Search This Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

Almost There

This morning I almost finished the quilting on this quilt. I just have to pin it back on the frame to do the two side borders. I was about six inches from the end when I broke a needle. Changed the needle, took three stitches and broke another one. Had trouble inserting the next needle (lucky thing the machine came with several spare needles but I do need to get some more) but finally got it in. Checked the quilt and found a hidden pin that was the culprit. That took an extra half hour of fiddling around. Now I need to trim it a bit and do those last two borders. It will be a long one to bind though, because it is so huge and I am not the world's fastest hand sewer. Still, the end is in sight.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More K

I have done a few more blocks on the Kaleidoscope quilt and I made some boxes according to the instructions in the book. They turned out amazingly well, considering how non-precision my sewing is. The second from the top one has a different light fabric and it didn't work quite as well. There was too much contrast and the little black triangle gets lost in it. I haven't spent any time on arrangement yet. I am thinking of a black border with some of the boxes and maybe other pieces going into the border. The fabric has dragons on it so I may look at placing a fussy cut dragon somewhere on the design. I'll see how it looks when the time comes. I'll probably fuse it down if I use it.

This is a close-up of the boxes. They are not sewn together down the middle. They will look a lot better when that is done but it won't happen until they are all in place and I start assembling the quilt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

On The Big Machine

This is how far I have gotten on the ripping out. I make myself do a bit every day before I start the fun stuff. It's hard around the edges where I put leaves coming to a point, but the middle goes quite fast. Now I am wondering if anyone has a fast way of removing all the thread bits that are stuck to the quilt. I think the batting will be toast but hopefully I can re-use the backing.

I don't know if you can see the quilting on this one. There seems to be a bit of a glare. I am using a panto that came with the frame called Oak Leaves by Keryn Emerson. It really suits the fall colours on this quilt. I am about half done and am really hoping I can finish it without having to turn it. I am using thin cotton batting so it is not as bulky as it would be with a higher loft batting. Also the design is only about 3 inches wide so it doesn't need as much harp room as some designs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Productive Day

Today I got the huge queen sized quilt loaded on the frame and a couple of rows stitched. Everything is humming along nicely so far. Fingers crossed.

I also cut out a bunch of the kaleidoscope blocks from the new book. They are all cut from the dragon fabric that I got at Blue Bamboo in Minneapolis. I sewed together some of them. In the picture I left a space on the gray one to show that they are not sewn down the middle so that when assembling the quilt, there will be no set-in seams. I will probably go back to Elmer's school glue again because all those middle seams are bias and very prone to stretching. I haven't spent any time yet on the arrangement and will also try a few of the boxes that are illustrated in the book. My favorite block so far is the one in the middle with a lot of white on it.

Awards Ceremony

My granddaughter had her awards ceremony at school and this was the result. We are all very proud of her. Her older sister graduates today so there may be a few more to add to the pile.
Way to go Ariana!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big Mess

This morning I loaded this one on the frame and quilted it. I think I will rip it all out and do it on the regular machine. The problem is that it's pieced on an angle and I have to load it on the frame straight. I only have about 5 inches of quilting area so it was impossible to do a whole block at a time. I think it needs to be stitched in the ditch which is also difficult on the big frame. I am probably going to rip out all the sewing and start over. I won't be in a hurry to rip it out but I won't bind it yet. It will probably land in the ever-growing UFO pile. Luckily, it's not very big so not a huge ripping out job.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yesterday in the mail I got this interesting magazine from Kate at Kate's Quilting (And Other Fibre Arts) Blog.
It's always interesting to read quilting magazines from other countries. I have seen some from Australia and NZ but never England. There is a very interesting article called The Magic of Colour and another illustrating an Improved Nine Patch that I now want to try. There is just never enough time!
Thanks Kate.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


First of all I'd like to thank everyone for the Birthday wishes. It was a good one.

