Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Enjoying!

I think it is going to be a good day today! My husband and I watched the sunrise together this morning and it was so pretty. I love seeing sunrises even more than sunsets although both can be very beautiful.

Watching the sunrise and seeing the beautiful colours made me think of Bonnie Hunter's mystery and the fact that I haven't decided whether to participate now or wait for later. I have been pulling fabrics just in case I cannot resist. ;)

I don't have many fabric choices in coral so I am leaning toward using a combination of oranges and pinks. We will see.

In the meantime, last night I wanted to do some sewing to relax but I knew that I was too tired to actually work on the last three sweaters - other than to choose the fabrics. So, once I had that figured out I started cutting some strips from them for the border.

The ugly Christmas sweater quilt will have a piano key border so as I have been cutting the fabric for the sweater blocks I have also cut a few strips from each fabric for the border. The strips are 1.5" and 2" wide and I sub-cut them into 5.25" lengths. Once I had enough variety I started sewing them together as leaders and enders while stitching the sweater blocks and I already have quite a bit done. Wow...I feel so efficient. :)

I continued to work on sewing more strips to the border sections that were already started. Perfect for mindless sewing! I am not quite ready to join all of these smaller sections together yet but as soon as I do I will have an instant border.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lots of Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I am moving right along with making these ugly Christmas sweaters for the quilt that I am giving my son Adam for Christmas. I don't think I am actually making two sweaters per day but I am thrilled with my progress. Only three more sweaters to go!

I am not too sure about the plaid sweater with the mittens and yellow and blue accents. I may take it apart and reverse the placement of the yellow and blue solid fabrics but maybe not. It is an ugly Christmas sweater after all. :)
Seventeen sweaters up on the wall!
I spent a good part of the day in Toronto and boy was I pooped out when I got home. Not because I was so busy in the city but because of the traffic on Hwy 400 north and south bound. There was construction everywhere and that means narrowed lanes and slow-downs. I made it back home safe and sound but I need to de-stress so I am going to go into my sewing room and spend some time relaxing with my fabric and sewing machine.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

En Provence is Finished

stitching binding
I did a lot of this over the past little bit of time and while I did I took a lot of time just admiring my quilt. As a matter of fact, I have stitched a total of 340" of binding and it has been time well spent both in quilt admiration and hand stitching! En Provence is completely finished including attaching my label and I couldn't be happier with this quilt. One of my favourite parts of this quilt is the scrappy neutral border that frames the quilt - love it. :)
I couldn't quite fit all of it into the photo :)
This is Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt but I didn't start it until September of this year. It wasn't good timing for me to participate during the quilt along so I saved the instructions as they were released. I wanted to work on it during my Guild retreat at Killbear Provincial Park so I did all of the prep cutting that I could beforehand. I got a good start on sewing block parts together while I was there but, honestly, Bonnie Hunter quilts really do take time to piece together as they usually have lots of pieces!

My quilt finished at 85" square and I quilted it using Glide thread in a purple colour called Tabriz Orchid. I used magnaglide in cream in the bobbin and Tuscany 80/20 cotton/wool for the batting. I used a panto called Jessie's Swirls Simplified by Jessica Schick and I think it looks great on this quilt.

I am linking up over at Kathy's Quilts for - Slow Sunday Stitching.


Friday, November 24, 2017

So Pretty


Oh my, Rosalie's quilt turned out so pretty! When she brought the quilt top to me I could see how striking it was but now that it is quilted I think it is quite stunning.

This quilt is heavy - it was made using stabilizer behind the background fabrics and then appliqued. It does have a minky backing that makes it so soft and snuggly and wonderful!

I used Cansew white thread with magnaglide in white in the bobbin. The panto that Rosalie chose is called Tickle from Beany Girl Quilts and I think it was the perfect choice. The batting is 80/20 cotton/poly.

Minky can be very stretchy so I was very careful when I loaded it onto the frame. The quilt sandwich was quite thick and it sort of felt like quilting through pudding. I could feel when I moved on and off the applique so I just went at a slow and steady pace. I had no problems at all. :)

Rosalie picked up her quilt this morning and I think she is very, very happy because she did do a happy dance when she saw it!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Getting it Done :)

My plan is to make two of these Ugly Christmas Sweater blocks each day and last night I didn't finish making my two blocks until 10 pm. That was a bit late for me because I find that if I stay in my sewing room too late that I have trouble falling asleep. I was clock watching well past 1:30 am - not enough time to wind down before bed I think.

I am really enjoying selecting each of the fabrics that I want to use in each block - look at that fun center in the paisley sweater block.


Today, I did much better and I have already finished both blocks. :) I felt that the quilt needed some lighter toned sweaters and I have plans for at least one more along those lines.

I have my exercise class this afternoon and when I get home I will trim the quilt that I was working on yesterday.  Once I get that done I really do need to spend some time with the vacuum cleaner. :(

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Making Progress

I got my two blocks done yesterday for Adam's Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt and I think they turned out really well.

I got the first block finished in the morning and I started on the second one but then I had to break to go to my exercise class. When I got back I needed some recovery time ;) and then I finished up the second block.

After making and eating dinner last night, I started loading this quilt for Rosalie. Rosalie made this one for her granddaughter and it is really quite wonderful.

I had started the quilting this morning and I was hopeful to get it done before I had to go to my dental appointment but that didn't quite work out. I am currently in the middle of quilting it and I think it is coming along quite nicely.

Once done I plan to get into my sewing room to make the next two blocks for Adam's quilt. I made lunch today so I think my husband can manage dinner. :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Few More Blocks

Like many others, I have plans and ideas for items that I would like to make this year for Christmas gifts. I don't know how much I will actually accomplish but I am going to give it my best effort. :)

In order to achieve my goal I do need to set a 'sort of' schedule. That means it needs to be very flexible and also means that it is more like an 'I hope I can get it done' schedule. So, I had informally decided that I would like to finish two blocks per day for the Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt for Adam. I set to work yesterday and I did get two blocks finished - right on schedule so far. :)

As I was working on the second block I got a phone call that my Tai Chi class was cancelled so I kept on working and I got two more blocks done. Woohoo...I am ahead of schedule!!
First 5 blocks already done!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Adam's Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt

In January of 2016, Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts started the Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt along and the blocks just looked so cute that I couldn't resist.

I made this one for myself and when I showed it to my eldest son, Adam, his eyes lit up. I told him he couldn't have it but that if  he would like I would make him one. Adam wears ugly Christmas sweaters for Christmas so this quilt was just up his alley!

white with gray mottling - way too light!
Last week I had cut all of the background fabric for his version of this quilt and then I decided it just was not going to work. I found that it was just too light in colour for my taste so I spent an hour last night cutting more fabric. I decided to use the same fabric that was used as a backing for my En Provence quilt. It's not very dark either but it is more of a creamy beige with a swirly print and I think it will work much better than my original selection. I want the background to be subtle but not invisible. :)

Adam is a fun guy with a fun personality and I have chosen some fabrics that I think suit him perfectly. I have some argyle prints, plaids, music prints, solids, and of course, Christmas prints among others. I have made my first block and I think it is adorable.

For the quilt along, Lorna only gives the block and background information. It is up to the maker to decide how they want to finish their quilt. When I made my version I didn't have a plan ahead of time for the layout but this time I know what to do. Because I am going to make it using the same layout as my quilt I can precut all of the extra squares and the piano key border while cutting for the blocks. That will save some time. :)

I hope to be able to gift this to him on Christmas Eve so that he can use it right away. I think I can do it! :)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fun and Done!

On Friday my quilty sister Cheryl came for an overnight visit and she arrived with a few quilt tops and backings that were ready for quilting. The plan was to quilt as many of her quilts as we could and we did do our best. We managed to get three of her quilts finished before she left on Saturday afternoon.
Rosalie's quilt
When she first arrived, I had a customer quilt on the frame for Rosalie and I quilted that one up while Cheryl supervised. I think it turned out so cute and I think Rosalie is going to be very happy with it. Rosalie chose a panto called Shooting Stars by Sue Schmieden and I think it looks fantastic on this little quilt.
Cheryl's quilt for Lindsay
Next up, we loaded Cheryl's first quilt of the day. This beauty is one of Cheryl's own designs and it is going to the girlfriend of her son Gary. This will be a wonderful Christmas gift for Lindsay and I think she is going to just love it. Who wouldn't!!
Close up of Lindsay's quilt
Cheryl chose the Lotus Blossom panto by Megan Haun and it is perfect for this quilt. Look at the gorgeous texture - love it.

Cheryl's quilt for Luca
The next quilt we loaded was this knight and castle quilt. Cheryl incorporated panel strips in this design and it turned out so cute. She chose to quilt it with the Cool Beans panto by Apricot Moon Designs. This quilt will be going to our new great-nephew Luca. It is a nice big size so he will be able to get many years of use from it.

Luca's quilt
The final quilt that we got done was quilted by me because Cheryl just did not feel confident stitching out the panto that she chose to use. The panto she chose is called Spaced Out and it looks like swirling wind and waves. She chose a darker thread for this quilt to emphasize the look of the wind and waves. This is the second quilt that Cheryl has made based on this original design. She had made one similar to this for herself and when the girlfriend of her son Mark saw the quilt she wanted one just like it. Cassandra will be receiving this one for Christmas and I know she will love it.

Cassandra's quilt
I took the photos of Cheryl's quilts on Saturday afternoon and it was a very dark, dreary, and rainy day. Unfortunately the lighting just does not show how wonderful these quilts really are.

Cheryl still has a few quilt tops here that need to be quilted but they will have to wait. It is so funny to me that when Cheryl first started quilting she told me that she would never make as many quilts as I do. Honestly, I think she is outpacing me. :)


Monday, November 13, 2017

Busy Days

I want to get going on making some things for Christmas gifts but I feel like I must take care of some sewing housekeeping before I can start more projects.

As usual, there is way too much clutter in my sewing room! So, on Saturday, I spent the day doing quite a bit of scrap cutting and organization - boring!! I didn't get all of it done but I did make a pretty good dent in the pile of fabric scraps sitting on my table. All of those bits and pieces and strips are now at the ready for later use.

Yesterday, I spent some time with this cat quilt. This quilt was pieced by Vangie as a donation for our Guild's outreach program and I did my part by donating the quilting and batting. I quilted it with a panto called Tweet Tweet by Patricia Ritter. I thought it would be fun to have the little birds twittering around the cats. :) It turned out quite cute but as usual it is not the best photo. :(

At 56" x 79" it is quite a bit larger than a toddler quilt so maybe it will go to an adult or a teen. I will return it to Vangie at our December meeting so that she can apply the binding.

I used a light blue thread - Cansew #6317 with a magna glide bobbin in blue and the batting is 80/20 cotton poly.




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Remembrance Day


Today is a solemn day - a day to reflect on the wonderful freedoms that we enjoy every single day and to remember those that fought for it. Freedom is never free.

Over the past couple days I have been watching the History channel with their Remembrance Day programming. I have been thinking about a young man that I never knew but who served in WWI. My grandfather's brother, Victor Ernest Morgan Greenland died at the Battle of Lens on Aug 21, 1917 - the day before his 21st birthday. He was not married and did not have any children. His body was never recovered and he is memorialized at Vimy Memorial, France


LEST WE FORGET

He was so young that he barely even had a chance to live and yet he gave his life for our freedom.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Quilting is Finally Finished

The quilting is done and I am very happy! It's so funny, after saying how much I prefer doing edge-to-edge long arm quilting in one fell swoop it took me three separate quilting sessions to finish this one! I don't know why that happened but it did finally get finished.

I tried to take some photos that would show how great this quilt looks but it is huge and I couldn't find a space large enough to spread it out. :) Hopefully, I will be able to get my husband and son to be quilt holders for photos once it is all finished.

I want this quilt to stay on my bed for the winter so I had better get it trimmed and get the binding finished really soon because this happened last night.


We had snow squalls all evening and into the night and this is what we woke up to this morning. The dogs are not thrilled! They keep going to the door to be let out and then they immediately want back in - poor things.

While the winds were blowing and the snow was falling I was snug in my sewing room last evening making these pillowcases to go with my quilt. I couldn't remember how to make them so I refreshed my memory with this video by Missouri Star Quilt Co. We are so fortunate to have so many resources available to us with just a click of the mouse. :)


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Making Progress on Old Tobacco Road


Yesterday, I turned my attention back to Old Tobacco Road and I attached the final border. Ooooh I love that paisley! I also pieced together the backing and even though it was very large and unwieldy I didn't have too many difficulties trying to control it as I stitched it together. Dealing with such large pieces of fabric really is not my favourite thing to do and if I can I will always go for a wide backing. Not an option this time because I specifically wanted to use my chosen fabrics so I had a choice to grumble or smile and I chose to smile.

I also got the backing loaded before I went to Tai Chi last evening but that is where I left off. This morning I finished setting everything up and I am raring to go but I have an exercise class early this afternoon that I don't want to miss. As I have said before, once I get everything set up and going I just want to get it done without interruption. I did do a test to check my thread tension and I see that my top tension is a bit too tight. The dark brown bobbin thread is showing as dots on the lighter fabric and that is not the look I am going for. :)
Peanut and Molly before spa
I took my pups for grooming on Sunday - they were both very unruly looking and I am pretty sure that Molly couldn't see anything through that long hair over her eyes.
Molly and Peanut after spa 
I no longer have dust mops. :)

Friday, November 3, 2017

En Provence Quilting is Done!

hanging off the frame
Oh my this is a very large and beautiful quilt! I am so glad that I decided to make this Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt - it was time consuming to make it but so worth it. :)

I loaded it on the frame the other day but I didn't get a chance to start quilting it until yesterday.

Normally, once I start quilting I like to just get it done all at once but I had to take a break from it yesterday so that I could go to my exercise class. Happily, when I got back I was able to easily pick up where I had left off. I find that if my mood changes, or any other factors like muscle stiffness occur, it really does affect my quilting rhythm.

Anyway, back to my beautiful quilt - I just had to take a few photos - I love it!

close up of quilting
I am looking forward to trimming it and making the binding as soon as possible so that I can start hand-stitching the binding.