Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Superior Threads Giveaway

The Blue Quilt

A couple of weeks ago my friend Elizabeth from Occasional Piece - Quilt! asked me if I would join in the giveaway that she and Cindy from Live a Colourful Life had arranged with the folks at Superior Threads to give away some of their thread. Well, I use Superior Threads' King Tut thread a fair bit, and I love it, so I jumped aboard. In fact, that Blue Quilt up there was quilted with King Tut thread which had been recommended to me by my local quilt shop.

Superior King Tut thread

Tonight I thought I would see how much King Tut thread I had in my thread drawer. Well, there is no shortage at my house, as you can see, and I have no hesitation in recommending it. I set all my spools down on my new little quilt - atmosphere. - as it too was quilted with King Tut thread.

I also have to say I was thinking about Bob, the Superior Thread trainer, whose videos I watched ages ago, so I went and watched a bunch of them again. I highly recommend watching these videos, if you are at all curious about thread - just click here for the link. One thing I learned tonight is that Superior Threads recommends titanium coated Topstitch Needles for all your quilting steps, and the 90/14 size for King Tut.

The Blue Quilt - detail

The Blue Quilt was the second quilt I made ever. It is made of HSTs in a pattern I first saw done by Katie at Sew Katie Did here. My desire to make value quilts like hers with HSTs was a lot of the initial push to start me quilting. I have since learned that this pattern is called a depression block.

The Blue Quilt - detail

In this photo you can see that I quilted the outside edges of the large squares in straight lines from one edge of the quilt to the other. For the smaller squares, I quilted the square but did not pass over the larger square HSTs. However, to avoid turning the quilt to outline those squares, I passed the quilt from edge to edge and just sewed one side of the inner square per pass. A lot of starting and stopping but to great effect.

The Blue Quilt - detail

Here is a close up of the lines. This quilt has been used and washed several times since I made it in the spring of 2010. The thread looks great. I especially like those nice detailed corners where all the lines intersect.

The Blue Quilt

So 12 bloggers are participating in Leap Day Superior Threads Giveaway today and I am one of them. I don't actually have the thread in my hands yet, it is in the mail, but there are 3 spools of thread - including King Tut or Masterpiece or both - on the way for me to give to you.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post - let me know your favourite colour of thread for quilting and if you have a tip on using or choosing thread please share that too.  I will draw a winner of the three spools of thread on Sunday morning (March 4) so you need to comment before then. Please make sure that you have an email attached to your profile or leave it in your comment as I will redraw if I cannot contact the winner.

The Blue Quilt

One more picture of the Blue Quilt, it is still one of my very favourites. This pattern has such a three dimensional effect.

Oh, and you can enter to win more thread from each of these other bloggers by visting their lovely  blogs today, February 29, Leap Day (just click the link to get there):

Elizabeth from Occasional Piece - Quilts!
Cindy from Live a Colorful Life
Lee from Freshly Pieced

Sunday, February 26, 2012



atmosphere.  Here it is, finished. I realized it was not finished until it was washed.

This little quilt is 13.5" x 16" and is made from various cotton bits and Kona white.

atmosphere.  - detail

You can see how the washing added character, lines and bumps and misalignments. Sort of like the atmosphere, beautiful, mostly empty but not perfect.


Here it is before I washed it. I was just not loving that flatness.


And although I love this picture of the flatness, it was just not right. I debated a long time, almost a week, because I knew once I washed it I would never see this flatness again.


You can see the difference now. It went in the washer and the dryer, somewhat beat up, like the real atmosphere.

atmosphere.  - detail

It is hard to quilt the elements, I am going to have to try again soon.

This quilt was inspired by Svetlana from s.o.t.a.k. handmade's wonderful little quilt - click here to go and check it out now, I will wait. I was also inspired by Svetlana's inspiration - Yoshiko Jinzenji and her book Quilting Line and Color.

Edited: I am entering this little quilt in the Modern Mini Challenge that Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts has been running all month. Everyone has made such beautiful quilts, looking at all of them will be so fun.

Modern Mini Challenge

I have more little quilts on a charcoal background planned, but it was nice to use white as well. I think I have more of these to make too.

I have linked this post up to Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations' {Sew} Modern Monday. There are wonderful projects there, I hope you go and have a look.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

I am going to link this to Heather and Megan at Fabric Tuesday as well, it looks like there are several lovely projects there already.

Fresh Poppy Design


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Zippered Pouch - Ta Da! and FAL update

Mouthy Stitches zipper pouch - all done

I have finished the zippered pouch for my secret partner for the Mouthy Stitches swap. It is about 7.75" square and the front is made from assorted Kona solids and black Quilter's Linen - which is a screen printed 100% cotton Robert Kaufman fabric made to resemble linen.

