Deer for dinner

38020793_10214792636824059_2501962369979121664_nLast month when I visited my younger daughter in St. Catharines, I somehow found myself in Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. I know not how this happened, but it involved a GPS and a rented car. I have too much fabric. I do not need more, but the deer in the Chloe line from Northcott drew me like a magnet, and before I knew it, a number of half yard cuts and fat quarters were mine. 

That fabric has been calling me since I got home until, finally, I abandoned my UFOs and quilt alongs and cut into it. The DrEAMi! project was inspired by the Garden Party Placemats of Vivika Hansen Denegre, published in Make it! Patchwork  (2017), from the editors of Modern Patchwork. I didn’t follow her directions precisely, but used her methods as guidelines, and they were great. Strip sets were made, cut into sections, pieced to other sets and then trimmed again. 

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They are backed with batik I bought years ago and still love. There is a 1/2″ seam through the back so the placemats could be sewn around all edges, then turned. I sewed almost half way along the seam with a regular stitch, backstitched, then switched to a long basting stitch for a couple inches, switched back to regular stitch, backstitched, and continued to the end. When it’s time to turn, I simply removed the basting stitches, and had an opening for turning. I then closed the gap with a small pieced of iron on adhesive. Could have hand stitched them but wasn’t in the mood.

When they were turned and pressed, I did some random straight lines and corners with the walking foot, and they were done. 38027308_10214792635744032_5713156632326701056_nAnd now I have some everyday placemats to spill gravy on. I’m hoping they’re busy enough to conceal my mess.

May you always have food to eat, even if you don’t have placemats like mine.

Linking up with Sandra’s squirrel parade of DrEAMi! projects.

The Fox and the Birds

37875430_10214773723511238_899595597525286912_nThere is a fine Aesop’s fable about the Fox and the Crow, and the perils of flattery, but that is not what this quilt is about. This is about peace and harmony, foxes and birds sleeping under a crescent moon. Truth be told, it’s about using up some charm squares.

My older daughter, the one who just got married, is surrounded by friends and colleagues who are having babies. She, who usually crafts beautiful presents for these babies, is up to her eyes in her studies this year, and hardly has time to have a coffee with friends, let alone make them presents. I, on the other hand, have abundant fabric and significant time, so I volunteered to make her a few simple baby quilts to have on hand.

Meet The Fox and the Birds.

37841038_10214773721471187_6928323766514614272_nMy original plan was to frame the charm squares in white or grey and then line them up, alternating colours. When I got the 2″ strips sewn on the top and bottom, I liked the look of them so much that I tidied them up to 4 1/2″ and sewed them in columns, separated by 1 1/2″yellow strips. I later added yellow strips to the perimeter as well.

The quilting was interesting. I’ve been admiring quilts with concentric circles for a while, my longarm is misbehaving, and this quilt is small, so I took out my walking foot and started circling. My goal was to gradually increase the space between lines as they radiated out from the center fox. I used the edge of the walking foot as a guide, but when I got to walking foot plus 1/2″ I thought I should use the guide that fits into the back of the foot. Unbeknownst to me, it was not a tight fit and I was bumping it as I circled, so my lines of stitching became really far apart and then the arm fell off. Oops! There was no concealing the fact I was no longer sewing circles, so I embraced the change, added another curve, and finished the quilt.37892041_10214773721911198_374561563853455360_n.jpgAnd now I must become a Craftsman of a different kind. See the lawnmower in the background?

Linking up with Sarah at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?and Myra at Finished or Not Friday

Blocks afloat

This morning I thought I’d take a progress picture of my Squared Away BOM blocks.

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these blocks, presented by Mari, the Academic Quilter, and Angela of SoScrappy, and am absolutely thrilled with myself that I’m up to date.

There’d been some rain last night and my wharf was still a bit damp, but I thought I could put the blocks on it and there would be a lovely picture of them against the unfinished wood, with water and trees in the background. Down to the lake I went and started laying them out. A gust came up and this happened.

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What to do? Here’s a hint.

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Gather the blocks that hadn’t blown away. Put the phone on them for weight. Wade into the water. Oops! Those rocks are slippery. Slow down. The blocks are floating into deep water! Take off the housecoat (be thankful there’s no one else out for an early morning dip), and rescue those blocks. Wait! There’s one sinking. Pin it against a slimy rock and drag it to the launch. Breathe a sigh of relief that blocks and block maker are safely ashore.

So I took my blocks, some dry, some not, and laid them out on the grass, well away from the water.

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Take a good look at this picture and you will see the pair of diggers and length of weeping tile in the background. My yard has been a busy place, and there’s hope that I’ll have a dry house and a functional sewing room sometime. Why is it my life is feeling like a gag reel?

This is the turquoise block with the beach houses. It was the one pinned against the slimy rock, and was subjected to a trip to the bathroom sink spa to clean up.

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And these are my blocks. Can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to next.

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Hope you’re getting some swimming time this summer.

 

Row by Row

My Row by Row quilt is DONE!!!

36965833_10214639756962158_6385389692132524032_nIs it wrong to view something as popular as the Row by Row program as a blessing and a curse? That’s where my head is, and I make no apologies for that view.

Two years ago, my daughters and I travelled to Alberta for a very good friend’s wedding in the Rockies. Never one to miss an opportunity, I spent an afternoon in Calgary visiting quilt stores, and purchased my first row by row kit. It’s the one that says, “Oh Canada, My Canada”. I asked for the free pattern, but the lovely lady pointed out that the kit was laser cut, so of course I bought the kit. Anything to make life easier, no? NO. On that trip, I found a three more stores, each blessed with row by row kits, before I headed off to Ottawa for my aunt’s 100th birthday party.

36970988_10214639755602124_8633106233164824576_nWell, I almost missed the party. See that row with the moose and the bear? I drove 100km to get that, but there was road construction, and I got a little lost, so… I didn’t have time to get back to my hotel on the other side of the city. I stopped at Walmart on the way back to find something decent to put on. After all, the party wasn’t about me, was it? And my aunt’s vision and mind weren’t as sharp as they used to be, so as long as I was there, it was OK. Should I add that I also visited Orleans, and Kanata, and Stittsville, and Almonte…

I was so pleased with the results of my quest that when I got home, I rushed to the sewing room to start putting them together. Well, they took forever. The second one I did was the beauty from Canmore with the mountains and cabin and trees and… anything else the designer could think of to torture the assembler. To make matters worse, I was trying a new applique method where one paints the fabric with modgepodge instead of iron on heat and bond. The result was a much tidier edge, but it was definitely more labour intensive.

36850626_10214639756002134_2738349445736300544_nOver the winter I finished a half dozen of the kits and swore never to buy another. The next summer I went to Ontario, and lo and behold, succumbed to the temptation of another couple kits. And then a local quilt store produced an irresistible view of the Narrows, the harbour of my home city. It’s the one with the row boat. So I ended up with even more unfinished kits. And I don’t like using kits. I hardly even enjoy using a pattern properly, let alone having my fabric choices made for me.

36850301_10214639756162138_2046227822606811136_nThat pile of half done and undone rows taunted me every time I went into my sewing room. I put it on two UFO lists, in the hope I might deal with the nuisances. Between that, and the sewing room flood that made new projects with multiple fabrics difficult, I buckled down, finished the rows I could find, and assembled a quilt top. Somehow, the motley collection of bits came together in reasonable style. I then rounded up my unused Canada 150 fabric, another ill considered purchase, and made a back for it. And quilted it, in a very basic fashion, and attached the binding by machine, and called it done. Can you just feel the love? 36878478_10214639755402119_4478102549722824704_n (1)The sad truth is that, after all the resentment and ill will I had towards the quilt, I actually like it. It has a story to tell.

Enjoy your summer, but beware the row by rows.

Linking up to  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts 

and Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation

PHD mid year update

June 30 marks the halfway point of 2018. As one who enrolled in Quilting Gail’s PhD program, I’m choosing this as a time for a performance evaluation, and using this blog to keep myself accountable. Here’s hoping this works better than Weight Watchers weigh ins.

Back at the beginning of the year, these were the UFO’s that I documented. I’m not confessing to how many more I discovered after I took this picture; some things are best kept in the closet. Or the plastic tub. Or under a pile of fabric. You understand.IMG_E0621

There are 26 items here, and I committed to finishing 16 of them by year end.

From column one, I have finished the Santa Pillow, and turned the blue star into a wine gift bag.

From column two, the Hippo Addition, Valentine runner, and Christmas presents have all been finished.

From column three, Shimmer and Squares of Liberty are complete. The picture of Shimmer is a new one, and there’ll be more appearing soon on this blog.

From column four, Christmas Hanging GardensOrnament in the Woods, and Freefall Maple Leaves are finished.

That makes 10 of the promised 16 projects completed. On track so far.

Gail’s other caveat was that any new projects started must be completed during the year; no new UFOs could be generated. I have started and completed Mawwiage and Shoo Fly Rosie , as well as seven bow ties, two robes, and a few small projects. The two quilt alongs in which I’ve enrolled are on track to finish by year end.

Sounds good so far, right? Well… I had a flood. My basement, sewing room included,  was ankle deep in water a month ago, and that knitted cap that was to be my easiest finish is missing. That’s what I get for including it. It’s like when I was at Girl Guide camp and picked the easiest part of the after dinner clean up: the roasting pan, because it looked pretty clean already. But I had no hot water, and the leaders laughed to kill themselves as I struggled to remove grease without it. Should have learned my lesson about cheating then. Clearly didn’t. Now I’ll have to finish something harder to make it to 16 by year end.

On the plus side, the Row by Rows, with the Mountie, are together in a flimsy, and I’ve started piecing the back. Those two might even be out of the PHD pile by the end of this long weekend.

Here in Newfoundland, July 1 is a day of remembrance of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment that was decimated at Beaumont Hamel in WW1. For the most part, we are happy to celebrate having joined Canada in 1949, but here, more than in the rest of the country, we are poignantly aware of the sacrifices that went into building the nation we have today.

May the sun shine on you this weekend.