Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is it really the end of January?

What a beautiful weekend....makes a person feel that Spring can't be far off! I think what I miss most this time of year is the time spent outside in my backyard and garden. Oh well, we know to make the most of it when we can.

I've been hard at work lately quilting a couple of custom jobs. They've both been a lot fun, being able to use what I have learned in classes the last couple of years. I won't show the sampler yet that will be finished today as I haven't asked permission yet of the quilter...but I can show a few pictures of the one I finished before this one!
As soon as my friend brought me this quilt I had to ask if I could "play" with it! Here are a couple of close-ups...

I've been trying this week to make some head-way on our wedding signature quilt. By happy accident I found the perfect border fabric!
It's quite a lovely coral colour, I'm not sure it shows well in the picture.

The blocks in the 365 Challenge are starting to get a bit more intricate. They are adorable.

Our fireplace project is coming along nicely. We had great luck on Saturday at Lowe's and Habitat for Humanity ReStore for supplies. I love going to never know what you'll find!

As for this morning, I started the day as usual with some applique. This week I got a lot accomplished on my lower border of my Flower Garden.

 Today I tried to get caught up a bit on Quilty365/Day in My Life hearts. I've been doing the prep work almost every day, but it seems lately the applique falls behind a bit. They don't take long to applique, so I want to try to keep up and not let this fall into the dreaded UFO pile(s).
I was just reading Kathy's post over at Kathy's Quilts. She talks about staying on track and not veering off course. Lately, I feel like I'm veering wildly off course!!! There are so many projects calling my name. Somehow I have to learn to say "no"!

Have a visit with Kathy, HERE, to see what others are stitching on today.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Funky trees and samplers!

What a dreary day it is far, anyway. Just makes a girl wish she could stay curled up in her special chair cozied up with a quilt and some's what I'm working on this morning, a funky tree on my FlowerGarden.....
Poking at my applique is not the plan for today though. Soon the "guys" will be here to install the new fireplace...yay! Which means tomorrow while I'm curled up in my special chair with my applique, I'll be doing it in front of a lovely fireplace. Sweet! I don't mind giving up our winter trip for this, we'll be enjoying it for years!

Also, I'll be working hard at this quilt on the longarm today....
It's coming along good so far! It's a sampler, so lots of different spaces to fill. I must say, samplers are maybe the most fun to quilt on the longarm....every  block different presenting lots of room for imagination.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A frosty Sunday!

What a pretty morning. Everything outside is covered in frost and it feels a bit warmer. It's hard to believe that in our area, at the end of January, we have only had one day that we've had to actually clear snow from the driveway. I'm okay with that!

It feels like the kind of day that I wish I could just stay curled up in my special chair and work away at my applique....but that's not going to happen. I was able to catch up on my Day in My Life/Quilty 365....

As you can maybe tell, I am still giving "back-basting" a try since my blogpost a couple of days ago explaining that I was attempting it for the first time. I'm still quite happy with the results.

Also, as you can see by the new "button" off to the side of the screen, I am starting yet another project... My Small World by Jen Kingwell. It looks like quite an intricate project! 

The house once again feels like chaos. We keep saying "no more renovating"...but here we go again! Actually, it's not so much of a reno as it is a project. It should also go fairly just feels like a bit of a mess at the moment. We have decided to take this year's holiday funds and put it into having a gas fireplace, yay!

Here's how it looks so far....
The "guy" comes on Wednesday to do the installation, so we've had to hurry on getting things set up. Not a bad start after one day! The only down-side is that while I have my applique time in the morning I can just listen to the tv and not properly see it. That's ok, it's just for a week, maybe.

I hope to spend an hour this afternoon on the signature quilt from our wedding. There is now a deadline to get it done. I'll just have to go out and get some nice border fabric. My first thoughts, since the blocks are all Kaffe Fassett fabrics was to do a narrow solid border and a wild Fassett outer border. But now I'm thinking of doing a similar border treatment as the quilt in the banner of this blog. Any thoughts would be greatly welcomed and appreciated! 

