Thursday, March 22, 2018

Street Art My Way is finished

I am happy to announce the finish of a 2014 UFO, Street Art My Way (aka "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt). It's not one of my oldest UFOs but I'm glad that it's done since it's going to be my quilt to cuddle under when I'm reading in the living room. 😊

Street Art My Way or the "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt

Evening sun highlighting the quilting :-)

My official "List of Quilts" says that I started this quilt in 2014 but I didn't blog about it until July of 2015. By then, I had finished the quilt top, so 2014 sounds very likely.

I've written a few posts about the quilting of this quilt. With its various squares and rectangles, it was a great quilt on which to practice free motion quilting (FMQ). I was able to practice many designs, from pretty rudbeckias, leaves, swirls, feathers, and loops to simply following the fabric's design.
Front and back of Street Art My Way

Using a variation of Angela Walter's Starburst design

Sometimes the FMQ follows the design, and sometimes it creates the design.

Based on the Street Art quilt
What's in a name?

Have you noticed that this quilt somehow has two names? When I cut up the binding for this quilt, I also took the time to prepare a label based on one of the blocks in the quilt. I wrote the name of the quilt on it - "Street Art My Way" since it's based on Mary Patterson's Street Art quilt.  It would seem that the next time I wrote a post on this quilt, I forgot that it already had a name, so I called it "Not playing the supporting role!"quilt based on its origin - since it was supposed to be the backing for my version of the Charley Harper Quilt. When I decided that I didn't want to use it as a backing, I thought that since the quilt hadn't wanted to play a supporting role, that it would be an appropriate name. It may have been appropriate, but it's really awkward - so I'm glad that it's also called "Street Art My Way".
The label is a smaller version
 of one of the blocks

March One Monthly Goal Finish
This quilt is also my March OMG - so it's done. Hooray!

To-do Tuesday: This weekend I need to finish my Scrappy Triangle Quilt since the quilt's "ride" across the country is leaving early next week. I finished the FMQ and now just need to square it up, bind and wash it and photograph it :-)

What I learned
  • I am so happy that I used some of what I learned during the making of this quilt. It just proves that when you reflect and write about what you learned during a project, that it's more likely to stick!
  • Before FMQ the quilt, I cut up all of the binding strips and placed them in a bag next to my sewing machine, so that I knew where it was when I finally needed it.
  • The binding worked out great. I also used a lesson learned while making my version of the Charley Harper quilt. In that quilt, I made a scrappy binding, that included some of the background fabric that was in the quilt. I learned, while taking the pictures of the quilt, that it wasn't such as great idea to use binding of the same colour as the fabric next to it, if the rest of the binding was scrappy. There was one spot where it looked like there was no binding because it just blended in.
  • For the photo shoot today, I went to a park a block from my home. I've been looking at this spot for a while, since it's not always convenient to take the photos at work. I was able to get some pictures today because the sun only sets at 7 pm. It may not feel that much like spring, but having the extra sunlight sure is great. There is hope that spring will be here!

Related Links

Project Details

Street Art My Way or "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt
53" x 52"
Materials: cotton 
Techniques: piecing, free motion quilting (FMQ)

Linking Parties
I will be linking this post to the OMG March Finish Link-up as soon as it opens. I will also be linking up to many wonderful linky parties. Join in the fun and see what's happening out there! Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, To-Do Tuesday, Free Motion Mavericks, UFO Busting, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lots of projects in the works

My quilting deadline season is coming up with two quilt shows in the works as well as a whole bunch of quilts started, promised or ready to finish. I made a list, with dates where applicable, so that I wouldn't forget anything. I didn't get much done this weekend, but I did start.

Scrappy Triangle Baby Quilt
Second triangle - highlighting the doggy fabric and FMQ leaves
A very long time ago I made some scrappy triangles. I was at an in-town retreat and didn't feel like working on anything. Thank goodness I had a box of scraps with me. I just started sewing them together.

At the other end of the hall, a couple of quilters were working on "Toe in the Sand" quilts. From afar,  they looked scrappy. When I got close, I definitely saw my mistake. These were beautiful and very intricate - not at all what I was in the mood for. But they did spark my imagination to make a scrappy triangle quilt.
First triangle - FMQ a large starburst design
I worked on my triangles for a while and even trimmed them all to the same(ish) size and put aside a piece of solid fabric that came in a kit that I will never make. It then sat in a project box for a long time.
Block 3 - FMQ some starburst designs
As I was designing the pattern for the Charming baby quilt for Make Modern magazine, my mind turned to other baby quilts that I could make to practice my free motion quilting (FMQ). Out came the project box. It didn't take me long to make the solid triangles and finish piecing the quilt top.
The first row of the Scrappy Triangle Baby Quilt
Now that I have someone to give the quilt to, it's time to get going. As you saw above, I've FMQ the first row. I'm not sure what I'll do for the solid triangles. I want something simple that won't take away from the scrappy triangles. I FMQ another 3 blocks last night and now have 4 more scrappy triangles to quilt before I start on the solids, so I have a little bit of time to think about it. Any suggestions?

