Saturday, January 30, 2010

KatieJumpRope Quilt (designed by Ethan)

Washed, bound and crinkly. Just the way I like it.

Blockmaking - using graph paper was really helpful in figuring out measurements and cutting for blocks. *never forget that 1/2" extra for seam allowances!

Fabric Choice - originally I wanted to use some solids like Ethan's drawing but I didn't have any (at the time) and I don't have a big stash of bold pinks.

Batting - I had a crib sized batting piece in that polyester thin batting. I was worried about it when I was putting it together, but after washing it, it's just as soft as other kinds. But, it is thinner, and so this is more of a lightweight summer quilt.

Spray Basting - wow, how super easy it was! I used 505 brand, as it was recommended to be less smelly. It was a great method for a small quilt. I'd get nervous using it for a larger quilt, but I may experiment on a larger one, just for kicks. I'm pretty liberal with my shoving and manipulating the quilt around on my machine, so often wondered if the layers would unstick or shift. Not the case. But again, smaller quilt so maybe better result?

Machine binding - let's just say it's quick, but I don't like the results at all. Perhaps it's that my binding looked uneven at the back or the stitching looked uneven at the back - it looked awesome at the front. But I didn't like the look of it on the back. In addition to uneven, it also looks too flat and not as fluffy as when I hand stitch.

**and yes, this quilt is made of patterned fabric - all from my stash. The only fabric I've allowed myself to purchase this year is solids, batting and backing. I need to use up my stash as well this year, so you'll see a few stash quilts here and there!

**My next solids quilt is all cut out and ready to piece!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Progress

Katie Jump Rope Quilt  (aka, Ethan's Design)  is almost done.   It's a very easy quilt, and is baby size, but it's been a busy week.  Life comes first, and then quilting.  bah!
I'm experimenting with several things in this quilt - making up my own blocks, spray basting, a different kind of batting (thin poly blend I had from my stash) and machine sewing the binding.

I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vancouver 2010

I saw this video today, and totally cried my eyes out.  It's my home.  Some people wonder what makes it more special than any place else?   Why would I want to move back home?  Well, here it is....

Yes, there's lots of rain, but truly, it's like this. One cannot, however, embed the smell of the trees, clean air and the ocean in this video.
15 more days until the Olympics!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Solid Goodness

My order from FabricShack arrived today.  See the colour card in the background as well?  Even my kids got excited and have been drooling and reading all of the names of the colours.  My one gripe - they had sold out of white.  What?  How can you be sold out of white?
I may sneak a solid white from my local shop for now... 
edited to add.... my LQS had ONE bolt of Kona.  ONE.  and it was white.  And I got the last 1.4 meters of it. 
Wait till you see what I have planned.  I'm so excited for this next quilt.

Chemo scarf

It looks alot easier than when you actually plan and make your first prototype. There's a cap inside and all of the seams are inside out to protect the sensitive scalp.  The scrunchie makes it looks cool. Played around with my stretch stitches, as well as my rolled hem foot (didn't like)    This is my prototype.  If I had a serger, it would be a breeze to make these.

I know my mother in law rocked the chemo scarves this season.  She looks amazing in them.   

Monday, January 25, 2010

Can you see it?

Can you see the quilt in this?

How about a simple quilt here? Or a quilt block?

I'm in it bad. I get flyers for storage, and I find it useful for quilts.

One thing I'm learning - triangles do nothing for me. I'm a squares, rectangles and circles kind of girl. Not sure why.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas Gems...

finally, finally finished. My gosh this was the longest pitter patter procrastinating quilt ever. It was supposed to be a gift for my friend. Maybe next year ;-)
It measaures 45" x 55". The pattern is from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I didn't use jelly rolls though. I pieced the back and actually like the back more than the front. Funny how that works.

The binding is in dots - love em!

Washed and crinkly and ready to fight over.

This quilt has given me inspiration for a solids quilt - if you look closely it kind of looks like ribbons woven together - I'm going to modify the blocks into something that will look more like solid ribbons weaving together. That's my March quilt. February is designed, waiting for fabrics and then set to cut.

I still have never made quilt labels for my quilts. Now that I'm more serious about quilting, I need to research that. I like those little twill tape ribbons or just ribbon with a name on them. I know it's not traditional, but I like that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Green with Envy

The envy being the red in this quilt ;-) Windy day here. Enlarge the photo and hopefully you can see the red better....I wish I could figure out photography. Oh well, this is an amateur blog, so I hope you understand.

I'll post more details as to the size; pattern I somewhat followed; colours of Kona used; etc.... but here is the quilt top done. Now to baste it (blech) and quilt it. Any suggestions on quilting it? I'm thinking horizontal meandering, but I'm kind of nervous about all of the seams. I may just leave it for a bit. I'm kind of sick of it.

