Victorian sewing

Today hubster took me to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) downtown Toronto. It’s been awhile since we were there last, about 10 years. Sadly the textiles area was closed but I did find a lovely Victorian sewing kit, wish I could’ve taken it home.

IMG_1627This perfect, meticulous stitching was in the same display, an interesting mix of flowers!



And although this piece has nothing to do with stitching, I really love the design of this ancient asian piece.



A note to the locals: dim sum in Markham is WAY better than anything you can get on Spadina, it’s like night and day!

Have a great long weekend, welcome Spring!!


Tackling curves

I had a dentist appointment this morning and with no clear sewing direction, I decided to concentrate on the next challenge. Pieced curves are something that I’ve dabbled in but not seriously. I’ve sewn sleeves into shirts for my husband but sewing curves to lay flat is an interesting challenge.

A number of months ago, I ordered and received the book, “Curves in Motion: Quilt Designs & Techniques” by Judy B. Dales. After glancing through the pages, I tossed it aside, these were not the curves I was looking for. Today I decided to look past the muddy batiks used in the book and quilts. It’s not that I don’t like batiks, it’s just that they often look muddled with colour combinations I personally wouldn’t use together.

I still don’t know if this is the book for me but I’m going to give it a try. I work much better with technical piecing like y-seams, this style of curved seams are very fluid and free flowing. I need to step out of my comfort zone.

The first suggested project is to take a traditional block and make some of the straight lines into curves, sounds like fun!

Have you worked with free curves? Have you gone beyond a drunkard’s path?

In Reverse – Quilt Top Done!

(click image to enlarge)

I was able to get my In Reverse quilt top finished this morning. You might notice that I don’t have as many columns as the original pattern, I used two charm packs, one of Vintage Modern and one of Marmalade (by Bonnie and Camille), and 2 & 1/2″ strips from a Kona White jelly roll instead of 1 & 1/2″ strips. I can’t wait to quilt this up!

I received two lovely packages in the mail today, the first was an entire pound of lavender buds and  oil from Layla on Etsy, I could smell the lavender through the box even though it was sealed in a big zip lock bag. The second was a lovely stack of fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics. A week or two ago, before I was laid off from work, I had purchased some Brrr by Laurie Wisbrun in aqua and selected a 1/2 yard bundle of QuiltCon Kona Cotton Solids  as well as a yard each of Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Steel and Grey. I am super excited about this fabric bundle, all the colours go well together and the QuiltCon Kona Cotton Solids are a gorgeous mix. I’ve got my trusty “Quilting Line + Colour” by Yoshiko Jinzenji to peruse for inspiration.

Unemployment Day 3 (Actual Working Day 1)

Boy, do I feel guilty staying at home! I was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, our old pug Winston was pacing and panting so I got up and let him outside. Had coffee and DH got up at his usual time, 5:00 a.m.. After cleaning up the kitchen and starting a load of laundry I began sewing at 6:30. My goal was to finish the quilt top by 10:00 a.m. and successfully finished early, at 9:00 a.m. After folding some laundry and starting another load of laundry, I vacuumed the house and the SOFA — EW!!

With two constantly shedding pugs, the hair between the leather cushions could have easily made a litter of puppies! Crumbs and cat toys but no loose change, damn. I was exhausted by 11:00 (I’d done other chores but thought it too boring to include)!

I’m afraid I didn’t get much done after 12:00, I ate lunch, mowed the lawn, folded the rest of the laundry then took a short nap and a dip in the pool then watered the hanging baskets outside. I allowed myself a white wine spritzer after 4:00 p.m. and DH rolled into the garage moments later.

How was your day??

Thimble Blossoms

Image from Thimble Blossoms

Over the past few months I’ve become a real fan of Thimble Blossoms’ fabrics and patterns. It started with the purchase of some Ruby by Bonnie & Camille for Moda from Pinked Fabrics on Etsy. At the time, I didn’t realize that the super popular Swoon quilt pattern was designed by Camille.

Recently I’ve been looking for a few new patterns; one for a baby quilt using Backyard Baby for my friend, and one to use with my Hideaway and Flora fabrics by Lauren + Jessi Jung. I’ve been hunting around for 2 weeks and just this morning, I went to Thimble Blossoms to check out their other patterns. I ended up purchasing Hopscotch and Jellybean, both of which are PDF downloadable patterns as well as June Bug which will be arriving by post.

