Monday, 29 January 2007

It all started way back when....!

Does anyone know what machine this is? This is a picture of Jake checking out his mother's hand crank sewing machine at age 2! Jake's Mom found this picture after we had started collecting machines! Was this destined or what, eh? We would really love to find one of these machines to add to our collection and display with the framed picture.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

I Spy Baby Quilt

This is an I spy baby quilt that I made for my long time friend, Wendy, who lives in Singapore. She just adopted a little girl about six months ago. I thought an I spy quilt would be great for her and chose fabrics with some Canadian maple leafs, a computer print, little girls' fabric, etc. I had a wonderful Mary Englebreidt border print which fits Wendy's personality very well, so I blended the colours to this border. I don't have a really good picture of the top, but above you can see the diagonal quilting with variegated thread. These quilts are a lot of fun to make. You can use many different settings, but this one was from the site. Oops, sorry, I just noticed that the quilt is upside down in the picture :-). The picture below shows the blocks on the design wall where you can see the various prints a bit better.

I made the quilt to fit into the width of the backing fabric which is also a Mary Englebreidt print which has been in my stash for years waiting for the right project! Of all things, I was 2" short on the length of the backing!! So, I pieced a row of leftover squares together and sewed it into the backing of the quilt.

In order to plan out this quilt, I went through my stash of novelty prints (which I store together on one shelf) and just started cutting out 4 1/2" squares. Once I had a huge stack, I put them on my design wall with the four patch blocks in between. I have lots left for several more quilts.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Sewing on a toy sewing machine

In 2004, the Aylmer Museum hosted a display of toy sewing machines. Our Canadian Sewing Machine Collector's Group participated by lending many wonderful machines to the museum for display. We also participated in several raffle projects. I made this little doll quilt using the toy sewing machine pictured below. This little quilt is made with 1930's reproduction fabrics. I think I cut the squares 2 1/2". The machine sews a chain stitch. It is quite tricky to sew with these chainstitch machines as you have to be very careful pulling the work out of the machine or all the stitch will come out.

This is a Singer Sew handy electric toy sewing machine model 50. The black knob on the right side turns the motor on and the lever is pulled to start the machine stitching. Then you hang on with two hands to guide the fabric through. This would have taken some coordination for a child to get all that together!

It was fun making the little quilt. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of it after it was quilted. I did sew a line around the border of the quilt on the inside so that the chainstitching would show on the border before I quilted it.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Scrappy blue and white quilt

With the talk on my sewing machine collector's internet list about Bonnie Hunter's wonderful quilt site,, I thought I'd post a picture of my work in progress. I discovered Bonnie's site almost a year ago and immediately fell in love with the scrap quilts on her site, especially the ones under the leader/ender pages. Since I do almost all my quilting on my treadles and antique and vintage machines, scrap quilts fit right in! I fell in love with the blue and cream quilt Bonnie made using the leader/ender system and started organizing my scraps in Feb. 2006. Before I knew it I had a little stack of blocks which grew and grew. Last week I decided to see how far I was and put them on my design wall (hence the messies in the background of the picture :-). I just love the quilt! I have four squares left and will make another 28 so that I can add one more row around the quilt to have the dark 'diamond' shape finish to the edges. I will likely add a 3" navy border and bind it in the same colour. I'm already thinking on what I will do next with my leaders/enders :-).

Friday, 19 January 2007

Raggy Baby Quilt

Here's another baby quilt that I'd forgotten I had made...thanks to all who are getting me organized! :-) This is the quilt I made for Cailyn VMS. It's made of two squares of unwashed flannel with an x quilted through each square. The squares are sewn together with 1/2" seams exposed and you clip the seams every 1/4". Then you throw it in the washer and dryer a couple of times to get a chenille look to it. They make very soft and cozy quilts.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

My Singer Centennial 15-88 Canadian treadle

Wow, two posts in one day! This is the 15-88 treadle that I do most of my sewing on. It was difficult to get a good picture of it in my tiny sewing room, but you get the idea. It was made in 1951 (Singer's Centennial year) in St. Jean, Quebec Canada. It is set up right now for free motion quilting; I just use the generic plastic free motion foot and it works just fine on this machine.

I Love my Treadle

At our Canadian Sewing Machine Collector's Society, we issue a challenge almost every year. For 2006, this was the fabric that inspired the challenge which we entitled, "I Love my Treadle". We could make anything we wanted that expressed that theme. I had recently purchased the pattern, "Through My Window" by Patchworks Studio and thought that would be fun to use with this fabric. It took some fiddle fussing because these treadles are so large and hard to fussy cut without having the next treadle appear in the block, but by covering up behind the corners with some other fabric, it worked well. I added some antique crocheted lace that I got in one of my antique sewing machine drawers to look like lace curtains reflecting my Dutch heritage. This is the resulting wall hanging that I made. Doesn't it look like I love my treadle? :-). I even won first prize at the challenge for it! When I put the borders on it, they were really black, so I added scraps of batiks that were the discards from curved piecing blocks I made last year. I added a 'lippy' between the border and the binding. A lippy is a narrow strip of flat piping sewn between a seam. I used my vintage Bernina 807 minimatic to satin stitch the edges of the window and, of course, the Singer Centennial 15-88 treadle, made in Canada, to do the quilting. It is quilted with simple stitch in the ditch along all the windows and borders.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Washday at Amanda's!

