Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bloggers Block of the Month

Another month, another block, and sometimes two! Hard to believe the Bloggers Block of the Month started 9 months ago. Hosted by Jackie at Canton Village Quiltworks, the quiltalong features a new design each month by a well known and respected quilter/designer. 

I had to do a tiny little catch-up this month and had great fun with April's Block 8 designed by Amy Lobsiger at Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts. 

This block came together so quickly that I jumped right into Block 9 designed by Cathy Underhill at Cabbage Quilts

With 9 blocks done, I can start to see the finish line. Only three more months and the top will be a finish!

Thanks so much to Jackie for hosting this quiltalong.  I was still pretty new to Blogland when I started and it has been a great adventure, and it's not too late to join in!  All the instructions for this free quiltalong can be accessed through Jackie's blog, and pictures of the blocks from around the world can be seen at the BBOM Flickr page here.  

If you want to see pictures of most of my projects, I have my own Flickr page which you can visit by clicking here or going to the link on my sidebar. When I take a peek myself, I realize how fortunate I am to be retired and have the time to play with fabrics!  

I sent away a little birthday package to Sister 4 last week. I purchased this kit from Sweetwater at their Etsy shop here. I didn't take a picture before I sent the package, but the little linen bags with the cute labels, beautiful lining, and covered buttons turned out just like these, thanks to Sweetwater's excellent instructions and wonderful fabric choices.  

Photo by Sweetwater
Their Etsy shop is just so much fun to browse and their service is superb.

Today is Thimbleberries Sew Day! However Wednesdays are now my Quilt Bee day at the local church so I may or may not get to my Thimbleberries project. Oh well...may sneak it in on another day!

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quilt Canada 2012 and More

Quilt Canada 2012 is coming to Nova Scotia next week.  In fact, Halifax, the host city, is only about 2.5 hours away, so guess where I will be sometime next week?

Yup, I'm going to "the city" to check out the Canadian Quilters Association's annual quilt event. Quilt Canada 2012 "Seams Like Home" is taking place from May 29- June 2.  And what a time it will be!  

Quilting events will range from a variety of workshops by world-renowned teachers to a huge number of quilt shows with white-gloved hands showing us the ropes...I mean the quilts! 

In the program I counted ten quilt shows!  There is a National Juried Show, the CQA Trend-Tex Challenge, the CQA Invitational Show, The Fibre Arts Network show, the Mariners Quilt Guild Show, the Mayflower Quilters' Guild Show, Needlework Exhibition, the Studio Art Quilt Associates show, Seams Like Home Miniature Challenge and Secret Codes, an exhibition of Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts.  Whew, I'm tired all ready...but I am also inspired!

They have a complete schedule of events and all kinds of additional information on their web site right here.  And did I mention the Merchant Mall?  About 35 vendors are listed, and you just know there will be a few "must-haves". Will I see you there?

Speaking of merchants, my friend and I recently took a scenic trip to Mabou, home of Fiddle Stitches, a quilt shop located on the Main Street in the little picturesque town about 45 minutes away.  Owner Lynda Cambell always greets her customers with a smile! 

In addition to fabrics on the bolt, notions, books, quilt kits, and patterns, the shop carries a huge stock of the most perfectly folded fat quarters I have ever seen. You can see that Lynda has perfected the art of folding fat quarters! 

Lynda has quilts of all sizes displayed around the shop, and has quite a display of antique sewing machines  You'll see them peeking out in almost every picture.  She even has a few toy machines! 

There are also some antique irons nestled among the displays and a wonderful antique ironing board, a gift to Lynda from a wonderful patron and fellow blogger. 

My friend and I made a few purchases and left a few items for Lynda to do her magic on. She offers customized machine quilting and showed us a few projects she is working on.  We left a few projects with her with plans to return soon.  It was a great day! 

I finished my little Pocket Patchwork quilt this week ~Busy Work designed by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts in her first Quiltalong.   I love the name of the quilt, especially since my little quilt tends to be a little "busy" because of my choice of fabrics. I quilted it by hand using a circular design for the inside of the blocks, zig-zag quilting in the sashing, and stich in the ditch around the border. It's just such a fun little quilt!  I've seen some finished around Blogland in lots of different colors and they are all so beautiful!  Thanks, Pam, for a great little project...looking forward to the next!

Remember when I showed you the spool quilts that my friend and I were making during our Chip and Dale quilt days?  Well, we finished the tops last week.  Here is Chip's quilt, a beautiful rendition done in batiks:

 And here is mine, the homespun approach. I barely had time to take the picture before the evening shadows came. 

So, our Chip and Dale adventures will continue. We're searching now for the perfect house blocks to put in our next quilts. Any suggestions?  

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all our American friends. Enjoy your special time with friends and families.

