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. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My July update - The Library Challenge

Time for my July update of the Library Challenge, hosted by Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.  You can see my commitment to the challenge here.  
Back in January, when the Challenge started, I picked 5 projects to work on throughout the year.  Three are completely finished and in use, one is in flimsy state and the fifth one, Stars and Diamonds, has been traded out for something I want to work on much more. I just started to work on New #5 yesterday because I have been waffling for the past month on whether or not to stick with the Original #5 pick.  I have fallen out of love with  Original #5. I still like it and will probably make it somewhere down the road.    My New #5 pick is a pattern by LizzieBcrea8tive that is in an issue of Quilt-it...Today magazine. It is called "Happy Scrappy Hexies" and I have been crazy about this pattern since last summer.  Here are the fabrics I have picked.  Twelve different fat quarters of Amy Butler "Soul Blossoms" and twelve different Kona colours for backgrounds.  This pattern uses raw edge applique and should work up quickly.  It will be my picnic quilt.

one block cut out and ready to applique.  I am pinking the edges. I like the look

I am linking up with Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.  Stop by and see how everyone is doing since last month's report.

Hope you had a quilty day! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Are you a Pfaffie?

Are you a Pfaffie? I am! I have owned my Pfaff Quilter's Edition 4.0 for the past 5 years and I am still learning about it. I spend a lot of time trying new things to make my sewing and machine quilting better.  I research online a lot, I watch lots of videos and I practice and compare.   I am not an expert. I am just speaking of what I know from my own experimenting. 
I just want to share with you a few things, from time to time,  that I have found to make my sewing/quilting accurate and as close to perfection as I can get. I have been meaning to do this for a long time.  

To start with.....1/4" feet  

I own 4 different 1/4" feet for my QE 4.O
#1 - came with the machine (fabric skewed while sewing and no right guide)

#2 - bought it because I like the right hand guide feature (fabric still skewing while sewing)
#3 - bought it because of the increased width on the left hand side that covers the feed dogs completely. This feature
       seemed to fix the skewing problem and gave me better control and sewing was straight. 
   but all my piecing was coming up short so had to move the needle two clicks to the right every time in
        order to get the proper finished  measurement.

Finally, #4 - I am in love! This foot is called "The Perfect 1/4" Foot with Guide for IDT System"  and it is Perfect!
        I think what makes this one the best is the positioning of the right guide.  You can see the comparison in the photo.  The guide lays flat from front to back so that when the fabric edge is against it there is no where for it to slip under or out.  Keeps everything nice and straight . Great when chain piecing. 

I found a huge difference in the outcome of my blocks by using #4.  Huge to me.   Here is an example of an 8 1/2" block sewn with #3 and #4. 

Not happy with this!

Now that's what I like!

There are lots of ways to get a perfect seam allowance, and I have tried them all, but I love a foot with a guide. Just my personal preference.  So, to find one that works perfectly is a goal that I  have finally achieved and I am very happy piecer now!  One drawback... I found it difficult to use this foot while sewing on a binding...it kept snagging the batting.  No biggie..I will just use #3 for binding.  Accuracy is not super crucial when attaching the binding. 

Next time I will show you what I think of  the Pfaff free-motion quilting feet that I use.  

Also, I wanted to show you this book that I bought a few years ago.  It is a wonderful resource for any Pfaffie.  It's a few years old now and I use it a lot.  Think I  will check to see if there is an updated version. 

Remember, these are just my opinions and experiences.  I am not an expert by any means.  Just thought you might like to know what I think. 

Hope you had time to do something quilty today! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Warm Quilt/Cool Quilt" almost complete

I have all the machine quilting finished up on the Kona Neutrals Jelly Roll Quilt aka "Warm Quilt/Cool Quilt", that I am making for a gift.  You can read about it here.
Took me two days to get all the quilting done.  I don't enjoy pinbasting a large quilt so I decided to give spray basting a try.  Thankfully, I had help.  I wasn't quite sure of how successful it would be, but it turned out just perfectly.  I pieced the backing and so that had to be straight so I pinned it carefully, with the use of a carpenter's level, to my design wall.  I made some registration marks, directly on the design wall,  so I would know where the centre top, bottom and sides were for placing the top correctly.  Next, with RetiredHub's help, we pinned the batting just at the very top and then  as he held the batting up and out of my way, I sprayed the backing.  Then we carefully let the batting fall into place as we patted it down firmly and eliminated any lumps.  Then the batting was sprayed and the same process happened with applying the pieced top.  Only this time, we made sure to line up the centre top, bottom and sides of the pieced top with the registration marks on the wall .  Worked like a charm and I didn't have any trouble at all during quilting.  So, yes, I would do this again, because it sure is speedier than pinning, but I definitely need an extra set of hands . And most importantly, when using spray basting glue, wear a mask!

