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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Organization Day on a hot Sunday

A very hot day here again on the west coast where we are breaking record with high temperatures and a total lack of rain which is crazy for this part of the world.  But, it means staying inside with fans on and am looking forward to getting our a/c fixed which stopped working last summer.  Normally, we don't need a/c here but this house came with it when we moved here 4 years ago so might as well get it fixed and enjoy the coolness when it is running.  However, my excuse that it is too hot to do housework or cook will be gone!!

I have been working on organizing.  First I needed to get some pillowcases made for the Quilts of Valour that I am shipping to Edmonton in July.  So my Canadiana fabric got organized while I looked for good fabrics for the cuffs, accent strip and body of the pillowcases.

These are made and I have lots of pieces cut to make more when they are needed.

I also got involved in the row by row that is happening across the U.S. and Canada, and had fun this past week collecting a couple of license plates.  One I bought and one was a birthday gift to me from Marge.  A big thank you to her!!  These are fun.

For my birthday celebration at my Diva Quilting group, I scored a lovely stack of browns... my colour of choice for this year.  Another huge thank you to my quilting friends.

And I have a finish!  Actually two finishes this week.

First is a triangle quilt that I started last summer after I bought the kit at the Langley quilt show.  The top was finished but it needed quilting and binding so jumped in and just did it!!

The next quilt is one I started earlier this spring.  I used 5" charms cut from batiks and stitched them together... then cut a beige fabric to match the size, stitched around the perimeter, cut from corner to corner and ended up with a bunch of these squares.  I played around with them on my design wall and settled on a layout I liked and joined all my squares.  It finally got quilted this week and the binding got finished last night while watching a good movie... "The Judge".  The frustrating part about this quilt is that my batik stash doesn't seem to have diminished in the littlest bit?  How can that be? But a great idea for using up charm squares that you don't know what to do with.

And lastly, so far today, I have made some labels for all my Quilts of Valour donations and have them pinned to the quilts to hand stitch them on... again, in readiness for sending off quilts to Edmonton for distribution to soldiers in need of a hug.  A big thank you to all my friends who are offering to take quilts when they drive to Edmonton, saving us lots of money on shipping the quilts... these darn things are heavy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Busy but need to get something finished... anything!

I managed to find the plastic linen zip containers to hold a few quilts that I am sending to Edmonton for Quilts of Valour.  A kind friend has offered to take these so we can avoid shipping costs which is a huge savings for QOV.  Each quilt is in a pillowcase and they are ready for me to drop off tomorrow.

I am working on making some labels for the Quilts of Valour that I have finished recently.

And, I need to make more pillowcases for Quilts of Valour so cut out some fabric but need to find matching fabric for cuffs and accent strip.

I am in the midst of working on using up some of my purple fabrics in the St. Louis 16 patch and need to get busy because every time the sliding glass door gets opened, the wicked breeze blows the blocks off my design wall!

This morning, while waiting for my eye surgery, I picked apart some of the extra strips from these blocks and think I will play around with adding in some blocks that have a four patch in the center and then bordered by plain strips to set off the 16 patches.  So these are ready to be sewn.

In this picture you also see the bindings that are ready to be joined and then stitched onto the two waiting quilts.  Quilted, just need the binding and labels and I will have two more finishes.  Trying hard to get these done before the end of the month.
So... lots of things to do and not much getting done but am working towards my various goals slowly.  I always admire quilters who work on one thing at a time.  Sadly, I would love to do that but I get easily distracted by something new to do!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wow... June is turning out to be crawling at a snail's pace.

I am getting very little done it seems in June although I have tidied my fabric storage closet and finished a preemie quilt that was a kit from Abbotsford Guild.

We were given the pattern, strips of fabric and the appliqué as well as the batting, binding and backing so was pretty simple to stitch it up and get it finished. 

I attended an evening at Aunt Leah's place where my daughter was honoured with an award for how much she has improved in the last year in her mental health and in her parenting skills.  She was given a laptop and a $500 bursary as a reward for her efforts.  Am pleased and proud of and for her.

I belong to a Wednesday quilting group and our hostess of the last 14 years moved to a new house and high on their priority list was finding a home where there would be appropriate and comfortable space for us to continue to meet weekly.  As a thankyou to her and to show our appreciation to both her and her husband, we put together some St. Louis 16 patch blocks and got them assembled into quilts, quilted them and the binding on in 2 weeks.  A great accomplishment and we gave the quilts to our friends last week.  We were happy to watch their suprise and astonishment that we pulled it off.  The blocks are made from fabrics that represent their interests and activities and it was fun to see how everyone interpreted the theme.

This was for Larry: 

And this was given to Dee.

And finally... the mail brought me a mug rug for our May swap.  Took almost a month for it to get from the U.S. to Canada?  Crazy mail system.  However it is here and the theme was summer.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June is a slower month for finishing

I seem to have slowed down even though I have three quilt tops that are waiting patiently for me to get them layered and quilted.  One day at a time.
In the meantime, I have been sidetracked (distracted?) by some other other activities.  Last week there were two guild meetings to attend.  And with lovely weather, 4 mornings of tennis, my rose garden got pruned.  Sadly, my windows are still in need of some TLC.  One day....

This project is finished however!  And I love it.  The pattern was intended for it to be a bench pillow but I decided that a table runner or wall hanging was more appropriate for my house.  Time to get my Canada Day display organized... only 17 days away!

