Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress ....

Kaleidoscope completed in the late spring of 2009. I am a big fan of Ricky Timms and this Kaleidoscope was made using his technique. It was fun to make- not as complicated as it looks and you get the most fantastic designs with it. I would love to make another one but other patterns beckon too..

I have been trying to post for the last few days but my computer woes continue on my own computer and the photos that I took to update my August progress disappeared. So now I have retaken the photos (I damaged the large photo chip as well:O( Finally, I can show you some pictures of the borders on the quilts.

Over the summer I hoped to get a star quilt made,and a star wallhanging finished.(You can see the completed quilts in a recent post)

When August came, I decided to get in on Kim's challenge. I finished the star pieces and then planned to get three other larger quilt tops to the(flimsie stage)completed.

Winding Ways with the 3 added borders.

. The trip around the world couch quilt- It is the second version of this quilt and is a completed flimsie.
Here is the 99 blocked king sized wonky tiles with its framed blue border...

I have met these goals and still have a few days to spare... Wahooo!!
The only problem now is, that I made new goals and have added to the list.VBG Now I want to quilt these three quilts and get some baby quilts made too...

Oh and there is also the slasher quilt to consider... and how many days are left until I am back teaching...... Five .... my list may need some modification as I have other things that are planned as well to do before I go back to my classroom on Monday... Too many plans and not enough time HMMMMMMM

Thanks to all of you who responded to the slasher question- I received lots of interesting ideas and suggestions as to how I might change my quilt. Many of you thought I could applique something on the background while others encouraged me to try out slashing. Here is what I have done so far.
In the end, I wasn't brave enough to be a true slasher though I did cut across the middle block. I chose to stay with the straight lines. My next step will be to add another small green stop border and then will frame it with the framed black leaf fabric. I am taking it one step at a time and seeing how I like the additions- I did contemplate adding a piece of black leaves going either vertical and diagonal across the horizontal added leaves. When I tried laying it in those directions it didn't seem to add anything to the quilt.
I may still applique some floating leaves across the green and red pieces. It is an ever changing project and I am not finished yet- I guess it is my WIP...

Now my other news this week- I have been a very fortunate lady this summer and been declared the winner in some giveaways.
Last week I received a pattern from Toni called Woodstock. She is from Australia and makes very fun patterns. It is a lovely flowered pattern and she has another very cute pattern giveaway with Bears. It is a wonderful children's pattern- if you love bears you are going to want to enter to win this pattern.

Natima chose my name and I was the fortunate winner of a handmade journal and magazine from Australia. I love handmade things that others have made- it is a special thing to do for someone else.

Rosa, a fellow Canadian from the east coast chose my name in her surprise giveaway. She has sent me questions about my likes/dislikes and has put my name up in lights. I have never had my name up in lights on a sunflower billboard- I am honored to win her giveaway. Rosa has a very fun blog and is a keen quilter. Do check it out..

Then if this was not overwhelming enough, I was given some patterns from Julie who gave away 45 patterns to a number of quilters. It was a sweet thing to do Julie. I know that all the quilters are going to enjoy using your patterns.

By now I am totally gobsmacked by these gifts and my blog friend Gran emails me and tells me that I won her giveaway- fair and square. It is some wonderful 30's fabrics and fall fabrics.Gran is a beautiful embroiderer and has recently started her own website.

A very big Thank you to all of you for your generosity and kindness. I am more than a little embarassed by all these wins- Perhaps I should go out and buy a lottery ticket...

Now I want to let you know about some great giveaways happening in blogland- There are a large number of them just now... You just never know what might happen- you could win some very cool things and meet some wonderful new blog friends.

Kellie has made a beautiful tree quilt. She is a pattern designer and has created a quilt that she is giving away The tree quilt is exquisite and beautifully quilted. Do check it out!!!

sweet treats Is a blog that Rosa introduced on her blog- The sweets and treats are so yummy looking....

Elaine is having a civil war fabric giveaway. Do you like civil war fabrics? She has a really great blog too.

Lurline has some gorgeous Regency fabrics that are reproductions from the mid 1800's> The fabrics are such interesting colors- not your typical ones from that time period.

Khris is a doll maker and she is having a giveaway of an Annie doll. One of the things she has asked the people entering her giveaway is to send postcards from where they live.

Sheree is having a big giveaway of lots of interesting fabric and quilter's tools. It is really lovely prize for someone.

