Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chevrons

So ..... well ..... darn ..... I did it again.  Started a new project.  Chevron Legacy.  I have been drooling over this pattern since I first saw it.  We are talking serious drooling.
It is in McCall's Quilting November/December 2013.
Before my other scrap project even has outer borders on it, I was pulling scraps and cutting to my heart's content.  The cutting took longer because enough strips were cut into five piles for each length in the pattern.  Extra time in the beginning, but quicker later at the sewing stage.  Then the sewing started.
My Strofoam board comes in handy for laying out the strips to see how well they will look before any sewing is done.
Masking tape on the floor is handy for me to see when to stop sewing on strips and the trimming to size can start.  Very handy indeed.
On a good day, a length can be sewn.  A few strips here and there were removed and replaced after they had been sewn together.  The replaced fabric just did not go with the look or it was just too close to the same fabric that was exactly in the same place on another length.  It is a bit tricky to replace one strip in the middle, but it can be done carefully.
After doing this project and the American Wildflowers, my bin has greatly reduced in size.  This bin was full before these two projects even started.  Oh my word, how wonderful to see this.  Is my bin half full or half empty?
Well, it doesn't matter which way I want to think about it, because this trunk that has been hiding scraps has been emptied into that plastic bin and we are back to being full again.
 See .... full again!  I'm sure that another new project will have me dipping into those scraps again.  There are still another three bins of scraps waiting in the wings once this bin has been reduced in size. LOL  The scraps never end and they seem to multiply on their own, but Lordy, what treasures they can be made into.  Scrappy quilts.  Gotta love scrappy!
Before I can even think about playing  sewing, Miss Ashes is on a mission ..... she wants treats!  See the stare.  She is definitely on a mission.
Have a great day, eh!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nine patch wonder

Well .... I finally got the binding sewn onto this quilt.  The machine quilting was finished back in February 2017.  This is so unusual for me not to get a binding on right away.  Oh well, it is finished and that is all that matters.  Simple nine patches with patch sashing.  Simple as that.
 The backing is made up of three different pieces of flannel.  They look washed out in this photo.
 This is more like the vibrant colours in the one piece of flannel.
For making labels, I stretch and pin my label onto a piece of Styrofoam board and then write my information.  The label doesn't move as I write and I no longer have to use a piece of freezer paper on the back to write.  This way is quicker too.  Just pin and write.
Label sewn onto the backing.
 My machine quilting is just simple straight lines.  Washed and crinkly.  Love it.
 Another view of the stitching.  Simple lines.
Simple patches.  Lordy, as I write this post, the light bulb went on.  That is the name of this quilt.  "Simple Patches".  I will need to get out my permanent marker and add that to the label.

Without further ado, the quilt was stretched slightly and pinned onto my Styrofoam board and the words added to the label.  Done.

I love simple quilts.  Also, complicated quilts.  Makes life interesting.

Quilt info.:
Started - Jan. 27, 2015
Finished - April 5, 2017 (only took 2 yrs. and 3 months to finish) LOL
Top Size - 58-1/2" x 86-3/4"
Finished Quilt Size - after machine quilting and wash and dry - 57" x 84-1/2"
Pattern Source - me, myself and I
Patch size - 5" x 5" finished.
Batting - 80/20 cotton/poly
Machine quilted by me using my domestic sewing machine.

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fast or what?

While going through books and magazines to thin them out for donation, I came across this pattern in McCall's Quilting March/April 2015.  What a perfect pattern to use up my 2-1/2" scraps!
I started working on this on Mar.22 (I keep a journal, so I know when start dates happen).  A bout with a stomach bug that was going around had me grounded for a number of days.  Then I got back to working on the blocks on Mar. 29 (as per my camera date).  This photo was taken at 10:37 a.m. that morning.
Plugging away at it off and on that day, this was taken at 10:43 p.m. that night.  Holy scrap, this is fast ... fast for me, that is.   I can't believe how much got done in one day!
I thought the blocks were all made, but when I looked at the layout, I was short by 5 blocks.  My husband was in my studio when the shortage was discovered and he asked if I had enough fabric to make the remaining blocks.  Well .... I laughed until I almost chocked.  Did I have enough fabric?  LOL LOL LOL

Then, slowly the setting triangles, corners and flange got made and the rows sewn together.
A week later and borders are being auditioned.
My big scrap bin has reduced in size.  Bonus!  I have almost a top.  Double bonus!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Boring storage - Not!

LOL .... this is not boring by far!  This is my latest storage cabinet.  It is second hand but I just love it to bits.  Solid wood.  It has dings and scrapes, but it has a story to tell which makes it even more interesting.
It currently holds 11 quilts and another could be squeezed in there.
I've been admiring these cabinets on Pinterest for quite some time and even pinned a few to remind me to acquire one.

