Friday, 27 December 2019

2019 Top Five

     It's time to pick my top five for Cheryl's end of the year linkup.  It's a bit of a difficult task for me this year as I didn't manage as many finishes this year.  Cheryl leaves it up to us to pick what we want to share.  So here goes.

1.  Katrina's quilt.

    I made this quilt quickly for my friend and previous co worker Katrina when I got back from Quilt Con.  I heard that she had pancreatic cancer and I wanted to quickly wrap her in a quilty hug.  Katrina loved her quilt and I managed to visit with her twice before she passed away taking a couple of my co workers with me.  I feel blessed that I was able to share this quilt with her to give her some comfort in her last days and I hope that it is giving comfort to one of her relatives now.

2. Minimalist Friendship Star

     I designed this minimalist star myself and I am happy that I managed to find the time in a busy year to do something for myself, by taking the time to design something and make it.

3.   I really like the process in making this Charlie Harper Runner for my boss.  It's simple but I put it together slowly and favourite method.

4.  Last year my two friends and I bought a sit down long arm ( or midarm depending on who you are) and I have been having a blast working through some of my backlog of quilts.
This is the first of my personal quilts ( not the guilds) that I quilted on the machine.  It's a quilt that I really love and it is on the bed in the spare room. The pattern is Grande Scrappy Tiles by Cheryl Brickey.

5. I really really love the Modern Rice Pouch designed by KZStevens and I had a lot of fun making the two that I made.  I did have to google how to attach a square base into a tube but it wasn't that hard in the end.

     I hope to make a few more in the new year along with the Modern Boro zipper pouch and the project bag. It was fun using up items in the stash and learning a few new tricks.
     I am linking up with Cheryl for the Best of 2019 linky and I am wishing us all lots of fun and sewing success in the New Year.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

December's Goal is Done

     I bet you are wondering if I managed to get all my projects done for December.  Well of course I did.  They were all presents after all.  Even though some of them won't be gifted until later in the week I finished them up on Christmas Eve.
  I'll start with the projects for the boys which were gifted on December 21.  I was asked by their mother if I could make them super hero capes.  She thought they would really like them and that it would be a good idea to put their initials on them.  So I set about looking for a pattern and found this one here at Thread Riding Hood.

     Red is Gabriel's favourite colour and I had wanted to make his cape red with blue lining but I could not find a bright red when I was looking for fabric so I settled on this orange.  It's interesting to me that to everyone else in my family this is red.   Elisha's cape is blue on the outside, lined with orange.  
The capes have velcro closures which I have never used before and  the initials and circles are made from flannel.  I found the free applique letters at Rebecca Mae Designs and even if you are looking for the alphabet it is worth checking her website out. 
     The boys love their capes and can be found leaping about and twirling in them on a daily basis.  Would you like to know what some of their super powers are?  Gabriel's super power is his imagination.  He is often in another world.  His other super power is his smile.  He just beams with excitement.  As for Elisha singing is one of his super powers.  I like to think this comes from the Welsh side of the family, but the Mennonite singers probably beg to differ.  He is also really good with his hands and loves to play with play dough and finger paints.
    As for the other gifts.  I made extra's.  I wrote about the first bags here.  That left the SweetPea Pods for Leana.  I forgot that when you make the bags you get two the same.  I wanted to give her two bags, but I wanted them to be different so I made four.  I'm giving the other two to Pauline. 

     Leana's favourite colour is orange and I thought the blue linen looked really nice with it.  My daughter told me Leana has too much stuff so if I gave her something it had to be something she could put stuff in.  So, two little bags for some small stuff.
     I hope you all had a holiday time that was a good as it could be and that you found some time for rest and reflection.
I'll be linking this up with the OMG link up at Elm Street Quilts, and I'll be linking with Michelle, From Bolt to Beauty for her beauties pageant for the week as well as the TGIFF linkup hosted this week by Anja at Anja quilts.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Goals and Plans for 2020

  2019 has been for me, a year of transition.  In June I gave up co chairing the community outreach committee of my traditional guild. I'm still involved in the committee and spend a fair bit of time sewing quilt backs together, but have less organizational stress.  In late September I turned 65 and cut my work hours to 2 days a week.  I have more time on my hands and more space in my head and I am still working my way through what this all means for me.  I also have less money so that is another consideration.
     A few weeks ago something happened with the computer account and I wasn't able to use it for a while.  This was a different kind of stress and transition.  Thanks to my friend Scott things seem to be working properly now, but for a while there I as thinking of giving up blogging all together. These weeks of forced separation from the blogging world was an eye opener for me as I realized how much time I was spending on the internet and the reasons for that which include missing my more active life, and boredom.  This is the context I bring to my goal setting.

