Saturday, August 31, 2013

September Country Charmer QAL Update

I can't believe we are doing the September CC update already! I'm a little early posting as I'm working at the quilt shop tomorrow.


What does a quilter do when her Country Charmer quilt top is far, far away in the hands of lovely Lynn, CC quilt designer, expert long arm quilter, terrific instructor and awesome quilt blogger at Sew'n Wild Oaks? Why, she starts another Country Charmer quilt of course! (and promises to shorten her sentences from now on...)

If you recall, I made a batch of sashing and 9-patches for my CC quilt but when I arranged them around my CC scrappy blocks, it just wasn't singing to me. I found the sashing fabrics just didn't coordinate enough with the variety of colours and fabrics in my blocks for my liking. So I made a new set and used them for my "first" CC quilt which you can see HERE.  The other day, I dug out the "old" batch of units and had a good long look at them. 


Then I had another long look through my fabrics and decided to make a somewhat coordinated blue, tan, and cream CC quilt, making the blocks using some of the same fabrics from the sashing and adding a few from my stash. I cut fabrics for one block to test it out and liked what I saw...


And then, because I am so indecisive (which you all know by now), I arranged some of the sashing and 9-patches around the block, and I still liked what I saw...


After further peeks, though, I found the inside stars a little too boring...so I auditioned a few different fabrics for that star. I started with a tan print...



Then I tried a blue, but the inside star seemed to get lost with the other blues...



Finally, I selected a cream and blue reproduction print and liked the way the inside star now popped. So I sewed it all together...



I really liked what I saw this time so I arranged the sashings and 4-patches around it, and still liked what I saw...



So now I am ready...I will continue to sew the CC blocks using the fabrics from this block and some day will have a coordinated tan, blue, and cream quilt! But remember, this is a lazy daisy, easy peasy, no stress QAL, so I`m going to take my time.

If you have made a CC quilt, are making one, or are ready to start one and have chosen your fabrics, link up here with your blog post so we can share our progress.  We also have a Flick page HERE for inspiration and can also be used to post pictures if you don`t have a blog. The CC parade is in November which I guess is around the corner now...

Thank you for coming by, and as always, thanks to the lovely Lynn for providing such an awesome quilt design. Have you seen Lynn's latest pattern "Harvest of Hope"?  I borrowed the picture below from her blog...I adore those pieced pumpkins! The pattern is available HERE.



It's a great day for quilting!





Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Not All About Quilting...

Have you noticed I was a little absent from Blogland during the month of August? I had scheduled a few posts in my absence but I didn't do much reading of blogs or commenting. Why? Because we had traveled to Calgary, Alberta to attend the marriage of our daughter to her new hubby. On a glorious summer day, family and friends filled St. Joseph's Church  to celebrate the marriage of Alison and Jared. Introducing Mr and Mrs...


DD and SIL(yes, I can now use that abbreviation!) were surrounded by love with every step they took. I admit to many tears that day, especially when DD and WH had their Father-Daughter dance...


The song they chose to dance to was "I Loved Her First" by Heartland. It was such a perfect song. To listen to this amazing tune, click below...and keep your Kleenex handy...


What a time we had out West! In addition to a fabulous week of wedding celebrations, we had a family reunion with Mom, Me, and Sisters Three, plus hubbies, lots of children and a few more Western relatives.

We also enjoyed amazing hospitality by DD's new in-laws and extended families.In fact, the men of the two families bonded very quickly with hammers and nails as they, SIL and friends, started the construction of a new garage for the happy couple. Woodworker Hubby was in his element! 



I also had a wonderful afternoon in Calgary with my blog friend Sue who blogs at Chickadee's Country Cottage Crafts. I had met her for the first time in April when I travelled out to Calgary to help DD choose a wedding dress. This time Sue met me at a mall and the two of us traveled to a wonderful quilt shop called Traditional Pastimes. I've been there before and love it. Both Sue and I filled a few bags with fabric goodies and patterns. Sue lives in High River, a community that was devastated by the flooding in late June. You can read her first hand account HERE. Because of the flood clean-up, Sue hasn't had much time since to sew or quilt, but the afternoon spent at the quilt shop did its trick...it inspired!

