Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fabriholic Check In & Library Project Win!!!

Since making the Fabriholic pledge in January, I've worked strictly from my stash. Yep. I have.

Challenges have included "s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g" a backing fabric with piecing to make it large enough to use, and finishing UFOs so they are visually pleasing (or, at the very least, not butt ugly).

Choosing to ignore the lure of tempting emails has been as easy as hitting the delete key, and maybe because the nearest quilt shop is a two hour drive away, I've been able to hold out.

THAT is about to change. I'm The Library Project Quilt Along March winner!!!!

So exciting!!!

I've received a $25 gift card from this Quilt Along sponsor!!!

Can you say TEMPTATION???

I'm going to pretend that winning fabric doesn't break the rules of the fast!

In fact, I think there is a loophole regarding gifts that might apply here...
(don't judge me. Ha!)

Thanks so much to Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts for organizing and hosting TLP, and THANK YOU to Fabric Spot for their generous sponsorship!

January - March Stash-Busting Run Down

First ever sampler blocks (my oldest UFO) finally pieced into a top, ready to quilt.

Used up leftover blocks and bits pieced by fellow Guild members to make this charity quilt.
My stash provided the backing, batting and binding.

Finished this flannel baby quilt.

"Modern baby" = stash, from start to finish!

Finished "Not Your Grandmother's Log Cabin" UFO

"Scrappy Plus" = stash all the way!

"Irish Lass" = 100% stash
(She's also a Library Project in progress)

All from my stash, of course.

Yes, it has challenges, and yes, I miss shopping, but stash-busting is one of my favourite things!

Visit making rebecca lynne to see how others are faring with their fabric diets.

Linking up with:

making rebecca lynne, for Fabriholics Anonymous March Check-In
Confessions of a Fabric Addict, for Whoop Whoop Friday! (Can I get a Whoop Whoop?)
Sew Can She, for Show off Saturday

Try, Learn, Grow!


Comments are welcome. Thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Kaleido Quilt Show!

Goal # 3 from my March goals list was to piece a Kool Kaleidoscope quilt top and, thanks to a weekend workshop, I'm half way there!

Goal # 4 on the list was to "clean instead of quilt" so I could host the visiting workshop teacher without hanging my head in shame.

I'm happy to say, mission accomplished. In fact, I got a bit carried away and washed a number of walls, windows, and curtains in the name of spring cleaning while I was at it. All on a deadline. All at the last minute. Crazy, right?

I have made zero progress on quilting Irish Lass, but at least I have a clean house (yay!) and a partially pieced kaleidoscope!

My Kaleidoscope

On day one we had taped our "design walls" around the room. My tape had stuck firmly to the wall, but secretly didn't like the fuzzy batting I'd used, so...

...on day two of the workshop I found my project in a heap on the floor. *Le sigh*

After the rescue, I pinned each piece to the batting. I wasn't going to chance having to put that monkey puzzle back together again!

Five out of twelve sections are pieced, but not yet joined to each other.
The look changes with each step along the way.

I know it will change again when the twelve sections are joined into a whole.

The green in the very center will be lost when I trim the sections to size, and other small bits of colour may disappear into seam allowances.

Resistance is futile!

The result of this process is not predictable, but it will be beautiful nonetheless. 

It's a Kaleido Show!

Eighteen quilters, eighteen kaleidoscopes!

There were many design decisions along the way, with each person creating her own pattern within the technique, so each kaleido is 100% unique!

My Mom's piece is looking zippy!

Hildegard's design wall was taped over a window creating a gorgeous glow!

I think Liz made this one - it has a lacy effect thanks to the light coming through from behind.
Judy's in rich earth tones.
Even with several chunks missing, it is easy to see how Carol's work is shaping up.
Nikki's is pretty in pink.
I think this is Vivian's - more window glow!
Aralee's pops!
Chris' kaleido sparkles.

