Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Shweshwe Fabric - Guest Speaker

My guilds guest speaker was Celeste of Meerkat Shweshwe Fabrics. What an enjoyable speaker! She took us through the history of Shweshwe and it's South African roots. She talked about the influence of Europeans and indigo. How colour has emerged as the youth of South Africa move into the cities.

beautiful array of colours
Celeste is an excellent speaker holding everyone's attention. I can't begin to do justice to the history of the Spruce manufacturing or 'Three Cats' trademark, to read more about the history of Shweshwe go to Celeste Meerkat's website.

we had a full house and getting good pictures of her quilts was difficult.

In the above photo she used both sides of the Shweshwe fabric.

the dots are orange
The fabric is stiff from the manufacturing process and needs to be prewashed before being used.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Splash of Colour QAL

I wasn't going to participate in any QAL's as I just have too much going on at this time. Unfortunately my will power wasn't strong enough to resist this one. Who can resist black and white with a splash of colour anyway. Not me! The Splash of Colour QAL is being run by Myra @ Busy Hands.

I have a nice collection of black and white fat quarters that have been begging to be used in a project. Instead of just telling them to quiet down I crumbled.

some black and whites pulled with a splash of colour

I pulled some of those fat quarters out, for the splash of colour I pulled some batiks out. Now the big decision... What pattern was I going to make? 
I opened EQ7 and started playing around, next thing I knew I had three possibilities. Now to narrow it down to one.

Let's see what they were.

number 1 made with hst's. Not bad if I don't say so myself

Next up
number 2. I like the QST's and strips.
Last one

number 3 I have had a compass on my to do list for awhile

A decision was finally reached! Thankfully I only drew up three. I have decided to make number 3, the compass. 

Have you ever felt like you can't take on any more and then you get pulled in for another project? I know I can't be the only one.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Just Free Motioning

When writing my last pattern 'Squared Off' you can read about it here or if you want to make one you can purchase a copy at my Craftsy store. I made a couple test blocks trying out a couple different techniques for making the block. Grabbed the rest of the scraps I was using plus, and made a couple more blocks.

four blocks make a mini
Originally I was going to add a white border but changed my mind. I wasn't feeling the border at all. I basted it and looked and looked at it trying to decide how to quilt it. Sometimes I feel those decisions are harder than choosing fabrics. 
I had been playing with my Westalee rulers as I haven't really given some of them the time of day. So out they came.

Westalee rulers waiting in the wings for their turn to play

Out came a practice sandwich and I granted myself some play time. I almost felt like I was playing in the sandbox after a long absence. 
The template I decided to use for my mini was Spin-e-fex no 4. 

spin-e-fex no 4 flower
I echoed around the flower, then added some sorta straightish lines. I maybe should have used a ruler they would have been a lot straighter. But I think it adds character to the design, at least that's the story I'm sticking to.

some straight line quilting in the triangles
I did use my rulers for the straight lines in the triangles along the outside edges. This turned out to be a quick fun design to quilt.

the back was pieced with bits and pieces
I almost like the back better than the front. I pulled out some extra bits and pieces from my scraps and pieced the back together.

it's home for now is on my kitchen table

Have you ever just let go and played with the tools you have on hand, you may be surprised by the results. I know I was.

Linking up to 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Guild 2017 BOM

It is time for the Bloggers Quilt Festival, run and hosted by Amy who blogs over at Amy's Creative Side. We are allowed to enter two quilts, I haven't decided if I am entering one or two yet. This is my first entry into in the Bloggers Quilt Festival. The quilt I am entering is one of the latest ones I've made. I love the colours in this quilt they are a little out of the usual for me. Even though it is a sampler it  flows nicely.

2017 BOM

When it comes to the quilting I seem to continue to push myself, I get in the 'zone' and have a hard time even coming up for air. My domestic machine and I are one!


curls and loops

flange border
I like the ease and use of a flange border. That little bit of colour peaking out is an extra dimension to the quilt.

Medallion Quilt Month 9

Sorry I'm a couple days late with this. I got my Saturdays messed up, but all is sorted out, just need to remember what week it is. Might help if I looked at the calendar a little better.
This months block is my version of 'Around the corner'. It is an easy block pattern that offers all sorts of opportunities to combine color to create a unique quilt.

