Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cactus Star

This gorgeous wall hanging belongs to Bev. The pattern is called Cactus Star and it comes from the Mar/April 2013 edition of McCalls Quilting Magazine.  (You can find the foundation piecing template here.)  The original layout comes out at 60" x 60" and that was a little too big for Bev's house so she altered the layout to make it a more manageable 48" x 48".

The stars were quilted very similar to the original in the magazine. The background is where I had to get more creative to figure out how to handle all the different shapes.  A mix of lines and pebbles and curls and some open areas seemed to be the answer.

These open spaces in the corner had me stumped for the longest time.  I decided to take a cue from the border fabric that I new Bev loved.

I few chalk markings to give me some boundaries.

The result:

One of my all time favorite borders - the curved echo frames the piece nicely.

And a few more pictures, just because I can!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Celtic Illusions

This wall hanging belongs to Trina.  Trina and I met when we both lived in Flin Flon, she now lives in Kentucky, but made this at a class when she was living in Austria!  The pattern is called Celtic Illusions by Karen Combs.    

I was able to catch these photos in the last few moments of sunlight yesterday afternoon.  Trina and I decided on some non traditional feathers with bubbles in the plumes to play off the bubbles in the background fabric.  I changed up the spine a little bit in the outer border just to keep things interesting.

 In the end I opted to only stitch in the ditch around the brown.  This pattern goes together in a neat way, but the width of the brown pieces is not consistent - you don't see this when looking at the knot but I didn't want to spoil the illusion.

 Some "u-turns" on a few of the inner sections added a nice balance.

 I am fairly pleased with the results of my snow dyeing.  I was expecting a little different result from the black, and I thought some of the pink would have been more prominent,  but I think I can work with it. When I was picking my colors and adding the dye I was thinking stormy sky and blooming canola fields.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rail Fence Runner and Some Snow Dyeing

Trina sent this lovely runner.   The inner border is a flange, so to keep it free we decided on a separate border with a free hand "swirly tails" allover in the center.  A denim blue Magnifico thread and Quilters Dream Blend Batting were used.

Since we got some fresh snow yesterday I decided it was time to do some snow dyeing again.  I am hoping to create the background for an art quilt to fit the theme "Prairie Sounds".  Pieces have to be long and narrow.  I am doing two, hoping that one will be perfect, but in reality I am expecting to do some piecing to get the effect I am looking for. The G&S Dyes I used were: Cotton Black, Hot Pink, Royal Blue, Bright Yellow, Navy.

Here is my process in pictures.

 Only time will tell the results of this experiment!  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


This lovely quilt belongs to Dorothy.  It is made from a pattern by Maple Island Quilts called "BQ".  It is a great way to use large scale prints. When I brought this quilt upstairs for its photo shoot I was amazed at how great it looked in my living room - great with my purple wall, and on my couch too!

 Dorothy requested a panto for this quilt and she left it up to her friend Sherry and I to decide which one.  We went with "Fascination".  It shows nicely on the back here.

The hardest part of this quilt was deciding on a thread color.  I didn't want to take away from the prints or the beige and black framing.  Too light a color jumps out on the black and disappears in the beige, too dark a color looks messy on the lights.  I wanted a color thread was present on all the fabrics, but that didn't call attention to itself.  The winner was this green. Probably one of the "ugliest on the spool" colors I own (So Fine #489), but it fit the bill.  When you are unsure give an ugly green a try, the results can be amazing!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Productive Weekend

We had a guild UFO day this weekend and I got a really good start on a new quilt project.  I purchased this fabric after our trip to Yellowstone this summer and wanted to get into a project before it got stale. I didn't have a plan when I purchased the fabric, so some of the designing was to successfully use what I bought.

 I did all my cutting at home and this was my pile to take to the sewing day.

I got 196 HST sewn and cut apart.  I saved the pressing and trimming for home as my setup here is much more ergonomic!    "Just keep trimming, just keep trimming!" The trimming takes a little extra time, but I feel it is very worthwhile as the rest of the piecing will be so much easier.

I got all these sections made.  They were the ones that required that most counting and attention. All in all I will need almost 400 of those triangle in a square sections!

And a peak at my basket afterwards.  A lot less, but as you can see by this stack of center triangles, there are still quite a few of those triangle in a square units to make!  

While I was happily sewing away, Nolan tackled the flooring in the back landing and the basement stairs.  We removed the carpeting more than 2 years ago so this is really nice to see coming together.  Not done yet, but getting there!

And we had time for a ski in Riding Mountain National Park.  We were a little frosty by the end, but it was just lovely. Hope you had a good weekend too!