Ta-done

Ta-done is a phrase I have seen a few times, particularly used by my quilty friend when she has finished a quilt.

And after 4 years I have finished this one! So Ta-da, it’s Ta-done.

dsc03711

I started this four years ago.

079

It came along quickly and I had ambitious plans for quilting it in jagged zig-zags.  Great in theory, but jagged with a walking foot on a machine means lots of stop, turn, start. LOTS of times. Again a learning what not to do.

DSC03622

This got pretty tedious and boring and I just put it aside. And didn’t get back to it.  For 3 1/2 years!  But I am trying to do some completions, and reduce my half done list.  So I picked this up and continued.

dsc03698

And happily finished it. yay! This tumbling jewel quilt has a full range of turquoise fabrics so I chose to bind it in a navy with turquoise butterflies, for contrast, but some continuity.

dsc03697

Not the best photo of the crisp white, sorry.  It has been rainy and dreary outside and my house is just not all that well lit.

So I feel good about a finish of a long ago started project.  My dear hubby says, what are you going to do with that one?  I don’t have a good answer for that. But it is happily done.

So I took a class

I started quilting about 12 years ago.  My dear friend taught me the basics and start to finish of a simple quilt.  Since then I have taught myself through trial and error, tips and tricks from friends, how-to tutorials on the internet, and library books.  And I think my skills have come along pretty well.

But I want to get better. And I think I need to get some professional guidance to get the better I want.  So when I found out that Kathleen Riggins https://kathleenquilts.com/ was coming to do a trunk show at an MQG guild meeting and teach a class, I knew I needed to take that class.  I was treated to the class as early Christmas gift from my parents.  And I was not disappointed.  Kathleen does amazing free-motion quilting.  We started with a preprinted panel and spent 6 hours stitching and swirling and having fun.  It was great!  And it was worth the extensive orchestration of people to take my kids to Saturday activities and transport and care for a whole Saturday.

dsc03703

I look forward to trying my new skills on future quilts.  But first I must practice more.  That starts with sketching designs.  Sketching over and over again gets your hands in the flow and helps to make the same designs on fabric.

dsc03706

And lots of perusing library books is helpful too.

dsc03707

And while I was surfing the quilt book section at the library, I came across this one and just grabbed it for interest.

dsc03708

Can you imagine just how much valuable information this baby has?  I didn’t notice until I brought it home, but this book was published in 1999.  Plenty of great tips about connecting to the internet thru dial-up and warnings about “free” email servers like Hotmail. heehee!  Quick skim and this one is going back to the library.  But the others will get more attention.

Tomorrow I plan to pick up my half quilted panel and practice a lot more.

Black and White

So my boys are Darth Vader and a storm trooper for Halloween.

dsc03696

Every year my office has a pumpkin carving contest, and inspiration hit.

dsc03704

And that’s all I have done this evening.  It is late and I need to go to bed.  I will tell you about my exciting quilting adventure another day.

Sumac done

dsc03694The saga of my poor Sumac continues, or maybe ends.

My youngest came into the house the other day “mommy, come and look”.  One branch/trunk of the tree was hanging right into the driveway.  M’s basketball had hit the branch and there was a loud crack.  With a push from me, the trunk came right out of the ground.

dsc03695

Why would it just rot at the base? Hmm. I don’t know.  I hope the new shoots that came up this summer will grow stronger next year.

 

Sharing scraps

I have a friend who works at a seniors centre teaching crafts.  When her “students” are downsizing they often bring in boxes of yarn or fabric etc.  Hoping that M can make use of it.  Some get used, but many times she says she has trouble putting it into hands that will use it when she can’t use it for a class.  Enter in a box of cotton fabrics…and M surprised me at soccer last weekend with the huge box! It was as exciting as Christmas.  You just never know what you will find in a random box like that.

dsc03690

There were some old prints, not lovely enough to call vintage, some eek!, some not bad, and some really great ones. And about half a box of “other” fabric.  I went through it all and built some piles.

dsc03692

Then I went through the piles to rethink my “want fabric, must have/take any fabric” to ” I love this and I can see this being used by me”. That definitely made the piles a bit smaller.  I posted this photo on Instagram this morning.

img_20161016_093538

It’s not that I have too much fabric, I am just running out of space. It is pretty disorderly at the moment, as I have been busy and things get half done and plunked back in my sewing area until another day. So I really need to become more selective in my taking of gifted fabric.  It is just so hard to say no.  Free and fabric combine to be almost irresistible to me.  But the realist in me weighed in on some of the decisions.

I did contact a quilty friend to “warn” her that I had a box of fabric to pass forward once I had explored it.  She was as excited as I was.  We are a crazy bunch of fabricaholics.

 

Yellow

 

What does yellow make you feel? I associate it with happy most of the time.

Image result for happy face

Of course there is mustard yellow, baby poop yellow, and burnt umber…

But mostly there are sunflowers, lemons, and a new box of pencil crayons.  These all seem to radiate pleasure. Just like the sun in the sky.

Even my project for tomorrow involves yellow.

dsc03689

Yellow can lift a mood, brighten a room and make things glow, but can also suggest dingy white fabric, leaves devoid of chlorophyll, stained teeth. All depending on the shade, I guess.

My husband suggests the old warning of ” don’t eat yellow snow”!

I have used yellow as a contrast in a quilt or project, but never as the main colour, have you?  Hmm, another  idea building? maybe.

And just like my drawer 1/3 full of yellow fabric (as opposed to 2 drawers overflowing with blue fabric), that’s all I have about yellow.  thanks for listening to my thoughts.

planning and precision

A splash of green, such a vibrant green.

dsc03680

And it may look bad, with the baggie there, but it is parsley.  A friend gave me a plant for the garden and a bouquet too.  I didn’t need the fresh cut stuff so decided to chop it finely and freeze it.  Perfect when you need a pinch for flavour in a soup or falafels. The strong green stained my chopping board!  Growing up parsley was a staple in many dishes my mom and dad made.  Perhaps because it is more cold tolerant and they grew up with it in Denmark. And although I like parsley in many things, I can’t stand the similar looking Cilantro.  Even the smell of it makes me veer away in the grocery store.  Anyways.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to enter the American Quilting Nine patch Challenge at Quiltcon East in February 2017.  Inspired by the Shot cotton fabric I found at Capital Iron in Sidney,

dsc03631

I set to work on a plan.  Some of my quilts are very improve, but some like this one are planned and precise.  I just hope my quilting skills bring out my plan as nice as I want it to.  Lots of organizing.

dsc03681

My hubby saw my process and chuckled and said “wouldn’t it be funny if I mixed up all your labels”.  The glare he received was a pretty clear answer!  Lots of precise cutting and pinning and stitching and I am well on my way.

dsc03684

Probably won’t show much of the rest of the quilt as I want to keep it under wraps until submission.

In the meantime, I am planning block lotto for the October MQG meeting.  Here is my colour inspiration for that block, or similar.  We’ll see.

Image result for northern lights

Have a happy Canadian thanksgiving.  Look around you at the wonderful things in your world and smile and breathe for a moment.