Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Emily's block - finished

I know I've posted about this block numerous times in various stages of it's production, but now it's finished!  And I'm so pleased with it.  I think in the last year thanks to four days with Sharon B in Connecticut, and various sessions with Gerry Kruger, learning about design, balance, flow around the block, etc., all things that I did not understand before, that I have actually "got it" (to some degree, anyway!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fancy fibres

Well, I've solved the problem of what to do with all those fluffy, knobbly, hairy, tangly fibres!  Actually Sharon B gave me the idea.  At the "Adventure" in Connecticut she carried around her embroidery threads on a big ring rather than pack numerous baggies, and as she demonstrated a stitch, she just chose and snipped off a length from the ring.  Great idea, thanks Sharon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Cookie Factory

It has become a tradition each year before Christmas, at our East End Cake Decorators, to decorate cookies and donate them to various groups and charities.
Each one of us baked two dozen cookies, brought royal icing, sprinkles, and other decorations and got busy. Here's Glenys, our president in the Santa mode.

Cookies of all shapes and colours emerged from talented ladies.....

We had to work quickly so that the icing could dry before being packaged later.

Such a variety....

Some were absolute pieces of art...

Here we are at the wrapping stage.  Two small cookies or one large in a clear cellophane bag tied with curled ribbon.

In total we packaged up 178 bags.  These will be given to the church where we meet as a thank you for the use of the facility.

Well done everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crazy Quilt Journal Pages 2012 Challenge

The new logo to the right is promoting a new challenge for 2012.

Every month, beginning in January, participants agree to produce one crazy quilted block, at least 6" x 6".  The block can be any shape, and can be larger than that measurement, but can be no less than 36 square inches:  6" x 6", 12" x 3", 4" x 9", etc. etc.

The CQJP2012 blog will carry the photos of participants' projects. There are loads of stitchers registered for this project, and I'm sure there will be some interesting and amazing stuff to look at.  Here's the link to the blog to check it out and read the rules and regulations.   

I'm planning to use my flower quilt, which is a WIP, and challenge myself to try again several techniques that I found difficult the first time around.  These would include tatting, needlelace and folded fabric flowers.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Emily's block

This Emily's block in progress.  Emily is 5 months and a bit.

These are Kiko's flowers.  Sharon B showed us how to do them.  Mine always turn out looking different from each other.  

I love these little lilies.  They're acrylic and I bought a bunch of them from an Etsy shop.  By themselves they sit awkwardly, but in threes I think they look super.

A patch with buttonhole rings, chevron that needs more decoration, and my favourite scallop seam. 

I'm working with bias silk ribbon here, and it's lovely to work with.  This is a patch in progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More birthdays...

Brynn, my 3 year old French-Canadian grand daughter and her five year old brother Caleb celebrated their birthdays together this past weekend.  I went there by train (5 hours of stitching time) and had a wonderful weekend.  My son Neil and his wife, Lee Ann had suggested a "princess" cake for Brynn and a monster truck cake for Caleb.  

She's not the prettiest of princesses, but that didn't matter to Brynn. 

Caleb had the trucks off the cake and washed as soon as the candles were blown out!

It was good fun creating the cakes, and I had them packed so tightly in boxes that they traveled on the train without mishap.

The party was at Lee Ann's parents place, and we were treated to the best home made spaghetti I've ever tasted.  Her mum and grandmother spent a good part of the day preparing the amazing sauce with meatballs, spare ribs, stuffed chicken, sausages and the spaghetti. 

Here's Brynn painting her magic wand that goes with her beautiful princess gown.

Caleb and my son trying to figure out how to build this 5-level parking garage.
It was a short, but a great visit with the family. Thanks, folks, I'll be back soon!    

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Constructing a 6" CQ block

One of my ongoing projects if my flower quilt.  Here's one block that's completed to give you an idea of the size and construction.  Total size of the block is 8" square, but I only embroider 6" square.  The blocks all have a green centre and a flower.  The colour of the flower determines the outer fabric.  In this case shades of rust and orange.

I found a couple of really nice flowers on clearance. They are a little bigger than those I have already used, but they have fabric and lace petals and I could trim them later if I need to.
For this tutorial I will be using the pale green lace flower.
Here is the 8" muslin square.  I have marked the corners of the 6" square embroidery area.  I cut out a six sided piece of the green fabric and placed it in the centre.

Next I took pieces of green fabric to  blend with the green flower and laid them on three sides of the centre piece.  I tested it out with my cardboard frame.  

I carried on around the centre piece's six sides laying out fabric of my choice.  The final sixth piece of fabric was tucked under the first piece.

I tested to see if the flower looked OK. To begin sewing, gently pull out the muslin block from the centre , leaving the six fabrics in place.
Next, beginning with one of the six fabrics, lay it right sides together along one of the centre sides.  Sew only the length of the centre side, marked here with pins.

This photo shows the right side.  Press the seam flat.  I have  lined up my ruler with the second centre edge and drawn a straight lined across the first fabric.  Cut on that line, turn the block over and trim any overhanging fabric.

This is the block now.  First piece of fabric sewn down, pressed, trimmed.  Note that the first fabric that overlaps the muslin is not sewn down.  The last fabric will be tucked under this flap.

Second fabric lined up on second side of centre to the edge of the block.

Here's the second fabric sewn, pressed and marked for cutting.
This is the third fabric. 

Third fabric sewn and pressed.  Just a note to say that it makes a big difference to the finished block when you iron each seam.

Here is the third fabric sewn and the trimming line marked on the front.

Turn the block to the back and trim off the excess fabric. 

Carry on adding your fabric pieces,  sew and press, then trim.  Here five pieces of fabric are in place.

Here is the block ready to take the sixth piece of fabric.  The loose first piece of fabric is pinned back so that I can sew a little past the end of the centre block side.

This is the sixth piece pinned down ready to sew.

The sixth piece has been sewn down and I extended it about 1" beyond the end of the centre side.

Everything is sewn except that small pinned section where the sixth fabric was tucked under the first fabric.  I can either hand stitch this down, or machine top stitch with a big stitch that can be unpicked later.

The cardboard frame marks the sewing area.  The cardboard frame works very well.  This one is 8" x 8" on the outside, with 6" x 6" inside measurement. It was made especially for this series of flower blocks. 

Next I would machine a sewing line close to the edge to stop fraying, and then handstitch around the square on the 6" x 6" measurement.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011 with the Grandchildren

While these four were out with their parents, Jack and Emily's other Grandma and I gave out the candies.  Emily (4 months) is with her older brother Jack.  The other brothers Josh dressed as a pirate and Elijah as a monkey can hardly wait to get going on the candy trail!

My other two cuties are in Quebec and although I couldn't be there, I was thinking of them.  Brynn is a princess and Caleb a knight.  A very handsome couple.