Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May Comes and Goes

Another month has come and gone when it seems like it has just started! Why do the cold winter months seems to last longer? We certainly don't have a lot of warm weather here yet, but the sunny days and the blue skies, combined with the cool breezes, is still a welcome change. The sewing room continues to be my happy place, especially on days like today when the rain is falling and the fog has rolled in. I finished quilting Fly Home that I told you about HERE. I machine quilted straight lines about an inch apart.






I started the 52 Week Quilt Block Challenge-Checkerboard, a free quiltalong offered by Darlene at A Needle Pulling Thread. This is the 4th year that Darlene has hosted a BOW, starting in January of the new year, and my second year participating. I went to my stash for this one, using mostly fabrics from Me and My Sister Designs by Moda. Because I am a huge supporter of lap quilts, I stopped sewing blocks when I felt I had enough. I added a pieced border to the checkerboard quilt and found a sunny day to hang the top on the line. It finishes at about 52" x 66" so I should be able to quilt this myself.




I finished my Short and Sweet quilt designed by Kim Diehl that I showed you last month. I did crosshatch quilting for the centre and echo quilting around the felt leaves. This quilt makes me smile every time I look at it!


I sent a small shipment of baby bibs, burp cloths and handkerchief bibs out west. July will come soon enough and I wanted to make sure baby clothes will be well protected! 


May also brought the middle of the month instructions for Edyta Sitar's Patches of Blue QAL. This time we made 2 of her Bluebell blocks. Love these! 


A quick little quilt I made this month was my circle quilt. I had purchased precut batik circles from Sew Batik when I attended the Maine Quilt show several years ago. Of course, the circles sat and sat and sat. Last week I found them in my sewing closet, appliqued them to some neutral backgrounds, and "Circle of  Batiks" was born. I did some curvy line quilting and it is a finish. I suppose it could be a table topper, wall hanging, or picnic quilt? It finishes at 27" square, so it's not very big. It can be so satisfying to make a quilt from start to finish in a day or two. 





In between all this, I pulled out my Country Charmer project and made a few more blocks. I think Lynn of Sew'n Wild Oats has made a classic with this pattern!  My first Country Charmer quilt was made in a variety of colours, but this one will be blues, creams and tans all over. Blue seems to be my favorite colour these days!


Are you getting tired of reading? Sorry...blogging once a month is easier for me, but it might be a little too time intensive for my readers!

The last project to share with you is my Third Street Neighborhood Quilt. I shared the beginning with you last time. Well, now I have it all together, sandwiched, and about a third of it has been quilted. Left over fabrics were made into a pillow and then stuffed with leftover fabrics and batting. It is my small way to repurpose my fabric leftovers and avoid sending them to landfills.


I am using a meandering stitch for the large blocks and will quilt the houses a little differently to set them off. Here is a peek of what will be under my needle today...





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And thanks to all of you for visiting me today. It's a great day for quilting! 

Oops, one more thing to tell you. I attended a fabulous quilt show on the weekend with my fellow members of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet. It is the annual Thistle Guild Quilt Show of which our friend Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World blog is a member. She  won  the Viewers' Choice Award that day for her Splendid Sampler quilt. Congratulations, Sheila! The quilt is spectacular! I actually started this same BOW hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson but stopped when so many of the blocks were appliqued and embroidered. Sheila kept at it and has produced a legacy quilt. Way to go, Sheila!


Bye again!

Friday, April 20, 2018

April, a Month for Travelling and Quilting

The  calendar says late April, but the skies above still say Winter. Well, it is what it is, and even with the cool temperatures, my sewing room is still very warm! 

It is always a delight when the middle of the month comes by with a new block from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. I now have 2 totes that are overflowing with blues and creams for her Patches of Blue QAL so the most difficult thing for me is to choose what fabrics to play with. This month, we made the Blue Spruce block which finishes at around 20". Love this one!


Here are the blocks made from the first three months...


