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!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Winter Star Baby Quilt

When my fellow Montreal MQG member and friend Shannon announced that she was publishing a pattern for her Winter Star quilt, I jumped at the opportunity to test it for her.  The design was so much fun and I was in need of a baby quilt for my kids' cousin who is pregnant with her first baby.

Shannon's pattern provides instructions for 3 sizes:  baby, throw and double.  Like I said, I needed a baby quilt so went with the 40" x 40" version for mine.

I chose fat quarters from my stash in tones of pink, purple, blue and green.  The background is Kona White.  The binding is a scrappy bunch of leftover strips from other quilts in pink and a tiny bit of green.

The backing is a fabric I've had for a very long time - some tiny purple dots on a white background.  I love it when I have the perfect fabric in my stash for the backing!

I quilted it with a big meander with 50 wt white Aurifil thread.

Shannon is publishing the pattern for Winter Star the week of November 21.  I highly recommend it. She did a fabulous job with the instructions and the illustrations make things super easy to follow, even for a novice quilter.

Quilt Stats:

  • Pattern:  Winter Star by Shannon Fraser of s/f Designs
  • Size: 40" square (baby quilt size)
  • Fabrics: 8 fat quarters entirely from stash and Kona White for the background
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt #2021
  • Recipient:  Mylene for her first baby
Will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

MMQG Molinari Challenge Finish

Last Spring, the Montreal MQG challenged their members to design and create a quilt based on the work of Montreal artist Guido Molinari.  To help inspire us, the leadership of the guild organized a visit to the Guido Molinari Foundation museum and even put together a really cool presentation on his work.

I couldn't attend the museum visit so had to depend on Google to get a good feel for his body of work.  Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I know absolutely nothing about modern art. So I had to rely solely on my gut when it came to choosing one of his pieces as my inspiration.

I also had to choose something that I could make into a quilt so I went with something fairly simple.

I pieced the quilt from Kona solids (Black, Red and Ocean).  I wanted the modern feel to continue with the quilting so decided to go with straight lines with my walking foot.

I quilted some of the lines with black thread, others with blue and red.  It's really hard to capture the real colours in these photos, but trust me, it's really cool in person.  :-)

The quilt measures about 30" x 40".

The next challenge of the Montreal MQG is to design and create a quilt based on a Montreal metro station.  The metro system in Montreal is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and many stations have really beautiful works of art on display - some of the stations themselves are works of art!

I chose the metro station closest to my house and the one that takes me home every night...  I can't wait to get started!

But first, my friend Shannon of s/f Designs is getting ready to publish a pattern and I offered to test it for her.  So that's the first priority for me over the next few days.

Will be linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and at for TGIFF.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Weight of Love - Finally done!

I don't usually carry WIPs around for very long - I'm more of a start and finish kind of quilter.  But this one had been in my sewing room for a while.  Back in March 2016, the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild organized a workshop with Libs Elliot and we all worked on the Weight of Love quilt pattern. I love the design and was very happy with my fabric choices, but I wasn't thrilled with my Y seams.

So the couple of rows I had pieced at the workshop languished on my design wall for months!

I even put this WIP on my FAL list for Q2 and Q3, but only took it out again in September.  I finished piecing the big hexagon and then was stuck again.  I didn't want to applique the hexagon on a background because I had nothing in my sewing room that was big enough and I promised myself I wouldn't buy any fabric until 2017.

When I put it on my Q4 FAL list, I was determined to finish it before the end of the quarter.  So I decided to make things easy on myself and cut the sides even so I ended up with a big hexagon with six even sides.

I immediately basted it and started quilting - a nice, simple, easy meander with grey Aurifil thread in 50 wt (#2600 Dove).

Some of my Y seams are not exactly perfect...

But some are pretty good...

The day I took the pictures, my step-daughter was here with my grand-daughter and I decided to give her the quilt to use as a play mat.  She was super happy to take it and I was super happy to give it away!

I will linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts and at Busy Hands Quilts for TGIFF because I definitely need to celebrate this finish!

And because this was on my Q4 list for the 2016 FAL, I will linking up there too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scrappy Blue Quilt Finish

I use blue a lot in my quilts - a lot!  So it's not surprising that I ended up with two overflowing bins of blue scraps. And I mean overflowing - I could barely put the lids on my bins.

I've been trying to use up more of my scraps lately and the #100days100blocks quilt along that I've been participating in is helping a bit, but I'm not using nearly as many of my scraps as I thought I would.  So a couple of weeks ago, I took out one of my blue bins and started piecing blocks.

And before long, I had a fun quilt top made with nothing but scraps...

It's raining cats and dogs here today and the forecast is calling for more rain for the next 4 days so I'm stuck with indoor pictures in very poor lighting - apologies!

I used more scraps - grey ones - to frame every other square to try and reduce the chaos a bit and I really like the effect.

Some of these scraps are really old - like those more traditional flowery fabrics in there.  And there are some of my favourite modern fabrics too - the ones I used in some of the quilts I love the most.

I quilted it with organic wavy lines with my walking foot with a soft blue Aurifil thread.

Making this quilt was such a fun exercise. I loved the freedom of piecing together random bits of fabric with no plan and no need to be exact with my seams.

The total size of the quilt is 60" x 75".  I used 20 blocks in a 4 x 5 grid - each block is 15" finished.

And I'm happy to report that the first blue bin is now only about a quarter full!

I will linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts (who is also a big fan of scrappy quilts!) and at Rainbows Bunnies Cupcakes for TGIFF.

And this is project number 4 on my FAL list for Q4!  Yay for finishes!  :-)

Friday, October 14, 2016

FAL Q4 2016 List

FAL 2016

I had a lot of fun working my Quarter 3 projects for the 2016 FAL and I managed to finish 6 of the 9 projects on my list.  I'd say 2/3 is a pretty good result wouldn't you?  I plan on finishing 2016 with a bang so will sign-up for the FAL again this quarter.

Here is my list for Q4:

1.  Weight of Love

My Weight of Love WIP has been on my lists since Q2 and I has to get done!  I did make some progress during the last quarter and my big hexie is now all pieced.  All that's left is to applique it on a background, back it, quilt it and bind it.

2.  Heading South

This one was also on my list for Q3.  I did not manage to make any progress on that one but I'm determined to get started at least.  I'm using scraps for this one (I've got more than enough to make 100 quilts like this one!) and some Kona Charcoal for the background. 

3.  Urban Chained


This was also on my Q3 list and although I have the fabric all picked out, I wasn't able to even touch this one last quarter.

4.  Scrappy Blue Quilt


This is something I started a couple of weeks ago.  I am determined to use a lot of my scraps and my blue bins (yes, plural) were overflowing so I decided to go with a blue scrappy quilt to start with.  I've already made 14 of the 20 15" blocks I'll need.  Finishing this one should not be a problem.

And that's all I'm putting on my list for this quarter.