Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

It's hard to believe it's the last day of the year!

 We have had such a full, exciting year here and now I'm looking forward to what 2016 will bring.

I've been having a quiet week. I find I need some downtime after Christmas these last few years just to recuperate. I've spent some lovely time in the sewing room trying to get caught up on Allietare, Bonnie Hunter's Mystery.

During the last week I've fallen a bit behind on  my Day in My Life/Quilty365, but spent some time this morning appliquing away to get caught up. I don't want to fall too behind on this project or I'll lose interest!

Another project slotted for my holiday was to get a quilt top together from all the signature blocks our guests signed at our wedding in July. I have at least got them up on the design wall...
I'm not certain on whether to arrange them to be more pleasing by colour....or leave as is. I have them up with our more immediate family members toward the centre of the quilt, which pleases me. If there any other opinions out there, please pipe in as I'm open to suggestions!

I wonder how many of us are going to attempt the 365 Challenge this year? As of now, at just after 9a.m., the Challenge has actually started since it is originating from Australia and they have already rung in the new year! I've had a bit of trouble getting in to see the first block, but I'm sure the bugs will be hammered out shortly! Woohoo!!!

Have a great New Year's Eve!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Three more sleeps!

Is everyone on schedule for Christmas this week?

I'm happy to say that I am!

This Christmas gift had to wait until my longarm commitments were done and this is exactly the point that I was hoping for....this morning and tomorrow morning's applique time designated for binding, then wrap it up ready for Christmas Eve! I have to admit, there were many times over the last month that I thought I would just be giving a picture of the quilt...but thankfully a real quilt be ready.

My piecing goals for the end of the year will be to get caught up on Bonnie's mystery and to finally put together the signature blocks we received at our wedding into a quilt.

I'm not sure when I joined my guild in Hagersville. I do remember that D.A. was president that year. I'm sure it's been at least 15 years. In all that time there was a lovely lady who always showed such spirit, was ready to pitch in with any project that needed volunteers. She was very kind and seemed to always have a smile on her face. I know many of you knew Leone and that she passed away this past weekend. I know we are all glad to have known Leone and when we think of her we will have a smile on our faces.

I hope everyone can take some real time to enjoy this busy season....I know I'm ready to make this a very special Christmas.

 Image result for christmas images

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Stitches

The last Sunday before Christmas!

I'm definitely going to take some time for some Slow Stitching today before trying to organize what still needs doing for Christmas. One thing on the list is re-arranging the rec room as I believe we will overflow into that on Boxing Day...not a big deal, though!

We really want to get the last of the groceries today, so a list is definitely in order. I wonder what other people have on their holiday menu that is a little out of the ordinary? Ours would be Risotto! My grandson will have three helpings then ask to take the leftovers home!

I've been keeping up on my Day in My Life/Quilty365. Sometimes I fall behind by three days but then catch-up before this becomes a dreaded UFO....and I don't want that to happen!

I want to start thinking outside the box on this project. One day I threaded the needle and just started a running stitch. I did draw a freehand heart but then let my needle go where it wanted to....
I've always be intrigued by the thought of doing an applique quilt in silks. This morning was actually the first time, I think, that I've actually used some silk...
I know I'm going to start roaming the thrift shops now for old silk ties!

I think I'm being influenced strongly for the Quilty365 by Stephie over at Dawn Chorus Studio.
I'm sure you will agree that she is a very creative artist and hopefully you'll find inspiration in her blog as I have.

I've been so inspired by Stephie that I am taking steps to explore my creative side in the new year. I won't share what it is yet, I want to wait to see how it goes. Sorry!

I'm glad to say that my longarm commitments were completed on schedule on Friday. How satisfying to have worked it out just right!

Now comes the time to finally quilt my son and his wife's Christmas present! This was a first attempt at using the Quick Curve Ruler. It's not perfect, but it was fun and I'll definitely use the ruler again for another quilt someday! The plan was to get this started on the longarm on Monday, but as you can see I'm actually ahead of the game. I had thought they may just receive a "flimsy" for Christmas, but I'm starting to think they may get a completed quilt, yay!!!

 On Saturday evening we had a nice festive evening out with my son's little family. First a little review of the restaurant we had dinner at, the Tai Shan Express in Simcoe. I didn't even know it was there!

The restaurant had a pleasant atmosphere, prices were great and we were served very generous portions. The food was delicious and very fresh tasting. We will definitely go again!

Then we took a stroll around to see the displays at the Simcoe Panorama with the kids. I haven't been in years and loved seeing all the little children running around here and there to take it all in. I tried to take some pictures but our littlest was so enthralled with the goings on that it was hard to get her attention. This is probably the best picture I could get...take note of her mittens which my son referred to as her oven mitts....

Also, this morning I was able to do a bit of poking on my AuntieGreen'sGarden. This was the last of what I have prepared, so I'll have to try to find a bit of time to get a few more flowers ready to go. I'm just realising that this border is almost complete so one of the things on my to-do list between Christmas and New Year's may be preparing the next exciting!

