Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August Country Charmer Update

It's the first of the month so it must be time for a Country Charmer QAL update! 

We've had a fabulous time connecting once a month since February sharing our progress by linking up here and posting pics on our Flickr page. Designer Lynn of Sew'n Wild Oaks is just the bestest teacher...she has helped us along every step of the way, providing tutorials at the top of her blog page HERE and posting pictures from our no-blog friends as well. 

Awhile back, Lynn entertained us with the story of the travelling Country Charmer quilts, as she put it, "Country Charmer Hits the Road", a delightful tale of a CC journey! The quilts are just so beautiful! If you haven't started this quilt, now is the time to do it. Lots of time to get the flimsy, or even the quilt, all finished up for our CC parade at the end of November. Lynn's patterns are available at In Between Stitches. 

What have I been doing with my CC? If you recall, last month I had sewn my 20 blocks together complete with a change of sashing and nine-patches. My goal this month was to add the borders. So I did. Red and blue borders because I love red and blue together! The blocks are pretty scrappy, but there are some blocks that have red and blue in them!

It was so windy the day I took the pictures that I used some chairs to hold the bottom of the quilt in place it in place but it kind of skews the quilt a bit, so perhaps we'll focus on the top of the CC...

It's also a little difficult to see the pattern that the 9-patch makes, so I tried a couple of pics with CC hanging on the clothesline...

But I don't think that helped a lot, and then the CC kite just started to soar, and soar, and soar. 

In fact, it stopped soaring and started to fly! It is flying all the way across Canada from my home in Eastern Nova Scotia, through the US, all the way to California, and is going all the way into the arms of designer Lynn herself who is going to custom quilt my CC flimsy. Am I excited? Is this beyond belief? That my little quilt, with it's slightly fudged seams, and a few missing points, is going to be quilted by the queen bee herself ? Yes, in a moment of extreme kindness and appreciation, Lynn offered to quilt my CC for me, a gesture that is so much appreciated by this Cape Breton gal. Her customized quilting is exquisite and stunning. Have a peek here... 

It should arrive at Lynn's any day now and if all goes well, I should have it back for the parade in November. But like I told Lynn, no rush, no pressure, whenever it arrives is fine by me. Thank you, Lynn, you're a doll! 

I hope you all link up below to show us your CC quilt and/or your progress. We never tire of seeing these quilty creations! Thanks to you all for participating and/or following our progress.

The Nova Scotian Blogger Quartet (Sheila who blogs at Sheila's Quilt World, Karen at KaHolly, Linda at Scrapmaster, and moi, The Cuddle Quilter) have plans to meet up at the Northumberland Quilt Show happening this weekend in Pictou. If you're within driving distance, you really should come along and join us. I've been to it several times and am always impressed with the quilt display and sale. Plus I hear there will be vendors! A little more info can be found HERE.

Before I go, just want to remind you of the HoHoHo Blog Hop that started today thanks to Madame Samm at  Sew We Quilt and Christmas Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. Carol is the most Christmasy quilter/blogger/hostess out there and has done a tremendous job of bringing all the bloggers together to share their Christmas projects. And you should see what she did for the cool! Click on the button on the sidebar to see the schedule.

That's it for today. Please don't forget to link up with your CC below.

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Stained Glass, Nabby's Dowry, and Big Bucket Tote

It always feels a little bit like Christmas when I finish a quilt. Maybe because it gives me the freedom and time to start another? What ever the reason, I am thrilled to show you my latest finish. 

I called this "Broken Glass" on my previous posts, but on the label, I inadvertently called it "Stained Glass", so "Stained Glass" it is! 

The quilting was done by the Mira Sitch 'n Post in Marion Bridge, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. When I picked the design, I was overwhelmed by the many choices. This particular design was one they had used on a similar quilt so it quickly became my number one choice and I love the result! The dark thread is a lovely contrast to the fabrics and shows particularly well on the front and back.

I had a few pieced blocks left over, so I used them to frame my label.

Just one more pic from the clothesline. No kite quilt that day!

The quilt finishes at 50" x 70", a perfect size for a "cuddle  quilt". I worked at the Artisans Collective shop the other day and one of the summer students at the museum bought a sweet little lap quilt make by one of my colleagues. She was thrilled to find a quilt that matched her dorm room and can't wait to cuddle up in it for their scheduled movie nights. What a great way to use a quilt that is way too big for a crib, and way too small for a bed cover! You can read about the making of this quilt from start to finish HERE

When I picked up "Stained Glass", I happened to arrive on the day of the birthday celebration of the shop owner, Jacquie Gillis. To celebrate, she was having a huge 40% off sale on absolutely everything in the store...everything! Before I shopped, Jacquie insisted I pose with the quilt. She takes pics of all the finished quilts with their owners and posts them on the shop's Facebook page HERE. If you look around, you'll be able to see me on her July 18 post. Note to self, horiziontal stripes are not very flattering! 

