Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Cuddle Quilter

It's that time of year that we finally get to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. It is also the time that I wish my blog friends and visitors to my blog a very "Merry Christmas" and a huge "thank you" to for visiting my blog this past year. 

I'd also like to repost the picture of my wooden Santa, the quilt that was used as inspiration for Santa's quilt, and the story behind it.

If you are a regular reader of mine, you have probably read this story before, but if not, I'd like to share it with you from a post I originally wrote on December, 4, 2011. You can read all about Santa and his quilt by clicking on this link HERE.

The visions of sugarplums are really swirling around my head now. One more sleep!

Christmas love and hugs from Lesley, the Cuddle Quilter.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas

I started with the Christmas quilts and hung them around the house.

The kitchen quilts were hung and the Christmas oranges were bought and readied for consumption.

The Santas were brought out of storage and found their places on shelves, tables, and anywhere I could find!

Many years ago I did more tole painting than quilting, so you'll see lots of wooden Santas made by Woodworker Hubby and me. He cut out and assembled the pieces and I did the painting.

Over the years, I have been gifted with many fabulous Santas by friends and family. This is just a sample of what surrounds us at Christmas. 

The lighting was pretty poor when I took the pictures, so some of the pictures are a little dull. But trust me, these Santas shine!

The ladder quilts were changed up and some Santas added to the top.

The Christmas Dresden quilt was taken out of storage...

Do you see the quilt at the bottom of the bed? I just finished this selvage quilt a couple of weeks ago. 

I made this lap quilt just for me to cuddle up in, so I added flannel to the back and machine quilted some stitch in the ditch along the piano key borders. The pdf pattern is by Karen Griska and can be found by clicking HERE

I love using this quilt because there are so many memories in it from fabric I have used for the many quilts I have made over the years.

DS and his girlfriend are due home today and we'll plan to put up the tree in a day or two. Although we won't be seeing DD, SIL, and our first GS this Christmas, I did have the chance to go West a few weeks ago. The little guy has just turned 6 months old and is already checking out my stitches!

I finished a few projects this month too. I do love to play in my sewing room!

I tidied up the sewing room today but I'm sure I'll find a little time over the holidays to play in there. Thanks so much for coming by. I've had another wonderful year sharing my projects and inspiration with my friends in Blogland and appreciate you all so much!  Have a wonderful Christmas! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hanging of the Quilts and Lots More

Today is the perfect day to decorate the house by hanging my Christmas quilts, with the sun shining in and the Christmas music playing, the Christmas spirit will definitely embrace our little house.

Usually, I start my decorating on December 1, but this year I was away on a short visit to see this little guy, our almost 6-month old GS.  You can see he was on his best behaviour, admiring his quilt, or was he examining the stitches? 

The visit was very short, with no visits to quilt shops or blogger friends...sorry, Sue...but it was a fabulous 6 days of hugs, smiles, a few diaper changes, time at a few malls, and a wonderful morning at the International Craft Market at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. Giant Jim Shore Santas were all around us!

In anticipation of my trip, I made a few more appliqued bibs. The favorites are the bandana bibs but I forgot to take pictures of the ones I made.

I always like to surprise DD and SIL with a few Christmasy items, so I gifted them with a Merry Christmas hanging and a modern tree quilt.

I crosshatched the red background fabric and then fused the letters in place. The fabric decal is by The Creative Iron designed by Nancy Zieman which I picked up awhile back in Riverview, New Brunswick at The Covered Bridge Quiltery.

The tree was one of three designs in a panel I purchased in Maine last summer called Joy and Wonder designed by Cori Dantini. I thought the tree would work pretty well with their modern surroundings. Again, I crosshatched the panel and attached a sleeve for hanging.

Now that I am back in my sewing room, I am continuing with the Christmas theme. I made a little fabric gift bag the other day and used it for a door prize and filled it with goodies for the Ocean Waves Quilt Society's general meeting held in Port Hawkesbury yesterday. With this particular bag, you make the pattern from a paper bag you have on hand. Laura from SewEasy has a great video on how to make this. Just click HERE. Laura used Soft and Stable but I used a fusible interfacing instead and made fabric handles.

Today will be a little low key as I hang the quilts later, but I did finish a flannel quilt top this morning. I woke up way too early so sewed my last two rows together to finish this one. Flower Patch Flannel fabrics are by Maywood Studio.  They offer several quilt patterns by fabric designer Bonnie Sullivan using her preprinted flower blocks and coordinating fabrics. You an find them all HERE. I made my quilt a little smaller, about 50" x 60" and used a scrappier selection of her fabrics. I just hung the top on the line. See! No snow here!

A little closer look at her yummy fabrics!

I have quite a bit of flannel in my stash and lots more of those pre-printed flower blocks, so may make a few more quilts similar to this one over the winter.

That's it. You are now caught up on what I've been up to. Thanks so much for coming by and enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tula Pink Flying Geese Quilt

* Updated with clothesline pictures! 

It's always busy these days in my sewing room. I'm working on several projects here and there, having such fun every morning when I wake up and decide which project to work on. It really just depends on my mood, whether I decide to work on a project that takes time to figure things out, or a project that is simple enough that I just sit and sew.  

My latest quilt was totally inspired by the fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's "Elizabeth fabric" I purchased last year.

 I googled Tula Pink quilt after I got them home, found the free down loadable pattern called Misdirection Quilt HERE , and quickly decided this was the quilt I wanted to make. I even purchased some yardage of three different Kona solids to make the quilt as close to the original that I could.

The next thing I knew, my mind was changed and I decided to leave the Kona solids in my stash and use a bundle of creamy FQs instead.  What a bundle it was! I have tigers, circles, text prints, buttons, scissors, and more sewing notions all mixed up with my flying geese! I call my quilt "Lost" because those poor flying geese are definitely lost in those snippets of Tula Pink fabrics!

I adjusted the size a little as well, reducing it from the original 56" x 80" to finish at 56" x 64". I'll try to add a better clothesline picture to this post later on if the weather improves. (Updated already, though I wish the sun had been shining!)

Piecing the quilt was the easy part. I made 8 flying geese from each of the Tula Pink FQs I wanted to use combining them with the neutrals I thought worked well, plus made a few extra geese along the way. The hard part was finding space to lay out the quilt top as I went along. I ended up using the quilted side of a flannel tablecloth as my design floor and literally "dragged" the layout from my larger living room floor to my smaller sewing room floor and then sewed each row together.

In fact, because of the space restrictions, I could only sew half the quilt together at a time. I labelled all my rows by using fusible interfacing to write the numbers on and pressed onto the right side. The row numbers peeled off easily when I had everything sewn which definitely helped reduce errors.

I used a bit of a plan with the colour families, the greens, blues, and pinks. I saved the "Elizabeth selfie" fabric to use on the back. 

I plan to use straight line quilting for this one. I am adding
"Lost" to my to-quilt pile and will totally enjoy looking at those prints again when I take it out to quilt. Thank you, Tula, for creating such a fun batch of fabrics to use in my latest cuddle quilt!

Tula's fabrics even look great from the back!

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sprigs and Twigs and Hexies Too!

Another day dawns in my sewing room with the sun streaming through the windows and the temperature above normal. It is the perfect day to finish up a quilt top so I can get it on the clothesline for a picture. Today I hope to finish the Kim Diehl quilt I am working on. I adore Kim's designs and have several of her "Simple" books, but this pattern for her "Sprigs and Twigs" quilt is available through Fons and Porter's online shop HERE

Of course, I have adapted the design just a tad, starting with the size. I am keeping it to a cuddle size quilt so made 9 blocks instead of 16 for the quilt using red and white 9-patches for the centres and a variety of scraps for the frames. 

One of the reasons I fell in love with Kim's design was the wonderful applique on the wide borders, but I also love the look of hexies. I have been making scrappy hexies for some time now so had quite a batch on hand so decided to use them for the border instead. I tried several layouts on the deck, in fact, the fallen leaves kind of played havoc with my impromptu design wall!

Once I decided on a layout, I pinned the hexies in place and went to the sewing machine. I am using a smoky invisible thread with a blanket stitch which seems to be working really well. When I do machine applique, I always use a light fusible interfacing on the back side to give more stability to the applique. 

I still have a few more hexies to stitch in place, but I am sure loving what I have done so far. Thank you, Kim, for the quilty inspiration!

As you may have gathered, this is the perfect quilt design to use up those bits and pieces from past projects.

Now I just have to figure out how I will quilt it when it is finished.  I am thinking of combining walking foot straight stitching with echo quilting around the hexies in the border, but that will be a decision for another day.

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Super Nova Scotia and Sunset Ridge Quilts

I really love Blogland. It is like opening a box of chocolates every day. I may not post as much as I used to, or comment as much as I used to, but I still use it constantly for inspiration, ideas, and patterns.  This week was such a successful week for me. I finished sewing together my Super Nova quilt top, a free quiltalong design offered by Lee at Freshly Pieced. You can read more about it on a previous post HERE

I decided to make the 9-block version, using a 3" border instead of the 5" border to finish at 58" square. I figure this way the quilt will work as a cuddle quilt, a couch quilt, a dorm quilt, or even a
" bottom of the bed" quilt. So many ways to use a quilt! Now the fun begins as I think about how I will quilt this baby, a quilt I am affectionately calling my "Super Nova Scotia" quilt! Those blues, greens, and even the reds and oranges are all the colours of Nova Scotia on a crisp fall day. 

The next project I worked on was making a charity quilt for Victoria's Quilts of Canada. This is an organization that provides handmade quilts for people who have cancer. They are always looking for donations of quilts, quilt tops, fabric, or time, so I figured the best way I could help from my little town was by making a quilt from start to finish. I went online to get the quilt specifications and decided to make a 50" x 70" quilt for an adult. There is a VQC branch in Nova Scotia around Amherst and I will be getting in contact with them soon to arrange delivery. 

The fabric for the quilt was ready and waiting. Last year I made a Triple Barnstar Quilt with a kit I purchased from Craftsy using Free Spirit Birch Farm fabrics by Joel Newberry. (At the time of this writing, the kit is still available for purchase at a very reduced price HERE.) There was so much fabric left over, and all so coordinated, that I cut it up in 2.5"  x 8.5" strips and put the fabric away. Last week I found a great quilt pattern in the Moda Bake Shop by Chrissy at Sew Lux Fabrics called Sunset Ridge Quilt. It was a quilt that used strips so I adapted the pattern just a tad to make my version of the quilt using my strips and some white tone-on-tone I had in my stash. 

It was such a fun quilt to sew together, piece by piece. 

Soon I had three rows and I was liking what I was seeing!

I stopped at 6 rows because that made the quilt the proper size, leaving me just a few leftovers to put towards something else. I sandwiched it on the deck one day, trying to make sure there were no fallen leaves getting caught between the layers!

I chose to quilt Sunset Ridge with a serpentine stitch on my Pfaff Expression 3.5, using stitch # 62 with a 9/50 setting. I stitched in the ditch from top to bottom and am really pleased with the results. 
Here are a few closeups to give you a better idea of the quilting.

VQC require that quilts be backed with flannel, so I used some tan Woolie flannel and stitched the binding by machine so the quilt would last through many washes.

I am so pleased with the final quilt and hope it will be loved and well used by its new owner.

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