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Saturday, August 5, 2017

One August week almost gone!

It is almost the end of the first week of August.  Wow, this week felt both long and went fast at the same time.  We are 'smoked' in and so that has been good for me getting some work done in my sewing studio.  Not much tennis played this week due to warnings about air quality for seniors - that is me!  A true senior. 
I played around with more strings and strips and made enough blocks to put a quilt top together. 

And my Sew-Sisters two blocks for July got finished.  They were actually finished on Sunday so made it under the wire.
And the block that my buddy showed me two weeks ago is now a quilt top, added to the list of waiting projects.
Last Sunday, our electricity was out all afternoon and into the early evening.  My sewing bunker is underground (where I keep all my supplies) so I couldn't load a quilt on the B-line because it is pitch black in there. I did make a list of projects and got my sewing space cleaned up and then, wanted to sew so badly but I don't have a treadle machine.  So, I dragged my roll of batting up to my sewing space (where I have loads of windows and walk out basement) and proceeded to cut batting for all my quilt tops on hand.  That felt good to at least get something accomplished. This is one of the quilt tops that is ready for layering and quilting.
And since Sunday, have managed to quilt two tops, waiting now for their binding.
And this lovely floral quilt got quilted and bound. This is a Villa Rosa pattern: Melinda Jo.
And one of my strip stars (Missouri Star pattern) got quilted and bound all ready for a Quilts of Valour recipient.
This quilt is spray basted and ready for me to quilt on my domestic machine using the walking foot since I want to do straight lines and stitch in the ditch.  It is a kit from Connecting Threads, started last fall and will get finished this week - I hope!
After cleaning and organizing my sewing space and realizing that I have four tops waiting for me to handstitch the bindings, I decided to switch gears and play with the scrap basket container that will be a guild challenge/swap in September.  Wow... which one to swap and look - it is only early August and I am done!
One my UFO's that is patiently waiting is my 16 patch teal and purple blocks so I have moved them to within my vision every time I go down into my bunker.  They are hanging on the door.  They will get put on the design wall when the strip blocks are joined and ready for the pile of tops that need backing and batting and quilting.
A great start to the month of August for me.  Sort of a catch-22.  Horrible smoky conditions because of the really awful forest fires burning in the interior of BC and we are forced indoors with windows closed and no outside activity but I made lemonade out of lemons, completing projects and having a tidy and organized sewing space. Will see how the rest of the month progresses!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last week of July and pushing towards some finished projects

I have a few flimsies from last winter as well as last summer to get quilted and can then feel less guilty about playing with all my 'new' ideas for projects. 

I had a lovely stash of purple strings and certainly it is the colour that I must have used the most in the past years of quilting as it is a massive pile!
And I have been stitching away on my rainbow string blocks.  Only turquoise blocks left to do although I do have a bag of strings of black prints and another of neutrals.  I don't don't think those will go into this project.
I have quilted a Quilt of Valour for Debbie D in my guild and it is bound and already delivered to a deserving military veteran.
And quilted a QOV slab block quilt for a quilter who asked me to put Sew Sisters from Kelowna on the label. 
At a Modern guild sew in on Saturday, I finished up joining these beach ball blocks that I had made last winter so another awaits quilting and binding.
And then the Yahoo Heartstrings group sent a post of this project using 2.5" strips and you know, I seem to have a lot of those waiting to be used.
And am playing with my rainbow strings and adding a sashing and cornerstone to my blocks even though I don't have any of the turquoise ones made yet!
And while at the sew in, my buddy BB was working on a quilt for hospice made from this block.  It uses two cake plate (10" squares) and so of course, had to dig out a set of plates and make a sample.
Two quilts are quilted and ready for binding.  Great tv project especially since the nights are getting darker earlier!
And this one is finished! Villa Rosa pattern: King's ransom

And my quilt made from Downton Abbey fabrics, started last summer, is next on the list for quilting. 

So, back to the ironing board and the sewing machine.  We have hot weather for the next few days so a good time to hide downstairs and accomplish what I can before the end of the month and hopefully cross a few projects off my list - though you know I am always more.  The list will never end!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A good first week in July

I don't have a lot of 'finishes' but have been having fun with strings and really think that I am almost done organizing them.  Today I vacuumed and have my sitting area all tidy and clean and free of threads.
I have made some more string blocks as well.

 I quilted and bound my one of my Quilt of Valour string quilts.

And I quilted and bound these maple leaves.  The top was made by Darlene H. and she gave it to me to finish up for her.  It is a donation to Quilts of Valour.
And yesterday I played and made this fabric containers.  The modern guild that I belong to is going to have a swap and so I practiced the pattern so that I would know what I am doing when I stitch one up for another quilter in the guild.
This quilt is now pieced and ready for quilting.  It is my second strip star for Quilts of Valour.  A friend made one of these and she put sashing between the blocks and I think it looks much better and less 'busy' so IF I make another one, I will try that Once it is finished, I think I need to work on some projects that are in progress... blocks waiting to be put into a quilt!
Too many UFO's!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Machines are humming but finishes are slow.

My various machines have been humming along but I haven't got many finishes to show for my efforts.The quilt pictured above is waiting to be quilted.  The backing is ready and the batting is cut.  This was donated to Quilts of Valour at the Abbotsford quilt guild meeting by a group of quilters from Kamloops.
I did finish making blocks for another star/strip Quilt of Valour.  Am pleased that this uses up lots of strips but there are still so many more to be used!
While I was stitching these blocks, I was inspired to start sorting my scrap strips of various widths along with other leftovers from backings and binding fabrics and decided to sort by colour.  This is a work in progress but I managed to pull out all the yellows and make blocks.

