Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Yukon wild

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report

Have I mentioned that I hate paper piecing?  The reason I joined the paper piecing swap was to try to get better at it, but I think I’m getting worse! 

Last month I had to send the pieces for the blocks off to my swap partner to sew together as I just couldn’t get them to line up.  Fortunately Michell was able to sew them up.  (The photo is Michell’s from the Quilting Blocks Swaps Facebook page)  Oops, I just noticed that she put the second one together wrong.  I wonder if she has noticed.  Or maybe she did it on purpose.

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After my fiasco last weekend with the paper pieced block for this month, I decided to give the pattern another try.  After all it was my mistake, not the pattern’s.  My friend Dahn showed me a helpful tip of cutting templates for the pattern pieces.  That way you don’t cut your fabric pieces too small or the wrong shape, which is one of the mistakes I tend to do. 

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I realized half way through cutting the pieces for one of the pieces of the block (6 pieces cut, 6 to go) that I was cutting them the wrong side up.  And no they weren’t symmetrical.  Fortunately for the fate of the block, and possibly for my participation in this swap, they could still be used.  I just made those pieces of the block wrong side up.  It means that the star spins the other way, but I bet you wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told you. 

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Kelly (no blog) asked for a bright star on a white on white background.  The white I used creates tons of movement in the block!  I hope not too much.  It was the only piece of white on white fabric I had in my stash!!

This block is called Carol’s Star and is from Quilter's Cache.  Lots of great blocks to choose from there. 

So another paper pieced block is accomplished and FNSI was a success.  How did it go for you? 

Janet

Friday, February 20, 2015

Last weekend

My buddy Dahn and I had a wonderful mini retreat last weekend, despite some frustrations….  First up I thought I would tackle the two blocks that I had to make for February.  I had all nine pieces of my paper pieced block done before I realized the pieces were different sizes and wouldn’t match up.  ARRGGH!  I blamed it on the pattern maker until the next day when I realized that I had made the copies with the photocopier set on different magnifications… oops…

On to the next project.  The Canadians Quilt bee recipient for the month had asked for a courthouse steps block in a specific colour range with a navy centre.  This block came together quickly and easily.

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Next I pulled out the Valentine placemats that I started about five years ago.  Finished them up and gifted them to hubby for Valentine’s day when I got home. Smile I don’t love them but it’s the thought that counts they say and they are a finish.  Open-mouthed smile

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Next I did the quilting on this table runner, also started quite a few years ago.  This was a class from Quilt University, an on-line quilting school that no longer exists.  I think the class was on Celtic knots, although I learned a lot about making bias tape, applique placement and applique inserts.  I quilted stitch in the ditch on all the seams, including the applique seams, and one round of echo quilting.  I like how this makes the applique and inserts pop.

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Here is a close up of the quilting where you can see that the black fabric really picks up every bit of lint.  I haven’t brushed or washed it yet as I still have to put on a binding.

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Dahn got to flit around and work on lots of pieces of different projects.  That’s the bonus of having the retreat at your own home. Winking smile  This is one of the pieces she worked on – she started this art quilt in a class with Velda Newman a number of years ago. 

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Now she tells me she doesn’t like the pattern and she doesn’t plan to finish it – EVER…. I don’t know if I could make such a decision.  It is like once I start the thing I HAVE to finish it…

I was in the Whitehorse library the other day for a meeting and saw that they have a fun project on for February – Blind Date with a Book.  I had to pick one up.  This is what it looked like in the wrapper (and before I spilt my tea on it and had to open it up lickety split).

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The book is called The Last Thing He Wanted and is by Joan Didion.  I\ve only just started it and don’t know if I am going to like it, but I’ll let you – and the library in their feedback form – know whether this was a happy date or not. 

It is Friday Night Sew In today and that paper pieced block is still waiting to be made.  It isn’t too late to sign up (it’s still Friday night for those of us in North and South America – for Australia and New Zealand it was yesterday).  Hope you’re joining in. Smile

Janet

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekend fun!

I love the weekend!  I get to do whatever I want…. well I get to do some of the things I want at least….

