Saturday, 23 March 2013

Three for three!!

I've officially finished all of the projects on my first quarter finish along list. I actually finished the quilt a week ago, but again, the weather made taking photos difficult and it's not officially finished until it's been photographed and posted.  As for the weather, it wasn't just my imagination.  We've just had the greyest winter (i.e., the fewest hours of sunshine) since they began keeping records.  Not the type of record-breaking event I'm particularly happy about.

Back to the quilt.  This started as Sheila's Mystery quilt, but it turned into the Modified Mystery Star quilt.  She encouraged us to make it our own, and I certainly did that.  I was determined to master Foundation piecing, so I just kept at it until I felt completely comfortable with it.  That meant that I had to replace some patchwork blocks with paper pieced ones.  And I really wanted to focus on the star theme, so I replaced the braids with the two white stars at the top.  And then I wanted to make it somewhat more rectangular and there were still a couple blocks that I wanted to make that weren't foundation pieced, so I added the four stars at the bottom including the ribbon star and the English paper pieced ring of stars.  Each of the stars is named and the location of relevant tutorials and designers is listed in earlier blog postings labeled mystery star. 

 I hadn't intended to use a border, but I decided one was necessary so that the star points didn't get lost in the binding.  I added a narrow one with straight-line quilting to contrast with the stippling in the body of the quilt.  It took forever to decide how to quilt this.  I tried several different things but what looked right with one block looked terrible with the next.   I finally decided to stipple and I'm glad I did.  It really pulled all of the different blocks together and made it into a cohesive whole. Sometimes less is more.

And I tried a new binding.  This is Susie's Magic Binding, and I love the way it let me put in both colours in the binding rather than having to add another border.  I'll definitely use it again. 

All in all, I'm delighted with how this turned out.  It ended up taking me more than a year to make, but I learned so much doing it, that I'm grateful for every minute.  I'm also grateful to Sheila for designing the pattern, and for her support. 

So, now I'm all ready for the first quarter wrap up over at Leanne's.

she can quilt

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Another Finish!

It's the Sea of Squares that Christa designed for another of her terrific quilt-alongs and that I had on my first quarter finish along list.

 This quilt was actually finished in February, but I've been waiting for some decent light to photograph it.  Finally, we got some sun today.  You can't tell from the picture, but even though the sun is shining, the rain is still bucketing down.  Very pretty, but not conducive to outdoor photos.

I used two Half Moon Modern charm packs and Bella Snow for the background.  It's a slightly brighter white than the background of the Half Moon Modern fabric, and I like the added subtle visual interest of using more that one white. 

For the most part, I followed the instructions, but I decided to quilt the centre square of each block with a  free motion square spiral rather than the parallel lines that were used in the smaller sections.  Between the spiral and the parallel line quilting that changes direction for the short horizontals, there were plenty of thread ends to tie off and bury.  Very relaxing

Finally, since the front is so colourful, I decided to make the back more restful.  Some of the greys come from the Half Moon Modern line, but I used a variety of greys from my stockpile of fabric.  I really like the look of the Metro Circles for the binding.

So, that's two of three finishes.  Not too shabby.

she can quilt