How gorgeous is June Bug?? I adore those little flowers in the border, I love everything about this quilt pattern! Perhaps I’ll use my Hideaway fabric for this pattern or should I stick with Swoon? Dilemas, dilemas, what to do?!

And which pattern should I use with the Backyard Baby fabric, Hopscotch or Jellybean, or should I do a stained glass to highlight the fabrics?

I’ve also got a new idea in my head using the tumbler template, I could use that idea and create a tutorial at the same time… two birds… one stone… hmmm…


Yesterday I was ruminating on what to sew this weekend and mentioned that I really love the Urban Lattice quilt. After reading the instructions for the sew along, I wondered why they paper pieced such a simple block, was it because everything was on the bias? This morning I was reviewing the quilt as you go sew along tutorial when it occurred to me that you could simply use batting to stabilize the bias lattice blocks and quilt as you go instead of paper piecing, skipping the step of tearing out the paper, which drives me crazy (and often pulls out stitches in the process). I’m sure I’m not the first (or last) person to think of this but it was a eureka moment for me. 😀

So, my plan for this weekend is to make four lattice QAYG blocks using some of my new fabrics, to make a pillow cover and experiment with colours. I’m cruising through the Urban Lattice Flicker group and taking note of the quilts I like best. Most use colours for the centre square of the lattice and solids for the border and thinner lattice work. There were a few quilts that used tones to give the second diamond a three dimensional effect which I really liked. I wasn’t fond of the tiny centre diamonds surrounded by a lot of solids but that’s just me.

What if you created a scrappy lattice quilt, what would that look like? What if the inner diamond was sold and the surrounding diamond was scrappy? What if you used a non-solid for the thin lattice lines? What if those lines were fatter?

Is anyone interested in a quilt as you go urban lattice tutorial or quilt along?

I think I’m going to have fun this weekend, one more sleep!!


Dresden Plate #2: Table Runner

Mum will be getting her table runner / topper / lap quilt / whatever, today. She thinks she’s getting a skirt, won’t she be surprised!

My Mother-in-Law’s birthday is coming up in October and I’ve decided to make a Dresden Plate table runner using Moda’s Dogwood Trail. After dinner Monday, I cut the pieces and all are ready for sewing. I see a piece or two that needs to be shuffled…

WIP Dresden Plate in Dogwood Trail

I’ve started working on a modified hexie (by hand of course) which I’ll add to my hexie array, based on Summerfete’s fussy cut hexie which really caught my eye. I’m beginning with Joel Dewberry’s herringbone in pond, a favorite of many. We’ll see where that goes and how it fits into my ongoing hexie project. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have enough for a quilt!

I’m not a member of WIP Wednesdays but I still have works in progress besides the ones I’ve already mentioned including my Spin Doctor Seuss baby quilt, disappearing 9 patch using the 1930’s reproduction fabrics and matching cathedral window pillow.

When Joel Met Tula

Don’t they make a lovely couple? Their personalities blend and complement each other yet they keep their own identities. Delightful I think! I’m going to introduce them to a Sea Garden where they can dance amongst cranberry, cherry waves.

An Heirloom in Parisville

August Hexies

Hexies Gone Wild

I’ve started woking on my hexies again and I still don’t know what I’m going to make out of them. The nice part about hexies and hand sewing, is you can always remove a piece and replace it, it’s not a rush project, just something that I can take anywhere, especially on the train to and from work and never a waste of time.

German/Austrian Stylin’

Okay, okay, this is the last time I’m going to share my bed quilt plans and fabrics until I actually start working on them, probably after Xmas. Here’s what I mean about the German/Austrian style of bed, two duvets on a double, queen or king size bed so you never have to fight over the blankets again.

Euro Stylin

I did a bit of fabric editing, adding more Heirloom and removing Patricia Bravo, Modern Affair, Peacock Eye in Orange — the tone just wasn’t right, I also took out Joel Dewberry’s Flower Fields in Sunset as well as Bloom, Bark which could reappear in a pillow.

Final Fabric Selection

Now I wait for the rain and cooler weather so I don’t have to feel guilty when I’m in the basement sewing.