Saturday, April 23, 2016

Modern Quilt Guild Retreat Wrap-Up.

The South Western Ontario Modern Quilters' retreat was a couple of weeks ago.  I have not had time to do a second blogpost about it until now...  Before the retreat, we were each paired with another person who would be attending so we could make and exchange lanyards.  My swap partner was Kathleen from Toronto.  She made me the beautiful lanyard in the picture above from a piece of Liberty fabric--the colours reminded her of Spring.  She also sent me a wonderful bar of chocolate which I shared with my husband.

I made her lanyard out of some black and white fabrics and a few solids that are in the London Modern Quilt Guild Logo.  We all wore our lanyards at the retreat with our nametags attached to the clasp.

 The weather was rather chilly the weekend of the retreat and the water in the bubbling rock fountain at the Elmhurst Inn was partly frozen in little balls of ice around the perimeter of the fountain.

I had to take the opportunity to take a few pictures. I managed to do this without falling on the slippery rocks around the fountain.

I showed the first project I worked on at the retreat in this blogpost...the pillow that became a wall hanging.

Next, I worked on some liberated stars which I will use to make some placemats for the winter season next year.   I have always wanted to make new placemats but just never seem to get around to working on them.  This year, I purchased some red patterned fabric at one of our guild meetings and I have been collecting some gray and white prints to go with it to make the placemats.

This one finishes at 3" square.  I made several star blocks in various sizes.

(oops--the picture is upside-down!)

This one is under construction.

Here is a picture of all of the stars that I made at the retreat. 

I need to make at least a dozen placemats to have enough for family gatherings so I still have more stars to make.   Each placemat will be different but will have the same red and white striped binding.  This past week, I finished off the 2nd half of my daughter's quilt so I hope to get back to making more stars soon. (after sewing the two halves together!)

We had lots of door prizes donated by various quilt stores and manufacturers and I won this bag which included batting, a magazine, some fabric, sewing machine needles and a gift certificate as well as a new seam ripper.  We all had a great weekend of sewing, eating and making new friends and I look forward to next year's retreat! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Quilty Inspiration

This is the Fisher Building in Detroit, MI.  On Saturday, my husband and I had a date day in Detroit and took in two Pure Detroit architectural walking tours.  (The Guardian Building and the Fisher Building)  Our guide at the Fisher Building was a history student at Wayne State University.  He really knew his stuff and really made the story of this building come alive for all of us on the tour.  No expense was spared when this building was constructed in the late 20's.  You can read more about the Fisher Building here.

I took lots of pictures on the tour but I think that the ones that will interest my readers the most are the ones I took of the floors.

So much quilty inspiration right under our feet! 

What a great way to sash your next quilting project!!!

The love the triangles in this hexagon pattern.

How about some economy blocks?

Or some hour glass blocks?  The floors were made from several different types of marble. The craftspeople who laid these floors did a fantastic job!

After looking at the floors (and other aspects of the building) on the main floor, we got into the elevator and went up to the third floor.  I looked down and this is what I saw on the elevator floor.

From the 3rd floor, we looked down and saw the floors from above.


I don't think I could ever make this type of medallion quilt!  The brass part was roped off so people don't walk on it.  It has had over 90 years of people stepping on it and the pictures in the brass are not as sharp as when it was installed.  Here is a close up of the inner border:

This is the railing on the third floor.  They don't make buildings like this anymore.

When we were done the tour, I stepped into the ladies room and found this on the floor!
I have never seen a bathroom floor like this before!

If you find yourself in Detroit, you really should try to go on the Pure Detroit tours.  There was no charge for the tours we took.  The link to their website is near the top of this post.  I am not receiving any money for the promotion of the tours.  I just thought you would like to see the quilty inspiration in the Fisher Building in Detroit.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Change in Plans

Christine and I spent last weekend at the South Western Ontario Modern Quilt Guild retreat in Ingersol, Ontario. There were over 20 quilters at the retreat and it was great fun to meet everyone and drool over their projects!!!  As is usually the case, I brought way more fabric than I could use and more projects than I could ever do in one weekend.  I like to keep my options open...LOL!

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know that I have been working on a paper pieced pillow for  a few weeks now.  The pattern is from this book by Jen Kingwell.

 This is a picture of the pillow from the book.  She used scraps to piece her arcs and then added scrappy sashings. 

Before the retreat, I had all of the arcs completed and the other pieces cut out.  One block was completed and three others had the quarter squares added--they are hand sewn as the curve was too tight to sew consistently on my sewing machine. I spent several hours completing the blocks and then I had to decide how to arrange them for my pillow.

My first attempt was just a random placement of the coloured arcs.  I liked the idea of a circle in the middle.  Did I want sashing?  cornerstones?

I rearranged the arcs into colour groupings...I liked this arrangement.  I consulted with other quilters...we thought a coloured square in the middle of each grouping would look good. Would you believe that in my whole suitcase of fabric, I did not have a red scrap that would work for the upper right block???  Luckily, a few other people had some fabric with them....Karen donated a 1.5" square to my quilt and I set to getting the blocks put together.

After putting the blocks together, I quickly realized that this pillow was going to be too big for where I intended to put it, BUT it was the perfect size for a wall hanging!  I added some borders and voila!--it is ready for quilting.  I will be quilting this on my DSM with my walking foot.  I need to let the quilting ideas percolate for a few days first...

I will be blogging about the retreat again...stay tuned.

I will be linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday stitching and Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Walking Foot Quilting Class with Jacquie Gering

This past Thursday and Friday, Christine and I spent two days with Jacquie Gering in St. Mary's, Ontario taking a class on quilting with your walking foot. WOW!!!  We had a wonderful time!!  and we learned lots of new ideas for quilting our own quilts on our domestic machines.  We had to prepare 10 quilt sandwiches before class.  I hand basted mine but most people used spray baste.

We started by talking about straight line quilting.  My sewing machine walking foot is 3/8" from needle to the edge of the foot.  Other walking feet were 1/2".  Jacquie explained how to keep the lines straight by adding painters tape to our projects and using a ruler to measure how far to the tape at the top, middle and bottom of the project. 

These lines were 3/8" apart.  I then subdivided them...

And then again... (but I did not take a picture!)  This is called matchstick quilting and can add wonderful texture to a project.   Jacquie showed us her notebook cover below as a great example of matchstick quilting.  A friend made this cover for her. 

Next, we did some gently curved lines. I used a hera marker to make the first line and then used the edge of my walking foot to sew each line.

We had time after each lesson to try out each type of quilting pattern.

Since everyone was getting quite comfortable with curves, we did some organic quilting next.  I have done lots of this type of quilting in the past.  Jacquie encouraged us to let some of the lines cross to make them look like ribbons. The possibilities are endless!

Spiral quilting was up next...I had already done this on a quilt I showed in my last post, so I spent my practice time learning how to spiral into the centre of the circle.  I made two attempts at this and the second was much better than the first...I think I need to practice more before doing this on a real quilt.  Again, no pictures...sorry.
Jacquie showed us a sample "book" she made of all of the fancy stitches on her sewing machine, sewn at different stitch lengths and widths.  She has a notebook with all the information about each stitch and uses her sample stitches to pick quilting stitches for her quilts.  These stitches can add wonderful texture to a project.

I used one of my quilt sandwiches to try out some stitches on my machine.   I have actually quilted a table topper with fancy stitches before.
I labelled my stitches right on my sample.
This is called Orange Peel quilting--we had to draw a grid on our fabric and then sew curved lines between the intersections.  Jacquie showed us lots of examples of all of the quilting stitches on her own quilts as well as lots of variations for each of the stitches. 
I would like to bottle some of Jacquie's energy and ideas!  It was a wonderful two days and I can't wait to try out some of the ideas we discussed and practiced on my own quilts!
Thanks, Jacquie!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


This week, Christine and I are going to a two day workshop with Jacquie Gering:  "Machine quilting with your Walking Foot".  This weekend, I am preparing my quilt sandwiches to use in the class.  I have everything cut out and I am in the process of hand basting all of the sandwiches. I am using up all of the spools of thread in my stash that just have a little bit of thread far I have emptied 5 spools! There are 11 sandwiches in various sizes to make.  This is using up lots of stash fabric and lots of my batting scraps as well. I am using fusible tape to piece the batting.

I have taken two classes with Jacquie before.  In April 2014, she was the speaker at the London Friendship Quilter's guild and did a workshop called Stitch and Flip.  Here is a picture of my project:

(I have still not finished this project but plan on taking it with me to the retreat next weekend so I can work on it.)
The second class was Improvisational Piecing and took place at Black Creek Pioneer Village in July 2014.

I finished this project and quilted it with a spiral using my walking foot.


I plan on taking this quilt with me this week to show Jacquie. 

I am really looking forward to the workshop this week.  I am fairly proficient at "organic quilting" with my walking foot and feel confident with spiral quilting but would love to have more "tools in my toolbox" for machine quilting my own quilts. 

We are each supposed to bring a quilt top that we have made and part of the class with be discussing quilting possibilities for each of our quilts. I am taking my "Modern Wedge" quilt with me.  I have the backing ready and hope to quilt it next weekend at the retreat after getting some quilting ideas at the class.

Jacquie is an excellent teacher...if she is ever teaching a class in your neck of the woods, you should go!!!  I am so excited about seeing Jacquie again and learning all I can from her this week!!!

I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Here is my stash report...lots of fabric out this report for my daughter's quilt and those quilt sandwiches!

Fabric used since my last stash report: 10.25yards
Total fabric used this year: 38.5 yards
Fabric added to the stash since my last report: 3 yards.
Total fabric added this year: 46.25 yards
Net fabric added this year:  7.75 yards

I am digging myself out of the red hole...

Also linking up to Patchwork Times...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"In the Coop" is DONE!

Finally, a sunny day and my husband was home to hold the quilt for the photoshoot!  I spent Sunday hand sewing the binding and managed to get it all done.  Yesterday was too cold and rainy/snowy to take pictures outside. 

Cathy at Eagles' Wings Quilts did a lovely job with the custom quilting.  There is wood grain quilting on the coop looks great!  The chickens have feathers and the wings have a paisley quilting pattern.  There are eggs in the chicken wire border.

Sorry about the shadows from my Eastern Redbud tree in the pictures.

My chickens are happy to be out in the sunshine!!!

I like the pebbles in the yellow backgrounds too.

It is so nice to have a finished quilt to show to all of you.  I will be taking my quilt to the Elgin Piecemakers meeting later this week for show and tell.  This fall, the London Friendship Quilters Guild will be holding their quilt show and this quilt will make an appearance there too.