Monday, 27 March 2017

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Saturday morning arrived with the uploading of the next block in the Jolly Little Christmas Quilt a long.  My husband was away for the day so I sent off an email to my friend Deb, who is also working on these blocks, and invited her over to sew a long :-).  We had a fun day together.  It took awhile to cut all the patches for these partridges.  There will definitely not be 8 of these blocks in my future anytime soon :-).  But, we valiantly cut out two blocks each. 

I finally got the blocks finished this afternoon after a lot of "reverse stitching" and careful pressing and pinning.  The eyeballs of the partridges (hard to see on the photos) are 1/4" finished!!  You can hardly hold these pieces to sew them together LOL. I made a mistake on my polka dotted pear and had already trimmed the triangles off when I realized there were only supposed to be two triangles, not four.  I didn't have enough fabric left to cut out another square, so I had to piece there is a blemish on my poor pear.  As my husband said, "It's patchwork"!  I do love the way they turned out. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Deb's partridge pieces

My set up for sewing.  I've used this trusty Singer 15-88 treadle machine to piece all my blocks :-)

Deb getting ready to sew

my more modern partridge

the more traditional partridge

...with a few of the other blocks

....with a few of the modernish blocks

Friday, 24 March 2017

Elgin Piecemaker's Pillow challenge

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild does a challenge every year.  This year Julie and Joanne were in charge and they came up with a very appropriate challenge for Canada's 150th anniversary.  We were all given a 20" pillow form and a 10" piece of Kimono Maple Leaf fabric.  The challenge was to come up with a pillow cover that represents what Canada means to us.  We had to use the complete square of the maple leaf fabric.  

I had an idea almost right away as I was inspired by the neutral backgrounds with applique over it.  I could piece together a background with symbols and words that represent Canada and thought of appliqueing a maple leaf and a tulip on the front to reflect my Dutch heritage.  With three friends, I took part in the 401 Quilt Run shop hop in October 2016 in Eastern Ontario.  Visiting the 14 shops on the shop hop gave me ample opportunity to find appropriate fabrics.  Many of the fabrics represented my Mother's love of sewing and had sayings reflecting her values, love of family and gift of hospitality.  I even found a fabric with rings on it symbolizing my parents engagement by mail in January 1954.  My Dad had immigrated to Canada already with his whole family and my Mom followed about a year later.  We still have the envelope that the ring was sent in by registered mail :-).  

When I actually started the pillow, I ran stuck on the applique because I had to use the whole square of maple leaf fabric and could not think how to cut a tulip and a maple leaf out it!  So, I cut out a maple leaf and appliqued it on the back and put the frame on the front and then I added some tulips to the back as well.  I used up every mm of that maple leaf fabric LOL.

Last night, we had the grand reveal and Cynthia from Cherished Pieces and Jesse, one of our former members, were the judges.  They sure had their work cut out for them. The pillows were amazing!  Many of the backs were as nice as the front and the stories behind the quilts were very moving!  It was a great exercise in stopping and pondering this great country of Canada and what we appreciate about it. (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

the Kimono challenge fabric

result of shopping excursion :-)
my pillow front
the back of the pillow
The group with all the pillows

This is the write up that accompanied my pillow:

My Canada

“My Canada” is inseparably linked to my parents’ immigration from Holland to Canada.  I chose neutral fabrics with symbols and words, each representing an aspect of Canada or a memory of my parents to whom I am grateful for my Canadian citizenship.   Word fabrics were chosen to describe my Mom’s life rules and talents and her love of sewing and hospitality. 
The iconic Canadian maple leaf was cut from the Kimono Maple leaf fabric and appliqued to the back of the pillow on tulip and bicycle fabric representing my roots in Holland. The remaining maple leaf frame was sewn on the front to create another silhouette of this great Canadian Symbol.  From front to back, I can rest comfortably in this great country Canada, which is my own.  This pillow will be proudly displayed in my home for Canada’s 150th celebration.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Canada 150 blocks 49- 57 caught up

Tuesday is the day the new blocks are posted for the Canada 150 blocks from Next Step Designs.  I finally finished last week's blocks this morning and got today's blocks finished this afternoon!  Nice to be caught up again :-).  I had not gotten around to taking a picture of the week before so here are the blocks from the last three weeks.  Really enjoying working on these blocks every week.

Blocks 49, 50, 51

Blocks 52, 53, 54

Blocks 55, 56, 57

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Candle mania!

We were away for the weekend so I could not work on the new Jolly Little Christmas sew along block.  But, Monday morning I got right at it and in between all kinds of other March break activities, I got them finished last night.  I could not resist making 8 of these as I had chosen colour combinations and couldn't decide which ones to leave out, so made them all :-).  I really love these candles...maybe my favourite block so far?  Here are the 8 blocks (four in a more tradition colourway and four in modernish fabrics).  (Click on the photo to enlarge them.)

All the blocks to date

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Catching up on Canada 150

Tonight I caught up with the Canada 150 blocks again.  These blocks are a lot of fun to make.  Lots of different techniques to use as well.  I had the first three finished last week already, but hadn't had a chance to blog. (click on the photo to enlarge)

Blocks 40 - 42 I picked up this awesome crow fabric recently and figured crows are pretty Canadian so they found their way into a block LOL. 

Blocks 43 to 45 I changed block 43 to a mitered corner so I could get the stripes to make a 3D effect.

Blocks 46 - 48