Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bushfire Quilt Blocks!

Last week, my friend Else and I got together and worked on some Maverick Star blocks for the Australian Bushfire Quilt Project. We had lots of fun making these blocks and got quite a few finished. As all quilters know, scraps are the welcome by-products of our loving creations! To be able to find a good use for them, always makes me very happy!

Here is Else, admiring her lovely work!! Way to go, Else!! We were both so pleased to see how you can randomly sew small scraps together and create
a beautiful block like this!!! We are planning to have 25 blocks completed, sewn into a finished top to send to Australia!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pink Happiness!

It's been so dark and dreary the past few days, that I thought I'd post a picture of something bright and happy! I made a lot of these flowers a while back for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Think I'll go and get out some scraps and do a few more!!
Hope everyone's weekend is going well!!
Mary Ann

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Basting My Dear Jane Quilt!

Here I am, engrossed in the task of basting my Jane Stickle top! It was quite a peaceful and relaxing job, I must admit! I sat there, getting to know every single block again...kind of like reuniting with old friends!! Since I've been working on this for over five years, I found myself thinking a lot about events of the past while basting. Each block also brought back warm memories of choosing fabrics, learning new techniques and just enjoying the whole process of creating them.

I did run into a little problem while layering with the Hobbs Wool batting. Actually, it wasn't the batting that was the problem, but rather my inexperience in working with wool! I opened the bag, spread it out over the backing and wondered just how this crumpled, wrinkled mass of sheep fur was going to be part of my quilt!!! I put out an online call for help on the Dear Jane list, and with the advice of lots of gre
at quilters, I was able to proceed! I misted the batting with room-temperature water and allowed it to relax for a couple of days. This was the best thing I could do! To my amazement, it settled right down, laying nice, flat and ruly! Now, it's become a wonderful, lofty filling for my quilt!

I just have to give a little plug here for Roxanne's Basting Needles!! I'm a huge fan...they're so great! They just glide through those three layers like a hot knife through butter! They're also nice and long, so you can get a good grip on them! I like to use cotton thread that I find in flea markets to baste with. Usually, I choose a contrasting colour that's not too hard on the eyes! Since this is probably going to take five more years to hand-quilt, I don't think I could handle anything too bright and distracting!!!

Kiki, as usual, is my trusty quilt inspector! She's been kind enough to give me the paws up for past projects!! Kiki has always been a great support throughout my DJ journey! Here she is, offering to do a bit of basting for Mom! I think she'd be good at it, because with claws like hers, who needs needles?!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bushfire Quilt Project

I'm so very happy to discover that a Group has been established on Flickr to organize the making of Comfort Quilts for the victims of Australia's terrible fires.

If you would like to help with this wonderful project, click on the photo or check out the Flickr site and see how you can contribute a block or two (or more!) to this meaningful cause. You can also add this Button to your blog to help bring awareness to the project throughout the world.

As I correspond with so many dear quilters from Australia, the past few days have left me feeling so helpless and saddened by the news of this terrible disaster. Besides having donated to the Australian Red Cross, I can now send some blocks that will be included in quilts to warm and comfort those who have lost so much.

Take care, dear friends, and know that you're in my thoughts.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tilda's Landsted!

Here is my first project from the new book, Tilda's Landsted! It's a cute little jewellry holder to show off your favorite lovelies!! I tried very hard to resist this book, but alas, I broke down and ended up purchasing it the other day! After reading and hearing so many great reviews on Tone Finnanger's newest release, I decided to add it to my collection! This book is simply loaded with wonderful projects, beautiful pictures and great ideas!!! If you don't have this book already, I would heartily recommend splurging and buying a copy! I know this will be just the first of many, many projects I create with Ms. Finnanger's sweet ideas!

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Funky Thread Basket!!

Here is a really cool little basket that you can make for your loose threads, etc! I found the idea on Leannes blog, The Stitching Room, where she's kindly posted a great tutorial and pics of her Thread Holder! It was easier than I expected it to be! The girls at my Quilt Guild meeting loved it and are also making some for themselves!

You start by cutting out a few WOF strips. Here, I've shown how
I sewed the 8 strips together. The strips are 7.5" X 2.5" , four of each contrasting colour.
Slip stitch the four sides and, voila, you have a lovely little basket for all those pesky threads!!!

It's also great for stashing candies, nuts, whatever!!! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, Leanne! I just love it!!!
Have a fantastic day everyone!

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Productive Day!

The Final Pressing!
Originally uploaded by *Mormor*

Today was a good sewing day! I finally completed my Dear Jane quilt top! I gave the whole thing a good pressing before laying it out on our dining room floor. It was fun to see all the blocks up close again. Each fabric brought back lots of memories from the past five years. Memories of first discovering Brenda Papadakis' wonderful book...of learning new skills and pushing myself to new levels...of trading fat quarters and swapping blocks with great new friends.

To those fantastic ladies out there (you know who you all are!), I thank you so very much, as without your inspiration, motivation and friendship, I would never have reached this point of my journey. Lots of Quilty Hugs! Mary Ann ;o)