Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Wall Hanging

I decided to put machine quilting on hold for a few days and work on a little wall hanging.

It is Tumbling Leaves from the book "Fat Quarter Quilting" by Lori Smith. This is definitely one of the few books that I could happily make every quilt pattern!
I am using mostly reproduction fabrics in fall colours.


All the applique pieces are ready to go. I will post a tutorial on this type of freezer paper appliqueing.


All the blocks are ready to be sewn together.

While I was busy sewing this morning I forgot about the bread I was making!!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Machine Quilting

The "Diamonds at Large " quilt is all finished!


I free motion quilted (on my home sewing machine) feathered wreaths in the main darker diamonds,


and a "wave and pearl" (my variation of McTavishing) filler for the lighter background diamonds.


The fabric is a layer cake - Harvest Home by Black Bird Design for Moda. I used wool batting and it has a flannel backing. The quilt is 55" x 42", and is a very nice (manageable sized) lap quilt. It would be great for an older person or someone in a wheelchair because of the size - the wool batting also helps keep it very light.
The pattern is from the book "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts" by Pam Lintott.
The wonderful thing about this quilt is that it only uses one layer cake to make the whole top and the binding! It was a simple design and left nice large spaces to practice free motion quilting.
I used almost a whole spool (1300m) of Aurifil thread (top and bottom) and a #80 Microtex needle - never had a problem.

Some things I learned about free motion quilting feathered wreaths -
On the inside curve lay the first loop down at a low angle so that the last few loops will be able to fit in (I finally realized this for the last few wreaths!).
I like to make the ends of the loops wider (bulbous), I think it looks better.
When you have to go over a stitching line (when laying loops down side by side), try not to stop or move your hands - your hands will remember the path they just took and it will be easier to stitch on top of the other line.

(I did trace the oval for the wreaths, but free motioned the loops in.)

This quilt is the last of the three quilt tops that I made over the summer. I just have to quilt a lap quilt that my Mother made for a family friend and then it is on to smaller projects.
Also the Secret Santa Christmas Swap was just announced over at Ouvrages d'une Acadienne (I don't know if you have to be part of the Charming Girls Quilt Club to participate?).

Now that the new TV seasons has started, I picked up my tatting again (something that doesn't need my undivided attention).

I started this when we went to Italy (doesn't take much space to carry). I like this pattern (it is from an old book) because it makes one big motif and there are no filler or joining parts. There are 3 motifs so far (started the fourth and still need 3 more). I am using #30 Cebelia cotton. If I fill the shuttle very full it will make one whole motif.

I made this one a few years ago with #80 tatting cotton, it is about 9" across. There are 7 motifs. I like the way the secondary patterns come out, reminds me that I would like to try making a double wedding ring quilt.

I saw this one on the Accuquilt site. Oh No! Another table runner!!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Machine Quilting

I started machine quilting the Diamonds at Large quilt.

In the diamonds I am quilting a feather wreath.

I made a paper template to trace around with chalk and after stitching around it two times, I free-motion quilted the feathers in. I haven't quite figured out how to make even feathers on an inside curve - oh well! I have better luck with the outside curve - but I thought that the wreath wouldn't look complete without the inside feathers.
I think I will quilt some sort of MvTavishing in the background diamonds.

There is another GO! cutter and dies give away going on over at Jane's Fabrics and Quilts. This one ends on October 1st. Good luck!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Have you noticed that Diane Gaudynski ends all her posts with "Keep quilting! Your work gets better everyday." I think this is such a encouraging ending!
And very true!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Red Can Make Things Better

I finished the hexagon quilt.

I think I should call it "When In Doubt Add More Red"!
I made the hexagons out of an 8 pack of fat quarters. I didn't know what to do with them - there were too many for a table runner and not enough for a lap quilt - so I added red fabric! It made a small lap quilt that I still wasn't too thrilled with - so I quilted an all over pattern in red thread! Red is my favorite colour and I figure can only make things better!!

I did a loop and three-leaf all over design with red Aurifil thread on my home sewing machine. I used cotton batting and a flannel backing. The fabric is Glace by Moda. The quilt is a 52" x 50½" lap quilt. I am pleased with the final results - red did make it better (maybe that should be the name!?).
I don't think I would make the pattern again, I find that there are too many bulky seams.

