Wednesday 30 January 2019

January Goal is Finished

     Well with one day to go I finished my January goals.  There were two of them.  The first was to finish the first block of the hand pieced quilt along and here it is. I haven't pressed it yet so it's kind of standing up on the cutting mat.

     I took it along with me to work today and worked on it on my lunch break.  One of my co workers asked me why I would want to make a quilt by hand.  I have to say that it was a great little project to take along with me.  It was way too cold to go out for a walk on my break but I was able to take my thoughts for a nice break from work.  Kind of like meditation. So portability and the relaxation of hand work are two good reasons to piece by hand.
     When I posted about this project on Sunday I got a few positive comments on the fabric.  It's left over fabric designed by Libs Elliot.  I have a rainbow of these leftovers and I'm having fun working with them.
     The second part of my goal was to get the rest of the cutting done for the Modern Plus Signs quilt along.  I managed to do this as well.

     It doesn't look like much but it's all the cutting for the rest of the quilt.  Now that my machine is back in the house I might get to work on the piecing.  I think it will go quickly without having to cut for each of the sections. Now all I need is time at the machine.  I'll be heading over to Elm Street Quilts to the link ups for the Hand pieced quilt Along and the One Monthly Goal link up.


Sunday 27 January 2019

The Hand and The Machines

     My sewing machine came back from the repair shop on Friday after a three week vacation! With no machine on hand  I have been focusing on clean up and organization, and my January Goals which are cutting all the fabric for the Modern Plus Quilt Along....I'm about half way done and working on the Hand Sewn Quilt Along.  

     I'll be spending some time today hand stitching and I'm linking this post up to the slow stitching link up with Kathy of Kathy's quilts.  I don't link up often because I tend to be more of a machine girl, although I love hand quilting and maybe when I retire I'll do more.  My plans for this quilt, are to make the on point rainbow version, and if you are extra observant you will see that I mis calculated the fabric requirements when cutting.  This can be easily fixed so no worries.  I am a very slow hand stitcher but I have a whole week to get it done with a train ride to Toronto tucked in on Friday so I should finish with no problem.
     I'll also be cutting some more and maybe doing a little piecing to make sure everything is o.k. with my machine, and while we are on the topic of machines,  I have had a little time to work on the mid arm that I jointly own with my two friends.  I decided to start on a very scrappy donation quilt and to practice meandering, which I find very difficult. I can now say that I have finished my first quilt on the machine.  There are things to be worked on, like thread tension and smoothness of design but all in all I think it turned out alright.  Here's a shot of my favourite block in this quilt and my meandering.

     But for now I will get back to my hand stitching and cutting before the day slips away....

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Goals for the First Quarter of 2019

     It's time to decide on some goals for the First Quarter of the 2019 Finish Along.  This time I'm going to link up with Nicole of Handwrought Quilts.  Like Nicole, I have participated in the FAL for a few years with some success and some failure.  Whether I succeed or not I find the FAL helps me to move my projects along, or tuck them away for later as I add or subtract projects when the year goes along.
 In addition to the FAL my local guild is holding its own finish along and because the projects are numbered and a number gets pulled out of the hat each month I'll have to list all five of them here.   

1.  This project is listed with the number that was drawn at the last meeting so I am going to do my best to quilt and bind the Grande Scrappy Tiles quilt I pattern tested for Cheryl  of Meadowmist designs a couple of years ago.

 The next four projects are also on the list and their numbers could potentially be drawn in February or March.   I'm taking a two week vacation in February however,  to drive to and from Quilt Con with my husband, so whatever number gets drawn in February has low odds for getting finished. Here they are.

2.Clam Shell.  This project has been up on the blog a couple of times as I try to move it toward completion.  

3.  I've been working on the Modern Melon quilt for quite some time as well.  Here's a pic of one block although I've made quite a few more.

4.   I started making this batik quilt many many years ago.  My husband's cousin Jenni has her sights on it and has been very patient.  I need to add top and bottom borders before quilting it.

5.  Row Addition.  The pattern is  from the Modern Plus Signs book by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander.   So far I've picked the fabric but this fairly recent UFO is going to a baby (already born) so it's high on the list for completion, although I'm not sure what I did with the navy fabric on the bottom.

     In addition to the projects on the guild list, I have a few other projects vying for my attention.  

6. Last Saturday my workplace held it's Winter Holiday dinner.  We do a secret Santa gift each year.  Unfortunately my sewing machine stopped working two weeks before this, so I owe a present to a co worker.  I am going to make a table runner with this Charlie Harper fabric as a starting point. The other fabrics are possibilities as well. The odds are high for finishing as I gave the recipient a card saying they would have it within 2 weeks.  The baby spider plant in the photo is part of the gift I received along with a box of tea and some smartwool socks.

