Thursday, October 31, 2013

Country Charmer is Quilted

Can you believe it? My Country Charmer quilt top has been quilted...all finished...all done...all awesome! My quilt is living in California right now, quietly resting at the home of Lovely Lynn, Country Charmer quilt designer, blogger of Sew'n Wild Oaks, and quintessential quilter. The quilting is absolutely breathtaking, but don't take my word for it. Have a look for yourself!

I just can't believe it is the same quilt top I mailed out to Lynn not that long ago. Lynn graciously offered to quilt my CC so I am a very lucky gal! I am even more thrilled because I received Lynn's email with these wonderful pictures just yesterday, on the eve of our November Country Charmer QAL update. What perfect timing! 

Lynn has written a great post about my CC preview HERE  and has shown a few pics. But, like the sweetie she is, she sent me the pics first so I could post my CC reveal here. Of course, she also hinted that the quilt may stay in California and not make its way to me here in Nova Scotia. Gulp...

As for the quilting, I did say "No pressure, Lynn", " Take your time, Lynn", "No hurry, Lynn", honest, I did! But lookeee here...she just quilted and quilted and quilted...

My Country Charmer looks very much at home in Lynn's house. 

In fact, it looks downright welcoming in her guest room...

Can you see the detail in the quilting? It actually hides all my mis-matched seams and cut-off tips. Those feathers are exquisite and that cross-hatching is the perfect frame for each block. As for that teeny, tiny stippling around each star, unbelievable! 

I can't wait to actually touch the quilt and to feel those stitches bringing the quilt to life. I love what I see on the front of the quilt, but what a bonus it was for me to see the back. This is quilt art!

Thank you, Lynn, from the bottom of my heart. You have taken my quilt to a new level with your fabulous quilting. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in person and to attaching the binding and label to finish it off. 

Thank you, Quilt Sue, for designing our CC button. It is so neat to see that button pop up on my dashboard. It was especially exciting to read about Quilt Sue's visit to Lovely Lynn's last month. The world becomes pretty tiny at times!

Thanks to all who joined in for the Country Charmer Quilt Along. It has been a magnificent ride from the start to the finish. We've seen some glorious quilts evolve since we started in January. Many of you have finished your quilts and shared them with us, while some of you may still be in the midst of putting those beauties together. I'll keep the Flickr page active HERE, so please add your finished quilt to the page at any time. Gail, this means you...giggle...

If you have blogged about your CC quilt or its progress, please link up below. I never tire of seeing the quilts people make with Lynn's CC pattern and I have a feeling you agree with me too! 

I had originally set November 30 as the final post and parade of quilts, but I'm not sure we need another update. It seems as if we've been parading our quilty progress since day one with Mr. Linky and Flickr. If you need a little more time, though, and would like to add your progress, just send me an email and I can schedule accordingly. 

Update: Yay, we have some interest for a November 30 parade and finale for the Country Charmer QAL!  I have it by good authority that there are some Country Charmer elves working diligently on their quilts in anticipation for the November 30 deadline. We'll see you back here on November 30 and just maybe we'll have some giveaways, just saying... 

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

2013 Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's the week of the 2013 Blogger's Quilt Festival! The biggest quilt show online!

Hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, this annual festival gives us the opportunity to enter a quilt in a national quilt show without leaving the comfort of our home! Actually, I would love to leave the comfort of my home to attend the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week, but this is the next best thing for a quilter living in rural Nova Scotia!

So on to the show. There are several categories in the quilt festival. Each quilter is allowed to enter a maximum of two quilts in separate categories, writing a separate blog post about each entry. The schedule is as follows:

Blogger's Quilt Festival Schedule 
October 25 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice
November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories
November 8 – Winners announced

I looked through the pictures of the quilts that I have finished in the last year. The quilt that means the most to me, the one that I am most proud of, and the one that will tell a story 'happily ever after' is The Wedding Quilt.  I am entering this quilt in the Bed Quilt Category.

This is the quilt I made for our daughter and her new husband who were married in August. I wanted the quilt to be both contemporary and traditional. My daughter grew up surrounded by my quilts so she has developed a love and deep appreciation for them. My plan is for her new hubby to learn to love them too! 

The pattern is called "Tic Tac Toe" designed by It's So Emma. The instructions are for a 41" square quilt, much too small for a queen bed, so I doubled the size! You can read all about The Wedding Quilt and see many more pictures from the original post HERE. The Celtic Knot quilting pattern is amazing and well worth an extra look!

I encourage you to visit Amy's Creative Side to enjoy the festival. Pictures of the quilts will be posted between now and October 31, so it's worth a visit every day to see the new additions. When you visit Amy's site, just keep scrolling down and by clicking on each category, you will see the quilts that have been entered so far.  I love to be inspired. Do you?

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Country Charmer, Great Quilts, and Great Friends

Country Charmer Update:  Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks has allowed me to virtually visit my CC quilt in California. She has already started the quilting and my little quilt is going from, in my mind, a pretty little quilt, to a "stunning" quilt with Lynn's fabulous quilting. I borrowed a few pictures from her blog to show you, but please visit her HERE and HERE for more pictures and quilt inspiration. That lady never stops inspiring me! 

On the weekend, Woodworker Hubby and I drove to Northern Cape Breton, about two hours from here, to attend a quilt show in Belle Cote, a small rural community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The guild may be small but the talent is mighty. Here is a peek at just some of the treasures we saw, with a few closeups added for good measure.

They also had a selection of seasonal quilts...

Aurea's Quilt

and some smaller quilts...

Aurea' Quilt

Aurea's Quilt

Lots of inspiration here! My friend, Aurea, made a few of the smaller quilts. They are so sweet! WH and I had a wonderful day meeting up with Aurea, her hubby, and another quilty friend and her hubby who joined us for the day. 

I received some little treasures recently from my blog friends to help me celebrate my birthday.Karen who blogs at KaHolly, sent me this sweet little birthday cupcake pot holder and a couple of precious Thanksgiving note cards. She is one talented lady!  

Karen used some of the Round Robin fabrics designed by Kathy Schmitz that I had gifted to Karen from my stash. I was more than pleasantly surprised to receive them back in this little gift. What a sweet set I now have for my kitchen! 

Another treasure that was "Birthday Gifted" to me was this gorgeous little Santa candle mat! 

Sheila who blogs at Sheila's Quilt World had chosen the kit during the fabric exchange we had on our Nova Scotian Blogger Quartet road trip. You can read all about it HERE. I had fallen in love with the little Santa, but once the kit came home with me, I just kept putting it off, and putting it off, until I finally gave it away to a good home! Well, Miss Sheila, who can do absolutely anything with cotton and wool, put it together in no time flat and showed the finished project along with some other woolen wonders HERE. Well, imagine my surprise when she gifted it back to me! Along with one of her postcards and the most adorable book mark...

A good friend, who was actually one of the first people to introduce me to quilting many years ago, arrived on my special day with this little woolen runner she created just for me. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends...

Thank you to everyone for their wonderful comments and lovely gifts.You sure make a gal feel special!

Now to give you a little laugh. Fall has come to Cape Breton with cooler days and cooler nights. The local golf course is now closed for the season but WH and I managed to get out for one last chance last week to swing the clubs. Here I am before I made my hole-in-one, and if you believe that, I have some land to sell you!

The golf shoes have been put away and the birthday skates from WH have been put to the test. At least three days a week, this winter, WH and I will go walking at the local Civic Centre, followed by an hour of skating, and maybe lunch out. What a life!

There, are you through giggling! Aren't I brave to show you a picture of me perched precariously on my new skates. Is that a grimace or a smile? Don't you love my helmet? Compliments of WH's glory days in the rink! Now you know what I do when I am not in my sewing corner. What do you do when you are not sewing or quilting?

It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Perfect Project

I don't like Halloween. There, I've said it, I've announced it to the world. Did I love it as a child? Probably, in fact, I'm sure I did. Did I love Halloween when the kids were younger? Of course I did, making costumes for them like Raggedy Ann and Andy, Bert and Ernie, princesses and pirates, and so on and so forth. 

I liked that part of Halloween, the kids so excited to go trick or treating. I would stay home while Woodworker Hubby, dressed in costume too, took them around the neighbourhood with their treat bags filled to the brim in no time. I loved handing out the treats to the small ones who came to the door, many dressed as clowns, bunnies, and their favorite story book characters. But please don't knock on my door dressed like a vampire, or a zombie, or a creature that is intended to scare me. Mmm, I think I just realized why I don't like is too scary!

You might see where I am going with this. I don't do much decorating  for Halloween. I prefer to decorate for the Fall, and let Halloween come and go as quickly as possible. But when I saw the pattern for the "Not-So-Spooky" Table Runner by Kimberbell Designs, you could say it had my name on it. It was a perfect project for someone who doesn't like Halloween! After all, how scary could a pumpkin and a spider be? 

Have a look. 

I made this tablerunner for my daughter and included some matching towels and a package of serviettes.

The instructions for the towels are included with the tablerunner pattern, though I did amend them a little. She has already received her package so I can show the pictures now. I love the variation in the size of the strips of fabric and adore the backing may be able to see a little of it here.

I used the Wonder Under method of applique and machine stitched the spiders and pumpkins using a matching thread. Although the pattern called for ricrack, I used a narrow strip of fabric instead. 

I decided to make the runner come to life a little by quilting it by machine...a lot! I did everything from crosshatching, stitch in the ditch, straight lines in a variety of widths, and I even tried some echo stitching.

I am thinking ahead of myself, but you all know how much I love Christmas. Can't you just picture this runner done in Christmas fabrics with ornaments and stars instead of spiders and pumpkins? Thank you, Kim at Kimberbell for an awesome design. Kim's web site is full of wonderful projects and ideas. Check out her Fall page HERE.

If you love Halloween, or even if you don't, you're bound to see some creative projects next week when the Wicked Blog Hop starts on Tuesday, October 22 and runs through to October 31. Host Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt and cheerleader/host Wicked Wendy at Why Not Qwilt are determined to keep the cauldron boiling in blogland. I'll be watching from afar, probably hiding behind my sewing machine...

It's a great day for quilting!