Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quilting for Dummies

Okay, so I've only been quilting for what, a quarter century now--you'd think I'd be past making certain mistakes that you do when you're starting out, right?  Well, no.  Here's my latest.
I've just finished a new design and actually had already posted a picture of it earlier today.  Here it is.
Nice, right?  I was very proud of it and eager to share it with you.  It's called "Garden Pathways" and was designed with the "Perennials" fabric line by my favourite Moda designers, Kansas Troubles Quilters.  The pattern will be printed this week and added to my website.
So I published my post.  But then I noticed something odd.  Can you see it?  If you can, I may need to hire you to proof my patterns!
If you said the top right corner block, you get a gold star.  Yes, I'd sewn the bottom left corner of this block the wrong way--it should be rotated clockwise.  I almost cried.  And being someone who preaches "celebrating our imperfections because they make our quilts unique", I was sorely tempted to let it go.  If I'd just made the quilt for myself, I would have left it.  But, because it's a pattern, I really couldn't publish the picture as it was.  So I deleted my post and out came the seam ripper.
But first, I had to figure out a way to trace the machine quilting so that I'll (hopefully) be able to duplicate it.  I got some plastic food wrap, placed it over the stitching, and traced it with a felt pen.
Then I removed the offending block.
Rotated it and pinned it (correctly this time) in place.
And hand-stitched it to the surrounding blocks.
That's better.  (It's the piece with the pin.)
Now I just have to buy a spool of the thread my machine-quilter used, trace the design onto the quilt and try to sew it so that the new quilting blends in.
What have I learned from this experience? 
That there will always be new ways to screw up and that I will continue to do so. 
Such is life.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Making Primitive Fabric Easter Eggs

Feeling like I needed to bring some springtime into my house, and not being a pastel kind of person, I decided to make some grungy, primitive Easter eggs.
First, I drew an egg shape on a piece of freezer paper.
I drew half the lengthwise shape, folded the paper, and cut through both layers to make it symmetrical.
I folded my fabric right sides in, and ironed the freezer paper onto the side facing up. 
 I cut out both layers at once and then repeated the process, leaving me with four shapes.
 I sewed the right sides together with a 1/4" seam.
 Then, I turned one piece right side out and inserted it into the other piece so that the right sides were together, and the tops and bottoms matched.
 Starting about 1" from the top, I then sewed around the whole egg with a 1/4" seam, stopping about 1" from where I started, and reverse stitching at the beginning and the end.
 This is what it looked like. 
Then, I turned it right side out through the opening, stuffed it with polyfil, and hand-stitched the opening closed.
 To make it extra primitive, I then melted some paraffin wax in a double boiler.
 I added some essential oil to make the eggs smell yummy and stirred it in.
 Then, I dropped the eggs one at a time into the scented wax and used two spoons to roll each egg in the wax until they were evenly coated.
 I let them harden on some wax paper and then rubbed them with a bit of cinnamon.
Wishing you all a blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to all of you wonderful quilt-aholics who participated in my first give-away!  I so enjoyed reading your comments and felt very comforted knowing I was not alone with my addiction.  So, without further ado, the winner's name is (drumroll, please)... 
So, if you could email me your mailing info and tell me which wool set you'd like (dark or light) I'll get your gift in the mail right away.

I've added a few more patterns to my website this week and here they are.
"Cinnamon Roll Swirl" has instructions for a 52" x 56" quilt and a yummy-smelling pincushion!
"Interweave" was designed using only four colours (red, blue, cream, and light brown).  It measures 54" x 70".
This past week we celebrated several birthdays with friends and family.  For brother-in-law Gord, and hubby Ben, I made them each a cream puff shaped in the first letter of their names. 
I got the recipe out of a "Good Housekeeping" magazine years ago, and it's one of my all-time favourites--so simple and so yummy.

Heat 1 cup water, 1/2 cup margarine, and 1/4 tsp. salt to boiling.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 cup of flour all at once till mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pot.  Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Heat oven to 400.
Grease and flour large cookie sheet.  Trace a 7" circle in the flour.  Drop the batter inside the circle to form a ring.  Bake about 35 minutes or until golden.  Turn off the oven and keep ring in the oven another 15 minutes.  Cool.
Make the filling:
Whip 1 cup whipping cream and set aside.  Beat 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding with 1 1/4 cups of milk and 1 tsp almond extract for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped cream.
Slice the top off the ring and spoon the filling inside.  Replace the top.
Melt 2 semi-sweet chocolate squares and 1 Tbsp margarine.  Drizzle over the top.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Pattern and First Giveaway!

It's been quite a week--starting with our hot water tank packing it in and having to mop up a partially flooded basement.  I think we could all use something to cheer us up at this time of year.  So, I'm offering you a chance to win this pattern which will be getting printed this week, called "To Grandmother's House we Go".  Instructions are for a little candle-mat and mini-tablerunner.  PLUS your choice of a Crazy Cuts wool pack, in either dark or light, to make one of the projects.  Each pack has eight 11" x 12" pieces of Moda wool.
Crazy Cuts Light
Crazy Cuts Dark
If you read my previous post, I confessed to being a quilt-aholic. So, to participate in this give-away, you just need to be a follower of my blog and finish this statement, "I knew I was a quilt-aholic when ...." Leave your comment by midnight, March 12th, next Saturday night, and I'll make the draw on Sunday, March 13th at noon, Pacific Standard Time. (If you're not a quilter, substitute your favorite creative pursuit for the word "quilt". I don't want anyone to feel left out!)

I know I'll enjoy reading your comments!
Have fun and good luck!