Sunday, May 19, 2019

Time for the success stories for the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2019

It is really hard to believe it is time to wrap up this year's Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge. The last few months since this year's information was provided have just flown by.

Thanks again to Sarah for all the incredible work she does behind the scenes to make this annual event run smoothly. The featured shape in the weeks of warm up was the humble rectangle. An oft unappreciated shape in the quilting world but one I happen to love. I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger this year and spent my time on the soap box describing my simples bricks quilts and focussing on what I call simple bricks 3 because it is the third variation of the basic design. If you missed my guest post and the instructions for the simple bricks quilt it can be found here.

This is my first completed and donated quilt for this year. It actually changed it's intended destination and went to a charity auction for the Senior's home where my Mom spent her final years. The quilt did well and that makes me happy.

My second finished quilt for the Challenge is one I did as a test for Janet Barker a Canadian designer from Calgary. This one is going to Project Linus through my local quilt guild, the Kincardine Sunset Quilt Guild.

My final donation quilt for the challenge this year is simply titled Ambulance. It is a design done by Lisa at Counted Quilts (here). She has a interesting way of designing that produces a very unique result. This quilt will go to my local Scrap Bag quilters group for distribution in our town.

So overall I am happy with my results this year. Three completions and a couple of different destinations. This is probably the only challenge I do because to me it is so meaningful. If Sarah decides to continue the tradition next year I can say right now "I'm all in". Thanks to all the participants. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

As Mr. Bond would say..."diamonds are forever"

Just the logo for this blog hop is inspiring. Thank you Carol for organizing this hop. There have been some terrific projects and some inspiring ideas shown so far. The "rules" for the hop were fairly straight forward. Basically make something with diamonds.

I used this wall quilt as my inspiration.
From inspiration to reality sometimes does not quite work out. I set my diamonds together and it is somewhat like setting a quilt on point. To square up the quilt some of the edges get trimmed. I wanted to duplicate the "grout" and used black rickrack for that task. What I did not count on was even though I used a walking foot to apply the grout I got way more wrinkling than I wanted. That being said there was no way I was attacking this with my stitch ripper.
This is the right size for a doll quilt once the back is attached and binding added. I suspect I would have been smarter to stitch the "grout" on as the quilting lines with my batting in place.

Since we were supposed to post a finished project I will finish with one of my diamond String quilts. I gave a complete set of instructions for creating one of your own in a previous blog post (here).

This is the list of bloggers who are participating. I hope you will have time to visit some of them and to leave a comment here or there.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The April Colour Challenge Block is Here

Jen at PatternsbyJen (here) has posted another great block for the colour challenge. The floral inspiration for the April block is a bulb called Glory of the Snow. With the amount of non stop snow some of us have seen this past winter glory may not be the word we would use but the flower is pretty.
My photo is a little blurry but I think you get the idea. When I made my block I think I went a little on the dark side. 
Jen has all the directions on her blog. this and all the other blocks she is presenting for the colour challenge are basic blocks that she has written good clear directions for you to make them.

Remember to stop by the other bloggers who are showing off their blocks this month. 

Leanne - Devoted Quilter

Sarah - 123 Quilt

Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Strings, strings, glorious strings

Today we start a journey through some (no doubt) fabulous string quilt projects. My personal favourite string quilt shape is the diamond string. It is almost as simple as the regular or standard string quilt but has one little wrinkle. 

This is my wee diamond strings quilt. It is all quilted, labelled, washed and ready for donation. At approximately 30" x 40" it is relatively small but would be great for tucking around baby for a walk in the stroller.
To get started on this you need a foundation. I prefer some really thin cotton. Old sheets work well for this or some prefer muslin. I have not yet been converted to telephone book pages although I have tried them. 
For the diamond string your base shape is a rectangle. Mine for this project were 7" x 10". I have made doll sized ones using 5" x 7" (and downsized the centre string). Any size will do as long as it is  definitely a rectangle to start with.

The trick: Half of the starter strings must reach up to the right and half of them must reach up to the left. 
On these two backings you can see the drawn centre line for the string placement. One goes towards the top right and one goes towards the top left.

I just use the lines on my cutting mat to line things up. If I had used the rectangles in the diagram above with my white centre strings the pencil line would show through and you don't want that! My centre strings are 2" x 14" for this size. That gives overlap at each end. You can make your centre string a different width but it since it highlights the pattern so make it something a good size. Also note that the centre string should contrast with  the strings you are going to use.

Then you start stitching strings in place right sides together, using a 1/4" seam. I press after each added string. That stops me from sitting for hours in the same position and it makes the my work neater. Some people finger press.
When you have covered all of your foundation your block is ready to trim. The one on the left is what it looks like from the right side the one on the right is what it looks like from the wrong side. 

