Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The cobbler's kids get new shoes...

Or, the quilter's couch gets new pillows.

We've now lived in our new house for just over a year. When we moved, we bought our first ever, brand new chesterfield/sofa/couch. And for the entire year I had the pillows from the factory just sitting there, begging for fun, patchwork pillow covers.

After making fun pillows for a swap, I was finally inspired to make some for us. I found an old UFO(Pillow Talk Swap from 2010 that got rejected for this pillow) and quilted it up.

Then I picked some of my favourite blue and green prints and made a simple patchwork pillow.  I found some coordinating Nicey Jane fabric for the border. I love simple patchwork. But please ignore the funny shape of this pillow. The form is weird...I really need to get a different one!

My favourite is this little Heather Ross Van. Here it is up close:

And now my couch is happy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just One Slab

The amazing Cheryl (co-author of Sunday Morning Quilts) and Calgarian is collecting quilt blocks for the people of Southern Alberta affected by recent flooding.

We have quite a bit of family in Calgary, and fortunately, they were not immediately affected by the flooding. I am shocked at the level of destruction in Southern Alberta and my heart aches for the people who are now dealing with the receding flood waters. What I love Cheryl's idea of collecting blocks is that it is easy for us quilters to make a couple of blocks. And every block sent brings our love and prayers with it.

I am pledging at least two 15.5" blocks. For all information, including block construction method, please visit Cheryl's blog.

What about you? Are you sending anything to Alberta?

Monday, June 24, 2013


Thanks for all of your encouragement about my Drunkard's Path quilt and helpful suggestions about thread and needles.

I must admit, quilting this quilt has been an extremely frustrating experience. I thought that I had solved the problem with a larger needle, but the thread continued to break literally every 30 seconds. After I realized that the needle wasn't the problem, I spent a long time on the phone with my machine dealer in Kamloops, and he patiently walked me through every potential problem. We quickly discovered that my bobbin tension was too tight (I didn't even know that it could be adjusted!), so I was hopeful that the issue was finally resolved. Not so! Even with a larger needle, and the correct tension on both the bobbin and the top thread, I realized that my Grand Quilter hates Mettler thread.

Results of my picking!

I decided to try quilting the quilt from the other side with my go-to Aurifil thread, and of course, it quilted like a dream. The only time I had to stop was when my bobbin ran out! Unfortunately, it meant a few days spent unpicking all of my stitches made with the other thread. I had only quilted 12 blocks, but it still took forever to unpick all of those stitches.

Beautiful thread....just not for my machine!

I am officially donating the almost full spool of Mettler thread to my quilt guild, hopefully someone has a machine that doesn't eat it. And from now on, I'm sticking to what I know works.

Aurifil Thread
 What about you? What thread do you use for machine quilting?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Drunkard's Path Quilt

I started a new quilt a few weeks ago. I am making it for someone who loves circles, and asked for bright colours with pink, green, orange and aqua.

Basting in the playroom
Drunkards Path Quilt

I decided to dig out my drunkard's path templates that I've had forever (mine are Elisa's Backporch Design in both 3.5 and 7 inches), and use only fabrics from my stash. These templates are amazing. The cutting was so quick and easy as compared to paper templates.

Love these templates for cutting drunkard's path pieces. Well worth the $$$.

The blocks were easier to piece than I expected (the templates came with great instructions for only using 1 pin per block). However, once I got all of the blocks made and placed out on my design wall, I hated this quilt. It just seemed much too bright. When I was picking fabrics, I really tried to mix my mostly medium tone prints with both light and dark prints, but it was difficult to do using only stash fabrics. I think now that I really needed more low volume, or even a light neutral background fabric to tone down the brightness of the quilt.

I must admit, however, that it is slowly growing on me. It helps to take a step back, and to take a look at it through the camera lens. Then it is possible to see the circles, and the quilt is a little less crazy.

On the design wall
Drunkard's Path on the Design Wall

I am now working on quilting it. But I'm having a terrible time. I bought new thread - a pretty variegated Mettler silk finish thread, and it keeps breaking. The tension doesn't seem to be the problem, so I think the needle is too small for the thicker thread. Of course, I can't buy needles for my machine locally (I need heavy duty needles for my Pfaff Grand Quilter) so I ordered some new ones today. I'll give them a try, and if that doesn't work, I'll have to change thread.

Free Motion Quilting

I'll leave you with a photo of me and my youngest. She loves having her photo taken, especially by her big sister.

Me and Little Miss S