Friday, July 3, 2015

Nesting Bowls - A Finish

Yay, and it's on Friday, so I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.  This was on my Q2 list, but didn't get made in time.

This one is the biggest, a 9" bowl, which means 9" high X 9" wide. It's the only shot that sort of shows the quilting I did in the black lower section: 8 rows of 1/4" wide spaced lines with a line of pebbles and another of ribbon candy.  The ribbon candy is a third eaten up in the boxing of the bottom, with the remainder showing at the very bottom and under the bowl.

Of course Bella came sniffing around, "Something new! Something new!" and so I popped her in to see what she'd do....oh yeah, Bella likes...
She loves these nesting bowls; however her definition of "nesting" is rather different as compared to the name of the pattern.  Purring like a jet engine, she got comfy in her new nest, only to be routed out within half a minute.

She hopped in it once more, this time of her own accord, once I'd finished it.

Sorry Bella, but this is not for you...I don't think... jeez louise the cat has several beds and nests around this house!

Here is what I threw in it for the photo op:

That Stephanie Ryan jellyroll is what I won last Fall...need to do something with it!

Here are the two bowls side by side. One is 9" and the other is 4":
I'm pretty happy with the way the seams and stitching line up

And the inside view:

This biggest bowl takes a 27 3/8 X18 3/8" piece for the lining, and sadly, I didn't have enough of the Jinny Beyer fabric I used for the first bowl.  I do intend to make a middle size, maybe 6", so I'll have enough for that one.  This pink is left over from Summer Scents Mosaic, and it worked great.  Maybe I'll make four more, so I'll have two of each lining.  I like symmetry.

Speaking of "I like" I keep forgetting to say that we enjoyed this delicious recipe, Texas Caviar, on Father's Day when Dayna and her boyfriend came out for dinner.  This was our afternoon appetizer.  I didn't have any black-eyed peas but threw in black beans and added some cilantro.  Yum!
You can find the recipe on Lara's Buzzin' Bumble blog.

Bowl Stats:
Pattern:  Fabric Nesting Bowls from A Cuppa and a Catch Up
Size: 9" and 4" are the two I've made so far, the largest and the smallest
Fabric: black, not Kona, a very very good quality, finely woven black actually purchased for stained glass quilts, oops, from my stash and Timeless Treasures "Fabrics of Soho"
Lining: "Vintage Collection" from Fabricland years ago, and "Coral Reef" by Jinny Beyer scraps from my stash
Batting: Warm 'n Natural scraps as well as Pellon 808
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:Robison-Anton black rayon, Sulky pink rayon, Sulky metallic on the large bowl in the feature panel

I'm also linking this post up with Sarah's Can I Get A Whoop Whoop, and with Julie's Pet Project Show.  Buttons under the tab up top.  Follow the links here to this week's full of inspiration parties.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thankful Thursday #11

As always, there is so very much to be thankful for in my corner of the world.  The first is a quilty item I finished up this morning that I just love:
The bowl is not crooked!
This is one of my goals I didn't quite reach from Q2 FAL.  The Blue Ribbon Star quilt and Brady's movie took precedence.  Oh well, I want to make an entire set of these Fabric Nesting Bowls, a pattern I bought from Nova at A Cuppa and a Catch Up.  It's the smallest one, a 4" bowl.  Let's take a peek inside...

Maybe she's put some biscuits in there
I'd heard clicking of nails and knew someone was coming to investigate, but didn't expect him to stick his nose in right as I took the photo!
Try again:
Great bowl for my fancy metallic threads, which I no longer store in the freezer. Now to keep Bella out of them; she has a thread fetish as you know, both spool and fibre.
I have two more cut out, ready to assemble.  The lining is a chunk left from one of Brianne's quilts, which I'd originally bought for kaleidoscope backgrounds, but have used as a backing as well.  It's Coral Reef by Jinny Beyer from a very long time ago.  I still absolutely love it.  There's not much left now, maybe half a yard.  I did 1/4" quilting lines in Sulky pink rayon and Robison Anton black rayon threads.  The fabric is black Kona, and Timeless Treasures Fabrics of SoHo (bought at this past spring).

As you know I live right on Lake Erie; we have a partial view of it from our patio, and the beach is a 30-second walk down the hill.  I am thankful on a daily basis that I get to gaze on, play and boat in her waters whenever I so choose.  Even though I am an Aries, a fire sign, water soothes my soul, as they say.  The neighbours like to get together from time to time of an evening for a beverage on the beach.  To celebrate Canada Day yesterday, several of us got together.
Although there wasn't much in the way of a beautiful sunset, the water was perfect:  a gentle lap-lapping as we visited.  This freighter was waiting for clearance I imagine, to get into our harbour.  Kingsville has a working harbour which is two blocks from our house to the east of this beach.

