Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Wedding and Some Quilts

What a great August we had! A wedding for DS and his lovely bride, lots of time with the entire family from far and near, and still a little time in my sewing room. 

DS was married almost two weeks ago in a lovely church on the Mirimichi River in NB. One of the highlights was when they walked down the aisle, husband and wife, to the tune of Mairi's Wedding, a song made famous here in Cape Breton by The Rankins. Everyone joined in and clapped in unison as they made their way to the back of the church. What a moment! I tried to link the Youtube video of the song but had no luck. However, you can probably just go to the link HERE to listen to the lyrics. 

Although much needed rain did fall that day, inside the reception hall there was an abundance of sunny smiles...and then the party started, with everyone dancing the night away. 

We spent the week before the wedding in Murray Corner, NB, at my sister's cottage along the Northumberland Strait. Lots of morning coffee on the deck, playing on the sandbars with our precious GS, and having lots of family time.  Of course, I awoke before everyone else to see the sunrise. If you look a little closer, you can see the causeway to PEI on the right. 

Having a wedding week in NB also gave me the chance to bring my Stargazer quilt to its new owner, one of my sisters. Love seeing it on her bed...

In August, our local quilters hosted our 12th annual Celebrating Quilting at the Causeway Quilt Show and Sale, a week filled with camaraderie, quilts and dozens of smaller hand-crafted items. I am the Facebook writer for the quilt show so if you click on the link HERE you can see lots of pictures I took of the quilts and more! Here is a little teaser of what folks saw when they walked into the historic St. David's Church in Port Hastings, NS.

Almost every morning this summer, I walked four laps of the Port Hawkesbury Waterfront which translates into about a 45 minute walk. Woodworker Hubby does a fair bit of golfing, except on the weekends, so he would also join me in some evening and weekend walks.  Every walk would reveal new sights...the Tall Ships that visited in July, the boats owned by friends and moored at the Marina for the season, and visitors' boats coming and going all day long. I had started making a sailboat quilt, Smooth Sailing by Amber Johnson, and knew, in addition to taking a clothesline picture, I would have to take a few pics on the waterfront too! I decided to do wavy lines for the quilting to give the illusion of movement on the waves.

And now to the waterfront...

And just a couple more...

So you can probably tell, I had a wonderful summer. With the good weather predicted to continue, I hope to do many more walks and still spend lots of time in my sewing room in preparation for our appearance at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival being held in Amherst, NS, from October 10-14, 2017. As part of the Festival, our foursome, the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet, (Linda at Scrapmaster, Sheila at Sheila's Quilt World, Karen at KaHolly, and myself) will be hosting our own quilt show and sale on Friday, October 13 from 10-5, and on Saturday, October 14 from 10-3 at the Amherst Community Curling Club. Read more about the festival by visiting their Facebook page HERE

Before I go, one more little picture of the wedding...all in the family! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Sewing

What a great summer so far! Excellent weather with lots of morning walks along the Port Hawkesbury waterfront, and early evening walks along the newly improved Port Hawkesbury walking trails. In between all that, thee has been lots of time for sewing, visits to family, and preparations for DS's wedding in late August. Life is great!

My sewing room continues to entice me with a combination of UFO's and brand new projects. Kim Diehl's Saltbox Sampler was started years ago with my friend, Santa Mary, but put away when we weren't able to get together due to her work commitments. I decided to pull it out recently and finish mine.

The quilt will finish at about 42" x 42" so it's one  I should be able to quilt myself. Kim's version was machine quilted in a variety of ways, and I think I should be able to follow along fairly well with changes as needed.  Saltbox Sampler is in Kim's book, Simple Charm. 

I then resurrected some coffee-themed panels I had bought years ago. One panel was cut apart, then sewed back together (what was I thinking?) and another panel was cut apart for placemats.  

This little quilt should be perfect as a kitchen quilt or couch quilt!  

I did some edge to edge meandering which results in a lot of texture.

Although my quilting seems to be improving, I don't mind a backing that hides a few things!

The placemats were a lot of fun to easy to quilt because of their size and finished up in no time. I had found some that coffee bean fabric somewhere in my travels and it was just the thing to bind them with!

I actually used my Janome "My Excel" very old, little workhorse, to do the FMQ and it worked like a charm on these placemats.

Of course, every week I get three new blocks to make as part of the Canadian Women 150 quilt designed by Kat Tucker of Next Step Quilt Design. I am feeling soooo accomplished as I am still up to date after starting this last November!  

As for today, I am working on making sailboats! Living on Cape Breton Island and walking the waterfront every morning has inspired me to make boats! I purchased the pdf pattern for Smooth Sailing online at Gigi's Thimble HERE. Amber has written an excellent easy pattern which is coming together very quickly! Here are a few of the 16 boats being assembled. 

What drew me to this pattern was the way Amber strip pieced the sails...a great way to use a Happy Go Lucky FQ bundle by Bonnie and Camille that I had bought a few years back, with a little stash additions! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

NSQBQ Round-Robin Quilt Challenge

What a day I had yesterday! I headed to New Glasgow to meet up with fellow members of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet (NSQBQ) to do the exchange with them of our Round-Robin Challenge Quilts. My fellow quilt bloggers are Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World, Linda of Scrapmaster, and Karen of KaHolly.

The challenge was made last Fall with the idea that the blocks would travel from one to the other all winter and then we would exchange our finished blocks in the Spring.  Each of us made a 12" centre block of our choosing, and then the block travelled to each person who then added a 6" unfinished border. We weren't able to meet 'till yesterday when sweet Sheila offered to host us at her beautiful home, providing us with a scrumptious lunch and home made strawberry shortcake for dessert...yum! 

The four quilt tops were exchanged with so many oohs and ahhhs! 
Left to right is Karen, Linda, myself, and Sheila. Thanks so much to Linda's daughter Niki who was able to talk some great pics of the four of us with our quilts.

It's amazing how each of us used the other's centre block for inspiration and created our borders with some of the fabrics that were travelling along with the quilt and other fabrics from our stashes or LQS.

I'll show you a picture of each of us with our quilt and the story behind it. I'll start with me!

I chose to make my centre block using an embroidered design from Gail Pan's "Patchwork Loves Embroidery". You might recall I used this same embroidery design in a quilted tote I made for Sheila in a previous challenge. I love shades of reds and blues combined with whites so used fabrics from my stash to put the block together. Off it went on its trip to visit my friends' sewing rooms!

I was amazed, stunned, and almost(!) speechless when I saw my finished top yesterday, and then I couldn't stop talking!

The first border around my block was a multi-coloured collection of tiny little spools, made by Karen and pieced with perfection! She added that decorative strip of red and white squares bordered by the blue. Next, Linda added a unique ribbon border using shades of red and blue...perfect with the white background she chose. Sheila brought the quilt back to its centre by making 4 embroidered borders, each with a different quilty quote in her own hand-writing and appliques of everything you can think of that is sewing related, including spools, a Singer sewing machine, quilt shop signs, a seam ripper and pin cushion with beaded pins, a rotary cutter, and even a three-dimensional quilt hanging on a clothesline. She chose to make 4 friendship stars in the corners, a tribute to our gang. Please click on the quilt and enlarge to your heart's content to see this beauty.  I was flabbergasted! Thank you friends. You rock! I will take some time before I start to quilt this treasure. I want to get it right!

Next up is Linda.  She made her centre block with a bold and colourful group of flying geese in a circular pattern. I was the first to add a border. Linda loves "negative space" for her quilting  so I chose to make a wonky star with the bright fabrics and leave her lots of background to do her awesome quilting on. Sheila added those terrific arrows, again using the centre theme of flying geese blocks, and Karen added the final border using 'pick-up sticks' blocks. If you look closely, you'll see Karen personalized some of the white strips. Amazing idea and amazing impact on the quilt!

Sheila's quilt is a starry delight with some geese added to the mix! She made her centre star using some sewing related fabric. Linda added to this with her large blue star. Karen used some great fabric and made a border of flying geese in graduated sizes, framed by the green fabric and the corner square in a square blocks. Genius!  I decided to return to the star theme and added a border of scrappy stars, choosing blues for the corner stars to mimic the blue star in the second border.

Karen's quilt began with a striking centre block of black and white prints arranged like a modern dresden plate block paired with some bright frames. Sheila's pretty little hexagon flowers complete with embroidered leaves brought it all together! When it came to me, I decided to play with blacks and brights, using scrappy 9-patches. Linda completed this little quilt with those adorable x-blocks used with black prints on a modern background printed with x's! Again, all these quilts should be clicked on and enlarged so you can see the beauty of these pieces.

Make sure you also visit these gals' blogs to see their quilts and read their stories. Just click on their names in the first paragraph. We plan to have all the quilts completed by the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival being held in October. Our group of 4 will have our very own Quilt Show and Sale as part of the Festival. We will be in the Amherst Curling Club on Friday, October 13 from 10-5, and on Saturday, October 14 from 10-3. See you there!

And just one more shot of my quilt. I took a picture of it on the deck when I got home...I love my quilt!

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stargazer and More

Many months ago, I saw a promotion of a new line of fabrics designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Her line was a luscious collection of blues and creams called Blue Sky by Andover Fabrics. To promote the collection, Edyta designed a free pattern called Stargazer. I loved the pattern and knew I probably had enough blues and creams in my collection to get a good start on the quilt. I started by making the four large stars and when they were done and sewn together, the top was about 72" x 72" . You may remember this quilt in the making, and can see what it looked like on a previous post HERE.  

But I didn't stop there...I wanted the quilt larger so I added a 6" checkerboard border, and another 6" tone on tone border. That makes it finish at about 96" x 96", a perfect size for a queen bed.

Then it was off to the clothesline on a sunny day...

I'm always afraid of a top stretching when I hang it for a picture, so you can see how many clothespins I used! And of course, the wind came up! 

A few weeks ago, I aired some of the quilts I had finished over the winter and was taking to the Artisans Collective Gift Shop. You can read about the shop on our Facebook page HERE.  It wasn't a very sunny day, but you get the idea...

I'm sure you recognize a few of these since I usually take a picture of the quilt top before I send it to the quilter or head to my machine, but they sure hang better when they are quilted! Here are a few closeups...

It's a great day for quilting!

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!