Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

For your 'Christmas' treat, I will share a you tube link to the fastest Christmas card in the world...


 And from the same company, the fastest Christmas Song in the World...

These are both commercials from a car company but they put an interesting twist on our perceptions of ' the fastest'. 

Sometimes,  we try so hard to have a perfect Christmas, that we forget to enjoy ourselves.  I hope these give you a bit of a giggle. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Rag quilt...perfect for beginners!...

Mrs P's has some wonderful customers and there are also those that come in and gaze at the fabric...reach out and touch it- only to quickly withdraw and say with a laugh, "it's so beautiful, but I don't quilt."  The following is a blog for you....those that don't quilt- but maybe want a rustic quilt on your couch to snuggle up in on a day like today- snowy and cool. 

We'll show the 'finished' pitcure 1st...just to keep you motivated!  It's a very simple rag or ragg quilt.  There is batting between all of the squares but some patterns say, no batting needed.  Your choice.  It's a good opportunity for non quilters to see what batting does.  It's an extra layer for warmth but it also gives different hand or feel to the fabrics- more bulk but not a lot of weight.  Here, simple cotton or poly cotton was used for the batting and the back patches will be flannel in this case.   

Not being a 'quilter', batting may be an area you are unfamiliar with.   It may be made of polyester, polyester/cotton blend or poly cotton, just cotton or wool.  Batting is really wide stuff by comparison to fabric- so either buy 1/2 m or a twin size bag to start.  That's enough to find out if you like it without breaking the bank. The helpful people will usually ask what's it's for and you will freeze.  You don't want to admit to trying this and have someone 'judge' you.  Meanwhile, they really only want to help you get what you need for your project- not judge you or your project.  Let them know you want to try to make a rag quilt and they will offer all sorts of helpful hints from when they made one or admit wistfully, they have always wanted to make one...

First, a square of 7 inches was used.  That gave 5 or 6 squares per each 7 inch width of material.  The cotton on top is Kansas Troubles Classics woven ( means the colour way is woven in the fabric- hard to tell the back from the front and will look nice in a ragged edge) by Moda. Fabric will fray, so theoretically any cotton will work. Part of our hesitancy to try try this ( and quilting in general), is thinking we need an exact match to the picture- as you can see, only a sampler of 6 patches was made.  This was so that I would see how it works.  So, go grab some of your stashed cotton fabric and cut out six 7 inch squares from it for the front.  

The back will need the same amount of squares as the front.  

In this case, flannel was used, Willow flannel by Timeless Treasures.  Muted but rich colours were chosen to compliment the front- but again, as a test to see if you like this technique and to see how to do it, grab six more 7 inches squares from your stash- flannel or a softer cotten is nice as this is the side you will snuggle under...

So, in case I've confused us, six 7 inch squares for the front, six 7 inch squares for the back and some batting.  The batting is cut 5 inches square, more or less.  (The batting will be 2 inches smaller than the square size you decide on. ) 

Here is a 'quilt' sandwich...the flannel is on the bottom (right side down), a square of batting on the flannel and the cotton pulled aside.   I pinned the 4 corners of the sandwich making sure to pick up the batting at an angle ( see pins on right side of picture) , so I could stitch across the square diagonally- from corner to corner, in a straight-ish line.  Try not to sew across the pins- it can break your needle and cause discouragement. Sew up to the pin and put the needle of the machine down in the fabric and remove the pin.  This helps to keep the fabric where it is and not do 'the slide'under the pressure foot of the machine.  Taking a deep breath, sew across the diagonal keeping the seam as straight as you can.  No worries if it's a bit off- a rag quilt is very forgiving and people love the quirkiness of them.  

Sew across the other diagonal.  This doesn't always work as well as expected with some pulling or puckering showing up but let your OCD tendencies go.  It's adding charm to the quilt and it may not show when all is finished.

Here, all six sandwiches are back from the sewing machine.  They were a blast to make.  They felt nice in my hand and the sewing machine hummed right along with me.  Not all are perfect, but if you go back to the finished picture, they look fine in unison.  

