Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WIP Wednesday - The one with a decision... finally!

So, a couple weeks ago on my stop of Plum & June's New Blogger Blog Hop, I dropped a little bomb on my usual readers. Yup, you read it here first - I'm expecting twins! And yes, I'm planning to make them quilts. One of my non-quilty friends actually asked me if that was too much to take on, given how crappy I'd been feeling. Um... sure, I'll make quilts for every baby born to family and friends, but not my own little critters? Unlikely. ☺

There's something about wanting these quilts to be special, really special that paralyzed my decision making. I've pinned so many ideas, but plus quilts popped up again and again. Himself really liked this one, as did I. I was all ready to buy the pattern, but it's for a much larger version. So I got to measuring crib mattresses and devising the pattern. Yes, I know there is likely a more high tech way to to this, but there is something satisfying about graph paper and coloured pencils. I'm calling this pair the Plus Two Quilts!

So I started pulling fabric this week... some goodies from my splurge in Montréal along with some favs from my stash. The Martha Negley leaf print on top is a one I bought at Mardens in ridiculous quantities on my first visit and the bottom print is the remains of that SunPrint Text I bought for Toes in the Sand. A little Domino Dot, a little Pearl Bracelets... I really love this pile!

So that's the plan for Quilt A (for Aaby... as we call one of them at this point). The white areas of the pattern won't be white... one will be a Kona Honey Dew (as chosen by Himself over Spearmint) and the other Kona Aqua. They go really well with the paint chips for my studio (Behr's Refreshing Pool) and the nursery (Behr's Yellow Wax Pepper).
These two quilts aren't going to be identical... our critters aren't! ☺ The plan is for Quilt B (for Bbaby) to be mirror image of Quilt A, though the fabric will be placed randomly. It keep the prints in balance, I opted to cut for both quilts at once. I do love stacks of freshly cut fabric!
There was no way to put this one together without a design wall - a feature the new studio doesn't yet have. Grab the tape and the fuzzy backed tablecloth! This one was a doozy to get up there... I had to mark off each piece on my design plan as I went or risk getting confused as to what went where next! (Not to say that didn't happen a few times anyway...)
Mostly ready to start piecing... something went cattywampus in the top few rows, but I was too tired to figure it out. I'll tackle those rows when I get to them!
 The progress so far... 8 rows done, 13 to go. Well, on this one anyway!
It makes me so happy to have these underway! Gotta get 'em done before this baby bump gets me even further from the sewing machine!

Since it's Wednesday, I'm linking up again with Let's Bee Social and The Needle and Thread Network! Looking forward to seeing what everyone's been up to this week!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

TSN Thursday!

Nope, I didn't spend all day watching The Sports Network (that's TSN in Canada). I tried something new... my own version of TSN! As usual, it was the Pile O Fabric Skillbuilder BOM pushing my boundaries... so many new techniques! I've been putting off this month's block... not just because my studio's a wreck, but because it's more appliqué. And not just appliqué, but layered appliqué. It's the paint by number of quilting!

Here's the first of my new somethings! I printed on freezer paper. That's right. I've never done it before. I was always afraid that somehow I would gum up my printer. But it went off without a hitch! I can see so many possibilities here... no more printing and tracing onto fusible web. This freezer paper thing is growing on me!
I also spent some quality time making a fabric colour key. This time, the instructor didn't give the specific colours she used, but rather she gave a guideline for us to choose the proper values. Yikes. I'd be lying if I said this was a quick process. Sorting through Kona scraps (my happy place) choosing just the right pieces and using my trust Colour Card to identify them... fun, fun, fun! I should have done this months ago to make the block patterns less confusing... but I just wanted to sew, sew, sew!
Once those templates were roughly cut out, I ironed them onto my starched scraps. So many tiny bits. Then I had to cut them out... even tinier bits!
Since beginning this course, I have bought more new notions than I thought possible. This time it was Liquid Stitch, a super thick, strong glue that dries clear. So happy that I managed to find it at my LQS! In this pic, I'm spreading glue on the back of each little piece and laying it in place based on the pattern. That Liquid Stitch sure does stick, especially when you set it with a hot iron. Another new thing!
 And here's my version of the rotary cutter block... not too shabby, if I do say so myself!
I can hardly wait to get to work on the scissors block. Since I've already got the templates ironed to the selected fabrics, it should come together more quickly than the cutter.