I used a wavy stitch across each horizontal seam and did free motion spiralling in the border,  I used Wonderfil Confetti 50# in a light grey and a Superior Titantium topstitch needle 80/12.   Now to get the binding on and an outdoor photo. 


   I won a giveaway of some cute little fabrics and an embroidered purse from Julia @ Jada's Quilting Adventures.  Thanks Julia! 


Hope you get time to do something quilty today!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

ME and M-R

M-R Charbonneau is an amazing Canadian quilter and is on my list of Top 5 Canadian Quilters I want to meet! (I have met 3 out of 5 now, only two more to go)   She made a surprise visit to my guild, The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild . I have been following M-R in blogland for a long time and  her quilts touch my scrappy heart.  My modern scrappy heart.  I love how she makes every quilt a challenge to herself.  I kinda do that too.  Check out M-R's blog, Quilt Matters and you will see what I mean.  My favourite is Scrap(Bee)2.0  Just adore that quilt! So needless to say, I was very happy to have a bit of time to chat and to have a photo taken. I was a bit star struck actually.  Not only an amazing quilter, but a lovely, sweet person and I felt like we were friends for ages.  Enjoy the rest of your vacation M-R.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's Happening!

My Sweet QuiltySister left Nova Scotia this morning and is back in Calgary now.   She will visit with her 3 sons there for a few weeks and then back to Doha.  We had a wonderful visit and I will miss her.  We didn't get her two quilt tops quilted, so she took one home to work on and left one with me to finish up. We had the best intentions to get them quilted before she left, but there was lots going on and time got away from us.  I probably won't see her again until next summer so I have lots of time to get it quilted for her.  She took the Japanese Puzzle and I kept the Maple Leaves. 

My "Scrapbag Sailboats" quilt is all quilted up and the binding is sewn on to the front and I will handsew it to the back and sew in all the thread ends.   I think I will take it with me to work on at the July Sew-in of the  MMQG on Saturday. Here's a few shots of the quilting I did.  On the Kona Snow I used Aurifil #50/2 colour no. 2000  and a 80/12 Superior Titanium topstitch needle and on the prints I used a Sulky Blendable 30# colour no. 4014 and a 90/14 Superior Titanium topstitch needle.   I used the Sulky on the Kona Snow to freemotion the waves and little sailboats.  I love how this turned out.  For the first time I used Quilter's Dream Poly batting and it really was a dream to quilt.  I enjoyed working with it but I don't think I would use it in my bed quilts.  It just doesnt have the drape that I like, but for wallhangings and small projects, for sure.   I haven't washed my little quilt yet, so we shall see. 


 I missed the last Sew-In because I had to co-host a bridal shower for my niece, Katherine.  She is being married in August.  The wedding will take place in Killam Mills, New Brunswick on the farm that she and her husband-to-be own.  The shower was lots of fun and she received some wonderful gifts.  I made her an original Rockford Red-Heeled Sock Monkey.Ever since I made one for my son, she has wanted one.    I called him "Bumbee".  I appliqued a honey bee on his bum to signify the fact that the happy couple will be raising honey bees....and horses...and goats...and rabbits...and most likely a few kiddies in the future!

I am also making her a wedding quilt, of course!  The quilt I made for her, in 1998, when she was 10 years old, is on it's last leg.  It is very faded and worn.  She loved the darn thing to death!  I used the pattern, "Snowflake" by Trudie Hughes and so, I am going to re-create the same pattern  in modern fabrics. She loves this idea and has picked out a colour palette.     For the backing, I will be getting all the guests at the wedding to sign a square of fabric with a little message to the bride and groom and I will incorporate them into the design.  I won't be handquilting this new one though. All the white space will make for some special FMQing.
"Katherine's Snowflake"
The theme for the wedding is burlap and lace with hydrangea as the flower.  I am also making the  burlap and lace table runner for the head table as well as burlap table centres for the 15 guest tables.  

Hope you had time to get some quilting done today!

I am linking up with the Canadian Needle and Thread Network.  Stop by and check out what everyone is doing this week.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sailing along!

