Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final finish for 2013

...and it's done!  This is my finish for December's Lovely Year of Finishes.  It's from a quilt class that my daughter and I took at her LQS a while back.  Unfortunately, the shop has since closed...  My daughter completed her quilt already, and I can't have her teasing me that I'm old and slow!
The quilt is called "Crooked Furrows" - and even though I started off in class by cutting the triangles from right to left instead of left to right, it still ended up with crooked furrows, so it's all good!
I made the quilt a little larger than the class sample, but right now, I have no idea how big it is - I know that it's much larger than a typical lap quilt - it may even cover a twin-sized bed.  I'll have to get those measurements done before it goes to it's new home...
Here it is:
I'm excited that Melissa and Shanna have decided to continue the "program" to encourage me and a few other quilters to complete Un-Finished Objects (UFO's) - it's obvious that I need it!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A few odds and ends...

Well, the month of December and 2013 are coming to a close, but not without some things to share with you.  We had a wonderful time with our "kids" earlier in the month for our Christmas celebration, and also spent some time with other extra-special folks as well.  I even had enough time to make a few Christmas cards, which is what I'm going to share with you today.
Most years, I buy a new stamp and make all of our cards using that stamp - I may vary how I embellish them, or change the orientation of the cards, but this year, I outdid myself by making 5 different styles of card!  (I actually purchased 2 new stamps for my cards, but didn't even use them in the end!)  I found the inspiration for most of my cards on Pinterest - what a helpful resource it can be!  It can also be a great place to get lost in thought, only to find out later that you've spent 3 hours drooling over recipes, and craft projects that you'll never have enough time to try, and endless other interesting journeys that have NOTHING to do with what you're searching for.....
Thankfully, I already owned all of the different aspects that I needed for these cards - and having received an order from Verve stamps just days before I started working on the cards really helped too!  So, here's a shot of the 5 assorted card groups that I made:
Most of the cards with the red "wreath" on them went to family and friends in our church, because I didn't realize that the "jewels" that I used for embellishment wouldn't go through the mail very well - unless I added padding to the front of the card, and paid double for the postage - so, they ended up being hand-delivered.  
Now, if only I remember next year that I already have 2 almost-very-new stamps for my 2014 Christmas cards!

Monday, December 9, 2013

I DO have better things to do!

Here we are, well into the month of December, and, so far, the only work that I've done on my LYoF project is to undo all of the stitched-together blocks.  My daughter's been here the past 2 days, and has already completed her "Crooked Furrows" quilt, and she's confident that I'm sewing it together completely wrong!  I "unstitched" the sections that I'd finished, and we played around with alternate arrangements, and she has potentially straightened me out. SO, tomorrow I start from scratch again...  At least it will now be next to perfect!  (That's really funny - next to perfect...!)  But, I have been busy with a few other sewing projects - we had our kids home Sunday and today to celebrate Christmas.  All 4 (5?) of the "kids" have jobs that make getting together on Christmas day VERY difficult - and we have to share some of them with in-laws, so we set aside this past weekend to open our gifts.  Last year, we decided to try something new for our gift exchange - we drew names, and then had to make a gift for that person.  It was apparently such a hit, that everyone wanted to do it again.  I ended up with our son's name - which made my job a lot easier.  He's a HUGE Dr. Who fan, and, seeing as this is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who, it was pretty obvious that I had to chose something connected.  Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE Pinterest??? There were quite a few different Dr. Who projects, using a number of techniques.  I originally started knitting a scarf featuring the well-known Tardis (it's kind of like a time-machine), but when I had knitted about 13", I realized that it really wasn't going to be a good gift, so, back to Pinterest - and then I found it!  A paper-pieced Tardis pillow!  Never mind that I haven't done a lot of paper-piecing - I thought that I was up to the challenge - and, apparently, I nailed it!  (Even when I pointed out that I'd missed a small section, I was assured that it wasn't a problem).  So, here it is:
  It's probably already in a place of honour (right, Jon?)  And the best part? he doesn't want the scarf!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The final "Lovely Year of Finishes" project!

December is here!  I still think that I missed a month or two this past year, but seeing that every past calendar page has activities that I recall recorded on it, I assume that every day has come and gone as it was meant to pass.  But I digress...
December brings an end to an extremely helpful (and needed!) prod to my backside - it would be much too easy to moan and wring my hands, wondering how and when I'd ever have time to finish any and all of the projects I'd started with such vigor, only to lose steam, and then be overcome by excitement when a new quilt magazine arrived in my mailbox, or a "Pin"ned quilt bumped everything else on my sewing list to the bottom of the pile.  If it wasn't for Melissa and Shanna, my sewing table would be impossible to find, and I'd be avoiding my sewing room altogether.  Instead, in the past year, I've completed 8 projects, and made appreciable progress on at least 6 or 7 more.  (We won't talk about the new ones I started - and then abandoned just as quickly when more important deadlines loomed).
So, what have I chosen for my final project?  It was a toss-up - I've got at least 8 or 10 partly-finished projects, ranging from a tea cosy to a queen-sized quilt, but I'm going to ignore all of them right now, and instead work on a quilt that I started at a quilt class with my daughter.  I worked on my quilt industrially for the 2 hours of the class, and haven't touched it since.  My daughter has only the binding left to do on her finished quilt, AND she works full-time!  To make it a bit worse, I believe that the quilt shop where we took the class has since closed up.... SO, definitely time to finish this baby!  (I've also just signed up for a New Year's Day mystery quilt - and I didn't need another half-done quilt littering my sewing table!)
So, I present to you, my "Crooked Furrows" quilt:
I'm not 100% sure that this is the correct layout - the books that were supposed to come with the class never arrived, and I'm working from a black and white printout, so, before I go too much farther, I'll have to verify that I'm going in the right direction.  I'll let you know soon if I've messed up the pattern!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November's project - FINISHED!

