Monday, October 31, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

The best laid plans sometimes fall to the wayside and we get sidetracked by different things. Sometimes it is just one or two things that keep us from our plans and other times there seems to be a whole series of events that become priority  (all good in my case). The last week and a half have been just like that for me. I fully intended on participating in the FNSI but basement deconstruction took priority on that Friday. We are redoing our basement and my brother and nephew came over to help with the interior demolition - 4 days of mess, mess, and more mess. It is quite a large space - this side of the basement originally had 3 separate rooms plus a full bathroom, a storage closet and the furnace area had it's own enclosure. This is actually the second half of the basement - the first half is already almost complete but everything from this side of the basement had to be moved and stored in the finished space. The guys were doing all the labour so that meant that I became chief cook and bottlewasher. No time for sewing for me! I really cannot wait to get the basement completely finished because there is "stuff" that belongs in the basement stored all over the rest of the house.

There was also a little trip to St. Catherines with my sister Cheryl and her daughter Deanna, to get some goodies for me - I will blog about those in a future post - but seeing as we were in the area - we stopped into Niagara Falls and viewed The Falls and walked around the area a bit. Unfortunately, we had not planned on going there and none of us had our cameras. Oh well, we plan on visiting again in the summer and I will definitely have my camera. I also made a trip to Elmira just the other day to get me another surprise. I haven't actually received it yet but as soon as I do I will definitely be blogging about it - I am so happy!!! Unfortunately, I have not been able to comment on my favourite blogs - there were over 115 posts made while I was "gone" but I did spend the time reading and enjoying them this morning. Now I really want to go spend some time sewing....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun & Games - Indecision (Maybe!) and FNSI

Fun & Games
Fun & Games is now an official quilt top but I am not too sure if it is a finished quilt top. I really like the darker border around it but I think I would like the top to be a bit bigger. I am very happy with the way it looks otherwise so maybe I should just leave well enough alone. What to do...what to do? It is currently approx. 72" x 86" - really just single bed or couch size. I think I should have made it one row wider and longer. Next time, I will trust my own intuition more - I was thinking I needed more blocks but my husband said it was just fine and to just add a border and I didn't listen to me! How would a border of scappy bits look - like a piano key border or maybe a flying geese type border or maybe a border made with crumb or string blocks? I have the binding already cut and ready (same fabric as the border) and I may have enough made even if I add another small border. I am leaning toward using small blocks made of strings or crumbs but I have trouble visualizing how something will look. In the end, I know I will just have to go with it and see if I like it. I don't want to let this quilt top languish for too long so I will just have to do it...and as I am writing this I see that I have talked myself into trying the crumb/strings blocks!

This of course, ties in perfectly with the FNSI - I will be making some fun crumb blocks tonight as a test to see if they will work for another border. If you are interested in participating in a virtual sewing bee why not sign up here at Crafty Vegas Mom. You will be sewing along with many other women (and men) from all over the world - how fun is that! Join us....we can all use a little dedicated "me" time to do the things that make us the happiest. I also wish a very Happy Birthday to my sister Wendy today!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jacob's Ladder - Week 4

Jacob's Ladder is such a versatile block. You can make it in many different versions - change the colour, change the fabric, change the layout but one thing you cannot change is this.

Jacob's Ladder Week 4

For some reason, even though I check and double check I still got something turned around. See the little 4-patch in the upper right corner - something is not quite right. Thankfully, I saw it before I had actually sewn it to the other strip. I only had to rip out one small seam to correct it. I don't know what it is with this block but this is a mistake I keep repeating and it's not just me! I think just about everyone participating in this quilt-along is having the same issues.

This weeks blocks share the same fabrics. The blue looks a little light at the moment but once I add more blocks to the mix it should fit right in.

Week 4 progress

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leftovers Again!

