Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Country Charmer Quiltalong for May

It's time for the monthly Country Charmer Quiltalong update. I am posting this a day ahead because I am going away for a few days and wanted to set up the Linky tool for you before I left. Who can link up? Anyone who is making the Country Charmer quilt designed by Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks is invited and welcome to share their progress with the rest of us.

The beauty of this CCQAL is that you work at your own pace. You can go quickly from step to step, like our own lovely Lynn who has completed her gorgeous quilt with fabulous customized long arm quilting, or you can take your time and make a block or two when the inspiration hits you. Share by linking up on my blog on the first of each month, and/or share HERE anytime on the Flickr page we set up especially for the CCQAL, or share with Lynn or I by emailing your pics to us and we'll publish your progress on our blogs. 

What have I been doing?  You may recall that I finished my blocks last month, so this month it was all about finding the right fabric for my sashing and 9-patches. I loved the fabrics Lynn used for her latest CC quilt, so with her permission and lots of inspiration, I managed to find what I think are just the right fabrics. 

Both fabrics are from the History Repeated 1870-1890 line of fabrics designed by Julie Hendrickson from Windham Fabrics. The colours are truer to the picture above than the pictures below. 

Nothing better than cutting, sewing, and listening to the oldies and goodies while the stacks grow...

and grow...

and end up like this!

Then it was time to cut and sew the sashing strips...

And see how they looked framing a block or two...

I liked what I saw so I played around a little more to get a better idea of what my CC might look like down the road...

I am going to love this quilt!  This is all I wanted to have done for this month, and after all, it is a laisy daisy no stress QAL, so I stacked everything up and put it away.  

Next month I hope to sew the blocks together. As for the borders, I will wait to choose the fabrics after my blocks are together.

Thank you, Lynn, for designing this stunning quilt and helping us so much during the CCQAL.  Lynn posts excellent suggestions and advice on Thursdays. To see her completed quilt with her fantastic quilting, click HERE. Lynn tells us there are some extra CC kits still available, similar to the fabrics used in her quilt. You can find them at In Between Stitches HERE as well as the pattern, because it is never too late to start a Country Charmer quilt!

So what have you been doing?  Care to share?  If so, link up below so we can ooh and aah!

PS.  May 1 is also the day for the parade of this month's Schnibble quilts, hostd by Sinta at The Pink Pincushion, and Sherri at A Quilting Life,. and of course, I just had to make one! Carrie Nelson's Hat Trick Schnibble was the pattern chosen for the first month of Vintage Schnibbles, available at Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. (With the addition of pdf file patterns, just a couple of clicks and the pattern was here!) The pattern called for twenty 9-patch blocks.  Since I just happened to have twenty orphan blocks on hand, with a few amendments, I was good to go.  Here is a peek at the quilt top I finished, but make sure you visit the Schnibble parades at Sinta's and Sherri's blogs on May 1 to see the Hat Trick quilts from around the globe.

Gotta go...heading to New Brunswick in a few minutes to welcome my snowbird mama back home. It must be Spring!

It's a great day for sewing!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rainbow Challenge, Grandmothers Choice, and Ocean Waves

This week was filled with lots of little projects, just the way I like it.  Green was the colour chosen for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2013 hosted by So Scrappy, so off I went to my scrap totes. It didn't take long at all to make my green block. It is 12.5" unfinished...

Had a quick peek to see how it got along with January, February, and March's blocks...

and I added a few green units to my growing pile of multi-coloured piano keys for the border. 

I'm heading to the Ocean Waves Quilt Society's AGM in Sydney early Saturday morning(on the road by 6:30 am) so will link up at So Scrappy when I get back Saturday night. Every Saturday of the month Angela hosts a linky party on her blog for us to show our colour projects. Hope you'll pay her a visit! 

And while you're surfing the net, I'll be working the registration desk, attending the business meeting, purchasing treasures from the quilt shop vendors, and oohing and aahing over Nova Scotian quilt artist Laurie Swim's trunk show. I'll be in quilt heaven...

But before I sign off, a few more notes...I'm all caught up with Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice BOW. There are to be 49 blocks and I have 34 made. I did substitute a few blocks, choosing blocks she had already posted in her 2011 Civil War BOM. Here are the latest...

Block 32. Contrary Husband

Block 33. Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie

Substitute Block: Log Cabin

Substitute Block:North Star

I have lots more going on in the sewing corner. I'm especially having fun with the 9-patches and sashing for my Country Charmer quilt. I'll be back on May 1 to show you my CC progress to date and invite you to link up that day with designer "extraordinaire" Lynn from Sewn Wild Oaks and all the quilters participating in this no stress, laisy daisy CCQAL. If you haven't yet joined us, there's lots of time left.  We're hoping to have a parade of our finished quilts and/or flimsies in November.  But for now, all we want is to see your progress. Make sure you check out Lynn's blog...she says there are some CC kits still available for purchase and they are gorgeous! You can see them HERE

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simply Charming Small Quilts

I think that small quilts are like potato chips...I just can't stop at one! I bought Tara Darr's book, "Simply Charming", awhile back. Tara can be found at Sew Unique Creations, a website filled with lots of inspiration (and a sale on patterns until the end of the month!) When the book arrived, as I flipped through the pages, I knew I would be making a lot of Tara's little quilts.  

