Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Septembers Goal

     I am feeling a bit stressed about my quilting right now and honestly that is not a good place to be.  With a quilt show coming up for my traditional guild, a challenge to complete for my modern guild and the comfort quilt program starting up again (this year I have a co chair), I'm juggling a lot of balls.  Things were feeling just manageable until I started quilting the PostCard from Sweden quilt.




     Here it is sitting innocently beside the sewing machine.  I thought it would be an easy walking foot job but I've been struggling with skipped threads, followed by tension issues after I changed needles.  I suspect the problem is the backing fabric which is a densely woven African batik.  I'm hoping to figure out the issues because this fabric is perfect for the back of this quilt and it is absolutely gorgeous to boot!
I'll take any advice you have to offer, kind folks.

     If things had been going along as expected with the quilting I would be working on it right now but I've decided to give it a short rest. Deep breath in, I'm starting to feel better already. Quilting Postcards was going to be my goal for September but I'm chucking that goal out the window. I may still get it done but I don't want the pressure. Instead I will focus on trimming, binding and labelling my Quilters Planner Quilt, along with adding a hanging sleeve.  This one I know will be joining Rory's Quilt in the show.  Here's a sneak peak, which will give you a preview of Mary's amazing quilting.



      Postcard might be hanging around at home with Mango Smoothie.  There will be other shows in the future and maybe they can get to shine there. I do tend to set robust goals for myself but I am also able to let go.  Good thing that.  I am also learning to say no, even to things that sound fun and interesting.  

     The best quilty thing I did over the summer was work on the Curated Quilts challenge for August. I don't say this because I think the result was awesome or anything like that.  I say this because by working on the challenge I gave myself time to play and create and for this quilter that's what I'd like the journey to be about. So I think I will spend some time this week working on the challenge for the Modern Guild.  I've got me some experimenting to do.  Linking up with Elm Street Quilts September Goal link up.


   

Friday, 31 August 2018

Curated Quilts Houses Challenge

     I made a promise to myself that when I finished piecing the Quilters Planner Quilt Along Quilt, I would do some creative sewing for myself.  It just so happened that I finished the piecing just as the call for the next group of minis came out for Curated Quilts.  This was my first time submitting a quilt to Curated Quilts.  The last challenge was an Improv themed challenge and I got as far as selecting fabric but that was as far as I got.

      This time I managed to finish.  Here is my quilt. I call it Brio after the little houses in the Brio Train set that my kids had when they were little.  My grandkids have the train set now.  The quilt finishes at 14 inches square.  The challenge was to make a quilt on the theme of Houses and the fabric colours from which to choose were pear green, peacoat blue, poppy red, ocean spray, clay brown and light grey.




     I decided for this challenge to play around a bit with abstraction and with minimalism.  I started by cutting strips of fabric in all of the fabric.


      Then I started to sewing them  together in groups.  When they started to look like pieces I could use.  I placed them on my design wall within a 16" square I taped on the wall.  16" square was the maximum size the quilt could be.


     Once I landed on an arrangement I liked I worked out how to link the houses up with the tan background.  I opted for straight line quilting and poppy red binding.


     I had a lot of fun working on this project and I'm hoping to continue working on the Curated Quilts Challenges. They provide a nice framework to play around with.  I'm heading over to link my quilt up with the others at the Curated Quilts linkup.  There are a lot of interesting quilts there.

     The Curated Quilts magazine is really awesome but hard to come by in Canada.  I pick up my copies from Mad About Patchwork.  

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

August Update

     Last night I finished putting together the latest step of the Fire Burst Mystery quilt.  This is a laid back QAL hosted by Tish and it is fun to see the quilt beginning to take shape.



    

      I went back to work yesterday after a two week staycation.  I managed to get a fair bit done but I don't have a lot I can show you yet.  I finished the quilters planner top and I will be picking it up from Mary's this week so once it's bound I'll share that.  That could take a bit of time because I am off to the big city this weekend to hang out with my sister.  We were hoping to do that during my time off but the plans fell through.

