Sunday, 21 August 2011

Quilter's Academy - Lesson 130 Complete

Finished my version of Harriet's Woodland Winter......

Not sure yet what I will call it......"Critters Abound"....maybe??

This quilt top should have been a very simple project???  Famous last words.....

When I took the workshop with Harriet she covered the material in the first lessons of her book orally then we went on to work on the Town Square top...but she strongly suggested we go back and work through the first lessons and I am so glad I did.   All was well when I started out....seam allowance was right on on my test piece....I had set it up using the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide and used a barrier seam guide with masking tape.  Somewhere in the midst of sewing the blocks into rows the barrier loosen a bit and moved a slight bit!!  So I had a few wonky seams before I realized this and I had to do a little easy fix on this simple pattern...however I am glad I learnt to keep an eye out for this now...could have been a huge mess on a more complicated pattern.   Lesson learned!!

Triple Rail Fence comes next......but first I have a baby quilt top that I did before I took the is due in less than a I will be practising my machine quilting before I move on with the Quilters Academy!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Hexagon Table Topper

Some time ago I decided to try English Paper Piecing and before I knew it I was hooked.   Making hexagons is a great take along project......or sometimes I just don't feel like sitting in front of my machine so I will do a few hexagons instead. 

I have finished piecing this I have to sandwich and quilt it.  Seeing as it is all handpieced it almost seems mandatory to handquilt??  Or do some machine quilt??  I may have to browse and see if I can find some EPP blogs and see what others are doing?

Woodland Winter or Cowboy Corral

The next step gives us a choice of selecting the Woodland Winter or the Cowboy Corral quilt.  The patterns are very similar.....just different sizes.  They remind me of the Warm Wishes pattern I used for the first baby quilts I made for the twins.

I am trying to work as much as I can from my stash.......which has become quite extensive in the last few years.......I seem to be better at buying then sewing!!

I've decided to work with Harriet's Woodland Winter design.......not sure yet what I will call mine because nothing about these fabrics say Woodland are my choices

Back to the Basics

With the Town Square complete I am going back to the beginning to complete the lessons in order as suggested by Harriet in her workshop.  She covered all the information that we needed but doing the lessons reinforces all that we learned.  
So..........Lets Sew!

These are the fabrics I have selected from my Stash for the Sampler Quilt blocks......already I am second guessing  my choices....I thought it was all right in the strip sets but not sure I like it when they are sewn together.....   the tossed cars on the fabric make me think the blocks are wonky....and they aren't...everything came together just as it should....I have to remember the purpose is to learn the techniques...and the child who gets the finished quilt most likely won't be critiquing the quilt!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Harriet Hargrave Workshops

In July I had the opportunity to attend Harriet Hargraves Machine Quilting workshop as well as her Quilters Academy Beginner workshop.    All I can say is "WOW".....I loved every minute of it!!

I had bought her books last fall and was very impressed with the information in her books so I jumped at the opportunity to take her workshops. I actually feel that one day I can be a confident machine quilter....and her machine quilting course sure hammers home the need to have precision in piecing. 

This is the piece that we worked on in the piecing workshop....Harriet's makes the strong suggestion that  we now go back to the beginning of her Quilters Academy book and work our way through lesson by lesson........and quilt the pieces as we finish them!! 

That is exactly what I intend to do!!  Stay tuned!!

Back to Baby Quilts

Made this quilt for my girlfriend's grandson!!  It is done with the "Popcorn the Bear" fabric line from Quilting Treasures

My nephew and his wife were expecting a little girl in I decided I would try an applique quilt class.  The class was wonderful....had the top pretty much finished by the end of the class and got it quilted.....getting slightly more confident in my FMQ attempts.....

Rapid Fire Hunter's Star

In Sept 2010, I attend a local quilt show and saw a demo for A Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler!!  So Cool.....I just had to have it!! 

Took it home and decided to test it out on a little table topper to see if it worked at well for me as it did in the demo.  Worked like a charm.....will make a quilt with this ruler one day!!

Raggy Quilts

My next project of 2010 was a raggy quilt......made this one for a donation to ABC quilts (Adult, Baby, Child) for our quild.

I got the pattern for this from  Easy to make.....but I was very concerned about all fluffies in the washing machine.  I guess that's why so many say they take them to the laudromat??
Made a second "blankie" size for my nieces toddler:

Winnie the Pooh

Started this quilt in April/10 at a "Sew Saturday" with our quilt group.  No pattern just "winging it".  Turned out not too bad considering......but I have decided to save myself some aggravation and stick with using patterns until I have a little more experience.

I donated this quilt to a Christmas Hamper that was being put together by my husband's employer.  Their hamper family  had a toddler and were expecting their second child and were in need of baby items. 

