Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moral Support

This is the Charlie Bean, he is often frustrated that my attention is focused on fabric and not on him, but he usually gets bored, or tired and curls up to while I stitch away and he looks darn cute doing it.

He is wrapped in my very first quilt here and it is a bit of a wonky one, but I love it dearly. The mitered corners are abysmal, my mom explain how to miter to me over the phone and I didn't quite catch all of the nuances. I have considered taking the binding off and re-doing it but there is a certain charm in the complete wackiness of it. Charlie certainly approves!

It Comes and it Goes

We all know that the destash is a bit of a myth, and it really only functions to create space for even more stash. So, I was quite pleased to hear the door bell ring Friday afternoon and this arrived!

A bundle of love from Pink Chalk!

In the plastic!

There is actually a plan for this whack of fantastic. After finishing the top of M's 'Greatest Hits' quilt I decided that I needed one of my own! I went with a colour range of yellow/orange, pinks and reds to purples. I have some ideas for modifying the greatest hits pattern to quilt as you go so that I don't spend quite as much on myself, sending it away for quilting. It should work well with either side up. (At least if does in my mind!)

The fabric is rinsed, and pressed and waiting to be cut. Like I said, a few days of cutting are in order!

WiP Three

The great destash of 2011 continues with this nine patch. I forget who did this fabric, but I ordered it along with my sister's fabric a few months ago now and am just getting around to making something.

Once again I considered a tossed nine patch, but just wasn't feeling it. I have a plan for this one which will be a bit of a variation on the traditional and I really should start making sketches so I can compare the plan with final product, maybe on the next one ;)

It was like a long line of bunting with all of the squares attached!

These blocks should be all assembled and ready for phase two tomorrow!

WiP Two

Some of you may remember a split rail quilt using this Tweet Tweet fabric in another colour way that I did last fall. I decided it was high time I got the rest of the tweet out of my stash and into a quilt.

I thought about doing a tossed 9 patch, but when I got the blocks together and up ont he design wall, it seemed like simple was the way to go.

I am planning on trying 'quilt as you go' on this one and have some wild pink fabric for the back that I plan to incorporate some small tweet blocks into as well.

Stay tuned!

WiP [Work in Progress] One

It was a much more productive weekend than week and I have a few things in the works to show.

This is the rest of the hour glasses that I mentioned before.



On the design wall.

It turned out as a bit of a value quilt and I am going to put white sashing in. My first use of white. Yikes! It looks like I will have another day or two of cutting in the near future.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Busy Week!

The past week has been mad busy. My sister M called Thursday or Friday and said she was visiting for the weekend. I was nearly finished the top of her quilt and just had the back to piece before it could be sent away for quilting. (A queen is just too big for my machine!)

This is the fabric that she chose for the back. I think it's going to be amazing. After talking to M, I called my local quilt shop to get the info of the quilters they have on call. We set up a time for Monday afternoon. M and I had a nice visit and a relatively relaxing one until about noon on Monday.

My friends A+E over at Pineapple Pieces, were expecting their first child February 7th. E called with a forced calm just after noon and said A was in labour and they needed a few things. M and I hopped in the car and went to their place, grabbed the list and were off. It was pretty exciting and quite an honour to be called for back-up. After stopping at the pharmacy and Giant Tiger to get a prescription and plastic table cloths (it was to be a home birth and the bed clothes needed protection) it was on the pick up a new portable phone (theirs' had died the day before) and Powerade! We scooted back with the goods and arrived to lots of loud labour sounds.

Now in all my 30 years I have managed to miss any of those sex-ed birthing videos, so I really only had tv to compare, but it sounded a lot like that. After arriving back at A+E's, M and I got to work doing dishes and cleaning up the dining room. A+E were well looked after by the midwives and J had also arrived to be on stand by. M and I scooted out the quilt shop (yes this is mostly a quilting blog) so that we could discuss the quilting of M's blanket. It was a quick consultation and quite honestly I don't remember much.

M had planned to had home to Ottawa early Monday, but with the imminent arrival of a baby she had to wait it out. We grabbed some food for the baby waiters and headed back to A+E's. Now it was only A+E in the their room with the midwives and when A's mother and sister arrived the poked their heads in, the rest of the time we baby waiters were in the living room (just under the birthing room) chatting nervously and listening to the rapidly intensifying action above.

At 6 we heard the last of the pushing and the sweet cries of new life. It was magic! The new little family had some time alone together and around 8 M and I were able to go up and see them. M said it was totally worth the wait.

I am not a parent (not to any humans, anyway) so I can only imagine what it feels like to meet your child for the first time, but to be present for such an event was incredibly special. I thank A+E for inviting me to be a part of it. It also made me think of my Dad. They are very different things; sitting at a death bed and sitting at a birth bed, but some how there is a symmetry to it and great sense of spirit and appreciation for the preciousness of life. Sitting by those two beds, one of life and one of death, bearing witness to the pain of existence and the absolute awe of our human condition have been two of the most special experiences of my life.

After seeing the little family M and I left to make room for the family who would arrive later that night.

Compared to Monday the rest of the week was relatively uneventful. Some shopping, some cooking, a lot of fabric cutting and the stitching of some more hour glass blocks.

Making the half-square triangles.

Re-pinning and marking for the second round.

I think this will be a fun one once I'm done. It's using Kona solids and Patricia Bravo's Oval Elements. I haven't decided on sashing or anything yet.

It's hard to see but yesterday I tacked a cheapie table cloth to the wall in the studio with the fuzzy side to act as a design wall, I wasn't sure it would work with the slant of the ceiling, but it seems pretty good. Once the hour glasses are done I'll throw them up there and start arranging! (I'm sure Levi will be happy to help!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Top is Nearly Finished!

This is the start of putting 'Greatest Hits' blocks together.

Laid out on the bed. Looking good, if I do say so ;)

Just the boarder to put on now and then it's getting sent off to be quilted!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Greatest Hits - Cut and Ready To Go!

My sister was visiting last week and we laid out the blocks of her quilt and put them in order.

It's going to be big!

And the fabric is awesome. I may not want to give it away.

Cutting up the sashing and posts.

All organized and ready to start sewing.

Mini Art Quilt

A commission from my mom for one of her good friends. I love doing these little ones :)

Colour Class Project - Done!

This wall hanging was pieced in 3 hours in a colour class I took at my local quilt shop. I finally quilted it this weekend and put the binding on. Now I just need to find the perfect place to hang it!

'Wilson' showing it off.

Up close.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


House guests arrived on Monday and Tuesday so it has been a slower week in the studio than I had planned, but this morning I finished the binding on this little left-over wedge quilt.

There were some pieces from the new wave quilt that I put into action along with the rest of the solid used in the sashing, a sheet for the back and some solid from a stash of hand-me-down fabrics to finish the binding.

All in all I think it's a pretty cute little quilt. Now it just needs a home :)

Yesterday I also had some fabric arrive that will be the backing of the 'Greatest Hits' quilt which has been stuck in limbo. I am just waiting for the solid fabric to arrive now so that I can get the sashing done on the top. Soon it will all come together!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year End Reads

I haven't written much about what I've been reading lately, but I have been reading a little more in this cold, dark season.

The Tennis Partner was a book club pick and it was a sad story. I didn't read the dedication before hand and if I had I may have put it down before the end. There was a little too much tennis talk and a whole lot of desperation. Very well written, just very sad.

From there I jumped into fantasy with Jeanette Winterson's second YA novel, a story of alchemy and courage. Now, I love everything she's written, so I am definitely biased, but I just love the way she weaves such fantastic imagery into a magical world!

This wasn't really even on my radar, but I was in at the library and this was a new acquisition and I signed it out. Wow. It was like a kick in the stomach. Very raw. It really takes you into the crazy of eating disorders. It left me feeling a little jarred and having a whole different view of Ally McBeal (I always pictured them having fun goofing around together on set).

This was my book club pick for the new year. It lost some of the magic of Pullman's own stories, but it was an interesting telling of the life of Jesus/Christ, I liked the twist of them being twins.

After falling in love with Battle of the Sun, I decided to pull out some other Jeanette Winterson books are started 'Written on the Body.' Despite the massive ego, she just might be my favourite author.


I have been going to a great yoga class the past few weeks. It is a restorative class, 'Peace Yoga' and the entire class is conducted in a warm, dark room, gently light with candles and we spend the entirely of the class on our mats. Now I haven't taken any other yoga classes, and I know that they can be quite strenuous, but this form of practice is lovely.

Last night the instructor lead us through several stretches and breathing exercises where we would breathe in 'I' and out things like; 'create,' 'am,' 'receive,' 'need,' 'invoke.' It really made me reframe the defeatest attitude with which I tend to make my resolutions.

When I crawled into bed I had the urge to write a bit before sleep and some of the things that I want to focus on in the coming year are to be more present, to eat more mindfully, to spend more mindfully, so spend a more time just being in my imperfect human form instead of doing things to distract me from it.

Just some thoughts as the days become longer and a new year begins.

A Good Start to the New Year

I started some hour glass blocks for a new quilt top that was in my stack of 'quilts to make,' on New Year's Day. It is Kona solids paired with Patricia Bravo's Oval Elements. I think it should be fun, but some of the solid fat quarters were cut a little wonky and I couldn't get quite as many blocks out of them as I had planned. Some improv will be in order!

Yesterday I decided to put some 1.5" squares together for my postage stamp quilt and pieced almost 3 blocks. They take a lot of time! Some process shots below.

100 little squares (I wasn't as careful as I meant to be and there are some repeats in there).

Finally, last night I decided to baste a totally unplanned quilt that came out of the extra pieces that I cut for my New Wave quilt. I had a sheet that I picked up cheap at the GT Boutique that I used for the back. I was excited that it was going together so smoothly, until the spray baste failed 3/4 of the way through basting the thing together. So I ended up getting the safety pins out. This spray baste may not be so fool-proof!

Back taped down. (Cats were trapped in another room at this point)

Spray basted and pinned. If this thing shifts it will be because I'm trying really hard to screw it up! Little helpers checking things out.

I am hoping to get quilting on this today!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Just Under the WIre

I was hoping to get this one done before 2011 began and I finished the binding on the 30th, then tossed it in the wash yesterday because I had used spray baste on this one.

I like to new wave pattern, although I think that I might try it a bit bigger the next time. I was hoping to use it as a throw on my bed, but it's pretty small for me to curl up under.

The back turned out quite well though!