Monday, September 15, 2014

Orange and Blue Charity Block

October's colours for the Elgin Piecemakers Charity project are navy and orange. I was looking at Kristin Shields' blog the other night and there was a picture of this block along with a photo that showed how the block was made. I decided to give it a try tonight while Christine was here for our weekly sewing time. It did not take long at all to make this block! Now, I just have to find out what colours we will be using for the November block and I can work on it. I love to have a few blocks done ahead of time!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Liberated Squirrels are done


Yesterday, Kathy, Cathy, Christine and Barb came over to spend the day sewing in my dining room.  There was much laughter, chatting and sewing going on all day long! 


We were all very busy!

Of course, there were also scraps...

Kathy has more than one bin full of scraps but only brought one bin with her!

I spent some time finishing up some WIP's for the London Friendship Quilters Guild charity projects. These 9 patches will be used in a Quilt of Valour:

 
And these pillowcases will be sold in the boutique at our guild show in October as a fundraiser for our charity projects:
 


In the afternoon and evening, I finished up the quilting on my Liberated Squirrels Quilt.
 
I tried out some new Hiroshima Quilting Needles which I purchased at the Quilts at the Creek show a few weeks ago. The package states "Large eye needle. Flexible and warp resistant. Runs smoothly through fabric."  I think the first part of this description is a bit (ok, a lot!) deceptive.  I have never tried to thread a needle with such a small eye!  Even with my glasses on, it took several tries to get the thread though the hole! I would have to agree with the rest of the statement--they were flexible and did not warp like the other needles I have been using to quilt this project. I found that my stitches were smaller and more evenly spaced when using this needle.
 
 
I trimmed the quilt and added the binding by machine. I spent the rest of the time, hand sewing the binding down.  This afternoon, I did the final hand stitches on the binding and took the Liberated Squirrels out to the backyard for a photo shoot:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA DA!!!
 
 
Now it just needs a sleeve and a label and it will be ready for the quilt show!
 
BTW, there was a tea and pie break mid afternoon to keep up our strength...
 
I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago, Kathy asked me if I would like to do a blog post for the Around the World blog hop...as you can see, I said YES!

I live and work in South Western Ontario in Canada. I would love to have time to sew every day but that is not always possible since I work full time. My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! We have one daughter who is finishing up her degree at university this year. Of course, she has several quilts to remind her that she is well loved!

As part of the blog hop, I am supposed to answer a few questions, so here goes...

1. What am I working on?

I am not a one project quilter...I always have several projects on the go at a time. This past year, I have attended several workshops/classes and this summer, my goal was to try to finish off a few of these class projects so that I could start some new ones!

Last September, I took an applique class with Becky Goldsmith and here is my finished project:

Last winter, I watched The Quilt Show episode with Jacquie Gering and was inspired to make a liberated wall hanging which I am currently working on...

The quilting is just about done now.

I did a wool applique class with Jill Buckley, aka The Quilt Rat in January. This project is still in line waiting to be finished.


I had the opportunity to take not one, but TWO classes with Jacquie Gering in the past few months...Both of these projects are patiently waiting their turn at the sewing machine to be completed.

My flip and stitch flower garden, above, and my improvisational piecing project below:


In case that was not enough classes to take in one year, my friend Debbie and I signed up for a Modern Wedge class with Kathy Doughty from Australia in May.

You can see that I have lots on my plate to keep me busy and out of trouble!

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It has always been my goal to try to learn something new with each project I make.  My focus for this year has been working without patterns. I have been on three Beaver Island Quilt Retreats with Gwen Marston and have fallen in love with her liberated quilting style. I find it takes a bit longer to do a project without a pattern, but I am certainly enjoying the process!  The classes I have taken this past year have opened up new doors to new ideas to try. If I need a quick gift quilt, I usually use a pattern but I like making it up as I go along much better! I have signed up for another class in October with Kaffe Fasset and hope to be challenged with new ways to think about colour.

3. Why do I create what I do?

I learned to sew from my babysitter when I was 7 years old. I made doll clothes at first and then clothes for myself and my family. I made my first quilt when I was in high school and have made dozens of quilts since then. When my daughter was little, I loved to make her dresses and pajamas. She has always had a home made quilt on her bed. I have also made drapes, roman blinds, etc for my home. The first thing I bought when I finished university and got my first job was a sewing machine.  When I am sewing, I relax and the stresses of the world are left behind. I love to make quilted gifts for others and have made quilts, placemats and pillowcases for several different charities and community projects. I can't imagine my life without sewing. My dad says I got my sewing gene from his Mother, who was a seamstress. She died long before I was born but it makes me feel good to share this hobby with her.

4. How does my creating process work?

I find inspiration for my quilts in many places--patterns, pictures, books, magazines, classes, etc. I find I spend quite a bit of time mulling over a project before starting or in some cases, completing it. For instance, I am not quite sure what I am going to use for the background of my Modern Wedge class project, but I am thinking about it as I sort through my fabric.  Speaking of fabric, I have way too much of it and need to use what I have rather than purchasing more!  Sometimes, a favourite piece of fabric is a jumping off point for a project.

Thanks for coming to visit today.

I am linking to Christine at Quilting at Balmoral Cottage.  I have known Christine for several years and we get together once a week to sew together. We encourage each other and talk, laugh, and sometimes cry,  together as we sew. Christine and another friend, Carol, and I attended the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat together for the last three years. We will not be attending this year as Gwen Marston has retired from leading the retreats.

One last project to share--3 friends, including Christine, and I did a round robin this past spring. We each did a border on each other's quilts. This was another project without a pattern and proved to be quite challenging for all of us!  This is my quilt top which has now been quilted and needs to have the binding added before our Guild quilt show in October.

