Friday, January 27, 2017

OMG....January Finish

This month's goal was to complete the quilt top to my Tula Pink City Sampler.....otherwise known on Instagram as #100blocks100days.

The challenge was to piece a block a day from the Tula Pink book for 100 days....and then to try to have the top together this month.

The book is beautiful and it was a lot of fun to do the blocks and share with others around the world. To qualify for the prizes everyone had to post the appropriate block per day on Instagram.

The blocks were completed and then the fun began of arranging them on the design wall....

All along, my thought was to assemble the quilt with a grey sashing...I wasn't certain if it was to be light, medium or dark grey, I just assumed that something would talk to me when I went shopping for it.

Well, as I looked at all the solids at Quilt Junction didn't something unexpected happen! A lovely salmon-coloured fabric just begged to be the chosen sashing fabric....I couldn't ignore it....

I love it!!! I'm almost sorry to have this one done with as I enjoyed the whole process. I think it will be put aside 'til perhaps Summer when I'll take some time to custom quilt it.

After Christmas we took advantage of the Boxing Week sales and bought ourselves a pasta maker. 

So much fun, and what a difference from store bought pasta!

This past week we made a lovely supper using the pasta maker and looking up a recipe we'd seen on TV lately....Jamie Oliver's 7-veg pasta sauce which you can find HERE.

The recipe made up a big batch of super-tasting sauce, we give it two thumbs up. There was enough for us to freeze two baggies-full for future meals.

Believe me, it was as delicious as it looks in the photo....

I am linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the finishing party for OMG, One Monthly Goal.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Taking it slow...

What absolutely dreary weather we've been stuck in lately! I'm starting to hear more and more people wishing for a bit of sunlight.

The fog and dampness makes me feel like taking it slow this morning and enjoying a few more stitches than usual.

I'd love to say that I'll have my 2016 Sarah Fielke BOM, Happy Days, completed before her 2017 BOM starts later this month....but I don't think so. That's ok though, it's getting there.

Right now I've been working on the appliqued corner blocks...

I'd remembered that I had received two sample spools of a new thread by WonderFil, Efina. It's a 60wt Egyptian cotton and in the description it says it's suited to applique so I thought I'd just better give it a try!

The first thing I noticed is that it had a nice feel to it which I thought was a strange thing to notice! It glided through the fabric nicely and I didn't experience any tangling. 

At another time I might invest in this new thread line but not now...I have an abundance of applique thread. 

I haven't done any quilting on my hearts since before Christmas. I didn't want to bring it out until our canine houseguests had left. I have it sitting out in plain view today to remind myself to do maybe an hour of quilting today...

Last Sunday I decided to watch a documentary that someone told me about called "Fat, Sick, Nearly Dead". I have to admit that it didn't sound like something I'd be interested in but thought I'd give it a polite 20 minutes to at least say I gave it a try.

Within ten minutes my husband joined me and we enjoyed the show. 

When it was done, he said, "I guess we're going out tomorrow looking for a juicer?". Ha!

So, through the week we've tried to do a juice or two per day. I have to say that the first thing I notice is that we are both sleeping better than we have for a few years!

The juices are so pretty...

Wish me luck! Today I am starting a three-day juice cleanse. The good thing is is that each juice recipe we've tried has been quite tasty!...really!!!

The down-side is that I could evidently experience irritability for the next couple of days. Which means I should just bury myself into my applique and quilting to save the world from that irritability. Sounds like a plan!

I'm just starting to feel like I'm missing that cup of coffee that I didn't have this morning :(

I'm sure I'll survive!

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts to see what others are slowing down to stitch on today, and with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh,Scrap!.

Have a great day.....and hopefully we'll see a bit of sun soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Social time....

The centre "motif" of my Midnight At The Oasis quilt is complete and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get it attached to the background as I stitched this by doing English Paper Piecing. 

My thought was to lay it on the background and applique it down. Now I'm thinking of something different. Maybe it would be better to form the background into EPP segments and attach it all together?

Before that, though, I have a quandary that needs figuring out.....what background should I use???

Here are three choices....

a dove grey polka-dot

a lovely grey print

dark polka-dot

My first choice when I started was the dark polka-dot. Then I wasn't sure as it almost gives me vertigo to look at the fabric! 

One of the two MATO that I saw last year at a quilt show was done with dark dot fabric...and the other with a lighter background. I did like the darker quilt better. Actually, now seeing these three choices in photos gives me a clearer picture of which one I like best.

Please feel free to voice your opinion on the backgrounds! Part of me even feels like browsing for something entirely different....but I think I'll control that urge and keep my choices limited to the three above.

This week Sandra Walker at Musings of a Menopausal Melon has written a post regarding DrEAMi Moments....meaning "drop everything and make it". I think I've already had one of these in 2017. 

I mentioned in an earlier post the new sew-along, The Honey Pot Bee. Well, I just had to make the first two blocks....

Plus, the bonus block given at the end of December...

The star block gave me an excuse to use my BlocLoc ruler...

I enjoy this ruler but I don't use it every time I need to make HST's. When I have to make many of the same colour combos I will use other methods, such as my Easy Angle ruler or Thangles, etc. But when I just need one or two I will use this ruler. It was not cheap, but it's a pretty cool tool.

This is a very relaxed sew-along. I think the plan is that two blocks will be released per month, and you can choose to do both or one, whatever you feel like.

I'll finish up by saying how saddened I am by the passing of designer, Sue Garman. I have a few ufo's in my sewing room that are her design as well as my wonderful Omigosh...

I am linking up today with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. You'll see that she is tempting us today with her Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew-along that starts this week!

Have a wonderful Winter's day!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's all about circles today

I've been enjoying a slow start to my day.

The morning started out with stitching two more circles for the border of my HappyDays quilt...

Then I replaced the very centre circle of the block that is to be the very centre of my Midnight at the Oasis quilt.

 My original attempt at this was done in extremely poor lighting and didn't turn out nicely. If the block were to be for some random spot in the quilt, I wouldn't have bothered re-doing it, but as it is for the centre block I wanted to fix it....

It's better now, so I am ready to piece it in next time I sit down to enjoy some slow stitching....although I did have to sew the block to one section just to see how it was going to look/fit...

I love it! Wish I could just sit with this all day but painting the guest room is on the list of things that must be done today....and hopefully a bit of sewing time on my #100days100blocks, as my goal is to have it the top pieced by mid-month.

I am linking up with Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching and Cynthia for OhScrap!.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017

Today starts the new round of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Last year I had full intentions of playing along. I'm not sure what happened. I think it's because I started by trying to do a "real quilt" (I'm not really sure if that's properly conveying my thoughts but bear with me).

My RSC2016 required a certain amount of blocks, etc., and it became difficult to keep it up with all else going on in the sewing room. I needed something that would be more forgiving....I think!

This year I am going to borrow an idea that I think I first read on Cynthia's at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. The idea is to make string blocks in the allotted colour of the month.

I like this idea for a couple of reasons. The best reason is as follows....

I'm sure I've mentioned my chagrin at falling out of love with most of my stash this past year or so. What I've referred to as the "fabric change of life".

I've seriously thought of just getting rid of it or donating it (still not a bad idea). 

What I have decided to do is to take part in the RSC2017 by making string blocks of the old stash and whatever is left by the end of the year will be dealt with then!

So today I've made a start by cutting a foundation measuring 9".....

Then I sewed some random widths of purple to the foundation (as purple is the colour chosen for January) and trimmed it down to a 8.5" square...

I hope some of my friends will consider joining in on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017!!!

I am linking up with SoScrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday.

Today it is very cold here. It was even colder at 7 this morning when I set out to the running group. Crazy! Sometimes it is hard to convince myself to go. But, as someone once told me, you are never sorry you went....and it's true.

This sums it up for me today....

Have a great day....and stay warm!

Friday, January 6, 2017

On the fitness front...

I've never been tempted to buy an "activity tracker". I have figured that as long as I am moving, it's better than staying home on the couch.

Well, during the Boxing Week sales I finally broke down and bought one...

I grudgingly have to admit, the information you get is quite interesting. 

It's not perfect, mind you. It's recommending I do 10 flights of stairs in a day. Well, because I live in a backsplit, I think the longest flight of stairs in my house is nine stairs, so the tracker doesn't seem to recognise them....I guess since they are not a full flight.

On the other hand, I find myself moving a bit more in just my daily routine. Such as when I take the dogs out to the backyard. Normally I would stand on the patio while they run around looking for that "perfect spot". Now I stroll around the yard for that ten minutes. Not a bad use of the time in my opinion!

What prompted me to consider buying an activity tracker was signing up for a challenge for the month of move 100 miles in 30 days. Sounds daunting, doesn't it? It translates to about 5k per day. Wish me luck!!!

This week after taking my son back down to St. Catharine's we decided to take a side trip over to Hamilton. We needed something that is available at Eastgate Square.

We took advantage of being there to take time to visit one of our favourite shops...Kitchen Stuff Plus....

I'm mentioning this because, like me, I'm sure there are a lot of you that like kitchen gadgets. Next time you pass one of these stores, stop and take a look around. Evidently there is a new one at Limeridge Mall, also.

