Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Final sewing day for a while

 I finally had to call it quits this afternoon.  I managed to get the friendship star border stitched on the quilt centre, having fun, pulling various shades of purples and bluey-greens from my shelf.  The star blocks were made in pairs, reversing the fabrics.

  I have some more of the neutral fabric, and another print for the final border and backing that has been in my stash for too long.
Now on to cleaning and oiling both machines, packing up all the cords etc., then vacuuming the rug in my sewing room.  Then I can begin some serious packing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I wasn't planning to participate this week,  but I wasn't ready to pack up my sewing room yet.  While rummaging around, I found a zip bag with a ton of purple and light half-square triangle blocks.  They were leftovers from a quilt I made about 7 or 8 years ago.  They were all squared up and ready to use!
 The blocks are only 5 inches finished, but I managed to use up all the parts, with only 3 blocks leftover to add to my "orphan block" basket.  Now I am working on a friendship star border to make this little gem bigger.  I told DH that I was going to start packing on Wednesday, so he can load up on Thursday, ready for a Friday departure.  I am going to miss my son's company, and I am sure that he will find the house empty-feeling for a while as well.
Head to Judy's blog to see what everyone else is working on.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I am packing, really I am.....

These are projects in bags and zip bags.  They have most of the fabric, and the pattern, unless it is on my computer.

Then add to that, these projects on hangers.  There are blocks and background squares cut for an applique project, as well as some panels and yardage that I want to turn into interesting quilts to donate to my guild.

In all, I have 14 projects packed to take south.  I'm sure I'll add a couple more to the list while I'm there.  Inspiration is always striking at the oddest moments!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two more applique blocks - Meadow Breezes

I managed to finish one corner block and two side blocks.  I have also marked the back of the remaining blocks, prepared for back basting.  I also cut pieces of fabric for each of the shapes that will be appliqued.  I still have to take fabric along to finish the remaining corner block and side blocks.  Right now it is all in a zip type bag, ready to be packed. 
So many projects to choose from - so little space to pack!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I was looking for a hand-work project, and found this applique pattern here. There is still one more part to the pattern coming later this month, but I decided to get started.  I have all the background white pieces cut, and have completed the "Birds in the Air" blocks for the rest of the applique.  The project finishes around 36 inches square.
Visit Judy's blog to see what everyone else is doing. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quilting and Not!

I spent all day Tuesday at a Community Quilts workshop for my guild.  One of the coordinators hosts it at her home once a month.  She provides a pot of homemade soup, and everyone brings a little something to add to the table.
It wasn't a big group, but we managed to get quite a bit done.  I machine quilted a baby quilt, and pin basted 7 more lap quilts.  They were also making kits, using the "block of the month" blocks from the summer - over 600 were donated.  The block was designed to use up bits and pieces, so several members used up all the short ends in their stash!  Two more quilts were pieced together, and now await backing.  I keep forgetting to take my camera, especially to take a picture of lunch - always delicious.  Since we were a small group, there were just 2 salads and rolls to go with the soup, and only 3 desserts!
I decided to take Wednesday off, so DH and I headed out to do more Christmas shopping.  Then we took good friends out for dinner to help celebrate our anniversary.   Today, I finally got my machine back in its place, and I've been wrapping Christmas gifts, and doing a bit of tidying in my sewing room. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lovely Thanksgiving Sunday

 We travelled 2 hours north of Kingston to beautiful Wollaston Lake, south of Bancroft ON.  The leaves on the way were beautiful, and we enjoyed the bright sunny drive.

They had a lovely fire going, but I found the room too warm - I would have fallen asleep if I sat there,  The guys watched a football game and had afternoon snacks while waiting for dinner.
 My sister-in-law set a beautiful harvest table, where 10 family and friends enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast.  There was lots more food than we could eat - we are all so fortunate.  We arrived home late, but happy to have enjoyed such a lovely day.

Design Wall Monday

I sewed madly on Sunday morning, and managed to get the basic quilting done and the binding stitched on before we headed north for our Thanksgiving celebration.  I stitched the binding on by hand while chatting with friends and relatives...
I took a close-up picture with a quarter on the block to show the size of the pieces.  I was amazed at how much fabric this little project took, most of which was lost into seam allowances and trimming.  I used an "add an eighth" ruler when paper piecing, but once the sections were complete, they had a standard quarter inch seam allowance.  I still have to add more quilting, but that will come at a more leisurely pace.
Join the rest of the group at Judy's blog.....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finished Ode to Hallowe'en

Just in time to hang for a while before the big night!  I was planning to stitch some small orange beads on the vine, but didn't have any, nor did I have black buttons small enough or beads large enough for the ends of the branches.  Since I am trying to use what I have, I decided to forgo the orange beads, and made 6 strand French knots on the ends of the branches.  My camera is still having trouble with colours, so the squares in the border are a burnt orange colour.  I think it is the fluorescent lights in my sewing room!
Off to pack the goodies for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister-in-law's home this afternoon.....  Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ode to Hallowe'en

I downloaded Kaaren's pattern last Friday, and I just had to stop what I was doing and start working on it!  The link to her blog post at The Painted Quilt is here. (Thanks Kaaren)
I have the pieced border stitched, but I have to trim the centre to size first.  Then there is a bit more stitching to finish, but I should have it ready to hang soon.  
I had been reading about "back basting" as a template free method of applique, so I challenged myself to try it on these tiny pieces.  (The flannel on my design wall is marked in a 2 inch grid.)  It worked quite well, and I plan to try this method again soon. 
There are some pictorial tutorials on back basting on the Tropical Applique blog, found in the sidebar here.
There won't be much sewing done over the weekend - tomorrow I am baking 2 kinds of rolls, 1 pies, pumpkin and apple, and mincemeat tarts to take to my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday

The first pieced border is complete, and I'm about half-way along on the second.  I have to work is short segments, as I find my neck muscles start to tense up.....   I am enjoying the challenge, but I'm also looking forward to the next one!
See what everyone else is doing at Judy's blog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Miniature quilt centre complete!

Don't you love it when a plan comes together!  I used a different brown and rust fabric in the 1/2 inch border.  The brown that I chose for the blocks was only a 10 inch square, and the rust fabric in the points and setting square/triangles was a fat quarter.  I need the rest of that fabric for the points in the border piecing....  It is astonishing how much fabric this tiny quilt has used, but there is lots of trimming, no matter how careful I am.
 I'm proud of my mitered corners.  The borders were sewn together first, then treated a one.  I have tried many methods to miter the corners, but finally decided to use Sharon Schamber's method.  You use "Elmer's School Glue" with a tiny applicator tip and a hot, dry iron to glue-pin the miter.  Then you open up the seam and stitch on the pressed line, pull the glue apart, trim the seam allowance and press the corner seam open.  I have had great success with this method.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Baltimore Bliss Block 5

Pattern is found here.  I seem to be getting lots of hand work done now that the new TV season is upon us.  Last night I prepared the pieces for Block 6.
I'm also plugging away at the paper pieced border for my miniature quilt as well.
We discovered that the DVD burner on my laptop is not working.  I can read DVDs and CD's but not burn new ones!  Fortunately, my laptop has a 3 year warranty, so I guess I'll have to part with it for a while.  I think we'll wait until we get to Florida for the repair, as we are quickly approaching our departure date, and I don't want to complicate things by sending it for repairs in Canada and then having it returned to the US.....  I spent last night backing everything up onto a memory stick, then today I'll transfer things to our desktop and burn some CD's and DVD's there.  That way I won't lose any files - tech support said that the first thing they do is restore the hard drive to original.  I don't look forward to reloading all the rest of the software......