September 4, 2014

A Quilt Studio For Me! At Last!

Sorry, Luke, but your bedroom is no longer your bedroom. It is now a magnificent quilt studio and I love it!

Last weekend we road tripped to IKEA in Edmonton and I bought what I needed for a stellar quilt studio! I bought a kitchen island to serve as a cutting table. I love the storage shelves on one side and the space for bar stools on the other (I will reserve a drawers for bar supplies, of course). I bought a sewing table/set of drawers combination and, of course, the famously irresistible little turquoise cart! The chair I wanted wasn't in stock so it's on it's way. And I need to get a bar stool. I plan on making the wall behind my ironing board a design wall. I also can't wait to get my surprise mini-quilt at the end of the month. That wall space above my cutting table is screaming MINI QUILT!!  Everything else in the room I had already.

The best part is that the light in the room is fantastic! It's the best light in the whole house and it's ALL MINE!! I even sewed a bit in there yesterday morning ... in my pyjamas ... piecing a back for a wedding quilt ... and the room turned out to be MOST efficient! I'm so looking forward to spending time in there. Come and visit me and hang out!

Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild members ... note the book shelves. Here is the basis of your guild library. You are invited to come and peruse whenever I'm available. You might even want to schedule a regular visit before or after our monthly guild meetings since you'll be in the neighbourhood anyway.  I'm only 4 blocks away. One of the books I have on display is called "The Missing Piece" (haha) by Shel Silverstein. My kids loved that book when they were little.

Thanks, Kevin, for all the assembly work you did to make me such a happy quilter! Thanks to my splurge pals, too! I used two years worth of my splurge $$ to put this room together. I will think of you when I'm in it!

Do I have to tell you how much I love my quilting studio? I do love it! I really, REALLY do! And that little cart makes me smile. A lot.

September 2, 2014

Back from Beyond with 4 Oink-A-Doodle-Moo Bear Paw Quilts

Let's just say I've been busy and leave it at that!

These 4 quilts have actually been finished for some time. All but the binding was finished in January of this year but it has taken me a very long time to finish hand sewing the binding on. As you might recall, I made a previous quilt with this fabric and was surprised to have so much left over. I then decided to make a Bear Paw Quilt but didn't take into account the directional fabric and ended up with all 4 of my bear paws going in the same direction. I LOATHE unpicking seams, so rather than undo a few short seams, I had the brilliant idea to just make 4 quilts instead! It ended up taking me much longer than I had expected, partly due to some mistakes in the pattern I was using, but ultimately, it's nice to have 4 baby quilts done!

Don't imagine you've seen the end of this fabric line, though. It never seems to end! I STILL have enough left to make at least another quilt or two!

While I haven't been very productive in 2014, I have been doing some quilting lately. I have a Riley Blake Challenge quilt top finished and a wedding quilt top done. I hope to post photos of those soon. I have to make a mini-quilt for another quilt guild member in September, so I'd better get cracking. I have a wedding quilt I want to finish for November and another to make for February 2015. And then there are all the other projects I want to make for people I love. SO MANY! 

One of my next posts, though, will be to show off something I'm VERY excited about! Kevin and I made a trip to Edmonton last weekend. To IKEA. I can't wait to show everyone! Soon!

One of the quilts has been gifted so far. This sweet little guy is my friend Berny's grandson. I think he likes it!

Addendum - September 22, 2014

A 2nd quilt in this collection of 4 has been gifted. This one has goes to Keaton. He and his Mom and Grandma stopped by for a visit today.

February 25, 2014

Binding Tip - Happy Accident

I accidentally discovered a very useful way of keeping my binding tidy when machine sewing it onto the edge of a quilt.

I had made the binding for 4 baby quilts and after I coiled it, I thought it would look nice in a couple of little, round baking dishes I have. After taking a few photos and admiring the "cinnamon buns of binding", it was time to actually start sewing them on. I set the bowls on the little table beside my machine and started sewing, keeping an eye out just in case the bowls got pulled to the edge but they were heavy enough that they stayed perfectly put and the binding unwound smoothly while I sewed it on. It was great! And it prevented a lot of fraying that usually happens while I'm sewing the binding on.

