Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wip completed, union jack block used to make a zip pouch.

I have finally gotten the hang of constructing a lined zip pouch with proper zip ends to boot. I am bubbling with pride every time I gaze at this finished product. I also used one of my orphan improv blocks for the lining, for that added touch of visual interest. The front exterior is denim and drop cloth canvas and a subway art fabric from ecclectic elements and the back was made with a thrifted wool herringbone, because both fabrics used were a little heavier i did not have to use any interfacing or batting. I did the union jack block a little differently as i appliqued it to the denim by layering it and top-stitching it down, i did this because i believed it would save time, but once you factor in the pressing and turning of all the raw edges, it may have taken longer to do it this way...
At any rate, I will be making another matching bag that can be worn over the shoulder.. It is so exciting to be able to add to my own purse collection without having to go to the mall and purchase anything, I had all of the materials used on hand, because I buy fabric like I used to buy clothes and bags.... I love fabric... I just applied for a job at my local quilt shop, unfortunately the hours they currently have available are not the best, but beggars can't be choosers... So we shall see. There is still one more quilt shop that I just learned of that I am looking forward to visiting and dropping off a resume... wish me luck, I would love to have a job that put me in the midst of all that fabric, heaven....

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Here are a few works in progress, as if i needed to start any more new projects... Scrappy Hexie's can be found in the march/april issue of McCall's quilting, this quilt was designed by Bea Lee. I love that it is scrappy and i have hope after making a half dozen blocks that this will be my first success working with scrap fabric. I believe my success is due to the fact that each block is done in the similar colour way, this is the perfect project to do now and then as, all fabrics can find a home in this quilt design, i was surprised at how quickly the block came together and I had so much fun choosibg the fabrics for each block. Choosing fabric had become a little intimidating for me, so this quilt is giving me back my confidence with colour and for that i am grateful, Thank you Bea.
From now on, i am going to try to pick out a few fabrics, neutral background fabrics and then some fabrics that are similar in colour, like red-orange-pink or blue-greens, then whenever i want to try making a new quilt block i will have my go to fabrics already there and then, eventually i would have a quilt top, instead of what i am currently faced with, a drawer of mis-matching quilt blocks who remain orphans after failing many an audition on the design wall... what will i do with all these poor babies?

Flying geese

I have tested out a couple ways to make flying geese units, now i have found a way that is way more accurate and consistent for me personally and leaves no waste with the exception of dog ears, I am feeling triumphant at last, as i had had a heck of a timectrying to use the flippy corners method and i really hated that half of a full square was wasted. The method i used this time i have seen on pinterest and came across it again in the latest issue of McCall's Quilting, the best of American Quilting march/april 2015 issue..

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Log cabin Light and shadow

I have always admired scrappy quilts, So far I have not admired any of my own personal attempts at them. After many hours of work on this latest log cabin quilt, after many different layouts and trying various forms of orientation I feel like giving up. My son, who I can always count on for an honest opinion, confirmed my fear- IT is way too busy, there is no place for the eye to rest. Maybe I am just at the place I go to in the middle of a project where I almost always feel like it is a failure half way through, I hope this is just that- and that I will love it again, once I am finished it will be something I can admire- I hope. Maybe once I add borders and binding it will be fine. I am torn- I was going to make this a really big quilt- Now I am unsure if I want to spend that much more time and fabric on something that I may continue to dislike- How is it possible- that all of these fabrics that I LOVE individually can look so awful together... Not sure where to go from here- Should I continue on and make this beast bigger- Or call it a day and finish as is- This is where I could really use the opinion of other quilters- I think I know where I went wrong- I used to many fabrics that do not read as solids, I maybe should have went in a safer direction and stayed with two colors - or one color in a light and dark. The antique quilts that I admire have two tones or colors- The red and white quilts for example. I love and they are still relevant in terms of style a hundred years later... So, maybe I can take a lesson from this- Less is more- I am a more is more kind of person, so maybe I have to work at taming it a bit- My son said to me- Mom- quilts usually only have a couple different colors in them- and he is right. I really wish I could get some advice as to how to make this garish quilt work- Maybe the right border will calm it down and make it work- This is where I really wish I had some friends that quilt- My MIL is so far away- Maybe I can show her this and she will know what to do. I have invested some of my fave fabric as well as my MIL's scrap fabric bin into this quilt- I have at-least a hundred cabins so far.... Each log is 1.5 inches unfinished- finishing at 1 inch. This was a fair bit of time invested so far- I LOVE chain piecing log cabins- I do a dozen at a time- which makes three whole blocks at once- of the light and shadow (diamond shapes).....