Once trimmed this is what the blocks look like. I try to make certain my centre string is centred when I am doing the trimming for each block.

Next step artfully arrange your blocks and stitch them together. At this stage I will often use a 3/8" or even a 1/2" seam and press it open because there is a lot of bulk if you press to one side.

To quilt these I follow the centre string. One a good day I would go on each side of the string and on the vertical and horizontal block lines. I hope this thumbnail sketch of how I do diamond string quilts answers most of your questions and that you will give them a try. Piecefully, Joanne

Please stop by the other bloggers who are on this fun Blog Hop to see what they have to offer. We all have strings lets get using them. 
Monday, March 25th

Karrin's Crazy World

Tuesday, March 26th


Wednesday, March 27th

Friday, March 22, 2019

Day 10 and a recap of this week

I had a few too many appointments  yesterday and didn't get a photo up for Lines #9.

A final couple of tips to add to the mix. Make certain you have the best possible light to work in. My hubby bought me a natural light desk lamp when I retired. I was a wee bit disappointed as I thought he was getting an Ott lamp but this natural light has turned out to be a blessing. Colours look real, there is no glare, I in fact have grown fairly rapidly to love it. It can be taken to retreats but I now have a smaller Ott lamp for that purpose. Daylight is not really enough.

And Lines #10. This is that last of the Lines section of the pattern. Next week we move onto Shapes. As you move through each "chapter" the blocks become a little more challenging.
These blocks are all foundation paper pieced. There is special paper that can be purchased for paper piecing. But it is fairly expensive and not all printers love to feed it through. So I use regular printer paper. I have used both and while the special paper is easier to remove when it is time for paper removal the standard printer paper causes no difficulties.

This is the end of my week supporting Darla at Clinton Modern Creative (here). She has been an official shop sponsor of the Sew Along this week. Remember that she is offering a 15% discount on instock merchandise for the rest of the week. Just enter TRINKET15 when you checkout.
Next week another Canadian blogger will take over to show her work and support Darla. I will pop in but perhaps not as often. Thank you Darla for allowing me to participate as a blogger for you for this Sew Along. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Day 8 Lines 8

Here they are. The blocks are starting to get a little bit more complex but still very manageable. This one has two parts to it. Remember my smaller one is downsized to 2 1/8" from the standard 4 1/2" unfinished.
I leave the paper on until I am joining the block to something else.
And for today's "tip"
Why you might ask does one person need two irons? I NEVER put water in my dry iron. I use a dry iron for all my paper piecing. I have a separate iron for steam and regular stitching. Pressing is one of those areas where quilters primarily agree to disagree. Most are in one camp or another. I might consider myself a fence straddler as I like steam for some purposes and a dry iron for others.

Just a friendly reminder that Darla at Clinton Modern Creative is a Trinkets Sew Along sponsor this week. All week she is offering 15% off at checkout if you use the code TRINKET15. She has some fantastic fabrics in her shop. For me these are fabrics that I cannot purchase locally. You may possibly be able to find them if you live in the city but they are found in semi rural Ontario.

Clinton Modern can be found (here) I should be back tomorrow with Lines #9. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Day 7 Lines 7" for the Alison Glass Trinket Sew Along

The Trinket Sew Along is progressing well with many participants from around the globe. That is one thing I certainly enjoy about these type of events. Seeing for instance an Aussie's take on something I am doing here in southern Ontario.

Today's block is Lines 7
I have had little difficulty keeping up. As I may have mentioned it is taking me longer to pick my fabric than to stitch the blocks.

The larger blocks are the actual size for the sew along and the smaller one I reduced to 40% on my printer. I had to play with that a bit so don't take that as a given for your printer. The smaller block is currently 2 1/8" unfinished.

My paper piecing tip of the day is this
You may wonder what in the world. It is a heavy book and a glue stick. As I finish a block component I flatten it under a heavy book. I happen to have a couple of copies of SciencePower 8 as I was the author of the Teacher's Manual for one section of this grade 8 text book. When I am ready to assemble a multisection project the components as definitely smooth and flat. The glue stick I use sparingly when I have a long section at the end of a component. These Trinket blocks do not have any long sections but sometimes on a larger piece you get an untethered piece and the glue stick keeps the paper and the fabric together.

Please remember that Darla of Clinton Modern Creative (here) is a shop sponsor for this sew along this week. She is offering a 15% discount at the check out for any in stock merchandise this week just use the code TRINKET15.

Back tomorrow with another tip and Lines #8. Piecefully, Joanne