Postcard from Sweden

I've joined another Postcard from Sweden Quilt-Along, this time with MMM! Quilts. I'm really, really hoping that I will get this quilt finished this time 😊
Postcard From Sweden Quilt so far
My version is a variation of the original pattern since there is no way that I could ever go through the trouble of keeping track of all of those Kona solids, even if I bought the kit. I just printed up the original finished quilt in black and white, and then started using light, medium and darker batik fabrics to make it.
HST cut and ready to piece
Cut and ready to go
During the last quilt-along (with Busy Hands Quilts), I cut enough triangles to finish piecing the quilt. I really want to finish the quilt top so that I can start quilting it. I fell in love with this quilt when I saw someone's quilted version of it. I'll look for the link and add it to my next Postcard from Sweden post.

What I learned
  • As usual, I'm having a great time FMQ the scrappy triangles. When possible, I'll follow the fabric, but otherwise I will probably use Angela Walter's starburst design from her Dot-to-Dot technique course. It's easy, has lots of possibilities,  does well in triangles and I generally don't have to mark them anymore. 
  • I'm planning on making the Postcard from Sweden my next OMG to help me get it finished. We'll see what other deadlines I'll still have to meet by then :-)
Related Links
Linking Parties I will be linking this post to MMM! Quilts' Postcard from Sweden Quilt-Along tomorrow. Let's see what other quilters are up to! Moving it forward, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday, UFO Busting, Free Motion Mavericks, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Friday, Main Crush Monday, Oh Scrap!.  

Great News! My scrappy triangles were featured on Connie's Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Starry Bright Sky - Block 2

I am having a really hard time this winter - I seem to make my deadlines by only few hours. Not really good but then I guess that's what happens when life is busy. At least it's done.

Starry Bright Sky - Block 2

Updated March 8, 2018
Block 2 - Traditional piecing (final block) :-)

This is the second block in Alida's Starry Bright Sky quilt-along. It was a fairly simple block to make and included half-square triangles and 4-patch strips. It went together well, with most seams matching. That's always my challenge.

I used a solid blue and bright yellow, with a slightly textured very light yellow for the 4-patch units in the middle. Both picture were taken after dark, so neither is a really good representation, but the colours in the bottom picture are more accurate. However, you can see the slight circular shapes in the light fabric better in the upper picture.

To add some interest to the blocks, I've decided to use at least one non-solid in each block. It will probably be in the yellow (or orange) fabric since I have lots of tone-on-tone yellow fabric. I learned from last year's quilt-along that I quickly get tired of solids.

Block 2 - Traditional piecing
A pretty block but not a star!
Oops, as I posted the picture to the link-up, I noticed that my star didn't look like the others....because it's not a star!!! (Groan....) It would seem that my half-square triangle blocks are not on correctly. I didn't really have to fix the block, since, as Alida said, they are all just variations of the same block, but I really wanted some stars.
March OMG

One Monthly Goal (OMG)

I am keeping my OMG simple for March. I will be finishing up my  "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt, which I finished FMQ as my February OMG.

It now needs to be trimmed and the binding added. The great news is that the binding is all cut and ready to go in a bag that I still know where it is :-)

What I learned

  • I took the time to read all of the instructions and make notes, but still managed to cut double the amount of blocks I needed. Not sure how that happened. Anyway, I trimmed 4 of them to 2" and may use them to make the second variation of this block. Well see...
  • After my oops moment above, I may want to compare the picture of my block to the block on the pattern!
  • I fixed two of the half-square triangle units and thought I was done :-(  I think I may need another vacation....
  • I am keeping my OMG simple this month since I have to get my quilts ready for Fibre Fling 7. This mostly involves deciding on the quilts, doing the paper work and ensuring that they all have sleeves and labels. I'm sure that I will do my FMQ this month, but I don't want to commit to anything specific. You see, I am learning 😊 

Related Links
Linking Parties - I will be linking this post to the Starry Bright Night Quilt Along Link-up, and to the March OMG goal setting link-up. Let's see what everyone is up to!
Design Wall Monday, Moving It Forward, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Maker, Needle & Thread Thursday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Friday,

Great news! My star block (the correct one) was featured by Susan on Midweek Makers. Thanks!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Charming Baby Pattern - Make Modern Issue 21

It's here! The March/April issue (21) of Make Modern Magazine. As much as I love this magazine, this issue is special - because from pages 78 to 81 is my baby quilt pattern - Charmed!
First page of the Charming pattern in
Make Modern magazine, issue 21 

What a thrill. This is something that I've always wanted to do. I'm not sure if I will write more patterns (although I do have an idea for another one 😊), but it was a great experience!