Here it is so far....

Actually, the first three rows of blocks have been sewn since this photo. I also have some blocks that weren't signed and am still thinking to add them to make another row. We'll see!

Today is the day to visit with Kathy's Quilts to see what others are working on for Slow Sunday Stitching. Also, a head's-up that Kathy herself will be teaching at Quilt Canada in Toronto this June! Way to go, Kathy!!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Learning something new!

In my last post I mentioned that I would give a different applique method a try.

Over the years I have tried all kinds of applique techniques. I've held onto the methods I've liked, honing my craft until I've come to do what suits me.

I am a firm believer in trying different ways and not getting stuck in a rut. I think we all know people who are in the mind-set that they've "done it this way for years, so it must be right". I'm talking in general, not just quilty.

So, I decided that I should live up to this and try back-basting. I have heard of it and have even owned this book for a while...
I'm pretty sure that when I first bought the book, I glanced through it and fluffed it off as a technique that wasn't for me. I just couldn't wrap my head around it!

So I decided to give it a try on one of my daily heart blocks.

Here is the start....where I have traced the heart onto the back of the background fabric. The blue piece will be for the heart...
Next, the basting of the the two pieces, following the drawn line. The basting is done with an embroidery needle (which is thicker than the applique needle) and quilting thread (also thicker)....
Then, having carefully trimming around the seam allowance...( I think a pair of nice applique scissors will be of use for this. May have to make a quick run to my local quilt shop!)...
Then on to the needle-turn applique, removing the basting as you go along. The use of the embroidery needle and quilting thread leaves a nice "perforation" that is a visual aid as well as making the needle-turn a bit easier....
....and, voila!.....
I enjoyed the process so much I did a couple more!
I led a little hands-on demo at my applique group yesterday. It will be interesting to see if anyone likes this method!

To give it a fair try, I think I will do Back-basting on my next border of my FlowerGarden quilt.

I just want to make it clear that the above steps are in no way my own ideas. I got all these tips from the book by Barbara J. Eikmeier.

I'm happy to say that I have been keeping up with my adorable!...
I think I will take a half hour today to sew another row of hearts on to my Quilty365/Day in My Life, but then I must get back to this beauty....
Once this quilt is done I will share more pictures!

Since my hearts are a scrappy project, I am linking this post with Cyndy over at Quilting is more fun than Housework for her Oh,Scrap!

Have a great day!, I certainly plan to!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Stitching on a Sunday

What a peaceful feeling this morning while doing my applique. Even Minnie was getting a spa treatment on the hassock....
She's such a character that it's hard to imagine her sitting still for a bit of grooming by the kitty, but I guess this is proof.

I made some progress on my tree on the lower border of FlowerGarden. Only about an hour to go on the remaining branch...
I was correct in thinking this piece would take about a week to applique. I did take a little break midway through to stitch at something a bit less intense. This is the fountain that will be in the middle of the lower border...
Do see the little circles drawn on the background to represent the water coming out of the fountain? They are about 1/2" in diameter and there are 24 of them! I'm not looking forward to these. I think I may try a method of doing circles that a couple of my friends use....doing a gather stitch around the seam allowance and pulling it tight around a small template. I haven't been successful using this method in the past but I think, in this case, it's worth another try.

Something else I'd like to try this week is Back-basted Applique. I really don't understand the concept or why it would be better than how I do things now, but I figure I should at least try before totally ditching the idea.

I even have a book on the subject....but never tried it....
The author is Barbara J. Eikmeier and looks quite well done. So that is my goal for the week, to try back-basting on one of my little daily hearts for Quilty365.

I did try something new yesterday. Usually when we go out to a cafe my beverage of choice is a Chai Tea Latte. Yum! Lately I've been trying to cut down on refined sugar and when I had a latte last week I couldn't even finish it as it was just too sweet. Quite disappointed that my favourite treat was ruined!

