Friday, April 29, 2011

FMQ Challenge Day 1

True to form I am starting my Free Motion Challenge on the last possible day! All week I was planning on which quilt I was going to free motion quilt on. At the last minute I opted to start with some muslin and scrap batting (totally chickened out). I've quilted a few of my quilts with good old meandering, or wavy lines, but never with actual designs. I find the thought of starting on a real project a bit daunting (which is why I have a stack of free motion doodling samples, but not many finished quilts). Perhaps after a few days of practicing I will give it a go. For now I would like to practice my feathers. I'm not unhappy with them from far away, but up close I need to get my stitch length more even and the feathers a bit smoother and longer (they whole feather seams kind of narrow). I also need practice following marked lines. Every time I've tried to quilt a motif on something by following the lines it looks like I've been drinking more than just coffee!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have a new respect for those who do miniature quilts. I swear some of the pieces on this landscape quilt are smaller than what I usually trim off of a block to square it up! I've already thrown away a piece because I thought it was just a "bunny ear" . Truth be told I am enjoying doing this pattern (but you wouldn't know it for all the whining...and there will be more I assure you, lol).
Iron freezer paper template to RIGHT side of fabric.

All the pieces  in this section sewn together.

3 sections done today. I peeled some of the pieces off cause I couldn't wait to see what it looks like.
I can see part of the roof of the mill!
 Things started off really slow, but I've got the hang of this now. The next 20 something sections should go together a little easier now that I got me a groove happenin'!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Picture Piecing the Mill

Today I'm starting on The Old Grist Mill pattern by Cynthia England. I only have umpteen unfinished projects on the go, What better time to start something new!
The pattern comes with a master pattern and one printed on freezer paper. Of course I decided I wanted to make this a little larger so spent a couple of hours photocopying, rephotocopying, cutting, pasting etc etc (I never get how to lay out things when I want to enlarge them. I'll try dozens of prints, with cut off edges, before I get it straight in my head. By the next project, I've forgotten  how I did it.)
I selected the fabrics and made a fabric guide.
Yikes! There are a lot of pieces .
I cut apart the freezer paper pattern along the heavy lines first.
Then I cut the sections into individual  pieces. They are very small (and these are cut from the enlarged pattern!)
All pieces cut, packaged in ziplocs and LABELED!
Tomorrow the sewing begins!

Happy Stitching!

New Free Motion Foot

I stopped by Carellan Sewing Centre on Saturday for their 28th Anniversary Sale. There were door prizes, spin the wheel discounts and lots of snacks.
I was just going to say hi, but a few things happened to leap into my arms. The best was a newly designed sensormatic free motion foot for the Pfaff Quilt Exression 4.0. The free motion sensor foot that it came with was okay, but the visibility wasn't very good. They've redesigned it now so it's open toe! My free motion quilting is not that great, even worse when I can't see what I'm doing clearly. I've only tried it for a couple of minutes, but I like it alot. I can see where I'm going a lot easier now.
Of course I had to get a bit of fabric (a few neutrals just because). 
Has anyone ever tried Sullivan Silicone Spray? I bought some to try. Supposedly you spray it on your work surface and the throat plate of your machine and it helps your quilt glide across the surface. I'll let you know what I think of it once I've had some time to try it out.

Now all this stuff about free motion quilting is because I'm considering joining a Free Motion Quilt Challenge that Joanne at Thread Head and Wendy at Inky Threads are holding. It starts on April 22 (check out the rules and info here. I'll see if I take the plunge.

I've got sooo many projects on the go right now. In fact, I can't believe that tomorrow I'm starting another one! (one day I really should finish something!) It's a quilt pattern by Cynthia England. A couple of friends have mine saw Cynthia's quilts on display and loved them, so I got "forced" into joining them to try out her technique. I'll take pictures along the way.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday Night Sew/Snow In!

I had a fab Friday night! I promised myself  I would be sewing by 7 and for once I kept my promise. I have several UFO's, but I really want to get my Ladybug Hugs quilt (Quilt Soup) done for Easter. So I added a couple of borders, fused the ladybugs and did a buttonhole stitch around all the appliques (In hindsight, I think I would have used a satin stitch in a contrasting color around the appliques). All that's left is the antennae on the ladybugs, and the quilting of course. 

This quilt is going to be named Ladybugs in the Snow. Why? As I was sewing last night something happened to our yard. We were very happy this past couple of weeks that the snow was 99% melted. True, it left a soupy mess, but it was almost all gone! Then this happened.....

Even Tucker couldn't believe it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baby Quilts

Where did the last 2 weeks go? I know I must have done something this last while but I can't for the life of me think what! The sun was shining for a few days so that got me into the mood to do some spring cleaning. Then the rain hit and our yard become a mudpit, slushpile and general mess-the dogs love it! This past weekend I celebrated my, gulp, 50th birthday. Forget where the last 2 weeks have gone, where have the last few decades gone!!!! I did have a fun birthday weekend. There was no dieting, good friends, cake, candles (lots of smoke), lunches out on Saturday and Sunday and generally a lot of good times. I also picked up a few fat quarters.
Don't you just love these colors!
Last year I made a couple of baby quilts and had quite a bit of leftover fabrics. These go perfectly with the leftovers.In fact, I've bought several different fabrics to go with the leftovers, so I now have enough to make at least 3 more baby quilts. I am definitely a good consumer. Gotta keep our quilt shops in business!

I tried to take a picture of the baby quilts, but that was just an open invitation for Jaxi to jump on the bed. He's only allowed on the bed when "the dog blanket" is on it. I guess he considers this quilt a dog blanket. Don't know if that's a compliment or not. I guess I'll find out how much shrinkage there will be in this quilt after it's washed. Thanks for your help Jaxi.

Quilt minus dog
This quilt is smaller, but uses the same fabrics.
I love the ladybug fabric for the border
This coming Friday is the Friday Night Sew In. I am determined to get some sewing in then. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, so more spring cleaning will be the order of the day.

Happy Stitching!