Saturday, 27 April 2013

On with the Show!

The wind doth blow...

And blow and blow and blow.... 

We've been gearing up for our local quilt show these past couple of weeks, slogging through snow & ice - rain & ice - ice & more ice... Now the winds blow (taking away all the ice and everything you are holding in your hands...) and they haven't stopped for the last 3 days! BUT!!! The show must go on!

I have chosen to show 2 of my quilts:

Broken Diamonds
Giant Granny Panties

I haven't had the opportunity to attend many quilt shows (2 as a matter of fact... :/) there is just something special about all those quilts, it's akin to reading a really great book that you just can't put down.  I am super excited to be able to help our guild show off our skills. 
On a personal level it's a real milestone for me to be able to show my quilts, I didn't have anything to show last year.. well that I was comfortable showing...  it's amazing to see how far I have come as a quilter and as a person, I do think that there is a fundamental change to your personality when you begin quilting. For me the difference is prominently with my level of patience, I am by far a much calmer person and less stressed as well as becoming more confident with myself.

Now that I professed to being more patient, I confess that I've been impatiently itching to complete some projects on my table, mainly the scrappy trip along but I've been continuously quilting charity quilts for the guild and haven't made too much progress on my own work. Not that I am complaining!!!!! Practice makes perfect as we all know and I have been jumping on the opportunities that have come my way. Now the only thing I have to do is start remembering to take pictures! 

5 Charity quilts down and 3 more to go!

Passionately quilting the world.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Madness of Quilting

Lazy Spring Days...

Are a myth, I swear it!

I have been remiss in keeping up with my blog, mainly because I totally forgot to pay my internet bill, because I thought I had paid it already */facepalm* So we were without internet for over a week, most people would gasp in horror at such a happening but it was very refreshing to be unplugged and unaware for awhile. 
$3 a metre!!
Do you realize how much time is wasted with gadgets and television? I also realized how out of touch with each we have become because of these things. It was really uplifting to go out and visit people and really spend some quality connecting time with my kids.
 I even managed to sneak away for a "Mom" day.. by myself! How rare is that?! 
Of course, I had to tour all the quilt shops on my little getaway and brought home some absolute treasures, all of the fabrics came off the sale racks, and the striped ones came out of the bargain bin! 15 metres for $45, and the original price? $20-$22/m.  Doesn't that just make you cringe?  

I posted this teaser pic awhile ago and realized I totally forgot to show off the end result!!! 

Here they are, 2 pillows made from 1 pillow panel that I had stuffed in some deep dark recess of my basement years ago, I batted and backed the panels with extra puffy batt and then quilted Minnie and the various shapes in the panel, my girls are trying to convince me that they have not grown out of Minnie mouse and they should be able to keep these pillows, lol. Unfortunately for my daughters these will be gifted to a pair of special little girls with the quilts I am making for them ;) My girls will just have to wait for Christmas for their next goodies!!

 Speaking of which, I've made some serious progress on the quilt tops, I was hoping to have them done already but for the longest time I wasn't sure if I liked them, then decided I might as well add the rest of my idea and sure enough the applique made all the difference, they have a more complete look and feel.  It didn't help to have them hanging in the basement where I don't have the best light, bringing them up into the sunshine made me more confident that I was achieving the look and feel I was going for.  I think I will add a small border to both and then I can baste and quilt them. (Finally!!)

I am also pleased to pick up applique as a skill, I am definitely not a master but I like doing it quite a bit and I feel it adds that little bit of something to a project, you know what I mean?
The best part is I am not stuck in a box with applique, if I can draw it or even visualize it, I can make it in fabric.  Speaking of which, I have fallen in love with Misty fuze, I absolutely hate Heat'n'Bond (horrid stuff), steam a seam isn't bad but it still leaves residue on my needle. I still adore fusible fleece but Misty fuze is fantastic! A little hint, it doesn't have the paper like steam a seam so you will need a non stick applique surface (I can't remember with the board is called) or you can do what I did, I just cut off little bits put them on the wrong side of my shapes, then hovered my iron over them and gave them a burst of steam to melt the fuze a little so it would stick to the shape a bit and then I was able to place my shape or batt it and then a quick press was all that was needed to get the shape to adhere. I also did not have to worry about over pressing.  Zero Residue. ZERO! (Happy dance!)

Last but certainly not least, I've had some progress on my scrappy trip along, I ended up having to make more blocks since I have utterly fantastic adding skills... 12+8=30 ..... moving along.
I've only got the 4 blocks sewn together and I am dying to see what the whole thing will look like when it's all together, I really how these blocks are turning out and I only have 26 more to go.. is it to much to think I can have it done and ready to hang for the quilt show on the 28th?!

