Tuesday, December 12, 2017

falling behind

So Bonnie Hunter's mystery is not for the slow and busy sewer.  Wow! there are a lot of units in the last 2 weeks worth of clues.  I am conceding that I will fall behind.
One of the fun things about her Mystery link up posts is seeing how people arrange their completed units - experimenting to try and solve the mystery.  Here are units from the first 3 clues arranged together.  This was how Grace B (link up person #12) had arranged hers and I thought it looked fun.
I cut and sewed and cut and sewed and got all of my clue #2 units made - oodles of flying geese.  
For clue #3 I have only just a handful of units made.  I hope to get a bunch more made before Friday's clue #4 but I know already I won't be done :0)
While I was waiting for clue #2 to be released I had a try at a Circling Swallows block.  Barbara Brackman had posted about this block here back in July on one of her blogs and I was wanting to give it a go.  It was fun!  This block will be an extra to go with my guild challenge blocks.  (once I finish it) 
Well, back to the sewing machine Christmas preparations for me  :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

not a spectator

Every year for the last several years I have enjoyed watching Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt unfold.  This year when she announced her colors I was hooked - what a pretty palate to work with!
So the first clue was released on Friday and by Sunday evening I had all of these delightful scrappy little 9 patches made.  
 Bonnie's Monday link up is here.
I pulled plenty of fabric to use from my stash.  It's been sitting on this card table tempting me for weeks so I'm happy to be sewing with it now.
 Now I have to wait until Friday and the next clue...

In the meantime I am steadily making progress on quilting my son's quilt and I pulled out this little ufo that I'd love to finish up before Christmas.
I misplaced the pattern so I took the pieces and attached them.  I think its wrong but I like it and now I just need to quilt it as well. It would be great to use it for Christmas decorating :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

free motion quilting

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.  
I was so pleased with this little pumpkin that I grew in the garden I wanted to share a picture.  I've never tried to grow pumpkins before - the squirrels chewed off all the other little ones that started but they never found this one hiding in the rhubarb :0)  Pretty soon it will be time to put out Christmas decorations so this little guy will get cut up and used.
 I finished all the blocks for a quilt for my son recently. The pattern is Just Toasty by Betsy Chutchian.  I wanted to make the quilt super long so it would stay tucked in on my son's extra long bed so it was a lot of blocks to sew. 
 Of course I had to play a bit before I sewed them together :0)
 This was the arrangement in the pattern and its what my son wanted.
 I added borders to frame it and to make it a little longer and wider yet.  It's really long!
On Tuesday I managed to get it pin basted and yesterday I started quilting it.  It's going so well and I'm so very happy with my Juki machine.  The extra size of the opening makes it so easy to maneuver and it is much easier to free motion quilt with this machine than with my old one.  The bottom tension is perfect everytime. I'm doing a fairly simple boxy pattern in the squares and not too dense - I want it to be soft and comfortable to sleep under.  I hope to get this finished soon so he can use it!  (And, because I promised myself I could do the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year if this quilt was nearly done ;0)

I made a bag last week too.  I used a French General Moda candy pack.  I was pleased it went well with this brown fabric because it has names of Jesus on it and the bag is for carrying my Bible to church, Bible study, etc...
 I free motion quilted it a little denser - fun and a good warm up project for my son's quilt.
 I'm starting to get a small forest of these trees - pieced for fun every once and awhile.  No clue how I'm going to set them.  I'm just going to keep making them until I get tired of them and then I'll decide.
 I was delighted to win this giveaway prize from Barb at Fun with Barb  I was most interested to read the Quilt Study seminar booklet.  One day I would LOVE to go to a seminar.  It was great to read about the offerings and tours.  I love Barb's blackbird cards and the fabric very much too :0) 

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunflower wallhanging

I finished something.  It feels good to say that :0)  I started this wall hanging for my oldest daughter just over 2 years ago.  It is supposed to go with the bed quilt I made for her called Cheddar Posies.
I started with handpiecing the head of the sunflower.  I'm not a real confident handpiecer so I was kind of surprised when it turned out.  Then I got stuck - very badly stuck. I didn't know how to make the leaf portion of the wall hanging.  I set it aside until inspiration struck this summer.

 Simple pieced leaves sewed up quickly  and finally last week just before my daughter came home for a mid-semester week off from college I finished quilting it.
The quilting went fast and I was so happy with how easy it was to free motion quilt with my new machine.  I got brave and tried something new - pebbles.  (I thought they might look like seeds)
 I stuck with straight lines for the rest except for the leaves which a friend suggested I feather.
I helped her hang it in her dorm room lastnight (I had to take her back - happily she's only just over an hour away) and I think she was really pleased with it. I can't believe it takes me so long to finish things. 
I have another big finish for my next post - it just needs binding. 

