Saturday, June 25, 2011

New photos, and "the process"

So, now I do have photos. Let me walk you through the process of designing what I have decided to call "Margaret's Garden".
This is my original doodle.
And the revised version.

Then came the designing of the trellis, with calculating how large the diamonds need to be to get the size of the quilt right. Then the making of the template for the diamonds.

Add a couple of notations to remind me of the settings for the needle position and stitch length.

Here are the beautiful fabrics. The dark green will be the vine and leaves.

Count out the number of diamonds and half diamonds that need sashing and add to one side. The sashing on the other side will be added as a long strip between rows.

And that's all I'm going to show you until it's ready for quilting. I'm looking forward to doing the applique as it's not something that I've done much of. I can only guarantee it won't be done by hand - as I even sew buttons on by machine. But the "wheels are turning" as to weaving the vine over and under the "trellis", cutting the fabric away from behind the flowers so that I don't try to quilt through several seam allowances at once, planning to do a little thread painting for detail on the flowers and leaves, etc. And the creative thinking just keeps going.
I'm sure I'll be sharing some frustrations along the way.
The good thing is, several of the ladies at my Monday group are excellent applique-ers. So I'll have them to go to for ideas.
Wish me luck!

The next project

Sorry, no photos yet.
But, just for fun, I'll share what I've been up to this week.
I'm making a quilt for my friend "K"'s mom. Her color choices are sage green, brown, yellows and oranges. So, I went shopping.
Then, I sat down and drafted up an original pattern. In a nutshell, it's a trellis made of diamonds or 2 sage green fabrics, separated by 3/4" brown sashing. Then I'm going to applique a vine weaving through the trellis. Followed by some flowers of yellow and orange prints.
Along the way, I learned how to stretch 2 yds of fabric to give me enough to make enough diamonds. Just a hint = it involved creative folding of the fabric so I could cut the diamonds without wasting fabric. Of the two yards of each of the greens - I have a piece 42"x8" left of one, and a triangle about 10"x15" of the other. Whew, that was close. If I had strip cut it like I originally planned, I would have wasted enough fabric that I would not have been able to get the diamonds cut from the yardage I had. I guess my Mom's teaching of frugality actually sank in! Over the years of making clothes from homemade patterns, and making sure we used the minimum yardage, I guess I'm learning!
So, no photos yet, but they will come. I'll probably have something to show after my Monday quilting club. Since my DS is finished school for this year, he'll be coming along! But don't fret, he has access to computers at the center, so he won't be stuck with us old gals for entertainment. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My son's new quilt!

My son's quilt is done. Judging by his reaction and huge smile, I think it's safe to say he loves it. When I showed him the bottom right corner stone - he was delighted to find that I had stitch-written "To Robert, Love Mom, 2011" between the lines of the swirl pattern.
I had decided to just make a pile of HST's out of left over yardage from some recent quilts, then used the navy to fill in the blanks. My only direction from DS was, "no flowers, or pink!" He helped with the layout and thought using my fancy design wall was "neat." My design wall is a dollar store flannel backed, vinyl tablecloth that is attached to the wall over a closet door - with bulletin board push pins. No expense spared there!! The best part is that it folds up and goes in the drawer when not in use.
He decided on the diamond pattern and decided what color would be in the center.

This shot is a bit blurry, but it's the only one that shows most of the quilt. Note the cornerstones, and the bottom where I used up "what I had."
Each row around the center medallion has a different pattern of quilting.
I'd say it's a hit!

The "QUILT MONSTER". After all, he is 10. And a boy. Standing still for a photo shoot - not on your life!
But he did run upstairs and put it on his bed as soon as we got back in the house :)
Now, what shall the next project be?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

FNSI results

A little sewing, a little Dewey, a little Shakespeare, a little scrapbooking, it was quite a day.
I started in the morning, putting some of the HST's together for my son's new quilt. He informed me last week that his quilt was "too short", so I'm making him a new one out of HST's from scraps. He helped put the HST's on the design wall so the design is uniquely his, and in the process he learned a lesson about geometry!!

The afternoon was a no-sew zone as it was my day to be library volunteer in the school library. It is officially closed for the season, but there is still lots to be done. We have to clean and dust all the shelves and return the books to perfect Dewey decimal order so inventory can be taken and lost books searched for.

AND, my son's grade 5 class put on "Romeo and Juliet". Yes, ten year olds doing Shakespeare. They had a blast! The students also did all the staging, lights and curtains for the play and they did an amazing job. My son was one of the narrators - he even had makeup on! He looked so handsome with his rosy cheeks and red lips, decked out in a black poncho with gold braid.
At one point the young lady who played Juliet's mom overacted her "happy news" line and caused the actors to break into giggles. Despite that, "the play did go on!"
I got home around 9 so by then the whole idea of settling down to quilt was too much.

