Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Third Quarter Goals for the 2018 Finish Along

     It's time to link up the third quarter goals and I am happy to say that I managed three finishes last quarter and I'm feeling optimistic.  My local guild is having a non juried quilt show in the fall and I've have three quilts that I am hoping to finish up to enter into the show. Technically I've already entered them but if they aren't done I can pull them.  So I'm hoping to finish these first three quilts in order to get them into the show.

1.  The Quilters Planner quilt along quilt.  These are the latest three blocks I have made for this quilt.  I'm making the on point version.  There are 17 blocks in total and I have 11 completed which leaves 6 more blocks, sashing and setting triangles.  This one is booked in with Mary to be quilted on her long arm at the end of the month so that deadline should spur me along.

2.  Postcard from Sweden.  I have the top done and I'm planning to quilt this one myself with my walking foot.   I hope the snow in this picture cools you down.

3.  Mango Smoothie.  This is my Wayward Transparency quilt top.  To be honest this one is stressing me out a little.  I love this quilt top and I'm hoping I don't screw it up when I quilt it with my walking foot.  I also think it would look awesome hanging in a show.  Look more snow to cool us down.  Is it as hot where you are?

     These are the projects I know I will be working on, but I always like to toss in a bunch more possibilities as maybes if I have the time.  So here goes.

4.  The Quilters Planner bag.  Honestly I should just get this one done so I can take it off the list.  Are you getting sick of seeing it yet?

5.  There's the Celestial Plus baby quilt that might draw me to practice some free motion qulting on it.

6.  And there's a challenge for my Modern Guild using Swhe swhe fabric.  I can't show you anything for this one as it has to be top secret so I'll show you some other Swhe Swhe fabric for fun.

Well that's quite the list, but I am ever hopeful.  I'm linking this list up to the 3rd Quarter Finish Along link up and also to the Let's Bee Social link up.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Mid Year Review


   It's time to get real.  It's half way through 2018 and time to look back at the goals for the year and see how things are going.  

     So let's have a look at those goals.

Quilting Goals

1.  Continue playing with colour and fabric and quilting techniques like improv and maybe some bias strips. Step one for this goal will to be to set aside a time each week to focus on this kind of play.  I've got some ideas I'd like to play with and I love this type of work so it needs space.   (I have not made the space for this goal at all. But I did check some art type books out from the library last week so there is always hope.)

2.   Continue to work on free motion and walking foot quilting techniques.  I'm planning on joining Jess of Quilty Habit in her FMQ QAL.  I'm not sure if I'll do a quilt as you go, or just work on the assignments. ( at first glance I thought I was failing miserably here but then I realized  I have been practicing these skills as I finish quilts, just not with the quilt along.)

3.  Complete at least three of my Craftsy Classes.  Since most of these are quilting classes, this will help me to work on goal number 2. as well. (Not getting a lot done here either, but I am excited to say that I will be in one of Christina Camelli's classes at Quilt Con so I am motivated now.)

4.  Complete at least 6 quilts. I've got two baby quilts to finish and I will be making a wedding quilt as well.  ( O.K.   Here's where I am rocking it!  I've finished four quilts so far this year so I am ahead on this goal!)

Blogging Goals

1.  Continue to aim for 2 posts a week.  This is a big goal given that I didn't manage even one a week last year. But my life circumstances have changed somewhat so it might be do able.  ( Honestly I set this goal at two a week hoping I can get one a week done, and I'm doing o.k. here)
2.  Share more of the community outreach work on the blog. That should help with the goal 1 for this section. ( Yes I've been doing this)

Personal Goals
1.  Spend time with my sister doing fun things. (Well we did go to the spa once.)
2.  Go to the Art Gallery in Toronto more often ( Nope)
3.  Figure out some better cooking, cleaning and eating strategies.(Nope)
4.  Get back to daily goal setting and reflection. (Daily is not going to happen.)

