Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guess What Followed Me Home?

What a glorious trip I had last week. I visited my mom out of province, enjoyed a golf game with her and lots of movie and "we" time, and found a treasure in the local Singer shop that followed me home. Meet my new 50-year old baby, a 1964 Singer 221K Featherweight.


It was made in Great Britain, has the original carrying case and manual, has a new belt and pedal, and has been completely serviced by the Singer QS. I have been googling FWs all weekend long and read a great review of this model at Cheeky Cognoscenti's blog HERE. I had also been checking prices online and was thrilled to see a FWat a price that was affordable for me, reconditioned and ready to go. I shared my news with Kaaren at The Painted Quilt and she directed me to a site that specializes in FWs HERE. I think there is a 1/4" attachment calling my name!

The straight stitch on the FW is perfect and I have already wound the bobbin and threaded the machine with no problems at all. Because the FW is so tiny, about 9.5" x 13", I have set it up in one of the spare bedrooms to use with my smaller projects. I found an inexpensive portable table at the local department store with adjustable heights which works really well. It will be the perfect machine to use once I finish appliqueing my orange peels and am ready to start sewing the little blocks together. 


I had been looking for a white FW for the last few years but hadn't been ready to make the commitment. When I saw this on Friday, I swear it had my name on it!

Why do I need to set up my FW in the spare room? Because my Country Homecoming quilt is ready to machine applique so my sewing corner in the basement will be filled with stars, berries, and vines. The fusible web did the trick and everything is set and waiting for me. We are having beautiful hot summer days this week so the colour in the picture I took yesterday is a little washed out. I'll take another picture when it is a finish. I used homespuns and flannels throughout...what a cosy quilt it will be!


Thanks so much for coming by. I know how busy everyone is so when you take some time out of your day to visit me, I truly appreciate it.

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This Quilt Appeals to Me

I have always had an "orange peel" quilt on my bucket list, so when I saw "Summer Leaf" on the cover of Fons and Porters' May/June edition of Quilty magazine, I knew this was the inspiration I needed for a new start. 

As you might have guessed by now, I love making scrappy quilts, so off I went to my stash to find some bright fabrics in blues, pinks, and yellows. I used the template of the peel from the magazine and then sewed my peels, right sides together, to fusible interfacing. I cut a little slit into the interfacing, turned the peels right side out and ended up with a bunch of pretty peels!  



Designer Victoria Shackle has provided a template for a pieced peel, but I have issues with sewing curves so this method worked for me. I cut out the background blocks using a variety of whites and fused the peels in place.


A hot iron and a little steam did the trick!


I plan to use my trusty machine to applique the peels in place and will use a bright green for my stems. I'll continue working on this project in between others, so it may be next summer before you see my version of "Summer Leaf". I love it when I fall in love with a quilt and just have to make it!


I have started to see "Summer Leaf" popping up around blogland. Polly at Aunt Polly's Porch made an absolutely gorgeous version and used an even faster way to make it. It is adorable! On her blog, she demonstrates how she made it and uses her expert free motion quilting to finish it off. See her version HERE

While I was working on my peels, I decided to make a few small design boards that I have seen Lori use at her blog, Bee In My Bonnet. I made a few 10" boards, have a 10" x 15" one in the works, and plan to make a few more in a 14" size to use when making 12.5" blocks. Tutorials for the design boards are HERE.

We had a very successful show at the annual "Celebrating Quilting at the Causeway Quilt Show and Sale". We wrapped up Friday after a great week, welcoming visitors and buyers from around the world. Thanks to all who visited and enjoyed the quilts. Next year will be our 10th annual, so plans are already underway to make it even more special. Maybe we'll see you there!

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Quilt Show at the Causeway

Before I bundled up my quilts to take to the 9th annual Quilt Show and Sale at St. David's Church in Port Hastings, Nova Scotia, I hung them on the clothesline for a few pics. As you can see, I have a little bit of everything, from small to large, from traditional to modern.


