Monday, 21 April 2014

Slow Stitching on a Sunny Day

I was planning to write a post about how I hand stitched the binding on my Baby Star quilt today and even took pictures to illustrate it.

The my side-tracked self kick into high gear and I did about a hundred other things and didn’t go back to the binding. So I have only done half. First I had to take a picture of the other quilt I did of this pattern. Only this time I did it the way they intended it to be.
Right down to the directional print in the border.  So this one I can genuinely call by it’s given name “Zoo Parade”.
Then I got to thinking about the string blocks I was doing Saturday while we had a power outage ( in the middle of the afternoon on a bright and sunny day, no idea why, 30,000 without power).  While I was sewing , using the strings from the Accuquilt scraps, I was doing the 6.5” blocks for the Geese on a String. But there were a lot of neutrals and I have a 7.5” string block I am slowly working on for Pefferneuse from String Fling.  So I rounded up the papers for them and started some more treadling. Because that was what I had been sewing on during the power outage, my treadle.
  I’ve been using the paper pieced string blocks to practice the treadle. I didn’t seem to be getting better today even after several blocks and wondered why I was having so much trouble, then I noticed that the bobbin winder was engaged. Duh. Once I had that fixed, my speed improved and my take-off became much smoother.

Moved on to the hand crank later in the evening while watching some really ridiculous TV but no pictures.

So, I was slow stitching, all people powered, just not all by hand.
Linking up with Quilter Kathy  to see what you all think…Kathy's Quilts

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Flippin’ Corners

Yes, I have been flipping my corners, not my lid.  That is  what all those 2” squares are for. And while 470 sounds like a lot of squares, doing a Bonnie Hunter pattern can use up a whole lot of them. And since I am doing several at once, I am in sore need of squares.

  For reasons that seemed perfectly logical at the time, I have started a “Jared Takes a Wife” quilt, as well as the Lozenge Leader/Ender Challenge of 2014.  Both need corners, a lot of corners. At the moment I have 110 lozenges cut, each needs 4 corners flipped – 440 squares needed, half black, half neutral. Jared needs 240 chevron units, those take a 2” at each end; 480 squares needed, half yellows, half neutrals. Just looking at those numbers makes me want to cut more.

I don’t have pictures of the Lozenges yet, too early to see anything but piles of fabrics, some with one corner sewn. But here is Jared taking shape.
 I’m glad I put a few together early on as it pointed out some spots where I needed to take more care in the light and dark separation.  It can be hard to tell, they look dark in my hand but aren’t really dark enough. And two of the yellows are fading into the plaid, I need more pop there.

In addition to flipping 2” corners, I have also been flipping some 2.5” as well. Looking at pictures on the Quiltville Open Studio page ( a very dangerous place to hang out - too many good ideas)  I got this idea to try a Smokey Mountains quilt with some of my 4.5” I Spy blocks.  The 4.5” squares I cut the other day were the spacers for that.
Not sure it is working out as well as it did in my head, and the lighter star corners really disappear into the background, but I’ll keep going with it. Maybe I can change some of the lighter fabrics.

Oh, yes, the HST that I cut. They are for the Leader and Ender challenge from last year, that I am still working on. So far only have 45 blocks done and need a whole lot more.

With all these Leader and Ender projects going, I’m not sure what my main project is any more.  Ah, that would be  the Baby Star quilt and I am putting the binding on it, right now, as soon as I get off the computer, really I can turn it off. Maybe I should post this first.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Resumption of Quilting Activity

Our visit by out of town family is over. Four days of dinners, drives, long talks and general catching up, ending with a drive to the airport yesterday.  And now I can return to my quilting but first a little cutting.  Why cutting? Because one of the long drives over the weekend was to JoAnne’s; where they had a 40% sale.  And I caved, succumbed, bent to the pressure of hurting wrists and fingers, and bought the Accuquilt Go!.   In addition to the basic machine I also got two dies, the 2.5” strip and the 2” squares. 
So today now that I have time to play with it, I set up in the dining room and went to work.
With two tables to spread out on, and an ironing station to tame any unruly pieces, I cut all afternoon.
Final total:
2.5” strips: 105
2.5” squares: 86
2.5” HST: 105
2” sq. : 470
4.5” sq: 58

And a very happy quilter.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Spring Cleaning

Dear Hubby pointed out last night that I hadn’t posted in a while, and I retorted that no one wanted to hear about my spring cleaning marathon,  which is what it feels like I have been doing .  But that is not fair, there have been other things going on.  Like another machine. Like quilting on the Baby Star.
The machine was pure happenstance. Dear Son and I popped out Monday eve to drop off some stuff to the thrift store, and of course do a walk through. I headed right to the fabrics and notions where I spotted a baggie of threads, spools and spools of thread. That usually is a good indication that some one has dropped off their mom’s sewing stuff. And a great piece of neutral fabric. So headed down back to the furniture to see if there was a machine. Just an empty sewing cabinet.  Maybe they kept the machine. Did a walk through anyway and on another desk spied a white plastic case looking almost like a suitcase except on the handle it said Kenmore.
Isn’t that so cute, roses all over it and inside, a Kenmore 158.104520140407_172133

