Tuesday, 30 October 2007

A Posy table runner for Heather

My daughter in law, Heather had a birthday on Canadian Thanksgiving day, October 8th. She happened to mention that she would love to have table runners for all seasons for her home. I went to a quilt show the week before and picked up a fun kit for a simple table runner containing two of the 5"charm packs from the Peas & Carrots line of fabrics. On Thursday, I picked up Fons & Porter's new Fun and Easy quilt magazine (link below) and there was just the table runner for these fabrics! I found out that I could get one table runner out of each charm pack so set out to make two right away so I could have one for my kitchen as well. By Saturday night (after a trip to the quilt shop to pick up more binding fabric!) I had both of them finished. So, now I don't feel guilty for starting a new project when I have so many UFO's because they're both done!!! :-) Heather loved her table runner. Aren't they just so much fun!?

Here is a closeup of the posy. I used the striped 5" charm squares for the yo yo's and added a button to the center.
Raided my stash to find just the perfect background fabrics for the posies...one with tiny blue circles and one with tiny red ones. This fabric has been in my stash for ages...proof that a perfect project will come along if you wait long enough :-). One runner was quilted with single looped flowers in the squares and the other with double loops and leaves.

Here is a picture of the original table runner in the magazine. Check out the link for information on the magazine which has the pattern. Fons & Porter

New Psalm block

This is the 6th block in the Quilting the Psalms (see post of October 19). This block is based on Psalm 16 and is called End of Day. I decided to use brown and green again since I was drifting to a lot of blues lately :-). The browns and greens were perfect for an end of day kind of scene and I put in the little touches of yellow for the sun going down at the end of the day. Verse 7 really fits with this block:

7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

Monday, 22 October 2007

She Love me, She Loves me Not, She LOVES me!

When I first saw this quilt in the May /June issue of the Fons & Porter magazine, I knew I had to make it for my husband! It took me a few years, but I finally got it finished for his birthday in September this year. When I started making the blocks and assembling the center of the top, I realized that this quilt was a lot bigger than I thought it was. So, I did not add all the borders that were in the original quilt as I wanted it to hang in his office above his computer. The letters are embroidered with an outline stitch on solid black cotton.I also assembled the blocks from bottom to top so that Jake can see the complete daisy at eye level when he sits at his desk. As the eye travels from block to block, a petal drops off each flower. With each block the suspense increases...loves me? loves me not? At the last flower pot, it ends "Loves me"! Phew :-). Here it hangs above his desk to brighten up his white office walls.

Hearts are hand quilted in each pot. It took me awhile to find the right colour to resemble clay pots.

Quilt top:

I found a few daisy buttons in my stash and added them at random to the o's of love on the border. The centers of the flowers are yo yo's with a button added.

This was a really fun quilt to work on. Now I need to make curtains for this room as well! That could be a challenge :-).

Tracy and Terry's Quilt

I needed a wedding gift last week for a wedding and put together the squares I was using as a sample for a rail fence quilt class. This was one of these quilts that just went together with fabric I had in my stash! Amazing how some of these prints fit right in :-). It was a little pale til I added the gold in the narrow border and the narrow piping between the binding and last border. It was pieced on my Singer 301 electric machine this time and quilted on the that same machine until my darning foot cracked! I finished it on my vintage Bernina 807 minimatic.

The quilt was quilted with meandering lines in the center, a swirly pattern in the floral border and leaves in the green border. I used King Tut variegated green thread which gives a nice effect on the light and dark.

Closeup of the borders before quilting:

I didn't have enough of any one fabric for the backing, so I pieced it. The floral is a matching fabric to the second border fabric.

