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!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Baby 1-Done

I finally finished off the first of three baby quilts needed for the summer crop of babies.  (None of them mine or my children's, but who can resist the allure of creating a small, colourful quilt!)

There are lots of polka dots and owls, but I think the new mum will like it a lot.

Many intersecting lines of quilting are both simple and effective.

And the backing is a sweet little floral print that was hiding in my stash.

There's lots of action at the bird feeders this time of year with all the babies being brought so that they can learn where the food is.  The twittering and wing fluttering is very cute and I get enormous pleasure watching while I drink my coffee in the morning.

 A pair of blackbirds built their nest in some dead bullrushes at the edge of the pond and I went down every day to see their progress.

Unfortunately, something else was keeping an eye on them too and yesterday they had disappeared.  The parents were still squawking at us and dive bombing, so it must have only just happened.

This handsome frog seemed quite unconcerned at my taking his picture.  He must be used to the attention!

Even this lowly garter snake seemed happy to bask in the sunshine after endless days of cold and rain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Following Along

The drunkard's path that is.....

I've wanted to make a quilt with circles for a long time but never mustered up my courage to do it.  But last week I thought about the three different baby quilts I want to make and decided it was a perfect opportunity to play with circles.

I bought a little fat quarter bundle with owls, mushrooms, and polkadots and paired it with fabric from my stash.  I created my own circle template after looking at a few tutorials and ended up with four 6-5-inch drunkard path blocks that sewed up into a 12-in block.  I didn't overthink fabrics and probably should have used more white for negative space, but I'm always happy with a riot of colour.

The quilting was simple and just followed the lines and circles, so there was a lot of stopping and starting.

Since it was for a baby I got to use up a lot of my little animal prints.

But I never got to the binding as my brother-in-law from Vancouver Island was with us visiting, so the family got involved in one of its favourite activities, brush clearing and bonfires.  The weather was cool and rainy while he was here, so a great time to get out and work!

Neil and Bob cut down lots of saplings on one day, and then we burned everything the next day.

The smoke keeps the mosquitos away too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Finishing Up

I was rummaging around in sewing world the other day and found an unfinished quilt top.  That is not like me--I don't have quantities of flimsies lying around. I'm a start it, finish it kind of gal, unless I run out of fabric of course, or fall out of love with it. Anyway, this little top looked like it needed to be quilted, and let's face it, creativity was at a low ebb, so I whipped it out and started cutting backing and batting and in short time it was done.  No hesitations or quandaries, no second guessing.

I have no idea what the fabric line is, but it is pretty.

The backing is an old piece of Ikea fabric that was lying around with a bit of pink to make it wide enough.  

I love polka dots for the binding. I only ever did one binding by hand and swore never again! I know that some people find it very soothing and zen-like, but not me.  I kept pricking my finger and it seemed to take forever.  Once I saw a tutorial on sewing binding down from the front, I never looked back. To give credit where it is due, the tutorial is here. (Red Pepper Quilts)

I find it works well for me and it leaves a neat look to the front.  The stitching is barely visible.

I did the usual straight line quilting after securing the blocks with stitching in the ditch.  I have tried free motion quilting, but haven't practiced it enough to feel it adds to my quilts.  The straight lines haven't let me down yet!

And, just because it's spring, here's another quick walk around my corner of Quebec.  Don't you love the vibrant colours of the new growth on the conifers.  They all remind me of velvet.

Of course I cannot name this, but it grows all along the roadside and produces nice, sharp tasting, red berries in the fall. They're great for cooking into muffins or coffee cakes.

Of course Neil would call the shrub a weed since it isn't a tree that can be cut down and chopped into endless piles of wood!

And here he is waging war against another pernicious weed--cattails. They are starting to creep further and further into the pond, so he donned his hip waders and went to battle.

Two hours later he declared himself the winner and came in for lunch.

Neil and I are both fond of stones, large and small.  Anytime he turns up a good one while ploughing or working in the woods, he brings it home.  I love this big one in the little garden in front of the porch. I also bring home a good stone from any place we go to for vacation.  If I find one with a hole in it or shaped like a heart, that's a bonus!

Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts and The Needle and Thread Network (which isn't shutting down-yay!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Flowers Quilt

My honeysuckles are in bloom. Now I know that honeysuckles aren't the flashiest of flowering shrubs, but while drinking my coffee on the porch this morning, all I could hear was the drunken humming of honey bees.  They were so busy and so laden with pollen that they could hardly fly and seemed to be walking from blossom to blossom.   This time of year is always a miracle of colour and sound.  As I write, the smell of lilacs slips by and the nest of blue jays in the maple are demanding more food, more food.  There's nothing like winter to make you appreciate spring.

Speaking of flowers, I finished the quilt made from my bee friends' flower blocks.  I have very unimaginatively called it spring flowers.  I decided to sash the individual flowers with fabric that remind me of grass.  Keeping with the analogy, for the binding I chose a fabric that could be imagined as a picket fence if you look closely.

Should I have sashed it in white, probably, but it's bright and happy and it will likely cheer up someone's bed at the nursing home my mother lives in.

The fun thing about online bees is that a group of strangers get together and trust each other enough to send blocks made with their favourite fabrics.  For me it's like Christmas when the blocks arrive.  Sometimes the fabric is exactly what I would have bought and sometimes not, but they always play well together.

The back is a perfect example of why we should measure twice and cut once.  I did not!

I tried to casually toss the quilt over the honeysuckle bushes, but the wind kept thwarting my art shots!

Here it's casually draped over the cover to the spring (supplies water to our house and barn).  In the background you can just see one of the raised vegetable beds.

I'm linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts, so have a good look at all that creativity out there. Sadly, this is the last week of The Needle and Thread Network and I would like to thank her for creating a space for us to show our work.