Monday, October 14, 2019

Row by Row Experience 2019

The theme for this year's Row by Row was "Taste the experience." I was late in getting my top done and then I was late in getting it quilted. Once I saw the blocks that the quilt shops offered, I noticed that there were a lot of blocks that were 18 inches square. Once I thought about a quilt, I decided to just use the 18 inch block size totally. After some more thinking, I realized that since I hadn't yet made a shadow block quilt, I could very easily do one now. There weren't many winners this year. I think a lot of people weren't too keen on the idea of a quilt that was food based. I didn't care because I figured it could very well be used as a lap quilt to keep someone warm.

Here's my finished quilt. I bought no fabric because all of it came from my stash.

Some close-ups of the blocks I used.

This block was from Thimbles and Things in Orillia. I think I used up one of my red fabrics.

There were four quilt shops offering a version of this pattern. I didn't venture out to get the peach or the plum. This pattern came from Threads That Bind in Maxwell. For some reason, the four quilt shops offered this pattern as a 12 inch by 18 inch square. They did indicate that one could make a placemat from the pattern but none of the shops mentioned that the pattern actually should have been an 18 inch square. I just added an extra row.

This one was a hit with my middle daughter and also my son-in-law's grandmother. I had won the pickle fabric and the raspberries in a previous row by row. The plum fabric was a remnant I picked up in my travels to collect the row patterns. The Pantry Shelf was offered at Feathering Quilt Shop in Dundas, Ontario.

There were a lot of ice cream themed blocks. This one came from a Len's Mill Store in London, Ontario.

A cute birthday cake. The green fabric in the cake stand came directly from my scrap pile. The pieces were cut from odd lengths. The same fabric is in the block above. I don't know if there are any pieces left. I doubt it. Len's Mill Store in Waterloo is where I picked up the pattern.

I liked this pattern. It was simple but there was just something about it that appealed to me. It came from another Len's Mill Store - this time from Cambridge. They had moved since I was last there. Luckily, there were addresses to all the shops and with GPS, we didn't get lost.

Country Concessions in Cookstown came up with this block. Their version had a cupcake in the middle with the words "Eat dessert first." In my version, I decided to call it "eat your vegetables." I just happened to have that veggie fabric lying around and thought it was perfect. I don't know if you've noticed but my colour palette has included quite a bit of lime green. I thought I would stick with the same colours throughout so that my quilt didn't look too scrappy.

This ice cream cone version came from Quilter's Nine Patch in Elmira, Ontario. That pink ice cream drip was supposed to be a 3D flap but since I knew I was going to be hand quilting it, I just appliqued it on. Making it as a separate flap was too much work. You can see some of my quilting designs. I just used a couple of stencils and mainly just parts of them - not the total design.

I thought that quite a bit of work went into designing this one from Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe in Stratford, Ontario. That's where I brought in my winning quilt. While making the ants, I thought I could use a white gel pen but after going to a local art supply shop, the young lady there told me that it would wash out when I told her why I wanted a white pen. She then showed me two paint pens/markers that could be used on fabric and would be permanent once they were ironed. I was allowed to try them both out and I settled for a Uni Posca marker. I like how the ants turned out.

Now you can see what has been keeping me busy these summer months. 

Oh yes, I also went to England in June for two weeks to visit my youngest daughter and her family. The day after I came home, my 10th grandchild (little Aurora) was born on Father's Day. Then my eldest and youngest daughters visited in the beginning of July with their families to see the latest addition to our growing family. After checking our schedule for the summer, my husband and I decided that we could go to British Columbia with our eldest daughter and her two boys to help with harvesting some of their summer garden produce. Her husband was out of town finishing up his schooling. Once we came home, we looked after some of our grandchildren while they were on summer holiday. 

So I did manage to get this quilt done and now I'm trying to finish up a few other things. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Yarn review

I like knitting even though I'm not an expert. My projects tend to be on the simple side. Baby knitting is fun because you can see results in a short time span. I love making baby hats for charities too. Trying out different styles and different yarns is fun. During this past summer, I was contacted by Kristen from Yarn Canada to see if I wanted to try out some Lion Brand yarn called Go For Faux and write a review on it. I agreed and asked about a deadline. I knew that the summer was going to be a busy one and didn't want to commit if I couldn't produce something. I was told that there was no deadline and the project was up to me as to what I wanted to make with it.

Well, after I received the yarn, I was so glad that I had agreed to use it. It is oh so soft. I was, at first, going to make a sweater for one of my grandchildren but in the end I decided to make a scarf. I found the pattern Quick and Comfy Knit Scarf by Kara Gunza. She used Lion Brand Wool Ease for her scarf.

The pattern is an easy one and since the yarn I used was a faux fur, the stitches don't really show. There is a rib on both ends of the scarf but you can't see it because of the fuzziness of the yarn. I wasn't bothered by that. The yarn was liked by everyone I showed it to because I would rub it across their cheek to let them feel how soft it was. 

This is the finished scarf. The buttons are real wood and made by my son-in-law, Gilles.

The yarn colour is Bear and this is closer to the true colour than the photo above.

It was going to be my scarf but my youngest daughter, Ayla, has claimed it and she took it with her when she returned to England Friday after a short visit with her little son, Atticus. I guess this photo shows the real colour better.

