Sunday, September 26, 2010

My new most favourite notion!

This week I pulled out from my drawer, a box of pins that I have had at least 2 years and more than likely longer than that. I have never tried them in all this what have I finally tested and now can't live without?

Clover Fork Pins!

I've been working away at my Churn Dash quilt and decided to try using them where you butt your seams up together. I have to thank Annie Smith. She showed off these pins when she was on "The Quilt Show- Episode 209" and I realized that I had those pins.

They were amazing! Every single seam match is perfect - nothing slipped. I do have to admit to a couple of mishaps though...

I must confess that I am a pin bulldozer. I just sew right over them with wonderful abandon and it is not too often I bend a pin or break a needle, until these fork pins...2 pins bent and 1 needle broken in 3 seams. Not a good record. So I changed my ways and as I reach a pin, I slow my machine right down and I am ready to stop it and grab the wheel if necessary. After that I have a perfect record!

So now I wonder how many other notions do I own that are amazing and I don't know it yet?

Happy Pinning!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Retreat Weekend

It was a great weekend. Saturday and Sunday spent quilting in the company of other quilters is always good. I had my camera along but guess who forgot to take pictures...yes, that would be me! Too busy sewing I suppose. This time I decided to start a new large quilt so I cut all my fabric before the weekend so I could just enjoy the sewing. It took me 3 days to cut it all out! I guess it had been a while since I cut out a large scrap quilt all at once. I did not expect it to take that long.

Here are some of the finished blocks from the weekend-

I am using greens, browns and blues and making 16", 10", 6" and 4" churn dashes. The original patterrn is from the February 2008 issue of  American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Lately I have found myself attracted to quilts that have combinations of blocks in different sizes.

I am roughly dividing each size into brown/blue, brown/green and blue/green combinations. This quilt will be bigger than the pattern but I am not sure yet whether to add more blocks or a border. I'll decide that later.

I finished all the 16" and 10" blocks and got a good start on the 6" blocks this weekend. I am really happy with them and I am loving these colors! All the fabrics came right from my stash except a little bit of dark blue I got from a friend. I love scrap quilts and this one will be wonderful. I'll be working on it over the next week or two so hopefully it won't be long before I can show the top finished. I was going to have it long-armed but I am loving it so much that I may hand quilt it or use the big stitch on it.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Fabric Dyeing!

This weekend I had some fun creating my own fabric. This is the second time I've done this technique and it is fun and easy!

I used this fabulous kit for low immersion dyeing. Each kit makes 30 fat eighths and it comes in 12 colorways! I bought my kit at a quilt shop a long time ago but I did find them online at Pro Chemical and Dye. You`ll need a couple of uninterrupted hours to do this.The first thing to do is gather your supplies and read the instructions over. Yes, I did say read the instructions. (I usually skip this part myself but in this case it`s a good idea to read it over.) One thing to note is that you should buy the best quality of PFD cotton that you can. The better the quality the better your color will be.

This is the very abbreviated version of how to do it...

First you stuff your fat eighths into small containers and make your dye mixes. The instructions are straight forward and easy but there is a lot of measuring involved so you`ll need to keep your attention on your measuring spoon! One tip is be careful when adding the dye can fly in a breeze. I did mine in the garage. I`m a little clumsy so I didn`t want to take chances on dripping dye in the house.

Next you pour each dye mixture over one of the 30 fat eighths.

Already it is a WOW! Then you need to set the dye, cover them up and let them sit overnight.

The next day you rinse, wash and dry them and this is what you get...

They are soft, beautiful and I can`t wait to use them.

If you are wanting to try dyeing without committing to a lot of supplies, this is a great way to do it.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm smitten!

Remember this pile?

Well it sat right beside my sewing machine for a very long time but yesterday it officially became something!

All I had left from the pile was a couple of 5"x7" pieces.

I am so smitten with this little quilt. I don't often use black but I may have to start.
I think the black sashing really makes it!

Happy Stitching!