Saturday, 31 December 2016

When Charlotte Burst Into the World

     Well here it is New Years Eve and I'm writing a blog post.  I just finished hand stitching the binding on Charlotte's quilt.
I took some photos earlier in the day before the quilt was finished as I knew we would be in darkness by the time I got home from work.

     I had a lot of fun with this quilt.  It started with a block design I made for the 2015 Fabri Quilt block challenge.  I named the block the Graduated Cross block and it was included in the 2016 Quilters Planner.  I decided to make a quilt with the block and give it to my 2nd Great Niece Charlotte.


     I made the quilt with Kona cottons .  I'm not sure of the exact colours but I decided to make a quilt with many blue blocks and one orange.  It's a fitting quilt for Charlotte and I named the quilt when Charlotte Burst into the World.

     Charlotte or Charlie as she's referred to was born so quickly that her father had to deliver her with help from emergency services over the phone. I felt the quilt design was symbolic of this. Having just been reacquainted with her over the Christmas Holidays I can say that she looks just like her father did when he was her age and that she has a very sunny personality just like the orange cross block in the quilt.

     I quilted the quilt by using the walking foot in the cross blocks.  I added a line of echo quilting around the orange block for a little extra emphasis.  Then I used the free motion foot to quilt a motif from Angela Walters 2nd book of quilting motifs.
      I wasn't sure that I would be able to quilt the free motion motif but I gave it a try and it turned out much better than I had thought it would.   These motifs are like snowflakes no two are alike.

     Here is the quilt totally finished.  The front.

and the back

     I'm really pleased with this quilt and I hope to find the time to make more quilts of my own design.  This is my third finish for the 4th quarter of the 2016 finish along and it was my December goal for OMG.  I'll be joining the link up for OMG December finishes and also the link up for Main Crush Monday on Monday.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Holiday Greetings From Narnia

    We are in  full Holiday mode here and it has been hard to find large bits of time to work on the quilting of Charlotte's quilt.  The sewing room is also full to the rafters with donation quilts for my guild which makes it a little difficult to move around in.(They were made by guild members and I'm storing them until delivery).  I've been a bit sewing deprived so when Molli Sparkles posted the wildcard block for the Honey Pot Bee  I took it as an opportunity to squeeze in a little bit of sewing. 

      Jason Yenter meets Sarah Watts in these blocks with a little Japanese neutral thrown in for the tree trunks.  Don't you think the Lions look like Aslan from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  That was the first series of books I can remember falling in love with as a kid.....nope  Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George came before that.

      My quilting life is a busy as a bee hovering around a honey pot so I don't really need another bee, but this one is just perfect cause I don't have to do anything if I don't want too, or if my life goes off the rails somehow.  And heck if all the blocks are as easy as this one which comes from a tutorial by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter I'll be able to do it in my sleep.  Just kidding, when I sleep I sleep.  Plus we get to pretend we are princesses and wear tiaras (I'll have to get one) and drink sparkly wine.  What could be better.?

     The best thing of all is I'm going to make this quilt entirely from my stash.  Well if I cheat a little you will never know.
I collected all these fabrics here for a project in the past which I never got around to making.  I may not use them all and I may toss in something else if I think it will work better.

  Here you have it.  There's lots of Cotton and Steel, a little Violet Craft a little Dear Stella and other miscellaneous stuff from my past.

     I doubt I will post again until after boxing day so Happy Solstice my friends (yes today is the shortest day and they start getting longer tomorrow.  Yay!) Merry Christmas, have a wonderful holiday  and I'll see you back between boxing day and New Years when I link up with Cheryl's Best of 2016. I'm linking this post to Let's Bee Social.

     Do you have your tiara yet?


Friday, 16 December 2016

2017 Goals

     Last year I found that taking the time to settle my mind and come up with goals for the year was a really good process for me.  So I am joining Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl once again in linking up goals for 2017.
     This year I've decided to have the over arching goal of Having More Fun!  The last year has brought me quite a bit more work to do with my extended family and my Quilt Guild. It's not that these things aren't enjoyable but they do take up a lot of time and I want to make sure that I'm using my personal/quilting/blogging time in ways that bring me joy rather than stress.  

    Quilting Goals

 There were three projects I really loved working on this year.  One was Charlotte's quilt ( my own block design).  One was playing around with colours and 1/2 square triangles and the other was working on an improv piece.  So in 2017 I plan to 

1.  Continue to work on more of my own block and quilt designs.
2. Play more with colour and with intuitive processes such as improv.
       I also plan to 
3.  Work more on my free motion quilting as that has become more enjoyable for me as my skills improve.
4.  Work on buying a bit less and using more of what I have on hand.

Blogging Goals

Although Instagram provides pretty quick response to posts I still prefer the deeper connections and discussions that come with blogging so with that in mind I will

1.  Continue to connect with other bloggers who I have come to value as friends. 
2.  Continue to work on blog improvements and yet to be determined challenges.
3.  Continue to work towards posting twice a week

Personal Goals
     I have a hard time meeting personal goals, but I met one of my personal goals from 2016 and I'm really excited to share this with you.  My goal was to get more exercise and to meet this goal I joined a gym.  Now I am not a join the gym type of person I'm more of a sit around in your pajamas reading novels kind of person.  So for me this is really big.  I chose the gym my two quilting buddies go to.  I go to aquafit twice a week and I work out at the gym once a week. Recently I added another small workout at home.  I've been going to the gym since September so I know I'm going to keep it up. For other personal goals I'm going to.

