Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gone To Pot(holders)

The Holly Bazaar is inching closer and closer and I'm on a potholder roll. Lately I've tried my hand at making a few using the Granny Square block, and they are really sweet.

It's a fun block and I think I might try making a baby quilt using the same pattern but larger blocks; these pieces finish off at one inch square and I think I'd aim for a finished block of either two or three inches.

It's been fun incorporating some of the holiday novelty prints like this tiny mitten fabric.

I was playing around with fabric options and ended up with two very similar versions so I decided to make two identical sets rather than have them look slightly mismatched, which meant that I had to make two more.

I got the first one all together but goofed big time when I went to trim it - I took off an extra quarter of an inch on two sides before I realized what I was doing. *#!?!@!*! The air was too blue for me to tackle ripping out the border blocks and replace them so it is still waiting to be finished. I was in too big a hurry trying to get them done so I could sit and hand stitch the binding.

There's also one with a green dot for the background fabric, which is going to be for me. I may have to wait until after the bazaar too put the pair for this one together but they will be fun to use during the holidays. I don't think that I have ever made myself a potholder, so this will be a first....M

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Fly Away Home is all together! I started putting everything together on Friday and by Monday it was a quilt top. I am truly smitten. The diagonal layout is even better than I had imagined - this is going to be a favourite part of our Christmas traditions for years to come.

I keep expecting to find geese flying in the wrong direction, but so far, so good; if I find any they will stay where they are :).

But it wasn't without it's challenges. I had just put together the first few rows when my machine decided to do it's best impression of something demon possessed - it wouldn't sew, I couldn't adjust the stitch length and I just about lost a finger because the needle kept randomly bobbing up and down. Not impressed.

After calls to the shop and Janome I decided to take it to my regular guy here in town for a look, which was fine, but that meant that I didn't have a machine and I was raring to go. There was only one thing to do - resort to a life of crime.

Anne was away for the weekend so I planned a B&E (actually, I have a key, so that part was really easy) and absconded with her machine. Not knowing what projects she might have on the horizon I want to get it all sewn together before she returned late Sunday. It took me 'til Monday.

It was a 'pinfest' - every one of those joins needed to be pinned - so I just got into a good rhythm with it and slowly worked my way through.

I still need to trim it and sew the backing, but the deadline worked in my favour.

The colours are going to look great in the living room. It's almost hard to believe that I will have this for Christmas. "Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus"....M


Saturday, October 18, 2014

All I Want For Christmas...

What keeps you up at night? One of my work associates has long used this question to help clients set their priorities. For me lately it has been Fly Away Home. Would I have enough flying geese to lay them out on an angle instead of vertically? How much waste would there be? Could I bring myself to trim them off (I hate wasting fabric)? How big could I make it?

Well, I decided it was time to answer my questions. I started laying out geese on a 45 degree angle and used my rulers to help me visualize how much I'd be trimming away.

I only needed to lay out a few rows before I had my answer - on the diagonal they would be. I would make it as large as I could. And just to seal the deal I pulled out the backing fabric again. I have just under four metres and, after doing the math, calculate that it can be about 75" x 80", which was larger than I had imagined - bonus. We'll see how much the seam allowance 'shrink' it.

It's all laid out (and looks amazing!) and I have started sewing rows; like most things that I procrastinate on it wasn't worth the fretting. This will be for the living room and I'd like it done for Christmas so I wasted no time in calling Roberta to book it to be quilted. She can do it in early December, which will be perfect. I'm sleeping easier...M

Friday, October 17, 2014

Add These To The List

I want to have more than the little felt birds and decos ready for the Holly Bazaar so I've set my mind to putting a few pot holders together. It's proving to be a great way to try new blocks. It's also a great way to use up scraps of batting and the insulated fabric - I just zig zag the remnants together and it works like a charm.

Thinking that I would make a pair, I pulled out a fat quarter of this gold holiday print with birds on it and started making flying geese with it. As I work through the first set I realized that if I played my cards right I could probably make four instead of two.

And, with a little fussy cutting, I was able to give each one a different centre, so they are all the same and yet different.

The deeper red binding worked out really well and that's what I backed them with too. I always hand stitch my bindings but thought I would try doing them by machine for this project. The first step worked out just fine but the topstitching looked maniacal - I think my binding was too narrow. So, off to find my trusty ripper and return to the hand sewing.

I might try the machine binding another time, say on a baby quilt where there is a little bit more to work with. No big deal - I like hand sewing and they were all done in no time.

So, one more thing (or is that four?) I can add to the basket for the bazaar basket....M