Monday, December 26, 2016

Quilt Dog!

How could I resist!?

Our dog, River, is such a gentle dog who loves nothing better than  to be with us, leaning on us and cuddling.  She wants to be included in everything - including my quilts!

When I lay fabric out on the floor she lays on it.  And if a quilt is on the floor she goes to sleep on it LOL!

This Christmas I have been sick with Bronchitis and I have spent quite a bit of time in front of the small gas fireplace in my sewing room to rest.  River loves to snuggle right beside me.  Well, a few Christmases ago I made the rag quilt that is on the floor and I made a small companion one from various leftovers.  River has decide that she absolutely loves the little leftover blanket ever since I draped it over her on Christmas eve - she snuggled under that blanket for over two hours before she got up!!

 

And there I sit, in front of the little fireplace with my quilt and River with hers. Dogs this size supposedly don't like being under blankets right??  Anyways, the quilt is now hers - how could I resist!!??

Saturday, December 24, 2016

First in a Series!

Hi all!

I hope that you are all enjoying the Holiday Season!  Me?  Somehow I ended up with Bronchitis and haven't been able to do much :-(  Oh well - what isn't done, isn't done I suppose!

I have been able to get a few things done around the house though and I have only left the house once in the last week!

One thing I have done is play with my new Accuquilt Studio Bear dies!!  So much fun!  This is a set of dies that I have never seen posted about before (I mightn't have seen the posts though!) so I was excited to get them and started to play.  There are three sizes of bear dies.  I got the Jumbo and the Small but I might just have to order the Large as well! I have ordered a few more dies that I will post about once they are in my hands ;-)
 
 

I had this idea to make a series of wildlife pillows for the cottage and home.  Well yesterday I cut out the first one; and, I am in LOVE with the way that it turned out!  It feels so wonderful - so warm, so outdoors.  It's also perfect for the winter season at home!


This one is made from 100% wool fabric and appliqued with a blanket stitch.  I have some ideas to improve the pillows:  make them less expensive to make and more tactile.  I am pleased with this first one though!!

What do you think?  Any thoughts??

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Scraps

Hi all!  I hope that you are enjoying the days leading up to Christmas :-)

I needed to get to work on my Christmas fabric postcards so I pulled out my bin of Christmas scraps and this is what I found.

 

Left-over border pieces, a million 2" squares, tumblers, a left-over block and a lot of half square triangles.  WOW!  That's a lot of stuff! I looked through and found several 16-patch leaders and enders blocks and decided to make a simple postcard this year - just piecing.

 

I layered the piecing onto Timtex and loaded it onto my frame to machine quilt.  It didn't work too badly; but, it definitely isn't my favorite stuff to quilt on the frame!  I used a 40 weight Glide thread in Sand colour - a go to thread for me!

Now I need to cut them apart and put on the backing fabric and edge them - oh and then I will address them all.  I hope to get them done and mailed before Christmas - sigh.

Every year I make the same promise to myself - I will start these cards earlier next year!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Finish for My Mom!

Hey all!!

I hope that you are staying warm in this extremely cold weather!!!  If you're having it LOL!

My Mom has been up visiting for the last week - yey!  Anyways,  I was going through my quilt closet getting out some UFO's to work on; and, she found this quilt top that I was given by my local quilt shop.  It was made using one of those fabrics that has a bunch of strips that you can cut apart to make your own Jelly Rolls.  Well, the Northcott rep had just done a trunk show and showed how to make a lone star quilt without piecing more than the rows using this fabric.  Well, this one wasn't very successful (it was extremely wavy and the points weren't sharp etc) and they were going to throw it out so I said that I would take it to cut up.  That was a few years ago. . .  I never did get around to cutting it up!

Needless to say - my Mom fell in love with it and asked me to quilt it!

 

I loaded it on the frame and ditched the star and put feathers in the black.  I had the quilting done in an evening and then started on the binding.  I got the waviness out of the quilt and it lays pretty straight now - yey.  The ditching in between the star pieces makes it look like it WAS actually pieced and it makes the quilt much flatter.

