Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two new quilters and a couple of helping hands!

Well Ms. A and Chris were over for finalizing the quilts! As promised, a photo of Ms. A working on her quilt! You would think she's been at a sewing machine for years! She found some great ice cream cone fabric that she backed with some cozy minkee-type fabric. She found with the fabric stretching, but what an amazing outcome! Congrats Ms. A on your first quilt! Has been a honor watching you work on it!
Ms. A was sharing her "secret" with her mom. We managed to get her name and year in the corner and we hid it from Mom until she was done!
The final product was attending a sleepover last night! I am sure it got tons of hugs! Chris was on the final stretch to finish the quilt top with the final border! She did a great job as she "hates" cutting as much as I do! I think a Baby Go is in my future one day! For her first quilt, I am incredibly proud of her! Like I said before, her points, seams and all top notch. I know I didn't do as well as she has on my first quilt. I know without a doubt that her Angel Momma was helping her hands along as they worked on the labour of love.
...and the little "secret" that she was working on for the back (we'll show you later after it's off the longarmer!). No time for photo's of our wonderful lunch! Chris bought a great quinoa salad and Chef Murphy put in a pizza of spinach and goat cheese. We had to fortify ourselves for the final afternoon push! Thanks ladies for allowing me on your quilting journey!
In the afternoon the Little Man joined us and Ms. A watched over him while her mom and I finished up the last bits of quilting. After dinner, Little Man and I went to the basement and dug in the box of Halloween costumes. There are so many things in the basement that need to go, but I just couldn't let go of the costumes that I sewed so long ago. My first sewing machine was a White. I remember so many years ago when the kids were little. My mom and dad had a friend who was going through an incredibly hard cancer journey (I think they are all hard and pray that all cancers will be eradicated!) Anyways, this lady was on her own and my parents were there for her throughout her journey. Through the process, she was trying to get rid of things as she had no children or family. I was the lucky recipient of her White sewing machine. I remember trying my hand at the first Halloween costumes that I made. My eldest was a California Raisin and the two younger ones were Dinosaur's! After the costumes were done, I took all the kids and headed to the hospice to share the costumes with the lady who gave me the White sewing machine. She was thrilled! What an amazing gift she gave me. More than she will ever know! So here's to all those angels up there! For your helping hands, have helped mine! Here's Litte Man in his uncle's costume. I'm guessing it's about 20 years old!
Happy sewing all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Cyber" FART!

Fabric Aquisition Road Trip! OK, not quite on the road, but did do some more on-line shopping! Can barely wait for it to arrive! has been a wonderful new find for "me". I am sure a lot of you found Pink Chalk years ago, but I'm excited to discover this new adventure of blogging and finding all the new trends! I bought the new hexi ruler from Jaybird as well as one of her patterns! What a talented young lady! You can check her out here: I am yet to try out the new ruler, but I have a project planned in the next month! Stay tuned! I have also ordered from Hancock's of Paducah as well as Keepsake Quilting. Both of which have been fabulous! I am so pleased with any of the products that I have ordered on line and have not been disappointed. Realize that I am new to ordering anything on line, unlike my adult children who just roll their eyes when I questioned them about the safety and "what if I don't get it and they charge me????" It's all good! Don't get me wrong -- absolutely support your local quilt stores! (When you can!) Realize that a lot of our fabrics in Canada can be double if not triple the price we can order on line.(yes, even though our measurements are a bit bigger than a yard!) If I can make three times the amount of quilts for the price of the cost of ONE here, I am going to order on line. Is that bad? I try to be very budget conscious with my passion. I have been a single mom for far too long being frugal and stretching that dollar as far as it can go. If I can get it here, for a decent price, I do -- however if it's a deal on fabric that I have been drooling over -- you bet I'll order it online! I won't even get into re-cycling fabrics here, because I'll have you know that I've done that as well! So check out Pink Chalk Fabrics, Hancock's and Keepsake or give them a try on line ordering! I can bet that you won't be disappointed! Happy Cyber-Farting!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Arizona meets Calgary

