Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking Back at 2012

Last December I made my last post of the year a review of all the quilts I made of my own.  I really enjoyed that look back so have decided to make this an annual post at the end of each year.    I hope other bloggers might consider doing this as well, especially if you quilt as a business, as it is a nice to reflect on finding that balance between work and finding time for your own projects.

So here are my quilting projects for 2012

UNP1In March I finished my Urban Nine Patch that was a QAL run by Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful.

twink3In April I finished my Twinkle quilt and it was a gift for my sister-in law’s 50th birthday.

chain4In May I quilted my Very Berry quilt using the pattern that came with the Quick Curve Ruler.

wh1In June I completed my Whisper quilt using only my hand dyed fabrics.  I later changed the name to Ice Cream Swirl and give it to my nephew that was born in July.

circles2In June I also made myself a new quilt to hang in my shack.

bag In July I made a small batik purse using the pattern Thimballina.

tumbler2 (2)I also made a Tumbler quilt in August using a collection of fat quarters I won at our guilds xmas party in 2010.  This quilt has a permanent spot on our couch.

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Another finished in August was my Urban Abacus quilt ( using the Quick Curve Ruler).

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In August I wanted to try the 5 Minute Block quilt and used a fabric collection that I won from an online quilting friend.  I finished this one in September.

chevron2In October I made a Chevron baby quilt using batik scraps and this is a gift for someone special.

bowls2In November I taught a program at our guild on how to make these Microwaveable fabric bowls. These made great xmas gifts.

rag2In November I also made a Ragtime quilt that now has a home in our living-room.

box11 In December I finished my Jewel Box quilt that was made with my Presidents Blocks and is the new quilt on my bed.

dahlia4I also finished my Giant Dahlia quilt using all Stonehenge fabrics in December.

island5And my last big finish in December was my Island Sunrise quilt which was the first Judy Niemeyer quilt I made.

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I also had a few smaller projects that I finished up in December.

So that is a total of 13 quilts and 5 smaller projects for myself.  I am very happy with what I was able to finished this year and I hope you had success this year in finding balance with work and time for quilting your own projects.
Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

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It’s Christmas Eve and I wanted to wish all my readers near and far away a very Merry Christmas!    Our Christmas this year will be a quiet one as we have no family near by or coming to visit so that is why I am still spending time sewing and quilting….not cooking and cleaning!    

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I had a charm pack of ‘Joy’ fabric so made another table runner for Christmas using my favourite pattern.
I asked my family to do me a favour yesterday and that was to let me take a family picture for Christmas outside.  Now this normally isn’t a big deal but it was –28’c outside with a wind-chill making it feel like –35’c…but the sun was shining.    I didn’t do my usually 20 pictures but only took about 5 and then we ran back into the house, the wind off the lake was cold!

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See we do actually sit on that bench on our dock,  it’s not just for quilts!  :)

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Merry Christmas from my family to yours and have a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Island Sunrise #3….Mine!

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I have been working on my Island Sunrise quilt this week and I’m happy report it is done, binding and all!   

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I started by quilting it all in the ditch, actually is was more like 1/8” beside the ditch. I stayed the background around the spikes and I stitched on either side of the ditch to say in the background fabric.   I really wanted the piecing to stand out so I didn’t add extra swirls or waving quilting lines in the blocks as I wanted the sharp lines of the piecing to be the focus in the blocks.  I then added a simple feather in the background.

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I spent a bit of time on the outer border as it was a great space to play with a more detailed quilting designs. I had no plan but it  just developed as I worked step by step on it.   I started out by quilting an X though all the squares and then came back and added the second line of quilting.  From there I decided to repeat this image and make a smaller square in the center of each square.   I then added the feather motif and that lead to the small feather motif in the centers of the squares.  I started to quilt a curly design in the open framed space but after doing one square I knew it looked wrong so I stopped.  I took a picture and got a second opinion from a quilting friend and she agreed that I should pick it out.  So glad I did as I really like how the empty space shows off the rest of the designs.

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We had 10 cm of snow fall yesterday and it was the light fluffy kind that you can just blow out of your hands.  That make it more difficult to lay a quilt on as the snow just flies up and covers the quilt!  

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This was the last of my quilt top that needed quilting so now I better get piecing so I have more to quilt in the new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lucky Duck!

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I finished my Scrappy Stars table runner and even have the binding on.  The fabrics collection is Kate Spain’s Cuzco, it is a nice bright collection.  The pattern is from the Little Charmers II by Heather Mulder Peterson.  You can see Kona White is whiter than snow!

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My neighbours shed is a great backdrop for some of my quilts and I had to laugh when I noticed how they ‘lock’ their shed!  Only in Canada!!

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Now to my Lucky Duck story…. 

Yesterday was our guilds Christmas party and it was a lot of fun!    Along with our Silent Auction, which we had almost 50 items in, we had three fabric draws and a quilt draw.  On top of that we had a Show and Tell draw, a Membership draw, and Rae’s Challenge draw.  Rae’s Challenge was a great idea and at our last years Christmas party Rae challenged all the members to make one quilt to donate to the guild that we would then donate to a charity. So those that donated quilts got there name in a draw and I won that draw!!  This is the bundle of fabric I won, definitely my colors. Rae had made a quilt of this collection and you can see it here.

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Next we had our 3 fabric draws, there were two bundles I really wanted so that is were most of my ‘fun money’ for the night went… I threw all my eggs in two basket so to speak!  Luckily the third fabric draw was the most popular so my odds of winning the two I wanted were good…strategy is key ;)   And as it turns out it worked!!  Here is the bundle that I won, it is a Holly Taylor collection called Northern Solitudes. It is an older collection but one I have always loved it.

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Oh yeah….this is the next fabric draw I won!!!  Giggle!!!   Yes I won THREE draws…..and of coarse you can imagine the disgust on everyone’s faces by that point…. just kidding  but I was definitely the fair target for teasing the rest of the night and loved it!   It really was my lucky night!  :)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Giant Dahlia Quilted

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Here is my Giant Dahlia quilt finished, even the binding is on!!  My friend Desley sent me the pattern with acrylic templates last January so we could both work on this quilt.  I know she is almost done piecing hers and has done a different layout with smaller Dahlia designs.  I’m looking forward to seeing how she quilts hers!

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I used all Stonehenge fabrics for my quilt and added more background to the original pattern to make it larger.

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I using a variety of techniques to quilt this quilt.  Free hand meandering feathers to fill the background, straight lines to create a leaf motif in each petal piece, curved ruler work in the lighter center petals and then added a secondary circle design in the second and fifth petals to echo the outer circle.  Seven thread changes of So Fine thread and I used Quilter’s Dream Blend batting.

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When I was piecing this quilt I had trouble with the very center….where 16 seams intersect!  I’ll even share a picture. I couldn’t get all the seams to meet in the center, there was too much bulk no matter which way I pressed it.

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So I decided to appliqué a circle of the same fabric over top to be the center of the Dahlia, then I trimmed off the bulk from the center under the appliqué.

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Hard to believe December is half over but I’ve put a good dent into my UFO’s.  I just loaded my Judy Nieymeyer’s Island Sunrise quilt and hope to finish that one by Friday before the boys start their two week xmas break.

 dahlia8

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jewel Box Quilt

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I am so excited to have finished my Jewel box quilt and be able to share pictures with you.  The blocks in this quilt were my President Blocks made by our guild members and given to me when my turn as guild president was over. So this quilt is very special to me and I will be using it on my bed!!

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I had shown this as a quilt top here last month and was unhappy with my choice in border fabrics. So I found a dark brown and blue batik in my stash and had JUST enough to make it work.   I’m must happier with this chose of fabric and glad I cut the blue one off.  Yes I just cut off the seam allowance instead of ripping. It made the medium blue inner border smaller but that was okay, it was too big anyway!  :)

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I wanted to custom quilt this one but not go crazy with it as I like light custom on my quilts, that just my personal taste.

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I used a few different color threads.  Brown So Fine in the outer border and dark batiks in the body of the quilt.  Matched blues in the two inner borders and used off white in the background.   Light beige  Bottom Line for the back to give a whole-cloth look.  I was really surprised how great the back turned out, I might even use it this way too!  The backing fabric is extra wide Stonehenge.

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I CC’d the dark batik squares and then added another curve along both side in the background to create the pumpkin seed design you see on the back.  I debated about added another curve to those little background triangles and even stitched a few out but knew right away that was the wrong way to go. It took away from the straight lines framing the larger Quarter Square Triangles.   I’m glad I tried those or I would still be wondering.

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It then took me awhile to decide on what to do in the empty frames around the QST’s that I created with the single row of quilting to divide up the background.  I had done small loops in the middle border already so tried more of those and really liked how they looks.  Making these decisions can drive me crazy sometime…but in a good way as it make me think!   :)

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Did my favourite Echo Curved border, you can find my tutorial on that design here.

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I swept the ice off to get a few pictures….love this one with the cracks!  I named that crack ‘The Diamond” as it sparkles and is huge!  A girl can dream can’t she  :)

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One last picture….now to get working on the binding.  I dyed some brown fabric this morning to use for binding so I better get cracking on it so I can bring it to guild next week for Show and Tell.

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