Thursday, December 30, 2010

A quilt as window curtains?... Maybe!

I've been toying with the idea of making two identical quilts to use as curtains in the huge window that's uptairs in my sewing room. I went to WalMart and bought a really beautiful curtain rod and also bought a couple of packages of clips to hold curtains. That's when I starting thinking perhaps I could use those clips to hold quilts instead of boring old curtains.

Here's the layout I decided to go ahead a use. As you can see, I don't have a design wall in my sewing room, so I have to use the floor!

This is the first quilt top finished. The pattern is called "Playmates" and I found it in the Pam and Nicky Lintott book titled "Two From One Jelly Roll". I'm using a "For a Cause: Alliance" jelly roll for this.
Now I just have to decide whether I should use batting or just sew a backing onto the top. If I go with batting, I guess I'll have to go with a really light one...
And this is Moose on the Porch Quilts' Layer Cake Quilt Along Block 4. This block is called "Starry Starry Snowball and was designed by Sherri McConnell at http://www.aquiltinglife.com/. I've already downloaded the directions for Block 5, but I'm running a little behind on that one! Will have to catch up once the curtains are done.


I'm also almost finished with another quilt top that I started back in November. I should be able to put the borders on that one during my next trip to the country so I'll post pictures when I get back.
That's it for now. Talk to you all later!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another Finish!

I'm done with my beautiful sister-in-law's birthday present (her bday is December 26 the poor girl!). The pattern is called "Twin Stars" and it's from the book "Jelly Roll Quilts" from Pam and Nicky Lintott. I used a "Old Primrose Inn" jelly roll for this one along with a tone on tone cream paisley for the background. The backing is also from the Old Primrose Inn collection by Moda.


The "Beast" seems to really like it! :-)



So another project all done and ready to be received!


I'm also almost done with all of the Christmas shopping... only a few small things left. And then I'll have to spend about 5 hours wrapping everything!

Not sure I'm going to be getting any sewing done this coming weekend because we might be leaving for the weekend to go watch Big Dylan play hockey.

That's it for now! Talk to you all later!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Layer Cake Quilt Along 2010 - Block 3

I've been having technical difficulties with the computer lately... I'm told this is due to Mercury retrograding! :-)



Anyhow, not much quilting happening. I did manage to complete Block 3 of the Moose on the Porch Layer Cake Quilt Along. This "basket" square was designed by Sarah Vanderburgh.


I also prepared my sister-in-law's birthday present for quilting and I'm hoping to get that all done this coming weekend.

That's it for now. Talk to you all later!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Block 2 of the Layer Cake Quilt Along

Here's Block 2 of the Moose on the Porch 2010 Quilt Along. This block was designed by Vickie Eapen of http://www.spunsugarquilt.com/.






I really like this quilt along. The blocks are beautiful and the directions are really clear and easy to do. At first, I wasn't sure if I would have the time to get these blocks done, but so far so good.

I also received and put together Block 6 of the FatQuarter Shop Mystery BOM. This block is named "Hung by the Fire" and was designed by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson. This BOM program is amazing! The blocks are pretty, easy and the directions clear. Also, they send you lots of fabric for each block (in case you make mistakes)... so I'll have lots of scraps to play with!


I also got to work on my new project this weekend... finished all the blocks and am now sewing them into rows. If all goes well, I may be able to post a picture of an "almost finished" quilt top when I get back from the cottage Sunday night.

That's it for now! Talk to you all later!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you hoppin'?

The new Fab Shop Hop is starting today... check it out here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Block 1 of the Layer Cake Quilt Along

I completed the first block of my very first Quilt Along this weekend. This is the Layer Cake Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch Quilts (see the button on the right of this blog). The block is called Alabama Spinner and was designed by Gene Black. I'm using Rural Jardin by French General for Moda.




I also started on a new project - this one is for my sister-in-law's birthday in December. I'll post pictures when the top is finished.

That's about all the quilting I got done this weekend - had to come back to the city early today because my beautiful little girl had indoor soccer this morning.

