Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kalihna's Quilt

I finished and gifted my latest quilt to a new baby girl, Kalihna.  My niece loves blue so I bought  a fat quarter bundle of the Bluebird line from Cotton and Steel and got to it.

Spread out and pinned, I was really pleased at how the pink stood out and that it was very flat with no puckers or wavy edges.

My sewing machine got very cranky during the quilting process and I wasn't sure it was going to last until the end, but luckily it did and I did a simple cross hatch quilt on the diagonal.

I was pleased at how the pink popped and caught my eye.

I had some lime green alphabet fabric to use as binding, and again, it seemed to brighten some of the more somber blues.

 The backing is a Heather Ross print, name unknown, but it is absolutely perfect for a baby girl quilt.

Here it is posed again on a camelback trunk that's been in the family for a long time. Since my in-laws have lived on this farm since 1803, it has to be older than that.  I bet it could tell some stories.

I'm so pleased to get my sewing oomph back and have another plan for a quilt gently percolating in the back of my mind!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blue (and Pink)

So, here I am at my sadly neglected little blog, but that's all right.  As much as I love sewing and making pouches, quilts, and other little gifts, I can only make so many without the house being overrun with patchwork.  At this point, everyone in the family has received a quilt, and many friends have too.  But, with much joy, another baby has been born who "needs" a quilt! A best beloved niece has had a beautiful little girl so I've been foot to the pedal for a few days now.

My niece loves blue, so I decided on a blue colour scheme with pops of pink.  I bought a Bluebird fat quarter bundle of Cotton and Steel and got right to it.  I spent time calculating how many squares I could get from each fat quarter length and started cutting.  But I was not pleased when I realized that some of the fabrics had the modern giant selvedge--a full inch of it!

I know that some quilters cut very large strips with the selvedge and use them in creative ways, but I can't help but feel a bit gypped.  I was unable to get five squares from each length with the large edge so had to cut into more fabric.  Not nice!

I went with a simple cross block and used Carkai for the white with the bluebird bundle. I didn't want to repeat any fabrics so used some of the blues from my stash as well.

For the pops of pink, I had some long-hoarded lengths of the original Mendocino by Heather Ross.  I still love it and might have to buy some of the newly released fabric.

The quilt is sandwich is ready for quilting and will be delivered this weekend.  I better get to it!

We spent two months in New Zealand again this winter and had a delightful time.  It's awfully hard to go from this

to spring in Canada, but at least this year there was no snow when we returned two weeks ago.  To be fair, Easter weekend was beautiful and we rummaged around in the basement and found our kites. We managed to persuade our son to leave his studying and come out and play with us. It brought back so many memories of when the kids were little. How can anyone resist a kite against a blue sky like that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Using up the Scraps

It's grey, grey, grey out there; I need some colour in my life!  The October block is one I've never done before and have admired from afar, economy blocks.  They were all done from scraps, no fabric lengths were injured in their making.  I had fun with every one, although sewing world looks like a bomb went off in there!

I'm hard pressed to choose my favourite in this group of four.  I guess the pink ears on the cats still gets me every time.

No contest in this group, the border collies and the high heels.  I bought that fabric to make my mother some throw pillows years ago.  She was always a high heel kind of gal!

This next grouping makes me wish I had a better camera, but like everything else, an expensive camera doesn't guarantee wonderful photos any more than an expensive sewing machine guarantees  perfect points!

I have to say, this one was the favourite.  Bunnies and polka dots are an unbeatable combination.

I also decided to hop onto the Farmer's Wife Quiltalong.  I'm late to the party, but decided that until I get more babies to sew for (soon, I'm sure) then it's best to work on small, slow projects.  There's only so many quilts I can lounge under, even if it's really peak lounging weather.

So, today I made three blocks, in no particular order.  The first was #12, Becky.  It was very easy to sew once you cut out all the little pieces.  I think this was just to lure you into the vortex because it looks like the easiest one in the book.  I can't imagine making an entire quilt using this one block, but it could translate to a bright scrappy quilt.

Next was #8, Aunt.  My practice making economy blocks this months came in handy. I'm still using up bits of fabric, so there won't be a cohesive colour scheme, but I think it doesn't matter to me that much.  I seem to have too many small pieces of material hanging over my head so I'm very happy to keep using them up.  Sometimes scraps just make me anxious and guilty about buying anything new.

Another simple block is Bonnie, #16.  Although it was super easy, I like the look of it and can see it making very interesting repeating patterns in a quilt.  Something to remember.  So far everything is working out to be 6.5 inches, with a little trimming of the edges.

