Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween, Peeps!

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Ghouls and goblins will be haunting the neighbourhood in a few hours, assuming that the rain holds off. This year's scary greeting is compliments of the lovely and talented Jane. This is the inside of the card that she made us...












...and this is the cover. Isn't is just fantastic?
















I mean, just look at the details! That teenie tiny garland is just too cute for words. I'm not a huge Halloween fan but she is, and it shows.














Between hopping up and down to shell out to the creatures that come calling this evening I will be  binding the acorn potholders. I've got five of the eight finished so hopefully I'll get one or two more finished tonight (if I can keep my hands on my needle and out of the candy bowl, that is!) Happy Halloween!!!....M

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Downsizing

I'm going to blame it on Jane. Despite having two more table toppers to quilt for the Holly Bazaar, I have been playing around with 1" squares to make these tiny little Scrappy Acorn Blocks. You could say I'm going a little nuts!











She found the pattern on Pinterest and, since I had made her a pumpkin potholder with tiny hexies a  while back, she thought it was important that I see this block block too. Think it's a hint?












I just love the scrappiness of this block. Browns don't often factor into my quilts but I did manage to find enough variety in my stash that I didn't have to repeat a fabric in any acorn. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if I had repeats, but I'm happy not to have had them.











The block is 6" finished so the plan was to try the block and, if it worked, make four so that I could make two pairs of potholders for the craft table.













But I'm up to eight now so I guess that there will be four pairs to sell. Bonus.

My dilemma is how to quilt them without making a mess of them. I have my heart set on a diagonal grid but with all of those seams and joins it's an invitation for disaster. I'm going to try avoiding all of those corners and see what I can come up with. Wish me luck!...M


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Peppermint Twist

It has been what seems like a pretty steady diet of bindings around here lately but, fear not - I managed to get distracted enough to play with some red and white fabrics. I'm calling this table topper Peppermint Twist. It should do a good job of getting someone into the Christmas spirit.













There has been a stack of pinwheels on my table for a while now and I just wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. I really liked the idea of doing something in just red and white so eventually I came up with this layout. I think it would make a fun Christmas quilt too.











It's shows off lots of fun reds like this...
















and this...
















and this one with 'jingle bells' and other Christmas messages running throughout, one of my faves.














The stripe for the border softens things up just a tad because it is mottled with a little white; reminds me of snow. I'll bind it with red just to frame everything.













So, there are two more toppers that I now need to figure out how to quilt. I'm thinking that these might be the last of the toppers for the bazaar but you never know - I thought I was finished last week! It's all fun....M

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Quilting and Binding

Pardon the pun, but this week I've been a quilting machine.
















I've now got six hexie table toppers finished so it was time to figure out how to quilt them. I toyed with doing a basic grid pattern but thought better of that and developed a pattern that worked with the seam lines that echo the hexagon at the centre. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the result.












I really like how the orange/gold ones turned out - they are quilted with soft gold thread and it just seems to warm them up even more. And the large pumpkins on the back are just perfect.

I know that the Official Cookie Tester had his heart set on owning one of the ones with a gingham round, but I think I might try and convince him that what he really wants is one of these.







All six hexies are quilted and I also quilted three of the wonky star toppers so binding has been at the top of the TO DO list. Four of the hexies are now finished (yay!); this is what the pile of stitching that was waiting for me looked like when I started the day.











The Official Cookie Tester kept me entertained flicking channels to different football games, so I finished up a couple more and I am looking forward to completing the rest of them this week....M

Friday, October 13, 2017

Branching Out

Here's my latest hexie table topper - they are proving to be a little addictive!















It's a pretty palette and I wish that I had more of that floral fabric but the last scrap that have isn't large enough to fussy cut. Oh well, I think I have other fabrics that I can play with ­čśĆ.












The binding is going to be the same colour as the outer border and I totally squeaked it out of the piece of fabric that I had - there was just a tiny sliver left. I also cut it 1.75" wide on the grain instead of 2" on the bias to make it work, so I'll need to be careful when I sew it onto the topper.










