WIP Wednesday rolls around again!

Goodness, Wednesday sure does roll around in a hurry! This week I stumbled upon a new  block-of-the-month party and decided I wanted to join. This one had already started, but I was only 2 blocks behind and figured I could catch up. Each month will be a different half-square triangle block, so that’s pretty easy and should be easy for me to keep up with.  This quilt will be going to my sister, but she will have to wait an entire year for it, lol! The website is called In Color Order and here are the January & February blocks, which I made this week:

 

 

 

 

The other block-of-the-month party I participate in is on Eleanor Burn’s (Quilt in a Day) Facebook page. These blocks are NOT easy beginner blocks! They are HARD! LOL!  Each month I look at the pattern with trepidation. Each month I rip as many seams as I sew in. But each month I finish and have learned something new.  This month’s block called for the use of rulers that I didn’t have. Probably an experienced quilter could have made them anyway, but considering that I couldn’t even visualize the block by reading the instructions,  I didn’t want to chance it. So I ordered the rulers. I figure that to get good at a skill you have to have the right tools. Here are the rulers: “perfect corners” ruler and “triangle in a square” ruler. Both are from the Quilt in a Day website.

 

 

 

The rulers just came in the mail on Monday, so I got the square made just in the nick of time. If it wasn’t a leap year I wouldn’t have made the block by the end of the month. Here is block #5 (February) and is called “Storm at Sea:”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And arrgggh! Looking at it here on the screen, I see that I sewed in all 4 of the corner squares backwards.  Well too bad. I don’t have the patience to rip it apart again. And besides, as the Amish say, “only god makes perfection”. Of course, they are also known to sew a mistake into their quilts on purpose. Sewing a quilt too perfectly is definately not a problem I share!

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday!

Today is WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday! Lots of crafty people like to blog on Wednesdays about what they’ve got “in progress”, so I think I’ll join the crowd today and show you what I’m working on. Yay!

Quilting:
I’m part of the We Be Learning on-line Quilt Bee. There are 12 ladies participating, and each is assigned one month of the year. Each person picks a beginner-level square and specifies the colour scheme when it is her month, then we each make that square and mail it to her. So over the course of the year I will have the opportunity to learn to make 12 different squares, work with colours and combinations I might not otherwise use, and also receive 12 squares of my own to sew together into my own quilt. My month is July and I’m already thinking about which pattern to choose.

This month (February) is my friend Dee‘s month and she choose a log cabin square made out of florals and with a black starting block. So, last week I made Dee’s square plus an extra one for me (I’ll be making an extra each month so will end up with a sampler quilt at the end as well!) Here they are. The one on the Left with the crocus is Dee’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I finally finished the top for a quilt that will be going to Kelly’s cousin. She is only 54 and is recovering from a stroke. Her hospital room in Vancouver could use some cheery colour. It’s about all I can think of to do to help out since I am so far away. There will be an entire blog post on the construction of this quilt soon!

 

 

 

 

 

And last week I also put it together with the backing & batting, basted it and put it into the frame for hand quilting. I’ve been working on the hand quilting in the evenings and am nearly half finished already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for my own personal work-in-progress as I deal with menopausal depression, I will be spending time this week with an anti-depressant skills work book.  I am hoping that it will contain some good ideas that I can incorporate into my recovery plan.

Wishing you all happy stitches this week!

Halia’s quilt

Since I made a quilt for Jade, I needed to make one for her little sister (Halia), too. Fair is fair, right? So here is the story of Halia’s quilt.

I have always been drawn to appliqued quilts and have always wanted to make one for myself. I knew how to applique, but I wasn’t very good with small pieces. I decided I wanted to learn to be more accomplished, and needed something to practice on. I also needed a project to take to the lake. Something that I could hold in my hands and work on over a summer or two.  I decided to make a quilt with alternating appliqued and 9-patch squares.

