Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter Everyone!

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ugly Fat Quarter Challenge

We have a new Modern Quilt Guild here in Saskatoon...and it is really a great bunch...with some interesting things going on!!  If you are should join in the fun!
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We had an "Ugly Fat Quarter" Challenge. Each person brought a "what was I thinking" fat quarter from their stash, and threw them into the mix, then drew out a fat quarter and the challenge was to make something useful.

Well, I certainly got the better end of this deal...considering the ugly fat quarter that I offered..  And this is the one that I got in return!.....not so ugly at all!!.

After browsing Pinterest for ideas, I decided this would be a good opportunity to practice my HST! What do I have to loose? Besides I had a lot of left over 4" squares, and odds and ends of white I started cutting.  I used a technique I have seen on some blogs for the HST. I matched them , right sides together, and drew a diagonal line..then sewed 1/4" seam on each side of the line...

Cut down the line to make two triangles..

and sew them together to make a pinwheel..

I sure need the practice matching my points...but for the most part they are ok.

And I am a firm believer in the "if you cant notice the mistake when you ride past on a horse is OK!!!"

Anyway, I alternated the ugly fat quarter with some pretty yellow blocks to brighten it up...

I quilted it with straight lines, through each pin wheel block,  1/2"inside the seam. I found the centres of the pin-wheels are quite bulky with all the seams meeting there, so wanted to avoid quilting over that area..

Then on the borders I thought I would try some FMQ butterflies... (some of them are probably more closely related to a silk worm than a butterfly...but I did get better!!)

....and Voila!   .....Something useful...and it used every inch of the fat quarter.
It finished about 40" x 40".

I backed it with cozy flannelette, and used the same flannelette for the binding.

I am planning to donate this to the Children's Cottage Network in Calgary , where my daughter works. I won't tell them it is an ugly fat quarter!! LOL

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Next up on the play list....hour glass

As you may know, I generally avoid all things pointy in my quilting! I am just not patient or careful enough to be that exact. But in my new spirit of adventure with baby quilts....I decided  to tackle the hour glass block!

I had seen lots of these on Pinterest, and especially loved one over at Cluck Cluck Sew.  I also had a beautiful little bundle of pink/white Robert Kaufman "Pristine".

I am not really a pink person, but just loved the soft, romantic, almost Victorian look to this fabric. I bought it quite awhile ago...just waiting for the perfect idea..and here it is!

I am sure there are many ways to make the hour glass block, but here is how I did it.. starts off just like a HST...  I started with 5"squares..and equal number of pink and plain white...match them together RST.

Draw a diagonal line across the corners,

 and sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the line.

You can actually chain these, so it goes very quickly..

Then cut on the diagonal line,
 and then turn and cut across the other diagonal as well.

 Press them open and match them up to make 2 little hour glass blocks..
When you press them open,be sure to press them all to the dark side, so they fit together better..

Although I generally dont bother with trimming, I did for these little blocks,

and it made a big difference when I started sewing them easy...they were all the perfect size!! Who knew??

So , starting with 5" squares, I finished with 4 1/4" blocks.....and all my little pointy bits are looking pretty good too!!

So linking up to TN&TN  and Freshly Pieced WIP!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

IPad app alert

I am not a any stretch of the imagination ! But I found a couple of really great iPad apps that .....wait for it....are FREE to boot !!
Actually I didn't "find" them.... In fact a fellow blogger, Paulette,  posted about them.

She does a great job of taking pictures of her screen to show some samples of the app....check out this post over at.. Sweet P Quilting and Creations.

The first one here, is Block Fab. It is a design site. You can pick what kind of block you want, try different layouts and even change the colours.

And here are are couple of great pages about these:  Block Fab

The second one is called Quilt Fab.  It calculates how much fabric you will need. There is even a way to calculate fabric requirments for borders, and bindings!