     Looking back to my goals for 2019 I have to laugh, because I always think I can do more than any reasonable person could.  I did however make progress in two of my goals.  My machine quilting is getting much better, thanks to regular sessions on the sitdown long arm this fall and I have tried my hand at a couple of creative challenges, with one of my mini quilts being published in Curated Quilts.
      But on to 2020, and my thoughts about where I would like to go from here.  In 2020 I would like to:

1.  Continue working on my machine quilting every Tuesday afternoon and sometimes additional days.
2.  Continue participating in creative challenges as they arise and spike my interest.  Examples are Curated quilts, Canadian Quilters Association and dare I say Quilt Con?
3.  Aim for one blog post a week, and unless I'm sick in bed limit blog reading and writing to a couple of times a week.
4.  Start using up the stash in a more aggressive manner.
5.  Continue working my way through the great backlog of projects I already have. (see goal 1)
6.  Work play and experimentation  into my quilting life a bit more. ( Figure out a regular time to do this)
7.  On non working days go for a 30 to 40 minute walk, during the winter do this close to noon, in the summer when it's less hot.
8.  Arrange to do things with other folks who are home during the week.
9.  Be flexible, keep singing silly songs with the grandkids and have fun!  Linking up with Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl and the 2020 goal planning party.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Two Down and Four or So to Go.

     It's been a bit like Santa's workshop here as I work on some last minute holiday gifts.  Getting these small projects done is my goal for the month and I have two done and ready to share.  They are two of a kind: twins, fraternal, definitely not identical.

     Here is the one I made first but is being gifted second.

     The pattern is  the Modern Japanese Rice Pouch by KZStevens and you can purchase it here. I came across this pattern on the Karen Lewis instagram feed @karinlewistextiles and I immediately fell in love with it.
I decided to make this bag for my secret Santa gift at work.
Kaliesha, my recipient is a funky very stylish lover of herbals and flowers and all things handmade so I knew she would love this fussy cut deer from Wandering with Doe which is from the Open Road Collection by Bonnie Christine, Art Gallery Fabrics.  I paired it with linen and Japanese fabrics from my scrap stash.  Here's a look at some of the other fabrics.

     We have a limit of $10 for our gift so I had to use stash fabrics but fortunately there is no shortage there!  I used Suede lacing for the closures.

     The fraternal twin is to be gifted at the Grand River Modern Guilds Holiday Party on Thursday.  The crowd there generally likes bolds and brights like Allison Glass, Tula Pink and Giucy Giuce so I used a little of each in this bag.

     This was also made from stash except for the beautiful yellow linen which I picked up at Make 1, the beautiful new shop which is within walking distance of my home.  For this bag I started with the Tula Pink and went from there, using purple ribbon for the ties.  These bags have unique closure tabs which adds interest to the bag.

     The pattern was easy to follow, the only tricky bit being sewing the bag sides which are a tube to the bottom, which is square.  I googled the technique and found this tutorial on the Sew4Home website which simplified the step for me.  I'll be linking up my finish with Bragg About Your Beauties and with TGIFF.  Now I'm off to work on some capes for Super Heros!

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Virtual Cookie Exchange

     Welcome to my stop on the 
Virtual Cookie Exchange blog hop which is hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.  Christmas is for many of us a family time.  This year for us this means seeing relatives and friends who come up from the United States and also seeing some  aunts and uncles on my husbands side of the family.  Spending this time with folks we don't see that much makes the season special and having children in the mix once again makes the season magical!  My side of the family is welcoming two babies this month so we get a repeat in February when the babies are a bit older!

     Carol gave us a lot of leeway in what we could share in the post.  I am not much of a baker so there are no cookies here just quilting projects.  Two of them.   I signed up for the  hop in hopes that it would give me the push I needed to get these two projects done by the beginning of December.  I am happy to say it did!

     It's not usual for me to make seasonal quilts so I surprised myself when I saw this quilt kit at Creative Sisters  and I just had to make it.  But I shouldn't be surprised because I am a Nana now to two toddlers who are pretty fond of their stuffed animals.  When I saw the fabric panel with cute penguins, moose, bears and tigers sporting reindeer antlers I pictured my boys snuggling under it on the couch.  Truth be told they are more likely to use it as a roof for a fort!  I also liked that it doesn't scream Christmas but has a winter theme that might extend its use a bit.

    It was a easy pattern,with the top coming together quickly but I did have  a few issues with the quilting.  I applied the spray basting outside on the back porch on a clear cold day and maybe because of the cold weather it didn't seem to stick very well on the top. This didn't give me major problems however.  I worked from the middle out and I didn't get a lot of puckering.  I used our sit down long arm machine for quilting and Wendy gave me a part spool of 40 weight King Tut  white thread called Linen to use for the quilting.  Unfortunately the thread ran out with about 1/3 of the quilting left.  None of the Stores in our area had this thread so I had to order it from Cotton Mill Thread Works.  To spread out the cost of shipping I ordered more thread of course.  I guess that was an early Christmas present for me!

     When our kids where small we always had advent calendars which we used to count down the days to Christmas.  It added a lot of fun to the season and a feeling of expectation.  It seemed with the boys being 3 and 2 this Christmas, that it would be a good year to pass this tradition down to them and give them a calendar of their own. Here's a picture of the boys calendar with a few of the things I tucked into the pockets.

     I also picked this up at Creative Sisters. There were no kits left so I bought the store sample which mean't I didn't have to sew the pockets on.  I quilted this one was with the walking foot on my domestic machine. A simple treatment which suits it well. The main challenge here was finding enough small treasures to squish into the small pockets as a lot of tiny things would not be suitable for the 2 year old. 

      As the days get closer to Christmas they will be finding some quarters for their piggy banks, some kitty stickers,some small ornaments, some candy.  A few things wouldn't fit in the pockets ( socks, play dough with sparkles) so they are in paper bags and a note is in the pocket.  You have to know here that the three year old is obsessed with Christmas socks and wears them year round, the two year old loves putting money in his piggy bank, and both boys are in love with kitties.
      The last pocket holds my favourite treasure.  It is a  baby Jesus ornament made with a bead, some scraps of fabric and a half walnut shell.  Their father made this cute little ornament at his after school babysitters when he was about seven.

     I hope you enjoyed my stop on the hop and that you can find some time to visit the other bloggers who are participating.  Here's the list of participants.  You will find lot's of recipes, lots of quilting ideas and maybe a give away or two. 

December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

     This quilt is my 1st finish for Quarter 4 of the FAL, the original list is here.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Hello December


      I have been spending less time on social media lately.  It's not for any reason like thinking I spend too much time here or anything.  I have just been chugging along with my projects and  my sewing is taking priority. The picture above is of the December blocks for my Modern Guild. I thought I should show you something I have been working on, as I have been particularly focussed on a couple of projects for the grand boys.  I'll be sharing those on Wednesday as part of the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.  You can hop over there to see the list of quilters participating for today and tomorrow.  I have a very busy day today so I will be checking out both days tomorrow morning.
     I did not complete my goal for November.  Not even one stitch. I am not going to roll the goal over to this month however because I have several little projects to accomplish this month.  There completion will be my goal for December.  The crunch is on so wish me luck!

     The boys mom asked me to make Super Hero capes for their Christmas presents.  I'll be using the fabrics above to make them.  I'm not big on Applique but there was a request to put their initials on them.  

     This group of fabrics is for a secret santa gift at work.  

     This last grouping is for some pouches for Leanna to store her stuff.  So these are my goals for December.  I'm linking them up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts OMG for December.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Hello it's Me.

     Long time no see.  I'm popping in to let you know that I am still alive.  Yes I did come down with a nasty virus three plus weeks  ago but my energy levels are finally getting back to normal.
     And yes I have been working on things quilting related in big and small ways.  Not all these things can be shared at this point but eventually.  Here are some things I can share.
We had a bee day at the local guild and I worked on cutting some kits prior to bee day.  Then just before bee day the chair of the outreach committee came down with the same virus I had so as she was on the downward spiral and I was on the upward spiral I ran bee day which was super easy because all the committee members know what they are doing and pretty much did everything.  Here are some of the quilts tops that where created.

and here are some more.  There are more quilts that others have.

     I have put together about 8 quilt backings and these will be kitted up with backing for guild members to quilt after which they will be donated to the local sexual assault/domestic violence unit in our town.  
     Since Wendy, Cyndy and I got our sitdown longarm we have been doing some of the quilting for the guild ourselves.  My practice has been to quilt one of my own quilts and then one for the guild.  Here is a closeup of the latest guild quilt I quilted.