I seem to have a crush on Edyta's quilts using blue and cream fabrics so have started making the Winter Village, thanks to Darlene at A Needle Pulling Thread for putting it and some fabrics in the mail to me. This morning I finished the first 5 blocks of the 20 block quilt.


Edyta strongly believes in pairing batiks with traditional cotton fabrics so I am embracing her concept from now on, using batiks at will rather than saving them for a batik-only quilt. I am really enjoying the diversity and texture in the quilts and the larger range of fabrics I get to choose from.

Another of my favorite designers is Kim Diehl, so after a few years of procrastination, I turned to page 57 of Simple Charm and jumped into making "Short and Sweet", a little patchwork quilt using 9-patch and snowball blocks with a border using a mixture of colorful woolen leaves.


The quilt's name may imply making the quilt was short and sweet, but I would disagree with a chuckle! The 3-inch blocks seemed to take forever and I don't even want to think of all those leaves that had to be prepared using a template, fusible webbing, and then machine appliqued. But it was worth it...I adore this little quilt, which finishes at about 33" square. I will machine quilt this eventually but I just have to decide how to do it. 

Earlier this month, I spent a week out West with family. It was really cold there, but it certainly didn't stop me from having a wonderful visit with DD and her family and DS and his new wife. There is nothing better than playing Paw Patrol with a 2 1/2 year old and reading bedtime stories, going to a Flames game, doing some shopping,pedicures with the girls, and just spending time with family,  As I've said before, this country is just too big! I arrived home with Fitbit watches for both hubby and I, so we are enjoying our daily walks even more so, now that we can really see how much, or as little, we are doing! 


I arrived out West laden with handmade gifts for the two babies who will be born this July, just weeks apart. Oh my heart... So nice that the cousins will grow up living close to each other.  Here are pics of a few of the gifts that were delivered. 

"Just Keep On Swimming", designed by Elaine Perez of Summercrafter...


"Andrew", designed by It's Sew Emma, in Fat Quarter Baby...


I used flannel backing on both the baby quilts and used an edge to edge serpentine stitch on the fish and a wave design for the whales. 


These tie bibs were a favorite for grandson # 1, so I made a variety for the new grandbabies along with more burp cloths. The free bib  pattern is by Marni Weaver at Haberdasheryfun that you can find HERE and HERE.  I also made a batch of burp cloths by So Sew Easy called The Perfect Baby Burp Cloth


Portable changing mats were another big hit with grandbaby #1, so I made a few more. I purchased a package of two changing mats from the local department store and covered them, perfect for the diaper bag.  I found an elephant picture somewhere on the net and appliqued it to the fabric, which is kind of a canvas so fairly durable. The pattern is also by Haberdasheryfun. 



Yous are now wondering if I got to visit any fabric stores during my quick trip? Yes, yes, yes!  Daughter and son both made sure to take me to visit my favs, Out of Hand and Along Came Quilting, and yes, a lot of money was exchanged for a lot of quilty goodness.  I filled my carry on bag for the trip home with fabrics, zippers, and patterns. The funny thing is that I was tagged in security at the airport. They opened up the bag because there was a square box in the bag that the x-ray machine couldn't identify. This was the culprit...a nicely wrapped bundle of fat quarters by Tula Pink.  Gotta watch out for travelling quilters!


One more thing...when I went out West, my Sister #1 flew home at the same time so we coordinated our plans to meet at the airport so that she would use my car while I was away to visit Mom and Sister 2.  She had a special birthday lately so I made these little pouches for her,  She does a lot of travelling so I thought they might come in handy. She also loves black and white. just like me, so off I went with Atkinson Designs Bridget's Baguettes pattern.


It's amazing how much these pouches can hold! 




The sun is finally starting to come out so it must be time to start supper. It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hopping Along in March

Another glorious month of sewing! Love these cool winter days when I can warm up in my sewing room, jumping from project to project, starting a few new ones, and finishing a few old ones. Apparently Spring is on its way, but I think I'll continue my winter routine until the birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming! To put me in the Spring mood, I did make a little bunny quilt, using a mish mash of bright fat quarters from my stash. 


