Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jul-Aug-Sept Review

My 2010 Quilt Challenge is still on track... and here comes the third instalment. It has been enjoyable and when I seem to tire of it, I receive such wonderful responses, that it surely bounces me back into gear to continue the journey.

Take another look at the projects that I’ve blogged about over these last three months:

Quilting for the first timeAdvancing On IINature's EleganceBorders Backings Bindings Fuse-and-Tell
--Quilting Books on Review--

Several main goals still being maintained for this challenge are...
· EXPLORING the books in my own library with the Fuse-and-Tell book recently added to my collection.
· USING fabrics I already own, with only a few exceptions, as I bought some new fabrics at a yard sale.
· CREATING small projects to test out these new techniques is still my favorite way to test out new ways.

JULY 2010

Quilting for the first time
Donna Kooler
Redwork – Project 4

Book Project My Quilt
Book Project (on left)  /  My Quilt (on right)

My eleventh project allowed me to try Redwork embroidery. I had considered it before, but had not yet achieved that goal.  I do enjoy embroidery and while this project was fun; I really do like working with lots of colours, not just one.

The question on project 4 was “How do I frame needlework with a lattice-strip border?” This I almost got right, but did make one mistake on the bottom strip. Oh, well, it looks okay.

This project is: 8 3/4" x 10 1/4" including the hanging tabs. Mine was very close at: 9 1/4" x 9 1/4" not including the tabs.

Advancing On II – with the Square-In-A-Square technique
Jodi Barrows
In The Garden with Tumbling Blocks

Book Project My Quilt
Book Project (on left)   /  My Quilt (on right)

My twelfth project was definitely fun to make and this was a good start in seeing how much fun the Square-In-A-Square ruler was to use. So, I’d love to come back and try out more of the options. And, her website has even more options available then are in this book.

This project is: 48" x 55" and rated as an intermediate level. Mine was very small as I only tried out a small sample and is: 33" x 18". I followed the block chart diagram and then modified the size with the additional fancy strips on the sides.


Nature’s Elegance
Jan Kornfeind
Butterfly Fancy Wall Hanging

Book ProjectMy Quilt
Book Project (on left)   /  My Quilt (on right)

My thirteenth project was perfect for using those colourful scrap fabrics and an opportunity to dig into my button jar. Sewing on those 70 buttons did take some time, but if you love buttons it is a great way to use them. The book has some great options for using the butterfly blocks. And, one day I hope to revisit this book and try a project with birds.

This project is: 33 1/2" x 33 1/2". Mine was almost the same size, but I chose to add narrower borders at: 25 1/4" x 25 1/4".


Beautiful Borders Backings & Bindings
Jill Reber and Margaret Sindelar
Orange Blossom Table Runner

Book ProjectDSC00357 (2)
Book Project (on left)   /  My Quilt (on right)

My fourteenth project was a change from the typical square shaped quilts. Even though I’ve used a mock piping on several projects, it was time to try a real piping technique. I did have trouble with the piping not knowing which machine foot would allow me to get close enough during the construction and when stitching it in place. I know I’ll have more success next time, when I use a much narrower cord.

I also didn’t really have the best greens to choose from to match up the project’s requirements, but did have experience with bias binding and attaching piping to a project. This project is: 18" x 34". Mine was very close at: 15 1/2" x 31". It ended up a bit smaller because I preferred to have the border narrower with the colour I chose.

Fuse-and-Tell Journal Quilts
Laura Wasilowski
Peaceful Landscape: A Deceptively Calm Day

Book ProjectMy Quilt
Book Project (on left)   /  My Quilt (on right)

My fifteenth project was definitely fun to make after I sorted out how I’d arrange my fused pieces. It seemed better when I changed the story of the quilt to something I liked. I stitched clouds in the sky and added a tree. It may even be an orange tree, now that I think about it. I like eating oranges. I really enjoyed the variety of embroidery stitches and colours used. It was also fun to embellish with rick rack and buttons. Hand stitching is not really so terrible as I’ve thought, mostly because there is no hemming involved in quilting.

I think I’ll still add a hanging sleeve sometime, as I didn’t feel the small hanging rings were enough for the weight of my quilt with the extra layers. This project is: 16" x 16". Mine was close at: 18 1/2" x 15 1/2".