So here we are, November 27th, and my project is finished! 2 days ago already!  It just took me 2 days to get a picture of this gorgeous tote bag.  I really didn't have a recipient for it when I started the project, but that has changed.  Our son is bringing his girlfriend home to "meet the parents" - and she's coming here for the first time when we're planning to open our Christmas gifts.  That's going to work out really well, except that we started a tradition last year - we pulled the name of a family member, and have to make that person a gift.  I have a feeling that it may be a wee bit uncomfortable to see all of us opening our lovely hand-made gifts, and not have one to open yourself, so she'll be getting this tote.  She's currently attending university, so having a largish tote bag will hopefully come in handy.  I hope so anyway!
Now for the proof: 
I made the bottom boxy, so it will hopefully be a little more practical.  I hope she likes grey and yellow!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This isn't my November project!

I know, I know, I have a lot of projects to have finished by the end of the year, and this isn't one of them, but...  It's been a UFO for quite a while, and I finally decided that I needed to finish it before Christmas.  It's the Miranda Day Bag from Lazy Girl Designs.  I think that having a set of designer handles since 2009 or so was part of the push to finally get it done.   I pulled the fabrics for it in May or June, and got it all cut up a week or so later - and, then it sat - and sat...
Yesterday, I thought that maybe I should finally complete it - and I did!  I'm a little surprised at the size of it - I'm really "into" smaller purses these days - having tendonitis in my shoulder, partly from carrying a big purse or bag on that shoulder, didn't help!  Putting pre-formed handles on it takes away the option of carrying the purse over my shoulder - but it's almost big enough to carry my sewing machine in!  Well, almost....  Take a look for yourself!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some finishes...

I'm such a tease!  I've shown a few projects here, but forget to show you the finished item.  Well, this is your lucky day - I have 3 finishes to show you!  First off is the wedding quilt for my nephew and his lovely bride.  I chose to use the "Falling Charms" pattern from the Missouri Quilt Company, using 4 "Boho" fabric charm pacs, and Kona  "Snow" for the blocks - and here's the finished quilt: I didn't have my quilt demo partner to hold up the quilt, and the ground outside was far to wet to use the yard, so I draped the quilt over my couch.  I tried to get most of it into the picture, so it'skind of tucked to make it fit.  There's also a picture of the quilting - my quilting and blogging friend Amy used this design recently, and I thought that it would really suit the straight lines of this quilt, so that's how the center of the quilt was quilted.
Next up is my "boy" Jelly Roll Jam quilt, which I've donated to our Christian School fundraising dinner and auction.  I used a "Good Morning" jelly roll, and separated the strips into "boy" and "girl" colours, and got the tops done a few weeks ago - now this one is done.  I used a great bright turquoise polka-dotted flannel on the back - here's what it looks like:
I just did Stitch-in-the-Ditch quilting around every 3 strips of fabric, and then quilted a star in every block (you should be able to see the quilting on the back of the quilt).
And finally, our quilt guild committed to make placemats for our local Victorian Order of Nurses to hand out at Christmas to every client that receives Meals-On-Wheels.  We could do whatever we wanted; it was suggested that we make the back something more generic, so they could be used year-round.  I had just bought the newest McCall's Quick Quilts magazine, and loved the placemat pattern enclosed.  I pulled out my Christmas-sy fabrics, found a great apple orchard border-print for the back.  My placemats are ready to go!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cutting it close!

Yikes!  How can it be Nov. 7th already?  I just found out that I have 10 hours left to post my Nov. project for my Lovely Year of Finishes project!  Which is okay in some ways...
I have several little half-completed projects - some will be Christmas gifts, some are things that just NEED to be finished....  I'm not really sure which category my Nov. project falls into - this may end up being a gift, just in case I need something for an unexpected guest, or I may keep it for myself - we'll see.
I started this tote bag a few months ago, hoping to have it finished for our annual school bazaar, but life got too crazy, and it was put aside.  Now seems like a good time to finish it - especially because I need a quick project for November.  We usually open our Christmas gifts earlier in December - our kids are spread out in different directions, and they all have jobs that require 7-day-a-week shifts, so picking a date earlier in the month almost guarantees that we'll all be able to be here before the hectic-ness of December really sets in.  This year, the kids informed us that they'll all be home on Dec. 9th and 10th, so we'll open our gifts then.  We also chose the name of a family member to make a gift for this year like we did last year, and I'm VERY quickly running out of time to work on that gift (and I have one of the males in the family, so this tote bag will definitely NOT do!).  So, here's the picture of my bag-to-be:
The bright piece on the right is the body of the bag; the lining is in the center, and the interfacing is on the left side.  I have the squares pieced for the handles somewhere, but I can't locate them at the moment - and I'll probably put some batting in them to make it easier to carry full of groceries or other items.  The bag will have square bottom corners, so it won't be quite as long as it looks.  
I'll also have a pic of the completed wedding quilt up by Sunday - I'm still working on the quilting, and then the binding will have to be attached, but the end is in sight!  Now I just need to find wedding gift wrap somewhere...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October's Finish

Well, October has come to an end - and I'm not sure if I'm more thankful that it's over, or frightened... because Christmas is getting closer every day, and I'm VERY aware of everything that I have left to do before then!
But, for now, I'll stick to October and my Lovely Year of Finishes project -the quilt that will be my nephew's wedding gift.  The wedding is on Nov. 9th, and the plan was to have the quilt completely finished before we leave for the wedding (no stitching in the car will be allowed!).  The quilt is somewhere between a queen and king size - and I've never quilted one this large, but the quilting is very simple and graphic - which suits the quilt design very well.
So, here's the proof:
 The border and binding are one of the prints in the quilt, one of the "tamer" prints, and it's green, which is one of the favourite colours of the bride's, so it should be a win-win situation!
Thanks for checking in!  Pop back in a few days to check out November's project....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An update....

