My door prize was a Hobbs Tuscany Collection Quilt Batt. This batt is a blend of cotton and wool. I was excited because I had wanted to try quilting with a wool batt and now I have the opportunity to try it out! Also included were a package of ColorWorks Microchips by Northcott Fabrics and a couple of fat quaters that coordinate with the Color Works soids.
The weekend ended with a few projects completed and many begun. New friendships were formed and the desire to repeat this experience again!
Thanks to Kristyn of the London Modern Quilt Guild and Becky and Andrea of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild for organizing and hosting this great quilting retreat. To see more photos of the event check out #swomodquiltretreat2016.
I have a fabric challenge that I signed up for and am committed to having a finished piece by the end of November. I had a couple of ideas for the quilt but I haven’t narrowed down the concept so that I can begin.
One of my ideas is to use the log cabin block, another is to base the quilt on architecture.
Looking back at some photos taken on vacation last year may provide the spark that I need.
Tumbling blocks, rail fence, hexagons, attic windows, these are just a few of the patterns I see.
Inspiration is all around us, we just have to look for it.
The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild doesn’t meet during the summer months, but to keep us active our Presidents have organized a Postcard Swap. Interested members of the guild have signed up to make and receive up to three postcards. This is a casual no stress activity with no themes or restrictions, we could do whatever made us happy. I signed up to make three postcards and will receive three in return.
The postcards only need to be received before August 31st and the participants are asked to bring in the postcards they will receive to the meeting in September.
Once the pieces were fused, I began to add detail with embroidery. I enjoyed this part of the process much more than I expected to. I used embroidery floss and perle cotton, including some I hand dyed! To finish this little flower garden, I embroidered my initials, added a tiny bumble bee and satin stitched the edges with a variegated thread.
I will be posting photos of the other two postcards I made for the swap in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
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…?