Monday, April 17, 2017

More Quilts to Celebrate

Canada Quilt by Michelle Gagné
Canada Quilt by Michelle Gagné
I was finally able to attend the Common Thread Quilt Guild meeting this month. Our guest speaker was Michelle Gagné, an Ottawa professional long-arm quilter and prolific quilter. Here is her Canada quilt. I really like the way she made her centre red leaf.

Quilts completed for
Canada`s Biggest Quilt Bee

As for Canada`s Biggest Quilt Bee, our guild members have completed over 30 quilts and over a hundred blocks. I handed in my 6 blocks at the meeting since I`m not likely to finish a quilt top before they send these to Toronto.

The postcard quilt made last fall by guild members is part of the Eastern Ontario Inter-Guild Canada 150 Celebration Trunk Show. It will be travelling across eastern Ontario and can be seen at local quilt shows. If you live in the area, look out for it!

Common Thread Quilt Guild Canada 150 Postcard Quilt
Common Thread Quilt Guild Canada 150 Postcard Quilt
I'll be attending the Ottawa Valley Quilter's Guild Quilt Show - Festival of Quilts 2017. There will have a special 150 exhibit, which will include our Guild's Postcard quilt. The event is on Mother's day weekend, May 12-14. I'm really happy that it's their turn to hold the quilt show this year. I'll get to see the quilts without having to do a lot of work, It will be a real treat!

Since hosting these Celebrate - Fêtons 150 posts, I figured that I should be working on something for the celebrations. Do you remember this free pattern of the Canada 150 logo? Well, it's coming along. The paper piecing went well, although I learned a lot (from my many mistakes). Not the pattern's fault. I also want to make it longer to include the words "Canada 150, 1867 - 2017".
This picture has 2 obvious mistakes..
can you spot them?

This first image is both pre-ironed and pre-fixed - if you enlarge it, you may see that there is a piece of white missing between the top blue and yellow pieces. That was the easy mistake to fix. I used the Crafted Appliqué method to add a small piece of white fabric. It will be fine once it's quilted.

The other obvious mistake is not easily fixed. I would have had to start that section over and undo a lot more since I didn't realize my mistake until I started putting the sections together. We all make mistakes and I can live with this one. It sure will make my logo easy to spot compared to anyone else's!

Canada 150 logo - all paper pieced

If all goes well, I will add the "Canada 150 1867 - 2017" below the logo and quilt it by the first of the month for Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in May.

Here are a few other quilty ideas found on the internet,

Maple Leaf Quilt Block Flag by denna's ideas
Denna made this for the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag a couple of years ago. She explains how she did it in her blog. (See the link in Related Links below)

Maple Leaf Quilt Block Flag
by denna's ideas
Purely Canadian Quilt Pattern
by Quilts by Jen

Purely Canadian Quilt Pattern by Quilts by Jen
Here is another quilt pattern celebrating aspects of Canada.

What I learned
  • It always takes me a while to get into paper piecing. It's like I partially forget how to do it. 
  • The Canada 150 logo was relatively easy to follow, but I did find it tricky to put the finished pieces together. I don't think that it was the pattern, rather I need to stop when I'm tired before I make all of those mistakes!
  • I did make a few mistakes - some that I could easily fix and others that I would have had to start the pieces over. Since I could live with the mistakes, I decided to leave the piece as is. We can call them slight creative modifications :-)
  • I'm happy to report that I've found space in my home for a couple of the art quilts I recently made. It's great to live with them!
Related Links
If you're making anything to celebrate Canada`s 150, please join the link-up on the first of every month this year. The linking party is open all month long. You can also win some very cool prizes - this month it's a pattern donated by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

Here is the button, if you want to add it to your blog!
Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!

Linking Parties: I will be linking to many great link-ups. Check out what everyone is doing! MOP Monday, Monday Making, Moving it Forward Monday, Oh Scrap!Let's Bee Social, Linky Tuesday, Main Crush Monday, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday,

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Progress and Fun

Fibre Fling 6 poster
Fibre Fling 6 - A Success!
I took most of last week off - to quilt, rest and then to volunteer at Fibre Fling 6. It was the ultimate holiday - taking time for myself, quilting, reading 2 books (that's how I rest), spending some quality time with my young adults and hanging out with fibre art and artists.

As I was talking with visitors and fellow artists at the show, I was so excited - I swear I was high on life and art!!!

Here are some of the things that I played with this week:

I have been wanting to make a couple of neutral lap quilts for a while. For the last year or so I've been increasing my stash of neutral fabrics.

