Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Goal is Met!

Whew ..... I was striving for a year-end (more like a decade) goal and it got achieved yesterday!  Time to celebrate!

Yesterday, the last of my tops got dropped off to my lovely LAer.
These are the last three tops.  What started off on a journey of 31 tops are now down to zero.  ZERO!  The journey took a number of years but in the process I've learned that it is more pleasurable to actually see finished quilts rather than tops sitting on a shelf.  When I look around my home, there on display are quilts that I longed to have hand quilted myself, but knew, in my heart, that they would never get done.  So, off to the LAer they go!
Of course, in the new year, there will be more tops and they will be delivered to the LAer in a timely manner.  No more sitting around gathering dust.  My UFO's have increased but more on that in 2022.

This was the dump of snow that fell Monday afternoon into the evening hours.  Accidents, accidents everywhere.  This was our vision Tuesday morning.  A winter wonderland.  We had more snow overnight and it is still snowing as I type up this post.  
With the Omicron variant going crazy, our Xmas celebrations will be curtailed yet again this year.  We still wear our masks, wash our hands and we are trying to book our booster shots.

So, however you celebrate ...... stay safe!

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Xmas Stars

This project is moving along better than planned.

Fabrics on the right side are being auditioned.  Which ones will be the lucky ones to go into this quilt?  Pick me, no pick me .....

Anyway, fun, fun, fun!

Cutting up of the Xmas fabric continues.  Another bin was found!  Another?!  In that bin is fabric that will be perfect for backings.  About four backings.  Perfect!  Once that fabric has been sorted, cut or set aside for mailing to a friend, three bins will be free!  Oh my, how happy that makes me!

This sorting has come in a timely manner.  I've been having issues with dry eye disease and clogged tear ducts.   There is a staph bacteria that has been eating away at my corneas.  Corneas are supposed to be nice and smooth looking.  My corneas look like swiss cheese.  Not good.  If this doesn't get under control, my vision will go blurry.  Many, many eye drops are being taken.  At my last visit this week, there is some progress and my corneas are looking better.  Not perfect, but better.  So, the eye drops will continue for another month and then a month with no steroids being taken and then another checkup to see what improvement has happened.

More sorting of fabric and projects will continue.  Time and life is marching on.

For me, quite a number of ufo's were dealt with this year.  Next year, there will be more working on them.  There will always be squirrels to tempt me away and that will be ok.  Gotta have fun.

A tally of my accomplishments will be shown in the new year.  This will be my last post until then.

Wishing all Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

Stay safe and wear a mask, wash your hands.

So on that note, cherish your day, cherish your life!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

More squirrels!

In an effort to get rid ..... use up most of my Xmas stash ..... at least three new projects are in the works.  You know .... squirrels!

So, what are the projects?

First:  a Disappearing Four Patch.

Second project:  some 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles.
Third project:   2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles.
There just might be a few more squirrels joining in the fun.  LOL

Large pieces of fabric will be used for backings.

Whatever fabric is left over is going to a friend.

Once Xmas fabric is gone, that will be it.  

I'm at that stage in life where certain theme fabrics need to be used up, gifted or donated.  Xmas fabrics are the first to go.  At least two bins will be empty and space on the shelf will be free.

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Xmas Stars Away!

The year is closing down ..... less than a month to go.  Where has the year gone?

I've been busy working on my new project ..... hummmm ..... squirrel!  Xmas Stars is coming along very nicely.   It will be just a large lap size and if one star is completed per week ..... well, this should be done in a few months.  I'm still deciding about the edges.  Not sure if this will be the final look.

Some fussy cutting is happening.   Loving them!
A little bit of Xmas decorating is changing the look of our rooms.

Hubby and I have downsized our Xmas tree.  I saw on Pinterest how folks are putting a tree in a crock.  Well, since we have two ..... can do!  The tree sits right in the middle of our living room window and is now (what we consider) our outdoor decoration.  It is just too hard now for Hubby to manage the outdoor stuff, so at night with the lights on, everyone can see it from the street and it helps to keep up the look of the season.  This tree is also easier for me to handle by myself.  The two of us have to become smarter about ageing in our home.

Xmas quilts make up the majority of my decor and this quilt is the first time it is on show.  So lovely to see the quilts up.  They do make any room feel cozier!
Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Oh, those squirrels!

Well, I have a very bad squirrel problem here!  Only in my studio just in case someone really thinks that there are squirrels in the house.  LOL

After finishing my last top with the rectangles, more pieces were cut out and another top started.  If I really concentrated on this project, the top will be sewn together very quickly.  It is just that easy to do.

Oh, dear ..... then after purchasing the 2021 November/December version of Fons & Porter "Love of Quilting", there was a star quilt that kept me going back to look at.  So, I've started my own version and am doing it in the EPP method using mostly Xmas fabrics.


So, that is where I'm at now with projects.  My UFO's have been abandoned for now, but they will get pulled off the shelf in the new year when enthusiasm comes around for goal setting, etc.  You know how it goes!  LOL

Last week when I Zoomed with Chookyblue and other ladies from around the globe, I mentioned how cold it could get up here.  This was the second time that I Zoomed with these ladies and how interesting it was.  

It snowed overnight and this is what we woke up to.  A good couple of inches.  This snow could stay for a few days because the temp. will stay below freezing.  The windchill is making it much colder but not as cold as it can be during the winter months.  So there, Zoom ladies, this is just the start of much more snow!

There was a scramble last night to pull out winter boots.  Check.  They are out and ready to be used.  Hats, scarves and gloves.  Check, check and check.  Snow tires on the car?  Check!  We are ready for winter!

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Two by Four

Quick and easy!  Well, that is exactly what this top turned out to be.  Eight days later this top is done.  It would have been done last night, but I was tired and knew that a boo-boo would happen if that final border was added.  So, this morning this top is done!

All made with 2-1/2" strips subcut into 4-1/2" pieces.  Top size:  56-1/4" x 72".  I'll be making more of these.  It is time for me to make a few donation quilts.

A Frankenpieced batting is ready for it.  Now to just piece backing and this top can go to my lovely LAer.

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Oh, those pesky squirrels!

In the process of cleaning up my studio, that pesky squirrel dropped by!  LOL

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Tops to Gingham Swirl!

Well, well, well ..... I just couldn't leave those borders alone.  They had to be finished.

Stitch by stitch by stitch one border and then another border got sewn and sew on!  My fingers and arm are sore, but oh my, how happy I am today!

Below, you are looking at the scroll being stitched onto the final border fabric.  No pins because the scroll and the border fabric have been basted in place.

This is a section of the back that has just been stitched.
After basting stitches have been removed, careful trimming took place and the scroll paper template removed.
A section with all the excess fabric removed.
Here it is!  The top is done!  I'm so thrilled with it.
When designing my own quilts, there are no instructions on how to do things.  For the final border, I had to remember when measuring and cutting to leave an extra 3/8" for the binding.  Can you see the width difference at the bottom of the scroll next to the dark red fabric versus the top of the scroll next to the light print fabric?  Also, I had to take that extra bit of fabric into consideration when drawing my placement line for the top of the scroll.
A few of my readers have commented on how clever I am to have this border.  I'm not clever .... I just have EQ7 software and designed this quilt using their blocks.

So, for those of you who have the one of the latest EQ program, I used #3342 (which is for a 6" finished quarter block).  Those quarter blocks turned into 12" finished.

For the borders, an 8" (finished) Curved Path Border and Curved Path Corner were used.

So, there, I'm not that clever.

Would I do this border again?  Yes, but not right away!  LOL

This is the 7th UFO done so far this year.  I'm very happy with that too. 

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Gingham Swirl progressing along!

I knew that if I concentrated on just one project at a time, great progress could easily be seen.  That is what happened to my "Gingham Swirl".  This is the only project that has been steadily worked on for the past two months and what a difference already.   This UFO had only one block made when the bin was pulled from the shelf back at the end of August.  Since then, wholey moley ..... much, much progress has been made.

Below shows two borders with the scroll basted in place.  Why basting?  That way, I don't have to deal with pins galore nor my scroll shifting during handling and storing when it is not being worked on.

Stitching down those edges takes time, but so relaxing.  Only the one edge is being sewn down because there is a reason for that.
Can you see the upper right hand corner?  See how the red in the upper part is cut away?
Close-up of the cut-out area.  See the piece of red print fabric on the right?  That will be inserted in the cut-out area.  That is why only the one edge of the scroll has been sewn onto the dark red fabric.  Oh, fun, fun, fun!
When I sent a photo to a friend, she oohed and aahed and asked if that was easy to do.

Well, yes and no.  It depends on your skill level and if you are daring to give it a try.  I'm always ready to try something new, so why not!  LOL

So, how is this scroll border actually done?  Now, I'm not clever enough to design this border myself.  Oh no, not me!  It is available through EQ7 (which is the version I have).  After playing around with the software, this is the design that came about.  The tricky part is putting it together.

