Saturday, May 1, 2021

Quilty May Day flowers and a pattern sale

 Happy May Day!  I don't have May Day flower baskets to share, but I have flower quilt pictures.

Prairie Mix by Canuck Quilter Designs

Don't mind my May Day dandelions. We're feeding the bees!

I shared a little about this project last September but never shared the finished quilt.  By the time I sewed the binding in November, the yard was grey and brown and muddy, not ideal for a quilt photo shoot. Then we were into the snowy season, but snow just didn't seem like an appropriate background for this quilt.  I can't seem to take decent quilt photos indoors, so Prairie Mix had to be patient until spring.

All the angles in these blocks and in the borders are made with the stitch-and-flip (AKA lost corners) technique, so there are no triangles to cut or bias edges to worry about.

I sent this quilt to Liz Meimann to longarm.  The pantograph she used to quilt it is Vanilla Cream by Anne Bright.  I choose this one on many of the quilts I send to Liz.  I like its hooked swirls, it adds texture without competing with the piecing, and it's pretty in the background.

Don't you love the polka dots?  They make me happy.  The yellow gingham as the accent fabric seemed a good choice to continue that informal, happy look.  I chose to make all the flower centers the same to give a more cohesive look to the quilt.  Bringing the yellow into the binding made a good frame to pull everything together.

I used to hesitate to work with pieced borders, because small piecing variations can result in borders that don't fit quite the way the pattern math claims they should.  However, piece borders can really dress up a quilt, taking the whole design up a notch.  It was worth it to me to work through the logic of it all and figure out how to make them fit every time.  I've written a tip sheet explaining simple adjustments you can make to make the pieced border fit perfectly.  

Get your free pieced border tip sheet by signing up here.

My quilt is the large throw, which measures about 60" x 72".  The pattern also includes:
  • baby (6 blocks, 36" x 48")
  • small throw (12 blocks, 48"x 60")
  • twin (24 blocks, 64" x 88")
  • queen (42 blocks, 88" x 100").  

Many thanks to Lynn Adolph, Tammy Howell, Tina Fugate and Kathy Pretorius for testing the various sizes.  I really, really appreciate my pattern testers!


If you'd like to make your own version, you can get the Prairie Mix pattern in my shop

From now through May 8th, enjoy 10% off your purchase of any pattern in the shop when you use the coupon code SPRING2021.  If you use this link, the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

Happy spring and  happy quilting,

Monday, April 26, 2021

Breadcrumbs placemats

What is it about spring that makes me want new placemats?  Last spring it was Shuffle, the year before it was Leftovers, and at least two versions of Geese Across the Table were springtime projects.  This spring, it's Breadcrumbs.

quilted placemats and flowers
Breadcrumbs placemats and runner

I shared a glimpse of these last month, but they are now quilted and bound and match the flowers on my table.  The matching flowers are a happy accident.

This pattern is going to become one of my "go to" patterns for quick gifts. It's quick and it showcases a print beautifully.  Pick a print in colors and theme to suit and it's a winner.  You can find the Breadcrumbs pattern in my shop or ask for it at your favourite quilt shop.

Table setting with red plaid quiltyed placemat
Breadcrumbs placemat

I love that even with a place setting, you can still see the design.  I'm always sad to see pretty piecing disappear under the plate!   

red and black plaid placemats and table runner
Breadcrumbs placemats and runner

Here's an unobstructed view.  You can see this version uses a single print, while the one at he beginning of this post uses two prints.  The pattern includes both options.  The version above is made with fabric from Banyan Batiks' Bear Paw Plaid collection, shipping to store in October 2021.   This plaid look is making me think of picnics.  It's a warm sunny day here, so maybe we'll set these out on the table outside for an al fresco supper tonight.

Meanwhile, I'm making more.  Sooner or later, we'll be able to have people over for a meal again, and I'll be ready!

Placemat in progress, with blue and white triangles

Do you have a favourite placemat pattern?  What do you like best about it?  Please share in the comments.

Breadcrumbs placemat pattern cover

Available as a PDF download in my shop.  
Shops, please see the Canuck Quilter website for wholesale ordering information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Getting to the binding

 Last week was a pattern writing and editing week. I felt sense of accomplishment when I sent three patterns off to testers, but I still felt I was "behind" somehow.  What to do?  Finish something!

Does it count if I don't have a picture?  I did in fact finish sewing the binding on my blue floral Cascade.  It's just been too windy to get a proper photo.  I'll get one soon and post again.  I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Florals seemed like such a leap for a modern design, but it worked.

Fresh off that finish, I was energized to push through and finish quilting Small Change.  That's the red and white quilt.  I had planned to quilt this quilt with my quilting rulers, but it has some bulky seams and the ruler foot can't get over them easily, so it was just as easy to break out my old friend the walking foot.  I quilted the center of the quilt shortly after I finished the top, but got stuck trying to decide how to quilt the borders.

I mostly stitched in the ditch, then extended a few lines to create the nested squares.  I considered adding more quilting in the white, but I decided I didn't want the quilting to draw the attention to any particular element.  I like than when I look at this quilt, sometimes my eye is drawn to the stars, at other times I see crossed arrows, and sometimes I see the overall diagonal lattice. 

These photos are not very well lit.  I thought the light coming in from the window was better...

I digress.  Back to the quilting.  I spent some time on Sunday marking evenly spaced lines to fill in the blanks in the border.  I thought of feathery somethings, or swirls, or something along those lines.  I chickened out. I have trouble keeping scale consistent, and I really wanted this to look tidy for the pattern cover.  I can't get much tidier than straight, marked, evenly-spaced lines with a walking foot!

The quilt is now quilted, trimmed, and is almost bound.  After I took this picture I sewed the binding to the front.  I just need to turn it to the back and stitch it down.  Hopefully, photos will follow soon.

Today's task is to try (again) to create some pattern covers.  Would you believe out of all the work that goes into producing a quilt pattern, the cover is my biggest hurdle?  Somehow, photos that look lovely on a screen for blogs and social media don't always work as pattern covers. Getting the lighting even and the colors looking good on the printed cover gives me a headache.  I'm dreading the cover for Small change.  All that white in the background will be a challenge to photograph without it looking dingy against the white paper.

It's sunny with a beautiful blue sky and puffy little white clouds today, so maybe I'll venture out for another cover photo shoot.  At the very least I can go admire the tulips!