Sunday, 25 June 2017

June Goal Finished

    Despite being very busy over the last month I've managed to squeeze in a little bit of sewing time and I am happy to report that I've finished my One Monthly Goal for June.  It was a fairly simple one as I knew I would be busy.

     My goal was to make a quilt top out of my Stash Bee blocks for 2016.  After seeing the blocks on the design wall I decided to add some sashing between the blocks and to add a wider border on the sides.  There are a lot of fun fabrics in this quilt.

     The quilt finishes at about 58" by 76"  I received quite a few blocks from people who crashed the hive to make fun blocks so I will be able to make another quilt with the leftovers.  

          I'll be linking up with Beth of Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday and with Patty at Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal link up.  It feels good to have this happy quilt top finished.          

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Free Fall Link Up

     I am really in love with this quilt.  It's our version of the Free Fall Quilt, put together by myself and my friends Cyndy and Wendy.  I took it out Sunday morning to get photos in the early light.

     As we are going to donate this beauty to our Guild's outreach committee, we enlarged the quilt to fit the dimensions needed. We added extra leaves on the white fabric below the shadow leaf to lengthen the quilt and plain borders on the top and sides.

     I love how the leaves on the bottom look like they are swirling in the wind.

     We bought the fabrics for the shadow leaf and the background from Creative Sisters, which is our new local quilt shop since Greenwood Quiltery has closed.  Local now means going to Kitchener, the next city to the west.

     For the smaller leaves we used larger scraps and fat quarters from our stashes, including fabrics from Tamara Kate, Kaffe Fassett, Malka Dubrawsky and Amy Butler.

     There was absolutely no hope of us quilting this beauty before the link up because our lives are too busy right now.   Cyndy's daughter and two grandchildren are visiting from Qatar.  Wendy's youngest son is getting married mid July and she's sewing a lot of the dresses.

    We welcomed our new grandson two weeks ago (the day after we moved his family across town). This has been both joyous and stressful as his mother ended up with an infection and had to go back to the hospital twice.  She has an auto immune condition so this is quite serious for her.  She is back home now and appears to be much healthier so we are all hoping she will continue in good health and the family of four can get back to normal.

     Dwight and I, along with the other set of grandparents, and many friends have been pitching in to babysit both the new born and the 15 month old as Mom has been very sick and in the hospital for a couple of days at a time.  We love spending time with the little ones.  The new born Eli is pretty laid back so far and Gabriel is a going concern who loves to be outdoors.  I'm feeling very grateful to my employers who have let me have extra time off work.  Everything else has pretty much gone out the window.

     I'll be linking up with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts for the Main Crush Monday link up and with Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon for the Free Fall link up.  Thanks Sandra for designing this quilt and holding this fun quilt along, and thanks Cyndy and Wendy for joining me in making this wonderful quilt.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Getting Social Again with a Little Bit of This and That

     It's a beautiful day today and lucky me, I have an unexpected day off so I've been using the fact that it's not dull and rainy to take some photos of some of the blocks I've been making in the last while.

     Why the day off!  Well my second grandson was scheduled to be delivered by C section yesterday and I booked off today and tomorrow to help out with Gabriel and the new baby Eli while my son is at non violent intervention training.  Eli decided to mess up everyone's schedule and arrive  a week early so I scrambled to get off two days last week as well.  My shifts this week were filled so as I was not needed today I get to relax.  I'll be back with the kids tomorrow.  Yay!
 I plan to do a little cooking also to help keep everyone nourished.

     I've been scrambling lately to find enough time to quilt and to blog but here are some of the things I have been working on.

     First up is this paper pieced, paper airplane block I made for the block lotto for the Toronto Modern Guild.  I love this block and sadly I did not win the blocks so I'll have to make more sometime.  The pattern is a free one from Kristy at Quiet Play and it's a pretty easy pattern.

