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Friday, December 23, 2016

Ending the year on a good note

Well... a posting is long overdue.  Over 2 months since I last wrote any words on my blog.  The big problem started when my laptop died and I got it replaced but somehow lost everything.  Then we headed to our winter home and have been avoiding taking pictures and downloading them to the laptop.  So easy to take pictures with my phone but don't know how to get them from my phone to my blog.
Enough excuses?
I have also been really busy with tennis and am a captain this year so it seems to take a bit of time dealing with the issues, organizing players, teams and games.
But now, on Christmas break, I actually got to go to a quilting meeting of the Stitchers and also made a point of getting a lesson on the Pfaff Grand quilter long arm that was donated to our group.

So moving along, I have completed a few projects.

I ordered a cute kit of tea towels with prairie points and those are finished and one is already on its way as a Christmas gift.

So now I can't get my pictures to upload?  Grrrrr.

I will continue to write the descriptions and hope that this problem solves itself! (had to switch browers and it worked, finally?)

I made two infinity scarves, again from kits that I purchased at a quilt show this past summer.

And an apron is finished from a panel.
Plus one of those 10 minute table runners that took me longer than 10  minutes.

I made Gather Together but haven't quilted it yet... soon?

And I found a project that was strips of snowman fabrics all cut up into 2.5" squares and 2.5" x 6.5" strips.  The pattern with it was not the right pattern for the size of the cut strips.  So I got creative and figured out a block.

And I decided to join the 150 blocks to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 and there are three blocks a week and I am actually up to date!

So, now I have this figure out, no more excuses to take pictures and post my updates!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mid October, summer finishes

Am working on a few projects, getting some things done before I change houses for the winter season.  With the rain here in the Pacific northwest, am going to be very happy to arrive to our other home in warm sunshine.  Back to capris and sandals! 

I finished a 3 dimensional flying geese quilt that I started last fall and used Missouri star's tutorial to make them.  Warning for anyone considering this technique, be aware that your finished blocks have floppy edges and can catch in the quilting plus, with the extra layers of fabric, it makes a heavy quilt.

This second quilt is called Tweed and it is a jolly bar pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Makes a fast quilt to assemble and good way to use an assortment of various fabrics. 

Still a few more projects to finish up and working slowly to get my sewing spaces tidied and organized so I can find what I am looking for when I return home. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

October - summer is gone, autumn is here!

I am plodding along with my finishes and very determined to tidy and clean up the projects that I began this past summer.
There are lots of finished quilts and am happy that I have made a donation to the preemies at the local hospital in the Special Care Unit, to the new Hospice, Holmberg House that opened this spring, and to Quilts of Valour. 
I had my neighbour help me to hang a curtain rod for hanging my quilts for taking a picture.  Much better than using push pins into the wall!  

I have my Roses quilt quilted and bound which means it is finished! Not too sure of the destination for this one since it is a big too short for Hospice.
This floral will go to Hospice.  It is wide and long enough for the beds that they use. And a few florals were used in this although you would never be able to tell that I used any out of my bin.  It is still too full!
And twenty pillowcases made for Quilts of Valour.  I delivered a stack of quilts to the retired Naval veterans association and I like each quilt to have a pillowcase.
This is Honey Bouquet by Villa Rosa and I used up odds and ends of leftover fabrics from other projects.  It is fat quarter friendly and will be a Quilt of Valour.
I have had fun using Jolly Bars which is a phrase from the Fat Quarter Shop.  They are 5" x 10" rectangles, half a 10" square and I used some in another quilt, Tweed, which is waiting to be bound.  But I had some leftover and then cut more from leftover fabrics and played with a bit of improvising to come up with this design.
I put flannel on the back and am thinking that this might go to a counselling group at hospice where they help 'kids' (teenagers) that have lost someone special in their life - a parent, sibling, someone they were close to and they get a quilt while they are in grief counselling.  A fabric envelope is put on the back of the quilt for them to put something that is from the deceased relative or friend such as a part of a shirt, something that has meaning so that the person will be close to them when they cuddle in their quilt. 

With autumn here, and darker evenings, I find it more difficult to sit and sew?  Feel like my day is done when the sun goes down.  But, binding is getting done on lots of my projects. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Another day, another month!

 I have been at my sewing machine a lot in the last few months but was working on so many various projects, I wasn't really getting many finished.  That has changed!  This is a sewing machine cover that I made from an improvisational piece that I made in a class with Krista Hennebury in  2015... how to piece with improv techniques.  I had no idea what to do with it.  Not my favourite colours but I have a sewing machine that could use a cover so here it is! 

 And there was a container of tumbler blocks and strips.  Lots of them were pieced and just needed to be put together and then layered, quilted and bound.  Well, ended up with three preemie quilts for the local NICU at the hospital in town.  These are girlie quilts.  I quilted each one a little differently.  The best part is that I have very few tumbler blocks left in the container.  I had used the tumblers as leaders and ender last summer while I was piecing other projects.  So another 3 UFO's bite the dust!

 Not too sure if it was fall of 2015 or 2014 that I pieced this Turning Twenty quilt top.  I sent it off to a long arm quilter who offered to quilt it for me and I waited.  This is for Quilts of Valour and the long arm quilter does fabulous work and she provided the backing and the batting and she bound it.  But more than that, she added the maple leaf borders to give the quilt more pizzazz.  It was worth the wait for her to finish off the quilt so beautifully.  Well done Barbara Bettles.  and Thank you.  So one more UFO is finished and off to an injured military member. 

