Monday, June 12, 2017

Canada 150, Artisans Collective and the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival

I seem to be sewing more these days, but blogging less, and with my ipad attached to my hip, it seems like such a "job" to go sit at my laptop to write a post. But today I feel invigorated and ready to tackle the keyboard! Maybe it's because I walked the waterfront early this morning, picked up some groceries, and then finished three Canada 150 pillows!

I used some of the Oh Canada panels left in my stash, added a border using some Canada text fabric, and quilted the covers. For the envelope backs, I used some Canada text fabrics plus a few designs from the Sesquicentennial fabric. The pillows are about 13" x 24" so I made my own pillow inserts. I feel very patriotic today and these pillows are certainly putting me in the spirit to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday on July 1.  

The Artisans Collective, of which I am a member, is getting ready to open our seasonal gift shop on Thursday, June 15. The Artisans Collective Gift Shop is located at the Port Hastings Museum at the entrance to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We have a Facebook page and are starting to highlight some of the items that will be available once the shop opens. You can visit us virtually and like us by visiting our Facebook page at Artisans Collective Gift Shop. Hours will be Monday - Friday from 9:30-5, with weekend hours of 12-4 starting on July 1.

Members of our Collective are also participating in the Artisans Market being held at the waterfront during the Tall Ships Regatta. The Regatta welcomes Tall ships to Port Hawkesbury between June 30 and July 2, with the Artisans Market being held on Canada Day from 10:00 - 4:00. Find out more by visiting the Facebook page at Port Hawkesbury RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta

I'm pretty happy the shop is opening soon, as the quilty pile of projects on the spare bed is a little overwhelming. Not all will be going to the shop, but a fair bit of it will. I've made lap quilts, baby quilts, wall hangings, table toppers, and some runners. I see a few under the pile that have escaped the camera. I might have to get a few on the clothesline for a photo op and I see one quilt still needs a binding...maybe tomorrow! 

In the middle of trying to finish projects, of course I started a new one. It came together so quickly, it is already a quilt top! I made a whole lot of plus signs in some bright fabrics!

The quilt, which is about 48" x 54", is named Hello Garden by designer Cherri House, but I am calling mine Hello Summer! The pattern is in the March/April issue of Quilty.

And to finish off this rather lengthy post, just want to let you know that the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet (NSQBQ) will be participating in the annual Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival being held in Amherst, Nova Scotia, in October, 2017. You can see the brochure and get all the info from their Facebook page HERE

Do you remember who we are? The NSQBQ is a group of 4 quilt blogging friends...we all blog and we all quilt and we all live in Nova Scotia, at least seasonally!  In the picture below, we were at the Thistle Quilt Guild quilt show a few years back and are holding the gifts we exchanged with each other. Left to right, Karen, Me, Linda, and Sheila. 

We became fast friends a few years back and now every year we meet up a few times a year to exchange quilty things, to go to quilt shows, and just have some wonderful quilty fun. The foursome is made up of Linda who blogs at Scrapmaster, Sheila who blogs at Sheila's Quilt World, Karen who blogs at KaHolly, and me, The Cuddle Quilter. The four of us will be one of the 4 quilt shows that will be set up during the Fibrearts Festival. Our show will be held at the Amherst Curling Club on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14. Here is a page from their brochure. Please mark it in your calendars and come for a visit! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Table Toppers

For the last couple of weeks, I've played with my blue and cream Blue Sky quilt borders and started and finished a few table runners. 

With Blue Sky, the blue and creams are so soothing to work with and I have decided to play with the blocks in between other projects.  I'm just taking my time, cutting strips, making pairs, sewing 3 pairs in a row, and sewing these units together that will result in a checkerboard-style border to add to my Blue Sky quilt top.  I've got a good start, but have lots more units to make. When I put them all together, sure looks like a little quilt, but I plan to keep the borders 3 units wide, like the bottom right unit in the picture.

Once I was "on a roll", I put these away for a bit and pulled out a jelly roll that was collecting dust in my closet, Soho Calico Blues by Benartex.  I used a pattern called "Tango" from The Trendy Table by Heather Peterson of Anka's Treasures. The pattern is all about using strip sets, so out came my Hex 'n More ruler to make my 60 degree triangles.

