Friday, February 24, 2017

30s Reproduction and Applique



This pretty quilt was made by Janice.  It is so different than what I make, I was really excited to get it on my machine.


I wanted to keep the quilting simple enough to let the charming applique and cute 1930s reproduction fabric shine through.  Stippling behind the applique just seemed to be the right fit.


I quilted in all the white areas, but quilted beside the colored areas.  Some curves and loops worked well in the nine patch and triangle areas.


And some simple feathers in the two outside borders finished off the look. 


Janice has more 30s fabric on the back. I love that it was a color instead of just plain white.


And a few more pictures, just because it is so pretty!







Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Detour Placemats & Table Runner


I made this Detour table runner and set of 6 placemats for my sister-in-law Christie.  I loved how they looked on my table, but when I saw the fabrics they immediately made me think of her so it made it easier to give them away.


I like to have a good amount of quilting on placemats to help them keep their shape as they get washed quite often.  I decided that a mix of straight lines and e's and l's would be the right compliment.



When it came time to do the binding I realized that I was having a bit of a fabric shortage.  So, I decided I would make the 'Magic Binding' as it utilizes more of a fabric you hardly see.  I thought I would add the beige flange to the red outer fabric to make my binding cover what I needed.  As soon as I started the first one I really wasn't happy with the look.


I felt the beige flange was competing with the design instead of enhancing it, and worse yet, the flange was hiding my points in many places!  Now what??  I decided to turn the binding around and put the flange towards the back.  It is a little odd, but I am much happier with the end result. Sometimes you really need to listen to your gut and stop when you don't like something before you get too deep to change directions.


This is one of our Highway 10 Designs patterns and is available in our Etsy Store.  Your local quilt store can also bring in our patterns for you as we are carried by Checker Distributors (US & International), Quilt Source Canada and Contemporary Sewing Materials.






Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stellar by Highway 10 Designs


Introducing Stellar the latest pattern from our very own Highway 10 Designs.  This isn't our typical offering, it does take more of a time investment, but we think it is well worth the effort! If you can sew an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, you can make this quilt.  Even though you see curves, it is fully constructed with straight seams!



People often ask where the inspiration for a quilt comes from.  This one started back in 2013 when my family took an RV trip to Yellowstone.  I was totally intrigued by the colors of these pools.



On the trip home, we saw a big billboard on a small highway advertising a quilt store, along with the words  "RV accessible," so with those images fresh in my mind I picked up this collection of batiks.  There was no plan at that point!


The fabric in the centre of the above photo was my favorite and I picked all the rest of the fabrics to go with it.  Strangely enough, that fabric didn't make the final cut into the quilt, but it was a good jumping off point.  


I have always loved the quilts made from the 54-40 or fight type of block where curves appear from straight piecing.  I loved the idea of putting a spin on that, so I started drawing options in EQ7 and sending them to Kathy for a second opinion.  I came up with a few I liked, but them quickly realized that I had limited amounts of fabric to work with, so the final design was a result of working within those parameters.   What at first seemed like a stumbling block, actually helped the final design come to be.


As a longarmer, my projects don't always get to the top of the pile very quickly.  This top was completed way back in September of 2014 and sat folded up waiting for quilting inspiration for 2 years!  Every once in a while I would doodle ideas, but that "aha" just didn't seem to come. (Maybe it just needed until my skills as a quilter reached a new level.)  Finally, with a local quilt show looming and a self-imposed deadline I went for it.


Straight lines in the star center and frames help to give the illusion that they are twinkling.  That part of the design came first.  My biggest struggle was how to handle all the different ways that the beige and medium brown sections came together.  The diamond motif with pebbles helped to divide things up.  I decided to treat all the beige sections with curly feathers, and all the medium brown with wavy lines.


The outer border got a bead board treatment to provide a nice frame.  


I couldn't be more thrilled with how the quilting turned out.  It really is "my style."   My husband likes this quilt too, as it is not overly feminine. 


