Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nuts about Selvedges

You may think I am nutsy, but I like to consider myself quilting anyway.  I want to share a little problem solving tip that I use when sewing with selvedges.

Sometimes, a friend will give me a selvedge that may be trimmed just shy of enough fabric to add the next one on.  So here is what I do....I never throw them out, I just make a new one.  Take a narrow strip of fabric, turn under the edge 1/4" and topstitch it to the selvedge .  I would use matching thread unlike my little sample in the pic.   There you go, ready to use in your project.

OK the fabric doesn't match the selvedge, but who will notice that in the grand scheme?  You can pick and choose your colours too which is helpful if you are going for a certain combo.  

A win-win for scrapbusting!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fun with Selvedges!

I adore scraps of fabric and what is the ultimate scrap?  A selvedge, of course.  Some dispose of them, some don't know what to do with them.  Those that do know what to do with them, like me, take great pleasure in these stringy, colour dotted, usable scraps. Selvedge collectors now have more than dots to collect.  The selvedges on the newer fabrics are little gems.  Look at this cute is this one !

Here's a few of my current favourites:

Cut here!

Awesome little mustachioed Pepe in a Beret
Who doesn't love a Charley Harper selvedge

17 colour dots on this one.  Do you have one with more dots?  Love to see it

All this talk of selvedges is leading to the fact that I am going to follow along with Jessica @Quilty Habit and Renee @Quilts of a Feather and link up my post to show how I store  my selvedges.

This is my boxful of newer style fabric selvedges.  I have great connection with some quilty friends who toss them my way.  Thanks to all who contribute to my addiction!

I keep all my blue and green selvedges in this bag and I am working on sewing them to phone book pages in order to make a string quilt

In this sectioned box, I keep all my older selvedges, grouped in colours for easy access.  There are a ton of selvedges in this box.
So, with the help of this selvedge-along, I hope to tame some of this hoard and make some useful items.  I have been collecting for the past several years and have made some useful things.  Here is my favourite.....I use it every day!

I have made several pillows from selvedge blocks and I also use them on the back of envelope pillows for a bit of interest. I use them for tying up packages and keeping bundles of fabric together.   

So, I hope you will follow along too.  Go here and here for the link-ups and schedule.  There will be some wonderful tutorials as well.  Here is the first one, a selvedge cushion by Jessica .  

Have fun and I hope you get some time today to make something quilty!  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What's Happening!

I am in "Git 'er done" mode today.  I have "Aerial" all pinned and ready to go under the needle.  My favourite part of quilting. 

I am also preparing my next project for machine quilting.  Just found out recently that my niece is having a baby boy in November, so of course, gotta make a quilt! I made this herringbone earlier this year in preparation.  It is made from the leftover fabric that I used in the wedding quilt from last summer.  I have the back pieced and now it just needs to be ironed and then spray basted to get it ready to quilt.  My niece and her husband are bee farmers in New Brunswick, so of course, there will be bees in the quilt.  

Bee Backing

And a strip of honeycomb

The Wedding Quilt 2014

 I have made 9 bedsized, handquilted samplers over the many years I have been a quilter.  Recently, my lovely little guild decided to quilt along with Sew Mama Sew's Block of the Month.  Perfect! I have been wanting to make a sampler quilt with modern style blocks. I love the blocks. These are the fabrics I have chosen from my stash.  I was going to go scrappy at first but I do adore the simplicity of the fewer colours.  So, I have...from top to bottom...all Konas..Glacier, Graphite, Limelight and Silver for background.  I will be cutting into this luscious pile shortly.

I am linking up with the Needle and Thread Network.  Stop by and check out all the Canadian quilty goodness.  

I hope you had time to do something quilty today!

Monday, July 27, 2015

My break is over!

My unintentional break from blogging must come to an end.  I don't know why, but I am finding it difficult to find my words lately.  Maybe it's summer..I don't know, but after attending my lovely little guild's Sew-In Day yesterday, and seeing and hearing all the quilty things that are happening,  I am now totally inspired to get back to my blog and get back on track.  I have to get back on track with my blogging or risk getting kicked out of the the Nova Scotia Quilting Bloggers Quartet!

 You wouldn't kick me out, would ya girls!!lol  We will have lots of blogging material after we get together on Saturday for the Northumberland Quilt Guild's Quilt Show in Pictou.  Excited to see you all there.  

 My shoulder issue is sorted out and I am now playing catch up with my projects.  My lovely quilty buddy, Adrienne, helped me out with taking a few outside photos of  my latest finish, "I Love Chai".
Here is my rendition of Katie Clark Blakesley's pattern, "Spiced Chai" from the book "Vintage Quilt Revival".  I love patterns that put an updated spin on a traditional block design and an alternate setting.  
For the prints, I used Handcrafted by Alison Glass ( a fat quarter pack of the entire line that I won in a  giveaway), and for the solids, five different Kona greys and a Kona white for the background.

