Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Hallowe'en

For years (but not every year) I have been making costumes. It's been fun and now I still get to sew up new costume ideas. Sometimes, the best ones are the ones are the ones that come out of your head - not a pattern.

These are two raccoon masks that my daughter Maili wanted me to make. They will be dressing up as a family of raccoons. No mask for Teemu but I did make him a tail. Once I have a photo, I'll post it.
These masks are felt and I sewed all around the edges of the appliques. There is an iron-on heavy weight interfacing behind the whole mask to add body to the felt. The idea came from googling 'raccoon halloween masks." The thin white strip is the elastic.
 Here's Maili modelling the mask. I don't really use felt all that much so it was fortuitous that I had all of the colours I needed - just like the parrot costume I made for Patric.

Here's the tail - partially coloured. I had that grayish knit fabric up on the shelf in my sewing room and I'm so glad I got to use it for something. I made 3 tails. Two adult ones and one for little Teemu. The stripes are just put on with permanent black marker. The tail is sewn on to a strip of felt that I cut to be used as a belt. I could have used velcro to close it but Maili said that she and Casey could just tie it in the front. Teemu's tail does have a velcro closure though, on the belt.

Here's the little dude - still wearing the hooded pullover jacket I made him when he was born. The pattern stated 0-3 months but obviously it fits up to 5-6 months.

I'm hoping to have photos of the big people and the little people in their costumes later today.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The quilting

I was quite happy when I walked by the quilt and saw...

the quilting that was showing up because of the light coming in from the window. I knew what I wanted to quilt in the dark triangles ...

cross hatching using the width of a ruler and ...

the same but less lines in the smaller triangles. 
But when it came to those beige rectangles, I wasn't so sure. I could have left them as is or I could have quilted straight lines diagonally across to form a large X.

But then I thought I could use one of my quilt stencils. I love using just parts of them - they are so versatile.

After placing each one on top of the rectangle, I decided on this one. It was the correct width.

These are my marking tools. Pencil crayons and a ruler - if I need it.
 Placement wasn't hard since the edges of the stencil were about the width of the block and I just had to make sure that the centre of the diamond lined up.

So, that was finally decided and done. It took me a couple of days to think about it since I really was just going to quilt straight diagonal lines to make a long X.

I think the double diamond will add a little more interest. Doing anything fancy is a waste of time and effort when you're trying to quilt on a printed piece of fabric. It just won't show up so hopefully, this will help.
BTW, I use a polyester batting so it's nice and light in weight and the quilting shows up wonderfully. Flat batting just doesn't do it for me and I find it hard to quilt through. The lines of the pencil crayons fade during the quilting process and what remains doesn't really show. I've never washed a finished quilt because I don't use anything on them that I need to get rid of. I like the look of a newly quilted quilt.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Just a few scraps

Scrap quilts are great because you can use any and all fabrics in them. When the ugly fabric is cut up into little pieces, you won't even notice it. If you use your lights and darks effectively, no one will even see what kinds of fabrics there are. Not from a distance at least.

Here are just a few of the blocks in the Auntie Alice quilt. Darks don't always have to be blacks, navys and grays - they can be dark reds too.

That lower left square is actually printed fabric. I did not piece that - although, I could have if I didn't have enough darks.

I have some fabric that has candies on it. Why on earth I bought it, I'll never know. It works here because the overall feel of the little piece is dark.

After trimming the backing of a quilt, one is quite often left with little strips of fabric - like this one. I will use anything that comes to hand when I'm piecing - especially if it really doesn't matter. All that really matters is the value of the overall piece. In this instance, it's light.
Even stripes can be used.

Anything goes. Just have fun.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stretched to fit and more knitting

The backing got pieced and the quilt is now on the frame. Controlled scrappy. It just about fits in my dining room. No room to move around so I should finish this soon to get it out of the way.

Leg warmers for the little girls, Mackenzie and Severn, is what I'm knitting up now. One down and three more to go. The yarn is Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter DK. I bought two balls (different colours) from Mary Maxim just before they closed their Toronto store. I don't know why they closed. I thought the store was doing well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Complete and next on the frame

This quilt is now 100% finished (see more here.) It's bound, has a label and a hanging sleeve. I didn't have a suitable dark green in all of the green stash to bind it with but I did have a couple of shades of this green. I chose a slightly darker one so it wouldn't take away from the middle. The quilt is now hanging on the wall in the hall where it can be enjoyed.

I think this is Andrew modelling the latest hat that I finished. I made two for the twins out of the same yarn but a tad bigger. My daughter's friend wanted a hat for her little one and she is a petite size (not yet 4 months old) so I did this a size smaller. The yarn is Bernat's Li'l Tots. 
Andrew is seated in front of the next quilt that I plan on quilting. It's called Aunt Alice and was a freebie pattern I got years ago from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan that I was going to give away but once I read the instructions (with a black and white illustration on one page) I decided to make it. It was just a scrap quilt and I thought that if I made sure that the squares going diagonally on the 16-patch were darker, it would have some direction. The instructions called for reds but I'm not a red person - even though there are reds in my stash. I just have to cut and sew the backing for it and set it up on the frame.

In case anyone needs to get their sewing mojo working or if you want something to sew but don't know what, Janome is giving links to make 100 blocks in 50 days. The blocks are different sizes.

I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network
It looks like they are early this week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Costume making and knitting

It's been busy here with sewing and knitting.

Here's little Patric's parrot costume. Luc wants to be a pirate so once he gets his costume and puts it on, I'll show you a photo. This costume idea came from a link that was sent to me by Mary Anne of Magpie's Mumblings. She sent it to me as an addition to the boys' tickle trunk. Little did she know that I was supposed to make Patric a parrot costume. The timing was perfect. Thank you Mary Anne. All the felt, stuffing and fleece came from my stash.

And on the knitting front, I made another hat for little Teemu. I finished it in time for the little girls to try on so I could see if the size was right for them. I just have to find some nice soft yarn. I bought this Red Heart yarn because I wanted to make a hat and I wanted to use variegated yarn.

I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, October 12, 2015


It's a gorgeous day out. At 8:00 a.m. it was 60F (15C) and the sun was shining. Enjoy!
We had our family dinner yesterday so today is a relaxing day - with leftovers.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Little Model

My newest grandson. Here's Teemu modelling the sweater set I made him.

Teemu is now 4 months old. Time flies.

Here he is this past weekend attending a wedding with mommy and daddy. I made him the suit and I love the little blue bow tie. The fabric has a just a bit of sparkle.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Something new

I felt like knitting.

So I decided to finish this little sweater and make the hat to go with it. It's for Teemu.

Last weekend we were at Sears and I saw a couple of things that I liked so I bought two shirts and two pairs of pants for the little guy.  I liked Big Bird.

I'm off to post at The Needle and Thread Network. Pop on by to see what others have been up to lately.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Too short a visit

Our family received a surprise visit from my baby girl, Ayla, and her fiance, David, two weeks ago today. They came to celebrate the twins' first birthday, meet Teemu (who is now 4 months old), visit with family and friends and to plan a wedding. A lot got accomplished but then...

it was over much too quickly.
We brought them to the airport Tuesday evening and they took a 6 hour overnight flight back to jolly old England.

They shall return in January when the rest of the family from BC will be here so we can all celebrate Christmas. Again, it will be our 'second' Christmas but I don't think we'll keep the live tree this time. Too much mess and too many bare branches.