Thursday, 28 December 2017

Goal Setting for 2018



     The last 7 months of 2017 were really difficult for me so when I reviewed my 2017 goals I found it ironic that my overarching goal was to have more fun.  It's a good thing I have a sense of humour!
      I thought I would reflect a little on the good things that I can remember from this year.  The best thing that happened in 2017 was that Elisha (rhymes with Elija) Luke was born and he is the happiest baby.  He laughs and smiles almost all the time and he brings me lots of joy, as does his older brother Gabriel. I did a lot of babysitting this year and looking after my grand kids was a lot of fun.  I also had a blast at Quilt Con way back in February.  Throughout the year I kept a gratitude journal so I could remember to focus energy on the small good things that occurred.
     I wasn't able to  make it to the Christmas party at my work but I do know that they had a quizz with prizes and one question was "Which employee would you be most likely to come across dancing in the store aisles".  The answer to that question my friends was yours truly.  I do love to dance so I think my overarching goal this year will be to keep dancing through life...the good, the bad, the ugly.

     Here are the goals.  They are very similar to last years goals.  I will continue to be busy with chairing the community outreach committee of my local guild and with my grand kids so I know that what I can accomplish is limited.

Quilting Goals
1.  Continue playing with colour and fabric and quilting techniques like improv and maybe some bias strips. Step one for this goal will to be to set aside a time each week to focus on this kind of play.  I've got some ideas I'd like to play with and I love this type of work so it needs space. 
2.   Continue to work on free motion and walking foot quilting techniques.  I'm planning on joining Jess of Quilty Habit in her FMQ QAL.  I'm not sure if I'll do a quilt as you go, or just work on the assignments.
3.  Complete at least three of my Craftsy Classes.  Since most of these are quilting classes, this will help me to work on goal number 2. as well.
6.  Complete at least 6 quilts. I've got two baby quilts to finish and I will be making a wedding quilt as well.

Blogging Goals
1.  Continue to aim for 2 posts a week.  This is a big goal given that I didn't manage even one a week last year. But my life circumstances have changed somewhat so it might be do able.
2.  Share more of the community outreach work on the blog. That should help with the goal 1 for this section.

Personal Goals
1.  Spend time with my sister doing fun things.
2.  Go to the Art Gallery in Toronto more often
3.  Figure out some better cooking, cleaning and eating strategies.
4.  Get back to daily goal setting and reflection.

      As usual I'm linking up with Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl for her 2018 Planning Party.  Oh yes, and I would love an accountability partner if anyone is up for it.


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Hello out there


  Hello out there.  Are any of you left?  It's been so long since I've posted.  It's been a very challenging Fall and I've had a hard time squeezing in quilting let alone blogging, or even reading blogs.  My family has been dealing with health challenges with my daughter in law, and with my aunt.

    My daughter in law is on the road to recovery, however my dear sweet aunt passed away in her sleep in the early hours this morning.  My daughter was the last member of our family to spend time with her and was able to make sure that she was comfortable before she left the hospital.  Gloria was happy to know that Dwight and I were going to visit her today.
My last visit with her was on Friday I read her a few chapters of a book and sang her lullabies because she asked me to sing to her and they were the only songs I could remember the words to.  I planned to bring a song book in with me for today's visit.
     Gloria was a very strong and courageous woman.  She was an editor and writer by profession. She spent many volunteer hours writing letters for Amnesty International and volunteering with Chilean Refuges in the 1970s.  In her later years she did volunteer work for the Older Woman's Network. She had no children of her own but considered my sisters family and my family to be her family.  We are really sad to see her go and will miss her terribly.

     Gloria was supportive of my quilting and came to my local guild's quilt show.  She showed off my placemats that I made for her and really loved the quilt that I made for her which you can read about here.

     Most of the quilting I have done over the summer and fall has been done on behalf of the Outreach Committee of my local guild.  I've done mega amounts of cutting, planning, organizing and attending meetings.  The quilts in the photo above are some of the quilts that will be donated  to the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence unit at our local hospital in early January.

     I will be joining the Goal Planning Party hosted by Quilting Jet Girl and I'm hoping to resume more regular bloggin in the new year.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Block Update


      I belong to a couple of guilds (Modern and Traditional) and I also a member of Stash Bee.  I make a lot of blocks for these groups for block of the months and block lottos and I thought it would be nice to share some of the blocks I've been working on.  Making a few blocks is a nice way to work some sewing in when there isn't a lot of time to spare.

