Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day of 2010...

Just a few things I have been plugging away at over the holidays:

Jan Patek's Favorite Things BOM 

JP's Favorite things- BOM 

Orange Peel- Brooklyn Heights

My Aussie Block Swap buddy Beth has received her December block in the mail so now I can officially post the whole picture. I can't wait for my first block to arrive!

And there is a wonderful "New Years Give Away" at Stray Stitches

Warmest wishes and Best of Luck in 2011,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quest for a new sewing machine...

 I am thinking of buying a new sewing machine in January and I am having a hard time deciding on the type. Budget wise, I am leaning toward a Janome (MC6300-6600), Brother (PQ 1500s) or Baby Lock (Quest Plus). I hear Bernina is the Cadi of sewing machines but it is out of my price range. I am curious as to which brand/type you prefer or hate and why?


Monday, December 13, 2010


Don't cha just hate Mondays??? Unless you are at home quilting then your Monday is amazing. Me- already counting down til Friday! 

Here are a couple things from the weekend:

Scrappy Placemats- Attempt #2 was much better. "Hmmm, good ironing is important!"

Block 3 of Spring Fling- Bird & House


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All ready for Christmas

Ready....set....Christmas! I made this for ________ for Christmas and I am so glad I got it done in time. I really hope she likes it.

 I am still having a hard time squaring up a quilt but this one is a definite improvement over the first. What is the best way to square it up when there is piecing in the border?

Nine-Patch In Border

Add caption

Bye for now,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Block Swap

I joined my very first block swap. It is called the "Quilting Block Swaps Australia". The block swap is organized by a nice lady named Sue (in Australia!) who partners you every month with a quilting buddy. Once you know your quilting buddy's preferences, you make them a 12.5" unfinished block and send it to them.

After finally conquering the stomach flu last week, I got back to quilting this weekend. My December quilting buddy is Beth and she requested a "shabby chic" block (which I had to Google lol). I will be putting it in the post this afternoon; I really hope she likes the block and the fabric. Here is a teaser...

Yesterday in the midst of finishing the above block, I totally got distracted and started making a place mat out of 1.5" squares that I have been saving. I was in a hurry to iron it, and as you can tell, they are not very straight. 

Bye for now,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

From Snow to Sand and Back Again...

Last week, I was off to my cousin's destination wedding in Mexico. I stayed at the Grand Palladium White Sands Resort, about 2 hours drive from Cancun. I took some hand applique with but I got absolutely ZERO work done on it. It was just to hot and humid to sit there and sew plus the pieces would have been so soggy. I thought I would have some new quilting photos to share but I will just post a couple pics from the trip instead!

salt water pool 
The pool- many hours spent here
So Cute! I had to give her lots of chips!

the beach + bar


Monday, November 8, 2010

Tutorial: Tin Foil and Cardboard Appliqué

Here it is: Tin Foil & Cardboard Appliqué.  I learned this a few weeks ago in quilting class (Traditional's) from a lovely lady named Anne. This method works great if you are going to applique simple shapes such as leaves or circles and if you need a lot of them. You will need: fabric, tin foil, cardboard, pen, scissors (both for fabric and for paper), iron, spray starch or water.

First, trace your design on a piece of thin cardboard such as the inside of a cereal box. As an example, I am using a leaf design. Cut out the design on the marked line. If you are planning to make many pieces (I made 128 leaves), cut out several cardboard pieces so you can work in batches. 

Next, place your leaf on top of your selected fabric and cut around the shape leaving a generous 1/4” to 3/8” fabric along the edge. 

 Cut the tin foil in the same manner as the fabric. 

Spray the wrong side of the fabric with water or starch such as Best Press. Only spray just enough to lightly dampen the fabric; do not soak it. I prefer to use Best Press because it makes the fabric a bit stiffer. 

 Place the tin foil down (either side up is fine). Next, place the fabric in the middle with the wrong side up and the cardboard on top.

Begin folding the tin foil and fabric over the edge of the cardboard and leaving tails out at the points.

 Flip the leaf over, and place a dry iron on top of the entire leaf for 5 to 10 seconds. Careful, it will be hot! Let cool.

Carefully, peel back the tin foil (so you can re-use it) and then remove the cardboard. You should now have a crisp looking leaf that is ready to baste to a background fabric. Appliqué as you see fit.

Here are two more examples:

pin basted & hand app.

I hope this helps and gives you some new ideas for future projects.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Nine-Patch in Border Quilt Top

    I have been slowly poking away at this quilt for the last few months. It's a Christmas present for _______ (it's a secret!) and I thought I better get going on this or I won't get it done in time. Who wants to be up until 4 am on Christmas Eve trying to finish a quilt? Last night, I put the two different borders on. I think there is an actual measurement error in the pattern. Each nine-patch border block was supposed to be 8 " square, however, mine ended up being 7-3/4" ish. The strips were almost too long for the center portion of the quilt and I also had 40- two inch squares leftover. I am a little confused. 

   Can you spot where I was obviously watching T.V. and not paying attention while pinning rows together to sew? That's right.... there are 3 blue squares in a row! 

