Saturday, August 31, 2013

Finished: Flowers Over Falls - Simply Solids Bee Quilt

Yeah, I fell off the face of the earth again.  It's been a slice.  I'll spare you the details.

I have a few things I've been meaning to share and I'll get to them.  I truly want to catch up on all the things I've missed - and I have missed you all and your projects and your wit and your insights.  I have just been incredibly unplugged this summer, and I think that's a good thing. Back to teaching on Tuesday so I imagine my routines will start coming back slowly but surely. (And I owe more than a few emails....)

I HAVE managed to finish my Simply Solids Bee quilt.  June was my month and while one bee member dropped out, an awesome block friend from UK (Hi, Susan!) offered to make one for me.  SO cool!!
One must always have a tall person in the family - thanks, bro!

My concept for this quilt was the idea of flowers and twigs heading over a waterfall.  Each of my bee mates got two shades of blue, two squares of orange, a strip of tan (all Kona) and instructions to improv-piece an abstract block that measured 12.5 x 16.5". (See my post here for more details...)
And they did a beautiful job!!  I made the sashing strips and borders ( also improvised) from the scraps they sent back and spare yardage.
Then I sewed the top together - but in keeping with the improv/modern/abstract idea, I didn't use a traditional layout.  The layout actually looks like this:

All together, there are 7 blues (sky, aqua, baby blue, bahama blue, peacock, turquoise and teal), two oranges (mango and flame) and two neutrals (white and stone). There are only a few scraps of white. I tossed them in with the sky blue so that the sky blue looked blue and not white!

There was one block that I absolutely loved but try as I might, I couldn't make it work with the rest of the improv blocks.  It broke my heart until I figured I could showcase it on the back and actually build the back to echo that block.  The entire back is a reflection of that block and uses up all the leftover yardage.

It's quilted with watery lines in three shades of blue thread.

I matched the binding to the gradient I'd created with the blocks so that the quilt appears borderless.  And I'm really happy with how it turned out. To make it work, I used Flourishing Palms' french-style binding method with great success. (Thanks, Linda!)

This might be one of my favourite quilts of all time!  I'm chuffed to bits with how it turned out and I have my very talented bee mates to thank for it (though some of them wanted to kill me... Oops. :-).
Faux art-shot....  Does it look like water over rocks? hahahaha.
Flowers Over Falls is about 68x80" and contains the handiwork of the Aeneous Group of the Simply Solids Modern Bee and Susan of Canadian Abroad.

Thanks so much, you talented bunch, you!!  I'm glad I managed to get it finished for an upcoming show in October AND before my birthday today/yesterday (30th).

This is me at 35. And 35 feels lovely.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oops!: Now with Finishes.

I had considered calling it Oops!: The Musical, but I couldn't get song rights. :-P

Seems like I forgot to check the internet for a month.  Oops.  Maybe it's a failure to really dig into the new routine or just a need to spend less time with my computer but I've definitely tried to prioritize other things this summer than blogging and blog-reading.  You do NOT want to know how many unread posts are in my Feedly....

I have been busy with the following:  meeting blog peeps in person!, sewing, knitting, teaching Nephew a bunch of stuff his mother doesn't approve of, hiding in dark basements away from sunlight, teaching English as an Additional Language, offering my shoulder, cooking while listening to loud music and kitchen-dancing, watching just about every CFL game (something has to fill the void between hockey seasons....), and reading actual, physical books.  Books, people! Remember those? I love real books, but man, I have a hard time sitting still long enough to get "gripped".

Anyhoo.  I'll ease back into the (ir)regular blogging routine with some finishes I meant to post ages ago.  A couple of months ago, I was giving a little presentation on QAYG at the Saskatoon MQG as part of our meeting.  I had done up a few slapdash sample pieces using scraps and 12" batting squares just to illustrate some things that I'd learned for the prez.  And then, of course, I'm left with these little thingies and no plan.  Blergh.  So I just started throwing them together.

I ended up with two mug rugs from my piles of scrap,
a mini table topper,
and a coffee table runner.
The white on white chunks are leftovers from my brother's Punisher quilt.  The muslin that backed most of these was from yardage, but that too was leftover from another project so I call it a win.  Even the binding was from the leftover basket.  The batting was scrap that had been cut into 12" squares just for practicing free-motion.

Is this my best quilting/sewing? Heck, no, but I used up some scraps , I learned some techniques, and if I spill something on them, I won't cry for days. So there you go.  Not every piece has to be show-worthy.  I think these are like the quilt version of sweat pants. I wouldn't show them off to fancy company, but to protect a table from Hot Wheels or the carpet from living room picnics, they're just fine. :-)

And now I have a month's worth of blogs to catch up on. Again.