Monday, June 27, 2011


Remember this guy?

I blogged about it here. Did I really think I could get it done by Labor Day? Perhaps Labor Day plus 365. I solemnly swear never to attempt a king sized quilt ever, ever again. The piecing was a joy. The basting, not so much. The quilting ~ are you kidding me? Nightmare. I did it on my little 'ole Elna. 6" grid. Don't look to closely. Puckers Galore (was she a Bond girl?) The back looks like an 80 year old who thought sun tan lotion and baby oil were synonymous (meaning, lots and lots of wrinkles.) No matter, it will be well used. Here she is: (I called it a guy earlier. She's definitely a girl. I may even name her. Josephine pops into my head at the moment.)
There has to be close to 75 or 80 different vintage sheets used. The back is one full size, with an 8 inch border all around. This is the summer quilt I was after. Light and airy, with an ever so soft, well loved backing. I like how she came out. I love that she's done. I'm ecstatic that I can now move on to other far less consuming projects!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Robert Kaufman Charm Pack Challenge

A few months back, Robert Kaufman was offering up charm packs of Kona solids to Modern Quilt Guilds. The Baltimore MQG was all over it (free charm packs? challenge? heck yeah!) After a vote, we decided on the classic colorway. For classics, there were plenty of vibrant colors. 42 to be exact. For the challenge, RK basically let us make up our own rules, only asking that we post our finished quilts in the flickr pool. For our challenge, we agreed that we needed to use at least a little bit of each color and that we could use only solids. We also agreed to use a technique that was new or a challenge for us. My personal challenge was working with circles. I kinda feel I can rock the straight edges, but circles, not so much. This is my finished quilt:

To cut the circles, I first cut out a variety of sizes of cardstock with my Cricut, 4 1/2" being the largest, 2" the smallest. I traced about 60 or so circles onto heat and bond, then started cutting. A lot of cutting. I cut them out window pane style, so that just the edges would have the adhesive. Then, a lot of pressing onto the charms, and a lot more cutting! This is my little pile of leftover trimmings:

 After placing them on the black background (which I'm not sure I'll ever use again ~ I think it looks really cool, but it's soooo linty. This is going to have to be a wall hanging, because the cat hair alone will drive me nuts!) I fused them. Then, with invisible thread, zig zagged around each circle. Another challenge for me, quilting in a circle. This gave me lots of practice. Not even close to perfect, but I'm okay with it. I even tried some swirly quilting on the background.

I'm pretty happy with this. Lots of lessons learned. (like how about not waiting until the day before a challenge quilt is due to start cutting the fabric?!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt-A-Long

Even though I have a self imposed moratorium on joining any more bees or swaps, I couldn't help myself. With so many awesome quilters and so many awesome blocks posted, I had to be part of the Farmer's Wife QAL on flickr. And technically, a quilt-a-long is neither a bee nor swap, so I'm not violating any personal policy.

I got my book on Sunday, and have been eagerly waiting for a few extra minutes to put together some blocks. Today might be the day!

In the discussion thread of the QAL, Anglea asks why we want to make a farmer's wife quilt? For me, it's a way to remember the woman who got me interested in quilting, my grandmother Ada McLennan. Grandma was indeed a farmer's wife. She and Grandpa Neil farmed in Cornwall, Ontario. When I was younger, we visited the farm every summer. My brother and I would ride the tractor, chase the chickens, and swing from the requisite tire swing, which hung from the weeping willow. Grandma didn't teach me to sew, but she inspired me to do so. Some of my most cherished items are her treadle sewing machine, and the quilts she handed down to me. I'm lucky enough to have 7 or 8 of her quilts. My mom also has a few, and I know my brother has at least one (note to self: leave room in suitcase while visiting bro this summer to steal quilt.) This is one of her quilts:
Circa 1930 - 1940. All hand pieced, hand quilted, using feed sacks and other "modern" fabric.

I love seeing all of the original designs, now interpreted into repros!
Thanks for letting me share my grandma with you! Would you like to see more of her quilts? Just leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bee Block Round Up

A busy end of month for me, so I'm happy to have all my bee blocks finished!

These are for Megan of Bee Vintage. Hooray for a simple 9 patch. With such a simple block, I was happy to make three!

Also for Bee Vintage, this is a "stack" for Jenny. I think I want to make a whole quilt like this!

This is the final month for SewFun2. Becky asked for wonky stars and sent out the oh sew fun tufted tweets. In the past, my wonky stars have been not so wonky, so I tried to get some better "wonk" this time!

Last, a very traditional Bear Paw done with a Lovely Linen for Tracy in the Lovely Linen Bee of course.

I'll get these in the post soon, ladies!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Design Wall Wednesday

On a Wednesday, no less!

Top Left: 4 more vintage sheet 100 patches I received from my Bee Vingtage Gals. (See my tutorial page to find out how to do them easily!) I'm making these into a picnic/camping quilt, so I better get on it!

Bottom Left: Last mod mosaic block received from Not Your Grandmothers Quilting Bee. I have a bunch more to make for this quilt, so it will go on the backburner for now.

Middle: Black White and a splash of bright - my colors for the 3x6 Sampler bee. These I collect for 2 more rounds, so I can just admire them for now.

Bottom Middle: 3 vintage sheet 9 patches for Megsmonkeybeans of Bee Vintage. When you request easy blocks, you get more of them!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mouse Pad Makeover

I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because it's so easy peasy. Seriously, it took me 5 minutes to do, including photography. But if you feel your mouse pad could use some spiffing up, read on.

First, find a mouse pad. This is a freebie from a college visit. Kyle decided not to go to this school, so it's perfect for this project.

Next, find some cute fabric. One that you'll want to see every day, because let's face it, we use our mouse pad a lot! This was in the fabulous sack of scraps my friend Linda sent me. It already has that quilty look I wanted. I'll think of her every time I google! When choosing a fabric, just make sure it's not so light or sheer that the mouse pad will show through.

Break out the spray glue!

Spray well, and smooth out your fabric. Make sure it's stuck down well.

Flip the pad over, and trim off the excess fabric. At this point, you could also fray check the edges if you wish. I didn't. It the fabric gets too tattered, I'll probably just replace it with something new.

Here you go! A made over mouse pad! You're surfing with style now!