Sunday, July 19, 2009

Daffodil BQ2

I finished piecing my Daffodil BQ2 on Friday night. The pattern does not suggest borders. However, I just can't leave a quilt without borders. To me a quilt without borders seems unfinished. I guess I am just not a borderless kind of gal.

My border dilemma was complicated by the fact that I only had about a 6" wide strip of the yellow fabric left and absolutely nothing left of the green fabric. In fact, I had pieced together strips of green in order to be able to finish the last couple of blocks. I knew I couldn't buy any more of the green as I had purchased everything that was left on the bolt. The quilt shop might have some of the yellow left though as it was a fairly recent purchase. Friday was super hot here and I just didn't feel like heading into town to go to the fabric shop. I turned to my stash. I picked out a blue that picked up the background colour of the blocks and an orange that picked up the colour in the center of the flowers.

I felt like the orange or option #2 was the best. However, when in doubt, turn to your friends. Linda was available to view my two options and lend her assistance.

Here is option #1 with the blue:

Here is option #2 with the orange:

Linda confirmed that orange was the right choice.
Saturday morning we had garage sale #3 of 3. These garage sales are all part of this family's dedication to a "less is more" attitude that we have adopted. At noon, we decided that we had probably sold all we could sell and we boxed up the few leftovers and delivered them to the grateful ladies at our local thrift shop. Proceeds from sales of items donated to our local thrift shop go directly back into our little town through Community Services. It was important to me that we also respect the "green" approach to disposal and not just fill the landfill. DH and I managed to sort through all totes in the garage and label the outsides with the contents. The floor is now swept and the car is back in its cozy home inside the garage. What a great feeling of accomplishment!
In the afternoon, I tackled that BQ2 again. I was ready to add the borders to that quilt. Borders are usually the stalling point for me on quilt construction and I was determined not to loose the wonderful feeling of achievement from the morning's activities. I pushed on during the afternoon and finished piecing the borders by evening.
This quilt is now very large--105" wide x 123" long. Remember, this was a completed queen size quilt according to the pattern before I added the borders. This is such a cheerful quilt. The flowers are daffodils. April is Daffodil Month for the Canadian Cancer Society. Daffodil Days started back in the 1950's. The daffodil is considered a bright, cheerful flower that creates an atmosphere that radiates hope and faith that cancer can be beaten. Just a side note, the orange fabric I chose, was from the "Quest for a Cure" fabric line. I didn't know that detail when I was picking the fabric. It seems appropriate that a Quest for a Cure fabric would be used to compliment the daffodils in this quilt. Also, did you notice that the orange fabric was also a dot fabric--I am sure Alex Anderson would be pleased!

This is a picture of the pattern jacket:
Check out Maple Island Quilts website for this and some other great patterns.

Just a parting shot of the finished flimsy hanging in my yard.

The Perfect Fabric and Shopping With Alex

This striped fabric is one I purchased last week to go with these wonderful cactus prints. I have been on the hunt for the perfect stripe to go with this panel fabric for some time. I walked into a local fabric shop last week, and there it was, and on sale! What really amazed me was that I purchased this stripe entirely from memory--I did not have the cactus print with me at the time. I was so excited when I got home and discovered that it matched perfectly!

This weekend, the 2 to 3 minute clips from Alex Anderson's classroom on The Quilt Show are free. In particular, I have enjoyed listening to Alex's fabric purchasing tips. Alex never buys yards and yards of the same fabric unless it is a particularly extraordinary piece that you are not likely to see again, or if it is a focus fabric and you will need some for the border. Alex says she wants to be able to go to the quilt shop when she starts a new project to buy some new pieces to incorporate into her support stash. By only buying 1/3 to 1/2 yard pieces of fabric for her stash she is able to constantly add to her existing stash as she starts new projects and she doesn't end up with yards and yards of stuff that she will likely tire of before she uses it all. Alex also mentioned that she never buys less than 1/3 yard of a particular fabric. She does this because pieces narrower than 1/3 yard seem to turn to shoestrings when you pre-wash them in the washer.

