Monday, August 30, 2010

Carolina Christmas is coming together...

Christine and I got together to sew this evening and we finished off step 5 of Bonnie Hunter's pattern! After sewing the last of our poinsettia star blocks together tonight, we pressed them and laid them out on my "design floor" to see how they look. Both of us are making the full sized quilts but there was only room to lay out 9 large blocks of each quilt. Here are Christine's blocks:
And here are mine:
We have decided to get together again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we will work on our own to get our blocks all sewn together. We will work on our pieced borders in a couple of weeks. The end is in sight! Tonight, we even discussed how we might get them quilted!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Visitor in my Garden

My husband and I were eating dinner outside the other night and we glanced around the yard and saw this bunny trying to figure out how to get into the vegetable garden. I got my camera and started walking slowly towards it, taking pictures as I got closer and closer. The bunny let me get quite close before bounding off to my side garden. The first year I had a vegetable garden at this house, the rabbits ate most of my crop of vegetables. The next year, we built a fence around the veggie garden and stapled chicken wire around the inside of the fence and gate. The odd small rabbit has gotten inside but most of them can only drool from outside the fence!
My new Pinky Winky Hydrangea bush is in bloom! I love how the flowers turn from white to pink.

This morning, I put the binding on the two table runners I made for the London Friendship Quilters Guild Show (Oct 1 and 2 in London, Ontario) raffle table. I used leftover pieces from my braid quilt to make these runners.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Selvage Quilt Flimsy DONE! (and some pillowcases)

Today is a beautiful sunny day in my part of the world! I saw a picture on the Moda Bake Shop Blog the other day of some pillowcases fluttering in the breeze and thought this was a neat way to display them for a picture. Since I don't have a clothes line, I called my neighbour to see if I could use her clothes line for my pictures for this blog post. She was happy to let me use it and to see my projects. I finished the borders on my Liberated Wedding Ring quilt yesterday. I have not trimmed the edges yet to even them out. Here it is, blowing in the breeze!The inner border is 1 inch wide and is a royal blue Kona cotton. I have purchased dark red for the binding. I will be shopping for some backing this weekend and hope to take it to the quilter's next week. My neighbour was quite surprised that I had made a quilt from the edges of the fabric! I told her about the Selvage Blog and the inspirational projects that are shown there each day.
I have been using my Grandma's fabric to make pillowcases for her great and great-great grandchildren. She had LOTS of pink fabric! I have not even made a dent in the pile of fabric that I washed the other day. Some of the pillow cases I make will be donated to charity. I will keep working away on them and may invite some friends over for a pillowcase making party. We could form a production line--a couple of people cutting, a couple ironing and a couple sewing. I will have to host this type of evening sometime soon.
I am off to quilt a couple of table runners I put together last night. They are for the Raffle Table at our upcoming London Friendship Quilters' Guild show on October 1st and 2nd in London, Ontario, Canada. The members of the guild are asked to donate something to the raffle table--tickets are sold and the purchasers can pick what prizes they want to win but placing their tickets in the appropriate container near each item. The money raised goes towards the expenses of the Charity and Kids' quilts that the guild makes (mostly batting which is purchased by the roll!). I promise to show pictures of the runners when they are done.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

QNIC with Karen

Karen and I had a QNIC on Tuesday night this week. I worked on putting the borders on my Friendship Braid quilt. It is ready for quilting and Karen and I took it to the quilting man at the end of the evening. I purchased flannel for the back so it will be cozy for the cancer patient who receives this quilt.

I also made a pillowcase out of some fabric that I had in my stash. The pink and yellow fabrics were in a suitcase full of fabric that I received from my aunt after my grandmother died in January. I am going to make pillowcases for all of the great and great great grandchildren out of Grandma's fabric for Christmas. I will make some pillowcases for the One Million Pillowcase challenge as well and donate them to the Christmas Care hamper program in my city. Most of the fabric in the suitcase is poly/cotton broadcloth--perfect for pillow cases. I added my own border fabric to this pillowcase.
The pink book in the suitcase is a basic quilting course published by the Ontario Provincial government--Ministry of Agriculture and Food-- many years ago. My grandmother made notes on some of the pages. I am not sure if she took a course or if she just used the book for ideas. I should ask one of my aunts to see if they know anything about this.
Karen brought over two quilts that she is making for her nephews. This quilt is all done and ready to put into a gift bag. Her nephew's name is Noah and she found this cute Noah's ark fabric with "Noah" on it for the backing.

