Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Section 8

We have reached Section 8 of our Quilt Along! This week we only have four blocks, so if you have fallen behind at all these next two weeks would be a great time to start catching up again.
This week we have tow focus blocks and two filler blocks, and you can see the whole section on page 30.

Focus Blocks
Pg 8: From The Heart -- make 1
Pg 11: Star Block -- make 1

Filler Blocks
Pg 22: Square in a Square -- 3" finished -- make 1
Pg 24: Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps -- 10.5" finished -- make 1

From the Heart, I love this block and have been looking forward to making it since I started my quilt. It is such a fun take on a heart block. I kept mine simple with two colors, just pink and white.
I did not cut my squares for the Hourglass sections on the diagonal twice as suggested but just once. (I did cut the squares the size listed in the pattern) I than sewed at a 1/4" like making a half square triangle, pressed the seam, and put the two resulting HST's right sides together with opposite colors together, cut on the diagonal across my previous seams and stitched again. This is how I do all my hourglass blocks, I find it easier than working with the small quarter triangles that I always manage to sew together wrong.
Other than that I followed the instructions for this block and it went together really nicely.

Star Block, I did the same thing in this block for the hourglass components as I did in the previous block, and the block went together pretty quickly.

Square in a Square, nothing new with this block, but there is only a few more to make so you can look forward to that.

Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps, this is the largest block in the quilt if I am not mistaken, and it is a square, some borders, corners and another round of borders. It is quick to cut and piece.
I pieced mine while putting together the other blocks, so that I could chain piece the blocks and not cut my thread every time I finished a single seam.

And now we only have two sections left to complete and than we can get to work cutting our strips and assembling our quilt top.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Bionic Gear Bag Recap

We hosted our Bionic bag Workshop these past couple days in our shop, although it turned more into a fun little retreat than an actual structured workshop. 
Esther, myself and an additional 8 ladies have spent the last two days, laughing, learning from each other and best of all sewing. The Chrysalis Cafe made snacks, coffee and lunch for us both days and delivered it to us, so we sewed to our hearts content, and when food arrived on our tables we ate, than kept sewing. 
Each of us made a Bionic Gear Bag, and all of them turned out so great. Most of us still need to finish binding the edges, but we decided to do that at home and make the couple bonus projects that Esther had planned for us. 
We had a fun pouch tutorial from Anna Graham of Noodlehead Designs that we modified a little by making it even smaller and it works great for holding Wonder Clips. 

Esther also designed a neat little machine needle holder that has space for needle boxes, lightly used needles, as well as a description for what each needle is to be used for. It rolls up and neatly fits into our gear bags to keep everything together. 

As is usual when you get 10 ladies sewing together there were some mistakes made. This cute little corner was dubbed the "Comfort Corner." Because if you have to pick something out, you may as well do it in a fun, comfortable chair. 

Everyone walked away with a nifty notion or pattern as a prize, and it seemed that every time we drew a name, the winner was not even paying attention to what was going on and we needed to call the name a couple times along with "winner" before they would clue in. 

Thank you again to all the Ladies who joined us, Esther and I had great time, and we hope you did as well. This was a great ending to a season of making bags together, and once we get the plans finalized for next years bag club we will post the details, and the sign up information. 
As a side note my nails matched my fabric so well that I just had to take a picture.
Scroll down to see more pictures of us working hard.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Classroom Update

On March 25 the renovation on our classroom began. Since that day it has undergone a vast transformation. The walls were framed in, drywalled, and painted. We got a real ceiling hung just this past weekend, and today Hermans Carpets laid down a new floor us today. We are also getting more lighting installed by Live Electric so the area will be nice and bright.
Esther and I had the opportunity to design a custom studio for the space as well and this will get installed by Adora tomorrow. We have a nice cutting table to do demos and our own cutting on. We have a custom ironing station that will fit our monster wool pressing mat, which measures 22"x60". There is lots of extra counter space for us to have our most used notions at our finger tips, and customized storage for those that are a little more specialized and for projects.
For the new classroom we have new chairs and new sewing tables that are nice and sturdy, as well as 3 designated counter height cutting tables and 3 ironing stations that will also have wool mats and Oliso irons for you to use.
There are a few more things that have been added but we will be having a big reveal on May 9 and 10, so you will have to come check it out than to get the full picture.
This weekend we have our Bionic Gear Bag Workshop, and I will post a recap of it on Friday Evening.
On Saturday, Chicken Feed Quilts will be featured on Instagram for The Great Canadian Shop Hop that began at the start of the month. If you are on Instagram be sure to follow us.
As mentioned on May 9 and 10 we will have our Classroom Reveal Party. There will be snacks and demos in our newly renovated classroom and some flash sales as well, so come check out our new space and learn about some of our favorite tools.
Also in May, Esther and I will be attending the Spring Quilt Market, which this time around is being held in Kansas City. We hope to also visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company while we are there. I love attending Quilt Market and always come home with so many new ideas and inspiration for the shop and new projects.
In June we have another information presentation planned and will I post more information about it in a few weeks. Also in June is the Lethbridge Festival of Quilts, which is a Quilt Show put on by the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild with lots of quilts to see and vendor booths to shop at. We will have a booth there during the event.
These next two months are looking to be busy for us again, but I must say I love every bit of it.
This week is Easter Break for my boys, and I have spent the last few days hanging out with them at home, getting them to help with some spring cleaning (we cleaned the deep freezer out today) and doing some sewing, my oldest made himself a pillowcase today, and now my 5 year old is asking when he gets to make one.
Hope to see you at all some of these upcoming events,