I hope everyone can take some time to relax and enjoy some slow stitching today. I believe even just a fifteen minute break from the hectic Christmas schedule can count as a de-stressing, meditative time that is so good for our health. I could go on, but \I don't want to start sounding preachy....I just believe in this so strongly!

Try to take time, also, to visit with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts to see how other people are taking time to take a break and enjoy the holidays! 

Have a great day!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The 365 Challenge !

So many quilty ideas, so little time!!!

I alluded to the 365 Challenge last week in one of my posts.

The idea is that every day for 2016 you piece a block...usually 3" or 6" blocks, we are told. In the end you get a beautiful quilt.

It's free to sign up, then you are sent the blocks by email. You can look into at the 365 Challenge site HERE.

To get the "look" of the quilt you will have to choose your fabrics carefully. It all comes down the the "value" of the fabrics, which can be difficult!

Kathryn does point out that the blocks will start out easy and get a little more complicated as the year goes that's nice.

I've been back and forth on fabric choices....I was pretty sure I was going to go with indigo/red/tan, but now I'm back to my first thought....1930's reproductions!! I don't think my quilt will have the same flavour as the pattern, but I have a vision in my head that I hope works out in the end....and that vision uses this fabric for a background......

I don't know if what I see in my head will actually translate well to reality, so I've decided to make up a couple of 3" blocks to see how it will look.
I wasn't sure the pinwheel would work with the colours, but I think it's ok! I'll have to watch out for the scale of the fabrics with these tiny blocks. A bonus with the 30's fabrics will be fussy-cutting here and there like the little sailboat in the nine-patch!

I know of four of my friends so far who are planning on taking part in this challenge. So nice to have a little support group of sorts.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stitching on a Sunday

So the countdown is on!

 Image result for mall at Christmas rush

Any longarm quilter will tell you that this is an important time of year. Almost any quilt scheduled in December is a quilt that is most likely a Christmas gift for someone. It takes careful planning to get the scheduling done just right so everyone gets their quilts on time.

Ever since I started my little business the only time off that is written in stone (kind of) is that I like the last two weeks of the year to be time put aside for my family and me. Saying that, my hope is to be on holidays as of December 19th. I feel good that I'm on schedule, but we'll see if that's still true at the end of the week!

We did the obligatory Christmas trek to the mall yesterday. I almost feel claustrophobic in the city this time of year. I think we're done...just have to buy a roll of Scotch Tape and we can start wrapping!

Today I started my day as usual with a bit of applique. I hope to squeeze out an hour to prepare more of my AuntieGreen'sGarden today as I only have one more little flower ready to go. I don't usually have a problem picking out fabrics, but I'm a bit stuck on what colour the flowers should be in the middle of the right border......purple, maybe???
Also, I was able to catch up on my Day in My Life hearts this morning. One day this week I realised I had gone two days forgetting to pick out my heart of the day....too much to think of this time of year, I guess???
I think with all these projects and more slated to start in the New Year it would be nice if I can start to finish my workday at 3:00 every day and have late afternoon to work on piecing. Well, I can dream, can't I?!

Today is Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts. Have a look at her blog today to see what others are working on!

I'm also linking up with Cyndy at her blog, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. I think both of these projects qualify for her "Oh, Scrap"!

Oh my goodness!

I thought to take an hour today to get caught up on this week's clue of Allietare. So far, so good!

A nice pile of "headless geese, just needing the other triangle sewn onto them....

I stopped for a moment to remind myself of what size rectangles are needed to sew onto the geese to make a complete unit.

I don't know why I didn't clue in earlier....especially after seeing the ones I'd finished on the design wall earlier this week....

Anyone see a problem with these? I used my neutral instead of my constant grey!!!!

Oh well, won't take too long to fix. I guess I'll do some un-sewing while watching tv tonight.

Here is one of my Day in My Life/Quilty365 hearts appliqued recently. I like this one a lot!

For anyone who is interested in what may be a fun quilt, check this out, the 365 Challenge.

I'm not going to say anymore about the 365 Challenge at the moment, only that it sounds like fun. Maybe this is why I make silly mistakes like the one with my neutrals/grey.....could it be that I have way too many projects on the go?? (rhetorical question, no need to answer!)

I'd better get back to my "real" job.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Allietare, week two!

I wasn't able to get as much sewing done on the weekend that I had hoped what with prepping the house a bit for Christmas and some Christmas shopping. Although, I have to admit, we did a lot of damage at Kitchen Stuff Plus but it was all for ourselves! Oh well :)

I did make headway on my microwave fabric bowls, most of them just need the final bit of sewing around the edge....

As of this morning, I am caught up on my Day in My Life/Quilty365. I'm still loving this little project. Now I'm wondering whether or not to start joining them up somewhat along the way so I don't have 365 to sew together in the end. I think I will!
I did manage to sew a bit on Bonnie Hunter's mystery, Allietare. I'm liking this step for a couple of reasons, one being that the reds in my stash are probably some of my favourite fabrics. I've also liked learning to use the Companion Angle ruler for this step. I haven't used this ruler much in the past. Here are my "headless geese", as Bonnie calls them....

