Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another UFO is finished

It's a great feeling to know that a quilt is being loved and used before it's even finished!  My quilt-loving puppy is always trying to snuggle up on any project I am working on.

But I do not expect to see my Dad using a quilt before it's even finished!

And I definitely don't expect to find my son using a quilt that doesn't even have the binding sewn down! I'm going to have to buy some of those binding clips...I keep saying "watch out, there are pins in that quilt!" It's not as if there aren't many other finished quilts around here for you to use!


Now the quilt is finished and can be used without fear of being poked by pins!!

To see how UFO # 7 was switched with #9 - click here. But regardless of the UFO number, it sure feels great to put a line through a quilt on my UFO wish list (on the right) and write DONE beside it! To see other finished UFO's this month, click here to go to Patchwork Times UFO post. Next up is UFO #11... which still needs a border and quilting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UFO Machine Quilting

In every spare moment this past week, I have been quilting my spiderweb quilt. I am using a 100 needle and not getting any thread breakage, but I am getting lots of "toe catcher" stitches due to missed stitches! It looks terrible close up (seems to be the theme of this quilt!) but I plan to just keep going anyway.
The free motion circle quilting in these blocks has worked really well to smash down the lumps and flatten out the quilt top.
I decided to just echo quilt the muslin stars and may add something in the centre of them later.

Now onto one of my favorite parts... feather quilting in the borders. I have already stitched the spine all around and am working on the feathers (P.S.  I am teaching 2 classes on feather quilting at Triangle Sewing on Oct. 22 and Jan 21 if any of my local readers would like to learn my tricks)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday #32

On the design wall today are my first 16 blocks for the 36 patch quilt along
The colour is "off" in this photo because I took it late last night, but you get the idea. I am using up 2" white scraps and OLD floral prints from my stash and feeling very proud of myself!  I am sewing these blocks as a treat in between sewing together the long rows of my hexagon quilt
Want to see a fun and already finished 36 patch quilt? Hop over to Life's a Quilt and see the "Summer Berries" quilt...I just love it!
Then you can hop over to Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday for lots more inspiration!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August UFO Update

August's UFO for Judy's challenge was #7. After I got the border on my #7, I was stumped by the quilting design. So I put it back in the closet and took out another UFO which was yelling very loudly to be finished! 
In May, UFO #9  was finished to the quilt top stage and I decided that this would be my August UFO finish (while the quilting ideas for #7 percolate...actually I have an idea now, just need some confidence).
At the end of May I was trying to decide if the border was too wide. Louisa sent me an EQ photo of my quilt with a narrower border and a purple outside border, which convinced me I had to cut the border size from 6" to 4" (Thanks for the help Louisa!)
It is trimmed and pin basted, and I can honestly say that this is the lumpiest, bumpiest quilt I have ever attempted to quilt! It does not lie flat at all!  Can you tell from the photo?!? YIKES! This quilt has been a challenge from beginning to end!
Well, I only have a couple more days until the end of the month so I am forcing myself to start quilting designs using the variegated thread in the scrappy blocks (free motion) and something in the muslin star blocks...don't know what yet!
I purchased this backing fabric in the sale room at Quilted Threads in June...I knew it would be the perfect backing for this quilt! These are the threads I'm using, with the beige for the bobbin thread.  Wish me luck!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

It's the last week for the white scrap challenge and I am very happy with my stashbusting efforts this month! First I started a new project - a 36 patch quilt along and used up a lot of white scraps in my first 8 blocks. Then I focused on finishing up the 2 baby quilts I started this month.

Being the colour co-ordinated quilter that I am,  I had to put on some pink nail polish to stitch down the pink bindings!

Two finished baby quilts hanging on the clothesline!
The quilt on the left is machine quilted with loops, and the quilt on the right is stitched in the ditch.
Here is a photo of the backs of the quilts.I ran a row of leftover blocks across the middle of the backings... it looks like a zipper don't you think!?!?
Thanks again to Ruthie for the inspiration for these quilts!
I have a few scraps left from these baby quilts that I am cutting up to sew into more of these 36 patch blocks. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blueberry Report 2011

It's time for my annual blueberry report. This year I went to the blueberry patch twice...once with my mother-in-law and daughter, and once with my brother and a friend. We enjoyed wonderful visits in the blueberry patch and we picked about 60 pounds of blueberries at $2 per pound!
When we came home I couldn't help myself and made up my first batch of 2011 jam. Half of the jars are pure blueberry jam and half are peach-blueberry jam. We haven't finished our  2010's jam yet, so why am I making more jam when it's probably cheaper, and definately more convenient, to buy commercially produced jams?
Reason #1 - I love blueberry picking! It's a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor activity, and it's quality visiting time with your fellow pickers...especially with my 86 year old Mother-in-law. She is her "best self" when she is blueberry picking, and we enjoy great conversation about her life and her family history while picking. She is a great berry picker, so we now have mountains of berries and I have to find things to do with them...jam, muffins, cakes, cobblers, pies, etc!
Reason #2 - I love blueberries! They are one of my favorite foods and the health benefits can't be beat! I put these 13 bags (each with 4 cups of blueberries) into the freezer for us to enjoy over the winter.
Reason #3 - I love to cook things from scratch. If I didn't work outside the home, I would make all my family's food from scratch.  When I make jam, I know every ingredient that goes into it. 
Fruit is the number #1 ingredient ...not sugar, or other weird ingredients and additives (have you seen this video about "blueberry products" that have NO blueberries?!) I think my jam tastes better and is healthier for us to eat. 
Anybody else out there an obsessive jam maker?!? If you have a good recipe to use up blueberries I'd love to try it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

