Sunday, 23 April 2017

Strings and String Blocks

After organizing my stash into an IKEA shelving unit, you can read more about that here, I realized I had a fair amount of strings. Now what to do with all those strings.
I am making a quilt for Hands2Help run by Confessions of a Fabric Addict, this is the second year I will be participating in this charity quilt challenge. You can see the quilt I made and donated to Ronald MacDonald House last year here. I will again be making and donating a quilt to Ronald MacDonald House.
Back to my string over abundance and what to do with them. Strings and string blocks go hand in hand.

I sorted the strings by colour. Then set to work using them up. The idea was to use up all or the vast majority of them.

all sorted and ready to go
I had an old phone book and decided to stitch my strings to the pages of it, some people use muslin. I didn't want an added layer or the added cost. I pulled the pages out of the phone book and squared them up to 7 1/2 inch squares, my book was 8'' x 10''.

laying out strings
After sewing the strings to the pages and before trimming I gave them a light spray starch on the fabric side to help control those bias edges. The paper I put in my compost bin, it will break down and helps to control any odours.

before trimming 

Some of the fabric strings date back to the 90's. The size of the strings were anywhere from 1'' to 2 inches and various lengths. I used some older 2 1/2'' strips, the newer ones I kept for another project.

lighter string blocks

darker blocks

I made 80 blocks and these are the strings I have left, they didn't seem to go down at all. I think overnight the fabric/sewing fairy has been adding to them.

after 80 blocks the strings appear to be growing

I had some great help laying out blocks.

my 'little helper'
This layout used 56 blocks, the flimsy is 49 1/2'' by 56 1/2'' which makes a nice size quilt. I don't think I am going to add a border. 

 I can see a few blocks I should have moved for better colour flow

Next up quilting I am trying to decide whether to do straight line, wavy lines or an allover loop. What would you do?

I will be linking up to 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Medallion Quilt Month 4

This months block is the Rosebud Block. I choose this block due to my love of roses, this block dates back to the early 1900's.

Rosebud block

This is a 12 1/2'' unfinished or 12'' finished block.

Dark fabric:   A  2-  5'' x 5'' 
Medium Fabrics: B   4-  3'' x3''  
Background Fabric: C  4- 3'' x 3'' 
                                 D  4- 2 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' 
                                 E  2- 5'' x 5'' 

All Seam allowances are 1/4''.

Step 1:

1. On the back of both piece C draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  See  1a.
2. Place the square on top of piece B. Sew a 1/4'' seam on both sides of the line. See  1b.
3. Cut on drawn line. See  1c.
4. Press HST's to dark side.
5. Trim the HST's to 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
6. Make 8.

diagram 1

Step 2:

1. Repeat Step 1 using pieces E and A.
2. Make 4.
Step 3:

1. Sew two 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2'' HST's together see diagram 2 below.
2. Make 4.

diagram 2

Step 4:

1. Sew the small HST unit to one 4 1/2'' x 4 1/2'' HST.
2. Sew a 2 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' to the HST unit. See diagram 3 below.
3. Make 4.

diagram 3

Step 5:

Sew all four of the above units together to make the rosebud block.

diagram 4

You can get a PDF of this block free in my Craftsy Store.

I would love to see any of the blocks you have made, you can post to Instagram using #stitchinathomemedallion2017 

While at Craftsy (affliate link) hop around and check out their Easter sale.

Craftsy Sale

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Star Baby Quilt A Finish

Every new baby should have a quilt to call their own. Right? Especially when the baby is a quilters granddaughter. On march 10th our 5th granddaughter Jamie was born she was 6lbs 3 0z. She is just as precious as our first. On to her quilt, I designed it in EQ7, I am slowly getting the hang of it....sometimes.

original  concept designed in EQ7 

On the design wall.

layout progress before a necessary design change

I did the quilty math, measured twice but the sewing gremlins came anyway. The star center went together smoothly but after that it was all downhill. I did change the circle in the center for an appliqued heart.

one would think these pieces when sewn together with a 1/4'' would align...nope! 

