Friday, 26 February 2010

Snow day production

Jake has a snow day today, so we're in a bit of a relaxed mode. I was going to go to one of my favourite quilt shops today and roam around in London, but the weather is not good for that, so I'm staying home. Cozy inside with the snow blowing around and the wind howling around the house! Sounds like a blizzard out there, but we're not getting real major amounts of snow.

Jake put the coffee on, grabbed the ladder and decided this was a great day to get our family blocks up to date. Our youngest son, Ben, started this tradition years ago and kept it updated with current girl/boyfriends and new babies. When he married 2 1/2 years ago, he continued the tradition in his own home. When one of the girls was expecting, he would add Baby in non coloured letters until the baby was born, when the blocks would be replaced with the name in coloured letters. A fun tradition. This is also how we found out they were expecting their first child when he added 'baby' at our house :-).

Here is Jake preparing for the job:

My task was to organize the leftover baskets of blocks and pass proper letters to him through the railing. This is a two person operation :-).

Do you have another E for me??

Arranging the blocks neatly in order, adding the two newest grandbabies and updating the year:

Note the convenient spot for Jake's coffee cup :-). This is when you find out things about the construction of the house...the coffee cup does not fit between all of the railings LOL.

Have we got everything correct:

The completed, updated blocks:

We ran out of the letter e so I scrounged around til I came up with Quilt til you Wilt for the sewing room window sill:

That oughta inspire us to quilt in that sewing room :-)!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Blocks together

I got the blocks and setting squares and triangles sewn together tonight. I'm liking the way this is turning out. Now the next decisions on what to do for borders. Someone suggested I do pinwheels to provide cooling breezes for the colours LOL. I really like that idea and will ponder a way to do that. I haven't done anything in the corners yet. I might just leave the quilt in this shape..would be kind of cool and save me deciding what to put in the corners :-).

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Progress on Menopause Quilt

We have some progress on Pat Sloan's UFO challenge for us. I decided to set the blocks with a floral square sashed in navy batik. That looks pretty cool. I'm not sure if I like the arrangement of the blocks yet...I will live with them on the design wall for a few days and see if I rearrange them yet. I figured out the math for the triangles and it worked (at least so far..haven't sewn them together yet, but I'm optimistic :-). I pinned a few first border ideas around the's the orange and pink stripe with polka dots on it:

This is with a navy border aroud the blocks. I find this a little strong?

Here is the navy first with the orange next:

I have to ponder these options for a bit as well. I want to make some kind of pieced border with lots of the bright scraps...I could do a 2 1/2" squares border between navy strips? Or possibly half square triangles?? Or rectangles? Or square in a square blocks with bright squares set on point and navy triangles around them? Lots of delicious ideas to think about :-).

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

L - 1 Widow's Pane

Each week the Dear Jane internet list posts a Block of the Week, or BOW. This week's BOW was L-1 Widow's Pane. There are a couple of corners that don't line up exactly, so I may yet take out one seam and redo it. But, for now it's done! I got this piece of fabric from Carol, one of my fellow London Friendship Quilt Guild members. It's Dutch fabric!

I had to test a Singer 99 handcrank for my husband as he had serviced it so this is the machine I used to paper piece this block. It sewed like a dream!

If you're wondering about hydro on a handcranked machine, Jake installed a light on it :-).

Monday, 15 February 2010

Denise's Good-bye quilt

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild had a get together for one of our members, Denise, who is moving to Nova Scotia. We all secretly made a block using blue and white fabrics and Pat assembled them into this lovely top. It was quilted by Alvin and Heather. It turned out beautifully!! Here is Jessie (left) who hosted the evening and Denise on the right holding up the quilt:

The swan block on the bottom row represents the tundra swans that come through Aylmer every year on their way back down south and the elephant was inspired by the statue of Jumbo that is in St. Thomas.

Pat had an embroidered hanky that we all signed and she used that for the label:

My block was the elephant. My friend Amy suggested Jumbo and I found a pattern online for him. He's actually wrapped up in a blue tarp right now, so the colour's even authentic LOL

Friday, 12 February 2010

Starting a UFO Challenge

Pat Sloan has been inspiring us to get things accomplished. I joined a fun UFO virtual workshop last weekend and finished a complete quilt top over two days as well as other odds and ends that I can't post to my blog yet :-). As part of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, Pat is challenging us to finish a project during the Olympics. We have to post a photo of what we plan to work on and there is a chat list that you can post questions, progress and be cheered on.

I made 12 blocks a number of years ago from a block of the month series called "Ode to Aging". I had a FQ of the daisy fabric in my stash and headed for the quilt shop and came up with these batik FQ's:

I purchased the navy blue batik for the sashings and found several bits and pieces of that same line of fabric at a quilt show. Here's the photo I posted on Pat Sloan's challenge as my starting stash. Now to decide what to do with it :-).

Here are all the blocks finished. I have to decide first if I want to set them on point or straight. I think I'll start with laying them out on the actual bed I'm making the quilt for and see what it looks like. It's a double bed and I have 12 blocks, so on point might be better. I'd like to do a pieced border of little squares or something with the bits and pieces.

I was shopping in a local fabric shop last year and found yardage of that daisy fabric and bought a couple metres to use for the border. When I put the fabric on the counter, the cashier said "Wow, that's bright fabric..what are you going to do with that?" There was a huge lineup behind me, and I got some really strange looks when I told her it was for my menopause quilt! She laughed and figured at least I'd have something to look at while I was awake at night with hot flashes ROFLOL!! More looks from the lineup, but this time I think they were getting a little concerned about my sanity. This shop has one of those 'beeper' things at the door so you can't steal things (don't know the technical term for those LOL). When I grabbed my package and walked out of the door, the beeper reacted. I turned around and looked at the cashier and we both burst out laughing hysterically at the same time. "The menopause fabric is having hot flashes," she laughed. Even the guys in the lineup cracked up over that one.

Onward Ho!! The finish line is Feb. 23rd...can she do it??? I'd like to enter this quilt into our local plowing match show in May so I need to get it finished!

Monday, 1 February 2010

The pile is growing!

I've been piecing several baby quilts lately and my leaders/enders blocks have been taking shape! I sorted out all my four patches and half square triangles and decided to put them all together first before making more four patches.

I now have 62 of these blocks finished. I need 100 to make the quilt top I'm planning. Amazing that a quilt is being pieced while I'm working on other projects :-).