Monday, 20 October 2014

Sunglasses Cases

A quick post today.  A couple weeks ago, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild had a sunglasses case swap.  Here is the one I made:

The case is not too big.  My glasses are a little small...

And here is the lovely one I received, made by Aimee of Candy Coated Quilts:

Love my new case!

And here's the assortment of cases that were exchanged at the meeting.  Such a variety!  They were all so nice...

Yay for swaps!

Told you it was a quick one... That's it for now!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A quilty visit to Victoria BC

I just came back from a whirlwind week end to Canada's other coast.  Although the main purpose of my trip to Victoria BC was on the account of my other another passion - the "Running" part of the Running Thimble - there was certainly a lot happening in the "Thimble" department.

An infinity scarf started the night before my departure with fabric purchased at my LQS Patch Halifax was finished on the plane.

I wore this every day!

A few weeks before my trip, I had contacted MQG Victoria to find out about local quilt stores.  The President, Nicole, replied to me with more than a list of stores...  she offered to gather a couple people and meet me for a little shopping spree.  How nice is that? 

But before I could meet them up to let the quilt stuff begin, I had to first pick up my race package at the Victoria Marathon Race Expo.  Very un-quilty, right? I laughed when I came across this booth and had to snap a picture...  The day was starting on a bright note!

Running and quilting go well together!

I did eventually met with some Victoria Quilters... here we are at Satin Moon.

Stacie, myself (with scarf), owner Linda, Jane and her sweet girl, and Judy

Some fabric was purchased there...

See? "Quilters Energy Bars".  You know I needed one of those!

More fabric was purchased at Gala Fabrics. Great prices... it was hard to resist some $6/m cotton, cheap laminated fabric or a 50% sale on voiles...

Don't you just love those sharks?
I see more infinity scarves in my future...

Here is a gift I made for Nicole.   I wish I could have had a gift for everyone who helped made my week-end memorable.

Also finished hand stitching this on the plane

And that is not all.  MQG Victoria member Stacie took me to Cloth Castle to meet yet another MQG Victoria member, Bryan.  So more fabric had to be purchased...

Bicycles, sewing machines, vintage kitchen things... I was feeling retro!

And since I was thinking more "Running" than "Thimble" when I packed, I had to buy another one of those to finish a project I was working on...

Best. Thimble. Ever.  And they are not paying me to say that.

The said project was a fleece blanket for the family friend who was hosting me for the week-end. I ran out of time and did not finish it before I left, but it got done on the long flight back.  It's a 2m piece of polar fleece that I finished with a simple blanket stitch with embroidery floss. It's hard to get a good picture of a fleece blanket, but you get the idea.

Not quite as good as quilts, but these are great TV blankets

When I was working on it during my last guild meeting, I had joked that I was working on a gift for someone who was not quite "quilt-worthy".  As someone who struggles to finish 3-4 quilts a year, I have to pick and chose who I give quilts to, right?

Well to set the record straight, my host ended up being totally quilt-worthy: picking me up and dropping me off at the airport, driving me places, cooking thanksgiving dinner, and - you will all appreciate that one - acting as a quilt holder!   Yes, a real quilt was also finished and delivered and pictures were taken... but that is a story for another day.

At times like this I wish I had time to make more quilts!

And in case you are wondering about the other part of my trip, I will simply tell you this:  The running was even better than the quilting, and I would not trade it for all the stash in the world.

Do you have another passion?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Union Jack

Being part of an online bee means at some point, you have to get out of that comfort zone and make a block you would have never made otherwise.  The September block was one of those... and it was October by the time I made it.

You've see them popping everywhere.  My friend Adrienne is pretty good at it.   Me?  I was so not excited about making this.  Paper piecing is not my favourite method.  It took a while to get started but really, all it took was a quiet Sunday morning, a nice coffee and some  good country music on the radio!

Don't worry, the dangling threads got cut

I like that Janet asked us to chose colourful prints and, not being a fan of the flag itself, I liked the option to reverse the red and blue placement.  I briefly considered using a fleur de lis print but then I thought it would be a little over the top.  In the end, it was quite enjoyable to make, but I can definitely say I have no intention of ever making another one in the future!