My Simply Solids Project is definately underway! I've ordered more solids for my next quilt, which I made the pattern myself.

My Ethan quilt is underway too - I'm using a selection of Katie Jump Rope fabrics, rather than the pink he coloured with. He was okay with that ;-) I just wanted to get something fresh and simple started, as this Green with Envy quilt just kind of made me feel blah.

Kona Colours Used for Green with Envy:
Med. Grey
Sour Apple

Sunday, January 17, 2010


My solids quilt top is almost done. It's been a tough one. I figured out that I've sewn 9km worth of seams for this. There are a lot of seams. And now, I'm onto the vertical seams, which I'm having to press I'm still not sure about this. I've been calling it my reefer quilt.
If you click to enlarge the photo you will notice that my dog decided to camp out on my layout this afternoon without me realizing it. And...tons of threads. Kona Cottons fray and shed. ALOT.

**the colour that looks yellow is not yellow, but a limey green with a yellow undertone. can't for the life of me adjust it on camera or in iphoto.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My heart melts

So, that box of pencil crayons? They're no longer MINE. One day in this house, something will be all mine...not shared, not communal. Just mine.

But this morning I woke up to the sweetest gift. "I drew this quilt just for you" My son has designed his first quilt. And I'm going to make it.

**on another camera was dropped (again) and I need a new one. Again, see comment above about things being mine vs shared. *rolleyes*

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Olympic Torch!!

The Olympic Torch came through our community today...and I pulled my boys out of school and preschool (as well as 1/2 the schools!) to watch. We were so very lucky, we saw it go by twice! The second time, we were kind of stuck in traffic on the way home, and lo and behold, the traffic was stopped because it was going by! We had so much fun and felt so nostalgic. 30 more days! GO CANADA!!!!

Wonder Wallet

So easy. It took me 45 minutes - and that's a first time run, with fiddling with fabric pattern that was off grain and me wanting it to be perfect. Easy peasy. I highly recommend this pattern - easy to follow, and the wallet holds a ton. I have two wallets right now. I carry all of my cards in one mini card wallet, and a coin wallet for my coins and bills. I think this is my new card wallet for sure. There's even a pocket at the back designed to hold coins, but I have so many darn cards (have to earn points, ya know) that this will do the trick.

Pattern is by Lazy Girls Designs - Wonder Wallet. Next on the list is the Perfect Pouch, by the same company.

One off my list!
Strip piecing is highly boring. Thank goodness my juki is fast and at least I can pretend I'm a race car driver. My next quilt will NOT have lots of strips to sew together.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In beginning the design process

In part of my year long Simply Solids Project, I picked up an inexpensive box of pencil crayons and squared paper notebook from the art shop. I love how the notebook (from Europe) states it's actual carbon footprint. How cool is that?

Because I'm beginner, I'm going to make up my design blocks in my notebook. I could use some fancy software, but frankly, I'm simple, and pencil crayons will be just fine for now.

I'm publicly stating my project now...this is big for me. Again, getting out of my comfort zone, and challenging myself to have confidence! 2010 is the beginning of a GREAT decade.

The Simply Solids Project

The Simply Solids Project

I am in the process of starting a year long project. Simply Solids - a yearof quilts using the entire colour way of the Kona Cotton Solids. I would require the fabric swatch card and fabrics to use in simple, beginner level quilts. My goal is to use all 221 colours by the end of my project (December 2010 - if I can access the fabric in Canada, or have it shipped to Canada)
I would blog:- writing about the process, using the actual colour names and *combination alternatives and *showcase the projects through tutorials and photos. *this part is still a little grey for me...
I am intending this to be a bit about showcasing solids in quilts, but also in teaching others simple techniques using simple fabrics, to creative stunning quilts. I am a newer quilter. But, I am a teacher and know how to break things down and explain things. I belong to a few flickr groups, and have noticed that there is a rapidly growing interest group of quilters throughout the internet who love using solids exclusively in their quilts.
I'm choosing Solids, because they appear to be more affordable fabric choices in comparison with other patterned fabrics. I love solid colours together, and am often perusing the paint chip aisle at my local hardware store, looking at the combinations of solids together, and envisioning them as a finished quilt. Solids always appear as a complement to patterned fabric - I want to showcase their beauty on their own.
At the end of the project, I will have created a minimum of 12 quilts, hopefully more. I have already thought of the blocks for each quilt, and am thinking of colour combinations.
If I am having difficulty accessing all of the Kona Solids or a colour card, I may choose to waver to a different company or whatever I can access. Solids selections, as I stated earlier, are pretty vague up here in Canada for some reason.
My main focus of this project is to learn the design process, the mathematical aspect of it all (EEEK!) and just creating beautiful, simple, modern quilts each month using strictly solids as the fabric canvas.
I hope that I don't step on any toes, offend anyone, or inadvertently copy someone else's designs. This is not my intention. If there is mention to be made, please email me. I have no problem acknowledging credit where credit is due. Please reciprocate this process to me. I dream up my blocks and sketch them in my little book before bedtime and then gather them up at a later date to plan a quilt.
If you would like to help, contribute or participate in any way in this process, I welcome you to. Again, I will acknowledge and link to/with you. The quilter blogging community is incredible. Word spreads fast, and I for one have been inspired to challenge myself to this level by so many bloggers out there.
Here is my cheering squad!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

On your marks, get set...

