Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indian Orange Peel Class (Part 1)

I organized an Indian Orange Peel class for 18 of my quilting friends. The class was taught by Heather Stewart. We met today at a local church hall and had a glorious day of colour theory, fabric fondling and a tiny bit of sewing including some paper piecing.

Using colour wheels, we all had to sort our fabrics into 12 colour groupings, lightest to darkest in each colour group. We then divided our groups into warm and cool colours. Very few of us had enough fabrics so we were all given permission from Heather to so some stash enhancement! Heather came around and helped us to figure out what colours should be on our shopping lists.
Here are my fabrics:
We had a wonderful organized pot luck lunch with homemade soups, buns, fruit, apple crisp, cookies and brownies. Snacks, coffee, tea, juice and hot chocolate were available all day. I didn't take any pictures of the food but be assured that it was all delicious!

After lunch, we each sewed a warm and a cool coloured 4 patch using Heather's pin free method.

After a paper piecing lesson, we each worked on one arc for one of the blocks in our quilts. Two of us finished our arcs and the rest made a good start at theirs.

Each block in this quilt has 4 paper pieced arcs and a 4-patch in it. There are 25 blocks in the quilt so that means I have to make 100 arcs and 25 4-patches before our next class in March 2011 where we will learn how to put it all together and how to do the border (more paper piecing). In order to get this done on time, I have to make about 8 arcs and 2 4-patches a week until our next class. Yikes! 

Here is a close up of a few blocks in Heather's quilt:

And here is Heather's completed quilt:
We have all decided to share our fabrics so that we don't go broke purchasing fabrics for our quilts. We will all get together sometime after Christmas to trade fabric, sew and provide moral support to each other as we work on this quilt. Heather told us she spent about 500 hours from start to finish on her quilt. I don't think I will make more than one Indian Orange Peel quilt!

The pattern for this quilt was designed by Karen Stone.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Job I Have Been Avoiding...

My ironing board cover has been deteriorating for quite a while but lately, it has gotten much worse in a hurry. Every time I ironed anything, more of it shreaded and fell apart. Action was needed!!

Here is my old cover:
Not Pretty!!!

Several months ago, I looked on google to see how to make a new ironing board cover. The link that impressed me the most used the old cover as a pattern and reused the tie part that goes under the ironing board. I ripped (literally) the old cover off of the bottom and cut out my new cover (A heavy canvas fabric) and heat proof pad (looks like batting with a silver side and a white side). I used my serger to sew them together. Then I pinned the bottom part from the old cover onto the new cover and serged them together.

I put the new cover onto the ironing board and attached the elastic clips on the bottom to keep the cover tight and in place on the board. I tightened the strings and tied them. The cover still looked lumpy and not smooth enough to use for ironing. I fired up my iron and ironed my new ironing board cover and voila, it was all smooth and perfect for ironing!  All this took about an hour. If I had known it would be so easy, I would have done this job ages ago!

Just so you don't think I am nuts for leaving my iron flat on my ironing board--it is an Oliso iron that pops up when not in use so it does not burn the board.

I spent most of the day yesterday making Christmas gifts that I can't reveal yet. I have a quilt back from the quilters--I will work on the binding today.

Last night, the Elgin Piecemakers met. Here is a picture of our red and white blocks--sorry about the angle--it is not a great picture. One of the members took these blocks home to make into a comfort quilt for a chemo patient. This time, we will be making blue and white blocks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Little of This and a Little of That

Last week and this week, Christine and I still got together for our weekly sewing date, even though both of us are finished our Carolina Christmas tops. Christine is working on the pieced background for an applique quilt. The background is all blues and neutrals with some gold cornerstones. It is set on point and here is a peak at some of the blocks laid out on my design floor. She is working on the setting triangles now.
Last week, I made a baby gift--a quilted cloth book from a panel.  It is a counting book.

This week, I worked on a table topper as a gift for my husband's office Christmas party. Each couple puts in a gift and then numbers are drawn for the order of picking the gifts. You can choose a new gift, or you can take a gift from some who has already opened their gift. This is usually lots of fun as some gifts are more desirable than others!
Today, I had an hour to sew this afternoon, so I decided to make a few more Blue Ridge Beauty blocks. The pattern is starting to emerge more now that I have more blocks made.

I am really going to put this BRB project away for a while now so that I can work on Christmas gifts!  I don't have much will-power to stay away from it when I can see it staring me in the face, calling my name!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

6 blocks down, many more to go...

