Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Learning quilting math the hard way

Welcome to my 350th post! Wow! How cool is that?😎

Well, I guess that I gave my blog an appropriate name because this anniversary post is all about learning about quilting math the hard way - like having to make half-square triangles (HST) three times before getting it right! To be precise, it wasn't the making that was difficult, it was making them fit.
Version 1.0 - Loved-to-death quilt

I guess I should start at the beginning. 

My first goal for 2020 is to re-make my son's loved-to-death quilt made by his grandmother (my Mom). Here is the original, version 1.0.

A few years ago, my son asked me to remake it. He drew it out on graph paper for me (his math skills are excellent). The fabric was bought and ironed. I was quite anxious about starting this project. but tonight after work, I decided to start.
Step 1 - top left corner

Working from his draft and the original quilt, I decided to start with some of the smaller pieces.

Why was I anxious? Well, my mother made the quilt based on a picture in a calendar. That means not pattern. Although she had made a few quilts, her piecing doesn't follow standard quilting block style. She didn't use HST and frankly I'm not sure how she constructed the quilt but lets just say that her MacGyver skills were excellent 😊



Step 1 - the top left corner

I wanted to make the first two strips in the top left corner of the quilt. I measured everything, wrote down the dimensions, added the seam allowances and started cutting fabric.

The first strip consists of a blue-gray and a red piece that is cut at an angle. That's where the HST came in. In my first attempt at the HST, I cut 2 - 2½" squares in each colour (mistakes number 1 and 2). After making the HST, I realised that one 2½" square in each colour would make 2 HST. Also, it turns out that making HST with 2½" square makes a block only slightly bigger than 2". Oops.
2 strips and 4 HST that are too small (and too many)
2½" squares for HST didn't work















Many attempts at HSTs





Then, since my mother's quilt really only needed HST that were 2"x 1¾", I decided to try with blocks of 3" x 2½". Did you know that you have to use a square to make a Half Square Triangle??? Yup. Mistake number 3. Those are the funny looking blocks at the bottom of this image.

2 strips done - roughly the same




Finally 3" squares ended up making 2½" blocks that went with the strips. So a couple of hours later, I have two strips of about 30" done!

Version 2.0 is not going to be exactly the same as version 1.0 but it will be close.
Part 1 of the quilt re-make











I'm not sure how many steps Part 1 of the quilt re-make will take. I've circled what I hope to be Part 1 in the image.






I'm not going to bother with my What I learned section for this post because it was ALL a learning experience. Since there will be many more HST to make for this quilt, at least I've learned a valuable lesson!

What's on this week

I don't have any deadlines looming so I'm going to keep working on this quilt as well as my two book blocks, which are my un-official OMG since I forgot to link up!.

Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to Free Motion Mavericks with Muv, since it's her week to host the party. Let's go see what everyone is up to!
Monday Making, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek Makers, To-do Tuesday, Needle & Thread ThursdayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Finished or Not Finished Friday,  Friday Foto Fun,

Sunday, February 09, 2020

I heart Project Quilting

This week on Project Quilting, Challenge 11-3 was "Put a 💖 on it!"

Scrappy Heart Journal Cover

For those who read my blog, you will have noticed that I'm on a free motion quilted (FMQ) journal cover kick! My last post was about " A production of quilted journal covers". Since I'm on a roll, I thought that I would try out a few things on my latest journal cover.

What do you get when you:
  • Make scrappy fabric
  • Free motion quilt it to an inch of it's life
  • Using variegated thread
To make a FMQ journal cover?
You get this....
A FMQ Scrappy Heart Journal Cover!
It figures that this very scrappy FMQ journal cover is my best one yet, construction wise - just not design wise. I did learn a lot from this one!
The back of the scrappy journal cover
Scrappy quilt cover with elastic




















I even used some scrappy pieces to make the inside of the cover. I love it!

Scrappy even on the inside!
What I learned
  • In hindsight, I should have done ONE of the three things (scrappy, or densely FMQ, or used variegated thread). Using all three was just too much since they all add a lot visually to the piece. 
  • FMQ on scrappy fabric calls for either one overall design or a FMQ design that is simple and follows the fabric.
  • Variegated thread adds a lot to a piece. It really wasn't needed here - it's too much!
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up, with a couple of hours to spare, to Project Quilting, Put a Heart on It - Challenge 11-3. Let's go see what quilters have put a heart on! Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Finished Friday,  TGIFF, Beauties Pageant, Peacock Party,


Thursday, February 06, 2020

Free Motion Mavericks

Hi! Welcome to week 266 of the Free Motion Mavericks linking party!

A production of quilted journal covers

A lovely neutral cover
If birds can have their own special words for groups, then I choose a "production" for a group of quilted journal covers.😊

The very first one!














