Saturday, 7 December 2019

SQUIRREL and Jacquie Gering walking foot class

In September, I was able to take a class with Jacquie Gering on quilting with the walking foot.  Her book, "Walk" has great ideas and tips, but actually doing the quilting under her watchful eye is really helpful.  We had an enjoyable day trying out different techniques and making samples of many designs.

I took my older vintage Bernina 830 along and it worked very well with only a little wrinkling.  I could not figure out how to reduce the pressure on the presser foot on this machine.  When I got home, I thought it would be fun to try a little quilting on a few small pieces.

My friend, Mary Lou and I love to get each other sidetracked with new projects all the time.  Everytime we come up with a new idea, we will email it to each other with Squirrel in the subject line.  The friendly competition has resulted in both of us getting into squirrel mode and starting a new project before all our other ones are finished! 

In our small quilt guild, we make quilts for our local hospital's chemo unit.  We received a donation from someone with 2332 squares that are 1"!  Our President challenged us to make a quilt with at least that many squares.  She was sort of joking, but 15 of us jumped right in to try that.  Mary Lou was NOT going to do that!  Too time consuming.  I kept bugging her and sending her fun pictures of beautiful quilts made with 1" squares.  And, then one day, she told me she had found some 1 1/2" strips in her stash and started sewing them together "just to see how long it would take" LOL.  Before long she had a top done and quilted!  She is now working on her second one!

I was shopping with a friend of mine and we were teasing each other about all the 'squirrels' we were tempted with when the shop owner asked why we kept saying "squirrel".  We explained that it's like taking your dog for a walk and how he darts off when he sees a squirrel.  "Oh" she said, "Have you seen the panel in the sale bin?"  The squirrels on this panel were so adorable and for $5.00, who could resist that?  I immediately thought of Mary Lou and when I got home, found a bunch of 1 1/2" strips in my stash that matched one of the squirrels in the panel and stitched a border around it.

I decided to try quilting it with the walking foot as Jacquie had instructed.  I drew a wavy line from corner to corner going both ways and got about halfway finished when I took a good look at it and realized it was very very crooked.  Here you can see how crooked it was! (click on the photos for a larger view)
the very crooked quilting!
 I could not live with this!  I picked all the stitching out again and basted it carefully.  Meanwhile, I mentioned to my husband that I couldn't understand why you couldn't loosen the pressure on these machines.  He told me that you could!  Wow, I've only owned this machine for 20 or so years and now finally find that out!  He helped me loosen the pressure a lot and I re-quilted it...much better!

All fixed up!

Quilted with the walking foot with 1/2" lines
Mary Lou with her Squirrel
The rest of the panel - aren't these squirrels adorable? 

A huge thank you to Jacquie Gering for her wonderful class!  I'm excited to try some more quilting with my walking foot!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Another Peaked insert quilt

Forgot that I hadn't blogged this peaked insert quilt either!  I made this one for a friend going through some health issues back in April!  She loves flowers so I found this 'panel' in my stash and cut it and added a purple sashing to make it big enough to equal a panel.  It really turned out like "spring" 🙂.
 (click on the photo to enlarge)
Single panel...they were printed two beside each other which was the perfect size.

Finished quilt

I quilted this one overall with a funky flower pattern
Found a fun polka dot with all the colours for a backing and a perfect stripe for the binding. Amazing what's in the stash 😀

Farm panel comfort quilt

Last year, a friend in one of my quilt groups experimented with a way to use some of the many panels that have been donated to our small quilt guild.  We all loved the results and got her to demonstrate it at a retreat and then to come and teach it to us a couple of times.  These are addictive 😀.  I've already made a few (first one here) and finally got this one completed and off to the hospital. 
(click on the photo for a larger view)
Original farm panel

Finished quilt

Quilted this one with loops all over

Found a fun iris fabric in the sale bin for the backing

Comfort quilt

I'm woefully behind in my blogging again!  But, I have been very busy sewing up a storm! This summer I worked on quilting up some tops for our comfort quilt project for our local hospital.  I belong to two small quilt groups and we make lap quilts for the chemo unit of our local hospital.  

