Monday, December 31, 2012

REFLECTIONS ON 2012

My quilting year was very productive.  I completed 41 projects, from queen size to miniatures, and everything in between.  Many of them were donated or gifted, but my collection is growing as well.

My family has stayed healthy for another year! 
 DS2 was married in the spring, so now we have another lovely daughter.  

We had a successful family reunion (my Dad's family).  DH converted all my Dad's 16mm movies to digital, and we played movies of the first couple of reunions so that everyone could enjoy them.

My guild, the Limestone Quilters Guild, along with the Heirloom Quilters of Kingston, Ontario, had an extremely successful quilt show in June.  Even though we had a big learning curve at our new location, The Royal Kingston Curling Club, everyone worked hard to make it enjoyable for all our visitors.

I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions, BUT, DH and I plan to visit family members more often next year.

I don't have any UFO's to complete,  although I do have to keep up with the two BOM quilts I'm working on with members of my guild.  I also have a list of projects that I brought south to complete this winter, so I'd better get back to my sewing.......

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year
Wishes for peace and tolerance for all.   

DESIGN WALL MONDAY

I'm seeing the end of the block assembly strip sets for our Godson's birthday quilt!  This is the second last set!  My bag of coloured strips is ready so I can choose the next colour.
So far, I have 129 quarter block units complete - I need 140 to make the centre of the quilt.  I have kept them in their groups.  The technique to make these has you layer 4 or 5 strip sets - cut them apart, re-layer them, then sew them back together with the colour inserts between each section.  I plan to lay all the groups in piles, then pick sets from different piles to form the blocks.  Since the spacing of the cuts varies, I'm hoping to get a good variety of blocks!

Once I get all these finished, I have to get back to my "Pick a Pinwheel" project.  I like to stay ahead of the group, so I can answer any questions they have about the assembly, and offer some tips to make it easier.

Check out Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, to see what others are working on the last day of 2012! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

It is time for the final stash report for 2012!

Fabric used this week  0 yards
Fabric used year to date  242.125 yards
Fabric added this week  18.75 yards
Fabric added year to date  176.375 yards
Net used 2012  65.75 yards

 I finally gave in to all the after-Christmas sales.  My favourite local quilt shop, "Quilts on Plum Lane" in Dade City FL had a one day sale on everything in the shop on December 27th.  Five of us headed out early and were among those waiting for the door to be unlocked at 9am.  Everyone in my group had a list, and some had visited a few days before to choose fabric and note its location in the shop.  After an hour or so, several large bags were placed into the back of the vehicle.  I thought that I won, most $ spent, but by the end of the day I was surpassed by another quilter in the group!

I chose this nice paisley 108 inch backing fabric for my version of Judy's "Pick a Pinwheel" quilt.

 I picked up some more orange fabrics - I had few in my stash, and the quilt I'm making for our Godson's birthday needed a few more zinger colours.


These fabrics are for an up-coming project.  The bottom is a neutral from Northcott's Stonehenge line of fabrics.  I still needed a few more fabrics, so after hearing about Judy's shopping spree at the Fat Quarter Shop, I headed over there, and found the rest of the fabrics for this project.  Judy - you're a bad influence - but keep it up!  I'll count those fabrics when they arrive to begin my 2013 stash report.
 
 Dade City is filled with antique and unique gift shops, so after leaving the quilt store we wandered in and out of several, checking out all the beautiful items.  I even found an additional small item to pack into the birthday parcel for my new DIL!  We had lunch at a small cafe/antique shop - awesome homemade soup and delicious sandwiches.  

As we headed back to the car, someone suggested one more stop at the quilt shop, just in case we forgot something the first time.  Of course, everyone left with another parcel, although smaller than the first ones.

By 2pm, we were all back home and everyone had plan to do some sewing upon their return.  I managed to get all my new fabric washed, and even found time to sew a bit on the quilt for my Godson.

Check out Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, to see everyone's final stash report for 2012.    

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

ON THIS SPECIAL DAY



Happy holiday wishes go out to everyone, and hope for a peaceful, merry and prosperous new year.

 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  242.125 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  157.625 yards
Net used 2012  84.5 yards
 
No change from last week.  I've been sewing almost every day, but the black and white quilt project requires lots of sewing to make the block units.  My stack is growing, but I don't think I'll get it finished before the new year..... and I only count fabric when the whole quilt is completed!
 