     I did manage a  trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario with my daughter and a trip to the Brantford Zoo with my son and the boys.  I somehow managed to pry Dwight away from work for a day off to join us.  Here's a picture our son took of the four of us.  You can see by the look on Dwight's face that it was worth it.


        The last time I babysat the boys which was about a week before the vacation I managed to do something to my right hip and lower back.  This has cramped my quilting productivity to some degree, and I didn't manage to accomplish as much as I would have liked to.  I am seeing an osteopath at the moment and I'm hoping the issue will resolve soon.  

     I made sure I spent time outside every day soaking in the sunshine and lush vegetation.  It was very good for my soul. During my time in the garden my thoughts went to creativity and what helps/hinders it in my life. I spend a lot of time quilting for others (and organizing quilting for others) and I don't take enough time to fill the well. This is an ongoing issue and one that probably most of us struggle with.

     Another thing that puts a damper on my creativity is visual clutter.  You would think that this one would be easier to deal with but for me it's not.  Some of the clutter is a result of quilting and I decided to solve one problem I have in this area.   I have been cutting most of my fabric at the dining room table and it seems that my dining room which is in the middle of the house is always a mess.  I decided to move the cutting station into the sewing room and with my back issues in mind I took a trip to Ikea where I picked up a standing desk to use as a cutting table.  It has a crank to adjust the table height. No more bending over a table. I also picked up a shelf intended for pictures. that has a lip at the front which I am using for rulers and a rod that I can hang things from.  Here's my new set up.  You have no idea how happy this little space in the sewing room makes me!

   

     This space used to hold a bookshelf with my fabric in it. My fabric is now temporarily stashed around the room (some of it under the table).  The plan for the fabric is to get shelves built in to the cupboard for fabric storage.  

     Another issue around creative play is finding the time for it.   I promised myself that once I finished the planner quilt I would make some time for it. I'm happy to report that I'm working on it.   I've been doodling around with the current challenge for Curated Quilts. No expectations around this project for me at all.  It gave me some good parameters to play with and if I like the result I'll link it up.   As we move into the fall and things pick up in the guild I'm hoping to keep finding the time to fill the well.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Goal for August

      I keep forgetting I need to post a goal for August. I'm on a staycation right now so I guess time is a little more fluid.  As for picking the goal, well that's easy.  I'm planning to quilt my Postcard from Sweden quilt.



     I'm thinking straight lines with a walking foot ,side to side with a light purple Aurifil thread.  What do you think?
I'm hoping to be able to cross this one off the finish list before the end of August and then move on to Wayward Transparency.  
     Always hopeful, me as I am still working on last months goal.  I'm piecing the rows together and I have an actual date to get it to the long arm quilter on Wednesday evening.  Dwight and I are going on a little overnight visit to Georgian Bay so two days are out of the picture but there's still plenty of time to get the top pieced by Wednesday evening.  I'm heading over to Elm Street Quilts for the linkup before we head out.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Throw Back Thursday

     I've been meaning to write this throwback Thursday post for a long time.  Ever since say February when I took the photos of the quilt on my back porch.

 .     
     I made the quilt top several years ago in a workshop at my quild with local quilting instruction Deb Beirnes.  It's a modified pineapple block made with a jelly roll.  I remember it took me forever to find a jelly roll that I liked and I think I ordered this one from Fabric Shack.  It's a Malka Dubrowski line and truth be told I would have preferred it in her brighter colour way but I couldn't get a hold of it.  If you know me you know I love bright.  



     The blocks came together pretty quickly as did the quilt top and Deb had suggested we make a border using the contrasting fabrics along with the left over fabrics from the triangles.  She had done this on her quilt and it looked awesome.  This suggestion however was my undoing.  I tucked the quilt away thinking I would get to that fancy border later.  The quilt top sat and it sat and it sat and finally last fall I decided to donate it to our guilds comfort quilt program.



