Tuesday, December 06, 2016

New Project - 150 Canadian Women

Next year it is Canada's 150th birthday, so there are lots of special celebrations planned. Of course quilters are celebrating by starting new quilting projects because that's just what we do! Sandra brought to my attention a new online quilt project called 150 Canadian Women
Since my Votes For Women quilt is really making good progress and will hopefully be finished soon, I decided that another quilt celebrating the historical accomplishments of women is a MUST DO!
Each pattern has 3 pages: one describing the accomplishments of a specific Canadian Woman, the second page is the block pattern, and the third page is to record your thoughts about some suggested themes relating to that woman's accomplishments. This might be a fun project for a mother-daughter, or a grandma-grandchild to work on over the year. So far I am enjoying the historical information but won't be printing out the 3rd page of each block.

Here is block #4 and #5. I missed the first three women posted, so my quilt will only have 147 blocks/women. One drawback is that you have to print out the patterns right away as they are only available for a short period of time. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

Design Wall Monday

It's week two of the Quiltville mystery and I am caught up with my blocks. I decided to sew half of the required blocks so that I can keep up with the mystery at this busy time of year. If at the end of the mystery I find out that I want to make the full size quilt, I can always make more blocks.

I love my TriRecs rulers and have had so much use out of them over the years. I use them to make my Alamo Star blocks in a teeny tiny 1.25" size, and even at that tiny size, the blocks are always accurate. 
Hop over to Quiltville to see what the mystery quilters have accomplished this week. And you can see more design wall postings over at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

Bow Tie Quilt

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate the art of hand stitched creations!
Did you know that I just finished hand quilting my bow tie quilt? It was such a great take-along project over the last few months, and I am so pleased with the finish!
So what will I work on now? I guess the time has come to get out my winter hand quilting project. It's a big quilt, and it's heavy and warm, so it's perfect to work on at this time of year. 
Do you remember seeing this quilt last winter? It has been in progress since 1996 and therefore celebrated it's 20th birthday this year. It has the ceremonious distinction of being my oldest UFO! And I still really like it and enjoy quilting the blocks. I can't help but wonder if this will be it's last year as a UFO?

I made this weird little chart to help me keep track of the quilting progress. It looks like the block quilting is approaching the half way done mark. I'm starting to think about how I want to quilt the edge blocks and the border. I do really like just quilting straight lines on a border, but is that too old fashioned now?

What are you hand stitching? Are you working any Christmas gifts? I should be, but I'm just not motivated yet!
Link up your blog post below and share with us what you are hand stitching today.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Scrappy Saturday Spools week #5

For the rest of the year, I am trying to finish my scrappy spools quilt.  You can read more about it in this post.
I really put a push on and forced myself to sew those long, unwieldy diagonal seams. There was a lot of matching to do, and lots of fabric to shove, push, and pull through the machine. It's hard to man-handle all these blocks and it is surprisingly heavy with all these seams!

This week I focused on the bottom right corner of the quilt top. I was making good progress until I noticed this. There are too many blocks made from the same purple with dots fabric. There are 3 of them in the same area. I had this problem when working on the left side of the quilt! I decided the block in the middle had be extracted.

There we go... see the spool block with the pin in it? It's a new import to replace the extracted purple dots block. Much better. I can live with that. 
Now to finish up the remaining long diagonal seams. I may need to bribe myself to get it done and chocolate will likely be involved!
To see more RSC finishes, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, December 02, 2016

More Machine Quilting

Since I decided my Circa 2016 quilt must be finished in the year 2016, it has really lit a fire under me to get going on machine quilting. I am also machine quilting my Votes for Women UFO, so I have two different projects on the go and I can switch back and forth depending on the type of quilting I feel like doing each time I sit down at the machine.
I am starting the quilting in the centre of the quilt as I always do. The quilting will just be stitch-in-the-ditch, which I don't do very often any more because it is boring. But there are so many seams on this quilt to quilt through, and I want it to be a quick finish, so I am tolerating the boringness :) And also it is a wonderful break from the intense machine quilting I am doing on my UFO of the month. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

UFO Report

I realized I had set a lofty UFO goal for November, and I didn't even come close to meeting it! However I did get started on it, so it's all good. I realized I was making this project into a very big challenge in my mind, and was therefore procrastinating getting started. Once I decided to look at this project as "only 48 miniature projects to quilt", it seemed more manageable to me, and I got the first panel pin basted to start the quilting.
I have the perfect recipe for enjoyable quilting with my Brother 1500, which is:
*Aurifil thread in the top and in the bobbin, 
*a Magic Bobbin Washer in the bobbin, 
*a Topstitching 90 needle (which reduces skipped stitches), and
*Machinger gloves.
It took me a long time to find this perfect formula and I spent a lot of money over the years on fancy threads that only made me 1) swear a lot, 2) waste valuable time on testing and adjusting terrible thread tension, and 3) struggle with machine quilting. But this combination is as smooth as silk, with perfect tension every time with my sewing machine.
For each block I put the walking foot on and stitch-in-the-ditch around the inside edge of the sashing.
But I only sew to where the screwdriver is pointing so that it will be easier to attach this panel to the others because there will be no quilting close to the edges where the seam allowances will be.
Once that is done, I put one of my free motion quilting feet on the sewing machine and get started on the block. This photo shows an open toe foot that works well when I want to see exactly where the line should start and stop.
And this free motion foot has a plastic disc that is good to use when the block does not lay flat. It seems to mash the quilt top a little flatter to quilt through, but it's less precise. I use this one when there are lots of bulky seams to quilt over/through. 
I am viewing each block as a miniature quilt, and try to think of a design to quilt that has as many continuous lines, and as few stops/starts as possible.
Right now I am more than half finished quilting the centre panel. 
My December goal will be to finish the machine quilting on all 3 of the panels of my Votes For Women quilt. It's another lofty goal, especially at this busy time of the year, but I will have some days off over the holidays and might have the opportunity to work on it then.
Hop over to One Monthly Goal and see what other quilters are going to work on in December.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grandma's Toy Repair Shop

As most of my blog readers know, my granddog Max is quite a character and loves to chew things - like quilts and toys. He has a "toy graveyard" where his parents toss the toys needing repair. When the box is full, I bring it home to work on these damaged toys. I feel like I am an elf working on the island of misfit toys (reference to Rudolph movie).
Max likes to chew the faces and usually tries to remove the ears and eyes of the stuffed animals, and then tear out the stuffing.

Some of the holes can easily be sewn over. Sometimes I cut the head right off and sew it up at the neck and he will play with the body of the animal. Sometimes I remove all the stuffing and he carries around the fabric body until it's a scrap and goes in the trash. It's a "make work" project for me, and although it takes me away from the quilting that I'd rather be doing, I have to admit that I smile the whole time because Max has brought so much happiness and love into our lives!