Friday, January 4, 2019

Fireburst, Fundy and Strings

My final three finishes for 2018 are ready for their big reveal. The first is my Fireburst quilt, made during Tish's quilt along

Tish published clear, step by step instructions each month to make a quilt in one of two sizes. I chose the baby size, with a final block size of 32" x 32". I added a simple border to bring it up to 37" square.

It was really fun to watch my piles of navy, baby blue, and orange morph into this bursting star design!  So cool.

I used some wool batting scraps and a pieced backing, and quilted it up with floppy feathers. The result is a super light, but fat and poofy quilt.

I'll be donating this to Little Lambs, which is located in Utah and serves childen in the foster care system. I figure the wool will make it nice and warm for a small person who could use a quilty hug.

The second piece was made using the Fundy Skies pattern by Cannuck Quilter. Joanne asked me to be a pattern tester for the baby size, which is a single block. I pulled out some red, navy, gold and gray fabrics to play with. 

The pattern was really easy to follow, and I love this on-point square shape! However, the fabrics I chose didn't feel very baby-ish.  Hm, what to do? I had some small panel blocks in a lighthouse theme, so I added those to the top and bottom of the Fundy block to make the quilt a rectangle.

Fundy Lighthouses finishes at about 36" x 50", which is a great wheelchair quilt size. The narrow width keeps the quilt from getting caught in the wheels, but it is still long enough to warmly cover an adult's lap. I used the rest of more wool batting to keep is light and cozy, and quilted it with a medium stipple using variegated blue and white thread. 

The thread is really pretty on the spool, but I feel there was too much contrast between the darkest and lightest parts of the variegation. In the future I'll look for more subtle shading for that type of thread. 

With the nautical lighthouses and the patriotic colors, perhaps this quilt will appeal to a Navy vet.  I'll send it to my friend Doris, and her guild in Alabama will pass it along to a nursing home.

And here's the final finish for 2018. I've been making string blocks each month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I love them! It's so satisfying to turn a jumbled pile of miscellaneous strings into neat, tidy blocks. 

However, I used fabric foundations for the stitching, so the blocks turned out double thickness and quite heavy. Rather than make a complete, but heavy quilt, I decided to donate this 50" x 70" top to Victoria's Quilts. They will quilt it up with a warm flannel backing and give it to a person in Canada who is living with cancer. I figured it's cold enough up in the neighborly north for a super heavy quilt to be useful.

And here is an early glimpse into some things I've been playing with lately. I bought a mini Quick Curve Ruler to try some new curvy blocks. Isn't this a fun shape? It's supposed to be a Christmas ornament, but I used a charm pack of pretty metallic pastels and has a different feel. Sort of Moorish.

I also delved into my neutrals and brights string scraps and made some rectangular blocks using paper foundations. I don't want to end up with another set of double thick, heavy string blocks with fabric foundations. I really like  the wonky diamond shapes but the paper bits are annoying.  I was tickled to read that Diann of Little Penguin Quilts is also making rectangular/diamond string blocks, and hers look so great in red and cream. So interesting how an idea like this seems to pop up in multiple places at once!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Christmas 2018 finishes

Happy New Year! Everyone still has all their Christmas decorations up, right? Good, because I'm sharing my holiday finishes today.

For the first time in many years, we got on an airplane during the dreaded winter holiday travel season. But the reward for enduring crowded flights filled with sneezing travelers was getting to visit family and friends. I decided to make zipper pouches to give to the folks we were visiting. Nothing big, just small tokens of affection. It was fun to select fabric for each person and quilt up the bags. Sewing with zippers is definitely not my favorite thing, but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it now.

I added a few little suprises inside the bags. This one for my Dad has beer fabrics peeking through the zipper.

This horse bag was given to my Mom, and has music notes inside. She and her husband both sing in choirs, so I put the same fun fabric inside his gift.

A dear friend lost her beautiful tuxedo kitty a few months ago, so I made her a bag with holiday kitties to cheer her up. The little paw prints inside honor the prints our pets leave forever on our hearts.

And speaking of cats, I made this little holiday wall hanging for above our bed. It uses six panels of Debbie Hron fabric. 

The little contented Christmas cats have such sweet faces! The central square is all part of the panel, and I added borders to make a star shape.

My husband really likes this paisley print, so I used up all my scraps of it. The quilting is simple stipples in the borders, SITD around the stars and squares, and outlining of each cat.

The reason I needed a new wall hanging is because this is the first year we've had a Christmas quilt on our bed! Sorry for all the dark photos, but our bedroom is incredibly dark. Our windows are only 8"x18" and the walls are dark wood. Great for sleeping, but lousy for quilt photos.

The wall above the bed usually holds my Postcards from Ikea piece, which is rainbow bright. It didn't look right with Christmas red and green, so Contented Christmas Cats chased a squirrel (or maybe vice versa?) and a more coordinated look was born.

The bed quilt was actually finished months ago during Christmas in July, and put away until December. The flimsy dates back a whole year. I quilted the scrappy cream background with big feathers, and the darker red and green areas with a stipple.

The binding is a black and white stripe, and the quilting in the red border is simple straight lines. After all those feathers, I was kinda done with the quilting to be honest. I should probably do borders first before I run out of steam.


The back is solid green fleece, and I used no batting in this piece. We are usually somewhere warm for the winter, so this weight is just right for us.

The fleece shows the shape of quilting really, really well. But it completely hides the individual stitches. The bobbin thread is off white, and you can't see any white at all on the back! Gotta love that thick, forgiving fleece. 

When we return to the boat this week, it will be time to pack up and put away our Christmas decor until next year. Meanwhile, we're enjoying everyone else's holiday lights and trees. I hope you all had a wonderful season. Onward to 2019!