Wednesday, April 16, 2014

travelling home

Well, spring is almost here, so time to leave the sun and sand of Arizona, and travel back to Saskatchewan....where I think the snow is slowly melting...I hope!! It has been a bitterly cold winter there, so I can't really say that I missed being there for that, but it will be great to get home again.

We drove first to the Grand Canyon. We had never been there before. It really is breath taking! The pictures really don't do it justice either.

Then we stopped for a short visit as we drove through Salt Lake City. We were fortunate to be there for a free rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

We are now in Calgary for a few days, then will be home in time for Easter! We are visiting my daughter here in Calgary...and yes, she is back in her apartment now (after the big flood in June/2013) and keeping her fingers crossed that there is no flooding here this spring. They are really just getting settled and have started buying new furniture etc. I suggested maybe they should buy stuff that floats LOL !!

I have now finished all of the hand applique blocks for the quilt that I had traveled with, so next I need to get them put together!

I am procrastinating because I am pretty intimidated by trying to figure out how to quilt this one!! Some of the blocks are at home, so I will have to get them all together and take a picture later. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where have I been?

Well....where have I been??  All over the place, I guess is the easy answer.  And I am not quite sure what happened to my blogging. I think that blogging was part of my daily routine, and when my routine got disrupted, I sort of lost that part of my day???  I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either!!

We flew home to Canada, from Arizona for Christmas...arrived home on Dec 20 and had 25 people for Christmas dinner on Dec 22! And yes, I even managed to get the Christmas tree up and decorated! It was great to be home and see the whole fandamily :)

Then a week after Christmas we were off to Hawaii for a month! (it is a tough life, I know!) We have a time share, and have always gone to Maui, which we love, but this year decided to try somewhere different, so we went to Kauai instead. It is a smaller island than Maui, and much more rural. Very lush and green and beautiful...and very quiet!!

Lots of turtles just off the edge of the rocks...I guess they feed there.

We did lots of hiking, golfing and relaxing by the pool. And I found the greatest little quilt shop with very friendly staff. If you are ever in Kauai, you need to stop in for a visit! The Kapaia Stitchery on the Kuhio Highway...

We were home for a couple of days, then back to the sun in Arizona! (photo by my daughter, Kara@ Inspired Photography)

We saw our first rattlesnake!! Up close and personal!! A little too up close for my liking. We were out hiking in the desert and Jack planted his hiking pole and must of scared the snake. It reared up...hissed and rattled....and we ran! I didn't realize the rattle was so loud!! But it sure got us moving! Once we were well out of striking distance, we crept back to take some pictures and marvel at how big the snake was, how difficult they are to actually see, and how lucky we were that he didn't strike!

I have been doing quite a bit of sewing in Arizona....I will be showing off some of my finishes over the next few days. Here are a couple of the small quilts...

This is a pattern from the Moda Bake Shop...very cute...and quick and easy. I made this with a jelly of roll of Road 15 by Sweetwater.  It is only about 48"x 55". My daughter claimed this one right it is gone already!!

This cute quilt was made from a jelly roll of Mamma Said Sew  by Sweetwater.  The pattern, called All Lined Up is available here.  It finishes about 58" x 79".

Anyway. ....I don't want this post to get too will save some for another day....hopefully soon! ; )

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

scrap playtime

Sometimes it is just fun to relax and play with scraps (especially after a week of sewing little tiny triangles and flying geese LOL)

So I played a bit!  First up, I "made" some fabric out of leftover strips...

and just straight line quilted it onto some batting..

Then made a couple of these little pouches..Best tutorial ever over at Noodlehead..the open wide pouch!

I didn't have many zippers on hand, so for a couple I had to use shorter zippers, so I added a tab to the end....

so I guess it wasn't an "open wide" pouch...but that was what I had for a zipper, so had to work with it ! :)

Great little stocking stuffers!

The next scrap project was a scrap box. When I am cutting and sewing, I like to keep a scrap box handy to toss all the trimmings and bits into. I have made these before, another great tutorial over at Sew Sisters.

I wanted this one to be a bit more sturdy, so I cut up my Cheerios box to add into the making..

On the bottom, I made a little pocket, to slide in the cardboard, and on the sides I slid the pieces in between the batting and the lining.

I added the cardboard once I had the sides sewn, then added the binding on the top.

Perfect...just what I needed!!

linking up to TN&TN...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

next Christmas project..

