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,   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 has been gifted to my friend Sya who is enjoying it very much


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!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Comfort Quilts

At our small quilt group, Hearts and Hands of Elgin County, we make lap quilts for the chemo unit of the our local hospital.  One of our members is a nurse in that unit and is our liaison and helps distribute the quilts and keeps us informed when we need more.  Each person going through chemo at the hospital receives a quilt to comfort them as they go through a very difficult time.  And, for our group, it gives us a chance to try out different patterns and use up our stash or the fabrics donated by many people to the cause.  I recently finished up three quilts.  (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

This pattern is called Peaked Inserts and was taught to us by a friend.  It's a great pattern for using panels or scenery fabrics. I bought the duck fabric at another guild rummage sale for $3.00 for two yards of it :-).

I quilted this one with a simple wavy line design which worked up quickly using my free motion foot on my Bernina 830.

Found a perfect fabric in the clearance bin with weeds on it.
This quilt originally was meant for a back for the quilt pictured below.  The pinwheels are made from the corner cut offs of the star quilt.  But, the back turned out so nice that several ladies said it needed to be a front.  So I found backing for both and we ended up with two quilts.

The star quilt was made by all the ladies that attended a quilt retreat last November.  It was quilted by my neighbour, Chris who has a long arm machine. 

I found some jelly bean fabric in my stash for the new backing which wasn't quite enough and pieced it with a peach strip which matched the colours perfectly.

I quilted this one with funky flowers on my vintage Bernina 830.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

National Sewing Machine Day

Apparently today is national sewing machine day so I thought I'd post a few pictures of some of our machines:

We acquired this Canadian machine in 2016.  It's a Little Wanzer made in Hamilton, ON in 1867.  It has the date etched in it.  Fun to have a machine made in Canada's founding year.

A beautiful Raymond No 1 - made in Guelph, ON

A lovely Gardner treadle machine also made in Hamilton ON.

A Singer 15 with the Canadian National Exhibition badge from 1939

A lovely Singer 99 given to us by an older man in our town

The Singer 99 also has the Canadian National Exhibition badge from 1939

My Singer 15-88 treadle machine from 1951 that I use almost daily

Singer 27 made in 1904 exactly like the treadle sewing machine that I learned to sew on.
Just a small sampling of the 150+ sewing machines in our collection :-).  Happy National Sewing Machine day!

Monday, 10 June 2019

Table runner experiments

A few years ago I made a Mexican Star wall hanging and I always wanted to make more blocks with this technique.  I made this table runner with two mini charm packs using 2 1/2" squares.  I found a white fabric with a little black speckle in my stash to use for background.  I thought this would be a good runner to try matchstick quilting.  Here is the first photo with white thread and quilting lines 1/4" apart.

I drew lines 1" apart and used my free motion foot to quilt it on my vintage Bernina 830 and just eyeballed in the 1/2" and 1/4" lines.  The sides are always tricky so I did free motion lines sideways to fill that up :-).

It looked a little pale with white so I braved it and added orange lines in between some of the white ones.  I really like the effect.
The finished runner

I bought 1/2 a yard of the orange for binding, but could just squeeze out the backing as well if I used up all the rest of the mini charms!  When does that ever happen?

Elephant baby quilt

As usual, I'm behind in my blogging LOL.  This quilt was made for a shower a few months back for my niece Becky, who was having a baby girl.  Since our town is known for Jumbo, and Becky was born there, it was appropriate to make an elephant quilt.  this pattern is adapted from Sew Fresh Quilts sew along from a few years back. 

The finished quilt

Mommy and Daddy

..and baby

Found the perfect backing in my stash 😀