round robin reveal

I talked about hosting and working on round robin quilts with my guild, here and there through last year.  The final reveal was at our December meeting, but I was away.  It took until the February meeting for me to get mine back.  This was my starting block way back at the beginning of last year.

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I didn’t have a planned direction for this, just that I hoped for stars and curves, blue and green, and stripes. I then set it free for 5 other quilters to add to it.  And Voila

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It turned out very different from what I imagined, but that’s the fun of a round robin, you have to let go of control and take what comes back to you.  BUT, I want it bigger, so am going to add more rounds, trying to make them distinctly different each round.  Maybe this is the perfect project for me: the girl who works on something for a bit, but then gets distracted by a new idea, a must-do project, an upcoming quilt “needed” for some celebration, etc……. By the time I come back to add more, I will have new ideas, new skills (maybe), and new perspective.  And now I can tell you as this grows, not keep it secret.

I like to share, and I am glad to have you to share with, so it is hard when I am making surprises, or working on commissions ( like the t-shirt quilt that I have now finished, but cannot show you until the client sees it), upcoming block lotto for my guild, or things like this round robin.  I only have so much sewing time, and when lots of that is secret, I just don’t have things to share. This is my reason for less posts in the last few months.

But onward; quilting, creating, and noticing all the colour around us.

 

 

order from chaos

Order certainly drives me.  I love lists, and lineups( and queues), and sorting books on a shelf.  Although it is never complete, I take satisfaction from tidying up.

This also works in the quilting world! From an idea and a mess of fabric, you can put together something quite lovely.

I hate to admit that this is how it usually starts, but that’s the truth.

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At our November guild meeting, we were given a piece of card stock and a bunch of scraps and told to play.  At the end of the meeting we were challenged to make that into something quilted. ( my post card appears further along in this post). Some sketching and math to make this bigger than 4×6″ and so that it was makeable in fabric. And then I began the cutting and laying out.

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Some different shades of blues, but a decent representation of the post card on the right.

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When I made the post card I was thinking of water at the bottom, but in fabric pulling, I decided it was grass.

Now, a nice small piece like this quilts up fairly fast, which is a refreshing change from what I normally put on my plate.

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My favorite part is the trees along the dark blue.

So from the chaos of my dining room table, this one came out pretty well, I think.

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PS, It does hang straight on a wall, but the branches were not very supportive of my photo taking.

 

blotto

I plan block lotto for my guild each month, present it and blog it etc.  We decided to be a bit silly and change it officially to blotto.  Something to be sewn in under an hour, enjoyed with a glass of wine.

Last month it was spooky eyes to be turned in, in October.

And I won! Pretty good odds, as I had made 3 to demo, and there were only 10 turned in, in total.  Maybe I will do 2 blocks across by 5 down, to make a door hanging.

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I also won a big piece of cool Halloween fabric, kindly donated by a guild member. Super fun.

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Not sure how I will put all this together.  And certainly not enough time to put something together in the next 9 days.  Next year for sure.

I am unwillingly channeling my easily distracted magpie lately.  Ooh, block lotto that could be put together…next bag received for our Round Robin…need to get on with quilting my friend E’s quilt( she made it, I am just quilting it)…gotta keep going on a Christmas quilt for my S-I-L…sample pincushions to make for the guild Christmas swap…what am I going to do for next month’s block lotto, er, blotto?  Too many things on my plate, you say? I say it’s damn work and my major need for sleep that cut in to my creating time.

 

 

birds in the neighbourhood

I live near a pretty big city, in a fairly urban area just outside of the city.  Most of the wild creatures I come across are of the unlikable kind, rats in the shed-eewwww!  Tiny ants coming in under the baseboards in summer, Wasp nest in the bike shed-eek it was big!, and raccoon poop on the back fence.

But sometimes I get little treats!

I have a breeding pair of Anna’s hummingbirds in my big Sugar Maple in the back yard.  It is super cute to see tiny hummingbirds zooming around with their parents.

The other day I looked out the window and saw a little family of quails in the front yard.  I snuck out from the backyard to try to get a decent photo. Not very successful.

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And the other day after school drop off I spotted a Northern Flicker

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Mostly this shows that I need a better camera for faraway shots of moving targets:)

In quilting news, my Modern Quilt Guild had a birthday challenge using Libs Elliot fabric swatches.  I can’t remember if I told you about the lovely fabrics that I ordered and gave out to guild members in the form of a birthday cupcake.

I chose this piece with gold diamonds on it. And after much debate settled on this yellow and teal(ish) accent fabric.

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Using the print on the fabric for inspiration, I sketched a design and started cutting.  Kind of scary when you only have a fat eighth of fabric to work with.

do you see where I am going with this?