The Tippecanoe paper pieced panel is a pattern from Quilter's Cache here which I reduced to 20% its size.

Mouthy Stitches - zipper detail

The zipper went in nicely although I did have to fuss with the side seams and unpick them a couple of times. Since this is for my great secret partner, I did not mind. I installed the little tabs at the ends of the zipper, as many people in the swap were doing that. Usually when I make a zipper bag I don't bother with the tabs.

Mouthy Stitches zipper pouch - back

Here is the back. I decided to feature a small piece of fabric I had purchased a year ago in a pile of charm squares. It is lovely and reminds me of sewing threads or embroidery. Do let me know if you recognize it as I have no idea what it is.

Mouthy Stitches zipper pouch - back

I included an outside pocket which I lined and topped with a bit of Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley in orange. I am going to sew in a little snap to keep that pocket closed when something is in it.

Mouthy Stitches zipper pouch - the linings

The lining is an Echino print from the 2011 spring line. It is an 80% cotton, 20% linen blend and light weight. I might add a label and zipper tab. Then all I have to do is pull the requisite scraps and send this off.

2012 Finish-A-Long

And since this is the mid point of Rhonda from Quilter in the Gap's Finish-a-Long, I am also showing off my two FAL finishes so far.

Kaleidoscope Quilt

The Kaleidoscope Quilt, which is going to be on its way to my nephew in a day or two, is all done. The Ta Da post is here if you want to read more.

A quilt for my bed

And I am using this lovely quilt on my bed now, it was my first FAL finish. You can read about it in this post.

I have a few other projects to do for the FAL and I might even have time to get them done by the end of March. Wish me luck.

I am linking this post of finishes to Thank Goodness it's Finally Friday, which Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap is hosting this week.. I hope you have time to check out the other finishes linked there.

I am so glad that it will be Friday soon, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend.



Monday, February 20, 2012

It's all in progress

Partner, how about some tiny tippecanoes

This picture gives you a bit of scale for the paper pieced Tippecanoe blocks I made for the front inset on the zipper pouch I am making for the Mouthy Stitches swap. The pattern is from Quilter's Cache here and I reduced it to 20%.

Zipper Pouch front

Here is where I am at so far. I have ripped a lot of things off of that little paper pieced middle and finally have settled on black quilter's linen (which is a screen printed cotton that looks a bit like linen). I am not at all sure my partner will like black so I may be back to the drawing board this week. But nothing else I had on had worked - instead of showcasing the tiny piecing, it just washed it out.

Cross your fingers for me that my partner likes it.


These are some close up shots of the quilting on the sewing machine cover I am making for my partner in the Love of Solids Swap. Those are greenish-olive blocks on Kona Espresso and it is really hard to get the colours correct. The thread is a variegated lime green.


These aqua bits are also hard to photograph. I used a variegated blue thread for this part.


More green bits. I love this tiny bit of stitching.


And some more aqua bits. Despite how much I love the piecing, I truly do love the quilting part of quilting, I need to do it more often.

FTLOS - So far, the next part makes it three dimensional

And then I heavily quilted the brown part in a variegated brown thread. This picture has the best colours so far, but still they are not completely right. Next I have to measure about 10 times and then cut, fold and stitch it. I am going to box the corners, line it, and have a nice cover with very few seams.

Prototype - sewing machine cover - FLOS

This is a prototype I made. I am now worried about having enough ease so the cover can go on and of the machine. If there is enough, I am going to stitch the edges like this prototype to give the cover a nice definition.

In other news, my youngest, who broke his upper arm last week, is healing and learning how hard it is to get about each day with only one arm. I hope this experience will develop a life long bit of empathy in him for those less able than him, as he will fully recover. In the meantime, we are all a bit tired out by the frustration and pain and lack of sleep - you know that no one understands you when you are 14 -  but we are getting through it.

There are more things in the works in my sewing room which I will tell you about next time but now I want to get back to sewing while the opportunity is here. Today is Family Day and a day off in Alberta.

Tuesday: Edited to add: I am going to link this to Heather and Megan at Fabric Tuesday, it looks like there are several lovely projects there already.

Fresh Poppy Design

And since this post is all about progress, I am linking it today (Wednesday) to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Also, with the Needle and Thread Network. I hope to find some time to browse through all the excellent projects this weekend.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced                  



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another lovely feature!

For the Love of Solids [a modern swap] - wall quilt - complete.

This is the mini quilt I made for my secret partner For The Love of Solids [a modern swap], Round 1. Thank you to Megan and Heather who are featuring it on Quilt Story today - they called it awesome, I am so flattered.