I've been busy baking goodies to share with friends and neighbours, and DH has been helping so that I don't spend too much time on my feet - my knee is improving slowly, but aches if I spend too much time standing or walking.
 
Check out other's stash reports at Judy' blog, Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

FUN WITH MY QUILTING GROUP

We had a smaller than normal turn-out for Wednesday quilting, but with the holidays looming, some have company, some have headed north to spend time with family etc.
There were a couple of people trying to finish those last couple of items before Christmas.  Some came to visit for a while before heading out to run errands.  A couple were anxious to get the next installment of our pattern.  A few even got some sewing done.  We also welcomed 2 new members - they were doing some hand stitching to finish some "quilt as you go" blocks and plan to join in on our group project in January.
My knee is feeling much better.  I even managed to get some sewing done.  I lowered my ironing board, so I can sew and press in a seated position.  I tried cutting while seated, but I am not accurate enough, so I did stand for short periods to trim etc.  Here is a strip set with some of the coloured inset strips in place.  (Pardon the pinkish tinge - taking pictures with artificial light can be tricky!)  
Once all the coloured strips are sewn, then 3 squares are cut from each strip, and 4 of these units makes a block in this pattern.
These were all from the first group of strip sets.  Since I'll be making lots more, I'll wait to mix and match them into blocks after more are completed.  Since I plan on varying the width that the strip sets are cut, Ill get more variation in the blocks.  I'll need 35 of these blocks for my project.
I chose all the coloured fabric from my stash, and began by cutting three strips of each fabric, then mixing them in a bag.  I just pull them at random to insert, then place the leftover ends into another bag.  When I run out of new strips, I'll recycle the used strips to use another one or two times.  It always amazes me how big a difference there is in the width of my fabrics.  I like to pre-wash everything, and as we all know, some fabrics shrink a lot more than others!
I have my knee wrapped again, and I think it is time to put my leg up, and watch something mindless......   

Monday, December 17, 2012

DESIGN WALL MONDAY

I finally got started on the quilt for our Godson's 13th birthday.  It seems that I have started a tradition by making a more grown-up quilt for his two older sisters when they turned 13.  I decided to make a black and white quilt with hints of colour, and was inspired by a quilt I saw at a show last summer.  It is on the cover of "Accent on Angles" by Susan Purney Mark, found here.
In the past few days, I've cut strips, and sewn strip sets - all 6 1/2 inches, although made from 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2 inch strips.
Here is my pile of strip sets, organized in groups of fours and fives, ready for the next step.
  
I started cutting accent strips to prepare for the next step, but only had time to cut blues, purples and greens.  The rest of the variety of colours will have to wait until another day! 
 
Check out Judy's blog, Patchwork Times to see what others are creating today.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  242.125 yards
Added this week  2 yards
Added year to date  157.625 yards
Net used 2012  84.5 yards

DH and I had to pick up our tags this week, so a trip to Dade City FL was required.  This always includes a trip to Quilts on Plum Lane.  I had fun chatting with the manager, who I've known for almost as long as I've been quilting.  I did pick up 2 yards of a wonderful stripe fabric that was on sale!  I plan to use some of it to demo a quick table runner.

I twisted my knee recently, and this week it has been quite painful, so has been slowing me down!  I have been doing some piecing and pressing, with my ironing board lowered so I can use it while in my chair.  I have only been standing to cut for short periods.  No matter how hard I try to stay still, I still find myself  hobbling around all day!

DH picked some more kumquats, so he made more marmelade this week.  When he picked me up after the quilt group pot luck, he tried a piece of coffee cake made by our hostess Nancy - which also included kumquats.  Today he plans to make his own coffee cake, after getting a copy of Nancy's recipe!

This evening, we're having a Christmas song/ carol sing at the clubhouse.  DH is playing his guitar, along with a piano, drums, trumpet, and some songs played by the tone chime group and the choir.  It should help get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Check out all the stash reports at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FONS & PORTER E-BOOK REVIEW

I was sent a copy of Fons & Porter's E-book of Log Cabin Quilts, and asked to give my review.

The 24 page book is full of great information, photos and patterns.  There is a some history of log cabin quilts, as well as various traditional layouts.  It is illustrated with good colour pictures, which help support the instructions.

For each of the several different patterns, there is a drawing of the block that is numbered to correspond with the cutting charts for each project.  There are useful tips on keeping your pre-cut strips organized to make the sewing almost effortless! 

