Thursday, March 30, 2017

#QuiltsforQc Finish

You might have heard about the #quiltsforqc initiative the Montreal MQG launched on January 30 after the horrible shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.  The response we received from quilters the world over has been amazing, humbling and a little overwhelming.  :-)  You can read updates on the Montreal MQG's blog here.

I did make a couple of blocks to contribute to the cause, but I also decided to finish a few quilts. Today, I would like to share my first #quiltsforqc finished quilt.

I just love those house blocks - I love how different they all are... some pretty modern and some more traditional.  The variety of fabrics and patterns used just makes each house so unique.  I had such a good time piecing the blocks together and then quilting and finishing it.

Some of the houses have cute little details such as this fun window:

And this fun tree:

I decided to keep the quilting simple and fast so went with my wavy horizontal lines.  I really do love using this quilting design for a fast finish.

The Montreal MQG's April sew-in is this Saturday and we're having a basting party!  So I'm pretty sure I'll be taking more quilt sandwiches home with me to finish.

Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  House blocks by various designers
  • Size: 60" x 60”
  • Fabrics: Various
  • Thread: I pieced and quilted the top with Aurifil #2021 50 wt
  • Recipient:  #quiltsforqc initiative

I will linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Celtic Thistle Stitches for TGIFF.

Also, if you're participating in the 2017 FAL, don't forget to link up your finishes here.  While you're there, check out the tutorials the different FAL hosts put together for tutorial week.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

2017 FAL - Q1 Finishes!

It might be hard to believe but we have made it to the end of the first quarter of the 2017 FAL and it's time to link up your Q1 finishes! In addition to completing all those UFOs on your lists, we hope you have taken the first 3 months of 2017 to get to know all of our new hosts! The 2017 FAL has a community of bloggers across the world jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director
  Before you link up, let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:  

For the 2017 FAL, we continue tutorial week. Here is the schedule so you can visit them all:
The 2017 Q1 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on each blog. Link-up "rules":
  • Add one link for each finish. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws.
  • Please ensure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the appropriate quarter).
  • Please become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others and comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other. The 2017 FAL Facebook page is here and follow us on Instagram @finishlong and tag your photos #2017FALQ1yourname (substitute your name), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your lists.
  • Our hosts will also link their finishes to share in the community, but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.
The Q1 Finishes link will stay open from now thru April 1, 2017 - link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out. The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings. We will post the winners on each hosts' blog.

And don't forget to start making your Q2 lists as the Q2 list link opens on April 2nd.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meadow Mystery QAL Finish

Wow - it's been a full month since my last finish!  This means I haven't spent a whole lot of time in the sewing room in the last month and that's not good.  I did work on a house quilts for #quiltsforqc, but other than that, my poor Juki hasn't seen a lot of action.

Then last weekend, I decided I was going to stay off the work computer, ignore the email messages piling up in my inbox and spend time finishing my Meadow Mystery quilt.  This QAL, organized by Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs, started in July 2016 and the parade of finished quilts is scheduled for April 5 to 7.

I chose Curiosities by Jeni Baker for my focus fabrics and the background is Kona Snow and Kona Ash.  I'm really pleased with my choices of focus fabrics, but my background colours don't have nearly enough contrast.

Also, as much as I love Cheryl's designs (I have used her patterns many, many times in the past) and this one is no exception, I learned that I don't love mystery QALs.  I'm just not very good at selecting fabrics when I can't visualize what they'll look like in a finished quilt.  The good news is Cheryl always has a "no mystery" version of her QALs so next time, I think that's what I'll do.

For the quilting, I used my walking foot to quilt wavy horizontal lines that cross randomly. I really like the look of those lines and the texture is so nice.

This lap size quilt is going to be making its way to Louisville, Kentucky in a couple of weeks. My friend and work colleage Patti is an amazing crocheter and she agreed to swap a crochet blanket for a lap quilt.  I really hope she likes it!

Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Meadow Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs
  • Size: 60" x 60”
  • Fabrics: Curiosities by Jeni Baker, Kona Snow and Kona Ash
  • Thread: pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2021 50 wt
  • Recipient:  Patti

I will be celebrated this long awaited finish by linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts for TGIFF.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Meet the FAL 2017 Hosts: Abigail from Cut & Alter

We are back with another introduction post by one of the FAL hosts in 2017.  This month, we learn more about Abigail who blogs at cut & alter.  Enjoy!

Back in November I was surprised and delighted to open an email from Rhonda inviting me to become one of the global hosts of the 2017 Finish-A-Long. There are 13 of us in all and over the course of the year we'll be introducing ourselves. Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow started off in January followed by Jess from Elven Garden Quilts in February and now in March it's my turn.

Hello, my name is Abigail and I blog here at cut & alter. I found the FAL late in 2015 and couldn't believe how it motivated me to get things finished. I have always been a list maker and the FAL is no exception. My lists are somewhat larger then most people's, although I have certainly seen longer as well! I know that I will never get everything ticked off within the current Quarter but it does give me 1) accountability 2) a reason to tidy up and reorganise my studio each quarter to find those projects which have been languishing on shelves and at the bottom of boxes 3) it brings projects to the front of my mind and a lot of work goes on in my mind even before I get in the studio 4) if a project has been rolled over just one too many times I can then see that it's probably never going to get finished and I can pass it on (does that count as a finish?!!). Last quarter I had a particularly low completion rate and this one is shaping up to be the same but I have a few finishes and some projects are considerably further on!

A current quarter finish
I live in Stratford upon Avon with my husband, who is from New Zealand, our two daughters and a black and white cat. We have been back in the UK for just over 4 years and prior to that we lived in Otaki, New Zealand. We have been called gypsies before now due to our constant moving, and usually not within the same area. This is the longest time I have ever lived anywhere! (Can you keep a secret? Maybe, just maybe, my feet are itching again!) Some of the other places I have lived are: Nottingham, Leamington Spa, Sydney, Wellington, London, Waihi Beach, Cambridge, Tauranga, Rowington, Shirley, Waitarere Beach and Feilding. The whole idea of living here (the UK) or there (NZ) was the inspiration for this quilt. I was delighted when Should I Stay or Should I Go? was awarded Best Piecing in Show last November in Bristol!

Up until January this year I home educated the girls, which was brilliant. I always felt honoured to have as much time with them as I did and whilst it certainly was tiring and had its moments we had a lot of fun along the way. They have now started school, primary and secondary, and have settled in really well. We have a new rhythm in our lives which, for me, is taking some getting used to. I thought I would have all the time in the world, that I would have time to sew, quilt, go to the gym, make lovely healthy food ...... oh silly, silly me!! You don't actually get much done in the six hours between 9am and 3pm do you?!! One thing I have done is learn to do improv curves - I love them!!!!

I have been sewing since a child but, like a lot of women, I came back to sewing when my first child was born, although I had been making curtains for our houses every time we moved! Little children's clothes are such a pleasure to make - fitting is not important, they don't use much material and they are quick (although when sleep deprived they sometimes didn't seem to be that quick). I had made a puff patchwork quilt for my eldest soon after she was born and then made a simple square quilt from vintage Laura Ashley soft furnishing fabric from our various childhood houses. These two quilts are well loved and well worn!

It wasn't until 2010 that I 'learnt' to quilt. I took a 6 week night class in NZ and a passion was born. I joined my local quilt club and I listened to the other ladies of my group talking about all their WIPs. I was horrified! I vowed that I would never have projects sitting on my shelf - I would start and finish one before embarking on another. Oh how naive I was! Needless to say I have lots of projects on the go all of differing ages. Last year I finished my most long standing project - ANZAC Hearts, it was on my FAL2016 Quarter 2 list! This was a Bee quilt and I love it - luckily as much now as when I started it in 2010!

Back in 2015 I made the decision to purchase a longarm quilting machine and I totally love it!!! I bought a Handi Quilter Avante and it brings me a lot of joy. With the girls at home I did not have the time I would have liked for learning and practising but I am getting there. I have done a few customer quilts and hope to do more this coming year. Before then I have a backlog of my own tops that are waiting to be done. This was the first quilt I quilted on my machine ....

Wow - this has become a longer post than I thought. When I first sat down to write this I did wonder what I would write! So, here's a quick 10 9 other things about me to finish (I got stuck on No 10!):

1. I make quilts for Project Linus
2. I am a member of the Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild
3. I am left handed
4. At 25 I spent a week in Coober Pedy, having read about it as child of 12 - it was awesome!
5. I love salads
6. I have only ever spent one night in hospital and that was with my daughter when she was 3 and had to have her tonsils out
7. Both my children were born at home - one in NZ and one in UK
8. I will go to QuiltCon ..... one day!
9. I would love to go to Alaska

There you have it! Remember there's just a couple of weeks left for you to get your Quarter 1 list project finished. The link up opens on 26 March and will remain open until 01 April. Be sure to link up because there are amazing prizes to be won (and I should know because I have won twice before!!) I look forward to seeing all the finished projects this quarter. x

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Stash Report - February

February was a really, really busy month at work so I didn't get a whole lot of sewing done.  So this stash report isn't going to take very long.

I have two finished projects for February, both of which were made with scraps.  You can read more about each one by clicking the picture.

Bed Runner for Mom
Mug Rugs for Project Quilting

The bed runner put a really nice dent in my black and white scrap bin but most of the other bins are pretty full still.  Will have to plan more scrappy projects!  

As for my stash, I used 3.5 yards for the backing and binding of my mom's bed runner, but I also made some fabric purchases this month:

1 yard each of  Robotics by Birch Fabrics

1/2 yard of Kona Pink Flamingo

1 fat quarter of Kona Berry, Capri and Highlight

Stash Report YTD
  • 6 scrappy projects
  • 3 1/4 yards purchased and 7 yards used: - 3.75 yards net