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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Creative Sewing!

I've done some creative sewing recently and it been a lot of fun. I wasn't sure how it would turn out and I'm not finished with it yet but I thought that maybe you'd all like to see it. I had a crew on board who asked me if I could get her going on something creative while we sailed. That night I thought about it and in the morning I suggested we try sew a Mola style clam. Hmmmm you might say. But recently we'd visited Atutaki in the Cook islands and been educated as to the rarity of these giant clams in the area because the people are eating them before they have time to reproduce. The story about them will be uploaded onto my Sailing blog soon, but in the meantime here are some photo's of the clams.

Clams being bred in captivity.
Clams at various stages of life.
They can grow even larger than this.
Close-up.

Close-up of the work
Sewing it.
The Mola look is there but instead of hiding the stitching I accentuated it. This has created some depth and it has started to look more three dimensional. As I said before, it isn't finished yet but I'm getting there. :-D

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A creation from my creation


I wrote a blog about sea stars or starfish a while ago. Well I painted them and sold two to a lovely person in America. She made them into two great cushion covers for her son who is away from home at the moment. I also recently sold another one, so they are selling really well, and I'm a happy girl!

Here are some photo's for you all to see.

A Great Cushion.

Sweet huh!
The two together.
Aren't they great! I just love it when I get photo's of  the final result! Thanks Leslie :-D

Friday, 14 October 2011

Starfish! or Seastars!

I've been working hard lately. I received an email from someone in America asking if I was ever going to do a sea star to sell. I had been thinking about it, but had been putting it off as they are so very involved...well the ones I wanted to paint were anyway.
I'd been snorkeling in Honeymoon bay on an island just off Escondido on the Baja Peninsular of Mexico, and I saw these most amazing sea stars or starfish. They were incredible. One was full of spikes. Now, I don't ever touch anything underwater. Some corals burn and some fish are poisonous and even some shells that still have their occupants will be able to give you an extremely nasty sting...so I don't touch.
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish.
It was just as well because when we got back to the boat we looked up the spiky star fish and saw it was called a 'Crown-of-thorns' starfish. The book said that this starfish had spikes that are capable of inflicting severe wounds and poisoning....oooeeerrrr so glad I didn't try and touch it.

As we swam around we came across a large rock and on it were several gorgeous brightly coloured starfish. The book told us that these were the Common Knobbed Starfish...yes well I don't know how common they are supposed to be but I'd never seen anything like these before...and I've snorkeled in the Indian ocean, the Atlantic, all over the Caribbean, off Hawaii..so clearly I still have a few wonders to experience.:-D

Common Knobbed starfish
My Favourite one!
So Beautiful!



These are the starfish that I was considering.

I drew one out and designed the stencil, then I cut the stencil....yeah hours of cutting....then I started to paint....
The drawing...

The Stencil.
Slowly and carefully till these ones below seemed to almost appear out of the fabric. They needed considerably more hand finishing than any of my other quilt blocks that I have painted. And the photo's do little justice to the detail of the finished work.
The first.

Ahem..the second :-D
Do you like it?
THEN I decided to discard the stencil and paint from scratch. I now have produced a further two starfish that are completely hand painted and totally original. These are of the highest quality and will be placed on Etsy for $120. The vibrancy of the end product does show a little in the photographs, but once again can only truly be appreciated on close examination.
Free hand one off.
The Last one also free hand.
 There are so many extraordinarily beautiful living creatures that most people never ever see.

I was showing a young man some photo's I have of starfish and he saw some purple and pink ones that I'd photographed on Salt Spring Island, Canada, and he said when he saw them.."They're not real!" but after a careful look he realised that they were and was astounded....
Beautiful Purple Starfish at low tide..
There were loads of them :-D pink ones too.
 I'd appreciate some comments on the subject.... :-D
Thanks.

................The Homespun Loft: Something I Heard....

................The Homespun Loft: Something I Heard....: So, this is of concern to me...and maybe others of you selling online. I was listening to the radio in my car to a national station and the...

Click on this and have a read. she's a new member of our Quilts quilts quilts team...rather interesting...hmmmm 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Welcome to Curly's Quilts!

Another new Author. Curly's Quilts is a special shop. I sells carefully handmade small childrens' toys. perfectly safe for those kiddies that just LOVE to put EVERYTHING in their mouths. :-D

I absolutely adore her ''Crazy Art Quilt'' it's my favourite.....But then again she has this Black and White Quilt, {shown in her advert}, that has taken a piece of my heart..oh heck choices.....sigh....this quilter has untapped talent and I'll be looking forward to seeing what else she produces. :-D

Her shop's advertisement is as usual placed down on the left side of the page.
For those of you who decide that her toys are worth a buy are to be assured that you are getting more than your money's worth. It takes ages to put one of those things together and I think she should be charging a lot more for those toys...so maybe you should get one quick before she decides the same :-D

Well people, have a wonderful day, week, month oh to heck with it...LIFE! happy reading!


Sunday, 25 September 2011

It's not too early for Christmas

Not only is Christmas a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it brings back so many fond memories of my childhood. I become a child again. Many years ago I sewed Christmas stockings for my husband and three children. Then a couple of years ago I designed a reversible stocking pattern. In this blog, I will guide you through the steps so you can create a masterpiece yourself.
  1. Using cardstock or heavyweight paper (a paper bag works well), draw a stocking in the size and shape that suits you. Remember to allow approximately ½ inch for seam allowances and add to the top for the foldover portion. This will be your template.
  1. Choose two coordinating fabrics. For EACH fabric, fold over so you have two layers. Place the template on top of one fabric and cut out (2 pieces). Place the template on top of the second fabric and cut out (2 pieces).



  1. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon for the hangers. I used a narrow satin ribbon and cut each one 7 inches long.
  1. Measure down 3 inches from the top and along the back side of stocking. Pin the ribbon to the right side of fabric with ribbon ends aligning with fabric edge. Pin one fabric right sides together and sew with a ¼ to ½ inch seam allowance. Do not sew along top edge. Repeat for other fabric.



  1. Clip seam allowance around curves (inside and outside curves) being very careful not to cut through the seam. Press gently.
  1. With 1 stocking turned inside out and the other right side out, place the right side out stocking inside the inside out stocking, matching top edges. Sew along top edge matching seams and leave an opening for turning right side out.



  1. Pull each stocking through the opening so they are right side out. Tuck one stocking inside the other. Press top edge of stocking (just stitched) folding under the edges along the opening not yet sewn. Topstitch close to the top edge of stocking to complete. Fold over top edge to show coordinating fabric.



Now, the hard part is deciding which side of the stocking to display. Merry Christmas!
Lorri D.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Welcome to Quilted Pleasures!

Well, I have to tell you that we have a new author! YUP !!! She has a delightful shop on Etsy...as all my Authors do :-D

Quilted Pleasures has her advert down on the left side of this post, so if you want to see more of her work you should click on her shop name at the bottom of her advert :-D
This shop produces Quilts and hats...lovely warm cozy hats..I love them   and my favourite quilt is her autumn one..click here to see it :-D

I'm sure we'll be reading about things that drive the creative emotions soon :-D
Happy reading everyone.
Welcome to the family!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Bags bags bags!

I love bags!

I love bags almost as much as I love rag quilts. I made this one on the fly, by combining what I've read/seen about making a messenger back, and what I already knew from making a rag bag purse (my very first project).

This was a fun project, and a small scale of the type I want to make. As you can see my daughter really loved it, and I certainly learned from a few mistakes while making it.

Maybe the next one will have some zippers and pockets. I love learning as I go!



Sunday, 26 June 2011

Dear Canada Post..

Please go back to work. I know that you want more money, and you want more from your pension plan, but please, please go back to work so that the rest of us that rely on you can return to our normal activities and lives.

I stay at home so that I don't have to give my children to others everyday in hopes they teach them what I want them to learn. I keep myself from getting the blah's by creating and selling things. It feels good to produce something in my spare time. Something I can see where all my time went. Something someone else will feel is beautiful and useful. Something someone else will buy so I can continue to keep myself occupied in my free time.

I know I am not alone in this. Some people actually supplement their income in this way, and if they are very good at it, some can and have been supporting themselves by doing just this. .

