Bird Watching

I’ve officially started my quilt journey with Jaybird Quilts.  And boy, it looks like I’m gonna journey pretty far.

I’ve mentioned before that I received the Gravity kit at Christmas 2017 (very excited) but, in all honesty, it’s a pretty intimidating quilt.  I know a few fabulous quilters who have made Gravity and they all say I will have no problem with it.  I don’t doubt them but still….it’s a huge quilt that requires precision and special rules to make.  I need to work my way up to it especially since I’d never used a Jaybird ruler before.

So I started my journey with small steps – Gazebo.  A 20″ x 23″ table topper.  Quite a few things surprised me with this project.  First, I didn’t buy any fabric (well, I went “shopping” in Momma Bear’s stash), and the only solid is the grey! Shocking right?

Gazebo - Jaybird Quilts

Second (more importantly), this pattern uses the Hex N More ruler which is so. simple. to. use. Oh. My. Lanta. The ruler looks very complicated with lines everywhere but once you start using it, it becomes very clear and simple.  Every piece just fits together beautifully.  There are no y seams (to be honest, I’m not really sure what a “y seam” is but I don’t hear very good things about them).

Hex N More ruler

I loved how this came together and it only took an afternoon to complete the top – from cutting to the last seam.  Now I’ve handed it off to Momma Bear for some ruler quilting.  I’ll most likely post a picture on my instagram when it’s completely finished.

The Quilt on the Edge of Forever

Because I’m a nerd, I decided I wanted a Star Trek quilt.   I had seen a quilt on Esty made up of HST (think Postcard from Sweden but with red, blue, gold, and black).  I liked the look of the random placement of the HST but I wanted something more….nerdy.  So I designed this quilt.  It was the second quilt I designed (this is an important piece of information).

The Quilt of the Edge of Forever

I started quilting in July 2016, the same month I designed this quilt.  Being a new quilter, a 5″ HST didn’t seem that big.  Let me tell you, when you put 304 of them together, it’s big.  This quilt is approximately 80″ x 95″.  Needless to say, I now know 5″ HST are big enough.

Quilt on the Edge of Forever quilting detail

I experienced plenty of thread breakage while doing the first few rows and the last few rows.  And the tension changed on it’s own part way through.  I’m not sure why any of the problems I had occurred although, I’m inclined to believe the first “set” of thread breakage was due to the bobbin not being wound correctly.  Besides that, I’m at a loss for why it happened which made things increasingly more frustrating for a while (thanks Momma Bear for making me continue on).

I started this quilt in October 2016, finished the top in 2017, took months to find the perfect backing (which I did from FabricUtopia on Etsy), and it took months for me to figure out how I wanted to quilt it and what thread to use.  My goal was to have it done by the end of 2017 but I got it finished in the beginning of 2018, which is close enough.

Don’t Get It Twisted

Protip: When it says read the full pattern before starting, read the full pattern before starting.

Twisted Ribbon
Twisted Ribbon pattern by Katie Rock.

Twisted Ribbons is a pattern by Katie Rock that was in an issue of Quilty.  It’s just flying geese, half square triangles (yay), and rectangle blocks.  I was going to make it scrappy…well, scrappy to the best of my ability.  It’s a fairly simple pattern so I figured I could make it without consulting my wise Momma Bear.   Well.  That was a mistake.

I’d never done flying geese.  I knew how to make them but had never actually made one.  The pattern in the magazine gives instructions on how to make individual flying geese. One. At. A. Time. 108 of them.  I soon learned this was not the best use of my time…”soon” being after I had cut all the individual pieces already.  Had I consulted Momma Bear before starting she would have passed down the knowledge of 1) the flying geese ruler, and 2) how to make multiple geese at a time.  Knowledge that I now know and wish I knew back then.

Amended Protip:  When it says read the full pattern before starting, read the full pattern before starting because there may be a different/more efficient way to make it.

Don’t Bargello Me

The Arnprior Guild had three challenges last year: Crayon challenge, 10 inch block challenge, and the President’s Challenge.  I didn’t participate in the President’s challenge but I did participate in the other two.

