Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Cuddle Quilter

Just a quick note to thank you all for your wonderful words of well wishes as I mend. There were lots of smiles here as I read your comments and emails. I am still on a thrice daily regime of exercises and a whole lot of decreased activity in my sewing room...argh. Thankfully my "rotary cutting" elbow is on the mend, slowly but surely, bit by bit. Move over tennis and golf elbows...the quilters are here too! Although I can not comment on your blogs due to my one-fingered typing, I am reading them and loving to see what you all have been up to. It is especially fun at Christmas and my "to-do" list grows every day because of your creations!

Under the advice of my health "team", my sewing, quilting, and iPadding activities are still very reduced, with no more than ten minutes at a time, a couple of times a day. Sad face, with no quilty projects to show you. Instead, I thought I would leave you with a Ho! Ho! Ho! and wishes for a Merry Christmas from my wooden Santa and quilt that I first wrote about HERE.



A quick thanks to Karen of KaHolly...she made me the most beautiful Christmas notecards using this image taken right from my blog. 


She sent them to me right before she began her trek to the US. Enjoy the warm weather in Texas, my friend!

Another wonderful blog friend, Linda of Scrapmaster, sent me a lovely Santa postcard...she knows how much I love Santas! Thank you so much, Linda, I hope these Santas will share many Christmases with us!


Yet another thanks goes out to my dear friend from PH. We met for lunch today and she gifted me with an adorable ceramic Santa to add to my collection. He is the tall Santa holding the little tree and has the most welcoming smile. I think he fits very well beside some of his colleagues!


I also want to send thanks to Jenny and Clara, a mother-daughter team who blog at Clover and Violet. I won a giveaway of theirs recently. The prize was a very generous $50 gift certificate that they purchased for me from Southern Fabric.  The fabric treasures have already arrived, just waiting for a healthier arm! 

My ten minutes is now up (actually, it took me two days of several ten-minute segments to write this...I am trying to be good, really I am...) Merry Christmas to all and see you in the New Year!

It's a great day for quilting...for some of you...giggle!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Country Charmer QAL Parade

Update: Winner of the CCQAL giveaway, chosen by Random.org, is #3. Congrats to Nancie Anne Quilts! She has been contacted and will be emailed her $20 gift certificate directly from the Fat Quarter Shop. Thanks to everyone for coming by!

Welcome to the final day of our Country Charmer QAL...a quiltalong that promised to be an easy peasy, no pressure, do it at your own speed QAL.

It all started with a gorgeous quilt design by Lynn who blogs at Sew'n Wild Oaks. Her Country Charmer quilt design was just so pretty that I just had to make it and so did many of you!



Then along came Sue from Quilt Times who designed our very own CCQAL button that you see at the top of the post. Thank you, Miss Sue!

Many of you have joined us for our monthly updates since then to share your progress. Lynn was with us every step of the way, sharing her tips and expertise, holding our hands as we took baby steps at first, and then put all our pedals to the metals. This year we've seen many beautiful blocks, quilt tops, and finished quilts. Our first linky at the end of January set the bar pretty high. For a quick trip down memory lane to our first Linky, click HERE.

Today is our final CC link up, the day of our CC parade. It is your last chance to share with Lynn and I the pictures of your CC quilts, tops, or blocks. Mr. Linky is set up below for you to link up your blog post to show us your CC. If you don't have a blog, you can share your quilt with us by emailing a jpg to Lynn or myself and we will post it on our blogs. You can also post your CC directly on our Flickr page HERE. 

Lynn has already sent along a picture to me of Jean's CC quilt and will post it on her blog as well. Jean lives in Livermore, CA and is a regular customer at In Between Stitches, the shop where Lynn works and where her patterns are available. As you can see, Jean's work is exquisite.



Her fabric choices are wonderful and I have fallen in love with her floral border. At a quick glance, the borders appeared to be appliqued, but it is actually a wonderful floral fabric. It takes Jean's quilt up to another level. Congrats on a beautiful finish, Jean!

I want to share another pic of my finished CC quilt. If you recall, Miss Lynn herself did the fabulous quilting on my quilt. She has such a talent for design, fabric selection, and machine quilting. I consider myself very fortunate to have a quilt in my home that has been quilted by Lynn. You can see all kinds of pictures of my finished quilt HERE and HERE but here are a couple  more. I wrapped myself up in CC and Woodworker Hubby took the pics on a very cold winter morning. Is this not a cuddle quilt? 



Since today is so special, I am having a giveaway! Leave a comment below before Wednesday, December 4 at 9:00 pm EST and you will qualify to win a prize of a $20 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Also, if you link up today with a CC update, or email your CC quilt picture to me, please email me with your full name and mailing address and I will send you a little something to thank you for joining us this year. 

Huge thanks and hugs to Lynn...her participation with her stalkers admirers is so greatly appreciated by all of us!  

Before I go, I want to show you another one of Lynn's designs that I just finished this week...my Nostalgic Christmas quilt. I changed the size of the blocks just a tad, so my finished quilt is about 60" x 60". The quilting was done by Ange at Quilting on the Mira. Just ask me if I love it?





One more "before I go" update. After trying to heal my recently acquired tendonitis (tennis elbow) on my own, and having no luck, increasing pain and increasing lack of mobility, I have decided to bite the bullet and stop doing what is making it worse under the advice of my massage therapist. 


Starting yesterday, I have begun ice treatments and am doing stretching exercises three times a day and am committed to no more quilting, sewing, rotary cutting, or iPadding until my arm improves. I am typing this with my left pointing finger and it is very slow and frustrating. Now that the CC parade is on the go, I will be taking a holiday from blogland until I have healed sufficiently to return to quilting and blogging. I will still read all your blogs ( I can still read!) and I will continue to be inspired, but will refrain from commenting 'cause it is just too difficult and painful to reply. (Apparently, if I had a newer iPad, I could talk into it and the iPad would do the typing!). I will reply to any comments left on this post...it just may take longer than usual.

I will update this post with the name of the giveaway winner next week and will email the winner to let them know.

So, my friends, have a wonderful Christmas and I hope to see you in the New Year. It's always a great day for quilting somewhere!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cuddle Stars, Pay It Forward, and Olde Tyme Christmas

This morning, very early,  I headed to my quilting chair with my Cuddle Stars quilt to finish sewing the binding on.



I just received the finished quilt from longarm quilter Ange at Quilting on the Mira. Ange's shop is about an hour and a half from here. A friend dropped the quilt off last week and the same friend picked it up for me a few days ago. Thanks so much, Quilter Barb, you are so sweet to look after my Stars! I have actually been out of town for several days in the opposite direction. What a treat it was to arrive home to Cuddle Stars!

I love the way it looks in my quilting chair, just waiting for the last strip of binding to be sewn on...



I had asked Ange to use a star motif, and the result is perfect for my Cuddle Stars! If you look closely, you'll see the connecting stars...



I chose a dark burgundy flannel for the backing and the binding and found a wonderful snowman label in my cupboards that was just waiting for the right quilt. 





Oh, I love my Cuddle Stars!



My third and final Pay It Forward small quilt has arrived safely at Laura's house! This is what I sent her...

I used lots of blues and creams from my stash for this scrappy hourglass quilt. I found some wonderful toile to use for the borders. 



I hand quilted "Laura's Quilt" in the ditch and did some straight line echo quilting in the borders. 



I used some civil war reproduction fabric for the backing, attached one of my little Cuddle Quilter labels and shipped it on its way.

Laura blogs at Creations on the Island. She is a very creative and skillful quilter! She wrote a wonderful blog post featuring my quilt. Please visit her blog today to see her beautiful projects and to have the chance to participate in her Pay It Forward program. You have until tomorrow morning to enter! 

I have lots to do today...bindings, labels, tags and finishing up some projects for my participation in our Artisans Collective shop at the Olde Tyme Christmas at the Port Hastings Museum.



I am one of the "local artisans". I hope to have all my quilty goodies ready for 9:00 tomorrow morning to set up. Olde Tyme Christmas opens to the public on Friday so if you are anywhere within driving range,why not plan a visit to see us! We are only open for the two weekends. My day to work is Sunday, December 8, though I plan to drop out for some of the festivities this weekend and to visit with the "work crew".

The Country Charmer QAL final quilt parade is fast approaching. Designer Lynn at Sewn Wild Oaks has been with us every step of the way with tremendous tricks and tips to help us make our quilts. You can find all the helpful hints HERE

I'll be back here on November 30 with Mr. Linky so that everyone who has made a Country Charmer quilt this year can link up with us. Don't have a blog? No problem. Just send me a picture of your quilt and I'll post it for you. In fact, if you'd rather send me a picture than link up, you can do that too. I'm only a mouse click away! And did I mention a giveaway? See you on the 30th...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Hope you surround yourselves with family, friends, and maybe just a bit of fabric!

It's a great day for quilting!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day Two of Blogathon Canada


Good morning and welcome to day two of Blogathon Canada, a week-long celebration of Canadian Quilting Bloggers brought to you by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop and their sponsors. This year Sew Sisters has teamed up with Aurifil, Northcott and Robert Kaufman to bring you some fantastic giveaways. Check out their blog for a chance to win some great prizes.

You can also win some great prizes by visiting the twelve host bloggers who will introduce themselves and their work on their blogs. They will also include links to more bloggers from their province so you can visit those blogs as well.This is where I come in...I live in Nova Scotia, one of the three Maritime provinces, and am "on the list" of Maritime bloggers who are participating. Our hosts today are Adrienne who blogs at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts and Marjorie who blogs at Marjorie's Busy Corner. Thanks, gals, for hosting us today. These ladies both have giveaways today so check them out and let them know I sent you over! 

If you are new to my blog, welcome and thanks so much for visiting. If you have been here before, welcome back...you know how much I appreciate my friends! 

I have been sewing and quilting since I started in the early 80's using the Eleanor Burns method of tearing fabric to make log cabin quilts. It's been a great ride ever since, especially with the invention of so many tools to help us in our craft. I have been blogging for a couple of years and retired for almost the same amount of time. My days are filled with family, friends, and fabric...can't get much better than that!  

For today's post, I thought I'd feature a few projects that I've been working on. I recently finished hand quilting my Nabby Dowry quilt, a free QAL offered by Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts. I stitched in the ditch and used some straight line quilting on the borders, so it is a little hard to see in the picture. I'll send the picture along to Pam by December 1 because she is having a parade of Nabby Dowrys and I love parades!










I recently finished a bed-sized Christmas Dresden Plate quilt and I just received it back from Quilting on the Mira who put their special touch on the quilt. I still have the binding to sew on but wanted to share a picture or two so I put it on the dining room table. I hope you can see the quilting...it is wonderful, thanks to Ange's edge to edge skills. I chose a brilliant red print for the backing. Don't worry...I'll move the quilt before supper!













This week I also pulled out my Schnibbles Hat Trick flimsy that I had finished awhile back. The pattern was designed by Carrie Nelson at Miss Rosies Quilt Co.  Carrie's pattern was beautiful but I had used orphan nine-patches for mine and as time went on, I found that my little quilt top just looked too plain. So I added some hexies and some wool leaves and now I am very happy with it. This will be my next hand-quilting project!








So there you have it. Another week in the life of The Cuddle Quilter. Hope you'll be back!

Here is the schedule for Blogathon Canada
Monday, November 18BCHollyHolly's Red Bike
Monday, November 18BCHeatherWinding Bobbins
Tuesday, November 19MaritimesAdrienneChezzetcook Modern Quilts 
Tuesday, November 19MaritimesMarjorieMarjorie's Busy Corner
Wednesday, November 20ABKatherineSew Me Something Good
Wednesday, November 20ABAndreaUrban Quilt Works
Thursday, November 21SKFloButterfly Quilting
Thursday, November 21MBKathyTamarack Shack
Friday, November 22QC

Izzy
Dizzy Quilts
Friday, November 22TerritoriesDanielleA Geeky Crafty Life
Saturday, November 23ONJackieJackie's Art Quilts
Saturday, November 23ON

Krista




Krista Quilts





It's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cuddle Stars, Pay It Forward, and Quilty Fun

There is nothing better than finishing a quilt top. This one I call Cuddle Stars. It was made with some fat quarter bundles of flannels I purchased a couple of years ago during a huge summer sale at Hamels Fabrics in British Columbia on the west coast. I used the Lucky Stars pattern from Atkinson Designs that is the perfect project for using fat quarters.  


The quilt might look very familiar to you. I have made this same quilt twice. One quilt is mine that I use to "cuddle" up in as I watch TV, the same quilt that was used as the pattern for "My Wooden Quilt" and the borders of my blog post. You can read about it HERE

The second quilt was made about a year ago for my friend Shopper Mom.When I was making that quilt, I decided to cut enough fabric for two quilts at the same time. Finally, after spending time in a closet, the pieces were brought out and "Cuddle Stars" was reborn with a few extra fabrics thrown into the mix. 

