Saturday, April 29, 2017

It's not really for the dog...

After finishing the pattern for the Canada 150 quilt (you can still download it free here)  I had a stretch of extra workdays at the shop, a miserable cold and a complete lack of quilting drive.  Last week I finally perked up a bit so I have something to share again.

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color this month was "multi-color", fabrics that don't read even mostly as a single color.  I skipped my butterfly for the month and dug through the scrap bins to make this instead.  I think the setting triangles and the centers of the squares qualify as multicolor.


I made this to live here:

The point of it is this:


Believe me, this looks so much better than the ratty old towel we used to have there to protect the chair from dog hair and prints!  Well, the dog looked equally cute, but the ratty towel...not so much!    So, there we have it:  it looks like a quilt for the dog (and didn't that earn me a few horrified looks from a couple of ladies at the quilt guild who overheard me talking with another pet lover) but it technically is for the chair!  And as far as protecting the chair by keeping the dog off the chair...Sigh. We're marshmallows and that ship sailed about 3 days after Rosie moved in 2 years ago.

It wasn't on the list of things I should be working on, but it was quick and easy, just what I needed to draw me into my sewing corner again.  Now I'm playing with these pretties, also not on my list! (I think I need to move away from "should" in the sewing room so it continues to be a happy place.)


This isn't my usual fare of bright colors but I really like the soft quilt taking shape.  I'll share more next week.

Linking up with
DrEAMI at Musings of a Menopausal Melon

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Canada 150 Quilt: It's your turn!

Here it is!  My Canada 150th quilt design is now a top!  Dancing a happy jig over here!

Canada 150 quilt top - 58.5" x 69.5"


There's a pattern too!
"150" by Canuck Quilter Designs pattern cover

I'm sure you noticed there isn't a finished quilt on the cover.  Generally speaking, I don't like EQ drawings as pattern covers.  I like to see a finished quilt that proves it's doable and looks decent in actual fabric.  However, I know some folks want to get started on this to have a quilt to show off on Canada Day in July, so I focused on the pattern writing before the quilting.  I figure those folks can see the flimsy here for proof that it's doable! As soon as I have the top quilted, I'll have a photo shoot for the pattern cover quilt and fix that cover.



You see that thin little maple leaf border?  I bought a ridiculous amount of border print to get that stripe of maple leaves.  I needed a length of fabric equal to the length of the quilt, so I bought 1 3/4 yards.  That thin little border isn't very wide.  After cutting four strips of maple leaves and discarding the print in between the strips that I didn't need for this, I still have 36" of width left! Still, I love the look.  The splurge was totally worth it!  I'll find some other celebratory project to use up the rest.

Still, if that splurge is not in your budget, you can substitute another fabric, such as polka dots, small stripes or a solid,  and get by with 1/8 yard (1/4 yard as stated in the pattern if you prefer wiggle room in your cutting).  Or, you can find quilty friends who might want to split that border strip yardage lengthwise with you!  You can get 5 quilts' worth of that thin border from the 1 3/4 yards.

Here's a list of the Northcott Sesquicentennial Collection fabric I used for my quilt:
  • Newsprint print (21359-11)
  • Red texture (21341-24)
  • Off-white (21341-11)
  • White-on-red leaf print (21361-24)
  • Border print (21362-11)
  • Backing will be the Canadian trivia print: 21360-11) 

In a previous post I offered to suggest a sewing schedule, so here it is. It really doesn't take long to put this quilt together, but I'm spreading this schedule out over 8 weeks to help folks fit it into small chunks of time here and there and still get a finish by Canada Day.

Week 1 - Cut fabric
Week 2 - Assemble large leaf 
Week 3 - Construct short leaf tip units for small leaf blocks
Week 4 - Piece long leaf tip units for small leaf blocks (super simple unit to paper piece,  just 3 pieces - I'll post a tutorial if you ask for one)
Week 5 - Piece the small leaf blocks' stem units
Week 6 - Assemble small leaf blocks from units made in weeks 3-5
Week 7 - Assemble all parts into quilt center
Week 8 - Add borders

If you start this week, you can be done by the first week in June and have 4 weeks lft for the quilting and binding.  Easy peasy!


