Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Splash of Colour Quilt Along

Here are half of my blocks for the Splash of Colour QAL with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts:

A few years ago, I started collecting fat quarters, 1/4 or 1/3 yard cuts of black and white fabrics, thinking it would be cool to make a quilt one day entirely in black and white. The stack has mainly just sat.  I did use several of them in Callum's quilt, Shift. There are bats from Brady's quilt, Jack and Friends. Then there are several meaningful ones, like the Paris one, the starfish, the music, the flowers, the French text, the sewing-themed ones.

I'm so happy that Myra is running this quilt along, because it gave me the incentive to use these, and to do them in a pattern in a magazine I've had the page open to for the past oh year? Blue and green is my favourite colour combination, no matter the shade or hue. I like this splash of colour idea better than just black and white, too! I also appreciate the relaxed schedule, as I'm able to fit it in as a leader/ender project or when I just feel like grabbing something to sew for a half hour.  It's not too late to join us! Click the link in the first sentence to get the 'deets', as they say.

It's hard to know what to say, what to do, in these dark days, where depressing events occur on a daily basis, and I find myself in such despair for our planet, environmentally-wise, (the deaths this year of 15 more right whales, only 500 left globally; the pipeline going ahead and tar sands continuing) and for our people, wars and hate-wise, (hundreds of children dead or starving in Yemen due to the relentless bombing, where the US and UK are supplying bombs, Canada supplying arms --we are one of the top 10 exporters of arms--, the ethnic cleansing occurring in Myanmar, where the military is using rape as a weapon and method of intimidation, the deportation of Haitians now from the US). Joining across continents in these type of Quilt Alongs, shows me that we are one. It is possible to join hands and do things together, beautiful things. Who cares what colour Myra's skin is splashed with? What god or goddess Cindy, who is also participating, worships? What foods Rose, another participant, eats on special occasions?  Whether I sleep at night with a male or a female partner? Sigh.

If I figure out some way to help in Yemen I will let you know. Donating to the Red Cross, an organization for which I have deep respect, is one way to get much-needed money in the right hands. There is a special section for donations to the Rohingya crisis, which will be matched by the Canadian Government until November 28. I also know and believe that doing good works quietly within one's own community surely must have ripple effects.
Linking up

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Singer Featherweight Love #2

She nearly became a tractor.

Wow, back in June when I wrote the Featherweight Love #1 post, I did not envision it being this long before I wrote about my second machine purchase. You may recall that in finally actively pursuing a long-held dream of owning a Featherweight, I became the owner of two within one weekend! This girl was the first one I spied on kijiji, a buy/sell site, when I decided to 'just see' if there were any available in my area. There was just this one, in Belle River, which is where I got my first teaching job when we moved here in the 80s.
Here she is on her first sewing job, on May 4. Yup, the thread is not being fed through the cone thread guide in this photo, but I always always do, as these machines were not made for the cross-wound style of threads we have nowadays.

Just look at her tension and be amazed when you find out her background:
Right side is top thread, left side is bobbin thread. Pretty darn fantastic, no?

What's with the tractor?

Like I said, this was the first one I emailed about. The person selling her did not respond for two days. She had no case, and no cord, and hadn't sold, so the price was reduced to $90. I checked with my good friend Danielle, who owns two Featherweights, and had rekindled my flame to own one. She said they normally sell for around $300 here. So this one must've had something seriously wrong with her. When the guy still hadn't responded after a few days, I looked a little further afield which is when I found Mathilda, aka Tillie up in Tillsonburg.

Then he responded, on a Friday. Someone else was supposed to take a look the next day, and he'd let me know if it was still available. However, the next day, Saturday, we'd arranged to take the trip to Tillsonburg. As you know, we bought Tillie. I wasn't sure what kind of state the Belle River machine was in, nor whether she'd still be available. Well. That very evening, Belle River emailed back and said I could come Sunday and see her. Did I really need another Featherweight? No. But she was the first. She's American; Tillie is Scottish. She was an incredible price, and well, I'd bought a spare case from Tillie's seller just in case I acquired her... She could share Tillie's foot control.  It's only 25 minutes' drive away.... I had a déjà vu sort of feeling about her...

Well, we arrived, and when the garage door opened, I saw not one little dusty Featherweight but many, many Singer sewing machines, various models, in various states of disrepair and pieces. Yep. Pieces. And then.  I saw a little tractor, the tractor motor housing and steering wheel being a Singer machine, modified (noooo) to look like a tractor. Painted. Apparently the guy's dad who was deceased, used to collect old Singers and turn them into display tractors (that link will show you). The machine I had come to see actually did work though. He showed us. She was a little rougher than Tillie, but still purred along. No case. No foot. No attachments, had sat for who knows how long....would he consider $75? He certainly would. Sold.

