Sunday, 31 August 2014

Simple Things are the Best Gifts

So this weekend was a bit of a busy one. Made a round trip to Halifax for my Godson's birthday and did a good  bit of quilting. I did however have one of the worst migraines ever that put me to bed for quite a few hours but I still feel as if I was quite productive. So here are my blocks for my Whispering Lake Quilt.


The one below is my favourite :) I just love the flower prints. These were Fat Quarters that came from the Bargain Lovers club through Sew Sisters.
 

So the progress on that quilt is going quite well. Hopefully after work tomorrow, I'll be able to get the quilt layout done so I can start sewing these gorgeous blocks together :)

This weekend I received one of the best gifts ever. My aunt gave me one of my grandmother's old quilting books. And in that book was a scribbler with pages full of blocks and her writing and colours....it's just so beautiful to have this! I will cherish this forever. She had Alzheimer's Disease and passed away 14 years ago so I never had a chance to talk to her about quilting or sew with her. I did bake with her and will always cherish those memories :)

So I was completely thrilled to go through her old notes and wonder when she had written them. There isn't any dates but if I would have to take a guess, I would say around 20 years ago. Here are some of the pages to show you. I'm just completely in awe.

This is the quilting book called "Prize Country Quilts" by Mary Elizabeth Johnson which this copy was published in 1982.


Here's a page from her notebook recorded as Dutchman's Puzzle with templates!


This one is recorded as Variable Star. I just love seeing her writing :)


There's also some other blocks in there too. I would like to make multiple quilts from all of these blocks. There's one in particular that looks incredible and is a lot of piecing called Morning Star, Evening Star. It's the last pattern in her notebook. I think I will attempt to make that one in the near future. Hoping to make her proud :)

I always feel like she's watching down from Heaven either laughing, smiling, or crying with me as I make quilts. I'm just feeling so grateful to have this. Just incredible to have as a family heirloom. A notebook that she paid 59 cents for, but it's worth the world to me :) Just feeling so full of love and happiness right now.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Julia

Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Finish :) and Quilty Secrets

Well actually a late Thursday night finish but I didn't have a chance to take pictures until this morning. So the Charm Square baby quilt is finished. So happy with this :)








I just love how this one came out. So for now it will have a home here unless some little one comes along to pass this lovely darling on to.

So Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge put up a post yesterday about quilty secrets. And asked about readers little quilty secrets. I know I had some of the same as Jenn's but I gasped at some of them lol.

So here are my little quilty secrets :)

1) I am a wannabe perfectionist when it comes to cutting....if my cut is slightly off, I'll toss the fabric in my scrap basket.

2) I hate when fabric stores rip fabric off the bolt....it just boils my blood. Seriously I'm buying this fabric because I love it and want to touch the fabric goodness and you're just ripping it off! I've even went as far as avoiding these fabric stores or requesting that all my fabric be cut!

3) I use decorative stitches on my binding so to make sure that I sew both sides of the binding without missing a section. I've tried sewing that straight stitch and I always miss a section that does not get stitched on the backing side.

4) I always use pins while I'm piecing. I gasped at this one for Jenn's post but she's a pro :)

5) I've only started doing this in the last 6 months but I now price all my fabric before storing it....it's geeky I know.

6) I almost always neglect housework and have a cleaner in about every 3 weeks so that our house is liveable while I spend more time quilting :)

7) I scare myself with how much I spend on fabric....and my husband tries not to think about it lol

8) I hate working with anything besides cotton.

9) I just started cutting fabric layered on top of one another....I know it sounds crazy that I didn't do this before but having the perfect cut makes that 1/4" seam so much easier.

10) I spend way too much time quilting.

So there are 10 quilty secrets about me. What are your quilty secrets? Care to share :)

Julia

Monday, 25 August 2014

Charm Square Quilt Progress

What you can accomplish in a few good sewing hours still amazes me. After supper tonight, I went up to my sewing room and decided that now would be a great time to quilt the Charm Square quilt. So I figured out what thread to use and decided that I would attempt the stipple stitch on this baby quilt. I am extremely happy with the results but I am a tad bit worried that the stitches are not as tight as regular stitches. Still the quilt looks beautiful.

Take a look :)







The sun just started to go down so I had to rush to take a few pictures. So all that is left now is the binding. I haven't picked out a fabric for that yet so I may go through my stash tonight to find one. I'm extremely happy at how quickly this baby quilt went together. It is definitely a weekend project if you ever need a baby gift in a hurry :)

My Whispering Lake squares are still patiently waiting to be sewed. Maybe tomorrow after I finish my Charm Square baby quilt :)

I picked up a few items at A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop today. Picked up these fabrics at 40% off :)


I also picked up the Fat Quarter pack for the Fall 2014 - A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop Challenge.


