Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Finish to Share

Tonight, I finished off the hand sewing on the binding of this little wall hanging I made from 2.5" squares cut from my FIL's shirts. This quilt is a gift for my MIL's minister. He has been a wonderful friend and support to all of us.

I used parallel line quilting in the cross and cross hatching on the rest of the wall hanging.

There are three wavy lines on each side border.  I still need to add a hanging sleeve.  That should not take too long.

Now, on to the next project...

By the way, my finger is healing nicely. I can do most things that I usually do (except the dishes!--my husband is taking care of them for the next week or two.) Thanks for all your comments on my last post about the evil rotary cutter. It is still in time out!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quilting Sent Me to the ER

Yesterday was supposed to be the annual Elgin Piecemakers sewing day at a local church.  Being January in Canada, we ended up having a bit of a blizzard Friday night and into Saturday so the police were recommending that people stay home and off the icy, snow covered roads.  This is the view out my back door.

The snow was plastered to the wall of my house:

Sewing day was cancelled.  My husband had plans to spend the day working on his model train room so I had a sewing day on my own in our dining room. 

I made great progress on the shirt wallhanging in the morning and finished quilting it and got the binding sewn on ready to hand stitch later.

Next, I trimmed a chemo quilt and started to cut strips for the binding for it. I thought I was really  on a roll and I would have lots of hand stitching to do today so I could link up to Kathy's slow stitching Sunday.   I was on the last strip that I needed to cut, when suddenly my rotary cutter jumped onto the ruler and took aim for my index finger on my left hand.  Let's just say my finger lost the battle. BAD ROTARY CUTTER!!!  (Isn't it ironic that Kathy is talking about looking after our hands today at her blog???)

I grabbed a tissue or two and wrapped up my finger and called my husband up from downstairs. I am happy to report that I did not get any blood on my fabric, the cutting mat, the floor, the table or myself!  A quick peek at the cut and I knew we would be heading to the local ER for stitches.   The ER was very quiet since most people had heeded the police's advice and were staying home. In less than an hour, I was stitched up with 4 stitches and we were on our way home.

The doctor was very nice and took the ribbing of the nurse very well. She told him to do a neat job since a professional quilter would be inspecting his stitches!  I told him that this was not the type of sewing I was expecting to do today!!!  Fortunately, I did not cut the tendon that allows me to extend my finger, and in 10 days, I will be getting the stitches out and be back to my normal activities.

My birthday is in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling that I will be getting a Klutz glove from my husband...

In the meantime, my rotary cutter is in time out...

It is snowing again today. I did a bit of sewing on the machine but the hand stitching will have to wait.

Have a good week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Shirt Quilt and a Baby Quilt

This wall hanging is going to be a gift for my MIL's minister at her church. He spent many hours visiting with my FIL when he was sick and I wanted to thank him for all of the support he gave to all of us with a little quilt made from my FIL's shirt fabric.  I have had this idea in my head for a few months now but have not had any time to make it until now. The top and the back are both done and I will be doing the quilting this weekend at the Quilting Day that one of my guilds has planned. I think he will be surprised. I hope he has a space on the wall in his office to hang it.
This is a baby gift that I am quilting myself. It is fairly large to be doing this on my DSM but I am managing. I don't suppose that the baby will notice when the spacing between some of the quilting lines is a bit scrunchy in places...  I will show a picture of the completed quilt when it is done. So far, I have quilted about half of the quilt. The back of the quilt is orange with dots.
I think I have some turquoise fabric somewhere around here for the binding...
Here is my overdue stash report...
Fabric used since my last stash report:  5.75 yards
Total fabric used this year: 6.45 yards
Fabric added to the stash since my last report: .75 yards (a Christmas gift!)
Total fabric added this year:  .75 yards
Net fabric used this year: 5.7 yards

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Wooly Day

I had a fantastic day at a wool applique workshop today!  Jill Buckley, aka The Quilt Rat, was our fearless teacher and 23 quilters soaked up as much wool applique and embroidery knowledge and inspiration as we could!   Jill used to belong to the London Friendship Quilters Guild and she was our speaker at our January meeting where she told us her sewing and quilting story as well as showing us her beautiful and inspired quilts.

Today, we each purchased a kit from Jill with needles, some threads and wool pieces as well as a pattern for today's project. We each brought some of our own material, embellishments and threads as well. Jill "pounced" the design onto my black background fabric for me and I was off and running!

Here is my project with the wool pieces laid out on it. They are all hand sewn down with matching sewing thread so they will stay in play while I do my embroidery. The stem was done with embroidery thread (3 strands). I have lots of embroidery thread from back in the days when I did a lot of counted cross stitch. Now, I have a new use for all that thread!

Next, Jill showed us how to do several embroidery stitches and showed us how she had used them on a recent project which won honourable mention at the Grand National in Kitchener.

That is a piece of a silk tie with the dots on it.

Jill's amazing quilting is visible in this picture.

Close up of some of the embroidery Jill did on her project.

So much inspiration!

Here is Jill's class sample:

We did not get to the wool circles today on our projects.

I got quite a bit of stitching done today. One leaf is done.

I did blanket stitch on the flower. I have not decided what to do next on this part.

