Northern Lights

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I bought new quilt patterns. I know! Like I don’t have enough on the go. But I’ve wanted this pattern Northern Lights quilt pattern for a long time – ever since it came out – and I finally found a Canadian distributor.

My local quilt shop had some of Jaybird Quilts patterns but not this one or I would have gotten it there.

I know I have too many quilts on the go already but I'm super happy to get these patterns finally
It’s so pretty!

I went through my big bucket o’ solids, pulling all the larger chunks of yardage I had. Most of my stash is thrift finds and handouts, so at this point I’m just trying to use it up before I go replacing it with better quality fabrics.

I had enough to pull a rainbow selection for a queen size, and as I was pulling larger fabrics of solids, I was also setting these aside. I wound up realizing I had quite a lovely selection of foresty shades in enough to do a baby or lap quilt in the same pattern.

Same pattern but forest color scheme?

Second try here.  This is enough for a queen sized.

From some of the brighter scrap, I chose a bundle that number-wise would do a queen size, but instead of using the largest hex, I couldn’t wait to get started by cutting the smaller hex. Initially I cut strips too wide (doh!) but eventually figured that out.

I’ll have a wall hanging size of this one.

Don't ask how small these are #northernlightsquilt

I also got the Rocky Candy topper. When I first say it, I thought it would be good to use the blue Christmas fat quarters I’d been saving. I pulled those out and set them aside, and while rummaging through my solids, found a scrap of some gradient blues from a bundle of sheet mill ends my mom and I got one time. So I set that aside for a table topper too, because I think it will be very interesting. (and likely go to my mom’s anyway). Guess I didn’t get a picture. Maybe later, because I have the Lazy Angle ruler that was used in some of her earlier patterns before she did the Sidekick ruler – which is really very similar but just off enough you actually need to go get the other one or use the template.

I’m glad I got my quilting mo-jo back again but I really wish it was more on the actual quilting side because that pile is the biggest. I don’t need a huge pile of tops in the process of being made as well. 😀

Chevron quilt

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I realized I never posted the chevron quilt I made. I was half thinking of giving it away to a friend for their baby, but wound up doing something different, and I had loaded it to my local quilt shop as a display quilt, so I sort of forgot all about it until I got it back.

I used this chevron quilt pattern because I had been inspired by this free motion chevron quilting. Seriously, go look – it’s amazing.

The fabrics I used were Life in the Jungle – by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake Designs.

For the free motion quilting I used designs from Angela Walter’s first book – love it so much.

I’m super happy with how it turned out. I watched most of 3 seasons of Dr Who while I made this quilt. I could take pictures of the quilting and run my hands over it all day.

If you click on a picture in the gallery below, you can visit the next one with the previous/next links on the page.

Summer quilt

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I made a summer quilt and started last summer, but that’s not why it’s called a summer quilt. A summer quilt is a quilt with either lightweight or (in this case) no batting.

I decided to make a large queen sized lightweight quilt for our bed for those times we just needed something to nap under, or for not very cold nights. Also, I had a lot of light to medium value floral fabrics in my stash that I wanted to use up. My mom had hit a sale at a fabric store that was closing and bought half-yards of seemingly everything.

Going though my stash, I picked the fabrics I wanted and cut 10″ squares out of everything. In my case, I did not care if I had doubles or even 3 or 4 squares of the same fabrics – I just wanted to use them up. You could also use a layer cake or two instead.

I cut and cut and cut. And stacked.

Eventually I decided to start laying things out to figure how many squares I would need. I cut some more.

For this quilt, I decided it would be more interesting to place the 10″ squares on point and piece the strips diagonally. I also laid out the squares on the floor multiple times to make sure I didn’t have matching fabrics too close together, or all the pink ones crammed on one side.

Finally I started piecing, which was easy enough. Keep track of where I was seemed to be the issue. For the half triangle on the sides, i just cut the 10″ squares in half. Technically they should have been a bit bigger so I fudged the seams a little. I also took one square and cut it into the four corner triangles.

When the top was all done, I found a nice and worn flannel top sheet in our cupboard. We had already worn out the matching bottom sheet, which got a large hole when someone put their foot through it. It was a well-loved set. I did have to unpick the top deep hem of the sheet and piece a bit on the side, since the sheet was rectangular and the quilt top was square.

Since there was no batting, it did not take much to baste it together.

The only quilting I did was a stitch in the ditch along the seams. You can get away with doing it this wide because there is no batting at all. I used my walking foot and the quilt was thin enough that rolling it up and moving it around was much easier than even a double sized quilt with batting.

For the binding, I had cut out 2.5″ strips from my favourite scraps as I cut the blocks and set them aside. I did the machine sewn method where you stitch the binding to the back and pull it round to the front and sew it down. Any slightly off seams were also covered up this way.

This is really a quick quilt – despite how long it took me to finish, and it really is great for when you don’t want a blanket that is to warm or too heavy. Plus it uses up a LOT of large stash pieces in a hurry!

My husband gives it two thumbs up – both for fabric selection and ease of napping.

Star Spangled American Flag Squares quilt

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I took on a commission for a close friend who wanted a quilt for her husband, who was turning 50. He’s an american who emigrated to Canada, so she wanted something red white and blue, and had given me about 3 yards of a flag fabric from Joanne’s, the fabric chain.

We decided to go with a simple 6″ patch in alternating squares of print / white. I used up some red and blue prints (mostly polka dots, some star prints) in my stash and had to buy some navy and the perfect red to go with the flag print. I had also pulled some red striped fabrics but could not make them work.

The white was just a slight creamy white instead of a bright white. For cutting the squares, I cut a 6″ strip across the width of the fabric then cut blocks from those strips.

