Puppy bandanas

Because it’s Stampede season (Yahoo not Yeehaa/Yeehaw apparently), I decided to turn a couple of fat quarters into doggy bandanas for Hank when I got home from work on Saturday.
I folded them diagonally right sides together and trimmed off the excess, stitched around the edge leaving a turning gap, turned through and top stitched along all three edges.

They’re absolutely pointless but I think he looks cute 🙂

Finish Along Quarter 3

The end of this quarter ties in exactly with when I need to finish my book projects by, but I thought I would try and make a bit of an effort with the Finish Along still, despite knowing I will be busy busy!

This is the project I’ve chosen to aim to finish, my Meadow quilt. It’s all cut out, but no further than that. If I can make the top, then I plan to long arm it which should cut down on the time I will need to finish. I’m worried I’ll forget how to assemble it if I leave it any longer, plus it’s sat in a project bag on the floor and I like tidiness in my sewing room where possible. Maybe I can prepare all the centre pieces then do a block or so at a time between other stuff.

Meanwhile in secret projects I have two quilts and three smaller projects to make…. *cracks whip*

FAL 2016

This month’s update

Well it appears I am currently a monthly blogger. I have just finished up another project for my book and have written about 15% so I’m still quietly working away on that over the summer. Here’s some of the back of the latest project, I’m very pleased with how my free motion quilting is developing…

In bee news, I have made a few more words…

And I have received some too, since June was my month!

I'm not sure what I did with Elizabeth's signature block, but I'm sure I will find it...

I’m not sure what I did with Elizabeth’s signature block, but I’m sure I will find it…

The plan is to make an 8-bit map of Canada, probably next year by the time I get round to it.

I also have a pouch in the latest Popular Patchwork (July issue) but I have yet to get a copy in the post. There are a couple more patterns coming up for Quilt Now too which means I’ll have some more finishes to show you when they go to print. My photos are being used by Pop Patch to save me money on posting the finished stuff- result!

I’ve been bitten badly the last few weeks, I think by mosquitoes. I had one on my leg where the vein started going red and it spread upwards which worried me and cost $100 in pharmacy fees to calm down again, then I had one which made my elbow double in size. I have been spraying myself all over with bug spray before leaving the house, despite people repeatedly telling me that there are no mosquitoes this year because it has been too warm. Well I have found them all it seems! Today I ended up at the walk in centre again with some kind of allergic reaction, might be the bug spray, might be an unknown dietary thing…

Anyway back to the writing- I’m in the flow!

 

Fancy & Fabulous Skirt

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I’ve got a second finish amidst the chaos that is writing book and magazine stuff. Each time I make this skirt pattern I get a bit better at it; this time I am happier with the finish on the zip at the back. As with all the skirts I make, it has pockets- an essential feature for my clothes. Why don’t shop bought skirts have pockets more often?!
The fabric is from Fancy & Fabulous by Riley Blake and I bought it partly with dressmaking in mind, I wasn’t 100% sure of anything other than I really liked the print and colours.

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The pattern is Simplicity 2117- the longer version. Originally I was going to put an invisible zip in but it was misbehaving and actually a standard one is all the pattern called for, and it worked well as it turned out. Next dressmaking venture: a McCall dress with boat neckline and waist belt detail in Mori Girls Dachshunds…

This is a finish along quarter two finish!

FAL 2016

 

Festival of Quilts, Calgary

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By Wayne Kollinger

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I didn’t have a whole lot of time at the Festival of Quilts to see absolutely everything, but I got a fair number of breaks to wander around considering I was at work!

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Heritage Park is a historical village reconstruction of what the West used to look like, It has a steam train (and paddleboat); there’s a bakery and sweet shop and it holds events. This show had quilts all over the place- inside buildings, under a marquee, on frames outside, etc so without a guide book it was hard to make sure you saw everything.

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By Irene Campbell

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By Vanecea Greene

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Also by Vanecea Greene- these blocks are teeny!

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More tiny piecing by Vanecea Greene. It appears I like her work!

