Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Lovin'

The Official Cookie Tester's birthday was this week and one of his brothers decided to surprise him on the big day so I did a quick run about the house to get ready for him. As I was prepping the guest room it occurred to me that I had not shared two of my favourite quilts with you - summer quilts, both of them.

This turquoise & white one was a find at a garage sale years ago and every time I look at it it makes me happy. The fact that it was a steal (I don't think I paid more than $20 for it, if that), is beside the point.

I just love the colours and that the blocks aren't always perfectly sewn together.

The borders are a beautiful blue & white print alternated with turquoise

and alternating white and turquoise prairie points around the edge finish it off.

The backing is to die for. I always think of it as being large plums but I noticed that it's actually purple tulips.

Regardless, I just love the combination of the free spirited print on the back combined with the controlled pattern of the triangles on the top.


It's very lightweight, which is why I call it a summer quilt, and I like to have it folded at the foot of the bed when it is dressed with this white. whole cloth beauty. This one was a wedding gift from mom and dad. Mon put many, many hours of loving stitching into it. She and I designed the pattern together. There's a centre square on the point with 1/2" cross hatching surrounded by a vine pattern that transitions into 1" crosshatch.


That meets the same vine border at the edge of the bed and then transitions into double rows of stitching set an inch apart.


We were trying to get the look of some of the amazing whole cloth quilts that Provence is famous for.


So two quilts with two very different histories. but both well loved.


And yes, the b-day celebrations went off without a hitch. Because all three of us have July birthdays I decided to make a special little treat - Sour Cream Raspberry Tart. Yum!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Laying It Out

All of the hexies now have one mauve triangle attached so I thought I'd start playing with the layout a bit. It's the first time I've laid more than 6 or 8 of them out together and I was surprised at how large it will be - 8 blocks wide by 11 rows high. I suspect some of that is the result of deciding to insert the triangles rather than have the hexies bumping up against each other, but that's okay as I like my quilts on the bigger side.

As I laid it out I realized that I would have a better sense of where I wanted to place the blocks if all of the triangles were in place so I'll now sew a second one onto each hexie and see about the final layout.

Two blocks have a mauve print border that is very close in colour to the triangles and I toyed with changing them up, but decided not to.

There are about 8 large, single-pieced hexies in large floral prints scattered throughout, like the brown one in the upper left corner, and I really like the look of them so I'm toying with adding one or two more to get more texture and build on the interest created by the blocks with fussy cuts.

I really like the fabric combinations in each of the blocks but at times when I was laying it out I felt as though they lost something when they were all laid out together. I think that when there is more mauve - and less hardwood - and it's all quilted (and you are sleeping under it!) that won't be an issue.

Yesterday was a picture perfect summer day after all the wild, stormy weather we've had this week so we packed a bag and headed to the beach for a swim and to find a shady spot to read and sew....M

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Opening the Candy Box

With Spot put to bed I needed another project that I could take in the car this weekend for our road trip north so I dug into the bags and boxes of projects and resurrected my Candied Hexagons. I had been second guessing myself about using the setting triangles between the hexies instead of butting them up against each other but seeing the mauve with all the different prints put my mind at ease. It's a great colour and sets the other colours off nicely as well.

I still haven't laid them all out in the final plan and didn't have time to do that before we left, so I started attaching one mauve setting triangle to each block.

As I worked through it I realized that I probably should be adding another triangle to the opposite side of the block but I'll figure that out when I lay the whole thing out.

There's still a healthy pile of triangles to work through but it's going quickly so progress is visible. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the blocks laid out together.

Just love that mauve....M

Monday, July 15, 2013

Slow Mo Stitching

I have great fun checking out all my favourite quilt blogs on a daily basis but because many of my projects are hand sewn I sometimes I feel like I am quilting in slow motion - you don't just whip up a quilt in a day or two and move on when it's hand stitched. It's a more laid back (and often slow) process, which doesn't always generate great new 'progress' images for posting, particularly when you are working on a two-colour quilt! It also doesn't help when the finished size of many of the pieces is one inch square :).

Spot was one of those projects. I started it last summer on a whim and finished it up last weekend at the cottage. It's nice to have it finished, so I thought I'd give you the slow motion version of finishing the top.

The last of the sashing pieces.

Sashing's ready to go.

And on it goes.

Wa la! I'll need to figure out what to do about a backing but at 43"x 36" the top is finito...M

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The New Neutral

Here's another project that Linda was working on at the cottage - a quilt for her youngest daughter Allie and her husband Corey who just got married two weeks ago.

The background is a collection of wonderful grey prints, or, as Linda refers to them, the new neutral. I thought I had a pic of several of them together but I guess I got so busy fondling them that I forgot to snap a pic! Bold, bright floral flowers and vines will be appliquéd over top and you can see how fabulously well it all works.

I think that all of the leaves are basted now so she started working on the circles for the flowers.

All of the 9-patch strips are pieced with wonderful, rich batiks and interesting prints...

Love this combination. You can see some of the great grey prints that she is using alongside these blocks too.

Here's a few more...

and this. Luv, luv, luv....M

Monday, July 08, 2013

Summer Fun

When it's as hot and humid as it has been this past week the water is the place to be, so we headed out to Jane's cottage for the weekend to try and stay cool, but only after stopping at the farmers' market to pick up our first basket of fresh strawberries for the season. And that meant only one thing - we were having Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. A little bittersweet chocolate with sea salt was a new garnish this time around. Yum!

I'll have a few posts to share from the weekend and the first is some of Linda's work for her newest granddaughter, Hannah. It's the prettiest little quilt filled with pinks and yellows and polka dots and pretty prints that any little girl would just love to have. The blocks are cut from a print based on the children's book, The Paper Bag Princess, and create a bit of an 'I Spy' theme as each one is different.

Aren't they just the cutest?

The handywoman...

And of course, a little retail wear a crown shopping, don't you?

The blue lines that you see are a few flowers that still have to be quilted.

Such attention to detail...lovely little yoyos are scattered throughout, covering the centres of 4-patches - there will be lots to keep little eyes busy.

What makes it particularly pretty is the eyelet trim that she has edged it with.

Did I say how adorable it was? And the feathered circles quilted into the border are just the icing on the cake. Lucky Hannah....M

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Workin' My Way Back To You...

Things don't always work out as planned and this weekend has proven that again. My wonderful plans to bind my Dresden Plate went nowhere, primarily because we had a lovely weekend for sitting out on the deck and gardening, neither of which is good binding territory. And, since it was Canada Day I wanted to work on something a little patriotic, so in the evenings I found myself back quilting Confetti. It has a nice celebratory name and the red & white in it seemed perfect nod to the weekend's festivities.

We went to see the musical Jersey Boys on Saturday so for the rest of the weekend Frankie Valli tunes have been humming through our heads, hence the 'workin' my way back to you...' theme. It seemed appropriate to sit down at the hoop after a bit of a hiatus.

I have to say that I didn't realize how far along I am in finishing the quilting - the centre is at least 3/4 finished. I'll need to figure out how to quilt the edges yet.

It was fun to get back at it, and really encouraging to think that I might actually get this off the hoop some day soon! A belated happy Canada Day, everyone....M