Thursday, 27 August 2015


We are going to celebrate a big milestone soon.  When we have children, we have hopes and dreams for them.  We do our best as parents to nuture them, guide them through life to reach their full potential.  Most of all we love them.  In life they will hit speedbumps, like the bullies.  In most  parts of the World they are not tolerated, in any shape, way or form.  Then, in other parts, it seems like a passage of rites: There are generations of them?

Then there are the curveballs:  The lifechanging events, which no one should ever have to deal with. Allergic reactions to medication, not the kind one can stop or fix:  Severe Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  When a parent has to face this, they do not think for a moment, they walk into the fire, through it and out of it.  We can not suffer for our children, paint rainbows for them, all we can do, is love them.

Equip them with the tools and skills for life, then we have to step back, giving them the opportunity to trail blaze their path in life.  It is one of the hardest things to do, letting go.  Then the most surprising thing happen.  As they go on this journey, they come back to you, talk to you and you discover, they are using what they have learnt and all the hard work as a parent has been worth it.
When our eldest was just a baby, this bit of advice was given to me.  It is the best advice for parenting, this has always been up in our kitchen, either on a notice board or the fridge.  They are now grown up, the merry go round of school activities, the birthday parties on the weekends, have all but come and gone.  They have started new chapters in their lives.  We are finding and discovering new ones of our own.
The years may have flown by, we reached milestones with our children, some we did not think we will ever be blessed to reach, but we did. Tomorrow is the promise of our future. Yesterday is the memories we created today.  Everyday is a gift, to celebrate being with the ones we love.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

LE - Easy Flower Tutorial.

Love Entwined is a complex and intense pattern, many elements also get repeated, in different areas of this quilt.  This quilt requires a lot of patience, time and effort.  As with everything, there will be some parts we love and others, well,  they may very well be not what we enjoy doing.  On the whole, however they add to the charm of the quilt,  so we follow the pattern,  knowing in the end,  it will be worth it!

Flower Tutorial:

Step 1. Take yellow flower, place on a piece of muslin, right sides facing.  Make sure the flower is place on the bias of the fabric. Then stitch around the shape on the drawn line with a sewing machine.
 The back.
Step 2.  Cut a slit in the back of the muslin.
Step 3. Trim the excess fabric with a pair of pinking shears.
Step 4. Now snip with a pair of sharp scissors, almost to the stitching line, next to each petal.
Step 5. Turn the flower inside out, through the slit in the muslin.  Gently pop each petal out, careful not to rip the seams.
Step 6.  The flower is ready for stitching on the main part of the quilt.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Tools of the Trade.

Good Quilting, especially, freemotion quilting depend on it to work effortlessly.  Smoothly,  like melted butter.  Not jerky, stopping and starting, otherwise the result is frustration. The success of freemotion quilting is in the gliding of the quilt,  in a continious motion and any direction one move it.  It should not resist, drag or pull when one quilt.  When the feeddog is dropped, it should be an easy motion to quilt.  If not, there is very few culprits.  The tension on the bobbin could be made a little more relaxed. The thread, using the correct thread in the bobbin and on top of the machine is important, lastly the machine. 
The make of the machine is not important, it is more crucial that the machine can do this job.  There is no way to sugar coat this fact.  One need a machine that can deliver, that has the ability to do the job and do it right, which is vital to a successful outcome.  Many lose heart, when it does not want to work, no matter how hard they try.  So why settle, when one can have the best? 
Freemotion quilting, also allow us to quilt any pattern and design we wish to create,  thus giving us the opportunity to create and think outside the box.  The possibilities to make amazing quilts, with no limits.
Inspiration for these two quilts came from a well loved childrens book, which was read over and over by granny to her own children and then her grandchildren.  She had made similar quilts for her children when they were young.  She made all the blocks years ago and kept them, hoping to get them stitched and quilted for the grandchildren.  This did not happen, as her life and time did not allow her to do so.  A friend asked if I would help with the quilts.  They had unique challenges, as all the fabrics was different.  Blocks were very many sizes.  The applique animals was stuffed, before the blocks was pieced and the quilt assembled.
Around each applique,  hand embroidery was done. The hard part was making sure,  when machine quilting the blocks to not get caught up in the loops of the stem stitch, which was done with a thick embroidery thread.

