Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Rain, rain and snow?! ...

Has anyone looked out their window today?  Here in Amherst, Nova Scotia- it is streaming down rain. There's a fog on some windows because, ...yes, it is supposed to go near freezing this afternoon and possible snow later this evening!  Yikes!

Maybe, Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc can offer some colour to an otherwise wet, dull and grey day.  A Rainy Day Project!  I know tulips are starting to poke through the muddy flower beds and some crocuses are cheerfully announcing their presence.  Spring is here and on her way, but maybe just a nudge...

Not a glow in the dark yellow, this yellow is - Buttercup , a solid by Moda. Shown here with a charm pack of Mirabelle by Fig Tree & Co for Moda Fabrics, it's a soft gentle reminder of spring!  

Charm packs are pretty, but sometimes we want to know what will they make?  Mrs P's is in the process of joining a 5x5 square of the solid, Buttercup, to each of the charm pack squares.  They will be sliced open to 4 squares made up of a yellow triangleand and a print triangle.  The plan doesn't go much beyond there at this point but we'll keep you posted as The Rainy Day Project moves along.  

Please remember that Mrs P's is closed for Good Friday, along with this Sat, Sun, Mon and Tuesday.

Tomorrow is from 10 am to 4 pm and then opening the following Wed at 10 am.  

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Self Criticism or laziness?...

Tonight, I was working on type of rag quilt which has more pieces.  Each piece is attached to the next larger piece until the size of block is achieved.  I got it this far...

Rag quilts are supposed to 'homey' and not every edge needs to a true square but this one was running downhill.  See the dark blue on the red strip.

Now, I can keep the quilt block going or I can fix it.  In this case, I decided to fix it.  Why? Because, I knew I could do better.  I did not fix it because people will look and comment on a flaw- I did it for myself and because I have pride in my work. 

It's important to try things and to do new things. Unfortunately, not everything you do will be perfect (especially if it the first time trying something new).  It is important to know when the boo-boo should be fixed or it's so small that it is not a 'big' deal in the finished quilt.   

In the above case, a fix was in order.  It's the 1st block and  it happened because I was rushing and not paying enough attention to the project. 

In trying to position squares or circles on another piece of fabric, fold all the pieces and finger crease or press the edges on the new squares...

This allows a 'line' to seen on all the pieces and things will line up square to the centres...

Above is the 'fixed' block for the new ragg quilt.  It may not be perfect- but it is a better attempt than the 1st on, where I was lazy and tried to skip the alignment step. 

This is the flannel square for the back (right side up to show the colour), the poly cotton batting and the top.  Next step is rearranging to a quilt sandwich...

Once these are piled on top of each other, an X will need to be stitched through all layers. This makes a quilt sandwich and then there will many of these joined together for a quilt.  

These bundles went to a hard working individual who turned them into...

 A wonderful rag quilt!

A rag quilt can be a wonderful beginner quilt project.  It is a charming  place to practice your stitching lines on and because of the ragging, it is very forgiving of any errors.  As in any quilting project, a glaring problem should be addressed when you find it- for your own pride in what you are making. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

You make the quilts....

A huge THANK YOU! To all those that came in the shop today.  

It was Mrs P's 1st ever sew-in day.  A comfortable number of people stayed for the day, sewing on their projects and enjoying the people coming in to see what they were doing.  Lots of you stopped in to see and some even showed some of your quilts projects.  

Your talents are truly amazing and inspiring !  You make the quilts sparkle with your personality! 

Jelly Roll Quilt Top progress  .... < Hearty Good Wishes >

Lots of interest in the jelly roll quilt top.  Instead of piecing the same fabric for the back or choosing wide backing....I borrowed Dot's idea of backing using big squares for the back.  Think of 2 quilts in one, kind of thing.   

Warning....cut out only, idea in progress ... not sure if it works (yet) 

I really liked the navy prints using whales & fishes ( under the sea), ships ( on top of the sea) and topped it with seagulls. This should be how the back of the quilt would look when finished.  Part of the process is trying to figure out the proportions of the squares.  They need to finish bigger than the quilt top on all sides and yet have the inside square proportionate to the quilt finished size.   10cm ( around 4 inches for non metric users) all the way around was aimed for.  Once the big 9 patch back is together, we'll see how good my math was. 

When deciding on a quilt back, extra  width and length is needed so it can be 'tied' into the quilt frame.   If you are planning to have your quilting done by a long arm quilter, please check with them to see what is needed around the edges.

Remember, you are in control of your quilt.  Enjoy the process and remember to play and have fun.  It can be one splash of red where people least expect it.  Did it match the 'rest' of the quilt? Maybe not but people will look twice and smile.  They smile when they see your personality sparkle in your quilting! 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Jelly Roll Quilt Top....

Last reported,  there was 8 strips being sewn together lengthwise to give  16...