That's it for now. Talk to you later!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quilting without a pattern

So I’m creatively challenged… I’ve never been one to enjoy colouring outside the lines. I always admired people who can paint beautiful landscapes, or sew clothes without a pattern or design quilts from scratch. I need a pattern… I need to be able to follow directions and the only step where my creativity is going to somewhat come out is in the choice of fabrics.

All that being said, I had a really cute “Recipe for Friendship” panel and fat quarters in my stash that I was dying to use but could never find a pattern for. So I decided to start from a pattern that used a panel (although not the same size as the one I had) and try and alter the pattern so it would fit the fabric. Now I didn’t have any yardage to work with, only fat quarters, so the sashing and border were a bit of a challenge. This is what the end result looks like:



I’m not crazy about it, but for a first attempt at “colouring outside the lines”, I’m thinking it’s not bad. Once it’s quilted and the binding is put on, I’ll probably hang it up in the kitchen at the cottage. Maybe I’ll even use some of the coordinating fat quarters to make place mats from scratch… with no pattern!

I received block 5 of the Mystery BOM last week so put the block together this weekend... really like this one:


And I thought I'd finish this post with a couple of pictures from last weekend. The first one is the beautiful sunset we saw on the way to the cottage on Friday night:



And this one is what I woke up to Sunday morning!!!



Can you believe it?! This picture was taken on October 31... not December 31!

That's it for now! Talk to you all later!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finished Baby Quilt

I finished Claudia's baby quilt. I just love how it turned out. You really can't see it in the picture, but I found a really cute quilting design that has little baby hands and hearts. So I used that for the border and the alternate blocks. I hate to brag, but these are the best looking pinwheel blocks I ever sewed... All of the points match perfectly... Don't they look beautiful? :-)



So now I have to choose my next project: either a lap quilt for my sister-in-law (her birthday is December 26) or a new table runner and placemats for the cottage. I definitely CANNOT buy any more fabric until the holidays so whatever project I choose, I will HAVE to get the fabric from my stash.

I also received Block #5 of the FatQuarter Shop Mystery BOM that I would like to get done this coming weekend and on November 2, the Layer Cake Quilt Along is beginning (look for the button on the right of my blog).

That's it for now. "Talk" to you later.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My next project

Just spent a wonderful weekend in the country alone with D and while he was outside working, I was sitting happy in my sewing room. I said in my last post that I was finally up to date with the Fat Quarter's Shop BOM, but neglected to post a picture. Well here they all are:



I love them. Can't wait to see what the whole quilt is going to look like.

I also got started on my next project... a baby girl quilt for my colleage Claudia who is expecting her 3rd child in about one month. I chose a pattern called "Peppermint Swirl" from Lynette Jensen's Book of Quilts:



Here are all the pieces of fabric nicely waiting for me to sew them up:


I actually got pretty far this weekend, the rows are done and when I get to the cottage next weekend, all I'll have to do is join the rows and put the borders on. I really like how this quilt is coming together... very easy and the directions in the book are great.

That's it for today! "Talk" to you all soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so got to enjoy 3 wonderful sunny days at the cottage with D and the "small" children. I spent the afternoon of Saturday planting tulip and daffodil bulbs with the kids - we should have a beautiful flower garden this Spring!


And then I spent most of Sunday finishing Heather's quilt! Here is a picture of it hanging up to dry (it's not the best picture in the world - the room isn't big enough for me to get a really good picture!):


And here's a close-up of the middle with the quilting designs in purple:



I'll be giving Heather her quilt tomorrow at the office.

I also caught up on the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Designer BOM... finished blocks 2 to 4 (so July to September). I'm expecting October's block in the mail any day now!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Almost there!

Well, there really hasn't been much sewing going on over the last few weeks because D was renovating the room upstairs at the cottage to make it more "sewing" friendly. In my last post, I showed a picture of the new drawers and that's almost done. We painted the framing a beautiful green and all that's left to do is to put the new handles on the faces.

