Thursday, September 27, 2012

Catching Up

This week in my sewing corner has been all about catching up. I think the most excitement in my corner was when I finished the binding and label on my "Doc" Schnibbles quilt, a quilt I had made a few months ago during the Another Year of Schnibbles quiltalong. The quilt was machine quilted by Angie at Quilting on the Mira, the LQS where I purchased my new sewing machine a few weeks ago.



I used Cape Ann charm packs by Moda with a few similar-colored charms from my stash.  Once the quilt top came together, it sure looked like a baby quilt, so I decided to name the quilt "Baby Tricks", a play on words with the Card Tricks pattern.





I completely finished my small hexies quilt...handquilted and bound, all set and on display! This is the October pattern, Hexagon Flowers Doll Quilt, chosen by Kathleen Tracy for her Small Quilt of the Month program.  Check out her blog at A Sentimental Quilter to get more info. These small quilts are very inspiring and take a lot less time to make than a bed quilt!  




I also rediscovered the Canton Village Quiltworks Bloggers Block of the Month program. I began this in September 2011 with quilters from across the globe. Hosted by the lovely Jackie of CVQ, the BBOM featured a variety of very talented quilt block designers.  I had let the months slide a little bit during the summer, but yesterday and this morning, I completed the final four blocks. Here is my little parade of blocks...

June, designed by Pam at Pam Kitty Morning 


July, designed by Victoria at Bumble Beans Inc.



August, designed by Amy at Amy's Creative Side


And last, but not least, September, designed by Sarah at The Last Piece.


Next month, Jackie will bring us full circle. On October 25, she will give us the information to complete the setting of the blocks. I've really enjoyed this!  Every bnlock was so much fun to put together. I was keeping up with the blocks every month until the warmer weather arrived. I bet I wasn't the only one!

I decided to tackle a few smaller projects as well. I love wandering over to the Moda Bake Shop to see what new projects are available in the Recipes section. All the instructions are free and I love a bargain! I found a pattern for a Strippy Charm Pouch by Kim Sherrod here. Kim blogs at Lily Patch Quilts and is giving readers a tutorial for a 4-block table topper.  Block 3 is posted here with a link to the previous blocks. 

So, without further ado, my Strippy Charm Pouches...



The pouches will have new homes soon. One will be a draw prize filled with some goodies at the Ocean Waves Quilt Society's quarterly meeting that is being held in Port Hawkesbury on Saturday at 11:00 am. Our local guild, the Tea Thyme Quilters, will be hosting.  The day is always a lot of fun with quilting friends from near and far, lots of quilting conversations and inspiration, a few vendors, and perhaps some show and tell to go along with some yummy treats! 

Madame Samm's  "Leafs Me Happy" blog hop starts on October 1 and I will be one of 11 excited quilters who will be posting our leaf-themed blocks on Day One.   Capable cheerleader and creative host Cherry, at CherryBlossoms Studiohas all the info. Visit her to see the schedule and prepare to get leafed!  The blog hop goes from October 1-10.  See you on Monday!

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spools, Rugs, and Sewing Machines


I finally finished my spool quilt! I used lots of homespuns and hand quilting to give it that primitive look. The spools were quilted along the "thread" lines, the alternating blocks were quilted with a posy design, and the pieced borders were quilted along each block. I did play with adding some buttons, but decided to remove them...my quilting mentors were right on the mark when they said the buttons detracted from the spools.  Thanks, mentors!


I started it with a friend awhile back in one of our Chip and Dale sessions, and what fun we had! There was certainly excitement in the room when we completed our quilt tops. Miss Chip used some wonderful batiks and sent hers out to Lynda at Fiddlestitches to be machine quilted.  Love the thread spooling through those blocks!


The little quilts, 30" x 36", were adapted from a pattern by Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts, from her book Friendship Strips and Scraps. Love Edyta's creations!



I haven't tried rug hooking, but I have some friends who do it, love it, and create some wonderful masterpieces!  Some of these friends were over last night for a quilting and rug hooking session.  I just have to share a picture of the rug that friend Paula has finished. It is absolutely amazing...


Paula has been hooking for several years now and her enthusiasm and skill for this art is awe-inspiring!  Thanks, Paula, for letting me share this with my readers.  On a side note, Paula was one of the two ladies that introduced me to quilting when I arrived in this town many years ago, and thank goodness she did...what would I do with myself as a retired lady if I didn't have my sewing corner to keep me out of trouble?  

And speaking of sewing corners, I have a new addition! I treated myself to a new sewing machine a few weeks ago...the Pfaff Ambition Essential! 


While I was on vacation, I received an email from the Pfaff folks spreading the word about a new sewing machine that was coming out in the Fall flyer.  A Pfaff sewing machine has been on my wish list for some time now, but I was being very smart, saving my money, and waiting for a sale. I had placed some quilted items for sale in The Quilt Shop at the Causeway this summer with the idea of saving for a new machine. After all, I'm now retired and have to be smart and frugal, right?