So, am I a happy camper or not!  You should see me doing the happy dance!  No, better not!  LOL

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kentucky Stars

It has been a while since I last worked on this project.  The hand quilting was 3/4 done.  So, a few weeks ago out it came and I've been busy working on it since.  Before I knew it the quilt was done!
Then a bout of stomach flu got in the way and so it sat for five days.  Once I recovered from that, the binding was done a little bit at a time.
When I got tired and needed to stop and rest (recovery takes longer at my age), the hanging got hung up on my design wall so that I could sit back and admire it.
Binding ..... DONE!

Here is my hanging washed and pinned onto my styrofoam design wall for drying and blocking
 Here it is all finished and being admired on the wall above where I sit in our living room.
Oh, happy, happy, happy!

This only took 11 months to complete.

Size:  30" x 35"

There is both hand quilting and machine quilting in this hanging.

Pattern for centre came from Electric Quilt Company on one of their separate programs called Classic Applique Folk Art and it is originally known as Kentucky Flowerpot.  I changed out the flowers and inserted my favourite stars instead.  That is why it is called Kentucky Stars.  The border blocks came from another project that I had worked on and ended up not using in that project.  A perfect home was found for them instead.  

So, that is another bin that can be recycled for another project because this hanging is DONE.

If you want to read more about the progress of this project, just click onto the label Kentucky Stars at the end of this post and scroll down and enjoy reading.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

42 Days

That is how long it took me to finish my Antique Sampler (by Sue Daley) top.  Holey Moly ..... was I obsessed with this pattern!  I just couldn't stop working on it.  Don't I look pleased or what!
So, to help others wanting to make this pattern, but are shying away from it because it looks hard, well here are a few tips to guide you along.

Where to start?  First, pick your background fabrics.  Most of these fabrics are F/Q's with the exception of the large blocks which I bought extra fabric for.  I chose whatever fabrics looked good together.  There are Civil War fabrics in with Asian and more modern fabrics.  A lot looked like tone on tone from afar.
How to place them?  That is a good question.  Following the pattern, my background fabrics were placed according to the blocks in the pattern.
Starting with the heart blocks (on the four corners of the pattern), one fabric was selected for the four heart corners.  Because each small motif is repeated 4 times in the pattern, I started cutting four identical fabrics for each icon.  This is when I thought that 16 fabrics was limiting, so only 4 fabrics were cut (4 x 4 = 16).  Where you see the stars represent the 16 cuts and their placement.  This is where I decided that the remaining small blocks were to be cut 2 per fabric.  Confusing?  Yes, but it works.
Now for the placement of those cut fabrics, I simply followed the pattern.  The coloured lines show how they are placed.  There is a reason for this that I will explain later.
As each motif was cut out and basted, they got pinned to the square (again following the pattern placement).  By putting the white square on top of the background fabrics, this helped me to keep track of those squares and also to help choose colours.

 Day after day, week after week, my blocks were coming together.
 Stepping back, my layout can be adjusted.  But what to adjust?
Can you see the lines?  The motifs with the blue line can be adjusted because they have the same background fabric.  Just the motif gets moved.  The same with the yellow line.  Or, I can move all 4 motifs around to wherever they fit in better with the surrounding colours.   The background fabrics stay, but the motifs move.  Simple.   Once I was happy with the overall look, then the motifs were sewn permanently to the cream circle.
Here is my top with one border done.
There were a few changes made (not many).  The birds were done facing each other.  The centre large block was changed.  The vase was kept, but the flowers match the other flowers in the big blocks.
 The basket motif was enlarged 130%.
 The leaf in the border corners were substituted with circles.
In the large blocks, the leaf placement was adjusted.  See the arrow?  Now look at the other leaves and their placement.  Right beside them is the pattern placement that were drawn onto the cream fabric (using my light box) which I felt looked odd.  So, simply move the leaves around to the same placement as the one with the arrow beside it.
So, after all this, are you more confused or afraid to try the pattern?  Don't be.  Find friends to do the pattern along with you or do as Sue Daley says (don't fuss too much) and just try it.

Often times, I tend to get too technical and matchy matchy, and probably a tad OCD (ok maybe a lot OCD) but it works for me.  Oh well, that is life and I'm happy with my way and the results show for themselves.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Applique Obsessed

Oh my, I have been so obsessed with my Antique Sampler (by Sue Daley).  I couldn't leave it alone.  Day after day, night after night, I worked on those blocks.  They really were that much fun to do!

The centre (not the borders) is completed and all sewn together.
The tabs in this border are pinned and waiting to be appliqued onto the border fabric. 

Two changes to the pattern were made.  The centre large block.  The flower in the pattern didn't appeal to me as it didn't fit with the other large block flowers.  So, it got changed.  Also, leaves in the corner border blocks were changed to circles.  Other than that, this pattern is perfect.

