Sunday, May 24, 2015

Leafing away

This post is for my friend, no-blog Mary who has asked for help from afar.  Thanks heavens for the internet and blogs.

No-blog Mary has started doing applique and wanted some instructions on how to get nice pointy leaves.

So ... here goes ...

If you do your applique using freezer paper, needle turn or paper piecing, you will have a tail at the pointy end of your leaf.  The tail could be on the left or right side. 
With a pair of scissors, stylus or needle, push (flip) that tail inside
so that you don't see it anymore.  See the tip now with no tail sticking out.  It looks nice and pointy.
If there is too much bulk at the point, then you can trim the tail .... but not TOO much.  Leave at least 1/8" of fabric, otherwise the fabric will start to shred and you won't have anything solid to anchor your stitches at the point.
After trimming, flip the tail back inside and using small stitches, sew to the point and then continue sewing around until you have your entire leaf sewn.
This is what it the leaf will look like once all the basting stitches and backing has been cut away
To trim or not trim?  I get that question a lot.  In the beginning of my applique journey, I didn't trim away any fabric on the back of my applique.  Nowadays, I trim or cut away the backing fabric.  Why?  Since I hand quilt a lot of my quilts, there were just too many layers to quilt through and that is why my applique gets trimmed afterwards.  Below, you can see the difference with one side trimmed and not the other.  
Mind you, there will always be an exception to the rule.  In particular, a lady that I know is doing an applique project that has a dress form on each block.  The dress will be stuffed and embellished.  The extra fabric on the back will be left to add extra stability to the dress, otherwise it might have a tendency to sag or become wavy once the quilt is finished.

Are you curious to see what project that leaf will be used for?  A wall hanging of leaves, vines and circles.  I've been seeing this on Pinterest a lot lately and made up my own pattern using EQ7. Yep, another new project!  :o)
Well, no-blog Mary, I hope this helps you!

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

No idle hands here

I have been on a mission to get a summer project ready for traveling to the cottage.  Out came my paper templates and pre-cut fabric pieces for my Scrappy Garden. 

When you last saw it, back in February of this year, it was like this:
After putting in a concentrated effort, my project got to this point where all the triangles were sewn into rows.  The rows are not yet joined together.  That part will come later.
It has taken me almost a week to get this section (that you see on the left)  paper pieced.  All those pieces are just pinned onto the design wall. 
Can you see the difference between the area on the right where all the triangles have been sewn together and the section on the left where the pieces are just pinned onto the design wall.  A lot of pins, eh!
Next step is to take three pieces and sew them together to form a triangle.
One triangle down ..... a zillion more to go.  :o)
Yep, it will take me all summer to do that section .... but that is OK with me.  I enjoy this process.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Neighbourhood Show & Tell Tea

Last Saturday, May 9, 2015 the two guilds (Near North Quilters' Guild and Northern Lights Quilters' Guild) that I belong to here in North Bay hosted a Neighbourhood Show & Tell Tea.  We invited guilds from as far away as a 4 hr. drive.  They came!  They actually came.

The theme was chickens. Chicken pincushions on the tables.  Each person attending got to take home a small chicken pincushion and one person at each table won the big chicken pincushion.
Chicken blocks.  The idea was to make a chicken block and bring it to the tea and have a chance to win more blocks to make a quilt.
Enough blocks were submitted to give away three sets of twenty-five blocks.  Three lucky winners went home quite happy.
The chicken block pattern came from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 4, (A Bird in the Hand, block #333) and it was designed by Cheryl Brown (

We had quilts on display.  These quilts were the result of workshops, BOM and Mystery Quilts presented by both guilds.

But .... what everyone came for was the show & tell.  Each guest who came had to bring something for show & tell.  It was amazing!  The photos below are just a wee taste of what we saw.

Some guests presented their quilts/items in groups of three:

 Most were by themselves.

We not only had quilts, but stitchery pieces as well.  We had large quilts and small quilts.  There was interest to see who had the smallest quilt/item to show. 

Our emcee's for the day were the presidents of both guilds.  Lois and Terry, you did a great job!  They did chicken jokes (of course) and to win the large pincushion .... well .... we even had the chicken dance.  Guests even chimed in with their chicken jokes.

