Sunday, December 31, 2006


Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. I've been taking a bit of a break over the holidays. I hope that all of your holidays were wonderful and filled with happiness. I know that our holidays were wonderful. The boys were thrilled with their gifts and that their Granny was there to spend the holidays with them again.

I found a new to me Vid Cast by Bonnie McCaffery. She does wonderful work with fibers and with her digitized bobbin work called DigiBobbE where you put decorative threads in the bobbin and do the surface embellishment up-side-down. You need to have a separate bobin so that you can play with the bobbin tension since you are putting some pretty thick threads in there. Since the threads don't have to go through the needle you can put whatever you want in the bobbin.

Well I was very inspired by a picture of some jeans that she embellished using DigiBobbE, and since I own two of her DigiBobbE sets, I decided to take a pair of my jeans and give it a try.

Here is the embellished leg. I have always wanted to do this but I have never had the nerve to do it yet :) Jenny Haskins does this all the time and I have always been tempted.

I unpicked the stitches up the inside of one of the legs and spread out the opened leg. Then I hooped the fabric and embroidered up-side-down. It's kind of exciting to not be able to really see what is going on :)
Here is the DigiBobbE embroidery that I did on the back pocket. Yes I embroidered over the edge of the back pocket. I really don't use my back pocket anyways; however, you can take the pocket right off and put an embroidery on the pocket then sew the pocket back on. I liked the idea of the embroidery wrapping around the pocket so I left the pocket on. These embroideries are very quick to run since they are just line drawings.

Hooping the back pocket was a bit challenging but I think that it was worth it.

Here is a picture of the front pocket. Hooping this was a little bit more difficult but I just love the way that it looks.

These were an old pair of jeans that I didn't really care if they ended up in the garbage but now I think that they might be my new favorite pair.

You can also do bobbin work without an embroidery machine. You can do this free-motion or using a preprinted pattern. Bonnie McCaffery does really nice demo on DigiBobbE that I really recommend that you watch if you are interested.

So what do you think? If you have any questions please feel free to post them here and I will try my best to answer them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Free Standing Lace Ornaments and Yummy New Fabric

I am STILL finishing Christmas gifts!! When will I learn??

This is a picture of the Free Standing Lace (FSL) ornaments that I am making for my boys' teachers. I hope that they like them :) They are from Embroidery Library and they are the 3D Lace collection. Very nice don't you think?? They take a couple of hours to run on full speed each and I use a cotton pre-wound bobbin for both the top and the bottom thread so that they have a nice delicate look to them. I use Ultra Solvy as a stabilizer for them and I have never run into any problems.
I just had to show you a picture of the wonderful Hoffman pointsettia fabric that I got from my LQS at 50% off! I am such a sucker for Christmas prints and this one has everything that I like :) It's a nice bright red print with green and gold metallic so what's not t like?? I got 4 meters so that I could do lengthwise borders and put some in the blocks as well. It's not like I "need" another Christmas quilt but if one just started to appear out of my sewing machine I wouldn't be upset :) I mean really the guest bed needs one too doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Good mail day and pin cushions

Sorry for not posting for a bit. I have been crazily sewing for Christmas. I think that all quilters get a little bit bogged down by all the sewing near Christmas. Every year I promise that I am going to start earlier and not have any sewing to do by the end of Decemeber and every year I scramble to finish "just one more little project gift." Someday I will learn. My promise for next season is to have all my fabric postcard Christmas cards finished by Novemeber and mailed out by the end of Novemeber of the very beginning of December. I'm not sure if I can keep this promise though :)

I had a great mail day today! Look!! I got my Electric Quilt 6 upgrade software. I am really excited by this! Even though I don't use EQ as much as I should I know that I want to design more of my own quilts so when the upgrade became available I I just had to get it.

I also got the postcard stamps I posted about previously. I first saw it on Jeri's blog and she was kind enough to share with me where she got her's from. I received mine from Puzzle Postcards and More via their Ebay store. It is a Victorine Orginals stamp and you can get it from their site as well (for a couple of $$ more). They look really nice and I can't wait to use them; although, I am a complete stamping newbie LOL!
I've also been making some pincushions for some small gifts. Joyce was kind enough to post the pattern on her blog and they work up really nicely. I've only had mine for a couple of days now (it's the one with the scissors sticking out of it) and I LOVE it for hand sewing in front of the TV (ie binding) because it holds your thread, clips and thimble all neat and tidy and it has a little pincushion on top. I think that a few of my sewing friends will enjoy receiving these for holiday gifts. So thank you so much for the great directions Joyce!

