Thursday, 28 April 2016

A wee finish

     My local Quilt shop, Greenwood Quiltery has been carrying knits for a several years now and offering classes with enticing names like sewing knits on your sewing machine.
     I've not been able to make any of these classes but I have been inspired by the success of my co worker Erin who figured out how to sew knits with the help of the internet.  When I saw this pattern for the grow with me Pirate Pants (which in this link are called harem pants) and this material I just had to try them out.

     I took the pattern and material with me on my recent sewing weekend.  For the most part sewing with knits was pretty easy.  You just use the stitch on the machine that looks like lightening.  But then I got to the part where you have to sew the tiny little cuff onto the leg.  I was really glad that my friend Wendy was there to help me .  She has a lot of experience sewing clothes and advised me to stretch the fabric out somewhat so I could managed sewing the little cuff.  After sewing on the  two tiny cuffs, sewing the waistband on was a piece of cake.  

Here's the result .  The sweet little  baby pants are made to be size 0 to 3 months with the cuffs folded 

and size 3 months to 6 months  with the cuffs opened up.

     This is where they get their name.  The Pirate pants were a pretty quick finish but they were the first pattern I tried with knits so I guess they are worthy of a second quarter finish.  They are my second finish for this quarter and the original list is here.  I'm linking up with TGIFF which is held at Celtic Thistle Stitches this week.  I'm off to see the other finishes.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Social Sewing

     About a year ago Cyndy said she wanted to go to Paducah, so she Wendy and I decided to go. But when the Canadian dollar ran into trouble in the fall, we changed our minds.  To be honest, I was more interested in Quilt Con and given everything that has gone on with my Aunt this winter it was a good thing that our trip was cancelled.

     We did go on a trip though.  It was just shorter and local.  We travelled an hour and a half north to Wasaga Beach, where we had a mini retreat at a cottage belonging to Cyndy's niece.   

     This trip couldn't have come at a better time.  I spent Monday and Tuesday with my aunt, I went back to work Wednesday and Thursday and went to the cottage from Thursday night to Sunday night.  My sister was with my aunt on Wednesday and Thursday, my lovely daughter stopped in for a visit on Friday and my wonderful husband went down on Sunday.

     We have lot's of services set up for my aunt and she seems to accept most of them but there are definitely some worries about her cognition so we do have concerns about her ability to be on her own.

    But on to the retreat.  Wendy had a bit more time than Cyndy and I, so she prepared all the meals in advance. Thanks Wendy.

     We got lots done.  I finished the quilting on this baby quilt.   All it needs now is binding.

     I also finished the Pirate pants for my grandson, I'll share these in another post.  This was my first time sewing knits and I'm happy with the result.

     I also finished making my second Scout Tee.

Here I am modelling it.

     And here is a close up  of the tee on the back porch.

   I love this Cotton and Steel octopus fabric and I'm looking forward to some warmer weather when I will be able to wear it.  It's my first finish for the second quarter of the 2016 Finish Along.  My original list is here. 

     On Monday I came home from work to find two exciting things from other quilting friends in my mail box.  I'll post about those later.  Right now I'm feeling grateful for my many quilting friends.  The local ones and the online ones.  I'm linking up to Let's Be Sewcial with my friend Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

April Update

         Last week my local guild Royal City Quilters Guild had the pleasure of having Lorna McMahon of SewFresh Quilts as our guest speaker.  You may have heard about this already as I'm a bit late to the party here.  It was wonderful seeing Lorna's quilts .  They look even better in real life than in photos.  Lorna did a great job talking about each of her quilts and her inspiration for making them.  She is a  natural speaker and happily shared her experience with designing quilts and making patterns.
         I've had lots of online conversations with Lorna over the last couple of years and it was great to meet her in person.   Kathy of Kathy's Quilts had her phone with her and snapped this picture of Lorna and me.  Look at us in our matching grey clothes.


      If I look like I'm tired in this photo, it's because I was/am. 
My personal life continues to be very busy and stressful. 

     Next month I'm Queen Bee for my Stash Bee Hive so most of my sewing time in the last couple of weeks has been spent sewing and preparing the tutorial for my bee block for May.  I can't share that but I will share the fabric pull of sample fabrics.

     I'm ripe for some  rainbow coloured goodness after the winter months, although the weather today has been amazing and it was great to get out and take a long walk around the neighbourhood.

     I've also made some progress on my April goal. I've finished sewing the strip sets for the graduated cross quilt. Here they are on the back  railing.

     I'll be in Toronto for the next few days helping my Aunt settle back into her apartment.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will accept all the measures put in place to help her cope at home.  I'll be back to link up to Let's Bee Social on Wednesday.

Monday, 11 April 2016

2nd Quarter List

     It's time to set my goals for the 2nd Quarter of the 2016 Finish Along.  I'll start with the projects I'm carrying forward from the first Quarter.

1.  The graduated cross quilt.  Finishing the blocks for my cross quilt is my April goal.  There's a vague possibility I'll finish the quilt this quarter but I'm thinking of hand quilting it with big stitch I'm not sure how long that will take.