     I was practicing wavy lines and curls.   I can definitely see progress in my quilting.  When I was sick I watched a lot of quilting videos and I like to think I learned something from them.  Over all I'm finding that I really enjoy using the machine and things are getting much smoother.  I'm not sure how many gazillions of hours I will have to spend before my stitch length gets consistent but I'm not entering these quilts into shows.
     I got three quarters of the way through my current project when I ran out of thread.  I was wanting to use a 40 weight thread because it worked so well for me on the frog and turtle panel above so Wendy gave me a King Tut thread she had.  I was doubtful that there was enough on the spool to get through the quilt and I was right.  Now I have to wait for our local supplier to get it back in stock before I can order it.  It's a good thing I have a couple of weeks before my deadline.  
     I guess I will get to spend some time working on my other projects.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Goal for November

     Boy this virus is a doozie.  It hit me like a ton of bricks last Tuesday and I've been hanging out in bed pretty much since then. I've read several books, done several Sudoku's and watched several  Handi Quilter videos for the Sweet Sixteen.  Helen Godden, I'm a fan!

   I've managed to get the odd easy quilting related thing done.  I trimmed up this quilt to get it ready for binding and I have been working a bit on get quilt kits ready for our guild bee day which is on Saturday.

   But now it's time to think of a goal for November.  Because I have a lot to do I've decided to pick a fairly small goal for the month.  In the summer I started the 2019 Summer Sampler but I found it overwhelming to work on while I was still working full time, so I set it aside.  I've decided to pick it up again.

     Here are the two blocks I managed to do in the summer with the huge stack of instructions.  My goal for November is to complete 3 blocks.  Now if I just get and stay healthy, I can probably complete this goal along with the other projects I want to complete this month.

     I guess what!  I won the  pattern Three Dogs and One Sassy Cat  designed by Mary Hertel which was the pattern prize for the October Goal.  It's a perfect pattern for little kids and there are a lot of them in my extended family now.  
I'm off to the November OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

October Goal is Done

     My October goal was to get the top done for my Christmas Quilt for my grandkids.  Here it is about 1/2 an hour ago as I sewed the last seam together.

And here it is off the machine.  I just want to show this sneak peak and I will show you the rest when I get it quilted up.  I'm participating in the Cookie Exchange Blog Hop so I'd like to keep it under wraps.

     I'm calling it done but truth be told it should have another plain white border around it.  I've had the flu all week and it's been really hard to do any sewing.  I sew a couple of seams and run out of energy. I have  read a couple of books and watched a whole bunch of Handi Quilter quilting videos featuring Helen Goddin on the Sweet 16.  I'm hoping I'll get my energy back in a day or two.  Linking with OMG October finishes link up.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Works in Progress

     I haven't quite settled into a routine since reducing my working hours.  Dwight and I have been squeezing in a little bit of tidying and sorting things out in the house.  We have also been out for walks enjoying the good fall weather before the onset of winter.
     I have been getting in quite a bit of sewing time. Maybe not as much as I expected to, but quite a bit non the less.  After having a great Thanksgiving weekend I got together with Wendy for a marathon sewing day, where we put the rows together into a quilt top for the Quilt Con Charity quilt for our modern guild.  I'm not sharing pictures here as it is a group quilt and I think the guild should show them first.  Maybe I'll share them in February.  Here's something I can share though.

     These are the square in a square blocks for the Mosaic Mystery Quilt.  They went together pretty quickly.  I'm still loving the fabric choices. They look so pretty together, don't they.  
     Another project I've been working on is my OMG goal for this month.

    Here are eighty 1/2 square triangles.  I have to trim them still but getting them finished goes a long way towards completing the quilt top so I am still confident that I will get the goal done by the end of the month.  Before I head back to the sewing room to work some more on this quilt I'm heading over to Chery'ls blog to link up with the Mosaic Mystery linkup.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

FAL 4th Quarter LIst

     Well here we are at the beginning of the 4th quarter of the finish along which means the year is almost over.  I managed 4 finishes last quarter which is the best I have ever managed.  It really helps get the numbers up when you add garment sewing to the list instead of just quilts quilts and more quilts.  As life continues to be busy I think I will make my list a bit smaller this time.  The only thing I am carrying over from last quarter is  
1. The penny patch quilt.  I just managed to finish quilting it but I couldn't manage to bind it in time to squeeze it in to the 3rd quarter finishes.  But that's o.k.  It will get done quickly enough, and I'll have a finish at the beginning of quarter 4.

2.  The second quilt on the list is this Christmas themed kit.
As a rule I don't make holiday quilts but I think my grandsons will love the little animals in the panel.  I'm hoping to have it quilted up and ready to give to them at he beginning of December.  the fabrics are cut.

3 & 4 I may not get to these but I'll put them on the list just in case.  There are two babies arriving in my extended family in early December so I am thinking of making one or two quilts out of this cute fabric but who knows I may choose to go in a totally different direction, like an oversized star quilt with florals like this one by Jenni Baker Also I still owe a wedding quilt to one of the expecting couples.  There is no chance of finishing that.

