Thursday, 8 October 2015

Time is Fluid and Hard to Grasp - A Halloween Houses Update

Well, here we are almost at the first Friday in October. I have been waiting to write a Halloween Houses Quilt Along post until I had some "good" photos but I am realizing that I will never get a post up if I do that. Please pardon the iPod photos in this post but I didn't want another week to go by without checking in with my Halloween Houses Quilt Along peeps. :) If this is your first time hearing of this Quilt Along please click the "Halloween Houses Quilt Along" button in my sidebar to find all the posts. The introductory post has the link to my free pattern.

I have been so busy since the start of school. I knew being the volunteer Hot Lunch co-ordinator at our school was going to be a big job but I didn't fully understand the amount of time I would be putting in. I think I have things running smoothly now though so should be able to get back to more blogging.

So here is where I am at with my Halloween Houses blocks.

I couldn't even get them all in the frame despite standing on a chair (as you can see in the bottom of the photo). I have decided to do 9 rows of eight with two cul-de-sac blocks (which would equal four houses once the two inch border strips are sewn on). I just need 8 more houses and one more cul-de-sac. Fingers crossed I can get them finished before the long weekend. :) It's Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend so "Happy Thanksgiving!" if I don't get another blog post up. :) I am thankful for all of you and I am thankful that I get to sew so many fun projects. I am also thankful for my Mom who is cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Another project keeping me busy has been the Polaroid block swap that Johanna and I started over on Instagram. If you didn't get in on that but would like to make your own Polaroid blocks you can click here for an image with the cutting measurements. This is a handy reference that Johanna made for our swap participants. Below is a photo of some rainbow Polaroid blocks that I made for Jaclyn in my Canuck Bday Club. She was the September birthday girl and she likes Heather Ross so I made these into a rainbow "Skinny Mini". (And there's my thumb in the bottom of the photo.) I will post a finished photo as soon as I get if off the memory card in my DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. (The one I'm supposed to be using for blog photos. *wincing face*)

Speaking of rainbows, this gorgeous sight was something to behold from our back deck during a "sun shower" we had recently. How fantastic!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have seen these photos already so I hope you don't mind seeing them again here. As I eluded to in my title, time has been escaping my grasp these days. Since I need more time to finish my Halloween Houses quilt I am going to guess that you do too. I will host my first ever Linky Party here on the blog from October 19th to 24th and you can link up your Halloween Houses (or Christmas Houses or whatever theme of houses) for a chance to win a prize. I will tell you what the prize will be when the linky opens (I'm not quite sure what it will be yet.)

Please leave me a comment and let me know if you are quilting along and planning to link up. Also, please give me suggestions for a prize. Would you like a book? A handmade gift from me? A shop gift certificate code?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ghost Quilting Mini Quilt Tutorial and Free Ghost Template

Hello! I have a tutorial featured today on Sew Mama Sew all about Ghost Quilting. If you have arrived here by clicking a link over there Welcome to Daydreams of Quilts! I am so happy to have you visiting me here today. So what is ghost quilting? Ghost Quilting is quilting ghost shapes in the negative space on your quilt top to add interest and echo the elements already present in your quilt.

I have a tutorial for my own blog to coincide with the post at Sew Mama Sew and I had to be a bit cheesy and make a tutorial for quilting ghosts with Ghost Quilting. I'm sorry, I couldn't pass it up. Halloween is coming soon!

Spooky ghosts on a foggy night with one ghost shape emerging from the fog swirls ahead of the others. Boo!
Designed and quilted by Anita LaHay, Daydreams of Quilts.

I am madly in love with the new Cotton + Steel basic called "Sprinkles" so that is what I have used for this mini quilt. The grey Sprinkles fabric is used for the background and the black Sprinkles fabric is for the appliqued ghost. The binding is a Valorie Wells print.

If you would like to make this mini quilt you need:

  • 10" x 18" piece of background fabric. (You could get away with 9 inches wide if you only have a fat eighth)
  •  5" charm square for the appliqued ghost
  • a batting scrap big enough that it extends beyond the edges of your background fabric by about half an inch on all sides
  • a piece of backing at least as big as the batting
  • for binding: four 2 1/2 inch strips cut from a fat quarter or two 2 1/2 inch strips cut from a half yard
  • my free ghost template which you can download from here (or just draw your own ghost)
  • fusible web (6" square) - I like Heat n Bond Lite and Steam A Seam (which is what I am using here)
This is a very easy project. I made this in an hour with a 12 month old baby underfoot. (I mean literally, she was under my sewing table.)

Print out your ghost template at 100% (no scaling, do not fit to page). Tape it up in a bright window. If you want your ghost exactly like the picture above tape it face down on the window so it is the reverse of how you want it to be in the end. (This is because you will fuse it to the wrong side of your fabric and then when you flip your fabric right side up to fuse to your quilt top your ghost will be the right way.)

Place your fusible web over the ghost shape and trace with a pencil. If you are using Steam A Seam you can just peel the paper that is easiest to take off and stick it to the wrong side of your black fabric to cut out your shape. If using Heat n Bond you will need to fuse it to the wrong side of your black fabric.

Cut out your ghost using paper scissors, place it where you want it to be on your background fabric and fuse in place according to the directions for your fusible web.

If you placed your ghost template face down on the window flip it around so it is face up.

Tape your background fabric to the window over the ghost and trace using a water soluble pen. Change the angle of your ghosts by re-positioning the template underneath. Plan where you trace to achieve a pleasing layout with your appliqued ghost. A popular design principle is that things look best in odd numbers so I chose to do three ghosts (two quilted and one appliqued). If you are making a longer wall hanging you could make five, or seven.

Layer your quilt top with batting and backing, baste with pins or spray baste and quilt. I quilted my ghosts with white thread and my fog swirls with grey thread. I stitched around my fused applique ghost at this time to secure it to the quilt top and quilt it all in one step.

Trim and square up your quilt top and rinse or spray with water to remove the water soluble pen marks.

Attach your binding and bind using your preferred method. In my case I machine bound it. Put a hanging sleeve on the back to put a dowel through or just pin to your wall. If you like you could add a big yellow button to represent the moon and some small mini buttons for eyes on the black ghost. I like the modern look of mine the way it is so I chose to leave it as is.

Please visit Sew Mama Sew to see my post on Ghost Quilting (without literal ghosts) and download the templates to make a Falling Leaves Wall Hanging and Falling Feather mini quilts. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Falling Raven's Feather designed and quilted by Anita LaHay, Daydreams of Quilts.

Falling Feather designed and quilted by Anita LaHay, Daydreams of Quilts.

Falling Leaves wall hanging designed and quilted by Anita LaHay, Daydreams of Quilts.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Patchwork Quilted Shopping Cart Cover Pattern Now Available and Book Winner

I have two exciting announcements. First, the winner of the "1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt" book giveaway is Linda Douglas! Congratulations to Linda! The quilt along starts on September 28th! Can't wait!

Second, I have heard back from my pattern testers and incorporated their feedback into my new "Patchwork Quilted Shopping Cart Cover" pattern which is now available in all of my online shops including Payhip, Etsy and Craftsy. I am so excited to finally be able to release this pattern! As a Mom I think this is a must have item when I go shopping with my baby. It's also a great baby shower gift! You can learn more about it in this post.

My baby girl in her comfy shopping cart seat cover.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Halloween Houses Quilt Along Week 3 Improv Houses

Hello Halloween Houses Quilter-Alongers. It's week 3 in the Halloween Houses Quilt Along and I must confess to you that I have not made progress on my Halloween Houses quilt this week because I have been working on other projects. I have also put in many hours volunteering for my kids' school the past two weeks and this has really taken a lot of my energy. I will have progress to show you next Friday for sure. :)

In the meantime, here is my third and final tutorial video in the series of YouTube videos I made for this quilt along. This one is all about the Improv House blocks.

If you have not entered my "1930s Farmer's Wife" book giveaway make sure to click over and enter before the end of the day on Monday.

Here's to a productive weekend of sewing! Cheers! (raising my coffee mug to you!)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

1930s Farmer's Wife Quilt Along - Book Giveaway

Hello! Happy Tuesday! I have some exciting things to share with you today.

Now, unless you've been away on some fabulous remote island on vacation with no internet access you have probably heard by now that there is a big Quilt Along starting up at on September 28th. I am very happy to announce that I have been invited to be one of the bloggers on the 1930's Farmers Wife Quilt Along hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel and Fat Quarter Shop. You can find out all about it on Angie's Blog. Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions that have been coming in about the Quilt Along. You can also join the Facebook Group and join in on the quilting fun with 2700 other quilters around the world! There is also a Flickr group too!

"The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt" is written by Laurie Aaron Hird. This is her third book. I am also working on my 1920s Farmer's Wife quilt which was her second book. Many of you know that I re-started that quilt this year. The quilt along will focus on the 1930s book and the 1920s book will not be a part of it but you can of course interchange the blocks from both books in your quilts however you like. I will be working on both quilts simultaneously and I do not plan to mix my blocks for mine.

Fat Quarter Shop has generously give me, as one of the bloggers on the Quilt Along, a copy of "The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt" book. I had already ordered a copy not knowing that I would be one of the official bloggers so I am very happy to pass on the generosity of the gift of this book from Fat Quarter Shop to one of my blog readers. I will have a Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post for you to enter. Due to the cost of shipping the book I must limit this giveaway to Canada & USA addresses.

My Fabric pull for my 1930s Farmer's Wife Quilt.
 I am sewing my 1930s Farmer's Wife Quilt with a mix of fabrics including "Fog City Kitty" and "Pam Kitty Garden" by Pam Kitty Morning for Lake House Dry Goods. I am also including some Lake House Dry Goods text fabrics (Lake House Favourites and Lake House Seed Catalogue), some Allison Harris "Oh, Clementine" fabrics and a few others from my stash. I might add a few more Pam Kitty fabrics if budget allows and if needed.

This is the 1920's book called "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt." This book is not part of the Quilt Along starting at the end of this month but it is the book I am currently working with. We are waiting to all start sewing together so in the meantime I am sewing 1920s blocks and reading the letters from the Farmer's Wives in the 1930s book which I am finding very uplifting.

The first six blocks from the 1920s book. I am sewing in "Strawberry Fields" by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda.
Tips from my experience:

Okay, so as I mentioned, I restarted my 1920s quilt this year... this was before I even knew the 1930s book was coming out. There were a few mistakes that I made with my original 1920s quilt that I will share with you here in the hopes of saving you from the same mistakes.

First: Sew with fabrics you love! I was trying to make my quilt authentic to the book and while the quilt in the book is, of course, beautiful, I was not enjoying working with the darker more Civil War Repro colours. I am much, much happier sewing with Strawberry Fields.

Second: Make absolutely certain before you print out all 100+ template pages that you have your printer set to 100% - no scaling. Actual size. Not "fit to page". I did not do this and I printed them all out too small. So all my (20 sewn) blocks were .25 to .5 of an inch too small.

How I Intend to Proceed with my 1930s quilt:
I have chosen my fabrics (which I love!) and I have printed the regular piecing templates. I intend to piece my 1930s quilt the same way as my 1920s quilt which is stacking fabrics for efficient cutting and rotary cutting (very carefully) using the paper templates under my plastic ruler. There will be other methods covered by the other bloggers on the year-long blog hop. We'll see if I decide to change my mind as we go along. :)

Please enter the giveaway for the book and if you are not at a Canada or US address you can find the book purchase the book here:

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.

 I hope all of you will join in the fun as we all sew this quilt together.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 11 September 2015

Halloween Houses Week 2 - Applique

Welcome to the Halloween Houses Quilt Along Week 2! If you are not sure what this is about please visit the Halloween Houses Quilt Along page to learn all about it. You can grab a blog button and find the link to my free Halloween Houses Pattern on Craftsy in that post.

This week I have another YouTube video for you demonstrating how I applique my doors and windows onto my Halloween Houses. Below the video are a couple of more blocks.