Auditioning fabric choices for  "butts and wedgies"
(Alice, is this yours?)
I'm not certain who made this one... Jill? Shonna?

I'm pretty sure this is Darlene's.
The yellow makes it so lively!
Mary Lou's includes fabric from Thailand!

Friends, if your kaleidoscope is not pictured here it is for one of two reasons:
  1. You left before I thought to get out my camera, or
  2. My photo of your work sucked!
    In my haste to capture them all, some of my photos were blurry. Others had "people parts" blocking the shot as folks were actively working while I snapped away.
Hopefully we will eventually have finished quilts to photograph so I can catch the ones I missed.

Many thanks to Kim Caskey of Edmonton for visiting our Guild and teaching this FUN-TASTIC workshop!

After my crazy cleaning binge, and the intensive nature of the kaleido workshop, I'm too exhausted to quilt! I just need a day to curl up and rest, and then I'll be back at it, full speed ahead!!!

Linking up with:
Anything Goes Mondays, at Stitch by Stitch
Show and Tell Tuesday, at i have to say...
WIP Wednesday, at Freshly Pieced
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, Grow!


Comments are welcome. Thanks so much for looking around!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Please Pass the Water!

"Irish Lass" went on the frame a couple of days ago, and I've been working on her ever since.

I've barely made a dent.

This is going to be like running a marathon. I'll be the one gasping for breath...the one the ambulance paces, just in case

I'll finish, but I won't come in first. However, the finish will be momentous for me, and that vision pushes me on.

Irish Lass, on the frame

I was optimistic and confident during the first leg of the race.

Basting along each row of blocks prevents shifting.

Still comfortable, I rather enjoyed this stretch.

Stitching in the ditch

Today I started climbing a hill. A marathon is not always comfortable or easy. 

I've started filling blocks. This is my first attempt at precision free-hand work, and it's not perfect. I'm attempting to quilt in the style of Judi Madsen (Green Fairy Quilts), and know I have a lot of practicing to do!!!

Even though the work is challenging, I will press on. The purpose of this quilt is to discover what I like (and don't like) the look of, so I tried the same filler in a few different ways. I also tried different executions of the design to see how my brain works best.

Adding fillers

A couple of times I wondered if I'd gotten in too deep, but the more quilting I do, the easier it seems. By the time I get to the bottom of the quilt I will have this design down pat!

More complex fillers await. Gulp.

There are still many miles left in this marathon, so I'm grabbing a water and running hard until I'm forced to walk and catch my breath again.

Please pass the water!

Linking up with:
Show & Tell Tuesday, at i have to say...
WIP Wednesday, at Freshly Pieced
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts 
I Quilt Thursdays, at Pretty Bobbins
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, Grow!

P.S. I'm also checking in with Chezzetcook Modern Quilts for The Library Project QAL March report. Irish Lass is one of four projects I hope to complete during this QAL. Here is my complete list of Library Project goals.

Comments are welcome! Thanks so much for looking around.

Monday, 17 March 2014

So, THIS is new!

Barring unforeseen events, I should be open for business by the beginning of April!

I'm so excited!!!

Have you ever used long arm quilting services?

What would make the experience 100% satisfactory for you as a client?

If you haven't used long arm services, what would encourage you to take the leap?

I know my work and customer service will speak for itself. Word of mouth is the best advertising if you do a good job...and the worst if you don't! Naturally, my aim is to make every experience a positive one.

Joining up with Anything Goes Mondays at Stitch by Stitch

Once again, I will Try, Learn, & Grow!

Words of wisdom are appreciated! Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Friday, 14 March 2014

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid!

Adrianne from On the Windy Side, and Anne from  play crafts  teamed up to host the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

I'm excited to be entering Scrappy Plus in the Quilts category!! 

Quilt Details

Scrappy Plus measures 52 x 68 inches, and features a mix of batiks, cotton prints and solids, and even a fabric I screen printed in a class with Rayna Gillman. 

