Friday, August 31, 2018


This is Terrace, a free pattern by Violet Craft on the Robert Kaufman site.  Some members of the Calgary Modern Quilt guild decided to make this quilt to 1) practice sewing curves and 2) to do a group entry into Calgary's 2019 Heritage Park Festival of Quilts.

Oddly, I made this quilt virtually exactly as the pattern - even the colours are virtually the same.  That was because one of our LQS had a very good sale on solids and I figured, why not?  Because it is a modern quilt, I decided to quilt it mostly with rulers to maintain the geometric essence of the quilt.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jazz Hound and Lava Lamp

I usually start off with the finished quilt but in this post wanted to show how I quilted two quilts with one load (for beginner quilters - I know the more experienced quilters will have this well in hand).

I had a piece of wide backing - but it still wouldn't be wide enough for two quilts both about 5' wide so I added another 18" or so on to one end (it's what I had left) - more would have been better so I stitched my leader on to the top end so I could start about an inch down from the top of the backing.  Above is the hounds-tooth quilt finished to the bottom of the quilt.

Instead of taking the finished quilt off the frame, I loaded the second quilt - about an inch below the first quilt.

Then I just kept on quilting until I finished the second quilt and took both quilts off the frame, trimmed, bound (machine bound! something I don't usually do - but for these ones, I didn't want to spend a lot of time - wanted to get them done!) and labeled - done!  Yay!

I started this one as a class demo.  I'm in a UFO finishing frenzy so finished piecing it a few weeks ago and put it in the "to be quilted box".  I grabbed it a few days ago to quilt.  I'm calling it Jazz Hound. 

It's quilted with straight lines spaced at 1/2".  I didn't mark, just used the markings on my ruler.  Horizontal in one set of blocks, vertical in the other - white or coloured depending on the viewing direction.

This is the second quilt - I'm calling it Lava Lamp.  It's a pattern called Whisper by Toby Lischko.  I had a lot of fabric left from the Bethlehem Star quilt I made a couple of weeks ago so wanted to use it up.  This was my attempt at that - but I still have a fair bit of it left!  I'll have to think of something else.  😎

I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this one but I did want the wavy shapes to be emphasized.  I stitched the ditch between the "white" and coloured fabrics.  Then in the "white", I did wavy lines at about 1/2" intervals - maybe a bit more.  Then in the coloured parts I did very large pebbles - sort of like lava lamp bubbles.  😎  Piano key lines in the border.  Nothing measured - I just stitched in the stripes.

For both quilts I used yellow Masterquilter thread by Wonderfil.  I haven't used Masterquilter much because I have tons of Glide but since both of these will be gifted as "utility" quilts, I thought it was a good opportunity to try out this thread.  It runs well in my machine so I would give it a thumbs up.  The thing about Masterquilter is that there is a limited number of colours and it's a matte finish.  Neither of these things is a problem as long as you can find a colour that works and don't mind the matte finish.  I like Glide because it has a shiny finish, but that's just my personal preference.  And there are many more colours to choose from.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Art Deco Meets Dapper

Another Art Deco quilt.  This one features Moda's Dapper fabric designed by Luke Haynes.  Joe and I went on a little road trip to do some birding (Joe) and explore some country quilt stores (me).  We stopped in at The What Not Shop in Forestberg,  Alberta.  This is one of those charming quilt shops that is in the basement of the owner's home.  June was there and I really enjoyed chatting with her.  Her store is amazing - tons of really great fabrics.  I bought some Tula Pink and this Dapper fabric (and I think one or two others!).  I needed to make another sample for Art Deco and Dapper seemed like a  perfect choice!   June has asked me to teach Art Deco on Sep 29 in her store so if you're in the area and want a fun day - please join us!!!!

It doesn't show in the pix, but the blue is actually metallic so sparkles in the right light.  Obviously this is not the right light!

I've used the same quilting on each of the three Art Deco quilts I've done.  So it is repeatable - the diagram is in the pattern and there is a tutorial with pix on the Art Deco page (tab at top of this page).  However, on this one, I forgot to "frame" the large motifs in the corners.  I noticed this after I had the first quadrant all done but at that point I wasn't going to rip it all out - so, they all went in with no framing.  I like it better with the framing as the motif pops.  Here, not so much, even though I did the motif in a different colour thread (neon blue Fabulux).

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bethlehem Star

Last year a made a quilt for Joe's nephew and his wife.  Pat commented that they argue over who gets to use it so I thought I'd make them another one.  I don't want to be responsible for family fights!  😎

I'm still chipping away at my stash so this was an excuse to use a group of fabric that I like but just hadn't found a good project for.  It's mostly flowers so I decided on the Bethlehem Star block, which I've seen used in other quilts and liked - it sort of looks like a flower.  I don't often do standard block quilts, so this is a bit of a change for me.  I get bored making the same block over and over again!  

I drafted this out as a 12" block, cut most of the white bits and a lot of coloured bits then made the first block.  It turns out they take well over an hour to make - at least for me - maybe I'm slow.  But they are fussy.  I thought if I hadn't cut so much out, I would have reprinted in a larger size (it's easy to do with EQ8).  But I had so much cut I just kept making them.  I put a 1 1/2" sashing between the blocks and around the outside but I wanted it a bit bigger so added a border rather than make any more blocks  - 20 was enough!

In the end, I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I did a facing instead of binding on this quilt and I really like the way it looks.  I've done a few minis with facing just for practice and I think I've "got it" now!  I did this one simply because I didn't have a suitable binding fabric.  I actually was going to use the striped fabric for binding but decided to make the quilt bigger so used it as a border instead (a really wide binding!  😎).  I used the backing fabric for the facing.

In the beginning.... there were blocks.

And then there were more blocks....
The blocks consist of HSTs, FGs, squares and a "house" block (square with two corners cut off).  I used three Studio 180 tools - the Tucker Trimmer to do the HSTs, the Wing Clipper for the FGs and Corner Pop for the houses.  They produce really nice blocks quite easily.  (I'm not on the payroll, but like the product, I have it, so use it.)

I  took this pix (above) once I hit the bottom row after stitching-in-the-ditch  - I went around all the blocks between colour and white - and between the border and white using Wonderfil Decobob thread.

Above, ditching is complete.  So, time to start actual quilting (below).  I switched out to Glide thread.

Between the "flowers" this secondary design element emerged.  I didn't know how I wanted to quilt it.  In fact, the only thing I knew when I loaded it was that I wanted the horizontal and vertical lines between the "flowers".  Didn't know how I was going to quilt the flowers or this open area.  (If I waited until I knew how I would quilt a quilt before I put it on the frame, I'd never get any quilts quilted!)  I did know I wanted to "frame" it so it would stand out as a separate design element.  As I went across this first row doing the vertical/horizontal lines, I drew out some design ideas for the secondary space using my air erase purple pen.  The one above is a "no". (I don't always do it this way - sometimes I sketch on paper - sometimes I just start quilting.)

This one (above) - also a "no" - looks too much like a military medal - don't want that.

Above - "maybe".  In the end - this is  the one I went with - you'll see it stitched out below.

Above - "Maybe"

I actually stitched this one out - that's when I didn't like it.  I think the idea is a good one but I would want to make a template and carefully stitch it so it's all  as "perfect" as I can get it and I didn't want to take that time.  Not for this quilt.  So I ripped it out.  You'll see the one I went with stitched out below.

Here is a "frame" for the secondary design.

More quilting and I'm back to the top (ditched top to bottom and rather than roll back up, simply started quilting from the bottom and worked back up to the top).

Here we are with a stitched out secondary design.  I like it.  I used my trusty circle rulers - very fast, everything is "perfect" - symmetrical.  Just the way I wanted it to be.

This is what went into the partial secondary spaces along the border.

And I had to work out how to stitch the flowers.  This is what I settled on - I opted not to quilt the printed "house" sections.  I used my large "boomerang" ruler to do the centres.  I wanted a smooth curve, but it had to be relatively flat.  Using a section of this ruler worked out well.

This will be gifted in September.