Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An Observation...

I've made a couple of changes recently to the way my day unfolds.

An unexpected bonus is that I seem to have made a bit more time for piecing, which is nice because that has been sorely lacking for a couple of years.

I've made good progress on my One Monthly Goal for this month...which, to be honest, I thought I wouldn't find a bit of time for! 

For a few years I've needed a new Christmas tree skirt. I began nice and early this year at Retreat in May...but made an error, shoved it aside and promptly forgot about it.

Well, this week things are looking hopeful to actually finishing it in time for Christmas!



I love doing Lone Star quilts and haven't made one in a while. My last tree skirt was the same pattern. For a moment yesterday I thought it would be nice to hand-quilt this piece, but then I gave my head a shake....this will be on the floor, under a pile of Christmas presents....machine-quilting will suffice!



I've had time to do the odd bit of sewing on my "I Am Enough" quilt.

I put some of the pieces up on the design wall. The beauty of a large design wall....I didn't have to disturb the Farm Girl Vintage blocks that were already up...



This is when I made my observation.

 I've often said I've gone through the "fabric change of life", since the bulk of my work over the years has been "country" colours (think Debbie Mumm). Now, I gravitate to the bright, cheery modern fabrics. 

Part of me is sure that this happens, of course, because we are influenced by what is going on in the fabric world at any given time.

Over the years I've also often worked with 30's reproduction prints....and that's what I notice in the above picture. To me, the bright, cheerful, clear, modern fabrics of the I Am Enough project are very much the same mood as the 30's fabrics in the Farm Girl Vintage! 

As much as I'm sure that I am influenced by trend...the thought of the similarities of the two types of fabrics pleases me for some strange reason.


Finally, I have to do my part to enable others to look to a new project, don't I??? Bwahahaha!

In the past, I've enjoyed taking part in Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville mystery, which always starts the day after the American thanksgiving....which is this week.

The last couple of years I've held back, as it's usually my busy time of year as a longarm quilter.

I think I'll give it a go this year. The quilt is a bit smaller than the past years....and, as my friend has said, at least try to do a bit each week of that week's clue. 

So....have a look at the intro and see if it interests you. Bonnie's instructions are always very clear. The only year gave up on one was due to very unfortunate colour choices on my part.

You can see the introduction HERE. The quilt is called Good Fortune.

Today I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social, Susan for Midweek Makers, and Esther for WOW, WIPs on Wednesdays.

Have a lovely, quilty day!

Friday, November 16, 2018

TGIF

It seems like it's been a looong week.

Not much planned for the weekend, so I imagine we'll get some stuff done around the house.

 Our dog,Cooper, has been under the weather, hopefully he's on the mend now. I won't go into messy details, but he and I have shared four showers this week :(

We've had our first real snow this last 24 hours...it's too soon! 

On to quilty things....

I've re-arranged how I begin my days and one of the bonuses is that, along with my regular longarming, I seem to have a bit of time for piecing my own quilts....woohoo!!! 

Maybe I'll actually make some headway with the UFO pile?!

I do have one goal. It is to get back at my Farm Goal Vintage....



It's been on my mind ever since May, when I saw my friend's completed one. Such a sweet quilt!

I think I'll try to make a note each week of what I'd like to accomplish....and the first will be to do two of these blocks per week!

Here are three blocks that have been done not too long ago, along with two (on the right) that are being relegated to the orphan-block pile...


My original background fabric is the red dotted one. Then I picked up the red "cheerio" fabric, thinking to throw some of that into the mix. The problem?.....the cheerio fabric is off-white and the original is pure white....so in real life the cheerio ones look awful.

Another problem??....I can't find the collection of blocks that I've finished a while ago!!! No worries, they must be in the sewing room somewhere.

Looking back on the week, I do seem to have accomplished a bit more than usual.

I am up-to-date on the Eleanor Burns Fun on the Farm sewalong. There is still time to join in, we're only at Month 4 of 12...



I've also made progress on my I Am Enough quilt...




