Friday, February 27, 2015

Building a quilt

The Champagne Quilters finished one quilt and we are now into making baby quilts. These will be given away to a charity that supplies hats, booties and blankets to women in third world countries who show up to a birthing centre with nothing for their babies.

When we were going through our stash, we came across some orphan blocks. What we were actually looking for were bright coloured fabrics to make a couple of zig zag quilts using blocks of two colours - similar to the rail fence. Anyway, we had 3 maverick (or crazy) star blocks that were 12 inches and 10 stars that were 6 inches. What on earth does one do with only 10 stars?

I didn't know but Marg said to put six of them together and then use four for the corners in the border. Sounded good to me. Then we had to make it bigger. Since the quilt was only going to be crib size, we didn't need much so we decided to make strip borders.

The first border was going to be mauve and then this pink but Marg didn't like the pink in that position. However, once the pink was put on first, she liked it. Simple solution. 

I then thought that we could frame it in purple. (We are trying to use up some of our stash at the same time that we are trying to make this into a decent-sized crib quilt.) This is a purple that has too much blue in it.

They do look the same but this one had more red in it and so we chose it. We were going to make a bunch of borders in these fabrics.

Looking good. We didn't want the purple border to be too wide.

Just before we called it quits for the night, I laid the other blocks in the corners, on top of the mauve. We had the measurements we needed so I wanted to see how it would look but then Marg said we should just leave it with a wide mauve border and if we needed more width and length, we could then add the dark pink (or purple or light pink.) 
So, that's what we did. I cut the mauve strips and next week we shall continue.
Then we will be working on the 3 star blocks that were 12 inches. More borders - but this time, they will be prints.
Creativity strikes again. We didn't end up using up any fabric but we did get the orphans homes.
I think we even managed to find backing fabric.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Little things

I have not been idle.

The flag is bound. There is a hanging sleeve on it but it still needs a label. My son and his wife were overjoyed (on behalf of their little girls.)

 In my efforts to use up yarn, I made one...



four little hats so far and 

I also cut and sewed up some flannel for receiving blankets. The hats and the blankets are for my favourite charity.

This is the only African violet that I have that's in bloom. 

It was a gift from my grandson Luc who told his mother, when they were out shopping, that they needed to buy Mummi some flowers. This was in January when we had our second Christmas. 

 I wanted to show Luc that the flowers are still blooming.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fortunate blogger

Last month, two of the bloggers that I follow were giving away patterns that they have made but no longer wanted. I was the fortunate recipient of them.

A Canadian quilter, Lesley The Cuddle Quilter purchased this pattern, made it and now that she is finished, she wanted to gift it to someone else - along with some of the leftover fabrics. The pattern is Lynette Anderson's Fernhill. It's not a big wall quilt - just 28 inches square but it has embroidery, piecing and a bit of applique.

And then there are these cuties. Kate of Kate's Quilting and Other Arty Stuff, who is from the UK, was giving away a whole lot of cross stitch patterns that she too was finished with. These arrived in the mail. They are all small and won't take much time to complete.

Thank you both. 
It seems that I now have a lot of little things that I can complete in the future.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekend Happy

This is certainly a Happy weekend. Yesterday was Happy Valentine's Day, today is Happy Flag Day and tomorrow, is Happy Family Day.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Valentine's Day yesterday. My husband and I spent the day with our two little baby granddaughters and their parents. Today will be more of the same.

Fifty years ago, on this day, Canada officially got its own flag. The flag we now have. There were three designs that were voted on and the single red maple leaf bordered with two red stripes won. I will not go into the history of the design since this site has done it so well.

I have been busy quilting.

 I wanted to get this finished by today. I am giving it to my little twin granddaughters who have very Canadian names: Mackenzie and Severn. I really was hoping that on the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian flag, I could give them a little version of the flag. I'd rather spend the time with them than getting this quilted on time.
I'm sure they will understand, later in life, if I am a day or two late.

 As you can see, I did put this little 12" X 24" quilt on my floor frame. I know it's overkill for a small quilt but I am comfortable with it and it suits me. It wouldn't fit well in a hoop anyway and I didn't want to baste the heck out of it which is what I do when I don't use a hoop or a frame. Putting this on the frame was much less work and took less time.

This is the backing fabric.

