Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Crazy Patch Pumpkins

Sixteen days!  That is how long it took me to make this top!  Shocking, I know!  Usually it takes years before a top gets finished.  Sixteen days.

Before you see the finished top, let me show you my progress along the way.

There were lots of orange/autumn scraps from previous quilts and I wanted to use them up.  Plus two bins of the same colour fabrics to use for the borders and for the pumpkins.

As each row got finished (or almost), the blocks got sewn together as much as possible (see the top two rows).  The piano key borders were cut out for all four sides and any scraps left from those cuttings, got added to my scraps to play with.  I found that if part of the pumpkin was sewn together, it prompted me to work on the crazy patch centers.  Good motivation for me.
My scraps were placed on a piece of Styrofoam that was next to my sewing machine so that I could rummage through the scraps as each crazy patch center was made. 
There were also scraps on my cutting table to rummage through as well.
On a good day, I could get three centers made and then finish sewing three pumpkin blocks together as well as sewing some of piano keys as well as doing applique and embroidery.  There was a production line going on as many parts of the top were assembled during the day.

Oh, so close.  Just the two outside borders to sew on!  I do like my corners on the borders.  Crazy patches there too! 
Ta da!  Top is finished!
On my bench, that is in front of my design wall, are pieces of fabric that will be used for the backing.  That lovely pumpkin fabric is gorgeous and perfect for this top, but there is not enough of it.  So, my backing will be pieced.  It will add to the overall patchy look of this top.  In case anyone is wondering, my bench is made up of two 8' long x 6" wide planks of wood that are scewed together.  I walk on that as stuff is pinned onto my design wall.  Safer for me instead of having a stool that gets pushed along the floor.
A close-up of a maple leaf with embroidery.  My background neutral fabric is leftovers from a backing on another quilt.  Some of the centers for my maple leaves are patched.  If you look closely, you can see a vertical seam in the centre.  Use it up!  🐱🐱
 Here are some of my crazy patch centers.
Once my scraps were cleaned up, this is what was left of them.  Just a baggy.  Now that is awesome!
How did I get started on this project?  My friend, no-blog Mary in Toronto wanted to do a pumpkin quilt and would I join her in this venture.  Sure, why not.  This is her top.  Her centers are signature blocks from a block swap that she joined in.  Clever on her part.  She showed me a photo of a quilt that she saw on Pinterest (no idea where the pattern came from) and I drafted the block for us to use.
So, that is the story of our pumpkin tops.

The last few days we have had a lot of snow.  My sister sent this photo to me last night.  Deer were in her front yard.  This one wanted to check out the Xmas decorations.  Too cute!
What is up next for me?  An old ufo has been pulled off the shelf.  That will be next week's post.  Tomorrow is a garage day.  Oh, what fun we will have and what will we bring to show off to each other?

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A cold snowy day!

Brrr ..... it is really cold today.  The wind is blowing and with the wind chill, it is even colder.  Snow is blowing too.  Hubby is outside with his snowblower.  Yuck.  This is way too early!

We have at least a foot of snow right now. 
I've been busy working on my pumpkin top.  It is coming along very nicely.  The addition of the piano key border gives is a lot of zing.  My hubby was looking at it last night and said:  "there is going to be a leaf on each row".  Yep.  Just to give it that something different.
A close-up of the pumpkins.  The centers are all crazy patch.  Getting rid of my scraps!  Gotta love that!
I've got lots to keep me busy.

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Having fun!

This morning, we woke up to temps. of -27C (or -16.6F) with the wind chill!  That is way too cold for this time of year.  Lordy, we are still in November!

Anyway, besides doing a few odd jobs around the house, I've been busy down in my studio keeping warm and keeping busy.

Now, let's see what I've been up to!  The left side of this hanging has the embroidery all done.  It looks a tad sparse or too much white in the bottom left corner.  When this is all done, I'll take another look at those areas and add a small butterfly or bee or something.  That is the beauty of being creative.  Make it work!
Next up is the center section.
Last night, my friend Debra and I had face time with our ipads.  When we chat, I do like to have an interesting backdrop so that Debra can see something that I have been working on instead of the white curtain.  Her jaw dropped when she saw this behind me.  What?  When did I start this project.  It's beautiful ....  Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but that top is a panel.  A panel?  Yep.  All I did was cut out the squares and add sashing and cornerstones.  Sneaky, aren't I!  Debra got a chuckle out of it.  I know, I know .... I'm so well known for my applique ..... but that panel was just too darn precious not to buy.
The other things I've been working on is pumpkins.  Pumpkins with scrappy centers and a bit of applique leaves here and there.  A great way to use up my scraps and stash.
All my pumpkin colours have been chosen and placed  where I want them to go.  A good start.
That's my fun for this week. 

