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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Australian Games

I finished this one this morning. For some reason it's not my favorite but I'm not sure what I would change. I have more Australian fabrics that I haven't used yet so maybe I'll try again.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Australian Games

I started a new piece using some of the Australian fabrics that Alison left here. The circle was inset using Sharon Schambler's Piecelique technique. Then I sliced them up the way I have been doing lately.
A couple of people have asked which books I am using. Here they are.

Thinking Outside the Block: Step by Step to Dynamic Quilts (Paperback)

by Sandi Cummings (Author), Karen Flamme (Author)

Quilters Playtime: Games With Fabrics (Paperback)

by Dianne S Hire (Author)

I tried to copy and paste pictures of the covers but I couldn't seem to do it but if you click on the authors names you will be directed to Amazon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Floor Cushion

This one grew and grew until it became a LARGE pillow cover. I stuffed it with my last big bag of batting scraps. I'm so glad to get those out of my studio. Now if I just had a fireplace I could relax in front of it!
By the way, that is not lace around the outside edge. It is fabric that is printed to look like lace. I think it makes a wonderful border.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun and Games

Here we go again. The center three blocks are techniques from my Out of the Block book. I made them and now am trying to get them to play nice together. I've auditioned lots of different borders and sashings but I'm still not quite satisfied. The top will change for sure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I wanted to try some more techniques from my Out of the Block quilt book. It ended up being a cushion top and I got rid of a whole bag of batting scraps at the same time. The colors look quite faded on my screen compared to what they really are. The peachy background is my attempt at snow dyeing. I wasn't crazy about it but it does make a very nice background for these strong colors. The black is actually a very dark brown tone on tone with lighter flowery shapes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And Another Tote

Well, here we are back at uber-bright. The back is "plain" with only the fabric with the squares. |I say this one is plain also because there are no extra pockets or beads. The inside is orange like the top band and it is closed with a bit of velcro.
The thing I like about the wall hangings over the bags is that size and shape don't matter whereas with the bags you have to think of both. This one is a bit long for me but would suit someone taller.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I started on this one this morning. It is much more subdued than most of my recent work. I do love the peacock fabric. The back is the same except the peacock's tail is not spread out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Done

It's done and a lot different from what I thought I'd make. The piece was too long to use vertically so I used it horizontally. Then I put an oval bottom instead of doing it like a regular tote. Once again I used magnetic snaps. It just didn't seem to suit a zipper.

Here is the back showing the two layered pockets.

First Step

Here is the first stage of the next bag. The middle blocks and their dividers are sewn down. The two side strips are sewn together but not attached. The colors look very faded on my screen but they are actually quite intense. The bag will probably be much the same shape as the last one but it's going to look quite different. I might put a zipper in this one instead of the magnetic snap.

While I was searching through my stash for the right border strip I couldn't resist grabbing some fabrics for the next one.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Here it is all finished. I'll try to get a picture of me holding it so you can get a better idea of the size. It's much brighter (yes that is possible) than in the picture. There are a few things I will change on the next one but all in all I'm pretty happy with this one.

New Bag

Here is my first attempt at a bag using the same techniques as on the wall hangings. I still have to figure out the handles, put on a magnetic snap and sew the lining in. The beads are just pinned on so far.

The back is very plain with the bottom dark part made into a pocket. I sewed it down the middle to make it into two pockets.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maybe the Last One

This one is all finished except for the label. I just realized that I have a lot of them to label.

Cherie (Daughter) suggested a kimono shape when I talked to her yesterday so here we are. This is just the first layout and will change a lot I'm sure. The horizontal lines are sewn down but not the verticals. The little pom poms were another thrift shop find.
After this one is finished I am thinking that this technique would make nice bags, ultra bright and super embellished.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Enough Beads??

Today I found this guitar at the thrift shop. I don't play or want to learn so I said whoever in the family is nicest to me will get it. This should be interesting. Lol.

I also found more beads. Do I have enough beads yet?

