Rain Drops Quilt Pattern and Curved Piecing

So in 2008, yes at least 10 years ago, I purchased a Judy Niemeyer pattern called Rain Drops. They have since redesigned it and it now looks similar to the original pattern but it now has more “raindrops” than the pattern I have. I started gathering the fabrics over the next few years then packaged it up and there it sat for another 4 years. In 2017 I actually started working on it and now it looks like this

Ok ignore the messy stuff on the right, obviously, I should have closed the door when taking the picture or cropped the picture. Since I am running out of time today you will please just forgive the mess.

So, it still has a ways to go however it is finally coming along! Yeah. I only have about 12 more quilts that are all kitted up to complete. Maybe I will be finished those in another 12 years. Of course, once I have this as a top then I will actually have to quilt it! That is a whole other story.

Here is the original picture of Rain Drops that is on the cover of my pattern.

Curved Piecing

So, I have had this quilt on the design wall for a few weeks now and I have had a lot of my clients asking me about how I do the curved piecing. Now I should probably do a video on this and perhaps I will but for now, I thought I would try to explain in pictures.

First, for those of you have ever done garment sewing, doing curved piecing in a quilt is very similar to setting in a sleeve on a dress or top. The larger curves (which I had already sewn before deciding to write about this) are a lot easier to sew in than the smaller ones. With the smaller curves, they are just a little bit deeper so you have to be a little more careful but it is really not hard once you get the hang of it.

For this design, I had some blocks that required two small star pieces to be added in. I cut out my template from freezer paper and ironed it on the completed block.

From there I freehand cut around the template using my rotary cutter. I guess you could use a ruler to help you if you felt you needed it. I do it this way, I do usually have my left hand (I’m right-handed) holding the area I’m cutting around down for stability, however, it was hard to show that and take the picture at the same time. You just have to be very careful you keep your fingers well out of the way of the blade.

so once it has been cut it will look like this.

The next thing you do is find the centres of both the block and the star piece you will be piecing into the block. Place a pin at both ends and one in the middle. Now pin around the edge, using as many pins as you need.

It will now look like this.

Always sew on the inside of a curve. In this case, it is with the paper facing towards you. It just makes life a lot easier.

See, curved piecing completed. Now to remove the paper and press the block. Now, I didn’t take pictures of this and maybe that is something for the next post, however, I tend to just press the seams the way they want to lie the flattest. I used to worry about the seams being opposite to one another but I find that as long as you match your adjoining seams up well there really isn’t a lot of bulk at the seams if they are both pressed the same way and in the end, with curved piecing it sometimes actually makes the quilt press flatter if you don’t worry about that. Everyone is different though and I know Judy does have a pressing diagram on the pattern.

So there you have it curved piecing. It is not a quick process but it is not hard either. Maybe give it a try.

Happy Quilting

The Golden Rule

Hi, today will be a quick post only because I haven’t done one for a while. I have been working on a Judy Niemeyer quilt, one which I have been working on forever, or at least it feels like it and I will show that to you along with how I do curved piecing in the next post. I have been working on this pattern for so long I don’t even think she sells it anymore.

It’s hard sometimes to write a blog, I really enjoy writing, however, I find that since I work from home there can literally be days where I don’t even really leave the house so nothing much happens that would be the least bit interesting to either write or read about.

A Good Reminder

Now, this post is not quilt related at all, however, it was a really good reminder of life’s golden rule. Recently, I was helping someone out, I was getting paid for it, but I didn’t need the money and/or the work. It felt good getting out of the house though and interacting with people and  I enjoyed the work for the most part. It was really only one shift a week so didn’t interfere much with my businesses.

Well, it turned out this was a great reminder and lesson of why I now work for myself. What is it with people who have businesses that employ other people, that they feel they have to treat their staff as ignorant and less than? Yes, they may have been running a successful business for a while (or not) and they certainly have experience in their field however just because someone takes a low paying job doesn’t mean that they are ignorant or do not deserve respect.

Treating people with dignity and respect is always a good idea. The other thing I have discovered, in both working for larger and small businesses it is always a good idea to have things written down in an operations manual. This makes it easy for new staff to read so that they know exactly how the employer wants things done and is also a good reminder to older staff for the odd thing that only comes up once and awhile.  This is helpful for both parties as if it is left for word of mouth the employer may think they have told a staff member something when in fact they actually haven’t.

Treat People With Respect

I have worked in many different capacities now and I have had some really excellent bosses and some really, really bad ones and everything in between. The good ones treat you as a team member, someone who is important to the running of the business, they ask for your input and respect your opinions. The bad ones disregard your knowledge or experience, throw you under a bus and just generally try to make you feel small. Of course, they do this because they don’t feel good about themselves. Kinda sad really!

This wasn’t really the case here it was more of miscommunication and the store owner not handling things in a professional manner. I am not going to go into details, however, I have come to a stage in my life where if I am not treated with dignity and respect then I am simply not going to work for you. Plain and simple really. I am giving by nature and really love to help. In the past, I have found, that because I didn’t want to make trouble I have actually let people walk all over me. In this past year, I have learned to stand up for myself, say what needs to be said, always with dignity and respect (two wrongs don’t make a right) and move on when treated badly.

Onwards and upwards and maybe I will think twice now before offering to help. That sounds awful though doesn’t it? I shouldn’t have to think like that. At least I don’t let myself be walked on anymore.

Celebrate the life lessons!! Now back to quilting way more enjoyable!

 

 

 

Favourite Fabrics Part 2

In the last blog post, I talked about some of my favourite fabrics that I have collected over the years. Now some might say, well are you ever going to use all of the fabrics you have collected? The answer is more than likely, no. The thing is though, you don’t ask a stamp collector if they are going to use the stamps they collect do you?

I have a few more fabrics that I have collected and thought I would share. Some of these I do hope to use at some point, but then the question is what do I do with the quilts I make with them? Do I create a wall hanging to show the fabric off? What about a bed quilt to have the fabric show there? A lap quilt that gets folded away? Not sure at this point.

I have a lot of fabric and most of it I love (ok there is some I shake my head over), I even have some quilt kits I purchased years ago that I now don’t like all that much. Those are easy to know what to do with, I will just make them up and give them away, more than likely to the church so they can raffle them off. Anyway here are the last 4 fabrics that I bought that I still really love.

Favourite Fabrics

I love this poppy fabric it is by Clothworks and was designed by Pamela Mostek. I don’t remember when I purchased this, only that it’s directional and I have about 2 metres of it. Maybe it will end up on a quilt back, although that seems a shame.

 I guess I love poppies because here is another poppy fabric that I purchased. I was on a road trip with my friend and we both purchased this fabric and some coordinating fabric to make a lap sized quilt. This piece is from the Magic of Oz collection by Wilmington Prints. I should mention here that I don’t usually purchase whole lines of fabric, I tend to find that too matchy for me.  Of course, that was at least 3 years ago now and the fabric is still in my stash. At least I kept all the coordinating fabric together. 

I purchased this next fabric just last year. I was working at The Cloth Castle at the time and I kept resisting temptation but finally purchased at 2.5 metres of it. This fabric is Canadian Scene by Gordon Fabrics and was printed for Canada’s 150th birthday last year. I have no idea what I am going to do with it but I guess that is not really the point.

The last of my favourite fabrics I have to share is this one that is a fairly recent purchase although I don’t remember when or where I purchased it. It is Robert Kaufman North American Wildlife. It reminds me of one of my favourite paintings I have a copy of. I have about 2 metres of this fabric as well.

So as mentioned in my last post, I would really like to find out in the comments if you have favourite fabrics that you collect? Do you use the fabric or does it just sit in your stash?

Happy Quilting

 

Favourite Fabrics in My Stash Part 1

Do you have a fabric stash? If so what is the size of it? My fabric stash is quite large, more than I can use in this lifetime that is for sure. Interestingly, when I did garment sewing I never had a stash. I was strictly a project sewer, I only ever bought enough fabric for the project I was working on. The one exception to this rule was when I went to a fabric store down in Newport Beach California, many years ago, now and they had such a wonderful and varied selection of good quality fabric that I would not be able to get at home that I broke down and bought fabric without a project in mind. This was in the days before shopping online wasn’t even a twinkle in someone’s eye so it was either purchase it when you saw it or regret it forever.

Stash Building

When I first started quilting I really thought I would do the same thing, just buy fabric project by project but I soon found that could get quite expensive. Doing it that way was fine for certain projects but you really had to watch the sales. Soon I began ‘collecting’ fabric on sale or if I was in a different city. Before I knew it I had a stash. I do still add to it but not like I did for the first 10 years of my quilting journey.

As mentioned above my stash is now quite large and consists of fabrics that I have collected from the many places I have travelled.  I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces with you. Maybe one day I will actually use them in a quilt.

This butterfly fabric was a very early purchase. In fact, it is probably around 16 years old. It is a Timeless Treasures fabric from a collection called Rain. I still love this fabric. Although I have never used this in a quilt,  I did use it as a colour palette for a quilt.

 This fabric was one of several that I picked up in Thailand about 10 years ago now. You could purchase packages of 1.5 metres of fabric for about $5.00. They were 100% cotton and were intended for making traditional Thai skirts.

This fabric was added to my stash at the same time as the above fabric. It is hand painted batik fabric from Kaula Lauper, Maylsia. The colours are actually much brighter in real life. I have several different pieces I picked up from a shop we visited that did the painting right there.  The next fabric was added about 6 years ago and I still have 5 metres of it. It is a Christmas fabric from Robert Kaufman Holiday flourish II. I thought I would love to do a large stack and whack type quilt with it. Maybe one day I will, meanwhile, I get to take it out and look at it every once in a while.          This sunflower fabric is from Robert Kaufman from a line called Shades of the Season. I don’t remember when I got this but it is one of my favourites. I have used some of this in smaller items but haven’t used it in a quilt as yet.  I just love how cheery and bright the yellow and orange sunflowers are.

I had a few more fabrics that I wanted to share with you, however, I think I will leave them for a different post. At present, I don’t even have any real ideas of what I want to make with these fabrics, just that they are still some of my favourites. So how about you, do you have some favourite fabrics you have sitting in your stash? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Stash Building

 

 

 

 

Client Canada 100 Quilt

Hello Summer! Summer is probably my favourite time of year. Here in Victoria BC, it doesn’t get super hot so most days in the summer are really pleasant. Summer is when things slow down in the quilt studio at least when it comes to client quilts, so that means I might actually get my unfinished quilt tops quilted. Wow, won’t that be something, I only have about 4 or 5 of them sitting around. Of course, 3 are queen sized and I want to quilt them with more than just an allover design so that means they would be on the frame for awhile hence the fact they have been sitting waiting for an opening. My Mom wants one of them for her bed so that is an incentive to get at least one quilted right there.

Canada Quilt 100 Quilt

Isn’t this quilt stunning! This was made by Linda Chase. It was designed by Kat Tucker and was called 150 Canadian Woman in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Linda did a fabulous job piecing this. I love the scrappiness, even though she just used red and white there is a lot of movement happening here.

I used white Sew Fine 50 thread from Superior Threads and used a maple leaf pantograph for the quilting design. We thought using red thread would be too much and we would have been right. For me, I just wanted the wonderful piecing to shine through which is why the white thinner thread was chosen.

Thank you, Linda, for allowing me to quilt this beauty.

Now to quilt some of my own quilts.