So, I'm sure that you're all wondering how my wedding gift quilt is coming along, right?  Thanks for asking!  It's actually going quite well!  I made all 182 blocks; then I had to make up some kind of a layout for the blocks - and that went reasonably well (just don't ask how my knees tolerated kneeling on the floor for an hour or so.....).  Then I started joining blocks into rows.  The trick is to press all the odd rows in one direction, and the even rows in the opposite direction - they fit together SO much better that way!
Now I have the first 5 rows sewn together, and the rest sorted into odd and even rows.  Do you want to see what I've finished?  I thought you might!  Here we go with rows 1-5:
There are 14 blocks in every row, and I don't have a space large enough to accommodate the whole strip, so you get to see about 50% of the rows.  I'll do a better job when I post the whole quilt, okay? Thanks!

Of course, I'm still reading other people's blogs and I'm getting excited about all the other projects that people are working on.  I usually jump on the bandwagon of the latest designs - I buy the patterns, and sometimes even all the fabric for it, and then I have to put it aside, because the project(s) that I'm working on are usually more important.  That means that I get around to making the latest designs - it's just 6, or 8, or 12 months after everyone else has done them, and who wants to see them then?  So, when everyone in blog-land started doing the Jelly Roll Jam quilts from the Fat Quarter Shop, I decided that I needed to make it too - now!  I had a Good Morning jelly roll tucked away for a rainy day, so I grabbed it and followed the directions (they're super easy!), and I ended up with not 1, but 2 cute baby quilts!  There are no babies anywhere on the horizon in my part of the world, but our local Christian school is having their annual Goods and Services Auction in a few weeks, so I've decided 
to donate one (or maybe both) of the quilts.  I found a great piece of bright flannel in my stash - that will be the backing - so, I just need about 5 more hours to call these cuties DONE!  And, because I'm such a sweetie, I'm going to show them to you now, instead of making you wait until they're both done!   The first one is a little more masculine, and the second one is more "girly".  I'll share the pics of the completed quilts before the auction.  And now, I'm heading back to my wedding quilt!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October's challenge

Look at this - two posts in two days!  I'm cutting it really close with this post, and the same may be true for this project.  My oldest nephew on my side of the family is getting married in November, and I promised to make a quilt.  I've had the fabrics for a while - thankfully, the quilt top is made up of charm packs and a jelly roll - but time is disappearing quickly, and I have to get this project done ASAP!
I loved the look of the Boho fabrics - young and modern, not too girly or too masculine, so it seemed like the perfect line to use.  Both the bride and groom are kind of "artsy", so I thought these fabrics would appeal to both of them.  Unfortunately, the prints aren't really square to the grain of the fabric, and some of the charm squares look quite tilted.  But, I'm going to do my best to disguise the wonkiness - which could be interesting with the square look of the pattern.  I'm using Jenny Doan's (Missouri Quilt Co.) "Falling Charms" tutorial.  I've got all of the charms sewn to the jelly roll strips; some of them have the second strip sewn on too, and I'm starting to assemble rows.  Hopefully, this quilt will come together quickly!
Now, I'm sure that you want to see what I'm talking about, so here's a picture:
The picture is actually sideways, and I'm not sure how to rotate it.  There are 2 short rows of 4 squares each;  there are also single squares at the end of each row to show the progression, and there's also a single, random block.  I'm hoping to share my progress as I go along.....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What I've been doing when I should have been blogging......

I know, I know - you check in here every day, expecting magnificent pieces of quilted gorgeousness - and there's nothing new...  I'm sorry.  I've been really busy - I just don't have anything to show for it.  Dad's been quite sick, and my 2 sisters and I have been spending a lot of time looking after him; I've also been gallivanting around the countryside, judging baking and canning at a few of the local fairs.  We also have a wedding in the family next month, so there's a wedding quilt in the works, but there's just not much to show for it yet.
Remember that I mentioned local fairs?  I did have a great time creating something for one of the fairs!  My mom was great at saving the "offcuts" of fabrics, left over after making her dresses, or her grandkid's pjs, or sheets for the crisis pregnancy center.  She'd been saving fabric for a LONG time - so, when I read that one of the categories for one of those local fairs required creating a project using 60's polyester fabrics, I just went to mom's overflowing fabric scrap storage.  I found a bag FULL of scraps, and bits of yardage - and I dreamed up this little project:  
  It's a throw rug, knitted with 1" strips of polyester fabric, AKA crimpolene!  There are enough strips left over to make at least 2 more (I told you that she saved her fabric scraps!  It got me a 1st place ribbon though, so it was definitely worth the endless hours I put into it!)
I also made a few cards - this one for a friend at church....
  And finally, my oldest nephew is getting married in a month, and there was a bridal shower this afternoon.  The bride-to-be loves owls, so I had to make these potholders for her.  She loved them! 
  I will put up my October "Lovely Year of Finishes" project post sometime tomorrow.  Two posts in two days - yahoo!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Is it really September already?