As an aside - Joyce made a great sweatshirt jacket from my instructions so if you want to see a spectacular jacket go check out her blog.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Last of the Postcards

Well here they are. The last of the postcards that I am going to send out this year. I really like the way that they turned out :) These ones are all in blues except for the bear card that I sent out to my Mom. She likes bears a lot so I thought that this would be a good card to send her.

I ordered a postcard stamp for the backs of the cards from ebay. You can see it here if you want. I haven't received it yet but it looks nice and other than that I don't know anything more about it :)

I hope that all these cards get through the mail okay :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Creative Frenzy and Christmas Fabric Postcards

I had so much fun today with this! I am making fabric postcard Christmas cards to send to our friends and family. You can see a picture of my creative frenzy here. Well, actually, I did clean it up a bit because it really did look pretty messy.

You can see my thread leftovers from machine quilting and embroidery. I save these in my zip-lock bags for future projects along with any snippets of batiks and hand dyed fabrics (anything that looks good on both sides). You can also see my various embellishments like yarn and confetti.

Here's a closeup of the cards. Here's how I did them.
1. I fused a piece of fabric onto Timtex
2. I layed various thread bits and little bits of Christmas fabrics on top.
3. When I was pleased with how it looked I layed some confetti on top. I put some snowflakes, stars and circles on top. You can get these at party stores where they are sold as table decorations..
4. I put a piece of tulle (I used green here) over top to hold everything down.
5. Machine quilt in a random pattern with invisible thread on the top. This is just to hold everything down. I even quilted over the confetti to hold them down and it wasn't a problem.
6. Cut this to 4" x 6" for postcard size.
7. Fuse a piece of muslin onto the back the same size.
8. I zigzag stitched around the edges to seal it all in but there are ther finishing methods.
9. Then I went around the edge again with a loose zigzag to put the finishing fluffy yarn around the edge.
10. Write your address etc on the back and you are finished :)

I hope that you all enjoyed seeing my cards :)

Now if I can just get another 15-25 of these done . . . and mailed out . .

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fabric Postcards

Thank you all for all your nice comments about my last jacket. I like how it turned out too.

Here's a picture of a couple of fabric postcards that I finished today. The first one is from a paper peiced cat block that I made about 5 years ago and didn't have anything to do with it. I added some borders and put some funky trim around the edge. I know that it's not Halloween anymore but I really like how it turned out. I have another little cat leftover so I'll have to think of another idea for it.

The second card used some oriental scraps up. It's almost too nice to send out :) Both cards are quilted in gold metallic thread.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The completed jacket experiment

Well, here it is the completed jacket experiment. This jacket actually turned out a lot better than I thought it would I must admit :)

What do you think??

I did the cuffs again like I did on my Christmas jacket. You can see the method here. As per my husband's advice I added an oriental style collar to the jacket. I lined the collar with interfacing but I think that I should have put some batting in it so that the thickness would be the same as the jacket.

I really like the way that the red flows across the jacket so well and how the sleeves are incorporated into the overall design. I also like the way that the two sides of the front are joined together. I quilted it in red cotton thread in a whatever I felt like doing sort of pattern :) I like quilting that way a lot. I do a few waves, some flames, some spirals maybe some bursts etc and it is done. Since I wasn't sure if I would actually like the jacket :) I just let loose and did what I felt like.

Here's how I did this one. I opened up the sweatshirt only under the arms and left the sleeves on. I spray basted the sweatshirt to the jacket using 505 Spray baste and then I cut away the ecess fabric under the arms. Then I turned it over and quilted it. I have to say that quilting the jacket was more difficult this way since I had the huge seams on the arms to try and quilt over. This was a huge drawback of doing this method. Another drawback is how much of the quilt top got cut away and wasted; however, if you have a top that is already made like I had it is a great way to use it up.

Here's a closeup of the neck hole in the sweatshirt. This was also hard to manouver since I had to bunch it up a bit and pin it down to keep it from shifting. I wanted the neck to be right in the centre of the red spiral and it gave the jacket a neat effect.

After I finished quilting the jacket I trimmed away the excess fabric, cut up the centre of the front, cut off the ribbing at the neck and sewed up the seams under the arms.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way that it turned out and I think that for a $0.50 purchase at a yard sale it's pretty nice. I think that it would be really funny to be walking down the street wearing it one day and have someone stop me and say "Hey that's my quilt!!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another Makower Advent Calendar and Blog Thing

Here is a picture of the first Makower Advent Calendar that I made. You can see the second one here. I love the Makower calendars and I love being able to put my own stuff in the calendars instead of putting chocolate or candy in them. You can put ornaments or things like that in them as well. My boys just love them.

