Heritage Park Festival of Quilts – yeah, we went. :)

Oh my! Every year, we would see the banners, hear the hype, and think “That’s not a weekend to go to Heritage Park”. But, now that we’ve been bitten by the quilting bug, Biggest Little and I had booked with hubby our day for just her and I to go explore and take in all the quilts. We were not disappointed.

We purchased our tickets ahead of time at a local quilting shop, Along Came Quilting, and we were on our way. First stop was straight to the vendor’s market. I was hoping to find some pre-cuts and it did not disappoint. Wow. So many different patterns, kits, notions, and fabric to be found. I highly recommend hitting it up early as popular things will sell out quickly.

There was also a tent with displays by local quilting groups/guilds. I wish I had spent more time there, as now I’m looking for a local guild to join.

For those who have never been, Heritage Park is Calgary’s historic park. It’s filled with so many historical displays and staff dressed in character to ‘old times’. The quilts were set up along the front yards, fences, inside the homes on display, and hung from the downtown buildings. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to cover it. If you ever have the chance, totally go see this. Here are some photos.

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My Mom, My Teacher

IMG_3145 This is my mom. She’s awesome. My whole life, she has taken her few quiet moments to hide away in her sewing room and make beautiful things. When she came out to visit us last Summer, she really helped my oldest and I learn to sew. Big Little has always loved mermaids, and wanted a mermaid tail of her own.  Last Summer she and my mom made one she could wear swimming in the backyard pool. Well, what a gift. It not only fulfilled Big Little’s dream of being a ‘real’ mermaid, it made full on sewers out of all of us.

From there, we’ve made a few bags, another mermaid tail, some mermaid tail blankets, and our hunt for our next project is never more than a quick hop over to Pinterest away.

Thanks Mom/Nana. We love you.

Here are some photos of the handmade by my Mom quilt that she brought out for the birth of Littlest Little.

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Something old into something new – a lace doily quilt.

I have a love of all things antique. Antique furniture, quilts, photos, you name it. When I found a stash of (amazingly priced) doilies at a local antique shop, I knew I needed to make something from them. But what? First, I tried to make one of those lace doily lamps you see on Pinterest. Yeah, the ones where you blow up a balloon and put a bunch of goop over it and glue the doilies, then bust the balloon and put a hanging light inside. Beautiful. That, did not work.

So, I decided to attach them to a small quilt. I am very pleased, although some of the doilies are a bit crooked, it’s only my first try, so I’ll deal with it. 🙂

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Did I mention that binding is not a strong skill of mine? Don’t worry. A quick look at the final pic and you’ll understand my struggle.

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Charm Packs and Stars Oh My!

Moda, you have got to stop with all the beautiful things. No, don’t stop. 🙂 Whitewashed Cottage is a fairly recent release from Moda Fabrics in their charm packs etc. I fell in love with the soft colours and bought some of this collection in mini charm packs. I was able to piece together this block, which I of course, made into yet another car seat blanket. I went back to the store and bought enough to do a bed size quilt for hubby and I out of these very same stars. Stitch in the ditch and done. 🙂

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Can I really be blamed if another charm pack collection followed me home? And also turned into another car seat quilt?

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It’s Winter and we’ve got Frozen fever.

So, unless you’ve been under a snow drift, you’ve heard something about the success of a little Disney film “Frozen”. A lot of homes have a case of Frozen Fever and ours was no exception. The local chain fabric store had a flyer out with Frozen fabrics on the cover and it did not escape the tiny eyes in our home. Dutifully, I waited in line the morning they were hitting the floor, with some of Calgary’s most adorable grandmothers and sewers, and was able to buy my allotment. My first panel quilt was this one.

Once again, I sent the ‘finished’ quilt top to my amazing long armer who did a beautiful job. Middle Little was in love. 🙂

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Another Car Seat Quilt? Indeed.

Some people are addicted to shoes. I’m addicted to making things I know will turn out reasonably well. Pinterest strikes again, and so does my next car seat quilt. Using the Sophie Car Seat Quilt tutorial found here – http://www.modabakeshop.com/2012/02/sophie-car-seat-quilt.html – and some Moda Miss Kate charm packs, I made this. Maybe it’s because I have three girls and thus an overload of pink things in my life, or maybe it’s because Moda always does such an amazing job of pairing together prints for their precuts, but I had to make something out of this when I found the packs.

Lesson learned, a binder I am not.

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Might as well bite off more than I can chew. My first bed quilt.

I was so pleased with being able to create something to hold, touch, and that keeps my babies warm. It was now Halloween and time to try and make something all of us could enjoy and snuggle under while watching Christmas specials on TV. Thanks to Pinterest, and discovering my love of charm packs, I set out to make this ‘easy’ chevron quilt. Still using my trusty drugstore Brother machine, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the final quilting, so I sent it out to an amazingly lovely local long armer.  Here are some pics.

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My First Pieced Quilt…okay…it’s a small car seat quilt.

So, here we are, a few months after my first rag quilt. I’ve since had another baby and am enjoying my time ‘off’. I had imagined the kids playing quietly while the baby napped and me at my sewing machine. Ha ha ha! Oh well.

I have made three or four more rag quilts, and even given one to my best friend as a wedding gift. She swears she loves it, and I hope that’s true. Even if it wasn’t exactly ready on her wedding day. I did, however, get it to her in time for her first anniversary.

What’s next? An actual pieced quilt. Sticking with my stash of flannel, I picked some out for a cute car seat blanket for Littlest Little. Yay for blue girly prints.

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My First (Rag) Quilt

IMG_3223 There’s nothing like a trip to the fabric store where you fall head over heels for a fabric line. The prints, the colours, the whole look of it. I fell hard and fast for these cute flannel prints and knew I finally had to stop fighting the inevitable and just make that first quilt.

I had bought my first sewing machine a year earlier, my trusty Brother machine, at a local London Drugs. My mom was coming out to visit, and I thought it might be fun for her to show my oldest daughter and I a few tricks. Well, we were too busy having fun and seeing the sights for that this trip. After she had gone back home, I would look hopefully at the machine thinking just maybe if I stared hard enough, I’d suddenly know what to do with it. Well, that didn’t work. So, off to Kijiji I went in search of someone offering sewing lessons. I found a wonderful lady offering lessons from her home, and messaged her. I let her know I wasn’t a creepy internet person, but that I had a relatively newborn at home and an older daughter and no babysitters. Could she, would she come to my home? She did! Yay! I paid her for her time and in an afternoon she showed me how to turn the machine on, thread it, wind a bobbin etc and I was off and running.

Now, how the heck was I going to take this new skill and turn it into a quilt? YouTube of course! A quick search found me this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-LQfYXrG_Q . Needless to say, I watched it several time, amazed at how easy she made it look. I was off.

I had bought my rotary cutter, a large ruler, and the biggest cutting mat I could swing at the time. I started cutting my squares, picking a batting for the middle, and choosing another oh so pretty flannel for the backing. It started out fairly easily, but somewhere along the way, with two kids underfoot, I got a little distracted and sewed the rows together – half of them backwards. It was an easy fix, albeit frustrating, but I’ll probably never make that mistake again. 🙂 Middle Little loved it when it was finished, and in the end, that’s all that matters. Here are some photos of the process.

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See that? Yeah, I sewed half of the rows incorrectly. Sigh. Now is a good time to suggest you invest in a great seam ripper if you’re just starting out. 🙂

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Time to start snipping. This is what causes the beautiful (and forgiving) brushed seams. They get softer and softer with wear and washing.

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