Friday, April 21, 2017

Oasis, Shopkins and Batman!

I'm finally making some headway on the latest round of my Midnight at the Oasis. 



Lots of orange peel blocks needed, but as of today I only need two more.


I'm still not quite happy with the very centre, but I'll leave it for now and see if another fabric that will do better comes to mind.

Yesterday was indeed a Throwback Thursday....I haven't sewn clothing in a few years...maybe since my daughter was a little girl??

Well, lately I read on someone's blog (sorry, I really can't recall who's) about a twirly skirt she was making. She was using Shopkin's fabric and I have a little granddaughter who is obsessed with Shopkins. Whenever I see her she shows me all the the different "characters" she has.

I did find the instructions for the skirt HERE if you want to see how it will look.

A couple of weeks ago we searched high and low for Shopkins fabric in our area. I got the impression it is a new fabric that hasn't come to Canada yet. I did find it on Etsy...ordered it and it arrived quickly....


As it happens, little Mina also loves Batman. This skirt is reversible, so here's a peek at the other fabric I'm using...



This is an easy enough skirt and I think she will live in it all Summer long, but it sure uses skills that I haven't used in a long time. There are a couple of tiers and ruffle so there is a lot of gathering to be done.

Here it is, so far....still another tier and ruffle to be added, and the Batman skirt to be done...



Linking up today with Sarah for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?,  and with Myra for Finished or Not Friday.

There was so much rain, thunder and lightning here yesterday and today is starting out very foggy, but I have a feeling when the sun comes out it will mean the first mowing of the lawn on Sunday. I'm looking forward to getting out and tidying up the yard and getting ideas for this year's garden!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Long Time Gone

I've been taking part in a sew-along online for the Jen Kingwell quilt, Long Time Gone. 

It's a good way to be part of something that has many people from around the world sharing their progress, as well. I have to admit, I do seem to like sew-alongs lately!

So far, the workload hasn't been too bad, but there are some pretty intense blocks coming up in the near future. 

We are starting Week 6. So far I am keeping up...somewhat.....I still have to go back and complete Week 2 at some point. 

There is a deadline to finish the specific sections each week. Once complete the blocks are posted on Instagram to be eligible for prizes.




Hopefully I'll stick with it and not let this join the pile of UFO's!

Today I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social, with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for I May Have a Scrap Problem, Silly Mama Quilts for WIP's and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek-Makers.

If you've never tried a sew-along, I encourage you to think about it....it's lots of fun!

This week I did a bit of hand-quilting on my Quilty365/Year in My Life. I happened to lose my needle so I spread the quilt on the floor to run a magnet over it. I thought I'd take a picture while it was out on the floor....


I may be about half-way done, not counting the borders. At this point, I have no idea what I'll quilt in the outer borders. Some of the stitching you see is actually the longarm-basting that is holding it together. I take those stitches out as I progress across the quilt.

I hope to have this one done in time for the Fall Fair season!

Oh, and you can see Minnie in her "throne" watching the action. She does think it's her chair....if the grandchildren dare to sit in it she gives them what-for!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Image result for happy easter images 2017 funny

Happy Easter everyone!  

I have a mixed-up schedule this week and will be working today but I still took a few minutes to do some slow stitching. 

I pulled out my Quilty365/Year In My Life quilt to do some hand-quilting. If you remember, each block was done to commemorate each day last year. I thought it would be nice to work on last year's Easter block.

As far as I can determine, I think this one is it...


One of them looks like it may represent Easter eggs, don't you think?

Whenever I pull this quilt out to work on, it makes me feel like I could enjoy the whole day just quilting....so peaceful.

My goal is to have this one done by the time the Fall Fair comes. I'm not going to rush it, though, it'll get done at some point. 

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching so we can see what others are working on today, and also with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh Scrap!.

Have a wonderful Spring day!


Friday, April 14, 2017

A successful Retreat!

Back to the real world after a few lovely days on a quilting retreat hosted by Quilt Junction, held at the beautiful Elmhurst Inn in Ingersoll, Ontario.

The decision to go was definitely meant to be a one-time treat to myself....to go and relax, meet new quilting friends, be pampered in the Spa at the Inn and enjoy excellent cuisine. Well, I think this is now going to be a yearly thing! 

There were thirty of us set up in the Grand Ballroom, a beautiful large, bright room that was perfect for getting some sewing done....




Lana, our lovely hostess, had a booth set up just in case any of us had forgotten any essentials....or just needed a bit of retail therapy!




I was happy to start my Retreat with having lunch with my sister...of the four sisters she is the youngest and I am the oldest. We don't see each other very often so it was so special to get to spend an hour or so together...



I can't say enough about the food our group experienced during our stay....here is just a sample of our meals....



I wish I had taken a picture of this dish on the menu so I could remember what was in it and maybe try to replicate it. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go back sometime!


I did manage to get some sewing done! I paced myself, since last time I spent too much time in a chair sewing resulted in being laid up with back problems for a couple of weeks. So...many breaks walking around looking at everyone else's inspiring work!

