Sunday, 8 July 2018

ME Weekend!

no walking foot...quilting not bad
Yes it has been a quiet, no work only sewing weekend! DH has been gone since Thursday to a music festival and I am home with the dog. It has been three days of sewing. I have been  machine quilting this quilt and now I can finally get to the hand quilting. I thought it would be quicker to do the machine quilting...but THREE days. That was after I spent an afternoon quilting on my big machine only to have an issue and have to rip all the stitching out again. I don't have a lot of faith in my big machine at the moment. It will be going to the doctors shortly to see if we can find an answer to my problem.It is a tension issue that leaves little bird nests on the back of my quilt when I sew over a bulky area. SO I machine quilted this quilt on my 301A with no walking foot.It worked out very well except on the full straight lines...there is a bit fullness and some rippling but not too bad.

ready set .....get quilting
The weather has cooled a bit to 23-25 degrees Celcius during the day. Much better weather for hand quilting since I am using a hoop. I like my squarish wooden hoop for most of the work but this plastic one is great for doing borders(which will be necessary for this quilt). So today slow stitching Sunday with my buddy Kathy will be all about hand quilting. I am most excited to start on that.

Also today a friend is dropping by with a quilting job for me. She has a large banner made from cloth 4'x9' and she wants a border put on it and it made into a quilt. And I have 3 weeks to accomplish it. Stay tuned there will be more on this in a future post.

during the chase
after the chase
A little funny for today. This is Belle and she has a love/hate relationship with squirrels and chipmunks. She loves to chase them and hates when they are faster than she is(which is most of the time). She managed to chase one under the van and she is not so patiently waiting for it to come out again. In the process is getting cover with undercoating from the van! Oh Belle, it is a good thing that you are cute!!

Friday, 6 July 2018

The Story of a Quilt

the individual block unit
It's a mystery they said, it will be fun they said, do it with us they said. Who is they you ask? And why oh why did I listen?!!?!
Don't get me wrong, I love mystery quilts. This one however was a bit simple in structure but had lots of options for layouts. But as luck would have it with the fabric I chose and how I used it in the quilt, there was only one option for me. So I sewed and completed the top and that is where it sat till this week.

the finished quilt top
I didn't like the finished top ! The fabrics I chose were lovely and a favourite of mine(the seashells). I have taken it out of its box a couple times, looked it over and put it away. This week I took it out once again and decided NO...I just don't like it and I can do something about that. SOOOO!!! I reversed sewed the blocks out of the quilt top. I thought maybe there was another way to rearrange the blocks. After more wasted time, I decided there was no other way to go so there they lay on my cutting table. I am going to reverse sew the blocks too. I will be left with hst of various colours combos and plain and coloured squares. I will make another quilt just not sure what it will be using all the pieces from this quilt.
my 2nd try at a layout

The colours show more vibrant in these pics but in real life the light teal and the off white are just too light I feel.I will post when I have decided what will become of them or what great creation I have come up with!!!I like all the fabrics and thought they would play nice together but they don't in this top. Maybe they are just asking to be put into another quilt top design!!!

pile of blocks that need further un-sewing

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Summertime has arrived!

back of quilt, bulky seams create birdnests
With the cooler weather we had the other weekend, it is hard to remember what with the heatwave we are having!! High temperatures and humidex values have made it a stay indoors time for me. That is good as I can hide in the cooler basement and pin baste quilts. I did this one the other day and have started machine quilting it.
older machine sewing like a dream
Now anyone who has read my blog will and machine quilting...NOT a good combination. Now add to that a big fancy electronic machine with extra throat space that will not co-operate and quilt properly. So what is a girl to do....I tried something new! I moved to my 301A Singer sewing machine. I lessened the pressure on the sewing foot and I have been machine quilting all day!! There is the odd spot where I have to smooth out a small bubble but so far(knock on wood) it has been going great. I wonder if it would be any better with a proper walking foot. Maybe one day I will get one!!!

if I had started with this machine, I would be done now!
My thought process was to machine quilt the arcs of this wedding ring type quilt and they would act as my basting for the other quilting that I want to do my hand. I have done this before and really like the end result. Also it gets done a bit quicker than hand quilting the whole thing. This quilt is from a class I taught this year called Metro Rings. You can see the original post here.

mesmerized by the  night sky  

I couldn't resist taking these pictures of the sky this evening. A storm was passing by north of us and this is what I got to see!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Piranhas have left the tank!

our birthday party & cake
Yes they have left the tank that we call the retreat house. They headed for their respective homes yesterday. It seemed we only just got started and then it was time to leave, how can a weekend go by so fast? You can read about our first day together here.
warm friends and extra jackets

 On Sunday we sewed a bit in the house and then headed to our gazebo for slow stitching Sunday. This is something that Kathy has been doing on her blog for a few years. You can check it out here and here. Time to put the electric machines away for a bit and do hand work with needle and thread!But warmer clothes were needed as the temperatures here didn't get above 15 degrees Celsius all day. DH put a fire on in the cookstove in the gazebo to help a bit with the chill.

