What I’m Working On

I’ve had the blessed pleasure of getting to spend a bunch of time at my sewing machine lately and this is what I’ve come up with.  Just quilt tops but at least I’m MAKING!

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Grant Park Charm Packs

I had some long-hoarded ‘Grant Park’ Charm Packs that I needed the right pattern for.  So, I decided to do a variation on a simple Four-Patch block with another Four-Patch setting block.  After adding the borders, I’m in love with it!  Classic beauty.

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Parson Gray Jelly Roll

The Parson Gray Jelly Roll was just screaming to be made into the “Jelly Roll Race II” by Missouri Star Quilt Co.  I ended up adding a bit of white on the sides and more 2.5″ strips to the top and bottom to make it larger.  This one will be gifted away.

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Acreage Charm Packs

The ‘Acreage’ Charm Pack was supposed to be a show sample but I sold out of the fabric long before I could finish the quilt.  C’est la vie, good for me!  This quilt will likely go into the “Christmas Giving” pile.

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Hello Love Layer Cake

This ‘Hello Love’ Layer Cake quilt will make the rounds at shows until I sell out of the Layer Cakes but once that happens, it’s into the “Christmas Giving” pile as well.

I’ve also whipped up this sweet playmat by designer Susybee (she’s Canadian by the way).
This is a show sample that has make it to a couple of shows already and the reaction is great!  People love how the momma and baby penguin pop up (almost 3D) because of the extra layers of batting and the heavy quilting around them.  I had so much fun quilting this one.  It was the first time I did swirls that close together as a filler.
I think I may have to use that for more quilts!
I don’t usually do that heavy of quilting either but for this project, it was perfect!

I’d love to see what you’re working on!
Till next time…
Rita

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QuiltX

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 10.32.25 AMI haven’t been sharing a lot of progress with you lately because I’ve been working on a secret project for QuiltX.  QuiltX is a quilt show with a twist… the show features one designer (this year it’s Border Creek Station) unveiling a new pattern that the vendors all create something from.  It’s fascinating to see the different interpretations of the same pattern.

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Last year, I ended up making two quilts (a throw and a baby quilt) that I just didn’t love.  I’m not sure why my creative mojo wasn’t in tune last year but this time ’round, I think I nailed it!  Oh, I wish I could share it with you… the suspense is killing me.

I have a wedding coming up later this year and I knew I wanted to make something simple and modern.  The pattern we were given is rather traditional but I knew that wouldn’t do for this young couple.  The design uses a traditional Churn Dash block with alternating setting blocks.  While I used both blocks, I didn’t exactly follow directions
(not surprised? I didn’t think so) I’ll be sharing my version with you here next week.

If you can’t wait that long and you’ll be in the St. Marys, ON area, come see me (and my quilt) at the Pyramid Rec. Centre.

Till next time…
Rita

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Why We Do The Things We Do

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to write this post, maybe because I’ve been trying to figure out how to put into words what’s been rattling around in my brain.  So, here goes…  Why, as quilters (and crafters in general), we do the things we do.

I’ve thought about the WHY behind many of my actions lately.
Why did I say yes to making that anniversary quilt with only 3 days to make it; start to finish, with many other projects on my “must-do” list?
Why did I give away that gorgeous fabric that I had been saving for that… (unknown) project that I’ve been meaning to get done?
Why did I spend all day talking to my girlfriend about fabric instead of actually making something with it?

The best (and only) reason I can come up with is… LOVE!

I give my time, my fabric, my creations and more of my time to people because I love them.  I love the good works they do, I love that they love their families enough to want to give them my quilts, I love sharing the love of fabric.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a connection to an amazing lady.  This lady gives in all the ways above (and more) to make quilts for Haiti.  That forgotten country (except when the earth quakes or the hurricanes roar) that we visit-adjacent when we go on our winter holidays.  This lady… Audrey, makes 100’s of quilts, by herself and sends them down with whomever will carry them in their luggage.  She spends coutless hours piecing, basting and quilting (BY HAND) each quilt!
Some are tied comforters, so I guess that’s a bit easier.  LOL!

I want to be like her some day.
I want to have the time (I certainly have the fabric) to make quilt after quilt for those I love and those I’ve never met.  I want to give wholly from my heart just like she does.

My family would disagree with this post, saying I give lots of quilts away, and I do.  I just don’t give enough away.  I don’t make enough to give.  Oh the plight of the maker… not enough hours in a day to make and make some more.