I really liked the charts provided, with measurements to enable you to make many different size blocks.

Also included are instructions for bobbin work trapunto, making piped binding, as well as "Liz's Lumpless Binding" - a method to make the final join of the binding almost invisible!
This E-book would make a good reference book in anyone's quilting library

For your free copy click here!  

Thanks Fons & Porter!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MORE BLOCKS FINISHED

I had decided to make both version of my guild's BOM project this year, both using fabrics from my stash.  This is version 2 - with a paper pieced centre.  I decided to make this from batiks, choosing neutral, blue, green and plum for my colours.  These 4 blocks will be used in round three, and the other 4 will provide corner blocks for the final round.
Now I have to get back to a couple of projects that have deadlines!

I baked chocolate, chocolate chip, peppermint cookies this morning, and made some Cheddar sausage balls for the pot luck tomorrow.  My group has been keeping me busy with calls, questions, asking me to re-send files that mysteriously disappeared from their computer......

DH picked kumquats from our friend's tree - they are still north and the fruit is dropping on the ground.  He scrubbed the fruit, quartered each one to remove the seeds, and then had a lesson in making microwave jam.  He made a batch on Sunday, then another one today, after picking up more sugar.  He even made enough puree for 2 kumquat pies - everyone's favourite at the Kumquat Festival in Dade City.  We'll keep the puree in the freezer to give to the tree owners when they arrive.  There is still more fruit on the tree that needs to ripen, and hopefully they'll be able to pick more when they arrive in January, - that is if a hard frost doesn't damage the fruit!

Our visiting dog was happily reunited with her family yesterday afternoon.  The house is quiet today, and DH gave it a good vacuum to pick up all the tiny bits tracked in by doggie feet during the past week.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

DESIGN WALL MONDAY

I've spent some time this week, working on step 3 of version 1 of my guild's BOM project for the 2012-2013 season.  The plan is to complete a quilt top by the June meeting.  The link is hereStep 3 was making 8 blocks (only 4 shown).  Four of these will be in the next round, and the other 4 will be corner blocks for the final round.  Since I'm making both versions, I'm also working on the pieces for version 2 - just a little different.  
Our guest puppy just returned home, so now I have some vacuuming to do, and some baking as well - my quilt group's pot luck lunch is on Wednesday!
Check out all the creativity at Judy's blog - Patchwork Times.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

DESIGN WALL MONDAY

I've been working on "Pick a Pinwheel" this week.  This is another one of Judy's great patterns - this was her 2012 Quilt of Valor pattern.  I am making it in browns, rust, gold and cream - just to be different!  I have 80 flying geese, 80 half square triangle units in each colour and 80 quarter square triangle units, sewn into 20 pinwheels, completed so far. 

Several quilters in my group are making projects using this pattern, so I'll try to get pictures as they go along.  They were busy cutting parts to make the flying geese last Wednesday.

Check out what others are creating at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week 0 yards
Used year to date  242.125 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  155.625 yards
Net used 2012  86.5 yards
No changes this week.  I've been busy sewing and busy with my quilt group.  Next week we are expanding our hours together from 2 each Wednesday to 4 - from 11-3, with a quick break for a snack.
This year I suggested everyone work on one of Judy's patterns at Patchwork Times.  I thought that her pattern, called "Pick a Pinwheel" was a great learning quilt.  It has half-square triangles, flying geese, quarter square triangles, etc., was easy enough for some of the newer quilters, but interesting enough for those who have been quilting longer.  I sent everyone the link to her site to get her pattern.
Some members of the group didn't want to make bed-sized quilts, so I suggested that they could make smaller projects with fewer blocks, so some are working on table runners, and some on lap sized quilts.  With each step, I'm teaching them one or two different methods to make the basic units, and everyone was busy cutting out pieces for the flying geese last week.
My quilt will be done in two shades of brown, orangey rust, and gold, with a neutral with light tan leaves.

Check out everyone's stash report at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

FINALLY......

I can't figure out where the time has gone - we've been in the sunny south over a month already!  My posts have been few and far between, but I hope to do better.....

Although I finished this quilt last week, I finally got around to taking its picture today.