     As I look to my goal setting for the rest of the year I have a confession to make.  I am a procrastinator. If you are one as well and you feel shame around this I want you to go here and listen to this interview.   I've heard it twice on CBC radio and it is very insightful.  My main take away, is that I'm deadline driven not task driven.  That is why when I saw that Christina Camelli would be teaching at quilt con I went to one of my Craftsy classes and started to work on it again.  Now that I have gotten in to one of her classes I am motivated to keep on with it.  I've got to get those skills up before the class.  ( Yes I managed to get into a Christina Camelli class and I am super excited!)

     I'm thinking I need deadlines for my future goal setting and I'm going to give it a whirl here.  My goals for the next 6 months.

Quilting Goals:

1.  Set one play day for July and one play day for August.  Evaluate after that and see how it goes moving forward.

2.  Complete the two Christina Camelli Craftsy classes by the end of the year.

3.  Continue to work on quilting skills as I finish my own quilts.

4.  Continue working on quilt completion and surprise myself with how many I complete above 6.

I'll leave the blogging goals as they stand.

Personal Goals:  This one is so hard.

1.  Spending time with my sister is a bit hard because it is also dependant upon her and her life is still in flux.  So I'll make a goal to see her once in the summer and see where things go in the Fall after my nephew gets married.

2.  Go to the Art Gallery once each month in the summer.

3.  Develop the habit of doing the 5 minute pickup each day.
Work towards bringing my lunch to work each day. Come up with a reward for reaching these goals.

4.  Set goals for the week. Move daily reflection to the evening.

     Well I'm ready to move ahead and we will see how things go for the rest of the year.  I'm linking up with Yvonne for the Mid Year Review link up.   





Sunday, 1 July 2018

Happy Canada Day and July OMG goal.

     Happy Canada Day everyone!  As we are in the middle of a heat and humidity wave Dwight and I are planning to spend most of the day inside.  Our daughter was home for the last two days which was great.  She is such an easy person to spend time with and she worked on a couple of plant projects that I haven't managed to get around to: trimming and staking the cherry tomato plant she gave me and major surgery on an orchid.

     June turned out to be a much busier month than I had anticipated and I did not manage to meet my OMG goal.  I did find time in the last few days of the month to get 1/2 of the goal done and added these three blocks to the mix.  I have decided to continue with this quilt for July and complete the entire top by July's end.  This may seem crazy as I didn't get too far in June, but I will be making this quilt be my priority and I've made a date with a long armer for the end of the month, so there is some added incentive.  So I'm linking this post up to the OMG linkup for July and we'll see in a months time if I was successful.

Monday, 25 June 2018

A Quick Finish

     If you ever need a quick and striking baby/toddler quilt to make, this is it.

     It's the Celestial Quilt from Cheryl and Paige's Modern Plus Sign Quilts book, made in baby size.  It works up very quickly and finishes at 48 inches square.  My available sewing time this month was limited so this quilt top was the perfect project to work into small bits of time.  You might say that it's a squirrel because when I came across this photo in my blog archive I decided I should use up the fabric.

     Every fabric in this bundle except the one I didn't use is directional.  It didn't really matter how I put the stripes and the ribbons but I definitely wanted the birds all upright and I was hoping to get the mushrooms upright as well.  When I was cutting out the fabrics though I didn't think about the fact that the blocks all orient in different directions so in the end I made the mushrooms go in all different directions.

     The background fabric looks orange in the photo but it is a bright coral.  I'm pretty pleased with this finished top, so I'm linking it up to Main Crush Monday which is hosted by Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and I'm going to link it up to the Squirrel party at MMMQuilts.

     And oh yes, we got two days of rain on the weekend so I'm happy!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

A quarter of a quarter

      Dwight and I had big plans for this weekend.  We had a date to get lots of work done in the garden and I had wanted to really clean up my quilting room after clearing out guild stuff but then bringing new guild stuff home.  Instead we were called upon to babysit the boys on Friday and Saturday.  I'm not complaining.  I love spending time with the boys but the only yard work that got done was at my son's house.  