Over-sized floating plus signs on the back are a playful nod to the design on the front, and an improv pieced strip uses up leftovers and completes the back. Dark brown binding with a rich purple flange wraps things up.

Scrappy Plus

Close up.


Scrappy Plus, blowing in the breeze.

The back of Scrappy Plus - the wind has picked up!

See previous posts about this quilt:

Thank you to Adrianne and Anne for this fun challenge, and thanks to the judges and sponsors as well!

Joining up with:

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome. Thanks so much for looking around!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

No, Nope, Nopey-Nope!

Lucky for me, an observant viewer made a comment about my charmingly misplaced block in the last row of Irish Lass.

Uh oh. Misplaced block? (See if you can spot it)

Oops! I'll admit it did add charm, but I did NOT do that on purpose. I'm so glad it was spotted before all the borders went on.

Fixing my boo boo!
And I thought I'd been paying attention!

That's better.
Adding the second skinny border.
All the borders are on, and the backing is prepared. Time to load her up! Yahoo!!!

Look What Came in the Mail!

My family quilts have been documented as part of the Alberta Quilt Project, and the final step is to attach these labels sent by the Royal Alberta Museum. I'll enjoy officially completing the process.

(See my family quilts)

Alberta Quilt Project labels

This brings up a dirty little secret....I rarely label my quilts.

Shocking, I know.

I understand the value of labeling and documentation, BUT extra work at the end of a project isn't very appealing.

The only quilts I've properly labelled have been those I've sold or displayed in galleries. Labels on quilts destined for family and friends didn't seem as important. After all, the recipients know me!


The sleuthing involved in documenting the quilts made by my ancestors has definitely changed my mind!

From now on I intend to label EVERY quilt that leaves my hands.

I need to develop good habits, such as:

  • creating a label early in a project instead of waiting until the end. 
  • using a consistent format to make generating labels faster. I wouldn't have to re-think what should be included each time. 
  • printing a stack of labels, leaving blanks where details could be added using a permanent pen. The information that is repeated on every label wouldn't have to be written out each time, speeding up the process.
Do you label your quilts?

Do you attach labels before you quilt? What about quilts that will be done on a long arm frame? How do you position and secure the label prior to quilting?

Your thoughts would be appreciated!

Linking up with:

Sew Fresh Quilts, for Let's Bee Social 
Stitch by Stitch, for Anything Goes Mondays
i have to say, for Show and Tell Tuesday
Freshly Pieced, for WIP Wednesday
My Quilt Infatuation, for Needle and Thread Thursday

Try, Learn, Grow!


Comments are valuable! Please share your words of wisdom, and thanks for looking around!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Irish Lass

After Scrappy Plus, I thought I was done with 2 1/2 inch squares for a while. In fact, I would have been happy to do anything but 2 1/2 inch squares.

And then I decided to tackle Irish Lass. Ha! Sometimes I make myself laugh!

Surprise, surprise! Irish Lass has been enjoyable to piece!

There is enough going on to keep my brain humming and happy, but not so much as to cause stress. As I work, I think about the quilting to come. For me, that is the point of this project.

Working on two blocks at a time allowed me to chain piece, but still keep everything in order. Each little square has its own place in the big picture, so I had to pay attention.

Blocks are numbered to indicate their position in the quilt.

I love how lively my screen printed fabrics look!

Building a test unit on the table motivated me to keep going!

Test unit
Blocks went up on the design wall without a hitch.

Labels guide placement on the design wall.
This is where I left off yesterday.

Piecing done! Borders next.
I'm hoping there is a suitable backing fabric in my cupboard so I can load up and get quilting without having to piece something elaborate. Fingers crossed!

To be continued...!

Linking up with:

Confessions of a Fabric Addict, for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Fort Worth Fabric Studio, for Fabric Frenzy Friday!
Sew Can She, for Show Off Saturday

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are delightful! Please add your voice to the mix. Thanks for looking around.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Head First!

To heck with UFO's...I'm diving in to my next library project head first! Yee haw!!!

