Monday, 24 April 2017

Free Fall Quilt Along Progress

     I've been feeling pretty happy lately.  Although it's still a bit cold, it's been more Spring like.   The longer days filled with bird song and sun make such a difference to my mood.  At work things have been a bit of a strain with our computers and consequently cash registers, and debit machines acting up but I think things have all been sorted out now.  It's amazing how much things like that can take a toll.

     I've been working on catching up with the Honey Pot Bee ( I'll post about that later in the week) and I've been keeping up with my part of Sandra's quilt along Free Fall.  It's great doing this quilt along with my friends as I have less to do and I'm able to keep up.   Here are my blocks for this week.


     But the joke is on me because as I look at them I can see that I made a mistake in two of them and I'm going to have to fix them.  So I guess I'm not all caught up. It's a pretty easy fix that I'll do tonight.  All the fabric for this quilt is at my friend Wendy's so I have no shadow leaf point to share and I suspect it's not done yet.
    
   The three of us are making this together as a donation quilt and we are expanding on the size and the number of leaf blocks in the background section so one friend is making three blocks on this off white background and one friend is making four.  That friend is making one less of the blocks on the shadow background.  At the last link up I hadn't quite completed my blocks on the shadow leaf background.  So here they are.  Let's see if I made any mistakes with these.


     They look pretty good.   I'm off to work in a few minutes so I'll leave you here.  I'm linking up with Beth of Cooking up Quilts, Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, and Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts.  This last link up is pretty new to me.  It's a weekly link up of charitable quilts called Sew Some Love.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Oh Happy Mail

     It's my turn this month as Queen Bee for Stash Bee Hive 4 and the Happy Mail has started to arrive.   Here are my first arrivals which came last Friday.  Aren't they awesome!



     I decided to use one of my designs from the 30 quilt designs challenge I did with Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, for my block.  This was one of my first designs and it is based on a flag from Canada's history, the Carignan Saliere flag.



    I'm using my blocks to  make a quilt for my niece and I chose my palette based on a woven blanket she has.  It's an off white with blue lines running through it and little pops of red.  My plan is to make the quilt primarily with blues, greys and low volumes with a bit of red here and there.  Here are my sample blocks.  



     It's a pretty simple block to make, essentially combining a pinwheel with a plus sign.  My blocks finish at 12 1/2 inches so I made my 1/2 square triangles at 5 1/2".  The two shorter pieces of the plus sign where 2 1/2" by 5 1/2 " and the longer piece of the plus sign is 2 1/2" by 12 1/2".  I've been thinking  about arrangements with this pattern and there just might be another quilt top in the making.



        I've been planning this quilt for my niece for some time and I have tons of blue and grey fabrics to fill in the spaces between the reds. My daughter was home for Easter and she gave a thumbs up on the blocks so far.

      Being queen bee for the month is so much fun.  I'm sitting back enjoying the good weather and watching my beautiful blocks arrive.  Linking with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday which is held on Tuesday this week because of the New Blogger Blog Hop.   Are you following along?  It's always so much fun to meet new bloggers through the hop.  I'm also going to link up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Main Crush Tuesday

   We have had some glorious weather over the last few days and I am happy to say that Spring seems to have arrived  So one thing I'm crushing on is the weather.

  I'm also crushing on getting together with my quilting amigos again to work on a common project.   This time we are jointly making the Free Fall quilt to donate to our guild's charity project.  Free Fall is a quilt designed by Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon.  She is running a quilt along for this pattern right now, so you can join us if you like.
As my friends and I only get together about once a month for group sewing, we started out a bit behind.  We spent our day together sifting through our fabrics making choices on fabrics for the smaller leaves and then cutting them.

    We divided the leaf packs and took them home to sew as homework.  This is my progress as of Sunday night.



     There are 8 blocks with small leaves on a shadow leaf background.  I took three of these.  The photo above gives you an idea of what the completed block will look like.  The photo below gives you an idea of some of the other colours we will be using.



     In the end the palette for this quilt moved away from blues chosen originally for the small leaves, to greens and light oranges with a few accents of purples and browns. It will be a colourful and happy quilt. I am happy that my friends agreed to work on this quilt along with me as things continue to be quite busy for me, so I don't have to stress about keeping up.

     Did you notice the bright white background in the photo .  That's something I'm quite excited about, and the third thing I'm crushing on this week. I bought a Tasmanian  sewing table from Nova Sewing in Hamilton Ontario.  My wonderful husband picked it up and put it together for me.


