Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mega Project Coming Up!

Well, you may not know this, but some of my friends might think I've lost my mind!

Remember, this is the same quilter, namely me that takes a little portable bag of hand piecing in my purse all the time and if a few minutes present themselves....
That's right, I don't watch TV or read loads of romance novels or self help  books. I simply quilt a hell of a lot!

Be calm my heart, admitting things are good for me! But admitting that I'm already in the middle of the mega project of my lifetime is another thing! Check out this link below to try and figure it out.

This link might give you and idea, but in all fairness if I told you it wouldn't make the same impact, I'm learning that for a quilt to have that wow effect that makes us drool, you need to build up to the whole quilt, in all its beauty.
In this photo below, I'm 17yrs old.
I'd have put on something cuter than this old t-shirt. I remember how uncomfortable with my  new boobs, then you know I was a late bloomer and they really didn't grow much until suddenly at 16. 

These ladies are members of the Sunshine Valley Women's Institute in Grand Forks. The are working on a special quilt.

If you visit the above link, you'll get it right away!
Leave me a comment, love to know what you think my mega-project is?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Now a little vintage cloth Japanese inspiration!

Ok, I admit it, I was slightly distracted the past week and I missed posting at least one new post each week. But I had good reason!

Our northern temperatures dipped wayyyyyyy down to -38 C and I was back and forth between the barns and the house all week! It was so cold, I couldn't just grab any old  jacket and check the chickens! I had to have:
  • all over my face touque, with drawstring for the tiny opening so I can see
  • then another touque over that
  • my serious ice fishing insulated pants
  • two sweaters under my big yard coat
  • my double thickness work mits
  • my two puffs on my puffer before I go outside at these temperatures
So now, you can see why I was a little distracted. I had rest up in between just to do the next shift! But thankfully I'm able to report that we are back to normal winter temperature of -10 C so all I'm back to posting!

 While it was so darn cold that going outside was an ordeal, I started into my favorite Quilt Mania magazines. Sure enough, each magazine has so many wonderful, skillful projects that I rarely get any of them started because I'm so busy designing and making my own.

But I just love the magazine!! I recommend it!

But when I saw those little Japanese plates I was inspired to do some applique practice for the upcoming mega project of all projects! 

 The instructions leave out some key techniques to completing these tricky little plates! Here is what I've learned so far.

  1.  Trim off the edges of the plate petals, the hand drawn version from the magazine is simply not exact enough to gain complete satisfaction.
  2. Hand piecing the sides of the petals almost to the top of each petal. Then as you needle turn the seam, you can nicely tuck it under without too much trouble.
  3. I do quite a bit of hand piecing and these require it, so get some practice  with this project!

I chose carefully to find vintage fabrics for each new petal, I got bored after a while and started doing more than one of each!

I can see that the Japanese quilter chose her fabrics very carefully and didn't use more than one print for each petal. Well, I didn't have enough of the kind I started with to do that. And I chose to mix prints with solid colors and didn't bat an eye!

Also, the instructions don't say anything about hand sewing the pieced plate onto the background, before hand applique-ing the plate onto the background. 

But you must do it, otherwise these tricky little plates want to started wondering around even with lots of pinning. So hand sewing a running stitch around the edge of the plate is essential to having a nice rounded edge over the top of the each petal. Plus the stitching holds back your needle turn to exactly 1/4 inch.

Thes two finished plate blocks are easy to tell which one was done first! Its the left side of this photo. I was satisfied, but took greater care on the second one on the right. You'll see better round tops on each petal on the second one, this is way I like them and so this is  proving to be a good practice peice for me. Plus, it reminds me of how the Japanese quilters make such awesome hand pieced works, they take great care with each and every stitch. I call it mindful applique.

More on this project as I complete it! Now for all of you who follow me "regular like" you'll have to start checking the updates on the right bar where I have my 'PAGES' listed.
I'm soon going to introduce you to the mega project I mentioned earlier! 
Stay well and warm!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just a few scraps and clothing-What's Possible

This fun bag was made with reuse in mind. I had a bunch of medium sized chunks of various fabrics from a quilt I'd made reusing clothing and this bag wanted to take the stage just as well!

I made the hexagon flower for the center, the broken petals around the hexagon are vintage hand pieced parts of a Wedding Ring pieces. The yellow bottom is a small piece from a jacket, quite tough and sturdy. Its about realizing the value of recycled clothing in quilts.

 This little quilt is almost entirely reused cotton from dresses and shirts. I donated this to a good cause for an auction. It sold!

This quilt is an wool/fortrel table runner. Hand quilted. I called it Poppy Lane.

This quilt has become my car quilt, for when its cold outside like today, I'll put it over my knees while the car gets warm as we travel into town. Its made from recycled blue jeans and corduroy, the biege is denim also and the butterflies are recycled cotton from shirts.

