Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coffee and Teal

I find it difficult to photograph a larger quilt.  The wind was finally calm this morning, so DH obliged by standing on the step-stool and holding my latest finished quilt.  Of course a small gust caught the bottom, so the quilt doesn't hang quite straight....oh well.
The backing fabric is very unusual.  DH found it on the sale rack at a local quilt shop - it has undulating bands of bubbles in rust, (less red than in the picture), tan and teal on a dark brown background - just perfect for this project. 

This will be my last finish for 2010.  I'm looking forward to new quilting adventures in 2011. 

My group in Florida met yesterday, and everyone is excited to begin new projects too, so that keeps my creative juices flowing. 

I just received a large box of fabric from EQuilter - they had a clearance sale, and I couldn't resist.  Good thing I ordered early, because the choices are shrinking.  Now to get it all washed and folded so I can get back to planning and quilting.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Quilt Completed !

And before the end of the year too!   I haven't been able to take a picture of the whole quilt - my quilt holder is playing golf today.  I do have a close-up of a block and setting triangle.

 The quilt is called "Coffee and Teal".  I set the pinwheel blocks on point and found a cute brown fabric with teal swirls for the sashing strips.  The cornerstones are made from all the fabrics used in the blocks.  The outer border was a great find, and is more tan than in my picture.  I forgot to get enough of the swirl fabric to make the binding, and when I returned to the shop, they had none of the bolt left, so I chose another print in the same colour-way to make the binding.  I still have some of these fabrics left, so what can I make now?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

 I finished machine quilting "Fruit Salad" over the past two days.  I  outlined all the light triangles and the purple border, using monofilament thread.
Since I like the blocks to be the "stars" of the quilt, I did a small amount of quilting in the centre of each one, using a variegated polyester thread.
I stitched oval leaf shapes along the seams in the background green print, then stippled around the fruit in the final border.

Please check out what others are doing at Judy's blog.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

It is pretty quiet in our neighbourhood.  DH has his two Santa trolleys running on the garden railway - they have bright lights inside, so are more fun to watch at night.  Our luminarias are lit along the sidewalk in front of our house.  I made the cranberry sauce this afternoon, and I also prepared a family favourite called turnip casserole.  It is made with mashed rutabagas, with diced apple, etc.  It is ready to pop into the oven tomorrow.
Since it is just the two of us for Christmas dinner, I don't have to keep to any schedule, so I'll get the turkey ready for the oven in the morning, and roast a head of garlic for the mashed potatoes.
I'm looking forward to the smell of turkey cooking in the house tomorrow.
Have a good sleep - Santa will be here soon! 

Christmas Wishes

Happy Holiday Wishes

Good Health
Lots of Quilting
in the new year! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baltimore Bliss - past the half-way mark!

Finished block 7 out of 12.  I won't be doing any more for a while, as I plan to pin-baste 3 quilts this afternoon, and I'll be busy machine quilting for a while.  I am also working on some redwork blocks, as they are easy to prepare and provide me with my evening hand-work.  I also need to get my hand-outs ready for my quilting group, as we begin again in January with longer sessions (4 hours with short lunch break).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back to Baltimore Bliss

One of these days I'll get an accurate colour picture!  When I run out of other hand work to do, I go back to the applique blocks for this quilt.  Sindy was kind enough to share this pattern as a BOM, and I believe, now has it for sale.  I just read her blog, and she's working on a spectacular BOM for 2011!
She designs for fusible applique, but I prefer doing needleturn applique by hand.....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I finished Raggedy and Friends block 5 just in time for block 6 to be available.  Thanks to Kaaren at the Painted Quilt!
Check out what everyone else is working on at Judy's blog.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow Picture