The sewing machine called to me after supper tonight. I tried to resist (well, not really, but it sounds good!) but gave in and put together 6 blocks for my Blue Ridge Beauty quilt after making some HST units. There are lots of different fabrics in this quilt including batiks, homespuns, heart fabric that was leftover from my daughter's friendship star quilt, inukshuk fabric made for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, some fabric purchased recently and some that has been in my stash for a long time. It is very scrappy!

My gift quilts should be back from the quilter's house next week so I will have to put this project aside to do the bindings. I still have some smaller gifts to make too. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Blue Ridge Beauty progress

I have been working away on the 4 patches for my Blue Ridge Beauty Quilt. I miscalculated the number of 4 patches I will need for this quilt--Bonnie used 2 inch strips and I am using 2.5 inch strips so I will not need 448 4 patches to make my quilt. I have about 250 made now so I think that may be enough since my blocks will be slightly larger than the 6 inch blocks in the pattern.

Now, on to cutting 4.5 inch strips for the HST's... I am using the Easy Angle ruler to make my HST units. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Gift from the Elgin Piecemakers for a Friend.

I belong to a small guild called the Elgin Piecemakers. We meet once a month in each other's homes and enjoy sharing our projects, conversation and tea/coffee and treats. One of our members has had a rough patch with her health lately, so we decided to make her a quilt! (This is what quilters do best!)

Several of us got together one evening at C's house and put the top together in a couple of hours. Some cut, others ironed, some sewed and another put the finished blocks on the design wall.I took the top home and put the borders on. H's husband quilted the quilt on their longarm machine and C and D did the binding and label.

D and I delivered the quilt to our friend yesterday afternoon. She was thrilled with her gift. I think she knew there was love in every stitch <3 .  She told us that she has made lots of quilts, but never one for herself. Now she has her own quilt to keep her warm!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Creating a New UFO

I have had Bonnie Hunter's books, "Scraps and Shirttails" and "Leaders and Enders" for a few months now. I have been admiring the quilts in these books and trying to choose which ones I would like to make someday since the books arrived in my library. After much contemplation, "Blue Ridge Beauty" in the "Leaders and Enders" book won out!  I spent some time in the summer reorganizing my stash so I pulled some 2.5" strips from the drawer--blues and neutrals, put them into a plastic bin along with the book and started to sew. I decided to sew the strips together and then cut them into 2.5" twosies instead of piecing 2.5" squares together (more work to cut up all the strips into the squares).

I spent some time this weekend ironing and cutting these strip pairs into the twosie units. I am not quite done yet. I need to make about 250   448 (Yikes!) four patches so this will take a while. I will just putter away at this project when I have a little bit of time. (There are lots of HST units (448!) in this quilt too.)

You can see from the first picture that I am in need of a new ironing board cover as well--this is on my list of things to do. I have the padding to go underneath but have not got the fabric for the top yet. This picture shows the "good" end of the board--the other end is in shreads--not pretty.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One More Gift Completed

This is a new twist on an I Spy quilt--it is based on a trip around the world quilt that I made for my daughter when she was two and graduated from a crib to a "big bed". The teddy bear fabric in the middle square is the same fabric that was in my daughter's quilt!  This quilt is a gift for my cousin's baby that will be born shortly. I think it will be appropriate for a boy or a girl. I like making I Spy quilts--fun to look at and lots of colours--and so many possibilities of how to put them together. If you know who this is for, please don't spill the beans!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

QNIC at Jacqui's

A group of 4 of us had a QNIC (Quilting Night in Canada) at Jacqui's house last night. Chris working on putting binding on a quilt. She is going to visit her grandchildren this weekend by plane and hopes to work on the hand sewing part while in transit.

Jacqui, Deb and I worked on our blocks for the 2011 International Plowing Match block competition. We purchased the kits at this year's plowing match in St. Thomas/Central Elgin in September and the deadline for submitting the blocks is next week. Here are the fabrics we received in our kits:

I had decided on my pattern, "Patchwork Fantasy", before I arrived at Jacqui's house. Here is my finished block: (You can see some of the pieces that Deb had cut out for block on the left side of the picture.)