Karen put the binding onto the other nephew's quilt at my house. It is an animal I Spy quilt. I think her nephews are very lucky to have an aunt who quilts!
I am working on the final border of my selvage quilt. I will post a picture when it is done. I also have 3 more pillowcases ready to sew as well. I am doing them on my serger.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Christine and I sewed today...

We continue to work on Step 5 of our Carolina Christmas quilts. Mostly, we sewed the units together for the poinsettia star blocks but both of us completed one block so I could take a picture. My block is on the left and Christine's is on the right. As we chain pieced, Christine's daughter cut the sets of 4 apart for us and put them into neat piles. Thanks K! Our homework this time--keep working away on these blocks. I have lots of pressing to do before I can sew the units together.Here are my two blocks for step 5:
I also have been working on my selvage quilt. I have the blocks sewn together and I have moved onto the corner blocks and borders. I also bought some fabric for one of the borders and the binding on the weekend.
I bought some flannel for the back of my Friendship Braid Comfort Quilt on Friday and I want to get it ready to take to the quilters soon too. I hope to have some more time to sew tomorrow. Lots of projects to finish up... I guess I could say I am working on my Ph.D. (projects half done).

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Tonight is the monthly Friday Night Sew In. I have seen references to this several times on my blog reading adventures but have not participated before. I decided to do Friday afternoon sew in and hope that this counts!I finished putting the yellow and red triangles on my selvage quilt--Liberated Wedding Ring this afternoon. I still have to sew the blocks together but here is what it looks like so far. I have made 9 blocks. I think I am done the blocks and will be working on borders next. This has been a very fun project and I can hardly wait to start working on the borders.
I hope everyone has a great time with the Friday Night Sew In. I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!

I am organizing a workshop--Indian Orange Peel (pattern by Karen Stone)--taught by Heather Stewart for a group of 18 quilting friends. Last night, some of us got together to show off the fabrics we have selected. This quilt takes 125 different fabrics and we have decided to each pick a colour scheme and also share our fabrics with the others in the group so that we all don't have to have 125 different fabrics each. Here are my fabrics (batiks):
Jacqui is using Kaffe Fasset fabrics:
(Ignore my table runner under the fabrics--I should have moved it before we laid out the fabrics!)

Pat is also using batiks:

Shirley picked out these fabrics in purples and teal.

And, here are Christine's batiks:
The first part of the workshop is not until November so we still have lots of time to collect fabrics and discuss sharing fabrics with each other. It was interesting to see the choices others made. Now, I know what I have in my stash that others can use as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sewing Morning, Noon and Night!

Today was a very quilty day! This morning, I went to Jacqui's house and we worked on our Friendship Braid quilts that we are making for chemo patients at our local hospital. This is the charity project of the Elgin Piecemakers guild to which both of us belong. We trimmed our braids and sewed them together. I cut my border/sashing strips and started sewing them to the braids. Our homework: finish off our quilt tops so that they are ready to be quilted. These quilts are to be done by our meeting in September.This afternoon, I helped a neighbour shorten her window toppers--a very fast and easy job. She doesn't have a sewing machine.
I then thought I would do another couple of blocks for my Liberated Wedding Ring quilt. I soon found myself totally immersed in this activity and I did not stop until I had all of the selvage sections done for the next 4 blocks--that's 16 of the units in the picture below! I have the foundations ready for the last block. I think 9 blocks will be enough for this quilt. I have some ideas for the borders as well. Now, I just have to add the red and yellow triangles to these blocks and sew the units together.
Tonight, Christine and I got together to work on Step 5 of our Carolina Christmas quilts. We decided to do the Fox and Geese Blocks first. Here are some of Christine's blocks:
and here are some of mine.