This pattern is loosely based on my Beautiful Day Baby Quilt which I made in the spring of 2016. The idea was to put a quilt together, very easily and quickly, that would have lots of negative space for me to practice my free motion quilting (FMQ).

In my original quilt, I had just found a flying geese foundation paper piecing strip pattern and had essentially sewn around them, adding a corner stone at one end. There was very little measuring and tons of opportunity for FMQ.

So when I decided to submit a pattern, I still wanted it to be as easy as possible, with lots of negative space for the quilting.

The first thing I did was to sketch something on grid paper. That's how I plan my quilts (what little planning I do!)

Fabrics used in Charmed baby quilt

In July 2017, I sent a scan of my hand-written grid pattern, a photo of the fabrics that I would be using as well as the information they requested for pattern submissions. I'm happy to report that the information was very clear and the submission process was painless :-)

Of course in July, the March issue sounded very far away.  I was sure that I would get it all done by September....right! I wrote the first draft of the pattern in September, and spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to quilt it, but I only started cutting fabric in mid-November.
Fabrics all cut, following my draft pattern
Chain stitching some of the pieces
The most challenging part of writing the pattern was figuring out what to call each part, since they weren't really blocks. I'm not sure that I was terribly successful, but Jane, their editor did a great job of consistently naming sections and pieces.

Since I had no idea what pictures I would eventually send the magazine, I took a few more than usual of the process. I finally didn't send them any, but they are useful for this post!

The piecing of the quilt went well since I really wanted a simple quilt to make.

My favourite but most stressful part of this process was FMQ the quilt. I knew that if I messed up, that I would have enough time and fabric to re-do the quilt, but I was really hoping not to have to make two quilts.
Pieced and sandwiched

The hardest decision was selecting the thread colour. It's hard to find thread that matches, but that also makes the quilting stand out!!! It didn't start off well since I used a thread that was too dark to quilt around the blocks. I ended up working around it, but I was pretty nervous for a while.

For the quilting design, I FMQ three large pinwheels with other secondary designs. Since the quilting really didn't show up in pictures, I used some light orange thread to make some of it stand out more. You have to see the quilt up close to appreciate it. It might not have been the best decision for a magazine, but the images in the pattern are good. It really is about the pattern - the maker can quilt it as they want.

Some of the FMQ 

FMQ details
I always have a great time at the photo shoot. I took many photos in my back yard and some in the house, but they weren't very good. Finally, the best pictures were taken in the usual spot, outside of my office.
Charmed baby quilt and the snowy owl
I had just bought the snowy owl in the Parks Canada Place as a Christmas present for my daughter, so it came along to keep the quilt company.
    Issue 21 - Table of Content
What I learned
  • Because I was writing a pattern, I had to change my quilt-making process. I cut up all of the fabric in one go, making sure to measure many times before cutting. I almost never cut my fabric ahead of time, usually cutting it as I need it. But then, I don't often follow a pattern either :-)
  • I realised when I was writing the pattern, that I am very visual - so that I usually follow the pictures in a pattern more than the directions. I will often only read the directions carefully if the pictures aren't telling me what I need to know. I found that translating the pictures into words was not easy.
  • As I was piecing the quilt, I had a few adjustments to make to the instructions. It did go fairly smoothly.
  • I learned a lot by the changes that Jane made to the pattern. It did make it easier to follow. I wrote many of my instructions in point form so Jane added some important words!
  • I also struggled with making the instructions clear for anyone who might be using directional fabric. Thank goodness, Jane simplified the issue.
  • I want to thank the editor of Make Modern, Jane Kelly for her great editing and Kristy Lee, the creative director, for her help in making this a wonderful experience. Thanks so much!!! 
Cover of
Make Modern, Issue 21
Related Links
Project Details

Charmed Baby Quilt
30" x 30"
Materials: cotton
Techniques: piecing, free motion quilting

Linking Parties

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February FMQ Finish

My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for February was to finish free motion quilting (FMQ) my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt. I did it with one day to spare. Sometimes I think that I'm crazy for setting an OMG, but on the other hand, it was reached this month (It would have been very quiet here if I hadn't reached it - so no big deal) 😊

Free motion quilting all done!
I must be feeling better because I put in many hours on my Jag (sewing machine) this week. I was truly having a blast zooming right along. I took out my notebook of FMQ patterns and Craftsy class notes and played around. I was aiming for a more even stitch, and was more or less successful. I just tend to get over excited zooming around curves and let my stitches get pretty big. I estimate that I was probably 60 to 70% successful - so that's pretty darn good.