     Today, Sunday we took my mother in law out to dinner as it was her birthday on Wednesday and we celebrated Father's Day at the same time.  When we got home we managed to water the transplants with buckets.  Man I hope it rains soon.

     I did make a start on one of the baby quilts.  I got one 24" square block sewn together, which is one quarter of a baby quilt. The baby quilt is one quarter of the Celestial Quilt from Cheryl and Paige's Modern Plus Sign Quilts book.  All my fabrics are directional so I am going to have to think out placement as I put each block together so I am taking my time. 

     I'll be linking up with Main Crush Monday, and with Let's Bee Social....then I think I'll check out more tutorials on the Tips and Tutorial's  link up hosted by Cheryl of Meadowmist Designs and Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.  I've already voted on one category and have two left.

Friday, 15 June 2018

A Friday Finish

     I have a finish to share with you.  Here it is nestled into the dark recesses of my backyard.  It's a group effort and the process to make it was a lot of fun.

     Way back in May of last year the Grand River Modern Guild decided to make quilts for the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton.  One of the guild members, Lisa, noted that all the quilts where very girl themed and she thought we should make some more neutral or boy friendly quilts. So we all brought some fabric to a meeting and we set about making versions of Rainbow Round the Cabin from Krista Hennebury's book Make it Take It.  Krista is an amazing modern quilter who blogs at Poppyprint.

     Nine quilters worked at sewing the logs on the quilt, a couple of quilters trimmed and a couple of quilters pressed.
How this works is you start with the centre and sew on a strip.  It get trimmed to size and passed to the next quilter.  So nine quilts where made simultaneously getting passed around the room.  It's a fun group activity and when your quilt gets back to you it's a bit of a surprise!


        Because Lisa (there are 3 Lisa's in our guild) was collecting donation quilts over the year there was no rush to quilt it, so of course it sat in my pile till the last minute.  Inspiration hit after looking at the Quilt Con calendar of classes and seeing that Christina Camelli will be teaching several classes.  This spurred me to watch my Craftsy classes and practice a bit.

     I decided to further practice my free motion quilting on this quilt, trying out different motifs in the different strips.  I'm sharing lots of pictures to show you the quilting.  I'm most comfortable quilting from the left side of the quilt to the right side and quilting gentle curves, but I bravely practiced quilting from the top of the quilt down and straight lines and boxy shapes.

     I'm pleased with the result.  Quilting on this scale is challenging.  My stitch size is still all over the place but I did find that the coordination of hand and foot improved greatly by the time I got to the end of the quilting.

     This is my third finish for the 2nd quarter of the 2018 Finish Along.  The original list is here.  Now I'm headed over to Lisa's ( a different Lisa) blog Lisa in Port Hope for the TGIFF link up.


Monday, 11 June 2018

What's happening so far in June.

     I love this time of year.  It always feels so full of possibility.  The skies are blue, the trees and lawns are a beautiful light shade of green and it's not so hot and humid that you melt into the furniture.  I haven't been on the blog much but I have been sewing quite a bit.

     Here's step one for the Fireburst Mystery.  I got this finished just over a week ago.  I'm loving the pace of Tish's quilt along.  I manage to keep ahead of the game with this one and that is a good feeling.  

     I'm planning to quilt along with Cheryl and Paige as well, for the Modern plus signs Sampler.  This one also goes along at a moderate pace, although some of the blocks will be a bit more of a challenge.   But that's how we grow, isn't it?

     Speaking of challenges what I've been spending most of my quilting time on over the last week is practicing free motion quilting. Here's a sneak peak.

     I've been treating this quilt as a sampler trying different designs in different areas.  I'll be sharing this quilt as a Friday Finish soon.  I really enjoy fmq, but like many things, I don't seem to make enough time in my life for practice.  The sections on this quilt are 6 inches wide which is a challenge for sure in trying to get a consistent look with the motifs in such a big space.  

