STS – #1 – Singing The Blues

Cher and I have decided that we need to use up some of the “Classic” fabrics that we have in our stash.  We have proclaimed 2017 to be the year of STS – Slash the Stash!   (I have also proclaimed 2017 to be the year to finish UFO’s.)  I started at the end of November 2016 with my stack of blue fabrics.  I have wanted to make the quilt pattern, Hot Shot by Maple Island Quilts for a while now.

MIQ139

By the end of December, according to the pattern I had enough blocks to make the bed size.  However, I made a design change and I decided that I wasn’t going to add the borders to my quilt like was suggested in the pattern so I needed to make more blocks to get my quilt up to a nice bed size – 87″ x 99″.  I ended up making 56 blocks for a 7 by 8 grid.

By January 2, 2017, I had my finished flimsy.

Singing the Blues - flimsy - 87" x 99"

Singing the Blues – flimsy – 87″ x 99″

I kept pushing on, determined that this project was not going to get added to the UFO pile.  By January 15, 2017, the quilting was finished and on March 7, 2017, I took the last hand stitches on the binding.

Here it is in all its finished glory:

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

This is also one of my 13 projects that I listed for my guild’s UFO Challenge – for the first quarter.  :)

Canada’s Big Quilt Bee

CQA2017--Bee-Black-Yellow-circle

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the Canadian Quilting Association is inviting quilters to be part of Canada’s biggest Quilt Bee.

The Big Quilt Bee will be held June 14-17, 2017 at Quilt Canada 2017 in Toronto, Ontario.   There will be sewing machines, long arms, mid arms and an army of volunteers ready to work on quilt tops and stacks of slab blocks that have been made and sent in by hundreds of Canadian quilters.

The goal is to make and donate 1,000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.

The blocks that are making up the quilts are 12.5″ slab blocks incorporating at least one piece of special Canada fabric that has been printed this year in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.  Slab blocks were made famous when  Cheryl Arkison used ‘slab’ blocks in quilts for families who lost everything in the Alberta floods in 2013.  Now, with Cheryl’s permission, Canadian quilters are once again making slab blocks for a worthy cause.

Instructions on how to make slab blocks:

Quilting-Bee-How-to-make-a-block

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This is a piece of one of the special Canada 150 fabrics that can be used in these blocks.

DSC_0010 On January 21, 2017, the local university donated classroom space to our guild so that we could dedicate a day to making slab blocks and assembling quilt tops.DSC_0008 The room was a bee hive of quilters cutting, sewing, and pressing their scraps together into colourful blocks.DSC_0005 DSC_0003 DSC_0002 16114804_10156033663728849_1198452613346296336_n DSC_0004DSC_0011 16266356_10156033667408849_5993837092842560312_n 16174486_10156033663763849_1191666265943156475_n 16174468_10156033667048849_8917553810301714676_n16143018_10156033667718849_4013418356250088904_n 16142704_10156033663828849_5754646872907590053_n 16142342_10156033667653849_4811456033810262547_n 16105983_10156033663968849_3586695233020321134_n 16113937_10156033663693849_149851596118856489_n

By the end of the day we had a handful of completed tops and stacks of completed blocks.  DSC_0009 DSC_0007 16265297_10156033663393849_8664667437812629257_n 16265570_10156033663363849_6460190662865115948_n 16265907_10156033663498849_3284965721291446214_n 16265446_10156033666893849_3691263503481633106_n 16142660_1231269030283094_2271357198480529716_n 16114393_10156033663443849_6070207657016955034_nI took my slab blocks home and completed two quilts.

Canada 150 Slab Quilt - red and blue

Canada 150 Slab Quilt – red and blue 

Canada 150 Slab Quilt close up

Canada 150 Slab Quilt close up

Canada 150 Slab Quilt - green and purple

Canada 150 Slab Quilt – green and purple

Canada 150 Slab Quilt closeup

Canada 150 Slab Quilt closeup

Last night at our guild meeting, everyone brought the quilts that they had finished to date for a group picture.  The Canadian Quilting Association is eager to hear how everyone is doing and anxious for us to report in as they are keeping a tally of the number of completed quilts towards the 1,000 finished quilt goal.