I need to piece and custom-quilt this baby by the end of the month if I'm to meet my goal, and since March is packed with activities I thought I'd best get the lead out.

Here are my fabric choices for "Irish Lass" from Judy Madsen's new book, Quilting Wide Open Spaces.

The colours will float in a white background.
The pattern calls for a jelly roll, but since I didn't have one I used some of my screen printed fabrics instead.

Fabric I printed last summer in Rayna Gillman's
deconstructed screen printing class in Sisters, Oregon.
They look great cut into little pieces!

Colours are used in specific positions in each block so they will
create a certain pattern when the quilt is laid out.

It's hard to see the big picture at this point, but I have faith that things will work out beautifully.

As I worked with my screen prints I wondered if I'd taken any photos of the process. 

It turns out I do have a couple to share, and one of me with Rayna, too!
(She looks fantastic, I look like crap, but c'est la vie.)

Thickened dye mixtures ready at my work station.

Screen prepped with textured dye.

The fabulous Rayna (et moi)

Last week our local library offered a figure drawing workshop

My drawing skills could use developing, so off I went.

We started with gesture drawings, moved on to quick sketches intended to capture motion, and then spent time sketching a volunteer model (who was a great sport).

Quick "motion" sketches.
The huge nose/beak was part of a costume, not just a random scribble - ha!
I had no concept of time passing as I scribbled and scratched away. Before I knew it, the evening was over! It felt like two hours of blissful meditation.

Why do I not draw more often?

Maybe I need to sign up for more classes!

Linking up with:

Anything Goes Mondays, guest hosted by Val's Quilting Studio
Show and Tell Tuesday, at i have to say
WIP Wednesday, at Freshly Pieced
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts 
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation 

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome. Thanks so much for looking around!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

March Goals

1. Dill

This piece has been hanging around since its inception in 2009. 

I had developed the design in a class, and constructed the background, but when I got home the project stalled out.

Finally following my own vision - yay!

The instructor had a different style than mine and was guiding me to follow her voice instead of my own.

Things came to a grinding halt. The excitement was gone, and I was seriously doubting myself.

Over the years I made two more attempts to forge ahead with the instructor's vision, but just couldn't do it. It wasn't coming from my authentic self, so I didn't like anything I tried.

I cut hundreds of tiny pieces to applique, but they all ended up in the garbage.

Following my own vision.

This summer I went back to my original plan of making my dill progress from yellow through yellow-green, and green, to blue-green as the design expands from the center, out.

Miracle of miracles, now I want to finish it!

Free-motion zigzag in progress.
This has moved to the top of my "to do" list. Today I started stitching the applique.

2. Library Project Quilt Along (2nd quarter project)

In April I'm taking a two-day workshop with Judy Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts!!!! In preparation I've decided to tackle one of the projects from her new book, Quilting Wide Open Spaces.

I'd like to get this pieced and quilted by the end of March. Gulp.

Umm, maybe this will shrink and become a baby quilt?
We'll see.
Okay, so that should take the rest of the month all by itself!!!! EEK. 

3. Kool Kaleidoscope

This is the month for our Guild sponsored workshop with Kim Caskey. We will be making Ricky Tims inspired kaleidoscope quilts.

Fortunately my strip sets are ready to go, so my March goal will be to piece the quilt.

4. Clean instead of quilt.    Drat.

I'll be hosting Kim's visit, so probably need to pay some attention to the state of the house before she arrives. Wouldn't want the dust bunnies to attack. Might be a good idea to give her a nice, clean bed, too! And prepare some food. Maybe I should start today...

That's enough for this list! Any other accomplishments will just be "gravy".

Stay tuned. There will be plot twists, I'm sure!

Linking up with:

BitterSweet Designs for the March Goal Party (A Lovely Year of Finishes)

Try, Learn, Grow!


Comments are delightful! Please add your voice to the mix. Thanks so much for looking around!