Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Small Town Quilt Shopping

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope that you all had a great Christmas and are preparing for a wonderful New Years!

We're up at the cottage right now and we got snowed in!  We were having unseasonably nice weather until yesterday when we got a huge dump of snow!

I should have snapped a picture yesterday when the great, big cotton ball looking snow flakes were falling - it was spectacular!

What wasn't spectacular was shovelling out and being unable to leave the cottage because the roads were icy.  As we are pretty far out we are some of the last to be salted - no worries!

I managed to get everything accomplished that I wanted to - and then some.  So, if you can believe it, I ran out of projects; and, I didn't have anymore fabric to play with - gasp!!  I had to shop for more!

I knew that there was a small fabric section in the local Steadman's Department Store so we went today as we needed some groceries and other supplies.  I have purchased thread and needles there before but I haven't really taken more than a few minutes to look around as we are always driving through.

Lots of fabric variety for a really small town!!

Quilting stencils and more fabric.  Some good quilt shop quality and some lesser quality but good stuff!

This notion isle is a real life saver for the quilter at the cottage!  Let's just say I wasn't the only quilter on vacation in that isle today ;-)  It has pretty much everything you might need (and good prices too!!!.

I managed to find some fabrics (of course!); including, a perfect fish flannel fabric that I will be basing a baby quilt around.

I had a great time today chatting with some local quilters and receiving absolutely amazing and attentive service.  Sure the selection wasn't as big as a city store; but, the service was second to none and I found some fabrics to make a project today and tomorrow as well as good quality, affordable wide-backs and solids.

I love small towns :-D

What are you doing today to keep out of the weather?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On A Roll With Projects!

Hi everyone!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas!  So far mine has been amazing!!  So relaxing up here at the cottage, visiting with family, and, doing some quilting!

I was inspired by my Christmas quilts to pull out this UFO Christmas quilt that had everything done on it except one thing - yep - the hand sewing!  All that had to be finished was turing the binding to the back of the quilt.  Sigh, I so often leave projects here; or, at least really want to.  I don't necessarily enjoy hand turning the binding to the back but I really enjoy the look and feel of it.

So I sat for a couple evenings slowly working on the binding.  Why slowly?  Well, I was watching movies with my family and enjoying their company; and, besides, I was in no rush!  You can see the hanging sleeve and binding all sewn into place except the last few inches of binding!!!

And, there we have it!  The finished Blazing Star quilt!!  I am very happy with it and so happy that it is finished!  Yey!!  A day late sure, but, still up for the Christmas holidays!

I used the Accuquilt Blazing Star die and the pattern that comes with the die to make this quilt.  It went together so nicely using the dies cuts!  Next time I think that I would add some green to the quilt but I do like the red and gold ;-)

Next up I will be finishing a larger bed sized quilt binding.  I might have it done tonight but I wanted to get this quilt on the wall for Boxing Day; so, I chose to put it aside and finish this one.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's project!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas at the Cottage

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I hope that you are all having an absolutely wonderful day full of love and light!

We decided to spend this Christmas at the cottage - since it is our first season with it - and - since the weather is so beautiful and green!  We have loved every minute of it here and are cherishing family but also being out in the woods and at the water.

I decided to bring up my Christmas bed quilts so that we could have them at the cottage and still enjoy them.  Plus, they make wonderful, easy, decorations.

I find that overtime I pull them out and put them on the beds that I take a little walk down memory lane and remember making these quilts and the fabrics in them.  I do a lot with scrap fabrics so when I lay these quilts out and run my hands across them I can't help but look at the individual fabrics and remember the projects they came from.  

2012 Christmas Quilt A Long I designed.

2005 Leaders and Enders Scrap Christmas Quilt.  I never really blogged on this quilt since I started this blog in 2006 but you can see the first mention of it in the link.

2004 Christmas Tree Skirt - pre-blog!!

These are just a few things that I decided to bring up for Christmas but I have so many others LOL!  

Do you have any favourite Christmas projects that you just love bringing out?

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Quilt it??

Hi all!

I pulled out this Hunter's Star quilt I made a while back with the intention of quilting it.  Then I remembered why I put it away.

Oh ya!  I have no idea how I want to quilt this LOL!

I want to do an all-over for this one because there as so many seams and it is such high contrast.

But, what colour would go all-over this?  I think I will use my Loricles Egyptian Eye grooved board, or, maybe the swirls, and do an an edge to edge pattern.  But, what thread would look good from edge to edge?  The sandy gold?  The green gold?  The chartreuse?  

