Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trimming time ...

On my Sweet Dreams quilt, all the blocks are done, the rows put together and it is time now to trim the side and corner setting triangles. Whenever I make a quilt that is on-point, my triangles are always made a tad bigger than what is called for and then trimmed afterwards. Do you see those yellow round things at the bottom of the photo? They are weights and come in handy for holding my top in place while trimming. I bought these weights (pkg. of 4) but a couple of canned goods will do the job quite well too. Here is my centre portion of this flimsy. Just need to add borders to finish this top. Yeah, another flimsy almost done! :o)

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Be gone .... dye bleed-outs .... be gone!

Today, while browsing the web, I came across a post about how to get rid of bleed-outs. This same problem has happened to me ..... even though my fabric is all pre-washed ..... a few times now. It is time to share with you my tips for getting those darn bleed-outs out forever. You may remember seeing this little wall hanging on a post back last December. It was my SSCS scrap gift to Peg in Australia. Years ago, before pulling a trick from my sleeve, this hanging would have ended up in the garbage .... I will show you why. This was the start of my dilemma. I had almost finished hand quilting the centre section but was not happy with the way the borders were marked up and I washed it to get rid of all the markings and laid it flat to dry.
Well, can you see the bleed-outs???

Before .... this would have left me in tears .... but now now! What to do about it? I got some Colour Catchers for an exchange of an item. We can't get any of this product here in Canada and the person couldn't get a certain item in her country. A perfect exchange for both of us.

The area of bleed-out covered so much of the center portion, I took two sheets and basted them directly over the areas that had the bleed-outs. If there was just a small area, just cut the Colour Catcher sheet to cover the area. No sense in wasting a whole sheet, eh (and in case you are wondering, yes, I am hoarding them. They are as precious as gold here in Canada)!
My hanging was washed 2 times and laid flat to dry.

These sheets not only pull out the excess dye from the background fabric, it will also pull out any extra dye in the material (or in this case the wool strands) that will release the next time you wash a quilt or hanging. Depending on the dye colour, you may have to wash more than once. If need be, just replace the Colour Catcher sheets until the dye bleed-outs are all gone.

There were bleed-outs in this quilt .... and it is with this quilt that the solution came to me. I wanted to enter this quilt in my guild quilt show but couldn't because of the bleed-outs. You can imagine my smile when my method worked and I was able to enter this quilt for the show.
While we were getting ready for our guild quilt show, the lady that washed this raffle quilt came to us in tears. This was the quilt from hell and we just didn't need another problem to deal with just before the quilt show. Lucky for us, my method was already put to use and the lady was assured the problem would be solved. I think she was doubtful at first, but the quilt was displayed and raffled.
This method works. Try it and let me know if you were successful. I have given these instructions to others and the feedback has been positive.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cabin fever .... be gone!

It truly is amazing what a week in the sun can do for cabin fever! This year, our winter has been long, cold with lots of snow and a week in the Dominican Republic was most welcome. My sister and I stayed at Punta Cana at one of the Iberostar resorts. What can I say, except it was "wonderful".

This post is photo heavy, but bear with me as there is something about sewing at the end.

We stayed in this block of rooms and if only we took our bearings when we first arrived, we would not have roamed the resort trying to find our room later in the afternoon. The resort is huge and we walked different paths throughout our stay ... some more interesting than others. I just loved the wooden planks laying on top of the sand. Lovely colour combinations.

We walked the beach the first afternoon we arrived. Again, my sister and I forgot to take bearings and after 45 mins. of walking we turned around and headed back to our resort. Mmmm .... what did our resort look like from the beach? There were no signs posted and after seeing other people on beach longers wearing the same wrist bands like we had, we figured that was our resort. Phew .... lesson learned.

We walked the resort grounds which were absolutely beautiful. Lots of photos were taken from various vantage points. We had to walk off the wonderful food we ate each day otherwise the plane would never have been able to take off.

A day excursion into the countryside revealed the reality of this island life away from the resorts.

A quick swim at the local's beach was gorgeous and breathtaking. No development here .... just a beach as one would expect.

