Monday, November 30, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Happy Monday! I enjoyed a fun-filled visit from my sister and her family from Michigan this weekend, so didn't have a lot of time for sewing. At some points there were 10 children in the house...lots of noise and activity!
I insisted on doing some sewing on Sunday afternoon, and I wish I would have taken a photo, because I had my 11 year old niece and 8 year old nephew handing me strips to sew the blocks in the photo on the right. They did a great job of matching a light and a dark and seemed to enjoy the task.   I also had my sister and her bestfriend drinking tea and visiting with me, so there were 5 of us in the sewing room!

I was hoping to be able to keep up with Bonnie's mystery from Quiltville, but didn't meet that goal. At this point, part one is almost completed and I have made 2 blocks for part 2. And that is all that is on my design wall today...I had hoped to have 104 of them, but 2 is a good start!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Start your engines!

Today is Friday and it's the beginning of a new scrappy mystery from Bonnie at Quiltville. Part 1 is already posted here.
I pulled these out of my stash this week and am combining fabrics I bought in Paducah (a green and pink batik bundle), with fabrics I bought a couple of weeks ago at the Shop Hop (greens, blacks, and whites with the green) plus some odds and ends of pieces I found when stash diving.
You need 3 colours plus a background, so I can't decide if my background should be the black or the white. I can go ahead and start part 1 because I don't have to make that decision to do the first step. Are you playing along?!? Come on...put aside your UFO's and start something new!! (Clearly I am a bad influence!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Red & Aqua blocks

The weather here is dull and dreary...more rain in the forecast for today. Where is our snow?!?!  I sometimes start to feel a little desperate to see the sun in November, and if it starts to peak out, I hurry outside to go for a walk. This morning I hung my "Soak up the Sun" mini quilt in the hall in lieu of the real sun!  It's foundation pieced on muslin and it is a mini quilt...about 7" square, and has a few buttons and beads for embellishment. But this little quilt sure makes me feel happier when I walk past.

I have been playing with my red and aqua blocks and I have decided on this block layout. I just started but it has been a bit of a challenge piecing the blocks together since everyone's quarter inch seam is different. If a block is too short, I have to either rebuild it with a smaller seam allowance or try to stretch it out.  I have also divided the blocks into 2 groups, and this quilt will have only the red and aqua blocks. The second quilt will have the blocks that include other colours. Off to sew...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Red & Aqua blocks on the design wall

I am having fun playing with my blocks from Jane's red and aqua disappearing 9 patch block swap. Here are some layout possibilities. This is one of my favorite parts of quilting and I prolong the "playing with the blocks" stage until I am convinced that the layout I have is my favorite, or until I get tired of it!
Any suggestions?!?
Brighten up your Monday morning in November with some quilting inspiration... visit Judy's blog to see the design walls of other quilters.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Block fun

Remember those churn dash blocks I made in September? (You can check them out on this post.)
They were sewn together with blocks from other bloggers and made into a lovely quilt. You can read about it on Carol's blog here, or read about Darlene receiving her quilt on Darlene's blog entry from November 15th. Hope you enjoy your quilted hug Darlene!

I haven't done a lot of quilting this week. But I did go to Toronto with some friends to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas show.
It was a fantastic show with amazing special effects, great choreography, and music. Two things that were delightful and rare these was all "family friendly" entertainment, and it included a Nativity Scene. This is a very bad photo of the wise men following the star, but the costumes were spectacular in this scene. You can see some video clips of the show here.  In my favorite dance number the Rockettes were dressed as Santas.

In sewing adventures this week... I will be playing with my red and aqua blocks from Jane's disappearing 9 patch block swap. I got into the swap just under the wire and made my blocks up so fast that I didn't even take a picture of them before I sent them away. But here is the pile of blocks I received. I think there might be enough for 2 quilts, so I'll be sorting and sewing them this week.
And guess what else is happening this week?!?!
Bonnie at Quiltville is starting another mystery quilt on Friday. I have played along with 3 of her mysteries so far (Carolina Crossroads, Orange Crush, and Double Delight) so I know they are always lots of fun.
I will definately be sewing this one, but am still undecided as to which fabrics I will use...decisions, decisions!  No pressure...I have until Friday to decide!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quilting feathers and flowers

This week I have been doing some machine quilting on a quilt made by a friend. It's a great exercise to practise on a quilt you don't really love. It can be quite relaxing because there is nothing you can do that will "ruin" it.
I've been focusing on different kinds of feathers, but every once and a while some flowers are creeping in.
I don't know why that happens!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday again?!?!

The weeks seem to be flying by and I can't believe it is design wall Monday again!

On my wall this morning are 2 projects...the comfort quilt BOMs for my guild on the left. I think the block is called "hens and chicks" and you can see a pattern here. One of the block kits was missing 2 yellow triangles, so I just picked a fabric from my stash to mix in.
On the right is a half finished tablerunner made with the Jingle Jolly Runner pattern and using up my scraps of Sheri Berry Christmas fabric.

I taught a class of 20 quilters from the Waterloo Quilters Guild on Saturday and a couple of them said they read my blog, so I'll post a photo from the class. They have such a large and sunny classroom at a community centre, which is perfect for quilting classes. It was lots of fun, but I was sure tired on Sunday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Treats...and it isn't even Halloween!

