Holiday Patchwork Forrest

Follow me on Instagram @charlamacphee

Tis the season or gifting. I’ve been approached several times now to make quilts to sell, but I think I’m like the majority of us. We’d prefer to make quilts to give to those we love. Since we’re coming up on Christmas, time becomes more scarce, but projects to finish and gift don’t. So, here’s a quick tutorial I found via Instagram. The blocks come together quickly, and it’s great for beginner’s or even kids because the more wonky your cutting is, the better it looks.

I used a bundle of Cotton & Steel I had pre-ordered at the beginning of the year, and added a few Christmas fat quarters I had around to make it go further. I had enough to complete this top, and 39 blocks left over that my 6 year old has claimed to put into a lap quilt.

Here is the link to the tutorial and all the cutting instructions. In my scrolling, I came across the completely red and white version and it was gorgeous. A Canada 150 Christmas quilt would a pretty great thing to make.

https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2014/11/patchwork-tree-quilt-block-tutorial.html

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English Paper Piecing

English Paper Piecing, EPP to most. Hand sewing. Basically, everything that has scared and intimidated me since I began quilting. I used to think, “Oh, I could never! Who would have the patience for that kind of nonsense?” Well, as it turns out, I do.

I have always loved the look of hexies, and can remember a Smitten quilt hanging in one of my favorite shops in Calgary. I loved the details, the itsy bitsy stitches, and how beautifully it came together. It was the last thing on my list of “I should try…”. Until it wasn’t. I picked up the pattern and clear plastic templates shortly before leaving Calgary, because where the heck would I find those in the Maritimes? Good call, because I still haven’t found any here.

So, for over a year, they sit on a shelf in the sewing room, until an Instagram post of someone’s Smitten quilt catches my eye and a little voice in my head yells, “Go for it!”. So, I go for it. Hubby and I were taking the kids camping, so I wouldn’t be able to take a machine anyway. What perfect timing. He takes credit mercilessly. ūüôā

It turns out, hand sewing, and EPP in particular, are incredibly relaxing and calming for the mind. Which, when you suffer from PPD and PTSD like I do, is a Godsend.

It’s perfectly blissful work, and I’m loving getting to cut up some of my favorites in my stash. I have every reason to believe that this will be an absolutely hideous quilt to the eye, as the mix of patterns, prints, and colours are going to be an assault on the senses. But I’m not letting that get to me. I started in May, and figure I’m about 85% of the way with my blocks. And since I’m putting so much time into this quilt, I may as well go big or go home and am planning to quilt it by hand as well. Yes, I know. Right? I swore I would never. Could never. But I’m going to. And I’m going to use the most obnoxious boldly coloured threads I can find.

Here are some pics of my progress so far. Your retinas have been warned. ūüôā

I Heart You Mini – A Free Pattern

My Instagram @charlamacphee

Instagram strikes again. Cluck Cluck Sew is a great, and I mean GREAT sewing blog. (You can find it here (¬†https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiOxKayjf7RAhWm3oMKHVDGBl0QFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcluckclucksew.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNE88-dPIIJdjJY9Ql3RGvXN70mJEg&sig2=wPMlDBLnCoPJFn-89Ca2lg )¬† ¬†There’s a plethora of information, tips, patterns, knowledge, and encouragement. Best of all, inspiration. I’ve used a version of this free heart pattern and made my heart quilt. The hearts are really cute, and come together quickly. That’s a must for this busy mama.

Here is a link to the pattern¬†( http://cluckclucksew.com/2016/01/i-heart-you-free-mini-quilt-pattern.html ). For my fabrics, I stuck pretty close to the norm and used a few Bonnie and Camille pieces I had. I quilted it with simple straight lines and left a heart shape in the upper right hand corner in-quilted as I have seen done with this. It’s cute, easy, and adds a fun simple element. Plus, my helper enjoyed tracing a fridge magnet to get the shape and then using my Fons & Porter 1/4 inch rulers to draw on the straight lines for me.

To see lots of different versions of this super cute mini, search out #iheartyoumini on Instagram. ūüôā

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That’s a Wrap.

Christmas and quilts. I love ’em both. I am lucky enough to be an aunt to the most amazing nieces and nephews a gal could hope for.¬†My goal is to gift each of them a quilt over the next¬†2 or 3¬†years. I managed to get one done this year, and hope that with this goal in mind early, I can do 2 or 3 more for next year.

This year’s is another Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern, called All Wrapped Up, which I found in an issue of their Block magazine (which I highly recommend as each issue is packed full of great patterns). I used some Christmas-y fat quarter bundles I had picked up from various places over the past year, and some solids for sashing I had stocked up on in Calgary before leaving.

This quilt comes together quickly, and works really well for showcasing the fabrics we all fall in love with. I kept the actual quilting pretty simple, thanks to a tight time frame, but it works. In total, I have three All Wrapped Up quilt tops made, one completed and gifted, and two for my own little family that I’ll finish and keep for two of my own girls.

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Tula Pink Cloudy Days – Part 1

If you’re familiar with Tula Pink fabric, you know how gorgeous it is. If you’re not familiar with it, you should take a look. Her prints are rich, bright, and bold. My first dive into her lines was the result of a great deal from a member of my guild, and that left me¬† hooked. Her fabrics are so beautiful, and were so far out of my comfort zone, but now, I find myself pulled to each line she releases.

I also picked up a copy of one of her books (Quilts From the House of Tula Pinkhttp://www.tulapink.com/quilts-from-the-house-of-tula-pink/ )¬† , and tried one of the patterns in it¬†– Cloudy Days. I buy my fabric mostly in fat quarters, and while I loved this quilt, the large size rain drops were not fat quarter friendly. I had a bit of yardage from one of the prints in her line, Chipper, and did manage to squeeze out one large, but the remainder were a mix of medium and small drops. I still love it. Not sure how I’m going to quilt this one, but I think I’ll give free motion quilting another shot on it.

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Sparkle Quilt 2, and an Instagram repost from MSQC! :)

My Instagram @sewsillymomblog

My ego may never need stroking again. To top this amazing week off, Missouri Star Quilt Company reposted my photo of my finished Sparkle quilt. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ll quickly see how often I use their patterns. The tutorials that Jenny puts out have been so inspirational for me. I find them so well done and reachable for a newbie like myself. I am literally fan girling here over her (or their Instagram person ) reposting my photo. *sigh* Amazing.

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We’re in a Magazine!?

My Instagram @sewsillymomblog

When you first start out quilting, there’s a plethora of resources to gain skills and inspiration from. Some of my favorites are magazines. One of my favorites of those, is American Quilter. Imagine my excitement to open up the latest issue today and see my daughter and her quilt, as well as my quilt, featured in an article in that very publication.

It.Was.Amazing. I have been sharing the news everywhere, so my apologies. The entire thing began with a writer spotting my alphabet quilt at the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts this past May and contacting me. Such a¬†sweet lady, and she asked further questions about Little’s quilt and the children’s display. Fast forward to today, and she has photographed and featured my quilts on her blog, and now written this article where several quilts from Calgary and the Festival are being showcased for the entire reading community for AQ. So thrilling. Here’s a link to Kim’s blog.¬† http://www.kimhansonquilts.com/quilts-in-the-summer-chief-mountain-and-beautiful-waterton-lakes-national-park/

 

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Sparkle Quilt

My Instagram @sewsillymomblog

So, by now it’s pretty clear that as a beginner quilter, one of my favorite resources are Misourri Star Quilt Company tutorials. Well, here’s another example of why.

One of MSQC’s recent tutorials on YouTube was for the Sparkle Quilt¬†( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHaT-ZXDm-c )¬†¬†. It immediately caught my eye, and I had just the fabrics in my stash to use for it. But, I’m reversing the prints. I had a big roll of mostly low volume prints from Out of Hand (best modern fabric shop in Calgary), and knew I had to use it. I paired it with some teal polka dot fabric, and actually managed to get a start on it.

Here’s what I have so far. It won’t be done for a while, thanks to some amazing weather and fun beach days with the kids. We are so loving being in Nova Scotia for the Summer.


  

Mandala Quilt. Man, I like this one.

I think I have now got more projects on the go than I can reasonably finish. At least this Summer. However, this one came together so quickly and easily that I had to see it to the finish line asap.

If you haven’t seen any of the Violet Craft¬†patterns before, take a look. http://www.violetcraft.com/¬†¬†They’re beautiful and really well written. I have bought a few more of her paper piecing patterns and am really looking forward to getting started on them. This one is the Violet Craft Mandala Quilt. http://www.violetcraft.com/pdf/the-mandala-quilt-pdf-pattern photo 1man2photo 1 (2)man3photo 3thumbnail_photo%205[1]thumbnail_photo%203[1]thumbnail_photo%204[1]thumbnail_photo%201[2]

The Mandala is a great way to use up some stash or favorite fabrics. I’ve already started a second one, again, using all different colourways etc. I’ve searched #mandalaquilt¬†on Instagram, and founds lots of examples, and the ones with matchy fabrics are just as stunning.

I think this one, with all it’s flaws (operator errors), will be hung on the wall. This new house is huge and we have empty walls just crying for some love.

For now, it’s back to the pool. Enough typing on my phone. Back to Summer with the kids. ‚̧

Lucky Penny, Completed.

While the quilt itself is pretty quick to put together, it’s amazing how three kids and a full-time job can hamper progress.

This was my first quilt using Fireside as a backing, and it will definitely not be my last. It’s soft like minky, but not nearly so stretchy, making it great to work with. It was also my first attempt at adding lace to a quilt, and I’m not mad at it, but I had hoped it would have kept its shape a little better than it did. Not sure if I’ll use it again.

As per usual, my free motion quilting skills are so beginner, and it shows. Oh well, they say newborns can’t really see much at first, so here’s hoping that’s true.