Monday, 28 December 2015

Best of 2015

      I feel like I'm doing things backwards here because I've already posted my 2016 goals and now I'm looking backward to pick my top five posts of 2015.   It was interesting looking back over the blog and picking my favourites, which were favourites for different reasons.  I did manage to pick five which I'll share oldest to newest.

     Way back on January 31, I posted about finishing my Giant Chevron Quilt.

          Finishing this quilt was a major accomplishment  because I did  the free motion quilting myself on my domestic sewing machine as part of a quilt along with Jess of Elven Garden Quilts who also designed the quilt.

    In February I finished my Hexagon Sewing Kit which I shared in this post.  I love this  english paper pieced sewing kit which I made with scraps of traditional Japanese rustic fabrics.

     In June I pattern tested for Cheryl of  Meadow Mist Designs and I made this version of her Grande Scrappy Tiles Quilt which you can read about here.

     I was nervous about pattern testing but it turned out to be a lot fun and I learned quite a bit about the artist Mondrian after reading the comments on my blog.

    My favourite post of 2015 is this one, my post about Leanne's table runner.

     I made this runner using my favourite technique which is basically make fabric choices and placing choices as I go along.  I had a lot of fun playing with the photo shoot in this blog post and I enjoyed sharing how the my fabric choices were influenced by Leanne's personality.

     Number Five in the list is the post about the workshop I attended with Cheryl Arkison.

     My quilting journey is a learning journey and I value each and every teacher and friend I have made along the way. I'm joining the Best of 2015 Link up at Meadow Mist Designs.  Thanks to Cheryl for providing the inspiration for this trip down memory lane, and for providing the link up. Thanks also to you for  sharing my journey in 2015.  Heres a toast to a great 2016!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Plans Goals and Resolutions


     To be frank, I could use a little bit more self discipline in my life.  I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of woman which often leaves me struggling to figure out what to make for dinner, or lying in bed reading a novel for four hours rather than quilting the baby quilt.
     This tendency has it's good points as well.  I spontaneously volunteered to test patterns for Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs in 2015 which took me out of my comfort zone and prompted me to participate in my first blog hop.  I also jumped head first into the New Quilt Bloggers blog hop  which again took me out of my comfort zone and opened up a world of possibilities.  One of the things that was impressed upon us by our mentors was the importance of planning and of setting goals.

     Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a linky party to share our 2016 Plans, Goals and Resolutions.  This prompted this seat of her pants non planner to do some planning and set some goals.   

I'll start with the quilting goals.

1. Complete at least one quilt a month. This could be a stretch for me, but it's a worthy aspiration and doable so I'm leaving it at that.  I have a lot of works in progress that can help me meet this goal.  I'll start with the quilt my daughter has been asking me to quilt for her the past two years.

2.  Design and make my own quilts, and quilt blocks.To help me with this goal I'll be reading Cheryl's Pattern Writing Blog Series starting in January, and I'll be mining the back posts on Yvonne's blog to re read her posts on block design.   I'll be starting my own process by turning my contribution to the Fabri Quilt block challenge, the  Graduated Cross Block into a quilt.  I've bought the fabric to make a quilt using this block and I'm excited to get  started on it.

3.  Enter a quilt in to a show.  Several quilt shows in our area are adding a Modern category to their shows so I think this is a good place to start. 

4.  I'm really excited to be in Hive 8 of the Stash Bee.  I enjoy the social aspects of blogging and hope this continues in the bee.  My goal is to complete all my blocks on time.

5.  Improve my quilting. I'll work on this goal with the help of my Craftsy quilting classes on both Free Motion and Straight line quilting.

6.  Continue to explore Modern quilting techniques such as improv, negative grid and minimalism. Kaja of Sew Slowly and Anne of Fret Knot Your Self and good motivators here.

7.  Use my stash and come up with my own Stash Manifesto.  I'll be joining Jenn at Quarter Inch From the Edge for her linkups which are still a bit of a mystery.

Here are my goals relating to blogging.

1.  Post at least twice a week.  This could take planning. I know, I know this is what this post is all about.  I'll be using the Quilter's Planner to help me organize my sewing and my blogging ideas to meet this goal.   

2. Post a tutorial or two.  

3. Host a linky party.

4.  Learn how to get a working button into the body of a post.  I only know how to get them into the side bars.

     I've got some goals which I guess would best fall under the category of self care.

1.  Meditate daily.  I know that meditation has a great positive effect on my mood and energy level but I find it hard to do.  So once again it's on my list.

2.  Get some exercise.  I haven't figured out what this one is going to look like yet..possibly aquafit, possibly hand held the very least I will do my knee strengthening exercises on a regular basis.

3.  Go back to keeping a gratitude journal.  

4.  Retain my flexibility and don't get too anal about meeting all the goals.

     I've found writing this post to be a great way to articulate goals for myself for the upcoming year.  Thanks Yvonne for getting the ball rolling with the 2016 Plans,Goals and Resolutions Link Up.  I'm looking forward to Quilting and Blogging in 2016 and hope that I continue to be challenged and grow as much in 2016 as in 2015.



Monday, 21 December 2015

December Update

      I've been absent from the blog for a couple of weeks.  This can be explained by the general business of the season and by something that my mother would have called general malaise (as in Lisa was absent from school yesterday due to general malaise).  She actually wrote that on a note.  What it means is that I haven't had the emotional energy to write and that, my dear friends is due to the overall greyness of the skies these past few weeks.  Last year I worked through my issues with the seasonal dullness by creating a mini quilt called embraced by grey.  Not sure what I will do this year.  Sometimes just noting it helps and the feeling comes and goes  pretty much as the sun comes and goes.

   I have done some sewing since last posting.  One of my small groups does a gift exchange and I made another set of hexagon coasters.

     These were well received.  In turn I was gifted with these two beautiful mug rugs made by my friend Wendy.  I love them!

     My main crush these days is my new sewing machine. It's the Janome 8900 and I  brought her home a week ago.  I'm very happy to have her and I think I'll call her Jane.

     I saved up for her for over a year, putting money I saved by bringing my lunch to work, into a special savings account.  During this time I bonded with the bank tellers and one of them cheered when I told her I had purchased a machine and was transferring the money into the checking account.

    There are a lot of bells and whistles with this machine and I'll be taking some classes at the local machine shop to figure out how to use some of them. So far I've used her a bit to test out the 1/4 inch foot.  To do this I've worked on  the  blocks for the comfort quilt program at my local guild. I have managed to catch up. Yay!  If any of my fellow members of Hive 8 of the Stash Bee are reading this, don't worry there were no absolute deadlines for these blocks and I promise to get my stash bee blocks to you on time.

     Up first is the October block The disappearing four patch.
I'll have to make another one because this one has issues.  I made this block with pre cut charm squares and I find the pinked edges hard to use with accuracy.

The November block was a hug block.

December was the Friendship Star.

     And look I'm ahead of the game with one block done for January.  This block is called radiant stripes .  It should make a very striking quilt with it's alternating  rays of yellow and red.

    I'm really enjoying this block of the month program.  It's fun making all the different blocks my fellow committee members come up with and I'm also happy to use up some of the odd fabrics that have been sitting in my stash for years.  Out with the old and in with the new.

         I'm  also happy to say that the 1/4" feature on my new  machine is very accurate.  I'm itching to see how well she quilts.  I'm linking this post with Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts and with Let's Bee Social at SewFresh Quilts.

     I'd like to wish everyone some joy and happiness over the holiday season, whatever the holiday is that you celebrate, and I hope a little sunshine comes into our lives.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Good Things Come in Small Packages


      Sunday was the holiday meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.  It was fun party time.   Those of us who wanted to participate brought a small hand made gift.  I made the hexagon coasters I saw on Yvonne's blog Quilting Jetgirl  using the  5 minute hexie coasters tutorial posted by Sharla at Thistle Thicket Studio.  I made four.  They took more than 5 minutes, but that's because I didn't used pre cut hexagons.  I had a hexagon template which I traced around and then used a ruler and cutter to cut the traced lines.  Each coaster is slightly different from the others.  I had a lot of fun making them.  The multi coloured square fabric is one of the oldest fabrics from my stash. I've always been attracted to bright colours.


     Funnily enough the gift I received was also coasters.  Look at these beauties. I'm sorry, I can't remember the name of the woman who made them.   I love the fabrics that she used in the coasters and I really appreciate the care she put into quilting  each coaster.

     We  played a couple of games including quilters bingo .  Here are the two bingo cards/quilt blocks I made for this . Buttons were used as the markers. Under the blue, dots, Under the red, flowers.  This was lots of fun and the blocks will be sewn together into a quilt for charity.

     There were lots of opportunities to win prizes at this event. I had the good fortune of winning this charm square package of Barcelona by Zen Chic from Moda.

     Continuing  with the theme of small is beautiful.  Look what turned up in my mailbox this week.

     This lovely fish mini,mini came all the way from Nova Scotia .  Isn't she wonderful.   I love the free motion quilting.
I  exchanged mini, minis  with Anja of Anja Quilts.  Anja used my favourite colour blue to make this for me.  Here's the mini mini I made in Anja's favourite colour of Orange.  Some of my oranges look a bit yellow in this photo.

   I hope she loves this as much as I love mine. It took me three tries to get the binding on this 4 1/2" quilt, but I'm happy with how it turned out in the end.   Don't you love that each of us snuck our own favourite colour into the other's mini.  
     I enjoyed working on all these little projects.  It was really fun to send my mini to Anja and to receive hers in the mail.  I have a few more mini, mini's partially made and I'm planning on exchanging some more in January so if you are interested keep tuned.  I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.