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baskets and DOC

Today is Linky Party Tuesday at Quilting By The River.  Make sure you drop by Connie's blog to see what people are up to!
A wonderful blog friend and I decided to do a basket block exchange. Sandie, at Sandra Kaye Designs, is always on fire with ideas. She was the very first person to leave a comment on my blog way back in October when I published my first post, and since then, we've connected pretty regularly. She is just a sweetie and I smile every time I read her post or get an email from her!

Sandie saw a quilt by quilt teacher/author Bonnie Hunter that featured dozens of little baskets and immediately thought of a basket exchange. (I can't find the picture of the original quilt; suffice to say it was gorgeous and scrappy!) Sandie asked me if I'd be interested in doing a basket exchange and my answer was yes, yes, yes! 

So for the next year or so, every month we will make 5 little baskets for ourselves, and 5 little baskets for the other. After only a month, I love this already! Here are the blocks that arrived from Sandie:

Here are my blocks:

And here they are all together:

We were pretty close in our styles, weren't we? I think I'll shake it up this month and follow her lead in using some "not beige" in my backgrounds...I'm just so predictable! 

I just "may" make the May deadline for the Another Year of Schnibbles parade. This Carrie Nelson pattern is called DOC. Carrie uses the Card Tricks block, which of course only strengthens Woodworker Hubby's argument that Carrie must have gotten her inspiration for the name of the quilt from Doc Holliday, an American from the Old West known for gambling, drinking, and gun no particular order!  However, if you read about Carrie's inspiration on the pattern, she doesn't mention this Doc! 

Here is my first block...only 8 more to go...

Fast forward a few days, and here is what I now have to show...all my blocks are done!

Today I will work on the sashing and adding the HST borders. 

I love the colours in this quilt...I used shades of greens, blues, and pinks from Cape Ann Petite by Oliver + S by Moda, plus a few pieces  from my stash. Sure makes me think of Summer! 

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

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

What a wonderful idea Amy had at Amy's Creative Side!  She knew that this is the week of the Kansas City Quilt Market and that many of us in Blogland would wish we were there to see the quilts, meet designers, quilters, and authors, pet all those new fabrics, see the trends and patterns, and essentially immerse ourselves with anything quilt-related. So she came up with the idea of a Bloggers Quilt Festival that we could participate in from the comfort of our own homes and it wouldn't cost us a thing.  The Bloggers Quilt Festival opened yesterday and I'm going to enter a quilt. Read on...

From May 18- May 21, quilters from across the globe can enter a quilt in the festival, tell its story, and link their blog to Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival.  From May 22-25 people can then nominate quilts in the categories that Amy will designate, and online voting will follow from May 26-30.  

Thanks to Amy's hard work, there are a lot of sponsors who have contributed prizes for award winners and for those who visit Amy's blog.  How wonderful is that?  Find out all the details at Amy's blog by clicking here and have a look at all the quilts that have been entered so far.  

Which quilt am I entering?  My "I'm So Totally Happy" quilt of course, because I am! 

This quilt was the February Schnibbles quilt called ISTH in the "Another Year of Schnibbles Quiltalong" that started in January, hosted by Sherri at A Quilting Life  and Sinta at Pink Pincushion.  Every month we make another Schnibbles quilt designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. I love everything about Schnibbles...even saying the word Schnibbles!  

Many of you might remember that when  I finished the quilt top, I held a contest where I asked everyone to help me name my quilt.  I received a lot of wonderful suggestions but a comment made by Teri was the winner.  She suggested "I'm So Totally Happy" and I chose that name because it fit my quilt, it fit the initials ISTH, and because I really am so totally happy!  You can read all about my quilt top here.

I couldn't resist posting another picture of the quilt with the forsythia in bloom in the background. You can tell we're a little later getting summer here in Cape Breton! 

Do you see the marvelous machine quilting?

Mary from Quilt Hollow was sensational. She took my little quilt top and turned it into something spectacular just for me...can you tell I love this little quilt? She also provided me with the close-up picture. Make sure you visit her at her blog Quilt Hollow.  She has a wonderful blog, is a fantastic (and fast!) longarm quilter, and shares some gorgeous projects with us.

So that's it.  Make sure you drop by the Bloggers Quilt Festival and scroll down on that page to see all the quilts.  So far there are almost 400 entries and there are still 2 days to go 'till the deadline to enter. My quilt number is 376! 

It's a great day for quilting! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friends and Fabrics

Don't forget to check out Linky Party Tuesdays at Quilting By The River!

A quilting friend of mine recently retired and is now spending her days just like me...focused on family, friends, and fabrics. When I retired awhile back, this Quilter Friend presented me with an armload of gifts, specially chosen just for me!  She knows me very well as we worked together for over eleven years.  She gifted me with pincushions, a journal all the way from Cuba 'cause she knows I love to write, a notepad 'cause I always make lists, a fabric-covered plate for "dessert", some yummy candies, a tote bag for my goodies, and a few other treasures.  But the gift that went straight to my heart is the quilted table topper she made just for me!