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By Janet Aspinall

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By Rebecca Cleaver Burke

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I came back with a small haul…

Secrets secrets

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So it appears I took a blogging break, but it wasn’t a break from sewing by any means. This month I sold my sewing machine that I bought in January and bought the Brother PQ 1500S. I needed something faster because at the speed I’m FMQing for the book, the tension was struggling on the other machine. I also had to get a cheap Walmart machine so I can still zig zag and blind hem, so it turned out to be a more expensive exercise than I imagined it would be, and now I have two machines with just one desk. It has to sit on foam because it vibrates the whole room and I’m worried I annoy the neighbours.

I finished up the bee word for April (late) and I’m yet to start May… I have three “the”s to make, so chain piecing ahoy!

I made a baby quilt and halfway through another for magazines that I can’t show yet, both I used the Scan N Cut that I love so much. So much so, I was demonstrating them at the Festival of Quilts in Calgary this weekend. More photos from that to come on another post. Yes I bought fabric.

I also made a quilt and halfway through a smaller project for my book. I’ve even started writing actual words now! Today I plan to sketch out the illustrations for where I am up to.

DSCF1036I’m cutting out a dress (that will probably sit in pieces for ages). I also made a skirt but I’m going to do a post all on it’s own for that for the Finish Along. That’s right, two more posts in the works, I’m making up for lost time!

A finished quilt: Kananaskis

I finished the binding on a quick quilt a couple of days ago, so yesterday I took it out for photos. We went back to Elbow Falls; last time we visited, it was covered in snow. This time it was crazy hot and we brought Hank with us this time.

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I made this within a week so I could rent the longarm machine at work. I needed something quick so I could practice. I panto-ed this in three hours- and that included unpicking a whole row and somehow managing to do a whole row with no thread.

Back to more photos from yesterday…

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The back…
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It looks like I’ve only finished up one quilt this year but it’s actually two, nearly three. Too many secrets!

STATS
Size – 61″ x 57″
Number of blocks – 20 – 10 of two styles.
Time to make – Piecing a couple of days and quilting three hours- maybe a total of 14 hours including binding.
Fabric – Bo Bunny’s Trail Mix collection plus Kona Forest.
Backing Fabric – Anne Kelle Remix ovals and a bit of Jo Morton Leesburg to make up what I needed, both were 75% off so I paid about $4 a metre for them.
Binding Fabric – More Kona Forest.
Threads – Piecing with Aurifil 50 wt. Quilting with Wonderfil Decobob prewound bobbins (80 wt) and Isacord on top (40 wt).
Batting – 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom.
Quilting- English Oak pantograph from Urban Elementz on Bernina Q24.

Bee Blocks and Quilt Workout and Canada

Quilt Workout is (finally) go!
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The first pattern – Shine Bright – is now available on Craftsy and walks through each round on this semi-medallion quilt which can be made with a bunch of fat quarters and a co-ordinating solid. It is priced at just $7 USD and there’s some other patterns in my Craftsy pattern store you might like too. It’s also listed on Payhip. The second Quilt Workout project will be an applique workout that looks a bit like this…
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So far though, my version just looks like this and my priorities have had to change a bit recently, so I’m not sure of an ETA for this. Maybe the end of this year?
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In Spelling Bee block news I have run out of the sandy coloured pearl bracelets print. It should say “yarnie” but so far it looks like pirate speak. This is the April block and I’m loathe to fall behind but I am waiting for it to be delivered. For Susan in May I am making three “the”s!
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I’m queen for June and I want blocks for the provinces of Canada so I can make an 8-bit style map. It’s different to the improv lettering of the five turns before me so I made an example block. Saskatchewan!
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As I finished making up this block, the Discover Canada range arrived at work and I had to buy the panels, even though I’m really not a panel person. I liked the vintage-y advert style.
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So I will have two maps of Canada eventually it seems. I even planned a layout in EQ7…
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Mine will have better bears though, I’m going to buy this block pattern and make it 10″!

I finished a thing!

My Hank-esque hanger on the stairway now has something hanging on it!

