Saturday, January 28, 2012

Small Quilts are Great!

This was a wonderful week of sewing. I just finished piecing together Frontier Foundations, a quilt pattern and kit that I won in a giveaway sponsored in November by Pam of Heartspun Quilts.  I love my new quilt. The pattern is part of the Journey Three collection in the "Prairie Women's Sewing Circle...journey the threads of time".  

The instructions were so clear and the fabrics were so beautiful that   it took me no time at all to complete.Thanks, Pam, I love it! 

The twenty-eight blocks are just 2" big (or small?). The size of the finished quilt is about 20" x 24", with alternate information included if I want to make a larger quilt. I plan to hand quilt it. It's a perfect size to take with me if I happen to be travelling to a warmer climate some time this winter, just saying.

I was so taken with Pam's patterns that I signed up to participate in Journey Two of the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle Club.  It is a monthly club held at participating quilt shops.  If you can't find a quilt shop close to you, you can sign up to receive the patterns and kits through the mail. I contacted Pam and she emailed me with the names of a couple of shops that offer the Sewing Circle by mail.  A couple of clicks and presto...I'm in!  My Journey Two starts in April and I can't wait. 

I love finishing a quilt top so I can start another. Here is my version of Pink Lemonade, another small quilt that I put together this week. This was a 3-part quilt tutorial hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts. My version of Pink Lemonade has become Cherry Blossom, thanks to my good friend for helping with choosing the name. After I shared the photo of the quilt top with her, we both agreed the colors reminded us of those Cherry Blossom chocolate bars. How yummy!  

I'm seeing lots of versions of Pink Lemonade popping up in blog land, and it's not too late to make your own. Lori is planning to have a parade of Pink Lemonade quilts on her blog with Mr.Linky around the first of February. Thanks, Lori, it was a lot of fun to put together!

Thanks to you all for coming by and visiting my blog. And remember, it's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thimbleberries Wednesday

Today is the last Wednesday of the month. And for those lovers of 
Thimbleberries patterns, this means this could be your day to join us as we sew a project as part of the Thimbleberries Sew Day.

I've made many Thimbleberries quilts, wall hangings, and table runners over the years. Most have been gifted to family and friends.  But I do still have a favorite Thimbleberries cuddle quilt in the house. This one is called Picnic Potluck from the book, Laura's Garden. I did the piecing, and my mother-in-law, an avid quilter for years, did the hand quilting for me as a Christmas gift!

So, what's this Sew Day all about! On the last Wednesday of each month, we work on a Thimbleberries project of our own choice.  There is absolutely no pressure to participate. For example, I joined the growing group of Thimbleberries folks about six weeks ago, and forgot all about it last month! No hate mail "naughty you" emails. We are a happy group and all we want to do is share the love of Thimbleberries for one day a month, because, if you are like me, you are a little bit love it all!

How to join? Just do it! Click on the button that looks like this on the sidebar:

You'll be transported to Bejeweled Quilts by Barb. Send her an email and she'll add your name to the list of participants posted on her blog. Just scroll down on her sidebar and you'll see the list of quilters who may be in their sewing rooms right now working on a Thimbleberries quilt. Check them out and get your sewing machine whirring.

What am I going to work on today? I have lots of books and patterns to choose from.  Here is a pic of my collection that I just gathered together in the last few minutes.

Plus, there are some beautiful free patterns on Lynette Jensen`s Thimbleberries web site that may be calling my name.  One in particular is the Flying Geese Charm Quilt.  It could be a perfect size to start today, so my plan is to go through my fabrics and start cutting. Maybe on the next Thimbleberries Sew Day, I'll start to actually sew it. No pressure!

If you`ve been following my blog, you know I get so excited about quilts, fabrics, patterns, etc. Thimbleberries is just one of so many quilting companies that give me inspiration and fuel my passion for quilting.

And today is definitely a great day for quilting!  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meet Mr. Blueman

I've just finished a winter stitchery in bluework.  It's just like redwork, but instead of using red thread, I used a beautiful shade of perriwinkle blue.  I now have a new block to hang on my table stand for the  month of January. Mr. Ho! Ho! Ho! has gone away for a year and I've replaced him with Mr. Blueman!

