Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Stashbusters class

Well I have less than one week to start cutting my fabric for the next Stashbusters class. Not only do I have to cut out the fabric but I need to sew it together in strips. Wonder if I will get it done in time. Not to worry if I don't as Heather Stewart is used to me and the fact that I never come prepared to her classes. I wonder if when she sees my name on the registration list she just shakes her head in frustration?

I can't wait to make the quilt as it is very dramatic looking and I will finally be able to use up the eBay purchases I made years ago. I bought all kinds of Kaffe fabric and think it will go wonderfully in this quilt.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cheap Trick concert- Rick's quilt

OK so the concert was AMAZING and eventually my quilt for Rick made it up on stage and he has it. Thanks to the keyboard player for seeing it and getting it up there for Rick to pick up and take with him. Here are links to the videos if you wanted to see! (the photo is of the quilt in a heap on stage)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Prayer Quilt

Here is a follow up post about the quilt I machine quilted for the Anglican Bishop's conference. (original post Oct. 2010) This photo show them presenting the quilt.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How much thread do I actually use?

"How much thread it takes to quilt a quilt?" It depends on the size of the quilt and the type of quilting to be done. Everyone's technique is different so the following are only averages. Of course it is possible to use much more or much less thread. These numbers are for the top thread only.

Light Quilting Medium Quilting Heavy Quilting
Lap/Crib Size
200 yds. . . . . . . 400 yds. . . . . . . 600 yds.
Twin Size
400 yds. . . . . . . 800 yds. . . . . . . 1,200 yds.
Queen Size
600 yds. . . . . 1,000 yds. . . . . . . 1,600 yds.
King Size
800 yds. . . . . . 1,400 yds. . . . . . . 2,000 yds.

I saw this chart which estimated how much thread is actually used to machine quilt different sizes of quilts. I have no way to measure with my machine so I will have to go along with these measurements. No where does it total up how much thread I cut off and throw on the floor, only to be tracked through my house and vacuumed up later on- LOL

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Quilt Show week is over

Did any of you find the time to see any of the wonderful quilt shows in the local area?

I popped by the Ailsa Craig show on Thursday night and was thankful it was open late one night that week. The quilts were amazing and very artistic. Bought some purple fabric from the many vendors so our church can use it for our upcoming prayer quilts.

Friday AM I quickly stopped in the market downtown to see the CMQA show and saw Kelley and Carol who I have not seen in a long time and voted for Kelley's quilt for viewer's choice.

I then went to Perth Hall to see the merchant's mall and the Invitational Quilt Show where Heather Stewart's Snow Goose quilt was hanging and was surprised to see Willi Powell's quilt, that I quilted, there too. Both looked beautiful in the show. Unfortunately I did not get to the juried show as time was running out and it started raining and I did not want to walk across to the other building.

Hope you all found some time to get to at least one of the shows and thanks to all the hard working volunteers at all the shows.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quilts of the Netherlands

Just a quick reminder that the Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival is just around the corner.

May 23rd to 28th

at the
Ailsa Craig Recreation Centre
155 Annie Ada Shipley Street
Ailsa Craig

Check out our website and blog

We still have some awesome Dutch and Canadian workshops available.
We are very excited to see you again.
The Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival Committee
please tell all your friends about the festival

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ham and Strawberry auction quilt

Over this past year the ladies from church have been making the Fireside Log Cabin blocks in blue and white so that we can assemble them into a queen quilt that we will be including with the auction in June. The top is together and I just need to quilt it in May to have it ready for mid June. Here is a photo of the finished quilt top. The ladies have done a wonderful job and should be so proud!

update from Nicaragua

Here is an email I received last week. It is from Nancy one of the PAN liaisons who works with the few sewing Co-ops in Nicaragua. They have been busy making school uniforms as well as the quilts. Earlier they had a few quilts complete and were selling them as well!

I'm in Nicaragua right now and have been working with the girls from Pastor Juilo's church. I must say they are doing well and am pleased with their progress. I delivered the serger and bobbin winder and three walking feet.

FYI ---- I have also given Iglesias Hermosa the contract for school uniforms. I was able to see a couple of skirts they made and I must say they have done a wonderful job. You girls should be proud of what your students have achieved.

Feb. Stashbusters quilt top

I know it has taken a while to post the photo of my Stashbusters quilt from February, but here it is. I have the top done up to the sashing and will now need to work on the pieced border (hopefully on Friday)

Here is a photo so far.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Cheap Trick quilt ?

Just heard a rumour that Cheap Trick may be in London on July 22nd- WOW!
So I will begin yet another quilt for them to give up on stage. This time will be Rick's Uncle Dick guitar. Here is a photo of the guitar, looks like I will be using a lot of fusible on this one!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hopscotch Stashbusters class

Well it is the night before my quilting class at Quilts and Calicos. We are making Heather Stewart's Hopscotch pattern. The instructions say there is a lot of cutting so once again I am finding myself just beginning to cut the fabric at the last minute. Not to worry, I will get it done!
Joan and Linda picked me an assortment of Thimbleberries fabric which are just beautiful. I will post a photo of a finished block on Saturday night.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The girls in Nicaragua have been busy!

Just got an e mail today showing photos of the finished blue quilt that they were hand quilting when we were in Nicaragua. Also a photo of another strip quilt for their order. They have been so busy in the 2 weeks since we left! WAY TO GO!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finished strip baby quilts

Look at these proud faces with their finished baby quilts.

Sewing team and students

Ice Cream social photos

These kids are so cute and were so happy to get two ice creams on Sunday after church!

Hand quilting and hand piecing photos

Here are the girls working on hand piecing with Jane and hand quilting on both a large and small frame.

Photos of the quilting students

These photos are of the quilting group working on their strip baby quilts and their first order for the co-op.

Photos of the sewing students

Here are some photos of the students working on their baby slings, blouses and school uniforms and some finished blouses being modelled.

Photos of Nicaragua

Here are some photos of the country, the volcanos, the beach and local homes.

Nicaragua trip recap

Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach sewing and quilting on another humanitarian trip. Our team would be teaching a group of 25 women who are starting up a sewing co-op in Niquinohomo, Nicaragua.

We would be spending almost 2 weeks teaching various projects such as baby quilts, baby slings, blouses, tote bags and school uniforms. There was a team of 4 quilting teachers and 4 sewing teachers and then 2 very brave women who would be teaching crafts to the many young children from the village who were on their school break.

We arrived in Managua, Nicaragua on a Monday and were taken on a quick tour of the city to have a look around at our home for the next 2 weeks. Nicaragua is the largest country and is the poorest country in South America where 48% of the population lives below the poverty line and 80% of the population lives with less than $2 per day. This country is still trying to rebuild after the massive earthquake in the early 1970’s and the end of their war in the 1980’s. I was not expecting the poverty that was before me as we drove around, not knowing it was only going to be much worse in the village where we were teaching.

Tuesday was our first day of teaching and we spent a little over an hour driving through the country, up the hills to the church where we would be teaching. The road progressively got more bumpy and remote and some times we were worried our van wouldn’t make it up the hill or would tip over. Luckily we had an amazing driver Victor, who kept us safe and straight on the road!

Since most of our bags were delayed we were glad we packed our teaching samples in the carry on luggage. I was one of the 4 quilting teachers and our first project was a strip baby quilt. Pauline set up the cutting station and demonstrated how to rotary cut our needed strips and some colour theory with the fabric we had available. Maggie, Jane and I all worked on piecing the quilt top with our students and most of them caught on quite quickly. I showed them how to tie the quilts, as this was the easiest and quickest way to hold the layers together. By the end of the first day there was one baby quilt completed and so many more that were close to being finished.

Working along side of us was the sewing group where they were teaching how to make blouses, tote bags, baby slings and school uniforms. We based our projects on useful items these women would need and be able to sell to the local community at different markets.

Outside Ann and Diane were teaching the kids and young women various crafts which included pop can tab belts, beaded necklaces and bracelets, photo frames, fabric dying and paper crafts. They also played sports with the kids like beach balls and kites as well as played musical instruments. We were so thankful for sunny weather those weeks.

The week progressed with every student making a blouse; tote bag and baby quilt for themselves. Teaching the baby quilt was a wonderful project as most of the 25 women who were our students were teenage mothers and needed blankets for their children. It can get quite chilly at night during the winter months and most of these quilts were backed with novelty flannel fabric perfect for their children.

Towards the end of the first week we arrived at the Church of Hope to find that there was no electricity. This is quite common in the area so Jane came prepared with a binder of English and Spanish quilt block patterns and set the students up to learn hand piecing. Jane had been waiting all week to teach hand quilting and now was her time in the spotlight! She had beautiful batik fabric all cut out for samples and showed the students how to measure, cut and mark the pieces for hand piecing. They spent hours working on these blocks that would be assembled into a large sampler quilt. I set up a small hand-quilting frame and taught 6 girls how to hand quilt on a preprinted baby panel. Once the students got the hang of hand quilting I stepped back and watched this Nicaraguan quilting bee. The girls were chatting and socializing much like we would do in North America at a quilting bee.