Canada Post.. You are not only hurting the people that own the company that gives you 19$ as a starting wage (pretty sure that's 9$ more then min wage at least, which a lot of people DO live off) but you are hurting the small guys who rely on you to keep ourselves in business and afloat as well..

So in short, anytime you are ready to go back to work now, please do.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

My first baby clothes quilt.

One day I was talking to my good friend, and she said she had a ton of baby clothes she just could not stand to part with. So I had seen another etsy member who made baby clothes quilts in her shop. I suggested that she send me the clothes and I would make a quilt out of them for her! She thought that was a great idea and got right on sorting and boxing clothes to send me! She's good, she'd sent me JUST enough clothes to make the twin sized quilt she wanted! This was an excellent project for me, most rag quilts I have made so far, the only creative part is picking the fabrics, the rest is just sewing pinning and cutting. This was fun!! If I couldn't fit a label, or picture, embroidered section of the clothes, then I cut them out and sewed them onto other squares that had nothing on them. I suggest anyone who does rag quilts to give this a try at some point! I would love to do another one, however I would suggest if you are going to do one, try to make most of the fabric cotton clothing, it gets really hard to work with when you had a lot of denim, fleece and corduroy! (and very heavy!)

I wanted to share the end result with everyone, so here it is! Hope you enjoy!
If anyone who reads this wishes to have one made, or wants to learn/ask questions regarding how feel free to email me @ canadianquilts@gmail.com

Any quilters who'd like to join a quilting team on etsy, please click here!!







Saturday, 28 May 2011

Remember the blog "Something Exciting is happening" ?

Well It's happened. A wonderful quilter who has a shop on Etsy.com called Moose Carol Quilts  bought some of my Quilt Blocks and made a Pillow Sham to sell in her shop. How cool is that! I'm so excited about this.
Photo's photo's you say...come on Sylvie..lay them out... ha ha Okay here they are:

The Pillow Sham..doesn't come stuffed.. ha ha
Some close-ups of the blocks.....she did some great quilting on them. I love it.
Swimming Crab
Immature Spider Conch Shell.
Trigger Fish.
A Shell from the Muricidae Family.
Swimming Crab.
A Blenny..cute little fish that hides in holes.
This wonderful Lady also bought 2 other pieces from me and I couldn't fathom what she was going to do with them....what a surprise when I saw the results.
A Mug Rug!
And Another Mug Rug!
Aren't they great! I think they are :-D The Turtle and the Baby Seahorses are found in my Green/Blue range and the others are found in my Teal range. Thing is when the ones I have in stock are finished..that's it...Anything new that comes next will be totally different...so if you like any of these you'd better buy it before someone else nabs it ;-D

Cheers for now.....
This is a scheduled Post...I'm still on the high seas...-p with probably not much wind... 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Rag Quilt Tutorial

Hello everyone, My name is Tracey, and today, I'm writing a tutorial on how to make a rag quilt.

Finished quilt measures 50X65 inches, a decent sized throw for an average sized adult.

Supplies:

You will need sewing machine, rotary cutter and mat, as well as fabric.
The amount of fabric you need will depend on you. For the
quilt I've made in this tutorial, I only used two types layers and no filling or batting. I've used 4m (5 yards) of cotton fabric. (2m or 3yards of each) Plus 4m (5 yards) of fleece. This may be more then enough, but I always buy extra so that if I make a mistake I can correct it without having to make a trip back to the fabric store.

Step 1:
*note - Since I am not using batting in this quilt, I could have, as a fellow quilter on Etsy pointed out to me after I'd finished this quilt, sandwiched the fleece and cotton before cutting, and cut them together so that the squares would be all lined up. However, I'd already done it the long way!

First I cut all my fabric up into 6 X 6 inch squares. I've trie
d different sized squares before. 6X6 works best for me because I'm not great with numbers, but I know that after I account for seam allowance, each square will be 5X5 inches, easy number to work with when counting lines and measuring your quilt in the end!



Step Two:

*If you pre-sandwiched your fabric as you cut you will omit it in this step!
After you have all of your squares cut out, you will need to sandwich them and place a pin in the center to keep them line up well. Depending on the fabric you choose, you made need to pin at the top and bottom to keep it from moving around too much while your sewing.