Leftovers - 14 Blocks
Just like many other quilters, I have a few projects on the go that I have been spending time here and there working on. One of those projects is my Leftovers quilt. The actual name of this quilt is "It's Not Leftovers Until Everyone Has Finished Eating". There is a story behind this quilt name - of course! I worked full-time when my sons were younger so whenever I was able I would follow the rule of "cook once eat two or three times". So I would plan for leftovers whenever I made a meal. Both of my boys were very good eaters, not very picky and always hungry. One particular evening, after Adam had at least two helpings, I was trying to clear things away and rescue put the leftovers away for the next night's dinner (I certainly thought I had made enough). Well, my son had other ideas and he wanted to eat more because he was still hungry. I had told him to leave the leftovers alone because they were for the next day. He said with great annoyance - Mom...they are not leftovers until everyone has finished eating! Adam must have been going through a major growth spurt at the time and he was already very tall and very thin and apparently very hungry. I still laugh whenever I think of this incident!

When I saw this quilt on Lori from Humble Quilts blog I just loved it and I had to make it. When I saw the name I knew it was meant to be.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Week 3 - Orange

Courage Blocks
I now have 30 Courage quilt blocks made and I think I have to stop there even though I would like it a bit bigger. I got a little carried away and made too many block centers but I just did not have enough variety of leftover pieces to make the outer portion of the blocks. I am sure I will be able to use those extra block parts somewhere - maybe on the back or even in another quilt. I do still have some larger pieces of fabric in my stash so I could possibly add a border. Everytime I look at this quilt top I feel happy! Why not check out soscrappy's blog and see what everyone else has been up to this week!

This past week has just flown by for me. I am so far behind in checking out and commenting on my favourite blogs. It will take me a couple days to get all caught up and to see what everyone has worked on this week. One of the things that has taken a good part of my time is that I have been doing research to purchase another sewing machine. In between that and spending wonderful time with my family I was still able to work on some of my other projects and I will post about them later.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jacob's Ladder - Week 3

Week 3
These are my newest additions to my Jacob's Ladder quilt. I made my blocks with different fabric choices this week instead of making two blocks exactly the same. I made a little boo-boo when making one of my blocks. I got the fabric wrong side out on parts of it. It isn't that noticeable - as a matter of fact - I didn't notice it until scrutinizing it after sewing it all together. I think I will just leave is part of the charm! After searching through my blues and neutrals, I have come to the conclusion that I need to add more to my stash - what other conclusion could I possibly come to?? I like to have a lot of options available when I make a colour-controlled scrap quilt and any excuse to go fabric shopping works for me. I plan on visiting my sister Glenda (and depending on who will be joining me I could be taking a car full of other sisters) on Friday and we will go fabric shopping while there. I haven't shopped at her local fabric store for quite a long time so they should have lots of new stuff for me to look at.
Jacob's Ladder blocks

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pathways - QOV - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Quilt of Valour
This quilt is all finished and ready to go to it's new home. I think I will miss it because I absolutely love it! I think it turned out gorgeous - I am so happy with it's nice warm earthy look. I am making an assumption that it will be going to a male soldier but I may never really know because it is a totally anonymous gift. As I was making this quilt I thought about the soldier who would receive it. I don't know where it will end up - it could go to an older veteran or to a very young person, but regardless, I was thinking about the sacrifices that he has made and how it has affected his life - and I know that it surely has. I want the recipient to know that people do care and that his sacrifice and contribution is appreciated. I hope my small gift of a quilt will provide him with some comfort and let him know that he is respected and admired. I plan on writing a small note to go with the quilt just to let the recipient know how I feel.
Molly modeling Pathways (and her sweater)!

Pathways finished at approx. 72" x 84" and is quilted in a meandering design with off-white thread. The backing is a tone-on-tone creamy beige and it is bound in a dark brown solid. I love how it turned out and more importantly I loved making it! When I look at the pictures it seems that the lighter blocks really stand out but in real-life they don't - it must be the lighting or something that makes them appear that way in the pictures. I took these pictures a couple days ago when it was quite chilly - today we are having glorious weather.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Orange Blocks

Woohoo - week 2 and I am going strong. I made more blocks using the leftover fabrics from the Garden Fence QA and I added 10 of them to the 10 I already had. This new quilt is definitely quite orange with smaller amounts of pink and green added in and I am quite happy with the way it looks. I would really like the blocks that I make for this month's scrap challenge to become a quilt top before the month is finished. If I get any further than that it would really be a bonus. This quilt already has a name - Courage! Pop on over to soscrappy's blog to see what everyone else is working on this week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jacob's Ladder Quilt-along Blocks - Week 2

