Friday, August 30, 2019

A Concert T-Shirt Quilt

Hi all!

It feels like lately all I do is t-shirt quilts!  Believe me I am not complaining :-D   I love making memory quilts.  There is something so special about them!

This particular quilt is for an avid concert-goer.  She has a LARGE collection of concert shirts.  But, these were the 12 shirts that she could "part" with.  I told her - this way she could enjoy these 12 shirts, and memories, every day instead of one at a time if she happened to wear the shirt that day.

These are some good memories!  Not to mention some great concerts I bet!  Sorry for the shadow across the quilt.  The day was sunny and perfect temperature at the cottage and this is my favourite spot for taking photos.  I can't redo it because the quilt has been delivered!

I quilted the quilt in a simple meander pattern using 40 wt Glide Thread in a light blue top and bobbin.  I used a light blue backing fabric as well in a colour that matches the light blue April Wine t-shirt in the middle.  I also used the same fabric for the binding and I love how it framed the quilt!  I looked at black or navy for the binding but there is so much black and navy in the quilt already it would have "floated the edge instead of providing a frame - does that make sense?

Right after this quilt was taken off the frame I quilted my LEGO Mini Figure t-shirt quilt and got to finishing it up.

I'm almost finished the binding on it; but, for now I will work on this during the daylight hours.  I'll show this quilt soon - after the last stitches are taken.  And, if you can believe it, I have two more t-shirt quilt commissions that have come in that I will get started on this weekend!

Happy Long Weekend everyone!  I hope that you get a few stitches in!!  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A Quilt for a Friend

Hi there!

I hope that you are enjoying the later days of August!  The weather has been humid here but we are enjoying the last days of summer!  My oldest is home again after finishing his college diploma and getting his affairs sorted out :-)

I took some of the summer finishing up this quilt for a friend.  I January I lost a dear quilting friend after her battle with Pancreatic Cancer.  While she was ill she was trying to finish quilts for all her grand-children.  She didn't quite get there.  After her death one of her daughters was sorting through her sewing room and found this horse panel that was clearly purchased for one of here grand-daughters who loaves her horses!

She asked me if I could make it into a finished quilt for her - and - how could I refuse!!!  Of course I would!  I proposed many different setting options for her; but, what she wanted was for the panel to just have borders added and finished.  How could I refuse!?

Luckily my local quilt shop (LQS) where the panel was purchased still had some supporting fabrics.  I took a picture of them and brought her the fabric choices.  I knew that she would pick the black and grey prints since these are the colours that she loves to wear LOL!  I simply added borders to make the quilt large enough to be a throw for her to cuddle under.  

I discussed various quilting options with her; but, what she wanted was for it to be quilted the way that her Grandmother would have quilted it.  That meant hand-quilting it or a meander.  Meander won out!  I used Glide thread Warm Grey and it quilted up beautifully!!

I am in love with this grey barn-board fabric that the owner of my LQS suggested!  It goes perfectly with the theme and colours of the panel!  What a find!

When it came to the binding of the quilt I found myself stalled.  I just couldn't bring myself to tackle the last steps of this quilt.  Overall, this was an emotional quilt for me but the hand sewing was just hard.  Probably because this was one of the ladies that I hand quilt with in my Tuesday night Bee.  Needless to say, I finished it.

I am happy that I could do this favour for my friend, and, of course, her grand-daughter.  I miss her so much; but, it was nice to be able to finish one of her last projects and make the gift to her grand-daughter happen.  Now it's time to give it to it's owner whom I know will cherish it!!

Quilts really are a great big hug from the maker!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Organizing / Sorting / Processing

Happy August all!!

Ahhh summer!  I have been spending as much time as possible at the cottage this summer since winter was so long, spring was long and it feels like summer just got here!  Oh well - you have to make the most of what you have!

After a long weekend with friends at the cottage, I came home and was looking for some brown ribbon, in one of my drawers, when I pulled out this MESS!!

Uggg!!!  I don't know how I over-looked this for so long!!  Scraps, 2" squares, ribbon, sequins, zippers, elastics and MORE.  My first impulse was to upend this over the garbage bin.  Luckily I posted a picture to Instagram to see what others would do.  Everyone said to process it so I DID!  Wahoo!

First I pressed all the scraps and squares and sorted it.  Found some more in another drawer and repeated the process.  Thank goodness for my AccuQuilt die cutting system!  If I had to go back to rotary cutting 2" squares from scraps I probably would have thrown it all out

And now my 2" square bin is completely full - I'm not really sure that I will ever use this many squares!  I have so many leaders and enders (L&E) quilts to finish somedays I think I might just piece them instead of doing the L&E technique.  Sigh!!