In celebration of Canada's 150th birthday this year, I'm offering the pattern free for a limited time in my Payhip shop.  Get yours now and get started!  I'll have a linky party on July 1st to share finished quilts, flimsies, or any progress at all on this quilt or any Canada related sewing.


Linking up with
Celebrate - FĂȘtons 150 at Quilting and Learning 
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at  Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spreading the word and sale

www.payhip.com/CanuckQuilterDesigns

Anne of  Hudson Valley Quilts is featuring me and Canuck Quilter Designs on her blog today.  Anne is a freelance writer, blogger, quilter and librarian.  Answering her questions really made me think about how I design and write.  I hope you'll pop over to read about it.  She is also having a giveaway of one of my patterns, winner's choice! Jump over here to find out more and enter.

In conjunction with Anne's post, I am having a sale on all the patterns in my Payhip store.  Yes, all of them: the 14 pictured above, and the snowflake block patterns as well!  Clicking on the picture above will take you directly to my Payhip page, and entering the coupon code HUDSON at checkout will give you 15% off your purchase.

And just a reminder that I have free tutorials and a few free patterns for you (scroll down to the bottom of the patterns page for those).  The Canada 150th quilt pattern will be added soon, free until July 1st to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.  In the meantime, the free String of Diamonds placemats pattern has been very popular.

String of Diamonds placemats. Photo courtesy of Renee of Renee's Quilting Addiction.
Renee from Renee's Quiting Addiction (also on Facebook here) wrote that she used them to teach a friend to quilt and is now using them again to teach a group of co-workers.  She  says: "Thank you for the simple pattern, a great teaching tool. By the time she gets to the 4th she will have all the basics down."  I'm so pleased my pattern is being used to infect more people with the quilting bug!

Finally, one more shameless appeal: if you have enjoyed any of my patterns or tutorials, please spread the word to your quilting friends and guilds.  A mention at your local quilt shop would also be appreciated! Many of my patterns have been picked up by distributors (both Checker and Brewer currently) and are available to quilt shops in printed format.  Please help me spread the word!

That's all for today.  Though I would rather be quilting, I'm off to figure out how to include social media links on this site. I'm on Facebook and on Instagram, but I know there is a tidier, more elegant way to include that information here! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Look what they made...

On Friday evening my daughter and three friends took over my quilting space to piece a quilt top.  I think they had all sewn pillow cases back in 8th grade, so the sewing machine was not completely alien.  I demonstrated proper pinning, pressing and sewing technique then escaped upstairs.  I was called to demonstrate how to re-thread the machine, but otherwise, they managed on their own.


I sliced the panels of strips and added the sashing.  The girls were game to sew the sashing, but I goofed on the slicing (after they asked me to slice because they were worried about messing up!) and I had to figure out how to straighten things out.  I wasn't thinking clearly enough for that at that time of night, so I sent them home.  Working out a day and time these busy high school girls could all come over for the first part was tricky.  I didn't think we could get them all together again to add the sashing and still get the quilt finished in time, so I sewed the sashing myself today.

Are you ready for your daily chuckle?  A couple of the girls had after-school commitments so had to arrive later, and they and my daughter were concerned that the quilt would be done by the time they arrived. My daughter asked if it would take more than a couple of hours.  I was kind.  I didn't laugh out loud!

It took almost 5 hours for them to sew the strips together, so now they know sewing can be a bit more time consuming than they thought! I'm pretty sure they were proud of their work and they are very excited to give this quilt as a gift.


My daughter will be drafted to help me baste next weekend, because she, unlike her friends, is here. I'll quilt in the ditch the following week, and then I'll see who I can draft to help sew binding.  I'm just so happy my daughter actually asked to sew at all that I'll probably not quibble if she has a stack of homework and I end up sewing the binding myself!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Testing my Canada 150th quilt plan

I started my Canada 150th quilt last weekend.  It really is coming together very quickly. A couple of hours each day on four days this week has brought me all the way to borders, where I always stall because I don't like sewing on borders.  In another day or two (depending how long I dither about the borders) this will be a finished top, then I can dither some more about the basting, then the quilting.

