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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Last week of July and lots of pieced tops are ready for quilting

 A busy two weeks since I last posted.  These pictures won't be in a great order but you will get the idea of what I have been doing.  First, the Rainbow scrap challenge stars from 2021 is now bound and ready for donation to Quilts of Valour.

My grandson's quilt is bound and ready to give to him. The pattern is Turning Tweny.   The first picture is a close up of the cat fabrics.

I made these blocks during 2021 as another choice for the Rainbow scrap challenge and quite like the way it turned out.  The blocks are larger 15" finished so the quilt only needed 20 blocks to be a good size for donation. 
Elementary is bound and this was a charm pack and a jelly roll from this line of fabrics with a few of my own stash fabrics added in. 
I took some time and covered my large ironing board with a wool batt and then some fabric from my stash (leftover from backing a quilt) and am very pleased with the result.  I really had to get this done as I had a stack of pieced tops piled on a chair that needed their final pressing. 
One more 2021 Rainbow scrap challenge quilt top made from my strip baskets every month.  
The rail fences are also from 2021 scrap challenge and the blocks are now put together into a top, waiting for quilting.
This is a 3 yard quilt called Urban Chic and I use some Canadian prints for the white and the gray with the red fabric for contrast.  It is now residing on a hanger, waiting its turn in the quilting pile.
During 2021, I participated in the Patterns by Jen monthly challenge.  These are all blocks that used colours based on various fruits and vegetables.  Included were eggplant, lemon, yam, cherries, potato, pumpkin, lime, mushroom, pineapple, grapefruit, blueberries and green olives. 
A 3 yard quilt that is actually one of my favourite to make: Town Square and a Canadian print is in the center of the blocks.
Nine plus One is the name of this 3 yard quilt and I used a variety of leftover fabrics that had a Canadian theme to them for the plan blocks.
I made a 3 yard quilt, Sew Quick and didn't have enough of the main moose fabric that I was using to had to add in another fabric and I chose the Mountie hats. 

I have been piecing like crazy and Stepping Stones got cut and stitched.  These patterns are so quick to make and the piecing methods are simple and easy.  
I like to have a project as my leaders and enders when I sew and earlier this year, I pulled out an assortment of fat quarters that I really didn't know what I was going to use for projects.  If you add one more lighter or darker fabric to go with them, then the St. Louis 16 patch is the simplest and easiest pattern to make.  I have a stack of fabrics cut and ready to stitch to make lots of blocks. 
One step closer to having our patio finished.  The railings got installed but if you look carefully, that isn't clean glass in there, there is no glass!  We went with the darker railings rather than white and am glad I made that choice because I really like the black.  One day, glass will arrive and be installed but at least this is safer than no railings at all.

There are a few days left in this month.  Weather is extremely hot here with many warnings throughout the day to avoid being outside plus, our air quality is awful due to smoke from forest fires.  We are managing to play tennis early which is a feat because our main courts are torn up while they completely re-do them plus the heat so early mornings are essential.  

I have a few projects that I want to make an effort to clean up before next Monday.  I have 3 quilts that are still waiting for quilting and binding.  There are also some projects from the Modern guild that I need to get out and look at and see what is needed to finish those.  Of course, all the tops I showed in this post now need battings cut and backings made but I am in no rush.  I need to decide where some will be donated before I work on the backings.  

The gardens call my name for weeding and the last few days, watering.  Lots of zucchini and cucumbers are growing and finally, some carrots and beets that are large enough to eat.  

For my Canadian friends, enjoy the long weekend and stay safe.  For my local friends, stay cool and hydrated and hopefully, figure out how to get a good sleep in the heat. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Almost mid July? How did that happen?

 I realized that today is the 12th of July... in three days, it will be mid month?  I have been puttering my time away although I have some finished projects to report.  My June task lists have been updated and basically what is there is what I have been working on with nothing new added in other than a 3 yard quilt that I decided to work on along with my Rainbow scrap challenge blocks from 2021. 

My blue blocks for June were finished. 

I spent an afternoon cutting batting and making backings for the next set of quilts waiting to be quilted.  There is a total of 10 in the stack.
The papers I wanted from Missouri Star arrived in a very timely manner... one week from there to here so my blue RSC challenge for June 2022 is complete.
I participate in a monthly challenge, Patterns by Jen and this is the purple for Purple Sumac and I make two, alternating the light and dark. 
The colour for RSC July is also purple so was great to already have my scraps bins out and I got both the blocks done for this month.