I’m betting you are just like me, feeling these same feelings and wishing for more hours to spread your love to others.  That my friend, is why I like you so much!  We are kindred spirits, you and I.  So, let’s stop this nonsense of reading and writing words down on a screen, and get to our sewing machines, glue guns, yarn and paper to make!

Thanks for letting me rant on this.
I’d love to know what you’re working on right now to spread your love.

Till next time…
Rita

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Lipstick on a Pig

Some of you may remember that my husband enjoys taking extended motorcycle trips and in his absence I like to tackle a major project.
It’s kind of like that old television show “While You Were Out”.

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I do this for two reasons…
1.) My husband can NOT handle the chaos that accompanies any kind of home renovation, no matter how small, so it’s best to do things when he’s not around.
2.) When at least one person is gone from this house, I can get so much more done.  Dinners, clean up and bedtimes (mostly mine) are more relaxed.

This time ’round I decided to paint my kitchen cupboards.
Meet the “pig”

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We’ve lived in this house for 18 years and the kitchen was supposed to be the first room to renovate.  Well, as you might expect, other; more pressing items made their way onto the home-repair list.
(darn roof, windows and furnace 😤)

I have hated the cupboards every day of those 18 years.
It’s a bit hard to see in the photos but, they are solid oak, custom made, 1970’s panelled cupboards.  Panelled, as in… someone made these cupboards by gluing together strips of wood to make each door.  There are grooves and ridges that are similar to trim moulding.  Kinda cool in 1970, kinda ugly in 2017.
Regardless, someone spent a lot of time and effort to make these cupboards,
so sturdy they are!  Pretty, they are not!
I’ve thought of replacing the doors with ready-to-go ones from Home Depot.  Nope, these are custom made… every door and drawer are a different size/shape…really.
I’ve thought of having the doors planed flat in a wood planer.  Nope, the finger hole has an extra ridge that sticks out… they’d likely shatter in the planer, so I’ve been told.
I’ve even thought of removing them and living with no doors at all, but let’s face it, I’m way too much of a slob to live like that!
(There’s a reason I crop my photos before I post them.) 
So, after years of protest from my husband,
(he hates the thought of painting wood)

I finally decided to surprise him with a kitchen facelift.

Now… the “lipstick”

First steps were to wash the grunge off with TSP, rinse and prime using STIX Primer.
I then painted two coats (letting each coat dry overnight) with Advance Interior Semi-Gloss paint (Oxford White CC-30) by Benjamin Moore.  I love this paint for doors, trim and now, cupboards!  After it cures, it’s almost like that melamine paint we used to be able to get.  Being latex, the clean up is so much better though!
The backsplash is tile so I treated it to all the same steps as the cupboards.
I used Kendall Charcoal – HC 166.
The walls were painted Revere Pewter HC-172 to freshen them up.

After the cupboards and walls were done, the floor looked disgusting!

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I have very good quality, white linoleum on my kitchen floor.  I actually like the floor, it’s simple; it’s in great shape and it’s easy to keep clean.  These floors are washed every week and waxed every month or two but the buildup was getting nasty!
Some of the TSP dripped onto the floor while cleaning the cupboards so I noticed what the floor was supposed to look like…nice.  So, I spent a day stripping the waxy buildup using good ol’ TSP and a paint scraper.

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Painstaking work, but in the end, it was so worth it!

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I used an industrial floor wax (same stuff the schools use) to finish it and now they look brand new!  My floors look almost wet with the high gloss finish… the dogs had to sniff-test them before walking on them…LOL!

Hubby came home (literally as I finished moving the furniture back in place) and the verdict… “looks great”!  If any of you know my husband, the adverb “great” rarely makes an appearance in his vocabulary.

This was my anniversary gift to him (but mostly to myself).  We made it to the 20 year mark while he was away.  Now there’s a bottle of Proseco chilling in the fridge that we’ll enjoy tomorrow.  I’m also going to enjoy baking my son’s birthday cake in my “new” kitchen tomorrow!  It may not be a Better Homes and Gardens kitchen but there’s a lot of love that is shared in these four walls… just the way I like it.

Now that the kitchen is updated, I’ll be escaping the summer heat
and heading to my studio to get some of those quilty “makes” off of my “to do” list.

I’ll be happy to share them when I get them done.

Till next time…
Rita

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52Quilters!

