Monday, April 13, 2015

Jamie's Quilt - DONE!

I have finished the last of the four projects of my "March is Machine Quilting Month" goal. So it took me a month and half...not bad, I say!    Just needs to go for a round in the washer and dryer and then sew the label on and I will be able to give it to my nephew, Jamie.  He is currently in New York City on a business/pleasure trip and I can't wait for him to get home so I can give it to him.  He is in the midst of obtaining his doctorate in audiology so I named his quilt, "DECIBEL" as I am sure he deals with a lot of those during his day.  I have chosen to leave the black parts unquilted.  I think it works just fine.
"64 x 80"

Here is a shot of the back.  I made the strip in the centre from scraps of the front.  So nice to be able to finally take a photo on the back deck.

Here are a few closeups of the quilting.

  I used Aurifil 50# thread , colour #2024 (white). I love Aurifil  thread because of the thinness and the fact that it is very lint free which is good for your machine.  Also, you can wind a lot more on a bobbin and that helps so much when machine quilting on your domestic.
For a needle, I used my favourite, Superior Titanium 80/12 topstitch needle.( I actually use a topstitch needle for all my sewing) The quilting went along like a dream. Although, my shoulder is very sore that past few days from intense quilting.  Note to self...take more breaks!
I experiment with different threads and needles a lot, but I find this combo works very well for me when quilting larger quilts. I trust that it will be problem-free so I can get the job done and be happy with my results.
This is my personal preference only.  I think experimenting is essential for quilters and the best way to find out how different thread weights and needle sizes work.  There is such a lot to know.

And..the label.   I love this part of quilting.  It's like sending a piece of me off into the world (corny, I know)

I also wanted to show you a lovely strippy quilt that my QuiltySister in Qatar made.  She was really inspired to get some quilting done after her visit here not long ago.  All machine quilted and bound!

Jelly Roll Race quilt 
I am getting very excited to visit Vancouver soon. I have been checking out where all the quilt shops are of course!  If you think there is anything I must see, please let me know.

Hope you have a quilty day!  I am!

Monday, April 6, 2015

What's Happenin'

I am working away on projects and enjoying every minute. I didn't make my machine quilting goal for March , but almost.  I am half way finished the free motion quilting on Jamie's quilt.  I went with a loop-de-loop design in the white areas and I think I will leave the black areas unquilted.  Not sure yet.   I showed Jamie his quilt a few days ago and he loves how it is turning out.  He can't wait for me to finish so he can display it in his apartment.

My lovely little guild, Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, is in the midst of a challenge to members to make 8 1/2" half square triangles, using QuiltCon 2015 colours combined with any solid grey, so that we can make single bed quilts for our chosen charity.  I figured I might as well sew the 80 hst blocks I made into a top since I had the time.  I have had two family members tell me they want me to make them a quilt just like it now!

My Pfaff QE 4.0 is in the shop for service and my Pfaff Ambition 1.0 is all set up for freemotioning so I ended up sewing all the blocks for this quilt top on my 1952 Featherweight and then sewed the rows together on my 1999 Kenmore.  It all went very well

I am just about to start work on my idea for a wallhanging that I will make for the Modern Quilt Guild's Riley Blake Challenge. The fabrics are very pretty. I ordered a few more to go with the fat 1/8s that the Modern Quild Guild supplied to members.

On April 14, the Canadian Quilter's Association's travelling show 
                                   It's Time For Colour  
Will be making a stop at Atlantic Fabrics in Dartmouth.
I can't wait to get a good close look at some amazing little quilts.  Click on the link to get the info.

Hope you had some quality quilty time today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Making progress

There is a week left in March and I just can't wait for some warmth so that all the horrible mountains of snow will start to melt and go away.  If you hear me say...."Yay, another Sew Day/Snow Day!"  you can give me a good kick.  We had more than our share of inside days recently.  This photo shows my backyard, just a foot from the back door. A lot of shovelling.   Next year we are getting a snowblower!  

On to some quilty things now.....Here is the fabric postcard that I received from Jo in Australia.  It is so cute and so well done. I love the little lace canopy over the door. This was Jo's first time participating in Sheila's Swap.  I just love it. Thanks Jo!  

This is the postcard that I sent to Jo. I tried my hand at thread painting after seeing a post by Gail @  Quilt, Knit, Run, Sew.  Stop by and check out Gail's blog.  She makes lots of wonderful quilty things.  

