Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Unusual quilting tool

I was working on this sweet Pack it In bag when I came to the instruction that said, round off the corners with a 3.5" circle template.    Hmm, I don't have one, that I can remember.   I could not locate my geometry set, or I would have drawn one.   I searched through my cupboards to find just the right size can to round off the corners.   

A can of Pineapple.   A good quilters tool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two more Open Wide bags

My sister was visiting from Nova Scotia over the Thanksgiving weekend.   I had just finished making my first open wide bag and felt the need to make one or two more.    So, we poured through my stash, and we each picked fabrics for bags for ourselves..   I worked on them while house-sitting in Moncton this past weekend.    They're now finished.   Mine is the grey green combo, and my sisters is the burgundy floral combo.  These are pretty simple to make once the pre-quilting is done.  

Do you know what...I still feel the need to make more.   Maybe my girls will each be getting one for Christmas!  And now that I think of it, I do have a baby shower to go to.  This would make a great carry-all for baby things.   Do you have any other suggestions?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Presenting St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt 2017

It's another beautiful day.    The sun is bright and our new grass is so green.    The Ohio Stars quilt is St. Dunstan's Raffle quilt, 2017.   I delivered it to the girls this afternoon and had a cup of tea and cookie with them.      They really liked the harvest color especially since it is fall.    They will hand quilt it over the winter.  Tickets will sell late next spring and summer.  I believe the quilt will be raffled in October of 2017.

This is what happens when the sun is at your back!!
Don't look at the Quilt...
look at the beautiful new green grass.

I always make their bias binding, and
stitch them a label on
my Embroidery machine...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wide Open bag

I was at the Sussex Quilt Show a couple of weeks ago.  I saw the unique Wide Open bag that Gail F. made.   I had seen it on her blog here, but when I saw it in person, I knew I had to make it.   

Well it happens that I just got a package from Pat at Heartfelt Quilt Shop in Florida.  And what was in the package...among many things,  was a kit to make the Open Wide bag.   It's like serendipity.   I love when that happens.  

I really enjoyed the different techniques in making the bag.   I used Annie's Soft and Stable for the first time.  After pre-quilting it with fabric, cut out the pieces and sew them together, add a zip and bind.     The bag is firm and I know it will hold it's shape.     The pattern has three sizes.   Pat sent me a kit to make the medium size, but with the leftovers, I was able to make the small size too.   I found the small size was quite tedious to do.   I'll stick to the medium size. :)     

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Chow Chow Day

I really have to thank Linda at Stitch Lines for her gift of green tomatoes.    The other day she had posted on her blog about her bumper crop of tomatoes.   I wasn't long volunteering to go over to get the rest of the tomatoes.   I showed up early the next morning and Linda and I picked two big shopping bags full and cleaned out her tomato patch..  
Chopped and ready to simmer.
With pretty scraps of fabric I made teabag style
pouches for the pickling spice.  

I haven't made chow chow in a long time, but a quick request to my sister-in-law Shirley, got me her mother's recipe.  It's a family favorite.   The recipe is just precious.    It said, " chop tomatoes and onions until the big blue pot is half full".     The next thing was to add vinegar until you see the vinegar when you tip the pot!  

Well, we got the recipe all figured out and my hubby and I hand chopped the 11 pounds of tomatoes last evening.  We had fun talking about the old days and recipes and all the stuff his mother used to cook.    The recipe said to put a couple of handfuls of salt to the chopped tomatoes, then put a plate on top and let sit over night.  This morning, it was very easy to drain, rinse, then simmer for a couple of hours, then bottle.   The chow chow is made. The house smells delightful.  We tested the chow with some crackers this afternoon.   It's delicious.  

 And I have a nice bottle set aside to deliver to Linda.  She will be able to enjoy it at her Thanksgiving table.  I know she's got lots of company coming.
Next Week, when the rest of the tomatoes ripen, I'll be making a small batch of salsa.   Can't wait..   Many thanks Linda!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Crabapple Jelly

Well, my friend Lee was telling us at coffee this morning about making crabapple jelly.   It was a nice story about a crab apple tree that she admired in her neighbourhood for some time.   She happened to cross paths with the owner of the tree.  After having a nice conversation about the tree, she offered Lee some of the crabapples.   Lee prepared the jelly and said how beautifully clear and pink the jelly was.    It sounded so nice.

That's all I needed to hear..   I've never made it before, but I have been watching a crab apple tree in my secret garden.  The apples are so red this year, they are visible from quite far away.    I couldn't wait to come home and see if I had enough of the little beautiful red apples.    Sure enough, I did.   More than enough.    After a quick trip to the store to buy cheesecloth,  my husband helped me prepare the juice.   A few hours later, and using this Certo recipe, we have 8 beautiful jars of Crabapple Jelly.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt Update - Week 3

The Ohio blocks are a dream to sew.  I just loved making the hour glass blocks.  I got most of the blocks sewn last Tuesday at the Ville.  I finished the last 4 blocks this morning, and gave them a press.    Let's see what they look like.

I've laid out the on-point arrangement.   The eight colors are a depiction of the fall harvest. Purples, orange, greens, yellows and reds.   I've tried to mix up the colors pretty good.   I've taken this photo, and will look at it again tomorrow to look for anything that bugs me.  I find it helps to look at the arrangement through a camera.   Already, I can see a couple of things I will change tomorrow.