The blocks were made as sort of a leader/ender project while making star blocks.  I made seven yellow blocks and then moved onto blue.

The best part of last week was FINALLY finishing my Kinderbell summer table runner.  It had been completed right up to the point of adding the embellishments: ruching for the watermelon rind, embroidery and the ric-rac trim.  Well, happy to say, the runner is finished and ready for my window well in the stairway once my Canada Day decor items are put away.
And, I did make a couple of small projects for Canada Day.
Plus, I got my Sew-Sisters blocks done in June.
I really enjoyed the Fraser Valley quilt guild's show.  They put on a fabulous display of quilts and it was a fun morning.  They used Canada's 150th birthday celebration as their theme and they set up a lovely display as we entered the building.

If I can my bindings finished on quilts that I have recently quilted - then there will be more finishes to show!  Right now, back to working on sorting these scrappy strips!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice today

I am still really frustrated trying to figure out how to easily upload pictures to this blog.  I have no idea where they go when I upload so am now trying to upload from my phone and will see how this works.
This is a finish off my list that I had in an earlier blog post.  Number 11 - Latin Lady by Villa Rosa.

1. 150 women's blocks - am done making them
2. Solstice challenge (needs to be assembled, blocks are all made!)
3. Sew sisters blocks for Canada's birthday
4. Quilt of valour blocks using slabs
5. Brown 9 patches - DONE
6. Beach bingo blocks from Jolly Bars
7. Downton Abbey quilt Blueberry hill pattern (borders added, ready for quilting)
8. Red and Gray blocks
9. Ohio star blocks
10. King's ransom bright florals
11. Latin Lady using gray grunge
12. Busy Bee with bobby pin fabric
13. Melinda Jo with florals and white background
14. Limelight with gold strips/turquoise
15. Honey bouquet with fabric like paint by number
16. Offset, top from kit from Connecting Threads
17. Maple leaf quilt for QOV
18. Sewing themed blocks
19. Zoe's triangles
20. 16 patch blues/purples 

Honey Bouquet, another Villa Rosa pattern is finished.

We Care kit for the guild is finished but this wasn't on the above list.  I also finished my brown nine patches but the picture is elusive!
HA!  Found it.
And also have my Quilts of Valour Slab block quilt finished.

Am continuing to work with 2.5" strips and making strip sets and now am using a Missouri Star idea for changing my slabs into star blocks.
My quilting group that meets on Wednesday celebrated us with June birthdays and this was my fabulous fabric that I cam home with.
So, moving along slowly with getting some projects finished, but of course, also starting new ones! I have four of my finish it up projects done and have been working on getting backings ready for some of these quilts. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

End of May, time to be accountable for my time

 I managed to get red and cream borders onto my 9 patch blocks and this top is now in the pile awaiting quilting and binding.  Plus, we bought some bricks that are intended to create a circle and managed to play with them to build up my garden in the front of my house.  With new dirt added, am hoping to have a really happy hydrangea that won't dry out this summer if we get our usual hot temperatures.
I didn't get very far on my list that I posted in my last blog but have been sidetracked by a few 'new' projects.
In May, I picked up a We Care project that was all cut and ready for stitching at my guild meeting and it is now pieced, waiting for me to get the quilting and binding done.
And I did finish up the slab blocks that I was playing with for Quilts of Valour. Another top waiting for me to get busy and in a quilting mode.
I organized all my leftover strips into full length and bits and pieces and then started to play with making strip tubes and using my strip triangle ruler to cut out my blocks. The blocks are done, put together and add another quilt to the pile waiting patiently to be finished.
I attended the Boundary Bay quilt show earlier in the month and picked up these two blocks that were being offered by local quilt shops to celebrate Canada's birthday.
My Sew Sister's Sesquicentennial blocks for May are finished and waiting for me to get the rest done and the quilt top ready for quilting.
And, I worked on my Riley Blake challenge from the Modern guild.  I did not get my quilt finished in time for the deadline as I was waiting for some solids to arrive from the Fat Quarter shop... the rules said only Riley Blake solids could be added.  But since I missed the deadline, I cheated and added in a print that I found at Hamel's that I thought worked really well with the fabrics. I did learn that in the time it takes to make 20 churn dash blocks that finish at 6", I could have just as easily made 12" blocks in the same amount of time and had a full size quilt.  This quilt is the perfect size for donating to the NICU and make some preemie baby happy with the bright colours.

And my final project in the last couple of weeks was making more Solstice Mystery blocks.  I had this one made and it is huge!Not too sure what Pat Sloan is thinking but I know that I will need to cut up a lot of 2.½" squares to make some pieced rectangles that will help all these blocks fit together.
There are two more smaller blocks at the top of this picture that are going to finish at 12" but the other block is also fairly large and after it was made, decided that I didn't like the center... way too boring and blah.
So what about a turquoise in the center?

It looks pretty good and I like it but then I looked at the other blocks that I have made... and there are loads of them!  and it seems to me that I need a little more green so went searching and found this piece to try.
I need to unpick the center square - a great tv watching project and then add in my new piece.  I actually am thinking that I still prefer the turquoise?  Seems to give the block a lot more life and movement? The navy blue has a very slight fleck of turquoise in it so, after seeing these picture, might just change my  mind once again!

That is pretty much what is happening here.  No finishes to show but am determined to get the two smaller quilts quilted and bound in the next couple of days and spend some time tomorrow layering up two of my larger quilts and work on them.  My QOV cupboard is bare after handing over 10 quilts to a fellow, Al Cameron who visits with veterans and records their stories and at the end of his session, he hands each person a quilt.  If you check out Quilts of Valour on Facebook, you will see pictures and be able to find out more information about the  Veterans Voices of Canada.