Friday, 12 May 2017

Canada 150 blocks caught up

I got a little behind on the Canada 150 block project, but am happy to report that I'm all caught up again (up to this week that is LOL).  These blocks are going to look very nice in a quilt.  Here are blocks 58 to 75.  We are half way finished.








Monday, 8 May 2017

Dear Jane!!

I finally made a bit of progress on my Dear Jane Quilt.  The last blog post I did was September 22, 2011 when my friend Els was over from Holland for a visit.  She has made 2 Dear Jane quilts.  We met on the Dear Jane internet list and she has now visited me five times and I've visited her twice.  

My Dad had just passed away when Els visited and my Mom passed away in January of 2012.  I lost interest in working on it that winter as my Mom was always so interested in the progress of these blocks.  And, then it became "out of sight, out of mind"!  This year, I realized that I had started this quilt in 2007 with the idea that it would be my 10 year project!  Yikes....this is 2017!  

A few friends here in town were also motivated again to keep working on our quilts and we decided to do a once a month get together to spur one another on.  I have a lot of work to do to get this quilt together by the end of the year!!  I now have 62 blocks finished.  

This morning Beth and I worked on our blocks and I got one completed.  Last month, Jane and I got a block done as well and I also finished an easy one which I found while getting organized for our monthly get togethers.  I got my hand crank machine out for some paper piecing and here are the results:


Paper piecing DJ blocks on my Singer 28 handcrank.  I received this machine from a lady named Jane :-).

I didn't get the points lined up too well on this block, but I'll let it languish in the binder until I decide if it bothers me enough to redo it.  It will never be noticed from the proverbial galloping horse in the overall scheme of things :-).
 
A 12 Framed Fancy

B 13 Four Corner Press

I 12 Fred's Fair Square

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sinterklaas

Last week Saturday, the next pattern was up for the Jolly Little Christmas quilt a long hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Santa Claus was the next block.  Santa Claus was not a thing in my household when I was growing up.  As I am of Dutch heritage, Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, was an exciting event.  On December 5th, we would put out our shoes (we didn't have wooden shoes anymore :-) and we would put hay in and a carrot for Sinterklaas' white horse.  In the morning, we would find candies and a chocolate initial and a few little trinkets in our shoe (if we had been good lol).  That evening, many little packages and surprises would be opened complete with little poems which had something to do with the gift or recipient.  

When I saw the Santa Claus block before the quilt along was launched, I emailed Lorna with some links to the Sinterklaas tradition to see if she would be able to design a Dutch version.  Sure enough, when the pattern was posted, there at the bottom was a 'bonus' block which really made my Dutch heart go pitter patter.  Thanks so much Lorna for your generosity!  This just makes me happy! And, the pattern went together so nicely.


Here is the good old Saint himself...isn't he awesome!?  Complete with his trusty staff.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Cardinal

Last week, Sew Fresh Quilts posted the next pattern for the Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew a long.  This was another one of those blocks that has lots of little pieces and angles and seams that need to be matched precisely.  So, I decided to only do 1 block!  Wow, can't believe the self discipline LOL.  Once it was done, I was already sorry I hadn't done a second one, but I can always do one more later, "when I have time", right?  Hmmm...I'll bet that'll never happen!  Here is the cardinal...it also had an eye that required cutting a 3/4" square.  Good practise for precision sewing for sure :-).

Love this cardinal.....the greens are off on the colours..they are much prettier in real life.

I find it a lot easier to lay out all the pieces on a small cutting board as I cut them.  I also press the squares in half and lay them out properly to get the right angles.  This helps a lot when sewing them together and you don't have to label all the pieces with the proper size.  I can then carry the board to my sewing machine and stitch it together.  Works for me :-).

Monday, 27 March 2017

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Saturday morning arrived with the uploading of the next block in the Jolly Little Christmas Quilt a long.  My husband was away for the day so I sent off an email to my friend Deb, who is also working on these blocks, and invited her over to sew a long :-).  We had a fun day together.  It took awhile to cut all the patches for these partridges.  There will definitely not be 8 of these blocks in my future anytime soon :-).  But, we valiantly cut out two blocks each. 

