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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Will it rain?

The weather is getting cooler and darker and rain is predicted.  Much needed rain even though I much prefer sunshine.  Our air quality is awful with the smoke from forest fires sitting in the valley and the ground is bone dry after a very long, dry, hot summer. 
Rain is ok for a few days.  I have a long list of projects: some I have been working on and a bonus stack of quilt tops that have arrived from Canadian Quilters Association that are left over from the drive for quilts for Ronald MacDonald house this past spring.  The modern guild I belong to offered to take some of the leftover quilt tops and get them finished and we can donate them to wherever we like.  The organizer sorted out the tops that looked like potential Quilts of Valour and gave them to me.  Thank you Jean but it has now made my list of projects much longer!!

These are some of the quilts... the ones on my sewing table need borders added to make the quilts large enough... most of them need another 10" all around and I just happened to have some of the fabrics that are in the quilts so am adding!  The top two are waiting for me to cut and stitch the backings for them.  Their size was perfect.

This one will get quilted next.  I have the backing ready, need to cut the batting and get it loaded!  Would like all the quilts that I have for QOVC finished before mid October so that gives me a month to get to work.
Two more quilts waiting for quilting.  My Canada 150 blocks are put together and sashing/border added.  The other is another quilt from Quilt Canada and there is one of mine in that stack as well. 
The B-line is going to be busy!
A finished quilt. These were string blocks from this summer that are now quilted and bound into a quilt ready for donation. 
I did the binding on this quilt.  I did NOT make the quilt.  The blocks were made by various members of one of the guilds I belong to and stitched together by someone, then quilted by another member and I did the binding.  Silly me hung the quilt upside down and didn't notice until I looked on my camera later.  The center block is actually one I made even though the theme was pastel, I obviously didn't think about that.  Nice that the block got included anyway. 
I did get all my blocks made for guild meeting this past week and had them on my portable design wall so that guild members could purchase kits to make blocks and identify which ones they wanted by the names.  Now I need to sash the blocks and add them to my sampler of hug blocks available in kit form to contribute to the cause.  It will happen... one day?
And of course, yesterday was jelly roll day.  Quilters were being encourage to stitch something with their jelly rolls.  I combined an idea from Missouri Star (the layout and hsts)  along with the method from Fat Quarter Shop to come up with my blocks.  Now I need to stitch more of the jelly rolls together to get an assortment of choices to go around my center hst.  And, need to make more hsts!
Just what I need, another project! 
This was my white board BEFORE Thursday night, when I was handed all these fabulous quilt tops to finish for QOVC.  Some of these are just waiting for binding to be finished.  And I have a stack of quilts to label for donation to the fire quilt collection as well as some QOVC labels to put on quilts that have been donated. 
So, back to stitching!  And listening to the rain... a happy sound though I might not think so in a few days if it continues too long. 






Friday, September 8, 2017

One week into September and weather changed!

We have rain... badly needed and not nearly enough but the ground is wet.  Sadly, the air is still full of smoke but we opened our doors and windows to lovely 70º/20º temperatures.  Air feels damp but much better than living with the a/c running and too hot to be outside except for much needed watering of veggies and flowers.

 My sashed rainbow string got quilted and bound and ready for donation though not sure where I send this one.
 Modern Tykes was a kit I purchased in March from a quilt booth Quincy's at the March sewing show. Quilted and bound.  I think this will go to Peardonville House, a rehab center for women who can have their pre school age children living with them in residence.
 I dug out a bag of triangles that were destined in 2014 for a quilt named Zoe's triangles.  I thought at the time that it was a boring project to stitch all those zillion triangles together so I had stitched some into triangles, some into octagons and had separated out the pinks and the blues.  Trying to figure out what I was thinking 3 years isn't that easy!  I ended up making one preemie pink, one preemie blue quilt and the leftover triangles are in a third quilt which will be larger.  I also have my confetti triangles quilt for a girl in this pile.  Three preemie quilts, layered and ready for quilting.

