Friday, March 31, 2017

A beginning and almost an ending...

I am taking part in the Freefall Spring Quilt Along hosted by Sandra over at Musings of a Menopausal Melon. 

You can find her here or click on the Freefall button over to the right of the screen.

This week we are to report on our progress on the cutting stage of the quilt. So....we are still near the start of this if any of you are wanting to join in!

Here are the fabrics I is the background and the other the "shadow" fabric needed...

and here is a picture of the fabrics I decided on for the leaves, my newly purchased Shweshwe fabric from a couple of months ago.....

On Wednesday I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I just poked around a bit and also got the cutting stage, all up-too-date on this far!!!

I have to thank Sandra....everytime I do anything with this quilt  I have Free Fallin' by Tom Petty stuck in my head for the rest of the day! Oh well, could be worse, for sure!

I can't seem to resist sew-alongs/quilt-alongs!

Here is one that's three weeks in so far....Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell....

I haven't got Week 2 sewn, already a bit behind on this one!

One of the hosts for this sew-along is Nicole from Snips Snippets. You can check her out here.

Well, I came close to finishing my March Happy Days quilt. Soooo close.

So, this will hangover into April as my OMG - One Monthly Goal.

Here is how it looks today...

I couldn't quite fit it all in this picture, but the inner border is all attached. It's a perfect fabric, as it picks up many of the colours used in the, it's a stripe, which I do like for an inner border!

The final border involves applique and piecing. Luckily, the applique is all done...I just need to piece the remaining bits.

Next time you see this quilt it will be a completed top, woohoo!!!

It became clear this month that this quilt will be for my granddaughter, Mina's, bed. It'll be a big quilt for a little girl, but I think she'll enjoy all the images in the fabrics and applique. And, besides, it definitely reads as a girly quilt!

I am linking up with Elm Street Quilts for OMG- One Monthly Goal and with Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon for the Freefall linky party.

I am also linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!, with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Fridays. Also, with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Fridays.

Have a wonderful day as we say goodbye to March and welcome in April!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Oasis Update....and a bit of running...

I've been enjoying catching up on some hand-quilting this past few days, but I guess I'm a bit out of thumb knuckles are a bit sore. 

So, back to some applique this morning.

The orange peel blocks seem to be slow-going, but that's ok, no hurry!  These are for my Midnight at the Oasis and here is what I have, so far, up on the design wall....

I first saw this quilt at a quilt show....probably last Spring now. I was with my friend, Terry Anderson. We saw two of these quilts hanging side-by-side and kept coming back to have another look.

It's actually not unusual for the two of us to be attracted to the same's happened a few times!

Terry has been kind enough to share a picture of her progress on her Midnight at the Oasis....

As you can see, Terry has a real eye for putting fabrics together! Her quilts are always brilliant....just look at that choice of background it!

Terry is doing her trunk show in Hagersville in May at the Haldimand Quilters' Guild. I will have the honour of introducing my friend. If anyone has an interest in attending...just send me a message for details!

On the longarm lately was a beautiful, traditional Dresden Plate.  I did all the SID first, then went back and filled the background in with a simple meandering, which seemed most appropriate. Look at the way the wool batting makes the plates just "pop"...


Now....for an update on my running this past week!

As many of you know, last Sunday I ran the 5k portion of the Around the Bay Road Race for the first time.

What an experience.....the excitment, the atmosphere and the fun of enjoying it with five of my run buddies from the Learn to Run programme!

We were all feeling anxious beforehand, admitting to shaky legs, feeling like we were going to hyperventilate and I was even feeling a little vertigo!....but I knew we would be fine once we got started.

There were thousands involved in this actually took me over four minutes to cross the "starting" line because of the throng of people!

We all had our "chip" attached to our shoe....

.....which records when you cross the start and finish of the race.

My goal was to beat the time of my Santa Race that I ran in October. This should have been easy since I've been working hard at it, but with the back problems I've had this past month I wasn't too sure.

I'm proud to say that I clocked in about four minutes faster than the Santa Race.....not bad!

The next race will be The Chocolate Run in May....maybe the promise of a chocolate martini at the end of the race will help me run a new Personal Best?

I have to say that I am not practiced at taking "selfie's" with my phone. I have to admit I'm pretty bad at it.

In the Bay Race, at the marker indicating 2k left to go, there was a very tall Grim Reaper heckling the runners....evidently he's a tradition at the race. I could have been 20 seconds faster if not for stopping to take this selfie with the Reaper... bad that it's actually kinda good, don't you think???

Here I am, about to cross the finish line...

And, the icing on the cake....

