Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mixed feelings.....

As I'm waiting for a visitor this morning, I thought I'd do something productive. I just had two more borders to attach to my Circles so thought it would be nice to have a "finish" today!

Here it is freshly hung on the design wall.....
Now, it does feel good to have a "finish"....I think we can all agree with that....but as I was pressing out the last border I felt a bit melancholy. I really enjoyed working on these Circles! It's a project from a kit I bought at Quilt Canada last year. It was a go-to project when I just needed something simple to occupy my time. It was also my first time, I think, working with these types of fabrics. So many good memories went into the stitches of this quilt!

I really wanted this one completed soon as it is on my calendar to quilt on the longarm in September. (Yes, if us longarmers don't put our own quilts on the schedule they never seem to get quilted!) The fabrics are so soft, though, that if I paired it up with some wool batting it would be a dream to hand-quilt!!!!

Thanks to one of my friends, KathyH, for introducing me a few years back to what is now my favourite perennial , the Hibiscus. I now have a couple in my garden and I've been waiting patiently (or not) for them to bloom this summer. I know my garden always seems to be a bit behind in blooming, but this year I think it seems more-so.

Finally, a few buds are showing and I should have beautiful big blooms in the next few days!

Have a bloomin' good day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Best laid plans

I've been on quite a rigid schedule since the wedding this summer to try to play "catch up" with my quilting. Not bad so far! Life has gotten in the way just a tad lately so it's taken a bit longer than usual to complete this beauty.....

As soon as I finish this post I'll get at it and should finish in the next two hours. It will be wonderful to be done so I can take it off the machine and see it in all it's glory!

Something that does stay constant is the peace I get from starting my day with a bit of hand-stitching. I've been working on my Flower Garden and still loving it! I think it will be quite spectacular when it's a real quilt. Thank so much to Kim McLean for her beautiful applique patterns!

On that note, I'd better start my day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Garden, colouring and creativity!

I was able to do a bit of applique with my morning coffee today and was able to come finish the intertwining vine on my Auntie Green's Garden. It always feels good to come to a "next part" of a project!

As I sat there, I took a look at the flower that has offended me....

...and I thought it wasn't so bad after-all! I've had a new piece prepared to make a change to this flower, but figure I will leave it.

Until I hung the piece on the design wall to admire my progress....

....and my eye keeps being drawn to that flower! So, tomorrow morning I will remove it. So strange with all the fabrics going on in this quilt, one silly fabric choice is slapping me in the face! lol

Lately I heard of something that has been around for awhile, but I hadn't heard of it......colouring books for grown-ups. I hear they can be used to bring down the stress level of our busy lives. Well, I have my daily hand-stitching for that but I loved to colour as a girl, so I got myself a book and some lovely pencil crayons.

Here is my first picture, I loved sitting on my lunch break and colouring a bit but I'm sure if I don't watch out, this could become a huge time-sucker!

I'm going to date each picture as I do them and write a little caption of what is going on in my life that a type of journal.

I've been doing a lot of stitch-in-the-ditch (SID) on the current quilt on the longarm this week. Today I finally get to play with some of the creative stitching! It's funny, though, for the first three years of my longarming career I avoided doing SID, but now I quite like it. Of course, it's worth doing as it really gives a tailored look to the quilt, in my opinion.

I took classes in June with Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts. I've been determined to use what I've learned and today I'll start out with a cute little motif.....


Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My so-called "creative process".....

A few times a year, in my longarm business, I do some custom quilting.

I have gained some experience in custom quilting.

So why, oh why, is it the same routine every time???!!!!

I know by looking at my schedule that such a quilting job is coming up. I try to imagine what I shall attempt to do with the quilting. I fret and stew for an average of two days.....every time! Then I get started, thinking that surely by the time I get the quilt mounted on the machine and perhaps start with the stitch-in-the-ditch work that perhaps I will come up with some ideas.

And I do!

Once I get going, the ideas just start to flow.....and everytime I go through this I tell myself that next time just get the quilt on and go for it!......but I never do, I just go through the whole routine again!

I explained this to a friend lately and she just replied that this happens to be my creative process. Hmmm, maybe I just have to accept that, since it seems to be the case!

Here is the current quilt...should have started quilting on it last week....but, no, I had to go through the "process" first! lol

This quilter has made a beautiful quilt which was constructed using over 700 half-square triangles from a group exchange. Lovely!

Before I get back at it for the day, I'll share my morning applique. It started with a bit of "off-the-block" stitching on the sun.....

It's easier to applique the pink circle to the yellow middle part to the red big part.....rather than applique the red part to the background, then add the yellow, then the pink piece. Clear as mud???

Once the unit has been completed, I then applique it to the background. Here it is ready to applique the next time I pick it up......

I know a lot of you already applique this way, but I've had someone say lately that it's nice to see these little tips and tricks. If anyone has something they like to do that is different than the way I do, please share! I'm always up to trying a "new-to-me" technique!!!

As I finish here, I look over to see Cooper and Minnie patiently waiting. Hmmm, Minnie is turning out to be a carpet-chewer. Not good! I'm sure things will be fine as soon as she gets over the puppy stage of tasting everything, right?

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday stitching....

I know that I should be keeping my focus on my Auntie Green's Garden.....but I'm at such a cool part of my Flower Garden Quilt!

