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!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

It's a UFO

I always think I'm going to get so much more done than I do.  I was sure I would need a new handquilting project basted for summer stitching but here I am just starting the background fill in the border of my current project.  (The next quilt will be my Trailing Vines and I just can't wait!!)
I quilted in my initials and the year...  well I meant to put 2018 but I was watching TV and the show must have been more interesting than usual.  Anyway - its staying and it will add more mystery to whoever finds this quilt years from now.   The 18 is all I will need to remember what year I finished this.
Some more of the background fill.
 I was wanting something new to work on recently but instead of starting a new project I pulled out this set of 9 applique blocks and decided I wanted to frame them with small red HSTs.  It will be fun to put them together I think. 
 A week later … I completely caved and started this Stars Upon Stars pattern by Edyta Sitar.  I rationalized that I already had the pattern and I have all the fabric I need in my stash so really - it qualifies as a UFO right?  I think this will be a looong, slow project.
I had to include a picture of my foxgloves.  They're my favorite flower and I'm so grateful to my mom for giving me some plants this year as I didn't start any.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

sticking at current projects

I haven't had much time to post but I have been sewing.  Nearly everyday progress is made on one or more projects. 
 These are all of my stars for my Star a Day quilt.  Kyle recently posted her finished star a day quilt on her blog Timeless Reflections  and I just love it.  I have to keep going on this if I want to make a quilt of any size.  So far I have 72 stars.
These 2 got stitched up last weekend.  
I finished block #7 for my Radical rose and Reel quilt. 
I made a few more tree blocks.  I will make 3 more and then figure out a setting for them. 

Yesterday I finished free motion quilting the blocks in this large quilt.  The straight lines in the sashing will go quickly I hope.  I have not figured out the quilting for the border yet.

More handquilted feathers happened too.  I'm almost all the way around.  I will be thrilled to get this quilt finished but the border background fill has to happen yet too. 
Progress is slow but finishes are on their way... eventually...  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

machine feathers

 It's about time I posted something.  I've been sewing - stitching away on current projects.  I have not started anything new although the temptation has been very great.
I had a week at home in early April.  Our furnace quit and we heated the house with the woodstove for a week until a part could be acquired.  I had to stay home and feed wood into the stove...  One day I made the best of it and basted this enormous quilt on the floor of my dining room.  I used all of my basting pins and still didn't have enough so I thread basted the border just to get it done.
It was my plan to free motion quilt this - hoping it would go fast like my son's quilt.  But as I considered it I decided to use my walking foot to anchor the blocks before I tried free motion quilting. Then I flipped through an excellent book "Visual guide to Free-motion Quilting Feathers" by Natalia Bonner and found this feathered design that fit into a square.  

My quilting is far from perfect but I am pleased with how this design fills the blocks without being too dense.  The design doesn't take over the block like it may appear in this picture.  If I turned the lights on as usual you would hardly see any quilting at all.  I still need a plan for the zigzag sashing.  Straight lines are all I've thought of so far.  Any suggestions??

The design works well for the half blocks too - here it is from the back.  By the last block I will be a pro - lol!
I'm also working on appliqueing my 7th block of Radical Rose and Reel.  I was so surprised to see that I had placed these two pieces in the same fabric side by side.  I didn't notice until it was sewn on.  I usually try so hard to not let this happen.  However, scrappy antique quilts often have blocks in the same fabric grouped together and yet I try so hard to scatter them evenly across the top?!  I love antique quilts!  So even though I know this will bug me  - I'm leaving it. 

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

winter progress

On the weekend I finished block #6 of Radical Rose and Reel.  I had to lay them out together to see how it's coming along. Three more blocks and then borders to applique - so many hours of happy stitching to look forward to :0)
 Here's the 6th block. 
 I've also made considerable progress on handquilting my Lily quilt.  I'm halfway around the wide border with a feathered vine. 
 I just love quilting feathers!  The border will need a background fill of some kind to go with the feathers.  I'll figure that out later - lol!
 On Saturday I pulled out my 36 patch blocks.  I had set them aside months ago to make a quilt for my son.  At that time I decided to put sashing between the blocks but had a difficult time finding the "right" fabric.  I thought I was going to love it with this blue stripe...  Once I got 2 rows together I was sure I had made a mistake.  I posted it on Instagram and received a lot of feedback  - people liked the sashing.  My husband also mentioned that he liked the sashing - that cinched it!
 Sometimes a little advice is all I need.  Thanks if you were one of the advisors :0)
 There has been a bit of skiing going on in the past few weeks. We had some exciting visitors from Ontario and we went downhill skiing
 and cross country skiing.  Both days were just picture perfect and fun!
Of course exciting visitors deserve exciting dessert!  My DD#2 and I had been wanting to make a Baked Alaska cake for awhile and it was a fun and tasty experiment.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

a BIG finish

I finished my Bird of Paradise quilt!!  Appliqued and quilted by hand - only the assembly of the blocks and basting was done by machine. 

 I started with the Threadbear Civil War Bride quilt pattern.  I made 10 of the blocks just like the pattern, 4 blocks slightly altered and the remaining 6 blocks I drew myself using some of the flower and leaf shapes from the pattern and my own drawings.  For my borders I took inspiration from the original 1862 Bird of Paradise quilt pictured in The Quilt Engagement Calendar Treasury.  I wanted the horses for sure to be included - they add so much energy to the quilt.  I also really liked the top border from the original so I sewed mine to be similar.  The sides and bottom are of my own design. 
With the horses racing along the bottom you'd think I'd have been racing to a finish.  Actually I started this quilt in September of 2010.  Quilting began in May of 2016 and finished in Sept of 2017.  Yeah - September.  It took me 5 months to trim and bind this quilt.  It was like an anticlimax.  And, I'm not sure why.  I loved working on this project so much - I miss working on this project.  It's a fairly large quilt and I really don't have anywhere in mind to hang it.  I'm really happy with how it turned out - I'm just not really sure what to do with it.
 Here are some close ups.  I love the squirrels :0)  They've been so busy hanging upside down off of our bird feeder eating seeds all day today.  (I was less happy with them when they were digging up and eating my carrots in the summer though)
It's a large quilt to display.  I'll find a spot for it somewhere I'm sure.
 It was a tremendously fun journey.  I learned so much about applique and designing blocks and borders while working on it.  Honestly I'd love to make it again. 
It is fairly densely hand quilted.  After I saw Hilda's beautifully quilted Civil War Bride quilt I wanted that look as well.  I learned a few things about marking while I worked on it too.  There were challenges :0)
Overall, it was a wonderful ride :0)  What next??

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On Ringo Lake mystery

 This week is the last link up for On Ringo lake - Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  I don't have my quilt finished - not even close.  I have 39 blocks made and I love them.  They go together quickly when you have all the block parts pieced.
 I especially love them set side by side.
 However, there are a lot of points to match up and those spots could potentially be pretty lumpy so I'm thinking about some plain sashing.  This pink is my favorite so far.
The On Ringo Lake mystery has sashing pieced from these parallelogram units.  A few people have used these units as a border and I really like the look so I'm going to save them for that.
 My border won't be exactly like this layout here.  I may still set the blocks on point like in the pattern.  Here is a link to go see other peoples' mystery quilts.  It was such a fun mystery project to participate in. 
We enjoyed a lovely family escape from winter to Hawaii last week.  It was beautiful!
Of course there was some stitching.  I could sit outside and watch for whales and enjoy the flowers with my stitching.  It was wonderful!
We came home to -25 temperatures and it just keeps snowing.  Winter is a long season here so it was good to take a break.
Happy Quilting!!