The two finished quilts.

The leftovers was turned into two pillow cases.

The quilts was made to be washed and used.  Parents in this modern day work and do not have time to handwash quilts, so they need to be robust, to handle anything that come their way.

Friday, 21 August 2015

The Colour of Fall.

Summer wild berries.

When the Seasons change, each have their own unique colour.

Some people have a gift for Stitching.  They seem to do them and make it all look easy.  No matter how small the stitches, how many, they do them and produce lots of amazing pieces of work.  We all have different gifts.  Some may be better at quilting, applique, knitting and sewing.  Many dabble in a variety of crafts,  for some of us, we fall in love with the pattern.  We know we must try.  Even when others will tell you, it is too advanced.  If you still take the plunge, it has nothing to do with your ability, only with the emotion it got from you the first time you looked at it.  A friend gave me this, knowing how many hours of work goes into it, I will treasure it  forever.  She also inspired me to do redwork!
Then there is the quilts and bags we create with these colour.
 This quilt started off as broken dishes pattern, then fate stepped in,  it became something else after the pattern went missing in action.  Only found it years later after the quilt was finished.
 This is a pumpkin quilt, from Australian Country Craft magazine,Vol.14 No.8  from 2003.
This bag is from a Japanese Quilt Magazine,  it was four times smaller than this.  By enlarging the size, I can place a quilt and a hand held quilting hoop in it, while I store the W.I.P,  in between quilting.  It is a square bag.
Books and countries with Orange, The Netherlands come to mind.  Treasures from Holland by Petra Prins.  ISBN: 978-2-916182-49-0
Van  Gali's,  in Fergus Ontario, if you need coffee and cake, this is the spot to enjoy it!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

LE - progress, at last.

 The blue diamond border is stitched in place.  Now the applique can be done.
 The hearts.
The flowers.
Yellow daisy flowers, played a bit with this one, created a quick way to do these. 
 Flowers around the compass.
The coral is a striking colour.
It feels good to finally get to this stage, progress at last! 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Girls, with a difference

Friendship is the special gift in life,  which we are blessed with.  Some people are lucky enough to have one or even more friends.  Friends are there for one another in the good times and times, when life hands us challenges.  Some will accept help, allowing others to help them.  For some  it is more difficult, they find this uncomfortable and will not accept help.  Sharing the same interests, connecting across distance and culural boundaries,  is a gift.  Many friendships last a lifetime.  They take work,  just like anything else in life.  The reward of frienship,  will always outway the value of a life without it.  People make a place, people are important, not things.
 For some the colour for girls is only pink. Girls can wear many different colours and can still be girly-girls.
 Every single girl is special, not just the ones who live in castles.  Home is, where we are loved and cherished.
It is remarkable how many girls grow up to become strong women, no matter what they become: housewives, lawyers or engineers.  A colour does not define them. Each one unique in their own way.
So with this in mind, I smock dresses in a variety of colours.  The quilts a mixture of colours.
A dolly quilt, the front, all done with squares.
The back is a red and blue, Indian Cotton fabric.  It is super soft, most importantly,  very strong and durable.
With summer here, a rag quilt done in bright colours, this one is cut on the Accuquilt.  No sore wrists snipping the edges.  A modern way to make a rag quilt. 
The finished quilt. Fabrics from Mad About Patchwork.  Pam stocks a good selection of modern fabrics, including Kona Solids.  This is her quilt, she needed some extra elves to help get a few projects done.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Little unexpected bits on quilts.

Sometimes it is how it is quilted.  Expect the unexpected, including bugs and butterflies.
The quilting here was done in circles.  It still allow the quilt to shine and do not overpower the quilt pattern.
Hand embroidery on the applique for decoration and adding a three dimentional effect, also to make the pumkins pop on this quilt.
Stitching a flat skinny strip along the edge, to frame the quilt in an unexpected way.  The bright blue one inch strip folded double and ironed  flat,  before it is stitched down. The binding is then attatched and this give the quilt a nice finish.
The whole quilt, with piano key sashings, in a medallion style. The Pumkin Patch by Jann Sturdy.
Using the leftover strips,  to create a scrappy binding.

Rubber ducks come in very different shapes, not just the ones we know.