Friday, May 31, 2013

Amy's (Canada) Tree Block for Shauna

The Waterloo Region chapter of the International Stashes had the pleasure of meeting up this week at Shauna's house. We were given a tour of her amazing backyard with a glass of wine in hand. Perfection! As we sat down to chat, we all mentioned we were thinking of incorporating circles into Shauna's tree blocks, as we all know that is another favorite of hers. I felt drawn to blues, for some reason. Perhaps because due to my lap quilt, I have more blues in my stash? Anyway, I included owls so that Jennifer's owls would have company. I hope you like it, Shauna!

Meg's Block for Shauna

Hi Everybody, hope you're all well and off to a good start for the summer:)

Here's my tree block for Shauna, made using my wedge ruler:

Oops, well as the computer would have it, this is obviously not Shauna's tree, but a preview of my design wall with a nearly completed 'Ocean Waves'!  I'm soooo happy with it:)  This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago and I've since finished the blocks which, thanks so much to those who sent extra HSTs, now extend one additional row.  I am very close to deciding FOR SURE that I don't want a border.  I love the simplicity of the quilt design, and I think a border would detract, but I'm still open to others' opinions.  One thing that isn't easy to appreciate from this photo is the wonderful scrappy look that I think you can only get if lots of other eyes have chosen the fabrics.  Thank you so much for your contributions -- I'll cherish this quilt for years to come:)

All right, another go at Shauna's tree:

Voila! However, I'll admit to a little insecurity over my tree.  I was so very happy with it while I was making it and now seeing the others, I hope I haven't made a mistake by forgoing more traditional appliqué or a look that I love -- the triangular shaped tree.  The pattern is from my good friend Sarah Fielke and the bird fabric and the green stripe is from her fabric collection...much sentimental value here.  The original pattern had a couple of appliqued pears on the ground near the tree, but....oh, I hope Sarah isn't accessing this blog...I thought the pears were out of proportion to the tree and frankly wouldn't grow on this kind of tree anyway.  That's probably why she's making the big bucks as an author and designer and I'm copying her work!!  Anyway, I hope it works well in the finished quilt, which I think will be beautiful and unique:)

Finally, Shauna, keep an eye out for a small extra package from me... found something too good to pass up as a little gift for you!  xxoo Meg

Anthea's trees for Shauna

Last day of May and I have finally completed this block for you Shauna. I'm feeling very nervous about showing you all and the photo is a bit fuzzy so I apologize for that.

I spent most of the month thinking about trees and how to distill them into something that would work.  Initially I was thinking of turning several flying geese into trees like one of the blocks you showed us Shauna, but then Miss 10 challenged me to try something else.

I also wanted to create something that was meaningful to me for you Shauna. I have several favourite eucalypts and they all have differing forms, but I narrowed it down to two of my absolute favourites from the arid woodlands of Western Australia (which should be listed as a World Heritage Area in my opinion): E. salubris (Gimlet) and E. salmonophloia (Salmon gum).

If you look from a distance, squint, and possibly cross your eyes, they have irregular blobs of foliage at the end of numerous slender branches that extend from multiple trunks in the case of the Gimlet and a single magnificent pinkish trunk of the Salmon gum. Up close the Gimlet's trunks and major branches are like a well muscled arm.

Thanks for the hot tip about using a glue stick Shauna. It certainly made zig-zagging around the blobs easier. I hope this block works for you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

June's Block by Linsay

I have chosen a more traditional style of block for June.  A few month's ago I met up with Jennifer for a coffee and she gave me a quilting magazine as a gift.  The magazine is called '100 Blocks' and this pattern, from the magazine, is called 'Codex' and it is by Scott Murrkin.

The original pattern shows the block made in three shades of brown (horrors!) so I have changed the colour scheme.  This picture shows the 4 blocks that I have made so far.  I would like everyone to make just one block.

