Thursday, January 31, 2013

Country Charmer Quiltalong

Finally it is February 1, the day of the big reveal for everyone participating in the Country Charmer Quiltalong. (OK, I will admit I posted a little before midnight...just couldn't wait!) 



Quilt designer Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks has been fabulous, sewing along with us and giving us helpful hints all along the way. Just yesterday she 'gently' reminded us that there are 53 pieces in each 8.5 inch block so we are in piecer's heaven. I figure by the end of this, I should be able to sew a perfect 1/4 inch seam with my eyes closed. 

Can you believe it was only three weeks ago that Lynn, Quilt Sue at Quilt Times, and I invited you folks to quilt along with us in the Country Charmer QAL?  On January 10, I suggested the idea of a schedule where all you had to do by the end of January was to purchase your fabrics and get the cutting done.  That idea went out the door on day one, and this is why...I started by cutting the pieces for one block. Once the pieces were cut, I just had to sew, and sew, and sew. And then I did the same for block 2. I'm telling you, this quilt is addictive! 



And yesterday, I started block 3 but ran out of time...remember, no stress, no quilt police, no anxiety...so I will finish it another day.  So far I have used red, blue, and now green for the little diagonal blocks, keeping it pretty scrappy, just the way I like it.



It has been so exciting since Day 1...just take a peek at the Flickr site we set up for participants to show us their progress HERE. Please don't be shy...if you are making CC, why not share your pictures with us? You don't have to be a blogger. Just go to Flickr.com and follow the instructions. Our group is called  Country Charmer Quiltalong 2013.

If you have a blog, and you have posted about CC this month, please link up below, making sure the URL address is from the specific post where you wrote about your CC quilt progress.

If you do not have a blog, send your pictures to me or to Lynn and we will post them for you on our blogs.  So far, I have received pictures of these wonderful blocks done by fellow Canadian quilter Sandy Dagg from Quebec. I love her choice of fabrics and the wonderful contrast she uses.







I think Sandra is on her way to making a stunning quilt! 

If you haven't joined us yet, we'd love to have you. For information about the QAL and purchasing the pattern, just click HERE.  It is never too late to join and we'd be thrilled to have you! We'll meet here and at Sew'n Wild Oaks  again on March 1 for our monthly progress report. Don't forget to link up below...we'd love to see your Country Charmer blocks, and after that, make sure you hop over to see what's happening at Sew'n Wild Oaks! (Update: I managed to get the Linky changed and it now accepts thumbnails, but had to re-enter all the early links. I have learned so much!)

It's a great day for quilting!









Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let's Go Visiting

A good morning welcome to all the new friends dropping by today. Marvelous Marlene at Stitching by the Lake had a super idea after Christmas.  She decided to help us introduce ourselves to the friends and neighbours that we haven't met yet. Every Wednesday she publishes a list of quilt blogs so you can visit and get acquainted.  Today is week 5 of the list and I'm on it! Here are the others...please drop by and say hello!

Adrienne at With A Grateful Heart
Carol at Just Let Me Quilt
Jane at Grandmama's Stories
Carolyn at I Believe Inn
Michelle at The Raspberry Rabbits
Judy at Shade Tree Quilting
Cathy at Cate's Linens
Kristi at Thankful Me
Marge at Roadsage 
Lesley at The Cuddle Quilter (me)
Janet at Caribou Crossing Chronicles


She encourages us to tell you a little about ourselves, so in a nutshell, I am recently retired, live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with my retired hubby, have quilted for over 30 years, and am still struggling to find out who I am in the quilting world. One day I'm quilting along making civil war blocks, the next I'm making a wonky house quilt. One day I am hand quilting, and the next I am forging ahead with machine quilting. I haven't done any FMQ yet...I'm a scaredy cat! I started blogging in September of 2011 and have enjoyed it immensely. I love to read, write, and quilt, so a quilt blog is a perfect fit for me!

I love the blog hops coordinated by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt and her wonderful hosts. Being a participant or hopping along has been an awesome journey!  And I really enjoy participating in BOM, BOW, and QALs. You'll see some of my favorites in my sidebar. Make sure you check out the Country Charmer Quiltalong that I am hosting along with designer Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks. It's never too late to join this one and on Friday we'll show you our progress to date.

I especially love making Schnibbles quilts designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosies Quilt Company.  I participated in Another Year of Schnibbles (AYOS) last year coordinated by Sinta of the Pink Pincushion and Sherri at A Quilting Life. On Friday, they will have a parade of our favorites that we made during AYOS.  For me, it was an easy decision...my favorite is my ISTH quilt (aka I'm So Totally Happy quilt). A quick pic from the living room taken moments ago...


You can read more about this quilt HERE and HERE

I want to thank you for dropping by today, both old friends and those I haven't met yet.  To celebrate this fabulous quilt blog community that I am a part of, I am offering a gift certificate to one of my favorite online shops. The giveaway will be for a $25 gift certificate from 1Choice4Quilting. For your chance to win, just leave me a comment. The deadline to enter will be Friday, February 1 at 4:00EST.

It's always a great day for quilting!




Monday, January 28, 2013

Small Quilts, Hearts, and Country Charmer Reminder

I had a fabulous week watching the Grand Slam of Curling and was thrilled when my favorite team went on to win the trophy. Jeff Stoughton's team from Manitoba was victorious in the final. I would show one of the many pictures I took, but that might make me seem like a stalker, so I'll leave curling behind for now and just revel in the memories of a great curling appreciation week.

Now back to my sewing corner. I did manage to work on a few projects in between trips to the rink. Last year I joined Kathleen Tracey's Small Quilt of the Month QAL. I didn't make all 12 quilts, but I did manage quite a few and really enjoyed making them. Kathleen is going to host a small quilt QAL again this year and explains all about it HERE.  

She tells us that we can choose any of her quilt patterns from one of her books for the January quilt. Because I didn't have much time, I looked through my orphan blocks first and found a number of 4-patch blocks I had made awhile back. Then I looked through Kathleen's books that I have on hand and found a pattern that could include the blocks.  A couple of sewing sessions later and this is what I have to show for it...


The pattern is called the Pink Patches Doll Quilt featured in Kathleen's book, "The Civil War Sewing Circle".  As you can see, I stayed with browns, beiges, golds, and just a bit of dark reds and blues. Guess I'll call it "The Gold Patches Doll Quilt".


I changed the size of the blocks from the original 2.5" to 2" square because that was the size I had on hand. Waste not, want not! I guess you can see from the thimble on the quilt that this is a pretty tiny quilt.


The finished size is 12" x 14.5", just perfect to hang from a shelf in the kitchen using this little hanger I purchased from Bird Brain Designs. I hand quilted in the ditch and used a single-fold binding as Kathleen suggests for small quilts. It's kind of fun to go from start to finish in a few days!

I surprised my DD with a Valentine's table runner this week.  I had mailed it awhile back and she called recently to say it had arrived.


The hearts were paper pieced with some red, white, and pink fabrics I had in my stash that included a layer cake and a jelly roll of Valentine-themed fabric.  I machine quilted the table runner in a cross-hatch pattern and used a pieced binding.

Here is a close up of one of the three hearts...

 
and the back...


I had an extra block left so decided to make a table frame quilt.  Here is the front...


 and here is the pieced back...


Country Charmer Quiltalong Update: The first reveal of the Country Charmer Quiltalong (CCQAL) is fast approaching!  On Friday, February 1, I will host the first of a monthly Country Charmer Quiltalong Linky Party! CC quilt designer Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks has been so helpful to us, posting fabulous tips and hints right HERE and will continue to do so every second Thursday. 

Quilt Sue at Quilt Times has also helped promote the QAL to excited quilters from across the pond and continues to share with us her CC journey. She made the CC button for us...isn't it cool?