Now the 3 squares in the bottom will be sewn together in a row.  A hearty 1 inch seam was used.  If you want to use a smaller seam size, increase the batting size.  The 1 inch seam seems huge if you've been working with 'scant 1/4 inch' seams in quilting blocks.  The 1 inch allows you room to clip the seam ragged at the end.  Remembering that the edge seams need to show on the front to be clipped, so sew wrong sides together.

 I pressed the seams open, matched the seams together and joined the 2 rows.  Here is the finger pressed result. 

So far, a lot of fun.  Then I went back around the edges with just a regular stitch line- 1 inch in from the edge.  

You can see, it's not perfect. To get a 7 inch square from a flannel, I cheated & used part if it's salvedge.  Others are a bit off- no worries...it's time to get the scissors/clippers out and cut down to but not through those big 1 inch seams. 

Above is the back before clipping.  Below, the clipping begins...in the upper left corner...

It took awhile to get it clipped.  This is the slowest part of making this quilt.  Spring loaded scissors work best but even with those, it takes time to clip. I had threads all over me and gasp...I had clipped through those far away 1 inch seam lines by mistake, but with gusto.  I probably should have just re-stitched then and there- that small boo- boo, but I decided I wash it and see what happened if you did clip in error.  (Turns out there was more than the one boo-boo I knew about.)

All clipped and ready to wash!  Most recommend using a laundromat to wash a rag quilt in. This is probably a very good plan. I only made 6 squares and there were a few threads in the washer when I peeked.  I also used a washer with an agitator and because the sample size was small- I threw in a pair of jeans to help 'beat' the seams a bit. 

It had a tumble around in the dryer a bit, too.  Definitely check the lint trap in the dryer after 5 minutes or so and keep checking as there will be lots of threads and lint getting caught. 

Ta da!  Except, I noticed my finger went though where it had been 'over' clipped and another couple of side seams were not as strong- probably more of the same 'over' snipping technique was used.  My only excuse is- it was fun!  I reinforced the bad seams by stitching over them again. Noticeable more on the back than the front in part, because of the thread colour. 

The left side has newer stitching & not been washed- so the fabric isn't 'filling in' around the stitch line.

A great beginner project.  Big seams, easy straight lines to sew and as the quilt is washed, it gets softer and more cosy.  I hope you will create one- especially if you have always wanted to quilt.  It is a quilt as you go type of quilt.  No big frames needed and machine stitching is perfectly acceptable.  

Have fun!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Just a little special...

Sometimes, something special arrives. Today, there are two things to let you know about.  

The fabric, this ribbon is attached to- is there as a reminder, like a string around your finger.  The fabric- is GLOW Fairy Frost, designed by Mark Hordyszynski for Michael Miller Fabrics. Yes, it GLOWS in the dark!  It is hard to tell from regular white fabric at a distance and close up too!  I needed to mark it, so if you picked up a fat quarter- I'd be able to let you know your quilt will gently glow in the dark.  That may not have been the effect you were looking for!  Alternatively, could be a really neat 'wow factor' in a traditional block used to form a secondary pattern that only shows up for night owls.  

I will first venture with it in a pillowcase band and see how much that scares me at night!  

These are samples of 'roll up' pillowcases, Mrs P's has made using in stock fabrics.  I have had a couple of people who are buying the material for them but the majority are people that haven't sewn in a long time.  They are using the machine here to produce presents and surprises for special people in their lives.  There is a great joy in making something ourselves and having it turn out.  

I have a couple of pillowcases cut out, ready to go- wrapped with a tuft of ribbon- if that colour way appeals to people, but most are picking their own fabric based on something that reminds them of the person.
My ribbon has arrived- as you've see in the picture. I'm not sure how to use it, I have some packaging ideas like the pillowcase fabrics tied together and others. The next couple of weeks will be learning how to manipulate it fast and with consistent results.  So far, it takes a long time to tie a bow with the print coming out 'just right'.   Brownies was along time ago for me!  

