Friday, June 9, 2017

Two secret sewing reveals

I can now show you two of the secret projects that I worked on earlier in the year.  The first one is a wedding quilt that was gifted to my nephew and his bride-to-be.  It went from Halifax to Vancouver.  I would have loved to present it to the happy couple in person but it just wasn't in the cards for us to be present at the wedding in July.😞  We were already committed to another nephew's wedding the first of September and two trips out West in one year was just not doable financially for us.  I just made up the design of this quilt as I went.  I just started cutting strips and squares using my Accuquilt cutter. The quilt was made with batiks and hand-dyed fabrics in shades of pink and blue, the bride-to-be's favourite colours.   A tone-on-tone off white was used for alternating rows.  I free motion quilted loop-de-loops using white thread.  I forgot to take a pic of the back which I pieced using leftover squares and strips from the front. 

"Pink and Blue for You"
The second secret project that I worked on was designing the 2017
Row x Row quilt for my local modern fabric shop, Patch Halifax.  I was very honoured to be asked and I must say, I was a bit intimidated.  What a challenge for me!  I set to work with the official theme of "On the Go" in mind and decided on showing how our harbour ferries work so hard, going back and forth between Halifax and Dartmouth, bringing people to work, school and play on both sides of the harbour.   In case you don't recognize the landmarks, the striped smoke stacks on the left are located at Tuft's Cove generating station, Dartmouth and are seen from all around. In the centre is my rendition of one of our ferries and the buildings on the right are Purdy's Wharf , iconic Halifax waterfront office towers.  My first job, when I was 17, was located in the original wharf/pier where it was filled with barrels and boxes of salted fish.  I worked for a fish exporter and had an office there where I prepared shipping documents for the salted fish that was shipped to the West Indies. I spent 7 years doing that job.  Loved it!   
"Back and Forth"
I drew up a paper-pieced pattern for the smokestacks and made applique templates for the remainder of the shapes.  The applique is applied with a fusible and then stitched around the edges.  For the background I free motion quilted lots of swirls (the stitching design is called Jester's Hats) and some waves at the bottom and then my sweet, talented friend, Karen Chase of Sugar Free Quilted Designs, came to my rescue again and wrote up the official pattern that will be a free pattern at Patch Halifax from June 21 to September 5 as part of the Row x Row Experience. 
Check out this link for all the rules and participating shops. 

I have one more secret project but that is really a long-term secret.
Another wedding quilt but probably won't be ready to show you until later this year.  

I hope you had time to get something quilty done today.      

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Nova Scotia Crown of Thorns

I am sure that this quilt has a story. I love a quilt that has a story.   It has been at the back of a cupboard in my home. It was given to me several years ago with little detail.  It has a Nova Scotia Heritage Quilt Project label on it so I know that someone cared for in its present state when that happened, but before that , I have no idea.
 I do know, from inspection, that it was a much larger quilt than it is now.  It appears that a few rows of blocks were cut down and a new binding attached.  Other than that, the only other thing I can say about this quilt is that it is definitely a Nova Scotia quilt.  The colours, the design, the quilting, the batting all appear to sing Nova Scotia.  The turkey red has rotted away in every piece that it was used.  The muslin is thin and the batting, whatever was used, is wadded in many spots.  All this being said, it may be a bit of a wreck but it is very warm and soft and cuddly and still deserving of a place in my quilty home.  Hopefully, some day, I will be able to have a good idea of when it was made.  Any guesses?
Crown of Thorns

Are you a lover of antique quilts?  Will our new quilts last forever?  Where will they end up?  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A modern table runner by me

I am happy to tell you that my table runner pattern is now for sale. A modern paperpieced table runner. Thanks so much to Karen @SugarFreeQuilted Designs for all her help with getting it written up and for sharing her Etsy shop with me.  Pattern writing is quite a skill and I do not possess that skill so I am very thankful to have a friend who takes over for me and makes it all perfect.  
 Karen, you're the best! 😊

Check out this blogpost by Karen @KaHolly to see her rendition of my pattern.    

 And another example in this blogpost by
Lesley the Cuddle Quilter.  

Thanks girls!  They look amazing!  