Yesterday we stopped in Beamsville at a lovely spot called Conversation's Cafe & Bistro. I explained to the barista that I needed to find a new favourite beverage and she suggested a London Fog but with only one shot of vanilla as to further cut down on sugar...
It was delicious! I don't know what kind of tea bags they were but you can see in the picture that it was huge! What a nice, frothy drink. I have to say that I do like something special when going to a cafe and not just order a coffee!

Have a visit with Kathy's Quilts to see what others are poking at on this grey morning!

Friday, January 15, 2016


Just a quick post to share what I am working on much fun!!
I had a couple of errands to run today. One of which was stopping in at my local healthy store, Sweet Greens, for some snacky chips that I like. Wouldn't you know it.....discontinued!!!

So I looked around for something else to try. I found a couple to bring home and sample, but there's one I wish I had picked up. This must be on the shelves for the upcoming Robbie Burns Day?.....
I may go back and get a bag as a joke for my very Scottish husband, who definitely does NOT like haggis!!!

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The best laid plans

Well, I've been trying to get going on my AuntieGreen'sGarden since Christmas to no avail.

I've blamed it on being busy with the holidays and with starting new projects, but I realised yesterday that it wasn't that at all.

Many times to keep on track with a project I'll set myself little goals. For AuntieGreen I had worked it out that if I did a border a month, etc...then it could be done for the Fair in the Fall. I've had my timeline on the brain so much that this applique has become more like a "job" or a "chore". I still love it, but yesterday I gave myself permission to give it a little rest and pick up my Flower Garden for a few weeks.

Here is a picture of how far I've come on this quilt....

 Sometimes it's difficult to put aside the time to do the prep work on a big applique, but I did do that yesterday. The bottom border of my Flower Garden has 157 pieces, not counting 24 1/2" circles! It has such a different look than AuntieGreen!

I thought I'd start this morning's stitching time with what looks like the most difficult piece of this quilt! Here is the freezer paper pattern ironed onto the fabric...

It took quite a while to cut out the pattern itself! This morning it took at least two hours to cut the fabric and baste it onto the background. I did manage to get a few inches stitched....

While coming to the decision to put AuntieGreen aside, I did manage to do a bit of other sewing and stitching.

One of my Life is Beautiful blocks....

I don't really "get" this block, oh well, lol !

I decided to start sewing my Day in My Life/Quilty365 blocks together so I don't have 365 to assemble at the end of the year! Ive decided to sew them in chronological order...
I also completed my first block in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!
There's a linky party over at SoScrappy of people sharing what they are doing for their Rainbow Scrap Challenge. You can check it out HERE.

Another Linky going on today is at Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching. You can visit with her HERE to see what others are poking at on this dreary morning (at least it's not snow!).

And, just because they're so cute, here's a picture of Cooper and Minnie ready to curl up on the couch with me lately....

On a side note, we had taped a new TV show on Wednesday night and finally watched it last night. It's called "The Indian Doctor" and is about a couple from India moving to Wales in the 60's to take over a medical practice after the local doctor dies. We thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it. I hope it lasts because it is a challenge to find a show that we both like! I don't know what we'll do when Downton Abbey comes to an end!

Have a great day!

I'm just adding on another linky that I've remembered...great blogpost over at "Quilting is more fun than housework"! I can certainly relate, and to the post she mentions of another blogger, Mangofeet.
Have a look HERE.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Getting back on track (?)

What is it about this time of year?

I take a couple of weeks holiday over Christmas and New Year's with high hopes of working on my own projects, but the days go by so fast. Now here I am into the new year and should be thinking of getting back to the longarm but am so side-tracked!

I will get back to work today, but I will do so with a little New Year's promise to myself. I'd like to save the last hour of the afternoon for my own piecing. We'll see how that works out since I'm very much a morning person! I know, I could put aside the hour of 8a.m. possibly....but then I'd be off-course for the day.

