Showing posts from 2011

Looking for a Potluck

A while back I bought an issue of Simple Quits and Sewing  specifically for the instructions to this project.  I’ve been to a few potluck dinners since, but only today got around to making this casserole carrier.  Of course now there isn’t a potluck anywhere on my calendar!

Finally a few finishes

They aren’t big finishes, but they are UFO’s from the summer so I’m feeling like I accomplished something.
Here’s a runner made with leftover units (plus a few extra) from the table runner and placemats I made for Mom.  I have now officially used up all these fabrics.
I practiced a bit of freemotion quilting in the white areas, stitching along a tear-away paper template.  Oddly enough, the earliest bits had the tidiest design.  As I kept quilting the stitch length became more regular (yay!) but the design got more wobbly…go figure.  The rest of the runner has straight line quilting because all the FMQ designs I tried looked messy against those bold prints.  I decided that just because I can FMQ a bit, it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for every piece.

A second set of placemats and runners, which I actually started first, stalled out in June but is now almost done I just have to finish stitching the binding to the back of 3 of the placemats.  The runners – one wide and one skinny – a…

Battles with borders

I've been running into problems with borders the last few quilts.  You might remember that I was working on Whimsy's pieced borders when I decided I needed to go piece a gazillion flying geese instead.  Mostly that was because Whimsy's borders were waving at me when I attached them and I didn't feel up to dealing with them just then.

I happily went off to piece the flying geese and was astonished and delighted at how quickly the center of the geese quilt  came together.

Nevertheless, I'm sure you have noticed that I haven't posted any progress on this unnamed quilt.  That would be because I'm not sure what to do with it next.  I made a trip to the quilt shop specifically to choose border fabrics and actually came home with two selections.  At the quilt shop I and all the staff were sure they were perfect choices, but when I got home and spread out the fabric and laid the quilt on it to mimic borders...nope.  Not quite right.  It's in a UFO box until I fi…

Happy Halloween

Take a guess which one the young man in the family carved! We were very proud of ourselves for getting these carved last night rather than this afternoon after school in a mad rush before trick-or-treating began!
Last night I also obsessed about the new quilt in progress.  I started cutting and sewing, and changing the plan as I went along and the next thing I knew it was way, way past my bedtime.  I made progress though.  With another few hours of work today, this is where it stands:
I’ve been having trouble sorting out exactly how I want to piece the body of the lighthouse, and I have to rework my plan for other pieces of the lower half to balance out sizes and colours a bit with the upper half. I’m also peeved that my log cabin blocks are just a smidge smaller than they should be so I’ll have to redo a few seams to make the border fit around the center as the graph paper claims it should.  That said, I’m pleased with this overall so far.
Tomorrow’s task will be to stay clear of the…

Cutting fabric

I am finally cutting into this little stack of fabric.

These are mostly “Greetings from Canada” by Thimbleberries. (The light blue one second from the left is from my stash.) Mom sent these to me a year ago and I don’t think she quite believed me this summer when I assured her I had a plan for it that just needed to simmer a bit longer.
Here’s the plan:

OK, it doesn’t look like much in the picture :).  Maybe if you click on it to enlarge it you might be able to make out some of it.  I’ve drawn it out a few times to tweak this or that and I’m still not sure it will work the way I want it to.  You’ll just have to be patient right along with me until I get these pieced:

This just goes to show why I’d like to win a copy of the EQ7 software in The Pickledish Patch’s givewaway  It would be so much quicker and easier to design a quilt and I’d get a sneak peek before I actually sew it up!

The giveaway closes on October 27 so you still have time to go over and diminish my chances by entering t…

Seam ripping again, and again, and…

You should know it’s time to step away from the sewing room when you spend more time becoming better acquainted with the seam ripper than the sewing machine.

Today I unpicked the free motion quilting I started on Wooffles’ quilt last night. It was worth it and I then spent a comfortable while practicing free motion on this little quilt.  It turned into a little sampler of different filler patterns.

By the time I was done, I decided I might as well put the binding on too.  I decided to use TLC Stitches’ faux piped binding and I happily cut yellow strips for the “piping” and pulled out leftover purple strips for the binding.

Mistake #1: I cut the piping strip 1/4 inch too narrow and didn’t have any more of the yellow.   That’s OK, I just trimmed the purple narrower too and hoped for the best.

Mistake #2: I sewed a right side to a wrong side as I joined the binding strips.  Seam ripper!

Mistake #3: I sewed a beautifully straight 74” seam joining the long edges of the binding and the pip…

Now for something completely different

Well, different for me, anyway. As my hand, full of tiny fabric scraps, hovered over the waste basket I thought “Why not sew them all together willy-nilly and see what happens?”  So I did.
I didn’t plan, measure, or square anything up as I went.  I didn’t even use my iron!  This was really out of character for me but it came out kind of cute so of course I pushed on a little further.

Voila!  Wooffles’ new play quilt (well, the top at least – it still needs quilting).  You see him in the picture on the right for scale.
That row of vertical stripes was supposed to be much less regular than it ended up.  Considering all the effort I have to put in to avoid wonky crooked blocks, you’d think that going wonky would require less work.  Not so.  Getting a crooked result on purpose was actually quite challenging!  It didn’t even get as crooked as I wanted.
The bottom section was inspired by CW quilts’ Jelly roll 1600 quilts.  I just sewed all my leftover bits of 1 1/2” bright strips together …

Stitching again

I’ve finally sat down at the sewing machine again after what feels like forever and it feels wonderful! 
First up were a few flying geese. Last spring and early summer I made this table set for mom.  As I worked on it I realized my flying geese were not consistent enough for me to enjoy making this quilt I planned out.  I really want to make this so I’ve been trying out different methods to see which gives me the most consistent units. 
Thank you Love for the tip about Eleanor Burns’ flying geese ruler and technique.  I always hesitate to buy specialty rulers, but I went out and got this one this week and I did in fact sew and trim nice, consistent units with the points right where they should be.  There is a bit of fabric waste, but I think that tradeoff will be worth it.
With that settled, I’m clearing the decks, so to speak, to clear the way for total obsession with the flying geese quilt.  I have a few projects that stalled at my less favourite stages of quilt making.  I decided …

Wrapping up summer

From a weather perspective there is still plenty of summer left to come, but the kids are heading back to school on Thursday so we’re exchanging summer’s non-routine for regular routine. 
It has been a lovely, mostly lazy summer for us.  The last two weeks in July we headed back to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to visit family.  It was lovely to spend time with my parents, then with my in-laws.  The kids got a good grandparent fix, and I hope the grandparents enjoyed the grandkid fix as well.
The weather was lovely the whole time.  It has been so beastly hot and humid here at home all summer that the temperatures in the mid 20’s Celsius were a treat for us.  The scenery in Pubnico wasn’t hard to take either:

And Smuggler’s Cove:

I didn’t take many pictures in New Brunswick but my son took this lovely one of the sawmill at King’s Landing Historic Village.

We wilted in the heat and humidity as soon as we stepped off the plane here, but happily my garden hadn’t.  The girl we hired to wa…

The Plan

I’ve been playing with graph paper and coloured pencils and think my quilter’s block may have finally cleared.  I have a plan for the bright fabrics I posted about a few weeks ago!
Well, a partial plan anyway.  If my calculations are correct, I have plenty of fabric to make the 128 flying geese for this 46”x60” quilt center.  99 of them will be 2”x4” finished, and 29 will be 3”x6” finished.
I have no idea what the plan is for borders, though I’m pretty sure the quilt will need some.  Then again, maybe a scrappy binding will do the trick.  I’ll wait and see how the center comes together to decide.
Getting this one started will be my reward for quilting the placemats and runners I started the last couple of months.  I think I should also cut fabric for the pieced borders of Whimsy first.  Is there any chance my mind will stay made up about these brights in the meantime? :)


There was no quilting yesterday.  The morning was spent picking these lovelies:
It’s hard to stop picking once you start and we ended up with a couple of almost full flats. 
Of course the first way to sample them is to just eat them as is.  These are much smaller than the supermarket variety of strawberries, but they pack so much more flavour that they don’t need any cream or sugar to help them.  However, there were way too many to eat them all before they went bad.  As it was, they were softening just sitting on the kitchen counter. 
What to do?  Make jam!

By the time I ran out of jars at the end of the fourth batch I was ready to be done.  Another 10 cups of berries went into the freezer.
Breakfast this morning had to feature the jam.  Yum!  Store bought doesn’t come close to this!