2nd set of blocks
Weekly additions
I have finished my second set of Jacob's Ladder blocks - doing only 2 a week means that it is going to be a long haul before I actually have enough blocks to complete my quilt. I really do like the slower pace for this quilt-along but I know that at some point it will be too hard for me to wait and I will just want to have the pleasure of seeing my quilt completed. For me, it is truly such a satisfying feeling to look at and to hold a quilt that I have finished. This quilt will be going to my nephew Jake (of course) once I get it all done. The slower pace also allows me the time to work on other projects simultaneously - like most quilters I have soooo many projects that I want to work on. One of those projects is Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. She will be starting another one in November and I definitely want to participate. I still have not finished last year's RRCB - I still need to baste it and quilt it. I plan on having it all done before the new mystery starts so that gives me about 3 weeks to git 'er done!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Busy Day!

My sister Cheryl came to visit yesterday morning and we worked on her quilt - Spring Romance. I had finished off the quilting a week or so ago and it was ready for binding. I showed her how I square up my quilts and then she attached the binding to the front by machine. I also showed her how to hand stitch the binding to the back.
First Leftovers Blocks Completed
The rest of the day ended up being one where I did a little of this and a little of that. I now have 7 blocks for my Leftovers quilt made and I do have many more to make. It is hard for me to tell if it will all work but it is a scrappy quilt so in theory it should all work together. Another thing I worked on was my green Seven Sisters quilt that I am hand quilting. I have recently started reading Kelli's blog Seriously..I think it needs stitches and saw that she has a hand-quilting frame set up and ready to use at all times. I will admit I was feeling some envy so I immediately started looking on Kijiji for one. I really could not afford at this time to spend a huge amount of money but I did find a simple frame reasonably priced. My husband picked it up for me and we put it together over the weekend. I hope it is put together correctly!!?? Oh my goodness - it is huge. The good thing about it is that I have already started using it. We will see how long it will be before I upgrade but for now it is working. I would really like one where I wouldn't have to baste the quilt first. Now, I am hoping to make serious progress on my series of Seven Sisters quilts.
My Gigantic Hand Quilting Frame!
I also want to mention that recently I have been having difficulty commenting on blogs that do not have their comments set as a "pop-up" box. My comments just disappear into thin air! I don't know what has changed with Blogger but I do know that this has been a problem for other bloggers in the past.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Orange

Garden Fence Extra Blocks
Orange is such a strong colour and very often you either love it or hate it - I love it! I have been going through a bit of an orange phase while making my Garden Fence quilt and I couldn't be happier about it. I love this quilt!!! When I started working on it I made many, many blocks and I thought they would all go into the quilt. Once I started piecing it all together, I decided that it was just too big for me to handle so I set a few (10 blocks) aside thinking that maybe I would make another quilt for me??!!

Garden Fence Scraps
So I optimistically set the leftover bits of fabric aside hoping that the colour orange would come up in the Scrap Challenge and - yippee - it has. So my plan is to make another quilt very similar (let's call it a sister quilt) to the Garden Fence quilt. I know it sounds kinda been there, done that....but the first quilt will be leaving me and going to live at some else's home. I am sooooo excited!! Hop on over to soscrappy's blog and see what everyone else is working on.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jacob's Ladder Quilt-along

Jacob's Ladder 1st 2 blocks
These are the first two blocks I have made so far for the quilt-along. My plan is basically a controlled scrappy version with darker blues and neutrals. As I was going through my stash and pulling fabrics to make my first two blocks I came to the realization that I just don't have enough variety within the blues and will probably need to add some fabrics that have a little bit of colour to them and I am leaning toward bits of red. I am really happy that this quilt-along is not a race to the finish (unless you want it to be!) and I plan on making a couple blocks each week. That will give me time to add more fabric options to the mix - I guess I will figure out the fabric selection as I go along. Many thanks to Impera Magna for hosting!