Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do you like to Sew, Sister?

My spouse loves flowers and brings them home often, to decorate our table. This lovely stem of stargazer lilies graced our table in memory of his beloved Mother. We remember her with much love. The vase is a handpainted one that was given to me by Bruce's parents. I had always admired it and often saw it filled with gorgeous autumn foliage and flowers such as Sunflowers or daffodils.
The weather here in Alberta has turned colder and the snow arrived in a great flurry. The tree in our front yard is heavily laden with the white fluffy stuff. Today my school children stayed inside as we had a significant wind chill. It is beginning to look like Christmas in the neighbourhood and the snow certainly adds to the ambiance.
I have not had much time to quilt until the last few days, as my school work needed to take precedence over time for playing with fabric. I have missed my time at the machine, so it was nice to be able to quilt again. I still seem to be enthralled with the Sidelines pattern and chose some seasonal fabrics to make 3 more couch quilts. I am not sure where they will eventually live, but for now, I am just playing. One of the the three groupings is poinsettia fabrics. I love poinsettias. They were my wedding flowers and they always make me smile. I also love sunflowers and autumn leaves so it was really easy to choose these fabrics to showcase some beautiful floral and foliage designs. The fabrics are cut into the block units waiting for the strip sets to be added. This pattern really is suited to larger scale fabrics that you want to show off. 
In this image you can see the strip sets that form the outside borders of the various blocks. I have since cut the strips into the units ready to apply to the blocks. The colors in this photo are more accurate than the partially completed top below.
If you have visited before, you will know that we have a cat named Mars, who loves to play around my quilts. You can see she was feeling particularly friendly in this photo, and came to check out what I was doing. I have been piecing with my 1947 featherweight. It really is a gem of a machine and I am enjoying using it, even at home. It belonged to a friend who no longer was using it. We were able to strike a deal and I have been pleased with the results from it. As it only weighs 12 pounds, the featherweight is great for carrying to a workshop or evening class. I still use my Elna Quilter's Dream for  the final finishings of my quilts. I have my Babylock quilting machine for the actual machine quilting.
 After an evening of quilting, the strips are altogether and this is what the base of the quilt looks like without the borders. I am not sure why it has an orange cast because it really is red and green, traditional Christmas colors. I think I will add some of the lighter centers with more white, as a stop border, followed by some more poinsettias fabrics for an outside frame border. It will make a lovely Christmas quilt, don't you think?
This week Sew Sisters Shop in Toronto is sponsoring a Canadian bloghop. I am enjoying visiting some of my Canadian Sew Sisters on their creative journeys. If you would like to check out some other Canadian bloggers, click on the Sew Sister's button on the top right hand side. Their are two hostesses from each province and prizes to be won from each of their blogs, that were provided by Sew Sisters shop.

You may want to check out The Sew Sisters on line shop in Toronto if you are looking for fabrics. I have always been pleased from the prices and selection that I have found there, when I visited their on line shop.

I have reached my 150th post. Blogging has introduced me to some wonderful quilt friends from around the globe. I have appreciated your interest and comments over the years. Thanks for taking the time to be part of my quiltng and blogging journey.

Some of you will be celebrating American Thanksgiving on Thursday- I hope it is a terrific holiday with some opportunities for some great family times for my American friends.

Until next time, I wish you good health and the opportunity to go on your own quilting journey.

Warmest regards,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The collection- a retrospective

This post is dedicated to my inlaws who brought much love and joy to my life. With the passing of my mother in law, I have completed a set of quilts for them. I thought it would be fun to have a little retrospective of these family quilts. In December of 2003, my inlaws celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, so I decided that they might like a photo quilt. It was a challenge to find a pattern that I thought might be appropriate for photos. After some searching I found one that was an Evelyn Sloppy pattern. With help, we altered some of the design and I had the photos transferred to fabric. I have made one other photo quilt for my parents using a pattern design from the Australian Patchwork magazine but that is a story for another day. This quilt also has some machine embroidery. It hung in their condo and more recently in my mother in laws room at Luther Court. Its new home is as yet to be determined.
This was the last quilt I made for my inlaws before my father in law passed away in 2007. It is based on the Convergence pattern by Ricky Tims. It is a great pattern and I have used it to make a number of couch sized quilts. I love how sweet they look in this photo together. The fabrics include red cardinals which were my father in law's favorite birds as well as his favorite baseball team.
When I first began my quilting journey, I found it a challenge to give away my quilts- now I find it hard to keep them.LOL This double Irish chain has a mate- my parents own the other one. The colors are rich in this Irish chain- I remember having some difficulty getting the striped corners to work out- I love the fabrics in this quilt - they are quite rich looking and do not photograph well. it also has birds on it...
After it became apparent that my mother in law had some form of dementia, I searched for a way to appeal to her sensory system. I ran across a design for a texture quilt. It was suggested that it was something that might appeal to people who lived with Alzheimers. I began to gather fabrics of different textures. I am not sure how washable this quilt is, but all the fabrics are fused on to a foundation fabric to stabilize the materials. There are some very rough knubbly fabrics as well as some very soft cuddly ones. I used shiny ones and flat fabrics... It would be a good design for babies as well.
My mother in law loved babies. This doll quilt has some fun prairie points. The pattern came from a Fons and Porter summer magazine. I love star quilts don't you?
This is the adult sized quilt that was on her bed. My mother in law loved soft colors and I am sure she would love the butter yellow border fabric in this quilt. It was a Fons and Porter pattern from their Love of quilting magazine. I made it in the fall of 2007. Lone star is one of my favorite patterns and while this is not a lone star, it was a fun quilt to make.
And the last quilt in the collection- given recently to celebrate Mum's 90th birthday. This quilt is made with batiks and one of Sandy Gervais's Piece of the heart tone on tone fabric designs. It is the Sidelines pattern and there is much written on my blog about these Maple Island quilt patterns.
Thus ends the collection of quilts that I created for my beloved inlaws. Today was the celebration of my mother in law's life. She was a grand lady who brought much to those who were fortunate enough to cross paths with her in life. These quilts will go on to have different journeys now- someone else will be the keeper of the quilts -At present, I am not sure where they will all go, but I hope where ever they reside, they will bring love and warmth to their new owners.

As for me, my quilt journey continues- some new quilts need to be created... but not for the next while..
 I am writing report cards just now.. I hope you got to check out the Blogger Festival. Lots of terrific quilts to be admired and voted on..
Here in Alberta we have had a large snowstorm- Lots of shoveling going on...
Thanks for stopping by ,
Warmest regards,