Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Developing my FMQ skills

I decided that I needed to work on developing my FMQ skills.  I tend to fall back on a my go-to pattern of echoed teardrops.  I thought about going to take a class and Judi Madsen from Green Fairy Quilts is not only an amazing quilter, but was teaching classes in Edmonton this summer!!  But when I looked at the cost of travel, hotels, classes etc, it was going to cost a lot!  Not to mention that this summer was very busy with a family wedding and lots of house guests saying with us, so it would be hard to get away. The other deciding factor was that the classes were all demo classes, with no opportunity for practicing the skills yourself.

So I bought one of her books....  Quilting Wide open Spaces

Image result for quilting wide open spaces

What I liked about this book is that it included a pattern for a quilt and then detailed instruction for how to quilt it.  Judi has a very distinctive style, and it is very dense quilting and intricate patterns!  At first I was a bit intimidated by the detailed patterns, but thought I would give it a try anyway. I had a problem initially with making the quilt top...lots of 7/16" type of pieces....which I struggle with!  And obviously made a mistake, because my blocks did not turn out properly and my points don't match up !!  :(

But I decided that since I was just learning a practicing it was OK!  I am sure that I would make lots more mistakes anyway!!!
I was pleasantly surprised ....although it is detailed it is not that difficult!!  Oh, lots of mistakes...don't get me wrong!  But...with such dense detail I found that it is not that obvious anyway!  Surprise!

The bottom line is I have learned A LOT!  Also , I have learned that  I will not likely quilt this way on most of my quilts.  Although I like how detailed it looks, I find the quilt is a bit more stiff, and not as soft and drapey. 

 And it took a LOT of time to do. What I will do , though, is incorporate some of this into my quilting.

  And also what it has done is really increased my confidence.  I am much more relaxed now when FMQ , which really helps.  I would recommend this book and practicing these patterns if you are looking to expand your FMQ.  Thanks Judi! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quilting Blues

My niece is getting married!  Of course , time for a quilt!!
But she loves blue.  

I realize that I don't have any blue in my stash!  Really, almost nothing!  And when I look at all my quilts, there is very little blue, almost none, in any of them.  A real eye opener!

So off to a friendly quilt store..Prairie Chicks...and stock up :)  They had a great FQ bundle of blues with a little beige/tan mixed in...perfect!   "Grand Traverse Bay" by Minick & Simpson 
Grand Traverse Bay by Minick & Simpson - 13 Fat 1/4s
But why stop I had to buy a bit extra as well!

I needed something quick and easy, as I had to get this off to her just a simple block.  But it turned out lovely, I think.

The backing was quick and easy as well, This fabric added some interest without having to piece anything.

I quilted it quickly as well, with an all over go-to quick and easy pattern...
So it is finished and off to Ontario for the wedding.

And as it turns out, I did get a bit carried away buying fabric, and had enough to make a second quilt!  Bonus!!  So I tried out my first "Plus Quilt"  Such fun! Pictures of that one another day!

Not sure what I will do with the second one, when it is finished, but my grandson might need one :)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bee update

I have been keeping up with my bee blocks.  Quite fun!
Last month the call was for anything about birds.  So I tried a bird LOL

I have not done much paper piecing, and still find it very challenging.  Everything is backwards and upside down!  Oh, well, it turned out pretty cute.

I also used a few scraps to make this one...

Every bird needs a home, right??

Thursday, September 15, 2016

decision time....playing with HST's

Ok, time to vote here!  

I have been playing with the layout of these HST's and have narrowed it down to 4 options:

I know there is a mistake in the bottom left one...I had trouble with that one, and would need to work at it more carefully.

What is your vote?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

catching up .....again

I have had trouble maintaining any kind of routine, and as a result, have neglected my blog yet again.  When I thought about the reasons I wanted to continue, it is mainly for myself...(as I may not actually have any followers anymore anyway LOL)  I started this blog partly to give back to a community that helped me develop into the quilter that I am today.  I learned so much from all of you!!  But I also started this to document my progress, my successes, and even my failures as well as having a record of the quilts that I have made.   And that number is now over 60!  So , although it is sporadic, I plan to continue !

It has been a very busy summer in our house.  We had a wedding!

My stepson got married in July, and lots of my husbands family came over from Scotland for the wedding....and stayed for some playtime at the lake :)  For a few days there were 11 people living in our home!! YIKES! But all went well, and everyone had a great time.  The wedding was beautiful, the bride was beautiful, and the weather was great for pretty much the whole time.

And of course, I made a quilt for their wedding !!

This was actually started a couple of years ago, as a block of the month from Periwinkle Quilting, called "Black, White and Bright"
The backing was a really fun flannel I found in is a crossword puzzle...and so cozy too.

It is quite large, about 100" x 90"!  So was a challenge to quilt on my home machine.  Also because it was black and white I couldn't use one colour of thread throughout, so had to quilt the white with white thread, and the black with black!  It was a challenge, but fun to do as well, and really stretched my FMQ skills.

I think they loved it!

And of course I also have been keeping busy with my little grandson !!

 What a sweet little guy! I have been able to babysit him quite a bit, and am not sure how I am going to leave him and go to Arizona this year :(

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bumble bee :)

Well, my first venture into Quilt bees has met with a few bumps...or bumbles...So I guess it is a bumble bee.....HaHa.... for me anyway :)

Once I gathered all my scraps, and new bits of fabric, the block came together really quickly....BUT...

can you spot the mistake??

Wow...surely I can make a simple log cabin block correctly, can't I???  Guess not!
Somewhere along the way, I reversed direction, I guess.   She is doing a Bento box type quilt, so will be cutting each block into four pieces, but I decided that I really could not give that to my bee mate, especially when it was my very first ever bee block!  

So I whipped up a second one, using pretty much the same fabric bits..
She wanted wonky...and I tried, I really tried...but really....I don't do wonky very is sort of like random LOL
Much better!

But now...what to do with the "bumble block"???   Well, I couldn't waste it, so ....

I ripped the whole thing apart...

and fixed it! So now I have 2 blocks to give to her.  Bonus!

I thought I would work ahead on the June was triangles...I like triangles.
Of course I misunderstood her directions, and only looked at the example picture that she used for inspiration.  oooops....

It looks good.....but she wanted A STRIP of triangles!   So back to the scrap pile...again...

So I guess this bee mate will get two "blocks" as well!
If I keep making mistakes, everyone will be getting lots of extras LOL

Friday, April 29, 2016

my first bee.....really!

I have read so much about quilting bees, and seen so many blog posts and pictures, but I have never participated in a bee.....UNTIL NOW!

I attended a MQG meeting last week,and they were starting a new bee.  I only have to commit to making one block each month.  That doesn't sound like much at all.

This really shouldn't be a source of stress....I mean they are meant to be fun, after all.  But when do you overcome all those insecurities about whether or not your block will "measure up" ?  What about fabric choices??  Oh, yes, I do get a sample of what they want....but do you think I have any of those colours in my scrap boxes???  Maybe, but then are they fabrics that she would like???  or modern enough?? or ....or...or...

OK, calm down!   I can do this! Right??


Whats the worst that can happen...

So lets get started...I have a "Colour Seed" palate to work with, so lets dig through some scraps....
maybe these....

Or maybe not.  I think I need to add some to my stash!!  So I went and bought these (they were on sale, though!)

So, now I will get started on the block. It seems pretty straight forward.
Oh is "wonky"!  I dont do wonky very well....something to do with everything has to be straight and all lined up. Even my "random" is orderly, remember???

And then I have to come up with a block that I want when it is my turn.  I am already stewing about this one!!  LOL