Sunday, 4 December 2016

December Goal

     Here it is the 4th of December and I have yet to post my December OMG goal.  I've known what my December goal would be for ages, so I have no excuse.   This month my goal is to finish Charlottes Quilt.



     Here's a picture of the quilt top when I finished it back in May.  I'm planning to do some quilting with the walking foot and some free motion.  I think I can get it done by the end of the month but I would really like to get it done by Christmas.  That might be a stretch as life just gets busier and busier in December and opportunities for quilting become more scarce.  But I'll give it a try.   For now I'm linking up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I wonder what everyone else has in mind for December.  I'm also going to link up with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts because this quilt is one of my favourites.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

All Caught Up!

     I'm happy to say that I am all caught up!  Well with the Meadow Mystery quilt that is....I'll never be caught up with everything.  I spent the last couple of weeks finishing Octobers little blocks.


     I'm happy to say they are all finished and trimmed up.  You know I used to hate trimming blocks but I've grown to like it.   I had fun figuring out how to trim and keep the centre point in the middle.  It's hard to believe that these are the first hourglass and 1/2 hourglass blocks I've done.  I'm not sure why that is.  I guess they've just never turned up in anything I've made before.  


     With Octobers blocks out of the way, I set my focus on Novembers blocks and managed to motor through them in a few days.  I got super efficient with my time and divided the tasks up into manageable units.  Ten minutes of time here sew the first 1/2 square triangle onto the square in a square blocks,  10 minutes available later pin the next set on.  Hopefully I remember to do this in the future.

      Now the fun thing with Mystery Quilts is that you never know what your fabrics are going to do in relationship to each other. I'm loving how the colours play together in the October blocks. I'm not so sure about Novembers blocks.  I find the combination of purple and pink in my flying geese units a little overwhelming!  


    I'm hoping the pink will get spread throughout the quilt to tone it down a little....but only time will tell.


     See, much better.
    
     For this quilt along Cheryl gave us the option of cutting the pieces for 1/2 square triangles, square in a square, and flying geese 1/4" larger for trimming down.  I chose to do this and I found that my flying geese and square in a square blocks where the most accurate ones I've made.

     I'm linking this post up with my friend Lorna for Let's Bee Social then I'll be in the sewing room, piecing together the back  for Charlotte's quilt (next in line for quilting).  And I just might start a new project for my niece. I've been gathering fabrics for this one and I'm quite excited to get a start, and that my friends is why I will never be caught up!

Friday, 18 November 2016

November Goal is Finished

     I've got a finish to share here.  This one has been hanging around waiting for me to quilt it for at least a year.  There were a few things holding me back on getting it quilted.  One thing was that I wanted to get a little more quilting under my belt before I quilted it.  But really what I think held me back the most was that  the colour scheme in this quilt doesn't do a lot for me so I wasn't feeling the desire to quilt it.  The Rainbow Rose for example did a much better job of calling my name.



     This is a comfort quilt made for the Sexual Assault / Domestic Violence unit at the local hospital in my city.  We handed  the blocks out at the Guild for folks to sew into 9 patches then I cut the nine patches to make disappearing nine patch blocks and I pieced the quilt top.  Then it sat and sat waiting for me to quilt it.  I decided to try an all over boxy square quilt design.  This was quite a challenge for me as I find straight lines hard to quilt, but I'm glad I chose it because it gave me lots of practice.  

     
     I ran into a couple of challenges with the quilting process, one at the beginning and one at the end.  To start with when I put the quilt top on the batting I realized that the quilt was too long to fit on the batting, so I took the top and bottom outer boarders off the quilt.  Feeling a bit pressed for time to get the quilt pinned I decided to keep the side borders on and decided it would just have to have a unique design. At the end of the process I was sewing the binding on when I came to the end of the binding.....but there was still more quilt to bind.  So I added in a small section of a patterned fabric in almost the same colour.  It will just add interest says me.



     While I was quilting this quilt I spent some time thinking about how I would like to quilt Charlotte's quilt,  which is the next quilt in the line up.   I think I have a plan and we will see how it pans out.   It's hard to believe I got the top pieced in May.  It's about time I quilted it.   I'm hoping to get it done before I get together with her family around Christmas.
     
     This is my first finish of the 4th Quarter of the 2016 Finish Along (button in the sidebar).   It's also my November Goal for OMG now hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.  I'll be linking up with her later in the month, but for now I'm linking up to TGIFF which is hosted this week by Debbie at The Quilt Journal

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hashtag Happy Mail

     Today is a typical November Day in my part of the world, which is to say it's grey, a bit cold and raining.  I'm not complaining, November so far has brought us typical October weather, clear sunny skies.  I think we are all feeling a bit spoiled and guilty.  Yes Global Warming is real.
I was very happy on this typical November day to go into the kitchen this morning and see a package waiting for me on the counter.  I guess it arrived yesterday but wasn't found until this morning when Dwight got the morning paper off the porch.



     This lovely package came from my friend Helen, who blogs at Midget Gem Quilts.  Helen and I met during the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop.  We were both participants in Stash Bee last year.   I crashed her hive and made her a block and she returned the favour.  Here's her beautiful block.



     It's the Circle of Squares block or Circle of Friends.  Speaking of Circle of Friends, it was the pursuit of the directions for making this block that started my friendship with Kate of Smiles From Kate.

        Helen also included this pretty card and this lovely coaster made of Liberty of London fabrics (don't I feel special).



     While we are on the subject of friends and happy mail. I've been meaning to share this photo of a wonderful little basket I received a while ago from my friend Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon.



   It's so beautiful and it sits beside my sewing machine collecting all that stuff you need nearby and don't want to misplace.

     In a couple of hours I'll be walking in to work and taking some happy thoughts of my blogging friendships and happy mail with me.   For now I'm linking up with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Bee Day!

    I keep thinking things will settle down somewhat with my life, but it doesn't seem to be happening.  This month we've had a couple of evening trainings for my job and we held the Quilt Bee for the Community Outreach Committee of my local guild "The Royal City Quilter's Guild".  We have a sub group of our committee (thank you Ann an Alyson) that does the bulk of the work for the Bee Day but there is a lot of prep work the rest of us have to do as well.

     I love Bee Day!  It's so much fun quilting with a group from the guild.  Twenty six of us turned up and set to work making blocks and sewing kits together.  I was able to spend time with quilting friends and to get to know some newer members a little better.  Two of the quilt tops came home with me and I'd like to share them here with you.


     Carol and I worked on putting this quilt together. This is the best shot I could get of it.  It's in the shadows because the sun is so bright at this time of year that whites and yellows where washing out in the other pics. The pattern is Star Bright designed by Katie Blakesly and offered for free on her blog Swim Bike Quilt.  This is the baby size with the blocks sized up to 7 1/2".  I love this quilt for it's simplicity in construction and it's striking graphic design.

     Wendy put this next quilt together.

     
     This is the Akito pattern by Pat Fryer of Villa Rosa Designs, again adapted to fit our size requirements.  Both of these quilts tops came together in a few hours.  I'm always on the lookout for simple patterns that make up quickly into quilts, as we donate between 80 and 100 quilts a year.

     I'm heading over to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts to say hello to Beth and the other quilter's who have linked up there.  I hope that you all found time to quilt this past weekend.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

November Goal

     I find the process of setting a goal for each month really useful .  I may not get my goal done but I do tend to move the project I choose towards completion. In October I managed to get a comfort quilt for my guild's donation program about half finished. I consider that to be a good accomplishment. This month I've been going back and forth. Should  I stick with last months goal or go for a new goal in order to move another quilt towards finishing.  If I choose a new goal it would be Charlotte's quilt as I would like to give it to her when our families get together at Christmas.



Charlotte's Quilt

     But there is something to be said for managing to complete a goal as well.  It's good for the quilting soul.  When I first thought about my goal for this month  I thought it would be too easy to choose the Comfort quilt as it's half quilted and I figured I could get it done in about a week.So I thought I would have plenty of time to get Charlotte's quilt done. Then I realized I had quite a few commitments this month.  We have our comfort quilt bee at our guild all day on November 12th and we have to spend about a day preparing for that.  So my time is more limited than I first thought.

Comfort Quilt

In the end I decided to continue with the comfort quilt and then move onto Charlotte's quilt. If I'm lucky I should have one completed quilt and move another towards completion.

     I'd like to thank Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for hosting One Monthly Goal this year.  She's done a wonderful job of supporting us in our monthly goals.  She has passed the job on to Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  Thank you Patty for taking on the link ups for the rest of 2016 and for 2017.


Monday, 31 October 2016

Cats and More Cats

   On Saturday my local guild held a workshop with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  It was a lot of fun. Lorna ran the workshop by letting us all choose one of her patterns. We all worked on our own pattern and Lorna walked around the room and helped us out as needed.  Lorna is a lot of fun she has a great casual style and fun sense of humour.
     
      I know you would love to see lots of pictures from the workshop but of course I forgot to bring my camera.  There is just so much you have to get ready for a workshop it's hard to remember everything.   You can check out Kathy's blog Kathy's Quilts as she remembered her camera and I'm sure there will be lots of photos there.  There might even be a group photo.  If you see me in that photo and I'm holding a block you may notice that I sewed the wrong tail on my animal as I was hurrying to finish a block for the photo.

    I chose to work on the pattern Cat Treats. This is what I managed to accomplish at the workshop.  Two nice chocolate kitties made of brown stamped batiks and grey dots.  My friend Wendy also worked on the Cat Treat pattern. She altered the pattern slightly to incorporate the fabrics from the cat bodies to their heads.  I liked this alteration so I copied it of course.



      And I did these since the workshop.  I love the stripes and the men's wear light bits on these two.



     And these two as well.  The one on the right is representative of my cat Benni.



     Here's a photo of Benni.  Can you see the resemblance?  I included the orange triangle to differentiate the head from the body, although Benni does have some orange spots on the back of his neck.




















      I bring my older, smaller machine with me to workshops, and also when I get together with friends to sew.  I think I'll keep this project to work on when we next get together.  There are 6 more cats to sew and 12 fishbones each with a lot of little pieces.  I wonder how long it will take me to finish it.  I'm linking up late to Main Crush Monday held at Beth's Blog and on Wednesday to  Let's Bee Social at Lorna's Blog.