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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Changing houses is stressful!

It must be my age but am finding this business of changing homes from summer to winter very stressful this year.  Could be because of aging parents and circumstances but am a little frazzled.
I have managed to write my lists and have finished up as much quilting and piecing as will get done this year.
However, I have had some quilt finishes that are making me very happy.
My Sew-Sisters block of the month for Canada's anniversary is quilted and bound.  This has been patiently waiting on a hanger for a year. These are blocks designed by Canadian quilters and each one represents a particular part of our country. 
And, even better, I got my Canadian 150 women's quilt finished.  There were 150 blocks in total, with 3 per week sent out to us.  I kept up with making them until I got to around 70 blocks and realized that this was going to be a really large quilt.  I don't like to work with large quilts and I don't really have a need or use for a large quilt so I picked and chose the final ten blocks to get it to 80 squares.  With added sashings and outer borders, it is a perfect size and I have been sleeping under it for the last few nights.  It is warm and cozy with flannel backing and Arctic blend batting.
A quilt came to me that was quilted but needed binding and a label for Quilts of Valour Canada so that is another "job" done. The top was made by a guild member and it is a fun way to use 2.5" strips.
I also got the binding finished on my Villa Rosa Sheryl quilt.  It was quilted a few months ago but was at the bottom of the binding pile.  Crossed off my list of projects!
Am not sure if posted this picture of my Quilter's planner 2018 block of the month quilt.  I made blocks every month and then in September decided that I would finish up the blocks and the quilt so that it would a finish for the year.  However, I didn't want to take the blocks with me to my winter home and then have to bring them back and since we fly, didn't want to haul a finished quilt back with me.  So, it is done and I can post the picture to the group on Facebook at the end of December and then start in on the blocks for 2019 without any guilt.


So, heading on a jet plane to sunshine and warmth.  Tennis will take over my life for the first few weeks and then we will see what happens in my quilting room. 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Time to change homes for the winter.

September was an awful month for weather but October is glorious and I am loving the cool temperatures and the glorious sunshine.  I was actually motivated to do some housework today with the brightness coming in the windows and it felt good.  I don't say that very often.

Had a fun night last night at the modern guild meeting and I won a fabulous set of fat quarters.  Thank you to Jean! And Val handed me some awesome Canadian batik fabric which will get used in a Quilt of Valour.  Thank you to Val!
Earlier in the week, I opened a fun package from my Ovarian Teal mini swap partner in San Jose, CA and was thrilled with her choice of fabrics, pattern and quilting design.  So much fun and so happy!  She had taken a class with Christa Watson (am so envious) and was playing with some of the things she learned.
Thank you to Susy!

I love the back of the mug rug as much as the front.  And I laughed at the lint picker... it is as if she has seen me leaving the house and picking threads off myself while sitting at a red light.  The card is a picture of two of her pugs and of course, who wouldn't drool over a charm pack of zen chic?
Thanksgiving dinner was a delicious turkey feast at our neighbour's house and I managed to bake a lemon meringue pie!  Plus, Gary loves my yams in orange sauce so my contribution was minimal but Susan had the rest all organized.  So nice to go out for a nice family dinner with good friends.


One of my goals got met.  All seven of the preemie quilts I started at the retreat last month are quilted, bound, labelled and off to the NICU at our local hospital.


I only made one block for Canada Stitches.  I had to make one to ensure the instructions for the guild were accurate and I was really impressed with a quilt made from this block pattern. It is garlic knot and am happy that the guild went full steam ahead making blocks and they will be in the mail in the next few days to the rep in Alberta ready to made into another quilt for a deserving first responder attending Can Praxis to help them heal from PTSD.