   Just a quick question. Any ideas on how I should quilt this? Should I use diagonal straight lines or stipple/meandering? I would love to hear your ideas.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Busy Busy Busy... Bee

I am back! I have been so busy that I haven't had time to get my latest quilting pictures up.  I have been working on four projects lately (12 more are planned). Somehow, I am a collector of future quilting projects. 

Jan Patek's Favorite Things: I had a little trouble keeping the stems straight on the Flower Block; the middle one is a tad wonky. I like the hearts though.

JP's Favorite Things- Heart Blocks

JP's Favorite Things- Flower Block

JP's Untitled "Mom & Me" Quilt: I am on Block 3 while Mom is on Block 8 so I am "a little" behind. :)

Orange Peel: I took a hand appliqué class last week where we learned how to make the leaves using a tin foil and cardboard cutouts method. You cut out the leaf shape from the card board, tin foil and fabric. Leave a generous 1/4" around the tin foil and fabric cutouts. You mist the fabric with a little water or starch, I used Best Press. Then you place the fabric between the tinfoil and cardboard, fold the edges around the cardboard - the foil holds the fabric in place. You flip the piece over and place a hot iron on top for several seconds, I left it about 10 sec or so. Remove the fabric after it has cooled to the touch. Now you have a perfect leaf for appliquéing. This method is very handy for simple shapes and when you need to make a lot of them- in this case I made 128 leaves. I will post pictures of the method this weekend.

 I am making one with purple, pinks, and yellow scraps with a grey background for me. The second one I am making is for a friend for Christmas. I tried to make it more manly so I used Kitty Yoshida's "Brooklyn Heights" and a few extra scrappy colors from my stash.

I am missing a few colors still... is the yellow too bright?
Orange Peel 2

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Machine Appliqué- The Beginning

Hello! I had my first machine appliqué class this last Tuesday and here are the first two blocks I made. I thought the Birdhouse turned out pretty well but the curves on my  Beehive & Flower block were a little dicey. I have determined that machine appliqué is quicker but much harder than hand appliqué.  All that pivoting...

The Birdhouse

I still need to add darker lines to the beehive to give it layered a look.
Quick question: What is the best way to get fusible web off my iron that I have melted on? Any ideas, let me know.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

JP's Flower Block

On the go right now...

JP's 2008 Mystery Quilt- Flower Block many layers.
Today is my first quilting class ever. We are doing machine appliqué with Jan Patek's Spring Fling pattern. I am stoked.


Monday, September 13, 2010

JP's 2010 Mystery Quilt- Block 1

Hi there! This last weekend did not have very nice weather so I stayed in and sewed... "OH darn!". I finished block one "The Kitteh" of Jan Patek's 2010 Mystery Quilt. I took a few liberties with the block. I didn't like the original legs on the cat so I re-drew it and added the little heart on his rump. I think when I get further along, I may add embroidered whiskers? What do you think?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jan Patek Obsession

It is now apparent that I have a Jan Patek obsession.

My favorite quilting store just rolled out their Fall 2010 class schedule. There is a ton of classes like Cathedral Windows, Dresden Star, Omigosh etc including the two that I picked: Spring Fling and Orange Peel. Spring Fling is by Jan Patek and as soon as I saw it on the wall I was like "omfg!". It is a tiny bit different than her normal country bumpkin patterns; this pattern is very soft and quite crisp- I love it. The other is Orange Peel out of the book called "Remembering Adelia: Quilts Inspired by Her Diary" by Kathleen Tracy.

Every time I see a Jan Patek pattern, I just fall in love with it. There were several JP classes this fall but I thought I should probably branch out slightly. I also loved the Omigosh by Quakertown Quilts Inc. but it is quite big and requires a large stash (since I am new-I don't quite have one yet).

Spring Fling by Jan Patek                                      

Orange Peel


Thursday, September 2, 2010


This last week, I made huge progress on the JP Favorite Things quilt. I managed to find time to finish one whole block in a weekend (generally I tend to clean, nap and do laundry). I also just started block 1 of the JP's 2010 Mystery BOM quilt.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teeny Tiny Houses Complete

I just finished the Teeny Tiny Houses mini quilt. I must say, it was the most aggravating project I have worked on so far. I kept making mistakes, sewed the wrong sashing in the middle and my houses are leaning. Ugh! I am glad to be done it though. LOL

I have to keep in mind that it is "all about practice". You don't become a pro over night...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teeny Tiny Houses

The last week and a half,  I have been working on a mini quilt kit called "Teeny Tiny Houses".  I bought the kit from Traditional Pastimes (my favorite quilt shop in Calgary!). I honestly thought that this 6.75" x 6.75" mini quilt was going to be "a two day'er". I was definitely delusional. Each little house is 3" square with a scrappy border made up of 78- 3/4 inch little squares. 

I could not get the houses lined up perfectly with the roof.

sashing strip

I thought I would add random photos of my favorite puppy Charlie (mom & dad's dog). I will see him this weekend, so hopefully I will have a few new pictures of the Little Man.

Charlie- 4 months
Charlie- 7 months