My week has been a bit shattered by my youngest breaking his upper arm snowboarding (foiled by an edge while doing some wonderful trick or other - he is an excellent boarder). He is going to be fine and surgery was happily avoided at the last minute but mothering through these incidents is stressful and exhausting. Things will be back to normal soon.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ta Da! Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Finally I have a chance to show off Kaleidoscope (that is what I named the kaleidoscope quilt, not that original I know). I am sending it to my nephew next week for his birthday and just because I like him - he is away from home at University and I thought it might be nice to have a cuddly blanket for late night studying.

Kaleidoscope Quilt - binding detail

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your ideas and thoughts on the best binding and quilting for this quilt (you can read my request for help here).

In the end I chose the grey for the binding. I pinned on each of the three binding choices, and I looked at them for a while. I carefully thought about each commenter's ideas and logic (both here and on flickr). I decided against either aqua or chartreuse because the binding in those colours allowed the matching colour to dominate the quilt and less circles would form as you looked at it.

Kaleidoscope Quilt - quilting detail

I did not add any additional quilting. These pictures are all after washing, the quilt behaves nicely with just the outlining of the points and not the squares. It is very soft too.

Kaleidoscope Quilt - back

Here is the back. These are two prints by Tina Givens from her line called Pernilla's Journey. You will see that I forgot to flip the elephants in that top square like I flipped the waterlily print, oh well.

Kaleidoscope Quilt

One last view, I love to look long enough to see the small and then larger and larger circles that form in spite of the fact that every piece is cut straight. This quilt is 60" x 72" and made of various cotton prints that I had bits and pieces of in my cupboard - I think it even qualifies as scrappy.

I started this quilt about a year ago (edited to add, it was actually the beginning of June, so not a full year), as part of Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy's Kaleidoscope QAL. The QAL was very fun and many beautiful quilts can be viewed on flickr here.

Unfortunately, I did not finish with my group. So, this is now my second finish for Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap's Finish-a-long.

I went to exercise yesterday and am planning to go tomorrow - I have to be serious about it now, I am going to be walking about London for just over a week this spring, and I need to get in shape (and lose a million pounds too, but it all sounds so negative when you think of it that way). My exercise buddy will be pleased, I hope.

I hope you enjoy your day, it is bright and sunny here and I plan to do a little sewing among the errands.

I have linked this finish up to Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations' {Sew} Modern Monday. There are wonderful projects there, I hope you go and have a look.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations
Edited to add: I am linking this post up with Rhonda from Quilter in the Gaps FAL First Quarter Report. My post with my First Quarter FAL goals is here


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What is progressing? It's Wednesday

Wonky Star - for Twelve Month Quilting Bee

My progress in this last week has been in bees and swaps. That red wonky star is my prototype block for my month as queen bee in the Twelve Month Bee - wonky stars and ROYGBIV quilts make me happy. Each person got one colour of fabrics with the charcoal, and they can make me stars of any size from 16" square downwards. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee Blocks

This group of stunning blocks are the blocks from two rounds of the 4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee. The current round has just gotten underway, so in a couple of months I will have some more to add. Clearly bees can lead to wonderful results.

FTLOS Round 2

I finally settled on a palette and group of fabrics for the Love of Solids [a modern swap] Round 2. I am going to make a sewing machine cover, with closed sides even. Wish me luck, I will be making it up as I go but I think it will be fun. I am going to stop by my LQS for some really thin batting, as I want to quilt it but I don't want it to become too bulky at the seams. I might have to come up with a trick or two for those seams.


It seems I cannot resist showing off Shine again, which I finished on Sunday. This is for my partner in the Fab Little Quilt Swap.

Mosaic - DQS 12

And I could not resist joining in for DQS12. There are many new players this time and it should be interesting. So another mosaic was in order, they take me a while because there are just so many beautiful quilts to look at from the online quilting community.

Oh, and yesterday I was in a slump at work and needed cheering. It seems that I used to have lot of airline points - not so much anymore, now I've got a ticket, and I have this ticket too (which I had bought earlier - just in case). I am so excited to be planning a week in London this spring to be a total tourist and meet some of my favourite quilting friends. Next is to find a hotel (recommendations?) and make some plans.

There is a lot more I am working on: my Mouthy Stitches pouch, cutting fabrics for Sarah at Narcoleptic in the Cupboard's Stained QAL, and some finishes for Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap's Finish-A-Long. And there is another inspiration or two to deal with. I am sure there is more but it is time to get back to the work that pays for all those tickets and fabric too.

I am linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced and with my Canadian friends at The Needle and Thread Network. If you have time, go and check out the wonderful work there.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


PS, I hear the F.U.N.C. might be in exotic Morocco - I wonder if the rumor is true?