Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! I am using the "trick or treat time" to update my blog and check in with other quilting bloggers. That's what I call a "treat"! This is one of my favorite Halloween decorations....I usually hang these outside, with burning tea candles to light them up, but tonight it is too windy to put them outside, so they are hanging around inside the house for my enjoyment!
And I have a finished quilt to show you....this is not a trick! 
Today I finished the quilting on this plaid 9 patch hourglass quilt. Two weeks ago I asked my blog readers to vote on which layout would be better - click here to see the choices. Most voters selected layout A and since this quilt is for a palliative care fundraiser/auction, I went with the popular vote hoping that it will raise lots of money. I had fun deciding on the border, and decided to use flying geese units to complete the light diamonds around the 9 patch blocks on the edge of the quilt. It was so good to use up all of these old blocks and scraps from previous plaid projects.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paper piecing

Linda at Paper Panache combines 2 of my favorite things...mystery and paper piecing. I don't know why I enjoy it so much, but I have enjoyed sewing these blocks for years.  Some have been made into mini quilts and given away,  but I have quite a collection of sewn blocks, and might one day turn them into a great kid's quilt. 
I challenged myself with mystery block #52 to paint all the fabric using Setacolor paints and here are the colours I made.  I worked away on piecing parts over the summer and since the new mystery has been posted (block #53), I can now show you my finished block.
Ta pink flamingo!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Monday

We have enjoyed some beautiful fall weather here. It's my favorite time of the year and most of the leaves are golden. By the end of the week I'll be raking up the last of them and we'll have to wait 6 or 7 months to see leaves again :(

I have finished the next step of the Quilt For An Hour project. This photo shows up to hour #10 and I have 2 more to go, which will involve attaching several (at least 3) more borders.
Now I have 2 is that I don't like doing borders and the second is that I don't have enough fabric to finish the borders as outlined in the pattern.  So I will have to be creative! I really hope it doesn't fall into my pile of projects awaiting inspiration.... aka the UFO pile!
I have been so slow to finish this that the next Quilt for an Hour is already to start! But I am resisting another project...oh yes, I am! I know I said that before, but I mean it this time!
Visit Judy's blog and see what other quilters have on their design wall today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Having fun visiting but still sewing!

I had a wonderful day with the Waterloo Quilters' Guild on Wednesday. I wish I had more hours in my days and weeks to visit more quilting groups like this. There were so many wonderful stories told by the quilters as they shared quilts at the Show 'n Tell part of the program...showing us their grandma's quilt made of pieces of dresses and aprons from decades gone by, bedquilts made for loved ones, a memory quilt of photos showing a family's Halloween costumes throughout the years, a treasured quilt gifted many years ago to a recovering cancer survivor by her quilting friends, "touch" quilts made for the Alzheimer's program - all these heartwarming stories shared to inspire and encourage each other. I also got to see some of the award winning quilts from their quilt show in!
Above is a photo of half of the room at the evening meeting, which had less people than the afternoon meeting - they are such a large group, they meet twice each month.  You can just see the top of my head and some of the quilts I brought along to show folded on the table. Can you believe I even took along my very first quilt (which is STILL a UFO) on this outing!?! You can see it in this blog post from 2007! I'm sure I will finish it this year! LOL!
And here are some of the quilters who took me out for supper between the meetings. Too much fun!

And to prove that I have not been a total slacker, eating out and visiting with fellow quilters, I want to announce that I have finished a table runner that I will be able to use this Christmas!  It is made using Monica Solorio-Snow's pattern called Jingle Jolly Tablerunner. All the fabric, except the white, came from the new Have a Sherry Berry Christmas fabric line from Northcott. I really can't put my finger on why I like this fabric so is the retro softer colours? I don't know. Here is the quilting I did on the the white stars and just stitched in the ditch to finish it off.
Special thanks to Monica for this pattern and for giving me permission to teach it to 4 ladies at my local senior's centre.
And here is the finished tablerunner, which is just big enough to cover my diningroom table.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gathering Quilts

Thanks for all your votes on yesterday's design wall challenge. Looks like layout A is more popular at the moment. Its not too late to vote for your favorite, since I won't be doing any sewing on it until later in the week.