Now all that said I have a confession to make . . . I bought the boys different advent calendars this year. I bought these really neat Playmobil advent calendars from our local toy shop. The advent calendar is a cardboard wallhanging that has boxes on it that contain small pieces to the set. Each day they get another small toy that goes into a cardboard scene. On the 24th they get the Santa that completes the scene. They have been loving it and to be honest it really wasn't more expensive then filling my own calendar. I figured that they won't be this age for much longer when a small Playmobil cat with just excite them so much. Hey maybe this could be MY advent calendar and everyday I could get say. . . a pack of needles, or a spool of thread or a small sewing tool??!! What do you think? The only problem is that I would probably have to fill it myself :) Oh well.

Here is another funny blog thing that I thought was pretty cute :)

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm making it!

Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments about turning the quilt top into a jacket. I'm making it now. It's almost done but I am going to wait until the binding is finished to post a picture. So far this method has some pluses and minuses that I will go over in my next post. I don't think that this will be a favourite jacket of mine but you never know it just might :)

I'll keep you posted. And again thanks for all the encouragement.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Garage Sale Find and Possible Sweatshirt Jacket

I am glad that you enjoyed the tour of my sewing room :) And, thank you for all your nice compliments. I am very lucky to have such a big bright room dedicated to my sewing. Now if I could just get it painted I will be really happy :)
A few years ago at a yard sale I found this incomplete quilt top. Well, I hate seeing something like this get tossed in the garbage and I thought that it might have some potential so I bought it for $o.50. The woman thought that I was nuts :) I think that she was selling someone elses stuff. I had no idea what I was going to do with it at the time but I figured that someday I would do something with it. Well yesterday I got the idea that this might make a pretty cool sweatshirt jacket. What do you think? Instead of completely cutting the jacket apart for this one I will just slit the sweatshirt under the arms to open it up and lay the quilt top on top and quilt it. It might just work. I think that I will put the neck hole right about in the center of the red in the middle and put the arms along a red line each. I have a black sweatshirt that I love that got some bleach on one of the arms so it would be a good candidate for this jacket. That way if it doesn't work out I would be out a lot of $$$ for this experiment. Anyways, am I nuts for even considering this or is it a good idea? I think that I need some validation here :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Newly rearranged sewing room

I thought that I would post some pictures of my newly organzied sewing room since I finally rearranged it and took out most of the kid's toys. I basically stood in the center of the room and turned around to take the pictures. I hope that you enjoy the tour :)

My computer area. From here I can easily connect my sewing machine to the computer via a long serial cord. I can also listen to podcasts or music from the computer while I sew.

The quilt over top of the computer is from a Kona Bay pattern that was on their web site for a while. It is made from Robert Kaufman Imperial Garden fabrics though :) You can also see the 4 machine embroideries that I did. Two are from the Pfaff Asia card and the others are two Chinese words "Earth" and "Eternity." I know, in retrospect I should have done Japanese words :)

This is a picture of my cutting table and large cutting mat and half of my fabric stash. The other half is located facing the other side but still under the table. The three drawer gracious living cabinets fit really nicely under the table and I can sort my fabric by colour very easily and also by kid's prints, novelty, batik etc.

Here is my book shelf and storage area. You can also see my cutting board and hoop storage area on the left along with my magazines on top and scrap heap on the right. Can you believe that this is actually much more organzied than it was :) I also store various products on this shelf like 505 Quilt spray baste and Quilt Glide. The bins on the bottom contain quilts in progress or various bits and pieces.

Here is my three rail Hinterburg hand-quilting frame. This also ends up being used the lay blocks on and quilt tops on while I audition threads or quilting patterns or lay-outs etc. It also ends up being a nice storage area for completed projects like my new Christmas table runner.

There is also a picture of my two Pineneedles complete arrangements. It's quite nice to sit under these two scenes and hand quilt. I have a good light over the frame so that I can see at night easily.

Here is my big board ironing board. you can see my ruler organizer and large cutting mat as well. I don't think that I could live without such a large cutting mat now :) It is the easiest way to square up between boarders and after the quilting is finished.

I also love my big board ironing board. A friend's husband made the board for me and I covered it with batting and fabric. It is the only way that I can press quilt tops and yardage easily.

