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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Well, I did promise pictures, and in this, as so much else, I'm behind as always :)

The first picture (taken on my cluttered cutting table) is a snuggle that I've crocheted for donation to my local animal shelter. There was a fire at the shelter last week, and over 160 cats and other pets lost their lives. Mercifully, they died of smoke inhalation. Only 9 dogs, 2 cats, and a rat were saved. They need all the help they can get, and a snuggle is a very small but easy thing to give.

The second picture is a small top I've pieced from cotton scraps. I've been collecting 2" squares from eBay (and cut a few myself from my stash), and a good friend finds cotton scraps for me wherever she can (yard sales, you name it) so some of the fabric is recycled. This will be sandwiched, quilted, and bound, and also donated to the animal shelter.

I've also got a pile of crocheted squares that I've made for donation to Blankets4Canada, but they can wait for another post.

Now I'm off to wrap presents and finish decorating the tree. (I told you I'm behind on things!)

Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Practise, practise, practise

The practise quilting on the frame is progressing - and I don't have as many puckers on the back now - which is a good thing. I've got 5 tops that are crying out to be sandwiched and quilted - and blocks to make one more (well, I should perhaps add some sashing first) - and PILES of UFOs. Then there's the crocheting - the snuggle for the vet's office, the squares for Blankets for Canada - there will be pictures (if only for my own benefit to see how much I actually do accomplish).

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Small Success

So I tried again this evening, to see if I could sew across the small test quilt without breaking the thread. The first thing I managed to do was jam the needle. After getting it unjammed, in trying to get the thread out of the bobbin area, I managed to get it ALL apart. Which meant I had to get it back together again. It seemed easy, but I just couldn't do it. So DH had a look at it - the only part I had missed was getting two small levers snapped into position. Everything else was okay. So, I tried again - and this time - success! I managed a little bit of stippling all the way across, and the thread didn't break!

Now on to advancing the quilt a bit and practising some more. It's a baby step, but it's a step in the right direction!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Quilt Frame, Bailey

There's so much to learn about quilting on my frame. I'm sure I haven't quite got the mini quilt on there properly - must tighten the knobs on the poles. And the thread keeps breaking. Rethreading on a frame isn't the easiest task. But at least I know how to do it quite well now. I did manage a sort of pattern the first time - and it helps that DH thinks it's awesome. :) Unfortunately, I'm prone to frustration when I don't learn something right away. Must be a sign of age. :(

On the plus side - it can only get better, right?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Quilt Show, Guilds, Friends, Music

Yesterday we attended the York Heritage Quilt Guild's annual show. Once again, I was amazed at the wide variety of quilts, and combinations of colours in quilts. I always come home from such a show in awe of the work of others, and totally convinced that I could never do anything one-tenth as good. But I am also inspired, and reassured. I've been piecing and quilting pretty much on my own for the most part, so every time my corners don't match, or something is a bit wonky, I usually end up ripping it out and trying again. Because, of course, everyone will notice that it's not perfect. When I go to a quilt show and see a beautiful quilt on display, and notice that a few corners don't match (which doesn't take away from the beauty AT ALL), I feel reassured that perhaps I'm doing okay.

After discussion with one of the guild members in the quilt shop, DH suggested that perhaps I should see about trying to join that guild - everyone seems so nice, and encouragning and helpful. Logistics, however, make that rather difficult (living a fairly long distance away). Instead, I came home and called a friend who is a member of a local guild. She just happened to be sewing with two other friends - also members. So - I'm getting a newsletter in the mail - and an application to join. I'll get to see my friends more regulary, and perhaps make some new ones - and in the process get more inspiration, and encouragement.