With all the talk of record snowfalls, I dug out an old photo (1972) of DH and our eldest son.
 I took this picture from the parking lot of our apartment building.  The dark line is the railing around the lot, and DH is standing on top of the snow accumulation.  They had to use front end loaders and dump trucks to remove the snow, as they could not push or blow it anywhere!  We lived in Foymount ON and were not considered to be in the "snow belt" (where large amounts of snow fell regularly).  Having grown up in Toronto, where most winters enjoy a freeze/thaw cycle so the snow doesn't pile up- my new home was a shock!
From there, we were stationed at Moosonee ON, on the bottom end of Hudson Bay,  where the most snow fell in late fall and early spring, because for most of the winter, it was too cold to snow  
I guess this explains why I like to spend winter in Florida!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fruit Salad - Top Completed

After stitching the top together, I added a 1 inch finished border in the darker green colour, so the points would float away from the next border.  The purple border is only 1/2 inch wide, finished, then I completed the top with a 3 inch border of the fruit fabric.  I like to use the original fabric in the border to show what it looked like before it was stacked and whacked!

Unfortunately, I'll be putting this away for a while, as we are having company for the next few days.  DH's cousins always stay for a short visit whenever they are passing by.  They are heading north for Christmas with family, back to the land of snow.  I baked pumpernickel bread yesterday, to be used in sandwiches, and this morning I'm making Pasta Fagioli Soup with Spinach.  I soaked the beans overnight, and rinsed them this morning, then let them cook while we were having breakfast and reading the paper.  The soup is simple and has just a few ingredients; Italian sausage meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken broth, pasta, red wine, Parmesan and spinach.  I plan to serve it for dinner tomorrow, as they called and are bringing steaks for tonight. (They always empty their refrigerator and bring all the leftovers to us!)  I also made a batch of pastry yesterday, so plan to make some tiny mincemeat tarts for dessert.  DH baked some ginger cookies, and I still have some rolled oats shortbread left, so we should have enough goodies to eat.
My quilt group meets this afternoon,  so I have to get my "stuff" together.  I take my mat, extra cutters, rulers, as most only have the basics, an iron (when the group gets bigger, we have an extra couple of irons and ironing boards set up.), books, patterns, etc.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More "Fruit Salad"

That is the name I've chosen for this colourful "Stack n Whack" project.
DH has a great eye for colour, so he helped me audition the blocks on many bolts of fabric.  Colours that I thought would work looked boring or flat, so I finally chose these
These are all the parts ready to lay out the quilt centre.  The "points" fabric is a very pale lime green.  Two were sewn to opposite sides of each hexagon.  The background green 60 degree diamonds were stitched to form the "fill in" pieces.  Larger 60 degree diamonds were cut in half to make straight edges.
 After some rearranging, this is the layout I chose.  The next step is to stitch together the diagonal rows, then the final seams, matching everywhere!  I still left the little "dog ears" that were formed when pressing all the seams open, as they help in matching.
FYI - Bethany Reynolds wrote the original book called "Magic Stack n Whack Quilts", and she has also written several others, found here.  They are lots of fun to make, and I have made several over the years.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another project begun before the others are finished........

 I spotted this beautiful fruit fabric while making a quick visit to Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City FL.  Just knew it would make a lovely "Stack n Whack" wallhanging.  Brought it home and cut 6 repeats from half the width of the fabric.
Here are the layers all carefully pinned with my flat flower head pins.  This is the most important and time consuming part of the whole project.  Since the fabric has a small repeat (around 12 inches), I decided to cut the strips 3 1/2 inches wide, through all 6 layers.  I cut a 60 degree angle on one end, then carefully cut 3 1/2 inch wide diamonds, making sure that the 60 degree line is along the bottom of the strip.  Then each diamond was cut in half across the narrow width from point to point, creating 60 degree triangles.  I made sure to mark the edge that was on the straight of grain, so I will keep this edge on the outside when sewing the triangles together.  Each stack of 6 makes a block.  All the seams were pressed open, and the little "dog ears" were left on to aid in lining up the next piece while assembling the blocks.  Here's what I had done in about 2 hours.
I made 18 hexagons, and now I have to shop for the "star points" and background fabrics.  I hope to find a fabric to match the plums for an accent strip.  I have enough hexagons to make some placemats and a table runner as well - but I'll do that later......
Check out what others are making at Judy's blog.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Final parts to Meadow Breeze