I'll wait until daylight and look again when it is light.

What would you do?

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Quilt Repairing

Hi all!

A friend of mine asked me for my help.  She said - Katrina I have a quilt, that my Grandmother made, that is badly damaged.  I know I should throw it out (she doesn't sew) but I love it so much!  Can you take a look at it?  Of course I said yes!

Well, the quilt was old, frail, and, badly damaged.  This quilt has been well loved, and, well used!

There are several smaller holes like this one.

And one massive one!!!!  Ohhh man!

I said - my dear this is an heirloom quilt!  I shouldn't touch it!  She said - I want to use it.  I love it - I don't care what you have to do I want to use this quilt again.  Every bone in my body was screaming - no, no, no!!

She trumped me - she said - well, I guess I should just throw it out then.  At that point I said - let me see what I can do - sigh.

She said - I have extra pieces that her Grandmother didn't use in the quilt - oh this is getting better I thought!

Turns out she had extra pinwheels!  The quilter had matching stitched the hand turned pinwheels onto the quilt - joy!  I can do that!

We talked about it and she said - just put these over the holes and do the best you can - I want to use the quilt again.  She kept stressing how much she loved the quilt and wanted to use it again.  Long story short - this quilt is going to be worn out from loving it.  That's what made me take these steps to repair it as best I could.

I should have taken more photos but I appliqu├ęd the wheels down after whip sticking the holes closed.  Not ideal; but, the quilt can be loved again!

Personally I love the scattered pinwheels and I love that they are original (albeit left-overs) to the quilt!

Before anyone jumps down my throat about working on an heirloom quilt like this; please, take a look at the damage and also note that this quilt was destined to be possibly thrown out b/c she thought that it wasn't good anymore.  This way the quilt can be loved and used - like a hug from her Grandmother :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Do You Label?

Hi all!

Question for you all - do you label your quilts?  

It really is a quick and easy step to do and it servers a few purposes!  You really need to answer the 5 W's on each label:  who, what, when, where, why - and possibly how.

1.  It let's future generations know who made the quilt.  Maybe the quilt was a collaborative effort?  Each person who worked on the quilt should be mentioned.  And, yes, this means the long armer as well.  It doesn't matter if you paid for the work - the long armer should be given credit.  It is often said "the quilting makes the quilt" so give credit for it ;-)  {not to get into this huge debate LOL!}

2.  It lets future generations (as well as my own forgetful self) know when the quilt was made!!!  Oh ya, you think you'll remember but I can guarantee that I won't in a few years!

3.  It's lets future generations know where the quilt was made!  'Nuff said!

4. Maybe you have a why?  Did you make the quilt for someone special?  Is it for a charity?  Did the quilt have a special inspiration?  Sometimes you don't have a why - that's all good - we quilt for no reason other than joy sometimes ;-)

5.  What is the name of the quilt?  Mine are usually simple names - The pattern of the quilt is the Take 5 pattern and I used Christmas fabrics.  Hence, Take 5 for Christmas.

6.  The how part can be less obvious.  Maybe you got the block in a draw?  Maybe it was a Tinners program?  This can be listed as well along with the names of the people who contributed.

The label I did on this quilt is the simplest of the labels that I put on my quilts.  A square of muslin folded in half and machine stitched into a corner and then hand stitched down across the angle.  It only takes a few minutes to do.  I promise.

I used a Zig pen to write the information so it can go through the wash; but, you can also use a fine tip Sharpie pen.

I also used a decorative stitch to sew down the binding instead of hand sewing.  I do this on all of my charity quilts and baby quilts.  It is stronger and faster to do.

If you would like to see my tutorial for how I sew on my labels you can find it here!

So, let me know - what is your go to binding technique?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Charity Quilt

Hi all!

Wow it's been a while!  Why you ask?  Well I have had some ups and downs with the quilting world and I frankly got out of the habit to blog.  It's part of my reasons anyways.  I will probably write more about that another day.

But, I do have something to show!  I was asked to paint a chair to be auctioned for the hospital.  I didn't get the chair done (no time and no paint!); but, I asked if I could donate a quilt instead since they are also doing a silent auction of used quilts.  The organizer quickly said yes!

I had a Christmas Take 5 quilt top already completed so I thought this would be a good one!  I used the Accuquilt Take 5 die (for the studio) and it went together so quickly - it was wonderful and it won't be the last time I use this die!!

Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I used the loricles grooved board on the back of my long arm, called Egyptian Eye, but I had it run down the length of the quilt instead of across the width.

I used 40 weight Glide thread in Sand.  I am absolutely in love with the way that this turned out and the texture and dimension it adds!  What I was trying to achieve was the effect of hanging ornaments and I think I achieved it :-)

I hope that the quilt raises a lot of money for the hospital and that someone will love it!

Are you doing any Christmas charity work?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Getting Things Done and Out!

Hi all!!

We went to the cottage again this weekend (like we probably will most weekends we can :-D ) and as it was calling for rain I took along a couple of projects!  Project #1!

It was in exactly this state - blocks all finished the quilt top just needed to be assembled :-P  It's amazing how I can leave things like this - almost ready to quilt!  I know that this would make other people insane!  Me - not so much LOL!

This is the Metro Medallion pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I love their patterns and their Quick Curve Ruler!! 

I love how their rulers allows you to achieve some great, and very intricate looking, curves!  It really is a great process!  Check them out!

Next, while watching Star Wars with the family, I FINALLY finished hand sewing the binding on this big, scrappy, bed quilt!  Remember this leaders and enders project?  While I have been working on it forever and the final stitches are in!

What gave me the incentive to finish it?  We have this queen sized bed at the cottage that was in need of a quilt!  I had this one that needed to be finished and I knew that it would look great in the big spare bedroom and with the wood and the headboard :-D  I am so excited to see projects getting off my shelves and onto wall and beds!  We've been slowly bringing more quilts up to the cottage in Barry's Bay and it is feeling more and more like ours.

As a matter of fact we decided that this scrappy Chimneys and Cornerstones quilt would look great in the master bedroom at the cottage and I couldn't help but agree (with a plaid tumbler add on of course).

I think most quilters go through this eventually - more quilts than beds!  And, more quilts than walls! I think that is one of the reasons so many of us do a lot of charity work - but wow is it nice to have bare beds and bare walls to fill up!  Plus, it gives me incentive to finish tops and pillows and wall hangings!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lady Mary is on the Frame!

Hi all!

Here she is!  Lady Mary is on the hand quilting frame and I am so excited!

I should have snapped a shot of the backing fabric but that can come later because I don't want to crawl under the frame to take a picture!  Because I added borders to the quilt I didn't have enough of the Downton Fabric for the back so I added some piecing to the centre of the backing - it looks pretty cool!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cottage Quilting!

Hi all!!

I have some awesome news!  After about a decade of passively searching - we have bought a cottage!  We couldn't be more thrilled and excited to embark on this journey!

It is in Barry's Bay and our cottage is on Lake Kamaniskeg which means Shimmering Waters.

The water is so nice, clear and clean, with a sandy beach (natural) and a very gradual decent to deeper water.

Our lot is fairly treed with lots of privacy.  The lake is still fairly undeveloped with lots of Crown land so it won't become overpopulated any time in the near future which really appeals to us!

So of course I brought up my sewing machine and a UFO that I needed to finish the top!  One evening after it had rained, and, the bugs were pretty bad, I pulled out my cottage quilting gear and set to work!  Look at my view from my sewing machine!

By the end of the weekend I had finished my Lady Mary Downton Abbey quilt top in a very leisurely fashion!  I am thrilled!  So of course I had to take a cottage picture with it!  This pretty lady is all ready for the hand quilting frame now!

So, get ready for more cottage quilting from me!  I have a bunch of projects planned!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Where Have I Been??

Hey all!!

It's been a little while but I thought that I would give you a little update!  I loaded this great top - Urban Abacus - by Sew Kind of Wonderful, onto my frame yesterday and I think it's going to be there for a while while I custom quilt it!  Yey!  Time to flex my quilting muscles.  I am planning on pebbling the blue and ribbon curls in the rounds.

I am looking forward to quilting this and think that it will likely be on my frame for a while.

So why the time out between blog posts?  Well, let me tell you!  I have decided to start direct sales of the AMAZING Jamberry nail wraps!  (You can turn off now if you want LOL!)  Why?  Well, I love nail polish and Pinterest style nails but have never been able to keep it on for more than one day and as I am a fitness instructor most times even less than that.  Jamberry nail wraps are heat applied vinyl, salon quality, nail wraps that last up to two weeks on hands and 6 weeks on toes.  I've tested them and they work!

