Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fabric Tuesday!

 I just had to talk about this quilt finish one more time.  Finished a week ago and made for Daughter as her graduation from university gift.  She loves sunflowers so much!  This is a quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's "A Practical Guide to Patchwork."  Such a lovely way to use large floral prints and showcase them.  The sunflower prints are a combination of new and old with some fabrics that were leftovers from sundresses made for daughter when she was wee.  You can see from the look on her face that she was fairly tickled with the quilt when she opened it in the hotel room!
 The window frames are Kona black and the windows then float in a yellow Kona cotton.  The quilt is loosely stippled in yellow on top and cream on the back.  I was a little nervous about that but with a few adjustments with tension, the two colours of thread played nicely together.

I backed the quilt with a striped sheet in cream and green with some sunflower yardage piecing.  What can I say.  I was thrilled with the way this quilt came together.  Pleased as punch to see daughter unwrap it and then wrap herself in it!  A sunflower quilt for our sunflower girl.  Congratulations, Nurse!
And I will be linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.  Check out the another wonderful projects this week.
Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, May 30, 2011

Works in progress and unabashed parent bragging

3 works in progress currently!  We have from the top... Vintage sheet Sparkling Cider Quilt.  In the middle, Clovers by Fig Tree and Co.  Commonly knows as card tricks.  And finally on the bottom, my paper pieced scrap string quilt.  Piling up the blocks.  Absolutely no quilting was accomplished this past weekend as we were very busy celebrating with Daughter.  Check this out.  Unabashed parent bragging warning.  Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Yep, we are so proud we might burst.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thrift store finds!

 Last weekend I found this huge bag of treasures.  It was a bit of a mystery bag with stuff all squished in for a grand sum of $3.  It said, use for sewing or crafts.  How intriguing.  I brought it home.  And look what I found!  I was more than thrilled.  The whole bunch of beautiful doilies and bits of lace and even a hem-stitched linen table runner that is partially embroidered.

Several yards of lovely hand crocheted edging.

Now comes the task of figuring out how to make use of the whole mess of loveliness!

And I will link up with Sophie's Flea Market Finds .  Check it out!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Congratulations on your graduation!

Happy graduation, Daughter!!!  You did it!  4 years of very hard work!  From those days of running around with your Fisher-Price stethoscope around your neck to today, a registered nurse!  It just gives me goose bumps.

Here is her gift.  A gift of sunflowers all ready to go.  A Kitchen Window quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's book, A Practical Guide to Modern Patchwork.  The quilt is finished with all over stippling in a yellow top thread and cream bobbin thread.  I had to play with the tension a bit because of the 2 different threads but it worked out perfectly.  I wondered about how to quilt it and then realized that just as Elizabeth did in her sample quilt, that the stippling was the way to go.  The stippling is not dense but rather loose.  I decided on the yellow top thread in consultation with Husband.  I like it.  The yellow disappears in to the solid yellow but pops here and there.  Again it was a good solution to the colour contrast in the quilt.  The quilt is backed with a lovely sheet in cream and green stripes and pieced with some sunflower yardage along with some Kona cotton.  This quilt makes me happy.  I have taken many pictures of this quilt so please bear with me.  I just couldn't seem to get enough of throwing it around the yard!

Friday, May 27, 2011

work in progress... top secret quilt

Here are the first sneak peaks of the super top secret project that required decoy projects.  This quilt was totally on a need to know basis.  Cone of silence.  Because it is none other than a graduation gift for our girl.  Daughter is a fan of sunflowers.  She has always loved them.  Husband painted sunflowers on her door when she was a little squeak.  I made her dresses from sunflower fabric.  We planted sunflowers for her.  She still asks if we have planted sunflowers.  So here is the beginning of her sunflower kitchen window quilt.

