Getting into a quilting mode

I have been doing EVERYTHING but sewing. and that’s hard to do. You have to understand, my quilting table is in the middle of my apartment. I can’t miss it when I’m here. It’s convenient. In fact, I’m sitting on my couch right now, writing this post, and it’s less than 3 feet away.

My last quilt has been so well received that It’s left me a little intimidated with my past self. I’ve been searching for inspiration, I’ve sorted my stash into piles of great future quilts, and found about 6 UFOs in the process.

There’s a part of me that thinks, maybe I should just pick another town, and do another map quilt. That would be fun to do. But I have about 3 quilt piles for kids, and only one kid would like the map – he’s into cars and trucks, planes and trains…. 🙂

So I’m thinking to revisit the plaid quilt idea again. I loved that quilt, the block is not hard but requires a bit of patience, and is not conducive to chain piecing, unless I put it all together randomly, which I likely won’t do.

I’ve been reading a lot of design, home improvement and quilting magazines, and some books too. Lots of great ideas…. I was really impressed with this article (“Iowa Art quilters”), where about 50 quilters got together to create a wonderful series of quilts based on a photo of a barn.

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It’s an amazing idea, and one that brings a lot of creative minds together. I often feel isolated in my work, it makes me think I should find a guild to join. Problem is that I don’t know where I fit in. Am I an art quilter or a quilter? Or just a sewing enthusiast?

Switching gears a bit. I HAVE to share this book – Journey to Inspired Art Quilting – Jean Wells does a great job in presenting the mindset of an art quilter…. I really loved this book, and the quilts are just amazing!

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Well. I guess it’s time to get off the couch and get moving with the day. This has been a lazy Sunday morning, and I’m no closer to getting a project going. Hope your day is more productive! Happy Sunday!

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Home Sweet Home, Part 5

The quilt is done, and was a great surprise for Opa. I’ve never had a quilt travel abroad before, and this one has already been to some cool places. First to Venice, Italy, then to various towns in Austria…. apparently, “have quilt, will travel” 😉 We visited Annaberg, a mountain ski village with cooler weather, and Opa took the quilt for the trip, and loved it. It’s back in the Lake District now.

What I loved about making this quilt:
1. I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone, and explored chocolate, greens and purples.
2. The quilt is to scale! thanks Google Maps 🙂
3. I’m so glad I took the time to trace the entire quilt onto the white fabric. it made the reverse applique process much easier.
4. All the ppl that helped me make this happen – my partner, his brother and mum, my sister, mum and dad, Judy and her crew at Sew Sisters, the fellow quilter who gave my fabric selections a thumbs up when I was sitting on the floor in the Hamel’s booth. Thank you.

What I can do better next time:
1. Plan for more time. I was really rushed with the quilting and binding.
2. Add more detail. I had wanted to put in landmarks, stitch in the railroad, and add the river.
3. Use a plain fabric for the background (ie, the roads). The white fabric had a shiny white print on it, that sometimes made it difficult to see the grey chalk lines.
4. Draw the quilt lines. I simply cannot sew a straight line free hand, sigh.

We visited a grand house last weekend, and I got some great pictures there of the quilt…

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hanging out on a bench in the park.

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sunning on the front lawn of the castle.

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here’s a closer look at the map.

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I managed to applique a heart to show the location of the home.

Hence, the quilt is entitled “Home is where the Heart is” 🙂

I have to admit, it was unusually easy to give this quilt away. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love it very much, but the joy it has given my partner’s parents has made the effort worthwhile 🙂

Now, what shall I sew next?

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!

The Liebster Blog award? I accept!

ImageThis is such a cool idea. I got nominated for a Liebster blog award by Esther from ipatchandquilt a short while ago. Had no idea what this was. So I googled. Here are the rules that I’ve found at In a Room of My Own:

The Liebster Blog Award is an award for blogs with under 200 followers. Apparently Liebster is German for “beloved” and a blog nominated for this award is “worth watching”.

There are 5 rules attached to this award:

1. If you are nominated for the award and accept it, then you have won!

2. Link back to the person who presented the award to you. Answer their questions.

3. Nominate 5 blogs with less than 200 followers who you feel deserve the award. Ask them questions.

4. Let the nominees know by leaving a comment on their blog.

5. Attach the Liebster award badge to your site.

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I’ve found other blogs with slightly different rules, but I think the spirit of the award remains the same. I’m happy for my nomination, and want to include others! So here goes:

Answering Esthers Questions:

  • – What music do you put on when driving?
    • Anything that makes me forget that I’m stuck in Toronto traffic – if I can sing at the top of my lungs, it’s all good!
  • – What colour clothes do you always buy?
    • I’m drawn to blue. Lately though I’m loving black and white geometric print…
  • – What sound just “makes your day”?
    • birds tweeting on a lazy sunday afternoon
  • – What trip would you like to make whenever you had the chance?
    • I’d love to go to QuiltCon (really, really, really!)
  • – Which artist inspires you?

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My Nominations

  • A Thousand Quilted Cranes – a truly ambitious and inspirational undertaking. Join the journey.
  • Happy Turtle – you gotta check out her latest project, Eastern Sunrise – the colour palette is fabulous
  • Quilting Grandma – I’m so inspired by her journey into free motion quilting.
  • Through My Window – this mixed media art quilter explores nature in her expressive work
  • Buzy Day – I’ve just started folowing this lover of all things handmade!

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IMG_1605My Questions to the nominees

– What or Who inspires you lately?
– What’s your favourite song/movie/tv show?
– When the going gets tough, what do you do to keep going?
– Share a favourite quote or saying (it could be yours)
– Share a favourite picture

I’m lately inspired by colour palettes – paint swatches at the Home Depot, flower bouquets in the supermarket, magazine spreads – especially design and home decor. Somehow, I find myself dissecting what I’m seeing into colour swatches and trying to understand what makes each hue work together.
My favourite song (Crazy – Patsy Cline), movie (Up), TV Show (The Big Bang Theory). My favourite quote – “change is good – you go first”. My favourite picture… well any shot of a Caribbean beach is my favourite – the one I’m sharing is of Pigeon Point, Tobago 🙂

reblogging: Wish upon a star – part 2

Paper Piecing Pattern – Wish! by ester at ipatchandquilt.wordpress.com. I just downloaded it, and can’t wait to try it out! also my first attempt at reblogging – how cool is this?

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Maybe you remember that I had the privilege to test the alphabet pattern FONTASTIC by Kristy at Quietplay. A group of pattern testers had to try out a selection of words and than send the blocks to her so Kristy could make them part of two charity quilts.  I added a little seven pointed star to my package and told Kristy to do whatever she wanted with it. She has now finished the quilt top for the first of two quilts with the test blocks.  And my little star rocks on the bottom!

Have a look at these gorgeous photo’s from Kristy!

Did you also spot my WISH block on the top?

I had wanted to draw the paper piecing pattern for this seven pointed star myself, but had not gotten around to do it. (I had used a drawing I found online before.) And when Kristy  put my star…

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Inspiration 101

I love my iPhone. I can snap quick pix of anything that catches my attention… mostly, inspirations for quilts. Yes, I’m quilt crazy, and everyone is getting used to me snapping pix of sewer covers downtown in Toronto 🙂 These are couple of pictures that I found inspiring

1. brickwork on the ground near an apartment building on Byng Ave | 2. a First Nations inspired coaster in an airport gift shop in Vancouver | 3. Sewer cover on Yonge Street | 4. Curved wood ceiling in Union Station

Quote of the day – habits

the “habits” theme seems to be coming up in my life lately. time to make new habits, maybe?

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Aristotle (384-322);
philosopher