Friday, October 20, 2017

Flying Geese and Important Milestones

I had a busy day yesterday but I was able to squeeze in a bit of sewing in the morning. I got more of the flying geese for Old Tobacco Road made and I am getting close to being finished. I did a count and I have already made 58 of the 94 needed. I think it really did help that I started working on them as leaders and enders during the construction of the center of the quilt top.

Most of the day was spent attending our son Adam's convocation ceremony. He graduated with his Master of Arts in English and has already started working on his PhD.  We are so proud of Adam and the dedication and hard work that he has put into, and continues to put into, his education.
After the ceremony we all went out to dinner and spent a lovely evening together even though the restaurant was very noisy! :)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Old Tobacco Road and my Little Helpers

I had Old Tobacco Road laying on my sewing room floor because I had no room for it on my design wall. I had the parts all laid out waiting for me to sew them together as time allowed but I constantly had to keep setting things back to some kind of order.

This is what happens when you have two dogs that want to help especially when something other than them is the center of attention. ;) Honestly, as soon as I would start to work on the top the dogs would try to lay down on all of the pieces and spread them around.

These are the two culprits that wanted to help with rearranging the blocks. The quilt top has taken up so much of the floor space that their sheepskin has been pushed into a pile and there is barely enough room for them to lie on it. 
Molly stretching her paw out trying to slink onto the quilt top!
Molly really wanted to lie on top of the quilt as I was working and I had to keep telling her no! Peanut was happy to just observe the goings on.

Molly had finally resigned herself to the fact that she was not going to get on to the top and mess it all up...again.

Ta da....the center of the quilt top is finished and ready for trimming despite all of the help from Molly and Peanut. The next step is to make the borders and get them attached. I already have a start on the flying geese but there are still many to make.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Onto the Binding

trimmed and ready for binding
I really didn't have any plans to do any sewing yesterday other than to trim my latest quilt and tuck in the thread tails - but things changed. ;)

I had a few things going on yesterday, cleaning and then visitors later in the morning and an exercise class in the afternoon. Shortly after I got home I made dinner, took the dogs for a walk and then I sat down to read some blogs. Well, that was when I read Bonnie Hunter's post for the day and she said she was going to have quilt cam at 8pm. I haven't caught a live quilt cam since forever and I was looking forward to it.

binding while watching quilt cam
I don't have a good connection to wifi in my sewing room so I needed to find something to work on that was very portable and that I could take to my computer. I quickly made some scrappy binding for Crumby Kisses from 2"strips that I already had in my strip bins. The front of the quilt is very scrappy so pretty much anything goes but the back has dots of yellow, green, and orange as well as those blueish flower bursts so I chose those colours for the binding.  I figured I could hand stitch the binding while watching quilt cam. I was a bit hurried but whew....I got the binding attached by machine to the quilt just in time to watch. :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Crumby Kisses is Quilted!

I did it! It really isn't a very large quilt so I did manage to get it finished yesterday even with a little 30 min rest. I can't say I had a nap but just resting did help. I had hoped to have it finished before I went to Tai Chi but I didn't quite get it done.

When I got home from Tai Chi I took the dogs for a walk and it was quite chilly and dark. The days are getting shorter and quilt weather is upon us.  I am glad I wore a jacket instead of just a sweater! The temps have been really quite mild for this time of year and we still have not turned our furnace on - normally we have it going right after we celebrate Thanksgiving. Crazy weather!

Anyway, when we got back from our walk I finished off the quilt and took it off the frame. I think it looks pretty good! My dog Molly was inspecting it as I was taking the photo and I got her little nose in the bottom right corner of the photo. :) I will trim the quilt and tuck in the thread tails today and then figure out what to use for binding. It is a crumb quilt so maybe something scrappy.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kelly Cline and Beautiful Quilting

Sunday was a very rainy and windy day but it didn't keep me from driving to Elmira for the quarterly meeting of my long arm group - SOLO. Elmira, Ontario is in Mennonite country and it is a 1.75 hour drive from where I live. As I got closer to Elmira I was a little surprised when I came upon many, many horses and buggies sharing the road with me. I have never seen so many and I have never actually driven past horses before in such close proximity - usually they are in a field. ;) I did slow down and I gave them lots of room as I passed.