Hello my lovelies!
I’ve got a very busy week ahead of me and I would love for you to join me in person or via social media….

I will be the driver of the bus (trying not to crash and burn) for the week on
@52Quilters over on Instagram and @52quilters on Twitter.
I’ll be blogging
(yeah, really!)
on the 52Quilters blog and cross-posting to all of my own social media platforms as well.
(Wish me luck on all this clicking, pasting and sharing!)

Oh, did I forget to introduce myself?  Silly me!
I’m Rita… owner of Fabric Please! YOUR online fabric store.
If you want to learn about my journey as an online store owner, head over to my About page on my website.  You can sign up for my Newsletter if you want to get in on some sweet sales, giveaways or news about all the fabulous products I have.  Sometimes, I even share my “makes” to give you ideas of what you can create.  If you would like to learn about my life before I became an e-commerce neophyte, head over to my (sadly forgotten) personal blog Pin Pricked Fingers.  Otherwise, if you just want to hitch a ride with me until the next stop… I’d love for you to come along!

This is the perfect week for me to share!  I’ll be heading to Quilt Canada (Canada’s version of Quilt Con) for the week and you will get a sneak peek of life “behind the scenes”.   I’m a vendor in the merchant mall (peddling my wares) so you’ll be able to see the show from that perspective.
I have my trailer all loaded up and ready to roll!

Set up starts bright and early Tuesday morning and hopefully I’ll get a chance to share a few pics of the chaos of ‘trade-show life’.  During the week, I’ll share pictures of some of the gorgeous quilts entered into the juried show.  I’ll share pics of quilts for Canada’s Big Quilt Bee, a country-wide initiative to make quilts for kids staying in Ronald McDonald houses while in hospital.  There will be quilters donating their time and materials at the show to finish up the last few (hundred) donation quilts.  The goal was to make 1000 quilts but I know we’ve surpassed that… I’ll try to get a final number for you during the week.

While I’m away at Quilt Canada, I won’t be able to fulfill my online orders until June 20th
but as a little treat for my 52Quilters followers, I’m offering 20% off storewide
for orders placed between June 12-June 18.
You can use coupon code:  52QUILTERS at the checkout. 
(offer not valid for Monthly Subscriptions or Gift Cards)

Thank you so much for coming along with me this week!  I hope you enjoy the ride!

Till next time…
Rita

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I’m Published!

A while back, I wrote up a tutorial for pillow shams that match this quilt.

Ellis Quilt in the garden

You can read the full tutorial here.

Ellis Quilt - Shams

Next week, you will see the tutorial in the Winter 2016 edition of

Canadian Quilter’s Magazine!

Can you believe it?  My first tutorial and it’s published!  How in the world did that happen?

The quilt has been delivered to it’s forever-home at the Rock Mills Schoolhouse and I must say, the setting is perfect for a traditional quilt like this!

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Many thanks, to Canadian Quilter’s Association (and Marcy Horswill in particular) for giving me this amazing opportunity!

Till next time…

Rita

Posted in 2016 Finishes, blogging, FMQ, personal post, Pillows, Published Works, quilting | 4 Comments

My First Tutorial

Remember this quilt…?

Ellis Quilt in the garden

I’ve decided to write a tutorial for Double Irish Chain pillow shams that match this quilt.

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(full disclosure:  this will be a lengthy post, so stop now if you don’t want to invest too much time)

I started with a traditional block (found at http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com

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To figure out the math, I first determined the size of the quilt to be made.

Originally, I made a king-sized quilt.  I wanted each block to be approx. 10” square (any smaller and the scale would have been too small for the size of quilt).  With a layout of 11 x 12 blocks, I would need to make a total 110 blocks.  That would have me making 55 of each block.

For the sake of this tutorial, I have made matching pillow shams to go with the quilt.  I used the same size blocks and the same fabrics.  You can easily make your project larger by multiplying the blocks.

Step 1:  Design the Block: 

I sketched out the design on graph paper to get a sense of the scale of the pieces in each block.

For block 1 (grid block):  I would need each square to finish at 2”, multiply by 5 to get the full 10” block to give me a total of 25 @ 2” squares.  In order to get a finished 2” square, I would need to cut my strips at 2.5” to account for the seam allowances.

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For block 2 (background block): to finish at 10”, I needed a 6” (finished) square as the centre of the block with 2” border/accent strips.  To get these finished sizes, I needed to cut a 6.5” square for the centre.  The border would be a sub cut of 2.5” strips (explained below).