What techniques do you wish to try or already are your favourites? If you have enjoyed this review, why not leave a comment below?

See what’s coming up… check out my website for more quilting techniques and inspiring books.

Enjoy your week…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fusing Fun

Fuse-and-Tell Journal Quilts/ Laura Wasilowski

Time to reveal my next project... I finally decided on “Peaceful Landscape: A Deceptively Calm Day” on page 48.

Book and FabricsBook

Thinking It Through

What I found most difficult is settling in on one project that I could make… and then… it was even hard to stick with the chosen design.

Perhaps, it was because when creating a journal quilt it really is better to write your own story. As I very rarely follow any project exactly as it is created, this was no exception.

So to begin, I figured it best to just START with the design and allow the magic to unfold as it wanted to…

Construction Process

My first major roadblock, was finding out the quilt shop didn’t carry the fast2fuse interfacing. So, I bought the Pellon 809 Decor Bond, instead.

For the fusible web, I usually use Lite Steam-A-Stem 2. I love working with fusible web designs. One day I would like to try some of the other fusible web products.

So to begin… I chose my fabrics and cut them ALL to the required sizes. Then, after attaching the fusible web to the fabric pieces, I began. To keep the confusion to a minimum, I added a label to each colour.  (i.e. sky, water, grass, etc.)

Applique FabricsFabrics

Next, it was time to play with those pieces and fit them into place. I really have difficulty with just tossing random pieces onto the background fabric. So, I changed it!!

Here’s what I thought it needed…

I didn’t have any silk fabric pieces. As I had ironed the fusible web to all my cut-to-size pieces, I wasn’t able to fray the edges. However, I did have another piece that was already frayed and laid it underneath the piece in question.

A Frayed EdgeFrayed Edge

Then, on the green strip; I clipped the top edge to make it look more like blades of grass. I put a piece of the release paper under the clipped edge when pressing the quilt, so it wouldn’t fuse flat.


I liked this layout. And thought a frayed edge on the background fabric would look nice placed onto another blue fabric. So I added strips of fusible web to attach both fabrics.

Design Layout Design layout

Then, the embroidery stitches were added… And, I did them ALL by hand. I enjoyed trying out so many different stitches.

I used: straight stitch, cross-stitch, running stitch, pistil stitch, French knots, couching, scattered stitches, and backstitch.

Embroidery Thread OptionsThread colours

After, the embroidery work was finished… I just didn’t love the blue fabric for the background. So, I cut the frayed edges. Then, I added a piece of fusible web to attach it to another fabric. I settled on a dark purple.

Attaching to the Background FabricBack side

So… here is what it looked like after the embroidery was complete and attached to the new background fabric.

Close-ups of Embroidery
Closeup 1

Closeup 2 

Because the Pellon interfacing only had one iron-on side, I first stitched the back fabric onto the interfacing with gridlines and then assembled the layers.

I added a feather stitch with the sewing machine to attach the picture to the background fabric.

Another fancy machine stitch was added around the edge of the blue background and the baby rick-rack was sewn through all layers near the edges. And, then, fancy heart buttons were added to each corner of the quilt!

Baby Rick-Rack & ButtonsCorner 

My Finished Quilt
 Finished Project
Finished Size: 18.5” x 15.5”

I love to follow Laura’s blog and see what new ideas she comes up with… they are so inspiring!! Also… check out her section on where and how to use embroidery under “Thread-u-cation”.

If you haven’t yet tried making a journal quilt.. then this may just help you decide. Write YOUR OWN STORY… soon!!

Next Week...
It is time again to do a three month review of the five books I've reviewed in July, August, and September.

If you wish to see which books I’ve chosen for next month you can check out my website for more details.

Happy stitching, everyone!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Welcome to Autumn

it’s just time for a change or a new challenge,
so I gave myself permission
to get out of that dull routine that had lasted long enough
and last week I…

went back to school!! I am taking courses to get a certificate in
Applied Business Technology at a local college.

Since I sit all day, I hoped to get in some days where walking to class was an option…

Even though the first two days were rainy, the other two days were great for walking. I find it so refreshing to get out of the house each morning and challenge myself with new things to learn each day.

