WANTED: A New “Wife”!

Nope I am not considering a plural marriage…but if that’s what you are into, I’d never stand in the way of your happiness…Just saying.

I need another “Gypsy Wife”, because my original “Wife” recently found a happy home with my fabulous niece, who lives far far away in a big city in central Canada.

Some of you may remember I blogged about my first Gypsy Wife journey here and here too.  Please feel free to go there to visit should you want to read about it.  And you can see lots of pictures in that post too. Oh and that’s her above in the Header also.  Isn’t she beautiful?

The first time I undertook to make this outrageous quilt, I did it completely on my own. But not this time.  This time I’m sewing along with at least 1000 other bold and brave souls in the “Gypsy Wife Sew-Along” hosted by Angie, who blogs at Gnome Angel and Nicole who blogs here in Canada at SnipsSnippets.

Whew,  I am all a-tingle due to the choices I made about my new “Wife”. This Gypsy is definitely well on her way to being much more free-spirited than the earlier one.  Right up front, she is going to be completely dotty when done (much like me, I expect LOL).  I purchased a FQ bundle of Kaffe Fassett Spots to go along with all the dotty and quasi-spotty fabrics I found in my stash.     Aren’t they ahhhmazing? YES THEY ARE!!!

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IMHO the trick to doing this, is to find a way to control the contrast between the many many dotty blocks so the whole quilt, when finished,  is sensational to see but will not make anyone go cross-eyed or lose their lunch.  This, my friends is much like performing a high wire act–blind-folded and without a net above Niagara Falls,  I’m very afraid it’s apt to make me completely potty before we’re done.  My sole plan is to make the fifty-odd vertical stripes very neutral,  trusting this will give the whole moonstruck quilt some balance.  Right now, I’m seriously considering using only 2 fabrics for the vertical stripes.  I have two excellent pairs of contenders.   Below is a sample of Crosswatch in Onyx and Crosswatch in Aluminum.  Both are from the Hatch Collection, designed by Bread & Butter for Windham Fabrics.  There is nary a spot or a dot to be seen in these beauties, but I think its a fabulous pairing and would look absolutely brilliant in this quilt. And would give my eyes a place to rest…which they are definitely going to need. I LOVE THEM!

But then, I am seriously crushing on my other choices too. There are definitely dots aplenty in this pairing, but not overwhelming I think…These fabrics are designed by Rae Ritchie and are part of the Chroma Basics collection for Dear Stella.  I LOVE THEM TOO!

I think either pair will be stupendous and will do a kick-ass job of showcasing all those brilliant dots and spots.  Right now Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a 25% discount on low volume fabrics….which might possibly be the deciding factor. Stay tuned to see what I decide.  All four fabrics are on the way to my house via the wonder of my magic Visa card, UPS and of course the Internet.  Watch for all these fabrics to  turn up in this or another quilt in the near future.

So…I think this is the first quilt I’ve ever made twice.  I am absolutely over-the-moon, crazy mad in love with Gypsy Wife.  Seriously I shed a quiet tear or two at home in my sewing room after Lobo decided she wanted to make  my original “Gypsy Wife” hers and took her off to live in Toronto with her.  Have you ever loved a quilt pattern as much as that? Did you ever make your own Gypsy Wife?  I’d love to see it if you did.

Just so you know…the block for week one is done and posted on my Instagram Feed.  I love it so much I thought I’d show it here again.  Ain’t she just the cutest thing ever?

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Quilt-Along with Me

I’m addicted.  Absolutely, completely, totally smitten with this whole idea.  It is so freeing to have no decisions to make and at the end of the day, (or year, or decade) to have another beautiful quilt in my collection.

Be warned though, its really really easy to say “Yes, I’m going to make that” and really really hard to always follow through to the end.  Especially for someone like me, who is like a magpie flitting from one shiny new project to another.  Yikes, OMG, you should just see the UFO’s in my closet…

Twice in my quilting life, so far, I knew the moment I saw a photo, that I had to make the quilt.  The first time was when I saw Sharon McConnell’s Twirling Fans Quilt.  OMG it was so beautiful, I was gobsmacked and awestruck.  Imagine how thrilled I was when I realized I could make my version of the quilt along with her in my first ever QAL.  Here is my finished Ninja Stars.  They could be twins, right?

Then this spring while I was poking around on Pinterest I found pins and pages for quilts by Jen Kingwell. Holy Hannah, I had no words when I first viewed some of her beautiful patterns. I knew the moment I first laid eyes on it that “The Gypsy Wife” was going to be my next project.  I scampered around on the Internet, searching Pinterest, Flikr and Instagram until I found a QAL just starting.  Thank you Hydeeann at Splish, Splash, Stash for all the great planning, photos, first couple months, etc.  Unfortunately this QAL host was unable to continue posting for personal reasons so I followed along with the group through March 2016  and then had to decide to put the half finished top away or tackle the rest of the project on my own.  I decided to continue at my own pace and stumbled along, posting about it a time or two along the way.  I cried a few tears when I thought it might be too complicated, and swore at it more than once…but it’s done, (quilted and bound) and IT IS AMAZING.  Just saying.  Here is a sneak peek, which is all I’m showing because I’m saving it to show at my Kindred Spirits Quilt Show coming up in October.