Long story short, when the email came, I was so excited...I just had to find out more about it. I checked right into it, inquired at a few stores and online, and soon found an Ambition Essential with my name on it at an unbelievable price.  I had enough money already saved to purchase the machine, an extension table, and several feet.   

My Pfaff was purchased from Angie at Quilting on the Mira, a fabric shop in Sydney about an hour and a half from here.  It's a machine that is very reasonably priced and still has many of the bells and whistles that the more expensive machines have. It works like a charm and I already adore it. How materialistic I am...I love my new baby! 

The 1/4 inch foot is a dream, as is the Stitch in the Ditch foot.  I machine quilted my first project and am very pleased. Sometimes I watch the needle instead of the little guide, but I'm getting better! And the good news is that a sewing project went from start to complete finish in a couple of days.



I'll show you more when you come back to visit on Monday, October 1, my day in the Leafs Me Happy blog hop.  The hop takes place from October 1-10, created by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt and hosted by Cherry at Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio. See the complete schedule on Cherry's blog right here. 

What's up in Blogland?

Today is the last day for the Dots on Dots blog hop.  There are just so many phenomenal projects to look at and be inspired by! Check out Madame Samm's adorable dotty red shoes and much, much more at Sew We Quilt.  View today's schedule by visiting Corrie at Quilt Taffy and check out all the other creative "last day ladies".  The pictures from all the blog hops are posted on Madame Samm's Pinterest page at Sew We Quilt.

There's a new Block of the Week that started three weeks ago that has me very interested.  Barbara Brackman's Material Culture is posting a free pattern a week for the Grandmother's Choice Sampler made using 8" blocks.  Barbara set up a web page, http://grandmotherschoice.blogspot.com specifically for the BOW. She is a well-known historian, so while sewing, we also get to learn about those strong, courageous women who came before us. And it isn't too late to follow...you (and I) could catch up in no time!

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quilts in Progress

I found my sewing corner this week and have lots of QIPs to show you. What is a QIP? A quilt in progress, of course. As you know, most of my quilts are small ones. It just gives me so much satisfaction to go from start to finish in a short amount of time.You may have seen these in various stages, so a little update was in order.

"Friendship Garden" by Lynne at Kansas Trouble Quilts and Pam at Heartspun Quilts is all set to applique. I purchased the wool kit and had a wonderful quilt friend help me fuse them in place...I was kind of afraid to put iron to wool. Now I am over the learning curve so woolies beware!

I have one more little hexie flower to add to the empty stem in the lower corner and then I'm ready to start appliqueing by hand using some wonderful variegated brown Valdani 12. I could eat this quilt!

I started my block for the Leafs Me Happy blog hop created by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt and coordinated by the fabulous Cherry at Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio. My day is October 1 and I was thrilled to look into my cupboards and see the gorgeous fabrics that I won awhile back from Kaaren at The Painted Quilt.  I'm an October baby, so I've always gravitated towards these colors.  How yummy!


I decided to combine a couple of projects using this fabric - the blog hop where I'll be making a 12.5" block, plus the September Schnibbles called "Speck". It is one of the new Little Bites creations by Carrie Nelson at Miss Rosie's Quilt Company that uses mini-charm packs also called Moda Candy...gotta love these "scrumptious" names for fabric!

I cut my fabrics into the little mini-charms and before you could say "Schnibbles", I finished my little quilt.  But I won't show you the finished project 'till October 1 so be sure you come back!


My "Spare Change" quilt by Lynne is all sandwiched and ready to go. I love these Christmas fabrics!


I am seriously thinking of machine quilting this little baby in a crosshatch pattern, but am a little afraid to try. I'll mark the design first and then put pedal to the metal, and of course, I'll keep my seam ripper very close to me at all times.  The quilt is 32" x 36" so should be a good size to start with. I tried machine quilting many years ago but didn't like the results...but sewing machines and gadgets have improved since then (more on that in another post) and I hope I have improved in my sewing, so now is the time to try it again. Fingers crossed...

I always like to have a Santa on the go, so I had a friend enlarge the First Friday Freebie pattern designed by Kaaren at The Painted Quilt, traced the "Christmas Eve" pattern with my light box, and got a little start just the other day. I'm working at The Quilt Shop at the Causeway this afternoon so may take this to work on when things are quiet!



My Hexagon Flowers Doll Quilt is also a "ready to take"project. The quilt is designed by Kathleen Tracey, A Sentimental Quilter, and is actually the October quilt for the Small Quilt of the Month quiltalong. Kathleen gave us a great head's up so I will be sure to have it finished by the end of October!


What's New in the Quilting World? Don't forget to check out the Dots on Dots blog hop going on until September 21. You will be so impressed with the fantastic dotty creations!
Corrie at Quilt Taffy is doing a fantastic job of hosting...see the schedule here and make sure you have a peek at Madame Samm's pinterest page with pictures of ALL the blog hops in one place!  Click right hereThere are new blog hops announced every few weeks so be sure you visit Sew We Quilt on a regular basis...the hops usually fill up pretty fast!

If you live in my part of the world, just want you to know that The Tea Thyme Quilters (my quilt quild) will be hosting the Ocean Waves Quilt Society (another quild I belong to) quarterly meeting on Saturday, September 29 at 11:00 am at St. Mark's Church Hall in Port Hawkesbury. In addition to a very short business meeting and luncheon, we will be welcoming fabric artist/designer/illustrator and author Adrienne Yorinks.  Adrienne, a native of New York who spends her summers in beautiful Cape Breton, will be bringing 150 bolts of fabric that she designed and will have it for sale at $10 a metre. This will be a unique opportunity to shop at home. Below is a picture from her web site.


We have recently been stunned and saddened by the news that two local quilt shops (both within 1 1/2 hours from here)  have closed or are closing in the next couple of weeks. I wish all the best to Kim at Harbour Quilt Company and the gals at Lucy's Fabrics and Gifts.  I and many others will certainly miss you...

It's a great day for quilting!
  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Found Santa in Alaska

You know I love Santas.  So on our recent holiday, which you can read about here,  I took a few projects to work on anticipating that there would be lots of time spent in airports and on airplanes that I could put to good use! I was right on the mark...my little embroidery scissors were totally acceptable to the airline and the redwork pattern and thread were was just the right size to put in a zip-lock bag and pull out whenever the Christmas mood hit me.

I started and finished a Santa that I fell in love with at Birdbrain Designs.  This little guy is called "Homespun Santa", Holiday Stitchery 178 designed by Robin Kingsley.



I just think he is adorable! My plan is to do a few redwork Santas of different sizes and join them to make a little quilt or hanging using a variety of red and white pieced blocks.  

I used fusible interfacing on the back of the piece of cotton and Aurifil 12-wt. thread.  This is the perfect stitchery thread for me...one strand so no need to separate as I'd have to do with the traditional embroidery floss.

So not only did I make a Santa, but I found Santa in Alaska!  Woodworker Hubby and I were on shore in Ketchican and discovered a shop that was filled to the rafters with all things Christmas. The name of the shop is Christmas in Alaska, and look who I found in the back of the shop, sitting on a gorgeous hand-crafted chair, in front of a fabulous Christmas quilt?  You guessed it...




And of course, I just had to bring him home with me,well, not really him, but a smaller version of Santa that I picked up in Skagway, handcarved in Russia, with a wonderful papermache pin to use during the season!



Check out the detail on his cloak!



I finally had a chance to go through our Alaska pictures and tidy them up.  Wanted to share a few more with you....

Quilt teachers Pam Buda, from Heartspun Quilts is on the left and Lynn Hagmeier, from Kansas Troubles Quilts on the right...what a time we had! I'm the giggler in the centre!



A few more pictures of Glacier Bay....this photo looks like a black and white image, but it was taken in color!



The blue of the glacier ice was amazing.  See all the slush in the foreground, caused when the ice chunks would drop into the sea and "wave" towards us...



And yet another shade of blue...

No words necessary for this one...


Now back to quilting...

What's happening in blogland?  Madame Samm's Dots on Dots blog hop starts tomorrow, September 10-20, and everyone is getting real dotty about it!  Over 90 participants, all ready to roll out with host Corrie at Quilt Taffy. Visit Corrie for the schedule and get ready to be impressed! As usual, you'll be able to see all the creations by visiting Madame Samm's Pinterest page.

A new blog hop was just announced by Madame Samm. This is really unique and should be so much fun...it's the UR Priceless blog hop from November 5-13....a blog hop where you get to make one (or many more) coin purses.   You can get all the details by clicking here.   Mdm. Samm welcomes Katherine as the coordinator... Katherine's blog is Sew Me Something Good so run over there, check things out, and register by emailing her at kagr@telus.net with "UR Priceless" in the subject line.  

And don't forget the other upcoming blog hops, Leafs Me Happy, and Wicked. The ladies are preparing everything and the schedules will be announced when ready.  See the buttons on the sidebar for more info.

It's a great day for quilting!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Alaskan Quilting Cruise

There's nothing better than combining a love of quilting with a love of cruising with the love of your life!  OK, I know that sounds a little bit sappy, but Woodworker Hubby and I just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Alaska, and what a time we had! 