1.  Keep working on meditating more.
2.  Work with my Naturopath to get my blood pressure down a bit.  It's always been on the high end of normal and I'd be happier to see it a bit lower.
3.  Figure out a way to see my grandson a bit more.  Now that's fun!


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Mid December Update

     I've started the quilting on Charlotte's quilt.  So far I've been using the walking foot in each of the crosses.  I'm enjoying the process and loving how it looks but it's a slow process and I've given up on getting it finished by Christmas.  I'm still holding out for the end of the month but even that may be a stretch.  December is such a full month.  I'm out just about every night this week and we will be celebrating Christmas with Dwight's side of the family on Saturday and possibly Sunday as well. When the relatives come up from the States we squeeze in a lot of visiting.

     Last Saturday I got together with Cyndy and Wendy for sewing.  I worked on a couple of things.  I finished my Washi Tunic in plenty of time to wear it next Spring. Do you think it's colour is Greenery?  If so I guess I'll be on trend.

     I made it out of an AnnaMaria Horner knit that I bought on sale at Len's Mill. It's pretty bright but it's super comfortable and I think it looks pretty good on me.  The composition in the photo isn't the best but I have to say it's pretty hard to get photos with natural light in Ontario in the winter.  Here's what my back yard looks like.  This is my second finish for the 4th quarter of the 2016 finish along.  The original list is here and the button is in the sidebar.

     This cat is the second thing I worked on.  It will be joining the others I have made for Cat Treats a pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  The last time I got together with my friends I tried sewing two at a time.  Unfortunately I sewed the ears to the chin fabric on those two and I'll have to reconstruct them.  One at a time seems safer.

     Like always the three of us had a great time and when it came time to leave Wendy gave us each a Christmas floral arrangement she had made.  Here's mine.  Isn't it lovely.

     It's a beautiful sunny winter morning.  I don't start work until 11:00 today and I'm enjoying a hot cup of tea as I reflect on how lucky I am to have good friends both off and online.  I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social at my friend Lorna's.  I know she will be happy to see the cat.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Little Alison Glass

     My local Quilt Shop has marked down their remnants to 30% off so last Saturday Cyndy and I stopped in on our way home from the Gym.  Among the goodies I picked up there was this piece of Alison Glass fabric from her line Hand Made. 

     It got me to thinking that I should pull out my collection of Handmade fat quarters and do something with them. I got these fat quarters with a gift certificate I won for Mad About Patchwork.  It was a couple of years ago and the first thing I won on line. I believe it was the first link up of Scraptastic Tuesday hosted by Leanne of She Can Quilt and Nicky of Mrs.Sew and Sow.   I love the earthy simplicity of this collection but I haven't been sure what to do with it.

     Imagine my delight when I discovered that Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl is holding an Alison Glass Challenge and link up on her blog in January, to encourage quilters to use up the Allison Glass fabric they have in their stash.  No wonder this fabric was calling my name. One lucky person will win a fat eighths bundle of Allison's latest collection  Seventy Six which is quite different from this but also very beautiful.

     I think I have enough fabric here to make two quilts but what to do.  I've got until January 31st to get it done.......Hmm should I make plus signs ....or stars....or nine patches. While I'm pondering this I think I'll link  up with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.  I wonder if there is more Alison Glass in the line up.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Keeping the Flow Going

     After catching up with the Meadow Mystery I figured I better keep the flow going and I finished up December's instructions on the weekend.  

     How's this for an artsy photo.  You'll have to bear with me here.   My camera which has been acting up for a while has finally died and I'm having to work on my photography skills with an ipad.

  When we get to this point in the making it's fun to start playing around with things to see how things might develop with the quilt.  So here are a couple of layouts on my design wall.

     Yes I did notice that the block in the top right hand corner has a mistake in it and I did fix it.

     When I completed Novembers blocks I was despairing a bit about all the pink and purple together but I can see now that the pink is really needed to give the other colours some punch and I'm hoping it will get woven throughout the quilt.

     I also managed to sew the backing for Charlotte's quilt and I'm looking forward to pin basting it tonight.  I can start the quilting tomorrow morning before I go to work. Woo Hoo!
I'll be linking this post to Let's Bee Social hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

December Goal

     Here it is the 4th of December and I have yet to post my December OMG goal.  I've known what my December goal would be for ages, so I have no excuse.   This month my goal is to finish Charlottes Quilt.

     Here's a picture of the quilt top when I finished it back in May.  I'm planning to do some quilting with the walking foot and some free motion.  I think I can get it done by the end of the month but I would really like to get it done by Christmas.  That might be a stretch as life just gets busier and busier in December and opportunities for quilting become more scarce.  But I'll give it a try.   For now I'm linking up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I wonder what everyone else has in mind for December.  I'm also going to link up with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts because this quilt is one of my favourites.