Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A fantastic tip from another blogger

As you may know, I'm "working on" a flying geese quilt.  In all honesty, I was, until I realized how many small squares I would have to draw diagonal lines on and then sew.  Line after line after line.  It became daunting so I kinda stepped away and started working on other things.  Until now.

A Little Bit Biased had a FANTASTIC tip she posted today.  Go, check it out.  You'll thank me.  Or her.  You should probably thank her.

Tuesday Tricks

Myself?  I'm considering setting up a shrine in her honor.  Should I ever get a sewing room that is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along goodness

Oh yes, I've made progress on this.  So much, that I have a name for it.  Yes, yes I do.  Here Comes the Rain.  Why?  Well, we'll start with it's giant rainbowness

Yup.  Rainbowness.

I wish I had a better picture of the binding fabric, but it's a raindrop print batik.

You see it right?  Pretty raindrops to go with a pretty rainbow.

The only issue I have is with the acid green backing.  Note to self, do not pick fabric when I'm in a hurry.  No matter how much I think they'll go with the rest of the fabric.  I do like it, it just might be a bit much in the end.  I suppose we'll see.  Worst case, I break it up with a pieced back, fold it up and pretend the back doesn't exist while admiring the rainbow goodness of the front, right?


Moving on, then.  More progress pictures.

And finally, cat tested, husband approved?

Well, husband approved remains to be seen.  I think he thinks it's a bit too much. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prairie Traditions

Prairie Traditions
Originally uploaded by wading moose
Posted for Quilt Story's fabric Tuesday.

Finally have pictures of my finished nine-patch which I've named Prairie Traditions thanks to the fabric contributions from my mother, grandmother, Mom's neighbor and Mom's neighbor's sister. And myself - I contributed a few of the nine-patches, all of the borders, binding and backing.

The whole thing started because a portion of my mother's stash looked like this:
That is just her scraps, fat quarters and a box of the fabric from my grandmother.  She has much more in the basement.  Every time I go home, it seems a tradition for her to haul out fabric, WIPs, magazines, patterns and all that good stuff.  I'm pretty sure she was trying desperately to get me back into quilting and it eventually worked.

She never seems to make much progress using up this fabric, so I took it upon myself to start cutting and pieceing nine-patches for a pattern out of one of her magazines.  This process took 9-10 years, I'm quite ashamed to say.  I will say that I've come by my fabric obsession quite honestly.

The back is flannel from my stash that I'd bought for another quilt top that has mysteriously gone missing through several moves.  It wasn't wide enough for a queen sized quilt, so I added a pieced strip down the middle.

The pieced strip is a chunk of leftover border that I suspect was meant to be used as the binding along with pieces of fat quarters I used in the quilt top.

I quilted it in the ditch as well as diagonally through the nine-patch blocks and the borders were quilted in the ditch with an additional line running down the middle of each border.

The binding is a yellow Debbie Mum print I had in my stash from a baby quilt I did years ago.

I really enjoyed piecing this quilt and now that my grandmother is gone, I love seeing the fabrics in there that I picked out of stash she'd given to my Mom.  The quilt also includes bits of table toppers my Mom has made for me over the years.  I get kind of sentimental about the fact that this quilt is now spread on my bed.  It seems appropriate that Mr.  Moose and I go to sleep every night under years of tradition passed down from generation to generation in my family as well as so many other families over the years.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along.

I am unreasonably excited that Rachel at P.S. I Quilt posted the instructions for week three of the Postage Stamp quilt along.  Un. Reasonably.

Seriously, yesterday I waited and waited and waited for her to post them.  But let's be honest - I was at work.  And I am today too.  So it isn't like I could get started right away.  To make things worse, Mr.  Moose and I were out shopping for a new mattress last night and didn't get home until 9:30.  No quilting would've been done anyway even if she had posted the instructions.

She posted them today.  I have 6 hours before I can even leave work.  Then probably at least an hour (I'm being hopeful here) on buses getting home.  Possibly longer.  So, now I'm a bit like this

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's black and white and red all over?

The current challenge on Paula's Sewing Challenges is to show something made in your favorite colour/colours for sewing or quilting.

It's actually something I don't sew with often because it just doesn't fit into my house right now.  Funny thing since Mr.  Moose and I are both fans of it.
It's black and white (with red, or yellow).  I do have a rail fence quilt that I'll be doing soon in black and white with red accents, and Mr. Moose LOVES black and white with yellow so maybe we should change our plans for the bedroom and go nuts with black and white!

Regardless, here are some things I've made in black and white (and a little stack of B&W fabric).

Pillowcase for our oldest nephew.
Fat quarters for the B & W rail fence.

Some bats from a halloween quilt

A bag I made that I now use as a lunch bag for work.  I have exras of all of these fabrics and they'll be showing up in the rail fence as well.

So, there you have it, my favorite colours.

But wait, there's more:

Ok.  He's not exactly black and white and that isn't exactly red, but darn it, isn't he cute?