     I matched it up with a plaid backing donated by Donna and put it into a kit which was picked up by one of our long arm quilters.  They did an awesome job don't you think.  This quilt made it's way to the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence unit and hopefully one day it will bring someone some comfort.  Maybe it already is.  I'm linking up with Sandra at MMMquilts for Throwback Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Nearing the end of a project and joining another.

     I didn't meet my July goal.  Am I concerned about this?  Not in the least because I made great progress and I'll be done by the end of the week.  Today I am going to pick out backing fabric and next week I'll take it to Mary to have it quilted.  I'm pretty excited about this finish and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you when it's done.  

But here I'll share something else I am excited about.  



     Here are my fabrics for the Modern Plus Sign Quilt Along.  Picking the fabrics was a bit of a process. It's a bit calmer than my usual choices. I'm making this quilt for my son and daughter in law and I wanted it to fit in with their  living room.  So I didn't throw in orange or magenta which where my first inclinations.  I opted instead for a slightly calmer effect.

     I borrowed a pillow to use for fabric selection but when Wendy and I went to our local (sort of) quilt shop Creative Sisters to pick fabrics I forgot the pillow at home.  I did have a picture of their rug on my ipad though so we used that and my memory of the pillow colours to pick all the fabrics but the greys.



     We did a pretty good job didn't we.  The light blue will be the background, the dark blue is the outline of the large plus sign, the white is the inside of the plus, and the teale green grunge will be the rows of plus signs along the top and bottom of the quilt.  I still needed two more fabrics though and I found this fat quarter in my stash.




     There was very little information on the fat quarter so I ordered a yard of four  similar greys from Mad About Patchwork.  I figured one of the lighter ones would be this fabric and I would use the darker one as well.  Here's a picture of  the fat quarter with the greys I ordered.



     None of them are a match!   I decided to use the two in the first photo which are the top two in this photo but if I can find the light one by the end of the week I might switch it in and replace the darkest grey.



  I'm looking forward to working on this quilt along with Cheryl and Paige. I was too busy to join in with last years mystery.  Cheryl's quilt alongs move at a nice unhurried pace so if you haven't joined in yet there is still time. 




   

     

     

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Fireburst Mystery Update.

     I don't know about you but I get tired of working on the same project forever and ever. This could explain why it takes me forever to get things done.  Anyhow it is no surprise that after making two additional blocks for the Quilters Planner sampler quilt I took a break to work on something else.



     I'm all caught up with the Fireburst Mystery quilt along.  When I first learned to make flying geese I learned the four at a time method which is very popular with many quilters.  Now that I have made them using the traditional method in both this quilt and the QP sampler I can say that I much prefer this traditional way of making them as the results are more accurate.

     I've had to cut back a bit on my sewing.  I spent two days in a row babysitting the boys and my back has been complaining.  I'm hoping to get in with an osteopath but they all seem to be booked up. So I'll just have to get by with my stretches I guess.  

     I'm still hoping to get the QP quilt top finished by the end of the month, although I am sneaking in a day to visit my daughter in the big city of Toronto on Saturday.  

     Please hold Toronto in your thoughts as there was a mass shooting there on Sunday night.  This happened in the neighbourhood where my sister and her daughter and partner just bought a house. Emma and Cam had been at a patio on the street where the shooting occurred and left to go home 15 minutes before the gunman arrived.  These things are just so hard to process and knowing that the two people who died where just 18 and 10 years old is heartbreaking.  

     I don't want to leave you on that sad note so I'll share with you that Eli is walking!  Just a couple of steps at a time but he thinks he is all that and then some.  He is also learning some words, all the important B words like ball and block and book and bubble along with the important people words like mommy and daddy and nana and grandaddy and grandmommy.  Juice and shoes are in the vocabulary as well.  

     I'm off to link up with Let's Bee Social and
Main Crush Monday ( even though it's Tuesday)
and for the first time with the Chameleon's Colour Party