Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A conspiracy of babies and the zombie appocalipse

     Have you heard about a conspiracy of ravens?  Well in my life there is a conspiracy of babies.  Why a conspiracy you ask.  Well  I've been hoping to have some creative play in my quilting life, and babies are popping up left right and centre demanding that I make quilts for them. I just finished Rory's quilt, you can read about it here  and now his aunt is having a baby. My nephew Eric and his partner Kirsten are having a  baby, their third child, in November, and my co workers daughter is also having a baby in November.  So what's a quilter to do?  Make quilts for babies of course.  

     I'll be starting this baby quilt making process, with the Fireburst Mystery quilt along that Tish is hosting.   I'll be making the lap size.  I tend to give toddler sized quilts to babies (usually when they are about a year old).  This one will be a large lap size and here is my fabric pull.

     I had almost enough of the dark blue in my stash but not quite enough so I went to the local Len's store to pick up more.  My friends Wendy and Carol came with me and helped me to pick the other fabrics.  The limey green came next ( I had picked it out as binding for Rory's quilt), followed by the colourful fabric with little birds and then the red.  This will make a fun kids quilt.  I have thoughts about the other two quilts as well, and I think they will be easy finishes.  

     So that should keep me busy in my sewing room, but, do you want to know what else is going to keep me busy?  The zombie apocalypse. It's arrived in my front yard.  Well to be honest it's been there for a while but I wasn't sure what I was dealing with.  Look at it.  It looks so innocent doesn't it. 

 You may have even liked it in my instagram feed when I posted a picture to see if anyone knew what it was and how to deal with it.  Well thanks to one of my co workers who saw my post, I now know that it is creeping bellflower and it is working it's way towards world domination.  Another name for it is zombie weed because it sneaks into your garden and quietly takes over without you noticing it.

      Last year we covered the garden in thick plastic for 2 months pretty much killing everything and this year it popped up again.....apparently the only way to deal with it is to keep pulling in out over and over until you weaken it.  I think it may outlive me.

     So if you don't hear from me for a while I'll be in the garden pulling up weeds, or maybe I'll be in my sewing room making a baby quilt .......or maybe indulging in some creative play.  There is always hope.

I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social linkup  and with the Fireburst Mystery Quilt  linkup.

p.s.  I love babies.  They are one of my favourite things in the whole world.  Creeping Bellflower, not so much.

p.p.s.  There is also a wedding quilt in the works.

p.p.p.s.  The backyard also has a lot of weeds but not this one.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Wish Upon a Star


     Welcome to my stop on the Wish Upon a Star Blog Hop!  The hop is hosted by Carol, who blogs at Just Let Me Quilt.
There are over 40 participants in the hop which takes place over 5 days.  Here are the others who are participating today.  I'll list the rest of the quilters at the bottom of the post.

May 21

       I finally get to show you what I have been working on these past few weeks.  I finished Rory's quilt!  And look, the sun came out for long enough that I could get a decent photo outside.

      Rory is the son of my co-worker Tessa and he will be celebrating his first birthday in August. His mom is a fan of neutrals and her house is painted in grey and yellows, so I was a bit surprised when she chose a palette of bright rainbow colours for his quilt. I was happy she chose brights because I love them and I had just the right fabrics in my stash; bright animal prints and bright swheswhe prints. I paired them with Kona Shadow which is grey of course.  Swheswhe is the traditional fabric of South Africa and up until recently it has been available in the traditional colours of indigo, brown and red.  These bright swheswes are just awesome aren't they.


     This quilt was a joy to work on from start to finish. I'm not sure what these stars are called but they are made with some rulers which I borrowed from my friend Wendy. She loaned me two sets of rulers. I think these were the easy angles.  

   Most of the quilts I have seen using this block place a plain block between the stars.  I wanted to make a toddler sized quilt finishing around 48" by 60" inches so I opted to place the 12" finished blocks side by side in the rows but staggered by 1/3 of the block.  This gave me more star pizzaz in the quilt.

