Sunday, May 17, 2015

A great sewing machine for our collection....

This past March, we were asked to do a trunk show for the Chatham ON Canada quilt guild, which is about an hour's drive from our place.  We took along several of our antique and vintage sewing machines as well as a couple of buckets of quilts to show what can actually be sewn on old machines.  There was a reporter at the meeting from a local newspaper and he asked if he could take my picture with an old machine.  We had a good chat and he took a few notes and then said he was going to stay for a few minutes.  He ended up staying for the whole presentation and did a really nice write up.  You can read the article here.  The story was picked up in our home newspaper as well as in several other cities in the area.

The article mentions a framed photo we have of Jake, when he was two years old, trying to take his Mom's old sewing machine apart!  This is the only photo we have of the machine and it's backwards.  We asked Jake's Mom, but she had no recollection of the machine or the brand at all.  We would love to add this machine to our collection :-).  We did see one on eBay several years ago, but it went way above our price range to purchase it.  Who knows, maybe we'll run across it at a yard sale someday :-). 

Jake at 2 years old already tinkering with old machines

That article in the paper resulted in a number of calls about sewing machines that we may wish to purchase.  Most of them were great machines, but did not fit into our collection.  There were so many millions of machines made that there is just no way you can get them all.  However, one phone call, from a gentleman in our own community resulted in this very fun addition as we focus on machines with Canadian connections.  This little beauty is a Singer 99 with the 1939 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto badge on it.  We are in the process of servicing it and getting it running smoothly.  I hope to sew something on it with a Canadian connection.

Singer 99

Canadian National Exhibition Toronto, ON 1939

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Quilts for the granddaughters

My daughter in law expressed interest in quilts for her two daughter's beds as they are renovating their bedroom.  She asked if I would help her.  Of course!!  What fun.  We tossed some ideas around and since Jannyne loves the One Block Wonder quilts (she helped me design my very first one, which I haven't even blogged yet!), we decided to go shopping one day to see if we could find two fabrics that would be different, but blend together.  

Fabric for Lauren's quilt
Fabric for Leah's quilt
Jannyne pinning the blue fabric

I'm pinning the butterfly fabric.  Since it has only a small repeat, we are doing two sets of repeats and cutting the triangles 2 3/4"

First butterfly hexagons

First hexagons from the blue fabric

Jannyne sewing her very first quilt on my Singer 301.  Her seams were perfect and she did a great job!

Lauren gets to help her Mom arrange the half hexagons

Leah is helping Grandma put up half hexagons and cubes for her quilt

I set up a table for Leah with a whole bunch of light, medium and dark triangles cut out and Leah designed cubes for her quilt for me to sew together

The finished layout for the first quilt.  We will sew the top together next and then layout the butterfly quilt

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sarah and Shane's wedding quilt

I realized I had not posted pictures of Sarah and Shane's wedding quilt yet.  I had it finished for awhile, but because they live several provinces over, way out in lovely PEI, I had to wait with posting pictures until they got it :-).  They were married last summer and I had hoped to send it along with someone driving to PEI, but ended up sending it off to them in the mail.   I had started this One Block Wonder quite awhile ago using a lovely Jason Yenter print.  When I heard that Sarah was getting married, I thought this would be the perfect quilt for her.  Sarah took quilt classes from me for a year or so before moving to PEI.  I knew she would love this one as a quilter herself.

A strip of the original fabric was pieced into the backing
This photo shows more of the original fabric, but the colours are more blue.  This fabric was very hard to photograph.

the final layout with some of the border pieces added
leaf quilting in the blocks

the label
A photo of the finished quilt with the little one I made three years ago for my husband's office at school.  He is a High school vice principal and when they built the new school, his office needed something for the wall.  We called this quilt "Stepping towards the Light" as he works in a Christian School.  I wanted to use all the cubes I had made, so he suggested putting one towards the right "since there's always one kid that falls off the wagon" :-).   
It was made using a 2" strip cut off the 6 layers of fabric before I did the larger one.  It was difficult getting a good photo of the quilt on the wall as it is hanging beside a window.  The colours are more like the photo above.  This little quilt won 2nd prize at the Plowing Match quilt show a couple of years ago.

My friend, Roxene, bought the exact Jason Yenter print, but in the red colourway and is also making a OBW with it.  I will post photos of that one when it is finished.

