My pattern: Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy has been published! Craft it now: 75+ Simple Handmade Projects is a great crafting book with easy ideas to craft great items. Projects feature quilting, crochet, embroidery, polymer clay and other fun techniques.
This would be a great book to introduce a child to handwork. The projects are designed to be created in a short period of time.
My project features an appliqué design where the cut teacup is carefully cut out of one square of fabric. Both the positive and negative pieces of the block are used.
The positive and negative appliqué are fused onto a background, satin stitched and then quilted. This can easily be adapted to make a pillow, placemats or table runner.
This flower was created from a hexagon. The hexagon was folded in half so that a little of the lining shows. It was then folded in half width wise and a tuck was stitched to create its shape. The leaves and stem are fused and stitched to add dimension.
I love the colour purple! I improvisationally pieced a few small pieces to create the background. Some free motion quilting and a silver foil piece with beads adds interest.
This broken heart is made with a red and gold lame fabric and a red cotton. It’s fused and free motion quilted onto a black cotton sateen with a metallic thread.
I love making these miniature quilts. They are quick to make and are a great way to try out new techniques.
This is the end of another school year and my child has a couple of people he wants to thank. So we’ve spent time drawing and quilting two personalized thank you cards.
He has always loved drawing. I thought it would be a great keepsake for the teacher to receive a small picture reflecting his time in their classroom. His first drawing in Junior Kindergarten was created on easel sized paper 27″ x 30″. This was way too large for a small remembrance gift! So I decided to shrink the picture to a 4″ x 6″ postcard. Just the right size.
This is the postcard I quilted from my son’s original drawing – Classroom Life. Notice the yellow sequins? They are the girls in the class. The red beads are the boys. Madame is standing by her desk waiting for the students who have questions about the assigned work.
Thankfully, he now uses 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper so, it isn’t as difficult to shrink the drawing down to postcard size.
Thank you for taking care of me
The other person he wanted to thank was his caregiver. She has been an important person in his life since he was one and a half years old. They have shared many experiences. One of the fun things they do together is play badminton.
This is the two of them playing a game. The green colour in the drawing represents the large trees overhead where they play. These trees cause many faults – hence ‘Oh Boy’ when the birdie gets caught in the trees!
The Canadian Quilters’ Association held their annual Quilting Conference this past weekend in St. Catharines, Ontario. Quilters from all across Canada participated in lectures, workshops and shopping! Quilt Canada is the National Juried Show held during the annual conference. This year they introduced a Modern Quilt category. I submitted three of my modern quilts and all three were accepted into the show!
My mother, sister and I went to see the quilts at Quilt Canada on Saturday June 14th, the very last day of the show. The caliber of the quilts were outstanding! I was especially interested in the Modern Quilt category as I had three of my modern quilts accepted.
The winners in the Modern Wallhanging or Bed Quilt category are:
I am so happy and excited to be a part of such a talent group of quilters! Excellent company to be keeping! All the beautiful quilts from Quilt Canada can be viewed in the Gallery of the NJS 2014.
Unfortunately, no photography was allowed at the venue. These are the photos I used to submit my entry. The colours of the quilt are actually closer to the detail photo below rather than the full view above.
Icterine is a yellowish colour, the colour of the linen that I used for the background of this quilt. It is an unusual shade of yellow with a green undertone. This colour has also been described as ‘jaundiced’! I loved the colour so much that I purchased the end of the bolt and knew I would use it all up.
Icterine Strata is the first in a series of three quilts using this linen. The second in the series Icterine Arcs is also complete. The third quilt is in the planning stages and I hope to begin it in the fall.
I wanted to make the quilts in this series all the same dimensions and using the same colour palette. The design of the quilts explores the themes of movement, structure and repetition. The quilts are machine pieced using hand dyed and commercial fabrics. Although mainly machine quilted, I hand quilted areas with a perle cotton thread to create layers of transparency.
I was the facilitator for the May meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild. One of our new members, Emily, was interested in how to piece curved seams. So, I demonstrated curved piecing – full circles, quarter circles and my favourite – wonky circles. I used Petal Pinwheels fabric from Michael Miller. These are the six fabrics that Michael Miller donated to the 4th annual MQG member’s fabric challenge. I added the Kona solid in green from my stash.
Five tips for successful curved piecing:
Cut your pieces out exactly!
Stitch a precise quarter in seam (a 1/4 inch pressure foot helps!)
Focus only on stitching the half inch or so of the seam in front of your pressure foot
Reduce the length of your stitches
Match the edges accurately at the beginning of the block
When sewing curves, you will need to stitch slowly, sew a few stitches, stop, pivot to readjust the curve, continue sewing a few stitches, stop, and pivot and so on. You are only looking at about 1/2 an inch in front of the pressure foot and in smaller circles, this might only be 1/4 inch or so in front of the foot. Sewing curved seams is not like sewing straight seams where you can quickly sew through piles of blocks in an assembly line. Stitching curves requires focus and time.
The circles below were the pieces cut out of the background or square fabric. I took these circles, split them and inserted a wedge of the Petal Pinwheels fabric. I then trimmed the block into a circle. I had wanted to make the insert off centre – a little wonky but I didn’t make the cut enough off the centre line. Nevertheless, I am happy with the way they look and will use them in another project.
As for the Modern quilt challenge blocks, I need to think about them a little longer before I decide what I want to do. Should I combine the circles with the wedges? The deadline and my fabric stash will factor into the process!
