Friday 28 July 2017

Around the World with my Singer

I've been trying to decide what I really want to make as my first project on my vintage Singer.  I want it to be pretty, to be fun and to be for me.  How very selfish!

Of course, this beautiful machine has sewn before I came along.  She's a 1939 Singer 99k hand cranked machine (and my Christmas gift from hubby last year). I wonder what she has been used for in her lifetime?  Wouldn't it be nice if she came with a little video montage of her work?

Anyway, I digress.  I've found it surprisingly difficult to decide what I want to make on her first.  So, I narrowed it down.  Yes, I want it to be a quilt.  I want it to be with really pretty fabric, so my Bonnie and Camille fabrics it shall be and I just want to sew simple squares.

My B&C stash, except for one layer cake.  I promise I'm not hiding any elsewhere.

All of that sounds pretty good to me.  I don't need complicated right now, especially not as an extra, new project on top of the list of WIPs I already have.  It will allow me to get used to the machine and find a consistent quarter inch seam, I hope.  And, it's going to help me with my plan for 2017 to sew from my stash and reduce what I'm storing.  Yes, my B&C fabrics are my absolute favourites but you know, I feel that now is the time to use them not keep them all neat and tidy in a box.  I've also noticed a lot of folks destashing fabric this year because they have too much or no longer love fabrics they once couldn't wait to buy. I don't want that to happen with my B&C collection and, after all, I bought it to sew with, didn't I?  It's not like there won't be further collections to come, is it?

High tech planning. (That's washi tape, not a quilt border!)

So, a quilt of squares with a mix of whatever B&C lines are in those boxes?  I think it's time to make an Around the World quilt, or is it a Trip Around the World Quilt?

I've been calculating.  Not exciting, but it was an interesting exercise that proved to me that because most of my stash is fqs I will probably get a more varied range of fabrics in my quilt if I work from 2.5" squares. It also showed me that as the rounds of the pattern get bigger, I will be needing to buy more whole metre cuts (a considerable number) if I plan to keep each round a single fabric.  So, because I want to use up what I already have, I think I'm going to work on my rounds in a single colorway, rather than a single fabric (i.e. a green round will have several different green prints in, not just one).  I'm sure that's all clear as mud, but it makes sense in my head.

Squares on the starting block!

I know there are clever ways to speed up the making of this quilt pattern but I plan to do it the slow, hard way.  Just because.  I'm in no hurry and I don't particularly enjoy that strip piecing and unpicking method anyway.

I want this to be a relaxing/de-stressing project. So, I will choose and cut fabrics a round or two at a time and sew slowly and prayerfully.  Did I ever tell you how my sewing time is often my prayer time?  I want to sew more prayerfully again because there is so much in this world, in the lives of my friends and in my life that I need to chat through with my Father.  I look forward to that quiet time immensely.

Sounds like a plan for getting acquainted with my Singer, doesn't it?

Sunday 16 July 2017

FAL 2017: Meet the Host #8

It's time to meet another of your FAL hosts.  This time Izzy shares with us some things you might not have known about her.  I have to say, I love how her quilting journey has been chronicled in her pics here. Read on to find out what I mean.

Hi - I'm Izzy from Dizzy Quilts and it's my turn to tell you a little about myself!

I'm a mother, step-mother and foster mother to six children, grand-mother to one gorgeous little girl and wife to my soul mate. During the day, I manage a team of e-Learning designers/developers at a global financial company.

All of this keeps me pretty busy, but I've always made time to be crafty - when I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knit and I made all my teddy bears knitted sweaters!

During my teenage years, I was a little too busy with school (and with boys!) to craft, but a few years later, when I had my first child, I started sewing.  I made some baby clothes and I made curtains mostly. I even took a sewing class to learn how to make garments for myself, but I never got the hang of that - nothing ever really fit right.

About 9 years ago, I walked into JoAnn's to get fabric for new curtains and spotted the cutest little quilt kits. I bought one, put it together and haven't looked back since! I was completely and totally hooked.

The first few quilts I made were very traditional - lots of small pieces, small florals, etc. I really had no clue what I was doing, but learned so much with the making of these quilts.

A lap size log cabin quilt made for my step-mom

I started making these quilts for pretty much everyone in my family.  And pretty soon, every bed in the house had a quilt on it.

Quilt I made for my sister-in-law - this is Bronx testing it.

I even made quilts as curtains!!
Around 2010, I discovered quilt blogs and the online quilting community.  That literally changed my quilting life!!  I started my own blog, met some amazing people and a couple of years later, found the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

Through the members of this guild, I learned about modern quilting and I fell in love with quilting all over again.

I started making modern quilts and building a stash of really colourful fabrics and solid neutrals.

When I first started quilting, my least favourite part of the whole thing was the actual quilting. My sewing machine was pretty small and wrestling with a big quilt in that tiny little space was painful and I very often ended up with puckers on the back of my quilts.  And then I changed two things: my sewing machine and my basting method.

I purchased my Juki TL-2010Q. It is literally a dream to quilt with. Lots of room to the right of the needle and super consistent, fast stitching.

I also learned how to board baste my quilts - which has saved my knees, my back and to a certain extent, my sanity!  :-)

And now quilting is actually my favourite part. I look forward to finishing a top just so I can get to the quilting. My dream is to some day own a long-arm machine, but I would need to get a much bigger house before that could happen!

Last year, I became the Vice-President of the Montreal MQG and that has been a lot of fun. The group is growing and we have such amazing people and quilters.  Each meeting is a great source of inspiration and I'm learning so much.

When I was approached to become a FAL host last year, I was so flattered and so happy. I love hosting these link-ups - so much inspiration and so much talent every quarter.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please leave a comment!  :-)


Sunday 2 July 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long: Quarter 3 Proposed Finishes Linky Now Open!

It's time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q3 of the FAL. I am looking forward to seeing what you are planning to be working on over the next quarter.

The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director
For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q3 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):  

As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them. If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know.

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is now considered a UFO, and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ3yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q23link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!! Well Now..... Get those lists together and get linked up. 

The Q3 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, July 8, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

FAL 2017 - My Quarter 3 List

Let's see....  What might I finish this quarter?

Moda Love Baby Quilt
This quilt replaced the Pot Luck quilt I was stitching for my cousin's expected July newborn.  It should be a quick finish as there's only a label to finish and add now as soon as the little one has been named.

Quilt Now BOM
I would dearly love to progress the hand quilting significantly, if not finish, this quarter.  That's quite ambitious mind you, considering how much there is still to do.  Zoiks!

Cosy Christmas Quilt
Is it wishful thinking to be adding this one to my list again this quarter? Probably, but it's on here anyway.

Just 3 things on my list this quarter in the hope of focussing my attention better and perhaps getting finishes under my belt.  Who knows, it might work?

Linking up to FAL Quarter 3 Proposals.

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