What happened to August?  I blinked for just a minute, and poof! another month has flown by.  That means that I have only 3 months left for the Lovely Year of Finishes challenge - and there are WAY more than 3 projects left!
I completely lost track of time last month - I made a few more Dresden plates, but that's as far as that project went..... so, guess what I'm choosing for this month?  Nope, not my Dresdens!  This is going to be a really busy month, and I have too much on my plate already.  So, I'm going to work at quilting the New Year's day mystery quilt that I did back in January.  I posted a pic of the completed top back on Jan. 7th, but I'll save you all the trouble of scrolling back to see it - here it is again:
I layered it a few months ago, and started to quilt it a few days ago, but it shifted horribly, and the few rows that I completed have all sorts of pleats and ripples in it, so I'll have to start by removing the quilting, and then re-do the process.  
We had a demo at our last guild meeting - Sharon Schamber has an interesting way of assembling a quilt sandwich, and I'm hoping to give that process a try.  You'll have to check back to see how it worked for me...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Challenge Quilt

About 2 months ago, one of my favourite quilt shops sent out an e-mail alerting it's readers to a quilt challenge.  We could get a free FQ at the Quilt Shoppe, pair it with another pre-chosen fabric, and then make a lap-sized quilts that would be donated to breast cancer patients.  There would be an opportunity to vote on the completed quilts, and also prizes for the winning quilts - and face it - who doesn't like prizes?  My 2 fabrics were shared in my July 6th post.  The darker fabric is the challenge fabric, and the other was a Basic Grey fabric.  I chose to do a variation on a Swoon quilt after seeing one on Pinterest.
I ran into a few issues - first of all, my father had recently given up his driving licence, so I'm now #1 or #2 "chauffeur" - when he "needs" to go to the library, or the bank, or wherever, I get a phone call, and everything gets dropped while I tend to dad's needs.  Then, I was diagnosed with tendonitis in my shoulder and arm, making it very difficult to work on a growing quilt.....  But, I persevered, and, one week late, got my quilt delivered.  I was somewhat hampered by the tendonitis, and couldn't do the Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) that I was planning, so it ended up being Stitch-in-the-Ditch, but I'm hoping that the eventual recipient won't mind.
And now for the unveiling:

I placed small pinwheels in each of the 4 border strips - they were made using the 4 pink fabrics that I used for the Swoon blocks; I also used leftover strips of the Swoon fabrics for a scrappy binding.  I used Warm and White cotton for the binding - I love the slightly vintage-y wrinkled look that it gives the quilt.  I dropped off the quilt yesterday - with the line "Done is better than perfect"....!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's August...

....and I have another project to finish!  I'm so glad that Melissa and Shanna came up with the idea for "A Lovely Year of Finishes" - I may not have completed any of the quilts that have been featured here if it wasn't for them!  And, seeing as it's August, I need to commit to finishing something else - and I have at least 5 quilt-y projects that just need a boost to finally finish them.
So, without further ado, I give you:
My scrappy Dresdens!  I am pretty sure that I have at least 12 done - now I have to decide if that is going to make a large enough quilt, or do I need to make a few more plates...  You are going to have to check in here
in a few weeks to find out for sure.  I also need to decide on cornerstone block fabric, and how many (and how large) the borders will be.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July's finished project

Today is July 31st, so that means that I'm supposed to post a picture of my latest finish for the Lovely Year of Finishes - and look at this - I finished my quilt 3 days ago already!  Of course, I just finally took a picture of the quilt....!
This quilt will be going to a person or family that was impacted by the recent flooding in the province of Alberta.  My cousin lives in one of the cities that was inundated with flood waters (and worse), so that brings this disaster a little closer to home.  It's too much of a chance that this quilt will actually end up at David and Aileen's home, but knowing that they'll be getting one of the many being made by quilters across Canada brings some comfort to me and probably David's Ontario family too.
I think that I managed to get all of the quilt into this picture!  It will be going to a quilt shop an hour's drive away - that's the gathering spot for completed quilts - and the quilts will be going directly to Alberta with a TV news person that's here for a few weeks.  He'll be taking all of the donations with him when he heads back home - and I hope that he has a truck full!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A pretty card!

I'm not really sure what's happening to my card-making "desire" - maybe the love of quilts, and the effort and time needed to make one have taken over.  I still love making cards, but I just don't seem to make any anymore - unless I urgently need one for a specific occasion.
Today's card came out of such a situation.  I need a card, to write a note to a friend, and I didn't have anything appropriate in my box of finished cards.  I wasn't sure what I wanted the card to look like either, so I browsed through some of the designs that I have pinned on Pinterest, and this is the result:
I like that is doesn't have (or need) a salutation on it - I could still add one if I wanted, but it's also just fine the way it is.  The colour scheme was based on the colour of the flowers that I had in the cupboard, and the cardstock and floss for the button are nearly perfect colour matches - how often does that happen?  Now, I just have to write the note inside - and it's going to be a difficult one to write - but it needs to be done...
Hopefully my next post will have a happier result!  Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July half-point check-in

Here we are, 2/3 of the way through July already!  I can't get over how quickly the time is rushing by this year...  The worst part is, I have no idea what's happening to my time - I can't see that the to-do list is getting any shorter!
But, I HAVE accomplished some of my July "Lovely Year of Finishes" project - my last post showed a few blocks and a strip - and today, all of the blocks have been assembled and laid out, and I'm starting to join blocks into rows.  This quilt will be heading to Alberta, for a family that's been devastated by the floods they had there earlier this summer.  As well, I'm hoping to quilt at least one more top that's been gathering dust in my sewing room; I might even send a few tops for assembling there.
So, without further ado - here's my progress so far:
The quilt will be 7 blocks wide, and 8 blocks long (I can't remember the measurements) - I'll have the actual size in the post for the completed quilt.
I also cut the blocks for my Breast Cancer challenge quilt for the Quilt Shoppe in Sarnia - can't show any pics of that yet - and the completed quilt needs to be handed in by Aug. 15th.
I just might have a few pics of sweaters that I'm knitting too - a dear friend is expecting her first great-grandchild in Aug., gender unknown yet, so I'm working on a little girl sweater, and one for a little boy too, just in case. There are also quite a few jars of newly-made jam in the pantry cupboard and more in the freezer - so, I guess I know why there isn't more progress on my quilts to show!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July's "A Lovely Year of Finishes" project and a challenge!

Okay, so I'm later posting this than I thought I'd be, but better late than never, right?
For July's project, I'm doing a quilt that will be donated to a resident / family that's been affected by the flooding in Calgary, Alberta.  My cousin David and his family were among the ones that lost everything, and while I know that a quilt won't "fix" anything, I'm hoping that a quilt might help them to know that people all over Canada care about their circumstances.  I found a really great looking quilt pattern from designer Kim Diehl called "Buttercream Twist" (http://quiltpatterns.s3.amazonaws.com/14/buttercream_twist_free_quilt_pattern_by_kim_diehl.jpg) and pulled some fabrics from my stash to make it.  It's going to be good and scrappy, and I'm sure that there's bound to be a scrappy-quilt lover somewhere in Calgary!  These are two of the fabrics - the rust one is the starting strip, and the gold shows the finished block.
This month I'll be doing the entire quilt - including the quilting and binding, so that it will be ready to give out to someone in need.  I'm hoping to finish quilting at least one more as well.  I also saw a comment on a friend's blog that the My Sewing Room quilt shop is also accepting tops, batting, backing, etc., so I'll send them a few tops too.
In June, I signed up to do a challenge quilt through the Quilt Shoppe in Sarnia - it will be donated to a breast cancer group.  We were all given a fat quarter, and could buy another fabric (on sale!) from a few selected by the shop - and after that, it's up to each quilter what to do with it.  It's supposed to be a lap quilt size, and the completed quilt needs to be handed in by Aug. 15th for judging.  All that I can do right now is show you my two starting fabrics.  
The bottom fabric is the fat quarter that everyone received, and the top one is the fabric I bought.  I have a design in mind, but I really need to get started!  But first, I've got to make some raspberry jam - all the rain that we've had recently has really brought on our berries!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June "Lovely Year of Finishes" project

I wasn't sure that I was actually going to get my quilt top done in time for this month, but I managed to pull it off!  We'll just ignore the fact that I (almost) had to pull an all-nighter to do so....!
I really loved the fabrics in the Simple Marks - Summer charm packs that I used, but choosing a fabric for the border was a little challenging.  My LQS had ordered the turquoise solid that was part of the line, but when I stopped in to buy the fabric, the turquoise hadn't come in yet (probably about 6 weeks after the rest of the line came), so I ended up going in a very different direction, and chose the orange solid.  Part of that choice stems from the fact that I have a really cute backing (and binding) fabric for the quilt, and it has a few greens, and some red and yellow and orange....  I thought that the red as a border would be too strong for the rest of the quilt.  I think that the orange is really stunning! and I may use it to bind the quilt too, instead of using the backing fabric for the binding.
So, here's the completed quilt top:
(The pattern is a freebie - you can find it here: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2012/03/on-go-baby-boy-quilt.html).
I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with this quilt - there are no babies or little ones in our lives, but I loved the pattern so much, and just had to make it.  Since then, we've received requests from a number of different groups to make and donate quilts to folks that have lost everything in the on-going floods in Alberta.  I'm thinking that this quilt would make a child forget about some of the tough things they've had to deal with recently, and give them some joy instead, so I'll be quilting this quilt, and a few more for my July project, and have them ready to send out west in September.
I'm hoping to post my July challenge tomorrow or Tuesday.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Squeaking in just under the wire!

I just realized that today is the last day to post my June Project for the "Lovely Year of Finishes" challenge, and I have to post my project NOW!  I took a pic of it the other day, just haven't had a chance to post it yet - so, I'm going to do that now.
This is going to be a large-ish baby quilt, and there's no recipient for it just yet, but I've been wanting to do it for a long time, and I finally found the right fabrics for it.
The quilt is called "On the Go" (a freebie from Moda Bakeshop), and the fabric is "Simple Marks - Summer" by Malka Dubrawsky.  The pattern is composed of two sizes of arrows, and I have most of them assembled.  The smaller ones have sashing attached.  Now comes the task of figuring out a layout - boy, do I need a design wall!  In it's absence, I'll use the living room floor (My knees are complaining already...).  It's a good thing that I have the balance of the month to get this done - I have an urgent knitting project to finish by the 16th, so that will be occupying most of my time for the next week and a half.  I may even slip in a card or two as well.  
Keep an eye on this space to check out my progress!  And, as always, thanks for stopping in, and especially for leaving comments!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally - a card!

