Friday, January 27, 2012

Non-Sewing Week

I took a break from sewing this week and enjoyed some knitting.

I have been knitting "Be Mine" socks from the book "2-at-a-time Socks" by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The socks have a cable down the front and back that forms a string of hearts.  It is fun to knit something that takes a bit of concentration. The pattern does have a lot of mistakes (the whole book is full of mistakes, something I forgot), but things went better when I downloaded the corrected pattern. Here is the link for corrections for the book if you have it.

I also started a simpler scarf. The pattern is from Ravelry - Fern Lace Scarf if you are a member, from The Craft Pixie. This is a really simple pattern that makes a beautiful design. I am using Maiden Hair yarn from Hand Maiden/Fleece Artist. It is so beautiful and soft, lovely to knit with. I am trying out my set of Addi Click interchangeable needles for the first time - they work really well. I find that knitting with circular needles is easier than with regular, straight needles. I am using size 4.5mm needles, and I cast on 84 stitches - to make the scarf wider than the pattern.

Back to sewing next week - I ordered some black thread to quilt the Granny's Hankie quilt and it came today.

A view of the bird feeder from my bedroom - sometimes they are so noisy.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew In Results

My Friday Night Sew In had an early start -

with Joan in Australia - Friday night there. Seeing her in her tank top made me forget how cold it is here!

I started sewing Winding Ways blocks - I cut enough for a large quilt. I am sewing the blocks together as I go. These are ~8" blocks, and I need to make 144 of them - 12 made yesterday.

I also did some knitting - heart socks in red wool!

Another wonderful FNSI - thanks Bobbi!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 20, 2012

EQ Block of the Month Quilt

I finished the EQ BOM quilt in December, and now that it is on their blog, I can share it here.

The quilt is 35" x 41" (the blocks are 6"). I used cotton batting because I wanted the wallhanging to have an old-fashioned look.

I knew that I wanted to make an appliqué house block with the saying - Having someplace to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having Both is a Blessing. - unknown, and thought that the EQ BOM blocks would go perfectly. The centre is 12" square

I used Aurifil #50 thread for all the quilting - lots of feathered wreaths.

Used my favourite Hera marker for marking the centre veins.

The past few days I have been cutting out the pieces for a Winding Ways quilt using the GO!, getting ready for tonights Friday Night Sew In.

It has been extremely cold here the past few days (-30C, with -40C wind chills).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Apple Core and Roses Table Runner

I finished the apple core table runner (the binding took a long time to stitch down).

It is 52" x 16". It took a 20" square of fabric for the bias binding. I am so glad that I had posted a tutorial for Apple Cores, because I sure needed it for this project. You may think my tutorials are for you, but they are really for me to refer to!

Close up of the quilting - it was inspired by one of the fabrics Cotton batting, and Invisafil thread on top, Aurifil in the bobbin, with a #70 Microtex needle.

The appliqué is an original design.  I do have a PDF for the appliqué pattern. If you would like a copy, you can email me (link here) and I will forward it to you. I am still working out how to post PDF's.

I used 33 Apple Cores cut with the GO!, but the appliqué design would work on anything.

I really like appliqué on a "monochromatic" pieced background. Here is another example of one I made-

This stool cover is made using a Tri-Recs ruler (there are more details here), and the quilting design is based on a design from Ivory Spring (Bird Feather Quilting Motif).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Little Pink Houses

I finally accumulated enough pink fabrics (4 - I have boys) to make a Little Pink Houses quilt (the first concert my husband and I saw was John Mellencamp back in the late 80's). It is 16" square.

I designed it with EQ7. The blocks (this is the School House block) are 4" and I knew they would have to be paper pieced (foundation pieced). This is the EQ print out for it (I had moved the pieces around before printing, but they printed back in their original layout, something else to figure out on EQ!).  I traced the templates onto vellum paper.

I knew that I didn't want to have to remove any paper from the back (after the string quilt), so I tried a "new to me" technique of paper piecing that my Mom showed me.
You don't sew on the paper, but fold it back before sewing,

and stitch beside it (I glued the first piece down with a bit of glue stick glue, and then added a bit more after adding a couple more pieces of fabric).

When the section is all finished you take off the lightly glued paper and you can reuse the pattern.

I have always avoided paper piecing, but with this new method I am definitely going to be trying more. New York Beauty here I come!!

I made four blocks,

and added 1" (cut 1+1/2") sashing.

Dreaded "Y" seams,

and mitred borders, more things I usually avoid.

Little quilts mean little stitches - micro stippling and mini serpentine feather border. I used Invisafil 100WT thread.

I also used wool batting because I wanted the houses to pop out. I did stitch-in-the-ditch around all the houses and border before free motion quilting.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Learning Something New

I started machine quilting the table runner.

It's coming along well and I will show more of this and post a pattern when it is finished.

I used a white board to work out the quilting design - such a useful tool.

I have also been trying to figure out how to design a custom quilt with EQ7!

To enter the EQ BOM 2011 Challenge you need to send in an EQ file along with a picture of the quilt. When I made the quilt last month I couldn't figure out how to design a custom quilt and designed it the old way (paper and pencil!), not realizing I would need an EQ file. Found out this week that I do!
It is something I am definitely glad that I am learning! Did take quite a while to get to this point though!

