Sunday, September 27, 2009

Busy Weekend

The Calgary Creative Stitches show was this weekend - Friday and Saturday. Kristie and I headed down there bright and early on Saturday (9:00 am - which for me is early - probably for Kristie half her day is gone by that time!). Anyway - we were among the first through the doors on Saturday.

My mission was to look at and learn about long arm machines. There were quite a variety and I hope within the next few days to decide and pay for one. Hand quilting is fine for smaller things and sometimes it's even more suitable for the type of quilt - but for big ones - no. And my little machine is just not made for the job of quilting.

I bought more books - even after saying I didn't need any more. Well I don't. But these ones were "show priced" and looked pretty interesting so I picked them up.

Intuitive Colour and Design by Jean Wells, Creative Quilting with Beads by Valerie Van Arsdall Shrader (now there's a handle!), and Art Quilts introduction by Robert Shaw (no author... hmmm). Anyway, Art Quilts is not a "how to" book - just lots of great pix for inspiration.


Somehow between all the other weekend stuff that had to get done, I managed to make three more LBBs for Elaine's Place. The ones with the yellow background. The birds show up better that way. The others will be the camouflaged birds. I've pretty much exhausted my patience with these guys. They are very fussy and I'm all about instant gratification! So I'm moving on to the the bird houses next week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mid Week

I ordered this book awhile ago and it finally arrived the other day! I'm very excited! I think I have all the books I really want for now! I told Joe all I want to do now is stay home and sew. He said "and this is different from any other time how?" OK- I guess that would be what I always want to do. But- well - not such a big pay cheque there.

Anyway - the book is Quilters Playtime: Games with Fabrics by Diane S. Hire. I can't wait to dig in - but I probably will have to wait awhile because I've got a couple of other things on the go that will have to be finished to at least a quilt top stage before I start some new things.

And speaking of needing to finish... here is the "Oh Canada" quilt top so far. I just randomly laid out ALL the cut up nine patches that I have made so far. I will probably need about three times this many to make a decent sized quilt. And also, I'll want to change up the way I've been putting the colours together. I think it will be OK - won't be my fav, but hey - it's an experiment. The colours are red, white, blue (the stripe) and black (heart Canada) - because I'm not sure you can tell in the pix.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September Divas Day

I wasn't too too late arriving this time, but the Divas were already in position. Joan in the "Quilting Lotus Position", for example!

Joan is finishing off one of Dorothy's projects for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
Diva Karen is finishing off the green and pink quilt's binding.

Diva Sue and Diva Kristie are working away on a project for Sue.

We have come to expect fabulous food from the Gourmet Diva Sue and she did not disappoint this time.

This cream cheese and mushroom spread is to die for! My personal favorite of the day.

Kristie - always very photogenic!
Kristie's son, Shawn (or is it Sean?).

Here is the Gourmet Diva - Sue! We simply will not be able to have a Diva's day without her! She is indispensable!

More grub.


Kristie's condo backyard - pretty darn nice!

Dorothy working on her d-in-law's gift.

Dessert - yum!

Pausing for "station identification."

And finally - Meagan.

All six quilts are done - or will be shortly - still have to hand stitch the binding for the sixth quilt. The auction is next month, so we'll see what the interest is like. In the meantime, we've had a lot of fun doing this and getting to know each other a bit better. Thanks Divas!


Here are the first two "Little Blue Birds" (LBBs) for Elaine's Place. The one on the right was first - the background is too busy - I like the second one better. They are very fussy - I won't be doing too many!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Elaine's place is progressing slowly, as I expected. Here is her house and imaginary picket fence and a couple of flowers - I think I've got six, maybe seven, flowers made. If I wasn't so lazy I'd get up and count them. But enough (I got sick of making them!). Next up will be some bluebirds. She calls the birds in her yard "LBBs" (little brown birds) - her quilt will have LBBs (little blue birds). More artistic licence. Although I may get bored with blue. Who knows?