I purchased lots of fabrics, notions, and batting that day...all things that I needed, including two border fabrics for my Country Charmer quilt. You'll see these on August 1 when I hope you'll come back for the monthly CCQAL update. Of course I couldn't resist buying a few fabrics just because...these were actually 60% off that day. 

It's just been a fabulous week in my sewing corner. Once I finished the binding and label for Stained Glass, I decided to treat myself with a new project. Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts has just started the free Nabby Dowry Sewalong. She will be posting a new block every Friday for 6 weeks. The unfinished blocks are 6.5" so it takes no time at all to stitch one up. She started by asking everyone to cut 162 HSTs at the start, but I decided to cut and sew for each week's block. I chose to use blacks and creams, with a tiny bit of red thrown in the mix. Here are the first two...

I attended a bridal shower last week for the daughter of one of my very special friends, so of course I wanted to make a special gift for this sweetie!  She is a teacher, so rather than give a gift for she and her fiance to share, I decided to make a teacher tote just for her! Teachers always love totes, or so says my "teacher daughter", so I used the Big Bucket Tote pattern and the rest of my Avalon jelly roll. This is the second tote I have made from this pattern and I think there may be more on the way! 

Of course I used my "teaacher" ABC fabric I purchased awhile back for the lining...

and no Teacher Tote would be complete without a matching pencil case that I filled with new markers, pens, and post-it notes before I wrapped it up.

I have lots more on the go but that will have to wait for another post.  It's time for my morning coffee! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Popsicles, Friends, and Totes

I just finished putting together a jelly roll quilt called Hugs and Kisses. The pattern is designed by Christa of Christa Quilts and is one of her free QALs that she offers on her blog. I also made Christa's Sea of Squares quilt and plan on starting her String of Pearls in the near future. Christa has an online fabric shop and sells kits for many of her QAL projects! Update: You can go to Christa's Flickr page to see everyone's projects from her QALs by clicking HERE.

I had won a jelly roll of Snap Pops by Sandy Gervaise and thought this would make a perfect quilt for a Tween, or maybe useful as a picnic quilt? The colours are so fresh and vibrant that it makes me think of Popsicles, so I present to you "Popsicles"!

I found the colours a little faded in this pic...another beautiful sunny day in Paradise, so I hung it on the line for a few more pics.

It was just a tad windy...perhaps I should rename this "Popsicle Kite!"I stood under the quilt as it waved in the breeze...the neighbours must think I'm crazy when they look over and see me snapping these shots...

but who could resist seeing these vibrant colours with the sun shining through! 

I plan on doing the machine quilting myself. The quilt is not very large...48" x 62", and my repertoire is pretty limited. I think I could manage to do stitch in the ditch, cross hatching, or checkerboard. Any suggestions?

Aren't blog friends the best!  Karen of KaHolly gifted me with these adorable note cards that arrived in the mail yesterday. She is so talented! The cards are incredibly well made, each quilt picture framed with a different colour. I love note cards and am always on the search for quilt-related ones. Thank you, Karen, you rock!

I was also the winner of a giveaway recently. Thanks to Liz at Moments , I am the recipient of three new tote bag patterns designed by Sara at Sew Sweetness. Her bags are all so sweet, and it was pretty tricky to decide on three. Here is what I chose...

I love the pdf versions...within a few minutes of getting an email from Liz to say I was a winner, the pdf files arrived from Sara. Thanks, gals, these will be lots of fun to make! 

Yesterday was a full day of attaching bindings and making some progress on a few quilts. I finished off my day in front of the TV, watching Master Chef and putting a few stitches in my Schnibbles Dulcinea quilt...

Today will be another great day for quilting!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Christmas Quiltalong and Three Updates

For updates, please go to the end of this post. 
What a perfect day to take part in the 2013 Christmas Quiltalong coordinated by Hazel at Hazel's Quilts and Joanna at Needle, Thread, Happiness. Why? Because it's early in the day and it is already 26 degrees out...and I do not get along with heat!  So off to the cool basement I go with my Christmas projects in hand. 

But before I go, I'll link up with Hazel HERE. Won't you join us, either today or tomorrow? You can participate in the challenge created by QuiltSue at Quilt Times, or just sew some Christmas projects which is what I am going to do. 

I started a couple of Christmas projects last December, worked on them for a few months and then put them away for awhile. So now it's time to open them up...

I opened my Nostalgic Quilt tote first. This pattern is one of the most gorgeous Christmas patterns on the market, at least in my humble opinion. The pattern works for pillows or quilts and can be changed up to match the seasons. It is designed by the lovely Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks, creator of the Country Charmer Quilt (that I am hosting in a QAL with monthly updates HERE). The good news is that I already have 6 blocks done. I raced outside and took a picture a few minutes ago but the sun is so strong even at this time in the morning that it faded the picture a bit...

I am using a layer cake called Sentiments by 3 Sisters and adding lots of stash fabrics to keep the red and green theme. My goal this weekend is to make two more blocks, using the printed panels as the centre of each...

