Quilt Challenge Results: Singin’ in the Rain

As you may recall, in a recent quilt challenge with my mother, we both agreed to create a quilt based on the Colourbust pattern from By the Block. We agreed it would be a queen-size quilt, so knew that the lap-size pattern would need to be adapted. The two of us had an initial meeting which included fabric sharing and discussions about colour scheme.

My quilt, which I named Singin’ in the Rain ( because it reminds me of a rainbow viewed against a stormy sky), uses 4 1/2 inch strips, and includes a 2 inch border of a bright fabric matching each block. I found a fabulous Northcott wide flannel for the backing.

Mom and I met at Sewing Machines Etc. in Burlington, where we spent the day quilting on longarm machines with the expert help of Jane. We hadn’t seen each other’s quilt top beforehand, so the big reveal was fun. Hers is gorgeous ( and the subject of a future guest blog)!

I have to say Mom’s quilt is much less tame than mine, and she also gained points with her beautiful pieced backing. What I love about my quilt is it’s a great size for the double bed in my teenage son’s room, and it’s extra warm with the flannel backing. It’s a nice bright modern look for a teenager’s bedroom. After this experience I found myself vowing to make a large quilt for my own bedroom, because I just love all the overhang.

It was a lot of fun having a challenge with a deadline, and such a treat working together all day on the quilting. Thanks Mom!

Linen Basket

Happy New Year!

I decided to go ahead with a small improvement to the bathroom: a basket to neatly stash soiled handtowels awaiting laundry day.

The resulting basket is a repurposed doll quilt, in response to my quilt-cutting challenge. Very little cutting was necessary; it was mostly folding, like origami, and sewing into place. I used to love making origami boxes when I was a kid, so this was entertaining and easy. It’s great how it stands up on its own without collapsing, and its bottom is pleasingly flat. It’s also handy that it can be tossed in the wash along with its contents. I’d like to experiment with Velcro for a less permanent basket.

I haven’t finished with the quilt-cutting challenge yet; I dug out a large quilt that I never use, and am planning to make a couple of quilted bags from it.

If you are taking up this challenge, I would love to see your pictures.

Design Challenge: cutting a quilt

Although we are still in the midst of the Colourburst challenge, my mother and I had a meeting recently and decided on a second quilt challenge.

The challenge is to transform a quilt, through cutting and sewing, into a different useful object; for instance a piece of clothing, a bag, or an upholstered item.

This is pretty exciting, what’s coming immediately to my mind is folding the quilted fabric so that it becomes a freestanding article. I suspect my mother is planning a quilted jacket.  I’ll have to do something outstanding to compete with Mom, and I also want to keep my plans secret before the unveiling.

The two of us didn’t set a deadline, but I propose February 28, 2018. If anyone has some good ideas, or would like to join in the challenge, let me know. I’ll post pictures at the beginning of March.

Grey Wolf Baby Quilt

This quilt was done as a commission, which is unusual for me. My client asked for a baby quilt for a boy in shades of grey with a wolf motif.

For my birthday I received a selection of gorgeous grey fabrics that have related feather designs. I’m working on a lap quilt using these fabrics but decided to set some aside for the commissioned project.

I used a hit and miss design for the blocks with 3 inch by 6 inch rectangles arranged randomly. The quilt is 7 blocks by 16 in total. I searched the internet for a one line wolf image to use for some of the blocks, then drew the design freehand on a sheet of paper and transferred it to the quilt top using a temporary light box and a gel pen designed specifically for marking quilts.

I quite enjoyed quilting over the lines to create the 7 wolves; I think they look beautiful.

Also for my birthday I received the book East Meets West Quilts by Patricia Belyea. In the book I read about the concept of “The Unexpected Visitor” (a surprise visitor that makes the party even better than the hostess planned) in quilting. It’s something I have done intuitively in quilt design before, but I tried to incorporate an unexpected visitor consciously this time. Can you find it?

OK, I’d better tell you – it’s the plain very dark grey blocks, there are just four of them, and I really like they way they offset the other coordinated fabrics. I thought of doing something more wild and exciting (lime green is my excitement go-to) ; maybe next time!

I chose a scrappy binding, and a bright one-piece backing with a large-scale grey floral to ensure the quilt is lively as well as having an overall calming effect.

Springtime Baby Blanket

I took a weaving class at the Art Gallery of Burlington, in between getting ready for various Christmas bazaars, as well as my own family Christmas. It seems like forever since I completed a large project.

I chose to weave the “Springtime” pattern from Tom Knisely’s book “Handwoven Baby Blankets“, but chose my own colours at Camilla Valley Farm. Don’t you just love the peacock against the dark purple?

The baby blanket is woven in 4/8 cotton, and is a plain weave that is more about exciting colour than complex structure. It’s a lovely weight and drape, and of course very washable and durable. A good project to build my confidence on the four shaft loom.

Our Christmas theme this year is “Second Hand or Handmade”, so this is great! I ended up with three beautiful handwoven baby blankets: one for my grandson, and one for each of my two nephews born earlier this year.

Breadcrumbs

I wanted to design a hooked rug with a realistic looking bird. My daughter suggested a pigeon, and it was a great choice because they are such distinctive colourful birds with their own attitude. I wanted to somehow represent breadcrumbs that the bird would like to eat, but worried small flecks would disappear in the saturated background. That’s why I went with the border of circles, using colours from the pigeon in random order.

Isn’t it funny that pigeons have red eyes? They also have large pink or orange feet, but I used some artistic license.

Anyway, the rug is mat size – 19 x 25 inches, but I’m not sure I can bear to use it as a rug considering the number of hours that went into hooking it. I may want to hook a seagull next.

Flying Geese With Rainbow

Once again I was attracted to that stack of fabric chosen for the Colourburst challenge. I wanted to see what a colour array of flying geese would be like against the dark grey background. Initially, I planned to have just the one strip of flying geese and use the dark grey for the rest of the quilt. But when I started putting it together, that seemed too stark for a baby quilt so I added the three long strips of green, blue and purple. For some reason, even though there are orange triangles in the flying geese array, a long orange strip didn’t look nice so I left it out.

The flying geese units are 5 inches by 2 3/4 inches, and the quilt measures 34 by 35 inches. I quilted feathers on the wide grey strips, ocean waves on the coloured strips, and quilted in the ditch for the flying geese.

I am so pleased with the outcome and looking forward to using flying geese again, and also continuing to work with this beautiful set of colours.