Sunday, December 30, 2018

This Winter's day needs a bit of colour!

It's so true that the holidays makes you lose track of the days. All day yesterday it felt like Sunday to me. Now that it's actually Sunday, I feel like I have a bonus day to the weekend :)

....and I needed the extra complete my One Monthly Goal.

I dragged my feet on this one, it seems. I don't know that I'm terribly happy with my fabric choices....but I'm happy that it's done!

My goal was to finish Block #4 in my Queen's Garden....

It seems to be a bit dark and boring to me...but it looks fine hidden amongst the rest of the flowers in the garden, I think...

Yesterday, as I was getting caught up on my Border Creek Mystery, I realised that I was just aching to work with some COLOUR!!!

This was as I was doing the tedious job of trimming-up. (Which I usually avoid by utilizing other methods, but this quilt is a mystery so I followed directions.)

....a lovely, messy pile of colour!

This had me digging into a box containing a project destined for the future....but I had to play with just one block to get my colour-fix in!

There's always something so special about the very beginning of a quilt, don't you think???

I was able to get a few stitches into the colourful fabrics and it made me feel much better. Funny, isn't it, how that works?

I'm supposed to meet my friend for a nice, long run in Port Dover this morning.....but I did not expect to wake up to a snowy morning! Oh well, I'll get ready and see how it is in a bit.

Sometimes it's difficult to push myself out on these grey Winter days but one thing I do know....once I get out and do it, I never regret it!

I am linking up with Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching, and with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal - December finish.

My goals for today....get a run in, do a bit more stitching, watch last night's episode of Outlander (which should be amazing!!!).

Friday, December 28, 2018

Mulling things over a bit....

I hadn't planned on a post this morning, but it's turned into a lazy one so I may as well share some quilty-stuff while I sit with an extra cup of coffee :)

I have been stitching away at block 4 for my Queen's Garden quilt. I have to say, it's not my favourite and will be glad to get on with the next one.

Ha!....couldn't even seem to take a decent picture of it! I decided to get all the blocks up to see if this one will "fit" in...

I guess it'll blend in. I'm finding it challenging working with the neutrals, but I think it will result in a pretty quilt.

With the end of the year comes the thoughts of which quilt projects will be undertaken in 2019. I know I have too many on my mind so I think I'd better cull the herd right from the get-go. 

I'm still looking forward to doing my temperature quilt....I can hardly wait to get started! You can read about it in my post HERE.

Anina from Twiddletails is heading up the Temperature Quilt sewalong and has a good post today on getting organised. You can see her post HERE.

I've been wavering on taking part in Lorna's Harry Potter Quilt-along over at Sew Fresh Quilts. I had kinda talked myself out of it, but I'm in! You can read about it HERE.

I just have to do the Harry Potter quilt.....In our family of six, the Harry Potter novels were something that we all enjoyed...which is something, in my books! (pun intended!) I have such fond memories of all of us waiting our turn in the family line-up to read each book. 

Lorna is offering this in two sizes...10" blocks and 20" blocks. I will do the smaller version. I've taken advantage of Boxing Week sales and ordered a background fabric, but will try to do the rest of it from stash.

I wonder if it helps to write a list of projects that will take priority in 2019? Anyone have an opinion on this? Then the other UFO's could just take a back seat and be out of mind for the time being?

I do think I will participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again. I hadn't even thought about it until just now, so I don't even have an idea in mind for it. I'll think on that one for the next couple of days and come up with something.

Today I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Stitching

My goodness, December is just racing by!

Hopefully you can take some time during this hectic season to have some down-time and enjoy the moments that are special.

I didn't have too much stitching to do this morning as I need to take time to get some serious prep-work done, but I did have a couple of leaves to stitch to my Queen's Garden applique...

I hope to prep the next block this afternoon, as it is my monthly goal to complete said block!

As of this past Friday I am officially on Christmas break, which means I finally got the tree decorated. For some reason, Minnie thinks the new tree skirt was made as a new bed for her...she loves it...

Today I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. I am also inviting you to read my post from the other day so I can tempt you with the idea of joining me in doing a temperature quilt in 2019. You can read about it HERE.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Here I go again......

Why, oh why, is it so hard to resist a sewalong????

Actually, I had been mulling over the idea for a couple of weeks of trying to work on a temperature quilt for not a new idea here. 

....but, imagine my delight when I stumbled across a new-to-me blogger who is actually starting a "Temperature Quilt Along"!

This makes the idea even more fun!!!

You can meet Anina and read about the sewalong HERE at her blog, entitled Twiddletails.

