Sunday, October 11, 2015

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada, so that means lots of friends and family and turkey and stuffing.

Bearing in mind the coming turkey and stuffing (oh, and pumpkin pie!), we decided on a pre-emptive strike with a walk along beautiful Old Growth Forest trails at the Shaw Woods.

The canopy is still unusually green for this time of year but we enjoyed the walk and did come across a few nice colourful spots along the way.

With all of our excitement and company behind us, today will be much quieter - a good day to spend some time with Minnie. I've got a few more strips ready to cut into hexies and am looking forward to some hand stitching. So much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too...M

Thursday, October 08, 2015

It Helps To Know What You're Looking At

I'm in the finishing stages of both Nantucket and Country Charmer so my mind has been skipping ahead to the next project. Jane, you will be happy to know that I think I'm finally ready to tackle the machine quilting on your Pumpkin Patch at Midnight, and you can thank Paulette at Sweet P for that. A short while ago she mentioned finding a 'stitch in the ditch' foot for her Janome and I thought that any little bit of help I could get with my machine quilting would be a bonus, so I was all set to buy one.

Just before bolting out the door I thought maybe I should check and see if maybe it was one of the feet that came with my machine, since it is a quilting model. So, I dumped out this little bag of goodies that had been stashed away, and...

...there it was! Bonus! See the little black guide that drops down into the centre of the foot? That sits in your seam as you sew, ensuring accuracy, and given my paranoia about messing this up it is a welcome little tool. There are lots of other uses for it too, if you are interested (it's often called and edge foot). Guess it would help if I spent a little more timing exploring the details of the toys that came with my machine.

All along I've been thinking that I would free motion quilt this piece but I have never done any before and just have not been comfortable testing out my skills on this piece. Then recently I had a brainwave - maybe I could make the spider web quilting pattern using my walking foot.

I whipped out a little scrap with some batting, drew up a loose web, and in no time had a free form spider web that I was very happy with. Eureka! The blocks are not precise matches so the webs will be a little free form too, and I want to stitch in the ditch the spines of the webs, so all the stars suddenly seem to be aligning....M

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The South Shore Quilt

My sister Dori and her husband Rob spend lots of their vacation time in the Maritimes, specifically Nova Scotia, and over the last two summers she has worked on this beauty of a quilt, which she appropriately named The South Shore Quilt.

She started the blocks years ago with the intent of making some baby quilts for a local shelter. After sitting on the blocks for a few years she realized that she had enough to make a full sized quilt.

That gorgeous sashing fabric is Twilight Peony from Amy Butler and she found it in Atlantic Fabrics in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. She remembers the sales clerk looking at her as though maybe she was losing it when she asked her opinion about using it, but she bought it anyway and I think it works beautifully (totally love that fabric!). So, with a little art direction from Benny, she laid it out last summer and put it together last winter in Toronto.

Don't you just love those ears??!

She arranged to have it machine quilted by Lynn Jones when they were out east again this Spring and it is now happily being used on their bed. It's oversized, so apparently no need to fight for the blankets. She needed more of the peony print to bind it with and, as luck would have it, there was still some on the shelf when she went back this Spring.

The back is pieced as well and I think a great complement to the blocks on the front. She has beautiful peonies in her garden so it was nice to be able to get a few pics of it while they were in season. Word is that Benny is still very fond of it. :).....M

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Coming Together

Shortly after I showed you my progress on Country Charmer a few posts ago I finished putting all of the sashing and blocks together, so it's really starting to look like a quilt top.

I laid it out on the bed to see everything together, but also to get a sense of how deep I need to make my borders. I'm still lovin' it!

When I was chatting with Dori about it on the weekend I got to thinking that maybe I should have it quilted and then make that into a duvet cover; need to think on that one some more.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Even though the holidays are still a few months away I've kept it draped over a chair in our bedroom until I get back to it just so that I can enjoy it. The Official Cookie Tester likes it too.

And this is why I haven't yet begun the borders for it. I'm continuing to madly sew nine patch blocks together for my Nantucket border with an eye on the end of the month. It's more than half done and if I had a good block of time that I could sit down at it things would speed along, but I'll take the progress so far.

I'm sewing the border together in sections so that I'm not playing with a huge long piece all the time and I'll eventually join them all. My design wall is a little short for a full quilt so I've just turned under the top pieces, but you get the idea....M