I met up with my naval veteran friend and he picked up a stack of quilts to deliver to deserving veterans through the Naval veterans association.  They meet at HMCS Discovery in Stanley park monthly and we are trying to cover those deserving armed forces members with a quilt.  I think that Real deserved a quilt for all the good work he does for these veterans.
On Tuesday, we had Toonie Tuesday at our guild meeting where members pay a toonie to take six classes, moving every 15 minutes to a different session.  I normally do a quilt block that is easy, quick, simple and great for using scraps but I changed my class offering, which, sad to say, upset a few people who were looking forward to my quilt block ideas.  Oh well.. next year!  Instead, I demonstrated making the small buckets from 3 fat quarters.  Perfect for small, quick gifts for Thanksgiving, Autumn, Hallowe'en, and Christmas.
I got the binding done on my Pow Wow quilt.  This was a kit from Connecting Threads 3 years ago and simple as it is, took forever to get it out of the bag and onto my cutting table and under my needle.  All is done.
This quilt was a bit smaller and I bought the kit at Quilt Canada earlier this year.  When I finished the top, I decided to add borders to make it slightly larger, and I put flannel on the back. It will be a perfect quilt to donate to Victoria quilts which are quilts given to patients fighting cancer.

My block of the week, Sparrow mystery blocks are finished but they won't be put into a quilt top until 2019.
And, am very excited that I have quilted both my Canadian 150 women's blocks quilt and my Sew-Sisters quilt.  The bindings are added but am hand stitching them down so expect pictures soon. They are crossed off the list and are UFO's that are only a year old, not too bad?
So, I am down to seven tops that need quilting and I am not upset if they wait until next spring.  I have accomplished all I wanted to get done in the last seven months.  I also have a bunch of blocks waiting to be stitched into quilt tops and again, they can wait their turn.  There are a couple of bunches that really need to be worked on next spring and I will try to get them finished.  But, lots of time, right?  At least the blocks are made which is much better than a labelled container of fabric and half finished blocks.  These tops are all destined to be donation quilts so their time will come, eventually.  

Among those blocks that are hanging and waiting are some panels that were available last year while we were celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary and I saw this quilt, made by a good friend in my Wednesday Diva group and think it is a great way to use the fabric.  Love how effective the panel looks in this quilt. This picture inspires me to use those panels next spring.
Off to work on handstitching my binding on my quilts and hopefully will have another post before I leave on a jet plane!




Saturday, September 29, 2018

September is ending with gloomy weather.

I have missed posting on my blog because of heading to a retreat during last week for a few days, getting my husband organized for a hunting trip (big pan of stroganoff made) and then the last few days, doing yard work and playing tennis in glorious sunshine.  Our yard looks lovely, neat, trim and tidy and almost ready to put to sleep for the winter.  The dead brown grass from summer is greening up and needs cutting weekly now.  The dahlias are thriving with the rain from two weeks ago and now sun.
So, what have I accomplished?  Lots but not a lot of finishes. These pictures are from the retreat.  I put together 7 preemie quilts from leftover flannel from backings plus I had a lovely bunch of fat quarters.  Cut them all into squares and this is the result. I also got the binding on my plus quilt and on my Marbella quilt.  Two tops are put together from all my teal and purple 16 patch blocks.  The daisy colorweave quilt top is ready for quilting.  And my L-7 blocks are now a top.



 This was a great place to spend all day long stitching and working on projects.  We only stopped for lunch and dinner (which we all took turns preparing) and otherwise, it was pedal to the floor.
The lodging was lovely.  Very nice new rooms and I had my own with a bathroom and comfy bed.


One last top got put together just before I packed up to leave - my stargazer is now a top.
Once home, so much to put away and tidy up.  Ugh... that is the worst part of heading to retreat.  But first, it was time to help my husband get organized and find him shampoo, towel to take (not one of the good ones - that is why I help).  Finally, they were off.  Home Alone.

I was inspired by the "big" ironing board at the retreat so came home and decided to make one for myself.  That was last Sunday's project and after googling for instructions, heading to Home Depot for a piece of sanded plywood and then with the help of my neighbour using his nail gun, I have a happy finished board of my own.
First up was getting my blue "oh Scrap" blocks done for the month of September.  Happy to say, they are completed.
And the Plus quilt (Connecting Threads) is bound.
And Portlandia (Villa Rosa) is completely finished.


The view of my back yard.  I helped my neighbour, recovering from hip replacement, to cut his grass and weed eat between our houses and around his apple tree.  Was hot and sweaty work and our Navien (hot water system) died on me!   So, had to call a repairman but didn't want to pay emergency fees so suffered with a sponge bath after all that labour around the yard. He finally showed up late Thursday afternoon so was happy to enjoy a soak in lovely hot water.  We take some of the basics in our life for granted! It turns out that the filter on the system was so clogged after the lousy air for the last two summers, that it couldn't get the air it needed.  The good news is that he showed me how to remove the cover and take out the filter and wash it myself.  That little bit of a lesson will save me $200 next time it happens!

It was a good thing I had spent the first weekend home alone, putting away retreat stuff and working on a few projects.  And, with Dancing with the Stars starting, I managed to quilt and put the binding on two more projects. First is the hug block quilt made with blocks from quilters all across Canada.  These blocks are made with Northcott Oh Canada line and they donate back to Quilts of Valour from the sale of the fabric. Blocks are in this quilt from various provinces and territories.  See the cowboy boot block - Calgary, Alberta. 
And then I worked on a quilt that is not an example of my best work.  I made the top using flannel squares I had on hand while in my winter home and used up all the flannel I could find, to complete a decent size top.  My big error here was using flannel for the binding.  It might have been ok if I had hand stitched it down but I didn't.  I machine stitched both front and back.  Lesson learned, the hard way.  This quilt is going to get washed and then donated to Victoria Quilts.  Our Wednesday Diva quilting group has a member who is working on becoming involved with this organization and they cover cancer patients with warm, comfy quilts to keep them warm during their treatments and to bring them some comfort.  There is a need for quilts for all ages, boys, girls, men and women.  Once this quilt is washed and dried, it will will perfect to cover someone needing a cozy quilt and am sure they won't mind if the border is a bit wavy.
So, my list on my last post was this:

My list for the next two weeks:
1. quilt a hug blocks quilt and bind 
 2. put together my L -7 blocks into a quilt top
3. quilt the flannel quilt that got put together in AZ this past winter, and bind.
4. blue rail fence blocks
5. cut some kid's flannel into squares for preemie quilts
6. quilt my Sew Sisters quilt top and bind
7. quilt my 150 women's quilt top and bind
8. Put the blocks from my daisy quilt together into a quilt top
9. Blocks that are 16 patch teal and turquoise into a quilt top
10. Happy blocks for some kid's quilts.

So not bad.  I have crossed off 7 out of 10 and have quilted one of the 7 preemie quilts.  I now have Sparrow mystery blocks to make and my Sew Sister's and 150 women's quilts to get finished.  I don't think it will happen by tomorrow night but I am going to get the backings made and the batting cut so they are first on my October list. The Happy blocks can wait since I prefer to the preemie quilts finished off to the local hospital.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mid September and the rain is here!

So what is happening in the Pacific Northwest?  Rain, rain and more rain and some wind.  I know I shouldn't complain after our dry summer and all the forest fires and I feel so bad for all those suffering in the weather back east... but still.... this is not what we expect in September?  Sunshine tomorrow.  Crossing fingers.
Rain slows me down... I don't get up in the morning and charge out the door for tennis but seem to spend too much on my computer and am slow, poky and generally a bit of a sloth! I write lists but nothing gets crossed off!
However, a few projects are on their way!
I signed up for the teal block swap to support Ovarian Cancer research and was partnered with Suzie from San Jose.  I could have opted to swap within Canada but how much could it cost to mail a mug rug out of the country?She loves pugs and has just joined a modern guild so this is what she got from me.
Two mug rugs because after I made the first one... I had some leftovers bits and thought of a different idea.  I think my partner was hoping for applique but it didn't happen.  Those yellow bits are dog bones so thought that she would enjoy the doggie touch?