We had a guest speaker for this meeting and you may have heard of her - Kelly Cline. She works with linens and doilies and old tablecloths - lots of vintage and very beautiful pieces. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn't get any photos but here is a link to her vintage page. Really, check out the links she is fantastic!

Kelly gave us a trunk show and then she gave a demonstration of her process using the long arm with these vintage pieces. She also uses a domestic sewing machine but I do believe she says she loves her long arm. Kelly does gorgeous work and during the talk she had certainly inspired me to think about doing some custom work of my own - maybe not on linens but certainly on my own quilts.

When I got home I visited her site and I saw a photo that contained the phrase 'She believed She could so She did'. When it comes to free motion quilting or ruler work I think I have to take up this phrase literally and believe in myself. Who knows where it will lead but maybe I can get the confidence to do custom work on my own quilts.

So after all that, today I am going to make a backing for this crumb quilt I made and I am going to do a pantograph that I want to practice. ;)

I don't know if I will get the whole quilt done today. I am feeling a bit tired today and I had intended on sleeping in but that didn't happen.  I think I have a cold coming and I hope I can fight it off. I have Tai Chi tonight and I don't want to miss it so I may need a nap.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Old Tobacco Road

When I went to the Guild retreat in September I did some prep work ahead of time on two quilts that I wanted to work on while I was there. They are both Bonnie Hunter designs, En Provence (2016 mystery) and Old Tobacco Road (free mystery pattern generously provided by Bonnie Hunter). Well, now that En Provence is ready for quilting it is time to give Old Tobacco Road some more attention.

When I last worked on OTR I had all of the sub units pieced and I needed to start sewing those together in the correct order (notice I said correct order) and then join them into rows and so on. Yesterday I started doing just that!

After sewing some of the sections together a thought came to me...there are a ton of flying geese in the border....maybe I should be using them as leaders and enders. :) And so I did!

It is looking pretty good so far except for that one solid looking black has got to go. It is sticking out like a sore thumb and my eye is drawn directly to it. There are other black rectangles being used but they blend in better because they have more texture or print and don't read as a solid. That strip is already attached so I will have to get my seam ripper out and get to work on it before I go any further.

Friday, October 13, 2017

En Provence is Ready for Quilting

I couldn't quite get the whole top into the photo...
I worked on the borders for this quilt top off and on over the past week or so and I finally got them finished and attached on Wednesday evening.  I think it looks really good and I can't wait to see it turned into a finished quilt.

This quilt top came together so quickly that I have surprised myself - I only started it in September and it is already a finished flimsy!

I think the next time I work on a pieced border like this that I will definitely do a line of stay stitching all around every edge - border and quilt top - before I start sewing them together. I did have a little issue with some of the stitching starting to separate so I did do some stay stitching but not until I had most of the borders attached.

This photo is a little dark!
Even with the little bit of frustration from the seams splitting I quite enjoyed making this quilt top and I am very happy with the end result!

The next step is to decide which backing to use and figure out which pantograph and thread that I want to use. Hopefully, the decisions come quickly!!

It has been dull, gray, and rainy the past couple days so not a lot of light coming into the house to take photos but...I did my best. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Another Quilt for Betty

Betty has given me a few quilt tops to quilt for her and this is the third one of the group. She chose the Popcorn pantograph by Jodi Beamish and I think it looks great. The quilt has such great texture and I think Betty is going to be very happy with it.

I used a So Fine thread #455 for the top with a brown magna glide bobbin. Betty's top is made entirely from batiks and I know that batiks can cause challenges for long arm quilters but I can't say I had any real difficulties with it. I have read that there can be real challenges specifically when a batik is used as a backing but in this case she chose a regular cotton wide back. I did use a 3.5 needle instead of a 4.0 so the finer needle may have helped.

I don't know what this block is called but I really like it. I took a closer look at the construction and from what I can determine it is made with partial seams. I like it so much that I think I have to make my own quilt using this block!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Perfect Day!

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving and we had such a great day. Of course, it was very busy filled with food preparation, cooking and eating but also with fun time spent with our adult children. While my husband was looking after the turkey, Adam and Eric spent time playing a table top strategy game, called Warhammer, and Anna (Adam's partner) and I spent time looking for a quilt design to make a wall hanging for their bedroom. After dinner we played board games. Perfect!

