Monday, February 29, 2016

OMG! February Finish

Two for two! I've achieved my OMG for February, to repair J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game quilt.

I even texted this pic to J-Boy in the middle of it all to let him know his quilt was almost ready to come home. He's been so patient!

Once I got got the bias tape made, it didn't take much time at all to stitch it down. Even the little endy bits didn't cause me too much trouble. The much sought after Wonder Tape did its job beautifully and held the bias tape in place, even with all those curves.

I also made a preemptive strike and re-stitched the red centres on the face off circles. One can't be too careful. I even managed a speedy delivery via my mom. I have been known to finish things and then have them hang out here for weeks, waiting to get to their forever home!
Unfortunately, the day she was taking it was a day of torrential rain and general darkness. No natural light to be had. Ugh. I was worried about the additional red thread on the quilt back, as the original pieces were appliquéd to the top before layering. But it doesn't seem to show too badly!

I opted to give the quilt a quick wash before sending it back. I used two Color Catchers and washed it on cold. And the pre-washed reds still had some bleeding. Oh well. Have you ever looked closely at hockey ice? The line aren't perfectly sharp anyway. And J-Boy loves it no matter what. 
That makes an auntie happy indeed.

If you're wanting to make some bias tape of your own, pop over and check out my tutorial. It's very detailed. ☺ I'm linking up today with the OMG: It's Finished Party for February over at Red Letter Quilts. Now to think up a goal for March!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

4X7 Challenge - Week 4 (The final link-up!)

Well, the month of the Dark Lord is drawing to a close, as is the 4X7 Challenge. Here's my break down for Week 4!
Berry Barn Designs

Thanks to some super solo parenting by Himself, I got a tonne of quality sewing time. I decided to stop waffling about the size of the quilt and just sew it together!
 My ironing board has never looked so good!

Woo hoo! Last two rows sewn! The top of the I Spy Polaroid quilt is done!

As if that wasn't enough, I completed my OMG for February, repairing J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game quilt.

I spent some quality studio time tagging and putting away fabric from my trip, as well as building a scrap pack for the Stash Love giveaway!
I have some ideas floating around in my head for the backing of DT's Polaroid I Spy quilt. I'm so energized by this project that I couldn't resist working on it!

Wednesday & Thursday
No actual, physical sewing done. But I spend a tonne of time working on membership cards for my lovely little guild, Maritime Modern Quilt Guild. And messaging back and forth with three of my quilty pals with regards to a VERY exciting quilting opportunity. More on that another day! 

Check out my blog post from Friday! Gotta love a flimsy finish!

No trouble getting some sewing in today - MMQG February Sew In! I'll freely admit that I didn't try as hard as I might have to get sewing later in the week, knowing that I would have the entire day on Saturday.  I worked away on the improv letters and a little surprise for the back of the I Spy Polaroid quilt. Don't worry... you'll see it soon!

I'm linking up with Berry Barn Designs for Week 4 of the 4X7 Challenge. Shockingly, I'm a little sad to see the Month of The Dark Lord draw to a close. I didn't have firm goals for this month. I just wanted to sew more. And I've definitely done a lot of sewing in February... maybe I'll set a little challenge of my own to keep the momentum going!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Flimsy Finish - Rainbow! I Spy! Polaroid!

Yes, that's a lot of exclamation points. I sometimes play it a little fast and loose with the punctuation around here, (I have a love of parenthesis and ellipses...), but this time, it's totally warranted!
DT's I Spy Polaroid quilt top is done!!! Three exclamation points!!! And I love it. It's not entirely original. I didn't invent the Polaroid block or rainbow palette, but working those little strips of improv in there really makes it feel like it's all mine.
On a grey, dark, damp, windy day (and you wonder why I call February "The Month of the Dark Lord", this quilt top really brightened up my sad backyard. Thanks to the 4X7 Challenge @ Berry Barn Designs, I've finished this top and made a start on the backing. No plain Jane back for this one!
All those wee fussy cut blocks make me very happy. I keep thinking about all the fun DT are going to have with this in the years to come. Makes every one of those ten jillion seams worth it. Each Polaroid block is 4 ½ inch with it's coloured frame. There are 13 per row and 12 rows. And no image is repeated!
So, if you're having a darkish day, enjoy this rainbow. Sometimes we all need a little rainbow. It's there. You just have to look hard.
I'm linking up today with TGIFF @ Lisa in Port Hope as well as with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts. Yay for finishes!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Psst... it's just a week away.

