Monday, July 6, 2015

Who knew

that anyone could have a miniature Bernina?  Don't believe me?  Go have a look here; you'll have to scroll down a bit.  Just had to share this little tidbit.  I discovered it while researching the value of older series Berninas.

I've recently been playing around with fabric paints and dyes just to keep the creative urge satisfied.  I decided to do some stamping on old handkerchiefs.  Here are close ups of some of the results.
 This one was done with a potato masher and the end of a thread spool;
 this one with a cross cut of a snail shell and the edge of scallop shell;
and this one with the end of a thread spool and electric plug.  Click on the pictures for a closer look.

Some dye that had been sitting in the spare fridge in the basement came along with me to a dyeing session with one of my art groups.  Here are the results of that playing.
 The yellows went from very vibrant to a very pale.
 The one on the left was wrapped around a small pvc pipe and "scrunched".  That scrunching acted as a resist.  I'll overdye that one I think.
This one was my favorite; all that mottling.  It was created by loosely wrapping the fabric with elastic bands. The wind was blowing that day so it was hard to get pictures.There were some very interesting results.  I'll have to give this a try again.

Till the next time, thanks for visiting.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

FMQ Update

It's true that "Practice, practice, practice" does improve your free motion quilting.  Thanks Janet!  I'm getting the hang of it.

I had posted here about two lap quilts that I was going to free motion.  At first all that negative space seemed daunting.  After several days of procrastinating, I said "Just do it".  Well,  here is the first one.
Hard to see the quilting in that picture, so here are a couple of close ups.

I've called it "Modern Fassett"  What do you think?

Okay, so now I started to feel a bit more confident, so I took on the second one.  Called it "One Fell Out" after the little red square on the left.
Here is the detail on this one.

Hey this is getting easier and easier.  I'm off to see what other quilt sandwiches I can conquer.  Till the next time, thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


It's been quite a while since my last post.  I've been busy packing, searching, more packing and more searching.  That's a story for another day.  Let's get caught up.

I recently attended Canadian Quilters' Association conference in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Travelling by bus left the full 12 hours of driving to someone else and allowed me time to visit with 42 others on the bus and take pictures along the way.  Going there the weather was not cooperating so a lot of visiting and reading took place.  Coming back though the sun shone in all it's glory so I got a few photos of the scenery passing by.  Here are a few.
Taken from the bus, here is what the prairie looks like.  FLAT!  as far as the eye can see.  Hey!  inspiration for a modern quilt?  Then came the Rockies.   I think I'm a "mountain girl" at heart.

Not so flat!  Very majestic and still snow-topped in June.

While at the conference, there was lots to see and do.  The National Juried Show winners were something to see, especially Best of Show.  You can see them here.

There was the Trend Tex challenge entries, a fundraiser for CQA/ACC.  I attempted to bid on several of the pieces (Quilts #19, 43, and 61), but was out bid on those three.  I was however lucky enough to win Quilt #21, Rebecca Laughs at the Wind.  Can't wait to get it in the mail.

I also managed to take Cindy Needham's workshop Linen Ladies.  What an inspiring teacher.  She had numerous samples, plenty of handouts and gave us lots of time to practice.  My friend Janet joined me in that class, making it especially enjoyable.  We came with vintage linens to mark for quilting and after an informative lecture from Cindy, were given a host of quilting stencils to work with.  Here is a sampling of some of the works in progress.

It may be difficult to see the markings, but just click on the picture to get a larger view.

I have been working on my free motion quilting of late, but that is for another post.  Till the next time, thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A cover up

My Guild meets in the fellowship hall of a local church.  The church had recently installed a new electrical panel  front and centre above their coffee counter.  The Guild was asked if someone would be willing to create something that would cover that electrical panel.  Along with two others (Catherine, Shirley and Deborah) I stepped forward.  Yes, yes I know I have other projects to finish, but remember my word for 2015 is BEGIN.  So I began another one.

We started with orphaned blocks that were left in the Guild's "scrap stash".  I thought they would look good along the borders.

We measured and measured again and determined what was needed was a rectangular piece.  Using some coffee themed fabric we stitched additional borders.  They're marked "2" and "3" in the picture below.

Yes that's right...we were working from the outside in. Next came some simple nine patches for fillers and paper pieced coffee mugs.

We now needed something to tie all the pieces together.  Shirley experimented with machine embroidery.  She had chosen a wonderful way of doing some embroidery so that it formed a sort of "crossword" centre.

Notice that certain letters are capitalized?  You'll see in a minute why she did this.  We needed something more to fill in the spaces; some pieces were fussy cut and others simple fabric squares.  Here is Catherine auditioning fabric for additional sashing.

With some additional piecing, the top was finally ready for sandwiching and some fancy free motion quilting.  Deborah added her flair and VOILA!!!  Done and presented to the church.  Here is the completed wall hanging.

The wall hanging is centered over the electrical panel and can be easily slid out of the way if the panel needs servicing.  Oh yeah!  See how the capital letters spell out "COFFEE"?  It was challenging working from the outside into the centre.  When it was presented this month, the pastor and staff's eyes glistened and smiled.  It was an enriching experience.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

First Attempt

I recently joined a group that is challenging itself with creating pieces with a modern aesthetic.  My first attempt is yet to be finished.

