Friday, July 31, 2009

In Progress

I am trying to turn my PIGs (Projects in Garbage bags) into WIPs (Works in Progress). Mimi is helping me - sort of. She wants me to show you this one that I am currently working on. It's going to be a fun quilt. I got the pattern out of "The Best of Black Mountain Quilts" by Teri Christopherson (That Patchwork Place). I love this book. I don't think there is a quilt in there that I don't like. I bought the book many years ago but I have not finished one thing out of it yet. This one will be the first! It is called, "Watermelon Picnic".

I have made almost all of the blocks, but because I am making it one row wider than the original pattern, I need eight more blocks. So I have 6 of the red block left to do. I hope to get them finished this evening. They are really fast to do once I get going on them. I have actually made 2 green block too many, so now I have to decide if I will make it a little bit longer. It will mean making a total of 6 more block on top of the 6 I have left to do now. My DD wants to use this as a picnic quilt. Can you imagine? She is going to put it on the ground and sit on it! Ouch! That hurts! If I make it 8 by 8 blocks it will be 60inches square. If I add another row it will be 60in by 72in.

Mimi says, "Just keep making those blocks, I love them!" But I'm not sure. What would you do?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Love Ewe!

I finished the lamb baby quilt! There is no ivy in my version of this quilt, so I am calling it "I Love Ewe". I wasn't going to post a photo until I had given it to the new parents, but I have no idea when that is going to happen. They probably won't read my blog anyway. So here it is! I'm happy with how it turned out. And I got it finished before the new baby graduates from college!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Finished The One a Day Nine-Patch Quilt Along Top

I promised to take a photo of the finished one-a-day Nine Patch flimsy. I draped it over a railing and a chair and then let the rest of it fall onto the ground. It turned out really large! But I think you get the picture. Those nine patches are addictive. I really enjoyed making this top. I'll keep you informed of my progress on the second nine-patch quilt along. I'm not making that one quite so big. I think a lap size will be nice.And here is this week's Block Party block. It is called, "Hearth and Home". It's a 10-inch block, so I used batiks. I think that is what I was using for the 10-inch blocks. Sorry, my brain is not working very well today. This one is fairly easy and straight forward. I didn't like the cross in the middle so I made that part in a sort of pink colour. I was hoping that this progression of colour would give the feel of a star, bursting out from the centre. Well, I don't think I accomplished that, but I like it all the same.

It was rather difficult to do any quilting today, so I just worked on the weekly Party Block. My DS is here today, shovelling sand into the hole that used to be our pool. The sand people dumped 24 tons (!) of the stuff in my driveway a couple of days ago and now DS is moving it, shovel by shovel, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. It's quite a job and he keeps me busy, feeding him and getting him water and juice to drink.

I also got a call from my aunt this morning to say that my mother is back in the hospital. She had a series of small strokes which have left her kind of spacey and unable to walk. She keeps falling and her better half cannot pick her up anymore. We hope she will feel better soon. Hospitals are not a fun place to be in the summer.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Start of Another Nine Patch

It was a dark, rainy day here in TO! I had to turn all the lights on in order to see what I was eating for breakfast. I decided to spend the day in my sewing room, putting the borders onto my nine patch from the Nine-Patch Quilt Along. It is finished now, but I will not be able to photograph it until tomorrow. It turned out quite big! I need help to hold it up and photograph it.

So in the meantime, I should have gone through my UFOs and picked out something else to finish, but NO! I did not! I actually started another Quilt Along! Same place, different fabrics. I have decided to do this one in Christmas fabrics. I will make it a bit smaller than the first one - maybe just a lap size quilt.

I didn't just start this today. I have been working on it for about a week now as soon as I learned that Crazy Mom was doing another quilt along I am only doing a couple of blocks a day and I have 14 blocks done. When I placed them on my design floor Oscar immediately took possession! I think he likes them!

"Purrrrr! Yes! Love them! Thank you for making these especially for me! Meow!"

"Actually Oscar. they are not for you. But I am pleased that you approve."

Then I asked him nicely to get off. But he wouldn't. So I left the blocks on the floor and continued to sew another border strip onto the first quilt top. When I came back into the solarium awhile later, Mimi had taken possession.

"Thanks for making these for me! Meow! I love rolling on them. They are so pretty. Christmas stuff is my favourite! Meow!"
Mimi is not telling the truth. She actually doesn't care one bit about Christmas or any other celebration for that matter. She just loves to roll around on quilt blocks! Go figure!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not My Choice!

I am busy quilting the lamb baby quilt this weekend, but I just couldn't resist making the Friday Party block. We're at week 29 already. This week's block is called, "Mrs. Morgan's Choice". It is a 12inch block. QP thought it reminded her of the blades of a Dutch windmill and I agree. And because I am originally from Holland, I decided to do the background in a blue and white fabric - sort of reminiscent of Delft Blue pottery.

I used a wild batik for the blades because I wanted to give them depth. I thought the block would be 'flat' otherwise. I don't know how long it took me to make this sucker, but let me just say that it was a long time! Lots of half square triangles and a lot of patience! I like how it turned out, but it definitely is not my 'choice' for a block. This is definitely a one of a kind. And now back to quilting the little lambs!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Cave for Felix!

I bought myself a new fan a couple of days ago. It was getting too hot to work in my solarium, so I thought a fan would be a good idea. I put it together this morning and left the box on the floor. I was not looking forward to cutting up that heavy corrugated cardboard and besides, we are in the middle of a strike by our city's garbage collectors. My recycling bin is already full and I have no idea when it will be picked up. What do you think Felix?

