Friday, January 19, 2018

Almost done!

I'm finally on the last applique border of Down the Rabbit Hole!




Only about 55 leaves to go...




Many times on quilty Facebook groups the question is asked if one should trim the background away from behind appliqued pieces.

I thought I'd chime in here with what I think. Keep in mind that in the end it's up to you, it's your quilt...to each his own. 

When I have applique in a quilt and I know it's going to be quilted on the longarm, I leave the background intact. There is no reason, in my opinion to snip it away. The added "bulk" is next to nil and the longarm will have no problem whatsoever quilting it. I may trim a bit if there are multiple layers, but I can't say I remember ever doing this. 

On the other hand, when I'm doing a quilt that I know I'll be hand-quilting, such as Down the Rabbit Hole, I will trim the background away....so as to make hand-quilting a little easier.

Here is a bit of applique from this week....



...and here is the back...all trimmed....




I like the small Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Curved Scissors for the trimming. Can you see the little bit of curve? This is to make it easier to trim without snipping into the applique itself. 

I've tried a pair of the scissors with the "duck-bill" look to them and found them awkward to use. 

No affiliation here....just letting you know what I like.

There's also a theory that you should leave the background intact so as to lend stability to the quilt. I tend to think that once the quilt is all quilted it will be pretty stable.

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Is anyone looking for new projects to start on? I'll give you two suggestions (which I first read about over at Kathy's Quilts...I think she and I share the same "Quilt Along Addiction"!).

The first is called It's a "Wild" Life hosted by Sew Incredibly Crazy....just a block per month....do-able, right???

The second is found at From My Carolina Home and is called Square Dance. This is a mystery and offered in many sizes. I am going to pick the table-topper size....just so I can have fun playing along!

Today I am linking with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.



Saturday, January 13, 2018

RSC18 and PEQ MQG

This month the colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is light and medium blue.

As an added bonus, we are offered a quilty project, Squared Away, to do.  

There are sixteen half-square triangles used in this month's block. I happened to come across my stash of Thangles and thought this would be a good opportunity to use them...



I plan on making three blocks each month, and have two done so far...


I like them! Although, I'm not sure I'll continue to use the Thangles. They are a good method, but I can get the same result with the Easy Angle ruler. By using the ruler I skip the step of removing the papers from the Thangles. I'll have a think about it.

Of course, my other project for the RSC18 is to construct three birds per month from the Black Birds pattern designed by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts that I wrote about HERE


Adorable....I think I'll try to get another done this weekend.


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I've also completed Clue #5 for the PEI MQG Mystery quilt....


This step used a nifty trick on trimming the rectangles so that are cut just right...see how the seam doesn't run directly corner-to-corner? There was a suggested video to watch to learn the technique which was a huge help!

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I think I've been holed up too long in the house because of all the crazy weather lately....I feel like an outing today. 

The Ice Wine Festival in Niagara started this week, so we may plan on a nice drive down to our favourite winery, Kacaba Vineyards and Winery, and sample the food/wine pairing. 

It's too easy for me to become a hermit in the Winter.....at least I can take solace in the fact that we'll be looking forward to Spring in two months, right?

I am linking up with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and linking this post to the PEI Mystery Quilt-along post. Also, for the first time, I am linking with Sew Can She for Show Off Saturday.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Leaves, leaves and more leaves

I've been working away at the leaves on the border of Down the Rabbit Hole. Haha, it seems like that is all I post about lately....but I'm still hoping to be finished by the end of the month.

I took the time last night to pin the different components to the design wall. I folded the quilt in quarters just to see how it's going...




I'm pretty sure I appliqued more leaves than what was called for but I really like it to look full!

I'm planning on the rabbits being on the sides of the quilt, not top and bottom....so I will sew those borders on the other way so the rabbits won't be hanging off the side of the bed upside-down.

This morning I couldn't resist taking a break from leaf-sewing to put a few stitches into a new embroidery, Send My Love, which is the i stitch club 2018 offered by Gail Pan. I blame this "start" squarely on Kathy from Kathy's Quilts

I just stitched a little to appease myself since I want to keep on track with my applique.





The weather has been all over the place lately. Be it frigid cold, snow or what-have-you, it's been difficult to push myself out the door at night to go to my run club. 

This week I took advantage of a relatively new indoor walking/running track that was built as part of the new arena in Cayuga. 

Every time I go there it's obvious that this is a good investment for communities. I see young runners, seniors doing some walking, young mothers with babies in strollers...all enjoying the benefits that this offers.

Sometimes I use an app on my phone when I run called Map My Run. It was obvious the other day that this app does not like 
indoor-track exercise...



.....plus, I know darn well that I didn't just run 1.4k!!! So funny!

I am linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday



Thursday, January 11, 2018

TBT - Shadow of the Bear

I have made some blog-friends in the last couple of years....many I have yet to meet in person.

One of these is Sandra who writes Musings of a Menopausal Melon. We should have met this past year at a longarm class being offered down Niagara-way, but that was unfortunately cancelled.

The other day, I read that Sandra is starting a once-a-month linky party called Throwback Thursday. Today is the first installment.

When I read that she was doing this, I was literally within an hour of gifting a quilt to a friend. I think it was "meant to be" that I share a picture of this quilt before it made it's way out the door.




I know that all three pictures are basically showing the same image, but I think it's cute that Minnie and Cooper think the picture-taking is all about them!

