Friday, July 24, 2009

Goodies in the Mail

I entered a giveaway on Marj's blog Eclectic Quilter and I won this wonderful charm pack of 43 batik squares. Here is a picture of some of the amazing colours in the pack. I've been wanting to try my hand at making a "Cobblestones" type quilt like I have seen on Wanda's site Exuberant Color but I need to expand my batik collection before I can tackle such a project. Well the addition of this charm pack is going to get me closer to that goal. Thanks Marj.

Speaking of giveaways this is my 95th post, so stay tuned since I'm planning on having a giveaway for my 100th post. That probably will be in the next few weeks. I already have a bunch of fat quarters picked out and some other surprises that I think will be of interest to all quilters.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christmas Quilts

A friend of mine got married in June and for their wedding present I said I'd make them a lap quilt and just to let me know if there was a colour preference and if they wanted any particular theme. Well it looks like I'm going to be making them a Christmas quilt.

I found the pattern shown below on the Hoffman site ( I like the overall design but I am going to make a few modifications to it. When I looked at the instructions I wasn't too thrilled since the person who designed it is cutting most everything into triangles and then sewing all the blocks together on the bias. This is a recipe for disaster.

My first modification is to the green and black HSTs. I'm changing them to plain square blocks but I'm going to do some fussy cutting of the four fabrics below to get a good visual composition for the blocks. Also I'm changing the size of the blocks to 6 1/2" since that is more in line with the image sizes of my fabrics. If my blocks remained at 10 1/2", which is the original size, then I would get things like part of a birds head in with a whole bird.

These are the fabrics for the 4 patch blocks, which is not the way that the blocks are made in the pattern. In the pattern the cream coloured sections are made up of 2 different cream triangles. Personally I didn't think it makes a lot of difference to the overall quilt and who wants to cut a bunch of triangles when a 4 patch block will do.

Since I had to buy a minimum of a 1/2 yard of all of these different fabrics I realized that I would have enough left over Christmas fabric to make a second Christmas quilt if I pick up some additional fabric for the border and now I have a Christmas present that will be ready for someone on my list. So here are the two fabrics that I will be using for the borders.

For the back of the wedding quilt I'm going to use a red fabric and for the second one I will see what left over Christmas bits I have and make up a scrappy back augmented with fabric from my stash. I won't likely be starting these until September given what I have on my quilting plate at the moment but I thought I'd share the wonderful fabrics that came in the mail this week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Square in a Square Technique

This past Thursday I sat in on a demo of the "Square in a Square" technique that was developed by Jodi Barrows ( ). The demo was done by Gail St. Louis at the Sewing Machine Factory Outlet ( ). It was a very interesting demo showing the technique and ruler that Jodi developed. It begins with a square piece of fabric, or other shape, to which strips of fabric are attached and then cut with a rotary cutter in a unique way using her ruler. Below is an example of one of the blocks that Gail's showed (sorry that the pictures are on a funny angle but I was sitting at the end of the row).

This was an example of how the blocks got pieced together.

This is what the block looks like ironed out but before it gets cut.

This is the block after it is cut and you have yourself a square in a square without ever having to cut triangles. Gail showed this method for half square triangles, flying geese and several other blocks that normally require triangles and bias edges. Well this certainly sounds like it would make life easier, especially with blocks like the one below. So I ordered the ruler and a couple of books to give this method a try. I'll let you know what I think of it later on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 5

The espresso fabric arrived on Tues so I've been busy cutting and sewing the last 3 evenings and I've got the quilt top finished. I am very pleased with how it turned out. The picture doesn't do it justice since I had a hard time fine tuning the colours. The camera just didn't do a good job of capturing the colours in the artificial light. Day light would have been better but then I would have had to wait until tomorrow to make this post.

This is the quilt top for the new layout that has 4 colours removed so the quilt is actually going to be more square than rectangular. I now have to piece together a back which for this one I'm going to use the same espresso fabric and then I can make up the quilt sandwich and start quilting.

One thing I have to mention is that this top went together very easily and I have to say if it wasn't for my weekly Friday Block Party blocks that I do (see link on right hand side of my blog) it would have be much more difficult. Thanks go out to Quilt Pixie for running the Friday Block Party site and her advice on some of those more challenging blocks.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cats and Dogs - Part 2

I got 4 dogs paper pieced this weekend for our group trade in Sep. This leaves me 4 more dogs and 8 cats that have to get finished for the second Monday of that month. Paper piecing is still somewhat strange to me and the best way to describe it is it's like sewing backwards. I do like some of the effects you can get with this technique and I suspect that with lots of practice you do get better at it. But at this point it does take a fair bit of time to get things done.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Art and Cold Cash - Part 2

Bernice and I got the borders on the black version of Art and Cold Cash piece done and the quilt sandwich put together. The small red inner border really makes the top come to life.

For the red and white version we didn't put any borders on it for the time being and only did up the quilt sandwich with the image portion. The reason behind this is that the borders are going to be a cream coloured raw silk which has a tendency to fray. So between all the handling that the main body of the quilt is going to get with all the quilting and embellishment we decided that this one will be done in the "quilt as you go" format. Once the quilting and embellishment is done, we will make up the border pieces attach them and finish up with additional design work on them. By doing it this way we won't have to worry so much about being extremely careful in how we handle the first phase of the quilting and embellishment of this quilt.

So we now have to meet with Jack to go over the plans for what will get quilted and what will be embellished and how. Hopefully this meeting will happen within the next week so that we can start making progress on this project.