Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

We have a great farmers market in town - it's held every Saturday, and yesterday I saw the most amazing and cute cup cakes with eyes! I bought one of each kind with eyes - they're adorable!

So let me introduce you to the Mummy:

The Blue Monster:

And the Spider:

Look at his cool legs!

I can't decide which one's my favourite, the mummy (so cute behind all its bandages) or the monster :) I saw the monster first and thought it was the grouchy garbage can dude from Sesame Street - that shows how much I'm into halloween, right??? *Grins*

On the way home from the market, I was thinking I might just keep the cup cakes and look at them forever (so cute!), but I figured the cup cakes might grow mold. Then I thought I could just keep the tops with the decorations and let them get hard for eternal gazing at the cuteness - the cup cakes themselves would be quite happy to reside in my stomach.

However, I made that plan without considering the Blue Monster!

Look, he ate both his buddies within minutes of me taking the group photo! Gasp! I guess he didn't like liquorice - he left the spider legs behind...

So no display of cute monsters in the next few months...

Now, before I go and wipe some icing off my chin (how did that get there, anyway????), I need to announce that Prince Edward Island, Canada, yes the far north (*smile*) has had its first snow of the winter yesterday! I took pictures to prove it!

See those white specks against the blue house??? Yep, that's snow, take my word for it! *So* exciting!

It turned into a gentle hail (does that exist??? It looked like hail but it drifted instead of falling and hitting things at high speed) not 5 min later (and then sunshine 10 min after that), but I'm pretty pumped about winter right now anyway.

Yeah, I know - that'll last just until the 2nd good snow storm and the 3rd morning of scraping my car...

... but hey, the days are getting pretty cozy starting around 5pm! Candle light just warms the heart, doesn't it?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Discovering Batiks

A few months ago, I bought 4", 5" and 6.5" pre-cut packs on etsy, and recently I added some 5" charm packs from Connecting Threads to the mix. I do like the look of batiks, though I'm still trying to figure out how to mix and match them.

The pre-cuts have quite a mix of plant prints and tie-died fabrics, which is nice - all patterned would be a bit much for me.

Can you tell I can't get enough of these? :)

I decided that these batiks would be handy to try a larger curved-piecing project, so I printed out Crispy's 6" block for a drunkard's path, and lo and behold, once I added the seam allowance to her template, the pieces fit perfectly onto charm packs and the 6.5" squares I have :)
I did one practice block to make sure the seams are working - I'll redo this one though, because I have a near-pucker in the center, must practice the curved-piecing a bit more!

I played around with colour matches for a while - I'm going to have to spend some more time on this, because some of the combinations don't have enough contrast...

This will be my main project for the quilt retreat which is coming up in a bit more than a week, hooray! I'm so very much looking forward to the retreat! (Same as last year).

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Quilt Class!!

Here are some photos of a recent quilt class. I'm teaching my whirly quilt (see the quilty tutorial page above) in different sizes. It's wonderful to see all the different colour schemes my 7 students chose for their quilts!

We've got blue and pink...

... camouflage...

Yellow and blue...

(as you can see, we're working in a library! It's in a small junior high school, cute place out in the country)

... and a few other combinations.

This lady wasn't quite happy with the pattern, so I showed her a few other layouts possible with HSTs. Boy, what a can of worms I opened! Too much choice can be a problem, we found out, but I think she enjoyed trying all the different layouts!

One of the ladies has this neat needle cushion ring - check it out!

It consists of a plastic bottle cap with two small holes drilled into it and a rubber band (hair elastic type) protruding from it (your finger goes through the loop). Into the bottle cap, you glue the bunched up edges of a fabric circle filled with batting (green plaid here). The lady edge covers up the bottle cap. Pretty handy!

A couple of my students are getting close to finishing their quilt tops. Soon we'll put on borders and start sandwiching! 5 more weeks to go... It's all so very exciting!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Tickle Feather

My disappearing 9 patch variation has a name, thanks to the quilting I chose: Tickle Feather :)

I decided that all that white space around the quilt was primer property for some feather quilting practice.

I don't like marking patterns very much, so I just outlined a wavy line that was mirrored on both sides of the quilt and free-hand quilted the feathery loops. It's quite obvious it was done free-hand, but hey, it's a cuddly baby quilt and not a show quilt!

