Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My current project

This is the quilt that I am going to finish next. Most of the fabrics have come from my stash and some of my fat quarters got all used up. Turquoise is my favourite colour and it just so happens that it's Ayla's favourite too. She wanted the brown in there as an accent and since I didn't have many browns, those are the only bits I had to purchase.

Tentatively called Ayla's Escape, it's an adaptation of an Atkinson Design called Fire Escape. Once I got the 60" X 72" lap throw top finished, Ayla wanted it a foot longer so I had to find the fabrics to finish it (I started this last year) and I had to figure out how to change the pattern. The browns were fat quarters but since I had none left, and the quilt store where I initially bought them no longer had any of the same, I had to get something close. I managed to add the 12" without having to use any of the extra turquoise/blue fabrics that I thought I would have to use. Good thing too since it would have meant that I would have had to introduce something that wasn't in the body of the quilt. I gave myself a pat on the back.

This is now what's holding up production - the addition of a small border. She wants that white in the same width as the squares and since my browns are limited, I headed on over to the local Fabricland and found this.

 Brown with blue polka dots. Personally, I think it adds interest and there won't be that much showing anyway. It's not my quilt though.

I'm linking up with the Needle and Thread Network. Go have a look at what others are doing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slow, steady projects

Linda of Stitch Lines blog did a little fall cross stitch for her daughter last year and asked if anyone was interested in the chart once she finished with it. I was the only one that expressed an interest and so she sent it to me. It called for 32 count Belfast linen but I went with 16 count Aida - which I had to purchase. Most the Aida cloth I have is 14 count and one is 18 count. I couldn't believe how hard it was to find cross stitch fabrics in the city - especially 16 count. I finally let my fingers do the walking and found a place east of me that was a needlework and wool store. The lady had been at the same location for 47 years. It was a wonderful store and I will go back since she also had knitting yarns and needlepoint supplies.

 I am not following the colours exactly as they are numbered on the chart. I have a lot of embroidery floss (many of which no longer have their little paper holders with the colour numbers) and so I just chose the ones that I thought would look nice. Once it's done I will show you the whole thing. There are some buttons that get sewn on too. I have purchased some of the buttons but I couldn't find an acorn. I have to look for leaf buttons too. The Aida cloth is an off white and the lettering is actually brownish even though it doesn't look like it in the photo. The actual finished size is 2" X 10.75".

 This is the beginning of a long term project that I want to make (and saying that, it seems like I have several.) It's going to be an alphabet quilt. I am hoping that I have enough of the dark gray so that all the letters will be the same. I have nothing drawn on paper, I have no idea of what the finished quilt will be in look nor in size nor do I know how long it will take me to make. I have a lot of off white fabrics so the backgrounds will be different. The sizes of the blocks will vary too depending on my whim. All hand applique. I did order some alphabet fabric that was on sale from a quilt store just north of me but when the other things arrived in the mail today, that item was crossed off. I guess it was all gone. Too bad since it was letters on a darkish red background and I thought it would be a great starting point. I now have to find something else. Perhaps different fabrics with words written on them. The true size of this block currently is 5.5" X 6.5".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Done, Complete, Finis


It's flat. 

It has a batting that is half cotton, half polyester. Fabricland had a sale one day and I decided to buy this since I didn't have a big enough piece of cotton batting for this quilt. There were so many flat batts to choose from so I picked one in the middle price range.

It's bound with the lightest fabric since I had long pieces already cut and it was just an easier option. It's quilted across the width except for the last row - as shown below.

The last pieced row on both ends was easier to quilt going down - as shown above. 

 I'd like to thank my trusty little Singer - my favourite back-up machine (my main machine is an old computerized Kenmore.) This Singer is the one for which I purchased the walking foot.

And now you can all go and view what others are up to at the Needle and Thread Network.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Champagne Quilters Update

As you can see, the quilt is getting smaller. I thought I would show you some of the fabrics that we used. We get donations from various people but these were mainly from our guild. I picked up a couple of bags of pre-cut strips that were on the giveaway table. There was a note attached that said you had to take the whole bag - you were not allowed to open it up and just take what you wanted. We ended up with this huge quilt of 8" blocks. It measures 11 blocks across and 12 blocks down with a 3" border. There was still a lot of fabric left so we brought the bags back for someone else to use.

An orange slice peeking out.

Little bird houses.

We used light coloured fabrics on one side of the black strip and darker ones on the other.

We used whatever was in the bag - even Christmas fabrics since you would see so little of it.

Butterflies and flowers.

Happy sunflowers.

Baseball players...

all mixed in.

Some fabrics were easy to relegate into the light or dark pile...
but others were hard so we had to make an executive decision at times. The bottom left corner was an iffy one but it really depends on what you put beside it. We also left out any fabric that were solids because they really stuck out and your eye automatically went to it.

Cows, chickens, chicks and eggs.

Pumpkin man and maybe a scarecrow on the left.

Some with writing.

Gorgeous colours and more writing.

