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

116 thoughts on “2018 New Quilter Bloggers Blog Hop

  1. I love your blue jewel quilt. You are braver than I am. I stick to patterns. I may change the colors but that’s as far as I go now. Maybe now that I am 70 I should branch our!

    Like

  2. I love your quilts….from the Christmas improv quilt to the Alphabet Quilt. You do think outside the box in coming up with wonderful ways to handle problems. Happy quilting. Looking forward to more blog entries.

    Like

  3. Your alphabet quilt is very clever and cute! My priorities keep changing–I switch from easy projects to hard ones depending on my mood–I love to start new things, so have some UFO’s–
    (OK) several UFO’s. However, I did finish a large mystery quilt and am waiting for the backing to come and in the meantime, pieced a backing from my stash for a lap sized top that I had finished a while back.
    bjkaup(at)(abbnebraska)(dot)(com)

    Like

  4. There’s a line in a song, that is my quilting mantra … Dance when the spirit says dance… I just go with the flow, when I get bored with a quilt, or can’t figure out what to do next, I put it aside for awhile and work on something else. Eventually I get back to it, no priorities. I quilt for ME. I give most of them away, but the “making” is for me. Follow your heart. Your quilts are beautiful.

    Like

  5. Hi from Texas! I enjoyed “meeting” you and reading about your quilts today! I especially love the alphabet quilt- what a lot of fun to find those “just right” fabrics for every letter in the alphabet. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  6. I wondered about your blog name . . . thot perhaps you were a dentist! Although I’m not inspired by modern quilts/quilting, I can fully appreciate the work in your quilts . . . great job! I especially like your alphabet quilt, and the z pocket you added! Smart lady!!!

    Like

  7. What a wonderful introduction! I love your solution to the missing letter of the alphabet. So clever! As far as deciding quilting priorities, I keep a list of projects and classify them as URGENT (timed deadline, but I have no real obligation to finish it, like for a Christmas gift when I could give something different if it’s not done), IMPORTANT (must finish, but no strict timeline), BOTH, or NEITHER. Anything that’s BOTH gets a number 1 next to it on my list, URGENT or IMPORTANT gets a 2, and NEITHER gets a 3. That makes it easy for me to see at a glance where my priorities should be. If a 3 stays on the list for too long, I take a look to see if I still like it. If not, and it’s not too far along, I might just return the fabric to my stash. If it’s blocks or a quilt top, I donate it to my quilt guild for charity.

    Like

    1. My goodness, you are organized, Becca! I think I’m sometimes delusional about what I think I can get done, and am loathe to admit defeat. I must add that I did take one workshop project and throw it out after several years gathering dust. It was so bad not even a charity would want it.

      Like

  8. Wow – I used to live in St. John’s many years ago (no quilting stores then…) I am driven by deadlines but usually ones to give quilts to other people…not so good finishing up ones for me….sigh but I decided that buying quilts for me was a good thing so now I look for artists selling their work on etsy.

    Like

  9. Laughing Gas, down here it has progressed to Entonox, and now something called ” The Green Stick” a one time use and so good as my man found out when he fell and broke a bone in his shoulder. Being exact, precise, on time, and meticulous, all good assets for a quilter, and your photo settings, I rave over photos when the quilt is on snow, against snow, or even a hint of snow somewhere. Love every one, retirement will beckon you with open arms.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Jean. There is certainly a fair bit of crossover between quilting and anesthesia- problem solving is key to both. I see you’re in New Zealand. No wonder you like the snow pictures so much.

      Like

  10. I was wondering about your blog name- but now the connection makes sense (too funny!). I struggle with making time to quilt too… part time work, 3 little kids, sleep(!), etc. I recently read that if it’s important to you then you actually need to schedule time to do it! It sounds good, but I’m not quite there yet. I tend to really focus and get things done when a strict deadline is looming (teacher gifts are famous for this!), but other things tend to reside far too long in WIPland.

    Like

    1. Those people who say you need to schedule time for what’s important are right, but can’t have small children and a job. Great in theory. Practice is a different story. Thanks for using your valuable time to comment on my blog.