     One thing I have learned is that even though there are very long spaces of time between working on my quilting  I don't loose the skills I have.  I just don't get any better. 

     I have also started to cut the fabrics for one of the baby quilts.  I located the  bird and mushroom fabrics.  They were fat quarters not the half yards I thought they would be so I had to change my plans about how to use them.  I found this coral fabric at the local fabric store, which plays along very nicely and will take the quilt up a notch to the usual brightness level of my quilts.  Sorry future baby I just don't do subtle very often.

     Well I'm off to sew some quilt backs together for donation quilts before I go to work.  I'll link up with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts, with Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland and with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Goal for June

     My sewing machine has had a bit of a rest for the last week or so.  I have a three day weekend and that's usually when I do the bulk of my sewing but last weekend I spent Friday babysitting the boys (yippee) and then our friend Tessa arrived from England and we spent the rest of the weekend with her.  Tessa from England is not to be confused with Tessa my co worker (i.e. Rory's mom). It was wonderful and relaxing, spending time with Tessa.  We haven't been to England in 6 years, but she comes here every second year or so and divides her time amongst her many friends in Ontario and Quebec. 

      I did manage to do some fabric cutting during the week  and I am happy to say that I am all set for the first set of instructions for the Fireburst Mystery QAL hosted by Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.

     Tish is posting the instructions today.  The red fabric bleeds a little, so I have decided to keep this quilt in our spare bedroom for when the boys are a bit older and stay over at our place. That way I can make sure it gets washed in cold water. I'm excited to get started.  I'm have a sewing with my two buddies tomorrow, and I have decided to bring this project along.

     Getting back to the baby quilts, I did pull some fabric out of the stash that I am going to use for the first of the baby quilts.  I'm keeping the pattern under wraps for now, but some of you might have an idea of what pattern that might be, when you see the fabrics.

   While I was looking for a photo on my blog for my June OMG project I can across this photo which reminded me that I have these fabrics in my stash that really have to be used for a baby quilt.  I won this bundle of fabrics when I sewed along with Ruth and the Modern Quilters Ireland for the Rainbow Rose Quilt Along.  Maybe I'll make the same quilt as the one above and we will see how it looks in the two different fabric groupings.  

      None of these are my OMG for June however.  For that I have decided to make 6 more blocks of the Quilters Planner Quilt Along Quilt.  If I get more than that done it will be a bonus.  Here is where I stand on that project.

     I originally was trying to work on these blocks one a month but it's not working for me so I am going to try to focus my efforts.  If I finish more than 6 it will be a super bonus.  There are a few other things I will be putting my energy into as well.  I'm linking up with OMG linkup for June over at Patti's blog Elm Street Quilts.

     I share the comments problem with all who blog on blogger, so I'll do my best at responding to any comments that get left.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A conspiracy of babies and the zombie appocalipse

     Have you heard about a conspiracy of ravens?  Well in my life there is a conspiracy of babies.  Why a conspiracy you ask.  Well  I've been hoping to have some creative play in my quilting life, and babies are popping up left right and centre demanding that I make quilts for them. I just finished Rory's quilt, you can read about it here  and now his aunt is having a baby. My nephew Eric and his partner Kirsten are having a  baby, their third child, in November, and my co workers daughter is also having a baby in November.  So what's a quilter to do?  Make quilts for babies of course.  

     I'll be starting this baby quilt making process, with the Fireburst Mystery quilt along that Tish is hosting.   I'll be making the lap size.  I tend to give toddler sized quilts to babies (usually when they are about a year old).  This one will be a large lap size and here is my fabric pull.