I'm still on a high from the experience....running in the race is something I'll never forget.

Today I am linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and with Silly Mama Quilts for WIPs - Works in Progress, and with Mama Spark's World for WIPS with Friends.

I am also linking up with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers. Such a surprise when Susan contacted me to let me know that I am one of this week's featured bloggers....thanks so much!!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Race day!!!

I have a confession, I am cheating on this post and writing it on Saturday.

My slow stitching on the weekend is some hand-quilting on my Year in My Life quilt which hasn't been stitched on since February. So, time to get back at it. 

I enjoy quilting so much, I don't know why this gets put aside.....I guess because I enjoy my applique so much, as well!

I know it's a bit of a dark picture but it shows the quilting the best.

I love the spider fabric. I won't lie, a couple of times when I see the spider out of the corner of my eye it startles me!

Back in the day when I had a quilt to prep for quilting, I would hand-baste. This involved pinning it to the carpet in my living room and crawling around on the floor for an afternoon basting it. 

As a longarm quilter I am able to baste my quilts on the longarm now. I don't think many people know that this service is offered by some longarm quilters. It is quick and easy to do and I might do this for clients only a couple of times per year, but it's a good thing to be able to offer.

Here is how the basting looks....

As I move the hoop to a new section to quilt, I remove the basting stitches. This way they are out of the way of my handwork and I don't need to remove it all at the end.

So, this quilting is my slow stitching for Saturday and a bit on Sunday morning.


.....and now it's Sunday morning!

There won't be much time for poking at the quilt today as I'll be leaving quite early for the Around the Bay Road Race in Hamilton.

Running the 5k portion of this race was a goal I set way back in October shortly after I started my Learn to Run classes. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time!

This race is the oldest in North America and I feel excitement just bubbling up inside to be a part of it. Quite a few of my running buddies will be there also, which just adds to the fun!

Here is a picture my sister sent me this morning of the Around the Bay from the 1940's...

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, shorts, child, car, shoes and outdoor

I had made some goals for this race, but after being laid up with my back problems this past month I'll just be happy to complete it!

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, where she talks about the value of resting and taking it easy. By lunchtime today I should be back in my comfy chair enjoying a few more stitches in my quilt :)

Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Feeling side-tracked

Today will be a long day at the longarm working on a beautiful Dresden Plate...hopefully I will complete the rest of the stitch-in-the-ditch today and get to play at the background fill tomorrow.

It would be nice to fit in a bit of prep-work for my Freefall Spring quilt-along. The cutting directions have been released this week.

I purchased the background fabric and focal fabric last Friday but still needed to poke through my stash for the leaf fabrics.

Didn't my eye rest on a stack of bright Shweshwe fat quarters stacked on a shelf and right away knew they would be so much fun to work into this quilt....

This quilt won't make too much of a dent in this group of fabrics, but if so I'll be able to replenish at Quilt Canada in June, as I'm pretty sure Celeste from Meerkat Shweshwe will have a booth there.

I'm moving right along, slowly, on the twenty orange peel blocks needed for the next border of my Midnight at the Oasis...

A friend of mine is doing the same quilt and she has quite a bit more of the quilt completed and it's looking fantastic. I wish now I'd taken a picture of hers the other day and asked her if I could share it here. I'll be sure to do that next time we see each other!

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

A couple of my friends traveled to Norwich on Monday to see Lorna's trunk show. I couldn't make it but that's ok as she is speaking at one of my guilds in June! I wish we were doing a workshop, too....I already know which of her patterns I want to purchase....I think!!

I am also linking up for the first time with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Mid-week Makers!

Have a lovely quilty day!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Stitching on a Sunday

For me, yesterday was a slow, lazy day. I don't think I've had a day like that in a long, long time.

It started with a feeling of accomplishment in my Saturday morning running class, but it sure did kick my butt for the rest of the day!

So, along with some slow stitching this morning, I actually got some extra stitches done yesterday.

I'm working on these sweet little blocks for the next part of my Midnight at the Oasis...

Although, after reading the post over at Kathy's Quilts this morning and seeing her Life is Beautiful progress, it's made me want to get back to my own.

This block has literally been on the go for months...

I think it comes down to the fact that I just don't like it! This block will be a priority in the next week, just so I can put it away and get to the next one.

Next week is the Around the Bay Race in Hamilton. Back in September, a couple of weeks after I started my Learn to Run class, I signed up for the 5k portion of the race as a goal.

I've started peeking ahead at weather reports for that day, knowing that things could definitely change in the next week. When I checked yesterday, it said it would be 6 degrees Celcius....not bad! Today I check again and it says 11cm of snow....what the heck???

