Thursday, 18 September 2014

Two Granddaughters' JK Quilts Adventures

I pick up one of my grandkids from school each week and they take turns from oldest to youngest coming over for a dinner date with Grandma and Grandpa. They get to pick what they'd like for dinner (within reason :-) and after supper we play their choice of game with them before bringing them home.  This has become a very fun tradition and they look forward to being in school so they can join in on the tradition.
This year, two of my granddaughters turned four and are ready for Junior Kindergarten so that means an I spy quilt for their quiet time.  Charity and Katie came over for dinner together in June and got to choose the squares they would like in their quilt.  I let each of them put their chosen blocks on my design wall and they picked enough to make a queen sized quilt LOL.  The squares were put into a ziplock bag with their names on it and they both wanted purple and pink in their quilts.  I purchased some pink and purple kona solids and made the disappearing 9 patch making pink center squares for Charity and purple ones for Katie so they would be a little different.  We then had supper together and played triominoes with Grandpa before bringing them home.  (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Getting started

They got to use the design wall

Charity is always in a hurry :-)

Finding that perfect square

Working through the pile of 5" blocks
Charity and her squares

Katie and her squares

The two cousins in front of Charity's blocks

Best buddies :-)
Here are the two finished quilts.  They were made using the very same pattern - disappearing 9 patch with Charity's using the pink in the center and Katie's using the purple.  When I laid out Charity's squares like the pink quilt below, the purple "pinwheels" took over the whole quilt and you couldn't see the I spy squares.  Yikes..back to the drawing board.  I googled disappearing 9 patch on google images and there were several that were laid out totally random which helped a lot.  Lesson learned:  the purple should have been less strong.  Second lesson learned:  there is a solution to every dilemna in quilting :-).
Charity's finished quilt
Katie's finished quilt...amazing how changing the purple and pink around produces such a different quilt.

Quilting on Katie's quilt

Quilting on Charity's quilt

The aftermath of Grandma's neat stack of 5" blocks LOL
  Enjoy your Junior Kindergarten year, Charity and Katie.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

 I have been asked to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop.  My friend, Cathy, from Eagles' Wings Quilts asked if I would do a blog post this week answering four questions and adding some photos.  Here is Cathy's post for the Blog Hop.   You can see the post for the person who nominated her and keep going back :-).  So, here we go.....

First an introduction.  I live in Southwestern Ontario Canada with my dear husband of 36 years.  Our romance dates back to grade 7 :-).  We are empty nesters for a number of years already and have four kids, who are all married and we have 9 grandchildren...6 girls and 3 boys.  That keeps me hopping making quilts for all of them.  I teach quilt classes here in my home usually one evening and one day per week, whatever works for the schedule.  My husband is in his 9th year of teaching High School Sciences, Math and Apologetics (the defense of the Christian Faith) at a Christian High School.  He did a mid life career change.  Five years ago we built a quilt studio and designed the house around it :-).  Here is where I hang out most days:

My sewing studio with my husband's office right beside
1. What am I working on? 
I am always working on a host of different things and I work best under pressure.  I am not always in the mood to work on certain projects or with particular colours, so I need a lot of projects on the go so I have choices :-).  It is good when a deadline forces me to finish up the project.  Right now I'm just finishing up an I spy quilt for my granddaughter who is going to JK this year...I'm a little late!  But, I have two little four year old granddaughters starting JK this year.  Charity already has her quilt and Katie's just needs binding and a label.  They came over one day and got to pick out their own I spy squares for their quilt, stayed for dinner and we played games together with Grandpa.  Very fun!
Charity's quilt
Katie's Quilt

 I am also working on a One Block Wonder Quilt and another baby quilt that need to be done very shortly.   I am also working on a few long term projects:  An Indian Orange Peel quilt, a Dear Jane quilt,  the Psalms quilt by Carol Honderich and I have lots of UFO's as well.  They will all get finished eventually!  Another project that keeps us hopping is sewing quilts with my local small guild for our chemo unit at the local hospital.  We provide lap quilts for those going through chemo treatments.  This is a very rewarding activity and provides us lots of opportunities to work with colours and patterns that we might not normally use and it goes to a good cause.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I enjoy working with patterns, but often give it my own spin.  My favourite quilting activity is playing with colour (this is probably why I have so many UFO's...I want to dig through my colourful stash :-).  My very favourite way of quilting is to make some blocks, toss them up on my design wall and let the quilt speak to me what it wants next.    I'm in a brights stage at the moment and love to work with Kaffe Fassett prints.  I have a large collection of these fabrics and was able to take a class with him recently.  That was so much fun.  You can read about the class here and see the finished quilt here on my blog.  The thing that would distinguish my work most from others is that I do all my quilting and piecing on antique and vintage sewing machines.  I piece most of my quilts on a 1951 Singer 15-88 treadle which can even free motion quilt and also use my 1960's vintage Bernina 830 electric machine as well as a Featherweight and other antique machines is our collection.

1951 Singer 15-88 treadle
My trusty Bernina 830

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

I started my blog so that some far away family would be able to keep up with what I am doing.  It has become an interesting record and scrapbook of the quilts I have finished over the years.  Unfortunately, I'm a little behind in my blogging and have quite a few quilts to write about yet.  I got behind when my computer crashed!  It will all happen in due time :-).
4. How does my writing/creating process work?

My creating process could probably be best described as "random abstract" LOL.  I generally work on something that I'm in the mood for unless I have a real deadline and even then, I tend to procrastinate until it's a really really close deadline.  I do love to organize and my stash is nicely organized by colour and type.  And, I have lots of scraps that are nicely sorted as per instructions from Bonnie Hunter's site.   I cannot throw anything out and raid the garbage cans after my students leave and keep the scraps neatly organized to use as leaders/enders as Bonnie describes on her site.  Recently I did made a couple of quilts that use the garbage from circles which I used in a baby quilt.  You can see the baby quilt and the "Never Throw Anything Away" quilt here

I am supposed to nominate someone else to keep the blog hop going, but being in a household with a teacher, the first two weeks in September are a bit crazy LOL.  I have asked a fellow blogger to participate, but have not heard back from her yet.  I will add her blog information when I hear from her.

My selvage quilt on the wall and one of the "Never throw anything away" quilts on the chair.