  The exciting thing about this table is that the sewing machine drops down, making it level with the table top.  My blogging friend Kate of Smiles from Kate has this table and assures me I will love it.  I've started machine quilting my own quilts now and so many people have told me that things will go much more smoothly with the sewing machine dropped to table top level.  I have yet to try quilting but for piecing I can tell that my arms are better placed for ergonomics than with the table I used to have.  I'm looking forward to my next quilting experience.  I'm linking up with the Free Fall linkup and with Main Crush Monday Tuesday this week.  Then I'm going to read some more posts from the New Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Leanne of She Can Quilt and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

2017 Finish Along 2nd Quarter List.

The first quarter is over and I managed to finish only one of my goals....so for this quarter there is a lot I can carry forward, but I think I'll drop a couple of goals and replace them with others.  I'm in the make the list long camp, although sometimes when I see other peoples long lists I think I'm in the make the list medium camp.  I like to keep my options open.

So carried forward from the 1st quarter list.

1.  The second quilt top I made.  I've sewn the back together and bought the batting so I'm feeling positive about this ones chances for a finish.





2.  Snowflake Shimmer: This is from a quilt along with Quilting Jetgirl last summer and it would be nice to get this beauty done....but I have a couple of other things I'd like to quilt first so it may slide over into quarter 3.



3. Clam Shell:  I think the top is more than 1/2 finished so it would be good to nudge it further.



4.Circle of Friends.  These are my stash bee blocks from 2016.  I'm being held back by not having a large enough squaring up ruler....I really need to borrow one.


5.  Tea Cozy.  This is a present for my 88 year old aunt so I should get a move on.



What I'm adding to the list

6.Quilt made with charm squares:




7 & 8.Quilt Remix :  turn the blocks I made for the Quilt Remix workshop at Quilt Con into quilts.


Well this is more than enough to keep me busy, so I'll end the list here and link up to the 2017FAL Quarter 2 with Leanne of She Can Quilt.....buttons on the side bar, and because I haven't been to sociable of late I'll link this list up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Hi Lorna!  

Monday, 3 April 2017

One Monthly Goal for April

     I don't like having to admit this but for the last two months I haven't managed to meet my goals for OMG.  Life is hopping and it's interfering with my quilting plans. 
     
      Patty of Elm Street Quilts, who hosts the OMB link up suggested that I go with smaller goals.  Instead of aiming to finish a quilt perhaps I should make a couple of blocks.  I've decided to heed her advise this month and I'm setting my goal at making four blocks for the Honey Pot Bee.  I've wanted to participate in this bee but refer to life interfering with quilting plans above.

     I think I can manage four blocks.  I did make these two pictured below in one week.  I know they are both very simple but surely if I can make two simple blocks in a week I can make at least one more complicated block in a week.



The block above is a sample block for a quilt kit I put together for my guild's bee day to be held at the end of the month. I didn't have to make the block but I really loved the fabrics Cheryl and I put together for the kit so I wanted to see a completed block.  I love this combination of fabrics so I'm secretly hoping no one picks this kit so I can work on it. 

     We get together on bee days to make quilts for the sexual assault/domestic violence project at our local hospital. 
The next block is also for the hospital program.  It's a sample block for the block of the month program where guild members get a kit to make one block to be made later into a quilt.  Can you tell that I picked the pattern for this month.  I seem to be obsessed with plus blocks lately.  It's going to be gorgeous as well.  All turquoises and oranges with the white background.




     So I'm hoping that if I take the pressure off myself and place smaller monthly goals, that I can meet those goals and make some process on the bigger goals at the same time.
And just so you know I finished my February goal on April 1st.  Here's my finished Meadow Mystery quilt top.  Thanks to Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for running another wonderful quilting mystery and designing another lovely quilt.



     And so you know that the quilting gods have a sense of humour...it was after I snapped this photo on April first and put it on the computer I noticed that there is a section in one of the blocks that is upside down!  I'm linking up to the OMG link up at Elm Street Quilts, and because both blocks above are for charity I'm linking up with Kat and Cat Quilts.  Kat and Cat Quilts hosts the Sew Some Love Link up on Tuesdays, for any quilt your are making for Charity..

Monday, 27 March 2017

Quilting with Friends

     There is nothing like a quilt hanging on a line to brighten up a dull day.  Although it was not raining when I went out to snap the picture, the quilt was cold and damp when I brought it back inside.  But the dampness couldn't dampen its spirits as its a happy little quilt.




