Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cottage Quilt

I am drawn to bright colours.  Reds, oranges, pinks...  So why is it that my stash is full of subdued, almost dull colours? At some point, I must have loved every single one of those fabrics.  Enough to buy a fat quarter, or even some yardage, choosing them over a vast array of bolder colours.
Perhaps I am afraid of colour as much as I am attracted to it.
I want to make bold and colourful quilts and yet... this is one of the quilts I made in the last year: 
Here's the story.
Last Fall, I decided to make a quilt for our cottage, to replace the duvet that was always too warm in the summer months.  My requirements were as follows: It had to be big enough for a queen size bed.  It had to be simple (I did not want to spend too much time working on a quilt that would only be used for a few weeks every year).   It had to go well with light blue walls.   And it had to use up my less-than-inspiring stash.
I know, I know... some of you are cringing right now. Why work with uninspiring fabrics? I mean, I do have some nice fabric too... so why not use it and make something exciting?
I am not really sure how to answer this question, but in any event, the first decision I made was the backing: a flowery sheet I had bought in a thrift store. Not really "vintage", but definitely not modern. 

The sheet became the inspiration for the colour scheme.  I started pulling fabric out of the stash: light blues, teals, dusty roses, peaches, beiges, a touch of brown, a touch of green, a touch of burgundy...  Nothing too bright.   I really wanted to captured the essence of that sheet.  I think I did, and somehow, those dull and boring fabrics all seemed to work together.

The blocks are 10x10, and simply made up of 5 even strips randomly pieced. The quilt finishes at 80 x 90

I free motion quilted loose loops using thread from Connecting Threads (I think the colour is Tomato). Not as divine as Aurifil, but nice thread nevertheless...

All nice and crinkled after a couple washes...

Hmmm... after I saw it all crinkled up, it really started to grow on me.  Now that I am back home and this quilt stayed at the cottage, I kind of miss it.

So maybe I love soft and subdued after all...

Have you made a quilt with fabric you no longer love?  Did you like the result?

Thanks to the wind, I never did manage to get a good picture of the whole quilt, but it sure isn't for lack for trying:  Here I am trying to fight the wind.

So for the finale, I'm settling on this shot:

Simple, soft and subdued, and different from everything that is on my "want to make" list, but I like it and that's all that matters.

Oh, and I just realized, for all the quilts I made for other people, this summer was the first time I slept under a quilt made by me. 

Time to make one for our bed at home!

Hope you are all enjoying those last days of summer.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

What I Did During My Summer Vacation...

I am back from a three wonderful weeks at the cottage.  I am a bit tired - the good kind of tired, and I declare this a successful vacation.

I'll spare you the details of our beach going, kite flying, clam digging, sight seeing and other fun family activities... this is a quilting blog after all!  But there was a lot of quilting / sewing related activity on my part.

Delivered this quilt to its new home, my cottage's "master" bedroom (note the quotation marks. The room is so small I had to stand outside the room to take the picture).

More to come on that one.

    Finished my husband's Pink Flamingo shirt (see last post)



Performed an emergency surgery on this guy:  I did not take a "before" picture, but let's just say that this poor dude's head was literally hanging by a thread...  My first time using curved needles... worked like a charm!


Took a lot of pictures of my quilts.  In fact, I had one or two quilts in the car (and my camera) at any given moment in case I came across a suitable location to take a picture.  Preferably when it was not too windy. 

On this picture, I am just trying to snap a picture of a quilt top on my clothesline before the sun goes down too much, and the wind is not cooperating.

Gave a presentation to a dozen or so lovely lady from the local "Cercle des fermières", a woman's organization of which my mom is a member.  This was my second year travelling with a suitcase full of quilts to show.  It was well received.

Did a lot of hand quilting and made some reasonable progress on my daughter's quilt.  This has been a work in progress for over two years now.  What was I thinking quilting this double bed size quilt by hand?

I estimate I have another 40 hours or so before it's done.  If I can work at it 2-3 times a week for an hour, I will be done by Christmas.

I am back to work tomorrow and I have lots on my plate for the next few weeks.  There will be very few finishes, but thanks to pictures I took of my pre-blogging quilts, I should have stuff to talk about for the next little while!