I had fun with the free motion quilting even if it did put my shoulder out of commission for a while.   In the centre of the star, free motion feathers.  In the star points, organic free motion straight line (very organic!)   In the background, swirls and pebbles and in the tea leaves, swirls with some plain squares for definition.
Lots of bobbin winding and spool changing as I used matching colours of threads.  I used Aurifil, Wonderfil and Zwicky threads.  All 50wt with a 80/12 Superior Topstitch needle.

                                           "I LOVE CHAI"  
60" x 60"

And here's the back.....Ikea "Nummers" with a pieced strip of leftover squares  and a scattering of raw edge appliqued squares. Love how it turned out. I sewed together four HSTs that didn't get used for the front,  to make the label.  For binding, the darkest teal

 A few more shots...

Thanks so much for taking these awesome photos, Adrienne.  You rock! 
I made this quilt especially for my lovely little guild's quilt show as part of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in October, but lots more on that in the near future.  

A Flimsy Finish for me too!  My attempt to make 63 paper pieced blocks for the quilt that I am making for my son, from the Carolyn Friedlander pattern, "Aerial" has been downgraded to 35 blocks and is now ready for quilting.  I wimped out, which is not usually my style, but I figured "done is better than perfect" (ala Angela Walters) and I really did not want to spend the time required to make the queen sized beauty and I didn't want it to become a UFO.  It ends up at 63" x 75" which is a nice cuddly size.

I enticed RetiredHub to tear all the paper off the back. He is such a quilty sweetheart!

I will straight line quilt this one.  I hope to have it completed before the end of August as my son will be home from Edmonton just for a quick visit.  

I have a few more projects on the go but I will save them for another day.  One of the projects is a big secret that I have to keep until September as part of my lovely little guild's mini quilt challenge. I have the top and back all pieced, just need to add some quilting.  

I hope you had time to get some quilting done today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday - TN&TN

I spent a lot of time this past week,  working on my latest project .  I sewed up 17 out of the 65 blocks required .  I am really enjoying the process so far.  I love that every block is a different colour combo. I was a bit worried that I may not have enough solids to work this project up from my "Scrash" (scrap stash)  but as I was sorting out the storage room the other day, I came across a tub of solid scraps that I had not seen for a while.
 I will have to spend some time sorting and pressing, but that is something I love to do.  Plus, I forgot about another huge bin of solids that I have from many years ago if I need  more.  I also found a Kona jelly roll that will come in handy.  I may have to cut into some of my yardage but that is OK.  Here's a look at what I have done so far.

Talking about Kona solids....Have you heard about the quilt that my quilty buddy Valerie @ Purple Boots and Pigtails is making?  She has asked those who are interested, to make a word block from their favourite Kona colour using that Kona colour for the word.  Also the background must be Kona.   Her plan is to have this Kona word quilt ready for our guild quilt show in October.  It will be fabulous!  Click on the link above to check out the details. Here are two blocks that I made to help her out in her quest. 

I am linking up with the Needle and Thread Network.   Stop by and check out all the wonderful Canadian projects going on.  Such talent!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What's Happening..A new project

I started a new project today because my son, Nathaniel, ordered up a new bed quilt.  I haven't been sewing much lately so when he got in touch with me to ask if I could make this quilt. "aerial" by Carolyn Friedlander. of course I could not resist.  Modern, Paper pieced, solids, CF, scrappy...yum!

I bought the pattern @ Patch, then had the paper piecing patterns photocopied, then I did this..

I pinned all the PP patterns on my design wall as they fit in the quilt, because I figured it is the only way I would be able to keep things straight and plan my colour combos. Once each block is finished I will pin it back on the wall and when they are all finished I can easily sew them into a top without getting mixed up. 

Then I sorted through some of my Kona scraps. My plan is to not buy any new fabric for this quilt.

Then I sewed up one block on my beautiful little Featherweight.  This will be fun!

Nathaniel will be home for a little visit on July 9 but I don't think I will have it finished by then!  

For the first time in ages, I am linking up with The Needle and Thread Network. Why don't you link up too?  Love to see what you are working on.  

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get time to do some quilting today.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

What's Happening...or not Happening!

Oh my!  It has been 17 days since my last blogpost.  Oh my!   I've been a bit bummed lately and don't have much to show.  It's my own fault.  I started to do the free motion quilting on my latest quilt and I overdid it. Really overdid it.  I spent an entire evening swirling away and not paying attention to how long I was spending.  I was using my smaller Pfaff Ambition 1.0  as my Pfaff QE 4.0 is sick and in the shop again.  The smaller throat space on the Ambition makes it more strenuous to manipulate a  quilt and the next day was the proof.  I couldn't lift my arm and the pain was sickening.  It took about a week and a half for my arm to calm down back to normal (almost) .  I have been sewing just little bits here and there and today was the first time that I got back to doing some FMQing, just for a few minutes.  It will be fine in a day or so but I have learned my lesson.  When I teach classes in FMQ, I stress to my students...Take a break...don't overdo it...and look what I go and do...

This photo shows about half of what I have done on this quilt so far.  I will take my time to finish up the rest.  There is no rush really...I am making this for my lovely little guild's quilt show in October. 
More details on that soon.

