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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review: "Sneaky Piecing" by Beth Ferrier

Image borrowed from Amazon

I haven't done a book review on the blog before, and I don't plan to make this a regular thing.  But, I just stumbled upon an unusually good quilting book, and wanted to pass the word along.

Sneaky Piecing gives Beth Ferrier's take on most aspects of quilting - from cutting (which side of the black line do you line up the edge of the fabric with?) to sewing an accurate 1/4 inch seam, to pressing (where she quickly disposes of the "press to the dark" rule).

What amazed me, though, was that there were tips and tricks in here that I have never seen before - and I have done a LOT of reading, class-taking and DVD watching in the last 16 years!  Not just one new idea, but several.  And, she gives the math to make any size of square in a square and flying geese blocks.

Beth's writing style is warm and witty.  I actually laughed out loud a couple times.  I can't say that I have ever done that reading a quilt book before!

I borrowed this book from the library, but I plan on purchasing a copy to keep.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Modern Mini

The Calgary Modern Quilt Guild is having a Mini swap this month.  I took it as a good opportunity to do my own design, and also to practice my free motion quilting.

I usually sew down my binding to the front, then hand stitch it to the back.  I have tried doing it the other way, and machine stitching to the front, but found the fabric bunched up a bit and the stitching was not as neat as I'd like it.  This time -- and I have no idea where I heard of this -- I used a line of white school glue and my iron to baste down the binding on the front.  It held really well, and I was able to stitch it down pretty neatly.  What do you know?

Here's the finished mini - it's 16 x 16:

modern mini

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Making Progress

I've been participating in the Drop and Give Me Twenty challenge over at Quilting Hottie Haven.  I'm plodding along, but I AM making progress.  I am such a slow quilter!

I'm finally, completely finished Sand and Sea Glass.  I made Mr. CQT climb up on a ladder in the snowy back deck to hold it up for me.

As I was hand-sewing the binding on, in my living room, I was pleasantly surprised to find the quilt blends in remarkably well with my grey-green furniture.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but it's become a living room snuggle quilt.

And, I've been keeping up with the Scrap in a Box mystery.

This is Step 2 of the mystery.  I've made 82 of these.  Now, I'm just squaring them up.

Twenty one down - sixty three to go!  I'm really happy with how cheerful these blocks look.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Charity Blocks

I made these a long time ago, but forgot to write about them.

At the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild, we are making charity quilts for bone marrow transplant patients at the local cancer hospital.  We've decided to make blocks, each 15 1/2 inches, so that we can use them to practice our free motion quilting skills.  We've had a couple of good demonstrations by Andrea at Urban Quiltworks.  (Take a look at the quilting on her blog - she is fabulously talented!)

Then, we're going to put them together using the quilt as you go method.

I know you'll be surprised to hear that I had a couple, OK lots of blocks in my UFO piles.  I selected a couple from a BOM I started years ago, and truthfully, will never finish.  I added a little extra fabric to make them 15 1/2 inches, and tried to stretch myself a bit with the quilting.

You can see a bit of the blue marking pen in the centre of this one - I did manage to get that out before I handed it in.  It's the first time I've used that, and it's not as easy as I thought to remove it!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Scrap-In-A-Box Part One

Charlotte, over at Scrapitude Quilts, posted her first clue for the Scrap-In-A-Box mystery a couple weeks ago.

This week, I completed it - 82 of this little block - each squared up to 2 1/2 inches.

I had a little fun trying out different ways of putting them together.

However, there are lots of cut pieces yet to incorporate into this quilt - I'm sure the finished product will have none of these combinations in it!

I have not forgotten about my Drop and Give Me Twenty commitment.  Today was February 1st, and I actually gave Beth about 200 minutes, being Sunday and all.  I cut my binding for the Sand and Sea Glass quilt...

 ...sewed it on the front, and started hand stitching the back.

Linking up to

Scraptastic Tuesday

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Log Jam has Broken!

Are you like me?  If I have something I feel I have to do, but I don't want to do, then I feel guilty doing anything else - which means I don't get anything done!

I started Sand and Sea Glass back in 2011.  That's three years ago - around the same time I started this blog.  It was a block of the month, and I was pretty good about keeping up with the blocks.  I even put them together fairly promptly.  Then it came time to quilt it.  And I stalled, and stalled.

I actually started quilting it over a year ago.  I got the bright idea to quilt each block differently.  Which meant I had to think up a quilting design for each block - yikes!

It got put on hold while we renovated, last year, and after that, I seemed to be unable to focus on any other project.  In my mind I ought to be finishing the quilting on that monster.  And yet, I wasn't finishing the quilting.  Gak!

While I was off over Christmas, I twisted my own arm, and got back to work on the quilt.  And got it done!  Well, almost - I still have to bind it.

Hopefully, now that this monkey is off my back, I'll be able to get back my quilting mojo!

Here it is, draped over the fence.

Sand and Sea Glass

And, draped the other way round.

I'll post some close-ups, and try and convince Mr. CQT to hold it up for a proper photo after the binding goes on.

Now, I remember that I cut the binding strips for this quilt at the time I put all the blocks together.  But, do you think I can remember where I put them?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Drop and Give me Twenty Time Again

 Drop and Give Me Twenty

I, Colleen, owner of too many UFOs and/or more fabric than I can hope to use up in my lifetime, am joining Quilting Hottie Haven's third  annual DaGMT event, and pledge to quilt for at least 20 minutes, (since Downton Abbey will be almost over, and Outlander doesn't start again until April) every day of the month of February, 2015. In doing so I hope to finish 5 or 6 UFO's (but who am I kidding - I'll be lucky to finish one) and I think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join.

OK, OK, she made me post this pledge - but I DO plan on joining in and you might want to take a look at it her blog.  Beth has a wickedly good sense of humour!