Jacqui and Deb spent some time looking through magazines and books at potential blocks before cutting out the pieces for their blocks. They were not finished sewing their blocks when I left to go home but I am sure Jacqui will post pictures of the finished blocks on her blog. Jacqui's block is on the top left and Deb's is on the bottom left. You can also see the selvage 3-D blocks that Jacqui has on her design wall in the picture as well as a sneak peak at a very small portion of her stash on the far left of the picture. ;-)

Onward and upward.... I am off to clean out my linen closet and then work on some gifts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

At our last Elgin Piecemakers Guild meeting, we decided that we would each make a 12" block with red and white fabrics which would be made into a comfort quilt for the chemo unit at the hospital. There are 16 members in our group so that should make a nice sized quilt with the sashing and border. I picked out my fabrics this morning and made this block this afternoon. I got the pattern out of "Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift" book which my husband gave me for my birthday a few years ago. It is called "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul".
I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else's blocks will look like!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The End of the Story (Almost!)

There once were two friends, Gail and Christine, who decided to each make Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Christmas quilts together.  This quilt looked quite daunting to both of them and neither one of them thought they would ever complete this quilt without a support group!  So, Gail and Christine gathered up the fabrics that they would use to make these scrappy quilts. Christine decided to use green, gold, red and neutrals for her quilt and Gail picked out orange, brown, blue and neutral scraps from her stash. They decided to try to get together once a week to work on their quilts. 

Their first sewing night was in April 2010 when they started to cut the pieces needed for step one of this seven step mystery. Every week, they gave each other homework to complete before they got together to sew again. Sometimes, life and work and stuff got in the way of their weekly get togethers but they persevered and continued to meet most weeks. Sometimes, they sewed at Gail's house and sometimes they stitched at Christine's. Slowly, but surely, progress was made and the small pieces became sub-units and the sub-units became blocks and the blocks became larger blocks and the larger blocks became the center of the quilt and then the borders were added...

Fast forward to today!  November 8, 2010! Today, Christine and Gail got together at  Gail's house and finished putting their final pieced borders onto their quilts!  Christine was finished hers first. She tried

and tried

and tried to hold it up for Gail to take a picture but she was just too small and the quilt was just too big!

Gail finished her borders as well and they tried laying the quilts out on the sofa and love seat in Gail's living room but only part of the quilts showed--they were too big for the furniture in Gail's living room too!

Then Gail had a great idea!  She got on the phone and called her neighbour, Mary. Mary was available to come over and help hold the quilts for the official photographs!  It was a beautiful sunny day so they did the pictures outside. Here is Christine's quilt:
And here is Gail's Quilt, which she is calling  "Creamsicles by the Sea":

Gail chose to do her pieced borders in a slightly different way than the pattern suggested so she could have an orange frame around her quilt.

This is not really the end of the story for these quilts--Now Gail and Christine have to get fabric for the backs and have them quilted by a long arm quilter... Stay tuned for the happy and final end to the story...

If you want to see pictures of the whole story of this quilt, click here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Country Spin Flimsy Done!

I sewed all the blocks together and added the borders to this quilt yesterday. Now, I just need to find some flannel for the back and it will be ready to take to the machine quilter's house for quilting!  That's 4 Christmas gifts almost completed--I am not usually this far ahead of the game. I still have some smaller gifts to make so those are next.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sewing Report

I have made progress on several project in the last few days so this will be a long post with lots of pictures!

1.  This morning, another member of the Elgin Piecemakers and I delivered 7 comfort quilts to the chemo unit at our local hospital. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is an ongoing project of our guild. This was our third quilt delivery. Here are a few pictures of our quilts.
Jacqui and I made these two quilts from one jelly roll. Jacqui divided the jelly roll into two colourways and we chose different background fabrics and sashing/borders.

Here are all of the quilts, except for the black, red and white one--it went home with the quilter to have the binding sewn down!

2.  Here is one of my nieces' Christmas gift--it is a disappearing 9 patch quilt made with leftover fabric from pj's I have made for my daughter, and my twin nieces over the years. It is back from the quilters and I put the binding on the other night. The back, as you can see is pieced. The binding is made from this year's pj's leftover fabric.

 3.  Christine and I got together to work on our Carolina Christmas quilts (Mine is now called Creamsicles by the Sea, as suggested by Christine!) I put the 2 1/2 inch borders on my quilt and put the pieced units together when we met at Christine's house this week. She is at the same stage as well. We will be getting together at my house one day next week and think we will be able to finish our quilts off then!  This is so exciting!  We are both looking forward to starting another project when these are done.

4.  I finished sewing the blocks for my in-laws' Christmas gift --a lap quilt called Country Spin.  I purchased fabric for the borders today and hope to find some suitable flannel for the back shortly. I want to take this quilt in to the long arm quilters next week so it will be done in time for me to put the binding on for Christmas.

5. My next big project will be Indian Orange Peel--a Karen Stone pattern. I am organizing a class for a group of quilting friends at the end of November. This quilt will definately be a challenge!