These were so much fun to make, each bunny coming together with its own little personality. 


I really enjoyed the quilting, with straight lines for the backgrounds and a medium meandering for the bunnies.



The backing is a cozy dotted flannel and I used a pieced border to finish it off. The pattern is called Everybunny by Diane Harris and is in Quiltmaker March/April '16, No. 168. I adapted it a bit by choosing not to use sashing or a border. By doing this, I kept the quilt at a size that was easy to handle for machine quilting. The quilt finishes at 34" x 50".

I finished my Quilt of Valour and have sent it off to our Provincial Rep for distribution.  It's such a wonderful feeling to make a quilt for this organization and know that it will go to a very deserving member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has been injured during or after service. 


I chose to do an edge to edge meandering pattern for the quilt which finishes at about 50" x 70". You can read more about the pattern and designer on a previous post HERE.


I finished piecing a UFO which also prepares me for Spring! The quilt is called Spring is Sprung and is designed by Pamela Morgan and published in Quilting Quickly April 2017.


This one may have to wait 'till Summer for the quilting. It is a little larger than I usually quilt myself, finishing at about 60" x 80". What was I thinking? Another quilt to lay out on my narrow kitchen floor between fridge and cupboards!



This is what I am working on today...straight stitch quilting on Fly Home by Jeni Baker. The free pattern is available HERE.


I adore these Amy Butler fabrics, a combination from several of her lines from a few years back. The flying geese are 4" x 8" finished so the quilt actually came together fairly quickly when I used the No Waste Method of making flying geese. Just Google and you'll find many tutorials and YouTube videos on how to make them. 



I decided to keep sewing with these fun fabrics and made a tote to match the quilt! 


I adapted several patterns for the bag to make it the size I wanted, using extra geese blocks from my quilt. It finishes at about 16" x 20". I was able to put a large pocket and a smaller zippered pocket inside, along with hardware to hold some keys. Works for me! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February Quilts

Isn't it funny how one month just rolls right into the next month! My sewing room continues to be busy but with many of the same January quilts. I have also been doing a lot of secret sewing that I can't show for awhile. It is keeping me very busy and very happy and I seem to be smiling all at the same time!

But for now, I will share with you what I can. The Quilt of Valour-Canada I am making is very quickly coming to a finish.  The trickiest part is always finding a space on the floor to lay it out to measure backing and batting.



And then it is even more difficult to figure out how to cut the batting to the size of the quilt so I try a bit of rolling under the fridge and it seems to work. (And yes, I always find a few dust bunnies but they are easily removed!)



Woodworker Hubby always comes to the rescue to help me spread the 3 layers on the dining room table to prepare for pin basting. I have a very old Scovill Dritz Deluxeboard that goes on the table first so that my pins won't harm the table. 




The pin basting goes pretty quickly once everything is spread out.


For this quilt, I used Aurifil 50 wt. light beige 2000 for both the needle and the bobbin threads. It works like a charm in my Pfaff Expression 3.5. I chose to do a fairly large meandering design from edge to edge which resulted in a nice, soft quilt.  I used Warm and Natural for the batting.


Today I am working on the binding. I'll attach it by machine and may hand sew it, just because I enjoy doing this in front of the TV. Will do lots of little double stitches along the way to be sure it will stand up to lots of washes.


Of course, I always have a few projects on the go. At our April Ocean Waves Quilt Society AGM, I a mini-demam jloining other quilters in offering some demos. I will be showing how to make  Flying Geese blocks, the 4 at a time method. So in preparation, I decided to use this method to make the "Fly Home" Flying Geese quilt that I had seen on Jeni Baker's blog HERE.  I have a bundle of Amy Butler fabrics from a few years ago which includes Forget Me Not and Hopscotch, so am having lots of fun making some geese and their wings

 .


I also completed my February homework for the Patches of Blue free quiltalong hosted by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. 





With the Olympics on TV and sewing projects to work on, I am almost forgetting about the wintry weather that comes and goes, day by day. Looking at the calendar, I know Spring is just around the corner. It's a great day for quilting!