 My 150 women's blocks are put together but I need an inner border and outer border to finish the blocks off and make the quilt the final size that I prefer.  This will be a quilt for me and I have the info to read about each woman that inspired the blocks. It is so close to being a finished flimsy!  Hopefully this week?
 This is my Zoe third triangle quilt.  My Wednesday Diva quilting group looked at the top this week and decided that the size was too odd to be useful for a kid's quilt and not quite large enough for an adult so their solution was to add border(s) to get it to a useful size for Quilts of Valour or some other place for donation.  So borders are cut and waiting in line to be stitched up.
This is my project that I am getting up from my computer chair to work on.  Quilts of Valour released some new blocks for the hugs across Canada quilts.  Blocks are made using the fabric from Northcott's Oh Canada line and they are sent in to a central location in Edmonton.  From there, they get sorted into sets of 30 to be turned into finished quilts.  Each quilt, when completed, will contain blocks made by a variety of quilters from across the country... provinces and territories and will then be presented to an injured Canadian Armed Forces member or veteran to give them a quilted hug as a thank you for serving our country.  I need to make up one of each block as a sample and then cut kits from the fabrics so that on Tuesday at our guild meeting, I can offer up packages for sale for quilters to make a block (or two or three) and contribute to this cause.  I am hoping they will be keen to make one of the new blocks available.
This is the hug block quilt that I put together last year from blocks that were made by quilters across the country. 
So, am hoping by this time next week, I will have completed a few more projects on my "to-do" list!  And am also wishing for a little more rain in the next day or two to soak the ground thoroughly before we return to our typical September weather.  Am going to love the cooler temperatures for sleeping overnight!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sept 1 - where is autumn?

I am not too sure where 'fall' weather is?  We remain hot and dry and are predicted to be the hottest Labour day since 1981. I guess the good news is that our a/c is working at this house (not at my other home) and while it is too hot to doing much outside, it is still perfectly cool in my basement for me to continue sewing without feeling guilty!  It is cooler overnight so sleeping is comfortable.  We do have the most annoying neighbours with a son who drives a horrible diesel truck and comes and goes at nasty times, loving to do u-turns in our driveway (shining his back up and brake lights in our bedroom window) and warming his truck up for 10 minutes before he leaves so sometimes sleep is totally disturbed and quite often, completely ruined.  Oh well... I guess compared to what others are enduring, that is minor even though it irritates the heck out of us? 

My Sew-Sisters August blocks got completed.
And my St. Louis 16 patch that has been hanging around for a couple of years is quilted and bound and destined for Quilts of Valour.
And am determined to get my Canadian Women's 150 block challenge done.  I stopped at 72 blocks but decided to lay them out on the design wall and it makes sense to have a total of 80 blocks so stitched up the last ones needed while watching fabulous tennis the other evening (GO DENNIS SHAPOVALOV). 

Also on the wall is another preemie quilt that needs to have the blocks stitched together.  It was an inspiration from Sonia at the last modern guild sew-in.  Not too sure if I should thank her for yet another project on the go?

My sewing space is a total disaster and it is my project this afternoon to tidy up.

I have finished a couple of projects.  One is a quilt that was a top left over from Quilt Canada and our modern guild offered to take some of these tops and quilt them and donate them to local charities.  I quilted two and both are heading to fire victims in the interior of BC. Oops, forgot to take a picture of the second one. 
And I finished our guild's preemie quilt challenge.  Then there were leftover blocks so made a few more to go with them and got a second quilt made to donate to our NICU at our local hospital.

I was really happy to get my double slice, sewing themed blocks out of a bag and into a quilt.  I did add a border to this because I wanted it just a little larger.  Wasn't so sure that the border fabric really did the quilt justice but when it is on a bed, the border won't be that noticeable and it serves a good function.  I do think the bright binding addsa touch of colour to brighten up the outside edge.
Yesterday, I met up with a quilting friend who is heading to the interior of the province for the long weekend and she offered to take quilts to drop off with one of the groups collecting for distribution to those families who have lost their homes due to forest fires.  A huge thank you to Heather and to all my friends who gave me quilts for her to take.  There was a nice stack of them for delivery.
One last quilt finish is this cute pink elephant baby quilt. I bought a quilt from Quincy's sewing in Alberta while they were at our local sewing show in March.  The kit was easy and a great price and I have it finished and given it to my neighbour because she is now a Great Grandma!  This can be a quilt that lives at her house for when the sweet baby Amber is visiting.
Am feeling good about my September.
I managed to get 15 of my 20 projects completed for our Fraser Valley Modern quilt guild finish it up challenge.  Not bad and am determined to get my 150 blocks and my solstice quilts finished up sooner rather than later.  The Sew-Sisters project needs to wait as I didn't realize that I still have 2 more months of blocks left to make.  Darn!  And the Ohio stars project might not get done for awhile because I have no motivation to work on it!