 

 

Using up the Green Strips

I am on a mission to use up all of the green fabric strips that are on my fabric shelf.  The first quilt top that I made was, “Candy Coated” a pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts (by Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg).  download

This quilt top met with a mishap when I tried to trim the left side.  It ended up being narrower than I would like after my attempt at squaring it up.  After agonizing over ideas to make the quilt wider again, I have given up and made the quilt shorter instead.  Now it is back in proportion to its width and is still plenty long enough for a lap at 63″ x 75″.  I will finish squaring it up after it is quilted.

CANDY COATED - 63 in x 75 in

CANDY COATED – 63 in x 75 in

I ended up with many chunks of pieced fabric strips as leftovers after finishing Candy Coated so I came up with a second quilt which alternates the pieced strips from Candy Coated with framed four patches.  This is a “leftover” quilt.  That name doesn’t seem too glamorous, so it has since been renamed “Strings and Cobblestones” by my good friend LindaJ.  I like this name better than Leftovers, so Strings and Cobblestones it is.

STRINGS AND COBBLESTONES - 57 in x 73 in

STRINGS AND COBBLESTONES – 57 in x 73 in

I still have leftovers from Strings and Cobblestones so I am working on making “slabs” from the bits.  In years gone by, these types of blocks were called Crumb Blocks or Mile a Minute blocks but now in the Sunday Morning Quilts book, the updated name seems to be “slabs”.  I have made several quilts using this technique over the years and it is the only way i have ever found to ensure that 100% of every last little bit of fabric is used in some way.  After putting together slabs, there are no leftovers!

Green slabs.

Green slabs.

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Shhhhhhhh…….someone thinks he is hiding.
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Scrap Vortex

Scrap Vortex - 64" x 73"

Scrap Vortex – 64″ x 73″

I have been watching other blogs and Pinterest as quilters followed Crazy Mom Quilts’ Scrap Vortex Quilt Along.  Seeing the scrap quilts progress reminded me of my stack of crumb blocks that have been languishing on the shelf.  I decided last weekend to start sewing them together and finished the flimsy this weekend.

I did not put my squares together like was suggested in the quilt along.  My blocks are pieced as strips of scraps similar in size like you would piece coin quilts.  I then join the strips together and square them up into blocks.

This quilt is a bit busy.  I will go ahead and quilt it and then see if it needs something else added.  I have a vision of adding some circular appliques randomly across the top.  For now it is hanging in the closet waiting its turn on the long arm.

 

Gyleen’s Bricks, Cobblestones, and Pebbles – Finished Flimsy

SCRAP CHAOS  - 58 1/2 inches square

SCRAP CHAOS – 58 1/2 inches square

Last night, I finished (to the flimsy stage) my mystery quilt from the Facebook page, Gyleen’s Bricks, Cobblestones, and Pebbles.  Gyleen was calling this project, Odds, Ends, & Leftovers.  My quilt top measures approximately 58.5 inches square.

General instructions provided by Gyleen included:  “Don’t cut from scraps too far in advance.  Most of what you need should be already cut.”

I was able to assemble most of this mystery from squares and strips that I had previously cut and organized into bins in my sewing room.  As you can see from the stacks of bins on the shelves, I could make many more Odds, Ends, & Leftovers projects  without running out of scraps.  :)

2015_February 22_Scrap Strips and Squares Storage-Optimized

 

If I was to repeat this pattern again, I would disregard Gyleen’s directions relating to the random in placement of the squares and I would pay more attention to the values and placement of the fabrics.  To me, the randomness of this project results in a look that looses the design elements of the quilt in the messiness/chaos that results from the random placement of the fabric squares.  In my opinion, the people that disregarded the random directions and put their quilt together in a more organized scrappy fashion have much nicer quilts.  However, this project was fun and well worth trying.  After all, I never had to purchase any fabric.  In fact, as I worked through the clues in the mystery, I enjoyed walking down Memory Lane as I worked through my fabrics.  Each scrap of fabric took me back to the project that it was left from over the years so I had fun reminiscing as I put together this quilt top.