Our homework: we are to finish up all 52 of these blocks by next week.
Before I head off to bed, I should show you the unusual fruit I got at the market on Saturday. Christine and I had some of this yellow water melon as a snack tonight. It is delicious!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Liberated Wedding Ring and Pumpkin Wall Hanging Swap

Four blocks done and my selvage bin still looks full to overflowing! These blocks are 14 inches square. I am not sure how many I will make --I will work away at them over the next few weeks and see how it looks. I had originally thought about sashing the blocks but I am not sure now. I like the secondary pattern I am getting from the red and yellow corners. If anyone has any opinions on the matter, please feel free to share your ideas.
I recently participated in a Pumpkin Wall Hanging Swap at the Quilted Table Yahoo group. I made 4 wall hangings --one for the swap, one for my recent give-away and 2 as gifts. I already posted a picture of the wall hanging for the give-away. Here are the other 3 wall hangings that I made:These were fun and easy to make from a pattern by Rachel Griffith at PS I Quilt. We were all asked to use the same pattern to come up with our version of the wall hanging.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gee's Bend Quilts

On Thursday, 7 of us met at the London Convention Centre to see a display of Gee's Bend Quilts. In this picture, we are standing in front of a quilt that was made from several types of materials including denim from old jeans, twill, corduroy, and cotton. Some of the denim pieces included the pockets!
(Yes! This pocket was upside-down on the quilt!)

This quilt is made of twill and denim strips. I learned in the lecture about the quilts and the quilters that they do not use rotary cutters--they just tear the fabric into strips and sew them together, usually by machine, and then quilt them by hand. Notice that the corners do not match.

This pattern is called "Housetop" and there were several quilts that showed variations on this pattern.This quilt is a variation of "Bricklayer".
This quilt was made from strips of corduroy and was hand quilted across the stripes. The Gee's Bend quilters use polyester batting to make their quilts puffy.

The binding was done without mitered corners and was often just fabric from the back of the quilt brought around to the front and sewn down at the front.
The quilters of Gee's bend could never be accused of being afraid of colour!

We stayed for lunch and then attended the lecture in the afternoon. As we were looking at the quilts, we decided to do a Gee's Bend challenge--each of us is going to make a wall-hanging in the tradition of Gee's Bend. In October, we will get together to do show and tell with our challenges and watch the DVD that one of us bought about the Gee's Bend quilters. I will have to let this percolate a while before I dive into this project.

I made two more liberated wedding ring blocks today. I will post a picture of my blocks later this week. Also, Christine and I are getting together this week to work on our Carolina Christmas quilts. Sounds like a fun and quilty week ahead!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspired to Start a New Project!

Yesterday, I went to see the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit at the London Convention Centre (London, Ontario, Canada) with a group of quilters. I will do another post later this weekend with pictures of the quilts I saw. As you know, I have been thinking about doing a selvage quilt for quite a while. I have quite a collection: I have made a couple of selvage projects including a post card and a sewing stool seat cover. Last Christmas, my husband gave me this book:
Today, after thinking about the quilts I saw yesterday, I took the book off my bookshelf and decided to make a liberated selvage quilt inspired by a quilt layout I saw at the quilt show yesterday. I used a muslin foundation for each quarter block. The block is my version of Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston's Liberated Wedding Ring block. Here is my first block.
When I showed my husband, he immediately told me that my selvages were not straight! He would have a hard time being a liberated quilter! I hope to make a few more blocks later this weekend. It is supposed to be very hot again which means it is good weather for staying inside my air conditioned house and sewing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

July "Maple Leaves" and a gift for a friend.

July's row for my row of the month quilt is done. I made red Maple Leaf blocks for Canada Day instead of star blocks for the 4th of July. I hope to get the May row done soon and then I will be all caught up on this project, at least until September 1st when the next pattern comes out!
This little pumpkin wallhanging is for a friend who helped me to sort out a problem I was having with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. I hope she likes it!
My husband and I went to the market last Saturday and we purchased several different types of zucchini. The purple cauliflower was all gone by the time we got there this week.
My vegetable garden has yielded a bumper crop of broccoli and kohlrabi this year. The beans are still coming along and we have also had lots of green peppers. This picture shows about 6 of our broccoli that I just picked recently plus a couple of the kohlrabi. We are having pizza with broccoli on it tonight for dinner.