Sunday's sewing - the large leaf block



Monday's sewing  - stacks of units for 12 leaves


Thursday's sewing - assemble the small leaves and join them into strips


Friday's sewing - filling in the background


I've given more thought to a sew-along.  I don't think I have time to organize one properly at this point.  What I plan to do instead is write the pattern (hopefully in the next week or two) then offer it as a free pattern for a few months.  I'll also suggest a sewing schedule for those who want a finish by Canada Day, July 1st.  On July 1st, I'll have a linky party for anyone to post their progress, flimsies or finishes of this or any other Canada quilt.

But first, borders!

Linking up with
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

RSC Butterfly - Red

March's colour is red for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Here is this month's edition of my RSC buttefly:

RSC Butterfly in red - March

I think I spent more time pondering the wing design than actually sewing it this month.  I got hung up on the idea of using squares and rectangles I cut a couple of years ago when I thought cutting up my scraps into standard sizes was a good idea and would help me use them.  (That idea didn't work for me, and two years later my little trimmed scraps are all still sitting forlornly in the bins.)  Once I let go of that idea and opened up my thinking to any red scraps in my stash, I found a design I liked pretty quickly.  The upper wing bases are pieced in strips, with a common fabric pieced on the bias at the end of each strip.

 I also though of piecing a checkerboard sort of design for the lower wings, but decided that would be too much going on in one block.  Maybe next month I'll focus on the lower wings.

This year's RSC butterflies so far:

RSC butterflies January to March

 You can find a tutorial for the basic butterfly block here on this blog.

Linking up with
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Canada 150th quilt plans

These fabrics arrived on the weekend: fabrics from Northcott's Canadian Sesquicentennial collection.

 

As you can imagine these are not in high demand in Iowa, so I sent my sister-in-law in Canada a shopping list.  Thank you!

I have a plan.  When I was thinking about how to represent Canada, I thought about various symbols of provinces, and historic events, and roots.  In the end I realized I couldn't possibly include everyone and everything in one quilt and I really didn't want to leave anyone or anything out.  Then it occurred to me that the flag represents it all: the people, the history, the landscape. When I think of the flag, of course I think of the iconic red maple leaf.  The maple leaf represents all Canadians, no matter our backgrounds and where we live, so I ran with the maple leaf theme.


I hope it translates well from this printed size to a throw quilt size!  I also plan to applique "150" inside the large leaf and maybe quilt province and territory names somewhere on the quilt.

So, does anyone want to sew along?

Linking up with
Celebrate - FĂȘtons 150 at Quilting and Learning 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chic Country is a top!

Just a short post tonight, but I was impatient to share.  Chic Country is a top! 


I hoped the tweaks I made to the pattern to add the borders would make the circles pop, and I am not disappointed! I discussed those tweaks here.

Now I'm going to splurge and have a longarm quilter baste this for me so I can start hand quilting.  I really don't feel like basting but I really feel like quilting, and Liz has a very quick turn around time.  I'll have it back to get started on the quilting well before I would have talked myself into the chore of basting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

RSC butterfly block tutorial

Thank you for all the positive comments about my Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterfly blocks.  For those of you who asked, I took pictures while making last week's block so I could write a tutorial.



I'm going to share how to make the basic butterfly, without specifying how to make the wing markings.  I've just been playing around with my scraps, sewing scraps together then cutting down to the right size base sections J and I.  Go ahead and just play with your scraps and see what you end up with!

The block will measure 12" finished (12 1/2" unfinished).  For a single block you will need:

Background fabric:
  • 6 - 2 1/2" squares A
  • 2 - 4" squares B
  • 2 - 3 1/2" squares C
  • 2 - 2" squares D
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" E
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 4" F
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 2" G
Brown (body):
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 7 1/2" H
Wing base sections pieced from scraps:
  • 2 - 6" x 7 1/2"J
  • 2 - 5" x 5 1/2" I


Step 1: Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the wrong side of each square.

Step 2: Sew F and G to the ends of H as shown below.

Step 3: Position squares A on the wing base sections J and I as shown below, right side down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Notice that the right wing will be a mirror image of the left wing.  You'll need to keep track and make sure the squares are in the correct corners.  I didn't the first time and ended up wielding my trusty seam ripper.