A day of snorkelling was amazing. Unfortunately, we had no underwater camera to take shots, but the mural on this bench gives a good reflection of what we saw.

We were quite happy to sit under a beach palapa .....

... and watch the world go by ....

.... and take a few snoozes like this trio during the hottest part of the day.

When I least expected it, inspiration snuck in and surprised me.

I did get some sewing done on the beach and late at night in our room. The lighting in the hotel rooms are always the pits, but I brought a book light (the kind that you just clip onto your book) with me and it really came in handy. My light has an adjustable goose neck and it was perfect to adjust to whatever angle I needed to see and sew.

Now, don't laugh ... but I just plunked my book light down the front of my top, adjusted the goose neck, turned on my light and relaxed back against the pillows and sewed away to my heart's content. This book light was under $10 and worked like a charm for me.

My sister laughed when she saw what I was doing but thought that it was a great idea.
Anyway, have a great day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Half-way done and we're bored ...

Recently, this pattern came in the mail for me. Teresa had asked me (when I first started making klosjes) if she could use my idea for making klosjes for a class and I gave her my blessings. It just warms my heart when a person gets inspired by something I've shown on my blog. This pattern is adorable and it is one that will have to be made to go along with my klosjes quilt.

Any of you wanting this pattern, please contact Teresa direct. Speaking of my klosjes quilt .... it is half done. Hallelujah and wax more thread as there are miles to go before this quilt is done.

While I was snapping photos of my klosjes quilt, I could hear some noise to my left in the dining room. Ashes was pulling herself over to be closer to Miss Hank. Right .... I know where this is going and it involves a bit of fur flying.

Getting closer ....

.... and closer ....

.... and away they go. DH and I step in when it becomes a tad too tense but for a little skirmish, we just let them go at each other. Better to do it where we can see them. During the night, they have little battles because we find chunks of Ashes' hair on the carpet in the morning.

It has been a long winter. The girls are bored. They want to go outside, but it has just been too cold. Miss Hank usually sits in front of the floor grate to catch any heat that the furnace gives off.

For me ... the winter has been long too. On that note, I'll soon be leaving for a week in the sun.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

School-house blues

Five years ago, at the Kingston, Ontario quilt show, this school-house quilt captivated my attention. It was a raffle quilt but I didn't win it. Oh darn! Still, it has been on my mind to make my own one day. Debra was also at that quilt show and she bought $40.00 worth of raffle tickets and didn't win either. Double darn! Since we started getting together a few years ago, we have been talking and talking about this quilt and decided to make our own.
March 2, 2013 - Update:  At last, the original designer and copyright holder of this pattern is Andrea Blackhurst and the pattern appeared in 'Quilt' magazine, fall 1996.  Thank you, Andrea for contacting me so that credit can finally be given to you. 

So, last Saturday, Debra and Mary (no blog) came to my house and we sewed. Below is my progress to date. For our meeting, I just had the middle house block done. I'm making the small alternative blocks using EQ7 and am having quite the time (fun) making them. Some of my blocks are paper pieced and others (the more intricate ones) I am doing them the English Paper Piecing method. The school-house block finish size is 12" x 12" and the small alternative block finish size is 6" x 6". My quilt will have 25 blocks (5 x 5) and will finish approx. 84" square. I'm not sure what size Debra's and Mary's will be. Time will reveal all our blocks and quilt sizes.

Now, for my 'show and tell', I had quilts in 3 separate piles around my house. There was no way they could be shown all at once as it would have been quilt overload. Miss Hank had to be coaxed off this pile. Ummm ... can we say princess and the pea ... but she sure does look cozy.

This is the aftermath of one showing. To all those ladies who have given me giveaway quilts and swap quilts .... your ears must have been burning as your quilts were greatly admired. It was fun to show the ladies my quilts and other quilts from around the world. Both Debra and Mary are participating in swap quilts and blocks and they have shown me their recent exchanges.

Oh yes, we had a fun day!

If you want to see another version of a school-house quilt go here and scroll down.
Have a great day!
BTW .... oh yes, one more project to be added to my UFO list for a total of 33 projects and 7 tops to be quilted. What can I say, that is life! :o)