June 28, 2018


Block 3, Clamshells by Helen Stubbings. You can find her at Hugs from Helen. 

The clams look like eggs in a carton and were tricky. For Helen's tutorial I've also used a very light fusible.
What I did was:
1. choose the 10 fabrics and lay them out in the rows I wanted them in.
2. draw and cut out 10 clamshells on freezer paper,
3. cut out the fabric clamshell about 1/4" larger all around,
4. go to the iron - place the fabric wrong side up and the freezer paper template wax side up and press the fabric over the top curved edge so that it sticks to the freezer paper see Step 6 diagram on instructions. Then remove the paper. Press again.
5. laid the top row down stitched then second row stitched and last row stitched.
My flowers are machine freeform embroidered. I used a piece of regular paper for my stabilizer and freeform embroidered, like quilting. Stem and leaves are zigzagged.


June 25, 2018

Space 9 Sun and Swim

Typical June weather, lightning, thunder and down pour. It was great to be outside today, sunny and warm. Even mama duck and her one little one was out for a paddle in the sun. The rain is making up for last year of no rain. There has been so much rain that the grass is soggy.

Speaking about the Sun, Space block 9 takes us to the Sun but not too close as temperatures are in the low millions. Hope you brought sunscreen and sunglasses and a hat.

Back here on Earth, the rain gave me the excuse to stay home and sew. Hooray, got the remaining Splendid Sampler free blocks done for my Sunny Side Up quilt.

See ya Thursday.

June 21, 2018

Milk and Cookies-Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!  Today is a favourite day because we get just over 16.5 hours of daylight today. I just noticed that my block kinda looks like a sun.
Do you remember coming home after school for milk and cookies? Or hot days, cold milk and yummy cookies? Wasn't it wonderful? Come to think of it, that's probably why I am a cookie monster. My mom made the best cookies. Her oatmeal cookies and unbaked chocolate oatmeal coconut cookies, my favourite.

This week's block Milk and Cookies by Rebecca (Becca) Bryant.  Mine is more like eggs and cheese. Hmm, looks like the mouse got to the cheese before I did.

My tips: This one I machine sewed the circles. Was it crazy? Definitely, but I don't like hand sewing because it takes me so long to sew the pieces together. My stitches are about 10 per inch. This is from doing lots of needlework and why I don't like the last thing about garment making and quilt binding. Call me persnickety. Don't like seeing hems and hand binding takes hours and hours.

I've digressed. All those little tumbler looking pieces in the outer circle, make sure that they form a tight circle without there being extra fabric that you can pinch.

I oops-eyed when cutting the stripe fabric because I wanted it all to go the same direction. But, whatever, it still works. To get the stripes going in the same direction you have to cut the pieces either both RS up or both RS down diagonally in the same direction.

The next tip is for pressing the circle seams. If you want the circle to look like it is sitting on top the press the seam to the inside. If you want the circle to look like it is under the outside piece then press the circle seams to the outside.

Happy Sampling!

June 18, 2018

Party Hardy

Oh yes, I've been partying all week frying up some of the 20 free Splendid Sampler II blocks. I'm over halfway and learning to like applique. Just fuse the fabric, cut out the pieces, fuse to background, decorative machine stitch around them and trim background to size. Woohoo, never have to worry about block size.

This is the next block for the 2018 Murder Mystery. Again, I went the easy way out. They wanted English paper piecing. Oh well. Let's go with the fusible A word, Applique. Have to decorative stitch yet, but it'll take no time to raw edge stitch.

Hope you have been partying hardy as well. Until Thursday happy quilting!

June 13, 2018

Splendid Sampler II Block 1

   Hey everyone, as mentioned in Tuesday's post and the Asteroid post Splendid Sampler has begun. If you participated in the first Splendid Sampler of 100 blocks you are in for another awesome treat of another 100 blocks. 
So quilt along with us every Thursday on the Splendid Sampler facebook page. Here is my rendition of the first block of 20 free blocks, Quilt Market, by Alex Veronelli.

The quilt blocks for my quilt, called SUNNY SIDE UP, plated or in the pan, has been so fun. I've been collecting yellow fat eighths and quarters for 4 years to make a quilt from the yellow side of the colour wheel, ie from red yellow to yellow with underlying green. 

What better way than to participate in a quilt along. For those of you use to making the 6" blocks in the 150 Canadian Women program, these are less intense. They are pieced, appliqued (mine by machine), hand embroidered (again mine freehand by machine - like quilting) and paper pieced. As usual I got behind but it took me no time to get caught up. Join us on the Splendid Sample facebook page.

Remember to have fun and post your blocks.
I'll be posting mine on Next Step Quilt Designs facebook page as well and giving some tips that I did on mine.

June 11, 2018

Spring Flowers Space 8

Rain rain please stay another day. Even though we had at least 6 feet of snow this winter, it is so dry. You can hear the crispy field and mountain grasses under foot. This year, our snow was what you call light and fluffy, not the heavy wet. A foot of the light snow is only 1" rain. This was all great but when it disappeared it either evaporated with the wind or went into the rivers instead of soaking into the ground because one day it was winter the next day was summer. So Spring is now happening in the garden. 

Spring is also happening in the sewing room. Way back we mentioned that I have a block in the Splendid Sampler II. Only 3 more sleeps before the program begins June 14, 2018. As with the Splendid Sampler I the blocks run the whole gamut: piecing, applique, paper piecing, embroidery. This week I've been working on the upcoming blocks. Most of them have been applique, a nemesis of mine. But like the 150 Canadian Women quilt perseverance and determination and small surprises are moving me along. I have been experimenting with the stitches on my machine. Got tired of doing the blanket stitch and found out that the daisy stitch was excellent for the small piece. Plus, all the stitching could be done in one round. Woohoo!

Another piece was to be hand embroidered. Instead it was done freehand, just like quilting it, using Wonderfil's Frutti, variegated, in a 90/14 needle and voila, hand embroidery on the machine. Woohoo again! The stems and leaves are satin stitched with Konfetti. 

This week our Space program travels around the Comets. It was hairy a few times when trying to miss the comet tails. Whew, we made it.

Winning can sometimes be as simple as completing one seam.


June 4, 2018

Leaders and Enders

Two weekends, Two awesome quilt shows.
Am loving textured backgrounds and the large dots with the giraffes. 

Kathryn and I happened to see each other at this scrappy quilt made of 2" log cabin blocks. We were talking about how long that it would take to make. I mentioned that this would make a great leader and ender quilt. A What? A Leader and Ender. 

Normally I use a Thread Dog. What? A thread dog. It is a piece of fabric that is a 1.5" to 2" wide piece of scrap fabric folded in half. The length can be any size. Instead of having threads at the beginning of your chain piecing or any piecing, you stitch across the width of the thread dog. This helps prevent the threads from balling up at the beginning of the stitching as well as the fabric getting caught in the feed dogs. When you are finished the stitching, cut the thread dog off from the beginning, leader, and stitch across it, ender, then cut the pieced pieces off.  

So, instead of using the Thread Dog you can stitch together pieces for another quilt that are small, mindless and tedious to make, ie 4-patch units, tumbler blocks, flying geese, even these little log cabins. I have 160 small flying geese to make and this is the perfect way to get them done by using them as leaders and enders.

Here I am using the flying geese for leaders and enders. As I press the chain piecing I also press the flying geese. Even when sewing the rows together in goes a flying goose as a leader and ender.

This is a great technique if you are not in a hurry to make the second quilt. Before you know it you will have all the pieces together and a second quilt completed.