Friday, October 31, 2008

Celebration of Quilts X

The York Heritage Quilters Guild will hold its 10th major exhibition, A Celebration of Quilts X, next weekend starting Friday November 7 through Sunday November 9. Details of the show can be found here:

If you are going to be in the Toronto area please drop by to see what the guild members have been working on this year.

I've just become a member of the guild this fall so I don't have any pieces in this show. But I'm going to go to the show to see what kinds of quilts have been submitted and get some ideas of what might be of interest to submit for the next show in two years.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oriental Mosaic

I'm now busy working on my Christmas presents which will need to be finished by the first week of December so given that October is almost done I really don't have much time left. I have my cat quilt ready to do the quilting on.

I have just finished piecing together what I have called "Oriental Mosaic" and will be making up the quilt sandwich tonight and it will be ready for quilting as well. It was very interesting working with the red, black and white palette and I really think this turned out quite stunning. I also found a 1 yard piece of red dragon batik fabric that I used for the back. I didn't want to cut up the dragons since they were actually fairly large and I thought they would may a nice back for this quilt. The back looks a little wonky in the photo but that was because I didn't have it hanging just quite right.

Front of Oriental Mosaic

Back of Oriental Mosaic

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spoonflower - creating your own fabric

I'm back from a lovely vacation in Long Island and my friend loved her quilt. It's taking me a few days to get settled again and work has been busy. It's the typical scenario where stuff accumulates while you are away and then has to get done as soon as you walk through the door.

I came across an interesting site called Spoonflower. If you have a design in mind for some custom fabric this company can make it happen. They have the means to print your design to high quality 4.3 oz Kona™ cotton fabric. the cost is $18 US per yard and there is no minimum order. You can even order a swatch for $5 or a fat quarter for $11. The company is based in Mebane, North Carolina, and will ship all over the world. It is certainly something to keep in mind for the budding fabric designer in all of us. Check them out at:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leaf Quilt Part IV

My Leaf Quilt finally has a name. Thanks to Quilt Pixie for some much needed inspiration it's official name is Woodland Symphony. I got it finished last night and the label has been sewn on and it's all packed and ready to go.

I'm almost packed and am so looking forward to my trip to Long Island. I hope everyone has a great week and I look forward to seeing what wonderful stuff everyone has been up to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leaf Quilt Part III

The Leaf quilt is finished with the exception of tying off the threads on the back, weaving them through the fabric sandwich and trimming. Well this certainly has been an adventure and I now have my first completed quilt. I do love the way it looks overall but I still have some fine tuning of my free motion quilting skills. I know that will come with more practice in terms of getting the stitching lengths more consistent.

But I'm hoping that someone can help me with one issue that came up. Every now and then the top thread would create this loop for lack of a better name. The stitch isn't flush with the fabric and it just looks a bit weird. See picture below. Any suggestions as to why this occurs and how to correct it.

Otherwise I'm pleased with the design for the quilting that was done on the border.

And I'm please with the way the quilt looks like on the whole.

My other challenge is to name my quilt by this Friday since I'm leaving for Long Island NY this Saturday for a week to visit my friend and this quilt is a present for her. I've been thinking of the following possible names: "Window To The Forest", "Forest Tranquility" or "Forest Serenity". I'm still not sure if any of these are the right name so if someone has a suggestion please feel free to share.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

I'm getting ready for our Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada and fortunately I only have to work a half a day but get paid for the full day. I'm heading up north to Horseshoe Valley for the long weekend and am looking forward to seeing the lovely fall colours. The weather is actually going to be sunny and warm. I'm hoping that I will have some time to get out and take some pictures.

My leaf quilt is almost ready to go with me. I just have to finish the last bit of attaching the binding and then the hand sewing will be done up north. I'm just amazed that no matter how well you plan and organize these projects they always seem to expand and take more time and or effort. In part for me there was a bit of a re-learning curve with getting back into quilting after being away from it for a couple of years. Hopefully the next couple of quilts that I want to get done for Christmas will progress a bit more smoothly.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Treasures from Across the Pond

I signed up for my first fabric scrap swap through Quilt Pixie and was paired up with Angel Cat. (please note that the exchange sign up is finished) The idea was to have the swap ready as a Christmas exchange but Angel Cat and I got so excited about the whole thing we decided to have Christmas early and mailed our packages off early, especially since they had to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. My packages from Angel Cat arrived yesterday and today. Yes packages because Angel Cat has to split them because of the limitations of the UK postal system and what they would allow. Fortunately here in Canada we are allowed up to 2 kg. (approx. 5 lb. and within a certain box size limit) and my package met those conditions.

So I've got all kinds of wonderful fabrics, some neat ribbons, buttons and beads. The brain is now thinking of ways to incorporate these into projects. Below are some pictures of some of the fabrics that were in my bundles.

Thanks Angel Cat for my wonderful treasures and thanks Quilt Pixie for setting up the swap.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Leaf Quilt Part II

The weekend was productive. First of all my frustration with my sewing machine got resolved On Sat morning when I went on a course to learn more about the sewing machine that I now have. A friend of mine decided to by a brand new Janome with all the bells and whistles this summer and they don’t give much on trade ins (a few hundred dollars) so she offered me her old Husqvarna machine for what she would have gotten as a trade in. Well I snapped that offer up since mine was an ancient temperamental Singer and her machine was only a few years old.

She was also at the class learning about her new machine on Sat. She bought it at the Oakville Sewing Centre, where she had also bought her old one. The class was learning about your computerized sewing machine. It was well worth the $35 that I had to spend since I learned a lot about the machine. My friend’s class was free, part of her deal when she purchased it. So everything worked fine that was covered in class.

At the end I asked Linda (store owner) if she could help me with the free motion quilting to see what was going on. So I switched everything over to free motion quilting and it was doing the crap again. Well Linda took one look and was a bit embarrassed to say the least. It turned out that when my friend had bought the various attachments, someone has sold her the wrong free motion quilting foot. It was for a higher model and would never work on this model. Linda apologized for the mistake and replaced it free of charge even though it was a few years old.

So not only did I learn more about my machine but now I had the right quilting foot. So I spent a good part of the weekend catching up on my quilting and now all the blocks of the leaf quilt are done. Each one is free motion quilted with a leaf or tree outline. Below are a couple of pictures of the ones that are easier to see given that I used green thread on green fabric. I still have to practice more to get my stitches more evenly spaced, but at least the machine is behaving itself.

Also I would like to say thanks to Quilt Pixie for her advice on how to hold the fabric while doing the free motion quilting, that also made a big difference.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Well the last 2 days have been an exercise in frustration. I've been trying to get the quilting done on my leaf quilt and the darn machine doesn't want to cooperate. The problem has been when the machine is set up to do free motion stitching. I've been having problems with the thread tension. The finished row of stitching has little bumps on the right side of the quilt and there should be no bumps if the thread tension is right. I have cleaned, re-threaded, changed needles, checked tensions, etc. and it's seems to have a mind of it's own.

When I put the machine back for regular sewing it sews just fine. Very frustrating. So I have made very little progress on my leaf quilt. Hopefully the quilt faeries can come and work some magic and maybe I can get some work done on the quilt this weekend.