Since last week, I have been on a roll.  I whipped up a sunglasses case (to be revealed soon) for the MMQG swap and I "sorta" finished quilting the plus quilt.  I say "sorta" because I have not quilted the plus signs yet.  I have an upcoming trip and I needed the binding on so I'd have something to hand stitch during my flight.  I may add more quilting when I get back.

All ready to hand stitch... my favourite part!

My next challenge...  Figuring out what block to ask as Queen Bee for November.  So many choices...  For those of you who are part of online bees, how do you chose what block you want?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Many hands make light work

Last winter, I finished this quilt top.

Can I finish this before there is snow again?

I cut the batting and the backing, the top was well ironed and ready to baste... but instead it got folded, then moved around, and ended up in a wrinkled bunch at the bottom of some bin.

This past week-end was my guild's monthly Sew-in.  Finally, one I could attend!  I knew just what project to bring.  This quilt was going to go from "bunched up top" to "being quilted" stage.

One large table, two packages of pins (couldn't find mine, had to buy some), borrowed masking tape (forgot mine... see a theme here?) and about 4-5 helpers made quick work of basting this quilt.  Many hands make light work.

Very thankful I did not have to baste this on my hands and knees

One good thing about Sew-in is there is is always someone to ask for a quick quilt consult.  How should I quilt this?  Should I use the light yellow or the light gray?  Most of all, though, it is the pure pleasure of being surrounded with other like-minded and creative people.

Here I am quilting away.  And check out the back of my machine... I am proudly displaying my guild's logo.  Too bad there wasn't anywhere to put that sticker in the front.

Poor quality courtesy of my ipad camera
I went with a simple outline roughly 1/4" outside of the plus signs and meandering in the low volume areas.  I am not quite sure if/how I am going to quilt the plusses.
Bernina Stitch Regulator... the only reason why I ever attempted machine quilting.

While I got quite a bit done at sew-in, I still have much more to go.   But having a project like this will keep me focused in the sewing room this week.

This photo reminds me I have to move my ironing board to the left of my machine to support the quilt's weight

I have a self-imposed deadline of 10 days to finish quilting and sewing the binding on before I am off for a little trip to Victoria BC.  I would really like something to hand stitch on that flight!  Can I get this done?


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Refashion Saturday: Sweater to Skirt

If you are looking for quilty things, jump to the end for a quilt work-in-progress sneak peak.   Otherwise check out today's re-fashions.
This one started innocently enough.  See, I had this old sweater:

Blue and cream stripes... timeless

I still love it.  It's a 100% cotton knit in classic blue and cream stripes, light weight with 3/4 sleeves.  I have worn this a lot, winter, spring, summer or fall (I sound like a James Taylor song).  It actually fits me quite well...

the faded colour makes me look a bit pale...

The problem is, it is starting to show signs of age.  The colour is beginning to fade and the seems are weak on the collar and sleeves.

One of the many signs of wear
So, I thought I would turn this into a skirt for my daughter.  Easy peasy.  So I chopped...
That took a lot of courage!
Then I took in a tiny bit of the width off the top part (in the original sweater, that is where it gets wider just below the sleeves).
Quick fix
I then made a waistband with some stretchy jersey I had on hand:

I then pinned the sweater-turned-skirt and the waistband so I would have 8 sections of equal length (no pins needed on the sides where there is a seam). 
I then matched the pins and sewed the waistband to the skirt (I forgot to take a picture of this step).
And there you have it... a skirt!  But wait...

I left an opening in the back of the waistband so I could run an actual elastic in the waistband to make the waist smaller as this skirt is/was intended for a 4 year old.  But before I run the elastic in it, I thought, perhaps I should try it on just for fun...
Wonder if this picture will end up in a Google search somehow
Hmmm... not sure I want to give this skirt up just now.  What do you think?  Should I wear this in public?  If I do, I will take a proper picture.
Now that my daughter may have been ripped off of a skirt, I have to make it up to her.  Hmmm...  How about this hand-me-down shirt that never fitted right?
From ill-fitting shirt...

Using the same method, I whipped that up in less than 10 minutes.  Seriously, people, less than 10 minutes!

To cute skirt!

This could get addictive... 
Fear not, it hasn't just been about refashioning in the Running Thimble studio.  I have also used my sewing skills to repair hockey equipment ('tis that time of the year)!  Oh, and yes, a new quilt was started.  Before all the other ones got finished.  I absolutely had no need to make a toddler size quilt, but this bright alphabet flannel was on sale and next thing you know... well, you know how these things go! Here is a sneak peak:
Hope you are having a fabulous week-end!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Finished - first zippered pouch!

Happy Friday !

My guild had a zippered pouch swap yesterday.  So on Tuesday, I set out to sew my first zippered pouch.  Yikes!


As you can see, I am not over the Red and Aqua combo...

Other side...
I have sewn zippers before, but a pouch?  With a lining an all?  Scary stuff!  I checked a couple tutorials and narrowed down on this one by Lindsay at Craft Buds:  That was easy, people, EASY!

that fabric with the bicycles... I am saving it! that's why I only used it for the top 2 inches of the lining.

I made a few changes, of course: I layered and quilted my outside fabric, added a pocket in the lining, and a little ribbon on the side.

There's a pocket in there

I am still not over my Red and Aqua phase...  Can't get over the cuteness.  It's pretty girly but thankfully our president Adrienne, who was the recipient loves that colour combo too.  I am happy this went to a good home!

And which one did I received? Check this out:

I am totally stealing the idea of the picture with coloured pencils from Margaret's Facebook page

This was made by Margaret of Fortune Cove Designs.  She hand dyes her fabrics and she made this using a layered scrap cut away technique.

I love that button!

This pouch ranks pretty high on the coolness factor.  That was my first swap... not my last.
Check out the other ones: So much variety...

I love my guild!

Linking up to TGIFF at Quilt Matters.  Enjoy your week-end.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Re-Fashion (Upcycle) Edition

My First Re-Fashion

Edited: this is more of an Upcycle than a re-fashion... But i am counting this as a refashion.

A couple months ago while getting sidetracked in blogland, I stumbled upon a fabulous blog called Refashionista.  Refashion?  Take unwanted, unloved items (sometimes hideous), and turn them into something you actually want to wear?  I had no idea it was a thing...   And then I discovered there is actually a whole refashion blogging community... (why did that strike me as a surprise?  Of course there is!). 

Making garments from scratch is time consuming, so I don't have much interest for it right now.  But refashion?  Half the work is already done, and it is really inexpensive (if you mess up, it is a learning experience).  Gillian, the Refashionista blogger makes it look so easy... Ah, the possibilities!  I have visions in my head of walking out of my local goodwill store with seriously unloved clothes and turning them into beauties to wear the next day.

But I am getting ahead of myself....   Right now, these are only ideas in my head.  My time is limited and, well, I kinda want to keep quilting too!  For my first re-fashion project, I started small:   My daughter needed an art smock for school and it wanted to make her one.  I headed to the Salvation Army and came home with this colourful number:

Not bad for $2
I started by chopping off the collar and the sleeves:

The first cut is the deepest scariest

I measured against an old store-bought art smock and chopped the bottom too.

It helps to have a model

I used a piece of pink stretchy jersey from my non-quilting bin for the collar and cuffs:

Not perfect but close enough

Before finishing off the cuffs, I needed to take in the sides and the sleeves.

This is way too big for her right now...

...but that is an easy fix!

I sewed on the cuffs and hemmed the bottom, then proudly showed my creation to my husband and presented him the following dilemma: how to machine embroider my daughter's initials on the front pocket without rendering the pocket unusable?  

You can't see it, but there is a pocket
In his wisdom, he said: Do the initials have to be on the front pocket?  Why don't you just embroider her name somewhere else? Duh!  Of course!  The idea with refashion is not to have a set idea of how you are going to do things, but to work with what you have.  I embroidered her name on the back using free motion quilting (no picture).  I first stabilized my fabric with freezer paper in the back, which I just tore it afterwards, like you would do for paper pieced block.

My daughter tried it, and it was still too big.  So I took it in a bit more, and then, just for fun, I added a bright orange pocket in front.

So I present to you my first official refashion:

From man shirt to girl art smock

One person's trash...

- We will resume our regular quilting programming next post -