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Preview: Journey of a Quilter

Journey of a Quilter



My Quilting Journey and other Adventures Along the Way



Updated: 2018-01-15T11:24:45.792-05:00

 




2016-03-01T11:19:59.204-05:00


Painting by Valeriane Leblond




Treadle Sewing Machine

2014-08-10T22:58:00.817-04:00

Thinking back, twenty-five years ago, I spent many a Saturday at flea markets, garage sales and antique shops, filling my house with treasures from the past.  One neglected treasure that followed me home was a Singer treadle sewing machine, Model 127, made March 15, 1918 at the Singer factory in St. Jean's, Quebec, Canada. The treadle base was rusty and the wood cabinet had some water damage.  At the time I was not thinking about sewing with it, I saw it more as a nice piece of furniture I could restore.  I did notice the front slide plate was missing and there was surface rust on the exterior metal parts of the machine, sure to discover more once I had it home.   The treadle base and cabinet restored beautifully and looks just like the one in the vintage Singer advertisement pictured above.  I decide not to restore the sewing machine, thinking at the time I would not be able to find missing parts. Now, twenty-five years later, I have taken a closer look at the machine and with one phone call, discovered I could replace the front slide plate, bobbins and shuttle. The inside mechanics are in excellent shape and rust free, it just needed lots of oil.  The exterior metal surface rust was easy to remove, but as expected, caused some pitting.  A little elbow grease was all it took to remove 96 years of dirt and discoloration, and once polished, I must say, she looks pretty good for her age. Singer factory  in St. Jean's, Quebec, Canada  My Treadle Sewing Machine Manual Restoring a Vintage Sewing Machine How to Clean and Oil a Vintage Sewing Machine Part 1 How to Clean and Oil a Vintage Sewing Machine Part 2 Installing a New Belt Winding a Long Bobbin Threading a Long Shuttle Installing a Long Shuttle Threading Long Bobbin and Loading Shuttle More about Bobbins and Shuttles How to Thread a Vintage Machine How to Adjust Tension How to use a Treadle Sewing Machine How to use a Seam Guide on a Vintage Machine Me and my treadle, soul enriching and a nice way to honour the past. [...]



Spinning Wool

2014-08-10T22:58:16.662-04:00

Natural Coloured Fleece and Fiber Cotswold (white) Cotswold (medium brown) Jacob (dark brown) Navajo-Churro (medium brown) Icelandic (grey) Corriedale (white) Corriedale (striped grey and white) Border Leicester (medium brown) Coopworth (white) Blue-Faced Leicester (white) Romney (white) Romney (medium brown) English Leicester (white) Wensleydale (white) Lincoln Longwool (white) Alpaca (white and medium grey blend) Alpaca (brown) The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook is an excellent guide.  I still have more to read, but as you can see, I am off to a pretty good start building my collection, focusing mainly on medium to long wool's and irresistible Alpaca. With still a pound of English Leicester to wash, I do love the process of cleaning and preparing raw fleece.   One day, I would like to try making my own natural dyes from plants. Harvesting Color, a book by Rebecca Burgess makes it sound so easy, but finding the right plants is a little more difficult. As I learn to spin on a Drop Spindle, I have become curious about other types of spindles.  The Tibetan Spindle and Russian Spindle are both support spindles, meaning they spin in a bowl, not hanging from the air like a drop spindle.   The Tibetan holds more fiber and spins longer than a Russian, but a Russian spins faster and is easier to carry.  Support spindles are traditionally used to spin fine yarn from short fibers, but that does not mean you cannot spin a heavier yarn or use long wool.   The French Spindle, looks like a Russian Spindle, but used without a support bowl; you just hold it in your hand. It sometimes has a groove running down the shaft to guide the fiber.   Another interesting spindle is the Turkish Spindle, which is a drop spindle that makes a center-pull ball as you spin your fiber. Time now for a little drop spindle spinning,  on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Update: July 30, 2014  Just came across another interesting spindle, the Akha Spindle, from northern Thailand.  [...]



Block Six of the Polka-Dot Girls

2014-08-10T22:58:31.470-04:00


Laughter with Friends
and
Teapot and Cup





House on the Hill

2014-08-10T22:58:44.887-04:00


You may recognize this little house on the hill; it is from Anni Downs applique pattern, My Favourite Things.  I turned it into a rug hooking, using all wool yarn.  My first rug hooking was made from strips of wool fabric and as I plan for my third rug, it will be made from a combination of both.


