Olympic Patchwork Piecing and a Poet Shows Up

>> Thursday, August 18, 2016

embroidered blue circle tablecloth outside

Wondering why I keep my fancy stitched tablecloths hidden away. I found this one while looking for props for a photo. Put it away in my quilting space to keep it less hidden this time.

thin scraps for small piecing

Been working to finish writing for a deadline. Back into the Patchwork Olympics tonight. Hoping to catch up by sewing strips together then cutting them into smaller pieces.

pieces ready to chain piece

Chain piecing the matched strips should speed things up too.

test layout

I couldn't resist laying some of the tiny pieces out to see what a block would look like. It will finish at 8 inches square. I realize now I'm actually missing one more row across the top;)

closeup text

It's also a full moon tonight. Thought I had made a cutting error and had to throw away some of these blocks. Got really mad at myself - for the mistake, for the waste, for being so tired when it was finally time to quilt. just. for. me.

macro closeup of poet

Realized in the end, when it turned out I had been wrong but in the right way and I could still use the scraps, that I was making a dreamboard too.

Find MAKE time to quilt for you when you are not tired. Please.

Sarah V.


Mid-August Update: Splendid Sampler, Secret Garden and Scrap JOY

>> Sunday, August 14, 2016

block 50 splendid sampler

Last week went by in a blur! Where has the summer gone? Actually, I've been savouring the summer and finding that it's almost time to pick up the pace again as the new school year approaches. But before that happens I plan to spend a lot of time quilting!

I did get to enjoy visiting blogs of several Splendid Sampler block designers last week as the 50th of 100 blocks was released. I took some time to make my block 50 and one more pieced block.

block 46 splendid sampler

Block 46 was fun to do, playing with the lights, darks and medium prints in this line to get some of the swirling effect going. I will spend some more time catching up in another week or so - I have quite a bit of writing and designing to do in the mean time.

august my secret garden block

Of course I did take some time to make this month's My Secret Garden block too! I actually wanted to use some of the blue Denyse Schmidt fabric that I'm using as the background in this block for another project so it was the perfect excuse to cut out this block at the same time.

secret garden blocks end of august

Here are my My Secret Garden blocks. Remember last month Pat gave out two blocks - the one in the bottom row is the first bonus block. I have a plan now for the sashing that I started cutting this week. Hopefully I'll add it to my blocks next month ;)

four patch-work in progress

THIS is what I was cutting scraps for - Four Patch-Work by Temecula Quilt Co. I find it irresistible! The pattern is free on their blog  until the Olympics are over. It has been absolutely delightful to cut patches from fabrics I'm using now in various projects as well as from my scrap bin to get this many blocks made. I might get to another post this week with some more progress. The next step is cutting more than 500 11/2" squares to make into four patches.

Did I mention I was busy writing too?!

light for photo shoot

Yes, a new PFAFF machine arrived for me to review! Plus we worked on renovating the bathroom last week and I ended up with this new-to-my-space storage cabinet. This photo shows me trying to get the right light on the sewing machine without any shadows behind it. On the design wall behind it is all the 8" four patches from the Four Patch-Work top.

It seems like my sewing space has picked up the pace. I'll get my writing done so I can get back to quilting - and sharing here! 

How are you spending the rest of August?

With Joy and Gratitude,

Sarah V.

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Cat Quilts for International Cat Day!

>> Monday, August 8, 2016

lambert on halloween 1904

According to my day planner it's International Cat Day! As a quilter with cats, everyday is cat day - but especially basting day. Or any day I lay a quilt out on the floor.

lambert at sewing machine

Lambert is my current quilt assistant - he loves to test out the possibilities for future catnap spots.

Echo under table

I have a second helper, Echo, who prefers to tuck himself under my table while I quilt. He only sleeps on finished quilts after they have Lambert's approval ;)

mogli on lcd quilt

Mogli was my longest serving quilt assistant - you can see his special post here.