I was nervous of how the braid would turn out, but I love it! We were to do a "hand" block and for some reason I remembered that I've kept my wedding gloves all these years from when Greg and I were married 35 years ago. I guess they were meant to be included in this quilt!

The next block is a monogram block. Even though I did not change my name when I married Iain, my monogram block will be "McD", to honour my marriage to him.

The more this quilt progresses, the more I love it. This quilt really is a personal journey.


I'm still intent on starting a Temperature Quilt in the new year. There are a few examples on Pinterest. I do like this chart and it will be the one I use to make my quilt. 




I also want to share something for those of you that have always wanted to learn to hand-piece but don't know where to start.

Patty at Elm Street Quilts will be hosting a Hand-piecing Quilt-along in the new year. She has already shared some tips on her blog. If you are interested in trying to hand-piece, you can check it out HERE.


That's all for now.....off to complete one of my Farm Girl blocks!

Have a wonderful, quilty day. I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop, Whoop?, and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Slow Sunday Basting Stitches

I was able to get caught up on my Save the Bees, block 3, this weekend.



I wonder if I should have taken the paper out of the hexies before appliqueing them onto the background? It would have made it a bit easier....I'll try it next time.



I really need to prep some applique...meanwhile I am prepping more English Paper Piecing for my Tula Nova...


I have this project packed in a little take-along case which made it handy to work a bit in the car on an outing to Brantford yesterday.

 I'm finding the basting difficult at the moment as the arthritis pain in my finger joints is really acting up lately. I wonder if weather really does play a role in arthritis? I tend to find that I have flare-ups when I don't watch what I eat, but then again, the weather for the last couple weeks has been mainly grey and damp. The swelling in my index finger is at an all time high....for years I've referred to this finger as Arthur....get it?..Arthur-itis?

Something came up this week about what people's favourite quilty tool is. I was at a loss, so just said my Karen Kay Buckley scissors.

As I sat stitching this morning I realised that I had a favourite that isn't the star of the show, but plays a supporting role in my applique....literally.

As long as I can remember, when I do my applique, I've had something resting on my lap to rest my work and hands on as I stitch. In the beginning it was an over-sized children's book, Lady and the Tramp. (Why do I remember such things, but not what I had for dinner last night!?)

Quite a few years ago, someone gave me a thank-you gift. It is a Clover product and you see it in every picture that I take of my hand-work. It's called the Clover Patchwork Board and I use it every day. 



One side is padded so you can use it to press your work, although I've never used that side. The other side has a leather flap that opens up to reveal a rough surface, which I hardly ever use....except for this past week.

I always forget about the rough, sandpaper-like surface....but it is awesome for tracing my EPP shapes on to the fabric...


Someone asked me once if I get sore wrists from all the applique, and I said I did not. I realised then that this board must help me in that respect, as I probably rest my hands on the board at regular intervals between stitching/pinning, etc., without really realising it.

I'd better get a move on....I'm having a run with my friend this morning in beautiful Waterford. I'm not sure it will be a good run as there hasn't been much time for it the last couple of weeks, but the sun is shining and that will make it a good run!

I am linking up today with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

P.S.  By the way, in my my last post I mentioned a curiousity about Temperature Quilts. It turns out, there is great inspiration on Pinterest and I'm definitely going to put this on my to-do list for the new year. Check it out and hopefully you will want to join in! (and, yes, I have been called an enabler from time-to-time, as recently as this past week, bwahahaha!)



Friday, November 9, 2018

Time to relax!

Well, I survived the busyness of the last two weeks!

I plan on relaxing today :)

I had a lot of fun speaking at the Oxford County Quilters' Guild this week....where you present your trunk show twice!...Once on the Wednesday evening and then again on the Thursday morning.

Such a great group of quilters, they surely made my job easier with their wonderful energy.




.....and I had good support, with Gail from The Cozy Quilter coming to cheer me on....



and a quilty friend attending on the Thursday morning for moral support!

By the way, the quilt in the background is the Guild's current raffle quilt...which, if I remember correctly, will be raffled at their upcoming quilt show in 2019.


