Monday, October 29, 2012

I'll Bet You Can't Make Just One

These are the words written on the instructions for the Nostalgic Christmas Pillows and Quilt pattern by quilt designer Lynn of Sew'n
Wild Oaks . And this lady sure knows what she's talking about! You already saw the first two blocks I made in my previous post and today I'll show you my latest two blocks, because once you start, you just can't stop! 

Yes, I am addicted to these blocks! I really didn't have much of a plan...I just started following Lynn's instructions and framed the centre blocks with reds, greens, and plaids. Here are my finished blocks so far...

I've been lucky so far to have enough fabrics in my stash to compliment the Sentiments fabrics. So now I have to decide whether to continue with the red and green theme, or vary the colors of the blocks like Lynn did in her original design.  The Sentiments layer cake has some beautiful soft blues to coordinate with the softer reds and greens, so may try a few of these.  Or I can just let the fabrics talk to me and just see what grabs me!  

As I was going through my fabrics, I found a strip of fabric that would have been very useful in this block, but I just didn't have enough. I started to look for "burgundy polka dot" fabric in some of the online fabric catalogues, but it is like finding a needle in a haystack.  So I'm coming to you for help.  Does anyone know the name of this fabric so I can try to find some more? I have no idea where or when I purchased it.  It is a burgundy pindot and the color would be so perfect with so many of my projects. I should have put a thimble in the picture to give you an idea of the size of the dots...they are tiny!   The wood floor strips behind the fabric are 2 1/4 inch.  If you recognize this fabric, please let me know the name and then it's full speed ahead to find some more. 

You may remember that I showed you my finished mini-quilt top that was designed and offered as a complimentary quiltalong by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts called Pocket Patchwork Forget-Me-Not.  I had finished the top but  just kept thinking that it needed a little something else. I decided to add a couple of borders to it and am very pleased with the results.  A couple of pics, some outside and some in...

The quilt top now measures about 25 x 34...just the right size to hand quilt! 

Pam has told us that she has already designed her third Pocket Patchwork Quiltalong, a pattern that she says will be great to make with our scraps!  I've done the first two quiltalongs, so of course I plan to jump on the bandwagon for this one.   The quiltalong will be 5 weeks in duration, with one post a week. Visit Pam's blog here for more info.

For everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy, please batten down the hatches and stay safe. Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts has the right idea...she has spent the last few days attaching the bindings on some quilts so if the power goes out, she can sit in a comfy chair and hand quilt!

And Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts is also doing the same.  She posted her blog a little earlier than usual and assures us that her house is at the top of a hill and she is well prepared.  Sending virtual hugs to you all!

And here in Cape Breton we are expecting rain, rain, and more rain as a result of Sandy. In case of a power outage, I have labels and bindings all set to go, and of course, another quilt or two to work on...

Hurricane Sandy may be all over the news channels, but Madame Samm's Wicked Blog Hop is all over blogland! Today is Day 6 and the wicked creations just keep on coming with lots of inspiration and fun! Even the Cuddle Quilter, the most un-Halloween person there is, has been wickedly inspired and is now planning some wicked good projects for next year. Hop host Wicked Wendy at Why-Not-Kwilt is doing an awesome job!

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Little Red Birdie and Nostalgic Christmas

This has been an exceptional week!  The other day, I checked the mail while I was out doing errands and this is what was in my mail box...


a Little Red Birdie postcard gifted to me by Annie from Annie's Musings. Gotta love Annie's button! 

Little Red Birdie arrived safely and in perfect shape, postmarked and dated accordingly. The detail, all so neat and tidy, is stunning, from the stitching to the stamping to the lettering!

It amazes me that this little work of art travelled throughout the postal system from the southwest in the USA all the way up to the northeast to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada!  Little Red Birdie travelled for 19 days and arrived in pristine condition. Thank you, Annie! It is exquisite and I will give it a very good home.  In fact, I even found a few birdhouses in the house so Little Red Birdie will be very comfortable!

I am in such awe of the talent and skill Annie has with these little creations.  Annie is so generous with her fabric art that she will often post a her newly created postcards and offer to send them to someone who comments on her blog.  And how lucky I was...on September 30, Annie displayed a few postcards that were looking for homes, including Little Red Birdie.  I visit Annie's blog on a regular basis and am always impressed with her new works. On that day, I put my name in the hat, so to speak, and was so pleased when I received an email from Annie to say that Little Red Birdie would be mailed to my home, flying north and east to Canada!  

To see more pictures of Little Red Birdie and other fabulous works, visit Annie at Annie's Musings.  She will inspire you, intrigue you and amaze you, and just maybe you will be able to receive one of her postcards in the future, just saying...

Another lady who regularly inspires and amazes me is Lynne of Sew'n Wild Oaks.  Lynn is a regular attendee of the Christmas Quiltalong group created by Quilt Sue at Quilt Times so we "meet" on a monthly basis in our sewing rooms. I have been a follower of Lynn's blog for quite sometime.  Lynn is an avid quilter and designer and teaches workshops at the In Between Stitches quilt shop, a shop I wish was much closer to my home!  

I quickly fell in love with her "drop dead gorgeous" quilt, Country Charmer, and just "had" to have the pattern.  I ordered it from In Between Stitches without delay and have plans to start it in the new year. Head on over to the shop and have a look! If anyone else is interested in making this quilt and quilting along with me on a regular basis, please send me an email and maybe we can form a quiltalong group to nudge each other along to completion?  Patterns are still available at the quilt shop...just click here. I would love to have company making this quilt...maybe we could divide up the pattern into monthly segments and make a plan? 

And then along came Lynn's Nostalgic Christmas Pillows, a pattern that just wowed me and wooed me!  Lynn uses a Sentiments vintage postcard cut from the panel by Moda for the centre and frames the block with plaids, polkadots, and more.  I really, really, "had" to have this, so I ordered the pattern and some fabrics and this week I jumped in and made my first block. I used the vintage postcard for the centre, some fabrics from the matching Sentiments layer cake I have, and then added plaid, polkadots, and whatever else I thought would match from my stash. 

Here is the first block I made. The pattern is for an 18" pillow, but I made mine a little smaller so that I can use the blocks for table runners, mini-quilts, or even Christmas cards!

The vintage panel has 21 postcards, so I have lots more blocks to make.  In fact I quickly made another...

And have the centre started on block three...

I adore this pattern, the instructions are excellent, and I am so happy to be working on an exciting new Christmas project. And guess what?  Lynn has also adapted the pattern for use with photographs as the centre panel, and just this week showed the same pattern using a Halloween theme. Pop on over to Lynn's blog at Sew'n Wild will be so impressed! 

Thank you, friends, you inspire me...
It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Christmas Quilts

While everyone else in blogland seems to be immersed in orange, black, and purple fabrics, I have been busy with red, greens, and golds and loving every minute. In my house, you can never start too early to get ready for Christmas! 

I finished my Festive Mystery Christmas quilt in lots of time for the holidays.  I had it pieced awhile back and recently received it back from the longarmer. 

The quilt was designed by Quilt Sue of Quilt Times I made it as part of her Christmas Quiltalong. (See the button on my sidebar). The exquisite quilting was done by Angie from Quilting on the Mira quilt shop and is just the special touch the quilt needed! 

A group of us from across the globe started the 6-part mystery quiltalong in February, meeting once a month in blogland.  The QAL was created by Sue and hosted by a variety of wonderful quilter friends along the way. We meet on the second Saturday of the month, working along on our mystery quilt or any other Christmas-related projects.  Our next QAL day will be November 10 so I'll be ready to work on another Christmas project. It's never too late to join us.  The instructions for the Festive quilt are at the top of my blog so I hope you decide to make one.  It's about 40 x 60...a perfect sized quilt to cuddle up in, to put at the foot of your bed, or to throw across a chair to make your home cozy and Christmasy! 

I also finished my "Spare Change" quilt.  This little quilt, about 32 x 35, is designed by Lynne Hagmeier using Holiday Medley fabrics from her Kansas Troubles line.  This was one of three quilt projects that were offered by instructors Lynne of Kansas Troubles and Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts on the quilting cruise I joined in August. 

I became very brave when the quilt was sandwiched and decided to do some machine quilting.  I did an allover cross hatch design with the lines about an inch and a half apart. I drew the first two lines, a big "x", with chalk, stitched these lines, and then used the quilting guide for the rest of the quilt. Very easy!  My walking foot, which is built right into the Pfaff, made it so easy to quilt with no puckers.  I used a dark thread for the machine quilting, and then, because I love to hand quilt and I wanted to be creative, pulled out my gold perle cotton and added a few rows of hand quilting in the borders. It really is gold, even though some of the pictures make it look white.  

Love these fabrics!  Lynne taught us her raw edge applique technique and even brought along a special ruler for us that she designed for use with this pattern! 

I always like to use my stash fabrics for the backing and think this works alright!

And of course, my little label!  I'm running out of them so will have to place another order with "Mommie Made It", my "go-to" girl for custom made labels. 