My sewing (or should I say dining) table is back where it belongs now and I was able to continue working on Heather's wedding quilt over the weekend. The wedding was actually on September 25 so I'm a little behind schedule on that gift! Here's what my little set-up looks like:

It's not the best in the world, but I love that it looks out onto the living room and kitchen area downstairs... that way, I can watch TV and sew at the same time... very important during hockey season! :-)

So as I said, a little progress was made on Heather's quilt, but I'm not quite finished with it yet. I had such a hard time picking the quilting designs for it (I never have an easy time with that step of the process), but I'm hoping it'll be all done next weekend.

I also took the kids apple-picking last weekend which took up a whole day (so no sewing that day), but it was such fun. We go every year to the same orchard near the cottage and I just love it. Here they are with all of our apples:

And of course, once you've picked them, you have to bake with them. So the two girls, D and I spent a whole evening peeling, cutting, and baking. We made apple pies, apple bread, apple muffins and, of course, apple crisps. According to the children (the toughest critics), everything was fabulously delicious!



That's all for now! "Speak" to you soon!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New drawers!

I didn't get any sewing done this weekend, but great progress was made in the re-organization of my sewing room. D stained the drawer faces and put the frames in so I was finally able to start putting stuff away. This is what the "storage" room looked like before the renovations started:


And this is what it looks like now:

I'm not quite done sorting through all of the fabric, notions, thread, etc. and I'm still trying to figure out how to best organize everything, but at least the drawers are in! So I'm very happy! D worked really, really hard on these and I'm very grateful!


Also, here's a picture of the FatQuarterShop's Designer Mystery BOM Block number 1 (from June 2010). This block was designed by Gudrunm Erla and is called "Gifts Under the Tree". Isn't it pretty?



I'm also thinking about participating in my first "Quilt Along" starting in November sponsored by "Moose on the Porch Quilts". You can read all about it here. I purchased a Layer Cake from the Fat Quarter Shop last month which I absolutely adore so I'll be using that one. I'll post a picture of the Layer Cake fabrics next week.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to work on Heather's quilt this weekend, so it looks like it won't be ready before she leaves on vacation this Friday. I may have to pay her a visit the week prior to the wedding to give her the quilt.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Frustrated...

So I sign up for the September Fab ShopHop... pretty simple stuff really - you click on quilting websites and look for a bunny. When you find the bunny, you might also get a cute block pattern. Collect the bunnies to win prizes and collect the blocks to make a beautiful quilt.

So I've now visited 129 quilt shops, collected 129 bunnies - but have only discovered 7 of the 13 block patterns!

Come on...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My sewing room is being upgraded!

I haven't posted any pictures because I totally forgot to take some, but my sewing room at the cottage is getting a much needed face-lift! D has hired a carpenter to build huge drawers in the storage space on the right and left of the room where I'll be able to store fabric, batting, books, magazines, etc. I cannot wait!

Even though the room looks like a war zone right now, I was able to make progress with Heather's quilt and I'm pretty confident I'll be able to finish the quilting next weekend. I also finished block 1 of the BOM program I entered back in June! Will post pictures of everything next week (including the progress made on the new sewing room set-up!).


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quilting has begun...



As planned, and because the weather was cooperating (two rainy days), I started quilting Heather's Wedding Present. This is a picture of the middle of the quilt. Heather's favourite colour is purple and she's Irish, so I added some green. I chose flannel for the backing fabric and purple thread. I'm very pleased with how the quilting is coming along and I think Heather will be very happy with her present.







I signed-up for the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery BOM back in June and I've received 3 blocks already, plus the backing and finishing kits, but have not had the opportunity to even open the packages yet. I'm thinking I might be able to get going on block 1 next weekend.




Thursday, August 19, 2010

All good things must come to an end...

I couldn't be on vacation forever right? I'm back at work now and busier than ever. My return to work also coincided with the need to get the children ready for school… searching for school supply lists (I swear they're in the house somewhere!), running to Walmart to get everything, trying on clothes from last Spring and then making another list… but this time for school clothes. I always look forward to the start of the school year because it means our lives go back into their routine. But it also means the end of the beautiful, hot sunny days and the return of cold, windy, snowy weather.

I didn't get as much quilting done as I had hoped during my vacation. It started off pretty good. I finished the Daisy Chain quilt top and then quilted "Garden Trellis" which I had started for my baby sister back in the spring. Her birthday was in July and we were finally getting together for a birthday celebration so I finished her quilt and gave it to her as a present. I used a pattern from the book "Jelly Roll Quits" and the fabric is from the "For a Cause" collection by Moda. I then quilted in the ditch and added feathers to the border. I am very pleased with how it turned out and so is my baby sister!

I also basted Heather's Wedding Present so that one is ready to quilt when I go back to the country this weekend.

Oh and look at what came in the mail this week!

Getting fabric in the mail is always so exciting for me… I love it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finally on vacation...

It is finally here... vacation time! For two weeks, I'll be spending time with the kids, hopefully doing all kinds of fun vacation activities during the day and quilting my little heart out in the evenings!

I have much to do in the quilting department over the next couple of weeks. I have to find backing fabric for Heather's wedding quilt, and quilt the whole thing because she'll be off work to get married in mid-September.

Then, I have to find a pattern as well as fabric for a baby girl quilt for my colleague Claudia who is due to deliver in early November.

I also have lots of finished tops that need a backing and quilting... I'm hoping I'll be able to at least prepare one of those tops for quilting.

Over the last few weekends, D has been busy building me a new island for our country kitchen and he's finally almost done. I have to admit I really wasn't sure about getting rid of every single kitchen cabinet and storing everything in the existing pantry and the new island, but now that it's almost done, I really like it. The thing is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, so there's definitely no room for cabinets now!

I might not be able to post much during my vacation (no computer at the cottage), but I'll let blogland know how I did with the quilts when I get back...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wow... how time flies!

I didn't realize it has been so long since my last post. The week days have been crazy busy at the office and the weekends even crazier. I also took some much needed vacation in there so I guess blogging just never made it to the list of priorities. :-(


My ankle is doing much better. I got to take my walking boot off on June 23 and have been getting treatments ever since to get my strength and mobility back. It really as easy as I thought it was going to be. I half expected to take the boot off and start running down the street, but that's not quite what reality turned out to be.



On the quilting side of things, I've been making great progress. I finished the log cabin quilt I mentioned in my last post and it's looking very nice. I just love the look of log cabin blocks!

I also started a new quilt with 2 1/2" strips. This pattern is called Daisy Chain and I found it in a book full of Jelly Roll patterns. This particular quilt calls for 60 strips of different small prints and the backgroup fabric is supposed to be a solid cream or white. Instead, I chose solid strips in tones of blue, purple and green and the background fabric is a beautiful cream with butterflies and dragonflies in the same colour families. I think this is going to look very pretty!
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I have many tops that need to be quilted now and because of my ankle, it's very difficult for me to get down on my hands and knees to prepare the quilt sandwich. I just hope this gets better really soon because I have to finish the purple quilt I made for my colleage who's getting married in September.

Hopefully, I'll be able to work on the Daisy Chain quilt this coming weekend and maybe even prepare one sandwich for quilting.

I really wish I could afford one of those long-arm quilting machines though... Quilting is probably my least favourite part... that huge roll to squeeze in that tiny space. My shoulder and arms end up killing me and I have to take multiple breaks. Perhaps I could look into having my quilts quilted by a professional instead... hmmm...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Log Cabin Fever!

The weather wasn't great last weekend, so I got to spend some time with my sewing machine. I made really nice progress on those small log cabin blocks:


Can you see the picture of the finished quilt? Isn't it pretty? I'm using a variety of fabric for the dark colours (basically using scraps), but the pattern calls for the same fabric on the light side of the blocks, which I love. I can't wait to have this one finished.

Actually, the pattern said to paper-piece the blocks, but I'm fairly new at this quilting business and never tried paper-piecing, so I decided to cut each piece the proper size and basically chain-sew each piece onto the block the "traditional" way. It worked out pretty well... the blocks look good so far!

I'm hoping to finish all 88 blocks this coming weekend and maybe even start putting rows together. I'll post a picture of my progress when I get back on Sunday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back at the sewing machine!

Well, I figured out how to use my left foot on the pedal and keep a kinda steady rythm going! So I started piecing the scrappy log cabin quilt I cut the pieces for sooooo long ago (or so it seems to me!). It was rainy all weekend and there was absolutely nothing good on TV so I decided to try my luck at going up the stairs with my ugly boot and use my left foot on the pedal of my sewing machine. And it worked!

When I went back to my sewing room though, I realized that quite a few of my quilt tops are accumulating and need to be quilted. So next weekend, when my daughter is at her father's, I'm going to try and quilt at least one of my tops. Perhaps I'll tackle "Garden Trellis" which I'm planning on giving to my godmother for her birthday in August. After that, I'll have to finish the purple quilt I made for Heather's wedding in September.

The whole family went to my mother-in-law's 80th birthday yesterday (Saturday) and had lots of fun. My sister-in-law from Edmonton was in town and it's always great to see her. So a great afternoon with the whole crew.

D finally had enough of his 25 year-old Lawn-Boy and decided to buy himself a brand-new John Deere lawn mower for Father's Day:

He's very, very pleased with it and couldn't wait to get it out of the van and start mowing the lawn. I predict a very nice looking lawn in our future this summer!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

I just ended a really, really busy week. On top of work, where I had to facilitate 9 training sessions and attend numerous meetings, we celebrated little Dylan's 6th birthday:



We also brought the dog to the vet to get "fixed", and this is what the poor animal looked like when he was finally able to come home:


And finally, we went to my mother's for another birthday party. This time, we were celebrating my mom's 61st and my 41st (which is June 2). This was my cake:



And my wonderful god-parents gave me these beautiful candle holders for the cottage:



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sewing on hold for a while

I broke my ankle last Friday and am now wearing a big, ugly boot on my right foot for the next 4 to 5 weeks. Unless I'm able to figure out how to use my left foot on the pedal, it looks as though very little sewing or quilting is going to take place in the next month or so. :-(

Injuring my right ankle also means no driving for 5 weeks, no gardening and limited participation in a Challenge I entered where you need to walk at least 10,000 steps each day! This Challenge started today and although I really don't want to quit because it runs until September and obviously, I'll be better before then, getting my 10,000 steps in the next 5 weeks is going to be impossible.

Thank goodness I've got a wonderful partner and great kids... they have been helping with everything from getting me in the shower and getting me coffee to doing the dishes and basically getting whatever I need so I can stay off my feet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I had read the forecast for the weekend on the Internet, so was sort of prepared for what was supposed to happen on Mother's Day... But still, I could hardly believe my eyes when I got out of bed this morning at 6:00 AM and looked outside the window... This is what I saw:


Today is May 9! How could so much snow fall on May 9?! My poor lilac trees were bent almost to the ground, my tulips disappeared under the white blanket... unbelievable!
The puppy loved it though... spent nearly 30 minutes running up and down the lawn and rolling around in the white stuff! He then of course came back in the house, ran to my bedroom and laid down on my quilt! Gotta love puppies!
Didn't get much quilting done this weekend, but did spend some quality time with the kids, playing cards, going shopping and cooking some goodies for dessert! D made me breakfast this morning, bacon and eggs, which was also very nice.
I did get started on a new project that I've been looking at in one of my books for months now. It's a small log cabin quilt (about 40" x 48") and I decided to use up some of my scraps for the dark fabrics and a beautiful creamy colour for the lights. I cut most of the pieces this morning before leaving for the city and will continue next weekend. I'm anxious to see how it comes out.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fun in the Sun!


In my last post, I said I had finished "Charming Flowers". I finally took a picture of it this weekend so here it is...
I really like it and enjoyed making it because it was so easy. Just 5" squares and just a few stars made of fat 1/4s here and there.
It was a little rainy this weekend in the country, so I had lots of time for quilting. I actually started cutting pieces when we got to the country Friday night and by the time bedtime came around Saturday night, I had finished the top!
This new quilt was based on a pattern called "Home for the Holidays" and was supposed to be made with beautiful greens and reds, but I used greens and purples for my version. It turned out so beautiful, I think I'll offer it to a colleague who is getting married in September. Purple is her favourite colour. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the quilt top next weekend and post it here.
I also had a little bit of time to work on our youngest's vest this weekend, but ran out of patience so it's been put aside for now. I find sewing children's clothing so much more difficult and tedious than quilting, even when having to cut these tiny little squares or triangles!
Anyhow, had a great, great weekend and Sunday was so beautiful, I even managed to get a bit of a tan!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Charming Flowers is Finished!

Just had the best weekend! Took my beautiful daughter to soccer practice on Friday night so had to listen to the hockey game in the car... but we won! Then on Saturday, went to my nephew's 3rd birthday party which was a lot of fun. Got to spent some time with mom and dad as well as the rest of the family. Then Saturday, my brother in law and his lovely fiancee came for dinner at the cottage.

Finally, on Sunday, I got to spend a little bit of time quilting! So I finished "Charming Flowers" which I had started in January. It looks really nice (it's in the washing machine now so I'll post a picture as soon as it's dry!). I used Moda Charms for this one (the American Primer collection) and just love how it looks.

The kids keep asking me who will end up receiving this new quilt as a gift, but I just don't know yet.

I also got started on our youngest's vest (see last post), but didn't get very far unfortunately. Will have to work on it next weekend, if time permits.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rain normally calls for some serious quilting but...

The only time I can spend quilting is on weekends because my sewing machine and supplies are at our country house. So I was sort of happy when the weather forecast called for two rainy days over the weekend... yeah - more time spent quilting.

BUT my dearest darling had other plans for me. He decided we needed to build new shelving under the stairs so this is what I spent most of my weekend doing. The shelves are quite nice and we now have way more storage space at the cottage, but the quilt I was hoping to finish over the weekend is still waiting for me. The most frustrating thing is that all's that left to do is the binding and label! Oh well... next weekend maybe.

I did go shopping for fabric today however. I promised our youngest that I would make him a new sweater to wear on chilly summer nights at the cottage. So I found the cutest fleece with soccer balls and tones of brown and red... really nice. I'll post a picture of it when I'm done.

Ok... the hockey game is back on... I'm off! :-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Maela's Blanket


Here is a picture of my latest project. This baby blanket was made for a colleague's little baby girl... I think she looks lovely wrapped up in her quilt!

I hope she enjoys it for many, many years to come.

I found this pattern in a book called "Jelly Roll Inspirations" and it's called Knickerbocker Glory. I just happened to have the jelly roll shown in the book in my stash so I immediately started quilting! When my colleague announced that his wife was pregnant, I knew right away that baby Maela was going to receive the pretty quilt.

My 1st Post!

Hi everyone!

My name is Izzy and I'm going to attempt to blog here a few days every week... most of my posts will be about quilting, but I also love to read, listen to music and spent time with my family, so I may touch on those subjects as well.

My "family" is composed of my partner D, 6 kids (my 2, his 3 and our 1), an old cat and a new puppy dog.

As you can probably tell, my life is quite full, but I still find time to enjoy my favourite hobby: quilting. I haven't been quilting for a very long time (only about 18 months now), but I already have 15 quilts under my belt (most of which were made for the kids!). I'll post pictures of my projects here and share some of my hard-earned lessons in quilting. I haven't attended any classes, but I read lots of books and learn as I go. Hopefully, some of the tips I share here will help another notice quilter!

Thanks for stopping by and "talk" to you all later!
 
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