Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's Happening!

I have been so busy lately that my blogging has gone on the backburner.  I am really behind and I hope to catch up over the next few days.  I have plans for a few special posts in the near future. 

I did manage to get together with our friend, Tyler, before he leaves for school in Newfoundland, to give him the quilt I made for him.  He was very touched and he appreciated all the work that went into it.  It will keep him warm this winter.  The photo is horrible.  I only had my cellphone.  You can see why I had to make the quilt longer!  Tyler sure makes me look very short.  Guess I am.  He is almost a foot and a half taller than me!

Remember all the sewing I was doing for my niece's wedding?  Well, the wedding took place this past weekend and everything looked just wonderful.  Here is a shot of the head table with the burlap and lace runner and the flags I made. 

The quilt guest book went over really well and I now have lots of signature squares to incorporate into the design for the backing of the wedding quilt. 

And here she is....She was so beautiful, I cried a lot...when I gave the Toast to the Bride I had everyone crying, even the men!  
The happy couple 

I spent a bit of time today at my machine.  First time in almost a week!  I made a zippered pouch for my guild swap next month.  I have lots of sewing that needs to get done in the near future.  A few deadlines.  More on this soon. 

I hope you had time to do something quilty today!

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 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!