Monday, June 19, 2017

a guild challenge

We went camping this past weekend at the same place as always.  Shunda Lake is always so peaceful and beautiful.  This stump from my header changes a bit every year.  I did not get a lot of stitching time there this year as we did more hiking and kayaking but I did manage to take a few stitches in this Wandering Foot block.
 A major reason for the less stitching time was that my son, my husband and I climbed Mt Coliseum.  The view is pretty incredible from up top but it was an intense hike - straight up the mountain.
It was fun to share this experience with my son who recently turned 13.  For his birthday I made him this small zippered bag for carrying his book when he goes biking. He used to borrow an old one of mine so now he has his own.
This next project is part of a guild challenge.  Every 2 months a theme is pulled out of a bag full of ideas and we're supposed to make a block or border or quilt element to go with the theme.  The first theme pulled out of the bag was "Iconic".  I was stumped! What came up on my internet search for Iconic were movie stars and political figures that really didn't inspire me.  I had already decided I was going to use a dark background and had purchased this navy dotted fabric so I was determined to come up with something. 
My DD#1 saved the day by suggesting using an Iconic book for my idea.  (she is such a bookworm :0)  I immediately thought of the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird"  - it is a great book.  So here is my mockingbird perched in what is supposed to look like a pecan branch. (I have never seen a pecan tree or a mockingbird so I took liberties and the flowers are there for color)  The bird's eye remains to be embroidered...
We just watched the movie a week ago - which is in black and white so this color picture on the cover of the book seems odd.
 
The next guild theme pulled was "where you live".  That one was easy.  I live in the province of Alberta and all of our car licence plates read "Wild Rose Country"  As the wild roses were/are in bloom it was easy to come up with a rose wreath for my second block.  
 
 I took a picture of these on my morning run last week Monday - they were right next to the path. 
The next theme pulled was "Adventure".  After a little thought I settled on the Wandering Foot block from the first photo of this post.  It's not finished yet so I'll post it again later.  The guild challenge is only going to go for 5 themes.  I have already decided to make at least 12 blocks so I will be making some extras along the way.  
And, finally I have to post a picture of my amazing and sweet DD#1 who graduated from High school this year.  I am tremendously proud of her. She looked so beautiful in her royal blue dress. 
 I am still coming to terms with the fact that she is now an adult and plans to go away to school next year.  Oh the places she'll go :0)

Happy Quilting!!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Time flies

A blog post is long overdue.  Its been a tremendously busy few weeks since I last posted.  I did take time out to go to the annual outdoor quilt show at Heritage Park.  It was such a gorgeous day!  Sadly I did not have a quilt to put in this year - can you believe I didn't finish a single quilt in the last year!?  The park featured several of their antique quilts in an indoor exhibit - what can I say - they were my favorites.
They were hung in front of windows and not flat either but I was happy to see them on display.  This was a fabulous 4 block applique quilt.  I just love this block!

 
 Simple grid quilting - very thin batting.
 I thought it was interesting to see this faint red stripe running through the background of one of the blocks.  A repurposed flour sack??
 3 days later I was back at the park accompanying my youngest daughter on a grade 4 school field trip and spied the quilt again displayed on this bed in the ranch house.  Imagine sleeping under something this lovely  :0)  I like that Drunkard's Path quilt too!!
 This was another of the antique quits displayed on the quilt show day.  The handquilting is very fine on this one and I love the striking border.
 There was a wonderful exhibit of quilts celebrating Canada's 150th birthday this year.  I thought this one was great.
 This was another fabulous entry into the show.  That is a lot of little triangles - marvellous!
 I was thrilled that 2 of my daughters wanted to come to the show with me.
I had to laugh at this tag - what a name for a quilt.  I never have nightmares about applique :0)
 Here is what I've been appliqueing lately. I'm almost finished the first side border for my signature quilt.
 And I've been working away on my border background fill on my Bird of Paradise quilt. I've turned the second corner so I'm just over halfway now.
 I'm not sure it was the best choice for the border background.  It looks kind of boring.  It is fun to stitch though. All I did was switch the direction of the 30 degree lines. I wanted the background to be quilted just as densely as the middle.
In the end I decided this quilt is really all about the applique so its alright for the quilting to be boring and not detract from the applique.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summertime top finished

I finally finished this large top.  I've been calling it Summertime.  I was happy that my plan to sew the zigzag sashing using partial seams worked well and I didn't have to set in any seams at all.   
 