When I read the post over at Kathy's Quilts this morning, Kathy mentions using this tape to help mark the proper spot on the ruler for this step.....
As soon as I read her post I remembered that I had purchased this product sometime in the past but as you can see, it's still in the package! I'm sure I bought it to mark rulers I use while on the longarm, but obviously I'd forgotten all about it.

Here's how it will be used in this step in the mystery....
Thanks, Kathy!, but I wish I had read your post a few days ago when I cut a few pieces incorrectly by putting the top edge of the ruler along the top of the fabric edge! Luckily I noticed fairly quickly my mistake.

Today I will be joining in at the Mystery Monday Link-up hosted by Quiltville. You can take a look at everyone's progress HERE.

I hope you can hunker down and do some sewing on this dreary day!


Well, these might be the smallest circles I've ever appliqued!

Circles were definitely the hardest thing for me to master in my applique, and now I feel back to "square one" looking at this wee beasties!

....but as you can see by the dime these are quite small, so I'll just decide to be happy with them. I have to admit that after the third one I had the thought to search my stash for some polka-dot fabric that could be fussy-cut for these bits!

They do look better now they are actually appliqued onto the quilt....

After this morning's coffee and applique I have all the pieces appliqued that I had had prepared. I hope to find an hour of time today to get some more pieces ready.

Here's how Auntie Green looks this morning on the design wall, I think I will try to pick a perfect colour flower for the bottom right-hand section today. I am worried that the greens I've chosen for that section are quite dark, so I want to balance it out with a good fabric choice for the flowers.
I'm still concerned with the pale yellow flowers on the upper left border. I think they look better now that there is more going on around them, but I'm still not sure. I think part of me just doesn't want to take them off and do them over, to be honest, but in the grand scope of this quilt it wouldn't really take much time.

I don't see many Auntie Green's Garden quilts so it was so odd when in the space of half an hour I spotted one on Pinterest and then the same exact quilt on a blog I came across! This one is done in all neutrals and is exquisite!

Here is a picture.....
....and another....

I encourage you to visit Hilda at Every Stitch to see more of this beautiful quilt (the quilt shows better in the pictures on her blog). You will also see the lovely quilting she has done on her Auntie Green!

I came across Hilda's blog thru' the Linky for Quilty365. Her take on this project is done in indigo fabrics and you can be inspired by her post HERE. 

I think on my Quilty365 for today (aka A Day in My Life) I'd like to try to be a bit more creative. I do have some precious time available for sewing today (woohoo!), but with Allietare, Border Creek Mystery, fabric bowls needed for Christmas presents, will there be time?.....oh, yes!!

Have a visit at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are taking time to poke at today!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Mini Mystery

So for those of you who don't have time/are intimidated by the Quiltville mystery, about something on a smaller scale?

A much smaller scale?

There is a twelve-day Christmas mystery being offered at Temecula Quilt Company, which can be viewed HERE.

A friend of mine had told me about this a month ago, and I thought I would take part instead of doing Allietare. Well, looks like I'm trying both!

Here is the first block, offered yesterday, measuring 2-3/4" unfinished.....
Not bad since I find mini-blocks a wee bit difficult (pun intended).

I don't usually work with white fabrics, so I'm glad I thought to watch out for this.....
A tip for beginner's - See that little sliver of red that the arrow is pointing to? I am going to press toward the white fabric and if I leave things "as-is" that bit of red will shadow through once this is quilted.

So I did a little trim with my rotary cutter and ruler.....
 It would be a pain, I guess to have to do this to many, many blocks, but in this case it was a quick little trim. Even if there are many blocks it is worth taking the time, or that pristine white background will potentially have all kinds of dark bits showing through once the quilting has been done. Believe me, once quilted this problem is much more pronounced, I've seen it time and time again.

I'm looking forward to today's mini mystery block! I hope it is another two-colour block as I would like to use just these two fabrics, if possible.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Day in My Life

I wonder how many people are taking part in Quilty365?

Today is the first "Linky" with Audrey over at Quilty Folk, so maybe we'll get a bit of an indication on how wide-spread this project is becoming. I have a feeling it's quite popular.

The concept is to make a little circle block each day for a year, picking fabrics which may reflect your mood of the day, etc.

Here is a picture of my progress so far with the last two days still needing to be sewn on.....

My starting day was November 12th, with the circle block. By the next day, obviously I had switched up to doing hearts for my Quilty365, and mine is called A Day in My Life. The circle block will end up as part of the quilt, but I think it will probably be a label.

The last six days or so, I accumulated blocks that were ready, thinking it would be nicer to sit down and actually applique them only once or twice a week. Well, I don't really like that, afterall, so I will complete one per day or just save up two or three at the most.

Today is the first day of omitting cream from my coffee. Not bad, but I'm wondering if this will ruin the whole coffee-drinking experience for me?! I'm sure if it's a good quality coffee then it shouldn't need anything else! Well see!

Visit Audrey at Quilty Folk to see everyone's Quilty365. This project can start any day, even the first of the year if it's too much to think of with Christmas fast approaching, so I hope you will consider joining in the fun!

Have a great day!