Sunday, 14 October 2012

It's Just around the corner. (warning: picture heavy post)


My three little monkeys enjoy our first snowfall of the year
Yep, we've already had our first snowfall of the year, 3 inches worth. Of course I got caught with my proverbial snow pants down since I wasn't expecting snow for a couple of weeks yet even though my internal weather barometer was insisting with great enthusiasm that snow was going to be early this year. 
New boots, ski suits or snow pants, hats, mitts and my eldest decided to have a growth spurt this month so she needed a who new winter wardrobe. Yep you guessed it... I am officially broke for the rest of the month lol.
Admittedly while many people are complaining about the weather, I am the one standing outside secretly enjoying the serenity of the fresh white blanket covering everything, the crispness of the air and what I call the midnight moment. It's that moment where everything is silent, the air is crisp and cool, there is very little light and you can just breathe and be.  I love winter... most of the time.

The other benefit to cold and snowy days is the excuse to stay indoors with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and make sure my sewing machine is in good working order ;) So over the course of the last 3 days I have accomplished quite a bit. First up is the completion of "Building Blocks" :
Feathers and Spiky Fern
Spiral Square

Fiery Comet

Swirling Water

River Path

Electric Storm

Poseidon's Eye

Variation of Sea oats

Zippling (Or something..)

Flowing Leaves

Converging Currents

Kelp and Puddles

Flowing Lines 

Converging Currents is me playing with River Path a little, if you've ever been to Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon you'll know exactly where I got this inspiration to try this

Kelp is located on the bottom left part of the picture and puddles is right next to it, I am not quite sure what I was going for when I started puddles it was one of those very forgiving mistakes we occasionally make, so whatever pattern it was originally, became puddles.

Flowing lines didn't show well on the front of the quilt as well as it did on the back and even then it's difficult to see. I am not sure I really like this pattern that much but I can certainly see it's uses, it's not something that I would want to quilt on a large scale, I find it a bit boring to quilt. (Is that bad? :D)

I chose a red/green plaid flannel binding completely for contrast purposes. I also wanted to see how flannel would work as a binding, to be honest I was quite surprised at how easy it was to work with. 
I had expected to have slipping and stretching problems and perhaps some bunching or waving. Turns out if you give flannel a really good steamy press it likes to retain it's shape. Out of sheer stupid luck I had cut the flannel correctly, all the stretch was from selvage to selvage. I had cut perpendicular to the selvage without even really thinking about it so my strips didn't stretch lengthwise. It was a good thing the had a little stretch width wise since I had done a 2 1/2 inch strip binding and it was just a teeny bit to short when folded over. YAY! Another project out of the way!

Next is the yellow quilt which I am thinking of naming 'Nemesis' simply because I've had so much difficulty with it or perhaps 'Lesson Learned' might be better since I am learning so much about piecing with this particular top. 
Last week I had gotten all the stitches picked and the backing taken off, but I really didn't have another bunch of fabric I could use for backing until I made a wonderful discovered hidden in the dark corner of my basement stash. I had so much fun piecing up a back for the first time, it is definitely something I plan to do more often.
I found this buttery yellow piece with little orange & white flowers, unfortunately the picture just simply does not do it justice. 
I think it may be a cotton voile, it is so thin and it was a bit difficult to square up. I didn't dare try for perfectly square just close enough.

No matter what other fabric I auditioned to match the yellow flower fabric I kept coming back to the peach stripe. This is a type of fabric I would make pillows out of (The bedroom under the pillow case type :D), I really didn't see any other use for it. This is another case of happy accident, I just happened to pile them together and VOILA!

This is the all over pieced back, when I opened up the yellow fabric I discovered there were a couple of stains on it so I had to cut around the stains, the biggest block I could get was 24x24.
Then I determined how much of the peach stripe I had and it wasn't quite enough to do much with so I did some math to determine what size of back I would need and cut strips to make up the difference.

Another lesson learned: Double check the measurements of your quilt top before you piece the back.. I was sure the quilt top was 50" so I made the back 54". It turns out the top is 52" and I had forgotten to adjust the strips to make up for the difference I had taken off the blocks (they ended up 22.5"), so my backing works out to 53". Ouch. Not a lot of room to play with there.  However the quilt fit rather nicely onto my kitchen table for basting purposes lol. 
Before you ask I am not worried about scratching the top of the table, it is so scratched, scraped and banged up a few scrapes from pins are not going to be noticed what so ever.  Our kitchen table is well loved :)

I ended up with some small patches of slight damage from having to pick the threads out.  The white fabric took the worst beating, I am hoping it just adds to the shabby chic charm ;D

I have nearly got this completely quilted, another 2 or 3 hours should see it done. 
Since that is next week's blog, pictures then!

Creatively Passionate? 


  1. I love the pieced back with the stripe fabric. I just did my first pieced back this week, I don't know why I never did it before, saved a lot of money that way and I think it is going to look great.

  2. Yes, cold weather makes it enjoyable to stay indoors around a nice fire, I mean sewing machine. You've been very productive!

  3. I love our Minnesota winters... lots of time to quilt & read! Plus it makes you enjoy summer that much more. I made my 1st pieced back with a strip of some leftover blocks and love it. Not only is it cute but it saves fabric. Your quilting is beautiful!

  4. Thanks everyone :) At least now I know what I am going to be doing with my leftovers from now on! I hate to waste anything.

  5. Very creative! Lucky us for winters! We never get bored! I really like your machine quilting. Did you do it on your domestic?

    1. Yep, I am using a Janome SUV 1122. It's a basic entry level Janome quilting machine, mechanical and no perks. For all that it's a basic machine I couldn't be happier with it, it's a workhorse! The only possible perk that I would want is the auto needle down function with the knee bar, that would save me some time when I am having to pivot or stop frequently :D

  6. Hi Chris! I'm happy to see you on the Needle and Thread Network! Hahaha I started reading the post and thinking about back home, and tada it was you. Your free motion quilting is looking awesome!

    1. YAY Sam! Thanks a lot that is high praise coming from you since you were the one who inspired me to try FMQ'ing :D
      We all miss you too, Tuesday nights just aren't the same.

  7. Your pieced back is lovely! And your free motion quilting is just to die for. Someday, with lots and lots of practice, I might be almost that good. I agree with you about cold weather making you more productive. Who wants to go outside when it's -20C, when you can just stay inside where it's warm and cozy, and quilt while you're at it? Irons make nice little heaters, too.


  8. Love your quilting!!! And I really like your background and header for your posts.

  9. Your yellow quilt is so sunny and bright! You'll be happy when it's totally done. Sometimes the pieces that give us the most trouble end up being the best loved ones.

  10. Your freemotion quilting looks great! And I love your yellow quilt. So nice.

  11. Snow already!!!
    The quilting is looking good!

  12. thanks for sharing as you figure things out it may just help all of us whenwe do the same thing...... in stitches


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