Update - Machine Quilting Month - March 2015 

Of the 4 projects on my list, that I hope to finish before the end of March

1. "Nine Patch with an Attitude" - complete

2 - comfort quilt for Claudine - complete 
RetiredHub and I will be travelling to Vancouver the end of April to visit with family there.  Claudine is RetiredHub's brother Lorne's daughter.  Lorne passed away in December and she misses him so much that I thought a quilty hug was in order to take with me to give to her when we visit. This will be our first time meeting.  She told me that her fave colours were burgundy, pink and dark green so I knew I had lots to work from in my older "Scrash"  I made rail fence blocks and arranged them in what I thought was an interesting design.  I  used an older tiny pink floral print on the back and binded in scrappy strips of the dark green.  I free motion swirled the Kona snow areas and left the burgundy and green unquilted. I used Aurifil 50# thread in a cream colour.It is soft and cuddly after washing and drying and I know it will make a wonderful comfort quilt.  I don't think Claudine reads my blog but if she does, then she will have something to look forward to if she sees that I made a quilt, just for her, in memory of her beautiful Dad.  

3 - Kona table runner - complete 
I pieced this runner together last fall and finished it up this month with some straight line quilting as well as some loop-de-loops.  This is intended for my outside table.  It will be a while before the outdoor furniture is put out this year!  

                           4 - Jamie's Quilt - preparing to baste 

 So, I am not doing too bad with my goal.  Just one more to complete!  

Hope you had time today to get some quilting done.  


Friday, March 13, 2015


My lovely little guild sponsored a Mug Rug Swap at our last meeting on March 12.  Here is the mug rug that I made for the swap.   Ann picked mine.  She loved it!

Chris at Patch Halifax had so generously given me the Charley Harper selvedge and it was kicking around my sewing room for a while and when the MugRug Swap at my guild was announced, well, I was off and running.  I blew up the cardinal from the selvedge on my photocopier and traced it and cut it out and then appliqued it to my favourite text fabric.  I used some fancy stitches from my machine to apply it.  I bought the text fabric from Mrs. P's in Amherst.  An awesome quilt shop. If you get the chance, you should check it out.   On the reverse,  I used the text fabric again, but I applied a vinyl coating, a fusible laminate.  So when you have your coffee or tea, you can use the laminated side so you don't have to worry about stains on the nice side.

Here is the mugrug that I picked.  It was made by Susan. I love it! She is a newbie and very gung-ho with quilting, which is so nice to see and be around.  I love the colours Susan has chosen.  I broke it in this morning with a lovely cup of coffee in my Polish pottery mug.

My beautiful QuiltySister is on her way home to Qatar tomorrow.  We had a wonderful visit and she will be back in the summer.  The weather cooperated while she was here which was just great.  Although the day after she leaves we are preparing for another blizzard.  Gahhhhh....enough already!

Hope you had time to do something quilty today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Freepiecing freedom

Last Saturday I attended a workshop sponsored by my lovely little guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  Guild member Valerie, of Purple Boots and Pigtails fame, was our teacher.  It was her first experience teaching a quilting class and we are so glad we talked her into it!  We all admire her quilts,  especially her use of freepiecing.  She did an amazing job and hopefully will consider teaching more classes.  I am used to improv piecing but I had not tried lettering before.  That's what interested me the most.  Val showed us her method and I was totally smitten with it. She gave everyone in the class some Pink breast cancer fabric and asked us to include some in our piecing, to honour her friend Bernie who very recently passed away. I used it in the roof.
 I came right home and worked on making my blocks from the class into  a  wallhanging for my sewing room .(I totally stole your sewing room wallhanging idea Anja!)  I quilted it with vertical squiggly lines using a pink variegated Sulky 30# thread top and bottom and a  90/14 topstitch needle.  I love how it turned out so much.
 My QuiltySister from Qatar is home for a little visit and tagged along to the class with me and helped me with lugging all my gear and even cutting and pressing.  It was so great to spend some quality quilty time with my sis...I miss her a lot. She enjoyed the class too.  Even though she is a strict to- the-  pattern lover,  she really liked the letter free piecing and tells me she is going to give it a try when she gets back to her sewing room in Doha.  Thanks Valerie, for a fun, learning day.  You rock!

Measures 16" x 46"

Along with the house block, the letters and the trees, we also made a freepieced churn dash block.  I am going to make a cushion with it.  I used the breast cancer fabric in the centre on this one.

