Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Few More Blocks

Like many others, I have plans and ideas for items that I would like to make this year for Christmas gifts. I don't know how much I will actually accomplish but I am going to give it my best effort. :)

In order to achieve my goal I do need to set a 'sort of' schedule. That means it needs to be very flexible and also means that it is more like an 'I hope I can get it done' schedule. So, I had informally decided that I would like to finish two blocks per day for the Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt for Adam. I set to work yesterday and I did get two blocks finished - right on schedule so far. :)

As I was working on the second block I got a phone call that my Tai Chi class was cancelled so I kept on working and I got two more blocks done. Woohoo...I am ahead of schedule!!
First 5 blocks already done!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Adam's Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt

In January of 2016, Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts started the Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt along and the blocks just looked so cute that I couldn't resist.

I made this one for myself and when I showed it to my eldest son, Adam, his eyes lit up. I told him he couldn't have it but that if  he would like I would make him one. Adam wears ugly Christmas sweaters for Christmas so this quilt was just up his alley!

white with gray mottling - way too light!
Last week I had cut all of the background fabric for his version of this quilt and then I decided it just was not going to work. I found that it was just too light in colour for my taste so I spent an hour last night cutting more fabric. I decided to use the same fabric that was used as a backing for my En Provence quilt. It's not very dark either but it is more of a creamy beige with a swirly print and I think it will work much better than my original selection. I want the background to be subtle but not invisible. :)

Adam is a fun guy with a fun personality and I have chosen some fabrics that I think suit him perfectly. I have some argyle prints, plaids, music prints, solids, and of course, Christmas prints among others. I have made my first block and I think it is adorable.

For the quilt along, Lorna only gives the block and background information. It is up to the maker to decide how they want to finish their quilt. When I made my version I didn't have a plan ahead of time for the layout but this time I know what to do. Because I am going to make it using the same layout as my quilt I can precut all of the extra squares and the piano key border while cutting for the blocks. That will save some time. :)

I hope to be able to gift this to him on Christmas Eve so that he can use it right away. I think I can do it! :)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fun and Done!

On Friday my quilty sister Cheryl came for an overnight visit and she arrived with a few quilt tops and backings that were ready for quilting. The plan was to quilt as many of her quilts as we could and we did do our best. We managed to get three of her quilts finished before she left on Saturday afternoon.
Rosalie's quilt
When she first arrived, I had a customer quilt on the frame for Rosalie and I quilted that one up while Cheryl supervised. I think it turned out so cute and I think Rosalie is going to be very happy with it. Rosalie chose a panto called Shooting Stars by Sue Schmieden and I think it looks fantastic on this little quilt.
Cheryl's quilt for Lindsay
Next up, we loaded Cheryl's first quilt of the day. This beauty is one of Cheryl's own designs and it is going to the girlfriend of her son Gary. This will be a wonderful Christmas gift for Lindsay and I think she is going to just love it. Who wouldn't!!
Close up of Lindsay's quilt
Cheryl chose the Lotus Blossom panto by Megan Haun and it is perfect for this quilt. Look at the gorgeous texture - love it.

Cheryl's quilt for Luca
The next quilt we loaded was this knight and castle quilt. Cheryl incorporated panel strips in this design and it turned out so cute. She chose to quilt it with the Cool Beans panto by Apricot Moon Designs. This quilt will be going to our new great-nephew Luca. It is a nice big size so he will be able to get many years of use from it.

Luca's quilt
The final quilt that we got done was quilted by me because Cheryl just did not feel confident stitching out the panto that she chose to use. The panto she chose is called Spaced Out and it looks like swirling wind and waves. She chose a darker thread for this quilt to emphasize the look of the wind and waves. This is the second quilt that Cheryl has made based on this original design. She had made one similar to this for herself and when the girlfriend of her son Mark saw the quilt she wanted one just like it. Cassandra will be receiving this one for Christmas and I know she will love it.

Cassandra's quilt
I took the photos of Cheryl's quilts on Saturday afternoon and it was a very dark, dreary, and rainy day. Unfortunately the lighting just does not show how wonderful these quilts really are.

