Sunday, November 19, 2017

"All Wrapped Up" Christmas Tree

 I'm on a bit of a Christmas kick around here, which is appropriate given the time of year. I have a few Christmas projects from past years that have been languishing for a while, so I pulled them out to finish up.  Number one is my All Wrapped Up Christmas Tree.  The block pattern in this quilt is "All Wrapped Up" from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I did it in half-size - using 5" squares cut into quarters for the presents.

When the blocks were made at a retreat last November, I knew I didn't want to set them in a standard rectangular setting.  I had 36 blocks, but a 6x6 layout just seemed boring.  So I played around for a while and realized I could make a tree out of them. A few hours later, and some input from my retreat friends, and I had a Christmas tree with a few packages underneath.

I came home from retreat all inspired, and even bought some more of the ribbon fabric for binding. And then I put the tree away and ignored it for a year.  Pulled it out last week, dug out some backing for it (a grey flannel that I had bought for another project but changed my mind about), and loaded it on the longarm.  I knew this quit deserved custom quilting, so after some thought I settled on stars and swirls in the background, and outlining the packages and ribbons for the rest of the quilt.

Done and ready for use, in plenty of time for this Christmas.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Image result for quilt pattern large trianglesThis quilt top has been on a journey. 2 years ago, I won a block draw at a quilting retreat. Everyone at that retreat made 2 blocks. They were large (9") half square triangle blocks, with Kaffe Fassett fabric in one half and white in the other.  I loved the fabrics, but the quilt top seemed a bit too simple for my tastes, so I decided to modify it. This was the original pattern.

I've played with this block design a few times now, and it cuts perfectly from the half-square triangle. By cutting all my blocks into 4 pieces, I got two half-square triangles and 2 plain squares from each block. The plain squares were easily made into two 4-patches, and the result could then be re-assembled into Jacob's Ladder blocks.

I knew what layout I wanted, and realized (half-way through making blocks) that it takes 2 slightly different blocks to make it. Fortunately, I figured that out before I got too far, and ended up with just the right number of blocks.  I decided an offset design would be a bit more interesting than centering it.  I tried to keep the arrangements random, mixing fabrics with each step of the process so no two blocks are alike, and (almost) no two identical fabrics are side by side.

The quilt top ended up 56x70". I think a border is needed, so I'll have to find a Kaffe Fassett fabric I like for that.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Christmas Wall Hangings

At my quilt retreat the other weekend, I took some fabric bundles with me in the hopes I would be inspired to finish something from them.  I ended up with 2 Christmas quilts. The first was a fabric bundle I picked up a few years ago. I fussy cut the cardinals from the birch tree fat quarter, and even managed to use most of odds and ends of trees that were left over.  3 fat quarters from the fabric line went into this little wall hanging, and the 4th FQ will make the binding once it's quilted.

The second one had grand intentions. I made 20 log cabin blocks to go around the wreath. But when they were done and 2 sides attached, I decided I really did not like it. Advice from my fellow retreaters was to keep it simple, so I removed the log cabins and replaced them with a simple blue border.  This keeps the quilt small enough to hang in my window as my December quilt, so that's a win, anyway.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Star Quilts

I was given 14 blocks that were made by the friend of a customer. She asked if I would be willing to finish them into a donation quilt. Of course I said yes. The package included some extra fabric of each of the fabrics used in the blocks.

The blocks were big (16") so I knew they'd make more than 1 quilt. And 14 was an odd number to start with, but I sat down with Electric Quilt and played with a few layouts. In the end, I settled on these two. One with 6 blocks in a straight setting. And one with 8 blocks set on point.

A weekend quilt retreat was just right for finishing these up into donation-sized projects.  It's not immediately obvious, but there were 2 different whites used in the blocks.  5 of one and 9 of the other.  So decision number 2 was how to split those up.  After some discussion at the retreat, the consensus was: 2 of the odd blocks in the center of the on-point quilt, and 3 in the other to give a sort of checkerboard layout.  In the photos, the white is just slightly brighter in those blocks.

I added the inner border on the first quilt from my stash, but everything else came from the bundle I was given. I'll use the last little bits of fabric to make pockets for the bags that we'll use for the donations.

Now to get these into the queue and quilt them before my next guild meeting.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


I found it!  I haven't seen the top of this table in ages, but I finally spent some time cleaning up and now I have full access to my cutting table.  The pile in the right corner is a quilt that needs to be finished. But it requires the full design wall, and there are currently a couple of other projects taking up that space.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dashing Away

This quilt is made from some blocks I won at guild a couple of years ago. It took a long time, but I finally made the extra blocks I needed, and quilted this with a nice modern design. It will go to show and tell on Monday and then head off to Victoria's Quilts to keep someone warm and cozy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Guild Mystery

In addition to 2 guilds doing the PEI Modern Guild mytery, another one of my guilds is doing its own mystery this year, and I've decided to join in.  Colour choice was 2 light, 2 dark, 1 medium. So I hunted through my stash and found a great background fabric - the dotty white.  Then I picked 4 more colours from the dots in that fabric.  I might regret this, but mysteries are all about stepping outside our comfort zone, so here goes!

I had originally chosen a darker yellow, but on examination, that was too similar in value to my mediums. So I hunted up something a little bit softer. 

Block number 1 - here's where my regrets start to show themselves. Pink and yellow - hmmm.