Last weekend was my birthday.  The family came out for the day on Sunday.  I had gifts for them all from Hawaii and I told them they had to don their new Hawaiian duds and take a picture out in the Yukon snow – at – 28 C.  :) 

Isn’t this a fine looking group…

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But see the sneaky smile on DSIL # 2’s face….  Ha ha, the fun is on me….

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During the week I whipped up the hexie flowers for my February swap partner and they are off in today’s mail…

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And since it is already Valentine’s Day in Austratlia, I think I can show you the Valentine’s postcard that I received from my lovely swap partner Maria of Life on the Block.  Maria walks on the beach and swims in the ocean with her pals regularly.  Lucky girl!  Thanks for the pretty card Maria!

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You may be saying “what is she talking about?  It isn’t the weekend yet!”  Well I took Friday off work so I could sew. :)  My sewing buddy Dahn and I were going to go to a retreat in Haines, Alaska but decided against the 392 km drive in blowing snow, icy roads and probably rain on the other end.  So we’re having a mini retreat at her house.  Lucky us!! 

I’m off to sew.  I hope you have some fun lined up for your weekend.

Janet

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Friday Night with Friends for February

I had a productive evening – yay! 
I prepped the hexies for the flowers I have to make for my February partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap
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And I finished putting second rounds on two flowers for my own garden.  There is a story about these flowers.  Penny was my partner in December and she sent me two sets of second round hexies.  But there was a problem.  When I tried to sew the hexies on to their chosen flowers they were just too small.  I was in touch with Penny and she explained that she had downloaded the hexie templates and had hit "fit to page" instead of "actual size" and never realized the templates weren't the right size.  Of course, she felt very badly about her mistake. 
But never fear Penny!!  I was determined to use the lovely hexies she had sent.  One set is a directional print in orange, pink, green and white.  The other is hot pink with neon yellow dots.  I love bright colours.  So I took the hexies apart to rebaste them on to new papers.  The directional print ones worked fine and here is the exciting flower they created.
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When I went to resew the hot pink hexies I realized there was another problem.  Penny had used a narrow hem on the hexies and there were a few that just wouldn't fit on the slightly bigger hexie papers.  But I was determined to use the fabric because I love it!!  So I decided to play with the techniques I had seen on Karen's blog.  edited to add... ( I had put the wrong name here in the link.  What a clutz!!)
And this is what I came up with.
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Isn't she a beauty?!!  She is definitely going to be a diva in my garden.
I  don't usually baste through the hexie papers but I had to with these ones due to the extra bulk in the seams.
This isn't the first time that I have had to resew items from my swap partners because they are the wrong size.  I have had to take apart and put back together a few hexie flowers because they were too small.  And I have one waiting to be redone because it is too large.  Fabric has a lot of give and if there are very small discrepancies in size the hexies can be stretched or scrunched together to make them fit.  But sometimes they just have to be redone. 

That’s the way it goes in swaps.  It took me a long time to learn that.  The very first block swap I joined, my very first swap partner didn’t send me anything.  And I made her a beautiful block, using fabric that I loved.  Ah…  I’m glad I didn’t give up right then and there because I have had a lot of pleasure from making things for my partners which often stretch my creativity because they use fabrics and techniques which I haven’t tried or wouldn’t choose.  And of course receiving packages in the mail with pretty pieces in them is always fun.
And then there are the prizes.  I received two prizes recently which I haven’t shown yet.  One of the three swaps I am involved with this year is through Quilting Swap Blocks Australia which is organized by Sue Belleli.  This girl has a lot of energy.  She runs at least four different swaps (there may be more),  seems to take on multiple partners in each of the swaps for herself each month and she is a real estate agent on the side. Smile with tongue out  I participate in a paper piecing swap with the group.  I hate paper piecing but I want to get better at it so I thought I would join this group.  At Christmas Sue had a few giveaways for her swap members and I was one of the winners!  Seven pretty fat quarters and a charm pack arrived from Australia.  Thanks Sue! 
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And then in December I was the prize winner in Friday Night Sew In which is hosted by Wendy of Sugar Lane Quilts.  Another package from Australia.  Smile  She sent me a really cute and very “friendly” panel. Thanks Wendy!
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I hope your week in sewing has been as much fun as mine!
Janet