I hesitate to plan a goal for One Monthly Goal this month, as it seems the month is already marching on. I've missed posting it on time, but I may as well go ahead. Maybe it will help me accomplish my goal!

I need a new Christmas tree skirt. I started one very early this year and was hurrying at it. The result?....a poor start! It would be nice to get this done for Christmas, but it will be a stretch. Luckily it is a pattern that I've had a lot of practice with over the years.

Here is my start...which I have to rip out a bit and fix...



Sorry for the poor quality picture, but it's quite a grey day here...and a bit snowy to boot!


I came across something interesting that I may try in 2019....something I've never heard of but is evidently a thing....a Temperature Quilt. 

You can read all about it HERE at Elm Street Quilts.


I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Busy times....

I have time for a quick post before getting ready for the next bit of "busy" before I can relax on Friday.

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, what with all the activities involved with a family wedding.

I'm happy to report that the wedding went off without a hitch (that I know of, anyway) and we all had a blast dancing the night away.

Here we are...all dressed-up and looking fine...


My eldest grandson, and my newly acquired granddaughter...



Now to prepare for two trunk shows!

All packed and ready to go...


I'll be speaking this evening and Thursday morning at the Oxford Quilters' Guild in Ingersoll, Ont....please join us if you can!

I took a few moments this morning to work on this past month's block for Save the Bees...


It's actually working up fairly quick. As you can see, I am old-school and baste the fabric to the paper. I've attempted doing glue-basting, but must be doing something wrong as I can't get good results.

Have a wonderful day....the sun is shining after the terrific winds we've experienced over the last 24 hours!

I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and with Susan for Midweek Makers.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Daily Mail

Just a quick post today as it's busy times around here preparing for my son's wedding this weekend!

I want to share a "finish"....just in time for my trunk shows next week!

This quilt was a result of an Instagram sewalong, #100days100blocks, using the City Sampler book by Tula Pink.

You can have a look at my previous post, HERE, to read about it a bit more.

A quick note....this has been offered as a sewalong three times now by @gnomeangel, and she has announced there will be another 100days quilt next year but using a different pattern. Follow her to keep updated, if you have an interest. I think it doesn't start til next Summer, so lots of time to think on it!

I am soooo happy with my quilt. It absolutely is how I envisioned it. It represents a newspaper and I am calling it The Daily Mail, after a newspaper my husband reads. Kind of appropriate, as it was a daily project, don't you think?

I also didn't want a binding, as I thought it would take away from the newspaper effect, so I finished the edges with a facing...



I quilted it with the perfect design, called Malachite...


It gives the quilt awesome texture...


Hard to see the quilting, I guess, but it's difficult getting good pictures lately with the gloomy weather we've been having.

I love this quilt...



Have a great day...I really have to get going on my day now! So much to do!!!

I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday, and with Confessions of A Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Rain, rain, go away....

It's been miserable cold, rainy weather here all weekend....but it's funny how that makes slow stitching all the more enjoyable...am I right? 

I could sit and stitch all day when the weather is so gloomy.

Today I am working on my Queen's Garden designed by Esther Aliu. I am leading this quilt as a BOM with my local guild, with permission from Esther, of course.

I'll be presenting Block 3 in a little over a week, but I thought I'd also do the handout for the orange-peel sashing as something people could get a head-start on, if they need a little extra applique.

This morning, I worked on the orange-peels a bit (but I need to prep a bit more for that) and I went back to the centre block to add some birds...



I still have to add some leaves at the base of the flowers, which I totally didn't notice missing until someone else noticed.

It's going to look nice with the sashing...


I'm finding that working with neutrals is quite challenging for me. I think it's working out....I just have to stop second-guessing my choices!


Next weekend both my son and my nephew are getting married. I just finished the binding on my nephew's wedding quilt....for some reason it was the longest binding ever. 



This quilt was a Border Creek Mystery quilt from a couple of years ago. It's nice that it's finding a home. I dropped it off yesterday so that's one thing off my to-do list for this week.

Have a wonderful day...hopefully you can find some time for some peaceful slow stitching today, especially if the weather gets you down.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.