My ribbon, zippers, sequins, elastic and more is sorted into drawers.  I can find what I am looking for now easily; but, I think that I have way too much of all of this!  I may have to donate this, as a lot of you suggested, but, for now, I am happy that it is sorted!

So, that means that I have one set of drawers sorted.  Organizing is such a long process.  Some people love it!  I don't hate it, but, I don't love it.  What about you?  

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Another T-Shirt Quilt

Thank you all for your comments about negative feedback - your support mean a lot to me!  xo

I decided to put all of that on the back-burner for now and work on a commission T-Shirt Quilt!  I love doing these!

These are some of the owners concert t-shirts.  To be entrusted with these treasures is so awesome and special.  She said that she has more but this is all that she could give up LOL!!

Personally, I think, that turning treasures like this into a quilt is the absolute best way to enjoy and preserve these mementoes.  I may be a little bit biased here, of course, but, if you have 30 shirts, and you want to enjoy them, that means wearing a different shirt every day for a month!!  This way she can enjoy 12 t-shirts all at the same time and everyday!  

So what do you think of the light blue fabric, on the right, for backing??  I think that it suits the shirts; and, I could quilt it in a light blue thread and maybe use the same light blue fabric for the binding.. Thoughts?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Question - Negative Feedback

Hey all!!

I hope that you are enjoying this hot summer!  It's not as hot as last summer but it's still pretty hot!

I have been reflecting a bit, ok dwelling a bit, on negative feedback.  Specifically I have been thinking about the thumbs down on YouTube.

I have put up a few videos on YouTube to share with other quilters and help answer questions I get a lot.  I haven't put up any recently, for various reasons; but, today I was looking at my videos and I noticed negative reviews or thumbs down on some of the videos.

Now, don't get me wrong, people can absolutely, 100%, leave negative feedback if they wish; but, as a video-maker I am left thinking - why?  What didn't you like?  What could I have done better?  Do you just hate me?  Hate the video?  Not find it useful?  What!!?

In other words - it's not constructive LOL!  The comment feedback I received is all good so what compelled these 8 people to click the thumbs down button?  It just makes me wonder.

I've used the thumbs down button.  I am a Zumba instructor and I have used the thumbs down button when people post our exclusive choreography, that we pay for, for others to take.  When people are hateful, or just plain mean.  So, I do use it.

I am just a bit of a dweller - ok a lot of a dweller - so I find myself wondering if my other ideas are good enough to make a video or if they will get more thumbs down.  Silly I am sure; but, that's the way that my brain works!

So, here's my question, to those of you who use the thumbs down button on YouTube, why do you click the thumbs down icon?

Want to check out my YouTube videos?  Here ya go!  

Sunday, June 02, 2019

A Little Charity Quilting

Happy Sunday!!

What's a girl to do on a cloudy, cool Sunday in June (the day after a day long yoga festival)?  Well, my answer is a little quick charity quilting!

Our local guild is making some quilts for local homeless youths and I volunteered to quilt a couple of them.  These were the perfect project for me today :-)

I used 40 wt Glide Thread in Cornflower - top and bobbin in an all over meander.

It was requested that the quilting be fairly loose and the thread be bright and cheerful - and I think that I met the requirements :-D 

The thread definitely matches the backings in intensity!! Nice bright flannel backing would bring a smile to anyone's face.

These are now folded up and ready to be returned, bound and given to their new owners.  I hope that they bring some joy.

What are you up to this weekend?

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Leaders and Enders Woes!

 Good Morning all!

Lately i have been sorting through my scraps :-(  This started because I pulled out a drawer looking for a fabric that I knew was there.  Sigh, I never should have pulled that drawer out because it started a complete avalanche of scrap sorting that I have been putting off - ignoring really in the hope that they will go away LOL!

Anyways, I pieced three more preemie quilt tops and a scrappy rail-fence (I will show that later); and, in the process I completely filled up my 2" square bin and started a rather large 2" square bin of children't prints!

I store mine in plastic shoe boxes as they are easy to store and stack; and, hold more than you think!  I mean, check this out - this 2" square box is full!

And heavy!  I had this bin down to about 1/3 and now it's overflowing again -sigh!

I packaged up my Scrappy Swoon blocks from a couple blog posts again and still need 10 16-patches to get going on the assembly of this quilt.  I was able to piece 10 while I was making the preemie quilts and rail fence - so just 10 more needed!!

While I was doing my scrap cutting I decided to pull out a couple of my other leaders and enders (L&E) projects that I have on the go.  The scrappy bow-ties that Bonnie Hunter inspired a few years ago.  And the Split Nine-Patch I started a few years ago.