Here is my sewing machine in the cabinet that my husband made for me. We made it from the basic measurements for the Horn of America Quilter's Dream table. However, I wanted some changes. I didn't want the area on the left side to be removable so we cut one large piece so that is is nice and stable. My thread storage is under this area in another cabinet.

We added an air lift and plexiglass insert from Horn of America. I ordered these from my LQS that sells Horn products. They were very easy to add onto the table and work wonderfully.

Here is my dress form with my new Christmas jacket on it. I usually have something hanging on this even if it's not a work in progress just because I like how it dresses up the dress form.

You can also see my speakers and ipod set up there. I can listen to music off my ipod or books on CD etc from this set up.

Here is my couch and with it you can see the last of the kid's toys!! We let them keep the train table in here since the trains can easily be put away and covered up.

You can also see a picture of one of my dogs, Chi, in this picture. I call her "Chi the quilt destroyer" since she chewed up a baby quilt that I was just about to give away when she was a puppy and one of my Roman shades (by accident). You can read the whole story here. Don't worry I still love her lots :)

Here is my treadmill right by the TV and computer and in plain view so that I actually use it LOL! :) I like working out on it at home since I can watch TV, listen to music or podcast or books on CD while I am working out :) I can get 20 minutes to 35 minutes on it without any fuss. When it is in my quilting room as well it reminds me not to sit at the sewing machine all day and actually get up and do something else :)

Well I hope that you enjoyed the tour! This will not be the last rearrangement of this room I am sure but hopefully this one will last for a while :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

A bit more on yo yo's

I just found this link from the blog that I posted about yesterday The Di Mill blog. This link is from Clotides Sewing Savy Magazine and it is a free pattern for a yo yo Christmas tree wall hanging and it is tooooo cute.

The wallhaning would be way easier with the Clover yo yo tool that's for sure. I think that I am going to have get one of these because ideas are just running through my head. That and the fact that it is a new gizmo and I love tools. And I love rulers too :) There are so many out there and all of them have a purpose.

Looking at different sites about yo yo quilts has also been a real eye opener. I found this site from the Alaska State museum that has some great information on it and considerations for using yo yo's in wearable pieces. I also found the Sunshine Creations blog where she shows you how to make a yo yo friend.

There is also great instructions on the Heather Bailey Blog here on how to make yo yo's the traditional way.

I also found this great blogpost on using yo yo's on a scarf here it is Anna Maria Horner's blog and I absolutely love the colours that she uses.

Why do I have this great excitment at the idea of making yo yo's; well, here is a picture of my scrap heap. I am very proud of how much less fabric is in this heap than even a year ago but I would really like to get this down a bunch more. I know that a lot of you are probably saying "That's nothing" but keep in mind that I have separated out all my UFO's from this and I have been actively working on decreasing this. I have pulled probably 75 preemie quilts out of this pile as well as my scrap tablerunners and scrap sweatshirt jackets. I feel very sucessful using stuff up and "making something from nothing." Now I look at this pile and I see a whole big bunch of yo yo's just waiting to happen.

I am also going to join an online group that works on completing UFO's for 2007. Now I just need to catalogue all of mine and get down to work.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Not too much going on today and Yo Yo's

Hi all! I haven't been doing too much quilting for the past few days. Well, for myself anyways. I machine quilted a quilt for a friend and that went really nicely. She was very pleased :)

I also made a couple of big batches of soap. I haven't made soap for a very long time so it was great to make some again. I want to get one more batch made so that I can give out sets of three soaps to our friends for Christmas. It will be unexpected since I haven't done this for a while now. A friend came over to make soap with me so that she could learn how. We had a good time.

There is a new gaget out that I really want :) It is the Clover Yo Yo Maker. I love the look of yo yo's but I never wanted to make them the traditional way. Here is the Di Mill blog that shows the tool and some projects. Pretty nifty huh? I've always wanted to make a yo yo garlan for my Christmas tree. Wouldn't that be pretty? You could just keep on adding to it and even if you weren't finished you could still hang it on the tree. The nice thing about the yo yos it that it would be nice and portable to take in the car etc. Oh yet another project that I would like to do :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Finished Jacket

I hope that you all like the sweatshirt jacket post?? If you have any questions or comments about it please feel free to post them here and I will try to answer them.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished jacket with the binding turned to the back. I really like the way that this jacket fits and it is so cozy and warm. Perfect for wearing around the house over Christmas and New Years. I love that you can throw these jackets on with jeans or with nice dressy pants.

