Thursday, February 26, 2009

Piecing Complete

I have finished piecing the grandbaby quilt top. Jen and I did a little bit of tweaking to the pattern, deciding that we wanted to showcase the cute kids on the fabric, as well as the fabulous stripe that Jen loves so much. It's a simple pattern, but so effective with these fabrics. Right now I'm trying to decide how to quilt it. Arggh! That is my least talented area of quilting. Honestly, I'm a little afraid to even start. Any suggestions?

Friday, February 20, 2009

We Have Lift-Off!

I have all the pieces cut out for the grandbaby quilt, but I have hit a bit of a snag. I have decided that the background off-white I have is too much white and not enough off, so I think I'll have to go to the quilt shop (boo hoo!) and buy something a little more on the beige, ecru, tan, latte whatever you want to call it side. I also still have to decide on appliques, but the rest of it looks pretty cute. It's not too girl and not too boy. I think we have struck the perfect balance. Any ideas for some simple generic appliques? The pattern uses hearts, stars, and flowers, which are too girly. Stars would be okay, but any other suggestions for shapes that would be good for a boy or a girl are welcome. Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Today I finished the baby quilt for Emily Dawn. I think it turned out pretty darn good. I had a few issues with the quilting machine tension, but once I got that sorted out, the quilting went smoothly. I quilted it with, you guessed it, my signature loops and hearts and flowers, but it's a fast and easy pattern for a baby quilt, and I still like how it looks. In the borders I quilted the baby's name, Emily Dawn, over and over. I know! So cute! I tried to take a picture of it, but it doesn't show up. I hope the parents notice it.

So here is a picture of the completed quilt top and a closeup of the quilting. Tomorrow's project is to start on the grandbaby quilt. Hooray!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Favorite Quilt Shop Is ....

Today I thought I'd tell you about my favorite quilt shop. This shop is not in Lethbridge, so I don't get to go there often, but when I do it's like going to Disneyland for Quilters. Everywhere you look there is something fun to see and do and, well, buy. My favorite quilt shop is in Canmore, Alberta, in the heart of the amazing Canadian Rockies. It's called The Sugar Pine Company. It's been featured in Quilt Sampler Magazine and won local awards for business of the year. Here are a few of the many reasons why I love this quilt shop.

1. The setting. You can't imagine if you have not been there the beauty of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies. Truly breathtaking. I know that's not really something a quilt shop has control over, but if you can place your shop in a town where you have fabulous 360-degree views, I highly recommend it.

2. Kits, kits, kits. I adore a good kit. I love having the fabrics chosen and cut and placed in a bundle or packet. It's like candy for quilters. Sometimes the bundles are so pretty I don't even want to open them up to actually make the quilt. The Sugar Pine Company has over 100 kits ready and waiting with samples sewn of every single one. It's spectacular!

3. Huge selection of fabric. For a small store they pack in an astonishing amount of fabric, about 8,000 bolts. I honestly don't know how they do it, but kudos!

4. Cute patterns. The Sugar Pine Company has a lot of patterns designed by Alberta designers, many featuring the beautiful Rockies or prairie scenes. One of my favorite designers is Joan Statz of Joan's Own Designs. Make sure you check out her beautiful landscape quilts.

5. Friendly staff. The last time I was there was with my sisters. The sales lady could not have been more helpful in assisting my sister to find a particular quilt kit she wanted. She was patient and went the extra mile to make sure we were satisfied customers.

6. Downstairs gift shop. The fabrics and kits are upstairs, but downstairs is an amazing gift shop, complete with many quilty notions, including a great selection of unique buttons.

Oh, I wish I was in Canmore right now!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Own Private Quilt Retreat

So My Week has finally come. I am off work this week, free of other obligations, and I am quilting. It's my own personal quilting retreat because I'm home alone most of the day and nobody interrupts me. For company I have been catching up on past podcasts from Annie Smith's Quilting Stash. It's like having a quilting friend in the room. She's been driving cross-country and visiting quilt shops. Who among us hasn't had that fantasy?

Today I have been piecing a quilt top for my son's best friend and his wife who had a baby on February 4th, a little girl named Emily Dawn. It's a pattern I have made before called Hugs and Kisses done in 30's fabrics in shades of yellow and pink. I couldn't decide whether to put up a picture of just the quilt top or wait until I have done the quilting. I guess I could do both. Okay, done. Sorry the colors are a little dark. I have a dark house. Maybe I'll take a picture of it outside when I'm finished quilting it if I can find somewhere without snow.

I plan on writing every day this week, just letting you know what I'm up to, sharing my week of fun with all my quilting friends and family, and just generally adding to the quilty theme that is this week. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Grandbaby Quilt!

I finally have all the fabrics I need to make the quilt for my son and daughter-in-law's first child and our first grandchild. They have decided not to know the sex of the baby beforehand, so it's been quite a challenge to come up with fabrics and a design that would work for either a boy or a girl, but I think we've done it.

Jen selected a pattern combining piecing and applique from the September/October 2008 issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine called Hopscotch. The focus fabric is from American Jane by Moda, from their Recess line. It's a fabulous print of 1950's children playing. To go along with it we have a selection of fabrics with various sizes of polka dots, a sassy coral, Polka Dot by April Cornell for Moda, a fabulous green, Dorothy by P&B Textiles, and a golden yellow, Windsong by Avlyn. Tieing them all together is a really amazing stripe from the Jitterbug line by Andover fabrics. There's also a basic off-white blender to show off the appliques.

Here is a picture of the fabrics. Cutting begins soon. Watch for the completed quilt top in the next few days. I plan on pouring every ounce of love I have for my first grandchild into this special quilt and hope it will be cherised by him or her for a lifetime.