Quick quilt show plug: Mile '0' Quilters Guild is hosting a Strawberry Tea and Quilt show - Dawson Creek BC, April 28th at the KPAC centre (corner of 95th ave and 11th street). Entry fee is $5, there is a door prize and vendors from all over the Peace area. If your nearby or in the area, join us! 

(End of plug)

Passionately going mad,


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Lamb and the Lion

March... and it's still snowing.

As they say, In like a lamb and out like a lion.

I'd take a picture outside but it's too depressing, 10 days ago nearly all the snow was melted, sun was shining and you just knew spring was around the corner, heh, this is Canada and that is wishful thinking ;)
Last week we got hit with a 4 day snow storm, snow is back up the the knees and driving on the streets feels like being in tunnels since the piles on the side are as high as the house rooftops. One day I will see grass again, probably in June....

Alchemy from Intrepid Thread 
In the weeks since my last post, I've taken the time to reprioritize, build the ever dwindling stash *nudge, nudge, wink wink* and make sure I've gotten everything I need for my latest project:  Katie's Quilt by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

This project was based off of 5" charm pre-cuts and I don't buy charm packs (usually) since I think personally it is much cheaper and more original/unique to use stash/found treasures or yardage that you simply adore and make it all work together.
I did bow to the yoke of buying yardage, the Intrepid Thread shop carries half yard bundles. I bought the set: Alchemy.
Using quilter's reasoning I determined that it was completely okay to buy this package for my daughter's birthday quilt *nods sagely*
The picture shows the blue half of the bundle which is all I really needed for this particular project, so the red half (same prints in red and gold) will have to be put aside in my stash (oh gee darn...)  

I admit doing all of the cutting myself rather than using charm packs is a heck of a lot of work, I do appreciate all the hard work the lades at MSQC had put into the tutorial and pdf file that explains how to do things from scratch as well as using a charm pack. Made my life much simpler to have all the math done for me.  An idea for quilt cloth companies, 2.5" square towers of assorted solids, I am not feeling the 200+ 2.5" squares I am cutting up for this!

All in all, while I have made progress on multiple projects I am still in the middling stage with most of them, scratching my head and asking myself "What needs to be done next?"

Projects left to finish:

- Fairyland (applique work & border)
- Buzzing Garden (applique work)
-Vintage Scrappy Trip along-  is tripping right along
-Sea of Blue sampler quilt(s)- I am reordering my original plans
- Craftsy BOM Economy block & drafting... -I really am not into this block :/ (Drafting a different one !)
-Katie's Quilt- Nearly completed cutting
-Reminding myself not to start the next project that is haunting my mind until I have atleast 3 finishes!!!

*Phew!  I think that is enough to keep me occupied for awhile!


p.s How you doin'?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My, My! It's been awhile, hasn't it?

The Blitz.

Time just flies when you're having fun doesn't it?

 Charity comes first as they say. Over the last few weeks the guild here has had a Charity quilt blitz, we all sat down and did nothing but sew, sew and sew over a weekend, since our donation pile ended up being a whole pile of 3 from over a dozen! I wasn't able to get pictures of the other quilts made since they are off being quilted right now, I did manage to get the ones I did or helped with:

I found three more baby panels jammed in a corner of our fabric stash shelves, shook my head, took them home and quilted them since they are obviously in need of being owned by a special little person. The pink & blue top is a BQ (don't ask me what it stands for .. broken quarters? no idea :D), 4 of us worked on this one, the other 3 did the cutting and seaming of the pieces and I put all the blocks together and since I hate the sandwiching part so much, I am avoiding that like the plague and instead am offering to quilt it when it's sandwiched lol. (Good excuse right?!) Somehow I also managed to volunteer myself to quilt 4 or 5 other quilts on top of the ones I've pictured here.... I don't know how that happened!

While I was on a blogging break, (1 case of tonsillitis, 2 major cases of the flu, 3 days of exhaustion, 4 days of nothing but sewing and quilting, 5 days of running around like a chicken with my head cut off and a partridge in a pear tree..) I was not overly idle with my own stuff:
Mug Rug A

Mug Rug B
 I was doing some applique for the mug rug swap over at the Quilting Gallery blog, I made some minor placement errors but I really like how they turned out anyhow and I hope my swap buddy likes the results as well.
 Still continuing on with a couple of skill building samplers, I was having fun creating my own blocks and playing around with half square triangles.... I am not exactly sure where I messed up with my measurements except I think I was going to do try a half rectangle and did a square instead... meh I like it anyway!

