Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Day with Kaffe and Brandon

A few months ago, Christine and I signed up for a colour workshop (Overlapping Tiles) with Kaffe Fassett and Bandon Mably that was being organized by Chantal at Hyggeligt.  This past Thursday, I got up very early and was out the door by 7:15 am to drive to the workshop.  I had gathered up some fabrics from my stash a couple of nights before the workshop. 

I picked the colours from a piece of yellow Kaffe Fassett paperweight fabric.

The van beside me in the parking lot had this sign on the window...I could relate!

This sign greeted me as I entered the building.

Kaffe was knitting as people came in and got set up for the workshop. Take a look at his socks!

I sorted out my fabrics and set up my cutting board.  There was no sewing at this workshop. Pretty soon, Kaffe and Brandon introduced the tasks for the day. We soon got started cutting out 3.5" squares and putting them up on our design walls. After filling up the top half of the design board with tiles, we were encouraged to step as far back as possible and take a look at how the colours were working together. Kaffe talked about our "colour stories". 
I had originally included some gold fabrics as well but Kaffe suggested I take them down off the design wall as they did not fit in with the bright colours in my quilt.  Brandon suggested I add a few fabrics he had chosen from their fabrics--Hyggeligt had a table with fabrics for sale at the venue. At first I really wondered about his choices but once I added them in, I loved how they enhanced my project.
Kaffe and Brandon came around later in the day and suggested "Surrey" as my constant for the squares between the tiles.  I really had a hard time wrapping my head around this recommendation!
I purchased a half yard of fabric and cut it up to try it out with my tiles.  It worked!  I ended up taking out the light coloured tiles and adding some brighter yellow tiles. 
Brandon and I with my quilt.  My shirt goes with my quilt!
At the end of the day, we cleaned up all our fabrics and did a tour of all of the design walls around the room. Kaffe talked about each design wall. It was amazing to see all of the different quilts being created--all so different! 
Kaffe's shirt matched this one!
Here he is talking about my quilt.
I purchased "Shots and Stripes" the day of the workshop and Kaffe signed it for me before I went home.
Now, I just have to cut out more squares and add more columns of tiles to my quilt. I would like to make this into a queen sized quilt for my bed.
And so, now I have one more UFO to work on!  It is a good thing there is a quilt 'til you wilt day coming up in November.  I may need several QTYW days to get everything done!
Sew many quilts, sew little time!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Quilt For Abby

A while back, a friend contacted me to see if I knew anyone who could use some t-shirts to make a quilt for his daughter, Abby. Right away, I said that I would be happy to make a t-shirt quilt for Abby--a t-shirt quilt has been on my bucket list for a while so this project is a good opportunity to try something new.  We soon got together for supper and I was given several bags of t-shirts that could be used in the quilt to take home with me.

I started by washing all the t-shirts and putting them out on the floor to take a look at all of them.

As you can see, all of the t-shirts are from the annual "Run 4 Rett" fundraiser. Abby has Rett Syndrome. Her family and other families and friends of girls with Rett Syndrome raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome every year with this run/walk.  My family has participated in the Run 4 Rett --my daughter's t-shirt is the one on the lower left in the above picture.

Before Abby was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, I had never heard of it before.  Here is some information from the Ontario Rett Syndrome Association:

What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by the loss of spoken language and hand use, coupled with the development of distinctive hand stereotypes. This disorder is seen in infancy and occurs almost exclusively in females. It is usually caused by a mutation of the MECP2 gene on the X chromosome. Rett syndrome is found in all racial and ethnic groups throughout the world. It affects one in every ten thousand live female births. Early developmental milestones appear normal, but between 6-18 months of age, there is a delay or regression in development, particularly affecting speech, hand skills and gait. A hallmark of Rett syndrome is repetitive hand movements that may become almost constant while awake. Other more common medical issues encountered include epileptic seizures, muscle stiffness, osteoporosis and scoliosis. Despite its multiple handicaps, Rett syndrome is not a degenerative disease. Many individuals with Rett syndrome live long into adulthood. There is currently no cure.

I talked to a few friends who had made t-shirt quilts before and got some advice about how to stabilize the stretchy knit fabric. Since this is the year that I am (mostly) making quilts without patterns, I had to figure out how I was going to make all these t-shirts look good in a quilt. I used non-woven iron-on light-weight interfacing and ironed it on from the interfacing side so the iron would not smear the writing on the t-shirts.

