Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Joy of Summer

Summer has come to the Alberta prairies and I am on a hiatus from school. Somehow I thought I would get back to blogging sooner but I have been doing other things- some quilty and some not. One of the first things I did was get some plants for our front deck to add some color out there. Isn't this purple container a beauty of color? I did put some flowers together in the barrels at the bottom of the front steps, but this one I bought, just because I loved the rich colors. Purple and Pink are my favorite colors so this one just spoke to me.
In the spring time Craftsy offered this box of fat quarters at a great price so I decided to buy them. They are all Free Spirit fabrics- designers like Riley Blake and Amy Butler are in the box. It is such a pretty rainbow of fabrics and more modern than I would normally choose. Sometimes a girl has to check out some other lines, and these fat quarters will make a fun wedding quilt for someone. I have some great fat quarter patterns to try out someday. The list of someday quilts continues to grow.
A friend of ours had made this lovely traditional Dresden Plate quilt. She had wanted to finish it and needed a bit of help with the binding so I gave her a hand with it. Binding is one of those jobs that is so much easier with the proper tools. Our friend had it quilted by a local long arm studio and was really happy with the completed project. I believe that the quilt was started by her mother.

In my previous post I shared this four square batik quilt with you. Here is the completed quilt being given to its new owner. My friend, Ms. G, was quite surprised with it. I am very happy with the quilt pattern and would make it again. It was a tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and is called The Half Square triangle quilt using the four Seasons block. I had not used their technique of making half square triangles and it was an easy technique to use.  A friend showed me another technique using a tube and and a strip ruler that is another way to make half square triangles.
A while back I participated in a giveaway contest hosted by The Fat Quarter Shop in Texas, when they were at Quilt market. I was very excited when my phrase was chosen and this beautiful package of Kate Spain fat quarters arrived in the mail. The Fat Quarter Shop does have a lovely on line shop and are very generous to quilters. If you are looking for an on line shop to try, they certainly are a shop to consider. They have lovely fabrics and fair prices. Their products always come beautifully wrapped and you get excellent service from them. Postage costs to Canada are getting more pricey, so I have not bought from them as often, but I do love their shop. They have an excellent blog called the Jolly Jabber.
Athena -also known as Atari or Kitten, the Tonkinese cat ( she is a cross of a Burmese and Siamese cat) has taken over in the roll of quilt kitty at our house. She has quite a different disposition than Mars cat, but loves to leave her mark( lots of white fur) on my current quilt projects. She is quite partial to this wedding signature quilt that is now together as a flimsy. I will spray baste it later this week and will get it quilted before too long. I have added borders to it since this photo was taken.
Our good friends V. and A celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past week and I decided to make them some pillow cases to match their quilt. I dug around in my stash looking for fabrics that had come from their quilt but, unfortunately, I did not have any larger pieces to use, even for the two inch piping. I was surprised how quickly that the pillow cases went together. I used another tutorial from the Missouri Star quilt Co. - Jenny Doan gives good instructions . I have since made more pillowcases for my parents ,who celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary today. There is a  Dusty dog under this pile of pillow cases- if you look closely you can see her head and red collar on the left side.

My second major summer project is to get Kevin and Roseanne's wedding quilt put together. These fossil ferns are some of the fabrics that I am using in their quilt. This is a collection of the whole line of fossil fern fabrics. I got a kit from Craftsy called Under the Stars Quilt Kit by Nancy Smith. I have over 80 blocks made, but the quilt is a king sized quilt so I need almost that many again _ I think... I have loved this fabric line forever and it is really a lovely line to use. It handles beautifully.
In the image below you can see how the block is going to go together- I think it will be a pretty quilt when I get finished.
 The summer is flying by- I have been reading some great books - "I am Malala" and"The Pearl who broke its shell" are among my favorites. I have been out with friends for lunch and taken care of some general health/ dental things. I still want to clear out some things in the house. It won't be too long before the summer is gone.
I did get a chance to visit my folks early in the summer, as a beloved cousin passed away. While the reason I went to visit was a sad occasion, I did get the opportunity to see extended family. Part of that trip included some time spent traveling with my mother's brother and sister. It was nice to have that time to reconnect with my uncles and aunts.
 I recognize since I have gone to google +,that is difficult to leave a response or comment on the blog. I find that frustrating because one of the things that I loved about blogging was making connections with other bloggers. I don't know if anyone has any suggestions about this, but I would love to hear them. I do miss hearing from my other quilting friends on the blog. A few blogging friends have emailed me comments and I appreciate them taking that extra effort to leave comments.
 I hope you all are enjoying your summertime and get some time to spend doing the things that you love to do. Until next time,
 Be well,
Warmest regards, Anna
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