Sunday, 26 October 2014

Drum Roll, Please...

My River Project is finished and ready to hang in my guild's upcoming show!!! (whoop, whoop!)

After loading the quilt on the frame, I "ditched" along each seam in the background. I then, very carefully, secured the applique. I didn't want to secure my fingers by mistake!

Stitching applique on the longarm was a first for me (try, learn, grow...right?). It seemed like it would be faster than on my domestic machine, and I needed to get this done quickly. It worked! I was done in no time.

I used light, medium, and dark threads to match the value of each fabric.

Filling each section of the quilt with texture helped the applique pop out.

Here is a closeup of the river, the far shore and tree line, and the sky beyond the trees.

And, here's a shot just because!

I had painted the sky fabric last summer, and added a bit of colour to the river fabric after piecing the background in September. I'm happy with both.

Here it is before quilting (indoor lighting makes the stones look quite yellow):

 And here is the finished piece (in natural light):
It really is square, but my photo angle is weird here.
I was trying to capture the texture and forgot to pay attention to how I lined up. Oops!

We (guild members) decided that binding would block the flow of the river from piece to piece. Facing to the rescue! 

One of my favourite tutorials is for a double fold facing. It is easy and gives a great finish to a quilt.
I'm so excited...I can hardly wait to see our pieces hanging together in the show!!!

It also makes me very happy to have met my October goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. 
(I set my goal in this post.)


Linking up with:
A Lovely Year of Finishes, at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She 
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Whoop Whoop Friday, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Random Round-up

Random Thought #1:

My river project is on the frame...I'm determined to meet my October goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Plus, it has to be ready to hang in our guild show on November 1st!

I'm stitching down the applique as part of the quilting.

Don't worry about the ripples by the head...things only look that way because the quilt is rolled onto the take-up bar.

Random Thought #2:

It's challenging to quilt someone else's art! We discussed the owner's vision and I tried to execute it faithfully, BUT I've been nervous the whole way through! EEK! 

I won't show the whole quilt until it's hung in our show, but here's the bottom corner...hoodoos done in stitch!

Hoodoos, done in stitch
What's a hoodoo, you ask? A land form in the Alberta badlands, in this case! 
Click here to see hoodoo images on Google

Random Thought #3:

Went to the High Prairie quilt show on Sunday (when I should have been quilting - ha!) and won a prize! Won't know what it is until I go back to pick it up. As you can see, there are a few possibilities!!!

Here are a couple of shots of the show. There were over a hundred quilts on display!

Random Thought #4:

On Saturday the Fairview ladies stitched up a storm making blocks for their Harmony quilts. So many fun fabric choices! The blocks will really pop once the 3-D edges are revealed.

Random Thought #5:

Some of the quilts that caught my eye in High Prairie...

McLennan 100 year anniversary quilt,
made by Gina Daly, Carole Michaud, and quilted by Marla Willier.

Kolby's Cubic Rhythm,
made by Karen Backs

Potting Shed Quilt,
made by Marla Willier

Live Loud,
made by Lynne Pardell

Apple Pie,
made by Corinne Savill

made by Karen Nielsen

Now that I've gathered my thoughts, it's time to get back to work!

Linking up with:
Show and Tell Tuesday, at i have to say
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River
Fabric Tuesday, at Quilt Story

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Love, and the "Ugly Cry"

Remember the Hug Mug I brought home from Creative Stitches a while ago? It contained instructions and fabric for a "Hugs From Across Canada" block.

My finished block

When I mailed in my finished block, I offered to piece and finish a "Hugs" quilt if help was needed. 

Lezley (Quilts of Valour - Canada) accepted my offer and said she'd prepare a package of blocks for me to pick up next time I was in the city.

When the time came (this week), Lezley was kind enough to invite me to dinner and a guild meeting, too!

A cute project (made by Kathy Strawson) spotted at the guild meeting.

There are 51 blocks in the batch. I've sorted them into three "colour" piles so I can get to know them and formulate a plan. Each block is unique, and it will be fun to work with them!

Here is a block from Nunavut:

 Not sure where this is from, but I like the fussy cut maple leaves:

Simple, but effective use of fabric in this block:

I also picked up a bag of "Hug Mug" kits for members of my own guild.

I was in Edmonton for my FINAL reconstruction appointment - yay!!! (Whoop Whoop!!!)

It has been six years (yesterday, actually!) since my mastectomy. It feels great to finally see my cancer journey in the rear view mirror.

Here is the icing on the cake... at the end of the month I'm going to be a special model in Fashion With Compassion, a fundraiser for Compassion House in Edmonton!!! I was a guest there in 2008 while undergoing radiation treatments at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Before my medical appointment on Tuesday, I went for a fitting at Laura in West Edmonton Mall. Laura is dressing all the special models. So exciting!!! I've never been dressed by a stylist before!

