Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flannel Peaks

I had time to quickly quilt the Flannel Peaks quilt before I "closed" the sewing room before Christmas. I put a fleece backing on it, with no batting. The neat thing about the fleece is how the quilting carves into it, creating a wonderful backing. It makes me want to think about making a whole cloth quilt with fleece!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas busy-ness is over...

and now I can get back to my sewing room, and pick up where I left off a couple of weeks ago. I hosted two family Christmas dinners, and as our families are large and my house isn't, and my sewing room jutts off the kitchen, it is cleaned up so that the counters and ironing board can be used as a pantry/storage/holding area while entertaining. It feels so good to get my room back, even just a week or two away from it makes me sad!

I have lots of projects on the go - three quilt tops that will be pieced, all with at least the initial cutting done, and some sewing and prepping for the next steps. Two of these tops are nine patch and variations and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the blocks up on the design wall soon.

I also have various applique that I am working on - two fusible with decorative machine stitching; one freezer paper applique invisible machine stitching; one needleturn applique; one hand blanket stitch applique. Two of these are well on there way, two are in their infancy, and one seems to be on hold.

What's best is the sun is shining, and as tired as I am from the work and fun of the past several days, I've pulled open the drapes in the sewing room, turned on my favourite radio station (CBC Radio One), and I'm happily piecing, pressing, and cutting. Even if I can do this for just an hour, I'll be happier than a quilter with new yardage!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Digital Quilting Magazines

In the space of one week, I encountered three different variations of electronic quilting magazines.

Cotton Spice is a good read, lots of variety, patterns, and website.

Fons & Porter offered a half off special for a cd of three years' magazines - for $29.95!

Quilter's World is offering a one year digital subscription to their print magazine, plus two years of past issues, for $14.95.

This has really got me to thinking. I am a loyal subscriber to Fons & Porter's magazine - I have years worth stacked up on the bookshelf - many ragged from reading, photocopying, some even have rotary cut slashes on a page or two! Do I really want to replace those with the electronic version? Even though a laptop can sit on my lap, it really doesn't replace - for me - the comfort of curling up on the couch (of course with a quilt over me) and browing through a new magazine, or a stack of older ones.

I've downloaded Cotton Spice but must admit to not reading all that I wanted to. I haven't adjusted to long reading sessions on the computer, and I guess I never will if I don't practice, but there is a strong urge just to hit print, and take the pages to the couch!

Then there's Quilter's World. For $14.95 this is a pretty good deal - they have lots of patterns, with a wide variety of skill levels. Good articles. The decision to be made is, how much does the convenience of storing the magazine on the computer - with being able to do computer like things with the issues such as searching, printing, image saving - override the paper effect of having the magazine in my hands? The cost in this case does make a difference too - in Canada, my subscription rate would be about $30 - the $14.95 is about the price of one pattern or maybe a book - and this is far more than that!

I also wonder, if we support these electronic versions will they eventually phase out paper versions? I know this has been a fear of newspapers for years, and it hasn't yet come true. But newspapers aren't quilt patterns meant to be kept as ideas and references for years to come.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Workin' in the Scrap Yard

Well the time has come, the need is there, and I'm tired of so many bits taking up space!

I've been cutting up my sraps - I've often looked at the Quiltville site (http://quiltville.com/)and admired all the lovely quilts made with all those scraps of fabric that would otherwise be overlooked for years. I picked out two or three patterns that I could at least have a starting point on what size to cut - deciding on 2 1/2" strips for the Scrappy Bargello and 2" and 3 1/2" strips for either Disappearing Spools or Disappearing Pinwheels. I've also made a basket - or two, or three - of strips and crumbs. And with the larger pieces I've made 5" squares that can be cut up into lots of things, and even 10" squares.

I began with the overflowing box under the ironing board, went to the basket of ugly fat quarters that I'll never use, on to the baskets of bits and pieces from test blocks and other things. Finally got through those! Then I realized I have three more drawers of larger pieces....now what? Well these I'll cut into fat eighths first, then the other sizes.

I think I have more scraps than yardage! Pictures of all my hard work later today...

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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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