On a mission…

Now that I am getting back to full health I feel like I have so much to catch up on…and first thing on my To Do list is to clear some of my WIPs out of the house.  The main impetuous for the clear out is the fact that you can not currently access our spare bedroom because of the pile of batting, quilts and fabric…our spare bedroom is Charity Quilt central!  I have a wonderfully patient and understanding husband who is somewhat blind to fabric piles and quilting mess, but even he has started commenting.

So as we head to Thanksgiving I will be sharing mine and PMQG’s most recent quilt finishes before they head out to their respective charities.  To start proceedings I give you this wonderful little quilt…

wonky log cabin finished quilt copy

This quilt was made, along with a larger version, at one of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild Charity Sew days.  This was a fun day where I bought a huge box of blue scraps, a smattering of white and grey scraps and we all made log cabins.

wonky log cabin detail 2

Somewhere in the process a touch of orange was added, at the insistence of one of our amazing Guild Members Juline,  and viola you have magic.

quilt detail

The orange really makes the quilt sing.  All the improv log cabin blocks are trimmed to 12 inches finished and this four by four version of the quilt is headed to Project Linus. The larger version of this quilt (six by seven blocks) is currently out with one of our talented long-armers.

wonky log cabin quilt

When pulling blocks for this smaller version of the quilt I made sure to get some great novelty prints in the mix.

fussy cut fun

This was such a fun and easy project to do with the group, as once again there is no right or wrong, just playing with colour.   The quilt is backed with a darling Laura Ashley fabric that seemed appropriate and bound with some navy batik fabric which was kindly donated to the Guild by Hoffman fabrics.

quilt back

Thanksgiving does seem like the perfect time to share some of the amazing quilts that our Guild has made to help our community.  I am so very thankful to everyone who helps out with this program.


Appleville Quilt finished

I managed to finish my Appleville quilt this week… another Project Linus finish for October.    I started this quilt a week or so ago and it was a real challenge for me.

Appleville modern kids quilt

I was using a “cheater” panel for the first time and really wanted to highlight each of the individual illustrations somehow.  Once I had worked out my colour scheme and pulled some appropriate supporting fabric from my stash, the individual blocks came together easily.   My original post on the quilt was full of optimism.   Then  the struggle began for me with how to lay them out.

Appleville qulit detail

I had never worked with this much white/negative space before.  My design wall was a blessing as I moved the blocks around trying to find a flow I liked.  Once I had a layout I was happy with the real hard work began.  It was like doing a jigsaw puzzle piecing in the white Kona cotton.  The top part of the quilt took me ages to put together but by the bottom section I was an old pro.  There are even some Y seams in this sucker (another first for me).  I would love to hear from anyone who has advice, tricks or tips on doing this kind of piecing.  I know I have a lot to learn.

Appleville quilt detail

With the top all pieced I now had to fill all that negative space with quilting  First off I tried some hand quilting in red thread – I liked it but my wrist is not healed enough to handle that much hand quilting at the moment…. so unpicking number one.

Applieville quiltingThen I quilted  lines inside the blocks and tried a little free motion pebbles in the white space.  I did not like it, and again my wrist was not up to that much pushing and pulling of fabric through the machine… unpicking number 2.   In the end it was straight lines and boxes.

Appleville quilt detail 2

It does the job, but is not as beautiful as I would have liked.  I am still coming to terms with my quilting shortfalls (which is my actual quilting) and my current physical limitations (my darn left wrist).  I am chomping at the bit to do some proper free-motion quilting to build up my skills.

For the back of the quilt I used my favorite printed panel and made it the focal point.

Applieville quilt back

I think it is one of the cutest quilt backs I have done.  And it is all because of this little print.

Appleville quilt back detail

Appleville Quilt Details:

Style:  Modern free form

Fabric:  Appleville by Robert Kaufman & Kona White

Finished quilt size: 47″ x 57″


Floral Crackers Fabulous Finish

I was so excited last night when I took deliver of my finished Floral Cracker’s quilt.   The fabulous Rachel from 2nd Avenue Studios had used her amazing long arm/free motion quilting skills to complete this project for me.

modern scrap floral quilt

I meet Rachel through the Portland Modern Quilting Guild and fell in love with her quilts. She does the most amazing wonky scrappy creative quilts.  I was a huge fan and when she offered to quilt Floral Crackers for me I was beyond excited.  Rachel also makes a lot of charity quilts and also does long arming quilting of charity quilts for the Guild.  Basically she is a rock star.

