Thursday, May 27, 2010

Festival Quilt

I'm joining Amy and all the other bloggers for the Blogger's Quilt Festival and this is my entry. It is an oldie, but a goodie and it has been shown before on my blog ..... but that was a long time ago. It was made for a grand-nephew a few years ago.
This week, I received this sweet drawing of himself under his quilt. Now you know why this quilt was my entry for the festival. You just can't get any better than this. Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Special mail

A while ago, Bren was having a giveaway and I won .... this beauty ...... and all I can say is 'wow' 'wow' 'wow'.

I took a number of photos, but this one captures the colours and the handquilting. Oh my, the handquilting is gorgeous. I will definitely have to do this double hatching in one of my quilts.

Thank you, Bren for this lovely hanging and for the needle keeper.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quilting markers

It is time to discuss marking pens for my quilts. Over the years, I have tried different ones ..... and there are pros and cons to every one of them. Currently, Crayola Washable markers are my favourites and this is how my hexagon quilt is being marked. Just simple straight and diagonal lines. Many years ago, I attended a week long class for making whole cloth quilts. My teacher was using Crayola washable markers and I have been a devout fan since then.

My teacher warned us though to don't use red or blue markers and don't apply any heat to the markings.

Me, being the rebel that I am, have used red and blue markers .... they just need a bit more coaxing to come out.

Crayola markers are great for dark fabrics using the darker colour markers. If the markings don't show up well, then I do use the Clover White Marking Pen. I do love the Clover Blue Marking Pen, but have had problems with the marks turning yellow on some of my light coloured fabrics (and I haven't even applied any kind of heat to the markings). The yellow markings do come out, but with a lot of coaxing using Oxy Clean.
One word of warning! If you do use any kind of washable markers, just be careful if you have used a permanent marker with your rulers or stencils.

I make my own stencils and do use a Sharpie permanent marker to mark the lines or design. After cutting out the stencil ..... be sure to clean your ruler or stencils before using your washable markers. To clean, use either nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and a kleenex. If you don't clean your ruler or stencil, the permanent ink residue (that is left on the ruler and stencil) will transfer onto your washable marker nibs and then onto your fabric .... and trust me, you don't want to go there .... like I did, once, many years ago.

When you use these two chemicals to remove the ink residue, just be careful with your rulers as the chemicals will also remove the lines on the bottom side of your ruler. Just carefully clean the edges only.

To wash out the Crayola markings, use cold water and mild soap. Sometimes, you may have to put your quilt through a couple of cycles to get all the markings out. Some of my quilts have had the markings on for a few years and they still do wash out. If not, then I will use Oxy Clean to coax out the stubborn markings. I don't like to use the pre-soak cycle on my washing machine, just in case some of the dyes tend to run onto other fabrics. My fabrics are all pre-washed anyway, but some dyes still do tend to run a bit regardless.

As with everything else .......... test .... test ..... test .... Crayola Washable markers (or any other washable markers) on your fabrics before using.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Klosjes Saturday

Here are a few more klosjes that were made this week. They still have to be sewn onto background fabrics. My klosjes are coming along quite nicely . Borders will be the next thing to think about ....oh, decisions, decisions. Will my borders have applique or should they be pieced or just plain?

I've been asked the meaning and how to prounouce 'klosjes'.

Valentina covers this nicely. Directly from her blog, she says:

From Holland with Love... KLOSJES!

(pronounce 'Kloss' ( like Boss) that is a big Spool, and then add Shu (like 'sure' without the 'r') and add an 's'

So what are 'Klosjes'? It is the Dutch word for Little Spools. According to An Moonen, a Dutch Textile Historian who has written a lovely book about Traditional Dutch Quilts, Klosjes or Spool quilts are one of the oldest Dutch designs.

Do visit Valentina's blog, she does such lovely work and she has inspired many to make klosjes as well as Wednesday hexagon flowers (a new challenge that is going around right now).

Since I started making these klosjes and gave tutorials on how to make this version, a few other bloggers have tried making them too.

Teresa and Raewyn have tried them and Jen made a quilt top which I just love.

If anyone else has made this version, please let me know .... I would love to see what you've done.

So, if you want to have a go at making my klosjes version, visit here to see my tutorials on how to draft the templates and also to see the way I sew them together using English Paper Piecing (be sure to scroll down to catch both tutorials).

Have a great day, eh!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finish #4

Well ..... here is the lap quilt that I made for the birthday girl. I sure do love how it turned out, nice and summery and just perfect for a young lady.

Pattern information: EQ6 software program helped me with the layout, machine quilted.

Have a great day, eh!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Catching threads

Bonnie Hunter has a great idea for making a thread catcher out of jeans and I made two (you are only seeing one here).
Instead of using jean legs, I had a piece of denim fabric from my sister's jean skirt that was shortened and the remnant has been sitting in my scrap bin for a while now. Actually, I had just tossed it in the garbage, a few days ago, as I didn't have any idea what to make with it. After seeing Bonnie's post, I went back into the garbage and took it out and made my thread catcher bags.
The only thing different is I sewed in a rectangular piece of plastic so that cleaning out the threads and bits and bobs will be easier. The plastic helps to keep the sides open.
Now, how is that for being crafty and recycling?
See the poster in the background? My SIL gave that to me after their trip to Alaska and to the Yukon a few years ago.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Machine quilting

I am trying very hard to finish up some of my tops that are ready for quilting and I have been hard at work on this one. As you can see, things were going very well until I noticed a bit of bulk under my hand. Good thing I stopped when I did as my machine nearly got wrecked big time (and I just got my machine back from the repair shop). See how close my stitches and the pin are? Whew ... now that was close! After a bit of unpicking, I continued on until the whole quilt got quilted. The binding is on .... love that striped fabric and there is only enough to do one (maybe two) quilts and then there will be no more. The backing is striped flannelette and I just love it.
My label is sewn on and I am way ahead of myself. This weekend, I am going to a party!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Klosjes Saturday

This is where I'm at with my klosjes. A section of batting was added to my design wall so that I could fit all the blocks width wise. My quilt will be 14 blocks wide x 14 blocks long (6" x 6" square) and will finish queen size with borders, so there is a ways to go still. Slowly, but surely, they are getting done and are so addictive. Those of you who are contemplating joining in the fun, beware ...
Have a great day, eh!