Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guild Auction

Our guild had it's annual "Beat the February Blues" Auction this week.  Members donated unwanted fabrics, kits, books, magazines and an assortment of craft-related items.

This year our theme was to come dressed up as a quilt block or quilt, so we saw many people wearing their UFO's and stray blocks!  I dressed as Overall Bill.  Sandi dressed up in Irish Greens and had a paper chain around her neck, and Shelley was a Crazy Quilt from the 60's!  It was alot of fun!

Donna was the auctioneer, and she always does a great job of it, squeezing every last dollar out of the bidding quilters!  There is always friendly rivalry  going on!

I got be be "Vanna" again this year, parading around the lovely and not-so-lovely fabrics up for auction. 

Now to start setting aside things for next year's auction!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spiral Placemats

In my "Quilting in the Kitchen" group, we made these spiral placemats.  

The pattern comes from "Designs to Share With You".  They were fun and easy and are possible to whip up in a couple of hours.  Some of us didn't get that far by the end of the evening, but pretty close!

Most of us chose to make the 24" Table Topper version.  You'll notice one of my girls made a mistake with sewing her strips together, and it still turned out pretty cool!  She was determined to make another one the right way, of course!

I made one with coffee fabrics, for my hubby who loves his Americanos!  The second one is a wintery one for a friend.  I still haven't decided whether to quilt them on my longarm and bind them, or stitch the 3 layers together and turn it inside out, as the pattern suggests.  But this I know, I will make a bunch more, as they would make awesome gifts!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fishing Hole

This is the second quilt I ever made, about 15 years ago, it is called "In Search of the One That Got Away".
As the next photos will show, my lovely young dog has been busy chewing holes into it!  You might even notice the remnants of duct tape that I used to patch it with!  It is now aptly named "The Fishing Hole!"

Oh well, it is an old quilt, and I expect them to be used and loved!  Just gives me another reason to make new quilts (and buy more fabric--No!  I have to use up my stash first)!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kitchen Quilting

Since January, I've had an eager group of women gathering at my house to learn a thing or two about applique, and quilting in general.  I can't say that I'm an expert in applique, but I think I pulled it off quite well!
Here is a photo of my kitchen converted to a classroom.  The 2 extra tables are the biggest change. I put a huge cutting mat on my island, and set up 3 irons.  It has been working quite well, except that I keep having to run downstairs to pick up this or that.  I've been hinting to my husband that I would like to move my quilting room into our family room downstairs, which would have enough space for a few students.  He is finally convinced and I can't wait for it all to happen, but it will take a few months.  I'm so excited!  He'd better not change his mind! 

Our first project were the applique tablerunners.  It took alot longer than I expected, but the results were amazing!  They were not very easy at all, I did give the girls an easier option , but they didn't like it as much.  I made myself quilt mine on my domestic machine, if I expected my students to do it, I should have to, too!  It was hard!  I got a kink in my neck that has lasted 2 weeks!  From now on, I'm sticking to my longarm!

I still haven't finished mine, but I think you get the idea!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mom's Quilt 2

Here is another quilt my Mom made and I quilted up for her this weekend.  She has been staying with me for a few days after having surgery this week, so it was a good time to finish her quilt so she could take it home.

I had helped her cut out the pieces about a year ago, but she put the whole thing together herself, and she did a great job for not really being a "quilter".  I love her fabrics, brights on black are a favorite of mine.  And I love the backing fabric, it looks like beads of water!  Gee, had I known she had this in her stash, I would have scooped it for myself!

I used Hobbs Polydown batting, and a variegated bright thread.  Thanks to my friend Donna who inspired me to put "piano keys" around the border!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

T-shirt Quilt

I recently finished this quilt for Diane.  She cleaned out her husbands closet and got together some t-shirts, some old and some new.  He works in a public setting, so gets given many t-shirts of all kinds, and would never be able to wear them all!!

I stitched in the ditch around each each block, and abit in the middle, in keeping with each decal.  Then in the borders, I picked a couple of fishing designs from the book "Simply Continuous, Boys to Men" by Anne Bright.  Perfect for this manly quilt!

Diane picked a perfect backing, not only are the colours perfect, and the print suitable, but the stitches in many different colours of thread are hardly noticeable.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Turning Twenty

Marie brought me this lovely Turning Twenty quilt she put together with a great selection of oriental fabrics.  What a great way to use up those fat quarters we all love to collect!

We chose a panto called "Oriental Clouds" with a variegated blue/yellow Signature thread called French Country.

Marie also purchased a SewBatik wide backing from me, called Cream Pearl "Fern".  It was a super compliment to the quilt top.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Orvus Quilt Soap

I recently purchased some Orvus Quilt Soap.  I hadn't really looked into it much until I found out that a friend of mine was looking for some. 

It's been around for nearly 50 years and is commonly used by veterinarians to clean animals, or to remove manure stains on show animals.  Great for those who use raw wool!

It contains no bleaches, dyes or fragrances, so if you have allergies this could be a great product to use. 

It is made with sodium lauryl sulphate, a wetting agent which makes water even wetter.  It penetrates the fibers to lift out stains, and rinses right out, leaving no residues.  It is great for lifting oily stains.  Sodium lauryl sulphate is found in many things we use every day, like toothpaste, detergents, bubble bath, shampoo, laxatives, to name a few.  Like anything, it is safe to use in proper quantities, and there is no evidence of it being carcinogenic.

Apparently, Quilt museum conservators and England's Royal Academy of Needlework use it all the time. 

Quilters all over the world love it, some pre-wash their fabrics with it before putting them in a quilt.  Some use it diluted in a spray bottle to pre-treat  stains.  Mostly it is well-known for cleaning those valuable quilts that we spend so much time and money producing!

I ran a small test with it...I took some "clean", but dingy, dishcloths that I don't like to use in my kitchen anymore.  I had washed them regularly with bleach and detergent.  In my washing machine, I soaked them in a solution of Orvus and hot water, then agitated them, and sure enough, they came out whiter.  Not real white again, but whiter than they'd come with my regular washing. 

I plan to use it to wash my wool comforters and my antique linens, hopefully it will get some of those old stains out!

I'd love to hear if you have anything to say about it!  I think experience is the best proof of it's worth!