Maybe I'll stop looking and wait for the day to arrive to see what it brings!

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, and with Cynthia over at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh, Scrap!.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Anyone ready for a Spring Sew-along???

Sandra Walker is a fellow Ontarian who writes a quilting blog called Musings of a Menopausal Melon.

Sandra is venturing into her first sew-along featuring one of her own patterns and I'm going to join in and invite you to do the same!

The fun starts next week, but she has released the fabric requirements and tips this past week and you can see them here, or by clicking on the button to the right entitled "Freefall Spring Quilt Along". 

The quilt is only 38" square, so would make a great wallhanging, tablecloth, etc. 

I've just been out and about and on the way home we decided to swing by my local quilt shop to get some background fabric and the main focus fabric needed for this project....

Hmm, the green fabric is so much more fresh and cheerful in real life.

I did well, as I was entitled to a free metre of fabric thru' the shop's loyalty programme....and because it's St. Patrick's Day the green fabric was 20% off....nice!

I'm determined that the rest of the fabrics will be pulled from my stash!!!

This week also starts an Instagram sew-along for Jen Kingwell's pattern, Long Time Gone. 

I'm starting to see a definite pattern here....I find it so hard to resist when something is called a sew-along or quilt-along!!!!

Hopefully that's it for this year (she typed while crossing her fingers).

On a non-quilty note:

For the last few weeks we've been trying to have two meat-less days per week, and we've been quite successful. 

What has been most surprising to me is, by following some really nice recipes, there are so many flavours and ingredients that we haven't even missed the meat at all. Mind blown!

Today, before the side-track to the quilt shop, we tried an Indian restaurant in Brantford called The Everest Grill. Everything was so fresh and tasty, I had to mention it here and recommend it! There were many "regular" dishes on the menu, as well as extensive vegetarian and vegan choices. Also, great service and prices!

I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Happy Days, the saga continues...

I was able to get a little bit of sewing done yesterday during the snowstorm. 

My goal this month is to have the top done on my Happy Days quilt. As I've mentioned before, I'm not terribly proficient at paper-piecing, so I'm ok with substituting a couple of "regular" blocks just to get going on this quilt.

I had gotten this far...

...and decided that the circled area could use some yellow to balance out the quilt.

So here is the block with the yellow, so pretty...

...but when I put it in it's place on the design wall it was shouting out like a beacon to me....

I decided to live with it 'til this morning to see if I would change my mind, but no, still didn't like it!

I spent maybe fifteen minutes this morning fixing it.  Instead of making a whole new block I just tore out the offending player...

...popped in a bit of Tula Pink (of which most of the quilt is pieced with already)...

I think it was worth the fifteen minutes to swap it out, I'm much happier. I still wonder a bit about that red Cotton and Steel fabric, but I think it picks up a bit of a similar red elsewhere in the quilt so I will relax and call the block "done"!

I have ten leaves to applique and the top will be ready to sew together. I think I'm on-track to finishing by the end of the month. There is a pieced border to attach but a lot of the components to that are ready to go.

In case any of you are doing the Jen Kingwell quilt, Long Time Gone, there is a sew-along starting today. You can see what's what on this post by Snips Snippets.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's a Snow Day!

It was my turn today to host our little applique group that tries to get together once a month.

Well, didn't Winter throw a wrench into the plans with a snowy, blustery day!

The local OPP have asked that people stay off the roads, so I've made an executive decision and cancelled our get-together :(

Hmm, so what to do on a day like today? Work? Get my income taxes in order? Sew? 

I think I will sew together the final 12" block needed for my Happy Days...

Yesterday, my Happy Days quilt shouted out to me that it will be a quilt for my granddaughter, Mina. It's so nice when a quilt finally realises who it's meant to belong to!

...and, I think I will try to sew up three blocks for my 150 CW quilt, since I'm about thirty blocks behind...

In a post from early February, which you can check out here, I talked about being intrigued by the Dutch Treat quilt.

Well, of course I did have to give it a try. It's all done in reverse applique, which I find a little tricky. (So, please be kind when looking at the photos!)

I'm trying to complete one block per week, which will make this a four-year project if I do all 196 blocks. The blocks will finish at 4".

Here are my first four....

Now, in the pictures, I can see my first block is a bit off-kilter. Oh well, this is one of those quilts that should show definite improvement as it least, I hope so!!!

I think the coolest part is how the design begins to appear as you carefully snip and stitch the shapes. Remember, with reverse applique the top fabric (the grey in my blocks) is in the foreground and the printed fabric is underneath and revealed in the end.

