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 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.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hand Quilting in the Gazebo again...

I always talk about how I do my hand stitching in the gazebo.  I thought you might like to see a picture of our gazebo.  My husband is in there reading a book and I sit across from him and sew. We have a bubbling rock and it is relaxing to sit and listen to it while I sew.

Today, I did some more hand quilting on the liberated squirrel quilt. The weather did not co-operate with sewing in the gazebo this week--it either rained or it was too cold to sit outside most evenings. It is beautiful out today--perfect quilting in the gazebo weather!

I am not quilting in every square in this border--not even every other one... I am liking it so far.  I started to do some stitching in the light brown border as well.

The squirrels are starting to store their nuts for the winter already. They must think Fall is here already since we have had a few chilly evenings.

We have some walnut trees over our back fence.  Silly squirrels hide these things all over the place! I did not really want this one by my back door so it was removed...

Some of the flowers are starting to fade but this clethra bush is out in flower... It is right beside the spot where I sit and sew.

What are you sewing today???

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Two Hexagon Table Toppers

I just finished off the hand sewing on the binding of this table topper.  This one was made with a sidekick ruler and a pattern by Julie Hermans.  The fabric was purchased as part of a FQ bundle in Michigan last Fall when I was at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat.  This topper is a gift.  I have it done well ahead of time!

Christine was over to sew last night and we each made another hexagon topper--this time using both the hex n more and the sidekick rulers.

Tonight, I added a 2" border and quilted it as well as adding the binding. 

The rulers make these pieced hexagons a "piece of cake".  Now that I have the rulers figured out, I hope to figure out my own patterns for future projects...

This topper will be staying at my house.

No quilting in the gazebo much wind and thunder rumbling around. It never did rain tonight though.  Maybe tomorrow night...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hand-quilting progress and a table topper

Like this bee, I have been busy this week!  I have worked on hand-quilting my liberated squirrel quilt most days this week, including today. I have found that I can see better to hand quilt outside with natural light. I sit in a comfortable chair in our gazebo and stitch away while my husband reads a book. By 830pm, it is getting too dark to see what I am doing so that was quitting time this week.

I took a few pictures of my progress this week.

I even did a few stitches in one of the squares in the next border.

This project is addicting. I can't wait to spend more time this coming week quilting in the gazebo!

Christine and I got together one evening this past week and tried out Julie Herman's sidekick ruler. I made this table topper out of some fall fabrics I had in my stash.  I will be machine quilting this project. 

We are going to try out another of Julie's patterns that uses the Hex N More ruler this week. It is fun to try out some new tools! 

My hydrangea's are in bloom!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saving Electricity

My Dad came over to our house for supper tonight...Perch, roasted beats and carrots, broccoli and ice cream and fresh berries for dessert!  Yummy! After supper, I got out my next Slow Sunday Stitching project and did some hand quilting in the gazebo while we sat and chatted.  My father asked why I was hand quilting--"Isn't it faster to do that on you sewing machine?" he asked.  I told him I had decided to hand quilt this one.  "Oh," he said, "you are saving money by saving electricity!"  I guess that is one way of looking at it!

I did the basting this morning just after breakfast.

I am getting brave with this project and using contrasting thread instead of matching thread for my quilting.  I had some problems in some spots where I ran into seams from the pieced back of this quilt.  It was a bit thick to push the needle through but I persevered and I think it looks ok.

The colours are a bit off in this picture but you can see my stitches a bit better here. I have not quilted anything in the middle square. Do you have any ideas for the centre quilting? 

I will keep working away at this project for the next few weeks. If I can do a few stitches every day, it might get done before the guild quilt show in the fall.

We had our nieces here for the weekend and we took them on a field trip to Rondeau Provincial Park yesterday. We went on a couple of short hikes. Of course, I stopped to take pictures of the wildflowers and gave them a botany lesson on the names of the plants (at least the ones I knew!). 

Queen Anne's Lace
Butterfly Weed
Bee Balm
Purple Loosestrife--not so desirable--it will take over and should be removed, but it is pretty.
Swamp Mallow
I did not know the name of this one.
or this one...Can anyone out there help me out?
We also did a few forest ecology lessons too.  They were surprised I knew about this stuff. (I have a biology degree.)
This squirrel was quite adept at getting to this "squirrel proofed" birdfeeder...
There were lots of these yellow warblers flitting about too.
Our nieces have gone home now and have been telling their parents about all of our adventures. It is lots of fun to have them visit. We have them come for the weekend a couple of times a year, usually once in the summer and once in December. We are trying for the best Aunt and Uncle awards!  (We are their only aunt and uncle so we are bound to win the prizes!)
By the way, my new header picture was taken in Iceland--it is gray wooly moss that grows in the lava fields.