Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Finishes

Batik Lap Quilt Top
Batik Lap Quilt Top
Does this look familiar? I finished this quilt lap top on a retreat last May. I used 2 packages of North Country Trail Batiks Charm Pack by Holly Taylor for Moda as well as some 5" squares from my batik stash since I should have bought 3 charm packs!

This was my One Month Goal (OMG) for February with Elm Street Quilts. I also had a few other goals. Let's see how I did:

  1. To FMQ this colourful batik lap quilt for my brother (the one who got me fabric in Paris) - this is my OMG! Finished
  2. To finish embellishing Escape 2: English Garden; Finished
  3. To finish the Northern Lights hexies art quilt. Almost Finished
  4. To make the next block for the Growing Up QAL Finished March 2
Batik Lap Quilt 2

FMQ blocks using templates or patterns
FMQ blocks using templates or patterns
I had a great time FMQ this lap quilt. There are 132 blocks in this quilt and I used all of them to practice my FMQ. I was trying to keep this quilt supple, even with a lot of FMQ. I followed the fabric pattern in many of the blocks. I did FMQ based on Angela Walters' patterns and also used stencils. I made two blocks based on Muv's (of Free Motion Mavericks) tutorials. Check out her oak leaf and rudbeckia designs in the Featured Links below.

Since my brother loves Paris and travels there as often as he can, I FMQ two Paris blocks. One is the Eiffel Tower and the other the Notre-Dame Cathedral. To make these (since I don't draw well), I enlarged a black and white photo and outlined the structure with a fine black Sharpie. Using the light box, I copied the image on freezer paper and cut the image out.

For the Eiffel Tower, I FMQ over the freezer paper. It worked out fine, except for the tiny pieces of paper stuck underneath the thread.
Eiffel Tower freezer paper template
Eiffel Tower freezer paper template
Eiffel Tower FMQ on block
Eiffel Tower FMQ on block

Notre-Dame Cathedral FMQ
Notre-Dame Cathedral FMQ
For the Notre-Dame Cathedral, I used the same process but used a removable pen to draw the outline around the freezer paper. I then used the picture to fill in the inside lines. I did practice this on paper before FMQ it since it was quite intricate. I'm quite happy with the results.
Chevy (dog) posing in front of Batik Lap Quilt 2
Chevy posing in front of Batik Lap Quilt 2

Escape 2: English Garden Finished
Escape 2: English Garden Finished

Escape 2: English Garden was finished and the post written on February 19, 2017

Northern Lights hexies art quilt only needs a binding. I'm not going to spoil the surprise.

The next block for the Growing Up QAL has all of the pieces cut up and is ready to be sewn together. I have a couple more days to sew and post it! March 2: Here is my block
Growing Up QAL Block 2
Growing Up QAL Block 2
Northern Lights is almost done!
Northern Lights is almost done!

What I learned:
  • The lap quilt is a little stiffer than I would have preferred - there is a lot of FMQ, even if the blocks are not densely quilted. I think it's still fairly supple.
  • Many of the FMQ is not easily seen - it'll be a little bit like a "Find Waldo". I hope my brother will have fun discovering the different blocks - including one with his name and another his cat's name.
  • My block 2 in the Growing Up QAL is not quilt right. The HST are going in a different direction. The correct square looks much better - maybe I'll try again, or maybe not!
  • I was very productive in the last couple of weeks. In part, it's because of the audio books I borrowed from the library - Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini. I read them years ago but have decided to listen to them so that I can read the last two books of the series. I just love being read to!
Featured Links:

Batik Lap Quilt 2

Project Details
Batik Lap Quilt 2
50 ½ " x  47½"
Materials: cotton batiks - North Country Trail Batiks Charm Pack by Holly Taylor for Moda as well as other 5" squares
Techniques: FMQ - freehand as well as templates and stencils

Did you get lots of quilting done in February? Spring with its longer days and fresh air will wake me out of hibernation!

Linky Parties: I will be linking to the One Monthly Goal - February Finish Link-up as well as these other link-ups. Check out what everyone is up to! Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Growing Up Quilt-Along, Needle & Thread Thursday, Let's Bee Social, Free Motion Mavericks, Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Off the Wall Friday,

I am linking this post to Sarah Goer's Show Me Something With Squares

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Second in the Series

Two fabric flowers
Two fabric flowers
My second Escape Art Quilt is done! It had to sit and percolate a while before I was ready to finish it.

I knew that there would be 2 fabric flowers that I had made, although I wasn't sure of their placement. I also wanted to add more embellishment, but didn't want to go overboard (something I can easily do!)

