Blindman’s Fancy

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I’m continuing on, sharing my most recent Blindman’s Fancy blocks with you and still trying to decide just how far to go with this quilt.

Blindman's Fancy block #9

As you may remember, in the beginning when I began making these blocks I decided to use my most favourite historical reproduction fabrics to make them even more meaningful. I’ve really dug deep into the fabric stash archives to find pieces that I had hoarded tucked away for a special quilt project, some pieces as small as a fat eighth. As I complete each block I am so pleased to see how well my fabrics play together, the old and the new, the plain and the busy, the brights and the subtles, they are coming together in a strange but beautiful harmony.

Blindman's fancy block #10

Although I did mention in an earlier post that I was getting rather bored with the making process, it’s all just a lesson in discipline and commitment, isn’t it? I’ve been a good little quilter, sticking to my pace of one block per week and balancing it out with sections of flying geese sashings but I’ve still had to break up the monotony of making the same block over and over by incorporating some odd little twist each time. Look closely and you’ll spot some serious quirkiness happening in some of the blocks. I think it will make the final quilt really interesting and keep the viewer guessing – “Hmmm, whatever was she thinking when she did that?”. Barbara Brackman usually comments on those quirky old quilts as having mistakes or perhaps the quilter is an inexperienced novice or perhaps a little daft, but I always just chuckle because those are the quilts I love the most. They have the best personalities and I assume that the quilters that created them had the best, quirkiest, weirdest personalities too! I honestly hope that some of my quilts will leave that impression after I’m gone.

I think it’s rather ironic that after battling the odds to create a block that contains fussy fractions like 1/16th of an inch for those half square triangles that I would go ahead and line them up in a non-conformist manner or twist one quarter square triangle so that it is different from the other three corners of the block. These are all tricks I’ve used to keep the process interesting while making these somewhat complicated blocks but I think in the end I will have created a quilt that reflects my own quirky personality and contains memories of my unique creative process.

until next time, happy stitching,

carol xox

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Still Catching Up…

Wow, I can’t believe that we are almost halfway through the month of January already, and I’m still not back on track with current projects and plans for new goals. I wouldn’t go so far to say I’ve lost my mojo but I’m certainly floundering around in the shallow end at the moment. I’m attempting to go easy on myself by not allowing the pressures of ‘lists’ weigh me down with guilt, and I know that there is still plenty of room for catching up without becoming overwhelmed by commitments. In the meantime, I’ve actually been plugging along with some sewing (it’s ingrained :o ) and have a few new blocks to share. Well, they are sort of new as I’ve been working at a rate of one per week since before the holidays. So here’s my progress so far:

Blindman's Fancy Block #6

Blindman's Fancy Block #7

Blindman's Fancy Block #8

After making these last three blocks and realizing they were all in the blue family, I’ve been venturing into new colour schemes. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I truly love the funkier, less traditional combinations that I was experimenting with earlier, but in a quilt such as this a few conventional blocks will also enhance the quirkier ones by making them pop out by comparison.

I’ve made a few more blocks but will hold off to share them later. I’m still on the fence as to how many I’ll make but, to be honest, I’m getting a little bored with them. I’ve been breaking up the making of these with doing some art quilting on the side and that’s been a great distraction. But that’s a story for another day…

until then, happy stitching.

Love, carol xox

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A Little Late to the Party

… but better late than never, right? Happy New Year to everyone and a great big welcome to 2018!

I’ve decided not to do a photo montage of all that was accomplished in 2017, but instead I’m just moving forward with new and exciting things to come in the future. At this point in time I haven’t made any resolutions or chosen a ‘word’ for the year but I did have one last minute finish with the quilting and binding complete before the New Year rolled in…

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

I was quite pleased to finish this one off, rather than drag it into the new year unfinished and perhaps becoming stagnant. This was one of those little projects that feels really good to check off the to-do list. It began with the bonus triangles that resulted from the Pineapple wedding quilt I made for my eldest son and his bride this past spring/summer. I already have way too many zippy bags filled with bonus triangles and it’s so good to know that these ones won’t be sitting around gathering dust.

Until next time, happy stitching, carol xox

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Day 24/31

Silent night, Holy night

Peace on Earth

and always Love, carol

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Day 23/31

Outside cover

Continueing on from yesterday’s post, I thought I’d show you more of the working process in making my little sewing case. I’m wishing I had taken more photos of the process along the way but I was so eager for the final product to be complete just for the pleasure of using it. In the above photo you can see the exterior panel of the case all sewn together, lined with a layer of cotton quilt batting, and awaiting the quilting process. At this stage I had already done fussy cutting, Y-seam piecing, hand applique, hand embroidery on linen, and machine piecing to put all the small sections together.

