Friday, March 30, 2007

Trumpet Stars - the completed blocks

Today I got these appliqué blocks finished. I'm going to sash them with some square "on point" borders which I'm piecing Seminole style. If you want to see the early stages of this project you can read more about it here and here.

I've just been re-reading my post from yesterday and I've decided it's quite cryptic! So my apologies for that...I guess I was really excited! I should have explained. The March/April issue of Quilter's Home had a picture of Mark Lipinski on the front cover. While I had my back turned my lovely 4 year old decided to give Mark blue hair using a ballpoint pen. I mentioned this to Mark on his yahoo list and he thought it was very funny and asked me to send him a picture of my daughter with her "creation" This photo along with my letter is in editorial pages of the current Quilter's Home. (May/June) So when I said I finally had something I "made" in a quilting magazine...I was talking about my daughter! :o)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quilters Home

I just have to share....It's official, my youngest daughter has made it into Quilter's Home (page 8...the editorial page) of the May/June 2007 issue. If you get a copy, have a look, if you don't try to find it so you have a piece of history....finally something I've "made" has made it into a Quilting Magazine! :o)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters

This Saturday I spent my day at Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters. (the picture is some of the ladies looking at a beautiful Sunbonnet Sue quilt) It's a group here in Rugby that meet 6 times a year and it is always a fun day. Our speaker in the afternoon was Janet Cook who did her talk on "My life as a Quilter" She is a very entertaining speaker and if you get a chance to hear her you are in for a treat. Her style of quilting ranges from some lovely cute cats right through to some spectacular pictorial quilts. I found it particularly interesting that it was some Canadians that inspired her to start quilting...I always knew good things came from Canada :)
Our trader for the day was Crafts and Quilts who are located at the Heart of the Shires on the A5 just north of Weedon. I just couldn't resist a few purchases, which looking at now are quite floral...must be the effects of Spring.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tollhouse Cookies

You know how it is, you read all these blogs clicking away at the links and completely forget who it was or how it is that you've ended up on! Next thing you know your printing the recipe for a very naughty my case the recipe for White Chip Chocolate Cookies.
Lucky for me, the perfect excuse to bake came in the format of my teenage daughter inviting two of her friends over for dinner...they've got a disco tonight and prefer getting ready for the "big" night out together. (Right at the moment of typing this, I can hear plenty of giggles and squeals!)
Earlier today I taste tested the cookies and they are divine! ...Taste testing was absolutely necessary... I wouldn't want to embarrass the DD1 with a bad batch of cookies! :o)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trumpet Stars Revisited...

(Click on picture for a larger view)

This week, I've managed to get a bit of appliqué done on my Trumpet Stars. I'm machine appliquéing them using a very small zig zig stitch on my machine (1.0 stitch length and 1.0 width) and instead of using YLI invisible thread I'm using matching cotton thread. This is the first time I've used cotton thread to machine appliqué and I have to say I really like the results. The finish is softer to the touch and somehow I'm comforted in knowing that everything is 100% cotton.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ironing Board = Happiness

When I moved over from Canada I inherited a number of items that my husband had bought when he was a bachelor. One of these items was the ironing when he bought it he had no idea the importance of ironing board is just for ironing shirts..right? Well in most cases yes, but when you are a quilter...size and stability are paramount. Six years on the old board which I wrestled with had developed a definite wonky leg which would wobble the board back and forth no matter what you ironed...and it was down right dangerous for anything larger than a hankerchief. So yesterday I found myself with extra time in town and decided it was time to retire the old had served us well and bought myself the biggest board I could find. A whopping ironing surface of 51" long x 18" wide and built-in iron holder!

(BTW, how can you tell I have children and a quilting meeting this week? Well the clue is in the playdough box on the right and the bags of quilting stuff on the left!)

In other news, we (my DD1 and I) got the backing ready for her Project Linus quilt...ok she watched I sewed... It is in keeping with the quilt...BRIGHT! It was a very effective way to make a backing and I will do this again....adds a bit of interest. The quilt has been basted and machine quilted in the ditch. Sometime over the next few weeks we are going to add some big stitch quilting to finish it off...and yes, I'll post pictures.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What kind of yarn are you?

I just thought this was cute...fancy it equating me to cotton and a plain Jane! Not far off :)

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Dishcloth Cotton.You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.
Take this quiz!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A lovely Spring Day....for now...

There have been announcements this week in the weather forecast that we are about to be invaded from the north by arctic winds. In light of this news, I gathered my family up and headed outdoors to enjoy what was a beautiful spring day in Stratford-upon-Avon before it all turns cold. We even sat by the river Avon and had our first ice cream of the year...ok we were all dithering by the time we'd finished eating them...but it was still really nice.