     Have you seen the Little Tents  quilt that Daisy from Ants to Sugar ( Now Warm Folk) designed?  I think it's beautiful and I proposed it as a summer block lotto for my local guild Royal City Quilters Guild.  For our block lottos, the community outreach committee gets half the blocks and we use them to make donation quilts.  This is a 12 1/2" block and the quilters can make this size or 6 1/2" or 18 1/2".  We are giving people till November to get these blocks done.

     Keeping with the outdoorsy theme, we are holding two block lottos over the summer and the second is for these tree blocks using the tutorial by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. This one is due in October.   And if you are wondering about the socks that go so nicely with these blocks they are Maggie's organic cotton, made in the USA.  I have a bit of a love affair with Maggie's socks so I thought I would share it here.

     The Delectable Mountains blocks were made for the Grand River Modern Quilt Guild block lotto details here.  We had to use a solid and a low volume fabric.  I chose purple because the sample block was green and I thought they would go well together.  I also made the May block but I don't have a photo of it.

      Now I know what you are thinking...three guilds, is she nuts? The answer would be yes.   At some point I will have to do some adjusting here.  I've belonged to the local traditional guild for about 10 years and for the next two years I'm chairing the community outreach committee which I love.  I joined the TMG about two years ago and the Grand River Guild a couple of months ago.  Grand River is closer to my home and I was thinking I would eventually leave the Toronto Guild but after the last TMG meeting I realized that I am quite bonded to those women....especially the ones I went to Quilt Con with so I guess I'll just thinly spread myself between the three guilds for now.  Both Modern Guilds are quite laid back and casual which suits my style.

     Which brings me to Stash Bee.  Here is my version of the block we made last month for Susan.  It's a Celtic Knot and Susan asked for bright happy fabrics.  I think it will fit the bill.

     I'm linking up with the Social Butterfly herself Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  It's good to be back and hopefully I'll stay a while.

Monday, 5 June 2017

One Monthly Goal for June

     Well May managed to get away from me somehow with only two blog posts to show for it.  In all truth it was a very busy month with a visit to my sister for the Victoria Day weekend, and a day moving my son and his family into their new rental house.

       I did get some sewing done at a sew in at my local guild and I'll share that later in the month when Sandra has the link up for the Free Fall Quilt Along but I didn't manage to finish my goal for the month.  I do have a really good excuse though.  

     My second grandson arrived one week and a day before his scheduled C section and quilting plans went out the window!  I don't have any really good pictures of him yet so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that he is gorgeous!  His name is Elisha Luke but they call him Eli for short.  If like me, you are unfamiliar with the name it rhymes with Elijah. He weighed 6 lbs 15 ounces and is almost the spitting image of his older brother.  Both boys were born with a full head of hair.  Gabriel's never fell out.

      Back to quilting. My goal  for May was to sew the flimsy together for my Circle of Friends Quilt.   I did manage to square up the blocks and I put them on the design wall. 

     I decided that once I sewed the blocks together the circles would be closer together than I would like so I decided to sash them.  This is as far as I've got.  These are big blocks 15 inches , so I am making the quilt to have 4 rows with 3 blocks each.  The sashing and outside borders are 2 inches.

   I've decided to push this goal into June and hopefully I'll complete the flimsy this month.  It will be a busy one with lots of babysitting as mom recuperates from her C section.  Life with a 15 month old and a newborn is wonderful but also tiring!

     I'm joining the OMG link up at Elm Street Quilts.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Free Fall Progress

     The past two weeks have been even busier than normal. I've been to three different guild meetings, one bee day, a workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood in Toronto and a training for my job.  I've also had a cold and allergies so it's been hard to sit down and share my experiences here.   I do however, have some progress to share on the Free Fall quilt along.  None of the progress you are seeing here is mine though.  There is a little bit of Cyndy progress and a lot of Wendy progress added to my blocks in this photo.  The lighter leaves don't show up too well so you will have to use your imaginations.

