Friday, April 27, 2012

QuiltCon Block Challenge

Are you going to QuiltCon in  2013? I would love to, but Texas is a loooong way from home.  Which means a very expensive flight.  But that won't stop me from wishing for it! Maybe the stars will line up...

In the meantime I plan on sending at least a part of me there.  I have a couple of quilts in the works for the exhibit and I will send in a block for the QuiltCon Block Challenge.

Following Elizabeth Hartman's post about selecting the right colors for the challenge, I rummaged through my scrap bins and found a good assortment of fabrics.

I like the idea of using scraps for this challenge as they represent little bits of what I've accomplished in the last few months.

The challenge asks to make a block that reflects what modern quilting means to you. 

"Freedom!" That's what it means to me. Freedom to break the rules and just let creativity flow...So I'll be making an improvised block.  Just play around with the fabrics and see what emerges!

How about you? Have you considered participating? If so, what do you plan on making?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Out of Hand

I always say that my hands are best tools. And as much as I love my sewing machine, I also thoroughly enjoy sewing by hand. I find it endlessly relaxing.  And for someone who likes to make things, there is nothing more satisfying than literally making something out of my own two hands. 

So when my best friend from high school recently asked me to teach her how to quilt I was more than eager to oblige.  And since she doesn't have a sewing machine, she is learning to piece and quilt by hand.

Like the first quilt class I ever took, I designed a sampler quilt for us to work on. 
It's a very traditional quilt but I gave it a modern twist with my choice of fabrics.

Each block features a slightly different technique from a nine patch to applique...

 to working with triangles and curves (which are so much easier to get right by hand!).
My favorite block is the 'orange peel'.  Mostly because it involves applique. I love applique!
My plan is to one day make a quilt solely with  Orange Peel blocks.  I great summer project I think!

We have recently just completed our quilt tops and backs and are just about ready to move on to the quilting stage.  I'm glad to say that my friend has enjoyed making her quilt so much that we have already designed the next quilt she will make. And it has allowed us to see each other regularly. We live in different parts of town and before we embarked on this project we only saw each other a few times a year.  Now we see each other every 2 weeks! See what quilting can do!?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to Make a Quarter Inch Walking Foot

I like the binding on my quilts to be very narrow.

I cut it at just 2 inches and make a double fold binding.

When I am sewing it onto the front of my quilt, I need to use just a 1/4 inch seam allowance to make sure I have enough to wrap around to the back and cover my stitching line.

And although I use a 1/4 foot for piecing, I hesitate to use it for the binding.
The reason for this is because when applying the binding, I am sewing through several layers (the double fold binding and the 3 layers of the quilt sandwich).  A walking foot is best for this to make sure I avoid any puckering on the binding. So I had to find a way to use my walking foot and also to make sure my seam allowance is exactly 1/4 throughout. In other words, I had to create a guide to put on my needle plate to ensure that I could sew at 1/4 in. every time.
For this I used a piece of Dr Scholl's Molefoam Padding that I cut to size with my rotary cutter.
I used my ruler to measure exactly where the 1/4 seam allowance is on my machine and stuck the strip in place (it has a self-adhesive backing).
Alternatively, you could use a piece of self-adhesive craft foam or a small stack of post-it notes.
Now I could sew on my binding and have a perfect seam allowance every time!

Monday, April 16, 2012

We have a winner!

Good Monday Morning!  I hope everyone had a great weekend. We are enjoying some milder weather here in Monreal and the garden is starting to blossom.  Puts everyone in a good mood!

And I'd like to add to someone's mood by announcing the winner of my Grab 'n Go Backpack from the latest issue of Stitch magazine:

Congratulations Chelsea and Morgan of Little Stitch! You are the winners.  I will be contacting you via email to get your coordinates.

Thanks to everyone who entered and offered their lovely comments!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stitch 2012 and a Giveaway!

Have you seen the latest issue of Stitch Magazine? 

If you have it, flip to page 49 to see my Grab and Go Backpack!
This is a very simple bag to make and is the perfect size to hold a towel and a book and head on over to the park to read. And because it's a backpack it's easy to carry while riding a bike.  Great for the pool, too!
I originally made the bag with a natural linen fabric...

and used a vintage pillowcase for the lining.
But the editors at Stitch preferred the red floral one!
And I am giving it away!  Leave a comment for a chance to win. Become a follower and you  get a second chance to win!  If you already are a follower, just let me know and you will automatically have 2 chances to win.
Good Luck to everyone!
Contest ends Friday, April 13th, at midnight.

Note: this contest is open to Canada and U.S. residents only.
Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks so much for all your lovely comments!