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Monday, July 9, 2018

So far a cool July but the heat is coming!

I spent some time with my  mom last week.  She has gangrene in one of her feet and needed an ultrasound and xray before returning to the lower limb clinic to see about treatment.  Next time I do this, I need to take my knitting to work on.  Working a binding a quilt is too bulky and cumbersome and not fair to sit and read while with mom so have a plan!  Knitting project will get organized and ready for the next visit.

I have my July and August blocks made for the Quilter's Planner challenge. I want to be finished the blocks by early October so I don't have to drag my fabric supplies back down south with me and then bring home the blocks to finish here.  Why not just get ahead of the game?

This second block was paper pieced and even though I was sure I had measured the little box that said 1" and it was.... well, it wasn't and my bottom block is 1/2" too small.  But am not worried as all these blocks get surrounded by a sashing and will have to cut the fabric an extra ½" wider to allow for the smaller block and only you and I will know!
And fresh raspberries along with a lovely bowl of blueberries.  Picked from my buddy's house and no pesticides or chemicals so no washing of the fruit.  Yum!  
I have this quilt finished.  This was a Craftsy kit from last fall that I purchased on sale and was a quick and easy way to use up strips of fabric.  I added to the kit to get this to the appropriate size for a donation quilt.  Bright and happy!

And Yippee!!  My village quilt is bound and ready for the washing machine.  I want to sleep under this and so will wash to remove any chemicals in the fabric.  No, I do not prewash before cutting and all these houses were from my scaps buckets as well as the scrap table at the Langley quilt show and a scrap bucket that Jean Jones had for sale at our last guild trunk sale.
This is quilt number 3 from the blocks that my Wednesday quilting group made from fabric squares and strips that I took from my stash.  Quilt number two is sitting on the pile, waiting for the binding to get stitched down and enough blocks left for a fourth quilt.  Good stitching by my friends and great use of fabric for fun quilts for injured military members.

I have my red scraps pulled for my paper pieced string blocks and my rail fence blocks for Oh Scrap rainbow challenge for July.
And I am working on more teal/purple 16 patch blocks.
Plus, the pile of quilt tops with backings made and batting cut is waiting for the heat to arrive, later this week.  When it is hot outside, it is perfect in my downstairs bunker.  In the meantime, it is time to be in the garden harvesting zucchini and baking. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Welcome July

Hard to believe that our year is half over and I am another year older.  But, I am still playing tennis and working on getting my projects quilted so my life is good.

My Wednesday Diva group has been making 'happy' blocks for me (and Quilts of Valour) from some squares and strips that I cut and had in a container.  Every time we met in June, they took some and brought them back stitched and ready.  This is the second quilt from the blocks, ready for quilting.

And, more blocks waiting.  I counted 88 so enough for two more quilts! I have quilt 3 on the design wall so that will be a total of 5 from our stitching efforts when they are all finished.
I am working on my second autumn rails but the first one is quilted and bound and ready for donation. I was inspired to make this from a picture I saw last summer of a quilt donated to the fire victims and figured out how it was made.  But I didn't realize I would have enough blocks for two quilts from one jelly roll package.
Christmas in July!  I have stitched up 13 pillowcases, ready for some gift giving in less than 6 months.
I tidied up a little this past  week while I was stuck at home because of the rain making the tennis courts too wet to play and found a box of strips all cut and ready for the St. Louis 16 patch so will work on these as leaders and enders.
Slowly working on the binding on my village quilt.  I don't seem to be watching as much tv or, if I do, the show is either really gripping or they have subtitles, slowing down my handing stitching time.
To begin the month of July on the right foot, I got busy yesterday and cut some battings and stitched up some backings for the next batch of quilt tops that are patiently waiting.  Most of these tops were from my winter stitching and would love to empty the hangers that are still full.
It makes it much easier to get a quilt loaded onto the B-line when the backings are ready to go. 
My aqua rail fences for June got finished and a nice stack of them.  This month the Oh Scrap rainbow challenge is red - lots of that colour fabric hanging around in containers.
So many projects but this will be a month of other activities.  Both of my parents are in their 90's and we are moving them to a new senior care residence which will hopefully be an awesome place for them to live and get the care that they need.  And, they have appointments and aren't quite capable of getting to and from on their own so a few ferry trips coming up.

Happy summer and so far, I have no complaints and am enjoying the cooler temperatures and windows open rather than inside with a/c running.  Am sure this won't last long but wonderful while it lasts. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Last week of June and a chance to cross a few more things off the list.

 This is finished and is definitely a UFO... first from someone else and then when her items were sold in an estate sale, it became mine.  Sadly, a lot of the fabrics needed were missing and I had to hunt for reds and white/black but it happened and it is now ready to donate to Quilts of Valour Canada.

 A bit of an interlude in quilting happened mid week.  The skies clouded over and the temperatures dropped to high 60's instead of mid 80's and was perfect for this task.  We scrubbed our deck clean and then the painting process began.  The directions said to not apply in the sunshine and our patio is south facing and gets the sunshine all day long.  But the cloudy days were perfect and the job is done and furniture back outside where it belongs.
 My brown cornerstone quilt is done and not sure if it is a UFO.  I will have to check my earlier blog posts to see when I started this.  It was a craftsy kit but I added the border to get it to a size that is good for Quilts of Valour.
 Three shopping bags made.  I used this pattern:

The pattern is from a quilt shop in N. Vancouver and I had to call and see just how they had made them because the kits I purchased didn't have interfacing (which they didn't use even though the pattern suggests it) and then they included a separate fabric for the handles.  Once my senior brain knew how they had intended the fabric to be used, I got these made quickly.  Fun to make and the fabrics are so darn cute!