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

what I'm working on

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.  I have a winner for the 2 Jolly Bars of Summerfest from my last post - comment #7 Beth.
 My mom recently gifted me with a small bagful of old spools.  I love wooden spools.  I know my mom would string empty ones together into a chain and tie it to the highchair for a toy when I was a baby.  (Of course I don't remember this but I remember my younger sisters playing with them)  The spools in the picture are still around because they have thread on them.  I will use the thread for basting things and while I baste - wonder what sewing project my mom bought the thread to make :0)
After I typed up this post I had a quick look at my baby book and found this picture of me in the highchair with the spools dangling off the side.  I don't look too fascinated with them in the picture but there they are. 
 I need to finish up this long-set-aside sunflower wallhanging for my oldest daughter.  I wanted to set the flower into a square background.  I basted the background fabric to freezer paper around in a big circle.  Although I thought I had measured carefully - I ended up rebasting it twice before the circle was the right size - wheew!  Now all that's left is to attatch the stem and leaves and get it quilted.

 I finished another block for my Radical Rose and Reel quilt.  Block #5 of nine - over halfway if you're not counting borders...  Still loving the pattern by Dawn and her daughter at Collector with a needle.
At guild last time a friend showed us how to make these feather blocks from scraps.  I thought it looked like fun to try. Here is hers - all bright and fun
 But I thought I would make mine for a gift and chose to use fabrics that would go with her décor.  Yeah - I know - not nearly as fun looking.  I'm not sure I have it in me to finish this up.  This always seems to happen when I try to make something to suit someone else's taste.  It just doesn't work!
They were very fun to sew though (I made 2) Maybe I'll make some more feathers but this time in more exciting colors.
So many projects - so little time - Happy Quilting!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt and giveaway

It was fun to participate in another Fat Quarter Shop quiltalong.  This quilt is called Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt and as soon as I saw a picture of it I knew I wanted to make it because to me the blocks look like big happy flowers.  
 My daughter helped me choose the Summerfest by April Rosenthal Jolly bars to make it with and I found some solid white in my stash to piece the blocks with. 
 Usually it takes me months to get all the blocks for a quilt top made but these blocks went together so quickly.  What a happy looking quilt :0)
 I departed from the pattern only for the sashing.  The pattern called for wider sashing but I liked the blocks closer together. I used a white fabric with a cream pattern on it for the sashing as there was some cream in the Summerfest fabrics and I thought the print framed the blocks a bit. 
So it feels kind of ironic to be photographing this quilt made from Summerfest fabric in the fall season.  We are right into fall here in Canada with all the leaves turning golden.  I love summer - its my favorite season and I'm always sad to see the leaves change and fall.  
Long winters are good for quilting though :0)
 With the construction of the blocks there are some corners cut off - I saved them all in a little bin and sometime this winter it will be fun  to pull them out and see what I can make with them.  They'll make oodles of HST's - my favorite!
 The Fat Quarter Shop has provided a pair of Summerfest Jolly Bar's for me to give away.  So if you're interested in stitching up your own Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt  be sure to comment and I'll pull a winner on Wednesday October 4. 
If you want to see more Jolly Bar Jazz quilts and grab the free pattern then head over to the Fat Quarter Shop's blog The Jolly Jabber.
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

some applique

My guild met Monday night and the next block challenge was released and it turns out to be ...  Architectural Elements...  Ack! I waited 2 months for that?  I guess that's why its called a challenge.  I'll have to put my thinking cap on...
 It's much easier to come up with the extra blocks I am making to go with the 5 blocks for the challenge.  I recently finished this extra block.  It's a Sharon Keightley design I found in issue #23 of Today's Quilter magazine.  Sharon's block is made up in very different colors but I was smitten with the design. 
 It was a fair bit of stitching for one block but that's no problem :0)

Here it is mixed in with the others.  I really like playing with what works on the dark background fabric.  To recap -
Challenge #1 - Iconic 
Challenge #2 - Where you live
Challenge #3 - Adventure
Challenge #4 - Architectural Elements
(the star block is an extra too)

Now I'd better go find my thinking cap.
Happy quilting!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lady of the Lake block

I decided to try something new and join a quiltalong with the Fat Quarter Shop.  There was an opportunity to sew a Lady of the Lake block from a pattern that is part of their Classic and Vintage Quilt Along.  I love classic and vintage quilts - how could I resist?