I hope some of you will join in.

If so, you need to figure out which block you will use. Then you will allot a range of fabrics representing different temperatures through the year.

There are many examples of temperature quilts on Pinterest.

You can do just a square, or hexie, etc., to represent the high temperature of each day of the year. Something else to consider is choosing a 2-colour block.....the two colours will represent the high and low temperatures of each day. 

I think one of the reasons this appeals to me is that it reminds me a bit of my "A Day In My Life" quilt, for which I did a block per day for a year, each block representing the mood of the day. You can see that quilt HERE, which just happens to be a year ago.

This is the block I have chosen, half of the blocks will look like this and half will have the opposite corner snowballed....

These measure at 2.5"x 5.5". The large fabric will represent the high forecast of the day, the snowball will be the low. 

I will save the bonus HST to maybe use in the border.

...and here is my layout.....

Each horizontal row will represent one month. For the months that don't have 31 days, I will fill-in with blocks made with a neutral tone, most likely greys.

Starting this project makes it easier to turn away from a couple of others in the new year that have been tempting me. I really will try to keep new "starts" to a minimum. (bwahahaha!) No, I mean it this time!

My fabrics for this quilt will be based on this jellyroll...

... using a jellyroll was a wonderful suggestion by Karen at Quilt Junction. (thanks, Karen!) I will try to add some variety from my stash.

Here is a colour chart that I scooped off of Pinterest, showing the fabric colours that will represent the different degrees of temperature...I was happy to find one in Celcius!...

I'll have to add a few more colours for the Summer, as we've had many days over 25degrees the past few years!

In my last post, I showed my progress on my I Am Enough quilt. Since then I have finished my clamshell border and I just love it!!!

If anyone wants to "borrow" my idea of using different coloured clams, go for it!

Have a wonderful Autumn day!, I was reminded this morning on the News that Winter starts next Friday, which kind of startled me as it's felt like Winter for a little while already!

I am linking up with Sarah for Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop!.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

# I am enough

Good morning, slow stitchers!

It looks like a bleak morning out my window this morning. 

I did start to feel a bit of Christmas as we walked through a mall on Saturday. I even saw Santa dining at Swiss Chalet as we enjoyed our yearly quarter-chicken dinner!

I've enjoyed working on my #IAmEnough quilt this week.

I chose to use the back-basting method of applique for my monogram block (seeing a quilty-friend, KH, this past week gave me the idea, as she is using this method in her current applique project!). 

I thoroughly endorse the use of a small pair of scissors with a curved tip for snipping the fabrics without fear of snipping the wrong fabric! Also perfect for cutting out the background fabric behind a piece of applique. These are the Karen Kay Buckley ones that I have...

I chose to use the "McD" for the monogram to honour my second marriage, even though I kept my surname when we got married.

I like this idea, as I used my wedding gloves from my first marriage in a previous block...

I also began this week's section of #IAmEnough. This is what I've been stitching this weekend, the clamshell border...

It's working up fairly quickly, and I'm loving it!...

Now, as I'm finishing up here, the sun has decided to show itself and it looks like we'll have a beautiful day, after-all.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

One Monthly Goal - December

Well, today shall be a day of recovery! 

I belong to two guilds.... at our guild meeting on Monday evening we had a wonderful catered turkey dinner where I definitely ate too much food. Yesterday, at the day guild, we had our Christmas potluck lunch...I can't say I over-ate too much, but more food than I would normally eat....and such a wide variety.

I woke up today wondering why my joints are so sore...but realised that I ate a lot of sugar the last two days, when I normally don't each much at all in my regular diet.

So today it's back to work and eating a bit more normal! Luckily, I don't have many holiday events for the rest of the month. 

It's time to figure out what my monthly goal for December will be. I had a couple of candidates and decided it will be Block 4 in my Queen's Garden quilt. This one takes precedence as I am leading this quilt as a BOM in the evening guild, so it needs to be done by the January meeting!

Here is my quilt, so far...

I'm quite happy with working with the neutral Japanese taupes. It takes some thought, and trial and error, for me to choose the neutrals for each block, and I'm loving the nubby texture of these fabrics.

Today I am linking up with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers, Lorna for Let's Bee Social, and with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal

Soon,  I'll need to figure out what I will do for my Temperature Quilt. Are you going to play along? I will write a post on the subject soon, to tempt you!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mysteries and Quilt-alongs

As you can see, I have added two new "buttons" in the right margin.

