Monday, February 29, 2016

Block of the Month - March block

New Beginnings BOM Program

I know it isn't quite March yet, but I was super excited to post the March block of the month block, because I worked on it (and some of the others) at the quilt retreat last weekend and everyone there was really loving how the blocks are coming along!

I think this one is my favourite so far!!

March Block of the Month pattern

The digital download is now available on Craftsy - just click on this link which will take you to the page: New Beginnings BOM - March

First thing I needed to do was to pick my fabrics. I am really loving having my little tags to label each fabric as I pick it out and cut it. It makes it so much easier when I go to sew as I am not doing my blocks in the same colours as the pattern.

My fabric choices for the March block

My pieces are all cut and labelled and ready to go!
Here is my finished block. I just LOVE how the two flying geese units join together to make the arrowhead design!! And could you imagine a quilt made with a bunch of these blocks?? It would be stunning - maybe I'll have to put that on my wish list!

Here are my first four blocks up together on my design wall. It feels so nice to have taken down (and finished) a few of my UFOs that have been on the design wall for months - it is a clean slate and looks great with my new blocks.

Have fun sewing! And don't forget to post pictures of your finished blocks on Craftsy so that we can enter your name in our draw.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

52 Week UFO Challenge Project #11 - Wool appliqué gift bag

Reindeer Sparkle pattern by Upper Canada Quiltworks
I wasn't too sure what to do with this little wool appliqué piece but then I realized how well the colours matched the Northcott Reindeer Prance fabric that I had left over from our Reindeer Sparkle pattern. I decided that it would look lovely appliquéd to the fabric, and that it was just the right size to make a Christmas gift bag.

Embroidery sample

I cut a rectangle of the reindeer fabric and folded it in half. I centred the wool sample on the folded fabric and stuck it in place with 505 Spray .
Ready to stitch
Next, I used my sewing machine to top stitch around the edges of the wool piece.

Wool sample stitched to the reindeer fabric
I decided to do a French seam to finish the insides of the gift bag. The first step was to topstitch the top edge of the bag then I sewed along the remaining two edges of the bag with a 1/8" seam, with wrong sides together.
1/8" seam with wrong sides together.

Next, I turned the bag wrong sides out and stitched the edges again, this time using a 1/4" seam to enclose the raw edges.
1/4" seam to enclose the raw edges.

I sewed a ribbon to the back of the bag about 2 inches from the open edge, so that it's ends can be pulled around to the front and tied in a bow.

Project #11 is done - now to find a special present to put inside of it for next Christmas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

52 Week UFO Challenge Project #10 - Wool bird banner

I started this wool banner almost 2 years ago as a prototype for kits that I was making for my booth at our local guild quilt show. I always intended to finish it, but never got around to it until now. All it needed was a backing, hanging tabs and tongues.

The kits that I made for the show used a gold coloured wool for the background and I cut all of the birds and tongue shapes using my Accuquilt Studio Fabric Cutter. The Go! Birds Die has three different bird shapes and cuts wools beautifully!

Kits available on my website
I cut a backing for the banner, the same size as the front then used my 505 Spray to stick the two together, aligning all of the edges. I cut two hanging tabs, folded them in half then slid them in between the front and backing.

The hanging tabs

I cut the tongues using my Studio Tongue Rug Die and then slid them in between the layers and sewed a button onto each one.

Her is the finished banner! Project #10 is done.
The finished banner

Thursday, February 18, 2016

52 Week UFO Challenge Project #9 - Celebrate Canada placemats

Using Northcott's Oh Canada fabric to make super easy placemats

In our book "Celebrate Canada", Nellie and I use the flag panels to make super easy placemats.

I had eight placemats to quilt and tons of the black backing fabric, so I loaded the backing fabric on my Gammill and then laid all of the placemats on so I could quilt them one after another.

Placemats lined up and ready to be quilted

 I used my 505 Spray to stick them to the batting, so that I didn't have to baste around each of them.

The placemats stuck down with 505 Spray

I did a simple meander design all over all of the placemats and then took them off the Gammill and trimmed them.

 Eight placemats take a LOT of binding and there was no way that I was going to hand stitch all of them. I sewed the binding to the front of each placemat and then flipped it around to the back and pinned it in place.

The pinned binding
I then topstitched from the front so that I caught the binding on the back. On the first placemat I forgot to change my bobbin thread - but it makes it easier for you to see the stitching. After that one I changed the bobbin to black and the stitches are almost invisible!

