Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My 2013 Review

As the year comes to an end, it's a good time to look at what I have accomplished this year:

I started lots of quilts and finished a few.  These ones...

...plus a few of those :

I bought lots of fabrics... (not all pictured... I mean, seriously...)

and I experimented:

I made my first charity blocks:

 And my first mini:

I made many of these (not all pictured):

And a few other quilty things which I have not shown yet.

I joined a new guild ...
... and perhaps my most surprising accomplishment, I started this blog.

2013 has been a good year quilt-wise, and I am looking forward to a new year of quilty things.  Stay tuned for the 2014 goals post!

Happy New Year, all!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Pillowcases

Last October, I ended up on Dana's blog, MADE, and her lovely Halloween Pillowcases caught my eye.  I have made pillowcases before, and even thought of making theme ones, but fleece?  I had never thought of that!

Brilliant idea!

I am not so much into Halloween, so Halloween pillowcases were out, but Christmas... yes, I can do Christmas.  To give you an idea of how I take Christmas decorating seriously, here is a look of our tree forest:

I just realized this was taken before we put the star on the big tree.  Anyway, you get the idea.  Since I love decorating for Christmas, I thought I'd make the kiddies some cosy pillowcases they could enjoy for the whole month of December (they were made a while ago, I just forgot to post about them).

They were so easy to make...   No French seam, no zigzag... fold the fabric and sew a seam on each side, then hem (check out Dana's tutorial at the link above for an even better explanation).

They practically made themselves... Especially if you count the fact that my mom actually sewed them while I was working on a quilt!

Well, I have to run... more Christmassy stuff to be made.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Surprise Parcel, and a Pre-Blogging Days Quilt

I came home today to find a parcel at my door.  What could it be?  I have not bought fabric online lately and I wasn't expecting anything else...

Turned out to be my present for my (modest) contribution to American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine.

Even though I am no longer a subscriber, (there is so much inspiration online...) I have always liked APQ and I think they have done a great job of introducing more modern designs in fresh colours along with their more traditional offerings.

I like the quilts they have chosen for this 13th volume of Quilt-Lovers' Favorites (I really am going against my nature here, by omitting the "u" in favourite).  Some of these quilts have a modern, fresh vibe, and others could be considered modern with different prints and colours.

And of course, some of the traditional quilts are just perfect the way they are!  I love a good civil war reproduction every once in a while, and oh, those gorgeous fall colours on the cover quilt...

One of the quilts featured in this book, Center Strips, has actually inspired one of my pre-blogging days quilts.

I had seen this picture a while back in AQQ's newsletter.  It is offered as a free pattern on their website.  Now I know it is a colour alternative for a quilt named Bar Code by designer Lori Mason.

Back then, I was looking for inspiration for a quilt destined to my then 16 year old nephew.  Although I did not follow the pattern, (or actually read it), there is no disputing that this is where this quilt came from.

I have not blogged about this quilt before... I need better pictures! Unfortunately, this quilt lives in a different province, and it may be a while before I get to see it again.  This was taken on a very sunny day and the colours are slightly off.  There are actually 4 different shades of gray (Kona coal, ash, medium gray and something else).  As for the other colours, especially the reds and the purple, they are a bit more subdued in real life. 

I love the quilting (and I wish I had a close up so you could see it).  Organic lines - fancy word for "not straight" - in the centre bars, and overlapping boxes on both sides.  Thread, thread, lots of thread... I had to make a special order of Aurifil in the middle of quilting... 

This was my first time using solids only, and I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Well that is it for now, I'll be back with something Christmas-y next time,

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Happy December and one more birthday cushion

Happy December!

The Christmas music is in full swing in our house.  The outdoor lights got installed yesterday, the table napkins got switched from fall to winter and all the Christmas decoration boxes are in the living room, ready to be opened later on today, after we do what many families do on the week-end: kids sports activities and birthday parties!

A sweet little girl is turning four today, so I went to my go-to gift and made her a personalized cushion of course.  I was getting a little tired of the pink and purple colour scheme so I called the parents for help: What is her bedroom colour?  Purple.  Any accent colours?  I don't even need to tell you, you guessed it.  After debating for two weeks (way too much, I mean it's just a pillow!), I went for simple squares in lots of bright colours in simple graphic designs.  And just a tiny bit of pink and purple.

The name is actually free motion quilted, though I marked the spaces between the letters to make sure I would make full use of the room I have without running out of space.  The name is a little too low, but by the time I realized it, it was too late.  For quilting, I went with loops and double loops.

It was a breeze to make...not!  I made it for a 14" pillow form which is what I thought I had, only to realize the day before it was due that I only have 16" pillows left.  That called for some last minute design changes.  Even so, it is still a bit too small.  Here's what the back looked like when I first put it in:

Oops!  There was no time to rush to the store to get a smaller pillow form, and I did not want to mess with the form by trying to make it smaller.  So I took a big breath, and stuffed it as best as I could.  Happy to report it is holding up well now.  Man, that Velcro is some strong.

So off to the birthday party we go.

Happy December everyone.  I can see a Christmas tree forest in my living room later today.