Adding hearts in the border of one of the blocks
Don't these rudbeckias look happy?

More of Muv's rudbeckias
It's always a pleasure to FMQ some feathers.
A few feathers for a change
I also wanted to practice more FMQ designs, especially in the longer strips and borders. Here are a few designs that were simple to quilt.

Practicing leaves inside of paisleys

Creating a string of leaves and another of flowers

Adding a line of lotus style flowers
A line of simple but elegant "l" and "e" (or loops)
I mentioned that I was going to use some of Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique. I ended up using the starburst design and some variations. These were great for blocks that had busy fabric that didn't have a pattern that I could follow.

What I learned
  • Sometimes it was a bit of a challenge to figure out what design to use. Deciding to use Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique made it a lot easier. It's a very versatile technique and worked out well.
  • One of the challenges that I gave myself near the end was to quilt as much as possible in all directions (instead of turning the quilt around). I didn't think that I could do this while quilting the starburst design, but I surprised myself. It went really well.
  • There are no photos of the starburst design since they barely show up on the busy fabrics.
Related Links
Linking Parties I will be linking this post to the February Finish OMG link-up. I will also be linking up to many parties, so join me and see what`s happening around the quilting world! Midweek MakersLinky TuesdayDesign Wall MondayMain Crush Mondays, Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion MavericksMoving it ForwardFinished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?,

Great news! My post was featured on Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Project Updates and News

It's time for updates on some ongoing projects.


I was busy working on free motion quilting after my holidays, but then got attacked by a nasty flue bug and was out for the count. After a week of only reading cozy-mystery novels, I was finally able to work on my hexies.

Progress on my Hexie Runner
I attached the last two flowers and am now working on the white border. I think that it's long enough because I'm now tired of working on it 😊 I will be finishing the piece in the same way as my last hexie project. That will take a while to do, but is totally worth it!

Hexie flower table topper
Finished back of the tat
I also have a few hexie flowers left, so I'll have to work these into another project, eventually!

"Not playing the supporting role!" quilt
Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

I finally felt well enough to do a little bit of FMQ on my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt.

I haven't been able to do anything that's too complicated. I am very happy with my rudbeckias. These come from Muv's free motion quilting videos (see Related Links below).
Rudbeckias and swirling leaves

I'm really enjoying "sort of following" the fabric design such as the swirling leaves above. I find that I don't need to be very accurate, that it's more about the flow of the quilting, at least for that fabric.

A solid fabric block means that I can play with swirls, paisleys and lots of echoing. That was a lot of fun.
Swirls, paisleys and echoing
I like using the fabric as a guide for deciding on what to quilt. Since these are full of squarish orange spaces, I've quilting squares within squares. I like that some of the spaces in this quilt call for swirls while others are more linear.

Squares within squares
Finally I added fans in the borders of one of the big blocks. Again, they got progressively better as I made more of them.
Border quilting

I have some exciting news that I can now talk about! I am a big fan of the digital magazine, Make Modern. It's got some really nice projects, is affordable and I really like that it's digital.

Last July, I decided to take a chance and submit a proposal for a baby quilt pattern, based on my Beautiful Day Baby Quilt. Of course I had to go shopping for fabric 😊. I then sent them my proposal and it was accepted! Wow!

Buying fun fabric for a baby quilt!
The pattern comes out next Friday, March 2, 2018, in issue 21. I'll be writing up a post on the application process as well as what I learned while writing the pattern, making and photographing the quilt.

I received this in the mail - I love their postcard and the Make Modern pin!

What I learned
  • As much as I love hexies, I eventually get bored of working on the same project for a long time. I think that I will always have to keep my English Paper Piecing (EPP) projects small, or they will never get finished!
  • It may take a while for me to finish the hexie runner since making hexies to match the entire border is very time consuming. I do believe that it's worth it since it's really a lovely finish. 
  • It just dawned on me that all of those finishing hexies will be in white - that may prove to be very difficult cause I get bored easily when I'm not playing with colour. I'll have to think of a solution to this....
  • I was surprised that I wasn't able to FMQ when I wasn't feeling well. I didn't realise how much concentration and attention it requires. It also doesn't help when I have to figure out what design to quilt.
  • To keep the decision making to a minimum, I may use Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique since it fits well in most blocks and is fairly simple and quick.
  • My border fans are not very consistent - I will be planning them the next time!
  • I have learned so much in the last few months about writing a pattern and getting it published. I was a great experience and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you next week!.
Related Links
Linking Parties
I will be linking to many link-ups. See what other quilters are doing and check these out: Free Motion Mavericks, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Linky Tuesday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?Oh Scrap!MOP Monday, Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign Wall Monday,