Thursday, May 28, 2015

Many tiny pieces

I jumped in and made an angel block for a person in my quilting bee group who had to unexpectedly take her sewing machine into the shop. The Mineral block is very nice, but it is deceptively simple looking. This one seemed to go faster though, maybe because I knew what I was in for.

Even with making the extra block I was ahead! I already mailed the angel block, along with mine, a signature block, a bunch of Alison Glass charm squares and a fabric bucket made with Amy Butler prints.

The Bee Hive

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rebel quilting

After my foray into organic quilting, I was quite happy to get back to what feels comfortable - straight-line quilting. I did stare at this mini for my Cotton + Steel swap for a while to figure out just how to go about those straight lines. My mini Rebel quilt is awesomely busy, so I knew I wanted to keep the quilting simple and relatively light. I settled on a light grey thread (the magical Aurifil 2600) and random diagonal lines, some changing direction.

Turns out random lines is a bit tricky for me too. I wasn't quite sure when enough was enough. Usually I go quite dense, so parts seemed "puffy" to me. But I think this was just the right place to stop. Now to get the binding on. I'm thinking the silver or maybe a navy C+S print. Or should I go a different way?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Crafting bender

So I got a bit hooked on making pincushions recently. I paper pieced those teeny flying geese to make a pincushion for myself and then couldn't stop! They were just too precious!

Next I made one for my friend Darci, who loves Tula. I used leftover bits from the butterfly quilt I made her.

And the back is pretty too with a Tula butterfly.

Then I made one for my friend Tara with a dark grey background. As you can see from all the dangling threads, that teeny crosshatch sure takes a lot of thread and time.

Then I made pink and teal geese for another friend with my favourite crosshatch fabric in light grey.

And, after bombarding people on IG with all my pincushions, I made one to give away. Oh I love this one! Its geese are made with a rainbow of Alison Glass' Grove collection and my all-time favourite black crosshatch from Carolyn Friedlander. It's backed with the teal AG print it's sitting on.

Now I really must stop with pincushions. At least for a bit. I've got lots of swaps and other projects to work on!

Jumping in

This weekend I tackled the quilting on my Storm at Sea for the #alisonglassminiquiltswap. I knew it was gonna be a challenge because this mini really required veering from my usual very very straight, very patterned quilting. The waves called for more organic quilting, and I wanted to highlight the top circle with spiral quilting. I've done a spiral before, but certainly not more freeform quilting and it was quite intimidating for me. I can happily sew straight lines for hours, but my brain struggled to just go with the flow.

My first section was still pretty much straightlines, only they fanned out to fill one of the waves. Bolstered by positive comments and encouragement on Instagram, I pushed myself a bit more on the next section. And voila - waviness!

This is actually my favourite section. The other waves I tried didn't turn out so well, but I'm OK with it because the stitches aren't as noticeable on the dark blue. For a moment I was tempted to take it out, but I need to embrace trying new things even if they're not as "perfect" as I'd like. I really do need to shake my perfectionism a bit, so this was a good exercise.

Overall, the effect is exactly what I imagined and I think perfect for the movement in this mini.

The quilting is far more visible on the back, which is mostly a solid fabric. It's tough to see but I used five different threads - three blues, green and white - for the different sections.

My fears of messing up this mini I loved with my experimental quilting thankfully didn't come true. I am really happy with this one from the piecing and my interpretation of the traditional pattern right down to the wonky, aka organic, quilting.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rainbow kitties return!

I made this quilt for a kitty-themed mini swap earlier this year and oh boy was I happy with it! So much so that I immediately thought of it when I saw a post about an online quilt festival, and I decided to enter.

My rainbow kitty will go into the mini quilt category of the twice yearly Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. Voting begins Friday, May 22 and the festival runs until May 29. Be sure to go to her blog and check out all the amazing entries, and vote too of course.

For my mini, I started with the popular cat face pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I was also really into rainbows after joining a rainbow-themed swap and the three colours in my favourite tiger-kitty fabric from Cotton + Steel was a great starting point. (Sorry for some of the poor photos, but I didn't take progress shots with my real camera.)

Then I got out a pencil and notepad and started sketching ideas for blocks to go with the kitties. My partner said she likes "modern design with a hint of cat," so that really was my inspiration. I came up with a star for the middle (You can't go wrong with stars!) and then an arrangement of HST in different sizes for the corners. Each corner incorporated both colours from the adjoining cat block. I even had some fabric in my stash that incorporated both colours for the big triangles.

