KA-CHOW!!!

so, i know that i’ve made mention of my issues with procrastination and a busy life in previous posts. this one takes the cake!

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meet Alex’s quilt. Alex’s lovely mom, Diana, asked me to make this for her son almost 8 months ago. 8. months. i am so embarrassed to admit that. it took me about a week of planning to come up with an idea, and another week to track down all of the fabrics, and then three more weeks for it all to arrive. then, of course, i miscalculated for the blue fabric and had to reorder. by this time, the crunch was on for the fall trade show deadline and i just couldn’t get back to it. then hockey, and various Christmas commitments kept me away. Diana has been very gracious and hasn’t given me a hard time at all! thanks friend!

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i finally finished yesterday, but  i couldn’t get outside to take pictures until today. it was miserably cold (-30c) today, so you’ll have to make do with two crappy photos. as i was walking out to the fence with the quilt, i tripped on a chunk of ice and did a face plant into the snow. i put my hands out to break my fall, but since i was sans mittens, my hands were FREEZING as i tried to get the quilt up and get some snaps. i gave up after two.

the centre is a panel, and i pieced the checkered border with 1.75″ black and white squares. the pinwheels measured 14″ finished. it’s a little dicey just winging it sometimes. i really need to come up with a plan before i start. maybe then i won’t have to reorder fabric so often. who am i kidding? i love ordering fabic!!!

so far, i have two things crossed off my list of 21. yay me!! i’m back at it tomorrow!

FIRST FINISHES OF 2015!

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i have FINALLY completed the three table runners my friend, Karen, asked me to make for christmas gifts. yes, i am aware that it is several weeks past christmas, but THIS time it wasn’t my fault. my lovely lucey broke down just before we were set to leave on our cross country trek, and i wasn’t able to diagnose the problem or do anything to fix it until we got home in january. thankfully, it turned out to be a minor repair, and she is now humming along once more.

i was given creative license, and a general idea of colours and size, so i had some fun with these. karen requested batik fabrics, one in plums, one with a seascape feel, and one that looked like the pasture in summer.

012for the plum, i tried out my new-to-me sizzix big shot pro machine with the 5″ charm square die. it took a bit of fiddling to get the machine cutting just right, but i am really pleased with the result. i laid out the squares on point and added deep plum setting triangles. the original plan was to leave the ends of the runner pointed, but Karen requested a rectangle, so i added the corners. i used superior magnifico thread in crocus and the windy day panto from lorien quilting, and then bound it in the same deep plum.

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for the seascape runner, i chose blues and aquas, and settled on an off white/yellow/pale blue/grey batik for the stars. i wanted the stars to be a little rustic, so when i did the sawtooth star, i made sure the centres of the star points were chopped off by the body of the star. i don’t know if that particular star has a name or not. anyone know? i used magnifico in horizon and the halcyon panto from lorien quilting

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for the pasture runner, i again used my sizzix, this time with the 2.5″ strip die.i did simple rail fence blocks, not worrying about value. i tried really hard to keep the same fabrics from touching, but as usual, the harder i try, the more it happens. i did a wide border on the two short sides and bound the runner in the same fabric. i used superior magnifico in songbird, and the ground cover panto by barbara becker.
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today was the perfect day to get outside and take some pictures. it was only -7c with lots of sun and a slight breeze. i love the prairies in winter! especially on days like today.

happy 2015!!

well, once again, life got in the way of blogging. i had a very busy couple of months in the run up to christmas. i kind of overbooked myself, quilt-wise, and with hockey and school events added to the mix, i’m surprised i didn’t lose my marbles.

we went to thunder bay to visit my sweetie’s family for the holidays. it was no where near as horrible a trip as i anticipated. by that i mean my children were surprisingly well behaved, and traveled much better than i thought they would. we had a wonderful time, but it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed.

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one of the last projects i worked on before we left was a frozen quilt, custom ordered for a little girl for christmas. i wasn’t sure if i would be able to get my hands on a panel, as they are pretty hot right now, but i lucked out! i got the panel in the mail the first week of december. i wasn’t sure what i was going to do, but i knew my client wanted a double sized quilt. once i got the panel, i was able to measure it and start planning out what i was going to do.

i trimmed the panel down so that i could add a couple of plain borders. i wanted to do a border of blocks that looked kind of like snowflakes, so i planned them out with graph paper, and then added borders until i had the correct measurement. i wanted to make the snowflake blocks out of 2 1/2″ strips, so i just played with the math until they fit. then i added more plain borders until it measured 74 x 84. i’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and i think they were too.

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the fabrics i used were from connecting threads. i used ‘lotta dots’ in sangria, ocean mist, violet, azure, and sweet pink for the snowflake blocks, and winter flakes for the background. for the borders, i used ‘swirls’ in imperial blue, and winter flakes. for the backing, i used the leftover blocks and pieced them in with the frozen character fabric. i quilted it with the ‘windy day‘ panto from urban elementz, and essential pro thread in silver.

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now that i’m home, it’s back to the grind. i’ve sat down and made a list of all of the projects i have committed myself to, and it’s already 15 items long. eep!!! i also want to make a list of my ufo’s and chip away at them this year. i know i have more than 30 flimsies made, just waiting to be quilted, so it should be a whopper of a list. i’m thinking if i post it here, i’ll be slightly more accountable. slightly.

edit: i’ve been meaning to post how i came up with the snowflake block. i was following along with Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt. she came out with step 2 at the beginning of december, and that’s when inspiration struck! i sat down with some graph paper and sketched out the double diamond unit. it wasn’t quite what i was looking for, but after playing for a bit, i found what i was looking for. thanks so much, Bonnie!!!

BLOGATHON!!!!

Sew Sisters Blog

Blogathon Canada, put on by one of my FAVOURITE online fabric sources, Sew Sisters, is happening this week, and today is hosted by two wonderful bloggers from my neck of the woods! Heather of Peace.Love.Quilt. from Saskatoon SK, and Lori of Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works from Dauphin MB. If you have stopped by to have a look, welcome!!! I’m so pleased to have you here!

I have been sewing forever! I started when i was 10 (with my mommy’s help) and did garment sewing for years. I had always wanted to quilt, but had no idea where to start. When i was in my early 20’s, i received a mail order card for a quilting book with a bonus of a rotary cutter (hilariously small) and a crappy cutting mat (tiny and definitely NOT self healing). Thus began my journey. I was a woman possessed. I bought quilting magazines and fabric every chance i got. Not knowing any better, the very first project i tackled was a miniature shoofly quilt. It was horrible, but i was hooked! I have dabbled in many other crafts over the years (crochet, knitting, cross stitch, needlepoint, painting) but quilting is the one that feeds my soul. I am fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive partner, who goes out of his way to encourage my creativity. He has always gone above and beyond for me, even insisting that I have a longarm machine. I know, right? He’s a keeper!

I started my blog a couple of years ago, but sadly, i let it fall my the wayside for many months. I have been trying to post regularly, but life keeps getting in the way. Some days i find it a struggle to come up with anything to post. I need to remind myself that I blog for me and I need to enjoy the process.

Please have a look around and say hi! I’m tickled that you stopped by!

Lost month

Somewhere along the line, I lost an entire month. Not sure how, but since it’s been a month since my last post, it’s definitely gone. I have been busy with trade shows every weekend since the end of October, and yesterday was the last of them. I was not terrifically successful, but I did sell a couple of larger pieces, several small items, and I got a couple of side jobs as well, so overall I’m pretty pleased.

I have also been very busy trying to complete several Christmas projects. A friend’s aunt passed away last year, and her daughter (my friends cousin) asked if I could do memorial quilts for her daughters for Christmas. Of course, I was glad to help out. She sent a large duffle bag full of her mother’s pajamas, and I’ve been able to get three good sized lap quilts out of them. As most of the pajamas are knit fabrics, I treated them as I would a t-shirt quilt, and backed them all with fusible interfacing before I cut out the blocks. I bordered each block on two sides with purple fabric to tie everything together, and assembled them into a woven rectangle pattern. I’m pretty happy with how they are turning out.

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I’ve also been hired to make a Frozen quilt for a little girl, and three table runners for a friend of mine. I also have a couple of projects to quilt for customers before Christmas. I had better get to it!! I fully admit to being a procrastinator, but I would rather not give myself grey hair if I can avoid it.

Friday already?

It’s been an interesting week around here, to say the least. Our cat has been trying for days to bring dead birds and mice into the house for her 6 week old kittens. Wednesday, she succeeded. I ran out of the house (well, i WAS going to take a lunch to my hard working sweetie) and stayed away for two hours. The little guy was still in his pajamas, and i was in dire need of a ball cap to hide my stylish ‘do. it was great fun. (ha!) That night was the middle dude’s first hockey practice, and of course, the van had a flat tire, and the SUV had a dead battery. Got the SUV going, but of course, we were a little late. Never before has dude  dressed in his hockey gear that fast! Needless to say, I haven’t had much time to sit at the machine. I did get one of my own quilts loaded on the frame, and did a little stitching on a Cars quilt for a friend’s little guy. I really need to get my butt in gear, as the Lion’s craft show is sneaking up on me!

I did want to share this lovely with you all.

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This fantastic quilt was made by Carolynn, one of the sweetest people i know! She made this for her Dad, and didn’t want anything too flowery on it. I quilted it with the Wrought Iron pantograph and used a caramel coloured thread on top, and beige Glide in the bobbin.

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It always amazes me how even a simple quilting pattern changes the way a quilt looks. I’m sure her Dad will love wrapping up in this lovely quilt this winter!!

Last week was crazy busy around here, and i’m still trying to recuperate. I finished 3 baby quilts for the lovely Sara and got them delivered on Wednesday.

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The first is a happy little quilt in black, yellow and green. I quilted it allover with a Sparkler pantograph using black thread.

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In hindsight, i probably should have used yellow or green thread for the top, so the pattern popped a little more, but it still turned nice.

The second is this adorable grey quilt. the background fabric Sara used is a tiny polkadot from the Connecting Threads Basics line. I believe they have discontinued this print now, but they have a great selection of basic prints for an amazing price.

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I quilted this with grey thread and the Petalism pantograph. I LOVE this panto!!! it’s so simple and so striking, if I could i’d use it on every quilt that passed my way!! Well. Ok, THAT might be a little extreme, but i do LOVE this panto!!!

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Just look at it!! Isn’t it sweet? Such great texture with out being overdone. Did I mention how much I LOVE this panto? Ok. I’m done now.

The last quilt I did for Sara was this pretty floral in greens and pinks with a simple white print for the background.

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I quilted this one with white thread and used the Camellias pantograph to tie in with the flowers.

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It’s such a soft and pretty quilt. Sara has a great eye for colour, and all of her stuff is so visually appealing. I do love to work on quilts that tickle my fancy, and Sara always delivers!

What a Beaut!

I am a procrastinator.

There.

I said it.

Is it ever going to change? Probably not.

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I got this beautiful quilt top from the lovely Diane S. at the beginning of summer. i JUST delivered it today. I am a terrible person. Being the sweet lady she is, she didn’t give me any grief about the length of time i had the quilt. It’s all done now, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Diane made this quilt for her teenaged grandson, so I used the Gossamer pantograph from Lorien Quilting to keep it a little more masculine. I used Connecting Threads Essential Pro thread in Black on the top, and Magna-Glide Classic in Black in the bobbin. As per usual, my APQS Lucey stitched beautifully!

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Overall, I think it turned out pretty good, and I hope Diane’s grandson enjoys it!

Project Sheets? Yes please!!!

I was on Facebook this morning, and one of my favourite online fabric resources, Sew Sisters Quilt Shop, had posted a link to a wonderful blog called From Pixels to Patchwork. The lovely author of said blog, Taryn, posted two project sheet templates for keeping track of your projects. i haven’t had a chance to look at the sheets in depth, but it looks like a really great way to stay on top of your UFO’s. I know I ALWAYS have several projects on the go at once, in many different stages of completion, so many in fact, that i often forget what I’ve got on the go. I am definitely going to give this a try and see if i can conquer my overwhelming pile of half finished projects. Are you a multiple-projects-at-once quilter? Or do you prefer to start and finish one project at a time?

Too gone for too long

It’s been a while since i had a chance to post. Summer was so busy and seemed to just disappear. I can’t even say what exactly it was I did this summer that kept me so busy, but it must have been something very important. (uh huh) 

School has started again, and my wee man is in Grade 2. Tomorrow, my littlest man starts pre-kindergarten. It’s a bittersweet day for me. I am looking forward to having some “free” time, but I am sad that my baby is growing up so fast. I have my day planned so that i won’t be home, alone, listening to the clock tick and ugly crying at my kitchen table.

A few weeks ago, I put an ad up in the local buy and sell asking for free or very cheap sewing machines, and i have three to pick up tomorrow. my plan is to clean them up, tune them up, and donate them to people who need a machine, but can’t afford to buy themselves one. I’ve done this a few times in the past, but am looking to donate to a organization that is able to distribute them for me. A friend of mine steered me to an organization in a neighbouring city that I hope will be able to find the machines a good home. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I also have a BEAUTIFUL quilt to drop off for a lovely lady named Diane. She contacted me several weeks ago about quilting a crazy quilt she had rescued from a thrift shop. I got it on the frame yesterday, and spent the day getting it done. 

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It’s such a beauty, i don’t want to give it back! Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell her! The quilt was foundation pieced onto white broadcloth and was originally tied with acrylic yarn. i have no idea when it was put together, but whoever made it was probably a seamstress. The fabrics run the gamut, from cotton to nylon to polyester in every weave and weight you can imagine. The maker also embroidered over each seam using a herringbone stitch and a different colour floss for each block. 003

Unfortunately, the poor thing has seen better days, with some of the embroidery missing, and a few patches that are threadbare or full of holes. I’m confident it’s gotten a new lease on life, and I hope it lasts for many more years.I quilted it with white thread in an allover meander, as I didn’t want to take away from the fabulous fabrics. Also, i wanted to be at the front of the machine (instead of the back as I would have been had I done a pantograph) so that I could watch for any delicate areas, and avoid catching the hopping foot on any embroidery, or popped seams. I used a flannel sheet for the backing, and two old wool blankets for the batting. I wasn’t sure if I would have any issues, but of course, my Lucey stitched like a dream and it looks wonderful! it’s very heavy (in a good way) and I know Diane will be extra cozy snuggling up in it this winter.

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