Alex talks about buying "sparkle" fabrics and "bridge" fabrics. Sparkle fabrics have a bit of light sprinkled across them. Alex buys 1/3 of a yard of these fabrics. Bridge fabrics have a bunch of different shades of the same colour sprinkled across them. Alex claims that green bridge fabrics are easy to come by, but bridge fabrics in other colours are harder to find. When you find a great bridge fabric, buy 1/2 to 1 yard of it.

Alex talked about circles, dots, and stripes. These fabrics she purchases in 1/2 yard increments. Alex talked about using the stripes as inner borders.

I enjoyed Alex's discussion of what makes a monochromatic (one colour family) quilt work. She maintains that you must include white in a monochromatic quilt to keep it from going flat. You also need to make sure that you include a sizable mix of size and scale of print. You need to include a full range of light to dark fabrics. Alex also mentioned that it would take a couple of years to accumulate a serious collection of one colour fabrics that will work in a successful monochromatic quilt. This is because some of those fabrics required to make that collection work successfully in a monochromatic quilt will be harder to come by.

I haven't been a big purchaser of sparkle, bridge, dot, and stripe fabric in the past. However, after purchasing just the right stripe last week, I think I am a convert to Alex's fabric methodology. I guess I need to go shopping because my collection definitely needs some enhancing with sparkle, bridging, dots, circles, and stripes! LOL

Friday, July 17, 2009

Daffodil BQ2

This is the latest project that I have been working on. I started this one last weekend. The pattern is BQ2. The daffodil fabric was part of the stash enhancement purchases that were made at the huge sale at Liquidation World back in December 2007.

This quilt will finish queen size. There are only 30 blocks total in the whole quilt top. That square of daffodil fabric finishes at 12" so that gives you some idea of the size of those flowers!

We have a long range weather forecast of 7 consecutive days of sunshine. It seems appropriate to work on such a bright and cheerful quilt - very reflective of the positive mood around here now that the sun seems to be shining here non-stop! I love summer--bring on the sun!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Two More Flimsies from Pansy Fabric

I spent today piecing two new flimsies. Both tops are made from the pansy collection of fabrics I purchased in Oregon when I was there over a year ago. This fabric seems to go on forever as I continue to piece projects from it in an attempt to use it up.

This first flimsy is a table topper. I made this one from 2 1/2" strips instead of the usual 3" strips. This one finishes at about 27" across. The purple fabric on the outer edge really looks blue in this picture. This next flimsy is a table runner from Terry Atkinson's book, Let's Do Lunch. This one finishes at 16 1/2" x 66" - nice and long. Terry calls this one Seven Layer Salad. Even after piecing these two tops, I still have more of this pansy collection left!

Happy Birthday Harold and Brenda!

Yesterday we attended a surprise birthday party for my husband's sister. She turns 60 on the 8th. My husband was surprised when there was a cake there for him too.

I made this bag for my SIL for her birthday. The bag is called, Farmer's Market Tote and is from Terry Atkinson's book, Let's Do Lunch. My version is made from pastel batiks and is heavily quilted with straight lines. I love Terry's patterns because they turn out just like the pictures in her book--no surprises!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

My husband and I headed out to watch the local fireworks in honour of Canada Day. These are some of the shots I was able to capture.


Cat Table Topper Update

The cat table topper that I made for my aunt has reached its destination. Here is a picture of the table topper on my Aunt's table. Have a look at the cute flower arrangement that she and my mom put together to go with the topper.
The cute cat tea pot was already in the possession of my aunt. My mom got the idea to put some flowers in it and use it as a centerpiece. Very cute!

As a thank you for making the toppers for her, my aunt gave me this addorable pewter pin. I have always admired the sewing/quilting themed pewtewr pins that some of my fellow guild members have. Now I have one of my own.

And because I have been talking about them, this is an updated picture of my Mom (left) and my Aunt (right). Looks like the weather is sunny at my Aunt's house.