Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild - Quiltafair

Since my sewing machine is still in the shop, I was free to attend the Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild biennial quilt show, called Quiltafair, last Friday.

This was a cute flower arrangement on the registration desk. See the cute "button" flowers.

The guild had sponsored the traditional quilt challenge and an additional challenge that you don't see at every show--a pin cushion challenge. I had a hard time voting for my favorite pin cushion.

I have seen this quilt pattern several times before. However, this is the first time I have seen it made up as an "I Spy". What a great idea.

One of the features of this show was the Hungarian Canadian quilt display. "In 2006, Iren Szabo and Sue Dobray initiated a Hungarian/Canadian quilt exchange. All participants created a twelve inch quilt block - the Hungarian blocks were sent to Canada to be matched up with a Canadian participant who in turn sent their blocks to Hungary. All participants added 4 1/2" around their exchange block or brought the size up to 21" and that piece was returned to the original block creator to increase the size to an approximately 45" quilt top. All quilts (21 Hungarian and 21 Canadian) were finished by the original block creator and the completed Canadian quilts were sent back to Hungary to join the Hungarian quilts...this collection of 42 quilts was displayed in the capital city of Budapest in November 2006. This is the first time they have been hung as a group show in Canada" (taken from the FVQG's show brochure) The next 5 pictures are some of those fabulous quilts.

This next quilt featured incredibly small squares in the 25 patch blocks.

Because it is hard to imagine just how small those squares were, I took a picture of one of the blocks next to my hand so you can see the perspective.
This next hexagon quilt belongs to Val Smith. I met up with two other quilters from Agassiz at the show and I was introduced to Val. The four of us enjoyed a wonderful boxed lunch outside in the sun at lunchtime. Be sure to visit Val's web page to see some of her other fabulous work.

Val used 5 different sizes of hexagons in this quilt.

The next two shots feature some great cat quilts.

This next quilt really interested me. All it said on the note that was hanging next to the quilt was, "I made this quilt from a napkin".

This next Canadiana quilt was for sale for $800. It features some fabulous cross stitch pieces and the most interesting maple leaf block in the center of the quilt.

This maple leaf block was a cross between a poppy and a maple leaf-very interesting.

This quilt featured a farm in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

I have always admired this quilt pattern. I believe the pattern is called, "All Lit Up" and is intended as a Christmas quilt. This quilter said the trees reminded her of the forests around Harrison and so she hangs this quilt all year round in her house, not just at Christmas.

I have seen this quilt pattern before many times. I still love it! The expressions on the faces of these birds are priceless.
This was a cute quilt. The workmanship was perfect! Despite the use of triangles, this quilt hung perfectly flat--no friendly borders here!

These next two quilts featured a unique curved and dimensional half square triangle block.

Sometimes a quilt just makes you smile, this was one of those.

This is a two colour BQ.
This quilt was cute.
The quilting design featured chocolates and really made the quilt.

This was a great show.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Moving Projects Forward Has Come to an Abrupt Hault

Thursday night, I was making great progress on another UFO. I was busy adding the sashing strips to my dryer sheet diamond string blocks. I even got one full row of blocks sewn together and I was ready to put the last seam in the second row when it happened.

I had pinned my blocks together and I was busy pulling out the pins just before the presser foot reached them. I missed pulling out a pin, but my machine hit it dead on.

So now sadly, my DSM is in the hospital awaiting the technician's attention. The needle remained intact in the accident, but the pin was split in two and was jammed into the machine knocking my machine out of time.
So now, there is just a hole in my work table where Heidi would normally sit. I can tell you that I am really missing her. We have been together since 1999. My husband bought Heidi for me when I graduated from my professional accounting designation courses. It had been a long haul--10 years of study and work experience and my husband felt I deserved something very special.
This is not my Heidi, but a machine very similar to her. (I pulled this picture off the Internet.)

