Friday, September 29, 2017

Neutral lap quilt finished

It's been a long time in the making. I guess since it was never a UFO, it hasn't been that long! 😊

In early April I wrote in a post that I had cut all of the fabric ahead of time since there was a strip of each fabric in every block. I guess 6 months for making a lap quilt is not that long, but usually when I get right into it, it takes less time.
I had finished the top by the end of April so it looks like I was busy with other things in May. On the last weekend in June I had sandwiched the quilt and started FMQ it with stencils. Just in time for my June OMG (One Monthly Goal).
Then I got bored and a little frustrated. Turns out that marking the stencils was very difficult on these different shades of brown. I was hoping to finish quilting it by the end of July - it was my July OMG, but that didn't happen. I finished quilting it by the end of August but have had so many things to blog about that I'm just getting around to it.
We also had a major heat wave for the last two weeks and I was estivating. No way I was going outside for the photo shoot in that weather! I've actually found another spot to take pictures near my home, but it seems to be more convenient for me to just take the quilt to work in the morning and take the pictures before I go in to work.
I'm keeping this post simple - just pictures from the photo shoot. I had so much fun snapping those pics! Isn't this baby photogenic?
In the end I did a lot more FMQ without stencils because the marking was just getting ridiculous. It also took quite a while quilting between all of the blocks. I do like the results...and this quilt will go to my sister-in-law before her 61st birthday!
This quilt was also one of my goals for the 3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long. Here are the links to my original goals, the 3Q FAL goal setting link up and the final link up.

What I learned
  • It's such a great thing to be able to look back on my blog and see what I did many months ago. I don't usually remember what I did yesterday or this morning, so having a diary of my quilting adventure is a real treat! I could never have written this post with any accuracy without past posts!
  • I like using stencils to follow when FMQ because it gives me other patterns that I would not be able to do free hand. However, marking a stencil on a quilt with fabric from light to dark made it very difficult. The very dark and very light fabrics were fine. It was those in between that gave me trouble.
  • I tried not to over FMQ this quilt since I didn't want it to be too stiff. I think that it turned out well.

Related Links: 

Project Details

Neutral Lap Quilt - Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk
48" x 48"
Based on the Take 5 Loves Coffee Milk pattern in the More Take 5 Quilts by Kathy Brown.
Materials: cotton
Techniques: piecing, FMQ

As I mentioned, this quilt is part of my goals for the 3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long. I also linked up my second placemat (Classy and Scrappy 2) and my Hexie Table Topper. The other two projects didn't get worked on at all. Oh well, sew many projects and so little time!

I will also be linking this post to many linking parties. Let's see what others are doing! Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Finished or Not Friday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Midweek Makers, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Learning QAL - September Sum Up

It's that time again. In the next few days we'll find out what participants learned this month as part of the Learning Quilt-A-Long.
My thought for choosing my September goal was to minimize my stress level this month by aiming for something fairly easy to accomplish since I have a quilting deadline in early October. I thought that I would explore and practice a few FMQ sites and try some new things. In hindsight, I was pretty ambitious!

Wild Quilting on Craftsy
I ended up spending almost all of my time exploring the Wild Quilting course with Christina Cameli from Craftsy. That ended up being a very good thing because it gave me the chance to watch the video several times, take notes, practice and then enter what I learned in my FMQ journal.

FMQ journal - Wild Quilting page

I started a journal when I got interested in learning how to write as part of doing art work. I practiced on any piece of scrap paper I could get my hands on, but I wanted to keep a journal of the different styles of writing that I had mastered (sort of). 

I knew that this journal would also be perfect for keeping a record of the FMQ that I was learning.

Focusing on just the Wild Quilting course gave me a chance to do all of that. I now have two and a half pages of notes on Wild Quilting, that I can refer to whenever I like.

In my Lots of projects! post in mid-September, I showed you this little practice piece.
I had also started working on what Christina calls Layered Combinations. These are different designs that are made mostly in a row with lots of echoing and then worked into another row of FMQ designs.
Layered combinations 
When the layered combinations are done, then there are partial combinations and finally it all comes together, mostly around what Christina calls Showboats.
A few Showboats with dense FMQ 
Here is my finished practice piece using Christina Cameli's Wild Quilting. 

Finished practice piece based on Wild Quilting course
FMQ Project 

As a final project, I created a little black and white wall hanging for my niece. I used improvisational piecing and many black and white scraps. 