Step Three:

Lay out your squares in the way that you want them to look when your quilt is finished. *If I know I wont be finished the quilt in one day and I will need the floor space for something else, I lay out my squares on top of another blanket, that way when I'm finished for the day I can just roll the project up and place it to the side! Once you've got them the way you want them, it's time to start pinning the squares together line by line. Pin the squares front of the quilt on the outsides. Continue till you have a full line of squares!



When you have a full line pinned together it will look like this:
(this will be the top of your quilt)



Then you will take it to the machine and sew a 1/2 inch seam on each of the squares you've pinned together. Other tutorials will tell you you do not have to back stitch when sewing a rag quilt, but I'm a rather safe then sorry kind of gal, so I always do a back stitch just to be sure my quilts hold up a long time.


You will repeat these steps until you have all of your lines completed, and will look similar to this in the end..


Step Four:

Next you will be pinning the lines together. At first this is a little tedious, but the more you do it the better you become and faster. First place the backs of two of your lines together, starting at one end line up the seams as best as you can. Fold the seam allowance close to you to the left, and fold the seam allowance on the back to the right. We do this because we don't want a giant bunch of fabric when we go to sew our lines together, the sewing machine will not like it, and your quilt will look bunchy in spots, stick to this method and it will always turn out the same, neat and professional looking. (When I started, I pinned both from and back seam allowances to ensure my seams would line up correctly. The quilt is forgiving on the top but if you are not exact, but you will be able to tell you mistakes on the back.. if you make any)

When you have your line is all pinned, it's back to the machine. This part goes a lot faster because you are not stopping and starting as much. Make sure your seams on the top are folded away from you, towards the presser foot, and the seams on the bottom are folded the opposite way. It seems weird to sew the seam this way, but its much easier to make sure your top seam is facing the right way then the bottom, and the bottom will tend to fold the right way because the directing of the fabric feeds into the machine. When you have your first two lines sewn together place them back on the floor where they were, and repeat with the next two lines. I sew them two at a time, because the longer you keep the pieces your working with smaller, the easier they will be to work with. Example: if you keep adding lines onto the first line, about 4 -5 lines down the quilt will start to become more heavy and harder to maneuver.

Next you will pin and sew the first two lines to sewed together, to the second two lines which will end up looking like this:


Continue on untill all of the pieces are sewn together and you have a quilt! Once you have completed this part, you will want to sew around the border. I give the border a double stitch ( I make two laps around the entire quilt) to ensure it will last a long time! When you take it to the machine this time, you will have to make a decision... which way to sew the seams!? For this quilt, because the fleece ends up on the inside, I choose to have all my seams sew to the back. If I had the same pattern on the backing of my quilt as the front, I would have folded the seams outwards or open, to match the squares and blend in better. (you will see what I mean if you ever make one this way)

Step Five:

Next is the part that probably takes me the longest. The snipping! The best suggestion I ever got when it comes to these quilts and I will pass on to you, is to buy these spring loaded scissors. They save your hands from doing the opening part and you are about to doing the most snipping you've ever done in your life! I snip mine every 1cm, which is .4 inches. that's a quarter inch I believe!



Step Six:

Take your quilt to the washer/dryer!! If you want to save your washer and dryer at home, I suggest you use a laundry mat to wash them the first time. Reason being, a LOT of lint and fuzz comes off these the first time you wash them. Commercial washer and dryers handle this better. My mom washed hers in her home washer/dryer, and she just emptied the lint trap every 10 mins or so and that worked, but if you don't have time for that, I suggest laundry mat! I wash mine in cool water, in a front loader (top loaders in my opinion are harder on clothes/quilts) and dry them on the tumble for this type. You don't prewash the fabric for rag quilts, so if you use a lot of heat, they may shrink up a bit, which can add to the raggy look. But I again prefer to take the safe route, and use tumble.

And now to reveal my finished, washed and dried, completed quilt....



Here is the quilt spread out:



A close up. ( I love how the fleece mingles with the cotton)



Cuddly and cute!

Thank you for reading my first tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it!


* If you have any questions you can email me @ CanadianQuilts@gmail.com
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* If you are interested in purchasing a quilt, you can have a look at the ones completed at Etsy or send me an email for custom quilts ;)











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