Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WIP Wednesday - May 30

Today I took out a project that was started at Quilt Canada in Calgary in 2010. One of the classes I signed up for was the Yellow Lady Slipper taught (and designed by) Renske Helmuth. I thought I would enjoy the leisurely pace of needle turned applique and the subject matter was something I also loved, having a lady slipper growing in my garden. The class also included a sashiko border - something I knew nothing about at the time.
Needle Turn Applique
 Renske's technique involved using the shadings of the fabric to give depth to the applique shapes and you can see that here on the flower - the shade from light to dark emphasizes the roundness of the flower itself. My leaf shapes are not as defined as the sample photo, but you can see how different shades of color give depth to what is there.
Yellow Lady Slipper with Sashiko Border
 The second part of the project was a sashiko border. Truthfully, I wasn't looking forward to this part of the workshop - after all, how interesting could it be to do a running stitch? Well, it turns out that I enjoyed doing the sashiko more than I enjoyed the needle turned applique! Renske had a number of samples of sashiko with her and when I got home, I went online and reserved all the sashiko books out of the public library and now have a few of my own.
Close up of sashiko border
Needless to say, this was a large project for a one-day class and it comes out every so often and I complete another leaf, or another flower, and today I finished the 2nd flower! All the other shapes are traced and on freezer paper. I'll cut them out, iron them onto fabric and will be all set to finish the applique through the summer.

Have you taken a class and not finished the project? Tell me about it!

--Ann

Joining WIP Wednesday at Quiltsy: WIP Wednesday #12
And at the Needle and Thread Network: WIP Wednesday #41
And for the first time joining WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Spring Blossoms

Here's a peek at what's blooming in my yard this month. The greens of the spring foliage, the bright blue spring sky and the white blossoms really catch my eye and I wonder how I can interpret that in a quilt.
Crab Apple
Lady's Slipper - just starting to blossom!
Nanking cherry
I hope to share more pictures of my garden throughout the season!

--Ann

Friday, 25 May 2012

Thinking about Thanksgiving?

I picked up some great fall foliage fabric a few months back when I was at the fabric store for making some Thanksgiving table runners. As I was fondling looking through my fabric for my next project, these awesome fall prints caught my eye. Maple leaf blocks are always a favourite to make, so I rummaged through my scraps and fat quarters for some coordinating fabrics for the blocks and voila!
Maple Leaf Sunflower Quilt - FOR SALE
Autumn Leaves Quilt - FOR SALE
It feels a little weird to be making and thinking about fall quilts when we've only just begun planting and gardening outside, but I like being a little bit ahead of the seasons - even if it's only a couple small quilts! (And I have some Christmas ideas floating around too, that might not wait until fall!)

--Ann

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

WIP Wednesday - May 23

Even the littlest people get put to work!
 We're going crazy with spring fever around here with yard work! The garden is planted and the grass has been mowed once or twice. When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, I have a hard time staying inside to sew or do laundry or any housework! So, other than my regular Wednesday sewing date with my quilting friends, not much has happened in the sewing cave these past couple weeks. But here's some pictures of the yard WIP. (By the way, my landscaper son is for hire in the Calgary area - james(at)symessnowremoval.com)
A new walkway in the back yard.
Remember the mystery quilt I showed you a couple weeks ago? Well, here's a few of the quilt blocks done - I'm really liking the way the traditional quilt pattern looks with some modern fabrics. This triple Irish chain quilt pattern is one I've wanted to make for many years and it's going together like a dream.



What's your favourite traditional pattern? Do you have a pattern you've wanted to try for a long time?

--Ann

Linked here: Needle and Thread Network

And here: Team Quiltsy WIP

Friday, 18 May 2012

Rhubarb Banana Parfait

As I've spent most of this week in the garden, I thought I'd share one of my favorite childhood recipes that features one of the earliest crops in my Canadian garden - rhubarb!

Combine in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until rhubarb is just tender:
  • 2 cups raw rhubarb cut in 1" pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I only use 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup water
Combine and add to rhubarb and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until smoothly thickened:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
Cool. Dice 1 small banana and add to rhubarb. Spoon alternate layers of ice cream and sauce into parfait glasses.

--Ann


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

WIP Wednesday - May 9

Another Wednesday, another day of sewing with friends! Have to love days when I can do that! Here's what I was working on today:

One-Block Wonders Encore Quilt Top
I took a class on the One-Block Wonder quilt a couple years back and although I loved the fabric and the hexagon pieces, somewhere along the process, I was no longer inspired by what I was doing. So, this quilting project went into the back of the closet, came out a few times only to go back in and finally came out to stay this week. I ripped out a few rows of blocks on the sides and the bottom and as a result, the proportions are more pleasing to me and I'm back looking forward to working and finishing this quilt.
Mystery Quilt
Often, I will come out of a quilt shop with fabric that I love, but have no idea what I am going to make of it. Every time I open my sewing cave doors and look through my fabric, these beautiful colors from Moda (Etchings from Three Sisters) have been calling me to sew them into something special. I'm not ready to share yet what quilt pattern I am using, but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek.

Do you have projects that need time to "stew"? Or are you a start to finish one project at a time person?

--Ann

Thursday, 3 May 2012

One more day - Spring Sale 2012

Sunshine & Clouds quilt by Magpie Quilts 15% off

Spring Sale is almost over - just one more day to catch the savings! Use coupon code SPRING2012 for 15% off everything in my shop - excluding custom. Sale ends Friday, May 3 @ 6pm Mountain Daylight Savings time.

This sale is a part of the Alberta Street Team spring sale - full list of shops participating and their discounts is here! Here's just a few of the great locally made items you can find on Etsy:
Leather Flip Flops by Sleepy Hollow Leather 25% off
Stained Glass Suncatcher by Mosaics by Margo 20%off
Hockey Puck soap by Maple Creek Soap 15%off
Hand dyed yarn by The Wacky Windmill 15% off

Have fun shopping - remember sale ends tomorrow!
--Ann




Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Signs of Spring 2012

Took a little walk around the yard Sunday evening - this is what I saw:
Asparagus

Rhubarb

Chives
Looks like a great start to gardening season! This is year 3 for the asparagus and rhubarb, so I am looking forward to actually getting to harvest them! And the chives? They would take over if we let them, so the chives are contained in a small corner of the garden.

Just a reminder that the spring sale is still happening at Magpie Quilts - 15% off with coupon code SPRING2012. Sale ends May 3.

--Ann