Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas and More

It is a nasty rainy day outside my window, but elsewhere in the Maritimes, the snow is falling, so a great day to post a few projects that I have been working on. The first one may remind you of summer. Hello Garden, a quilt designed by Cherri House and featured in Quilty, March/April 2017, had been patiently waiting to be quilted since last Spring. Recently I decided it had to be finished!



The straight line quilting seemed to be just what it needed and took so little time, I wondered why I had been putting it off! Which brings me to a recent finish. This is a pattern I found on the Freespirit site called Tula Pink's The Stars Align. I love the way the bright fabrics play with each other...in some stars there is a lot of contrast, and in some stars the contrast is minimal.  


Once I get it quilted, the stars will pop out from the backgrounds. The blocks finish at 12" so the 3' x4'  size will be a great small lap quilt or a large baby quilt/playmat. I may get to the quilting in the next few weeks once my Christmas crafting has been finished.

My sewing room has been a little busy with projects for our grandsons. One grandson has transitioned to a twin sized "big boy bed". Presently, his favorite colour is red and he loves playing  "soccerball" with his mom and dad, so I decided to make a red quilt with a white soccerball fabric running through it. 


I used the string piecing method to make the blocks, using a variety of red fabrics with the soccerball fabric and sewed the "strings" onto foundation paper. I actually used parchment paper that I bought at a dollar store for the foundations. By all accounts, he is pretty happy with his new quilt.

His mom asked if I could make some Christmas pajama bags for the boys, so I loaded up my sewing room with Christmas fabrics to make some drawstring bags. I found a few patterns online, and of course made lots of changes.





I used a paper pieced alphabet from the book Quilt Talk by Sam Hunter to make the names. The size of the letters dictated the size of the bags, so I told my DD that Santa may have to add a few extra items to make sure the bags are filled!

Our quilt guild is making and filling Christmas stockings to give to residents of local nursing homes who may have to spend Christmas alone. I bought a quilt-as-you-go stocking kit and used the pattern to make a few more. 


Another Christmas project I finished recently is a lap quilt made from a Red Truck Collage Panel by Springs. I fell in love with the panel when I saw it, sandwiched it, used a snowflake flannel on the back, and quilted it in an all over meandering design. Yes, I used to call this a cheater quilt, but I am so glad I made it. I have already used it many times to keep warm in my quilting chair while I watch Christmas movies enjoying my morning coffee. 




In between my Christmas projects, I have started another Quilt of Valour. The Canadian Quilters Association is partnering with Quilts of Valour-Canada to promote making log cabin blocks and/or quilts using red and cream fabrics with a yellow centre to represent a light in the window to welcome our members home. You can read more about it HERE




 

I have made a few more blocks since I took the pictures and now have 24 blocks made. I'll make another 24 blocks and hope to have the finished quilt ready in the new year to send along to our NS rep.

I have a few more projects on the go but because they are secretive in nature, I can't show them here!

Well, after a lot of thought, I have decided to discontinue my blog, The Cuddle Quilter. In addition to being busier with other things, I am also very concerned about what I am reading in my blogger stats. Blogger tells me that I have several traffic sources for my blog but I can see that about half of them are totally unrelated to sewing or quilting and actually look like they may be a bit unsavory, if you get my drift. The same goes for my audience, with the top countries not known to have quilting communities and my email distribution list is again filled with hundreds of questionable email links. So, I think it is time to say goodbye to The Cuddle Quilter blog. My domain name expires in the new year, so my advice to you is to remove yourself from following my blog now, as who knows what will happen to the domain name in the future.  (A few years ago, a blog I had been following was suddenly changed in content to a catalogue business from a different country and the only way I could stop receiving this in my feed was to remove the original blog from my list of blogs that I was following. Lesson learned!)

So to all my loyal readers, supporters, blog friends, and fellow quilters, thank you, thank you, thank you! It has been a great experience and I have met some exceptional people in blog land, both in real life, and virtually! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and remember, it is always a great day for quilting!



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Super Summer

When I started my blog, I would post every week or so, sometimes twice a week. Over time, my sewing and quilting increased, but my writing about quilting started to decrease. In the last couple of years, I blogged about once a week, then once a month, and now it may be once a season! My last post was in June, and here we are in mid-September already. So here is a little catch up blog...

I finished a few small projects lately. I decided to play with some leftover black and white scraps and hexies. I was intrigued by Debbie's A Quilter's Table 3-zipper pouch tutorial and decided to try my luck. A few days later, the pouch was ready for use. 



Essentially I sewed hexies onto some contrasting squares, made a couple of rectangles, and quilted them in a grid pattern. 





I added a little punch of colour with the bright zippers, made a strap, and added a little hardware. Note to self...pay more attention next time to the direction of the zipper pulls!



