Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Humble Christmas

One UFO is now a top!   Now that is good progress to start the year off.

Started way back in 2015 from a scrap box that I bought from a guild lady that was moving to Barrie.  Wendy, I know you read my blog.  This is what your scraps made and there are still more in the box!

I got stalled on the side borders.  Since it was my decision to add trees to the borders, I got a bit frustrated that my trees would just not add up to something decent looking .... so this project got binned .... for, oh four years.  Oh well, who's counting!  LOL
Since taking it out at the beginning of this year and putting it up on my design wall, I was determined to make it work somehow.  There was a bit of fudging to do with those two skinny trees that are side-by-side on the right side border, but finally that side border got done and now I can proceed with the other two borders.  If you look closely, you can see my paper tree foundations hanging on the two remaining borders.  That is where that tree had to go when completed.
Finally, this is now a top and I'm very pleased with the look!   It was gloomy outside when I took this photo and even with the lights on, my photo is still dark.  It truly is nice and bright and cheery.  Right now, my design wall on something on it, so I will have to go with this photo for now.  Oh well ....
You are probably wondering why this top is called Humble Christmas?  Take a close look at this photo below and see all the arrows pointing to block sections that were pieced to make the correct size needed.  Waste not, want not.  I was determined to use only scraps from Wendy's scrap box and I succeeded.   I'm wondering what in the world will people down the years think when they see this quilt?  Was she a lady that didn't have much money to spend on more fabric or did she really make errors on cutting her fabric and didn't want to spend any more on this project?  It will give someone pause to think about this, for sure!  It is giving me quite the chuckle when I look as I had forgotten how many pieces had to be sewn together.  When I took this photo, it reminded me that .... well, there are a lot!  LOL
Cross off one UFO from my list.  Only 34 more to go.
Have a great day!

Linking to:
http://www.esthersquiltblog.com/
http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Chevron Log Cabin

Here is another ufo that got finished before 2018 ended.  How glorious is that!

So .... how did I do for 2018?  How many quilts got finished.  How many ufo's got moved to the tops ready for quilting stage?

I did a print screen of all my finished tops and my ufos at the beginning of 2018.   This is how I keep track of my tops and ufos and new projects.  A file was created for each topic and as a item gets finished, the photo gets moved around until it gets a big X.  As each one got done on either the ufo file or top file, a big X crosses that photo off the list. 

The photo below were my tops ready for quilting.  There are 23 tops shown below.  Eight got crossed off  that list during 2018.  That is GOOD in my books.  Thanks to my LAer, Tella, she helped me achieve this goal and my husband and friends are breathing a bit easier.  Everyone is happy to see me sewing binding on a quilt.  Heck, I'm happy to do that too.
This one below were my ufos and there were 40 here.   Seven photos got crossed off during 2018.  Really, that is not bad.  Seven is better than nothing.
Does doing this work for me?  Seeing the results, I think it sure does.  You have no idea how good it feels to me to make a big X on a photo.  Before doing this, a list was made each year, but I'm a visual type of person and seeing a photo helps me more than first realised.

What actually is happening is downsizing.  I'm starting to see more room on the shelves in my studio.   Stuff is not crammed on them like before.   Fabric is still being purchased but not in any great quantities anymore.  Bins are starting to get emptied.  I can't believe I actually wrote that.  But, yes, that is happening.

What exactly got done for 2018.  Here are a few group photos to remind me.

First up, 5 baby blankets for the NICU at our local hospital:



It was definitely a good year!

So, for 2019, this is what I have.  New print screens have been done and I'm ready to do my bit to start crossing off a few tops, ufos and new projects.  Yep, bring it on!

My tops (ready for quilting) has 22 items.  Some will be sent out and some will be done by me.  I would like to get a few tops hand quilted.   Big stitch hand quilting is calling to me.
My ufos (or works in progress) have shrunk nicely but a few new projects have been added to the list.  My ufos can include any old project but also new projects too.  Only 35 now.  
To sum things up, I'm far happier now than I was a year ago.  There are a number of quilts that I can pull out at any time for hanging up with the change of each season.  Yes, very happy.

So, which top will I work on next?

The one at the top of this post.  Hand quilting.  I want to get it done.  What else?

This quilt.  The binding is on and even the label, but I had asked LAer Tella not to do any custom quilting on the leaves and circles in the borders.  These are being hand quilted.  There are a lot of flowers and each is taking time, but they will be worked on now and then and by spring I can show you this quilt as finished.  That is my goal.
I'm hand quilting around each leaf and circle and then putting an X right through each circle and a single line on each leaf.  Love the look and so love this quilt.  Gotta get it finished!
Which ufo?  This one from 2015.  It is time.
Have a great stitching day!

Linking to: http://www.esthersquiltblog.com/ and http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A runner took off

2019.  Good Lord .... where did 2018 go?  It went by ever so quickly.  The year started off at a fast pace and just kept on speeding along.  Like a runner.

Well, my niece that received this table runner is a runner and has a couple marathons under her belt.  So, what better person to receive this?  It was gifted to her for Xmas 2018.

Batiks.  It is not often that I work with batik fabrics and I actually went out shopping for this runner.  Now, there are batiks in my stash .... but not many.  I'm not really a fan of batiks but it is good to have some to add into my scrap quilts.
The fabric colours were chosen based on this painting in their dining room.
Close ups of the machine quilting and for the first time ever for me .... machine applique.  Yes, by machine!  Will wonders never cease?

Now, this table runner didn't go quite so smoothly.  This photo looks like two blocks on top of each other.  Well, yes that is correct .... but they are sewn together.  What the heck did I do?  I don't know, but somehow when I did the machine applique, two blocks were picked up at the same time towards the end when I finished sewing the last edge of the leaf.  The block felt thick when it was removed from under the needle and lo and behold .... sewn together.
I tell you .... there were some blue words that came out of my mouth at that point.  Out came the seam ripper and very carefully, the errant stitches were removed and then it was carefully re-positioned and sewn again.
I'm very pleased with the look of this runner.  All by machine.  Well, I never expected that would ever happen!  By completing this runner, another ufo is crossed off my list.  Singing .... amen, amen, amen ......

Details:
Pattern Name:  Leaves (pattern name:  Autumn Leaves)
Pattern Source:  Workshop by Ruth Kennedy of Dancing Threads from Fergus, Ontario.
Pattern Started:  April 2017
Runner finished:  December 2018
Runner size:  16-1/4" x 45-1/4" (after washing and drying)
Block Size: 8-1/2" square
Machine applique and machine quilting
Batting:  poly/cotton

Could I see myself doing this leaf block again?  Absolutely.  In a bigger quilt for autumn.

My niece sent me photos of how this runner looks on their dining room table.  Lovely.

She also sent me a photo of their Xmas stockings that I made for them over the past twelve years (first ones made in 2006, then 2012 and 2015).  The smaller stockings were made for them after they first married (on the left and right).  Then as they had children, they requested they be made bigger and that is why the ones in between are bigger.  They all match in colours because fabric was stored away in a bin so that as each child came along, the bin was pulled out and the pattern and fabrics to match were all there.  I had my thinking cap on way back then.  Smart, eh! 
What else did I do for Xmas?  A bathroom storage shelf for another niece.  My niece had been pinning shelves on Pinterest and because I follow her, an idea was born for a Xmas gift.  Hubby and I made the shelf and the final coat of sealer was applied just a few days ago and she was able to take it home with her in her car.
It had to be custom made because she has an electrical outlet that is high up on the wall and she needed to be able to put her hand behind the slant of the shelf to plug in whatever she was using.  So, with instructions to her for what kind of measurements to take and photos, we got there in the end.   This is the first time my husband and I made anything like this and we surprised ourselves at how well the shelf turned out.  There is not much storage in my niece's apartment and this shelf will help her in many ways.  She is happy.  We are happy too.
So what did these two nieces and their families get for me?  This.  Boy, was I ever surprised when I opened my gift on Xmas morning to tell me that two months of this quilty box was coming.  I knew that something was coming beforehand and it was being delivered by UPS and to accept the parcel.  But not exactly what was coming.  The box arrived on Dec. 31 from Fat Quarter Shop and I can use everything.  What will January's box contain?  I tell you, this was exciting to open.  How did they think of this?  One niece said that she was doing some surfing on the net and noticed quilters showing photos of different quilting boxes and bingo, she knew this would be perfect for me.  Yep, she got that right!
So 2019 .... bring it on!  Let's see what can be done this year.  New and old projects.

Have a great stitching day!

Linking to: http://www.esthersquiltblog.com/ and http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Celestial Stars or Xmas Stars

Oh my, how I love this quilt.  EPP.  What more is there to say?

With all the snow in our backyard, it is hard to get a good quilt photo.  So, let's put the thinking cap on and find a way!

This is ok .... but I need a better angle for my quilt journal.
 Not bad, but how about a straight on photo?
 This would be the perfect straight on position.
 Except those vertical bars and the plant are in the way.
Better, but now the chandelier is in the way!
Enter my husband with a long stick ..... to carefully move the chandelier out of the way.  Perfect.
Here are some close-up of my blocks and the custom quilting by my friend Tella in Scarborough.  Tella knows that I don't like tight machine quilting and she worked her magic by giving me what I like.





Now, this quilt.  When you Google the book (see below), the pattern for my quilt is on the front cover.  Except, I did a lot of changes to it.  Made it my own.  Definitely my own.  Google it and see for yourself and then compare the difference.  Sharon's book is gorgeous.  I'll be dipping into it again and taking another of her patterns and then making changes again.  Sorry, but I can't help myself ..... 

Quilt details:
Quilt Name:  Xmas Stars (original pattern name:  Celestial Stars)
Pattern source:  Quilting on the Go .... English Paper Piecing book by Sharon Burgess but with many adaptations (by me) to the original pattern.
Started:  Mar. 12, 2018
Top Finished:  July 25, 2018
Quilt Finished:  September 2018
Quilt Size:  83-3/4" x 83-3/4" (size before washing and drying:  89-1/2" x 89-1/2")
Batting:  Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 on bottom and a layer of Pellon Nature's Touch 100% Wool on top.
Custom machine quilted by Tella in Scarborough.

This quilt never got to be a ufo.  I was determined to get it made and quilted so that it could be part of my trunk shows that I participated in in September and October.  So there.  All EPP with a lot of fussy cutting and it can be done in a timely manner .... not years.... only 4 months from start to top stage!   This quilt proved that point.

In a few days, it will be 2019.  Wishing you all the best and lots of happy stitching for the year to come!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Xmas quilts

It has been a busy few weeks here leading up to Xmas and now I can take a breather.  Whew .....

How about some eye candy of some of my Xmas quilts?

These are on display in our foyer.  The quilt on the wall is one you haven't seen finished and I will chat more about it in another post.
The top you see at the bottom of this photo will be hand quilted sometime next year.  It just had to be hung up with the other coordinating quilts.
Here is a better look of the top.  I just pinned the top onto a hanging sleeve and viola, instant display.  😸😸  I do want to hand quilt it, but haven't quite decided how yet.  For sure, there will be big stitch hand quilting .... but the design has stumped me.  The backing is ready.  Batting purchased.  Just the design.  Sheesh ..... come on brain ..... think, think.
This quilt below you have seen many times before on my blog.  The thing is, it would never lay flat on the wall.  Very wavy.  More hand quilting has been added to the borders, and although the extra quilting has helped, this quilt still will not look as good as I want it to.  This quilt was finished in 2003.  One of my earlier quilts.  It is possible that something wasn't quite right back then and I just proceeded anyway.  I have come to accept that it is what it is and to hang it and enjoy the beauty of this quilt every Xmas.  Amen.
This metal railing finally got a final coat of white paint and a quilt can now be displayed there.  The painting only took six years to finish, but it is finally done!  Well, this section at least.
My quilt ladder and red/white/neutral quilts .... yumm!
What is keeping me busy these days?  Our living room has been taken over for a staining area and I'm busy staining and sealing this bathroom ladder for a niece.   Hubby made it and now it is my turn to finish this ladder.
There is a table runner that I finished and gifted for Xmas and that too will be talked about on a separate post.

A week from now and it will be 2019 ..... wow, this year sure has gone by quickly. 

On an grim note, a cousin is not well and has given up on life.  The new year may not ring in well for our family.

Let's see what can get done this week.  Another ufo crossed off the list?  We'll see.

Have a great stitching day!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Last day in the garage

Before I get into photos (aka eye candy) of our garage day, how about an update on my log cabin?

There are only two more rows to assemble and sew onto the other sections.  My husband looked at the design wall and said it looks like the tail of a peacock.  It is so colourful and seems to shimmer.  Can I get this old ufo done before 2018 ends?  I think so!  There might have to be a slight tweaking before sewing those last two rows.  There seems to be a few too many darker blocks in the bottom right corner.  I couldn't see that until looking at this photo.
Now onto the garage photos.  OMG .... the eye candy was overwhelming.

Darlene has been busy trying to finish the borders on this top.  She also finished a Xmas panel (on the right) by doing big stitch hand quilting.  She plans to add some bling to it to make it sparkle.
Darlene purchased 2 metres of this printed flannel fabric and is working her flannel stash to add sections between the flower borders.
Below, you can see the diamond shaped sections that will be added to make the top wider.  Photos just don't do justice to how rich looking this printed flannel fabric is.
Claudia has been busy working on a few new projects.  She just purchased the It Takes 2 pattern as well as the embroidery pattern and is making it in blues (blocks on the right).
Below is a new block to be added to the others.  I showed her my few blocks that I had started years ago.  Maybe seeing her progress will prompt me to go back to my old ufo and make some more blocks next year.
Claudia also started Sweet Surrender (the diamond strip with applique).  I don't dare to start that pattern yet as there are way too many ufo's for me to work on.  One day, but not yet.
Karin brought in a wool applique project.  The blocks are stunning.  Another ufo that she should finish!
I did some stitch-in-the-ditch hand quilting on this old quilt that was finished way back in 2003.  This quilt never hanged well on the wall and it needed more hand quilting in the borders.  There was just half a border to do and that got finished yesterday in the garage.  Once home, this quilt got hung up and it hangs wonderfully now.  More on that later.
Lois was busy trimming these blocks for QOV quilts.  Once these were done, she worked on her shamrock blocks (which I didn't take a photo of).
So, that was our day in the garage and might be our last one for 2018.   Between Xmas and New Year's .... well that is a quiet time for most of us and who knows if there will be an impromptu gathering.

I regaled them of my episode about touching Elf on the Shelf and the big do-do that I got myself into.  OMG!  For those of you that don't know about this, please never, ever ..... touch the elf in front of little ones.  The elf will lose it's magic power and a letter to Santa explaining what happened had to take place and Santa had to recharge elf's power back.  It is a REALLY big deal.  Now you know .....

It was just a happy day for all of us working away on old ufo's and new projects.  A day of inspiration and friendship.  What could be better than that!

Have a great stitching day!