Saturday, 30 May 2020

A New Chapter

This is the hardest post I've ever written. I recently lost my hubby of 43 years. This whole Covid thing has made handling his loss harder.  At a time when family and friends are needed the most and even a hug, all where lacking it feels so unreal. It has been a time of mixed emotions. It feels like my life has  been turned upside down and focus has been a challenge. I wander aimlessly around the house. I look at my sewing machine and have had no real desire to sew.





Friday, 10 April 2020

Creativity and Hope

Creativity, the process of making something new. Hope, a feeling of expectation and a desire for certain things to happen.
I hope that we will return to normal or a near normal life.
Usually I'm busy preparing to have my family together for Easter. With 'Stay at Home' orders we will connect via phone calls or messaging. It will be different but necessary to help stop the spread. My oldest grandson Tyler sends random messages, they help to brighten my day. What I miss most are the little things like walking into a store to pick up one or two things and not feeling paranoid while doing it. The big thing I miss most are grandkid hugs!

 I just wanted, no needed to play with fabric, colour, thread in other words be creative. An idea came from a quote I read on the internet it is from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

Usually I start a new project in EQ, this time I played in my graphics program. At first I was just going to do a small trapunto whole cloth with the word hope, but I wasn't really feeling it. The feather kept tickling me. Then it hit me why not use a feather, thankfully not very hard. How?
The ideas flowed after that. But how was I going to add that feather, with thread of course after all the original idea of a whole cloth was still there. I had never done a whole cloth before. There's a first time for everything and I was going to jump in feet first.
tracing the lettering and feather using my lightbox

I printed out the layout I came up with, it took four pages, then I taped those pages together. I used a blue wash out marker to trace it onto a piece of Kona Cotton.
stitched with washout thread

I placed a piece of polyester batting for loftiness of the trapunto, and before you ask why I didn't use wool I have a wool allergy. I stitched the outline of the words and feather with wash away thread, then cut away the rest of the batting.
I layered the backing, Hobbs 80/20 batting, another piece of poly batting and the top.
backing, Hobbs batting, poly batting and top

Next up thread decisions, I auditioned Aurifil threads.
Aurifil thread selection

I was a little worried about stitching the feather and making a total mess of it. So I started with stitching Aurifil 2024 around all the lettering and the spine of the feather first. I thought micro stitching around the letters would make them pop, it does. BUT it is slow going and I figured after half an hour in I must have been off my rocker to be doing it. It was slow going but I do like the look of it.

That feather was taunting me and I thought it's now or never. For the feather I laid down a base using 2024 followed by 2311. I'm sorry I didn't take any step by step photos, I was too into the feather to even think about photos. I used 2304 and 2902 both 40 wt next.
I like how the feather turned out

Instead of a traditional binding I did a faced binding. This is the tutorial I used. I hand sewed the sides and the bottom corners but left the top corners unsewn, I am using them as hanging pockets.

the back 
I am happy with this my first whole cloth project.
no sun this morning

Would I do another whole cloth? I think so? Did it help fill my need for creativity? Yes!

I hope you are remaining positive and finding joy in the simple pleasures... maybe it's the smell of fresh bread, a phone call or message from a loved one or friend or maybe a sunny day.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Stay at Home Day #4

We're staying home to stop the spread of this virus, but we can still share the love of quilting with friends all around the world. Today is the final day of the hop.


Have you started doing a Quilt Along or BOM to keep busy? Perhaps you're catching up on a WIP?

I am doing a little of this and that. I almost have my new pattern written and made. Are you interested in testing it?


not a hint of green
As part of the Stay At Home and Hop With Us blog hop I am offering a %20 discount on patterns in my Etsy store during the round robin.

Let me to introduce to you to some of my favourite quilting colleagues and friends.

DaySpring Quilt Company

Ms P Designs, USA

Stitchin’ at Home *You Are Here*

Sew Joy Creations

Ships & Violins

Patti’s Patchwork

Your Sewing Friend

The Geeky Bobbin

Colourwerx Designs

Kate Colleran Designs


Day #3

Bequilter

Presto Avenue Designs

Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Love to Color My World

Hissyfitz Designs

Canton Village Quilt Works

Anjeanette Klinder Designs

Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting

Said With Love

Orange Blossom Quilt Design

Day #2

Studio R Quilts

Toadally Quilts

From Blank Pages

Cotton Street Commons

Puppy Girl Designs

Phoebe Moon Quilt Designs

The Devoted Quilter

Christa Quilts

Stitched by Susan

Tamarinis

Day #1

Lone Star Pattern Works

Powered by Quilting

Cottage Rose Quilt Patterns

The Cloth Parcel

Faith and Fabric

Linen Closet Designs

Designs by Sarah J

Rona the Ribbiter Quilts

Quilt Fox Designs

Seam to Be Sew




Friday, 27 March 2020

Craft Happy Moments with Bluprint

Craft More Happy Moments with our FREE Creativity Care Package 3/26-4/9/20! Watch over 1,300 creative education classes ranging from sewing, cooking, family crafts, and more!

