Friday, December 31, 2010

Quilty Gifts

This is the quilt that I made for my daughter for Christmas. It is made from leftover flannel from the PJ's I have made for her and her cousins over the years. The back is pieced from the larger flannel leftovers. She has already used it when we watched TV during the holidays!  It will be going back to her apartment with her when she goes back for the winter term at university. It will keep her warm while she is reading her textbooks.

Here is a pic of my quilty gifts from Santa and Company. The Liberated Quilts book is even signed by the author--Gwen Marston!
I am getting together with some friends next week to work on Indian Orange Peel. We hope to get together for a weekly support group/sewing session.  I bought some more fabrics for my IOP when I was in Toronto this week...
The warm colours.

And the cool colours.

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Pillowcases

Besides all of the pillowcases that Jacqui, Chris and I made for charity, (see this post), I also made several pillowcases as gifts. When my grandmother died last January, I was given a suitcase full of her fabric. I wanted to share this somehow with my cousins and their families so I decided to make a pillowcase for each great and great great grandchild <20 years old for Christmas. I used Grandma's fabric for the main body and the narrow trim piece of each pillowcase and my own fabric for the decorative band on each pillowcase. I tried to customize each pillowcase for the person who was receiving it so some have trucks, others are a sports theme and still others, flowers or other juvenile prints.

I made my daughter's pillowcase from fabric to match her university quilt that I made her last year. The decorative band on hers is from Grandma's fabric.

Here are the rest of the pillowcases.
We will be seeing everyone in this family at our annual Christmas gathering shortly. There will be about 60 of us!  One new baby was just born (a boy) and another will be born shortly. I made them pillowcases too!

Sewing with My Nieces

My twin 11 year old nieces came here for the weekend in mid December. They had both been to the London Friendship Quilters' Guild quilt show in October and, at the time, one of them had asked me to teach her how to make a quilt. I told her that I would give her a sewing lesson when she was at my house sometime. Our December weekend was the perfect opportunity.

I suggested they each make a candle mat for their Mom for Christmas and they both thought this was a great idea! I had a Christmas themed turnover which they used to pick their fabrics and design their quilts. I worked with one niece at a time and used the slow setting on my sewing machine so they could "put the pedal to the metal" and sew away! This was a perfect project--not to big as to overwhelm them and no cutting involved so they could just sew. (I cut the border and binding for them but they did all the sewing.)

One niece decided to make a pinwheel design:

The other niece picked a different layout than her sister:

They both needed lots of encouragement with the handstitching of the binding but both of them were very pleased with their projects. Their uncle got out some boxes and wrapping paper and they each wrapped their own gifts. I am told that they were so excited to give their Mom her quilty gifts, that she had to open them up before she even looked at her stocking from Santa!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Little Sewing on My Arcs

Yesterday afternoon, I made some more 4 patches for my Indian Orange Peel quilt. I still need to make some more but I need to beg, borrow or buy some more fabric before I can complete this part. Perhaps there will be some time soon to do some post-Christmas sale shopping...  Here are my "cool" 4 patches:
And here are my "warm" four patches:

Today, I made 5 more arcs:

The arcs are pretty labour intensive but I love the way they look when they are done!  7 arcs down, 113 to go.  14 four patches done and 11 more to go.  There is still lots of sewing to do for this project but, at least now, I feel like I am making some progress!

I delivered this gift to a friend last evening. She has wanted a threadcatcher for a while so now she has her own!  She gave me some wonderful Christmas FQ's and some sewing room supplies--pins, an extra blade for my rotary cutter, some template plastic (which will be used for my IOP) and some rulers. Gotta love those quilty friends!
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Gift for Christine and a Gift from Christine

I made this apron from a panel for my friend Christine --she and I got together about once a week for 6 months to do our Carolina Christmas quilts. (We hope to keep getting together once a week to work on our Indian Orange Peel quilts and then Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt, Roll, Roll Cotton Boll.) She liked it!

Christine made me a candle mat from leftover HST units from her Carolina Christmas quilt and a little mug rug. Very festive and a nice reminder of our days sewing the CC quilts together!
There are still more gifts to be revealed...

