Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

I've been working away at stitching together these GFGs for the last little while. First pairs, then sets of four, now groups of eight.  I have no idea how it will turn out, and I'm not paying any attention to colour or value placement, just relaxing, mindless hand stitches. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Looks like some treasures...

We picked up boxes of quilty goodness from the lady who offered me her mom's stash which was languishing in her basement.  I had dreams of vintage scraps, but it seems this quilter started collecting her stash about the same time I did!  Lots of old favourite Cranston VIP prints in 1989 country blues, roses, and hunter greens.  Ah well!  I will enjoy sorting through them, and cutting them up into usable pieces - still lots of great additions dating from those "country calicoes" right up to the era of Japanese prints.

One box was full of drapery/upholstery samples.  I won't be keeping these, because I have enough "to do" projects.  But look at this book of polyester suede fabrics!  Wouldn't that make a great patchwork tote or purse? maybe I'll keep this ONE sample book...

Ladies' Wreath

This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW Ladies' Wreath  -- the first sewing I've done this week since the unfortunate thumb incident on Tuesday.  It's rather difficult to match up raw edges for sewing with a big bandage on one's thumb!  But it does mean I have one more thing scratched off my list of goals for February.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This month's goals suspended due to injury!

I won't include an actual photo - - don't want to turn anyone off their tea!  Basically, what I did was square up my thumb by cutting off the end of it.  This was not a quilting injury - this was a COOKING injury!  (figures!)  I tried to prepare supper for the oven on my lunch hour yesterday, and while slicing up some raw beef, I sliced up some raw thumb!

I can't sew.

I got some excitement coming this weekend though!  I was talking to a woman who works at the literacy centre where I donated those book marks a couple of weeks ago.  She thanked me again for them, and I told her it was nothing - that I'm a quilter, and I enjoyed whipping scraps into something pretty and useful.  

A quilter?  Well wouldn't you know her mother was a quilter, and she has a dozen boxes of fabric in her basement that she'd love for me to take off her hands!  Would I?!?!?!?!  I may not be able to sew this weekend, but I'll have a sweet time sorting through boxes of fabric.  I'm already day dreaming about what I might find - - wouldn't it be incredible if there were a cache of feedsacks in one of those boxes?  Or some vintage blocks and tops?  I can't wait to find out!

Organization - Thrifty Style

I've noticed lots of pins on Pinterest related to organization using dollar store items.  I'm always impressed by low cost solutions, but while I was wasting some time (I had an hour to put in between the end of a meeting, and picking up Hubby from work) at a local Goodwill Store, I was inspired to share a few ideas for organizing your quilting stash using thrifted items.

 I have no idea what this thing was in it's original life - there's five sections that swing/fan open, connected together by post on left hand side.  Each compartment is about 6 x 8 and about an inch or inch and a half deep.

It was priced at $2 - - I can imagine kitting up blocks for hand piecing - perhaps appliqué blocks?--prep step can happen in one setting, and the pieces will stay together and not go astray.

 This jar is ENORMOUS!  It was probably 14" across and 8" tall, and heavy.  The metal lid just lifts off (no twisting involved).  Think about how pretty this jar would be full of crumbs or strings.  It was priced at $3

This large picnic basket would make great storage for fat quarters. $6

 This giant sewing basket would make great storage for all of the trims we collect, or spools of thread. $4

 This shoe storage item could make sorting scraps by size or colour a breeze- if you happen to have a closet in your sewing room.  

 Need a spare iron? Some of these models were dirt cheap and look like new models.  Keep your good iron in the sewing room, and your back up in the laundry room - it's not like you'll use THAT very often!

Cookie tins - you'll find multiple identical tins which are stackable.  Label the sides and stack up your projects in progress. $1

Organize ideas and inspiration on the wall - - I love this girly example I found today with sweet red gingham, satin ribbon, and big buttons. $4

Check this out!  It's a table that would be used in a hospital setting.  The height is adjustable.  Can't you just picture setting up a pressing station that you can pull up to your sewing area, and then push out of the way.  $6!!!

There are some 50% off sales coming up in the next week or two at our local thrift stores.  This might be a good time to check out some stash enhancement with these items

Men's shirts don't have to mean plaid and stripes - the first example is a geometric print, the second is an abstract neutral, and the third is a polka dot.  Good source of cheap, quality fabric.

Look in the jewellery departments for embellishments and beads if you have an interest in artsy quilts.  

These new pillow forms were only $2 a piece!

I was a good girl and only shopped with my eyes!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Log Cabin Flimsy - done!

Yes, I'm quite pleased with the borders I added to this quilt.  It's now a perfect size for a double bed (I've photographed it on a Queen size) with plenty of drop and a generous pillow tuck.  I must remember that I want to bind it with a light neutral.  I do wish I had used some brighter scraps in the border - - I have pinks and yellows and turquoises in the centre - - but the borders are more subdued browns, reds, lilacs, and blues.  But it's all right - I like it.

The original inspiration for this quilt comes from the Spring 2010 issue of McCall's America Quilts Hometown Favorites

I started this quilt in June 2010

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Carrie Nation

This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW is Carrie Nation.  And I understand that we are now halfway through this project - as this is block # 25.