This month's outdoor project was installing a second solar panel on the porch.  It used to be up on the roof, but it was always covered by snow and ice.  There's no way I'm letting Neil onto a tin roof in mid winter to brush it off. With our son supervising, it went up quickly.

And a little eye candy to remind us that there is beauty all around.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


It's time to start sewing again-the first snow is falling and the leaves are just slightly past their peak colour.  They've been late this year, but as always, my heart loves the view from my side porch.

As I was being good and getting my sewing bee blocks done, my second floor view kept distracting me.

Once they're gone it'll be six months before we see green again.  (Best not to think about it.)

For September,  the Queen Bee wanted baskets and sent along some orange fabric so that we would all be coordinated.  It was a heavy half square triangle affair, not something I love doing.  It's not that they're difficult or that my points don't line up.  No, it's that I'm lazy and hate trimming down all the blocks to the right size.  Honestly, every time  I see a beautiful quilt full of triangles, I marvel at the creator's patience.

Anyway, my two blocks came out fine, (I think!)

As you see, no point issues, just laziness.

September is also the time for our local agricultural fair, the Brome Fair.  It's always a great time with barns to visit, food to eat and people to chat with.  The chatting is almost the best part.  I'm very fond of goats and this year there were a few examples getting prettied up for their class.

The sheep were keeping clean in anticipation of their big moment.

Although one was getting a "do" and looked a bit sheepish about it all.

The driving classes are always great fun, with lots of participation and beautiful wagons and buggies.

  It's a labour of love to get these big ones ready for the show ring.

And, just for a final dose of adorable, look at this one.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Baby 3--Whee!

I say whee because I finally motivated myself to drive 40 minutes and buy thread to finish this project.  I even thought ahead and bought more than one spool! I tell you, I'm a model of efficiency.

Since baby 3 is due very soon, I'm glad to cross this one  off my list, and it wasn't a difficult sew.  Living on a farm there's always lots of decoratively rusty machinery to serve as a backdrop.  First up is the 1953 Ferguson that was in regular use when we first got married, but is now happily retired in what we call spare parts row.  In the background you can see bits of an old horse trailer.

I still think the fabric is just perfect for a little boy, especially the firetrucks and emergency vehicles. (I know, it's upside down, but you can't possibly expect me to go out and retake that picture!)

Next up is the equally elderly bulldozer.  It hasn't been anywhere in quite a while, but did wonderful work building roads in the woods.

I found just enough fabric in my stash to make the perfect little boy backing-full of lots of interesting vehicles and signs.

Today was bread day.  I've made bread for years and really, every time I make it, I think it's a little miracle.  I love the feel of it as I knead and love the smell as it's rising and as it's cooking. Today's was particularly cooperative and rose beautifully.

The first rise.

The second rise.

And the final product. I like that a bit of the quilt can be seen draped over the chair.

I'm linking up to Finish it up Friday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baby 3-Well, not quite done

I had high hopes at finishing up this little quilt yesterday, but on the very last seam I ran out of thread.  I know, why didn't I buy two spools the last time I went shopping?  Excellent question--chalk it up to chronic short sightedness.  So now I'll have to wait until I feel like driving the not insignificant distance to find a spool of white thread.

I rarely post a flimsy, but here it is.

I managed to get the shed roof and the barn in the picture too, and my clothesline!

Once this is quilted up I think it will be perfect for a baby boy.

I'm linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts today so hop on over and have a look.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby 2-done!

So, baby number two is a girl due in August, so one rainy day I was able to cut out, sew and make the quilt sandwich in one afternoon.  I don't think  I've ever done that, but it was a sweetly simple pattern that I found on a free site for charity quilts.

I had to find a pattern that only used three fabrics.  With the Canadian dollar so low I find it too expensive to shop on line so I went to a store about half an hour from my home that specializes in 1-metre cuts.  I like that everything is arranged by colour so you can spend time roaming around looking for fabrics that go together.  The fabrics are never the newest, most popular lines, but they are all good quality and run about two-thirds the price of fabric elsewhere.

It was easy to find three boy fabrics in bold, happy colours.  I'll look forward to making baby quilt 3 with such fun fabrics.

I often find "girl" fabrics insipid, but once I saw the Volkswagon and bicycle fabric I knew I had to have it!

Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture that was true to colour outside--this was the best I could do.

Once again I went with simple straight line quilting. I found the backing fabric at the same place.  I know it's a Heather Ross print, but have no idea what line.  It's so pretty that I hated to use it, but hoarding is not an option! For the binding I went with an orange that went with the vehicles.

This was fun, mindless sewing at its best that will make someone very happy.  It also made me happy while I was making it!