I like what Charlene did with her flower!

This is Jacqui's leaf. It was fun to see how everyone's projects were different even though we all started with the same basic flower pattern.

This is another class sample made by Jill.

It was hard to pack everything up and head home at the end of the day. The day went by too fast--I was wishing we could stay longer and keep sewing.

Jill took a class picture before we left.
Show and tell at the next few guild meetings should be interesting!

Thanks Jill, for a great workshop!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hand Sewing Night and a Baby Gift

Karen came over to sew on Wednesday night this week. While she worked on a new quilt for her bed, I hand sewed a shirt pocket on the back of each of the shirt quilts that I blogged about here. When I gave everyone their quilts on Boxing day, I told them I would sew a shirt pocket on the back of each quilt.

They each picked a pocket from the ones that I had brought with me.

My FIL always carried a hankie in his pocket. My MIL still had his hankies and she brought them out so everyone could pick a hankie to put in the pocket that they had chosen.
The quilts will be going back to their new owners tomorrow.
 Today, Karen, Christine and Cathy came over to sew for the afternoon. I worked on a baby quilt for a baby who was born 6 weeks ago. I am hoping she does not mind that her gift is not done yet! I was a bit too busy sewing shirt quilts to get her baby quilt done!
There was a lot of cutting to do before I could start to sew. I did not have very many of the light pieces cut before today but they are all done now. I managed to get 15 rows sewn together today--only 20 more to go...
All of the coloured strips are different but there are up to 3 repeats of most of the light fabrics. I think that the recipient of this quilt will like playing "I Spy" when she and her parents are looking at her quilt.
The pattern is called "the Stacks" and it was designed by Karen Griska, over at the Selvage Blog. The colourful "piles" of strips in this quilt remind her of the stacks of books in a college/university library. I hope to finish the top this week so that I can do the quilting. I will be quilting this one myself organically.
Bye for now!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Last Gift of Christmas 2013

The Elgin Piecemakers, or most of us anyways, gathered at a local Italian restaurant last night to share a meal and do our annual exchange of Christmas gifts. The weather was very cold and blustery and the roads were not great, but we all enjoyed wonderful food and conversation together.

I had picked Heather's name out of the hat at the previous meeting and decided right away that I would make her a selvage sewing stool for her gift.  I could not bring the whole stool in to the restaurant so I just put the seat into a bag and brought it along with me.  Heather's favourite colour is pink so I dug through all of my selvages to find the pink ones.  I do not use a lot of pink fabric in my quilts so it took a lot of searching through my very large bin to get enough selvages for this project.

Heather was not sure what it was at first until I told her that the rest of the present was in my car!  She was thrilled to add the stool to her sewing room!   The sewing machine in the picture above belonged to my grandmother. I purchased the cabinet for it and it sits in my dining room.

One of the other ladies commented that I must have used up a lot of selvages making three stools for Christmas gifts. I told her I did not even make a dent in my collection!  I will have to do another selvage quilt to use up some more sometime this year.

Here are all three stools. Their new owners are happy. They are a fun project to make and don't take too long to complete.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Squirrels and Quilt Blocks

Last Spring, I saw an article in the National Post newspaper about a lady in Nova Scotia who takes pictures of squirrels in her backyard. She had produced a calendar of photos she had taken of the squirrels posing with various props on her deck. I thought the pictures were cute and tucked the idea of the calendar as a Christmas gift away in the back of my head.  Fast forward to this past December when I got on the internet and tried to find the squirrel calendar lady (I had forgotten her name!). I found her and e-mailed to ask if the calendars were available this year. Nancy Rose soon got back to me and I ordered 3 calendars to give to my friends and my daughter. We chatted back and forth a few times by e-mail and I told her I was a quilter. I found out that Nancy has also dabbled in quilting! I asked if she would like to borrow one of my mini quilts for a photo shoot with her squirrel friends. She said "YES!"  I mailed the mini quilt to her and she sent me one of the pictures--I am using it here with her permission.  Please do not copy it.

 You can see more of Nancy's pictures on her Flickr page.  If you would like to get a calendar for yourself or one of your squirrelly friends or relatives, you can e-mail Nancy at nancy.rose@gmail.com.  My friends and daughter love their calendars!  By the way, Nancy made that little sewing machine herself out of modelling clay!  She is a very talented lady on many fronts!

This afternoon, my husband was out so I thought I would do a little sewing. I was having trouble channelling my quilting mojo so I decided to work on a couple of chemo quilt blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers charity quilts. The colours for January are violet, orange and green.  Here is my liberated star block:

I also did February's block in pink, green and white. I am not sure of the name of this block.

By then, I was on a roll so I did March's block. We are doing slab blocks in March--each person will do a slab in a different colour. I am going to bring mine in to January's meeting to show people how to make a slab. We will assign colours then since I am not the only one who likes to work ahead and get a few blocks done at a time.

Here is my first stash report of the year:

Fabric used in the last week: .7 yards
Total fabric used this year: .7 yards
Fabric added to the stash in the last week: zero!
Total fabric added this year: zero!
Net fabric used this year: .7 yards

Have a great week!  With any luck, there might be another post this week.