Tag Archives: thread

Seeing Spots!

Laura’s name has come up in a previous post –  The Girlfriend Quilt .  You’ll also find her, and her husband Greg, in the blog that I kept while we travelled through India in 2013 –https://samosasojourn.wordpress.com  We met at Willows Elementary School in Victoria in September, 1969, and have been great friends since then.

Last year I offered to make a quilt as a housewarming gift for Greg and Laura’s new home on Shawnigan Lake.  We looked at many different quilts on Pinterest, in books and in magazines.  Finally, we found a photo of a quilt, by Zen Chic, on Pinterest – lots of bright coloured dots on a white background.

The background is a solid white cotton that I purchased at Fabricana.  I pieced it to make it queen-sized.  The dots were a multi-step process.  First, we chose fabric in colours that reminded us of our trip to India.  Many of these fabrics were remnants from “Delhi Dreams” Start To Finish #6 – Done!  Then, I cut the dots in three different sizes, using plates and bowls as my templates!  The dots were sewn, right sides together, to fusible interfacing.  I cut a small slit in the interfacing and turned the dots so that they were right sides out and fused them to the white background.  Each dot was then edge stitched to ensure that they would stay attached.  Then, to cut down on bulk, I cut away any excess fabric from behind each dot.

The back of the quilt is the same white fabric as the front, with just a few dots.  The batting is bamboo.  I quilted this on my Husqvarna domestic machine using Superior King Tut thread in ‘Temple’.  It’s a meandering pattern that was fun to do and looks great with the dots.

We originally wanted to use white for the binding, but decided that it needed some contrast, so I chose an orange/yellow/gold fabric that sets the quilt off well.  The binding is attached by machine to the quilt front then pressed and folded over towards the back.  Normally, I would hand stitch the binding, but the 400″ perimeter seemed daunting, so I finished it by machine.

The final step was to choose a name and make/attach a label.  I enlisted Laura’s help and we came up with all kinds of silly possibilities.  In the end, and as a joke, Laura suggested “Laura’s Quilt”.   Seemed perfect to me!

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“Laura’s Quilt” was made with love and with countless memories of 46+ years of friendship.  Curl up, snuggle and enjoy!

Thanks for reading.  Happy Saturday!

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Christmas in July

It’s not really Christmas, although the summer weather has been a bit chilly this month.  We’ve seen single digits, lots of rain and some high winds.  Today is a perfect day for the 5th annual ‘Ewe da Best’ golf tournament, which is held on a local sheep pasture.

Last summer I participated in my first webinar, called ‘Wedge Quilts Go Modern’.  It was put on by the Modern Quilt Guild and the instructor was Christina Cameli.  Christina showed us how to use a wedge-shaped ruler to cut strips of fabric.  Yes, it could be done without this tool, but it would be more difficult and I don’t think the results would be as accurate.  We learned how to join the strips and ways to work with the hole created in the centre of the strips.  (In my quilt the white circles fill in that hole.)The webinar also covered making pieced strips, fractured strips and negative space strips.  Webinars are a terrific way to learn a new skill, without having to leave home.  You could even be in pj’s having a glass of wine!  Here are some wedge rulers.
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Without an end in mind, I made the three circles last fall.  Then they sat.  After a couple of months I added them to a white background.  They are appliquéd on using the blanket stitch on my machine.  At the same time, I made the backing, using bits and pieces of reds, greens and whites.  I squared up the top and the backing and then put them away until May.  This is the second quilt that I’ve done this way and it seems that taking a break from them makes them exciting again.

I made a quilt sandwich with the top, the backing and bamboo for the batting, but wasn’t sure how to quilt it.  In the end, I started with the three circles and did a pebble pattern in each of the coloured spokes using Superior King Tut thread in White Linen.  The white spokes are not quilted so they puff out a bit.  The grid pattern is random and I used the same thread in Limestone, White Linen, Cheery Red and Holly and Ivy.  The binding is a great fabric that I stumbled on in Fabricland.  It doesn’t show well in the photos, but it’s Christmas candies in all of the colours that are in the quilt.  The finished quilt is approximately 60″ x 60″, perfect to curl up with on Christmas morning.  While I love it, I am going to put it up for sale in the Denman Island Studio Tour August 6 and 7.  Here are some photos; you can click on them to enlarge and see captions.

HO! HO! HO! and thanks for reading.

Adages

Getting back into sewing, after a long absence, has been a real joy for me.  I love the opportunity to create something unique – whether it’s to wear, to use, to sell or to gift. In my past sewing life I took on many challenges.  There were Halloween costumes, drapes, cushions, kids’ clothes, ski jackets, skating costumes, stuffed sheep and my wedding dress.

Quilting is a whole new ballgame for me and my limited experience has brought to mind some well-known adages.  The first is “slow and steady wins the race”.  I think the quilt can sense if I’m in a rush or not focussed.  Bad things happen; pieces get sewn together upside down or inside out, thread breaks, pieces don’t match like they should.  Of course, the more frustrated I get, the more bad things happen.  This is when it’s time to simply step away from the machine and put down any sharp tools.

Another way to express the above is “haste makes waste”.  A recent project is a perfect example.  I thought that there was a deadline to complete a certain something.  So, I wasn’t paying attention and used a product that is not meant to be sewn.  Why not, you ask?  Well, this product has an adhesive on it and when you try to sew through it your needle gets all gummy and the stitches skip and break and look awful.  I had to restart the whole project from scratch, and the original fabric is pretty much (s)crap!

How about “you get what you pay for”.  Fabric and sewing supplies are expensive.  Sure, there are good deals at the big box stores, but the quality generally isn’t great.  I do use these stores for some things, where I know the brand.  However, for fabric, I frequent a number of small shops where the service and quality are excellent.  I’ll link my faves below.  I’ve discovered a wonderful thread and am gradually using up my old stock and replacing it with Superior Thread.  This thread sews like a dream and the colour selection for all of their products is amazing.  Yes, it costs a bit more, but it’s worth every penny.  Let’s face it, making a quilt is a lot of work, you want it to stay together and look like new for a long time.

Some of my favourite haunts for fabric and thread:

Cloth Castle  in Langford.  Husqvarna dealer and lots of fabric, not just quilting.  Second floor is clearance and mark-downs.

Snip and Stitch  in Nanaimo.  Husqvarna and Janome dealer with good selection of quilt fabric and helpful staff.

The Cloth Shop  in Vancouver.  Small shop on Granville Island.  Lovely fabric, good book selection, interesting kits and friendly staff.

Fabricana  in Coquitlam.  A well-organized big box store with good quality fabric, great book selection and friendly staff.

Cindy’s Threadworks  on Vancouver Island.  Online shopping.

Thanks for reading.  Now it’s time to ”make hay while the sun shines”.