Night Lights

A few months ago American Quilter Magazine reached out to see if I wanted to create a quilt using the new We Are All Stars collection from Cloud 9. Stars have a special meaning for me, and I really liked the color palette, so of course I immediately said yes. I had a lot of fun trying out different combinations with these fabrics. Ultimately I wanted to make something that looked more complex than it actually was. I’ve been on an on-point layout kick lately, and after trying out a few blocks I settled on a simple HST square block.

In my minds eye, as I was playing with shape and color, I kept seeing a skyline at night. The colors of the lights in the city blending and blurring together. I kept circling back to that, and started adding in some negative space using a deep indigo solid. the warm contrast of the indigo pulled new life out of the colors, and it meshed perfectly with my mental image.

the colors are chameleons. in warm sunlight the quilt pulls a very retro photo vibe. in cool cloudy light the colors are sharp and deep.

I quilted it in a combination of straight lines, chevrons, and swirling loops,because I was on a tight schedule and why not? I am so happy with how it turned out. and of course Cloud 9 is organic so the fabrics are soft and supple, much like sleeping on a cloud.

 

 

Night Lights can be found on newsstands now in the May issue of American Quilter Magazine.

 

Until next time,

 

Happy Stitching!

 

Phew, what a week! Lots to share!

Hello everyone! It has been a very busy week here, so I haven’t had time to do much blogging. I say week but in reality the last 15 days have been go go go!Between play-dates and appointments and pick ups and drop off I have had time to finish up all my 3×6 bee blocks and get them in the mail, catch up on my Modern Mystery Quilt, keep up with the Cathedral Window QAL, and make/hunt down some props for my little man’s 6 month photo session today. Throw in some grocery shopping and a sudden change in the weather read: from Indian Summer to torrential rain overnight  and voila! Lots of excuses not to vacuum….. =)

I realize that this is the west coast, and normally by the start of October the rain has moved in, but it was so beautiful for so long. Thanksgiving weekend was so warm people were still out in shorts. We were going to go to the Pumpkin Patch and have ourselves a grand old time yesterday, but record rainfall coupled with a rainfall warning quashed that faster than you can say “eh?” I did get to try Harry’s snowsuit. I don’t think it fits quite right yet……but it sure is warm!

Do I look impressed?

Can you tell I don’t like the rain? I’m from Northern Alberta. It may be -40, but at least the sun is shining and your not soaked! Anywho….onwards!

It seems lately that everything I make heads out the door. I feel like I have been sewing like a madwoman but have nothing to show at the guild meeting tonight.

Here, this is my stack of finished blocks that need more to complete whatever I was going to do with them, 1/2 of the checkerboard for a show quilt,  and all the pieces to a mystery quilt that I can’t for the life of me figure out how the end result will look….*chirp chirp*

However, I do have a cute little project that I whipped up last night as a photo prop that I can take with me. If Harry is going to be a dragon for Halloween, he needs a Princess to kidnap (and probably try to eat).

She looks so happy, just wait until the dragon starts gumming her head =)

The dress fabric is my favorite colorway from Treasures of the East by Hoffman. The teal/aqua colorway was the challenge fabric in 2010. I also picked some up in the fuchsia and sunset colorways. I can’t seem to find them anymore, so If anyone comes across either colorway, please let me know! Poppins Quilt Parlour in Penticton, BC still has the challenge fabric for anyone looking to nab some. They do phone orders!

I drew her face on with Sharpie markers. I think she looks suitably princessy!

You can find the pattern here as well as the tutorial. I just winged it with mine.

I was also doing some pinning while watching TV the other night. This is why you don’t leave your pin box where the cat can get to it!

Luckily I found them all (magnets are wonderful wonderful wonderful!) and I have yet to be stuck with a pin! It did inspire a pincushion design however, but more on that to come!

Tomorrow I will be posting my Scrappy Star block pattern, no tutorial yet though, so please be patient with me! I start a temporary job as a nanny for my friend who just welcomes their little boy yesterday morning. I have all the fabrics for her new baby quilt, I just need to get to it!
Happy Quilting!

Cathedral Window QAL- Blocks 2/3

Here are block 2 and block 3 of the Cathedral Window Quilt A Long. This is turning out to be a very fun project, and so far the construction has not been overly taxing. Cathedral Windows are by nature time and fabric consuming because of the pressing and folding involved. You can follow along or join, there are still 6 tutorials left. All you have to do is join the Flickr Group.

