Friday, September 19, 2014

FMQing away!

I started the freemotion quilting on the quilt I spraybasted the other day.  You can read about it here.
The quilt top belongs to my QuiltySister.  She was involved in a block swap at her quilt group when she lived in Kuala Lumpur.  Her swap partner lived in British Columbia, I think.  She received 5 blocks and didn't know what to do with them so when she visited me from  Doha, Qatar this  summer, she and I worked on getting the blocks set into an arrangement for a small quilt.  And, guess who got to do the quilting.  I want to get this done and off my list asap.
because my nephew, her middle son, will be visiting me from Saint John, NB, for Thanksgiving and I am hoping to  he will be able to take it to her when he goes to Doha for Christmas. This quilt gets around!

I also want to remind you that if you haven't entered my giveaway already, you can go here to check it out.  I will be choosing a winner later today.

Hope you have time to do something quilty today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How I spray baste

Spent 20 minutes earlier this morning getting another flimsy ready to machine quilt.  RetiredHub and I donned our breathing masks and spray-basted on my design wall.    I can't do this without him!  I'm too short and you need a second set of hands. 
I decided to take a few photos during the process to show how we do it, not the greatest photos but hopefully you will get the idea. I have had a few quilty friends wanting to know.  I have seen it done on Youtube videos but I think the way we do it is a bit different and easier to manage a larger piece.(and fun!)  I have basted larger ones before in this manner than the one I am showing today.  Of course, the size of quilt you can baste  is limited to the ceiling height of the wall you are able to use. 

I hate to pin for machine quilting because it takes too long and it interferes with my free motion quilting.  I tried hand basting once to see what that was like...never do that again!  It's almost like quilting the whole thing before you quilt the whole thing!   because I found I needed to make smaller stitches so that the foot didnt catch on them.  Spray basting  has its pros and cons too.  I am usually very happy with the outcome so I make sure I pay attention to the cons. Especially Con#1. Very Important!

Con #1 - It's glue....your lungs don't do well glued together!  Wear a mask (I wear two masks)  and open a window or two, ventilation is a must.  Follow the directions on the label.
Con #2 - It's crazy expensive.  At least here in Nova Scotia
Con #3 - It will get on your floor so put down a drop cloth (and don't trip on your drop cloth. ask me how I know!)

Pro #1 - It's fast! and I like fast these days.  I need to get things done, done, done!

How I use my Design Wall for spray-basting quilts

I have an old flannel  double bed sheet stapled to my wall, from floor to ceiling,  nice and taut. It is in a hallway in my basement, my mostly unfinished basement, so I don't worry about marking the wall or hurting anything. 

Step #1 -  place your nicely ironed backing piece wrong side up on the wall, straight as possible. Sometimes I even iron it on the wall!  Just run a dry iron quickly over it to get rid of any wrinkles.  The flannel sheet is behind so it doesnt hurt the wall.  If my backing is pieced or is directional design, in order to get it straight, I make a centre top, bottom and side marks on the flannel sheet, just beyond the backing,so I can see to line it up. 
RetiredHub gets out his trusty carpenter's level to make sure it is as straight as possible. For this one,  I just eyeballed it . 

 Step #2 -  Attach the batting (I use push pins) just along the very top.  I always give myself lots of extra with the backing and batting and then I can trim later.  I have no problem using up leftover bits of backing and batting for small projects.  Make a nice pillow to go with the quilt!

Step #3 -  This is where the second set of hands comes in....have your helper bring the backing up from the bottom and out, so that you can spray the adhesive directly on the backing about 1/3 of the way from the top.  Now let the backing fall down and gently pat it onto the backing, smoothing as necessary.  Then repeat for the next 1/3....spray, drop, smooth and then finish up with the same process on the remaining 1/3.  Your batting should be nicely attached to your backing with no lumps or bumps. I spray lightly and quickly as I snake across and back over the surface. 
This is the point where I was about to get right in under there and spray the top 1/3 of the backing.  The spray basting adhesive is repositionable so don't worry, it can be lifted a bit  and smoothed again if you don't like it.  How do you like my Scrap Corner? It looks a mess but it is organized.. by colour.

Step #4 -  Now, repeat with your nicely ironed quilt top. This is where I would find the centre top, bottom and sides of the quilt top and make sure those points matched the registration marks I made when positioning the back) Using the push pins to secure at the very top of the quilt top, spray the batting in the same manner and continue as in the last step. Works like a charm!  Now I will just trim around and make it neater, maybe run the iron quickly over it to set and take out any wrinkles and then quilt away! Another project on it's way to completion.  I like that!

Thanks RetiredHub!  You are my basting hero!  Can I have your Man-Cave for my Scrap Room?  Something for you  to think about.