A beautiful sunrise this morning, with such a bright sun dog.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Strings and Waffles

 It did create a huge mess and took quite a few hours, but

I did get all the paper of the string quilt!!! Netflix and Skypeing with friends helped.

I chose to use paper for the foundation instead of fabric because I wanted to keep the quilt light and thought that an extra layer of fabric would be too heavy. This will be a summer bed quilt for my son and I am planning on trying silk batting for it. The quilting will have to wait for a while - until there is a sale on batting.

I pressed all the centre seams in a spiral to reduce the bulk.

My next project is a table runner for someone special. I used the Apple Core die for the GO! and will add some appliqué.

I have been so pleased with the new waffle maker (Cloer form London Drugs in Canada) and thought I would share the recipe (this recipe comes from my BIL).

 Norwegian Waffles

2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (or 1/4 tsp cardamom or poudre douce)
2 cups flour
1+1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

With an immersion or hand blender mix the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and baking powder, when mixed add the butter. Let sit for 15-20 mins.

I cut the butter (I use less than the recipe calls for) up into small pieces and melt in the microwave until almost all melted. Then I stir it until it is all melted and put in the freezer while I prepare the rest of the batter. It is then cool and ready to be added.

You could probably replace some on the flour with whole wheat flour, although I haven't tried that yet.

This recipe does keep in the fridge for a few days. I make it the night before to speed things up in the morning - it doesn't take any more time than frozen ones in the toaster and tastes so much better. I like them best with strawberries and some maple syrup.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Quilt

I finished the 12 Days of Christmas Mini Mystery Quilt (from the Temecula Quilt Co). Such a fun, quick project to make! I looked forward to 1:18pm every day to see what kind of block would be made with another piece.

It came out to 17" x 20". I used Civil Wars Chronicles fabric by Marcus Fabrics and wool batting. 
Yes, I see the red swastika in the corner - my family wanted to know what it had to do with the 12 days of Christmas! How come I never see these things until I have attached the binding?! It would have been fine if I hadn't used two different reds for those pieces.

I free motion quilted an over all mini Baptist Fan, using Invisafil 100WT thread in the top and Aurifil 50WT thread for the bobbin, with a Microtex #80 needle.

This is the first time that I have tried a Baptist Fan. 

I drew it out on a white board first to figure out how it would go. I couldn't figure out how to travel the pattern backwards and so I quilted each row individually in all the same direction - this made the quilt a bit twisted when I finished quilting (you can probably tell in the first photo that it is not "square"). I have now washed it and re-squared it - I'll see what happens when it dries.
I love the quilting design and will have to look into different ways of creating it, I think it looks nice on mini-quilts.

I have been working on taking the paper off the string quilt - watched 2 movies and Skyped with friends and only managed to remove paper from 30 of the 120 blocks!! I am sure it will all be worth it.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Thanks to every one for the kind words on the new look of my blog! 

Finished up 120 string quilt blocks and it did put a dent in the stash bin!

I laid them out without much thought or planning (great/easy way to piece!).

I decided to keep the paper on the back until all the blocks were sewn together. Looking online it seems be a pretty even 50/50 split on when to take the paper off (before or after sewing the blocks together). These blocks are 7".

It was a bit like sewing a large paper bag, but all the blocks are now sewn together. I think taking the paper off is going to be the hardest part of making this quilt! Hopefully I made the right decision!!

Today was Day 12 of the Temecula Quilt Co. mystery quilt - tomorrow is the big reveal - can't wait. These are 3" blocks.

Record breaking +5C today!! Normal temperatures are -25C. The partridges were checking out all the feeders. Still 13 in the flock. Only 1 rabbit in the yard this year - the one that used to come up on the deck last winter is gone☹.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 - New Year, New Look

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes a new look.

The old quilts on the right side of the photo are ones made by a couple of great-grandmothers, a grandmother and an aunt, plus some of their photos and some of their quilting supplies (there is also a photo of my mother when she was young - she is now a quilter too, and recently gave me the Singer feather weight). The large photo is of my great-grandmother - Julienne Doucet - she is the quilter who made the appliqué quilt on the top of the pile - the photo and quilt are both from around the 1880's. The quilt in the background and the ones on the left are mine.

I have noticed that many people are talking about their plans for the new year. I think I am like so many people out there - we want to simplify, de-clutter, use what we have...

My goals are to use what I have, and to get rid of things I know I will never use. I will also be trying to accumulate less!
Last year it was spending less time on the computer and more time "doing" (plus finishing my UFO's) that worked for me. Hopefully I'll be able to say the same thing next year.

To start this year off I have joined Sew Cal Gal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge and decided to make the optional sampler quilt.

I decided to make the one that is 34" x 50", and all the fabrics are from my inherited stash.

The squares are 8". I have the binding all ready, and these are some Aurifil threads that I will use for the free motion quilting (I have already stitched in the ditch with the walking foot in all the seams - I didn't want to keep it pinned for a year).

The January challenge was by Frances Moore - it was practicing leaves.
I have quilted these kind of leaves before (here is my tutorial), but never so close together and curving around one another. I tried all different sizes to see what it would look like.

This was a fun challenge.

For this sampler quilt I used warm and natural batting (because I had a piece the right size).

I also used a Microtex #80 needle and the open toe spring action quilting foot.

I keep the feed dogs up when I quilt, but I set my machine for spring action quilting (the foot kind of "hops").

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
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