Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Gift Quilts

Hello loyal readers, I thought you might like to see some of the quilts I gave away for Christmas this year.   Some of them were made last year, and since I'm slowing down a bit with the back pain and MS, not as many made this year for sure.

In no particular order, here they are:

For Auntie Z:

Don't tell anyone, but that quilt for Auntie Z is my fave.  I'm going to make another one with blues and purples.  Isn't it lovely?  It is a large quilt - as you can see I had some troubles holding up the corners.

And here's how well it wraps up Auntie Z!

For Noah:

Yes, it's got Pokemon on the front and a cute Pokemon fabric on the back too.  For my favourite Pokemon Go player.  Here he is all snuggled up and cozy with his new quilt:

For K & B - union jacks all over the place. 

And the union jack front has a pretty cool back, here it is:

Here's how it looks on the bed, it looks like a good fit:

For mom - she picked this one out herself so good news is that she likes it:

And a very pretty back for this quilt as well, lots of daffodils to remind her of spring:

And then a quilt for T:

It's a fabulous fabric selection, all maps and ephemera.  And a great back:

Can't get enough of the union jack, that's got to be obvious.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cyprus Lake 2016

As you know dear readers, every year my best friend Kim and I make the trek to Tobermory for our annual camping trip at Bruce Peninsula National Park, aka Cyprus Lake.  This year we made the trip again - it's the best place I've ever been for camping and it is more beautiful every year.

I've looked through the pictures on my phone and see that almost all of them are of Sam, Daisy, and various chipmunks.  Easy to see where my priorities are I guess.

Daisy has taught Sam all the important things about camping.  Lots to learn about chasing balls on the beach, how to swim etc.  Here's Sam applying his lesson about chipmunks (note red arrow to help you find the chipmunk against the forest floor):

Not to worry, Sam was on a long line so no harm came to the chippie.  Not that Sam had a chance of catching him in any event - those chipmunks are crafty little critters.

Sam and Daisy had a wonderfully happy time chasing balls in the water.  Sam finally had some success swimming but he's definitely not a natural like Daisy.  Here he is back at the campsite after a long day swimming and fetching. 

And my love Daisy as well - she enjoyed drying out in the sun after a day at the beach:

And here we have a nice addition to our campsite packing up efforts - now that Noah is a little older, he can help with ensuring the Thule (actually a Yakima Skybox this year) was filled to the brim and not one iota over:

So a nice week away, and hopefully we'll do the same next year.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Start of A Wedding Quilt

As you know, loyal readers, I rarely do quilts on request.  And I don't do commissions or take orders.  The cost is typically much more than people are willing to pay for, and it takes a lot of effort to make one of these lovely comforting quilts.  I prefer to make what I like, and sometimes try to make a quilt with fabrics carefully selected for a special person.

However, I'm up for baby quilts and the occasional quilt for an amazing person.  And that is the case at the moment, when my dear mother asked if I would make a wedding quilt for someone special.  She knows to ask well in advance of the time that it will be needed.

Here's the fabric and rough plan - you can see the pattern I'm starting from.  But, dear readers, I will be veering off to a slightly different arrangement and have a plan for pieced text for the back.  I'll keep you posted on progress - this is a project I'll work on while also trying to get caught up on UFOs this year.

Where have I been?

You must be wondering where I've been, it's been over two months since my last post.  As you know, I've been busy buying a new house and selling my current one.  Now I'm just waiting to close on both houses so I can move.  I'll share some pictures of the new place once that's done.

The last couple of months have been busy.  In addition to arranging all manner of trades to get my house ready for sale, I've been at the pain clinic getting some test injections in my back (not what I would call a pleasant procedure).  I've also been fitting in some of the usual summer activities like celebrating Canada Day with Sam and Daisy, and of course, freezer jam.  Last week Kim and I went to Butt's Berry farm in Eramosa and picked up two flats of fresh Ontario strawberries.

And a little bit later, voila, here's the jam, in the freezer and ready to be shared (maybe).  I seem to have packed all of the 250ml jars into storage, so most of the jam is in 500ml jars.  Not my preference, because it only lasts 6 weeks in the fridge once it's been defrosted, so the larger jars will have to go to a house where they eat a lot of strawberry jam.  :)

For canning pears this year, I also picked up these amazing jars, it's so nice to have something new in the canning department.  They may be retro, but they're new to me.  I don't remember ever seeing canning jars in any colour other than clear, so this is a real treat. 

And this Sunday, I finally finished off my April UFO blocks, the Amy Butler String Quilt.  This took a long time to complete and now I've got to sew the blocks together to finish the quilt top.  But it's almost done, yayy!!  Then time to move on to the May UFO project, I'm going to have to be disciplined in order to catch up to July.

And here they are up on Klara's design wall.  This is how the quilt will look once it's put together.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Amy Butler String Quilt - In Progress

I was curious to see what this quilt would look like, so I started a few blocks yesterday and today.  This quilt is going to take a LONG time to make - no finishing early this month. 

Here are the first few blocks.  The white strip in the middle is common to all of the blocks so there will be a pattern across the whole quilt.  As you can see, the rest of the block is scrappy-ish with strips of different widths, all from Amy Butler's "Soul Blossoms" line of fabric.  I cut the fabric a few years ago when I started this project, and now I wish I hadn't cut such narrow strips.  There are 100 blocks to do - and each block takes about an hour to do.  That is a lot of sewing when I can only sit for a short period each day!  I'll post some more in-progress photos when I have some to show.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April UFO Challenge - Number 1

Here we go again, another month and it's time for a new challenge number.  This month's number is:

So, looking at my list, I'll be working on the Amy Butler String Quilt this month.

I did some work on this in 2012, at the last retreat I attended.  It's hard to believe it's been so many years since I went to retreat, but that's the impact of a back injury.

Here's a photo of the in-progress blocks.  Strips of fabric are sewn onto a paper foundation - there are about 100 paper foundations prepared.  Once the strips are all sewn, the paper is removed.  It's called a string quilt.  We'll see how many blocks I get done before I run out of the fabric!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's my mom's birthday on March 23, and she received her well-taped package today.  Imagine her surprise when she opened it to find Flannel Puppies!

This quilt was finished over a year ago but I could not figure out how to put the faces onto the blocks.  Klara helped me to figure out how to stitch on the smiles, and then I spent a small fortune on buttons for eyes and noses.  Who knew buttons were so costly?

Here's an in-progress view:

And the finished version, out in the snow for a good backdrop.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March UFO Challenge - Finished!

This month's challenge project is finished, the Carnaby Street Plus quilt.   It's a small quilt, about 60" by 70".

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Carnaby Street Plus Quilt Update

I've done a little work on the March UFO, which is the Carnaby Street Plus quilt.

Here are the first two blocks I've made, laid out on the ironing board.  A little on the crazy bright side, but you can clearly see the "plus" in each centre.

It will take a while to make this quilt, a little at a time.  I'm enjoying House of Cards Season 4 as background entertainment as I sew the blocks. 

Tomorrow is quilting day, which means a fun day at Klara's.  I will be focusing on pillowcases again so I can mostly be standing.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Finish - Colour Your World

I posted about this one recently.  Finally added the borders a couple of weeks ago.  It's a large quilt - almost 90" x 90".

This Sunday at Klara's I spent the afternoon cutting out fabric for pillowcases.  It was a short day because my back is really bothering me, so I focused on an activity where I can stand rather than doing any sitting.

No pictures of the pillowcases because some of them might be for you, my loyal readers!  Let's just say that there are some great kids' prints for my favourite 8-year-old, as well as some other nice fabrics.  About 20 in all - some for my linen cabinet, some for gifts, and some for Christmas.  I'll show you a few of them when they're done.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March UFO Challenge - Number 3

Today we received a new UFO number - number 3.  Wonderful news, because I like this one - Carnaby Street Plus quilt.

With my recently tidied sewing storage area, I had no problem finding the fabric for the project, but it took me a little while to track down the pattern.  Found it and finished cutting out the last few pieces.  Look at the pretty fabrics in this quilt:

I'll post again as the project progresses.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Photos of Quilt Finishes

Thought I would share a few photos from quilts I've finished in the past - thanks to Kim and Tuner for taking these photos!  All of the quilts were made by me and machine quilted by the talented Caroline Berch. I don't have photos of many of the quilts so thought I should get these photographed.

Obama Quilt
Here's one I made as a Christmas gift for Kim in 2009.  The front is nice with a diamond pattern using 3 Sisters (by Moda) but the back is pretty cool with 2008 Obama fabric.

Castle Peeps Mixtape
I saw this pattern by Elizabeth Hartman and had to make it with Castle Peeps - loved it when I saw it online.

Lush Mixtape
I loved the Castle Peeps quilt so much that I made the pattern again using Lush Uptown by Lizzy House.  Such an amazing line of fabric - I have a bit more of it so there will be another Lush Uptown quilt in the future.   It's hard to make out the details from the photo at this distance, but the quilt features a couple of paint by number fabrics, which I absolutely love.

Salt Water Chopsticks
This is a favourite.  I made it with coral fabrics from Tula Pink's Salt Water collection, using the Chopsticks pattern.  The back has a minky-like low-plush fabric, very cozy.

Modern Mix
Here's a quilt I started in 2009 or so and just finished up a year or so ago.  It's one of my favourites as well - love the optical illusion created by the batik colours.  It's from a pattern by Mabeth Oxenreider. 

Blue Quilt
This one was made using a bundle of Kona blues and teals, and using the Escapade pattern by Julie Griffith.  Apparently everyone likes this photo best from the series.  


Monday, February 15, 2016

February UFO Challenge - Finished!

Thanks to Klara, I was able to finish my February UFO challenge this weekend!  How awesome to have the one-block wonder class teacher available to help when I got stuck - and to expertly consult on the layout.  It's about 80" square so I will be backing it with the red minky - a super cuddly quilt when it's done.

Now I've got two Sundays left in the month to dedicate to another project, so I'm going to work on getting the borders on this quilt.  I started it a long time ago and it's not on my UFO list, so it will be good to get it out of the way before the new challenge starts in March.

Friday, February 12, 2016

One Block Wonder - Final Layout and Update

I've received so many comments from readers who want an update on progress on the One Block Wonder, which is February's UFO.  Okay, two requests for updates, but considering I have three readers, that's a lot.  :)

Thanks to Klara's magic, the final layout of the hexagons is complete and last night I started sewing the columns together.  Here's what it looks like as of last night:

The two left-most columns have been sewn and there are another 20 or so columns to do.  It's going to look great!  If the finished size is less than 85", I may use a red minky fabric that I bought for the back.  Minky has a soft plush feel and would make this quilt extra cuddly.  We'll have to see what the finished size is and then make a decision.

Tonight we got the columns sewn!  Here's how it's looking, next step is to join the columns together to make the complete top.  Klara, my mentor, nagged encouraged me to finish all the columns and they're done now, with help from her.   It's really coming together nicely.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

One Block Wonder - Progress

This has been a great weekend for progress, thanks to Klara!  I got a lot done on my February challenge project, as you can see below.

First up, here's the fabric that the project is made from.  Using a fancy ruler and special technique, the fabric is cut up and put back together as a One Block Wonder.

Once the blocks were partially constructed, they went onto the design wall to see how they look:

Then the real art begins, which is where Klara's experience and design skills come into play.  Here's a slightly revised version, still in progress.  Notice how the top left has blocks that are largely green, with red blocks bisecting the piece and darker green and black on the bottom right.

More work to do on this and I'll post an update next Sunday.  The plan is to start putting together the quilt based on the final design next weekend.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February UFO Challenge - Number 5

We have our UFO Challenge number for February - it's number 5.  For me, that means I have to work on my One-Block Wonder from Klara's class in 2012.

The One-Block Wonder is a popular quilt - here's a guy who makes them for a living - the quilt hanging behind him in the photo is a One-Block Wonder.  His quilts are beautiful.  I'm not expecting mine to be quite so fabulous.   It's very hard to tell how the quilt will look - it totally depends on the fabric that you start with.

As you can see, this project is in progress.  I opened up the case for this project and here's where it stands.  I got this far and then put it away to do something else and never got back to it!  Klara is the master One-Block Wonder maker, so I'll be happy to get some tips from her on the layout of the blocks.

When I took the class in 2012 I did a blog post about it and you can see some of the blocks in progress from that time.

Lots of piecing and pressing to do to get the blocks done, then the really hard work to get the overall quilt to look good when put together in a quilt.  Thankfully, Klara is fantastic at this part of the process.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January UFO Finished!

Yay, finished the first UFO of 2016!  It will take a while for this to be quilted because Caroline has a long list of reservations, but it's nice to have the top completed and ready to go.

Tomorrow is February 1st which means a new UFO number, I'm looking forward to seeing which number is selected as the UFO project for this month.

Also something new for the blog, you can now sign up and receive email notices when there's a new posting ready to view.  As I have about 3 readers, I'm sure you'll all want to make sure you catch the latest.   Just put your email address into the field on the right where it says "Subscribe to FIBTP by Email" and click Submit... and you'll never miss another post.