So of course I decided to join the "Simply Charming Every Other Month Sewalong" with Kathy at Kindred Quilts and Darlene at Quilting Daze . These gals also loved the book and knew they would be making lots of the little quilts. I excitedly linked up with them for the first two link-ups, but I just couldn't slow down. My friends and family will tell you I have one speed in my sewing room...fast! So I now have two more quilts to show you. I guess if you count these two, then I have my "Simply Charming" quilts done for the sewalong until the end of September!

Quilt # 3 is called "Grannie's Scrap Box". This was really fun to make and finished at approximately 18" x 21". As a speed demon, I didn't want to make a mistake when sewing the patches together, so I made a chart for each row of the quilt with "L" for light and "D" for dark.For example, my chart showed Row 2 as 1L, 10 D, 1L...and off I went. I literally raided "Lesley's" scrap box and came up with this ...

I guess you can see that I hand quilted it...

I found an interesting fabric in my stash for the back and added my Cuddle Quilter tag...

and then tried the quilt on the doll bed, which is currently in hubby's workroom being stained.

Quilt # 4 is called "Bits 'n Pieces", another little scrappy quilt using 4-patches. I used information from Quiltville's Bonnie Hunter's book "Adventures With Leaders and Enders" to make the 4-patches while sewing other projects and after a few sessions at the sewing machine, had enough 4-patches to put the quilt together. 

You can see that I machine quilted this one in my favorite crosshatch design...

The quilt finishes at about 21" x 23". I added a sleeve so now it is a perfect size to be used as a doll quilt, a table topper, or a wall hanging. I think it is a quilt for many reasons...

I have already cut the pieces for my next "Simply Charming" quilt which is called "Hopscotch". I will again use Bonnie's "Leaders and Enders" techniques for this quilt. I have lots of other projects on the go so will have lots of sewing sessions coming up.

Thanks so much for visiting today.With a sunny day ahead of me, it's a great day for quilting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Darlene's Mystery Part 3

It is so wonderful to be participating in Darlene's Mystery Quiltalong hosted by Darlene at Quilts by Darlene. She started us off in January with a snowball centre and we have been building the quilt a little larger each month.

She has already posted Mystery Quilt Part 4 HERE, but I'm a little behind because I wanted to take my time with Part 3. Darlene chose to combine star blocks with an appliqued feather border for the third installment with stunning results. However, since Darlene has always encouraged us to be creative, I decided to do just that and tried my hand at an adaptation of an appliqued border I found in Kim Diehl's "Simple Charm" book. In the book, there is a pattern called "Fresh Cut Flowers" with sprays of rosebuds interspersed with shoo fly blocks. I figured I could use the same idea with Darlene's star blocks! I showed you my first two borders HERE and this morning I finished the final two borders. What appears as white background fabric in the picture is actually a scrappy assortment of beige, tan, and cream printed fabric including small prints, plaids, and even some stripes. Next time I'll take pics on a dull day! 

Because we finally had a sunny day without white stuff falling from the sky, it was a great opportunity to go outside and take a few more pics.

I just had to see how it would hang on our privacy wall with the wind whistling through the boards...

I really, really like this quilt so far and plan to continue following the steps that will result in a queen sized quilt. Darlene tells us that we can stop anytime. Right now the quilt is a perfect size for a cuddle quilt, but I want to grow it larger so on to part 4! Why not join us? For more info,visit Darlene HERE or visit Darlene's Flickr page HERE to see our progress. 

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blocks and Treasures

After a week of rest, my sewing machine needed a little run to get the cob webs out. Making the April blocks for the Blogger Girls BOM was the perfect little project. Monique at Open Gate Blog designs one block pattern per month and makes two blocks with it. It's amazing how using different fabrics and colours with the same pattern can produce such different blocks. She has a group of friends that are also participating and display their blocks at the first of each month.You can find out more by clicking HERE. Here are my April blocks...

Since I returned from Calgary on Monday, I've spent a lot of time in my sewing corner reorganizing. I labelled all my totes holding fat quarters and eighths and essentially repacked them all. Why?  Because I needed room to put away my new purchases that I found in Calgary at a couple of quilt shops I visited.

I fell in love with a shop called "Traditional Pastimes". I walked in and was immediately in love and at home amidst the hardwood floors and fabulous displays of fabrics, samples and kits. The owner heard me "oohing and aahing" and immediately joined me. Her enthusiasm and passion for everything quilying related is contagious and reflected by her incredible shop. I only wish I lived closer to fill my sewing corner with more of their treasures and to participate in their classes. It is truly one of the best shops I've found!  I didn't have my camera with me but they have a wonderful "virtual tour" that you can visit by clicking HERE

I picked up just a few "must haves", but will definitely revisit when I'm back in August.Throughout the store were bins of bundles of fat eighths, in just about every colour and style of fabric you can imagine...

I picked up four bundles and when I got home, I opened them up and did more oohing and ahhing. They will be so perfect for the scrappy small quilts I tend to make...

I also picked up some yardage of Primitive Gatherings and Basic Black by The Buggy Barn...

and I couldn't resist picking up a complete BOM pattern by Lynette Anderson, complete with her very own hand-painted buttons.  Here are two of the nine packets that came home with me...

Here is a picture I borrowed from Lynette's site of the completed 28" x 28" quilt...

I love the combination of stitcheries and piecing, so this is a perfect project for me, especially getting to embellish the little quilt afterwards with the cute buttons! Thank you, Traditional Pastimes, for a wonderful experience!

The other shop I visited was "My Sewing Room." It is a huge store and calls itself "Canada's largest independently owned quilt store". Of course I found a few treats, but stayed with some "essential" precuts for ease in packing.

So there you see it...a good reason to tidy up. In addition to the reorganizing and block making, I worked on the wedding quilt (I'll show you in August), and spent hours cutting my leftover fabrics into strips of 1", 1.5", 2", and 2.5". Some day when I don't want to think, I'll grab a bundle of my precuts and make a quilt. For the rest of the weekend, I think I'll work on Darlene's Mystery quilt. Darlene recently posted Step 4, but I still have to finish Step 3!

It's a great day for sewing!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Week Was Wonderful

What a great week I had out West!  Since this is a quilt blog, I will stick to the topic of quilts and I won't tell you that I had a fabulous visit with DD and future SIL, and I won't tell you that we found my Mother of the Bride dress and shoes for the upcoming summer wedding, and I won't tell you about the fabulous meals we had, both at home and in the restaurants, and I won't tell you about the glorious morning coffee times with DD, the coffee just a smidgen flavored with some Baileys, and I won't tell you about the joy of being curled up together on the couch watching wedding shows.

Instead, I will tell you about the projects I took to work on while I was waiting in numerous airports and on one too many tarmacs. The perfect travelling companion is embroidery, so I prepped my blocks and off I flew.

By the time I returned, I had six of the twelve blocks finished.

The finished blocks, which will be cut down to 5.5" square, will be the centres of log cabin blocks in the quilted wallhanging called "A Cottage Year" designed by Kathy Schmitz. I plan to make scrappy log cabin blocks using a variety of reds, creams, and blacks from my stash. I purchased a few extra fabrics while out west so I'll be all set to start sewing the blocks together when the stitcheries are finished. 

The packet includes twelve embroidery patterns of storybook cottages with a 5" x 7" cottage painting on the other side of the card that could be framed afterwards.

The patterns are on the other side of these cards. I copied them onto paper and traced each one onto my cream print fabric using my light box made by Woodworker Hubby. Then I ironed a piece of Pellon light weight fusible interfacing on the back to use as a stabilizer. I'm using Black DMC Perle Cotton # 8 for the stitching.

These cottages are so much fun to make! Each cottage has something a little special about it...the snowman for January, the decorative heart for February, the shamrock weather vane for March, and so on. Kathy Schmitz, I love your designs!

In addition to building some cottages this week, I also built some hexies. If you recall, last summer I travelled to Alaska on a quilting cruise with instructors Lynn Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilts, and Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts.  Every class day, the teachers spoiled us with gifts and treasures. One day, Pam presented us with her "Lucy's Prairie Pocket" kit, complete with fabrics from her Heart of the Prairie line, some muslin, and pre-cut paper hexagons. Again, a perfect travelling companion! When I unpacked my suitcases today, I had a peek and I see that I only have a few hexies still to make. Once the rest are done, I'll be ready to sew the hexies together. Thanks, Pam! 

highlight of my week was that I was able to meet up with Sue who blogs at Chickadee's Country Cottage Crafts. She was able to rearrange her schedule so that we could meet in person at one of the malls in Calgary to have a sit and a chat. She is a sweetie and it was so wonderful to exchange our stories and share our quilting passions over an Orange Julius! Thank you, Sue, it was wonderful to meet you! 

Sue is the gal who generously gifted me with the Santa Quartet table runner designed by Birdbrain Designs last summer because she knew I loved Santas. You can read about it HERE. This is how far along I am now...I have a trio of Santas done, so only one more Santa to stitch and a toybag! 

Another highlight of the week was that my DD took me to a couple of quilt shops in Calgary. Of course I did my best to drop a little cash in each one. I'll show you some of my purchases next time, but right now I am a little jet lagged and I'm not quite sure if I am on Calgary time or Nova Scotia time...all I know for sure is that it is bedtime!

Tomorrow will be a great day for quilting!