We have dozens of quilters across the globe that are now participating in this easy going, lazy daisy, work at your own pace quiltalong.  And on Friday we want to see what you've been doing.  We want to see your fabrics, or your first block, or your second, or your finished quilt! Oops, am I getting ahead of myself? 

If you have a blog and you have posted about your progress, please link up here that day. If you don't have a blog, email your pictures to me at lcarruthers@gmail.com or to Lynn by Thursday and we'll post them for you.  We also have a CCQAL Flickr page started so you can post directly there as well. 

Hope to see you here on Friday! If you have any questions, just send me a note or leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

It's a great day for quilting!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'm Kind of Busy This Week

You know I love to start new quilt projects. There are so many wonderful quilt ideas and I never want to miss out on any of them. But I have lots of WIPs (works in progress), so what to do? I decided to compromise. My promise to myself is that anytime I start a new project and spend some time on it, then as a treat to me, I'll also spend some time on my WIPs. I think this will work.

So this week I started a new BOM and made the January block for the Aurifil Block of the Month.  I was very excited to do this BOM because each of the designers is making their block using the Art Gallery's Rock 'n Romance line of fabric. If you recall, I won a bundle of this fabric awhile back thanks to Red Pepper Quilts  and Moona Fabrics.  So this BOM was definitely calling my name!  

I chose a different selection from my bundle so the block may differ a little, but I like the effect so far.  Here is my first block, Jumping Jack Flash, designed by Erin Russek. 


Pat Sloan has set up a Flickr page for this BOM HERE.  Each month, a winner's name will be drawn from those who submit photographs of their blocks and the winner will receive some Aurifil thread...fingers crossed...  

That was the new project I started this week, so I pulled out a WIP.  Remember my Wonky House quilt, an exchange quilt coordinated by fabulous Jane of Janes Fabrics and Gifts?  I added one more border to the front of the quilt...


and then I went crazy!  I thought a wonky front should have a wonky back, so off I went and this is what I came up with...


I framed the 12 signature blocks, used the wonky star and 4-patch blocks that I received in another block exchange hosted by Jane, added a few bright orphan blocks, and left some space on the back to describe the project. Now it looks like I have two quilts instead of one!

Here is a close up of the bottom half...very wonky, I know...


Not to worry...I am going to sandwich the quilt one of these days and machine quilt it myself. I'm still not ready for FMQ yet (OK, truth be told, I have the new sewing machine I bought awhile back and I can't figure out how to put the FMQ foot on the machine...so I am definitely not ready to do FMQ).  I will plan a lovely drive to my dealer in the spring to get some help. In the meantime, I'm thinking quilting straight lines, or patterns, or maybe even circles. 

For the rest of the week I'm going to be very busy...but not in my sewing corner. Here's a little little...I love curling. My mom was an awesome curler and we grew up going to the local curling club to watch her games and cheer her on from behind the glass.  I curled for about three years after university, then tried to pick it up again a few years ago, but my poor old knees just wouldn't allow it.  I do love to watch the game, though, and often sit in my quilting chair on the weekends when there is TV coverage of a national curling event.

So here is the reason I have to leave my sewing corner for the rest of the week...a huge curling event is coming to our little town and it starts tomorrow. The National, one of the four events that make up the Grand Slam of Curling, is being hosted at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, the state of the art, environment-friendly facility five minutes away.  This is the place where Woodworker Hubby sharpens skates during the winter and where we go skating a few times a week and do lots of laps on the walking track.  

But this hockey arena has been transformed into a curling rink over the past couple of days and there will be lots of television coverage. Sportsnet is going to cover the event with nine games to be broadcast. The coverage schedule is HERE. The National starts tomorrow night with a short opening ceremony and then the games begin. All the big names will be here, and if you are a curling fan, you will know who I mean. 

I'm going to serve as one of many volunteers and will be working a few shifts as a scorer.  I just returned from a meeting for the scorers and the organizer said 18 of the top 20 men's teams in the world are on their way. I plan to be at the civic centre for much of the remainder of the week. If the camera pans the crowd, I'll be certain to wave! 

