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.
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.
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
I am happy with the stitching. There is improvement with each quadrant I work on.
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.
These fat quarters were dyed using extra dyes left over from another project I worked on in the fall. It had been a while since the dyes were mixed and I wasn’t certain how the fabric would take the dye. I selected 6 pieces of PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric and put them in the dye baths with no expectations. These are the results.
My favourite piece is third from the left below. Both red and yellow dye were added to the container. The result is a watermelon pink with some yellow areas. The biggest surprise from the dye bath is the piece on the left. In the container it was a deep intense blue, after rinsing out the excess dye, the blue looks like a patch of frozen ice.
I also dyed a piece of cheesecloth and am pleased with the colour and look of it. There is a lovely variation in the colour and the texture is scrumptious too!
I have a piece of silk velvet that is waiting to be dyed. I used hand dyed velvet, that I purchased, in the Icterine series and love the texture it gives to a piece. I haven’t decided what colour I want my velvet to be yet! What types of fabric have you tried dyeing?
The show is now on the road and the travel schedule is available. It’s Time For Colour travelling show will be in Southern Ontario in April 2015. I am looking forward to seeing the other beautiful quilts in person. Keep checking the travel schedule for updates and additions. There are still a few quilts available but I suspect they will be snapped up quickly. If there is one you love, don’t hesitate – the proceeds are going to a great cause!
This is the improvisationally pieced top I created using an embroidered and beaded sample I made years ago. In an earlier post I showed some of the fabrics I pulled. You can see below that not all the scraps made it into the top. I love having a large selection of fabric to choose from. I didn’t sketch out the top, but I knew that I wanted to have the sample in the lower left corner and the blues at the top.
I began hand quilting the top without putting the quilt in a frame. It’s a small piece and I like the softness and texture that the hand quilting gives to a quilt.
Above is a small detail and just the beginning of the quilting and beading process. I have used hand dyed perle cotton thread and added 3 glass beads. I plan on using more beads on the top. I collected up a variety of items that I might incorporate, as well as threads in different weights. I love having a small project I can work on while still spending time with the family. Do you quilt or work on your projects while spending time with your family?
As I am finishing up a project I will take the larger pieces left over, usually less than a quarter of a yard, and cut them into then largest size squares or strips possible. These all go into plastic scrap booking containers. I will go through these boxes (yes, I have more than one!) when I need a small amount of a certain colour, but generally, these scraps sit in their boxes for long periods of time.
I started an improvised quilt top in the fall, which generated a fair bit of scraps. I loved the look of the colours and patterns together. So, I decided to use these scraps to create paper-pieced rectangles.
I received a calendar in 2011 that was printed with a quilting pattern-a-day. I kept the calendar even though I knew I would never make any of the quilts. Each piece of paper is 6 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches. This was a good size to use up the scraps I was generating.
I like using the paper-piecing process when working with scraps. Since many of the scraps are not on grain, using the paper stabilizes the block. The paper stays in the block until I have either stitched it to a piece that is on the straight of grain or into a complete top.
The improvisationally pieced quilt top that started this process is now completed. It actually turned into 2 finished quilts. I have used all the calendar pages up to February 21st! and don’t have any scraps to deal with! I plan on using up more of the calendar for the scraps generated from my next quilting project.
I don’t know how I will join these rectangular blocks together yet. Maybe with sashing, or joined together. I will let them sit for a while.
Wishing you and your families a very Happy New Year for 2015!
Even though I have a couple of deadlines looming, Christmas presents to wrap, baking and cleaning, I began another project! This small wall hanging will be the second in a series using some embroidered and beaded samples that I created a many years ago.
I’ve pulled some fabrics that I used in the previous wall hanging and added more. I will be improvisationally piecing the top.
I plan on hand quilting with hand dyed perle cotton, adding more beads and using some beautiful silk ribbon created from recycled saris. I want to have it pieced before Christmas so that I have a project I can pick up and work on while still hanging out with the family.
These half square triangles were pieced together in a workshop I took last year. The instructor created beautiful scrap style quilts and taught us her quilting philosophy. She immediately cuts leftover fabric from her current project into various sizes of squares and strips. Similar shapes and sizes are stored together. When she wants to make another quilt, she just goes to the container with the size of scraps she needs and can start piecing immediately.
After that workshop, I went home and spent an entire afternoon cutting my scraps and organizing them.
This placemat was straight line quilted with a walking foot.
Using the same cotton with circles, makes the block disappear. I practiced free motion quilting on this mat.
I like how the the quilting is the focus in this pink placemat.
This last one was an attempt to make a placemat that wasn’t too girly! I free motion quilted columns of leaves.
I didn’t use the purple half square triangles because they were too long and for the size of placemat I wanted to make. So I will leave them for another project.
Meals on Wheels will give these placemats to their clients with their Holiday meal.
QUILTsocial is a new Canadian eZine for all of us obsessed with quilting. It’s a blog, a weekly bulletin, a monthly newsletter, and a quarterly e-magazine, from the publishers of Needle Pulling Thread.
The editor, Carla, asks: When does an obsession become therapy? If quilting is one of the releases we have from the stresses of life, it’s therapeutic isn’t it? Doing something creative takes us away from our ourselves and let’s us concentrate our energies into something we enjoy and gives us pleasure.
QUILTsocialmagazine is for all levels of quilters, with patterns, tutorials, and showcasing new techniques. Regular contributors as well as guest bloggers will share their knowledge and love of quilting.
I have already used the tutorial by Elaine Theriault: Crazy about zippered pouches to create a couple of bags for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild pouch swap. It’s a three-way across Canada swap with the Victoria and Maritime Modern Quilt Guilds. I will also be using Jennifer Houlden’s On-the-Go place-mat tutorial to create some placemats for the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild Christmas outreach project for Meals on Wheels.
I just received these beautiful greeting cards with the image of my “It’s Time for Colour” quilt donation – Chrysalis Awakening. Every quilt has been photographed and the images put onto a set of wonderful greeting cards.
Some of the quilts have been purchased and these one-of-a-kind art quilts will find their way to their new owners next year. So, if the piece you love has been sold, you can still purchase the greeting card. Contact Laine Canivet at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. These blank cards make great gifts!