Monday, 16 January 2017

A Weekend Trip


  On Friday I boarded a Greyhound bus to Toronto at 7:55 in the morning.  You see Bernie from Needle and Foot was there celebrating her son's wedding and we arranged to meet each other!  Leaving so early in the morning I forgot to bring my camera so no smiling photos of us, but there are some awesome photos of the wedding on instagram.  We met in her hotel lobby and headed to a nearby coffee shop where we chatted for oh about an hour and a half about our families, our quilting plans, how we got into blogging.....  What fun to meet another quilt blogging friend in person.

     It was a beautiful day and after Bernie went back to her family I walked around the city for a bit and then I went to the Textile Museum which is one of my favourite places in Toronto.  There were a couple of exhibits of woven textiles on display.  One display  was a on the works of weaver Sheila Hicks. I found her works to be very beautiful and inspirational.  There was also lot's of inspiration to be found during the walk, in building design and furniture in shop windows. I have to say I'm finding the 2017  30 quilt design challenge to be a lot of fun.  I'm starting to see designs everywhere and learning how to take the things I see and shift them into something I could possibly make into a quilt.  I also find using coloured pencils to be very relaxing in the evening.

     I stayed with my daughter overnight and Dwight came in to meet us for brunch in the morning.  We went to a lovely little cafe called Cocoa Latte and from there we went to the local food market at the Wychwood Barns.  Before we drove home Dwight and I visited my aunt and brought her a wing backed chair that he found for her.  She is still doing fairly well and we are hoping that she can stay in her apartment for as long as possible.

     I spent the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday working on my Allison Glass quilt.  I managed to finish all the blocks and now I am putting the quilt top together.  I'm hoping to quilt it by the end of the month, but I do need to find a backing fabric and some batting as well. Are you working on an Allison Glass project for the challenge link up.  I'm really pleased that Yvonne decided to host this challenge as it encouraged me to actually make something with the "Hand Made" fabric that has been in my stash for quite some time. I'm linking up with Beth at Main Crush Monday and with Lorna at Let's Bee Social as well.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Quilting, Politics and Inspiration

     Last week I had a visit with my local M.P. He represents my area federally for those of you in the U.S.A. who may not know what I'm talking about. I was visiting him on behalf of my work to talk to him about proposed changes in legislation that would affect us.  Despite the fact that I had met him before (he shops in our store) I was very nervous about this.

     So what does a quilter do in the morning before she has to meet with her M.P.  She sews of course.  I found making the Stash Bee Hive 3 Bear Paw blocks for Tracy really helped to calm me down.  Deep breathing and meditation was also very useful.

     The meeting went very well and was actually quite interesting.  I had to wait for a while before the meeting and I had quite a bit of time to look at this.

     Of course I asked for a copy and I've had some fun using the flags as inspiration for quilt designs for the 2017 30 quilt design challenge which you can read more about here.
Here are two designs I've come up with so far.

   This is a block design.  There are four of them in the photo and it's pretty much identical toe the Carignan Saliere flag except I changed the crosses from white to yellow.

     This is a full quilt design and it's based roughly on the Bearn flag.

     I've been enjoying the quilt design challenge.  I'm trying to approach it one design at a time, putting my emphasis more on the here and now, rather than the big number.  I'm linking up with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.  Now she is quite the designer.

Monday, 9 January 2017

2017 First Quarter List

     Last week was a busy week for me.  So busy that I forgot to link up a goal for One Monthly Goal. Oh well I haven't missed the deadline for the First Quarter of the 2017 Finish Along.

1.  I'll be making one or two quilts out of this fabric.  

Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl is hosting an Allison Glass Challenge with a link up at the end of the month.  My One Monthly Goal for January is to finish at least one Allison Glass quilt.  I'm working on a simple plus pattern so I think I can get this done in time for the link up.  But I do need to buy some backing fabric

2.    This one is back on the list.   There's a lot to be done here.  Make more blocks to start...but I like it so I'll try to do it.

3.  It would be nice to finish my 2016 Stash Bee Quilt.

   4.  The Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Top (Quilting Jet Girl Design) is waiting to be quilted.

5.  As does this blast from the past.  This is the second quilt top I  made and it's time I quilted it.  It will be good to practice some fmq on.  I think it will look fabulous on that chair which is leather and freezing in the winter.  It needs something to warm it up.