My own colourful
 agenda cover



The newest members of the Production of journal covers
Using dot-to-dot quilting

A friend from the quilt guild gave me several bags of scraps. Some were much more than scraps since she decided to get rid of fabric that she would never use.

Well, I might not use those fabrics either, but for this project, I used the quilt panel fabric on the back and sewed the front of the journal cover using the bobbin thread.

I really like the effect of the dot-to-dot quilting without really having the fabric delineate the blocks. Once again I used variegated thread in the bobbin.

FMQ on this panel to make the
yellow journal cover



The supplies for making the
yellow journal cover










This fun coffee fabric has been FMQ. Now to make the Coffee Lover's journal cover.

Aren't these great? If they look
familiar it's because I've made a 
few hexies with similar fabric
The blue-green polka dots will look
great as a background fabric
















An update (February 9, 2020): My Coffee Lover's journal cover is finished. I'd rather update this post than write up another one, so here it is!


Coffee Lover's journal cover

The back of the Coffee Lover's journal cover


I just love the inside of this one!

















Tall Tales Book block UFO 
One Monthly Goal for February

Tall Tales Book block UFO 
This month I will finish one of the Tall Tales Book blocks that I started making during my holidays last fall. You can check out the links below.

Oops, it would seem that I forgot to link up to the February OMG goal link up. Oh well, I still want to get these two done!



Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! Friday Foto Fun, Beauties Pageant, Off the Wall Friday, Put Your Foot Down, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Colour and Inspiration TuesdayMonday Making, What I Made Monday,

Free Motion Mavericks

We've had some great projects linked up last time - thanks so much for joining us. I'd like to give a special mention to Muv of Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing, my Free Motion Mavericks partner. Her free motion quilted piece, A Lane in May was undeniably frustrating to make, but I believe that it was ultimately a wonderful project. 😊 If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out.




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, January 31, 2020

Finishing up One Monthly Goal - OMG

I can't believe that it's the end of January. It was pretty intense quilting wise. I finished my two Project Quilting and the Winter Blues project with very little time to spare. That's how I live dangerously. 😊

January's OMG 
A journal cover for my quilting agenda

My only other goal for January was my One Monthly Goal - to make a journal cover for my quilting agenda/notebook. As I'm writing this, I'm still not sure that it will get done in time. You'll find out by the end of the post (which has to be linked to the OMG linky party by tonight at Elm Street Quilts), or it will be my February OMG. Find out what happens....Can I write most of this post, go sew up the journal cover within 9 hours???

My FMQ piece for a journal cover
It took me a few days to find the fabric that I wanted to use for my journal cover. So many choices.... When I looked into my box of hand-dyed fabrics (mine and stuff that I've bought), I decided that these would be perfect for FMQ a journal cover. Most of the pieces are fairly small so they could be used for art quilts, but this is a nice alternative.

This first piece is so much fun. It was hand painted, printed and or dyed by Gunnel Hag of Colour Vie (see Related links below). Gunnel is an amazing fibre artist who gave a talk to the Out of the Box Fabric Artists Group a couple of years ago. I bought some of her fabric paint as well as a few beautiful pieces of fabric. This is the funkiest one.

Of course I forgot to take a picture of the fabric before I started FMQ, but you can see most of it here, as I started quilting it. I just love that there are many things going on that I could work around. It helped to separate the fabric into quilting areas.

The fabric by Gunnel Hag, before it got totally FMQ
The threads I used were all variegated - from Superior Threads, King Tut and Rainbows and from  Wonderfil, Konfetti. The fabric was a joy to quilt and I got to use a bunch of different designs.

I started off doing spirals around the circles (above) and then slowly moved towards the left image. Since it was more structured, I used boxes within boxes and triangles.

Adding more structured designs
I added triangles around the triangles and then pebbles around the word "Red". It was fun changing threads and seeing the different effects.
Triangles and pebbles around the word "Red"
In the un-quilted fabric, you can see a faint image of ferns or maybe spruce leaves. I went a little nuts with these. I started by just outlining the larger one but then kept on adding thread. For the other two, I restrained my enthusiasm (I got bored!)
Adding colour to the ferns
Faint outline of ferns














I added small swirls around the ferns to try to emphasize them. It might have been more effective if the thread had matched the fabric!


It was then time to outline the word "Yellow". By then I wanted to use simpler designs. I used wavy horizontal lines around the word "Yellow". In the pink above I used a design that I don't know the name of - I call them j's and f's because that's what the motion feels like when I make them. Finally on the left side I made some meandering swirly flowers. I considered using matching thread when I got out of the yellow section but it was lovely to see the effect of the yellow thread on the green fabric.