In the narrow strips, I quilted a doubly-looped vine, there wasn't that much space for anything bigger.

I also quilted-in-the-ditch around the large squares in the D9Ps - at least turning a baby quilt around and around is manageable!

Here's the quilt before washing:

And after (note that this is the crinkliest of all the pictures I have - lighting makes a big difference...)

All the pink chalk markings came right out of the white (PHEW!!).

One more project checked off on the QUIPs list!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Quilt Show 4

At the quilt show, there is always a Merchant Mall with local and regional fabric stores represented. I restrained myself (you should have seen the batiks!) and only bought three 1-yard cuts (which I don't need, but hey...).

Because it's tradition by now that one fabric bleeds, you know what's coming. To my surprise, the red fabrics turned out lovely, but the grey ran like it was being chased! Right onto some Wonderland fabrics, boohoo. I should just stop being so lazy and do separate loads. I know. I thought I had prewashed it enough, but I guess I didn't take the fabrics out of the machine quickly enough after the spin cycle.

Alright, more quilt show pics!

This next one I had seen at show and share at a monthly meeting before. It was neat: the lady who made it fussy-cut the flowers out of the fabric used for some of the circle quarters and then appliqued them exactly on the fabrics in the circle, so effectively, the flowers were growing out of the circle onto the surrounding fabrics.

This photo was taking looking straight at the quilt, though when you look at just a section of it, it seems that I was taking a slanted photo of it, eh? Neat optical illusion!

This one was part of the mystery quilt we made. Mine is in the right side bar titled "Mussel Mystery" if you want to refresh your memory. However, I chose a different layout. I have to smile everytime I look at this quilt, because the quilter also didn't follow the pattern, though from what I've heard her say, it was unintentional. Suffice it to say that the pattern was quite symetrical in its block arrangements! ;) I think it's a cute quilt and is quite quirky thanks to the non-traditonal layout.

I love how visible the quilting is in this quilt! If I remember correctly, it was quilted by hand!

Let's end with this impressive quilt: At least part if not all of the blocks were inherited by one of the quilters in my guild from her grandmother, made with the fabrics of the time. It's handquilted, and even the practice block (has a different background fabric but it took me forever to find it since it blends in so well) is included. Don't you love old quilts with a story?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Granny Square Endeavours

When I had strep throat last month and was off from work several days, I was so bored that I started a whole bunch of new projects: quilting, knitting and crocheting. Apart from the quilting, which is of course ongoing, the crochet project has taken off the most. I'm making a granny squares blanket. Not sure how big yet, these things tend to get heavy. It might just be decorative for the back of the couch.

I chose warm colours, red, pink, purple and brown - I guess I was craving comfort ;) I bought the wool at a store around the corner; it's Island-made and dyed here as well. The store also sells fantastic knitwear, made right in front of your eyes at the back of the store on big machines.

Here's my progress to date, about 45 squares. I have another 45 squares in preparation at various stages. I'm making all possible variations of pink, purple and red in the center, with a brown outline. Amazing how different the squares look just by changing up the colours in each layer, isn't it??

Monday, 18 October 2010

Imagination at the Show

My Imagination 1 quilt was one of the ones I submitted to the show, so here are some photos of the (pretty much) completed quilt. It's not absolutely finished, but I'm tired of working on it and it's perfectly functional, so let's call it usefully-finished :)

I was only slightly upset that they draped this quilt after I painstakingly sewed on sleeves, hrumpf! *grins*

I'm glad I put the orange/red and purple zinger circles on the quilt, imagine it without them!

Here's a section that's not quite finished - something will go between the circles in the light green border, some kind of connecting motif...

The lighting at the show wasn't ideal, it was also already dark out, but you can just make out the outline quilting around the square shapes/strips.

What does this make you think of? Lilypads that a frog just jumped on to cause the concentric circles? Planets?

Here you can see the creative vine ranking along the border, it's growing square flowers with squares inside them.

Circles, circles, circles...

Who knows, I might be stitching on this quilt in years to come, adding to it when I feel like it :)

It's such a super soft quilt (thanks to the fabrics, some kind of special weave), I'm guaranteed to use that one when I feel under the weather and want to be cozy!