Friday, October 30, 2015

Creamsicle Wheelchair Quilt #10 and The Stack!

I got this finished last night, but have only just now sat down to write the post, a couple hours after a lovely dinner with our next-door neighbours who are Florida bound in the morning.  I'm really happy with the way this quilt turned out.  It is also a goal on my Q4 FAL list at On the Windy Side.  The orange and pink on the white background kept me thinking of creamsicles from the popsicle man who used to pedal around the neighbourhood when I was a kid.  So I named this quilt Creamsicle. 

You may recall this quilt started with the four paper-pieced blocks someone had donated to sell at the quilt show in September 2104.  I sewed them together, and then started building around them.  First I put the chocolate brown frame on, and let the quilt simmer.  When I was working on Stardust, I saw a similar half-rectangle triangle border around a pink quilt in the Two From One Jelly Roll book, and knew it would work with this quilt.  I pulled some colours from my stash that are in the floral fabric.  I used That Patchwork Place's Birangle ruler, probably not exactly in the way it is intended, but, hey, it worked perfectly.  These aren't paper-pieced, but they turned out pretty exact.  I had the HRTs all face the same direction to enhance the twirling effect.  Bella approves of the chocolate browns in the quilt:

Once the pointy borders were done, I had a 30" square, so I knew I needed to add length but not width, and I started hunting for a fabric that might pull some of the colours together.  I remembered this fabric in my stash of backings, and had a "SCORE!" moment when I put it beside the quilt.
This is Northcott Silk's "Treasures of the Gypsies" an ancient fabric in my stash
I put a 4" border at the top and bottom of the quilt and a 1" border on the sides.  The binding and ties is Kona Bay gold (it has a gorgeous hand much like Art Gallery fabrics), one I'd grabbed as a potential fabric.  I used the last of it on the back, which is made from the last of the emerald green wide-backing, and a plaid piece all from the guild charity fabric bin.
The horizontal green piece is the pocket; love the tension on the back AND the front! Avril and I are communicating just fine these days.
For the quilting I wanted it fast and easy, and tried really hard to do the jigsaw-style meander you see in the centre of the quilt ALL over the quilt...  I almost did.  I did the jigsaw meander in the borders, and in the centre four blocks, where it helped to tamp down some of the bias poofy areas.  And then I did some ghost half-rectangle triangles in the white areas, and then, yep, fun feathers.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design around four orphan blocks
Size:  31.5 X 37.5"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric and fabrics from my stash and scraps
Batting: Warm 'n Natural (I think--from guild)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 31 357 stitches :-)
Threads: quilted with Floriani's Fufu's rayon thread in rust for the meander, and Isacord in white in the white and HRT border

A few things are wrong with this quilt, and I bet you didn't notice!
1.  The centre brown fabrics in the pinwheels are on top of each other instead of diagonal from each other.  Did not notice until I had the centre pieced and framed.
2.  The white is not quite right.
3.  I should have quilted the feathers going in the opposite direction to enhance the spin; the way I did them, they compete with the HRT direction.  I didn't see that until writing this post.
4.  I forgot one ghost HRT.
Does any of that really matter? No!  This isn't going into a show, and I know it still looks pretty hip, and will warm the lap of a senior in a wheelchair. :-) AND!  The tension woes I've been having from time to time are now solved thanks to a YouTube webinar from Handiquilter that Jasmine of Quilt Kisses sent me.  The trick for stopping the rayon thread in particular from shredding?  Longarm needles have round shanks, so carefully setting it into the machine with the eye at 5:30 instead of straight-on 6 o'clock can stop the shredding.  It did for me.

I've mentioned being excited to take the picture of the final stack of wheelchair charity quilts I've made for our guild's Christmas project.  Drum roll...
This makes me SMILE! There are 8 here.
The first two I donated on my own to a seniors' residence here in town.  Those first two sparked the guild's project.  Here are the eight I've made for the guild spread on the patio:
When I stacked them back up, it just so happened that all the ties were on the same side, so I had to set them that way for one more photo:
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF.
Now I am working on my own stuff!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Small Quilt

Twice a year, Amy at Amy's Creative Side hosts this spectacular online show for the bloggers left behind when the Quilt Show happens in Houston.

This is my second entry into the festival.  This is Jack and Friends For Brady, and I'm entering it into the Small Quilt category.  Clicking on that link will take you to the page where you will find all the quilts entered into this category. 