 I'm having tea with my eldest grandson, Luc, this morning. His little brother, Patric, has been seen walking with his hands behind his back too. We don't know who else in the family does this.

Luc lives way across the country and I don't get to see him or his little brother as often as I would like.

But there's always skype and there's always photos - and then, of course, there's always my mugs.
The other mug has little Patric's photo.

Tomorrow is Family Day here in Ontario and it is a statutory holiday. Stores, banks and schools will be closed. I am hoping to finish the quilt tomorrow. It certainly is a weekend full of Happy.
I hope your weekend is too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sewing for others - Alzheimer sufferers

Are you feeling the effects of the February blahs? Do you find yourself not settling on finishing up one project? Are you constantly looking to begin yet another project? Do you want the satisfaction of making something quickly, something small enough to give you pleasure in a finished item?
Then why not make an activity mat for a person suffering with Alzheimer's?

Sounds like a commercial - I know. But the thoughts are genuine.

Yesterday I was watching Sewing with Nancy. In the last part of her show, Nancy interviewed a lady by the name of Marcia. She makes Alzheimer Activity Mats. I had never heard of these. My mother spent her final years in a long term care facility (she did not have Alzheimer's) and I knew that there was a floor or area specifically for Alzheimer residents. One lady who was around a lot seemed quite young - my age or younger and her symptoms were only noticeable if you spent time with her. An acquaintance that I worked with had a mother who had Alzheimer's and she was a wanderer. Her mother managed to get off a locked floor on a couple of occasions and even made it out onto the street. Anyway, these activity mats keep the person's hands active and may even help to relieve stress. I thought it was a wonderful idea and so here's the link.

This is what they look like. I took this photo off Marcia's blog without her permission. The link to the instructions will show you other interpretations of this activity mat.

I think, as all sewers, we have accumulated a lot of notions and odds and ends of different things that could be used on an activity mat. I can finally use up the ric rac that I dislike, the tons of buttons that came from my own stash, my mother's and a friend's, the reams of ribbons that are hanging around in various places and the zippers that I kept buying because they were on sale and, at the time, I was sewing children's clothes and my own. Bright fabrics, different textures and various items that can be taken out or sewn/linked/attached to the mat. What fun it would be to design your own mat using items that you have in your own stash. Each one can be so very different.

Also on Marcia's blog are instructions for making Texture Books.

Why not have fun sewing for others? Quite a lot of us already do things for various charities (sewing, knitting, crocheting) and I wanted you all to have a variety of options. These activity mats are not big. So, if you want to make something that is roughly the same size as a cat or dog mat for shelters, this will help you to use up a lot more 'stuff' from your sewing room.
It's a win win situation.

Happy sewing, knitting or crocheting.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Red, orange and flitting here and there

I have not been idle.

I made two of these strips. Lots of red.

Seriously, how did I ever accumulate this much orange? I am obviously sorting fabrics for a new project. This is what I should be concentrating on. Once I get going I'll show you. I remember years ago, orange and purple were colours that were hard to find. The world of fabric has certainly changed.

 I needed the red strips for this flag. I had the centre maple leaf done for a long time now and decided I really should get down to finishing it. So now, it's a top ready to be quilted. The red squares finish at 2 inches so this whole flag is 24" across and 12" high. The ratio (1:2:1) of red, white, red is correct and there are eleven points to the maple leaf. I used Rhonda's Maple Leaf which was a free paper pieced pattern I found on the internet in 2013.

I have also been slowly trying to get the sashing pieces made for this quilt too. I flit from one project to another and I really should concentrate on just one at a time. At least the little Canadian flag got done. I even took off all of the paper from the back of the maple leaf.

 This is an old pattern but I think it's cute. I do hope I have time to make it - and maybe one or two of the little stuffies.

No, I didn't need to buy more flannel BUT this was on the sale wall, 60 inches wide with no price. When I said I would take the whole piece (there were 3 pieces altogether), even though it was 'damaged' (there were dirt spots on it), the sales lady gave it to me for $2.00 metre. Even she said it may wash out and it did. She was generous in the measuring and I suppose there was more than 6 metres. I got it for 5 metres - $10.00. A great bargain. More baby blankets and burp cloths.

So, that's where I'm at these days. My daughter Maili just reminded me that she needed a snake. Not a real one but one of those draft stoppers. They used to be popular years ago. I just have to go look for some proper fabric. There is no shortage of projects here.