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Ta-Da! And sparkly white fabric background to complete this mini quilt I have named “Shiny, Happy”.  Lots of fun to make with little sparkly details,DSC04193

some geometric free motion quilting

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And my favorite swirl quilting

DSC04191I didn’t win the cool Libs Elliot designed vodka bottle which is just as well, I don’t really drink very often;)

Mini quilts are a fun and satisfying way to get in some fabric play and have the sense of completion that is often a long time in coming on big quilts.

white flower walk

What to do when you need to clear your colour wiring.  Well, not get rid of it, but just give it a switch to push your thinking.

As part of the quilt round robin for my guild, the piece I needed to add to was in colours that are just not me.  I find it hard to be creative when the colours do the opposite of inspiration.

So I needed to clear my head.  The best way to do that is to go outside.

I noticed that my black thorn acacia is flowering.  I love how this big tree produces flowers.  It drops annoying little leaves for about 9 months of the year, but it is a favorite of mine with it’s bright yellow/green foliage.

DSC04033So that got me hunting for white or cream flowers.  My mini rose is in full bloom.

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Along with watering the base, I make sure to shower the whole plant.  Somebody once told me that aphids don’t like it wet, so hopefully this extra shower deters them.

Next was my hanging basket of million bells.  Over the years they have become my standard for hanging basket flowers.

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And last but not least in the backyard, little strawberry flowers.  Ooh and the start of something yummy.

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Clear headed,  I started to pull fabric from my stash.  Pretty quickly I warmed up to this palate of grey scale colours. I even had a few exact fabrics to match the starting block!

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In the end I was pleasantly surprised with how it came out.  I wish I could share, but we are keeping it a surprise until the end reveal.  Part of my desire to be part of a round robin was to push my comfort zone in quilting and colours.  So far so good.

 

the colour of Calendula

I am a blue girl through and through.  Green has blue in it, so it’s good too.  Same with purple.  I use the other colours in the rainbow because they belong and sometimes highlight my favoured colours.  But in my drawers and drawers of fabric( arranged by colour) yellow and orange share a drawer.  And it’s only half full.

I am trying to create new thought pathways, and although it’s hard to step off a well worn track, it IS good for us to do.  Even if just the baby steps of using a bigger range of colours of fabric.  Or felt pens.

It may seem like I make a big deal out of choosing colours for a colouring book, but this is really part of my experimenting in colour to what works and what appeals.  It is hard to work in colours you don’t like!

Last nights colouring exploration went like this: Start with green, then more green…

but now for the flowers.  Pink? nope, done that lots, purple? blue? nope, nope. Orange! yup.

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And as I am colouring and quite liking this colour combo I realize that it reminds me of my mom who is away right now.  Not because she loves orange particularly, but because of a flower that is always in her garden.  Even the smell of Calendula leaves makes me think of her.

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I don’t talk to her every day, and we don’t see each other every week because of the 4 hours of travel between our homes, but I am aware of her absence right now.  I miss being ABLE to call her.  I can’t imagine losing a parent and am lucky that I have not.  I know she’s having a great trip and I will see her soon.  But it is cool that I could channel a thought of her through a colouring book.  Or at least that’s how I see it:)

Getting organized for quilt guild meeting tonight, and the start of the round robin.  I am eager to see how many people join me.

Happy playing with colour, wherever it leads.

playing with fabric

That’s always fun, isn’t it.  Well for me anyway.  I am hosting a round robin at my quilt guild and need to figure out a palette for my starting block.

A round robin is  way of making a quilt where one person makes the starting(often centre) block and then it is passed to another person to add another block, strip or border.  This continues for as many people as designated in the guidelines and at the end the first person ends up with a finished quilt top that has been worked on by themselves and 5 other quilters( in my plan).  This can be a fun way to challenge yourself, working on something for somebody else, to follow their work, and to learn to let go of your own block and trust that others will do great things.  I chose to do an anonymous swap, which adds to the fun (I think).

I am a little nervous to be in charge of this, but really wanted to be in a round robin, and nobody else seemed to be starting one in our guild, except in one satellite group that did one last year.

I have spent time reading up on how to run these and hope I can get it running smooth and successful.  If I have at least 6 people participating, then we are good to go.  But if needed I will step in and do a 2nd one or pick up if somebody has drop out. Hopefully that won’t happen as I have broken down everything pretty clearly, including the 1 year commitment, making a contribution every 2 months.

And the anonymous bags will come with a label so that each quilter can put their name on the final label.  And look what I found the other day at Bib n’ Tucker http://www.bibntucker.com/

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Absolutely perfect for modern quilt round robin labels! I was so excited.

So now to decide on my colour scheme.

Option #1, calm and refreshing blue and green

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Option #2, lovely, crazy, a bit busy, rainbows

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My concern about the rainbows is that not everybody is a rainbow purist like me, which as I look at 2 of these fabrics, they aren’t true rainbows, so I might take them away.  And I have been saving the horse fabrics for something particular, with some other coordinating turquoise horse fabric from the same line.  Don’t know what that project is, but it makes me hesitate in cutting into it.