Mid afternoon the electricity came back on and most of the students went back to piecing on the sewing machines or sewing garments and school uniforms. Jane had 3 girls that stayed with her to continue hand piecing and these girls remained for the rest of the week with Jane. They seemed to really enjoy hand piecing as well as the chocolates and candy Jane had at her table. We can always count on Jane for treats.

Both Friday and Saturday the students rotated through all the stations and almost everyone had completed their required projects. Since some of them enjoyed hand quilting on the small frame, Gail set up the large wooden quilt frame outside with a large quilt top to hand quilt. There were a few girls and one teenaged boy that learned hand quilting. At the end of the day this boy was still hand quilting when the other girls had gone home.

On Sunday we went back to the church for their service. This was one of the best days of the trip. All week we had the luxury of having a translator named Henry. He was invaluable as none of our students spoke any English. Every time we wanted to demonstrate something or if someone had a question you would hear someone yell “HENRY” and he would come running over to translate. Henry was a big help during this church service since Pastor Julio only spoke Spanish. They are a very musical and energetic parish and their service consists of hymns where everyone sings and claps. Our group tried to learn a short song in Spanish to sing to the church members and participate in the service. During the service our team members were introduced and everyone shook hands and offered hugs. Then the congregation prayed over us and thanked us for coming to teach us sewing and quilting skills. They were crying and thanking us and it was a very emotional time. They expressed that we had given them hope that they can make an income and support their families and that brought tears to everyone in the church.

Earlier in the week an ice cream man pedaled his bicycle of ice cream down that bumpy road hoping to sell us some ice cream. Ann and Jane had a fantastic idea to have an ice cream social after church and made a deal with the ice cream man to bring back enough ice cream for 200 people. Well he came through for us and brought his ice cream back on Sunday. What a treat on such a hot day for everyone to have ice cream. There was even enough extra for the young kids to have a seconds. It was a wonderful day.

Monday we were back teaching and since all our students had finished their baby quilts we then started on some new projects. Pauline took a few of the more accomplished quilters and used the skills from piecing the strip quilt and started on a twin-sized quilt. Jane continued with hand piecing and I showed the other girls how to piece a string block. We were now having the girls work on projects that would be put together into a large group item that the co-op would sell. The Inn where we were staying was very interested in the work the girls were doing and after showing them samples they placed an order for 4 twin size quilts to use on the guest beds. Pauline’s strip quilt and my string quilt would be the first two quilts for their first order.

The rest of the week we finished up the quilts, uniforms and blouses. On our last day we lost power again as a gust of wind knocked down a tree and the power lines. We had to show them by hand how to attach the binding on the quilts and thankfully Pauline had brought a sample with the binding in progress so we used that to demonstrate.

That afternoon we had a meeting with the co-op members and told them how hard they had worked, how proud we were of their accomplishments and that we wished them well for the future of their co-op. Some of the students thanked us again for teaching them and there were more tears and hugs as we said our good byes.

The vision Pastor Julio has for these girls and the co-op is a very positive one where he wants to network with other churches and communities and rent booths at local markets so that these girls can sell their products. They have the supplies, skills and ambition to move forward and we are so happy for all the girls that touched our hearts on this trip.

Thank you to everyone for making this trip such a success.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Last night in Nicaragua

Just packing and getting ready to come home. Will blog and post photos when I get rested.

Had an amazing time teaching some wonderful young women!

- Posted from my iPod

Monday, January 3, 2011

The bags made it through customs

WOW. All 24 bags of sewing and quilting supplies made it through. The didn't like the serger and made us open that bag. Just waiting to board the first flight. Will keep you posted.

- Posted from my iPod

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nicaragua January 3rd!


I can't believe it is the night before I head to Toronto to meet with our team travelling to Nicaragua. All our planning, fundraising and packing is complete and we are on our way.

Thanks again to everyone who has made this trip possible and so successful. In addition to all 24 bags of sewing, quilting and craft supplies we are taking, we have also purchased a serger and 2 medical packs.

There are 25 sewing supply kits for the students, numerous gifts for the children in the hospital and orphanages we will be visiting as well as care packages with toiletries and nightgowns for the women in the hospital.

I will take as many photos as I can and post a report when we return.