Saturday, July 31, 2010

Phinished and photographed

Here it is, the quilt I've been working on lately. I started out with a "Designer Roll" of Erin McMorris fabric (like a Jelly Roll, but not from Moda, so they're not allowed to call it that, I suppose...). I also had some yardage of that lovely tree fabric, but not enough, so I added a couple of other cream fabrics. One of them is showing up as very white in the photos, but the contrast isn't quite that bad in real life. The pattern is from Quilt Sampler Magazine, only I made it a bit smaller.

I used a cheap, textured fleece blanket for the backing. The stripy effect shows through to the front, and I'm not quite sure I like it. I also had a lot of problems when quilting it, with the thread breaking, especially in the border, and I'm told that this often is the case with cheap fleece, so it pays to go for better quality, I suppose. It was a question of using what I could get locally this time, and I loved the colour, so I went with it, in order to get it finished. I made this for my sister who had to have surgery recently (Thankfully everything went well and she's on the mend). It served as a way of keeping my self occupied while worrying about her, and now, finished, it will be a reminder to her that it is OK to slow down and take a nap now and again.

I used the offcut corners from the snowball blocks to make some flying geese and with some borders made from the scraps I had a cushion to go with it as well. These are really fast to make and so easy, I wonder why I don't do it more often. I used a turquoise binding as I was all out of purple, but I think it works OK. It probably helps that it is my favourite colour...
So there it is, a little surprise gift for my sis, with love in every stitch, and I'm ready for my next project: a new bag for myself - because we all know that I need another one, right?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Something's going on...

I've been a lazy blogger lately, while spending time with family and keeping my sewing machine company.. Now for miles of purple binding and I'll have something new to talk about!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet my thread stash

Sew, Mama Sew are inviting us to show off our thread stash, so here goes!
I have been quilting for years, and have amassed a lot of this thread over the years. I mainly use neutrals for piecing (ecru, white, black, grey and tan) and stock up on these whenever I come across a good deal. I still have a lot of hand quilting thread from when I first started out, but rarely use it these days.
For machine quilting I use a lot of rayon, but I buy interesting thread whenever I see something I want to try, so I have sliver thread, metallics, cotton, linen - you name it... I also have a lot of cotton floss ( I used to do a lot of cross-stitch) and sometimes use that or perle cotton for hand quilting and embroidery.

I don't always match the colour perfectly to my projects. For backgrounds and large areas I generally go for matching thread, but if I sew a motif that I want to stand out, I might use a contrasting thread, or if there are lots of colours and I'm doing an allover pattern, I usually go for something that goes with all the colours, maybe some varigated thread. I prefer to use the same colour in the bobbin, but I often choose cotton thread if I'm using rayon for quilting.
I store my thread in these little drawer units from IKEA. They keep it dust free, and if I'm doing some kind of machine embroidery or something which involves a lot of colour changes, I can just pull out a drawer or two and bring them over to my sewing table for a little rummage. I have them sorted by colour and type of thread, so it is relatively easy to remember which drawer to look in.

My floss is stored in precut lengths threaded onto cardboard strips sorted by numbers. I keep them in a storage container (also IKEA) and have room left over for a plastic bag with bits and pieces left over from other projects.

I have some single skeins of silk and linen thread in there as well. These are precut and braided so they don't tangle. It's easy to pull a single thread from the braid when I need it.

For embroidery I also have some of these sweet little tins with magnetic lids. The each hold one ball of perle cotton, and the end can be threaded out through the hole in the lid and onto a needle. The magnet holds the needle in place for whenever I need it.

So there you go - I seem to have lots of thread, but I'm always on the lookout for more - how can you quilt without thread, after all ;-)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New quilt on the go

I have so many ongoing projects that I thought I might just as well start another one... I've had this Design Roll waiting patiently for me to come up with the right pattern for quite a while. It's from the Wildwood Fabric collection by Erin Mc Morris. Luckily I also bought some yardage of her sweet tree fabric from the same line, so I had a bit more to play with.
I bought the latest issue of Quilt Sampler recently, although I had told myself last time that I wouldn't bother with this publication anymore. I've enjoyed this magazine and the "visits" to different quilt shops for years, but I'm not all that happy about the changes in recent issues. There used to be lots more photos from each shop, and I'd spend hours taking in all the details, often getting ideas from colour combinations and quilts on walls just as much as from the featured patterns, but now they point you to their website for more photos. That's all very well, but to me, buying magazines is all about curling up on the sofa or in bed to browse at leisure, and I for one don't bring my computer to bed, so being able to see extra material online just isn't the same. Oh well, enough ranting there. I did find a pattern I liked anyway, so I shouldn't moan so much ;-)
I've managed to stitch all the blocks today in between bursts of housework. So in fact my home is pretty clean and tidy as well, leaving more room for sewing tomorrow - yay!
I wanted a lilac fleece backing for this one, to go with the purple triangles (Kaffe Fassett's Aboriginal Dots),  but couldn't find one in town. A quick online search and I found one shop that just might have what I needed, so I jumped on a bus after work yesterday and went to the mall on the outskirts of our town, rushed across a vast parking lot, took the lift to the right floor, burst into the shop and spotted the blanket I wanted right inside the door, grabbed one, paid hurriedly for it (and it was half price, yay!) and rushed back and caught the same bus back to town. Efficient shopping! :-D

Friday, July 09, 2010


Remember this? Inspired by this I have actually convinced myself to remove that ribbon and have started cutting those strips into pieces. More tomorrow...