I seen the mini quilts from the last challenge and decided why not try it. If I don't get to make one up, at least I'll have a great collection of Fat Quarters to add to my stash. So basically you make a mini quilt. There's various guidelines that you need to follow. There's a mandatory Fat Quarter that needs to be used (in this case, the orange) and then you could swap out one of the other three Fat Quarters. You can also add two Fat Quarters to the kit. The total size of the project cannot exceed 140" and it must be quilted and bound before returning it for judging. The deadline is October 25. There's a few other guidelines listed but those are the major ones.

I think it may be fun, I just hope I have enough time and inspiration to figure something out for it :) Definitely something fun that the quilt shop is putting on :)

How about you? Have you joined any challenges lately? How do you find the process?

If you made it here from the Around The World Blog Hop from Jenn @ Quarter Inch From The Edge, Welcome :) Hope you enjoy the visit!

Julia

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Surprise Finish And Sunday Stash

While I was cutting up my 6-1/2" squares from the dark Fat Quarters, I noticed that there was enough from each Fat Quarter to make 4 - 5" squares. So by the time I was finished cutting the 6-1/2" squares, I had enough 5" squares to try that Charm Square Baby quilt that I wanted to make. So yesterday after getting all my squares cut, I went to work on the Charm Square Baby quilt. The pattern I used is posted on Sew Mama Sew's website. You can view this post and the pattern by clicking here.

So I switched it up a bit with mine. Since none of the fabric stores were open when I decided to start putting this quilt together, I didn't have any solids that would work. So I used a print instead. Here's the finished result :)


When it's all finished, I'll take a nice outdoor picture. This just gives you the general idea. I used 5" squares from my stash scraps and from the ones I had just cut up from the Fat Quarters for Whispering Lake. It was really quick to put this together. I thought this would be the perfect last minute baby shower gift. Since I wasn't using a Charm Pack, I stuck to using purples, greens, and blues. And during the process, I felt like I may have made a bad decision with the green. But after adding the purple sashes, I really like it.

So I picked out a rather exciting backing from my stash. I'm really trying to use my stash with this quilt since I wasn't making this for any reason in particular. So I picked a rather bold purple...


Incredibly bright and beautiful. I wasn't sure about it but then I just decided to go for it :) So hopefully I'll get this little quilt ready to be quilted in the next few hours. I'm debating on whether to FMQ it or just do something else. Time will tell :)

So during the last week, I did make a few stash purchases. My parents were visiting so me and my mom went to a few fabric stores. So here are my purchases.



I even picked up a few orange prints since they were in the $4.99 per meter bin. The sewing machine fabric purchase a bit more than I normally splurge on but I figured once in a while it's okay. And there's sewing machines on the fabric and the background is purple! It was calling my name. And the blues....ah I just love the blues, there were $8.99 a meter and so lovely.

So how was everyone's weekend? I hope my fellow MMQG members had a great time at the Sew In yesterday. I'm going to go enjoy the last few hours of the weekend :)

Julia

Friday, 22 August 2014

Decisions....

Well I had a chance to play around in my sewing room a bit for the last couple of days. I decided to go forward with the Whispering Lake quilt. I did pick out some fabrics and 5" squares for another project at a future date but ultimately decided the Whispering Lake quilt should take priority. So I picked out my Fat Quarters on Wednesday night.






On Thursday night, I ironed and cut all the light Fat Quarters. I tried cutting long strips and then laying them on top of each other to cut out the 2-1/2" squares. Happy to say that this worked beautifully. I cut all 200 squares in a few hours.





I also did a bit of fabric shopping on yesterday and today :) I'll try to post those fabrics on Stash Sunday.
I also received my Block Three of the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Quilt. And the Finishing Pattern as well that I decided to purchase after finding the rest of the Snowbird collection that I would need.


So excited to get started on Block Three. Maybe in the next few weeks, I'll be able to get it done :)



And today, I am 48 - 6-1/2" squares in and need 52 more before I can start sewing the Whispering Lake quilt. I'm excited to be working on another project on my Library List :)




Hope my fellow MMQG members have a great time at the Sew In tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to make the next one!


Julia

Monday, 18 August 2014

August Library Report

So I'm a bit late to the Library Project party but better late than never ;) Normally I post that day or the day after but I was finishing up a project so I wanted to wait to post my progress.