We took advantage of yet another after-Christmas sale and bought a pasta maker. Can't wait to try it out!

Well, I'd better get moving and venture into the sewing room. As always, it's difficult to get back into the swing of things after my Christmas break.

Have a lovely Winter's day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking for a new quilty project???

It's the same old story! 

The new year starts off nice and fresh with promises to get some of those UFO's new projects, right???

Well, I am here to tempt you a little bit.

There is a new sew-along on  the blog of Molli Sparkles called The Honey Pot Bee. It looks interesting, so I'm in.  You can read about the first installment here.

There was a bonus "wild card" block released ahead of time and it was so quick. It also started off my year of trying my hand with a bit of improv piecing...

The second sew-along was one I just discovered this morning while checking out a post over at Sew Fresh Quilts.

This one is a quilt-along called Have A Jolly Little Christmas and you can see I have the "button" for this project over in the right-hand margin of this post. 

If you visit Lorna's page you will see all kinds of ideas of what can be done with this project....from tablerunner to full-sized quilt!

I had hoped to get some tidying done this week in my sewing room. I guess I kinda got side-tracked...

It was a lot of fun arranging the block on the design wall. There were a couple of blocks that stood out a bit much and I thought about replacing them....but then I got over it, lol.

My goal this month is to have this top sewn together for my #100days100blocks. I'm off to a good start!

I went to Quilt Junction with full intentions of buying some sort of grey for the sashing/binding. Well, for some reason a bolt of salmon-coloured fabric was just calling my name! Not sure how it will look in the end, but I think I'm going to love it! I have a feeling that this quilt will end up on my bed.

I did have to sew in the sashing on the top row....just to see....

This morning I started my day with a bit of embroidery on a Life is Beautiful block. 

I've been hating my stitches on my recent work on this block...

For example, I had stitched some fairly decent circles at a previous time (the lower two in the blue circle), but the other two were a mess. 

I've just realised that I'm using some weird needle....I must have pulled it from my little sewing case, but I don't know what that needle had ever been used for! I switched needles and that seems to have solved the problem. What a relief, as I had wondered if the bit of arthritis in my fingers was the cause.

I am linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Have a great day!....and let me know if I've tempted you with these new quilty projects!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Image result for happy new year 2017 images free download

Since I missed Christmas dinner with my family we are doing it today with a lovely brunch!

We were able to do some prep work on Saturday so we are in pretty good shape....enough so that I could enjoy some stitching this morning.

I finished off the English Paper Piecing project that I had started on the plane last week. The pattern didn't call for it to be done in this method, but I thought it would be the best way to get accuracy for this section of the quilt. 

So, the middle bit still has to be trimmed to size and put together, but you can kind of see how it will look, right? (P.S., to my friend TA...the size came out perfect!)

I may re-do the middle bit. When we were away I missed my excellent lighting. I have never worked in such dim time I'll have to pack my small fold-up Ott light! I think it looks ok in the picture, but in real life, not so much!!!

So that will be the centre of my Midnight At The Oasis!

In the latter part of 2016 I took part in the #100Days100Blocks sew-along on Instagram. It was a lot of fun and I kept up, no problem. 

My goal for January is to have this quilt top assembled. 

I'll go out Tuesday to my LQS to pick out the sashing fabric. This is the setting I have chosen (there are five setting ideas, I think, given in the book)...

In the picture the sashing/border is a light sandy colour...which I'm not fussy on. I had thought all along to use some kind of grey colour, but now I'm not sure. I saw a picture somewhere of one of these quilts using another colour....can't remember which colour, but it looked really nice.

I think I'll be making my mind up on Tuesday in the quilt shop!

Perhaps after brunch today I'll take some time to get the 100 blocks up on the design wall. I can't wait to see them all displayed...they are quite beautiful.

As some of you know, I have two dogs and a cat. This week we are dog-sitting two 'doodles, also. 

My son is waiting to get into his new house but it's been held up a couple of weeks. They have a place to stay but needed a spot for Stella and Darla. 

Oh, and Stella may or may not be pregnant. She was bred and her due date falls within the next week. The thing is, she doesn't look pregnant...and she has experienced false pregnancies before. 

I'll keep you updated!

So far she is easy to take care of...

I think the most difficult part will be breakfast times. Here's a shot of me trying to feed all four dogs....

...a couple of minutes later.... only Darla, Minnie and the kitty had breakfast on Saturday morning!

Today I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching, Elm Street Quilts for OMG-One Monthly Goal. I am also linking up with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for OhScrap!.

Have a lovely first day of 2017!, and thank-you everyone for your continued support of Quilting at the Cro's Nest, it really is very encouraging!