Time to write out my Sept goals and figure out what I should/could be working on and there are still a few tops waiting for me to quilt them along with some pincushions and coasters calling my name.  One day at a time!

So, not too bad for a hot and dry summer!  I have completed the majority of what I wanted to accomplish and have made a large number of donations to Quilts of Valour, Fire victims quilts, preemie quilts and few gifts as well as getting a couple of UFO's completed.  Whew!!






Sunday, August 20, 2017

Two thirds day... 10 days left in August

August is two thirds gone... never to be seen again!  But, the hot weather kept me indoors and busy quilting while the a/c kept the house comfortable.  I accomplished a lot and am happy.  I still have some bindings to finish up but I have most of my projects quilted which is a good thing.
This is my Challenge list for my modern quilt guild.  I list my projects, that in a perfect world, would get finished by the end of this month.  I am on the way but am sure that 5 of these won't get completed.



1. 150 women's blocks - am done making them
2. Solstice challenge
3. Sew sisters blocks for Canada's birthday Aug, Sept, Oct
4. Quilt of valour blocks using slabs
5. Brown 9 patches
6. Beach bingo blocks from Jolly Bars
7. Downton Abbey quilt Blueberry hill pattern
8. Red and Gray blocks
9. Ohio star blocks
10. King's ransom bright florals
11. Latin Lady using gray grunge
12. Busy Bee with bobby pin fabric
13. Melinda Jo with florals and white background
14. Limelight with gold strips/turquoise

15. Honey bouquet with fabric like paint by number
16. Offset, top from kit from Connecting Threads
17. Maple leaf quilt for QOV
18. Sewing themed blocks
19. Zoe's triangles
20. 16 patch blues/purples

I am hoping that my #18, sewing themed blocks get put together and perhaps Zoe's triangles (but I doubt it) and am determined to work on my 150 blocks and up on the design wall plus, IF I make a supreme effort, maybe, just maybe, my Solstice blocks will get put together and at least make it to the flimsy stage? 

Limelight, a Villa Rosa pattern, is finished.  Binding is done and it is labelled.  I think this will be donated to fire victims in BC.
The red and gray jolly bars is completed and this will be donated to Quilts of Valour Canada.
Offset was a kit from Connecting Threads that I purchased last fall for a good price.  It is done and will be a QOVC donation and, in my sewing room in Arizona, there is another Offset quilt kit waiting for me that I bought even cheaper than this one!
A rainbow scrap quilt that I think is a happy quilt.  I got the pattern idea from Free Motion by the River and it was simple, quick and easy to make and used up some strips of fabric.
Another Villa Rosa pattern, Busy Bee and this has bobby pin fabric along with other 'hair' themed fabrics.  It is a lap quilt and I am thinking that it would make a lovely gift for the hairdresser that takes care of my mother's hair weekly.  Sort of a nice thank you for helping mom in and out of the chair and keeping her hair looking well groomed.
My beach ball quilt started out with some jolly bars and a pattern from the Fat Quarter quilt shop.  I wanted it slightly larger so added in some of my own fabrics to make more blocks.  Not sure, but am thinking that this might also be a good donation to fire victims in the interior of BC?

I have a few other projects quilted and stacked up, waiting for me to be hand stitching down the bindings.  As the evenings grow darker earlier (sadly), it means more time for sitting in my chair, watching tv and working on these quilts. So, hopefully, in the next 10 days, they will have their binding and I will have more finishes!








