Friday, September 30, 2011

Leftover's Quilt

Leftovers 4-patches all done!
Yesterday, I spent most of the morning putting the final touches on these scrappy 4 patches. I now have 130 sets of 4 four-patches  - yup - that's 520 little 4-patches all ready to go. I have the pieces cut and prepped for the next step so all I need to do is to get sewing.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping the night before so I just decided to get out of my comfy bed and head down to the family room and continue working on my Pathways quilt. I had already started hand stitching the binding to the back earlier in the day so, thanks to my sleepless night, I am now halfway through finishing up the binding. No need for pictures at this point but I will certainly post 'em when I get it all done!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pathways - A Quilt of Valour - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Pathways ready for trimming and binding.
Yesterday was a good day! I got the 4 patches for the Leftover's quilt all sewn together the other day but I had to set them aside because I was ready for a change of pace. Snipping and pressing will have to wait a couple more days. I decided it was a perfect time to quilt my Pathways quilt. It was all basted and ready and waiting for me to pick it up and get going. My original plan was to do some straight line stitching but when I sat down in front of my sewing machine with it "things" changed. This quilt wanted to be free-motion quilted so I accommodated it and quilted it in a meandering design.

I am very happy with the result and I didn't have too many issues either - yayyy! I just need to trim it to size and make the binding. I actually prefer to make the binding and get that part out of the way while I am still cutting the pieces for the quilt but for some reason I did not do that. Ugh! Once I get to this stage I really don't want to start cutting for it again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting to the Bottom of it All

Well...I did a great job yesterday and I got to the bottom of my bin. I sewed all of my 2sies together into 4 patches but oh..oh..I have 2 that are missing partners. I am pretty sure I matched all the pieces together into sets as I put them into the bin so I hope I didn't get any mismatched when grabbing and sewing. Now, I just have to spend a bit of time pressing and snipping.
I foresee a lot of pressing and snipping in my future!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Merrily I Roll Along

Making 4 patches for Leftover's quilt
Yesterday was a dull, dreary, rainy day outside but inside there was a lot going on! I finished the quilting on my sister's quilt - Spring Romance and she will come to my place in a week or two to learn about how to trim the quilt top and attach the binding. There really was not that much left to do - I only needed one bobbin to do the job! Next up on the agenda was the inevitable tidying up the sewing room. I thought I was doing just great by trimming all my scraps as I went but somehow there was still quite a bit to deal with. Once I got all of the scrap bits that I could find all under control I was ready to work on something else.

Today is the last day for the colour black for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I have not worked on the Challenge for a couple months because the colours just did not work out for me. I am wondering if October will be orange?

After wrangling my sister's quilt through my machine I just didn't feel like working with large pieces so I put Fun & Games and the Garden Fence quilt aside and worked on sewing little 4 patches together. I had started cutting the pieces for this quilt awhile ago and I have since made all of the 2sies that I would need to make the 4 patches (and then some). I got quite a few done before I had to call it a night - 124 patches in sets of 4.

Leftover's completed 4 patches

Many more 4 patches still to go!

My husband decided we needed to have a garage sale today so I wasn't able to spend any time sewing but I am certain I will be back at it tomorrow - I still have a lot of 4 patches to make!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Garden Fence Quilt-Along

The quilt top I made for the Garden Fence Quilt-along has been completed and I LOVE IT! I could not be happier with it.

Backing Fabric
As I was making it, I was thinking it would go to one of my nieces but she has decided that she would prefer something else - all I can say is it is definitely her loss! So I have decided to give it to someone special who helped me get through a very challenging, painful and difficult time. She does not know that she will be receiving this gift so it will be a surprise and I do hope that she likes it as much as I do. I already have the backing picked out and have made a decision on the binding. I plan on using the diamond print fabric that is in the quilt top to bind it.
Binding Fabric

I don't have any of the diamond print fabric left so that needs to be purchased. My sister Cheryl lives much closer to the quilt shop so she will stop in and get it for me - just to make sure I don't miss out on it. So, my next steps are to make the backing and baste it all together and once that is all done quilt it. I already know how I will quilt it. I am going to use a loopy free motion pattern like I used on this quilt. I am very excited about this quilt!

Sorry, my pictures leave a lot to be desired - but even moreso today! The backing is actually hot pink and white and the block with the diamond print looks very orange when it is really quite pink with a bit of orange. It is a dull rainy day and the colours are off...and I have a lot of shadow on the quilt top... and the fabric looks rumpled...sort of like I am feeling today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun & Games and Just Plain Fun

Fun & Games Quilt Top & Molly @ 10 mths
Since my last post I have sewn Fun & Games into a quilt top and now I just have to figure out what I will use for borders. I was taking pictures for my reference and I wasn't going to publish them because the quilt doesn't look very different from my last showing (other than I fixed the block that was turned the wrong way) but Molly got in on one with the water bottle in her mouth and then, well you know, I have to show her! My sister Cheryl and I did have a little visit to our favourite quilt shop yesterday because they had their anniversary sale and had 29% off your purchase for 1 day only.  The shop was jam packed but we did have a great time picking out fabrics. All the shoppers were in a happy mood and there was kidding and joking going on while waiting to have our selections cut. Needless to say I did do some damage but I did get some fabric that just may work for the borders. I just need to do some auditions and then get it done.