Bluprint, an NBCUniversal online creative learning platform, provides ways for the entire family to nourish their creativity from home, offering rich learning experiences for all ages.
Join us to “Craft More Happy Moments” during our FREE unlimited access creativity event; March 26 at Noon EST - April 9. 
With Bluprint you can stream thousands of creative education classes from knitting, sewing, baking, drawing, family crafts and much more, taught by the world’s leading experts.  Bluprint is your one-stop destination for classes, patterns and project ideas for all skill levels.
During the 14 day event, Bluprint will provide free access to their full slate of content; including more than 1300 classes and series and hundreds of step by step project tutorials and patterns making this the perfect time to learn a new craft or hobby.
Emotional End-Benefits Your Readers/Viewers Can Easily Connect With:
  • Creativity is one of the best ways to connect with ourselves and loved ones
  • Creating family moments of togetherness by communing over creativity
  • Keeping the kids busy while you work from home
  • Getting lost in your passion and making something
  • Sourcing inspiration for your next (or first!) craft project

Starch and Stay at Home Day3

Are you getting used to our new normal? Stay at Home! Are you using your time to sew?  Besides getting in some sewing I've also been cleaning up my flower beds. I have some closets that could use a good cleaning too, but they seem a little daunting right now. Oh well they'll still be calling my name a week from now, and if I keep the doors closed I won't hear them right?


Have you tried homemade spray starch? I was out of starch and thus began the google hunt and experiments for homemade starch.

I prewash all fabric that comes into my house except for charm squares or jelly rolls. I then press and starch that fabric before use. Starch gives the fabric a crisp hand. It also helps with bias edges, allows for sharper points and the fabric doesn't shift when rotary cutting

 I tried a couple different ones with a little tweak or two. I would like to give credit for them if you know who they belong too I will gladly credit them.

First up:

1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
3 1/2 cup cool water
2 drops Lavender essential oil helps repel insects
Put the water in the spray bottle first, then add the corn starch and essential oil.

Shake.
Make sure to shake every time you use it.

Not a fan. I definitely didn't like shaking it all the time.

Some recipes called for vodka. Nope don't have any and with 'Stay at Home' not going shopping for some.

Next up a cooked recipe using cornstarch.

3 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 drops Lavender essential oil optional

Bring water and vinegar to a boil.
Stir the 1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch with an additional 1/2 cup water.
Stir into the water and vinegar and boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
Add the essential oil if using.
Put into a spray bottle and use.

If you find it makes the fabric too stiff just add more water. Success!

I wrote the recipe on the bottle that way I don't have to go looking for it every time I need it
I'm having a “Stay at Home and Shop Hop” special in my Etsy Shop.

Today I want to introduce you to 10 more wonderful designers.


Bequilter

Presto Avenue Designs

Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Love to Color My World

Hissyfitz Designs

Canton Village Quilt Works

Anjeanette Klinder Designs

Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting

Said With Love

Orange Blossom Quilt Design


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Stay at Home Day 2

These are extraordinary times we are living through and many of us are no doubt stitchin' at home.  Perhaps you have started a new project, or working on a UFO and finishing them up.


 I feel so lucky to be part of this amazing quilting community filled with wonderful quilt shops, quilting guilds, Facebook QuiltAlongs, and best of all, my fellow pattern designers who are always coming up with new techniques and patterns and to help use our stash and create beautiful quilts.

With all the that is going on around us I need to keep busy, it was time to bake and who doesn't love the smell of fresh bread baking.

ohh my house has that lovely fresh bread smell
Would you like to make one of your own? You can get the recipe here.

Don't forget I am having a sale in my Etsy Store. 

I want to take an opportunity to introduce to you to some of my favourite quilting colleagues and friends.