The colours I have chosen are as follows,
  • outside square to be red or pink
  • the inside square to be any blue
  • the centre square to be any thing you like (as long as it contrasts with the white/cream)
  • the in-between fabric to be white or cream with a small polka-dot of any colour.
The centre square
Last year I was delighted when my blocks arrived in the post and I particularly like the small details that had been included in amongst the patterns.  There was an owl, a peacock and a little gecko all included in the blocks.  I would like the centre square to contain a little fussy cut square of your choice.  I have a monkey, a pair of cherries, and a flower in the centre of my blocks shown above.

What to cut
The cutting out takes as long as the sewing on this block.
  • centre square, 2½" x 2½" with your motif in the middle
  • white/cream polka-dot, cut a long strip of fabric 1½" wide, then cut it into
                               2 rectangles,  2½" x 1½"
                               2 rectangles,  4½ x 1½"
                               8 rectangles,  2" x 1½"
                               2 rectangles,  7½" x 1½"
                               2 rectangles,  9½ x 1½"
  • blue fabric, cut a long strip of fabric 2" wide, then cut it into
                              4 squares, 2" x 2"
                              4 rectangles, 3½" x 2"
  • red or pink fabric, cut a strip 2" wide, then cut it into
                              4 rectangles, 4½" x 2"
                              4 rectangles, 6" x 2"
Phew! that is the cutting out finished and you should have a collection of rectangles and squares that looks like this.

You can now re-arrange them to look like this.
Starting from the middle, take your centre square and sew the shorter white squares to the centre square, press the seams towards the dark fabric and then sew on the longer white strips.  Again press towards the dark fabric.  Your centre piece should now look like this.

And on the back, like this.

I suggest that you set up your ironing board and press your seams as you go along.  It will make the next set of seams easier to sew.  I also trimmed threads as I went.  There are so many seams that if you don't trim threads the blocks ends up looking fairly hairy.
For the next stage, join the blue strips to the white strips before you attach them to the central section, see below.
Again, sew the shorter sides first, press, then sew the longer sides, press.

It should now look like this on the back.

Add the next stage of white polka-dot fabric. First the short lengths, press, then the longer ones, press.

I think you are probably getting the idea by now, here is the next stage.
When you attach the pink strips to the block try and match the seams to the previous polka-dot strip.  I have tried to point at the matching point with my scissors in this picture.  This will make sure that the white fabric runs in straight lines across the finished block.

Sew on and press the pink strips.  The reverse should look like this...

...and the front like this.

Congratulations, you have finished.
Please ask me as many questions as you need to.
Happy Sewing, Linsay.

Amy(USA)'s Tree Block for Shauna

I had fun making this block! I had made a quilt using this type of tree, but couldn't find the pattern so I winged it! I used a triangle of fabric sandwiched between two rectangles of white and then flattened out the green and sewed it down with the trunk rectangle. It leaves folds on the sides of the trees that can be left "floating" or sewn down when quilting.

I think this is going to be a fantastic quilt! 
Amy (USA)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Quilts and questions

Hello ladies! I'd like to share some quilts I just made. These are terrible pictures. However, it is just one of those days, and if I try to take better ones, it won't happen, so here they are. I made these lap size quilts using Amy Karol's book, Bend-the-Rules-Sewing. It is a great book, worth a look. Scott's family inherited a farm house outside of Montreal, and I made these as gifts for two lovely ladies who have helped up with the house a lot in the last year. I hope they like them!

And for my question. I am a bit embarrassed to ask it as I think it will reveal me as a complete novice quilter! But here goes... I just finished my two final spider web squares and am ready to put the top together. Should I trim each square to make sure they are all the same size?  They are just slightly off, but am worried it'll wreck the overall affect if I don't get the corners right....
 I have another question, but will wait until I get the squares together to ask it. Hope you are all well!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Triangle Trees

Spent my Memorial Day holiday in the studio, and first thing I stitched up was my tree block...