     Last week I shared a photo of a quilt top that my friends and I put together at our mini retreat.  It was put together with block lotto blocks.  While we were together we also worked on some blocks for our local guild's outreach program.

     These majestic mountain blocks  where the September block of the month blocks.  They are really big blocks,
16 inches in width so it will only take a few to make a quilt top.  My block is the orange one.  

     Little Tent Block are very popular in my area right now with blocks being made by both local guilds.  Little Tent Blocks are improv blocks based on a quilt designed by Daisy of Ants to Sugar (now Warm Folk). You can see her original Little Tent Quilt here. It turns out that Daisy was inspired by Jennifer Johnston's triangle quilt and Jennifer is a member of the local Modern Guild.  The blocks above are for the local Traditional Guild, Royal City Quilter's Guild and are the blocks for the November block lotto.  The top left and bottom left are my blocks.  I love making these blocks and I'm planning on making more with some interesting background fabric I picked up recently.

     This here is my Stash Bee block for September.  It was a fun little block to make, once I settled on the 6 fabrics. I managed to pull them all from the scrap bins!  I'll be working on the October block this week.  It's a simple block but the challenge again was finding the right red.

     When I find some time, there have been some really nice honey pot bee blocks that I would like to add to my collection, so I'll be sure to update when I get those done.  I'm heading over now to link up with the Let's Bee Social link up over at Lorna's blog Sew Fresh Quilts.

Friday, 6 October 2017

OMG for October

     I've decided to pull an older quilt out of the mix for my OMG October goal.   I'll be doing a little of this...

and a little of this...

as I finish the blocks and put together the top of my clam shell quilt.  I love the warm and bright colours of this quilt and I'm looking forward to spending some more time with it.  

I haven't done a lot of curved piecing and it's been a while,  so I'm hoping it's like riding a bicycle. This pattern uses the quick curve ruler and some trimming, so it's a little easier than some drunkard paths. I'm linking up with the OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts.  I'm hoping it will keep me motivated and on track.  I was supposed to be working on these blocks all this week but that didn't happen.  Tomorrow is always another day.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

FAL 4th Quarter List

     This has been one busy year for me and the finishes are not coming fast and furious, but never being one to give up hope I'm compiling a list for this last quarter of the year.

     I'll start with the Circle of Friends Quilt.  It just needs to be quilted, and to add to that There is the Charm Pack Quilt which also just needs to be quilted.  

Another quilt that just needs to be quilted is Preppy Pod.  This one is likely to get done as it is for my grandson.

And I would like to finish this quilt which I started several years ago.

It's a pretty colourful group of quilts isn't it.  It should be fun working this grouping closer to completion.  I'll be linking up with the 4th Quarter FAL linkup at She Can Quilt and with the Let's Bee Social linkup at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Finished Quilt Top

     This past weekend Wendy and Cyndy and I had our annual retreat.  This time we went to Cyndy's sisters place close to Paris Ontario. It was a beautiful quiet place to get some quilting done and an awesome place for photo shoots.
We arrived on Friday before lunch and stayed till just after lunch on Sunday.  Cyndy's sister and her husband were away visiting friends so they left their dogs Beau and Sam, to be our hosts.  This is Beau.

     And this is Sammy.  Sammy is still a pup and never sits still.

    It was great having the dogs with us.  They made sure we got out for walks and kept us company.

     We spent most of our time working on projects for the community outreach committee of our local guild but for today I'll just share the main one. These were blocks we received for our block lotto last fall.  In a typical block lotto someone wins all the blocks but in this lotto we divided the blocks three ways.  Two individuals won 1/3 of the blocks and the community outreach committee kept 1/3.  We made a couple of blocks each to expand our flock and put them up on the design wall to figure out how to put the project together.

     We originally thought we would use a white with black fabric for the sashing but we decided to use this vintage robins egg blue fabric which Wendy had brought along.  Her parents recently downsized to a retirement complex and she needed to downsize her stash.

    We put together the quilt top in vertical rows.  We staggered the blocks in the vertical rows by putting a 2 1/2" sashing strip on opposite sides of each block.  We then put a 2 12" strip between each block going down the row.  Sorry I didn't think to take pictures of the process.  We then spread out the rows a bit by putting a 1 1/2" strip between each row and on each of the vertical sides.

    Of course we couldn't spend the weekend at a retreat without a visit to Quilt Junction in Waterford.  We were half way there after all.  Here is what I picked up there.