I started quilting on it with white thread. The bobbin thread was originally a white Bottom Line but when I ran out, I used a taupe one. Not a good idea because I could see the difference. Finally I ended up using the same white thread in the bobbin as in the top.
Improv top with lots of\
negative space to FMQ

Quilt top marked and partially quilted
I've gotten a little further than the quilting in this picture below but it's not going to be ready for today's post (which is almost tomorrow's post!)

You can see in the image that I used a blue FriXion pen to mark some of my showboats. Quilting with white thread on white-on-white fabric is nearly impossible without the marking.

This wall hanging project is my OMG for September. I hope to squeeze in a quick post between now and October 1st.

Don't forget to join us for October's Learning QAL. The Goal Setting post will be up on October 1st. See you then :-)

What I learned
  • I started off quilting my practice piece very densely. I then figured out that this was not really sustainable. I love practicing my FMQ but I also don't want my finished pieces to be as hard as a board! That's when the quilting designs in the Layered Combinations got bigger.
  • Quilting densely is important when you want the un-quilted spaces to stand out. I knew this but for effective FMQ I can't be reminded too often!
  • I quilted the practice piece using a King Tut variegated thread. It looks pretty cool, even if you can't really see it in the photo.
  • When FMQ with white thread on white fabric, it's important to use white thread in the bobbin. The thickness of the thread is secondary to the colour!!! 
  • My white fabric is actually a white on white with a flower design on it. It's the most difficult thing that I've ever quilted since I can't see what I'm quilting because of the white thread. This is one lesson I will remember!
Related Links
Linking parties: I will be linking this post to a whole bunch of link-ups. Find out what others are doing and check them out! Monday MakingDesign Wall MondayMoving it Forward, Linky Tuesday

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Updates on Celebrate - FĂȘtons 150

It's been a while since I wrote about Celebrating Canada's 150th. I wasn't planning on more posts but I really wanted to share a couple of tid bits - and besides, we are still celebrating here in Ottawa!

I'm not sure if you're familiar with Northcott's Trans Canada Block Party.

Quilt shops across Canada were invited to create an original pattern of a block to celebrate Canada's 150th using Northcott's fabrics. There are some really amazing blocks out there.

All Around Canada block
The patterns are free to people who visit the shops. These patterns and blocks were only available in the shops but after September 1st, they are available to order online. Many of the shops have prepared kits for sale. In one of the Celebrate - FĂȘtons 150! posts, I featured one of my favourite blocks, All Around Canada, from Along Came Quilting in Calgary Alberta.

It also looks like I will be going to Calgary at the end of October. The shop is definitely on my list of places to visit!

On social media, Northcott invited Mrs. Button to visit all of the shops that participated in the Trans-Canada Block Party. Here is a picture from Facebook.

The images are of Mrs. Bobbin visiting The Cottage Quilter shop in Corbeil, Ontario. Isn't that a cute beaver block?

A map of the participating shops is available on Northcott's Resources page.

I hope to get a chance to pick up a couple of these blocks. Here is the one I made this summer. It's Sergeant Sesquicentennial block from Quilting Pleasure.

Sergeant Sesquicentennial block
from Quilting Pleasure

Northcott is now hosting the Canadian Quilt Challenge based on quilts that were made of at least 6 blocks. I suggest that you go visit the page and vote for your favourite. Votes are open until October 1st, 2017. Check them out and vote! See the Related Links below.

If you're in the area, the 13 finalist quilts will be on display at the Creativ Festival this weekend in Calgary and in Toronto at the end of October.

Grace Noel, Designer of With Glowing Hearts fabric by Moda 

Two weeks ago at the Common Thread Quilt Guild meeting, the guest speaker was Ottawa's Grace Noel. Grace studied design at Algonquin College and for her work term applied for and got her placement with Moda. Wow! How cool is that?

Grace is a gifted artist who has been selling her designs on Spoonflower for years. It was really great to hear how this very young designer created the With Glowing Hearts fabrics. It sounds like it was a great experience - it will sure look good on her resume and portfolio!
With Glowing Hearts by Grace Noel
Here is the quilt that Grace showed us during the presentation. It was made from her fabrics by a friend.
Quilt made using With Glowing Hearts fabrics
Trend-Tex-Fabrics, the Moda distributors in Canada, sponsored a contest with their Glowing Hearts fabrics. The winning quilts will be displayed at the International Fall Quilt Market 2017.

