Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Final A Lovely Year of Finishes project...

Yes, it's true - this is my final ALYoF project - Melissa and Shanna have decided to take a break from the project, and are going to be focusing their energies in other directions, at least for the next year.  So... this will be my last monthly "goal reached" post.  I'm sure that I'll be able to find something to replace it!
So, a bit of a reminder - I chose to finish a donation quilt, using strips that I'd cut from the large-scale florals I was using for a swap quilt with Cathy.  I made strips with the floral fabrics and some yellow spacer strips, and then sewed them together, using "Pickle" Kona cotton.
There's an ever-growing need for donation quilts of all sizes, and I'm sure that this one will find a new home soon.  I used my new favourite quilting tutorial to quilt this project - I love how quick it is, and modern too.
I think the best part is the backing - which I found when I bought the Kona - it's a perfect match!

I machine - stitched the binding down - I think it makes the binding a little more sturdy, and it's ready to go to it's new home!
So, that makes 7 of my monthly challenges completed - Feb., March, July, Sept., Oct., Nov. and December, and I'm off to post my finish on the A Lovely Year of Finishes page.
As well, Cathy and I have completed our swap of large-scale floral Disappearing 4-Patch blocks (I hope to be putting the last blocks in the mail tomorrow).  
It sounds like I've got a very quiet January coming up - yeah, right!  I'm looking at doing a New Year's day Mystery Quilt that is also a fund-raiser for a women's shelter; as well, I'm going to be participating in Angela's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge in 2016, so I'll still have lots to blog about.  I'm also going to try to include more knitting and card-making posts in 2016, so there should be a reason to stop in every month!
Thank you to everyone that has read my blog in the past 12 months, and especially the ones that have left comments to encourage and / or challenge me!  I really appreciate hearing from you!                                                                                                                       

Sunday, December 27, 2015

And now, a card-making post!

I keep forgetting that this blog is also to highlight some of my cards - so I'm going to fix that now.
I haven't done a lot of card-making lately - quilting seems to be keeping me too busy, and, if I have some spare time, I'm more apt to pick up my knitting needles.
And then Christmas happened!  I LOVE making my Christmas cards!  A friend got me started making my Christmas cards a few weeks ago already, but I still ended up scrambling for "just a few" more...  Now that the cards have all been sent out, I'm ready to tidy up the Christmas-specific stamps, and to pull together some birthday cards - or thank-you cards, or maybe even a baby card or two...
But for now, I'll share some of the Christmas cards that I made this year.  I usually get one new Christmas stamp set every year, and then make 2 or 3 different designs with that set.  This year, I forgot that I'd already bought a new set, and I bought 1 or 2 more - so I ended up making about 5 different designs.  For now, I'll share 2 or 3 of this year's cards:
First up -
This was one of my new stamp sets - and it came with a coordinating die set, to simplify making the wreath and the bow.  The die set also came with a few words - and I'll show you a card with one of them next.
Putting the word "Joy" on some of my cards was also a reminder to me to not get so caught up in the busy-ness of the season, that I miss the joy that Christmas is all about.
The last card is pulled together using an old stamp, but put together in a new way, using an embossing folder and die cuts, some "jewels" and a bit of ribbon: 

My next post will be quilting-related again - I need to post my completed December "A Lovely Year of Finishes" project - but I'll make an effort to share my card-making adventures more often in the new year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Another finish!

I can't get over all of the completed projects I've had for this month - maybe because some of them didn't need much to finish them, but they still count as finishes!
Today's is a donation lap quilt that was made as a bit of a challenge.  A quilting friend showed me a quilt she'd made using some yardage and some leftover 2.5" squares, made up into 16-patch blocks.  It looked fairly simple, and so I announced that I had all of the needed items in my stash, and that I'd probably be able to make the top the next day.  I managed to pull it off, but then put the top aside, and ignored it in favour of working on other more needed quilt-y things.
Well, I needed to clear my dining room table for the renos we're doing in our dining room, in anticipation of the guests that we're hosting for Christmas, and I realized that if I would just get a few tops quilted, and bound, they'd be out of my way for good.  So, that's what I did!  Hubby hauled my "layering" tables out of the garage; I spent two days layering a number of tops, and then spent another 3 days quilting and binding.
You've already seen my rainbow braid quilt, and I'll show you another finish in a few days, but here's my 2.5" squares "challenge" quilt:
It's been a few months since I made the top, so I'm not exactly sure of my colour choices, but I believe the green is Tarragon Kona cotton, and the cream is Bone Kona.  The yardage was cut to the same width as the 16-patches, by the width of the fabric.  The strips were then slashed at random, the patches were inserted, and the strips were sewn together, alternating the green and cream.  I used a very scrappy binding to finish it off.
I found a great quilting tutorial and tried it out - it was a lot of fun, and I'll be using it often for my donation quilts!
I'll be posting my December ALYoF project in a few days (yes, it's already done too!), so check back for that after the weekend.
Linking up to Quilting is More Fun Than Housework...'s Oh Scrap!

Friday, December 11, 2015

A finish or two...

I've had a busy week, and I feel good about it, because I ended up with a few finished projects.  I can't share all of them yet, because some of them are Christmas gifts, but the rest of them are here.
First, I completed the quilting and binding on one of my Rainbow Scrappy Challenge quilts from 2014.  I came across a braid-type quilt in a Fons and Porter magazine from a few years ago, and made up 5 scrappy strips using 3 fabrics for each colour in the braid - those fabrics being the colour assigned for that particular month.  The top was finished quite a while ago, but I finally finished the whole thing!  It will be a donation quilt:
I did Stitch-In-The-Ditch quilting in the braid sections, and used a different decorative stitch in each sashing strip.  The binding is scrappy too.
I also had started four Christmas placemats for a guild project a few weeks ago, but didn't get them done in time, so I set them aside.  Yesterday, I decided to finish them and "gift" them to my daughter.  I made a small "Twister" panel for the left side of the placemat, and used a small piece of yardage for the right side.  I used  
the S-I-T-D process to quilt the Twister section, and quilted some snowflakes in the fabric panel using Press and Seal.  I've had the Press and Seal for years, but had never really tried it for quilting.  I'm happy to report that it worked out really well in this application!
I don't think that my daughter reads my blog, so I'm safe in posting it here.
Now I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and She Can Quilt - check out their posts for lots of wonderful project photos!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

One last project for 2015...

So here it is - the last month of 2015...  One final project remains to be finished.  I WISH!!!!  In reality, there are probably 5 or 6....  I'm sure that almost every "crafter" can relate!  I have 3 or 4 knitting projects to finish for Christmas gifts, and then there's at least 1 (non-quilted) baby gift to make.  But complaining about all of the work I have to do yet isn't going to finish anything, so I'll write this post and get back to my knitting needles.
So, what to choose for my final "A Lovely Year of Finishes" project for this year?  I looked into my closet this afternoon, and saw about 9 quilt tops waiting to be layered and quilted.  There are 5 more in the living room - although they're pin-basted and ready to quilt - so there's no shortage of projects to pick from!
I think that I'm going to choose my latest quilt though - maybe because it's so similar to last month's project; maybe it's because I just found a great quilting tutorial online yesterday, and I want to try it out on a quilt that isn't too big.
I had SO many strips left over from last month's quilt, and I just need to use them up and get the quilts donated. Last month, I used Terracotta Kona for the sashing and border strips.  This month, I've chosen Pickle Kona - it's a great green and goes well with the floral strips.  I just popped into my LQS The Marsh Store to find fabric for the sashing strips, and I not only found the green Kona, but I also found a great backing fabric (on sale too!  Win-win!).  I was considering a lovely soft purple too, but the backing fabric made the decision easy.
So, here's my start:
I only cut strips to go between the rows.  I'll decide if I'm going to put borders on the sides when I get farther along.
I also quickly quilted a top last week - it was one of the tops that I made when I did the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge a year ago.  I'll post it in a day or two...
I'm off to link up with Melissa's goal setting post.