I have a lot of blocks done but not nearly enough to make a quilt!!

This means I have two more L&E projects on the go after I finish the Scrappy Swoon quilt!!  Oh man!

As I was pulling down bins of projects my Christmas bin almost fell on my head! (The bins are stored on a shelf up over my head!).  So, of course, I opened it up!

Tumblers, half-square triangles (HST) and 2" squares - oh my!  Doing a quick look at this bin I see that a Jacob's Ladder quilt would be beautiful in these Christmas prints!  So, that makes 3 L&E projects I have to finish!

Long time readers may remember these blocks from my Scrappy Christmas Quilt A Long I ran sever years ago.  Well, now, it appears that I have enough for another whole quilt already cut out!!

With three L&E projects in the wings and one large one almost ready to assemble (not to mention one ready to go on the frame!) I seem to have A LOT of scrap projects ready to go! 

So, the question is - do I continue with these L&E style or just start piecing them?  Hmmm . . . . . . of course I have other projects I am working on; but, right now I feel a little overwhelmed to be honest.  Although, I don't need any of these quilts except for a trunk show that I am doing at The Quilting Quarters next month.

I need to pick one to work on next and I need to choose how to proceed.  So, do I dive in and start chain piecing or continue on??  What would you do?

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Ride For Dad T-Shirt Quilt

Happy Saturday All!

We have actual sun here today!  Wahoo!  Sun just instantly lifts my spirits!

I thought that I would post another t-shirt quilt I've been working on.  I found this grouping of Ride For Dad t-shirts at a thrift store and I thought that they would make a nice grouping for a quilt; and, afterwards it could make a nice donation as Ride For Dad raises money for prostate cancer.  Or, maybe someone will fall in love with it and want to purchase it!!

I'm not sure if I want to add borders onto this or not; so, I think I'll put this on a hanger and put it into the closet for a while; or, maybe one of my awesome readers has a suggestions???

So, why am I making all these t-shirt quilts?  I want to start taking in some t-shirts to make these for other people so I wanted to get process, costs, supplies and time down so I can give accurate quotes to people.  Accurate and also fair to both of us and paying myself a wage that that will make taking this on worth it!  

So frequently I see quilters selling items or offering their services in a manner that is completely undervaluing their time and skill.  To me, this is a disservice to the quilting industry as a whole.  What we do takes skill, ability and a LOT of time.  We should value ourselves enough to be paid a living wage when we offer our services to others.  Long story short, I need it to be worth my while to work for others.

Some people will say - people won't pay me that amount!!!  That's ok - there are plenty of t-shirt quilt companies out there that will work for MUCH cheaper than I will; and, they do a much cheaper job in every sense of the word.   I figure - if this is the amount people are willing to invest in their quilt, then I am not the quilter for them.  

I could meet the much lower price.  IE use much cheaper fabric, thread batting, not use stabilizer etc, do much quicker and lesser quilting, do an inside out method to avoid doing a binding AND pay myself $1.00 per hour; but, why would I??  I wouldn't want to put my name on this, I wouldn't enjoy the process and I wouldn't want to pay for or own the finished product!!

What a long rant!!  LOL!!  Do you have any thoughts about this??  I would love to hear them :-)  Am I alone in feeling this way?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Leaders and Enders

Another Leaders and Enders project is finally in the organizing stages!

This stage is always exciting to me because I get to add up the blocks and see if I have enough blocks and get an idea of how it may look sewn up!

I got this idea a few years ago from several quilts that I saw on the internet - the Swoon quilts.  I immediately thought that this would make a really nice L&E quilt and drafted out the pattern quickly on paper to adapt it to my 2" squares.  I did this a few years ago and then went about my regular piecing while making these 16-patches and 10-block half blocks.

Fast forward a few years and I had a couple of stacks of blocks!  I decided to do some counting and some cutting to see where I was.

I discovered that I was 20 16-patch blocks short from enough!!  Sigh!  Oh well, I decided to continue with my cutting and organizing anyways so I can box it up and then put it aside for a bit longer.

I was very happy to to use the background cream fabric and brown fabric.  they were purchased YEARS ago for another project, that I decided not to do, and these shades will not find themselves into a different quilt any time soon; so, it was great to use them up!

All the cutting is done and the half-square triangles are all pieced!  Notice the one pieced brown triangle?  I was just a bit short of this fabric so I decided to piece a couple of them - it's a scrap quilt anyways!!   The red colour I have also had in my stash for a long time and I think that it will be perfect for the star points!  More fabrics used from my stash!  Yay!!   I am still short of 16-patches but that is for another day!!