2. Midnight Mystery.  This one needs to be quilted and bound.
3.  The last hold over from quarter one is this baby quilt.  I worked on it a bit there is not much left to do so I think I'll actually get this one done.

So now I think I'll add a couple of new goals just to keep it interesting.

4.  I'm going to add the clam shell quilt to the mix. It's on the design wall and I think it needs a little attention.  There are more blocks to make before I can put this one together.

5.  I'm going to try my hand at sewing knits by making these baby pirate pants.

6. and I'm going to make something fun for myself out of this great cotton and steel octopus fabric.

7. I'm hoping to finish this little improv project for the Toronto Modern Guild.

8.  They are also looking for a self portrait but I haven't even started that!

9.  My final possibility is to quilt this disappearing nine patch for my local guild's comfort quilt program.

I know it's a big list and we'll see what I manage to accomplish, but for now I'm linking up with the Q2FAL link up on Lee Anne's blog She Can Quilt.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Throwback Thursday

     My aunt has figured a lot in my blog posts over the last while so I though it made sense to feature this quilt that I made for her in my Throwback Thursday post this month.  My family has done a fair bit of cleaning in her apartment  this last while, as it had gotten beyond her abilities.  Dwight and I brought home some laundry including her quilt which I made for her a few years ago.  This is probably the first "modern" quilt I made.

      My aunt is now 87 so she was in her early 80's when I made the quilt for her.  I know that when I made it, people were expecting that I would have made a flowery quilt for her because of her age.  But I have always thought of her as being more of a modern person.  When she was younger she was an editor of social justice themed newsletters, and I have memories of her taking me to the area where the  "Beat Nicks" hung out when I was a kid.

          The pattern is City Bank from Cherrie House's book City Quilts.  The original was done in reds but I chose blues and greens because blue is my aunt's favourite colour.  The quilting is straight line quilting with a walking foot echoing the black lines and the edge of each block.  This was the first quilt I enjoyed quilting.  Up until this point all my quilting was done in the ditch. I'm still not crazy about in the ditch quilting.

     I backed the quilt with this beautiful Jason Yenter  fabric.  I still love the deep blues of this fabric.  I bound it in solid black.

     This weekend we will be preparing the apartment for my aunts return so I'll be bringing it back there.  We are hoping she will be able to cope on her own again, with supports, as that is what her wish is.  At this point there is no release date set but she is making progress so it shouldn't be far off.  I'll be away from home Thursday morning so I'll join the Throwback Thursday linkup, at Quarter Inch From the Edge later in the day. 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Lots of Cross Blocks

     For the last three days I've been crushing on the fact that I got to stay home for three days in a row and do whatever I like.  No work. No obligations.  I spent some of the time hanging out with friends, some of the time hanging out with Dwight and some of the time reading.  The current book is Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko.  I'm really enjoying it.
     I got right to work on Friday making my Hive 8, stash bee blocks.  Liz wanted log cabin cross blocks in black and white.  This block went together quickly and I made her two.

     The first with fabric designed by Rashida Coleman of Cotton and Steel, and the second with fabric designed by  Erin McMorris.

     Liz wrote an excellent tutorial for making these blocks and she shared it on her blog Lizzyclips Designs.  Judging by the blocks showing up on the Stash Bee blog this is going to be a very striking quilt.

     Helen of Hive 6 also chose a cross block for her bee block and as I was crushing on the crosses I made one for her as well.

     Helen also has a great tutorial on her blog Midget Gem Quilts for making this block which uses a different construction method than Liz's.  With the reds and low volume scrappiness, this quilt will be another winner.

     I'll be the Queen Bee for Hive 8  next month and I've finally settled on a block.   I've got the fabric cut and I'm hoping for some sunny days this week to sew the pieces together and make the tutorial.  Oh and I almost forgot, I ended the weekend finding out that I was a lucky winner of the One Monthly Goal link up at Red Letter Quilts.  I won Machine Quilting with Style by Christa of Christa Quilts!

     I am so grateful to have had this wonderful weekend of respite.  My next week and weekend are jam packed again, with two trips to Toronto and one in the other direction to New Hamburg.  We are making preparations for my aunt to return to her apartment ( not sure exactly when that will be but it's getting closer) and my niece will be visiting  from Australia!  My American relatives will also be joining us at my sister in law's farm.  Both my kids, my daughter in law and my grandson will be there as well.

     Linking up with Main Crush Monday and Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Goal for April

     After the crazy busy February and March I think I need a less intense goal than free motion quilting a quilt.  So this month I am going to focus on finishing the blocks for the Graduated Cross quilt .  I do have another name in store for this quilt but I think I will save it for the finish.

     Life will continue to be busy in April, but hopefully a little less stressful.  I have a lot of the fabric cut for this quilt so I'm hoping to sneak the block making into little bits of time here and there.

     This is not a current photo so the snow on the deck is not new...but we are surrounded by a winter wonderland here again.  Oh well.  I'm linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for the One Monthly Goal link up.