Last summer I sewed along with Sharon McConnell of Color Girl Quilts  in the  2015 Summer Blockbuster Quilt Along. We made this absolutely lovely quilt using 6″ finished blocks.  Check out the link above to see all the Quilt-Alongs she has hosted.  Awesome, right?

In January, 2016 I committed to making “The Splendid Sampler” with Pat Sloan and a whole crew of other seriously talented designers.  I’m sure most of you have heard of it.  We are a group of about 18,000 (OMG) quilters around the world who are determined, one way or another, to finish this mammoth 100 block project.  I, of course, decided to make two of these quilts.  (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? SERIOUSLY!!!) And, without a doubt folks it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  More than once, I thought I cannot do this anymore (probably because many of the blocks are not to my taste, or alternatively, not what I think the proposed owners of the quilts will like, or even what I thought I was signing on for).  But I am going forward, one step at a time.  Currently we are somewhere around Block 40 and scheduled to finish next February, at a pace of two blocks per week.  I like many others decided early on, that I would start setting the blocks as we go, as I cannot imagine having to set two 100-block quilts at the end.  Here is a sneak peek at the settings for these quilts so far.

I decided at the get-go that I would make the blocks I like and substitute the ones I don’t care for, for blocks taken from Tula Pink’s amazing City Sampler – 100 Modern Quilt Blocks  book… BTW, if ever you get the chance, you should buy or borrow, beg or steal this book.  I bought it and its chock full of absolutely ahhhmazing stuff.

And next, beginning in September,  I along with several others in my PEIMQG are planning to take part in another QAL co-hosted by an extraordinarily talented quilter,  mentor and my good friend and fellow PEIMQG member, Jean Mackie.  This QAL is based on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Patchwork City” quilt(s).  I’ve purchased the book and at this point am planning to make the “Downtown” Version of the quilt.

Someone, please save me from myself.  Its clear to me that there are more quilt-alongs out there than I can possibly finish unless I live to be 103!

 

Not your Grandma’s Genes.

I love all of Jen Kingwell’s patterns and designs. They are, without fail,  awesomely, outrageously,  scrappy and most of them are bursting at the seams with very tiny details.  You have to go to Amitie Textiles to see what is happening at her shop…. OMG absolutely amazing, right.

Earlier this year I fell under the spell of “The Gypsy Wife”.  In my opinion that’s a perfect name for this unique quilt. I love it for its riot of amazing colours, its simple blocks and of course, its general disregard for the tried and true ordinary methods of quilt piecing. So very bohemian, so very me wannabe!   I started piecing it along with a group of bold and beautiful quilters in the 2016 Gypsy Wife Quilt Along but couldn’t wait to finish it, so now my version of it is at Blueberry Cove Long Arm Quilting Studio being magically transformed from a slightly wonky quilt top (my pressing problems, not the pattern’s fault)  to an incredible work of art.  Stay tuned for finished pics in another post, or pop over to my Pinterest page and look here to see how it all came together.

Today however,  I’m all about “Gene Pool”.  Its another design and pattern by Jen Kingwell, and OMG I have fallen even deeper into love.  You can find all the details of the pattern over at Amitie Textiles, or by clicking on this little button.

After all the angst that comes with piecing a complex pattern,  it is such a joy to contemplate putting a simple quilt top together.  Gene Pool looks like it fits that bill.  It looks like it should go together almost impossibly smoothly…so naturally there has to be a catch.  Of course there is.  Colour placement is key on this beauty.  Let me show me a bit of what I mean.

After I had cut about 30 “pools” of fabric, I started tossing them up on my wall, expecting to be bowled over by my artistic interpretation of the pattern. That did not happen, nosiree bob it did not.  FYI, I was expecting to have a harmonious blending of greens and blues.Imagine my surprise and horror when I looked at this muddy, disheveled grouping.  Yikes what was I doing wrong.

(Please ignore the other stuff on the wall…I am also involved in a bee block with my PEIMQG and the Splendid Sampler and a Frank Lloyd Wright challenge etc.)

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I looked at the wall, then at the pattern picture, then back at the wall about a million times before I realized that peaceful effortless effect would take a scientific, careful, precise plan… I was going to have to pull it all down and start over.  Sigh…But on the bright side,  I was going to need MORE NEUTRAL LIGHT COLORED FABRIC.  Yay. Woohoo,   Yippee. Lucky me.

I went shopping at my new favourite Canadian on line shop, Mad About Patchwork, where I purchased this lovely compilation of light neutrally(ish) fabrics.

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Aren’t they just amazing. I am so lucky to have found this place!

I went back to my cutting board and design wall to see what would happen if I added more pools of softer versions of the colour scheme.

