Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Apple Cores to the Rescue

What is my next EPP project that I will be concentrating on?

Apple Cores!

This one ....

... and this one!   Isn't this split apple core divine?  Ever since finding it on Pinterest, it has been bugging me to start it.
Either one will be perfect for my take-along project.  Yeah for apple cores!

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just took a trip

A trip to Zinnia's Garden.  That is the name of the fabric line that was used in this top below:

It is not often that a whole line is purchased .... but I just had to do something with this fabric.

There will be more tops made using this pattern.  It has to be one of my favourites to date. 

If you look at the top sideways, it is the Great-Granny Block or set on-point, it is a Trip Around The World.  This block is so versatile.

Since starting up my Pinterest account, I made a folder especially for TATW patterns.  That is how you can tell that this pattern is special to me.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My kind of scrappy

Lately, I have been asked how I go about making my scrappy quilts and what about my stash.

Today, both will be addressed to help you get that total scrappy look too.

How did I make my Oh Wonderful, Summer's Here?  Where to begin on any scrappy quilt?  Figuring out the quilt size is the perfect place to start.

Next step .... draw out a plan of action.  My center was divided into four sections labelled A, B, C, D.
To get that overall scrappy look, my fabrics were chosen with the four sections in mind.  Most of my fabrics were placed into containers labelled A,B,C,D.  Some were only in AC or BD.  Not in AB or CD.  That would foul up the even look.

In the containers below are all my main fabrics (not my background fabrics--whites or creams).  Notice how the containers are labelled?  These containers kept me organized and I knew at a glance where the pieces belonged according to my drawn plan.
Below is the start of Section A.  The start of a grand journey!  In the evenings, I would sit and watch TV and baste pieces together using the EPP (English Paper Piecing) method.  Once there were enough pieces, I would start pinning the pieces onto my design wall and then stand back and look to see if there was a nice even flow of colour.  If not, then the colours would get moved around until I was happy.   A design wall is my most important tool.  Ever!

For me, being near sighted, I was able to take off my glasses and if anything looked out of place, those pieces were either moved around or removed permanently.   You can purchase a notion that will help you spot a fabric that is out of the range you want to use.  A camera helps a lot, too.  Often, I will take a photo of a section and then look at it on my computer to see if the flow of colour is there.  In case any of you are wondering, pieces have been removed even after they have been sewn together.  My quilts are not only for beds, but also for walls and anything out-of-place will bug the heck out of me.  So, rip it out before it is too late.  That is what I do.

Recycled cookie trays were used to hold my fabrics and basted EPP pieces.  I sure had quite the system going and used many different trays.
Over the years, I plugged away at this project until finally in August 2013, section C was well on its' way.   Basting ...... over and over and over.  Oh yes, I got so bored with the process and this project got folded up and put away.  This was my summer project and that is when it came out of hibernation.  Started in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 .... every summer.
By the time section D arrived, it was full steam ahead.  The end was so near that I just couldn't put this project off any longer.  So more basting ... more pinning .... more switching around .... more of everything.

My stash.  Well, that is a huge question to try and answer.  I've been collecting stash for over 14 years now and it still continues to grow.

Once it was confirmed on the look that I was going for, I started collecting FQ bundles of a line ... again small prints.  That is what got me really started with this look.  When I first started buying fabrics, it was mostly jewel tones and a yard of this and that and so on.  Nowadays, it is FQ's or Fat Eights or Charms that are bought.  My buying has slowed down and now I concentrate mostly on borders, backgrounds and backings.

What did I use in this top?  Everything.  Mostly small prints ... but everything.  Look closely at all the following photos and you will see Moderns, Repros, Civil War, Asian, Feed Sacks .... everything.  I didn't care what era was used as long as it fit in.  Value?  Medium with some brights and some darks.  The brights and darks were placed in all the sections to even out the look.  That is the key.  Even out the look to make the colour and your eye flow over the quilt.

Have you noticed my background fabrics?  All different.  Often, I will go into a quilt store and pick about 10 fabrics and ask for 1/4 of a metre/yard.  Since all of this neutral fabric was used in other ongoing projects, well, I was starting to run out.  Once sections C and D came along, new background fabrics were introduced.  It just makes my top that more interesting to look at.

Storing my stash.

My stash is stored in bins and are labelled accordingly.  When I need a particular fabric, it is easy to find it.  The photos below are only a sampling of my bins of fabric.

My studio is very bright and my fabric bins, UFO bins, backings and battings are all stored behind the curtains that you see in the photo below.  My precious stash has to be protected.  :o)

So, have your questions about my stash and my scrappy method been answered?

Now, go forth and create your own masterpiece and have a blast doing it!

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Borders make a difference

I had a vision what my borders would be for Oh Wonderful, Summer's Here and they did not disappoint me. 

After sewing on two borders, my top was hung onto the design wall, I stepped back and "oh my" were the words that came out of my mouth. I knew those borders would enhance my top, but not as much as shown below.  I'm doing the happy, happy dance.  :o)
The next photo shows the other two borders sewn on.  This project is now a completed top.  The size:  99-1/2" x 99-1/2".  Love it!!!!
The journey was a long one, but what a thrill to have it all done. 

You want to know something?   I feel absolutely lost now that this project is done!  It was started in April 2011 and has been my summer project since then.

Have a day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The centre of my Oh Wonderful, Summer's Here is all done.

Borders are next to do and I'm in the process of cutting those out.

The back of this top was pinned to my design wall so that I can check to see if all paper templates have been removed.  As I was refolding this top (after taking the above photo), a few paper templates were found and that is when it was decided to look at the entire back very carefully.  It would no do to start quilting this top and find a paper template still attached on the inside.  That would be an oh-oh, now what moment!

The original templates and some of the EPP paper templates were passed onto Debra.  She says she would like to make one too!

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 2014 OPAM

It was a slow month, but a few things did get done.

Six dish cloths and 4 kitchen hand towels:
The item below doesn't count as OPAM because it does not fit the criteria, but how about this adorable fairy house that I painted and embellished:
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Went to the Creek

Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Ontario for a quilt show on Aug. 17.  The day was perfect, the temperature not too hot.  It was an awesome venue for a quilt show.

Let's meander around the village ...

Quilts were everywhere!  We went early in the day and the crowds were not large.  Photos were easy to take.

 Modern quilts and people in period costume .... an interesting combination.
 We stopped at Town Hall for a trunk show by Sherri Hisey of Border Creek Station

After a light lunch and a bit of shopping at the vendors' venue, we continued on another path with more quilts.

The day was sunny, but there were lots of shady areas and, of course, more quilts.  I do like that quilt on the left!
There were lots of seating scattered throughout the village.  Perfect for when my back starts to hurt from all the standing around.
 There were gardens all around the village and one huge raspberry patch.
Now, this quilt below would be great for using up my solid fabrics that I bought while visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past spring.  I just love that old log cabin behind the quilt. 
It was a perfect day and I had the perfect couple to go with.  Debra and her hubby.

Would I go again .... YES!   This was one of the best quilt shows that I have been to.

Once I arrived back home, guess what was found on our driveway?  This is much, much too early for this to be happening!  Horrors.
Have a great day!