If you read my post yesterday, you know a couple of things.  First, that we spent the afternoon at Point Pelee National Park, which had free entry for Canada Day.  I said it was probably my favourite place in Canada, but my husband reminded me of my other favourite, Waterton National Park in Alberta.  So they are pretty much tied, with Jasper National Park coming in a very close second to these two...gosh, I realize that I am so very grateful for our national parks, such wild beauty that should be revered and left in peace with as small a human footprint as possible.

There were two big differences in this trip:  a lot more people than when we were there last September with Brady, and a shocking difference in the point, which is Canada's southernmost mainland point at 41 degrees 41'N.
The point. You know there's a sandbar there because of the low waves flowing out there, but crashing against these rocks.
 Here I am yesterday amongst the rock and cement and driftwood debris:
very strong rather cool westerly winds
And here I am last September with Brady.
easterly wind here, and we are at least 1/8 mile past where I was yesterday
Update: so I Googled the changing point at Point Pelee, and so far haven't come up with anything much to explain it other than the obvious: wind direction, which influences wave direction, which moves sand like you wouldn't believe (I've seen lots of evidence of changing sands at our own beach).  I did find this interesting video, however, so you see just how far Brady and I were compared to where I was yesterday.  (Note, he comments about wondering if he can see Boblo, aka Bois Blanc Island, which is roughly 50 km/30 miles as the crow flies from the point. It's flat here yes, but there happens to be a huge chunk of Essex County beween the point and Boblo, in the Detroit River!  And his comment about the danger of swimming or wading at the point is so true; several tragedies have occurred as the undertows and currents are incredibly strong. Note #2: first time embedding a YouTube video and it worked!  Kewl, as my sister, Linda, would say.  Now if I could get the Feedly button to actually work...)

All that wave-crashing and spray on the west side of the point, and look:
incredibly calm with blues and green to delight my eyes
I have to say, with a huge sigh, that I am grateful for another aspect of lake living: fishflies.  Shiver.
About 2" in length, they can't fly well, do not bite, just stink
Although these little buggers insects are putrid to the point of invoking nausea from most of us who live here, and snap! crackle! pop! just like bubble wrap when you step on them, which, you will see you have no choice but to do, they are an indication that, with the numbers (billions) we have seen, especially this year, Lake Erie is getting healthier and healthier.  She was used, as so many of our bodies of water are on this planet, as a dumping ground.
What we have woken up to for the past two weeks. Yes they are higher-than-the-curb thick under the streetlight and they reek to high heaven of dead fish
They are attracted to the lights because they fly up towards the moon and mate and the larvae fall back down to earth.  They are also known as Junebugs, since they are only around in June.  It's revolting, and I'm glad it's over. It's like magic how they disappear, none out there today, and MacGyver thinks he can powerwash tomorrow and reclaim our cement areas.  I am thankful for our powerwasher!

The second thing you know from my post yesterday is that I had two choices for Cheryl's mystery quilt along.  I am so thankful to those of you who gave advice, and so I have made my final decision:

Thanks to Shelley, I swapped the order, but I've had to add in the cream with gold cat fabric as I don't have enough of the taupe/cream.  Let me know what you think of this; I'm a bit concerned it might be too much of a jump in tone.  And thanks to Yvonne, I've now used the green I had originally placed with the more Christmas run of fabrics.  The majority said they preferred my #1 choice, so bring on part 1!  I'm ready.

Linking up with Yvonne's Quilty Thankful Thursday (oh no! after writing all this, and hopping over to link up, I see she is discontinuing it... I understand why.  However, I will still do these gratitude posts from time to time; it's who I am. :-)  There is a lot in this messed-up world to be thankful for, really.  I still think they should let quilters have an input into the running of countries.  We know all too well, that no matter what colour the quilt is, the innards are the same: batting and thread with a backing.  We know that there are many fabric companies, so who cares which one it is, the fibres are the same: cottons woven to make our diverse, yet gorgeous in their own way fabrics that add beauty to our world.  Hope you get my metaphor.  :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fabric Pull for Mystery Quilt

I've done a couple of mystery quilts in the past, but these were only through my guild.  I've never done an online one.  I know Cheryl's quilt from last year's mystery was a great success, so I thought I'd jump in with this year's.  Besides, she is one of our hive mamas in the New Bloggers Hop.