I have been working on piecing up the backing for my "Scrapbag Sailboats" quilt.  I made more little sailboats and appliqued them to a strip of  Kona Snow.  I also made a wavy strip and appliqued that down as well, using the rawedge technique.  Looks really cute   I bought the piece of fabric with the banners to make the backing...couldn't resist it. I have also decided to try something new with this project.  I will be using Quilter's Dream Poly for batting.  A few  quilters that I follow have been raving about it so thought I would give it a try.  Will let you know how it works.  I have my FM quilting plan in my head..somewhat...and  I am anxious to get it started. 
I will be using a Sulky Blendable in a blue variegation. 

I made this quilt for my QuiltySister back a while ago, and I have been waiting for her to visit to give it to her. She loves it! I named it "Rabbit Stewie".   I made it for her to commemorate her precious bunny rabbit "Stewie" , who she had to give away to a new home before she moved from Holland to Malaysia.  That was a few years ago, but she still misses him.  The pattern is from Rabbit's Haven and is called "Huggable Me".  I won the pattern in a giveaway and knew I had to make it for her

I received this gorgeous pair of scissors as a gift from QuiltySister.  Love them!  I adore scissors and I have a nice collection. 

Hope you have time to do something quilty today!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Helping QuiltySister

My sweet sister, Betty, is home in Nova Scotia, for a visit.  She lives in Doha, Qatar, with her hubby.  They left Canada almost 20 years ago and have lived in several different countries.  It is far too hot to stay there for most of the year so she spends time between Calgary, where her three grown sons live, and Halifax/Prospect, NS, where she grew up.  She is four years younger than me and we are very close.  She has been quilting for a while and tries to join a guild wherever she ends up living..  She finds making decisions on her quilts very difficult so she usually brings home her quilty dilemmas to me to help her with.  This time, she brought home two UFOs that have been languishing.   I helped her decide on fabrics for borders and backing etc and also helped with trimming up her tops to get ready to add borders.  Got the borders sewn on and they are now ready to machine quilt.   We hope to get them basted and a start on the quilting tomorrow.

"Japanese Puzzle"

Warm quilt, Cool quilt

I needed to kick back and take it easy today, so I sewed!  I have been super busy lately and needed some time to myself.  I have been wanting to make a Jelly Roll Race quilt for a while now.  I bought a Kona neutrals jelly roll at the Mahone Bay Quilter's Guild Yard Sale last spring.  It contained strips of cool greys and whites and warm beiges and browns.  I wanted to see how these tones would look all sewn together and a strippy quilt seemed just right.  I wanted to add some interest so I used a ModaMini called "Mixed Bag" that I have had kicking around for a while.  Perfect little 2 1/2" squares that I added in between each addition of the 2 1/2" strips.  No cutting! Sweet!
I like how it turned out and I think I will quilt this up for a special young man who will be leaving the province soon to study in Newfoundland and hopefully return to Nova Scotia as an electrician.  This special young man has been a friend of our family since he and my boys were in junior high. May add a border or two since this special young man is 6 ft 5". 

Hope you had time to do something quilty today!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Scrapbag Sailboats

My latest project started out from a pile of scraps that I bought.  Not my scraps to begin with...but I felt the need to sew up someone else's scraps...I have a problem!  My challenge was to take this bag of scraps and add only one other fabric to make a small lap/baby quilt.  I love how it is turning out.  It isn't finished yet, I think the plan I have for the freemotion quilting will make this just perfect, for me anyway.   A modern quilting criteria of an alternate setting was also one of my challenges.  That did not come easy.  I started out with something entirely different but I didnt have enough fabric, so I just started to sew vertical strips together for each row,(in afterthought, maybe I should have made horizontal rows to mimic the ocean) ending or starting each row with a large sailboat motif. I couldn't cut up the large scraps of sailboats.  In the  alternate rows, Kona Snow,  I improv pieced sailboats.  I will do some freemotion quiltilng in the open spaces to compliment and finish with a scrappy binding.  I still have some scraps left over but I will just add those to my "Blue Bin" for future use.  
What fun!
PS:  Hello and so nice to meet you  Mary Farrow Sinclair (no blog)  See you in October!

Friday, June 20, 2014

June Update - The Library Challenge

Six months in and I have totally finished three of the five projects that I chose for the Library Challenge and one more is ready for quilting.
I recently finished the freemotion quilting and secured the binding on "Hugs and Kisses".  This design is by Jaybird Quilt.  I really enjoyed stitching the FMQ feathers in each diamond.  Not sure what I will do with this little quilt.  It was my first experience with using  Kaffe Fassett fabrics, actually a jelly of KF and I added Kona Chartreuse for the diamonds. 

My commitment to the Library Challenge was five projects.  I have now totally completed three of them with the fourth one  awaiting quilting.  So, I have one more project left to get started on with lots of time to work on it before the end of the year.   "Stars and Diamonds"   a pattern by Janice McKee.  If interested, you can check out my choices here.