Two more 8" sampler blocks done for my Civil War quilt.

Block #21 Underground Railroad
I know this block as "Jacob's Ladder". It is quick and easy to sew.

Block #22 Blockade    

This was one of my favorite blocks so far! I liked picking the fabrics, and sewing the components, and I love the scrappy look of it.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday #31

Thank you to everyone who left comments and suggestions for my hexagon quilt that I posted on my design wall two weeks ago. Commenters voted overwhelmingly in favor of the random placement, so why then did I feel the need to sew the vertical layout?!? 
I have no idea! But this is on my design wall today and I'm sewing the rows together. I guess it just feels more calming to me, and the random layout felt like too much work to figure out (funny eh? since it's supposed to be "random"!) I am adding a half block dark border on the sides, and a dark border row across the top and bottom. I also think I will take out the dusty rose coloured scraps since they jump out at me on this photo!
To see other design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

There is only one more Saturday in August to finish up with my white scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I am almost finished the quilting on the baby quilts and am loving them! I am quilting pink loops on the pink bricks and white loops on the white squares...very fun!
I also made 4 more 36 patch blocks for the quilt along. It has been great fun looking in my scrap bags for floral strips to go with my white scraps.
It seems that this month I got completely distracted with my white projects and haven't spent as much time as I should have working on my August UFO
Hop over to SoScrappy to see what other quilters are making with their white scraps!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ticker Tape/Raw Edge Applique Quilt

I loved the ticker tape quilt that I first saw on Crazy Mom's quilt blog 2 years ago and wanted to try this technique. Then I saw this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew and knew I would definitely make at least one of these quilts because I have a few scraps!
When we were at Keepsake Quilting in June, I helped my friend Susan pick out fabric for a Bottled Rainbow quilt... just look at the 16 bolts of pretty Kona Cottons that we picked out (on the floor)! Can't wait to see how her ticker tape/bottled rainbow quilt develops! 
All of this has sparked my interest again in tackling my own ticker tape project. 
But I didn't want to use a walking foot and keep turning the block to sew each side of each scrap. So I decided to use my free motion foot, drop the feed dogs and stitch around each scrap...and it worked great! 
I am using up the scraps from my Indian Orange Peel blocks (DON'T even ask about that project!). I am going to make as many blocks as I can, until I run out of these scraps. I can't even count the number of times this has happened to me...that I have been distracted by a project's scraps, only to finish the scrap project... while the original quilt is a UFO! Am I crazy?!?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

My plan to make 2 blocks each week to catch up to the Civil War Blog updates is working out really well. 

On the right is finished block #19 Missouri Star.

I also took a photo to show how I lay out all the pieces on my 12 1/2" ruler before I sew anything. Then I can change any of the pieces that I don't I did with the centre square on this block.

My second block for this week is #20 called New England Block.
Both of these blocks were fun to sew and came out to the correct size (8 1/2").
At this rate, I will be completely caught up in 6 weeks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UFO Update - June Mystery

My August project #7 for Judy's UFO Challenge is her June 2010 mystery (click here for the free instructions).  It has been sitting in my UFO closet for a year now...waiting, fermenting, aging to perfection. This is how I hang my most recent UFO's. Some quilts even have the backing and/or binding fabric on the hanger with it. I got the idea from Karen's blog when she showed us her closet last year and it has worked well for me in getting my UFO's (that are on my wish list) ready to work on.
The border size for this month's UFO was determined by the piece of fabric I had purchased last year for the border and binding. First I measured the quilt and made the binding. Here it is sitting in my binding basket (with 3 other bindings all ready for other UFO's!) 
Then with the fabric that was left I figured out that there was enough to make a 3 1/2" border. Here it is with the border on (the photo only shows half of the's a large quilt!) Now I have half of August left for the quilting and binding...easy peasy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday #30

Thanks so much to everyone who offered suggestions on last week's design wall dilemma. I have read every comment and have become frozen with indecision. I am working through my positive self talk strategies following my Mom telling me (after looking at the quilt on the design wall) that it is "a nightmare"! Thanks Mom!
So on my design wall today is something different - my letters from the letter quilt along, based on Tonya's book.
I am up to 'J' and finding that each letter takes me quite a while to figure out. No matter how hard I try, the size of each letter varies considerably. I guess that getting a consistent size takes more practice? I am resisting the urge to trim the letters as Lynne recommended.
I practiced making some 'E' blocks to make another word for my virtues quilt, but this is as far as I got this week.
To see what other quilters are working on this week, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Batting Scraps