 I also did my February BOM for the 2013 BOM, my January ones have apparently gone AWOL...

I am currently working on these two little projects... TEASER PIC!!!


Honestly, I think taking a small break was a good thing, it gave me time to gain perspective of what I really want to do. I was reading another blog earlier that I quite enjoy- Stitched in Colour - she has expressed my very thoughts in her most recent blogs.
Broken Diamonds is complete!
I have been questioning what I do, I think it is very easy to get caught up in following trends and wanting what you don't need or can't afford and feeling like you'll never get anywhere without these things.  Not only that, most of the people I know that are quilters tend to follow patterns & buy what they need rather than using what is on hand. That's not me and I am finding it a bit difficult to connect with my guild in that sense, if you understand?

Miz Carli over at Good Earth Quilting really flushed out my feelings about the way I quilt, she coined "re-crafting". I simply adore taking what I find and changing it from useless to useful. My Broken Diamonds is a perfect example, I did not buy ANY fabric except that black and only because I couldn't find anything black to match either in thrift stores or through connections (Yes I have fabric connections ;D), all the strips came from left over upholstery, work shirts or scraps that I have a tendency to acquire.

If you know anything about me, you'll know my love of vintage knows no bounds at all. Lately I've felt like I had to apologize for my preferences and really it's bummed me out, bad enough that I hadn't touched my sewing machine for nearly a week!!! (GASP!)  However sanity prevailed and my little machine whirred sweet nothings in my ear to entice me back to where I belong.  I really got inspired the other day and I am wondering if I was a little over inspired...

I was looking all over the internet for something to put inside the large cross blocks I did on one of the small quilts I did at the beginning of January, it's been hanging on my project line for over a month with no progress. I came across a fabulous artist who does fairy tale and fantasy works and provides a small selection of simply outstanding sketches for free. I was originally looking for some inspiration for applique but when I came across these drawings, I knew I found what I was looking for.

I printed out the pictures and used a transfer pencil to put the outline down and then just FMQ'd each one, I wasn't sure it would work and silly me I didn't do a test piece first.
I think they turned out stunning though and I was surprised at how well my machine handled all the tiny little stitches. Oh before I forget, I did batt behind these with tear away stabilizer at the bottom, I figured it would be just like an embroidered piece on a machine.  I think the stabilizer made a difference since I did not have any fabric movement once I had pinned down the corners, but as a con the stabilizer didn't allow for a lot of travel stitching (2 or 3 lines max) so I had to be a little creative at times to get back to where I needed to go without breaking thread.

 The centre square is part of a mandala drawing I found really inspiring, I did not use the outer 4 quadrants because I thought it would be too much, as it stands right now it seems a little lost in all that pink, but once the quilting is complete it will pop out of the centre like a medallion.
The same will be true of the fairies as well, I intended to use the gold like beige for their background and the pink thread for the background of the medallion, I did toss around the idea of white thread on the white squares, I even made up a sandwich to test the idea and I really just did not like the look of all that white with pink on top, the beige looked much better.

Passionately being Crazy.


When you square up your quilt... don't talk to a bunch of people while doing it... your quilt keeps getting smaller and smaller.....

It was 80x 80 and is now 74x74 finished! (Go ahead... bust a gut... I did!)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Not this week


I've had an email or two asking me when I was going to make my next post; (super exciting that someone wants to read my jibber jabber, right?! :D) However due to extreme cold weather, multiple kids and just general all around business, I have gotten a nasty head cold and feel like I've been hit by a bus that decided to also back up and hit me again for kick and giggles.

I should be doing a post next week, see you then.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Skill Building

Practice makes better! (And more scraps 0.o)

Perfection? I doubt I will ever consider myself perfect or even advanced in my skills, there is just simply so many things to learn and to continuously practice. I have been feeling that my piecing & cutting work needs to become more precise and to that end I started doing skill building tutorials & BOM's (Block of the Month, for those not in the know ;D). 
Log cabin
Various 9 patch
For example I have not even attempted a half square triangle yet, or any curved piecing, my attempts at the different styles of paper piecing are at best laughable and I've not really done any of the traditional template piecing; enter Sewn by Leila' s "We can do it" sampler.  So far I have managed to accomplish 4 of each of the log cabins and 9 patch, the churn dash block is up next and I am very excited to give it a try, some of the quilt tops I've drawn up will require HST's to create the pattern so while I like my ideas I do not have the skill yet to tackle them.