The other day on my walk with Rocco, I thought I had it figured out as to what colour scheme I wanted, based on a bag I adore that a good friend of mine made me years ago:  yellow and red.  I could add in white...and...hmm, pale green?  grey?  maybe pink?  That was a stumbling block, but I would figure it out.


So after mucking around in my stash--SO much fun! That in and of itself is so very very therapeutic for me; I love to pet and fondle fabric--here is one of two choices I have.
Choice #1 (and the one I'm leaning toward)

Love that red and yellow combo idea I had right?  Sigh... These are in order from fabric A, the ivory, to Fabric D, the green.  I have a most ample stash.  However, when it comes to pulling fabric, it seems I never have quite the right amount.  (yellow, case in point) This mystery requires yardage from 1 yard to 2 1/8 yards, so the green here is the only one I had enough of.  It is the one I'd bought with a backing in mind and ended up using it in Summer Scents Mosaic.

Choice #2

The gorgeous, oh-it-would-fabulous-as-a-kaleidoscope-quilt fabric as well as the red, is by Jason Yenter, bought last year from Fat Quarter Stash on sale.  Just thinking about cutting this one up into potentially small pieces is making me feel a hotflash coming on.  I used it in the blue and green colourway as lining and a strap in my yoga mat bag, and love it.

So which one?  I keep chopping and changing, one minute yep, use up the cat fabric and the paisley, as it's hung around for more than 5 years.  Then I think, but ooh a Christmas quilt...

Thoughts most welcome.

Rocco and I walked up to Pelee Island Winery (pronounced pee-lee) on Monday, a 2 km each-way jaunt. 

Maybe I was influenced in my final (well almost final) colour selection by the red roses and the greenery...
the vines with their fresh leaves and baby grapes...

The main vineyards are on the island, about 30 km/ 18 miles from Kingsville out in Lake Erie.

Happy Canada Day! Speaking of all things Pelee, we are heading out to Point Pelee National Park this afternoon, probably my favourite place in Canada, a place I first fell in love with on my honeymoon when my husband brought me down here for a 3-week visit to his place of birth.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social. Lee is taking WIP off this week because of the US birthday on July 4.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blue Ribbon Stars

She's done! And just in the nick of time for the Q2 FAL with Adrianne at On the Windy Side.  This was #6, a bit of a mystery project, a secret, on my list.  I had in mind a star quilt out of one of Pam & Nicky Lintott's jellyroll books.  But then I designed a quilt for H2H, and then, I thought, what if I make it a bigger block and use this for the blue secret quilt?

There were definitely some quilting pains along the way, but you wouldn't know it to look at these photos.  Here is the flimsy post.
Lots of texture, even with Warm 'n Natural, a flat batting
I laid it down by the patio doors in the sun to see the texture, and that was when I knew I just had to get it outside in the late afternoon sun for photos.

I hopped in the SUV, and zipped up the street to the Kingswood Inn, a historic stately home built in 1859 by the man for whom Kingsville is named.  I knew the quilt would look good on the old stone wall.

 I'm so glad I did; within 10 minutes of me getting back home, the sun had gone in behind clouds. 
So happy with the way the feathers turned out
I knew I wanted swirls to contrast with all the angles, but I had some issues with them.  I don't think they're circular enough for one, I can't seem to echo evenly for another, and I was having troubles overlapping them because I wanted these fairly large.  I also tried doing what Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts has done in a few of her beautiful recent quilts: putting a ring of pebbles in the swirl which makes me think of bracelets.  She calls it Bubble Swirl.  Doing the pebbles was one of my meltdown moments. They didn't seem round enough or right enough.  However, from a few feet away, they are looking okay methinks.  Once this baby is washed up and crinkly, I think they'll look even better.

In the centre of the quilt I decided to emphasize the woven effect I was going for by flipping the ribbon blocks.  So I did the same FMQ designs I'd done in those vertical ribbon blocks, straight lines and ribbon candy.  I then flowed it into more swirls.  I think it turned out pretty cool.

There are six stars; I did three designs, two of each.
This is a design of Judi Madsen's; I did a flowing feather centre
Angela Walters' Dot to Dot designs, the centre from her Craftsy class, the star points from Shape by Shape book
The above star shows the quilting I did in the top and bottom row of stars, a kind of radiating idea I had.  Originally I wanted the small swirls to flow into the larger ones, but it just didn't look right.
More of Angela's designs, love the spiraling square
The back
Funny, you don't see the piecing of the main backing here! There were several joins.  I pressed almost every seam open, so maybe that is the ticket.  I didn't quite have enough but that worked out perfectly because then I could piece in a label with some odds and ends from the front.  I am a huge proponent of labelling quilts with lots of information, and of making the label, if at all possible, an integral part of your backing.  Tutorial on that here.  And here is a shot of the backing once I had it all pieced before layering:

Those labels came from my Auntie Phyl.  She is a seamstress extraordinaire, and I mean that to its full extent.  She has always liked quilts, but never got into it.  She reads my blog.

