Saturday, October 27, 2018

I'm still alive! Honestly!

Yikes, it's been a long time since I blogged - but you probably knew that already...  It's the usual story - too many things on the go at once, and getting distracted by too many other "fun" things (and some not so fun ones...).
I have been working on some fun projects though!  I started (and finished) two quilts for the Pediatric Critical Care Unit of a local hospital, and have a couple of knitting finishes as well.
First off is another "Have Faith" quilt: 
 The background is a muted teal, and the "pluses" are mostly blue or grey tones.
My second one for the PCCU is a pattern that I tested for another blogger (Jan Ochterbeck) - she called her version "Star Spangled Spiral", featuring red, white and blue fabrics.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use a Zen Chic fabric from their Modern Background Colorbox line, but there were a number of issues in getting it in time, so I switched to a black and white print instead.  I used green and blue shades of Kona for the accents and Snow for the contrasting centers - and here it is: 
 
(I noticed just now that I have one block turned wrong on the left side, so that will have to be corrected before I get it quilted completely).  This quilt is a great size for a teenage boy!

Another kind of project has also kept my hands busy - knitting.  Our church craft group provides prayer shawls for congregants that are going through difficult times, and we've had the need for quite a few in the past few weeks.  I started (and finished) 2 shawls this past month, but forgot to get a pic of the one - here's the second one:
It's made with dark teal and variegated teal yarns held together to make a warm and cozy shawl.  I hope that it brings a lot of comfort to the recipient.
And finally, I've started knitting socks for Christmas gifts for a few special people - the first pair is done!   The yarn is Knitpicks "Stroll".  They're a fairly quick knit and so satisfying to work on in the evenings when it's too dark to see what I'm sewing!
And now I'm tired!  I still have a lot of projects on the go - at least one more pair of socks, and maybe a sweater for myself, but they'll have to wait for another day!
Thanks for reading!
Linking up to Sarah's Can I get a whoop-whoop, and Cynthia's Oh Scrap posts.

Monday, August 27, 2018

August update

I thought I was doing a little better this month in the "posting" department - until I realized that it's already been more than a month since my last post...  OOPS!
It's been another busy month - spent a day here and there with my daughter(s) and grandsons; the garden is at it's peak, and there's been a LOT of freezing and preserving going on.  My SIL's grandmother passed away, so we had a funeral too.  There's even been a bit of quilting!
About a month ago, I saw a post about "blocks needed" on Instagram.  There's a movement happening to provide the families of fallen Canadian police officers with a quilt.  The block is a 12.5" blue Raspberry Kiss block - and I've done a stack of them in the 9" size, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to go up a size.  Found the pattern, started making blocks - got them to the point of squaring them up, and found out that there was a mistake in the pattern...  So, found my trusty seam ripper, and took all the blocks apart.  Sewed them back together on Sat. and trimmed them all up today - and I was shocked to find that I'd made 35 blocks!  These are just a few of them.

I'm also still working on making more quilts for the Peddiatric Critical Care Unit, with the focus on older boys.  Seeing as I had been working with so many blue fabrics, I decided to make another "Have Faith" quilt, using primarily blue fabrics for the pluses - and added a bit of grey to some of them.
I'lve got all the blocks made now - just have to join them up into a top, and then get it quilted so that it can be put to use.  But first, I have a very special quilt to make a back for - and then I'll have to quilt it - and have it ready to present next week.  All I know right now is that it's big - not quite queen size maybe?  I have to find all the special fabrics that I'm hoping to use for the back - and then hopefully make a back that's big enough the first time!
I HOPE to have a show-and-tell post later next week!
Linking up to Oh Scrap.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July "doings"

