been awhile

Hi there, are you out there?

I haven’t been here for sometime, but less than a year, so I thought I’d give it a whirl again. Hopefully there are still some of you who enjoy my little chats about colour and nature and most of all quilts!!!

I will go back at some point and share some finishes from last year.  But this year has been about finishing off some of my many, many projects on the go.

Here is a taste of what is hovering over my shoulder whenever I think about quilting (about 8 in this photo). Plus about 50 more ideas that have yet to be started:) There is also a half quilted project and 6 finished quilt tops hanging in my hall closet waiting to be quilted.

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Oh man, where to begin…not the oldest, those need a bit more investment of time and effort.  What can I complete in short order?

I was part of a Round Robin with my guild in 2017.  The quilt top I got back was fun, but didn’t feel complete.  Plus I wanted it bigger.DSC04343

I wanted to keep the true feel of a round robin quilt, which is made by many makers, so I added a round and then put it away for a month or two.  I would pull it out now and again when I had a fresh idea. But adding rounds is fun and it’s hard to tell yourself to stop.  I decided the last round would happen last week and then I would put it to be quilted. I think it turned out pretty fun.  And so different from the things I normally do.

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Sorry for the sideways photo.

I might just be hooked on medallion quilts.  Can’t wait to finally get my 2018 round robin at the upcoming guild meeting.  I have already seen it, LOVE IT, and will not add a thing.

Whoo Hoo, one off the list! Even though it has now moved to the “to be quilted” closet, I consider that done.

Ok, another long ago project was this table runner that I started 3 years ago to try out some wonky flowers.

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Yup, pulling that baby apart! Mostly because I am just not inspired to have this on my table.  It was simply a tester, but I can’t get rid of it.  So I took it mostly apart and created two 12.5″ squares.

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These will now go into the bag of grey background with stars blocks.  And that project will be waiting next in line.

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This is meant to be a skill builder, and star sampler.  Some of these blocks may not make it into the quilt ( read as- center cross block).  The plan was for random shades of grey background and graduated colour changes of stars. Definitely still a work in progress.

But in the mean time I have taken another project off the list. Yay.

Thanks if you are still out there.

Let yourself be creative everyday, even in little ways. It can fill your soul and carry you through the tough spots.

round robin reveal

I talked about hosting and working on round robin quilts with my guild, here and there through last year.  The final reveal was at our December meeting, but I was away.  It took until the February meeting for me to get mine back.  This was my starting block way back at the beginning of last year.

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I didn’t have a planned direction for this, just that I hoped for stars and curves, blue and green, and stripes. I then set it free for 5 other quilters to add to it.  And Voila

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It turned out very different from what I imagined, but that’s the fun of a round robin, you have to let go of control and take what comes back to you.  BUT, I want it bigger, so am going to add more rounds, trying to make them distinctly different each round.  Maybe this is the perfect project for me: the girl who works on something for a bit, but then gets distracted by a new idea, a must-do project, an upcoming quilt “needed” for some celebration, etc……. By the time I come back to add more, I will have new ideas, new skills (maybe), and new perspective.  And now I can tell you as this grows, not keep it secret.

I like to share, and I am glad to have you to share with, so it is hard when I am making surprises, or working on commissions ( like the t-shirt quilt that I have now finished, but cannot show you until the client sees it), upcoming block lotto for my guild, or things like this round robin.  I only have so much sewing time, and when lots of that is secret, I just don’t have things to share. This is my reason for less posts in the last few months.

But onward; quilting, creating, and noticing all the colour around us.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

small projects

It is nice to have small quilty things to be done, attainable in less than a day. So often a quilt is a pleasurable, but long process.

The first small one was adding my part to the round robin block that came my way at the last guild meeting.  That was fun, sorry I can’t show you what I did.  Blind round robin, no photos published until finished.