7.  When I cleaned out the sewing room cupboard the other day I came across this bag so it's going on the list as well.  I was really nervous about cutting the holes in the bag like about 100 years ago when I made this bag.  I'm a lot braver about things like that now so I think I can do it.

8. And while we are on the topic of bags I'm going to sew along with @johannaweidner when she holds her Bloem basket sew along in March.  These are  the fabrics I'll use for the basket.

9.  This last project is the hardest to write about and will have to be bumped up close to the top of the list.  I just found out that a previous co worker has cancer and I want to make her a quilt.  I'm thinking of a heart pattern using these fabrics which remind me of the colours she likes to wear.

I'm concerned with getting the quilt to her in a timely manner so I might opt for a quicker pattern.  Maybe a star pattern like the one I made for Rory here.

      Well I think that's more than enough so I will end my list here.  What's on your list?


Friday 11 January 2019

Bear Paws

     Aren't these fun?!  They are the block lotto blocks I made for my local Modern Guild.  I had a lot of fun picking the fabrics for these Wild Bear Paws with more going on in the background than your normal Bear Paw.  A whole pack of these crazy Bear Paw blocks showed up at the meeting and I am sad to say I did not win them.  The lucky Melissa won them, and she gets to make them into a quilt.  It will be spectacular, no doubt.

     So you can see have been stitching a bit on my back up machine.  Things got changed around regarding the weekend. My daughter in law has immune issues which have flared up, so she and my son were unable to go away for the weekend.  I did get to babysit all day today though so I got my grand boy fix.  This means that I will have time tomorrow and on Sunday to work on my fabric cutting goals for the month.  Hopefully my main machine will be back home by the end of the week.

     For a while some people have been having difficulty leaving me comments on the blog.  That is probably fixed now.  Sandra from MMM quilts gave me advice on how to fix the problem so if you haven't been able to leave me comments and would like to, you can try again now.  

      I'll be linking this post up to the Let's Bee Social Linkup next week.  I hope to see you there.

Saturday 5 January 2019

January's Goal

     January is getting off to an interesting start.  Yesterday was an incredibly sunny and warm day.  More like a day in late March than a day in January.  I am all about the sun though, and I have been taking every opportunity to soak it up. 

     Picking a goal for January has become a bit of a long shot for me.  You see for reasons beyond my control I won't be able to do a lot of machine sewing this month.  We are on for babysitting for a full weekend and I need to go to Toronto on a Friday which is my best quilting day.  I also need to sort through all the stuff I took out of the sewing room when Dwight built my cupboards. Because of this I was planning on making keeping up with the Hand Piecing quilt along as my January goal.  The reason it's a long shot is that at this point I'm not sure when it is starting.  I'm hoping it's before next weekend because that's when I'm babysitting and completely without a machine.

     The shot above shows some of the fabrics I was hoping to play along with.  I don't know if you can tell, but the background fabric is textured with triangles.  The coloured fabrics are from Libs Elliot.  They are left over from my Quilters Planner quilt along from last year.  I might just use the pictured fabrics, as I'm liking the way they sit together but there are others I can add to the mix.  If the hand pieced quilt along doesn't start until February, then I will make cutting out all the rest of the fabrics for the Plus Sign Quilt Along my goal, as this is something else I was thinking of working on.

     I had to take my better sewing machine in to the shop yesterday.  Apparently it's been two years since I had it tuned up, which surprised me.  I usually try to get the machines tuned up once a year.  The machine has been giving me a error message after every time I clean it.  I could tell from the icon that there was something going on with the needle plate and usually if I played around with it would start to work again.  Of course I forgot about it until the next time I took the plate off.  This time I had no option but to deal with it as the machine just refused to sew.

     Reza the sewing machine fixer who knows all, told me that the machine's sensor isn't working and the symbol means the machine thinks my needle plate isn't on.  Of course the question that entered my mind was " How many people have tried to sew without their needle plate on?"
I am without the machine for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks and will have to use my other machine.  It has a few issues of it's own, the primary one being that the button to make it sew back wards doesn't work.  It's workable but the machine that's in the shop has spoiled me.  It sews better and it has a larger throat.

     Today Cyndy and I went over to Wendy's to play around on our mid arm.  It was lots of fun but of course we have a ways to go.  I was practicing stippling, which I am not very good at.  I'm using a very scrappy quilt that I am not crazy about to practice on.  It takes the pressure off of feeling I have to do a great job.  Sadly I can't get in more practice time until the 20th due to my schedule. 

   Oh well for now I am linking up this goal to the January OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts.

postscript.  I just found out the first block for the hand pieced quilt along will be posted on January 21st so I will work to finish that and work on the cutting for the Plus Sign Quilt Along.....sounds doable to me!