just a thought....

Creating quilts is a way of expressing my creativity. I love the process of dreaming what a new project might look like once it is done and watching my vision come to reality.


Tuesday 9 August 2011

deluxe microwave neck/shoulder cozy

Here is a little project that I made this morning. This feels heavenly when heated in the microwave and draped around your neck. I had one of those plastic "cones" from the vet when my dog got fixed. I used that as a template. The fabric is this really cool scrap that I had that has Canadian tourist destinations all over it. Since it is quilting fabric, I thought may be a little bit too light weight. Therefore I put an extra layer of lightweight canvas that I had lying around behind it. The other side of the cozy is just a plain brown medium weight fabric that I had lying around.  I used my walking foot on my sewing machine and it was easy to sew through all of the layers.Once I sewed the front and the back together I drew lines on it with this great little white mechanical pencil that I picked up in fabricland in Richmond. The lines come out really easily after you sew over them. Next I filled up each little compartment with 1/4 cup of split brown lentils.
I pinned the top of each chamber closed as I filled them up so that they wouldn't spill out. Next I tucked the edges under and sewed them closed. (This seemed like the most challenging part of the whole project). When I sewed my divider lines I stopped 1/2" from the top. I think it would have been easier to tuck in the edges if I would have given myself 3/4". Next time I'll try that. These can be made with different fillings. Some people use flax seed or quinoa or barley. I think when I make more I may experiment with different fillings to see which retains the heat the longest. I heated my cozy up for 3 mins about 1/2 hr. ago and it is still quite warm.                                                                                                                                                        

Thursday 4 August 2011

my first quilt-- I tackled a one block wonder!

Here are some pictures of the first quilt I ever made. It is a one block wonder quilt.

It took me over a year to make this quilt. It is queen size. It was alot of work and there were times when I thought I would never finish. I'm not sure why I decided to make such a large quilt as my very first project. The quilt was actually simple to assemble. The hardest part was cutting the fabric. My friend Robin who is an experienced quilter came to my place and helped me with the cutting. The most important part is getting six pieces of fabric with matching repeats of design exactly lined up on top of each other in a pile and pinning them together so that they don't shift while you are cutting. I was inspired to make this quilt after viewing one on display at the "Quilted Bear" in Ladner, BC. I immediately bought the "One block Wonders" book by Maxine Rosenthal at the "Quilted Bear". I must have read the book through about half a dozen times before I decided to take on the challenge. My goal was to create a quilt that looked pretty in my bedroom, adding some interest to the room, but also blending in with the colors that were already in the room. I am quite pleased with the outcome.
Here is a picture of the original fabric. (yes there was only one fabric used). I choose the fabric because the background is very close to the paint on the walls of my bedroom. I figured the pinks and greens would make nice accent colors.

I think the most interesting part of making this quilt was taking each little stack of triangles, putting them together in a hexagon shape to see what kind of kelidascope pattern would emerge. I would always put about half a dozen of them out to see what patterns would emerge and then sew them together. I was so tempted just to spread them out all over the place just to see what they would look like, but I had to control myself. Once I put them up on my design wall I played around with the arrangement for weeks before I finally sewed it all together. I had a pair of binoculars that I was looking through backwards at my design wall. For some reason the pieces that needed to be rearranged just seemed to pop out at me when I did this.                                                                                           
The quilt was longarm quilted by Rose Momsen in Point Roberts WA. She did lots and lots of feathering and she did it all freehand. Then she did some beautiful flowers and vines on the border.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

my nine patch and snowball quilt

Here is the second quilt I made. This one was really fun from start to finish. I selected all of the fabric online from fabric.com. I wanted this quilt to look fresh and have the feel of summer. I choose all of the fabrics that seemed to have the same color intensity. Then to add a little punch I choose the dark chocolate brown to give a little interest. I wanted to find a pattern that wasn't too challenging. I found this pattern in the September 2010 "The Quilter magazine".  The original quilt was called pretty pansies.The skill level said beginner so I figured I could managed that. In the first photo I opened the magazine to the page of the design I used and put it on top of my quilt. As you can see it is almost hard to believe this is the same pattern. It looks so different with my fabric choices. I must admit I didn't make quite as many of the snowball blocks because I wanted to leave some bigger squares to show off the pattern of the fabric which I really liked. I also wanted the quilting to be modern looking so I choose this pattern called "bubbles". It seems to tie in nicely with the round circles in the border. Sharon from the "Creative quilting company" in Lake Country BC did the longarm quilting for me. I wasn't really sure if I actually liked the splashes of dark chocolate brown in the quilt until I put the border on. Once I put the border on it just seemed to tie everything together. The final result was pretty much what I hoped it would be when I set out to design the quilt. I really wanted my quilt to look modern and cheerful which I think it does. When I was first telling my friends that I wanted to get into quilting I recieved comments like. Isn't that what old ladies do? Are you thinking of buying a rocking chair too? I guess this is not a popular hobbie for someone my age but who cares? Life is about exploring your interests, developing your own talents. Whether or not my friends think my hobbie is interesting doesn't really matter as long as it brings enjoyment to me.  Before I made this quilt I was reading someone else's quilting blog. She wrote about an experience that she had at a quilting class. She wanted to put some orange fabric in her quilt. The instructor would not let her. She was told to leave the orange out or else leave the class. I included a little orange in my quilt just because of that. I wanted to quilt "outside of the box" of what people consider traditional quilting. I like orange. All fabric in this quilt I ordered from fabric.com. I really like this site. Check it out.   

Tuesday 2 August 2011

more about mom's quilt

The quilt pictured in yesterday's post was actually a quilt kit that I ordered online. It is called hydrangea radiance and it is by Wilmington prints. I was browsing Mark Lipinski's Fabric Trends for quilters online when I came across this free quilt pattern download. I loved the way the quilt looked in the picture of the pattern download so I decided to order the quilt kit instead of searching for each of the fabrics on my own. I found that the cuts of the fabrics were generous. I have lots of leftover scraps. This is the first time I have done a kit. I enjoyed making the quilt and the directions were easy to follow. After I pieced the quilt together I sent it off to Sharon of the "Creative Quilting Company" in Lake Country, B.C. She did a fabulous job of longarm quilting my quilt.

Monday 1 August 2011

Welcome to my blogspot

Today is Aug 1st. Mom's birthday. I just gave her a quilt that I made. This is my third quilt that I have made. Quilting has quickly become my new passion. There is something very satisfying about finally completing a quilt. It was even more satisfying to give it to her. Somehow the quilt has a silent language of it's own. It says what is hard to put into words and say eloquently on one's own. It says I love you, I care about you, and so much more.I choose the pattern just for her and I new that the colors were the ones that make her feel good. I think every one has there own "feel good" colors. Different colors and combinations of colors bring out different emotions. That is why I can't wait to make some more quilts. They will be expressions of my emotions through colors and patterns. I will share my other two quilts that I made previous to this one in future posts.
click here to read more about mom's quilt