All that quilting that I did over the summer has really given me more time for adjusting to my new routine. And, I’m loving it, too... since some of that quilting time is now spent in doing homework.

Most of my textbooks…
DSC00817Term 1 Courses
Accounting, Admin Procedures, MS Outlook, Keyboarding,
Business English, Human Relations, Intro to Computing, MS Word
(missing: Business Math, Greig Reference Manual)

I love change; and believe learning something new always adds more purpose to life. Don’t get me wrong, I love quilting, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to do each and every day; and staying home just to cook and clean, that seems old news.

  • the autumn leaves,
  • the cooler days,
  • regular activities starting back up. 

Since our move in late May, things have really changed a lot for all of us. Perhaps, you also have embarked on something new or more challenging…

But… if your regular routine already seems dull and boring and all you feel like doing is letting out a huge yawn, why not STITCH up a great new story for your life. Then go ahead… and live it out in a style that keeps you inspired!!

If you have the opportunity to join in a local quilt guild, I say, go for it!! New people, new techniques, and lots of laughs and fun times await, if you dare!!

Adventures await… are you ready?

DO… stay tuned for my weekly posts and quilt book reviews, as those will continue…  I have a few projects that are now finished are waiting in line to be featured on my regular book review posts.


fuse and tell

My fifteenth project will be shared next week...
Fuse-and-Tell Journal Quilts/ Laura Wasilowski

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can check out my website for more details. Those books reviewed are listed on the "featured" page.

As your fall routine takes shape… and you plot out your new activities, remember to schedule in some personal time to add balance. Life should have both work and play times!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

No Border Limits

Beautiful Borders Backings & Bindings/ Jill Reber and Margaret Sindelar

Time to reveal my next project... I choose the “Orange Blossom Table Runner” on page 79. If you find that making the same type or shape of quilt gets tiring, why not try something different? Here, a table runner meets that need for a change of pace.

DSC09879 Book, Fabrics

As I was running out of quilting books from my own library that I hadn't at least tried one project from, I found this one. The project provided several different aspects I hadn’t worked much with and so it would be a great effort to see how it turned out.

Construction Process

The instructions for this project are easy to follow and it really comes together quite quickly. Other projects in this book with more complex designs will of course take more time to complete, but still very rewarding.

The center three blocks are put together with simple piecing and machine applique with one wide border to complete the quilt top. The piping is added to the edge before the layers are sewn together; and then turned right side out so the piping is on the outside edge. Remember to leave a small opening so it can be turned!

Pieces For Center BlocksDSC09886

Close-up of Block DSC09947

Adding the BorderDSC09944 

Several years back, I had bought some cording for another project but never ended up using it. So, thought I’d better use it, even though it was very bulky. I secretly hoped I wouldn't find it, so I could buy cord that was narrower, but I found it.

I definitely would recommend using a narrower cord, and since I don’t have a piping foot for my sewing machine, it was difficult to encase into the bias strip. However, it’s the effort that counts, I’d say, that is important when trying new or more difficult techniques. 

The fabric for the piping is cut on the bias and it really goes easily around the curved edge. I used a dinner plate to cut the curve for the quilt corners.
Cutting the CornersDSC09949

The corners on the border fabric, were also cut on the bias so the strip on the fabric would go outward as they did on the side borders. That is why a striped fabric was chosen for the border. I would have preferred a less bold fabric but that was about all that I had for this application. And, so cut the width of the borders narrower. 

Finished Piping EdgeDSC00347

This is only one way to finish a quilt and if you love adding borders to your projects, but run out of ideas, check out this book for lots of inspiration. My project this time, seems so plain compared to the many great ideas you'll have to choose from.

Sometime, I'll need to try out a fancy block border on a quilt. Perhaps, a simple center block surrounded with a complex outer border would look terrific. (I.E. using a medalion block or scenic print for the center)

My Finished QuiltDSC00357 Finished Size: 15.5” x 31”

In my last post, I forgot to tell you what new adventure I’m embarking on... so you’ll have to wait now until next week to find out. As I changed some topics around from what was planned, I’ll have actual results to share, if I wait!!

My book review list is now on its own page, so if you’d like to see what techniques I’ve covered so far, it’s all there.

Happy Quilting…