I went in my jewelry box and found a lovely chunky red flower - it's perfect!

Details of Escape 2: English Garden Art Quilt
I really wanted to add some rose quartz, but where and how much? I asked my son - he's got a great eye for the geometry of a piece. Sure enough, he did it again. He explained that the piece flowed from right to left, following the points of the two triangles horizontally. I had considered dangling the quartz from the draped fabric, but he said that it would break its horizontal flow.

Escape 2: English Garden Art Quilt
Second in the Escape Series: Escape 2: English Garden

I added the rose quartz with clear beads between them along the triangles. It's like a flower bed bordered by stones. I also added some seed beads within the draped fabric. These only show up if light reflects off them, adding a little twinkle to the garden - maybe the dew?

What I learned:
  • I've really enjoyed making this second art quilt in the series. It's fun to be following a process for more than one quilt. I've started writing down the process and hope to share it as a tutorial eventually. I'm going to test it out with Escape 3: À Paris.
  • It's great to be able to use pieces of jewelry in my art quilts, especially since I love jewelry but never wear it!
  • This piece really needed a lot of percolating time. I attempted to work on it a few times, mostly because I thought that I should. This weekend, I just knew that I was ready to finish it!

Featured Links:
Escape 2: English Garden
Escape 2: English Garden

Project Details
Escape 2: English Garden
20" x 16"
Materials: Linen, cotton, scarf (probably cotton), fabric from polyester top, embroidery floss, beads and rose quartz.
Techniques: Improvisational piecing, Free Motion Quilting, hand embroidery, beading, fabric flowers.

Linky Parties: Check out what others are making at these link-ups. MOP Monday, Oh Scrap!, Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday,

Don't forget to link-up to the Celebrate-Fêtons 150 to show off your Canada and Canada 150 themed posts. The link-up and prizes will be happening every month of 2017!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Canada 150 Quilting Events and Projects

There is a whole lot of celebrating going on! Canada's 150th anniversary is a big birthday, although compared to many countries, Canada is really only 150 years young! As you'll see, quilters across the country are doing what we do best - celebrating by buying fabric :-) as well as making and giving quilts.
150 Canadian Women Quilt

Here are a few of the events and projects that I’ve come across. The links to these items are at the bottom of the post. If you find more of these, please let me know and I’ll include them in a post.

150 Canadian Women Quilt by Next Step Quilt Designs from Calgary, Alberta.

The block patterns are free to those who sign up from their blog. If you haven’t signed up yet, you won’t have access to some of the first few blocks. Not to worry. Next Step Quilt Designs will be creating a CD near the end of the year with all of the blocks on them. You also don’t have to make all of the blocks to create a great quilt.

Canada's Big Quilt Bee, organised by the Canadian Quilters' Association / Association canadienne de la courtepointe

The Big Quilt Bee will be held June 14-17, 2017 at Quilt Canada 2017 in Toronto, ON. Volunteers will be making quilt tops from blocks made by quilters across Canada (and elsewhere!) as well as quilting the quilt tops. The goal is to make and donate 1,000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.
One of the many logos for the Canada's Big Quilt Bee - designed by Jill Buckley
The slab block is designed by Cheryl Arkison. They are 12 ½" blocks that incorporate at least one piece of special Canada fabric in them. At three sew days, members of the Common Thread Quilt Guild have made over 90 slab blocks so far, as well as many quilt tops. If our guild is any indication, there will be more than 1,000 quilts completed at the Big Quilt Bee. Way to go!

Follow the link below to get their logo, designed by Jill Buckley, the slab block pattern, fabrics to use, and other important details.

Canada Mystery Quilt

Nova Scotia block
Designed by Shania Sunga, to commerate Canada's 150th birthday, Canada Mystery Quilt consists of 13 blocks featuring 10 Provinces and 3 territories of Canada. These have been available in quilt shops across Canada as Blocks of the Month kits and finish in April 2017.
Manitoba Wall Hanging

It looks as if some BOM have started over, and it’s now possible to buy individual blocks as kits to make individual wall hangings. They are absolutely gorgeous! Check your favourite quilt shop or online shop to see if they stock the kits.

Canada 150 Fabrics

Canada 150 Fabrics
Canada 150 Fabrics
Many fabrics have been created to celebrate Canada's 150th. The links to the fabric companies are below. Check out your local fabric shop or favourite online store to see if they carry them.