Adam and Anna had been talking about getting a piece of art for their wall when Adam suggested to Anna that I make a quilt instead. That suggestion by my son made my heart sing and, of course, I would be very happy to make them a wall hanging. :)

Anna came prepared with an idea of what she wanted and she called it a mandala. I had never heard of such a thing but she showed me some photos of ideas that she liked and then we went looking through my magazines for a pattern. Luckily we found something that would work for her and me  -  many of the mandala designs are very complicated. Once the design was chosen we got started with fabric selection.

We think we have the fabric figured out but as you know, changes can and do happen! At this point, there is going to be some white fabric added to the mix and a peach coloured fabric is also a possibility.

Anna has never done any quilting activity before so this was a brand new experience for her. I put her to work and she traced all of the templates for the block design onto template plastic and I cut them out. Anna used the templates to trace the center pieces for the block onto the fabric and cut them out using the rotary cutter for the first time. The rest is now up to me!

It was the best day and my heart is filled to the brim!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Twins...Toddler Quilts that is!


On Friday evening I took a little time out and finished stitching the binding on this toddler quilt. It didn't take too long because it was already three quarters finished when I worked on it last. So, now I have another little finish!
Delightful Too!

I started this quilt because I had leftover bits, pieces and hunks and chunks from a toddler quilt that I made called Delightful. I wanted to use up as many of the smaller pieces as I could so they would not get put into my overflowing scrap bins.

Delightful Too!
The last time I showed this quilt on my blog it was in July and it was just a flimsy. It wasn't the greatest looking picture but, hopefully, now you can see how pretty it really is. I used up lots of the leftover hunks of fabric when I pieced the back as well lots of little teeny tiny triangles and I think it turned out funky and fun. The binding is scrappy made from leftover strips of fabric.
back of Delightful Too!
I chose to quilt it with a pantograph called Popcorn and I think it looks like clouds - I can imagine that the geese are flying in the clouds. :)

As I was looking back to find out the details about the the first quilt - Delightful - I see that I didn't post about actually finishing it. Well, it did get done and I quilted it with a pantograph called Blowin Wind and I finished it with a zig zag fabric for the binding. The binding didn't turn out quite as I had expected because the zigs zagged unexpectedly! :))

I am linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts where Kathy encourages all of us to take some time out of our day to slow down, relax and, hopefully, do some handwork.

I don't think that I am going to get any sewing time in today because Thanksgiving preparations are under way!!!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blue Cheese is Truly Scrumptious!

I finished my quilt and I love it so much! My general plan is to make quilts for my family members but I don't think I will be able to part with this one....

I started Blue Cheese back in September 2016 while I was on retreat at Killbear Provincial Park - my first retreat ever. It was so much fun that I went back again this year but I digress. :))

The pattern for this quilt came from a hand-me-down Quilt Sampler Shop Hop magazine that featured this quilt (called Better with Cheddar) from Quilt Junction in Waterford, Ontario. After I decided to make the quilt I realized that some of the essential pages were missing. Not to worry though because I was still able to figure out what sizes to cut my fabric, and if I recall correctly, I made my quilt a bit longer than the pattern specified.

I had been holding onto this particular cheddar fabric just waiting for the right quilt pattern to come along. The quilt design didn't require a lot of cheddar fabric but it certainly had enough to give the finished quilt some yummy highlights. Happily I still have quite a bit of the cheddar left for more quilts. :)

My quilt finished at approx. 74" x 84" and I used Tuscany 80/20 cotton/wool for the batting - love it!! I quilted it using a continuous Baptist Fan pantograph by Hermione Agee. I used Omni thread on top with a magna glide bobbin. I gave it a very scrappy binding using some of the blue fabric leftover from the quilt top.
gorgeous back texture
I had intended on finishing the binding yesterday at the guild social sew but I got less than 10" done. So, I finished the binding last night while watching Nature and then Nova on PBS and this morning I tied off and tucked in all of the thread tails. I am going to put it on my bed tonight but I don't think I can wait that long to cuddle up in it. :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

En Provence is Ready for Borders

I have made significant progress on this quilt top and I am loving the way it looks! I just need to assemble and add the borders but I think I will give the top a good pressing first. :)

I had pressed all of the units as I was making them but I haven't done any pressing at all while I was assembling the blocks together. I just wasn't too sure how the seams were going to line up so I made my decisions as I went. I may have to twist one or two seams but I think it will be just fine. I had a pretty consistent 1/4" seam allowance throughout and I was very careful to match the seams as I sewed everything together so it should, I hope, end up being nice and flat after I press it.