 

I have to say, now that the quilt is finished, I am surprised that I like it!  I really didn't like it to start with LOL!

Another quilt out of storage and on it's way to a new home tomorrow!  That makes; 2 charity lap quilts, 3 preemie quilts and a wall hanging finished and out of the house this week alone :-D  Now, if I can keep up this I should be able to get through my quilt closet!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Charity Quilts


 Hi all!

It is snowy and cold here today!  If you are experiencing snow where you are I hope that you are warm and safe :-)

I received a couple quilt tops from our local chapter of Victoria's Quilts to machine quilt.  I like to give back so this was a pleasure for me.  I loaded them together and machine quilted them using my Loricles grooved boards.  It's like doing a panto-graph only much easier.

 

 I used the Swirls board and a variegated YLI cotton thread called Egyptian Sands in 40wt.  I love this thread!  I have used almost an entire cone of this now since it seems to go across just about everything beautifully!

 

Here's a close-up of the design.  This pattern seems to work with just about everything as an edge to edge design.

I always like doing charity work; but, I have to confess - I am SO happy that these two quilts are done and out of the closet!!!  Now onto hand turning the binding on the quilt for my Mom and I get to load something for me onto the frame!!  Yey!  I was going to load a different quilt but - my thread hasn't come in the mail yet :'-(   Oh well - there are more quilts in the closet and I wanted to piece the backings for the next two quilts to go on the frame anyways!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Urban Abacus

Hi all!

I cannot believe that it is finally finished!!  

Urban Abacus (by Sew Kind of Wonderful) is finally finished!  The quilting is all pebbles and ribbon twists - you can see a closeup picture in the previous post.  The quilting took many many hours LOL!



I am in love with their rulers and with their patterns!  If you can believe it I have two more of their tops pieced and ready to quilt!  Which leads me to my next thing - my UFO closet!  I have GOT to get some quilts out of there!!

I have so many tops ready to quilt but I find myself getting overwhelmed; and, so I go and run away LOL!   So, starting now - I am going to slowly clear that closet.  I bought some thread (hopefully coming tomorrow) for two more of the quilts; and, then I need to get down to business.  2017 is going to be the year of finishes for me.  Finishes and using up as much as I can.  I have made some serious in-roads into the stash - which makes me happy - but now I need to finish things.

My Mom is visiting now and she found a quilt top (that was given to me to save it from the trash) and she asked if she could pay me to quilt it.  Of course not Mom!  I told her she could just have it.  So, I quilted it today and will get the binding onto it for her.  I will post a picture of that tomorrow ;-)


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Shopping - Or Not!

Hey all!

So, did any of you score any Black Friday quilty deals???  I was going to, but, then I had second, third and fourth thoughts!

I had my shopping cart filled out, and, ready to click check out; and, then, I turned around and looked at my very ample stash.  Those overflowing bins of fabric that I have been trying to deplete for a few years - sigh.

Next, I went into the next room where my quilt closet is.  You know, that area where you hang all your finished quilt tops that are ready to be quilted??  I do all my own quilting so I have hangers and hangers of quilt tops.  I also have stacks of wide-backs and a whole roll of batting all ready for these quilts.  Some of them I have even already prepared the binding for.  Some of these quilt tops have been hanging there for years.  Double sigh!!

I came back out into my quilt studio and saw a quilt that has been on my machine quilting frame for a VERY LONG time!!!!  Triple sigh!!!

 

So, I emptied my shopping cart - delete, delete, delete.  I walked over to my machine quilting frame and got to work.


 

I worked steadily through the last few rows of my Sew Kind of Wonderful, Urban Abacus, quilt and finished the quilting last night!!!  Wahoo!!!  I quilted this quilt in two colours of Fil Tech Glide thread.  The motifs are Ribbon Twist and Pebbling.  (I NEED to lay off the Pebbling for a while now LOL!)  The quilt is squared up, the hanging sleeve is attached, and, the binding is prepared.