     The quilting was done with a walking foot on my domestic machine.  I decided to try out random straight lines as I thought they would look like rays of light bouncing around the stars.  I used a light orange auriful thread which is one of my favourites.     

      I love this quilt so much that I'm thinking of asking Tessa if I can put it in the guild show in September and give it to her after that. He's not going to need it until it gets cold is he? Our guild show isn't juried so it doesn't have to be filled with amazing quilting or anything like that. Completing Rory's quilt was my OMG for May and the second finish for the second quarter of the 2018 Finish Along. 

     I'll leave you with a few more close ups of the critters in the blocks which will give you more close ups of the quilting.

      Here's the complete list of those participating in the blog hop.  I'm excited to see what everyone has made.

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25

         It just occurred to my on Thursday that I should link this quilt up to TGIFF which is hosted by my friend Anja at AnjaQuilts this week.  Perhaps I will see you there.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Houses a Group Quilt

    A short while ago I said I would give you more details about this quilt top.  It's a fun little top isn't it, but there was quite a journey to get it to this point.

     It all started here, with blocks I made for Martina in 2016 when I crashed Hive 9 of the Stash Bee.  I thought these would make great block lotto blocks for my traditional guild.

     We used Martina's tutorial with her permission and received lots and lots of blocks. One guild members name was drawn and she received half of the blocks. The rest were for our committee to make into a quilt.  Because the blocks were made by a lot of people who had different fabrics in their stash we had quite a bit of variation in the blocks and I wasn't sure we could fit them into one quilt. We divided the blocks into 3 groups.

The bright group...

the soft purple/blue group...

and the earthy group...

     The challenge was to find a background fabric that would work with all these different groupings.  We tried lots of different fabrics with less than good results.  Look here at the blocks on grey fabric.  It doesn't do much for them does it.

Here is what they looked like when we tried them on this light green fabric from Wendy's mothers stash...

The green fabric makes them all sing, so of course we used it.

The top is now in a kit with batting and backing fabric.  It will go to a volunteer quilter and then it will be donated.  I'm linking up with Lorna for the Let's Bee Social link up.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

One Monthly Goal for May

     Usually my attention is all over the place but lately I've been focussed on one thing.  I'm participating in the Wish Upon a Star blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.  It's happening near the end of May and I want to make sure that I have a finish ready for it.  Here's a sneak peak at my project.  I have loads more finished but this is all I'll share for now.  I have to keep something in reserve.

     May is going to be a very busy month, so we will see how I do.  There is Eli's Birthday to celebrate and the memorial for my Aunt Gloria, and at the end of the month our friend Tessa arrives from England. One of these days I'm going to make her a quilt.  I've had the fabric for it for a very long time.  

     I'll leave you now because I have to get back to working on this project after I link up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts for the OMG link up.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

A Quilt for Eli

     I have a finish to share with you.  It's Eli's quilt.  The pattern is Preppy Pod, an Elizabeth Hartman pattern.  I love the happy whales on this quilt and the soft primary colours.


     I made the lap quilt size but I added the row of whales to the bottom of the quilt to make it a little longer.   It's a nice size for a toddler, 45 inches by 54 inches. It's  about the same size as the quilt I made for his older brother Gabriel. Gabriel's quilt was the Dog Gone Quilt designed by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts.  Gabriel is two and a bit now  and his parents are just starting to use his quilt with him.

      I used Elizabeth Hartman's fabrics along with some Cotton and Steel fabrics designed by Rashida Coleman.  Rashida Coleman is one of my favourite designers and I started my fabric choices with her Kujira and Star fabric.  It's the fabric in the largest whale and I also used it on the back.

     I kept the quilting simple with wavy horizontal lines going across the quilt.  I think they give the quilt a water like look. The quilting was finished last weekend.  Lately I have been machine sewing my bindings on the back and the front, but this time I chose to machine stitch to the front and hand sew on the back.

     I'm glad I made that choice.  It gave me a little more time to spend with the quilt.   Eli will be turning one at the end of May.  He will hardly be a baby any more and I think I will be missing having a baby around.  I thought about his babyness a lot as I stitched that binding on by hand.

     Finishing this quilt was my One Monthly Goal for April.  I've managed to reach my goals 4 months in a row.  Maybe I am getting a better handle on how much I can finish in a given month.  You know it's interesting.  I brought the quilt to work today to show it to my co workers and several people asked me how long it took to make it.  To be honest I have no idea.  I work on many projects at a time and I don't track my time on each one.  Also I take a lot  of breaks to do things like wash the dishes or change a load of laundry.  I do know however that it took way less time to pin baste the quilt and to quilt it, than I was imagining it would take.  Hopefully this experience will encourage me to get to that quilting stage a little more readily.

     Eli's quilt is also my first finish for the 2nd Quarter of the Finish Along for 2018.  You can find my original list here.
I'm linking this post up with the Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday linkup which is hosted this week at Celtic Thistle Stitches and with the OMG linkup hosted by Patti at Elm Street Quilts.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Postcard From Sweden Update

     Well I never thought for a minute that I would have to send out a notice cancelling my guilds Spring Bee Day.  That is until late Friday night when the severe weather warning for freezing rain was still standing. It came a bit later than expected but it came. I pretty much spent the whole weekend hiding out in the house.  Instead of working on guild projects I worked on my own projects.
 I'm happy to say that my Postcard from Sweden quilt top is finished. I finished it at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. Let the photos begin!  I've given up on waiting for good weather to take the photos. There's no need to, really as Postcard does a lot to brighten up a grey day.

     I really love this quilt and as I've said before I found it such a great way to see how the different colours work together.  Dwight asked me who it was for.  For now I'm going to keep it to use as a colour reference.

     Here's a view from the other side.  The yellows pick up the light quite nicely in this view don't they.   There is a lot more red and pink and purple in this quilt than I would normally use.  I tend to be more of a blue and green girl and I welcomed the opportunity to work with these other colours. 

     I have to admit that I got a little sick of sewing all the half square triangles together during the current marathon of sewing so I took a break to sew a couple of blocks for community outreach ( I'll share those later) and I managed to make a small start on Rory's quilt (that is secret sewing for now) so all in all it was a very productive weekend.  I'll be joining the linkups at mmmquilts for the Postcard from Sweden quilt along, and at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

     Now I'm going back to waiting for Spring to Come.  Do you think it will....ever.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Second Quarter Goals

     Last quarter I managed to sew a fair bit but I only managed one finish.  I guess I was too busy working on new quilts.  Well it's time to set goals for the second quarter and we will see if I do better this time.  I'm carrying some projects forward and maybe I'll pull a few from the past.

1.  This is an older picture of the whale quilt.  I've got the quilt basted and ready for quilting.  It's my April goal so I expect to finish it before the end of the month.

2.   I need to get this quilt done soon as well.  Rory's mom may have given up on it but I'm hoping to put it in a blog hop in May so I've got to get a move on.

 3.  If I don't get quilt number two finished.  I'll have to make a pillow or something, with these as possible fabrics.

4.  I would still like to make this bag.

5.  And I'll add in the Postcard from Sweden Quilt just incase I feel inspired.

6.  I added this one on Sunday March 15th.  It's a donation quilt for Ronald McDonald House which Cyndy and I worked on as a round robin in a group.  We were hoping Wendy could quilt it for us but she thinks she'll be too busy.  So I guess it's on my list.

     It needs to be quilted by the second week in June.

     That's more than enough for me to work on.  I'm heading over to Felicity Quilts this time to join in the 2018 Quilt Along Quarter 2 linkup.