Earlier today, I heard from Stephanie, the winner of my anniversary giveaway fabric postcard. The postcard arrived safe and sound and she really enjoyed it.  I can show it to you now.  It is similar to the sample that I used for teaching  my first postcard workshop.  BTW.  I am teaching another fabric postcard class on Sunday if you are interested.  Get in touch with me for more info.

Hope you are having a great day and had time to work on something quilty.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Nine-Patch with an Attitude"

In my last post I told you that I have made March, Machine Quilting Month, and that I had four projects that I want done by the end of the month.  I can now show you the first project that I have completed and can tick off the list.

I  called it  "Nine-Patches with an Attitude"  I love nine-patches, what quilter doesn't.  I have made a ton of them over the years.  In January, my lovely little guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, had a member swap of 5" squares of dots and stripes.  I sorted through the pile of 56 squares that I received and arranged them into colour families.  Then I made nine-patch blocks with each one having a dark grey 5" square in the centre.  Then I used the disappearing nine-patch method and sliced them up and then sewed them all back together into a pleasing arrangement.  I used the orangey/pinkey and the bluey/greeney ones to make my centre (still have a few blocks left over for another project) and then added a light grey around that.  I machine quilted with a straight-line jiggity jaggity stitch of my own making, with an orangey/pinkey Sulky variegated thread opposite the orangey/pinkey quadrant  and then used a blue/yellow/green Sulky variegated thread opposite the bluey/greeney blocks.  I switched up the direction of the quilting as well.  What a beautiful texture it made.  For the binding (that's a whole other post coming soon)  I used Kona Coal and then when sewing it down to the front I used the same thread to correspond with the quilting.  First time I ever did that.  Love it and it was such fun for me to make.

On the back, I used an Ikea print that my Quilty Sister brought me from Qatar.

Hope you had time to do something quilty today.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Good Morning March! Happy to see you!

Good Morning March!  I am glad to leave February in Nova Scotia behind.  We are now in the home stretch to Spring!

I want to announce the winner of my fabric postcard giveaway....Congratulations to  STEPHANIE
She blogs at Jak and Will.

I have already contacted her and I will be mailing out her fabric postcard in the next day or so.

Thanks to all who commented on my last blogpost for a chance to win and thanks so much for following along with me.  It means a lot.

Here is the amazing fabric postcard that I received from Eglea in Brazil.  Isn't it just fabulous!  A miniature work of art! On the back, she wrote a lovely quote..."Friendship is a love that never dies" by Mario Quintana, Brazilian poet.  Such a nice touch.  Thanks so much Eglea!  This postcard is such a lovely addition to my collection.  A treasure, for sure!

I am declaring March is Machine Quilting least in my sewing room!  I have four quilt tops pieced and ready for quilting and I need to have them all finished up and ready to gift by the end of March.   I can only show one quilt top since the others are still a surprise.

This one is for my nephew, Jamie.   He chose the pattern and the fabric choices.  Not hard to choose,  Black and White Kona!  I am using Ikea Nummers on the back and I have a really nice text print for the binding.  It will look wonderful in his swanky downtown apartment.  Probably straightline quilt this one.  Not sure yet. Just might bust out the Free motion.

I think this will be an awesome binding.  

I hope you get some time to yourself today to do something you enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fabric Postcard Workshop

Today, four of my fellow guild members came to my house so that I could show them how to make Fabric Postcards.  Guess I am becoming a teacher!

This is a display of some of the awesome fabric postcards that I have received that I used for inspiration.

I designed a postcard to use as a sample and then I made up a little  kit with all the fabrics and stabilizers and backing that is needed to make a similar postcard.  The girls set to work and here is what they came up with.  I was very impressed and I think they all may end up making more postcards in the future.

Valerie's postcard

Karen's postcard

Beth's postcard

Susan's postcard

I started my blog in February of 2008...7 amazing, wonderful years of blogging!   To celebrate and thank all my lovely followers, I am having a giveaway.  I will make and send the winner of my giveaway a fabric postcard. If this is something you would like to have, just leave a comment of any sort below.  Only stipulation is that you are a follower, old or new.  I will choose a winner Feb. 27.

                                                       My Giveaway is now closed. 
                                            Thanks to all who entered.  
                                                        I will announce the winner in my next post.

Hope you had time to do something quilty today.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Solid Fun!

I am linking up with Jennifer  @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge for her challenge to create your own curated FQ bundle of Kona Solids.

