STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Thursday, March 28, 2019

In the Bag...

Continuing on with the gift bag for baby Layelah...
Her quilt was finished just in time.. but her Raggedy Anne doll was finished early as I worked on it through the summer. When I was much younger, and all my friends were having babies, I made many Raggedy Annes and Andys, always in the traditional red; the last two I made were for my own two children (so we know that's a few years ago!) But I knew red just wouldn't work for Miss Layelah- not with a purple room!! So I set about making her a funky purple Raggedy Anne. What fun I had searching for the right fabrics for the dress, striped socks and look at the perfect gingham rickrack!!

Her face and I Love You heart are hand embroidered. She is 14" tall. I calculated that my pattern is about 40 years old.. so no wonder the embroidery transfers for the facial features were all dried up... I just traced them onto the fabric with pencil. All in all I was pleased with how she turned out.

Making the doll itself, the hair in particular, takes more time than the clothing. Every loop of the hair (and there are many) is secured with another stitch so little fingers can not pull the loops out. The hair probably takes longer than anything else. She is well dressed with pantaloons, dress and pinafore. Somewhat "dated" perhaps, in today's world, but still a classic in my mind.

In the gift bag as well were a lilac soft flannel receiving blanket and a copy of Sheree Fitch's Mabel Murple along with these two darling bunnies, knit by my friend Gail M. begged, pleadedcoerced convinced Gail to make them for me, a boy bunny for big brother Noah and a girl bunny for baby Layelah. Aren't they just sweet? Gail does such a wonderful job on these, I would love to have a whole collection... errr.. litter? just for myself! Soooo cute! I "named" them Benny Bunny and Bitsy Bunny...

I guess you can see I had such great fun getting ready for this little girl's arrival... 

I am linking up with Wendy's Peacock Party. Pop over to see what others have been working on here.

Love and Peace,
Grammie Linda

A granddaughter is a treasure whose worth you cannot measure except by the love in your heart.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Baby Quilt

Miss Layelah is almost 6 month old and I haven't yet shown you the quilt I made for her, or her special doll. Shame on me! The nursery walls are painted a soft grey and most things are neutral- white crib, white chest of drawers, black curtains... but the accent colour is purple, so purple was going to be the main quilt colour.

I eventually found a nice soft lilac batik for the background, and set about going through all my batiks for fabrics that would work. I used 28 different fabrics, with a couple of donations from friends (thanks Lucy and Sandi!) Just pinks and purples seemed dull to me so I added a few corals as well as a couple of peachy-yellows. I cannot tell you the pattern name or source, I just found a picture on Pinterest I liked and made up my own version. I cut the "bricks" 2.5" x 5" so their finished size is 2" x 4.5" with 21 bricks in each vertical row (total of 84 bricks.) The inner sashing rows finish at 2" wide with the outer two on the sides wider at 4." The overall size is 40" x 42." (With no real pattern to follow, I just determined the sizes by what looked right/in proportion to my eye.) It was pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. thread, and was quick and easy to put together.

(Edit: My friend Carole tells me this is a Missouri Star Quilt Co. pattern. She thought it was called a Zipper quilt, but I haven't been able to find it when I searched their site. If anyone can shed light on this, please let me know.)

I quilted it with rows of serpentine stitch with a soft pink and purple 40 wt. variegated King Tut thread (#940 "Cotton Candy") by Superior Threads. (Ginger was such a great help with the pinning of the quilt sandwich! Thank you Ginger!!   ^..^   )

I was "down to the wire" getting this done, in fact I think it was finished just two days before she was born. She was overdue, so we joked that she was waiting for Grammy to finish her quilt!

Laura also made a quilt for Layelah during the summer. For her first effort, we chose something quick and simple - four patches and plain blocks, in whites, purples and greys. I helped with the cutting but she did all the sewing and quilting by herself, and I finished it off with the binding. Well done, my dear! (I may make a quilter of her yet!)

Up next, you'll see what else was in that purple gift bag...


Today's "quote" is a poem.. I have no idea who penned it, but I've always loved it...

This quilt is made of cloth and thread     
To place upon your little bed.
It's not an heirloom just to keep,
But to lay upon, as you count sheep.
Or perhaps the floor's the perfect place
For a doll or teddy picnic space.
This quilt can be anything you dream,
From Superman's cape to the robe of a queen.
Pretend it's a raft adrift at sea
Or just cuddle up and watch TV.
So use it up and wear it out
I promise I won't yell or pout.
Just tell me when its days are through,
And I'll make another, just for you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Grand Update

As they say.. time flies! Claire is in school, Noah is almost 3 (!!) and Layelah is already 5 months! I must be getting old! Indeed, I will become a senior citizen in another week. How can that be?! I'm trying to look on the bright side.. I am still vertical.. and healthy (no meds at all- yay!) and now I'll be getting a regular cheque each month! AND I'll qualify for seniors discount!! Gotta love it! And the BEST part of getting older....??  Grandchildren!!

So, it's high time for a little update on "the grands."
Claire, age 5, is now in kindergarten, or "Primary" as they call it in Nova Scotia. She is in French Immersion and doing well with picking up a second language. Here she is on the first morning of school.. so excited!

I love this photo of her, taken last fall obviously. She is tall for her age, takes after Daddy I guess!

She takes swimming lessons each week through the winter, and plays soccer in the summer.  Of course, winter also means lots of time to play in the snow...

What a little monkey, playing on the bed...
Photo Credit: James West Photography

Noah has passed 2 1/2 and is heading towards 3. He's growing like a bad weed! He is developing quite a personality, and keeps us laughing with his antics.

Photo Credit: James West Photography

He is such a good big brother to his little sister. Right from the start, he has been gentle with her, and shows her his love. I'm sure they will be good buddies as they grow up.

Now that she is showing interest in things, he likes to show her a book or bring her a toy, or make her laugh. Sooo precious! Such wonderful times!

He just melts my heart, every time I get to spend time with him. This grandparent gig is THE BEST!!

Photo Credit: Mummy Laura

And speaking of little Miss Layelah... look how SHE has grown! She has just passed the five month marker...

She is such a happy little girl! Wakes up smiling, goes to bed smiling, and smiles most of the time in between!

Look at that sparkle in her eye!

Photo Credit: Mummy Laura

Yep, another little bundle of joy to love!
I am smitten once again....

Feeling Very Blessed,
Grammie Linda

Your children are your rainbows. Your grandchildren are your pot of gold.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Quilting with the Walking Foot class

For those readers who are local or reasonably close by, I recently offered an "open" Walking Foot class, i.e. open to any quilter who has basic machine quilting knowledge. It is scheduled for May 25. It filled within a couple of days and there is a growing waiting list. So although that one is full, I am still taking names of interested quilters, and I will schedule another open class for the fall. So if you would like to add your name, please get in touch. Once I have enough for a class (15) I will set a date and get in touch with you. Don't wait too long, we are already halfway there. Having your name on the list is not a commitment, just an indication of interest.
EDIT Mar. 19: The fall date has been set, Saturday October 5 and the class is now almost full. If you are interested, get in touch ASAP. I will continue to add names to a waiting list if need be,  and if I collect enough names, I'll schedule another class.

Here are a few stitched samples of some of the things you will learn...

 Straight line designs, twin needle work, radiating designs, matchstick quilting....

.. and curved line designs.. some freehand, some marked, some using pattern stitches on your machine, circles and spirals.... and of course, you'll learn lots about needles, threads, etc.

Quilt On!

She who hesitates is lost...

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." ~ Henry Ford

Sunday, March 3, 2019

A Few Small Projects. Done.

I always have a long list of PTD's - that's Projects To Do... usually it includes some UFO's (UnFinished Objects) as well as new projects  that have been percolating a while. I'm sure I'm not the only quilter with such a list, whether it's actually written down, or just in the head. Knocking a few items off that list always feels good.
I've crossed off four items in the last few weeks. Since Laura, Noah and Layelah were coming the weekend before Valentines for a visit, I decided it was time to get a pillowcase made for Noah with a jungle animal print I've had since last summer, and a pink taggie blanket for Layelah. ❤️❤️  I also got a totebag made for one of my "choir sisters" and a runner finished.

The pillowcase was quick and easy. If you've never made a "magic pillowcase" (aka "sausage" or "burrito" pillowcase or "roll up" pillowcase) you're in for a treat. I followed this Youtube video with Alanda Craft but there are others out there too which are likely just as good. It is fast and pretty much foolproof, and all seams are enclosed ( French seams) for a professional finish. To make this you need 27" of your "focus" fabric, 9" for the cuff and 3" of a contrasting fabric for trim. This is easy to remember with 3x9=27.

I enjoy making these and can see I'll be keeping an eye out for fun fabrics to make more for the kids as you can easily have one done in an hour or less. Of course they are wonderful for an adult as well- a pair would make a nice little gift. There's no need for me to explain the process here, watch the video for a step by step illustrated guide. Noah decided he should be  a puppydog "model" for you... gotta love a two year old's humour...   :)

It was time for Layelah to have her own taggie blanket. She was enjoying Noah's and we just can't have our little girl using a blue taggie blanket, now can we? You can read a previous post here  for directions.

Her little fingers and toes are of the utmost interest these days; much of the time they are in her mouth, but when they're not, they are exploring, and babies love to feel different textures. (Update on Miss Layelah coming soon...) Don't you just love those little pink toes!?

A fellow alto in choir asked me if I would make her a totebag, with a keyboard around the bottom of the bag. She provided the fabric and I used a pattern I have used before with great success - the Fiji tote by Pink Sand Beach designs. The dimensions of the bag are slightly different (a bit narrower and taller) as I was limited by the length of fabric she provided, but otherwise I followed the pattern as given. The keyboard was fun to do, even though it took considerably longer than I expected. I doubled the white fabric so the black print would not show through, with a seam along the top and bottom of the strip so there would be no raw edges for wear and tear. This was fused on to the bag front and back, then blind hem-stitched with monofilament ("invisible") thread. I was concerned about the keys being in the right proportion, so I measured the keys on my piano - the white keys are 6" long and the black keys are almost 4" long. I knew 6" would just look too big on the bag, so I went with a 5" wide white strip and made the black keys in proportion.

The white keys were stitched with 12 wt. black thread with all thread ends pulled to the inside and knotted so there was no backstitching to show. The black keys were fused on and stitched around with black thread. I am pleased with how it turned out. In hindsight, if I was doing this again, I think I would piece the keyboard.. hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it...?

I'll save the runner for a future post.
What have you been working on lately?


Sewing is not a hobby. It's an obsession, an occupation, a fascination, an addiction, self-expression and a way of life.
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