     It's been a while since I visited my friend Beth at Cooking Up Quilts so I'm going to head over there right now and join the Main Crush Monday link up.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Septembers Goal Completed

    Two Saturdays ago Dwight and I spent a wonderful day at my son's place, baby sitting our grandsons.  This time it was just normal baby sitting, no crisis.  We took the kids to the nearby park and had so much fun. Gabriel is always so excited to see us (especially his Grandad ) and Eli at three months gives us big smiles, and coos when we talk to him.

     This past weekend I was supposed to go to the Canadian Health Food Association  Trade Show in Toronto but I came down with a virus.  I decided to listen to my body and stay home to rest.  Dwight caught the virus on Saturday.  We had been going to visit my aunt, but she had to make do with a phone call instead. She sounds like she is doing o.k.  I'm going to look for some wood to touch after I type this but I think things are settling down somewhat in the family.

      Apart from the first day, the virus was pretty mild so I managed to finally spend some quality time on Eli's quilt and get the top finished.  It's fun isn't it?  Its the POD quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.  I made the lap size but added an extra row of the smallest whales to the bottom to give it a bit more length. I'm linking with the OMG link up at Elm Street Quilts.

     It feels really good to have this quilt top finished and I'm excited to start quilting it.  I will be ordering some backing fabric from Fabric Spot  along with my fabric for the Wayward Transparency Quilt Along and my friend Cyndy's fabric as well.  This will make the order big enough to avoid shipping charges which is always a bonus!  

      I'm trying not to take on too much in terms of new projects but I'm excited to quilt along with Yvonne on this one.  We will learn a lot about fabric choices for transparencies and will get an awesome quilt out of the process.

     My co worker and her husband have finally settled on a name for their baby and I'll be using this next little grouping for Rory's quilt.

     Tessa wanted a lot of colour to brighten up his room.  I'm thinking of Sawtooth Stars with the animals in the centre of the stars.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

September Goal

     This is a short post to let you know that no I did not manage to finish my August goal and yes I am rolling that goal over to September.

     This is the latest block I've made for this quilt.  I finished it this evening.  I like the red block and look forward to making a few more...maybe tomorrow morning.  Here's hoping I'll have a complete quilt top by the end of the month.  I'm heading over to the OMG link up to see what others have planned for the month.  Then on Wednesday I'll link check out the Let's Bee Social link up and see what's going on there.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Quilting With Your Walking Foot

       A couple of days ago my daughter in law posted Eli's 3 month photo on instagram and remarked that these three months had been the craziest they had ever experienced.  I agree.  It seems that my new normal has been responding to crisis on an almost weekly basis as three different members of my family have been in and out of the hospital.  In the midst of all that came an oasis of calm when I took a weekend for myself to attend Quilting with your Walking Foot with Jacquie Gehring.

      If you ever get a chance to take a workshop with Jacquie, please do.  She is a superb teacher very clear and calm and with an easy manner that makes you feel like she is your friend.


     We learned a lot of technical stuff in the workshop, and for me this was a lot easier to learn in real life than in a video or in a book.  We learned how to mark our walking foot feet to help us in stopping and turning and yes going evenly along those curves in the spiral.

     We practiced designs using minimal marking (two lines are marked in the sample above) and we learned to sew from point to point without a line.  This skill which teaches you to look where you want to go not at your foot is one which will help me not only with my quilting but with my piecing.  I've always had trouble sewing on a line.  Sewing on the line is where we ended our sampling with this design which is made entirely of straight lines which are marked.

     Jacquie brought along many sample of her work which was a great way to show us how the designs we were learning would look in a quilt.  Jacquie's work is really inspirational and I left the workshop with a desire to look at where my quilting is going and where I would like it to go.  My time is so limited now that I feel I need to be more selective with what I work on.   I'd like to focus more on specific skills and creative design.

     Jacquie was really good at helping us to recognize our skill level, to work within that skill level but also to break out bravely and learn new things.

     I went to the workshop with Deb, who I met at the Toronto Modern Guild.  I couldn't have chosen a better person to go with.  She was a great room mate and it was fun getting to know her a little better on this trip.  Maybe there will be future quilting adventures for us. I'm sharing this post with Beth at Main Crush Monday.  Happy Labour Day everyone.  

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


     One Whale:

Two Whales:

Yellow Whales, Blue Whale:

     This is the progress I've made so far on Eli's quilt.  I have one more medium whale to make and I think eight or nine little ones.