This afternoon, I have the house to myself and hope to do a few arcs for my Indian Orange Peel quilt.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Edible Snowman

My daughter is home from university! We had her family birthday dinner on the weekend--she is now 19. My MIL brought some crackers and this snowman "cheeseball" over for a snack in the afternoon. He did not look like this for long!  I am not sure why, but we all ate the bottom "snowball" first so he soon tumbled over. It was a yummy snack!

Another gift will be delivered today so I will have a picture to show later today.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I have been doing lots of sewing but can't show most of what I have made until after Christmas. I did give one newly-converted-to-quilting friend her gift this morning so I can show you her gift now.

I found the pattern for this pincushion on the Moda Bake shop. I used two inch strips to make this pincushion. It is filled with plastic pellets and I added the buttons in the middle on both sides.  My friend has made one table runner so far and is half done another one. Next year, maybe she will join the quilt guild with us...

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Season of Giving

Last night was the December meeting of the London Friendship Quilters' Guild. At a previous meeting, we were all asked to make two placemats for the Meals on Wheels program in London. Meals on Wheels delivers meals to shut-ins. On Christmas Day, they deliver Christmas dinner as well as gift bags to each of their clients. For the last couple of years, the members of the guild have made placemats for the gift bags. A representative from Meals on Wheels was at our meeting last night to receive the placemats. She told us how appreciative the clients are to receive the gift bags with our placemats and other goodies in them. Here are the two placemats that I made:
I also did the binding on these candle mats and delivered them yesterday to their recipients. 

I worked on another gift yet but can't show you a picture yet...

Today, I am wrapping gifts and cleaning up the house. We are having special guests this weekend! My twin nieces are coming for a bit of aunt and uncle time. We have lots of fun activities planned. It should be a very busy weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Part Towards the One Million Pillowcases...

Yesterday morning, Jacqui, Chris and I got together to sew pillowcases for Christmas Care, our local Christmas hamper program.

My serger helped to make the job go much faster!

Chris kept busy cutting fabric and preparing the pillowcases for sewing. We used the "roll it up" method.
The pillowcases were fun and easy to make. We all brought fabric to use for the project. In 3 1/2 hours, we made 16 pillowcases! I had one extra pillowcase that I had made previously, so 17 pillowcases were donated.

The volunteers at Christmas Care were quite happy to receive these gifts for their hampers and were admiring the pillowcases as I left to go home.

When I got home, I registered our pillowcases on the One Million Pillowcase Challenge website. The total number of pillowcases donated this year is over 209,700!  That is A LOT of pillowcases. Although, they are well short of their one million pillowcase goal, many people have benefited from the generosity of sewers and quilters all over the world. Tonight, the London Friendship Quilters' guild will be gathering up pillowcases from the members to donate to local charities and those will also be registered on the website. Keep the total moving up closer to the goal!  Make a pillowcase today and donate it to a local charity!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

So, I am staying inside today where it is warm!  We may get up to a foot of snow today.

I finished my in-law's quilt on the weekend--bound and labeled!  This means that all of my big quilty gifts are done and ready to wrap. This quilt is called "Country Spin". I learned how to make the blocks at a workshop in October 2010.

Yesterday afternoon and today, I have been working on some candle mats which will be gifts for people in my life that I want to thank. I don't think any of them read my blog so it is safe to show you a picture of the first one I made.

I used a Moda turnover to make my candle mat gifts. (Sorry, I can't tell you what it is called as I lost the label!)

I have more candle mats in production and will share more pictures when they are done.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In a Bind...

I have twin neices and I have made each of them a flannel quilt made out of leftover fabric from PJ's that I have made them for their birthday each year since they were 2. I used some of the bigger chunks of fabric to piece the backs of both quilts. I got this quilt back from the quilter's last week and put the binding on the other night while watching a movie on TV. Just to make this quilt even more scrappy, I also pieced the binding.

I have the binding cut out to put on my in-law's quilt tonight. I have another movie recorded so I will stitch while I watch the movie. I will show a picture of the completed quilt when it is bound and labelled.

I did 2 more 4-patches and one arc for my IOP (indian orange peel) this afternoon. Here is a picture of what I have done so far...

Just 20 more 4 patches and 98 more arcs to go...

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!