All my quilts have to be tested first on the clothesline...


and of course, within a minute or two, the quilt was flying high!


I brought it down to earth and hung it over the railing on the deck. You can see where the fallen leaves gather on a windy day! 


My other flannel quilts were hand-quilted with perle cotton using a utility stitch, but this time, to save wear and tear on my wrist, I may send it out to be machine quilted.

Last March I hosted a Pay It Forward program on my blog in which three winners from the comments entered on that post would receive a small quilt. Quilt One went to Sue in Alberta at Chickadees Country Cottage Crafts. You can see it in Sue's house HERE. 

Quilt Two went to Kerstin at Cookies Treasures in Germany. She just recently received it and has shared beautiful pictures of my quilt (adorned by a vintage sewing machine) and the story on her blog. For some reason, I popped the small quilt into the mail to go to Germany without taking a picture first, so I borrowed a picture that Kerstin took of the quilt when it arrived at her house.

Kerstin is now hosting a Pay It Forward program at her blog. Make sure you visit her and enter for a chance to get involved in Paying It Forward so that you have the chance to win a little treasure. All the details are on her blog HERE.  Quilt 3 has also reached its destination and I'll blog about that at a later date.

A huge shout out goes to Rita, prolific quilter and designer, who blogs at Red Pepper Quilts. Her blog is filled with inspiration, her shop is filled with fabulous patterns, many on my "bucket list",  and she has wonderful and generous sponsors so is always hosting giveaways! 

I was the fortunate one recently to win a copy of Lori Holt's new book, "Quilty Fun". Lori blogs at Bee in My Bonnet. If you haven't visited her blog yet, you are missing a bucket full of quilty inspiration so visit soon. The book was a giveaway prize thanks to Rita's  sponsor, the Fat Quarter Shop. You can preview the book HERE

The best part of winning this book right now is that there is The Quilty Fun Sew Along and Blog Tour that just started. The Fat Quarter Shop is hosting this sampler sew along using Lori's book, nineteen bloggers to help us play, and promises of lots of prizes and giveaways. I am already seeing the first block of four apples popping up in blog land and I want to make an orchard too! Off I go to check the mail...

It's a great day to quilt!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's the Christmas QAL Weekend

It's so nice to be joining my friends around the world for our monthly Christmas QAL and Challenge weekend.  There is only one month left to go...is it only me, or was yesterday the first of September?

Ho Ho Hazel is our lovely host today at Hazel's Quilts.  If you are making anything Christmasy this weekend, or have decided to participate in the challenge of making a Christmas project without using red or green(!), please share with us by linking up at Hazel's place. She and Joanne of  Needle Thread Happiness have done a terrific job of sharing the hosting duties since the QAL started.


Last month I was busy finishing my dresdens and borders for my Christmas Dresden quilt and I am thrilled to tell you that the quilt top is a finish! I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and finished the top on a cloudy day. The picture doesn't show the colours well, but I just couldn't wait to see the full quilt on the clothesline.



and then the sun came out and the wind blew...



I folded it carefully for transport and traveled to Sydney to leave it with Ange at Quilting on the Mira. I can't wait to see this one quilted!



So what am I working on today? I brought out my Nostalgic Christmas project tote and was thrilled to find that I have eight of the nine blocks already finished! (This is another one of Lovely Lynn's gorgeous designs that I started last year. You know Lynn of Sew'n Wild Oaks Country Charmer fame? Well, you should see her Heartfire quilt that is fast becoming my next favorite design. The pattern combines hexies, strip piecing, and red and white. Have a look HERE. What is not to like? I think this is going to be my next "Lynn quilt". Quilt Sue has started her blocks HERE and I am hearing they are slightly addictive?) 

This weekend it will be all about red and green and nostalgia. I started with a quick peek at my pile of blocks...



and then started cutting for my final block.



It took no time to add a few borders...



I chose the rest of the fabrics for this block, cut them to size, and will spend the weekend finishing the block and hopefully sewing the nine blocks together for my Nostalgic Christmas quilt. 


Lynn's quilt pattern finishes at 81" x 81" but I chose to make mine into a smaller version for a lap quilt. A perfect Christmas cuddle quilt, because you know I love Christmas!

On Monday, Canadians remember...

Thanks for coming by. Don't forget to visit the others at Hazel's house. I hear rumours of chocolate!