Boomerang Swap

Early in 2010 I joined an online swap.  We sent out fat quarters to everyone in the swap and they added their fabrics to ours and made us a 12" block.    I was loads of fun and lots of work!!!  Overall it was a good experience for me as it made me push myself in trying new blocks.....and was a great learning experience in fabric selections....Here are some of the block I made.

Would I do it again....probably not......cost a small fortune in postage and I haven't done anything yet with the blocks I received......on my "to-do" list. :)   Sure was fun getting the mail though!!

First Charity Quilt

Finished this quilt in 2009. My first charity donation.  Made for a local hospital for the neo-natal unit.

Start with a simple project I found online and added my own ideas.  Did the quilting with a walking foot.

Moving On

So with the baby quilts completed and delivered....did I go back and complete the sampler quilt??  Unfortunately I did not!!  My UFO collection begins!!!  I did not feel really confident about the "quilting" of the I put that on the back burner and started on some new projects.   The first was a table topper that incorporated some of the techniques I had learned in the sampler quilt.
It was a good choice.....didn't take to long and I was proud to have another completed project.  Did another tabletopper with a new quilting friend.....another completion.  First attempt at fusible applique.

   Also started a tree skirt ...unfortunately I missed the Christmas deadline on that one and soon afterward decided I had lots of time to finish it now....cause I didn't need it till next Christmas!!  That was 2009......and yes it is still on the UFO pile!!  But I will have it finished for this year!!!  These UFO's are making great practise pieces for the Machine Quilting workshop that I recently took with Harriet Hargrave!!  LOL  I knew there was a reason I hadn't finished them!!

Sunday, 7 August 2011


When I started my quilting classes I was using an old Singer machine that I have had for the last 30+ years....when I started having problems with it I decided to upgrade to the Janome 6600  and then decided the 6600 would be too cumbersome to take to classes and I bought a Janome Gem as well!

Thinking of going back to the Singer for piecing.  I am currently trying to learn to FMQ and hate having to change the setup on my 6600 for piecing  to FMQ and back again??  Wondering what others do??  Do you have a machine dedicated to piecing and use another for FMQ??

I suppose once I get the hang of the FMQ it won't be an issue, but right now I'm trying to do 10-15 min a day of practice with the FMQ.....then if I want to do some piecing I am changing the setup back and forth.....cuts into my playtime!!

Baby Quilts

Here are the Baby Quilts that I made for my niece's twins, Anna and Aidan.    They were made with the "Warm Wishes" Quilt Pattern that I found online.    Very simple pattern.....great for a beginner and they worked up pretty quickly!!  Overall I was happy with the first two "finished" quilts!!
I made them with all flannel fabrics from the Northcott "Emma and Ethan" fabric line.   Used Warm & Natural Quilt batting and did simple ditch would be sometime before I would try Free Motion scared me to death!!   I was told to use the Warm and Natural batting.....but I wasn't really happy with it.......made the quilts very stiff.  I have since found that there are better choices that are easier to quilt with!!  But live and learn.  They worked well for laying on the bottom of the playpen or on the floor.......what I had envisioned was a "cuddly" quilt......  Also decided that I would not choose really "baby" fabrics again......the baby stage passes so I think Brights would be a better fabric choice in future!


My name is Barb and I have started this blog with the intention of documenting my quilting adventures.  I'm not sure if I'm just poorly organized or if all quilters feel a little overwhelmed at all the patterns, gadgets, tools, and information that is a result of this obession!!!  I am hoping that by documenting my adventures I can look back through this blog in years to come and have easy access to that which is important to me!!  That's my plan....wish me luck!!

My adventure started in the fall of 2008 when I finally took the plunge and enrolled in a beginner quilting course at a LQS.  I have sewn since I was in junior high school but although I enjoyed the sewing part of it....trying to make it fit a body was never my cup of tea!!  So I kept it simple and sewed pj's and sweatsuits and simple things when my kids were small.....and as they grew and got involved in sports my sewing machine sat idle for many years aside from the many mending jobs!!

I have always been interested in learning to quilt, but there never seemed to be enough time....raising a family and working full time.  In August of 2008 I found out that my niece was expecting twins!!!  And I decided now was the time to learn to quilt and that I would make the babies quilts!!  Although I wouldn't do that gave me the push to get started!!!  Having the pressure of making gifts while you are trying to learn a new craft is probably not the best plan.....but it worked out alright....although I do wish I knew then what I know now!!

The beginner class consisted of making a sampler quilt based on Eleanor Burns book "It's "El" ementary.

I knew after the first few classes that I would be hooked on this hobby!!!  Here is the quilt top I made in the class.  As you can see although I have sandwiched is still not quilted.....I had to get those baby quilts made and I still have not gotten back to it!!  More on that later!!