Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning QAL - August Goal Setting

Welcome to the first 
Learning Quilt-A-Long Goal Setting post and link-up.

I've tried to keep things simple. Here's a recap of how it works:
  • The August Goal Setting link-up is open for ten days - from August 1st to August 10th, 2017. Here you link-up a post that tells us what you plan on learning this month. It can be an entire post or a short mention within the post. What ever works for you!
  • The August Sum Up link-up opens a week before the end of the month - from August 25th to August 31st, 2017. In this post, you'll tell us how you did and what you learned. The project you share can be completed or a WIP. It's all about the learning!
  • Cougar pattern by Yanicka Design`
    featuring her Fractured image technique
  • Prize! In the September Goal Setting post, I will announce the name of the winner of this month's prize. You have to have both a Goal Setting and a Sum Up link-up to be considered.
Reminder emails

If you want to receive reminder emails when the link-up opens, fill in the form at the bottom of the Learning Quilt-A-Long page.


This month's prize is the Cougar pattern made by Yanicka Design. Yanicka has created many patterns using her Fractured image or Low poly technique.

I had the pleasure of meeting Yanicka at Quilt Canada 2017 in June. I think that her pattern and technique make it a perfect prize since you'll get a chance to try a new technique and create a lovely quilt. See Related Links below for Yanicka's website as well as a YouTube video explaining the Fractured image technique.

My Learning Goal for August

Wouldn't you believe that I had trouble coming up with just one learning goal? Don't feel like you only have to choose one, but since I'm a learner, I see everything I do as learning. For this first post, I wanted to choose something that was realistic but a real out-of-my-comfort-zone type of goal. So here it is.

MX Dye Starter Kit
I will dye my own fabric this month! This is a huge deal for me. As much as I love learning, this one will require lots of courage. I've already bought the starter kit and fabric (Prepared for Dying (PFD) and some not prepared), watched some YouTube videos and read many blog posts, books, and reference guides.
  • My next step, which I started last month, is to write down the steps that I'll have to follow, in order. This will include where I'll be doing each step and what supplies I'll need. This is based on all of the research I've done. 
  • After this, I have to decide on some general design ideas that I want to try.
  • Finally, I will dye my fabric!
I know that it sounds like a lot of preparation, but for something brand new to me, involving chemicals, I need to feel like I know what I'm doing. I need to be flexible but organised.

One Monthly Goal (OMG)

Feathers for the inside block
My OMG for July was to finish quilting and binding my Neutral Lap Quilt - Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk. Unfortunately, it's not finished. I did get many of the inside blocks quilted (I only have 2 to go out of 16) but I'm also quilting between the blocks, and only about half of these are done. I'm not going to make it my August OMG although I really hope that it will be done by then. I'm sort of tired of it!
August OMG: to finish
this EPP hexie table toppe

Orange Peels between blocks
Since I've been doing a lot of slow work lately, my OMG is to finish my English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexie table topper. It's also coincidentally a learning goal since I'm experimenting on finishing it without appliquéing it. Let's just say that there's been a whole lot of learning so far - and it's not even quilted!!

What I learned
  • I know that doing something new that makes me nervous requires that I do a lot of work to get myself mentally ready. I've been procrastinating (a sure sign that I'm nervous) so I'm hoping that this Learning QAL will be the perfect motivator.
  • I've learned something already. Dying fabric is spelled with a "Y". I was always misspelling it and writing about killing my fabric instead! 
  • Of course I used this learning opportunity to buy lots more books :-) I'll include them in upcoming posts.
  • I may have figured out how to send out reminders using Mail Chimp. If you're interested, please see the form at the bottom of the Learning Quilt-A-Long page.
  • As I was free motion quilting my neutral lap quilt, I realised that the dark blocks are just too difficult to mark since there is a variety of dark and no one marking tool works on all of them. That's when I decided that I needed to figure out some FMQ patterns without stencils. I've found a few that may end up being part of my favourites, but it's taken much longer than anticipated. That's why it's not finished!

Related Links

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Final Celebrate - Fêtons 150 post

The adventure started February 13th, 2017 with the first of six linking parties to Celebrate - Fêtons 150. There are still many celebrations happening across Canada but my big party is over.

It's been a real learning experience for me to host these link-ups. Not only did I have to learn the whole linking up system (thank goodness it was relatively painless!) but I also researched, found and shared all kinds of quilting projects and events to celebrate our 150th.