Next time I do a block I'll try to remember to take pictures of the process.

Well, better go for now since the pups are demanding breakfast.

Have a lovely, wintery day!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kentucky here we come!

Before sharing my slow stitching for today, I want to share some news! 

My Circles quilt has been accepted into the juried show in Paducah, Kentucky!.....I'm so excited and of course this means a road trip! 

I'm really not a comfortable traveler but, funny enough, I'm pretty stoked about this trip, lol.

I really didn't expect the email to say I'd been successful in getting into the show. All I can say to all of you that make such beautiful quilts is to go for it....after all, all they can say is "no"!

I did get a "no" recently from Quilt Canada 2017 for my Flower Garden quilt....

....and that was ok. It was interesting also because with the letter of rejection comes constructive criticism from the three judges....which always a good thing and something to learn from!

So, on to my stitching for today. 

My goal this month is to complete the top to my Happy Days quilt. On Friday I stuck the blocks on the design wall to get an idea of where I'm at with this quilt...

Hmm, just a couple more 12" blocks to go....and they are paper-pieced ones, not my favourite, especially since I am having trouble getting them to print out at the correct size! So I think I will take creative license and do something else.

Much to my surprise, I am short a couple of these wreath blocks...

I guess I read the pattern wrong, since I thought we needed six of them plus one corner one....but it's eight that are needed. 

That's what I'll be catching up on for my Sunday stitches this week...

...and for some reason I didn't get the last two leaves appliqued onto the corner block...

I am linking up with Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Today Kathy talks about today being the day to Spring Forward to Daylight Savings Time. I don't know why an hour difference affects us so. All I can say is, bring it on!!!....I am so ready for the extra daylight in the evenings. For me it means we'll be almost ready to spend more time outdoors enjoying the backyard.

I am also linking up with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh, Scrap!.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A day off....

I am going to treat myself to a day off today....and what better day for it than International Women's Day! 

I've been bothered by back pain the last two weeks that has escalated until yesterday when I had to leave my guild meeting before it even started :(

I think I may feel a little better this morning (finally!), what a relief!!....unless it's just the fact that I have taken a very strong painkiller. We'll see around lunchtime when the painkiller wears off. 

The last couple of weeks have been extremely busy, which hasn't helped matters much. So I'm definitely going to take today and maybe even tomorrow to rest. I may even treat myself to binge-watching Call the Midwife, which I've been wanting to do for a long time.

If I feel up to it, I'd like to do a few blocks of my 150 Canadian Women quilt. I'm quite behind, but I don't think it will take much to eventually catch up. I think they are up to about Block 50, and as you can see here I've done only nineteen...

It's even been difficult lately to do my morning applique, but I have managed to do a few wee blocks for the next border of my Midnight at the Oasis. I quite like doing these blocks!

I'm slowly making progress in getting closer to finishing my Happy Days quilt....which means I'll get to start Sarah Fielke's 2017 BOM, Down the Rabbit Hole!

Here is my most recent block....I love it!...

Hmm, sorry for the fuzzy pictures, maybe it's indicative of how I feel this week :(

I am linking up today with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and with Silly Mama Quilts for WIPs- Works in Progress.

I had planned on telling you about the wonderful 25th Anniversary Tea put on by the Haldimand Quilters' Guild on Monday but that will have to wait for another posting as I'm ready for a bit of a lounge on the couch.

To all you wonderful women out there in blogdom....have a great International Women's Day!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Goal for March

This is the time of month to figure out what my monthly goal will be.

At first I was sure I'd go with appliqueing the next border on my AuntieGreen'sGarden. I even got it out and ready to go....

I have a border started from a few months ago....not sure now if it's the top or bottom border....

....but, I've changed my mind. I'm going to try to finish the top for last year's Sarah Fielke BOM, Happy Days. Her new BOM has just started and I'm hesitating starting it as I'd really like to finish Happy Days first.

Here's a reminder of some of the blocks...

At the very beginning of this particular BOM we were told to make 24 6" Ohio Stars that were to be used as fillers. The idea was that we'd then have all the next ten months to get them done. How many had I completed?.....none!

So I've started on them now....

My plan is to make six each of four different fabric choices. It shouldn't take too long. I think I only have three or four of the 12" blocks to make, then a bit of border work.

So, not fact, do-able! Right???

I have no applique prepped at the sad. There has been absolutely no time to get any pieces ready.

So that means pulling out an embroidery lovely Flowerville....

Hmm, I think I'll actually try to finish this block before putting it away again!

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

I also linking with Mama Spark's World for WIPs With Friends.