Category Archives: Blue

Colour me Blue! (part one)

I love colour, but normally I don’t think of myself as a “blue” person. But I DO seem to be buying/collecting a lot of blue fabrics right now.. so it is time to dip into that growing stash.

My favourite quilts to make are those that use a single simple block. That enables me to concentrate on the colour play at work in the quilt. Here are my inspiration fabrics for this quilt which I have purchased but not used yet:


The blue in all of these fabrics ranges from a deep royal blue to navy to an almost inky blue-black. So I went to my “stash” and started cutting. I never jump right in and start sewing. I am all about “playing” on the design wall, and the final layout comes together: sometimes sooner, sometimes later.

I am using a tumbler template and arranging the blocks in a “Bowtie” layout. After cutting a number of blocks in a mix of blue, yellow and patterned fabrics, I tested two layouts. The one on the left uses a more equal mix of blue with the other colours, while the right has quite a bit more blue, with flashes of contrast yellow/citron. The difference is not striking in these two samples, and I’m not sure which I prefer, so I will make more blocks and test again… stay tuned!


Winter Retreat

Week 1:
I am on my winter retreat- or more correctly, my retreat from winter. Weather here (Saint Simons Island, GA) is warm and sunny, so I am always surprised that the sun goes down so early. Even though I am no longer working and every day is like a vacation, this feels like a REAL vacation. I spend more time sewing, and only work on things I brought with me. The rest of my time is spent biking, walking the beach, exploring the island and environs, cooking, etc.
This is what I have done in my first week here… it is a variation of the spider web quilt block, and I really love how the hexagon rings stand out. I realize I didn’t bring enough fabric to finish this quilt, but I will make as many blocks as I can, and finish it later. I spent a lot of time on google images and Pinterest researching this pattern, and no longer remember where I saw the inspiration for this particular layout. I will add the original source if I am able to find it.
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I’ll try to post weekly, IF I remember!


Play Day

I really appreciate those days when I put aside everything that I need to do, and just play. I pinned a block on Pinterest called Ellen’s Snowball  last year, and a year later I still love it, so I decided to make one, in shades of blue. It is paper pieced, which I have not done for a while, and makes a 12 1/2″ block. It went together easily, and the very centre is not too bumpy, considering how many pieces meet here.
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I now think I will make a medallion quilt, with this block as the centrepiece. I have accumulated quite a bit of blue / white fabrics, so I won’t need to visit any shops real time or online for more. (I think….). It may be a while before I get back to this, meanwhile it will hang on my design wall tempting me, and reminding me to research medallion quilts to see if there are any fun, interesting, new rounds that others have used in their quilts.

Painting my Quilt

I made a plus quilt recently… I decided to make it one large plus from various yellow and blue fabrics, with white and beige for the background. I liked the idea of the large plus not being immediately obvious. BUT.. when it was done, I was not at all happy with it. It really needed more definition between the Plus sections and the Background sections.

So I took out my paints, diluted them down, and painted the lighter sections.. here is a section as I was starting the paint job.. replacing the white background with a light yellow paint. (Sadly, no “before” photo of the entire quilt.)

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Below, you can see the completed yellow section.. much better! Next up, I starting work on the blue sections that needed more definition. Again, the fabrics were blue patterns on white, so I was changing the background to a pale blue. To speed up the drying  so I could get it done quickly, I put it in the dryer for a few minutes between sections.

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And here is is, all done. I am much happier with this quilt top now, and am eager to get to the next steps. You know, deciding what fabrics/design to put on the back of the quilt, how to quilt it, etc etc etc..

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Details, details:
The quilt size is 52 x 52″ , and these are the paints I used. Notice they can be made permanent by heat setting 5 minutes with an iron.
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Kathy Doughty’s Comin’ To Town

Kathy Doughty, of Material Obsessions, will be in Toronto this summer doing 4 days of workshops, along with a trunk show/lecture. She is being hosted by Quilts at the Creek, and you can find out about this fabulous outdoor show (and enter a quilt or two!) on their blog. I have always been totally impressed with her bold mix of patterns, colours and fabric styles all in one quilt.

I may not be as brave as her, but she was the inspiration for these two quilts. The first is Soul Searching (from her book “Making Quilts with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession)”.

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The second quilt is from her Super Nova pattern in “Adding Layers: Colour Design and Inspiration”. My version is mostly blue florals and looks way better in person. Choosing the fabrics and putting it all together went very smoothly, one of the quickest quilts I have made. Just need to decide what backing to use. Hmmmm.
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They will both be on display at Quilts at the Creek- see you there!