(not so) Totally Turquoise Quilt, Part 4

I managed to get a LOT of work done on this quilt…. I pieced the strips together, then cut new strips on the diagonal. It was a bit finicky to join the shorter lengths, but I managed to get it all done.

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Of course, I needed a border. Here’s what I settled on… mostly because I had sufficient fabric. But then I changed my mind and reserved the middle turquoise strips off the border instead.

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I have put the last of my sunflower fabric into the quilt back, and added blue and turquoise strips to complete it. Most of this fabric is leftover from the Bright and Bubbly quilt… that’s a happy quilt, so this will be also :-)
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And yes, I added *another* border to the quilt top! This time, I used the orange version of the sunflower fabric. Love it!
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I’m still too chicken to try free motion, but I love the effect of wavy lines. I found a softly undulating wave stitch on my machine that gave a great effect. I quilted horizontal and vertical wavy lines, fairly close together. The next few shots show the stitching, and the quilted back and front, so hopefully you can see the quilting!
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Adding the border was a quick affair using a darker turquoise.. I had a tonne of leftover 2.5″ strips in this colour. I must be getting better at binding, it all got done in a couple of hours. I think that stitching along the edge before binding really helps to make the quilt edges easier to handle.

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So now to wash and de fuzz, and it’s ready for delivery!

Totally Turquoise Quilt, Part 3

sigh. not enough turquoise for my totally turquoise quilt.

I sorted out some stacks for the quilt. Along with the turquoise stack, I decided to mix some blue, green, pink and orange into the quilt… so maybe this quilt will be not *totally* turquoise (sheepish grin). And I broke into a jelly roll of Kona pastels, I’ve been dying to use this precut. After some debate, I made my choices… including a fresh and sweet birdie print, which reminds me of candy crush striped candies.

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I’m cutting strips zealously, and piecing quickly with my trusty Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875… not much time left before the baby’s arrival!

Totally Turquoise Quilt, Part 2

Coming up with an idea for a new quilt is sometimes harder than sewing the quilt. Sometimes I comb through magazines and quilt books for inspiration, browse Pinterest for colour combinations or just doodle in my notebook.

For Christmas, I got an Adonit Jot Script stylus for my iPad. This one is Bluetooth ready, and can be used with a multitude of apps, including PenUltimate. I love it. This app allows me to create idea books, write or draw with the stylus, and import pictures or saved drawings from other apps. No more printing of images, or photocopying, or tearing pages out of catalogues!! And I can take snapshots (with my iPad) of any drawings I make, and import them into my e-book immediately – instant gratification. Finally, a way to merge my paper world with my paperless world, without lugging a binder of materials and my iPad around.

I created my notebook in Penultimate, and started brainstorming. I love mind maps, so I started drawing one around “things my cousin loves”. It’s so cool how quickly this tool helps you visualize your thoughts. I started researching the different branches, adding images, notes and pictures. My sister suggested including birds (no surprise here). My aunt reminded me of my cousin’s addiction to candy crush. I checked out dozens of home decor magazines from the library, and chevrons kept popping out of me… a chevron/candy crush/love bird inspired quilt in turquoise? Yikes. Sounds scary.

I decided to draw for a bit, nesting squares within squares. Maybe a log cabin quilt? I chopped the first batch of squares-in-squares, and rotated the pieces until I had a couple of designs.

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I really liked both of these, but I kept thinking of deconstructed chevrons. I pasted both samples into my drawing book for another project…. another time.

I was flipping through a sewing magazine a few days later, and came across a black and white pillow, patch worked from diagonal strips… the diagonal pieces were sewn together to mimic a zig zag motif, but rather haphazardly… a deconstructed chevron of sorts. I liked it!

So I started doodling. I covered a section of paper with long strips of colour. then I cut the whole thing on the diagonal, creating uneven lengths and widths. Within a few minutes I had glued the strips and cut blocks that I could play with….

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Et voila! A deconstructed chevron quilt is born. Now, where’s that stash of fabric I was collecting for this project?

Totally Turquoise Quilt, part 1

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When my cousin got married, she wore an exquisite sari in turquoise. Unusual, since most brides wear red saris, but it suited her perfectly. She looked radiant. The pictures above show close-ups of her sari (the difference in colour is due to lighting indoors vs outdoors).

Turquoise stones are full of interesting colour – shades ranging from almost green to almost blue.

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I love the pattern in these stones – makes me think of rippling water, tropical shores, views from glass bottomed boats on Caribbean reefs.

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I decided to google turquoise – tonnes of inspiring photos. According to Wikipedia, turquoise stones range from white to blue to green, depending on the chemical composition. The most desired stones tend towards robin’s egg blue. Turquoise (the color) is often synonymous with aqua or teal, although teal is greener and darker.

My cousin announced she’s pregnant…. hmm, is there a turquoise quilt idea milling around in my head, waiting to be made? I’ve combed my stash, and settled on 3 gorgeous turquoise shades – a robin’s egg blue, a deeper french blue, a bright aqua. I also pulled out some sunflower prints leftover from the bright and bubbly quilt – blues and greens on sky blue and orange backgrounds… now to find a theme, and figure out some contrasting colours – turquoise works well with orange, deep purple, and pink. Orange, check. Maybe one other colour?

What I’m Reading Now

I joined the Toronto Public Library. It occurred to me that after all the taxes I pay, I should use more of the public amenities that the good city provides. That’s what I told the librarian, anyway.

Truth is, I heard there were audio books and e-books and e-zines in the library now. Easily accessible. There were apps I could download to support my reading addiction. And. Its. All. Free. For the hard working Canadian tax payer, this is welcome news.