Saturday, August 5, 2017

One August week almost gone!

It is almost the end of the first week of August.  Wow, this week felt both long and went fast at the same time.  We are 'smoked' in and so that has been good for me getting some work done in my sewing studio.  Not much tennis played this week due to warnings about air quality for seniors - that is me!  A true senior. 
I played around with more strings and strips and made enough blocks to put a quilt top together. 

And my Sew-Sisters two blocks for July got finished.  They were actually finished on Sunday so made it under the wire.
And the block that my buddy showed me two weeks ago is now a quilt top, added to the list of waiting projects.
Last Sunday, our electricity was out all afternoon and into the early evening.  My sewing bunker is underground (where I keep all my supplies) so I couldn't load a quilt on the B-line because it is pitch black in there. I did make a list of projects and got my sewing space cleaned up and then, wanted to sew so badly but I don't have a treadle machine.  So, I dragged my roll of batting up to my sewing space (where I have loads of windows and walk out basement) and proceeded to cut batting for all my quilt tops on hand.  That felt good to at least get something accomplished. This is one of the quilt tops that is ready for layering and quilting.
And since Sunday, have managed to quilt two tops, waiting now for their binding.
And this lovely floral quilt got quilted and bound. This is a Villa Rosa pattern: Melinda Jo.
And one of my strip stars (Missouri Star pattern) got quilted and bound all ready for a Quilts of Valour recipient.
This quilt is spray basted and ready for me to quilt on my domestic machine using the walking foot since I want to do straight lines and stitch in the ditch.  It is a kit from Connecting Threads, started last fall and will get finished this week - I hope!
After cleaning and organizing my sewing space and realizing that I have four tops waiting for me to handstitch the bindings, I decided to switch gears and play with the scrap basket container that will be a guild challenge/swap in September.  Wow... which one to swap and look - it is only early August and I am done!
One my UFO's that is patiently waiting is my 16 patch teal and purple blocks so I have moved them to within my vision every time I go down into my bunker.  They are hanging on the door.  They will get put on the design wall when the strip blocks are joined and ready for the pile of tops that need backing and batting and quilting.
A great start to the month of August for me.  Sort of a catch-22.  Horrible smoky conditions because of the really awful forest fires burning in the interior of BC and we are forced indoors with windows closed and no outside activity but I made lemonade out of lemons, completing projects and having a tidy and organized sewing space. Will see how the rest of the month progresses!









Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last week of July and pushing towards some finished projects

I have a few flimsies from last winter as well as last summer to get quilted and can then feel less guilty about playing with all my 'new' ideas for projects. 

I had a lovely stash of purple strings and certainly it is the colour that I must have used the most in the past years of quilting as it is a massive pile!
And I have been stitching away on my rainbow string blocks.  Only turquoise blocks left to do although I do have a bag of strings of black prints and another of neutrals.  I don't don't think those will go into this project.
I have quilted a Quilt of Valour for Debbie D in my guild and it is bound and already delivered to a deserving military veteran.
And quilted a QOV slab block quilt for a quilter who asked me to put Sew Sisters from Kelowna on the label. 
At a Modern guild sew in on Saturday, I finished up joining these beach ball blocks that I had made last winter so another awaits quilting and binding.
And then the Yahoo Heartstrings group sent a post of this project using 2.5" strips and you know, I seem to have a lot of those waiting to be used.
And am playing with my rainbow strings and adding a sashing and cornerstone to my blocks even though I don't have any of the turquoise ones made yet!
And while at the sew in, my buddy BB was working on a quilt for hospice made from this block.  It uses two cake plate (10" squares) and so of course, had to dig out a set of plates and make a sample.
Two quilts are quilted and ready for binding.  Great tv project especially since the nights are getting darker earlier!
And this one is finished! Villa Rosa pattern: King's ransom

And my quilt made from Downton Abbey fabrics, started last summer, is next on the list for quilting. 




So, back to the ironing board and the sewing machine.  We have hot weather for the next few days so a good time to hide downstairs and accomplish what I can before the end of the month and hopefully cross a few projects off my list - though you know I am always more.  The list will never end!