 I was asked a question after my last blog post about the B-line.  Karen wanted to know what I was talking about.  It is a home quilting system and there is a Brother 1500 on the frame.  These were made locally for a number of years and then the company disappeared after health issues in the family. This is well used and have had it for at least 15 years.  It is shared with my best buddy and it spends summers at my house and winters at her house.
See the picture on the wall?  That is a very old hexie wall hanging that I made in a class where we studied colour.  The teacher was awesome, Jane Norquay and we made many projects.  This is a colour wheel and I totally forgot last week when Modern guild had a celebration of our 6th anniversary to take this for the hexie show and tell.  I did make a few hexies for my contribution to the door prize table.

One of my finished in the last few weeks was this table table runner for the SPCA.  I dislike working with this designers patterns but the table runner turned out ok despite issues with the cutting instructions.  I found out later that Hamel's actually puts in a correction sheet with the pattern to help those making the runner to avoid the pitfalls of poor cutting directions. I donated this and it will be in their auction and hopefully it helps to raise some funds to go towards the local shelter.

Glorious and Free.  I finished this a few months ago and it was quilted by Connie Elsdon who had a busy summer and she returned it to me at guild meeting this week.  It is ready to be donated to the Integrated Personnel Support Unit at Jericho Garrison in Vancouver BC later this month. It will hang there to remind them that Quilts of Valour is supporting the injured military by wrapping them in quilted hugs.
I didn't go back to my last posting to see if I had posted a picture of my Floating squares quilt by Missouri Star.  Another video that distracted me from what I had been planning to do and just happened to have a charm pack of pastels, added in some solids from my own stash and made this a little bit modern! If I showed this already, you get to see it again.

 And I have a layer cake lattice quilt, pattern from the Fat Quarter shop.  Used 10" squares and is another quilt finished in the last few weeks.
I had fun making a sewing themed quilt. It started with a charm pack and a jelly roll that was called something like Mary Jo's or Mary Jane's sewing room.  They were a few years old and when I started making the blocks, it turned out that there was only enough for 20 blocks.  So, I dug through my container of old sewing themed fabrics, found some newer modern fabrics with the same theme and kept adding until it was large enough for ME.  I used bamboo batting in this quilt and it has plaid flannel on the back.  Will be nice as the overnight temperatures get cooler.  And fun fabrics, old meets new!
Quilts of Valour has an ongoing project where quilters are encouraged to make 9" finished blocks from Northcott's Oh Canada fabrics and the blocks get sent to Edmonton where they are sorted by province and sets of 30 are put together representing the provinces and territories across the nation.  I opted to make a quilt out of a set of blocks and this is my final project which will go to a deserving military member through Quilts of Valour.  If you participated in the mug hug project of the past few years, maybe you have a block in this quilt?

And finally, I won a charm pack!  From Dinkydoo fabrics in Maple Ridge.  I entered a contest online and surprise!  My name got chosen to be the recipient and this arrived in mailbox yesterday.  Yippee and thanks to Dinkydoo.  AWESOME.  

Wow, I am always behind in my posting but today's should provide you with a decent 'catch up'.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Welcome September and autumnal weather

I was reading a blog this morning that a friend of mine from Mesa writes... Tu-Na quilts and she linked up to another blog that was sharing pictures of sewing spaces/studios.  I had planned to tidy up and organize since it is first of September and back to school and weather has turned drastically cooler and wetter.  So, it seemed fitting to spend the day tidying but it ended up being mostly cleaning.  The dust was thick in places.  But some things just needed to be put away and lists written for projects I want to complete in the next few weeks.
Then I logged onto my computer and saw a post by the Crafty Quilter... Julie Cefalu and she was working on cleaning up her sewing space and I thought wow... must be the thing to do! 

So here is the finished result.  I look at the pictures and it still looks cluttered but it really is organized!  I know where everything is and compared to before I started, it is absolutely awesome!

This is what I see from my sewing space and this is where I spent too much time.  If I spent less time in this chair and more time in the chair at my sewing machine, I would be more productive!  To my left is my television in case I have to watch something important while I am sewing.  I sew in the 'quiet' mostly.  Probably because of my years teaching Home Ec where I was surrounded by noise all day long.
 I have a Quilt of Valour project sitting on my sewing machine waiting to be stitched and on the other machine a project that is a UFO and is almost done.  Just waiting for the binding to be stitched on.
 I have a white board on the wall that I write my current projects on so I can feel good when I can cross them off the list.
Looking from my computer chair towards the rest of the room.  This is a walk out basement with loads of windows and a sliding glass door so it is bright with a view of Mt. Baker. This is really unusual for my design wall to be empty!   I have two machines set up and I have two cutting areas.  I like baskets for my projects.  The basket under the ironing board has 'to do' projects and the other basket has fabric that needs to be put away, back with the fabric stack it matches.  I have sink and my kettle and always a pot of tea that has been brewed plus a microwave to heat up my tea when it has cooled off.  And lots of sticky things on the cupboards that hold notes... more ideas and things to remember.

This is my 'bunker'.  My underground sewing storage space that also houses the B-line for the summer months.  I have all my various projects and fabrics organized in labelled containers and can usually find what I am looking for fairly quickly.  I cannot stand having to look for things that I know I have somewhere!

And this is my fabric storage closet that has fabrics that are categorized by colour.  In my bunker, fabric is organized by type: batiks, quilts of valour, landscapes, kids, flannel, backings but this closet has stacks of neatly folded fabric in stacks of matching colours.  On the bottom is a container of 'sewing themed' fabrics and a container of black prints.  Even though I use up fabric, the stacks never seem to lessen in height. 
I just realized that I didn't take a picture of my storage of my wall hangings and my finished quilts... will do that another day.  My camera memory card is full and I really need to go through and do some deleting! 
So this is where I hide most afternoons.  I am either sitting at my computer, at a sewing machine or am using the B-line or cutting out my next project.  I didn't show you those either!  Lots of new projects!

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!