Decision Made

I went with the darker colors and lots more rick rack. Now I have to quilt it, back it and sew on the beads. Once I get it to this stage I have to push myself to finish it before starting a new one. I don't want a big pile of them that all need backing.
I have already picked out the fabrics for the next one. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I have started a black and white wall hanging and so far these are the options I have.

I will probably go with the rick rack on this one. I'm not sure whether I like the darker strips or the bright ones in the previous picture. I want to leave tails of rick rack hanging down, possibly with beads or bells attached.
Any opinions out there? Come on all you lurkers!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another One Done

At least it's almost done. I have the backing and hanging sleeve on. Then I decided it needed a few more beads so some of the bead strings still have to be attached. I used the real beading thread today and was quite impressed.
Now I feel the need to make a black and white one, perhaps with one or two colorful rosies. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Still Playing

I went to Fabricland this morning to get fusible web and look what jumped into my shopping bag. It was Friday the 13th sale day. What can I say?
I also stopped at the thrift store and scored a few more beads. Soon my studio will be full of beads!

I added some of the new beads to this one. I think it's almost ready to put the backing on and call it finished.
I think I need to take a lint brush to my design wall. Too bad I dropped it and broke it in half. (The lint brush, not the design wall.)

Snow Dye

Here are the results of the first snow dye. The colors are quite pastel but I love the mottled effect. There will be more.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Snow Dye

I read online about snow dyeing and since we can expect at least three months more snow it seemed like a good thing to try, especially since others are lamenting the melting of their snow. Nobody laments the snow leaving around here! This is the snow with the dye poured on. It's still melting so I'll show the result later today or tomorrow.

I am stalled on the Rosy because I need fusible web so what's a person to do but start another? I have a lot of brown scraps from my last three quilts so I thought it would be a good thing to use some of them. I love the middle strip but I'm not so sure about the squares on the sides. They seem a bit too big and busy but you can never tell at this stage. I'll continue and see if they stay or end up in the parts drawer. This one is quite a contrast to the Rosy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Too Much?

I found some scraps of fusible web and made some more spirals.
The rosies are sewn on but not the spirals. Are there too many? Sometimes less is more. I have looked at it so much today that I can't see it any more.
The petals on the bottom and left will stick out beyond the border. If you look closely you can see where the white background ends. That is why that part looks a bit empty. When it is on a colored wall I think it will look different.

More Rosies

I am getting better at making these things. The yellow and pink one is the latest. The white and yellow one that I made yesterday had to go into the parts drawer. It disappeared on the white background.
It is much more difficult to arrange things when circles are involved. I want to make a lot more spirals but I need to get some more fusible web first. If you look closely, you will see that it has a white background and some of the rays will stick out from the edge. I need to get some gray or beige flannel for my design wall so that white will show up. It's probably not going to happen any time soon though. I'm too busy making these little wall hangings.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Rosies

These things are even more adictive than I thought!

A New Technique

This one is all finished including the hanging sleeve unless I decide to add more beads later. I have lots of the colored stars so that could happen. When I went to add the strings of beads I couldn't find the thread I bought on the weekend. I used the floss again and found the thread when I was putting the beads and floss away. Oh well, next time.

This is a new quilt game technique called a Rosy. These ones are pretty big as you can see by the 18 inch ruler. I didn't have enough of the middle fabric unfortunately because I love the looks of it. I'm not sure about the dark petals. I may try something more toward blue with a yellow stripe in it. If I use these they will be attached with raw edge applique. In the book they use satin stitch but I'm not really into that look for these pieces.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I'm Getting There

Today I hung an 18 inch ruler beside the wall hanging so you can see the size. It is sewn together and I am starting to embellish. I decided that I didn't want a rectangle so the borders got cut up and insterted. After I looked at the picture I realized that the bottom right has no border. That has been corrected. The tiny silver stars and the colored ones are from the earrings I bought yesterday.