Here is the back of the jacket. I combined the elements from both sides of the front and the sleeves on the back of the jacket in strips. I think that it is neat how the back looks like I have a sash on. The decorative stitches olong the sashing strips really blurs the lines of the strips so that they seem a little more integrated into the jacket body.

I cut the sleeves too short so I had to add cuffs onto the sleeves to increase the length of them by a couple of inches. It was actually easier to add a cuff than add the binding :) To make the cuff I just figured out how much longer I wanted the sleeves added a 1/4" for seam allowance and added and inch so that I could turn them up. Then I doubled this measurement so that I could make the sleeves lined. To figure out the width that I would need I measured the jacket sleeve already sewn and added 1/2" for seam allowance. My Pieces ended up being 7.5" x 10 3/4". I cut this and sewed the two 7.5" sides together right sides together. You now have a tube. Turn it right side out and press. Fold the tube back in on itself with the wrong sides together so that you still have a tube with the two 10 3/4" raw edges together. Sew this onto the end of the sleeve and press. Voila you have a cuff that you can turn up. You could also line this with some batting and quilt it if you desired. I did it this way so that I wouldn't have any raw edges showing when I turned up the cuff.

If any of this isn't clear please let me know and I will try to fix it up a bit.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Constructing a Sweatshirt Jacket.

Okay! Finally here is the sweatshirt jacket post :) I hope that you all like it.

You can see a picture of my Halloween Jacket here and my scrap jacket here if you'd like to see my other ones.

First of all choose a sweatshirt that is one size too big for you with set in sleeves not “raglan” sleeves. Some people don't like to pre-wash their sweatshirts before they use them; but, this is a matter of personally preference to me. If I am making a seasonal jacket that I will only wear a couple of times a year then I will even use an older sweatshirts that is in great condition. I seem to end up with a bunch or size LG sweatshirts when I take a medium :)

Turn the sweatshirt inside-out and cut off the bottom ribbing and the ribbing around the sleeves but leave the ribbing at the neck.. Next cut the sweatshirt apart at the seams. You will now have two sleeves a front and a back. Measure the width of the front and find the center. Draw a line down the center with a chalk pencil that you will be able to see and cut the front in half along that line. You have now just cut the two front pieces for your jacket. You can see the individual pieces in the photo.

Now you will need to “make” fabric somehow to cover the individual pieces. Here I am using scraps from my Christmas Scrap Quilt and from my Christmas Table-runner to form fabric that will cover the pieces. Some of it is already pieced and some of it is in the audition phase here. You can also use the sweatshirt as a foundation and do the stitch and flip method (like crazy quilting) to cover the sweatshirt base. There really is no wrong method here :) Just cover the sweatshirt base.

Do the same thing to all pieces. Don't worry about the excess overhanging. We will trim that later.

I always like to pin the pieces to my dress form to make sure that I like the effect that the jacket is going to have. If you don't like something now is the time to change it.

Next machine quilt the pieces. I've used a combination of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine and free motion quilting on this jacket. I wanted to quilt it so that it resembled the Christmas Quilt.

After the quilting is finished trim away the excess fabric so that the top matches the sweatshirt base.

Now is the time to cut away the ribbing at the neck. If you cut it away earlier the neck of your jacket will be all stretched out as this is all bias.

Sew the sweatshirt back together starting with the seams on the shoulders. Next pin and sew the sleeves back on. Your jacket should now look something like the photo in form.

Sew down the arm to finish the construction. Now try on the jacket and make sure that it fits. Sometimes you really have to take the jacket in around the waist to keep it from bagging out. Once you are happy with the fit overcast the seams using with your sewing machine or a serger.

Now make a 2” cut bias binding and bind the jacket edge and around the cuffs. Turn the binding ot the back and Voila you're finished :) Some people leave excess fabric around the edges and just turn it to the back but I like the effect of a binding better personally.

I'll post a picture or two of the finished jacket once I finish turning the binding to the back :)

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here and I will try to answer them :) I hope that you all enjoyed the post.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Quilt Guild Bingo Cards

I've been working hard on my sweatshirt jacket and taking lots of pictures so that I can give you guys an explaination; but, I am not quite ready to do that yet :)

This month at our quilt guild it is our Christmas party (that's the other reason I want to get my Christams jacket finished). We are playing the Bingo game featured in the Fons and Porter magazine. I think from last month. These are the two cards that I made. You know it was a lot harder than I thought that it would be to pick out all the different colours with the correct theme. Well anyways I made two cards and maybe I'll win a prize. I must say though I really don't win very often at all so this would be a nice surprize. it should be fun and it's a nice idea to do at a guild meeting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Season in Time - Pineneedles

I realised that I never did share with you all a picture of my second Pineneedles complete arrangement :) It is called A Season in Time and it is by McKenna Ryan.