Then it was time to see what I had in my Dresden Plates tote...three plates already made and the remaining of the 380 plates all cut out!

The pattern is a free one that is posted on the United Notions web site HERE. I am using a huge variety of Christmas fabrics that I had in my stash. Do you recognise any?

My goal? To make two more blades this weekend.

So off I go to sew, sew, sew with quilters from across the globe. If you love Christmas like I do, this is the perfect time to start getting ready!  I will be linking up with Hazel HERE and hope you do too! 

Update 1:  It is now lunch time and I have completed one of my goals, having just finished 2 more Dresden Plates. The sun continues to shine...


Update 2:  It is now almost 8:30 and I have just finished another one of my Nostalgic Christmas blocks. I did take some time off this afternoon first to enjoy some wonderful family phone calls plus managed a fitness walk with Woodworker Hubby later in the afternoon. After supper I went back to my corner and finished the block. I forgot to mention that I adapted Lynn's pattern a little bit by decreasing the size of the blocks measure about 15". Here is today's block...

Update 3: It's Sunday, July 14, a special day in our household. Thirty-four years ago today, Woodworker Hubby and The Cuddle Quilter said "I do".  We've already had a great day! Even with church, breakfast out, and buying some yummy lobster to have for supper, there was still plenty of time left for me in my sewing corner while WH worked in the yard. I just finished another of the Nostalgic Christmas blocks.

I'm really pleased with myself this weekend. I met my goal of finishing two Dresden plates and two Nostalgic Christmas blocks. Yay me! I'll put everything back in the totes until next time.

Thank you to our wonderful hostess Hazel, her fellow QAL coordinator Joanna, and all the participants who have shared their projects this weekend. It's been a great weekend!

It's always a great day for quilting! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Wedding Quilt

Here is my story of The Wedding Quilt.

The Wedding Quilt has arrived at its destination and has been delivered to its new owners so now I can show you what I have been working on this past winter. 

DD is getting married next month to a wonderful young man who shares her love for life and is her "happily ever after" fellow. When their engagement was announced, I knew I wanted to give them a quilt to celebrate their special day. I wanted it to be modern and contemporary to match the furnishings in their new home. I decided on a black, white, and grey quilt, my version of modern and trendy!

I started with a wonderful Riley Blake Mystique layer cake and some yardage that I had won from Nicole at 1Choice4Quilting. I added a variety of complimentary fabrics that I had been collecting for this quilt. I wanted the quilt to be both functional and fun so I used black and white hearts, lots of polka dots and flowers, text fabrics with alphabets and words, and even managed to find some coffee themed fabric. My DD and future SIL do love their coffee! 

This quilt is HUGE and seemed to take forever to piece. I chose a solid white fabric for the sashing to make the blocks pop even more. 

I sewed and I sewed and I sewed some more! 

As you can see in some of the pics, The Wedding Quilt is machine quilted.  I had a conversation with myself for quite awhile trying to decide whether I should hand quilt this or have it done by a long arm quilter.  I kept returning to my feeling that a modern, contemporary quilt needed to be machine quilted, so I headed to Sydney an hour and a half away and dropped it off to Angie at Quilting on the Mira

A quilt friend had shown me the Celtic Knot pattern that Angie had done on a quilt of hers and I knew this pattern would be the perfect choice. Living in Cape Breton, we are surrounded by all things Celtic and my daughter's background in Highland Dancing just made this pattern such an obvious choice. I'm so glad I chose the black border too because it shows the quilting so well!

When I picked up the quilt a couple of weeks later, it seemed even bigger!  So off I went to the kitchen table to spread it out and add the binding.

I used the same black with white pindot fabric for the binding...

Do you like the little watch I attached to my Pfaff?  I always like to know what time it is, and I am usually too lazy to look at my wrist. I added this little watch with double-sided tape and it keeps me perfectly on task! Do any sewing machines out there have built in clocks, 'cause I think they should! 

I hand sewed the binding to the back. I did this purposely because I love attaching binding by hand and I love thinking of the recipients of my quilts. For a couple of days I stitched and stitched and thought and thought of the wedding couple! 

When the quilt was finished, I tried it out on our fits!

Did you notice the shams? I made them from some of the fabrics I used in the quilt. I found the tutorial HERE at Crafty Gemini. 

What is the name of the pattern, you ask?  I used the pattern by "It's Sew Emma" called Tic Tac Toe. The original size is 41" x 41" but I more than doubled the number of blocks and added my borders accordingly to produce this larger version.

The wedding is "Out West" in about a month so rather than fill a suitcase with the quilt when we fly out, I mailed the quilt through Canada Post in a decorative box of red, black, and white and added a custom-made pillowcase for storage of the quilt when not in use. I appliqued the pillowcase with the words "Our Wedding Quilt" made from the black and grey fabrics, and off it went.  It arrived safe and sound and is now in its new home, loved by its new owners!

And that is the story of The Wedding Quilt.

It's a great day for quilting!