More Book Sharing

IMG_0505I found two welcome surprises when out walking yesterday:

  1. The neighborhood sharing bin has ebbed and flowed with assorted items but has never contained many books.  But things are changing!  A good selection of literature, and non fiction. interestingly the mysteries I had left are gone after sitting there for a while.  Definitely a step in the right direction and more genre fiction will be added as I read through my shelf.
  2. Dollarama finally has sketchbooks in again. These were in stock in the summer and then when I went back for more they were out of stock.  But right now there is a good supply in.  When I can pay $3 for a sketchbook with 80 sheets of 60-pound paper in the preferred 9 by 12 size, I’m SOOOO there.

I figure this means I can spend more money on other supplies from specialty stores.

What’s YOUR take on this debate about shopping from local stores versus discount places?  Are you firmly in one camp or the other, or like me split between the two?  I’d love to hear!

REALLY looking: a serendipitous discovery

river004Michael James could be described as the first extreme quilter.  This book, which was published in 1998, is in many quilters’ libraries.

It just so happened that when I bought it at a Guild retreat, I also bought a basket of goodies which I discovered included a magnifier.  Anxious to see how well it worked I held it over the book cover (not something I would usually do) and was gobsmacked to see that Michael James did not use only solids in his work.  In the older pieces especially there are some pretty tame calicoes that today would likely be relegated to baby quilts or quilt backs, as they’re just not that dynamic.  For example follow the fourth orange stripe from the bottom left and see what it’s joined to when the colour change happens!

CHALLENGE – what do you think?  Is it harder to use colours you don’t like or prints you don’t like?

Banner Block for Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, work in progress!

Some people would have sat down and done their banner block for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild in under an hour, using the beautiful Kona Cottons Robert Kaufman so generously provided for our fledgling guild.  Hmm, yeah, not me …

But at least I’m working on it and keeping all the other balls in the air in my life …

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Cardinal, cactus and celestial

Here’s one of the fish blocks for Pirate Girl’s quilt

IMG_0058which I’ll post more about as time goes by.

While making fish blocks, I didn’t actually sew one this way (although I well could have, LOL!)

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but it did get me thinking …

IMG_0055except why stop with a plain “background” in the large area?

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and for that matter, wouldn’t a little more cardinal be a Good Thing?

What do YOU think?  Does this say “modern”?

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Process on Banner Block for Modern Quilt Guild

To mark the inauguration of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, Robert Kaufman fabrics has generously donated Kona Cottons to Guild members. We’re getting a total of 3/4 of yard in the colours of our Guild logo designed by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky.

We are working on our banner and the challenge is for each member to create a six-inch block using the fabrics we’ve been given.

Drool!

IMG_0044These are arranged from light to dark.  I thought had them organized correctly but decided to take a black and white photocopy to double-check.  I was close but had the cactus as the third lightest but in fact it’s really the second lightest.  At first I had the cardinal as darker than the glacier and then changed my mind.

As all we have to produce is one block each, there will be lots of left over fabric.  Hmmm, we may have to have another challenge to do something with those.

So the colours going left to right are:

aqua, cactus, blueberry, cedar, cardinal, glacier, celestial, nightfall

The block I’m thinking about making is a riff on the fish block I’m using for Pirate Girl’s quilt, which is itself a riff on an Ohio Star block.  But this block is twisted and will be made in three colours rather than just two.

Of course as I sit here writing this several other twists and possibilities spring to mind.  I have worked out to make the edges first and audition the centre once the edges are done.  Production would have started this morning but rotary cutters and small kids are not a good combination …

Prairie Point Project

Does this ever happen to you?

It never fails!  My major projects, such as the dino quilt, always seem to generate test and practice pieces.  And they in turn take on a life of their own.

Yes, I could grab some ugly hard to use fabrics, make a quick quilt sandwich and grab assorted precut 3-1/2 inch squares (precut by me using Joan Ford’s Scrap Therapy system) and make sure I can apply Prairie Points.  But I can’t bring myself to do that.

Out comes a novelty fabric and some pretty chintzes and I’m making a table topper for Young Sprout & Co.  They were recently blessed with a child size table and chairs and as soon as it was in their room, they found a receiving blanket to serve as a tablecloth.

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Since this is to be an Eid gift, for now I’m just showing the back.  Ignore the birds nest of threads.  This is still a work in progress as I have to deal with that and sew down the prairie points by hand.   Then it will be on to the dino quilt, a much larger project, LOL!

More slab blocks

Many other Guild members made haste to make slab blocks to Recover Southern Alberta.  These blocks are 15-1/2 inches.  Arlene, Margaret and I put our efforts together and the package I express mailed on Sunday was delivered on Tuesday, which is really pretty awesome considering.

photo(60)We made blocks in various colours, but all of us had made blue blocks.  This photo shows why this design of Cheryl Arkison’s is such a brilliant choice for group projects, because each block was made by a different person.

Top left is Margaret’s, mine is on the right and Arlene’s is below.

I’ve been well and truly bitten by the slab bug and am working on what may hopefully become a group project, using 9 1/2 inch slabs to make baby quilts.  The photo below shows a few of the blocks I’ve made so far.  I’m figuring 20 blocks to a quilt in four rows of five and hope to have a top assembled for show and share in early August.

It’s such fun to see the projects people come up with to bust stash, so what are YOU doing?  I’d love to know!

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Baby Quilt 2014 Challenge

This is going to be fun!

Please scroll down below Paddington.  It’s a scan and I should’ve cropped it.  Lesson learned!

river011Our Guild’s Baby Quilts Committee have come up with a brilliant challenge for the quilt show next year.

Everyone who accepts the challenge receives – free – a packet.  All the packets are different but they all contain nine 6-inch squares (Paddington is one of them) plus a fat quarter in solid or tone-on-tone green or yellow.

Fabric from the nine squares and the fat quarter have to be included in the quilt top.

Additionally each packet contains some extra scraps that could be used along with whatever we have in our stash.

What I appreciate about this challenge:

  • Not too many sadistic rules so hopefully lots of members will feel moved to participate
  • Free is always good — they are even providing the batting once the top is completed.  Free is good because no one has to think about the money before joining in AND once people have signed up almost everyone will actually finish and turn in a baby quilt for the local neonatal intensive care unit.
  • The fabrics in the packet are pretty eclectic so even more scraps from the stash can come in
  • Having all different fat quarters is great
  • The use of yellow or green for the fat quarter is gender neutral

Of course it’s a challenge so the design has to be kept secret until next March.

But I’ll write process notes as I go along and then publish them after the deadline.

Put a marmalade sandwich in your hat (like Paddington) and Stay Tuned!