What about you?  Do you quilt or sew when you are away on vacation?  Hand work, or do you take a machine with you?


Thursday, 22 August 2013

A finished... shirt!

I am a quilter.  I don't normally do garments...

But every once in a while, I tackle a project that can be worn. 

So my finish this week is not a quilt.  It's a shirt.  A loud shirt.  A very, very loud shirt.

My husband loves his barbecue, and the loud shirts that go with it.  Because he is so supportive of my quilting habit (hey, he even buys me fabric), I was happy to make a new barbecue shirt for him.

I started it two nights before we left for the cottage, and I had to finish it once I got there, on my mom's sewing machine (she lives nearby).  The machine was not cooperating - not the most pleasant sewing experience.  I did not think I could handle the buttonholes, so my mom called on her neighbour for some assistance, and she graciously offered to make the buttonholes.  She was a bit shocked when she saw the fabric...  With my mom doing some of the handsewing on the collar, this was a real team effort, and I'm pleased with the results.  Here it is:

Pink Flamingo Shirt
Yes, it is loud!   He picked the fabric himself...

This is not my first time making a barbecue shirt for my husband.  He was nice enough to model the two previous ones, for my readers' viewing pleasure.  Here's the Dolphin shirt...

And the Hot Sauce shirt:

I love this one.  Check out the close up of this hot sauce fabric...

Being a quilter definitely has its advantages when trying to make original shirts.  Lots of fabric choices!  I know for a fact that there are no other shirts like these ones.  They are conversation pieces for sure!

Well that's it for my finish this week.  I am on vacation, and although I have brought a quilt to work on, it is a long, slow process, and I have nothing quilty to show for now.

Linking up to TGIFF at Sewing by Moonlight.  Looking forward to seeing what others have finished!

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful month of August.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A finished quilt.

I am pretty excited to share a finish with you today.  The quilt is my version of Up, Up and Away by Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts.  It is another quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts.

I used 3" squares (finished) in various whites/off whites/beiges, and different sizes triangles from my scraps.

I thought I would save hand sewing the binding (one of my favourite parts of quilt making) for later, but I did find myself with a few occasions to do hand work and could not resist:  keeping company to a nursing mom, a kids soccer practice... I had everything but 5 inches done as of this morning, and I managed the last few stitches during a phone conference at work (don't tell my boss).  And yes, it was only about 5 inches.  Well, maybe more like 7 or 8...

At lunch time, I took my quilt for a walk and my friend happily obliged when I asked her to be the quilt holder.  We were in a bit of a rush, and there were few spots that did not have a big crowd.  It's our International Busker Festival, and the Waterfront was busy! 

I forgot to take pictures of the back at lunch time, so I did it when I got back home, without a helper.  Wanting something other than a lawn shot, I relied on good old hockey equipment...  You can't tell but I am using a  hockey stick as a weight to hold the quilt.  We have lots of those handy, even in 28C weather.   Crazy Canadians!

I can't tell you how much I LOVE that print in the back.  Of course, I have no idea what it's called.  I have had it in my stash for a while and it is just the happiest print.  I would have had enough for the whole back, but that would not have been as much fun, right?

Here's a couple close ups of the quilting: I chose to quilt this lightly, with only two lines going through each blocks.  I love the texture it gives, without making it stiff.

I used Aurifil 50w in a very light pink.  Which I realize you can't really see on the picture.

I had so many choices for the binding... everything I tried looked great.  In the end this orange gingham-type print won my heart.

After these pictures were taken, I threw the quilt in the wash for that wonderful crinkly look.  Check the before and after:

Before the wash
After the wash

To be totally honest, even though I generally prefer quilts when they are crinkly, I thought this one actually looked better before.  Oh well!  Quilts are made to be used, and I am not going to hold off using quilts just so I can maintain them in their unwashed glory... better loved and crinkly than not used!  
Here's a final shot.  I am sure I am breaking pretty much every basic rule for composition,  but I had lots of fun pretending I knew what I was doing photo-wise.
I am linking up to TGIFF at Quokka Quilts.   It's only Thursday here, but as the song says, "it's five o'clock Friday somewhere"!
What have you finished recently?