Every year in late August/early September, my daughter and grandson come here for a visit.  They time it for the season opener for the Detroit Lions, and also, she hopes, for not such hot weather.  I usually fly out to Alberta to visit them in November.  Last November, Brady, then age 6, who takes such an interest in everyone around him and also in their doings, first of all wanted me to teach him to knit (he did do some wrapping of wool and slipping off of stitches) and second, he intently perused the first several pages of my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, found the picture of the quilt "Jack and Friends" advertising their website, All People Quilt, and asked me to make it for him.  So I did this past September, so he could go home, once again, with a new quilt! 

If you want to read more about this quilt, click here for the original finish post.

This child loves quilts.  Loves.  Sadly, his mother (how can she be carrying my genes?) does not.  I quilted it with glow in the dark thread, and boy, did we have fun downstairs, he pushing the "gas pedal", me steering, quilting this baby!  He'd run to the light switch, hit it, I'd leave my sewing machine light on until he got beside me, and then I'd hit it, and there'd be a few seconds of silence while our eyes adjusted....

Ooh, look at that!
Can you see your name?
Can you see mine?

Nana, can we quilt some more now?

Rocco our pittie, loves kids; Brady loves Rocco, but is sadly allergic to dogs and cats. Rocco also loves quilts!
I did some dot to dot work in the border triangles and an all-over meander in the rest of the quilt. I outlined the jack-o'-lanterns (they look really cool in the dark) and many of the Halloween images.  I dug through my scraps to find these rather than do all jack-o'-lanterns.

I did 12 blocks instead of the 9 in the original pattern, and I changed the outer border to make it bigger. Rather than doing prairie points, I made it into a sawtooth border.  I bought the jack-o'-lanterns fabric, the purple owls and the bats; the rest is all scraps and stash fabric.

It's on his bed now as a topper; it's just a small lap quilt measuring approximately 36X42".

On Friday, Oct. 30, voting opens, so visiting Amy's Creative Side then will allow you to select your favourite quilts in each category.  BUT! You can also vote your 3 favourite quilts out of the entire festival in the Viewers' Choice Category by clicking here.  There is still a little time to enter, and there are some fabulous prizes to be won!

My first entry, Parisville Weave, is here.

I'm also linking this post up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. Check out her fantastic eagle block she showed us today.  Love it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Modern Quilt

I always love seeing all the entries and eye candy in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival that Amy at Amys' Creative Side so kindly hosts during Quilt Market.  It's a roundup of the latest and greatest finishes bloggers have created.  She offers some incredible prizes in each of the categories as well.  Quilty loveliness no matter which way you slice it, right?

I am entering Parisville Weave into the Modern Quilt category.  I finished this quilt at the very end of August. I've petted, cuddled, and slept many a night under this quilt; it brings me great joy! It measures approximately 75X87".

I really need to find a better way to display large quilts.  My husband is so cooperative, but for the larger ones, his armspan doesn't quite do the quilt justice. Still, I was able to get some great shots.

One of my neighbours was gracious enough to let me shoot some photos from his walkout-basement home so I could get a full-on shot.
I really went to town on the quilting on this one.

I quilted it on my Avanté, using ruler work for the dot to dot designs and free-motion quilted for all the others.  There is a little Angela, a little Christina, and a little Kathleen here.

I fell in love with the aqua and red colour combination when I saw the quilt, and decided to purchase the kit.  I quilted it almost entirely with Isacord threads, and a variegated Coats and Clark one for the Christina Cameli meander.

This is a pattern and kit from Quilt Sampler Fall 2011 magazine.  It is mainly Tula Pink's Parisville line of fabrics but there are some Art Gallery fabrics in it as well, and Kona solid for the side setting triangles.

Here is the back, backing I picked up from Fat Quarter Shop in their sale section.

For more information on the construction you can go here, and for more photos and detail of this quilt you can go here.

Voting begins in two days.  Thanks so much to Amy for organizing this and for everyone who does take the time to enter.  It's a fun and inspiring celebration. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stardust Wheelchair Quilt #9

I really really love this little quilt.  It is #9 of the wheelchair quilts I have done this year, 8 will be for the guild charity project and 2 were done on my own this past Spring.  It is also another goal on my Q4 FAL list at On the Windy Side.  Two down, six to go...

I wrote about the flimsy, which uses a really cool method of getting a 2.5" HST from 2.5" strips, here.  These photos were taken yesterday morning in the dull overcast skies.  The colours are spot on.  Interesting.  All of the fabrics are from the guild's charity fabric stash. The blues are in the same Brannock and Patek line.

The backing is a piece I happened to find in one of the tubs at the wheelchair quilts sewing day last month.  Right away I knew it would be perfect for the backing.  I had to add some, however, as you can see.  I made the pocket from 2 leftover 4-patches and a bit of the medium blue from the alternating squares on the front.

Rolled up.  I kept the quilting very simple, lots of ruler work on Avril.  Good practice for me!  I've actually done a fair bit of ruler work now without trying to sew through the ruler.  That's a good thing.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Stardust with only a 2.5" border from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott
Size:  36.5 X 36.5"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric
Batting: Pellon Legacy 100% polyester
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 22 715 stitches :-)
Threads: quilted with Floriani's Fufu's rayon thread in navy

I may have finished up another flimsy this morning...totally off topic and not on any radar, lists, or gifts of any kind...(squirrels, I know; I have it bad)

This is Pearl Gray from Christa Watson's Machine Quilting With Style book that I bought for the guild as librarian.  I'd only managed to get a couple of blocks done in time for the meeting last Tuesday; the remaining 7 bugged me the rest of the week to sew them up.  I just did 9, a little quilt to sit on when I teach yoga.  I wanted to make a pink quilt in this month of breast cancer awareness and I guess I pretty much did.  I don't have much grey in my stash, but I did find this 10+ years old RJR not-quite-black, dark greys watercolour fabric left over from a quilted jacket lining.  The lighting in this photo does not do it justice.  Better photos of it in the future, I promise.

Someone in QBL said earlier this week she looks at a quilt and immediately starts dissecting it to see how she would construct it.  I am the same! I did this as soon as I saw this quilt in the book.  When I was piecing it, I  thought of a different construction method than the one Christa uses, one where you don't make 9 blocks but you make components.  It would eliminate the matching of the grey lattice pieces.  More on that in another post; this is supposed to be computer-free Sunday!
Linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Musings on Comments

Several of you commented to me that I've really been getting a lot done lately.  And I do think I have.  The main reason was that I stayed out of QBL for a week or so.  By that I mean I did post (4 that week I believe) but I didn't respond to the comments right away (some were 2 days later) and I didn't visit back the blogs right then either (those visits happened over the period of about a week, and I may have read a few posts in a row that I'd missed).  I've really been reflecting on this phenomenon.  We talked about trying to find a balance amongst the New Quilt Bloggers group I was a part of this past summer.  My good friend Julie of Pink Doxies recently wrote a great post on this subject and what she has done to find a better balance.

Here's my take, and do with it what you will.

What I did seemed to work for me.

Although I did have some angst about not being on top of the responses to your lovely and thoughtful comments, it was gone when I did respond.  I did not ignore one of you.  :-)  I visited you randomly and then I spent time visiting you these past 3 days in a purposeful manner.  Gosh that sounds rather like teacher jargon, but it's not meant to be.  It took me 2 hours just this morning to get completely caught up with visiting and commenting.  Okay, I spent about 10 minutes doing the banking thing I always do on Saturday mornings too!  Still. TWO hours.  Yesterday I spent many more, writing yesterday's post, and responding to all the comments from that Autumn-Coloured Glasses post, and getting my gmail inbox down to zero.

I've heard from several friends in QBL lately of varying degrees of angst regarding not posting enough, time taken away from sewing, not getting many comments, the volume of blogs they follow being out of control, stats of viewed posts, readership etc.

Here's the thing:
I don't really think about the number of comments I get, unless it spikes and then I think whoa, that resonated.  I don't expect each of you beloved commenters with whom I have a back and forth chatting by email/iMessage relationship to comment on each and every post.  If you miss a few, it's okay!  If you comment on a couple posts in one email or comment that's okay too!  If you don't comment on a few or several posts in a row that's also okay!  Life happens, as we all know.


Here are two gifts from me to you:
In this week of firmly sticking to doing only what makes me happy and inspired, I want to tell you all to please, not feel you have to comment on every post. Start with this one.  Read it, if you do, and then leave.  It's okay.  I feel your reading vibrations here in lovely Kingsville anyhow. :-)
on the Chrysler Canada Greenway yesterday, the southernmost section of the Trans-Canada Trail

Don't be offended if I don't comment on every post you write either.  I am hereby giving myself permission to sometimes not.  It just means I'm finding ways to cut down on time taken from me and my Bernina. (cue "Me and My Shadow" song now in my head)

However, I do need to point out something I wholeheartedly and firmly believe:  comments do make the QBL go round.  That and only that is what has led me to form close relationships with, well, lots of you wonderful wonderful people.  You are my guild, my homies, lol.  I nearly put the exact number of my extra-special, in-my-heart blogger friends down, but no, we know who we are.  In all honesty, the number who I consider close friends is about a fifth of my bloglovin' followers. I'm not counting my friends and family in this group who rarely if ever comment! (Linda, you're the exception; you comment on each and every post, have done since Day 1, and I love you for it.)

I must say comments do increase the close relationships numbers, and I know that that number will most likely go higher because of them.  For example, I've recently met Janine Marie who blogs at Quilts From the Little House, through comments she made here and my visits to her blog.  We've discovered several things we have in common!

I rarely look at my stats pages more than oh, once a month.  I'm not doing this for the stats.  I just know I do love writing this blog, and it has taken off and improved my life in many ways, ways I could never have foreseen, and I am so grateful for all of the growth that has occurred and continues to occur through it.  I'm just tickled when I see how many people do read this blog, or how many followers I have on bloglovin'.

Therefore I want, make that I am going to always feel happy about my blog, about QBL and about the fabulously talented and interesting and warm and caring people I have met and continue to meet through mmm quilts.  Working this way, where I post, don't always immediately respond, and then visit blogs in chunks, actually has seemed to work a bit better.  I still spend too much time on here IMHO, but part of that is my own doing, as I (cough) tend to overthink things, and over-proofread and wordsmith my writing.

My second gift to you this morning (oops it's now this afternoon) is a terrific easy and so healthy recipe I made this week for company we had for dinner.
Roasted Beet Hummus
Happily displayed on a Thanksgiving runner I made circa 2002/2003 (no label, gasp, I know).  I know this because that fancy stitch was done on the Husqvarna I had for a few months before I traded it in on my beautiful Bernina.  Fabric pumpkins were made around that time too.

Roasted Beet Hummus
--taken from a great site that I've mentioned before, Blue Zones, you can find the recipe here.

2 medium beets (or 1 large)
1 16-oz can chickpeas (unsalted; I rinsed mine first)
1/4 c lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp Tahini
1/4 c olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

1.  Rub beets with a small amount of olive oil, wrap in foil and roast (about an hour) at 375F until very soft.
2.  Cool the beets, slice and put in food processor (I used my blender).
3.  Add remaining ingredients and blend to desired texture.
4.  Serve drizzled with a little olive oil. (I added a sprig of parsley for decoration.)

We've had it with crackers, but it would be great on a wrap too.  Hey! It's after 12 noon, so that is what I am going to go and do this very minute (once I proofread this only once, wink) and then spend the rest of this rainy afternoon sewing.

Happy Saturday and weekend to everyone. <<Mwah!>> to you all.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wheelchair Quilts 7 & 8 Finished

These are such pretty fabrics that were languishing in the charity quilts fabric bin of the guild.  Lots of scraps from other people's projects in there... That green, which is a wide backing, is just the richest emerald!  This is one on the list of my Q4 FAL goals at On the Windy Side.  Feels good to scratch one off the list. I had the two together as they were really quite quick projects.

I basically doodled various curly designs across the quilt, using Christina Cameli's Fervent as well.  It was fun!
This quilt is another rendition of my Fairy Steps wheelchair quilt from Pam & Nicky Lintott's Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts.  That first soft pastels one I made is my favourite, but this is also so pretty.
The back against the backdrop of the neighbour's Burning Bush. This is a young one; the older ones around town are really "on fire" with their brilliant reds.
A closer look.  Do you see where I have to go back in and add another curlicue or two?
I used up every bit of the floral fabrics and even a couple pieces from cutting the half hexies for the other quilt, as well as trimmings from the front columns to make the back pocket
Quilt Stats:
Pattern: slightly modified Fairy Steps from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts
Size:  29 X 35.25"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric
Batting: Pellon Legacy 100% polyester (love this batting!)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 48 009 stitches :-)
Threads: quilted with Floriani's Fufu's rayon thread in olive green

The second quilt in this post is the half hexie quilt, a tutorial on Cynthia's Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework blog.
I made the binding from the strips left after quilting and squaring the quilt; love the two fabrics! I also had totally run out of the emerald green, so it really was as quilters of old used to do: make do!
There are a few differences in fabric in this one: the addition of the very soft pink and the lemon yellow.  Hmm and I see I also had no white in this one, and only the one floral.  This is the second Half Hexie I made; the other is waiting to be quilted (it may first need a backing pieced from leftover flannels).  The quilting design is one of my all-time favourite designs to quilt.

