Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Works in Progress Wednesday #12

The evenings are getting cooler. One munchkin started school on Monday, another starts today, the kids' activities are starting to ramp up...yes, Fall is definitely in the air. It's good to be back...and reunited with my sewing machine!

New Projects: Holding fast on no new projects. Well, no cutting yet. I do have a design worked out for the Castle Peeps fabric I bought while on vacation. Am I getting by on a technicality? ;) 

Completed Projects: Nada

Current Projects:
Bottled Rainbows (2) - We are done the mosaics! Woo hoo! Each boy picked the backings for their squares. Unfortunately, I mixed two them up and free motion quilted them before we realized they were wrong. Grrrr! The boys didn't seem to mind though and, in fact, they even informed me that it didn't really matter because they were planning to share the quilts. That should be interesting. Anyways, I've free motion quilted 12 of the 32 squares. I'm trying to do a different qulting pattern for each square.

Patrick's...or Daniel's blocks

Daniel's...or Patrick's blocks
Project Y - No progress

Stained Glass Lillies - A little appliqué done, but not much.

Landscape quilt
10BX Leaves
Fibonacci's Not Random
Red and Tan Amish Wedding Ring
Christmas tree skirt
Tangled Garden
Red and Tan Bargello in the Round 2
Spiral/Spring seta colour

UFOs that may one day get finished, but really who knows?
Converging Stars
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Linus quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday #12 Recap:
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 0
Currently in progress: 4
On Hold: 9
UFOs: 5

Bucket List: 39

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for W.I.P. Wednesday so let's go see what others have been up to this week.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 29 August 2011

Giveaway Winner!

This is it! Before I get to the winner though, I want to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your comments and finding out what where you like to travel. I came away with many ideas for upcoming virtual trips, so thank you! I also loved the variety of ideas people had for using the fabric. What a creative bunch! Thank you all for entering. I wish I could send you all some and see what you make with it. Alas ( ;) ), I'm not Oprah. So...without further ado, the winner is:

Quilt Rat said... 43
Those fabrics would be great for making postcards.........then they too could travel

How fun is that? Congratulations, Quilt Rat! I'll be sending you an email today to get your mailling address.

My oldest child starts school today so I'd better get a move on. Happy Monday, all!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Sisters: A Quilting Runner and a Running Quilter

I've been having a great time reading all of the great entries into my first giveaway.  Thank you for entering! If you haven't entered yet, you still have until 8:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 28th. Good luck!
Just before we left on vacation, my sister and niece came up for a visit. They live about five hours away by car, but we manage a visit one way or another about five or six times a year. I miss them a lot, but it was so great to spend time with them again. My niece, who will be turning three soon, is such a card and makes me laugh, just like her mother!

This visit had an ulterior purpose -- to help my sister finish her second quilt. Like her first quilt, my sister hand pieced these blocks. They are made with Japanese indigos from Kallisti Quilts, but I don't know the pattern, I'm afraid. Since each of the blocks were already sandwiched and quilted, we decided to use a three-stitch zig zag stitch to get the blocks to form rows and then zig zag stitch the rows together. We then added a simple quilt-as-you-go border. I hadn't done this before, but it was surprisingly easy. For some pop, Dan chose and attached a complementary red binding. All my sis has to do now is finish the binding. Woo hoo! Congrats Dan, you did a wonderful job with it. I love how the blocks make the circle effect!

Cute story tangent: As we were starting to lay out the squares, Patrick came into the room. "Oooh, what are you doing? Is that a mug rug?" "A mug rug?" says Dan. "What the heck is a mug rug?" "Oh, you know, you put your coffee mug on it and there's space for maybe a pastry or spoon," replies Patrick. Out of the mouth of quilting babes!

Playing with the layout
 Front (binding is attached, but not finished):

For those who are curious about the title of the post, my sister loves to run. It's her passion, dare I say obsession? It's a family trait apparently. Dan has been running pretty much every day for years. I'm pretty sure she ran on her wedding day. :) Since she's learning how to quilt, I figure I should probably make some attempt at running. Up until this summer, I would say that my sister is a runner who quilts and I'm a quilter who runs for the bus. Alas (don't you think we should find more opportunities to use 'Alas'? It's such a great word!), I have to scratch out the 'for the bus' part now because I ran my first 5K race while I was away. Yay! And I actually finished it. And I finished about 13 minutes faster than I had been able to do at home on our treadmill! Woo hoo!