Tomorrow I am speaking at the Waterloo Quilters' Guild, so if you are in the area and able to attend, come on by and say 'hi'!  The afternoon meeting is at 1:30 pm and the evening meeting is at 7:30 pm. Today I am gathering up my quilts and piling them up to take for their outing tomorrow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Design Wall Monday

I have been playing with a new quilt project - nothing fancy, just using up old plaid scraps with 9 patch and hourglass blocks. You can see that I need to make a few more 9 patch blocks to fill in the bottom 2 rows. I would like to get these together for a donation quilt, but can't decide which layout to use...I like them both.
Do you have a preference?
I am going to let my blog readers decide because I am tired of going back and forth between these 2 layouts.
Please leave me a comment and vote for your favorite...
Layout A on the left OR Layout B on the right.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Farmer's Market

I haven't had any time for sewing this week between a busy week at work and my in-laws visiting from New Jersey. I did work on a mini quilt and here are all the tiny pieces cut out and ready to sew.

Mostly every spare moment has been spent driving around to enjoy the local tourist spots. One of the highlights is always the farmer's market, which is a feast for the tummy and the eyes! Great food and so many interesting and unusual things to see.

For you know how brussel spouts grow? On a cute little tree?!? I never knew that until this week!

And have you ever seen a sausage as long as this?!?

And the piles of beautiful fresh produce were unbelievable! We are so lucky to live in such a resource rich area.  Look at these grapes! I bought some bunches and thought we'd have them for lunch tomorrow but the gang has already eaten them!

I love the pepper stands and even though I don't love to eat peppers, I am always tempted to buy some because they look so pretty.  Even though I haven't had any time to quilt, I am having a blast enjoying the sights and the beautiful fall weather.

We are going to Oktoberfest tonight (warning....polka music on that Oktoberfest link).
No time for quilting in sight, but lots of fun family memories!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday again! It's a holiday here in Canada for our Thanksgiving, so the whole family is home today and we are soon headed over to my sister's for another turkey dinner!
It's a dreary fall day and we needed to walk off some of that turkey we ate yesterday to make room for today's turkey dinner, so we went to the apple farm to pick a few bushels of apples. I'll be looking for some free time this week to try making some of Judy's apple jam - click here to read about it.
And what is on my design wall? I have finished hour #9 of Judy's Quilt for an Hour project that I don't have time to start! Here are my 34 blocks for border #4 on the design wall. I think they look great and am now thinking about a whole quilt made of these kind of blocks but in brighter colours for a children's bed quilt. I'm thinking it would be a great pattern for using up scraps.
Check out what other quilt bloggers have on their design wall - click here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guess who is spending most of today in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving meal??!!? 

Yes...the quilter is trying to cook a turkey dinner....poor hungry supper guests! My goal is not to burn anything and to have enough selection that if something tastes terrible, there is still enough "okay" tasting food that everyone will be full! Yesterday DH and I did most of the prep work, including baking 3 pumpkin pies, one of which has already been consumed by the kids!
I spent many hours pulling, peeling, chopping, and blanching the rest of the carrots in my garden, so the freezer is packed full for the winter. 
I am also making red cabbage today and have you ever noticed the beautiful pattern inside a cabbage?!?!  I am in desperate need of some quilting time if I'm trying to figure out how to design a quilt based on a cabbage!!

My plan is to set aside a few minutes today to square up these blocks for our group quilt. Every quilter has a different 1/4" seam and all the blocks need to be 8 1/2" so they will fit together. You can read about the beginning of this quilt here. The plan is to get the quilt top sewn together so it can be sent off to the hand quilters to give them enough time to complete the quilt before the submission deadline.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall photos and Giveaway winner!

It is a beautiful autumn day here today. I wish I could just stay home and sew something in fall colours. I saw this view on my walk this the colours of the trees (which seem to be a little late in turning this year). Can you see the moon shining in the morning sky?!?
I have been working in the garden in all my spare moments lately. My fingers are a nice shade of yellowish orange from peeling carrots for hours on end. This year my carrots are thicker and shorter than usual...any ideas why?I like to have the carrots ready to cook right out of the freezer, so I peel, chop and blanched them, then put them into freezer bags in the right amount to feed my family one meal, or to toss into a stew.
Since the fall is here, the flowers are gone until the spring,  but I am happy that I have my own quilted garden to enjoy throughout the winter.  I made this quilt top at Quilt Canada last year in a class with Anne Morrell Robinson- you can read about it here. Here is a close up of the quilting of the sky. I put a little dragonfly and a butterfly in the quilting. I still plan to bead the flowers, but I'll say it's "done" for now!

