Monday, 11 May 2020

New Skill - Quilting with Rulers

Even though I've been quilting for over 30 years, there's always something new to learn or ways to improve my skills. I happened to see a post about ruler quilting on one of my social media feeds and looked into it a little to see what it was all about.
 That little foray into ruler quilting led to a class at my local quilting shop and a purchase of a ruler foot for my specific machine and a set of basic rulers to get started.
 I made up a simple table runner from some pretty fabrics and after a little practice on a practice piece, I tried this new technique out.
 It's not perfect, but it looks pretty good for a first attempt on a project.
 I'll need a lot more practice, but I'm watching all the Angela Walters and Amanda Murphy videos to hopefully learn some tips from the experts!
 And ta-da! A finished table runner!
Rail Fence Table Runner
What techniques have you learned recently? Where do you go to learn new things?


Saturday, 9 May 2020

Charm Pack Fun

Every once in a while, the sewing room needs to get a little clean up and organization. For me, this can happen at many different times through the year but always results in increased productivity. I try to sew on 2-3 days during the week, sometimes only for a short time, but other days I sew much longer.
Packaging mini kits
When I'm cleaning up and folding fabrics and putting them back where they belong, I will often see a combination of fabrics that I might have an idea for. I'll put those fabrics together, take the time to dig out the pattern I am thinking of (or maybe just draw a little sketch) and put them all together in a baggie. That way even when I have a little stretch of time to sew, like maybe half an hour or so, I'm not spending that whole time looking for fabrics or patterns. I can just grab one of the pre-packaged bundles and get right to work.

And then before I leave my sewing area, I'll put everything back in the baggie or in a project box (pizza box or a 12"x12" plastic box) and it will be all ready for next time. This has worked great for me for when I go and sew with friends or when I'm going on a retreat as well as at home.
Moda Love Quilt
 So earlier this year, I found a couple charm packs of the same fabric line and thought I could do up a few Valentine themed quilts. The Moda Love quilt is one I've made with 10" squares and wanted to do with the 5" squares so I thought it was a good choice.
Bow Tie Quilt
 I've done this bow tie quilt a number of times in the past and I love it for charm packs.
Scrappy Heart
 And this little scrappy heart was something I saw on my Instagram feed. There's probably a pattern out there somewhere, but it's a simple grid quilt and the little 1.5" squares are adorable.
Double Four Patch Table Runner
 I still had quite a bit of the fabrics left, so I put together this double nine-patch table runner. Pattern is from Mary Quilts here.
Bow Tie Quilt
 And the bow ties just make me happy! This pattern looks so great in every fabric I've made it from and I will make it again and again! Pattern is Charm Circles from Me and My Sister Designs and is a free PDF. I just arranged the bow ties slightly differently.
Moda Love Quilt

 The Moda Love quilt is stunning! This free pattern is another one that I will make again. Super easy, even for a beginner quilter and looks like a million bucks!
I <3 Mug Rug
I didn't get them done before Valentine's Day 2020, but they are timeless and will look just as great in 2021!

Tell me what your favourite quilt pattern is and how many times you have made it!


Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Sloths Quilt

Like any quilter who's been on social media for a while, I've seen my share of Elizabeth Hartman patterns done up in a variety of colours and combinations. Frankly, I've always been a bit intimidated by what looks like incredibly complex quilt piecing.
 When I was asked to make a quilt with a sloth theme, I wondered what that might look like and as I searched for ideas, I discovered that there actually was a sloth pattern out there!
My only guidelines were sloth theme and the colour purple, so I pulled out a fat quarter pack of purple prints that I had. Each sloth would take one fat quarter of fabric plus the fabric for the faces, tree and the background. And  the pattern was a PDF download, which made it super easy to get started.
I had a natural Essex cotton linen for the background and some bark-like fabric left over from another long ago project. I carefully cut out the pieces as directed. And there were a lot of pieces! As you can tell, I used sticky notes to mark which piece was which (highly recommend labelling pieces in some way!) 
 I sashed and bordered the pretty purple sloths with a purple Kona cotton and sent it off to be quilted by Marie of Blueberry Hill Quilts in High River, Alberta.
 Marie chose a beautiful panto of jungle-like leaves which adds a really cool texture and makes it look like the sloths are peeking out through the leaves.
 I'm super happy with how easy this all went together. The pattern was really well-written and easy to follow. I'm normally a read through the pattern and then do it my own way kind of quilter, but there was no need to do this for this quilt.
I'm looking forward to making another of Elizabeth's patterns in the near future. I have my eye on this one that will be released later this month for a project for my grand-daughter and I to make together.
The Puppies
I can't wait to get started!