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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quilting History, Day Four


Several years ago, I took a Learn to Applique class from Joan Statz .  Joan is a creative, entertaining teacher.  At the time, she taught a different method of applique, using wonder under and tulle.  Here is the little quilt we made.
I've done a little more applique since then.  Here are a couple.

The Welcome wall hanging is a pattern from Castilleja Cotton  and the Snowman table runner is a Patrick Lose design.

I have also partially finished a Saturday Sampler that ended just about a year ago.  Here's what is done so far.
There are additional scrappy borders to go on the two sides (the quilt is sideways in the picture).  I'll talk more about this quilt in the future.  Almost as soon as I completed the applique on this quilt, I bought Annie Smith's book, The Ultimate Applique Guidebook  and I learned that I had placed my leaves all wrong.  Oh well, next time!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Freebie Fifteen blocks

I signed up for the Freebie Fifteen at Traditional Pastimes in Calgary.  I love doing these "Sampler" programs.  The deadlines ensure that I will actually finish the blocks, although I admit I have about 3 or 4 UFO's as a result of not putting the blocks from Sampler programs together.

This one is called Sand and Sea Glass, and the name itself intrigued me.  Here are the first two blocks.

The first one is the freebie block.  They are also selling a second block each month for $10 - and that is the second block, above.  So far, I'm liking it.  The colours are really soft and muted (although not as muted as they look in the photo). 

The only difficulty I have with the program is that it is on the 15th of each month.  And, they only stay open until 5:00.  And I work till 4:30.  I checked the calendar - I don't think the 15th falls on a Saturday all year!  Oh well - if I skip out of work 15 minutes early, I'll beat the rush hour traffic and be able to make it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quilting History Day Three

Well, this next one is kind of ironic.  The pattern was from Quick Quilts magazine.  The quilt took me, ohhh, about 5 years to complete.  I really do much better when I am taking a class or have some other incentive to get it finished!

Here is the quilt.

At the time I started it, I had found this fabric that I thought would make a great border.  I carried around a swatch all over the place and slowly found matching colours for all the stars and setting blocks.  I put the blocks together and held them up next to my border fabric and ... ewwww!  It looked awful!  So, off to the quilt shop I went and found another fabric that was a little more suitable.  You can't see in the photo, but it is kind of a plaid, with multi colours in it.

At the time I was working on this, I made a table runner and some placemats for my mom.

The border fabric on these was a gorgeous tapestry-like material.  This time, the border still looked good after I made the blocks.  No closeup of the quilting on this one - it was my first attempt at free motion and pretty sad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quilting History, Day Two

OK, so now I was cooking with gas, as they say.  But, I'm really not all that adventurous, so I decided to take another class.  I'd mastered the rectangle and square-type quilt, so I moved on to triangles.  The class I took was taught by Joanne Middleton  Joanne is a friendly, funny teacher, and explained things very clearly and thoroughly.   I haven't bought any of her DVD's, but I've heard good things about them.  If they are like her classes, they would be great.

This is the quilt.

I was really pleased with the jewel tones.  I struggled with the quilting - as you can see, it was simple diagonal lines.  But the back really puckered as I did it, and I ripped out a few lines before I came up with the idea of starting each line in the middle and moving out to the edges.  I don't think I was using a walking foot yet, and that was probably the problem.  The back was likely moving faster than the top.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quilting History Day One

I thought that I'd start out by showing the quilts that I've done.  Don't worry, there aren't that many - I'm not a very fast quilter.

It all started back in the 90's.  I had sewn for myself (dorky homemade look most of the time, but there were a few winners), then for my kids, until they outgrew the dorky homemade look, then a lot of home dec (which turned out pretty well - not dorky at all!).  I was always frustrated with the big box fabric stores, and kept wandering into this lovely little shop called The Fabric Cottage.  But all they carried was quilting cotton - no fashion fabrics, no drapery.  Each time, though, I marvelled at the wonderful quilts on the walls.  Finally, I got up my nerve and asked if they had classes.  To my delight, they did.

This was my first quilt.
With it was my first lesson in colour theory.  I didn't realize the gold would stand out like it does.  But I loved it, and was immediately hooked!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

I've been sitting on this empty blog for a few days - I guess this is as good a day as any to start.

I'm Colleen.  I'm 54 (today), married, with two adult children.  My daughter is 24 and teaching in northern Saskatchewan.  My son is 19 and working at a car dealership while he decides what  he wants to do.  He lives at home.  We have an elderly dog, who isn't as entertaining as he used to be.

By day, I'm a Manager of a government department that helps people without lawyers navigate the court system.  Most of the people have family law issues - divorce, custody, child support, protection orders.  It's a high stress, high emotion type of job - but very rewarding too.

Quilting is the way I de-stress.  Not just the actual process of quilting, but also reading quilting blogs and listening to quilting podcasts.  So, this blog will mostly be about my quilting journey.  I also love to cook, so I'll probably post recipes now and then.