The pattern for the block is by Sherri Falls of This and That Pattern Company. I used some blue scraps I had left from my Delft China quilt for the border and there you see it...a blue January block which of course will be replaced by a red February block in the not too distant future.

I now love to press.  I can't get enough of pressing! I know you're wondering if I've gone bonkers, but seriously, I am now in love with using my iron because I have a new and improved ironing board! 

The idea for this super-duper ironing board came from Christine who blogs at Quilt Monster in My Closet.  Christine was a special guest at Madame Samm`s Sew We Quilt blog which, for the entire month of January, is featuring guests with their favorite quilting tools.  

I took Christine's idea to Woodworker Hubby, and in no time at all, he had made me my own super duper ironing board!   We decided  to adapt the directions and attach the ironing board to the wall so it could fold down.

Of course, it will probably be set up most of the time. 

And then, because there are no table legs to get in the way, the space underneath becomes the perfect place to store my fabric totes!

Having a larger ironing board is a real treat. My work space seems to have exploded in size. I can spread things out and still have lots of room left to sort and to iron.  Because the board is attached to the wall, there is no overhang space for larger projects, but the old ironing board is close enough if I need it, and these days I tend to be making more smaller projects.

Like this little gift card wallet for an example.  I purchased the little kit and pattern through Quilt Taffy from their Etsy store. I sewed it up in a jiffy, and I can see down the road that there may be many more of these made!
It`s a great day for sewing and a great day for ironing! Thanks for coming by! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wonky Houses, Stars,and Gifts

I've been a busy little bee lately, so I'm glad you dropped by to see what's new!  I finished all my twelve blocks for the Wonky House Block Swap. I had set a self-imposed deadline for February 1st to have them in the mail, so I have met my deadline with time to spare. Whew and a sigh of relief! Here's one of the blocks...


And another...

Now that I have your interest, here is a picture of all twelve wonky house blocks. I will admit, I'm not too wonky. Making wonky house blocks was a huge challenge for me. I'm a little too organized and structured, so I chose to make crooked houses with beautiful fabrics and had a huge amount of support from all the other wonky participants.  We have a Flickr page set up for the Wonky House Block Swap and have had a chance to participate in some lively discussions, encourage one another to get down and wonky, and post pictures as we finish our blocks. 

I will keep one block and mail the other eleven away to Jane who is coordinating the  Wonky House Block Swap.  In addition to the blocks, each of us is to attach a signature (siggy) block.  I had a lot of fun with these! Several of the other quilters had mentioned making house blocks for the signature, so I used scraps from my wonky houses and came up with these:

Here's a close-up of one block. I framed each siggy block with one of the green fabrics I used for the grass.  Each wonky house block will have a coordinated siggy house block attached to it. 

I'll iron freezer paper on the back of the white fabric to make the fabric easier to write on, mark lines with one of the new frixion pens, use a micron permanent pen to write my name, province, and my blog URL, press it to remove the lines and set the signature,  and presto, the siggy blocks will be ready to send along with the wonky house blocks.  If you'd like the instructions/dimensions for the signature block, just let me know in the comments and I'll get back to you.  Finished size is 4.5 inches x 6.5 inches.

Another fun event for me happened on Tuesday when Block Nine of the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along was posted on Moose on the Porch Quilts.  The new block, designed by Jovita Goldschmidt, is called Make Mine a Double.  Here's my rendition- I just love it!  I think using this block for an entire quilt would be stunning, and you could even play around with the centre blocks to add some interest.

I decided to lay out the nine blocks I have completed so far. Each block is 12.5 inches square.   I have used a variety of cream fabrics for the backgrounds and shades of red, blue, yellow, and green to make the blocks.  Hope they work...I have no idea yet of how I will sash it all together.

And yet another series of happy events occurred when I went to the post office.  I received a couple of giveaway prizes that I had won in November and December.

