Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blessings

I finished the little "Blessings" quilt from the Temecula Quilt Co.


It is 16" square. They have updated the pattern, I cut out the setting triangles before they made the corrections, and had to recut them - I just guessed at 1" bigger on the measurements and it came out fine. I am glad that I had enough fabric.
It was such a fun quilt to make - I love basket blocks and the setting is a style I had never made before.


I hung it in my "mini quilt room" (aka the laundry room) with some other 16" squares. I had the third old wooden dry cleaning hanger waiting in there, and was so pleased that this quilt was the right size.


Now you can see why it is called the mini quilt room (although there are some big ones in there too).


I only have a few wall hangings in the rest of my house, so I go wild with them in this room.


Little quilts are such a nice way to try different patterns and quilting designs. There are still some blank spaces in there!
Julie (Me and My Stitches) has a great way to display quilts in her sewing room - the picture is on this post. I could squeeze more quilts in if I hung them that way....


My Mother made this bed runner (you can imagine my children's faces when I told them what this was, and how I didn't have one when I was making them guess what it was). The blocks are 12" square, so it is over 6 feet long. She paper/foundation pieced the blocks - you don't sew on the paper (she taught me how and I showed it here).


She asked me to quilt the border for her. I chose a feather design from Carla Barrett (Feathered Fibers) that I had never tried before.


The design is shown here. It was really fun to stitch. I tried the "bump, bump" way of stitching the feathers which I don't do often, but I am starting to like it more and more.


Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 30, 2012

March's Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I finally got around to completing this month's Free Motion Quilting Challenge piece. It took awhile for me to decide exactly what I was going to do. 
To me the challenge this month seemed to be more about pushing yourself to try something new, rather than quilting a specific quilting design.


So, I decided to try something new to me. I drew my design out on a piece of paper (also a "new to me" design), and then "stitched it" on the sewing machine with a #90 needle and no thread. This created a stencil that I then used quilt pounce on to mark the design on the quilt. I will definitely use this method again to mark a design.


It created a very clear outline that was easy to follow. I used two colours of Aurifil #50 thread.


I added loops for a background filler.


Ann Fahl's tutorial was very good, and she talked about using different threads, so I decided to add some highlights with metallic thread. I tried a #90 Embroidery needle for the metallic thread and slowed the speed of the machine down. It worked very well - usually my machine doesn't like sewing with this thread.

The Free-Motion Quilting Challenge is so much fun, and I look forward to it every month. Thanks so much Sew Cal Gal! Can't wait to see what next month brings.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Igolochkoy

It is Spring Break for my youngest son and we spent a couple of days in the States at the beginning of the week. Fargo, ND, is an easy three hour drive south of here. My favourite store is there - Nordic Needle.


I, of course, indulged in my obsession with thread! All the beautiful colours and textures are so appealing - my blog is appropriately named by my oldest son.


I finally tried Igolochkoy (ee-gó-luch-koy) - Russian Punchneedle Embroidery with some of my new threads when I got home (I have had the tools and book for a while).


The work is done from the back with the little punchneedle tool, I used 3 strands of embroidery floss (these ones are overdyed) for this piece. The fabric is held drum tight in the hoop. The penny is just for scale.


The pattern for this is from the book "Miniature Punchneedle Embroidery" by Linda Repasky.


Instead of making it into a pin like the one in the book, I glued it to an old magnet (lightly sanded first), and trimmed around it.


I then glued a twisted cord around the piece.


I seem to have been making lots of twisted cord recently. I make twisted cord using a bent nail in the drill instead of a drill bit. I place the other end of the thread around a pencil that I put in a drawer in my craft table. Super simple and no fancy tools required!


The above picture is actually my first attempt at punchneedle - I quickly learned why you are not supposed to use 100% cotton fabric, when I reached the middle all the the fabric gave way - there is a large hole in the centre. I then tried it with polyester/cotton fabric, it was much easier and no hole! Weavers Cloth (a polyester/cotton fabric) is recommended, but I couldn't find any.