Close-up view of A sewn to J

Step 4: Trim fabric from the corners, 1/4" away from the sewn diagonals.


Step 5: Press the background fabric into the corners.


Step 5: Position squares B and C on the wing base sections as shown below, right sides down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Again, take care to make the wings on the right side a mirror image of the wings on the left side.  Sew along the drawn lines.  Now sew 1/2" away from the drawn line, on the corner side, to gain two bonus HST units.


Step 6: Trim away the corner fabric by cutting between the sewn lines.  The corner fabric will open up to a bonus HST square to use in another project.

Bonus HST units
Step 7: Press the background fabric into the corners.

Step 8:  Sew strips E to the sides of the lower wings.


Step 9: Sew each lower wing to the corresponding upper wing, as shown below.






Step 10:  Sew the wings to either side of the body to complete the block. 


This is the basic method for making my butterfly block.  You can choose to make the bases for the wing sections any way you choose.  

Just a few more thoughts about the two butterflies I've made so far.

Purple butterfly details

When I made the purple butterfly, I had a lot of assorted squares and strings.  I pieced squares in rows to make two sections a little larger than were needed  for the upper wing base sections, then trimmed them down to the required 6" x 7 1/2" size.  I sewed strings of assorted widths together to make base sections with the strings running vertically, and trimmed those down to the required size for the lower wing base sections. You'll notice I didn't pay attention to making the right side wings match the left side ones.

Aqua butterfly details

 For the aqua butterfly, I decided I wanted the wings to match.  This required piecing the base sections as mirror images of each other. The lower wing base sections were string pieced with the strings running diagonally, then trimmed to size.

I made the upper wings by sewing strips sets, subcutting them on an angle , shifting the sub-cut strips before sewing them back together then cutting my base section H out of that.  I actually had 5 colors in my strip set, but adding the background over the corners hid two of the colors.  From now on I will remember not to bother piecing anything interesting in 3 of the 4 corners, because they will just be cut off in the end!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion  by the River 
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy (a little late - sorry!)
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tweaking Chic Country

I'm using Sew Kind of Wonderful's Chic Country pattern for my daughter's next bed quilt, but I'm tweaking it.  The original pattern is for a throw, and I needed it to be big enough for a twin bed, so of course I needed to add blocks.

Just adding blocks wasn't enough however, because I needed another half block's width extra to get to just the right size, but adding just a half block interfered with the pattern repeat. One side of the quilt would look like the top of the first picture below, and the other side of the quilt would look like the top of the second picture.  One emphasizes the four petal block, the other emphasizes the secondary circular pattern. They wouldn't match and I'm a matchy-matchy kind of girl! Plus I really like that circular secondary pattern.




How about adding borders to make up the extra size?  The original pattern went for the modern no-borders look, so I wasn't sure how borders would look.


Meh. This isn't very exciting. What about giving up on circles on the edge?


This is, maybe, better, but still isn't very exciting.


Getting better!  I just changed the color of one piece in each of the edge units to make the circles stand out.


Oh yes! I like this!  Stay tuned!  I have just 7 more seams to pin and sew before I can add the orange border and call this a complete top!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Saturday, February 4, 2017

RSC butterfly - aquamarine

This months color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is teal/aquamarine, what Angela called "anything between blue and green".  Here's my butterfly for the month, plus the four bonus HST leftover from construction.  By the end of the year I think I'll have enough of these bonus units to make a scrappy pillow to go with my scrappy quilt!

Aquamarine butterfly quilt block
February butterfly block and bonus HST

Since I'm only planning on making one butterfly block each month, I decided to play a little bit more with each block.  The basic shape is the same, but I'm going to try to come up with different designs inside the wings.

Last month I had a lot of squares, so I made the base rectangles for the large wings from a grid of squares.  This month I started with more strips and strings.


The strings were great for the smaller wings again, though I sewed them diagonally across the base rectangle this time. 

