Follow by Email

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tennis, sockeye and not much time bonding with my machine.

Sockeye season is here.  It has been four years since the last run of sockeye and so the sports fishermen are hitting it hard, including my husband.  Of course, catching the fish is the fun part, the work begins when these fish land on my kitchen counter.  I am packaging some in small filets perfect for the two of us for dinner as well as a few larger pieces in case we have company and some whole pieces that I will can later in September when the temperatures are cooler and I can have my doors and windows open.
And, the evenings are getting shorter, much darker much earlier so I am doing more hand sewing of binding these days as I am not tempted to sit downstairs and sew once it is dark outside.

I managed to cut batting to go with a few more quilt tops and figure out which backings would work with each.  They are stacked, waiting for me.
My 'quilts waiting' have diminished in number! That feels good!!
The binding got done on my selvedge mug mats.
And the binding got finished on a quilt that was a kit from Connecting Threads purchased last November. The pattern is called Tabby.
Another quilt that got bound and is now totally finished is a project from last fall by Christa Watson called Modern Puzzle.  This is a free pattern that is on her blog. Great use of a package of 2.5" strips.
My buddy was visiting last weekend and showed me a quilt that she made from the pattern I made last fall (Jan 9th blog) that uses fat quarters.  I had a bundle of fabrics that were 12" wide x the width of the fabric and though that maybe I could make them work in this pattern. This kit of fabric has been hanging around my sewing room for a few years and time to use it!
I am in the process of joining all the squares.  I had to do some figuring to get twenty squares out of the fabric I had and some fabrics got used twice but that is ok because it used up most of the fabric and it will be a bright and coordinated quilt.

Still more quilts to quilt, quilts to bind and lots of blocks to make into quilts.  But am working like a turtle, slow and steady though I haven't done my bonding with my machine for the last 10 days.  Unusual but I have had to do a lot of our garden watering with my husband on the river fishing. And there is a lovely number of packages of cabbage rolls in the freezer.  One day at a time!
I did manage to get the binding finished on this quilt that I made last week from fabrics that were from my friend Dee's stash that she is reducing.  Not too sure why I am adding to my stash but no guilt since this one is done and ready for donation. 
Am off to sew for 15 minutes.  My new plan since I don't seem to be spending entire afternoons sewing like 'normal for me'.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Hot August nights

August began with cooler weather which was a wonderful break from our heat in July but, typical August weather is back with hot days and so far, cooler nights for sleeping but I don't think that is going to last this week.  Hot August nights are arriving momentarily!
Sewing? Quilting? Not quite as much done because I have done some 'other' tasks around the house.  I cooked up lots of ribs in salt free sauce and froze 6 meals after a nice feed for my husband and grandson yesterday.  Today, I cleaned and organized my storage cupboard that contains cleaning supplies, light bulbs, a crazy amount of C cell batteries and other odds and ends.  Plus, my husband took the boat out of our garage to test it on the river so I grabbed the opportunity to vacuum the corners and edges and hopefully, there are few less spiders to weave their webs.  And I washed my side of the garage floor.
No quilting today. But, I do have my orange and brown strips and bits in a basket ready for the Oh Scrap RCS challenge this month.
 And, the binding got stitched down on this Quilt of Valour.  This is made from some of the happy blocks that my Wednesday quilting group made from lots of fabric I took weekly and passing around, hoping they would participate.  And they did!  Enough blocks for four quilts and this is the second one quilted and bound.
And the binding got stitched down on this Autumn strips quilt.  Yes, it looks like the one I finished earlier but it is different though it has the same border and binding.  I made two quilts from one package of 2.5" strips.
These two selvedge mug rugs are still waiting patiently to be bound... soon!
And I brought home a kit from the FVMQG in July to make a blocks for our charity quilting program.  I couldn't stop at one but did stop at two because, otherwise, I would have kept making more and more.  Fun and addictive.
These are two blocks that one of my Wed Diva quilting group put in my basket and when I got home, I had to figure out how to make these.
A bit of a mathematical challenge but instead of working it out on paper, I tried to do it with fabric.  That wasn't a great idea and after making a set of four blocks that didn't turn out quite right, I stopped and drafted the pattern on graph paper and now I have the correct measurements for each step.
Start with a center surrounded by a border.
Slice, rearrange and stitch back together.  Ooops, my seams don't all line up.  Have more fabric cut and ready to make another sample that is correct measurements.
The evenings are getting darker earlier and so that means heading upstairs to sit and watch tv and handstitch bindings.  I got two done last week and hopefully another two this week?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Parents come first.

Wow, almost the end of July and I still have few projects to complete to meet my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the month.
After my last post, I felt the need to play a bit and my online friend, Susan G, sent a link to these adorable, cute and quick little baskets.  If they were made according to instructions, you would get three out of a fat quarter of outside fabric, plus a fat quarter of lining and would need some fabric for the top cuff.  Easy to make and was mindless.  Just what I was craving.

I have since made three from the fat quarters and interesting differences.  The fabric I used for the outside of the buckets was much thinner than the first ones I made and the buckets aren't nearly as firm.  I used the same fusible fleece in each but just illustrates how much the thickness of the fabric you are using makes a difference in the finished product.  I also cut the first one I made about half an inch taller because I had the fabric to do that... with making 3 from a fat quarter, there isn't any extra. 
My friend Bonnie and I decided to tackle one of Emmaline's retreat bags.  This bag uses a special frame to hold the bag open.  I made one first to just try the pattern.  I used the required fusible interfacing and then added fusible fleece.  It was simple to sew and I got it made fairly quickly with no mishaps.
Then I made second one while we were sewing together and used Soft and Stable instead of fusible fleece and we found a pattern online that was a little different than the original with handles and outside pockets.  I struggled with this.  I must admit, I cursed a little (maybe a lot).  There are some tricks to making it work with the thicker interfacing though, the bag stands up and holds it's shape much better. 
And then it was no sew time.  I headed to Victoria and moving our parents was on the agenda.  They are not married and they lived in separate places, dad in independent senior's living and mom in a government run nursing home.  A lovely new place opened up very close to my sister's house and we decided to move them both in there as it would make parental care easier and much closer.  The new place has all levels of care so this worked for each of them.  It was a lot of work, many boxes to pack and carry and unpack but all is done and while the artwork did not get hung, my sister will eventually get it done. 
They are both settling in and hopefully, they are happy and will thrive.
It took me awhile after getting home to get back to sewing.  It is so hot here and everything is so dry, the ground is parched. But my irises are blooming nicely!

I did get my O Scrap blocks of the month made.  The July colour was red and I managed to get some strip pieced blocks plus 40 rail fences from my scrap bin.

And I have a number of quilts quilted and waiting for binding!
On Wednesday, while at quilting Divas, our hostess is putting out boxes of fabrics for us to help ourselves and I saw a panel this week and when I went to put it away, I stopped and figured I would just make a donation quilt right then and there.  Waiting for binding but the it is close to being finished.
I got the last of the Wednesday Divas happy blocks stitched into a quilt top.  I don't know when it will get quilted but it will be for Quilts of Valour and this is top number 4!
Just for fun, I made some selvedge mug rugs.  They need binding but wanted to try the technique.
This colourweave quilt, a free pattern in the Moda Bake shop, got the binding stitched down.
This is a UFO from last summer.
And today, I managed to load and quilt one of my winter projects.  This is a free pattern from Christa Watson and I loved making it using jelly rolls plus background. I need to choose a binding for it and will wait until morning to make my decision when the lighting is better.
So, not many finishes but lots of projects started and almost finished.  I have two quilts that I will try hard to load and quilt in the next two days and that would make for a very successful and productive July.  And, this time next week, our temperatures should be cool enough that the a/c won't be needed and sleeping with windows open will be just perfect.

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.