Saturday, March 30, 2013

Schoolhouse is a top ... haunted no more

I have had quite the journey with my schoolhouse quilt and at last it is a top.  Come along and I will show how my borders came to be.

Once my centre blocks were all assembled and sewn together with the sashings, the time had come to decide on the borders. 

Numerous red fabrics were pulled and auditioned along with different versions of stars. This is the final selection for the borders.  I definitely love the two different star sizes.

Once the borders were sewn on, it helped to define the look and to help me decide if I was going in the right directions with those stars.
The more stars were made and pinned onto the border, the more I was falling in love.
 Then, I thought about putting small circles inside the larger stars.  Yes, that will do quite nicely!  :o)
After sewing a few stars on each night, I would pin my top onto my design wall and sit back in my chair and drool and pinch myself if this was real.  Seeing my progress each night kept me motivated to finish the border and this top!
Here is a close-up of the stars:

At last, my top is finished and I am haunted no more.  Haunted?  Read on.
My love affair with this top all started with this quilt below.  DH and I stopped in at the quilt show (May 2005) in Kingston, Ontario on our way from Toronto to Quebec City to visit family there.  We only had a few hours to do the show and DH snapped photos of the quilts while I browsed the vendors and the guild booth.  This quilt haunted me.  Was there a pattern?  Debra was also at this show (before we became friends) and every so often we would talk about this quilt and again asked: "was there a pattern"?  Finally Debra and no-blog Mary asked if I could draft up the block.  Well, yes, I think I can?  It wasn't easy drafting that pattern, but finally it came to be.   You can go here for a tutorial on how to make your own block.

It turns out that the Kingston guild had a blurb about this quilt at the time of the 2005 show.  The quilt that inspired the guild ladies to make this quilt came from Donna Thomas.  You can go here to read more about it.
Then, a few days after I finished sewing the last star onto my top and exactly 2 years after I first posted about this quilt here, an email was received from the designer and copyright holder of this pattern.   Andrea Blackhurst is her name and her pattern appeared in Quilt magazine, fall 1996.  The photo below is how this quilt appeared in the magazine (thanks Andrea for giving me permission to use your photo). 
My version of THE quilt is made and I'm haunted no more!

Now, it is time to get on with another UFO!

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Star love

I'm in love with this star:

 It came from this pattern:
It was used in this top:
Both the above tops were used on my quilt ladder this past Xmas.  Yumm .... together, they make a nice statement.
The same star in two different sizes on my Just Blessings top (that is still in progress and patiently sitting on a shelf):
Then, it was used again as a border treatment for my school house top:
What do you think?  Will I be using this star again in another project?  I think you know the answer already!  :o)
Have a great day!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A quilting tale

You know, my nieces and nephews have quite the sense of humour.  I received this email yesterday from my niece, Nicole:

Once upon a time, a beautiful favourite niece princess spent her spring break with 
her uncle and aunt (the Quilting Queen) in their ice castle in Toronto.  The 
Quilting Queen figured that the princess should learn how to quilt, and so they 
started a quilt project. 
Years and years went by (8, actually), and although the princess diligently added
a few lines every now and then, things kept getting in the way (an honours thesis,
teacher's college, a wedding, new house, and a baby).  
Finally, one day, the princess finished sewing all fifty billion bleeping lines 
into the quilt, so she emailed her aunt and said "Dearest Quilting Queen- I think 
it's time for binding!"
Hmmmmm ..... I wonder what her reaction will be when I tell her that she needs
to cut all those fifty gazillion lines first before binding gets sewn on 
(it will be a chenille quilt)?  :o)
Have a great day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Summer Sweet

Yep, we sure could use a bit of summer here right now.  The winter has been long and cold with lots of snow.  Oh well, spring is on its' way and before we know it, the hot muggy days of summer will be here soon enough.

A number of you were wondering about my top 'Summer Sweet' (that I have been exchanging the sashings with a different colour) and was the block pieced or appliqued.  Actually, both.  Here is a close-up of the block:

 One of the flower stems:
 The vine border:
How I wished that photos were taken of the process of the paper-piecing portion.  There was a gazillion triangles that were spread out on a table and I would pick and choose the colours as needed per arc and there are a lot of arcs in this top.  This was done before my blog days and the thought of taking photos never occurred to me.