Block 2 from My Crafty Crap

Block 3 from Made With Moxie

As I was taking these pictures my husband came over and mentioned how my block reminds him of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo. *sigh* Now that is all I can see when I look at it. I still really like the technique though, and I will be utilizing it in a few different projects . I am still on the lookout for more of that spring green print as well. It is Robert Kaufman Fusions 10 (5574). The only place that has any stock is Fortunes and Fairies in Richmond, NSW, Australia. I ordered 5 meters of Fusions 10 in various colors from them two years ago. It was a real eye opener to fabric costs. In Canada we pay about 30% more for fabric than our neighbors south of the border. In Australia they pay DOUBLE what we do. It was $23.00/meter, plus the international shipping. I still have most of it, but this particular color is no where to be found now! I wrote to Robert Kaufman, so hopefully they will put this blender back in production.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

Cathedral Window QAL

Yesterday marked day one of the Cathedral Window Quilt A Long Blog Hop! Sara of Sew Sweetness gave us our first tutorial, the Layered Cathedral Window,  and I love how her block turned out! I have decided to use a consistent color scheme throughout the QAL. I am going to be using Limes, Aquas, Teals and Yellows. There are 9 blocks in this QAL, so I hope I have enough fabric! Ha ha ha, like that’s really a problem for me…

Here is my finished block! I ended up ripping 2 portions apart and placing the fabrics in a different order, but I am so happy with the result. There is some definite movement in this block! I love the lime green! It is an almost impossible to find Robert Kaufman Blender. I ordered it from Australia 2 years ago (the only place I could find it) for $20/meter! But I love it so much! I will use it in all my blocks, though maybe I should have picked a different color, Cathedral Windows do use up a lot of fabrics! There are 5 layers to sew through on each side of this block. I pressed my seams open using my heaviest iron, lowering my board, applying a TON of pressure, and STEAM. The result is a nice flat block with no seam bubbles! Hurray!

A huge thank you goes out to Bree at My Crafty Crap for hosting this QAL, and to all the sponsors for the wonderful prizes! You can find the QAL rules, blog roll, and prizes there.

I can’t wait for the next block!

Happy Sewing!

Rainbows For Maranda

I am part of a couple mommy groups, and one of the other mommies came across this. I contacted Patricia, and the little girl is in her friend’s Brownie Troop.

I know I get some international readers, so I would like to encourage everyone to take part. It will cost you nothing but a stamp! Lets help make a little girl’s dream come true!

Could everyone, including you big kids, draw a simple picture of a rainbow and mail it to Patricia Verhelst Box 355, Radville, SK S0C 2G0 Canada, by next week and I will send them all in together. There is a little girl in Saskatoon who is sick who wishes to get a rainbow from everyone in the world. Please write your name and where you are from on it. Lets make a wish come true if it was your child you would want that! Thanks everyone and please copy and paste this to help spread the word!This little girl’s name is Maranda, she is 10 years old and I’m really hoping everyone will do their best to make her wish come true!

During my clinical training, I did a month long rotation through the BC Children’s Hospital. Even three years later, that month has stuck with me, even more so now that I have a child of my own. It takes something so simple to make these kids happy.The odds seem so stacked against them, yet they shine through the adversity with bravery, strength and smiles for those who care for and about them. I will always remember my time there, and I know it shaped part of who I am professionally with my patients and at home.
Please, share this with your friends, family, and other bloggers!

Here is the address again:

Patricia Verhelst

Box 355

Radville, SK

S0C 2G0

Canada

VMQG Pincushion Swap

My guild, the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, is participating in a nationwide pincushion swap! I am excited! I love swaps, its is so much fun to send your work out and get something back in the mail. Its like Christmas! You can find more information on the swap at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Blog. You can also find information about the guild and how to join. We love to see new faces and quilts! Everyone is welcome, there is such a wide inspiring range of talents!

Holly, of (Holly’s Red Bike), Felicity posted a couple pincushion tutorials on the VMQG blog ( thank you Holly for the correction) and I was immediately drawn to the Cathedral Window Pincushion over at My Go-Go Life. I have always wanted to try a Cathedral Window quilt, but have never gotten around to it. This pincushion was the perfect way to the try the technique, and now I am hooked. I am going to tweak it a bit and try a couple of things out. I really enjoy all the tutorials Kim has on her blog, and I hope you all head on over and check it out!