My village quilt is quilted but not without a lot of cursing on my part.  My thread (Omni) kept shredding but I loved the colour on the quilt so wanted to avoid changing to something different.  I changed size of needle, type of needle, added silicone lubricant to the spool, tried everything I could think of and I could stitch about 1.5 rows and it would shred.  Or sometimes stitch a half a row and it would shred.  Very annoying.  I am wondering if it was bamboo batting?  I normally use poly batting in my donation quilts but this one is for me!  It is waiting for binding and I have that ready to make.

My aqua/turquoise strips are ready for me to make some rail fences for Oh Scrap rainbow challenge.  
I did get my strips stitched into blocks last week.
And these are my first six blocks for the Quilter's Planner monthly challenge.
So, if the binding gets stitched onto my village quilt and if I get the binding stitched down on a quilt I finished up mid week... and if I get my rail fences done, then this will have a successful month of projects.
That leaves me about 15 quilt tops waiting for quilting and binding and an unknown number of blocks that are sitting in a basket, waiting to be assembled into quilt tops.  All my winter stitching has patience, however so am not in a panic although we are getting close to our halfway time here at home before we start on the downhill side of the year and are preparing to once again become Snowbirds. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day

My husband's idea of a perfect Father's Day is a day to be lazy and snooze, read and maybe some sports on TV.  It has warmed up here so I am getting organized for some time in my cool basement, quilting some tops I have prepared the backing and batting for.

 Here is a stack of 5 quilts waiting patiently
I also finished a Quilt of Valour that is a sample of the hug block packages I have for sale.  I still need to put the labels back on the blocks so quilters can see which block matches the names.
And I made a cute little wine bottle cover and might just make more of these.  Would be funky in Happy Birthday fabric and others that convey a message when you gift someone with a bottle of their favourite wine. This was a cute kit from Wineberries that I picked up at CQA.
I am working on another Quilt of Valour from our Wednesday Diva group using Happy Blocks.
And I have my block for June done for my Quilter's Planner quilt.  And pulled out my fabrics to make the July and August block.  The July block looks like it is more difficult because of the sizes that they want the squares cut.  I will persevere!

A blue and yellow quilt has been quilted and bound!  This is a log cabin that I didn't construct as per the pattern instructions.  Read what I was supposed to do after I had done it differently.
I have the backing for my village prepared but still need to cut the batting.  Am thinking, that since this will be for ME, I will use bamboo batting?  I have a little left on the bolt and might just be enough? 
And a stack of blocks for Canada Stitches - first responders attending Can Praxis camps for PTSD that were made by the guild and by my Wednesday group.  They will get packaged and mailed off this week.  Love promoting and making blocks and then mailing them off... no stitching blocks to make a top, no quilting, no binding, no batting and no backing.
I have one more quilt that I have quilted and am in the process of stitching down the binding and more happy blocks to put together for the quilt above.  And now, with no excuses and hot weather this week, time to get quilting! 
Later this week marks the beginning of summer.  I am ready though being light at 3:30am isn't my preference and not sure how all my Alaskans friends handle that but I do love it being light out until 10pm at night. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Happy June! Quilting is progressing from UFO status to finished.

A few weeks ago, the hostess of my Wednesday Quilting Group was away so I offered the group the option of coming to my sewing space and working on a guild challenge: to make a quilt of Valour.  I had previously handed out some Canadiana fabric on a Wednesday, suggesting we make 10" (finished) blocks.  We had quite the assortment and created a quilt - with loads of blocks left over to start a second quilt.
I made an effort to get it quilted and one of the group offered to do the binding (thank you Marge) and it is also labelled and is a FINISH!
And, I also managed to get a quilt top from last fall quilted and bound.  This is a simple and fun way to cut up fat quarters to create a quilt.  Quilted and bound!
And, the most fun I have had in ages is making my village houses.  They are finished and I have stitched my rows together and added the small outside border.  Now it waits for quilting.  I will admit I am watching Instagram carefully and looking closely at how other quilters are quilting their projects.  Call it waiting for inspiration?

A nice sight to see out our front door.  The deer have made an appearance and first time we have seen them this spring.
One more project is close to a finish.  I have my hug block sampler quilt sitting by my chair, waiting for the binding to be stitched down and I have one more top layered and waiting for quilting.
Progress and it feels good.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Some finished quilts!

Three of the quilt tops I was given last year to finish were leftovers from the Quilt Canada, Great sewing bee.  I finished a number of them last fall but these three were still left to add border, quilt and bind.
Finally, they are completed, along with labels for Quilts of Valour.
Phew...FINALLY!!  Something finished.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

last day of May

I still do not have a finished quilt to show you but hopefully by this time next week, you will be awed by what I have accomplished?
I have my pink/rose rail fence blocks made for this months Oh Scrap challenge.
And the foundation strip blocks were done earlier in the month.
I had 6 rows of village houses completed and stitched together in rows last week.
And now my last row is ready to be stitched into a long row and the others are done, ready and waiting for final assembly.
The preemie quilt got quilted, the binding is stitched on but waiting for me to finish the handstitching and add the label.
And my favourite, go to fat quarter quilt is quilted and waiting for the binding to be hand stitched down.  That will happen as soon as possible as I really need to have some finished quilts by June.  All this stitching, piecing and playing has to result in something to show off?
Tomorrow I am heading into the city for the Canadian Quilters Quilt show and am quite ready to be inspired though not so sure I need any more new ideas for projects.
Still have two quilts layered and waiting for quilting and really want to get the houses into a finished village this week as well.