Hannah's Baby Quilt

I've been very behind in blogging lately!  I shall see if I can catch up :-).  I finished Hannah's baby quilt on time for the shower that was held in February.  This is another I spy quilt made using the disappearing 9 patch pattern.  I had made one for another baby in our Church, but miscalculated on the math and ended up with enough blocks for another baby quilt.  I added borders to make it big enough. 
Found this cute children's print for the backing

I had one square left so used it for the label

Border quilting
Since there was a grid in place, I tried some interlocking squares for the quilting in the blocks.   This is more difficult than it looks!  It is very easy to make crooked lines in certain directions!  Baby quilts are a great way to practise since the baby won't care :-)
Finished quilt

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Two Baby quilts

With two new babies coming along at this busy time of the year, I needed a quick pattern.  I visited the Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph with a couple of friends and saw a very cute baby quilt displayed on the wall.  The pattern is Posh Tot by Christy Marnell (Blue Underground Studios, Inc.).  I had all the fabrics in the house and cut both at the same time.  If you try this pattern, be sure to cut the solid pieces out of the length of fabric, not the width.  This was not clear in the directions, so I still ended up having to piece the two sides.  These two quilts worked up quickly and were fun to make!  The straight line quilting was very easy, but still takes longer than you think it will.  The nice thing is, you can listen to an audio book since you don't have to concentrate on it :-).

The top of the orange quilt for a baby boy

The top of the yellow quilt for a baby girl

Both quilts finished

Straight line quilting

Baby Aurianna with her new quilt (Thanks Trish and Scott for the photo :-)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Free motion practise with Lori Kennedy

Free motion quilting is one of those skills that needs practise, practise, practise which is boring :-)   There are always so many things that need to be done.  I keep procrastinating and trying to get motivated.  Excited to report that I've discovered the solution to that problem by coming across a blog by Lori Kennedy called The Inbox Jaunt.  Lori suggests using squares of solid coloured cotton and quilting practise motifs and then binding them and using them as vase quilts or mini wall hangings or just collecting them :-).   This has just motivated me to actually get around to trying these wonderful ideas.  (She also suggests making up a whole bunch of little sandwiches in various colours, but I haven't gotten quite that organized yet LOL.)

Every Tuesday she posts a tutorial on a new design or an adaptation of one of her earlier ones.  I decided to jump in and find a piece of green Kona cotton and to make a 12" square doodle piece of a Christmas tree and then I could possibly use it in my table top hanger which I want to rotate seasonally and on special holidays.  I really just slapped this triangle onto a 12 " square of cotton and started at it.  My original idea was to quilt straight lines up and down the tree and fill in with different designs.  However, I should have used a different angle ruler, so I drew two lines and started doodling!  The two lines helped get the angle I wanted.  I just got Angela Walter's new book and it showed the design that I used in the center to fill in a triangle - perfect!  I used variegated King Tut thread , but switched to green for the background.  I was trying to make snowballs LOL.  I should have drawn my grid lines a little closer together, but "finished is better than perfect", the Dear Jane quilters would say.  (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

The tree before binding.  I am still debating quilting something in the strip under the tree, but not sure what.  Can always add that later :-)

With binding and hanging on the table top stand. 

The backing - a Jason Yenter print

Lori also instructs you to doodle a lot on paper to get the hang of a design.  That definitely does help.  I started a notebook to practise and keep it by my computer so I can doodle various motifs that she suggests.  Onward ho to a poinsettia. I did doodle a lot of poinsettia's before getting the hang of them.  The colour in these pictures is way idea where the orange comes from!  The piece is actually dark red more like the bottom photo!!

the center poinsettia

this orange peel motif was very fun

Finished little quilt bound and ready for the table

Thanks so much Lori for the motivation to get me going on this!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

New Leaders/Enders Selvage project

I spent some time this week cutting 5" squares of white fabric for foundations for the basket weave selvage quilt in Karen Griska's book on Selvage Quilts.  I made the cube quilt in 2012 and had a lot of fun doing it.  I didn't have a leaders/enders project on the go right now and decided this one would work well.  So, my little tray is all ready to go and I have three squares finished and 40 white squares cut out.  I will need to cut more later as I'd like to make it into a larger quilt.  My selvage baskets (3 of them!!) don't look like they've had anything taken out of them at all.  I even threw a whole garbage can full of selvages away that are too skinny or flimsy or ugly!  The big problem is they get stirred up LOL. 

leaders/enders all organized :-)