For my pincushion I used a Kona Solid in Linen for my square, and used Moda Bliss for my pops of color. The grey polka dot in the center was a random fat quarter I picked out of my stash. It might be a Riley Blake fabric….

I had so much fun making the front and realized I has some good scrappy pieces left over so I decided to have fun with the back too! I also made a covered button with the leftover scraps from that, and voila! A Cathedral Window Pincushion. I am going to make some more for and exciting event coming up with the guild, but more on that later!

Enjoy the tutorial and as always,

Happy Quilting!

Starburst Quilt Tutorial from Happy Quilting…and Baking!

I wanted to share a delightful blog and tutorial from Melissa at Happy Quilting. Her patterns and tutorials are easy to follow, and she always has something fun going on.  I love that the quilt looks complex but the directions are super easy to follow!

Melissa's Starburst Quilt

And to sweeten your day, I came across a recipe for Cinnamon Scones! They are like the ones they sell at a very popular bakery here, Cob’s Bread. These scones are to die for! I have eaten three so far today….and I can’t promise that I’m done….but you can find the recipe here! I tweaked mine a tad and when I made my cinnamon flakes, I eliminated the corn syrup entirely. I HIGHLY recommend the parchment paper, and the flake mixture should be spread thin, it makes it easier to crumble afterwards!

Enjoy your scones while making Melissa’s lovely Starburst quilt!

Modern Mystery Quilt Challenge

The American Quilters Society is hosting a modern Mystery Quilt. The quilt was designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, authors of Quilts Made Modern. The best part? Its free! It is a 6 part/week Mystery Quilt, and part 1 is up now. Part 2 will be up next week.

Because this is a free quilt-a-long, I would love for everyone to participate and send me pictures of your progress week to week! I will post pictures as we go, and then after the last installment we will have a final reveal of everyone’s finished quilt tops! You will get to vote for your favorite, and the top with the most votes will win a fat quarter pack! That’s right! I will put together a packet of 5 fresh modern fat quarters for one of my lucky readers to win! So please, share this with all your friends and lets have some fun! The deadline for submissions will be November 14th, 2012. Voting will run from November 15th to November 25th, and the Winner(s) will be announced November 26th. Voting Closed. 

To Participate:

1. Comment below so I know how many people interested. For every 10 entrants I will add a Fat Quarter Packet.  If there are more than 10 entries we will have a first, second and third place!

2. Encourage your friends to follow the blog and vote for your quilt! The more followers, the more votes!

3. Send a photo of your finished quilt top ( it does not have to be quilted) by November 14th, 2012

Here is the link! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

This challenge will be open to international participants as well! Quilting is its own language, one that is spoken with color and thread and heard with the eyes, and understood by all!

As Always,

Happy Quilting!

 

The UFO Problem

I don’t mean unidentified flying objects, I mean UnFinished Objects. And I have a lot. A LOT….the rule of thumb is no more than 3. Lately my brain has been in quilting overtime. I have so many ideas floating around and they are all coming out in different ways. The chaos of my sewing room is overwhelming to everyone but me.

Organized chaos is the key here……

I do love my sewing room. There is a special spot for baby H, a wonderful peg board installed by my father, a ton of space to stuff bins of fabric ( there are 10) and my Precious. A Janome 1600P Professional semi industrial sewing machine. It is a straight stitch only machine with 3 speeds: Fast, faster, and holy cow.

At the moment I have 5 projects going (that I can remember O.o;)

1. A reproduction of Claudia Clark Myers and Marylin Badger’s quilt Sparkle Plenty

2. Listen With Your Eyes by Jacqueline de Jonge

3. A wholecloth quilt design

4. A modern quilt for Quilt Con

5. 3×6 Bee blocks, Stars and Pinwheels

I also have the fabric collected for another Jacqueline de Jonge project, Circle of Life, and I have sketches for a quilt series (more on that to come!)

I am excited about the modern quilt. I have recently discovered a love of hexagons. I have ordered the Hexa-Go-Go book, written by the very talented Tacha Bruecher. She is a founding member of Fat Quarterly ezine (I highly recommend subscribing), and you can find her blog here. My block idea combines hexagons with my love of paper-pieced stars. There will be a sneak peak at the end of the month!