The Modern Quilt Guild announced the 4th annual MQG member’s fabric challenge. This year Michael Miller Fabrics is the sponsor. The fabric is from their new collection called Petal Pinwheels.
The rules are super easy: use all or some of the line, add a solid or another Michael Miller fabric and make something quilted. That’s it! So, why is so difficult to make decisions? I’ve participated in 3 other Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenges and they were challenging! Not in the piecing and quilting necessarily, but narrowing my focus in order to decide what I wanted to do.
I determined that I would try something different with each challenge – a new technique, a new block, or a new free motion quilting design. I also decided to use only the amount of challenge fabric provided and to ‘shop’ for additional fabric from my stash. This adds another layer of complexity to the process!
I had just seen a demonstration on making half-square triangles and decided to make the biggest half-square triangles I could with the fabric I had! I also tried different free-motion quilting designs in each of the sections. I am happy with the results. I could see improvement in my quilting from the first block I quilted to the last.
With the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge I chose a solid from my stash that I loved. I had purchased the end of the bolt of this particular yellow/green fabric and had a limited quantity. That plus the challenge fabric resulted in this: Urban Habitat.
I like the Habitat fabric pieced with the solid. I used a light pink to bind it. The top was long arm quilted by Sandy Lindal in an allover design. The angular shape of the quilting with the occasional spiral gives it a modern look.
The MQG challenge in 2011 was sponsored by Robert Kaufman. You can see many of the quilts from the challenge here. My quilt, Sunday Morning was created with the Robert Kaufman Kona Solids 5” charm packs. I added a creamy white solid to act as the sashing. This was the first time I sewed an entire quilt top using fabrics from the same manufacturer and I noticed a difference in the piecing. Since all the fabrics were the same, it sewed together beautifully – no fudging required!
My husband suggested the name – he said that the quilt looked like stained glass windows. I machine quilted this one and am not entirely happy with the look of the quilting. I would quilt the top differently if I were to remake this quilt.
How many of you use fabric challenges to try new techniques? In many ways it is liberating to work on a challenge quilt. There is less of an emotional attachment. This could be because the fabrics are donated and the quilt is not being created for a specific person. Fabric Challenge Quilts allow me the opportunity to stretch my technical and design skills without pressure. Some of my most interesting pieces of work come from answering the question: What if…?
Barb of ritewhileucan calls herself a paper junkie and stationary hoarder. She loves the act of letter writing and all the accessories that make this pleasurable. Barb’s blog is about her paper passion! She believes the act of letter writing allows us to connect to others in a more personal way. She hopes this act of writing will make us slow down and appreciate each moment in our busy lives.
Her recent post: A fabric postcard for a teacher talks about creating a special thank you note. Barb wrote a lovely piece describing the quilted postcards I’ve created for my son to give to his teacher. At the end of the school year, he gives this truly personal gift in appreciation of their year together.
This is a tradition I began when he was in junior kindergarten. He draws a picture reflecting what he loves about his teacher and classroom. I take that image and recreate it in a 4” x 6” fabric postcard. On the back, I record the name of the teacher, school, the year and a note with my son’s name, grade and description of the drawing.
This quilted postcard is made like a miniature quilt that is pieced and fused, layered with backing and batting then quilted. Once this ‘quilt’ top is completed, it is trimmed to size. A firm interfacing is fused to a piece of white fabric that is then stitched to form the back of the postcard.
The teachers treasure these miniature pieces of art. They are lovely mementos of your child and their year together.
If you are interested in creating a simpler version go to ritewhileucan and look at the step by step directions for making a fabric postcard on cardstock. This is a great way to send a personalized gift to someone you care!
The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild Sow’s Ear Challenge May 2014
In our May meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, Andrea Vander Kooij issued the: Sow’s Ear Challenge! Participants were asked to make a quilted bag using thrift store textiles.
Andrea loves old quilts and vintage textiles, but she noticed “when looking at some old quilts was how much of the fabric was, well, kind of ugly.” Yet despite this the quilts have a sense of design and beauty all their own – the Gees’ Bend quilts are an example of this.
She goes on to say that we are very caught up in the newest fabric lines and buy pretty fabrics so of course we create pretty quilts. This challenge is to take fabric that isn’t so pretty and create something of beauty. By pulling fabric out of a bag sight unseen we are giving up some control of the process. Also, working around these “limitations” we as artists are challenged to stretch out of our comfort zone to create something we like. Lastly, using scraps harkens back to the origins of quilting when our ancestors used up all their precious bits of fabric to create functional and beautiful items.
The rules of the challenge are:
Bring three thrifted items like pillowcases, shirts, curtains, skirts – anything that is woven and has some cotton fibers in it.
The three items are put into a bag and each person could then pull out 3 items out (although not their own!). We were allowed one “do over” if we really didn’t like one of the fabrics we picked.
These three pieces along with a solid from our stash is to be pieced and quilted into a bag design of our choice.
These are the three pieces that I will be working with! Two of them are pillowcases from the 70’s – groovy! The small blue print is my third selection! I did my one “do over” twice! I was resigned to a burgundy floral scrap as my final selection when Emily asked if I was interested in trading it. YES! Thanks Emily.
OMG! As I was poking around I came across a new line of fabric by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics called Dreamin’ Vintage. This collection includes the Lazy Daisy print that is similar to the vintage pillow case above. The adage is true – everything old is new again!