The next was making some slab blocks for the Canadian Quilter’s association Canada 150 quilting bee.  The request was put out for quilters to make slab blocks or quilt tops made of slab blocks, using at least one piece of special Canada 150th birthday fabric.  These blocks will be gathered and quilted at a giant quilting bee and donated to Ronald McDonald House.

Slabs are great stash busters for all those small scraps.  There is some order to the chaos of this photo!

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And although I used lots, there are still many scraps left.  Maybe I should make more blocks.  We will see what time allows.

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The third little project was the upcoming month’s block lotto.  That one I cannot show yet either.  But got it done as well.

So a productive weekend overall.

Have a great week ahead.

 

the colour of Calendula

I am a blue girl through and through.  Green has blue in it, so it’s good too.  Same with purple.  I use the other colours in the rainbow because they belong and sometimes highlight my favoured colours.  But in my drawers and drawers of fabric( arranged by colour) yellow and orange share a drawer.  And it’s only half full.

I am trying to create new thought pathways, and although it’s hard to step off a well worn track, it IS good for us to do.  Even if just the baby steps of using a bigger range of colours of fabric.  Or felt pens.

It may seem like I make a big deal out of choosing colours for a colouring book, but this is really part of my experimenting in colour to what works and what appeals.  It is hard to work in colours you don’t like!

Last nights colouring exploration went like this: Start with green, then more green…

but now for the flowers.  Pink? nope, done that lots, purple? blue? nope, nope. Orange! yup.

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And as I am colouring and quite liking this colour combo I realize that it reminds me of my mom who is away right now.  Not because she loves orange particularly, but because of a flower that is always in her garden.  Even the smell of Calendula leaves makes me think of her.

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I don’t talk to her every day, and we don’t see each other every week because of the 4 hours of travel between our homes, but I am aware of her absence right now.  I miss being ABLE to call her.  I can’t imagine losing a parent and am lucky that I have not.  I know she’s having a great trip and I will see her soon.  But it is cool that I could channel a thought of her through a colouring book.  Or at least that’s how I see it:)

Getting organized for quilt guild meeting tonight, and the start of the round robin.  I am eager to see how many people join me.

Happy playing with colour, wherever it leads.

ridiculous

 

Sometimes that’s how I feel about my fabric stash.  It is ridiculous how much fabric I have in comparison to what I actually use  in a year.  But I have pared down, and I think I would like to use everything I have.

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I started tidying and cleaning up my sewing area.  Well, not my sewing area…I sew at the dining room table.  This is my fabric and sewing stuff storage area.  I get excited and work on a project, but once I’m done, I am bad about separating and putting away the left overs.  Partly because I am already wanting to start the next project.  Talk about magpie distraction!!!  But the other part is my frustration with my fabric stash.  I love  my fabric, but some drawers are overflowing , with almost not room to put back the leftovers.  In those drawers is a lot of fabric that I have ideas for and just never get time to do.  I DO realize that this is really not a problem; to have more fabric than time.  And it’s a classic quilter’s thing.  Never mind a stash, it’s a stable…STash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy.  That truly is ridiculous.  Really, I could make quilts for years without buying anything except batting.

And 2 of those overflowing drawers are full of scraps.  I save anything over 1 inch.  And as much as I make scrap quilts and projects, I still have 2 drawers full.  Every year or so I pull out all my scraps and organize them by colour to make my scraps more user friendly.  This system certainly works and I get a boost of feeling organized.

I have grown so accustomed to sharing what I make on here, facebook, flickr, and instagram, that secret projects are hard!  Now that I make the block lotto each month, I can’t show my creation until long after I have made it.  Here is Sept, Oct, Nov 2016 and Jan 2017

I am having fun creating blocks, and it’s cool to make one block and then when everybody brings in their blocks I get to see them all come together.

And I have completed my center block for my round robin quilt.  I am very excited to start the exchange.

So that’s me this weekend. Hope you enjoyed the first weekend in February.

playing with fabric

That’s always fun, isn’t it.  Well for me anyway.  I am hosting a round robin at my quilt guild and need to figure out a palette for my starting block.