Hope this all makes sense and that I haven't forgotten anything.  Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. And if you give it a try, I would love to know. 

and hope you get time to work on something quilty today! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

My First Pattern Published!

How cool is this!!  I have been waiting to see my pattern for my Colour Columns Cushion in print for a while.  And it is here now!  WooHoo! Copies are available at quilt shops.  I got mine at Atlantic News on Morris St in Halifax.  I think they ordered a few copies more than usual for this edition.

I would like to thank Heather McArthur, Editor/Publisher of Quilter's Connection Magazine for including my pattern in the Fall 2014 issue. A quilt magazine for Candian Quilters! I was so pleased with how my article looked when I opened the magazine. It has been  such a pleasure, Heather!  Maybe I will start working on designing something new!

I would also like to thank most especially, Karen Neary.  Karen suggested my pattern to Heather and got the ball rolling and helped me do the finetuning involved in writing a quilt pattern.  I had no experience, and needed lots of help and am very grateful to my dear friend and fellow Nova Scotian.  Of course, Karen is an expert since she has written tons of patterns and books etc.  Just look on the cover of this magazine and you will see her amazingly beautiful quilt, "New York, New York", with all the instructions inside to make it for yourself. Check out Karen's website for lots more patterns and inspiration. Karen's quilt will be one of the grand prizes at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst, NS, October 14th - 18th.  I bought my ticket! 


To celebrate, I am giving away a copy of this issue of Quilter's Connection Magazine.  I just ask that you leave me a comment, any comment, on this post,  and that you are a follower of my blog.  I will choose a winner on Friday, Sept 19 and announce that winner the next day.  Remember to make sure I have a way to respond to you if you are the winner.

Fun fact.... Beside Karen and myself, also in this issue, an article by Kaaren Johnston, a fellow Nova Scotia quilter.  Three's the charm! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Getting a start on a finish

Today, I started work on making the backing for my niece's wedding quilt. I don't have an absolute plan, I am improv piecing with the signature blocks.  It will be a surprise to me when it is finished!  I love improv piecing.

 I joined up with Sheila @ Sheila's Quilt World for her recent Fall themed postcard swap.  I have been given my swap partner's name and I have checked out her blog to get a few ideas of what kind of postcard she may like.  I have a good idea of what I will make for her.  Thanks to Sheila for organizing this fun swap.  It is always great to get to make a new quilty friend.

Speaking of awesome little guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, had a zippered pouch swap at our recent meeting.  Here is the pouch that I came home with.   Love it!  I already have it filled with all my fabric markers.  I didnt get a photo of the one that I made to swap, my camera had been on the blink.  Maybe Anja, who chose my pouch will have a nice shot of it that I can use.  Stop by her blog and see her latest quilt top, Grey Square Scramble.   I am in love with it! 

Hope you had time to do something quilty today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's Happening!

I have been so busy lately that my blogging has gone on the backburner.  I am really behind and I hope to catch up over the next few days.  I have plans for a few special posts in the near future. 

I did manage to get together with our friend, Tyler, before he leaves for school in Newfoundland, to give him the quilt I made for him.  He was very touched and he appreciated all the work that went into it.  It will keep him warm this winter.  The photo is horrible.  I only had my cellphone.  You can see why I had to make the quilt longer!  Tyler sure makes me look very short.  Guess I am.  He is almost a foot and a half taller than me!

Remember all the sewing I was doing for my niece's wedding?  Well, the wedding took place this past weekend and everything looked just wonderful.  Here is a shot of the head table with the burlap and lace runner and the flags I made. 

The quilt guest book went over really well and I now have lots of signature squares to incorporate into the design for the backing of the wedding quilt. 

And here she is....She was so beautiful, I cried a lot...when I gave the Toast to the Bride I had everyone crying, even the men!  
The happy couple 

I spent a bit of time today at my machine.  First time in almost a week!  I made a zippered pouch for my guild swap next month.  I have lots of sewing that needs to get done in the near future.  A few deadlines.  More on this soon. 

I hope you had time to do something quilty today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August Report - The Library Challenge.

Put your sunglasses on!  This is a bright one!

 I having been working on my #5 commitment for the Library Challenge off and on since last month. If you haven't already, you can go here to see my choices.  I have switched out my original #5 commitment for this one.   This is going to be my picnic/car quilt so I am taking a bit of creative sewing license here.
After raw edge appliqueing the large and small hexagon to the 17 1/2" background square, I layered each one with a scrap piece of batting and freemotion quilted spirals in the centres.  Then I sewed the 12 squares together into a top.  I sewed the squares together, batting included.  I will press them open and then probably quilt on either side of the seam lines to hold everything  down nice and flat.   The next step will be to add a backing and then do more freemotion quilting to hold it all together.  I really like how is is going so far.  Great way to use up all those odd pieces of batting.  And I also used different matching colours of thread on each block and that helped me clear out a bunch of odd bobbins. 
Amy Butler "Soul Blossoms" and Kona Solids
Have you ever made a quilt for your car? 

