Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Queen of Halloween Rides Again

Jane is a maker. She is happiest creating - everything from quilts to softies to greeting cards and ephemera. She's also the Queen of Halloween, getting into the spirit of things more than almost anyone I know.

So it was no surprise that she would turn her hand to creating some fabulous banners to celebrate this spooky season. Vintage prints, ric rac, ribbon and a few embellishments and she was off to the races.

Halloween banners: QuiltBee
This year she made four of them, each with their own wonderful style.

Do you recognize the candy corn blocks in the back? In short order, leftovers from her recent Halloween quilt border became the inspiration for a new project.

The banners herald the completion of her latest Halloween quilt, beautifully quilted by Roberta. (Jane sent it off with a warning not to be afraid of the glow-in-the-dark pumpkins 😄!) You can't see it very clearly here but the pantograph is the same pumpkin pattern that we used on my Pippi Longstocking patchwork pumpkin table topper only at a larger scale. The variegated thread shows up beautifully against those black scrolls.

Halloween quilt: QuiltBee
And the binding is perfect too. She used the 'check' that was included as one of the border and it works brilliantly to finish it off. Now all she needs are a few ghosts and goblins to come knocking on her door.

Happy Halloween everyone, particularly the Queen of Halloween!....M

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Lookin' For My MoJo

You know how everything looks great on paper but sometimes things just don't pan out in real life? You just run out of steam some days. Well, today is one of those days.

I had plans to sew another topper for the Holly Bazaar but just can't find it in myself to sit at the machine.

Sometimes you just have to switch gears.

So I've picked up some hand work - four potholders that I made using the scraps from my Pippi Longstocking pumpkin table topper.

They will be for the bazaar too so at least there is still progress in that direction.

Something about these little squares all clipped and ready to go makes me think of an old doll with her hair in rollers. Not sure what that says about me, but hey. Happy slow sewing Sunday....M

Monday, October 22, 2018

Star Bound

Carpenter's Star Christmas table topper: QuiltBee
It's been a little on the hectic side lately with more flurry to come this week, but despite all of the tooing and froing I have seen signs of Holly Bazaar progress. There are now two Carpenter's Star toppers together, one with a white border and one without (I'll share them the next time and you can tell me which style you prefer).

There's also been a mountain of binding made...

and in some cases applied.

star Christmas table topper: QuiltBee
And, miracle of miracles, some of it is even sewn down! Stay tuned for a more complete star table topper rundown in a few days....M

Saturday, October 13, 2018

If I Were a Carpenter...

Christmas Carpenter's Wheel/Moda Love: QuiltBee
I've been humming 'If I Were a Carpenter' lately and thinking of my dad, who was a very talented carpenter. It was time to branch out from my tried and true scrappy star table toppers and try something new for the Holly Bazaar craft table (sometimes I think that I've made so many star toppers that everyone in town has one!), so I landed on the Carpenter's Star pattern.

This pattern can be done in a variety of colour ways but this scrappy version was the inspiration that got me going. As I sewed I had this feeling that I'd seen this pattern before. Initially I thought that it was Swoon but eventually I figured it out - this is also known as the Moda Love pattern which Betty used to make Julia' beautiful duvet cover.

I found a pile of 6.5" squares of Christmas prints that I had cut last year from the same fabrics that I made the star table toppers from so I used them to make eight HSTs at at time. Soon it was time to start laying things out...

...and slowly it grew.

Christmas Carpenter's Wheel/Moda Love: QuiltBee
I'm liking how it is coming together and already jumping ahead to thinking about how it might get quilted. The inspiration piece has a beautiful pebbled free motion pattern all around the star which looks gorgeous, but we all know that I'm not doing that (maybe some day, but not this close to the bazaar) so I will need to find some straight line quilting inspiration soon....M

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pumpkin Perfection

patchwork pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
Roberta has had her way with my Pippi Longstocking pumpkin table toppers and I couldn't be more pleased. She has a wonderful eye and does such beautiful work that it is hard to imagine them not coming out perfect.

backing for patchwork pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
The pantograph is one that she used on Pumpkin Patch at Midnight and was an excellent choice. All those little pumpkins rolling around in the leaves are just what it needed to give it a little life.

They are now both bound as well and ready to use in time for Halloween - I stayed with the same fabric that I used for the outer border but put it on the bias. I had hoped to have at least one of them ready for Thanksgiving this past weekend but a head cold cut into those plans.

backing for patchwork pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
These funky candy corn spideys are the perfect Halloween backing.

patchwork pumpkin table topper: QuiltBee
They aren't quite square (about 23" x 24") so they could also be hung on the wall if someone was so inclined. Now to see who vies for one at the Silent Auction.....M

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

A Great Fall Drive

Autumn is beautiful in Ontario. We are lucky to live in an area where the maple leaves change colour before they fall, giving us a spectacular show to enjoy and it is a great excuse for a road trip. About three hours from where I live, the new Port Hope historic Barn Quilt Trail is a driving route that takes you through rural countryside to view painted quilts mounted on heritage barns.

The gently rolling hills of Northumberland County are scenic at the best of times but now 23 barn quilts offer up a salute to area history, each displaying a beautifully painted board highlighting the narrative of the farm, its function and its people. 

On the trail's website you can see not only the barns but also a bit of their history along with the barn quilts that you can expect to find along the way. They are beautifully rendered. I think that #2 and #7 might be my favourites. 

Seeing these barn quilts led me to searching for other examples online, and there are some beauties out there. I think that this one might be my favourite...

but I also liked this one...

and this one. Unfortunately, I could not find links to these images to share with you.

Want to make your own? Here's a tutorial using either bead board or plywood, depending on whether you want it for indoor or outdoor use.

There have been rumblings recently that a similar project is being considered for our area so maybe one day soon I will be able to share that route with you. Happy trails!....M

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Low Hanging Fruit

Christmas star table topper: QuiltBee
I hit a bit of Holly Bazaar luck recently, finding a huge pile of Christmas prints that I had cut last year for star table toppers but never made up. All I had to do was cut a few more white blocks and I was off to the races.

I like to lay out a full topper so that I can play with the colour and print distribution and then just drop sets of the smaller white squares onto the blocks that will contain the star points.

Christmas star table topper: QuiltBee
After that it's a fairly quick process and in about an hour....

Christmas star table topper: QuiltBee

Christmas star table topper: QuiltBee

This one doesn't have any yellows in it and I wondered if that was a mistake, but I like it.

Happily, I now have four of them that are ready for quilting. Betty teased me about my last post saying that in one simple step I'd moved from Halloween to Christmas, but as each day passes the bazaar is that much closer so there will need to be a little more holiday themed sewing before all is said and done 😊....M