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I had so much fun making this quilt.  I hated the process to end.

To recap – when we were home last year, my brother asked if I would make him a quilt out of his military camouflage shirts and his collection of Crown Royal bags.  This is a man who doesn’t ask for much – and I was totally thrilled and honoured to do it.  He will be retiring in 2017 after 37 years in the military.  Quite an accomplishment and I am so incredibly proud to be his sister.

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To his uniform shirts and the Crown Royal bags, I added Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics, hand-dyed wool (the flying geese) and a few Japanese taupe fabrics.

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I used inspiration from Sherri Lynn Wood‘s book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  LOVE this book.  I suppose the ‘score’ that I used is closest to her version of ‘Patchwork Doodle’.  Basically, I just played with shapes and color.  It was truly like painting with fabric.

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Sherri asks for you to evaluate each creation once completed.  She encourages you to look at it for surprises, discoveries, satisfactions and dissatisfactions.  I sat in my favourite coffee shop the other day and wrote this:

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What surprised me?  First that I thought about K3 nearly the entire time working on this quilt.  My memories of him, of family, how proud I am of who he is, what he has accomplished, how he and L have raised such good men.

It also surprised me how many ideas I had – I couldn’t use them all.  They just kept coming and coming.

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What did I discover/learn?  I guess my continuing lesson to go with the flow and trust my instincts.  The organic style of designing is very pleasing to me.  There are no mistakes.  Perfection is over-rated – at least for me.

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What was satisfying about the outcome?  Well, I think he is really going to like it but more importantly, I love it!  And, it just feels like a gift of love that I’ve made especially for him. It came from my soul, from my creativity, from my heart.

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What was dissatisfying?  It’s a very heavy quilt as the uniform fabric is much heavier than quilting cottons.  I’m glad I added the hand-dyed cottons for balance and lightness.

Additional thoughts:  I wasn’t exactly sure in the beginning if the crown royal bags and military camo fabrics would go together but I’m pleasantly surprised.  I actually think they complement each other!  Also, I think the purple is a great tie-in to L (his wife; her favourite color is purple) as she is as much retiring from the military as K3 is.

I was planning to take it back next year when we visit but I’ve decided to mail it to him instead.  Better for him to have it to curl up under this winter than for it to sit on a shelf here.

 

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Magnolia – done and dusted.  A Sue Spargo inspired pattern.  Most of it is her design with the exception of the centre house block.  That inspiration came from a google search.  Sue’s house was just too ‘normal’.

Most of the wool was hand-dyed by me.  Dharma acid dye.

Back is flannel, batting wool.  It’s a heavy sucker.  It was NOT a joy to quilt.  It’s finished though.  I’m guessing I’ll never do another wool appliqué quilt again.

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The second finish is The Circle Games by Jen Kingwell.  This was the first hand pieced quilt I’ve ever made.  As with the wool appliqué quilt – this is another technique that I’m not sure I’ll ever do again.  I love the finished project – but I wasn’t that thrilled with the process.  There are too many other things I really enjoy doing to do things I DON’T enjoy doing.  It was worth a try though.

The original pattern had a different border but I changed it to appliquéd circles.  Now go figure…..I DO like to hand appliqué and hope to get another hand appliqué project prepped at some point in the near future.  I hand quilted this one – Finca 12wt.  Batting is Quilt Lite.  I love that combination.  Makes for a light weight quilt perfect for our climate.

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And HERE is a picture of a delightful present I received in the mail last week from my dear friend Kris.  I am loving the book by Kathy Doughty – such eye candy.  If her store was more accessible to me, I know I would do serious damage there.  And the pop-up bin (made by Kris) is perfect.  It’s already over in the little house set up and being used.

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Now – it’s time to do some yoga and meditation.  The Wallabies play the All Blacks tonight.  I’m not confident of a win but I am always hopeful.  I support the Wallabies but I love watching the All Blacks play.  They are simply AMAZE-BALLS!  They are seriously in a class all their own.  And I know I’ll pay for saying it…..but I miss The Cheat (Richie McCaw).  He has a movie coming out, you know?  🙂

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Magnolia (pattern, with modifications, by Sue Spargo) is on the table ready to be pin basted and then FMQ’d.  I decided to go with a lightweight flannel for the back and a lightweight black cotton batting.  I need to place an order for Isacord thread for the green section but will be able to start as I have both blue and red threads that will work.