     It's for the Canadian Quilters Association Big Quilting Bee and I'll be putting it in the mail soon.  It will join many other quilt tops destined for Ronald McDonald houses across Canada.  It's a very kid friendly version of the slab quilt with its crayon box colours and with lots of eye spy type fabrics including clouds, whales , fish, frogs and fruits and vegetables.
    Wendy and Cyndy and I got together a couple of weeks ago to make the slab blocks out of our scraps. Often when we get together we are working on our own projects but occasionally we work on a project together.  For our next project we are going to make a quilt together following Sandra's  Free Fall Quilt Along.   If you or your friends are interested there is still loads of time to join in as the quilt along is just getting started.
     We'll be making the quilt a little bit larger than Sandra's to fit the requirements of our guild's comfort quilts.  We will do that by adding more negative space around the outside of the pattern.  Lucky for us, our now local quilt shop, which is one town away had a sale on Saturday and we picked up some fabrics for the background and the shadow leaf, along with a couple of fat quarters for smaller leaves.  We'll build the rest of the leaves out of our stashes.


     The background is an off white Kona (not on sale)  The orange is for the shadow leaf and the blue and black fabrics are for smaller leaves.  We get together to sew about once a month so I guess we'll have homework in between.  I'm sure this will be a fun project for us to tackle...and who knows maybe we'll make a second one out of batiks.  So today I'll say I'm crushing on community, both my local community of quilters and my online community and I'm linking up to Main Crush Monday  with Beth of Cooking Up Quilts and to the Quilt Bee with Lorna of Sewfresh Quilts.  And here's a new one to me.  I'm linking also with Kat of Kat and cat quilts to Sew Some Love, and yet another new to me linkup for quilts related to Canada's 150th Celebrate-Fetons 150  (sorry I don't have the accent over the e in Fetons) with Andree of Quilting and Learning.  
     This post is getting lots of mileage because I'm also linking with Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon for her free fall link up.





Wednesday, 15 March 2017

MId March Catch Up


     On Monday morning I was feeling really happy.  I find that often I don't realize how much of a funk I've been in until I get out of it and feel joy.  It's been a difficult winter and to add to that my sewing machine was acting up.  There were a lot of skipped stitches.  I took it in for a tuneup, got it back and the problem was still happening.  So last Friday, I took it in again and this time I went in with it.  Reza (the repair man)  opened things up and had me sew with it until the problems started up again. He then made adjustments as I sewed along.  He did this while helping  another customer choose a machine. It seems that the tension was adjusted a bit too tight on my machine.  He gave me some trouble shooting tips as well. So it was a good experience after all.  It's amazing how much happiness having a well functioning sewing machine can bring to a quilter.

    Here's the project I was working on to test out the machine when it came back the first time.   I'm going to float these blocks in negative space for a simple but cheerful quilt, for my local Guild's charity projects.


     My friend Laura won this charm pack from Andover fabrics at Quilt Con.  She figured she wouldn't use it so I took it to make the donation quilt. It's a noble quilter who knows her quilting style so well that she can pass on such beautiful fabric. I tend to be more of a hoarder but I am trying to rectify this problem. 

The next thing I tackled was this Star Block for Lee, the Queen Bee of Stash Bee Hive 3.  She requested any star block .  As I'm the Queen next month and have to prepare a tutorial this month, I chose a simple 8 pointed star.


     I didn't realize until I got this done, that the eight pointed star is one of the blocks for the Honey Pot Bee.  I've been far too busy to work on Honey Pot but I'm itching to  make that tiara bonus block.  Now that the 30 quilt design challenge for 2017 is drawing to an end as well as the Meadow Mystery I just might have some time to participate in the Honey Pot Bee.  Fingers crossed.

     Speaking of the 30 quilt designs challenge I am pleased to say that I only have one more design to reach the 30.  I have to submit it today but that's totally do able.   Designing 30 quilts in 60 odd days has been very intense indeed.   I like some of the designs more than others, but it's taught me to look around my world for inspiration.  Another interesting thing is that sometimes I've thought a particular design is pretty darn awful and someone else will comment that they love it.

     I'm using one of my earlier designs as my block for Stash Bee.   I won't share it until April when the Stash Bee tutorial is live....but here is a peak at some of the fabrics I'm using in my samples.  The colours are chosen for the person I'm planning the quilt for.


          Today is March 15th and it's Gabriel's 1st Birthday!  Oh Happy Day.   I'll be calling his parents later today and Dwight and I are on for babysitting on Friday.  He's so much fun at this stage.  He recently learned to walk and to clap his hands.
One of my goals for this year was to spend more time with him and it's working out.  You would think this would be an easy goal, but with their family living in a neighbouring city and trying to work out our schedules with his parents schedules it's been a bit harder than you would think. 

      I'm linking my post up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and then I'm practising my renditions of "The Wheels on the Bus" and "5 Little Monkeys".  Being a Grand Parent is so much fun!