Here is the label...drum by now, Auntie Phyl, you understand that this quilt is going to be winging its way to you in the very near future!  She had a very auspicious birthday back in December, which I missed (insert embarrassed and sad face here).
Her initials, hidden in the quilt
Mine are in there too.  I like to do that; it's a way of proving ownership of a quilt, and a secret touch for the person to whom it is gifted.  Sometimes I tell them, sometimes I don't and let them find it themselves.
Do you see who was curiously watching the entire photo shoot?
She's still peeking...look at the cluster of trees to the left of the rolled up quilt.
Once the quilt is washed, I'll post a photo.
One last breezy shot
Quilt Stats
Pattern:  original design
Size:  60"X64.5"post-quilting, but pre-washing
Fabric:  from my stash and from my scraps
Backing: Hill Country Spring by Sentimental Studios for Moda, purchased this spring at Fat Quarter Shop
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads:  Sulky 40 wt rayon for the feathers, So Fine #401 for all the background, and a new-to-me-but-I'm-so-in-love-with-it thread, Gutermann 40 wt variegated 100% cotton for all the stars and ribbon blocks
I didn't do very well this quarter, but there were some other unexpected makes: the Pyramid Pouch for Moda Bakeshop, and the Grande Scrappy Tiles pattern I tested for Cheryl.

Linking up with
Show and Tell Tuesday

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Stash Share

I know, I know, it's supposed to be computer-free Sunday in my world, but I haven't posted since Tuesday, and I do have a purchase from a Canadian, no less, quilt store, to share, as well as my (somewhat limited) progress on the star quilt.  And it's morning somewhere...maybe Hawaii?!

After hearing good things about Sew Sisters from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, I signed up for their newsletter.  Well, two months later, I made my first purchase.  They have a special on right now until July 1 or while supplies last, on the charm pack, Oh Canada! from Stonehenge for $5.  Um, that's amazing, even in the US, but for Canada?  Pretty much unheard of.  So, of course, I couldn't just order a charm pack and pay another $5 to ship it; I had to add something, right?  And I do not have a patriotic quilt...yet.  Gasp.

So I went to their sale section, where fabric is $7.99/metre.  That works out to $7.38/yard.  Translate our CA$ to the US$ at the current rate of approximately 25% and you get $5.90 US/yard, decent, especially for Canada.  I was looking for backings, and did a whoop! whoop! when I found the cows fabric, "Farm Chic" by Wyndham Fabrics.  It's been a while (like 3 months) since I paper-pieced another cow, but have no fear, the 3 cows I have so far gaze/graze contentedly at me from my design wall, and yes, I am adding to the herd very soon, following the colour of the month at So Scrappy.  This was a good score, so I bought 4 metres, aiming for a roughly 60" or so quilt for my aunt.

The "Purses Galore" fabric from Michael Miller was another I bought with a bag in mind, be it makeup, or lunch, graball, what-have-you, probably for my daughters.  Girls can never have too many bags, and makeup bags are right at the top of the list in their worlds.  It was also in the sale section; I got the minimum 1 metre.

Shipping was $8.99, which I thought wasn't bad for Canada.  Had it been, I'd have got my shipping free, since they ship free for orders over $35.

I have a post coming with more price comparisons, just have to sit down and write it.  I have spent hours and hours on the computer over the past few days, working on my grandson's movie from his trip here last September, and I'm so close to having it ready to burn to DVD...which means it could still be another couple of hours' work.  Disappearing soundtrack credits was the last glitch, and I'm hoping I can fix that somehow in iDVD.  Anyhow, long convoluted and frustrating story (I need to make more iMovies so I remember how to work the damn programme from year to year and update to update, lol; ya I'll get right on that) but the movies I've made for him are, if I do say so myself, freaking fantabulous, and he and Brianne watch them over and over.  Heck, I myself have rewatched them more than a couple of times!