String block base for small wings

I pondered the strips for a little bit, then decided to make strip sets and cut them diagonally into strips to get parallelograms.  I shifted the strips a bit, sewed them back together, and cut my rectangles for the large wing bases out of the wonky pieces that resulted.  I don't have a picture of this because I meant to take pictures as I made the second wing, after I figured out what I was doing with the first one.  However, it then occurred to me to make the wings mirror images of each other, and I had some difficulty wrapping my mind around how to make the mirror image happen.  It involved a lot of seam ripping (but no grumbling, because this was playtime).  My mind was busy enough sorting this out that there wasn't any room for the thought "Take some pictures", so I don't have any.

I really do like how it turned out. Here are January and February's block together, waiting for next month's color to join them.


Though I missed pictures of the wing base construction, I have pictures of the basic butterfly construction, so I will have a tutorial for you by next Saturday's RSC linky party.  I hope you'll come back for it!

Linking up with Scraphappy Saturday at SoScrappy

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Chic Country progress

Chic Country in progress
I need 32 more orange units for the border I'm planning for my Chic Country, but I have enough units to assemble the center of the quilt. I have started joining units into blocks, and blocks into larger sections.

a few blocks in short row, but rows are not joined yet

So far the points are all matching up pretty well without too much fuss.  There is a lot of pinning though.  I hate pinning! I think I'll join the blocks in sections instead of rows to minimize the number of long seams with a lot of points to match.  The total number of points to match will be the same either way, but seems less daunting when tackling just a few at a time!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trying to let Chic Country be random...

...but failing!  I have all these two-color quarter blocks done, and I thought I could just put them up on the wall in random fashion.  Nope, I couldn't do it!  There was too much dark here, two same fabrics too close together there and so on.  I fussed and rearranged!



I had to get these up on the design wall tonight to encourage me along.  On its own, each quarter block is not particularly exciting.  Start putting them together and things start to happen!  This week I'll make the blocks that have the orange accents,  then work on the border.  The original pattern doesn't have a border, but I needed one for size so I came up with something that will accent the circles.  Stay tuned!

Linking up with:
Monday makers at Love Laugh Quit 
Moving it Forward at Em's Scrapbag 
Linky Tuesdays at Freemotion by the River 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

RSC butterfly - purple edition

Purple scrappy butterfly quilt block
January 2017 RSC block
I finally caved.  For the past several years I have been drooling over all the beautiful blocks and quilts popping out of quilters' scrap boxes as they join in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I've always admired and not joined in because my quilt "to do" list was already long enough.  Last Saturday's linky party showcasing finished RSC quilts just pushed me over the edge and I caved. I'll be making at least one block a month this year.

In case you haven't yet stumbled across an RSC post somewhere in blogland, here's how it works.  Every month a featured color is announced, and participants delve into their scrap fabrics for scraps in that color to make a block (or several) in that color.  You can make the same block (or blocks) every month in each month's color, or you can make something different each month.  It's really up to you.  Every Saturday you can go to the So Scrappy blog and link up a blog post about your RSC sewing for the week.

My big challenge is to wait next for month's color!  I drafted this butterfly block in EQ, and while I was at it, I popped it into a quilt layout.


Or maybe this one:



I really want to make them ALL right now so I can play with them right now.

This isn't helping:

Overflowing box of fabric scraps
What happens when you take the lid off the scrap box

When I opened the scrap box it exploded and the lid won't go back on.  That's just the unsorted scraps.  I also have several plastic shoe boxes of scraps all tidily cut into squares and rectangles.  (I'm not doing that anymore, as you may have guessed from the picture above.)  One block per month is not going to solve this problem.

Still, I'm going to try to stick to one block per month, because I also really want to work on these projects:

  1. Chic Country (52% of the units are made!)
  2. A quilt using all my snowflakes (all 26 of them!) and maybe turning that into a BOM pattern.
  3. Something else snowflakey - because I may or may not have come up with another versatile snowflake design that will need a quilted something to live in.
  4. Three or four new design ideas floating around.
  5. Quilt math tutorials (I've been meaning to start those for a couple of years - it's time to do it!)
  6. Write up patterns for my son's kaleidoscope quilt and for Fundy Skies.
Maybe listing it all here will keep me focused.  Or not.  I'll just have to see how it goes!



Linking up with So Scrappy for RSC Saturday