6.   My aunt would really like a tea cozy and as I can't seem to find one of the sort she would like in the shops...I've decided to make her one and maybe I'll make one for me as well.  I'm thinking these one offs of Japanese fabric might make a good cozy.

7.  I've also got plans to make a donation quilt with these fabrics along with some others.

     Well I think that's given me enough to pick and choose from for the first quarter.  I'm linking up with Leanne from She Can Quilt and with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts. What's on your first quarter list?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Creativity Takes Courage

      Ever since I participated in the 2015 Fabric Quilt block challenge and blog hop I've wanted to design more quilts.  I included quilt design in my goals for 2016 and again in 2017.  The problem is  I have trouble getting around to it.  So when Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon mentioned she wanted to work on a 30 quilt design challenge this winter I offered to do it along with her. It's modelled on the 2016 challenge by Rachel of Stitched in Color. We're inviting anyone who wants to, to join us in this project.  Here's how it works.  I copied this from Sandra's post:

Who:  Anyone!


  • Design a quilt block or an entire quilt.  If you draw a quilt block, maybe put a few together to see what an overall pattern might look like.  Add some colour.  Just as Rachel said in her challenge, you can use non-original blocks, but re-invent them by changing up colour or value, or put two non-original different ones together and see what magic can occur!
  • You may submit hand-drawn designs or digital designs.  Personally I find there is something relaxing and Zen-like in getting out the old Crayola pencil crayons and notebook...
  • No construction directions needed.
  • The goal is to create 30 quilt designs by March 15.


  • Take a photo of your design, number it, and post it on Instagram using the following hashtag:
  • Please tag each photo @mmmquilts and @sunlightinwinterquilts so we can see your designs!
  • Be sure to number each design.
  • To be eligible for prizes, be sure to follow both @mmmquilts and @sunlightinwinterquilts

When:  Today, January 2 - March 15, 2017

Why:  Because as Matisse Says "Creativity Takes Courage" 

and as Helen Keller says"Life is either a daring adventure, or 

nothing at all"

    There will be prizes but we are still working out the details on these.  For now Sandra has offered a couple of prizes on her blog and I'm throwing in  one or two of my own.  A charm pack of rainbow coloured charms I'll cut from my stash and as I'm working on a couple of quilts with my "Handmade" fabrics by Allison Glass, I'll make up a charm pack from those as well. Here's a selection of my Handmade stash:

     Here's my first design which I'm calling Pipe Dream.  It's made of two blocks that I've randomly put together.

          A couple of folks have joined us already.  I hope you will too. I'm linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.   


Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Best of 2016

     Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs is holding a best of 2016 link up where quilters can share their best blog posts or their best quilts or what ever they please.  I've been thinking about what I would like to share with you and I've decide to share my 5 favourite finishes of the year.  These are the quilts that I like the best and that I had the most fun working on.

     The first finish is this group quilt.  The blocks were made by the members of the small modern group in my local quilt guild.  You can read about this quilt here.  We didn't know this at the time but the pattern for the pick up sticks block was originally from a book by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, so my apologies for not crediting them in earlier posts. If you happen to know which book it's in please let me know and I will credit it. I added the beautiful blue sashing and quilted the quilt.

         I really enjoy improv and I had a lot of fun making this mini quilt from Score 1 of the Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters.   You can read about it here.  I made the quilt for the Toronto Modern Guild's display at Quilt Canada and it hung with the other challenge quilts.  Debbie of A Quilter's Table included this quilt in her newsletter The Scrap Basket in April 2016 so that was a fun bonus for me.

        This next mini quilt is probably the one I had the most fun with!  To make it I put fabric squares into a bag and randomly pulled them out in pairs to make 1/2 square triangles.  You can read about the process here.   I absolutely love how this quilt turned out, and I really should get it up on the wall in the sewing room.

     I like quilting along with others and I participated in 3 online quilt alongs last year and I managed to get one all quilted up.  I really enjoyed quilting along with Ruth on the Rainbow Rose quilt which she designed for the Modern Quilters Ireland.  Ruth shared a lot of information about colour theory and the resulting quilt is very beautiful.  You can read about this quilt here.

     This brings me to favourite finish number 5 for 2016 and the reason that this post is so late.  I finished this quilt  named "When Charlotte Burst Into the World"  yesterday and you can read about it here.  I enjoyed every part of the process in making this quilt  from designing the block to deciding on layout , to figuring out how to quilt it and finally to stretching my free motion skills once again.

          2016 was a wonderful year of quilting for me.  I received a great deal of enjoyment from  playing around with colour, improv and design and I'm planning to continue that in 2017.  I also worked on improving my quilting skills.  This is an interesting process because it requires me to accept where I'm at skill wise and to let go of my desire to be perfect. That's always a challenge for me.  I'm adding this post to the Best of 2016 link up, and as it's January 1st I'm wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

When Charlotte Burst Into the World

     Well here it is New Years Eve and I'm writing a blog post.  I just finished hand stitching the binding on Charlotte's quilt.
I took some photos earlier in the day before the quilt was finished as I knew we would be in darkness by the time I got home from work.

     I had a lot of fun with this quilt.  It started with a block design I made for the 2015 Fabri Quilt block challenge.  I named the block the Graduated Cross block and it was included in the 2016 Quilters Planner.  I decided to make a quilt with the block and give it to my 2nd Great Niece Charlotte.


     I made the quilt with Kona cottons .  I'm not sure of the exact colours but I decided to make a quilt with many blue blocks and one orange.  It's a fitting quilt for Charlotte and I named the quilt when Charlotte Burst into the World.

     Charlotte or Charlie as she's referred to was born so quickly that her father had to deliver her with help from emergency services over the phone. I felt the quilt design was symbolic of this. Having just been reacquainted with her over the Christmas Holidays I can say that she looks just like her father did when he was her age and that she has a very sunny personality just like the orange cross block in the quilt.

     I quilted the quilt by using the walking foot in the cross blocks.  I added a line of echo quilting around the orange block for a little extra emphasis.  Then I used the free motion foot to quilt a motif from Angela Walters 2nd book of quilting motifs.
      I wasn't sure that I would be able to quilt the free motion motif but I gave it a try and it turned out much better than I had thought it would.   These motifs are like snowflakes no two are alike.

     Here is the quilt totally finished.  The front.

and the back

     I'm really pleased with this quilt and I hope to find the time to make more quilts of my own design.  This is my third finish for the 4th quarter of the 2016 finish along and it was my December goal for OMG.  I'll be joining the link up for OMG December finishes and also the link up for Main Crush Monday on Monday.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Holiday Greetings From Narnia

    We are in  full Holiday mode here and it has been hard to find large bits of time to work on the quilting of Charlotte's quilt.  The sewing room is also full to the rafters with donation quilts for my guild which makes it a little difficult to move around in.(They were made by guild members and I'm storing them until delivery).  I've been a bit sewing deprived so when Molli Sparkles posted the wildcard block for the Honey Pot Bee  I took it as an opportunity to squeeze in a little bit of sewing. 

      Jason Yenter meets Sarah Watts in these blocks with a little Japanese neutral thrown in for the tree trunks.  Don't you think the Lions look like Aslan from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  That was the first series of books I can remember falling in love with as a kid.....nope  Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George came before that.

      My quilting life is a busy as a bee hovering around a honey pot so I don't really need another bee, but this one is just perfect cause I don't have to do anything if I don't want too, or if my life goes off the rails somehow.  And heck if all the blocks are as easy as this one which comes from a tutorial by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter I'll be able to do it in my sleep.  Just kidding, when I sleep I sleep.  Plus we get to pretend we are princesses and wear tiaras (I'll have to get one) and drink sparkly wine.  What could be better.?

     The best thing of all is I'm going to make this quilt entirely from my stash.  Well if I cheat a little you will never know.
I collected all these fabrics here for a project in the past which I never got around to making.  I may not use them all and I may toss in something else if I think it will work better.

  Here you have it.  There's lots of Cotton and Steel, a little Violet Craft a little Dear Stella and other miscellaneous stuff from my past.

     I doubt I will post again until after boxing day so Happy Solstice my friends (yes today is the shortest day and they start getting longer tomorrow.  Yay!) Merry Christmas, have a wonderful holiday  and I'll see you back between boxing day and New Years when I link up with Cheryl's Best of 2016. I'm linking this post to Let's Bee Social.

     Do you have your tiara yet?