I finally got the blocks finished this afternoon after a lot of "reverse stitching" and careful pressing and pinning.  The eyeballs of the partridges (hard to see on the photos) are 1/4" finished!!  You can hardly hold these pieces to sew them together LOL. I made a mistake on my polka dotted pear and had already trimmed the triangles off when I realized there were only supposed to be two triangles, not four.  I didn't have enough fabric left to cut out another square, so I had to piece it....so there is a blemish on my poor pear.  As my husband said, "It's patchwork"!  I do love the way they turned out. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Deb's partridge pieces

My set up for sewing.  I've used this trusty Singer 15-88 treadle machine to piece all my blocks :-)

Deb getting ready to sew

my more modern partridge

the more traditional partridge

...with a few of the other blocks

....with a few of the modernish blocks

Friday, 24 March 2017

Elgin Piecemaker's Pillow challenge

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild does a challenge every year.  This year Julie and Joanne were in charge and they came up with a very appropriate challenge for Canada's 150th anniversary.  We were all given a 20" pillow form and a 10" piece of Kimono Maple Leaf fabric.  The challenge was to come up with a pillow cover that represents what Canada means to us.  We had to use the complete square of the maple leaf fabric.  

I had an idea almost right away as I was inspired by the neutral backgrounds with applique over it.  I could piece together a background with symbols and words that represent Canada and thought of appliqueing a maple leaf and a tulip on the front to reflect my Dutch heritage.  With three friends, I took part in the 401 Quilt Run shop hop in October 2016 in Eastern Ontario.  Visiting the 14 shops on the shop hop gave me ample opportunity to find appropriate fabrics.  Many of the fabrics represented my Mother's love of sewing and had sayings reflecting her values, love of family and gift of hospitality.  I even found a fabric with rings on it symbolizing my parents engagement by mail in January 1954.  My Dad had immigrated to Canada already with his whole family and my Mom followed about a year later.  We still have the envelope that the ring was sent in by registered mail :-).  

When I actually started the pillow, I ran stuck on the applique because I had to use the whole square of maple leaf fabric and could not think how to cut a tulip and a maple leaf out it!  So, I cut out a maple leaf and appliqued it on the back and put the frame on the front and then I added some tulips to the back as well.  I used up every mm of that maple leaf fabric LOL.

Last night, we had the grand reveal and Cynthia from Cherished Pieces and Jesse, one of our former members, were the judges.  They sure had their work cut out for them. The pillows were amazing!  Many of the backs were as nice as the front and the stories behind the quilts were very moving!  It was a great exercise in stopping and pondering this great country of Canada and what we appreciate about it. (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

the Kimono challenge fabric

result of shopping excursion :-)
my pillow front
the back of the pillow
The group with all the pillows

This is the write up that accompanied my pillow:

My Canada

“My Canada” is inseparably linked to my parents’ immigration from Holland to Canada.  I chose neutral fabrics with symbols and words, each representing an aspect of Canada or a memory of my parents to whom I am grateful for my Canadian citizenship.   Word fabrics were chosen to describe my Mom’s life rules and talents and her love of sewing and hospitality. 
 
The iconic Canadian maple leaf was cut from the Kimono Maple leaf fabric and appliqued to the back of the pillow on tulip and bicycle fabric representing my roots in Holland. The remaining maple leaf frame was sewn on the front to create another silhouette of this great Canadian Symbol.  From front to back, I can rest comfortably in this great country Canada, which is my own.  This pillow will be proudly displayed in my home for Canada’s 150th celebration.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Canada 150 blocks 49- 57 caught up

Tuesday is the day the new blocks are posted for the Canada 150 blocks from Next Step Designs.  I finally finished last week's blocks this morning and got today's blocks finished this afternoon!  Nice to be caught up again :-).  I had not gotten around to taking a picture of the week before so here are the blocks from the last three weeks.  Really enjoying working on these blocks every week.