While in Ottawa at Mad About Patchwork a few weeks ago, I showed Pam a picture of the t-shirts and we discussed ideas for background material for the quilt as well as fabric for an outer border.  We decided that "Pewter" gray from her extensive collection of Kona Cottons would be the perfect background material and I would find other fabrics in my solids stash to add in for accents. The outer border will be a surprise when the quilt is revealed later...

You have probably noticed that the t-shirts are in all different sizes and shapes... First, I had to figure out how I was going to arrange the shirts. I knew I wanted this t-shirt to be in the middle.

I am using solids that go with the t-shirts and the outer border.  Each block has a different type of border around it.

It is fun to figure out something different for each part of the quilt.

Abby's dad has seen these pictures and he said it looks "very cool".

Once I get sewing, it is hard to stop.  I am missing being at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat this year for 5 days of non-stop sewing.  (Gwen Marston organized these retreats for 30 years and "retired" from the retreats after last year's retreat.)

This is as far as I have gone so far.  I have lots more ideas of what to do next. I should have more progress to post in a week or two.

If you would like more information about Rett Syndrome, follow this link:

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Yet Another Finish

Can you tell that our London Friendship Quilters Guild Show is coming up in less than a month?  I am working hard to finish off the quilts that I will be entering in the show--bindings, labels and hanging sleeves--only one more sleeve and a couple of labels to go!

The Lazy Sunday Mystery is a Bonnie Hunter Pattern that was in 4 consecutive issues of Quiltmaker Magazine a while back. I finally had it quilted by Cathy recently and finished off the binding a couple of weeks ago. I was too busy to blog about it until now!

 That's me peeking out from behind the quilt on the left side of the picture.   The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago when Kathy, Cathy, Barb and Christine were here for a sewing day.  The colours are a bit washed out in this picture.

It looked like this from the back of the quilt!

Cathy used an angel pantograph for the quilting.

My husband and I took a drive in the country today and we stopped so I could take a few pictures.

It was a beautiful day for a jaunt along some country roads!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Red and White Wallhanging Done!

When I got home from work today, I noticed that my sedum is in bloom. The sun was shining on it at just the right angle for a picture or two...

I have been working on finishing off three quilts with hand sewing the binding. You have already seen the squirrel quilt.  This post is about my red and white round robin wall hanging. 

I did not have a quilt holder available for my pictures so I just laid it out on the grass in the backyard. We have had lots of rain this year so the grass has been growing like crazy and is very green. 

I used some red fossil fern fabric for the binding.  It was in my stash ;-)

Cathy at Eagles Wings Quilts did the quilting.  There are half daisies in all of the flying geese.

and daisies and leaves in the red border.

She did some rick rack squiggles in the setting triangles in the centre section.

The backing is some fun spool fabric that was also lurking in my stash...
Another fun project, done and ready for the London Friendship Quilters Guild Show in October!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Orange and Blue Charity Block

October's colours for the Elgin Piecemakers Charity project are navy and orange. I was looking at Kristin Shields' blog the other night and there was a picture of this block along with a photo that showed how the block was made. I decided to give it a try tonight while Christine was here for our weekly sewing time. It did not take long at all to make this block! Now, I just have to find out what colours we will be using for the November block and I can work on it. I love to have a few blocks done ahead of time!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Liberated Squirrels are done

Yesterday, Kathy, Cathy, Christine and Barb came over to spend the day sewing in my dining room.  There was much laughter, chatting and sewing going on all day long! 

We were all very busy!

Of course, there were also scraps...

Kathy has more than one bin full of scraps but only brought one bin with her!

I spent some time finishing up some WIP's for the London Friendship Quilters Guild charity projects. These 9 patches will be used in a Quilt of Valour:

And these pillowcases will be sold in the boutique at our guild show in October as a fundraiser for our charity projects:

