quilting, family, life…mostly quilting

Wow!  I can’t believe I have 300 followers on Instagram!  As a very big thank you for your loyal support, I am having my first giveaway!

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One lucky winner will receive this bundle, which includes:

4 fat quarters from Free Spirit (florals)

1 charm pack from Kona (Silent Film Greys – in package)

1 charm pack from Kona (multi solids – previously opened but never used)

1 spool Mako12 50wt Aurifil thread

1 package Jumbo Clover clips

Here’s how you win…

1. Hop over to my Instagram account and follow me @pinprickedfingers

2. Have a look around and “like” 1 of my pictures

3. Tag two friends on my giveaway post (hopefully they will want to join in on the fun!)

4. For an extra chance to win, follow my blog and tell me how you do so.

(sorry, Facebook followers, you will have to pull yourselves away from there and hop onto IG to get in on the action)

Your name will go into a hat (I’m old fashioned) for following on IG and following my blog

that’s 2 chances to win!

I will pick a winner (out of said hat) on (spoiler alert!) my birthday!!!

Saturday, December 6th

at 11:59pm (EST)

Never mind how old I am, just get in on the fun!

I’ll ship anywhere in the world using our wonderful Canada Post system.

(I love my overseas followers, they give me someone to ‘talk’ to in the insomniac hours of the night.)

WIP – Red & Blue Quilt

My latest Work In Progress (WIP) is this red and blue quilt that I’m making for one of my nephews.  Again, if you are reading this, act surprised when you get this quilt!

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I used the last of my navy blue fabric, most of my medium and light blue and all of the red I had in the house for this soon-to-be Queen Sized quilt.  I’m using HST (half-square triangles) which usually go together quickly but for some reason this quilt is taking a bit longer than expected.  Maybe because I’ve changed the layout so many times.  I tried a chevron pattern and a diagonal stripe pattern but it was missing something so I settled on this layout.

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I’m hoping to finish this quilt later next week.  For now, I have to whip up some Christmas themed placemats and napkins that will be auctioned off at a local church charity.  I’m using some of my new fabric that I bought at Creativ Festival in Toronto last weekend.  Isn’t it yummy?  Yes, I know some of it isn’t Christmas-y but I just HAD to have it!  I realized I have a bit of a problem…

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I’ll be linking with my Wednesday and Thursday link ups in my sidebar.

Till next time…

Rita

A fellow quilter and blogger, Quilting in the Rain, that I follow on Instagram had proposed a Quilt-Along (QAL) using the Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) method.  I had been wanting to try this method for quite some time but I was at a loss for which quilt block to use.

This is what I came up with…

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I used a traditional Log Cabin block pattern and pretty much my entire royal blue stash to come up with this quilt (shopping trip in my future to replenish my blues!)

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The QAL was to run 4 weeks, making 5 QAYG blocks each week.  Well, I don’t have restraint of any kind!  I made all 20 blocks in one sitting!  The blocks go together so quickly that I just kept going!  It was a rather methodical, meditative evening and I caught up on a couple of movies on Netflix I had been wanting to watch.

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I played around with a couple of layouts, asking my son and his friend to leave their Xbox game to give me their opinions.  We all voted on this layout.

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Because the quilting is done as you are piecing the block together, it cuts the time in half to finish a quilt.  I think from cutting the fabric to binding the quilt it took a total of 8 hours.  I took breaks in there too!

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The sashing that holds the blocks together is reclaimed sheeting from the thrift store but it matches the lighter blue in the Anna Maria Horner print used for the backing perfectly!  I often worry about mixing fabrics like that (cotton with blends) but so far, I’ve been pretty lucky.  I guess our quilting ancestors didn’t worry about this, they used what they had and were happy for it.

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I’m not totally pleased with the size of the quilt, 52″x65″.  In retrospect, I should have made several more blocks to make it a larger throw size.  As it is, it is a generous lap quilt.  I will eventually make a much larger quilt for this recipient to use on their bed but because Christmas is only 7.5 weeks away, this will do.

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A very big thank you to Jera of Quilting in the Rain for giving me the kick in the pants to try this method and if you are interested in the QAYG method, she has a great book called Quilt As You Go Made Modern available on Amazon.

As usual, I’ll be linking with my Friday Finishes found in my sidebar.

Till next time…

Rita

What!  Two posts in the same week!  I know I need to be more consistent with my blogging but living my life just seems to get in the way of writing about it.  Anyone relate?

Ok, so a while back a sister-friend that lives in Quebec, Canada asked me to replicate my Jeepers Creepers quilt I made for a charity auction.  She was concerned that I may get bored making the same pattern so soon after finishing the other one.  To be truthful, I did get a bit bored with it.  It was the same fabric (now used in 3 quilts) and the same pattern so there wasn’t any of the excited surprise I get as it all comes together.  I think this is the reason it took me so long to complete.