And then, he said, "I might have a foot cord you can take that will work with the machine. You might have to replace the wiring. As you see, my dad collected all kinds of old machines, and repurposed them into tractors."
Had to wipe off some layers of grime!

Now, what to name this new girl? I was super-duper-excited to have scored her for this price! I cleaned and oiled and greased her up at the same time I was doing Mathilda. Hmm, Belle? She certainly was a little beauty as I shined her up, working over the course of many a spa session on the tape residue on her bed. She came from Belle River...no, Belle is too close to Bella. It took some time, but she is just Billie. Close to Belle, rhymes with Tillie. She's feisty. She escaped becoming a John Deere.  She waited for me to bring her back to life. She's built the same year as our house, 1947. She actually sews quieter and smoother than 1951 Tillie! And, well, the other Billie I know is Billie Halliday, a pretty fine, smooth-voiced singer....😍 My grandmother's treadle machine, which I inherited, is Millie, my grandmother's name. A good trio. (ya ya, I do have two other vintage Singers, not Featherweights, but their names do not rhyme. I will write about them as well, don't worry.)

So I take turns on the Featherweight girls. I sewed most of the summer on Tillie, but this Fall, pulled out Billie and have been using her a lot. The more I use her, the smoother she sews. My one and only concern is the elusive 1/4" seam. At first, I would switch out Tillie's throat plate that her seller had had engraved with the seam allowances. That was okay but the 1/4" marking was a tad healthy.

Long story short, I decided to buy the acrylic seam guide from Nova (not an affiliate link). I sewed for the months of September and October using this seam guide.

I like the unobtrusive screws you use to hold the acrylic in place.  You can get it to exactly a scant 1/4" (note my little ruler to the right for this purpose).  However, there were a few issues. The first was despite being flat on the bed, threads did occasionally find their way between the acrylic and the bed of the machine, and the fabric would sometimes slide under it slightly. She suggests removing the front screw of the throat plate to get it as flat as possible on the bed, but that is the original screw, though not the original throat plate (it's Mathilda's) and so it did lie very flat. I was not a fan of removing that screw anyhow (gotta find a safe place for it); what about when I don't need the acrylic, then I need to put that screw back in, and remove the guide to clean under the throat plate when I oil her. I also found it a bit of a pain ensuring the guide was exactly perpendicular as well, holding it in place while I finger-tightened the screws, adjusting again as it invariably wiggled (think smooth acrylic on smooth machine bed).

Second, pinning, which I don't do a lot of, but at intersections I almost always do, was a learning curve. Because of the thickness of the acrylic, about 3/16", if you pin with the pin sticking out on the right side of the fabric, the pin hits the guide, and you have to remove it. So I made sure to pin so that the pin is sticking out to the left, and the tip didn't stick out past the 1/4" seam. A bit of a pain, especially if I'm dropping in pins as I go. I'm right-handed, so I'd be either awkwardly trying to pin on top of the fabric with my left hand, or lifting up the fabric and pinning with my right hand but underneath the fabric layers. Ugh.

Finally, the worst and not fixable issue is sewing on either side of a marked line. With a seam guide resting on the bed of your machine, the fabric will not lie flat. See below where you see me trying to do the corner connector method to make Lorna's Dog Gone Cute dog blocks for Karen at kaholly.

So ix-nay Corner Connector method, No-Waste Flying Geese, HSTs, as well as joining binding ends, unless you cut the 1/4" seams before stitching. I'd go back to my Bernina for any of these techniques. Not the end of the world when I have both machines as you see in the first photo, on either side of my sewing table. However, were I to be sewing at a friend's house, or at a retreat, I'd not be packing along two machines!

I wrote to Nova before I posted this, to see if there was a solution or suggestion to my concerns. I let her know I'd be writing about this on my blog, and that a few readers had asked my thoughts on the seam guide. I told her that had I realized the third issue, I'd have probably put my money towards a 1/4" foot instead. Well, she was not the best at customer service, let's just say that. Wow. I was pretty surprised at the tone of her response. I will say that she has added a sentence in the product description about the geese and HST issue. She was most definitely not very understanding, devoting an entire paragraph to the much better benefits of her guide, by being able to adjust seam guides from 1/4" to 1" and beyond...  Not too many quilters I know of who require anything other than 1/4" for the vast majority of their quilting.

So.  What did I do? Well I had a generic 1/4" foot I bought 20 years ago or more for my Elna. It fit on the Featherweight and I sewed with it for a bit.  Then I decided you know what? After 20 years of use, I do think I could buy a new 1/4" foot that is known to be terrific, and works fabulously with Featherweights. So I ordered the Little Foot from Sewing Machines Plus. (affiliate link) It is still on sale for $19.99.  I have been sewing with it for the past week and I love love love it.  Yup. Three loves.  It has a little beef, or muscle, meaning more than my generic 1/4" foot for my Elna.  It actually sews better than my Bernina 1/4" foot made for Berninas! Sadly, my Bernina has always annoyed me going over any bulky seams; it chokes a bit and the stitches go very tiny, and often I have to help her by tugging gently on the fabric as it is trying to get out from under the foot.  Not so with the Little Foot and little Billie.  She chugs along merrily and smoothly as can be. See for yourself:
One thing to note, that the iPhone is propped between my boobs in my bra, lol, (good thing they're tiny but perky), resting against the inside of my t-shirt, therefore quite close to the machine. Thus it sounds a bit more "clunkety" than it truly is.

Here is a photo to compare the original Singer foot with the new Little Foot.
Ha! Nesting seams means sometimes you find you've pressed them the wrong way when you line up intersections. A little re-pressing once this is sewn and Bob's yer uncle!

One of Nova's arguments for her seam guide was being able to adjust it to exactly a scant 1/4", whereas with the 1/4" foot one is relegated to the manufacturer's idea of a 1/4". Well, I measured.  Pressed my seams to one side as you see.  Lined up just-sewn pieces with the next piece and all is very very well.

So in my honest opinion, if you are wanting a tool that helps you get that perfect scant 1/4", I would recommend the Little Foot. The acrylic guide that Nova sells is also a great tool, and sure does adjust sideways to whatever width seam you may require, but it is limited where certain quilting methods are concerned.

One other thing to note about my sweet Billie is her bed. See how shiny it is?!  Look back at the first photo, taken May 4, and see the gummy and hard residue from previous sewists using tape to mark the seam guides. With lots of spa sessions, gentle massage (lol) rubbing with machine oil, gentle scraping with fingernails, I've been able to get it pretty much completely all off.  I am also getting totally comfortable with oiling her and even gave her a little grease on her gears the other day.  I did order Nova's motor lubricant, which I haven't used yet, but plan to shortly. It doesn't need doing like the regular oiling does.

Something else I ordered from Nova is a set of four rubber bed cushions. However, I have since found out they are $4 cheaper (only $6 for the set) at Sewing Machines Plus. Billie's were either not there at all, or so compacted and eroded that even MacGyver had a bit of a time digging them out. But we persevered, and she now has four new feet! You can soften them up with a bit of kerosene, apparently, but we got them out okay.
Fancy-footed girlie! Look on the brown towel and you see the bits of shrapnel from the previous eroded, rotted feet. Also note to the right of the machine is a red felt spool cushion, also purchased from Nova for only 35c.

Just a note on my 150 Canadian Women quilt. My OMG for November is getting it to flimsy form.
Here are half the blocks, 75 of them, with side sashing sewn on. I am finally using this gorgeous leaves low volume fabric from Benartex, 'Nature Studies', that I've had for eons, and that I love. It was the lining and featured in several blocks of a lightweight jacket I made about a decade ago!   Anyhow, for the Canadian Women quilt, I was unsure what I was doing, two quilts, or one, sashing or not, so I didn't sew these on as I went. I've been doing it as a leader/ender project. I am not quite half way on the next 75.  And I have now realized I need to do 6 more blocks since I'm doing just one big quilt, so that it will be 12X13 blocks, = 156.  I'd figured all along it would be 10X15 blocks, a rather long narrow quilt...  Anyhow, stay tuned for further developments on it, progress on my Splash of Colour, which you see one of the blocks of in the second last photo, and more on my other Singers.

A note that next weekend is the last one in November, and therefore a DrEAMi! party opens on Saturday.  In case you may have been sidetracked by a squirrel... Oh and I'm sure some sales will be sidetracking your wallet too, no doubt! Remember to check your email from Connecting Threads (affiliate link) for whatever fabulous deal they are going to offer on Monday. I don't even know!

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Cooking Up Quilts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wayward Transparency

I already knew it had been a while since I posted, but when I got a text from my daughter, Dayna, stating, "you don't blog anymore," I decided all right, sit your butt down at the laptop and write a post. There's no real reason for the 11 days' gap between posts; yes I've been sewing, bits and bats of various projects, nothing much (yet) to show. I've been reading too: some of it very heavy and oppressive, A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead, non-fiction about the women in the French Resistance during Nazi occupation in WWII, not as oppressive but not really uplifting, The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff, historical fiction, also about that same time period. Now I'm reading a fairly light fiction, Folly by Alan Titchmarsh. I'm part of two quilt alongs, the third, The Honeypot Bee, falling by the wayside but I do plan to pick and choose some of the blocks to at least have a wallhanging or small lap quilt.

I'm up to date with Step 2 of Wayward Transparency hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. There are several layout possibilities with these four blocks.

Here are my four, taken this morning in the beginning rain. We are now under a heavy rainfall advisory over the next 24 hours, so this is as good as the photos will get! Sorry for them being a little skewed; it was, "Line 'em up, quick lift the phone in the air, check all four blocks are visible on the screen, lift a little higher, click! Rotate a couple blocks..." Repeat. No clue why the colour isn't consistent in all four photos, outside of the rain actually starting to fall by the last two arrangements!
The first is the original layout as in Yvonne's quilt. I like this one. The four corners are symmetrical. You barely notice that the centres of the four blocks... are not. I know I didn't until I started this second step! The eye sure can be fooled!

Oops cut a bit of the one corner off, but the rain was beginning, so good enough. Here I turned two opposing blocks outward. Ya, no. Not a fan.

I like this one too, because there is symmetry in the centre, and I love the radiating squares...until my eye finds the outer square isn't there, and that bugs me. I want four medium pink corners... So I am ix-naying this.

At this point, I had seen these three layouts on Tish's blog; I had only got half way through piecing the first two blocks. She actually has a fourth layout on her blog, two 'arrows' pointing in and two flowing through the quilt from bottom right to top left. Didn't feel that layout either. So #1 was going to be the one.

And then.

Yesterday she sent me another layout that she had played around with in EQ, and well, the sun shone and the choir sang. (too bad not in real life because the blocks were actually getting fairly wet; if you look closely, you'll see raindrops!

Yep, yep, this is it.

As for the transparency, I do think my medium and dark are spot on, but I think my light pink is too light. I mean, overall, it's great and I like it, but there's a bit of a jump between the light and the medium. I am very happy to say that I put my menopausal melon through a good math workout, both good old figuring and also geometry, and was able to get all the A (light) pieces out of the yardage I had with a mere 5" by not quite WOF to spare! I had to reinvent the cutting directions but it all worked out; I didn't even have to piece to get the long 24.5" pieces either, yay.

If you haven't joined in, it's not too late! Yvonne has all the directions under the Wayward Transparency link I provided, and the quilt stitches up really quickly. Each block is 24" square finished, so you have a 48" quilt with only four blocks, sweet!

I have a few posts percolating, so I might break my 'computer-free Sundays' rule and post again tomorrow. This quilt was stitched entirely on my 1947 Singer Featherweight with a brand new Little Foot, which I want to rave, er write about, along with the machine's story, long overdue. I picked it up on sale at Sewing Machines Plus (affiliate link) (just checked, it still is, only $19.99) because I was unhappy with the seam guide I had bought. More on that in the next post as well. I'm a new affiliate, though not a new customer, for Sewing Machines Plus, so clicking through on that link or the one on the sidebar will earn me a small commission on any sales. They sell a few brands of thread I really like, King Tut (LOVE) among them.

Waaah, hope some of you got in on Connecting Threads (affiliate link) 50% off one day only threads sale yesterday, Friday.  If, like me, you didn't, at least they are still on for a decent deal, 30% off. This thread works wonderfully on my Avanté, minimal fuzz, straight line quilting or FMQ, it's terrific. I use it primarily with The Bottom Line in the bobbin. Anyhow, CT is having more of these one-day sale events this coming week, which are a surprise, so be sure you get their emails, and be sure (ask me how I know) to check your emails on a daily basis! The next flash sale is Nov. 20 and the one after that Nov. 22. They are having a week-long sale as well, (that affiliate link will take you to the correct page): 50% off on stash builders and pre-cuts fabric, to mention just one.

Thank you so very much for your support of this blog. 😘

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Still Thinking Pink

Here is a rosy post for you...and for me too. Always a downer coming home from a Brady visit.
I am happy to report that my first project I hit upon for the RSC2017 has all blocks complete. The pink one is now done.
It's no secret star blocks are my favourite, with the schoolhouse block a very very close second. However, I saw these as house blocks, not quite schoolhouses, when I started this back in January. Each block is 16.5" unfinished. The pattern is free on my Craftsy store, (affiliate link) but it is for the first one I made, which doesn't have the windows. The house has evolved over the course of this year.  This house's 'garden' is a little overrun with dog paw prints! Thanks, Jake for the perfect, much-loved Laurel Burch piece there, and the inspirational thoughts of hers in the windows. 😘 I thought it a nice touch, especially seeing how poor Naala had such a rough and scary month in October. We are so thankful that she is still here, doing really well, got the last of her staples out, has gained 5 pounds back, and is eating like a horse!

The Rising Star is one of my favourite star blocks so I thought it would be cool to have a double star for this last block. I mean what's not to love about a star in a star?! I did pause for a half a minute and think, do I really want to make a 3" star? Like how big, er small would the star points have to be?

Answer: 3/4" finished.

Take a big breath. It wasn't too long before I had this:
Okay, that is tiny! But SO CUTE! Fabrics, I have to tell you: the centre is a scrap from my mum's quilt I just gave her; my previous post tells all about it. The star points are a batik scrap from the coolest bag I made years ago (should blog that on a Throwback Thursday--what happened to those anyhow?), love batiks. The background is a pink Cracked Ice, a very popular fabric in a multitude of colours, much like Moda Grunge, back when I first started quilting in the 90s.
New + old (er, vintage) = perfection!

All my blocks, in chronological order of colour of the month:
I am going to put sashing between, not sure what colour yet. There are scraps from projects done this year, like the house front purple, the border of the Cows quilt, the blue house roof, from Let Your Star Shine, and scraps from forever ago, like the 'garden' the red house sits on, smocked dresses for my girls in the early 90s, the neutral block house front is lining of a patchwork light jacket from the early 2000s, and one of the star points in that block a scrap from the second quilt I made. This is why I love scrap quilts best: the memories, sensations, life goings-on, visuals that pop into my brain when I see a fabric are vast and plentiful and..well. pungent comes to mind because they are just so real, more than just smell and taste.

I am up to date with Wayward Transparency QAL.
Lotsa love on Instagram for this photo. I know I sure am pleased with the pinks! Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go for them. Wish me luck as the lightest pink is a little iffy, yardage-wise, so I might be creatively cutting... that, or creatively cussing if things go awry! This is the chance one takes when using fabrics from one's stash and leftovers.

Moving along the Colour Wheel to pink's mama, red, I am just ecstatic that I completed the last three blocks in the 150 Canadian Women QAL!
148 - Ada Jane McCallum: now this lady was one smart and colourful Madam! She ran 51 Hollis Street in Halifax, and ran it fairly, looking after her girls; in her 60s she moved to Dartmouth and ran a call girl service; 149 - Beverley Busson: a part of Troop 17, Canada's first women RCMP officers; she also got her law degree, and was Canada's first woman Commander of the Order of Merit of Police Forces, an also was named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women; 150 - Mom: Kat made this last block in honour of all moms/mums in Canada, that it's a choice, not an obligation, and wrote a great paragraph of her thoughts on motherhood. I adapted her heart block (had to finagle a bit, because I only had a 5" square of the flag fabric) to show that I love Canada with all my heart, and am, like my dad, a proud Canadian.

Monday was such a nice day, perfect light in the late afternoon for photographing these and the pink house block. Those are fallen leaves from our Norway Maple, such a brilliant yellow, a ton of them now on the ground thanks to all-day thunderstorms (hindered my sewing big time, grrr), pounding rain and crazy wind of Sunday. I wanted to point out that in block 149, the top right, I worked in a bit of my hoarded Canada 150 fabric, a piece I love that has interesting Q&A about Canada. It says 'RCMP officer'. 😊 The opposite large square is actual old newspaper headlines fabric and this one, from the Ottawa (Canada's capital) Citizen talks about the inauguration of Alberta, my home province, into the then Dominion of Canada in 1905 where "the Mounted Police displayed a splendid exhibition drill". Two à propos fabrics, n'est-ce pas?

My second RSC2017 project is the Migrating Geese, which is going to be the one I quilt up for Q4 FAL. I hung up the strips on my design wall uh, ceiling tiles/air space, ha. Then I hung them a little different way, and then again...well I seem to have four possible layouts. Which do you like? Tell me in the comments below please! I was leaning heavily to C, but now I'm thinking maybe D...
Clockwise from top left, A: all geese going the same way (could be down, too); B: alternating strips north and south; C:  first half flying north, second half flying south; D: alternating as in B, but also alternates warm and cool colours, which are still in ROYGBIV order.

Coming full circle, here is my pink begonia, taken Monday, Nov. 6, a little less full thanks to falling over in a bad wind a couple of weeks ago, but thriving still, nonetheless:

I do think its days, and that of the verbena sitting in the willow chair above it, as well as that of the impatiens in the front garden, are limited, seeing as the weather is going to take a turn for the worse, with overnights going below 30F/ -1C beginning mid-week. All things said and done, I adore Fall more each year we have moved back here.
Sunday morning, the road into our 'hood, before the storms hit. Ah, the colours--!! From greens to golds to oranges, to deep reds, a feast for the eyes.

This is the 6th Fall back here now, like how can it be 6 years since I was in the throws of getting into report cards gear at about this time, chasing down unruly teenagers who owed me assignments, agonizing over those going away on vacation right when it was a major test...

BACK to my reality today, which I love! Big breath! Yep, loved teaching, LOVED it, but it is good to be going in other directions... Funny, I realized this morning as I was doing the math for, and planning the execution of another pattern that will be coming out in another Modern By the Yard e-zine (insert ear to ear grin) that I still am teaching, as in yoga, but also as in sharing learning and teaching techniques, by writing patterns. Now to get my butt anchored back in my chair to learn more on EQ.  A little progress has been made in that direction, I am happy to report!

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Freemotion by the River

Friday, November 3, 2017

Forever Flowers

As we know, flowers do not last forever. However, one can replenish one's supply, one's vases, one's garden, with flowers.  Forever.  Right?  Flowers in fabric, now, do not need replenishing; they definitely are forever.  Well for a few hundred years, I hope.
This is 'Forever Flowers', a quilt I made for my mum for her 80th birthday, which was, ahem, almost one year ago. Her birthday, not the quilt finish.

It is one of my goals on my Q4 List which you fill find on that link.

These are glorious Kaffe Fassett fabrics, fabrics I would never, all by myself, have put together. It's worth mentioning the hand of this fabric; I am mesmerized by Art Gallery Fabrics, silky soft that they are. These, by Rowan Fabrics, Mum and I agreed, are like that: a cotton sateen smooth finish to them that is tactile-pleasing out the yin-yang for me, ha.

Here is block 1 cut and beginning to be assembled, above the not-yet-cut fabrics for block 2. There are 33 pieces in each star block.

This is a Craftsy kit (affiliate link that will take you to two pages of Kaffe Fassett fabric and kits, though this one is no longer available) that I bought late last winter/early spring, planning to have it made for my mum's 80th birthday which was November that year, 2016.  Sadly, I did not get it done in time.

There are 30 blocks in the quilt, 15 of each fabric compilation. This is block 1. The colours are incredibly vibrant!

The pattern wants you to do the stitch and flip method for the flying geese and the corner connector method for the outer star points on the rectangles. I figured out the measurements to do the no-waste geese method for the flying geese.  I then made a template so I could pre-cut the triangles and rectangles at 45 degrees to make the outer star points on the rectangles, which you can see below. This means more leftover fabric! I stitched the flying geese on my Bernina, but my 1947 Featherweight did the rest of the quilt.

With Bella supervising of course!

Then it was time to cut and piece fifteen block 2's.  It's the same pattern, just different fabrics.

Again sewn on my little girl. I actually like piecing on her better than on my Bernina, shh! She sews better over bulky seams, takes 'em in stride, whereas the Bernina tends to choke a bit, the stitches go very tiny, and I have to help pull the fabric on through.

The photo below shows my design uh, ceiling...wait, design air lol, not enough room for a design wall up here, which soon held the flimsy, all 990 pieces of it, (30 blocks of 33 pieces each) assembled in the Book It! method I describe here.

Then it was time to assemble the backing, which I'd also purchased from Craftsy. I wish I'd thought to try to match the flowers better, but it's all good. The horizontal seam is pretty decent, but the vertical join a bit off.

For the batting, I tried Hobbs 80/20 for the first time which I'd bought at Connecting Threads (affiliate link). It's a little lighter in weight than my favourite Warm 'n Natural 100% cotton. I thought it would be easier for my mum to maneuver around on her bed, and launder as well. I loved the way it quilted up, just slightly more loft than Warm 'n Natural, with definitely less weight to the finished quilt.

I'd decided to quilt my favourite all-over motif, this flower, that I first saw in 'American & Patchwork Quilting' in the early 2000s. I now like echoing it, as you see below, adding loops and leaves. Planned to do that over the entire quilt, as the quilt is all about the fabric. Loaded it.  And then, as quilts are wont to do, it talked to me, said, 'You know, there is this lovely diagonal line to this quilt. You've seen it right from the get-go. Why not accentuate it? The quilt pattern is called Lovely Lattice, why not make a lattice-type effect with lines? Go on. You know you want to...'
and so I did.  And so it was.
I did not realize that it would create a cool woven effect in the orange centres.
I used Aurifil 2123, remembering that Angela Walters says her favourite colour to use on multi-colour quilts is a pale yellow. It was perfect.
Love that particular star block centre.

Quilting the lines, half an inch apart with a ruler, sure did make an all-over lattice effect, as well as emphasize the diagonal flow of the layout.

The binding fabric was that orange stripe, just terrific. But not terrific for my mum, who is a green-obsessed, blue-hater (gasp! like how?). So I perused my greens, pulled a few possibilities: "no, that's a yellow-green, no this one's blue-ish, that's too light, this doesn't make a statement... aha!"
A metre or so languishing in my stash? Did I use it in her 70th birthday quilt? Maybe... I did take a  photo of that quilt, the pattern from 'American Patchwork & Quilting' in 2007 when I was at her house:
Couldn't quite get it all in; it sits on top of her double bed, doesn't hang down much.  Nope, didn't use that green.
 I love appliqué on top of a pieced background. I machine-appliquéd the flowers, leaves and stems, and then went back in and stitched the French knots and stamens by hand.
I even found where I'd stitched her name in this one (yep, I did in the newest one too, wait for it!)
This one was quilted on my Bernina, I believe with a 30-weight Sulky Blendables thread. Those who have followed me for a while know that I always quilt the recipient's name in their quilt somewhere, as well as my own initials. Sometimes I quilt other little important words too.

10 years later:
It's Marian. With an 'a'. 😉

My mum does love flowers. Here is the back, another glorious Kaffe floral (ha! with the arch of the bird feeder stand):
There were two choices of backing, and I couldn't decide so I had Dayna pick. I love her choice!
I sewed on a fabric label with the quilt details handwritten on it with gel pen. I also was sure to sew in my label from Ikaprint:

Mum loved the quilt, has decided to have it in the front room, where she thinks, and I agree, that the colours really pop against her deep green couches and pale green walls. I said that I'd thought it would be for her bed since it's a fair bit bigger than her last one I made, but she thinks she can use it to snuggle under while watching TV. As long as she does use it is all I ask, lots! We tossed it in her washing machine on cold, with her Shaklee laundry detergent, and then into the dryer for a 15-minute cycle on low. She spread it out on a sheet to finish drying, and sent me this photo:

It looks a bit pink, which it isn't! It came out nicely, with that crinkle we quilters love.

The day that I left to fly to Alberta, I took the quilt to my beloved Seacliff Beach for a few glamour shots.

Perfect late afternoon light
Against the backdrop of Lake Erie that criss-crossing lattice pattern shows up well:

Rolled up, ready to go into the suitcase:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Lovely Lattice by Heidi Pridemore
Size: 60 X 72" (did not measure it after washing)
Fabric:  Kaffe Collective by Rowan Fabrics for quilt top and backing; binding is 'Texture' by Erlanger Group
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/polyester
Quilted: on Avril, my Avanté
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Aurifil 2123 40 wt.

It wouldn't be a trip to the beach without at least 10-12 minutes of beach glass and lucky stones hunting. No lucky stones turned up but again, a decent haul of beach glass, so pretty!

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
TGIFF at Summer Lee Quilts
Q4 FAL at

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

150 Canadian Women Update, So Close!

I would have had all 150 blocks finished to show you, but a certain quilt for a certain mother took priority. You'll see that finish on Friday. My November OMG, which I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts, is going to be finishing the top, as in getting this to a flimsy. That's a fairly tall order, but do-able with the chain piecing, leader/ender style of sewing I prefer to do. I haven't shown you any blocks here on the blog (but they've all been on Instagram) since September!
127 - Julia Grace Wales: pacifist, her work to end war led to the establishment of the United Nations; 128 - Yvonne Madelaine Brill: aerospace engineer who invented and patented the jet propulsion system used in positioning satellites, also worked on the rocket engine for the space shuttle; 129 - Nell Shipman: first Canadian woman to make a feature film, one of the few Canadians to make silent movies; turned down Samuel Goldwyn of Hollywood because she wanted to be an independent filmmaker, which hurt her career (she went bankrupt); made films about 'God's Country', Canada; a pioneer in filming on location as opposed to in studio. **See Karen's comment below for a PBS documentary about her airing this Friday. Thank you so much Karen!
130 - Aloha Wanderwell (born Idris Hall): first woman to drive (yep drive) around the world and an entire paragraph of firsts, including filmed the first flight around the world; 131 - Alice Freeman, aka Faith Fenton: investigative journalist, and Canada's first female columnist; 132 - Major General Tammy Harris: in April this year, she became the first woman to hold the post of deputy commander of the RCAF
133 - Eva Vertes: only 32, a researcher in Alzheimer's and cancer, and resident physician who, at age 17, won Best in Medicine at the International Science Fair for her work with brain cells; 134 - Karen Beauchemin: known for her leading work in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; I love that she used her prize earnings to establish a scholarship fund for women at a university  in Ghana; 135: Pearl 'Bandit Queen' Taylor Hart: colourful woman bandit whose final years no one knows for sure, but probably led a final quiet life!
I inadvertently discovered a twist on Eva's block which I quite like:

Her fabric reminds me of the DNA models and the woven grey matter of our brains. Making such a wide variety of blocks over the course of this past year has sure lit the embers of quilt possibilities!

136 - Jean M Rumney: suffered from polio but became the first woman to graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1939, worked up to her death in 1975; 137 - Margaret Marshall Saunders: author of Beautiful Joe, written in 1983, the story of an abused dog, who she rescued. This was the first Canadian book to sell more than one million copies worldwide, and raised awareness of animal cruelty; her block has the paw prints and text fabrics; 138 - Clara Cynthia Benson: professor and department head of Food Chemistry at the University of Toronto, recognized for her work in Food Chemistry.
139 - Sergeant Karen Margaret Hermeston: only woman photographer during WWII; 140 - Ella Cora Hind: Canada's first female journalist and known as the 'oracle of wheat' because of her ability to accurately predict the wheat crops; her block has the wheat background fabric and text fabric; 141 - Abigail Becker, aka 'The Angel of Long Point' for her ability to wade into the waters of Lake Erie (she couldn't swim!) after ships wrecked and help guide trapped or marooned sailors to shore in the mid-1800s; amazing how many people she single-handedly saved. Note the water-themed fabric in her block, lowest, centre.
142 - Minerva Ellen Reid: in 1915 she became the first female chief of surgery in North America; 143 - Phyllis Jean McAlpine: was mapping genes well before the Human Genome Project, her legacy is the standardization in naming segments of DNA as well as regionally assigning a human gene to a specific chromosome region; 144 - Margaret Paton Hyndman: first woman lawyer in Canada, second woman in British Empire, established the beginning of Legal Aid.
I sewed Phyllis's block wrong but found it made an interesting block nevertheless:

I actually kind of prefer the 'wrong' way one!

145 - Cairine Reay Mackay Wilson: in 1930 she was appointed Canada's first female senator, in 1938 she persuaded a reluctant prime minister to accept 100 Jewish orphans from Germany, in 1949 she was Canada's first female delegate to the United Nations, first female Deputy Speaker of the Senate; 146 - Riel Erickson: fighter jet pilot, first female to win the Top Gun award, currently Chief Flying Instructor at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School; 147 - Winnifred Frances Roach Lueszler: an incredible swimmer (her block has the pink starfish fabric) at age 25, she was the first to complete the first attempt, the first Canadian, first mother of 3 to swim the English Channel, then in 1957 became the first female baseball umpire, established the Learn-to-Swim programme as well as the first Handicap Swim Programme.
Are your eyes wider at reading these amazing accomplishments of such determined women? Are you just a little tired, LOL, but a whole lot impressed? I know I am, and I've already read about them each week as I've made the blocks.  Three more to do when I get home and then start putting this quilt together. I have waffled from making one 150-block quilt, to two 75-block quilts, to now one quilt. I want all 150 blocks in one quilt, to celebrate these glorious women, of this glorious country of mine.

I keep forgetting to announce that my pattern, Ribbon Stars, that I did for the 'Meadow Dance' blog hop on Sew in Love With Fabric, is up for free download in my Craftsy store (affiliate link).

I guess a lot of you have already checked because as of this morning, it has been already been downloaded 168 times! And just so you know, I did donate this quilt to the Mosque and School of Ehlul Bayt a couple of weeks ago for them to sell. They are raising funds to send to help the Rohingya people, nearly a million of them now, being ethnically cleansed by Buddhists out of Myanmar.

Linking up with
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication