Saturday, 13 October 2018

4th Quarter Goals

     Last Quarter I only managed one finish but I didn't link it up because I didn't write the post until I could get some half decent photos and by then it was too late.  If you would like to see it it's here.  No worries.  It's time to link up my goals for the rest of the year and I'm only going to list four.  Anything else that gets done is bonus.  So here goes.

     Last month the owners of the Red Red Bobbin fabric store came to guild and they issued us a challenge.  They had each of us choose an "ugly" fat quarter, or to put it another way a fat quarter in colours you wouldn't normally go to.  We are all to make a mini quilt with that fabric and then we will vote on the quilts and the winner will get a ruler.  Here's my fabric.  The fabric on the left is the fabric I chose to work with and the ones on the right are fabrics I might use with it.  I guess that's a good deal for them . Give me one fat quarter and I ended up buying five, all in colours and patterns I wouldn't normally use except for maybe the purple one on the bottom and the yellow one on the top.

I'm also going to quilt this baby quilt.  I need to be practicing my free motion quilting over the next couple of months so this is my first one.

     If I get this one done then I'll move on to the Fire burst Mystery Quilt and see if I can get it finished as well.

     For my last goal I can't show you any fabric but I plan to participate in the next Curated Quilts Challenge so I'll be hoping to finish that as well.  I think the next challenge announcement is in November so I'll be picking the fabric then.  I have only worked on one other Curated Quilts mini quilt challenge so far.  You can see it here.

     I'm linking up to the 4th quarter link up of the 2018FAL on Leanne's blog She Can Quilt.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Quilters Planner Quilt Take Two

     Well we finally got a little sunshine and I've been able to get some photos of the Quilter's Planner quilt.  The planner quilt was designed by Cheryl Brickey of Modern Mist Designs and was planned as a year long quilt along but I skipped ahead to get it done for my Traditional Guild's quilt show.  The Quilters Planner comes with a pattern magazine and this was one of the patterns.

     I really pushed hard to finish the quilt in the summer so I could get it quilted by Mary Hopkins who blogs at Quilted Art from Mary Katherine Hopkins.  Mary is a member of the traditional quild I belong to.  She does a lot of quilting for our donation quilts and she does a great job.  Here's a close up of the quilting.

     There is  a lot of shade in the back yard but I still think you get an idea of the fabrics and colours.  I used Kona Silver for the background colour and Kona Regal for the darker sashing.  In the  blocks I used Libs Elliot Fabrics for the most part with a few Allison Glass and Kaffe Fasset  thrown in for interest.

      Working on this quilt was a skill builder for me and I could tell that I have gotten better at lining things up with flying geese an such.   Although I've quilted for many years many of the quilts have been made for charity and are more basic than this one.  The outside triangles for the on point setting where also very challenging and I was considering switching to a different orientation but I persevered.

      I'll be giving this quilt to Evan (my nephew) and Allie who where married in September. I'll be linking up with TGIFF which is hosted this week by Becca of Pretty Piney and I'm linking up at Brag About your Beauties which is hosted by Michelle of  From Bolt to Beauty.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Octobers Goal

     The weather has not been co-operating with me, and I have yet to get outside to take any good photos of my planner quilt...hopefully tomorrow.  Since I finished the planner quilt I've been working madly on a challenge quilt which I can't share pictures of until after Thursday and I have to say it has been quite a challenge.  I'm about to start quilting it but I needed a break. So I thought I would take that break and write a post about my goal for October.  I am falling behind in my two quilt alongs and I've decided to take the month of October to work on catching up.  

     The specific goal is to finish the August (yes that would be August) steps for the Modern Plus Signs Quilt Along hosted by Cheryl Brickey of Meadowmist Designs and Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms.  I managed to cut those strips in August and they are ready for me to go.  But first I have to finish my challenge, I guess I better get back to it.  I'm linking up to the October monthly goal linkup with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Septembers Goal is done

     I've been absent from Social Media pretty much all month. September is always a crazy busy time for me and this month there was an out of town wedding that took up a weekend and a quilt show to prepare for and finish up quilts for.  I did get my September goal finished but then I had to whisk it off to the quilt show organizers before I could get a half decent photo shoot so here's a quick pick of it at the show and I promise to give you more details and a better write up later.

     It's not the best photo but it's the only one I have at the moment.  I'll get some better ones for later.   So it's the quilters planner quilt along quilt.

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.