Prior to Heidi, I had a Kenmore that I named Zip. This machine had two speeds--super fast and stop. I had to sew with a slipper shoved into the presser foot to help slow Zip down. You always had to be ready to grab the fly wheel when Zip would get into one of his moods and take off at top speed. If Zip was happy and sewing at a comfortable speed, he would make a sound like an Austrailian diggorie-do. Zip still lives at my house, taking up space in the cupboard. My daughter has used Zip on occasion but I have not sewn on Zip since Heidi came to live with me.
The only other machine that I have is an antique Singer treadle machine that was given to me years ago by my grandmother. I posted about that Singer machine back in July 2006: This machine does not have a 1/4" foot for piecing or a walking foot.
The Bernina dealer has said that Heidi will be out of commission for at least two weeks so I may have to bring either Zip or the Singer back into service

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moving Projects Forward

I have had a couple of fabrics lately that have decided that they do not want to keep all their dye. One of the fabrics was a deep blue batik and the second was a red cotton. Both fabrics can be bad for bleeding, but really, after 6 washes? I tried vinegar and salt and had to luck. Finally, I found a source for Retayne locally. After one wash with Retayne, the fabrics stopped bleeding. I could not believe it. I did a test wash with Color Catchers after the Retayne treatment and the Color Catchers came out of the wash as white as they went it. I will be using this product a lot more often now that I know how well it works! Friday, I spent my time making a Mother's Day present for my Mom. This is the table runner that I made for her.
Today, we started the day with breakfast out at a local restaurant--my DH, DS, Mom, Dad, and myself. After presenting my Mom with her table runner, she took it home and put it on her coffee table and took this picture for me. I was worried that I had not made it long enough, but it looks like it works on her coffee table.

Saturday, I finished putting the last of the sashing bits on this quilt top and then added the inner and outer borders. The outer border fabric is suns on a black background. I loved this fabric. I had enough backing fabric and batting in my stash so by the end of the evening Saturday, I had this quilt loaded on the long arm and had started the quilting.

This afternoon, I was able to finish the quilting on this one.

I used a new to me batting on this one -- Soft and Bright by the Warm Company. This batting is 100% polyester. It is needled to hold the batting together without glue, resin, or hard coatings. This batting has a bit of loft to it which shows off the quilting perfectly. Because the fibers are needled, they stay in place and the batting doesn't shift or go thin in some places like other polyester battings do. My long arm did not object to this batting at all and unlike other polyester battings, this one did not slip or shift. Because this quilt top was heavy from the weight of all the seams in the string blocks, I really did not want to add more weight to the top by using a cotton batting. I also have intended this to be a utility quilt so I expect it to be used and washed frequently. I am hoping the polyester holds up to the frequent use I expect the quilt to receive.
This last picture shows the gold thread i used to highlight the Wave quilting design.

My plans are to bind this one in black. The binding will have to wait for another day though as I am short of black fabric in my stash. Running out of stash fabric is a good thing though--it means that I am using up what I have on hand!

Happy 23rd Birthday!

May 3 was my DS's 23rd birthday. This was also the day that my husband's family had chosen to celebrate my MIL's 80th birthday. My son was a little disappointed that his special day had been overshadowed by the 80th birthday celebrations and he would not be able to pick the menu for his birthday dinner. To help ease the disappointment, I took him out for a birthday breakfast. Here he is in the restaurant about to enjoy french toast and sausage.
After breakfast, we stopped by my parents' for a quick visit. This is myself, my son, my mom, and my dad. A neighbour was walking by and offered to take the picture for us.

This is the cake that was at my MIL's birthday celebration later in the day. All the grandchildren that have birthdays in the vicinity of Grandma were listed on the cake.

This is my MIL and some of her grandchildren.

Matthew's special birthday dinner was rescheduled to later in the week--Thursday, May 7th. Matthew celebrated with a menu of pancakes, sausage, and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.

In our household, you get to request whatever you want for supper that day--even if it is breakfast for supper! LOL

Happy Birthday, M!