Saturday, 15 July 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long ~ Meet the Global Host Team ~ Izzy

Hi - I'm Izzy from Dizzy Quilts and it's my turn to tell you a little about myself!

I'm a mother, step-mother and foster mother to six children, grand-mother to one gorgeous little girl and wife to my soul mate. During the day, I manage a team of e-Learning designers/developers at a global financial company.

All of this keeps me pretty busy, but I've always made time to be crafty - when I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knit and I made all my teddy bears knitted sweaters!

During my teenage years, I was a little too busy with school (and with boys!) to craft, but a few years later, when I had my first child, I started sewing.  I made some baby clothes and I made curtains mostly. I even took a sewing class to learn how to make garments for myself, but I never got the hang of that - nothing ever really fit right.

About 9 years ago, I walked into JoAnn's to get fabric for new curtains and spotted the cutest little quilt kits. I bought one, put it together and haven't looked back since! I was completely and totally hooked.

The first few quilts I made were very traditional - lots of small pieces, small florals, etc. I really had no clue what I was doing, but learned so much with the making of these quilts.

A lap size log cabin quilt made for my step-mom

I started making these quilts for pretty much everyone in my family.  And pretty soon, every bed in the house had a quilt on it.

Quilt I made for my sister-in-law - this is Bronx testing it.

I even made quilts as curtains!!
Around 2010, I discovered quilt blogs and the online quilting community.  That literally changed my quilting life!!  I started my own blog, met some amazing people and a couple of years later, found the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

Through the members of this guild, I learned about modern quilting and I fell in love with quilting all over again.

I started making modern quilts and building a stash of really colourful fabrics and solid neutrals.

When I first started quilting, my least favourite part of the whole thing was the actual quilting. My sewing machine was pretty small and wrestling with a big quilt in that tiny little space was painful and I very often ended up with puckers on the back of my quilts.  And then I changed two things: my sewing machine and my basting method.

I purchased my Juki TL-2010Q. It is literally a dream to quilt with. Lots of room to the right of the needle and super consistent, fast stitching.

I also learned how to board baste my quilts - which has saved my knees, my back and to a certain extent, my sanity!  :-)

And now quilting is actually my favourite part. I look forward to finishing a top just so I can get to the quilting. My dream is to some day own a long-arm machine, but I would need to get a much bigger house before that could happen!

Last year, I became the Vice-President of the Montreal MQG and that has been a lot of fun. The group is growing and we have such amazing people and quilters.  Each meeting is a great source of inspiration and I'm learning so much.

When I was approached to become a FAL host last year, I was so flattered and so happy. I love hosting these link-ups - so much inspiration and so much talent every quarter.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please leave a comment!  :-)


Saturday, 8 July 2017

△ Spectrum qst quilt △ & mini quilts △

I designed and made this quilt using two charm packs of Spectrum by V & Co. for a demonstration on Sewing Quarter.

 It was so fun playing with the colours and layout and I love the graphic look of the quilt.

To make the blocks I sewed two four patch blocks, put them right sides together, sewed 1/4" around all the edges and then cut diagonally both ways. It is far simpler than making lots of triangles! You can watch the demo here.

Continuing the triangle theme, I made a Floating Triangles mini, using the pattern by Katy Jones in Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters. Mine is a smaller version but it's a great technique!

I think this would look amazing as a full sized quilt! Katy's quilt in the book was quilted in a grid and I completely loved it so I did the same.

Black and white prints are so striking! I want to incorporate more into my own projects. You can see the demo for this mini quilt here.

Finally I made another fun mini. This one was adapted from the pattern by Nicole Vos van Avezathe in the book Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, 50 Big Ideas by Amanda Carestio. Nicole's original pattern was English Paper Pieced and appliqued on a pillowcase, but for this demonstration I wanted to do some quilting and a different hexie technique so I made a mini quilt. I used Nicole's cross stitch pattern from the book for the lettering and the gorgeous Flowerbox Sublime Stitching floss, which matches perfectly with the Olive's Flower Market prints (I used a charm pack).

I didn't epp these hexies, I used a paper hexagon template to press the edges of the fabric over but then removed the paper. So with the seams pressed to the back I used a glue pen to position the hexies on the background fabric. Then I chose a decorative stitch to sew between the hexies, sewing them together and appliqueing them at the same time! This is a technique that Pat Bravo demonstrated at an Art Gallery Fabrics event I went to a few years ago. 
note for the future -  on my Elna mode 1 #47, stitch width 5, length 2.

Once the appliqué was done I made a quilt sandwich, with backing fabric and wadding. And top stitched around the hexies. So I'm quilting all the hexies! 
Below you can see the loopy swirls which are also quilting, another decorative stitch - mode 2 #30 width 9, length 2.5. 
You can watch the demo here - it makes a lot more sense when you see it being done :)

My littlest fell in love with this one so I might have to make another!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

⌘ A Piece of Me Pouch pattern release ⌘

At the beginning of the year I made these curved bottom padded zip pouches (born out of forgetting to measure twice and cut once while making my Everything in It's Place Bag). Not wanting this gorgeous fabric and my quilting to go to waste, I decided to use as much of the panel as I could and I ended up with two zip bags that I love! I tried a different way of attaching the zips (the lace one isn't so neat, I wouldn't suggest it for this) and I have finally written up a pattern so you can make your own.

The A Piece of Me pouch idea came to be after finding it makes such a difference for me to use things that make me smile and that mean something. I had the idea of embroidering this lyric onto a pouch, in remembrance of a friend. When I see the words, I sing the song and have great memories. 

I encourage you to do the same, whether it be for yourself or for a gift; make it personal in some way, positive and meaningful 💖 

I taught the A Piece of Me pouch at the Simply Sew'In retreat and the class all made gorgeous versions! Click here to read more and see details.

Adding the zip is really straightforward, there are tips in the pattern to keep it neat and the bias binding is a perfect finish. 

The embroidery is optional and the pouch is brilliant either way! You can do some simple quilting or go to town with free motion quilting, you can make a patchwork piece for the outer panel or keep it plain. A Piece of Me pouch comes together quickly and it's up to you to add the details! The finished size of the pouch is approximately 10.5" x 7".

To celebrate the launch of the A Piece of Me pouch pattern I am offering 15% off for the next 48 hours! The discount has already been applied to the price so there is no code necessary.* Click the link below or visit my Etsy shop to purchase the A Piece of Me pouch pattern. The PDF pattern is instantly downloadable after you complete your purchase.

Buy Now

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement! Add #apieceofmepouch if you share on social media, I would love to see what you make!

* Pattern discount ends 7th July 2017. EU customers please note that VAT will automatically be added to your order during checkout, to comply with European Union VAT law.