Monday, 29 May 2017

Take a Moment.

In our busy lives, we often rush around.  Trying to get everything done.  Making time to take care of ourselves is not always a top priority.  A few years ago I had a health scare, not only did it make me pause, it was the moment I decided to take charge and be the change.

Since then, time doing activities to make a difference to my health and life became a lifestyle change.  We are very active and enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather.  Quilting was placed under the same microscope.  How could I make it easier and give me more time to do the other things I want to do?

One answer was reinventing "the wheel", in this case how I cut my fabric.  AccuQuilt Go and the dies to cut fabric was my solution.  The other was setting up a permanent cutting area.
This was a solution to give me more time, to be more productive.
 The dies have blades, which cut the fabric, they are embedded in foam.
 Fabric is place on top of the die and covers the whole cutting area of the shapes.
 Next a protective cutting mat is placed on top of the fabric.
 Then one place it on the cutting machine, this one is manual.  Since this one came out an electric one was released.
 This is where the fun start, by turning the handle and guiding the die, these rollers place enough force to create the cutting of the fabric.
 It can cut up to six layers of fabric.  The time it takes to cut and the accuracy is amazing.
 This is what the die looks like after the fabric has been removed.
 Keeping everything tidy and in sequence, ready for sewing when I am.
 This pick comes with the machine and the die.  It is to help with any sticky threads stuck in between the blades of the die.
 I use a paint brush first, it has soft bristles to gently take all the fluff a of the die, I use it first.  The pick is only used, when it is required.

Different shapes all cut and in containers.  Bonny Hunter has a scrapsaving system, which I admire and inspired me to try : Her, enders and leaders.  It allows you to sew triangles and other shapes together, while you work on other projects  Read about it at Quiltville.  All because, she cuts her fabrics into predetermined sizes upfront.  When she needs a size, she can open a bin and pick up the cut shape and start to sew.

 The last criteria was the patterns I wanted to make. Piecing and Applique both appeal to me. Omigosh was at the Ottawa Quilt Show at the RA Centre a few years back.  Standing in front of this beauty was the start of a journey...
Care for your tools, they will last longer.  Most importantly, store them properly.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A little bit of this and that.

A female Coopers Hawk just sitting  on a branch, at eye level.

With a holiday weekend, quite a bit got done, very unexpectedly.
A bit of smocking....
Love Entwined, the leaves got stitched on the center. 

It has had its first wash, it is currently drying.
 Sunsets are a gift, we can never experience enough of them.  Canada our beautiful land.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


This Azalea is flowering.  It survived the winter.  Some plants did not, but this beauty did!
Diamond Hill block four is finished.
The Tulip.

Tulips are flowering all over town and the displays are amazing.
The first four blocks.
Mother's Day this year, was extra special for Blue Jay fans, the team won.  With so many Mom's and all the love they brought with to the game, it is no wonder.
Nail art to support the team, "Lets Go Blue Jays".

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Just love Spring for all the beautiful Flowers.

Spring blossoms always looks so fresh and pretty.
Stumble across this flower in the forest on our walk. It is a Trillium.  First one we have ever seen.

Finished prepping my summer stitching project and started stitching.

Had to take a break from cutting fabric for about a week.

Diamond Hill block four has been started. 
The bike challenge is on again. The library did a display.
These Daffodils just keeps on flowering. We see these on our walk.

                                                                           Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Orb Quilt.

What to do when a pattern calls for pre-cut cirlces and they are not available.  One could use dies to cut the fabrics.  Rulers to cut circles are helpful, or one could create a stencil with card stock to create the circles.
Also create a second set of circles, larger than the main fabric for the muslin circles.
Then trace the circles onto the wrong side of the fabric and cut them out.
The colour circles cut out.
Creating two sets, one of colour and the slightly larger ones in muslin.

Place the two circles together, right sides facing inwards.
Draw the stitching line on the back of the muslin, pin the two circles together and stitch on the drawn line.
The stitched circle.

Trim the excess fabric with a pair of pinking shears, this helps to keep the circle round, when turning inside out.
Using the slit on the back, turn the circle inside out.

Placement on this quilt is key.  Getting everything perfectly aligned in  a circle is very important.

 Due to this, I created a paper layout plan, which I drafted from scratch.

This is how to create it:

Draw one pie piece, then using my original stencil, I work out where the circles will fit.
Once I have the placements, I can now move on to the next step.  Making my larger pie stencil.
Trace over the pencil lines with a Sharpie.  I place a sheet of foil from the kitchen under my paper, to prevent any Sharpie art from being left behind on the table.  The kitchen is a treasure trove of invention for quilting.
I used an old tool.  This is a dressmakers tracing wheel.  Once I place my cardboard underneath my paper pattern I used this to transfer the design to the cardboard. 
It will look like this.
Then using the transfer as a guide, trace with a Sharpie. Then cut out the circles and the pie shape. This is the stencil to use for creating the layout.
Using a large sheet of paper, trace the complete layout on the paper. Then make it more visible, by tracing over it with a Sharpie.

 Next I placed a clear plastic tablecloth on top of paper layout.  Then my white background, once it was in the center I could place all my circles on the background.

Then I used Roxanne applique glue and glued each piece in place.

To make sure I got no glue on the table or my paper pattern, the plastic tablecloth protected both.

When it came to placing my orbs or circles, it took me less than twenty minutes, preparing the paper layout first, was the best course of action.  Especially with a white background fabric.

When sewing with white fabric, to keep it pristine white, wash your hands every half an hour.  This prevents any of the natural oils from the skin to transfer onto the fabric.   The white is unforgiving, worth the end result, as it looks clean and fresh when it is finished.
Kits for this quilt is available at The Sewing Cafe.