Sunday, 30 October 2016


My friend Els, from the Netherlands, came over for a two and a half week visit.  We had a great time together.  She is also an avid quilter so never a dull moment here.  We spent lots of time in the sewing room together or hand stitching over cups of tea and enjoying chocolate chip cookies :-).  

While Els was here, Pat Palmer was guest instructor for my students in my sewing room.  She taught a class on landscapes.  She originally learned it at Heather Bell's studio in West Lorne, ON.  We used 1/2" bias strips of batiks and did a sample to learn the technique.  They actually turn out very nicely once they are put in a frame. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

This is Els' first one with a mat pinned in front of it

This is the first one I did in my first class in June
I found a frame and lighter mat for it - amazing how it changes the look! (White flecks are reflections from the glass.)
Els enjoyed her sample very much and we decided to try another one together.  We found a great photo in a calendar that our Church did this year as a fundraiser. We tossed batik fabrics onto the photo that would work and cut the 1/2" bias strips and then started putting together our version of the landscape. We asked Lisa Bishop for a .jpg of the photo she submitted for this calendar so we could share it here on the blog.

This is the original photo taken by Lisa when she was in New Zealand.  We loved the colours and the challenge of trying to get that island in the quilt and that grass in front of the water in the foreground.

This is Els' version with a very curved island and strip piecing for the water/grass.

I used the bias strips for the water/grass section as well as the island.  Totally different look, but both cool. That white fleck in the top right is reflection off the glass.  I'm a quilter, not a photographer :-).
We used photo frames that we found at our local thrift shop! It is amazing how the bias strips curve so much without puckering.  I'm sure we'll have a few more landscapes in our future. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

a Patch Job

Last December, I got a quilt finished for my granddaughter Kara.  You can read about that quilt here.  However, when they put the quilt on the bed, it was too small!  Apparently, bunk bed sizes are not all equal and I chose one on the internet that was too small.  Lesson learned:  Always measure it on the actual bed before finishing!  
This was the original quilt all finished including hand stitched binding!

I removed the binding, found fabric to match and sewed a narrow and wider border strip together.
I cut a strip of backing fabric and sewed the edge of the original quilt between the new border and the backing and then had to cut a strip of batting to add between the layers.

Then the process was repeated for the top and bottom borders and the quilting could begin

Spiral flowers were quilted in the new border and the edges were also filled in.

quilting on the back

Unfortunately, the borders shrunk in, so I washed it hoping the center would shrink, but it seemed to make it worse.  I pinned it to my design wall and sprayed it wet and that helped a bit.  However, it is now finished in time for the cool weather and is on the bed.  And, if it still doesn't fit, that's the way it's gonna have to be :-).