Elaine's quilt is more complicated that I can handle after work - it will have to wait for weekends when I have a bit more energy to focus on the complicated stuff (at least for me it's complicated!), so I started cutting squares - about my speed after work. Assembling a bunch of nine patches using three inch squares - then sliced the nine patch in half both ways. We've seen this done in a few places so thought I'd give it a try. I'm not sure how I'll fit them together, but it will be very patriotic (OH Canada!) when it's done.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Elephant Walk Modelled

Here is baby Edua modelling her Elephant Walk quilt. (Edua (pronounced like Aidwaa) actually has an up to the right accent over the E, but I don't know how to make one with the Blogger text function - her Mom is Hungarian, so all the kids have Hungarian names - Edua means "falling moon.") She is three months old.

Sneak Peak

This is Elaine's house. Elaine is Joe's sister. She lives in Denver and we visit her from time to time. Next time we go, I want to give her a quilt. It will be called "Elaine's Place."

I drafted a block pattern for her house.

And a picket fence. Joe said "she doesn't have a picket fence!" So I said, "But if she did, it would look like this." It's called "artistic licence."
Here's the picket fence, under construction.
Elaine's house is quite small - she is only one small person so doesn't need a big one. It is immaculate. She loves her garden and it is a perfect tiny garden.
When we were in Spokane last month, I saw some Debbie Mumm fabric that totally reminded me of Elaine. And the colours are perfect, too. Take a look.
With some plain colours I'm ready to go. Elaine's quilt will have a winding garden path, flowers, birds and bird houses.
Birdhouse patterns from the Internet.
Country Bird pattern from Block Magic.

Flowers from 505 Quilt Blocks. (I love the library!)

New Cuts for New Quilts is one of the books I picked up on our trip. There is an idea in it that I may adapt for the winding garden path - or I may just wing it. I'll see how things go together.

So as you saw, I have a start on the picket fence. My plan - as per my "no rules" approach - is to make some of the feature blocks (bird, bird house, flowers) then see how they fit together. I'll fit the path around/between them and fill in the blanks as it all comes to me. This won't be a quick one.
Luggage tags - front (with vinyl pouch for business card).
In the meantime, I was feeling pretty ragged this week and didn't feel up to focusing on a complicated picket fence or house, so I just puttered around a bit for a short time after work each night and put together some luggage tags from my scraps. If you've seen previous posts, you'll recognize most of the fabric.
I got this idea from on of the books I picked up - only it was suggesting decorative tags for gifts, etc. I thought they looked pretty much like fancy luggage tags and we're always looking for luggage tags! So I googled luggage tags and read a few items about them, got a few ideas and took it from there.
After a couple of experiments, I decided the optimum size to start out with is a 3.5 * 5.5 inch patch. Right sides together, fold two together lengthwise and round the corners on one end. Stitch the loop to the right side, center of the rounded end of one piece. Then both pieces right sides together, layer a piece of batting on one side (on wrong side). Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance stitch starting about 1/4 in on the bottom (square) end heading to the corner, turn at the corner, stitch all the way around to the other side of the bottom end, turn the corner then stop about 1/4 in from that corner. That will leave an opening big enough to turn comfortably. Turn it right sides out and work the corners out, press, topstitch about 1/8 all the way around (closing the opening as this is done).
Cut some heavy, clear vinyl (I got mine at Walmart) - about 3 * 3.5 inches. Stitch that on about 1/8 inch from the edge (i.e., directly over the top stitch). Obviously leave the top open - only stitch three sides. You should be able to comfortably slip a business card in there for ID.
My book has all sorts of ideas for jazzing these things up - beading, applique, etc. And I will eventually get to that, but my intention is to actually use these as luggage tags and I thought that stuff could easily get caught and ripped off so I opted to just keep them smooth fabric and let the fabric be the interesting part.
Back (no vinyl).