Just the sweetest little 3/4 size, solid metal, zig-zag.  With no foot pedal or power cord. I didn’t grab it and run, in fact checked out ( with the fabric and two more shirts to cut up) and came home and told my DH. Who immediately said “why didn’t you get it”.  I posted it on the facebook Vintage Machines group and they all said “grab it”.  So the next day, while I was working, hubby went and bought it. We drove to Niagara Falls to a sewing machine  store and he had a power cord/foot pedal combo that worked.  Happy ending

Best part - machine $23, foot $20 = grand total $43 !

The house cleaning has a happy ending also. Back in September when
my DD2 moved back home I posted a picture of my living room. Looking like this.

Well, now after considerable effort, it looks like this:
Still a little pile of stuff down to the left that needs to go ( especially that old TV) but I feel much better about it.  
And the Baby Star Quilt: 
Just need to quilt the border and put on the binding and it's ready to ship. But my quilting table are repurposed for the weekend to accommodate a family dinner so all is on hold.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Challenge Accepted

One of my sisters asked me to make a baby quilt. Not going to go into the reason she wants it, it's a verrry complicated and slightly sad. However, here is the challenging part, she is not a big fan of my scrappyness. In fact, can't see what my baby sister sees in the Strip Twist, came right out and declared she doesn't see the pattern in it. ( which goes a whole lot to explain why she isn't getting it as a 50th birthday present plus she won't admit she turned 50 last year).  In addition to restraining my pallet, she also wanted the baby's name on the quilt.
This is what I have so far.  The name in the centre will be embroidered. Just auditioning a border here. The pattern is from Quiltmaker, one of their Big Blocks Series. I loved the look when I saw it and the light bulb moment happened when I realized I could substitute the 4, 4.5" blocks that came together in the centre with one 8.5" block and then put the name on it. So now I am off to practice my embroidery, not liking the price I was quoted for getting it done by machine at my LQS.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Terrible Blogger

I’ve been a terrible blogger this month.  I just realized I’ve posted nothing.  Have mostly been working and sewing on the Strip Twist, trying to get it ready to send to my sister. Finished the binding last night and will label it and wash it today. As a break from the Strip Twist, on the Saturday of International Quilting Day I tried the Mystery Quilt on a facebook page.  It was a jelly roll race type and I used up a bunch of the strips I was tired of sewing with from the Strip Twist. This is the end product so far. It was a lot of fun to just sew, not worrying over light vs dark or matching anything.  In hindsight, I would have ironed more. The video I watched on the Jelly Roll Race from Youtube said to just go for it and not worry about ironing between rows, but I have some mini-volcano's that might have been avoided if I’d ironed (I think).
jellyrollrace 001
The Strip Twist, finished and washed. First quilt out on the clothes line this year.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Finally close to finishing the Adirondack Autumn top. I haven’t felt like posting anything until I had progress that was worth reporting. Today I sewed all the  blocks together and just have to put on the borders to call it ready to quilt.

 So far the only oopsie I’ve found is a pinwheel spinning the wrong way and it can just stay there.  It is so incredible how clean my work area looks with out all the pieces of this lying about.

This hasn’t been the only project coming to a close. I actually finished a quilt a week ago. This was a top I completed several years ago, Before Bonnie.  Easy tospringquilt tell, as I am trying to be coordinated with my fabric choices, and if you could see the back, oh the threads everywhere.  But is is done and the new mother-to-be (one of my daughter’s friends) is very happy with it.  This is her receiving it  at her baby shower.

And I have another in the middle of being quilted. This is Bonnie’s Strip Twist that I was making to use up the left-overs of the Scrappy Trips. My baby sister loved the pictures of it I posted on Facebook, so I decided to finish it for her birthday in two weeks. She is turning 50 so it seemed a good time to send her a special present.

Once I decided this was her quilt, I threw in some fabrics reflecting her interests. And for the border I used a fabric with a sewing theme and actually says “Sewing Queen”. For the cornerstones I wanted some that I had with cats and yarn on cheddar background but could not find it anywhere. A whole day was spend going through every piece of fabric, sorting and folding and organizing. My fabric is in a better condition but still no cats.  All I found was a 2” strip less than 10” long. All I can thing is I sliced what was left into strips after I used it in a Trip Around the World last year.  So instead the cornerstones are headshots of dogs fussy cut. I’ve quilted diagonally through the quilt and just need to come up with a motif for the centre of the block.
She liked the pattern so much she is making one herself, LOL. When she posted that I had to message and tell her this one is coming her way. She was thrilled especially since the one she is making was intended for someone else. This making things for others seems to run in our family.