A round robin is  way of making a quilt where one person makes the starting(often centre) block and then it is passed to another person to add another block, strip or border.  This continues for as many people as designated in the guidelines and at the end the first person ends up with a finished quilt top that has been worked on by themselves and 5 other quilters( in my plan).  This can be a fun way to challenge yourself, working on something for somebody else, to follow their work, and to learn to let go of your own block and trust that others will do great things.  I chose to do an anonymous swap, which adds to the fun (I think).

I am a little nervous to be in charge of this, but really wanted to be in a round robin, and nobody else seemed to be starting one in our guild, except in one satellite group that did one last year.

I have spent time reading up on how to run these and hope I can get it running smooth and successful.  If I have at least 6 people participating, then we are good to go.  But if needed I will step in and do a 2nd one or pick up if somebody has drop out. Hopefully that won’t happen as I have broken down everything pretty clearly, including the 1 year commitment, making a contribution every 2 months.

And the anonymous bags will come with a label so that each quilter can put their name on the final label.  And look what I found the other day at Bib n’ Tucker http://www.bibntucker.com/

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Absolutely perfect for modern quilt round robin labels! I was so excited.

So now to decide on my colour scheme.

Option #1, calm and refreshing blue and green

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Option #2, lovely, crazy, a bit busy, rainbows

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My concern about the rainbows is that not everybody is a rainbow purist like me, which as I look at 2 of these fabrics, they aren’t true rainbows, so I might take them away.  And I have been saving the horse fabrics for something particular, with some other coordinating turquoise horse fabric from the same line.  Don’t know what that project is, but it makes me hesitate in cutting into it.

Option #3, or maybe I will go with pink and green

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Decisions, decisions.  Hmm, I will sleep on that one.

And then I need to come up with block lotto for February.  I have an idea, but have to test the pattern in my head on actual fabric.  Sometimes my ideas work out, sometimes they just don’t:)

Oh, here is my son’s Storm Trooper quilt.  Not fully quilted, but getting there.

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even the cat had to get in on the photo shoot!

It’s time for my sewing machine to go in for regular yearly service, so I will take a sewing break this week.

I was reading on another blog (sorry can’t remember which one) about Griddles.  Gotta get me a book of those.  Part grown-up colouring book, part colour by number, and looks like an embroidery pattern. Done by Lorraine Holnback Brodek, an former needlecraft designer.

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To me this looks awesome.  Lots of potential there.

Have a fun week ahead in however you can find your colour.

 

 

success

I would call it a success.  I am not able to take a completed photo of my son’s birthday quilt as he is all snuggled up in it, asleep in bed.  He has been wrapped up in it most of the last 2 days (when he is sitting down) since I gave it to him.  That makes me smile.

I did not get the quilt totally completed, but enough so that I could bind it and he could use it.  Next week I will put it back in my machine to finish.

But I did get some other things finished.  A few months ago I said “sure I can make you some pillows for your living room” to a friend of mine.  Yup, got right on that one.  But I finished 2 of them today, and the other 2 just need zippers.

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We decided to put black on the back, for interest and contrast.

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Really, they only took me about 15 minutes each, just a matter of getting to it.  But no beating up, just happy to be able to do them and happy they are done.

I spent time this morning finishing up my info sheet for a round robin that I am hosting at MQG Victoria http://www.mqgvictoria.com/ .( At our actual meetings, not online.)  I am very excited, and a bit nervous.  Hope it all works as planned.  I have never been in charge of a group quilt activity before, and this is a year long event.

And then I finished up my block lotto for this month’s guild meeting and the block to present, to be finished for next month.  And organizing what blocks have been done, what colours have been used lots, which have been missed etc.  Got my notebook and I am having fun with it.  Oops, still need to put it on the guild blog, to appear at meeting time this Thursday.

That will not happen tonight.  Time for bed.  Have a great week ahead.