Monday, April 14, 2014

Pink Lemonade Spring Runners

It seems that everyone in North America has had a longgggg winter! What a better way to celebrate spring than with a new spring runner.  This is the first of a series. I just hope that the others will be done before spring is over!

Last summer, before my brother and his family left for Denmark, my niece came over and picked a bunch of very nice fabrics that we were supposed to make something with....well, as life goes, we ran out of time before she left. In the middle of the winter blahs, I took out that fabric and started planning a spring runner for her parents and a wall hanging for her.
Set the Table, published by Martingale
Set the Table, published by Martingale

Pink Lemonade Table Runner
Pink Lemonade Runner
The pattern comes from a book published by Martingale's Set the Table. I bought the book because of all of the quilting  that are used on the runners. It's a great way of learning more quilting techniques on small projects.

Here's the finished runner. Those fabrics and colours remind me of pink lemonade. I love it!

I had a great time quilting the wall hanging. It was just the perfect size for the cross hatch quilting.  As I went on Google to look up the term, I noticed all kinds of advice on cross hatch quilting - I guess I should have checked before attempting the runner! The runner is not cross hatched because my lines were not straight enough - the diamonds that look so pretty on the wall hanging would have revealed all of the imperfections, so the runner is quilted in one direction.
Wall Hanging for Anna
Wall Hanging for Anna

I also had a great time making a label for Anna's project. It's a 3 inch paper-pieced crocus from the fabrics used on the runner.

Paper-pieced Crocus Label
Paper-pieced Crocus Label
The package is being sent today. A little late for Easter but still in time for spring!

What I learned:
  • Cross hatching a small project is fun but cross hatching a runner is really, really tedious, especially when it goes wonky!
  • My Google search indicated that you should use masking tape to mark the project and then do the cross hatching; while one of my quilting friends said that you should quilt a few lines in one direction and then a few lines from the other direction to keep the quilt even. I tried to use the guide that comes with my walking foot, but it kept moving. Apparently I have to tighten it somewhere. I'll have to look into that!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Two Years of Blogging & Learning!

I can't believe I've been blogging for over two years now.

Blogging has become one of my all-time favourite things to do. What's not to love?
  • It's about my passions (quilting & learning);
  • I get to show off my achievements in a culturally acceptable manner :-) ; and
  • I get to practice my web writing and design skills on something other than information management and email cleanup!!!
Images of projects included in my blog
Projects included in my blog
What I have learned in the last two years:
  • The "What I learned" part of the blog has really helped me think critically about my projects, expectations etc.  It's a great way to learn from both my mistakes and my successes.
  • I've realised that I am not a planner of projects and that most of the time that's ok. I think that it comes down to my expectations of the outcome of the projects. To create an amazing quilt, planning is probably a very good thing but to learn new skills, not as much.
  • My quilting depends a lot on the amount of energy I have in the evenings and weekends. That's why having an assortment of projects to work on is so important to me.
  • I very often decide which project to start based on what I want to learn. I find that easier to do than when I want to create a quilt for someone specific. That's probably because then I focus on what the person might like, and of course, the pressure is on to make it look good!
  • Deadlines are not my thing so I really try to keep expectations at a minimum.
  • Participating in challenges and quilt-alongs are great fun, but a lot of work!
Thanks for your time & encouragement.