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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fibre Fling 6

Fibre Fling 6 Show & Sale poster
Fibre Fling 6 Show & Sale
Fibre Fling 6, the annual show and sale of the Out of the Box Artists, will be April 7 & 8 at the Kitchissippi United Church in Ottawa.

This will be my second show. I'm really looking forward to helping to set up the show. There's so much to learn when displaying the art....and of course, seeing all of the wonderful art pieces is a real treat.

Incredibly, I've submitted all of my pieces and finished making and attaching labels on all of them last week. This is the first time that I'm not panicking before a deadline for an art or quilt show. It helps that I only chose pieces that were already finished.

Since I've been making art quilts for a while, I had a few that had never been exhibited. You may have seen them on my blog, but not in any shows.

Here are the fibre art pieces that will be in the show as well as the labels that I made for each of them. All of the labels were foundation paper pieced except for the hexies.

Escape 1: Warmer Climates

Escape 1: Warmer Climates

Label for Escape 1: Warmer Climates
Label for Escape 1: Warmer Climates

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

Label for Escape 2:  English Garden
Label for Escape 2:
English Garden

Sweet Memories - Northern Lights
Label for Sweet Memories:  Northern Lights
Label for Sweet Memories:
Northern Lights

Sweet Memories: Northern Lights

Light at the End of the Tunnel (from Art with Fabric, Spring 2016)
Light at the End of the Tunnel

Label for Light at the End of the Tunnel
Label for Light at the End of the Tunnel

What I learned:

  • Getting ready for a show when you have all of the pieces ready is so much easier (and less stressful) than trying to finish things for a deadline.
  • It's amazing how many pieces I've created, "just cause I felt like it", that could go into the show. Looks like I may have found my niche!
  • I asked my daughter what I should do with all of these finished pieces. She pointed out that most of the house (except for the living room and my own room) doesn't have any of my finished pieces. I guess maybe it's time to start spreading out :-)

Featured Links:

Escape 1 - Warmer Climates
Escape 2 - English Garden
Northern Lights posts:
Light at the End of the Tunnel

Monday, March 13, 2017

More Celebrations the Quilting Way

Celebrate-Fêtons 150
Celebrate-Fêtons 150
Since I've been writing about the many ways that the Quilting Community is celebrating Canada's 150, I've been finding all kinds of great events and patterns. I've also discovered that some of the quilt designers I've been following are Canadian!

Before I get into more Canadian celebratory patterns, here's an update on my March OMG (One Monthly Goal) the Beaver block by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts. I'll write more about this project in an upcoming post, but I did want to show you my progress. It's now ready to quilt!

Beaver block designed by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts
Beaver block designed by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts
I've also made three more slab blocks for Canada's Big Quilt Bee which is co-hosted by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts (isn't she a busy bee!) She got her own Sew Fresh Quilt Bee going on - so make sure to check out the amazing variety of slab blocks (see Related Links at the bottom of the page).

Three more slab blocks for Canada's Big Quilt Bee
Three more slab blocks for Canada's Big Quilt Bee

Canada Eh? Mystery Table Runner
Canada Eh?
Mystery Table Runner
Here are a few more Quilt-Alongs and patterns that celebrate Canada's 150th.

Quilter's Connection Magazine as a contest and free pattern called Canada Eh? Mystery Table Runner. The link at the bottom of the page will take you to the contest details (deadline April 15, 2017) and the free PDF pattern.

I generally avoid mystery quilts because I like to know what I'm quilting and I rely on the finished picture to keep me oriented. I did download the pattern and saw the finished quilt somewhere in blog land. I was hoping to provide a link, with a spoiler alert warning, but I can't find it - so no need for the warning. I will say that it's a lovely table runner, worth putting the time and fabric into it. Make sure you link up to Celebrate - Fêtons 150 if you make one!

Canada 150 pattern by Kathy K. Wylie
Canada 150 pattern by Kathy K. Wylie
Award-winning quilter and pattern designer Kathy K. Wylie has a pattern out. Canada 150, that uses reverse appliqué with a strip-pieced patchwork maple leaf block. She calls the technique “Peek-a-boo Appliqué“. I've bought the pattern and am looking forward to using her technique. Kathy will be teaching this, along with other courses, at the Quilt Canada 2017 in June.

Canadian Sampler BOM
Canadian Sampler BOM

Sew Sisters asked 20 Canadian quilters to create blocks for a Block of the Month celebrating Canada's 150th. It's the Canadian Sampler BOM. If you want to join in, round II begins July 2017.

Oh, Canada! pattern my Cheryl Arkson
Oh, Canada! pattern by Cheryl Arkson
Another pattern that I couldn't resits is the Oh,Canada! quilt pattern by Cheryl Arkison. I just love its scrappy look. I have been following Cheryl's blog for a while, but obviously not closely enough since I didn't realize that she's Canadian.

What I learned:
  • It looks like I'm going to be spending 2017 making quilts to celebrate the 150th. That's not at all how I expected to spend my year but then, I may as well, since I may not be as productive when the 175th is here!
  • Making the slab blocks has been fun. It looks like I may be in for more fun than I thought since the small quilt calls for 12 blocks, not 9! Oh well, if I don't get the quilt top done on time, I'll just hand in my blocks at the Common Thread Quilt Guild since they will be sending tons of blocks to the quilt bee.

Featured Links:

Linking Parties: I'll be linking my slab blocks to Lorna's Sew Fresh Quilt Bee link-up
and this post to the Celebrate - Fêtons Canada 150 in March. Don't forget to join the fun and link up! Monday Making, Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Oh Scrap!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Five Years - 150 Posts

Five years ago in March 2012, I wrote my first blog post. Who would have thought that I would keep going with another 149 posts, or that I would love it? I still remember how great it felt that first time, to see my words and my creation on the web.

My very first blog post - March 2012
I'm also extremely lucky that I've been able to take web writing and design courses through work. It's great to be able to do some of what I love at work. Part of my job is to teach employees to post on our corporate intranet. I get to see their eyes light up as they see their words published on the intranet for the first time. It's wonderful to be able to spread the joy!

In my first year I wrote 8 posts. This has increased every year, from 23 the second year to 41 last year. The good thing about the increase is that it reflects the amount of time that I've spent quilting. On a quilting blog, it's hard to post if you don't quilt!

I was thrilled when I discovered link-up parties. It's great how they bring bloggers together. I get to see what others are doing and share what I've been up to. The specialty blog hops and linking parties have really helped me grow as a blogger, quilter and artist.

Quilting bloggers are so generous - offering tutorials, patterns and encouragement as well as sharing what they've learned. Thank you all for making my quilting life more enjoyable and productive. I hope that I've also contributed these things to my fellow quilters and bloggers. Even as I quilt alone in my studio (aka bedroom), I know that there is a community out there that shares both my passion and obsession!
World Quilting Travel Adventure
with JoJo Hall

Merci / Thank you!!!

Which project will be featured in this 150th post? It's the second project from JoJo Hall's World Quilting Travel Adventure - Canada.

As usual, I've been expanding on JoJo's great souvenir ideas to create art quilts. So far this one is my favourite. There is a lot less embellishment than the previous project, but I love its simplicity.

As you may recall, it started with some English paper pieced hexies to illustrate Canada's Northern Lights. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to place these. I got a lot of design help from my son. When I did put it all together, JoJo's videos were invaluable.
Attaching the multi-coloured hexies
Attaching the multi-coloured hexies
Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
This project is called Sweet Memories: Northern Lights. The memories come from a night, about 20 years ago. I was in my kitchen in Orleans, talking to my mother on the phone. As I looked out of the window, I notices the Northern Lights dancing away. As I shared this with my mother, she went to her office to look out her north-facing window. Sure enough, she saw the Northern Lights. They must have been especially strong since we were both in areas with some light. It was a magical moment that I'm glad to commemorate with art.

What I've learned:
  • I love the hand-dyed cheese cloth over the black fabric. It adds lovely texture and colour to the piece. It was, however, tricky to FMQ over. I learned the hard way that my free motion foot, which opens in the front, got easily caught in the loose weave of the cheese cloth. The way around this was to quilt backwards, with the foot's opening facing the back as I quilted.
  • I appliquéd the hexies by stitching near the outside edge, and then FMQ around each hexagon.
  • I used Superior's Bottom Line thread and three colours of Kimono silk thread to appliqué and FMQ. 

Featured Links

Project Details
Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
18½ " x 12"
Materials: cotton, hand dyed cheese cloth by Linda Palaisy, batik fabrics, Superior's Bottom Line thread and Kimono silk thread
Techniques: English paper piecing, appliqué, FMQ

Art with Fabric - Spring 2017
Linky Parties: If you're interested in seeing what other travelers have made, check out the links on the Travelers' Souvenirs. I'm also linking to these link-ups. Check them out! MOP Monday, Oh Scrap! Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving it Forward Monday, Linky TuesdayLet's Bee SocialMidweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks, Finished or Not Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Other News:
I'll be participating once more in Alida's Art with Fabric in May. I'm really looking forward to it!

Here's the link to the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 post and link-up for March, Join in the fun and a chance to win prizes!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in March

Celebrate - Fêtons 150 logo
Celebrate - Fêtons 150
February was the first month of the
Celebrate - Fêtons 150 link-up. Unfortunately there were no link-ups (other than my own) but it's not surprising since the link up theme is rather narrow - any post celebrating Canada's 150th or Canada in general.

The post has been read by many, so I really hope that it's gotten you thinking about making something special to celebrate Canada's 150th.

Canada 150 fabric as prizes
February's prize
I will continue to host the monthly link-up as well as giving out prizes. Don't forget that leaving a comment in one of the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 posts will also give you a chance to win the monthly prize. The February prize is 3 fat quarters of Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric by Northcott. I drew the prize winner using a random number generator. Susan of Quilt Fabrication is our winner. Congrats!

As well as showcasing some of the quilting events, patterns and fabrics created specifically to celebrate Canada's 150, I thought that I would participate and make a few of these myself.

The first one, that I mentioned in my last Celebrate - Fêtons 150 post is the Canada's Big Quilt Bee. If you didn't read about it, follow the link in the Related Links at the bottom of this post. 
Canada's Big Quilt Bee logo

Lorna, our own Canadian pattern designer of Sew Fresh Quilts is participating in the celebration by hosting her own SEW FRESH QUILT BEE. So make one or many slab blocks using at least one of the Canada 150 fabrics and then link up on her blog. She will also be giving away prizes! Join in the fun :-)

Here are my 3 slab blocks - I am hoping to make 6 more to complete a small quilt top.
Slab blocks made with Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric by Northcott
12" slab blocks made with Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric by Northcott
Sew Fresh's Canadian
Forest Friends quilt

Sew Fresh's Canada 150 lap quilt
Lorna has also made some lovely quilt and quilt block patterns to celebrate Canada. I purchased her Beaver block below and it's going to be my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for March! The plan is to have it finished by April 1 so that I can show it off at the April link-up. We'll also have a great prize courtesy of Lorna!

Sew Fresh's Beaver quilt block pattern
There's a lot in this post and since it's the beginning of the month, I also need to include my monthly goals for March.
  1. My One Monthly Goal (OMG) is to complete the Sew Fresh Beaver block pattern.
  2. I have 6 more slab blocks to complete this month.
I hope to get more done, but I think that two goals are ambitious enough at this time. As a former boss used to say: "It's better to under promise and over deliver!"

Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!  
Celebrating 150 posts

Finally, I have a special prize for this month. Not only are we celebrating Canada's 150th, but my next post will also be my 150th! WOW! I knew that I enjoyed quilting but I wasn't expecting to love blogging so much. There are fabrics purchased from Mad About Patchwork - one of my favourite online fabric stores. I hope you love them as much as I's going to be difficult to part with these :-)
March's Fabric Give Away
March's Give Away

What I learned:
  • I've learned to stay optimistic about the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 link-up. As much as I dislike advertising, I didn't study business for nothing! Getting the word out there is what it's all about!
  • I am really having a great time finding fun things to include in the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 posts. There are some wonderful things happening everywhere across the country. It's going to be an awesome year!
  • I went to my first official Canada 150 event last night - it was the screening of Ti-Coq by Gratien Gelinas at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. The movie was restored and projected using original equipment. How cool is that! I'm really looking forward to attending more of these great events.
Featured Links:

Celebrate - Fêtons 150 posts:
Linking Parties: I will be linking to the One Monthly Goal - March Goal Setting Link-up and the SEW FRESH QUILT BEE as well as these other link-ups. Check out what everyone is up to! Main Crush Monday, Move it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday, Oh Scrap!

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