This quilt is called Shadow of the Bear...since the bear paws are kind of shadowed. A group of us made these quilts in a workshop given by my friend, Deb Allan, in 2001 (we think). 

I'm pretty sure this was a mystery class. It was a lot of sewing and used up a lot of scraps and is probably one of the nicest mystery quilts I have seen. I hand-quilted it and it is gently used, but still in remarkable shape.

What I love most about this quilt is the staggered nature of the log cabin blocks, which adds so much interest and motion to the quilt.

Looking at the pictures, I'm getting flashbacks on trimming up all of those half-square triangles....there was so much work to this quilt...but worth it!

I hope you can visit with Sandra for Throwback Thursday and show her some quilty-love on starting the new linky party. 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oops...poor little bird!

Sometime in the last year or so I saw Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts speak at Norfolk County Quilters' Guild. She was a lot of fun and her quilts were wonderful to see in person.

I bought three of her patterns that day.

Lately, as part of the PEIMQG Mystery BOM, I won two more of her patterns!

Have I started any?...nope....until this week. 

We've had quite the spell of frigid weather here since Christmas, it's just now warming up a bit now. On the weekend I had a lovely sew day and as part of it I thought I'd try a block from Lorna's Black Birds quilt that you can see HERE. 

I don't know if it's one of the pitfalls of being a seasoned quilter, but I think I tend to gloss over instructions and kind of wing it (pun intended).

So here is my first attempt at a wee birdie...



I didn't clue in right away that the piece on the right should have been sewn on first :/ (although, if I'd paid attention and read the instructions I wouldn't have made this mistake!).

Here is a new and improved version...



....much better and soooo cute!!! He will get his legs at a later date. I will follow the pattern (this time) and do all the legs for all the birds in one step with strip-piecing.

Lorna advises in the pattern to press seams open...which isn't how us seasoned (there's that word again, do I mean old-school?) quilters have been taught to do things....but, boy, doesn't the piece lay nice and flat and show off the points beautifully.....such as where the tail and body meet.

It takes a bit of extra time, but, for this type of piecing, will be worth it in the end.

On Saturday, I decided to take part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, including the suggested pattern Squared Away. 

But then I read a blog post by Linda at the Pieceful Kingdom. What she is doing for RSC18 is blocks from one of Lorna's patterns, Dog Gone Cute, in the suggested colour of the month. You can read about it HERE.

So that is what I'll be doing with my birds this year. I will try to do three per month in the colour of the month :)


I've also been stitching away on lots of leaves on Down the Rabbit Hole...


....so, as of now on January 10th, I'm in pretty good shape to get this done by the end of the month. I can hardly wait to see the whole quilt all sewn together!


I am linking up with Lorna today from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Stitching

So.....after a very long cold snap, supposedly it's getting warmer today....and even more so in the coming week.

Yay!

My internet has been unbearably slow this weekend. Can it be weather related??? That's what I've been wondering. I guess I'll soon find out.

I've been stitching steadily on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt. This morning it's more vine applique....I'm on the final quarter of what is needed. 

This picture shows how things are looking now. The vine in the lower left is what I am working on today....and probably the next two mornings.


Ignore the big pink check-mark....it's not really there! 

Hopefully the next time you see these borders there will be scads (and scads) of leaves appliqued on!

I seem to be on schedule for having this one done by the end of the month. It will seem strange to not have Down the Rabbit Hole to work on anymore since it's been ongoing for a year....But that's ok, it means a new quilt to be started soon!!


I have a big custom job coming up and that is what is hanging on the design wall behind my borders. It helps me come up with ideas if I can "live with" the quilt for a bit.

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for her first edition of Slow Sunday Stitching of 2018.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A good day to sew!

Woohoo!...looks like Blogger has fixed the problem regarding photos being able to be posted....I'm so glad the problem wasn't something on my end. Evidently this affected quite a few bloggers in the last 24 hours or so!

Yesterday I mentioned that I would be taking part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge offered by Angela at SoScrappy. The challenge this year is called Squared Away and you can read more about it HERE.

I think I will make my blocks at the 7.5" size and today I will try to get started. 

It's another frigid day here, -23celcius at the moment, so a perfect day to dabble in my blue fabric bin to get started on this one.

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I seem to have a lot of block-of-the-month type quilts on the go. One is this year's BOM offered by one of my guilds. Here are my blocks so far...


The blocks are large...I think 15"... and fairly quick and easy. I really have no explanation, then, why the block in the lower right of the pic took me three tries!!! 

This is an original quilt designed by TKHarrison from BOMquilts.com.

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I think I have broken my old record on how soon I've purchased fabric in a new year. I went out this week to find the final fabrics that I would need for Down the Rabbit Hole. I fully intended on using Shott (sp?) cottons, but ended up buying Grunge, which is a surprise to me as Grunge fabrics are not my favourite!



......and here's a preview of how this border will look...





To take surprising myself even further....just before Christmas I bought the background for the upcoming BOM offered by Sarah Fielke for 2018, Simple Folk. It's another fabric from the Grunge line!...


....so weird!!!  I'm pretty sure that I'll be going with these fun prints for the applique, but I'm kind of tempted to use Liberty-like prints. We'll see.

I am linking up with Angela at SoScrappy for this year's first edition of RSC18.

Please, stay warm and safe!