Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top 5 of 2016

Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her annual "Top 5 Linky Party" and I thought I'd participate again this year.  It was kind of fun to go through my blog posts from the past year and come up with my Top 5.

1. Top Views - Sunny Zipper Pouch

My Sunny Zipper Pouch post not only has the most views this year, but it also got re-pinned the most on Pinterest.

2. Top Comments - Super-sized Spiraled

The Super-sized Spiraled blog post was the one that received the most comments this past year.  I'm also super proud of this finish based on a tutorial by Debbie of A Quilter's Table.  The quilting on this one took many, many hours and I love every stitch!

3. Top Achievement - Y Seams and the Weight of Love Quilt

I learned how to sew Y seams during a workshop with Libs Elliot but then the few pieces I had sewn together for the Weight of Love quilt stayed in my WIP pile for a long time.  I'm super happy that I decided to take it out of the pile and finish it.  By the end of the project, my Y seams were getting really, really good.

4. Top Small Finish - Crosscut Quilt

Back in the summer, Debbie of A Quilter's Table hosted a really fun QAL featuring her Crosscut Quilt design.  I really liked the look of her quilt so I jumped on board and made my own.  As it turns out, this little quilt is my favourite small finish of 2016 and I proudly display it on my dining room wall.

5. Top Large Quilt Finish - Snowflake Shimmer

This is another QAL I participated in this year.  This was was hosted and designed by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.  This is definitely my favourite large finish this year. I love the fabrics I chose, but I'm especially proud of the quilting.

I now look forward to 2017 and all the wonderful things it will bring I'm sure!

Monday, December 26, 2016

2017 Plans...

Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl is having a planning party over on her blog and there are really nice prizes to win - so I thought I'd participate and start making plans for 2017.

2017 Planning Party

I decided not to make a long list of plans and projects this year.  I really only have two goals: sew from my stash and use up my scraps.  Both are getting out of control - I spent a bit of time sorting through my stash and my scraps last week and I know that I could probably make 100 quilts and still not run out of fabric.

Let's start with sewing my stash.  This year, I will not buy any fabric without having a purpose or plan for it.  And most of my purchases this year will be background or backing fabric.  To keep me on track, I will report on my stash reduction efforts at least on a monthly basis.

Second, I will tame my scraps. My goal is that at least half of my completed projects this year will be entirely constructed with scraps (with the exception of neutrals or fabric needed for background and backing).

This is my system for organizing stash and scraps - maybe I also need a new system!  :-)

And that's it.  Only two crafty/quilty goals for the year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pink Baby Quilt

A few weeks ago, my son Max mentioned a good friend of his was expecting a new baby.  He also said this family was newly established in Canada and it would be really cool for them to have a nice, handmade quilt for their new baby girl when she arrived.  He didn’t have to do much pleading with me – I think all babies should be wrapped up in a handmade quilt.

I used a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman – Modern Crosses from her Craftsy class “Inspired Modern Quilts”.  I used that pattern before and loved it. It’s super fast to put together, but the different size squares really add some fun elements to the quilt.

I was able to use scraps for all the pink prints and found the dotty background fabric in my stash.  I made the binding from the same background fabric because none of the pink fabrics in my stash really spoke to me for this quilt.  I think the light binding really allows the fun pink prints to shine.

For the quilting, I went with my usual big meander with Aurifil 50 wt in Dove (#2600).

The backing is a print I purchased last year for a charm swap organized by the Montreal MQG. I purchased way more than what was needed because I thought it was really cool.  And it was exactly the size I needed for this quilt!

My son was very pleased with this quilt when he picked it up and said his friend would be really, really happy – which is great!

Quilt Stats:

  • Pattern: Wonky Crosses by Elizabeth Hartman
  • Size: 30” x 30”
  • Fabrics: All scraps for the pink crosses and a dotty fabric from my stash (I think it was a Moda fabric)
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt
  • Recipient:  Woody’s new little girl due in January 2017

I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Quokka Quilts for TGIFF.

This will likely be my last post before Christmas so to all of you – Happy Holidays! I hope you get to spend time with those you love, eating good food and surrounded by things that make you happy!  I wish you some selfish sewing time too after the craziness that is holiday sewing!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Urban Chained Placemats

I learned something about myself over the last couple of weeks... I don't like slow stitching and I don't like sewing curves. I tried, I really did.  I attended a Cheryl Arkison workshop in October thanks to the Montreal MQG and I loved the workshop, but then I decided to pull out my Urban Chained pattern which was on my FAL list for Q4.