Floral cracker finished quilt detail 3I made the blocks for this quilt months ago using my black and white stash and lots of crazy floral fabrics.  i raided my Kaffe Fassett stash, my Amy Butler stash as well as my friend Lisa’s stash.  You can find my original post about the block, along with pattern links on how to make it here.

Floral cracker quilting motif

Rachel used a wonderful free motion flower pattern for the quilting.  The shape is very  “Kaffe” and mirrors several of the fabrics in the quilt.

Floral Cracker quilting detail

I struggled to get decent pictures that do the quilt and quilting justice.  Why do photos never capture the true beauty of a quilt?

Floral cracker finished quilt detail

To back the quilt, Rachel went with a gorgeous light orange dot solid.  It is the perfect simple accompaniment to the crazy busy front.

Floral Cracker quilt back

Rachel also kindly did the binding for me on this quilt with her new Bernina binding magic thingy…. and I love it almost as much as I love the quilting.  As a nod to me she used Kaffe Fassett’s “Aboriginal Dot” fabric.

Floral Cracker binding detail

I know it is kind of cheating but I am counting this as one of my October Project Linus quilts… I did make the top!


Technique:   Paper Piecing

Finished Block size:  7 inches

Quilt size:  56″ x 70″

Rainbow I Spy Quilt done and dusted

Week two of October and I have another quilt finished despite some walking foot hiccups and a Briar Rose obsession.  This week’s Project Linus finish is a little bit of a cheat – I pulled an old unfinished top out of the cupboard and quilted it up.  But it is still a finish and still counts… right?

Rainbow I spy quilt

I made the top for this quilt about 3 years ago and finishing it up was an interesting exercise which showed me how much my piecing has improved.  All over this quilt there are seams that just do not align…

wonky alighnment

A simple square quilt and my edges are squiffy.  I am a little embarrassed but pleased to say that I have got better over the years.  Plus the small mistakes here and there do not detract from the fun of this quilt.

quilt detail

The colours are bright and the fabric is varied.  There is so much to see in this quilt, it is going to make for a wicked game or two of “I Spy”.  And it is was so easy to put together, lots of 4 1/2 inch blocks in a graduating colour scale.

block detail The quilting is simple… more straight lines.  The backing is also simple, another IKEA fabric (part of a 100% cotton duvet cover).

quilt back

All finished off with  some purple binding.

quilt binding

I know this binding is a little crazy but I was out of solid navy fabric, which is my usual go to binding for a rainbow quilt. But now I have excuse to go shopping.  YIPPEE!

I do not love it… but

If you are like me, you have some quilt blocks, tops or even finished quilts that you really do not like.  You had a great idea, a vision in your head and what you have ended up with has fallen a little short.  What do you do with these quilt projects?

modern scrap easy kids quilt

For me the challenge becomes finishing them. This quilt is a case in point.  I made the top months and months ago.  It sat sadly in the corner of my quilt space, unloved.  But last week, when I realized I had not given quilts to Project Linus in months, my wonky churn dash got dusted off and is now finished.

I must admit I took some short cuts with finishing this quilt.

1.  I did simple, quick and easy straight line quilting using plain white thread.

quilt detail

2.  I used a whole cloth back – IKEA fabric of course.  No fancy pieced or even scrap pieced back.

quilt back

3.  I raided my box of pre-made binding and just picked one.    Usually I um and ah about the binding (it is a big decision after all).  9 times out of ten I normally end up making binding specially for the quilt being finished.

machine binding close up

4.  I machine bound the quilt.  I usually like to hand sew the binding, as I find it a nice handmade finishing touch.

machine binding

All these little decision mean I get the quilt done much quicker, with minimal fuss.  The quilt is then ready to be washed, dried and then delivered to Project Linus, leaving me ready to move onto the next one.

rainbow eye spy quilt

This is the next one… another quilt top that has been sitting in my cupboard, this time for years.

I encourage you dust off an old unfinished top or that pile of quilt blocks.  Finish the sucker – quilt it, bind it, wash it and deliver it to your local Project Linus or Quilts for Valor or Wrap them in love or Quilts for Kids or whatever charity you choose.   Let someone love and be comforted by your quilty creation.

Go on you know you want too…