Treats for others:
Fellow quilt blogger Andrea (Welsh Quilter) is helping her daughter raise money to do some community work in Africa by raffling this lovely quilt.  (My niece used her summer vacation to teach at an African orphanage this year and the pictures she brought back were very moving.) If you can help out Andrea's daughter by buying a ticket or two for this quilt raffle, another young person can pursue her dream of helping others and learn more about being a global citizen. You can pay by "Paypal", which I haven't used yet, but I will try it out for this cause!
Treats for ourselves:
There are 2 blog hops going on right now with Christmas giveaways. One is called "Cross Country Christmas Quilt Designer Blog Hop".  You can win prizes, learn about new pattern designers and companies, and get free projects/patterns daily from Nov. 9th to Nov. 30th....check it out at Gudrun's World.
Also, the "Gum Tree Designers" are offering free Christmas projects featuring hand stitching. The first 6 of the 9 projects are already here to see them.
Better get yourself a cup of tea first....this blog surfing should keep you busy for a while!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Risk taking sometimes pays off

Taking risks is always scary and sometimes rewarding. I have had a rewarding experience that I wanted to post on my blog. I have often visited my local art centre and appreciated the annual juried art shows in the gallery. I always have wondered aloud why there are no fiber arts to be seen in these shows.
Why is that?
So this year when the call for entry was announced for the Juried Art Show, I submitted my quilt called "The Internal Sun".  I'll tell you, it sure was scary walking in the registration room full of sketches, paintings, portraits, landscapes and sculptures!  But I did it anyway and was delighted when they called 3 days later to say that my piece was accepted into the show! I couldn't attend the show opening because it was my daughter's graduation the same night and after all, one can't do too many scary things all at once without getting too many silver hairs! But I have since gone to visit my quilt hanging in the show and was also happy to see that there was one other brave fiber artist who has a piece hanging in the show!

Can you see my little quilt hanging on the post? I think it feels scared too!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Design Wall Monday

My life has been so frenetic lately that I haven't had much time to sew. These are the pieces sitting beside my sewing machine waiting to be sewn together. It will be another tablerunner like the one on this post made from the leftover scraps to make another Christmas gift. It feels good to be thinking ahead and not leaving all my Christmas sewing until the last minute.
Last week was Shop Hop but I was so busy at work, I had to spread it out over 2 days, which is not as much fun. But I did manage to get to all the stores and collect the fabrics for the Shop Hop tablerunner before I left the country to visit my little sister for the weekend.
My other sister, my Mom and I spent the weekend at her home in Michigan and we had a great time together. Lots of visiting, laughing, shopping, and playing games, but not much sleeping. Here we are at the "Always Christmas" store in Canterbury, and we also visited the the Village Quilt Shoppe. The weekend was great but it took us 7 hours to get home due to the over 2 hour wait at the Bluewater Bridge border crossing in Sarnia. That sure discourages cross border visits! I was always thinking about the volume of air pollution of thousands of vehicles inching forward, idling on the bridge, and running their vehicles for hours waiting to cross the border. 
Anyway, from the shop hop and Michigan shopping, I managed to do a little damage to the credit card and buy some fabrics for future projects. Bonnie at Quiltville has announced that she is hosting a new mystery soon so I had to get a few new Fat Quarters. I am not going to use the  Christmas colours she suggested since I already have a couple of Christmas quilts. I bought these yummy fabrics but I don't know if they will be for the mystery or not.
Hop on over to Judy's blog to check out the design walls of other quilters around the world.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Good News & Bad News

My good news is that I received a postcard in the mail from Jill over at the Quilt Rat! That sure makes your day when you come home from a hard day at work and find a quilty treat in your mailbox! Thanks so much Jill!
My bad news is that I had a computer disaster and lost all of my October photos! If you know how much I love my camera and photos, you know how upset I am about it. I lost my Halloween photos, my daughter's grad photos, photos of family at Thanksgiving, not to mention all my quilting photos....yes, even my quilt show photos...ugh!  I am sure this was "user error" but it sure is a nasty reminder of how important it is for me to save my photos onto disk before I delete them from my photo card. 
I can show you the photo of the tablerunners made by the quilters at the Senior's Centre. You can see my version here.  My thanks to Monica Solorio-Snow for letting us use her pattern - you can see it here. This is a fun project to sew and would make a beautiful Christmas gift if you are looking for ideas. 
Didn't these turn out great!?! 

Monday, November 02, 2009

Split Decision

On my design wall and waiting for me to add the label, is my newest mini quilt called "Mini Split".   It is 8" square and just adorable if I do say so myself!  These blocks used up lots of 1" scraps leftover from my QFAH project which I showed last Monday. The binding was pieced from 5 small scraps and I was thinking at that point that I was being ridiculous,  since I have hundreds of metres of fabric in my stash and there I was cobbling together a binding from the garbage! But I really liked the striped fabric and there wasn't much left of it.
I am totally enamored with this block design by Deirdre Brown called Split Decision - you can see her pattern here. 
It is typical for me to make several quilts using the same design in different sizes until I get sick of it or become enamored with a different block. Here are the large size blocks that a group of my quilting friends made. We each pieced 25 blocks,  then divided them up and each sewed a few rows together. Here are the 3 rows that I sewed together. 
Stop by Judy's blog and see what other quilters have on their design walls.