The back of the placemat showing the stitching of the binding

Our book is available on our website and on Craftsy as an immediate download

Friday, February 12, 2016

52 Week UFO Challenge Project #8 - Embroidered Wool Bag with Zipper

Another unfinished embroidery piece...

This little embroidery piece is another one that I did while Mike and I were on our train trip to Halifax. I've always loved this piece, but never knew how to finish it off. I saw a few zippered wool bags on Pinterest, so I decided to try to use this piece to make a zippered bag.

 First I trimmed all of the edges of the gold wool background with my pinking rotary cutter.

The gold background wool was not big enough to use on it's own and I had no more wool that same colour, so I decided to mount it onto a larger piece of cream felted wool and I cut a second rectangle in the cream wool to use for the back of the bag.

Cutting the cream coloured wool
I used my 505 Spray to stick the gold wool to the cream wool and then used a running stitch to sew it down all the way around. Next I cut two pieces of a lining fabric the same size at the two cream coloured wool rectangles.
Cutting the lining fabric.
First I sewed the lining fabric to the back side of the zipper.

Sewing the lining to the back of the zipper
Then I sewed the two lining fabrics right side together along the remaining three sides with a 1/2" seam. Then I hand stitched the front of the bag to the zipper using a running stitch along it's length. 

Pinning the front of the bag to the zipper.
I sewed the back of the bag onto the zipper in the same manner, and then used a blanket stitch along the three remaining sides to sew the front and the back of the bag together. A couple re-inforcing stitches at each end secured the two ends of the zipper.

Here is a view of the inside of the bag.

Project #8 is all done. What a cute little bag to carry jewellery or maybe threads for another project!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FREE Bonus Block - New Beginnings Block of the Month

Happy Valentine's Day

FREE Bonus Block
Our Valentine's gift to you is the next block in our Block of the Month program! Click here to download the pattern from Craftsy!

For this block I chose the following fabrics:

My little cardboard markers work awesome for keeping track of the cut pieces when I take them to the sewing machine.

The trick for sewing the triangles onto the centre squares is to have the points of the triangles hang over an equal amount on each side of the square.

When sewing the triangles onto the sqaures, the trick here is to line up the straight edges of the triangle and the square and let the point of the triangle hang over on the other side of the square.

Here are all of my pieces, all ready to assemble into my block.

My finished block is awesome! Download your pattern from Craftsy and join us on our Block of the Month sew-along!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

52 Week UFO Challenge Project #7 - Sliced Layer Cake Quilt

Do you ever wonder what to do with all your layer cakes?

I bought this "Snowman Gatherings" layer cake and co-ordinating fabrics by Primitive Gatherings in October because I just LOVED the fabrics. I don't usually buy layer cakes because I never know what to do with them, so I really wanted to make sure that I used this one and didn't just let it collect dust in my sewing room.
Snowman Gatherings II Layer Cake

When I was packing for our quilt retreat in November I decided that I wanted to bring along this layer cake to work on, so I did some research online and found some layer cake designs that I liked. I decided to just slice the whole layer cake into quarters diagonally. I mixed up the quarters and sewed four together to make blocks. I wanted the blocks set on point, so I used two triangles sewn together to make the side setting triangles and one single triangle for the corner setting triangles. I added navy sashing strips and a light blue fabric that I've had in my stash for years are the cornerstone blocks in the sashing.

It went together really nicely and pretty quick too, but it needed to be quilted and I figured that it would be nice to get it done while it was still winter! First step was to get in on the Gammill:

I decided to quilt large snowflakes and swirls on the outer border:
Snowflake and swirl quilting design
 I need practice quilting with my rulers, and I'm always afraid to do too much ruler work on a customer quilt, just in case things do work out the way I want. So, when I'm quilting one of my own quilts, I try to do some ruler work if it is appropriate for the design. I decided to use my straight ruler to stitch in the ditch through all of the blocks:
Stitch in the ditch
And my large curved ruler to do an arc on the outside edge of each block:

A loop design down each of the sashing strips and through the inner border finished it off nicely.

After a trip to Taylor Sewing Centre (to buy more binding fabric - I was 5" short so I got the metre that was left on the bolt LOL) I was able to sew on the binding.

Stitching on the binding
 After an evening hand stitching while watching Downton Abbey, Project #7 is finished!! This quilt was so fast and easy to make - I'm going to teach it a Taylor's Sewing Centre in April. Check out the class schedule and their fabric selection - after all, the do have a REALLY nice assortment of layer cakes for sale!!