My quilting plan is to outline stitch the appliqué, add some stitching to the appliqué pieces, miscellaneous motifs in the backgrounds of each blocks in the red and green borders and then do some type of feathers in the dark, outer border.  Mainly just use it as a piece to practice my FMQ skills – perhaps even push myself a little bit with those pesky feathers!

Recap:  Most of the wools were dyed by me using Dharma Acid Dyes.  Centre block design was changed from the pattern.  Quilt is about 70″ square.  The whip stitch appliqué is done with the Aurifil Lana wool thread that I won last year.  It’s beautiful thread – I highly recommend it.  The embellished stitches were done with various threads that I’ve collected over the years.  I used Sue Spargo’s stitchery book for ideas.

 

 

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Here’s what I’ve been working on:

Bro’s and Sista’s (Brother’s and Sister’s from the book Kindred Spirits (Yellow Creek Quilt Designs) – It’s ready to hand quilt.  It’s sitting in the tv room waiting for me.  It’s ALMOST cool enough in the evenings to sit with this BAQ on my lap.  I’ll be using Big Stitch technique with size 12 Finca perle cotton thread.  Circles.  Freeform circles.  Last night while catching up on my blogs, I ran across the idea from Tim Latimer Quilts.  Time to start forming a callous on my naughty finger again.  This is a King Size so I’m guessing it will take me all winter.

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Mr. W’s favorite reading chair has sprung a leak so I’m thinking to make a slipcover for it from an extra quilt.

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Below are the blocks I have so far for The Splendid Sampler quilt by Jane Davidson & Pat Sloan.  They are 6.5 inch blocks.  Two per week for a year.  Did I mention **free**?  I’m using batiks from my scrap bag.

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Below is my version of The Circle Games by Jen Kingwell.  Two borders finished (appliqué circles) two to go.  I’m really enjoying the appliqué work.  Think I need to find another appliqué project once this one is finished.  I’m tempted to start on the Quilty 365 project – or perhaps my version of it.

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Next we have my next 2 projects from Sherri Lynn Wood‘s book on Improv quilting.  The first one is called Rhythmic Grid and the second one Patchwork Doodle.  They are both in the preliminary stages on the design wall.

And finally, we have my version of Sue Spargo‘s Magnolia.  Again, two borders finished, two to go.  This quilt is such a RIOT of color but I’m really liking it.  I am enjoying learning new embroidery stitches from Sue’s book Creative Stitching.  I’ve also been drooling while looking at her book Stitches to Savor – an amazing coffee table book of her work.

 

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I don’t think I’ve posted much (if anything) about Magnolia.  It’s a pattern by Sue Spargo.  I’m using wool that I dyed using Dharma acid dyes.  The top picture is my version.  The 2nd picture is the quilt from her book.  

I’m whip stitching the wool onto the background with the Aurifil Italian threads (Lana wool) that was my prize from Primitive Quilts & Projects.  The thread is so lovely to work with.  It blends into the wool pieces beautifully.  And, with 48 different colors – I’m spoiled for choice.  (Thanks again Primitive Quilts & Projects for choosing me as the 2nd place winner in the Primitive Quilt Exhibit 2015 original design category.  Deadline for 2016 submission is May if you’re interested.)

I wasn’t crazy about the house in the centre of Sue’s version so I did a wonky house using an image I found on Google as my inspiration (see below).  The picture was posted on this BLOG and attributed to Tonye Belinda Phillips.   I’ve never heard of her before but you can bet I’ll be stalking her blog to learn more about her!  I like her style – totally.

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I nearly have all the wool appliqué done on the centre and the first border.  Next steps 1) embellish with thread and maybe beads and 2) dye wool for the next border.  I’m thinking to go with the neon/lime green.  I have about 8 plaid wool skirts to deconstruct and then dye.  I want to vary the color of the fabrics slightly so plan to add a smidgen or two of blue and yellow to the basic green dye and see what happens (thanks Mr. W for the suggestion).

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