     One of the 1/2 and 1/2 blocks is missing because a small piece of fabric was with me and not with Wendy. Actually now that I think about it there is some progress by me as I fixed the leaf points that were going in the wrong direction.   We are making our quilt larger than the original so there are a few more blocks to come.  There is a sew day at our local guild on Saturday and we are planning to put the top together there....I know Sandra has yet to post the  instructions but I think we can figure it out.
      Things will continue to be busy in the next while as we will be visiting my sister over the Victoria Day weekend.  Fingers crossed she's not flooded.  Two weeks after that our second grandson will be delivered by C section and lucky me I get to babysit his older brother for a couple of days while his Dad is at a work training.  Life is good.  Just no time to sit down.  I'm linking with the Free Fall Link up.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

One Monthly Goal for May

     It's time to set my Monthly Goal for May and I've decided to tackle putting the top together for my 2016 Stash Bee Top.
I chose the Circle of Squares or Circle of Friends block for that project.  It's been a year since I posted the tutorial to my bee mates so it it will be nice to put it together for that anniversary.

          The pattern for these blocks came from Janeth of Toefeather.  I altered the pattern to make 15 1/2" blocks not thinking about the fact that my biggest squaring up ruler is 12 1/2".  Lisa of Lisa in Port Hope shared  in a comment with me how she squares blocks using her cutting mat, but I've managed to borrow a really big squaring up ruler from Cheryl so I will be able to use that. 

     So while I wait for the last of my 2017 bee blocks to arrive, I'll move the 2016 blocks closer to completion.

     What's your monthly goal for May? 
 I'm linking up with the OMG goal link up at Elm Street Quilts.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

I Made Myself a Tiara

      Ever since Molli Sparkles announced the Honey Pot Bee, I've wanted to have a tiara.  It just seemed fitting for the Queens and Kings and Princes and Princesses mentioned in the write up.  Well this morning I finished making my tiara or perhaps it's a crown.  The pattern for this crown, the Sew Royal block is from this tutorial by the Sparkling man himself.   

     I used purple mirror dot fabric that I picked up at the Toronto Modern Guild's sale a few months back.  The darker purple fabric is from that sale as well.  I bought both fabrics with the intention of donating them to my local guild's community outreach stash. I'll still donate the fabric to the guild but these fabrics were just perfect for  a crown block so I decided to use just a tiny bit for myself first.

     I'm posting this on Sunday night the last day of April , just squeezing it in before the deadline One Monthly Goal.   After two months of not meeting my goal I went with a smaller goal this month and I'm happy to say I reached it.  My goal was to make four blocks for the Honey Pot Bee.  The crown is one of them and here are the others, in the order I made them.

The Starflower block which was Molli's pick for January and comes from a tutorial by Jennifer of Ellison Lane.

     The Stripey Stripe block which was Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts block design for April.  I think this was my favourite to make so far.  It's very clever and quite simple to make.

     The starry sky block chosen by Kitty of Night Quilter for April . The paper pieced pattern was designed by Persevering Mom.

     Here's my blocks all hanging out together.  There should be two trees but I could only find one, which gives you an idea of the state of my sewing room.

     I'm not 100% sure the crown will work in the same quilt as the other  blocks but maybe I'll just try throwing some more purple into the mix and see what happens.  I'm linking up with the OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts and with Beth at Cooking up quilts for Main Crush Monday Tuesday this week, because I'm pretty happy to have met this goal.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Improv Row for a Group Project.

     It's been a while since I've worked on any improv projects and truth be told I have not been keeping up with the adhoc improv quilt link due to other demands on my time.  I do however have a piece to share this week.  Here's a detail of one of my favourite parts of this piece.

     It all started out with a challenge that Cheryl brought to our small modern group.  Cheryl is the co chair of the community outreach committee of the guild.  She had some blocks from the block of the month program that weren't quite working with other blocks from that month.  Here's the original block.  It's 20 inches square.  Mine had slightly different fabrics, but they were the same range.

     Cheryl cut the blocks in half on the diagonal giving each of us a piece that looked like this.

     Our task was to take the triangle, along with some pieces of fabric she gave us and to make a row for a quilt adding other fabrics from our stash that went with it and grey fabric.

      I started cutting,slashing and adding pieces until I ended up with this piece which I rather liked.