How about you? Did you TSN today or recently? Leave me a comment and let me know all about it!


P.S. I'm linking up to Celtic Stitches' New to Me. This is my first time for this link-up so another TSN!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday - All over the road...

This week's WIP Wednesday is, well.... a little all over the road. I've been getting little bits of things done here and there. Right now, the main WIP is...
 ... moving my studio, which sort of explains why there haven't been amazing bouts of productivity. So. Much. Stuff. And I haven't even touched the closet of fabric yet.

This week-end, I finished quilting the top of J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game. Instead of hand quilting the red lines by the face off circles, I used a heavy, doubled up stitch on my machine. And the binding's on and ready to be stitched on by hand this week. So close to being finished!
Next up, a little something for my guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild. We're participating in our first ever show this fall, the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival. Clearly, this occasion calls for a brand spanking new banner. We were each given pieces of Kona White, Pacific, Prussian, Aqua, Oasis, and Breakers.
I found this cool block, ET Phone Home, on Lily's Quilts, but it was 12 inches finished. So I shrunk the paper piecing templates by printing them at 50% scale. But, oh my, those smallest triangles are tiny!
Yup. There's 10 pieces on each of the small segments (11 on the large segments). That's 84 pieces total on a 6 inch finished block. Clearly, I'm not well. But it's just one block, so it's not that bad. I shudder at the idea of an entire quilt.
  Here's a little sneaky peak. You'll have to hang on for the full reveal another day!
I'm one of the lucky members who gets to make 2 blocks. Which is doubly lucky since I had to dip into my second piece of Aqua to finish the first block. For my second one, I'm going a little more improv with a block I made up myself. Here's the beginnings of it...
And I got my Rainbows & Coal HST quilt layered. I found this cool print from Michael Miller. It's got almost all the colours from top.
 And look at that selvage... yum!
I'd link up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, only it's on vacation this week (and next week). So I'm trying something new, Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and I'm linking up with The Needle & Thread Network too!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sew-vivor - A Quarter Inch from the Edge

I'm a Sew-vivor. Not gonna give up. I'm gonna out-cut, out-piece, and out-quilt. Well, I will if I get chosen for this year's edition of Sewvivor (Season 3: Quilter's Edition) organized by Family Ever After.

When I read about this amazing competition/challenge, I got really excited. There are four rounds of challenges - nautical, a tote bag, hexies, and a lap quilt. You can read even more details by clicking the link given above.

But then the doubt crept in... can I really do this? Am I biting off more than I can chew with two mini humans on the way? But it just looks like too much I'm throwing my proverbial hat in the ring! As my audition entry, I've selected Into Every Life... completed last fall.
I loved making this quilt. I improv pieced the coloured blocks and when I started, I had no idea what they would turn into. I took a page from my quilt-y pal, Q-D's, book and didn't repeat any of the fabrics used. Then I played around with using a temporary design wall in my studio... it really does help your perspective if you can get your blocks up off the floor!
I quilted it in lines with little drops building up on either side of the line. I was thinking of water droplets sliding down a window on a rainy day. I don't make a lot of quilts that are 100% my own design, but this one is. Just another reason it makes me smile!
Here's hoping I get past the audition round and into the Top 16. They're the ones who will actually compete in challenges! Keep those fingers crossed for me, dear readers!


Friday, July 18, 2014

TLP - July (vacation, vacation, vacation!) Edition

So... a funny thing happened when I was working on the binding for my MQG Michael Miller Challenge quilt, Go Your Own Way.
 I realized that the technique I used to make it (stitch and flip triangles) was from this book....
And you know what else? It's been in my library for quite some time now and I hadn't made anything from it. Woo hoo! Accidental Library Project win! I'm even more pleased with myself because I didn't make a specific project.... I learned a technique and created something all of my own. I'm counting this one as a ½ project again, since I didn't plan for it! Here's the math.