I really wanted to make the squares small: 5″. But when I went to the quilt shop to buy my background fabric, the ladies there talked me into making bigger squares: 8″. So I cut 15 or 20 squares out of my background fabric, then sorted through my stash for the applique fabrics. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind…I started out with flowers, and then embroidered on them. I was working mainly freehand, but also had a couple of patterns to follow. I wanted each square to be different. But when I got going, I just wasn’t happy with the size of them. I had had my heart set on the smaller squares and wished I hadn’t let myself be influenced. In hindsight, the quilt shop ladies were right and it WAS better to learn on slightly larger pieces, lol! But there you go. You can’t dictate what the heart wants.

November 2011 006

Anyway…one day Fawn brought the girls out to the lake (it was the summer before last) and Halia was fascinated with the squares. She took one of the squares in her little hands and carried it around with her for awhile. She had some fun sorting through the scraps, too.  She was about 20 months old, I think. After they left, I found little scraps hidden in the cushions of the couch and behind the chair. Remembering that makes me smile!

035This past summer I changed directions with the quilt and started appliqueing squares specifically with Halia in mind. I made a dog, then a house, a cat with a ball and so on. I decided that this would be Halia’s quilt. I used the same backing fabric I used for Jade’s quilt so the backs would be the same while the fronts were very different. This quilt is tied at each corner, a button is sewn into the center of each 9-patch, and the border is hand quilted with double hearts.

Halia turned 3 in November and I gave her the quilt at Christmas. Here’s our little bunny with her quilt:

 

Jade’s Quilt

Every quilt has a story, and I like to share these stories as a way to preserve them. Jade’s quilt was one of the many unfinished projects that I’ve collected over the years. Jade is the daughter of my friend Fawn. She started kindergarten this year and I wanted to make her something special to snuggle under with a favourite book as she enters her school-age years, learns to read and dreams her little-girl dreams.

032One day I remembered a quilt top that I had started to make several years ago but never finished. I had started it for Nora (the daughter of another friend) when she started kindergarden, 11 years ago, but I never finished it. The top languished in my sewing room as Nora grew older, and as it was a quilt for a little girl, after awhile it no longer suited her. As I thought about it, I wondered if it would be nice for another little girl to have.

So I dug it out and and finished it by adding borders and appliqued hearts to personalize it for Jade.

It is a combination of ties at each corner of the blocks with hand quilted hearts in the block centers.What started out in life being for one kindergartener ended up being for another, 11 years later! What patience quilts have!

quilting friends

I honestly don’t know how I would accomplish a single thing without my little helpers!

Samson makes sure the layers stay together during basting…

 

 Misty oversees the binding and makes sure my stitches are straight!

 

 

Butterflies in my Garden

I wanted to write about another quilt that I finally finished! This was another of my unfinished projects.  I pulled it out last spring and finished it in  June. I don’t know why I set it aside all those years ago, because it sure turned out beautifully. Maybe it was just waiting for the right moment and the right recipient.

IMG_1802I started the top way back in 1996 (as best I can remember). I had taken a weekend “quilt in a day” course (ha!) at Crocus Creek Quilts with my friend Karyne. The quilt was applique butterflies. I had a lot of fun in the class, but found it very difficult because I had never done applique before. It was my first time, and I was keen to learn. It was frustrating for me, but I kept at it until all of the squares were finished several months later.

IMG_1799I sewed them together and added a border, and then put it away in the cupboard and sort of forgot about it.  Last spring I decided I wanted to make my mother a quilt for her 70th birthday and I thought about that old unfinished top. I pulled it out and ironed out the wrinkles and gave it a good looking over.

IMG_1786I thought it would make a perfect quilt for my mom, so I took it down to Bear Paw Quilts (our local Whitehorse quilt shop) to match & purchase backing and binding  fabric.

IMG_1734I was surprised to see how much fashion in prints has changed in 15 years! The prints seemed old fashioned to me in comparison to all of the newer, modern fabrics on display! I chose a pretty yellow print to put on the back and decided to use the same for the binding so that some would show on the front as well.

IMG_1785Once the quilt was sandwiched and basted, I started the hand quilting.  It turned out very nice and I am pleased and proud of it.  And, she loved it!

IMG_1803I  named it “Butterflies in my Garden” because she is a gardener.

IMG_1801Happy birthday, Mom!

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