I personally call this quilt "Joe's Heaven" after my step-father who passed away over 10 years ago. He was an avid outdoors-man and just loved nature. When I finished the top of this quilt I stood back from it and said to myself "Oh wouldn't Joe have just been in heaven to be in this scene." Since then I have called it "Joe's Heaven" and I wouldn't part with this quilt for the world :)

You can see the first complete arrangement Petals From the Heart and my favorite tools and stuff here.

I also have all the patterns and a lot of fabric to do “Rhythm of the Sea.” I have some of the patterns traced and some of the fusing done but that is as far as I've gotten in it :) I am on a UFO kick right now so I think that finishing that quilt may be in my very near future. I find that these quilts take a while to collect all the fabric for and trace the patterns. Once you get a couple of blocks done though you pick up momentum and I find that I jst can't leave it alone until it is finished. I am hoping that this is what will happen to me again :)

I have been working on my Christmas Sweatshirt Jacket and working on a post to explain my method of doing them. Hopefully I will get that finished in the next few days.

As always, if you have any comments or sujestion please feel free to post them here and I will try to answer them :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scrap tablerunner top

Hey Blogger likes me today!! Yey!!

I've been trying for three days to upload these pictures and it just wouldn't let me :)

Here is a picture of a scrap tablerunner top that I made, I am very proud to say, 100% out of my scrap heap. These are totally left-over blocks and fabrics. I had these left-overs from my pieced roman shades that I did for my quilting room. I had left over strips from the log cabin blocks that I pieced together to make the little pieced border. The blocks were left-over blocks that I had no idea what to do with so I just kept them around. Even the background and border fabrics are from left-overs. I didn't make it from any pattern i just had a certain amount of fabric and a certain amount of blocks and went from there.

I find this tablerunner really neat since it feels so Egyptian to me with the sandy colours and the dark blues. It's interesting since the root of quilting can be linked to ancient Egypt. Here's a Wiki post that mentions this if you're interested.

You can see a bit of the remaining fabric pieces that I have left-over under the tablerunner top. I'm thinking of just throwing that out. What do you think? :) Am I allowed? I think that I may deserve to throw this bit out after piecing together all those skinny strips :)
Here is a picture of my large pieced roman shade that covers the patio door in my quilting room. you can see my parrot, Virgil's, cage on the right.

The method is from Terrell Sunderman's book Pieced Roman Shades. I have covered all but 3 of the windows in my house using this method and I really like it. Here is Terrell's website Terrell Designs. Her website is great and has a lot of great information on it about the shades and also about the hardware.

This is one of two Roman shades that go with the large shade in my quilting room. I just love the "feel" of these shades. I love the high contrast between the colours and the look they give to my room.

The other twin to this shade has been ruined a bit :) During the hot summer months here two summers ago my husband decided that he would leave the window open but put the shade down so that we could have the breeze but avoid the heat of the sun. Well they were right outside this window with my neighbours dog. One of my dogs were inside going a little bit crazy beacause she wanted to go outside and see everyone. She jumped up to try and get under the shade to see out. She caught her tooth on the shade and pulled down. Yes it ripped horribly. I had to repair the shade as best I could; but, it still doesn't lay as flat as it did. I had only a really small amount of the background fabric left but I made it work. Luckily I had some extra blocks left-over so I could rip the bottom log cabin out and put in a different one. I repaired the ripped one for the tablerunner. Needless to say, my dog felt sooooo bad that she went and hid under the table and was really overly-submissive for days. Poor girl. I felt bad because she honestly didn't mean to do it.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you have extra stuff left-over from a project don't be so quick to get rid of it beacause you never know when it might just come in really handy :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How I keep my top thread continious while changing bobbins

Hi all;
Well here is the post that I talked about doing in my last blog post. This is how I keep my top thread in one solid piece while I change my bobbin thread.