And this is one I keep looking at as I quilt.

My favourite little piece. Love the colours and scenery.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baby quilts - pending

I have a couple of tops that I made that are waiting to be quilted.

This was a case where I saw a block and wanted to try it out. The pale blue fabric in the squares was a fat quarter that had the word Baby written on it. The others fabrics just fell into place. It really needs a border but since it wasn't intended for anyone, I just put in the plastic bin with the other baby quilt tops. Most of the tops in the bin are pre-printed panels.

This is one that I am planning on finishing but I don't know what kind of a border to put on it. Perhaps I should see if I still have those fabrics somewhere in my stash. It will be hand quilted and the plain blocks will have cute things quilted in them. This will now stay out of the plastic bin and will go on the pile of "to be quilted."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whose cat?

I have two cats. They are sisters but they don't much like each other.

They may sleep close (rarely, and that's the reason I took this photo) but not snuggled up to each other as some cats like to do. Digit is the smooth or short-haired one. Pixel is the one with the long hair that we have to have shaved every once in a while. This is Pixel's favourite hangout during the day. In front of the sliding glass doors in the kitchen on top of her mat that my friend Judy makes and sells. There is a heat register under the mat and the runner so it's a toasty warm spot.

Digit usually snoozes on my husband's lap in the evening but she also takes up space on my legs if I have them up on the couch and covered with a throw. Sometimes Pixel comes over and lays down on me. She's more skittish and leaves quickly for no reason.

They are indoor cats but at times, my youngest son or my husband have been known to 'accidentally' leave the sliding door open in the kitchen so they can stroll around the backyard. Sometimes they are so quick that they leap out or escape just as you are going out. The problem is that they don't just stick to our yard and if they don't come back soon, on their own, I have to call them. Sometimes they are good and they come home when called and other times they take their own time about coming back. I don't like them to be out because I have seen too many cats on our streets that have met their end under the wheels of a vehicle. We also have nasty raccoons that have claws and stinky skunks.

Pixel is sweet but I have known family members to say that Pixel has hissed at them or tried to scratch them. I guess she just loves me because I have never encountered that. I don't tease the cats and I leave them alone when they are sleeping.

One day, not too long ago, while my daughter and I were in the kitchen, I spotted what looked like my little Pixel outside the sliding door looking in - waiting to come in. It's happened before when she has been let out by my husband or son but neither of them were home and my daughter had just come home. I thought that perhaps the basement door was left open but this is winter and no one had been down there. I was surprised to say the least but then I went closer. We have a peninsula in the kitchen and that partially obstructed my view of the whole scene.

This is what was really happening - all I saw at first was the cat peeking in. (Don't mind the overturned chairs. They were put there so Pixel had some peace and some space from a little puppy that was visiting.) It turned out that Pixel was safe inside and there was another cat that looked so much like Pixel and I guess it was curious to see my little kitty on the other side of the windows.

Once my heart got back to normal, I quickly got my camera to take these photos. We had seen the cat in the area before and I had mistaken it for my Pixel before too - calling for her to come in and wondering why it wasn't heeding my call. Meanwhile, Pixel was inside all along.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A little bit of applique

I have decided on doing some applique. Something fun, something small and something where I can use up a bit more of my stash.

This little wall hanging captured my attention when I first saw it. The ladies of Harebrained Happenings have some really fun patterns. Go take a look. The patterns will bring a smile to your face.

Now I have to go and find some pink (not a colour that is found much in my stash) and some of those browns, grays, and other animal colours. If it works out, who knows, I may just make another one in bright, cheerful, unusual colours. The gray above is already cut for the 'table' in each rectangle. I may just go with the muslin for the background - just to keep some cohesion to the quilt.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One down and another one on its way

This little wall hanging is now totally done.

 The binding is finished, the label is on and the hanging sleeve is attached. It now hangs in my hall and is the first thing you see when you enter. I thought it fitting since spring will soon be here and the sun outside is getting stronger. We have been having a very mild winter.

 I chose to bind it in the lightest colour because it just looked so good there. It is machine quilted and has a flat cotton batt.

I am now going to see if I can finish this one and move on to something more interesting. I have a quilt that I want to hand quilt but it needs a bit more work done on it.

Check out what others are working on at the Needle and Thread Network.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mail came

I was very fortunate this morning. The mailman delivered goodies to me.

This little Polish snowman with the smile, Iwo, is a creation of Agnieska. Here's her Flikr site and her Etsy site. I was introduced to this wonderful felter, who creates such cute little creatures, by Bumblevee, a western Canadian blogger who, herself, makes cute little felted creatures and also more human looking friends.

And then, there are these.

Little puffs by Karen Ruane, better known as the Contemporary Embroiderer. I won these little puffs and chose to have printed fabric in them.

Here's a close-up of Karen's work. The tails are on there so that I can attach them onto something. I have a feeling I should make something special just for these little beauties. Go check out Karen's blog if you don't know about it already and perhaps sign up for one of her wonderful classes. I took her button class and learned so much.