I was able to finish up the binding on a client's quilt this morning with my coffee, so was able to do up a couple of my Day in My Life hearts....
I really like these ones. I'm thinking I should start sewing some of these together every so often so that I don't have 365 to sew together at the end of the year!

Anyone who uses Instagram can check out #quilty365 to see some other great projects by other people around the world.

I'm still keeping up with the 365 Challenge and especially like this little block. Most of my blocks are made of 30's reproductions, but this orange fabric happens to be one of the very few that are authentic 30's!
Well, I'd better get at gallivanting for me today!

Have a great, sunny day!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

For our wedding this past year, we had Scottish guests who brought us this medallion as a gift...

It seems that it's a wish for prosperity. A lum meaning a may you never be without fuel for your fire to heat your home.

So, Happy New Year, and Lang may yer lum reek!

I happen to have a husband who follows the Daily Mail out of the UK. I have just been informed that one of the newly proclaimed super foods for this year is....

 Image result for black pudding imagesblack pudding!!! Can you imagine??? When I was a little girl, we would often have black pudding on a Sunday breakfast as a treat. I loved it! My mom had to ration it out carefully so that all four sisters got their fair share.

Then when I was grown I saw that it is also called blood pudding and couldn't eat it for quite a long time!

There's a British shop in Burlington that does a nice black pudding. Maybe we'll have to get out there and buy some....since it's a superfood and all, right?

I'm excited for the new year, and a little overwhelmed, since I am taking on a few new projects/challenges.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016

For a long time, I've read on Kathy's blog all about her enjoyment of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each month this group focuses on a certain colour scrap from the stash and make blocks in that particular colour. I'm in! To find out more about this challenge, follow the RSC16 button on the right-hand side of my blog page.

365 Challenge

Another new one is the 365 Challenge. A few of us are taking part in this well as many (7000!) quilters around the world. So many that when the first block was published on New Year's the server was overwhelmed and crashed! It's all figured out now and here are the first two blocks...

Also, to commemorate the new year, we were given an advanced block to try....
Keep in mind that these blocks are only 3" finished! A stiletto comes in handy when sewing these blocks together!

Evidently, we are starting with simpler blocks and working our way up in difficulty.

Quilty 365

I am linking up with Quilty Folk today for her January Quilty365 Link-up (also known to me as my Day in My Life!).

I began my daily Quilty365 on November 13, 2015 and have just now put all my completed blocks on the design wall for the first time in a long while. I like it!
There are 47 hearts here in the picture and I have 3 or 4 more that need stitching.

I am still glad I started in on this project and hope I can keep it going for the full year. I'm also enjoying the search for the perfect fabric each day as it takes me back to some old favourites that I haven't used in a while. I actually hesitated using up the last of a particular favourite...I didn't want it to be all gone! How silly is that?...but then I'm sure many quilters can relate.

That Town and Country Quilt

This one I don't think I'm taking part in, but I have to admit I'm thinking about it a little bit. You can see a little video on this quilt HERE. This is also a Block of the Day for 2016 and has 365 little 4" house blocks. I am always so intrigued by house quilts (dammit).

This one is actually fusible, raw-edge applique, which I haven't really done much of in the past.

I'll put a plug in for my local quilt shop, Quilt Junction in Waterford. My friend, Lana, the owner of Quilt Junction is involved in this project by starting a support group for the quilt, as well as offering a starter kit for the quilt. This makes it even harder to resist!

I think the fact that I've already got so many projects on the go should be enough to stop me from joining in on this one......we'll see!

Slow Stitching

Of course, it wouldn't be Sunday without a mention of my morning applique. I really thought that by now in my Christmas break I would have been able to find the time to do the prep work on the next border of AuntieGreen, but nope, have not!

So I've been able to enjoy getting caught up on my little hearts ....

and a bit of stitching on my Life is Beautiful....which I had almost forgotten about.....

I hope everyone has had a lovely start to 2016....and will join me in the quest to carve out a bit of each day for a little bit of piecing! Wouldn't that be nice?

Visit with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are slow-stitching today!

Have a great day!