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week in your sewing rooms, but you know where I'll be!

It's a great day for quilting curling!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Houses Times Ten

Today is Tuesday  and I'm linking up at Linky Party Tuesday, hosted by charming Connie at Freemotion by the River.

I put together a housewarming gift in early January for my DD. I hear it has arrived in its new home so now I will share a few pictures.  I decided to make a table runner with a house theme...very appropriate, don't you think? 



I paper pieced the little houses from a pattern called "Block Party" published in Quilt magazine, Dec/Jan 2013 edition and designed by Pamela.  Her profile is here at quiltmag.com. I enlarged the pattern to a size I thought would work for the runner, made ten houses, added sashing and a border and am pretty pleased with the results.

I love the chocolate brown and I think with the chocolate fabric on the back, it could easily be reversible. The fabric arrived from a quilter friend who was looking for a new home for her gorgeous fabrics. Once I saw the bundle, I knew exactly who I wanted to use if for...my DD who has a lovely new modern home with a sprinkling of browns, greys and blacks throughout. I figured a little lime green and aqua would just spice it up a little!


My machine quilting was a basic 'stitch in the ditch'. Once I finished that, I machine quilted the binding. The more I do binding by machine, the better I get, and I do like the fact that it will likely last a little longer.

I decided to add a few extra items to the box going "out West", so made these as well. The oven mitts seemed to take forever, but I like the way they turned out and DD thought they were pretty neat! They actually turned out a little smaller than expected but fit DDs tiny hands to a T!


The pattern was free online at Sew4Home HERE. The instructions called for d-rings, but I made loops instead. I purchased a set of dish towels, prewashed and dried them, and sewed some matching fabric on them to coordinate with the other items.

Have you ordered your Country Charmer pattern yet so you can join us for the CC quiltalong? It's a lazy daisy QAL that you can do at your own speed, slow and slower, or fast and faster! For all the info, click HERE

We started a Flickr group specifically for the CC QAL. Just click the button on the sidebar and you'll see some pictures already posted of fabric choices and blocks. Designer Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks is the Country Charmer Queen! You will be so inspired by her blocks!  We also have Quilt Sue from Quilt Times from across the pond who is rallying her UK friends to join along. We are ready to party! 

Just a reminder that the deadline for my giveaway is today, Sunday, July 20 at 4:00 EST.  If you are interested, make sure you leave a comment on the previous post. Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to winner Mommarock who was contacted by email.

Also, don't forget to check out Madame Samm's Sew We Quilt's latest blog hops including Hugs and Kisses, Dare to Dresden, and It's All About Me!  It's a super duper variety of hops that will have you running to your sewing corner!  

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Country Charmer, Flickr, and Giveaway


I am so excited...I've heard from a lot of you that you are going to be joining us in making your version of this Country Charmer(CC)  quilt. I first blogged about this Quiltalong HERE.


Designer Lynn Wilder at Sew'n Wild Oaks says she's received lots of interest too and patterns available from In Between Stitches are being mailed across the globe so it is truly an international QAL.  You can follow along with the schedule that I posted HERE or you can choose to make a block at a time, or maybe two...

Lynn has some great ideas and helpful hints for us too!  She is going to post every other Thursday with helpful hints and is also starting a new section at the top of her blog just for the CC QAL.  So make sure you visit her today right HERE...her first post will have you itching to start!  

We hope you will share the excitement of making this quilt by updating Lynn or myself at the end of each month until you have finished your quilt. There is also a Parade of Country Charmer quilts scheduled for November 30.

I had full intents and purposes of following my CC January schedule of just cutting fabrics. This idea went quickly down the tubes as you will see...I decided to cut into my Barbara Brackman fabrics, Metropolitan Fair, and pulled three colours for my first block. I'm using a neutral cream fabric for the background that was in my stash.


Lynn has the niftiest chart that is included in her pattern. I cut out the fabrics for a block and just had to see what they would look like on the chart.