After supper we were back at the machines sewing up a storm or at least trying to get a project or two finished.Okay let's be honest....only one thing got finished. Kathy completed a small mini, complete with  binding and label. But that is not to say we didn't make in roads on other projects. Blocks were completed for future quilts, other projects got some machine quilting done and more rows were sewn onto quilt tops.

Until we meet again and can sew together...words to live by!!! Farewell Piranhas!!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

The Piranhas have arrived!

Louise's quilt
My annual retreat with these three friends is well underway. They all arrived on Friday and we have been sewing and visiting ever since. How come two days of chores takes so long yet two days of sewing goes by so quickly.Why piranhas you ask? We are the fabric piranhas. Put in a quilt store with fabric and a sale (if we are that lucky) and there is a frenzy that happens. Much like when food is dropped into the water of a piranha tank!
I have finished the blocks from a workshop a couple weeks ago with Carla of Quilting by the River. Now I need a change of pace this morning and I have dug out some blocks and am piecing them.
Barb's swap blocks-loving the froggie
Kathy's next project, machine quilting with finger
Barb is working on some wonky star blocks that were from a international exchange...that is exciting getting blocks from anywhere and everywhere!
my blocks from Carla's class
scrap blocks x's and o's
Louise has been machine quilting away on a circular scrap quilt from Louisa L Smith's book Strips and Curves.
Kathy has been trying to finish her quilt top but keeps getting squirreled with so many little scraps that she keeps finding. You can see her finishes on her blog here!
We are sewing indoors hoping it will warm up. It is about 18C or 67F.

We all want to be slow stitching in the gazebo this afternoon. We might have to put on some warmer clothes...or start a fire in the cook stove.Kind of silly in a screened in gazebo but it will add a little warmth.

And then there is always some fun. Kathy needs pictures and helpers to hold the quilts. All that and the wind were not making for co-operation.We can always find fun in the simplest of things. Guess that is why the time goes by so fast and we have fun together! I am sure there will be more about the Piranhas this week!
We will be slow stitching later this afternoon...check in with Kathy and see what everyone is up to!

Sunday, 17 June 2018


looking good on newly painted porch
demo samples
 Yes it is done and the binding on...I just have to sew it to the backside and do a label. It is too warm here today to finish it though. Not the best picture but I am sure there will be more of this one in the future with two quilt shows on the horizon. With a big project like that done...I wanted to do a little something to feel accomplished. I had these two Christmas blocks hanging around. So I decided they would be perfect samples for a binding demo I have to do in a couple weeks. I will be showing flange binding.When finished they will make perfect little mini quilts for a couple stuffed animals for charity.

small wallhanging

I wanted to finish a few small projects so I went sewing room digging. I found a couple that can be done.....actually tackled one today. I found another pile of fabric with some blocks finished. I think this was something I picked up at guild. Not sure what it will be but  I am sure I can tackle it.
pieces to cut for next weekend retreat
I love when I can start something new and finish it in a few days, well in between those large projects that take so much time.

Binding will be what I will attempt today to join in with Kathy and some slow stitching. I am checking in with her to see if she is packing yet. We have one week till we get together with our  other friends Barb and Louise. They are all headed to my house next weekend for a few days of quilt-related fun. Oh we will be sewing and other shenanigans I am sure!! Looking forward to it...Girls...5 more sleeps!!!More blog posts this week as I get ready and then wait for them all to arrive!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

National Sewing Machine Day

My treadle

301A my personal fav

Today it is National Sewing Machine day if you believe everything you read on facebook. Let's honor our machines for all the time and effort they put in to makes our creations come to life. 

Maybe treat them to a spa date with the fellow who keeps them running well. OR maybe just a mini spa day where you take care of them...a little dusting and a drop or two of oil to keep them going! Here are a few of my herd of machines. I am not a "vintage only" owner. I have a Husqvarna extended bed machine too but use it mostly for machine quilting. I also still have my very first machine a Kenmore that I bought in the early '80's.

Penelope, auction find


Love your machines whatever they are!!!