I have to say, even though I wanted the fabric in my shopping cart, I didn't need any of it.  All it would have done is add to something that causes me stress!  I know that not everyone is like that but I am :-(  When I get stressed - I avoid.  And avoiding stresses me out.  So, I have decided to get going on what I have :-)  And frankly, I really like what I have to do!

The only thing that I will allow myself to purchase is any thread that I need and maybe backing fabrics ;-)  Sound fair??

Next up - two charity quilts that I can load together and probably finish today with a loose, easy  all over pattern.

Wahoo for renewed determination and purpose!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Scrappy Hourglass - Leaders and Enders

Hi all!

I hope that everyone is enjoying this amazing fall weather we have been having!  I decided to spend a little time at the cottage to take a break from my fitness classes.  I brought up a bunch of sewing and I found this Leaders and Enders project from back in 2013!!!   I had put it aside and tucked it under some scraps; but, I had a lot of it already finished.  Well, I brought it up to the cottage and layed it out on the floor.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had almost enough of it done for a quilt center!  I found the original post I made to get the lay-out and I sewed it together in an evening!

 

After sewing these rows together I realized that I need one more row on the top to complete the pattern; but, I am extremely happy with how it turned out :-D  I love the optical illusion created with the secondary star design.

I love the use of scraps and I love how much of the green and blue fabrics it used up.  I think that I might use one, or both, in the borders too.  I haven't decided yet.  Once the borders are on it will make a nice Queen sized quilt - perfect for the cottage! 

I have a new Leaders and Enders project in my mind now - I just have to figure out the last of the logistics ;-)

Any scrappy quilts planned in your future??

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Downton Abbey Quilt

Hi all!

I completely forgot that I didn't post the finished Downton Abbey quilt!  Whoops!

Sorry for the badly lit photo but this is right after we took it off the hand quilting frame.  This is Ebony Love's pattern and I am in LOVE with how this turned out.  The directions are wonderful and it went together like a dream!  I completely die cut this whole quilt so the piecing was so fast and accurate!


I made the quilt a little bigger by adding a border.  I used the fabric that was designated for the binding for the outer border so I subbed in a black Kona solid for a first border and binding.


I knew that I just HAD to use the castle fabric for the back; but, because I made the quilt a bit bigger I didn't quite have enough so I pieced some of the left-overs into a centre panel.    Using up scraps and using the castle fabric - win, win!

I used a silk batting in the quilt so it hand quilted like an absolute dream!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

A Fishy Baby Quilt

Hi all!

A while back I found out that a good friend of mine was expecting!  Once you hit a certain age the amount of baby quilts you get to make really decreases and I LOVE making baby quilts!

Well anyways, we both love green and blue and fish so when I saw the blue colourful fish flannel fabric I jumped on it!  Yep - I bought the backing before the top fabric.  A few weeks later I was in a quilt store and I found the fabrics for the top.  I went home and priced the top - just a nice simple one-patch, four-patch job.  The top was completely cut using my 4.5" strip die and the 2.5" strip die.  Easy peasy! 

The day after I finished the top we got word that my friend had her baby and she had a little boy!  Wahoo!  Better get this quilted!

I popped the quilt on the frame and used an edge to edge clamshell pattern - I thought that it would give the illusion of fish scales :-D


The quilt came off the frame and I had enough backing fabric left over for a matching pillow case either for Momma of for the baby for later!


The project is all done and ready to be popped in the mail to go to British Columbia to it's new home. Oh how I love to make baby quilts!  They are so bright and cheerful and fun!

Maybe it's time to make some more preemie quilts?



And yes the blue quilt is back on the frame and not coming off until it is finished!  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pillow Progress

Hi all!

I am so happy to show you the amount of progress I have made on the pillow covers!  Yep!  They are all bound and the binding has been hand turned to the back.  My fingers have holes in them from doing this work but I am so happy with the smooth effect!


I did a lot of this work while we were at the cottage over Christmas.  Well, sort of LOL!

The tumbler blocks were mainly cut while I demoed the Accuquilt Go! over the years.  When you demo a lot you end up cutting a LOT of blocks that, maybe, you don't have a really clear purpose for. So - 4 years after these were cut I got the idea to make pillow covers.  What a great joy to use them!!

