quilting, family, life…mostly quilting

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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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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A few weeks ago, as I was enjoying a pedicure, my friend told me about a sweet little 5 month old baby girl that has been in hospital for months.  She has a non-operable, non-malignant tumour in her brain that is affecting her optic nerve among other things.  She will have an arduous journey ahead of her.  I have never met the parents or the little girl but I see her grandma most times at the spa where we both get our services done.   While listening to the story of this little girl, I felt it placed upon my heart to offer a tiny bit of comfort  the only ways I know how.  Make a quilt and say a prayer.

I let it go for a week or so thinking that it would seem strange to the family to receive a quilt from a complete stranger.  I tried to work on other projects in my sewing room but at the oddest moments, I would think of this little girl and her family.  If God wasn’t tapping on my door wanting me to make this quilt, I’m not sure what was going on.  So, I decided I better answer the call.

I rooted through my scrap bin of pink fabrics and pulled together enough baby-girl fabric to make a decent sized quilt.  Finished, it measures 50″x64″.  Other than the Kona Snow used for the sashing and border, the entire quilt is made from scraps.  Even the batting was “frankenstitched” from scraps cut from other projects.

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The backing was a thrift store duvet cover that I recycled and because it was previously loved, it is so soft from many washings.  I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to practice my stippling technique of FMQing.

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I quilted hearts in each square of fabric and double hearts along the border.  The binding was a complete surprise!  I found it in my green scrap bin and it has the perfect shade of pink in it!

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I’m calling this quilt “Happy Hearts” in hopes it brings a bit of happiness to the baby girl and her family.  I pray God’s love is felt each time they wrap her in it.

I’m linking with my Friday Finishes link ups found in my sidebar.

Till next time…

Rita

Craftsy

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This is everything I will need to complete my next customer quilt for my sister-friend in Quebec.  This will be my third quilt made using the Zombie Apocalypse line by Riley Blake.  I love the little zombies in the design!  They are so cute!  I have added a few other fabrics that play well with this line.  The black with white skulls is another Riley Blake fabric called “Geekly Chic”.  And the large white skull fabric is an Alexander Henry fabric called “yorick”.  I believe this quilt will be loved by a teenaged boy, so I’m pretty safe in assuming my fabric choices are going to work out ok.

With all the great weather we’ve been having, my sewing time has taken a hit.  I spent Saturday laying a new walkway and sod to my (day job) office and Sunday was spent recovering from the whole ordeal!

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The garden centre ran out of sod, otherwise, the rest of the lawn would look as nice as the area around the stepping stones.  That’s this weekend’s job along with weeding the beds and mowing the ever-growing grass!  While I love the outdoor work, I don’t love the scheduling stress.  I wish I could pick and choose what I do when, HA!  Don’t we all!

Hopefully I’ll have more quilty bits to share, next time…

Rita

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