Studio R Quilts

Toadally Quilts

From Blank Pages

Cotton Street Commons

Puppy Girl Designs

Phoebe Moon Quilt Designs

The Devoted Quilter

Christa Quilts

Stitched by Susan

Tamarinis
https://www.tamarinis.com

Stay home and stay safe!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Project Quilting Final Project 11.6

I have been feeling a little unfocused these past few days, I know I'm not alone in that. I find when I'm sewing or quilting I can forget about those feelings for awhile. I'm in my happy place then.

Vibrant and Vivacious was the challenge hosted by Kim of Persimmon Dreams. I drew up a couple different ideas in EQ8. I knew I wanted to make this final project for a child at Ronald MacDonald house. What child doesn't like colour, and bright colours even more.

colour pops in dresden blades
I finally settled on a flower and dresden plates make nice flowers. The blades I used are 10 inches long, every other blade is coloured and the rest are white as is the background.  Which allows the coloured petals to pop and the rest blend into the background. This gives the illusion of an airy flower.  For the border I used a Riley Blake print called Tetris Holding.

aurifil thread choices

I free motion quilted the background with loops and hearts. I wanted to keep it simple and fast, time was an issue.
hearts in the background, echo quilting in the petals with a partial line. 

The backing was another Riley Blake print called pieces of hope.

perfect backing for a child in the hospital

The quilt finishes at 38 inches square. A good baby or small child size.

this quilt will be one of my Hands to help quilts

I will have to wait to donate it until after we get the all clear from Covid-19. In the meantime I hope that everyone stays safe during these trying times.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

A Little Blue from staying Home?

Today I invite you to explore the newest offerings, patterns and notions from my fellow designers. You’ll meet new pattern designers, explore new quilting websites, and perhaps make a purchase or two along the way. You never know you may just find a new favourite designer.


Read to the bottom for the list of designers in day #1 of the round robin.

But first a little of what I've been doing in my sewing room. I have a new pattern in the works, I'm out of my comfort zone using blues.

not much yet but it will be when it grows up.
 What I really need to be working on is the final Project Quilting project.

it requires a little more work before tomorrow
At the rate I've been working on it I have to wonder if I'll have a finish by noon Sunday. Wish me luck.

As part of the Stay At Home and Hop With Us blog hop I am offering a %20 discount on patterns in my Etsy store during the round robin. Use coupon code DESIGNERHOP20.

Here is the list of today's shop to take a look at and see what they have to offer, you may be pleasantly surprised. You may wonder why you've never heard of some of them before this. So sit back and enjoy visiting.

Lone Star Pattern Works

Powered by Quilting

Cottage Rose Quilt Patterns

The Cloth Parcel

Faith and Fabric

Linen Closet Designs

Designs by Sarah J

Rona the Ribbiter Quilts

Quilt Fox Designs

Seam to Be Sew







Friday, 20 March 2020

Stay at Home and Hop with us!

Linda of Colorworx came up with an idea for pattern designers, and shops to have a round-robin hop. We start on Saturday, March 21st. The main idea is to introduce you to them and them to you. You'll meet new pattern designers, find new websites. So sit back relax and enjoy visiting. There may be discounts, just saying.



This event starts Saturday, March 21 and runs through Tuesday, March 31.
Come join the fun and virtually hop on over to some of my favorite friends in the quilting industry!!

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Give it Away Challenge

Time for number 5 of  Project Quilting hosted by Kim of Persimon Dreams.
Kim thinks that 'quilters are a generous lot' and that we give from the heart without thinking of financial reward when we give.
The purpose for this challenge is simple 'Give it Away'. Whether to another person an organization or charity. I knew instantly who was going to be the recipent of my project.

If you read my post from Put a Heart on it  you know I had a friend who was in hospice. She has since passed away I am also friends with her older sister, we are both quilters and have a love of flowers. An idea for what what I was going to make blossomed.

printed on EQ printables
I played around in my graphics program with the fonts to get an arrangement of lettering I liked. Each line is a different font. I printed it using EQ printable fabric, I have used it in the past with good results. I stitched a cotton print to make it large enough to add the flowers, as the EQ fabric is stiffer until washed. Plus I wasn't sure how fusing the flowers to it would work.

For the flowers I used Steam-A-Seam 2 lite and cut out a variety of floral fabrics to get a pleasing arrangement. I love my Karen Kay Buckley scissors when doing fine detail cutting. 

I tried tea dying the EQ printable side but it didn't work the way I wanted.
I then used Superior's Mono-Poly invisible thread and the buttonhole stitch to stitch the flowers on after fusing them. My friends favourite colour is blue. I did a little bit of thread sketching on the flowers.

a selection of threads I used for thread sketching and fmqing
I free motion quilted the floral side with bubbles and swirls. I echoed around the wording. 
I do like art quilting and enjoyed making this one. I hope my friend likes it to. 