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Here is where I’m at now.  I LOVE IT…but there are still a few darker sections that I will have to break up a bit more and of course, I have to add another 30 or so pools of colour.  I think when its done, I will call this one HOLY HECK HANNAH.

Have yourselves a crazy creative day.

 

Are you a Matchy-match girl, or OMG Anything Goes

Wait, wait wait, before you answer that you need to know the guidelines…

Matchy Matchy Girls like:

  • points to be perfect
  • blocks to be square in 6, 8, 10, 12 inch finished formats
  • fabrics within blocks to complement each other perfectly
  • tones/hues/shades of the same colour within a block
  • lots of small scale fabrics
  • appliqué blocks
  • traditional blocks
  • beige/white/cream  backgrounds
  • sashing strips
  • sampler quilts

Lets face it, most of us matchy-matchy girls have been quilting for a while now and were/are influenced by the quilts we had in our homes while we were growing up.   We love anything with old-school charm and usefulness.

Here are a few examples of my own more traditional blocks/quilts with matchy-matchy beautifulness.

But, matchy-matchy doesn’t always have to be traditional and traditional doesn’t have to be old-fashioned…I think these pictures fit the bill for traditional style/matchy-matchy blocks/quilts but they certainly aren’t old-fashioned.

 

And, here are the guidelines for OMG anything goes.

  • OMG anything goes (LOL)
  • Really… Anything Goes
  • Nope we are not worrying about anything
  • If it doesn’t work, it works

I am trying everyday to become more free spirited regarding colour, improv piecing and modern cutting/sewing techniques in my quilt making.  I am inspired by quilts I see on Pinterest, Instagram and those made by my friends at the PEIMQG.

Here are some modest examples of what I think is modern, (many copied from things I love on line, others things I made).

So there you have it. Which are you?

I am either/neither/both Matchy-Matchy and OMG Anything Goes .  Mostly I am growing bolder, brighter and braver.  I am evolving and IMHO, that is a good thing.

Have an awesomely creative day.

 

 

Things I love about Quilts and Quilting

There are about a gazillion reasons  I love quilts and quilt making, so I thought picking my favorites would be easy…but I WAS WRONG because, as it turns out,  the more reasons there are, the harder it is to pick the ones that are most important.  So after sitting here at my computer  for quite a while I decided my reasons (in no particular order) are:

They are beautiful in their imperfectness…don’t ever look too closely at any of my quilt creations. If you do you will see that each and every one has at least 3 flaws, (often more like 33); usually there is an upside down block, or fabric placed with stripes running the wrong way, or badly thought out colour placement. Here is a perfect example taken from my newest WIP, The Gypsy Wife.

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This quilt is extremely forgiving, but if there is one thing that really, really upsets my apple cart, its when two samey-same-same fabrics end up side-by-each in a quilt.  Sigh… see how it happened here twice–in one little section of the quilt, first with the green bandana fabrics – and again with the red and blue stars.  Did I fix it? No I did not, because I am confident that when this journey is over, I will be the only one who notices it!

Reason 2 is Decorating.  There is nothing like a collection of quilts to make decorating your home your way a breeze.  For example at my house you will find quilts everywhere…including but not limited to 1) on the chairs in the TV watching room to snuggle under while watching an episode or 10 of “The Walking Dead”; 2) in the sunporch, perfect for those cool crisp mornings, when you want to have coffee outside, but there is a chill in the air; 3) in the window nook, just hanging out with my new pew (hahahha, that rhymes), and 4) in a pinch on my kitchen table, when unexpected company shows up and the kitchen tablecloth has a few too many crumbs.

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As you can see, (because my hubby’s fish quilt shows up in a couple of these pics), we change them up quite often.

Creative Expression is a really good reason to love quilts.  I love love love color, although I am very poor at identifying it properly.  I often get shades/tones/hues of red, green, blue and purple mixed up – all of them, depending on the light, look brown sometimes.  Perhaps I don’t have enough colour pixels in my eyes.  Seriously folks its a problem for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve gone out in public wearing a olive green skirt and an eggplant sweater (or something similarly frightening), thinking I was wearing a nicely coordinated brown outfit. Don’t even get me started on my lipstick choices. I personally own about 100 different shades of pink/red lipstick which all look brown to me!     Anywhoo over the years I  have figured out that almost  any colours that show up in nature together will work together in a quilt.  For example… here is a photo I took last spring, and along side is a quilt top inspired by that photo.  I love the splashes of orange, red and teal colours from the twine and the brownish gray wooden curves from the traps.  And, I love the way the traps are stacked so neatly on the dock. That quilt practically made itself.

And last but certainly not least…

Socializing.  I love quilts and quilt making because it allows me to be find new friends and visit  with folks who have similar interests as mine.   Since moving to PEI in the summer of 2014, ALL of my new friends have come from either or both the Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild and the PEI Modern Quilt Guild. I’m such a lucky lady.

Leave me a comment about why you love quilts…I’d love to hear your reasons too.

Have an insanely creative and awe-inspiring day.