The back:
Used up all of that purple floral too!  Smaller pocket because that's all I had of that floral.
 Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Half Hexie quilt from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Size:  30.75 X 36.5"
Fabric: guild charity (donated) fabric plus a piece from my own scraps
Batting: Pellon Legacy 100% polyester (love this batting!)
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 20 750 stitches (interesting! half the amount of Fairy Steps 2, but it is a much more open design with no echoed curlicues)
Threads: quilted with So Fine #403

None of the wheelchair quilts have been washed yet.  I might give the first seniors' residence where I sent my first two quilts a call to see what they prefer.  I have two more to finish, and then I'll show you the stack!  Now that makes me grin from ear to ear!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF at A Quarter Inch From the Edge, A Quilting Reader's Garden, and on Sunday with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  Whoop! Whoop! indeed. :-) 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Seeing the World Through Autumn-Coloured Glasses

I usually do my posts later in the morning, sometimes afternoon.  This is because the seeds of the post often germinate during my morning walks with Rocco.  My husband passed the comment a few months ago that each of us is quite like our respective dogs personality-wise.  At first I thought, um no?  However, since that comment, I have been realizing more and more how true it is.

Rocco sees the world through rose-coloured glasses.  He loves everyone, human, dog or cat, at first meeting, without exception...

...even those that, shockingly, are inanimate!
He forgives in a heartbeat, he moves on; in all honesty, for the most part I do this.  I believe he sees things in perspective.  Our problems are really pretty minuscule.

from Earth Blog

He is a happy, joyful, I-love-my-life, I-love-my-world kind of doggie.
Lake Erie in Lakeside Park Oct. 18

One of the streets in Kingsville Oct. 18

He lives in the moment, something I am working hard on, with some success.  My quilt guild has been occupying a large place in my life this past week (which is why there have been no posts), some positive:
Three more wheelchair quilts quilted, needing strings and binding
Brand new WIP#1--Blocks from the quilt "Pearl Grey" in Machine Quilting With Style by Christa Watson, a book I ordered the day it was released in Canada, Oct. 12, for our guild. My plan as librarian was to make a project from each book I order to help showcase the new books.  I only got 2 blocks made in time for the meeting, but I love the way this is going to turn out! It's an awesome book for the beginning quilter.  Truly.

Brand new WIP #2 from First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli, the second book I purchased for the guild.  This is another great book for the beginning quilter, something that I think this guild overlooks.  I used 30-wt Gütermann cotton for the words.
...some negative.  The Universe put these two photos in my path early this morning:
On Late Night Quilter Stephanie's Instagram, and made by Julie, whose business is Owly Design.

From Quilts and Cakes Gina's Thought For The Week post
Without going into a lot of detail, the long hours and hard work and excitement I had already put into my guild librarian position has not been well-received by the president along with one or two apparently offended-by-a-friendly-reminder-to-return-overdue-books members.  I'm out.

At this stage in my life (well, really, in any stage of anyone's life) I surround myself with happy things.
Some kind of maple tree, Oct. 18

Rocco finds joy in every aspect of his life.
Even when skies are grey... Oct. 21
There isn't a mean bone in this pibble's body.  I love the ladies that I have gotten to know through the wheelchair quilts charity project.  I will stay in touch with them for sure, as they do make me happy.  As do you, my readers in this wonderful QBL I am a part of.  :-)

Should be back with some finishes this week! Yay, and two are on my Q4 FAL list!  One more thing, Craftsy is having a one-day sale today on classes.  $19.99!  Clicking through on the link on my sidebar to find a class and take advantage of this great deal (voice of experience on more than one occasion) will put a few bucks in my pocket, and I thank you.

And if you haven't seen it, Stephanie, of Late Night Quilter, my hive mama for the New Bloggers Hop this past summer, has a new Quilter's Planner out, which looks pretty swanky!  Hop over to check it out and follow her link for purchasing.  btw there is a giveaway there today as well!  The block I designed for the Fabri-Quilt blog hop got chosen as one of the 52 blocks featured. :-)

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Freshly Pieced.