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Leaders and Enders you can check out the video I made on them years ago.  

So tell me - do you have a leaders and ender project on the go??

Saturday, January 26, 2019

T-Shirt Quilts!

Hi all!
Brrrr it's cold outside here!!  I mean really cold and that is not my favourite weather at all!  It's very good quilting weather, however, so that is what I have been doing!  I love to make t-shirt quilts.  They are so unique and personal and fun to make!

While I was collecting t-shirts for my Guilty Pleasures quilt I was seeing a lot of Minions shirts out there; so, I started to grab a few with the intention of putting together a throw for a friend of mine who loves Minions and who has had a challenging past couple of years.  

So I grabbed the ones I came across and finally got to stabilizing them.  And guess what - not enough!!!

I asked some of my fitness participants if they had any that they didn't want anymore and one of the ladies had two!!!  It was just enough to  finish the quilt off with a few sashing strips of t-shirt fabric!!  I was able to get it quilted and bound and I gave it to her today for her birthday!!!  Yay!! 

What do you think?  I think that it turned out great and she was so surprised and happy with it :-D  That made me so happy and it made my day!

After I made progress with this quilt, I was on a roll, and pulled out the Lego Mini-Figure t-shirts that I have been collecting as well.  I cut into them, stabilized them and then squared them up into blocks.  Why lego mini-figures?  Well, my boys were (still are) really into them so I thought that it would make a nice quilt for another lego fanatic once it was done being a store sample for the t-shirt quilt class I teach.

 Sigh, guess what??  I need a couple more t-shirts to make this into a better size!

Oh well!  At least I got this far with it!!  Now to hunt for a couple more mini-figure t-shirts!!!  

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Quilting Therapy

Happy Sunday all!

It's been a hard week.  A friend of mine passed away and the funeral was this week.  It was very sad but we are healing.  I was just given two quilts to quilt for Victoria's Quilts and the colours were so wonderful and bright that I wanted to get them onto the frame and quilt them.  It was great therapy to work on these quilts and add texture to them.

The first one I used a grooved board at the back of my machine to quilt these lovely wavy lines.  I love how it makes it look like they are lanterns blowing in the breeze.

This batik beauty just needed some texture added so I quilted a simple all-over wave pattern in a blue Glide thread.  I love the bright, cheerful colours.

Waves are really a go-to pattern for me, especially for batik quilts!

Next I pulled out this month's piecing for the Sedona QAL that Sew Kind of Wonderful just started.  It is just one group of blocks a month - not too much to do; but, really nice chain-piecing to do.  I do love some chain piecing!

Quilt Therapy really is wonderful and does work.  I am so glad that I have quilting in my life :-)

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year everyone!

Good bye to 2018 and hello to 2019!  I hope that this is a wonderful year for all of you!

Did anyone pick a word for 2019?  The word that has been rattling around in my head is UNION.  Why union?  Well, I feel like 2018 has been a year of reflection, study and introspection.  I have studied, meditated and been open for new things and experiences and I feel that this will be the year to bring it all together in union.

So what does this mean?  Well, I want to do a lot more of what interests me and try to find ways to bring my skills together in ways that make my heart sing.  Sounds pretty vague I know; but, hopefully I'll be able to articulate this better in the coming months.

In the meantime.  We spent Christmas at the cottage again this year; and, although it was very cold, it was perfect!  The lake froze over in our shallow little bay so there was lots of skating and hockey playing and it was probably the most classically Ontario Christmas I have had :-)

Here is River on our rink looking at a rainbow while the sun goes down.  And underneath our neighbours are flooding their rink for smoother skating.

I was also able to do quite a bit of sewing while there - did I mention how cold it was!!?  I completely finished my Guilty Pleasures T-Shirt quilt and turn the binding to the back by hand while spending time with the family.  I am so pleased with this quilt!  I'm actually surprised with how much I love it!  It makes me happy every time I look at it and it is so nice to sleep under.

I quilted it, top and bottom, in Glide Titanium thread in a free-hand wave pattern.  I backed it in a green flannel wide-back and used Hobbs 80/20 batting.  I can't even express to you how nice this is to sleep under and how cuddly it is!  My husband loves it too :-)

I actually liked making this quilt so much that I have more in the planning stages AND I wouldn't mind making some of these for others!  

I also managed to get some piecing done!

Since I only had an extremely limited selection of fabric there I picked a pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful's book Mini Wonderful Curves that fit what I had and I spent some time piecing this beauty called Breezy Day.

I don't have a destination for this quilt so it's now in the "to be quilted" pile but I really do love the way that it came together!

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...