I had a lot of sunflower prints.  Many were leftovers from little girl sundresses from years gone by.  I also bought some beautiful new sunflower prints to round out the selection.  There is also a print that is reminiscent of sunflower seeds.  It helped ground the florals.  The modern sunflower prints helped make the quilt more up to date.  At least I think so.  Several of the prints were fussy cut to really show them off.  The frames are Kona black and do you think I can remember which yellow I bought?  Nope, cannot remember.   I really like it because it shouts that it is Daughter's quilt.  It shouts it from the roof tops.  Husband likes it too.  He loves high contrast fabrics in a quilt.  This one is definitely high contrast!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

a quilt story continues

The funny thing is... I work full time.  I fit in the quilting around my work life and so most often, my quilting happens on the weekend.  I started a project a while ago but I had to keep it top secret.  I started a decoy quilt so that I could still have some stuff to blog about.  That decoy quilt is the Card tricks quilt or Clovers by Figtree quilts.  I have not progressed much with it so it is officially a work in progress.  I also made my Mum her table cover and I finished the French Roses quilt.  And I started the Sparkling Cider Vintage Sheet quilt too.  I guess I was pretty busy.  Because all the while I was working on another quilt.

I needed a solid. And Husband helped me pick it out.  I also need a lot of black.  Kona black to exact.  I was making a quilt from A Practical Guide to Modern Patchwork.  Elizabeth Hartman's fabulous book.  if you have not seen it or if you do not own it, this is a book that is a must have.  It has such fabulous information in it and great quilt designs.  I decided to make the kitchen window quilt.  So cool.  I cannot wait to show it off.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the beginning of a quilt story

About 22 years ago, I took a quilting class.  I already knew how to sew because Mum taught me how to sew when I was pretty young and I took all the sewing classes possible when I was in high school.  I learned some of the basics in the quilting class.  Of course, quilting was a lot different back then.  It was all about the hand quilting.  Colours were different.  And I made a few pillows and a pot holder.  It was all good.  I made a baby quilt too because we were waiting for our baby girl to be born.  We had to go all the way to Peru though because that is where we found her.

The quilt is a simple 9 patch.  It has been washed a lot but it is in really good shape considering.  I hand quilted it in pink and on the white squares are simple teddy bears in pink thread.  I should have taken a picture of that.  And I embroidered her name and the year of her birth on the quilt.

Our wee girl will turn 22 this July and this week we will celebrate her graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.  We are SO very proud of her.  And we know that just like this quilt story, it is just the beginning for her.  Love you, Bug!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Tuesday...

 One of these eggs is not like the other.  One of these eggs just doesn't belong!

Funny chickens!  Our hens are a little more than 2 years old.  A few of them have been taking a wee bit of a holiday from laying.  There are only 7 of them.  Enough eggs for Husband and I and then an extra dozen for friends or family.  One of the "girls" as Husband calls them, has not been feeling tip top these last few days but man, she is really trying.  Today she gave us the gift of this tiny egg.  And what energy she must have expended to produce this small gem.  Thank you, chicken, thank you!

On the quilting front today, not much today because it was back to work.  The big excitement at school was the report of a black bear in the neighbourhood.  That's always exciting for the students. One look at a playground filled with 415 students and I am sure any bear with half a brain would be running for the hills.  We will be careful but the bear is really more interested in finding garbage cans at people's homes, I fear.

Have a wonderful evening and let's hope that, for all the hockey fans,  the Canuck's do well tonight.

And there are so many birthdays in May, so a big happy birthday to all!  Happy Birthday, Clever Son.  Happy Birthday, Son's Wonderful Girlfriend.  Happy Birthday, Niece.  Happy Birthday, Dear Dad.  Happy Birthday, Grampa!  Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan.  Happy Birthday, Janer!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sparkling cider and Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

All I can say is oops.  Stuff happens.  Then you get the stitch ripper out.  I am having a lot of fun with these blocks.  The little template thingie is just so excellent.  I even demonstrated it to Husband.  Just so he would understand the sheer marvelous-ness of it.  I also showed him the Hera marker.  I love that too!

 This before you cut the flying geese patches in half.

Check it out.  Perfect!  Completed block with perfect points.  So exciting.

Webster agrees.  Sniffing the breeze and looking wise.

Don't forget that it is Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day and there are some absolutely amazing giveaways!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vintage sheets!

I started working on the sparkling cider vintage sheet quilt.  Jen made one of these just before Christmas and I thought it was a really lovely pattern and what's more, it looks beautiful when made from vintage sheets.  I ordered the pattern.  I ordered the flying geese template ruler.  I cut sheets into fat quarters yesterday and today cut fat quarters into all sorts of pieces to start making the blocks.  Phew!

