Monday, April 9, 2012

Bits and bobs about sewing and quilting

This blog post is about the pieces part of my blog name. I am a quilter. That means that I take large pieces of fabric, cut them up and sew them back together again in wonderful ways.

 I just finished the work on my youngest daughter, Katrina and her  husband Paul's quilt. At home I will have to quilt it (which means putting a warm wool middle layer and then a bottom layer of fabric and making lots of little stitches to hold it together.)

Their quilt is based on a wrought iron fence on the Mt of Olives in Jerusalem

 I am currently working on parts of the wedding quilt for my oldest daughter, Janelle,  and her  husband, Laurens. They were married in October and now live in Germany. They asked for a quilt based on the theme of the Navy Pier in Chicago where they spent hours getting to know each other. So this quilt will be very, very colourful because the pier has a lot of colour, along with a lot of blue because of course Lake Michigan is all around.

My friend in Winnipeg asked to see the work that I have done so far on it . I have finished the centre heart and 4 of the pinwheel type circles. I have seven more to go of those, but I did not bring enough fabric this trip. Thse will have dark blue fabric around them, not purple gingham.

Now, I did say that I had not brought enough fabric along but the bazaar does have huge amounts of fabric. However, for quilting I prefer cottons and those are very scarce here. But, I thought that my quilting friends would be intrigued by the fabric salesman who brings the fabric to your door in the back of his truck. Maybe a business idea for some enterprising person in Winnipeg?

I have seen other trucks where the fabric bolts are standing up nice and straight and seem to be organized very well. Of course, at the time I was either zooming by in a car or I did not have my camera with me.
I was out on a walk with my Kurdish flashcards when I spied these future seamstress/tailors. They had a fantastic bag full of little bits of fabric from traditional Kurdish women's clothes. I asked if I could take their photo and they agreed and jumped up after every click to take a look at the photo.
After I took this one then the girl in the pink said, "tawow" (finished) and then went back to the serious business of exploring the fabric.

 This photo is for my friends and family who love second-hand shops. Here is one that comes right to your door.

My friend Sharaban has been a seamstress for 12 years. Her work is to make traditional Kurdish women's clothes. I have written about her in an earlier post because she cut out dresses for my two daughters. One of these dresses sewed up very easily, but the I could not figure out the second one. So I brought it back to Kurdistan for her to help me. She commented," the dress gets to travel all the way to Canada and back to Kurdistan, while I stay here."  I wanted to give her a gift of my creativity so I made her a pin cushion and gadget holder to go beside her sewing machine. Then I filled it with a few things to make sewing easier: a seam ripper, thread snippers and a box of pins. But the thing she got very excited about was a pair of pinking shears. She asked," can I use these when I don't have an overlocker/serger?|" I told her that unfortunately the serger was much better at holding back fraying thread, but the pinking shears (they make a zig zag cut instead of just straight) would do a good job. She immediately began to "pink" some seams in her sister's dress.


  1. Nice to see a quilting post! I love the idea of a traveling fabric shop, but it might be a bit impractical for winter in Winnipeg. it looks like you've made some good progress on your second wedding quilt. btw: I met your son-in-law last week in Winnipeg.

  2. So glad she liked the shears, but she must learn to love the organizer too!

  3. Thanks for the interesting blog post Katie. Shopping would sure be different. I kind of like the idea of it coming to my door, except I am spoiled with expecting a good selection and I may not get that. At the end of April I am going to Chicago for my first time and I will be sure to look at the Navy Pier for all the colors you speak of (When I am not at the reading conference I am going for.)Betty K.

  4. Hi Kathy,

    The wedding quilts look beautiful. The wrought iron image is stunning. As your pictures show, excitement about fabric and its possibilities is ageless and crosses the world. Some of the Douglas group are meeting for breakfast tomorrow then going to the quilt show at the Canad Inn at Polo Park. Just as I'm writing you, Irene called and said that there will be 7 of us for the outing. We're taking my van and all going on this quilting quest. Take care Kathy,