Another quick finish was the Paul quilt I made using a pattern in the Fat Quarter Baby book by It's Sew Emma.  I used up some fabrics leftover from another little quilt and put this together, even using the leftover scrappy binding as well.



The piecing seemed to take forever, but once the blocks were finished, the rest was pretty easy. I used a serpentine stitch to quilt it, with a cozy flannel as the backing. 

Yes, it was sure a wonderful summer, as we welcomed two adorable grandsons in July.  DD had her second child and 3 days later, DS and his wife welcomed their first.  I thoroughly enjoyed my month-long visit west to see both families and tried to help out as needed. There were lots of cuddles with the babies, and lots of Paw Patrol and playground time with our first precious grandson who is now a 3-year old toddler. It was an amazing time! We were so fortunate to be able to spend time with our children and their children, especially since Woodworker Hubby also joined me out there for the last two weeks. What a special time it was!



Back to quilting... I finished quilting my Third Street Neighbourhood quilt with a large meandering design and added the pillow and tablerunner for the picture. You can see I have a little obsession with black and white! 


The quilt is actually hanging at present in the Customs House Artisan Incubator in our town of Port Hawkesbury.  It is a new craft shop and artisan studio a couple of blocks from where I live. Because I am a juried member of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, I was able to submit items for the shop.  


I also finished quilting Winter Village, designed by Edyta Sitar, and it is now hanging in Sydney at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.



After black and white, my next favorite colours just may be blue and cream, so when I got home, I caught up with Edyta's monthly blocks for the Patches of Blue QAL. I do love blue trees! 


The Shining Star block was a tad challenging for me, so I was pretty ecstatic to get it finished!






What am I working on today? I am sandwiching the first of 3 quilt tops that are in my to-do tote.  Hello Garden is 48" x 55" so I should be able to tackle the quilting on my own. I had it all pinned and then had to take all the pins out and pin it again as the backing had scrunched up on me. To fix it, all I had to do was tape the backing to my table, sandwich the rest,and then the pin basting worked like a charm. I've got to remember that next time!



My Canada 150 Canadian Women quilt, designed by Kat Tucker to celebrate Canadian women for our country's 150th anniversary, is all finished and on our bed, but before that, it hung at a quilt show at St. Mark's Church as part of our town's Canada Day festivities. The local radio station, 101.5 The Hawk, interviewed me about the quilt. Here is the link if you are interested in seeing it HERE.


This was the best picture I could get that day.  The quilt looks so small hanging from the balcony, but it is pretty large, with lots of overhang on all sides of our queen bed. 


Thanks so much for coming by. It was great to catch up!  As you know, it's always a great day for quilting!





Thursday, June 28, 2018

June Draws to a Close

I can honestly say it has not been warm for most of June here in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but the last few days has been a little more promising. While I was waiting for summer to come, I decided to make a few fruity tablerunners.


I adore local strawberries, that only just arrived in the grocery store this past week, so making the runner helped me be a bit patient waiting for the real ones to arrive. I found the pattern for the strawberry block HERE and made two of them!

The same week I was making the strawberries, I noticed a pineapple runner in Quilting Quickly, the May-June edition, 2018. The pattern by Paige Alexander took no time to put together. It is also amazing how many yellows I was able to find in my stash! 



And finally, the watermelon! For this one, I just googled watermelon quilts and found what I wanted HERE. I haven't added the seeds yet. May look for some tiny buttons or do some embroidery.


With all the summertime sewing, I decided to update a box we have on our front deck. Woodworker Hubby made this for me years ago when we had both milk deliveries and paper deliveries. It may be obvious that I painted this during the age of tole painting!


I've been enthralled by the beauty of barn quilts, so I decided to make my own little version. 



I found a picture of the Ohio Star block done in these colours in the February 2018 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.


I googled a few sites to get some ideas on how to paint the door, then painted the white as a basecoat and used painter's tape to make my block and checkerboard.






It was so easy to do, I have plans to make another larger one for the door in our fence to the backyard.

The June block in Edyta Sitar's Patches of Blue BOM was a pretty one, so I got right to it when it was released mid-June. The block is called Shimmering Snow, pretty appropriate since the highlands of Cape Breton actually had a bit of snow in June. I guess we are half-way through with this BOM.


I love working with my blue and cream fabrics, so I decided to finish my Winter Village quilt top, another pattern by Edyta Sitar. I plan to quilt this one myself if I can manage to sandwich it sometime soon. 


And just to let you know, I don't sew and quilt all day long...I sew, I quilt, I watch TV, and I walk! With the nicer weather finally here, I walk on the boardwalk at the Port Hawkesbury Waterfront. This was my view the other morning. 





I'll be participating in a couple of quilt shows coming up. Have a peek at the posters and if you are in the area, be sure to drop by!




Thanks so much for dropping by to see what I've been up to. It's a great day for quilting!