  • Discover Canada by JN Harper
  • Stonehenge Oh Canada by Northcott
  • Northcott’s Sesquicentennial fabric
  • Trend-Tex Fabrics With Glowing Hearts by Moda
  • Cantik Batiks

Trans-Canada Block Party with Northcott
Quilty Pleasures' block:
Sergeant Sesquicentennial

This program has three components based on Northcott's Sesquicentennial fabric line. 

Trans-Canada Block Party:  From January to September 2017, participating quilt shops will provide a free pattern (or have kits for sale) for a block to customers who visit their store. Kits from participating stores must consist of only the Canadian Sesquicentennial Celebration fabrics and the blocks range from 6” x 6” to 18” x 18”, in 6” increments. Northcott even created a google map of participating stores.

Vote for your favourite block from the top 10 blocks. The link is below.    

Canada Quilt Challenge:  Make a quilt using at least 6 blocks from 6 different participating Trans-Canada Block Party stores with the Canadian Sesquicentennial Collection and enter to win prizes. 

Sesquicentennial Quilts of Valour Challenge:  Quilts made from the Canadian Sesquicentennial Celebration fabric line can be donated to Quilts of Valour through Northcott, The top 15 quilts will be displayed at Quilt Canada in Toronto in June and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 viewer’s choices.

Canada's 150th quilt blocks

Common Thread Quilt Guild members designed and made 4.5 x 6.5 inch blocks that represent what Canada means to them. These will be made into a quilt that may be a part of a travelling exhibit in 2017, I'll let you know when I find out more about this,

My Canada Goose block for Canada's 150th quilt
What I learned:
  • There are a lot more events and fabrics available than I thought. I guess it's a great marketing opportunity for the fabric companies. The upcoming events look like a lots of fun!
  • I'm sure that it will take a while for the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 linking parties to attract participants. It feels like cheating, but I'm going to try to link this post to the linking party. Maybe having one post will encourage others.
  • I just ordered some Canada 150 fabric from the Stonehenge Oh Canada collection....guess what will be in this month's give away? I'll add a photo 

Features Links:
Come and celebrate Canada's 150 with Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
There will be a linking party and prizes each month! See the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 page for details.

I will be linking this post to some great linking parties. Check them out:  Midweek MakersOff the Wall Friday,  Fabric Frenzy Friday, Moving It Forward MondayMOP Monday,

Monday, February 13, 2017

Announcing a Linking Party with Prizes

Welcome to the first Linking Party for Celebrate - Fêtons 150

We will be celebrating Canada's 150th birthday for the rest of 2017 and I'm hosting a special party for my 150th blog post in March!

I've been wanting to host a linking party for a while now, so once a month, I will be hosting a linking party to celebrate our planned, WIP and completed quilts and art quilts that are related to Canada and to our 150th birthday.

You don't have to be Canadian to participate! We are a polite, inclusive and fun loving country. When there's a party, the more the merrier!

Since this is the first linking party, I am re-posting most of the information found on the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 page. I've planned the party, subscribed to InLinkz and this is your invitation! This first linking party is my first ever - so please excuse me for any errors or omissions that I have made or may commit!

I hope that you'll join me in the festivities. I wish I could share food with you, (my favourite part of any party!) but instead there will be gifts. One prize for every month and a larger prize for the 150th post at the end of March! I'll post this month's prize before the end of the linkup - promise!

Here is the button, if you want to add it to your blog!
Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
Some of you may be familiar with the art quilt on the button. Fireworks in July was one of the first landscape art quilts that I created in my Landscape Art Quilt Challenge. It was sold at a silent auction for a Workplace Charity event and is now beautifying a cubicle! Isn't it amazing when your quilts leave the nest to have lives of their own?!

I'm going to skip the "What I learned" section of my post to keep these linking party posts short.
So please join me in the celebrations and tell your friends! I've linked up to: Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread ThursdayOff the Wall Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Moving It Forward Monday, MOP Monday,

Here are the details:
  • The link will be open on the first of each month, until the last day of the month. 
  • You can link as many different, current posts as you wish (planned, WIP and completed quilts and art quilts), as long as it has something to do with celebrating Canada's 150th, or has something to do with Canada (that leaves it wide open!)
  • Include a link in your post to the month's linking party (which will be part of my regular blog).
  • Check out some of the other blogs and don't be shy about leaving comments :-)
  • On the last day of the month, the link will close and I will randomly pick from the links and the comments. Please make sure that I can reach you, otherwise the prize winner will have to be re-picked. 
  • Then, on the first of each month, a new linking party will be created and the process will start all over again! 
Fixed the link-up. Thanks InLinkz for your great help! This first link is my own. Please join the party :-) Bought prizes for the first Link-up. See my next post for a clue - Canada 150 Quilting Events and Projects.