I bet you have some wonderful quilty friends too!  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cushions, cushions, cushions

With Canada's 150th anniversary coming up, my friend, Karen @Sugar Free Quilted Designs, set to work to design a quilt block.  She asked me to test her pattern and I happily said yes.  I took her paper-pieced block design and sewed it up to resemble a flag and made a cushion.  She has since revised her design to make it even better.  If you would like to try sewing one up for Canada Day, you can order it here

Here's another cushion I made...from someone else's scraps that I saved from the trash!  Alison Glass "Insignia" scraps!  I couldn't resist! I donated this cushion to #87Pillows, a charitable initiative spearheaded by my friend, Jeanette.  This is the second year for this project.  The goal is to collect enough handmade cushions to give to each resident of a local nursing home, something to brighten up their space.  If you would like to participate you can get in touch with me for details.  

I made these from selvedges that were gifted to me by an Instagram friend.  

I am linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.  A Canadian linky party.  Stop by and check out what's happening.  

What's Happening

Today I am sharing some projects that I have made in the past little while but have not shown on my blog.  Lately I tend to do quick shares on Facebook or my Instagram and then neglect to post to my blog as well.  Since my blog is my online scrapbook I want to be able to look back and see most everything I have made so I need to catch up!

First, I made three wallets from the pattern called "Necessary Clutch Wallet" by Janelle of Emmaline Bags, a Canadian company.  

This one is made from turquoise cork fabric with a sprinkling of silver and my coveted Katarina Roccella print, Doiland Gloss in Silver.  

Each wallet has twelve credit card slots, three pockets and one zippered pocket.  My cell phone fits right in the centre.

Not sure of these fabrics but I do know they are a few years old.  

This one is made with three prints from Sarah Golden's "MakerMaker" line.

I am making myself a messenger bag to match the last wallet.
I will be back soon to show you a few more small projects.  I am off now to cut out the pattern pieces for my new bag.

Hope you have time today to work on something special.   😃

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Me and Poppyprint

Krista Hennebury, aka Poppyprint, visited my lovely little guild recently. Krista is a member of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild.   She taught two classes and also presented her wonderful trunk show for us.  Krista has some Maritime roots so we all connected instantly.  Her trunk show was a delight of traditionally modern quilts.  She gave a very insightful talk on modern quilting that resonated with me.    

 Krista is a wonderful teacher and if you ever get the chance to take one of her classes, I suggest that you do.  She sure made me think.  Here is my result of her class.

This is my "Improv Garden". Sometimes  I sew on my deck using my Featherweight when the weather is good.  You can see a spool of thread in the top row.  Also a bird next to the spool. Lots of birds in my yard.  Along the bottom are flowers.  Top left is my new privacy fence that I use to take quilty photos. Arrows.. I love arrows! I needed them to extend into the border.  Now to get it quilted.  I have a plan.  
I must say that I had a bit of trouble making this piece work for me but I have some amazing quilty friends and they can always talk me down.  Thanks to Karen @ KaHolly for making me look at this with different eyes and encouraging me to not give up on where I wanted to go.  

I hope you have some amazing quilty friends who encourage you to go where you want to go.  Sometimes we can't see what others can.  A bit sappy but true!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Time flies when you are having fun!

Time flies when you are having fun!  Fabric and two favourite "F" words! lol
 In my last post I told you about all the upcoming fun things that were on my plate for March and April.  First, my freemotion quilting class at Patch Halifax.  It's always super fun to teach excited beginners at Chris' awesome modern fabric shop.  If you are ever in Halifax I hope you will make sure to drop by and see all the wonderful fabrics that she has for sale.  I am a bit addicted to Patch! The class went well and the ladies all went home inspired to finish up some projects.

After that it was time to get ready to head to White Point Resort for the 2nd annual Maritime Modern Quilt Guild retreat. My lovely little guild.  What a wonderful weekend by the sea.  Of course, wherever you are in Nova Scotia you are never far from the sea. The weather was a bit chilly but that can't be avoided in NS in April.  I had a lovely king-size room all to myself and I enjoyed that so much.  Even had a jacuzzi in my room!  I finished sewing up the top of the wedding quilt for my nephew and sewed together a runner made from a charm pack. For the backing of the wedding quilt  I will be making and taking a pile of heart blocks to the wedding to be signed by the wedding guests and then incorporating them into a the backing.  It will be a while before I can show you what it looks like because I am trying to keep it a surprise.  The food, the friendship, the service, the beautiful sewing room, everything was perfect as far as I was concerned and I hope to return next year.

