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

Thursday, 19 July 2018

A Group Finish for TGIFF


      Last year Sandra at MMMQuilts held her first quilt along, using her own pattern Free Fall.  I didn't  feel  I had the time to complete the quilt on my own, so I convinced my friends Cyndy and Wendy to work along with me to complete one quilt. We managed to get our flimsy done for the final link up. My friend Wendy has finished the quilting and as she has no blog I'm sharing the finish with you, on behalf of the three of us. 

     We purchased the background fabric and the fabric for the shadow leaf and we used fabrics from our collective stashes for the smaller leaves.  We extended the length of the quilt a bit and continued adding leaves in a kind of swirling pattern.

    The background of the quilt was quilted with slightly curved lines with a walking foot.  I loaned my hip curve ruler to Wendy for marking the lines.  She continued the quilting using  a free motion meander in the shadow leaf and  she quilted veins in some of the smaller leaves.  She did an awesome job, don't you think?

     We used a light dotted fabric for the quilt back, and Wendy chose a nice light green for the binding. Both the backing and the binding complement the front quite nicely.  I think it's a really beautiful quilt.

     We are donating this quilt to our local guild to be used for fundraising, along with another lap sized quilt and a whole load of mini quilts all made by guild members.  This will happen at our Quilt Show in September.  Somebody will be lucky enough to go home with it.  Thanks to Sandra for her great quilt design and for hosting a fun quilt along .  I'm linking the post up with Thank Goodness I's Finished Friday which is hosted this week by Andree at Quilting and Learning, What a Combo.  I'll be away from home babysitting my favourite boys on Friday ,so I'll check out the other finishes in the evening or on the weekend.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Sampler Update

     Ah summer in Southern Ontario, it's kind of like being in a steam room.  It's perfect for hanging around doing nothing but not so perfect for getting things done.  I've been doing my fair share of nothing, sitting on a chair in the shade in my backyard contemplating trees and bird song, but I have deadlines so I have been sewing as well.

     Here are the latest two blocks for my Quilters Planner Sampler Quilt.  They are fraternal twins. It's fun to see two different versions of the same block. There are quite a number of fraternal twins in the larger version of the quilt and I have to say that I have had fun figuring out what fabrics to use to try and differentiate the blocks.

     I took this photo last night of all the blocks I've completed so far.  Placement at the moment is random and only the one block has sashing so far, but you get the idea.  There are four blocks left followed by the sashing and the triangles to fill in the space.

     Sampler quilts take a bit more time to put together than quilts with one or two repetitive blocks. The cutting gets done block by block and it's difficult to chain piece.  Some of the blocks have come together quite easily but some have been a bit of a challenge.  I welcome the challenging blocks because they are skill builders.

       The 2018 Quilters Planner quilt is designed by Cheryl Brickey of Meadowmist Designs.  The quilting god's have decided to align my quilting life with Cheryl's as I won two of her patterns in the Mid Year Review link up held by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl!  Lucky Me!  Now I just need to retire so I can work my way through all my patterns.  Oh the quilty bucket list just builds and builds.

    And while I am on the topic of the Quilter's Planner I will give a shout out to two Canadian Sources that I know carry the planner.  They would be Mad About Patchwork and Clinton Modern Creative.  Both have pre book specials on right now.  

I'll be linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.