Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tiny Scraps

I have been working on my Grand Illusion Mystery quilt but in between steps I have been digging into some of the tiniest scraps. I have 27 log cabin pineapple blocks done so far. These blocks are from Bonnie Hunter's String Fling book. I did a couple earlier in the year but I have been back at them again.  

They use some of the smallest bits of fabric. That is almost dangerous, because I am keeping some very small pieces of fabric. As I get to the outside, the pieces are much more reasonable to keep.  I just love that I am using every colour in all the blocks and some of the busy prints work so well because the pieces are so small. 

Here is another batch of them started up. I am doing them on the paper foundations and so far the paper has been no trouble taking out.  I am using Chinese Red Kona in the center and White Kona for my light colours. 

I have linked up with Soscrappy's linky page today. Many of the other scrap quilters are getting finished some of their quilt tops or making goals for next year. But I have so many missing blocks still. Next year I will just have to finish up more scrap tops and do less starting projects. I am great at starting but not so good at finishing the quilts. 

Gemma wants a belly rub. We played Agility last night and again the morning. She was such a good girl. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Grand Illusions Progress Made

I am loving the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Grand Illusions. There was lots of fuss about step 2. I did a little test with scraps first. I kind of used Bonnie's 1st way to make the units for step 2. Hard to believe she gave us 3 different ways to make them. I just love how she goes into so much detail as to how to do each step. It is so much better then most patterns. There are units I would normally not do because they are a pain in the butt. It pushes me to do some stuff I might not do otherwise. 

Wow was there lots of cutting to do for step 2. But I love cutting so I kept going. I have not bought any fabric to do this quilt so far. I may need to buy backing. I have picked out 10 or more fabrics for each colour from my stash. Many of the black and neutrals are the same fabrics as Orca Bay mystery quilt. So I am cutting from some yardage but it is still very scrappy. Lots of dots. 

I did much of the sewing in the sunshine on an older singer. Our winter days are so short now. 

So Thursday night I got all 100 double diamond units done. I love how you can play with the layouts. 

Then, on Friday, the 3rd clue came out. I love that this one was a little easier to do. I have about 45 units done so far. I am sure I will be ready for step 4. I am very happy with the bright greens I have picked out. I will have to sew something else later this week. I have added this post to Bonnie's Linky Page, you can go see how every ones Mystery quilts are looking. 

Miss Gemma doing her training, two on two off. I just could not get a photo with her nose down on the target plate. I was not wanting her to wait to long to get her treat. This is just one of the little agility games we can play inside that will help us with agility. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


So almost 2 weeks ago my Surface Design group got together for some stamping play. I remembered to take my camera. Here is the blue scarf all printed out with my iron rod stamp. I had craved it out just a few days before we got together. 

I guess I called it iron rod because it was inspired but some iron rod fences designs from France in the 1600's. Below is the enlarged photo of some of the iron rod. 

The whole scarf, done and ready to wrap up for Christmas. Yes this one is a gift. 

Then after our great lunch I worked on the lime green one. I plan to save this one for myself. I used a stamp I made a few years ago. It was a cod fish. I do not have a photo of the stamp. I should do that. 

Dianne with her leaf stamped scarf. She has left her scarf natural cotton. 

Yvonne is doing some more craving. 
I forgot to get a photo of Dawna. 

We had a great day. 

Edit: We ordered scarves from Maiwa. There are 100% cotton, so I was able to dye mine a few days before I did the stamping. I used Pebeo Opaque fabric paints on my stamps. 

Gemma your in my chair. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Step 1 Grand Illusion

The mystery quilt Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter got underway on Friday. I had to work this weekend so I did not get all of step one done but I still did well. I am sure I will finish this step before next Friday. That is when the step 2 comes out. 

Today Bonnie is hosting a link up party, so I have linked up too. 

I picked out my fabric about a week ago. I did not buy a single fabric, it will be  quilt from my stash only. I want the pink to be very bright and darker coloured. My Aquas or Turquoise are light like the ceiling of the old building. 

I make a cute little yellow booklet to record the number of triangles and units I have. I also have a black binder to print off Bonnie's instructions. 

Part of the time I quilted on my old singer machine. It sits in the family/ living room next to a window so there is great light to sew by during the day. We have so little sun now that sitting in the sun for an hour a day is a treat. 