The final corner block looks strange without its embroidery.  There are embroidered stems to link the two leaves, and the ladybug, (mine in non-traditional yellow), needs spots on its "wings" and I'll also add some eyes or antennae, depending on my mood.  Now I have to get busy finishing some other items so I can play with my thread painting on all the blocks.
The patterns are still available for download on Pat Sloan's site, but I don't know how much longer they will be there.
DH and I are off to Epcot today.  As part of our Christmas present, we are having dinner at the Bistro d'Paris, and then off to watch the wonderful candlelight procession - it always gets me in the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Meadow Breezes

Two more corner blocks mostly completed.  They both need some embroidery, but as I plan to add some thread painting the to blocks before assembly, I thought I'd work on them all at the same time, so I don't have to change thread colours too often.  The poor hummingbird looks strange with no beak!  I am stitching the final two side panels, then I'm off to the machine.  Then I'll finally get back to work on my Baltimore Bliss quilt - its been lonely lately.
Just returned from my group meeting - two more members arrived from the north this week - the group grows every week.  We have a few members that don't arrive until the first week in January, and then we really gear up.  We'll begin meeting from 11-3 every Wednesday, so they have more time to finish their projects.  Along with re-learning the basic building blocks, some want to make a "Stack N Whack" quilt, a jacket based on a sweatshirt, some bags, and a lesson on "back basting" method of hand applique.  Should be a busy winter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Design Wall Monday

 I don't know why, but all my pictures are loading in sideways today!
I've been busy doing needle-turn applique, using a back basting method on the blocks from Meadow Breeze by Pat Sloan.
I have finished 3 of the 4 side panel designs, and I'm working on the last corner square.
I also managed to finish the border around the centre design.  I plan to do some thread painting on the blocks before assembling the wall hanging.

Check out all the other participants in Design Wall Monday at Judy's blog.....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Last set of Pinwheel blocks

I used 4 different background fabrics in the 18 blocks, two lighter and two darker.  DH helped me play with the arrangement on the livingroom rug, (the only place big enough - I miss my design wall more and more each day!)  I found some neat fabric for sashing, and used the leftover teals as corner blocks.  Yesterday we visited my favourite quilt shop, Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City FL, and DH spotted a great fabric for the backing in their sale/clearance area!
It is washed and pieced ready for basting.....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finished the dragonfly wall hanging

This was a great kit by WHIMS, that included the pre-cut squares, fabric for the appliques and 2 dragonflies made from angelina fibres.  I used the fusible grid to line up the squares, then it was just a matter of sewing along the rows.  it does make it a bit stiff, but since is is a wall hanging, I don't think it matters.  I used leftover strips from my bins to make the borders and the binding, and even the backing fabric was a cut-off from the backing of another quilt!
 The dragonflies are dimensional.
 I stitched the waterlily and the rushes before layering and quilting.  I used monofilament (invisible) thread to outline the shapes and to do a large meandering in the "sky" area of the wall hanging, as well as to SITD (stitch in the ditch) of the narrow borders.   I stitched some ripples in the "water" area using a mylar type thread - a bit fussy through the fusible, but I persevered.  I just have to label the back before I send it to my son as a gift for his girlfriend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Pinwheel blocks

Six more pinwheels.  I'm also trying to finish my dragonfly quilt so I can get it shipped to Canada in time for Christmas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I have some catching up to do, now that I was able to download my pictures.......
These are the first 6 of 18 pinwheel blocks that I am making in browns and teals.  Last winter DH gave me a kit for a tablerunner in these colours, as well as a few extra fat quarters.  Then I ordered a set of 10 inch squares from Keepsake, called "Coffee and Teal".  I've been having fun matching the colours together.  My plan is to set the blocks on point with sashing, then add a couple of borders.  I've been dedicated to using my stash, but I think I'll still have some of these colours remaining, so I'll have to find another project to try to use them up.  Of course, we all know that in the attempt, I'll have to add more fabric - its just a vicious circle!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Southern Sewing Room