Here you can see better how I bridge the green and blue cat blocks:

Then I put them all together and got quilting! I used four colours of aurifil - teal, hot pink, orange and green - to match the colours of the sections.

I'm just so proud of this mini, especially since it is mostly my own design. And I even got the quilty math right on the first try!

This festival is such a great way to find amazing new blogs to read. Just click on the photos and you'll hop right to the blogger's post. And everyone can get involved by submitting a nomination for the viewer's choice award here. Now go look at some amazing quilts!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

One finished, two started

In record time I finished my pillow for my giveaway sponsored by Fabric Please. All those curves sure are pretty. And I love the multi-coloured binding.

I was able to squeak out just enough fabric for the envelope back, adding a cuff of the house fabric.

I drew a winner for the FQ bundle prize and she seemed super excited about it, which made me happy. So I have a lovely pillow and a good feeling from this experience - let's count it as a success!

With a pillow behind me, I jumped into to more! I've had this Candy Dish pattern for quite some time and keep pulling it out and then putting it back. But seeing all the amazing photos from Quilt Market inspired me to cut into some of my treasured Tula. I paired prints from a few of her collections with a soft grey peppered cotton that goes perfectly.

And then I guess I was in a Tula mood because last night I decided to get back to the insanity of these teeny paper-pieced flying geese with leftover bits from my butterfly quilt. It was a good distraction from the long weekend coming to an end. This is destined to become another pincushion.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day off

I took today off to do some spring cleaning and other not-so-fun chores around the house, but of course I made time for cycling and sewing too. First up was finishing my pincushion with these teeny flying geese I quilted the s#*t out of. I rounded the corners and put the geese fabric on the back. So cute!

Next up was this fabulous C+S octopus print for a scarf. I must admit I get a bit twitchy around lawn and scoffed a bit at the package sticker that said "Just hem and go!" Right. Just. But actually this went pretty smoothly. I even used an orangey pink thread.

I can't wait to wear this. It goes perfectly with my navy jacket. Now what sewing shall I do with my free evening? I love that dilemma.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Super scrappy

Here's a miracle - I made my bee block for May in the first week of the month! Although I'm sure now I'll drag my feet on the extras. This block looks deceptively simple. But it requires many little squares to make all those pretty corners - 48 to be exact! Then I employed a whole bunch of pins for some fast and furious chain piecing.

This month's queen bee asked for scrappy and colourful and I'd say I delivered! All those teeny triangles are different fabrics, with probably all my favourite designers represented.

Here's the practice block I made first. It looks totally different with the busy prints, but also nice I think. Too bad the small orange triangles are lost a bit in the yellow background print. But you really don't know how a block will turn out until it's all together.

My bee month is coming up fast in August, and I have no idea what I'm gonna pick! First settling on a block and then fabric seems like way too many possibilities.

The Bee Hive

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I'm hosting my first giveaway on Instagram, and it's sponsored! I was recently approached by the owner of a new Canadian online fabric shop Fabric Please to do a giveaway with her to promote her store. And it turns out, she doesn't live too far away from me! I cycled over to her house and together we picked out a lovely collection of 9 FQs - one bundle for me to make something, and a second for me to give away.

This is the mini I quilted yesterday, and is now almost a pillow. I plan on using that neat multi-coloured print for the binding. I love all these colours together - the navy blue, orange, lighter blue and green. Someone on IG commented that it looked very beachy, and I think it does. They're all bright and crisp and fresh colours. I love that house print too, which I used for an accent on the envelope back. They remind me of colourful buildings in Reykjavik, Iceland.

If you want to enter the giveaway, get all the details on my Instagram account @johannaweidner. Good luck!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Circling around to curves

Ever since my first foray into curved piecing for my Tula butterfly quilt, I have been itching to do more. Odd, since it was at first a very frustrating experience. That is until a saviour on IG pointed me to an online tutorial that made it unbelievably easy. Seriously easy with no pins and super fast. And on the first try, too.

I was given a bundle of lovely FQs from new Canadian online shop Fabric Please! for a giveaway - stay tuned! - and originally planned to do the classic Dutchman's Puzzle block, but suddenly just had an itch to sew more curves. After about a day of furious cutting and sewing, this mini was made.

Funny, though, how this "random" layout took a lot of rearranging. I've seen lots of great modern takes on the Drunkard's Path and was eager to give it a try. The beauty of doing it this way is sometimes you're off the hook on matching curves, which helps speed up the piecing. The plan is to make this into a pillow, but first I need to figure out how I'm going to quilt it. Definitely in dark blue thread. I think.