Quilt #1 for July is quilted and binding is made, ready for the last step. This is a Turning Twenty using fat quarters of cat fabrics and is for one of my grandchildren who happens to be the proud owner of a kitten.
The Rainbow scrap challenge friendship stars from 2021 is now quilted and waiting for binding (which is made). Quilt #2 for July.
Then a break from quilting to make pillowcases for kids heading to burn camp put on by our firefighters.  The request was for some suitable fabrics for teenage boys so I dug deep.  I made 8 and while I was working on them, was thinking about a container that has sport themed fabrics in it and that got dug out and opened.  More pillowcases cut and stitched up for a total of 16.  A variety of fabrics and a couple in there that are girly though, who is to say that a girl wouldn't like a sport themed case?
Quilt #3 is quilted and this was again, an RSC 2021 block made throughout the year as the colours were announced each month.  The binding for this one is also made!
A finished quilt but not by me.  I made the top last winter and a local quilter, Dianne, quilted it and did a porch drop off this morning.  She also does the binding... what a great long arm quilter to have donating her time to quilt for Quilts of Valour.  This is a 3 yard quilt called Pretty Please although I made it larger than the pattern and used both blue and red blocks where the pattern called for one fabric for all those larger pieces. 
I laid out my string blocks from  RSC 2021 and am figuring out how to make it wider without making it two blocks wide.. one block will be perfect so will cut blocks in half and add to the outside of the rows to make it a little bit wider.
I have put this panel on my design wall and would like to build around it to make a quilt but am feeling a bit stymied as to what I want to do.  I have a lot of rail fence blocks made from a previous RSC  in browns and oranges and wondering if I can make that work or just keep adding borders until I get it to the size I want for a Quilt of Valour?  I might google the panel and see what others have done with it?
At the end of June, I celebrated a birthday and am now offically, three quarters of a century old!  My awesome friend in California sent me these lovely flowers and I must say, they made me feel special and put a big smile on my face. 
Here is one more quilt #4 that has been quilted in July and binding is made, added to the stack for finishing.
Warm, summer weather has arrived and it is strange but lovely to wake up to sunshine and dry roads in the morning.  That means daily tennis which means some great exercise to start the day.
Last week we had a crew arrive to replace our deck.  It was original to the house and was worn out although we had painted it a few times.  I couldn't get it clean and it was wearing through and to protect our plywood underneath, we knew we needed to just get the job done.  The weather cooperated and the surface is done.  It looks lovely.  Unfortunately, nothing ever runs smoothly with these jobs and the fellow doing our railings had forgotten to order them?  They are now ordered and we should see some railings up by the end of the month.  It is a bit scary to walk out there with nothing around the edge so I tried to situate our furniture to remind us to not go any closer. 

We have been having visitors across the street from our driveway this week.  Both bucks and does have been feasting on the new growth of grass and leaves.  You can just barely see him through the tall grass. 

My latest project is playing with another 3 yard quilt although I will again use a little more fabric than a yard of each to make a larger quilt.  This one is called Urban Chic.  I know I have a few more quilt tops to quilt but Long Arm quilter Dianne picked up three of them to quilt for Quilts of Valour which made my pile slightly smaller.  I had 10 quilts waiting, have quilted 4 and Dianne took 3 so that leaves me 3 to work on which is a great feeling as that is very doable in the next week. 

I am wishing you all lovely summer weather here in the northern hemisphere and hopefully in our province, with the amount of rain we had this spring, not a lot of forest fires to deal with in the coming weeks.  Stay safe and enjoy your time inside and outside. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

End of June is 4 days away with a little progress made towards my goals.


June goals: 

1. Label and bind 9 quilts  (ended up 11 quilts finished)

2. Finish quilting 3 quilts that are ready and waiting: 1 waiting

3. Make cat quilt top and get ready for quilting: blocks made, time for design wall

4. Layout the jelly roll/charm blocks Elementary and stitch together

5. Layout the Cool Water blocks and stitch together

6. Layout the half square triangles of brown, beige and red and stitch together needs a border

7. Work on March RSC blocks (half done)

8. Work on April RSC blocks: half done 

9. Layout and stitch the 15" Farmer's wife blocks from RSC 2021 and stitch together.

10. Patterns by Jen: block for June, mustard

11.  Cut batting, make backings for: Penny's bear paws, Survivor #2, 16 Patch RSC, Elementary jelly roll/charm quilt, Cool water in browns, 

12. Blocks for Quilt of Valour that I started playing with after a visit to Pinterest

13. Make hug blocks for CQA quilt show

14. Dig out Modern guild projects in bags and finish for donation 

15. RSC April and May blocks 

16. RSC June blocks - blue

17. Layout and stitch together RSC 2021 star blocks 

I am not doing too badly with my June goals and I have added more to the list since the beginning of the month.  My goal for the last few days of the month are 

1. Cut batting and make backings for 10 quilt tops.  I might only work on the first 5? Same as #11 but more quilt tops are now in the queue.

2. Finish the blue RSC blocks and I will be up to date for 2022!  I like using the Missouri paper for the string blocks and have had to order some since my stock of it is gone/used up!  It is a fine tissue paper that makes a 10" block (unfinished).  

3. Cut some 3 yard quilts and make kits for quick projects. 

4. Sort out and tidy up my scrap bins.  I like to store my scraps by colour but I also have a light and dark bin for log cabin blocks.  It is time to make a scrappy log cabin block quilt because those bins are overflowing. 

5. I have a few blocks that I would like to play with: Sew Preeti block, 10" friendship star, churn dash challenge, log cabin by Susie Stukis, are all ones from blogs or Pinterest.

6. Burn camp pillowcases though this might go on the July list of things to do.

My husband has a colonoscopy and gastrocopy scheduled for this week... same day as my birthday (groan).  What a (not) lovely way to celebrate though we are happy that he has this appointment as it is the first step (again) in looking for a internal bleed to answer why he is not able to manufacture red blood cells.  

In the last two weeks, I finally got all of my blocks that were waiting into finished quilt tops.  The pile of tops needing pressing grew as I ignored it and kept on stitching. 

My main goal this week was gardening and attacking weeds while the ground was still wet from weeks of rain and before it hardened in the predicted heat wave this weekend.  However, I was determined to press a few of these each evening. The stars from 2021 Rainbow scrap challenge is now a top and neatly pressed and folded and on a hanger.

This cat themed Turning Twenty quilt is pressed, folded and hanging, patiently waiting for the quilting.
I copied the Cool Water pattern shown in the last post but used red, creams and browns.
These were half square triangles made from 10" squares.  Lots of bias edges.  I made lots of blocks last fall and had too many leftover from that quilt to ignore so, made more!  I am ok with how I laid these blocks out but I later saw a different layout that would have been awesome.  Maybe next time?
This top was made from a jelly roll and charm pack of a line of fabric called Elementary.  My heartstrings group had jelly rolls as a challenge for June so this will count as me participating with success.  
Another Rainbow scrap challenge from 2021.  It was 16 patch blocks made each month and a great way to use up those 3" squares in a variety of colours.
I saw this quilt pattern pictured on Pinterest and figured out how to make the blocks.  I used Northcott Oh Canada fabric and it will be a Quilt of Valour.
Hug blocks for Quilts of Valour were stitched up and turned in at Quilt Canada.  I read today that I did NOT win the sewing machine prize.  It was one entry per block made.  These blocks go into quilts made from donations across Canada and the finished quilts contain blocks from a variety of locations throughout our country for injured Canadian Armed forces members.  Hugs blocks are a continuing project and the only requirements is that they are 9.5" unfinished and that you make them only using Northcott Oh Canada fabrics.  This is the tenth year of Northcott producing these fabrics and they all coordinate with each other. 
I attended Quilt Canada in downtown Vancouver and it was fun day.  A group of us took the West Coast express (a commuter train) that makes 3 trips into Vancouver in the morning and 3 return trips beginning in late afternoon. I think the term 'express' comes from only a few stops but it is a really easy way to get into the city with fabulous west coast scenery along the way.  I didn't take many pictures because I knew that others would and it is easy to find websites with pictures by using google.  However, there were two that really caught my eye.  Love the Canadian maple leaf.  She based her idea on the Jen Kingswell quilts but created her own blocks and shapes. 

This quilt spoke to me.  The workmanship was incredible but the message was clear and her choice of piecing, fabrics and quilting was amazing.  A truly talented quilter.

The husband of one of our group of 4 had offered to buy us all lunch on the waterfront so we took a break and enjoyed the sights and sounds of our city. *Thank you Al*  We were so lucky with the weather and enjoyed sunshine and great food.  The float planes were coming and going and there were two massive cruise ships docked in the harbour which meant loads of tourists roaming around, all with cameras in their hands.

This week I took a break from quilting because I knew that I had to take advantage of the break from the rain, before our predicted heat wave, to get some gardening done.  First up was to weed my rose garden and cut myself some lovely roses. 

I also cut some peonies to enjoy in the house.

We headed into the Fraser Valley health region facility last weekend to get our second booster for Covid and while this is not a great picture, anyone local will recognize the waiting area after your jab. 

With the drier weather, tennis was played every morning this week.  It is has been a long time since we played for 5 mornings in a row.  However, after weeding each day, I worked on getting caught up on Rainbow scrap challenge for 2022.  Green is the colour for May and these got made. 

Plus, decorating for Canada day is done.

The pink RSC blocks got made and up on the wall along with the yellow blocks so I could see how they will go together. 

And the pink strings are finished as well.(April)

I finished this quilt earlier this month and hand stitched the binding down during the Abbotsford quilt guild meeting.  This block was a demonstration by Carola on her blog Carola Quilts and I found a layer cake that I really had no idea what to use it for.  I teamed it up with some gray that I bought for a great price at Jackie's Little Quilt shop in the woods and in the end, am happy with the results. 
I have bolts of backings ready to cut today for the quilts on hangers that are patiently waiting.
Quilts on hangers, pressed and ready and waiting.
And finally, my eldest grandson is 25 today!!  Which means I am turning 75 in the next few days.  Fifty years ago this guy came into my life and he was a great addition to our family.  Happy Birthday to Devin.
That is enough time on the computer for me this morning.  I know if I made shorter posts and posted more often, it would be less time consuming but I always have one thing I want to finish before I sit down and write the blog.  Happy Summer to all.  Sunshine is here with a bit too much heat but mid week, we drop back to normal with more of the wet stuff heading our way.