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.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Christmas Tablerunner and My Love of Magazines

I've been getting a few things dome early for Christmas. It's not really like me to start this early but I hate rushing around in December trying to get things done. I just finished the binding on this Christmas tablerunner last night. I bought this pattern about two years ago and I finally got around to doing it. I have so many patterns just floating around here waiting to be finished. it almost makes me feel guilty :) I am proud to say that this runner is completely out of my stash and scrap heap :) This pattern is from a company called "A Little More Effect" in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. You can see some of their patterns here or here (I couldn't find a web site for them). I used the "Groovin' Piping Hot Binding Tool" for the first time to add piping into the runner itself and into the binding. I think that was one of the main reasons that I wanted to make this runner; so, that I could learn how to use this tool and to use up some scraps as well of course. Well, I guess I have to mention that I also thought that the pattern was absolutely beautiful and that it would look great on my table over the Christmas season :)

I found some more great Christmas patterns in the Special Holiday issue of The Quilter Magazine "Quilting for Christmas." I think that there is about 6 projects in there that I would like to do. If you go to the "Quilting for Christmas" page you can see some of the patterns. I love every pattern on this page but I really love the "Holiday Runner," "Christmas Wreaths" and "Mr. Winter" patterns and a bunch more from the magazine. I always seem to find lots of patterns that I like in this magazine. or maybe I am just trying to justify the fact that I am a magazine junkie :) I have subscriptions to I think 3 quilting magazines and I purchase a few more at the news stand every time they come out. I also love Fabric Trends Magazine to see the new lines and what the designers are doing with them and the $100,000 Quilting Challenge for the inspiration and wow factor. Oh and I love the "American Quilter Magazine" which is the official magazine of the American Quilter's Society or AQS. You have to be a member to get it but it is worth it I think. And how can I mention magazine without mentioning Quilter's Newsletter Magazine?? this was the first quilting magazine that I purchased and I have had a subscription ever since. I love reading it cover to cover but I always read Helen Kelley's column "Loose Threads" first. You can see Helen Kelley's blog "Helen Kelley Patchworks" here.

Wow this was the blog post of links!! I hope that you enjoy them all :) Again, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Quilt Bee Quilting

Hi all!;
I can't believe that I am only just now sharing this photo of my "Silver Thimbles" quilt!! I belong to a quilting bee called "The Silver Thimbles." We meet on Tuesday nights, for two hours, and work on group projects. The person whose turn it is picks the pattern and the fabrics. Then we get the fabrics ready and usually we piece or applique the quilt as a group. Then we load the quilt onto a big "old-fashioned" quilting frame and we sit around the frame hand-quilting. While one quilt is on the frame we start working on the next quilt.

I love being a part of this group! I've been a member for just shy of 5 years I believe and I just love it. We have members that range from their 30's to their 70's ans do we ever have fun! We laugh and stitch and just generally enjoy each other's company :)

This pattern is from "The Quilter" Magazine from I think three years ago. It is like a cross between a Boston Common Quilt and a Trip Around the World. I call it "A Trip to Boston Common" :) It has the Hobbs Heirloom Wool batting (you will have to scroll down the page to see it on Harriet Hargrave's site) in it and a wonderful brushed cotton backing so it is absolutely wonderful in this type of season. I love wool batting since it is warm and fluffy but it breathes and it still light. It is really wonderful to hand quilt as well. The lanolin in the wool lubricates your needle so it just glides throught the fabric and you can acheive nice small stitches without too much trouble. I also find that I can hand quilt for longer periods of time with the wool batting as my hands don't get tired as quickly. Just my personal preferance though :) I have a double sized bed and the edges of the bed come to the outside edge of the second cream border so that the final border just draps down the mattress. It looks wonderful on the bed. I honestly think that it looks better on the bed than hanging LOL.

This is a picture of another one of our quilts that belongs to another one of our members. It is a pattern called "Hearts and Apron Strings" the was originally published in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine as a serial pattern in 2004. It is a pattern by Sharon Schamber that you can now find on her web site here or in PDF format here. It really is a very nice pattern and she does some wonderful work so please check out her site.