These pillows are made using a very similar technique, only with a larger punchneedle tool and wool, on velvet. The tops of the loops are cut off, and each section is trimmed for a 3-D effect. I made these about 30 years ago (yikes - I must have been a baby!). The flower one was started by my grandmother, the other pattern was hers also.


When I was at Nordic Needle I decided to buy these two Romanian Point Lace books - I thought it was about time I had actual books on the subject.
Since I posted my RPL tutorial  (2 years ago this summer), it has remained the most viewed thing on my blog - far outnumbering everything else on a daily basis. I am amazed since I consider this a "quilting blog".


Speaking of quilting - the pattern for the fifth Temecula Quilt Co block of the week - Blessings - came out  today. Tomorrow we will get the finishing instructions.

I didn't buy any fabric while I was in the States - I did go to some quilt stores, just didn't find anything - I guess I really don't need any more fabric, and there is a large quilt show coming up in Winnipeg next month which I am really looking forward to.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

IPad Bag



Today I made a bag for my new IPad (my birthday present).


I have been working on the crazy quilted flap for the past few days.


Stitching, buttons, beads, charms, ribbon etc. I started crazy quilting when I was young, and it is still one of my favourites!
I recently started using thicker threads (Edmar "Lola" is my favourite, but also Kreinik #8 braid and Trebizond silk) and now I think I need to get bigger beads (a trip to the bead store maybe...), these ones are size 15 and I think they look too small compared to the thread. I started using thicker threads when I started crazy quilting with Bali fabrics - I just think they go better together.

More Details -


I used a magnetic clasp for the closure. These are so simple to add, and make closing a bag very easy.


They come with a metal backing that you use to mark the position of the slits that need to be cut in the fabric (I just use a stitch ripper to make the little slits), and then the prongs from the magnetic fronts are folded over the metal backing. I usually make sure that I have some extra interfacing or fabric where I place the closures.
The first time I used a magnetic clasp I made little buttonholes instead of just cutting slits, but I find no difference in the stability and just cutting the slits is so much easier.

I used diaper flannel for the "batting" and a heavy/stiff fusible interfacing for the "backing" for the "bag" portion, and quilted it with a 30WT variegated thread (Sulky).

The flap has a layer of heavy interfacing and a layer of woven, light interfacing, no quilting.


 I made a long handle,


and used a 1" ribbon inside for stability (this is a ribbon from a fat quarter bundle). I just stitched the ends together after sewing the seam down the handle, and turned the whole thing right side out.


I added some decorative stitching down the handle to hold all the layers together.
I tried a new way of making the handle adjustable, using old brass rings that I found in my first house - I think they are from curtains. The buttons are decorative and they hold the extra part of the handle.


The tassel hangs from an agate ring that my SIL gave me.
The bag is hanging from a hall mirror that my Dad made for me over 20 years ago.


The bag is 9" x 11" and fits the IPad wonderfully. I made a couple of pockets inside to hold the IPad and other "purse stuff".


These are a couple of my favourite reference books for crazy quilting - Judith Baker Montano's "Elegant Stitches" and "A~Z of Bullions" from the A~Z Series.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fourth Blessing Block



Today I made this little 4" block from the Temecula Quilt Co.


It is the fourth block of their "Blessings" quilt along.


I also finally assembled these Easter Egg ornaments. I cross stitched them a few years ago and just never got around to cutting out layers of cardboard and putting them all together.


They were so easy to finish, I don't know why I waited so long! They are 4+1/2" tall.
The "Dresden Plates" behind are on an old clock that belonged to my great grandparents in Nova Scotia.

Here are a couple of things I forgot to show you -


I added some ribbons and bows to the tin cup and lace pincushion, so it is all finished and being used.


Plus, this is a little wall hanging that my mother made for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, using fabric that Wendy (Inky Threads) gave me. My Mom used her new Rose of Sharon die for the GO! cutter.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blogger Icons

I found out why the pencil, and screwdriver & wrench (they are called "quick edit" buttons) are missing from my blog. Apparently it is when Blogger changed my URL - I hadn't even noticed - it is now ....blogspot.ca instead of .com.