Phew! 160 strips are cut. I have 4 kinds of brown, 4 greys, 5 greens, and 2 reds. They are cut in various numbers, from 1" strips, 1.5" strips, and 1.75" strips.
Now for the fun - race car driving as I call it as I sew random strips together.

Yesterday, Suki and I reacquainted ourselves as I finished up my Christmas quilt (gasp!) We've been having a hard time figuring out tension and I may have mastered it now. I've tried numerous threads and finally found a needle size that seems to work. Then I had bobbin tension issues, so switched things up again. I *think* we may have found the right combination.

You know how so many people have many WIP's? I don't have any. ever. I do one project from start to finish. And then I do then next from start to finish. I think that may be a bit of my productivity problem as well. Perhaps I need a few projects on the go to give me variety.
1. Green with envy quilt
2. Chemo headscarf
3. Wonder Wallet
4. Perfect Pouch
These are projects that I'm going to start simulatneously.....

I have to say, that I am so thankful for your kindness and friendship. I know it's 'blogland' and we don't really 'know' each other, but your comments and support and friendship really means the world to me. Never forget how much a smile or a thoughtful comment can make a difference in someone's life... that's what someone once told me, and now I'm telling you. It made a world of difference in my week.
Thank you.

(We've dusted ourselves off and are back doing our things. It's just not the right time yet for us)

Friday, January 08, 2010


You know when you get all excited to start a new year, and then... meh. It happens. You lose it. I think the point was when one of my favourite bloggers, Crazymomquilts, announced she was closing her blog. It was her unpaid full time job. It just stunned me. How could this be? What would my morning coffee routine be like now? I still go to her blog every morning thinking that maybe, maybe she changed her mind, or announced something bigger and better happening. it also made me realize, how insignificant blogging is - even when you do have 500 comments about your current posting. It just doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. So as I continue to blog, it's going to continue to be about ME, my life, and my quilting journey.

So, now the double whammy for me. The new year was extremely hopeful for our family. Yes, I have plans for quilting, which still continue, but there was a big push for us to relocate to Victoria, BC. Like, a BIG one. What a dream come true. It was so big, that we were advised by the VP and HR to get our house appraised, check out communities and developments to potentially move to and scout, propose financials of moving costs, taxes and fees, and that the finalization would occur end of this month. So big, that when the instigator pulled the carpet, okay RIPPED it out under our feet, we have tumbled and are dusting ourselves off. The originator of this plan wanted to move this way as his family was this way. The VP was completely for it and was drafting up all the documents for it. dh's VP was for it too. It was a step up for dh as well. Three days ago, the originator proposed the timeline (end of January) and all was a go. I kept saying, I won't believe it until I see the papers. seriously. I've been through this before last year. Yesterday afternoon, he yanks the idea - his daughter (17) and wife suddenly do not want to go. So the plan has collapsed. My guess is that the IDEA sounded lovely to the daughter and wife, but as it became more of a reality, they freaked.

So, I feel like a train wreck. and today, instead of spending countless hours preparing for a dream move and researching housing endlessly on the net, I'm hibernating in my cave and working on a quilt. Greens. Solids.

It's part of my solids year. This was one of my goals -
Simply Solids - a year in Kona Cotton Solid Quilts - my plan - to use all 221 solids throughout the year. I've done some preliminary letter writing, but I'm sure I'll get the 'no thanks' letters for samples of solids, colour charts, etc. so it will be not as big as I thought. This is my thinking right now, as I feel down and out about things. We can't get Kona's in abundance here in Canada. In fact, it's more like black, white, cream - if that. So, online shopping here I come. If anyone has ideas for me to acquire Kona's inexpensively, let me know.

I'll cheer up. I was just dreaming of my ocean view home, walking the dog on the beach, using my binoculars to watch the killer whales.... instead, here I am in -20, cold, dry, dirty, no greenery, chemical laden air, oil refinery land......

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Outside of my comfort zone

So I have done a few things today outside of my quilting comfort zone. This is part of my quilting goals. They don't mean physical sewing at the moment, but they will.

I will discuss later, if things happen favourably. And if they don't, well, I'll just have to modify my idea.

It feels good to venture outside of that safe zone. Put myself out there.

Have you done any of that lately?