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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The heat is gone from the PNW.

The heat of the past few weeks was very good for sewing time.  Thank goodness we have central a/c and my basement sewing studio is nice and cool and the 'bunker' where my home quilting system (B-line) lives, is almost cold as that is where the furnace is located and the cold air blows through it to get circulated around the house.
So, quite a few quilt tops are pieced and a few of my July tops that I had intended to quilt in that month got finished this month.  And still three days left!  Who knows what might get accomplished in the last hours of the month.  Not saying that I work best under pressure.... but.... things do get finished!

Some of my tops that got quilted are also bound and labelled and ready to delivery to their destinations.  But am hanging onto them so I can overwhelm members of my local guild with my productivity over the summer plus some of them will be samples for a quick class I am teaching on using 10" squares (cake plates).

This is a QOV made from 16 patches.  I took a bunch of strips, all ready for piecing to my Wednesday Diva quilting group and they all took some plus used some of their own fabrics to make blocks.  I assembled the blocks, layered, quilted and bound the quilt and it is done! Great way to use up some of those fat quarters that you just don't know why you bought them or what to do with them.

This is the second quilt made from a kit purchased from Hamel's last year.  There was a jelly roll plus a set of cake plates and I made the quilt posted earlier, Sugar Almonds, using the jelly roll.  This is a pattern called Good Company by Villa Rosa and is a great way to cut up and then stitch your pieces back together.  The kit included yardage so that enabled me to add a border to get it to a good size for QOV.  Finished! 
Another 16 patch quilt.  This was part of my Wednesday Diva group's challenge to jump into our ancient floral fabrics and use them up.  Of course, I haven't seen my stack of florals diminish in any way but am happy to use some of them up.  We have decided that we are tired of making 16 patch blocks so for now, this is the last one until maybe next year.  This will be donated to our local hospice.They want bright and cheery and this fits that perfectly!

Of course, Missouri Star seems to come up with a video of an idea or technique just as I decide that I have enough ideas.  This one is called Floating squares and when I saw the video, I knew I had some charm packs of solids in pastel colours that would work perfectly for this.  Wasn't excited when I was making it, thought it was sort of bland but in the end, when it was quilted and bound, am very pleased with the final quilt.  Not too sure where this will be donated.  Too small for hospice and not really quite large or masculine enough for QOV (yes, I do send quilts for women soldiers but they are in the minority it seems and the need is not as great as quilts for men is). 

And I have been piecing new quilt tops... new ideas.  My sewing themed blocks are done and I added to them from my stash but of course, where is the picture?  You will have to wait until I get it quilted.  It is one for me and I will be using bamboo batting so see how I like it.

This is the jolly bar quilt from Fat Quarter Shop using a free pattern called Tweed which is really a big, fat rail fence!  I mentioned it in my last post but couldn't find the pictures.  Funny how they magically get deleted?

My roses quilt from a cake plate... stack of 10" squares will be an example for the guild class in November of one of the ideas for using this size of pre-cut.  This got a border added to it to make it large enough for a floral hospice quilt and is waiting patiently for the next step.  I need a magic quilting fairy to come while I am sleeping and 'poof!!"... all my quilt tops will be finished.  In my dreams....
This is the darn Missouri Star again with one of their videos. Magic Hourglass.  I just happened to have 3 sets of matching charm packs and after seeing their inspiration, dug them out.  This top needs pressing and I have since added a few borders (which is funny because I haven't added borders to quilts since becoming a little more 'modern') to make it large enough to be useful.  The good thing about adding borders is that it does use up more of those darn florals that are multiplying while I sleep!

And tumblers!  I have two quilt tops for preemie quilts pieced and the third is on the design wall and am hoping to get that done before the end of the month.  Actually, am hoping to layer and quilt these before Sept 1st.  I started playing with tumblers as leaders and enders last year and have made one or two of these (can't remember but at least one) and still had a stack of them calling my name.  Will make nice girlie preemie quilts and will get them gone from my sewing studio and be perfect for cuddling a baby born  before their due date. 

