Monday, 31 December 2018

A quilt for Zoe/December Goal is Finished

     I'm squeezing in one last finish for 2018! I managed to put the last stitch in the quilt binding just as the sun was going down for the day on Saturday.  Of course it was cloudy on Sunday morning when I took the photos (it's raining now).

      I whipped up the quilt top in June when I decided to use the fabric you can see in the plus signs, in a quick finish.  I won those whimsical fat quarters in the Rainbow Rose Quilt Along which was hosted by Modern Quilters Ireland back in 2016.  I chose the Coral background fabric because it went nicely with all the other fabrics.  Who would know I would be on trend with the Pantone colour of the year for 2019.  

     The pattern is the Celestial Plus Quilt from the book Modern Plus Sign Quilts by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander.  I made the quilt in what I call Toddler Size.  It's 48" square.

     I managed to find a co ordinating fabric to put on the back, which worked really well for the binding as well.

     I'll be giving this quilt to my newest great niece Zoe.  Baby Zoe is about 3 months old now.  She is the 3rd daughter for my nephew Eric.  I tend to give baby's their quilt at about a year old so Zoe's is ahead of schedule for me.

     I quilted the background of the quilt with an all over pattern call bear claws. The claws radiate out in all directions from the dark grey larger plus sign.  I used my Janome 8900 for the quilting and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Not perfect by any means but quite a bit better than any fmq I have done so far. I used Mettler 50 weight Coral Thread in the top and the bobbin. I will be taking a course with Christina Camelli and Quilt Con so I need to be practicing all over designs.  I got pretty comfortable with this one as I worked on the quilting and I was able to relax and enjoy the process.  Quilting Zoe's quilt was my OMG for December so I will be linking my post to the December OMG linkup.  It's also my 2nd finish for the 2018 Finish Along 4th quarter so I'll be linking up there as well.  You can see my list of proposed finishes here.  I'm also sharing this finish with the Let's Bee Social linkup and with the Brag About Your Beauties linkup.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Best of 2018 Linky Party

     Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs is holding her annual Best of Party and after missing the party last year, I'm joining in again.  I like to use this link up to share my favourite makes of the year.  Here they are in no particular order.

1.  I made this version of the "Preppy Pod" quilt , pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, for my youngest grandson Elisha so of course it's one of my favourites.  I wrote about it here.

2.  The second quilt on the list was also made for a toddler and I think it's my favourite make of the year.  I love the bright colours in this quilt and I had a lot of fun with the quilting.  You can find the story of this quilt here.  The blog post for this quilt was in the Wish Upon A Star blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt, and it received the most visits for the year.

3.  My quilter's planner quilt is another favourite.  Making this quilt was a good skill builder for me as the piecing was a little more intricate than my usual and I'm happy to say I could see improvements in matching up points etc.  The blog post for the quilter's planner quilt (designed by Cheryl Brickey) is here.

4.  I also enjoyed working on Sandra of mmmquilts  Free Fall quilt with my friends Wendy and Cyndy and you can read about that quilt here.

5.  For my fifth and final choice I'm going with this simple quilt which I designed and made for a Curated Quilts Challenge.
I am super proud of myself for completing this challenge and submitting it to the magazine and I'm planning to work on more challenges in 2019 as time allows.  Here is the post that goes with the quilt.

     I hope you all have a great New Year and here's to another great year of quilting and blogging.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2019 Planning Party


      Like many others I am joining Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl in her Planning Party for 2019.   This is my 4th year of goal setting and I really enjoy the process of sifting through my ambitions and wishes for the year ahead. 

     Here's a quick update of last year's progress.  I did complete 6 quilts and I'm working on completing the 7th right now so I may exceed that goal.  I did do some practice with free motion and walking foot quilting although not as much as I was intending.  I did not set aside weekly time for fabric play although I did enter some challenges in the later part of the year which helped me to have some creative play time.

     Regarding the blog I did not always manage two posts a week but I did share some community outreach work.    In my personal goals I did spend more time with my sister and I did go to museums a bit more.  I made some  progress in cooking and cleaning strategies but I did not get back to daily meditation and goal setting.

      As I move into 2019 I have some exciting news to share with you.  My two quilting buddies and I pooled our money and bought a sit down long arm machine ( mid arm).  It's living a Wendy's house as she has the most time to use it at present but I am super excited to be using it as well. Also in the fall of 2019 I'll be moving into semi retirement, so my time will free up but my money will tighten up.  So keeping these things in mind here are my goals for 2019.