The pattern appeared in Quilter's Newsletter magazine, vol. 355 from Sept. 2003.
This is the actual pattern by Linda Neustadt.  As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew that it was one that would be made and it was started way back in August 2005.  The top was finished December 2005 and it has sat in a box on a shelf since then because I just wasn't happy with the way it turned out.  I love Linda'a version but wasn't happy with my version until now.
This is what my quilt looked like with the white sashing:
Once I put this top on the bed for an overall look, I just didn't like it and played around with a medium blue sashing to give me an idea of what it would look like.  Suddenly, this quilt top started to sing to me.  Am I too picky ... or ..... crazy?  I will leave you to decide!  :o)

So, that is my story about this quilt.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Summer Sweet UFO

Another abandoned UFO got pulled off the shelf this week.  It is time to tackle replacing the white sashing over to the bright blue sashing.  I did start the process about a year or two ago, but dumped it in favour of something more interesting because, let's face it, unsewing is not a good thing. 

When I assembled the blocks (way back when), my basement floor was my design wall and everything looked fine up close; but once I acquired a design wall and could view the overall look from a distance, this quilt top did not give me happy thoughts.  Everything looked .... well ..... too white.  Now that the bright blue is getting installed, this quilt top is starting to sing to me.  That blue is helping to define the blocks and give my eyes a place to rest.  So, I will plod along and just get it done and free up another bin.
Have a great day!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

We 3 Quilters' Visit, part deux

This will be my last post about the We 3 Quilters' visit to our home. I thought you might like to see the eye candy that was around our home while they were here.

On my quilt ladder:
In our dining room.  Do you see those chairs stacked on top of each other .... they are an upcoming re-upholstery project.
 On another wall in our dining room:
In our living room, my Winter wall hanging.  This quilt sure depicts what it has been like this winter way up here.
In our entrance:
In our T.V. room
 Both Debra and Mary showered me with gifts:
This T-shirt was given to me by Mary at Xmas and I can finally show it off:
My husband received this mug rug for his birthday (more about this on Debra's blog).  He doesn't want us to get dirty, so it will be hung with my other mini wall hangings in my studio.  This photo was taken on our last day at our home in Toronto (what a fantastic souvenir) and Mary had the fabric made from this company and then she made it into a mug rug.  I must say that Mary always comes up with original ideas for Debra and I.
 My two buds went home with a bag of goodies:
Inside the bag, was this magazine and quilt pattern as well as 2 kitchen hand towels and 2 dishcloths (which I forgot to take a photo of):

Please go over to Debra's blog to see her side of the story and lots more photos.

It was a great visit (although it went by way too quickly) and we had lots of laughter and fun and I think that each of us ended the visit about 3 lbs. heavier!  Oh dear!  :o)

Thank you, DH for driving back and forth to Sudbury and for putting up with us.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 1, 2013

We 3 Quilters' visit, Part 1

A week ago today, my friends,  Debra and no-blog Mary flew from Toronto for a visit.  DH and I drove to Sudbury to pick them up (about 1-1/2 hr. drive) at the airport and back home to North Bay for a 4 day visit.  Debra is on the left, that is me in the centre and Mary on the right.  Everyone was bundled up for the cold weather; but the girls bought warm temps with them for their visit, which was such a nice relief from the cold, cold weather we had been having.

Once home, a house tour had Mary twirling around in our living room singing 'The hills are alive .....'.  They loved seeing my quilts everywhere, they loved our home and they loved the snow.  They were amazed at what we had done on our home since we moved in.  Our home is a work-in-progress at the moment.
We all wore socks and slippers .... except Debra.  She went around our home barefoot.  She even posed for a photo outside in the snow.  Brave of her to do so!  Actually, I think she was digging for the bottles of Skinny Cow that were thrown outside into the snow bank to cool off.  :o)

Debra was given the bedroom adjacent to my studio.  She works different shifts and I knew that she would be awake at different times to the rest of us and she could applique and watch TV while we slept.

I tried to make the sitting area in my studio as comfortable as possible. 

Comfortable chairs - check
Good lighting - check
Quilt magazines - check
Quilts to snuggle into - check
Don't we all look cosy and settled in? 
I have always wanted a wall to display my mini quilts and I now have it.  There are more quilts to put up, but this is a nice display so far.

Lots of eye candy - check

Mary slept here and I think she was thrilled with her bedroom.
Of course, there was an extra quilt if she needed it. 
So, this is part 1 of their visit.  Come back for more.
Have a great day!