We did this quilt as almost a round robin since it was all multiple borders. We all worked on the piecing but then one of us would take it home and add on the next border and bring it back the nex t week. It really was neat to see the quilt getting bigger and bigger. The picture that is here is a picture of our quilt hanging at the Carp Fair with a First Place ribbon on it for group quilt that is hand quilted:)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another Christmas Quilt

Since i have been showing off Christmas quilts lately I thought that I would share another one. This is my Christmas Dresden plate quilt. I won these blocks from our guild Block of the Month program. For every block (of the specific pattern and sometimes colours) that you enter your name is put into the draw 1 time. I entered 4 times and won 16 blocks. I made two more to set them on point and sashed them with a scrappy sash of uneven strips. The basic pattern was adapted from Fons and Porter's Quilter's Complete Guide from the pattern "Take the Night Train." in that pattern they used Ohio Stars but I just love the setting so I put my Dresden Plates into it and I think that it worked out really well. It is quilted in a meander pattern using rayon thread. This quilt was made about 5 years ago but it is still one of my favourites since it was a group project.

With all three of my Christmas bed quilts we all have a Christmas quilt on our beds during the season. I really love how you can transform your bedrooms with quilts. People sometimes look at my Christmas quilts, or other quilts, and say "but that wouldn't match my bedroom" and I think wow someone thinks that a quilt won't match everything??? Especially a Christmas quilt! How can it not look good?? Quilts don't have to match perfectly all the time. They are usable works of art that only need to be loved to work :) Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against painting a bedroom, or any other room, to match a quilt; or, with co-ordinating a room around a quilt. Using the colour wheel to add in colours or take away a couple of colours from the room can make anything work. Maybe I think this way because I love changing my quilts with the seasons or with my moods; or, maybe it's just because I LOVE quilts. Whatever it is I have a feeling that I am not alone thinking this way. Or, at least I hope that I am not :)

I found this funny blog thing on Blogging, Near Philladelphia another quilting and other things blog. I found it really cute since fall is my favourite season and I just love the colours and the brisk air. Many of our friends that moved out to Calgary say that they really miss the changing colours of the leaves and I can completely believe it! I just love the colours and the inspiration that it gives me.

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Christmas Scrap Kaliedascope

Here is a picture of my Christams scrap Kaliedascope quilt. I have a real thing for Christmas fabrics. Maybe it is the intensity of the colours or maybe it is just that green and red are complimentary colours and I love complimentary colours. I also love all the gold on Christmas fabrics. Whatever it is I am a real sucker for them. The after Christmas sales at the quilt shops always get me when I see those Christmas fabrics at half price :)

Anyways, needless to say I have a mighty stash of Christmas fabrics. I was able to make my Christmas scrap quilt from my small scraps and this one from some larger pieces and random fat quarters from my stash. This is an Eleanor Burns pattern by Quilt in a Day. I used her Kaleidascope ruler and pattern. I absolutely LOVE her rulers. I have the Triangle Square up ruler, triangle in a square ruler, and her flying geese rulers and I really think that her methods and rulers can't be beat for accuracy and speed of construction. i know that I have commented on that before but I just love her stuff.
Here is a close-up of the piecing and the quilting. I quilted it using Sulky opalesant sliver metallic thread in a random wavy pattern. The metallic thread really adds a nice effect to the quilt and the sliver metallic really changes in tone depending on what fabric it is crossing. The Holloshimmer metallic thread is my favorite to use generally since it tensions wonderfully but I just love this colour of the Sliver. I just have to quilt a little bit slower and make sure that the thread is not twisted before it gets to the tension disk. The effect is worth it I think :)

You can really see some of the wonderful Christmas batiks in this picture and all the gold on the fabrics. What do you think?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Quilting Update

Here's a little quilting update for you all. We have been having an absolutely wonderful fall here in Ontario. The weather, until the last few days, has been really nice. I love watching the leaves turn on the trees and I love the brisk air that comes with the fall. We have been outside more trying to take advantage of the nice weather.

I finished the applique on my celtic table runner. this was an online course from Quilt University. I really enjoyed the process and found the course really clear and enjoyable. I really liked the way that the table runner worked out.

This is an Advent calender panel that I just finished. It is by Makower fabrics. I absolutely love their Christmas fabrics. I love all the gold and the bright tones of the red and green. I have done two of their advent calendar panels now so each of my boys can have one. I seem to be a sucker for the Makower Advent Calendar panels :) The pockets can be a little bit fussy to do but they are worth it.

I don't know why this picture didn't flip :( I'll try to figure out how to rotate it later. Sorry.

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...