     1 (Oh Deer!)
+ ½ (Christmas Candy Dish Pillows)
+ ½ (Go Your Own Way)
= 2 entire finished projects!

I'm plugging away on my current project for TLP, J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game. I'm pleased to say that the quilting is extremely, perilously close to being finished (just a couple little lines to add around these face off circles).
The goal was for it to look like those expanses of Kona White look like ice that's been skated on and not yet flooded!
I really wanted to have it finished for this month's link-up, but with a week away in Montréal, coupled with some serious re-organization (we're talking entire rooms), my sewing has been sidelined! I'm sewing with my Q-Squared pals tomorrow and the binding is on the to do list. I'm hoping for a Friday Finish very soon. Where, oh where, shall I photograph it? I think it would look awesome in a rink... just a little tricky to pull off in July! Feel free to leave me a suggestion if you've got one!

Once this quilt is done, I've got two special quilts that require my attention. They may or may not come from my current library. We'll just see!

I'm linking up with Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts for the July link-up. Feel free to pop on over and see what the other TLP bloggers are up to this month!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My stop on the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop!

Welcome! I'm really excited to be participating in Plum and June's New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. It's an annual event that showcases new, modern quilt bloggers. It's a great chance to see new blogs and share this blog that has become a big part of my life over the past two years.

My name is Jenn and I live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. When I'm not quilting and blogging about it, I'm a Middle School French teacher at a local independent school. The most exciting non-quilty news in my life these days is that Himself (as I refer to my husband throughout the blog) and I are soon to be parents of twins. Have I started their quilts yet? Nope! Still waffling on a design choice! ☺

*A note about the smudgies in the above photo. Not smudgies, but actual Canadian snowflakes.

A few fun facts about me and my blog:

  • I'm a life-long Girl Guide.
  • I use a LOT of Kona solids in my projects and (one of) my dream job(s) would be to name new Kona colours.
  • I have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter - together, apart, whatever.
  • I can't throw away selvages. Just. Can't. Do. It. Especially if they don't just have dots on them...
  • I like to take my finished quilts to fun locations for photo shoots.
  • I use nicknames for friends and family on my blog and I rarely show anyone's face. Just because I have a blog, doesn't mean they want to find themselves on it!
  • I don't talk much about my non-quilty life on my blog. I figure people read quilt blogs 'cause they like quilting - not because they care what I made for supper last night or what TV show I'm obsessed with (and that would be Downton Abbey BTW).
My tip for new quilt bloggers is to keep your blog layout simple. Let the star of your blog be your lovely work showcased in big, well-lit photos. I also like to include lots of links to resources I've used to make my blog not just a fun place to visit, but also a useful one!
And my general quilting tip? Make what you love. Period. A number of years ago, my practicality crippled my creativity. I was constantly worrying about where the quilt was going to end up, what it matched, etc. Now, if I feel like making something, I make it. There's always someone out there happy to give a home to your quilty love. Lots of my "just because" quilts make their way to the local women's and children's hospital. It brings me such joy to share them.
Now, my dear readers (and blog hoppers), before you hop over to check out the lovely blogs listed below, why not leave me a comment? I'll even give you a topic (said in Linda Richmond Coffee Talk voice). Perhaps you'll even talk amongst yourselves. What's your quilt-y guilty pleasure? Discuss!
 Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @  Capitola Quilter

P.S. My quilty guilty pleasure is... Robert Kaufman's Kona solids. I love organizing (and re-organizing) my Konas. They're stacked in warm and cool piles and labeled with yardage and the colour name (even though I own a Colour Card!) I even have a scrap bin just for Konas! I can hardly wait for the 32 new colours to be available!

And the winner is...

Linda, from SCRAPMASTER, who said "The first Kona I ever bought was Hibiscus and I still love it the most. Happy 2 year bloggy birthday!" Her comment (#28) was chosen by a trusty random number generator.

If you're wondering what Hibiscus looks like...
Congratulations, Linda! I'll be getting your cool blue boxy tote to you soon!
Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Impulse purchasing... quilter's best friend?