And the pieced border units for the log cabin quilt are all ready to be added on.  I guess it's been a pretty good morning of sewing so far.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Family Day Weekend!

While not a holiday in all Canadian provinces, I'm sure glad that I have a three day weekend!  

No big plans except getting the log cabin quilt I've been working away at completely pieced and sandwiched and ready to start quilting.  I've got the pieced border units 75% done.

Itty Bitty is coming home this weekend.  This is Reading Week for him  and he has a couple of assignments to do.  Maybe I'll help him!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Working on the next UFO

Inspired by the image above, which must have come from some old quilting magazine - - I'm (copying and stealing everything) the border! I had set aside enough fabric from the log cabin centres to do the binding, but I've changed my mind.  I'm going to use it for a narrow border, and then add a six inch pieced border all the way around, based on Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties.

I've sewn all the big HSTs, and started trimming them up into 1.5" strips.  I hope to have the pieces stitched together before the weekend, and get this baby sandwiched and start quilting over the long weekend.

I've decided I'm not going to quilt the Black & White quilt myself on my domestic machine.  It nearly broke my back to put those borders on.  It is HEAVY!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oh....I think this has got to be one of my favourite all times

I'm telling you...this cat...
As soon as he hears the camera turn on, he's photo bombing

Get lost, Gibson!

Finished measurement is 95" square

I am absolutely delighted with how this turned out.  And it occurred to me last night that this is my own design - - no pattern. I am responsible for all of the idiosyncrasies - for example, take note of the 1/2" black strip just inside the final pieced border.

Let me explain - I had intended the hourglass blocks to be 6" finished, but cut them wrong, and ended up 5" finished.  I needed to add only 1" , although I probably could have eased the final border in, but went ahead and added the 1/2" to ensure that the final border lay straight, without any ruffling.

The blocks in the centre were created according to the instructions on this tutorial.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Whoops! Okay....True Blue

Hmmm....that doesn't look right....

That's better!  This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW is True Blue

Guess what a pain it was trying to get an 8" block from a nine patch square!  The measurements on the GCBOW are incorrect - draft it out yourself.  For example - the A block is not 3 1/2", it should be more or less 3 1/8".  I moved my needle to the right a bit, to make the seam a smidge less than 1/4" in order to get the correct measurement.  I enjoyed fussy cutting the light squares - that's always my favourite part.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day

I had scheduled today off, using up some "in lieu time" I had accumulated at work.  I was looking forward to a day at home on my own, tucked under the sewing table.  But Mother Nature had other ideas - and Hubby is home on a Snow Day!

Oh well, I have managed to do some sewing anyway - - I've assembled some borders for Black & White.  (The strips on the wall belong to Aunt Lizzie's Scrap Basket)  I hope to have the top totally assembled before the end of the weekend.

I've been working away on my hexie flowers together this week too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm getting used to it

It's been a long time, but I have had a yen to do some handwork.  It's not on my February goals list, but I got out my hexie flowers anyway, and have started to stitch them together.  I have never been able to tolerate a thimble for stitching - - just awkward!  As an alternative, I would put a couple of layers of electrical tape on my middle finger, and that worked pretty well.  But I'm giving a 'new' thimble another try - - I found an old thimble when I was sorting out my sewing notions last month.  It's a good fit - not too tight, not wobbling around or falling off.  I think I'm getting used to it!  My poor finger thanks me.

I've been using little binder clips to help me hold the flowers together as I stitch - - it's flat, holds firmly, and doesn't get in the way.  Of course the cat likes to bat them off my table and chase them around, but that's my cross to bear.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What? I'm HELPING!

...excuse me?

Trying to pin pieces together, and who shows up to 'help' me?  First he LAYS his flabbiness directly on top of the sections I'm trying to put together, then he proceeds to pull pins out of the pincushion, one after another, and toss them around--undoubtedly for me to find 'the hard way' later on!  Oh, Gibson!

Girl's Joy

We spent most of the day in Brantford yesterday, visiting with Itty Bitty.  He took me to all the thrift stores there.  I didn't find anything too exciting, BUT I did pick up two pillow forms for $1.99 each.  I need them for two cushions that are on my UFO list, and had looked at them when I was at Michaels last week - - they were nearly $20 each!  Holy moly!  Even with a coupon, that's still a heck of a price. So here's a tip - if you need pillow forms, check thrift stores first.

So, I didn't get to this week's Grandmother's Choice BOW: Girl's Joy until this morning. I wish I had used a higher contrast between the medium black and light-medium red, but I'm pretty pleased with this finish.

I'm working on the Black & White quilt as well, and decided that this will be a gift to Sailor Boy, as we welcome a new member to our family circle.  Hmmm...I'll have to think of a pseudonym for her.  Well, she's relocating from Newfoundland to join Sailor Boy in Halifax in April.  We haven't met her yet, unless you count Skype, so hopefully we will be able to travel out to the Maritimes this summer once they get settled a bit.  I'm almost done piecing the block units for the three borders I have planned.  I think the young couple will enjoy the monkeys, tattoo flash, hearts and music fabrics.