Thursday, July 24, 2014

I've Been a Little Busy This Week

Soaking up the sun at my sister's cottage...





From the deck, I can see the Northumberland Strait with Prince Edward Island in the background and the causeway to the island on the right. Life is a beach...

Just to let you know I am still a little immersed in the quilt world. This is what I am working on.



It is a fabric painting of a lighthouse that I purchased from textile artist Eileen Gidman in 2012 at Quilt Canada when it was held in Halifax. I have used Eileen's gorgeous art as the centre of a wall hanging I am making. I framed the piece with some borders, both solid and pieced. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I am handquilting around the lighthouse, clouds, shed, fences, etc. When I am finished handquilting, I plan to machine quilt the rest of the quilt to give it some more texture, maybe using some wavy lines to represent the waves in the ocean?




It is a great day for quilting!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrappy's Story

This continues to be the summer of UFOs for me. Although I occasionally start a new project (or two or three), I am really focusing on completing some of my UFOs. "Scrappy", my red and cream quilt, is now a finish.


If you recall, I had started sewing together some blocks with the scraps from previous quilts, using a variety of reds and creams cut in 1.5" strips. I made the nine-patch blocks first, then added cornerstones and strips to finish at 5". I used a variety of neutral blocks to add to the pieced blocks to create Scrappy, a 35-block quilt that finishes at 33" x 42". 

I decided to quilt it by machine using one of my favorite quilting designs...cross-hatching. My back always aches when I spend too much time leaning over to mark a quilt, so I purchased some bed risers recently and used them to raise the dining room table. This gives me a perfect height to walk around the table and mark my quilt.  


I was able to purchase the risers through Amazon HERE but I would imagine they are easy to find if you live in a city.


Once the design was drawn on with my Frixion pen, I headed to my sewing corner and started machine quilting.


Perhaps it will be used as a crib quilt, a wall hanging, or a table runner? I added a sleeve to the back, attached my Cuddle Quilter label, and now it is ready for a new home. 

My quilting location has moved outside for the summer. In the early mornings, with my coffee in hand, I head outside to the back deck. I sit in my quilting rocker to do my stitcheries and watch and listen to the finches come and go. Scrappy fits right in!


It's a great day for quilting!



Friday, July 4, 2014

Scrap Jar Stars

Our quilt group recently decided to work on a quilt project to raise funds. Each of us is to make a couple of blocks that will be put together into a bed sized quilt and quilted by the members. The group decided to make the Scrap Jar Stars quilt that Amber introduced on her blog, "A Little Bit Biased". She has an excellent free tutorial that you can see HERE

The group provided the white background fabric for the blocks and our goal was to use fabrics from our stashes to make the scrappy blocks. Off I went to my sewing corner, quickly cutting into some of my pretty fabrics and in no time at all, I had made four blocks.

Two look kind of like this...


and two look kind of like this...


Putting them side by side, this is what you see...


I think I may have to make my own Scrappy Jar Stars quilt down the road.

In addition to my Jars, I finished a table runner this week. I bought the kit about a year ago and it had been in my "kit" bag since then. Out it came, and, as usual, took no time to put together. Why did I procrastinate so long? 


In my typical way, I made a bit of a change-I decided to applique the top and then quilt it, rather than use the "quilt as you go" approach.


I machine appliqued and machine quilted it in the ditch. The pattern is by Disa Designs and is one of several table runners featured in the My Runners book.


It's a great day for quilting!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

If Pumpkins Grew on Trees

I spent this week in my sewing corner with a quilt project I had started quite some time ago. The joy of picking up this UFO is that some of the cutting was already done. A few more sessions and I had produced a pumpkin patch quilt top which I am calling, "If Pumpkins Grew on Trees".


As with many of my quilt projects, I spent some time drawing diagonal lines on my little squares and I quickly progressed to chain sewing.


Once I had my 25 pumpkins, I sorted them into pumpkin piles. 


Then it was a matter of sewing on the leaves.


Did you notice the pattern I used? It is called "Fresh Squeezed" and was designed by Amber and on sale through her blog at A Little Bit Biased


I couldn't resist turning these lemons into pumpkins and decided to keep the leaves rather than change the design into stems. Hence the name, "If Pumpkins Grew on Trees". I also see an apple quilt in the future 


I adapted the size of the quilt, preferring to stay with one narrow green border. The finished size will be about 36" x 43".

The next step is to determine how to quilt my pumpkins.


Because of the size, I should be able to manage quilting it myself by machine. Perhaps I'll do my favorite cross hatch design, or maybe some echo quilting in and around the pumpkins. Only time will tell. For now, I will leave the pumpkins growing in the garden...


It's a great day for quilting!










