These are my new Quilting Dogs — Katy, Maya and Ivan Greyhound. They are retired racing dogs that we adopted from a rescue charity, and they are the sweetest, most affectionate and loving dogs that we have ever lived with. Ivan arrived first, then Katy a few months later, and Maya came to live with us one year after that.
Katy, Maya and Ivan Greyhound
Nigel, my original Quilting Dog, passed away in November 2012, at the great age of 16. I have read that dogs cannot see colours, but Nigel could recognise purple, and it was his favourite colour. He would often take little pieces of purple fabric and hide them all around the house. Every so often, I would find one in his bed or in the living room and wonder where on earth it had come from. He had secret stashes. ;-)
Nigel with his own little purple quilt
My life changed about two years ago, and I haven’t been sewing. I’ve only made two things in all that time — a birthday quilt for my sweet friend,
and a wedding gift quilt for my niece to give to her maid of honour at her wedding last summer. This is just the top — I forgot to take photos when it was quilted.
It’s nice to be sewing again. I’m working on this simple “leaders and enders” project, a là Bonnie K. Hunter, that I started a very long time ago. When this is done, I will start again on my mountain of unfinished projects — one quilt at a time.
So far, my new quilting dogs don’t seem too interested in quilt construction, but they do like to be covered up with quilts, and I think they are really good at posing for photos! ;-)
Posted in Nigel the quilting dog, Quilting, Quilting Greyhounds | Tagged Bonnie K. Hunter, Greyhound, leaders and enders, Quilting, quilting dogs, Sewing | 2 Comments »
My lovely niece Hannah is getting married in July. She lives far away, and I don’t get to see her very often. I was very touched to learn that she still uses a quilt that I made for her when she was a little girl.
Hannah asked me to make a quilt as a gift for her maid of honour. What an honour for me to be such an important part of her Big Day! :) She admired a quilt that I made for her Grandad a while back, and asked if I could use that colour scheme for her friend’s quilt.
I still had a lot of that fabric in my stash and thought how easy this would be!
When I looked at the fabric selection again, I was less enthusiastic. The colours were still nice, and the fabric was in excellent condition, as my stash lives in a windowless dark room under the stairs. But I no longer have every fabric from the original, and it all looked a bit boring and dated and not very feminine. These are young sophisticated working women in their mid-20’s, so I definitely wanted something more contemporary without being overly girly.
After a little trip to the fabric store and mixing and matching with other choices from my stash, I finally had the good mix that I saw in my “vision” of Hannah’s quilt.
The new fabrics:
The two groups together:
This pattern is a variation of a Victorian crazy quilt. Here are the little components shuffled and ready to assemble into blocks.
And the first completed block:
I love this pattern. It’s called “Stack, Cut and Shuffle”, and it was designed by Marion Patterson. It’s from the book, love…Quilting.
This is a great book, and I highly recommend it. No affiliation, I just like this book a lot. Every pattern looks like fun to make.
The finished quilt top at Stage 1:
The pattern instructions are complete at this stage, but I’m going to make some changes. It is 40 inches x 60 inches now, and I want it larger, so I’m going to add 5-inch borders all around. Then the abstract blocks will look like they are “floating” on a green background.
As usual, I am behind schedule. It’s been a topsy turvy couple of years for our family and our house. My sewing room has been re-purposed (again), and I have become a sewing nomad, working in different areas of the house wherever there is a flat surface. ;-)
I am also very slow at sewing. I always chase perfection, but I realise now that is the first step on the road to madness for me. I’m trying to be more relaxed now, do my best work and enjoy the process without stressing over it. Especially as the wedding draws near, I realise that FINISHED really is “better than perfect”. But it’s going to be as perfect as I can manage. :) Happy Wedding, Hannah! I hope you like the quilt. XOXOXO
More later as the finishing stages are completed!
Happy Quilting! :)
Posted in Family Life, Quilting | 2 Comments »
And I was just going to tell you what I did with my Summer vacation!!!
It hasn’t been a brilliant year for sewing or quilting, but I did manage to finish one project. This was a birthday present for my friend Dena in June 2013.
She chose this Green string quilt from my stack of finished tops needing quilting, along with a burgundy print backing fabric to match her new sofa.
I quilted it with a simple Free Motion meandering pattern on my domestic sewing machine. Not the most skilled meandering, but I am improving. :)
I attached the binding by machine using Pat Sloan’s method, which worked great for me.
And when I visited Dena’s home last week, I was so thrilled to see her quilt on the back of her sofa! She likes it! That’s such a good feeling. :)
Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Quilting, too!
Posted in Quilting | Tagged free motion meandering, green quilt, Pat Sloan machine binding method, Quilting, Sewing, string quilt | 3 Comments »
Our older daughter was married last weekend. It’s been a busy time with preparations, and I was able to use my home sewing skills to make some special things for the big day. :)
My daughter liked this style of ring pillow, so I made this one for her:
We purchased our bride’s wedding dress from a bridal shop, but we couldn’t find just the right dress for our younger daughter to wear as a bridesmaid. So…back to the ways of my childhood, I did as my mother would have done, and we went to the fabric store to look at patterns and fabric. We found just the right shade of pink silk dupion as requested by the bride, and my little one chose McCalls 5795 pattern as the dress she would like to wear.
This is a lovely pattern, and the instructions are easy to follow. I had a few problems putting in the zipper, but I think that was my own fault from inexperience, as I had never sewn anything so complicated before. I had difficulty managing all the layers — silk outer fabric, taffeta lining and tulle overskirt — even though I had carefully hand-basted everything together. But after the second attempt, it was fine, and next time it will be easier! :) Now that I’ve made this one, I’m eager to try it again.
Here’s the dress almost finished, just needing a bit of handwork:
It turned out really well, and here are our two lovely girls on the Big Day:
I suddenly realised that my “little one” isn’t so little anymore. And my “big girl” is all grown up. Where does the time go?
Happy Quilting — and Sewing! :)
Posted in Family Life, Sewing | Tagged bridesmaids dress, McCalls 5795, pink silk dupion, Quilting, ring pillow, Sewing, taffeta, tulle, wedding sewing | 6 Comments »
This is Esmeralda. She is a beautiful green Singer 327K, serial number ET670062, with a registration date of July 31, 1962. She has just come home from the sewing machine hospital, where she was put right again after an extreme case of smokin’ hot foot pedal!
The official Singer serial number list shows this number as belonging to a 328K, but Esme is clearly marked “327K”. The K just means that she was manufactured at Singer’s Kilbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland.
I do simple repairs and maintenance on my hand-crank and treadle machines, but electrical problems are beyond my skills. My sewing machine guy is brilliant — he rewired the original foot pedal and saved the vintage casing and electrical cord to keep Esme’s green and brown colour scheme intact.
The sewing machine man was even able to get a new green bobbin winder tyre!
Esme uses Class 66 bobbins, which are inexpensive and easy to find.
and she has a lovely storage case that clips on…
She has a new needle plate, too…
and now she’s just as pretty as the day she came out of the factory, and she sews just as well, too! :)
Posted in Sewing machines | Tagged Class 66 bobbins, green sewing machine, green Singer sewing machine, Quilting, Sewing, sewing machine, Singer 327K, vintage Singer electric sewing machine, vintage Singer sewing machine | 6 Comments »
On a recent journey down south in England, we visited Bletchley Park National Codes Centre, famous for World War II codebreakers and the mathematical genius Alan Turing and his colleagues. The 2001 movie Enigma was filmed there, although that is a highly fictionalised account of the activities that took place there.
We saw Enigma machines and the Colossus computer, took a tour of the grounds and later had a nice picnic outdoors.
My husband loves computers, and my daughter and I are very interested in antique toys and household items. While he was off looking at other computers, we were thrilled to find this antique Husqvarna sewing machine from the 1920s in a little museum.
The colours in the decals were still so bright and lovely. We were allowed to turn the handle, and the mechanism was smooth and silent!
In the toy section, we saw a tiny sewing machine in a dolls house:
and we saw some of our other favourites, too — Mr. Punch (of Punch and Judy fame):
and a Batman joystick from an old computer games console! We really love Batman at our house!
It was great day out with something for everyone! :)
Posted in Doll houses, Sewing machines | Tagged antique Husqvarna sewing machine, Batman joystick, Bletchley Park, Enigma machine, Mr. Punch, Quilting, Sewing | 2 Comments »