January of this year, Chef Murphy and I went to Arizona. He took me on a FART (Fabric Aquisition Road Trip)! We had a great time, however with my back and being off work, I didn't touch the new sewing machine I got for my birthday until the beginning of June of this year! YIKES! The fabric is from 3 Dudes Quilting -- the pattern is courtesy of Ray Steeves. His pattern "Majestic Mountain Quilt" is his own. I used 2 1/2" strips of Bali fabric (which I love!) The pattern is super easy and has a great dramatic effect!
Ray has kindly shared his pattern for FREE and has given permission to use it at my quilt guild. Check out their website: , you will find a great collection of free quilt patterns! They also offer on-line orders as well. The website is growing, so stay tuned. If you are in the area of Phoenix, stop by and say "hi". They are a great bunch of guys! Chef Murphy even got in on a lesson and he said it was the ONLY quilt shop where he felt he wasn't shunned and ushered out the door! He seems to feel that quilt shops are very unwelcoming to men -- even though I think he's got a great eye for fabric and colors! He's a great person to have amongst bolts and bolts of fabric and will find the "one" that's just perfect! (Thanks honey! ;-)
The lovely quilting is courtesy of Karen Morrison of Queen B Quilting Designs. The both of us will be working on yet another quilt with this pattern that will be donated for a United Way Raffle! We picked a tighter design as this is my living room quilt that will be in and out of the washing machine. You'll note that I have some reds in this quilt. I used Retayne in the wash estimating how much yardage there is in the total quilt. I put approx 1 tsp. per yard into the wash with HOT -- yes, HOT water and a cold rinse. It was then tossed in the dryer for 30 minutes on medium heat (cause I love the puckers the heat brings out) This is what it looks like now:
Now before you all GASP... I toss my quilts in and out of the washing machine. I don't panic and I don't worry about it. I don't lecture any recipient of my quilts on how to take care of them. If they ask, I tell them to gently wash and toss in a cool dryer for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out, then lay flat IF POSSIBLE to totally dry it. Reality is, people will toss it in with their regular laundry and toss it in the dryer. So what? I want my quilts to live life! If it's THAT important, it's not going to be used. The biggest compliment that I can have is someone telling me that they have worn the quilt to pieces. Then I know it was "much loved".
I buy good cottons and use decent batting and good cotton for the back. My quilting stitches are within reason (meaning that once it's ready to quilt, I read the directions to the batting to determine what the maximum distance is to quilt). I haven't had a problem. I find the more it goes in the wash and dryer, the more cozy and soft it gets! Happy stitching! Margo

A New Quilter is Born!

This is Chris. Chris is an amazing mom of two who manages all those soccer games, lessons, running a household, taking on all the household errands and works full time. She's a scrapbooker in her "spare" time. Wonderfully creative, I was surprised she wasn't a quilter! Anyways ... to make a long story short, her mom was a quilter. Grandma made Chris' young daughter a quilt and was in the process of making her grandson a quilt when grandma was diagnosed with cancer. It was a rough year and sadly :-( goodbyes had to be said to Grandma. Grandma had a few pieces cut to start a quilt. I think Grandma was whispering in my ear because the thought of that quilt just sitting there couldn't be ignored. Chris agreed to come over and work on her mom's quilt for her son. Grandma had cut pieces with cardboard templates. Pieces were cut, but we couldn't determine what block Grandma had planned, but Chris said her mom loved stars -- so the star quilt was begun. The fabric choices were made years ago, and Chris was a diligent student. She cut with the rotary cutter, put the blocks together with perfect points and matched the seams. She has one border left and then off to the longarm quilter it goes!
We were busy pressing and sewing! Her daughter was also along and I didn't have my camera out to catch her wonderful creations! She made a sleeve for her game system and a cute little mouse! Oh, and the best part was Chris made us a wonderful lunch to break up the day! We all managed to fit into the studio with a table or two moved. Chris kindly broke in the new Babylock and said she liked it better than the Symphony because it didn't have all the "bells and whistles"! I bought the BL9 to take to classes. Chris liked that it was what she was used to. Her daughter though took a lesson on the Symphony and liked all the buttons "that did everything!"
We even took a break to go and buy some contrasting fabric for the final border. Chris' little one has planned a throw for herself that we will be doing next weekend. Chris will work on incorporating her Mom's starter block on the back with the pieces her Mom cut. It will be the side that is closest to Chris' son and will have special meaning to the whole quilt. I'll ask Chris for a photo of the completed quilt to share! For now, both of them have homework to complete before our next get together! Maybe TWO quilter's have been born! Special thanks to Chris' mom who has been whispering in my ear! I heard you! Happy quilting everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A little fabric...can be a POWERFUL thing!

The Little Man has a vision that he is powerful and can save the world! He told me his name was not "Little Man" but was now "Batman!" Thus, while he was in character, I was to address him as "Batman!" Oh the joys of little people!
"Batman" of course needed a cape and mask! What a great little man. Once he showed Grandpa what it looked like, he ran into the studio wrapping his arms around my legs and said "Nana, I love you! Thank you!" :-) was a bit of of fabric and a bit of time..worth EVERY moment behind the machine! I had another baby blanket that I did a couple of years ago. The biggest compliment is when you hear someone say, "she's worn the quilt thin and insists that we snuggle with it under the stars in the summer!" Gotta love the feeling that they've "loved" it so much that it's worn thin!
Tigger of course, thinks that if he looks the other way, no one will see him!
Most of the time he sits beside the machine and watches intently as the fabric glides through the machine. He's a pain though when there is tons of fabric I am moving around and he wants to snuggle down into the folds! One day I hope to learn how to post the blogs on here that I love reading. So many talented people out there that keep me motivated and give me new ideas! My WOP's are growing exponentially as is my stash (slowly but surely!) I was excited to learn how to post photo's on my blog and maybe the rest, ok I am sure the rest will come in time. Happy quilting everyone! If you have any tips to pass along I am a most eager student! Margo