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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

More tennis and less quilting

The weather has been unusually warm here in Arizona and temperatures are 10ºF higher than the normal average.  Thus, more time has been spent outside, playing, having fun and staying fit than sitting at my machine and using the iron.  Most evenings I am too tired to contemplate moving from my lazy boy!
This quilt top got finished to this stage.  I think it needs another floral outer border and will check my stash of floral fabrics at my other home and find one that will 'work' to finish this off and make it a decent size for donation.

I also got this top ready to take back home for finishing in the spring, again, will be a donation quilt.
Last summer, when perusing the quilts donated for the fire victims in BC, I saw a picture of this quilt and figured out the pattern.  It uses a jelly roll and lots of cream fabric.
I didn't figure out the math very correctly and one jelly roll actually made two quilts so I have quilt one and two ready for the next step. They look the same but the fabrics are actually varied in the two quilts.

In my October "box" from Fat Quarter shop, I had a set of Tula Pink fat quarters and a pattern for this quilt.  I started cutting and sewing and this just needs the two side borders added and it will be ready for the layering and quilting.

So, not a lot of projects finished in the last 4 weeks but, at least there is a little bit of progress.  I was hoping for a day or two of rain here in the sunny southwest so I could really accomplish some sewing but I really am glad that the weather is great for tennis.  Not so good for the air quality and dust here but eventually winter will arrive.  In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all my quilting friends.






Sunday, November 12, 2017

FINALLY... bonding with my Janome 6600

We are in our winter home.  Oranges and grapefruit are growing and pomegranates are ready.  The bouganvilla is blooming as are the lantana.  Our palm trees are getting really big... hard to believe that the two of those fit into the back of our vehicle six years ago! 







Now that the basics have been taken care of (sort of... some windows still need washing) and we have groceries and have played lots of tennis, and temperatures have cooled somewhat to high twenties/low thirties during the afternoon, it is time to sew!!

I was in a "tea" swap many years ago and gave up on ever getting my blocks returned to me.  But, through a series of events, a package arrived in my mailbox from Susan in Florida.  I think these blocks will go home where I have an assortment of 'tea' fabrics that I collected at the time.  Am sure my Wednesday Divas will have some brilliant ideas to help me figure out what to do with these.
And, this is a really old UFO I dug out of my bin that is here.  I know I cut these blocks at least seven years ago!  And have looked at this a few times and put it away again.  The time is now to work to on these.  This is a Cozy quilt shop pattern and the fabrics are ancient!
These are some blocks I decided to make after the pattern arrived "free" in my inbox this week and I had a jelly roll of Free Spirit Fabrics that I decided to use and play with the block.  Easy but perhaps a little boring so working on two projects at once to keep me on my toes!

Am busy with tennis but happy to have some sewing time happening. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Rainy west coast weather

I am on countdown to changing homes and so the focus is on finishing!
This is the third triangle quilt made from a kit started 3 years ago. I decided to make two preemie quilts plus this one from all the leftover triangles that I had cut.  I added two borders to make the quilt large enough to use for donation.
A preemie quilt from a kit handed out last month at guild.
This is a combination of two ideas I gleaned from Missouri Star and Fat Quarter shop.  I used this as a sample for a guild mini workshop to go with making quilts from jelly roll strips and also included how to make 8 half square triangles from a 10" square.


This is quilt number four from the tops sent to the Fraser Valley Modern quilt guild to be finished and donated where we choose.  I was given quilt tops to finish that were appropriate for Quilts of Valour and this one needed borders added to get it to the right size for donation.  A friend had given me this fabric and I thought the moose and bears worked nicely around the edge of the quilt.  I took a couple of close up pictures because this quilt demonstrates a perfect way to include the Oh Canada fabric from Northcott that is like a panel with a variety of sizes of prints of animals and RCMP on horseback.  That fabric can be a challenge to figure out how to use it and this quilt included the blocks in each of the blocks using a variety of techniques but all based on the Cheryl Arkison slab block.
My last project that I want to complete is to stitch up the final two blocks in the Sew Sisters monthly program to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday this year.  The blocks arrived in the mail yesterday so am off to start cutting and stitching!






Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wow, one week gone in October!

My Mom.  She fell two weeks ago, in her garage, and spent close to 24 hr, on the cement floor.  My sister just happened to drop by to take her to vote in a by-election and found her.  She has been warmed up, fed intravenously, given a blood transfusion to increase her iron levels, and is now able(with help), get from her bed to a chair and use a commode.  I had made a small quilt that I thought was perfect for her hairdresser, because it had bobby pins and blow dryers but, it is even more perfect for this use!  It is a poly batting and not a very large quilt so fits on her lap to keep her legs and feet warm.
And so... not much time with my sewing machine for a week while I was visiting her and my sister, who all the work is falling upon to care of both parents, both in the hospital!


I have managed to quilt and bind three quilts that were tops that came from the Canadian Quilters Association, via the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild.  I had a stack of 9 given to me to quilt and donate to Quilts of Valour.  These were made for the Great Canadian quilt bee held during Quilt Canada's conference and for donation to Ronald McDonald houses across Canada.  The quilt bee was held to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday and each quilt was made from Cheryl Arkison slab block pattern and needed one piece of Canadiana fabric in them.



If anyone happens to recognize a quilt that they are or know the quilt maker, I would be thrilled to add their name to the QOV label that is on the back of each one.

I also got one of the summer star block quilts finished and it is ready to donate to Quilts of Valour.

This quilt was made by Val Redekop and Gloria Toews. I quilted and bound this one and again, donated to Quilts of Valour.

I have two of my triangle quilts finished and the third one is waiting for binding.  This was originally a kit called Zoe's quilt (bought at a quilt show in 2014) and I decided to make two preemie quilts and one slightly larger instead of one big quilt.

And a preemie quilt called confetti.
And blocks in progress for a We Care quilt demonstration at guild on Tuesday.  Come and see what it is about! 



These fabrics are a challenge for the FVMQG and I have no clue what to use them for but the project is due Thursday.  It might not happen!
 I picked up a We Care kit from our last guild meeting in September.  Will it get finished for Tuesday?





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Will it rain?

The weather is getting cooler and darker and rain is predicted.  Much needed rain even though I much prefer sunshine.  Our air quality is awful with the smoke from forest fires sitting in the valley and the ground is bone dry after a very long, dry, hot summer. 
Rain is ok for a few days.  I have a long list of projects: some I have been working on and a bonus stack of quilt tops that have arrived from Canadian Quilters Association that are left over from the drive for quilts for Ronald MacDonald house this past spring.  The modern guild I belong to offered to take some of the leftover quilt tops and get them finished and we can donate them to wherever we like.  The organizer sorted out the tops that looked like potential Quilts of Valour and gave them to me.  Thank you Jean but it has now made my list of projects much longer!!

These are some of the quilts... the ones on my sewing table need borders added to make the quilts large enough... most of them need another 10" all around and I just happened to have some of the fabrics that are in the quilts so am adding!  The top two are waiting for me to cut and stitch the backings for them.  Their size was perfect.

This one will get quilted next.  I have the backing ready, need to cut the batting and get it loaded!  Would like all the quilts that I have for QOVC finished before mid October so that gives me a month to get to work.
Two more quilts waiting for quilting.  My Canada 150 blocks are put together and sashing/border added.  The other is another quilt from Quilt Canada and there is one of mine in that stack as well. 
The B-line is going to be busy!
A finished quilt. These were string blocks from this summer that are now quilted and bound into a quilt ready for donation. 
I did the binding on this quilt.  I did NOT make the quilt.  The blocks were made by various members of one of the guilds I belong to and stitched together by someone, then quilted by another member and I did the binding.  Silly me hung the quilt upside down and didn't notice until I looked on my camera later.  The center block is actually one I made even though the theme was pastel, I obviously didn't think about that.  Nice that the block got included anyway. 
I did get all my blocks made for guild meeting this past week and had them on my portable design wall so that guild members could purchase kits to make blocks and identify which ones they wanted by the names.  Now I need to sash the blocks and add them to my sampler of hug blocks available in kit form to contribute to the cause.  It will happen... one day?
And of course, yesterday was jelly roll day.  Quilters were being encourage to stitch something with their jelly rolls.  I combined an idea from Missouri Star (the layout and hsts)  along with the method from Fat Quarter Shop to come up with my blocks.  Now I need to stitch more of the jelly rolls together to get an assortment of choices to go around my center hst.  And, need to make more hsts!
Just what I need, another project! 
This was my white board BEFORE Thursday night, when I was handed all these fabulous quilt tops to finish for QOVC.  Some of these are just waiting for binding to be finished.  And I have a stack of quilts to label for donation to the fire quilt collection as well as some QOVC labels to put on quilts that have been donated. 
So, back to stitching!  And listening to the rain... a happy sound though I might not think so in a few days if it continues too long. 






Friday, September 8, 2017

One week into September and weather changed!

We have rain... badly needed and not nearly enough but the ground is wet.  Sadly, the air is still full of smoke but we opened our doors and windows to lovely 70º/20º temperatures.  Air feels damp but much better than living with the a/c running and too hot to be outside except for much needed watering of veggies and flowers.

 My sashed rainbow string got quilted and bound and ready for donation though not sure where I send this one.
 Modern Tykes was a kit I purchased in March from a quilt booth Quincy's at the March sewing show. Quilted and bound.  I think this will go to Peardonville House, a rehab center for women who can have their pre school age children living with them in residence.
 I dug out a bag of triangles that were destined in 2014 for a quilt named Zoe's triangles.  I thought at the time that it was a boring project to stitch all those zillion triangles together so I had stitched some into triangles, some into octagons and had separated out the pinks and the blues.  Trying to figure out what I was thinking 3 years isn't that easy!  I ended up making one preemie pink, one preemie blue quilt and the leftover triangles are in a third quilt which will be larger.  I also have my confetti triangles quilt for a girl in this pile.  Three preemie quilts, layered and ready for quilting.

