The silence…

Not long after I wrote my last blog post a funny thing happened… I bumped my head.  At the time it smarted and I felt a little weird but I continued on with my day.  By that evening I knew that something was not right.

I managed to hit my head in a strange place and a little harder than I thought and as a consequence I gave myself a severe concussion.  Now this was not my first head injury… many years ago I managed to knock my head about quite badly in a car accident.  My recent concussion, as a second injury, has been more severe and lasted longer.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been struggling. For 10 days I did not watch or listen to anything…. that was hard slog and very very boring.  I am still being treated under what is termed “concussion protocol”. It has taken me a couple of weeks to get my words back… it is easier for my to type than to speak, but both hurt.  It really does seem as if the universe is conspiring against my efforts to blog… just saying….

Sick of being bored and feeling decidedly better, this week I dusted off the sewing machine and I started slowly trying to get back into it.  I can not sew for too long and can not do anything to complex (my butterflies are currently on hold).  Instead I grabbed my huge pile of mini charm squares (2 1/2 inch squares) and started playing.

concussion-block

I found the pattern for this block on the Fat Quarter Shop site.  They have a free pattern that you can print out called Sisters Choice… and you can find it here.  Their quilt is monochromatic and uses solids but it works just as well with prints and scraps I think.

So my design wall currently looks like this…

design-wall

…messy and chaotic, a little like my brain…but slowly it will get better… less chaotic… more succinct… but it will always be full of colour.

A little work in progress…

Last week I woke to the news that Wombat Quilts had made it onto the “100 Best Quilting Blogs on the Planet”.  Feedspot, a blog reader, had put together this list by looking at site traffic, followers etc.  I came in at number 39.  To say I was pleasantly shocked is an understatement.

While I was looking through the list I noticed they had marked my blog as posting about once a month…. had I really slipped off schedule that much!  The answer is yes, kind of.  So in the spirit of sharing more I thought I would show you what I am working on this week…

lizzy house quilt block

A couple of months ago I borrowed a friends Baby Go cutter and went to work cutting some of my scraps into small circles (check out this quilt wip….) and small half square triangles (HST).

hst-blocks

Last week while I was attempting to clear some space in my spare bedroom I stumbled across the shoe box with my Lizzy House HST in it.  Inspired by a block I saw on Instagram I started making these crazy but fun 10 1/2 inch blocks.

Now I was working with 3 inch unfinished squares but if you wanted to do a bigger block you could use 3 1/2 inch squares for a 12 inch finished block…

hst block layout

Last night I finished making the last of the blocks (20 in total).  Today I just have to put the top together.

design-wall-layout

This will be my first quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids 2016, a drive that is held annual to encourage quilters to make and give quilts to children in need.  This is my 4th year of playing along and I love the emphasis on giving leading up the holiday season.  Between now and December 1st you can make and donate a quilt to a children’s charity in your local area to play along… and maybe win a prize.

Quilts bring such comfort….

For the last couple of months the Portland Modern Quilt Guild has been donating quilts to a local Children’s hospital for use in the Intensive Care unit.  Just before I went on holiday I dropped off another 20+ quilts to one of the nurses at the PICU that had been made by Guild members and at Guild Charity sew days.

Most of the time when we make quilts for charity we send them off into the world not knowing who gets them.  We take a leap of faith that our hand made treasures will bring comfort.   I must admit that I have loved dropping the blankets off to the nursing staff at the hospital the last couple of months…this simple exercise in driving across town with a trunk full of quilts reminds me why I make charity quilts.  The nurses are so excited and grateful for the donations… they know first hand how much comfort will come from the quilts.

The latest collection of quilts dropped off included these lovelies…

green-cross-quilts

This quilt was made at the April Charity Sew Day by a wonderful bunch of quilters.  It was a fun, easy block to make and was came together really quickly.

cross-detail

Also included in the September quilt delivery was this orphan block beauty…

orphan-block-quilt

This quilt started as a lovely pile of orphan blocks from one of our members, Elsa… she really does give me the best stuff.  I found some wonderful stripped fabric in my stash that worked wonderfully with the blocks and voila I had a quilt top…

quilt-detail

Add some wonderful quilting by one of our talented long armers, some scrappy black binding and you have a wonderful quilt.

quilt-block-detail

I was originally given 11 blocks and used the last two blocks on the back of the quilt, along with the last of the stripped fabric…

quilt-back

By now these quilts are somewhere in world giving comfort and warmth.  Thank you so much to all the PMQG members who have helped make these quilts, and the others that were donated.   Your hard work and talent really does make such a difference….

