Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February finish...

This month my goal was to finish a quilt that had a purpose, so it was high on the agenda.

I have a sister who lives in a nursing home. She is in the advanced stages of Multiple Sclerosis. She asked if I could make a quilt that the residents of the nursing home could sell tickets on to raise money for extracurricular activities.

I got this quilt together and quilted as my OMG-One Monthly Goal for February.

It is bright and beautiful but I was worried that my sister might not like it. Luckily, she loved it.....I'm sure it brought back memories of her garden which she loved.

I got choked up a couple days later when I got an email from my sister...evidently everyone loves the quilt so much they don't want to see it go! She asked if I would mind that they use the quilt as a "dignity quilt"...used to cover a resident after they have died and are taken from the Home. So emotional, I can't even begin to tell you! What an honour.

I've had a couple of emotional quilt-related stories this month which remind me of how something as simple as the quilts we make can be so important to people at certain times in their lives.

I had a long, fulfilling, tiring weekend. It started with a couple of days sewing/eating/laughing at Retreat. My main goal was to complete my Meadow Mystery quilt top. I made good progress only needing an hour or so when I got home to finish....

I think right from the start I mixed up two of the fabrics. I think the white cherries and the blue were mixed up. Oh well!

The quilt is 60x60. I know a lot of people are showing that they've added borders to their quilts to get it larger. My quilt will be borderless, as it's meant to take outside in the Summer for babies to roll around on, or to use as a tablecloth on the picnic mine is a perfect size for it's intended purpose!

Monday was Family Day here in Ontario. In Selkirk they have a celebration called "Heritage Day". They have many old-timey activities and since the weather was so good they had a great crowd attending.

I was asked to set up a display to showcase quilting....

What a fun day.... a guilt-free day of quilting! I took my Quilty365 quilt to stitch on and it sure got a lot of comments. A twelve-year old girl even sat and tried her hand at putting a few stitches in. Hmmm, maybe a seed was planted!!?

A friend came and joined me for most of the day. She also enjoyed the excuse to sit and quilt all day. Her quilt was especially fun for the children to see...a quilt made up of many kinds of snowmen (sorry, I wish I had taken a picture).

After such a busy weekend my plan is to stay home and recuperate with some longarming and applique!

I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

Today, even though it is February, we are going to have record-breaking temperatures. Hopefully we can all take advantage of getting a bit of Vitamin D!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jolly Snowmen!

I started my day putting a few stitches in this block for my Happy Days quilt.....

This is a difficult block for me, but I'm pretty happy with it. The bird's eye is not actually done yet, I think I will embroider her eye instead as I don't think I could do a good job appliquing such a small circle!

It just needs a few leaves and a musical note (which also looks difficult!). At the rate I'm going, I may have this quilt completed in the next month!

This week I had a fun quilt on the longarm. A group in the Haldimand guild had an exchange this past year. The ladies chose their own theme and made a row for their quilt....then they exchanged quilts through the year 'til they finally got it all back to sew together into a quilt top.

Here is this one....a snowman-themed quilt.....

I couldn't get the bottom row to fit into the picture, sorry.

As soon as I showed my three-year granddaughter the pictures, she said, "Olaf!!!"....

....and, yes, Olaf is in the quilt....

Here are other highlights of this so-cute quilt....

I just did a nice windy-looking freehand design which enhanced the quilt, but also allowed me to watch out for the embellishments....which would have been difficult if I had quilted using a pantograph.

I will deliver this quilt today. The piecer is a relatively new quilter, and I think she is going to absolutely love her quilt!

I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social, and with Silly Mama Quilts for WIP-Works in Progress.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oh, Happy's twins!

Hmm, looks like it may be a miserable day.....I think that means a bit more relaxing with needle and thread today!

I've had a lot of binding to do, but this morning I indulged with stitching on some circles for the border of my Happy Days quilt...

I think I'm down to seven out of the 24 needed for the border.

I've never looked at the blocks together on the design wall yet so I put them out to see how the whole thing is coming along...

Not sure what I think...but I'm sure it will all work in the end....I hope!!! I still have perhaps three blocks to do and 24 6" Ohio star blocks as fillers. 