In no time at all, my table runner went from start to finish and onto the table for a pic. 

But of course, table runners are like chips...I can't eat, or make(!) just one! So out came Linda's Arrows pattern designed by my friend Linda who blogs at Scrapmaster. Visit my previous blog to read all about her visit to our guild last month HERE

These little paper pieced arrows were very addictive...

and the runner was a perfect project to use with some bright fabrics from my stash and some low volume prints for the scrappy backgrounds.

I changed the pattern a tad to add a border using one of the yummy fat quarters I ordered recently from Patch. I quilted it primarily with straight line stitching with some FMQ triangles/arrows in the borders and Ta Da! 

Once these runners were finished, I decided to go searching in my sewing closet and, sure enough, I found a batch of pinwheel blocks left over from another project. I only had to sew 3 more pinwheels together to have enough for another table topper.

I went through my batch of fabrics that arrived recently in my May Fat Quarter subscription from Dinkydoo Fabrics and found a border fabric that I loved!

I decided to keep the quilting at a minimum with all those pieces, doing some diagonal stitching.

So now you have an idea what I've been busy with. I do love to do some small projects once in awhile, and these table toppers fit the bill. What's next? Who knows? It's a great day for quilting! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Clothesline Days and AGM

What a treat to be able to hang quilts on the line again! For most of the winter, I didn't have a path through the snow on the deck, so these days, thankfully no path is needed. However, with all the rain we're now getting, it seems to be a challenge to find a dry day!

Do you remember I made a blue house quilt last year? Well, it didn't put much of a dent in my blue stash, so I decided to embrace blue once again. I found a free pattern HERE by Laundry Basket Quilts using Edyta's new Blue Sky collection and started cutting. The quilt uses 10" squares so it sure came together quickly with the large HSTs. 

The quilt top measures 72" x 72" but I want to make it larger, so plan to add a 3" blue border, followed by a 6" pieced border of 9-patches made with the rest of my blues and creams. The final result should be a quilt about 90" x 90".  Wish me luck!

On another nice day, I hung my embroidered log cabin quilt. 

It is the second quilt I made using The Cottage Year pattern designed by Kathy Schmitz. I changed it up a bit, still using the log cabin idea but making the frames larger. I machine quilted a cross hatch design for the embroidered blocks and used a grid pattern for the rest. It finishes at 42" x 56".

Because of all the rain, I had to bring some sunshine into the house so I made a little table topper using some leftover pinwheel blocks. 

The fabric is from Pam Buda's first line of fabrics, Heart of the Prairie. The fabric was left over from making the quilt Stillwater Creek which was one of the projects we did on the Alaskan Quilting Cruise all those years ago with Pam and Lynn Hagemeir as the instructors. I had 10 pinwheel blocks sitting in my closet so it was a pretty easy finish. I used my FMQ foot and made a variation of pea pods in each pinwheel, but without the peas, and then played a bit in the borders. 

A highlight for me last weekend was welcoming Halifax resident, quilt friend and blogger, Linda from Scrapmaster, as a special guest for the 17th Annual AGM of the Ocean Waves Quilt Society, held in my home town, Port Hawkesbury, and hosted by our quilt group, the Tea Thyme Quilters.  You may recall that Linda is 1/4 of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet that includes myself, Linda, Karen of KaHolly, and Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World. Linda was brought in to do a Free Motion Quilting workshop on Friday. She was amazing, as always, and such a confidence builder to the quilters in attendance. She showed us some wonderful projects and allowed for a "hands-on" kind of day! Thanks to Karen Roy for helping out too! Here is a peek at the day...


The AGM was a huge success with almost 90 quilters from across Cape Breton and some from across the Causeway coming to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on Saturday, April 29. Linda presented a fabulous show and tell to the membership which garnered lots of attention and lots of oohs and ahhs! 

I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Linda and her Halifax quilter/helper, Karen Chase. Karen and Linda have collaborated on designing several patterns through "Sugarfree Quilted Designs". Some of their patterns are available HERE. They have recently produced new patterns that I bought on the weekend and can't wait to dive into! If you are interested in ordering either or both, just email me or leave a comment and I will send along their contact info. 

It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quilted Village is a Finish

Can I say how excited I am? How patience is a virtue? And how good things come to those who wait, or at least, quilt? Yes, Quilted Village is a finish!

Janet Miller's design was not an easy task, but I am so glad I persevered, and many years later, can finally say "Quilted Village is a finish!" It finishes at about 60" square and was quilted in an all-over design by Ange at Quilting on the Mira. 

The day was unusually bright when I took the quilt outside for pictures, so just imagine the quilt with much stronger colours. Quilted Village had a quick swing on the deck glider...

and then posed for some quilting closeups!

After this finish, it was on to something much easier and much quicker to finish. I had picked up a panel awhile back that was supposed to be sewn into a fabric book, but decided instead to pair it with my bright polka dots and turn it into a baby quilt. What a fun play mat this could be!

I kept the quilting to a minimum, using a grid pattern and a straight stitch.

I had a little flannel waiting to uses as backing for the perfect quilt so the end result is a cozy little quilt that finishes at about 35" x 40".

What's next? I am flipping through books and surfing the net to find ways to use these bright and bold fabrics I picked up on my latest trip to the West. A scrap quilter like me sure loves bundles of fat eighths, especially with such a variety of colours and fabric lines. Be still my heart! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Wedding Quilt Gifted

This winter I decided to make " the wedding quilt"  for my son and his fiance who are getting married this summer.  I chose blacks, greys, and whites in a variety of fabrics and put together a Carpenter's Star quilt.  As you may know, I love scrappy quilts, and this pattern allowed me to use all kinds of fat quarters I had been saving. I chose the pattern designed by Calico Carriage Quilt Designs found on Craftsy HERE. I made a few changes to the border and the quilt finishes at 94' x 94". When the top was made, I took a picture of it on our bed.

It was a pretty easy quilt  to make as long as I followed the colour layout. The hardest thing was to find a floor large enough to lay out the blocks, and the fear was that I would sew them together in the wrong order, but it all worked out! I sent the top off to Ange at Quilting on the Mira and she worked her magic.

A few closeups of the quilting...

It was a thrill to be able to gift this quilt and take a few pictures of them wrapped in their "blanket of love". 

The quilt is now in its new home, giving even more hugs and love!

I recently returned from a whirlwind week sharing time with my daughter and her family and my son and his fiance. It was a week of non-stop family and fun and gave me lots of opportunities for quilt giving and hugs with Master P!

Now that I'm back, I have to be content with FaceTime and lots of time in my sewing room! It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wintry Quilts

With a blizzard howling outside, it seems only appropriate to post the pics I took yesterday before the blizzard! We have been having some late winter snowy weather that has resulted in a blanket of snow on the deck. When the sun came out yesterday, I opened the patio doors and laid out a few baby quilts I finished recently.  

I had a fair bit of flannel left over from other projects, so I cut a bunch of 7" squares and put them in a format that seemed to work for this little quilt. It finishes at about 34" x 45" with a flannel back and serpentine machine quilting.

This next quilt was inspired by a quilt kit I saw in the MSQC catalogue. The blocks are a version of a log cabin, though the fabrics I used are pretty similar so that you can't see much variation in the picture. Again, I used a serpentine stitch and flannel on the back.

Here is a close up so you can see some of the cuddly baby fabrics. This quilt finishes at 34" x 45".

The next quilt is still in the making. A wonderful quilting friend gave me a jelly roll of Riley Blake's Cotton Medium Dots so I started to make bow tie blocks with them. 

I had lots of background polka dot fabrics so played around using a white and black minidot background for the brightly coloured bowties, and a black and white minidot for the white polka dot ties, though I don't think you can see the background fabrics too well in my pictures.  I still have some borders to add, the white and black minidot fabric, but that will wait for another day. 

One more wintry picture just because...

The blizzard seems to be dying down and the sun is struggling to come out. Sure hope Spring is on the way. Thanks so much for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!