Friday, 26 July 2013

Christmas in July?

As quilters, we look for any excuse to employ our creative talents.  Nothing escapes our notice.  Be it a birthday, anniversary or some personal milestone.  The holidays are no exception.  With only 5 months until Christmas, YES, I SAID 5 MONTHS!,  quilters in my area will be busy thinking about their gift giving and decorating for the upcoming holiday season.  At our last show in 2012, they shared their holiday spirit with us.  I think by nature, creative people are generous people.  We take as much pleasure in the making as we do in the giving.  If you are looking for some great ideas to get inspired, you're sure to find them here.  Wall hangings, place mats, table runners and even a full size quilt to embraced the most magical season of all.  Be sure to double click on the images to see all the amazing details.

Santa and his Elves
If you love applique, this is the pattern for you.

Applique and Paper piecing

A warm welcome

The sampler format
In the example above, we see a great setting for a variety of appliqued and pieced blocks.  Not only a great way to use up scraps, but the variety in executing each block would be a welcome relief from the monotony often associated with traditional piecing. Perhaps this should be started now for Christmas 2014.

Guild workshops and kits are a great way to get started on a project.  Sometimes we need the companionship of others to keep us motivated.  Place mats and runners make terrific hostess gifts as well.  Especially for those who are not as handy with a needle as quilters.

Card Trick, an old pattern, is playfully converted here into a cluster of gifts.  A fantastic way to use up all those scraps from your previous Christmas projects.  Try exchanging charm squares of themed prints with other friends and guild members to increase your stash for this one.  Finish off each package with ribbon and bows to complete the look.

Traditional piecing
Christmas in July?  You betcha.  If you hope to get finished in time.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I ran into a fellow guild member the other day and we got to talking about our summer break and our quilting projects.  It seems that even the most dedicated of quilters, in spite of good intensions, can get distracted by the needs of their gardens and the lure of outdoor living.  Our local museum has just finished a year long run of all things related to quilting, both old and new, and some of us are getting ready for the 100th anniversary of the Ontario Plowing Match and upcoming fall fair.  But, typical of country life, the garden does make its demands on our time and the latest heat wave did make it difficult to think about getting under a quilting frame.

Obviously for some of our members, they can appreciate the joys of summer and get inspiration for their work from mother nature.  Our grandmothers certainly did, with patterns like Grandmother's Flower Garden, Garden Path or any of the numerous rose and lily patterns that have come down to us over the century.

Beautiful Applique
Every technique conceivable demonstrated how varied the Piecemakers 2012 garden grew.  From the realism provided by applique through the romantic touch of embroidery.  Native plants and flowers competed with hybrid roses, exotic poppies, romantic bouquets and spring bulbs.


Fussy Cut Focal Fabric
Fussy cutting a piece of yardage made for a beautiful quilt.  The intricate sashing and border demonstrated the artistic talent and skills of the maker.  One of my favorite quilts in our last show.

A Solute to our Theme Flower
Since our very first show, we have used the motif of the tulip as our logo.  (Be sure to look for it on our posters).  Sometimes it is executed in a paper pieced technique, at others, an appliqued technique.  The colours here are as fresh as a spring garden and remind us of the tulips welcome after a long cold winter in Southwestern Ontario.

Show Stopper & Prize
I'm just left speechless on this one!  A ribbon was well deserved for its maker.

An Interpretation to the Baltimore Quilts
The Baltimore Album Quilt of the mid 19th century has been interpreted here with native plants and a tribute to the Amish and Mennonite communities we enjoy sharing the surrounding counties with.

Stained Glass Technique

I am sure that in our 2014 show, our members will continue to delight us with their floral creations. Unfortunately, my garden is full of weeds, but perhaps that would make for an interesting quilt next year.  After all, one man's weed is another man's exotic plant.  Don't miss our 2014 garden!