Do you see my name on the Quilt Shop?  How cool is that?  Quilter Friend has done several landscape quilt pieces over the years and I don't have the patience, fabric, or skill to try it myself.  She tells me the houses on the hill and the mountain in the background are the places that Woodworker Hubby and I will travel to now that we are both retired.  Surrounding my quilt shop are the "smaller" mountains, streams, and valleys that all do their part in making Cape Breton such a beautiful place to live.  Thank you so much, Quilter Friend, you are a special lady!

And for those of you who are wondering?  No, I don't have a quilt shop, but she and I both agree that we probably have enough fabric in our stash to open one! 

Speaking of fabric...again...I finally got to visit the Avonport Fabric Discount Centre. The shop is almost four hours away, but very close to where we were for the last few days attending my son's graduation...he is now a teacher and we are so proud of him!  He joins his older sister in the teaching profession...kind of a family tradition, I guess, since Woodworker Hubby is a retired teacher and I also taught for many years before changing careers. 

Back to fabric...after a quick hour in the shop with Woodworker Hubby helping me choose everything from fabrics to a magic wand for picking up pins, I left the shop with a smile on my face and a bag full of must-haves! 

I am trying to build up my fabric collection to use in "civil war" type projects. Fat quarters are my pre-cuts of choice and the pretty pinks and the shirtings were just what I was looking for! I was going to take pictures of the shop, but realize that the shop's web site has better pictures than I could possibly take. Check it out by clicking here. 

I probably wouldn't have purchased quite so much in Avonport if I had known the mailman came while we were out of town...this bundle of fat quarters was waiting for me from The Fat Quarter ShopI purchased the fabric using the gift certificate I won awhile back thanks to Cyndi at Cut Up and Sew . The fabric is Beryl Fleur Rouge by Anna Griffin.  I adore these blues, tans, and creams! 

I joined a Monthly-Mini program at the Temecula Quilt Company.  Every month I receive a little kit in the mail complete with reproduction fabrics. This month's kit that was waiting for me included a tiny little tumbler template to make a tiny little quilt! They even included linen string to "tie" the little quilt if I prefer. This should work up fast! 

My third package was the second kit in the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle, Journey Two designed by Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts.  After I won a gorgeous little quilt kit from Pam ( you can see the finished quilt here) I became very interested in her patterns and decided I wanted to join a Prairie Women's Sewing Circle. My kits are prepared by Country Sampler Quilt Shop  in Spring Green, WI.  This month's kit is called Prairie Huswyfe and is about 28" x 28"...a perfect size for me.  This is how my kit arrived...all wrapped up like a present. 

So you can see I have all the fabric I new motto is more sewing, less shopping!  But please don't hold me to it... 

I've been doing a lot of hand quilting this week but no finishes to show you yet. I did finish a little embroidery for my Garden Steps Stitch and Quiltalong designed by Clover and Violet. This is Block 5...pretty little flowers! 

I guess I better get to my sewing corner now. It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Christmas Quiltalong Today

Update:  Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see my start to Part everything I did today!
Yay...the Quiltalong is this moment!

Just a reminder that Quilt Sue's monthly Christmas Quiltalong is tomorrow today and I plan to be there and hope that you will be there is never too late to join the party! 

Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts will be our wonderful host for the day, so visit her tomorrow today to see the big reveal of Part 4 of Quilt Sue's Festive Mystery quilt.  Sharon is such a talented and inspirational lady, she will have you sewing before your eyes are open! Parts 1-3 are listed at the top of my blog and with a click of the mouse, you can see what you have missed and easily catch up.
Part 4 has been added as well.

Here is a quick review of what I've done so far with my Festive Mystery quilt.

My fabrics:

My pieces:

My 4-patches:

My hourglasses: 

Won't you join the party?  There are always surprises and the day is always a lot of fun. You can sew along with the Festive Mystery, or choose a Christmas project of your own design. Get the details at Quilt Times and join us tomorrow today at Sharon's!

Christmas Quiltalong Update 1: Saturday at 12:50 AST

Finally after a morning of errands, a fitness walk, lunch, and a finish to a UFO, I was able to get started on today's project!

Within a few minutes I had 20 finished units...only 80 to go!  I decided to follow Sharon's technique for making the HSTs and it seems like it has saved me some time.  Thanks, Sharon! 

Here is what I have so far, 10 using my greens, and 10 using my reds.  

Christmas Quiltalong Final Update:  Saturday at 5:35 pm AST.  
Ta da!  I'm finished my 100 HSTs.  Here is my Christmas platter all ready for the next step in June.

Thank you to our wonderful quilt designer, Quilt Sue...I love your instructions and how every month you give us just a step or two to take us towards the finish line. 