Quilting Goals
1. Improve my quilting both waking foot and free motion, using my home machine.
2.  Become comfortable with the "mid arm" and work on my free motion skills with it.  The plan is to start with quilting on donation quilts, as we always have more quilt tops than quilters.
3.  Complete 4 to 6 UFO's (hopefully) all that practise above will help with this.
4.  Continue to work on challenges as they arise.  This will include the Curated Quilts challenges, guild challenges and any other challenges that come my way and catch my fancy.  While working on these challenges also work on creativity and skill building.

For my Christmas gift I asked  Dwight to build shelves in the cupboard in my sewing room. This next goal relates specifically to that.
5.  As I rearrange my fabrics, scraps books and patterns, look over each item and make a decision about whether to keep it before placing it on a shelf.

Blogging Goals
1. Post once or twice a week depending on content.
2. Write more process posts
3.  Work on better photos.

Personal Goals.
1. Make better use of my Quilters Planner.
2.Continue to develop better cooking and cleaning strategies.
3.  Retain flexibility as life keeps throwing those curve balls to me.
4.  Be kind and patient with myself and others.   

I welcome 2019 with all it has to offer and I look forward to sharing another quilting journey with my fellow quilt bloggers.



Friday, 14 December 2018

The "Ugly Fabric Challenge"


  When the folks from The Red Red Bobbin came to our  Modern guild in September they let each of us choose a fabric that we was an "ugly" fabric or a fabric we would not normally use.  They  then challenged us to make a small quilt with the fabric.  I made two.  Here's the first one.  

     The ugly fabric is the brown fabric, although the light gold is giving it a run for its money.  I used some of the colours in the gold fabric to choose additional  fabrics for the piece.  I also thought it would be fun to practise some gentle improv curves.  I was really just playing around at this point seeing how the colours were working together.  Although I wasn't thrilled with how this piece was coming together, as I worked I began to figure out a way to use the fabric with a result I might like.

     I decided I needed to tone the fabric down a bit and I decided to add some grey grunge fabric with blue undertones.  I sewed 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" rectangles of the grunge to 3 1/2" squares of the "ugly" fabric and some other co ordinating fabrics I had in my scrap bins.  Things worked together quite nicely and I finished with this table runner.

I think the brighter orange squares really lift the tone of the runner and I knew I had a winner when I added them to the mix.

     And winner it was!  It won the most votes (by one or two) at our December Guild meeting/Holiday Party/Sew In. I used my walking foot to quilt more or less straight lines across the quilt using a light blue aurifil thread.  If you go back to the first photo in the post you can see the 2/12" by 12 1/2" creative grids ruler I received as a prize.  You can also see the EZ angle ruler and the template holder I received as a gift.  Instead of purchasing things we wrapped up tools or material we had on hand, or made something as gifts for one another.

     These two small quilts make up my first finish for the fourth quarter of the 2018 Finish Along (you can see my original list here.  There is also a really good photo of the "ugly" fabric there.  I will be linking up to the finish along later in the month but for now I am linking this finish up to the Brag about your Beauties link up with Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty.

And I'm also linking up with TGIFF which is hosted this week by Kathy at Kathy's Kwilts and More.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Fireburst Mystery

     Look What I managed to finish!

  It's the quilt top from the Fireburst Mystery Quilt Along hosted by Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.  Despite being a fairly simple quilt I managed to fall way behind as I tossed it aside for other things that caught my fancy.  Perhaps my word for 2019 should be focus.

     You will notice that we have had sun lately, and a light dusting of snow. This is helping to put me in an optimistic mood as I think about plans and goals for 2019.

     I'm enjoying the bright colours against the dark blue and the dark blue against the snow.  Linking with  UFO Busting at Tish's Adventure in Wonderland as well as the  Main Crush Monday link up at Cooking Up Quilts and the Let's Bee Social linkup at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, 3 December 2018

December Goal

     I'm not sure what happened to November but here we are at December and it's time to link up a goal for the month.  This months pick was a pretty easy one for me.  I need to get some free motion quilting practise in so I'm going to quilt this one.

     The quilt is folded on the top.  It's the toddler sized version of the Celestial Quilt from Modern Plus Signs Quilts by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander.  I found the backing fabric at our local Len's Mill store and lucky for me there was only enough there to back this quilt.  If you finish the bolt you get 15% off.  Whoo hoo!

     While we are on the subject of Modern Plus Signs Quilts, I did finish my November goal of finishing the first section of the Modern Plus Sign Quilt Along.  I finished it on December 2nd, too late for the link up but I'm smiling.  I'll keep plugging along and maybe catch up by January or February.

     I'm linking up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts for the December One Monthly Goal linkup and I'm also linking up to Let's Bee Social over at Lorna's blog.