I spent an entire sew-in day with the MMQG cutting all the curves and I was determined to make the whole quilt before the end of the year.  And that's when I realized I really didn't like sewing curves. They are slow, tedious and there's too much trimming.

Don't get me wrong - I love the Urban Chained pattern. I think it's gorgeous, but I just don't have the patience, or the time, right now.  So I took the blocks I had made and decided to turn them into smaller makes: placemats.

I used a bunch of different fat quarters in blues and Kona Cloud for the background.  The binding is Kona Nautical. I quilted them with wavy horizontal lines with my walking foot.

So I don't have that beautiful Urban Chained quilt, but I do have some pretty cool placemats for my dining room.

And I've got another finish off my 2016 FAL list for Q4.  That's 4 out of 4!  Yay me!

Quilts Stats:

  • Pattern:  Urban Chained by Sew Kind of Wonderful
  • Size: each placemat measures 12" x 18"
  • Fabrics: Various blue fat quarters, Kona Cloud and Kona Nautical
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (50 wt)
  • Recipient:  My dining room table!
I will be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Sparrow In Flight for TGIFF.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Baby Quilt for Alexa

A colleague at work is having her first baby soon. And what happens when a quilter finds out someone in their circle is having a baby? We make a quilt of course! When she announced she was pregnant a few months ago, my first reaction was "Yay! I have to make a baby quilt!"

She doesn't know the sex of the baby so I needed to choose pretty gender neutral fabrics for this one. Once I finalized my fabric pull, I had to choose a pattern that would showcase the super cute prints. I decided to go with Strip It Down by Stephanie Palmer for Quilt Theory.

The pattern is for a quilt that's 48" x 60" but I wanted to make mine a little bit smaller so I wouldn't have to join pieces on the back.  I cut the "bricks" a bit shorter (7 1/2") and the solid borders a bit narrower. I think I managed to keep the "spirit" of the design intact and ended up with the perfect size for this baby quilt:  42" long by 36" wide.

For the quilting, I went with my favourite FMQ design - a big meander in Aurifil 2600 in 50wt.  I love quilting this design - it's super quick, looks awesome and after washing, leaves a wonderful texture on the quilt.

The backing is an awesome print I found at Craft de Ville.  And the binding is leftovers from other quilts.

I'm super happy with this little finish and cannot wait to give it to Alexa!

Quilt Stats:

  • Pattern:  Strip It Down by Stephanie Palmer for Quilt Theory
  • Size: 42" x 36"
  • Fabrics: Bricks are a collection from Connecting Threads, the sashing and borders are Kona Snow and Kona Charcoal. The backing is by Robert Kaufman fabrics.
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (50 wt)
  • Recipient:  My colleague Alexa

I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Anja Quilts for TGIFF.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Heading South

How can it possibly be December already? And it looks like my last finish was almost a month ago! Time sure does fly...

I have been sewing - I completed my #100days100blocks Tula Pink sampler top and I'm hoping to send that off to be quilted within the next week or so.  And I finished another project on my Q4 2016 finish-along list:  Heading South.

The photos are pretty bad - we seriously haven't had a sunny day here in almost 2 weeks and it's pretty dark outside by the time I get home from work.
Heading South is a pattern designed by Amanda Castor of Material Girl Quilts.  I purchased it in May during the May is for Makers campaign and I was finally able to start working on the quilt in October.

I used Kona Charcoal for the background and nothing but scraps for the flying geese. These blocks were so much fun to make and I posted a couple of progress shots on Instagram...

I considered doing some fancy quilting in the geese and a filler in the background, but in the end, I decided to quilt it with wavy lines running vertically - sort of to follow the movement of the arrows.

Quilt Stats:

  • Pattern:  Heading South by Amanda Castor of Material Girl Quilts
  • Size: 64" x 68"
  • Fabrics: the greese are all scraps and the background is Kona Charcoal
  • Thread: Pieced with Aurifil #2605 (50 wt) and quilted with Aurifil #2630 (40 wt)
  • Recipient:  My hubby claimed that one as soon as the top was finished

And here it is now being well loved.

Will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Devoted Quilter for TGIFF.

And this is project number 2 on my Q4 2016 FAL list so I will be linking there too!