Tuesday, February 28, 2012

60 Degree Star Quilt

Posting has been pretty much neglected lately due to the fact that I'm just chugging away here in the studio with not much being finished.  Unless you want to see piles of half squares for the new quilt, there isn't much to show.  EXCEPT!!!!
My 60 Degree Star is back from being machine quilted by Karen Cole.  I hope you can see the lovely quilting she put on this quilt.  I'm just finishing up stitching on the binding but couldn't wait to share this one with you.  Those star diamonds are one inch finished and the quilt is queen sized.  It was a joy to make although had it did provide a few challenges along the way.  The palette was chosen from one of my favourite artist's (Normande Boisvert) paintings.  You may remember this post made long ago....

The photo is a painting entitled "Lumiere a la Riviere St-Maurice" by one of my favourite artists, Normand Boisvert.  Normand Boisvert is a French Canadian painter living in Quebec who is known for his landscape paintings.  The colours aren't showing well in the photo of this painting but the palette photo is better for colour.  The trees in the painting are all done in shades of teal.

This method of choosing palettes is called doing a "colour study".  The workshop I teach to learn this method of dealing with colour and fabric is called "Colour Studies for Stash Quilters".  It's designed to teach people to co-ordinate and use fabrics from their stashes rather than always running out to buy new fabric for every project.  I'll be teaching that workshop at Quilt Canada in Halifax at the end of May.

This 60 Degree Diamond quilt will be taught in two one-day sessions at my home classroom this Fall.  If you are interested, please just leave a comment or email to be contacted when the dates are chosen.

I'm looking for 3 more students for the Irish Courthouses two-day workshop to be held on Saturdays, April 7 and May 12 from 10-4 this Spring.  Cost is $60.00  Here's the Irish Courthouse Queen Size quilt.
Since were on the topic of workshops being taught here at my home classroom......I have 3 more openings for my Learn to Machine Quilt workshop on April 10th.  $40.00 is the fee.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rosa Gets Her Quilt

At long last I was germ-free enough to go to the nursing home and deliver Rosa's quilt.  Rosa and I have been working on this quilt for nearly a year and she will finally be able to sleep under it.  She was thrilled and wanted everyone to see her work.  It was wonderful to see how proud she was to show off the quilt to everyone who came by.  She was getting teary and I was trying very hard not to lose control.  It was a beautiful moment indeed.
Enjoy your quilt, Rosa.  You worked hard and deserve the comfort it will bring you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jester's Diamond workshops in Exeter

Friday and Saturday found me sharing my Jester's Diamond workshop with students at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter.  We had a great two days learning to master the cutting and assembly of 60 degree diamonds.  Two rulers made the job much easier; Creative Grid 8" 60 degree triangle and Fons and Porter's 6 1/2" diamond ruler.  With those two rulers you can make any and all 60 degree quilts.
Here is Friday's group busy making their diamond blocks:

Helen, who was in Friday's group had also made an Orca Bay Mystery Quilt from Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville) website.  It's amazing how different our quilts look by just changing the colour selection!
Well done, Helen!!

Saturday's group had Mary, Marg, Margaret, Mary-Margaret, Mary Anne and.......Jamie.  We all had a good laugh at the group of people with such similar names.  I once taught a class with 4 Cathy's and 4 Debbie's in it but this was even better, I think.  Anyway..........all the M's and one J worked very hard on their blocks and learned to use the new rulers.  A fun day for everyone.

Marg brought in her Double Diamond quilt from our last workshop together.  Lovely!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hello again!

You've probably been wondering if I fell off the ends of the earth by now.  Nope.......that "sniffle" turned into a very nasty cold that kept me down for awhile.
I have managed to get some quilting done in between naps and Kleenex runs.
The Orca Bay Mystery quilt is now quilted.  I used King Tut thread again with black cotton on the bottom. The pattern is free-motion swirls.  The top is so busy that I really didn't need anything fancy in the quilting. I chose the turquoise/blue variegated thread to bring more blue into the quilt.

The lap quilt that I made at the Cherished Pieces retreat is also quilted.  I used green on the top and yellow on the bottom while quilting a ribbon design.  I like this design on more feminine quilts.  This design can be done using the walking foot so it's a little easier on the body to quilt it.

I cooked my first whole chicken in the crockpot this week.  A great success!!  The recipe and photos are on my recipe section of this blog.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday's progress

We have had the most beautiful weather here today.  Bright blue skies and above average temperatures (6C) and no snow in the forecast.  Last year we were deep in snow with storms and closures.  Crazy weather but I prefer this year's.  Unfortunately, I'm suffering with the February sniffles........this too shall pass.
Today I finished putting the binding on Rosa's quilt.  I've been volunteering at my Mom's nursing home with string quilting.  As a group, we made a string quilt and donated it to Quilts of Valour.  Rosa took to quilting like a duck to water so I gave her a box of my scraps and this is the result.
I put the borders on, quilted it and put the binding on.  Rosa made the blocks by sewing to a foundation cut from telephone book pages.  I would pin the fabrics and Rosa would sew the blocks.  We were quite the team!  We've been working on this quilt for almost a year.  I'll bring it to her tomorrow and then she can have it on her bed.  The quilting is stippling with King Tut thread #969 in a variegated lime green/yellow combination that tied in the border quite nicely, I think.  I chose to stipple it it reinforce some of the weaker seams and to make it sturdy enough to withstand the industrial washing machines at the nursing home.

