Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Mess of Geese!

I am finally back to working on my flying geese quilt. I got the first 2 rows put together this week!
It is going to be a BIG quilt. Then I did a little count of how many more flying geese units I needed for the sashing.
So as of right now I will still need 18 of the 8 geese units and 13 of the 2 geese units.
I am just using up the scraps from the blocks first so we'll see if I have enough to finish it. Otherwise I am sure there is enough in my stash!
Here is the flying geese mess!
And a quilting update...almost every evening is being spent quilting my applique quilt. I have gotten all the quilting done on one block, so I am working on the second block now. It is a long process but a satisfying one. I am on a mission though. There is a local quilt show in April in Moose Jaw and I'd like to have it finished so I can enter it. So many quilts now in shows are long-armed and I think it's important to keep hand quilting alive in the quilt shows...I have a long way to go but I know I can have it done in time.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leap of Faith

Anytime I mark a quilt I feel a little nervous. It doesn't matter that I've used the same marking tools in the past with no trouble at all getting the lines out. All I can think is what if it doesn't come out? And this quilt has not one, but TWO different marking tools.
I used a water soluble pen to mark the feathers. All the feather sections are finally quilted!
This picture is the feathers I used along the sides and corners.
This feathered wreath is in the centre of the quilt.
So next was to mark the grid lines in the background. I decided on 1-1/2" apart. For these lines I used a Roxanne's silver pencil to mark them.
My quilting plan now is to quilt around all the applique pieces and do the grid lines in the background of the blocks. When that is all done I'll do the borders.
And when I haven't been quilting, I've been knitting myself a new scarf...
...from Noro Silk Garden. This is the second scarf I've made with this pattern and wool. I have a feeling it will quickly become my second favourite scarf!
And now I have to get started on a Christmas gift or two...
Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ready to Quilt!!!!

I finally found a bit of time to get my applique quilt basted! I am so ready to start quilting!!!
It is going to be so beautiful...feathers and grids.
And I received a parcel from my brother (the wood turner)!
I wondered what it was...
A very special seam ripper!
It was very hard to photograph but I did get this shot...It was made from a pine cone from the front yard! So cool!
I have the best brother!
Happy Stitching (or in this case ripping!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Catching Up!

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks and although I have not been doing much sewing I have shopped a bit and planned a bit. I did manage to get this mini Dresden Plate finished! It is so sweet and I really need to find a spot to hang it. The finished dimensions are 19" x 23".
I also had a quick trip to Billings, MT and was thrilled to go to Fiberworks !It was a beautiful quilt shop and I was sorry to say I was shopping with a list. Before going I figured out what I needed for a couple of UFO's and I mostly stuck to my plan.
First I was looking for fabric for my upcoming needle turn applique quilt. I am loving these colors!
Then a needed a white batik to make a star quilt that I have a Bali Pop set aside for.
Next on my list was fabric for borders, etc for these star blocks. They were made a couple of years ago with a Honey Bun (Aster Manor) but I didn't have matching fabric. I was so lucky to find some!
And finally, because I could not resist (they had an amazing sample)! I can't wait to dive into this pattern, but first I have a few projects to finish I guess!
I could have spent so much more time (and money) at that store!
Now I better get washing all my fabric so I can start using it!
Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 15, 2012

More UFO's and a Lesson Learned

First I'll show my progress on two UFO's. I spent a few hours in my sewing room (OK a bit more than a few) and I managed to get 2 UFO's ready for basting!
Here is the Farmers Wife quilt I finished putting together. My plan is to use this quilt for machine quiting practice. It measures 47" x 54". A great lap size!
This UFO has been pieced except for the borders for about 4 years. I made it from leftover fabrics from a quilt kit. I finally got around to finding fabrics that worked for the border and finished piecing it this week. This will be machine quilting practice too! I think this one will get donated.
It measures 45" x 57".
Yes it has been a while since I practiced machine quilting and yes I learned a lesson...several in fact!
1. Practice as often as possible...that means more than once every 2 months.
2. When you try a new free motion quilting pattern, really try it out on much as it takes to figure it out. Don't wing it because you won't be happy.
3. After you have it figured out on paper, figure it out on a practice quilt sandwich before going to the real quilt.
4.Go with your instinct
5. I'm not sure I like clear thread. It is too hard for my 'old' eyes to see where I have been.
So what quilt made me learn ALL these lessons?
I obviously did not practice on paper enough (i.e. half a sheet is not enough).
My new rule is at least 2 sheets.
So , my first thought was that I was going to do a diagonal grid with an off white thread. How could I have gotten so far off track????
Really, it isn't THAT bad but I can't help but think I'm going to regret not starting over. It is only a little quilt but do I really want to spend my time tearing out stitches???
I found the perfect binding too, but I won't do anything until I am sure.
Finally, I cut up all my scraps of batting into machine quilting practice sizes. I cut as much as I could 15" square and what was left I cut 12" square. I got a good stack to start practicing. Now all I need is some muslin.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

So Glad I Have a Blog!

