Friday, January 30, 2015

Making the transition from blue to pink

This week's scrappy contribution is a variation on the Chinese Coins pattern. I had a pile of 2" pieces. They were not uniform in length so a standard Chinese Coins design was out of the question. So I did a "jelly roll race" or lasagna style effect with the pieces. I joined them end to end and folded back on itself three times until I had a long strip that was 8 rows wide. Then I took that strip and cut it into 6 equal sections and joined them together vertically . I had some of this border print with pink and blue flowers and the length of those pieces determined my final size. It feels good to make something from "nothing" The machine I use for machine quilting is going for its annual trip to the spa so I will be making tops for a while until she returns refreshed and ready to stitch some more. I am hoping to link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (here) and Oh Scrap (here) later this weekend. At that time I will edit to add the appropriate links. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A new to me designer and a fabulous paper pieceing pattern

Pictured today is a pattern called Paper Cranes and two paper pieced cranes from the pattern. I stumbled on this site a couple of weeks ago after following links from a linky party. The site is Flying Parrot Quilts (here) and the proprietor is Sheila. She has some fantastic designs with a Science base to them and as a retired Math and Science teacher they just drew me in. As I went through her site I noted that she had asked for testers for this pattern back in late Fall so I figured she would have that under control but I sent her an email anyway and said I would be interested in future testing opportunities. I ended up proof reading the pattern and making a left and right facing crane. The pattern is beautifully laid out, well illustrated and very clearly explained. And it includes little hints too. I could see her Science background at play here. The cranes are designed to be done with two charms. The first one I made with some scrap material that was cut in a 5" strip. For the second one I figured I better stick to two charms. That worked perfectly.
When my daughter was in Brownies they made Paper Cranes and sent them to the war memorial in Japan. One of the boys in her class (about grade 4) made a stunning mobile for the school library with a 1000 paper cranes. It hung in the library for the rest of the time that my kids were at the school. So I have a bit of a soft spot for that particular design.
Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, January 23, 2015

Canadian Quilts of Valour

This is my second Quilt of Valour. The first one was sent anonymously to the group so I have no idea who got it but this one I presented myself. The recipient is a young man in my community who was injured and told he may never walk again. As you can see he is standing upright on his own. I have watched him at my local gym for a couple of years now working, working, working to get his mobility back. The presentation took place in the gym's spin studio where he is now able to teach spin classes. Don't worry about me, I don't do spin classes. It was such an honour for me to present the quilt to such a deserving young veteran. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Turning Scraps into Quilts one Leader and Ender at a time

Pictured are 25 quilt blocks made from my Scrap Salad box. I thought the box was full but after making 25 blocks the box is still full. Perhaps is it just a little aerated now. I like to keep these beside my machine when I am doing some piecing and before you know it you have a block assembled. With this particular one I sew the two centre pieces together on the long side. Then add a piece across the top and  the bottom. Next step is to join pairs of scraps on the short side and then add them to the sides. These pieces are 1 1/2" by 2 1/2". this design however will work with 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" pieces, and 3 1/2" by 6 1/2" pieces. I forget the 2" by? size as I don't use 2" strips very often. Once you have a good collection of little blocks made join them together alternating the direction of the centre pairs. No seams to match. another win-win block and project. This pile is enough to make a lap quilt or a baby quilt. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with A Quilting Chick for her Leader and Ender challenge and later this week with Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild

The Kincardine guild met this week. I was certainly happy that the highway was not closed the way it was for several days last week. I donated this quilt to Project Linus. Some might call it a scrappy quilt. I was just looking for lights/mediums and darks that would "play nicely together". One of my quilting buddies gave me several of the pieces I was able to incorporate into this quilt. I felt this had a slightly more modern look and might be suitable for a teenager. Project Linus in our area supports children up into their late teens. I have been busy trying to get caught up on things around the house so that when we go on vacation there won't be any nagging things for me to worry about. Piecefully, Joanne
PS Don't forget to stop by Cynthia's blog(here) Quilting is more Fun than Housework, to see what other blogs are doing with their scraps this week.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Smile on Me a tested quilt