     I had almost enough of the dark blue in my stash but not quite enough so I went to the local Len's store to pick up more.  My friends Wendy and Carol came with me and helped me to pick the other fabrics.  The limey green came next ( I had picked it out as binding for Rory's quilt), followed by the colourful fabric with little birds and then the red.  This will make a fun kids quilt.  I have thoughts about the other two quilts as well, and I think they will be easy finishes.  

     So that should keep me busy in my sewing room, but, do you want to know what else is going to keep me busy?  The zombie apocalypse. It's arrived in my front yard.  Well to be honest it's been there for a while but I wasn't sure what I was dealing with.  Look at it.  It looks so innocent doesn't it. 

 You may have even liked it in my instagram feed when I posted a picture to see if anyone knew what it was and how to deal with it.  Well thanks to one of my co workers who saw my post, I now know that it is creeping bellflower and it is working it's way towards world domination.  Another name for it is zombie weed because it sneaks into your garden and quietly takes over without you noticing it.

      Last year we covered the garden in thick plastic for 2 months pretty much killing everything and this year it popped up again.....apparently the only way to deal with it is to keep pulling in out over and over until you weaken it.  I think it may outlive me.

     So if you don't hear from me for a while I'll be in the garden pulling up weeds, or maybe I'll be in my sewing room making a baby quilt .......or maybe indulging in some creative play.  There is always hope.

I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social linkup  and with the Fireburst Mystery Quilt  linkup.

p.s.  I love babies.  They are one of my favourite things in the whole world.  Creeping Bellflower, not so much.

p.p.s.  There is also a wedding quilt in the works.

p.p.p.s.  The backyard also has a lot of weeds but not this one.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Wish Upon a Star


     Welcome to my stop on the Wish Upon a Star Blog Hop!  The hop is hosted by Carol, who blogs at Just Let Me Quilt.
There are over 40 participants in the hop which takes place over 5 days.  Here are the others who are participating today.  I'll list the rest of the quilters at the bottom of the post.

May 21

       I finally get to show you what I have been working on these past few weeks.  I finished Rory's quilt!  And look, the sun came out for long enough that I could get a decent photo outside.

      Rory is the son of my co-worker Tessa and he will be celebrating his first birthday in August. His mom is a fan of neutrals and her house is painted in grey and yellows, so I was a bit surprised when she chose a palette of bright rainbow colours for his quilt. I was happy she chose brights because I love them and I had just the right fabrics in my stash; bright animal prints and bright swheswhe prints. I paired them with Kona Shadow which is grey of course.  Swheswhe is the traditional fabric of South Africa and up until recently it has been available in the traditional colours of indigo, brown and red.  These bright swheswes are just awesome aren't they.


     This quilt was a joy to work on from start to finish. I'm not sure what these stars are called but they are made with some rulers which I borrowed from my friend Wendy. She loaned me two sets of rulers. I think these were the easy angles.  

   Most of the quilts I have seen using this block place a plain block between the stars.  I wanted to make a toddler sized quilt finishing around 48" by 60" inches so I opted to place the 12" finished blocks side by side in the rows but staggered by 1/3 of the block.  This gave me more star pizzaz in the quilt.

     The quilting was done with a walking foot on my domestic machine.  I decided to try out random straight lines as I thought they would look like rays of light bouncing around the stars.  I used a light orange auriful thread which is one of my favourites.     

      I love this quilt so much that I'm thinking of asking Tessa if I can put it in the guild show in September and give it to her after that. He's not going to need it until it gets cold is he? Our guild show isn't juried so it doesn't have to be filled with amazing quilting or anything like that. Completing Rory's quilt was my OMG for May and the second finish for the second quarter of the 2018 Finish Along. You can find the original list here.

     I'll leave you with a few more close ups of the critters in the blocks which will give you more close ups of the quilting.

      Here's the complete list of those participating in the blog hop.  I'm excited to see what everyone has made.

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25

         It just occurred to me on Thursday that I should link this quilt up to TGIFF which is hosted by my friend Anja at AnjaQuilts this week.  Perhaps I will see you there.