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Here are a few of my flowers that did well this year. I had good luck with some of the bulbs I had planted and less luck with some of the more expensive plants, ie. The Hydrangea's I bought, I have been feeding them the aluminum sulfate to help turn the flowers blue- with no luck, I had few blooms and my leaves have brown dots all over them. This is frustrating. I love Hydrangeas- they will forever remind me of my Grandmother, my husband says they remind him of old lady flowers, I think it is funny how I grow to have more and more regard for my grandmother- or, that is not right- I have always had the highest regard for her, but I recently have more and more in common with her in the last couple of years, I regret that I did not share her interests sooner, while she was still here. My Granny recycled and re-used and up-cycled long before it was cool. My Granny never wasted anything, she knew she would find a use for the blue rubber bands that are wrapped around green onions from the super market. Granny always had home made biscuits and preserves- hot, fresh out of the oven upon our arrival. Granny never turned away an extra dinner guest- she is know for saying  "It's no trouble, I will throw in another spud." I love my Granny and I miss her deeply. I feel her close to me when I am sewing or knitting or making jam, I feel like we share this bit of creative space. I wish I had known how cool my Granny really was sooner.....I wish I had more of a chance to get to know the woman that she was rather than only knowing her for who she was to me- My Granny. It is odd to say, but I feel like I have a little visit with her when I go through the hope chest that belonged to her and her mother before her. I pull out some of the knitting she had on the go, some of the sweaters she had made, or I look at the quilt that is hand embroidered with hundreds of names, hers included and I wonder- What was this quilt made for? What does it commemorate? Are these the names of the people from Tynehead ? Is this a church quilt? My Grannies maiden name is embroidered on the quilt- which leads me to believe it was made before she was married- Which makes it over 83 years old at the least.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Its Saturday- my fave day of the week....

I have been negligent with posting, I have made a promise to myself that I would try to stick with this. So. here I am, I broke my quarter inch patchwork foot the one with the little quarter inch guide on it- It has been the one tool that has made a real obvious difference in my work- It is amazing what consistent seam allowances achieve in relation to patchwork- Points that never would have matched up- suddenly have hope of being where they should be. It has taken some getting use to- I was used to using the edge of my standard foot as a guide- after measuring my seam allowance- I discovered I was way off from a quarter inch while using that standard foot. So- I was devastated when my new foot broke- Alas- I ordered two replacement feet and they came yesterday... I think all sewing machines should come with this foot- It has really made a HUGE difference in everything I make... So, I have been busy up-cycling some old leather jackets into totes- Hope I can get some more pics up, my PC has been acting up - making blogging a little more challenging than it ought to be.. Football practice and game today- My boys team has not won a single game yet- the score is usually 30 something to at best 6..... I am happy when we get anything on the board...:)
Hope they have better luck today- this will be the first game I miss- My mom just got back from Shanghai- so we will be having a little girl time, Oh, before I forget- She brought back this lovely Jasmine tea- that is suppose to be served in clear glass so that you can see this beautiful garden that the jasmine tea creates in your tea cup- It really looks like a garden with butterflies in a glass- I will try and take some pics... Shanghai sounds beautiful- I would love to go- Mom told me stories of their hospitality that sounds incredible- Everything is so well thought out- So many thoughtful touches, Wonderful people, she had a great time..

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Orphan Block Project

This is the perfect project to use up any sample blocks you might have laying around or if you want to try piecing something new without the commitment of a whole quilt, make a potholder, they are also the perfect size to practice different free-motion quilting designs, and you can audition a variety of quilting designs over specific blocks and try out various thread choices, etc with zero waste, better yet, you have some pretty things that are handy around the house, to be stockpiled and given as gifts later, there are always weddings and housewarmings or hostess gifts to prepare and it is nice to have a few Go to gifts around-These would go well with a nice bottle of wine or some great coffee beans in a handmade fabric bag of course- that can do double duty as a shopping bag....