Have a great day!

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Garage Day

It is hard to get all of the girls together in the garage for a day of sewing.  Not everyone can attend, so when we are there, what fun we have.  Our last garage day was a few weeks ago and there was lots of eye candy to drool over.

Darlene (garage owner) has two EPP projects (behind her on the design wall) that she is working on.
 Lois is working on a shamrock quilt.  I do believe this is her first applique project.  Way to go, Lois!
Coach is the garage mascot.  He loves to be in the garage with us and loves it even better when he gets a treat from any of us.  If he is not on Darlene's lap, he is on my lap.
Claudia finished this top from a day guild workshop.  She said that if she ever made this again, she would use a larger striped fabric.
Karin was busy working on apple cores (another EPP project in the working) and was asking me for assembly tips.  She rescued a bunch of apple cores from a friend's garbage.  Cathy, Cathy, Cathy (I know you read my blog).  Anytime you want to toss projects in the garbage, bag them up for us.  We will take your lovely stuff any day!
 Me .... I'm working on a new EPP project.
This is my project.  Elongated hexagons.  I saw a photo on Pinterest but there is no one that I can give credit to.
My thoughts are to change the look with this layout below.  The hexagon sections will surround the centre applique.  I do believe this will be very interesting and different.  Playing the 'what if' game gets creative results.
This morning, we woke up to snow on the ground.  About 6" and it is still snowing .....  Will this snow stay or melt away? 
Time to head down to the studio and do some sewing.  It is that kind of day.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Lover's Knot

This is, by far, my favourite quilt.  I loved making it and now that the quilt is done, I love it even more.

How did this quilt get started?  The blocks are all hand pieced and then sewn together by machine.  Hand piecing!?

Back in 2004, Jenny Beyer wrote an article in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine about her journey with hand piecing.  Hand piecing.  Not a chance, I snorted after reading the article.  Not a fricking chance.

Flash forward to early 2008.  I had a lot of charm squares and a need for a take-along project for me to work on when travelling back and forth between Toronto (where I lived then) and North Bay to look after my Mom.  Perhaps it was on Pinterest that I saw a quilt and decided this was something that I could easily start and have with me to work on.  My Mom loved to see what I was working on.  The VON nurses that came to the house loved to see what I was working on.  So, why not.  But hand piecing.  Really, Rosie, hand piecing?  I know, I know, I'm eating my words.  Hand piecing. 

At first, I wanted to do just a little wall hanging or at the most a lap-size quilt, so that I could say that I tried hand piecing and be done with it.   Instead, this quilt grew and grew and grew.  I went a little overboard.  LOL

There is even a tutorial on how to do this if you are so inclined to make one too.  Visit here:  I did this tutorial because there were a number of queries on how I did them.  It was easier to just show everyone in one tutorial.

I'm done with hand piecing.  During the process, I decided that this method was not for me.  EPP showed up and that is what has caught and maintained my interest.  Still, I'm glad that I tried it out and can say that I did hand piecing at one time.  Can you?

Quilt Details:
Started:  February 2008
Top Finished:  July 2018 (it sat around waiting for the perfect fabric for the border since September 2009 ..... sheesh)
Quilt Finished:  September 2018
Quilt Size:  99-3/4" x 99-3/4" (102-1/2" x 102-1/2" before quilting, washing and drying)
Block size:  4-1/2" square unfinished
Pattern Source:  The block pattern was found on Blockbase which is a stand alone computer software design.
Batting:  Hobbs poly.  I prefer a poly batting for winter quilts as it maintains body heat.
Machine quilted by Tella in Scarborough.

This quilt is nice and cozy warm for our winter months.

To end this post, how about a sunset photo taken in our backyard.  Now that the leaves are off the trees, the sun can shine through and show us what mother nature can do.  Beautiful!
Have a great stitching day!
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