 My 150 women's blocks are put together but I need an inner border and outer border to finish the blocks off and make the quilt the final size that I prefer.  This will be a quilt for me and I have the info to read about each woman that inspired the blocks. It is so close to being a finished flimsy!  Hopefully this week?
 This is my Zoe third triangle quilt.  My Wednesday Diva quilting group looked at the top this week and decided that the size was too odd to be useful for a kid's quilt and not quite large enough for an adult so their solution was to add border(s) to get it to a useful size for Quilts of Valour or some other place for donation.  So borders are cut and waiting in line to be stitched up.
This is my project that I am getting up from my computer chair to work on.  Quilts of Valour released some new blocks for the hugs across Canada quilts.  Blocks are made using the fabric from Northcott's Oh Canada line and they are sent in to a central location in Edmonton.  From there, they get sorted into sets of 30 to be turned into finished quilts.  Each quilt, when completed, will contain blocks made by a variety of quilters from across the country... provinces and territories and will then be presented to an injured Canadian Armed Forces member or veteran to give them a quilted hug as a thank you for serving our country.  I need to make up one of each block as a sample and then cut kits from the fabrics so that on Tuesday at our guild meeting, I can offer up packages for sale for quilters to make a block (or two or three) and contribute to this cause.  I am hoping they will be keen to make one of the new blocks available.
This is the hug block quilt that I put together last year from blocks that were made by quilters across the country. 
So, am hoping by this time next week, I will have completed a few more projects on my "to-do" list!  And am also wishing for a little more rain in the next day or two to soak the ground thoroughly before we return to our typical September weather.  Am going to love the cooler temperatures for sleeping overnight!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sept 1 - where is autumn?

I am not too sure where 'fall' weather is?  We remain hot and dry and are predicted to be the hottest Labour day since 1981. I guess the good news is that our a/c is working at this house (not at my other home) and while it is too hot to doing much outside, it is still perfectly cool in my basement for me to continue sewing without feeling guilty!  It is cooler overnight so sleeping is comfortable.  We do have the most annoying neighbours with a son who drives a horrible diesel truck and comes and goes at nasty times, loving to do u-turns in our driveway (shining his back up and brake lights in our bedroom window) and warming his truck up for 10 minutes before he leaves so sometimes sleep is totally disturbed and quite often, completely ruined.  Oh well... I guess compared to what others are enduring, that is minor even though it irritates the heck out of us? 

My Sew-Sisters August blocks got completed.
And my St. Louis 16 patch that has been hanging around for a couple of years is quilted and bound and destined for Quilts of Valour.
And am determined to get my Canadian Women's 150 block challenge done.  I stopped at 72 blocks but decided to lay them out on the design wall and it makes sense to have a total of 80 blocks so stitched up the last ones needed while watching fabulous tennis the other evening (GO DENNIS SHAPOVALOV). 

Also on the wall is another preemie quilt that needs to have the blocks stitched together.  It was an inspiration from Sonia at the last modern guild sew-in.  Not too sure if I should thank her for yet another project on the go?

My sewing space is a total disaster and it is my project this afternoon to tidy up.

I have finished a couple of projects.  One is a quilt that was a top left over from Quilt Canada and our modern guild offered to take some of these tops and quilt them and donate them to local charities.  I quilted two and both are heading to fire victims in the interior of BC. Oops, forgot to take a picture of the second one. 
And I finished our guild's preemie quilt challenge.  Then there were leftover blocks so made a few more to go with them and got a second quilt made to donate to our NICU at our local hospital.

I was really happy to get my double slice, sewing themed blocks out of a bag and into a quilt.  I did add a border to this because I wanted it just a little larger.  Wasn't so sure that the border fabric really did the quilt justice but when it is on a bed, the border won't be that noticeable and it serves a good function.  I do think the bright binding addsa touch of colour to brighten up the outside edge.
Yesterday, I met up with a quilting friend who is heading to the interior of the province for the long weekend and she offered to take quilts to drop off with one of the groups collecting for distribution to those families who have lost their homes due to forest fires.  A huge thank you to Heather and to all my friends who gave me quilts for her to take.  There was a nice stack of them for delivery.
One last quilt finish is this cute pink elephant baby quilt. I bought a quilt from Quincy's sewing in Alberta while they were at our local sewing show in March.  The kit was easy and a great price and I have it finished and given it to my neighbour because she is now a Great Grandma!  This can be a quilt that lives at her house for when the sweet baby Amber is visiting.
Am feeling good about my September.
I managed to get 15 of my 20 projects completed for our Fraser Valley Modern quilt guild finish it up challenge.  Not bad and am determined to get my 150 blocks and my solstice quilts finished up sooner rather than later.  The Sew-Sisters project needs to wait as I didn't realize that I still have 2 more months of blocks left to make.  Darn!  And the Ohio stars project might not get done for awhile because I have no motivation to work on it!

Time to write out my Sept goals and figure out what I should/could be working on and there are still a few tops waiting for me to quilt them along with some pincushions and coasters calling my name.  One day at a time!

So, not too bad for a hot and dry summer!  I have completed the majority of what I wanted to accomplish and have made a large number of donations to Quilts of Valour, Fire victims quilts, preemie quilts and few gifts as well as getting a couple of UFO's completed.  Whew!!