More Take 5 Quilts book cover
More Take 5 Quilts
Anyone who knows me will wonder how I could make a neutral coloured quilt, but since I made the Bali Back Flip quilt and the Orange Peel Runner in neutrals, I must say that I've really come to appreciate them. I find them so classy and zen. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't work for very long without some real colour, but a change of scenery is not a bad thing :-)
All of the fabric strips for the quilt

The pattern I chose for the first quilt comes from More Take 5 Quilts by Kathy Brown. It's called Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk.

I don't usually cut all of my fabric before I start the quilt, but in this case I had no choice since each block requires pieces from all of the fabrics.

It took me a while to get the hang of the pattern because I had substituted some of the colours and had to translate the pattern to my fabrics.

Once I got the hang of it, it went really well. Just a lot of straight seams and no matching or points. My kind of piecing! Since the blocks are 14½ ", they sewed up quickly. It was also interesting to see the different colour combinations. I love the dark fabrics on the outside the best. I think that it's going to make a nice quilt.
Different block variations

More blocks
I've now completed 14 of the 20, 14½ " blocks required. The pattern is much larger than I need, but I'm going to make all of the blocks and then decide what to do with the extra ones. This might be my chance to make a partially pieced back. I've ordered and received the backing fabric - it's the wide backing and was on sale. Gotta love it!

Needle Felting

After participating in a Needle Felting Play Day last June, I had bought some supplies but didn't take any of them out until this week. I have to admit that I did so to justify buying a few more supplies - the shop is close to the Fibre Fling 6 venue!

On Saturday, between errands, I took over the kitchen table and played! Turns out that mixing different coloured threads, wool roving and fibre is really good for my artist's soul.

My first piece was made purely for fun. I wanted to use a merino wool and roving mixture that I purchased this week. It's so beautiful and soft that all I want to do is snuggle up to it! It reminds me of a scrumptious sherbet :-) I think that I've completed the needle felting part, but I would like to embellish it with beads. I have no idea how this piece will progress, but I'm sure that it'll come to me.

Add caption

The second and third pieces are for an art piece that I had hoped to make for the Colour Unboxed Exhibition. It wasn't made for the show, but I bought the fabrics I wanted and I still think that it's a great idea. Now that there's no pressure, I will probably make it. There are bound to be more shows that will need art quilts :-)

Fibre Fling 6
The view as visitors walked in to Fibre Fling 6

Here are a few pictures of Fibre Fling 6. Two of my pieces were in a great location - visible just as people walked into the room. Do you see them under the wonderful multi-coloured piece?

Sifting Pebbles was made by my friend and ex-colleague Kathy. Isn't it lovely?

Kathy created the copper wire knitted basket that is treated with patina in a workshop led by Sayward Johnson. The basket is displayed on a raw silk background to highlight its delicacy. The piece reminds Kathy of sifting sand and pebbles on the beach.
I just have to share this last one - it was created in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Out of the Box artist group. Véronique free motion quilted zentangle designs that she then shaded with water colours. I just love it!

Out of the Box celebrates 20 years!
What I learned:
  • It seems that I don't need wine to get high - I just need to attend and participate in an art show! Great to know :-)
  • Cutting fabric is the perfect thing to do when I'm sick with a sinus cold and can't lie down. That's how I cut all of the fabric for my neutral quilt. I made sure that I was well organised and then cut the fabric while listening to the audio version of Inheritance, the 4th book of the Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini. I don't read, or listen to, a lot of fantasy, but this series rocks!
  • There's nothing like guilt to motivate me. In this case I don't mind since I did end up felting.
Featured Links:
Linky Parties

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in April

Welcome to the third month of Celebrate - Fêtons 150!

Let's party with quilts this year! Twice a month this year I will preview some of the great patterns and events celebrating Canada's 150th,
Canada 150 pattern by
First thing - Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in March was a success with 11 link-ups. Including those from the More Celebrations the Quilty Way post (March 13, 2017), there was a total of 16 comments. The draw was based on 27, and number 7 was the winner - which is the link up from Kathy K. Wylie Quilts. It's really great that we have quilting professionals linking their Canada 150 projects. I'm looking forward to trying Kathy's technique and pattern this year.

Canadian Beaver Block - designed by Sew Fresh Quilts

We are also in for a special treat as Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts is donating one of her quilt patterns to the lucky winner of the April link-up. Thanks so more Lorna!