One prize was a package that contained volumes 2, 3 & 4 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. The sponsor was Lynne Hagmeier at Kansas Troubles Quilters.  I was particularly pleased to be the winner of this set from Lynne since I have been an admirer and loyal user of many of her fabrics and patterns over the years.  In fact, you'll see the magazines below sitting on a small basket quilt, one of Lynne's patterns that I made a few years back.   

My second wonderful giveaway that arrived recently was a 40-piece pack of 2 1/2 in. strips of batiks.  I won this through a giveaway sponsored by The Material Girls.

The Island Batik fabrics are really wonderful, from a dark rich blue to lighter shades of lilac.  I know there is a pattern calling my new batik's name! 

So, time to sign a few siggy blocks and then it's a great day for sewing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Schnibbles Quilt

I love house quilts!  One of my very first quilted wall hangings that I made so many years ago was a large house block.  I pieced it with coordinating burgundy and cream fabrics, added wide borders, and stretched and stapled it over a pine frame. It hung in our house for years before it moved on to quilt heaven, which means I have no idea where it is now!

Since then, I have made several "house" wall hangings using a variety of sizes, fabrics, and themes.  And now there seems to be a huge resurgence of interest in house quilts.  A few minutes in blog land will give you ample opportunity to make a house of any size, color, or theme. Just have a look at my sidebar and you'll see a few quick links to making houses!

So when I joined Another Year of Schnibbles, hosted by Sherri at A Quilting Life and Sinta at Pink Pincushion, I was thrilled that the first Schnibbles of the year, the January quilt, was none other than Full House, a quilt using one house block to make eighteen houses.  Creator Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company,  sure knows her stuff!  The quilt was a lot of fun to put together using a couple of charm packs and some yardage for the sashing and borders. I finished the  quilt top on the weekend.

I used Sandy Gervais' Grand Finale fabrics by Moda, and will hand quilt sometime in the future!  They say that taking a picture of a quilt in natural sunlight is the best way to do it, so I headed outside on a really cold day and managed to take the picture.  This is what you didn't see!
Today, the deck is totally covered with snow, so no outdoor pics for awhile!

Thanks so much for dropping by. There's still lots of time to participate in Another Year of Schnibbles.  We make one Schnibbles quilt a month, so why not join us?  Just touch base with Sherri or Sinta.

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Love My Sewing Corner

Winter is here. Snow, rain, snow, and so on. It's a perfect time for The Cuddle Quilter to get busy making a cuddle quilt!  

I finished this quilt top right before Christmas, adapting Terry Atkinson's Lucky Star design.  I used a variety of cozy, warm, flannels that are ideal for Nova Scotian winters!  This flimsy will go on the frame this week and I'll use those lovely large utility stitches and perle cotton to quickly (?) get this quilt ready to use.

This has been a great sewing week for me, with several "almost finished" projects on the go. One project is my snowman "bluework" stitchery...a few more stitches and I'll be ready to frame the snowman with a piano-key border which I plan to sew together using a variety of blue fabrics. 

What else is in the works?  My January Full House Schnibbles quilt sewn with charm packs of browns, beiges, teals and oranges that make me smile as I sew them together.  One more sashing row to add, a few borders, and hopefully the big reveal in the next post.  Want to join in?  Check it out at Another Year of Schnibbles.  

I'm also almost finished hand quilting my 12 Days of Christmas sampler, a free pattern from Temecula Quilts.  I'm using an all-over crosshatch quilting design. It's a perfect project to work on in the early morning hours as I sit in the comfy chair in the livingroom, sipping my coffee, and waiting for the sun to come up. 

After my day begins with some hand quilting, I run down to my beloved Sewing Corner (SC!).

I love my sewing corner. (And yes, I cleaned it up for this picture). My entire corner has been custom made by Woodworker Hubby.  He made the desk, drawers and cupboards exactly to my specifications many years ago. And it's still a work in progress!  For example, this Christmas he added a cupboard for me on the opposite wall to store some of my quilting books and some supplies.  I just didn't have enough space!