The quilt shop is very involved with the Quilting for Calgary campaign which is collecting quilts for those impacted by the Flood of 2013. After the campaign was announced, I quickly mailed out this quilt top that I had made during the 2012 Blogger BOM.

Quilting for Calgary requested that the quilts be lap size so this was the perfect size. I added the backing, binding, and label to the package and shipped it away.Volunteers out West were then given the tops to machine quilt, sandwich with donated batting and bind. The deadline is September 1 and daily updates to their Facebook page show an enormous amount of support is still pouring in. 

After the wedding, WH and I rented a car and traveled to Kimberley, BC for a golf holiday with sister and her hubby. Don't even ask about my golf score...



We finished our vacation with a trip through the mountains, spending time in Banff before we overnighted in Canmore. We arrived in Banff around lunch time on Thursday so quickly settled in for a cold one and a fabulous meal at St. Jame's Gate Irish Pub in Banff before we did our touring. Can you believe that I also found a tiled quilt on the floor of this place? There were several quilt arrangements throughout the front room, with this one located close to the door.



After a few hours of sightseeing and walking along the Bow River Trail, we headed to overnight in Canmore. Here was the view from our balcony...

We flew home Friday, overnighted at an airport hotel in Halifax, arriving home in Cape Breton on Saturday afternoon.

It was a fabulous adventure from start to finish. It was even more special to arrive home and find this postcard in my mail! This little piece of art was sent to me by Linda, who lives in Halifax and blogs at Scrapmaster. Thank you, Linda, your work is exquisite!



After a day of unpacking, I managed a quick trip to my sewing corner and started Part 6 of the Quilts by Darlene's Mystery quilt. My goal is to stick with this project until it's finished. Will keep you posted!



Phew...I didn't intend to write so much! If you're still with me, thanks so much for reading along. Till next time, it's a great day for quilting!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Red, Red Baskets

This month we had a plan for the monthly ( or sometimes bi-monthly) block exchange that takes place between myself and Sandie who blogs at Sandra Kaye Designs.  We try to exchange five basket blocks every month or so. We each make ten blocks, sending five and keeping five. The blocks are 4.5" unfinished and have way too many pieces for me to do it quickly, at least in my sewing corner! For some reason, even using "quick" methods, it takes me about an hour to make a pair of blocks from start to finish.

Sandie shared with me that she was going to focus on red baskets this month, so I borrowed her idea and also decided to go red, red, red! This is the batch of ten...



I have lots of reds in my stash so it was an easy goal. I mailed five baskets away and will be expecting Sandies' batch any day now. 

I'm already starting to think of what to do with them. We're going to finish our exchange at 80 blocks...so what to do then?  I'm thinking of maybe making some 12" basket blocks for the centre and using the smaller blocks around the outside. Time will tell...do you have any suggestions?

It's a great day for quilting!



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grandmother's Choice Blocks are Finished!

49 weeks...49 blocks! I am thrilled to be able to share the news that I have made 49 blocks, and a few more, since the Grandmother's Choice Votes for Women BOW started way back in September 2012. Host and quilt historian Barbara Brachman has provided us with almost a year of history, challenges, and some pretty interesting blocks that she shared with us every Saturday on her blog that she created especially for the BOW. 

Here are the final blocks I made...




47. Substitute Block: Indian Star




45. Aunt Mary's Favorite


48. Fair Play




49. Substitute Block: Ribbon Star




50. Extra block: Art Square



46. Barrister's Block

I did stray a little bit from the designated blocks. I wanted to add a few blocks that I had found on my Block Tool iPad app, so chose a few blocks every once in awhile and substituted accordingly. When I put this group below, a few blocks seemed to get lost. I may have to make another Fair Play using fabrics that have more contrast.



As for the setting for the finished quilt, I have fallen in love with the setting that was used on the cover of Barbara's "Civil War Sampler."



