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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Rainy, Pacific northwest kind of day.

 Our weather has changed and while we had a very hot day on Thursday, the temperatures changed rapidly.  It is much cooler and wet.  I am holding off on turning on the furnace but have been doing some baking and oven meals this weekend. The oven warms up the kitchen a little and takes the dampness out of the air. I haven't put away my shorts and tank tops yet because with September weather, you never know if I might wear them again. 

I was fairly productive in my sewing studio but the big job was to do a major clean up including dusting and vacuuming.  I work better in a clean and tidy area and really do function better with a "place for everything and everything in its place". 

I worked on my September Rainbow scrap challenge blocks and the strip pieced, 16 patch stars, friendship stars and rail fences are done. 

I also made my Patterns by Jen block of the month and the colour theme was pineapple. 
This quilt came back to me from a long arm quilter in Chilliwack and she quilted the hug blocks quilt that was made earlier this year from blocks that were given to me by Lezley Zwall.  It is ready for donation to Quilts of Valour. 

I made bindings and layered my preemie quilts and hope to get them quilted this week.  I usually do some pretty simple straight line, stitch in the ditch type of quilting so not too challenging. 


The blocks I started working with last week got finished while listening to a book on tape.  I have finished the Bridgerton series and listening while sewing is a great plan.  Thank you to all who suggested it.  The top has gone to the long arm quilter who returned the hug block quilt for her to finish for me. 

I am working on a list of projects to take to retreat with me and need to narrow down all my ideas and what I have waiting to be finished.  

In the meantime, have also watched and been impressed with our Canadian players at the U.S. Open this past two weeks.  WOW!  Lots of cheering happening in this house.  We continue to play tennis every weekend day morning that the courts are dry.  

Life is good! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

September 1st and fall is in the air.

 We have gone from hot, summer weather to some rainy days and yesterday was cold!  Today back to sunshine and warmth so typical September weather.  I managed to accomplish some finishes and am on the way to getting some other projects completed.  This first one is the split 4 patch that is now quilted and waiting for binding (which is made). 

This is one more of the ways I am using up the 2 layers cakes from August.  This top is waiting for pressing, layering, quilting and binding.  But, it will happen!
One more idea for working with the layer cakes, cut into 4.5" squares.  I am going to make split 9 patches but use each part as block.  They will measure 6" and for a preemie, I need 30 blocks. 
This is how the stitched and cut block looks but I will be putting 5 across so I won't make 4 patches stitched together but will lay out the entire quilt top first.
A UFO that was started two years ago and I have dug out strips to work with to make more of these blocks.  The blocks measure 8" finished so for a Quilt of Valour, I will need 72 blocks.  I have a way to go to get them all done.
This is a Sunbonnet Sue and Sam quilt top that was made by a member of our guild who has since deceased and I offered to layer, quilt and bind the quilt.  It is actually kind of cute even if it isn't my normal type of quilt that I make.  The figures were all hand appliqued and I machine stitched around the edges so that it would be machine washable.
My finished projects!  Three preemie quilts for boys from the two layer cakes.

Two preemies for girls from the layer cakes. 
These are blocks that I have made for more survivor quilts.  A friend knows of 3 survivors of residential schools and wants to make quilts for them so I offered to make some blocks and asked my Wednesday group if they wanted to contribute.  Each quilt needs 12 blocks so I have made enough for one and more blocks have come in so hopefully, we will have a nice variety in each of the quilts.
My aqua rail fence blocks for August Rainbow scrap challenge got made. I also got the 16 patch star made plus my Patterns by Jen 'mushroom' coloured blocks made.  The top block looks like mushroom colours but the second one, I am not so sure what I was thinking?
I had a two time outs last week from quilting.  My grandson needed me to drive him into Vancouver for an appointment with a retinal specialist.  He only has vision in one eye (due to being so prematurely) and his 'good' eye needs to be checked regularly to be ahead of any problems that might arise to impair his vision in his only eye with sight.  

Then my husband got called in for another Moh's surgery as they had a cancellation and of course, he took the opportunity without hesitation.  It of course, means me driving him and waiting while he has the day surgery.  The good part about this is that I have free wifi there through our cable company which offere wireless to their customers.  Thank you Shaw! 