Love, love this pattern!

This top will definitely be hand quilted and I've already got ideas on what to start with.

Those borders will get tackled and then this top will be completed.  Then it will be time to move onto another project.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ten .... ten .... ten .... ten

Ten years!  Today marks my 10th year of blogging.  Ten years.  Holy scrap, where did the time go?  Really, I can't have blogged for 10 years?  Really?

Yes, I checked.  Feb. 22, 2007 is when I first started.  Here is my first post.  Short and sweet.  LOL.  Lordy, but I have come a long way in my writing and posting.

I remember that day.  I was so nervous to actually be starting a blog.  Would there be enough to talk about?  Would anyone read my posts?  Well .... yes to both questions.

Last month, my page views were:  20,289
Page views all time history:  570,968+

Thank you to all my followers (442 last checked).  Thank you to all my readers that keep coming back to check out what I've been up to.

What actually drove me to start my blog all those years ago?  To help other quilters.  I would leave a comment on their blog to describe how to solve their problem.  But how many people would that comment reach?  Start a blog and talk about these issues.  So, that is how my blog came to be.   Many tips and tutorials have been given throughout these years.  When someone had a problem, I was able to help them out and do a post about it.  If I had a problem and was able to solve it, then a post could help others as well.

So much has happened in 10 years.  I won't bore you with all the details.  You can go through my blog and see for yourself.  Mind you, it will take a bit of time.  :o)

How much longer will I blog?  As long as I can and as long as there is something to write about.  At some point in time, my eyes and fingers will start to give out on me and that is when my quilting life will start to slow down.  This is not being pessimistic, this is reality.

So, what am I working on on this 10th year of blogging?  Applique, of course.  Right now, I am so obsessed with Antique Sampler (by Sue Daley).    I can't seem to stop working on it.  This pattern has so much to offer.  EPP and applique combined.  Perfect choice for me.
I had a question on where to buy this pattern.  Just Google Sue Daley quilt patterns and links will show up where you can buy them.  My pattern came from a shop in Australia.

The other thing that has consumed me over the years is EPP (English Paper Piecing).  Many tops/quilts have been made using this method.  I'm still amazed how this method has creeped into my life.  There is always one EPP project on the go for take alongs on trips and to the cottage.

This EPP is from a photo that I saw in a magazine and the rest is history.  The pattern was figured out and away I went with it.  This will be worked on until it is time to go to the cottage where all those pieces will be sewn together.  Lovely days are coming.
Ten years.  A lot has happened in my life in 10 years.  It is nice to go back to past posts and reflect on those days.

Life is good!

Have a great sewing day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Quilting in the Garage

It has been a while since I last posted about quilting with my friends in the garage.  This past Saturday was our latest get-together.  It snowed a lot overnight but the temperature was a good -6C.  Not bad for venturing out for a day of sewing.

Jeanne and Karin (who is in sunny Florida) were not sewing with us that day.

Let's start with Claudia:

Here is her finished Antique Sampler.  She started this last March and finished it in February this year.  Hand appliqued and hand quilted.  Absolutely gorgeous!
Her hockey top that she is in progress of making.  Now, there is a story about acquiring fabric to make this top.  Both Claudia and I bought the panel and two fabrics at a store in New Liskeard (2 hr. drive north of us) a month ago.  They didn't have much else to go with it.  Then, a few weeks later, I found the remaining fabrics we both needed at a store in Sudbury (1-1/2 hr. drive west of us).  Now, we can both finish making our hockey quilts.  Yeah!
After Claudia saw my sheep quilt, I gave her the pattern and she did her own version.  Love it!
Meet Lois.  Lois was our guest that day for quilting with us.  Lois is president of our day guild and Claudia is president of our night guild.  Lordy, but Darlene and I had to be on our best behaviour that day!  Lois is showing us her bag that uses a piece of metal tape measure as a closure for the bag.
She made two feather blocks.
Here are Claudia and Lois both making one of those bags.
Darlene (who is the owner of the garage) was working on her Antique Sampler.
This is her progress so far.
This is me with Coach (garage dog).  If he is not sitting on Darlene's lap, he is on my lap.  LOL .... I look like I'm snoozing, but actually am working on my Antique Sampler too.
So, it was another fun day and from looking at the photos, gosh so much inspiration abounds at our sew days!

On another note, as I'm sitting here working on this post, a noise to my left gets my attention.  Miss Ashes the Cat is trying to open the door into the treat cupboard. She has the door open but can't get her head inside.  Guess she wants a treat!  LOL

Anyway, the snow banks are getting higher and higher each day.  DH has already snowblowed two neighbours' driveways this morning.  Right now, snow flurries are coming down.  Another good day to stay indoors and work on my Antique Sampler.

Have a great sewing day!