Here's a photo of the quilt top I made at the Cherished Pieces Retreat.  The whole thing was pieced at the retreat but I had the Bali Pop fabrics cut ahead of time.  Hubby gave me the Bali Pop for Christmas so this was a nice way to use it. This quilt was fun and easy to make and I had enough ends of the 2 1/2" strips to make a crib quilt.  It's not finished yet........  Hopefully I'll get this quilt quilted this week but I'm working on quilting the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt first.........Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vice President's Day at Oxford Quilters Guild

Every year at my home guild, the Oxford Quilters Guild in Ingersoll, we have a fundraising event called Vice President's Day.  The VP comes up with a quilt design that members can make on the VP Day the first Saturday in February.  Members pay $15.00 to come to the day and get the pattern to work on.  Some members just come and work on their own projects too.
There is a potluck lunch at noon with tea and coffee and treats available all day long.
I think there were 35 of us yesterday and enough food to feed at least twice that many.

We filled the quilting room and the painters room with quilters.  The sounds of sewing machines, chatter and laughter could be heard all day.  A good time was had by all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My NEW Sewing Machine - Juki HZL- F600

I have a brand new sewing machine to play with.  My friend and fellow quilting instructor, Anita of Cottonmill Threadworks, allowed me to stay with her a couple of nights last month while I was working with the Hamilton Guild.  She had a new Juki HZL-F600 and let me play with it.  So........that's why I now have purchased the same machine.
I picked it up in Guelph from The Sewing Machine Doctor on Wednesday and have been busy since getting to know the machine and doing the "Stitch Outs" that Anita recommends doing.  Stitch outs are just taking an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of light fabric and backing it with stabilizer to test all of the stitches on the machine.  Mine took 11 pages.  The stitches are lovely and well balanced.  They look so much better in thread than as images in the instruction book.  Here are my stitch outs....

The new Juki has great lighting with two LED lights.  The older I get, the more light I need.  My other machine has one of those bendable lights but this one won't need that.  The machine came with all of the quilting feet, knee lift and an extension table too.  One of my favourite features is the needle threader.  You just push down the lever on the side of the machine and your needle is threaded!!  I have never seen one like it on any other machine.  Thread can be cut by pushing the scissor button on the front of the machine or by tapping the bottom half of the foot control.

Another thing that I'm very impressed with is the instruction manual.  The manual is just in English and all parts are relevant to the machine I purchased.  The diagrams are large and the instructions very clear.  One of my other machines I had years ago had a manual that covered 8 different machines in four languages!
You've probably gathered by now that I'm very pleased with this new machine.  My main machine will still be my Juki 98 for piecing and quilting but the F600 will be great for machine appliqué, blanket stitch and the decorative stitches on my art and baby quilts.
You don't hear much about Juki sewing machines but I really feel they are excellent value for exceptional machines.  For years Juki just made industrial machines but are now providing machines for the domestic market.

Someone's watching us!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cherished Pieces Quilt Retreat

I'm back from attending the Cherished Pieces Quilt Shop retreat held at Elmhurst Inn in Ingersoll.
We arrived on Sunday at 1:00 and left on Tuesday at 3:00.
The quilters had the Carriage House for the sewing area with plenty of space, lighting and electricity.  It was very comfortable for all 21 of us.  Here's a photo taken from the upstairs loft.
The food was very good.  It's the first retreat I've been to as a participant rather than a teacher where you have white table linens etc. at every meal with chef prepared food.  The staff was very friendly and professional too.
Here are some photos of my room taken on my iPhone.  Sorry, I didn't make the bed before I took the photos but you get an idea of how lovely the accommodations are.  Word to the wise though, take a quilt along as those duvets are just too hot.  Everyone said the same thing so it wasn't just my hot flashes!

This is the view first thing in the morning from the window in my room.  So peaceful!!

We all managed to get lots of projects finished.  Cynthia, the shop owner, supplied us with a very cute Valentine's Day table topper kit when we arrived.  Later we were all given a fantastic goodie bag with some Best Press, a pincushion kit, pressing sheet, and many other lovely things.  The next day we all were given some batiks and half-square paper to make half square triangles with.  Once the squares were completed, we put them into a basket and drew a name to win all of the completed squares.  The lucky winner was not me but I was okay with that.
Judy's quilt

Maggie's Spider Web.
We all had a wonderful time and are looking forward to going back.