So, I got out my scrapbooking stuff instead. Our London Modern Quilt Guild has decided to include a half hour "learning" time at our meetings. The "teachers" will rotate among the members. Cara, of CaraQuilts and I are doing the learning session later this month. So, we've decided to tackle the issue of HST's. We'll be doing a clinic on the versatility and use of color in HST blocks. We'll be using 3"square HST's to do the hands on part of the lesson, so I'm cutting 100's of triangles from various colorways of scrapbook paper. Some of the papers are two sided, so that will help in learning about color value as we'll have even more choices in color. I'll be doing more for the next few days until I have a healthy pile of triangles for the members to play with.
That's what I did Friday night., How about you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Isacord thread - I like it!

On Leah Day's blog, she states that she loves Isacord thread and uses it almost exclusively. Since she's my go to quilt guru, I thought, maybe, I should try some.
Lately I've been unimpressed with my usual thread, I don't know if they've changed it, or I've changed, but it's been breaking a LOT and if I'm sewing over seams, I have to use a 90/14 needle or it shreds.
So, there was no time like now to try it.
I quilted an entire twin size quilt tonight. I had NO thread breakage AT ALL. This thread is a trooper. Once things were going along well, I made sure I sewed over as many seams as I could find just to give it a really good test. I was amazed. Absolutely NO shredding, No skipped stitches, and No breaking.
And - since it's thin, a bobbin holds a lot of thread. I only had one bobbin change. So, with starting, one bobbin change, and stopping, I only had to bury 3 sets of thread. That's worth it right there.
I purchased my trial cone from (Leah Day's web store) and it was quite reasonable at $6 (US) for a 1000 meter spool. I will definitely be ordering more.

I like the way it quilted up. It was easy to travel stitch back over lines of stitching, and it made the design stand out very nicely.
Now I just have to do the border and bind it and it's ready for gifting. This one's going to my brother and sister in law for their new cottage.

This is the front - 10" blocks sashed with blue/yellow/purple fabric.

And this is the back. I love how this fabric coordinated so well with the front. By the way, my sister in law's favorite color is yellow - can you tell?

So what have you been up to lately?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update on the hole in the lawn

A couple of weeks back, I posted that I was having hydro woes at my house. Well, the utility came, dug a rather large - two person sized hole in the front yard between the driveways. So much for getting a new driveway out of the deal (shoot!) They fussed with it for the week, and Friday afternoon filled it in and called it done.
But the problem was still there.
So, I called them again. Another service guy came out. Confirmed that there was still a problem outside of the house, but also told me there was a problem with the mount ON the house. Unfortunately, getting that part fixed is my problem. So, he hooked me back up to the neighbour's house and made an X on the grass where there would be digging - again.
Monday morning - the backhoe came. and they dug up the yard again, only this time the hole is bigger. As of today, it is not fixed, there is a large hole in the yard with plywood over it and an orange fence around it.
Apparently it's extremely interesting for all the boys of the neighbourhood. Fortunately, their parents have instilled the fear of electrocution in them and they're giving it a wide berth.
Tuesday the electrician is supposed to come, the hydro is supposed to be here at the same time, so they can shut off the service and the electrician can change the mount on the house. Then we'll see how long it takes to fix the service.
Perhaps they'll have to dig up the driveway after all. I can hope - right?

Puttering around with ultrasuede

I was puttering around today. I'm starting to feel like myself again.
A few weeks ago I picked up a couple of items of clothing at a local thrift store. They were made of ultrasuede, and it seemed just a shame to have them go to a recycler that would just grind them up for recycled fiber.
So for a buck, they came home with me. Today I started playing with that fabric, as I've never sewn ultrasuede before. It does stick to the table a bit, but not as much as leather does. So this is what I made. Just a couple of pouches. The first draft was a single layer with a gusset at the bottom. OK, but I'm not in love with it.

I like the second edition better. It is lined with the same fabric. I used the stitching detail from the pant leg to show on the side of the pouch. I did a squared off bottom, and I like it much better. It has enough body just with the fabric to stand on it's own. It's just the right size for a small camera or for a few cosmetics. Total cost- $1. for the fabric, .66 for the zippers. Not bad!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The ouchies

Sorry I've been neglecting you. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself this week. Wednesday I had some minor surgery on my tongue. I had a small growth removed. So now I have 3 stitches in my tongue. And you know - I had a growth removed a few years back and I don't remember it being this sore. Maybe I'm just getting old and wimpy. I guess I just never took into account how much you use your tongue for everything - talking, swallowing, eating, yawning, swallowing pain pills .....
Hopefully when the stitches dissolve it will be better. :( for now. No, no photos!