Yellow and pink at the top
A finished agenda cover

Yes, I just made it. With only 5 hours before the OMG linking party closes, I'm now showing you the finished product. 😊

This is the third journal cover that I've done, and it would seem that practice makes things much easier. I followed Christina Cameli's class on BluPrint and made lots of footnotes.  

The finished front of the agenda cover

The back of the cover

The back and front of the cover
Agenda cover with fancy fold-over elastic
For this cover, I even added a ribbon to keep my place.
My quilting agenda and notebook

What I learned
Cutting the fabric was the most difficult part!
  • It took me 4 hours to FMQ this fabric piece and only one hour to make the journal cover - and things went without problems.
  • I made tons of notes for myself so that I can keep making these journal covers easily.
  • I had to cut some of the FMQ fabric - it was difficult. I like what I chose but I'm sorry that I didn't keep more yellow and pink in the final piece.
  • I would also have liked to have the back of the cover be the front, but the word "Red" would have been upside down.
  • I never throw these extra quilted pieces out, so one day, you may see that lovely yellow incorporated into another piece.
  • Do you know if there's something I can do to make the ribbon a little stiffer? Would coating it with ModPodge work? If you have any ideas, please let me know.
Related links
Linking parties
I'm linking up to Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal Finish for January. It looks like I made it 😊 I will also be linking up to Free Motion Mavericks with Muv since it's her week to host the party. Make sure that you go link up too! Midweek Makers, Colour and Inspiration TuesdayPut Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Beauties Pageant, TGIFF, Peacock Party,

Dione scored a rainbow for her Outback Weather Bingo with this project! Check it out at Colour and Inspiration Tuesday

Project details


FMQ agenda cover
Pattern and instructions by Christina Cameli
8½" x 6"
Techniques: FMQ, sewing
Material: hand painted, printed and or dyed cotton by Gunnel Hag, fold-over elastic, agenda




Sunday, January 26, 2020

The colours of books

To an avid reader, there is nothing more lovely and colourful that a library full of books.

Colours of books

I'm not a team kind of person, so when Challenge 11.2 of Team Colours came out for the Quilting Project on Sunday, I was stumped. My two favourite things, other than my family, are quilting and reading. These are things that I usually do by myself, but they are my teams - I love being in a library or a book store and talking about books. I feel the same way about quilts - which I share with my team of virtual and real friends. It's a lot like going to a sporting event to cheer for your team, but much quieter. 😍

My Team Colours - books of all colours 😊
I have to admit that I've been looking at making a bookcase quilt for a while. I've made mini book quilts, but never a full library of books - how exciting, and scary to do this in a week! For anyone who is interested, I've included a link to my favourite site in the Related links below.

I started by making a quick sketch of what I might make. I needed to figure out if this thing would be a mini or a medium sized wall quilt. Since I wanted to play with my free motion quilting (FMQ) I opted for medium size.
One of the many bookcases in the house

Then I went around the house taking pictures of the many bookcases that we have. I didn't even bother going into the basement and at the bottom of my closet, where most of the books I own are!
This gave me some ideas for the bookcase itself, the books in it as well as the objects that I could include in the bookcase.
Stitching books together














By Tuesday evening, I was starting to cut and stitch books on shelves.

I kept at it for two evenings and most of Saturday. It was officially finished last night!  😊 Of course, there were pictures to take and a post to write...but I'm almost ready to publish and link up....can you feel the excitement!

So without further ado, here are the finished pictures of My Team Colours Challenge: The colours of a library.

My team colours: The colours of a library
Here are some details.
Plants go so well with books, when there's enough light!

The middle shelf has my favourite bookend.
The real bookend















There's always a travel memento somewhere on a bookshelf!
What I learned 
  • Although it was a large project to make in one week, it was very straight forward with little un-stitching to do!
  • I was very careful in my measurements for the bookcase, so even that went well. 😊 
  • The best part was, of course, the FMQ. That was a real treat to decide on the thread colours, the designs and then doing it!
  • I put on the binding with the walking foot again...it's now ingrained in my quilting brain. I love it!
  • I am really happy with this quilt. My only indecision was to FMQ the wood grain onto the bookshelf. The only reason that I didn't is because this would have to be done all over the bookshelf and I like the way that the bookcase lets the eyes rest. What do you think? I would really value your opinion.
Great News! I won prize #13 for Challenge 11-2. It's a Harper’s Garden Charms by Sherri & Chelsi and the Cupcake Mix Recipe 3 from Moda Fabrics! Thanks Kim and Moda!

Related links
Linking parties
I am linking up to Project Quilting, Challenge 11.2 - Team Colors, as well as other fun link-ups. Let's see what going on. TGIFFOff The Wall FridayFriday Foto FunCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Monday Making, What I Made Monday, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2020, Free Motion Mavericks with Muv, Midweek Makers, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Put Your Foot DownNeedle & Thread Thursday,