Today we are having a bad ice storm. It is raining (unheard of in Manitoba in Feb.) and freezing as it lands. The roads are impassable and the walk to the studio is fraught with the danger of falling. It is supposed to last for a couple of days and then turn to snow. We may be stranded for sometime. We won't mind as long as our electricity doesn't go off, which is a very real possibility.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

She's At It Again

I can't seem to let well enough alone, so here is the start of yet another quilt game. I am going for a bit of an outer space theme on this one. I particularly like the way the upper left circle turned out. This is just the barest beginning but I can see already that it will be very different from the others. Right now I am dyeing some black on white prints with the lime green dye that is on the sashings. The border fabric may have to go. It's a bit overpowering so far. I like the spiral but not the color. I have to get more fusible web before I can experiment any more with the spirals.
Yesterday I went to a bead store to get some proper beading thread because somehow dental floss just doesn't seem right. Some of the beads I got for 20cents for a pill bottle full were as much as that for each bead. The ones around the circle in the last blue wall hanging were very expensive. I also got a couple of new dangly earrings with stars to use on this quilt. My aim is to just use second hand for the embellishments but these were just so appropriate for what I had in mind that I bought them. Fortunately, they were kids' earrings and not very expensive.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sacha's Birthday

Last year we spent Sacha's (granddaughter) birthday in Hong Kong celebrating Chinese New Year on our way to Australia. This year we went to Chinatown in Winnipeg for Dim Sum. It was not quite like last year but fun and delicious nevertheless.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's Done

Here it is with the beads all sewn on. I decided that the orange beads on the top looked too heavy so went with colors to match the stripes. The color is a bit off because the wall is a warm yellow. The wall hanging is quite a bit brighter than this photo would indicate.


This one is quilted and backed but the beads are not sewn on yet. I'm not sure if I'll use the big orange ones or not. Does anyone have any recommendation for the type of thread to use for the hanging tails of beads? Some of them are dangly earrings but lots of them are beads strung on a thread. So far, I've been using dental floss.

I finished the beading on the one on the left. It's about 25 inches squarish and the small one is about 15 inches. These are quite a lot smaller than my usual work.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I Like it Better Now



I got rid of the light blue rectangles that were stealing attention from the middle circle. I'm not sure about the orange beads along the top. I liked them better around the blue circle or maybe not at all. Does the middle bottom area look like spider legs?

Stash Questionnaire

I found this questionnaire on Sew, Mama, Sew!
  • What do you usually sew?
I sew mostly quilts and wall hangings and bags.
  • When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)
I usually buy a yard of fabric unless I will want to use it as backing or am following a pattern. Then I might buy more.
  • Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I go looking for something I need unless there is a big sale on.
  • Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?
I don't pre-wash. I prefer quilting with the crispness of new fabric. I have had no problems with running or shrinking. The only pre-washed fabrics in my stash are the hand dyes.
  • Do you iron it?
Only if it really needs it.
  • How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)
It is sorted roughly into colors.
  • Do you have any special folding techniques?
I fold it in half lengthwise and then roll it around a ruler and then fold it into a rectangle.
  • How do you store your fabric?
The folded lengths are on shelves and the scraps are in bins. I have a clothes horse full of strips too.
  • What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?
Lots of variety and as many colors as you can find.
  • When do you say enough is enough?
I haven't said it yet.
  • What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?
Scrap quilts and bags.
  • Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it!
I love them all but I specially love my collection of polka dots. Oh yes, and the black and whites.
  • What’s your definition of the perfect stash? (Consider sharing a picture or two of your stash & storage, or direct us to a pic on Flickr!)
Lots of different fabrics. I'm not there yet.

My stash is not that extensive. These are yardage pieces, folded and they were once organized.

Here are some of the scrap bins, not at all organized! The drawers contain tools, buttons, etc.

My clothes rack full of strips. I need to make a strip quilt asap.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Summer's Pillow

I worked quite a bit on the blue one today but after reading the comments, I think I might take those two blue rectangles out and put something else in. That's one thing about this kind of sewing, you have to be ready to do a lot of ripping out. I can see when I look at it in a photo, that the rectangles compete too much with the circle. I'll try a few things over top before I do any ripping. I have some colored netting that might make a difference.

This is a pillow I made for Summer from the other circle she made. I stuffed it with left over bits of batting.