My main project was to complete my Happy Days quilt. After a rocky start things started to fall in place...



.....and.....it's done!!!!!......


My goal for April was to have this quilt top done.

I'll set aside some time this Summer to get it quilted up in time for the Fall Fair season. I had thought to do an edge-to-edge quilting design on it, but after seeing it laid out in full I now think a light custom job is in order. I love it!

Day 2....I wanted to get the next step complete in my version of Sandra Walker's sew-along, Freefall Spring Quilt-Along.  I had the prep-work done ahead of time and was happy to get them sewn together....all ready for the next step. It was fun, also, to learn a couple of slick techniques for these blocks....thanks, Sandra Walker! 



I want to keep on track with this sew-along since I think this may be a good entrant into this year's Fall Fair category that is celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial! I am linking this post to Sandra's linky party at Musings of a Menopausal Melon. Check it out to see other quilters' take on Freefall!

My final project for the Retreat was to assemble my Nature's Neutrals. 

This was a quilt made of blocks from a group exchange. The blocks are 5" unfinished and we were to make 2 sets of eight blocks per month for two years. Each month we submitted our blocks and came away with sixteen different blocks. 

I did not want this quilt to wait years to be done, so it was on the list for this week.

Here it is...



I have kept a few blocks aside so I could make a decision at this point to see if the quilt needed to be wider or longer, etc. So, an hour of work sometime in the near future will see this one truly done! 

During our Retreat, Lana did a couple of demos and also showed us how to construct a little fabric "box" meant to put our odd bits of thread and snippets of fabric into...



Thanks, Lana....this will be put into my applique bag for the times I get together for stitching with friends!

All in all, a very successful Retreat....not to mention making new quilty friends. Can't wait 'til next year!

Today I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Fridays, Koka Quilts for sew, stitch, snap, SHARE, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop!.





Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Stitches



I'm feeling a bit lazy this morning....which is sometimes a good thing, right?

As usual, I've started my day with a bit of stitching. I've started sewing some of the circle flowers for my Down the Rabbit Hole. The difficult part is making sure the centres are off-centre....usually I'm trying to get them centred perfectly....


....and here they are posing on the medallion...


Yesterday I continued getting my projects organised for my Retreat this week (yay!). One of them is the Freefall Mystery offered by Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon. There is a step this week that I wanted to try at home first which made me a little nervous. 

The step involves Paperless Paper-Piecing, which you can see on Sandra's blog, here. We all know how much paper-piecing gives me a headache! 

Well, it worked!....and no ripping papers out afterward! 


...So these bits can be packed away for Retreat to be sewn into maple leaves for the quilt.


Last evening my son and his little ones came for a visit. He has a two-year old and the eight-week old twins. Poor guy....looked so tired! 


I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching



Friday, April 7, 2017

Snow Day

We have started the day with what I hope is the last blast of winter. I think that means a day spent in the sewing room!

Other than working on the longarm, I hope to continue with progress on my Happy Days.

Here is a reminder of the main body of the quilt...


I am now doing the piecing that's required for the border. The applique for the border has been done for a couple of months.

This involves a lot of strip-piecing to get a nice scrappy look. This is probably the one part of the quilt I'm not enjoying so much (except for the paper-piecing, of course).

Here's a glimpse of how the border is shaping up...


So, there are 24 triangles needed from the strip-sets and 8 of the 1/2 units. 

The circular block is my centre for Down the Rabbit Hole....just auditioning the bias strip that's pinned around the circle.

Today I am linking up with Finished or Not FridaysCan I Get a Whoop Whoop, and with Finish It Up Fridays.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday, prepping for Retreat

I am continuing this week to start gathering projects that I'd like to work on at Retreat next week.

One will be to do a bit of work on the 54 Churn Dash blocks that will be needed at some point for my Midnight at the Oasis. I made one up yesterday just to see how cute it would be....these will work up as 3" finished blocks!...



I also took a few minutes to sew some of my Orange Peels to the centre medallion...



I have to confess, I've known for a while that my orange peels were not the correct size but went on anyway. Yesterday I had a moment of wanting to start them all over again. I have fourteen appliqued of the twenty needed. 

I've decided to leave them. Even though they are not going to give the effect that is intended in the pattern, they are still sweet little blocks. Or....I could do them over....I don't know, I don't know :(


I think today is my first time sharing the start of my Down the Rabbit Hole, the 2017 BOM offered by Sarah Fielke.

I'm a little behind, but not too much, since I've wanted to get close to finishing last year's first. That one, Happy Days, is nearly done....I think it will be on the list for Retreat!


This BOM is a medallion-style...and this will be the centre of the quilt. I've plopped a circle/flower on it so you can get the idea of where this is going....after all the stems are sewn on, there will be flowers and some leaves added.



Linking up with Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers and with Silly Mama Quilts for WIPs - Works in Progress and with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social