      Like

  11. Hi Ann! So nice to “meet” you! I am so impressed by the variety of quilts you have made! You have been at this a lot longer than me. Your alphabet quilt and Go Fly a Kite are a few of my favorites. I look forward to future blogging from you!

    Like

  12. This year is trying new things, so far it’s testing 13 battings, working with stabilizers and working with silk dupioni. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us today.

    Like

  13. I love the clever design of your alphabet quilt. I guess I prioritize based on deadline as well as how important it is to get done at all and how much I can realistically expect to get done.

    Like

  14. I love the name of your blog, must be anesthesiologist humour. I find inspiration on blogs such as yours. I am a sucker for mystery quilts and quiltalongs. I love getting things done and making something from nothing. I have a monthly goal list as a guideline in my sewing room but I am allowed to get distracted. I love to play and produce! Love Newfoundland!!!!! Janice.snell@gmail.com

    Like

  15. I love your blog name as it seems like a fitting description of your style! I am also impressed that you are an anesthesiologist. I am a nurse and used to work PACU, but we moved and in my new city there were no PACU jobs available, so back to floor nursing for me! Miss the PACU setting.

    I also have a hard time deciding priorities. I like to start new projects whenever I see patterns I like or get new fabric, but the frugal little person inside me does not like to see fabric all cut up for a specific project that is only partially finished, so sometimes that inspires me to finish up old projects!

    Like

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Dawn. I’ve worked as an anesthesiogist since 1984 and still love my job. Sorry you have yet to find a PACU opening, but I’m sure one will turn up before too long, especially for someone with experience. In the meantime, there is lots of quilting to be done. I’m working hard on my unfinished projects, but they keep multiplying – I no sooner finish one than two more appear in the pile.

      Like

  16. I love your beautiful quilts. I have also taken classes with Jaquie Gering, in southern Ontario where I live. She’s wonderful isn’t she. It is hard to work and to prioritize quilting. I’m always adding new things and the UFO pile keeps growing. I think I will have to do something about that. It’s nice meeting you.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Jacquie’s classes were indeed great. She was so positive and down to earth that everyone felt encouraged, and the quilts in her trunk show opened up a whole new world for me. Good luck with those UFOs.

      Like

  17. This year I decided that it’s going to be the year of the finishes as I have about 10 UFOs and I want to get them done. It’s so hard though as 5 of them need quilting which I’m trying to do myself on my domestic sewing machine. I’m terrible at it but I do see some improvement. I enjoyed your Blog and seeing your lovely quilts.

    Like

    1. Hi, Sandi! Lovely to hear from you. Keep practising that quilting- it will improve. As Angela Walters says, “no one ever curled up on the couch under a quilt top”,”finished is better than perfect” and “don’t measure your worst against someone else’s best”. Quilt those tops,and put the quilts to work. The next ones will be better.

      Like

  18. Hi Ann
    It took me a while to find where I could leave a comment (I guess I’m used to the spot being at the end of the post)…but I found it!!
    Your quilting reminds me of my style of FMQ!! I do mine on a domestic I start out with an overall plan, but then in the midst of quilting I get “lost”…now, where was I going? What motif is supposed to go where? The getting lost part sometimes means that when I pull my quilt off it doesn’t have the overall quilting plan that I envisioned originally. I’d like to know how you come up with the overall plan, and how you stay on track.

    Cheers
    Terry

    Like

    1. HI Terry, and thanks for visiting my blog today. Thanks for hunting fo the place to comment; I’v been struggling with the site characteristics. As for the quilting…for the kite, I knew I wanted lines in the actual kite, but the negative space was a challenge. I knew I wanted wind, but little else until I put needle to fabric and went for it.