This quilt is Sarah Fielke's 2016 BOM. I'd really like to finish the blocks before starting on her 2017 BOM, Down the Rabbit Hole, which has just started.

As for family news....I'm so pleased and proud to introduce the newest members of our family....our twin grandbabies who were born on Friday...

I know, I know...all babies are cute....but, really, aren't they just adorable!?

While waiting for news on Friday, I managed to get the second quilt top done for the twins. I hope today to have some time to slip them onto the longarm and get them quilted quickly.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and with Cynthia for Oh Scrap!.

I hope you can take some time to do a bit of slow stitching today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Shweshwe anyone?

I'm happy to say that I've completed the centre of my Midnight at the Oasis....

I'm pretty happy with it and I hope that was the most difficult section of the quilt!

So much to do lately in the sewing room. Our twin grandbabies are arriving in just a couple of days now. Luckily, they won't know that they will have waited a week for their quilts! I have the first one put together...

Such a quick and easy pattern suggested by a quilty friend and it all starts with a charm pack. Love it!

Also, on the design wall this week was December's block for the mystery quilt offered by one of my guild's.

I have to say, it's quite the thing....through absolutely no added effort on my part I've constructed the ugliest block I've ever put together....

....and a fuzzy picture to boot!

Will this block make it into the final quilt?...who knows, only time will tell.

At guild yesterday, we had the pleasure of listening to a wonderful speaker, Celeste Compion of Meerkat Shweshwe.

 I say pleasure, because she had her audience totally enthralled for probably 90 minutes! She was afraid that she'd talked too long, but the crowd reassured her that this was not the evidenced by the crowd of people buying her fabrics during break-time!

Celeste also had an example of a quilt she is working on called Dutch Treats. Here is an image of it that I've scooped off the web...

Image result for dutch treat quilt

I had one of those "squirrel" moments that Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon talks about....when you see a new idea that you just have to try! Oh no, here we go again!!!

I was almost going to walk away from the idea when I realised that it was all done in reverse applique...but I think I'll try a block or two to see what I think.

I even think it may be a good quilt to try Back-basting Applique, which I talked about HERE.

Of course, I took the opportunity of buying a few fat quarters of some shweshwe fabric to use in Dutch Treats. The quilt is traditionally done in indigo prints, but I couldn't resist these beautiful, bright fabrics!...

That's it, that's offically the last "start" for the next ten years.....really!!!

I am linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and also with Silly Mama Quilts for WiPs, Works in Progress.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Stitching on the Oasis...

It's a busy day in store here today, but luckily I could start it with a bit of stitching.

I've been working away at my Happy Days quilt but put it aside this morning to try to figure out the centre of my Midnight at the Oasis. 

I had put the pieces of this together on the flight to Alberta at Christmas. 

English Paper Piecing was not the method that was instructed in the pattern, but I thought it would help with my accuracy. Now I've been in a quandary as to how to get this into the final centre block.

My first thought had been to applique it on to a background.....but then thought there must be other options.

I ended up coming back to my original thought and started to applique it to the background this morning...

Not bad, I think it will do.

When it's all sewn on I'll clip the background from behind it so I can remove the bits of paper.

I wasn't sure which colour thread to use to applique all the different coloured triangles, I didn't want to switch colour thread every couple of inches!

I settled on a nice soft grey, using my favourite applique thread, Superior's MasterPiece.

Perfect, it blends right in!....

Here is the block so far with one of the points appliqued down. There is a problem I've had to overcome....I won't tell, so see if you can spot it! (it's ok, if you see it you can keep it to yourself!).

I have to say, this block has been very labour instensive as well as brain intensive (so much thinking involved, lol), but in the end I think it's going to be okay. I'm not usually too, too picky, but when I'm working on what's going on in the very centre of my quilt I like to do the best that I can.

In my running group there is a challenge this month to walk/run/move for thirty minutes per day for 25 days. I think it's fun to take part since normally in February I don't think I would move much at all!

I started out well on Friday. I had an appointment in Cayuga so afterwards I went over to the new arena. They've incorporated an indoor track for the community to use for walking and running. So fantastic....more communities should try to do something like this. I hear that this track is well-used by many....including the seniors from the Retirement home practically next door!