      I had my starting off piece so I worked on adding components.  Things went up on the design wall.  Here's the start of something.

     And here's further refinement.  

     I worked on this row over a course of several weeks around other projects.  There were some challenges for me.  Some of the additional fabrics we were given were ugly ducklings to my eye and incorporating them was a bit difficult.
Another problem was that I didn't have enough of the grey fabric I was using as background so I had to figure out how to solve that problem.  A couple of the improv pieces I have worked on have had size requirements and trying to get your free flowing design into a certain size can be a bit daunting.

     My daughter Madeleine relaxes with rock climbing and she loves bouldering.  Bouldering takes place on a three dimensional structure and a course is set that requires the climber to problem solve a way up the route.  I think the process she enjoys with bouldering is similar to the process I enjoy with improv.  It takes your brain into a focussed place where you work out your next step.

    In the end I added a darker grey.  This required me to go back and add some of that grey to the other side of the row.
Here's my final result.  I'm quite happy with it.  I don't think the dark grey is perfectly balanced in the row but I'm pretty sure it will balance out in the quilt.

     It's interesting.  I have seen rows made by 6 others in the group and they are all quite different, but the fabrics tie them together .   When It's all put together I'll share a photo.

Linking with:  Adhoc Improv Quilters
                     Lets Bee Social

Monday, 24 April 2017

Free Fall Quilt Along Progress

     I've been feeling pretty happy lately.  Although it's still a bit cold, it's been more Spring like.   The longer days filled with bird song and sun make such a difference to my mood.  At work things have been a bit of a strain with our computers and consequently cash registers, and debit machines acting up but I think things have all been sorted out now.  It's amazing how much things like that can take a toll.

     I've been working on catching up with the Honey Pot Bee ( I'll post about that later in the week) and I've been keeping up with my part of Sandra's quilt along Free Fall.  It's great doing this quilt along with my friends as I have less to do and I'm able to keep up.   Here are my blocks for this week.

     But the joke is on me because as I look at them I can see that I made a mistake in two of them and I'm going to have to fix them.  So I guess I'm not all caught up. It's a pretty easy fix that I'll do tonight.  All the fabric for this quilt is at my friend Wendy's so I have no shadow leaf point to share and I suspect it's not done yet.
   The three of us are making this together as a donation quilt and we are expanding on the size and the number of leaf blocks in the background section so one friend is making three blocks on this off white background and one friend is making four.  That friend is making one less of the blocks on the shadow background.  At the last link up I hadn't quite completed my blocks on the shadow leaf background.  So here they are.  Let's see if I made any mistakes with these.

     They look pretty good.   I'm off to work in a few minutes so I'll leave you here.  I'm linking up with Beth of Cooking up Quilts, Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, and Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts.  This last link up is pretty new to me.  It's a weekly link up of charitable quilts called Sew Some Love.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Oh Happy Mail

     It's my turn this month as Queen Bee for Stash Bee Hive 4 and the Happy Mail has started to arrive.   Here are my first arrivals which came last Friday.  Aren't they awesome!

     I decided to use one of my designs from the 30 quilt designs challenge I did with Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, for my block.  This was one of my first designs and it is based on a flag from Canada's history, the Carignan Saliere flag.

    I'm using my blocks to  make a quilt for my niece and I chose my palette based on a woven blanket she has.  It's an off white with blue lines running through it and little pops of red.  My plan is to make the quilt primarily with blues, greys and low volumes with a bit of red here and there.  Here are my sample blocks.  

     It's a pretty simple block to make, essentially combining a pinwheel with a plus sign.  My blocks finish at 12 1/2 inches so I made my 1/2 square triangles at 5 1/2".  The two shorter pieces of the plus sign where 2 1/2" by 5 1/2 " and the longer piece of the plus sign is 2 1/2" by 12 1/2".  I've been thinking  about arrangements with this pattern and there just might be another quilt top in the making.

        I've been planning this quilt for my niece for some time and I have tons of blue and grey fabrics to fill in the spaces between the reds. My daughter was home for Easter and she gave a thumbs up on the blocks so far.

      Being queen bee for the month is so much fun.  I'm sitting back enjoying the good weather and watching my beautiful blocks arrive.  Linking with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday which is held on Tuesday this week because of the New Blogger Blog Hop.   Are you following along?  It's always so much fun to meet new bloggers through the hop.  I'm also going to link up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Main Crush Tuesday

   We have had some glorious weather over the last few days and I am happy to say that Spring seems to have arrived  So one thing I'm crushing on is the weather.

  I'm also crushing on getting together with my quilting amigos again to work on a common project.   This time we are jointly making the Free Fall quilt to donate to our guild's charity project.  Free Fall is a quilt designed by Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon.  She is running a quilt along for this pattern right now, so you can join us if you like.
As my friends and I only get together about once a month for group sewing, we started out a bit behind.  We spent our day together sifting through our fabrics making choices on fabrics for the smaller leaves and then cutting them.

    We divided the leaf packs and took them home to sew as homework.  This is my progress as of Sunday night.

     There are 8 blocks with small leaves on a shadow leaf background.  I took three of these.  The photo above gives you an idea of what the completed block will look like.  The photo below gives you an idea of some of the other colours we will be using.

     In the end the palette for this quilt moved away from blues chosen originally for the small leaves, to greens and light oranges with a few accents of purples and browns. It will be a colourful and happy quilt. I am happy that my friends agreed to work on this quilt along with me as things continue to be quite busy for me, so I don't have to stress about keeping up.

     Did you notice the bright white background in the photo .  That's something I'm quite excited about, and the third thing I'm crushing on this week. I bought a Tasmanian  sewing table from Nova Sewing in Hamilton Ontario.  My wonderful husband picked it up and put it together for me.

  The exciting thing about this table is that the sewing machine drops down, making it level with the table top.  My blogging friend Kate of Smiles from Kate has this table and assures me I will love it.  I've started machine quilting my own quilts now and so many people have told me that things will go much more smoothly with the sewing machine dropped to table top level.  I have yet to try quilting but for piecing I can tell that my arms are better placed for ergonomics than with the table I used to have.  I'm looking forward to my next quilting experience.  I'm linking up with the Free Fall linkup and with Main Crush Monday Tuesday this week.  Then I'm going to read some more posts from the New Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Leanne of She Can Quilt and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

2017 Finish Along 2nd Quarter List.

The first quarter is over and I managed to finish only one of my for this quarter there is a lot I can carry forward, but I think I'll drop a couple of goals and replace them with others.  I'm in the make the list long camp, although sometimes when I see other peoples long lists I think I'm in the make the list medium camp.  I like to keep my options open.

So carried forward from the 1st quarter list.

1.  The second quilt top I made.  I've sewn the back together and bought the batting so I'm feeling positive about this ones chances for a finish.

2.  Snowflake Shimmer: This is from a quilt along with Quilting Jetgirl last summer and it would be nice to get this beauty done....but I have a couple of other things I'd like to quilt first so it may slide over into quarter 3.

3. Clam Shell:  I think the top is more than 1/2 finished so it would be good to nudge it further.

4.Circle of Friends.  These are my stash bee blocks from 2016.  I'm being held back by not having a large enough squaring up ruler....I really need to borrow one.

5.  Tea Cozy.  This is a present for my 88 year old aunt so I should get a move on.

What I'm adding to the list

6.Quilt made with charm squares:

7 & 8.Quilt Remix :  turn the blocks I made for the Quilt Remix workshop at Quilt Con into quilts.

Well this is more than enough to keep me busy, so I'll end the list here and link up to the 2017FAL Quarter 2 with Leanne of She Can Quilt.....buttons on the side bar, and because I haven't been to sociable of late I'll link this list up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Hi Lorna!  

Monday, 3 April 2017

One Monthly Goal for April

     I don't like having to admit this but for the last two months I haven't managed to meet my goals for OMG.  Life is hopping and it's interfering with my quilting plans. 
      Patty of Elm Street Quilts, who hosts the OMB link up suggested that I go with smaller goals.  Instead of aiming to finish a quilt perhaps I should make a couple of blocks.  I've decided to heed her advise this month and I'm setting my goal at making four blocks for the Honey Pot Bee.  I've wanted to participate in this bee but refer to life interfering with quilting plans above.

     I think I can manage four blocks.  I did make these two pictured below in one week.  I know they are both very simple but surely if I can make two simple blocks in a week I can make at least one more complicated block in a week.

The block above is a sample block for a quilt kit I put together for my guild's bee day to be held at the end of the month. I didn't have to make the block but I really loved the fabrics Cheryl and I put together for the kit so I wanted to see a completed block.  I love this combination of fabrics so I'm secretly hoping no one picks this kit so I can work on it. 

     We get together on bee days to make quilts for the sexual assault/domestic violence project at our local hospital. 
The next block is also for the hospital program.  It's a sample block for the block of the month program where guild members get a kit to make one block to be made later into a quilt.  Can you tell that I picked the pattern for this month.  I seem to be obsessed with plus blocks lately.  It's going to be gorgeous as well.  All turquoises and oranges with the white background.

     So I'm hoping that if I take the pressure off myself and place smaller monthly goals, that I can meet those goals and make some process on the bigger goals at the same time.
And just so you know I finished my February goal on April 1st.  Here's my finished Meadow Mystery quilt top.  Thanks to Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for running another wonderful quilting mystery and designing another lovely quilt.

     And so you know that the quilting gods have a sense of was after I snapped this photo on April first and put it on the computer I noticed that there is a section in one of the blocks that is upside down!  I'm linking up to the OMG link up at Elm Street Quilts, and because both blocks above are for charity I'm linking up with Kat and Cat Quilts.  Kat and Cat Quilts hosts the Sew Some Love Link up on Tuesdays, for any quilt your are making for Charity..

Monday, 27 March 2017

Quilting with Friends

     There is nothing like a quilt hanging on a line to brighten up a dull day.  Although it was not raining when I went out to snap the picture, the quilt was cold and damp when I brought it back inside.  But the dampness couldn't dampen its spirits as its a happy little quilt.

     It's for the Canadian Quilters Association Big Quilting Bee and I'll be putting it in the mail soon.  It will join many other quilt tops destined for Ronald McDonald houses across Canada.  It's a very kid friendly version of the slab quilt with its crayon box colours and with lots of eye spy type fabrics including clouds, whales , fish, frogs and fruits and vegetables.
    Wendy and Cyndy and I got together a couple of weeks ago to make the slab blocks out of our scraps. Often when we get together we are working on our own projects but occasionally we work on a project together.  For our next project we are going to make a quilt together following Sandra's  Free Fall Quilt Along.   If you or your friends are interested there is still loads of time to join in as the quilt along is just getting started.
     We'll be making the quilt a little bit larger than Sandra's to fit the requirements of our guild's comfort quilts.  We will do that by adding more negative space around the outside of the pattern.  Lucky for us, our now local quilt shop, which is one town away had a sale on Saturday and we picked up some fabrics for the background and the shadow leaf, along with a couple of fat quarters for smaller leaves.  We'll build the rest of the leaves out of our stashes.

     The background is an off white Kona (not on sale)  The orange is for the shadow leaf and the blue and black fabrics are for smaller leaves.  We get together to sew about once a month so I guess we'll have homework in between.  I'm sure this will be a fun project for us to tackle...and who knows maybe we'll make a second one out of batiks.  So today I'll say I'm crushing on community, both my local community of quilters and my online community and I'm linking up to Main Crush Monday  with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts and to the Quilt Bee with Lorna of Sewfresh Quilts.  And here's a new one to me.  I'm linking also with Kat of Kat and cat quilts to Sew Some Love, and yet another new to me linkup for quilts related to Canada's 150th Celebrate-Fetons 150  (sorry I don't have the accent over the e in Fetons) with Andree of Quilting and Learning.  
     This post is getting lots of mileage because I'm also linking with Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon for her free fall link up.