This pattern is called "Spiced Chai Quilt" designed by Katie Clark Blakesley from the book
 "Vintage Quilt Revival" .  I am drawn to patterns that alter traditional block layouts so this book was a perfect choice for me.   I love the Tea Leaf block and have used it in a few of my traditional quilts so when I saw this pattern I fell in love with it and just had to make it.  It was perfect to showcase my treasured "Handcrafted" by Alison Glass and also use up some larger chunks of grey Konas that I had kicking around.  They go so nicely with the Kona white. 

I managed to do some straighline quilting in free motion and finish up this pillow that will be sent off to Edmonton as part of my guild's Pillow Swap with the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild.  I made it from some scraps of low volume prints and Kona Graphite.  I was going for a clean, modern look with a bit of scrappiness.

I always like to use a selvedge on the back of my pillows.  

So, as you can see, I haven't been sewing up my usual storm but hopefully that will change soon.  I have so much in my head that needs to get out!  My niece Katherine, who got married last summer, is having a baby in November so I need to start making baby stuff.  Very excited about this!  

I received this cute little postcard from Sunny in Maryland as part of Sheila's Postcard Swap.   I think it will be a bit longer before we can put our toes in the sand here!   I can't show you the one I made for her because I forgot to take a shot of it. darn. Hopefully Sunny will post a picture of it and I can steal it from her!   Thanks for being my partner Sunny and thanks to Sheila for organizing this great swap.  It was fun!

Hope you have a quilty day!  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fabulous Friends

More on my trip to Westville......

In addition to the lovely bag and wallet
and needle holder that Sheila made for me, as part of our swap,

I was surprised with this awesome autographed copy of
 Amy Garro's book "Paper Pieced Modern", a gift from my beautiful friend Karen of KaHolly.  She visited QuiltCon in Texas this past winter and thought of me when she saw this book, knowing full well I would adore it! How special that she had Amy autograph it just for me.

 I have already chosen the top two designs that I want to make.

I think I already have most of the Konas suggested in the pattern to make this one

I am not a stranger to paper-piecing.  The quilt that is on my bed at the moment is a queen sized paper pieced Carolina Lily and I have also made many smaller projects using this method.  But now I am inspired to make more modern designs and this book full of patterns fits the bill.  Thanks so much Karen!  I love, love, love it!

Today, Karen sent me a photo of the KitchenAid cover that I made for her as my part of the swap.  It fits perfectly! Yay! She loves it!
 I don't think I ever shared how Karen came to own this Mixer.  Well....She wanted a KitchenAid  and I wanted a Featherweight....and.....I owned a KitchenAid and she owned a traded!  I never liked my KitchenAid and hardly used it so when the subject of me wanting a FW and Karen wanting a KA, well it just worked out perfectly,  We are both happy. Now I need to make a cover for my Featherweight...Ok...I need to make three covers! lol

I hope you had time to do something quilty today!

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Wonderful Quilty Day

Yesterday I attended the Thistle Quilt Guild's annual quilt show which took place in Westville, N.S.   The guild is very prolific and their show is always a feast for the eyes.  I met up with my quilting blog buddies, Sheila, Lesley and Karen, aka The Nova Scotia Quilting Bloggers Quartet.  It was so wonderful to see them.  We walked around and looked at all the quilty goodness and then went to the tea room for a chat and also to exchange our swap gifts.  Last fall Karen came up with the idea to make something for each other using an embroidered initial pattern.  We had lots of time to make something and the results were fantastic!

Sheila made me a gorgeous batik totebag in my fave colours and used a beautiful antique turquoise button for the closure. I love how she used different thread colours to stitch out the embroidery.  See the little "L" in the upper left corner.  Very cute!  She also included a really nicely made wallet and a cute little needle holder that she needle felted.  Thanks Sheila! Love 'em all!  

 I made Karen a cover for her KitchenAid mixer.  I used linen dish towelling that I bought by the metre and then stitched the embroidery with a dark red floss.  So I guess the "K" is for Karen or KitchenAid!

Karen made Lesley just the cutest bag.  It can double as a drawstring bag or a little tote bag.  Great stitching job too!  

Lesley made Sheila an awesome tote-bag with stitching on both sides.  


Also, during the show I met up with Debbie and Sheila.  And then Carol popped in to say hello. So nice to see them all.  So, it was a friend-filled day for me!  

The other amazing part of my day was that I spent most of the day helping Chris, the owner of  Patch Halifax, set up and take care of customers in the vendors area.  Quilters were very happy and excited to see what Chris had for sale.  It was a very successful retail day.
How much fabric can you fit in the backseat of a Jetta?  This much!
 Needless to say, I was totally wiped out when I got home and went to bed early!  Unfortunately, I was too busy all day to get a nice amount of photos to show.  Just a few but be assured,  Handquilting is alive and well in Pictou County!  
Sheila's Shirts

This one reminded me of my friend KB.  

a cozy flannel quilt.  I love snowmen

So pretty in person

Just half of the quilt show.

results of Karen Henry workshop

I love a string quilt

It was a fabulous, quilty day!