We also got snowed in over Christmas for a day.  Getting snowed in at a cottage (where you have extremely limited sewing supplies means that you have to improvise.

So, I dug into the little bits of fabric I had hanging around.


I happened to have a few odd scraps of a Kate Spain line and made up these two additional pillow covers.  They are just random; but, again, it sure was nice to use up these random left-overs.  Luckily I was able to get the last of a bolt end, in this line, out of the 50% off bin to use for the backings and bindings.

So, now these are in a bin of things to be taken to the cottage ready to find their new homes!

With the price of fabric climbing here in Canada I think you're going to see me doing a lot more with my stash and scraps - I mean why not?  It sure feels good to use it up and get it out of the bins!

Are you working on anything special today?

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Pillow Progress

Hi all!

I made some more progress on the pillows!

After I un-racked the Tumbler pillow quilt, that I finished quilting yesterday, I had to take a deep breath in to cut it into chunks.  Let me tell you I was honestly a little nervous!  As a quilt, it all looked pretty good!  But, I didn't want a quilt - I wanted pillow covers!!  So, I forged ahead.


I cut the quilt into 17" squares - the pillows are 16" finished so I figured that would give me enough excess to play with and perhaps bind the pillows instead of just flipping them - I haven't decided yet.


I think these pillows are going to look pretty darn cool!  I LOVE it cut up!!  I purchased some shot cottons from the same line out of the 50% off bin in the summer so these will become the backings for the pillow coverings.  But look at all the left-over pieces - that I didn't like.  It seemed like quite a bit of waste to me - an you know how I hate waste like that!  These pieces were off the sides and top of the quilt and it was quite a bit of quilted fabric!

Hmmm, what to do with the waste?  I cut the side pieces into 17" chunks.  The bigger pieces were already in 17" pieces.


I decided to use the quilt as you go technique from Crazy Shortcut Quilts and sew the quilted pieces together using a white sashing!  I now have enough for two more pillow covers - woohoo!!  I actually like the look of the white, negative space, in with all of the colour.   If I had measured first I would have seen that I didn't need to put the middle part in - that will just be cut off anyways; but, hey!  Two more pillow cases will be created an a lot less waste!  

Although, It kind of looks neat as a whole - but - I don't need more table runners either - I need pillow coverings LOL!  Sometimes you just need to think outside the box :-D

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Pillow Projects

Hi all!

I worked hard over the Christmas break this year.  Why?  Because we were up at the cottage and I had the time to get some things done that I have been wanting to do forever!

One of the things I have been wanting to work on are some pillow covers for the cottage.  You see, the pillows in the cottage are in great shape - but - they are all neutrals!  In other words they all beiges and browns and we want to funk the place up a bit!

One project I have been wanting to make ever since I got the book Contemporary Curved Quilts is the Crazy Eights Pillow using the Quick Curve Ruler.  I brought up the ruler and Christmas fabric and cut it out.  I just love the ruler and their method!!  If you haven't checked it out you really should!


I liked it right from the get go!!  Then again, I am a sucker for Christmas prints!!


I made two so that we could have pillow shams to top the Christmas quilts.

I made a couple of other scrap pillow covers from some bits and pieces that were left in the bin that I brought (lucky for me because we got snowed in that day and I couldn't get to the local fabric store until the next day!!).


I also finished putting together the tumbler blocks I cut out a few years ago when I was demonstrating the Accuquilt Go!  That's the thing about demonstrating - you always have lots of blocks cut out; and, they don't always have a defined purpose!  Well, I decided to put all of these together into a top and quilt it.  

I will CUT these all apart into pillow tops :-o  I figured that it was easier to quilt it all as a top rather than do each individual pillow.  I will post more on my progress later.


The quilting is finished on all of the pillow tops now!!  I just used a wide-back muslin so that I could load it onto my frame.

I love that way that everything looks quilted and I will post more as I progress with the projects.  I haven't tried cutting apart a quilt before so this should be interesting as I take that big deep breath and slice!

Wish me luck!