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.