And more!  
Remember how I am ALWAYS running out of thread when I am quilting? And ALWAYS whining that there should be a way to calculate how much thread that I need?  Well....check this out ...
It is called "How much Thread"   And it is FREE too !!  WOW!
How Much Thread 1.0
It is hosted by  Superior Thread, and super easy to use! You pick the size of quilt,and the density of quilting that you are planning to do.  Now, it can only be an estimate, because density of quilting is a pretty vague measurement, so is obviously not exact..but hopefully will help. 
I am having fun playing with these...hope you do too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Free to play ....with a giraffe

I am feeling a new freedom since I started making these little baby quilts! Freedom to try new things....freedom to cut up only a little bit of a is great!

They are small, so there isn't a huge investment in fabric, or time! And besides, if a make a mistake, a baby will be the least likely of any recipient to notice or complain!! Bonus!

What am I trying now....machine appliqué!

I saw this little quilt over at  Ahhhh Quilting.   Cynthia has a free pattern with the giraffe template and all.

I used steam a seam lite to fuse the pieces down, and then machine appliqué to secure them.
I had never used the blanket stitch on my machine before, and thought that it might be difficult to stay on the edge, but it was actually quite easy.  The stitching is slower than a regular straight stitch. And I love the look on the edges...sort of a stuffed animal thing going on there...

I did get my borders mixed up, in which  order I had planned to add them, so had to do some creative correcting...but what the heck....he is still so darn cute!
I just have to find some backing, and get this little guy quilted now!

....linking up to WIP at Freshly Pieced, and TN&TN

Thursday, March 7, 2013

this is so easy

When I started quilting a couple of years ago, I tended to make larger quilts...most of them over 60", some up to 100"! I guess I thought if I was going to make something, I wanted to be able to use it on a bed!

And don't get me wrong, I love those quilts! And have given many away to family. But they are a lot of work, and take quite a bit of time, especially the FMQ takes me a long time...I am slow!!.

Last week my daughter told me that one of her good friends, who was a  regular visitor to our home when they were younger, was having a baby...I decided a baby quilt would be required.

I had a collection of yellow and these colours..

and a great tutorial from Sew 4 Home...very easy..

And, WOW !! when it came to basting this....was it ever fast and easy!!  I am used to struggling with large quilts, trying to keep all the layers straight, and smooth. This little quilt is about 40" x 45" very manageable!!  Easy Peasy !!

I wanted to quilt it on the diagonal, so used painters tape to mark the first line...

Then used the extension arm on my sewing machine to keep all the lines equidistant.

I backed it with a soft flannel, and used one of the dark prints for the binding. I LOVE it !!
I am so excited to have made this so quickly and easily, I might have to make a few more baby size quilts!!

Linking up this finish to TGIFF..over at Quilt Matters today!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

pizza cutter !!

My son and his wife are staying with us right now, and my daughter-in-law wanted to try making some infinity scarves.

She had never used a sewing machine before, so this was a great project to learn with.
She had never used a rotary cutter, either....or as she calls it ....the "Pizza Cutter" LOL
She is doing a great job!!

I keep telling her that I will make a quilter out of her someday !!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snow...snow..and more snow!

We are having a record year for snow here!

In the driveway, it is hard to actually shovel it any higher!    Thankfully, I have a strapping young son living here right now, so he is perfect for the job! Hehe!

Yesterday we had to hire someone to go up on the roof to get the snow and ice was causing all sorts of problems that I wont bore you with, but anyway...not it is all on the deck!!

It is going to take a lot of spring sunshine to melt all this! And I am hoping that it doesnt end up leaking into the basement!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank You Annette !

I am so lucky!! For so many reasons..

I am lucky to be part of such a supportive, sharing community of quilting bloggers! I have learned so much...really everything ..from other bloggers!

I am lucky to have the time and money and space in my home to spend hours sewing and creating quilts that I share with family and friends.

And I am lucky that I won a give away last week!! And I received this little package of goodies in the mail...

There is a collection of 5" squares, as well as several sewing goodies...and some chocolate!! (how did you know my weakness????)

This is from Annette over at In Stitches & Seams.  You might remember..Annette participated in the McCalls design challenge and made it all the way to the final! Very impressive!  And also very generous!!

So ..thank you very much!