Monday, April 29, 2013

Diamonds Really ARE a Girl's Best Friend

Much of my time lately has been spent at the machine so my hand piecing is sitting on the sidelines waiting for a bit of attention. Well, I have now finished off the first of the larger diamonds and the love affair continues.

This unit measures about 12" by 20" and I will eventually join 4 of these units into the largest diamond unit in the quilt.

Regardless of which angle I look at it from I just love it.

I was a little concerned at one point that I wasn't going to have enough of the soft blue for the outer border but I managed to squeak it out with a small six inch strip to spare, so I should have enough to do one more blossom from that. I had decided that I would finish up with another fabric if I really had to, but luck was on my side.

And, I have another 7 of the smallest diamonds sewn together and waiting in the wings so now I need to decide if I'll make another large diamond or put together a few new small ones. Tough choice :). Still no big brainwaves as to what to call it, so for now it's going to be Minnie....M

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Coming Together

Well, wonders never cease. I started chain stitching the Stained Glass blocks together last week and, slowly but surely, all of the rows came together. I just love this method - it saves you sooooo much time - no hopping up and down continually to get your pieces and when all the rows are together there is no guess work to the next step.

I thought that it was going to take longer to sew the columns together than it did because there was a lot of pinning required to make certain that the blocks align, but once I got into the 'zone' that too went faster than I had anticipated.

So now it's all together except for the border.

I picked up a light gold print with tiny daisies last week on sale (can you say 50% off?) and have enough to do both the border and the backing.

In my Pinterest travels I've seen a technique for creating a faux piped binding so I might try that to incorporate a fine line of colour when it is bound - maybe red or purple - similar to the solid green on this shot. Sorry, the Pin doesn't take you to the site that this image came from otherwise I would give it to you but I thought that the image would be helpful.

It's nice to be closing in on the finish line for this one. When the borders are done it will go to Betty to put up on her frames for quilting - a real group effort....M

Friday, April 19, 2013

Evie's Over The Moon

A certain little girl turned four recently and included in her birthday surprises was the first of the two quilts that her Granny (Linda) and Auntie Jane started making last spring - she's getting two because she's a big girl now and moved into a new room with twin beds.

Last weekend Granny delivered the goods to the happy little camper and she couldn't be happier. And no wonder...isn't it just gorgeous?

You'll recall that she picked the colours that she wanted in it and the fabrics that Linda and Jane selected were just beautiful.

It is machine quilted with a cross-hatch down the rows of blocks and great little swirls falling in behind the rows of flowing bunting...

It is just so lovely. How could you not be happy cuddled in under this? That bunting is just adorable!

Their inspiration came from Sunkissed by Sweetwater.

What a treasure. Thanks for sharing, gals...M

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pondering Xs and Os

One benefit of having quilt blocks sit around for a while is that you sometimes see things that missed your eye initially. When I realized that I was half a row short for the Stained Glass blocks I noticed that the top row and the bottom row ended differently on the corners.

The golds in the top row created an O shape...

but the golds in the bottom row created an X. After pondering this for a while I've decided to make the corners Xs - I just like other overall layout better. If I had gone with the Os I was planning to make the corner triangle from one of the stained glass prints but I think the X is stronger.

My little 4-legged visitor got in on the act too - obviously she felt that there were a few blocks that needed to be moved around before it was all sewn together.

Still pondering; not quite right....M

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Quilters Are Good People

Remember last November when Erin put out a call for Disappearing Four-Patch blocks to make quilts for victims of Hurricane Sandy and I sent her half a dozen to help out with the cause? Well, this week the mailman delivered a lovely postcard from her with an update on the project.

More than 200 quilters generously came to the fore and donated time and talent to make over 35 quilts to help those in need. And apparently there are another 10+ in various stages of completion. Not bad from a single blog post. Check out her blog to see how far and wide the call was received - the list of helpers runs down the right margin.

This is the card that arrived...

...and this was her note. What a lot of work, not only to organize it all but then to send a thank you note to everyone. The power of one; inspirational! You can follow her progress throughout the project here.

