Monday, December 31, 2018

what I've been up to

I wanted to end the year with a post of some of the projects I've been working on.  It's been a few months so there's lots :0)
 In anticipation of meeting up with some longtime internet friends I did a little applique, a little handquilting and made 2 little zippered pouches to give as gifts. 
 It was fun to try quilting them 2 different ways.  I could not pick a favorite.

I also took a class with Helen Frost while I was in Houston.  The class was called Starstruck.  She had an different method for cutting and a few other tricks.  It was interesting and I enjoyed it very much. 
 She had this mirror tool to try different layouts with diamonds once they were pieced in rows.  It was cool to see how different they looked.
 I decided on option 2.  I didn't get it completely together until a few weeks later.  Now I have to decide what to make with my star.
 Using the leftover cut off bits was fun too.  There was no way I was throwing them out.  I made this little mini quilt for a friend.  It was quick to machine quilt and bind. 
 I also participated in a sew-a-long with Temecula Quilt Shop in the weeks leading up to American Thanksgiving.  Wow!  I had no idea we were making a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt!  It was so doable broken down into sewing 9 patches and 4 patches etc... 
 I worked on it a little bit everyday until it was a completed top. 
 It was a nice idea to get it quilted and have a new Christmas quilt but...  it didn't happen.  Maybe in time for next Christmas.  I do love how scrappy it is :0)

I also finished the 8th applique block for my Radical Rose and Reel quilt.  8 blocks does not make a very pretty picture but its exciting to see it nearly ready to assemble.  There will be borders to applique yet so lots more stitches to enjoy for this project. 
So that should nearly catch me up.  I look forward to lots of lovely quilty projects in 2019!

Happy Quilting!!  and  Happy 2019!!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Marvellous antique quilts

Another very wonderful part of Houston International Quilt Festival was the antique quilts.
  After I stopped to see my own quilt in the show I hurried into the vendor area to see for myself these booths full of antique quilts for sale.  I'm sure the first few antique quilt vendors thought I was a little nuts - I was that excited.  Even now - looking through my pictures I can't believe all the amazing works of art I was able to see and touch.  The vendors were very kind and patient with me - I came around and visited each booth at least once a day to see if anything new was on display and I wasn't disappointed. 
 Mary Koval's booth was a real favorite.  She was very welcoming and happy to talk with me about her lovely quilts. Honestly I wanted to see every single one but since I wasn't buying I could hardly make her unfold each one. 
 This one had the most marvellous quilting motifs. 
 This is one Mary did unfold for me - the photo doesn't do it justice - it was incredible!
 Julie Siber was another vendor who very kindly would talk antique quilts with me.  Her assistant Deborah was very fun as well.  This trapuntoed quilt was unbelievable!  Such fine, lovely quilting - and so graceful!
 Even folded there was so much to admire and be inspired by.
 Jane Lury had a booth full of wonderful quilts too.  Can you imagine the time to quilt these 4 parallel lines all around the border
 Cindy Rennel's and her husband were very welcoming at their booth too.  They let me prowl around and take a few pictures.  This quilt had the most amazing stuffed buds.  I can't imagine sleeping under a quilt with such puffy buds ( Probably wasn't intended to be slept under...). 
So many amazing quilts - it was such a treat just to see them!
I love a feathered star quilt.  This one was exquisite. 
I also really enjoyed meeting Julia at her Pique booth.  I can't find any pictures from her booth however  - I was probably too busy talking with her - she was lovely and her quilts were fabulous too. 
Are you feeling inspired??  I sure am :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