Fabric Requirements:

5” x wof – accent (red-orange) fabric

7.5″ x wof – accent (yellow) fabric

1/2 yard – various shades of red fabric

6.5 yards – white fabric

1 yard – batting (2 pieces @ 35” x 22”)

Step 2:  Cutting the fabric:

For both blocks:

Cut 2 @ 2.5” strips from red-orange fabric

Cut 6 @ 2.5” strips from various shades of red fabric

Cut 3 @ 2.5″ strips from yellow fabric

Cut 2 @ 2.5” strips from white fabric

Cut 2 @ 6.5” strips from white fabric

For Pillow Border:

Cut 8 @ 2.5” squares from red-orange fabric (sub-cut from 2.5” strip leftovers)

Cut 4 @ 4” x 34” strips from white fabric

For Pillow Top Backing:

Cut 2 @ 36” x 22” from white fabric (this will not be seen on the outside of the pillow, so any fabric will do – this is a good way to use up old sheets/pillow cases that are no longer useable)

For Ruffles:

Cut 15 @ 5.5” strips from the white fabric

For Envelope Enclosure Backing:

Cut 4 @ 34” x 22” from white fabric

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Step 3:  Sew the strips together:

For Grid Block:

  1. line up the strips in order of sewing:  red-orange / red / white / red / red-orange
  2. sew these strips together
  3. press seams all the same way
  4. line up next set of strips in order of sewing:  red / yellow / red / yellow / red
  5. sew these strips together
  6. press seams all the same way
  7. line up next set of strips in order of sewing: white / red / yellow / red / white
  8. sew these strips together
  9. press seams all the same way

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For Background Block:

  1. sew a red strip to both sides of one of the 6.5” white strips
  2. you will be left with one 6.5” strip of white fabric
  3. press seams to the dark side

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Step 4:  Sub-Cutting the Strips:

For Grid Block:

Sub-Cut each set of strips into 2.5” strips

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For Background Block:

Sub-Cut the red-white set into 2.5” strips

Sub-Cut the 6.5” white strip into two 6.5” squares and four 2.5” x 6.5” pieces

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Step 5:  Layout the Blocks:

For Grid Block:

Layout the strips into the block design (labeled by top square colour)

orange-red strip / red strip / white strip / red strip / orange-red strip

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  For the Background Block:

  1. Sew a 2.5” x 6.5” piece to top and bottom of the 6.5” square
  2. Press seams toward the centre block
  3. Lay out the pieces to form the block:

red-white strip / white-white wide strip / red-white strip

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Step 6:  Sewing the blocks together:

For Grid Block:

  1. In order of layout; nest seams together (seams should be going in opposite directions) and pin in place.
  2. Sew carefully – remove pins as needed to avoid sewing over them.
  3. Your block points should match up nicely!
  4. Press seams any way you choose

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For Background Block:

  1. In order of layout; sew red-white strips to either side of the white-white wide strip
  2. Press seams away from centre block

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Pillow Top Piecing:

  1. On two red-white strips, sew one 2.5” orange (accent) square to one end.
  2. Lay out the pillow front as a whole
  3. Sew all pieces together beginning from one side, working in sections.

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Border Piecing:

  1. Once the main pillow top is pieced, lay it over the pillow to be covered
  2. Measure the remaining strip needed to cover the pillow
  3. I used King-Sized pillows (measuring 34” x 20.5”)
  4. I needed an additional 4” (seam allowance accounted for) on the top and bottom edges of the pillow
  5. Sew the 4” x 34” strip white fabric to the completed pillow top
  6. Trim the edges of the white fabric flush with the pillow top edges

(my apologies, I forgot to take photos of this step)

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Step 7:  Sandwiching the pillow top:

  1. Press the pillow top nice and flat
  2. Lay out the 36” x 22” white backing fabric right side down (this will not be seen on the outside of the pillow, so any fabric will do – this is a good way to use up old sheets/pillow cases that are no longer useable)
  3. Place the piece of batting on top of the backing fabric
  4. Place the pillow top on the batting creating the sandwich
  5. Hand press all three pieces flat so there are no puckers/wrinkles

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  1. This is a good time to stencil on any quilting marks you will want to follow for the quilting process.  I used a fleur de lis motif in the centre white space.

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  1. Working from one side, pin baste all three pieces together being sure to hand press out any puckers along the way.