I  love the combination of scrappy sashing and nine patches. You can see a better picture of the full quilt at Barbara's blog HERE. The quilt on the cover was made by Becky Brown and is simply stunning, don't you think? Perhaps I was also influenced just a tad by the nine-patch sashing used in Country Charmer...giggle...

Thankfully, I have no time limit on finishing this quilt because if you take a good look, there are a whole lot of units to put together! I sure have the fabric to do it and I think this will be a wonderful fabric buster for my stash.

'Till next time, it's a great day for quilting!





Saturday, August 10, 2013

Christmas Quiltalong

Good morning! Today is the second Saturday of the month so it is the start of the Christmas Quiltalong weekend...



We have a tag team of delightful ladies who take turns hosting this QAL. The duo includes Hazel of Hazel's Quilts and Joanna who blogs at Needle, Thread, and Happiness. Today, Joanna will lead us along. Check out their blogs to learn more about it.

There is a very intriguing challenge for this QAL...to make a small Christmas quilt of your choice without using reds and greens! I already have a gazillion Christmas projects on the go, so I'm not going to take the challenge but I still get to link up. The gals say as long as we work on something Christmasy we can still join the party, so that is what I am doing. Thinking of joining us?

About a year ago I purchased the pattern you see below that was designed by Jan Patek. For someone who loves Santas like I do, this project was calling my name. Even the name of the pattern is cute..."Santa Claus Lane"...I wish I lived on Santa Claus Lane!


I thought this would be a perfect "take along" project when travelling. Ages ago, I traced the patterns onto Steam-a-Seam so I'd have them when I needed them. I unrolled them as best I could and sorted them...

Then I found some fabrics I thought would work for the centre block, and started pressing and cutting.



Once I had my shapes ready, I fused them to the black print background and now I have a project ready to travel! 



I will do blanket stitch by hand, using just a couple of strands of floss. I don't want the thread to overwhelm the design. I think Jan designed this quilt for needle-turn applique, but I know my limits and needle turn applique is not my forte! I do love a tiny blanket stitch, though, so I'm all set for awhile with lots to keep me company while travelling or in my quilting chair.

Are you working on a Christmas project this weekend? If so, don't forget to visit Joanna and link up, because we all love to see Christmasy projects! 

It's a great day for quilting!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quilt Show If You're In the Area

"Celebrating Quilting at the Causeway", the annual quilt show and sale in my community starts today. Quilters from across Cape Breton have been stitching to their hearts content all winter and from what I hear, there will be lots to see and buy at the church. Any member of the Ocean Waves Quilt Society is welcome to submit a quilt(s), so we expect lots of treasures to come our way. Won't you come on by?



We sent out a press release awhile back...here's a little more info...


The 8th Annual Quilt Show is being held once again at St.David’s Historic Church at the entrance to Cape Breton Island, Port Hastings, in conjunction with the Canso Causeway Celebrations being held on August 13th . The quilt show starts on Thursday August 8th and continues until the following Thursday, August 15th . Open hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm each day.
 Quilts made by quilters from around the Island will be on display and for sale in the church.  Traditional and modern quilts, from baby size to king size, will be available, along with smaller quilted items such as wall hangings, table runners, and more.

Local quilter, Barb MacIntyre, anticipates that local people and many others will be travelling from around the province to view the quilts.  MacIntyre says “In the past people have visited the church from across Canada, California, Germany, England, Poland, Israel, New Zealand and the Netherlands. While in the area, visitors are thrilled to discover a quilt show that highlights the expertise of hand-quilting, machine-quilting, appliqué and piecing techniques by our local artisans.  Tea and oatcakes will be offered in the church hall during the quilt show.  The Strait Area Quilters will be demonstrating quilting on a traditional wooden frame as they work to complete a quilt that will be donated to charity.

The Quilt Show is hosted by the Ocean Waves Quilt Society of Cape Breton.  It is expected that over 100 quilts will be on display and for sale. Admission is by a small donation with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of the 127 year old St. David’s United Church. 


If you're in the area, drop by...if you live far away, why not plan to visit Cape Breton next summer!

It's a great day for quilting!