And the big announcement of the winner of my Quilt Show Celebration sister picked the lucky blog reader....congratulations to Millie!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Design Wall Monday

I have Quilt Show Hangover. Do you ever get that? The excitement is over and I am recovering from sensory overload. I spent yesterday getting my house back in order. I had been so busy getting ready for the show (finishing quilts)  and then spent the better part of the 2 days at the show, so I came home to discover piles of dirty dishes and a disordered mess. My husband has been travelling and he comes home today, so needless to say, yesterday I was Molly Maid. No rest for the weary quilt show attendee!
Here are 2 of the finished Quiltville mysteries that I had hanging at the Quilt Show. The pink one is "Double Delight" and I just put the binding on last Tuesday. I was happy with how it turned out but that mistake is still bugging me (you can read about it here).
The orange quilt is, of course, Orange Crush. It is still really Orange! I thought the Orange might grow on me, but so far it hasn't! But this is a quilt that my son likes, so at least someone appreciates it!
We won't mention that Carolina Crossroads (Quiltville's first mystery and not on the website anymore) is still a UFO! This is weird because I really like that quilt...I guess  it will be on the 'to-do' list for the next quilt show!
If you haven't yet entered my Quilt Show Celebration giveaway,  click here and leave a comment.

I love Judy's Design Wall Mondays. You can see what other quilters are working on and it's especially fun when a bundle/clump/cluster (what do you call a group of quilters??) of quilt bloggers are working on the same project. Right now many of us are sewing Judy's "Quilt for an Hour" project.  I started this quilt knowing that there are 8 borders, and attaching borders is the only part of quilting I dislike. I am hoping to make some progress in this area and be able to enjoy the border stages more. This is my quilt after Hour 5.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Celebration Giveaway

The first day of the quilt show is over and it was a great day! This show is really the best one I have ever seen from a quilt guild, and I'm not just saying that because it's my guild! The wide variety of styles of quilting was amazing, the workmanship (workwomanship?) was outstanding and it was a delightful feast for the eyes! I was so proud of my quilting friends for organizing such an inspiring array of quilts and I am just thrilled to be a part of this creative group of women. It was also great fun to meet a few of my silent but dedicated blog stalkers (who apparently get a little bitter when I go on vacation and don't blog regularly LOL).  If you have time to come by and see the show tomorrow, click here for the guild website and then click "Quilt Show" for the location and hours. I am doing a 'beading on quilts' demo at 1 pm so come on over and say 'hi'.
One of the special displays at this year's show is bra purses. We were challenged to made a purse out of a bra for a fictional character to take to an event. Here is a small sample of the purses...they were spectacular! A dollar will buy you a vote for your favorite purse and all money raised goes to the Breast Cancer Support Program.

You saw me beading my bra purse edging on this post .  And here is the finished product...a handbag for Little Cindy Lou Who to take to Frosh Week! Fun fun fun!

My challenge piece (you can read about it here and here ) won 1st prize for the miniature category, but don't be too excited...there were only 4 entries, which was disappointing for a mini quilt lover like me.  It was hard to see because it is up high, but there it is, with it's new ribbon, which is conveniently colour co-ordinated with the quilt!

To celebrate our successful quilt show I am having a little blog giveaway. Leave a comment (don't email me you blog stalkers!) on this post and I'll enter your name in the draw. I am giving away a little assortment of goodies I picked up at the vendors mall ...adorable titanium thread snippers, Bead Gravy, my favorite Nymo beading thread, and hand dyed thread and fabric from one of my favorite vendors Dye-Versions.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Challenge Finish

Once the 3 rings were pieced together, I machine quilted every other seam line from the centre to the outside. Then I realized that with the seam allowance on the outside plus the binding it would make the quilt too large for it's category...oh no!
 So I had to turn the seam allowances under and bead the edge, which also meant unstitching the quilting and requilting. That was definately  a low point in the process! It was very challenging to keep the curve on the edge and I don't think it looks nearly as cool as with the jazzy striped binding fabric I had chosen...however the size was correct.

The next problem was the hole in the middle. I decided to applique a little yellow circle over the hole, sewed on a red button and then beaded over top of the hole...problem solved. I ended up really liking the centre and I think it actually looks like I meant to do it that way, so don't tell anyone!

Then I beaded the seam intersections and the flying geese points just to give it a little more sparkle evenly around the quilt. Then came the label, for which you need a title. I asked my family what they thought I should call it and my creative son named it  "The Internal Sun", which I think is a perfect name!

The theme for the challenge was "What makes me smile" and when submitting the quilt, you had to describe how your quilt relates to the theme. This is what I wrote:

“The Internal Sun”

What Makes Me Smile…

Hours of dreaming & creating
Hours of selecting colours
Hours of sorting scraps
Hours of drafting a pattern
Hours of cutting fabric
Hours of paper piecing
Hours of hand piecing the rings together
Hours of machine quilting
Hours of hand beading

Every minute spent in total bliss.

Quilting makes me smile.