Category Archives: Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville

Mystery Quilt 2015

Last year the guild I was a part of did a mystery quilt that ran the course of the guild year.  I was the one running the mystery quilt so I knew what the finished product was going to look like.  I really liked it and thought it would be great in two colors or a scrappy look like the design was intended.

However, I wasn’t fully aware of how many half square triangles there was going to be.  Lets say over 300.  And they were all very very small – 2.5″ unfinished.  As many of you may know I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with HST.  I love the quilts that they are apart of, but HATE making them because somehow I mess them up.

I decided that this would be the quilt to use to try out the different methods of making HSTs, after all I had to share a demo about the HST in guild.  I search all over the place for methods on making more than 2 – again this quilt needed about 300.  I had originally tried the bias method – sewing all the way around your square then cutting it up along both diagonals.  Like the demo that Missouri Star Quilt Company has in this video.

But the math I tried, according to one tutorial, was a little wrong and I ended up creating smaller HST than I needed.  For every 1 that was the correct size I ended up with 3 the incorrect size.  I was worried I was going to run out of fabric.  Then I remembered that Melanie over at Melanie Dramatic did a HST mini series so I made my way over and discovered that 1. I did have the math wrong and 2. the simplified grid method where I could make 8 HST in one fell swoop.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Especially if you needed 8 of that color scheme.  It made this quilt much less daunting as well.  The method worked amazingly well and I was able to finish the quilt using this method.

HST and I still have a love/hate relationship, but using this simplified grid method may be the way for me to work with HST from this point moving forward.


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Filed under Flying Needles Quilt Guild, Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting

Trip Around the World

As I mentioned earlier I’m in the midst of organizing this upcoming years guild program.  I can’t tell you what it is yet – sorry its a surprise.

If you may remember last year we took a trip around the world in quilts.  We visited Hawaii, Japan, Amish Country, Ireland, England, and Africa.  The ladies shared the history of quilting and the techniques they used to create their quilts.  For our major challenge we created the Trip Around the World quilt.

I shared a demo in October on how to make the block using the tube method and sent the ladies on their way.  We had a great number of quilts entered into the challenge, some big and some tiny.  Look at all of them?  Isn’t it great.

In the end I made two. One was from the blocks I used in my demo.  I had the blocks complete, so I figured I should just keep going and finish it.

This was made using a jelly roll I found in Montana last summer.  I really like how this one turned out, especially after I put the “path” a little off centre.

This one is made in solids that I found at Jo-Ann’s in Montana last year.  There are 24 different colors in this.  I made this one using fat quarters.  I randomly pieced this together, starting with 2 strips, then adding another 2, then another 2.  Some of the individual blocks were UGLY and I was worried they would be awful, but it all worked out in the end.

It was a really fun challenge and a really fun quilt to make.  I have a third one cut – just have to find the time to put it together.  Maybe this year I will get it started.

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Filed under Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting

Brown Bag Challenge 2014

What a year the guild had this year.  One of the challenges we had this year was the Brown Bag challenge.  Each participant put 4 fat quarters into a brown bag.  Then each participant selected a different brown bag and their goal was to make a quilt out of those fat quarters and 1 meter of fabric that you added.

It has become one of my favorite challenges.  Probably because it is so challenging.  You have only a certain amount of fabric that you have to make something out of.  It is probably easier than I make it, but I always try to get the most BANG for my fabric buck.  I could make something on the smaller size and have lots of fabric left over, but I try to make a nice size wall hanging or table cover.

Thanks to the help of Canoe Ridge Creations  and her Fresh Mini Club.  This pattern is called Fireworks and it w as the pattern from July 2013.

This was the back.  I had to use every last inch of fabric I had left to complete it.  I had bits and pieces left.

I did some straight line quilting as well. That took a lot more time then I had thought, but I really liked the end result.

This is the one that I got.  Isn’t it wonderful.  My friend Donna made it, though I had no idea when I selected the brown bag in June.  That was the twist this year.  In June when you brought the finished quilt, you put it in a brown bag and on the table.  During our last guild meeting the participants then picked another bag and whatever quilt/quilted item was inside you got.

The one I got has a home on my coffee table and it is perfect.



Filed under Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting

Sashiko Stitching

This year the guild I belong to, The Flying Needles Quilt Guild, is working through the theme “Quilting Around the World.”  Each month a member has done a demo featuring a quilting technique from somewhere in the world.   We’ve been to England with English Paper Piecing and Hawaii for their snowflake technique.  We are also heading to Ireland, the Amish Country and South Africa/Africa.

This month I had the pleasure of doing the demo and I worked on the Sashiko quilting method from Japan.  It took me a long time to learn to pronounce that properly.  Sash – i  (the i sounds like the i in the word it)- ko.

Sashiko means little stabs and it was a way for the commoners during the Edo period 1603-1867 to stitch their material together to make their warmer clothes and blankets.

It was an interesting technique to learn as the running stitch is not one of my stronger stitches to use.  And my fingers took a beating through this technique.

One of the most interesting things I learned was the “rules”, for lack of a better word, that the stitchers used.


Throughout the project pieces I did, I really tried to ensure I was following those rules because I wanted to be as authentic as I could be.

The first work I did was a pre screened/stamped design on a cotton fabric.  It was by Sylvia Pippen Designs which I found on our trip to Maui.  It is called Hawksbill Honu.  Hawksbill is the kind of sea turtle and honu is the Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle.

What was nice about this pattern was it gave me the stitch lengths.  From what I found of sashiko is that the stitch is longer and the space between is shorter.

Then I traced some of my designs using light weight interfacing and adhered it to the back and stitched it from back to front.  This is where my hands took a beating.  Originally, sashiko pieces were stitched on a looser weave of fabric.  But I used a marble cotton with interfacing so it was difficult to get the thick 1.5″ needle through with a thick piece (4-6 strands) of floss through.  But working from back to front was tricky.  You stitched everything with the back facing you, but you had to keep in mind the “rules” on the front.

But for designs like these above, it was nicer to have a design you could trace rather than free hand draw.

I also tried creating a grid on the front of my fabric with a marking pencil and then was able to stitch the design.  The darker pieces are an example of that.

Overall, I really liked the technique, even with the rules.  Lately, I’ve seen a lot of magazines with sashiko designs with a more modern twist.


Filed under Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting, Stitchery

Brown Bag Challenge: An Update

As I mentioned back in November, my quilt guild introduced a few challenges  on this year’s program.  One of them was the Brown Bag Challenge.

brown bag


The Brown Bag Challenge

Anyone who wanted to participate in this was to bring a brown bag filled with 4 fat quarters, 1 meter of fabric and a cookie cutter.  We all put them in a pile and then randomly grabbed a different bag.  Your job with the new brown bag is make a completed (bound and quilted) quilt for your partner using what they’ve supplied you.  In June the finished quilt will be given to your partner.

I’ve been working on the quilt for a little while now.  One night when I couldn’t sleep I finished sketching the design I wanted to use.  It is a basic design, but it did take a bit to figure out how all the pieces would fit together.   When we found out we were having a baby and she would be due in June I was a little concerned with the commitment I had made to complete my partner’s project.   I know my partner would totally understand if I didn’t make the deadline, but I just didn’t want to have that happen.  The worst thing that will happen is that I won’t be able to be the one to deliver it to her.

Since I wanted to ensure that I had it complete for the June reveal I made it one of my first priorities – after all it was being made for someone else.

I love how it turned out.  I call it “On the Plus Side” but I can’t show it to you yet.  But I will show you the back of the quilt.

My partner included this mustard colored fabric that I used as the backing – as you can see.  Her cookie cutter was a little hippo that I had to somehow use in the quilt.  I used a wavy quilting pattern that Bijou Lovely did a tutorial on and when I would look on the back I often thought it looked like rolling hills.  So I appliqued the little hippo on the back to wander over the rolling hills.

I really like the back and really like how the wavy quilting turned out.  I will definitely have to try this quilting pattern again.


Filed under Everyday Life, Flying Needles Quilt Guild, Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting