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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Next Up

Here are the new Recs Tools. They do make the job a LOT easier. I can see where I am cutting. I have an idea for a similar pattern to the one I am doing with these tools but with more controlled colors, maybe only a table topper size.

Here is the next quilt loaded on the frame. I just have to decide how I want to quilt it. I think it will be a meander or something like that.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Fungly Finish

Sorry that this is not a very good picture but you've all seen it in progress at least 8 times. I finished sewing down the binding on our way home from Winnipeg this morning. It is a two hour drive each way (but I drove on the way in and I haven't mastered sewing while driving yet) and I finished it just as we got home. Good timing! Of course, I still have to label it. There has been some discussion as to when a quilt is finished and I say it's when the binding is sewn down. The label, not so much.
I have had a lot of response about my problem on the border of my last quilt. I'll be sewing on an applique of some kind. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What to Do???

I was quilting this the other day when I noticed that the inner border was not caught in the seam properly. What to do now? The black fabric is quite loosely woven so I think if I try to hand sew it down it will just fray more. The most appealing idea so far is to sew some kind of applique over it. Apparently, when the Japanese potters doing Raku found a crack in a pot, they mended it with gold and made it a highlight. This could be an opportunity for serendipity. It is in a bit of an odd place for an applique though and I'm not sure what type of applique I would use.
The other way would be to insert a bit of black under there and try to zig zag it in place with the sewing machine. Any other ideas?
On this quilt I tried a new for me binding method. I sewed the binding to the front, folded it to the back and glued it down with Elmer's School Glue. Then I stitched in the ditch from the front. It is not as nice as hand sewing but for a utility quilt it is much much faster.

One of These....

One of these blocks just doesn't belong... Can you see which one? It will probably end up on a bag or purse. I haven't got many left to do and today I'll be getting my Tri-recs rulers. Not to worry, I have an idea for another wall hanging or table topper that I want to do in the same pattern but using more controlled colors.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tidy for Now

These goodies arrived in the mail yesterday from Kristin at Knit one Quilt Too
Other people's scraps are so much fun to look through. There are a lot of scrap blocks that will soon be joining some of mine. The amazing thing is that I didn't see one single piece that I already have in my stash. She also enclosed some great smelling (and tasting) vanilla tea and some soap. Thanks a million Kristin.

Speaking of stash, here is my pitiful little stash in the new shelving unit. I think I'll have to do some serious shopping! Of course, I still have a couple of plastic containers full of scraps and a clothes horse groaning under its load of strips. Still, there is a LOT of extra room here. The second shelf from the bottom is the batting and backing for the quilt I am working on right now so it will be empty fairly soon. The bottom shelf is yardage for two more kaleidoscope quilts.

Thrift Shopping

I went thrift shopping again yesterday and found these two quilting books. The one by Paula Nadelstern is quite old but I am a fan of hers so I bought it anyway.
The pre-wound bobbins will, hopefully, fit in my Pfaff that is on the quilting frame. Since they cost almost $9 for fewer than that at the shop I thought it was worth buying all 8 bags of them. If they don't fit, they'll be back there next week. I compared them with the ones I have when I got home and they seem exactly the same. They all have brown or beige thread which is a nice neutral color for quilting scrap quilts.

I also stopped in at Canadian Tire and bought some bookshelves for my fabric. I couldn't handle digging around in plastic boxes any more. I'll post a photo when they are looking a bit more organized. I still have lots of boxes full of scraps but at least the yardage will be visible.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Options

Here are a couple more border options. I like the one on the left better. The problem is that I don't have enough of either. I'll have to either get back to Joanne fabrics, try to find something similar around here or try to dye something in a similar color. Not to worry. There is lots of time. It takes me at least half an hour to do each star and there are about 18 left to do. Not to mention assembling the whole thing.
Yesterday I changed the blade in my rotary cutter and was very annoyed that the brand new blade didn't cut well at all. There seemed to be so much lint. I was fuming and thinking I should never buy blades on sale. Today after only one day of use, I decided I would just have to change it. My face was red when I saw that I had loaded two blades at once. They kind of stick together when there are several in a box. I can assure you that two blades don't cut twice as well as one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Bags

Here is the star quilt with a brownish hand dye inner border. I think it will need to go more toward gold. I'll probably end up bringing a bit of the fabric back to the store and matching it to the gold. There are some of the fat quarters that are left which would work but there is not enough of any of them.