When I got the mail this week, what a wonderful surprise was waiting.  I had been notified that I had won a surprise prize from Fat Quarter Shop and Kimberly Jolly had emailed me asking for my address.  I had no idea what I had won... well...LOOK!!

I was absolutely delighted and thrilled... another project awaits! 

This sampler is ancient.  The blocks were from an advanced sampler class that I was teaching at the Otter Co-op in Aldergrove, back when they sold fabric and let us use their conference room for classes.  That was a very long time ago so am guessing this is at least 15 years old and perhaps older than that!  The blocks have travelled from Aldergrove to Abbotsford to Arizona and last winter, was determined to get it finished into a useable donation quilt.  I didn't have enough background fabric to work with so found some Moda that went with it and then I created the setting flying geese to make the quilt large enough.  It is quilted, bound and just needs a label and off it will go to a new home.  Am doing a happy dance about this finish!

The last few Fridays, some friends and I have got together to work on a quilt for a good friend of ours.  It will be a surprise so I am not saying anymore about this.  But it was a labour of love and we enjoyed the process.  I will post more after the recipient has been given the quilt.

I have another quilt loaded, ready to quilt, for my good buddy who needs it done quickly so that will be today's project.  This coming week is filled with tennis and an eye appointment but I hope to work on some of my quilt tops that are calling my name.  I also have a few new projects that I am working on but my days of sewing all day seem to have passed. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Another quilt is finished. June is looking good!

This is Sweetwater's Town Square quilt pattern.  I kept seeing it hanging in "The Oasis" quilt shop in Mesa and every time I saw it, I yearned to make it and finally broke down and bought the kit.  Love the gray and turquoise fabrics.  This was a simple block to make yet looks complex when put together. 
I took a close up, hoping the turquoise would show up better but it still looks better in real life!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Still working away on these quilts that need finishing.

I finished my Darcey Quilt by Villa Rosa Designs.  I made it wider and longer than the pattern so that it is a more useful size for donation.

And my Pow Wow quilt by Cluck, Cluck, Sew, Sew Designs is also finished... quilted and bound. 

This is a project that I started two years ago in Arizona and lost the pattern!  It must be here in Canada but haven't come across it so had to order a new one.  The kit for the pattern was purchased from Connecting Threads in 2013.

I am making more St. Louis 16 patch blocks and a friend wanted some visual instructions so here we go.
I started with a dark and a light fat quarter of fabrics.  Pressed and starched them and then cut them into four 4" strips each.

The dark and light strips are stitched together and you make a unit of four strips with two dark, two light, alternating the colours.

Press them with seam allowances towards the dark fabrics and lay one block on top of the other with a light strip on a dark strip.  Line the seams up on top of each other so they nest together.  Cut more strips at 4".  You need four from each set to make a total of of four pairs. 

Stitch these together to create the 16 patch block and you will get two blocks from two fat quarters.  This also works with quarter yard(meter) cuts of fabrics... cut the entire width of fabric 4" wide and then you can decide if you want to cut those in half lengthwise or leave them long and stitch your seams for the first step.

Finished blocks.
These are a nice size block work with. If you are using Canadian fat quarters, you can increase your strip width to 4½" that you cut, and do the second cut the same width and you will use more of your fat quarter, less waste! But make sure of the size of your fat quarters before you start because one U.S. fat quarter in the mix and you might find yourself short of fabric in one direction.  You don't need that kind of surprise!

Monday, June 1, 2015

First of June and am happy with my progess

I am feeling pretty good about how much I accomplished in May.  It felt like it was slow going in April but then I got busy and made a decision to just 'do it'.  This is a cute kid's quilt that I bought as a kit and it is finished and bound and ready for donation.   Very clean and crisp looking and easy to make using fat quarters.

I am adding in this picture because a friend that I was in this purple swap with just finished hers and wanted to know what year we swapped the blocks.  I had labelled my quilt and was able to pull it out and tell her 1998.  Wow, that was quite awhile ago! 

This cute little child's quilt was made from leftovers from one I made last summer.  The top was pieced during the winter and it is now in the 'finished' pile.

A member of our Fraser Valley Modern Guild is having a workshop and collecting pillowcases for kids attending camp this summer that have been involved in a fire and have lived through the horrible experience of being burnt.  She wants each child to get a pillowcase.  My friend Marge whose husband is a retired firefighter donated some fabric and I also went shopping to find some fun, happy prints.  I am contributing on behalf of myself and my friends to this cause. 

This springfling quilt was a kit from Connecting Threads last fall and was on the B-line last week.  It is now quilted and bound and ready for donation.

A pile of some of my finished quilts... looks like I have been productive!

My current project needs to be finished by Canada Day.  The pattern is for a bench pillow but I don't have a bench!  So, it will be a table topper or a wall hanging.  So far, lots of fun and I have 3D pinwheels to make and add and all the appliqué stitching to do and then quilting and binding.

My white board is all cleaned off but by the time I wrote my list of projects I want to get done, it looks almost overwhelming again.  At least the 'needs quilting' side is much shorter.  I have one on the B-line, one waiting for the B-line, one waiting for me to stitch with my walking foot and one waiting for backing and quilting.  I also have a few projects for friends that are waiting, patiently but, with the rain predicted in the next few days, am hoping for some good production!