"Meow! I love my new cave! It's so cool in here. And exciting! Can you see me? I hope not. I promise I will hunt down any and all bats that are living in here. Meow! Thanks Mom."

Ahhhh! Great idea Felix! Reduce. Recycle. Re-use!

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Quilt - Last Quilt - A Parade of Quilts

I think I am too late, but I am going to join this parade anyway. On my own if I have to. Camille and Carrie are hosting a Parade of Quilts! How fun! I went to their site and discovered that I could not leave a comment or join in at this time any more. Oh, well. I have always been known to walk to the beat of my own drummer, so here goes.....We are supposed to show a photo of the first quilt we ever made and also a photo of the last quilt we made. And talk about what we learned - or something like that.

Here is the first quilt I ever made. Sorry about the sunshine! I had to take the photo when my DD was here because I could not spread it out on the lawn without her help. I took a quilting course sometime in the middle of the 1990's. It was my introduction to quilting! I had no idea what colours to choose for my quilt. We made one block a week. All sewing was done by hand because there was not enough room to plug sewing machines in anywhere. I made a few extra blocks in between classes. I was a real keener. When all the blocks were done and all the sashing and borders were hand-stitched in place, I put this baby away in a dark closet. I just couldn't face having to actually quilt it. About 10 years later my Guild asked me to be Quilter of the Month. I decided to finish this quilt in order to show my beginnings. I also used it to practice on. It is hand quilted in places and machine quilted in others. But I got it done! This is my latest quilt. It is hanging in my DD's front entrance. I think I probably used some of the fabrics that were in the first quilt. I have learned a lot since that first project. The "Winterberries" is my own design. It is machine pieced, hand appliqued and machine quilted. I originally thought that quilting had to be done a certain way. Now I realize that anything goes. Anything that I can draw can be hand appliqued. I love my hobby!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trying to Keep Up With All My UFOs!

This is the block for week 28 of the Friday Block Party. It is called "Envelope Motif". I don't know why it is called that, but I really like it because it looks more like a star block to me and I love those!
I'm afraid that I broke all of my self-imposed fabric rules on this one. Instead of digging through my scrap bin, I used the fabric that was beside my machine. The colourful centre fabric and the pretty background fabric were purchased yesterday. Yes! I know. They have only been in my sewing room for one day, but they were calling to me and I was dying to use them. The turquoise fabric, however, is from my scrap bin, so that should make everything okay.

I am working on several (maybe 6 or 7, but who's counting!) projects right now. The baby lamb quilt just needs a backing. I have to piece a few more hearts because I don't have enough of the backing fabric and I will have to do some back art to make it fit.

I am also working on the one-a-day nine patch that Crazy Mom Quilts has been doing over the past 10 weeks. I am right on schedule though - just putting the sashing and borders on.

Then there are all the other projects I have started lately. I need to feel productive, so I will have to finish some of them before I move on to newer projects. I hope to be able to show you some finished quilts in the next couple of weeks! That's my plan anyway. Mimi is helping me.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Just Doing it for Fun

After posting my not-so-lined-up block-of-the-week yesterday, I received a few comments about how nice my block looked and how I should allow myself to be less perfect. When I read these comments, I realized that I am being kind of anal about matching seams and pointy points and turning out a perfect block!

By coincidence, (Do you believe in coincidence? I do!) I read this morning's meditation for women. I receive one of these inspirational messages in my email inbox every morning. These messages are always positive and although they sometimes don't mean a lot to me, I can usually get something out of each one. This morning the topic was about making mistakes. How timely! It got me thinking.

The message talked about the fear of making mistakes. Everyone seems to have this fear. It can hold us back from doing many exciting and fun things. Too many joys may go undiscovered if we don't try because of fear of failure. I wholeheartedly agree with this. But it is not just about staying on the safe path in life and not venturing into the unknown, it applies to quilting too.

How many times have I decided not to make a block or quilt because I feared that it wouldn't be perfect? Too many, I'm afraid. I think my decision to join the Friday Block Party was to learn to make mistakes and try more difficult blocks that I would otherwise never have considered doing. So I want to thank everyone who left me a comment yesterday. Your comments made me think. (which is a good thing!) From now on I have decided to journey into the world of difficult blocks and just enjoy the trip - mistakes and all.
"Meow! Hey Felix. Listen! I have a secret to tell you. Psst! Meow! Purr! Psst! Nice blocks to play on! Meow!"

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Windmill 2

I just finished this week's Party Block. This is week 27. Over half the year is over! I can't believe it! This one is called Windmill 2. Having been born in Holland, I kind of like the name of this block. But that is about all. It's a small block, only 8 inches square. Almost every piece of fabric in this block had a bias edge. My points didn't line up and there was nothing I could do about it. But it's finished! That's all I can say.

Even my furry critters didn't want to sit on this one! Sorry Karen!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Diz iz Z Cross

I am finally posting my block in the Friday Block Party for last week. Usually I am way ahead of myself, but this week was crazy busy (graduation, house sale, lawyers, banking, Canada Day) well, you get the idea.

This block is called Z Cross and it is a 10-inch block. I'm not really sure if I like it. I wish I had used a different fabric for the cross. Maybe I would like it better. But it came out of my scrap bin and I am glad I was able to use it up.