Mystery Quilt - Fabric Choices

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs launched her 4th mystery quilt along recently.  This will be my 3rd time participating - you can see my Midnight Mystery quilt here and my Meadow Mystery quilt here.

Last year, I was a little disappointed with my fabric choices so I told myself I would do the "un-mystery" version this time around. But in the end, discovering the design a little bit at a time is too much fun.

Also, Cheryl provided some really good examples and kits for different fabric combinations which made me feel a little more confident picking good fabrics for my version.

I'm doing the queen size version so that's a pretty large stack of fabric right there!

My fabric A is Carolyn Friedlander's Crosshatch in Creamsicle.

My choice for fabric B is Lace Elements in Plum by Art Gallery.

I went with Kona Charcoal for fabric C and Carolyn Friedlander's Doe in White for fabric D.  I love the really cool tone on tone print and I think it'll look pretty nice as my background.

The next set of instructions will be published on the first Thursday of August so on August 3. I can't wait to get started!

Friday, July 7, 2017

2017 FAL Q3 List

I feel as though my "day job" really interfered with my quilty accomplishments during quarter 2 of 2017.  Lots of hours spent at work means less hours spent at the sewing machine. So I wasn't very successful with my Q2 FAL list - out of 3 projects, I only managed to finish one (my Missing the U quilt).

But I'm hoping for a lot more free time over the next 3 months so here is my Q3 list.

1.  City Sampler

This one has been on my list for far too long now - it has to get done.

2.  Green Log Cabins

It seems as though no matter how many scrappy projects I put together, the scraps just keep coming. I would really love to put a dent in my green scraps by making an entire quilt out of green modern log cabin blocks.

3.  Harry Potter Quilt

A couple of months ago, my son Max asked me if I would teach him how to quilt. Little did I know that he already had a project AND a recipient in mind for his first quilt.  He came up with a lot of the design, ordered the fabric and pieced almost all of it himself.  We now need to put on a couple of borders, baste and quilt it!

4.  Improv Quarter Log Cabins

I was totally inspired by Debbie from A Quilter's Table when she shared her FAL list for Q3. She has the most beautiful scrappy improv quarter log cabins on there! And she even has a tutorial for these blocks.  I was playing with my scraps the other night and put this one block together and I think I like it!  Now I have to keep playing and maybe even sew a whole bunch of blocks.

5.  New Lunch Bag for me

When I made a lunch bag for my friend Debbie, I realized the one I had made for myself wasn't nearly as nice so I decided to make another one.  This time, I'm using Essex Linen for the exterior and a Kona blue for the accent fabric (can't remember the colour).  The exterior is almost done so this should be an easy finish this quarter.

That's it for this quarter.  You still have one day to link-up your list here on my blog or on the blog of any of the other global hosts!