The idea for the Neighbourhood Show and Tell Tea originated with Rayside-Balfour near Sudbury, Ontario.  It has been presented for about 10 years and each year a different guild in a different city will host the tea. 

This was the first time we hosted this show & tell tea in North Bay.  Approximately 200 guests came.  A light luncheon was served at noon.  We also had a mini merchant's mall for our out-of-town guests to browse through and purchase some goodies.  It was an amazing day!  Thank you to all that came to our show and tell.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Heap of Scraps

Back in March, I talked about buying a box of scraps for $10.00.
So far, I got this top almost made.  The only fabric pulled from my stash was the background fabric where you see the applique.  The borders will also come from my stash.  Oh dear, I really, really must get back to this project.
Then, after pulling all of the green, red and neutral fabrics, I figured there was enough to make another top.  The trees that you see, will go all around the quilt.   
Now, with this top there are a lot of humble blocks.  In the box, there are not too many large pieces, some 2-1/2" wide strips.  Most are 2" or 1-1/2" strips.  So, in order to get 2-1/2" pieces for my blocks, I had to resort to sewing smaller strips of the same fabric together and then trim down to 2-1/2" wide.  Here are just a few blocks where you can see what I've done.  

The red striped fabric is from my stash.  Everything else ... so far ... is from the box of scraps.

Being creative is good for the soul!  I'm calling this top "Humble Christmas".

Initially, my plan was just to make the one top and then pass on the scraps.  But, darn it, curiosity got the better of me and now I'm trying to see how many tops can be made from those scraps.  Perhaps some hexies will be forth coming?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just a cushion

My latest endeavor is a floor cushion .... for a special young girl for her 3rd birthday.
I got the pattern from here, except I made mine a bit bigger for the side panels and then gathered the sides.  The top and bottom were made from two fat quarters.  The sides pieces were cut 6-1/2" wide x 9" high and there are 11 pieces in total.  If I was to make this cushion again using quilting cotton, a piece of cotton batting would be quilted to the top and bottom circles so that you don't see a lumpy look.  Oh well.
This floor cushion will go perfectly with this quilt which will get done for August when a new sibling enters her life.
Have a great day!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gumballs is spat out ..

Yep, I'm done chewing on this quilt .... it is finished!  Doing the happy dance!  Wheeeeee ..... 

I've been having a hard time trying to capture the true colour of this quilt.  This photo is so washed out... but this is the best I can do indoors.

The photo below was taken after 7:00 in the evening.  Same camera.  Total difference.  Too bright.  The real colour is in between the two.  Oh well.

My label ....
Quilt name:  Gumballs
Size: 60-1/2" x 84-1/4" (top size: 63-1/2" x 87-1/4" ... a loss of 3" all around once quilted, washed and dried)
Pattern Source: McCall's Quilting - April 2008 - Designer:  Deb Luttrell
Quilting:  Machine quilting and hand quilting.

This quilt was started on Sept. 10, 2014 .... top finished on Oct. 2, 2014 .... quilt finished on Apr. 16, 2015.  

This quilt is number 102 that I have done.  For me, that is a good number since a lot of my quilts are hand quilted.

So, with this quilt finished, there are only 26 more tops waiting to be quilted.  Only 26.  Yikes, that number sort of grew last year when I was on a mission to finish some PHD'S.

In my studio, my quilt rack got swapped out for a clear bin.  This way, that corner looks tidier and my projects are standing up shouting at me for their turn with thread and needle.  One day, my lovelies.  One day!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


What concentration?  What can I say ... I saw this fabric and it spoke to me and I just had to start playing with it.
I just cut the fabric into squares to make a basket weave effect.  So effective and so easy, it is almost like cheating. 
Have I abandoned my other projects?  Nope,  they are still in my face and they are still being worked on.  This one sort of sneaked in!  :o)

However, I did stay focused long enough to finish two borders on my Gumball quilt.  Only one more to do and three circles in the centre section.

Some of you have wondered if it is a Baptist Fan that is being used?  Yes ... but cut off.  My blocks finish at 12" and the fan design is alternated every 6".  Makes for a total different look.  Again, at first, I wasn't sure if I would like this or not.  YES.   I'll definitely be using this design again.
Have a great day!