And just a reminder, that Mrs P's will be closed for Christmas and New Years.  The last day of regularly scheduled hours will be Sat, Dec 21st, 2013- closing at 3pm.   Regular hours will resume the 1st full week of January 2014.  Jan 8th is the 1st scheduled day back opening at 10 am.

This does not mean I am not around. Mrs P's remains open by appointment or chance during this time.  

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Scrumptious, is the name of this fabric line, by bonnie & camille for moda.  It is full of colour- aqua green or minty tones and bright happy red. It has thin pinstripes that go diagonally across the fabric.  Perfect for a dull day to pick your mood up.  

Colour can have that effect.  It doesn't take a lot.  It's bright and although it may not be to 'your taste' you can't help but smile at it.  

It's in the entryway at Mrs P's and so far, it is stopping everyone on the way in!  

Not sure which fabric you like the best? It's available in charm packs, jelly rolls and the 10 inch square layer cakes too. 

No matter which you choose, it makes you smile!  The fabric is very cheerful & wants to play!  A pillowcase or two would be marvellous...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hoffman fabrics & More...

The  new Bali Tiles by Hoffman Fabrics...

Hoffman Fabrics have something new- Bali Tiles!  They are 12 inch wide batiks with 10 strips in a package.  Four 'tiles' or medallions on a strip.  These 3 are from 'Volcano'.  

Mrs P's has 3 different ones, Volcano- hanging in the shop, Splash and Seaholly. 

Mrs Pugsley's also has Hoffman Bali Pops- 2&1/2 inch strips & Bali Crackers- 5x5 squares in these 3 colour ways and more.  

Also coming soon to Mrs Pugsley's Emporium in Hoffman batiks is McKenna Ryan's Snow-Buds. This is an appliqué program that involves Snowmen and Hoffman batiks!  I'll keep you posted on this program, as I have requested it, but I don't have it in the shop yet. 

Don't forget, Mrs Pugsley's Emporium has gift certificates available.  They are in $10, $20, $25 and $100 amounts.  If you have a different amount in mind- let me know via email & I will get that specific amount ready for you to pick up.  They will be available on the website soon 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Christmas Tree Update....

The tree has left Halifax- but is not bound for Amherst!  Gasp! 

It's travelling via the ferry at Digby to NB and then on to the United States.  

This could be why I've never seen the tree to date. Instead of looking for the tree on the highway, I'll have lunch and be back to work about 2 pm. 

Sorry for the confusion- I really did want to see the tree!

Closed for a Christmas Tree?...

Mrs P's will be closed for lunch today between 12:15 and 1:30 pm today.  A bit earlier than usual today.  There is a part of our Nova Scotia history passing by on the highway today.  

In the Halifax Herald, they have done a great article on this years Nova Scotia Christmas Tree to Boston.  For those that are not aware,  Nova Scotia sends a tree every year in thanks to the people of Boston for their help in the aftermass of the Halifax Explosion.  

" Christmas Tree for Boston Begins its Journey"  on the Halifax herald site should get you the story, or you can try the link below.  

The tree is leaving today from Halifax around 10:30 am and as Amherst on the way to Boston, my Dad and I are going to see if we can see it as it speeds by on the highway.  So, yes, I'm off for 'lunch' around 12:15 to 1:30pm- but really, I'm out looking a really big, special Christmas tree!

We live in our communities- but we have to participate in our communities to make them 'ours'.  Today, I'm going to try to participate in a Nova Scotia tradition. A very small wave from me to a special tree on a big yellow truck on its way to Boston.   And truth is, I'll probably wipe away a tear too.  

What are you doing today?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Fun in the Sun...

Make someone's day with...

Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais for Moda...

When I look at the charm packs, jelly rolls and layer cakes of the complete line, I see violet, deep turquoise, a splash of green and some calming creams.  There is also, a lush, dark brown. Together, they are fun loving and would be great for adding a splash of colour to any room on a dreary day.  

I also have 3 fabrics on the bolt to assist with borders or sashings as may be needed. 

I only used about 1/2 of my jelly roll with a metre of extra red to make The Quilt Top { see previous posts } and 2 metres of the wide border- of which, I only used 1/2 the width.  It went together easily and without a lot if fuss- if you are wondering what would be easy to do....

News Flash....

             More Chubbies have arrived!  

Chubbies are my name for these 2 metre cuts that I get from my wholesaler.  I do not get to pick and choose- they are what they are!  For all of the people- like myself- that are afraid to 'let go'- it can be a very exhilarating yet scary thing to buy 'blindly'.  It's the element of chance and provides really great fabric at just $14.95 a 2 metre cut for you to buy.  

It's 10:30 am here; I just looked around and realized- I forgot to turn my lights on! Duh!  That's one of the fun parts about the building I am located in- great natural light- on nice days.  Night and dreary days are challenging though, because of the height of the ceiling.  With every upside, usually there's a down side.   Although, I heard on CBC radio the other day that Amherst is perfectly positioned for passive solar collection , which I translated to lots of nice days! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Retro, Modern or Traditional ...

On one hand...

                                                  Joy of Life by Hoffman Fabric

What an aptly named fabric!  It just swirls and curls with enthusiasm.

Sweet flowers by Hoffman are seen above and below with Joy of Life.

It's a gorgeous collection of fabric.  It's very mod with 1960 swirls yet so modern with the beautiful rich colours. 

On the other hand...

                In stock yardage of 'Sweet Pea' a Kansas Troubles Quilters fabric by Moda

                      Also in stock, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm square pre-packs

The pre- packs allow you to have a small 'dab' of all the fabric in the line.

For a smaller project, consider the charm pack.  

Here,  12 charm squares (5" squares) are laid out with 3 high & 4 long.   It would make a nice placemat with a coordinating fabric on the back and a different one for a binding.  One charm pack would make a maximum of 3 placemats with 4 of the 5" squares left over.  Or look at making 2 placemats , and with the remaining 16 squares, a table runner... Lots of possibilities and fun with a charm pack for $12.95.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trick or Treat!...

 Happy Halloween from Mrs P's!

Sorry this is late...the 1st post didn't work. Goblins must have attached themselves to the post!

Your comments are being delayed in posting as I turned on the anonymous feature- my Montreal Sister had requested this!   

Today, to my surprise, I have BLACK poly cotton batting and BLACK fusible batting.  I've priced them at the same prices as the white... $ 9.95/m for each. The poly cotton is 96 inches wide.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Quilt continues...

Thought I'd do a quick update on The Quilt...


As the quilt top is done...I had to pick batting & backing. 

I chose wool as the batting.  I have made a potholder with 100% cotton batting and I found it 'flat' or not much loft afterwards- but it may not be the batting...I kept ironing it. :) Apparently, that a no-no!  

The backing was a surprise.  I had my choice of 2 wide widths- off white or white.  I laid them on the quilt top and I was drawn back to the white every time.  With the tans and beiges I figured off white would 'look' the best.  It looked okay, but I really liked the white.  I think it's important that if you are taking your time to 'make' something- that you put your personality or preferences in it.  Don't be afraid to throw that something 'extra' in there.  Chances are if you like it, others will too.  

The white also had the 'hand' or feel that I liked. Cool and crisp but soft too.  Our five senses are what give is our experiences.  Touch is often forgot about, but watch near a display of towels or other fabrics & we often reach out and touch- the colour may have drawn us to a display but the feel of them makes us stay there...

I laid the top out, then I made sure the batting fit and also the backing.  

Now to find the space to get it flipped arpund and still flat to pin it ( baste it). This could take awhile as I have a perfect spot but I need to clean a lot of stuff off to get to the flat surface.  

I'll keep you updated on the quilting adventure!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Flapping in the Breeze...

Let's see if this works...

                       Mrs P's 1st quilt top!

Mrs P's makes a Quilt Top!

I'm still trying to compose the blog on different computers and thus be able to post more effectively. So far, it's far from perfect- but it's an adventure !

I'll start today's blog, but it will take awhile to tell the tale. 

It began with the seemingly simple question- how big is a jelly roll? 