Pumpkins and baby quilts, from earth tones to bright colors.



A scrappy pinwheel made primarily from Collection for a Cause layer cakes.


And of course my favorite, from Quilts by Darlene's QAL, Darlene's Mystery quilt, which I have renamed "Mystery Solved". It is a pretty heavy quilt so I am surprised I managed to get a picture of it blowing in the wind. What must the neighbours think when they see me out there waiting to snap that windy picture! 


Some quilters keep track of how many hours it took to make a quilt. Mystery Solved took a lot, but I am so happy with the result. Thanks, Darlene, for your inspiration. Darlene is a fellow Nova Scotian who has opened her own quilt shop in Digby called A Needle Pulling Thread. It is almost a day's drive from here, but well worth the drive!

Our show started yesterday with a very successful first day. You can read more about the show HERE. Three bed sized quilts have already left us, on the way to their new homes. Here are a few pics I snapped before the show opened...









My Country Charmer quilt is at the front of the church, on a pew to the right, with the other display quilts. People are so impressed by the customized quilting that was done by my wonderful blog friend and quilt designer Lynn from Sew'n Wild Oaks. We see mostly edge to edge machine quilting here, so it is a special treat to see a quilt with such stunning customized quilting. You can revisit Country Charmer's quilt story HERE.

In addition to all the bed quilts in the church, the church hall in the back is filled to the rafters with smaller quilted and hand crafted items. You can tell we had a long snowy winter because our quilters stayed inside and sewed, sewed, and sewed!

If you live in the area, please drop by and say hello. Our hours are from 10-4 every day through to August 14. I'll be waiting!

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

SIL's Flannel Sports Quilt and a Quilt Show

When DD was married last summer, I gained a wonderful new SIL and the quilt wheels started turning in my head. My SIL is a huge fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team, as evidenced by his many t-shirts, hoodies, and other "Riders" paraphernalia. I knew it was just a matter of time before I made him a sports quilt. 

Earlier this summer, DD, SIL, and DS visited us for a few weeks and that gave me the chance to give him an early birthday present. I worked on it this winter and spring and was thrilled to be able to present it to him earlier in the month. By all accounts, it is well loved and appreciated and has already travelled west to take up residence in its new home. 


Here is the story of this quilt. I printed off a Roughriders logo on fabric and used that as my inspiration throughout the winter to choose a design and fabrics. I decided to make a cuddle quilt out of flannel for those cold winters out West.  Green, black and white solids were the colors I chose to match the logo. 

As to the design of the quilt, I literally googled everything from "green quilts" to "sports quilts" to "flannel quilts" to get some ideas. Using my searches and quilt images, I found a wonderful Bento Box quilt made by Anya at Hills Creek Quilter. She made her quilt using the free tutorial posted by Film in the Fridge. I wanted the quilt to be bright, bold, and trendy, and this pattern fit the bill. Now I had a plan...

It was so quick and easy to sew the blocks together...


but admittedly, a little scary to cut each block in four.


Then the fun came back when the quarters were arranged and this bright and bold block appeared.


One block quickly became a stack.


I designed the centre block around the logo I had printed using Printed Treasures Printable Fabric.



The flimsy was very photogenic. You can tell this picture was taken in the spring before the trees had leafed out.


I sandwiched the quilt with cotton batting and flannel backing using a multitude of pins to baste the layers in place. I decided to machine quilt it using "stitch in the ditch" and off I went...


Woodworker Hubby caught me at the dining room table...there was no way this quilt and I would fit in my sewing corner! 


I added a few borders to the top and bottom to change the design from a square to a rectangle resulting in what I think is a perfect sized cuddle quilt.


I also added a little more interest to the quilt by appliqueing  a few football helmets on the front of the quilt. The binding was attached, a label added, and ta da...it was ready for gifting. This quilt is now ready for SIL to enjoy the football season. I have a feeling it will be very happy in its new home. Go Riders! 

Next week we are hosting the 9th annual quilt show and sale at the historic St. David's Church in Port Hastings, NS. 


