Monday, 21 November 2016

The Quilt That Just Kept on Giving

This is the quilt that has been hanging around for a while... it's not one of my longest projects but it is one that I started, still loved but never quite got to finishing it until this fall.  I loved the fabric.  I think it was the first jelly roll I bought (those of you in the quilting world know what this means; those of you who are not, well it's not food but just as sweet and tempting as it sounds). 
Anyways, I quickly pieced the top of the quilt.  Then it sat for a while.  I wanted it to be much larger (it's a bed quilt for my oldest daughter) so I added borders.  Then I added more borders.  Oh boy... it then started to become a bit tedious.  


 Then it sat for even longer, folded up on top of everything but then new fabric started piling up on top of it.  THEN Grace started wondering when was I ever going to finish her quilt  I began to worry that she might even hate the colours by the time it made it to her room finished. 


 I love quick projects so I took some of the leftover fabric and made a table runner for her dresser and two pillowcases to match.  Still no quilt for her bed though. 

So finally I made a date with my living room floor and sandwiched the quilt (again the relationship to food... imagine a fabric sandwich... backing fabric, quilt batting and then the pieced quilt top... makes sense?)  There was no turning back once I started this process because eventually there would be people home that would be stepping all over it so I got down on my hands and knees and got it done!!  Phew.  Folded it up and set it aside... again.
 I blogged about my recent quilt retreat (read about it here) and first on my quilting agenda was to finish this quilt.  Seriously.  No other quilting was going to be done until this quilt was "quilted" and then binding attached.    Initially I was having some trouble with my sewing machine and free-motion quilting but luckily there just happened to be some "experts" close by so once I figured out the mistakes I was making, I was on my way.  Wine by my side (in a non-spill cup of course) and I was done before I knew it. 

I was so happy with the finished product.  I don't think it would have been as nice if I finished it... well... way back when I bought the fabric.  This one was a labour of love and learning.

I apologize for the poor quality of these photographs but I needed help so two held it up for me (with some pizazz of course) and one was behind the camera.  The sun was setting so the lighting was strange as well.  This goes down in the books as a funny memory!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Quilting Retreat in Cornwall, Fall 2016

This is what I have been looking forward to for quite some time... actually ever since I went on my first quilting retreat, I looked forward to my second (one a half years ago).  The room doesn't look like much but it was all mine for 3 nights.  My life is super busy so this was my chance to recharge, fill my cup up and create a few things.  

First up was finishing this quilt for my oldest daughter, Grace.  I had been putting off the quilting part since the last time I was working on it, I was very frustrated.  I knew that if I could devote some time and space to it, I could be happy with it.  I attached the binding but didn't have the right thread to finish it off, so it's still not complete BUT that's the easy part. 

One of the best things about going to a quilting retreat is learning new things.  I consider myself to be an intermediate/experienced quilter but I tend to sit in my comfort zone.  I find I revert to the familiar when it comes to completing a project.  This time I learned about a little gadget my sewing machine came with... one of those things that has just stayed in my tool box but some of the other ladies showed me the gadget and how to use it and voila, something so easy to use just made my quilting even easier!

That little metal bar is helping to guide my quilting in equal lines.

My newest Christmas quilt:  it's not very big so will most likely go on our kitchen table or be used as a wall hanging.  I bought the fabric collection as a pack of 5" squares and added the white and red border. 

I added this little label while I was attaching the binding.  I also learned about another attachment to my sewing machine that helps me put the binding on with more accuracy.  I borrowed the bi-level foot from another quilter but plan on buying one of my own.  There were a few Pfaff sewing machine experts on our retreat which came in very handy!
On the second day in Cornwall, I went for a run on the beautiful path along the waterfront.  I am glad I did because the food was plentiful and the desserts were irresistible.  I did put in a lot of walking as the place is quite large but taking time to run was fantastic.  

Sometimes it is hard for "mommy" to leave home.  Even though my kids are getting older (12 years, 10 years and almost 8 years old) they don't want me to leave.  I left to a very sad little 8 year old so I decided to make her an apron (I bought the fabric a few months ago with these intentions).  Since I could devote the time it didn't take long at all to finish. (pattern from The School of Sewing book).

The last project I could squeeze in was to work on these blocks:

I started this last spring and have put it to the bottom of my pile for a while now but once I pulled them out, I didn't want to stop... but I had to.  By noon on the last day, I needed to pack up and head home.  I am happy to say I am halfway done the blocks for this bright and cheery quilt. 

Nancy from Sew Inspired, a local quilt shop, organizes a quilting retreat each year.  She puts in a lot of work to make it a success and this one was no exception.  I made some new friends, got reacquainted with another, learned that age does not matter when it comes to doing what you love, laughed a lot and had some time to myself.  It was awesome.