Monday, December 31, 2018

Last post for 2018

I realized that now I can finally post all of the things I've been busy with this month - mostly knitting, but some quilty things too.
The socks that I was working on have been completed - I knit a pair for both of my daughters for Christmas.

 I've shown these in a previous post....  They went to daughter #2.

And the pair knit for daughter #1 - modeled so well!
Then there was the hat for grandson #2...   His older brother has a lighter blue version, and we couldn't have just one hat for 2 boys!

And I finished up some charity quilts - mostly tops that just needed quilting and binding.....

And our year ended up with family time, some planned, some very unexpected, as my father passed away rather suddenly.  He was 89, and longed to be with mom...  He's rejoicing in heaven with her now!

Linking up with Cynthia's "Oh Scrap" post.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

These UFOs have seen the light!

I've been keeping occupied lately by moving - moving from our large, bright, warm living room, to my (much smaller, colder, darker) sewing room.  We had friends from New York visiting for a few days last month, and we really needed to be able to sit in the living room in the evenings.  But, just bringing down all the mess from the living room wasn't going to work - I was already having trouble finding things in my little sewing room space, and adding more "stuff" wasn't going to do anyone any good.  So, about 2 weeks before our guests arrived, I started sorting through the piles, and half-made blocks, batting scraps, etc. trying to make some sense of it.  Some of the things have been hiding well for almost the 10 years that we've been living here, and I couldn't see the point of holding on to them any longer.  Three trips to the thrift store later....  I could finally see some room for all of the projects coming downstairs - and then I decided to relocate some of the furniture too.  My big cutting table went out, and two smaller tables moved in.  My sewing table also found a new home, as I'll be sewing on one of the 2 tables that moved in.  It's snug, but workable - and it's still a work in process, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel!  As a reward for all my hard work, I decided that I could spare a few hours to quilt a small Project Linus quilt.  The top was made in the summer, so it just needed to be quilted and bound - and I got that done!

The fabric is Rainy Day from Me and My Sister designs.
 In the process of searching for some backing fabric, I discovered another top that's been finished for 2 or 3 years.  I lost my enthusiasm for the project at that point and just set it aside.  I'd been fabric shopping with my daughter a few weeks ago, and bought some fabrics "just because", and they ended up being "just right" for this quilt - and the leftover backing fabric scraps ended up becoming the binding!

The bright fabrics on the front are all from the same (forgotten) line - the backing is a Windham fabric that I got for $7.00/m!
Sewing in my sewing room through the day isn't too bad - but it's harder at night, because the light just isn't great - so I've been getting some knitting done then.  I've been working on socks for Christmas presents - I shared a pic of the first pair in my last post.  The second pair is well on it's way to completion:
The yarn is Knitpicks "Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn" - the colour is a combination of aquas and browns, and looks a little richer in real life.  I should be able to finish the second sock in the next week or two - and I hope to have enough time left to knit a hat for my youngest grandson - more on that in my next post!

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.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Done and done...

I haven't been here much, because I've been busy sewing!  I managed to finish quilting the Plus quilt top that I shared last time - and I made another quilt geared more to a teenage boy (at least, that's what I was aiming for!)  

 I was fortunate to find a backing fabric with plus signs on it - and it's grey and blue just like the quilt front!

I'm still working on adding borders to my 3 versions of the New Year's day mystery quilts, but I'm hoping that you'll see them finished soon.
Of course, almost every quilter knows a version of the quilter's "Squirrel" - being committed to finishing a project before starting anything new, and all of a sudden, there's a new project that I JUST HAVE TO DO!!!  This past week has been a great example of that!  I spotted a blog post on Sunday about a one-woman charity that creates dolls for kids that are born "different" - they may be missing a limb, or have facial abnormalities or big birthmarks - and Amy Jandrisevits creates "A Doll Like Me"  for these kids.  Of course these dolls need quilts, right?  There's a doll quilt drive on 'til the end of the month, and I've managed to make 6 "tops".  I should be able to get them quilted on Monday and into the mail on Tuesday.  This is one of the tops: 

Oh, there's also been some knitting going on too - I'm knitting a sweater for my nephew's 2 year-old son, and another one for the baby that's due next month - word has it that it's a girl!  I'm using the Crazyheart pattern designed by Tanis Lavallee for the "Heart on My Sleeve" project.  I'm skipping the stripes in the body and sleeves, but the bright triangles will be there!

But now I've got to get back to work - thanks for stopping by!
 I'm linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wrapping up January

This has been a crazy month - wild weather, getting called to work to fill in for a friend, ending up with a pinched nerve in my neck...  There's not much of that that I'd like to repeat!
But, somehow, I did manage to accomplish a few things!  I mentioned the last time that I'd pulled fabric from my stash to complete 2 more of Merry Mayhem's New Year's day mystery quilt - "Zigs & Zags" - and I've got both of those tops finished.  One of them will hopefully appeal to a boy / teen -  I don't know about the other one, but they'll both be going to the Pediatric Critical Care Unit of a local hospital.  Here they are:

 They currently measure approx. 48" x 64", so I may add borders yet to make them just a bit bigger - and hopefully, I'll get them quilted next week.

I also cut 5" squares earlier this month to make a Plus quilt - and then ended up with a pinched nerve in my neck, so the assembling didn't happen when I hoped - but I finally managed to sew the last seams yesterday afternoon - and this one's ready for quilting too!  It's a bit bigger than the previous ones - it's 52" x 66", so that's a perfect size!
And finally, I managed to finish a gift for each of my grandsons!  They were supposed to be for Christmas, but I piled too much on my plate for December, and the boys didn't know they were supposed to get one more gift.  So, last week Saturday, grandson #1 turned 3 years old, and he and his brother got their "A Bear and a Bunny Suit" bears!  The pattern is by Susan B. Anthony, and is available on Ravelry.  The boys were thrilled with their new toys!
Now that January is behind us, what can I get done in February?  You'll have to come back to see!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A start...

Okay, the new year is 6 days old, and I already have a "finish" to share!  It helps that Merry Mayhem had their annual New Year's day Mystery Quilt, and that a few friends encouraged me to join up. 
It was a really fun, easy and very enjoyable project - just (4) 1-yard pieces of fabric, 7 steps, and voila!  a pretty quilt top!
I was excited to find all the fabrics for this quilt in my stash - and now I have some pretty scraps leftover to use for any of the five or so scrappy projects that I'm always adding to.
So, without further ado, I give you "Zigs and Zags"!
This is the twin sized quilt, and it finishes at approx. 48" by 64" without borders.  I have enough of the white background to make a border, but I don't think that would be the best look - it should probably be one of the darker fabrics.  The joy of using stash...
This quilt will be donated to the Pediatric Critical Care Unit of a local hospital - there's a big need for quilts for teens, and this is almost the perfect size.  The best part is, the quilt was SO much fun to do, and so easy - so, I went back to my fabric bins, and pulled fabric to make 2 more!  
Linking up to Sarah's "Can I get a Whoop Whoop" and Amanda Jean's "Finish it up Friday" posts.