Now without further ado… I present “Zombie Apocalypse 3.0

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The pattern for this (Seville by Cluck Cluck Sew) is for a throw-sized quilt but my friend wanted a Queen so I doubled everything.  I ended up getting a few more blocks than I needed but I’ll use them up on something else in the future.

I wasn’t able to get exactly the same fabrics as the charity quilt but I think the effect is the same.  Actually truth be told, I kind of like the aesthetic of this one even more.  It looks a bit cleaner than the other one.

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I used the Zombie Apocalypse line by Riley Blake fabrics and some other fabrics purchased from Fabric.com on an amazing sale they had!

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I did a spiderweb pattern over the whole quilt using my FMQ foot.  It was a bit of a struggle getting the bulk of the quilt into the throat of my machine, but I managed.

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I pieced the back with all the extra fabrics from the front and I bound it in the same Riley Blake orange eyeballs fabric.  I’m hoping they like the finished product as much as I do!

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Because it took a bit longer to make the quilt than I had hoped, I decided to whip up some placemats and napkins for my sister-friend.  She loves sunflowers (always has) and I found this great large-print sunflower fabric at the LQS.  I fussy-cut some of the larger sunflowers and appliquéd them onto the black background fabric.  I used a thin interfacing to give the placemats a bit more structure and, voila!

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I made a set of four placemats, two pairs with different sunflower appliqués.

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I also made four double-sided napkins that I backed in the black fabric.  I think the black helps to tone down the “kitchy-ness” of the sunflower fabric.  I’m hoping these will be a welcome surprise when she opens the box.  Being as the quilt is for her son, I think she deserves these just for her!

While I was busy sewing, I also whipped up a set of placemats and napkins for the secretary of the church up the street.  She has helped enormously with our Ladies Day Apart, women’s retreat, that we are hosting at the end of the month.  The committee wanted to give her something to say thank you, so I thought this would be a nice useful gift.

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They are very hard to see as they are low volume prints in cream and white.

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I made a set of four placemats and a set of four single sided napkins.

Well, that’s about it for this week.  I’m getting back into my regular routines now so hopefully I’ll be visiting with you again real soon!  I’ll be linking this with my Thursday and Friday link ups found in my sidebar, won’t you go visit them too?

Till next time…

Rita

Last time I teased you with a couple of pictures of my latest finishes.  Now I will let you see them with a bit more detail .

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The first quilt I finished was a birthday gift for my son (way, way back in July!)  He picked the fabrics himself on a trip to the LQS and I had enough of them to make two quilts for him.  I am keeping the other quilt under wraps until later this year as it will be a Christmas gift for him.  This first quilt is a square Queen size but fits his double bed with lots of overhang.  I used the Thangles ruler to make the pinwheel pattern.  I love the pattern the Thangles makes but I’m not in love with all the fabric wastage and the time it takes to piece, cut and piece again.  I will use all the scraps eventually but, some of them were so big, I decided to incorporate them into a pieced backing.

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I quilted it using Wonderfil Tutti Sunflower and I played around with some FMQ.  I used a zig zag pattern in the grey background pinwheels.  It really makes the coloured pinwheels ‘pop’.

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Then I used swirls in the inner border, double free-style circles in the small scrappy border and a kind of flame pattern in the outer border.

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I love how the quilting looks on the back with the multi coloured thread on the black fabric.

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My next finish will be a Christmas gift for my nephew (if you are reading this, act surprised when you get it!).  It is Queen sized but I think he only has a single bed so he will have lots of quilt to wrap himself up in.  I’m hoping this will last him several years, maybe even until he gets his first apartment (?)

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The fabric is a lime green and it really pops against the black (the photos don’t do it justice).  I used a pattern called Queen’s Floor by Happier Than A Bird that I bought on Craftsy.  I changed the layout of the block a bit so the arrows are all pointing in to the centre of the block.  I think it gives a really nice balance to the pattern.

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I FMQ concentric squares in each block to give it a modern feel.  Easier to see on the back of the quilt.

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The back was pieced using a spare block and some of the leftover fabrics.  I bound it in the lime green fabric.

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I’ve got a couple more finishes that I will share later this week.

I will be linking all this frivolous fabric fun with my Thursday & Friday link ups found in my sidebar.   Fewf!  That’s a lot of ‘F’s”

Till next time…

Rita

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school supplies

This is such an emotional time of year for me. I feel the anticipation (and stress) of getting back to a regular schedule and the profound sadness that my son will be gone from home for the bulk of the day. The start of each new school year, for me, is a brutal reminder of how fast time is speeding by. It feels like just yesterday my sweet, pudgy-cheeked little guy was toddling off to Kindergarten. Now he is entering grade 8! His last year as an elementary school student! Wow! Who has the pause button and how do I get them to press it? I have to remind myself how very blessed I am to have such a great kid! He still likes to spend time with his parents and he has yet to challenge us in any real way. I know the teen years are ahead but if the past is any indication, we will have a fairly painless transition to adulthood.

