Sunday, May 25, 2014

Framed is a Wrap

This winter had no end and it seems to be hanging on with cool windy days and chilly nights. I know summer is around the corner, but it is sure taking a long time to arrive. I think because of the winter we had, I gravitated towards using bright and fun fabrics to brighten my days. My latest finish is called  "Framed". As you can see, I used a variety of novelty prints with a bright white Kona cotton.

The quilting was done by Angie at Quilting on the Mira in Sydney and gives it that texture that says "cuddle me!" I found the quilt design in Camille Roskelley's book, "Simply Retro" and knew it would be the perfect quilt pattern for me to play with on those cold winter days.

The quilt was easy peasy to make. I started by sewing frames around the fabrics...

and then went on to make the pieced sashing.

Camille's original pattern calls for the use of layer cakes resulting in a 63" x 63" quilt. I adapted, used fat quarters, and made it smaller, resulting in a cuddle quilt sized  43"  x 60." In no time at all, the top was finished and hung for a picture on a cold day in March. Guess you can probably tell we had a lot of snow that day. Woodworker Hubby cleared a path for me so I could hang the quilt for the picture.

"Framed" was one of several quilt tops that I sent to Sydney to be quilted this Spring and I was so pleased with how they all turned out. Here are a few close ups of "Framed" to show you the quilting and some of the fun fabrics that were used. 

Ange used a blue thread for the quilting ...I love the extra punch it gives! 

Although I used a variety of prints and colours, I also wanted a fair bit of blue in the quilt, so I used a bright blue tone on tone fabric for the binding and a crazy multicolored print for the back.

This quilt really makes me smile! It is now stretched out on a spare bed until it meets its new owner.

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, May 19, 2014

There is a Garden...

Before I tell you where I've been for the last while, I wanted to show you the quilt top I just finished.

I used the pattern "Spring Fever" that was designed by Kimberley Jolly of the Fat Quarter Shop and was featured in the Spring '13 edition of "Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks". It is the bottom quilt on the cover.

I wanted mine to be a larger quilt than the original pattern so I added white strips on the top and bottom and machine appliqued a quote I found about children and gardens. I used a floral border fabric that is in keeping with the garden theme and matches the prominent colors in the quilt of pink and green. The top finishes at 50" x 62". I figure it could be used as a baby quilt or be a quilt for a toddler or young girl.

I changed the size of the pinwheels and made nine per block instead of the original four using leftover HSTs from another quilt project, with lots of bright colours and some fun novelty fabrics. Soccer balls, ladybugs, pampered girl text fabric...I used it all and it seems to work! 

The four flowers and the centre block were made using shades of pinks and greens. In the original design, each flower was oriented towards the sides, but I changed my design so that the quilt has a top and a bottom.

Now it's ready for the quilter!

I had so much matching yardage in my stash, I decided to piece the back using the border fabric, some striped vine fabric to match, and some of the green tone on tone. 

Sure makes me think that Spring is you notice there are no snow banks in the background? Of course, the trees are not in bloom either, but I know it will happen very soon! 

Now, if you have a few minutes more, and you'd like to know what I've been up to, please read on.

Remember those "Where is Waldo" books? My kids loved searching for Waldo's striped shirt hidden among the other pictures on the pages of the children's book. Well, I feel a little like Waldo! I've been gone for awhile and have turned up in various places around the globe.

It all started in mid-April when Woodworker Hubby and I travelled from wintry Nova Scotia, Canada, to summery Clearwater, Florida to spend a week with my mom, sister, and her hubby. 
We had a fabulous time visiting with my family and touring the many beach communities. We did the rounds of local eateries, saw some breathtaking sunsets, and did some "cruise wear" shopping at outlet malls. We even had time for a round of golf at Top of the World! 

Then on April 19, we took a 4-hour drive to  Fort Lauderdale to board the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship with my sister, her hubby, and their good friends, another couple from BC, for a 13 night cruise across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise was fantastic from start to finish. Travelling in our group of six was fun, fun, fun! Family, new friends, meals, entertainment, and staff all combined to give us a trip of a lifetime. We had booked a stateroom with a view and were thrilled to have calm seas and wonderful weather for almost the entire trip. Nothing can compete with enjoying an ocean sunset from your stateroom veranda!

The ship was huge with sixteen decks, a grassy lawn on the top deck, three pools, and enough activities and restaurants to keep us busy as we crossed the ocean. The cruise was our way of celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary coming up this summer...a real joy to celebrate the occasion with family and friends. 

The ship visited three ports as we sailed from Fort Lauderdale to South Hampton, UK. Playing the part of a tourist was pretty easy when we got to our first port in Nassau in the Bahamas. This little flamingo was just waiting for me as we walked through the Marina Village on Paradise Island...

We had taken a water taxi to the island and then passed through the marine village, shopping centre and lobby of The Atlantis Resort on the way to a gorgeous public beach complete with surf, sand, and a fabulous local chilled beer called Kalick. It was yummy and just the thing to enjoy with our feet in the sand and our cameras clicking!

The next day our ship sailed in to Bermuda, my favorite place of all. One word...beautiful! Beautiful beaches, food, scenery, people, and the tiniest little streets, though I did manage to find a giant beach chair! 

The ship was docked in Bermuda for two nights, so on day two we toured the island with "Rene" in his 6-seater van. He gave us a tour with local flare, showing us Bermuda up close and personal. We had a close look at the pink sand, a "gift from God" says our tour guide. He told us about 85% of all products on the island have to be imported, so he says the the sand is a gift from God made just for Bermuda!

I had a great walk in the sand, until the seventh wave chased me up the beach... 

Our final stop was in the municipality of Ponta Delgada on the largest of the islands in the Azores. Another day touring in a van, this time with charming Hugo. The day started with a mist, which actually seemed to enhance our views of this volcanic island.

Following our three hour tour, we walked the city streets dropping in to outdoor markets, cheese and wine shops, a local eatery with free Wifi, and learned very quickly not to stray over the white line on the "sidewalk", or as my son says, the curb. When a car comes roaring along, you end up hugging those buildings! 

The 13 night cruise passed so quickly and in no time at all we were sailing into South Hampton, UK. Our group of six had different plans...the two of us were headinghome in a few days and the other four were planning on more travelling in France. Within an hour of disembarking, WH and I were on a bus tour to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Salisbury Cathedral.

By seven that night, after a wonderful day of sightseeing, the bus dropped us right off at the door of our centrally located London hotel. We checked in, had a meal of traditional fish and chips, and all was right with the world. The hotel was right across from Victoria Station so the next morning we headed out to "do London" in a day...and we did! We connected with the Original London Sightseeing Tour that we had booked tickets with and our day began. 

What were the highlights? Riding the London Eye to see the city in all its glory, and then seeing the sights and sounds of London from the top of the double decker buses.

By hopping on and off the bus throughout the day, we got to see so much of London including Westminister Abbey, Big Ben, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, London Bridge, and Canterbury Street, to name just a few of the places we visited.

This fellow definitely made me giggle...

We finished the day off  by visiting a traditional pub up the street from the hotel, enjoying a refreshing London Lager and the ambiance of a London pub. The next morning we strolled across the street with our luggage, boarded the Gatwick Express train, and flew home. 

Home sweet home....loved our trip so much, but it is always nice to come home.  I overcame the jet lag in a few days and then travelled to New Brunswick to visit with my mom and sisters. Now I am back in residence, ready to revisit my sewing corner, finish up some projects, and do some blog reading.

Thanks for visiting me's a great day for quilting!