I did get my blue strippie blocks made for Oh Scrap rainbow challenge.  The rail fence blocks are in progress... slow progress!
And my Sparrow Quilting from Edmonton weekly block challenge/mystery is up to date with 9 blocks done.
The final quilt for our Wednesday Diva quilt group challenge to make a Quilt of Valour quilt resulted in 5 quilts being made from my scraps with some of theirs thrown in to make the blocks.  I have quilted and bound all of them and this is the last one.  Pretty good for a small group!
This quilt is made from some fabric called Modern Century.  I have had this stack of fabric forever... feels like a very long time.  They were strips of fabric, width of fabric and about 12" wide.  I made my fat quarter pattern from the fabric but had to be a bit creative with the cutting.  DONE!  I am so happy... this is an ancient UFO.
And this one is even older!  Am going to guess a minimum of 12 years... maybe longer.  The pattern was from the Cozy Quilt shop when they first started creating patterns and I used to read their blog and stitch up their patterns for my neighbour who taught cake therapy classes using their patterns.  This was cut and in a baggie for longer than I can remember and it has moved from the farm to our mobile home in AZ and then to our home in AZ and the finished top came back here to quilted and bound.  It has travelled and is well aged.
And because I couldn't settle down to anything yesterday, I decided to stitch up this tote bag.  It was a kit on sale from Connecting Threads.  A great size for stuffing a quilt into and is called the "Show and Tell" bag.  Good name!! 
I have blocks made for Canada Stitches.  This organization collects all kinds of quilt blocks, including cross stitch and embroidery to make quilts for first responders.  The quilter that I send blocks to makes the quilts for those that attend and graduate from the Can Praxis program in Rocky Mountain House... a course for helping them deal with PTSD.  All are given a quilt at the end of their time there.  I promote the blocks within my local guild and they bring me blocks to the guild meeting and I have heavy box to mail off this week with a lot of blocks made!
My plus block got quilted today and I need to cut and make the binding for it.  Chose this wiggly black and white stripe.  Might make my eyes go wonky!
And the quilting was done while I listened to my canner making a constant hissing sound as I canned salmon.  This has been on my list for a few weeks since my husband caught quite a few sockeye this season.  Job done!  Now to hope that all my jars sealed.
So,there it is... a few more projects completed and jobs crossed off the master list and half way through the month.
My list for the next two weeks:
1. quilt a hug blocks quilt and bind
2. put together my L -7 blocks into a quilt top
3. quilt the flannel quilt that got put together in AZ this past winter, and bind.
4. blue rail fence blocks
5. cut some kid's flannel into squares for preemie quilts
6. quilt my Sew Sisters quilt top and bind
7. quilt my 150 women's quilt top and bind
8. Put the blocks from my daisy quilt together into a quilt top
9. Blocks that are 16 patch teal and turquoise into a quilt top
10. Happy blocks for some kid's quilts. 

Only 10 things on the my list and 2 weeks to accomplish... can I do it? 






Sunday, September 2, 2018

Glorious September

After the shock of my Hydro bill, the cooler temperatures of September are welcome.  We used our a/c more this year than in the past.  And the air has certainly been dirtier as I found out when I changed the furnace filters.  UGH. I hope this means our electronic furnace filter is efficient at removing the 'junk' in the air? Air quality has been very poor, with lots of warnings, because of forest fires in our province.

I had a great end to August with lots of projects underway or close to completion.  I am hoping I can keep up the concentration in September to finish more of my projects and get them bound.
I finished a small wall hanging that has been hanging around for a few years.  This was a kit from Connecting Threads that lived in my 'other' house for awhile and now it is living here! And hanging on the wall.


A stack of quilts ready to be quilted.  Backings made and batting cut.  and below is a stack of quilts waiting for binding.  Great projects for the new fall season of tv shows.  Notice I am doing multi tasking cutting batting and watching the U.S. tennis open ... great match between Raonic and Isner. 
 And I have finished another Wednesday Quilt Diva QOVC... this is actually number 5.  It jumped the queue because I stitched the binding down by machine. 
 And I have quilt number 3 for the same happy blocks project with completed binding.  One left!


I am in a teal mug rug swap to support research for Ovarian cancer.  There are 650 swappers that have joined the group which is raising a lot of money to be donated to a worthy cause. We were sent one fabric and need to choose more fabrics to go with.  My swap partner is a dog lover so maybe one of these fabrics with dog bones can be worked into my project?

A preemie quilt for our guild summer challenge got made.. and finished!
A quilt I started last fall from the fabrics and pattern in a Fat Quarter 'box' called Mesa is finished. 
I am up to date on my blocks for the mystery block of the week that is being posted by Sparrow Quilting in Edmonton.  Not too sure how many blocks are in this mystery, but using up some of my leftover polka dot fabric from a  project two years ago.

I have written my lists of what I hope to accomplish and hopefully, no interferences due to 'other' things will happen to deter me from my goals.  Enjoy the approach of autumn though this late summer weather is perfect for me.