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President’s challenge quilt 2015

The president of the Yorkshire Rose of Quilters’ Guild of Toronto has issued a challenge! We are to make a 12 in square quilt using the world Spring as inspiration. I selected a beautiful fabric I purchased from Country Clothesline online store. Sylvia the owner has a wonderfully curated shop.

Always blooming fabric by Susy Pilgrim Waters
Always Blooming fabric by Susy Pilgrim Waters

I was attracted to the large scale print and bold colours of Always Blooming. It came home with me even though I didn’t know what I would do with it.

Always blooming fabric by Susy Pilgrim Waters
detail from Always Blooming fabric by Susy Pilgrim Waters

When the President’s Challenge was issued and the inspiration word spring was announced, definitions of the word were given to expand our ideas beyond the obvious. I must admit that the season was the first thought I had. Later, I looked up spring in the dictionary and thesaurus  for inspiration. I wanted to create something beyond the obvious but when I looked through my stash and came across this piece of fabric, I knew I had the beginning of my quilt.

Always blooming selections
Always Blooming with fabric selections

I isolated a small section of the print and pulled a selection of fabrics from my stash. As you can see below the piece is a rectangle, I inserted too many strips. The piece only needs to be 12 inches square when completed. I will be doing a bit of quilting, so that will shrink the quilt a bit, but I will need to crop off some of the outside edges.

Quilt top in process
Quilt top in process using Always Blooming fabric by Susy Pilgrim Waters

I’ve pieced the top and the next step is to quilt it. I plan on adding some embellishments, such as organza ribbon and maybe some beading. This challenge is due in May more work is needed before its done!

 

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Thrift store scraps

My mom bought me a ziplock bag full of pre-cut squares of cotton from a local thrift shop for $4.00. The bag was full to bursting.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I pulled the squares out, counted the 1 1/2 inch squares and approximated the rest:

  • 266 – 1 1/2 inch squares
  • 220 – 2 1/2 inch squares
  • 260 – 3 inch squares
  • 200 – 4 inch squares
  • 100 – 5 inch squares

There is quite a variety of scraps: Kaffe Fassett, children’s prints, modern, calico prints, florals. They are all patterned, there are no solids.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I love using scraps. Quilts made from scraps have a wonderful sense of colour. They also remind me of how quilts were usually made by our ancestors.  Small pieces of clothing that were not too worn out, were repurposed into a quilt that would be used to keep the family warm.

For the moment, I will add these to my stash of scraps and ponder on what to do with them. How often do you use scraps in your quilts?

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10 minute blocks

I decided that I one of my resolutions for 2015 was to improve my free motion quilting. So, I pulled out these large blocks and began.

10-min quilt blocks
10-min quilt blocks

These blocks have been pieced for at least 3 years! They are about 15 inches square with lots of space to practice free motion quilting.

10-min quilt block quilted
10-min quilt block quilted

In the block above I quilted a different free motion design in each quadrant.

  • top right: meander
  • bottom right: loops
  • bottom left: ribbon
  • top left: loops and flowers
Free motion quilting leaf
Free motion quilting leaf
Free motion quilting wood grain
Free motion quilting wood grain

I am happy with the stitching. There is improvement with each quadrant I work on.

Free motion quilting flame
Free motion quilting flame

The blocks are easy and quick to piece. I originally saw a demonstration at the Creative Festival in Toronto probably three years ago! I went straight home and made all the blocks. Suzanne McNeill has a YouTube tutorial that shows just how quickly you can piece these blocks.

Free motion quilting wave
Free motion quilting wave

Six blocks are quilted only nine more to go.

Did you make any resolutions for 2015?