Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Snow

This is what we woke up to this morning.
This is the first snow of the season.
Winter is officially here!

Customer Quilt

One of the things I enjoy most about quilting for others is the stories that go along with the quilts.

This quilt is owned by a self proclaimed non-quilter and non-sewer. The blocks were inherited from my customer's step mother. My customer set the blocks together using a small floral print fabric that closely matches the time period that the blocks were made. The blocks were hand embroidered by friends and family of my customer's stepmother. These blocks are old and only one or two people are still alive today that originally made these blocks. This quilt holds great sentimental significance to the owner. I was thrilled to have a part in preserving these memories.

This first picture shows the quilt from the back.

This quilt was quilted exclusively with Circle Lord templates: the heart, the wave, and tiles.

This quilt has Thermore for batting as the quilter was originally thinking of hand quilting this piece. She decided she did not have the time to commit to hand quilting this quilt and so she came to see me. The Thermore makes this quilt extremely light and soft. This is the first time that I used Thermore on the long arm and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday...To Me!

Yesterday was my birthday!

The birthday celebrations started Wednesday night. While I was at the quilt guild meeting, my daughter baked me a birthday cake. We had this cake Friday night as my daughter was going to be away Saturday night and would miss my birthday dinner.

Yesterday, my husband and daughter took me out for lunch and we all headed to my parents' house for supper. My Mom had made me an angel food cake too (see the cake in the black and white picture).

Thank you to all who sent e-mails, cards, and presents. Yesterday was a wonderful relaxing day. Today it is back to work....well maybe not "work". I have some quilting to do for customers so technically that is "work" but because I enjoy it so much, it doesn't seem a lot like work.

Quilt Guild - We Care Quilts

Last Wednesday night was our regular monthly quilt guild meeting. We have an ongoing quilt charity program throughout the year where guild members make and donate quilts to our guild who in turn donates the quilts to local women's shelters, local hospitals--both the cancer ward and maternity wards, RCMP Victim Services, and local Seniors' homes to name just a few.

We had 29 quilts handed in on Wednesday evening. After the regular show and share portion of the evening, we have volunteers come forward and grab one of the We Care quilts donated that evening and stand side by side to show off the quilts to the rest of the membership. Our 29 quilts managed to circle the room completely. I was not able to get a picture of the group all at once, but i did wonder what the view would have been from the ceiling--looking down at that fabulous train of quilts that circled the room.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

4-Patch Stacked Posies - Poppies

I have been itching to make another quilt from the 4-Patch Stacked Posie pattern. Since I finished my pumpkin 4-patch version, I could start a new quilt with no guilt. This is a photo of the 4-patch blocks I finished last night.

You can see the original fabric down the left hand side of the picture. I have just set the blocks on the green fabric to audition the green color choice. I want to set these blocks differently than the previous two quilts I made from this pattern. I am playing with an on-point setting. I like the green with the blocks, but I have decided that there needs to be something between the block and the green sashing. With my son's assistance last night, we decided that the perfect colour would be a dark brown like the center of the poppy in the original fabric.
I am also undecided whether I will make one larger lap quilt, or if I will make two smaller table toppers.

Since I don't have a fabric in the right shade of dark brown, this project will have to wait until I have a chance to get to the LQS to get more fabric.

This is the link to HD Designs' website--manufacturers of the pattern: http://www.hddesigns.net/default.aspx?sectionid=1756&pageid=3671

Table Runners

I have been working on Christmas table runners using a quick and easy pattern from Ursula Riegel--a Canadian quilt designer from Victoria, BC. This is the link to her web page: http://www.designstoshare.com/patterns.htm

The first picture with the snowmen in the border and the holly in the center is a picture of the first table runner that I completed. It is now quilted and bound--ready for gift giving.

I have always used Warm and Natural batting in my table runners / toppers and that is what I used in this first table runner. When my mother and I were at the Creative Expo last weekend, we were in a vendor booth where there were some wonderful table runners, but they were quilted much flatter than mine. I inquired what the batting was and discovered that this particular shop uses Hobbs' Thermore in their table runners. The shop owner told me that Thermore makes a thinner, flatter product more suitable for items that are to be used on the table. This helps ensure that things like wine glasses don't tip over when set on the table runner. This was a eureka moment for me--I wondered why I didn't think of something so simple. I will be quilting future table runners with Thermore.

The next two runners are just flimsies at this point. I did not have any Thermore at home until I made a run into the LQS yesterday so these are still unquilted.

Just a note about Thermore. When I was in the LQS yesterday, they told me that Hobbs is having some challenges with the production of Thermore right now. One of the fibres that they use is no longer available. If you purchase the "new" Thermore, you will find that it is flatter and stiffer. I managed to get some of the old formula -- prepackaged in a bag which is the soft Thermore we are used to. Apparently the factory is doing some re-formulations and is trying to get a combination of fibres that more closely resembles the old formulation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pumpkin 4-Patch Stacked Posies - Flimsy

This weekend I finished my Pumpkin 4-Patch Posie quilt to the flimsy stage.
I have already purchased the fabric for the next 4-Patch Posie quilt I want to make so I felt I should finish this one first. ~ I also needed to get rid of the guilt resulting from purchasing more fabric for a pattern that I had not finished!
Since this quilt is now finished to the flimsy stage, I can proceed with cutting out the next quilt guilt free!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What Quilt is on Your Bed?