I asked DD Amanda for a picture of my grandson Joey's quilt, but she didn't have one of just that quilt. However, she did send this picture of all the quilts that I've made for her as she aired them all on a nice day. From right to left...the quilt made for their wedding (pieced and quilted on the trusty 15-88 Singer), Brian's graduation from university quilt (using the trail to treadleonia block), quilt from Quiltmaker magazine when Amanda went to college, Joey's baby quilt, a Christmas lap quilt and the very first quilt I made! It was the quilt for Amanda's bed using the sister's choice block and scraps from clothing I'd made for her when she was a little girl. This quilt was made in 1989/90 before I started collecting machines. I used my electric Omega which is standing forlorn in a closet!

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Grandchildren Quilts

Joshua's "Lotsa squares blanket"

Lauren's quilt using the same blocks as Aiden's quilt

Leah's Quilt

Closeup of the quilting in Leah's Quilt

The first quilt for each granchild gets handquilted. I finished all of the quilts before the baby was born except Leah's :-). Joshua calls his quilt his "lotsa squares blanket" and now has it at JK for school nap time after lunch.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Grandma's Sheep Quilt

This quilt was one of the fastest quilts I ever made. When my mother in law had a stroke in September, she was having difficulty reading. I saw a miniature quilt by Katy Sweigart in the magazine Quilt. It gave me the perfect idea for a quilt for my mother in law. I enlarged the blocks are a bit so we could write more than our name on it. I chose a pretty sheep fabric from my stash (our kid's nickname for this grandma was Grandma Sheep, so very appropriate). I chose the yellow, brown and green fabrics for the blocks to blend with the border. Each of Mom's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren (with a little help from their Moms) wrote their name and a favourite Bible text or greeting on the block. The blocks came back in record time and I assembled them into a quilt top. The border has a muslin inset on which I wrote the words of Psalm 23 around the quilt also including some other Shepherd texts to fill it up. The yellow 'lippy' (flat piping) gave it a nice accent and the striped binding fenced in the sheep :-). It was entirely pieced and quilted on the Singer 15-88 treadle. I will take a picture of that machine one of these days and post it :-). The quilt looks really nice on Mom's hospital bed and gives her much comfort.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Jesse's baby quilt

While we're on baby quilts, I found pictures of the quilt I made for Melissa and Doug's baby, Jesse Tyler. This quilt was sewn on my trusty 15-88 Singer treadle and the beige 301. I finished the binding while on vacation this summer. I got brave and used the 301 to quilt butterflies in the narrow red border...they turned out quite nicely. Figured a baby quilt is a great place to practice quilting free motion motifs as the baby won't care :-).

Aidan's Baby Quilt

Another baby quilt I made was for Janet and Stephen's baby, Aidan, born in July 2006. These were the leftover blocks from another quilt I made for my granddaughter. We didn't know if it was a girl or a boy, so I made a set of pink blocks and a set of blue ones. I hope to find the pictures of the pink quilt and post them next. Again this quilt was made on my 15-88 Singer treadle and quilted on it as well. The pattern was from a Quiltmaker magazine. The colours on the second picture are more accurate...the fluorescent lighting in my sewing room washes out the colours sometime on photos. The sewing machine in front of the quilt is my Pfaff B handcrank which I hope to use for sewing one day!

Monday, 8 January 2007

Rubber Ducky, You're the One!

Somehow it has become a tradition to make a baby quilt for the first baby of the young girls in my Church. This is the quilt I finished last summer for my friend Angela and her husband John for their baby girl. Angela has her upstairs bathroom painted bright yellow and has rubber ducky accents. Of course Ange's quilt had to have yellow and ducks! The shape for the quilt happened because I ran out of yellow fabrics for the corner squares :-). It was pieced on my 15-88 Singer treadle and quilted on a beige Singer 301 during my vacation up north.


Saturday, 6 January 2007

One of the enjoyable benefits of belonging to our Canadian Sewing Machine Collector's Society is participating in a block exchange. Our group is rather small so we managed to get 12 participants who each made 12 identical blocks. We had to choose a 1930's pattern and 1930's reproduction fabrics. We each received 12 different blocks and this is the setting I chose for my quilt. The Sunbonnet Sue block (2nd row, center) is the block that I did. I used my 1939 Singer 15-96 hand crank sewing machine which is made in Canada.
Believe it or not, I've joined the world of blogging! I have been intending to learn to add pictures of my quilting to a web page, but haven't had time to really learn that. Hearing from others how quick and easy the blog site is, I've decided to use the blog to post pictures of my quilt projects. Now let's see if this will actually work :-).