I wanted to make a tree skirt for my son and DIL for their new home. I found lots of pictures and plans, but nothing quite what I wanted it to look like. I had a picture in my head. (of course!!) I wanted it round, with pie shaped pieces of different fabric, maybe with a scalloped outer edge.

I hate to sound like the Grinch...but I am not really a Christmas person (sorry) didn't really like all the really Christmassy fabric, BUT...I saw this...and it was perfect!!

So then on to the planning stage!  As I lay in bed one night I realized that the math was really pretty simple. If you cut a circle into have a 90 degree corner in the middle..divided into half makes a 45 degree corner and 4 wedges on each half of the circle.

If I wanted 3 wedges on each side....that would make each corner 60 degrees instead of 45 degrees, or I could make 6 wedges of 30 degrees! (easy peasy...right)

I know this is probably pretty obvious to most of you...but it was a true moment of clarity when I realized how simple it really was.

So I got out some paper. It would be helpful to have a big chunk..but I taped several sheets together. and using my quilting ruler, marked off a 45 degree line.
I decided I wanted this about 45" across when finished, so I used a pencil on a string, measured to 22" to draw the circle edge.

I added a 6" circle opening in the centre point by using the pencil on a 3" string to draw the circumference.
I cut this out and used it as my template.
Fabric requirements.. I used .6 metre of two different fabrics. 

 That gave me 4 wedges of each fabric. I used one side along the salvage...because it is round, there are going to be bias edges somewhere, and that fit the best on the fabric I had.

I sewed the wedges together, alternating the fabric, and leaving one segment open.

Once they were all sewn together, I sandwiched it with some batting and backing and quilted it up. I used a straight line echoing each seam, and a curvy line down the centre of each wedge.

On the opening I just turned under a 1/4" and stitched it closed. On one side I added 3 elastic ponytail ties for closures. (they were bulky and hard to sew in...I might try something different, or smaller ones next time)

Because I am lazy, I used store bought bias binding to finish the centre and outside edges.
I added some big buttons for the closure.

Anyway, I am really happy with how this turned out...I love it..I hope they do too.

Linking up to TN&TN
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

flying geese update

Just a quick follow-up to yesterday's post about the Downton Abbey QAL and my trouble with the flying geese blocks...

I took all the suggestions and started work on the second batch of these blocks.

First, I tried them out of paper, to eliminate the problems with the bias edge..

I found that even with paper, it was very difficult for me to get them all exact!! And I should mention that I am usually pretty exact, so this was frustrating.

So I cut the corner square blocks 1/8" larger than suggested in the directions, and then trimmed them down after they were finished. Some I had to trim off the whole 1/8", and others not very much!

Spray starch also helps to reduce the problem of the bias edge. worked!!  Of course it helps that there is less contrast on these blocks too! I wish I had started with these, and done the black and mauve ones once I had improved my technique!

most of them are now pretty good..

there are still a couple that are off centre, but the points are there..

So I guess I can get off my horse now ..LOL  (Thank you Sharon!!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lady Sybil continues

I have been working on the second blocks for the Downton Abbey Mystery QAL.  I must admit it is truly a skill building experience for me!
This week is a lot of little triangle bits, and flying geese!! (I knew there was a reason that I hated little triangle bits!!)  And because this is based on the EDeN system (designed for die cutting) you end up with a whole pile of little pieces to try to sew together.  I have used the "easy flying geese" method before, and did pretty well with that.

But......This....not so much! :(

I did get some perfect points!!
OK, to be honest, I got 2 perfect points!! (but who is counting???)

I got mostly "close call" points....

But I am sticking strongly to the "Horse Test"

For those of you who may not know what that means that if you ride by the quilt on a horse, and don't notice the error, it doesn't count!
And I have a very tall, fast horse in my head !!
But really...they are not terrible...just don't look too close!!

Anyway, I have half of these blocks finished, and another batch to go. I have made a desperate call out to Vroomans Quilts, and she has offered me lots of great back to work here and see if I can improve!

Linking up to WIP Wed at Freshly Pieced
and TN&TN

See you next week!

Monday, November 25, 2013

getting organized

I am finding that I have bits of paper all over my work area. I print off free patterns and tutorials, just in case I want to make them. I still like having a paper copy to refer to as I am working.

So I decided to get a bit more organized. I went out and purchased a 3-ring binder, and some plastic page protectors..

So now each pattern has a home..

and it is all neat and tidy!!

Of course I didn't go so far as to organize the they are all jumbled up in there, but at least they are all in one place now!   That might be a project for another day :)