I am planning on making another scarf with the same pattern and yarn because the yarn is just so soft and feels like it would be warm. It knits so easily and because it is a super bulky yarn, it goes quickly. There are several colours of the Go For Faux yarn available at Yarn Canada.

Monday, September 9, 2019

More new stuff

I mentioned in one of my previous posts about making a key bag and a cell phone bag for my eldest daughter who wanted them so she could easily find them in her cross body bag (which I also made for her.) Well, even though I forgot to take a photo of them, she did.

The cell phone holder was made with a scrap of sweatshirt fleece I had on hand. I used my husband's cell phone as a pattern since I don't own one. The key holder was so much fun to make. I searched the internet for free patterns and once I found one I liked, I sent the link to my daughter but she vetoed them. I finally found this one and didn't even show her because I figured it was just perfect.
It's not even a real pattern. It's a youtube video. I used an upholstery sample that I had in my stash (there are so many more to use up.) The lady in the video is Laura Ann Coia and this is called an Easy Zipper Pouch. It took hardly any time to make. I will be making more in the future. You are not stuck with just one size as she says you can make the pouch in any size you wish. I just needed a small one and so I went with the sizes she used in her video. Laura is a Canadian and she was a guest speaker at one of the guilds I belong to. I was surprised when I came across this video. I know she has a lot of youtube videos out there - some are sewing related and others are tutorials for quilters.

Here's block 32.

This is the block for the 33rd week of 52 Blocks in 52 Weeks. This took no time at all to make.

I'm still working on my Row quilt so once it's finished, I shall show you what it looks like.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New paper piecing pattern

There are some people who don't like paper piecing but I don't mind it. Although it's an old technique, it's not that old a use in modern quilting. I remember the first time I saw it used was in a quilt magazine. It could have been Quilters' Newsletter. I never did try it then but I have done several paper piecing projects since. Some bird patterns come to mind - like a crow. They are fun patterns and there are some quilt pattern designers who specialize in the technique. I am a pattern tester for one such designer. Her name is Aimee Leptick. She designed a cute pattern for last year's Row by Row Experience. It was a bull dog with earphones on his head. If I find the pattern in my files, I'll show you. That's not the pattern that I tested though.

This is the one I tested. It's called Evening Horizon and Aimee designed the pattern for the Stonehenge Fabric Anniversary. She has made it with two different fabric lines.

Pop on over HERE  to read about it and there's a link to the pattern which is half price for one week only. It's a 12" by 18" pattern so it's not that big or difficult to put together if you are at all hesitant to do paper piecing. I had fun with it and it will get quilted and hung on my newly painted walls.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

New beginnings

Well here it is, September already. Today is a pleasant day with a high of 23C. The family are all coming over for a barbecue later. Tomorrow is a holiday, Labour Day. Then starts school. The twins will be going into senior kindergarten and starting French immersion. Teemu will be starting junior kindergarten. His very first day of real school. He has gone to preschool so this is just the next step. One teacher, a teacher's assistant and lots of new friends to make. Since he doesn't live too far away, he will be going to the same school as the twins and either I or my husband will be picking them all up after school. We have all day kindergarten here so it will be a long day for the little ones who are only four years old. At the end of the month, the twins will be turning five and their cousin Atticus and aunt Ayla will be here to celebrate.

Here's a photo from last Thursday at the park. There is a farmers' market that day and we all went over and had a picnic. The three little ones in the foreground are the ones starting school.

We've had painters here for the past two weeks painting our upstairs and downstairs hallways and two of our bedrooms. The hall is all white and the bedrooms got a new coat of colour.

Here we are getting set up for the painters. Those are two floor model sewing machines under cover. One is a treadle.

The smallest bedroom is getting the brightest colour. 

Teal or turquoise.

All of our closet doors were just wood and clear varnish so we decided to get all of them painted white.

Complete now with new drapes.

I'm very happy with it. The colour glows into the hall with all the light that comes from the window (which we had made bigger last year when we got new windows.)

The one bedroom where everything from two bedrooms was stored. We are in the process of putting things back so this bedroom can then get painted.

The 'before' photo of the other bedroom. The walls matched the carpeting. You can see the undercoat that was put on the closet doors.

There are two big closets and four doors to be painted. It's like a second master bedroom.

The 'after' shot. I chose a light gray. It will have dark gray drapes to filter out the morning sun which beats into this room.

It's a nice change.

The hall with new paint on the walls, the ceiling and the closet doors. The railing got a new coat of black paint. With little ones running around things get nicked and it's been years since we had the hall painted. It was white then and I like white. The area around our skylight got cleaned up and painted too. I often take photos of what I'm sewing under the skylight. There's lots of room and lots of light.

The opposite shot of the 'new' hall. You can see the glow from the turquoise room.

Our front door and the new white hall walls. 

The other shot with new white closet doors. That's the kitchen back there. It will be getting a facelift in the next couple of years.

This is my sewing room door. I got a new door handle put on. All the other doors had new ones so I didn't see why I had to have the old round brass one. This one is modern and brushed nickel. The light switch now has a cover. I did get my son-in-law to install new ceiling lighting last fall but I don't like it and will be putting the old one back on. I found the new one to be too focused on where the light shines. The old fixture had a broader light.

The walls will be getting pictures and quilts put on them but we've been slow to do all that. We are in no hurry.