Friday, June 20, 2014

I Couldn't Resist the Nested Churn Dash

I fell in love in April - with a quilt block! When Australian quilt blogger Jane, of Quilt Jane (Want It, Need It, Quilt) first showed us her Nested Churn Dash Block, I knew I had to make one. So I did. I actually made two blocks. I then chose one of them and went from start to finish to make one that could be used as a wall hanging or a table topper, or just because...



I had fun choosing fabrics that were bright, and cheerful, and summery, combined with a bright white Bella cotton solid. 



When I finished making the two blocks, I hung them out to dry, or I should say, hung them on the clothesline so I could get a picture.




Quilt Jane has started a Nested Churn Dash QAL that runs from June 1- July 30 and has invited us all to quilt along with her and ten of her "favorite quilters who will be making their blocks into a mini-quilt". It is not too late for you to start! Jane has also provided directions HERE if you want to make larger versions, maybe a pillow, bed runner, mini-quilt, table runner, or bed-sized quilt. The PDF pattern for the NCD block is available in her shop HERE for a very reasonable price of $2.00.  

I had been watching the QAL with interest and was being inspired almost daily by the NCD blocks that I was seeing popping up in blogland. But when I saw Pat Sloan's block HERE with the wavy machine quilting, that was my "A ha!"moment, the moment I knew that I had to make this little quilt sooner than later.

The blocks are so much fun to make. I chose to finish each churn dash section before choosing the fabric for the next. Once the quilt was sandwiched, I quilted it using a serpentine stitch on my Pfaff. Here are a few closer looks at the quilt and the back, which finishes at about 24" x 24".


I don't usually sew down the binding much by hand anymore, but this was too cute. I wanted to look at it even longer so I chose some matching thread and off I went to my quilting chair.



I used a Lori Holt fabric for the back, put on my label, and it was complete.

The schedule of designers and their blocks can be found HERE. Jane has started a Flick page HERE so you can see everyone's progress, showing us their versions. Jane is also offering the chance to win Aurifil thread packs or other prizes if you display your block on the Flickr page before the end of July. 

Where is my quilt today? It is in the Artisans Collective shop at the Port Hastings Museum, located at the entrance to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Yes, our seasonal shop opened this week, with the works of thirteen local artisans now available for purchase. Each of the artisans volunteers one day every couple of weeks in the shop and my day was today. This was my view from my desk...



and over in the corner...


The best news of all, is that today a quilter came in to the shop all the way from Spain! She also writes a blog about her quilting. So of course I had to take a picture of Estefania in front of my cottage quilt.

I was thrilled to meet Estefania, a fellow quilter and fairly new blogger, who is also passionate about quilting and writing about it. She is having a wonderful time in our area visiting quilt and fabric shops and buying as much fabric as she can fit in her suitcase! Please visit Estefania at her blog HERE and let her know I sent you. She has that wonderful "translate button" on her blog so you'll be able to read about her quilting in the language of your choice. She is making the most adorable Japanese doll quilt. You can find more of the dolls HERE. It was wonderful to meet you, Estefania, and may you have a wonderful vacation here in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

It's a great day for quilting!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Apples

In my continuing quest to tackle my UFO and To Do lists, which actually seem to be growing, I dove into a bag of kits I have purchased over the years and came out with "Apples", an appliqued wall quilt by Applepatch Designs. I wanted something that would be quick and easy, a project that would go from start to finish in a couple of days, and this was it!



It's so nice to make a quilt from a kit...everything is there just waiting for a few cuts. The background squares of creams and greens were chain pieced....


and came together in no time at all.



The next step was to make the flying geese blocks using a quick method of drawing, sewing, and cutting,



Do you see how the red triangles in the border will become the tops of the apples?



The next step was to applique the letters. I loved that the letters were a good size and finished quickly. I used my blanket stitch with green thread on the top and a cream in the bobbin. 



I really liked the effect when I added the leaves and the stems to a few apples and raced outside to take a picture before the sun went down. Unfortunately, the sun also washes out the colour.



The next day was quilt day! Yes, I considered doing FMQ, and even made three quilt sandwiches to practice on. My stitching just didn't make me happy, so I decided to do a traditional cross hatch design instead. I marked it in 2" intervals with a Frixion pen and used my trusty Pfaff to machine stitch the straight lines. 



I made a sleeve and pinned it to the top before I sewed on the binding.



Then it was time to attach the binding...



The quilt finishes at 20" x 28", a great size as a hanging in the kitchen or a table topper...



or maybe just to hang around outside sharing space with the last blooms of my forsythia...



or joining the wood pile, though the colour is a bit off.



After I took the picture of the quilt with the bowl of apples, I decided to make a pie. So off to the kitchen I go...

Thanks so much for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!