I chose all the fabrics from my stash before leaving home.  The final border  is an unusual paisley and flower stripe that I always liked, but couldn't find a use for - its been languishing for almost 15 years.
 I stitched my favourite "hooked on feathers" in the light border, using brown variegated trilobal polyester thread.  The same thread was used in the centre of the quilt as well.
The dark green border (it has tiny metallic gold leaves ) was stitched with simple gold leaves, using deep gold cotton thread.
 I stitched small feathers in each of the light parts of the pinwheel blocks in the centre of the quilt.

Although the 16-patch blocks are totally scrappy, I chose fabrics with a flower, leaf or garden theme for the rest, and used the same "light" fabric - a cute print with bees and flowers - throughout the quilt.

Here's the completed "Patches and Pinwheels"
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week  31.625 yards
Used year to date  242.125 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  155.625 yards
Net used 2012  86.5 yards

I managed to quilt 3 baby quilt panels this week! Two are the same since I really liked the "Baby Moon" panel.  One will be going to a local charity in Florida, and the rest are destined for my guild's community quilts program, unless I need an emergency baby gift before we return north.

I also finished quilting "Grandmother's Cross".  The block design is one that Bonnie Hunter showed in Quiltmaker magazine.  I made the blocks from my stack of "leaders and enders", then added various "light" fabric triangles from my stash.  I decided to set the blocks on point, then just add a scrappy binding, made from the leftover ends of binding from various quilt projects.

I  finished Patches and Pinwheels!  (Picture on Monday I hope).  It was also designed to use my "leaders and enders".  I tried to keep a garden theme in all the various fabrics in both the pinwheels and the border fabrics. I finally used an odd floral stripe fabric from my stash - I think it has been waiting at least 15 years.  I had fun mitering the corners of the final border as the motif in the stripe was not regular, but I matched the design as well as I could.  I'm sure I'm the only one who will notice.....

With all these quilts, I used Elmer's School Glue to tack down the bindings before the final stitching.  Since I hand stitch at night while TV watching, DH was happy that he didn't have to avoid pins when I moved the quilt, or when he decided to snuggle closer!  I used a hot dry iron to help the glue dry quickly.  It took a bit longer than pinning, but was very easy to stitch.

Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog - Patchwork Times  

Monday, November 19, 2012

DESIGN WALL MONDAY


Mine is empty, but I managed to get all of the straight line quilting done on the 3 baby quilts and the small scrappy lap quilt this morning.  I thought I'd do all the "stitch in the ditch" at one time, then go back and do all the free motion quilting afterwards.  I like to be efficient!

I'm part way on my "Pinwheels and Patches" quilt, but DH said that his stomach alarm went off - so I had to break for lunch.
I have to keep him well fed, so he'll help me the next time I need pin-basting help!

Check out all the creativity linked to Judy's blog - Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

BUSY DAY

We had our normal slow Sunday morning start - reading the paper, looking at the ads, drinking coffee and tea.....

After lunch, DH and I headed to the clubhouse to use the long tables and pin basted 5 quilts!
  Three are baby quilts, all with different green flannel backings, and the other two are scrappy - one lap quilt, and one almost twin size quilt.  Both are helping to use my leaders and enders!  I love that I can make a good part of one quilt while piecing another....
Tomorrow morning, the quilting begins!  (My sewing room gets too warm in the afternoons to be comfortable).  Besides, I managed to find both sons at home this afternoon, and spent time catching up.  Both daughters-in-law have a cold!
 
DH has booked a tee time at one of the Disney courses - half price for passholders, so I'll have most of Tuesday to quilt with very few interruptions.  I don't have a phone in my sewing room, and I like that way.  That's what an answering machine is for!

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  210.5 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  155.625 yards
Net used 2012  54.875 yards

I seem to be doing lots of sewing, but not much finishing....
I spent Saturday, between playing salesperson at the garage sale, piecing backs and piecing batting.  My cut-off pieces of batting are dwindling slowly, and I have 5 quilt tops with batting and backing, ready to pin baste.  Hoping to head to our clubhouse to use the large tables later today.
I took my Pfaff in for service this week, and it is home and running smoothly.  I also took in my old serger.  I only use it once or twice a year, but long ago, a child accompanying Mom for her dress fitting, damaged one of the tension dials.  It was still usable, but it needed adjusting every 6 inches or so.  It is also home and running like a top.  I used it to serge the raw ends of the fabric I reported last week, and it is all washed and folded on the shelf, awaiting its turn.....  
Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog - Patchwork Times 

GARAGE SALE DAY

DH and I aren't big at participating in garage sales.  Today was the bi-annual sale for our community.