As you can see from the following detail shots (sorry for the blurry edges) it is in the stages of quilting at the moment.

At the end of that first meeting we were given three strips of fabric; a black, dark grey and light grey, and told to produce something.  We could add additional fabric.  Here is what I came up with.

and the detail.

It's hard to see by you can just barely make out that the binding on this one uses the same fabric as the circles and is placed on alternate corners.

Because I can't seem to stop at just one I've started another one.

Now I just have to figure out what kind of quilting I want to attempt in the negative space.  Straight line, boxes, greek key?  what do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Down but not out

I have been absent, but not necessarily quiet.  I've been busy finishing off a few more items that have been sitting around for some time.  One of them was a top that I made with "leaders and enders" that has been sitting in my FMQ pile.  For those of you that don't know what leaders and enders are, you can go here to find out.

I did free motion quilt it, but not very tightly.  I wanted it to be rather cuddly so that it could drape nicely on someone's lap.   It was donated as a "Community Cares" quilt to my guild.

Another pieced top that had also been patiently waiting its turn for some quilting is this little "I Spy" quilt .

Again this one was quilted very simply in the ditch, bound and is now also in my guild's Community Cares chest waiting to be donated.

Now I'm off to see what else my studio has been hiding from me.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Placemats galore and some pillow slips

Just six hours of work and this is what the quilters at the seniors' centre were able to make.

They were created using just four fat quarters, some cutting, stitching, more cutting, shuffling, restitching and voila!  Placemats.

The ladies are hoping these bright little goodies bring a smile to someone lucky enough to end up with them.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Busy Beginning

Funny how time just gets away from you when you aren't paying attention.  I've been focussing on beginning several projects and completing some of them.  I finally managed to finish my piece I called "Light Switches".  I showed a picture of the unfinished piece here and here.  It's finished now and as luck would have it, it hung in a local gallery.  Here is what it looked like in the gallery,

I donated the piece for their fundraiser "Almost Famous".  You can read about the fundraiser here.

I also finished the quilting on the "Three Gals at the Beach" which I posted about here.  This close up shows some of the free motion quilting I did on it.

Next time I'll show you the place mats that were made by a small group quilters at the local seniors centre.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Begin WIP reduction

Like so many other quilters I found my self tripping over fabric on the floor, the cutting table, the sewing machine table and on every available shelf.  Time to "deal with it" to some degree.

After making a quilt for a family member, my step-mother had sufficient pieced blocks and fabric left over that I managed to get them off the table by piecing this lap quilt.  It's rather simple with just 9-patches and setting blocks, but it will keep someone cozy.

It's all pinned and ready for some free motion quilting.  That cleared the cutting table.   Now for the next thing to begin.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Patience pays off

Back in 2013 while attending workshops at the Empty Spools Seminars in Asilomar, I had the good fortune to meet with Elly Sienkeiwicz of Baltimore Album fame.  At the time Elly was working on a reprint of her book Spoken Without a Word adding in additional information in readiness for its 35th anniversary.  We were given the opportunity to pre-purchase a copy accompanied by a signed bookplate.

It took quite a while, and at times I thought it would never arrive, but guess what?  Here it is, in all it's splendour.

 I still have to put in the bookplate, but patience paid off and I can now add this to my library.

Oh and here is another book added to my collection of applique inspirations.  I received this one from a friend of mine this past Christmas.  I guess it was to encourage me to get going on the William Morris sampler I have talked about for the past year.

Well I'm off to browse through these two gems.  Till the next time

Friday, January 23, 2015

Word for 2015 --

Like so many others I've decided to choose a word this year to help me stay focused.  So what's your word? you ask.  Drum roll....


As in BEGIN something new, BEGIN to begin, stop procrastinating and BEGIN to finish.

So in order to begin I've made up a list of some "BEGIN" things.  One of those lists includes the various works in progress that have been sitting on a shelf, hiding in this nook and that cranny.  I'm going to BEGIN to finish.  Here are a few pictures of some of them.

This little wall hanging has been sitting on the shelf for a number of years and deserves to be finished.  It just needs to be quilted and bound.  I'm calling it Three Gals On The Beach.

A couple of years ago, I attended a retreat where the theme was 60 degree diamonds.  From the fabrics that each participant brought, they had left over diamonds.  I collected them, made these stars (Seven Sisters) and thought I'd make them into a lap quilt as a memory of the retreat.  Hmmmmm....didn't get very far did I?  I think I'll place them in a "higglety pigglety" fashion with a lot of background and some FMQ practice.  What do you think?

These next two I posted about back here.  They need to be quilted and bound.

Let's see how many of the 50 items I managed to list, I'll be able to BEGIN to finish.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Finally done

I finally got the Celtic Knot work done on my sampler.  It took until now to get all of the corners appliqued.  Here is what it looks like so I can begin to sandwich and hand quilt it.

I had previously posted about this piece here.

Two of my friends and I have begun working on a wall hanging. A local church where our Guild meets asked if anyone would make a wall hanging to cover an electrical panel that is over their coffee counter.   We have laid out various scraps into something we hope will do the trick.  Here are pictures of what we have laid out so far.  The area we need to cover is 38 inches high by 60 inches wide.
This is the left side,
the right side,
and ideas for the middle.

Now I'm off to begin listing the various WIPs that I want to finish this year.