Thursday, September 30, 2010


My tour group is spending the night at the Rutland Arms Hotel, Bakewell. Yes, I'm finally in England! It's my first trip here and I'm thrilled! The countryside is remarkable with hugh willow trees, hawthorne hedges, flower gardens displaying fall colours and, of course, the magnificent architecture. I haven't been into London yet. That will be on the last part of my trip.Check out a previous blog about the tour on a previous blog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have found a few sites that might inspire you to try your hand designing and making art quilts. Bright, colourful fabrics are used in the pieces.
First, have a look at the work of Larkin Jean Van Horn. I enjoyed all her work but the beading as applique, river stones, rocks and water (this was a favorite), and shattered circles were very appealing to me.

Q42 Designs by Sharon Benton, has interesting fabric art. The art in her blog also appealed to me. Definitely worth a look!
Check out the gallery, blog and free articles from Gloria Hansen.
I just love the art quilts of Laura Wasilowski! Her hand dyed fabrics are wonderful.
Helen Howes has pieces that range from large-scale wall hangings to smaller works. There's lots to see on her site.
Margaret M. Hunt has' finally bitten the bullet' and created a website. She has been blogging all summer. This award winning fiber artists has lots for you to see.
Karen Stiehl Osborn is an award-winning mixed media artist, who works primarily with cloth, paper, paint, photography and stitching.
Lots to see at Jeri Riggs web site.
Art Quilts are Liz Berg's specialty.
Enjoy exploring these sites!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trees - We Lost Lots of Them due to Egor!

Hurricane Egor certainly did a lot of damage here on Tuesday! A category one hurricane - I would not want to experience any other higher category. For those of you out there who have been hit with severe hurricanes, this one was a baby and I feel for you. We lost a lot of trees in the St. John's area especially around Bannerman Park in the downtown. We were lucky that we didn't lose the electricity although with a couple of power surges, our server's power supply was fried.
Because we lost so many trees, this post will be about trees to use in quilting and stitching.

Tree Quilt for Baby from The Heart of Sewing
A Pine Tree Block from Quilting Assistant
Apple Tree Block (download PDF), from Quilt Mag
Paper Pieced Tree Block from Bella On Line
Weeping Willow Quilt Pattern 
Pine Tree (traditional pieced block)
Autumn - quilted wall hanging with maple leaves
Winter Harvest - an idea to think about
Tree Napkins
Tree Pincushion from Connecting Threads 
Turning Over a New Leaf
Most of the links provided above are mostly for quilters. I had a difficult time finding non Christmas free patterns.
Enjoy these!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journal Covers

I decided to make a cover for a journal a couple of days ago. This one is quite small as I want it to fit in a purse. It is similar to the ones shown here with my fantasy fish. I did find a few sites with journal covers.
  • If you want to have a place for a pen or pencil with your cover, check out this one. Even though the free pattern isn't available anymore, the picture is helpful. You just have to be a bit creative!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Circles and Curves

Our small part of the world is waiting (not happily) for hurricane Igor to land on its shores. Igor is forecast to have heavy winds and 110mm of rain overnight and tomorrow. It's pouring out as I write. Let's hope the power stays on as I'm watching some of the shows from The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. Several months ago they had a special for 6 months of viewing and I subscribed to it. I must say, I've enjoyed watching the various shows, some more to my style of work than others, but interesting all the same.

Tonight I watched episode 704 - Cricles, Curves, and Chocolate with Dale Fleming. She demonstrated how to do stitched curves her way as well as making the Six-Minute Circle. HGTV has a tutorial on making this six minute circle. It has possibilities for doing lots of different shapes. Dale's book, Pieced Curves So Simple, is in my bookshelf! It's a great book with lots of easy to follow photos.

YouTube has lots of video demos on sewing curves.
How to Quilt, a Beginner's Guide to Quilting shows you how to sew curves in your quilting.
How to Make the Perfect Drunkard's Path Block
Sewing Curves with Jinny Beyer

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tips & Tutorials for Making Bags

My friend is also making the Professional Tote. She directed me to Nicole Mallalieu Design to view the Simple Purse Feet Tutorial. It's worth viewing if you decide to put feet on a purse or tote. In fact, Nicole has excellent information on her site for purse making. Check out her blog as well.

Check out these tutorials for bag making on the sewing tutorials blog. You'll also find lots of stuff for the sewer.
Find free patterns for bags & purses on a previous blog post of mine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tote Bag

Well, I finally finished my 'Professional Tote Bag' by Creative Thimble. It will be my carry-on piece when I travel to England this month. I used fabrics I purchased at Ikea in Chicago. They are a bit heavier than regular cottons and were more difficult to sew several layers. But it did work out. The red fabric was plain until I stippled all over it with Sulky variegated black/gray.  The contrasting black fabric had the outline of white leaves all over it. I figured that would get a bit dirty over time so I coloured in all the lines with a permanent black Sharpie marker. Sucker for punishment or what!! I do like the effect. I did not colour some of the pocket linings as they won't be seen.

I did put the luggage strap on the back. I now have the option of hanging it on the handle of my wheeled luggage.

I can also put a bottle of water in one side pocket and an umbrella in the other.

This is a partial view of the inside. My note book is already packed!

View from the opposite side.
This fabric, again from Ikea, is the one used for the lining. It's not a typical design I use in projects but it looked crisp and clean and matched the red and black. I read somewhere once that bag linings should be light so you can find things in them. However, a friend of mine, mentioned reading the opposite of this. I guess, if you like it, use it!

This is my contrasting fabric before the black Sharpie marker was used.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Journal Sampler: Study

When the Eastern Edge Quilt Guild started three years ago, quilters said they wished to be challenged and to go beyond their comfort zone. This has happened to a degree through the various demonstrations and presentations each month. This year, however, the executive has issued a challenge to its members to make a Journal Sampler. Each month a different technique will be randomly selected to try. The piece can be any size but a theme must be selected and used for each technique. At the end of the year, the summer challenge will be to put these sample pieces into some sort of quilt journal.

The first technique selected from the bunch, was traditional! A few of us groaned at this but maybe it's a good idea to get it done and over with. Since I don't do traditional piecing for quilts, I have decided to do some hand applique. My theme will be structures which offers many possibilities. I haven't decided if I will use a pieced background or not. Since it is traditional, we were instructed that we couldn't use our sewing machines. However, sewing machines have been used in quilting for a very long time.

For some traditional quilt blocks visit One Block Only.
World Wide Quilting 
Answers.Com has some definitions for quilting
Hand quilting techniques 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Challenge

This will be the third year for the Eastern Edge Quilters. Our first meeting is tomorrow evening. We meet the first Tuesday of each month. Part of tomorrow's program will be to bring along our completed summer challenge:  Design Your Own Name Tag. There was a constraint on size - no smaller than 3" x 3" but we had the freedom to make it any shape, be a lanyard or pin . . ., and be any colour. It must include our name (of course) and the initials "EEQ".

My first idea was to piece some wavy shapes together to simulate waves or maybe do a fish shape. However, those were cast aside in favor of doing some free motion stitching over a colourful piece of batik fabric - a whole cloth quilt block. Works for me!

So here I am, the day before our meeting, making my name tag! To save some time, my husband put my name on a memory stick so that I could embroider it with my embroidery machine. All our original designs for embroidery are created in a computer program called DRAWings 5 Professional. This is an excellent program which we have been using since it was developed several versions ago.

The first picture shows the fabric I choose. Next, the free motion stitching was applied. I used 'fast 2 fuse', a double-sided fusible stiff interfacing, on the back of the batik. Recycled suede from Value Village was put on the back of the tag. The suede is bonded with 'Heat n' Bond Lite'. I wanted to keep the name tag simple!
batik fabric
free motion stitching
finished name tag
back of tag is recycled suede

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Block of the Month - Snowbound

Bunny Hill Designs has a Block of the Month freebie pattern for you to applique. It's called Snow Bound. If your guild is having an auction or challenge, these blocks would make wonderful wall hangings. You could even do a quilt using the different blocks! The best part is the fact that you can take a block to do anywhere. Check out the blocks on the Flickr Site. Quilters have been busy!
This tip is one I use for any needle work project. Instead of inserting my needle in the fabric when I'm done stitching or just stopping for a minute, I have two small earth magnets attached to the front and the back of the fabric where I lay the needle. It is quite strong and I have never lost a needle. In fact, it can even hold a pair of small scissors when necessary. I got my magnets at Lee Valley Tools but check out your local craft store too.
Earth Magnets, Lee Valley Tools

Friday, September 3, 2010

Christmas Row by Row

I just received a message from Fat Cat Patterns. The Christmas Row by Row will make a second round before it is sent to the retail world. So if you missed any of the pieces, now is your chance to get them. I won't be posting a monthly reminder this time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everything Blueberry

photo by Judy Cooper
This is blueberry season here in Newfoundland and we just finished cleaning and bagging several gallons of them. As a result, I decided to see what I could find that was related to textile art and blueberries. I  searched for blueberry art quilts, blueberry stitching, and just plain blueberry. Then I remembered an art quilt I saw in 2001 at the Houston International Quilt Festival. One of the pieces that intrigued me was a very large quilt displaying a cluster of blueberries. The use of hand dyed fabrics to get the blending of shades for the berries was fantastic. I don't remember the name of the quilt or it's creator. If anyone knows about this quilt, please contact me so that I can give credit to its creator.
I did find a few sites with a blueberry connection. Have a look!
photo by Judy Cooper
Just writing about these delicious berries makes me hungry! What will I bake?