Thursday, 28 January 2016

A cozy Canada quilt

Normally, I sew with quality quilting cottons, but in the fall, my local Fabricland had a line of Canada themed flannels that were to cute to pass up. I decided a cozy throw-sized quilt would be a good Christmas gift for my sister, who is living in Lake Louise, where winter arrives a little early and stays a little late. Plus, I thought maybe if I made her a quilt, she would stop bugging me about that afghan I started crocheting for her 18th birthday, which was, well, more than a few years ago. The fabrics were so soft I decided I would make one for myself too.

I debated the blues and purples, but went with the traditional red and black instead. I chose four prints and some black flannel to coordinate. I went for some simple patchwork with 12" squares and added a 12" strip of black in the middle. I appliquéd Canada with a maple leaf on either side. I used my Mom's fancy new sewing machine for this, as my Grandma was using mine. She bought a Pfaff Expressions 3.5 and it has a few more features than mine. The highlight for me was that it automatically pulls your thread to the bottom and cuts it when you're done stitching. Very convenient for appliqué!

I used a thick and super soft chenille fabric for the backing, which eliminated the need for batting. I kept the quilting minimal and simple, just stitching in the ditch horizontally between each row. There's no batting to keep in place anyway and the chenille hides the sewing lines. I bound hers in the black flannel and my own in a grey microsuede. I like the texture it added. 

When my sister was home in November, I sent the quilt with her to be unwrapped at Christmas. I didn't get a chance to take pictures, so I requested that she take advantage of her beautiful scenery to get photos for me. The weather wasn't cooperating with her, but she was able to get some nice photos of the quilt with the frozen lake and snow-covered mountains in the background. She even got a few kind co-workers to hold the quilt for her. 

My quilt is very cozy and if you haven't worked with chenille/cuddle fabric/minky before, I would recommend giving it a try!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Kitchen Sewing

I took advantage of a sale to pick up some Insul-bright last weekend. I thought a few hot pads and coasters would be a good way to use up some scraps and play around with colours. Instead, I found some extra quilt blocks left over from previous projects. I had several parallelogram blocks from my Lone Wolf quilt that I turned into a little coaster/hot pad set. It was kind of fun to move them all around to make a design.

I used a layer of Insult-Bright and a layer of batting in between the two pieces of fabric. The inside layers made the hot pads nice and thick and gave the quilting great texture. I ended up with a 12" square that could work as a table runner, or a large hot pad. I also made two 6" squares that fit my morning oatmeal bowl perfectly.

I enjoyed straight-line quilting such a small project, it was satisfying to finish. I didn't enjoy the binding as much, as it somehow seemed more finicky in the miniature. I do like how the lighter blue borders the blocks, though.

I used this blue and white crosshatch on the back.

I had four pairs of flying geese blocks that I turned into a hot pad as well. I haven't gotten around to binding it yet, but I'll share it when I do. I have a few more finished and soon to be finished projects to share as well.

How do you use up spare blocks? Do you have a favourite pattern for scraps?