Yes, I know - I haven't posted a card in quite a while, mostly because it's been a while since I've had time to make one!  But, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and when I really need a card, I can scrounge together 15 or 20 minutes to make one.  I have a great collection of cards for all occasions pinned to a board on Pinterest, so it's usually pretty easy to pull a card together.  The funny thing is, it takes just about as long to make 4 cards as it does to make one, so why don't I just make four while I'm at it?  Usually,  it's because I'm making cards waayyy past midnight, and the thoughts of making even two just seems to make bedtime seem ever-so-far away....
So, a friend and her husband just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and I wanted to make a special card for them.  I'd seen this layout used on a card on someone's blog and I thought it would be perfect.  It really doesn't show up on the picture, but the word "Congratulations" is embossed in silver.
I hope they had a special day together!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May's Finish

I've finally got a few minutes to post my finish for May for the Year of Lovely Finishes - I know that I'm too late by a day or two.  The last week has just been too crazy - I haven't had time to read or comment on anyone's blog posts, or check out what's going on in the Facebook world....  The worst part is, that I got my May project finished on the 30th, but had no way to post it then - c'est la vie...
I can show you anyway - I'm really pleased with the way this quilt turned out!  I found the fabric strips that were missing, so I was able to get the two borders on.  I found the perfect fabric for the backing, and there was just enough fabric on the bolt to make the backing, and it was on sale!  Now I know that I said I'd find a tall person to hold the quilt up so that I could get a good picture of it, but that tall person never got here, so I ended up draping the quilt on my living room couch - and I managed to get most of it into the pic - and here's the proof:
I'm glad to be putting this quilt on the completed pile - so now there are only 8 or 9 uncompleted quilts left... that should keep me going 'til the end of the year!  But, I have a little girl's sweater to knit first, so it's a good thing that June's project is well on it's way to being finished already!  Check back here in a day or two for a card or two (gasp! a card!  Yes, I still make a few!), and then I'll post my June "Finishes" project.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mid-month check-in for May

How can it already be May 21st?  I must be getting old, 'cause time really seems to be flying by!  I sure don't seem to be getting any more work done.
Of course, the following picture is proof that I am getting something done - at the beginning of the month, I had a pattern and a pile of blocks, and now I have most of the quilt top assembled.  I would maybe even have a finished top, if only I could find the fabric for the inner border of this quilt...
At any rate, I have the proof - I tried 5 times to get a pic of the whole top, but suffice it to say that one short person cannot take a picture of the entire top of a 60" square quilt when it's laying on the floor - there were no tall people available to hold the top up either, so you'll have to use your imagination to envision the whole thing - and I'll "book" a tall adult now, to make sure that the finished picture is more complete.  So, you'll only get to see part of it now, but the 16 blocks are all there!  Here's the picture:
 And now I'm off to bed - tomorrow's looking like a very long day, and I need my beauty sleep!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

...and it's May..... (my project for the month)

I'm sure that you're hearing the refrain that's common around around here - "It's May already?  Where has the time gone?"  I'm one of the folks saying it, because I plan my sewing and quilting (and knitting and crocheting!) projects for the week, only to find out that even though it feels like only a day or two has passed, actually the whole week has flown by!  Some weeks I seem to get something done, but other weeks have come and gone with little or no evidence of anything important happening.  Part of it is because my 84 year-old widowed father has recently given up his driving license, and that means that I can add chauffeuring duties to my list of activities.  Throw in a funeral and there goes another week...
At any rate, I do have a project for my "Lovely Year of Finishes" to share with you: it's my Reveille quilt top from the Schnibbles people.  It's fairly quick and easy, especially if you read the directions carefully! - but I got most of the blocks assembled, and then ran into a fairly big problem - the blocks have to be trimmed down to 17", and I had no way to do that.  I think that I finally have a way around that, so I'm good to go with that project.  I bought a layer cake of Vintage Modern from Bonnie and Camille for this quilt, and love every fabric in the line!

Once I get the blocks trimmed, I can assemble the top, add the inner border, and then the outer one - simple, right?  I sure hope so, because all sorts of other things are starting to pop up, like, the garden and yard work.  Our church craft group will be taking a few months off soon, as will our quilt guild, so I may gain an hour here or there, but then canning and pickling and freezing produce will take their place.  All too soon, I'm sure we'll be exclaiming, "September?  Where did the summer go?"  It happens - just wait and see!
I'm off to post my pic on Melissa's site!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Slipping in a card!

I'll be posting my next quilting project for the "Lovely Year of Finishes" tomorrow, but I did want to post this card before I get into all that quilting stuff.
I recently got an order from Stampin' Up - every year they have an event that they call Sale-a-bration, and you can get free stuff if your order exceeds a certain amount.  Mine did, and I got a package of Designer Paper - and when I get new "stuff", I just have to try it out!
I've already posted 1 card that I made with that paper, but it's kind of bold and "in your face", which really isn't my thing.  I saw this card idea on Pinterest (where else?  LOL), and loved how soft and gentle it looked; I didn't get it exactly like the original, but that makes it MY card - and here it is:
I didn't have the same colour for the ribbon, but it's close enough for me.  I have a few friends that are facing difficult days, and I needed a card to say Hello, and to let them know that they are in my thoughts and prayers.  Now that I've posted the card, I can send it out - I hope that my friends are encouraged by it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

...and it's finished!

It's time to show you my completed "Charming Chevrons" quilt!  I managed to get the binding on, and stitched it down by hand.  I originally planned to machine-stitch the binding down, but it started stretching a bit, so I undid the few inches that I'd put in, and threaded a needle (cue the "Do-Re-Me" song from The Sound of Music - So, a needle pulling thread...) .  It took me 3 days, but the stitching is done!  I love this quilt!  Now I have to find someone that loves it as much as I do - I'll consider all offers!
And here's the proof:
The original quilt was made by Christa Watson (http://christaquiltsblog.com/2012/10/18/diy-quilts-3-1-charming-chevrons-supply-list/), using Kona Cottons, and it looks great, but I love this one even more (sorry Christa!).
Now I've got a mystery quilt to finish - the final clue was released a few hours ago.  After I get the top pieced, I'll post a picture;  I'll be sharing my May "Lovely Year of Finishes" project around May 1st.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


So, we're already at the half-point of the month (how can that be?) - and I'm going to update you with my April "Lovely Year of Finishes" project.  I'm on the home stretch - the quilting is finished, and the binding is completely sewn on.  Now I have to sew the binding down on the back- I started to do that with the machine, but there were issues, so I'm working on it by hand.  That's not the most fun - I have arthritis in my hands, and handwork like hand-stitching and crocheting irritate my hands, so we'll see how this is going to work out...
Anyway, here's the picture to show my progress:
Some of the binding is stitched down in this pic - and I really like how well I managed to miter my corners!  You can see the quilting on the back side - I basically echoed the chevrons, varying the width of the spaces between the quilted lines.  I used a great variegated thread on the quilt top - and it looks like most of the colours in the quilt top also show up in the thread, so that's a bonus!  Now I'm off to link up my pic on Melissa's website...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cards, cards, and more cards!