This quilt was put together with green and pink scraps that we had in the donated stash (along with a few others from my stash to get enough for the top).  This was a fun quilt to do.  I just quilted it myself with large loops down each row. 
(click on the photo to enlarge.)

quilted with large loops in each row

We had a lot of one floral fabric and used it for borders, but it needed a little more width, so it got dark grey half tumblers and also grey binding around it.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Another UFO finished

Finally finished the binding on the last of a set of four table toppers/runners this morning.  This was my first attempt at a using 6 panels for a OBW.  I bought this panel in a very good clearance, but there were only 6 panels so I could not keep one intact to incorporate into a lap quilt.  So, I decided to make table runners with them, grouping the blocks into like colours.   
(Click on the photos to enlarge for a better view.)

the original panel

I added triangles between the blocks which really shows the design in each block ☺

quilting in the center

corners were quilted with straight lines

This layout was set with a lime green shot cotton.  This resulted in a totally different look!

quilting in the center

funky feathers in the border

I had enough random rust coloured blocks left to space them symmetrically and added a thanksgiving print for the border.

this one is quilted with straight lines in the border and 'orange peel' quilting in the blocks

I was going to throw these out as they were quite boring, but the Dutch frugality wouldn't let me LOL.  It turned out very nice with the dark red setting triangles and borders.  Every block was used up in the runners ☺.


the orange peel quilting in the blocks works very well for OBW blocks.
Happy to check four more UFO's off the list!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Emma's Fancy Forest Quilt

I'm working on making a bed quilts for my grandchildren and this week I got Emma's Fancy Forest quilt finished.  This is a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.   Emma has been very patiently waiting for her older cousin's quilt to get finished before I could get hers done ☺.  I started on this one about three years ago and would work on various animals at retreats.  This was a time consuming quilt and needed to be broken down over time! 

I started with a bundle of FQ's I picked up years ago at a quilt show which had Emma's name all over it.  I put one of the bundle in each of the 8 rows and added tone on tone colours to the rows. You need 8 rows of 5 FQ's and there's a very good plan of instructions in the book which helps keep all the pieces in order.

Everything is cut according to the directions and then put in baggies which are marked with the proper animal.  When it came time to do the next animal, I would cut the strips down to the small pieces and lay them out on batting remnants.  This was great as you can stack them and take them to a retreat or sewing area.

The animals were meant to be arranged with the cool colours at the top and warm colours at the bottom.

I rearranged the animals and we liked this arrangement better.  The animals looked happier :-)

After some fine tuning of colours, this was the final arrangement.

The quilt was quilted with a lovely wavy pattern and green thread which Emma helped pick out.  It was quilted by Julie Cassidy.  I bound it with 12" strips of about half of the colours in the quilt.

(Click on the photo to enlarge the photos.)

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Treadleon Autumn Leaf Exchange - an old UFO

Here is a blast from the past!  A UFO from 2003!!  And, it's finished 😀.  This is one of those quilts that present a huge challenge and makes me keep waffling.  

In 2003, the Treadleon group (dedicated to sewing on people powered sewing machines) hosted an exchange of 12", 9" and 6" autumn leaf blocks.  I did a set of 12 blocks for each size.  Of course this is a challenge to put together already.  But, a fun puzzle.  However, life keeps getting in the way and interrupting the process.  And, the one thing that really challenged me was whether or not to put that one pink and purple leaf block in!  I did not want to leave it out as it was part of the exchange and truly what that person would see out of her window in the fall.  I dug around in my scraps and found lots of fall colours and made up some half square triangles and flying geese units to make coping strips to fit the sizes of the various blocks.  I put in two purple scraps to try to tie in the block.  That took some juggling as more than two did not work!  This was done in 2014.  Then the top went off to the local Senior's center where the Busy Bees hand quilted it for me.  And, then it sat in my room for a long time waiting for the task of making a label.