Today I have my Guild meeting and I am going to go to the social sew beforehand. I am taking Blue Cheese with me to continue hand stitching down the binding and I hope to get it finished. I have been working on it off and on while watching Outlander on Sunday and Alias Grace on Monday and I have about 80" to go. We will see how much I get my friend Hilary says 'if I sewed with my mouth I would get so much more accomplished at social sew'! She is so funny, but it is true, I spend a lot of my time talking and visiting instead of sewing. lol 

As I was stitching down the binding the other night I noticed that I still had not tucked in the thread tales from the quilting process so I must remember to do that too.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Building Blocks

not enough room on my design wall for all 16 - these ones looked good
Wow...I did make really good progress yesterday and I got all 16 main blocks completed.  I put some of them up on my design wall to take a photo this morning and they all look very pretty but I realized that not all of the blocks looked the same. :(

the top row of each of these blocks has a problem
I found 3 messed up blocks trying very hard to fit in with the rest but happily I noticed them while they were still easy to fix. I hope that I have found them all!

All three blocks have been fixed and added to the rest and I have moved onto the next step of construction.

On another very sad note I am horrified by the attack that has taken place in the US overnight. My sympathies to all those that have been affected by this horrific event.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

En Provence - Ready for Assembly!

I made good progress over the past week with finishing up all of the individual units that make up this quilt. Not too shabby with the progress if you consider I only started sewing the units while I was on retreat during the week of Sept 18. Happily, I did do all of the cutting ahead of time and that has really made the process of making the units so much quicker. The downside of cutting all of the fabric (as well as the fabric for Old Tobacco Road) over just a couple days was that it made my back and shoulders complain. It wasn't exactly the most fun I have ever had, but the past is the past! :)

I am looking forward to see how my quilt will look when all of these little sub-units come together into blocks and then those turn into the quilt top. It is always exciting for me to see a quilt top come together!

I think I am going to spend some extra time in my sewing room today. I had intended on going on my treadmill yesterday and today but my quads are too tired. When I went for my physical on Tuesday my doctor suggested that instead of focusing on distance and speed that I should work at increasing the incline while I am walking - even if it means walking at a much slower pace. I think it is probably a good idea and I wanted to start this weekend but I don't think so. When I did my exercise class on Friday I didn't think that I had worked tooooo hard but I guess I did. One word.....lunges......they are my nemesis!!! I can do squats no problem but when it comes to lunges I am really challenged. Over the past several months I have found that I am able to do more of them at each session but I think I overdid it on Friday because when I woke up Saturday morning I realized how hard I had actually worked!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Customer Quilt

The other night I woke up at 3 am and just couldn't get back to sleep...don't you hate it when that happens??  Well, I didn't just want to lay in bed waiting and hoping to go back to sleep so I got up and started working on this quilt for Betty. I believe that this pattern is called Bento Box and she made it in very warm and toasty brown shades. We are finally getting some cooler temps here and I know that someone is going to love snuggling under this quilt this winter.

I quilted it with medium brown thread on top and I used a dark brown for the back. Whenever possible I have been using magna glide bobbins and I love them! I have found that when I use them I don't have to fuss with the bottom tension very much at all and I like that - a lot!

I used a pantograph called Denise's Spirals for the quilting design. I think Betty is going to be very happy with her quilt.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching - Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese
Do you remember this quilt? I just love it but it has been sorely neglected. :(

I honestly thought that I had already blogged about quilting it and getting it to the binding stage but it appears that I didn't. Well, I did get the quilting done way back when and I love the way it turned out. I had started working on the binding and after getting several inches done it just sat in a lonely pile and stared at me waiting to be finished.

Well perfect timing - yesterday was Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts and I got 50 inches of binding stitched down while I watched Outlander last night. It feels really good to be moving this quilt along!

