Old one done

I know everybody says it, but really, where did that year go?

You can clean the bathroom, and the rest of the house and do all that laundry endlessly, and, oh look, there’s more.  But you can count the quilts you made and feel creative satisfaction!!!

What did I make this year?

My youngest turned 8 in January and I have started a tradition of making my boys a new quilt every 4 years.  So a pixilated Storm Trooper came into being.  I learned a bit about colour strength with this one. (i.e. that shadow through the middle should have been a much lighter fabric).  But you can see the grin on M’s face, so that’s really all that matters.

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Next I finished my third rocking horse for the same girl.  She found me through a friend years ago and had me replicate her baby quilt in modern fabrics ( her fabric choices, not mine).  2 babies and a nephew all have versions of the same quilt.

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And then I tackled a creative mini.  This is my rainbow Fibonacci quilt.  See the mathematical explanation here.  Maybe in 2018 I will to the reverse, starting with purple in the centre.

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Hmm, I was pretty productive this year!

So along came baseball season, and I managed to finagle a bunch of baseball t-shirts and jersey’s.  This one will be in a silent auction for a baseball park fund raiser this spring.  Oops, this photo was before quilting and binding.  That is done.

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My Canada was a big job.  So many details put into it, and so much time.  But I love it every time I look at it, and I am going to enter it in a show this year.

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Then we had a challenge at my guild.  I made Shiny, Happy.  I love it.  And mini quilts are so satisfying cause they finish up so quickly.

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And then my hubby’s birthday quilt, with lots of sentimental t-shirts.

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And finally the Prairie Sunshine quilt for my sister-in-law.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the colour guidance I was given, but really warmed up to the yellows. This one had me going in circles, sorry, couldn’t resist.

It looks perfect in it’s cold prairie home

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Along with all of that I quilted for a friend, made pillow cases and potholders, worked on a round robin quilt throughout the year and had lots of fun coming up with a block every month for my guild meeting.

Ooh, almost forgot the last quilt I squeaked in this year.  Not a bargello was a satisfying one, since it took about 8 years from it’s beginnings as a bargello quilt to this result.  Further explanation here.

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Thanks for continuing to come and see my rambling and stitching.

 

 

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Seeing Stars

Way back in the spring I did a block lotto for my quilt guild.  A stretched star.

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Usually these are turned in at the next meeting, but I made my demo from a slightly different grey than what we had available to buy at the guild meeting, so I kept this one and made another one to bring to the meeting.

I have a drawer that has lonely single blocks, that may be useful at some point.  Certainly not to be thrown away:)

November came along and I was inspired by a rising star quilt, so did a little research.  This is a rising star  block I found online ( Missouri quilt co tutorial).

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With so much potential variations ( beyondsockmonkeys.com)

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I decided to make an improvised one, with no measuring, and ending up not symmetrical.

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It was so fun and easy that I decided to try one in my favorite blues.

DSC04234Loving it!!!  Now my mind is running full speed.  Planning a quilt of the whole rainbow of various stars, nope, maybe just yellow, green and blue.  Hmm.

In the meantime, this is a great block, can I alter it again?  And while I am at it, why don’t I make a Star of Bethlehem for my eventual nativity quilt. Eight points? sure.

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Well that turned out pretty good too.  I need to do one in grey for that quilt too.

Do you see where the problem comes in?  Another quilt in the planning.  Just what I need!  But I really can’t help it.

And between piecing days, I finished quilting the Hawaiian turtles for my friend, and have begun quilting the sunshine quilt.

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Ah, the never-ending fabric play.  I don’t know if it keeps me sane, or drives me close to the edge.

 

tension

Difficulties with tension cause, well, tension!  I am quilting a friend’s quilt top.  Her batting seems the same as what I use, but must be less dense, and I normally use flannel or fleece on the back, so that adds more thickness too.  Which all equals a thinner quilt, therefor tension adjustments on my machine in order to get things to look good.

I start with some ugly fabric, batting and ugly fabric on back.  Then adjust the top tension knob one step at a time, checking how the free-motion stitches look each time.

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I thought I had it pretty good, but then NOPE!

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this is not right. (The stitching, and the ugly cat fabric).

Finally it looks good, and sounds good with the actual quilt running thru my machine.

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So, quilting coming along very well.

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But then tension problems of a different kind appeared! argh!!!!!!

My bobbin holder is shifting out of place while I am quilting, thus jamming everything and making nasty sounding noises in the process.  I have been piecing all weekend with no problems, but clearly my machine is not in the mood to quilt.  This happened almost exactly 1 year ago when I was free-motion quilting my Quiltcon entry.  I have done lots of free-motion in the year in between with no problems.  What’s up now???

And the kicker is that I have been procrastinating on this quilt, and finally just got to it.  Now machine problems.  Did I say Argh!!!! already.

And, I have a this week off and planned to do a whole lot of quilting.  We will see what Sawyer’s sewing centre says tomorrow. ( if they are open due to the holiday).

Let the sun shine in,

face it with a grin, open up your heart and let the sun shine in!

I love that song.

It is a beautiful, sunny, November day. First day of daylight savings time.

I have been working on my sunshine quilt lately.  The recipient likes yellow, so I just went from there with as many yellow shades of fabric as I could find.DSC04172

I added a few more after this photo, but you get the idea.  I started with 4 white squares, each chopped to be a random 5 sided starting block.  Then I just started adding 2″ strips of each shade.

round and round it goes, taking a lot more time than I thought, as always! Last weekend I had 4 lovely ombre rectangles complete.  Sunlight and fabric can make wonderful stained glass images.

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Ok, so four 36″ x 24″ rectangles, now for the layout. And no, I can’t just make it simple!

DSC04203 (1)That would be too straight forward, and kinda boring.  So I pulled out my cutter and ruler, took a deep breath and

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That was a little nerve wracking.  I have amazing ideas in my head, but will it turn out as well in fabric???

DSC04207That’s better, but still not enough, so I cut again…

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Yup, happier now.  All ready to baste and quilt for Christmas.  But unfortunately it is in line behind a few other things.

And for the glamour shot in the real sunshine.  My 8 year old got sore arms, but earned my gratitude.  What is that worth in mom bucks?

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I think I would have liked it to be more square, but didn’t have enough variety and volume of yellow fabric left to add to one side, and I don’t want a border. Tis what it Tis.

Ta-done

I love that phrase! Coined by a quilty friend, and I am sure by many others along the way.

The big handprint quilt is done for my hubby.

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Bound in black, to continue the black “lattice” look

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Lots of free-motion detail along the way.

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And my little girl Pearl, has been found curled up inside it a few times already!  Kitty approved, check.

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That was a big job, but a satisfying one.  Happy 50, my dear hubby.

blotto

I plan block lotto for my guild each month, present it and blog it etc.  We decided to be a bit silly and change it officially to blotto.  Something to be sewn in under an hour, enjoyed with a glass of wine.

Last month it was spooky eyes to be turned in, in October.

And I won! Pretty good odds, as I had made 3 to demo, and there were only 10 turned in, in total.  Maybe I will do 2 blocks across by 5 down, to make a door hanging.

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I also won a big piece of cool Halloween fabric, kindly donated by a guild member. Super fun.

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Not sure how I will put all this together.  And certainly not enough time to put something together in the next 9 days.  Next year for sure.

I am unwillingly channeling my easily distracted magpie lately.  Ooh, block lotto that could be put together…next bag received for our Round Robin…need to get on with quilting my friend E’s quilt( she made it, I am just quilting it)…gotta keep going on a Christmas quilt for my S-I-L…sample pincushions to make for the guild Christmas swap…what am I going to do for next month’s block lotto, er, blotto?  Too many things on my plate, you say? I say it’s damn work and my major need for sleep that cut in to my creating time.

 

 

birds in the neighbourhood

I live near a pretty big city, in a fairly urban area just outside of the city.  Most of the wild creatures I come across are of the unlikable kind, rats in the shed-eewwww!  Tiny ants coming in under the baseboards in summer, Wasp nest in the bike shed-eek it was big!, and raccoon poop on the back fence.

But sometimes I get little treats!

I have a breeding pair of Anna’s hummingbirds in my big Sugar Maple in the back yard.  It is super cute to see tiny hummingbirds zooming around with their parents.

The other day I looked out the window and saw a little family of quails in the front yard.  I snuck out from the backyard to try to get a decent photo. Not very successful.

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And the other day after school drop off I spotted a Northern Flicker

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Mostly this shows that I need a better camera for faraway shots of moving targets:)

In quilting news, my Modern Quilt Guild had a birthday challenge using Libs Elliot fabric swatches.  I can’t remember if I told you about the lovely fabrics that I ordered and gave out to guild members in the form of a birthday cupcake.

I chose this piece with gold diamonds on it. And after much debate settled on this yellow and teal(ish) accent fabric.

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Using the print on the fabric for inspiration, I sketched a design and started cutting.  Kind of scary when you only have a fat eighth of fabric to work with.

do you see where I am going with this?

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Ta-Da! And sparkly white fabric background to complete this mini quilt I have named “Shiny, Happy”.  Lots of fun to make with little sparkly details,DSC04193

some geometric free motion quilting

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And my favorite swirl quilting

DSC04191I didn’t win the cool Libs Elliot designed vodka bottle which is just as well, I don’t really drink very often;)

Mini quilts are a fun and satisfying way to get in some fabric play and have the sense of completion that is often a long time in coming on big quilts.