     In addition to this I have been preparing quilt sandwiches  for a two day workshop with Jacquie Gering at Hyggeligt  Fabrics in St Mary's this weekend. There are a lot of quilt sandwiches and I seem to be taking forever to get them done. I'm looking forward to the workshop. I am badly in need of some me time.

      I'm also looking forward to spending some time with my friend Deborah from the Toronto Modern Guild.  I met Deborah when she sat beside me at the January meeting and I ran into her at the airport when we were both going to Quilt Con in February.  We kept running into each other throughout Quilt Con and it was there that we decided to take this class together.

     We thought we would see each other lots of times at the Toronto Modern Guild meetings but that hasn't happened so we'll be seeing each other for the first time since February when she picks me up on the way.  I think we will have a lot of fun.  We are both stressing about those quilt sandwiches now and planning where to have dinner on Saturday night.

So I'm back to the quilt sandwiches now after I link up with Let's Bee Social.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

August Goal

     I woke up this morning thinking about my grandson's and this made me very happy and wistful so I thought I would share the small amount of progress I have made on Eli's quilt.  I am making him the Preppy Pod small quilt by Elizabeth Hartman although I will be adding one extra row of small whales to make the quilt a bit longer.  This way it will be about the same size as Gabriel's quilt ( Dog Gone by Lorna McMahon) which you can see here.

     I started with the one large whale and I am glad that I did because it gave me a great feeling of accomplishment getting a third of the quilt done so quickly.  There is a lot more sewing in the rest of the quilt so it won't go as quickly.

     I kept my feet in the photo so you get a sense of the size of the block. I also think my sandals go nicely with this block. I really love the two fabrics I used in this block.  They are both designed by Rashida Coleman who is pretty much my favourite fabric designer.  Here's a close up.

     And here's  a photo of the beautiful boy who will use this quilt one day.

     I anticipate being quite busy this month, so I've chosen to making all the blocks for this quilt as my goal for August.  They do make up rather quickly.

     For those of you who have been following along with news on my aunt.  She's doing a lot better and I'll be meeting her at the hospital on Friday and taking her home.  So we will be pretty much back where we started which is o.k. I've enlisted the help of my kid's and my niece and nephews to each take a day of the week to phone her going into the future and we will once again try to initiate a discussion on long term care.  Unfortunately she doesn't have insight into how vulnerable she is and she is the one who has to make the decision about entering the process to go on the lists.

     I'm linking the post up to Let's Bee Social and to the OMG linkup for August.

Monday, 31 July 2017

July Goal Finished

          What a  couple of months it has been.  It's been filled with the joys and exhaustion of spending lots and lots of time with my grandsons.  I won't go into details but it has taken pretty much the two months since the birth of the baby for my daughter in law to return to health and during those two months she was back in the hospital 6 times.  It is wonderful to see her back to health and energy and no one is happier than her two boys.  Here's hoping that things stay that way.

     Additionally my aunt has had a set back and is now back in the hospital. It never rains, it pours. Over the last month or so I had been trying to get her to go on the waiting list for long term care and now we will have to speed up the process.  It's pretty complicated however and depending on how her recovery goes she may end up in the first available bed.

     Despite the busyness I managed to complete my July Goal of quilting one of the three quilts I blogged about here.
I chose the green and orange quilt that is the second quilt top I made.  It feels good to have this gem from the past quilted up. I even managed to bind it.

       It was a bit dreary out on the day I managed to squeeze in a photo shoot but you can see that it's a pretty bright quilt.  It's hanging on the back of our newer couch at the moment.  I'm hoping it can protect the couch from cat claws.

     I took a suggestion from Christina Camelli and looked for a detail in the quilt to choose how I would quilt it.  I took my cue from the fish fabric I used for the backing, which also features on the front of the quilt.

     I quilted ribbons with my walking foot and filled in some of the spaces created with free motion circles.  The idea I was going for was underwater plants.  Here's a closeup or two.

     The walking foot quilting went very slowly but the free motion accents just zipped along and I had a lot of fun with them. This quilt is my first finish for the 3rd quarter of the 2017 Finish Along.  My original post is here.  I'm happily linking my post up with the OMG July Finish Linkup, with the Main Crush Monday Linkup and withTGIFF which will be at Katy's Quilts and More this week.  I'm also linking up with the 3rd Quarter Finish Along Link up at She Can Quilt.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

One Monthly Goal for July

     I'm having a hard time choosing which quilt I would like to work on this I think I will cheat a bit for my one monthly goal ......and just let you know that I would like to get the quilting done for one of these three quilts.  It could be 

1. Circle of Friends 

Or 2.  This donation quilt...which actually has been sewn into a quilt top with a lot of negative space...but I haven't shared it in a photo yet.