On Monday morning we headed out for Minneapolis to bring Carmel and Joe to the airport for their flight to New York City. Their plane left at 7PM so we had the day in Minneapolis. I used my birthday as an excuse to visit the Blue Bamboo quilt store as soon as we got up. Fortunately our hotel was close to it. It is the most amazing quilt store I have ever seen with lots of Japanese and Kona Bay fabrics. I bought One Block Wonders because several of the quilt illustrated in the book are hanging in the store. The owner made them. I also bought enough of three different fabrics to try the technique. I hope I enjoy doing it because that is a lot of fabric.
After that we went to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, which is a very good gallery. We have been there before but it has been enlarged considerably since we were last there. We had lunch there and spent several hours. We also went to the sculpture garden near the Walker Art center.
On the way home I stopped at Joanne's Fabrics in Grand Forks to use my half price coupons. I had two from the flier and two from the internet. I thought they were the same but I was able to use all four of them. The thread, one kind of batting and the rotary blades were already at half price so I didn't pay full price for anything.
Now I have to do some weeding before I can start playing with my new toys.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Birthday Party

Today was my 65th birthday and the kids arranged a surprise party that actually was a surprise. I only figured it out when the first car drove in.
There were about 20 people here, mostly family. It was nice because this year my birthday fell on Father's Day so it was a double celebration. They brought an ice cream cake decorated with a quilt design. They know what I like!

This is Reve helping me blow out the candles. Luckily there weren't 65 or the cake would have melted.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Liberated Quiltmaking

I just heard from Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting that there is some talk of reprinting Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking. However, they want to know if there would be enough interest before they decide. You can help this happen by emailing them. Find out about it on Tonya's blog at Lazy Gal Quilting.
This could be the best book ever written on the subject so please drop them a line and spread the word.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Almost Done

Here is another Wonky quilt that is almost finished. I just have to hand sew the binding down and put on a label. The binding will be done in the next couple of days but who knows when the label will get put on. I don't know why that is so hard to do but I always procrastinate. I should make up a lot of them and just add the details at the last minute.
I quilted the borders on this one using the regular machine but I think next time I will do them on the big frame and just turn the quilt to do the sides after the rest is done. I had forgotten what a pain it is to handle a whole quilt on the regular machine and this is a small one.The next one lined up for quilting is the pastel one with blue trim.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ready to Quilt

I finished piecing this one yesterday. I put it on my queen sized bed to see if it would be big enough. It's probably the biggest quilt I have made so far. I have not quilted such a large one on the frame yet. I'm not sure how I will quilt it. I will be somewhat limited as to size because it will be quite a big roll under the machine when I am near the end. I may have to learn how to turn a quilt on the frame. I haven't spotted any more mistakes. That will probably happen after it's quilted and it's too late to correct.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Yesterday my sons organized a paintball day at Robin's place. He has lots of space with trees and two teenage sons. What better recipe for success at paintball! They had six guns so made teams of three each side. They played several games, stopped to eat and then played a couple more games.

True was annoyed that he couldn't play. The consensus was that ten years old is too young. Finally, Joe, Carmel and Sandy said they would let him dress up and shoot at them without shooting back. They went out with only True having a gun. I think he had more fun than they did but he found it surprisingly hard to hit them. I was surprised at how the paintball can bruise if there is a direct hit.

No, I did not play.

I have two borders to sew on and I will be finished piecing my newest quilt. I don't think there are any mistakes but I'll put it on the bed and have a good look before I start loading it on the quilting machine. It's too big to fit on the design wall now.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ghost Town

Yesterday we took a drive to Piney, Manitoba to see a ghost town. There are quite a few old buildings that are falling to pieces. It's a really eerie place. Apparently, some guy bought the land after people moved out. He collected junk and stored it in the houses but never did anything with it. As a result the houses are full of old rotting junk, everything from old sewing machines to TVs to fridges to rags. We didn't feel very safe going into the houses because you can't tell how solid the floors are. It would be a perfect location to film a scary movie.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Cold Ball Game

Yesterday we went to Ariana's ball game in Morden. It got pretty cold before it was over. Here are Micha and Reve trying to keep warm.
They found a pile of snow left by the Zamboni near the arena and had a bit of a snowball fight. That didn't help them to keep warm!
I have only one row left on my quilt and no more mistakes so far. I won't bore you with more pictures of it in progress.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I got up early and went to the studio to get some work done before everyone else got up. I worked for about an hour but when I stood back to take a look I saw a mistake in the pattern. I'll have to remove the last row and rotate a couple of the blocks. The worst case scenario is that I'll have to take the blocks apart or make new ones. Sometimes it's easier to just start over. My biggest problem (aside from following the pattern) is not getting two identical squares touching. I've done a bit of that already too but this is the first time I've had to rip out a whole row. I'm working on the 6th of 8 rows so if I don't make too many more mistakes I should be done with the piecing pretty soon.