Blocks 49, 50, 51

Blocks 52, 53, 54

Blocks 55, 56, 57

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Candle mania!

We were away for the weekend so I could not work on the new Jolly Little Christmas sew along block.  But, Monday morning I got right at it and in between all kinds of other March break activities, I got them finished last night.  I could not resist making 8 of these as I had chosen colour combinations and couldn't decide which ones to leave out, so made them all :-).  I really love these candles...maybe my favourite block so far?  Here are the 8 blocks (four in a more tradition colourway and four in modernish fabrics).  (Click on the photo to enlarge them.)









All the blocks to date



Thursday, 2 March 2017

Catching up on Canada 150

Tonight I caught up with the Canada 150 blocks again.  These blocks are a lot of fun to make.  Lots of different techniques to use as well.  I had the first three finished last week already, but hadn't had a chance to blog. (click on the photo to enlarge)

Blocks 40 - 42 I picked up this awesome crow fabric recently and figured crows are pretty Canadian so they found their way into a block LOL. 

Blocks 43 to 45 I changed block 43 to a mitered corner so I could get the stripes to make a 3D effect.

Blocks 46 - 48

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Jolly Little Christmas sew-a-long Poinsetta

Last Saturday, another block came out for the Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew a long hosted by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  These blocks are just pure fun!  I made one block for the Christmas lap quilt that I hope to make when all the blocks are finished and also three more to make a table runner or maybe a pillow or two.  

The block on the right will go into the modern layout for a lap quilt and the other three are from the more traditional line of fabrics.
 

Friday, 24 February 2017

A quilt for Joey

The London Friendship Quilt Guild ran a row of the month project last year.  Each month, we received a Canadian themed block, representing various regions and symbols of Canada.  Cathy Shepherd designed the sashings that were added between the rows and around the quilt and a row of flying geese at each side and wrote up the instructions.  I had collected some Canadian themed fabrics and decided to make this quilt for my grandson, Joey, as his bedroom doubles as the family guestroom and he sleeps in a queen sized bed.  I asked him if he'd like this quilt and he agreed as long as it had a beaver in it!  Yes, there was a row of beavers planned for this row quilt :-).    The quilt turned out massive!  I had Julie Cassidy quilt it as I did not want to tackle that one under my domestic machine!  I took Joey to Julie's home to see the long arm machine and he got to pick out the quilting design as well as the thread colour.  The quilt is quilted with polar bears, moose and trees in a thread called "prickly pear".  It is perfect for this quilt.

I did not end up using that many of the Canadian fabrics in the front as they were too busy, so used the collection I had accumulated to piece together a backing.  The result is a completely reversible quilt!  (click on the photos to enlarge for a better view)


This was the collection of fabrics that I used for the quilt (with a few later additions).
the Beaver in the quilt was paper pieced
The inukshuk and moon over the mountain blocks were appliqued
the Polar Bears were also paper pieced
Moose quilting in prickly pear thread

Polar bear and trees quilting on the barn blocks

The finished quilt front
Finished quilt back


Monday, 13 February 2017

Sew Fresh Sew along and Canada 150 progress

On Saturday, I finished sewing the next three blocks in the Next step Design's Canada 150 quilt.  I'm happy that I am keeping up with the blocks each week.  And, a friend let me root around in her red scraps so I have some new variety :-).


Blocks 37 - 39


On Saturday the third block in the "Have a Jolly Little Christmas Quilt along" from Sew Fresh Quilts was published.  This one was a Christmas bow.  I made two bows, one for each colour way I'm using.  They turned out very nicely.  This is a really fun project!


I had to pay attention to keep all the letters going in the right direction for this one :-).

I was afraid the red dots would be too light, but I like the way it turned out

Quite a few of the blocks plus a variety of odds and ends on the design wall :-)