Since I have been working a lot with scraps lately, I thought I would show you a new product I am experimenting with. It is a fusible tape used to join your scraps of batting together to make a quilt size batt. I accumulate a lot of batting scraps and many of them I use up for miniature quilts. But I still have way more batting scraps than my minis will ever use up. I always say "You paid for the whole piece (of fabric or batting) so why not use the whole piece"?! 
In the past I have hand stitched and/or machine zigzagged batting scraps together and have not been happy with either the look of it, or the waste of time working on batting prep. 
This new product is called "Heat Press Batting Together". You can watch the video of how to use it at their website - click here. No instructions come with the little package, so the video was helpful. The little piece of plastic around the tape was annoying to have to cut it off (don't spend precious minutes looking for the end to peel it off like I did!) but be careful not to cut into the tape!
This product is just like having strips of fusible interfacing all perfectly cut for you. It worked great and I have constructed 2 baby quilt sized batts from small bits. Next I'm going to try using larger chunks to construct a twin size batt and see how that works out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

Two more blocks are done for my Civil War quilt being made from Barbara Brackman's blog.
This is block #17 called "Comfort Quilt" block.  Can't you see this block making a great scrap quilt?! I enjoyed reading about nursing standards in the civil war on the blog post for block #17.

This is block #18 "Union Square".

Both of these blocks were fun to sew,  came out to the perfect size, with no chopped off points...woohoo!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Design Wall Monday #29

I found a box of cut scraps that were MIA since last fall. I wrote about the scraps in this blog post, and ironically I also wrote about my wish to be more organized with fabric storage. And then I misplaced these scraps as soon as they were cut! I have learned to accept my problem organizational challenges and my way of's who I am :)
Anyway, I wanted to make a hexagon quilt using Jamie's tutorial (click here to see her instructions) and as soon as I found this box of scraps, I put away all the other projects I was working on and played with some layout fun!
Can you help me decide which one to you prefer the first random layout, or the second linear light/dark columns layout...and can you tell me why you prefer one over the other?
For more design wall inspiration, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

White is the colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month. I don't have a lot of white scraps, because I tend to use up white scraps faster than other scraps. But I did come up with 2 ideas to work on this month. One will be a gift for a baby shower for a soon-to-be-born baby girl (funny how everyone knows the gender if their babies before they are born these days...doesn't anyone like surprises anymore?!?) So I thought I'd combine white with pink (which I have a lot of!) 

Here are my pink pieces...some are partial strips and chunks, and some are Fat Quarters...wonder how much I'll need?
I have cut and pieced some units and am having a great time!
The design I am planning is one I have seen a few times on Ruthie's blog Threads of Mine. Here are 3 versions to view: 1) baby quilt in blue - click here, 2) pink, green and brown quilt - click here, and 3) pink and white version like mine will hopefully be - click here.
To see what other quilters are making with their white scraps today, hop over to SoScrappy.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

It's not Wednesday? How did that happen? Let's pretend it's Wednesday and I will show my newest civil war sampler blocks...

Block #15 Fort Sumter

As you can tell from the photograph, I am losing the points of the squares on the sides of the block. Oh well, it's the correct size so, that's life! I love the fabric in the centre!

Block #16 White House

A quick and easy block to sew and it came together perfectly
...gotta love that!

Here are my blocks to date placed on pointe on my design wall:
I'm loving the addition of the brown enough to keep going with this sampler, and have finished about half of the blocks posted so far.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Design Wall Monday #28

This is what is on my design wall this morning....two Unruly letter projects.
Lynne is hosting a letter quilt along...what's not to love about that?!? I have been trying not to start new projects, but I couldn't seem to resist this one. I can just hear you saying "doesn't she already have a letter/word project in the works"?? the top of the design wall are the first 4 words of my Virtues quilt project and I am still enjoying it and wanting to make more words, so the letters are just a quick little irresistible side diversion.
I have been watching Jean's and Judy's adorable letters appear and they have worn me down (I have to blame someone for my lack of self control!)
I got out an old Laurel Birch fabric and cut it into colour strips and I'm going to make each letter from one of these strips.
Here are my first 3 letters:
Either 'B' is too small or 'C' is too big! I was supposed to be putting the spacer strip on the right of each letter...I changed it on the 'C' and hope I remember for the rest of the letters!
Are you looking for some relaxing web surfing on this long summer weekend (it's the civic holiday in Ontario today)?
Here are some ideas:
3) Quilter's Home Magazine's list of 55 best quilt blogs to visit ( a little harder to access because it is an article and you can't just click to link)
4) Quilting Gallery's list of 5,410 quilt blogs (no...I haven't visited all of these!)
5) Design Wall Monday
There now...that should keep you busy for the day!