Sunday, November 30, 2008

Poinsettia wall hanging

This pretty wall hanging will let me enjoy fresh poinsettas throughout the holiday season - no watering required! A smaller version of a pattern by Kim Diehl in her book "A Cozy Quilted Christmas".

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Array of Aprons

I've made five aprons in the past couple of weeks - still to go is one for my daughter and one for me. I used the pattern booklet More Retro Aprons by Cindy Taylor Oates. This was a great pattern, but I would avoid view "C" - it is the most eye-catching, but I found that the instructions and method for this view to be overly complicated without the best results. The other views sewed up just as you'd expect - but there is a fair amount of tedious ironing involved :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Knowing when to put a w.i.p. away

Today I brought out the JellyRoll Snowmen top to get it ready for quilting. I had bought some very inexpensive poly batt from Walmart to use in this project - I just felt that for a quilt like this I didn't want to put too much into it.

While I was spray basting it, I realized what I knew when I was making the top was true - I didn't really like how it turned out. The curse of the Christmas quilts strikes again. I have made, or tried to make, a few holiday themed quilts and never finished any of them or if I did they've gone away, hee hee.

But I didn't listen to that voice, that one that we often try to ignore, and proceeded anyway. The initial stitch in the ditch quilting went badly and I ended up with a big ripple - something that hasn't happened to me in years. If I felt the quilt wasn't good enough to be treated right, with a good bat, then why was even quilting it?

The redwork snowman was part of a quilt pattern (The Snowman Collector by The Stitch Connection) that I really should have made more attention to throughout the year - I think I'll try to make myself do a block of the month with this quilt and make it as should it be and then finally at Christmas '09 I'll have a real holiday quilt!

Somewhere in Time

Last Tuesday I found myself finishing the quilt with the Somewhere in Time orphan blocks, that I`m now calling Wonder Stars, as I`m using Wonder Blocks (from the book of the same name) to make up this scrappy quilt.

As I mentioned in my other posts about wonder blocks I am amazed at how fast these blocks come together, and how useful they can be.

I had wanted to make enough wonder blocks to fill up the centre areas, but in the end I had to frame some in order to have enough to go around the border.

The picture below is the best I could do, it is blurry due to a bit of shakiness on my part.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whitework Sampler



I set out to hand applique a pattern called Whitework Sampler by the Rabbit Factory. I settled on a deep yellow with the white applique - my problem is that all the tone on tone whites I've got seem to be wimpy - flimsy, almost transparent, no uummpph.

After needleturn applique-ing part of one block, I remembered Sue Nickel's book about machine applique and proceeded to make a block by decorating the yellow background with machine stitches, then using fusible to machine stitch the applique -





While I think this is great, I'm really not interested in doing a bed sized quilt with fusible applique - I think that the method is great for smaller quilts but I'd be concerned that with a bed sized quit it would jsut get weighed down and stiff, no matter how little fusible I tried to use.

I completed this block last weekend and have since been thinking about it in the back of my mind - I'm now trying different colour combinations and trying to determine if I can find a white fabric with more body.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Allow yourself to have your own quilting style!

Staring at the small kaleidoscope quilt that I made a couple of weeks ago, I realized that once again I'm stumped about how to quilt it. I knew that I wanted to emphasise the circles that seem to appear within the design - but that's about it. All along, when working on piecing and making tops lately, I've been hearing advice from successful quilters that its important to plan your quilting along with your piecing. Well, I've decided that that just isn't my style.

For years, I've kicked myself while starting to quilt a top, then realizing I didn't like it, then ripping it out and starting again. Well, that seems to be my style! Seriously, my style does seem to be having to have the quilt right under the needle, with threads at the ready, willing to experiment to find just the right thing to do. I'm getting better at getting it right the first time, and the kaleidoscope quilt was the first time I stopped and changed direction but didn't feel as if I had to rip out what was done. I am very happy with the quilting on the quilt - obviously, lol, but really it has been an eye opener to me to trust the process that is my style.

I also seemed to have conquered leaves! I can free motion pretty well - flowers, feathers, letters, hearts, whatever - but leaves have just had me making round lumps. Uck. Well I think I've got it now :)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time to get organized!

Its early November and the holiday season is creeping up on me, and a new year will be starting in a just a couple of months. I've had a great quilting year - I've been happy with the skills I've learned and the quilts in progress and completed - although there are a few tops and partly quilted quilts that might never see the light of day as I now consider them an investment in learning as they weren't quite as successful as I'd like.

The batik baskets were a nightmare to decide on quilting. I had that quilt sitting at my machine for I think two or three weeks, walking by it and starting at and not knowing where to start. Finally, I decided to stitch in the ditch around the baskets and the hst handles; then, I started to sew veins and details on the leaves using free motion stitching with monofilament thread. Now, I can see the quilt finished - swirly free motion stitching around the leaves, heavy stippling to flatten the open area in the baskets, and maybe a few leaves in the open spaces between the leaves. Problem is, I don't want to spend the time on this right now so I've put it away until after the holdiays or even until next fall.





What I do want to be doing right now is -
quilt the little kaleidocope wallhanging
make 7 (!) aprons for Christmas gifts
quilt the redwork snowman
plan some kind of quilt for my son's wedding next fall
and, I've got a few tops ready to be pieced and in progress, so I can work on those anytime I'd like, as well as applique

So that doesn't look as bad as I thought, and I hope I'll remember this list when I want to start yet another project or go off in some other direction

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About Me

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southern Ontario, Canada
I began quilt-making in January 2001, as therapy following diagnosis a chronic autoimmune condition. I enjoy creating and exploring hand and machine applique, machine piecing, english paper piecing, machine quilting, and machine embroidery. I have been working with Electric Quilt for several years and I'm comfortable with just about very aspect of using EQ to design pieced, applique, and embroidery quilts. I'm an early retired Mom with two teenager and a son who'll be married in Fall '09. My husband is my biggest quilting supporter.

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works in progress

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