I made a decision to not buy any more fabric this year. Its my resolution and I aim to keep it.
Thanks for reading and dropping by, take care, 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reclaimed Linen Laundry Hamper

Yep, it was just one of those darn things that I should have done several years ago, but procrastinated on it! Our laundry hamper had seen better days for sure. But what to use for it, I really wanted something open weave cotton, but then I came across the fine set of table cloths made from linen. Perfect! Yes, that's my Oh! Canada quilt in the background.

Here it is, the offending Grey colored crappy tire version of a laundry hamper. I think this fabric is something that would have gone inside auto seats or something! Really ugly and didn't let anything breathe. You  know what I mean?

 I had a major seam which I sewed 5/8 in. wide and then sewn the inside of the seam down with a simple zig zag stitch. The important thing here is to conserve what you have, not buy new, just because its ugly or not totally functional, redo it! Reuse whatever you can, otherwise its such a waste of energy. You know so many researchers talk about the reuse problem facing our nations and yet, not one takes into consideration that 'energy' is lost if we don't reuse consumer clothing for something other than its intended use.

OMG, you can see that I'm a clutter bug on this side of my room!

 I simply attached simple squares of springtime colored scraps to  improve the overall look of the mature linen table cloths!

Ready to use! Yeh for reusing another item! What do you reuse? Leave me a comment and tell me what you've done in reuse recently, I'd love to know!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Summer on the Range Follow Along

Wow, the previous post on this "Summer on the Range" Quilt Along is a very popula. I am so pleased and honored that so many of you want to participate.

This is what you need to get prepared!
  • Decide on a group of reused fabrics, new fabrics and these don't all have to be 100% cotton? I often don't stick to using only cotton. What I do is to sit down in front of my various stash shelves and squint my eyes. I see what blends in and disappears, what stands out and what is a group of colors that you really like AND you wouldn't normally place these colors together.
  • This quilt is going to take you out of your comfort zone. Take a deep breath and keep breathing! You'll do fine, the way I love to blend fabrics is all about that, taking a few risks!
  • Decide on what size of quilt you want to make?
  • Decide if this is for someone else or for you?
  • Decide on what size of a Dresden Plate you want to make?

This link above will take you to my tutorial for getting started on making your own Dresden Plate blocks.


All the best,


Monday, January 2, 2012

Cereal Box Cool Quilts

Over the holidays, I read through various quilting magazines as I usually do when kicking back and sipping tea while the snow falls outside. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I was left with a profound feeling of the "sameness" in each magazine.  For a look at some awesome new patterns from my friend Laurraine, click the link below.

The sameness I speak of is the constant over use of single collections in each pattern. Do you know what I mean?

I see this as "homogenization" in our global quilting arts community. But do we all want to be the same, look the same, feel the same and behave the same way? I dare say that we don't want that.

I recommend creating without a pattern. I'm writing several tutorials and individual posts on creating without a pattern for future posts, stay tuned!

Lets start at the beginning shall we. Making quilts began with simple tools.

How do you do that?

You can and should reuse cereal boxes for templates. Make you own stick men or simple drawings and then make the major concepts into individual templates. Like using the box below.

Making a quilt without a pattern starts with simple stuff like graph paper, pencil, eraser, school ruler. You can decide to make a table runner or larger right on your paper. Just like what you'll see below.

 Going without a pattern causes a 'stir' inside you, you become excited, even breathless as you actually let go of the constraints of someone else's design. Go forth my friends and make plenty of quilts from your own mind!

Using a cereal box template is free and its recycled. Yeh for recycling, do more of it and you'll feel better about the world around you. Remember, I made the decision to not buy anything new this year! I intend to use up what I have in my stash or at least make big dent in it!

Below, I've simply reused a cereal box,which is excellent weight cardboard for making any template.
I'm  making hexagons for a new apron I'm working on.

This hexagon in white is the version taken from my selection at the link above for free, then I've simply temporarily tacked with a spot of glue to the cereal board and taken my quilting ruler and drawn a line exactly 1/4 in. from the edge of the while hexagon or you can simply cut with a rotary cutter and you've made your first template!

 I recommend marking the size of your hexagon template, you can make as many as the largest size of your cereal  board.

This project is a challenge from our last Telkwa Stitcher's Retreat back in November. We did a fun little fabric exchange and this will become my finished item using the 'ugly' fabric that we exchanged.

You can also make circles from cereal board or just about anything else that you want!

Below is my hexagon table runner made in 2004, hand pieced and hand quilted.

Don't forget, upcoming posts will be some tutorials and lessons to work along with or not. Doing things the old fashioned way sometimes gives you the best  results for an original quilt, that doesn't look like everyone else's. Just think 

"Non-homogenized for me"

You go girl, quilt still your heart's content and be original!~

Take care, thanks for dropping by and reading my  blog, its so nice to have visitors!

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