Here is my box with some parts and pieces. I have done my triangles a little different then Bonnie said. I was cutting from yardage for my Triangle units, so I cut 3" squares and drew a line on the diagonal. I then sewed  1/4" from that line and cut the two triangles apart. I then have to iron and trim the triangles to 2 1/2" square. I love how the triangles are so perfect. 

Here is the design wall with the first little batch of units. There are measuring perfect 4 1/2" square. 

Here is last years mystery quilt. I still need to sew the blocks together. I was hopping to do that last week but it did not happen. The pattern is asleep now but should come out in Bonnie's next book. I had made some big changes to the colours last year. his year I am keeping much closer to Bonnie's colours. 

I have also linked up to Design wall Monday at Judy's

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fiber Day

Today I am off to play with the paint and have a good time with my Surface Group. Here is a photo of our last day together. We met last month and had a planning day. We had a great lunch too.

I needed to do some dying before we got together today. So Wed I dyed my 3 scarves and a few other meters of cotton yardage.  

This is the scarves drying out and the yardage folded on top. It makes me think of the colours of summer Ice-cream. Or at least something better then winter.

I also had to carve my stamp. I was going to make a new design but I just did a few adjustments to a design I had done last year. I still needed to crave the stamp. I hope it works well. If not I may not have much to do. I plan to stamp at least one scarf with this design and use paint. I am taking some dyed yardage so I can sample the paint and stamping method. I am hopping it can be one gift done. 

Gemma got a new bed. So far she loves it. I have been teaching her "to your Bed" and if she gets it right she gets cookies. Tonight is dog class too. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Major Maintance

A few weeks ago I decided to order some new replacement parts for my Gammill long arm machine. I was having to fix and repair the timing way to often. Well the parts came and 13 days ago I started to take my machine apart. I was replacing my Hook assembly of my machine. I was very nervous about doing this. Was I going to get the new one in and the machine working well again? Well when I took out the old Hook assembly I could see one of the set screws was not like the others. It was the right time to replace the parts.  

I had my dad come over. He knows less about the sewing machine then me but I needed some moral support and an extra hand to hold a screw in place. I really did need one more hand. Hold a screw up and in place and hold the little piece in place all at the same time. So he was great help. 

I got it working. I first did some quilting on my practice sandwich. I did some more little adjustments so the machine did not sound quiet so noisy.  Lots of oil too. 

I was still a little nerve about getting going on a customers quilt. So I did a little quilt of mine first. I will show it after I finish the binding. Wow I did it. I am feeling like a Super Hero. I also replaced the spring assembly too. I finished my little quilt and can now work on customers quilts knowing and feeling I got it done. This was the first time in 15 years of custom quilting that I had replaced some of these main parts. So I am busy machine quilting again. 

Except I got a little bit of the flu on the weekend. Today I am back to feeling better. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Drop in Retreat

Last weekend my friend Laural hosted and quilting Retreat in her Garage. Her sister and 1 friend came from far away and stayed in her home over night. The rest of us ladies were local and went home to our own beds at night. Mom and I traveled together, the roads were bad as we got our first real snow. We had lunch and dinner together, and wow there was lots of good food. So we called the retreat a drop in retreat. I think she is doing it again after Christmas. 

I took my units I did last winter for  the Celtic Solstice Mystery by Bonnie Hunter. I want to do this years mystery but thought I needed to get more done on last's years mystery. I only had one block done and all the units for the smaller quilt. 

Here is another Scrappy Trip around the world being worked on.

Some Christmas projects were worked on.

You can really see we were in the garage here. We were told to bring a lamp as the lights were not great in the garage, We every had one with a shade, made the place classy. 

Here is another great project in the works. Threase was working on it but did not want to be in the photo so Elizabeth is holding it up. 

After the weekend I got really busy and did some more blocks at home. 

I now have all the blocks done (plus 1 extra). I am hoping to get the top together this week. 

Bonnie is planning to start the Grand Illusion Mystery on Friday the 28th. I have not picked fabrics out yet. I am sure by the end of the week I will have a few fabrics in mind. I was worried I would have to buy some Yellow but I found one that I have about 2 m of. It is bright so I am sure the rest of my quilt will be bright too.