September adventures…

So September has come and gone way to quickly…and with almost no posts from me.  I did intend to share some more of my finished quilts but instead I took a holiday and went gallivanting in Europe.

img_5920

I instead of posting I unplugged and enjoyed London, Lyon and Reykjavik.   I have returned with new energy and with a new commitment to get back on track with posting on the blog.  I have been struggling with getting back into regular posting this year and I am not sure why.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a smattering of butterflies pop up in my feed while I was away and I must admit I have been slightly obsessed with Liberty fabric and making the butterflies….I have 42 finished so far…

img_59221

Two of my butterflies are currently on holiday in Australia, with Ava & Neve at the Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair.  The rest are up on my design wall, while I select the colours and fabric for the last 20 or  so.

I managed to bring back from London a decent stash of Liberty fabric and I am giving away a “Butterfly making Kit” on Instagram at the moment – 60 different 5 inch charm squares of Liberty fabric so you can make your own butterflies.  Pop on over and leave a comment on my photo for a chance to win.

So October is for new beginnings, new habits and new fabric.  See you tomorrow for a finished quilt reveal.

Another lot of love….

Yesterday I shared the group Quilt for Pulse we made… today I am sharing my the quilt I also made for the cause.  I had actually started making this quilt when we decided to make a group quilt.

my pulse quilt

For my quilt I used some more of my pre-cut solid squares, but worked with my 3 inch stash this time… I have a lot of pre-cut squares and both of these projects did not even start to dent my pile!

block detail

I played around on my design wall to find a heart shape that I liked and then went to work making these blocks in a rainbow assortment of colours.

quilt for pulse detail

I made sure there was a good mix of lights and darks in each heart and used a variety of whites and creams in the background.   For the background I also threw in some pastel pinks, purples, greens and blues but I made sure I did not put the pastels right next to the heart so that there was clear definition to the heart shape.

quilting detail

I also quilted this quilt on Modern Domestic’s Q24 longarm… I quilted this one after I had done the huge heart so I was over loopy hearts and went instead for straight line boxes.  It was nice to do something more structured on this quilt.

I think I am going to revisit this block.  It was easy and really effective…plus I still have shoe boxes full of 3 inch solid squares!

Quilts of love…

This week I managed to finish up two very special quilts.  If you are a member of the Modern Quilt Guild you may have heard of the Quilts for Pulse drive.  After the tragic shooting in June at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida a member of the Orland Modern Quilt Guild, Alissa Lapinsky put out a call for rainbow heart blocks.  She wanted to make quilts for families of the victims.

The call for help from Alissa gave me, and some of my friends, the opportunity to do something  in a situation where you usually feel as if there is nothing you can do to help.  So one weekend in June  Lisa, Sara, Kristie and I got together and made a quilt…

IMG_4916

I had a tonne of pre-cut 5 inch squares in hundreds of different colours – I am getting in the habit of cutting my scraps into usable sizes and had just cut a pile of my solid scraps into squares.  So we sorted the squares into colour order and started playing.  The end result looked like this…

finished group quilt for pulse

We pieced this beautiful top, working together, in a day.  It was so much fun to make this top with friends and it was so good to do something positive in the days following the tragedy.  It then took me a little while to get it on the long arm at Modern Domestic.

This was the biggest quilt I had every long armed and I must admit I got a little crazy somewhere in the middle of it… my hearts got a little loopy but the overall effect is not too bad.

IMG_5131

I went with a pieced black and white quilt back to counteract the bright loud front of the quilt…

quilt back

The three sets of feet you can see under the quilt are our husbands.  The boys helped hold the quilt while we photographed it…. and as one of those boys is over 6 foot it gives you an idea of how big the quilt finished up.

husband quilt holders

We finished the quilt off with a label from Story Patches, who kindly donated labels to many quilters making Pulse Quilts.  I had not used one of these patches before but it was perfect for this quilt.  If you have not seen Story Patches they allow you to download message about your quilt using photos, audio and/or video.  There is a QR code on the label that can be scanned so the receiver of the quilt can see the story behind making the quilt.   We downloaded a message and some photos of the day we spent making the quilt.

This quilt has now joined the hundreds of other quilts and blocks that have been sent to Orlando.  I doubt that Alissa knew that she would get the amazing response she did.  Thanks to efforts of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild,  the quilting community has flooded Orlando with love, support and quilts.