Thursday, March 29, 2012

Almost There

The Fat Quarters Stars Quiltalong, a 6-month project hosted by Konda at Moose on the Porch Quilts, has come to a wonderful finish. Each block was designed by a different person. You will see lots of gorgeous and stunning quilt tops and finished quilts featured on the group's Flickr page here

But you won't see mine...yet!  I sewed and I sewed and I sewed to try to make the deadline of March 27 for posting to the Flickr page. I didn't quite make it.

I did start on the right track.  I filled my sewing table with my blocks and started to put the borders on.

I made the 12-block quilt with fabrics I had in my stash, using 4 main color families and a variety of cream fat quarters for the backgrounds.  Konda made a wonderful suggestion to put a color-coordinated border around the blocks so this was my next step.





I arranged them on the floor side by side using green, gold, red, and blue as my sequence.

And then I looked at the clock and had run out of time. So what's next?  I have to decide whether to sew the blocks together as is and add a few borders, or sash with cornerstones first and then border.  Any suggestions?  

Did you remember Thimbleberries Sew Day was yesterday?  I remembered but I'm afraid I wasn't sewing.  I was busy being a Regional Science Fair judge learning some amazing things from some very clever grade 4 students.  

It's a little grey out there and continues to be pretty chilly.  A perfect day for quilting!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Schnibbles Quillow

Tuesday Update:  Don't Forget to visit Linky Party Tuesdays at Quilting by the River.

Every morning, I hand quilt in my big cozy chair in the living room while the sun comes up. And every morning, I was telling myself that I should pick up a comfortable pillow for my quilting chair.  So when the March Schnibble quilt, Bibelot, was announced, I put the pedal to the metal to craft myself a Schnibbles Quillow! 

I adapted Carrie Nelson's Bibelot pattern just a tiny bit. Do you see the little "L" in the bottom row? I was jealous (giggle, giggle) that Thelma of Cupcakes and Daisies was able to rename her Schnibbles quilt "T stands for Thelma" so I customized my little Quillow with my own little "L". I quilted it with navy perle cotton and kept the stitches large-on purpose! 

Have a peek at Thelma's T's here...the blocks are stunning! There will be a parade of Bibelot Schnibble quilts on the first of April at Sinta's Pink Pincushion and Sherri's A Quilting Life. That's also the day we find out the name of the April Schnibble pattern. See you at the parade.

I met a wonderful blog friend the other day! Sheila, who blogs at Sheila's Quilt World, is another Nova Scotian and over the last little while we have followed each other's blogs and become good blog friends! We have lots in common, including that passion for quilts and all things quilt-related that we quilt bloggers are known for! We only live about an hour away from each other so we decided to try to meet sometime. Yesterday we met in New Glasgow at Lucy's Fabric Shop, a wonderful little shop filled with fabrics, fat quarters, notions, kits, patterns, and lots of inspiration!  

And how wonderful it was to meet Sheila! She is just such a sweet person, as I knew she would be. Sheila is on the right and I'm the other one! We had some great chats about quilts and blogs and fabrics and hobbies and travelling and on and on and on. She is so very talented and her blog always inspires me. Please visit her here

After meeting Sheila, Woodworker Hubby and I went to see "The Hunger Games". Excellent movie and it kept us riveted in our seats the whole time. Definitely well worth seeing and I've already placed a hold on the second book of the series at the local library. 

Hope the start of your week is a great one, and remember, it's always a great day for quilting! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Small Finishes

It's always nice to have something new to show you mid-week.  I'm always busy in my sewing corner or in my "quilting" chair, but the projects may not always be finished enough to show you. Today I'm pretty pleased to be able to show you a couple of little things!

I've really had fun doing some little stitcheries over the last few months, so the idea of doing a different design in each of the twelve blocks in the Garden Steps Quilt by Clover and Violet was right up my alley. 

Here's a close up. 

I love, love, love the floss that I purchased awhile back from Sew Lux Fabrics. I bought the Ruby Market Perle Sampler card and used that luscious teal and rose for my first block. I wanted to add some purples in future blocks so I just placed an order for the Garden Steps perle sampler card.  More yummy colors on the way! 

I was ahead of the game this month this time for my March Small Quilt challenge hosted by Kathleen Tracy at A Sentimental Quilter.  Of course I put my own spin on it, and decided to design a little quilt for my table screen.

I used a few Civil War fabrics from my stash, and a few other scraps I thought would work.  I handquilted it to give it a little texture, put a hanger on the back, and it's now in the livingroom. I love small projects...such a feeling of satisfaction.  It is a little too small to cuddle up in.  Should I change the name of my blog to "The Mini Quilter?"