It's been far too long since I've popped in here to update you on my "doings" - and so I'm going to rectify that...
There's still been some family drama going on - I'm still one of my father's "care-givers", and, now that my MIL is gone, we've sort of added her 91 year old sister to the list of people that we care for.  Some days are uneventful, and we just breeze through them - and then there are the days that dad has fallen, or has a fever and increased confusion - or auntie needs to go to the hospital.  Then add that I have a VERY part-time job occasionally in the summer - and don't forget the garden!  And the grandsons!  All of those things are far more important than finishing a quilt.
But, quilt-y progress has gone on!
I've been working on a quilt for a very special person in my life - unfortunately, I can't show it to you yet, because it isn't quite done - and it has to be delivered before I can show the pics - but it should be soon!
I've also fallen hard for scrap quilting and the concept of leaders and enders (having fabric pieces near to the sewing machine that can be stitched up when you get to the end of your "real" project). My problem is that I get so excited about the leaders and enders, and I spend an hour working on them - and no progress gets made with the project at hand! 
In the past, I hesitated to share those process photos, but they may be the only things that I can show, so you're going to be treated to them.  First up is a quick quilt top that I whipped up one afternoon.  A few years ago, I decided to cut a 2.5" - 3.5" strip off every piece of yardage that I bought.  I tucked them into a box, and then forgot about them.  I found the box a few weeks ago, and I decided that I might never use them if I didn't use them now, so I did a variation of the popular "Jelly Roll Race" quilts - I sewed the fabric strips into one VERY long strip, then put the right and left ends on top of each other, and sewed them into a long strip (half as long as the first one); repeat sewing the ever-shorter strips to each other, until finally, I had a roughly twin-sized quilt top!
I've also spent a LOT of time cutting up my stash leftovers too - if it's much smaller than a fat quarter, I've started cutting the fabric into either 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles or 2.5" squares.  I've got a lot of patterns that use either or both of those sizes, and having them cut and ready to go has helped immensely.

These blocks use both of those sizes - and will make Bonnie Hunter's "Carolina Chain" quilt (it's available for free on her Quiltville website).  I've got quite the stack of these blocks sewn up.

This is another set of blocks using just the rectangles.  I have no idea what the block or quilt is called, but I've seen it around.  The blocks are made of 4 rectangles of 2 different fabrics - it ends up being a square block, so you can change the orientation of the blocks individually or row by row.  I'm going to sew them together as shown - and I have a stack of these blocks, so it shouldn't take long to finish another quilt.
I've also cut the fabrics for another quilt for a teen boy at the local Children's Hospital PCCU - I hope to get sewing it together soon.  So, I haven't been sitting idly by - and I'm making a resolution to share in-progress pics more often!
Thanks for sticking with me!
Linking up with Lorna and Cynthia

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hands2Help 2018 wrap-up

This post has been too long coming.  I wanted to share about the great charity project that I'm involved with again this year (I believe that I've been part of it for 3 or 4 years now).  Sarah Craig  dreamed up this charity several years ago - she chooses a few very worthy charities that could use quilts, and then organizes a "drive" to provide the quilts.  (We can also choose our own charities.)  This year, I chose to continue supporting our "local" hospital's Pediatric Critical Care Unit.  They need primarily quilts for older boys right now (Project Linus keeps them well-supplied with quilts for the younger kids).  A couple that I know from church asked for these donations, in gratitude for the help the PCCU gave to them after the birth of their son.
I had grand plans to make a few quilts - but, as we all know, sometimes our plans go awry because of unforeseen circumstances.  In my case, that "circumstance" came about when my MIL suffered a massive stroke on April 25th.  She had a very poor prognosis, and died 10 days later.  She was taken to a hospital in the city, which meant that we spent the better part of every day travelling and / or sitting at her bedside.  After her funeral, I was finally able to resume the work on my quilts.  I had actually started 4 quilts, but the other 2 will have to be completed at another time.
So, here they are - I have shared the progress of the one here already, but it's finally quilted and bound; the second one is made from a pattern that one of Sarah's guest bloggers shared - it's called "Have Faith".  It's really easy and a great one for using up scraps!  I chose to use a consistent background colour for all of the blocks, but scrappy backgrounds work really well too!

This quilt pattern is called "Water / Waves".

"Have Faith"
I'm off to link these up on Sarah's website!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I'm on a roll!

I've been able to work on quite a few quilts lately!  At the beginning of the year, I made a list of all my UFOs, and I'm working at getting some (most?) of them finished up and donated.  Of course, I've since found a few more, so every time I think that I can cross one more quilt off the list, another UFO pops up in it's place!
I've also started a new one - I've mentioned before that I'm working on a few quilts for a local hospital's PCCU, and I came across a quick and easy "guy" quilt tutorial the other day.  I should say though, that reading through the pattern first would have been a VERY good idea!  It just needed 6 different colours or shades of one colour (I used 6 blue Kona cottons).  The pattern didn't specify yardage, but someone asked in the comment section, and the answer was "I used about half a yard of each colour".  So, I made a quick trip to the quilt shop - and just to be on the safe side, I bought .6m of each fabric (approx. 23").  Got home, washed and dried my fabrics, and started cutting, only to find out that you can't get (14) 2 1/4" strips out of 18" (or 23" for that matter).  So, back to the quilt shop...
It really is a quick and easy pattern!  I sewed the strips on Saturday, pressed and subcut them Monday morning, and had the top done by supper time.  It measures 50" x 68", so just exactly the right size!  I'm hoping to get it quilted this week.  The picture doesn't show the true colours, but you get the idea!

Then there are the scraps!  I started sorting them by colour about 2 years ago, but every scrap got tossed into a bucket, without regard for shape or size.  Now, I'm spending about an hour each day, just cutting up scraps into the sizes I use most often - and then I put some beside my machine to use as leaders / enders - or sometimes I just want to sew something different!  These strips will be made into a Chinese Coins quilt - not sure yet how it will look...
I also finally got the borders put on this quilt - it's Jack of Hearts by Heather Spence: 
It's going to be a square quilt - maybe about 63" square.  I'm hoping that it will get into the quilting line-up this week or next.  I'm also going to be making a couple of blocks for a very special quilt in the next day or two - check back next week to see what I'll be working on next!
Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up to Sarah at Can I get a Whoop-whoop? and Amanda Jean at Finish it up Friday

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

National quilting day - slightly late

I had this post half-written on Saturday evening, and then my computer crashed...  It has had a lovely vacation at the computer repair shop, and is finally home again, working properly!
So, back to business - National Quilting Day!  I had a good day to sew / quilt.  We're in the middle of a major bathroom renovation, and everything is all over the house, and it's all covered in a fine layer of drywall (wallboard) dust, so there was no point in doing any housecleaning, right?  Just the laundry - and stitching!
Our neighbours are expecting their first baby any day now, and I need a gift for them.  I came across a small quilt top that I made last year(?), and it looked like the perfect gift.  I also found a bright flannel print, and got it quilted up pretty quickly!


 It still needs to be bound, but I need to find a fabric or two to "match" the fabrics.  
 It was still a few hours until bedtime, so I pulled out a UFO from a class that I took with my daughter.  The pattern was called "Crooked Furrows", and was fairly quick and easy.  I even had a border on it - it just needed to be quilted and bound, but I wasn't sure what to do with it when I had it finished.  I measured it, and discovered that without the border, it was the perfect size for a donation quilt for a local hospital's Pediatric Cristical Care Unit, so I "unstitched" it.  I layered it and managed to get about half of it quilted - and realized that I really didn't care for what I'd done so far, so the seam ripper made an appearance once again...  Once the stitching was removed, I started again - this time straight-line stitching a 1/4" from the vertical seams (both sides).  I really liked this!
I didn't get it completely done on Saturday, but picked it up again on Monday - and not only got the quilting done, but got it bound too!   It's ready to deliver!  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My "Squirrel" project

In my last post, I mentioned that I had come across a blog post describing dolls made for kids that were born with disabilities such as partial limbs, port wine birthmarks, etc.  Kids that would never find a doll in the toy shop that looked just like them.  Enter Amy Jandrisevits, owner and creator of A Doll Like Me .  Amy makes one-of-a-kind dolls for these little ones - and when Bernie Kringel found out about them, she organized a "drive" for doll quilts so that each doll that was sent out would arrive with it's own quilt.
Of course, quilters are known to be a generous bunch - and soon, quilts were being stitched up in the USA, Canada, and various other countries.  I was one of those quilters.
I didn't start out planning to make 6 quilts, but that's what I ended up with!  I had a bit of a head start with 4 of them - I found a stack of Pieced Tulips blocks that I had started making a few years ago as a way to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I had 5 blocks in each of four colours - so I chose 4 of each colour and sewed them together = 4 doll quilts made! 





I also had a few random charm packs stashed away - pulled them out and found a few quilt ideas on Pinterest - and ended up with 2 more little quilts.
They're winging their way to Amy - and hopefully some day soon, to their new home.