I never did show you my homemade lap frame, made at the same time as my yarn swift.  This type of frame is best when working with wool fabric strips.  Wool yarn can easily be pulled out by the fine grip needles, so if you are working with all yarn, a quilting hoop works best.  You can also use a quilting hoop with fabric strips, but you may need to replace the bolt with a longer one, as it can get bulky.



A Breath of Fresh Air

2014-08-10T22:59:13.543-04:00



Perfect for cool evenings relaxing in the garden, I am just finishing up hand piecing my spring time lap quilt.  The fabric is from two different collections that seem to go well together, Faded Memories by 3-Sisters and Poetry by April Cornell.



The Potting Shed

2014-08-10T22:59:26.956-04:00




Camellia

2014-08-10T22:59:43.419-04:00


I'm calling it a mini quilt (16 inch square), but it is actually meant to be one block in a quilt, from Kumiko Sudo's book, East Quilts West.  Hand pieced and appliqued.

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen



A Good Friend and Birdhouse

2014-08-10T22:59:58.063-04:00


I have not forgotten the Polka-Dot Girls.
Stitcheries for Block 5




New Work

2014-08-10T23:00:21.252-04:00


My new work in progress.


"The little dissatisfaction which every artist feels at the completion of a work forms the germ of a new work."
~Berthold Auerbach



Have you seen this vintage photo?
Wonderful, yes!




Icicles

2014-08-10T23:00:37.945-04:00


As the last of winter melts away.....


Small Studies 2
Icicles through the Window





Stitchery Blocks

2014-08-10T23:00:51.830-04:00


Sweet Nostalgia July Block
Fun at the Beach


Sweet Nostalgia August Block
Hide and Seek



Hocuspocusville (my 4th block)
Hermoine's Split Ends

Now that all my Sweet Nostalgia blocks are complete, I read the finishing instructions for the quilt.  Though a beautiful finish, it could send one running.  For now, I will cut my blocks down to size, maybe add the first round of fabric strips and think about a simpler plan to finish it off.

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen




Recipe for Friendship Part 2

2014-08-10T23:01:08.049-04:00


So you can see the true colour and detail of the fabric used, I snapped a close up.  My original idea was to have a mix of hexagons as the center of the quilt and use the yellow and red polka-dot fabric as the border, but that was over three years ago and now I see things differently.


The new plan has the center of my Recipe for Friendship quilt looking like a very large hexagon flower, 34 inches to be exact.  All the yellow polka-dot fabric is gone now, but I still have quite a bit of the red polka-dot and a solid red that can be added to the mix if need be.


Next up, a round of colourful hexagons!

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen



Airing of the Quilts

2014-03-18T14:00:26.535-04:00

(image)

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens


Painting by Valeriane Leblond





Small Studies 1

2014-08-10T23:01:29.468-04:00


You may remember, some time back, I purchased Gwen Marston's book, 37 Sketches.  My intention was, one day stitching a series of Small Study quilts.  Well, around the end of summer I pieced together my first one, Small Studies 1.


Also, stitched the June Sweet Nostalgia block, Let's Play Ball.


And, appliqued my Fish Challenge quilt.

Today I finished stitching the July Sweet Nostalgia block, Fun at the Beach.  I am going to prep and start right into the August block as this is the last block.  It only took me what, four years?  Now I am rushing to finish!

Worked a bit on my Postage Stamp quilt and now have 992 stamps pieced together.  Small Studies 2 is almost finished. And, well thinking about warmer days to come, I prepped two quilts for spring, a small applique and a mid-sized quilt for hand piecing.

Still to show you, the center of my new hexagon quilt, Recipe for Friendship.  I stopped working on it back in the fall to take a picture before continuing on.  That's right; I have yet to take that picture!  Or a picture of my mini quilt top called, Camellia, or my latest Hocuspocusville block.

Besides quilting I have been working on crochet and slowly learning drop spindle.  My rug hooking is back out and will be completed  by the end of March.

Hope you are enjoying your winter as much as I am and all is well.

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen



Tracks in the Snow

2014-08-10T23:01:46.034-04:00


January arrives and settles in like an old fashioned winter.  And, even though the garden appears to be deserted, tracks in the newly fallen snow tell a different story. 

We don't have any bears around here, but I thought it would be fun to piece together Bear's Paw Quilt from Kathleen Tracy's book Prairie Children and Their Quilts.  Made from flannels I had on hand, machine pieced and quilted.