I completed the quilting on this back in the fall of 2016, but it only recently came to live in its final home on my bed.  After the quilt show here in Dauphin, Kathy took it up to Flin Flon with her for its official photo shoot.  When you have a friend and business partner who takes the exquisite photos that Kathy does, you send your new baby off with her, because it will be worth it in the end!  Kathy gets the credit for all the beautiful shot of this quilt taken outdoors.  I appreciate the extra effort it took to get this big (92" x 100") quilt to cooperate in the elements!




Stellar is currently available for PDF download in our Etsy Store.    I see this as the kind of quilt that you make for YOURSELF or for an extra special person, or a special occasion like a wedding.  It does take some effort, but the pattern comes with many charts and diagrams to keep you organized along the way.  This is the kind of quilt that looks much harder to make than it really is - it's just a few straight seams!






Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Treasures from my Grandma



As I mentioned in my last post I recently acquired my Grandma's treadle machine.  My aunt had it at her house since my Grandma passed away in 2003.  My aunt was ready to pass it on to me and I was really excited.


The machine is a Singer model 15-88, and from the serial number I found out that it was made in Canada sometime between 1936-1948.  Sometimes you can find a very specific year for these old machines but so far this information that has eluded me.    


The decals have pretty much been worn off from all of the use this machine got over the years.   Clothes, feather ticking for pillows and duvets, mending, hemming - my Grandma did it all on this simple machine.  The belt is still intact and although treadling is obviously an acquired skill, I can say the machine sews perfectly. (It is the operator that needs work!)


I love the design on the end of the head.  I also find the tension knob to be in a very different location than what I am used to.


One of the really amazing things was finding all of my Grandmas tools and notions just as she had left them, neatly organized in each drawer, along with the manual in perfect condition.




The metal legs on the machine are not as heavy or as fancy as the ones produced earlier, but this cabinet still has some fancy wood trim to appreciate.





 As I said this machine was used, and the veneer on the top is certainly a little worse for wear.  I don't have any plans to try to repair it, as it isn't anything that a nice little quilt can't hide and protect from further wear.


This machine came with its own bench as well, and contain in it was yet another treasure.


My aunt passed on the tablecloth made by my Grandma.  So much work went into it and I feel very lucky to have it.


I love the crocheted trim around the edge!  Here  are some close ups of the applique and embroidery.




Look at all the beautiful hand stitching!  I wish that talent was passed onto me.  I don't think I will ever have the skill or patience for that!  


An on the back side you can still faintly see the lettering from the sugar bags that this work of art started out as.









Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Double Wedding Ring Table Runner



I made this Double Wedding Ring Table Runner using the Quiltworx pattern called Forever Yours.  The arcs are paper pieced from batik jelly roll strips. The pattern is well drafted and the curves pieced together really well.  I love the look and it is definitely something I would make again.


It is easier to see the quilting designs in this picture of while it was in progress on my frame.  Sometimes I get questions about how much marking I do for certain designs.  I always do the minimum amount of marking I can, but in order to keep a reasonable amount of symmetry in the centre motif, I knew I needed a few reference points.  I marked the diagonal lines as well and the horizontal and vertical ones as those would show me where my feather spine needed to land.  I also drew the four little ovals that would be the empty spaces that the first feather plume would nestle into.  


My feather plumes motifs are far from identical, but there is enough similarity for it to be pleasing to the eye without being too stuffy.


I decided this runner would be the perfect gift for an aunt of mine, and I couldn't in good conscience give it without making sure those rich burgundy batiks would not bleed onto the background fabric when she washed it.


I have to admit I was a little scared of the idea of washing it myself, but I decided to follow the instructions in the article "Save my Bleeding Quilt" written by a fellow fabric dyer and quilter that I respect - Vicki Welsh of Colorways by VickiWelsh.  She is very scientific in her test methods, so I felt confident to go ahead.


After a 12 hour dip in the tub with some blue Dawn  dishsoap, my quilt came out perfectly.  (You really need to go and read the whole article for all the details.)


When I dropped this little gift off with my aunt, this got to come and live with me!  It was my Grandmothers and I will share more about it tomorrow.