Feb 25 update Here is the prize - 3 fat quarters of Stonehenge Oh Canada by Northcott. This first month of the link-up has attracted many readers to the two Celebrate-Fêtons 150 posts, but so far no one has linked up with posts celebrating Canada's 150th or just something Canadian. I realize that it can take time because it's a pretty specific theme and not everyone is presently making those types of projects. For this month, I will draw from any link-ups (if they happen) as well as comments from both Celebrate-Fêtons 150 posts.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Working in a Series

Escape 1:  Warmer Climates
I've made progress in the World Quilting Travel Adventure, but just as I love to get sidetracked when I travel, I also seem to take long meandering paths when I quilt!

I have finally finished the souvenir from Hawaii, which was our second destination. The flower on the bottom, designed by JoJo, is a plumeria, which is use to make a Lei.

World Quilting Travel Adventure
with JoJo Hall

Added a beaded butterfly

You can read all about the making of this project in my Catching up on World Quilting Travel Adventure post (see Featured Links at the end of the post).

In that post, I wasn't quite finished hand quilting the project. The butterfly in the picture is new. I just found a butterfly shape on the internet to guide the beading.

Since I like meandering, I am making a second (and hopefully a third) Escape art quilt. I'll be following the same idea for the background - a few pieces of fabric that will be sewn in an improvisational manner and then some quilting and embellishment.

Here is the second Escape art quilt.
Escape 2: English Garden

I found some interesting fabrics in my stash, including these beautiful linen pieces that my brother got me from Paris.

I also had a scarf that I wanted to add to the piece, but unlike the delicate silk scarf in Escape 1, this one was thick and rich. Part of the scarf is being draped at the top like a curtain while the fringe is at the bottom.

I also used fabric from a top whose fabric was too beautiful to get rid of. It's used in the triangles and flower on the right.

Escape 2: English Garden still needs to be embellished
The piece is now quilted. As with Escape 1, I used some beautiful Kimono Silk thread with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I FMQ following the fabric. For the red linen, I FMQ some vines in a matching thread. Sometimes I could barely see where I had been, but I really love the effect.

I had a great time learning to make fabric flowers with Melanie Ham on YouTube. The stiffer linen flower is very different from the flower made with the fabric from the top. I'm still not sure how I'm going to embellish this piece. I'll finish it when I'm inspired. I also have some pink quartz pieces that should go well.


I've been working on the hexis to make the Canada souvenir - the northern lights or aurora borealis. Since I got into hexis and wanted to make more, I now have quite a few to choose from. Again, I want to incorporate these into a fibre art piece.

Original placement for hexies
Original placement for hexies
I found a postcard and a calendar picture to help me place the hexies. I also want to use some of the amazing dyed cheesecloth in the piece as well this black background.

Hexies to represent Northern Lights
New placement for hexies
My son kept looking at my design of hexies and didn't like it. So I challenged him to come up with something else. This is his placement. I really like it and am going to use it.

Linking the hexies together using JoJo Hall's Technique
Linking the hexies together using JoJo Hall's Technique

I'm now linking the hexies together, using JoJo Hall's technique. Check out her tutorial video. The thread is invisible and she shows us how to even out the hexies. It truly is amazing, especially for someone like me, whose hexies are never the same size.

Finally, here are my goals for February that I will be posting on "One Monthy Goal".

  1. To FMQ this colourful batik lap quilt for my brother (the one who got me fabric in Paris) - this is my OMG!
  2. To finish embellishing Escape 2: English Garden,
  3. To finish the Northern Lights hexies art quilt.
  4. To make the next block for the Growing Up QAL

Batik Lap Quilt Top

What I learned:

  • I've been enjoying doing handwork. It`s nice to be able to work quietly outside of my quilting room.
  • I am also enjoying working in a series - to use some of the same basic steps but in different ways.
  • It was great doing FMQ on Escape 2 - it had been too long since the last time. I need to do more of this - I guess that's where the Batik Lap Quilt comes in!
  • I'm really trying to keep the expectations to a minimum. Since none of these projects have any deadlines, the One Quilting Goal is just for fun! 

Featured Links:

Project Details:
Escape 1: Warmer Climates
11" x 16½"
Materials: cotton, silk scarf and thread, embroidery floss, beads.
Techniques: painted, FMQ, hand embroidered, beaded, hand quilted.