One more quilt to quilt... sigh... I say that a lot these days. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mid August...

I really was trying to post every week but somehow, it doesn't happen.
But, lots of piecing, quilting and binding happening.  I thought with the Olympics I would have bindings finished but they are too intense to watch and can't take my eyes off to look down at my hand sewing.

Three preemies are finished from the Yellow Brick road leftover blocks that my Wednesday Quilting Divas made earlier this summer. These will go to the local NICU at our hospital.
A plus block got quilted and bound.

And the rest of what I have right now are pieced tops waiting for quilting but my new theory is that a pieced quilt top waiting for quilting is better than fabric in your stash waiting to be cut and pieced.  So taking the pressure off myself to get these quilted.  One day....
I have a Honey Bouquet quilt top by Villa Rosa patterns.  This used 10" squares.

And another top that used  and made absolutely no dint in my florals.
This is a Downton Abbey quilt that I brought home blocks from Mesa, made a few more but still not sure this is large enough for a donation quilt.
I have a quilt top made from jolly bars which is the description that Fat Quarter shop gives to their 5" x 10" rectangles.  The pattern is free and called Tweed.  Still not overly impressed with this one but maybe the quilting will give it more interest. But can't find the picture so you will have to wait.

However, with the leftover jolly bars, I started a new top and like this one much better.  And the great thing about it was that I cut into a lot of my 'leftovers' and added to the top so it is quite scrappy.
This roses themed cake plate was turned into these blocks and ready to be put together.
And a cute bundle of 5" squares and a jelly roll of a fabric called Mary Jane's sewing room is going to become these bright blocks.
I have a Diva Hospice 16 patch floral waiting to be bound.  And another 10" cake plate project on the pile. So, hopefully, I will get more binding done and more finishes to show you by the end of the month! 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

end of July, new month tomorrow

Time goes by quickly when you are either having fun or getting lots done.  This was a good month for me.
First, I need to thank Marcia from Quilter in Motion blog.  She drew my name for a package of rotary cutting blades that she was giving away.  These are new to me and have just put one into my rotary cutter and will see how I like them.  They are supposed to last longer than other blades.

I have a good list of projects for this month that I have either got the tops made or have quilted and some that are completely finished.  The heat helped because I hide in my basement when it is too hot to be upstairs.  Even with our a/c, the upstairs get that southern exposure sunshine all day long and the house gets fairly warm.  Good excuse to hide in the basement!

Tops finished and waiting for quilting:
- floating squares pattern from Missouri Star
- Good Company using Origins cake plate
- SPCA table runner that needs appliqué stitched down and then quilting
- Summer kinderbell which got quilted and binding is ready to stitch down but flowers need to be made and attached as well as the watermelon rind which is made from a strip of ruched fabric
- Hospice 16 patch floral blocks made by Wed quilting group is put together and loaded onto the quilting frame, waiting patiently

Finished projects.  These are the best kind!
Sugar Almonds using the strips from a jelly roll of Origins fabric.
A Wednesday Hospice quilt... the first of many that use up some of our floral fabrics.

Turquoise and Purple 16 patch started last fall and finally finished.
Brown summer in the park that I began working on last December while at my winter home.  This used a lot of my brown strips cut from 'older' fabric. It was pieced by me and quilted by Myrna in Princeton for Quilts of Valour.
And my brown split 9 patch for Quilts of Valour, also quilted by Myrna is labelled and ready to be donated.  I started this one last December as well.
Love this batik double hourglass.  The pattern is a Villa Rosa pattern and it was a great way to use my scrappy strips of batiks.  I liked it so much and it made such a good dent in my strips that I spent a day cutting more strips of batiks from fabrics that I have had on hand for ages.
I put together 3 preemie quilts from leftover blocks from the Yellow Brick Road demonstration that I did for my Wednesday Diva group.  They all made quilts and gave me their leftover blocks. These are two of them but three are quilted and waiting for binding.