To get the the icons back I had to change my blog address from ......blogspot.ca to ....blogspot.com/ncr (this means "no country redirection").

Here is a link from the Blogger forum if you want to know more.
I have updated this post a few times (like I normally do) and I am so pleased to have the little pencil back!

Another thing that I find odd about Blogger is that I don't have as many options for "Settings" in the new interface as I had in the old interface. When I wanted to get rid of the word verification for comments (it is too hard to read now, I know it has cut down on the amount of comments I leave because the word verifications are longer than the comments I leave!), I had to switch to the old interface to change it because it wasn't even an option in the new interface. Same thing when I wanted to check if I still had the quick edit option. What's up with that?!

Wow a post without pictures - I have just been trying to figure things out on the computer - no time for sewing.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fabric Bowl and Blessings

I finished the fabric bowl today!


It is about 13" across, and I used 50' of cotton cord, plus 26 WOF fabric strips (cut to 1"). I used  a regular machine needle ( #80 Universal) and sewed slowly so the stitches wouldn't skip. It was quite easy to sew. The longest part of making the bowl was wrapping the fabric around the cord


Tips (or things I should have done differently!) -
- I shouldn't have made such a big bowl. I should have started the side(s) sooner because it takes a few rows for the side(s) to take shape.
- I shouldn't have added handles for my first bowl. It was hard to get them the same size and directly across from each other. Plus I should have only added two rows for the handles (I wanted to use all the cord) because the last two rows changed the shape of the bowl, and the handles stick out to the side instead of sticking up.



I thought it would make a nice basket to hold projects for my sewing room.

It was lots of fun to make and I will definitely try it again - smaller, maybe a couple of different fabrics and no handles!



This is last week's Blessing block from the Temecula Quilt Co.


All three 4" blocks so far - two more to go I think.


It didn't get as warm as they originally thought it would, but lots more snow melted today, so still wonderful.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Has anyone else noticed that the "little pencil" used for editing posts and pages, and the "crossed wrenches" for editing things on the side bar, are missing on their blogs when they are signed in?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday Night Sew In Results

For the Friday Night Sew In I started making a fabric bowl.

the start of the bowl

getting bigger

almost big enough to start the sides

the base is 9" and I started the sides
 When starting the sides I found that I really had to hold the bowl up, and press it up underneath, close to the presser foot, otherwise the base was just bending.

the sides are getting more noticeable



I started with 50' of cotton cord (it is 1/4" and sold as clothesline cord) from the hardware store. I have had the beautiful fabric for a couple of years and never knew what to make with it, I thought this would be a perfect application since the colours are so wonderful (and I have nothing to go with it).


I cut 1" strips of fabric across the width, and pressed 1/4" over along the edge. I used this method with the pin in the ironing board. It worked wonderfully (once I realized I could keep the little legs on the Oliso iron from coming out), I just set the iron down on the strip and pulled the strip through. It took just seconds to press each strip. I chose to fold down an edge of the fabric so that the bowl wouldn't be "hairy" with little threads.


I then wrapped some cord, it overlaps about half of the strip. I only wrapped one strip of fabric at a time and then sewed.


I do have this very handy double cording foot for my machine which is very helpful. I used the Triple Zig Zag stitch, set quite wide.


I started the bowl last night, worked on it some more this morning and have quite a bit more to go!
The inspiration for the bowl is from here (I probably will add handles too). I have used 17 WOF strips so far. I probably should have attempted a smaller bowl first!

Here are some lovely images of all kinds of fabric bowls from Google.


I did manage to get another row added to the Winding Ways quilt yesterday too, more than a quarter of the quilt now.

I just realized how to add captions to pictures and recently how to set blogger to open a new window for a link - amazing when you read the fine print.

Thanks for another great FNSI Heidi and Bobbi!!

Happy National Quilt Day and St Patrick's Day!