Rather than take a chance on cutting my fingers while using the templates, I made a couple of bags. Both of them still have some issues to solve. The brown one looks great with that little pin but it is a former earring and is convex. I bent back the pin and could easily break it off, but I have no idea how to fasten it to the bag. I have a glue gun but since it is so curved, I don't think that would work without using half a ton of glue. I may just look for a nice button or pin. Now that I see it on my blog, the bottom half is sewn on a bit crooked too. Oops! Back to the sewing machine.

On this one I like the double rope handle because it can be made longer by just using the rope as a single strand, but I don't like the big knot. Maybe I'll make a cloth strap out of the blue flowered and the pink fabric. The picture is machine embroidery from a former shirt and there is one on each side.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

With the Border

I have made a few more star blocks. I'm too impatient to wait for the rulers. I couldn't wait to see how they will look with the borders either. I changed the stars a bit. The first one was made with each point different. I think it looks better with them all the same. The first one has hit the parts drawer and will probably end up as part of a bag some day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Visit

Yesterday I had a visit from Brenda of Scraps and Strings
Once she got through the muddy roads and an unexpected detour we had a very nice visit. She gave me the cute scissor holder and some fabric. I very much enjoyed seeing the projects in person that I had seen on her blog. I think Fungly is the best idea! The results are always fun but seldom ugly.

Of course, I couldn't wait to try one of the stars for my newest quilt. I got some template plastic and cut templates from the magazine. This first star is a bit wonky but I hope to get better. The template is not the best solution, but my friend from USA is going on a short trip and says she'll look for the rulers for me. Considering that she's not a quilter (yet) I thought that was really nice of her to offer. This morning I made a whole lot more 4 patches for the flowers because each one needs five of them. Some are made and the rest will be done as leaders and enders while I'm making the stars. Hopefully, I'll have the proper rulers by Tues or Wed. In the meantime I have one on the frame to quilt, one waiting for the frame and several to hand sew down the bindings. I won't lack for something to do while I wait for the rulers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nine Patches

Here are the four patches made into nine patches. These ones are all sewn together since I took this picture. Now I need to make about 125 more four patches to use in the star blocks.
I am going to buy some template plastic to use instead of the tri-recs ruler unless I can find one in town today. I called a couple of places and they didn't have one. I may order one online but I don't want to wait that long to start on the stars. Call me impatient.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New One

Here is the beginning of the quilt from the fabric we bought in Grand Forks. It's so much fun working with 20 different fat quarters. It's easy to avoid having two colors touching when there are so many colors. Only two of the blocks are sewn together but I wanted to see how they would look. I need to make a lot more of them. They finish at 7.5 inches so it takes quite a few to make a full sized quilt.
I am getting very eager to start on the star blocks to see how they look but I think it will be better to finish these ones first.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grand Forks Shopping Spree

Yesterday I went to Grand Forks with two friends to shop for fabric for this quilt, which is featured in Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine, March/April 06. One of the friends asked me to make a quilt for her and we chose this one. It's called Square Dance in the magazine.

The batik on the right is for the border and then we picked 20 coordinating fat quarters. I am making the quilt quite a bit larger than the one in the magazine.
The quilt is easier to make with the correct ruler so I picked up this one but on the way home realized that it is the wrong one. They didn't have the right one there anyway, but I was a bit disappointed to have the wrong one. I can still make it with a template or maybe a ruler from a school geometry set if I don't find the right ruler around here. The one I need is a tri-recs tool that has a less than 45 degree angle. I can probably order it online too so it's not a problem.

In the meantime, I'll start on the four patch blocks that are put into nine patches for the blocks that alternate with the star blocks. I think I'll need about 200 of them so that should keep me busy while I search for the correct ruler!
I also got some red fabric to use on the kaleidoscope quilt so that one may soon get finished too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Inspirations

I love the way this one folds up and buttons together hiding the zipper. Can you see the little loop on the top corner? I have no idea how it would be cut out and put together though. It says it's cut on the bias. That's the only hint. I probably didn't make it clear before. This is not a pattern book. It's just pictures of famous couture and antique handbags.