So, I am getting caught up on my August projects and moving forward with September.  I am not sure what the Rainbow scrap challenge colour is but I know the PBJ colour is pineapple so I can dig out some of those scraps for my blocks.  She is very efficient at publishing the block instructions on the first of the month so I already have it printed off and ready and waiting. 

Stay safe this weekend.  And for those of you heading back to school either as teacher or student, I wish you all the possible success for a great year in the classroom or with online learning.  Am so happy that I am retired! 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Death in the family, a special wedding, a fishing trip and a lot of reading.

 It has been a month since I posted but I really do have some valid excuses for not accomplishing much in my quilting world.  

On July 24th, my brother died after fighting brain cancer for 7 years.  He fought brilliantly for a long time and didn't give up.  He certainly lived past all expectations although the last year was a tough battle when a second tumor appeared that grew aggressively. 


He was my younger brother and probably the only person that I had known the longest?  I certainly knew him longer than anyone else in our world.   Of course, heading to Vancouver Island for his funeral and celebration of his life was frustrating with no ferry reservations available.  I have spent my life taking a ferry trip on and off the island and have sat in the parking lots for many hours over the years.  One thing that I actually enjoy about waiting for a ferry (as long as I don't have anyone in the car who is bored and frustrated) is that it gives me time to read.  I have started reading the Bridgerton series and am totally hooked into the series.  My quilting friends have raved about the series on Netflix but since we don't have that service, books are the next best thing.  

Reading and quilting cannot co-exist in my world.  It is one or the other.  Once I start a book, I am determined to keep reading until it is finished and to heck with quilting, housework etc. 

We also attended a lovely wedding that took place in a great place "My secret garden" and it was lovely.  The bride is our neighbour and she is a very special person and someone to be admired.  Despite her autism, she is a busy person and works at a local fast food place, keeping it spotlessly clean.  She married her high school sweetheart and the wedding was special and perfect. 

Then we were invited on a fishing trip with friends and of course, that meant another trip to Vancouver Island with NO reservations.  UGH.  But, I did get a lot of reading time.  We missed the first ferry in the morning by one car!  It has happened to me before but my husband was extremely annoyed and it wasn't a great start to our trip.  Oh well... we survived and came home with a cooler containing some salmon and halibut so we were happy. 


My list the last time I posted was as follows: 

1. Organize t-shirts and get made into a quilt top

2. Finish up blocks for Quilts for Survivors and get them in to the mail 

3. Stitch up the layer cake quilts for preemies, layer them and quilt and bind. 

4. Quilt and bind a Sunbonnet Sue quilt that has been waiting for a few weeks to be completed. 

5. Stitch down applique blocks

6. Work on wonky hearts from Mary's quilts. 

7. Quilt and bind a quilt top from the modern guild 

Not much done!  But, this week, I did get myself organized to get back into the quilting groove.  I managed to quilt the preemies and they wait now to get bound. 

 I have started cutting up another layer cake and trying some new ideas for blocks.  I am not really thrilled with the first one but I will persevere and get it finished and playing with one more idea that is ready for stitching. 

I am working on my Rainbow scrap challenge for August and have my aqua pieces cut for the 16 patch star, rail fences and friendship star.


 I  do have my strip pieced blocks done for August.  

And I made some quilt tops for the quilts for Survivors (of residential schools in Canada) plus a stack of blocks.  The tops were mailed to a long arm quilter in Alberta who offered her services to quilt them and the blocks, along with some fabrics and thread, were mailed to Vanessa who is the driving force behind this projects. I posted my heart blocks and split 9 patch blocks in my last blog entry but I also made a stack of rail fence blocks. I found quite a few batik fabrics in my stash with orange in them.

I have begun working on the Sunbonnet Sue quilt but it is slow going since it isn't one of my own quilting projects.

So now you know what I have been spending my time doing the last month... busy but also some relaxing times and now, am ready to tackle my July and August projects because September will be here soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Perfect summer weather for tennis, outside chores and piecing quilt blocks

 I have had a good couple of weeks and many of my 'chores' are completed now that the summer temperatures have settled down and normal for this time of year.  It means a better sleep for me when the night time temperatures are cool enough to have a comfy quilt over me and windows wide open. 

We are still trying to revive some plants that were unhappy after the heat dome we experienced and we did dig out a hydrangea that looked awful and has been a plant that I have babied along every year trying to encourage new growth and lovely flowers.  I haven't had much success and as we dug it out, I found out why.  The roots of the plant were encased in rock solid clay and it was hard and dry and impossible to penetrate with a shovel.  With a lot of watering and eventually a rope around the roots and the use of our 4 wheel drive, it got pulled out.  The clay soil was replaced with a few bags of purchased soil and a Rose of Sharon got planted in that spot which I hope will be happy with full sun all day long.  The hydrangea was given a new home in the bottom tier of our garden where it will get some shade and better soil for growing.  Time will tell if our efforts were worth the time and energy to have a thriving garden. 

In my sewing studio, I have been working on a variety of projects and am making some progress. At the beginning of July, I worked away and finished the quilting and binding on a few Quilts of Valour and they were made using the patterns in the Three one yard quilt booklets.  The first one is a brick quilt using Canadiana fabrics.

This quilt is made from the Illusions pattern but I messed up with my fabric choices so ended up added a second round of borders on each block because the original blocks looked far too busy next to each other. 
The second Brick pattern, again, made with Canadian themed fabrics.
This is another Town square but made with different measurements than the ones I have made previously. 

My green (limes) blocks for July for Patterns by Jen are finished.  I made two with reverse light and dark fabrics

Brown was my choice of colour for the Rainbow Scrap challenge for July.  The suggested colour was dark blues but I had already used a variety of blues in a previous month and she said that darks such as browns or blacks would be a good alternate.  Mine are done for the month. 


I have had a big basket of t-shirts sitting under the table and waiting patiently to be cut up.  That job is done and all of them have the interfacing on the back.  Now, I need to get creative in how I am going to put them together into a quilt.  But, at least I have started and now have a lot of rags made from the leftovers.

This was a quilt top that was handed to me to see if I would quilt it.  I added the border and then quilted and bound it.  Perfect for a baby girl in the NICU. 
I made this pink preemie quilt from leftover blocks.  Quilted, bound and already donated to our We Care program for the NICU.

The heartstrings group that I belong to had layer cakes as the challenge for July and I found one in my stash that is baby prints.  I separated out the fabrics into boy and girl prints as I know that many parents of a baby boy do not really want a "pink" or girlie quilt for their son.  Even with total equality, I don't think that will ever change.  I used a teal layer cake that I have had for years and used it to cut strips to border the prints after I cut them into 5" squares.  I will have 2 quilts for boys and 2 quilts for girls for the NICU and maybe even a fifth quilt that is made from a mixture of the leftover squares.


There is Facebook group that is making Quilts for Survivors (of Residential Schools here in Canada) and I joined and started making some heart blocks.  The only two requirements is that the blocks need to measure 16.5" square and each block must contain some orange fabric.  I seem to have a decent stash of orange fabrics so got busy and made these hearts.

And then I started playing with split 9 patches and added a border to them.  I have 20 of these blocks and will be packing them up to mail to Vanessa in Ontario. 

So, my goal before the end of the month is to 

1. Organize t-shirts and get made into a quilt top

2. Finish up blocks for Quilts for Survivors and get them in to the mail 

3. Stitch up the layer cake quilts for preemies, layer them and quilt and bind. 

4. Quilt and bind a Sunbonnet Sue quilt that has been waiting for a few weeks to be completed. 

5. Stitch down applique blocks

6. Work on wonky hearts from Mary's quilts. 

7. Quilt and bind a quilt top from the modern guild 

This one last picture is of 40 quilts that are heading to Kamloops this weekend as a contribution to those who have been displaced by the wildfires burning in our province.  The Fraser Valley modern guild had a stack of quilts ready for donation and I had a few in that stack plus I went through quilts I have on hand and pulled out some more, so 13 of these quilts were made and donated by me.  A really good reason to keep some quilts in the cupboard as you never know when there will be a need to wrap someone in a quilted hug.