I've got to the point of beginning the top border. At first I thought, " this doesn't look so intricate, after-all "! But, then I numbered the pieces....over 140 of them! Still, not so bad. There's some fun pieces to be done and I'm looking forward to it!

Over the last few days I've traced the pattern onto the fabric and made freezer paper patterns of all the pieces. Here's the first piece ready to be's pinned first, but I have taken the time to baste it on since it's a fairly large piece....about 7" tall.....

.....and this morning I got most of the horse sewn on....

...but not til after I completed the last of the 24 blocks of the main body of the quilt!!!

I was afraid I'd have to re-do this block. As I was enjoying applique-ing the horse, I glanced up and there were Cooper and Minnie going at one of their favourite pass-times ....playing tug-of-war....with my final flower block!!!! Luckily, it just had one or two punctures made by sharp little puppy teeth, but it looks like it survived.....

What a nice, summer weekend....again! We're just taking it easy today before our dinner guests arrive later today. Yesterday I totally over-did it in the extreme heat, so today I'm going to listen to my body (especially my knees!) and relax a little.

I had a lovely day yesterday with my sister. We finished by enjoying a show at the Lighthouse Theatre in Port Dover. What a festive atmosphere there was in the much going on this weekend and everyone was in high-spirits. I stopped in at The Dover Cheese Shop for a couple of pieces of my favourites and the tiny shop was packed full of people. Summer weekends like this are what the shop-keepers surely pray for!

Have a visit with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts. You can check out what others are stitching on today, as well as catch-up on Kathy's pumpkin seed blocks!

Have a great, Summer's day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Progress report!

Just a quick report on my Flower Garden quilt, designed by Kim McLean.

I have finished flower #23.....

It turned out really nice...if still somewhat wrinkly!  I'm not so proficient at reverse applique but it's the thing to do sometimes....such as the five green bits on the big pink flower. It adds good dimension, I think.

Only one more flower to do! So exciting, because next I get to start on the fantastic border. After I finished work for the day today, I thought it would be nice to get the border pattern out and start some prep work. My first thought was, it's not as much work as I thought it was going to be! I think I may have spoken a bit too soon.....if I've numbered the pieces correctly, there are 141 pieces and that's just the top border, lol !

Here's a picture of half of the top border pattern (the best pic I could get, sorry)....

It's going to be fun....lots of interesting bits....foxes, birds, horses....and lots of circles!

Hope you're having a wonderful Summer day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon!

What a perfect summer's day! I hope everyone is able to enjoy a bit of it wherever you are!

I rarely stitch outside since I'm so afraid of losing a needle in the grass (it did happen to me on a camping trip once, and I still worry that someone "found" the needle after we were gone).

I tried to tell myself that there were a number of piddly things that need doing, but I poo-poo'd that, figuring there will be plenty of rainy days for that kind of thing!

So out under the tree I set up my chair and applique. I thought I'd start one of my Flower Garden of the last two before starting on the border! Sat back and enjoyed a nice cup of green tea...I've tried to enjoy green tea and I think I've finally found the right one! On my way to get a second cup I was lured into getting a nice summer cocktail instead....

Perhaps "lured" isn't the correct word, as it implies someone talked me into it.....when in reality it was my own self, lol.

Here is the start of this lovely block...

I'm sure I've shared this picture of my adorable pup, Cooper, before
.....but here's the first you'll see of his new little chum, Minnie....

She's all tuckered out from all the fresh air today!

Check in on Kathy's Quilts to see what others are working on today!

On a final note....Happy 30th Birthday to my oldest son, Alex! Surely, that can't be right.....I don't feel old enough to have a 30-year old son!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer

What a beautiful summer!.....and a lovely weekend, to boot! Nice and warm, hardly any humidity....perfect!

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the summer weather and head out for a drive. We had received a nice gift card to a restaurant in Stratford called Bentley's. I think it was meant that we could use this on our mini-honeymoon in the Fall when we go to Stratford, but we couldn't resist the urge to go somewhere on this beautiful weekend.

We had a great lunch and for an appetizer I tried something that I had heard about but never even seen on a menu before...a Scotch Egg! It was served with a peach chutney and was delicious. Here's what it looked like....

Hmmm.....I think it tasted better than how it looks in the picture! lol

Today we just had a little outing to Port Dover for one of the best Chai Tea Latte's around then on to see Lana at Quilt Junction. As we stood there, we commented on the beauty of her spot in Waterford and how it was a little like standing by the river in Stratford the day before. So nice.

We bought some pretty fabric.... use in a quilt someone has asked me to make. Now, I rarely do quilts on commission and I've never done one like this. It's similar to a t-shirt quilt. Hard to believe that in 35 years as a quilter I haven't attempted this before. This one is at the request of my new relatives from Scotland. They have sent over many, many baby girl outfits and they would like them made into a quilt for the little girl's first big-girl bed.

I had to give it a try on a few blocks this afternoon......

This is going to be so pretty!!!!!

Of course, I started the day with some Slow Sunday Stitching. I worked a bit more on the vines in my Auntie Green's Garden and finished block #22 of my Flower Garden. Only 2 more blocks to go, then I get to start the awesome border!

I really like how this block turned out.....

Take a look at Kathy's blog at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are hand-stitching this weekend!