There are different versions of applique, but this is the method that I use.  

Through the software program, I was able to print out the border shapes.  Then a whole bunch of paper templates were cut out and taped together.  On the left side is my white paper template ready to be used.  So as to not get my template twisted around, it gets pinned onto the border to make sure it will fit ok before cutting out.

Then over the paper template, my fabric (that the scroll is made of) is placed on top and a couple of pins are used to make sure the template doesn't get dropped when moving the fabric and template to my cutting table.
Here is the paper template being pinned onto the fabric.  Lots of pins are involved here.  
One scroll is now pinned in place ready for trimming away the excess fabric.
This is the back of my trimmed and clipped piece showing the edges being turned over and basted.
This is what the front looks like.
Below, the scroll piece is being pinned onto the red border and basted in place.  Look closely and you can see a horizontal line drawn where the bottom of each scroll is placed and then pinned in place.  There are also vertical lines drawn as well for positioning along the border.  Those lines help to keep my scroll lined up properly throughout each border.
Two edges have been sewn down and the excess red fabric trimmed out.  Don't they look lovely?  The next two borders have been basted and ready to be sewn.  Next post, you will see the next stage of this top.  I'm getting excited to see my vision come to fruition.  
On the weather front, we did wake up to snow on the ground one morning last week.  The snow didn't last, but it was a wake up call to get things done before the cold weather and snow returns for good.

Snow tires are being put on our car today.  My windows need a good cleaning and that will happen this week.

More backings need to be done for a trip to my lovely LAer in two weeks' time.

My studio is getting a good overhaul.  Magazines and books are being sorted through and they will be donated to our day guild's encore table.  Scraps are being sorted for keep, donate or trash.  It is time for a good rethink on what I have in my stash and studio.

My studio has become a dumping ground and it overwhelms me sometimes.  There is a light starting to peek though the tunnel.  Bins are getting emptied and that is encouraging.  UFO's are getting done and that is a very GOOD THING!

It is busy, busy time around here.

Cherish your day, cherish you life!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Borders for Gingham Swirl

Now that all the blocks have been sewn together, it is time to deal with those interesting borders.

What fabrics to use, what fabrics to use?  That is my decision now.

I think for the first border, the darker red is a must.  Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the scroll meets up well in the corners but there may be a slight adjustment and I have allowed for that by having extra fabric at the ends of the scroll!  I'm also debating about circles as cornerstones in the blocks.

This past weekend, my Aunt and cousin were finally buried in Gatineau, Quebec.  My Aunt died January 2020 and my cousin died December 2020 (neither from Covid).  We couldn't bury them due to Covid along with the border to Quebec being closed off and on for the past year and a half.  

On Saturday, it poured buckets.  Rain was preferred to snow because my Aunt did not want to be buried in snow.  So much rain fell that our hotel lobby was flooded.  The rain eased enough that we were able to put their urns into the ground.  My sister and I lowered my Aunt's urn and since neither of us can kneel well, we stretched the strings on the bag that the urn was in as low as we could go.  Still, my Aunt landed with a little bump.  Oops, sorry Aunt Bette .... I didn't mean to do that to you!   We had the reception in a huge tent outside and we all wore masks (unless we were seated).   

So, that is the end of that chapter of their lives and for us too.  My Aunt was the last of my Mom's siblings.  We have our memories and photos of our time with them and that is so precious to us.

While in Gatineau/Ottawa, we ate out twice in restaurants.  We had to show our vaccination certificate showing that we had our two vaccine shots.  Standing we wore masks, but we could take them off when sitting.  Our tables were spaced out.  I still feel uncomfortable eating out, but knowing that everyone else there were double vaxxed, that is some comfort.

Our nice warm weather is coming to an end and snow is expected this weekend.  Snow ..... so soon?  The last of the plants that I want to overwinter for next year must be taken in today or they will turn to mush with the frost.

Our snow tires will be installed on our SUV next week.  Time to check out the snowblower as it looks like we will be getting a lot of snow this winter!

I'm working on getting bindings made for three quilts.  Having a quilt on my lap when the temperature dips will be most welcome!

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wheels on the Cart!

A lot of work has been happening over the past few weeks at our cottage.  One bedroom that had dark panelling was transformed with a couple coats of white paint.  A new floor was also installed.  What a change.  Plus the outside of our cottage went from beige to Wedgwood Blue.  Sorry no photos, but we are happy with the changes.

While driving to and fro from home to the cottage, the fall foliage showed us its' glory.  This section of the gravel road to our cottage is mostly yellows.  Other sections are beautiful reds and oranges but we didn't stop to take photos of those trees.  We didn't want to linger on the roads too long as it is hunting season and we weren't wearing orange vests.

This was taken at our lake.
I've been admiring this cedar tree for many years.  It is over 50 yrs. old and was already there when my parents bought the property.  How beautiful those cedar trees have grown.  It would be perfect to take photos of one of my quilts hanging from a branch.

Here is my latest finish!  Whooohooo ....

The breeze was blowing and I had to quickly take my photos as the quilt danced in the breeze. 

Quilt Details:

I started making hourglass blocks in October 2020 during a sew along with Cluck Cluck Sew.  All my blocks were made using charm squares.  Yippee ..... that stash was greatly reduced along the way!

Then, I started playing with EQ7 to see what interesting design I could come up with to use all those hourglass blocks and viola "Wheels on the Cart" was born.

Started:  October 2020

Top finished:  January 2021

Quilt finished:  October 2021

Quilt size:  74-1/2" x 93-1/2" (top size before quilting, washing and drying:  76-1/4" x 94-3/4")

Batting:  Hobbs poly on a roll

Machine quilted by:  Kathy Wareham

Another quilt is done and the top was finished during the start of a long covid lock-down!  What can I say except how happy I am to have this quilt finished and ready to enjoy this winter.

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada.  This year, it was decided to spend the holiday at our cottage.  It has been over 25 yrs. since we last did that.  The weather was perfect and the temperature was warm and that is something we haven't seen in many years.  The younger generation hit the trails and roads on their atv's and what fun they had. 

Cherish your day, cherish your life!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

All that binding!

Yesterday, I picked up 5 quilts from the LAer.  Lots and lots of binding to come!  This is a good time as the temps. are starting to cool down now and to have these on my lap in the evenings will be most welcome.

I do have a finish but no photos to show you.  Binding and label are done.  Tick, tick.  Just need a sleeve and then wash and dry and then photos to come.  Happy, happy, happy to have something finished after quite a dry spell of just finishing tops.
Cottage season is starting to wind down and I will be spending more time at home now.  But not quite yet as there is some work that needs to be done to the cottage.  Staining of the outside and some painting inside as well as new floors laid in the two bedrooms.  The cottage is small and the work is something that can be achieved in day trips here and there.  Only a few more weeks and then the cottage will be closed for the winter.

Last Friday, I zoomed for the first time with a number of quilters from around the world.  Chookyblue is the hostess and she has been trying to get me to zoom for quite a while now.  Friday was a rainy day and I stayed home and viola ..... zoom, zoom, zoom!  To all those ladies that I met and are reading my blog for the first time .... hello again and it was lovely meeting you! 

Cherish your day, cherish your life! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

What a surprise!

This is what I saw when the curtains were opened this morning.  Usually, my hubby has them open by the time I get downstairs but not this morning.  Why?  Surprise!

Where have the years gone?  One day I'm 20, then 50 and .... wham ..... 70!  Thank you to my dear family for arranging this.

Another surprise was when our neighbour came outside (holding her baby girl) and wished me a 'happy birthday' but also thanked me for making the NICU blanket for her baby.  What a coincidence.  I'm a bit confused because my name is not added to the label as I prefer to remain anonymous.  Perhaps with the last batch my name was added to the label by someone else.  A mystery.

A call came from another neighbour wishing me 'happy birthday'.  Now everyone on the street knows how old I am.  Darn, I was hoping to keep them guessing.  LOL  Anyway, she informed me that it is their 63rd wedding anniversary today also.  How sweet is that!
This is another surprise.  This buck was sleeping on our hill this past Saturday and stayed in that spot until 11:30 a.m. and then finally got up and munched its' way along the ridge.  He was so well camouflaged that my husband didn't see him when he went up the hill to work.  Hubby was just 20' away and suddenly the deer lifted it's head.  My husband slowly backed away and left him to sleep the morning away.

On the quilting front, progress has been made with the applique for my "Gingham Swirls".  These are all completed.
Most of the background fabrics are cut 12-1/2" x 12-1/2", but a few will have four 6-1/2" squares.  From the cutouts from the back of the applique, there is just enough fabric to cut one 6-1/2" square.  Every row will have a patched background block just to make things interesting.
So, I'm planning on having a terrific day!

Cherish your day, cherish your life!