Or 3.  The second quilt top I ever finished.

     I have a rough plan for how I would like to quilt each of these.  I just have to pick one and go for it.  My time will still be limited as my son's new work contract has started and my daughter in law will still need help with the kids.  But I do have a week off work this month so I'm super optimistic that I'll be able to make great head way that week.

     I had been planning to pin baste one of the tops on Friday but I think I may have to go in to Toronto to see my aunt.  I've been so busy with the kids that I haven't seen her for several weeks.  My sister has been picking up the slack.

     I'll be linking this post up to the OMG link up for July and with the Let's Bee Social link up.  See you there.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Third Quarter List

     I am having a difficult time this year with finishes.  In Quarter One I had one finish and in Quarter Two I had no finishes.  I have moved some of my projects forward though, so all is not in vain.  I have a couple of baby quilts I have to add to the mix for completion this year.  One of these babies, my second grandson, is already a month old so I will add his quilt to the  Third Quarter list.  I have yet to start it but here are some of the fabrics I will be using.  The second baby will be born in August and I have no idea when her/his quilt will be finished.
The Toronto Modern Guild is hosting a curves workshop with Jen Carlton-Bailly this summer which I may or may not be able to go to.  It's on the long weekend in August so Dwight and I might have other plans.  You never know with his work in the summer. This has gotten me thinking about curves and it brought the next quilt to mind.   I thought this quilt must have been on a finishing list before but I couldn't find any pictures of it so I guess not.  I started it a long time ago so I should pay some attention to it. Step one will be to pull these blocks out of the needs to be done pile and iron them.

Here are my repeats from last quarter: 

Another curved quilt:  the clamshell.  You can tell I was on a warm colours kick when I was last working on these two quilts.

Snowflake Shimmer

This charm squares quilt which has now been made into a quilt top and is ready for quilting.

The tea cozy

Circle of Friends:  Also a quilt top, now awaiting to be quilted.

The second quilt top I ever made:  I think it's time I got this baby done.

I know it's a pretty big list but I'll be happily chipping away at it and we will see if I get any of it done this quarter.
I'm heading over to Leanne's blog She Can Quilt to join in the link up for Third Quarter Finishes.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A Tale of Three Quilts

     You may remember this quilt top.  It's the Broken Frames quilt designed by Cheryl Brickey  of Meadow Mist Designs and I made the top last summer.  It's a donation quilt for my local guild's outreach program.  I am currently the chair of the outreach committee (was co chair last year).

     Community outreach co-ordinates the making of approximately 100 quilts each year, although this year the President's Challenge was to make comfort quilts and we ended the year with 168 quilts. The quilts go to the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence unit, housed at the local hospital.  Guild members can contribute by making individual blocks, by making a quilt top, by quilting tops made by others , or by donating a complete quilt.  I matched this top up with batting and a backing and put it with the others waiting to be quilted.

     Vicki picked up the quilt and used it to teach her 13 year old daughter how to use her long arm.  Vicki is really happy that her youngest daughter has shown an interest in quilting as her oldest two have shown no interest.  Here's a close up of the quilting.

     One of the great things about the outreach program is that in addition to making  quilts for a good program, members are encouraged to learn new patterns and skills. Working on the quilts is way for people to give back to their community while practicing their skills.

     I asked Cheryl for permission to share the pattern in a couple of kits for the outreach program and she generously agreed.   I had two sets of charm squares from Cotton and Steele that I  had picked up at my local quilt store and Wendy and I made kits by combining them with white background and frames of fabric, donated by Joanne's sister.

      The first one was sewn by Josee. She picked up the kit at a guild meeting. The  colourful charms were from the Mochi line, designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  The dark green frames went well with this line.

It was quilted by one of the generous long armers that belong to the guild.The swirls look great don't they. 

     Cyndy put the last kit  together.  These charms were Tokyo Train Ride by Sarah Watts and the frames where a copper brown, which complement the charms quite nicely.  Sometimes we are lucky to have things in the guild stash that work perfectly together.

     The quilting on this one was straight lines quilted diagonally across the quilt, also done on a long arm.  I think it's very effective.

       Many hands helped to make these quilts which will be used to provide comfort and healing.  You can read about more donation quilts at the Sew Some Love linky at Kat and Cat Quilts where I will be linking up today. I'll also be linking up with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.