Sweet sewing case

In this photo my little sewing case is getting its binding sewn on, after inserting the zipper closure. As the corners were rounded off on the case, I chose to make bias binding in order to achieve lovely smooth curves on those corners and it worked a treat!  As you can see, I quilted the case both by machine and by hand to give lots of details and texture to the cover. As sweet as the outside of this little sewing kit is, the best is on the inside…

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 22/31

Such a lovely book

This is the book that I mentioned yesterday. I picked it up earlier this year while at Out of Hand in Calgary because there was one project in it that I knew I could not live without…

A work in progress

When I turned to page #8 it was love at first sight! I just had to have that lovely sewing kit all for my self. The instructions seemed complicated and there were lots of bits and pieces that make up the zippered case but I asked myself “how do you eat an elephant?”…

Taking it step by step

The instructions are well written and by just taking it one step at a time I’m making each lovely little component of the sewing case.

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 21/31

My sweet little workbag

Back in the springtime I was working on some needlework accessories to add to my collection. At one stage I posted about the lovely needlebook I made with the appliqued and quilted cover and the hand embroidered pages, but I somehow overlooked sharing this clever bag I made for corralling all my English paper piecing ‘bits and bobs’. This was the first project I created from the Happy Flower Quilts book by Atsuko Matsuyama, but I strayed from the original pattern quite a bit by adding all those handy pockets around the exterior. I also did a few different finishing touches such as the yoyos added to the drawstring closures. I just couldn’t help myself! Those kitties were too cute!

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 20/31

Reproduction blocks!

Most of my reproduction blocks are now up on the large design wall at the studio and I’ve managed to get over there a couple of times since Saturday to arrange and rearrange to my heart’s content. At this point in time I have sewn together the first three columns, having learned from experience that its best to sew vertical rows rather that horizontal ones if I want them to stay up on the wall. This particular photo doesn’t show any blocks sewn together yet but I can promise the next one will. I had forgotten my camera at home on the last sewing session and it was just too cold to go over to the main studio today. I’m loving this quilt so far!

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 19/31

Little feathered friends

The bird feeders have been a flurry of activity, especially now that it’s so much colder. I happen to look out the window just in time to see a flash of raspberry pink amongst the usual cluster of sparrows.

Sweet little winter bird

According to my Canadian bird book these are little Purple Finches and they are quite commonly found hanging out and blending in with the sparrows. One of their favourite foods is sunflower seeds and that’s what they’re feasting on at our feeders. I spotted at least two pairs and, with their rosy breasts, they reminded me of the lovely Christmas Robins I remember from my childhood days in Scotland.

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 18/31

My little booth at the fair

This past weekend was the Mini Arts/Crafts Fair at the local church and we managed to attract a few last minute shoppers. There were only a small number of us selling our wares, which made for a lovely intimate gathering perfect for personalized gift shopping. The coffee was on, baked goodies and appetizers were on hand, and punch for those inclined, with many taking the opportunity to relax and catch up with friends before the holidays descend upon us.

Bundles of cotton washcloths

I was glad that I took some display photos before the doors opened as quite a number of items sold out over the course of the afternoon. I tried to present more variety in my goods this year but I would definitely say that the most popular items were my “prairie girl” shawls.

Lakeside Pines

I sold one small quilt to a special friend (unfortunately this is the only photo I could find of it and here it’s just a quilt top), and one of my Holiday Cheer banners to another. It’s always nice to think of people I know enjoying my work after it leaves my hands.

Holiday Cheer Banner

I still have a good selection of baby quilts for sale, as well as some lap quilts and bed  quilts, but most of my table toppers and wall sized pieces are gone now. I guess I have a whole year to create more of those. However, I’m really looking forward to some personal stitching over the holiday season and hope to get some last minute finishing done so that I can label them 2017 :o

until tomorrow, carol

 

 

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Day 17/31

Mini Art Quilt

Posting these little pieces has been a “get out of jail free” card in the sense that I’ve been so swamped lately but still wanted to write about something. Things should return to normal soon (whatever that is).

Somethings you might find interesting about this collection of minis – they were all made with my own hand dyed cottons, many of which I also printed with my own hand carved stamps. The fabrics were then collaged together to form unique compositions before having embellishments added in the form of beadwork or hand embroidery. I have made a schedule to resume and continue with this exercise again. I’ll keep you posted…

until tomorrow, carol

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Day 16/31

Another mini art quilt

I promise I’ll stop posting these little art quilts soon, even though there are about two dozen different ones in the photo archives. Most were donated or given as gifts but seeing them all again is tempting me to do something small to get the juices flowing.

until tomorrow, carol

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