Sunday, May 19, 2013

Where Have I Been?

 First there was this. It happened last May. I was very tired. Not much sewing or quilting happened in the last year.

Now there is this. My little peanut was born at the end of January and I've been so busy taking care of him!

I hope that one day I will be able to continue blogging about my quilting, but for now there are other things taking up my time. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that we can reconnect soon.

xo Nicole

Friday, May 25, 2012

Owl House for L.

I didn't forget about my promise to show you the Owl House quilt for L. I finished it up some time ago now, but I'll try to remember some details.  It turned out to be approximately 65"x85" I think. Large enough for a twin size bed anyway. It was a heavy monster to wrestle with, but so worth it.

I started out by choosing the cute owl print by Alexander Henry, and then I added in a variety of reds, greens, blues and browns, with a hit of orange. I built the blocks around a few different sized owl squares, adding strips of colour in log cabin formation. It wasn't very planned, just things that I thought looked nice together.

I squared the blocks up to 15.5" and originally planned just to mash them all together. Once I had some made, I thought that it looked better with some sashing. I found a nice latte colour in my stash that I purchased in Egypt. It suited the blocks nicely.

I thought it would be fun to fussy cut some owls to make into cornerstones and I love the touch of whimsy that they add. Plus cornerstones make it easier to sew sashing on well. I won't say no to that!

I ended up quilting it in a sort of boxy meander. My edges were mostly rounded, but I love the texture that it adds. (Too bad I had that problem in the middle of quilting it. Good thing that I didn't forget the motions to finish it off.)

I really had fun with the back. I did one large chunk with some fabric that I picked up at Ikea awhile ago, and the other large chunk is a solid grey I had stashed. My favourite part is the strip of the owls bordered with the fun red Momo print.

I love a scrappy binding. I used up some leftover strips from the log cabins in blue and greens, and pieced them on the diagonal. I machine finished the binding with a turquoise thread so that it would kinda blend in with both colours.

L. loves his quilt and it looks fantastic in his room - the walls are painted a similar shade of light brown.  He sleeps under it every night and I hope that he will for many more years!

I'm working on another quilt. (What else is new?) Maybe I'll give you a sneak peek or maybe you will only see the finished quilt.  Depends when I blog next.

xo Nicole

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Churn Dash Love

Yay!! I received my doll quilt in the mail last week. I am thrilled with the little quilt that was made just for me.  It came all the way from California, made by Wendi. Isn't the design so cool? I just love churn dashes and stars, so this just works in so many ways. (It also reminds me of a block that I like that was in my bee quilt.) Check out the binding. She aligned it with the colours in the block!

She sent along some wonderful goodies. I got some great text fabrics that look like typewritten words and some yummy chocolate. I am so spoiled!

And let's not forget about this wonderful zippy pouch. I really like it a lot! The colours are just awesome. I keep meaning to make myself one, but that hasn't seemed to happen yet.

The back is just great too, with lots of lovely handwriting fabric and a cute label. Also, Wendi made some hangers for it. Very practical for hanging on my wall.

Here it is on the wall behind my sewing machine with the doll quilt that I got last year! I'm so excited to have a collection now. Maybe I should make something to go up there too.  (If I ever get around to it.) Maybe I'll just participate in some more swaps!

I haven't forgotten that I need to show you the completed Owl quilt.  I'll get to that soon.

xo Nicole

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beginner's Luck

I did finish it! It's all quilted and bound (in a fabulous orange nonetheless) and hanging in its new home at the quilt shop. I just love the Amy Butler peony fabric that I based it on and I am so pleased with the outcome. Too bad that I can't cuddle with it at home.

Isn't the middle block so wonderful? I love how part of the shoo-fly blocks make it look like the centre star has a second star around it.

I don't know why, but stars and shoo-fly blocks are two of my faves.  

I am also very happy with the final sashing choice, since it wasn't my original choice. I had originally chosen a rich brown and a soft lavender for the cornerstones. They ended up being totally wrong and too harsh for the blocks. Luckily, at the time that realized I needed to find something better, Katja had just brought in some wonderful Pat Bravo fabric that worked perfectly with my colour scheme. I'm so delighted that the colours were exactly as I had originally pictured in my mind.

Here is the quilt in its current location above the wide backings and flannels. (Oh, and look to the left - you see Carla's cute birdie quilt and my little twister quilt. And in the foreground is a glimpse of my placemats and Sixteen Again quilt.)