      Like

  19. Hello! I absolutely LOVE your “throw up” Christmas quilt! What a funny name to call it:). I guess the Laughing Gas fits well here! I usually choose quilts that are a bit of a stretch for me. Quilts that are the quilt in a day type don’t fill me with joy. I really like quilting with others so if a friend wants to make a certain quilt, I am always ready to join in.❤️❤️

    Like

    1. Thanks, Tracy. When it was being built, that Christmas quilt reminded most people of way too much Christmas everywhere, so it earned its nickname. It is fun to quilt with friends, isn’t it. I’m off to a retreat on Wednesday, and I can’t wait.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Tish told me to LOOK AT THAT KITE QUILT!! and she was RIGHT! It is just stunning! Your quilts are incredible; my jaw dropped open a few times over the reading of your post – the Z (zed, I say, but I’m Canadian with English roots, and I may have already made a comment about the spelling of colour on another of today’s posts LOL – and Canadians go either way don’t they?) anyhow the Z in the pocket idea is BRILLIANT. I just love the wedding quilt you made for the jewellery girl too.Nice to learn more about you Ann!

    Like

  21. That kite quilt is stunning! How lovely. And the improv Christmas one is so creative! My quilting priority is usually my mood. heh…although it shouldn’t be. I try to make sure I get “promised” items done in a decent time frame first.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Tracie. Sounds like your great aunt was pretty astute, both in choice of career and choice of spouses for relatives. Glad you like the Z. I was rather pleased with myself when I figured it out.

      Like

  22. Your day job may be to but people to sleep, you have me wide awake today with all those beautiful quilts! It’s been great to learn more about you and the name of your blog. Improv quilting seems to be a you get it or don’t kind of thing. I LOVE the Christmas Choas quilt. Your quilting on the kite quilt is to die for!!!

    Like

  23. This comment is for the blog hop, so not sure if it is posting in the right place. Love your wedding quilt picture. It looks like it is swimming out to sea! Kind of reminds me of a sting ray.

    Like

  24. You have done a lovely job on the quilts you showed. I decide my priorities based on deadline and desire (a good title isn’t that)! Deadlines are always helpful and keep me focused. Desire sometimes derails me and sometimes compels me to move forward on a stuck project. I have been at it awhile, so I am in the process of clearing out the UFOs.

    Like

  25. I’m not sure I have any advice on how to decide what to work on. However, I’ve just discovered how fun it is when I take the time to actually make the designs I sketch. It’s a bit of a “drop everything and do it” so it can wreak happy havoc with my so-called schedule. But I love it! So many pretty quilts you’ve shown us! Just lovely!

    Like

  26. Before visiting your blog, I thought you were a dentist 🙂 It’s so interesting that you’re an anesthesiologist! Beautiful quilts, especially the kite quilt. That machine quilting in the negative space is absolutely stunning, I love all the motifs you threw on there!

    Like

  27. I have limited time, also, but it seems I get my share of quilting projects done. I purchased Jacquie Gehring’s “Walk” book to help me with quilting more using my walking foot.

    Like

  28. I love your blog. You have some beautiful quilts. My main activity is longarm quilting part time for customers. I am trying to throw in some of my own quilts to get some finished projects. I gues I am inspired mostly by bright happy prints and solids. I also love appliqué.

    Like

  29. Thank you for sharing your story. I love that more Canadian quilters are being featured in these blogs. Hello from Vancouver Island! I love colour and texture and also playing with various threads. Your kite quilt is magnificent. I too love bright and happy fabrics as on days that are “dull”, the colours lift my spirit.

    Like

  30. Hi Ann,
    What a delight to learn more about you today, and to see your fabulous quilts. Your kite quilt is wonderful as is your quilting on it! I would have been so intimidated creating a quilt for a graphic designer, and those pictures you shared certainly live up to her expectations I’m sure. I love that picture with your shadow on it – it certainly gives pause as to how far away the sun was then and how frozen that water must have been for you to feel safe enough to step on it! I am cruising to St John, Bay of Fundy this June. Is that where you are located? If so, small world!
    ~smile~ Roseanne

    Like

  31. Lovely quilts! I like how you adapted the Zen chic pattern to use your Tula pink sampler blocks – brilliant idea! I prioritise based on deadlines, some self imposed but occasionally a squirrel jumps in!

    Like

Leave a Reply to RicefordStreams Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s