These flowers aren't quite red, but they brighten my living room. I brought this hibiscus plant in for the winter, it did wonderfully outside for the summer.

Something that might brighten your day is winning a GO! Cutter!! Millie from Millie's Quilting is having a great give away for a GO! Cutter and three dies!! The winner will be picked on Oct 2nd. Good luck!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Romanian Point Lace Update

Has anyone noticed the cool addition to blogger - "STATS"! It turns out that Romanian Point Lace gets more views on my blog than anything else!? So I thought I should have an update.

I have been working on my table center (the pattern is from a January 1990 issue of "Anna" magazine).

I also made all the flower centers and the two extra circles I need for the table center. They are double crochet rings around a loop of thread (the flower centers are made up of three rows and the extra rings are two rows).

I have also figured out how to make the braid that is to go around the whole table center (I need 2.2metres of this).


The pattern for this braid is -

Work 1 double crochet into the 2nd of 4 chain, 3dc into the 1st chain,
*make 1 turning chain (turn work), work 1dc into the 1st dc, 3dc onto the 2nd dc*
repeat *-* as required.

The pattern is from the Anna magazine - since I don't really know how to crochet I hope this is what I have made! It looks nice anyway!
I don't think I would use this braid as a substitute for the regular braid, I think it is meant to be an edging braid.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Postcard in the Mail

When my youngest collected the mail today he said we had a postcard from Australia!


What a surprise - I don't know anyone who was going to Australia or anyone in Australia! But yes I do!! This postcard is from my friend Joan!

It is one of her wonderful Zentangles!! As a thank-you for her prize (Joan won my portion of a contest - free motion quilting challenge - that Wendy and I hosted back in May).

Another friend is having a great giveaway on her blog. Deanna (of Wedding Dress Blue) is giving away patterns for table runners! You can never have too many! Good Luck!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!! ♥

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ready for More Machine Quilting

Today I prepared the hexagon quilt for machine quilting.

All layered, pinned and ready to go!

I even cleaned my sewing machine -

I use a small paintbrush to clean through the hole in the bobbin holder (I turn the wheel a little bit to clean in a different area - the bobbin case has been removed).
Charlie from Qubee Quilts recommends cleaning your machine after 4 to 6 hours of sewing - definitely not something I do, although I clean it often - I am going to have to remember to do it more often.

I joined some batting to get a big enough piece for the hexagon quilt.

This is the first time that I have joined batting with my sewing machine.

I used a type of feather stitch, and it worked really well - better than when I hand stitch it.

I am using cotton batting, and am probably going to do an allover quilting pattern, maybe leaves and loops (my favorite!) with red Aurifil.

Yesterday I picked all the tomatoes (we had our first frost last night), here are some of my favorites. I like to grow heirloom tomatoes. The large ones at the top are Brandywine (two are joined together), the orange ones are Nebraska Wedding (my favorite - the texture is creamy), an Oxheart on the right, the green ones (they are ripe) are Green Zebras (nice tangy flavor - but not too acidic), and the little ones are black cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. Nothing like garden fresh tomatoes!!

Have a great day and thanks for dropping by!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Four in Four Finished

I finished the Four in Four Quilt.

The pattern is "Emma" by Bella Moon (from Vancouver). It is 48" x 66" and I used 12 Bali fat quarters to make it. I talk about making it here (I made changes to the size of the pattern).

I used cotton batting and quilted it with an allover pattern of butterflies, loops and ginkgo leaves on my home sewing machine. The back is flannel.

a clearer picture of the ginkgo leaves

I am really pleased with how it turned out. It was a great pattern to make, and very easy. Simple patterns, like this, really seem to let the beautiful fabric shine. (The pictures don't seem to do the fabric justice.)
Tip
When I made this quilt I ironed the fat quarters before cutting and then didn't iron anything until the whole top was finished. I find that for quilts with simple squares it is easier to match seams when they are only finger pressed. They seem to nest together better.

It was very windy yesterday when the quilt was drying!

Have a great day and thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Routine is Happening!!

This weekend I purchased and washed the flannel for the quilts I have to work on -

I am starting with the batik quilt. It will be for my Aunt (also my Godmother).

I am doing an allover free motion pattern with loops, ginkgo leaves and butterflies. I am using Aurifil thread in the top and bobbin.