It runs from Thursday, August 7 through to Thursday, August 14th from 10-4 every day. I will be working there along with my quilty friends so please drop by to say hello and to see some wonderful treasures made by local quilters and members of the Ocean Waves Quilt Society. We will have a quilt set up on a frame in the church hall that the ladies will work on all week and there will be goodies to munch on like tea and oat cakes. Maybe I'll see you there?


The church is located at the rotary at the entrance to Cape Breton. Just look for the quilts blowing in the wind!

It's a great day to quilt!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I've Been a Little Busy This Week

Soaking up the sun at my sister's cottage...





From the deck, I can see the Northumberland Strait with Prince Edward Island in the background and the causeway to the island on the right. Life is a beach...

Just to let you know I am still a little immersed in the quilt world. This is what I am working on.



It is a fabric painting of a lighthouse that I purchased from textile artist Eileen Gidman in 2012 at Quilt Canada when it was held in Halifax. I have used Eileen's gorgeous art as the centre of a wall hanging I am making. I framed the piece with some borders, both solid and pieced. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I am handquilting around the lighthouse, clouds, shed, fences, etc. When I am finished handquilting, I plan to machine quilt the rest of the quilt to give it some more texture, maybe using some wavy lines to represent the waves in the ocean?




It is a great day for quilting!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrappy's Story

This continues to be the summer of UFOs for me. Although I occasionally start a new project (or two or three), I am really focusing on completing some of my UFOs. "Scrappy", my red and cream quilt, is now a finish.


If you recall, I had started sewing together some blocks with the scraps from previous quilts, using a variety of reds and creams cut in 1.5" strips. I made the nine-patch blocks first, then added cornerstones and strips to finish at 5". I used a variety of neutral blocks to add to the pieced blocks to create Scrappy, a 35-block quilt that finishes at 33" x 42". 

I decided to quilt it by machine using one of my favorite quilting designs...cross-hatching. My back always aches when I spend too much time leaning over to mark a quilt, so I purchased some bed risers recently and used them to raise the dining room table. This gives me a perfect height to walk around the table and mark my quilt.  


I was able to purchase the risers through Amazon HERE but I would imagine they are easy to find if you live in a city.


Once the design was drawn on with my Frixion pen, I headed to my sewing corner and started machine quilting.


Perhaps it will be used as a crib quilt, a wall hanging, or a table runner? I added a sleeve to the back, attached my Cuddle Quilter label, and now it is ready for a new home. 

My quilting location has moved outside for the summer. In the early mornings, with my coffee in hand, I head outside to the back deck. I sit in my quilting rocker to do my stitcheries and watch and listen to the finches come and go. Scrappy fits right in!


It's a great day for quilting!



Friday, July 4, 2014

Scrap Jar Stars

Our quilt group recently decided to work on a quilt project to raise funds. Each of us is to make a couple of blocks that will be put together into a bed sized quilt and quilted by the members. The group decided to make the Scrap Jar Stars quilt that Amber introduced on her blog, "A Little Bit Biased". She has an excellent free tutorial that you can see HERE

The group provided the white background fabric for the blocks and our goal was to use fabrics from our stashes to make the scrappy blocks. Off I went to my sewing corner, quickly cutting into some of my pretty fabrics and in no time at all, I had made four blocks.

Two look kind of like this...


and two look kind of like this...


Putting them side by side, this is what you see...


I think I may have to make my own Scrappy Jar Stars quilt down the road.

In addition to my Jars, I finished a table runner this week. I bought the kit about a year ago and it had been in my "kit" bag since then. Out it came, and, as usual, took no time to put together. Why did I procrastinate so long? 


In my typical way, I made a bit of a change-I decided to applique the top and then quilt it, rather than use the "quilt as you go" approach.


I machine appliqued and machine quilted it in the ditch. The pattern is by Disa Designs and is one of several table runners featured in the My Runners book.


It's a great day for quilting!