What I learned
  • I don't follow social media much so I wasn't aware of Mrs. Button's visits to the quilt shops. It's great to see the blocks made by the various shops.
  • It's really too bad that I didn't know earlier about Grace and the With Glowing Hearts fabric line. I really like the quilt that Grace brought with her at the presentation. The fabrics looked great.
  • Last week I went to Kingston, Ontario and found a few of the fabrics in the With Glowing Hearts line. I bought a meter of the grey with maple leaves. It's a great souvenir of this year and of Grace's presentation.
Related Links
Linking parties: I will be linking this post to a few linking parties. Check out what's happening. Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not FridayMonday MakingDesign Wall MondayMoving it Forward, Linky Tuesday

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Blogger's Quilt Festival
The Blogger's Quilt Festival is on now and hosted by Amy's Creative Side. I learned about this blogging event last year. I'm very happy to be participating in it today.

If you're a blogger and not familiar with the event, go to Amy's Creative Side and check it out! (see Related Links below),

We get to submit up to two separate entries, in posts for quilts that we made in the last year. It's not an easy choice to make but for my first entry I chose my Sweet Memories: Northern Lights art quilt.

Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
Sweet Memories: Northern Lights is my first entry because:
  • It's got hexies (and I'm now very much addicted, due to this project)!
  • It's an original design although based on JoJo's World Quilting Travel Adventure as the project for Canada (my home and native land!)
  • I got to work with hand-dyed cheese cloth and batik fabrics (which I love).
  • This project was featured on my 150th post and 5 year blogging anniversary! 
  • It reminds me of my mother, whose absence hits me hard every once in a while (I guess when I'm in need of my mother).
Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
What I've learned since then:
  • The original finished post is dated March 6, 2017. It's only been less than 7 months but in some ways it feels like years ago. I've produced so many quilts since then and it's all a little bit of a blur. 
  • I never thought that this first hexie project would be the first of many. Given my present obsession, who knows where this little project will lead me to. I do know that I want to make more art quilt featuring these beauties.
  • I love the northern lights and added them to my Canada 150 art quilt. I've been studying how other textile artists have made them and I hope to eventually make more art quilts featuring the northern lights. They are the perfect subject - magical and colourful. What not to love?
  • I've also dyed my own cheese cloth this summer. One of them is my favourite hand-dyed piece. The vibrant colours look good enough to eat :-) 
    JoJo's World Quilting Travel Adventure
Related Links
Posts featuring Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
Linking parties: I'll be linking this post to the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Have a look at all the amazing quilts! Finished or Not FridayNeedle & Thread Thursday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lots of projects!

After the hectic pace of the end of August and the new Learning QAL Goal Setting post, I needed a break. I've been slowly working on many projects - mostly those with deadlines as well as the required procrastination project.

Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Fall 2017

This year's theme is Mother Earth, also known as GaĂŻa.

I just happen to have a lovely reproduction statue of a beautiful Pre-Columbian female figure from Colombia, South America. I'll be writing more about this beauty in a post just before my blog hop date of Wednesday, October 11, 2017. In the Related Links below you will find a link to the blog hop and its participants.
My muse for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop
I'm going to wait a little to post my progress, although I will say that this weekend I finished the background with hand-dyed fabrics, some of which I made this summer. Because of the fabrics and the theme, this is going to be a very special piece for me :-)

September Learning Quilt-A-Long

Craftsy FMQ course
My September goal for the Learning QAL is to learn and practice more free motion quilting (FMQ). I started by re-watching an old favourite Craftsy course that I hadn't really worked on yet. It's Wild Quilting with Christina Cameli. Christina is very engaging and the course looks at how to put various motifs together.

Practicing Wild Quilting

I did one practice piece so far. I've also started drawing Muv's Rudbeckia design. I have a few more sheets of paper to fill before I'm comfortable with that one.

One Monthly Goal (OMG)

My OMG for September is to make a black and white wall hanging for my niece. I used improvisational piecing. It's now ready to quilt. I know that I want to practice Wild Quilting for this piece. I've got a few ideas but haven't worked it all out yet. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend.

Procrastination Project

Making hexies is my procrastination project of choice these days. There's nothing like listening to a audio book, music or talking with my daughter in the evening as I sew hexies together. I usually design a few and then start sewing them together when I feel like it.

Four completed Hexie Flowers

Dark hexie flower ready to be sewn together
So far I have 4 hexie flowers completed, one partially sewn, 4 designed and ready to sew and 2 being designed. The ones being designed need to have a few more hexies covered in fabric - that's usually because I've chosen colours but need to go into my stash for more fabric. I've also noticed that my flowers are getting wilder as I go. This could get interesting 😊

The box at the top of the Dark hexie flower picture is where I put completed hexies ready to use for designing a flower. I've been having fun trying out different combinations for the inner and outer circles. Since I'm making a black and white wall hanging I thought that I would make a black and white hexie flower from left over fabric. Looking forward to playing with that! 

