One of the drawbacks of last summer’s move was moving further away from my husband’s family. Being a plane-ride away from my own family, and being blessed with such wonderful in-laws, it was definitely a draw-back to move an additional half-hour away. However, I think we have seen them more this winter than last and it has been wonderful!
With projects to do around both of our houses, my husband declared every other Saturday as “family work day.” We spend one Saturday a month together at our house, and one Saturday a month together at theirs. Father and son use the time to help each other with projects around the house (and for that I am so thankful) and we women have been making our way through our piles of crafty projects!
There is something really special about the time women spend together creating. I love hearing the sound of knitting needles clacking, of sewing machines humming, and I have certainly benefited from my mother-in-law’s help and wisdom. Sometimes we chat, sometimes we listen to music, sometimes we watch movies, and other times we just sit in the quiet, absorbed in our projects. And there is something in me that thinks “this is the way life is supposed to be.”
Now that my sweater is complete, I have moved on to spending those Saturdays working through some of my sewing UFOs. And with that purpose in mind I rediscovered, and finished, this quilt.
And although I do love the front, it is the back that I am particularly enamoured with.
Isn’t it awesome? And it is just as soft and smooth and satiny as it looks. This was a true treasure out of my grandmother’s fabric collection, and along with many of the fabrics I used for the top, probably purchased 40 – 50 years ago. Sometimes I like to imagine what my grandmother had intended with her purchases. This is a wildly beautiful print! But I am kind of glad she never worked it into one of her own sewing projects, because it looks right at home here on this quilt.
So this is how I have been spending the cold winter days (which stubbornly refuse to turn into spring.) Quilting. Sewing. Knitting. Thinking about my grandmother. Creating quilts and sweaters and memories woven together.
Do you craft together with others? What are your favourite winter-day projects?Read More
After a not-so-stellar rate of finishing my UFOs last quarter, I am determined to get more done in the next three months. In fact, I have promised myself that I will not purchase fabrics for new projects until I finish the old! (Except for shop items, of course.)
It seems to me that UFOs must multiply in the dark corners of my sewing room, as my pile of projects to choose from seems a lot bigger than I remember! Oh, well. It’s always nice to have choices, right?
This quarter I am going to finish:
The Blue Triangle Quilt. I started this years ago. It took me over a year to piece the top. Then I added borders, then I took off the borders, and now it has sat for another year. The binding and backing are already pieced and ready to go. I’m hoping the new border fabric I chose works out this time!
My Hippie Quilt! I couldn’t resist the peace, love, happiness fabric panel, and decided to make it into a quilt by framing it with my grandmother’s vintage fabrics (along with a few others I had on hand.) And I have visions of backing it in a silky 70s polyester. Completely untraditional, I know, we’ll see what happens when the time comes.
Blue and Brown strip quilt. I bought these fabrics on vacation last summer and couldn’t wait to sew them into my first strip quilt! I got as far as cutting the strips. I’m excited to finish this one!
This last one is a holdover from the first quarter. I am hoping to finish the hand-quilting this quarter so I can bind it and call it done. I am still in love with the fact that this quilt is a joint project between my grandmother’s blocks and my own. It’s definitely a keeper when it’s finished!
It seems I have a lot of sewing to do! :) You can see what everyone else is sewing on the Finish-A-Long page.Read More
At the moment I have a few too many quilts laying half-finished on my sewing room floor. And a backlog of other projects that were put on hold during the back-to-school, harvest-the-garden rush. But now that things are back to normal their usual level of craziness, I have found a few minutes here and there to finish one of the quilts.
I cut the little 3-inch squares from scraps every time I make a flannel project and then when I have a big enough stack I turn them into a quilt. This is the first time I have used large squares along with the smaller ones and I like the way it looks.
It is quilted with a wavy free-motion stitch in purple thread! I don’t usually like to use colours that really stand out, but I am getting more confident with my quilting and I love the way the purple blends with all of the colours.
The binding is, of course, hand-stitched to the back. Each time I am sitting for hours with needle and thread I start to wonder just how bad a machine-stitched edge would be??? But I persevere, and in the end I know that this last finishing touch is worth all of the time it takes. And my grandmother would be proud.Read More
I was featured on the Sew Fun blog today! Eek! You can check it out here. And while you are there, be sure to check out the great Sew Fun patterns. I have sewn them all and highly recommend them. The directions are easy to follow and I have always been more than happy with the finished product (and been given many compliments when I present them as gifts.)
Have a great long week-end!Read More
My charm square quilt is finally finished!
Of course, I had to make a trip to the fabric store before I could complete it because despite my large stash of fabric I had nothing suitable for the back and binding. In the end I really love the way the dark teal sets off all of the other colours. And the back is a snazzy blue with gold dots (with a really nice sheen.)
I am enjoying free-motion quilting more and more. It certainly gets easier with each quilt. Machingers (quilting gloves), a quilting table and a darning foot have all made it so much easier. Someday I might even work up the nerve to try a real “pattern!” This time I just created some nice lazy loops all over.
I realize that these pictures aren’t the best. If I still had the quilt with me I’d retake them, but this quilt is now for sale at a local store – eek! I can’t believe that after thinking about it for a couple of years I am now truly selling my sewing (outside of custom orders, that is.) I hope there are people out there who enjoy buying quilts and pillows as much as I like making them!Read More
Yesterday I finished my very first charm square quilt. The fabric is Oddysea by Moda and I am in love with the rich colours and the fish blocks scattered throughout. The pattern was made by creating 9-patch squares and then cutting them in half in both directions. Putting the pieces together after that was a bit like putting a puzzle together – only because I was determined to have all the fish swimming to the sides and all the shells facing the same way. (a random quilter I am not….someday I should try to put the blocks just wherever they end up…it would be a good exercise for me in letting go…)
Working with charm squares was fun in that it eliminated one cutting step. However, I was disappointed to find that all of the charm squares were not cut to the exact same size, which did cause problems later on in piecing the quilt. What I really should have done was re-cut them all to the same size before I began…. but it seemed silly when the reason I bought charm squares was so I wouldn’t have to do more cutting?! I’m not sure that I would work with charm squares again, unless I cut them myself!
I really like the finished top and can’t wait to quilt it and bind it.
There is a local shop that sells handmade items that has agreed to take some of my quilts. This will be one of the first ones that I sell. I am both excited and scared about that prospect! I have so many ideas of quilts I want to make (and three in progress!) so it will be great to know what to do with them when I am done…but eek! What if no-one likes them?? The jitters of a new adventure…..Read More