Friday, November 30, 2012

On the Eve of December

I'm linking up to Linky Party Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.  Won't you drop by to see what's going on?

The first day of December is one of my favorite days!  It holds so much promise and anticipation for a month sure to be filled with family, friends, gatherings, and so much more.  I plan to start looking through my decorations for my Christmas quilts as soon as I wake up tomorrow.  I really want to find this guy in my Christmas corner and put him up...

Our Olde Tyme Christmas is scheduled for the Port Hastings Museum for two weekends beginning today. The annual event is being held November 30 to December 2 and December 7 to December 9 from 12:00 – 6:00 pm in partnership with the Port Hastings Museum located at the Causeway, the entrance to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Twelve friends and I have filled the gift shop at the Museum with a huge assortment of hand-crafted items.  We have everything you could imagine...seasonal gifts and decorations with Santas and Snowmen galore on runners, quilts, and placemats, plus many more gift items sure to please.  

We figure the shop will have something for everyone and something in every price range. There are quilts and smaller quilted items, wall hangings, table runners, and mug rugs, pillows, change purses, and totes, woolen goods, weaving, knitted and crocheted items, baby blankets, wood crafts, and so much more.  Galloping Cows Fine Foods will also have an assortment of yummy edible products for sale.  

I dropped out this afternoon to take a few pictures of some of the
items for sale. There are many items that are not Christmas related but since today is the eve of December, I wanted to highlight only the Christmas items. Hope you enjoy the show...

OK, I must confess the Dress Stewart tartan pillows above are mine.  I recycled a kilt that I haven't worn in a couple of decades and decided to recycle it.  I took out the seams, threw the fabric in the washer and dryer, cut the fabric, added the appliques, and covered a couple of pillow forms to produce some cozy wool pillows.

In addition to the artisans shop, museum volunteers  have been busy in the Museum and there will be Christmas displays of antique dolls, a display of Christmas trees with decorations from Christmas past, bake sale Saturdays at noon, and free tea, cider and cookies.  If you're in the area, be sure to drop by.  I know many of my readers live much too far away to attend, but wouldn't I love to see you there!  

My Elves Weekend has been here and gone! This is the name we give to our annual girls' weekend in November. Two of my sisters, a good friend and I got together at my sister's place in New Brunswick last weekend for a Christmas celebration with lots of stories, laughter, food, a little wine, and a Christmas gift exchange. Some years we have a craft day, but this year we opted instead to shop so we took a day trip to Prince Edward Island for shoe/boot outlet shopping (don't ask), a pub lunch, and a visit to some specialty stores including a local quilt shop.Yay me!

I always like to make my gifts for our Elves weekend and this year was no exception.  I made them each a Christmas Tree mug rug using selvedges for the ornaments on the trees. The pattern is in the Quilters Newsletter Best Christmas Quilts Summer 2012 magazine.

Then I decided to "make" their Christmas cards so I googled "Christmas Vintage Postcards" and found a few images I liked.  I printed them on June Tailor fabric sheets, added a checked border, and sandwiched them with a fabric backing and fusible interfacing.  

But for me, the icing on the cake were the gift bags I made.  I wanted to make them each a fabric gift bag, but wanted the bags to have some shape and structure to them.  I found a free pattern that had just what I wanted.  The pattern is at and you can find the pattern here. I used some great seasonal fabrics from my stash and started sewing...

The bags have a nifty button closing if you want to hide the contents!

I filled the bags with the little gifts, plus some candy of course, and the gals loved them. What a wonderful time we had! 

I had some postcards left, so yesterday I decided to put them into a little quilt with some checkerboard strips, quilted it by machine, and this is the result...

I forgot to take a picture of the back, but I used a panel with a Santa on it, so the quilt could actually be reversible.

I received some wonderful giveaway prizes in the mail lately. A gorgeous pattern for a brilliant red and white quilt called Infinite Variety Revisited arrived from designer Linda Collins all the way  from New Zealand. Linda blogs at Quilts in the Barn . The pattern is self-published by Linda who was inspired to create this quilt when she travelled to New York City in 2011 to see the Infinite Variety Exhibition, an exhibit of 650 red and white quilts. It is too dark to take a picture of the pattern,  so I will borrow a picture from Linda's blog post where she explains how she came to design the quilt pattern.

Isn't her quilt gorgeous!  This is definitely on my to-do list for the new year! You can purchase the pattern in her Etsy shop here. 

I also received a giveaway prize from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop for participating in the Canadian Blogathon held in November.  While hopping from blog to blog, I visited Holly's blog, Through My Window.  She showed us some incredible quilt projects and offered a free pattern of a little chickadee mini-quilt while Sew Sisters Quilt Shop provided some kits for the giveaways. (The free pattern is still available on her blog).  I was one of the winners and this is what arrived this week...all the fabrics I need to make the cutest little chickadee! 

As you can see, it's always a great day for quilting!  Thanks so much for coming by.  Hope to get a good night's sleep so I can start to decorate tomorrow...

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Christmas Quilt Show Now Open for Entries

Today is Linky Party Tuesday and I'm linking up with Connie and friends at Freemotion by the River. Won't you join us? 

There is a Christmas Quilt Show going on and you are invited! Michele at Quilting Tutorials has coordinated an online quilt show that is already drawing interest from quilters across the globe. 

The show started on November 23 and will continue until November 30.  During this time, you are invited to enter on Michele`s blog by posting a picture of a Christmas quilt(s) and also qualify to win a prize. When you visit her blog hereyou will already find a gorgeous selection of Christmas quilts for your browsing interest, a collection that is growing as we speak, 

You`ll find the rules and all the info you need on how to enter the show and how to qualify for the many prizes that will be available.  There are at least 14 sponsors, offering prizes that include fabric, thread, books, patterns, and much more, 

On December 3 and 4, there will be an opportunity to vote for your favorite quilt  in the Viewer`s Choice Award, so make sure you return to Michele`s blog on those dates.

If you visit me on a regular basis, you`ll know I am a little obsessed with Santas, so for my quilt entry, of course I had to choose a Santa!  I selected "So For Goodness Sake ", a mini-quilt just perfect for my table frame.

The pattern for the stitchery was designed by Cedarberry Stitches that I found in their shop last year. Their web site is full of other wonderful stitchery patterns just as much fun as Santa! When you join their mailing list, you receive a free stitchery pattern. 

I framed the centre stitchery with 1.5 inch strips, and used the same size for the checkerboard borders. For the backing, I actually pieced a few small pieces of a fabric that I have had in my stash for awhile...a favorite of mine so I wasn't going to waste a smidgen!

I used red and green perle cotton to hand quilt around the stitchery, frames, and checkerboards, added my little Cuddle Quilter tag, bound it with some dotty binding, added some strips for hanging, and now it's all set for the holidays.

Thanks, Michele and the wonderful sponsors for giving me the opportunity to enter a quilt show without having to leave the house. And thanks to Barb at Bejeweled Quilts. When I saw her post with her beautiful entries for the show, it was a great reminder to me to get my quilt ready for publication, so please visit her for some Christmasy inspiration as well! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blogathon Canada, Votes for Women, and a Christmas Tree

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is sponsoring Blogathon Canada starting today and running until November 24. This is a great opportunity for Canadian bloggers to meet fellow bloggers, share their stories, projects, and maybe win some giveaways. Each day a different province(s) will be featured. The hosts for the day will tell their own story and will also list bloggers from that province. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and meeting Nova Scotian bloggers that I haven't met yet! Here is the schedule...

Sunday, November 18
Monday, November 19
Monday, November 19
Tuesday, November 20
Tuesday, November 20
Wednesday, November 21
Wednesday, November 21
Thursday, November 22
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23
Friday, November 23
Saturday, November 24
Saturday, November 24
Saturday, November 24

I'm really enjoying making the quilt blocks for Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week called Votes for Women. She calls this a Block of the Week to recall the fight for women's rights.  Every Saturday on the GC blog, we get a great history lesson provided by Barbara, a noted and accomplished historian. The history lesson is the kind I like...short and sweet with lots of pictures!  I love how we get to see versions of the blocks done by Becky, Georgeann, and Dustin.  There is also a Flickr page for browsing and even more inspiration.  Check it out here

Barbara has her sidebar loaded with interesting tidbits.  Like this picture, which she shows us as  "humour" from the past which has made change difficult.   

Each new quilt block is always a surprise. Some Saturday mornings I have heaved a sigh of relief when I saw the BOW and some Saturday mornings I have cringed! But I remind myself that I do like a challenge! Here are the last three blocks so I'm all up to date.  As you can see, I'm continuing to use a selection of reproduction-style fabrics in a variety of colors.

Block 10. New York: Susan B. Anthony Breaks the Law

Block 11.  Little Red Schoolhouse: Lucy Stone

Block 12.  Little Boy's Breeches: Dress Reform

I bet you can tell which block made me cringe!  Yep, Block 12.  Very challenging for this quilter, but I will admit I loved the history lesson with this block. Since I am a blue jeans kind of gal, it was really interesting to read all about the struggle for "dress" reform...thank goodness for me. Where would I be without my blue jeans?  

Santa's workshop continues in my sewing corner.  Back in July during Madame Samm's Think Christmas blog hop, which yours truly hosted, I was kept pretty busy every night ordering patterns and kits that I fell in love with during the days while visiting the blogs of the participants. One kit in particular caught my attention that was created by Michelle of The Raspberry Rabbits. Here is the picture of the table frame quilt that she posted on her blog hop day and is now on Madame Samm's Pinterest page...