Around the corner

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

All seams allowances are 1/4''


Dark fabric:  A  2-  5 1/2 '' x 5 1/2''
Medium fabric: B   2- 5 1/2'' x 5 1/2''
                          C   2- 5'' x 5''
Background Fabric: D  2- 5'' x 5''
                                 E  1- 4 1/2'' x 4 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 C. 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 to dark side.
5. Trim the HST's to 4 1/2'' x 4 1/2''
6. Make 4.

diagram 1
Step 2:

1. On the back of both piece B draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. See diagram 2a.
2. Place the square on top of piece A. Sew a 1/4'' seam on both sides of the line. See diagram 2b.
3. Cut on drawn line. See diagram 2c.
4. Press HST's open to dark side. DO NOT TRIM.
5. Take two of the above units draw a line perpendicular to the sewn seam on one of the units. See diagram 2c.
6. Place right sides together so that the center seams nest together. Make sure the colours are opposite each other.
7. Sew a 1/4'' seam on both sides of the line. See diagram 2d.
8. Cut on drawn line.
9. Press one of the above units one direction and the other one the other direction. This allows the swirling of the seams. 
10. Trim the QST's to 4 1/2'' x 4 1/2''
11. Make 4.

diagram 2
Step 3:

1. Sew units together to make rows. 
2. Sew rows together. 
3. Press in direction of arrows. 

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

I hope everyone is having fun making their blocks. I would love to see any of the blocks you have made, you can post to Instagram using #stitchinathomemedallion2017 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

My Guilds new BOM

This is the third BOM I have designed for my guild. Three totally different styles., take a look and see for yourself.

medallion quilt 2015 
You can read more about the medallion quilt here. It is currently a free BOM on my blog just look under the tab at the top of this page.

2016 celebrating Canada's 150th
You can read about the Canada 150 quilt here.

2017 irish chain mix

This years quilt is a simple irish chain block with a nice variety of blocks. A few pictures of the quilting I did on this one.

swirls and feathers

more swirls and straight line

some ruler work and simple curves in the geese

straight lines and stippling

Linking up with.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Squared Off Winner

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the release of Squared Off. I used the random number generator. And the winner is KaHolly.

She has been notified and a copy of Squared Off has been sent to her.

Squared Off
If you would like to have your own copy, it is available in my Craftsy Store

test blocks of Squared Off

While writing the pattern I made a test block. Then added a few more using some of  my overflowing scraps. I think I'll add a narrow white border, do some free motion quilting and call it a mini. 

Free Craftsy classes!

On Monday, September 4 Craftsy is having a free, All-You-Can Watch day on their classes. So if you've been wanting to see some on your wish list, now's your chance.

Here's a few that might tempt you.

Lori Kennedy
Angela Walters
Cristy Fincher

Sit back relax and enjoy watching free Craftsy classes.

All-You-Can Watch Day
  • Starts: Monday, September 4th at 12:01am MST
  • Ends: Monday, September 4th at 11:59pm MST

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, thank you.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Say Hello to my new quilt pattern 'Squared Off'

I know it has been a little quiet on my blog. One of the things that has kept me occupied other than enjoying having my grandchildren around is a new quilt pattern.
I am thrilled to be introducing my latest quilt pattern 'Squared Off'. This quilt uses three fabrics plus the background and would be a fun scrappy quilt. I have been wanting to make a quilt using fall colours. Mission accomplished. So without further ado here is Squared Off.
Squared Off on the fence

A fun part is, depending on the fabrics you pick the quilt can look very different. Want to see a couple different variations hop on over to Anja's and Kathy's blogs to see their colour choices. Kathy used two different colourways giving it a totally different look.
A very heartfelt thank you to both of these wonderful ladies for testing and the great feedback.
As an added bonus leave a comment to win a free copy of 'Squared Off', here and on Anja's and Kathy's blogs. The contest will be open until August 31st. That's three winners so make sure to comment.

yummy texture
For the quilting I choose to do diamonds in the squares, straight lines on the diagonal arms and some flower swirls in the black. The 'Flower Power' motif is from Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt. The threads I used are Aurifil #2692, #6728 and Superior's So Fine #424. I do all my quilting on my domestic machine.

the back doesn't show the quilting too well

The back is a busy print which doesn't show the quilting, bonus any mistakes are hidden. Not that I would ever make any mistakes... LOL I used a flange binding which has fast become my favourite binding to do.

laid back in a lawn chair
There are three sizes included in the PDF pattern, baby 40'' x 52'', lap 64'' x 76'' and twin 72'' x 88''.

The pattern is available in my Craftsy store.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Medallion Quilt Month 8

The block this month is the Churn Dash. The Churn Dash is an easy block with a simple combination of triangles and squares. A few of the other names for the Churn Dash are, Shoo Fly, Monkey Wrench, Hole in the Barn Door.

Churn Dash Variation Block
This is a 12 1/2'' unfinished or 12'' finished block.

All seams allowances are 1/4''.


Dark fabric:   E    (4)  2 1/2'' x 18''                       
Fat Quarters:  C   (2) 4/1/2'' x 4 1/2''
                       D   (2) 5 1/2 x 5 1/2''                        
Background Fabric: A   (2) 5 1/2 x 5 1/2'' 
                                 B   (4) 2 1/2'' x 18'' 

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

diagram 1
Step 2:

1. Sew strip B and E right sides together with a 1/4'' seam.
2. Press towards dark.
3. Cut four pieces 4 1/2'' x 4 1/2''.