 Of course I couldn't stop at just one block especially since there were parts already made for a second block. 
 Lots and lots of fabric auditioning occurred, digging deep into my big bag of Minick and Simpson scraps.  Blocks 2,3 and 4 sewed up quick once I picked out fabric.
 I did not have time to make all the blocks for the Lady of the Lake Classic and Vintage pattern. I made a table topper instead with just 4 blocks.  There were decisions to make about how to position the blocks.  Asymmetrical blocks are fun to play around with. 
A couple of borders later I have a finished top.  This sewed up quick and I think it will make a great Christmas gift.  (this gives me lots of time to get around to quilting it :0) 

Other bloggers are previewing this pattern and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have made with it.  The links are on the FQS blog here.

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

a summer post

Summer is my favorite season and it always goes by way too fast!  I've been busy with my kids but a few stitches have been taken as well.
I took some time away from more current projects to sew up another Tree of Life block. These are so fun to plan and stitch.
 Here are the first 4 blocks for my guild challenge quilt.. I'm still thinking about the bright yellow in the Wandering foot block.  It's pretty powerful and I'm considering appliqueing another fabric (the red) over part/most of the yellow. What do you think? I like the yellow with the navy but its a little overpowering. I have to wait until September for the next theme.
 We went to Kelowna to visit my parents last week.  I made this napkin holder for my Mom.  It's good for holding napkins outside so they don't blow away in the breeze. 
 My husband and I had a chance to go out for lunch at a nearby winery.  The view from the restaurant is so beautiful.   It was pretty smoky from northern BC forest fires while we were there.  Normally the lake is a gorgeous blue but I was happy that we could at least see the lake that day.
 I finished making my 36 patches into blocks a few weeks ago.  I am now rethinking my setting options... again.  I think I'd like to add some pretty sashing but I can't quite find the right print.  This is one I have in my stash which I like the best so far.  In the fall I will get back to this project.  And in the meantime on my summer travels, who knows what fabric I might find?
I also keep working on blocks for my son's quilt. Hand quilting my Bird of Paradise quilt is nearing completion.  And I started appliqué block #5 for Radical Rose and Reel.   Lots of projects keeps things exciting around here :0)

Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 19, 2017

a guild challenge

We went camping this past weekend at the same place as always.  Shunda Lake is always so peaceful and beautiful.  This stump from my header changes a bit every year.  I did not get a lot of stitching time there this year as we did more hiking and kayaking but I did manage to take a few stitches in this Wandering Foot block.
 A major reason for the less stitching time was that my son, my husband and I climbed Mt Coliseum.  The view is pretty incredible from up top but it was an intense hike - straight up the mountain.
It was fun to share this experience with my son who recently turned 13.  For his birthday I made him this small zippered bag for carrying his book when he goes biking. He used to borrow an old one of mine so now he has his own.
This next project is part of a guild challenge.  Every 2 months a theme is pulled out of a bag full of ideas and we're supposed to make a block or border or quilt element to go with the theme.  The first theme pulled out of the bag was "Iconic".  I was stumped! What came up on my internet search for Iconic were movie stars and political figures that really didn't inspire me.  I had already decided I was going to use a dark background and had purchased this navy dotted fabric so I was determined to come up with something. 
My DD#1 saved the day by suggesting using an Iconic book for my idea.  (she is such a bookworm :0)  I immediately thought of the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird"  - it is a great book.  So here is my mockingbird perched in what is supposed to look like a pecan branch. (I have never seen a pecan tree or a mockingbird so I took liberties and the flowers are there for color)  The bird's eye remains to be embroidered...
We just watched the movie a week ago - which is in black and white so this color picture on the cover of the book seems odd.
The next guild theme pulled was "where you live".  That one was easy.  I live in the province of Alberta and all of our car licence plates read "Wild Rose Country"  As the wild roses were/are in bloom it was easy to come up with a rose wreath for my second block.  
 I took a picture of these on my morning run last week Monday - they were right next to the path. 
The next theme pulled was "Adventure".  After a little thought I settled on the Wandering Foot block from the first photo of this post.  It's not finished yet so I'll post it again later.  The guild challenge is only going to go for 5 themes.  I have already decided to make at least 12 blocks so I will be making some extras along the way.  
And, finally I have to post a picture of my amazing and sweet DD#1 who graduated from High school this year.  I am tremendously proud of her. She looked so beautiful in her royal blue dress. 
 I am still coming to terms with the fact that she is now an adult and plans to go away to school next year.  Oh the places she'll go :0)

Happy Quilting!!