I am a solid fabric lover from a way back.  My very first quilt that I made 23 years ago, had solid borders.  I seem to add a solid fabric somewhere in my quilts.  I have a small collection of Kona solids in yardage and a bucket or two of scraps  as well as a giant trunk full of older Papillion solids.
My Kona collection is now mostly the blues and greys.  I seem to be attracted to those mostly.  Today I purchased these six Konas (more blues!) while shopping at It's Sew Time, my LQS. I just wanted to add these to my stash.
from the top to bottom --Cactus, Cyan, Lagoon, Peacock, Cayenne and Cerise

For the challenge...I had just recently purchased two pieces of  printed  fabric and will definitely be adding solids to whatever quilt I make with them, so I chose to use  Palette Builder to give me a hand in picking just the right shades to go with the prints.  Now I need to go shopping again because the only colour I have is the Iron!

Fabric #1

Fabric #2

I am a bit lazy at keeping my Konas tagged so that I know what colour names I have and therefore I keep buying the same colours.  I am going to try and improve on that in the future.

Yes I heart Kona solids!

Hop on over to the linky and check out what everyone else is doing.  Better yet, why not join in.  I hear there will be a giveaway!

Hope you got a chance to do some quilting today!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sheila's Valentine Postcard Swap

It is OK now to show you the fabric postcards I made as a participant in Sheila's PostCard Swap.  The three postcards I made and sent have been received and enjoyed.

This one was sent to Eglea in Brazil ... I tried my hand at a little lettering in Portugese.

This one I made for Judy in Boise, Idaho

And Judy made this one and sent it to me...She handpainted the background fabric.  So cool!

I made this one for Jeanneke in Holland...her birthday is on Valentine's Day.

I enjoy making postcards and then sending them all over the world. Oh yes, and so nice to receive them as well!  It is such fun to open your mailbox and see a little piece of fabric art.  Each one is unique and very thoughtful.  Thanks so much to Sheila for taking the time to coordinate all the swappers.  You rock!
I enjoy it so much, that I will be hosting a Fabric Postcard Workshop at my house on Sunday (weather permitting).  I offered up this class to my lovely little guild to help with some skill mastering  and also to maybe pass along my excitement for making these little beauties.

Hope you get a chance to do something quilty today!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Finish for Me!

My lovely little guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, is working on its first charity quilt project. Members are asked to contribute 8 1/2" half square triangle blocks to make a quilt for a charity that yet to be named.  The colour scheme is based on QuiltCon 2015 colours... Each block will contain any solid grey plus one of these colours...white, chartreuse, burnt orange, sky blue, cerise and a deep turquoise in Solids or prints. (Here are the KONA colour names   Snow, Shadow, Wasabi, Cedar, Bahama Blue, Cerise and Glacier.)

Here's my squares all cut and ready to make HSTs  

I now have a nice pile of HST's made and ready to go.  Then.....from the trimmings and squaring ups and remnants, I had a nice pile of scraps and immediately set to work making a new scrap quilt. I saved out the Cerise scraps for another project.
I wanted to make a new improv pieced quilt and ended up with 3 x 12" blocks and 12 x 3" blocks.  What fun!  I am in my glory when making these kind of blocks.  
I sewed the squares together and then surrounded them with some yummy "Britten Nummers" from Ikea.   I even managed to make a scrappy binding.  

"Scrappy Nummers"

I quilted straight lines in sections.  I used a variegated thread from Wonderfil called "Tutti". #TU08.
It is a 50# cotton with distinct long colour changes.  I love the look it gave.  I had some tension issues with my machine and I am not super pleased with my stitch but it is what it is..My machine needs a good cleaning, we are way overdue.  On the back I used a very pretty Riley Blake floral with an orangey background.
I ended up applying the binding by machine. It's OK but I still haven't perfected machine binding and I don't think I ever will.  Just not a fan.

Here's a little look at some of the quilted areas.

My first quilty finish for 2015. Not sure yet where it will live.   
Hope you had time to do something quilty today.

 PS......HELEN BOWIE....if you see this, I would love to reply to your last comment but you are a No-Reply Blogger and I can't get in touch with you,  so if you read this, please email me so I can respond to you.  Thanks!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Making Nova Scotia Proud!

Have you seen Karen Neary's new book?

I just received mine in the mail.  What a gorgeous book!  With a CD included!  

I have made 4 of Karen's patterns and I must say they are so explicit and every thought is given to making your experience a success.  The patterns appear to be complex but step-by-step they are very doable, even for a beginner.