Purple daisy in the flying goose
I had made a drawing on paper of the basic quilt layout with the paper and fabric labels pinned to the proper spots.  Finally last week, I found the quilt under a pile of stuff and decided to get it finished ☺.  The label is huge and more functional than pretty, but this quilt is one that I will use myself.  Great memories of a lovely block exchange with the Treadleon group.  

Arranging the blocks and spacers

the purple block

outside on the patio
This quilt will look nice in the fall hanging on the railing in our livingroom


The label.  There were five fabric labels which I hand stitched onto the larger label.
Here are some closeups of the label for those Treadleon members who participated (click on the photos to enlarge).  Do any of you remember this exchange? ☺

So happy to have this one finished.  I have another set of blue and white blocks from 2000 from this group...should work on those next!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Hand Stitching Musings

Kathy Quilts has been hosting "Slow Sunday Stitching" link ups for 7 years.  I have been following her blog for many years as we are very similar in the number of UFO's we have and the number of new projects we tend to start without finishing those at hand.  But, we both enjoy the journey 😀.  

As I sat under my new pergola in my back yard hand stitching binding onto a quilt for my grand daughter yesterday, I was pondering the idea of Sunday rest.  As I grew up, Sunday was always a day of rest, patterned after the Biblical ordinance of Sabbath rest set by God when He created the world.  We went to Church twice, visited with our Church family and rested from our daily busyness and work.  It was sometimes a busy day, but the change of pace from the everyday routine was very restful. We were allowed to do hand stitching, but not work on something that 'had' to be done in a hurry.  

When we got married, my husband and I also decided that for our family, Sunday would be a day of rest and rejuvenation for the new week.  We came across Isaiah 58: 13 and 14 which mentions "delighting yourself in the Lord".  This seemed a very fitting focus for the day...not a day to be full of "rules" but a day to focus on God, going to Church, encouraging and visiting with our Church family and friends, and resting.  Yesterday was a perfect day weather wise, so we sat outside on our patio with the new pergola structure.  As I hand stitched, my thoughts lingered on the sermon and the worship at Church in the morning, and pondering the many blessings we receive each day.  My husband was reading and we enjoyed a yummy cup of Douwe Egberts coffee, which I bought last week at a Dutch store, and a piece of "boterkoek" that my daughter in law made for us.  Everything is so green out there with all the rain we've had and the birds were singing up a storm ☺.  Indeed, a day of rest.

I'm linking this post up with Kathy's link-up with thanks for the many years of enjoyment reading her blog.  She has inspired me in many ways. 

Putting the binding on a quilt for my granddaughter

trying out the new shade panels on our pergola

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Nautical free motion quilting sampler

Yesterday I found a long lost project that has not been blogged yet!  Wow, It's been finished since August 2016!  I realized it never got blogged because I hard a hard time getting good photos of it.  So, I took it outside and got a few half decent shots.  I'm not a photographer for sure 😄. 

This was a very fun quilt along project that Lori Kennedy hosted on her blog in 2016.  I did another quilt along with her in 2014.  They always look so scary, but once you put that needle into the fabric and step on the pedal, it really does work!  She gave great instructions to divide the piece up with chalk lines and then we did several rows each week.  First we practiced doodling on paper and that really does get your brain in gear!  There are a lot of little wiggles and wrong directions, but when you get the whole thing finished you can never find them back.  Since it had a nautical theme, I found a beach print I had in my stash that I picked up on our trip to PEI.   I just hung it up in my sewing room to celebrate the summer season. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

rows of nautical themed free motion practice

the back on my new folding wooden chair that needs to be painted yet

The light kept reflecting off that bright blue

a bit closer

I found a lovely striped multi coloured fabric for the binding.
Thanks Lori for the inspiration to keep pushing ourselves to try new things.  I have a whole stack of table runners to quilt.  That will give me good practice again!