"Canada On the Go" pattern
I didn't think that there would be much to say in this post, but a quick look on Pinterest led me to all kinds of great quilts and projects.

This first pattern is from a Row By Row 2017 - "Canada On The Go." It was designed by Sew Karen-ly Created for Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, in Amherst, Nova Scotia. You can read about Karen's design process and photo shoot on her blog. (See Related Links below)

This next project is not specifically for Canada 150 but it's so cute, I couldn't resist. These are Maple Leaf Mug Rugs. You can find the tutorial and pattern on the Quilting Board, posted by BuzzinBumble. If you don't make it for the 150th, you can make it to celebrate the upcoming, but hopefully not too soon, fall!
Maple Leaf Mug Rug - posted by BuzzinBumble

As far as Canadian icons go, the Hudson Bay is pretty high on the list. Here is a pattern based on the colours of the original Hudson Bay trading blankets. The Bay Blanket Table Collection includes patterns for a placemat, mug rug and table runner. It's really lovely. The pattern is by Indygo Junction.

I'm really sorry that I missed the Canada 150 Quilt Along this winter. It was hosted by Lorna Costantini and featured her quilt, Canada 150 A Modern Quilt. The Quilt Along is over, but you can check out her posts and pattern.

Canada 150 A Modern Quilt

Here's a free Canada Maple Leaf block pattern by Monica Curry Quilt Designs.

Block pattern by Monica Curry Quilt Designs
 Here is a cute Canadian Flag (Maple Leaf) Mug Rug by The Patchsmith's Pattern Store.

Canadian Flag (Maple Leaf) Mug Rug
Spirit of Canada was Spruce It Up Quilting's 2016 Block of the Month to celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial. The pattern was designed by Madelaine Higgins, pieced by Lorette Cole and machine quilted by Agathe Klingenberg (Sussex). Look for the pattern - it's to be published soon.

Spirit of Canada - Spruce It Up Quilting's2016 Block of the Month
Canada Eh?
Mystery Table Runner

In the Quilter's Connection magazine this winter, there was a Mystery Table Runner contest. The Summer issue has released many wonderful pictures of these runners. Here's what the finished runner looks like.

Quilter's Connection magazine mystery table runner

The Summer edition of the Quilter's Connection magazine is full of interesting articles and quilting projects celebrating Canada's 150th. If you get a chance, it's worth reading!

Northcott's Sesquicentennial
Celebration fabric collection
I couldn't end Celebrate - Fêtons 150 without mentioning Northcott Fabrics. By now, we're all familiar with their Canadian Sesquicentennial Celebration fabric collection as well as the Stonehenge OH CANADA Our Home and Native Land collection. These fabrics have played an important part of our celebratory quilts this past year.

Oh Canada bag by Northcott

If you check out their patterns pages, there are many free patterns using their various Canadian collections. There are also many patterns available at your local quilt store. Here is one of the many projects in case you're still in the mood for making Canada 150 projects!

Finally, here's a recap of my finished Canada 150 projects.
Canada 150 - Beaver block designed by Sew Fresh Quilts

Canada 150 Art Quilt

Sergeant Sesquicentennial

Canada 150: 1867-2017

What I learned
  • I don't think I would have made these Canada 150 projects if I hadn't been hosting this party. What a benefit and great souvenirs!
  • Thank you so much for cheering me on, reading and participating with me in this party. It's been a great adventure.
  • In fact, it was such a good experience that I want to continue it (sort of). As you may have read in my July 20th post, I will be hosting a Learning Quilt-A-Long starting Tuesday, August 1st. It's going to be a lot of fun - so I hope you'll join me.


Lastly, here is the prize for this final link-up. I've chosen it because it fits two themes. First, it's a Canada 150 project, but it's also a technique that Kathy calls the “Peek-a-boo Appliqué“.  The maple leaf block is made with reverse appliqué, satin-stitched over a strip-pieced patchwork block. It's great for the Canada 150 project, but can also be used in other ways, like this gorgeous maple leaf.

Using Kathy's
Peek-a-boo Appliqué technique
This technique may even be something that the winner will learn this month!
Canada 150 quilt by
Kathy K. Wylie Quilts

Our winner in this final Celebrate - Fêtons 150 is Joanne, of Canuck Quilter Designs. Thanks so much Joanne for sharing your quilt and pattern with us.

