June 13, 2018

Splendid Sampler II Block 1

Hey everyone, as mentioned in Tuesday's post and the Asteroid post Splendid Sampler has begun. If you participated in the first Splendid Sampler of 100 blocks you are in for another awesome treat of another 100 blocks. Book 2 can be preordered from amazon here or Martingale here.
So quilt along with us every Thursday on the Splendid Sampler facebook page. Here is my rendition of the first block of 20 free blocks, Quilt Market, by Alex Veronelli.

The quilt blocks for my quilt, called SUNNY SIDE UP, plated or in the pan, has been so fun. I've been collecting yellow fat eighths and quarters for 4 years to make a quilt from the yellow side of the colour wheel, ie from red yellow to yellow with underlying green. 

What better way than to participate in a quilt along. For those of you use to making the 6" blocks in the 150 Canadian Women program, these are less intense. They are pieced, appliqued (mine by machine), hand embroidered (again mine freehand by machine - like quilting) and paper pieced. As usual I got behind but it took me no time to get caught up. Join us on the Splendid Sampler facebook page.

Remember to have fun and post your blocks.
I'll be posting mine on Next Step Quilt Designs facebook page as well and giving some tips that I did on mine.

June 11, 2018

Spring Flowers Space 8

Rain rain please stay another day. Even though we had at least 6 feet of snow this winter, it is so dry. You can hear the crispy field and mountain grasses under foot. This year, our snow was what you call light and fluffy, not the heavy wet. A foot of the light snow is only 1" rain. This was all great but when it disappeared it either evaporated with the wind or went into the rivers instead of soaking into the ground because one day it was winter the next day was summer. So Spring is now happening in the garden. 

Spring is also happening in the sewing room. Way back we mentioned that I have a block in the Splendid Sampler II. Only 3 more sleeps before the program begins June 14, 2018. As with the Splendid Sampler I the blocks run the whole gamut: piecing, applique, paper piecing, embroidery. This week I've been working on the upcoming blocks. Most of them have been applique, a nemesis of mine. But like the 150 Canadian Women quilt perseverance and determination and small surprises are moving me along. I have been experimenting with the stitches on my machine. Got tired of doing the blanket stitch and found out that the daisy stitch was excellent for the small piece. Plus, all the stitching could be done in one round. Woohoo!

Another piece was to be hand embroidered. Instead it was done freehand, just like quilting it, using Wonderfil's Frutti, variegated, in a 90/14 needle and voila, hand embroidery on the machine. Woohoo again! The stems and leaves are satin stitched with Konfetti. 

This week our Space program travels around the Comets. It was hairy a few times when trying to miss the comet tails. Whew, we made it.

Winning can sometimes be as simple as completing one seam.


June 4, 2018

Leaders and Enders

Two weekends, Two awesome quilt shows.
Am loving textured backgrounds and the large dots with the giraffes. 

Kathryn and I happened to see each other at this scrappy quilt made of 2" log cabin blocks. We were talking about how long that it would take to make. I mentioned that this would make a great leader and ender quilt. A What? A Leader and Ender. 

Normally I use a Thread Dog. What? A thread dog. It is a piece of fabric that is a 1.5" to 2" wide piece of scrap fabric folded in half. The length can be any size. Instead of having threads at the beginning of your chain piecing or any piecing, you stitch across the width of the thread dog. This helps prevent the threads from balling up at the beginning of the stitching as well as the fabric getting caught in the feed dogs. When you are finished the stitching, cut the thread dog off from the beginning, leader, and stitch across it, ender, then cut the pieced pieces off.  

So, instead of using the Thread Dog you can stitch together pieces for another quilt that are small, mindless and tedious to make, ie 4-patch units, tumbler blocks, flying geese, even these little log cabins. I have 160 small flying geese to make and this is the perfect way to get them done by using them as leaders and enders.

Here I am using the flying geese for leaders and enders. As I press the chain piecing I also press the flying geese. Even when sewing the rows together in goes a flying goose as a leader and ender.

This is a great technique if you are not in a hurry to make the second quilt. Before you know it you will have all the pieces together and a second quilt completed.