And of course a person can never have too many pincushions! I had always wanted to make a Cathedral Window block, so there just happened to be the perfect solution!

Yes, it's a Cathedral Window Pincushion!  This was a fun project, so I'll definitely be making more. I followed the excellent tutorial by designer Kim at her blog, My Go-Go Life.  The tutorial is also featured as a recipe at the Moda Bakeshop.  

Another great day for quilting coming my way.  Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Garden Steps A Success

A good friend and I are participating in the Garden Steps Stitch and Quilt Along hosted by Clover and Violet. We're having so much fun in the process. There's nothing better than sharing a passion for quilts!

Our hubbies call us Chip and Dale...we both chatter along, talking and laughing incessantly, complimenting each other's projects, and just having good fun. She's Chip and I'm Dale! 
Garden Steps is a perfect project for the two of us, not too difficult for my friend who is a new quilter/sewer, and the wonderful pattern and instructions by the ladies at Clover and Violet allows us to customize the quilt in the process. I will admit, we chattered so much the very first day there were a few little oopsies. Our blocks aren't quite the same size as the instructions state...just saying.

I visited my LQS, Harbour Quilt Company in Antigonish, and picked up some gorgeous Chelsea fat quarters by Windham fabrics, a mixture of teals, browns, and roses. I chose white for the center, a perfect setting for the embroidery that I'll be doing later. Clover and Violet have an excellent tutorial series on their blog that they call Embroidery 101It's like one-stop shopping. Everything you need to know about embroidery and the stitches is right there, plus all the wonderful tutorials that they have offered in the past.

Here is one of my Garden Steps blocks.

"Dale" chose some equally wonderful fabrics of deep burgundies, greens, and golds, with a tea-dyed fabric for the centre.  She is a perfect piecer already. I am so proud of her! Her blocks are all so well coordinated and the colors are gorgeous... much brighter that they appear here.

We get together once or twice a week for a our quiltalong day, alternating between her place and mine.Yes, I will admit there are treats.  

And even more treats!
After all, quilters need their energy! And we do get a lot accomplished. We decided to make the smaller 6-block version and were both pleased with our progress.

We were so pleased, in fact, that the day we were finishing up  our six blocks, we decided to jump in the car and drive 45 minutes to our LQS to buy more fabric for another six blocks! 

The rest is history.We each finished our twelve blocks and at our next session this week, we'll start to work on the sashing. It's been a marvelous journey, and it's not over yet! See you on Tuesday, Chip!

P.S. Don't forget to drop by Linky Party Tuesdays at Connie's Quilting by the River.  It's a great party and you will be so inspired! 

It's a great day for quilting! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm So Totally Happy

Congratulations to Teri for suggesting the perfect name for my Schnibbles I.S.T.H. quilt top.  Here is my "I'm So Totally Happy " quilt.
So many wonderful and creative names were suggested! All of them made me pause and wonder, but when Teri's title came across my computer screen, I knew this was the one. Why? Because those close to me know that I am always running around the house saying "I am so happy", day in, day out.  I usually add the words, "I can't wipe the smile off my face" too. 

I am in such a happy place right now. I have recently retired and am using my newfound time to embrace quilting and blogging, am making new friends in blogland, while having the time to reconnect with friends in my community. My family are so happy that I am happy!  

When I finish the quilting and hang the quilt in a special place, it will remind me of this special month of retirement, reconnection, and rejuvenation. Mmm, maybe a title for my next quilt, "the Three R's"? 

I emailed Teri for her address and will be sending her off a little pincushion and perhaps a few little surprises. 
Thanks so much to Kaaren at The Painted Quilt for suggesting her readers drop by my blog to help name the quilt. I had over 450 people come by to look at my Parade of One page, all thanks to Kaaren's kind words and generosity.  Kaaren is a doll, my own little mentor to my silly quilting questions, and such a very special person that I have met in blog land. Thank you, Kaaren.

I am so totally happy! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's Get 'Em Done!

Today I'm joining Sandie's once a month Linky Party.  She calls it the "Let's Get 'Em Done Linky Party" and it's a perfect way for me to set a little goal to finish a project today.You know I'm working on many projects, but I'm just promising to finish one today!Click on the purple spool on the sidebar and you'll travel right to her site where she'll tell you more about it.

Sandie and I go waaaaay back in my short but wonderful blog land experience. She was the very first person to leave a comment on my blog in October and immediately became a follower. What a gal! Her blog Sandra Kaye Designs allows her to share her passion of art and quilting with the rest of us. She has such a creative soul with enthusiasm and expertise that boggles my mind!  Please drop in for a visit and tell her Lesley sent you!