In the afternoon and evening, I finished up the quilting on my Liberated Squirrels Quilt.
I tried out some new Hiroshima Quilting Needles which I purchased at the Quilts at the Creek show a few weeks ago. The package states "Large eye needle. Flexible and warp resistant. Runs smoothly through fabric."  I think the first part of this description is a bit (ok, a lot!) deceptive.  I have never tried to thread a needle with such a small eye!  Even with my glasses on, it took several tries to get the thread though the hole! I would have to agree with the rest of the statement--they were flexible and did not warp like the other needles I have been using to quilt this project. I found that my stitches were smaller and more evenly spaced when using this needle.
I trimmed the quilt and added the binding by machine. I spent the rest of the time, hand sewing the binding down.  This afternoon, I did the final hand stitches on the binding and took the Liberated Squirrels out to the backyard for a photo shoot:
TA DA!!!
Now it just needs a sleeve and a label and it will be ready for the quilt show!
BTW, there was a tea and pie break mid afternoon to keep up our strength...
I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago, Kathy asked me if I would like to do a blog post for the Around the World blog you can see, I said YES!

I live and work in South Western Ontario in Canada. I would love to have time to sew every day but that is not always possible since I work full time. My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! We have one daughter who is finishing up her degree at university this year. Of course, she has several quilts to remind her that she is well loved!

As part of the blog hop, I am supposed to answer a few questions, so here goes...

1. What am I working on?

I am not a one project quilter...I always have several projects on the go at a time. This past year, I have attended several workshops/classes and this summer, my goal was to try to finish off a few of these class projects so that I could start some new ones!

Last September, I took an applique class with Becky Goldsmith and here is my finished project:

Last winter, I watched The Quilt Show episode with Jacquie Gering and was inspired to make a liberated wall hanging which I am currently working on...

The quilting is just about done now.

I did a wool applique class with Jill Buckley, aka The Quilt Rat in January. This project is still in line waiting to be finished.

I had the opportunity to take not one, but TWO classes with Jacquie Gering in the past few months...Both of these projects are patiently waiting their turn at the sewing machine to be completed.

My flip and stitch flower garden, above, and my improvisational piecing project below:

In case that was not enough classes to take in one year, my friend Debbie and I signed up for a Modern Wedge class with Kathy Doughty from Australia in May.

You can see that I have lots on my plate to keep me busy and out of trouble!

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It has always been my goal to try to learn something new with each project I make.  My focus for this year has been working without patterns. I have been on three Beaver Island Quilt Retreats with Gwen Marston and have fallen in love with her liberated quilting style. I find it takes a bit longer to do a project without a pattern, but I am certainly enjoying the process!  The classes I have taken this past year have opened up new doors to new ideas to try. If I need a quick gift quilt, I usually use a pattern but I like making it up as I go along much better! I have signed up for another class in October with Kaffe Fasset and hope to be challenged with new ways to think about colour.

3. Why do I create what I do?

I learned to sew from my babysitter when I was 7 years old. I made doll clothes at first and then clothes for myself and my family. I made my first quilt when I was in high school and have made dozens of quilts since then. When my daughter was little, I loved to make her dresses and pajamas. She has always had a home made quilt on her bed. I have also made drapes, roman blinds, etc for my home. The first thing I bought when I finished university and got my first job was a sewing machine.  When I am sewing, I relax and the stresses of the world are left behind. I love to make quilted gifts for others and have made quilts, placemats and pillowcases for several different charities and community projects. I can't imagine my life without sewing. My dad says I got my sewing gene from his Mother, who was a seamstress. She died long before I was born but it makes me feel good to share this hobby with her.

4. How does my creating process work?

I find inspiration for my quilts in many places--patterns, pictures, books, magazines, classes, etc. I find I spend quite a bit of time mulling over a project before starting or in some cases, completing it. For instance, I am not quite sure what I am going to use for the background of my Modern Wedge class project, but I am thinking about it as I sort through my fabric.  Speaking of fabric, I have way too much of it and need to use what I have rather than purchasing more!  Sometimes, a favourite piece of fabric is a jumping off point for a project.

Thanks for coming to visit today.

I am linking to Christine at Quilting at Balmoral Cottage.  I have known Christine for several years and we get together once a week to sew together. We encourage each other and talk, laugh, and sometimes cry,  together as we sew. Christine and another friend, Carol, and I attended the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat together for the last three years. We will not be attending this year as Gwen Marston has retired from leading the retreats.

One last project to share--3 friends, including Christine, and I did a round robin this past spring. We each did a border on each other's quilts. This was another project without a pattern and proved to be quite challenging for all of us!  This is my quilt top which has now been quilted and needs to have the binding added before our Guild quilt show in October.

Happy sewing to all!