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Step 8:  Quilting the Pillow Top:

  1. Using the FMQ/darning foot of your machine, follow the motif you chose for the centre white space.  This step takes some practice.  If you are not comfortable with Free Motion Quilting, quilt as desired.
  2. I straight-line quilted diagonally in the red/yellow squares to create a trellis effect.

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Step 9:  Trimming up the Pillow Top

  1. Once the quilting is completed, trim up the pillow top.
  2. To create rounded corners (easier for attaching ruffles) use a curved ruler or in my case, a roll of tape!
  3. Trace the tape to create a rounded cutting mark – cut the pillow top to form curved edges at the corners.

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Step 10: Adding the Ruffles:

  1. Sew the 15 strips of 5.5” white fabric together to create one (very) long 5.5” strip.
  2. Trim the seams to 1/4” and press to one side.
  3. Fold the strip in half and press.
  4. Starting on one side, sew the ruffle strip to the top of the pillow top, folding the ruffle strip back on itself every 1” or so to create a pleat.
  5. Continue until all the way around the pillow top working in one or two extra pleats  at the corners.

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Step 11:  Adding the Envelope Closure

  1. Along the long edge of the 34” x 22” white fabric, fold over 1” and press
  2. Fold again 1” and press again
  3. Sew straight line to create a hem (folded edge will be on the wrong side)
  4. Repeat for both panels of the backing fabric
  5. Lay out your pillow top (right side up)
  6. Place both panels of the backing fabric (right sides down).  These will be overlapping quite a bit — that’s good!

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  1. Pin the envelope closure backing panels to the pillow top, keeping the ruffles between the pillow top and the backing fabric.
  2. In order to catch all the many layers, sew a generous 3/8” seam (you could go as much as 1/2” but you will be sewing into the ruffles)
  3. When sewing over the folded hems of the envelope closure, backstitch over the entire hem to create stability at the seams.  This area will undergo a lot of wear when the pillow is inserted.

Step 12:  You are Finished!

Now, admire your work!

Photos below showing the envelope closure on the back and the ruffles in the corners

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Here you can see a close up of the fleur de lis quilting design and the straight stitching in the grid.  White thread used in the white space and red thread used in the grid.

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Here are the two pillow shams with the matching King-Sized Quilt, all ready to go to their new home!  The quilt looks almost as good on the back too!

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Oh, and here was one of my helpers throughout the whole project!

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My sweet Wrigley all covered in thread bits.  😉

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, it was kinda fun to write it up.  We’ll see where this path leads…

Till next time…

Rita

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What I’ve Been Up To…

I know it’s been radio silence over here for a while but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing.  I just wasn’t able to tell you about it. 😦

Now I can!

I just returned from QuiltX in St. Marys, Ontario.  This was the second year for the quilt show and marketplace.  The show itself is rather unique… each vendor is required to make the featured quilt pattern designed by the featured designer.

Here is the info explaining the Same, Same, Different concept:

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This year it was Chopstix designed by my friend Jen Houlden of Quilts by Jen

Here’s Jen’s quilt!  You can purchase a few of Jen’s patterns here.

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So, I had to make this quilt… let me be brutally honest… this is NOT a pattern I would normally choose.  I like Jen’s version but I only saw it after I made mine.

I struggled with fabric choices (my choice ended up being an epic fail), I struggled with the pattern (it wasn’t difficult per se, just fiddly for my taste) and I struggled with trying to put my own ‘spin’ on it (another epic fail, I might add).

Ok, let the judging begin!

No, really, I’ll be ok with your comments… You can’t hurt my feelings any more than I’ve already hurt them myself.  I actually hated this first quilt I made and here is why… Like I said before, the fabric was the wrong choice for this pattern.  I used the Small Wonders line by Mary Fons (India and Netherlands)  I love these fabrics but they are lost in all the wonky-ness of this pattern.  I should have used solids or tone on tone

(which I did for the second one… keep reading)

 The pattern wasn’t my cup of tea either… I love most of Jen’s other patterns and I ‘get’ where she was going with this one but, it’s just not ME.  And that’s okay!  Maybe next years’ pattern will totally be my thang!

That’s the whole point of the QuiltX quilt show!  It’s a show of quilts made by folks who don’t normally showcase their quilts.  It’s a place the quilt-police would never be caught dead in (or be allowed to enter).  It’s a show for all of us (dare I say) misfits in the quilting world.  Some are professionals but, others… like me; are just people who like to play with fabric and create because, not to do so would be soul-depriving.