International Quilt Festival

I had the most amazing time at International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas!!  I was so excited to be able to go!  I had entered my Bird of Paradise quilt in the "In the American Tradition" exhibit and it was accepted so I had to go see it!  Back in the spring I boxed up my quilt and shipped it away.
 So, the first thing I did on arrival was find it in the show.  It was displayed so nicely.  I was vibrating with excitement that first evening at the show, hardly knowing what to look at first.
 I was very much looking forward to meeting quilters that I know from their blogs.  Judith Ebbelaar from the Netherlands was the first one I met. I felt so welcomed with a big hug.  It was wonderful to get to know her and see her in person.  She was working very hard at the Dutch Heritage booth in the vendor area.  Such a beautiful booth and such gorgeous fabrics. 
 I have been gifted with Dutch chintz fabrics before but never able to shop for them myself.  It was difficult because I wanted it all  :0)  I know I will be starting a quilt with these fabrics soon.  I can't wait - they're so gorgeous!
 The next morning I got to meet Kyle and her husband Ed.  She was every bit as delightful as I thought she would be from her blog that I have enjoyed for so many years.  We visited and shopped and viewed quilts together.  I loved every minute it. 
 I also got to meet Lori of Humble Quilts.  I've followed her blog for ages and have made several of her doll quilt quiltalongs. What a fun supper we had!
I have been blogging for 10 years and had never met any of the friends made through blogs until this Houston trip.  It was so great!
Barb of the blog Fun with Barb had her Mother's garden quilt in the show.  Barb was the one who encouraged me to enter my quilt.  I'm so grateful to her for believing in me.  I wouldn't have been in Houston if my quilt hadn't been accepted.  Her quilt was marvellous.  I kept coming back to it to find new details to enjoy. 
 Wendy of The Constant Quilter had 2 quilts in the show.  This one was scrappy delightful.  I loved the little stars on cheddar reaching from the center block to the border. 
 Karen of Log Cabin Quilter blog had her beautiful Shenandoah Valley quilt there.  Loved the chocolate brown background. 
 This quilt Old Voices was by Cynthia Collier and Peggy Morton.  I got to meet Cynthia at the show and enjoyed talking about applique quilts with her.
Teresa of Fabric Therapy had her beautiful prize winning Contentment quilt in the show.  She also made a Civil War Bride Quilt years ago and I've enjoyed following her blog for several years. 
There is so much more to tell so I'm going to make another post to share about the antique quilts and others I enjoyed in the Show - hopefully later this week :0)

Layer Cake Custard Quilt

I had the opportunity to participate in another quiltalong with the Fat Quarter Shop.  This time I made the Layer cake custard quilt.  It was a fun and fast quilt to make and a really good pattern for showcasing large print fabrics. 
 I chose the Crystal Farm layer cake by Laundry Basket quilts because of the beautiful large floral prints in the line.  (Yes,that is snow on the ground.  It's all melted now but we had lots!)
 I cut the whole quilt out before I started sewing - something I've never done before.  I loved it because I could zip down to my sewing machine and stitch even if I only had a few minutes to sew. 
Very quickly the top was together and I basted it on the floor in my dining room.
I decided simple quilting was a good choice for a soft and cozy quilt.  I quilted diagonal straight lines with a few feathered vines interspersed. 
 It was completely finished in under a month.  I am astounded that this is even possible for me. Usually it takes years for me to get to a finish.
I decided to try another new thing while I was at it - machine binding.  I watched a YouTube video by Kimberly here and gave it a try.  The first side was not amazing, but the second side went a little better and the 3rd and 4th sides worked great. Just a few hand stitches on the back will fix up a few spots where I missed.  I was impressed at how quickly it went. 

So one final picture of the whole quilt laid out on the floor. 
If you want to see the rest of the Layer Cake Custard quilts made by others in the quiltalong check them out here on the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