Here's one of Lorna's patterns that I just completed - the Canadian Beaver Block. It was a joy to sew and quilt (and believe me when I say that I don't find joy in piecing very often!) Thanks Lorna for this wonderful project :-)

What else is happening in the quilting world to celebrate Canada's 150?
Linda Hutchinson's quilt at QuiltCon

Canadian quilts at QuiltCon, Savannah

Did anyone get to QuiltCon in Savannah this year? As I've been reading blogs and magazines about the event, I sure wish I had the chance to attend. It sounds wonderful! Lisa from Sunlight in Winter Quilts posted a few pictures of fellow Canadian quilters' work. Here is an original piece by Linda Hutchinson of the Toronto Modern Guild. The quilt is hand quilted - and with luck we'll see it at Quilt Canada in Toronto this June.

Wonda's Designs - This is Canada

I haven't seen this design anywhere yet. The quilt is made up of 12 panels which can be bought in packages of 3. They can make a lovely quilt or wall hangings. See the link to Wonda's Desings in Related Links at the bottom of the post.

All Around Canada Block Pattern by Along Came Quilting Store in Calgary

This lovely 18" quilt block is the store's block pattern for the Northcott Trans-Canada Block Party. If you're in Calgary this summer, you can pick up the pattern or kit at the store. Otherwise, you'll be able to order it after September 1st.

My husband is going to Calgary in May, so I have a month to figure out how to convince him to pick up this beauty for me!
All Around Canada Block Pattern by
Along Came Quilting Store in Calgary
SeaSew - Canada's 150 Paper Pieced Logo

This is the official logo of Canada 150. Here's a free paper pieced pattern from SeaSew by Dana Szucs Hayden.

Canadian Critters Series Designed by A Quilter's Home 
Celebrating with the Canadian Critters Series

After seeing this little Canadian Critter - I'm doomed. Celebrating Canada's 150 is definitely going to cost me a small fortune :-)

How can you resits? I'm not sure, since the other 2 critters are just as cute, and it's only March! You can purchase these kits individually or as a Block of the Month... one for each month of the year!!!

Celebrating Canada's 150 Events

I don't think that I can stand any more amazing quilts and blocks right now, so here are some websites to find out what is happening around your area (or places you will visit) this year. The links are all below, in the Related Links section.

Free Parks Canada
Discovery Pass
I have to start with the Free Parks Canada Discovery Pass. This pass will get your group free admission this year to National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites owned and operated by Parks Canada. It's a great opportunity to discover amazing places around the country. Check out the link below for details. You won't want to miss out.

Canada's 150 Site
The Government of Canada has an internet site and an app to help you find events celebrating this special year.

Quilt Shows and Events page at the Canadian Quilting Association Website

Spring brings with it the beginning of quilt shows around the country. I suspect that every show will have something to celebrate Canada's 150th. Check out what shows are coming in your area. Enjoy!

What I learned:
  • Although I usually attend only one quilt show a year, I know that this year will be different. Although I can't travel across the country to give you accounts of all of these quilting events, I hope that you will link up if you have a post of any of these shows with their Canada 150 exhibits.
  • Aren't these quilt patterns wonderful? I'm not sure how I'm going to resist getting many more of these special designs.
  • With everything that's going on, I posted my April objectives with my March Finishes. That's not how it works. So please bear with me as I repeat my April goals.
My April Objectives:
England Souvenir - to be quilted & embellished

  • My OMG is to quilt and embellish the England souvenir from the World Quilting Travel Adventure and hang it up in my kitchen; 
  • Make more slab blocks, and if I’m really productive, finish a small quilt top for Canada's Big Quilt Bee;
  • Work on and hopefully complete my Art with Fabric project. I'll be posting on the first day - May 15th! No pressure :-)

Related Links:

Here is the button, if you want to add it to your blog!
Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
Now it's your turn to show us what you are doing to Celebrate Canada's 150th.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Finishes

Celebrate – Fêtons 150
What a month! It started with the second Celebrate – Fêtons 150 link-up and the draw of the first prize among those who left comments. Three Canada 150 fat quarters were sent to Susan from Quilt Fabrication.

The link-up has been a success!! There were eleven link-ups – and only one of them was my own :-) This month I also had my own celebration – 5 years of blogging and 150 posts! Thank you to everyone who participated in the link-ups, left comments and best wishes for my own anniversary. What an amazing online community.

I had two goals for March, which I accomplished. My One Month Goad (OMG) was to finish the beaver block created by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. Here it is:
Celebrating 150 - Beaver block designed by Sew Fresh Quilts
Canada 150 - Beaver block designed by Sew Fresh Quilts

Close-up of Canadian Beaver
Canadian Beaver's Close-up Shot!
Here’s the label made with some of the scraps from the original project.

