Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Boy's Britches

I finished the quilting on this quilt at the end of January and since then it has been hanging around waiting for me to trim it and make the binding. My sewing room is really quite full and whenever I want to work on something I have to move a million things around to make space. I got a little tired of moving this quilt from space to space and decided it was time to trim it and get the binding made and attached.

I have started the process of hand stitching it to the back and I am really looking forward to seeing how it will all look when it is finished. I plan on working on it some time today and I plan to finish it over the next couple days. I have read on different blogs about how you hold your quilt when sewing the binding to the back. I always have the quilt sitting in my lap with the binding folded over and down - it just looks and feels a little awkward to do it any other way. Do you have a preference?

A closer look at the back and the quilting.
Before I can spend too much time with it today I need to take care of a few things. The groomer (my friend's daughter) will be coming mid day to give Molly and Peanut their Spring hair cuts so I need to get them bathed and dried before she gets here. I also need to make a run to the post office to mail my Block Lotto blocks. I am very late sending them but...well...it is what it is!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hand Quilting

This morning I woke up bright and early, or should I say, dark and early because it really is still very dark at 4 am! When I came down to the family room I saw my blue Seven Sisters quilt laying in the corner of the room all neglected and lonely. I felt a few pangs of guilt because I had promised this quilt that I would quilt her and get her finished really quickly but you know how it goes...enough said.

I had purchased some new hand quilting needles and I wanted to try them out and this seemed the perfect opportunity. I have been using a #9 between because it felt more sturdy than a #10. I always found that when I used the #10 it seemed that I would have it bent before I finished even just a few stitches. Maybe it was the brand because these Roxanne #10 betweens seem to be quite sturdy and even though I have nearly quilted a complete Baptist Fan this morning it hasn't bent yet.

Look at the difference in size between my usual #9 and the new #10 - it is taking a bit of time to become accustomed to the smaller size but it isn't too bad. I probably should have put something in the photo to show the scale but they are quite small in comparison. The container itself is quite small and it holds 50 needles. I cannot imagine using a smaller needle - ever!

I am also trying a different quilting hoop. I have had this square plastic hoop for many years but haven't really given it much of a tryout. It had belonged to my SIL and when she passed it was given to me and I just stashed it away. It is something else that will take time to become accustomed to but I do think that it makes it easier to access more of the stitching area.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Wow...it has been a while since I have made any blocks for the challenge and I thought what better way to get back into the swing of things than to make some of the Sampler blocks that Angela has been posting.

These two blocks are Depression and Saw Tooth Star and I think they both turned out pretty good. I used precut triangles from my scrap stash for the Depression block and I used a 3.5" strip and 2" strips from my bins for the star block. The background fabric that I used for the star originally came from my SIL Wanda's stash and she passed away in 1998. I love it when I use bits and pieces of her fabrics in my quilts.

Pop on over to soscrappy's and check out the links for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There is always so much inspiration to be found!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A New Quilt

A new quilt and a new Guild! I have joined another guild -The Moraine Quilt Guild - and so far my experience there has been fantastic. The first meeting I attended was yesterday and I had such a good time - everyone was so friendly and welcoming. They have a sit and sew that you can attend for a few hours before the meeting starts and I took good advantage of that time and started working on a new quilt.

tower of blocks!
This quilt has very humble beginnings....I had started making twosies from green and neutral 2" scrappy squares as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year. I got some made at that time and I continued with them yesterday. By the end of my sewing day yesterday, I had quite a few 4 patches assembled.

Today, I added 3.5" scrappy squares to the mix and then started sewing everything together.

testing background fabric
I had some trouble deciding on my background fabric...I didn't want to do scrappy so I had to choose fabrics from my stash that I had at least 3.75 yds. available. I made a few samples and then I chose one of them. I really want to use only stash for this quilt and I think I have made a pretty good choice. I still need to sew some more green/neutral 4 patches because as it stands I don't have quite enough for a full sized quilt and I will continue with that over the next few days. I am really happy with the way things are going so far with this quilt.
The above photo shows the actual colour - this looks a little faded.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sew n' Social

This morning I took part in the Sew n' Social function hosted by the Region of York Quilters Guild. The idea was to make 18 baby quilts that would be donated to the Rose of Sharon which is an organization that helps young mother's and their children. The quilt kits were already made up and provided to us by the Outreach volunteers. All we had to do was bring our sewing machines and our enthusiasm!

I arrived a wee bit late and I did take part in a lot of the social part of the function so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped but I had such a good time...I met more people and that was really good! I even managed to get most of a baby quilt top pieced together and I just finished it up when I got home. These really are baby sized and will finish at around 36" square.

flimsy pieced by another Guild member
I also brought home one flimsy that another member pieced together and I will quilt it and sew the binding on it. I will make a point of getting them finished in time to bring to the next Guild meeting.

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Block Lotto

This month's block is huge...it will finish at a whopping 14". This is really outside my comfort zone because I usually make my blocks  a lot smaller. When I am working on a quilt I prefer my blocks to finish less than 9" although I have made some 12" but they were very large to me. It is not a bad thing to live a little and get outside of that comfort zone!

The guidelines this month are the background fabric had to be green and the light fabric could not be white. We are allowed to enter up to 4 blocks this month. I am itching for Spring so I did both of my blocks with a purple contrasting fabric. The green in the second block looks a little yellow in the photo but it really is a very pretty green. As you can see the second block has much higher contrast than the first. As usual, the instructions were perfect and very easy to follow.

Pop on over to Block Lotto to check out the details. It is very easy to join and participation each month is not mandatory.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Round Robin

I am very happy....I finally got my latest round finished on my Round Robin quilt. It looks so good in person but when I take a photo it really does not do it justice. I think it has an old world charm to it...really quite wonderful!
close up of the latest border
For my round, I added narrow strips of a solid neutral and a dark green and lastly the zigzag. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish the corners and I thought I would try to continue the zigzag somehow but I couldn't make it work out. I got the final corners figured out on the second attempt. On my first try they were off a 1/4" on the alignment of the zigzag. I think it was because I had made the corner blocks exactly 6.5" and when I stitched them together they didn't align at all. I recut the blocks and made them over-sized and I aligned the zigzags as I sewed them and then trimmed to size. I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. My square is getting big - it is 40" now.

When I went to Toronto the other day I picked up my sister's block and I just love it. She did a great job on the border. It is very simple but effective! Her square is smaller than mine - just 33". Now I have to figure out what I am going to do with it. So many possibilities...so much angst...and a ton of fun.