Option #3, or maybe I will go with pink and green

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Decisions, decisions.  Hmm, I will sleep on that one.

And then I need to come up with block lotto for February.  I have an idea, but have to test the pattern in my head on actual fabric.  Sometimes my ideas work out, sometimes they just don’t:)

Oh, here is my son’s Storm Trooper quilt.  Not fully quilted, but getting there.

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even the cat had to get in on the photo shoot!

It’s time for my sewing machine to go in for regular yearly service, so I will take a sewing break this week.

I was reading on another blog (sorry can’t remember which one) about Griddles.  Gotta get me a book of those.  Part grown-up colouring book, part colour by number, and looks like an embroidery pattern. Done by Lorraine Holnback Brodek, an former needlecraft designer.

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To me this looks awesome.  Lots of potential there.

Have a fun week ahead in however you can find your colour.

 

 

success

I would call it a success.  I am not able to take a completed photo of my son’s birthday quilt as he is all snuggled up in it, asleep in bed.  He has been wrapped up in it most of the last 2 days (when he is sitting down) since I gave it to him.  That makes me smile.

I did not get the quilt totally completed, but enough so that I could bind it and he could use it.  Next week I will put it back in my machine to finish.

But I did get some other things finished.  A few months ago I said “sure I can make you some pillows for your living room” to a friend of mine.  Yup, got right on that one.  But I finished 2 of them today, and the other 2 just need zippers.

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We decided to put black on the back, for interest and contrast.

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Really, they only took me about 15 minutes each, just a matter of getting to it.  But no beating up, just happy to be able to do them and happy they are done.

I spent time this morning finishing up my info sheet for a round robin that I am hosting at MQG Victoria http://www.mqgvictoria.com/ .( At our actual meetings, not online.)  I am very excited, and a bit nervous.  Hope it all works as planned.  I have never been in charge of a group quilt activity before, and this is a year long event.

And then I finished up my block lotto for this month’s guild meeting and the block to present, to be finished for next month.  And organizing what blocks have been done, what colours have been used lots, which have been missed etc.  Got my notebook and I am having fun with it.  Oops, still need to put it on the guild blog, to appear at meeting time this Thursday.

That will not happen tonight.  Time for bed.  Have a great week ahead.

Much to sew

Much to sew and not much to show.

As usual, I have much more ambitious plans than I actually have time to accomplish.  So I sew morning, noon, and night.  Except when I have to work or take care of my family, or sleep.  Which actually doesn’t leave a ton of time for sewing!

Ever year we have a little Christmas exchange at the guild.  The challenge is set and you bring your contribution in a brown bag and leave it on the table.  At the end of the night you get to choose a brown bag as your prize.

This is the pixie basket I made

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And this is the one I got in the exchange

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Thanks to whoever made this one!

This year seems to be the year of the table runner. I made this one https://mycolourqueue.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/busy-busy/  for my son’s teacher. I made a Christmas one for myself last year, but had forgotten about it…so it’s kind of like new.

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And my secret santa gift for work will be this one, still in progress

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just keep sewing, just keep sewing.  There are much worse things to be doing!

dark

We are at that time of year when it is dark when I drive to work, and dark when I come home.  Life becomes so much more indoors and days go by without entering the yard.  I like my yard and it makes me take a big breath and let go for a moment. So on my days off I am sure to at least stand for a moment on the back step to just pause.

But dark is very present for many hours more each day.  So I looked there for inspiration.

Voila! The Northern Lights.

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They are not visible this far south in Canada where I live, but one day I hope to see them for real.
The colour palette for the block lotto for my October MQG guild meeting was this
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black, navy, dark purple, and bright pink, yellow, green.
Which brought me to these blocks. I hope it will turn out well in a full quilt.
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I have been having fun being the creative director for the guild and coming up with blocks for members to do each month.  Part of my excitement is to see a) how many people make the block( usually a good indicator of people liking it or the palette chosen) and b) how my block will come together in a full quilt. I may not see the actual result all quilted together very quickly after the winner gets the blocks, but even seeing them up on the design wall together is exciting, I think.
I have already made November’s block, and planned 2 after that. Sometimes I get a little over excited about stuff!
The other good thing about longer dark nights is hand work on the couch.  I was raised with the concept that daylight is for  being up and doing, evening is when it is ok to stop and sit quietly to make or read etc.  So even though I am an adult who can decide what I do when I want, I still have this thing inside me that throws guilt my way if I sit around too much in the daytime.  And what better activity to do on  a cold winter evening  but work on a quilt, with the rest of it piled warmly on your lap.
I also tend to have more quilts out at this time of year. Other than my hubby, the rest of us in the house like to bundle up in quilts on the couch in the evening when reading or watching tv. Or sewing.
Keep cozy on these dark evenings, we have lots to go.