Heather is a wonderful pattern designer who is giving away a quilt. It is truly stunning to look at. Do go and check out her beautiful giveaway.

Kim continues to clean out her sewing area and has been parting with some fabrics,patterns and books. Kim has encouraged others to take part in her challenge. She has finished some lovely pieces and celebrates the accomplishments of others. I know you will find her blog an entertaining read.

Thank you to one and all for your generosity- it is a testament to the kindness and thoughtfulness of the quilters out in blogland.

I had a wonderful visit from my aunt Jan on Tuesday. She brought me a wonderful vase with sweetpeas in it, that had belonged to my grandmother. She also gave me a large photo of my great grandparents on their wedding day. We shared a day of laughter and memories of things gone by. She and my mother are great collectors of family photos and stories and are the genealogy afficiandos.

Genealogy is like a big jigsaw puzzle- the more things you find out - the more questions you start to ask- Do you have other hobbies that you enjoy exploring besides quilting?

Today I am off to lunch with a dear friend. I will go and do some work at school in the morning - the last days of summer vacation promise to be full. Thursday I will go and spray baste my quilts together so that I can begin quilting them. I also hope to get some baby wraps cut out so that I can get them quilted. I may have to make a quilt time schedule so I can continue to be productive in the quilting department. Some quilters set aside an hour a day to quilt- perhaps that will be my fall goal. A girl needs to play as well as work - balance between the two is a neverending challenge. How do you find enough time to quilt?

Wishing you good health and good times as the seasons change.
Happy quilting,
Warmest regards,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Would you slash it... or can this quilt be saved??

I have been playing with a few ideas as to how to improve this red and green quilt-
Some ways that have come to mind are to take it apart in places and add some leaf fabric in the main body( sorry, I have no new photos to add today) or just add the leaf outside border and then applique some leaves across the body of the quilt.( I did look at Christmas fabric for it but I only have one alternative that I didn't like as well as the leaf fabric.)

Then a blog friend Robyn from Daisy Quilt suggested another alternative- I could slash it..(Click on Robyn's name and you will find out more about slashing quilts)

Now I am not sure I have it in me to slash one of my quilts, but I am considering it... It is certainly out of my comfort zone but not an impossible alternative... Hmmmmmmm

My wonky tiles quilt has grown into its king sized form- it has gone from 48 to 99 blocks and now has the borders on it( I may add one more two inch border yet) and then the top will be finished.

I went and got backing for the "Wonky Tiles" other day- You need a lot of fabric for the back (about 9 meters). I don't usually buy 9 meters of fabric and our local Fabricland(sort of like Joanne's)had a 50% off sale so I found what I was looking for backing. I will be spray basting it one day later this week once I get the borders on a couple of other quilts so that I can do it all at once.

And now for some blogs who are hosting Giveaways:

Vicki at Feline and Fibre Art is having a 100 giveaway post. She has posed some interesting questions to think about - One of the things I love about Vicki's blog is her cats - She has an orange cat just like we do. What is it about Cats and quilts? They sure do love them!!!

Rosa is a new blogger to me but she is having an interesting giveaway too... I will be visiting her blog again.

Julie is celebrating her 500th post and giving away some patterns. Go and check them out. I have been reading her blog for quite a long time and enjoy her quotes and posts. I hope she will write many more blog posts.

gran is a wonderful needlewoman who enjoys cooking and embroider. Gran has a terrific giveaway and has only recently started her website. She will draw a name in the middle of the week so you need to go there quickly. She is one talented lady...

I am sure that there are other giveaways out there - there seems to be a great number of them going on just now. Some people are clearing their collections of patterns and fabric or offering up some special things that have collected for a giveaway. Many are celebrating blogspot milestones. They are all a talented group of quilters who are sharing their love of quilting with others. Thank you for your generosity and passion ladies- it inspires us all.

The August challenge goes on- I have the borders chosen for the Winding Ways quilt and will look for ones for the The trip around the World and then there is the Slasher Quilt LOL.. Maybe I could turn it into a Halloween Quilt LOL

Hope you all are making progress on your August finishes..

Our mail brings some interesting things these days. I received a lovely package from my blog friend Michelle who had hosted a giveaway. It is a wonderful wallhanging kit that has some applique in it. I will try and make it up to show you all. Do go and visit her blog- She is lovely lady who is expecting a baby soon. She lives in my neighboring province- home of the Cyprus Hills.

