Quiet Haven

This quilt was started in 2014 at a workshop at the Oakville Sewing Centre led by quilt and fabric designer Brigitte Heitland.

Using Brigitte’s Quiet Haven pattern , the group first chose colours and fabric for the design with Brigitte’s guidance, and based on a pre-chosen photograph. My photograph was from a travel-themed wall calendar; a picture of boats in a Norwegian harbour. During the day-long workshop, we then cut and pieced the 9 blocks using raw edge applique.

This quilt design was outside of my comfort zone for a couple of reasons:

  1. The bold and cold colour palette
  2. Applique – something I never do

Anyway, when I got my blocks home I didn’t like them because of the saturated blue batik background so I stacked them in a closet. A few weeks ago, as a follow up to the fabric inventory in January of this year, Mom and I got together for a session called “Can this Quilt be Saved?” My mother has an amazing colour sense, and together we decided the blocks would look great with either a sky blue border, or a border of just the right green – picking up the green in the blocks. I couldn’t believe my good luck at the Oakville Sewing Centre where Linda and I found the stunning green fabric I ended up using. It even has circles on it, which echo the circles in the blocks.

The blocks were quilted using echo quilting with the walking foot and thread that best matched the different areas of the quilt. The border was quilted using the free motion foot and a waves pattern ( to honour the Norwegian boats).

Because of the invisible thread used on the applique, this quilt will need to go to a bold and modern baby whose family is willing to air dry it.

 

Jaquard & Stripe Socks

I have knitted this sock pattern many times. It’s a free pattern designed for Kroy Patons sock yarn, but these were made with Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic in Teal Static. The yarn is quite fine with a nice fuzziness to it. And the stripes on each sock are an almost perfect match without any effort on my part.

The next pair of socks is underway: Traditional Stitch Motifs from Stephanie Van Der Linden’s Around the World in Knitted Socks. (This may be the best pattern book ever). I’m just to the heel of the first sock and the pattern is looking gorgeous already.

 

 

Naughty Bunnies

Well this turned out nicely!

It’s a very simple design: there are two complementary Beatrix Potter fabrics for the large squares (6 1/2″), and the nine patches are made up of four matching fabrics (2 1/2″ squares). Each nine patch block is identical, and they are lined up to create blue diagonals, adding some interest to the quilt, but keeping the overall effect serene.

I chose two free-motion quilting motifs, wavy lines for the plain blocks and echoing swirls for the nine patches.

It took some thought to decide on the binding, but I went with this sweet off-white.

Baby quilts are one of my life missions, and I look forward to welcoming someone into the world with this one.

Links

I had seen some beautiful bargello quilts on display and really wanted to make one. Of course I wanted a stunningly beautiful one, but didn’t understand the concepts well enough to design one myself. So I signed up for a class at Sew Etc. and worked from this pattern, “Links”, by Derek Lockwood.

Overall, even using the strip piecing technique recommended in the pattern, this was a challenging quilt to assemble. I did learn a couple of useful tips about strip piecing during the construction of the original strip sets:

  1. Don’t use strips that are too long. I used half the width of the yardage – about 22 inches. The longer the strips are, the harder it is to keep the seam absolutely straight. And if the seams aren’t straight, the squares won’t line up properly when you try to piece the rows on the quilt.
  2. It’s a good idea to press each strip as you attach it to the next, otherwise results are less accurate when you try to press the whole set, and you lose width from the strips.

It was very interesting to learn how the juxtaposition of the colours combined with varying widths of columns creates the curving movement.

Why was this one a UFO? Once again it was time. The quilt top was about half completed during the class, and took me a further 20 or so hours to finish. On top of that add 18 hours for basting, quilting, and binding. I did notice again that spending so much time with the quilt was very pleasant, I really had a chance to appreciate the interplay of the colours.

Could I design one myself? Definitely not one as complex as this, more practice is required. Not sure how soon I’ll attempt another bargello quilt, but it sure feels good to complete another unfinished object.

 

Octo

Octo was my most daunting UFO, because I knew how many hours of work were still required (it took me about 55 hours in total). I began Octo at a quilting workshop in 2015 at the Oakville Sewing Centre. Quilt and fabric designer Brigitte Heitland led the workshop. Each participant received a copy of Brigitte’s Octo pattern and a kit with enough Zen Chic fabric to complete the quilt. We worked on the paper piecing technique which gives the complex quilt such a precise result. I love the contrast of the bright patterns against the octagons and four pointed stars in mixed plain whites, creams and greys.

Because I am not working, I was determined to quilt the quilt myself on my own machine ( a Bernina 550). After the many hours spent creating the beautiful quilt top, I wanted the quilting to be perfect. I ended up using a temporary adhesive spray to baste the quilt, and it was much better than  pinning. Except for the borders I quilted with the walking foot in a way that emphasized the geometry. The borders are simple loops using the stitch regulator and free motion foot.

I cheated and folded and wrapped the backing fabric around the front to create the binding.

I wonder where this very special quilt will end up – I haven’t yet decided!

If you’re interested, take a look at Brigitte’s patterns at her website – www.brigitteheitland.de

 

 

Knit Sampler Socks

This is the Knit Sampler pattern from Stephanie Van der Linden’s Around the World in Knitted Socks. This was my first time knitting cables from a chart, and it was a great beginner project with lots o rest rows between cables. The rest of the pattern is simply knits and purls.

I particularly liked the short row heel with no increasing, picking up stitches, or decreasing for gussets.

The yarn used is Rowan fine Art Sock Yarn – soft and gorgeous to work with.

Log Cabin Tea Towels

I recently attended a weaving class for my rigid heddle loom at the Little Red Mitten in St. Thomas. These log cabin pattern tea towels are the result.

I used 2/8 cotton doubled in chocolate and natural to create the patterns.

It was definitely a labour of love, given the time it took to design the simple pattern, prepare the loom and weave the three towels. However, they came out perfectly and have a lovely heavy drape to them. You can’t purchase mass produced tea towels of this quality.

I can’t wait to start on the next set of tea towels, maybe stripes this time.