Maybe our summer passed so quickly because of all the wonderful things we did together. We had a very short trip to Las Vegas to see David Copperfield and enjoy the 100+ degree temperatures.  Although Vegas isn’t exactly our first choice and it’s not exactly a mecca for children, we made the best of our few days there. David Copperfield put on a wonderful show! Nevada also gave my husband a destination for one of his long-distance motorcycle rides.

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pool at Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas

My son and I were able to take his best friend on a 5 day camping trip. The weather was ok, the campsite was perfect the memories will be forever.

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campfire

We did some fishing…

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and spent some time at the beach…

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While at home, I decided our basement was due for a face-lift. I replaced all the baseboards, added trim to the wainscotting and painted everything!

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after

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I also tore out the bar that was my makeshift desk area.

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I still need to make a trip to the office supply store to find the perfect desk but, I’m fairly pleased with the results and I’m totally pleased with the fact that I did it all myself!! My husband doesn’t even ask if I need help anymore, he’s available if I need him but he’s learned it’s safer for him to keep his distance, he’s usually the one to get injured when I’m on a roll.

I did managed to fit in a bit of quilting during some of the cooler nights.  I was able to give my son this quilt for his birthday.  It is much loved already, it even went with him to camp!

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I finished this quilt, that will be gifted at Christmas.  Can’t say who it’s for but if they are reading this, they will likely figure it out.

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I am nearly done piecing the top for the Zombie 3.0 commissioned quilt that will make it’s way to Quebec once it’s finished.   I’ll have pics of it when I get ‘er done.  I’ll also post more about each quilt in a few days.

With all the living we have been doing this summer, I have been neglecting my blogging.  I have, however, been able to keep my Instagram account going.  If you’d like to follow along there, you can find me at @pinprickedfingers.  I’ll be having a 300 follower giveaway shortly if you are interested in receiving some quilting accessories.

In the meantime, we will have a new addition to our family…

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one of these cute Portuguese Water Dog puppies will be coming home to us at the end of September!  As you already know, we have an 8yr old PWD and we thought it was time to add another!

September… new beginnings…

I’ll be linking with my Monday link-ups in my sidebar

till next time…

Rita

It’s that time of year again.  Time to thank those folks who teach and guide my son, helping him become the man he’ll be.

My son has 7 teachers in his rotation classes.  At Christmas I made (and blogged about) coffee cozies for each of them and wrapped them around cups filled with goodies.  For the end of the year gift, with time constraints, I decided I would just buy them each a gift.

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I bought these organizers at the dollar store and filled them with office supplies that I figure everyone can use either at work or home.  I know it’s not a ‘crafty’ gift, but I thought I’d post about it in case anyone is needing a neat teacher gift idea.  All that is needed now is a pretty (or masculine) ribbon tied around each of them and off to school they go!

  My son rarely comes home with homework and if he does it’s usually a project that takes a few days to complete.  We all have fun scouring our home (and often my sewing room) for supplies to make things; like a wooden raft, a model of a single cell, a homemade ice box.  I am reliving my childhood through my son and I couldn’t be having a better time of it!

My son’s time management skills are being honed by an amazing woman, his tutor.  We are very fortunate to be able to afford and to have found this wonderful tutor that has helped our son achieve some of the best grades he has ever gotten.  I wanted to show my gratitude in a more personal way.  At Christmas, I made her a pillow.  She says she still uses it even though it has a winter themed fabric.

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I know the colours in her home are very neutral and I wanted to make something that had a classic look.

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I made her a set of four reversible placemats (measuring 17″x21″)

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and a set of four napkins (16″ square).

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I am totally crushing on these!  I wish I had more of that bamboo fabric to make some for myself.  I may need to scour the stores to find some.  I have plenty of the other fabrics, or similar ones in my stash, so another set of these aren’t too far in the future.

I used medium weight interfacing between the two layers of fabric to give the placemats a bit more structure.  The napkins are double-sided as well with the reverse being my go-to neutral, Kona Snow.

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I pre-washed all the fabrics to reduce shrinkage afterward.  Wow!  I need to figure out a better way of doing that!  I trimmed way too much in frayed threads.  I’m thinking maybe putting it all in a pillow case and tying it shut for the next time.

I’m hoping everyone finds these gifts useful and I’m hoping they feel my gratitude for being such great influences on my son.  I’m a believer in “it takes a village”.

Till next time…

Rita

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