Friday, October 22, 2010

Cherish Nature - Part 3

Here is the progress I have made so far on the Cherish Nature quilt. Blocking the panel section only made a partial improvement to the bird nest section so I decided to cut the inner border strips wider. Then after I sewed the inner border to the bird nest centre I squared up that section back to the 17 1/2 inch square it was suppose to be with the inner border. When you look at the middle section you can see that the width of the inner border varies all the way around but I'm going to have to live with that since there is no other way around this mess with panels that are being printed off grain.

Next I'm planning on working on the appliqué that goes on the quilt.  I've just put up the various pieces.  I still have to cut some leaves that will be going on the teal sections on the left and right hand sides.  I figure it will be easier to do the appliqué at this point than when the whole quilt top is finished and then I have a lot more fabric to manipulate.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

York Heritage Quilters Guild Meeting - Melinda Bula

This evening was the monthly meeting for the York Heritage Quilters Guild and tonight's guest was Melinda Bula from El Dorado Hills, California.

She gave an interesting talk and presentation. She is an artist by training but also loved to sew from a young age and eventually took up quilting. She primarily does machine quilted raw edge appliqué. One thing that Melinda stressed yet again is, do not be afraid to make mistakes because from those mistakes we learn and it is also where we develop our creativity. Perfection is not creativity. Kind of similar philosophy to Ricky Tims.

She did bring 3 quilts to show her actual work and they were spectacular. We saw Splendor in the Grass and below are a couple of close ups of it. All her work is made strictly from various fabrics and she doesn't do any fabric painting, marking or shading with other media.

Next is Monterey at Dusk with some detailed shots below.

And the last one that she brought is called Romance.  This one looked like a tapestry, it was amazing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cherish Nature - Part 2

Well I finally started on the Cherish Nature quilt, but I have to tell you this quilt is going to be a challenge.  First the panel wasn't printed on grain.  I had this problem when I did the baby quilt back at the beginning of the year.  I'm beginning to wonder if this is a problem with most panels.  The large bird's nest picture is approx. 15 inches square but it is almost 1 inch out from top to bottom and even the small bird and bumblebee squares are out.  So what I decided to try is blocked these pieces to see if that will fix the problem otherwise I'm going to have some serious issues.  The small squares aren't as bad of a problem since they are only being appliquéd onto the quilt, but the large bird nest piece is the centre of the quilt and if it's out then the whole quilt is out.

Then I had to make half rectangle triangles instead of half square triangles.  Well I found out that you simply cannot cut 2 rectangles and put them right sides together sew down the middle, cut and expect to have 2 half rectangle triangles like you can with half square triangles.  In the picture below the top block is what you get from doing it that way.  As you can see the final shape isn't a rectangle.  It comes out this weird dimension and I'm not sure why it does this, but it does.  So it definitely needs to be paper pieced, and the example below it is the paper pieced method.  So I have to make 7 more paper pieced half rectangle triangles.

Finally the egg fabric also wasn't printed quite on grain but at least it was only slightly off and since my egg borders are only 2 1/4" wide I don't think that if they are slightly off grain that it will affect the outcome of the quilt that much.

Given all the issues that I came across today I think I now know why it has taken me several weeks to get into the mood to do this quilt.  I must have suspected that there were going to be issues with it and I didn't want to deal with then.  Hey at least I got these ones figured out and I hope the blocking of the centre piece will fix it and I will have a square centre.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and the colours here in Toronto are really starting to pop.  As you can see by the pictures this week from my balcony the reds and oranges are really vibrant and there is more trees that have turned as compared to last week.  The weather here is gorgeous with blue skies and the temperature is suppose to reach a high of 18C which is 65F for my American friends.

I'm actually heading up north about an hours drive to the Horsehose Valley area just north of Barrie Ont. for the weekend for some nice R & R.  I won't be doing much quilting because I had to get a cortisone shot for a trigger finger in my left hand yesterday so I have to rest it for the next several days, no lifting heavy things and no excessive pressure like using a rotary cutter.

Fergie and Jordie will have fun with their favorite live in cat sitter Lynie.  Yes we spoil our kitties and don't leave them with just a quick visit from the pet sitter.

So I hope for those who are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, you all will have a happy and safe time with family and friends. For those who aren't please still have a happy and safe weekend as well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Organizing & Fall Colours

Well this weekend didn't see much sewing but the sewing room got a much needed sorting, tidying and organizing.  It really was past due and I realized that when I went to get the fabric for the Cherish Nature quilt project and initially couldn't find it.  It turned out that it was buried under a pile of scraps, other fabric and papers.  So it was time to get the sewing room organized for the coming fall and winter months.  It's done now. 

I have a bag of what I would now call "ugly" fabric that I will be giving to my guild's community quilters group who make quilts for charities, seniors homes and shut ins.  It actually is fabric that no longer is my taste.  There are more muted colours and small florals that I really don't have an interest in working with at this time.  I also now have 2 bags of scraps to go to a quilter friend who can use then in her scrapy projects and if she can't use them, her daughter can put them to good use at her school.  Finally I have some additional fabric that were like duplicates of stuff or bought for projects that no longer are going to be projects that I'm going to pass on to another quilter friend for her to use.  By clearing out all of that, I was able to get all the piles of stuff put away and the sewing room is nice and tidy once again.  I also cleaned my machine, a new needle installed and threaded waiting to start the new project.

The trees are starting to show some nice colour in my neighbourhood but they are not quite at their peak.  Below are a few shots from my balcony of the trees and as you can see there are some lovely shades of red, orange and yellow against the green.  Enjoy.