I like this time of year, the quiet season.  A time to rest and enjoy a slower pace of life, more time for reading and needlework and time to get back to hand quilting.  I was so close to finishing my Red Delicious quilt when Spring arrived, but I am finished now, just the binding to go. 

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen




A New Toy

2014-08-10T23:02:13.111-04:00


I've been away so long that the battery in my camera died after just one picture.  The only time spent blogging this summer was tending to One Flower Wednesday.  It was a great summer with more good weather days then bad, raining just enough to keep things green.
Summer was not without quilting, I have several pieces to show you.   Right now I am working on a new hexagon project and find it hard to put down.  Our annual fall quilting trip to Pennsylvania came early this year, in order to make it possible to attend the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.
In search of a new toy, I found a beauty by True Creations, a top whorl drop spindle made from yellowheart (Pau Amarello) wood, which is native to Brazil.  I just love the fabulous bright yellow colour.
After selecting my spindle, I set out to find raw fleece from Romney, Lincoln and Border Leicester sheep, recommended for beginner spinners.  Sadly, they did not have any, but once home, I discovered a shop nearby that sells all three.  I did purchase a pound of Romney roving to try and carders.  Another day, I will purchase combs.

Autumn is off to an awesome start, my favourite time of year!
Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves.
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves.
~Humbert Wolfe, P.L.M.: Peoples, Landfalls, Mountains, 1936
Until next time.....happy quilting!
Karen



Still Beautiful

2014-08-10T23:02:25.628-04:00

As fast as they bloom, they fade away, and sometimes what is left is just as beautiful. Lots to see and do in the garden as summer gets underway.  Spring flew by, will summer do the same?   I finished my May Sweet Nostalgia block, How Does your Garden Grow? back in May, but have yet to start the June block.  When the garden sprung to life, this gardener had to spring into action, trading in my needle and thread for clippers and shovel. But, I am still getting just enough of a fix to keep me going until things slow down in the garden.  I long to return to my evening hand quilting and spend whole days in my sewing room.  Reading Kaffe Fassett's, Dreaming in Color inspired one of two new mini quilts, that I will share with you once quilted.    Fun with crochet continues.  I fell in love with the cover of Doilies in Color, so home it came along with a ball of size 10 crochet cotton and a 1.65 mm hook. I wasn't sure how it would go with such fine thread, a small hook and hands that fall asleep, but turns out to be no different than hand quilting with hands that fall asleep and I mastered that no problem.  I am also learning Tunisian crochet from a book called, 101 Easy Tunisian Stitches. Looks like I'm hooked on felted bowls, four more to show you.  I should have taken a photo of the one with the purple center before it was felted; it was beautiful with pretty ruffled edges. Lesson learned that detail may disappear when felted.  My fancy crochet stitches in the center of the same bowl also melted together after felting.  So, in the end a single crochet stitch would have given me the same result, but it was fun stitching the fancy stitches. Love my little lilac bowl and the handles on the white one.  The blue and white bowl may be my favourite so far.  I can say so far as I have three other bowls ready for felting! I will be participating in a quilt challenge in a couple of weeks and the theme is Fish.  So, my mind has been working overtime trying to think of an idea.  One idea keeps coming back to mind.  Maybe on Sunday I will put a do not disturb sign on my sewing room door and see how much prep work I can get done. Until next time.....happy quilting! Karen [...]



Civil War Bride Block 2

2014-08-10T23:02:35.614-04:00


Today was a cold, windy and somewhat rainy Sunday, so spending time in the garden was now freed up for other things.  It was a good day for PPP, press, picture and post.


And, this would be the April Sweet Nostalgia block, Happy Easter.

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen



Bowls

2014-08-10T23:02:44.325-04:00


Pottery bowl


Wooden bowl


Yarn bowl


Felted bowls!

As you can see I love bowls, so when I came across a pattern for felted crochet bowls, well, I just had to make some.  Afraid of ruining them I waited weeks before felting, but it turned out to be super easy and now I can't wait to make another one.  This time I am going to design my own pattern and maybe even go a little wild with colour. 

Until next time.....

Karen



Civil War Bride Block 19

2014-08-10T23:02:54.250-04:00


Applique I have missed you!  My first quilting love, yet we have drifted apart.  So, to ease my way back I have stitched Block 19 of the Civil War Bride quilt.  With eight blocks completed, my focus is on finishing the last twelve. 

A four day Easter weekend is just around the corner and timing is perfect, as I just started stitching the April Sweet Nostalgia block, Happy Easter.  I also finished another Dear Jane triangle and hope to have that posted soon.  Still happily working on crochet, but yet to try the felting!