This lovely quilt top is called Smile on Me. It was designed by Raija of Quilters Treasure Chest in Arkansas. I don't exactly recall how I ended up testing for her but when I saw the draft design photo I loved the geometry of the design. I actually went out and bought fabric to make this quilt. The pattern makes use of two Deb Tucker rulers, the Corner Beam Tool and the Square 2 Tool. But there are paper templates with the pattern so if you do not have those rulers you can still make the design. I used the paper templates because no one had even heard of the rulers around here and I was on a time crunch to get this done so did not want to go online to purchase them. I did go online to watch the YouTube videos of them and may purchase them in the future. I think Deb Tucker does an amazing job with her specialty rulers and the education that goes with them.
While testing the pattern Raija and I had a few social email exchanges. She is originally from Finland and I had visited there on two different occasions so we were both able to reminisce.
The pattern is now available as a digital download and will be available soon as a paper pattern. Visit Quilters Treasure Chest (here)to see this and Raija's other interesting designs. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back on the Scrapwagon...did I ever fall off?

Continuing in my efforts to look on the brighter side of things. Three scrappy finishes for January to date. The red bordered one will go to Project Linus and the other two with the windmill blocks will go to the Scrapbag group. We are now in our fourth day of snowsquall warnings and second day of the Highway being closed. Perfect excuses to stay inside and do some finishing. I need to get some more quilts quilted so I can sit under them to do the binding. Another good way to stay warm. We have quilt guild next week. Sure hope the Highway is open on Wednesday.
The red border quilt was made with 4 patches created from some strips a friend gave me. It is 26" by 30" a good tiny baby size. The greener of the two windmill quilts is 41" by 56" and the smaller green one is 33" by 36". Those little windmills are so addictive. The most time is spent getting them ready. You need 4 identical 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces for the small windmills. Diane Harris at the Quiltmaker blog did a great tutorial on them a couple of years ago. I try not to cut anything smaller than this. I keep a little container beside my sewing machine with the sets of four in them and use them as Leaders and Enders.  Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reflecting on 2014, Looking forward to 2015, Focusing on a glass half full

As I rev my engines (slowly) for a new year I like to reflect back on the year just finishing. I completed 42 quilts, most of them have found new homes with the local Scrapbag group of through Project Linus. I am still enjoying doing that type of sewing and certainly plan to continue that. DH really wants me to reduce the stash so it can be a win-win. Several other projects of the "secret" variety were done and they are not included in my total. I have found that I really enjoy testing quilt patterns for other designers. I know I will never be a designer but I can follow directions and proof read well.
I met and then exceeded my target of 50 books for the 50 book pledge. The next question is which book did I like the best. That is almost the impossible question. I enjoyed The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi and In the Shadow of the Banyon by Vaddey Ratner. Both these books give the reader insides into another culture.
The photo for today's post is some of my Christmas break sewing. Grandson #1 brought his new "stuffie" with him when he came for the holidays. First he wanted a sleeping bag for his stuffie, then a pillow, then a stuffie for his stuffie and then a suitcase so his stuffie could carry his stuffie. Are you still with me? I drew the line at a hat for the stuffie. So a little piece of minkee made a little fish for the cat and scraps of cotton came in handy for the rest of the items.
As to the glass half full. I was thinking that as I stitched a new binding onto a quilt sized quilt. This poor quilt had been loved to bits over the last 15 years and was literally falling apart. I repaired it as best I could and then spent most of a day sewing the binding in place. It isn't perfect but it has a few more years to give some warmth. The glass half empty person would say throw it out, the glass half full person would be happy the quilt is still in use and the owner does not want to part with it just yet.
Wishing all the best for my followers and anyone else who stumbles across my blog.  Piecefully, Joanne