I spent a fabulous quilty weekend in Port Hawkesbury, just across the Canso Causeway in Cape Breton.  A 2 1/2 hour drive for me. My super awesome  friend, Miss Karen Chase of Sugar Free Quilted Designs, was sweet to tag along with me and be my support.  I get distracted easily and need someone to keep me focused and organized when doing my classes and trunk shows and Karen was the queen of that!  My free motion class was attended by 10 lovely ladies who were absolute beginners and fearful of FMQ and it was my pleasure to help them overcome their fear and set them on the road to finishing up their quilts.
  The following day I was pleased to present my trunk show to almost 90 mostly traditional quilters at the Annual General Meeting of the Ocean Waves Quilt Society, an umbrella group of 11 guilds, So I got to meet quilters from all over the island as well as nearby communities on the mainland.
 I was tickled to be introduced by my sweet friend and guildmate, Lesley Carruthers, The Cuddle Quilter

Miss Lesley the Cuddle Quilter
She brought a tear to my eye with her glowing remarks in her introduction.  I was so taken I think I may have forgotten to formally thank her.   My sweet friend, Karen of KaHolly surprised me by showing up at my class.  She lives on beautiful Isle Madame in Petit De Grat, which is a 25 min. drive from Port Hawkesbury.   I was mighty happy to have her in attendance as she helped me out with machine issues and lots more.  And she also helped out at my trunk show by video taping the entire thing.  I can't wait to see how it turned out.  I also had the chance to visit Karen's home on beautiful Isle Madame.  Thanks so much to Lesley and Karen C. for being such wonderful quilt holder uppers. 
Thanks to all my quilty buddies for being there for me and helping make my visit a success. Could not have done it without you.  Love you all!!  
Here's a few shots of some of the quilts on display at the Ocean Waves Quilt Society AGM

Hope you had a great time quilting today.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Some Quilty Happenings!

Some fun quilty stuff coming up soon for me.

On March 19, I will be teaching my free motion quilting class at Patch Halifax.  It's always fun to pass along what I have learned about FMQing and see how thrilled beginners are with their new skills by the time they go home.

April 7 - 9  I will be sewing my little heart out at the 2nd Annual Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Retreat to be held at White Point Beach Resort, Hunt's Point in southwestern Nova Scotia.  Here's a virtual tour of the resort you can check out if interested.  Maybe you would like to join us?  You can come for the weekend or just for the day.  Get in touch if you need more details.  I am very excited to get away for a "Me" weekend.  The resort will be filled with quilters as Quilt Atlantic will be held at the same time.  Lots of quilty goings on! Quilting is alive and very well in Nova Scotia!

April 29 -  I will be presenting my trunk show at the AGM of Ocean Waves Quilt Society being held in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.  I am honoured to be asked and hope all will enjoy.  I will also be teaching my freemotion quilting class for beginners. Ocean Waves Society has about 150 members and they meet 4 times a year. You can read about the society here.  I'm sad to say that it's been over 30 years since I have crossed the Causeway to visit Cape Breton Island so this is a real treat for me.    

May 13 & 14 - Krista Hennebury, aka Poppyprint, will be visiting and teaching two workshops at my lovely little guild, MMQG.  I will be attending the workshop that is called Speed Dating. A fun class
to help with your improv skills. There are still spots available for both workshops so if you are interested in one or both please get in touch.  

This is the Sunday class

 The other workshop is called
 "Quarter Round"       This  Workshop covers accurate cutting, perfecting a scant 1/4" seam allowance, accurate piecing without pins.    

This is the Saturday class

Well, that's it for now.  I am a busy quilter for the next while.  

Have a great day and I hope you get to do something quilty today!  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Quilty Hug for Callen

One of my secret sewing projects was gifted today, so I can finally show you.  I made a cuddle quilt for my second cousin, Callen. He will be turning 6 soon and I figured I had better get going on making his quilt or next thing I know I will be making him a wedding quilt!  Callen has been in and out of hospital more times than I can count and one of those times included a kidney transplant.  He is a beautiful, loving boy who makes it through all the hardships he has to face with the love and care of amazing parents, grandparents and lots extended family.  