While at the shop, I did buy a variety of fabrics to mostly add to my stash (and mostly only 1/4 meters) but I also bought some pink/brown fabrics for a quilt for my niece Kim. She had requested a baby blue/brown or pink/brown quilt and I had originally started collecting baby blues but I just couldn't seem to find enough variety for my liking. Yesterday, I saw some wonderful pink/brown fabrics and decided to get them instead. My plan is to add variety by using a wide range of browns and to just stick with these pinks.

Today is a very special day - my husband and I are celebrating our 26th anniversary. Happy Anniversary John - you are my love, my life, my heart!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew In Results - Sept 2011

Fun & Games partial blocks completed
I love the concept of quilters all over the world participating in a sew-in togther and I am very happy to join in. One giant quilting bee! Even with the different time zones there will be an overlap where someone is finishing off for the night and someone else is just starting.

It felt really good to be back at my sewing machine and just sew away for the evening! I worked on my Fun & Games quilt and I got all of the partial blocks sewn and trimmed. Making the partial blocks was a step I was sort of dreading because I thought they would be difficult to make but I really didn't have any trouble at all - phew! I was also able to sew some of the blocks together into pairs before I decided to call it a night. This morning I laid it all out on the hall floor and took a picture of all of my efforts.

Fun & Games ready to be sewn into a quilt top
My design for this quilt includes a narrow inner border and a wider outer border but after I got it all laid out on the floor I was feeling I needed to make it bigger using more blocks and just not include the borders. After my husband had a look at it he felt that I should stick to my original plan and add the borders. So now my next step is to sew it all together (hopefully I won't get any turned around the wrong way) and then make decisions on what the borders will actually look like.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Back and Ready to Go!

I am back from my vacation and all I can say is "there is no place like home".  We had such a great time and did so many things. We packed in as much fun as we possibly could - we drove at least 2600 km all over Nova Scotia but I think it really may have been closer to 3000 km.
We drove the Cabot Trail - Cape Breton Island  (unbelievable views - the trail follows the outer perimeter of the island) and the Fortress of Louisbourg (I must go back and stay longer at this fabulous historic site. We only visited for a half day but really it needs at least a one day visit.). We went to Digby for scallops, Annapolis Royal, Port Royal, Sheet Harbour (for geneology regarding my Shiers ancestors), Peggy's Cove and the Halifax area. We also went whale watching but all we saw was fog - disappointing! We met up with my mother's brother and sister and a cousin that looks quite a bit like me. If I've got the generations correct my cousin Debbie and I share the same great-grandmother (my grandfather and her grandmother were siblings) and we look like we could be sisters. I feel like I must go back again for another visit because we really did not have time to explore downtown Halifax as much as I would have liked to. Our week of vacation just flew by so quickly. There are other locations that we did not get to but that are very important to my family time!

Fun & Games Partial Blocks
On our way home from the airport we picked up my puppy from my sister Cheryl and we also stopped to get my sewing machine. I had taken it in for some TLC while I was gone. I was way too tired to sew anything on Wednesday evening but yesterday I did work on the Fun & Games quilt. I needed to make 9 whole blocks and I got them all done. I also started working on the partial blocks and I have several made - I just have to trim them to size.

Today is Friday Night Sew In and I will definitely be participating! I plan on working on more of the partial blocks and who knows I just may get them all done. Why not join in the fun and sign up to commit to spending an evening at your own personal "quilting retreat". You will be working along with many other quilters!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fun & Games - Making Steady Progress

Fun & Games
Over that last few days I have spent quite a bit of time working on my Fun & Games quilt. I still have a few more whole blocks to make and then I need to tackle the partial blocks. This is just going to have to sit on my design wall for awhile because I am going to go on vacation for a week! I am flying to Nova Scotia with my Mom, my sister Glenda and her daughter Kim next week. We will be leaving on Wednesday and returning the following Wednesday. I am really looking forward to our trip. We plan on driving the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island and also doing some whale watching (hopefully!!) among other things. In anticipation of my trip I took my sewing machine in for servicing yesterday and I miss it terribly. I thought it would be the perfect time to take my machine in for some TLC and it should be all ready for me to pick up when I return. It really does need a good cleaning because I have had it for almost 2 years and I have not had it serviced since. I do try to keep it clean and lint free but I do use it most days and quite heavily so I am sure there is some lint inside that I am not able to access. I no longer have a backup machine because I gave it to my sister Cheryl when she decided she would like to make quilts. I was originally going to give her my MIL's machine but I could not find it anywhere. There is a bit of an upside and that is I have been working on hand quilting my green Seven Sisters quilt and I am now more than half done - hip hip hooray!