One is for Bonnie Hunter's mystery for 2018. I've done a few of Bonnie's mysteries in the past, but I've not done one in a couple of years since this is traditionally my busy time of year on the longarm.

This year I thought I'd try to squeeze it in since her quilts are always a lot of fun, albeit a lot of stitching!

I figured I would do as much as I can each week of the clue given for that particular week.

I have some more strip sets ready to cut and sew...I'll try to take a bit of time to do those before the next clue is revealed today.

I've been stuck on what type of fabrics I'll use and finally am choosing to use "old" stash. Think "Debbie Mumm" colours. I have a ton of this kind of thing kicking around and, now that I've begun on Clue #1, it feels good to be using it up. (Although, is our stash ever used up?????)

The other new "button" is for a Hand-pieced QAL that will start in the new year. It sounds like the perfect project for those of you who have never tried hand-sewing but want to give it a try. 

You can read about it HERE at Elm Street Quilts. There have already been a few posts giving some basic tips and tricks.

.....and....just to tempt you further....

Merry Mayhem's Mystery Quilts!

I've heard about this site, but never tried it. This one leads you through a mystery quilt (it must be small?), that occurs on New Year's Day. A new clue is released every hour.

You can read about it HERE.

I don't know if I'll take part.....but I'd like to! I've joined the Facebook page so I can keep updated and make a decision later.

At this point, I don't know what my day will entail....I'm supposed to go on a little road-trip, but we could have a bit of freezing drizzle....if I don't go out it will be a day on the longarm and a bit of sewing. Either way, a good day in store for me!

I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

One Monthly Goal -done!

I just have time for a quick post today to report my progress on my One Monthly Goal for November.

It's complete!

I kind of don't believe it as I've had intentions of a new Christmas tree skirt for at least five years, but here it is, freshly bound this morning...

I think it's 46" across and difficult to get a decent picture as we are still in the midst of very grey days :(

It makes me want to get my tree up right now!....but it's a bit early for me, I'll wait a couple of weeks.

To any longarmers out there who may be interested.....I am selling all of my Circle Lord templates. If anyone is interested just let me know and I'll send you more information. I am in Southern Ontario, Canada, but will ship anywhere.

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

Hmm, I'll have to think hard on my goal for December....not sure what it will be!

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

# I Am Enough

Such a pleasant morning of slow stitching to start my day. 

I got started on this embroidery block for the I Am Enough quilt...

I pressed a piece of soft interfacing onto the back of the block. This makes it nice to embroider without the use of a hoop. 

I'm using a Wonderfil thread for the embroidery called Eleganza. It is a 8wt perle cotton. I found the spool in my stash of specialty threads....I don't know what I ever bought it for, but it's working out nicely on this piece...

I still need to figure out the monogram block for this quilt. I could applique the letters....but now I'm wondering if doing this same embroidery would be nice.

I'm liking that for the hand block I thought to use my wedding gloves from my first wedding....

.....and now, for the monogram block, I will use the letters "McD" to honour my second marriage. 

This quilt is certainly evolving into quite the meaningful journey. I think it was meant to be that way by the coordinators, but it's just starting to sink in with me!

On the original block, the colour wheel, I wasn't sure about whether or not to applique something onto the centre. Then I got inspiration from another quilter's colour wheel and added a cherry to mine....cherry trees have a very sentimental place in my family's hearts.

While I was stitching this morning, I decided to begin listening to a podcast that I've heard about recently. I'm pretty sure it was someone mentioning it at some point thru' Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching....I can't remember who, sorry!

The podcast is called the QuiltFiction Podcast and is the recitation of a novel called Friendship Album 1933.

I'm enjoying it....but have to remind myself to listen closely and not start daydreaming, so I don't lose track of the story.

I think my goal today will be to figure out once and for all what I am doing about the monogram block for my quilt.

 I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching

I will close with issuing a challenge! Bloggers love to read comments on their blogs. I challenge you to read and leave a comment on five of the bloggers linking up with Kathy today!

I will challenge myself to do the same on ten of the linked blogs!

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An Observation...

I've made a couple of changes recently to the way my day unfolds.

An unexpected bonus is that I seem to have made a bit more time for piecing, which is nice because that has been sorely lacking for a couple of years.

I've made good progress on my One Monthly Goal for this month...which, to be honest, I thought I wouldn't find a bit of time for! 

For a few years I've needed a new Christmas tree skirt. I began nice and early this year at Retreat in May...but made an error, shoved it aside and promptly forgot about it.

Well, this week things are looking hopeful to actually finishing it in time for Christmas!