It's been quiet here at A Quarter Inch from the Edge... I was off on an adventure this past week - some quality time in La Belle Province. Whilst in Montréal, Himself found me a little treasure of a quilt shop, Effiloché. I've got a mix of iPhone and camera pics since my camera battery conked out on me... isn't that always the way?
 Love the wall colours!
This little shop is as much about knitting as quilting, but there's no way yarn could hold my interest when there was drawer after drawer stuffed with fat quarters!
And the designers! There was shelf after shelf of designer fabric that I never see anywhere but in on-line pics. Lotta Jansdotter, Joel Dewberry, Tula Pink, Lizzy House, Kate Spain. It goes on and on!
This one's a little blurry, but I couldn't resist snapping a pic of their little kitchen corner. Shouldn't every shop have an espresso machine? There were also comfy couches to chill out on... I'd love to have this as my LQS.
If I could think of a way to store something quilting related in cans nailed to the wall, I'd seriously consider it! And yes, those are maple syrup cans!
 I will freely admit, I went more than a little wild. I don't remember the last time I spent this much on impulse fabric. Get ready for some eye candy!

To kick things off, the stuff for which I have a plan!  These are destined to be turned into baby bibs or maybe baprons! The green is a Lizzy House print... it was rolled up tight, so I couldn't see the selvage!
Given that I've asked for red and teal for my Global Scrap Bee blocks, I thought these might come in handy later, perhaps as binding for the finished quilt. And they're Joel Dewberry... yum.
I thought I'd make this Lizzy House print into some pillows for the living room. I love the ones I made in the winter, but they're not very summery!
On to the impulse fabrics! These corals called to me! The owls are a mystery designer (no selvage when I unfolded the FQ), but the middle one is a Michael Miller and the cherry blossoms are Kate Spain. I've never really seen her fabrics before, but I like 'em!
There's some more Kate Spain in this combo. I didn't mean for all these fabrics to go together, but when I was sorting them for pics, they seemed like kindred spirits. That green one is from a line called Frippery. What fun! The green and blue swirlies are Valori Wells. And the hexie honeybees are more Kate Spain. Check out that selvage!
They had a whole section of my pal, Amy Butler's prints. Okay, she's not really my pal, but I've been friends with her fabric for a long time. I went for something a little more neutral... I'm thinking of a sun hat. ☺
I can't decide what I love most about this print by Kate & Birdie Paper Co... the colour palette, the hedgies, the squirrels, the selvage. It's too hard to choose. But I bought enough of it to make a baby quilt and to use it as the backing. I'm thinking impro blocks using blue, green, and brown Kona and fussy cut centres of those little park vignettes.
And a few more FQs. I don't normally buy FQs, but it seemed like a way to keep myself from buying crazy amounts of yardage. Like I hadn't already. I found some Bike Path and some Lotta Jansdotter. And don't get me started on those orange elephants!
Here's my photo assistant, Dylan (pronounced Dullin... he's Welsh, you know). These shots were taken on the extensive grounds of Chez Dexter. And Lord Dylan definitely believes himself to be the master of house!
Thanks, Molli Sparkles, for leaving Sunday Stash open longer than just Sunday! There's no way I could wait a whole week to share this haul!


P.S. You've still got a day or so to enter my birthday giveaway from my last post!  

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Happy birthday....

to A Quarter Inch from the Edge! I can hardly believe that I started this blog two years ago. So much has changed in my life since then. I can hardly imagine what life will be like in two years' time!

In honour of my bloggy birthday, I'm gonna give somebody a present! What? Have a gander...
I might ever tuck a few treasures inside. You just never know!

Who? Well that depends on the good ole Random Number Generator! But you can't win if you don't comment! Just let me know what your favourite Kona colour is. It's okay if you can't give an exact name - not everyone has the colour card memorized! I'll even go as far as to offer a bonus chance to those who follow me - either by e-mail or on Bloglovin'. Just leave me a second comment to let me know how you follow! If you're a no-reply blogger, please leave your e-mail address in your comment so that I have a way of getting in touch with you.

When? The giveaway will close in one week's time on July 15th at 5pm (Atlantic Standard Time ☺).

Good luck and feel free to have a slice of cake with lots of frosting today. I mean, it's somebody's birthday, right?