I've done a bit of sewing this month so far. Another Monkey quilt was made and will be delivered in the next few weeks.


I put together a small Owl pincushion this month. I had two on my list but this proved to be a bit trying on my patience so I'll try to make another pincushion or small project instead. He hangs around my sewing room :)


And my big finish so far this month is a quilt that is not even on my library list but it was an order that I received. And this beauty is one that I designed myself :) There were some hiccups but the overall effect is beautiful....I secretly want to keep it for myself!






So all in all, it was a fairly productive month. I'll be making the Whispering Lake quilt next for a special person :)

Stay tuned!

I'm linking up with Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts for the Library Project. Check it out :) Lots of great projects going on. I just love the motivation the library project gives and the fantastic people I've met along the way.

Hope everyone has a great week :)

Julia



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Inspiration...

So the last couple of weeks at work has been extremely busy. I've been on the road every day for the last two weeks and working many long days. So my motivation factor to get going on certain projects has slowed a bit. Today was another road day and I'm starting to feel quite burnt out. So I was planning on just coming home and relaxing on the couch. Then I seen another delivery notice in my mailbox :) I sort of figured that it should be my newly purchased paintings from Jessica at Naptime Designs. You can check out her Facebook page by clicking here. She is a local NS artist and her paintings are absolutely gorgeous. She had a giveaway on her Facebook page which is how I came across Naptime Designs. I seen the paintings for the giveaway which were three paintings and the winner was able to select one painting from the three. I emailed her to see if the other two paintings would be for sale after the giveaway was closed. And to my luck, they would be for sale :) So I asked to purchase two paintings. One for my bedroom and one for my sewing space. They are both so beautiful and the one for my sewing space is just so motivational to me. Here are some pictures of them.



This is the painting that will be in my sewing space. I just love how different light gives the background a different appearance. And the purple flowers are my favourite! Just simply beautiful :)

Next up is the one I purchased for me and hubby's bedroom.


I just love how the blue flowers provide a calming feeling. And our bedroom has a lot of grey and I wanted to change the accent colour to blue. It is currently red and sometimes change is good :)

So all in all, these paintings provided me with the inspiration to get myself into gear and I managed to put my Owl Quilt sandwich together tonight.

So now on to the quilting part.

Here's some photos of what I did on Sunday. I did get my outdoor pictures of the Owl quilt since it was a gorgeous day out.

 I should have moved the quilt further on my clothes line but it was quite windy so it was difficult to get this picture.

 My first practice attempt at FMQ Stipple stitch. I tried different sizes as I went along.

My second attempt at FMQ Stipple stitch. This stipple stitch is big but I do like it. Just need a bit more practice but it doesn't look too shabby :)

Hope everyone is finding their sewing motivation today!

Julia

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Owl Quilt Top Finished :)

Well I managed to finish the Owl quilt top today. I also had some cleaning and organizing to do. I managed to go through all the quilting stuff that was given to me a while ago. I found some great stuff for practicing my FMQ skills. I enrolled in a Craftsy class "Start Free Motion Quilting" it was on sale for $14.99 so I figured why not try it. So I may practice a bit of that tomorrow since the Owl quilt is complete :)

Here's an indoor picture of it. I'm hoping to get out tomorrow to do an outdoor picture. It was just too dark by the time I finished tonight.






It is quite large but this is what the client requested. I'm really liking how it came out. I added the extra border to get the size needed. If I make this quilt again, I may just add the small inner border. All in all, I am very happy with the result :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Progress on Owl Quilt and Stash Purchases :)

Well the progress on the Owl quilt this week has been a little less than I would like. Busy working and enjoying a bit of summer. Over the last few days, I have fused my branches and stitched them to the center of the quilt. Next was fusing one of my Owls and I am happy to say that I completed the stitching tonight on that one :) Here's a few pictures I took along the way.

 Here's a picture after the stitching was done on the branch and when the Owl was fused on.


This is the picture after I finished the stitching and stitched some feet for the Owl. I didn't mark anything for the feet just eyeballed it and I'm pretty happy with the result. Next up will be the second Owl.

I made a fabric purchase this week.....there were some fabrics on sale at one of my LQS and certain fabrics were $4.99 a meter. So of course I had to pick up a few. Which did include backing for this quilt so it wasn't only for my personal use :)


The one on the left is for the backing of this quilt and possibly for another quilt backing. I took what was left which was 7.5 meters. Next up is the blue dragonflies that I purchased for my sister. Really cute fabric. And I'm not sure what I'll do with the sunflowers but I bought half a meter of that one because it just called to me.