I love doing Lone Star quilts and haven't made one in a while. My last tree skirt was the same pattern. For a moment yesterday I thought it would be nice to hand-quilt this piece, but then I gave my head a shake....this will be on the floor, under a pile of Christmas presents....machine-quilting will suffice!

I've had time to do the odd bit of sewing on my "I Am Enough" quilt.

I put some of the pieces up on the design wall. The beauty of a large design wall....I didn't have to disturb the Farm Girl Vintage blocks that were already up...

This is when I made my observation.

 I've often said I've gone through the "fabric change of life", since the bulk of my work over the years has been "country" colours (think Debbie Mumm). Now, I gravitate to the bright, cheery modern fabrics. 

Part of me is sure that this happens, of course, because we are influenced by what is going on in the fabric world at any given time.

Over the years I've also often worked with 30's reproduction prints....and that's what I notice in the above picture. To me, the bright, cheerful, clear, modern fabrics of the I Am Enough project are very much the same mood as the 30's fabrics in the Farm Girl Vintage! 

As much as I'm sure that I am influenced by trend...the thought of the similarities of the two types of fabrics pleases me for some strange reason.

Finally, I have to do my part to enable others to look to a new project, don't I??? Bwahahaha!

In the past, I've enjoyed taking part in Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville mystery, which always starts the day after the American thanksgiving....which is this week.

The last couple of years I've held back, as it's usually my busy time of year as a longarm quilter.

I think I'll give it a go this year. The quilt is a bit smaller than the past years....and, as my friend has said, at least try to do a bit each week of that week's clue. 

So....have a look at the intro and see if it interests you. Bonnie's instructions are always very clear. The only year gave up on one was due to very unfortunate colour choices on my part.

You can see the introduction HERE. The quilt is called Good Fortune.

Today I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social, Susan for Midweek Makers, and Esther for WOW, WIPs on Wednesdays.

Have a lovely, quilty day!

Friday, November 16, 2018


It seems like it's been a looong week.

Not much planned for the weekend, so I imagine we'll get some stuff done around the house.

 Our dog,Cooper, has been under the weather, hopefully he's on the mend now. I won't go into messy details, but he and I have shared four showers this week :(

We've had our first real snow this last 24's too soon! 

On to quilty things....

I've re-arranged how I begin my days and one of the bonuses is that, along with my regular longarming, I seem to have a bit of time for piecing my own quilts....woohoo!!! 

Maybe I'll actually make some headway with the UFO pile?!

I do have one goal. It is to get back at my Farm Goal Vintage....

It's been on my mind ever since May, when I saw my friend's completed one. Such a sweet quilt!

I think I'll try to make a note each week of what I'd like to accomplish....and the first will be to do two of these blocks per week!

Here are three blocks that have been done not too long ago, along with two (on the right) that are being relegated to the orphan-block pile...

My original background fabric is the red dotted one. Then I picked up the red "cheerio" fabric, thinking to throw some of that into the mix. The problem?.....the cheerio fabric is off-white and the original is pure in real life the cheerio ones look awful.

Another problem??....I can't find the collection of blocks that I've finished a while ago!!! No worries, they must be in the sewing room somewhere.

Looking back on the week, I do seem to have accomplished a bit more than usual.

I am up-to-date on the Eleanor Burns Fun on the Farm sewalong. There is still time to join in, we're only at Month 4 of 12...

I've also made progress on my I Am Enough quilt...

I was nervous of how the braid would turn out, but I love it! We were to do a "hand" block and for some reason I remembered that I've kept my wedding gloves all these years from when Greg and I were married 35 years ago. I guess they were meant to be included in this quilt!

The next block is a monogram block. Even though I did not change my name when I married Iain, my monogram block will be "McD", to honour my marriage to him.

The more this quilt progresses, the more I love it. This quilt really is a personal journey.

I'm still intent on starting a Temperature Quilt in the new year. There are a few examples on Pinterest. I do like this chart and it will be the one I use to make my quilt. 

I also want to share something for those of you that have always wanted to learn to hand-piece but don't know where to start.

Patty at Elm Street Quilts will be hosting a Hand-piecing Quilt-along in the new year. She has already shared some tips on her blog. If you are interested in trying to hand-piece, you can check it out HERE.

That's all for to complete one of my Farm Girl blocks!

Have a wonderful, quilty day. I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop, Whoop?, and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Slow Sunday Basting Stitches

I was able to get caught up on my Save the Bees, block 3, this weekend.

I wonder if I should have taken the paper out of the hexies before appliqueing them onto the background? It would have made it a bit easier....I'll try it next time.