I also received a call from the Georgia Quilt Show. They received my entry. Fingers crossed that it gets juried in! I finally named the quilt Sapphire Star.

My patient husband acting as a display rack

Quilted by Julie House of Sculptured Threads Quilting

Until next time!

Happy Quilting!

Stardust Pinwheel Tutorial


This is the block I chose for my Pinwheel Block Swap on Flickr. There have been a lot positive comments and requests for the block, so I am posting the pattern here for everyone to enjoy. You will need to print 2 copies of each page to create the pinwheel. The templates are numbered in the order to piece them. They are also lettered but you can ignore the letters

You only need a basic knowledge of paper piecing to complete this block, which is why it is such a good one to start with. You get stunning visual results with any color combination! You can piece it anyway you like, or you can follow the tutorial below.

Instructions


Cut out your templates and place them into two piles as shown. 4 blocks will have corners, 4 will not. Pick out the fabrics you want for each part of the pinwheel.


I like to pre-cut my fabric strips. This way I know I have enough to cover the block, and I can chain piece my block. The templates with corners are numbered 1-6, the templates without corners are numbered 1-5. For the sake of the tutorial I will refer to the numbering for the blocks without corners. The templates are identical once the corner is sewn.

The numbers in the brackets indicate the position numbering for the templates without corners.

Cut your fabrics as below:

1 = 2 squares 4 ¼”x 4 ¼”” cut into Half Square Triangles ( yields 4 HST)

2 (1) = 8 strips 6″x 2″

3 (2) = 8 strips 3 ¼” x 2″

4 (3) = 8 strips 5 ¼” x 1 ½”

5 (4) = 8 strips 5″ x 2″

6 (5) = 8 strips 4 ½” x 3″

Start with the 4 templates with corners. Place the HST right side up on the unprinted side. Take strip #1 and place it Right Sides Together on the HST, as shown below. Hold the block up to the light, printed side facing you, so you can line up the seam allowance. Sew on the first line. Repeat for the remaining 3 templates.


Press the blocks ( no steam). Place a straight edge along the next sewing line, fold the paper back along that line (tearing paper from the previous stitched line as needed), and trim the seam allowance to ¼” using an Add-a-Quarter Ruler (or whatever your preferred method is). Set these pieces aside for now.


Take your 4 Templates without Corners and place strip #1 Right Side Up on the unprinted side of the template. Use the light trick to make sure the entire section is covered. Baste the strip in place on the dotted cutting line or in the extra paper outside the template. This will hold your fabric in place. Place your straight edge along the sewing line, turn the paper back, and trim the seam allowance. (It is the same line as shown above)

Light trick

From here on you can piece all 8 templates at the same time. It goes together quickly from here!

Take strip #2, place it RST with strip #1. Sew and press. Place your straight edge along the next sewing line and trim the seam allowance as before. Repeat these steps for the remaining fabric strips.

Here is a photo montage of the rest of the piecing process (‘Cuz everything is better with a montage! MONTAGE!) Enjoy!

RST

Sew

Press

Trim

(oops, no picture)

(oops, no picture)

Trim round the templates on the dotted line. Voila! 8 wedges ready to be sewn into your block!


Voila!

Place a no-corner wedge RST on top of a with-corner wedge. Pin together at the top and bottom by placing a pin through the points at the top (black) and bottom (white) so it is loose, as shown. Line up the seam allowances. Hold the bottom firmly so the pieces don’t move and secure by pinning normally.

At the top there is a lot of bulk because you have seams meeting as well as the paper. If you were to pin through all the layers you end up with a humped area that can be bulky and messy to sew through.

Bulk Hump

To avoid this you need to pin through the FABRIC ONLY. This keeps the pieces from humping up.

Through the fabric only

Sew the seam, pull the paper out of the seam allowance, and press your blocks in the same direction (this is important later!). You now have 4 quarters. Sew your quarter together into half blocks using the same process outlines above, making sure that the bottom points are well matched. Sew your seam and press in the same direction as before. Your points should match.

Sew your final seam, pinning at the corners and at the center point. If you want to make sure your points match, use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial, or you can pin and sew just through the center, then open and check your alignment. If you are happy with the alignment sew your final seam. Press the last two seams in the same direction as the rest, and use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial to press your center flat. Tear out your paper and do a final press with steam. Trim and clean up the edges of your block, and your done!