 I was surprised to find myself including a cream zinger border - I was sure red was going to look better.  The cream frames the quilt yet doesn't detract from the blocks or the very pretty main border fabric. 
 So now it needs to be quilted.  I thought long and hard about sending this one out to be longarm quilted.  I've only once before machine quilted a quilt of this size and it wasn't very fun.  The bulk of the quilt was so hard to manage in the small opening my machine had.  Even long twin sized quilts are hard to manage with that small opening.  There were several other things that I was unhappy about sewing with my regular machine as well.  So, I decided to take the money I'd have paid the long arm quilter and put it towards a new machine. 
 I ordered it online,  sight unseen - based entirely on what other people said about it.  It's an industrial straight stitch machine with a much larger opening - a Juki TL 2010Q.  I've only had a it for a few days now but so far I LOVE it!  I haven't tried quilting with it yet but it's lovely to piece with.  My old machine can go in the closet and get pulled out for mending or sewing clothes.  I hope to try some free motion quilting with it later this week.
 The wild crocuses are blooming now.  I love to go see them on the hills. 
Soft, furry and purple coming out of such dead looking grass - spring is really here :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

a May basket and starting something new

I have been enjoying some other blogger's posts of May baskets and it got me thinking about this appliqued basket block that I've never done anything with.  Finished in Sept 2009 - I think it needs some attention but I really don't know what to do with it.  
 I have started another new project.  My son is next in line for a new bed quilt.  I was chatting with him a couple of weeks ago and he reminded me that I should make him one.  He's turning 13 soon and I figure if he actually brought it up he probably really wants one. 
 I already knew he wanted green and blue for the color palate.  I dug through my tremendous pile of magazines and gave him 5 or 6 options for the pattern.   He chose this Betsy Chutchian pattern called Just Toasty in the Oct 2016 AP&Q magazine. 
It will need a different name because there is nothing toasty about this  :0)  The blocks are big with few pieces so this should go quickly??  (I hope)  I will need to make a lot of blocks for this quilt needs to be a really long one to stay tucked in on his extra long bed. 

Happy May Day! and Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

border begun

Finally I got started with the applique border for my signature quilt.  Designing my own applique seems to take forever. Happily there is no rush :0)  It's only been 7+ years since the signatures were signed...
 I've also made a few more stars recently for my star-a-day project.   The tin still isn't very full yet but I think this is a good summer project and summer is coming!  I saw my first robin yesterday :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

ideas change

I thought I'd better get a quick post in today because for some of my kids spring break starts 
tomorrow.  Days get busy but there is always time for a few stitches in the evening :0)
 
I've been working (playing) pretty steadily with these 36 patch blocks.  I have so many neutrals to choose and cut I've enjoyed this very much.  As soon as I had 4 blocks made I changed my mind about the setting and I think I will just set these blocks side by side like shown.  It will use less of the 36 patches than my other plan but I think I like this end result better.
 

This Lemoyne star is for another project - a guild challenge that I can't show much of yet.  I want to make several stars like this one to put together with the challenge blocks in the final top.  This star is 6 inches finished and was it ever easy to piece by machine after all of those hand pieced 3 inch star-a-day stars. 
I have made very few star-a-day stars the last couple of months.  I need to get going on them again if I'm ever to make it to 365. Current count is 53...