I am linking up with Adrienne for the monthly update and I have my fingers crossed to win this month's prize.  A $50. gift card from Mad about Patchwork.

Hope you had time to do some quilting today

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Summer quilt

It happens every time I try to straighten up my sewing room.....I find something that was buried and I am instantly inspired to make something new.  I uncovered this bag of scraps from Suttles and Seawinds that I bought for $2.00 and decided I had to sort it out and then decided that since I need to make a lap quilt for someone special, and summer is almost here, these scraps would work perfectly.  Not sure what I will make yet,  but should be fun.  There are of ton of triangles already cut so they will figure in somewhere for sure. So needless to say, my sewing room cleaning has come to a halt!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Something very exciting to share!

 Yes, Something very exciting!  I have been invited to present a trunk show of my quilts to the Lawrencetown Sew-Ciety Guild on Thursday, June 19 .  How freakin' awesome is that!  I can hardly wait.  I spent this morning sorting through my finished quilts and some quilt tops to show.  I will also be taking along some of my scrappy cushions and a few smaller scrappy projects.     KnittySister is going to tag along as my chauffeur/assistant. I hear that there are several knitters in the Sew-Ciety too.  Here is a new cushion I made this morning to take along to show how I use up my hoarde of selvedges.   
 I am super excited to talk about my quilting journey with the Sew-ciety  and share my passion for making quilts for my family and friends.  Just hope I don't get tongue-tied in my excitement but I am pretty sure that once I start it might be difficult to get me to stop!  Wish me luck and I will have lots to tell afterwards. 

In my last post, I neglected to show you the pincushion I made and the one I received in the exchange at the meeting of my guild, The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild

Jeanette picked the one I made, this cute little owl.  I made one for myself too! The two pins you see at the top were handmade for me by my BQFF, KathyB, from Saint John, NB

And I picked the one that Anja made.  I love a skinny pincushion!  And she used a gorgeous orange fabric on the back, her signature colour! Great FMQ stitching, Anja! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Amherst is still Awesome!

Here you see Karen Neary's original design quilt (valued at $3000.) that is one of two grand prizes at the Festival.  Make sure to get a ticket!
This past Wednesday, the most amazingly beautiful Nova Scotia spring day, RetiredHub, #1Daughter and I headed to Amherst for the official launch of the 7th annual Nova Scotia Fibre Festival.  This festival is held in October every year.  This year the dates are the 14th - 18th. 
I decided I wanted to be there to represent my lovely little guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  My lovely little guild will be participating in the Fibre Festival this year. Very exciting!   We will be doing a two-day display of our members' work.  Our display will be held in the Town Hall, Festival Headquarters, Friday, Oct 17 and Saturday Oct 18.
 Our president, Adrienne of Chezzetcook Modern Quilts and I will share the leadership on this adventure, along with a few of our members who will make sure our display is wonderful.  Just wait until you see our guild banner! At our meeting last night, we planned how it will look and everyone is taking part in the completion.  What fun this will be.  My part will be to do the machine quilting.  A bit nerve-wrecking for me, but I can do it!  It will be unveiled in time for the Fibre Festival. 

I only had a very short time in Amherst, but of course I visited Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium (which is a hop and a skip away from Town Hall).  I hadn't been to Mrs. P's since last October so I was trying to make up for lost time and became a bit overwhelmed with all the fabulous fabrics etc to look at.  I managed to come away with a few things but  I left lots behind for others. And by others, I mean Karen Neary.  We planned to meet but we didn't plan that I would fall in love with the exact same fabric and I would have to share!  But share I did and if you read Karen's latest post here, you will see what else she bought. (Which I now have to have!)  ohhhhh fabric envy!

Here is what I ended up with. 

Love all the quilt pattern names!

Love scissors fabric

A idea of what was in this charm pack. 

This is a French text by STOF ... beautiful hand

Had to add to my MM Mirror Ball Dot collection.  This one is my absolute fave.
Not a bad price for almost a jelly roll of fabric.  Each Scrap Bag is different.

Just an idea of what was in the Moda Scrap Bag -  36 x 2 1/2" WOF strips

Aside from buying fabric, I am also working on one of my Library Challenge quilt tops, "Hugs and Kisses" by Jaybird.    Here's just a little lookey because I have only just started to work on it.  It's not a big piece so shouldn't take long to finish up. I am freehanding my feathers so each one will be a bit different. 
Hope you have time to get some quilting done today.