As if that weren't enough to make it a good day, we attended a local folk club last night to hear live music. What a wonderful way to finish off.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Quilts from Africa

We took a road trip yesterday, to Ailsa Craig, Ontario. There was a quilt show - Quilts from Africa, sponsored by Cotton by Post, a local quilt store. The quilts were amazing, and so inspiring. And I managed to buy some cotton squares from Zimbabwe, and some continuous line quilt designs at the show. Then we found the quilt store. My pocket book hurts, but I now have a portable design wall, and two cones of cotton thread for use with my quilting machine (one of them a lovely blue - perfect for practising). It was a lovely day.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Quilt Frame, Design Wall, and Stuff

Yesterday and today were spent on a bunch of other stuff, so the only quilty things I managed were to load the batting on my frame, and prepare some fabric so that I can start to practise. I'm also piecing 2" squares into a small quilt to donate to my vet's office, but it's not quite ready to be photographed yet. So instead, I took a picture of a part of my very small collection of pincushions. My favourites are the two on top, flanking the quilty cat in the middle.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Baby Quilt Photo

Here is a picture of the finished baby quilt - or at least one-half of it. The top is folded and placed on my (rather cluttered) cutting table so that I could take a quick photo. It came from a kit, and it's not my personal choice of colours (never did like pastels) - but it is pretty, and I'm sure the baby will like it.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Baby Quilt

At last the top for the baby quilt is completed, and tomorrow I'll take a picture for posting. It's not fancy, but it IS done. I've also been working on what is possibly the world's ugliest raggy quilt, and that should be completed later this week. I guess it's time to go back to the scrappy Irish Chain wedding quilt....

Monday, 1 September 2008

Quilt Frame

Yay! I am extremely happy to announce that my quilt frame is finally assembled, and my Bailey is sitting on it! Now, if I could only find my template...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

I've been tempted to try Dear Jane blocks for a long time now. And it doesn't help that a friend of mine keeps egging me on :-)

What I really need to do is to get back to sewing every day. The problem is, making the resolve is easy - carrying through isn't.

Sunday, 6 July 2008


Sometimes I'm just too much of a perfectionist. The baby quilt blocks were almost finished, when I realized that it was impossible to not repeat a fabric in at least one of the last four blocks. So I unpicked the other 4 to try to make it work - no go. I had pretty much decided to take them apart even further - when I looked at the photo of the finished quilt from the kit. Duh!

Note to self: scrappy DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN that you can't repeat fabrics in a block. Just try not to have them next to each other...

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Cats and Scraps

I've finished almost all the blocks for the baby quilt, but I'm a little distracted these days. One of our cats has an obstructed urinary tract, so he has been at the vet since Monday - and of course I've been worried about him all week. He seems to be improving, although he doesn't want to eat much (well, unless we're there scritching him and talking to him) - and he did try to use the litterbox this morning (a bit difficult with a catheter). If all goes well, he may be able to come home on Monday.

I'm on a constant quest for organizing, so for the last couple of days I've been reading articles on Quiltville. As a bonus - I've actually cut my first block from scrap fabric which I got from a friend. It's recycled from a garment. There might be hope for me using my stash yet!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Baby Quilt

I'm making good progress on the baby quilt. 8 of the 32 blocks are completed, and I've started on the next set of 8. Mind you, it is an easy pattern.

In the meantime, I keep finding other quilt patterns that I've bought, or started - there's so much to do. I've read that Stashbusters recommend sewing 15 minutes a day. Let's see if I can manage that for a whole week.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Cactus Flower

We've had this cactus for many years - so it was a pleasant surprise when it decided to bloom for us recently.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Progress, of a sort

While I haven't actually done any sewing yet, the pieces are all cut out for the blocks of a baby quilt. While the instructions say to "mix up" the fabrics, I always have the feeling it won't turn out right. On the other hand, I once read that "no baby ever refused to fall asleep on an ugly quilt" - so I guess no matter what I do, it should turn out all right.

Have I mentioned I lack self confidence in my quilting?

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Why is it....

...that I'm more likely to make a mistake cutting pieces for a block when there is a limited amount of fabric to cut? I was doing very well, thank you, cutting the blocks for a baby quilt. (The baby's already born, but hey - I'm working on it.) I decided I could cut the next colour without double checking the instructions (which I had done for each colour before) and - of course - I cut 5" strips instead of 5-1/2" strips. And this is a kit. Sigh. I'm glad the quilt store answers their emails quickly. Fingers crossed that I can still get more of the fabric. For some reason, a pastel pink is not something I have much of in my stash.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

It's a Beginning

As a complete newcomer to this blogging thing, it will take me a bit of time to sort this out.

This will be my place to talk about my works in progress, including my quilts, my sewing space, and, me.

This is the very first quilt I ever finished. It managed to stay with me for less than one day before it went out the door to my father-in law.