A Wednesday Diva group 16 patch made for Quilts of Valour is quilted and bound.
This quilt was made by dearly departed Carole Ann Thomas.  I have had the top for two years and it was quilted by Myrna in Princeton and bound and is now ready for donation to Quilts of Valour.
I have these Canadian Quilts of Valour tote bags which are a fundraiser.  They are available for $3 as is or, if you prefer, for $5 you can get the bag plus a small kit of cut fabric to make a hug block.
And of course, I can't have an empty design wall so I am still working on using floral 10" squares to make another hospice quilt.
And thus, July is ending and time to write my list of goals and projects for August.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The usual, lots of starts and in progress and a few finishes

I have managed to quilt a couple of quilts.  I have a 16 patch floral quilt put together from blocks made by my Wednesday Diva group.  We decided that using up some floral fabrics in the 16 patch blocks would be a good use of older fabric.  The binding is made and has since been stitched onto the quilt and it is waiting for the handstitching.  This will be donated to Hospice.

And talking about floral fabrics, thanks to Penny who is in my Wednesday Quilting Diva group, she suggested cutting 10 squares from my fabrics.  And then cutting 5" neutral squares and stitching a square on the opposite corners of the block.  I put a second row of stitching inside the first row, leaving enough room between them to cut apart and so have a nice stack of hst's happening.

I have another floral 16 patch on my design wall, same group making the blocks and same place for donation, Hospice.

And the runner for the SPCA auction is waiting for me to get it quilted and the appliqué stitched down. 
When I made my sugar almonds quilt from a jelly roll, the kit I originally bought had a stack of 10" squares in it.  The fabric is called Origins and I didn't want to make the pattern that was included.  It was a real bargain on Thrifty Thursday from Hamel's.  So, the cake plates were cut up and this is what is happening on my design wall.  Cool water from Villa Rosa. Kind of retro colours?

I have two quilts finished and bound and labelled but forgot to take pictures so maybe I will have to blog sooner rather than later to get those pictures included in my finishes for July.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Past the mid point of July

I belong to a yahoo group called Heartstrings and they have a challenge for July to quilt UFO's and get them ready for binding.  I have risen to the challenge as well as working on a few other projects. I have been hoping for some hot weather here in the Pacific Northwest as it is quite lovely and cool in my 'bunker'... high ceilings and underground.

This batik floating half square triangle quilt is finished - even the binding is done.  Labelled and ready to go either quilts of valour or the new hospice though I don't think it is long enough even though it is happy and bright.  And this is a new venture for me.  I am using batiks for donation quilts.  Big step!! This is a Missouri Star tutorial.

And I also pieced a quilt called Sugar Almonds, found on Samelia's mom website.  Great way to use a jelly roll plus a matching fabric for the edges.  Makes a nice sized quilt and my only issue was that my design wall wasn't quilt long enough to have all the strips visible so had to resort to laying it out on the floor.
My floating squares from Missouri Star continues to grow as I use the pieced blocks as leaders and enders.
 I need to get it ready to start stitching blocks together because I have a project waiting for the design wall space. Another project underway is my summer Kinderbell runner. Supposed to be a bench pillow but a runner works better in my window well space.
At Modern Guild this week, we had a mug rug swap.  Silly me didn't take a picture of mine.  I made it from strips of selvedges overlapped and stitched across the diagonal.
This is the one I got in return from Kate of and she played with machine quilting using the backing as her design.  She followed the circles in the backing to create a funky design on the front.  And notice her perfect points where the triangles meet in the center!  Impressive! Thank you Kate.

One more project has the blocks pieced, they need pressing and trimming and then I need my design wall.  And I have a stack of 16 patch blocks from my Wednesday Diva quilting group waiting to be put together plus a 16 patch waiting to be loaded onto the B-line for quilting.  Never a dull, boring or finished moment. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 6th... already!!