So, more about “THAT QUILT“…

(that’s actually the name of it… lovingly named by my dear friend S)

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I made it a bit bigger than the pattern called for, adding a couple extra blocks and more background fabric.  “I like BIG quilts and I cannot lie!”   It measures 75″ x 90″ – a decent Twin.

Someone, somewhere will be able to wrap themselves up in this mess and still keep warm.   ‘nough said!

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I do like the back.  I took some of the Small Wonders Ditsy Yellow Wideback and added a diagonal swatch of the Small Wonders India Crowns.  I also added a bit to the bottom as well.  It kind of reminds me of the flag that scuba divers raise when they are in the water.  I guess it’s my homage to the sinking ship this quilt felt like as I was making it.  LOL!

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The quilting was super fun!  I just played, and played!  I did this kind of weird squared-stipple thing that ended up being quite meditative.  If nothing else, I learned a new FMQing technique.

I mentioned that I made a second quilt… here it is…

“THAT MINI”

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This one is just a little, itty bitty baby quilt!  It only measures 33″ square.

I used the Lullaby collection from Kate & Birdie Co.  I also used some Northcott Shortbread solids for the background.  I used some terrycloth for the backing and love how the quilt feels with terry on the back.

baby-quilt-terry-backing

I only made a few blocks and turned them on point.  I trimmed the whole thing down to size and actually like this one a lot more!  The FMQing is the same squared-stipple technique used on the other quilt.

If you want to see some really great interpretations of this quilt… you can check out all the versions of the Chopstix quilts here

(thanks to the London MQG for snapping photos of them all)

If you want some of the fabrics or to try the pattern yourself, head over to Fabric Please! and tag me when you’ve made it so I can like yours so much more than mine!

Till next time…

Rita

Posted in 2016 Finishes, Fabric, FMQ, quilting | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Gotta Love that Feelin’

I love that feeling when I’ve finished a task that has been on my “To Do” list for a long time.

This is what I finished!

Ellis Quilt in the garden

This quilt was requested (way back) in January!  It has been haunting me ever since.

This Double Irish Chain, (in red, white and a bit of yellow) was made for a dear friend and his wife.  I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself while making this quilt.  Usually, I make quilts and just hope that everything turns out ok and I don’t stress over it.

This time was different.  I know my friend will love this quilt (he has loved everything I’ve ever made him) and he won’t see any imperfections, even after someone has pointed them out (who would do such a thing?).  The problem is… I know how much he’ll love it and he’ll want to show it to EVERYONE!

I appreciate the rose-coloured glasses my friend has when it comes to “all-things-Rita” and those glasses keep many of my “mistakes” hidden.  His wife and their many (many) friends don’t wear such glasses.

 Therein lies the problem.  I was making this quilt with the weight of all those (spectacle-free) eyes on my back.  Now; the logical part of me knows those folks won’t see my errors.  But… the emotional side of me just quivers at the thought of my quilt being looked at like some sideshow freak.

Well, here is a peek (for you sideshow fans) at the finished king-sized “Ellis Quilt”

On the bed

Ellis Quilt - on the bed 2

Up close

Ellis Quilt - Medallion detail

Now you are entering into my personal space

Ellis Quilt - Up close

Okay, now you’re getting a bit too close for my comfort but, here goes…

Detail of the Fleur de Lis FMQuilting.

Ellis Quilt - Fleur de Lis - Detail front

(sideshow info:)  

I used pencil to trace the stencil and free-motion quited over the lines.  The mistake I made was using PENCIL.  It does NOT just wash out!  This is an old hand-quilting technique that has worked for ages.  The problem:  I wasn’t hand-quilting!  The accuracy while hand-quilting is bang-on.  Free-motion on the other hand, well; it’s not accurate.  Mine isn’t anyway.

I spent many hours scrubbing away the pencil marks with a toothbrush.  I think my hand may be permanently cramped.  Note to self:  never EVER use pencil again when machine quilting!

(sideshow’s over – you can stop grimacing now)

The back of the quilt is all kinds of crinkly goodness!

Ellis Quilt - Back of quilt - FMQing

I straight-line quilted through the Irish Chains on the reverse.  It made a lattice-kind of pattern.

I think I may like the back just as much as the front, it has a bit of a whole-cloth look to it.