Here's a few links to some current quilt patterns featuring cats.

smarty cats fabric print

This new line from Windham fabrics called Smarty Cats is really fun and appropriate for my daughter who loves reading and cats and reading with her cats! Alas, she has a lot of quilts already LOL 
Wendy Sheppard has some really cute patterns with this fabric - Cat Tales and Smokey and Friends(pictured below).

smokey and friends quilt by Wendy Sheppard

The Cat Lady quilt from Sarah Watts of Cotton and Steel is purrfect for quilters who quilt and knit and love cats! You can download it from this catalog page.

The Cat Mini quilt by Elizabeth Hartman is a fun make too. It's a culmination from a quilt along she did on her blog and the posts are still up. 

I also have a pinterest board named Cat Quilts where you can find more to enjoy.

lambert in my chair

Hope this post puts you in the purrfect mood for some quilting :)

Do you have a cat helper? Share with a link in the comments and I'll come visit!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Canadian Online Quilt Shops I Buy Fabric From

>> Monday, August 1, 2016

I tend to buy more fabric in the summertime, be it from travelling or just more time to browse online. . .  Either way most of my shopping is now done almost exclusively through Canadian shops. This post will highlight (in no particular order!) some of the shops I have purchased from. Thanks for the great fabrics!

zoey and bean mini pearl bracelets

I finally have some of Lizzie House's mini pearl bracelets. I couldn't resist the colours. This fat quarter pack was purchased from Zoey and Bean fabrics thanks to an instagram sale! Yes, a first for me. It was pretty easy to buy by receiving an invoice through Paypal. She's just starting to stock up and I look forward to seeing her selection grow.

Zoey and Bean fabrics on instagram

This completely irresistible stack of Uppercase is making me so happy! It's taking most of my willpower not to unfold each piece and wrap myself up in it. It's sooooo happy and bright. What I realized after receiving it was just how much you miss buying online - the details of the fabric designs just don't transfer through a screen. The metallic alphabet and polka dots are so amazing - you'll just have to get some and see for yourself;)

I purchased my Uppercase fat quarter bundle through Fabric Spot. I have purchased here before (a bunch of Tula Pink) and really love how she has her shop offerings laid out online. 

allietaire yardage

Sew Sisters in Toronto is an online shop that I frequently shop - especially their sales. These pieces of yardage I got on sale and are the beginning of my Allietaire stash building. It might take me a while at sale prices to eventually get all I need, but I'm willing to let this one take some time. The hunt for perfect fabrics is definitely enabled by online shopping!

Sew Sisters has a newsletter you can subscribe to that features a monthly deal too.

Most of my recent shopping has been in person, apparently, as my other fabric photos are of pieces I bought in person. 

Always support your local shops too - you need them for basics and knowledgeable advice! Plus nothing replaces feeling the fabric before you buy - nothing.

I have also shopped online at Mad About Patchwork

I also compulsively browse Hamel's Fabrics "what's new" because they carry Moda precuts and Pat Sloan fabric ;)

For even more Canadian choices check out Thread Riding Hood and her pinterest board of Canadian Online Fabric Shops

Do you buy fabric online?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


July Finish - Birthday Train Quilt

>> Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I finished my July quilt early - in time for my son's 9th birthday! It was my first quilt from a kit - can you believe that? My son actually picked it out last year while we were on vacation in Guelph, ON over his birthday.

It was also my first quilt made completely of solids. I kind of get it now - quilting with solids is like playing with crayons. In comparison, quilting with prints is like cutting up curtains - don't you agree? :)

sam and train quilt july 2016

Here we are with the finished quilt. Of course I did change up the quilt - I added the orange border so the quilt would finish a little larger. The kit called for the orange to be the binding so there was plenty to use for the border. Then I used leftover yellow from my Vacation Time quilt for the back and binding.

birthday quilt label

I made a label too - which my son helped with by pressing the *start* button on the PFAFF sewing machine. I think he could quickly become an embroidery designer if I let him ;)

Not sure if this will be his last train quilt - he has a wallhanging inspired by his drawing and a quilt with train fabric. We'll see. For now his bed is full!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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This blog exists to share my quiltmaking and joy of colour to inspire others to find their joy.

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