Oh my goodness... time just keeps whizzing by when you are busy doing anything but bonding with your machine!  I had a great few weeks in June and accomplished lots but then my poor husband had to have surgery on the cancer that just below his lip.  He had one surgery by a specialist and they didn't get it all so he got sent to the 'big' boys in the city and there we spent an entire day in the Mohs micrographic clinic where they slice the flesh and freeze it on slides, graphing where the flesh came from and examine it by a pathologist and repeat the procedure throughout the day until the last slide of flesh is cancer free and then that is followed by reconstructive surgery which means they try to repair the layers of flesh to repair the damage to the nerves.  Today we got the all clear and stitches were removed and now another week of being very careful with the stitches area and then a year of healing!  And that is my excuse for not having a very successful July! 

In June I finished up my Cantik Maple leaf and it was done in time to hang for Canada Day.  Am very happy with the results.

And I finished a 4 patch that was made from leftovers from a previous 16 patch plus some squares of ancient purple/teal fabric that was at the bottom of the stack in my fabric closet.  Good use of leftovers!  And thanks to Connie E for stitching the blocks together at a guild workshop in May.

Was reading the Heartstrings blog and they are challenging the members to quilt in July and move from quilt tops to finished quilts.  So far, I have none done but I do have one loaded on the B-line and close to finishing it so it will be bound and added to the stack of finished quilts in the next few days.

And of course, another top started but am not jumping into this right away. 

Plus, a summer Kinderbell project that is ready for the background piecing when I have a top quilted.  One project at a time! 
And so goes July! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rainy weather has me stitching, pressing, quilting and binding and cutting more projects.

 In 10 days, I have made a number of 16 patch quilts from blocks contributed by my Wednesday quilting group but I took the pictures with my phone and then put them on Facebook and so you will have to wait until the quilts are finished to see them.  But it has kept me busy stitching the blocks together and pressing the tops and the pile of quilt tops to be quilted is growing.  I am waiting for some backing fabric to be donated to me by a good quilting friend and also for warmer weather before I head into the basement to load up and get quilting.
This is a pattern by Villa Rosa called Cool Water.  The top was started last December and got finished this month.  Great way to use batiks.
This is a chair... I have two that looked like this.  The fabric was weathered, worn and split.  So, off to Fabricland to find some replacement seat material and then to my neighbours to borrow a staple gun and after a rainy afternoon, this is the result, including covered pillow that was looking worn and shabby.

 A fun mug rug completed. Not too sure how long I have had this kit but thought it was cute for spring.
And speaking of Spring... this is completed.  I was not in time for Spring 2016 but am early and way ahead for Spring 2017!
Now that we are almost at the end of June and our July 1st Canada day celebrations are getting close, I finished this wallhanging from a kit I purchased from Connecting Threads. And it is hanging in my entrance stair well.
And I have my display in the window well of the same stair well all ready for our festive day.
And outside the window and front door, I have a fun garden flag.
I managed to finish my Summer in the Park batik quilt.  This is a pattern/video tutorial from Missouri Star and again, trying to make my stash of batiks smaller.
I have a Cantik kit of a maple leaf and flying geese that I am working on and hopefully it will be done for Canada Day 2016.  Under the beginnings of the Canadian wall hanging, are some blocks that are beginning of a table runner for the SPCA and can be used as a fund raiser.
My design wall with 3 projects on it.  I have my double hourglass blocks, growing.  I need 80 of them to make a quilt the right size for hospice or Quilts of Valour. And still working on using batik strips.
And this is the mess beside my sewing machine.  Binding to be made for the Cantik wall hanging, more hourglass blocks ready to be stitched, another 2 blocks to make for the SPCA table runner and a new project in the basket for the jelly roll project by Samelia's mum.  Ooops, you can't see the basket in this picture or the binding but you get the idea?  Lots of ideas and my days are too short or I am not nearly as efficient as I used to be.  Or, maybe I need to focus on one project at a time?