Throwback Thursday {Volume 8} is just one week away - Thursday, March 3rd!
Once again, it'll be your chance to link up a project from your dark, quilty past. Here's a little TBT inspiration for you - a New York Beauty wall hanging that I made back in the Summer of 2005. These pics are a testament to outdoor photo shoots. They're among the best I have from this era! Mind you, flopping it on the ground might not have been my finest hour of quilt styling.
Can you believe these colours? I can't say that I have much like this in my stash anymore. But that navy is a solid, so some things don't change!
Every time I take a good look at one of these TBT quilts, I get to thinking about how much fun it would be to re-make it in modern prints and colours. Can you envision a New York Beauty in Carolyn Friedlander or Cotton + Steel? I can!
 I even FMQed the name of the quilt (and it's recipients) into the binding. How's that for dedication?
And if showing off your past projects wasn't enough, we've got a giveaway from a new sponsor, Dinky Doo Modern Fabrics. If you're into modern pre-cuts, you've got to check them out!

See you next Thursday!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday - How to make bias tape... sort of

The end of the month looms, as does the Finishes link-up for OMG @ Red Letter Quilts. Have I finished the repairs to J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game? Nope. Have I even started? Ummm... nope.

Time to stop procrastinating and get to it. My repair plan involves the creation of bias tape to cover questionable raw edge appliqué. I thought I'd share with you my step by step directions for creating bias tape.

1. Iron your chosen fabric and lay it out on your cutting mat. Using the 45 degree line and a large ruler, make your initial bias cut. Lament the fact that your lovely yardage is going to be a weird shape when you put it back in your stash.
2. Re-position your fabric with the diagonal cut against the vertical lines. Spend valuable quilting time Googling what size strips to cut for your size of bias tape maker. Or read the (likely misplaced) instructions for your chosen bias tape maker. Your call. Overestimate the number of tiny, stretchy bias strips required and get to cutting.

3. Sew your tiny, stretchy strips together whilst hoping against hope that your machine doesn't choose this moment to chew up the edges when you start a segment seam and jam them clear into the bobbin case while creating a colossal thread nest.
4. Trim to ¼ inch seam allowance and press open. Attempt to avoid steam burns while cursing the concept of pressing seams open.
5. Stuff the end of your strip into the bias tape maker. Curse. Think about why you chose not to starch your fabric.
 6. Using whatever sharp object is at hand, stuff/tease/drag your strip into the bias tape maker.
7. Stuff/tease/drag the end of your strip out of of the bias tape maker. Wonder why your fingers are so large and/or why the bias tape maker is so small.
8. Enjoy the zen magic of bias tape creation. Press, slide, press, slide. Ohmmm. Wonder why you don't do this on EVERY project you ever make.
9. Stare in disbelief and consider why this occurred. Curse the bias tape making Gods/Goddesses. Press wonky edges down whilst incurring steam burns on fingertips. Think about turning off steam function.
10. Hold your breath whenever one of the carefully pressed open seams from Step 4 passes through the bias tape maker. Pray to the bias tape making Gods/Goddesses.

11. Argue with your bias tape maker over which side of the fabric you REALLY wanted on the outside of your bias tape. Exert your will and twist strip until it flips right side out again. Press. Burn fingers. Curse.
 11. Repeat Steps 8, 9, and 10 at random intervals.

 12. Breathe a sigh of relief as you come to the end of the strip without further incident.

12. Sew it to something.

Though there might be a couple extra steps in my tutorial, it might be useful to someone out there. I'm  linking it up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night Quilter.


P.S. If you're looking for a resource that's a little more concise, check out this PDF from Dritz.

P.P.S I forgot to announce that Ana @ Mad Cat Quilts won the giveaway from last week's Stash Love link-up! A custom scrap pack of oranges and yellows will be heading her way soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

4X7 Challenge - Week 3!

What's this, you say? Did you miss the post from Week 2? Nope, you didn't. I completely and utterly flubbed Week 2 of Berry Barn Designs' 4X7 Challenge. In my defense, I was on vacation. A ski vacation. Our first vacation in a long time. And it was awesome! Week 3? Also awesome, but with less skiing and far more sewing!

Starting out slowly. Stitching for today consisted of some EPP in front of the TV. ☺ I turned these Kona squares into basted squares! Alas, the basement rec room in the evening... not so good for pics!