And to our wonderful host Sharon, you continue to amaze me with your prolific sewing skills and boundless do all this today with hardly any sleep is certainly a tribute to you and your passion for quilting. And aren't you an angel to add a bonus tutorial to make our own little angels! 

And to all the Quiltalongers, those with blogs and those who call for help using a real phone...giggle...thank you for sharing such a great day! 

See you all for Part 5 of the Festive Mystery Quilt on June 9, the second Saturday in June.

It's always a great day for quilting!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Family Quilts and Fabrics

What a wonderful time I had visiting my mom and two of my sisters! We always have a fantastic time...a family of 4 girls just makes everything so darn much fun when we get together!  Although Sister One lives too far away to join us for these weekends, we thought of her often, shared a few phone calls, and the rest of us kicked up our heels and made the most of our time together. We even had a "livingroom yard sale" hosted by Sister Two who "gave" us anything we wanted from her goodies that were looking for a new home. Recycling was never more fun! Yup, life is good...

Every time I'm at Mom's, I see the quilt I made in 2000 as a gift for her 75th birthday. She hangs it on a wall away from the sun, so it's in pretty good shape and we can read the notes time and again.

Don't you just love those hairdos!  I used our high school grad photos instead of the university ones 'cause three of the photos were in black and white and easily transferable. I'm third from the left. Sister 4, the baby, was so much younger her grad photo was in color! 

I mailed the little white squares across the country with some micron pens and received the siggy blocks back from sisters and families. I pieced them using the "square in a square" pattern with a variety of fabrics and this is what I came up with.  On the back, I used a family portrait taken when baby sister was about two and embroidered a few labels on the quilt. You can't see the picture clearly, but I'm the one on the bottom right with the ringlets and the missing front teeth!

I entered this quilt in the Quilting Gallery's Weekly Quilt Contest called Quilts for Mom. The contest opens tomorrow and you can vote for your favorite. Winners will receive a $35 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop. It's not too late to enter a have until tonight to enter your quilt so please join me and the others for the parade. Michele at The Quilting Gallery has a wonderful parade of quilts each and every week. While you're there, have a look at last week's applique winners...amazing! 

A family treasure is now in my home. Mom gave me a quilt that has been in her family for years. I did beg and plea for it, and she finally gave not true!  She is the most generous mom in the world and gave it to me without hesitation. It was owned by my great-grandmother and pieced and quilted by her daughter-in-law. A red and white pineapple quilt...

Don't worry...we don't use it as a tablecloth...I just wanted to get a good picture of it at Mom's before I brought it home. It was a well loved quilt and well used, as you can tell from the fading. It is such a wonderful quilt! Mom remembers it being around when she was growing up, and I remember it in Sister One's bedroom.  Now it has made it's way to Cape Breton.

I put a new binding on it years ago, and fixed a few "holes", and you can see by the close-up that it is truly a treasure. We think it may have been made in the 20's. Any quilt historians out there with an idea of it's age? See the quilt that is on the cover of the March Country Sampler?  Looks like a newer version of the same pattern.

Will our quilts last as long as my red pineapple?  I spoke to a friend about this and we agreed that if it is time for a quilt to leave a home because we don't have the space, or for whatever reason, it should always be offered to quilt lovers first. That way, the quilt will remain loved and treasured in quilt heaven on earth all around us!

Ok, you're wondering...if I was away for five days, in a city that has  a fabulous quilt shop called The Fabric Cupboard  what have I got to show for it? Here goes...

Fat Quarters: Little Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings and 1860 Battle Hymm, all by Moda

Little Gatherings charm pack, perfect for so many things!

Jackie has a yummy growing collection of woolies, patterns, and Valdani threads!
Terrain fat quarters by Kate Spain  and matching zippers for some little bags! 

What fun I had shopping!  And I also found time at Mom's to cut all the pieces for two Schnibbles projects that were gathering dust in my sewing corner. Schnibbles one is "Doc", the May quilt of the Another Year of Schnibbles Quiltalong.  I'm using Cape Ann charm packs by Liesl Gibson for Moda.

And Schnibbles two is Summer Day, the April Schnibbles, using Meadow Friends and Sassy charms by Moda.

I also bought a few new gadgets, including the "Perfect Half-Square and Quarter-Square Triangles ruler by June Tailor that a friend says is a must-have!  And I picked up a few more square scrapbooking plastic boxes that are so perfect for my projects on the go.

It was a wonderful family vacation. And when I got home yesterday, on a gloomy rainy day, I was met with lots of sunshine in this little house...Woodworker Hubby met me with chocolates, a red rose, and fresh lobster for this fella...I am so totally happy...

It's a great day for to start my day! Thanks to you all for visiting and a huge thank you for all the lovely comments you leave on my blog. You always make me smile!