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. 

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 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.