Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stratford and the Swan Festival

Our daughter had given us a two night stay at the
 Stone Maiden Inn in Stratford Ontario, Canada for a Christmas gift.  
For some odd reason she thought we needed to get away from it all. 
 After finally being able to go and coming home, I realized she was right.  
I feel much more relaxed and energized and ready to work!  
We had a great time.  
We drove to Stratford and it took us about 3 hours. 
 Here is the Inn we stayed at.


We stayed in The Secret Garden room.


Our towels were folded like swans!


We walked everywhere and had beautiful weather.  
We went into some amazing chocolate shops.  
This one was the BEST. 
 Rheo Thompson. 
 That bunny was gigantic!


A different chocolate shop had these amazing apples!



We walked along Lake Victoria (the locals call it Avon Lake)


There were free carriage rides this weekend so we did that too.


Sammy the Swan was there to hug the kids!


Beautiful courthouse


The city hall was pretty spectacular too


 Stopped in at the local pub one night and had a beer.


This was the weekend of the Swan Festival.  

On August 23, 1918, a pair of Mute swans was released onto the Avon River in Stratford. They were a gift to the city from Mr. J. C. Garden.  The population of Mute swans has grown considerably since 1918. Over the years, swans from other bloodlines have been introduced and the resulting 
offspring have firmly established Stratford’s herd as healthy and diverse.
 Several of the swans on the river today are descendants of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal herd. In 1967, 
Her Majesty gave six pairs of Mute swans to Ottawa in honour of Canada’s Centennial anniversary. Subsequently, one of the pairs was then given to Stratford. The female lived more than 20 years on the Avon and had several mates and numerous offspring.

So every year they release the swans by having a parade and marching the swans to the Avon.  
It all begins with the pipers followed by the parade of the swans to the Avon.


They are beautiful birds!  And HUGE!!


Little known fact, when I was a little girl my grandparents took me to feed the ducks and there was a swan there.  I guess I was not fast enough and one of the swan's bit me!  I have been a little nervous around them ever since.  I also had a gigantic blow up swan with a weighted bottom that I used to  "ride" in the water when I was little too.  


Have fun in the Avon swans!!  
We had a great time visiting your city!

~XOP~


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Two Color Binding Tutorial

My friends on IG have asked me to show them how I did a two color binding. 
 I Googled it and there are several good tutorials out there on the web. 
 I will list a few here:


They are all good ones.  

Here is what my binding turned out like.



I will run through how I did this and
 if you want to see it another way please visit the other tutorials I listed above!  
This idea is not original to me and I learned from the Quiltin Queen.

I will show you how I did it and 
this will make it easier for me to find it if I want to do it again in the future too!

I am going to assume you already know how to make regular double fold binding 
so no need to go into all that.  

Choose your fabrics for your binding.  I used the blue for the front and yellow for the back.

Cut your binding strips for the back side 1 7/8".  
Cut enough of them to go all the way around your quilt and join them as you usually do.


 Cut your binding strips for the front 1" wide.  
Cut enough of them to go all the way around your quilt and join them as you usually do.



Once you have all your strips joined to form one really long strip of each color then you need to sew those strips together like this.



I trimmed the end off of the place where I would begin.


I pressed to the dark side of the binding.


My binding width was 2 3/8" at this point when I measured it.


Just as you would for regular double fold binding you will 
press your strip wrong sides together to form your double fold binding.


Place the binding as you usually do with the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges of the quilt.  

Make sure that the front color (in my case the navy) is right sides to the front of the quilt.  

What you will see when you do this is just the back side of the binding. 

I was skeptical that this was going to work but it does. 
 Attach the binding using 1/4" seam and using your walking foot.


After it is attached you can see when I push it back, as if to turn it to the back, 
the navy really is on the front.  
I usually press the binding away from the quilt at this point. 
 It seems to make things easier when I turn the binding to the back for the hand stitching part.



I was shocked to find that it really did work and 
the binding was actually really easy to prepare, attach and turn.  

Will I do this for every quilt?
 Probably not, but there are rare occasions when this will be the perfect way to bind a quilt.  
Like it was for this quilt!


I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial and would love to hear if you give it a try!  

~XOP~


Monday, April 07, 2014

I'm Going On A Trip And I'm Taking...


Do you remember that game?

I just booked a flight to go to Raleigh to visit my daughter.  

Are there any of my NC peeps that want to meet up??

Looks like I have May 23-24 open for fun!!

Please email me and we can make arrangements.  

My email is mamaspark@gmail.com

Shop hop?

Lunch or dinner?

Whatever, I up for some fun somewhere warmer than Michigan!!!

~XOP~



April's Finish Goal

I need to get 2 quilts finished for quilt market.  
I designed both of them and RJR is going to have the pattern and kits to make them available soon.  
It is a kit of the month in conjuncture with Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics 
using the Cotton Supreme fabric by RJR.  
I am very excited to be a part of this amazing adventure! 
 I worked all weekend on the first quilt top and got all the piecing done!
  I must confess that I did have some help!  
(You can see part of the blocks in the background)



I just need to put on the borders and then get the back made.  
My goal is to get it to the quilter by the end of this week so 
I can get it back and bound by the end of the month.  
That is my goal for the month of April.  
I will have another one to make too but since we can list only one it will be this one.
Linking up to ALYOF 


I spray starched the fabric before I began cutting and I have to say I will do this again. 
 It made the cutting and piecing so much easier!!!  
Do any of you do this?

~XOP~