Here is the thing when using vintage sheets.  Because they are often in similar colour families and often contain a lot of white, you have to be mindful when selecting the sheets to use with this quilt.  I think that the contrast needs to be there as much as possible to make the stars pop.  You wouldn't want to lose the impact of the stars by having the different sheets too similar.  This all made my cutting up the fat quarters that much more interesting.

The other thing you need to know when using vintage sheets is they are soft and usually thinner than quilting cottons.  This makes a difference when pressing and also taking pictures.  The block above looks a little floopy.  It is not modelling it's perfect points well enough!

Two new favourite notions.  A hera marker!  Fabulous!  Where has this been all my quilting life?  Perfect for marking stitching lines on fabric.  And this handy dandy little flying geese template is just too cool for words.  Must be tried to be believed and all those other info-mercial lines!

And one last picture.  I decided to de-fuzz my sewing machine before I started this project.  I haven't done it for a little while because I just had my machine serviced about 2 months ago.  Oops.  I need to remind myself to clean it out after each quilt.  Will you look at all that fuzz-goop-yuck!?

*And the contrast sheet to the wild pink vintage sheet above is a sheet that dates to the early 80s.  I know this because it was a wedding present.  When does a sheet become vintage? I had actually passed that sheet on to Mum to transform it into a rag rug but she brought it back to me when I started this quilting with sheets thing.  It works well as a background contrast but is it really vintage?  Who cares.  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

This week's finds...

I checked out a thrift store I don't go to very often at all yesterday.  Found a huge pile of vintage sheets and pillow cases.  The total bonus was the set of almost brand new pillow cases in the blue print.  Blue vintage sheets are really hard to find.  Most often you find rose florals and lots of yellows.

I have started cutting the sheets up into fat quarters so that they are more usable and I spent some time today grouping my ever growing vintage sheet collection into colour families.  Just so much fun.  I am the Kind Midas of vintage sheets.  The funny thing is that my mum is looking for sheets for me and so is my aunt.  Husband thinks that they should not encourage me.  (hee hee)

And the great thing is that I am actually starting a quilt from all of this loot.  Cannot be called a hoarder if you are using the stuff, right?

I also found a few sweet little items on the 25 cent table.

Jam pot, sugar bowl, mustard pot?  Take your pick!  I love it!  And a milk glass vase.

And I will be linking up with Sophie's flea market finds in just a bit.  Take a minute to see what other people have found over the last week!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Quilting Road Trip...

Special ruler to assist me in making my Sparkling Cider quilt.

It sounds much more impressive if I say that I dragged Husband on a quilting road trip this morning.  I had a rare day off from school as we are very happy to have a 4 day weekend.  I had to go and pick up a special ruler that I had ordered from a fairly snazzy quilt shop 2 towns over.  It is quite a nice shop way out in the country and they do quite a mail order business.  This is unusual for a Canadian quilt shop.  We have not caught up to the crazy online fabric shopping like our American neighbours.  Of course, if I am picking up a ruler in a quilt shop, I have to look at the fabric, right?  Of course, I do!!!!  I managed to contain myself quite nicely but did pick up some bundles of fabric samples.

I am not sure if you recognize this line but this is Sandy Gervais's new fall line, Grand Finale for Moda, and I saw pictures of this from some Quilt Market posts in blogland and this line is not available until next Fall.  How totally cool is that?  I like the little gingham-y bits.

And a lovely floral from Lecien.  PRETTY!

And this is a mystery but I like it!  Very pink.  Husband was not a fan.

Here is the funny thing though.  Right next to the quilt shop was a farm and on that farm there was a cheese shop.  We had to check it out.  Smits and Co.W Farm Cheese.  Oh my goodness.  It is fabulous cheese.  If you like Gouda, this is the place to go.  All different kinds of really tasty spiced Gouda cheeses.   Really interesting ones like Stinging Nettle, Black Pepper, Cumin.  Totally yummy and very, very reasonable.  Now Husband has a reason to go to the quilt shop.  It is all about the cheese!

I also convinced him to stop for me at a thrift shop.  Why not, right? But I will save that for tomorrow!  Have a lovely weekend!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our world is celebrating!

After a cold and incredibly rainy spring, with a few days of sunny weather our world is waking up!  In the yard today...  were the blossoms on the pear tree we planted to remember my Gramma.