So, Day 1 of the challenge started off well. Day 2, not so good. Oh well, I'll try to pick things up again today.

Here's little Minnie, using Cooper as a pillow as she's watching do my stitching this morning. I'm so glad we made it through the week puppy-free! 

We did not want to breed the two at this time, so when Minnie went into heat at the end of November she went to stay with my son for a little holiday. Well, the day after she returned didn't I catch them at it! It was only the once, and at the very end of her heat. I didn't think she was pregnant but wondered if she might have a single pup....luckily, her supposed due date has come and gone....woohoo!!!

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, and with Cynthia for Oh Scrap!.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Canada's 150th!

For all that I have been a quilter for 37 years now, there are still a few things that are still beyond me....the big one being

Don't get me wrong, I do know how to do it and I do know that in some instances it is the perfect technique to Mariner's Compass, etc.

This week I struggled again, but it was worth it. 

This year in Canada we are celebrating our other words, our 150th Birthday!

Here is the logo to commemorate this birthday...

Image result for canada 100th birthday logo image

I still remember the logo from our 100th birthday in 1967. You can see this logo occasionally still.....a business down the street from me has it in one of the large bricks of the building, showing that it was built in 1967...

Image result for canada 100th birthday logo image

Of course, a brilliant quilter has taken this year's logo and made it into a quilt block!

I had to give it a go, even thought it is constructed using 

When paper-piecing, I seem to give my seam ripper quite a workout...

More than a few choice words were used in the construction of this block!

I used my coveted stash of hand-dyes for the block as I think they really suited it. Batiks would be awesome, too, but I don't have much of that sort of thing.

Almost there...

.....all together...

Just a couple of wee flaws, but I'm pretty happy with it!

I was distracted from the sewing I should be doing since I wanted this block done and sewn into a placemat before Monday night's guild meeting...

Our guild is having an Anniversary Tea in March (details to follow at a later date), and we are having a challenge to make placemats commemorating Canada's 150th, and then we will donate the placemats to our local Meals on Wheels!

So, I'll be donating this placemat, which means only one thing...I'll have to do more paper-piecing to do the block again for myself!....and I will, just later. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic pattern and if you give it a try you will love the results, it's just that I find it difficult to wrap my brain around the technique.

You can find the pattern for the block HERE at SeaSew by Dana Szucs Hayden.

I am linking up with Musings of a Menopausal Melon for DrEAMi!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February's One Monthly Goal

I don't know about you but even though February is the shortest month, for me it's also the longest month. The grey days just seem to drag out as we wait for March and hopefully the odd Spring-like day.

This year I think I'll stay pro-active and stay busy so I can enjoy the month. One plan will include going to Ingersoll to the Creative Arts Centre. A friend of mine has an Fibre Arts exhibit there for the next month and it starts this Sunday. You can see more info HERE.

The first day of February also brings on a new project to try to finish in the month. This month I will focus on my Jewel Frames quilt. 

One of my sisters has asked if I could make a quilt for raffle at her nursing home to raise money for extra-curricular activities. I think this will be a nice, bright quilt to hopefully sell some tickets...

This quilt should work up fairly quickly ( I hope! ) and then I can get to work on a couple of baby quilts for the twins whose due date is fast approaching! I can't wait to meet them. 

Momma-to-be has had extra appointments and visits to the hospital lately, so I've had some fun visits with my grandson. It's been the perfect time to introduce him to the longarm as he is at the age when giant machinery is catching his interest...

As for hand-stitching, I've been poking away at my Happy Days, which was the Sarah Fielke 2016 BOM. Her new BOM has just begun but I'd really like to finish Happy Days before starting on the next one, called Down the Rabbit Hole. 

Circles were something that I have worked hard over the years to perfect, as they were the most difficult for me. Now I find appliqueing circles to be quite relaxing.

I am linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

As I finish writing this post I'm noticing that the day has started out with some brilliant sunshine....something we've be missing for some weeks now. Hopefully we can all soak up some Vitamin D today!