I've seen other methods that include winding the binding onto a large spool that sits on top of your machine or winding the binding around the foot of your plexiglass surface, if you have one of those. I do and was going to do that but honestly, this was SO much easier.

I love a happy accident! Hopefully someone else will find this tip useful.

A Baby Star Quilt for Leah – A 2013 Finish

It's taken me a while to photograph and deliver this little quilt but honest, I finished it in 2013. Legit. I only delivered it to Leah, though a little while ago but before her first birthday, which is the same day as my husband Kevin's. Yes, he gave her her first pair of shoes, in case you were wondering. As we understand it, if a baby is born on your birthday, you have to give her or him their first pair of shoes.

This quilt is made from a charm pack of Coquette, some Kona White and some pink floral patterned Minky for the backing. I used an unidentified aqua fabric from my stash for the binding. Push came to shove for me with baby quilts in 2013 so I eventually dumped 5 of them off with Lynette who does long-arm quilting for me. Minky is so troublesome to run through my machine that even the contemplation of quilting with it myself is stressful so I gave myself a break and let Lynnette take care of it. She did a sweet all-over floral with variegated thread on this one.

I took photos both outside on a sunny day after a fresh snowfall and indoors. It's difficult to get good quality quilt photographs in my house, especially in winter.  All of my photos of Leah with her quilt are quite badly out of focus. Either she or me was in way too much motion to get a good still photo, but I posted the best of them anyway – Leah, her Mom and her Grandma with the quilt.

Enjoy the show!

January 1, 2014

Looking Forward to 2014! Happy New Year!

Guess where we're going in 2014?! These  photos of some of my Christmas gifts should give you enough clues. I wish you could smell the beautiful silk lavender sachet that Hannah bought at Liberty of London! THEEEE Liberty!! Squeeeeeaaal!!!

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Christmas 2013 - Done!

We're so busy at Christmas that I don't take as many photos as I wish I had. I have none of my Mom and my other brothers and sister-in-laws and nieces and nephews and friends that were here and none of Kevin's family. Here are some to remind me of Christmas 2013. It was very merry! I hope yours was, too.

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December 30, 2013

A Vessel for Matt

Hannah's friend, Matt, visited and I made him this little vessel. Just a little something to toss his pocket change in … or stuff like that.

I really like making these little cotton rope and embroidery thread vessels.

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December 29, 2013

Hannah's Granny Square Legacy Quilt

I am so happy with how this granny square quilt turned out. I made it for our daughter, Hannah, for Christmas. It's the first quilt I've made for her and I wanted it to be extra special.

The fabrics in the squares are all vintage scraps from the clothes my Mom and both of my grandmothers sewed. I estimate that most of the fabrics are from the 20s to 50s. There are a few from the 60s that I recognize. One that was a shirt for my brother Darrel and from which scraps were used to make a sun dress for Hannah when she was a baby. I see some that were dresses for me and for Hannah, too. It's amazing how such a mix of fabrics and colours can come together to look good as a whole. Or at least I think so. I also love how it softened after a washing. The scraps had been starched before cutting. Some were almost like paper. But after washing, the they are as soft as a comfortable old shirt. The feel of it now reminds Hannah of her baby quilt. Bonus!

The background fabric is the text fabric from Madrona Road by Violet Craft. I love all the words in it and I'm especially tickled that it has the phrase "City of Bridges" in it, for that is often what Saskatoon is called.

I made a label from a handkerchief. On it I wrote, "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." (by Robert Munsch) – a favourite childhood book.

The whole thing was all-over quilted with a meandering ribbon pattern and was done by Lynette who does long-arm quilting. The backing fabric is by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics. I think it compliments the vintage fabrics.

Hannah was pleased as can be with it, which makes me so happy! Off it goes to London!

Quilt Statistics:

Title: "Granny Square Legacy Quilt" made for my daughter, Hannah, for Christmas 2013
Pattern: Granny Square tutorial by Blue Elephant Stitches
Size: 56" x 75"
Fabrics: Vintage sewing scraps that belonged to my Mom, her Mom and my Dad's Mom. Background fabric is Madrona Road text fabric by Violet Craft. The backing fabric and binding is by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics.
Quilting: Longarm quilted by Lynette with "Ribbons of Love" pattern, an allover meandering ribbon done with light grey thread.