Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Aurifil BOM


On the 15th of each month the new Aurifil block pattern is posted. This month is an unusual design called "Sparkler" by designer Wendy Sheppard.  You can get the pattern at the Aurifil blog here. Here is my version in my favourite red and white fabrics. It was fun to sew and I can totally see this as a great Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt block... can't you?!?

This pattern has lots of small pieces, so you can use up some smaller scraps making this block. I cut the whole block, pinned the pieces together and very carefully sewed each quadrant. It would be very easy to get the design mixed up which would result in overuse of the seam ripper!
To see more fun variations on this block pattern, hop over to Pat Sloan's link up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Log Cabin Loonies

Julie is hosting a fun Log Cabin Lunatics link up where quilters can post about their log cabin projects. 
I have only sewn 1 log cabin block recently. It is one of the July Shop Hop blocks, and probably was my favourite one of all the patterns. They give you the fabrics, so all of the 1" scrappy strips were precut for me! I did pick a different background fabric from my stash and impressed myself with how the horizontal pattern in the fabric lines up fairly well across the block.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Design Wall Monday


While I have been visiting a few of the stores on this year's July Shop Hop and collecting the new blocks, I have also been working on my blue blocks from last year's hop. 
Here are 9 of the 15 blocks on the design wall. If you want to see all the creative layout designs hop over to the July Shop Hop photo page.


The top right block was a bit of an ordeal. I traced the pattern onto freezer paper to paper piece. There were 8 components to the block and this photo shows one of them.
So I traced all 8 pieces and started to sew them without any difficulty. But when all the pieces were ready to assemble, I realized that because of the reverse issue in paper piecing I didn't have the colour placement right, and the white and light blue were mixed in some of the blocks. I thought I would remember which colour went where since there are only 3 colours, but apparently I didn't! It was a reminder to always write on the pattern which colour goes in each section, because obviously I can't rely on the old memory bank anymore!
 
Here is the finished block, and you can see if you look closely that I had to sew some scraps together to get big enough pieces to use after all that sewing and unsewing of awkward angles.
C'est la vie!
On to the next block...

To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

It has been a very busy summer so far at Kathy's quilts. The last three weekends were spent in 3 different cities, with a lot of driving in between, lots of visiting of family and beloved friends, and of course slow stitches have been made in every location. 
Life is Beautiful block #26

I finished the hand embroidery on block #26 for Life is Beautiful. If you have been thinking of buying the pattern for this project, I finally found a source in Canada. There were two complete pattern sets for sale at The Quilting Bee in Fonthill (no affiliation, just a customer happy to see the patterns available locally!)
I finished this block while visiting with the Fabric Piranhas this past week. They are quite a bunch of crazy quilters and I am so honoured that they let me join their adventurous group. 
They are all avid hand stitchers so of course we spent time stitching in the gazebo and talking about our projects - the ones we are currently stitching, and the ones that we are dreaming of starting. In this photo we have Deanna stitching hexies, Barbara ("I don't like blue") with an embellishment project, Louise hand binding her Indian Orange Peel (more on that later this week), and me starting the embroidery on block #27. It was a wonderful (but always too short) time of laughter and stitching.

What are you hand stitching? Treat yourself to a little creative vacation today, take a few stitches on your project and link up below to share your slow progress with us. 


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Scrappy Saturday



Another Mad City Mama block is finished. This pattern is from Bonnie Hunter's book Adventures with Leader & Enders. It's quite a labour intensive block using 148 scraps! But it's really fun if you like scrap piecing (which I clearly do!)
You can see the first 4 blocks of my collection here



I finished this block while visiting with some quilting friends who call themselves the "Fabric Piranhas". They are a little scary and totally hilarious! I will post more about them tomorrow, but today I wanted to show the photos that I took of my block while staying at Louise's house. In one of her gardens she has an old treadle base turned into a table. The sewing machine is long gone but the base is still in great condition.
See how the actual treadle says "VERTICAL FEED" which means it was once operating a Davis sewing machine. I wonder if my herd will ever include one of these rare machines?
To see more scrappy projects being created, hop over to the weekly link up at SoScrappy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Circa 2016

The Circa 2016 blocks were easy this week. These are called Yankee Puzzle, but look like an hourglass block. They don't have a good centre seam join, but after yesterday's block fiasco, I decided to call it "good enough" and move on!
To see what we're sewing this week, hop over to Temecula.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Leader-Ender Challenge

Everyone knows I am a huge fan of Bonnie Hunter and her revolutionary leader-ender method of making quilts. My leader-ender project for the last 4 years has been the small Alamo Star block and I keep making a few of those every month. Every year Bonnie announces a leader-ender challenge and twice I joined in on her project.
Here is the list that I can remember:
2015 Tumblers (I made a mini version called Tiny Tumble) 
2014 Lozenges
2013 Split 9 Patch
2012 Spools (I am working on my spool quilt layout)
2011 Cheddar BowTies
Bonnie announced the 2016 leader-ender challenge this week and it's the hourglass block. At first I wasn't tempted because I was thinking that I've made so many of those blocks over the years. 
But then... I remembered the Clarissa quilt. 
Clarissa quilt


On the way to the Vermont Quilt festival in the Spring of 2011, I had the opportunity to see an amazing quilt at the Shelburne Museum which became one of my all time favourite quilts. Here it is! I posted about it here and have always thought I would love to make a variation of this quilt. It looks like now is the time to start my own leader-ender Clarissa hourglass quilt.



This quilt was made by Clarissa White Alford and contains 6,048 pieces of fabric!
It was made by a woman who raised 9 children of her own, plus 6 children from her husband's 1st marriage for a total of 15 children. That makes her a total superstar in my opinion!  Can you even imagine her life back in the 1800's??  It is believed that she made the quilt while living in Quebec when in her 80's. It's amazing not only that she survived all those years, after raising all those children, but that she still managed to create a lasting work of art in her last years.

I looked at that quilt a long time in 2011. I was inspired by the story of it and by the beauty and longevity of the quilt. Here is a close up of one of the 42 blocks all made with hourglass units...and hand quilted!
I don't know how many blocks my Clarissa quilt will be, but I started the first one today.

The first block was pieced on my Singer 301 short bed sewing machine named Ethel. The sound of this 301 machine is soft and lovely... it's such a calming pleasure to sew with her!



But look what happened! First of all, because I don't have a pattern and am making this up based on a photo, my math was off (big surprise!) and my first block turned out to be too small. 
And secondly, how did the bottom right hourglass block not work out as planned?!?
Clarissa made everything in life and in quilting look easy, and it's not. I think I'm calling this quilt "Clarissa was a Superstar"!