I decided to move my sewing machine to the basement (where my sewing area is supposed to be!), and set up my tables and old counter top quilting contraption, since I have three quilts to finish.

I am pleased that things are getting back to a routine (says something about my personality!).
My house is clean, I am back to my wonderful volunteer job, I made some bread -

this weeks ironing is done (ironed while on the phone to my friend Wendy) -

made time to use these -

life is great!!

I hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Update

My children had their first day of school/university today, so maybe things will get back to some sort of routine.

This week I made a bird pincushion and a thimble keeper (pipkin).

The thimble keeper comes from a tutorial by Idle Hands Empty Brain, that I found through the Quilt Rat. I added a coral stitch around to cover the joining stitches (probably won't do this step again). I also had a beaded tassel on one end, but it made it too hard to open the thimble keeper, so I cut it off.

The bird pincushion I made by modifying a pattern my mother gave me from a quilt magazine (sorry I don't know which one it came from).

(the original pattern)

The original pattern calls for a 1 3/4 " wooden spool and since I only had a 1" spool, I made the pattern smaller. The pattern also used wool, and I used cotton. I also wanted to have separate wings instead of appliqued ones, so I added those too.

My mother's quilting group is having a show next year (I have been asked to demonstrate free motion machine quilting), and they are going to give away door prizes. I thought these little projects would be good, so I will probably make some more.

Kelly over at Charming Chatter has asked the Charming Girls (I am so thrilled to be a part of this wonderful group of bloggers) to post their September/October Hopes and Dreams.
Mine are -
Make some more little door prizes
Finish the 8 flowers left on the Romanian Point Lace table center
Quilt the three quilt tops I made this summer -




Also Kelly has chosen a Quilting the Quilt theme for September/October, this is great for me since I have three quilt tops that need quilting! Usually when I finish a quilt top I quilt it right away - this is the first time I have ever made quilt tops with out quilting them - I hope this doesn't happen again!
I will be quilting them all (probably free motion of some kind) on my home sewing machine.

Update (18th Sept, 2010) - Finished the Four in Four Quilt.

Today I tried a new recipe from Too Many Chefs.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

This was so easy and smelled wonderful while it was roasting in the oven. Just a layer of plum tomatoes (halved), 2 onions (chopped) (all from the garden), a couple cloves of garlic (halved), sprinkled with salt and pepper, herbs and olive oil. Roasted at 400°, for 45 mins. I removed the peel from all the tomatoes before I pureed the sauce with an immersion blender. We ate it with home made pasta, and it was delicious! I will definitely make this again, it was incredibly easy!

The garden has also been doing very well.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

First September Finish

I decided to make a runner with the leftover Alliance charm pack I had.


I just cut the charms in half and sewed them to rectangles (2.5" x 5") of coordinating brown fabric. Then cut the squares in half, sewed them into rows, and then the rows together.


The runner is 46" x 21", with 2" finished squares. It matches the mini quilt I finished at the beginning of the week, and I will use them on my dining room table and buffet. I hope this will be the last table and buffet runner sets that I make, because the buffet drawer that I store them in is overflowing!! (table runners seem to be another addiction!!)


I chose the checkerboard pattern to use up the charm squares without waste, and because it is like the first buffet runner I made about 12 years ago and still one of my favorites.

This one is 46" x 20", with 2.5" squares. I hand quilted it. It is made with all kinds of scraps that I had at the time and the cotton batting is a piece of leftover batting that my aunt had from my grandmother. (The buffet also once belonged to my grandmother, but I think it was originally her in-laws.)

I have also been working on the Romanian Point lace table center.

I finished crocheting the 1.9metres of braid that I needed for one section. I like to make the amount of braid I need for each section, so I don't have to cut and unwind the braid - a waste of time.

Now I am tacking it down to the pattern (this is not my favorite part of Romanian Point Lace). After I will work on the filling stitches in that area (much more enjoyable!).

This is the time of the year when I see what has been successful in the garden, so I know what to grow for next year. The cherry and ivory swizzle zinnias on the right are ones that are new to me, and have done very well - I will definitely grow these again next year. The asters (pink ones in the middle) are just starting to bloom - I always grow some type of aster.
Tonight it is supposed to go down to 4C - I hope we don't have frost!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!