My goal for today is to put the binding on my Mourning Crosses quilt that I made in January as the first of Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilt a Month project at A Sentimental Life.

I finished the hand quilting earlier this week.

Today I'm at my machine, sewing the binding on, and tonight I plan to do the hand sewing.

Before I go, thanks to everyone for suggesting names for my I.S.T.H.Schnibbles quilt from a previous posting here. I received some great suggestions and will announce the new name for my quilt sometime tomorrow!

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A New Start

Today I'm travelling over to Linky Party Tuesday at Quilting by the River.  Come on over for a meet and greet with fellow quilters!

With every quilt finish, comes a few new starts! It feels like I have all this free time once I put the final border on a quilt top. I never have a problem jumping into a new project though. My biggest problem is deciding which project to jump into, so I usually choose several! 

Last week my Thangles "Two Buck a Block" kits arrived from Hamels Fabrics and Quilting.  I couldn't resist signing up for this BOM club for three reasons: it's inexpensive, I get to try out the Thangles method of making HST's, and the three fabric choices are all beautiful!  The blocks are mailed two at a time, so when they arrived, I headed right to my sewing corner.  Within no time at all, I had made the first two blocks.

Doesn't this remind you of chocolate and blueberries?

I have to share with you the best gadget I've had in a long time. It is called the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide. Ever since I've been a quilter, I've struggled with sewing 1/4" seams. I can sew a straight line, but the seam was always too wide or too narrow. I purchased the 1/4" foot for my old faithful sewing machine and my newer model. However when I used the special foot, my seam was still a little large so I would have to "eye" the seam line as I sewed. Of course, that just meant there was a greater chance of error, so I cut off a lot of points over the years and my finished units never quite finished to the size indicated in the pattern.

I picked up the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide when I was away last month and within a few minutes, I was sewing perfect seams.  Seriously! This is the niftiest and most useful and practical sewing tool I've come across in a long time.

It's a small ruler with a teeny tiny hole in it. 

You use it to line up a row of tape that is positioned perfectly along the ruler, remove the ruler, add some more strips of tape to build it up, and then you butt the fabric against the tape. I feel like this is another new start for me! You can buy these rulers online from Perkins Dry Goods for $5 or check with your local quilt shop. 

Another new project I'm going to start will be with the beautiful charm packs that arrived in the mail from Vroomans Quilts. I was the winner of Sharon's Leap Day Blog Hop giveaway of a Sassy charm pack bundle. How joyful is this fabric? I see so many possibilities with Spring just around the corner.

Please visit Sharon's blog here. You'll meet an amazing quilter who can do anything! She always has a wonderful array of projects that will inspire and motivate you. You will be impressed! 

And speaking of motivation, have you noticed the new button on my sidebar for the Table Topper Blog Hop on April 16? 

Yours truly is going to be participating and I'm so excited! Madame Samm is hosting the Blog Hop and all the participants will share pictures of their little quilts on the table stands. Please won't you join us? Register with Madame Samm by March 20 by clicking here and join in a celebration of little quilts, with lots of prizes available to be won.  

I've already shown you a few of my table stand quilts in the past. Remember Mr. Ho! Ho! Ho! and Mr. Blueman?  I'm saving a few more surprises to show you at the big reveal on April 16th. See you there!

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Christmas Quiltalong Saturday

Christmas Quiltalong:  Two updates are below.  Please keep reading!

Happy Saturday!  It's the second Saturday of the month, so that means it is Christmas Quiltalong Day!

This is such a fun quiltalong! Coordinated by Quilt Sue at Quilt Times, it is one day a month where you set aside some time to sew on a Christmas project.  Either work on a Christmas project of your own choosing, or join with many of us as we head to our sewing rooms across the globe to follow the second installment of the Festive Mystery Quilt. The finished quilt will be 42" x 60", a perfect cuddle quilt! 

It's certainly not too late to participate and we really hope you will! Last month we cut our fabric and today we will start to sew. If you're ready to join us, it won't take you any time to catch up. Hazel was the guest host in February and you can find the supply list and cutting instructions for the quilt at her blog HERE. Just scroll down past the Mister Linky's and you'll see the first installment.

I chose my fabrics to include background, dark, medium, and light.  I decided to use two darks instead of one, just because I love the two of them. Here is my fabric all cut and ready to start sewing. Can you tell I love bright, bold Christmas colors?

Don't have any Christmas fabric in your stash?  Then make the Festive Mystery Quilt in your favorite colors or fabrics. Have some fabric that you're saving for a rainy day?  Do I detect rain falling? Today is the day to stop petting that precious fabric and put it to good use! You won't be sorry.

