Monday, 28 July 2014

Something Old, Something New...

Today, I have two things to share.  Let's start with the new stuff.  As you know, I am a proud member of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  Such a great group of gals (no guys... yet) and lots of fun.  A few months ago, we had our logo designed by Eric of Dartmouth Clothing Company (who may have a connection with one of our members). 

Now, we are working on our guild banner.  One of our members, Karen, has done a superb job on the main panel and everyone else was provided fabric to create a 6" block for the front, as well as a signature block for the back.  Of course, I can't remember any of these names, so I went to I went to Jenn's blog for a little help: Kona White, Pacific, Prussian, Aqua, Oasis, and Breakers.

Here is my contribution for the front:

Gees it's hard to take pictures of solid fabrics and get the colours right...

And here's the back:

I free-motioned my name in variegated thread using a light fusible interfacing for stability.  Here's a better look at the colours.

Love that colour scheme!

Now, about something old.  If you toured my studio, you may remember this antique sewing table which was a flea market find. 

It was a fine piece of furniture, but last week, I said goodbye and send it off to live in another home (with another member of my guild) so that I could have room for this one:

But, wait a minute.  Isn't this table smaller?  Weren't the legs nicer in the other ones?...  What gives?

Well, this one is the real thing.  It is not just a table.  There is an actual machine in it.  My grandmother's treadle sewing machine.

Isn't it a beauty?

And it works, too...

I find it fascinating to think that I could potentially sew in a power outage, with the power of my feet...

It came with the manual, a few bobbins and a box full of parts.  And check out those old fashioned wooden spools of thread.  And that "newer" plastic one there, with the 85c sign on the wrapper... 

I don't think it is a collector's piece or anything like that, but it is worth a lot to me.  I am honoured to have been given this little piece of my family's past.  It makes me smile every time I see it.

Have you ever sewn on a treadle machine?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Two personalized pillows

Today, I have two finishes to share!

The pillows were for twins and I had to fight the urge to do matching ones.  At first, I contemplated similar patterns in different colours, then similar colours in different patterns.  I am glad I resisted.

Hard to tell which one is my favourite.  This palette is really unusual for me, but I love it.   It was inspired by that Kaffe Fasset floral fabric, which I had been hoarding forever.  It felt good to actually cut into it and use it already!  I really loved the process practicing those different quilting stitches.

The second one... Probably my favourite colour scheme of the moment.  The quilt-as-you go method made quick work of both the piecing and quilting, but the result is still interesting.

The backs have Velcro closures, and whatever embellishment I had on hand.

Here is the final shot:

Two pillows with different personalities.  Just like their new owners!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Start... and a Finish!

A while ago, my sister hinted that if I ever wanted to make her a quilt, she would like a denim picnic quilt, similar to one I made for myself several years ago. 

This quilt lives in my car and has been to many beaches, soccer fields, playgrounds, not to mention our front yard for impromptu picnics.

When my sister started sending me her old jeans, and even her beloved worn-out Hard Rock Café jean jacket, I knew the picnic quilt wasn't a mere suggestion.

We live in different provinces and don't see each other often, but this past week, I had a chance to see her when I made a quick trip at my mom's where she was also spending some time.  It was the perfect chance to get the quilt to her.  Only problem was, it wasn't finished.  Or, for that matter, started. 

In fact, I showed up at my mom's last Saturday with a bin full of remnants from my own denim quilt and a basket with my sister's old jeans.

We had lots of plans for those few days - the quilt wasn't even a priority - and I did not even take these out of my car until Sunday night.  Did I mention I was leaving Thursday morning? 

There was a lot of work to do!  But with a little help from my mom, by Wednesday afternoon, I had this:

Thank goodness I took the pictures before fixing the binding (a story for another day).  Right after the photo shoot, we had a downpour, and it did not stop raining until that night.

This is definitely a quilt to be used - not that the others aren't - and I hope it gets its fair share of sand, dirt, spilled juice (or wine), and a few mustard stains!

I have learned a few things making denim quilts.  Anyone interested in a tutorial?

Linking up to TGIFF hosted by Izzy at Dizzy Quilt and Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts (Amanda was also sewing for her sister this week).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A Quickie...

Remember my luggage tags?
So fun to make, so here are three more:


I love those quick projects.  What are your go-to projects for instant gratification?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Welcome to my Sewing Space

Hi there!  I am so glad you are here.  If you are visiting from Mad About Patchwork's Sew Canadian Sundays blog tour, it is my pleasure to welcome you to my space.  Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy your visit!

If you are not coming from Sew Canadian, don't forget to go check it on your way out!  I am writing this a few days ahead of time so I can't link the specific post.  Just go to Mad About Patchwork and click on the blog page.

My sewing room

This room was born out of a basement renovation four years ago.  It is a 11'x13' room with lots of sunlight and it allows me to watch the kids play in the backyard (it is a walk-out basement).  No more carpet to swallow pins and needles!  No more sharing with the guest bed.  I am a lucky girl and I know it.

I love this wall: regular kitchen cabinets and custom made shelves.  The fabric is far enough from the windows that there is no direct sunlight.  Of course, this 5'2" girl needs a little help reaching the high shelves...