Aligning the rays that extended out from the star was a big problem that no amount of wine would help. The offset was a 1/4'' but when sewn together they DID not align. I used my seam ripper more times than I ever thought possible.  Sorry no photos as I was totally frustrated by then. Remade a couple pieces. After holding my breath and praying to the quilting god's it worked! A couple of design changes now needed to take place as I no longer had enough of the dark pink to continue as planned. 

star straight line quilting

The quilting I wanted to keep simple as I wanted the quilt to be cuddly and not over quilted. So simple straight lines following the star points and rays. I used Aurifil threads #'s 2021, 2440,5018 and 2730. Matching the threads to the fabric, made for more burying of threads but I'm glad I did it.

more lines and loopy l's
The first border got loopy l's, the dark pink more straight lines, which I repeated in the pink corners. The white corners I did figure 8's in.

I quilted her name in the white space at the bottom of the pinwheels

A look at the finished quilt. Even though I had to make some changes I like how it turned out.

 the design changes happened in the borders and the corners

Of course what baby quilt is complete without a picture of Jamie using using it.

enjoying some tummy time
For the backing I used an adorable print. I picked this up for less than $5/m.

back of quilt

I normally use Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Batting.  I have a wool allergy so that is about the only batting I haven't tried. What is your favourite batting?

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Initially Yours-Initial Block Challenge

One of my guilds programs was to make blocks that start with our initials. The challenge was named 'Initially Yours', over a three month period we showed the blocks we made using the initials in our names. I choose to make mine 6'' blocks. My initials are CEP. Let the show begin with the 'C' block I picked.

C is for compass block in my favourite colour 'green'
My favourite colour is green I'm drawn to it and will always be my first choice. The dark green and the lighter green are both batiks. I wish I knew the name of the print, I only had a FQ of it and I love it. My first name is Cindy, you know that song 'Get Along Home Cindy Cindy' sung by Ricky Nelson, my father heard it playing when I was born liked it and I ended up with it. 
A few lyrics from the song:
I wish I was a apple            
Hanging in a tree
And every time my sweetheart passed 
She'd take a bite of me

Get along home Cindy Cindy     
Get along home Cindy Cindy 
Get along home Cindy Cindy 
I'll marry you sometime  

I choose the Compass block as you never know what direction life takes and a compass may help keep you on the good path.

Next up is 'E', one of my middle initials after my 'Finish' grandmother. I have more than one middle name. This block dates back to 1815 according to Vintage Quilts.

E is for eight pointed star

My last initial is 'P' for this one I choose the 'Priscilla' block. After doing a bit of googling about the block for this post I found it listed as a 'Bible Block'. I liked the look of the block and was unaware of the bible connection.

P for my variation of the Priscilla block

I added sashing and borders in that same print fabric. I did ruler work in all three blocks in an attempt  to accent various parts of the block. The left, right bottom borders and sashing I free motioned curls and swirls. The top border areas I did feathers.

in order of my initials compass, eight pointed star and priscilla
The wall hanging is 22'' long and 8 1/2'' wide.  I used aurifil threads and sulky in the green print.

back complete with label

Monday, 20 March 2017

Guild Guest Speaker- Sew Fresh Quilts

Today at my guild 'Quaker Quilters Guild we had a guest speaker Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. I have been following Lorna's blog for a few years and have even tested for her. What a pleasure to meet her in person!

Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts and me

She is a wonderful speaker, everyone commented on how much they enjoyed her trunk show. She brought humour and knowledge along with her many quilts.  She readily shared some of her techniques, such as how she does her wavy line quilting using a walking foot. She is one talented lady! An interesting fact I didn't know she was a welder before a quilter. Seeing her designs and quilts up close was a real treat. 

A small sampling of the quilts she brought along today.

Black birds

That's Lorna peeking over Fox and Friends

Santa's Reindeer from her Christmas Quilt Along 'Have a Jolly Little Christmas'

From her 'Have a Jolly Little Christmas' winter mittens, poinsettia, and reindeer runners

Canada 150 
I helped hold up quilts this one is Kissy Fishy

Monkey see Monkey Do

I hope your day was as good as mine!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Medallion Quilt Month 3

Now that you've got those lovely centers made. You do RIGHT?  If you missed the first two months no problem just look under the Medallion BOM tab.  It's time to start making the blocks. Up first is a variation on the Friendship Star.

friendship star variation

This is a 12 1/2'' unfinished or 12'' finished block.

All seams allowances are 1/4''.