What I learned
  • I'm finding it difficult to have to complete posts on time for the Learning QAL. I'm trying to keep organised with a list of the posts that I have to complete, their dates and the projects that need to be done by then. That's a lot more organisation than I like but it is helping me keep on track.
  • The Learning QAL has doubled in participation in September - from 1 to 2! I hope we can keep those stats going :-)
  • Since starting to English Paper Piece (EPP), I'm now seeing hexagons and potential projects everywhere! I keep thinking that I should EPP other shapes but I want to push the hexies and see what I can come up with. I have a couple of art quilt ideas with them in mind. I'm looking forward to playing with these in the next few months.
Related Links

Friday, September 01, 2017

Learning QAL - September Goal Setting

Welcome to the Learning Quilt-A-Long (QAL)

Have you thought about your learning goal for September yet? Since September is traditionally the time for returning to school, it's a good time to consider what you'd like to learn this month.

Since I have a deadline in early October (see you at the Art with Fabric Blog Hop!),  I am going to keep this month's learning simple.

September Learning Goal: To learn a few more free motion quilting (FMQ) patterns.

There are so many great resources available - on the internet, in books, magazines, courses, etc. What I will be doing this month is use a few of these to learn and practice my FMQ. Since I have to keep this post interesting with images, here is some of the FMQ that I've done so far.
Race Car design from Lori Kennedy
Re-quilting a batik runner

Practicing my feathers

Using Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique
Here are a few of the resources that I will be using (the links are in the Related Links below)

  • I want to learn a few of Muv's designs such as the Oak Leaf, the Rudbeckia, and the Berries and Leaves.
  • Craftsy: I have a ridiculous amount of free motion courses. I have watched and learned from many of them but it's time to get serious about learning and practicing! 
  • Of course I have to mention some of the renown FMQ teachers such as Leah Day, Angela Walters and Lori Kennedy. I have many books, web links and Craftsy courses by these ladies.  
  • There are a few quilters that I've discovered recently such as Esther with her 365 Day Doodle challenge and Yanicka's Three Feathers pattern. 
Re-quilting a door hanging
As the month progresses, I will share with you show off my FMQ and tell you what I learned using the various resources.

I really hope that you'll join me on my journey this month. You can follow along and share some of your favourite FMQ learning resources or you can link-up your own learning project below!

One Monthly Goal (OMG) - Updated September 3, 2017
Black & white fabrics for my OMG

When I wrote this post all of these projects were rather overwhelming. Now that I've had a couple of days to start and think things through, I've decided that my OMG for September will be to create a little wall hanging in black and white for my niece. She asked for this at Christmas but I was stuck - I just had no inspiration (more about that when I finish this project). I will be combining the FMQ for this month with the OMG to create that wall hanging that will showcase some of the FMQ I've practiced and learned.

What I learned
Design It, Quilt It: Free-Form Techniques
with Cindy Needham

  • It was so tough coming up with something that would be fun to learn but that could be done in smaller chunks of time and not too large and overwhelming. I really want this Learning QAL to be about the fun of learning and not the stress. I will be consciously trying to live that principle.
  • Since it was tough to decide, I now have a list of the many, many things that I want to learn in the next months. It was really good to take a look at all of the resources that I have access to. There is so much out there!
  • As I was adding the resources to my list, I wanted to make sure that I promote not only the obvious resources, but also the up-and-coming and not so famous ones. There are so many talented people out there who are so generous about sharing what they learn. It's so much fun to find them.
  • It's often a challenge to find visuals for a blog post where I haven't really done anything yet! Oh well, I guess that's when re-using photos comes in handy :-)
Related Links
Links to posts of the images
Practice Makes Better

Linking Parties: I will be linking to many link-up parties. Feel free to follow along. Free Motion MavericksOff the Wall Friday, Finished or Not FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop?Oh Scrap!, One Monthly Goal SettingMOP MondayMain Crush Monday, Monday Making, Linky Tuesday, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Maker, Let's Bee Social,

The August prize for participation goes to Donna of quiltpaintcreate. Thanks so much for participating! I will be in touch with you about sending you Yanicka's Cougar pattern featuring her Fractured image technique.

The September prize for participating in both the September Goal Setting and Sum Up link-ups will be a $20 (US) gift certificate for a quilting book so that you can keep on learning! For those who don't want to pay shipping, it can be a e-book (they are my favourites!) I am sorting out the details and will announce the publisher in the September Sum Up post.