This is the back of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from the other side of the River Avon

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oldest UFO

Patti at Quilting is My Passion had a post about her oldest UFO and that got me thinking about my oldest UFO. It's the 1999 Times and Seasons Calendar "From Sea to Shining Sea" by Piecemakers. I have given myself 10 years to complete it, but as I was telling Patti the thing that's holding me back is that I really don't have any idea what I will do with it when it's done. It's too heavy to sleep under and I don't think I have a wall that is large enough to display it....and the "permit" from the DH to pad the walls :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Get your sunglasses on!

Back in January I told you about how my daughter was participating in Activeight at her school and that for one of her tasks she was going to make a quilt for Project Linus. Last week she came home saying that she has only 9 weeks to complete all her challenges and was feeling a bit panicky about her quilt...fortunately within the guidelines she is allowed to ask for help from a family member to help her complete her this afternoon I got the top completed. Ta-da.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What if they all met for coffee...?

Some things aren't worth thinking about...and some things are just fun to think about....

This morning as I was checking to see if there were any new comments on my blog I noticed that Anita Grossman Solomon had left a comment on my Trumpet Stars post. In the post I referred to a method of piecing a square in a square in a new and innovative way...She's the lady that came up with that technique! I was thrilled that she took the time to post and it just goes to show you just don't know who's reading your ramblings. Now I got to thinking..(I know... a dangerous thing) In the last few months I've exchanged emails with a few famous quilters for one reason or another (usually just little comments about their work) ...Ok I'm going to name drop now...I've heard from Linda Franz from Quilted Diamonds, Jodie Davis from QNN, Ami Simms, and exchanged several emails with Mark Lipinski editor of Quilter's Home. Now I wonder if they all sat down for coffee and my name came up...would they remember me? What would they say? Like I said, it's just fun to think about...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Project Number 2 Underway

Following on from my last post I've started piecing together the beginning of my challenge piece. I'm not sure how it's all going to look when it comes together as I'm still not thrilled with the prospect of using turquoise...especailly turquoise, orange and brown. I suppose they are "in" colours what with the revival of the 70's colour theme in fashion and home-wares; but I didn't like them much the first time around and I'm still not a big fan. I did pull all the colours from the main fabric (shown in the block on the left) which is called Siam from Makower as I've found that works for me.
I have to tell you about the "disaster" regarding the mariner's block in the middle. In my first attempt I had made poor colour choices and the points melted into the background. It was awful...even too awful to make it into the orphan box....and way too awful to post. I'm much happier with attempt #2.

Late Afternoon Update:

Just look at these blocks...they're only 4" finished and I think they are really cute. I'm feeling better about the project now.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Coffee Time

Before Christmas I signed up with my LQS to make a quilt as part of their challenge for 2007. I have to make a small quilt using 2 pieces of fabric that they provided. I managed to find some lovely fabric to cordinate...well almost. The fabric I found is all based around beigy backgrounds and the challenge fabric had very bright white backgrounds. I say "had" because this morning after being inspired by A Simple Girl I went to my kitchen and coffee dyed them. I did do a little research on the net and found out that coffee is slightly kinder to fabric than tea and will also give a more "aged" look rather than a orange pekoe dirty look. I also dipped the fabric in a bath of vinegar and water and heat set it, so hopefully it will be reasonably permanent. I'm guessing that as long as I use a non-bio soap to wash the quilt it shouldn't wash out. I know our modern bio soaps are designed to remove stains and for once this is a stain I want to stay. Has anyone else out there played with the permanency of coffee and tea? I could have used a tan procion dye, but I wanted a quick fix.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Trumpet Stars

I'm so excited about my latest project that I've started. Finally after weeks of finishing off a few things that were lingering from last year I get to start something new! I found a pattern called Trumpet Stars by Cherie Ralston in the April 2007 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine that is just beautiful. Of course, me being me, I will be making some modifications. I'm only going to make 4 blocks and I thought I'd jazz it up a bit by piecing the background squares in whites just to add a bit more interest. I got to play a bit with a new to me technique for piecing square in a square blocks which I saw on Simply Quilts. They have now created a video library of some of the shows. The one that I watched is called SIMPLER ROTARY CUTTING with Anita Grossman Solomon. A text version of the show is also available. I really liked this technique as it was very accurate and there was no guess work in lining up the side triangles because the method incorporates trimming those ears off. I will definitely use this method again! The second pieced background is all half-square triangles and I used the omnigrid 96L ruler to cut my triangles. Of all the techniques I've used to make 1/2 square triangles this by far was the most accurate. I haven't tried it for really small 1/2 square triangles...but it worked well for these 4" ones.