I really like both of these. The ones on the right are almost enough to make me want to start crazy quilting. The one on the left would require some serious trim shopping.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Here is another bag from the purse book. I was inspired to try it without the pocket. Now that I have made a pattern and the first one seems to be the right size, I want to try one with the pocket. I am a bit puzzled about how I will insert the zipper but I think the pocket would go on the outside and the zipper would fit between the top and the bottom. Then the lining would be sewn in later. I need to think about it a bit more.

This one was inspired by the bag from the other post that was cream colored with blue floral handles and bottom. It doesn't look anything like that one but I kind of like it anyway. The white is some linen that I found at the thrift shop. I wouldn't want to try to keep this one clean!

Friday, August 15, 2008


This morning I put the borders on the scrappy quilt. I'll probably bind it with black. I'm not sure about the very diagonal block on the upper left but, following the fungly rules, I didn't change it.

I also sewed the binding on the Fungly quilt but I'll show it when I've sewn it down. (Don't hold your breath!) I used a green and purple fungly fabric for the binding.

It was about this time last year that we saw all the Monarch butterflies. Last year's pictures were taken on Aug 7th so they are a week later already. We have been going to the same spot every day for a week but so far we've only seen a few. We are still hoping.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Book

We went to Winnipeg today and I got this little book. (Thanks Brenda.)
It is pictures of bags by famous bag makers and also some antique ones. I thought they might inspire me to make some more original bags. Here are a few sample pages.

This one is my absolute favorite. I could imagine quilting all those little scales on but I can't imagine carrying it around! (Sorry about the glare on the pages.)
It says it's done by Priscilla Snyder by sewing miles of multi-colored machine stitches on canvas.

These are simple totes but such great fabric. The white one is LL Bean, and the red ones are by Patch and Kate Spade.

These two bags are beaded but I could see them in fabric, maybe 3D petals. The one on the left is by Enid Collins and the daisy is not attributed to anyone. I love them both.

And I just love the chocolate one by Moschino. It is in leather but it could easily be a tote bag in cloth.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thrift Shop Book

Here are some more blocks for the scrappy quilt. I have almost emptied one bag of scraps but there are still lots more if I want to make this one bigger.
Last week in the thrift shop I found this book by Debbie Mumm from 1992. It's still a really nice book with some good ideas.

Here are a few pages.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


This morning I put a black border on the Fungly quilt. It is a bit wider than the one I auditioned and I felt that it didn't need anything else. I will probably use a black binding too, although the pink polka dot is still sitting there saying, Pick Me!

While I had all my scraps all over the place I thought I might as well put together a few Mile-a-minute blocks. A couple of them are trimmings from the braid quilt. The diagonal is a bit obvious in the yellow and pink one. I might either not use it or make a few more like that.

Speaking of the braid quilt, I have it on the frame and have been quilting it for the last few days. I have already made three major mistakes on it. It has gone from being my favorite to almost my least favorite.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Which Border?

I have added the piano key borders and now I am wondering if I should use the pink as well or just end it with the narrow black border. It is about 56x65 without the pink borders. No matter what I do it will be a rather odd size, almost square but not quite.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Audition # 2

Here is audition number 2. I like the orange. I think it can hold it's own and it really brightens the whole thing up (as if it needs to be brighter!)
I tried the pink with black dots in the spirit of fungly, because pink and orange are not supposed to go together, or at least that's what I've been told. The white with black dots is probably too light. I might be better with the black one with multi-colored dots from the previous audition.
Stay tuned though, because the roles have not been assigned yet. There may still be more auditions.

What Next

Now I have the criss cross row on and I am wondering what to add next. I am getting tired of doing tiny piecing soI found some fabric that is nice and fungly which might work instead. Then the piano keys but then should it end with the dot fabric, the fungly cow fabric or something else altogether. Or will there be another round?
I'll let it simmer for awhile before I make my decision.