Now on to the clothing goals

5.  I would like to make a pair of Emerson pants using the lighter of the two fabrics shown here.  Which is cotton linen blend and 
6.  I would like to make a jacket ,probably the Berlin Coat out of the darker blue which is a boiled wool and viscose.

     That's my list for this quarter.  I know I will work on more than these things but as for finishes, I think this will be it.
Linking with Leanne of She Can Quilt for the 4th Quarter FAL linkup.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Exciting News to Share

     I have some exciting news to share. Do you remember my minimalist star quilt that I posted about here?  Well it was accepted into the Star Issue of Curated Quilts and I couldn't be happier.  I didn't have to wait until the issue came out to let you know but somehow I didn't feel comfortable sharing the news until I had seen it with my own two eyes.  Here it is in print with the original beside it.

     I love Curated Quilts magazine and if I was an American I would have a subscription for sure.  Each issue is full of wonderful inspiration and interesting articles on Modern Quilting and sometimes on quilt history.  So far I have been able to buy my issues from Mad About Patchwork which makes them slightly more affordable than ordering direct.  Postage from the U.S. is just so expensive.

     There is a mini challenge for each issue of Curated Quilts.  So far I have participated in two of them.  I had an idea for the Black and White Issue but no time to execute it.  I'm looking forward to further challenges in the future.  Have you made any quilts for the Curated Quilts challenges?

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Octobers Goal

     As a rule I don't make Holiday themed quilts, but I'm a nana now to two little boys who just love cute animal stuffies. So when I saw this kit at Creative Sisters i just had to pick it up to make for the boys and their parents. 

     I just know that Gabriel and Eli will love the tigers and penguins and bears on the panel, but they won't be young forever ( they are three and two at the moment) so I think I have to put it together quickly.  I'm hoping to give it to them at the beginning of December.  My goal is to finish the quilt top by the end of the month, which gives me the month of November to quilt the quilt.
     Of course it's not the only thing I'll be working on this month so we will see how I do.  I'm linking up with Patty for the OMG for October linkup.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Septembers Goal is Done!

     I put the last stitches in the binding last night, which let me just squeeze this finish in before the end of the month.
My eight sisterhood sisters holding hands around the mini quilt.  I received seven of these blocks in the sister hood block swap earlier in the year.

     I have to admit there were times this month that I didn't think I would manage to get it done.  Like that week I had a virus and just couldn't bring myself to do anything in the evenings.  But it's done and I couldn't be happier.
     Here's a close up of my "big" stitch quilting.

I used three strands of Aurifil embroidery thread.  I chose a light ivory colour to fade into the background.  I seem to prefer to have the quilting play a more supportive role to the piecing, although as my quilting improves I may change that preference.  If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for this cute paper pieced block you can pick it up at Happy Sew Lucky.

Linking with Patty of Elm Street Quilts for the OMG linkup and with the 3rd quarter 2019 FAL. The original post is here.


Saturday, 28 September 2019

Mosaic Mystery Update

     One of the fun things about being in a quilt along is getting to post pictures of the sub units in interesting arrangements.

     Here are my "house" blocks for the Mosaic Mystery hosted by Cheryl of Meadowmist Designs.  I think they are looking very much like a mosaic tile floor!  
     Last weekend I celebrated a birthday, and since that birthday I have started to work just two days a week.  I managed to sew up these blocks on Wednesday afternoon.
Some of my free time has been filled with catch up medical appointments and some of it has been filled up with time with the boys, but I am hoping to continue to squeeze in more sewing time.
     My Tuesday afternoons are set up to go to Wendy's to work on the sit down long arm, and I did manage to do that on Tuesday.  Here's a sneak peek at my quilting.

     Can you see it?  It's the dogwood pattern.  I'm working with a 50 weight Aurifil pink thread.  It's a pretty big quilt and I am almost 1/2 done.  I am continuing to quilt fairly sparsely which is fine for me at the moment.  I suspect I'll quilt more densely as time goes on.  My plan for quilting is to alternate working on one of my own quilts with working on a quilt for the guild.
     The coming week brings a couple of Dwight's aunts to stay at our place as they visit a friend who is not well, followed by a visit by our daughter.  We will see how the quilting goes with this much activity in the house. I do have to make sure the Modern Guild charity quilt is at a point where we can move on with it at our sew in next weekend.
     I'm linking up with the September Mosaic Mystery Linkup.  Will I see you there?