still quilting

I love piecing a quilt top, and I love quilting, but somewhere in the middle of free motion quilting details I feel like I am walking through thick mud, making VERY slow progress.  I did a lot this weekend, but there is still lots to go.  Perhaps I need to make better choices in how I quilt things.  I do love dense quilting, but less can be more.  Too late for this one though.

I decided to attack each block as a single entity.

Wood grain and skyline background for the totem pole

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Veins on the maple leaf (still undecided on the background of this one

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Rocky shore below the lighthouse

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stippling background for the snowflake

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And a glassy reflection for the ice, as well as “Made in Canada 2017” on the hockey stick.

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pretty happy in general, just at the point where I want to be finished. Now.

And my older son’s All Star baseball team starts their district tournament tomorrow, everyday for a week, so not going to have this out for another week.  Go Lakehill! I will be out there cheering.

 

they’re back!

I love so many flowers and plants, but my all time favorite has always been the Hydrangea.  They were the flowers I had for my wedding, I have always had at least one in a pot on my deck or in a flower bed at the house I was living at.  Periwinkle blue ones are my perfection.

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Some neighbours have a full display already

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I love that you can change the colour, depending on what you feed it.  Often very deep pink Hydrangeas have been given a very rich acidic fertilizer.  Blue for basic, so if you use lime, or coffee grounds, you can get pretty blue flowers.  I have one plant in the flower bed in the front yard, which has been given lots of fertilizer in the form of Alpaca poop.  This one is pretty strong pink, although it has only begun it’s show this year. This photo looks a lot more purple than the flowers do in real life!

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And my smaller plant in a pot in the back yard is showing signs of less nutrients, pretty pot bound, I think.

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Last year it had amazing variety…012

we shall see what comes.

I found another plant with two different colour variations, cool.

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not sure how that happens on the same plant.

Spent a lot of time wrapping up the school year and watching baseball and doing my annual summer cleaning.  I tend to get in the mood at the end of June, rather than doing spring cleaning. Maybe because the house has survived on a lick and a promise since baseball season began back in April.  Eek!  But when you let things go, the change when it does get cleaned is really noticeable and satisfying! So there’s that going for me.

And I really tried to get My Canada finished, but it is still in progress.  Didn’t want to rush for July 1 and have it less than what I wanted it to be.  It will be done soon though. Lots of detailed Free motion.  Lots of thread! Results soon.

Have a good week ahead, thanks for visiting my little part of the internet.

coming along

Steadily working on My Canada, every free moment I get. Finished the appliqued beaver, and filled in the last spaces with trees.  Now to decide on layout.

Subtle differences, not quite right.

This is the final decision…

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I have now added a white border all the way around.

And it’s time to start pinning.

DSC04099I found some Canada-esk fleece for the back. Maple leaf in a mac jacket print.  That’s Canadian, eh?

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So now for the quilting.  I tried to start planning what/how I would quilt this as I pinned.  Grand plans, but we’ll see how time goes.

Clock-a-ticking, I will start free motion quilting tomorrow night.

 

You can’t always wing it

In general I am a rule follower.  But for some reason I am ok to play with fabric without a pattern or instructions.  I sometimes sketch out a plan, but often I just have an idea in my head and I go for it.  Usually with some measure of success.  Often with frustration and telling myself to plan better.

For my Canada sampler quilt I figured it needed a snowflake.   60 degree triangles, no problem.  Never done them before, but I can give it a go…FAIL

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Yup, this is a funny failure. poor planning and no knowledge.  I have made many other blocks in between, but really wanted a snowflake.

So I made my new 60 degree points. so far so good.

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And then I went online and found a tutorial on 60 degree triangles.  There were some good tips and tricks, and I think it came out pretty well.

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Next blocks I have been putting off are the applique blocks.  It’s not my favorite thing.  This poor beaver looks like he is trying to be a porcupine, but it’s what I needed to get it together.DSC04056

Still stitching.  Maybe I will get to the moose antlers soon.   But time is running out!  I really wanted this done for Canada day.  That is only 12 days away.  Eek!  That’s 6 days off between now and then.  Oh, but there is grade 5 grad one day, B’s party one day, field trip one day, etc.  Hmm, unrealistic goal.  we shall see.

But I was pleased when I laid it all out the other day…DSC04055

This isn’t the final layout, but gives a good idea.  Yay. I really want to sit on this finished on Canada day!

 

bright spot on a rainy day

It’s a steady rain out there.  No need to water the garden.  We have had lots of sunny days, so a day of rain is probably good for all the green growing things out there.

But we all need a bright moment in a rainy day.

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These peonies were split and transplanted from the backyard 4 years ago.  There have been a few blooms over the last 2 years, but this is the first year where there are many upcoming flowers. Yay!

It was very windy on the weekend when I took the photo. Hard to tell the flowers to stand still.

white flower walk

What to do when you need to clear your colour wiring.  Well, not get rid of it, but just give it a switch to push your thinking.

As part of the quilt round robin for my guild, the piece I needed to add to was in colours that are just not me.  I find it hard to be creative when the colours do the opposite of inspiration.

So I needed to clear my head.  The best way to do that is to go outside.

I noticed that my black thorn acacia is flowering.  I love how this big tree produces flowers.  It drops annoying little leaves for about 9 months of the year, but it is a favorite of mine with it’s bright yellow/green foliage.

DSC04033So that got me hunting for white or cream flowers.  My mini rose is in full bloom.

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Along with watering the base, I make sure to shower the whole plant.  Somebody once told me that aphids don’t like it wet, so hopefully this extra shower deters them.

Next was my hanging basket of million bells.  Over the years they have become my standard for hanging basket flowers.

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And last but not least in the backyard, little strawberry flowers.  Ooh and the start of something yummy.

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Clear headed,  I started to pull fabric from my stash.  Pretty quickly I warmed up to this palate of grey scale colours. I even had a few exact fabrics to match the starting block!

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In the end I was pleasantly surprised with how it came out.  I wish I could share, but we are keeping it a surprise until the end reveal.  Part of my desire to be part of a round robin was to push my comfort zone in quilting and colours.  So far so good.

 

ballpark quilting

I even quilt at the ballpark!  and in between games at home.

The baseball t-shirt quilt has come together well.

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next up, to back and quilt.  I decided not to use batting.  There is heavy blue and white fleece as the backing, which I have found is enough for bulk and comfort.

I started with stitching 1/2″ inside each block, but decided it still wasn’t enough to hold it well together.  After a bit of discussion with other quilty friends, I decided to free-motion quilt around each “Lakehill”.  This came together surprisingly fast, with a pretty good result.  Different colour thread to match each shirt.

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I really enjoy free motion quilting, but forget when I haven’t done it in awhile.  Just better do more of it I guess:)

Now for the part I can take to a ball game.  Binding. DSC04030

Half done.  I used to make larger binding, but find that cutting 2 1/4″ strips and pressing that in half makes a nice size edge.   Slightly soft but not too floppy.  The added bonus of doing binding in the stands is to create interest for a potential buyer at the silent auction.  And maybe interest in a commission.  maybe:)