If you (or someone you know) are interested in making a Beginner's Luck quilt, contact Katja's Quilt Shoppe. The first class begins on May 22 at 6pm.

xo Nicole

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Doll Quilt Swap

I managed to finish up my doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 12 on Flickr.  I am so thrilled with the results.  It was rather difficult to send it off after all that work!

I have always maintained that I hate foundation paper piecing, but I thought that I would try it again with some special paper.  I found that the paper made a good difference, and I think that my machine being serviced and the tension being so much better helped out a great deal as well.

I designed this quilt on EQ6 and printed out 5 papers.  Then I grabbed my test fabrics and tried it out.  It worked quite well and came together just as I had hoped.  I dove in with my chosen fabrics for the swap and made up the blocks over 2 weeks or so.  I think it took me about 1.5 hours for each block.

Then I still had to take all the paper off - ugh!  I still hate that part of paper piecing, although my pointy tweezers helped me out in some tricky spots.  After basting the layers together, I decided to hand quilt it with some matching red embroidery floss.  I think that the design pops!  I also added in some green quilting, kinda in the ditch to secure the outer part of the quilt.

I hope my partner loves it.  I expect that she will get it sometime this week.  She doesn't know this is coming from me, so hopefully it will be a lovely surprise.

I am still waiting to receive a little quilt, but I have no idea which one will be mine.  There are some absolute stunners in the photo pool!

xo Nicole

Monday, April 9, 2012

Slowly Finishing

I managed to meet and even exceed one of my goals for the last week.  I really wanted to finish the quilting on this Beginner's Luck quilt.  I did that, and I am almost done sewing on the binding.

I used a light aqua thread and stitched in the ditch.  It made me realize that I really don't like stitching in the ditch.  It matters if you go off the lines.  With free motion quilting, its a lot more forgiving.  I'm going to focus on the positive though, and take delight in the fact that I'm not perfect.  It's much more fun that way.

Anyway, I am super happy that its done because I started sewing this quilt before Christmas I think.  I was planning on having it done by the end of January, so that I could run a Quilting 101 evening class this spring.

That didn't really work out, but it will be offered for the end of May through June.  More details to follow when I get some good pictures of my completely finished project.

I also have some other fun stuff to share that will be coming to this blog very soon.

What have you finished lately?

xo Nicole

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Up and Running

I forgot to let you all know that my machine is up and running again.  I actually got it back very quickly from the shop (only one day!).  It seized up because the last place that serviced it oiled it instead of greasing it apparently.  Anyways, it now runs way better than it did even after the last time it was serviced.  The tension is just perfect as well! On Monday I finished quilting the quilt that I was working on when it died.  In fact, the quilt is completely finished, but I need someone to help me to take some photos.  It's pretty big.

I also quickly stitched together this little baby quilt on the weekend.  It's nothing intricate, but I do love a simple patchwork in pretty colours.  I'm going to finish it off next week with some simple quilting.  It's for my cousin who had a baby girl on March 1.  You can also see the Rambling Rose Meets Jamestown blocks that I've finished so far.  I need to get back into making some, as I haven't done any in awhile.

I also tried out my first New York Beauty block.  I designed in in EQ6 and it's really little - only 4" finished.  I had a difficult time with the inner curve.  I think I should have practised with something a little bigger. Maybe I'll turn this little guy into a pin cushion or something.  

Oh, and Carla recently gave me the Liebster Blog award.  It goes to some inspiring little blogs with less than 200 followers.  I'm supposed to nominate 5 other blogs, so here they are, in no particular order.

1. Quilting Barbie :: I was in a Canadian quilting bee with Barb a couple of years ago and she make some really beautiful stuff.  I admire how she manages to create with 3 little ones at home.
2. Cynthia F :: Cynthia is a fabulous artist and designer.  I won a Spoonflower print from her awhile back and I love seeing her current 'quaintings' (quilt paintings). She is also a fellow Canadian and member of the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt guild, and I am currently in an improv bee with her.
3. Holly's Red Bike :: She is the founder and current president of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild.  Holly has some wonderful ideas and also recently did some cross stitch.
4. Venus de Hilo :: Stephanie is a quilter in Hawaii.  Her amazing and colourful work is very inspiring, and I am pretty sure that she is heavily influenced by her environment.
5. Sew Domestic :: Kristina has exquisite taste in fabrics and colour combos.  I pretty much love everything that she makes.

I hope you enjoy visiting some new blogs!

xo Nicole