I can answer that- it is 40 strips of fabric cut across the fabric widths.  Usually, it's a complete collection of fabric with one or two extras ( that blend or play well with all the others) tied up looking like an old fashioned jelly roll cake.  They are very intriguing because you see a bit of all the colours & you can start imagining how they'd look in a quilt.  

I was captivated by Grant Park ( Minick & Simpson ) by Moda.  A 'simple' colour scheme of blue, red and white/beiges.  I have toyed with a jelly roll in the past- I used it to provide 2 &1/2 inch squares for making quilt blocks but this time, I wanted to see how big a quilt a jelly roll would make but I wanted more than just strips...

I toyed with the idea of a jelly roll 'race' quilt.  In this, the strips are sewn together (diagonally) end to end and then sewing that long, long strip together lengthwise.  You keep sewing the long sides together until you get to the width you are looking for.  It's makes an interesting quilt, but I wanted to make blocks....

I found on YouTube, a tutorial by the Missouri Quilt Company,  "The Coin Quilt with a Little Pizzazz."  This involved sewing 4 strips together, cutting those into rectangles instead of squares and add a colour to the sides of the rectangle to give the 'pizzazz'.  I think I can do this!

Armed with a jelly roll, I looked for colour to add my pizzazz...probably white or off white was my thought...turned out- it was harder than I thought. 

Taking a deep breath, I took the wrap off 'my' jelly roll.  Wow- it's always so awesome.  I picked 4 colours I liked together.  Sewed 2 stripes together for their almost 45 inches length- then sewed the other 2 and sewed those sets of 2 together.  Did I mention the pressing...or the empty bobbin half way down one of those lengths?  After a bit, I had a piece of striped fabric about 45 inches long and 8 & 1/2 high. 
Inspired by these, I went for another set of 4. That night, I had 4 sets of these made.

Before I cut these long stripes into to 5&1/2 inches wide rectangles, I laid them out on my possible 'pizzazz' colour and found out....white is too white, the off white didn't add much and so on.  Finally, I kept coming back to 'Apple Picking Time' by Benartex. 

Below is the strip set cut into its rectangles...

Now to add, the 'pizzazz', a 2 inch strip of that fabric is cut ( I used the width of fabric).  Instead of cutting the Apple Picking Time into correct size strips, the rectangles were chain pieced ( sewed onto the strip of fabric one after the other) onto it and cut apart after. The length allowed for 5 blocks on one side.  

Then another long strip was added to the other side of the blocks, sewed and then these were separated giving a finished block.

Above shows the extra fabric sewed to each long edge of the block. 

The reveal of the 'pizzazz' !

On average, each original 4-strip set gave 7 blocks and there was 10 4-strip sets, so a total of 70 blocks was possible.  I got less....remember measure twice, cut once!  

Next was the lay out...


By turning each block, the illusion of a border was created around each rectangle, adding more 'pizzazz.' 

I'm amazed at how quickly I made the blocks and the fact I made all the blocks.  It was quick, easy and interesting to make the blocks.  

The rows across are sewn together  then the rows are to be sewn together making the quilt top.  

I laid these out on a double bed until 'my eye 'was happy.  As, I sewed the rows, I realised there are 2 the same in some areas but if I switched them around, I didn't like the whole as well.  Sometimes, it was right but it looked better rotated around.  

I also planned to add a 5 inch blue border....wow, it's massive and maybe not a beginner project! 
I decreased the size to 5 blocks across and 7 blocks down surrounded by a border of 1/2 inch red and another 5 inch blue.  It's a much more manageable size- like a twin size or a perfect 'couch napper' size!

I started this top last Monday and this Monday, I have it finished!  For a non-quilter, this is an amazing feat!  This week, I'll need to pick the type of batting and a backing...although, I probably have enough blocks to make the back too!  Then comes the quandary ... hand or machine quilting...

I'll post a good picture of the finished top tomorrow, if it doesn't rain! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Computer Glitches...

My computer won't let me in to access my blog.  Sigh....I know it will be something simple but I'll need to take the time to do it.  

