Friday, 28 August 2015

A New Favourite

Looking for a good quilty read? Try The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood. I won it in a giveaway from The Quilting Edge (thanks Marianne!) about a month ago. I've read it from cover to cover. Every single word.

I love how Sherri Lynn organized the book with 'scores' rather than patterns. The scores fully embrace the spirit of improv quilting, giving you enough guidance without being too prescriptive. Genius!

I'm not a novice when it comes to improv and I've read a number of books on improv quilting, but I still learned so much from this one. Especially how to fix issues or problems, which I think is the most challenging part. If you are interested in improv quilting, this is the book to get.

And no, no one asked me to review the book and this isn't a sponsored post -- I just really like the book. I'm knee-deep in other projects right now, but there will be projects from this book in the future. Oh yes, there will be projects...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Rainbow House - A Work in Progress

If you follow me on Instagram (@quiltmatters), you've probably seen my photos from our workshop with Lizzy House. I'll admit that I wasn't so keen on the Meadow Quilt pattern at first, but I love Lizzy's fabric. Don't get me wrong, her Meadow quilt is gorgeous, but it's not really my style.

I wanted to meet her and take a workshop with her though so when the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild (thank you, Laura!) brought her in to teach her Meadow quilt workshop, I signed up right away. Boy was it worth it! I learned a couple of new things and I've started what I think will end up being one of my favourite quilts.

Look! Me and Lizzy and her beautiful Meadow quilt. :D

Great class with Lizzy House today! �� Thanks @Lizzyhouse! #meadowquiltworkshop #ottmqg #meadowquilt

A couple of nights before the workshop, I did a fabric pull. Prints! Think there's enough Lizzy House fabric in here to earn me teacher's pet status or kickass?


My idea was to invert the design and see what it would look like if I made the stars/flowers with prints and do the background in greys. And I wanted to try playing with the values of the greys. Lizzy was very supportive of my plan and thankfully talked me out of one of my crazier ideas. :)

This is the fabric pull I settled on in the workshop.


Lizzy's Meadow quilt is a 4 x 5 block arrangement. Well, I had a hard time culling my fabric pull down to less than 28 so I decided to do a 5 x 6 arrangement. 

Going 5 x 6 rainbow for my #meadowquilt #ottmqg ��

She's a smart one, that Lizzy. She had us do a sample block to test out the technique. Oh gosh, look at that, more Lizzy House fabric. ;)

Test block. Destined to be a pillow for son#1. He's going to flip when he sees the jewels. #ottmqg #meadowquilt

My oldest son is a big fan of rocks and gemstones so this will become a cushion for him. 

Playing with the values of grey in the background (sideways iPod shot).


Now to check colour and value placement. 

Option 1: 

Option 2: 

The cool purples in the upper right are bothering me. Replace one of them?


Option 3: 

Option 4: 

Now to decide on the background: 

Option A: Having the greys in a value progression from darkest on the outside to lightest on the inside. 

Option B: Have the values interspersed more randomly.

Going into this, I had thought I was set on Option A. Now, I'm not so sure. 

Thoughts? Feeling a little decision fatigue here. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

TGIFF! - Colour Pop Top

Welcome to TGIFF! I seem to be suffering from work-in-progress-itis. I'm making good progress on several projects, but nothing is close to being completely finished. Carsick and Bubbles for Malcolm are even halfway quilted.

I did finish my Colour Pop top though, just in time for TGIFF! Woo hoo! And also in time for International Left-Handers Day. Serendipitous. As a southpaw, I always appreciate a little asymmetry that leans to the left. ;)

Perhaps more interestingly, all prints. Not a solid to be found. It's all black and white and rainbow. And I love it. I still love my solids though.

These are combinations of 1.5", 2.5" and 8" triangles using the HexNMore ruler. I like big triangles and I cannot lie.

From one purple...

To the other.

The top finishes at 52" x 77". It's going to be a good-sized throw quilt.

Now that this one is off the design wall, I have space for my Meadow quilt that I started last weekend at a workshop with Lizzy House. More to come on that soon...and yes, there will be more rainbow. We'll just call it my rainbow phase.

And speaking of rainbows, the Sew Sisters Quilt Shop deal of the month for August is...wait for it... 40% off rainbow Wonderclips. Seriously, I couldn't have lined this up better if I tried. 50 count pack for $26.39. With the Canadian dollar doing so crappy, this is a steal for you U.S. folks. I have a pack of these Wonderclips (and a pack of red and a pack of neon green) and I adore them.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Games People Play

I carry a sketchbook in my purse and have for about five years now. At first, it was so I could jot or draw ideas for quilts while I was out and about.

When you are a full-time parent of young kids, there is so little in your life that feels like it is yours and yours alone. Your body isn’t yours, your time isn’t yours, your space isn’t yours, your food isn’t yours. I bought the sketchbook so I could capture MY creativity and ideas on MY creative journey.

Ha ha. Yeah, you guessed it. I was wrong. It wasn’t long until MY sketchbook was pulled out in desperation to entertain one or more of my children. “What do you mean you are bored?! We just got here and we can’t leave now so find something to do. Okay, okay, do you want to draw in my sketchbook?”

At first I mourned it (okay, that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point). But then I saw what a treasure this was! Besides the 5-10 minutes of blessed peace and quiet it gave, it was also a place to capture their creativity as well as mine.

Sometimes the kids would rip out their pictures, but usually they left them in. I started having them sign it and adding their names and the date. We’re on the third sketchbook now. My skills are still a little sketchy (sorry, couldn’t resist), but it’s been fun to look back and see their drawing skills progress over the years.

Drawing on top of mommy's, not what I had in mind.

Turned into scribbles…

Turned into drawings…

And sometimes those drawings were copies of my sketches!

Recently we took the kids to an adult restaurant, not fancy, but there were no kids' menus or colouring pages. Gasp! Say what?!

After five minutes of ‘boring talking,’ it was clear they needed something to ‘do.’ I pulled out my sketchbook and my middle guy and I started playing a little improv drawing game (I can’t remember when or where I heard this idea, but I doubt it’s an M-R original). The rules of the game were this: I drew a line and my son had to add something to it. He could add a shape as long as it was one continuous line and touched one of my lines. Then I added to his line and we kept taking turns until my son made the call that the drawing was finished. When we were done, we signed it and dated it.

We then showed them to the table and had them guess what they were. There were some, um, interesting guesses from my other sons. Next time, I think we’ll get the whole family to play.

Now I have some great memories to add to the treasures in MY sketchbook. ;)
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