Speaking of Cyprus Hills, my spouse returns this evening and the time is rushing towards fall- soon I will switch from quilting to teaching my little children. My kindergarteners will be excited and full of wonderful ideas and they will change the rhythm of my life from quiet to hectic and busy but we will have lots of fun together singing and learning new things ... Such is the ebb and flow of life as a primary teacher...

Until next time- Happy Quilting,

Warmest Regards,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seeing Stars...A Couple of August Finishes

Starlight Star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might. have the wish I wish tonight.
Last night Bruce and I went to see if we could see the Perseid Meteor Shower-unfortunately we were pretty well clouded out - we did see a couple of bright ones but mostly all we viewed was a moon that kept being wrapped in fluffy clouds and a llama who watched us from a nearby fenced in area. The night was warm and the skies not very cooperative but the conversation and time together made it a worth while adventure-

Bruce's Starlight Starbright quilt was made using a pattern called "Autumn Evening" from a book called Creative Scraps- Quilting with Bits and Pieces. The wonky stars set on point seem to float across the night sky- at least that was my intent. It was fun to collect star fabrics though..

Starlight, Starbright is a queen sized quilt that has 32 liberated stars that are set on point. I made this quilt for my husband, Bruce who is a man of the stars- his passion is astronomy and this year is the "International Year of Astronomy". He is headed today to Cyprus Hills,Saskatchewan with a friend to attend the Astronomical Society's Annual general meeting and star party.
Cyprus Hills is a really interesting part of the prairies. In my home province, Alberta, we have an area called Drumheller. It is the land of the Hoo Doos- You drive along and suddenly you will find yourself overlooking a crest of these strange grooved formations. They look like tall chef's hats with strata. The interesting topography is a tourist draw but I read recently where they are beginning to barricade a few parts and limit traffic because of damage and erosion created by the large number of visitors. Cyprus Hills is farther east and south in Saskatchewan but it reminds me of Drumheller. Drumheller was the land of the dinosaurs and there were many great finds of dinosaur bones there. There is a world renowned dinosaur museum there called "The Tyrell Museum".
The second piece
is a small piece for me- about 30 inches square or so. It is a wallhanging made from some leftover blocks of a star quilt that I made for a friend of Bruce's. I love how the center red blocks form a new star. The quilts are both labelled and will be shown as part of a display at the meeting and star party.

So I have two finishes for August so far. On my sewing table, I have completed another 40 some blocks to add to the Wonky tiles quilt. I need to turn it into a king sized quilt for its intended owners.

Do you know how big a king sized quilt actually measures???? My blog friend Pam's reply was BIG and she sure has got that right- ( Do check out her blog she is in the midst of some major renovations that are making her house gorgeous)

When I posed the king sized bed measurement question I received a number of different suggestions for the actual measurement- the largest size is 130 x 130 inches or 120 X ???. I am told it depends on the width of the mattress and how much length you want and whether you want a pillow tuck... There seems to be a number of different variables to consider..
However this girl is determined that it shall be finished so quilt on I must LOL..

This week I received a lovely package from Ryan. I wish you could smell the wonderful fragrance that comes from the sunflower candle- it is a beautiful scent. He enclosed some terrific 30's fat quarters that I am collecting to make a 30's quilt. I still haven't decided on a pattern but the collection is growing.VBS
Thank you Ryan for your generosity- your pretty package with fat quarters, pink buttons, thread and sunflower candle are very much appreciated.

A lovely lady named Toni from the land down under wrote me to say that I won a pattern from a giveaway on her blog. Thank you Toni - perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket :O) I have been very fortunate to win some very nice giveaways. Thank you

Here is what I fondly refer to as the garish quilt- I may have found a solution by using a leaf fabric - I am still debating whether to cut the quilt a part to add sections of the leaf fabric and incorporate it into the body of it. For sure I am going to use the leaf print on the outside of the quilt. Currently, I find the center too strong for most of the fabrics that I auditioned. I have no idea what I thought I was doing when I put these colors together. If the leaves don't work then perhaps I will have to think of it as my fugly quilt -

Everyone needs one of those don't they?

Originally, I had planned to make the optical illusion quilt using red and black. I started by cutting the red fabric only to find that I did not have quite enough of it. I was a little nonplussed because I don't usually run out of a specific fabric. I was not too hopeful of finding it as it is an older fabric but when my friend L. and I went out for a quilt store day, I was successful. So I can now finish another Illusion Quilt and perhaps it will work out...

After I finish the wonky tiles quilt the next projects on my list will be to add the borders of the Winding Ways Quilt and to the mate of the Trip around the world quilt.
Kim has posted some of the other people's projects and giveaways on her blog for the August Challenge. You can find Kim here. Finishing projects is indeed very satisfying...

How are your projects coming along?

Thank you for all your comments about last week's post. It is always nice to hear from other bloggers and to look at new and old blogs. I have tried to comment back on most of your blogs. I do hope that you will come and visit again.

The summer vacation is disappearing and so am I for now..

Happy quilting,

Warmest Regards,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August is Quilting Time and an Invitation.....

I have been busy quilting this past week- I looked at the calendar and realized half my summer has passed and while I have enjoyed resting, relaxing and puttering along in July the time is ticking and I want to finish up some projects. I have been trying to get my quilting Mojo going by cleaning up the sewing room, fondling the stash fabric and arranging the projects that I have partially finished. Along the way I keep getting distracted by the blogs and whatever else that caught my interest.

However this week my blog friend, Kim has issued an August invitation to do a few things- The first thing that Kim encouraged others to do is to finish up some unfinished projects commonly known as UFO's. A second part is to get rid of some patterns or fabric that you are no longer using or see yourself using (KIm is hosting a giveaway of some patterns that she, herself is giving away to others- she has four combinations that you may choose from for a draw and the third is to work from your stash. You can sign up to join Kim's August invitation and she will add your name to her list on her side bar.

Well I didn't have to think very long before I decided that Kim had an inspired idea. Personally I am going to focus on using fabric from my stash and finish up as many as half a dozen projects that I have on the go right now. I have not yet decided about a giveaway. Right now I am focusing on completing my 6 projects using my stash. This is a pattern from Mary who has a set of instructions on her blog to make this Wonky RWB(she made her's red/white/blue)rails. I intend to enlarge the quilt in the photograph and make it into a kingsize quilt. I already have a large number of blocks made- it is a gift for some good friends so I best get moving on it.
Mary has a really lovely blog and a number of nice patterns that have excellent instructions - Do check out her blog.
Finally,here is a picture of the batik "Winding ways" or sometimes it is called "The Wheel of Mystery". I used the Marti Michell pattern for the design. I have the borders to put on it. I even have them chosen- sometimes just getting started is the hardest part once you get stalled out. These two projects were started last fall and I want them off my plate before school starts.

However, the very first project I must finish is the star quilt- I have it ready to quilt so that will be completed this week. There is also have a small star wall hanging that I want to complete for Bruce to take for a display in Cyprus Hills when he goes in the middle of August. So here is the base group of my August UFO's that I plan to complete - I have a couple of other quilts that I would like to finish too so at present there is my list of six projects.
Think I can do it? I hope so....

I have been reading lots of blogs from my blog list - The posts reflect the breadth of emotions of life. Some people have experienced the joy of a new home and new family members; while others struggle with grief and sorrow at the loss of dear friends and loved ones. Still others are dealing with complicated health issues- One hopes for those of you going through these challenges and sadness that life will bring some brightness to comfort and help you through those difficult times.

The weather continues to raise havoc in different parts of the country- On the weekend we had a terrible storm in a town about 50 miles from here called Camrose. There was a large Country Music Festival and the wind blew so hard that it caused the stage to collapse. One woman lost her life and many more were injured- such a terrible tragedy for everyone involved.

On the weekend I attended a quilt retreat. We made this pattern - it is an optical illusion quilt

illusion quilt

I really liked how my friend's quilts came out - the jury is out on mine - I haven't yet decided whether I was color blind when I chose the colors or that I just don't have a good feel for two color quilts. I haven't photographed it yet- scared what might happen to the camera LOL I have auditioned a few fabrics for the borders but the challenge is to find the balance between the strong center colors and the border...It may just end up being the ugliest quilt I have ever made...

What do you do when you are not sure whether the quilt works ?
Do you try to selvage it or give it up as a bad idea?

Decisions, decisions...

While my quilt remains a design question there is a giveaway at Marie Madeleine's studio for an absolutely scrumptious looking quilt do check it out.
You can find it here:

Grab Our Button!

And Elaine is having a stimulus giveaway- do go and check out her blog- you'll be glad you did!

Have a great week and Happy quilting-