I decided to run outside and take a few more pictures with the iPad as the sun was going down...same quilt, but the colours sure changed when I changed the direction of the camera. You can see that Fall has arrived in our backyard! 

I have several more Christmas projects in the wings...I'll be sure to keep you posted!

What's up in blogland? Yes, Madame Samm's Wicked Blog Hop is finally ready to be unwrapped. 
It all starts tomorrow and Wicked host Wendy is so ready to try to keep all the witches and goblins in line. For the complete schedule, visit her at Why-Not-Kwilt. 

This month I have been following Norma at Petit Design Co. to learn more about machine quilting.

I'm not ready for free motion yet, so instead, I have been thoroughly enjoying Norma's design ideas and helpful hints. I didn't know that there was so much that could be done using a straight stitch.  Even circles...she makes it look so easy!  Click on the Walking Foot button on the sidebar and you'll be taken to Day One of Walking Foot Quilting.  But then be sure to keep clicking to see the whole series to date. 

Thanks for coming by!  Off to relax in front of the TV and put on a few labels.

It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival and More

Well, what a day I had in Amherst on Friday. I arrived in the midst of a torrential downpour, but it was super sunny inside the venues of the two quilt shows I attended...churches were adorned with fabulous quilts from top to bottom!

I was only in the town for a couple of hours but still managed to visit the Cumberland County Quilters show, the Fage Family Quilt and Hand Work exhibit, the Zonta Fibre Arts BaZaar, head to the local department store to check out the quilting demonstrations and the quilt block contest, and drop by Deanne Fitzpatrick's Rug Hooking Studio in downtown Amherst.  I'm not a rug hooker, but I really appreciate the skill and expertise of my "hooker" friends who create fabulous rugs...stunning works of art and much too pretty to walk on!  Visiting Deanne's shop was like falling into a bowl of crayons...gorgeous colors and lots of bins of perfect pieces of "Santa" woolies to use in some of my Christmas projects. I had planned to take in the hooked rug exhibit but unfortunately ran out of time.  

I was so impressed by the excitement and enthusiasm that was generated throughout the downtown core, on the faces of everyone I passed on the street, in the shops, and at the shows that next year I will be returning and will definitely think about taking one of the many workshops that are offered during the week-long festival.

I took lots of pictures of quilts and such a variety! Traditional, modern, seasonal, vintage, large, small, and both hand and machine quilted. I was snapping faster than my camera could deal with, so you may see a few fuzzy pictures.  Have a peek...


Each poinsettia had several beads stitched to the centre!

As you can see, there were lots of Christmas quilts, but I had to look really hard to find even one little Santa!  But what a cutie!

Before I jumped in the car, I had a "successful" time visiting quilt vendor Jackie of The Fabric Cupboard.  She had travelled from Moncton to set up her shop at the quilt show.  What a sweetie she is and what a shop she had unpacked for us all! My stash is a little large these days so whenever I shop, I try to pick up just the little things that I can't live without!  The Indigo "candy" by Moda fit the bill, a new line of blues and creams that are so yummy!  And who could resist some Christmas plaid and a warm and fuzzy "Wool and Needle Flannels" charm pack?  

I hope you enjoyed my version of the the show. Then I was off to the Fage Family Quilt Show, a show filled with quilts and handwork of the late Lillian Fage and daughters.

There...I think that is enough quilt show inspiration for today! 

I just finished Block 7 of the Grandmother's Choice BOW by Barbara Brackman.  It's called Aunt Alice's Star so I decided to dig into my blues...who says a star has to be yellow?  I used machine applique...a bit of a cheat, but a gal only has so much time!

I had a wonderful visit with a good quilt friend today. She came to town to do some errands so we got together, shared lots of stories, I showed her my latest quilt projects, and then we enjoyed lunch at a local eatery. I'm so excited for her because she is entered into the Wicked Blog Hop created by Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt and hosted by Wickedly Organized Wendy at Why Not Kwilt. You can find the complete schedule at Wendy's blog.

The blog hop runs from October 22-31, excluding weekends. Aurea's hop day is Thursday, October 25th at That Other Blog so please make sure you visit her that day and welcome a Cape Breton quilter to the hop. I'm not participating ( you know's all about Christmas and Santas instead of witches) but I plan to visit everyone's blogs during the hop to see their wicked projects and have a wicked good time! 

Thanks so much for coming by today. Now I want you all to go to your sewing corners and get busy, because if you are like me, you have too much fabric and too little time.  

It's a great day for quilting!