Many bloggers have been showing pictures of the quilt that is currently on their bed so I thought I would join in. This is a picture of the quilt that is on my bed right now. This picture was taken just after this top was quilted on my long arm in November 2005.

This quilt was made from the book by Sharyn Squier Craig, and is called, Design Challenge: Half Log Cabin Quilts and is currently out of print.

The following three pictures are of this quilt actually on my bed. Because the bed is large in relation to the room, I can not get back far enough to get a picture of the whole quilt.

Yesterday, my mother, my daughter, and I headed into the 1st Annual BC Creative Expo where my mother and I bought some new software for organizing and scrapbooking our digital photos. These pictures were altered using that program. When I originally took the pictures they were on an angle. The software we purchased allows us to alter the horizon and crop the picture. This is how I have gotten the funky, artsy looking pictures that are cropped with more than 4 sides. I can see I will be playing with this software for some time to come!

This quilt measures 89 1/2" x 104 1/2" and was quilted with Aurifil #2445 Dusty Pink thread in the Baptist Fan design. The soft pink thread picks up the odd bit of pink that is in the blue fabrics without being too pronounced. I often get asked if I deliberately picked a thread that would show. Yes, this was a very conscious move and I love the effect.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nine Patch Path Leftovers

This is a small quilt that I finished in October but forgot to post about. This quilt was made from scraps left from a much larger project. The larger project was Nine Patch Path and was finished and given to my MIL on May 2, 2007.

I love using up all the last little quilt bits and making something useful out of them. Even the batting used in this project was made from leftovers pieced together from many larger projects.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thimble Collection

I collect thimbles. A friend dropped by to bring me two thimbles that she bought on her recent trip to Korea and China. The thimble on the left with the flower is made from a felt like material and is from Korea. The metal thimble on the right is from China. Thank you Wendy, these are perfect additions to my collection!

My husband made me this holder for my thimbles. I now have a safe and secure place to display my thimble collection in my studio. Safe and secure from what you ask? Safe from Joey who was amused by playing with my thimbles in the middle of the night when they were on the bookshelf in the living room. My thimbles are now out of reach of Joey the cat!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chilliwack Quilt Show - October 20, 2007

These are pictures from the second quilt show that I attended in October. I was able to attend with my quilting friend, Colette. Colette was the friend that got me started quilting. Because she no longer lives close by, we don't get the same opportunities to spend time together that we used to.

As we entered the show, this was the quilter that greeted us!
Colette forgot her camera so I took pictures of this quilt for her. This is a string quilt with applique. The applique was raw edge.

There was a challenge sponsored by the guild where you were to make a quilt with a "leaf" theme.

My favorite quilt in the challenge category was this bear paw quilt with appliqued leaves in the corners. The machine quilting was beautiful!

There were a number of round robin quilts at this show.

Spending an afternoon at a quilt show with a friend is the best!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Harrison Mills Quilt Show - October 14, 2007

I am so behind in posting. I realized yesterday that there are pictures still on my camera from two quilt shows that I attended in October.

These pictures are from a small local quilt show in Harrison Mills. Each year there is a small dedicated group of women who live in the community who put together a quilt show inviting all local quilters to display their quilts. The proceeds from admission to the show support a local initiative each year. This year's proceeds went towards a bursary that will benefit a deserving high school student in their graduation year.

This was a particularly special day for me as my DH agreed to attend the show with me! Yes, my DH attended a quilt show! Of course, because this quilt show is local it is attended by many of the people who live nearby so he was sure to know someone there so there wasn't much danger in attending. I promised that when I blogged about this show, I would also mention that my DH paid my admission! Consider me living up to my promise.

The first two quilts were wonderful stitcheries that made me smile. The first one could be me and the second could represent any of the local families in the area.

The hall is quite small and located out in the country amidst dairy farms and corn fields. The women on the committee have reflected the countryside in their hanging of the quilts by hanging the quilts from clothes lines with clothes pegs.

We were given an opportunity to vote on our favorite quilt and this was my DH's favorite. This is a miniature Stack'N Whack.

I enjoyed the next two quilts--probably because they feel antique to me. They were both made from scraps using very old patterns--the spider web and pinwheel.

It was a beautiful day and on the way home we stopped by a very small cafe for lunch. This is one of those places where you help yourself to the coffee and refills and the person taking your order is also the one who goes into the kitchen to prepare it. We had always intended to stop and try this place out but never seemed to be going by when they were open. This was the day to try it out and we were not disappointed.