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen



Friendship Star Finished

2014-08-10T23:03:06.842-04:00

I was seeing stars as I hand quilted Friendship Star, with so many seams it was hard to keep the stitches nice and even.  But, it's done and still worthy of a place on the wall.  Also finished Sweet Nostalgia March Winds Doth Blow We have been enjoyed some really nice spring like days that melted away the snow and made it possible to open windows and take in a breath of fresh air.  A little spring in the air put a spring in my step and I made a dint in some much needed prep work.  I prepared April and May's Sweet Nostalgia blocks, five Dear Jane blocks and two Civil War Bride blocks.  Now, that should keep me busy this spring. Something else I have been working on is a little crochet, but I will keep that a secret until it is done.  I'm going to try felting, so fingers crossed. As always, when one googles a subject, in this case crochet, one thing leads to another and you spend way too much time surfing the net.  But, I did find some interesting websites, blogs and patterns. Crochet Me Ravelry icrochet Patons Lion Brand Yarns AllFreeCrochet Attic 24 Hookin on Hump Day Le Monde de Sucrette Clever Cheshire Cats The Flower Bed Moogly Felted Button Crochet with Elizzza Larksfoot Stitch Anastasia Stitch Crocodile Stitch Rings of Love Stitch A nice neat finish Japanese Flower Hawaiian Flower Five Petal Flower or Five Petal Flower Flowers in the Snow Mille Fiore Flower Puff Stitch Flower Chunky Cable Slippers Electronics Cozy Fusion Blanket Blackberry Salad Striped Afghan Sea Pennies Crochet Yo-Yo Easter Eggs Spring Basket Easter Egg Treat Bags Pumpkin Trick or Treat Bag or Trick or Treat Bag Hearts Picasso Potholder Birdie Decoration Tiny Owl Until next time.....happy quilting and maybe a little crochet! Karen [...]



Love's Young Dream

2014-08-10T23:03:28.513-04:00


February's Sweet Nostalgia block.



Flower Garden and More

2014-08-10T23:03:41.856-04:00

There you have it; Karen's Flower Garden quilt top is complete.  I decided to remove the border and go borderless.  But, not to worry, the hexagons will not be wasted; I need them for edging the back of the quilt.  See Finishing Your Hexagon Quilts 500 289 Klosjes It had to be done if I was ever going to see a finished quilt.  So, I reduced the number of Klosjes and ended up with a lap size quilt, perfect for a chilly evening.  Once it's quilted that is! And, the hand quilting is complete on my Tiny Thimble quilt. Because it is hard to see the quilting, I will show you the templates.  I stitched a single wave in green thread across the thimbles and red thread was used for the border.  So, what I am up to now?  I'm down to the last couple of hours of hand quilting my Friendship Star quilt.  And, I have been testing out my double bladed X-Acto knife as I prepare a template to use on Red Delicious, which is next in line for hand quilting.  My teatime project is Love's Young Dream, the February Sweet Nostalgia BOM block. Until next time.....happy quilting! Karen   [...]



Snow Days and More

2014-08-10T23:03:55.520-04:00

Well, actually, everything I am about to show you was completed long before the snow started to fly.  As summer turned to fall I began stitching Snow Days, the January block of the Sweet Nostalgia BOM.   The last time I showed you my Kansas Dug-Out, I was deciding on border and binding colour.  As you can see I went with a black border and coloured binding.  This little dug-out was hand pieced and quilted, in the ditch, with black thread. My third Hocuspocusville block, Spooky Lou's. And, a long time coming, but now finished my Amish Stripe quilt.  Machine pieced in 2008 and recently hand quilted with a variegated thread. I also machine quilted my free-form quilt and decided not to square up the edges before binding.  Letting it  remain in its free-form state seemed like the thing to do. Remember Jeanneke's Building Houses with Scraps from last year?  Well, here is my mini version.  I hand pieced a house or two each month and put it all together before the end of the year.  Once hand quilted the binding will be done in the same fabric as the corner squares. And, what I spent most of my time working on, my Shades of Autumn POTC quilt top.  The blocks were hand pieced in 2009-2010, but I still had a long way to go added the sashing and borders. The colour in this photo is more true to the fabric I used for the Shades of Autumn POTC background.  So, try and image this earthy yellow colour instead of the washed out white (damn the camera) in the quilt top photo above,  Much nicer, yes? That was autumn and it's on to winter, more to tell you another day. Until next time.....happy quilting! Karen [...]