Related Links

Linking Parties I will be linking up to lots of link-ups. Why don't you join me and see what everyone is doing this summer! Finished or Not Friday, Oh Scrap!, Off the Wall Friday, Slow Sunday Stitching, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, MOP Monday, Linky TuesdayMidweek MakerLet's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday,

Remember to come back August 1st to join in the Learning QAL fun!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Slow Projects

EPP project from Make Modern
In the last couple of week, I've barely made it up to my sewing room (except to sleep since it's also my bedroom!). I was wondering if it was a summer heat problem so I checked out what I was doing last July. Turns out my sewing machine was in the shop and I was doing hand appliqué and was going to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. This is pretty much what I'm doing now, except that my machine is running great.

Isn't the pillow project to the right lovely? I was going to EPP this project since it was made up of triangular pieces (back then I wasn't impressed with hexies - how some things have changed!)

Well I did attempt to make the pillow top. What a mess! It's really not the pattern's fault. I just love the Make Modern magazine from Australia. The problem was the fabric I used (not enough contrast), but mostly it was a combination of my accuracy-challenge and not having a clue as to what I was doing :-) Sometimes you just have to chalk things up to experience and learn from it!

It would seem that I didn't really learn my lesson from a year ago - although I had a gut feeling that this would happen!

The EPP  for Block 7
- just to prove that I made it!
I was thrilled when I got the latest block pattern for Growing Up QAL. There were two patterns for English Paper Piecing. You can probably see where this is going.... I do have a picture of this one. It's not a total dud (and this time it wasn't because I didn't know what I was doing!), but I won't be using it for the final quilt. I didn't even bother attaching it to anything. It's not obvious in the photo but the EPP part is a couple of inches larger than the 12½" block that it's supposed to go on!

My version of Alida's second option for Block 7

Again, the pattern wasn't the problem. The problem is me trying to make an accurate EPP template from a printed pattern. I've decided to give up on that and only use pre-made EPP shapes.

Of course, I couldn't just leave block 7 in this shape. So I put together a block similar to Alida's second option.  And yes, it's made with pre-made hexies since these are the only shapes I have so far.

Midweek Maker #83

Update: Great news! My Block 7 hexies were featured on Midweek Makers. Thanks Susan!

I've also been working on the other hexies and put some together. I remember reading on someone's blog about finishing these without binding. I really hope I saved the link in my favourites!

I just love my hexie flowers!
What I learned
  • I really need to listen to my gut - I could have saved myself hours of work on block 7!
  • I made the shapes from my daughter's scrap booking paper. The weight of the paper worked well for EPP.
  • It's not the first time that I've had problems with value - and it probably won't be the last. Think contrast!
  • I've got all kinds of projects that I should be working on - but this heat and humidity is dulling my brain (even if I avoid going outside!) 
  • The weather is less humid since I started this post. I FMQ two more blocks for my One Monthly Goal (OMG). Part of the problem was the weather but I realised that I was bored of using stencils - so I made one with feathers and now I can tackle the stencils again 😊Yeah!
About half of the blocks are quilted!

Related Links
Linking Parties: I am linking up to Growing Up QAL Month 7 as well as these link-ups. Let's see what everyone is up to! Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Finished or Not Friday, Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign Wall Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Announcing the Learning QAL

Please join me in the Learning Quilt-A-Long (QAL).

Join the Learning Quilt-A-Long
In this QAL, you get to choose what you want to learn - 'cause it's all about you ;-)

Think of all of the learning that you do while you create quilts and art! What about that new pattern or the first landscape quilt you made? Are you taking a class or participating in a quilt-a-long? This is where you'll link up when you want to share what you'll be learning with the rest of us!
Learning Needle Felting!

Learning with the Growing Up QAL

Twice a month we'll get together - at the beginning of the month we'll share our learning goal for the month in the Learning Goal Setting link-up. Then at the end of the month, it'll be time to share what we learned in the Learning Sum Up link-up.  

I've created a Learning Quilt-A-Long page on my blog. That's where the button will take you. It has all of the details, including the links to all of the link-ups (eventually past and present!). 

Learning all about "value"

Learning to blog (first post)
My own learning goal before the launch of the Learning QAL on August 1st, 2017 is to use MailChimp to send email reminders of the link-ups to anyone who wants them. I've seen other bloggers use it and I love getting that email reminder. As soon as I've figured it out, I'll post the link on my post as well as the Learning QAL page.