Stay tuned next week for another update.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CQA Quilter's Sewing Kit

In the Fall CQA Newsletter, there is a pattern for a Sewing Kit.  It's just darling and so useful.   

I had scraps of fabric in my scrap bag, so I made up a prototype.   It's nice. I love some of the nice thoughtful details.  In particular, the scissor cord end is neatly sewn under the spools of thread.  And when you close the kit up, the spools of thread, and the thimble are off-set with one another to reduce bulk.  The scissors, if small enough can be put in the zipper compartment, or you can store binder clips in it.    Smart thinking...   Thanks CQA.   I'll definitely be making another one or two!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Coat for my Cutter

I made a small project this week.  It was very simple.  A holder for my favorite rotary cutter.   It was quick because I had some already quilted fabric sandwiches laying around.     Why not make a coat for your cutter..   Click here for the free pattern and tutorial.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Presenting my sweet Duffle Bag

While I'm at home and overseeing our landscaping, I dug out a bag of supplies that I brought home from Florida last spring.   It's to make a small duffel bag.  I really was attracted to the colors and the size of the bag.  I put it on my to-do list.    I've been thinking of digging it out for months now.  The directions call for all kinds of stuff that a quilter would not normally have.  I've read through the pattern a few times, but until you actually get started, the directions had very little meaning.  Actually, it all looked a bit scary..

Well, this was the week.   Knowing the landscapers were coming and I would be stuck at home for a few days, I cut out all the parts on Monday.  It seemed like there was 30 pieces of all sizes.   Well, there wasn't that many, but with the different fabrics, piping, interfacing, foam, strapping etc, my brain was mush after cutting everything out.  It was good not to even look at it on Tuesday..    I started it yesterday morning.  I followed the tutorial, step by step.  After re-reading some steps several times, I got the hang of it... The two side pieces done.   I found that I had cut two pieces incorrectly.  It was throwing me off.  I was tired from thinking so much... the sewing part was easy.   I was done for the day.  Way too much thinking..  It would have been easy to put it all back in the bag and finish it later...   haha..

This morning, I looked at it... and loved what I had accomplished yesterday. It was motivation enough to continue.   I worked on the zipper panel and the bottom part.   The zipper was a little tricky.  It was a big zipper... with big zipper teeth.  I just couldn't just sew through that like I usually do with zippers.   I got it done..   With all the components ready,  it all got carefully pinned, and clipped together. The sewing was simple. Although, it was really weird to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.    Yippee, it's done.  I'm so pleased with it.  

I'm glad that I remembered to put my name patch on it.  It's going to hold supplies for when I go teaching.  Probably for a wallet class.   I'll test it out...

The big question is, "will I make another?"   Maybe.   Are you feeling brave?   Want to make one for yourself?  The free pattern and picture tutorial is here at Sew4Home..  

Drawing the Line

Before going to my Sew Tuesday group this week, I decided to draw my diagonal line on my 48 white blocks. These will be for my 96 hour glass blocks for the Ohio Stars.   I came across this post. (Wait. I can't find the YouTube, but I will continue to look for it).

The suggestion offers a slightly more efficient way of handling the drawing of the diagonal lines.

Take a piece of fine sandpaper, tape it to your desk.   Use this as your work surface to draw the diagonal line.  It stays in position nicely and helps the pencil marks adhere...  I did like the technique.

Then I was nicely working away at my diagonal lines and down to the last dozen to mark, and it dawned on me to put two of my squares on the sandpaper at the same time.   It was slightly more efficient and I wish I had thought of it earlier... 

The good news is, Tuesday has come and gone, and all the hour glass blocks are done.   This week, when I have 10 minutes at a time, I will trim these up to 4.5".   Next Tuesday, I should be able to sew up the 28 blocks.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Getting Ready for Sew Tuesdays this Fall

I'm so looking forward to Tuesdays this fall.      We've started a group of Tuesday Sewers at the Ville.   It's a very nice way to get work done on your projects and have a some social time too.

Last Tuesday, I worked on a few different things. One of the things that I'm most happy that I got done, was 32 hourglass patches.   See these are the first ones that will go into the St. Dunstan's raffle quilt.      They are sitting next to my sewing machine and sometime that I have half an hour this weekend, they will get sewn up.   

And again, this week, I'm preparing for the Tuesday sewing by pre-cutting pieces for the rest of St. Dunstan's Ohio Stars quilt.   I have blocks cut to make 24 blocks.   Wouldn't that be awesome if I got all the hour glasses done.   So that's a total of 96 hourglasses.    Well, might be a stretch to get done, but we'll see.

Time is slipping by, and I really want to give this to the St. Dunstan Quilters by the end of October.   With my new found Tuesday time, it will be no problem at all. 

One thing that I realized last week, which was the first Tuesday of sewing, is that I should only bring a couple of projects to work on.  To have a little break from the hourglass blocks this Tuesday, I will bring another small  project to work on.  I'll show you next Tuesday.

Sew, what are you doing on Tuesday's this fall?.   Want to join us?... There are a couple of spaces left.  Contact me and I'll give you details.