With the Crayon challenge we had to pick a crayon from a bag and make anything using only that colour/colour family (white and black were also allowed to be used).  I (surprisingly) picked one of my favourite colours…pink!  I had designed a nice lap quilt but because I was procrastinating, I ended up changing my mind and decided to try a bargello. For the first time. With a week left.  Good idea, right?

I searched Pinterest and YouTube for tutorials and beginner bargellos.  I found a few tutorials, watched a few videos and decided to get started.  Not as hard as I thought, but also not as easy as I thought…ok I didn’t think it was easy to begin with.  Cutting the inital strips was easy though! Especially with a Go! Cutter (#notsponsored), cutting is a breeeeeeeeeze.  Things might have went down hill after that but hey, it started off well.

Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner

So apparently I’m not a very good blogger…it’s been over two months since my last post! Terrible.  My excuse is that I’m working full time now, which you know is a good thing but that means less time for ‘important’ things like quilting…and blogging.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t done ANY quilting.  Back in April I made a baby quilt for a dear friend of mine with super cute forest fabric that I was dying to buy.  I love how it turned out and the maple leaf panto I used to quilt it just fit the overall theme perfectly.

I recently (like last night) finished another baby quilt for another dear friend. I was hoping to have this time for when the baby was born but surprise! Baby couldn’t wait to meet the world and came early.  This was the first time I’ve done free motion meandering…and it turned out pretty great!  Even when meandering on paper, I always trap myself in a corner or something so I wasn’t all that confident when I started.  Near the end of the first row, I was getting the hang of it and finished this in no time.  Now I have to decide if I should give it right away or wait until Thursday so I can show it off at the Kanata Guild meeting.  What should I do??

Only 361 days until Christmas!

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!  This year was one of those Christmases where I wasn’t really sure what I wanted so my wishlist was very short.  But because my family is awesome, I was happily surprised by a few gifts under the tree especially the fabric kit for Postcards from Sweden by Jeli Quilts – I was definitely not expecting that!

When Momma Bear started quilting years ago, my best friend (Kimmeh) and I asked her to make us each a big block quilt.  We got the fabric, set the layout and even used minky for the backing (sorry Momma bear!)  At the time, these quilts were amazing…a bit very bright and so not colour coordinating but we loved them.  Fast forward 14-15 years, we are now both 30 years old and our tastes have matured quite a bit….and Kimmeh’s quilt is confined to her bedroom because it doesn’t do anything for the rest of the house decor.  As soon as I started quilting in July, I knew I was going to make her a new quilt for this Christmas. She was in desperate need, amirite?

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Greek Cross quilt for Kimmeh

I really wanted to keep this quilt for myself because…well, I did a pretty amazing job on it.  This definitely is one of my best quilts to date and the first time using a pantograph on a quilt.  That experience was fun – it’s not as easy to follow lines as you would think, and the thread kept breaking (if you know why, please feel free to provide some advice in the comments) but I would definitely do a pantograph again (and will soon!) Read More

Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 4)

I mentioned last post that the finishing instructions (final week) were published at We All Sew on November 28.  Last night I finally got around to finishing this awesome table runner!

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Sugar Plum Table Runner finished in time for Christmas dinner.

Like the sample in the quilt along, I was going to quilt straight lines to keep the modern look but….I can’t sew a straight line.  Instead I got to try a pantograph for the first time!  Here’s the story:  I have this other quilt (that I love but can’t show right now because it’s a Christmas gift) that I wanted to quilt with a pantograph.  Seeing how I had never done it before, I figured I should practice on something small(ish) before attempting to do a whole lap quilt. Enter the Sugar Plum Table Runner.  The pantograph was the perfect size and fit the modern/whimsical look of the piece.  I think I did a pretty darn good job as well.

This past weekend I enjoyed a mini retreat with Momma Bear and a friend.  I even got to try a Pfaff Passport 2.0!  Using the amazing little machine, I finished the table runner ‘pillowcase style’ as per the quilt along.  I really like the no border look and a pillowcase finish, while similar to a faced edge, is much easier to do on smaller projects.  I just need to add my label (always add a label!) and this table runner is ready for Christmas dinner!

I enjoyed participating in my first quilt along and would highly recommend joining one if you never have.  It’s a fun experience and having a set date for the next part to be available really motivates you to keep on track.