So the Blue Ribbon Star quilt (what do you think of that name?) is progressing slowly because of me being an airhead and not adjusting the tension when I switch from a near-empty bobbin to a brand new full one, or forgetting, or plain just not paying attention to, what direction the feathers are going on the outer borders...
feathers along the top edge, a design I pinned on Pinterest
I am having trouble, well was--I think I have a handle on it now--with the background.  More when I show you the finished quilt, and I'll explain.  I am also having a long-fought battle, which I am losing, with two very bad "bobbles" as I quilt.  I am positive it has to do with where the table sections join, but the machine is like possessed, and grabs, or takes a hard left kind of thing, and (insert very bad word) there goes my petal, or feather or swoop or what-have-you.  It also is not quite level at the left end; the carriage slides towards me and to the left, so that should be an easy fix to level the table, but this bobble is driving me literally to tears.  Any thoughts are most welcome.  I have gone on the HandiQuilter troubleshooting, and googled "bobble in my Avante" (bahaha and that got me some car chassis and track info and YouTube video!!)

Here are two of the six stars' designs:
Angela Walters again--ha! not planned but it's visible on her book cover you can see here
Lots of ruler work, which is good for me.  I know I don't spend enough time with Avril; hope to experiment this coming week with some scheduling ideas I've got.
Thanks to Judi and Judy here: Judi Madsen for her design, which Judy at Quilt Paradigm sent me
I shall persevere!
Linking up to the effervescent Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash, whose post, interestingly, is about rulers among other things, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Bloggers Hop Week 2

There is another round of lovely blogs to check out for you this week.  Don't forget the prizes (another round of them too, that are up for grabs this week as well.

My hive,
Erin at Twin Mom Quilts
Anja at Anja Quilts
Carrie at Chopping Block Quilts
Adrian at Quilting Fabulous

If you hop over to one of our four hive mamas, then you will see the other bloggers in this week's hop:
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl
Teri at Childlike Fascination
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
at my hive mama's, for today (Tuesday) you will find some cool Tips and Tutorials!
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter

Remember there are some great prizes to be had!

In random news in my world, the quilt back is pieced, well, nearly.  We've had an eventful last 12 hours, beginning with quite the storm, so bad that Point Pelee National Park is closed today as they deal with downed trees and still a power outage.  Our power was out from 2:30-8 am, which I would like to say is why I am only finally getting this post up but that is not true...  Our dogs are now terrified of storms as of this winter when a smoke detector in our Florida home suddenly went off and we could not get it to stop, and it's hard-wired in...the dogs went totally to pieces, trembling useless blobs of fur, poor babies. I know how much that sound hurts my ears, so I can't imagine how it must feel to a dog's sensitive ears....and it went off again a few days later...and then a few weeks later, Naala came running into my sewing room, belly low, ears back, shaking like a leaf, and I realized why: my husband was watching a video on YouTube that had some high-pitched "beeps" on it, and she thought the alarm was going to go off again. Poor poor baby.  Of course, with the power out, our alarm here, which is also hard-wired in, was chirping every hour or so, which sent Naala to the edge.
She's spent most of the day pressed into this corner of the living area, a place she never lies
Rocco jumped in bed with us, yep, big 65-pound raging pitbull that he is....NOT...and would NOT get out.  Sigh. So we let him stay, safe between us, Naala pressed against the bed so my husband could reassure her, but she stayed on her bed.  Not a lot of sleep was had by anyone for most of the rest of the night.

I had a much-needed pedicure appointment this morning which we all walked to. It turned out to be a lovely day, and I love the sparkly blue turquoise toenails I now have!  I took Rocco down to the beach when I got home and he had a wonderful romp and swim.
Swimming out for the tennis ball...

...and back
We disturbed a Great Blue Heron and some turkey buzzards feeding on some dead fish...which, sigh, Rocco found, and started to roll in to douse himself with their "delicious" scent.  No wonder Bella thinks he is a revolting canine!  Unfortunately for him, he got doused with the garden hose and then taken into the shower and shampooed and rinsed off.

Last night on my drive to yoga in Amherstburg, where I always see the swans on Creekside Road, (remember the photo of the two embracing?), I saw this big guy
The creek is always bluer on the other side of the road...

I've never seen one this big in Canada, maybe in Florida! Apparently there are lots twice his size here, and he was about 10" across his shell.
He pulled in his head and started to turn around so I quick went behind him so he'd keep going to that bluer creek on the other side of the road.  I'm pretty sure he's a map turtle, from zooming in on his algae(?) covered shell. There was a recent wonderful story about saving one who got run over by a car and had his shell cracked.  Love this guy's fat prehistoric front flippers, and he sure has a long tail!

Now to actually get down to sewing today!