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Like a rainbow…

After much consultation and re-arranging of blocks, my daughter and I have decided that her quilt blocks should be organised in rows of colour like a rainbow.  I don’t remember learning any childhood rhymes in Texas to learn the colours in order, but in England my children say Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.  We don’t have a red but the pink will do.

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All the blocks are trimmed now and ready to sew.  I have a new vintage sewing machine to use for this project, so I’m pretty excited about that!  I’ll show you next time.

Happy Quilting!

Dianne xx

Plans for the New Year

I want to finish this quilt this year.  The pattern is called Bears in the Farmhouse, and it was designed by Judy Laquidara.  A group of us made this pattern as part of a Quilt Along several years ago, and I found it again last week while looking for something else.  The top is complete, just needs batting, backing, quilting and binding.

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This week I have been trimming string blocks for my daughter Amber’s new quilt. This may take some time!  I’ve made 96 blocks, 12 each of 8 colours.  They are 9.5 inches square after trimming, to finish at 9 inches.

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Katy is looking at them.

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I think she likes them.   :)

Amber wants a large quilt for her bed, and I’m trying to figure out how many blocks to use and how they will be arranged.

My inspiration for this quilt came from this cute table runner designed by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson at Me and My Sister Designs.

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Happy Quilting!!

Dianne xx

Sewing from my stash

In 2016, I’m going to try sewing totally from my stash of fabrics.  Just for fun, to see if I can actually do it for a whole year.  And maybe use it all up!  My teenager is doing a Textiles course in high school, and she is going to help me use as much fabric as possible.

Last summer I trimmed a lot of scraps and smaller pieces into strips and started making these blocks in colour families.  They are quick and fun, and I love the cheerful colours.

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Happy New Year, and I’ll see you again soon!

Dianne xx

My New Quilting Dogs

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.

Three babies

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.  ;-)

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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,

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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.

hannah quilt

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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.

Katy and Maya quilt

 

Ivan quilt

 

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!   ;-)

Happy Quilting!

Dianne  xx

Sewing again

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.     H-quilt Dec 2000

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.
Dad's quilt

I still had a lot of that fabric in my stash and thought how easy this would be!

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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:
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The two groups together:

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This pattern is a variation of a Victorian crazy quilt.  Here are the little components shuffled and ready to assemble into blocks.

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And the first completed block:

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.

book cover

The finished quilt top at Stage 1:

Top 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!  :)

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.

Quilt on Wall

I quilted it with a simple Free Motion meandering pattern on my domestic sewing machine.  Not the most skilled meandering, but I am improving.  :)

Dena quilt2

I attached the binding by machine using Pat Sloan’s method, which worked great for me.

Dena quilt

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.  :)

quilt at D's house

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Quilting, too!

The Wedding

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!  :)

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