Inspired by the beautiful shades of green that Iowa is turning after all of our recent rains!  Such variety in these tree blocks, this should make a fabulous quilt. (It doesn't hurt that green is my favorite color!)

Hope you are all enjoying your last few days of May...


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Trees

I loved making the block for Shauna so I decided that I would use the idea to make two cushions as my contribution to the school auction.  I like things that are 'the same but different' so I made one tree pink with green quilting and piping, and the other green with pink quilting and piping.  I was trying to making the quilting look like the rings that you find in wood.  I have spent the last 4 days making them and now there is a back load of laundry and an empty fridge to sort out.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Late to the game

Jennifer's tree is fabulous!  I have an idea and a start but need to find  make the time to finish it up!

I did get Katy's value blocks done last week, and they went in the mail with Amy's value blocks... this will be a fun quilt, looking forward to seeing how you lay it out:

My month is fast approaching (July) and I change my mind almost weekly on what to have you wonderful quilters make for me.  I saw Amy's Octagonal Rainbow quilt at our MQG meeting last week, it is just lovely! 

Happy Spring ladies,
xo Doris

Two Owls in a Tree

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do for the project this month. Some of you will remember from last year that I really liked working with hexagons for Genevieve's quilt. Finally,  I decided to go back to them to create a tree for Shauna. This is the first time I have tried to appliqué. Spray starch was a big help in keeping everything smooth and also setting my machine so that the needle stopped in the down position. I also liked doing some overlapping with the shapes. The little owls are from some fabric that I am using for a quilt for a friend (one that I started last summer and it is still waiting to be finished!).  Shauna, I hope you like the newest addition to your quilt.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Completed Quilt!!!

I am very, very excited to write this post!!! I finished the Octagonal Rainbows quilt! I absolutely love this quilt for so many reasons. The colors, the blocks, the fact that each block came from all of you spread out across the world! I have entered it for consideration into a quilt show that will be held here in Iowa showcasing modern quilting. If anything, I think this quilt shows how far quilting has come because of the Internet and access to people all over the world!

I wanted a good label with everyone's names and locations at the time the blocks were done. I checked and re-checked the positions of each block and the name that goes with each! 

I echo stitched around each block and in each "slice" of the octagons. I also  echo stitched around the borders. Luckily I had enough fabrics in my stash to create the border!
 Thank you everyone! I love this quilt!
Amy (USA)

Katy's Value blocks

Hello All-
I have had these blocks done for some time now, so Katy I am sorry they are getting to you mid-May! Getting to the post office has been nearly impossible with the craziness of life! I hope you like them. :) I took a picture of them in black and white. I have to think about value in my quilts more often!
Amy (USA)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Linsay's tree for Shauna

I looked through all the tree designs that Shauna posted and saw one that was roughly like this so I went to the sewing room and drew a trunk and a leaf shape and this was the result.  I think there is a piece of every green fabric that I have.  It is not symmetrical but neither are trees and I like that look.  It was fun to do. 
I liked your photos of the buds coming out in the garden.  I am doing the same thing.  Everyday after lunch I walk my dog and we often go through the vineyards and I inspect the progress of leaves and buds.  I spent hours making mud pies when I was the same size as your kids.  I was so happy stirring a pot full of mud and leaves with a twig.  Simple pleasures.
Thanks Shauna.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Two Trees by Chris

I had lots of fun creating my trees and really hope they fit your vision Shauna. I used a combination of hand applique and zig zag. I'm inspired by your tree 'drawings' on fabric and hope to try that one day. Just need to become acquainted with my free motion foot :) Excited to see more designs posted on our blog!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Katy's Value Quilt

I enjoyed the process of this block immensely. It seems I now look at fabric and colours differently - so thanks Katy for bringing the concept of values to my attention :) I hope you're happy with the overall effect. I couldn't resist using the sweet little green Japanese print with flowers, oh it speaks to me!! It's going to be fascinating to watch your quilt come together.
Please keep us posted with your progress :))