I think the block is called Grandma’s Star and it uses just a few charm squares, I used Doe by Carolyn Friendlander and added the rest to my scrap drawers. The triangle at the bottom is a bit wonky but I’m trying to see past that. The quilting is just edcho quilting using my walking foot. This was the first time I had attached it to my machine and it works really nicely.

The binding (from a CF fat quarter- I think it’s from Botanics) and hanging sleeve were finished up at a coffee shop in Churchill Square in Edmonton last weekend. Alex was doing an exam and I had checked out of our hotel, so I needed something to do while I waited. An iced tea and a smoothie later and I finished it up!

It’s approximately 20″ long and 6″ wide.

This is a finish along quarter two finish!

FAL 2016

 

Brother Scan N Cut – Adding seam allowances and cutting fabric for piecing tutorial

The Meadow quilt class last week was awesome, but the cutting for the pattern is a bit laborious. There are 80 shapes that have two curves, and 40 pieces that are sort of like a smoother version of the Star Trek logo. There will also be 20 long ovals but I think they will be too big for the machine so I’ll do those by hand (the CM650 model should be able to do them though as it can take mats twice as long). Here’s an example of what I mean:

I cut these pieces on the Scan N Cut, but only after I had already cut out the templates in the class itself. It has made things much easier! Unlike die cutting machines like the Accuquilt Go or the Sizzix Big Shot, you can specify your exact requirements for your project (rather than standard triangles, hexies, etc) and add seam allowances and get as many on one sheet as possible to make the process as economic as you can with unusual shapes. You choose the project and then make the Scan N Cut work for you, rather than trying to make a project up around existing dies and the shapes they produce.

So here’s another semi-tutorial today for those who are new to the machine, like me, which will show you some more things you can do with the machine building on the tutorial in my last post. I’m not sponsored by Brother, I genuinely just like this machine. This machine was borrowed so I could learn more but I have gone out and bought my own since!

Put the template you’re working with on the standard mat and scan to cut data.

I then used region detection – as a guide the top is outline detection, the middle is region detection and the bottom is line detection. I found region detection was best for this application because sometimes the outlines weren’t connecting up to make a full shape.

Then select the darkness detection thingy (technical!)…

Then Ignore Object Size…

Then select a size that makes sense- the number indicates what size drawings/lines/objects are ignored. I went for 3/4″ square.

Save the file. Find it again and open from the pattern screen. Then go into the top left shape menu and click select all. Deselect the shapes you want to keep and keep all of the extra scuzzy bits highlighted. Press the trash can delete option.

Now add the seam allowance to the shape so that it can be pieced rather than appliqued. To do this, go to the size screen (still within shape menu)…

And click the bottom right option which shows a box within a box. This is your seam allowance.

You can check it is 1/4″ by pressing the settings (spanner) button and scrolling through the menu.

You can also make several duplicate shapes whilst in the menu with the seam allowance setting. Click the + option beside ‘number’ to add more shapes.

You can drag out the new shapes to other areas of the mat space on screen. Press OK to go to the initial screen. Press the triangles (object arrangement) option on screen.

You have three options for arrangement on this screen. The top will arrange it in the most space efficient way possible, but will not take the grain of the fabric into account. The middle will arrange on the vertical or horizontal, flipping upside down as needed for best fit and the last option is good for cutting from directional fabric as the shapes are positioned as closely together as possible but without rotation. I chose the middle option!

You can resave over the top of the original scanned file if you wish to access the cleaned up and seam allowance-d shapes regularly. Apply the high tack fabric sheet to your mat. This is where having two mats is handy, or if you have a scanning mat, using that just to import files, as this sheet makes it a lot stickier and therefore you can’t put paper on it anymore.

Load the mat and go to the cut option…

And then once cut, unload the mat and peel off the excess and lift off the cut shapes. When the tacky sheet is fresh, you may need to curve the mat slightly to get better purchase on the shapes. Remember to pick threads from the mat with tweezers and keep the surface well covered for mat longevity.

My next mini-tutorial (when I get round to it) will cover importing designs from the computer. The high end model will do this wirelessly, so I’ll be showing you on the CM100 (basic model) that I bought!