I decided, because I love, love, love the product so much, that, I would become an Independent Consultant.  I have spent the last month learning as much as I can about the workings behind the scenes and launching my business.  So far it is going extremely well and my customers have been extremely happy with their purchases.  Everyone loves pretty nails at a fraction of a salon price!

With all kinds of styles from soft and elegant, to loud, to gothic, and to flirty I just wanted to share this with my friends!  If you want my information you can check out my website or send me an e-mail - 

Last reason - the start up fee was small and I don't need to carry stock.  I love it!  So now you know where I have been but I will be back to my regular quilting and tutorials.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Turning to the back

And so the turning starts!

Now I start the seemingly never-end taste of hand turning the binding to the back.

I bind a lot of my quilts by machine.  And, I mean a lot of my quilts especially quilts that will be store samples, throw quilts, baby quilts and quilts where the binding and the borders are the same fabric because it is arguably a stronger binding as well as much faster.

For bed quilts I prefer an old fashioned, double fold French binding because it is softer to sleep under.  And, with a quilt like this scrap quilt I prefer the binding thread to be more invisible.  It's a long process; but, it is a meditative process that I can do in front of the television.  I don't rush it; so, often a binding on a queen size quilt can take me weeks if I don't have a deadline for a quilt - like this one is LOL!

Sometimes you have to allow yourself to enjoy the process; and, since I don't really enjoy hand-turning the binding to the back, allowing myself to take my time with it makes something I don't enjoy more enjoyable.  Does this make sense?

Do you needle-turn or do you machine bind?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Almost Finished!

Well I cannot say I will be sad to see this quilt off the frame!

Don't get me wrong.  Now that I have brought it out again I remembered how much I do actually like this quilt.  I look back at the different fabrics in the squares and remember the projects they came from.  I remember each wedding quilt, each hand bag and each baby quilt etc that these fabric scraps came from.  I also remember how much I learned with this quilt.  And, honestly, how much the two of us have gone through together to get to this point.  We've had our ups and downs together.

It sounds like this quilt is now a living being at this point.  Perhaps it is?  Perhaps when something represents so much history, so many memories and so many emotions it takes on some life of it's own.  Maybe that's why I have such an emotion reaction to this quilt?  I don't really know!

What I do know is that this quilt is almost at the last boarder - yet - and to me, that means a lot!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finally Racked!

I finally did it and I am proud of myself!  I finally racked my beast of a leaders and enders quilt!

If you have been following my blog for a while you might know that I have a real love / hate relationship with this quilt.  Why love?  Look at all those scraps!  Why hate?  Well, just about anything that could go wrong with this quilt has!  Heck I have even sewn in an incorrect fabric into this quilt!  Then after all of that I didn't like it until I made it a bit bigger!

I have blogged about it on many occasions, the last being May of 2012, and heck a few years ago I made a video showing how to make the alternating blocks!  The links will take you to a greater explanation of how the quilt was put together.  

In the process I set some goals with this quilts.  I succeeded with my goals mostly and I am happy with it.  But, sometimes, do you ever just form an opinion about a quilt and just need to put it away for a little while?  Well that's what I did with this one - we just needed some distance from each other.  Or, rather I did ;-)

But now I am determined to get this one out of the closet and onto a bed!  We've had quite a journey, this quilt and I, but, I think it's time to take the last few steps and finish it!

Have you ever needed time away from a top in order to come back to it?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Smart Phone Stands

Hi all!

Sorry I know that it has been a while!  What have I been doing?  Well, the holidays happened but I also got quite sick with this flu that seems to be taking everyone down.  I'm still down to be honest but hopefully starting to mend a bit.

One cool thing I did come across, and wanted to share, was this new die from AccuCut.  It is the Creatables Smart Phone Stand and I think they are the cutest little things!  When they were having a 50% off sale I grabbed one.

I did purchase a pack of the plastic sheets to use but the woman on the phone told me to save my plastic lids - like the type on yogurt.  I thought that this was a great tip!  Cut off the edges and run it through the machine.

It makes some cuts and makes some creases.  Fold on the lines and Voila!

Super cute little phone stands!

They are very sturdy too!  These would be good for a classroom setting, of course, but they are also great for an office setting.  We love ours for around the house for watching Netflix on our phones or iPods.  I also have a few substitute teachers that take my fitness classes and they are constantly checking their phones to see if they have a class the next day.  I made up a bunch of these so they could prop them up in class!

Was this die a wee bit of an indulgent purchase - yes!  But, I am ok with that!  What do you think?  Any other uses?  Ad hock business card holder?

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...