Thursday, January 26, 2017

Canada's Big Quilt Bee

You've probably seen the logo for Canada's Big Quilt Bee on my sidebar - but do you know what it's about?  Canada is celebrating it's 150th anniversary this summer (July 1st), and there are a number of different quilting "events" going on.  One of them is Canada's Big Quilt Bee.  The Canadian Quilter's Association has made a commitment to Ronald McDonald houses across Canada - we will be supplying them with 1,000 quilts!  That's a pretty crazy number, but quilters are a generous bunch, and blocks and quilts are being made across the country.  There's a few "rules" - we have to use fabric from several specific lines created especially for the anniversary, and we have to make a "slab" block. Cheryl Arkison (author of Sunday Morning Quilts), graciously allowed us to use her slab block pattern from her "Missing U" quilt pattern.
I've already made and sent a few blocks, but our guild is making a few quilts as a group effort, and we're using a different fabric line than I originally bought.  We were each given a charm square, and were asked to make a block, or two, or a few, and then return them to be assembled at a specific sewing day.
I have more fabric from this line, so I decided to make 4 blocks.  I was given the aqua fabric, and pulled my aqua scraps to make 2 blocks.  I also cut up some of the red maple leaves fabric that I bought for my 150 Canadian Women quilt-along, and made 2 more blocks in red - and here they are:
The red blocks are quite a bit scrappier than the aqua - I used mostly aqua strips from FQs for them, but I raided my red scraps for the 2nd set of blocks.
I'm linking up to Kat's Sew Some Love link-up and also Cynthia's Oh Scrap post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Design Wall Tuesday edition

I'm actually getting closer to posting my design wall pictures on Monday!  Hooray for me!  I could have taken this picture yesterday, but I was too lazy to go upstairs to get the camera.
So, this is what my wall looks like this week:

My last design wall "quilt" is now actually getting quilted (I hope to have a picture of the completed quilt in a few days), so the wall is free to lay out my Canadian quilt blocks.
I've mentioned before that Canada will be celebrating it's 150th anniversary this year, and there are a number of special quilting initiatives to mark this special occasion.  Kat Tucker, from Next Step Quilt Designs has designed a quilt highlighting 150 influential born-in-Canada women.  Each week, she releases 3 quilt block patterns, as well as a short bio of each woman.  I got a late start on this project, but I'm finally caught up, and the blocks (so far) have found a place on my design wall.  I may have to move them in a few weeks, as other urgent projects come up, but I'll share pictures as this quilt progresses.
Today's blocks have been posted, and they're really easy this week (thanks Kat!) - and here they are:

I'm SO in love with this project!  One of my daughters has mentioned that she'd love a quilt like this too, so I may end up making a second one...
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Design wall Wednesday?

I missed it again...  Monday was a really busy day, and I didn't even get into my sewing room on Tuesday - so, Design wall Wednesday it is!
I'm actually pretty pumped about this post, because up until a few days ago, I didn't even HAVE a design wall.  I'd lay out my blocks on the living room floor, or on the couch if the blocks were small enough, but hubby finally nailed a piece of rigid styrofoam to the wall; we covered it with an old flannel sheet, and voila! a design wall!
So, these blocks are from a quilt-along from several years ago (2010 to be specific).  I had made all the blocks, but they needed sashing and cornerstones, and then a border.
I picked this project as one of my UFOs to finish this year; it was #3 on my list, and Judy chose project #3, so here we go.
I have the sashing on about half of the blocks so far - the cornerstones are cut and ready to sew on to the vertical sashing strips.  I still have to pick a border fabric.  I'm really hoping to finish this quilt completely this month, binding and all, so that it can be donated to Word and Deed (their mission statement is: "To address the spiritual and physical needs of people in the developing world in accordance with Biblical principles.")  This quilt, and most of my donation quilts, go to Central America.  When Word and Deed volunteers go into villages with aid, especially quilts and afghans, the men run out and try to grab the most colourful covers - in an attempt, I think, to bring some colour into their otherwise drab surroundings.  This isn't going to be the brightest quilt, but it can't be accused of not being colourful!
Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kat's Sew Some Love link-ups.

Monday, January 9, 2017

First charity project for 2017

Happy new year!  It's hard to believe that it's already the 9th of January - but I've already had at least a week's worth of experiences to prove it, so we'll just carry on.
Every year, our quilt guild provides place mats for the Meals On Wheels recipients in our county - one year it's for Valentine's Day, and the next year it's for their Christmas meals.  This year the place mats are for Valentine's Day - but they aren't hearts and roses!  Someone had the great idea to provide each member with a FQ - all the same print - and a paint chip, inspired by the print.
This is what is left of my FQ - and the paint chip (which reads more blue than the deep purples it shows IRL):

We could use whatever pattern we liked - which is what caused the first issue for me.  The fabric is quite dramatic, and I didn't want to make just any design, so I waited for inspiration to strike.  It didn't...  So, I checked out my Pinterest quilt boards - and I found an idea!  Shadowed blocks!  I've often seen quilts with the 3D look, and I want to make one sometime, but hesitated to commit to it.  I didn't have the pattern, and wasn't sure I really wanted to cut up pieces of fabric to "play" with, unless I was REALLY sure that I could figure it out.  But, if the blocks were only 3" square, I wouldn't be out too much in the fabric department if my plan went awry...  So, I pulled some darker purples from my stash, found some bits of a taupe-y Kona, and started cutting and piecing.  I framed my blocks in Kona Snow, and liked the look, so the challenge was a go!
Of course, Christmas and family birthdays and our new grandson "adjusted" my schedule somewhat, but I was able to deliver these 8 place mats to our meeting earlier tonight!

(I see that one of them is upside down...)  I have 2 pieces of the focus fabric in each place mat, and an assortment of purple fabrics in the ranges on the paint chip.  The place mats measure about 12" x 17" - hopefully they'll make someone a little happier on Feb. 14th!
Linking up with Quilting is more fun than housework, and She can quilt's Scraptastic Tuesday's post.