Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So long, Marianne!

I couldn't stop singing Leonard Cohen when I was making this block! Marianne, do you know that one? This is my take on the May block for the Sew Modern Bee, which is making it's way across the country to Marianne as I type.

Marianne had some crosses in her inspiration mosaic which inspired me, but I couldn't manage to get them wonky like I'd hoped. How does one achieve the wonky and still meet the required measurements?

I should also mention how much I loved this line of fabrics, especially the green and blue prints I put in the block.

I'm really quite surprised with myself that I have the May block done and in the mail and it's still April! Let's hope I can keep up this keener attitude for the duration of the Bee!


Edited to add: Here is the answer to my question! So much easier than what I put myself through!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bees Rule! May Block by Donna

I finished up my first block for the Sew Modern Bee. Marianne set the parameters very broadly - use the fabric that was sent, and she provided a a huge variety of possibilities for blocks.

Marianne liked all of the Quilt along blocks that Elizabeth of Oh Fransson posted on Sew Mama Sew as part of Quilting Month this month, so I took the opportunity to try my hand at a dresden plate.

Hope you like it, Marianne!

It should be on its way to you this week!

- Donna

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bubble Quilt

When I saw this quilt a while back in the Fresh Modern Quilt pool on flickr, I knew I would be trying one. I had done a fair bit of appliqueing patchwork circles on little shirts for Craftalicious in November, that I thought this would be a snap.

Oh, Donna, when will you ever learn??

I decided that it would be cute to make the back out of vintage sheets/pillowcases that I've been hoarding, since the intended recipient shall be a girl (due next month!).

Therein lie my first mistake.

I'm not sure if many of you out there have worked with vintage linens much. Sara made a beautiful picnic quilt a while back. My experience was not so beautiful. The materials were all of a different thickness and stretchiness. They were all cotton or cotton blend, so stretch shouldn't have been a factor, but I'm sure some of these things were 30 years old or more! So the back is crookedy as all get out.

Moving on to the front, I assembled circular things from my kitchen cupboards and sat down with a stack of fabric to cut out circles for the front. This part went well (funny side note . . .I initially tried to do an all pink quilt but I simply COULD NOT!! It's not me. And there are far too many shades of pink out there - or at least in my stash - for it to look any kind of decent).

So with an assortment of blues, pinks, yellows and green circles of various diameters cut out I decided to take Holly's advice and try spray basting them on to save myself pinning. This did not work! I don't know if it was because my spray baste was on its last legs or what, but I ended up pinning every circle down like crazy. No time was saved, but I mighta cursed a wee bit. (as an aside, for my onesies I used fusible web and that might have been better but I was out).

Rough edges are a good idea in theory, or would be a good idea if i was a steady hand at the machine, but it wasn't, I'm not, and I ended up having to resew many circles once the quilt had been washed, since the material frayed and the circles came loose. This kind of wrecked the look of my quilting as I had sewn the circles just onto the top initially.

Does anyone out there have experience with raw edge appliqueing? Is there a better way to have done this? My experience makes me weary to try my hand at a ticker tape quilt. If the quilt is well loved and gets washed a lot, do raw edges not make sense?

Last but not least, I made the error of cutting through the binding when clipping the edges to reduce bulk, as instructed by my quilting teacher at the class I took last year. ACK! AND I didn't notice until I had washed the darn thing. I conferred via email with Sara and ended up just covering it with a little patch I made using the same material as the binding. Not too noticeable. I think.

So here it is, in all its glorious bounty. I will gift it tomorrow and look forward to a new project. Maybe my fabrics will arrive shortly for the Bee!

- Donna

Friday, April 16, 2010

Action Shot

Here we have a special wee girl hanging out on her crazy carnival quilt.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sew Modern Bee

Sew Modern Bee
Originally uploaded by arianescrafts
Both Donna and I just joined our first quilting Bee and it's all Canadian gals. Fun stuff. Really looking forward to the challenge and stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Edited to add - if there is a Candian reader out there (Beth??) who is looking for an All-Canadian Bee, the Great White North Bee has room!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pretty Little Mini Quilts - hooray

I got word over the weekend that I was a lucky winner in the celebratory giveaway over at the Fresh Modern Quilts Flickr pool. Recently, their membership hit 2000+! Go Pool! If you haven't checked out this pool, you're due for some daily inspiration. At last count, it contained over 10,000 images of beautiful fresh and modern quilts.

The giveaway was great and featured fantastic prizes from the likes of Rita at Red Pepper Quilts, Ashley from Film in the Fridge, and Elizabeth from Oh Fransson, among many other talented bloggers, quilters, fabric designers...

I'm not sure who donated the book I picked as my prize, but thanks!

Pretty Little Mini Quilts is on its way to my hot little hands. After the last round of Doll Quilt Swap, I've got a bit of a love on for minis!

- Donna

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quilting in Children's Books

I love reading books to my girls that mean something to me. Two of my favourite children's books feature quilting and I wanted to share them with you.

Oma's Quilt, written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch is an excellent book that features a grandmother (Oma) who is set to move to a retirement home. She's leaving behind a lifetime of memories, and her granddaughter Emily gets the idea to make her a qult so she can remember everything. This book is a real tear jerker and makes me want to get going on the memory quilt project I'm brewing up for my daughters. This book has been adapted into a short film by the National Film Board - check it out!

Sara gave my youngest daugther a fantastic book for Christmas. The Quiltmaker's Gift, written by Jeff Brumbeau and illustrated by Gail De Marcken is a BEAUTIFUL story about an amazing quiltmaker who creates wonderful quilts and gifts them to the poor. A greedy but unhappy king is searching for the one thing that will make him happy. He tries to force the quiltmaker to give him a quilt but she refuses, instead telling him that she will give him a qulit when he is poor, after he has given away all his possessions. He reluctantly agrees and experiences increasing joy and happiness with each possession he passes on, until finally, years later, he returns to the quiltmaker's cottage to gift his final belonging - his throne. The image of the quiltmaker handstitching away atop the king's throne to keep the needy warm at night is a fantastic one.
Do any of you have books that feature sewing or quilting that you love reading to your children? I'd love to hear about them!
- Donna

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter

I remember saying that as a kid . . I thought I was so witty.

Hope you are all enjoying your Easter weekends. It's a four day weekend here which has been so great. The Easter bunny tapped me on the shoulder while I was sleeping to ask if he could use those easter eggs I made last year to leave a trail for the kids to help them find their easter treats. I agreed; what a smart bunny to think of those little eggs all forgotten in the basement.

That's my story and I am sticking to it. I think next year we'll make a point of putting them out for the Easter bunny to use. I may smell a tradition in the making!

I am working on a quilt that isn't going super well. More of that to come . . .

. . to assuage myself I've signed up for the FQ swap over at Sew Mama Sew. Swap is open until Monday.

Off for a little walk around Hog's Back Falls with the family. Trying to distract M from her easter candy ..I didn't buy very much but the sugar intake has already been quite high this am, topped off with some of my husband's famous crepes for breakfast. Yikes!

- Donna