What happens when you don't check your math

Here I cut out all the squares I thought I needed but was off. Just by a little bit.

Better shot

Here, I recovered and figured out where I wanted the various prints to show up. I wanted a lot of the flag print and then alternating red and blue diagonal stripes. This is what I called my “planned random” layouts and I usually get Ron to help.

Bob is an American who moved to Canada, and so I added two squares of maple leaf fabrics just for fun, in all those stars, stripes and flags.

Good thing it cooled off because I had to press all that.

Finally the top was done. From the remaining white, I added a 6″ border. The rest of the white was left for the backing.

I don’t have a picture of the back when I pieced it, but there was just not quite enough of the white for the back so I knew I’d have to piece in some prints as well. I wound up with narrow print strips on the sides, which you’ll see in the finished pics below.


Here I basted on the tabletop. I’ve had issues with basting and stretching the backing fabric too much and always getting something folded over. Rolling it up and smoothing out a couple feet at a time worked pretty well here.

Almost half done.

I quilted it on my Bernina using the free motion quilting foot. I choose this stars and swirls design from Happy Quilting and had to keep pacing myself to keep it light and open. I really didn’t want to wind up with a lot of dense quilting because it was taking forever at this point.

It was also hot and August. By this point, I was working on this quilt and nothing else for the two or three weeks leading up to Bob’s 50th birthday.

Stars and swirls quilting. Yes freehand.

I really was liking how it was turning out tho.

Can you see the stars?

More quilting shots from the back.

Binding a very American quilt while drinking a Canadian drink.

Finally, I got to the binding! Cheryl, Bob’s wife, had given me 3 yards of the flag fabric to work with, which was plenty, so I used it for binding as well.

Might be a wee bit bigger than intended. Just needs a label and a run thru  the wash.

We were going for a size for Bob to use in his recliner. He has a disability so he’s in his chair quite a bit and loves to cuddle up under a blanket. This wound up roughly queen size, but no one ever said a quilt was too big!

Bob absolutely loved his quilt. He was surprised when we showed up to his birthday party and was even more surprised to see the quilt his wife commissioned. He’s been a huge fan of my quilting ever since we were neighbours, but circumstances changed and both our families have moved. When Bob found the two squares of maple leaf fabrics, he laughed quite a bit.

I did make a custom label for this quilt, which is something I usually forget. I do have a picture but for some reason can’t upload images directly from my computer. The images above I imported from my Instagram account where I took progress pics. Bob follows me on Twitter so it was hard not to talk about this quilt there.

But now here is the post. If you do a quilt similar to this, I’d love to see it. I’ve done variations of this layout for baby quilts three times now. Just vary the prints and block size or amount, it’s super fast with a charm pack.

Things to do in 2014

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I just tidied up my sewing room a bit and took stock of all the sewing and quilting I have on the go.

The pile of quilts I have to finish? 15!

I think I should try and finish those up this year, sheesh! Especially since many in the pile are in my archives as progress posts except there’s been no progress.

These are all basted, ready to be quilted:
jitterbug (for sale)
Mariner’s compass (in progress here too) (for me)
Grey quilt (also for me)
Scrappy log cabin for kids, which I seemed to have not blogged at all (pic here tho) (for sale)
Flash forward that I never posted about, in a brown and blue boy print (for sale)
Floral squares baby quilt I haven’t even posted about either, since it was made from scraps from a summer quilt I have on draft. (will be for sale – the baby quilt)

That’s 6.

These are all tops waiting, paired with backing fabrics. I just need to get the batting out and baste them:
christmas cross
Ugly Christmas quilt – for us, never blogged (not yet)
Red & yellow gradient. Undecided if I want to sell this or not.
Neutrals (for sale)
Red & Black and brown “living room” quilt (spoken for)
Country Fields (for sale)
Modern Blue blocks (may gift this to someone special)
Blue kaleidoscope (for sale, need to post)
White and Flirt fabrics, to match this quilt for sale (will also be sold)

At least I have a roll of batting waiting. That should do 3 or 4.

There are a couple of quilts that are still being pieced and I haven’t posted about any of them. I’m not sure if I should count old projects I started a while ago and haven’t really made any progress – those tops that might remain unfinished. These ones I listed are ones I’d really like to get done this year.

I also have the inevitable stacks of fabrics and precuts, sometimes bundled in bags with a pattern. These are ones I intend to make but haven’t started yet. I dare not count them.
And there’s a runner I started before Christmas and some panels my mom sent over for me to quilt too.

I know I have lots of fabric stored away, and when someone goes through it I have to say “not that piece!” or not that bundle because I have plans.

PLUS – i have one quilt on commission that I haven’t started yet as the fabric is on its way. Everything will be shifted for this. And I was just asked about another last week.

Bonus project – I signed up for the Modern Quilt Guild challenge project with fabrics from Riley Blake. That needs to be done by February and I haven’t started yet.

I think I’ll do the pile of garment sewing in a different post.

Maybe back?

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Wow, sorry. And yes I realize 2 of the last three posts were about me not quilting. Now the Christmas sewing is done and the other project sewing is done so I can finally relax and get back in the swing of it for real this time.

It’s funny – I actually need to quilt or sew or craft or draw or something in oder to be a happy productive human. This is something Leah talks about as well, smart gal.

So why haven’t I been making the time? Hrm.

In the new year I have to actually finish a lot of these projects I’ve started. I’m a great starter – terrible finisher.  So even tho I hate making resolutions it looks like I’m going to have to.

And maybe I should blog about my finishes for the year instead of wallowing in the not-dones. 🙂