In November, two of my friends became grandmothers. To me, grandmothers are grey-haired, elderly ladies who play bridge and give you lemonade and jam-jams. It’s hard to reconcile this staid word with my youthful, vibrant girlfriends who are not at all grandmotherly but who have embraced their extended family with joy and enthusiasm. Congratulations, girls!
Here is the quilt I made for Isabelle’s little grandaughter Julia, based on Oh Fransson’s Charm Square quilt. Most of the prints are from the Quilted Fish’s Sugar and Spice collection. I love the bright and cheery colours and patterns. As soon as I saw this collection, I knew it would be the perfect choice. It’s quilted very simply, in straight lines across the width of the quilt echoing the coloured stripes.
A useful tip I use to ”audition” fabrics for borders and binding is to take digital photos of the unfinished quilt lying against each potential fabric, then review the pictures. One will usually jump out as being the perfect choice. Then I just delete the pictures.
A baby quilt in progress
Although it’s been (ahem) a few years since I was in school, every September still feels like the beginning of a new year. The summer is ending, the evenings are shorter, the season of barbecues and outdoor parties is past and we reluctantly go back to our everyday routines.
Fall is a perfect time to take a class or pick up a new activity. A good friend just recently took up kayaking and loves it. I admire her for taking the risk and trying something outside her comfort zone. Last year, two friends and I signed up for singing classes at the university. We’ll never make it on Broadway but we picked up some tips, met some great people and had a wonderful time.
This year I’m all about sewing. I bought a new sewing machine, and as an ambitious newbie, am full of quilty ideas:
- a red and turquoise baby quilt. I just love that colour combination and it works for a boy or a girl.
- a slightly sophisticated yellow, grey and white lap quilt (maybe for me)
- a modern log cabin quilt, with just one single over-sized block
- a dog quilt using the colourful neckerchiefs my dogs get at the groomer’s. I have a pattern for a dog bone block picked out.
- a Newfoundland flag quilt. Our current flag is red, white, blue and gold but this will be based on the old Republic flag, which was pink, white and green. I’ve been slowly acquiring pink and green fabric and I have an idea for the pattern but haven’t yet settled on anything.
Another goal is to sew something special for each of my best girlfriends who have been with me through thick and thin, to show them how precious they are to me. You rock, ladies!
Here’s my new year’s resolution: to make more time for sewing and less time for snacking!
I feel like I have lost my sewing virginity now that I have successfully sewn in a zipper.
A little zippered coin purse pattern called out to me from the pages of a wonderful book, Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky. Could I dare? Painstakingly I pieced the patchwork, quilted it to a piece of muslin and cut out the lining. Mirroring the picture in the book, I used red thread to quilt it and bought a snappy little red zipper for $1.50 at Wal-Mart. The unfinished pieces looked so cute that as usual I was afraid to move on to the next step for fear of ruining what I had done. This is a recurring theme in the unfinished objects (UFOs) stashed around the house. This time I pushed through the anxiety and by following Malka’s step-by-step instructions I managed to:
- Change the sewing machine to the (previously unused by me) zipper foot
- Sew the zipper to lining
- Sew the outside panels to the lining
- In a hair-raising procedure, turn the whole thing inside out to reveal something that looked astonishingly like the one in the book.
Flushed with success, I showed the pouch to my significant other, who is quite used to my demands for praise. He agreed it looked like a zippered pouch. It’s somewhat larger than a coin purse but too small for a cosmetic bag. I had a bad moment thinking of what use it could be. Happily I discovered it’s just the right size for my little digital camera. Now my camera has a cosy new home and I have another notch on my figurative sewing belt.