Once I saw these pieces arranged, I had to keep going and sew them up and this is the result...


Another look...

Lynn's instructions are superb and once the cutting is done, the block comes together very quickly.

I'm so excited about making this quilt that today I opened a Flickr account specifically for this QAL.  The Flickr group is called Country Charmer Quiltalong 2013 and you can find it HERE. Why not show us your fabric choices, your blocks, and your quilt as it progresses?  I started the ball rolling with a few pics but hope you will join me soon!

In addition to the Flickr group, I will set up Mr. Linky on February 1 for interested bloggers who have written a post about their progress on CC.  If you don't have a blog, and/or not interested in Flickr, you can still email Lynn or myself pictures by the end of each month and we'll post them for you.  

Oh, and before I go, you might have noticed that I have 299 followers. I have been waiting for the last week or so for my 300th follower so I could have a giveaway in recognition of this milestone. But alas, no 300th follower. I'm tired of waiting, so today I am announcing a giveaway in recognition and thanks to my 299 followers and many visitors who read The Cuddle Quilter. The prize will be a $25 gift certificate from Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts, one of the excellent online quilt shops that I visit from time to time. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment by 4:00 pm EST on Sunday, January 20. And please make sure I can reach you by email if you are the lucky winner!  

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Darlene's Mystery and Grandmother's Choice

My sewing machine needs a little rest today, so I thought I'd spend some time with YOU! 

The last few days have been full of sewing, stitching, and playing catch-up.  I sewed together the snowball centre of Darlene's Mystery Quilt that I told you about HERE. 



The monthly quiltalong is just perfect for me. I will admit, though, I am pretty anxious to see the next step.  Darlene has set up a Flickr page HERE , so make sure you have a look and maybe join us? The next part of the mystery comes out on February 1. 

I also caught up with my Grandmother's Choice Blocks by Barbara Brackman. Blocks 18 and 20 were a piece of cake, but block 19 was a little challenging for someone who sometimes sews too fast and has to dig out her seam ripper many times...just saying! 

Block 18.  Cheyenne:


Block 19. Old Maid's Ramble


Block 20.  Memory Wreath 

So now I have 20 blocks done of the 49.  I took a quick picture of the blocks...the colours are not quite accutrate, but it gives me a bit of an idea of how the quilt is shaping up so far...



I think I'm liking these blocks. Barbara gives us the yardage needed for the setting and the borders HERE, but I think I'll wait 'till my blocks are finished before I choose the fabrics.

The Country Charmer Quiltalong is getting a lot of attention. Several of you have contacted me or quilt designer Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks to let us know you will be joining us to make this gorgeous quilt. This is a very easy going QAL...the goal is to have the pattern purchased and fabrics cut by the end of January and monthly units to be pieced after that. If you missed the info, check it out HERE

The other day a package arrived for me from Green Fairy Quilts containing fabric that I had purchased during one of their recent sales, and they have a lot of sales. I purchased a fat eighth bundle  of Barbara Brackman's Metropolitan Fair. (It's still on sale as of the writing of this post). This is what it looked like online...
but of course I had to open the package ...



I decided I am going to use this fabulous fabric to make my Country Charmer quilt blocks.  In fact, I may have to change the name of my quilt to Civil War Charmer, and I think Lynn may also be using CW fabrics. That is the beauty of Lynn's pattern- there are so many options. I've also decided that I'm going to make a few more blocks so that this quilt will fit a queen sized bed.

I want to thank a few folks for some wonderful giveaways. Jen, who hails all the way from New Zealand and blogs at Jen's Crafts and Quilts Scrapbook sent me this gorgeous bundle of black and whites...

I was one of the random winners of  Michelle's Quilting Gallery's Christmas show and won a $25 gift certificate to Fabric.com.  I added just a little of my own money and this arrived last week. You know I love chocolate, so I just had to get some Double Chocolate-two charm packs and some yardage so I have lots of options! 




