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.


June Birthday Blocks

>> Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This is the second June birthday block - the first I included with the April block here. 
This June birthday quilter wanted Halloween stars of any kind with oranges, blacks, lime greens, some purple and bright white background. She also requested it be appropriate for a family but not too childish.

I bought the middle green fabric thinking of her in the fall! It's not quite lime green, but I thought she would like it;)

I used Pat's Secret Garden block for June for the star. Using the black as the inside square really makes the block look different. 

The third birthday quilter in June requested any block, any size with not a lot of white. No problem - except coming up with a block! This quilter quilts a lot and loves Christmas, and traditional blocks, and trying new things.

I know she loves purple so I decided to start there. I used some of my leftover Northcott Gradations Brights from making my Wish Upon a Star for Spring Quilt.

I eventually decided on the Sister's Choice block (I even made a default churn dash block before I changed my mind!)
I made the block using the free Genny and Ruth pattern and Robert Kaufman's website. I'm thinking about making one of my nieces a Sisters quilt so it was a great way to try out this pattern.

The next birthday quilter is in July so I'll have that posted sometime next month ;)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Splendid Sampler Catch Up

>> Monday, July 18, 2016

To be honest I'm NOT caught up - and I don't plan to be! 

The Splendid Sampler is a year long (and then some) sew along of 100 blocks orchestrated by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. 

I find myself eager to make the patchwork piecing blocks and sometimes the applique ones.

I am making my blocks with fabric gifted to me by my mother-in-law and I am making the blocks to create a quilt to give to her. 

I know that she prefers asymmetrical designs and quilts with a place for your eyes to rest. This is influencing my approach to fabric selection and has my mind churning for a way to set traditional blocks in a unique way.

I have 25 blocks done! I think the official number of blocks released is closer to 45, but that's okay. I'm loving the process and the blocks I do make - and isn't that the point :) 

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Two My Secret Garden Blocks for July

>> Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This month Pat Sloan gave us two blocks to make for the My Secret Garden mystery block of the month. I really love the print in the background star and hope to get a chance to use it as a feature fabric in another block.

I took advantage of the design wall I added this month to put up all of my Secret Garden blocks. The one on the bottom is the bonus block for this month. Pat has it laid out here in her plan so I decided to do the same. This column of the quilt seems to have the same blue background!

july bonus block

Here's a closer look at the bonus block. It's actually the same block as the first one with the fabric placement changed.

secret garden block 1

This is my block 1 - can you see the changes? I changed mine from the bonus directions that Pat gave out

I wonder how many different ways you could play with this one block!

Looking forward to August!

With Joy,

Sarah V


June UFO finish - July Anniversary Quilt

>> Tuesday, July 5, 2016

final layout lc4

I really didn't think I would get a finish in for June! I had practically given up and started to work on my July quilt when Pat Sloan issued a UFO challenge. With a fabric prize as the carrot:)

first two log cabin quarter blocks

So I started with two blocks. Then two more the next day. And before I knew it I had a direction to go - finally! These cottage blocks have sat around since 2010. They are the signature blocks that I had my Sew Modern Bee mates make when I did my Liberated Churn Dash Quilt. I've been struggling to figure out how to set them for, well, years. Lately I've been seeing quilts made up of quarter log cabin blocks and really like the visual effect. Plus the idea of making a quilt bigger using partial blocks intrigues me.

                      4 quarter logs and cottages

I kept going quickly and then I took a road trip. A trip to Sudbury, my closest big city down a major highway. A northern highway mind you, full of beautiful scenic views. This trip made me realize that adding tree blocks would add to the log cabin landscape I was building. I made a plan and changed it.

lcd quilt cover

My husband was the recipient of my Liberated Churn Dash quilt. He set the palette - no orange, remember! This quilt is made up of the leftover fabrics from that quilt. And I'm making it to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary (which is why I was feeling pretty bad to set it aside for another year - and then really happy to work on it!) There was a lot of fabric leftover and I figured more blocks would make the quilt bigger AND use up the fabric. So I made some tree blocks using the fast flying geese method in two sizes.

building on big design wall

 My hubs was consulted on size - he said couch size and definitely not a wall quilt - and then again once I had more of the quarter log cabin blocks made. He wanted to see a *whole* log cabin block so that's why I turned some to make a full block. And then I had to change up my designing process. I was going to make the quilt 4 blocks across and then 6 rows down and repeat the log, cottage, log, cottage blocks then cottage, log, cottage, log to get the design I wanted to emphasize.

 Adding more blocks to a row changed that.

 Adding the whole log cabin block changed that! 

Adding the trees changed that!

3 corners of log blocks

But you know what? All that change felt good - it felt good to make and think about and create with the blocks and fabric. Creating this quilt I felt the way I have wanted to feel making a quilt - in tune. In flow. In the moment. 

need to move brown roof cottage

You can see the changes as the quilt grew. I was getting frustrated that I couldn't see each row at the same time. It seemed like I would have to make the quilt in two halves and I wasn't really sure that was going to work. Then I decided that I could just get out a flannel back tablecloth and make myself a bigger design wall! It is my house;) The large design wall has added so much to this process - it made it possible to be a process instead of a pattern. Does that make sense?

anniversary quilt top

The quilt top is finished and I'm happy with it - really happy! The quilting will take some time as I'm not sure exactly how I want to go about it yet.  

The extra design wall is staying, for now. I plan to use it all summer and then see if I can live without it. 

Do you use a design wall?

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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