Thursday, January 23, 2014

New dyed wool and new booklets

I spent some time on Saturday with my dye pot,  dyeing wool for the store.  We have been terribly low on green and reds, 
I made a start on those colors, but I see that I need to do some oranges and yellow as well!  

On another note, we have Started to stock a new line of booklets called Modern Quilts Illustrated:

They are written by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  There are several projects in each booklet, which is very reasonably priced at $17 (Canadian ). 
This is one of my favourite projects from one of them

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Block 10, nancy Cabot 1938

This is blocked 10 of the Saturday surprise sampler.

It sort of echoes the  design of Block six, the shaded pinwheel
I think it's quite an interesting block and it would be fun to Play around with it a bit more…

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


 Remember this little piece? I decided to make a little almost 16" x 20" Walhain using that little bird embroideries. I appliquéd them on to some Essex Linen, And then have a lot of fun with the machine quilting.
Being such a small piece, it was easy to maneuver on my little sewing machine. I used a heavy thread to stitch in the ditch around all the little hexagons, and then tried out my woodgrain pattern on the rest of the background.
I'll take it into the shop and display it with the Essex linen fabrics so people can see how the fabric looks when it's sewn.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mini Charm Pack Idea

If you're like me, you find those little mini charm packs irresistible.
 42 little 2-1/2" squares, all stacked in a neat little pack...
I always have an eye out for what to do with them, and I just saw a great project on the moda Bake Shop blog: here
I especially like the cushion on the left, it would be easy to make it into a baby quilt:
you can press on the link above to take you to the directions,
Actually, I really like the one on the right too....

Monday, January 13, 2014

Milagros embroidery and New Classes

Yesterday I started an embroidery that is all in backstitch, (with just a few french knots). 
 I was inspired by the work of Yumiko Higuchi,
you can see lots of her stuff on her Pinterest boards, here
She seems to cover a whole piece of fabric with motifs, like this:
and then either frame it or use the fabric to make another item: such as these bags:
So, I drew out some motifs onto one of my fat quarters of Essex Linen, using a blue ink pen that disappears when it gets wet.  

 I had about 4 hours yesterday to stitch, so I was able to get a pretty good start on it.

Sometimes in redwork embroidery you use backstitch for more detailed pictures, and stem stitch when you want a heavier line, 
Anyway, the way of having the motifs randomly spread out over the surface reminded me of Milagros, the little motifs that many south americans use for prayer.  they sometimes fix them to a cross or a heart, as reminders of what to pray for,

The back of the piece, for whoever is interested......


As I was stitiching, I started to  think that it would be lots of fun to have a class at the store based on embroidery stitches!  (My mind is in overdrive right now as I am thinking of our new store space).  
It's been about 4 years since we had a whole variety of classes, since we just haven't had a dedicated space for a classroom.  However, in our new space there is a full basement (2000sq.ft!) and surely we will carve out a large sewing room.  So, now my brain is churning about what sort of classes we might offer.....  If there is something you've been hankering to take a class in, let me know!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

FMQ swatches

When I was quilting my Dottie quilt last week, I was reminded how useful it can be to spend a few minutes with a swatch to get warmed up. 
It can be very useful to plan ahead and keep a stack of small six inch quilt sandwiches near the sewing machine for when you want to try something out. They also came in handy when I was experimenting with some of the embroidery stitches on it.  
I really like the wood grain one, and the pebbles.  You can do pebbles as ovals for a whole different look! 


Well this is me in a hotel in Chicago, we're here for a few days for Richard to attend a conference
It is pretty overcast and dreary and slushy
Yesterday I went in several stores, not to shop for stuff, but to look at their displays and fixtures!  Yes, my brain is accumulating a bulliten board of ideas for our new store space!
I am looking forward to picking up the keys when I get back to Saskatoon and just spending some time in the space, getting a feel for the size and the possibilities! 
One thing is for sure, those rows of lights have got to go!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Planning the new store space

I mentioned in an email to the mailing list and on the store web-site that we will be moving in February, but I realize that I haven't mentioned it here on the blog. 
We are coming to the end of our lease at Grosvenor and have found a new spot on Broadway Avenue!
It is right between the Nutana Bakery (!!!) and Extra Foods.  Most recently it housed a computer place, but before that it was a Credit Union.
It has some parking out front, but a really great twelve space parking lot at the rear of the building just for us!
These are the before photos , we will be doing some pretty big changes to the space.  It is very exciting, 
The area is a bit larger than we have now, but there is also a full basement where we hope to have a great big sewing room!
There is lots to do-- lighting, signage, taking out some walls, but it will be a lot of fun to re-vamp our look,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dottie, quilted

Remember this one? 
It is now quilted and awaiting the binding, 
It turned out to be a lot do fun to quilt!
It was about the largest size that I can do on my home sewing machine.
It was made easier by quilting it in vertical rows-- that way there was no turning of the quilt, as I just moved from top to bottom,
First I did a lot of vertical straight lines with the walking foot, and in the sashing spaces I used a loop de loop
In each of the columns of blue octagons I used a different filler design
Cross hatch
Wavy lines
Back and forth
Connected square mazes
Figure eights
Line of leaves (sorry about blurry photo)
No name pattern
I love the backing fabric!
Most of the filler designs I found in my trusty book by Angela Walters

Friday, January 3, 2014

Block 9 World's Fair Block

I really like blocks that use four patches. 

You can get variations by rotating the elements that have light and dark

Right now there's a popular pattern by Lissa Alexander in the February 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting called "tone it Down"
This is the version by Camille Roskelly, from her blog post
I think if you used four of the worlds fair blocks you could get a similar effect, hmm, I think I must go play with my quilting design program now.....

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