Step 3:

1. Join an HST to each end of one strip. See diagram 2.
2. Make 2.

diagram 2
Step 4

1. Join one strip to one side of  the center piece C.
2. Repeat on opposite side.
3.Join top and bottom pieces to the center. See diagram 3.
4. Press and trim to 12 1/2''.

diagram 3
You can get a PDF of this block free in my Craftsy Store.

I hope everyone is having fun making their blocks. I would love to see any of the blocks you have made, you can post to Instagram using #stitchinathomemedallion2017 

Craftsy is having a Makers Black Friday sale affiliate link. This is your chance to score the lowest prices of the year on your favorite fabric, kits, and supplies. Ends: Sunday, August 20th at 11:59pm MST

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

'Joy' it's Christmas in July

I now have a pillow for my Christmas decorating, I know shocking right. It took this blog hop to accomplish something I've been meaning to do for the past few years...ugh yes I said years. But it is done and best of  all you can add some 'Joy' to your holidays too as the pattern is free. Thanks to Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict for hosting the '12 Days of Christmas in July' blog hop and giving me the push to finally make a Christmas pillow or maybe it's a wall hanging.

'Joy' wall hanging

pillow cover nice and crinkly after a wash 

The hop runs from July 14th to the 25th. Make sure to visit all the blogs participating the schedule is at the end of this post. Make sure to leave a comment as Sarah is counting them for an extra special giveaway, you can read more about it on her blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

The pattern is for the pillow front or a wall hanging if you prefer. Either way have fun and add a little 'Joy' to your Christmas decorating. As you can see in the above photo I used three different greys for the background.

pillow front

Makes an 18'' x 18'' finished pillow front or wall hanging.

Fabric Requirements

1/4 yard of each a light, light medium and medium grey.

A variety of larger scrap pieces work well.
The snowman can be made from a 10'' square, the letters from (2) 8'' squares.

Cutting for the chevrons/ flying geese:
Traditional Method:
A(light) cut (3) - 5 1/8'' x 5 1/8'' cut diagonally once
B( lt medium) cut (3) - 5 1/8'' x 5 1/8'' cut diagonally once
C(medium) cut (3) - 5 1/8'' x 5 1/8'' cut diagonally once

A(light)  cut (6) - 3 7/8'' x 3 7/8'' cut diagonally once
B( lt. medium)  cut (6) - 3 7/8'' x 3 7/8'' cut diagonally once
C(medium)  cut (6) - 3 7/8'' x 3 7/8'' cut diagonally once

The Snowman Applique pieces are cut using the templates supplied. If you are doing turned edge applique remember to add a 1/4'' to the template pieces before cutting them out. The pieces are reversed and can be downloaded in the PDF on Craftsy


Use a 1/4'' seam allowance.

Traditional Method
Step 1:

Sew one small triangle (B) to one diagonal edge of the large triangle (A); press toward the small triangle. See diagram 1.

diagram 1
 Sew the second small triangle (B) to the other diagonal edge of the large triangle (A) to make a flying-goose unit; press toward the small triangle. See diagram 1.
This makes one 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' goose. Make (6) BA units.

Step 2:
Repeat using small triangle (C) and large triangle (B). Make (6) CB units.
Repeat using small triangle (A) and large triangle (C). Make (6) AC units.

Step 3:
Join 3 BA units, see diagram 2. Make 2.

diagram 2

 Repeat using 3 CB units. Make 2.
Repeat using 3 AC units. Make 2.

Step 4:
Join as per diagram 3.

diagram 3

This completes the background.

Applique Snowman:

Use your favourite method for applique. Instructions follow for fused machine stitched applique.

Fusible Applique Method:

Step 1:
I like Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 because it leaves less weight in the finished product and it's a double sided fusible. Trace your pattern on the side of the paper where the fusible adheres to the paper more strongly (usually one side of the paper releases more easily than the other - trace on the side that does not release easily).
On the larger pieces, less fusible is needed making the finished center more pliable.
To do this, take your original tracing, and cut from the inside, approx 1/4" inside the traced line. Rough cut beyond the traced line on the outside of the fusible. See diagram 4 as an example of the letter 'J'.

diagram 4

Step 2:
Adhere to fabric as per package directions.
Cut on the traced lines.

Step 3:
Align the pieces using the placement guide. A light box or window help for proper placement.
Press to fuse as per your package instructions.

Step 4:
Machine stitch using your preferred stitch and settings. I like the buttonhole stitch myself.

I quilted a 1/4'' on each side of the chevrons and around all the elements in the snowman. 

Here are the blogs participating in the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop!

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd