Tuesday, 25 March 2014

House block Row by Row

I spent a little of my time last week finishing off a few projects for my Etsy shop and one for myself. This row by row quilt was started the year before we moved here in about 2001.
Row by row house quilt
The idea of a row by row quilt is for each person to start a quilt with a row of blocks - my row is the double chimney houses at the bottom. Then the quilt is passed to another person, who adds their row and so on until everyone in the group has added a row to each quilt. For some reason, our row by row quilts stalled somewhere along the way and I finally got mine back from my friends a couple years ago!
Adding top and bottom strips to increase length
 I loved the scrappy houses and barns, but the quilt was wider than long and so I decided to add a little border of tan fabric at the bottom and some flying geese blocks to the top.
First border
 A narrow border of tan & navy fabric fences in the houses nicely.
Oops! Cut too short!
 And a final wider border of navy. Sometimes poor planning (like cutting my border strips too short) means a different element can be added - and no one will know it wasn't planned.
Unplanned 9-patch corner blocks to fix cutting error!
 So, the final border has little 9-patch blocks in the corners!
Ta-da! Quilt top finished!
 Perfectly sized to fit on my quilt hanger in my dining room! This still needs to be quilted, but I'm content to hang it as is for now to enjoy. I think of the good times I've had with the women who added their creative juices to this quilt and smile as I sip my tea and look at my new wall hanging!

Have you worked on a group project? What was your fav part of the process?

--Ann

linking up to:
Quiltsy WIP Wednesday
The Needle and Thread Network
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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Log Cabin Quilts

After doing a number of custom orders, I am taking a few days to work on some of my own quilts - some for sale and some for my own home.
Log Cabin quilt (circa 1990)
One of the great things about selling on Etsy is the teams of sellers that are formed to provide support and advice on all things about being an online entrepreneur. I belong to a few teams, and the Quiltsy team is the one I go to for all things quilt related. This month they are having a challenge for Worldwide Quilting Day - go back to your first ever quilt and make something new inspired by it. My first full-size bed quilt (well, it did cover the top of a twin bed!) was a log cabin quilt for my oldest son, the electrician, when he moved from the crib into a big boy bed. As you can see from the original quilt above to the faded and worn quilt below, this quilt was well-loved and used!
Same log cabin quilt many years later!
I decided on a smaller version of a log cabin and quickly pieced the blocks and put them up on the design wall. And realized that I should have started the rounds around the center with the light strips rather than the blue. The red squares just blend in with the blue in this version, but it will have to do as I am not unsewing every block to make it right. In hindsight, I should have made one single sample block before I went ahead and assembly line pieced all the blocks at the same time.
Log cabin quilt for Worldwide Quilting Day
The white areas will look great with some decorative quilting and I hope this will be done before Worldwide Quilting Day on Saturday!

--Ann

Linking up here: Quiltsy WIP Wednesday
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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Black and Coral Flowers

Sometimes I go into a quilt shop and see some fabrics that I just need to bring home, even with no project in mind. These fabrics were one of those (many) times I've done just that! Although the colors look a little washed out in these photos, it is really a pretty, rich coral color!
Table Runner
Matching set?
 I originally bought 4 fat quarters and in the course of making the table runner, found out that I didn't have enough to finish it the way I wanted, so the next time I was in the city, I picked up one more coordinating fat quarter and finished the table runner, plus a set of potholders and a few sets of coasters.
Potholders
These are such pretty fabrics, I think I should have bought yardage and made a full-size quilt from them!
Fabric Coasters
Fabric Coasters
Do you purchase just what you need or are you drawn in to purchase fabric, just because it's pretty?

--Ann

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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Making of a Baby Quilt

I find inspiration for my quilts from all over the place. Sometimes they start with a pile of fabrics I like. Sometimes they start with a sketch. And sometimes I get a customer that starts me off with a paint color.

This baby quilt started with a paint chip - Sherwin Williams Sleepy Blue. The nursery color scheme is navy, grey, baby blue and white.
A range of blue, grey and navy fabrics.
The first thing I do is go through my fabrics on hand to see if I have anything. If not, I get to have a trip to the fabric store to look for something that will work. Then between a few online conversations with my customer, we decide on which fabrics to include and which we won't.

Then, it's a little cutting and a little sewing and blocks start going up on my design wall to be played with. I love this part where I'm playing with color and fabric placement and trying to find a design that will be just the right combination.
Blue & Navy Chevrons
Blue, Grey and Navy Chevrons
A couple different chevron layouts
You will have to wait to see what this quilt finally looks like! In the meantime, I'm having fun in my sewing room!
--Ann
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Monday, 3 March 2014

Row by Row house blocks

A long time ago, in a place far away, I quilted with a lovely group of ladies in Beaumont. Alberta, that is, not Texas! Before we moved south to Calgary, we started an exchange of row by row quilts. Each of us started a quilt with a row of blocks, passed our blocks on to the next person on the list and they were to add a row. Unfortunately, the quilts stalled on their journey around the group and finally, 8 or 9 years after they were started, I got my quilt top back! And now, after sitting in my UFO pile for a few years, it's time to finish it.
The theme for my row by row quilt was houses. I love that this quilt has pieces of my friend's creativity and look forward to finishing it. I have some lovely earthy prints to border it with and am thinking of adding some flying geese blocks to the top. I also am thinking of putting "Home Sweet Home" somewhere on it as well - not quite sure where that will turn up, but I'll think of something!

Have you had a project with an extremely long shelf life? What do you need to motivate you to get it finished?

--Ann

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Sunday, 2 March 2014