Now tell me, doesn't that just look like the happiest of people? And the quilts look great! It's amazing how a little bit of fabric can warm the heart in such a big way. Many folks still have a long way to go to get their lives back but it's nice to know that they will do so wrapped in the love and best wishes of lots of others for a long time to come. Made my week....M

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Sneak Peek

The ladies at the church continue to keep themselves busy quilting mom's Dresden Plate and I've been anxious to see how it's progressing. Yesterday I had a meeting in the church hall so curiosity got the better of me; I snuck into the back room and took a few photos to share with you. It is quite densely marked so the border has taken a fair bit of time but they are now starting to work on some of the blocks. Here's my sneak peek...

Tools of the trade

Starting to quilt the plates

The time tally, so far

Booster seat


I'd love to be able to work on it with them but they quilt during the day and I can't get away from work. They seem to be doing fine without me though...M

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Time for a Re-count

Throughout the week I've been putting together the odd block here and there on Stained Glass and was quite happy with myself when I realized that I was closing in what I thought was on the last row. It all seemed too good to be true. I had the remaining 13 blocks all lined up and ready to go and in very short order they would all be together and I could start assembling the rows.

Then I took another look at it. It was too good to be true - I was half a row short. Ack! What to do?

Well, for starters, finish up the blocks that were ready to go.

Now I need to make 12 more blocks but everything that was cut is assembled so it's back to first principles. At least this time I know it's just 12 blocks...M

Friday, April 05, 2013

More Baby Quilts

Anne continues to be keen on using up her stash so she has started two small charity quilts, and both will be darling - she just keeps showing up with her orange bin and new projects in it.

This one is made from her leftover ginghams and batiks and a piece of flannel from mom's stash - the blue fabric has tiny yellow stars throughout so I'm calling it Twinkle.

It's the same basic block as she used for Addi's quilt but Betty moved her from doing a basic grid design to something a little more random. Here's Betty hard at work. (Don't you just LOVE her walls? That yellow strip is just a tiny sampling of what she has done throughout her foyer and front hall - all hand painted, by her!).

The pink ball of fabric on the left is the backing.

It's together now and Anne machine quilted it so now she's on to the binding. She's using random strips of different ginghams that she's sewn together, which will be fun.

The second one she's working on is another fussy cut but larger centre blocks than she used for Addi. All the centres are from a Winnie the Pooh fabric and somebody's going to love this one. You can't help but smile as you work your way through the stack of blocks.

The elderly mother of a friend is at a loss for things to do so Anne cuts and prepares the pieces and sends them off to her to assemble and then picks them up in a few days. She's a beautiful seamstress so the blocks are well done. Nice partnership!

Here's another one...

and another.

Makes you want to be a kid again....M

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Scrap Happy

Yesterday was a holiday for us so I took advantage of the time and spent the morning working on Anne's Stained Glass project. The large HST blocks are in a standard set of colours but the little squares that run diagonally across the quilt are a combination of everything and anything so it was time to dig out the scrap basket and see what I could salvage to include. I know I've mentioned it before but I LOVE being able to incorporate a lot of different fabrics in to a quilt - it just creates such an interesting story.

So, I cut and sewed, and cut and sewed, and cut and sewed and managed to finish off the partial row. I've also got a great stack of the HST blocks and 4 x 4 squares ready to assemble so the last two rows should go together quite quickly. I don't think that I have quite enough cut of finish it off but I'll put together what I have and then see how many more blocks I need - each block takes 4 units so I need to make 48 in total.

Anne found the instructions that she was working on and the pattern is also called Buckeye Beauty, but she prefers to call it Stained Glass. There are instructions for how to make 12 HSTs at one time, which I had not seen before, but I'm thinking would make it come together quite quickly. I'm making 4 HSTs at a time from a 4 7/8" block.

I forgot to show you what the Easter Bunny left me when he dropped off my chocolate supply. Actually, it was Anne, but we'll say it was the big guy. It's the Spring issue of Primitive Quilts and projects.

This one caught my eye, and not just because it is called Red, Red Wine (anyone have Neil Diamond running through their head right about now?).

There's also the lovely wool table topper. I'm not sure that I would ever make it but I thought it was lovely all the same. Lots more to spark the imagination....M