A blog is a wonderful way to document your UFO's! These next couple of UFO's I have actually blogged about so I know for sure without even looking they are not too many years old! But I thought I should look perhaps at when I did blog about them....
The first little UFO is this adorable Dresden Plate that I have been finishing. I started it about 3 years ago before I even had a blog! Then it sat until just recently when I decided to finish the quilting. I had actually started quilting it, and I remember that I was quilting it without a hoop and with a long needle at the table. I decided to continue the method but I sat in my rocking chair instead. I have to say that my stitches were way better at the table. Maybe I had a bit more control and I learned that I really do prefer quilting in a hoop. That is so cute!!!!
Each little block is just 3-1/2" square. My intention was all along to do a scalloped border. Here is my tip for scalloped borders. I never cut them before quilting. All I do is mark on the desired edge of the quilt. Then I know where my quilting lines should end. When the quilting is done, I baste just inside the line (maybe 1/8"). Then  you just need to trim on the line. This will keep your edge together nicely while putting on the binding and you don't have to worry about weird edges while quilting.
Now it's ready for binding!
Remember my Farmers Wife blocks I started back in October 2010. I found them in the bottom of a container last weekend. I had 23 blocks in all. That's enough to make a lap sized quilt. I dug around in my fabrics and found just enough blue and brown to get it done. Here it is in progress...
The missing row is sitting beside my sewing machine!
While I was searching for old posts on these UFO's I realized I should really get better at using labels on my posts. I never did find the post for the Dresden Plate but I'm sure it's there somewhere!
And finally, winter is coming so I thought I had better get these scarves finished. All they needed was blocking.
The top scarf is Strangling Vine . It was a fabulous knit! The only change I made was that I cast on 33 stitches instead of 42. I used Knit Picks Palette yarn for this one.
The bottom scarf is Saroyan. It was fast, fun and beautiful. Very girly!!! This scarf is made from Knitpicks Sugarbunny. Angora is so soft. I often don't make swatches (I know...bad , bad, bad of me) , and this is a case I should have. Although it is beautiful and great the way it is, if I was to knit it again with Sugarbunny, I would go down a needle size.
Back to my UFO's - it is so satisfying to get a few of these done! I wonder what I will find next?
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ufo's and a Little Planning

What always happens when I clean my sewing room is that I unearth a few forgotten UFO's. That is what happened this week. So while I wait for a day to get some basting done, I got back to quilting this little mini Dresden Plate.
I had forgotten how cute it is!
I have also been anticipating a little cooler weather and had to get these mitts done...
They are perfect for fall and early winter!
Now for the this winter I am hand quilting my applique quilt I just finished and have been giving some thought to what I wanted to do with my wagon wheel quilt. It is very rustic so my first thought was to big stitch it. Then my second thought was that I wasn't sure if the quilting design I had in mind would work with big I did a test.
The quilt....
The quilting design....
The test...half in regular quilting and half in big stitching. I used regular hand quilting thread for the hand quilted side (dark stitches) and Sulky Blendables in 12wt for the big stitching (light stitches).
I was pleased to find out the big stitching looked great! I did make the stitches a bit smaller that usual and I think it did make a difference!
Here is where the stitching is going...
Now to find the perfect color. I am hoping to find a variegated brown...perhaps a bit 'rusty'. I'll be in a few quilt shops at the end of the month so I'm hoping to find what I'm looking for. I usually mail order thread but it is tough matching colors that way. I hope to find the perfect color!
These two quilting projects should keep me busy the whole winter!
Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I love my life as a quilter! My log cabin is done!

These fabrics all came from a hand dying kit and I think I may need to do different colors of course!
For my local friends, if you want to see it in person it will be hanging at the library for a while!
And now I am a little lost. I came home from work and I had no quilt to quilt on. So now what do I do? I did find a mini UFO that needs quilting so I got back to working on that. In the meantime I'll get my next big quilt marked and basted and ready to hand quilt.
 The danger though of not having anything ready is that you start thinking...and I think my winter mission is to learn to love needle turn applique.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It Stinks!

It's he curse of the Featherweight case. They stink...really, really, really bad.
So my Dad came to the rescue! He made me this new case made of sturdy plywood.
I got to decorate it. This was plan B.
Plan A was to cover it with scrapbooking paper but I couldn't find anything that I liked for my case so I painted and stencilled instead. The colors are a little off in this picture but it gives the idea! Then I added some felt to the inside so my featherweight would be all cozy inside!
Fits perfectly!
Thanks Dad!
Up next, I just have to sew the binding on my log cabin. I am loving it!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Forgot the Border!

I was happily quilting away and while I was quilting my last log cabin block I realized I had not even give the border a single thought.
I finally decided that it wasn't going to matter too much on such a thin border and since I am using black thread, it probably won't show much.
Here is the stencil I decided to use...
It won't be long to finish now! I love it when I get this close to finishing a quilt.
 I become a little obbssessed until it is done.
And I finally did something that needed to be done a long time ago...
I cleaned my iron! Do you think it needed it?
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Testing 1,2,3

It's cleaned, oiled and working...
After the maintenance, I decided to make a quick little quilt to test it out before taking it to quilting. It is going to be my machine that I take to quilting on Mondays and to quilting weekends as well. The stitching was good and the tension was easy to was looking good!
There were a couple things I had to get used to...a smaller foot pedal and it has a manual presser foot lever. I think I have been spoiled by my regular sewing machine.
I had sewn almost all the components together before I realized that my seam allowance was out. The machine came with two 1/4" feet...and the one I used wasn't quite right. Despite that the quilt turned out cute!
After I finished I thought I had better do a seam allowance test.
Foot #1
Foot #2 (the one I didn't use for my test quilt)
It was right here is the winning foot...
I like the feet with the guide on the side so I may look into getting one for my Featherweight but this one will do for now!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Done the Applique!

I may be in love already! I am just so very happy with this quilt so far.
I've been putting a lot of thought into how I am going to quilt it. I've decided on cross hatching 1" or less apart and a bit of feathers too. The pattern included a feathered wreath for between the blocks and I am adding a feather design to the corners and center sides. Here is what I am thinking so far...
So now I am going to finish quilting my log cabin and as soon as that is done I'll be starting this beauty!
  I have been waiting a long time to see this...we had deer in the early summer that nibbled off most of the tops of my sunflowers but this one survived!
Happy Stitching!