Here is a great big quilty hug for Callen:

Callen told me he loves wild animals.  I found a fabric that had rows of elephants and zebras.  I then cut out the rows and added Kona Denim between the rows along with some Kona Sunflower.  Added borders to make it bigger and bound it in the yellow.  I free motion quilted it with wavy horizonal lines . I didn't get a pic of the back but it is pieced with a row of zebras and some Kona Slate.  And, of course, a label with lots of pertinent info. Oh yes, I also made him a matching pillowcase. I enjoyed making this quilt a lot.  And Callen really seemed to like it too.  He immediately jumped on it and pulled it around his shoulders and wanted to read a book.  That's what making quilts is all about for me.  

A Winner and another SewTogetherBag

ANJA is the winner of my 9 years a blogger giveaway!  Congratulations, Anja!  You chose Cotton and Steel as your choice for the charm pack.  I have it all cut up and ready to go.  I have been in contact with Anja and I will deliver her winnings. Thanks to all my lovely followers for all the nice comments.  I appreciate them, each and every one.  

I made another Sew Together Bag. That's 4 I have made althogether. I think that is enough.  They are such fun to make.  I love choosing the fabrics.   I had purchased some cork fabric from MM Cork Supply to try.  I have seen so many lovely things being made with the real cork and I wanted to give it a go.  A ton of different colours and even some printed ones.  The one I chose is a natural cork sprinkled with bits of a glittery gold. So pretty.  It was a dream to sew with.   Here is a link to the info page on the website of the Canadian cork supplier if you are interested in what cork fabric is all about.  It is very expensive so I just bought a small amount.  
Added a pieced one inch insert on each side.  

Fabrics are Tula Pink "Slow and Steady" with a bit of "Eden" thrown in too.

Hope you get time today to do something quilty! 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nine Years a Blogger with a Giveaway

I don't write on my blog as much as I used to,😦 but I do still hold it near and dear. Things have changed since Feb of 2008, but I still make quilts all the time.  I sew everyday.  Right now I am working on four projects that I can't show you because they are being done in secret for future reveals.  I will say that I am working on two wedding quilts, one long overdue quilt for a special little boy, and a special project for my local modern fabric shop. 
I did complete two Sew Together Bags lately.  For my sweet sisters.  I know they will love them as much as I love mine.  Lots of room for all your supplies.  The best accessory bag ever!

This one is for KnittySister.  It matches the totebag I made her last year.

This one is for QuiltySister who loves to knit too.  

So, to celebrate my #9 Blogging year, I am having a giveaway for my lovely followers.  The winner will receive a curated charm pack of 40 - 5" squares cut from my stash.  Here are your choices:

30's reproductions
Kaffe Fassett
Cotton and Steel
Kona Solids
Low Volume
Text prints

Choose the charm pack you would like to win and let me know in the comment section.
Only stipulation is that you must be a follower of my blog.
I will choose a winner on Saturday, March 4 .

My giveaway is closed and the winner is ANJA.  Congratulations, I will be in touch! And thanks to all who entered.  I appreciated all the good wishes.  

Take care and I hope you get some time today to do something you love to do.  I am going to do some free motion quilting.😊

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Selvedge HST tutorial

I have a request to show how I made my latest selvedge quilt 
(Hi , Lin!)  So here goes.  Hope you will give it a try.  

How to make Half Square Triangle Blocks with Selvedges.  
Or... how I make them anyway!

For my latest little quilt (36" x 36" )   I made 13 faux HSTs

First,  gather your selvedges.  For this project I used my low volume ones.  I usually sort all my selvedges into colour families but they look great when sewn together randomly too.

Next, press and sort.  

For the foundation, I used 9 1/2" squares of solid grey fabric.  I use this size because it is the size of my favourite ruler.  You can make your squares whatever size you want. 
Draw a line across the diagonal in one direction.  The line will be covered so don't worry about it showing. 

Choose the first selvedge you want to add, making sure it extends at each end.  Place it directly on the line, pinning if you desire, and sew very close to the edge.  I used a dark grey thread but you may prefer white thread.

choose your next selvedge, again making sure it extends past the edges at both ends.  Position it so that it covers the previous selvedge by about 1/4 " and sew very close to the edge.  If you are making several blocks you can chain piece too!  

Keep adding selvedges until the surface is entirely covered.  

Time to trim it up even with the foundation square

And now you have a perfect Selvedge HST to make any number of different designs.  

Hope you enjoy sewing up your blocks and make sure to share your creation with me.