First of all you need to have many bobbins already wound before you start to quilt. Also, I have a sewing machine with a front load bobbin not a top loading. To change the bobbin on a top loading machine you need to remove the quilt from the machine and I want to change my bobbin without doing that and breaking the top thread. I know that there are some machines that you can wind the bobbin through the needle but you still need to break the top thread to do it.
If you are blessed with a sewing machine that has a low bobbin sensor you get a pretty fair warning of when your bobbin is about to run out. If you do get yourself into a place that it unobvious in your quilt. You can see here that I stopped right where the thread doubles up in the feather quilting. If you can, lock off your stitches with several short stitches. When you run out of bobbin thread keep you quilt where it is on the machine but give yourself a little bit of slack on the top thread. Your needle needs to be in the up position.

Remove your bobbin case from the machine. Pull the excess bobbin thread to the top of your quilt to get it out of the way and so that it won't make a nest on the back of your quilt. You can see here that I use my stiletto to pick up the thread loop from the top.

At this point put in your new bobbin.

Hold on to the old bobbin thread. Find where you left off your stitches and make sure that there isn't any slack on the top thread. Take one complete stitch to loop your top thread with your new bobbin thread. Now, still holding on to the old bobbin thread, use your stiletto again to pull the new bobbin thread tail to the top. This may take a couple of tries.

You can see here that I now have both bobbin thread tails in my hand. I carefully find where I left off my stitching and go back a couple of stitches. Now lock off your stitches again by doing a series of very small running stitches. Stop in a bit and trim the two tails. You now have a seamless line of quilting without any nests on the underside and without any visible stops and starts on the top or bottom.

Sorry these pictures are so bad :( It was hard to take these pictures by myself but I hope that they help to explain my method. I may not be the only one that does it this way but it works for me :)

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Yoga mat bag UFO's

I finished two more UFO's today!! These two yoga mat bags are two bags that I made quite a while ago for two friends. You can see the original post here it's from April :) Well I found a better pattern than the one that I made up since then; it is the "Purses Bags & Totes" pattern by Cindy Taylor Oates (you can see the original bag I did here) and my two friends decided that they would rather have the new style of bag since it accomidates the thicker mats much easier. I got the pattern from SewThankful and I was really happy with their service. I made some changes to the pattern (of course) instead of quilting the fabric and using a batting I simply lined it with a nylon windbreaker type material and I kept the handle as one long joined piece instead of separating it in two. I like the effect this way. I also put a two-way zipper in the bags for easier opening.

I ripped apart their original bags and pieced these two together today finally :) I was able to keep the original embroideries on the bottoms. I really had to be careful about the fabrics since I only had a limited amount of these fabrics. Something about having to rip apart completed projects really unmotivates me to finish them again; but, this time I was ridiculous :( I've had these bags ready to go for months now :( I actually feel bad that it took me this long to get to them. The bags took me about 1 1/2 hours each to totally finish so Marja and Lysa you'd better love them :) Well, at least I hope that you do anyways :)

Other than that I have been machine quilting a quilt for a woman :) I hope that she likes it :)

Thank you all for your really nice comments about winning the District Championship :) I think that it has finally registered that I won. The judges comments were that: my colour choices were really good, my piecing lines were straight, I didn't have any crossed loops, my machine quilting was good without any tension problems, and, you couldn't tell where my starts and stops of my machine quilting were. I have a way of changing my bobbin thread so that my top thread never breaks while I am quilting an over-all pattern that I am going to share in a future blog. This is probably obvious to most of you but I found this out through trial and error :) I think that the no crossed loops means that my quilting lines did not cross but I may be wrong.
Again if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

I love Halloween! I think that it is a great holiday. And I LOVE the colours of Halloween. Orange and black are great together. My husband thinks that they are "rather garish" but I love them. I thought that I would share a few of my Halloween projects with you.

Here is my halloween tablerunner with a halloween fabric bowl. This is a great book with lots of fun projects. The tablerunner is a pattern that I came up with to use up some of the fat quarter bundles. The tablerunner is reversible and it has a fall pattern on the other side so that it does double duty. I love the halloween side but you can really only use it for a couple of weeks a year. I've started making all my seasonal tablerunners like this reversible if I can so that they can be used more on the table.

This is a Halloween wall hanging that I made a few years ago. It is a Nellie Holmes of "Originellie's" pattern that Northcott published to showcase their Halloween fabric line from a few years ago. I'm not sure if you can still get it but it is a great pattern. Here's a link to this years halloween fabrics by Northcott they are called "Harvest Moon 2006." They are very similar to what they did a few years ago and last year but very nice. If it's not broken don't fix it I suppose :) And here is a link to this years Halloween project by Northcott. It looks like another nice project and you could use up some serious scraps here if you have lots of halloween fabrcis already.

My kids just love looking at this wallhanging. We play "I Spy" with the various images on it. It is quilted very simply in the dtitch using a brassy gold rayon thread.

You can also see pictures of the two pumpkin quilts that I made for my son here in a previous blog post. He's very picky about his pumpkins. Thanks for the comment Hedgehog! I should give a Halloween pumpkin update for you guys (if you want to see the original story please click the above link). Yet again I made fresh pumpkin pie from the fresh pumpkins at the prodding of my youngest son. I made them with my youngest, pumpkin freak, son again. I made him promise to try the pie and . . . guess what. . . he tried the pie. . . and loved it!!! So I guess that the moral of this story is third time lucky!

My Halloween sweatshirt jacket is made from scraps from these two projects and a few others. Here's a link to the post to see pictures of the jacket if you want to see it.

I really hope that is stops raining today! So far it has been drizzling on and off and that will be really yucky weather to take the kids out in so I've got my fingers crossed for a few hours of dry weather.
Have a great Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Are UFO's like scraps? I have come to the conclusion that my UFO's are like my scrap heap. I think that they have babies when I am not looking. I found more UFO's in my scrap heap. I went through what I thought was everything earlier and separated out all the UFO's so that I could start going through them and finishing them up. I have actually made really good progress so far but yesterday I found my sweatshirt jacket that I started amoung a few others others. Many of you have asked for a longer blog on making the sweatshirt jackets and I did start my jacket. But, then, instead of leaving it out so that it was in view for me to work on it I put it away and so it got forgotten about for a while. Sorry about that :) Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that I am working on another jacket and a longer sweatshirt jacket post. I am trying something a little bit different, for me, with this jacket so it is taking a little bit longer to do this time. The other ones were scrap jackets so I think that I felt really comfortable just throwing fabric together and hoping for the best. When I plan the fabrics a little bit I feel that the piece deserves more time and thought. Does that make sense? There is something very freeing about working with scraps of fabric. Even though it was too good to throw away in the first place I feel very comfortable using them freely :)

What a long ramble!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I won the District Championship!!

I just got a phone call a few minutes ago that I won the District Championship for Machine Quilted Quilt!!!! I am sooooo excited. Now my quilt (picture here with the ribbons in the original post) will go down to Toronto in February for the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) convention and quilt competition. I got a phone call on Wednesday that my quilt would go to the District this weekend. I thought that it just went directly on to the provincial level but I was mistaken :) I was pretty bummed when I found this out because I thought that there would be no way that it would win at the District and that it wouldn't go to the provincial level etc. And it won!! So now I get another ribbon and the chance to have one of my quilts in a big competition. I am really thrilled to say the least.

I'll post a better picture of the quilt later but I thought that you might enjoy a close-up picture of the quilt. You can see some of the quilting that I did here as well. The waviness in the picture is actually the way that the quilt is hanging not the piecing :)

Again, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here and I'll try to answer them.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Repairing Baby Quilts and Hand Dyed Thread

Today I spent the afternoon reparing three little baby quilts that I made several years ago for a friend's three children. These quilts have just been loved so much and it makes me so happy to see that. They needed some of the seams repaired as the fabric was separating at the seam. In some of the corners the binding was starting to come apart so that needed to be repaired too. Lots of hand stitching, "Fray Check" and "Stitch Witchery" was involved here! I just love it when the baby quilts that I make get loved almost to death :)

It was also really interesting to see how much my quilting skills have improved over the years. The quilt in the middle was one of the first quilts I ever made. The quilt at the top was made 6 years ago and the bottom quilt was made 5 years ago. You can really see that I have actually learned a couple of things in the past few years :)

I am also going to sew hanging sleeves onto the backs of the quilts so that the quilts can be enjoyed even though the kid's won't be playing with them anymore. It kinda makes me sad that they won't be using them anymore but hanging them on a wall will definately preserve them for a few more years.

Last night, at our guild meeting, we had a a woman named Linda Palaisy as our guest speaker. She is wonderful at using her sewing machine and the built in stitches to do great works of art. She specializes in thread painting and free-motion designs. She has also won many international awards so her talk was very inspiring. Here's her web site. She also does great hand dyed fabric and wonderful hand dyed threads. I just couldn't resist picking up a few spools of her threads. The colours are just so rich and wonderful the picture really doesn't show them off very well.

Binding Update

Hello my friend! I'm motoring right along with my St. Patrick's Day T-Shirt quilt.  I took it off the frame a couple days ago and st...