Cheryl still has a few quilt tops here that need to be quilted but they will have to wait. It is so funny to me that when Cheryl first started quilting she told me that she would never make as many quilts as I do. Honestly, I think she is outpacing me. :)


Monday, November 13, 2017

Busy Days

I want to get going on making some things for Christmas gifts but I feel like I must take care of some sewing housekeeping before I can start more projects.

As usual, there is way too much clutter in my sewing room! So, on Saturday, I spent the day doing quite a bit of scrap cutting and organization - boring!! I didn't get all of it done but I did make a pretty good dent in the pile of fabric scraps sitting on my table. All of those bits and pieces and strips are now at the ready for later use.

Yesterday, I spent some time with this cat quilt. This quilt was pieced by Vangie as a donation for our Guild's outreach program and I did my part by donating the quilting and batting. I quilted it with a panto called Tweet Tweet by Patricia Ritter. I thought it would be fun to have the little birds twittering around the cats. :) It turned out quite cute but as usual it is not the best photo. :(

At 56" x 79" it is quite a bit larger than a toddler quilt so maybe it will go to an adult or a teen. I will return it to Vangie at our December meeting so that she can apply the binding.

I used a light blue thread - Cansew #6317 with a magna glide bobbin in blue and the batting is 80/20 cotton poly.




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Remembrance Day


Today is a solemn day - a day to reflect on the wonderful freedoms that we enjoy every single day and to remember those that fought for it. Freedom is never free.

Over the past couple days I have been watching the History channel with their Remembrance Day programming. I have been thinking about a young man that I never knew but who served in WWI. My grandfather's brother, Victor Ernest Morgan Greenland died at the Battle of Lens on Aug 21, 1917 - the day before his 21st birthday. He was not married and did not have any children. His body was never recovered and he is memorialized at Vimy Memorial, France


LEST WE FORGET

He was so young that he barely even had a chance to live and yet he gave his life for our freedom.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Quilting is Finally Finished

The quilting is done and I am very happy! It's so funny, after saying how much I prefer doing edge-to-edge long arm quilting in one fell swoop it took me three separate quilting sessions to finish this one! I don't know why that happened but it did finally get finished.

I tried to take some photos that would show how great this quilt looks but it is huge and I couldn't find a space large enough to spread it out. :) Hopefully, I will be able to get my husband and son to be quilt holders for photos once it is all finished.

I want this quilt to stay on my bed for the winter so I had better get it trimmed and get the binding finished really soon because this happened last night.


We had snow squalls all evening and into the night and this is what we woke up to this morning. The dogs are not thrilled! They keep going to the door to be let out and then they immediately want back in - poor things.

While the winds were blowing and the snow was falling I was snug in my sewing room last evening making these pillowcases to go with my quilt. I couldn't remember how to make them so I refreshed my memory with this video by Missouri Star Quilt Co. We are so fortunate to have so many resources available to us with just a click of the mouse. :)


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Making Progress on Old Tobacco Road


Yesterday, I turned my attention back to Old Tobacco Road and I attached the final border. Ooooh I love that paisley! I also pieced together the backing and even though it was very large and unwieldy I didn't have too many difficulties trying to control it as I stitched it together. Dealing with such large pieces of fabric really is not my favourite thing to do and if I can I will always go for a wide backing. Not an option this time because I specifically wanted to use my chosen fabrics so I had a choice to grumble or smile and I chose to smile.

I also got the backing loaded before I went to Tai Chi last evening but that is where I left off. This morning I finished setting everything up and I am raring to go but I have an exercise class early this afternoon that I don't want to miss. As I have said before, once I get everything set up and going I just want to get it done without interruption. I did do a test to check my thread tension and I see that my top tension is a bit too tight. The dark brown bobbin thread is showing as dots on the lighter fabric and that is not the look I am going for. :)
Peanut and Molly before spa
I took my pups for grooming on Sunday - they were both very unruly looking and I am pretty sure that Molly couldn't see anything through that long hair over her eyes.
Molly and Peanut after spa 
I no longer have dust mops. :)