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

something old feels new

The first time I posted about these blocks was April of 2010 (I just checked)  Wow I sure like to work on things sloooowly!  These 36 patch blocks have been a leader/ender project on and off all that time. This weekend I thought I'd take them out and count how many blocks I had. As it turns out, I have 88 blocks made.  I figure that's enough - on to what to do with them!
I thought about just setting them side by side and make a postage stamp quilt. The squares finish at 1 inch - but I wasn't excited about doing that.   I had a fairly big piece of this red that I had bought for another project that went a different direction and I think it works just great with these blocks. 
So now I have a setting in mind.  I'll make a dozen or so blocks like these 2 and then set them with sashing using more of the 36 patches.  I could just leave it to work on as a leader/ended project but maybe it should get some dedicated time after all these years to get to a finish. 

 
So probably I won't be making so many of these Tree of Life blocks in the next while.  They sure are fun to sew :0)  It's good to have lots of projects going at once - it keeps things interesting :0)  but sloooow...
 
Happy Quilting!



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

4 blocks appliqued

Life sure doesn't slow down around here.  I always think there will be more time "next week" to sew and maybe post on my blog.  Oh well - squeezed in between making supper to put in the crockpot and driving kids places there's time today  :0)
 On Sunday I finished appliqueing the fourth block for my Radical Rose and Reel quilt.  (Pattern from Collector with a Needle)

http://collectorwithaneedle.blogspot.ca/
 I wanted to lay out all 4 to get a picture and get a better idea how they would look together but toys are occupying my design floor space...  I found this other spot but the lighting is poor.  Those toys...  I know one day they won't be a problem anymore so in the meantime I gotta love those toys and the kids still playing with them. 
I've also been working on this long forgotten project.  I think I'd been calling it Summertime.  I had all the blocks made over a year ago.  Recently I pieced the half blocks and started cutting sashing.  I wanted the zigzag effect but liked the blocks closer together than setting with triangles so I'm attempting rectangular sashing pieces and I'm hoping to put them together using partial seams but may have to result to set in seams - I'll keep you posted  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

handquilting progress


Good progress is being made on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  The parallel lines in the background are almost done. I have about 1/2 of one block left to do. 
 It was actually pretty fun to do. 
Here is where my hoop was this afternoon.  The sun came out briefly so it was a good opportunity to lay the quilt out for some pictures. 
It's hard to get the whole quilt in and still have the quilting show.  I can see some areas where more quilting is needed like the girls' skirts.  I want to add veins to a few leaves and there's a vase and a tablecloth needing more quilting too.  I didn't cut away behind the applique so I will likely procrastinate finishing those things until the end ... 
The border is next :0)  More outline quilting will come first.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

a new year a new project

It's been 2017 for a while now.  I've been pretty busy but still a little stitching happened since Dec 12 of last year :0)
 
We decided to do a little renovation to our basement family room.  My sewing area is in that room so it got mostly packed up until the drywall dust settles. I just had to still sew so a small space was made in my bedroom to sew with my little Singer featherweight.  I received the Patchwork Diva's book "Treasury of Quilts" for Christmas and wanting to start something new, I pulled a few fabrics out of bins and made these 3 trees.  It was lovely to sew in my bedroom with so much natural light but it will be good to move back into my bigger space downstairs.
 
 A while before Christmas I managed to get these signature blocks together.  I have the borders cut but with my sewing area so dusty and 1/2 packed away I haven't yet designed or started the applique.  I went without appliqueing for a few weeks and then - suffering some withdrawal - I started on the fourth block of my Radical Rose and Reel.  Wow, did that feel good - I missed it so much - lol!
 
Instead of applique, over Christmas I worked on this EPP project.  It grew quite a lot. It was a good portable project to work on.
 
 This last project was a little one I started together with a friend.  I found the pattern in a magazine I have since returned to the library so I don't know who designed it or what the pattern is called.  I was intrigued by the blocks - made from 2 charm pack squares.  It's kind of small to use as a table runner so I will likely add on some applique and/or borders...
 I thought I'd show a close up of one block.
 
 Other than that, I worked a fair bit on my Bird of Paradise hand quilting.  I've nearly finished quilting the centre of the quilt but the borders will take a few months more.  I will try to get a picture of it to post next time.

Happy Quilting!!