Join today's host Joanna at Needle, Thread, Happiness as she unveils installment 2 of the Festive Mystery Quilt. You can also use Mr. Linky to link up at her blog there and show us what you're working on during the Christmas Quiltalong day.  Throughout the day, there will be updates and lots of inspiration from Joanna and the elves, and sometimes there are surprises!

It's a great day for quilting!

Update # 1 at 9:00 am Atlantic Standard Time

I'm making the non-scrappy quilt. I have had so much fun this morning and I have a few little hints that I've picked up over the years from other vquilters that might make your cutting and sewing go a little faster if you're making the non-scrappy quilt. 

First thing I did was press my medium strips face up.

Then I put my light strip right on top of a medium strip and pressed  right sides together.  By pressing them together, the fabrics stay a little tighter when you go to your sewing machine to sew your 1/4 inch seams.

After the seams were sewn, I went back to the ironing board and placed the pieced strip dark side on top.

Then I pressed carefully using the iron to press the seam "up" towards the dark.

Here is the time saving hint that works for me!

Put one pieced strip on top of another pieced strip so that the dark of one strip is on top of the light of the other and "feel" the seams come together.

Now go to your cutting board and cut the units as indicated in Section A, part iv. 

I then stacked them on top of each other in the "perfect pairs" that have been created. 

I sewed a coupple of units to see if I was on track, and next I'll take the units to the sewing machine and start chain piecing and presto, (almost) perfect 4-patch blocks, that don't need much trimming.

I'll have to finish the blocks later as I'm off to do errands. Even with a Christmas Quiltalong, I still have to get groceries!

If you're thinking of joining us, I can email you the instructions for this installment when I get back or you can contact today's host, Joanna, or Quilt Sue.

Might see you later!  It's a great day for quilting!

Update # 2 at 1:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time

I'm back with my plate of Christmas goodies!

I'm finished my units and ready to put away in a little bag labelled Unit B  'till next month!  

Next time, if I have the schedule correct, I will be your guest host right here at The Cuddle Quilter on Saturday, April 14. Thanks so much to Joanna for guest hosting today, Quilt Sue for coordinating these monthly Quiltalongs, and thanks to you for dropping by! 

It's a great day for quilting! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Parade of One

There is nothing better than finishing a quilt project, and this week I finished my February Schnibble quilt!  The good news is that the quilt top is finished, but the bad news is that I missed the Schnibble parade of quilts held on the first of March at A Quilting Life and Pink Pincushion.  If you haven't viewed the quilts yet, make sure you do, They are so wonderful!

So since I missed the parade, I`m having my own.  It's called, The Parade Of One. With only one quilt is it still a parade?

Here is the story of my Schnibble. First I chose my fabrics for the stars and did the prep work. 

Then I sewed together a few star blocks and hung them on my mini-design wall.

I liked what I saw, so I pieced together the rest of the star blocks.

Next I tried out  a few different fabrics for the setting triangles.  I knew I wanted a cream fabric, just not sure which one.

I decided to go with this fabric since it seemed to have all the same shades of red and blue.  

The next step was to decide whether to use a red or blue for the sashing, so I tried them both out.

The red won the race, so that's what I went with for both the sashing and the borders.

I was loving my little Schnibble more and more! Next, I cut the strips for the checkerboard.

Made some teeny tiny 9-patches.

And then made a checkerboard parade on my ironing board.

The borders were coming together really well!

I did some more sewing and voila!

I think I'll hand quilt it using the Baptist Fan pattern, suggested to me by a friend who agrees that the circular pattern my camouflage any little piecing oopsies!

Hope you enjoyed my parade of one. I now need your assistance. Designer Carrie Nelson called this Schnibbles pattern, I.S.T.H. which means, Insert Snappy Title Here. I can't think of a snappy title. Can you help me name my quilt?  Leave your suggestion in the comment box below or email me by March 15.  If I choose your name for my quilt, I'll send you a little pincushion that may look something like this. 

 It is choose which ever side you want to use!

I'm working on several projects including Clover and Violet's Garden Steps Stitch and Quiltalong . Do you remember meeting Shopper Mom in my earlier post called My Wooden Quilt? Well, I'm happy to say Shopper Mom has now become a Quilter Mom!  She and I are meeting on a regular basis to make our versions of Garden Steps. I'll show some pictures next week.

Don't forget that this Saturday is Quilt Sue's Festive Mystery Christmas Quiltalong.  Click on the button on the sidebar to learn more and on Saturday, visit guest host Joanna, at Needle, Thread, Happiness. I have my Christmas fabrics cut and ready to start sewing the mystery quilt.

As always, thanks for coming by! I am so grateful and appreciative that so many of you are popping by for a visit.  It's a great day for quilting!