I am linking up with Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.  Stop by!

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Country Snowflake"

It has been a week of intense sewing for me. Today,  I was able to finish up the pieced top for my niece's wedding quilt .  Phew! What a pile of sewing.  The pieced border was very labour intensive but so worth it. And I can't even convey how happy I am with the way my sewing went.  I give all the credit to my new 1/4" foot.  I didn't have to fudge anything throughout.  I didn't even have to trim the 12 1/2" pieced star blocks, they came out perfectly. The borders went on perfectly too.  Seriously, I have made lots of large bed quilts over the years and this is the first time that everything has gone so smoothly for me. So smoothly.   The hardest part will be basting this one together.  I can't do that until after the wedding because I will be piecing the backing with squares signed by all the wedding guests.  The wedding is Aug. 23, so not much longer.  I am really anxious to get quilting this one although I know it will be tough on my home machine.  I will just take it slow and easy. It measures 80" x 106"

And, a personal best.... I didn't start another project in the middle of making this!  But I definitely need to get back to my scrappy quilting.  I am just not a four fabric girl!
 PS..This quilt is called "Country Snowflake" because I used the pattern, "Snowflake" designed by Trudie Hughes, and because it will live in the country, on a farm, in rural New Brunswick. 

Hope you had time to get some quilting done today. 
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Quilty Fun Day

Sheila and Suzanne having fun!
Yesterday was a quilty fun day for me.  I drove to Pictou for the annual Northumberland Quilt Guild's Show and Sale and to meet up with my friends, Lesley, Karen and Sheila.  Together we are also known as..The Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet!  We are from Arichat,  Port Hawkesbury, New Glasgow and Halifax.

left to right - Sheila, Karen, Lesley and Me

We all met online, through blogging,  about two years ago  and decided to try to get together from time to time to attend quilt shows or just hang out.  My daughter, Nicola and my good friend Suzanne tagged along too.
We toured the quilt show and shopped at the vendor's mall.  There were lots of quilts to admire.  It was nice to see that many were handquilted.  I find the lighting isn't the best for quilt photography in the deCoste Centre so some of my photos didn't turn out so well.  Here is an example of what we saw. 

I have more to tell  about my day but that will have to wait til tomorrow.  I need to get back to my sewing before bedtime.  I finished up all the major cutting for Katherine's wedding quilt and have all the strip sets sewn and ready for subcutting.  Then it is on to piecing the blocks.  Lots to do! 

Hope you had a quilty day and got some time to sew.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Postcard received!

I received my swap partner's postcard in the mail yesterday.  It is from Helen in Gonor, Manitoba.  What a lovely postcard!  Such nice stitching.  I love it and it is a wonderful addition to my collection.  Thanks Helen!

Here is the postcard that I sent to Helen.

The theme for the swap was "Maple Leaves" and it was hosted by Brandy Lynn @ Canadian Quilt Talk. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A very productive week!

The past week was very productive in my sewing room.  My newest project is coming along nicely. My Picnic Quilt.  I have all the blocks ready for appliqueing, just hanging around my design wall.   I will have more details of how I am sewing this one up, in my next post.  Plus, I still have to rearrange a few things. 

I sewed the binding on my "Warm Quilt, Cool Quilt" last night and it has had a turn in the washer and dryer and it turned out just so soft and cuddly.  It is all ready to be gifted.

My experiment of spray basting this quilt, which measures 62" x 74", on my design wall turned out pretty good, I think.  Everything is nice and straight.  You can read about my process here

My niece, Katherine, has chosen the fabrics for the wedding quilt I will be making for her and her hubby-to-be.
She wanted the fabrics to be neutral and suitable for a couple.  Nothing flowery.  I am not used to working with so few fabrics in one quilt so it will be something new for me to sew up. I will have to sit on my scrappiness!
I am just about to start cutting it up. 

I was able to get all the sewing for Katherine's wedding completed.  I made a 240" burlap and lace runner for the head table. 

3 - 6 ft long runners for the buffet tables.  These I made from a lovely off white linen dish towelling fabric.

I also made over 300" of burlap/lace flag garland for the front of the head table.

I made the garland for the quilt block signing table.

All the guests will sign a block that I will eventually turn into a backing for the wedding quilt. 

I also wanted to show a cushion that my daughter, Nicola, made from my stash of 30's reproductions.  
It was her first piecing project and it turned out really great .  I finished it up with some freemotion meandering,
She hasn't caught the quilty bug yet but someday I hope she will.