Last spring, I rescued a sewing machine - a 70's singer in a desk.  We cleaned and deodorized the desk, and cleaned the machine.
  DH helped me and we took all the housing off the machine, cleaned out all the old grease, lint, etc.  Added new grease and oiled all the many places.  The Singer 758 was a slant-stitch machine with cams for zig-zag and other stitches.  The original book was included - a big help - and there was even the original receipt - 1972  almost $400.00!
I had to order new feed dogs, but they were easy to replace, and after running the machine for a while, it ran smoothly, and with a great stitch.
We put the machine in its desk, out for the sale this morning.  Many people stopped to see it, but no one wanted the desk.  After a while, DH took it out of the desk, and within a few minutes it had a new home.  We are hoping someone will take the desk - it is still out with a "free" sign. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

DESIGN WALL MONDAY

I haven't managed to find time to pin-baste the next couple of tops, so I pulled out a "leader and ender" project that I designed on EQ7 a while ago.
I began with 4-patch blocks that I had made with my 2 inch squares of scraps.  Then put four 4-patch blocks together to make a 16 patch block.  


 For the alternate block, I decided on a pinwheel made of 4 half-square triangle blocks (or triangle square blocks).  Love the assembly line sewing!

I am using a consistant light fabric for the pinwheels and the pieced borders that I have planned.  I chose fabric from my floral stash to make all the pinwheels. 
The quilt center is almost stitched together, again - assembly line piecing, and I have the first border prepared and ready to sew, as soon as I press all the seams....

Check out other's creativity this week at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

STASH REPORT SUNDAY

Used this week  12.125 yards
Used year to date  210.5 yards
Added this week  8.5 yards
Added year to date  155.625 yards
Net used 2012  54.875 yards

I ordered some neutrals as well as two more baby panels from eQuilter - they arrived this week   +6 yards.  Then I received 2 fat quarters at the quilt show, and I picked up to cloth book kits at the boutique.

I did finish my "Sing a Happy Song" done in yellow and blue instead of pink like Judy's lovely version - pictures to come later.  I only count my fabric as "used" when the quilt is completed!

Today is Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in Canada.

A huge thank you to all veterans and serving military!  


Head over to Patchwork Times to see everyone's progress this week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FIRST QUILT SHOW OF THE WINTER SEASON

This morning DH and I, along with 3 friends headed toward Tampa to attend the Cypress Creek Quilter's Guild outdoor quilt show, held at the Botanical Gardens at the University of South Florida.
The weather was wonderful - cool at first, but jackets came off 15 minutes after our arrival.  We had a wonderful morning, sharing all the quilts, plants and sunshine.  
The first picture is of the opportunity quilt - they sold all of the tickets by 1pm and the draw was at 3.  I guess I didn't win, as no one called!
 The quilts were on stands and hung under and between the trees.  There was lots of room for visitors to spread out, and there were demonstrations set up throughout the gardens as well.
 They had a small vendor area, and I did pick up 2 cloth book kits at their boutique.  We stayed to see the auction of quilts - tried to win a couple, but the bidding went too high for my budget.  The money from the auction was being donated to the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital & Clinic - for health care for Woman Veterans.
Guild members made the lovely award ribbons - such a special touch...











Some of the quilts seemed to glow when the sun added its own highlights.
 
On the way home we stopped at Olive Garden for a late "soup and salad" lunch.  Lots of laughter turned it into a wonderful day. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

QUILTING AWAY



I'm beginning to feel at home again.  DH helped me pin baste my version of "Sing a Happy Song" - pattern from Judy at Patchwork Times.  I did all the "stitch in the ditch" quilting, to stabilize the layers, and found some threads that will work with the fabric.

Yesterday I quilted the narrow peach border, and hunted through some books for ideas on the rest of the quilting.  Today, in between interruptions, I managed to quilt the first border, and came up with a design to quilt at the intersections of the blocks and sashing.
 Today we're having company - our BIL and his friend are coming over from New Port Richey to play golf with DH.  They are staying for dinner, so I have to make some preparations.  I'm also baking bread today - first batch since we arrived.  I made some pumpkin raisin squares last night, and they need some frosting to finish them - one to eat and one for the freezer.  I may even make some chocolate chip cookies - but my quilt is calling.......