Friday, August 30, 2013

Free motion experiments and another couple of projects

I'm happy that another one of my "projects" is now finished and delivered! My co-worker and his wife were expecting their second little boy. He arrived safe and sound a couple of weeks ago and proud Daddy is going on Paternity Leave for 6 weeks! My how times have changed! Mom and Dad will be with the little one for 6 weeks bonding and then Mom will take the balance of the year maternity leave allowed in canada! Here's a shot of the new blankie! I hope that it's dragged around everywhere and much loved! Dad knows how to speak French, so I thought I would toss in some French verbage and of course a little of "France" on the backing flannel!
It's a good thing I have these baby quilts to practice my free motion on. The first set for the twins I used a simple stipple and on this one I tried a dot to dot free motion pattern. I was having issues with eyelashes on the back, so I changed threads and tried Magic Bobbin Washers .. still had issues. I then started changing needles and re-reading lessons on free-motion quilting with stitch length, feed dogs up, feed dogs down and then finally was successful with changing my needle to a microtech. The first baby quilt was with Hobb's Cotton. I had no issues with the quilting portion at all. The "French" quilt used a polyester batting that I had as I ran out of the Hobb's. I'm thinking that the polyester is what caused the problems! Live and learn! Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Babies, Babies everywhere!

Remind me not to drink the water at work! My past assistant (she was "my" girl who was amazing and found all things that were lost and could do a job before I even asked!) has had twin boys! Now that girl knows how to do it and get it done and over with! The biggest compliment I got was her reporting her little girl (now almost 4) drags her "blankie" everywhere! Well of course the twins had to have their own "blankies" as well! The pattern was found enclosed with my Accuquilt GO! small tumbler die. It was super easy to make! I found some great fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics!( ). I used Anne Kellie's Urban Zoologie Turles and Owls! A while ago I also ordered one of Pink Chalks specials on solids that were a perfect fit for these projects! Did I mention how much I love ordering from Pink Chalk? The cozy flannel on the backside will be super-soft the more it's broken in! My stippling is something to be desired, but I continue to practice!
A "shout-out" to Beverly of -- she suggested on one of her comments to cut stripes on a bias for the binding. Well I had some great black on white "text" of ""sewing words. I deliberately cut the fabric so that you could not see the words/ You can see the "letters" instead. It worked out great! Thanks Beverly! I wouldn't have tried it without your suggestion! Don't you love the blogging world?! It appears one my co-workers wife drank the office water a number of months ago and lo' and behold there is yet another "baby" arrival in the world!! I think I should just start making baby quilts in bulk! (Ok I have to fess DID make me go and purchase another Accuquilt die! I bought the larger tumbler die so I can start churning out more baby quilts! ha ha!) Happy Quilting everyone!

Monday, August 12, 2013

FART completed and Fishing Tournament won by "The Girls"!!

For the past three years, Chef and I have been participating in a family fishing tourney in Manitoba with my dear sister-in-law (Chef's sister) and family! Every time we go, we have such a great time. My face hurts from the laughing and the kibitzing we do. So many things that my sister-in-law and I do the same! It's a joy to be there and I so wish we were so much closer!

This year, we, or I should say "I" wanted to DRIVE there instead of taking a flight. I have never in my 54 years been in Saskatchewan other than flying over it or stopping at the airport to pick up more passengers. It was an adventure! Anyone who says Saskatchewan is flat is so wrong! It was beautiful from west to east with rolling hills, green fields and dots of tree's! Nothing like I expected at all! We arrived in Moose Jaw, Sask., for our first evening and completed our trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the next evening. It wasn't so bad! Since I had a week off from work, our visit was short lived and we left on Thursday morning. I am sure the boys would have wished we stayed longer so that they would have more of a chance to win the fishing tournament, but yet again THE GIRLS won! whooooo whooooooo! It's all in good fun! Our neice even caught a double-header (two fish on one line!)

I did take some time one afternoon in Winnipeg to visit Marathon Threads! What a great business. I was lucky to meet the owner and Chef spent time talking to him about business in general while I got to browse the catalogue and buy thread to try! I did try some Marathon thread a couple of years ago when they were at Creative Stitches in Calgary. Take a look to see what I get to try now!

We left from Manitoba on Thursday morning and headed south to North Dakota as our return journey would be from North Dakota, west to Montana and then back home! Along the way Chef had inputted the quilt shops we could visit. Sadly about 70% of them were closed due to the recession.

One of the places we did not plan on going to was Valley City, North Dakota. We had to get gas, thus the stop and of course we found a quilt shop -- The Quilted Ceiling! What a great shop! It was huge! Such a great selection and of course Chef found some great sale deals on fabric for the backs of all those baby quilts that I have yet to make!

Of course he found some fabric that caught his eye! I think there's a quilt that will have a lot of blacks and yellow's coming!

He found this one too! How cute will this be for some baby bibs? I teased my neice and her husband about how much I would like to start sewing for their baby (they are NOT pregnant)! I can always wish though!

Of course I found all the fabric for my son's quilt -- although it's going to be somewhat of a surprise, I did not take photo's of the fabric. I am pretty happy with my choices though and you will see it in time!

The other fabric that "we" found were:
I like finding fabric that will give a different visual interest like printing -- just a little bit to make someone stop and take the time to see what it says! This fabric is all about reunions and family get togethers! Perfect considering that's exactly what we did this trip to Manitoba! Family!
 I always find new things to put on my "want" list. This one I was able to cross off -- The Dresden template. I found a great tutorial on The Missiouri Quilt Company that uses this Dresden template. I figure I should be able to use up a lot of my scraps with this template and get great squares as a result for a wonderful modern yet traditional quilt! Oh yes, and I can use my circle die from my GO! to complete it!
 My web browsing led me to another item on my list! I was reading about Dot to Dot quilting and thought this would be a great book to add to my quilting tools! I already have the paper (Golden Threads) that you trace onto with this from my class that I took with Lorraine Stangeness. This book will give me some more ideas on what to quilt on my finished tops. Something to "go to" since I am getting my feet wet with quilting my tops myself. I know it's not as hard as I make it out to be, but sometimes I'm just stumped as to what pattern to put on top of my completed squares, borders and the like! I figure a little more help won't hurt!

 Oh Tigger! Yes we are home and yes I love you too!
 Since there are so many babies popping up, I found a cute little book on more baby things. Cute tooth fairy pillows as well are a great size for those alphabets!

 I do have stencils that I have used my  markers with. I figured it's about time that I got myself a quilt pounce. Chef wanted to know what this was for. You fill the pounce (like a chalkboard eraser with a hole in the top with a stopper) with powedered chalk, plug the hole and then "pounce" over a stencil that is on the quilt top. The stencil marks show so that you can sew. The amazing thing is all you have to do is iron over the chalk lines and the chalk disappears with only your stitching that remains! Voila! Easy Peasy! (or so they say!)
Another item that I bought for quilting -- is the tape. This tape can be used in strips over your threads that unravel easily (like your metalics). One of the other things I am going to use this for is my fishing rod! Yes you read that right. I tend to take my pole apart, but with this tape I can put the two pieces together so they stay together and not gum up the rod or the fishing line -- keeping it organized for easier travel! Ohhhh I think I will have a million uses for this tape. You can take it off and put it back on over and over again. It's a heavy clingy plastic tape without the gum/gluey side! What else would you use it for?

Well that's it for my FART (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip)! We put on 4482 kilometers on our trip this time! Not something that I want to repeat in a hurry! Chef and my bones are a little achy from travelling in my little car! What a wonderful trip though! Family AND fabric! My two favorite things!

Happy Quilting Everyone!