Ellis Quilt - Back detail

Binding went on (shockingly) without a hitch.   I even remembered a label!

Ellis Quilt - Binding & label

No pattern was used.  I just did the math and made 55 of each of the two quilt blocks that make up the Double Irish Chain.  Quilt measures 104″ x 114″

I used various shades of red and yellow fabrics from my stash (some purchased for this project).  The background fabric on the front looks white but is actually ColorWorks Premium Eggshell by Northcott.  I thought it would soften the starkness of the red on white and blend better with the yellow.  I used a Pure White quilt backing from my stash, Hobbs 80/20 King Sized quilt batting.  Aurifil 2024 for piecing/quilting in the white spaces and Aurifil 2250 for straight-line quilting.  Batting, thread and ColorWorks Solids can be found at Fabric Please!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m loving the feeling of finishing this quilt.  Despite all the things I see wrong with it, I’m still going to love giving it to one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Ellis Quilt - in the garden 2

Till next time…

Rita

(I think I’ll link up to a few of the Friday link-ups)

Posted in 2016 Finishes, customer quilts, Fabric, FMQ, personal post, quilting, sew my stash | 7 Comments

Reveal of “Two Sides, One Quilt”

After many months of hiding and the occasional sneak peek on Instagram, I can finally reveal the finish of the double-sided quilt, “Two Sides, One Quilt”!

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From the first blocks to the finished quilt, this has been a labour of love.  I had a bit of trouble with acquiring all the different fabrics.  I ended up having to go to Fabric.com and Spoonflower.com to get some of the specialty prints.  The exchange to Canadian dollars was a killer!  But these quilting sheep, mustaches and cameras were worth it in the end!

Initially, the quilt was going together so easily, I just knew something major was going to happen.  It’s always the way!  The piecing of side one was easy, and mind-soothingly monotonous.  It came at a time that my soul needed some easy piecing to calm the chaos going on in my head, so… perfect timing.

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The layout proved to be a bit of a challenge, as my design wall wasn’t big enough for this mammoth quilt, so I moved it to the floor outside my sewing room.

Thank goodness for my quilting frame otherwise, the pin basting would have been another challenge.  In the end, I got the front and back of the quilt lined up vertically and horizontally.  I don’t think I could have done that without crawling under the quilt to see it from both sides.

I forgot to take photos of the second side during the process, but I did manage to get this shot of how I label my rows before piecing and pressing.

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The straight-line quilting was another story!  This is where my grief began!  We all know the quilt top and bottom shift during the quilting process but with this layout, I didn’t want even the slightest movement.  Well, that DIDN’T happen!  I ended up ripping out almost as many stitches as I put in!  I think I quilted half the quilt, tore it out and started again.

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There were a few places where the straight line quilting became a bit wonky from one side to the other.  I swear, they line up in most places, but with the shifting (ARGH) it was just too frustrating to worry about.

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In the end, I just let it go where it wanted.  I have a few extra ‘crinkles’ in the finished quilt after it’s been washed and dried but I’m hoping the family that gets this will learn to love them like well-earned laugh lines.

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I did manage to get my corners nicely mitred on my binding!  That’s a win!  Oh, and I remembered to put a label on… double win!

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The one side is based on this quilt (left) from Pinterest.  I’m sorry, I can’t give any  more info than that as it was pinned from flickr and I can’t find the maker.

(If it’s you, comment below and I’ll edit the post.)

The other side is based on a quilt in a magazine, I think it’s one of Mary Fon’s quilts but I can’t find the magazine and I didn’t write down the quilt pattern.

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I’m notorious for seeing quilts and not buying the patterns… sorry quilt designers!  I just figure out the math and go from there.

This is a King-sized quilt, measuring 112″ x 112″

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Aurifil 2600-piecing and quilting

Fabrics:  some from my personal stash, some from my shop, www.fabricplease.com and some from Fabric.com and Spoonflower.com.

Finally both sides on my bed…

kinda wishing this quilt could stay here for a bit but it will be given in love and appreciation to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Suzie!  See you next week, friend!

If any of you want to peek at this in person, we’ll likely have it hiding at the Creativ Festival, Mississauga, Ontario.  April 22 & 23, 2016.  Stop by booth #345 and ask to see it, I’m sure Suzie will let you pet it… unless she’s curled up in it somewhere.

Till next time…

Rita

Posted in 2016 Finishes, Fabric, personal post, quilting, sew my stash | Tagged , , | 4 Comments