In the meantime, I can and will post Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc - Shop Hours 

  For the week of Oct 21st to Oct 26th, 2013

Monday & Tuesday- by appointment
Wed- 1 PM to 4:30 PM
Thurs- 10 AM to 4PM
Friday- 10 AM to 4 PM { evening by chance }
Sat- 10AM to 3PM

Please note: the shop will be shut for lunch on Thurs & Fri 
usually 1:15PM to 2:30PM

Thank you to all that shopped and looked at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc. the last week.  It was totally amazing to see so many people shopping & enjoying themselves in Amherst at the 6th Nova Scotia Fibre Fest.  Kudos to all the organizers of the many events and a special thank you, to all the teachers of the classes.  We are so fortunate to have the caliber of the instructors.  

Without the participants though, the reason for the festival wouldn't exist.  Thank you to all that live in town that came out to enjoy & participate in the Fibre Festival and thank you to all the participants that came to Amherst to share their love of their fibre craft/art.    It's a special time for our town. 

Have a great day. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Quick Shop Hours...

Shop Hours this Week...

Tues- 10 AM til 5 PM
           Then opening reception at our newly renovated Town Hall.

Wed- 10 am til 4:30 pm
          Closed for supper and then back from 6pm to 9pm- ish( means if no ones around, I'll leave at 8:30pm

Thurs and Friday- same as Wed.

Sat- 10 to 4:30 pm

Please note that I will be trying to pop out for food around noon hour or 1pm.  I'll leave a note on the door with time I should be back.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Still experimenting, but...

 Retro and luxurious....

Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc. is proud to carry Hoffman fabrics.  The above one is from the Florence line.  

Others in the line include...

Seeing these fabrics does invoke memories of Florence, Italy.  The warmth of the sun and surrounding fields of sunflowers and vineyards.; of staring in awe at  Giotto's 'perfectly straight' bell tower, (referring to how everyone takes pictures of the leaning tower of Pisa because it leans) and all the different colours of marble in the Florence Cathedral exterior. 

No visit to Florence would be complete without visiting the Uffizi Gallery.  Outside, artists were selling their paintings of the masters in the street.  Inside you can see the original paintings by the masters and bathed in natural light, was Michelangelo's, David.

Florence, is a lovely city and this is a lovely line of fabric. 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

trying something new...

I'm attempting something new for blogging.  I'm hoping this will allow for easier posts for Mrs P's which, will in turn, allow more posts.

I have received word that bags of 'Moda scraps' should be here in time for the Fibre Fest next week! 

Time to see how this posting works!  Have a great day.  The new thing for tomorrow will be adding in pictures.  

Saturday, 5 October 2013

New Fabric In ...

and Some Fall Musings...

Midwinter Reds by Moda is available at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc!  There are Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, Layer Cakes, Honeycombs and bolts...all 34 bolts in the line. 

I brought this collection in especially for the 6th annual Nova Scotia Fibre Fest in Amherst. {and yes, it is available for sale now}  Fibre Fest runs from Tuesday Oct 15th to Sat Oct 19th throughout Amherst.

http://www.fibreartsfestival.com/ is their website and they keep up to date with a blog as well.

A work in progress...
Moda Display at Mrs P's
Fall in Eastern Canada is such a vibrant time!

Quebec Fall 2013
And the evenings, although cool are absolutely awe inspiring...even without leaf colour...

Sunset in Ottawa
 And in the Maritimes...

Hartland, New Brunswick, Fall 2013

                             Fall, a season to enjoy the colours! 

Mrs P's is hosting a Quilters Corner at the shop on Friday night of the Fibre Fest.  The thought is; you can bring your quilt finished or in progress and we will host a show and tell type evening.  The piece can be big or small. Perhaps, something you made with skills you learned at a previous fibre fest.  

It's a chance to see what different parts of the province and other areas are working on.  Maybe,  exchange ideas to help inspire your next quilting adventure.  Anyone interested is welcome - even non-quilters.  It is an evening for fun.

Please feel free to email mrspsamherst@gmail.com or leave a comment below on what you would like to see at YOUR Quilters Corner... food? drinks?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Enjoy the week!  Watch the trees change colour...
I will be back in the shop Thursday, Oct 10th by 1PM.