I think We can…I think We can…I think We can.

Long long ago and far far away in a quieter gentler time–February 2016 I think it was, I, along with my good friends, Joyce, Nancy, Selina and Judy (we call ourselves The Pansys) decided to go out on a limb for our Guild. We agreed to take charge of the Fund Raising Raffle Quilt for the Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild. Now when we did this – to the best of my knowledge – none of us, had ever undertaken a thing of this magnitude before. We knew we were under the gun to get this done.  We had to get a fabulous quilt out into the world…it had to be cut, pieced, sewn, quilted and bound…within two months we figured… so we could start selling raffle tickets.  But on top of that we also had to purchase a raffle ticket license, make and print the tickets, distribute and keep track of tickets and ticket sales, find venues to sell those tickets, find people to man the ticket booths and a whole host of other things. It was gonna be a lot of work. Here is a pic of the gorgeous quilt that my cohort, Joyce offered up for sale to use as our raffle quilt.  Thank you Joyce.  It is a beautiful thing.

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More than a couple of times I wish we had thought a bit longer and harder about that commitment on that cold dark February evening, because that was not all we volunteered for that night. Not by a long shot, Nope, nosiree Bob, it was not. We–Joyce and I–(okay I confess,  I stood up and dragged Joyce up with me) said that we would take on the job of chairing the entire 13th biennial Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild Quilt Show.  OMG Holy Heck Hermione, etc.  Yikes.

Well let me tell you, we have had quite a year.  Our quilt show did come together successfully, and was held on October 14, 15, and 16 in Charlottetown PEI.  Now that its over, we are all, amazingly, still the best of friends, and to all accounts, our show was a fine success.

Over the past 8 months, we have all acquired a whole schwack of new skill sets and brushed up on ones we already had.  We now know how to: acquire and renew a lottery license; choose a venue to suit our event and negotiate pricing for it;  pin down and then bully (kindly) volunteers into doing way more than they signed up for;  search out and encourage vendors to attend our event even though its last minute; plan and publicize the entire event… both on line and in print media (oh and how to be charming TV stars – right Vanna/Selena) and much much more.  And, all the while we were juggling our own lives…together we coped with children leaving the nest; downsizing our homes; parenting our parents; losing a much loved pet family member; taking on new and greater job responsibilities; and so much more.  Yay us!

I want to take this moment to say, from the bottom of my heart,  I’m proud of all of you who worked so hard to make Joyce and I look great.  IMHO, you did a spectacular job. It was such an honour to work with all of you.   Thank you, thank you, thank you.

There is so much more that I should be saying right now, and so many people I should be seeking out and offering up my personal and profound thanks (and I will do that soon) but for now, I think I’ll end this post with….I knew we could, I knew we could, I knew we could.

Here for your viewing pleasure are just a few pics of the gorgeous items displayed at the show.  We are so lucky to have so many astonishingly talented, humble folks here on the Island.

 

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Perfect 9 Patch

AmysCreativeSide

I am entering my Perfect 9 Patch quilt into the hand quilted category at the online Bloggers Quilt Festival 2016.  This is her in all her hand-quilted beauty.

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I made the curves in this quilt using the Quick Curve Ruler.   It’s an amazing addition to your ruler collection…if like me, you cannot get enough new gadgets.  And I also based the design on a pattern from  Sew Kind of Wonderful  called Urban 9 Patch.  Click here to see all kinds of other variations of this pattern. Its such a cool “old school” block, but presented in a new modern way.  Yay….these are a few of my favourite things.

This quilt was pieced totally using only fabric already in my cupboard…pinky swear ….I didn’t buy a single piece of new fabric specifically for this project.  That, my friends, was the biggest challenge I faced the whole time this beauty was coming together.
Here are some close ups of the hand quilting details.  Please excuse my poor camera skills.


Here on PEI, Canada, this lap quilt is a prize winner.  She won a first prize red ribbon at the Provincial Exhibition in August this year.

I hope you like her as much as I do!

How to make Magic 8 HST

In picto-toot format, here is a very very simple tutorial on how to make 8 HST at a time!  I know, I know, its not new, its not different,  but it is still very exciting for those of us who are needing a nudge to do things differently from time to time.

I love HSTs.  IMHO, these little beauties are the cornerstones  of patchwork.   Especially when they turn out perfectly like they always do when I make them this way. Follow along with the pictures.  I really really hope my photography and photo-editing skills will improve.

The first thing you need to know is how big to cut your squares. Here is the math chart for commonly used HSTs.

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Okeydokey, once you have that organized, proceed as follows. FYI, in this toot, I wanted 2 1/2 unfinished HSTs, so I cut 5 3/4″ squares.

 

Inspiration and how to make it strike!

I don’t know about anyone else out there in the blogosphere, but I am constantly awestruck and amazed by the quilts I  see on Pinterest and Flickr.  And don’t even get me started on the ridiculously beautiful quilts people are creating and sharing on their websites and blogs.  Holy Heck Hermione, How do you do it?

Seriously I want to know…How do you do it?  And, because most of you are too far away in the real world for me to knock on your door and ask in person,  I decided to spend some time researching on Google. (What did we do before Google? …I can’t even begin to tell you how many spirited discussions have been stopped in their tracks when either I or hubby says “let me google that”.  hehehheh.)  Who knew that Google would be in the marital harmony business.

Anywhoo, IMHO, what it all boils down to are these few things.

  • Be curious about the world you inhabit.  Just look around.  We live on a beautiful sapphire blue ball.  Explore it. Even if you cannot visit places far far away, get to know your own little piece of the earth.   For instance, right now way back in a corner in my yard, the rhubarb is starting to come up.  I saw the first little shoots yesterday.  They are the most astonishing ruby red, ruffly leaves with just a tiniest tinge of green on the stalks, poking out of the earth.  I definitely made a mental picture, so the next time I’m thinking about making an earth-tones quilt, I will have a colour palette to try to match.
  • Better yet, take an actual picture anytime you see something that strikes a creative spark.  Here is an example.  This picture was taken at a local gift shop last year.  The colours just jump out at me and will definitely show up someday soon in a quilt.
  • Look at ordinary things in extra-ordinary ways.  This is what many of the most amazing modern quilt artists do.  They look at traditional works of art and say “what if…” A good example of this: Our PEIMQG is currently planning a “based on Frank Lloyd Wright” mini-quilt challenge.  I can’t even begin to imagine all the beautiful art quilts will come from that.  Pinterest is full of pictures of very linear windows and doors that will translate beautifully into quilt blocks. I have a plan in place. Stay tuned for some pics at a later date
  • Write it down, or draw a little sketch when you get an idea.  You know this, I know you do. Take  a few seconds and write down, or make a little diagram,  of any quilty ideas you have.  Even if you don’t have time to flesh them out fully right this second, there will come a day when you are looking for something to make and that little note you jotted down may make a prize winning quilt.
  • Like everything, creativity does come easier with practice.  So its up to you.  Practice being creative.  Let you imagination soar.  You don’t always need to purchase a pattern, or find some gorgeously perfect fabric on line to make your next project.  Make do…make changes…make it your own.

Whatdaya think?  Let me know what you do to open your creative eye. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

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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.