Friday, 26 June 2020

Lonestar

This is a quilt that I've made before in red, white and blue. I'll see if I can find a photo to show you another day. The basic Lonestar block pattern came from a McCall's Best Quilts magazine (Vol. 3, 1988).
 I had a pack of orange and gray fabrics that I curated (LOVE that word!) from the odds and ends in my fabric collection.  I pieced the star - it seemed to be a bit more difficult than I remembered to get the centre portion to lay flat and not bubble. Those bias seams on diamonds are tricky.
.I added a plain narrow light gray border to square up the centre block and then a wider darker gray border to make the measurements work for the outer checkerboard border.
 I then challenged myself to do some custom quilting on each element of the quilt. So the checkerboard border got an orange peel treatment.
The dark gray border was quilted with swirls. The light gray area, including the border, was free-motion quilted with a meandering pattern. And lastly, the diamonds were quilted a quarter inch in from the seam lines to emphasize the diamond shapes.
 All in all I was pretty happy with this little quilt. The textures looks great and I'm slowly getting better at figuring out different things to quilt in different areas.
 It does take at least double the time to quilt a project with various techniques as opposed to a general all-over design that doesn't take into account the different elements of the piecing.
 Quilt was finished with a gray print that I had in my stash and machine bound with a solid gray fabric.

A quilt with these details doesn't stay in the shop very long and I'm glad I took lots of photos while it was still here. It may be one I do again in a different colourway. (I'm pinning lots of colour inspiration on Pinterest!)

--Ann

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Winnie the Pooh

Not really sure if I've shared this one with you yet. A few months ago, I had a call from someone who heard that I make and sell my quilts and do custom work. She had a set of 4 Winnie the Pooh cross stitch blocks that she had done with her daughter and wanted them made into a quilt for her expected grandchild.
 I did have some Winnie the Pooh fabrics left from a previous project that were perfect for this quilt. I was not sure that I would have enough, so I went looking to find a few more pieces so I could add them to make this quilt a good size to last from baby to toddler.
 Unfortunately, I was unable to find what I needed, so the next challenge was to make do with what I had. Adding a couple of coordinating solids gave me the extra fabric I needed to make this quilt the size we were looking for. A fun frame of orange and gray and simple piecing of the hexagon fabric I had on hand resulted in a fun quilt top that let the cross stitch pieces take centre stage.
I then decided that I didn't want to quilt this with my usual all over meandering quilting and sent it to Marie of Blueberry Hill Quilts in High River, Alberta so she could work her magic. We choose a honey bee quilting pattern and a simple cross-hatch over the stitched pictures.

The end result is a really pretty quilt that will be sure to be a heirloom in the family. A piece of personally stitched pieces from family and finished by Magpie Quilts!

Have you used embroidery or cross-stitching as a starting point for a quilt project?

--Ann

Monday, 1 June 2020

Disappearing 9-patch baby quilt

I've done a lot of sorting and cleaning up in my sewing room during this "Stay home, stay safe" time of COVID-19. And I find all kinds of unfinished projects and extra blocks. I made a twin size quilt with these fabrics a year or so ago and had a couple blocks left over and some fabric left.

And just like a sour-dough bread starter that is needed to start a new loaf of bread, I use left-over blocks like these as a starting point for new quilt projects.
 I put the blocks up on my design wall and cut and pieced some more until I had enough for a baby quilt. I didn't think I had enough of the navy with the silvery gray print circles on it, so I chose another similar shade of navy for the small squares.
In the end I still had a few blocks left over - so much for using those up! And after it was all pieced together and quilted, I found enough of the original navy fabric that I wouldn't have had to substitute.

But that's the way things go sometime and there will be another navy and green quilt at some point because I still have a few blocks to use as a quilt-starter in the future.

How about you? Do you save left-over blocks or orphan blocks to make new projects? Tell me about how you've used your left over pieced pieces.

--Ann