The fabric stash is a bit depleted.  There was a pile somewhere, waiting to be folded...

This is how I store my medium to big scraps:

There is a bit of an issue with this system, but it does the job.  I have separate containers for batiks, solids and 1930s, as well as containers for triangles, strips, and small "snippets" of all colours.

Fat quarters are in another sets of baskets, loosely divided by colours.  You can also see my yardage of Liberty, solids, and 1930s repros.

I picked up this antique sewing table  - no machine included - at a yard sale a few years ago.  Anybody wants to take it off my hands?  It will soon make room for my grandmother's treadle machine.  I can't wait!  Another "antique" thing that should really leave my space is my huge CD player.  So 90s... It takes up a lot of valuable real estate!

Ah!  Look at this cutting table! Must be picture day.

My husband made this for me.  He used an old table, put it on a base with casters, and topped it with a larger piece of plywood. Very roomy!  But the more space you have... well, this is what it normally looks like.  On a good day.

I love my rulers, and this is how I store them, again, thanks to my favourite handyman.

On my wish list are a new table for my sewing machine, and a new chair.  In the mean time, this is the set up:  An old IKEA desk and a low-quality office chair. The nice part about this little area is the ironing table that sits on a regular ironing board.  Finally a surface that makes sense when ironing yardage!

Strangely enough, I don't have any quilts on my walls.  Aside from a couple pictures, one thing that I proudly display is my very first stitching project.  I was so young when I made that needlepoint that I don't even remember making it.  I only remember having made it!

My design wall is small.  It is made of old ceiling tiles mounted on a thin piece of wood and covered with white flannel, then screwed on the closet door.

The inside of the door is painted with red chalk paint and I write on it to keep track of my WIPs.

Have time for one last one?  I told you my cutting table was on casters, right?  If I don't feel like sewing, I can always push the table away, hang my Sky Chair on a hook installed in the ceiling and have a little snooze.  Great for reading quilting books too!

I hope you enjoyed your visit.  I sure had a good time checking out Patti's and Krista's spaces last week, and am probably visiting Cinzia's as you are reading this!  Thanks to the gals at Mad About Patchwork for this great blog tour!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wednesday WIP

Happy Wednesday!

It's been ages since I did a Wednesday WIP post.  Believe me, it is not for lack of Works-In-Progress.  Plenty of those around here!

Today I started on another pillow, using a quilt-as-you-go technique.

Don't you just love the colour scheme?

I did not come up with it myself. Back in May, my bee mate Carly, of Citric Sugar requested these Curved Improv Log Cabins in gray, yellow and pink.  And that Denyse Schmidt flower print is one of my favourites.

I have left the trimming to Carly, but if you check out her post, you will see the what they will look like when they are rounder.  I can't wait to see what she does with them.

I really loved these colours together, in fact I still had most of these fabrics out, so picking fabrics for my pillow was quite easy.

Here is the result of my hour long session in the sewing room tonight.  Time well spent!

All that's left to do is embroider the recipient's name on the bright pink strip, and make the back of the pillow.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and off to see what others are working on!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Practicing Free Motion Quilting

I am working on a birthday pillow and I decided to use this small piece to practice my free motion quilting.

First off, pebbles.  Love the look, don't have the patience.  Good thing it was only a small section.  This reminds me never to attempt to quilt pebbles on a large scale quilt again.

These loops?  That's before I decided to get all fancy with the rest of the quilting.  If I had my time back, I would quilt wavy lines along the lines of the fabric, but I did not dislike it enough to unpick.

Two different types of small loops.  I kind of like the ones on the narrow dark purple strip.  My first time doing this pattern.  This one will go in my bank of "can do with ease" patterns.

This is not a great picture, but I did my first feathers!  Yay me!  it was surprisingly easy.  Do again for sure.

See the small loops I quilted on the green fabric, above, next to the seam?  Well, those, I did unpick, because I came up with a better idea: to mimic the "fireworks" (they are not fireworks, but they look like fireworks to me).

Not particularly pleased with the "boxes" on the aqua strip, but I can live with those.

I really enjoy practicing these stitches on a small scale.  Now I must go add the recipient's name on the pillow before I put it together.

Hopefully, a reveal soon...

In Other quitling news... in case you missed my last post, do you know about the Sew Canadian blog tour?

Every Sunday this summer, the gals at Mad About Patchwork are inviting you to visit the spaces of two Canadian quilters.  And guess who is featured next Sunday?

Here is the full schedule, and while you're at it, you can upload your pictures on the Sew Canadian Flickr group.

July 6th – Patti @Retired to Quilt and Krista @Poppyprint
July 13th – Dominique @The Running Thimble and Cinzia @Deux Petites Souris
July 20th – Anita @Daydreams of Quilts and Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts
July 27th – Shena @Apple Pie Patchwork and Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
August 3rd – Felicity @Felicity Quilts and Josee @The Charming Needle
August 10th – Janet @What Comes Next and M-R @Quilt Matters
August 17th – Erica @Happy Fabric, Jacqui @Treadle Quilts and Adrienne @Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @Mad About Patchwork and Laura @Waffle Kisses

What are you waiting for?  Go peek in other people's sewing spaces!