Back to DT's I Spy Polaroid quilt! I managed to finish 4 red blocks today and made a few more centres. 

DT had an awesomely long nap, so I continued working on Polaroid blocks. I even finished the green and purple blocks today.

I think I mentioned it a few posts back, but I've added a few blocks to each row. And now I feel like the quilt needs to be longer to balance things. But I can't see me making a gagillion more blocks. Off to my scraps I went!

I made 3½ inch high improv panels to insert between rows of Polaroids here and there. It'll add the length and some visual interest! Purple's done. Just five colours left to go!

Ah... orange! I knew I'd have to lock the doors since Anja @ Anja Quilts had a vacation day and I posted a pic like this one on my guild's FaceBook page!

More rainbow goodness! Sunny yellows for Thursday!
I even banged out some more stitching on Le EPP during my Bee meeting. Again, evening stitching and no pics!

I decided that the improv panels needed a little something more to "spy" so I'm adding some words. I'm sure BT will have fun finding his name some day down the road.

And on to the blue! GT can't be left out...

Though I finished absolutely ZERO projects this week, I sewed each and every day. I made incredible progress on DT's I Spy Polaroid quilt and am feeling energized about working on it. It definitely helped me deal with a stressful week featuring twin 15 month olds learning to climb on couches and chairs. I haven't taken to drinking and only cried a few times. I credit improv piecing of wee bits of Kona.

I am, of course, linking up with Berry Barn Designs for the Week 3 link-up. Who knows? Maybe I'll even have a finished top to show off next week?
Berry Barn Designs


P.S. Many thanks to Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs for organizing this link-up and for the lovely giveaway prize I won in Week 1!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunday Stash - The Exception

Ah... sweet Kona. I knew when I was writing my Stash Manifesto that I didn't want to give up my monthly installments of Candy Coated Collections. My guildmate, Aimee of Candy Coated Quilts, started these last year and I love her colour combos!

I received the January and February bundles at our Exec meeting a while back (we're planning a retreat! Yay!!!). January's is inspired by Chinese New Year. Gung hay fa choy... I don't know the Mandarin for belated. ☺
Even though you can likely read the tags, there's Canary, Cardinal, Persimmon, Riveria, and Aqua. I can tell you that Canary and Riveria have already felt the cold blade of the rotary cutter. Gotta use that stash, y'all!
And February's bundle has my Girl Guide heart singing. I wonder if Aimee knew Thinking Day was this month! Camping and northern lights? Yes, please!
Nightfall, Celestial, School Bus, Storm, and Breakers. Definitely some faves in this bundle!

I'm linking up with the every glittery Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.  Yes, I know it's Saturday. Pay me no mind people... it's already Sunday in Molli's downunder world. Or I would have linked up with Molli if he hadn't handed the glittery torch to Ms. Midge while he parties it up at Quilt Con. I'm okay with that... since it'll be my own hands taking that very bling encrusted torch on Sunday, March 20th!

And tomorrow I'll be linking up with Barn Berry Designs' 4x7 Challenge - Week 3 Update!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Stash Love!

Well, we're a month and a half into The Year of the Stash. Here's hoping you've resisted the siren's song of your LQS and gone shopping in your stash. As for me, I've made up two bundles for the Birthday Bonus Club without even a thought of going shopping.
One pile of solids...
 And another of rainbow goodness...
 I also fulfilled my January OMG goal with a drawstring bag for DT's toys.
 And then a few for Christmas presents down the road.
And then there's the mini mini for Q-D. Didn't take a lot of fabric, but it was all from my stash!
 Then there's my Quilter's Planner cover. It makes me happy just to look at it.
 There's something about making every day objects beautiful.
 And I used some of my ribbon stash as well. I always buy it but rarely use it!
Guess I did more than I thought with my hoard stash! How about you?Link up a blog post about your stash-based projects this year. Or if part of your Stash Manifesto was to organize, feel free to link up a post about that process!

I've rediscovered the joy of scraps this month, so I'll be selecting a random winner from the blogs linked up to receive a custom scrap pack from my very own stash. The giveaway is open to international participants until Saturday, February 20th at midnight (Atlantic Time).


P.S. It's not too late to get in on the fun of the The Year of the Stash. Just write up a Stash Manifesto and link it up here. And then join us on March 14th to show off a project or two made with your treasures!