I also received my extravagant fabric purchase from Hamels Fabrics & Quilting in Chilliwack, BC. They offer some pretty good shipping rates and have a good amount of fabric. Shipping is free (up to $40) if your order is over $200. I was so close to it that I purchased a meter of fabric in order to get the free shipping. There was a specific reason why I ordered from this company. THEY were the only Canadian company where I could find the Snowbird Collection by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda.

I'm enrolled in a BOM club from the Fat Quarter Shop called 2014 Mystery Quilt. I've made the two blocks so far and I have 10 more to go. In these earlier posts, Block One and Block Two show what the blocks look like. After completing all 12 blocks, you can buy the pattern and rest of the fabric to finish the quilt. So after calling numerous quilt shops, Hamels was the only one who had the collection. The fabrics were a bit more than what I typically like to pay but I really want to finish this quilt. So here is a picture of most of that beautiful collection.





I just love it so much! I also ordered these other two prints as well.




I was extremely excited to be able to find the Snowbird collection in Canada. I would have ordered it from the Fat Quarter Shop but after paying the shipping, US exchange rate and then customs, it would have cost me way too much. So I'm extremely happy that Hamels got me out of a bind :)

Anyone working on some quilting projects or just enjoying summer?

Julia

***UPDATE***

After publishing this post, I went back to work on the Owl Quilt. I was able to fuse the second Owl so here is a picture of what the quilt center will look like :)





Now I am finished for the night :)



Sunday, 3 August 2014

Owl Quilt

So I'm trying something completely new to me. I'm designing my own quilt pattern. This quilt is being created for an order. So I haven't shown anything to the person yet. I'm going to just show her the quilt top when it's finished. If she doesn't like it, I'll just keep it for myself :) I didn't have much to go on besides using the colour purple and Owls.

The process in the last couple of weeks has just been drawing it out on graphing paper and attempting to figure out how much fabric I would need. Last night, I decided to start the process in making it. There isn't a lot of piecing since I'm using about a meter of fabric for the quilt center. And then just appliqué pieces. Here is what I have done so far :)

Here is just the layout. I cut out the branch pieces and I purchased an embroidery pattern with an owl online. I was thinking of attempting to embroider the owls on the center but I didn't want to mess it up because there really is no going back. 
 Here's a close-up of the embroidered Owl. I used only two thread colours because I just wanted to see how the pattern was going to stitch out. Especially since at that point, I was thinking of doing the embroidered owls on the quilt. Instead I made some templates to use for appliqué.

 I only made one wing template, I just have to remember to flip it over for the mirror image :)

Here are all the pieces laid out to show the appliqué Owl. I'm going to put one Owl on each branch.

So all in all, I am quite happy with the layout so far. Hopefully I'll have a chance to start fusing the pieces on and stitching them this week. I think I'm going to use stabilizer for the appliqué pieces when I stitch them. I never have before but I have heard that it holds the stitches better. I use stabilizer almost all of the time for my embroidery.

What's your take on it? Do you use stabilizer or no?



Saturday, 2 August 2014

Finish and a Small Pincushion

Well at midnight last night, I officially finished the order for a Monkey Quilt. I had set a deadline of August 1 so I finished it a tiny bit into August 2. I only needed to have it complete by the end of August but you know how that saying goes, what can go wrong will go wrong. Luckily I did not have too many issues with this quilt. A few tiny snags that thankfully I caught early! The process that took a while was trying to figure out how to use my binding tool :) I found this great You Tube video from Missouri Star Quilt Co. If you're interested in watching the video, just click here. I found it was great to see how it was used. Descriptions are great but seeing it, is worth it's weight in gold!

Here are a few pictures of the quilt. It is quite similar to the last one, minus a different fabric that was used.







And I figured while I had a small amount of time yesterday, I decided to cut out the templates for those Owl Pincushions which are on my Library Project list. I started sewing it together yesterday. Then I left that to finish my Monkey baby quilt. This morning, I went back to it since I wanted to finish the poor little guy instead of leaving it as WIP. So here are the results of that.






So I had two of these on my list and after doing just this one, I'm going to change it to only one. I didn't have yarn so I used a few pieces of batting instead. He is a cutie but it was a bit of a process to make him. I think I'll make more pincushions but I don't think I'll make an Owl one again. He's more cute than he is functional :) So I'll probably keep him handy for motivation :)

So I'm not sure what is going to be my next project. I may possibly start making some of the quilts needed for Christmas orders. I really don't want to get behind for those. And ironically one of those quilts will have owls on it :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend so far!

Julia