So how is everyone doing? Are you sewing along with me? I am the only one who has photos in the #HalloweenHousesQAL hashtag on Instagram so I'm not sure if anyone is with me or not. :) I'm still having fun though. It will be exciting to see what other people are making when you have some blocks ready.

This block is a block I am calling the "Cul-de-Sac" block. I'm not sure if everyone around the world calls them Cul-de-Sacs but in Canada when a street is basically a dead end and at the end of the street the houses curve around a circular section of pavement it is called a Cul-de-Sac. Eventually I may work out how to make that using curved piecing but to keep it simple I have made a square block using the 5" houses from my Week 1 Post. I have all the houses facing each other with a green charm square in the middle to represent the front lawns. I will add a border of background fabric around the block so it will fit in with the 9" houses in my quilt.

Here is an improv block that I sewed this morning where I fussy cut my doors and windows. On this block we get a peek into one of the houses to see what might be happening in there and we see a cute little witch! :)

I will have my improv blocks video up next Wednesday on YouTube and here on the blog next Friday.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Halloween Houses Week 1 and another Free project idea

Welcome to Week 1 of the Halloween Houses Quilt Along. If you missed the introductory post click here to find out all about it and grab the blog button for your blog. You can download the free "Halloween Houses" pattern from my Craftsy shop.

I made three YouTube video tutorials to go along with this series and I am sharing the first one on the blog today. There will be two more videos over the next two Fridays. I will release them on YouTube on Wednesdays though so if you don't want to wait until Friday you can see them over there early (click on the YouTube mason jar in the sidebar).

Here is the first video. If you are an experienced quilter you don't need to watch this but sometimes it's fun to just veg out and watch someone make something for two minutes. :)

Here is the applique house which will be in the second video.

Here is the improv house which will be in the third video. If you are making these ahead don't forget that you sew in the doors and windows before putting the background corners on and if you want a chimney you sew that into the background corner before sewing that corner on as well.
This past summer I bought two of these Riley Blake "Postcards for Santa" charm packs on a whim without a plan. I was looking at them today when an idea struck.
"These would be perfect as little Christmas Houses," I thought.

First I have to let you in on a little secret just between you and I... you can make these houses out of just about any size of square you want. In the case of this table runner I used 5" charm squares. All you do is measure your square, divide it in half and add a quarter inch and you will know what size to cut your background squares.

In the case of the charm squares they are 5 inches. Divide by 2 = 2.5" add a quarter inch so your background squares are 2 3/4 inches.

"Christmas Houses Table Runner" by Daydreams of Quilts. 
Now have you ever had a friend or a relative that you weren't planning to exchange Christmas gifts hand you a gift in the last week before Christmas and you thought to yourself "Oh gosh-darn it I don't have a gift for them."? And then your mind is reeling and you stammer out like an idiot "Oh, I'm still working on yours. I'll have it ready for you before Christmas though." And then you are wanting to strangle yourself because you already have a million things to sew before Christmas. No? Oh, it's just me then.

But let's just say you did need to sew a quick gift... this little table runner took me about an hour and a half to piece. You might want to sew up a couple just in case the above scenario does happen to you.

To make this you need:

  • 14 x 5" charm squares
  • 1 fat quarter
  • 1 x 3 1/2 by width of fabric strip
  • batting, backing and binding

How to:

  • Take 14 charm squares that you think would look good as houses. 
  • Cut four 2 3/4 inch strips from a fat quarter and sub cut 28 x 2 3/4 inch background squares
  • Sew a 2 3/4 inch background square onto each corner as we do for the Halloween Houses in the pattern. Cut a 3 1/2 inch by width of fabric strip for the snowy street. (I used Kona bone)
  • After sewing the houses together in two rows of seven sew them on either side of the street strip facing each other as they would be on an actual street.
  • Cut four 1 1/2 inch strips from the remainder of your fat quarter. Sew two together end to end and repeat to make a second one.
  • Sew these two strips onto both long sides of your table runner.
  • Layer with batting and backing, quilt and bind.
I haven't quilted mine yet but I think I will quilt in doors and possibly a window on each house. :)

Have fun sewing houses. If you are on Instagram please use the hashtag #HalloweenHousesQAL so we can all see what everyone is making.