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Section 7

It's time for another Gypsy Wife Section. This week we will be doing Section 7. This section is comprised of 7 filler blocks. The full section is pictured on page 29 of your pattern booklet.

Pg 22: Square in a Square Blocks -- 3" Finished -- make 3 (1 will be used as the center for another block)
Pg 22: Square in a Square Blocks -- 4" Finished -- make 2
Pg 22-23: Square in a square with Pinwheel centers -- 5" finished -- make 1
Pg 23: Bordered Square in a Square Blocks -- 7" Finished -- make 1
Pg 23-24: Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps: 4" Finished -- make 1

Square in a Square Blocks: We have made several of these already and we need to make a few more for this weeks section, 5 in total, although one of them we will use as a center for another block.
When cutting for these blocks make sure all the squares are cut accurately, and when layering the squares to sew ensure that the raw edges are neatly lined up. If you are finding that your squares are shifting while sewing, it can help to put a pin through, or a dab of glue in the section that will be trimmed off. Be sure to sew corner to corner, and you can also fold it open before trimming to see if the new "corner" lines up with the previous raw edges, if not sew a little more to the outer edge.

Square in a Square with Pinwheel Center: The instructions for the pinwheel center can be found on page 19, be sure to follow the cutting directions for the 2.5" finished block.
If you are careful when trimming the squares from your 4" square in a square blocks, you can use those scraps to piece the Half Square Triangles needed for the pinwheel. (I did make my trimmings into HSTs but did not end up using them for this pinwheel, but added them to my collection of Half Square Triangles)
Once you have your pinwheel made, you can flip back to page 23 and follow the instructions on the bottom of that page and the top of page 24 to cut and add the borders and the extra corners. 

Bordered Square in a Square: We need the extra square in a square block here, and we will add 2 borders to make it a little larger. Add the borders to the top and bottom first than the sides, than repeat for the second border. If you find these blocks are coming out a little smaller than they should you can your outer border a half inch wider and than trim the block to the correct size. Or make your seam allowance a little smaller and see if that helps.

Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps: This block is fairly straightforward and we have it before in other sizes. I once again cut my outer squares a little larger than directed and trimmed the finished block to the correct size.

These are the final blocks for the right hand side of the quilt! I like to break my quilts up and celebrate small accomplishments, can you tell? I am getting anxious to finish my quilt, and I am glad that there are just 3 sections left, and than the strips, and final assembly.

How are your blocks coming? Are you caught up , falling behind, perhaps setting aside some time during the Easter break to sew?

Friday, April 12, 2019

New Fabrics and Projects

We have gotten several new shipments of fabric in during the past few weeks and all the collections are amazing. I mentioned last week that we received 10 new digital panels, and several of us are working on projects with them. Carrie sent me a sneak peak of what was in the 8 boxes she got today from Art Gallery, some of it is new blenders and the rest is new collections, and I shared a picture of them at the end of the post.
We also have a couple new Moda Lines in stock, most notably Lollipop Garden by Lella Boutique and Nova by Basic Grey. Both are perfect for any of those spring and summer projects you have planned, but are quite different in appearance.
Lollipop Garden has a palette of soft colors and prints, while Nova is a lot more bold in both its geometrics, florals and colors. We are busy getting some precuts together for both collections and are waiting on patterns for both to get the kits ready.
We have a few new designer bolts from Hoffman in stock, These particular ones are by Latifah Saafir and I love how fun they are and the throwback feel they have. The collection is called 1985. I am using the Macaroon bundle mixed with some Me and You Batiks to make a popsicle quilt, and it has been super fun so far.

Enchanted Lake is a collection from RJR and is very elegant. Carrie is currently working on a project with this line and a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew called Cascade.