During the day I worked on En Provence and I finished making the rest of the magenta/neutral triangle-in-a-square units. I also sewed all of the purple 4 patches together and even got some pressed open.

This morning I had planned on going to my exercise class but wouldn't you know it...when I rolled out of bed I hurt my knee!!! It's quite ridiculous that it happened but I think I need to put a platform on the floor beside my bed. We replaced our mattress and box spring a couple weeks ago and it is so high that I feel like the princess and the pea trying to climb up and down from my bed. I am quite short, only 5' tall, and the top of the mattress is 28" off the floor. Anyway, the end result is that my knee hurts when I go up or down the stairs. :(

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Old Tobacco Road and En Provence

Autumn has arrived and I guess it is a good time to 'fall' back into blogging. I have really been quite neglectful in documenting my quilting journey over the past few months but that is because I really haven't been doing a lot of quilting. Like many others, one of the main reasons that I started blogging was to keep a diary of my quilting but this summer I have spent more time on other projects so I haven't really had a lot to write about!

This past week I spent a few days on retreat at Killbear Provincial Park with a great bunch of quilting friends. It is a beautiful park near Parry Sound, Ontario and it is about a 2.5 hour drive north from where I live. We stayed in the staff house and we had such a great time together and I actually got some sewing done. I didn't get anything finished but I did get a good start on Bonnie Hunter's Old Tobacco Road and En Provence. Both quilts are 4 patch heavy and I spent quite a lot of time making 4 patches and pinwheels. There was a lot of socializing and chatting and carrying on and, well, there was some wine involved too. :) Really, the perfect setting to do a bunch of mindless sewing and it worked out quite well for me!

I got at least 403 four patches made for both quilts and I think I am just about all four patched out! I also got all of the pinwheels made for Old Tobacco Road and I got a good start on the magenta/neutral triangle-in-a-square blocks for En Provence. I feel pretty good about my progress!

One thing I have discovered since my last post is that Pic Monkey is no longer a free program for photo editing. I was able to use a substitute program that was preloaded on my laptop when I replaced it last year but it seems to be more complicated for me to figure out. Oh well, I am sure with time and practice I will get better at it so that it doesn't take me so long to get two photos cropped!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Delightful has a Twin!

Wow....time is just flying by! I have finally finished the second flimsy using leftovers from my 'Delightful' baby quilt that I last posted about. I think it looks good and it will look even better once I do the quilting.

I think I was just a little too casual in my approach of making and then sewing the flying geese into columns. From a distance it may not be as noticeable but my geese don't line up horizontally. I don't really mind too much though. :)

My goal in making this flimsy was to use up as many of the leftover larger pieces of fabric as well as the scrappy bits and pieces from the first quilt. I certainly did achieve that goal but I also needed to add a bit more of some of the fabrics in order to do it.  In particular I needed more of the plain blue fabric because I didn't have enough of the waste triangle corners to make the amount of flying geese needed. Luckily for me I do have ready access to more of this fabric. ;)

I still have these leftover cut off triangles and I plan to stitch them together and add them to some of the remaining fabric hunks and chunks to make the backing. We will see how that turns out....

Monday, June 26, 2017

'Delightful' Baby Quilt

I have been working on a couple quilts lately and I am totally in love with this one. It is a baby/toddler quilt and it is just delightful!!

I have already quilted it and it is just waiting for me to hand stitch the binding to the back and I can't wait to get going on that finishing touch.

This is what it looked liked on my design wall. Every time I looked at it while in-progress I just couldn't stop smiling. The pattern is from Missouri Star Quilt Co. and it features charm packs but I used yardage instead.

The instructions are to use the stitch and flip method to make the snowballed pinwheels and you could double sew the corners before trimming but I didn't do that. Instead I just cut them off but I used a consistent seam allowance so that all of my cut-off triangles turned out the same size. Of course, I didn't want to waste them so I started a twin to this quilt. ;) My crumb and string bins are so overflowing that I just want to avoid adding to them if at all possible and I can't throw away perfectly good fabric!

Using up the blue stitch and flip triangles
flying geese
It is not an identical twin but I wanted to use up all of the bits and pieces and extra hunks and chunks of leftover fabric. This could be a never-ending project!!!

I hope the twin turns out just as Delightful!