Saturday, September 22, 2012

Utilitarian happiness...

Alas, back to school means not so much time and energy for quilting... so I've pulled these little gems out of the vault.

I know, I know... it's not a masterpiece and it's more than a little fifties' housewife to show off your ironing board, but every time I use it - even when it's not quilting related! - it makes me smile a little. Some days I just need that.

I made it from an on-line tutorial that I've since deleted from my Pinterest boards (foolish tidying up), but this one from Sweet Verbena is very similar. And it just happens to use Amy Butler fabric as well!

On the topic of everyday sewn objects that make me smile whenever I use them....

 These little creations are from last summer, Sadly, I have no tutorial to link to share. The purse is an adaptation of a pattern from a magazine and the matching zipper pouch is my own creation. If one can call something as simple as that a creation!

I'm looking forward to another Q-Squared session tomorrow... I love a day of sewing with the Squares!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Meet the Squares!

Confession time - I belong to a quilt bee. Two, actually. In my mind, the phrase quilting bee conjures up images of little old ladies gathered around a quilt frame stitching and sipping tea.

That is not what my bee looks like.

My bee, Q-Squared, is made up of four Girl Guide friends (and yes, adults are Girl Guides too!) who love to quilt. Guiding brought us together and the quilting is an off shoot - one of those things that started as "Hey, we should get together sometime and..."

So... meet the Squares.

There's Q-A. She loathes paper piecing and loves a simple pattern that comes together quickly. She's the queen when it comes to knowing when our local shops have a sale on and you can bet she didn't pay full price for that thread she's using! She's also very diligent about working through her UFO list - something I've tried to emulate! During this quilt therapy session, she was working on a jelly roll pattern to use her Girl Scout fabric purchased while back. Check out the GSUSA fabrics - these Canadian Girl Guides are very jealous!

Then there's Q-B. She's the beginner of the group - calls herself a "learner." She's hasn't picked a particular style and isn't afraid to throw herself into a complicated pattern if she falls in love with it. She's been plugging away every since her first "lesson" with me and I swear, there isn't a person in her family that hasn't gotten a quilt! She also sews clothes... which leaves me in awe. And we're not just talking p.j. pants here; she sews skirts and blazers and bathing suits and - you get the idea! This week-end's project is an autograph quilt from Heritage Explosion 2011 - our province's 100th anniversary Girl Guide camp.

And then there's Q-D. She's our engineer. If there's no instructions to be found for something you found on Pinterest, Q-D can probably come up with a plan. She's more of a piecer than a quilter, but we're keeping her anyway. I've never actually seen her fabric stash, but I suspect it may actually fill her home, or at least a room. This week-end's project saw her at the laptop more often than the sewing machine. I can't fully explain it, but her freeform blocks had an accompanying Excel spreadsheet! 

Our Quilt Therapy sessions happen once a month if we can get our schedules to agree. Sometimes we can't all make it, but it's always fun. We catch up on work dramas, Girl Guide stuff, and consult on whatever projects we have on the go.  And there's usually a fair bit of show and share of completed masterpieces - sometimes it happens more than once when we just can't wait for everyone to be here! Even though two of the Squares drive an hour to get to the big city, I think they'd say it's worth it.

So if my living room/dining room/kitchen contains four laughing women, two tables, four sewing machines, an ironing board, a cutting mat, at least two rotary cutters, a variety of rulers, and a wack of fabric, Q-Squared
is to blame!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 01, 2012

Summer's End...

It's almost time... those pesky leaves are starting to turn orange-y red and the back to school sales are on. As much as I love a new package of coloured pencils, it's tough to switch into work mode after the summer off. On the glass half full side of things, it also means back to my quilt guild and more consistent gatherings of the two bee's that I belong to. Though there may be less time for quilting, there's no shortage of inspiration!

I've been working away on finishing up some project while the summer's still here!

I've posted this one before, but now it's all quilted. Happily, I found one of the fabrics at my local fabric store, so the back matches the top. I'm really pleased with the quilting... my flowers often turn           out more like amoebas than daisies! It doesn't have a home or a purpose, but that's fine by me!

The inspiration for this version of the wonky log cabin came from Block Party--The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects a book by Alissa Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks. In keeping with my resolution, I rode the waiting list at the library for months... such a cool book! I just love the colours of this one! If they seem familiar, it's because it's made from the scraps of a recent baby quilt. Often when I'm making a gift for someone, I fall so in love with fabrics and colours that I don't want to part with it... terribly selfish! Making something else from the scraps or leftover blocks eases that a bit!

Speaking of gifts, I finally sent two special quilts on to their new homes... for two special sisters who camp with my family each summer. I covertly pumped them for info on their favourite colours last summer and worked on these over the fall. They were actually finished last winter (as you can tell from the pics), they just didn't make it there.

Miss E's quilt is in teal and Miss O's is in purple and pink, just as they described their favs. I intentionally chose fabrics that were not kiddy or girl-y. I like the idea that the fabric will age gracefully with them... in ways that ballerinas or cartoon-y flowers just can't. If you look closely, you might see a little secret that I worked in. Each quilt has one block from the other... so each sister always has a piece of the other with them. I wonder when they'll notice?

You might see these colours and blocks again... I misjudged the number of blocks needed and have a pile of orphans left... possibly enough for another (large like these) twin!

Thanks for reading... more to come soon!