Here, there's 16 rows before it's cut again and then join those lengthwise again.   By now, the top is getting a bit heavier and a few pins were used to try and help the the strips together while sewing. 

Here, Heaty Good Wishes  < Moda Fabric > jelly roll is now going to be 16 strips wides and it is still joined lengthwise to give 32 strips wide next ... 

When the end is cut...

Ta Da! Not yet ironed and plenty big enough for a lap quilt.  Truthfully, at about 64 inches long- it's a fun, easy project for quilters and non quilters.  A 2nd top finished for Mrs P!  

There is an good selection of Jelly Rolls at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc.  Jelly Rolls are priced at $49.95 with 40 - 2&1/2 inch Width of Fabric (WOF) strips. It's nice they are all coordinated and look very pretty all rolled up.  Eye Candy for quilters!  Maybe the Easter Bunny will surprise you!  

Remember, you can make this from your stash or any other fabric you like.  Cut 2&1/2 inch strips WOF from your favourites and off you go.  If you would like it longer, use more strips in the beginning or add borders.  This one remains at this size to show the answer to-'how big is a jelly roll?'  

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Updates! And more updates....

Teddy wanted me to update his progress on the Hexies and Dresden plate ring quilt ...

It doesn't look like much, but the parts are all cut out and corralled together.  There are4 of everything in different stages but that means there are still 5 to do and also to finish the 4 partially assembled blocks.

In making the hexagon centres for the Dresden blades, it's easier to do one centre at a time, as there are so many colours or patterns chosen for this one. 

Another update,

Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc is holding a 'drop in an sew day' next Wed, April 9th.  So far, I have about 3 tables to set up. If you want to ensure you have a table to work on( I only have about 10 spots) let me know and I'll make sure to save you a' seat.'  If you just want to drop in and check it out on that day, (fly, by the seat of your pants, so to speak) you are most welcome to.  There's no charge and it is for a bit of fun.  

Bring your machine and project- and enjoy the day !  There's no right or wrong time.  We are open from 10 am to 4 pm.  

And another update....

Easter  is approaching and in looking at the calendar,  Good Friday falls on April 18th.  Mrs Pugsley's Emporium Inc will be closed on Good Friday and not reopening until the following Wed, April 23rd at 
10 AM. 

And...speaking of Easter....check out some great colours and patterns in Hoffman Batiks currently in stock.

An Easter egg shaped mug rug in progress! 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


It's April Fool's Day ! 

It's a curious thing - brooms can stand by themselves.  

This is not a trick.  I was going to show the broom at Mrs P's, but the snow that Mother Nature is throwing at us this morning, will keep me home a bit longer. 

Brooms will stand on their end any day of the year, however, you do need a flat bottom broom.  Grab yours and try.  They will stand for days but air currents will topple them. It's very easy.  Gravity is the magic & everything has a centre of balance.  

In the meantime, I'll bring you up to speed on the jelly roll top in progress. 

Only one jelly roll is used for this project- I'm just showing the Hearty Good Wishes ( Moda Fabrics ) jelly roll next to the opened and sewn end to end one in progress.  

First, a 2 & 1/2 inch square was added between the strips.  I chose one of the colours in the jelly roll and added 2 more 2&1/2 inch strips or 5 inches more of fabric to make this jelly roll quilt top.  I guess I could have used a colour that was duplicated in the roll and only need one 2&1/2 inch strip extra but I liked this one.   

After you get this great mass of strips joined end to end,  you join the strips lengthwise. It feels like you are sewing for a mile... Clip the ends and now your quilt top has 2 long strips in it.

Then, you guessed it, more sewing... This time, the strips are joined lengthwise again to give 4 strips.  Again, clip the ends keeping them as straight as you can. By the time you are at 4 strips in your quilt top, you will need to worry more about the straightness of the cut end and instead of clipping you might want to rotary cut the end.  

There is a randomness to the pattern.  The original start strip is trimmed a bit  ( about 18 or 20 inches) shorter so not all the little squares line up.  The jelly roll was also used from top to bottom except when 2 of the same colours would be run into...I moved them apart except for once.  We'll see which was the 'better' way.  

Next, the 4 sewn strips are joined lengthwise to give 8 strips ...

Here is the sideways view of the 8 strips before I join them together.  I was laying them out to see which side I liked better together.  Once these 8 strips are joined lengthwise, there will be 16 strips and so on. 

This is as far as I have gotten so far.  It is truly fun to do and a great way to practice trying to keep that 'perfect' 1/4 inch seam.  I find, I wander- so I stop, refocus and go a bit further.  There is no rush to have this done.  As this is being made at the shop, I put the needle down and leave it on the machine so it will be ready for next time I have time to work on it.  

Have a wonderful April Fool's Day! Nicer weather has to be just around the corner!