Sunday, December 20, 2015

some Christmas gifts :0)

This weekend my sister and her family are visiting so some gifts have been opened early :0)  But first, a little handquilting update.
 I was stumped about what to quilt in the lily flower shape.  After looking at lots and lots of antique quilt pictures I decided on parallel lines - LOL!  Actually, I'm very happy with it and have 8 done already
 Here's a picture of how it looks from the back.  A picture of nothing for some I'm sure but I like to look at the back :0)
Now for the gifts - I made these little purses/pouches for my 2 little nieces and my youngest daughter.  I saw a picture of one somewhere on the internet and decided I could whip up a few.
 My nieces don't like cherries so I made theirs with apples. 
 I put in lots of pictures. 
As soon as they opened them they ran off to play mystery investigators??
Their smiles and hugs were very rewarding! (Maybe the straps are a tad too long though)

In case I don't get a chance to post again before the 25th I wish you a very Merry Christmas!!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 14, 2015

some Christmas sewing

December sure is a busy month - its almost half over already!  On December 5/6th we remember my Mom's Dutch heritage by celebrating Sinter Klaas.  This was my Sinter Klaas gift for my Mom this year.
 I used a wallhanging pattern by Terry Morberg of Applepatch designs. She designs such charming seasonal projects.
 I enjoyed doing the applique and the big stitch outline quilting.  I wasn't completely happy with the border fabric.  I had pulled fabrics from my stash to go with this Christmassy brown fabric but once it was pieced and appliqued the brown was just too drab.  After trying many, many other fabrics this bold red polka dot was best.
 I will have to use this fabric in something for next year... I love the vintage shaped ornaments.

 I also started another small applique project.  (I needed something portable) This Fig Tree pattern had been sitting on my sewing table for a few years and it was finally time to make it.
The holly leaves split down the middle were pretty challenging for me.  I almost abandoned it after the first leaf because the points at the split were not very neat.  But, decided that a little imperfection adds charm  :0)  I'm not sure I will add the embroidery to make this look like a cancelled stamp from Paris.  My embroidery encouraging friend will have to come over for that to happen.  I won't get this done for this year but its fun to sew seasonal projects during the season.

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

not my Christmas sewing

It's the season of Christmas making and Christmas sewing.  I can't post about that stuff so looking back I see I haven't posted a couple of things.
 
I have enjoyed seeing online the Star a Day quilts using Karen Styles' pattern and templates.  I thought it would be the best portable handwork project ever. They're small stars -3 inches finished and I could make hundreds of them. 
They are handpieced.  I really believe that I should love handpiecing.  I love handsewing and I am usually okay with fiddly, small pieces.  However, I just don't love it. And I'm not very good at it.
This first star is not exactly square and the centre - ugg!  I'm about 1/2 way with the next star and I did cut a third one out but I'm not sure this is the handwork project for me.  The cutting out of these blocks is sloooow as well.  They are darling little stars though - so we'll see.  Maybe after a few more I will be hooked??
And I was surprised I never posted a picture of my 9 completed pots of flowers blocks.  This project has hit the back burner now because it's got to the machine stitching part - sashing and borders etc...  In the new year I will get back to this.  And in the meantime I am anxious to find a new easy prep applique project  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

16 circle blocks

This is the not-from-the-pattern block that my friend and I made to go in our Circle Game quilt.  I love how it turned out.  
 So here are all 16 blocks together. I will likely play with this arrangement before I trim and sew them together.  Also, I might decide to make 4 more blocks to make this quilt a more useable size for our family. 
 I have decided to not do the border as per the pattern. (Circle Game by Jen Kingwell)  I think this quilt is busy enough and I would like to find a dark navy print to use for a border.  I'll have to see what I can find.
 So the comments from my last post were interesting :0)  Thanks!  Here is my son's costume.  He wanted to dress up as Ethane - a hydrocarbon.  I've never sewn a costume like that before. I'm not sure how successful it was but he had fun Trick or Treating in it.  A few of our neighbors "got it" ( there are people who work in the Oil and Gas industry in our neighborhood)  My son's latest interest has been chemistry.  I never cease to be surprised by the things that interest an 11 year old boy :0)
Katy's guess was pretty good - an organic chemical compound.  Send me your address Katy and I will put together a package of some quilty things.
I thought I would also include a picture of our guild's charity quilt made using Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox pattern.  It turned out really well I think. 

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

wheels of fortune

I am disappointed that I only managed to post once in October.  My goal is to post once a week.  I hope I will do better in November!
I have been slowly building my pile of Wheel of Fortune blocks and today I decided it was time to lay them out and see how many more to make.   
 I have a lot of the blue background fabric.  I think I want to try a zigzag setting.  I am feeling a bit clueless as to how to measure this.  I decided I will make another dozen blocks and then figure it out measurements etc...
I have at least 12 more fabrics picked out anyway and I really enjoy making these bright, happy blocks :0) 
I'm getting close to having all 16 blocks made for my Circle Game quilt. There was one block in the pattern that my friend and I didn't like so for the last block we are making one that she drafted. This is the second last block - a pretty one I think.
I have decisions to make about this quilt too.  The pattern makes a 73 inch square quilt... not a very usable size (wide for a throw but too short to tuck in on a bed) so I am thinking about 4 more blocks to make the quilt rectangular. I'll have a picture of all my blocks laid out together later this week.

As for other sewing.  I made a Halloween costume for my 11 year old son last week.  Here are all the components.  Any guesses as to what he dressed up as??  There will be some sort of quilty prize for the closest guess  :0)

This week I am happy to be back to my regular sewing projects. 
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

one stitch at a time

I've been busy working on all the same projects.  With every stitch I make progress but it's not too exciting to post about...
I finished quilting the feathered wreaths and decided to go back to the applique areas with some fill in quilting.  This design is easily marked with masking tape and I like it - it looks a bit like a spider web.
 
 I like how it looks from the back too :0)

 
I am still having fun making these pots of flowers.  Here is the latest one.  I just love this background fabric.  
 
 I have 7 made now and I prepped the 8th just this afternoon.  I haven't made a plan yet for sashing/borders. 
So, as it turns out, all the same projects is still exciting for me :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

handquilting progress


Progress continues with the handquilting on my Lily quilt. After I finished outlining the stems and leaves I decided to quilt little wreaths around the cornerstones. I don't have a template and so they are a bit quirky - adds charm right?

 I'm doing half wreaths along the edge and 1/4 wreaths will go in the corners. 
 After that, I have no idea what I will quilt next.  I hope it comes to me.

I can't seem to stop making these pots full of happy flowers.  My 7 year old saw these blocks laid out and remarked that they needed some fabric thingies in between them.  I think she's right :0)  They will need some sashing.  I'm pretty sure now that I will be making all 9 blocks like the pattern.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fall stuff

Thanks so much everyone for all of your congratulations on my last post.  I continue to think about my next big applique project. I want to choose carefully - there are so many tempting options.  In the meantime I have appliqu├ęd another pot full of flowers and have the 3rd block prepped.  This will be a good small project to tide me over my indecision :0)  The flowers are just so happy.

 I worked a bit on my Bird of Paradise border.  Progress is slow as it takes forever for me to plan and prep.
 I had to take yesterday afternoon to make tomato sauce.  I can't keep up with eating tomatoes and they are so yummy from the garden.
 I also made these 2 fox faces.  What fun, easy blocks.  Our guild is making a donation quilt with Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox pattern.  I think it will be fantastic!
I was so pleased my sunflower bloomed this week.   Quite often the squirrels will climb up and chew the flower buds off before they bloom.  I was also glad it bloomed before we had our first frost last night.  It's such a short growing season here - but beautiful!
This should inspire me to get back to working on that wallhanging for my DD#1 with the circle I handpieced this summer.
\
Happy Quilting!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Done, done, done

Susan McCord was a pretty amazing quilt designer!  Janet Treen made a fantastic pattern!  And I had hours and hours of fun appliqueing leaves to make this quilt.  I'm a bit sad to be done but I know I will enjoy each leaf again when I handquilt this top.  
 

