Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baby Girl Quarter Sections

 I was invited to a baby shower for a cousin of mine and needed a quick quilt for the new baby girl as I didn't have a lot of time to get it in the mail.  Quarter Sections to the rescue!    My girls helped me pick out the 5 fat quarters and border fabric at Fabriculous in Swan River.

We decided on cuddle fabric for the back, which isn't my usual choice, but it does show off the quilting really nicely.  The panto I put on this one is called "Heart Strings."

And before it was time for it to get in the mail I couldn't resist a photo with our original baby boy version of the pattern. 

The Quarter Sections pattern is available in our Etsy shop or Craftsy shop.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oriental Sampler & My method for the last row of a panto

This lovely sampler quilt belongs to Vanda.  She loves Oriental fabrics and it was neat to see a sampler pieced from them instead of the more typical traditional fabrics.

We used a dark gold Magnifico thread and one of my newer pantos called "Breath of the gods".  It gave a really nice texture to the quilt.

I had a bit of an "Aha!" moment when doing my last couple of pantos.  I am going to share my process for the last row of a panto as I have a system down that really works for me.

When I am ready to advance the quilt, I place a camp behind my front wheel to mark a spot on the partial row on the bottom of the panto.  (The read dot is a little faint, but I think you can see it.)

I then advance the quilt and place the needle directly above the same spot on the panto.

Now to figure out how far I need to stitch to cover the end of the quilt.  It is never a full row.  I go to the front of the machine, and stitch down the edges of the quilt.  I then place the needle about 1" past the bottom edge of the quilt.

I then go the the back of the machine and place a clamp in front of my front wheel.  I now have given myself a boundary to not pass.  You can see the red dot shows how much of the panto row that I need to stitch.   I used to lay rulers out along the length of the panto, but this is much simpler.  I sew normally from right to left and when I hit the clamp I then sew towards the left until I can rejoin the the line and continue sewing the pattern.

Here is what the end result looks like at the bottom of the quilt.  A very easy way to end the panto, and uses up the least amount of batting and backing possible.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Introducing...... Quarter Sections

I am very excited to share the latest pattern from Highway 10 Designs.

The idea for this pattern came from two main sources - requests from our quilter friends to come up with a pattern to use up the Fat Quarter stash they have accumulated over the years and an interest in the Fibonacci Sequence (yes a little bit of a math geek here.)  Kind of an odd combination but we are thrilled with the end result.

We designed this pattern to make really good use of your Fat Quarters. (From a standard fat quarter you aren't left with much more than one 3 1/2" square!)  Easy construction makes this one go together really quickly.  Made entirely of squares it is also great for a beginner as there are no triangle points to cut off!

Quarter Sections is available as a PDF download in our Etsy and Craftsy shops and includes Baby, Lap, Twin, Double, Queen & King sizes. Paper copies will be available soon.

Now, I always love to hear some of the stories behind the scenes..... Naming a quilt seems to be one of the most difficult parts of the process for us.  When we had a look at the finished top we we reminded of the bird's eye view of the Canadian Prairies. 

We tossed around many a name, but "Quarter Sections" just seemed to fit. (For our readers from afar who aren't making the connection, you can check out information on our land survey system here.) 

Normally when Kathy and I publish a pattern we leave the photography in her capable hands - she has a gift and enjoys it as your can see everyday on her blog.  This time out we decided that my geographical area was the right back drop, so I said I would give it my best shot.

It took more than a few than a few tries to get it right. Here are some of the highlights.  First time out I was alone, but found a location I thought would work.  Wind wasn't really cooperating but I thought I would take a few shots and get some feedback from Kathy.  

With advice on a better angle to try, blue skies and my wonderful husband along I thought attempt number two would be a piece of cake - not quite.

The weather was not cooperating for days and days so I was beginning to think that would be the best I would do. But then on Friday there was a calm before the next storm, so I headed off alone again, hoping for the best.  The dust from each passing truck took a long time to settle.

But, finally the shot I was searching for!

I think it all turned out okay in the end, but I will be happy to leave the photography up to Kathy next time.  Check out what she has to say about our latest pattern here.

If you would like to see our designs at your local quilt store wholesale inquiries are welcome through email:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A new to me notion - fork pins

I had a very productive day at the meeting of the Nimble Thimbles guild in Gilbert Plains.  This guild meets twice a month for a day of quilting and visiting.  I attend when I can, and I have been taking my "Yellowstone inspired" quilt to work on.  I am happy to report that I have all 99 blocks pieced!I also got a chance to start putting rows together.

One of the great things about being part of a guild are the things you learn from other quilters.  A month or so ago, a couple of the ladies were watching me work on these blocks and asked if I had ever used fork pins to assist in the matching of all the points.  I had no idea what they were, and no one had any along that day so the discussion kind of stopped there .  The next time we met, Gail gave me this sweet needle book when I walked through the door.

Inside were some fork pins for me to try.

 Eleanor had been out of town to a quilt store and picked up an extra box with me in mind.

So here are two blocks ready to be pieced together an there are two point of the light blue that I want to make sure line up just right.

I always start by placing a pin in the seam right through the two spots that I want to exactly match.

Normally I would have taken a couple more pins and pinned on either side of the seam.  But enter the fork pin.... One prong on each side of the seam all in one step.  Very secure too I might add.  I would then remove my first pin.

I repeated this for the other point, again removing the first pin before I took it to the sewing machine.

And a great final result.

Nothing shifted at the sewing machine resulting in a match that I am willing to show you this close up!  Thanks Gail and Eleanor for introducing me to a new notion that I had no idea even existed.

On a note so positive note, we are dealing with an infestation of Forest Tent Caterpillars in our area.  They are EVERYWHERE!  

This is one tiny leaf.  Sometimes the whole tree is covered in this density. And they hang down off building and tree limbs.  My daughters have not been enjoying their walk to school as trying to avoid them is almost impossible.

This is a view of the trees in our Cul-de-sac.  It is so sad to see them defoliated.  The leaves should come back in a month, or so.  I just can't wait for these critters to move on!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Crayon Quilt

This is the fabric art project that I recently completed for the Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education as part of their Taras Shevchenko 200 Celebrations.  I had the pleasure of working with approximately 90 students from grades K-8. They used crayons on stabilized cotton fabric to create this lovely art.  The older students did all of the heat setting as well. My task was then to piece, quilt and bind it.  It will be on display at a variety of venues across the province over the next year along with 5 other pieces created by other artists in other school divisions.

Students in K-2 focused their art on where Taras Shevchenko was born.

The grade 3 to 5/6 students focused on his writings - poetry and songs.

And the students in Grades 6-8 focused on what Taras Shevchenko stood for.

I enjoyed custom quilting every block and highlighting the details that the students put into their work.

 And the magic binding technique came in handy once again.  I really suggest you try it at least once!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lover's Knot

This charming quilt was made by Eunice.  It is an Eleanor Burns pattern from the Lover's Know Quilt Book.

Eunice chose the Yo-Yo panto, and Quilter's Dream Puff batting which helps to show off the quilting really nicely.  I used a turquoise thread that blended well in to the border. I just love the blue and brown color combination.

And I can't forget to show the back.  A cheerful surprise!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Round Robins!

The end of May meant that the next installment of the Aussie/Canadian Round Robin that I am participating in was due.   I always go into a round robin prepared to not be thrilled with the results, but these are turning out amazing.  Our instructions were to put the block on point and add a wow factor.

I had Desley's block and you can see how it has progressed here.

I was feeling the block could use some breathing room to let the center block shine, so I opted to add the 1/4 Dresden plates to the corners. I used a small zig-zag stitch and invisible thread to stitch them down.  This will leave Desley space for some fabulous quilting.  I also like that it feels very unfinished, so that Bronwyn who gets it next has somewhere to go with it.

The is Bronwyn's block that I had last time.

Kathy added this fabulous Celtic applique. 

This is Kathy's block that Browyn worked on last time.

Desley added stars and interwoven borders to carry on the ideas in the center block. She said she had fun with all the math involved!  I am getting this one for the last round.

And finally my block that Desley had previously worked on.

 Browyn did this amazing hand applique!! (I am allergic to hand applique so I will truly treasure the work put into it.)  Kathy has this one right now, and I can't wait to see it in person!!!