Happy sewing to all!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Slow Stitching for a Sunday Afternoon

As you can see, I am still working at finishing my liberated squirrels quilt. I love the way the quilting is looking on this border now--much better than my first attempt (see my last post...the un-sewing did not take nearly as long as the quilting)! I have just a little bit more to do on this quilt before it is done and I can get the binding on it! I have enjoyed hand quilting this project--my behind the quilt finger is not quite so happy, but that is ok!

Today, I have a choice of two projects to work on for Slow Stitching Sunday--the squirrel quilt, or the binding on my Lazy Sunday Mystery.

 I made the binding and sewed it on by machine before supper yesterday. It is a scrappy binding made from all of the blue fabrics in the quilt. The backing fabric was purchased in Michigan last year when I was at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat. I will post a picture of the quilt when it is done.

Happy Slow Sunday Stitching to you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sewing in the Car

I have continued to hand quilt my liberated squirrel wall hanging over the last couple of weeks. We had family visiting from out of town for a few days and then spent this past weekend visiting my daughter before her last term at university starts.  I brought along this quilt to work on in the car.


It was a long drive so I got a lot done as we travelled along.

I outlined all of the triangles in the top and bottom borders.

The sides have brown wavy lines and green circles which I outlined with some quilting.  When I got home and looked at the entire quilt, I realized that the quilting I had done on this border did not show up very well and did not fit in with the rest of the quilt, so I decided to unsew it!  Tonight, I tried something different and outlined each circle about a 1/4" out from the edge with green thread....I am liking this better!

 
 
I have not decided what to do about the brown wavy line--should I do any quilting along it or not???  What do you think?

My goal is to have this quilt finished by next week's guild meeting so I can bring it for show and tell. I will be entering this quilt and several others in our London Friendship Quilter's Guild Quilt show in October.  My next hand sewing projects will not be as exciting as this one has been... I have sleeves to add to a few quilts and binding on a couple of quilts I just got back from the long arm quilter to do.  I would love to have these projects done at least a week ahead of time so that I am not flying by the seat of my pants at the last minute!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quilts at the Creek (last weekend)

After the Jacquie Gering workshop last Friday, Christine went home and I stayed overnight to go to the York Heritage Quilt Guild Quilt show at Black Creek Pioneer Village. My husband came down to go to the quilt show with me--such a supportive husband!  


This is a block from the first quilt we saw...it was my husband's favourite!


The quilts were hung on the buildings and on racks all over the village. We walked around and looked at all of the quilts twice!

The old buildings really showed off the quilts perfectly.

 
 
 
 
Some were hung on fences as well.
 
 
It was fun to see the quilts blowing in the breeze.


Just ignore the not so pioneer fire hydrant :-)


I am glad we walked around the village twice because I did not want to miss a thing!


Colourful quilts, everywhere we looked!

 
 
These quilt racks are made from 2X4's and saw horse brackets from the hardware store.


These two were just not interested in the quilts at all...

I remember going to Black Creek Pioneer Village as a child for field trips when we were studying pioneers in school. We took our daughter there at Christmas time one year when she was little. All of the buildings were decorated for the holidays and the smell of homemade cookies filled the air in the pioneer homes.  We highly recommend a trip to the Village for you and your family if you are in Toronto.

We even hit the vendors area before leaving...I bought some new Hiroshima quilting needles to try as well as some thread and two fat quarters.  I am still working on stash reduction rather than stash enhancement these days.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Improvisational Piecing with Jacqui Gering

This past Friday, Christine and I attended a workshop at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. The York Heritage Quilters organized the workshop and had their members' quilts displayed around the pioneer village on Saturday and Sunday. I had so much fun at the Flip and Stitch workshop that Jacqui taught at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild in the spring, that we decided to sign up for another class. 


I love the quilting on Jacqui's class sample! 

Jacqui started out by showing us her quilt and asking us what we saw.  She explained how she just grabbed a handful of scraps out of her green, brown and orange bins and started to make blocks for her quilt.


She taught us how to add angled pieces to our blocks and about how the background fabric should make pathways into and through the blocks.

Orange is Jacqui's favourite colour...

Her mantra for the day "let it go".  Forget the "rules".  I love her style!



There were 25 students in the class and she made it around to see everyone and talk about fabric choices and ideas for blocks before lunch. I had brought some selvage fabric with me, leftover from BIQR last September. Jacqui suggested I use small bits of the selvage fabric and cool coloured scraps (blues, greens and purples--lights, mediums and darks of each). I had brought a bin full of all my scraps and white background fabric. The scraps were all in zip lock bags by colour so I did not have to dig through a jumble of scraps to find what I wanted.


Here are my first couple of blocks.  I got a bit more daring on my next block...
 
 
 
This one was Jacqui's favourite of all the blocks I made.
 
 
After lunch, she showed us how to take our odd sized blocks and put them together into a quilt. That is blue masking tape on the design wall...
 
 
This quilt was a sample for Saturday's slash and insert class.   Jacqui showed us her sample quilts for the next day's class and talked about how she quilts most of her quilts on her domestic sewing machine. She uses a lot of thread as her quilts are densely quilted and the quilts have lots of texture as a result.  (Take a look at the picture at the top of this blogpost!)
 
Christine and I had a great day!  Here are the blocks that I had finished by the end of the day...
 
 
Christine and I will be getting together tonight to work on our quilts again. I would like to have this done before our guild show in October.
 
 
Thanks for a great workshop!  I went home inspired to keep playing with my scraps.