So I’m downloading e-books as planned. And I’m loving it. But I also discovered something else. When I went to the library to sign up for membership, I just had to wander over to the Quilting section. I was expecting a few dusty, musty smelling books from the seventies, but I was pleasantly surprised, as there are a lot of recent titles! I decided to borrow 3 books (the conventional way) – 3 titles I would have never considered buying. I’m glad I did.

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Twelve by Twelve – the International Art Quilt Challenge: this is a great read. It covers the results of a challenge undertaken by an international group of 12 quilters. Together, they came up with 12 themes, and each month interpreted those themes into a 12″x12″ quilt. The themes were wide ranging, and beautifully transformed. Each chapter covers a feature quilt and also includes excerpts from each of the quilters – they talk about inspiration, technique, colour, feeling, process…  I fell in love with one of the Community themed quilts by Kirsten Duncan, called “Brunswick Street”. I recommend this for art quilters and traditional quilters… the works are stunning and each page draws you in further. 
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Masters: Art Quilts – Major Works by Leading Artists: very inspiring. This is a very thick, full colour tome of works by some of the major players in the art quilting world. Every page was a delight, and I found myself admiring several of the pieces that were shown. This was one of my favourites – After the Rain by Ita Ziv. I love the colour and movement in her work (red, orange, yellow, green – a favourite combo).

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Jelly Roll Dreams – compiled by Pam and Nicky Lintott: I have acquired a few jelly rolls during my shopping trips, and have no idea what to do with them. Thanks to this book, I now have a Sense of Direction :-)

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What HAVE I been up to lately?

2013 passed by in a blur. Where did the time go?

  • I started the year by moving into to a new role at my company, and got happy and busy at work.
  • I took a short but very wonderful trip to Tobago
  • I went to the Creative Festival in the spring
  • I finished the phoenix quilt
  • I made myself a shoe bag for my tango shoes. Then I went and quit tango…
  • I started and abandoned several projects
  • I went on holiday to Vienna
  • I finished the madras plaid quilt
  • I went up to the cottage
  • I finished a red, blue, yellow and green batik bird hut for Pickle and Bubbles (and forgot to blog about it), and also 2 IKEA striped huts
  • I did a lot of fabric shopping. A lot. A whole helluva lot of shopping. Sooo much that I decided to skip the Creative Festival in the Fall (too much temptation).
  • I perfected Jamie Oliver’s recipe for sticky toffee pudding. I love you Jamie, but my version of your pudding is better, mate! :-)
  • I tried cross country skiing. And liked it.

For 2014, I have resolved to stop buying fabric. I’ve run out of places to stash it, and I might even have to put some of it up on eBay (noooooooo!). Or start sewing more (I know I can, I know I can!). BTW, in case you’re not sure about your level of addiction… you know things are bad when most of your blogging involves copious references to shopping trips, you used the word “shopaholic” too often, and you ensure that trips out of town include browsing in foreign fabric stores….

Update: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Cannot believe it’s Feb 2014 already. Where does the time go? I’m still slowly working on my inset square blocks. I’m surprised at how much I love the soft palette of pinks, greens, greys, purples, blues… creating new combinations is so much fun.

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On the other hand, cutting all those squares and strips is not so much fun. I cut a huge batch of strips from all the fabrics, and then got started. Because I only have a small table for sewing, I have to clear off everything when I want to cut, so it makes sense to cut the strips, then sew. Unfortunately, I’m at the point where I’m running out of white strips, so I guess I will have to clear the table again. Sigh.

I’m starting to rethink the pattern for this. Originally I was going to do 60 blocks, but maybe…. ? I’m only at 22 completed blocks, and 60 seems daunting at this point. Maybe I could use another setting (alternate large white squares with the blocks)? I’ll have to go back to EQ7 and figure it out…. stay tuned.

Pink (and blue and green and purple) Square Blocks….

yep, it’s been a while. I’ve been so super busy at work that everything has been put on hold. I managed to put together a few more blocks, and last night, did another batch of 2.5″ and 1.5″ strips so I can be ready for more piecing when I have a few minutes here and there.

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I’m loving this soft and pretty palette. I’m using Kona Snow, as the other whites were either too yellow or too stark white for the fabrics.

(Pink) Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Now that the madras plaid quilt is gone, I felt the need to comb through my very extensive stash. I’ve been collecting fabric for a very special quilt for about 18 months now. These are soft, delicate prints in pastel shades that are not quite my normal quirky, bright palette of colours.

IMG_2396But change is good, right? My last two purchases have gotten me to a point where I think I have enough to get a quilt going. I recently acquired the last few yards of a gorgeous soft pink and white diamond pattern from Michael Miller line  (“textured basics” by Patty Young). I’ve decided to use this in the backing, as it’s beautifully modern, and will offset whatever quilt top I end up creating. IMG_2387

After a visit to 3 Gals and a Quilt Shop in Huntsville, ON, a few weekends ago, I also picked up some delicate fat quarters in dark green, plum, lavender and blue-grey…. from Windham Fabrics and Henry Glass and Co. I also have prints from Northcott, Robert Kaufman, Free Spirit, Maywood Studios, as well as Kona Solids and textured basics from Northcott and Free Spirit.

I’ve gone ahead and separate the piles into 4 groups – whites, pinks, green/blues and neutrals… now to figure out a quilt pattern!

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4 quilts under 1 roof

IMG_2367 It’s a rare thing to have one of my quilts nearby, let alone four! The kids were over one weekend, and brought their quilts for their visiting grandparents to see. I had just finished the madras plaid quilt for my niece, and my first quilt resides here… so i took an opportunity to snap a quick shot of all 4 on the windowsill. From left to right – madras plaid quilt, suburban dis”track”tion quilt, phoenix quilt, “have mercy on me” quilt :-)