Speaking of Carrie she finished up this quilt for a friend last night from Homegrown By Deb Strain. She modified the Double Slice Layer Cake pattern to use the panels and I think it turned out really well.

I just finished up this quilt, Sunny Side Up by Corey Yoder, it is a Moda Kit and we have a few left in stock. Half of the blocks are pieced while the other half are from a panel.
I am also working on my Wolf Abstractions Quilt by Violet Craft, and I have just two segments left to stitch up and than I will be ready to assemble it.
I took some time this week to make a new springy Handbag and Wallet for myself and I absolutely love it. Both are patterns that we did in our Bag Club at the store, the Classic Carryall Handbag and the Roadtrip wallet. And I used fabric from an Art Gallery Collection called Art District.

My 5 year old also made his own quilt this past weekend, he picked the fabrics himself, cut the squares on the Accuquilt Cutter, laid out the blocks, sewed them together and did the long arming by himself. He did an amazing job, and his quilt turned out really well!

What are you working on right now? Are you finishing up some projects or do you have the itch to make something for spring?

Just a reminder that we will be closed next week Friday, April 19, for Good Friday, and I will not be blogging on that date either. We will be open on Saturday, April 20.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sew Hometown: April

Welcome to month 4 of the Sew Hometown Sew Along. This month we are making Flutter, a simple block that finishes at 6", and we are making 5 of them.
For the small triangles I cut 5 squares. I than cut these in half diagonally once. From the resulting triangles I cut one on the diagonal to use for the blocks, and set the other one aside for use in a later block.

For the large triangles I cut as directed in the pattern, and set the extra triangles aside for later.

We have some improv blocks coming up that these leftover pieces will be perfect for.

I used my 6.5" square Creative Grids Ruler to trim up my blocks.

And finally I put all my blocks so far up on the wall to see my progress.

 How are your blocks coming?


Check back Friday to see some of the newest fabrics in our shop and the projects some of us are working on.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Presentation Recap & Digital Panels

Last night we had Rob from Trendtex Fabrics do a presentation on Batiks. The presentation went over the intense process used to make Batik Fabrics, how they differ from screen printed fabrics and how Hoffman differs from other companies and what they are doing now in the Quilting Industry. One thing that they are doing is digitally printing fabric rather than screen printing it. These digitally printed fabrics contain millions of colors and the details are incredible.
This week we received 10 new digital panels from Hoffman, there was a variety of wildlife prints, scenery, space and a couple new Dream Big panels. The question is how do you use them?

Panels often make for quick projects as a big portion of the quilt top is already completed for you.
We often will take a panel, quilt and bind it and add some hanging loops which makes for a nice door or wall hanging. You can add some simple borders to enlarge a panel into a quilt or make some fun blocks pulling colors from the panel to put around the panel on one, two, three or all four sides. I love trying out different borders on panels, because I put very little effort into the center of the quilt top. The fun thing is you can center the panel, put it to one side, use multiple, cut it up, there are no rules!
We have a variety of patterns available for panels mainly from Mountain Peak Creations or Hoffman Fabrics, and we ordered in a new set of patterns from a new designer who uses the Hoffman Panels quite often.  Here are a few pictures of ones that we are working on now or have done in the past.
Have you made quilts or wall hangings using panels?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Section 6, Part 2

This week we will be working on the second half of Section 6. We need to make a total of 12 blocks and they are all fillers. We have made all of these blocks before so there is nothing new there we just needed to make a lot of blocks for this section and so I split it into two parts.

The full section is pictured on page 28.
Pg 22: Square in a Square Blocks- 3" Finished- make 8 (use 1 for block below)
Pg 22: Square in a Square Blocks- 4" Finished- make 3
Pg 23: Bordered Square in a Square Blocks - 5" Finished- make 1 (use block from above for the center)
Pg 24: Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps- 5.5" Finished- make 1

We will make 8 of the square in a square blocks that finish at 3", 7 of them we will set aside to be sewn into our quilt top and 1 we will be adding a border to so that is is just a little larger.
I did use my Folded Corner Clipper from Creative Grids for these blocks to eliminate the drawing of lines on each square.
I also chain pieced all these blocks to make it go a little quicker.

 Believe it or not after this Section is complete we only to make 25 more blocks and assemble the top!
Our schedule for the remaining sections is as follows
Section 7 will be posted on April 16
Section 8: April 30
Section 9: May 14
Section 10: May 28
In June we will cut and sew strips and assemble each section and complete the quilt!

I haven't yet laid out all my blocks together, I have only taken Section pictures and than put each in its bag waiting for final assembly, but I am eager to see all the blocks together. Is anyone else getting excited to see all the blocks come together into a final project?