After making only 4 cards in the past 2 months, I went on a card-making spree last night and this afternoon!  I had seen a number of great cards on various blogs and photo-sharing sites, and just got an order of stamps and cardstock and punches, so I did what every sensible card-maker would do - I made cards!  Lots of cards!  I'll probably share a few every other day or so - don't want you to get cross-eyed from trying to take them all in at once!
The first one is probably my favourite!  I love the colours, and the fact that each of the panel strips has a different embossed pattern.   I found out this afternoon that the Just Us Girls blog (http://justusgirlschallenge.blogspot.ca/) has a challenge to create a project using the "ombre" technique - which is exactly what this card shows!

 I have a few friends and family members celebrating birthdays this week, so this one will be going into the mail in the morning.
The second card uses some of my newest designer paper - it goes with a variety of Stampin' Up colours, including this one (Summer Starfruit) - it makes a really bright card, which is really great for one of those "just because..." occasions.  I also just received my "Mixed Bunch" stamps and punch, so I put them to work as well.

I've had enough fun for the day, so I'm heading off to bed - I'll probably dream up some new card ideas!  I'm hoping to have a quilt project close to completion, and I just might share a sneak peak of it soon!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A card and a quilt project...

It's been quite a while since I've posted a card - mostly because it's been a long time since I've made a card.  I still really enjoy card-making, but I seem to go in spurts of card-making lately, and it just hasn't happened in a while.
So, to break that "famine" - I made a few cards this morning, pretty much exactly the same, except that the colours that I used changed from one card to the other.  I found this idea on Pinterest (honestly, where did I find inspiration before Pinterest?), and decided to give it a try.  It's a very easy, basic card, but I hope it has a big impact on someone's day.  I have 3 friends that are going through assorted medical crises; I found that getting a card in the mail made my day when I was having health issues - so, hopefully this card will help each of them get through another day.
The card
itself is really easy, just (8) 1 1/4" circles arranged in rows, with a coordinating butterfly at the end of the 3rd row.  A sentiment at the bottom finished it off (although I had some issues with this particular stamp - I had to restamp the sentiment at least twice to get the whole thing).   This card uses up a bit of the Groovy Guava paper that I still have - and even a tiny bit of GG cardstock to make the butterfly!  The other cards use Soft Sky and Old Olive - yes, I still have some Soft Sky paper and cardstock too!
...and now for the quilt...  I'm still trying to finish at least one "pre-started" project per month, and link it up to  "A Lovely Year of Finishes".  This month, I'm going to try to finish this whole quilt - piecing, quilting and binding:  
The quilt pattern is "Charming Chevrons" from the "Christa Quilts" website.  I bookmarked it a few months ago, when Christa offered it as a quilt-along, but, apart from cutting the triangles and stitching a few blocks for it then, I really haven't had time to work on it - until now.  Christa's quilt was made using Kona Cotton's Classic palette, but I chose to use "Simply Color" by V. and Co.  I LOVE the bright colours and the patterns are interesting - but it's a bit more difficult to put together than I was thinking it would be - I'm trying to not use the same colour in any row, but trying to keep the same pattern repeats to just one or two is a lot more challenging!  So, in case you see me soon, and there's a large-ish bare spot on my head, you'll know what I've been working on!  I'm off now to link up to the "Lovely Finishes" site - and then the sewing machine and I will hopefully have a very productive afternoon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cutting it close!

I finally have managed to complete my March challenge for the "Lovely Year of Finishes"!  I had started a second quilt from the last MysteryQuilts4Military - code named Glint.  I planned to finish my red, white and green version of it for the Feb. finish, but mis-sewed a number of the blocks, and just ran out of time.  I hoped to finish it this month, but I found that working on my second Glint quilt was enough of a challenge.  I finally got the top finished last night, too late to take a pic (my husband assists me with the pics, and he was much too tired to stand up, leave alone hold up a quilt for photography!)
Sew, here's the teal and cream version of Glint:
In the written pattern, the suggestion was for a border made up of HSTs - and I planned to finish it that way, with a few strips of the 3 different fabrics used for the quilt.  Unfortunately I cut all of the strips at 2 1/2", and then cut the squares for the HSTs at 2 1/2" as well - and there's no way that they'll sew up to 2  1/2" squares.....and I had no cream fabric left to cut up.  SO, the border is just fabric strips, in various lengths for some interest.  It's nice to have this top done finally!  I'm starting to amass quite the pile of tops too - so, one of these months, I'll dedicate my month to quilting and binding a few quilts - but not April - I have 2 new quilts started, and one of them will be my April project - you'll have to check here to see which one I choose!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I promised you some cards...