I was also the proud winner of a giveaway from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts.  The giveaway sponsor, Susan, of Moona Fabrics, sent me this awesome collection of ten fat quarters of Art Gallery's Rock 'n Romance by Pat Bravo. The fabric is so soft...I see a very modern quilt on the way!


Plus, I just heard from Kathy Schmitz yesterday that I was one of the winners of a mini-precut of her yet to be released fabric line, Round Robin.  You may remember that I received a charm pack of this line from Kathy recently, so now I have enough to make a beautiful mini! You can see the video on how she created her designs right here.

Oh my, it's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Country Charmer Quiltalong is Waiting!

I would love some company in making a quilt and am inviting you to sew along with me! I fell in love with this quilt last year. It is called Country Charmer and is designed by the lovely Lynn who blogs at Sew'n Wild Oaks. When I saw the quilt, I knew I wanted to make it. There is so much about the quilt that I love...the stars, the nine-patches, the variety of checks, plaids, and stripes, the fact that I could use so many fabrics from my stash, and the size is a perfect cuddle quilt at 60" x 70". 



I purchased the pattern online from In Between Stitches, the LQS where Lynn often spends her time teaching classes, quilting and shopping(?).  If you click on In Between Stitches, you will be taken direectly to the online store where you can purchase the pattern online. By the way, Lynn is also the designer of the Nostalgic Christmas quilt and pillows that I started before Christmas. You can see some of my blocks here. I am about half way through making the quilt blocks now and love every one!

Back to Country Charmer...here are a couple more pictures of Lynn's Country Charmer quilts that she shared recently on her blog. I also posted them here because I think they are gorgeous and I would love you to join me in making one! 


This quilt hangs in Lynn's home...

and this quilt was hung in the window of In Between Stitches for the Christmas season.

I am ready to start this quilt and wonder if you might consider making it along with me and join me at the end of every month to share your progress?

This is a no frills, no pressure, no anxiety quiltalong! All you need to do is to purchase the pattern,  have your fabrics on hand, and you will be good to go. BTW, I am not affiliated in any way with the quilt shop. I just love the quilt and it would be a fun one to do with a group of friends. 

The quilt is stunning as it is in the reds and greens for a Christmasy feel, but also lends itself to a wide variety of colours and fabric collections. Lynn tells me that she will share some ideas with us on colour and construction as we quilt along. Thanks, Lynn, it is pretty cool to make a quilt with the designer just a mouse click away! We also have Quilt Sue, who blogs at Quilt Times, coordinator and hostess for the past number of years for the Christmas Quiltalong, who indicated that she hopes to join us as well from across the pond. 

Are you going to join us too? The pattern is divided into 7 steps so I thought the progress of the quilt could be organized with the following deadlines:

January 31- Purchase your pattern and cut your fabric 
February 28- Complete Step 1, Section A
March 31-Complete Step 2, Section B
April 30-Complete Step 3, stitching all units together
May 31-Step 4, sashing
June 30-Step 5, nine-patch units
July 31-Step 6, putting it together
August 31-Step 7-borders
November 30- send pics of flimsy or quilt for the final parade of quilts

At the end of every month, we would share our progress. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you don't have a blog, just email me your picture by the deadline and I will post on this blog. If you have a blog, post your pictures and send me the link by the deadline and I will post your link on this blog. Depending on numbers, we could also consider Mr. Linky and/or opening a Flickr account.

But for now, all I want you to do is think about it. Yes, there are a lot of tempations out there and I'm participating in several BOMs as well...but I need you to help me achieve this goal.  Just think, by Christmas we could have a beautiful new quilt! Who can argue with that?

If you're interested, leave me a comment or email me at lcarruthers3@gmail.com. Oh, and there are no quilt police involved.  If your pattern doesn't arrive in time, or you're having trouble rounding up the fabric, just try to catch up when you can and keep me posted.  You can start anytime, and if you choose to rush through the process,that's OK too!

It's a great day for quilting!