My sewing table faces the window, so on sunny days, I have a blind rolled down so I can see.  DH cut a hole for the sewing machine and made a box to support it at the correct level.
 Next to my machine I have my thread boxes on the floor, and two sets of plastic drawers to hold my "bits and pieces", topped with bins of strips and more threads.  Since the sun hits these on the back, I use a tablecloth to keep them protected.
 My little TV sits in the corner, so I can watch the sewing and quilting shows on PBS every morning.  It is angled so the sun doesn't shine on the screen.
 My cutting table sits on the inside wall.  I have a lamp attached so I can see to cut accurately, (aging eyes), and I made a cover that I can press on for small seams.  I still use an ironing board for bigger jobs.
The storage drawers are filled with extra small pieces for DH's garden railway.
 I also have a small sitting area so I can visit with friends, or sit and hand sew while watching a movie.  The room was built under the existing carport roof.  It has windows on two sides, so I can usually get a good breeze.  I have a ceiling fan for really humid or hot days too.  I don't have a phone,(we have an answering machine),  so I get few interruptions, except DH asking if I want to go for a bike ride or swim

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My computer was just delivered!

Finally - I've been tracking it on its return journey across the country.  Unfortunately, today is quilt group day, so I won't be able to reload stuff and play until later......
I'm off to pack for this afternoon.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, (we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in mid October).  We've been invited to a friends' home for a meal tomorrow, so I have to bake some bread when I get home from my quilting group - can't show up empty handed!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I borrowed this picture from  DH bought this cute kit for me in Houston.  Our son's girlfriend loves dragonflies, so he thought it would make a great gift.  The kit included the watercolour squares, and the fabrics for fusible applique, along with two wonderful dragonflies made from some angelina fibre, ready to cut out and apply.  The centre is finished, and waiting for some thread painting details.  I also checked my tiny stash in Florida, and I'll have to pick up some fabrics for borders and backing!  (Darn! I have to go shopping....)
Head over to Judy's to see what's new

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My computer comes home on Wednesday!

According to tracking info, it should be delivered on the 24th.  I hope the hard drive has been left alone, and only the faulty CD/DVD drive replaced.  I guess I'll find out on Wednesday.
I've been making some pinwheel blocks, using some leftover browns and teals.  I forgot to pack enough fabric for the sashing and border, so I picked up a couple of yards of sale fabric, including a lovely stripe.  I enjoy using stripes in the borders as they look wonderful in a miter!

  More quilts by my quilting group - these were made in 2008, using a "Quilt in a Day" pattern.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Back to sewing!

My sewing room is set up, and I spent quite a bit of time yesterday sewing!  Unfortunately, the Wednesday quilt group meeting was cancelled, as they were shampooing the carpets in our clubhouse, so it was out of bounds for 24 hours.
Here are some more pictures of past quilts made by my group.  (BTW, my notebook computer is in being repaired as we speak, so I should have it back in about a week, and be able to download and upload some current pictures!)

 The pattern was shown on the old "Simply Quilts" program on HGTV.  It is an easy block to make, but makes a great looking finished project.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I don't have my sewing room set up yet, but it is clean, windows, floors etc.  My DH had to get all his garden railway stuff set up first, as it is stored in my "sewing room" while we are away!

The railway wraps around the front of the house, and has two rail lines, so two trains can run at once.
My sweet DH even built me my own quilt shop! 
All of the buildings are made from "scratch".  He loves finding uses for all the assorted bits and pieces that accumulate in our garage up north.  He has even made use of some empty thread spools and cones, and that is one supply that never ends......