Now he is crafting me a specially-made quilter's ironing board. I am so spoiled!  I got the great idea from Christine's blog  and WH went to work. The plywood was purchased and cut to size and the next step is to prepare the plywood by covering it with batting and fabric.  We have decided to adapt Christine's idea a little so the ironing board will better fit our small space. Thanks to a great idea from a quilting friend who dropped by (Thank you, Miss A!), we decided to make the ironing board into a "drop-down" ironing board/table. That way, I can drop it down when not needed and I can use the wall space for a design wall. When you live in a small house, but you have big quilting plans, you have to make the most of your small spaces!

This weekend will be a "Wonky Weekend" for me as I continue making my wonky houses for the Wonky House Block Swap.  Here is block two and three....only nine more to go!

As you can see, it is really hard for an organized, structured gal like me to get down and wonky, so my wonkiness is in my choice of bright fabrics!  

Stay tuned for my reveals in the next post and many thanks for dropping by. It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's a Quiltie Day!

Yesterday, the mail held a treasure trove of gifts in the form of little quilties.  I had participated in a fun December quiltie trade hosted by SandieThis was a perfect project for me because the quilties are only 4" x 6".   The deal was that we would make three quilties, send them off to Sandie by the December deadline, and receive three quilties back from the other participants.

Here are the three quilties that I sent along for the exchange. 

Believe it or not, I forgot to take a picture before I mailed them, so this picture is thanks to wonderful host Sandie who took pics of all the quilties.  

The December quiltie trade was the perfect opportunity for me to try out some of the "Sew Small" blocks featured in "Sew Scrappy", Volume Two.  

So, now you know what a quiltie trade is all about. So when I received my quilties yesterday, you can imagine how pleased and tickled pink I was!  And because I love structure, I will show them to you in alphabetical order.  Some of the participants do not have their own blog, but I hope they will visit me here and know how much I appreciate their quilties.

From Lori:

How cute is this door?  Lori, thank you so much. Your wintry door makes me smile so much as I know there will be lots of shovelling snow in the next month or two in Nova Scotia!  The ceramic tree button is wonderful and certainly compliments that wonderful window.  Gotta love that snow...the fake kind! 

From Marguerite:

I'm all about Christmas, Marguerite, so thank you so much for this tribute to Christmas! Love the fabric you chose, the sweet Christmas Blessings ribbon which sparkles, and that cute tiny button atop the tree!  Just a sweet reminder of a wonderful Christmas day!

And from Sandie, our very special host:

Sandi, your quiltie is so special!  That little snowman makes me smile as he sits atop a snowflake on that lovely plaid fabric. I love the little extras you used like the tiny little tree and the tiny little Christmas light, and of course, the lace trim,  Hmmm, are you trying to tell me something?  (Sandie tells me there is a new quiltie trade coming up soon with a theme of lace).

Today Sandie has a Quiltie Trade Show and Tell.  You'll see some wonderful creations by some wonderful ladies!  And if you're interested in the next trade, touch base with her soon to let her know and the fun will begin! You don't have to be a blogger to participate.

Thanks for dropping by.  It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Mini Mystery Sampler Reveal!

Don't you find that when you are busy, you decide to get busier?  When the 12 Days of Christmas Mini Mystery Sampler was first posted on Christmas Day by the Temecula Quilt Company, it looked very interesting, but I had lots of other projects that I was working on. But with each day's reveal of a new little block, my interest grew and grew, so that by day six, I was hooked.  I played catch-up pretty quickly since, after all, they are pretty small blocks. 

Every day I would await the newest mystery block.  It didn't take long to see the mystery pattern unfold.  Day one had one piece, day two had two pieces, and so on. The last block was revealed a few days ago and by late last night, my sampler was pieced, sandwiched, and ready to quilt. I did make a few small changes to the sashing and borders and my finished quilt measures 19" x 22".  It was so much fun to do, I may just have to make a few more.

"Easy Spinning Star", the newest block in the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along, was also a lot of fun to put together.  This block's designer, Colleen Lunt, used a very creative method to "show" us how to assemble the blocks. It was like putting together a puzzle, but having someone show you where each piece would go!