It's a large top - difficult to photograph inside - so I waited for a nice day to take some outside shots.  (quilt holder #2 is a cutie pie - DS really had to reach to hold it up off the ground  :0)

I'm excited at all the possibilities for my next applique project.  I know I want to start another big project. This top was 4 years in the making and that's just fine.  I enjoy the process :0)  
 
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

applique

With my Trailing vines panels finished up I was in need of a quick-to-prep applique project for a weekend away.  We were visiting family so I knew there would be time to sew.  
 I prepped this block from the Renee Plains book "A Bird in hand".  Fast and fun to prep there are 9 blocks just like this in this pattern.  I should have prepped more as stitching this down went fast too.  I am undecided if I will make 8 more.

This afternoon I finally had time to add the last panel onto my Susan McCord Trailing Vines quilt.  It was a nice surprise to find I had the top and bottom borders cut out and ready to sew on. 
I am very excited to have this top complete!  Started back in Nov 2011 these panels have travelled so many different places with me.   I want to take some nice pictures of it so I will show more soon.  I plan to quilt it by hand.  Will I be able to wait until my current handquilting project is finished before starting?? 

Friday, August 28, 2015

summertime progress


Wow, has the summer ever flown by!  Regular routine should resume next week when the kids go back to school and I think everyone is ready.
I made another block for this quilt today and I looked back at a previous post to see what I had called this project - Summertime.  I like it.  30 or so more blocks to make and many more fabrics to pull out and use :0)
 Earlier in the week I traced and pieced the final batch of leaves for the last branch on the 13th panel for my Trailing Vines quilt.  I kind of felt sad about it.  I have loved working on this project so very much. 
I'm about halfway up the branch now - I aim to have the top completely finished sometime next week. 
Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The too small block

There has not been enough time for blogging this summer!  I am happy to have some progress on my circle game quilt to show.  Last night I tackled the challenge of the too small circle.  I made the navy and light blue pieces 1/8 inch larger on the curved side.
 It fit together perfectly and laid flat - yahoo!  The last thing to check was to see if it was noticeable when mixed in with the other blocks. 
 I think it's ok - it's such a busy quilt made with some busy fabrics.  I have 2 more too small blocks that I will finish up this way as well.  I'll spread them out in the setting and I don't think it will be too noticeable.  Why are they too small?  I guess I find the 1/4 inch seam allowance hard to keep on  curves?
 Here are a few other blocks that are started but not finished yet.
 I really like both of these - they are the other 2 too small blocks. They were challenging to piece by machine and I'd rather not remake them.
Earlier this summer we spent several days on Vancouver Island.  It was a lovely holiday and I was happy to get to visit 2 new-to-me quilt shops.  I have been thinking about the border for this quilt as I'm not crazy about the border in the pattern.  I'd like to find a beautiful print to feature instead and on finding a charm pack of this new line I think I will be able to choose one.

One more block to go - I think we will draft our own :0)  We have already starting talking about the next quilt to make together.  This project has been very challenging for me and making it together with a friend has been wonderful.  What will we make next?? 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

handquilting again

I am very happy to be handquilting again!  Other than a few stitches in the doll swap quilt I made I haven't been handquilting since May when I finished up my Crowfoot quilt.  I have really missed it.
 It's a bit warm to have all this quilt on my lap in the summertime but I open the window and let the cool evening breeze in.
 I won't mention how I basted this quilt.  I'll let the picture disclose how big of a chicken and how resistant to change I am.  Now that wretched part is done and there is nothing but fun ahead!
 I wanted to try a wide backing so there wouldn't be any seams in the back to quilt through.  I couldn't find any that suited and so I ordered this Moda muslin wide backing. I am happy with it so far but it sure shows all the wobbly stitches on the back.  Maybe this will force me to be a bit more careful!
 So far I am just outlining the applique.  I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt the rest - I hope it speaks to me as I go :0) 
My quilt patis project continues to grow. I love the colors and the pattern emerging but I am finding it a bit controlled - I usually like things to be a bit more scrappy than this.  When I run out of those aqua fabrics I will know I'm done.

Happy Quilting!!