If you recall, we live in Nova Scotia, Canada, so after a day of flying across the country, we were ready to start our adventure.  On August 19, we sailed out of Seattle on the Norwegian Pearl for a 7-day tour. We were bound for Glacier Bay and the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchican, and Victoria, BC.  




But this wasn't just any Alaskan cruise...this was a quilting cruise hosted by Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Trouble Quilts  and Pam Buda, of Heartspun Quilts and coordinated with great skill and thanks to Bunny of Quilting Corners.  

Woodworker Hubby has always had an Alaskan cruise on his wishlist, so when the Great Girlfriends Getaway was announced in the fall, we put our heads together and figured this would be the perfect holiday for the two of us.

Three quilting projects were chosen for the quilting cruise by Pam and Lynne.  The projects were presented during the days at sea, with lots of classroom time available throughout the week. (Don't worry...Woodworker Hubby had lots to do on the ship while I was in class!)

Everyday that we arrived in the sewing classroom was like Christmas....there was always a gift or two waiting for us.  Even our name tags were the cutest!



Project one was a quilt called "Sweetwater Creek" designed by Pam using her new line of fabrics, Heart of the Prairie. The pattern and fabrics are adorable and I couldn't wait to get started!  



For this quilt, many of us had cut our fabrics before we arrived, so by the end of the cruise, I had lots of "parts" finished and now just have to sew them together! 

The second quilt project was "Spare Change" designed and presented by Lynne, using raw edge applique. We each received her unique Spare Change Ruler that had us quickly cutting and piecing our blocks. Lynne chose Holiday Medley for the kit...all precut for us and packed in this little collector tin using a wonderful Christmas collection that makes my heart soar! 




As you can see, I have all of the inside blocks done...just a little piecing and a few borders and it will be a Ta-da finish!



Project Three was a combined design effort by Pam and Lynne and it is gorgeous...my kind of project, as were all of them, actually!  

The two ladies shared the day with us, allowing us to choose to applique using Lynne's raw-edge technique with cotton, or Pam's wool applique.  The lovely ladies had pre-cut the background pieces, Lynne had even hand-dyed the large rickrack, and a few hours later, my wall hanging was ready for the appliqued flowers, basket, and the addition of those little hexies! 



I chose to purchase the wool kit so hope to start cutting the shapes later this week. Isn't the wool gorgeous! I've used a little wool in the past but learned a few new techniques to use with this project.



Pam and Lynne were absolutely wonderful teachers and I would highly recommend that you check out their next quilting adventure and join in.  They both presented trunk shows that just made me want to sew and quilt for the rest of my life! And the 33 other participants were a wonderful combination of folks from all over the USA...I think I was the only Canadian!  Two lovely ladies shared my sewing table with me and I can tell you, we had a lot of laughs and they gave me lots of support when I struggled to be precise!

Was there any quilt shopping on the ship, you ask?  You bethcha!  Here are just a few quilt kits, patterns, and treasures designed by Pam and Lynne that made it home with me...some were complimentary, and some were purchased...all I will say is that the the ladies were extremely generous.





On the last day, one lucky quilter among us even won a brand new Janome sewing machine! All of us were provided with the top of the line Janome sewing machines to use while at sea with an option to purchase at the end of the cruise.  

Did I mention that Alaska is filled with quilt shops?  I went to four quilt shops in the ports of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchican.  Some of the shops were huge...





and some were smaller...



Suffice to say, I found lots of treasures. I don't usually gravitate towards panel prints, but how could I resist this?  



Especially when it has such a cute picture of the map showing our  ports...




Each of the shops we visited in the ports had a special gift for folks from the quilting cruise, so I added a few complimentary patterns and flannel fabric to my stash.  I even received a glass thimble printed with the forget-me-not, the state flower.  And I just had to purchase the redwork pattern, "Kuspuk Christmas", designed by Raven Stitches. I love the red and white blocks bordering the embroidery! 




Of course, no trip would be complete without a few more mementos...like a couple of charms!



And we were all thrilled when Pam and Lynne presented us with pendants made especially for us. Here is the front...



and here is the back.



You can see a picture of me and some of the other quilters by visiting Pam's blog here. I'm near the front of the classroom in the third picture looking very intently down at my seam line! Lynn also posted some great pics on her blog here. There are some more quilting adventures being planned by the two of them, so make sure you check it out and maybe you'll be on the next Great Girlfriend Getaway! 

It was a wonderful week of cruising and quilting, and we followed that trip of a lifetime with another fantastic week "out west"... a memorable week of visiting with our daughter and her fiance that included trips to the zoo, movies, super suppers and nights out, walks, tours of new house under construction, and even a day of  wedding dress shopping ( yes, very successful with plans for next summer's event already well underway)!

Thanks so much for visiting me today. You can see that I had a lot to share!  It's nice to be in touch again and to let you know that it's always a great day for quilting!