It's January and I couldn't wait to start Another Year of Schnibbles, a quilt a month sponsored by hosts Sherri at A Quilting Life, and Sinta at The Pink Pincushion.   When I first started reading blogs last summer, I kept hearing about Schnibble quilts...the word itself is just so much fun to say!   Then when I read up on Carrie Nelson's Schnibble quilts, I fell in love with the little quilts, purchased two of Carrie's books, "Schnibbles Times Two" and "Another Bite of Schnibbles", and I was ready to roll!

I put together  two little quilts using Christmas fabrics "last year", and this weekend am working on the January "Full House"  pattern.  These little houses may become addictive!  I'm using Grand Finale charm packs designed by Sandy Gervais with lots of teals, greens, and oranges. It sure is fun to make these bright little houses!

Just a quick "thanks to you all" for following me to my new site!  If you are a former follower, remember that you will have to register again on this site as a new follower.  Welcome to all new and former followers!

It's a dark dreary day in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but it sure is sunny in my sewing corner!

It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome Back and Welcome To!

It's only January 4th and already this month has been huge for this fairly new blogger.  I have a new look to my blog, complete with a banner that just invites you to cuddle up with a quilt.  Many of you have already sent wonderful compliments about the new make me blush with your compliments. The credit for the new banner goes to Madame Samm who takes a few tidbits of information about me and turns them into a banner that is truly me!   Check out her blog at Sew We Quilt and learn about some wonderful quilting tools during the month of January.  I've already put in an order to woodworker hubby to adapt my regular ironing board into a quilter's  ironing board that may change my life!  I learned this from yesterday's guest Christine, who can be found at Quilt Monster in my Closet.  

And today, after a few months of unresolved issues with my blog page, I have made the decision to move to a new site, thanks again to Madame Samm.  How do you like me now?  

Actually, you should be able to find me very easily and the transition for my followers should be easy and painless.  If you were a follower, please rejoin me.  That is one little down side to this move. Followers aren't moved automatically. I will appreciate it so much if you click and follow me once more! If you haven't been a follower, today is a perfect day to start. If you are an email subscriber, you may also have to subscribe again.  I also may have to play a bit with my buttons on the sidebar, adding a few that may have been lost in the shuffle...but please be patient while I try to put them back! I thank you in advance for your continued support and encouragement as I cruise the seas of this wonderful quilt blog community of ours.

In the midst of all this excitement, I have been busier than ever and loving it!   I have started my Wonky House Blocks.  This is an exchange, hosted by Jane at Jane's Fabrics and Quilts  where each of us makes twelve blocks, exchanging eleven of them by March 1, 2012, so that we will end up with twelve wonky house blocks, a great start to my first wonky house quilt!  

I used a tutorial posted by Sophie on how to draw a liberated house (who knew a house could be liberated?) and the rest is history.  This block will probably be my keeper because I learned a lot and my next eleven blocks should be much better!  And remember, a wonky house block is all about being wonky, so ta da...

Click on the photo to see the flock of birds in the window. Why not?  Chuckle!
And for another bright light,I finished block 4 of the Blogger's Block of the Month hosted by Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.  

Here are all four blocks together, so you'll see there is a method to my madness with these fabrics!   

Now, for those of you who know me well, and are wondering what happened to traditional Lesley...well, I'm still here!  It's just good for me to get out of the box once in awhile.  And I'm not that far out of the box.  A few years ago, I had some extra tiny little squares left from a project, and being very frugal (at times, I really am frugal!), I refused to throw them out, instead opting to sew together more little squares together, and so on, and so on. I used scraps of deep greens, burgundies, blues, and a few golds with fillers of similar fabrics of beige. 

The blocks are 6.25 inches square(kind of square?).  I have a total of 20 blocks:  5 blue, 7 red, 7 green, and 1 lonely gold.  I laid them out on the kitchen floor for a better look:

So now what do I do?  Any suggestions?  I suppose there is a computer program that could tell me what I should do, but all I know is that I have lots more fabrics similar in color so I could make more blocks, add filler blocks of a coordinating fabric, or just sew it all together now with a few small borders and that would be it...a little quilt!  Any and all input will be greatly appreciated!

So, as you can see, I'm busy as a bee! 
Thanks for visiting today, and remember that it's always a great day for quilting!