My second March goal was to make more slab blocks for Canada's Big Quilt Bee. I now have 6 completed blocks. I’m halfway to making a small quilt top.
I’m trying to keep my goals to a minimum but I do have a few deadlines, so here are my April goals:

  • Make more slab blocks, and if I’m really productive, finish a small quilt top for Canada's Big Quilt Bee;
  • Quilt and embellish the England souvenir from the World Quilting Travel Adventure;
  • Work on and hopefully complete my Art with Fabric project. I'll be posting on the first day - May 15th! No pressure :-)
What I learned:
  • As I mentioned in my last post, I really enjoyed making the Beaver block. It was easier than I expected, in no small part due to Lorna’s technique and instructions. I’m not sure that I’ll ever commit to a full quilt, but I definitely want to make more blocks. They make great wall hangings.
  • I am so happy that the link-ups have been a success. I’ve reached out to many Canadian quilting bloggers (and some non-Canadians too!) who have been very supportive. 
  • I’ve research and found many quilting patterns and projects that celebrate Canada’s 150th. Can you believe that I had forgotten to check Pinterest? I found lots of interesting projects that I will share with you on my Celebrate – Fêtons 150 in April post.
Related Links
Project Details

Canada 150
16" x 26"
Canadian Beaver quilt block pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts
Materials: cotton
Techniques: piecing, free motion quilting

Great news -this little guy was featured on Main Crush Monday. Thanks Beth!

Linking Parties: I'll be linking this post to the OMG March Finish Link Up, as well as many more. Please check them out! Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Free Motion Mavericks, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Let's Bee Social, Moving it Forward, Main Crush Monday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Getting Things Done

When I come home from our monthly Out of the Box Fibre Artists meeting - I was all hipped up and didn't get to sleep until late. So many quilts, techniques and ideas....and never enough time!!!

This month's speaker, Sharon Collins, sure wowed me! For whatever reason, I'm totally intimidated by paint and fabric dye - but after seeing her work, I just have to learn this! She is creating these amazing landscape art quilts with her hand-dyed cotton, silk and silk organza. Some of her pieces have 4 or 5 layers. She uses a technique called flat dying. This summer, I'm going to learn more about this and let you know what happens! Check out her website in the Related Links below.

It's been a very busy March so far. I've made progress on a few things. Here they are:

Beaver Block (It's my March OMG and being made for Celebrate - Fêtons 150)

I've been working very hard on Lorna's (Sew Fresh Quilts) Beaver block. I have to admit that I was pretty anxious about making it since piecing is not my favourite thing to do. Well, I am thrilled to say that it was a really great experience. The pattern was easy to follow and her technique was great. I finished piecing it in a couple of days. I am very impressed!

Now I'm quilting it. That's the fun part of the process - where the quilting gives it that extra boost.
FMQ the Beaver block
FMQ the Beaver block

Details of the FMQ of the flag and tail
Details of the FMQ of the flag and tail
England Souvenir with JoJo Hall's World Quilting Travel Adventure

Progress on the England Souvenir 
England was the fourth location in our World Tour. I'm a little behind, but slowly catching up! I love this Tea Room wall hanging and it's going to hang in my kitchen.

World Quilting
Travel Adventure
I used the Crafted Applique technique and as usual, it was a success. Since I want to make it an art quilt, I visited a local beading shop and found some black chain to use to hang the sign from the post. I can't wait to start the embellishing, but I should probably clean up those loose threads and sew down the applique first!

Growing Up QAL - Block 3

Block 3 of Growing Up QAL
Block 3 of Growing Up QAL

The third block in Alida's Growing Up QAL is all about circles. I'm really proud of myself. I took my time, used tons of pins and it went very well. It reminded me of why I disliked sewing sleeves on garments! I can't see myself making an entire quilt of circles, but after making 8 of those suckers, it was getting easier.

Postcard from Sweden Quilt Along

I know, I really, really don't need another QAL project - but in my defense, I started this quilt top over a year ago.
Half-Square Triangles
Half-Square Triangle

I saw a finished version that was incredibly FMQ somewhere in Internet land and fell in love. Any excuse to make something to practice my FMQ on, even if it involves half-square triangles (HST)! I bought two Hoffman Bali Snaps packages - Sea Glass and Gemstone to start with but once again my planing and math skills were off :-) That's ok - I have lots of potential batik fabrics in my stash.

What I learned:

  • I'm not sure if it's because it gets darker later but I now feel like working on my quilting after supper. I've been able to advance a lot of these projects.
  • I enjoy having projects at different stages of completion - it gives me the chance to FMQ, piece or plan - depending on my mood.

Related Links:

Linking Parties: Here are the link-ups that I'm participating in. Check out what everyone is making! Postcards from Sweden QALGrowing Up QAL Link-up, World Quilting Travel Adventure - Travelers' Souvenirs, Let's Bee Social, Linky Tuesday, Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not FridayOff the Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Main Crush Monday.