Isn't it gorgeous!  Michelle continues to have the wool and floss kit for sale on her web site and you can see this and many more fabulous items by clicking here. And even better news is that she is having a sale this weekend offering free shipping worldwide! She tells all about it at her blog. You can't beat that! She has so many treasures in her shop, my fingers may be very busy this weekend!

Here is what I have done so far on my little tree...

Tonight I'll stitch the wool onto the background fabric and hope to sew the side checkerboard panels onto the tree piece tomorrow.  Then I'll sandwich the little quilt and spend some time hand quilting the layers together.  I love to have projects this size to take to my quilting chair!

This week is another special one with Madame Samm's Holiday Lane Pillow Blog Hop starting on Wednesday, November 21. 

Because I have so much on my self-imposed "to-do" list, I don't always get the chance to participate in the hops. But I sure do love them and I do as much hopping as I can! Madame Samm continues to create new and exciting blog hops that are always chock-full of inspiration and I can't tell you how many ideas I have bookmarked for down the road. Pauline of Quilt' n Queen is the host for this 8-day hop and if you visit her blog, you'll be able to see the schedule posted there.

Thank you so much for coming by. I always appreciate your visits and your kind comments. As usual, it's a great day for quilting! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Santa's Workshop

I think it's time to start calling my sewing corner "Santa's Workshop". Saturday's Christmas Quiltalong just seemed to be the push I needed to get on track to start making my Christmas projects. If you go to my previous post, you'll be able to see what I decided to work on that day. And here are some results...

I finished my Holiday Time table frame quilt, combining YLI quilting thread with three bright colors of perle cotton to frame the block and add some interest.

I added a few white snowflakes with the YLI thread, but in hindsight, they kind of look like little puckers instead. Oh well...I used some Christmas fabric on the back, added a sleeve, and now it's all set for the season.

The fabrics are from a Ready, Set, Snow charm pack by Me & My Sisters designs for Moda.  Gotta love these color combinations! 

I also spent some time machine quilting my "I Heart Santa "quilt".  Read about it here. I'm thinking of the quilt as three parts-hearts, letters, and Santas.  So I started with Part 1, the hearts. I'm taking my time, using straight stitching to echo stitch the heart blocks. 

One, two, three hearts all done...Next time I'll start the letters.  I think I'll just stitch around each letter individually and then on to the Santas!

I also finished a few smaller projects but can only show you a sneak preview at this time...

Woodworker Hubby and I just returned home late this afternoon from a whirlwind 24-hour visit to see our son who lives four hours away in a little University town. He's a fresh grad, a new teacher on the substitute list, and has another part-time job on the weekends to help pay bills. I was realizing that we probably wouldn't be seeing him 'till Christmas and that is just too long!  So we decided to head out for a quick visit that included a walk through the town, supper out, and an evening with James Bond!  Or at least, seeing James Bond on the big screen in the latest movie, "Sky Fall".  Can't believe James Bond is celebrating 50 years of movies...and I remember most of the movies...gulp! Had a wonderful visit with our son and will look forward to seeing him at Christmas. 

Did I forget to mention that my son lives ten minutes from a fabulous quilt fabric shop? So on the way to see him, I did a whirlwind shopping spree at the Avonport Discount Fabric Centre.  I had a little list but you can imagine how that worked!  Here are some of my treasures...I had to start with fabrics that could be used for Christmas projects...

Thought the fabric on the right was so cool...kind of golden with these beautiful little houses...

I also purchased a selection of fat quarters from a bin in whites, blacks and reds...

And then I discovered a of the fat quarters is actually printed with vintage Christmas pictures.

This week while sitting in my quilting chair, I watched the movie "Little Women" and the BBC mini-series "Upstairs, Downstairs".  Both had scenes of Christmas trees and decorations that were so festive from a time gone by.  This print reminds me so much of that era and times past.  How gorgeous is this Santa?

Just a few more fabrics I had to have...

Now, before you begin to think that I only make Christmas projects, and nothing else...giggle...I want to show you a quilt I finally finished this week.  I bought this magazine, McCalls Quick Quilts, in 2003 and at that time, decided that some day I would make the Petal Parade quilt on page 54. The quilt was designed by Deb Crnkovich and is a perfect size for a cuddle quilt...approximately 48 x 60.

I put the magazine away, and many years later decided to pull the pattern and get started.  I bought a fat quarter bundle at The Fabric Cupboard in Moncton that I thought would work.  I think I purchased it in the summer of 2010? The fabric is by Nancy Halvorsen but I don't remember what it is called.  

"Petal Parade" is hand quilted and machine appliqued.  I chose to mix and match the borders and the fabrics for the binding.  

So nice to have another project complete!
Thanks for coming by.  It's a great day for quilting!