Here is the gown I will be wearing to the gala. 

Yep, I have a goofy expression on my face - I was probably joking around, as usual! Ha! 

There will be better pictures in a couple of weeks. I will be all dolled up, with hair and make up, to boot. (Is that a Canadianism? To boot?)

I can't tell you how important support is to cancer patients, nor how meaningful it will be for me to see the "invisible" supporters become "visible" at that fundraiser. I just hope I don't do the ugly cry when I see the crowd!

I imagine this is how our military personnel feel about the support of quilters when they receive a quilt. It's a quilt, but it's not about the quilt. It's about the love. The invisible supporters becoming visible. (And the healing tears begin.)

Linking up with:
Whoop Whoop Fridays, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She 

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome and will be answered by email when possible. Thanks for looking around!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Friday Finish, in Pictures

Margaret's Buggy Barn quilt is fresh off the frame! 

This quilt will be donated to a fundraiser in support of our local women's shelter. It is a cause both Margaret and I have contributed to for years, so it was fun to team up this year and work on something together. We hope this baby will raise a ton o' cash for the cause!

Nuf said. Picture time!!!
Almost done!

Here is Margaret's "before" shot (used with permission):

Buggy Barn Crazy About Hearts and Stars, before quilting.

And here it is, fresh off the frame and ready to bind:

Linking up with:
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Forth Worth Fabric Studio
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Goin' Buggy!

Quilting continues on the Buggy Barn quilt (first mentioned in this post). 

First, I stitched in the ditch (SID) around each block and added a swirly vine in the border. Then I SID around each star and filled them with swirls, too.

Star Swirls.

After stitching the first star, I traced what I'd stitched onto a page protector. I used the traced design as a visual guide for chalking the remaining stars. I could also glance over at it while I stitched to keep my bearings when the chalk was hard to see.

Chalk is hard to see on the blue star, so my drawing came in handy!

Once the stars were done, the hearts were next. I decided to alternate filling them with "straight" lines (hand guided, not ruled) and "bumpy" lines.

"Straight" lines in heart.
Deliberately "organic" lines work well with the funky, Buggy Barn piecing style.

"Bumpy" lines in heart.

Today I worked on the background, filling the odd shapes with a dense swirl. I like how that design acts as a foil to the line work done in the hearts, but doesn't compete with the star swirls.

The designs seem to work together without competing.
I must confess - I tried one other background filler in a block, but don't love it. It would probably take four hours to rip out (it's tiny and dense), so unless it sticks out like a sore thumb, it's staying in the quilt. Maybe I can tell myself that it adds character! Ha!
Tomorrow will tell.

Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation
Free Motion Mavericks, at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing
Whoop Whoop Fridays, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict 

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Goal & A Show!

The Goal

My goal for October's "A Lovely Year of Finishes" linky party is to finish my guild challenge. Quilted. Faced. Ready to hang!

There. I've said it. Now I HAVE to do it!

First, though, I'm working on this beautiful Buggy Barn quilt pieced by Margaret. It will be her (generous!) donation to the Festival of Trees, an annual fundraiser held by our local women's shelter. I'm happy to do my part by donating the quilting.

Stitching in the Ditch around each block gave me time to think about my next step.
So far, I've stitched in the ditch around the blocks and filled the border with a fun, swirly vine.

Swirly vine in progress
Next, I'll fill the stars with swirls. After that? I'd like to say I have a plan, but at the moment I just have possibilities.

Before loading the Buggy Barn I needed thinking time, so I whipped through a couple of customer quilts. 

Beautiful baby quilt, coming off the frame.
I was able to relax and picture ideas for the Buggy Barn in my mind's eye as I worked.

Fabulous fall flannel
Plus, it's always a pleasure to help others finish their labours of love!

The Show!

October will be a busy month, but there's always time to go to a quilt show - even one that's a two hour drive away! 

The show offered a wonderful mix of styles and sizes. Something for everyone!

"Shelter in the Storm", pieced by Sheila Elliot, and quilted by Roma Kosyk
"Shelter in the Storm" practically glowed, and I thought the quilting enhanced the design beautifully.

"Hexagon Shuffle", made by Lee Johnson (a Moda Bake Shop pattern)

"Spooky Spiders", designed and constructed by Alice Lorenz

"September Song", made by Marg Johns (begun in a workshop with Liz Faminoff)

"Tangled Threads Exchange Quilt", constructed by Tanya Ironside, quilted by Posh Threads
Wrapping up the day with a stop at the quilt shop was an added bonus. With a bit of help, my niece chose some supplies to start a quilt...a joint project! 

Haley will prepare the applique, and then I'll piece the quilt and finish things up. She loves doing artsy things, but doesn't quilt, so this seems like a logical arrangement. Especially since we will be working long distance.

Linking up with:

A Lovely Year of Finishes, at BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!