Quilting on the back:

Friday, 19 October 2007

My Dear Jane Journey has Begun

I started a quilt in September which I said I'd never do in my lifetime :-). I did a round robin project with a group of 5 friends last year and they wanted to do another group activity this year. A couple of the ladies had been eyeing the Dear Jane quilt. To see what the quilt looks like, take a look at the webpage at www.dearjane.com and you can see why I didn't think I'd ever want to do this quilt! Enter my friend Susan, who has already done a quilt. Her enthusiastic offers of help and encouragement, together with a few other friends joining was infectious and, the rest is history, as they say. I must say, this has been a very enjoyable journey so far and I have learned so much! Susan generously gave a day of her time and a bunch of us got together and she taught us several different methods of applique. These blocks can be done using various techniques; reverse applique, back basting, needle turn, freezer paper, paper piecing, hand piecing, sewing machine, etc., etc. Certainly no chance to get bored. The blocks are 4 1/2" finished and there are 169 in the quilt. You can also do intricate triangles for the border, but I don't know if I will do them yet. I decided to do my blocks in blues and white i.e. Delft's Blue look to reflect my Dutch heritage. Here are the first 7 blocks which I have completed (not in order):

H 12 Hannah Lou's Hearts. I used the back basting appliqué method. The heart on the left is the last one I sewed. You can even see improvement on the stitching as I went along. I also discovered silk thread for the last heart which really helps make the stitches more invisible.

L 11 Caitlin's Rose. This block is technically not finished as I don't like the way the white triangles do not line up in the block! I have traced the block onto paper again to redo it. This time I will pay more attention to putting the pieces on straight! It will go into a collection of 'reject' blocks. If our group comes up with enough of them, we might do our own 'reject block quilt' :-).

D 13 Field of Dreams. This was a very simple block so I figured I could get another block finished really quickly. It was the third one I did and I paper pieced it.

D 6 Challenge. I was on a roll and paper pieced this simple block.

C 12 Family Reunion. This was the very first block that I completed. I sewed this one on my Singer 15-88 Centennial treadle, my favourite sewing machine! You can see the diagram of the block as it appears in the book. I cut my book apart and put the pages into see through page protectors. I store the completed blocks in the sleeve.

G 1 Hattie's Hen House. I did this block using Linda Franz's freezer paper hand piecing technique www.lindafranz.com. I learned this for the Psalm blocks (see Oct. 18's blog post) and decided to try a Dear Jane block this way as well. I love the accuracy with this method.
F 13 Tour de France. This is the block we did on Sept. 14, 2007 when we got together with Susan for our lessons. The 'leaf' shapes were appliquéd using reverse appliqué, one of the circles using a cardboard template and starch to tack down the seams, and the other with the back basting technique. I really enjoyed the back basting!

I'm not sure what I got myself into and I'm probably crazy, but I'm having so much fun doing these blocks and making my own Dear Jane quilt and learning so many new skills. I figured this is a long term project. I'm allowing myself 10 years to finish it :-).

Got sidetracked!

I've been sidetracked with two major , but long term projects which started in September . With a group of friends from the internet and 'real life' , we started a Dear Jane quilt (I'll post about that in my next blog post). While surfing the 'net on the Dear Jane site, my friend Amy came up with Quilting the Psalms, which is a program run by Carol Honderich (see www.patternsoffaith.com). Amy talked me into doing it and we were off on a new venture. It is a Bible study with online friends and Carol designed quilt blocks to fit with the various Psalms that you study. I almost abandoned the project when I started the very first block and realized it had 41 pieces and the triangles were so small you could hardly pick up the pieces!! With the help of some of the experienced ladies on the list, I persevered and am so glad I did! I now know how to hand piece blocks and absolutely love it. You can do very intricate blocks and it's so relaxing working away on the next block while thinking about the Psalm we are studying or listening to a tape or the radio. Here are the first five blocks that I did:

Psalm 1 Prosperity

Psalm 19 Rising Sun

Psalm 37 Patience (this one really was a lesson in patience as I sewed the block wrong the first time and had to take more than half of it out to redo it!

Psalm 73 Road to Heaven

Psalm 90 Fly Away:

Monday, 1 October 2007

Monica's I Spy Quilt

I finally finished Monica's I Spy quilt for her baby! This quilt is done with 4" squares arranged from the lightest to the darkest. Since Monica's husband is a volunteer firefighter, I put in as many firefighter themed fabrics as I could find in my stash. I found some awesome wide ric rac trim and cut it in half and sewed it between the binding to frame it. Here is the finished quilt:

Fabricland had some cool animal themed vinyl templates which I used to quilt motifs in the squares with small loops between the blocks to tie them together. The cat was one of the motifs:

Closeup of the border and ric rac trim:

Monkey square:

Quilting from the back: