2018 New Quilter Bloggers Blog Hop

Image uploaded from iOS

Welcome to Laughing Gas Quilts! I’m thrilled to be part of the Sunshine Quilters hive on the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Bog Hop, and would like to thank Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Sandra of  Musings of a Menopausal Melon-mmm quilts!, Jen of  Dizzy Quilter, and Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland for their encouragement and counsel. They, along with the rest of my hive, have provided the impetus for me to tackle the technology of blogging, which I find a HUGE challenge. Please visit their blogs. You’ll see lots of quilty goodness and earn a chance at some great giveaways from our sponsors.

SponsorsI am a maker, one of a long line of makers. As a young woman, my maternal grandmother was “in service” in New York City. On Sundays off, she studied the windows on Fifth Avenue before creating original patterns for her own dresses. When she returned to rural Newfoundland, Nana focused her creative talents on clothing her family in handmade garments, no mean feat, given the resources at hand. My mother worked outside the home, but still found time to sew and knit; her hands were never empty when she finally sat down in the evenings, and she made sure I had some basic needlework skills. I have enjoyed garment sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet over the years, discovering quilting about 15 years ago, when my two daughters were teenagers and I had a little free time. It was love at first stitch.

My favourite part of quilting ? Playing with colour and shape. My favourite quilts? The ones which presented a creative challenge. Hope you like them too.

31084196_10214091010003827_4054345958014582784_n

Meet Christmas Chaos, aka Christmas Throw Up. I made it at one of my first Guild retreats when I had a bag of scraps from bargello tree skirts, and a new squedge ruler to try. My fellow retreaters were divided in two camps: those who applauded the free form piecing, contributing their scraps to the cause, and those who kept asking what pattern I was using. There was no pattern, and I learned how much fun it is to work without one.

31092058_10214091011043853_7864223391153127424_n

A few years ago, Jacquie Gering came to my hometown, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, gave a trunk show, and conducted several workshops. Through her, I met the modern quilting movement, with its freedom of expression. In the Stitch and Flip Triangles workshop, I started Go Fly a Kite, based on the Swirling Medallion Quilt in her book, Quilting Modern. When the diamond was finished, I thought it looked like a kite, so I gave it a tail and put it in the sky. After a couple years and several machine quilting courses, I screwed my courage to the wall and quilted it, negative space and all. Ta da! Here it is, ready to take flight, restrained only by the firm grip of my intrepid quilt holder and friend, Lorraine. It takes fortitude and strong hands to be a quilt holder on the edge of the North Atlantic.

My daughters have a wonderful friend who is a graphic designer with a beautiful jewelry line, Dory Blue. I was challenged with making her a wedding quilt, and pondered what I could make that would appeal to an artist. Brigitte Heitland and Tula Pink came to the rescue.  Shine Through, a  ZenChic pattern, was the inspiration for the diagonal design; I used Tula’s City Sampler blocks in place of the appliqued fabrics of the pattern. These pictures are from a few winters ago, taken on solid ice just off the end of my dock. Isn’t that a queenly shadow on the quilt? Just had to share it.

The final quilt for today is an alphabet quilt for a friend’s grandson. Each rectangular block has a free form pieced letter in a colour starting with that letter, and lots of appropriate images. “B” is blue, and surrounded by batman, beaver, bottle, buffalo, bus… you get the picture. Thanks goodness for friends with stashes I could raid. With 26 letters in the alphabet, there is no simple layout, so I opted for 5×5, which left out the “Z”. Poor, lost, Zed. Or Zee. After some thought, I inserted a zipper in the bottom corner of the quilt which, when opened, allows a zucchini coloured “Z”, surrounded with zebras and zigzags, to drop down. The bonus is that the pocket, whose back is the label, is also a place to hide a tiny treasure.  Here is “C” is for Charles.

My full time job as an anesthesiologist, and my love of brightly coloured, happy, quilts, inspired the blog name Laughing Gas Quilts. Helpful though it is for fabric acquisition, my work limits my free time, so I am pulled in many quilting directions. Should I finish a lacklustre UFO, or start a shiny new, exciting, project? Should I join a quilt along, or work on an original design? How do you decide your priorities? And then there are the fabric temptations, but I’m not even going there today.

I hope this rather long post has provided a little entertainment or inspiration. What’s even better is that the fun doesn’t stop here. There are seven other new bloggers for you to visit this week, and more to come in the weeks that follow. Please check out:

Velda @ Freckled Fox Quiltery

Carrie @ Carrie Bee Creates

Sharon @ Ms. P. Designs

Nicole @ Handwrought Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Stephanie @ Lowcountry Quilts & Embroidery

It’d be lovely to read your comments, and your pointers on how to decide your quilting priorities. Thanks for taking the time to visit and share my journey. Hasn’t communication come a long way since 1901 when Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal here, at Cabot Tower, on Signal Hill?

31138083_10214091009803822_7146039111902560256_n

One month to W day

30623941_10214026597953566_1184048528465330176_nIt’s April 12. One month from today will be my daughter’s Wedding Day, and I’m getting excited. Apart from a little moral support with choice of venue and dress, I’ve done little for the event; she is the queen of planning, and has everything under control. My job was to make ties for wedding party, and here they are. I thought I had them done last week until I was reminded one of my daughter’s attendants is a man in need of a tie. Oops!

30688206_10214026598393577_3701610760829403136_nThe robes for the bride and maid of honour to wear for the “getting ready” pictures are finished.  Hope they look good. I’m happy with the white, but not so sure about the navy. I’m thinking it’ll flatter the blonde MOH, and after all, it’s the bride who should shine, isn’t it?

Tomorrow, I’m off to the first of two quilting retreats this month, and the wedding quilt fabric is cut and packed. There’ll be some pedal to the metal sewing if the top is to be done in a month. I’ve resigned myself to the fact it will likely be quilted while the newlyweds are honeymooning.

And lest you think I have abandoned my PHD quest…

28468419_10213671746042490_7389470872034520524_n

This 18 inch square for which there was no use, turned into this:30629778_10214026597513555_673634580648951808_oIt’s a wine bottle bag, made using this pattern. I could have done a better job centering the cross- I hadn’t realized it would work this nicely, and was just trying to avoid the place where I had melted the silver lame with the iron. When it was finished, I thought, “That’s nice, but what am I doing with it?” and then, “Eureka!” I have a friend , who likes a nice bottle of wine and is graduating from divinity school this year. Perfect. Couldn’t have planned it better.

Wedding projects

Wedding excitement has started in my family. Margaret, my elder daughter, is getting married to James, a lovely young man, on May 12, and I’m realizing I need to get moving on my projects.

Months ago she found a pattern , ordered fabric for bow ties for the men in the wedding party, and asked me to make them. I happily agreed, setting about the project in a desultory fashion. The first was too short, the second too narrow, and third much better but a little big in the knot… Goldilocks had nothing on me. This weekend I got to work, and made six ties. They still need a final press, but they’re done. I learned that it is much easier to sew on a drawn line than to try to keep a perfect 1/4″ seam around curves, so I made a template, drew around it on the fabric, sewed along that line and then trimmed the ties.

 

29572992_10213953999978662_7758450959374589027_n.jpgApparently these days brides wear robes when they are getting their hair and makeup done. I bought the fabric for two last summer (one for the bride and one for her sister, the MOH), and the pattern at Christmas. It’s been a long time since I’ve done much garment sewing, but tonight I unfolded my Michael Miller Confetti Border and cut out the first robe. I’m just hoping it really is “Kwik Sew”.

29572802_10213953999698655_2988477076317188960_n

And then there’s the wedding quilt. Most of the fabric was bought a year ago in England- it’s the lovely Tilda Bumblebee .

29595132_10213953999338646_1360192055470109829_nI found some Northcott solids to go with it, dithered over the pattern, finally deciding on a classic, and made a trial block. You’ll see my choice midMay. One of the solids didn’t work, so I ordered more fabric in a different colour. I’ve actually started on the blocks but there’s a long way to go; the young couple has a king sized bed. They also have two dogs and a cat that frequent the bed, so the pattern isn’t too demanding. I’d rather the quilt be user friendly than a masterpiece for the shelf.

Luckily I have two retreats coming up. I’m going to need the sewing time. As for the PHDs.. there’ll be nothing done this month, but at least I’m not adding to the pile.