Dark fabric:    A  6-  2'' x 3 1/2'' 
                       F   2-  2'' x 12 1/2''
Medium fabrics:  B   2-  4'' x 4''
                            C   1- 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2''  
Background Fabric: D  2- 4'' x 4''  
                                 E  4- 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2'' 

Step 1:

1. On the back of both piece D draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. See diagram 1a.
2. Place the square on top of piece B. Sew a 1/4'' seam on both sides of the line. See diagram 1b.
3. Cut on drawn line. See diagram 1c.
4. Press HST's open to dark side.
5. Trim the HST's to 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2''
6. Make 4.

diagram 1

Step 2:

1. Sew E to A right sides together, pressing toward the sashing strip. See diagram 2.
2. Sew EA units to one of the HST's, see diagram 2.

diagram 2

Step 3:

1.  Sew two of the HST's with C with two A's, see diagram 3a.
2.  Sew one HST and two E's with two A's, see diagram 3b.

diagram 3

Step 4:

1. Sew the two long sashing strips to the rows as per diagram 4.
2. Press and trim to 12 1/2'' x 12 1/2''.

diagram 4

You can get a PDF of this block free in my Craftsy Store.

Remember to have fun and to post to Instagram using #stitchinathomemedallion2017 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Meadow Mystery Quilted

My Meadow Mystery quilt is finished all nicely quilted and bound. You can read more about the design from Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and my addition of the borders on my blog post here.

The fence the quilt is hanging on came down yesterday during the very windy day we had. We had no power for most of the afternoon as trees came down on lines knocking out the power.
I do all my quilting on my domestic machine a Pfaff. I had been having trouble with it skipping stitches and breaking thread.  After it went back in for repair it came back working correctly. That may have led to the amount of FMQing I did on this quilt.

Some closeups of the stitching.

figure 8's ruler work and loop de loop 

feathered heart, curls and more ruler work

some curls and loops

The back shows off  the quilting better. I used a Cori Dantini by Blend for the backing.

the back shows off all the stitching

back two

back three

tree shot before the wind 

I used Aurifil thread as that is what my machine prefers for FMQing. When doing regular sewing I can use any number of different brands with no problems. I am just happy that my machine is working beautifully now.

Have you quilted today?

Monday, 27 February 2017

Sew Much Fun Blog Hop

While reading some Facebook posts on the Craft Your Blog page I came across a blog hop for showing our sewing areas. This was just the impetus I needed to clean up my disaster. I like to be organized and let me tell you my stash had grown and everything was a mess. No organization here what so ever. See for yourself.

yup one big mess and hard to find what I was looking for without having to move lots out first

Everything was stored in a closet on shelves, but my oh my it was a task finding anything in there. The only good thing I could close the closet doors and pretend the problem didn't exist. Off to Ikea to help with my storage problems. I purchased a Kallax  unit. I first sorted out all my FQ's you can read about that here. That left my yardage.

I folded the fabric around a 6'' x 12'' ruler 
Here's how I did it without comic boards, leaves more money for fabric. Open out your fabric and then fold it selvage to selvage edge to make it approx. 22 inches wide. Then fold in half again to make it 11 inches or so wide, by however long your fabric is. Lay out the fabric and place the ruler across it, around 4 or 5 inches from one of the ends.  Fold that end over the ruler, then flip the ruler end over end to wrap the fabric around it until you get to the end. 

neatly folded and yardage marked

I used paper clips to hold the tucked ends in and to also mark the yardage. One paper clip one meter or yard, two paper clips two meters and so on. Now at a glance I know how much is in each little or big folded piece.

neatly folded and stacked
This is only one shelf of fabric, there are more shelves.

I seem to have gathered a few different blacks

FMQ books and thread charts are now at the ready and easy to access

All this makes my heart sing beautiful fabric all neatly organized and stored. At the ready for the next project.

My machine all set for some FMQing. After sending it back in again for servicing, it seems to be working a whole lot better. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it stays that way.

Is your sewing area all neat and tidy or does it look like my first photo?

The hop runs the week of Feb 27. Here is the list of those participating in the Blog Hop:

1: Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric
2: Raylee Bielenberg of Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
3: Tisha Nagel of Quilty Therapy
4: Emily Carroll of Toothpaste and OrangeCat
5: Sherry Smedley of Adventures in Life
6: Emma Wengier of Emkie Designs
7: Anne Beier of Hudson Valley Quilts
8: Eleanor Carleton of Cat Approved Quilts
9: Cindy Pieters you are here
10: Ivete Tecedor of Gotham Quilts
11: Amanda DeYoung Hilldore of Fabric Engineer