And Husband took this artsy photo of the deepest red tulip surrounded by not yet blooming Lily of the Valley.

And the blueberries are blooming in the blueberry patch!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stash Buster Quilted Round Table Cover and a Tutorial!

Okay... get inspired.  Picnic time and BBQs on the deck are coming up and who doesn't have a whack of scraps to use up?  This tutorial is also layer cake or fat quarter friendly.  Heck, you can even use some charm squares if you have them.

I made this table cover for my Mum for her deck table.  It went together quickly and I thought a tutorial might be fun.  I have to say that this is my first official tutorial!  Oh my goodness!!!!!

For a 50" diameter round table cover...   (that is good for a 39' round table and allows for a nice drop over the table).  If you need a bigger cover, just add another strip of rectangles and squares.  If you have a rectangular table, this tutorial will work just fine.  In fact, this would make a really cute quilt too!  How completely versatile!!!!

1)  Top:  You need 60 - 5" squares and 60 - 5" x 10" rectangles.  A layer cake would work almost perfectly (you would need a few extra 5" squares) or about 12 fat quarters.

2)  Back and inner layer:  You will need fabric for the back and also, I used a layer of cotton in between the top and the back rather than batting.  I thought batting would make things to stiff.  I used a perfect thrift store sheet for the back and binding.  If you don't have anything wide enough, you will need to piece the back.  About 2 yards for the back and the same for the inner layer.

3)  Binding - about 1 yard.  Cut your binding on the bias, and you will need about 13 feet of binding - 2 1/2" wide.  This is one of those times when you can do really impressive math!  Figure out the circumference of your circle.  (Circumference = π × diameter  or Circumference = π × 2 x radius)
*Word to the wise:  Because this is a circular table cover, you must have your binding bias cut.

Cut, cut cut:

If you use a layer cake, pick 30 of the pieces and cut them in half so that you have 56 - 5"x 10" rectangles.  Take the 12 remaining layer cake pieces and cut them into 4 - 5" x 5" squares.  You should have 48 squares.  You need 12 more 5" squares so you can cut them from your scraps or use a coordinating solid.  Your choice.

If you are using scraps and stash stuff, then just cut and make it scrappy.

Piece, piece, piece:

Use 1/4" seams.

You will be alternating a square with a rectangle.  You can chain piece square and rectangle partners.  Then chain piece the partners with other partners.  Press your seams to one side.  Your strips needs to alternate starting with a rectangle and the next row with a square.  Use your design wall or floor so that you do not have the same fabrics touching.

Row 1:  square, rectangle, square, rectangle, square, rectangle,square, rectangle
Row 2:  rectangle, square, rectangle, square, rectangle, square, rectangle, square

Repeat until you have 12 rows.  Notice how I cheated a bit because I knew that the corners of the top would be cut away when I trimmed the top to the circle pattern. You can cheat too.  You do not need to have 12 full rows for example.  You can fudge it a bit because you are cutting away the corners.

Then you get to make your giant paper pattern circle:  

You have a choice here.  You can bother your husband and have him do it or you will have to do it yourself.  Start by taking a bunch of newspaper and tape it together so that you have a piece of newsprint about 60" by 60".  Tie a length of string to a pencil at each end.  The string length needs to be the length of the radius of your circle.  In my case, that's 25".  Draw your circle, using one pencil as the point at the centre of your circle and drawing with the other pencil. Look at that lovely newsprint pattern!  I just have to tell you that I almost messed up because I did not write down the measurement for my Mum's table.  When I checked with her, we had to add extra inches to the pattern.  Yoiks!

Cut your circle:

Carefully place your pattern on the pieced top.  Check your measurements carefully before you cut.

Don't cry about cutting off all the corners because you can reuse them in a future project.  You might even want to use them to piece the back of your table cover.

You will also need to cut your inner layer and your back from the same circle pattern.

Oh my goodness, what a pretty circle!

Sandwich and quilt, quilt, quilt:

I used my walking foot and quilted on either side of the seams along the length of the strips and then in the other direction.  But it is totally up to you!


I am just getting ready to hand sew the binding on in this picture.

And here it is today in the sunshine...

I am linking up with Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday.  Go and check what other people have been up to!

Fresh Poppy Design