This is the ruler that I used for the centre hexie; there are five different sizes. The idea is that you cut a strip the height that you want and then slide the ruler along, cutting the sides as you go. For this project I just cut all the way around once I had decided on my placement.

Someone left me a question as to whether or not it was worth investing in the ruler but were a no-reply blogger so I thought I'd answer here. I'm not into a lot of specialty rulers but I seem to be into hexies in a big way these days so when I saw this one was on sale, I bit the bullet. I usually draft my own pattern but even if they are out a tiny bit it can be frustrating so this should help. And, as luck would have it, shortly after it arrived I came across the idea of these table toppers, so I'm happy to have a good excuse the use it....M

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

By The Book

The area around my laptop is constantly surrounded by small sticky notes and scraps of paper filled with ideas for quilting projects and tips that I find on blogs or Pinterest. While it started as a good reference, more and more things are getting lost in the shuffle.













There were notes of every shape and size - whatever was handy to scribble on when I came across an idea.


Some of them are sticky notes, a couple of which even found their way onto the back splash in the kitchen. Time to get more organized. A quilting journal to the rescue!










I made this journal cover a couple of years ago but felt that it fit just a tad too snug so I didn't feel comfortable putting it on the table at the Holly Bazaar to sell. It has been languishing in a closet all this time so I decided that I could put it to good use.

I've started collecting all of those odds and sods and transferring them into the book. It just made too much sense.






It's not rocket science but already I'm finding it a big help to have a single resource - it cuts down on digging around for a particular and tiny slip of paper.













It's also nice to be able to enjoy a journal cover that I made as I've given all the others that I've made away. Love the texture of these covers after they are quilted...M

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Giving Thanks

This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and yesterday we enjoyed our turkey dinner with family and friends. It was a smaller group than usual, and this year I hosted the dinner, so lots of change from the tradition of recent years, but still so many reminders of just how much we have to be thankful for.











So, with no turkey dinner on the sched for today I spent a little time at the machine doing what I lovingly refer to as 'sewing for Anglicans', a.k.a. the Holly Bazaar. I had cut a hexie table topper earlier this week and so I put it together. It is a decidedly autumn palette because I want to have more than Christmas themed items for the table.








I liked it so much that I made a second, the only difference being the fussy cut for the centre of the hexie.














I had seen a few ideas online and had recently picked up a hexie ruler so I used the ruler to cut the centre hexies and then varying widths of fabrics ranging from 1.5" to 2.25" with the end result being just over 17" across.








Then, since I was on a roll, I made another. The Official Cookie Tester was quite taken with this one and I think he will be buying it before it hits the bazaar table so I should probably make a second just so the gals actually have something on the table to sell. Seems to happen a lot lately.











I still haven't figured out how to quilt them but for now I have bigger fish to fry. I'm off to wrestle with the Official Cookie Tester for the last piece of pumpkin pie!...M

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Bliss

It feels like the Cone of Silence has descended on my blog of late, but there's a really good reason for that. Julia, who I lovingly refer to as my 'favourite niece' (she's also my only niece...) was married over the weekend so there's been lots of prep and company and fun over the last little while, none of which included my sewing machine. There were also several moments of pure bliss. One was when the happy couple rode off from the ceremony in this gorgeous old red truck that the groom, Ryan, spent the last year totally rebuilding. It is magnificent!








Another was when they opened their gift from Julia's parents. Betty finished the gorgeous star quilt that she's been working on for a little longer than Ryan has been working on the truck and it was a huge hit with the newlyweds. It is a work of art. I wasn't smart enough to get more photos of it but will try and do that so that I can share it with you.








So now that the dust is settling I continually find myself smiling at the how special it all was, but it's time to return to reality and refocus on getting things ready for the Holly Bazaar, which is just a month away (eek!). This is the view from my sewing machine table - a star topper that's been laid out for a couple of weeks now and ready to be sewn. Pitter patter.....M