While I would have loved to have run the race with my sister (who I think probably would have won it, looking at the winning women's race time), I did have the awesome opportunity to run the race with my sister-in-law. She was fabulous, and kept my spirits up and my thoughts away from what I probably would have been thinking, "why the heck am I doing this?" A huge, huge, huge thank you goes to her (she reads my blog now and then so let's see if she sees this)! Now I just have to figure out what quilt design will hook her on quilting. ;)

I'm not sure how on earth I lucked into getting two great sisters, but I'm very grateful for both of them!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Guest Blogging Today at the Quilting Gallery Blog and a Giveaway!

I'm guest blogging over at the Quilting Gallery today so if you get a chance, pop over. But then come back because I'm doing a giveaway! If you are here for the first time, Welcome! I'm so glad you are here -- you've arrived just in time. :)

Since some of my posts are about my quilt blog travelling adventures, I thought a travel-themed fabric giveaway would be rather à propos. And while I was in Nova Scotia, I spied a few fabrics that I thought would be perfect.

So for my first giveaway (cue Vanna White), we have a fat quarter of this lovely travel word material, which is Paper Dolls Around the World by Sibling Arts Studios for Blue Hill Fabrics. For a splash of Canadian colour, I added some red inukshuk fabric from the Winter Sports line by Laurie Godin for Northcott Fabrics (it's the Vancouver Olympics line). And to round out our trifecta of travelling goodies, we have Tall Ships by David Carter Brown for South Sea Imports.

So how do you enter? You have several options (and may do all three if you like):

1. Leave a comment on this post about what you would do with this bundle if you won it.
2. Leave a comment on this post about where your best trip ever was.
3. Leave a comment that you are a reader or have become a reader of my blog.

It's open to anyone anywhere until Sunday, August 28th at 8:00 p.m. EST. Please make sure that your email is either linked to your profile or you leave your email address in the comment so that I can contact the winner. I'll post the winner on Monday, August 29th.

Good luck and happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Stained Glass Lilies

As I had mentioned last month, I was prepping my Stained Glass Lilies to take with me on vacation. This quilt is actually made from a stained glass pattern from Ed Sibbett, Jr.'s Art Nouveau Stained Glass Colouring Book. I love his designs and wanted to try one of them as a quilt. To make it work for a quilt though, I had the pattern blown up from 8.5" by 11" to roughly 24" by 34". I then made a pattern of it by tracing it onto freezer paper. I was kind of making it up as I go and since I'm still not sure the way I did it is is going to work well, I won't go into a lot of details of the process yet.

Prior to vacation, I was trying to turn this...

into stained glass leading for this background, which I had put together last summer...

Before I left on this year's vacation, I got most of the big leading strips glued back with Roxanne's Glue Baste-It (neither my fabric glue stick or even Lapel Stick were doing what I needed it to do) so it looked like this.

Then I sprayed it with 404 (repositionable spray glue) so that the leading would stay put, but I could still move it around if needed and also so I'd still be able to turn under the edges of the smaller flower sections, which I wasn't able to glue back.

Side by side...will this work? After all the work I'd put into it so far, I was anxious. It's not pretty at the moment, that's for sure!

Here it is, put together with the spray glue. So far so good...

A couple of detail photos's still just attached by spray glue. And so the appliqué began...

I worked on it a fair amount throughout my vacation, although not as much as I thought I would. It was a great hand work project to have with me. All of the black to the blue twilight background sections are now done, as are a number of the stems and leaves. Below are a couple of detail shots. The Roxanne's Glue Baste-It is definitely showing up as little dots everywhere right now. It should wash out...fingers crossed that it does!

Now to finish the rest of the appliqué and soak/wash it to get the basting glue out. I've never done needle turn appliqué before, but I think that's what I'll have to learn to do to finish the flowers and the stamens. Wish me luck because I think I'm going to need it! 

I'll work on this quilt in dribs and drabs from now on, as I'm watching TV or my kids' soccer/hockey/skating lessons and practices. This is definitely not a quick finish, but I think I'll be very happy with it when it's done. I probably won't post about this one again until the top is complete.

This project has definitely solidified my admiration for all those meticulous appliqué-ers out there!

P.S. Did I mention that there might be a giveaway coming up? :)


Even though it's not my usual Works in Progress post (because I haven't touched any of my other projects for the last three weeks!), I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced for W.I.P. Wednesday. Check out what others have been up to this week.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 21 August 2011

To Nova Scotia and Back - In Person!

We've just returned from a wonderful vacation in Nova Scotia. For those who aren't familiar with it, Nova Scotia is one of our provinces on the East Coast of Canada (red on the map). My grandmother was from Cape Breton (northern island of the province) and my husband's family is from the South Shore. It's a two-day drive for us, which can be kind of crazy with three kids under 6, but it is so worth it.

I took this photo this year in Hubbards Cove, where we stay. It epitomizes Nova Scotia for me.

Hubbards Cove, Nova Scotia
 While we were there, we celebrated some birthdays. This is Micah excited about one of his birthday gifts:

And this is me, excited about mine (fabric from Avonport Discount Centre - more on this later in this post):

Hmm, I'm not sure who is more excited!

For my first post back though, I think I'll share the quilt-related stuff of our visit (fabric!), as well as some finds from my virtual visit of the blogs for Nova Scotia. I started visiting the blogs before our trip and boy, did they get me in the mood for our visit!

Valerie Hearder, author of Points of View and Beyond the Horizon, has posted a beautiful wallhanging about Shangaan Life, on her blog African Threads. It was made by a Shangaan embroidery group from Limpopo province, South Africa. It tells the story of how a Shangaan family lives. So bright and the detail is wonderful!

To get a great feel for the colours of Nova Scotia though, a visit to Barb Robson's blog is a must. She also has a great post about children's books about or featuring quilts. What a great resource! Who knew there were that many books about quilts for kids?! Now before you go thinking that Barb is all sweet and charming, you need to know that she's a member of a Quilt Mafia there. ;) I don't think you'll hold it against her though, especially if you check out her Quilt Show. Wow!

I found a beautiful Christmas Tree Quilt on Cindy's Crafty Creations -- appropriate since Lunenburg County in Nova Scotia is the Christmas Tree Capital of the World. If you are into vintage quilts, the Hall's Harbour/Nova Scotia Quilts blog has vintage quilt kits available for purchase and Quilting with Janet is selling her collection of vintage quilts.

The Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild looks like they had a great time at their end-of-year dinner. And check out their Photostream - what a talented group! You also can't go to Nova Scotia without sampling some of the great seafood (lobster, mussels, clams...mmm!). Check out this great Fish Quilt, made by one of the members of the Mahone Bay Quilter's Guild. Love it!

For those who may want a good quilting reason to visit Nova Scotia, the Mayflower's Quilting Retreat is coming up this September and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. A great line up of teachers too (Elaine Quehl, Daphne Greig and Jane Sassaman!).

One of my favourite blog finds though, has to be Ouvrages d'une Acadienne (Projects of an Acadian). Beautiful quilting and a great view into the Acadian culture of Nova Scotia.

The Paradise Village Quilters Guild is running an Ostrich Challenge this summer. I'm keen to see the results so I'll be checking back in September.

I love that Patchmaker has a series called Monday Oldie where she posts old block patterns. Great idea! And what gorgeous New York Beauty-style quilts in her gallery.

I also found a great Canadian Snowball quilt and a Bottled Rainbow quilt on Linda's Scrapmaster blog. Linda also posted some beautiful pictures of the Halifax Public Gardens. According to Linda, the Gardens "date back to 1836 and is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Victorian gardens in North America. It became a Canadian National Historic Site in 1984." I also learned about the FMQ Challenge from Linda's site. I'll be checking out that one in more detail.

Linda also recently posted some great pictures of the Halifax Waterfront. I love the Halifax Waterfront. Sigh! See the picture she posted of The Wave? Well, my two oldest children climbed it this year and then slid down it. Oy! There's a reason there's a Do Not Climb sign on it (that everyone ignores). Thankfully, Aunt Julie-Ann was prepared with some bandaids for my little wave riders and no real damage was done.

Back to the blogs...Karen Neary's blog, Sew Karen-ly Created, is another treat. I love her String Theory Quilt and Farrago Quilt, which was shown in Paducah in April. Karen has a great tutorial on marking quilting motifs. She is also a beekeeper so I had fun learning more about that from her blog. Very cool!

I could hang out in Sheila's Quilt World all day. I love the Calla Lilly quilt (that's a practice piece?!) and Christmas Row by Row quilt that she has in her blog header. Fun! Now, have you ever seen anything like this? Me either. That is some snow!

That's it for the blogs, but no visit to Nova Scotia would be complete without a trip to one of my favourite fabric shops. Last summer, a good quilting friend of mine suggested that I check out Avonport Discount Centre. I was in heaven the moment I walked into that place! There was no question that I'd be making a return trip this year.

Here are the goodies I walked away with this year (my birthday present that you saw in the picture above). :)

Some Castle Peeps

For an Easter wallhanging


Sashing and binding material for the boys' Bottled Rainbow quilts

A couple of charm packs and a couldn't resist fat quarter!
The design for the Castle Peeps fabric and the Easter wallhanging were sketched out on the way home so I hope to start on those once the Bottled Rainbows and Project Y are finished.

Psst...I also picked up some goodies for a giveaway so stay tuned!

I hoped you liked this visit to Nova Scotia. If you'd like to see where else I've travelled, check out my Around the Quilting Blogosphere page. Happy trails!
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