Each month there will be a prize for those who have linked up to both the Goal Setting and the Sum Up link-ups. I'm going to try to find prizes that are related to learning - a new technique, e-book or something fun about learning. The prize for the month will be announced at the Learning Goal Setting Link-up and the winner will be announced on the next month's Learning Goal Setting Link-up.

Learning Quilt-A-Long (QAL) Button

Feel free to grab the button located at the top of the sidebar. You can also find it on the Learning Quilt-A-Long (QAL) page. (See Related Links below)

What I learned
  • I've really enjoyed hosting the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 link-ups. It's given me an opportunity to: 
    • Reach out to more quilters and bloggers, 
    • Find out about all kinds of events and projects created specifically for Canada 150.
    • Make a few of these Canada 150 projects myself.
    • Learn all about link-ups.
  • I've also learned that I enjoy hosting link-ups but wouldn't want to host one every week. I know my limitations.
  • I get bored very easily! I'm hoping that this link-up will give me the opportunity to try new things - that way I can keep my interest and motivation going!
  • As I mentioned in the Learning Quilt-A-Long page, in the last 5 years that I've been blogging, I realised that learning isn't only about practice - it's also about taking a few minutes to reflect on what I learned.
Related Links

I hope that you'll help me celebrate learning by joining the Learning Quilt-A-Long (QAL). See you back here on August 1st!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Planning Post

3Q FAL (3rd quarter Finish-A-Long)
I've just discovered the 2017 Finish-A-Long. The idea is to create a post with a list of projects you want to finish for a quarter (this one is the 3rd) and link up. Since I'm writing a post for the One Monthly Goal (OMG), I may as well participate in the 3Q FAL (3rd quarter Finish-A-Long) as well. I do have a few projects that need to get done, and this might provide some additional motivation. :-)
July OM 

July One Monthly Goal

My June OMG was to sandwich and start FMQ my Neutral Lap Quilt - Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk. I managed to reach my goal, and now my July OMG is to finish this lap quilt. I have 4 of the 16 blocks quilted. I want to have this baby quilted, bound and labeled by July 31! This project will also count as one of my 3Q FAL.
Neutral Lap Quilt - finished quilt top
Neutral Lap Quilt FMQ Block

Here are the other projects that I will work on and hopefully finish (they have to be finished to be posted in the final link-up of the quarter).


The beginning of The Leaves
The Leaves wall hanging has been in the making since at least June 2014. I've mentioned this project in three posts now. It would be nice if it was mentioned one last time in the next quarter, as a finished project! It only needs a little time and love to quilt and bind it (and a better photo).

The Leaves - time to finish it!

Placemat No. 2

In May I made a reversible placemat for a friend. She loved it and asked for another one. I don't want to make this one exactly the same, but it would be nice if it matched to some extent. I need to make a few decisions - to use the same pattern on the front with different fabric (I don't have enough fabric left)? or to use another pattern in the same style. I do know that the other side will be scrappy and improvisational.

Here is the first placemat - Classy and Scrappy.


Fixing an old quilt

I promised a friend to fix her quilt. I've had it for a very long time so I need to do this in the next 3 months! It needs a lot of tender loving care. It was beautifully hand-quilted but some of the fabric has ripped and will need to be stabilized and fixed. It will be a challenge but I expect it to be serviceable when fixed.
A quilt in need of tender loving care

Playing with EPP Hexies

I've been playing with hexies! At one point, after making a whole bunch, I thought that maybe I should see what I had and what I might do with them. Here are a few patterns that I found on the internet. In the next quarter I will make at least one small wall hanging with my hexies :-)

What I learned

  • It was interesting going back to some of my past posts to see the UFOs. Some I had no interest in finishing. Hopefully one day!
  • I think that I'll be able to finish many of these since they are projects that I'm enjoying and want to get done. Now I just need to get into the mood to quilt!

Related Links
Posts related to Neutral Lap Quilt - Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk
Posts related to the Leaves

Linking Parties: I'll be linking this post to both OMG July Goal Setting and 2017 3Q FAL as well as several others. Join me to see what's going on in Quilt Land! Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving it Forward Monday, Design Wall Monday, Linky Tuesday, Oh Scrap!, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Off the Wall Friday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday