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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Sew In


Well, it's that time again - what better way to spend New Years Day than in the sewing room!

If you are on Twitter, you can use the hashtag #NYSI to join in the conversation.  On Twitter, I am colleenquilts2 - but I have to warn you, I'm more of a listener than a chatter.  (Just like real life!)

Sandy, over at Quilting for the Rest of Us, asks us to send her our Quilting Resolutions.  I put mine in, but should have printed it off.  Now I can't remember what they were - but I'm sure they were good!  I'll have to listen to her podcast to see if she reads mine out.

I do remember my main resolution - and that is to complete at least two UFO's for every project that I start.  Good luck!  Last year, my plan was to only complete UFO's.  Well, two young ladies that I know were pregnant, so, of course I had to make them baby quilts.  And I had to try out the Twister tool from my last post.  And, there is another little project I started that I haven't posted about yet.   I have the attention span of a gnat!  But, I did get two major UFO projects completed, so I'm happy about that.

But, I've got so darn many UFO's and kits and patterns / purchased fabric combos.  And my sewing room is not that big!  I'm running out of space!  I don't have any pregnant friends or family members at present.  So, I am committed to keeping my resolution this year.

What are your quilty resolutions for 2013?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Trying out the Twister

Last spring, I bought the “Lil Twister” at a quilt show.  I’m always a sucker for new notions, and this one looked like fun.
 Around the same time, I won a charm square pack from AJ at I Knit n Quilt 2.  It was Martinique, by 3 Sisters.  Beautiful, soft browns, greens and pinks.
I finally tried out the Twister on these charm square fabrics.
First, I sewed all the charms together

Next, I had to pick a border fabric.  For some reason, I have lots in my stash to choose from!

Here is the Twister template.  It has lines on it, set on the diagonal.  You place these lines on the seam lines of your patches, and cut around the template.

Then, you lay out the newly cut pieces in exactly the same order that they were in as you cut them out.  Voila – twisted blocks!

As your border has become part of the twisted blocks, you need to add on another border.  Here it is unquilted
twister 1

I decided to quilt it in diagonal, parallel lines.  The lines are about an inch apart.
twister 2

You can’t see the binding very well, but I found a soft green stripe in my stash that worked well.
twister 4

It finished up at about 30 x 33 inches.  Just a nice size for a table topper.
The Twister does leave a lot of fabric behind.  Being the thrifty person that I am, noticed that the pieces left included 42 squares about 2 1/2 inches in size.  I cut them down to 2 inch and added them to my leaders and enders.  Yes, they are cut on the bias, but I figure that they will end up sewn to lots of other pieces, so the bias won’t have any harmful effect.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tree Skirts and Stockings and Whiskers on Kittens

OK, there are no pictures of whiskers on kittens. I admit it - I am a quilter without a cat.

I'm linking up with Heather at Books and Quilts to show you my Christmas Tree skirt.  When I was a child, my mom had a roll of "cottin battin" that we used for a tree skirt.  That's how we pronounced it - cottin battin.  I had no idea that it had any use other than looking like snow under the tree.  We had a little cardboard village, with sparkly walls and waxed paper windows that we set out on the cottin battin each year.  My sister had, when she was about three, poked out all the windows.  So, for ever after that, the houses had no windows.  We also collected various plastic farm animals - of various sizes, so the chicken was as big as the cow, and spread them around the village.  There was also a plastic moose, as I recall.  What a Hallmark scene we created!

It wasn't until I made my first quilt, and opened up the package of batting, that I thought, "This looks an awful lot like the cottin battin that we used to... Doh!"

My tree skirt today is slightly more professional.  Here is the flat view:

And here it is around the tree:

I'm also linking up with Quilting Lines to show you my Christmas Stockings.  There isn't anything special about these - they were one of those panels you buy at Fabricland that has the stocking printed right on.  I just cut them out and sewed the two halved together, then finished the top and added a loop to hang them.  But, Mr. CQT loves them because they are pretty big.

And finally, one more little crafty item - well, six of them:

These little guys are each about 2.5 inches tall.  They are ceramic, and I painted them - back in the pre-bifocal days when I could actually see to do this kind of thing.  Sorry the picture is a little washed out.

To all that celebrate Christmas, have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Look What I Found!

I admit it - I really am not a shopper.  Retail therapy - what's that?  More like retail torture to me.

So, Christmas is really the only time that I spend a lot of time in the stores, and, as a result, I usually run across lots of things that I would like.  I have to remind myself to focus on the reason why \I am there - to try and find a useful and/or item for friends and relatives that have just about all that they need.

But, last night, I lost focus for just a minute and splurged on this item for myself.

Isn't this just the cutest little ornament?  A quilters tote bag.  See the little tag in the front - Quilting Bee!  A bolt of striped fabric in the back.  A cutting mat.  A ruler and rotary cutter over on the right.  Scissors, pens - and what's that right in the middle?  One knitting needle.  I guess whoever designed it was one of those confused souls who think that we knit quilts.  Or, perhaps they weren't sure, so they put in only one knitting needle, not two.

Oh well, I love it anyway!  That is taking an up front position on my Christmas tree this year.

Here is another view - fancy designs on the sides.

I'm just going to sit and admire my little ornament for awhile.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Quilters Christmas Party

Sew Cal Gal is having a Christmas party, with lots of great prizes!

We had our office Christmas party last Friday.  Actually, this was party number 1.  Our team reserved space in a restaurant, and went out after work for drinks and nibblies.  It was great fun.  I work with a great group of gals!

Party number 2 is a building-wide lunch, complete with our IT guy dressed up as Santa.  What a hoot!  That is this week, I think.  (I have a ticket - I'll have to check that to make sure I don't miss it.)

Party number 3 is our monthly "special lunch" - that celebrates the month's birthdays.  Usually, we all bring our own lunches, and one person brings a special dessert.  This month, we are all chipping in for pizza, and the lunch will have a combination birthday / Christmas theme.

Lots of fun!

To keep this quilty, I'll show you my Christmas quilts.  (I can't show you any decorations, as I have none up yet!)


This is a tablerunner that I made from a Patrick Lose pattern.  I love the whimsy of it!

Christmas Wall Hanging

This is a panel that I used for my first free motion quilting class.  Sorry about the fuzzy picture!  I got really good at stippling when I fmq'd the sky.  Real good!   Too bad I didn't quilt the rest of the quilt that heavily - the bottom is wavy as a result of the difference in the quilting density.  Oh well - I learned a lesson and the quilt is still cute on the wall.

Christmas Tree Quilt

And finally, the tree skirt.

And that's it for my Christmas craftiness!   I'm looking forward to seeing what others have done.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A Quilter’s Proud Moment

My daughter (who teaches Grade 6) posted on my facebook page: 
“I used one of your quilts in class today to teach about angles.”

Awww, thanks!

Saturday Sampler 1

She's got lots of angles to choose from with this one!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Tag, I’m It!

I’ve been tagged by Sam, at Quilting Curve.  Thanks, Sam – I hadn’t seen your blog before and it’s a real treat!


Now on to the tagging.  The rules are:

  • Every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves.
  • The person who tagged you asked 11 questions over at their blog, answer these questions in your post.
  • Ask 11 questions of the people you tag (any quilting blogger with under 200 followers).
  • Mention the person who tagged you (but don't for goodness sake tag them back!)


So, 11 things about me.  Hmmmm

1.  I’ve been a lawyer for almost 30 years, but only in private practice for the first 7.  I found it hard to ask for money from people in crisis.

2.  I met my DH in my law office.  He came in to get a Will done.  I asked him if he had ever been married, and he said, “No.  Anyone who married me would have to have a pretty good sense of humour.”  I thought, “I have a pretty good sense of humour.”  We started dating several months after that, and he has kept me laughing ever since.  He has a pretty good sense of humour too.

3.  I threw up on his shoes when I was in labour.  He has never let me forget it.  (And yes, he laughs about it.)

4.  I talk to myself.  Whenever I am alone.

5.  My secret ambition is to write a novel.

6.  I have not started to write a novel.  And yes, I realize that starting is the first step.

7.  I love to bake.  Nothing too fancy; just comfort food.  I think I’m a pretty good cook.

8.  I need to lose some weight.  I wonder if that has anything to do with #7?

9.  I have a 25 year old daughter, who is a teacher, and a 20 year old son, who is a tech whiz and a student.

10. My kids are so much more well adjusted than I was at their ages.  How did that happen? 

11.  I am so much like my Mom – in personality, and appearance.  Whenever we are together, someone says, “Well, I can sure tell that you are mother and daughter.”  I kind of like that, and I think she does too.


And now to answer Sam’s questions:

1.  Did you have an artistic background leading up to quilting?

Gak!  (That was me choking on my laughter.)  No, I have absolutely no artistic talent at all.  I always wanted to be artistic, but it is just not there.  I have always been creative, though – I’ve crafted my whole life.  But, almost always following a pattern.

2.  What would you change about your quilting studio / space?

Make it bigger. (Wouldn’t everyone?)  I am lucky that I have a complete room for my sewing.  My DH put it in when he finished the basement, and it seemed like there was lots of room when I moved my stuff in there.  But, my stash has grown a lot, as has my book / magazine collection and that space is filled up!

3.  If you could describe your quilting style in one word, what would that word be?

Careful.  (I am very slow and methodical, and like to think through each step.  I was going to use the word “precise”, but, to tell the truth, my quilting is not all that precise.)

4. Fess up – how many UFO’s do you have?

Oh gosh, I haven’t counted them for awhile.  If unopened kits don’t count, then I have about 5.  OK, 7.

5.  What inspires you to quilt?

It used to be classes and magazines.  I haven’t taken a class since the LQS near me closed down (5 years ago), and I don’t get as many magazines now.  I’d have to say that these days, the blogging and podcast communities are what inspires me.

6.  What kind of information, quilt wise, have you had trouble finding on the internet?

I looked for a pattern to make a Mariner’s compass quilt and could not find one.  There are lots of Mariner’s compass variations out there, but not the basic pattern.  I ended up buying a book.

7.  What is your favourite organization technique (quilt wise)?

If I have purchased fabric for a particular pattern, I keep that fabric together with the pattern.  The fabric that I purchase “just because” is sorted mostly by colour.

8.  What colour would you like to paint in your quilting studio / space?

Yellow.  (It is currently white.)

9.  If you could visit any country / place, where would you visit?

I’d like to go to London, England.  Well, actually, all over the UK.

10.  What is your favourite meal right now?

Some kind of pasta, with marinara sauce.

11.  Where do you buy your fabric?

If it’s something that I need to finish a project, I will usually go to a quilt store in Calgary.  However, I usually like to visit every quilt shop I come across when we travel, and, of course, I have to buy something in very one, so that is how I have built up my stash.


And now, here are my 11 questions for the people I tag.  (Sheesh!  This is getting to be a lot of work!)

1.  How did you discover quilting?

2.  Have you taken formal quilting classes?  If yes, what did you like about them, and what did you not like?

3.  Has the fact that you blog inspired you to quilt more?  Or has it eaten into the time you have available to quilt?

4.  Tell me the truth – are you just a teeny bit jealous of those bloggers that seem to have a quilt completed every week?  (Or are you one of those quilters, in which case, I’m a whole lot jealous!)

5.  What is your favourite part of quilting – cutting, piecing, quilting the quilt, handwork (applique or binding) or something else?

6.  Is there a quilting technique that you would like to try, but haven’t?  Why not?

7.  Is there something that you like to watch or listen to while you quilt?

8. Do you quilt regularly – or in spurts?

9.  Are you working on a Christmas gift right now?  If so, what?

10.  What are your other hobbies? 

11  What tempts you more – chocolate or chips?


And here are the blogs that I am tagging:

Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures  Lots of tips and some videos.  She shares as she learns free motion quilting (but, really, she’s pretty darn good already!)

Wilma’s Craft Corner  I found Wilma because she was doing the same Block of the Month as me.  She has finished hers – I haven’t.  She has lots of photos of great projects that she has completed.

Capitola Quilter  Karen has a wonderful modern style.  She participates in lots of swaps and bees, and that is always fun to read about.

LIfe is a Stitch  I’ve been following Nancy-Rose’s blog, I think, since she started – and she was an early blogger.  She has a great sense of humour.  And, she has created some beautiful quilts, often out of thrift store scraps.

Books and Quilts  Heather combines crafting (quilting and knitting, mostly) with book reviews.  And the occasional recipe.  It is a very fun mix.