I really need to prep some applique...meanwhile I am prepping more English Paper Piecing for my Tula Nova...

I have this project packed in a little take-along case which made it handy to work a bit in the car on an outing to Brantford yesterday.

 I'm finding the basting difficult at the moment as the arthritis pain in my finger joints is really acting up lately. I wonder if weather really does play a role in arthritis? I tend to find that I have flare-ups when I don't watch what I eat, but then again, the weather for the last couple weeks has been mainly grey and damp. The swelling in my index finger is at an all time high....for years I've referred to this finger as Arthur....get it?..Arthur-itis?

Something came up this week about what people's favourite quilty tool is. I was at a loss, so just said my Karen Kay Buckley scissors.

As I sat stitching this morning I realised that I had a favourite that isn't the star of the show, but plays a supporting role in my applique....literally.

As long as I can remember, when I do my applique, I've had something resting on my lap to rest my work and hands on as I stitch. In the beginning it was an over-sized children's book, Lady and the Tramp. (Why do I remember such things, but not what I had for dinner last night!?)

Quite a few years ago, someone gave me a thank-you gift. It is a Clover product and you see it in every picture that I take of my hand-work. It's called the Clover Patchwork Board and I use it every day. 

One side is padded so you can use it to press your work, although I've never used that side. The other side has a leather flap that opens up to reveal a rough surface, which I hardly ever use....except for this past week.

I always forget about the rough, sandpaper-like surface....but it is awesome for tracing my EPP shapes on to the fabric...

Someone asked me once if I get sore wrists from all the applique, and I said I did not. I realised then that this board must help me in that respect, as I probably rest my hands on the board at regular intervals between stitching/pinning, etc., without really realising it.

I'd better get a move on....I'm having a run with my friend this morning in beautiful Waterford. I'm not sure it will be a good run as there hasn't been much time for it the last couple of weeks, but the sun is shining and that will make it a good run!

I am linking up today with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

P.S.  By the way, in my my last post I mentioned a curiousity about Temperature Quilts. It turns out, there is great inspiration on Pinterest and I'm definitely going to put this on my to-do list for the new year. Check it out and hopefully you will want to join in! (and, yes, I have been called an enabler from time-to-time, as recently as this past week, bwahahaha!)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Time to relax!

Well, I survived the busyness of the last two weeks!

I plan on relaxing today :)

I had a lot of fun speaking at the Oxford County Quilters' Guild this week....where you present your trunk show twice!...Once on the Wednesday evening and then again on the Thursday morning.

Such a great group of quilters, they surely made my job easier with their wonderful energy.

.....and I had good support, with Gail from The Cozy Quilter coming to cheer me on....

and a quilty friend attending on the Thursday morning for moral support!

By the way, the quilt in the background is the Guild's current raffle quilt...which, if I remember correctly, will be raffled at their upcoming quilt show in 2019.

I hesitate to plan a goal for One Monthly Goal this month, as it seems the month is already marching on. I've missed posting it on time, but I may as well go ahead. Maybe it will help me accomplish my goal!

I need a new Christmas tree skirt. I started one very early this year and was hurrying at it. The result?....a poor start! It would be nice to get this done for Christmas, but it will be a stretch. Luckily it is a pattern that I've had a lot of practice with over the years.

Here is my start...which I have to rip out a bit and fix...

Sorry for the poor quality picture, but it's quite a grey day here...and a bit snowy to boot!

I came across something interesting that I may try in 2019....something I've never heard of but is evidently a thing....a Temperature Quilt. 

You can read all about it HERE at Elm Street Quilts.

I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Busy times....

I have time for a quick post before getting ready for the next bit of "busy" before I can relax on Friday.

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, what with all the activities involved with a family wedding.

I'm happy to report that the wedding went off without a hitch (that I know of, anyway) and we all had a blast dancing the night away.

Here we are...all dressed-up and looking fine...

My eldest grandson, and my newly acquired granddaughter...

Now to prepare for two trunk shows!

All packed and ready to go...

I'll be speaking this evening and Thursday morning at the Oxford Quilters' Guild in Ingersoll, Ont....please join us if you can!

I took a few moments this morning to work on this past month's block for Save the Bees...

It's actually working up fairly quick. As you can see, I am old-school and baste the fabric to the paper. I've attempted doing glue-basting, but must be doing something wrong as I can't get good results.

Have a wonderful day....the sun is shining after the terrific winds we've experienced over the last 24 hours!

I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and with Susan for Midweek Makers.