back to sewing

The kids are back in school and I finally feel like things are back to normal around here.  It was a busy summer - a wonderful summer! 
 I made an appointment for Tuesday to long arm baste my Susan McCord vine quilt for handquilting.  On Monday afternoon I pulled it out and found I had left all the registration line basting in it.  Each of 13 panels has this line of machine basting running up the middle to mark the centre of the panel.  It's not easy to pull out as in many places applique stitches have caught it.  There was no way I wanted to pick this out after it was sandwiched so I had to cancel my appointment and have spent some time this week carefully ripping it out.  I have 3 panels left to go.  I do love having this project out again :0)
 We went camping the last week of August.  It was a cool, rainy week.  We spent only one night at Shunda lake.  I was able to spend a few minutes stitching in my favorite spot next to this old stump. 
 It was in the morning while the mist was rising.  The bald eagles were flying too and I enjoyed watching a young one awkwardly practice a tree top landing. 
 Earlier in August my daughter Kristy and I travelled to El Salvador with Samaritan's Purse to deliver shoebox gifts.  What a wonderful trip it was.  We saw quite a bit of El Salvador and it is a beautiful country.  But the most beautiful were the smiles of the children we met.  I gave the box I brought to this little sweetheart.  How did she know that I would want a picture of her with the pouch I made for her?
After the boxes were all distributed and opened, we had time to play with the children.  Someone had brought along huge bags filled with the long, thin balloons for making balloon animals.  I learned how to make them when I was a teenager and hadn't made any in years.  It was so fun to share the love of Jesus with these children.

So now I'm home from all my summer travels and I've dusted off my sewing machine and pulled on my thick, warm socks.  (there is snow on the ground while I type this)  I spent a couple afternoons putting together the rest of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. 
I have a couple borders to add yet.  It's going to be a big quilt!  I'm excited to use the pieced parallelograms in the borders. It was much easier to assemble to top using solid sashing pieces and save the parallelograms for the border.
I hope you are enjoying some fall stitching.  Happy Quilting!!

Friday, August 10, 2018

an exciting trip

I'm very excited to be leaving on a trip in the morning.  My DD#2 and I are travelling as part of a team with Samaritan's Purse to distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to children living in poverty in El Salvador. I have been packing shoeboxes every November to send overseas for
this for the last 25 years. This time I will get to hand deliver my carefully packed box and meet the little girl who receives it.  I wanted to make something special for this box - something that was a little bit of me.  So I appliqued a flower and made a little zipper pouch to include in my box.
 We will distribute boxes in 4 different communities and there is a service project we will also be taking part in but - I'm mostly excited to meet the children, to play with them, to let them know they are loved and special and that Jesus loves them.
 Here is the rest of my box contents - school supplies, hygiene items, toys, a t-shirt...  The box is so full I can hardly get the lid on.  My daughter Kristy likes to pack the boxes super full  :0) 

I don't know if there will be a lot of time to stitch on this trip but I have about 12 little 3 inch stars cut out to handpiece - I had to bring something to sew!

The summer has been very busy.  The older my kids get the busier my summers seem to be.  I did spend an evening with a friend stitching and I made another block for my guild challenge sampler.  The top left block is the new one.  I had to lay them out together now that there are 9 blocks.  I know I want 3 more at least.  The last 3 will be free choice blocks.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

summer stitching

There's been some summer stitching.  All of those red and cream hst's from my last post became sashing for these applique blocks.  Once that was done there needed to be a border of hst's as well.  I decided to use blue and cream hst's because they kind of frame it at the same time.  To speed up making them I decided to use triangle paper.  I was impressed at how easy it was to find, print and use triangle paper from the internet.  
This cream with little red star fabric was in my stash and perfect for a final border. Now it will have to return to the ufo bin until I have time to quilt it. 

I've been working on the bottom border for my signature quilt.  It is fun to be working with these fabrics and shapes again. 
 I've also been working a little bit on my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt - On Ringo Lake.  I had to make the setting triangles for the edge so I could start putting the blocks together.  As part of that process some pieced triangles got cut off.  I didn't want to waste them so I made a potholder with them.  Now I wish I had more cutoffs so I could make a second potholder :0)
 Here is what I have assembled so far of the mystery quilt.  With solid pink sashing strips it goes together smoothly and the pieced sashing included in the mystery instructions I will use for a border.
I hope I can get the rest of this top together this summer. 

There's been lots of this going on this summer as well.  Some weeks are better for stitching than others...

Happy Quilting!!