Affiliate link to Bluprint



Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Inventory Quilt Project

Have you heard of the Inventory Quilt Project being hosted by Just Wanna Quilt? The idea is to use one piece of each fabric in your stash to make a quilt to show your stash all in one quilt. You can use fabrics in one colour, for example or maybe the more the merrier version. I'm the more the merrier kind a gal with my project.

 I am one of the featured designers and my turn to showcase my project and pattern is today March 4th.

The pattern I'm using is called 'Flipping Out'. I know strange name right. Here's how it came about I was in a stare down competition with my bonus HSTs and wondering what in the world was I going to do with all of them. Well I can tell you I didn't win the stare down as they seemed to multiply right before my very eyes. I was ready to flip out. Enough already I needed to deal with them and NOW. And that is how a new pattern began.

I have a substantial amount of green and also pink. 5 granddaughters account for all the pink.
If you want to use Flipping Out for your inventory quilt, pick up the PDF pattern in my Etsy store. It is on the introductory sale price of $8 CDN. Pick it up today and join me as I continue to work on mine.
Thank you to Robin Sue for testing this pattern and the editing.
Flipping out uses FQ's or scraps or yardage

If you want to take part in the Inventory Quilt project sew along, there's a Facebook group you can join and you can also use the hashtag #inventoryquilt on Instgram.

Will you be sewing along? If so, will you use every single fabric in your stash, or every fabric in a single colour, or some other variation?

And just for fun let's have a giveaway of one of my patterns for all those who participate using 'Flipping Out'.

Now to get back to playing with my stash let the fun begin!




Sunday, 23 February 2020

Birds in the Air x 4

Project Quilting 11.4 challenge is to use the 'Birds in the Air' block.  It’s two sizes of triangles, combined for a square block you must either use or reinterpret this traditional block. I did indeed reinterpret the block and it meets the requirements of two sizes of triangles. I used four blocks in my table topper.

I was short on time and only started making the topper yesterday at 9:30 AM. I just finished binding it this morning. I don't think I have ever made anything this fast before. Not bad considering I wasn't sure what to make.

An inkling of an idea started when I took a look through my collection of HSTs they do come in handy, and this was one of those times.

An Hst with side triangles, love those batiks
I started with a 3 1/2'' HST added triangles from a 3 7/8'' cut in half diagonally on each side.

all lined up to cut off those dog ears

I do like to trim off the dog ears and just line up the 45 degree line along the seam line and trim those dog ears off. This works for any size hst and triangle, at the moment I'm at a loss as to what you call this piece. Any suggestions?

Add a triangle a 6 7/8'' square cut in half diagonally to above unit. I went a step further to add interest I added a square to the bottom of the larger triangle sewing diagonally across the square. Trim and press.

I used my creative license to adapt the Birds in the Air block

A couple layouts with and without my adaption.

option #1. Not feeling it. This was before I added the bottom triangle

option #2 has promise but still not quite there yet

auditioning thread on option #3

Now this was more to my liking. 
table topper finished size 19'' square
For the quilting I needed something fast and easy. I quilted feathers in the batik coral pieces and some curves in the print batik triangles. In the sashing and borders some vines with leaves and swirls.

a closeup of the quilting
I'm ready for spring with a new springy table topper. It was a quick project but I enjoyed it once I figured out what I was going to make.













Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Colour it Red My Day

The rules for the theme for this months "Color It Red" blog hop, hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt were simple it had to have red in it somewhere.

 

 Mine does but, life happens and I didn't get my project finished. Not all is lost as I do have some photos. 

under the ruler toe foot

It's about time I use up some of my stash. I am working on a new pattern and using some pieces from my stash to make it. 
The red print was from Kona Bay fabrics which I purchased a yard of in Dec of 2018, Kona Bay Fabrics went out of business in 2017. Moda Basic Grey I purchased 2 yards of in 2017, time both of these were used in a project. For the background I am using Moda Grunge.

straight lines and curves
So far I have been using my ruler toe foot and rulers to do the free motion quilting. I know I will be quilting feathers in the borders when I get to them.

lots of quilting to do yet
Stayed tuned for a finish and pattern release in the next couple weeks.

Sit back enjoy a cuppa tea or if you prefer coffee and see what my other blog hoppers have been making with the colour red.