And, gratuitous food shot
Chocolate is almost as good as black, right? (Photo from FineCooking.com.  My version of this didn't look quite so perfect)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I am a bad blogger (but a productive quilter)

This week saw the start of P.S. I Quilt's Postage Stamp Quilt Along.  Well, ok, it was week two with week one being the selection of fabric.  Here's my stack of strips for it
And I'm still excited about it.  Woo hoo.

I also got some work done on my scrappy nine-patch quilt.  I even gave it a name (good thing since I'm done).  Prairie Traditions.  I'll explain that in it's own post - once I get some pictures of the finished product.  This time it isn't for lack of trying or effort, it's for lack of days without snow.  We've had snow every day since a week ago last Friday.  It's predicted to continue until Tuesday.  That'll be about a week and a half of snow.  I'm tired of snow now, thanks.

But, I digress.  Here are some progress pictures of Prairie Traditions
And the backing with my fantastic assistant, Tucker.  Isn't he adorable?

It's been washed and is in use on our bed and I love it.  Which is pretty impressive for a quilt I took so long (cough cough 9 and half years cough) to finish.  Over those years I hated it.  A lot.  Now?  I'm a fan.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along (Week 2)

Well, it's week two of the quilt along and I'm still on track.  Last week we were tasked with buying the fabric.  This week, we grouped up the strips into groups of five, alternating lights and darks.  In total, we make sixteen strip sets. 

I did eight tonight and here they are.  Please excuse the bad lighting, it's dark out and I'm stuck for lighting.  I tried with the flash and without and you're stuck with the one WITH the flash.
I'm intentionally sewing these together in a rainbow.  My MIL has a fantastic chakra mat she uses for when she does healing sessions (don't ask) and it's a beautiful rainbow (although, decidedly less colourful than this one :)  I usually go for something much more random and I'm never quite satisfied with the results.  Also, the batiks are pretty bright so I thought this way the fabrics and colours may stand out more on their own rather than becoming lost in a sea of brights.

It's the first time I've used precuts and it's fun.  It's great to be able to just open the packages and start sewing.  Although, I'll admit I talked to myself A LOT while figuring out the strip layout and I think Mr.  Moose may be more than a little concerned about my sanity.  In fact, he asked a couple times if I was all right.

I can't wait to get the rest of the strips sewn together.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Plaid Scottie is having a giveaway

For 10,000 hits in 2010, the Plaid Scottie is having a fantastic givaway of fabric and books.  Head on over and take a look!

My first quilt along

I've decided to join in with Rachel at P.S. I Quilt and her Postage Stamp Quilt-Along.  It's the first quilt along for me and I'm kinda excited.  I picked up my fabric the other night.  The requirements were 1 print jelly roll, 1 solid jelly roll and then yardage for backing and binding.  Unfortunately, my selection of jelly rolls is pretty slim around here and I couldn't co-ordinate a print with a solid (yeah, it's that bad). 

I wandered through the store a bit and found my fabric in the batiks.  It's a little bright and WAY out of the box for me.  But, here we go...
My husband (who chose the fabrics for my only quilt finish) thinks it's great and he wasn't even there to help me pick.  The green will be the backing, the blue will be the binding.  I'm so excited I can't stop fondling the fabric.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season.  I did.  Mr. Moose and I went to Vegas for a week (including Christmas Day), spent some time with family and generally spent 3 weeks away from work relaxing and being overly indulgent with ourselves.

The end result is that I got back into the office today and actually forgot a coworker's name, had a looooong list of emails waiting for me and generally feel all warm and fuzzy to be back at work. 

I look back at 2010 and like a lot of people, I'm not sure where it went.  I am glad that I got back into quilting late in the year.  I also rediscovered a love of fabric and colour - which is a bit hazardous to the pocketbook.  For example, in Vegas, I made Mr. Moose take me to a quilt shop.  Yeah.  I know.  I was in Vegas and I went to a quilt shop.  You can stop laughing now.

Are you done yet?  If not, please, take a moment.  Then come back and witness the beauty of my purchase at said quilt shop.
The Robert Kaufman Who's hungry fat quarter stack.  It was so hard to walk into a store well stocked with things like layer cakes, jelly roles and fat quarter bundles and walk out with just one thing.  Just ONE.  But I did it (and those owls are SO cute).  I really wish that the shops here would carry more items like that because I'm so indecisive with fabric.  I have no idea how I'll use this, but I'm sure I'll find something.

I've also decided that I need to challenge myself a bit with my quilting.  I'm pretty boring when it comes to colours and fabrics.  And awfully traditional.  I need to be more adventurous.  I've looked at my year ahead and decided that "change" is a good way to describe what my goals are in all areas of my life, but especially quilting.

Some of the challenges I see for myself in the upcoming months?  Use different colours in my quilts.  Yellow, pink, purple and aqua are colours I tend to avoid.  I also tend to avoid bright, happy colours, sticking with more muted, traditional fabrics.   Perhaps something like this (available in March?  Really?  What a tease!):

Or this
Ahhh so many pretty colours to play with, so little time!