I have to quickly share a few cards - tomorrow is National Quilting Day, and there are bound to be some quilt-themed projects occupying this space, so I thought I'd better get the cards posted while I have the chance.
I went to a card-making workshop with a friend a few weeks ago - I definitely needed a card-making "kick in the butt", and the workshop helped me in that department!  We made 4 cards, but one has already been sent out, and another one is for someone special (and they read my blog), so it has to stay under wraps for the time being.
The first one used a stamp set that is available for a very limited time - and I chose this image because I think it resembles a Tardis, and a few of my kids are Dr. Who fans.  The second card is a little more traditional - and it's fairly simple, but at the same time has a lot going on.  The card front is embossed; then 2 panels are punched with border punches.  The small ovals are added on top of the larger ones, and then the stamped butterflies are cut out.  The butterflies are stamped in one of the 3 colours already used on the card; then 3 smaller flowers are punched out and added to a butterfly of a different colour.  I didn't put a sentiment on it - that makes it easier to use for a variety of occasions.

Now that the cards are posted, I can get ready for my NQD project - check back later to see what I made!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another Mystery Quilt...

I'm still committed to finishing a few quilting projects this year - I'm just not doing so terribly well yet.  I totally missed the deadline for posting my January challenge; I posted my Feb. challenge pic, and even posted my mid-way progress pics here on my blog (as directed)...  Unfortunately, I totally mixed up 2 VERY similar blocks, and ended up sewing 12 blocks with the wrong center blocks.  Needless to say, I didn't get my Feb. project finished!  Now it's March - and I'm once again very optimistic that I'll get a project done, and it should be fairly easy - it's a repeat of the mystery quilt that I worked so hard on for last month.  At least, this time I won't make the same block mistake!  I am planning to finish February's project too - I've taken all of the wrong squares out of the blocks, and some of them are already re-sewn.
So, here's a pic of the March blocks in progress:

And, I promise to post some card pics soon!  I haven't made very many in the past 2 months (I'm so thankful for my stash of already-made cards!) - but, I have lots of inspiration pics, and it shouldn't take me long to pull a few together!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There's progress!

As part of the Lovely Year of Finishes, I'm posting pics of the progress I'm making toward getting this MysteryQuilts4Military quilt finished (it's about time - the next mystery will be starting next month!  So, I've finally finished step #5 - only 2 to go - yippee!  So, here's the proof: 

I'm hoping to finish step #6 before Friday night, so keep an eye on this space!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February "Lovely Year of Finishes" project

A few weeks ago, I signed up with Melissa over at http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/ - she and another quilting friend decided to challenge quilters to finish one quilting project per month in 2013.  The idea sounded like a great one, so I put my name down, and then promptly missed the first deadline!  I really didn't want to do that again, so I'm posting this right now.
I belong to a group of ladies that create quilts for injured military members; one of the members designs quilts, and then releases the steps for making the quilt one step at a time, usually every week.  The last quilt was just before Christmas, and I was SO crazy busy with all sorts of things, so I didn't get much more than the first 2 steps done.
I FINALLY had some time today to finish step# 4, and have decided to finish this quilt in February.  Now that I've told you all about it, I need you to keep after me to finish it this month!  My quilt will be going to Quilts of Valor, a Canadian organization that provides comfort quilts for wounded Canadian servicemen and women.  I chose to use red, white and green for my fabric colours (the Mystery Quilts 4 Military is an American organization, so their quilts tend to be designed for red, white and blue quilts).  The picture is of the Step #4 blocks - they're all done, and I've started block #5 (of 7), so I should be able to get the quilt done.....hope that isn't wishful thinking!   The next quilt mystery will be going up next month sometime.
Anyway, here is step #4 completed:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

We have a visitor!

Some of you may know that hubby and I have long been "sheep people" - at one time we farmed and had 150+ ewes (before lambing!), and were hoping to expand.  Unfortunately, that didn't work out - so, we sold the flock, sold the farm and moved into town.
Shortly after that, one of our former neighbours offered hubby a job, working on his beef and chicken farm - a job that he's had ever since.  Two or three years ago, hubby asked his boss if he'd be able to rent a bit of land from him, so that we could have a few sheep again - and the answer was "yes".  We purchased 3 ewes, and the 2 lambs that came with them, and settled them into their new home.  Last year, we waited with bated breath, but even though it appeared that a lamb or two might make an appearance, nothing happened.  Then,  on Saturday, hubby came home, beaming, and showed me the camera-phone video of our first set of twins!  All was well....   Then, yesterday morning, the boss phoned to say that we had another set of twins - yippee!  However, there were a few concerns about the one little lamb - she has 2 obvious "defects", and we have no way of knowing if there are others that haven't shown up yet...  Tonight, hubby came home, quite concerned, because mama has decided that she's not going to accept this little girl - won't let her nurse, butts her out of the way, etc. - and with her being on the farm, and us in town, we didn't have a lot of options, aside from bringing her home.  So, she's going to live in a box in our family room for a few days, until we can come up with a better option...   and our cat is having NOTHING to do with it!
In case you've never seen an adorable little lamb, here's a pic:
There's nothing wrong with her lungs!  Hope she'll let us get a bit of sleep tonight!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Our quilt guild meets the 2nd Monday night of the month, so that would make today quilt guild night.  At our last meeting, we were asked to make placemats for our local Meals on Wheels, so they could hand them out to their clients with their Valentine's Day meals.  I managed to make 4 - 2 before the meeting, and finished the other 2 after I came home.  Of course, I forgot to take pics of the first 2, but they were the same (only different) as the 2 pictured here.  I used a "Reunion" charm pack and my Twister tool to make them (first time using the Twister tool)....  I think that 5 charms for one placemat were too many - they were a little wide - so, the next time I make new ones, I'll only use 3 or 4.  I found a red print for the upper and lower borders, and a red-on-cream for the backing and binding.  Of course you want to see them, so here they are:
I just might put up a card or two for my next post - just to keep you on your toes!