I am also doing the craftsy 2013 BOM, I don't know if I will have the patience for this!!!!!!  I want all the blocks on a weekly basis!!! Gosh darn it all.. 
No you do not need to adjust your monitor color display, nor your eyes, that is BRIGHT vibrant orange :)! I got sent some of the inner square vintage fabric, a beautiful 70's floral in citrus orange/yellow and green. This sampler will be strictly those colors and the fab vintage cream sheeting I am using with it.  It should be simply eye blinding when I am done, so exciting!! Oh before I forget, do sign up for this BOM if you are a beginning or even need a few pointers the instructor Laura Nownes pointed out many things that I completely did not know or had missed, she also walks you through on how to properly cut your fabric as well as how to get perfectly square blocks. Well worth the time!

I also whipped up the first of 2 quilts for a particular pair of special young ladies. Since I was practicing my patch work, I thought I might as well carry on and knock one of these off the start list.  There is a bit more work yet to be done, I am very pleased with the starting base, it has set the proper tone for the rest of the work. (I am not telling.. you have to wait :D)

Last on my list is my Dad's quilt, which I had planned on having completed this week. Instead I kept getting this:
This Quilt has been Sphinx approved!

My damn cat thinks it's his personal bed. He hasn't left it except for pressing cat business in a week. I'd be worried but our other cat chases him around so he gets exercise :D

Every time I think I can finish it, I just don't have the heart to boot him out of his comfy place lol.

That's it for this week... sooo... how you doin'?

Passionately waiting and working,


Monday, 14 January 2013

My organizational brain cell.. has gone mad....

Organization and Lists.... What?

The mighty pile....
Some how my stash has exploded onto my extra table and no matter how it looks, there is an organizational system here.
Recently I've gotten piles and I mean PILES of scraps & yardage from various sources. (I <3 it!!!) 

I have 5 different projects I want to get started on so I've been busily pulling stuff out so I know what I am going to do with what and how, possibly with a whom and know why and where. Problem: I forgot to put it all back again and proceeded on my merry way, then... kablooie!!! I didn't realize fabric had the command to be fruitful and multiply too . 0.o .

When it comes to space... I seem to be a little lacking in that department, so project #1 will be: Reorganizing and making a list of what I am doing with what, I am not a list maker.. I make a list and promptly forget where I put it. Perhaps I should make a list of where I make a list so I'll have some general direction of where I should look for the list I just have lost and then make a note of where I made my list of lists... 

I am just going to have to find a better organizational system.  
You can't hear it but I am laughing my arse off.

UFO No More

This is the completed "Broken Diamonds" quilt that I am making for my Dad.

I just have to bind it this week and deliver it.

The whole premise of this quilt was the idea of masculinity, the colors and shapes needed to scream "masculine". Therefore the quilting had to as well, around the centre foundation blocks I did Greek Keys, typically found prominent in Greek architecture or art and in my opinion very masculine.  Outside of that, I echoed the idea of the squares in "squippling". There's stippling and zippling why not squippling? Say it out loud too... it makes you want to giggle :D

I thought more squippling would be too much (I am going to find every excuse I can to use the word "squippling" now lol)  for the outside border, so out came the walking foot and guide and I just did a 2" wide line all the way around, except on the corner squares. I either ditch stitched or just followed the direction of the fabric rather than trying to figure out how to make it perfectly square. I really rather like the faux border effect it has, one of those little extra things that are always a bonus when you aren't expecting them.

 I am very glad I did not try to quilt anything over the centre squares, the ditch stitching made a fantastic pattern on the back side.
The back is made out of one flannel twin sized duvet cover that looked God awful as a duvet. It was like looking at sheets over your blankets, I am not complaining though, pulled apart and made into a backing it looks great and who am I to quibble over the $5.00 sale cost? 

Treading New Waters

 I wanted to step into the world of fabric dyeing, I decided to start very small and simple without outlaying a bunch of money for dyes I may not ever use again. With a bunch of white scraps I had left over from other various projects I bought a packet of pink dye and went to town with it. Most I just dyed plainly to get a feel for what I was doing, this piece in the pics I had a bit of fun with. By the time I got to this piece most of the dye strength was gone which didn't matter one whit to me as there are a few techniques I wanted to try, like over dyeing (haven't got there yet still looking for the yellow dye..), pattern dyeing using some tie dye t-shirt skills, saturation's and gradiation.

A list in pictures :)

 Scrappy Trip-a-Long... I just had too! I love the look of those quilts.
This will be for a quilt that I designed, hence my reason for choosing pink dye :D

Can you guess what this will be?

.... Nope no hints here ;)

Oh I nearly forgot!!! This was one of my prize finds out of the stuff that was given to me.  It's an old bedspread in perfect condition, I can't wait to show you what I have planned for this!