Thursday, March 31, 2016

Some more quilts for refugees

I am happy to say that I finished two more quilts for refugees moving to the Ottawa area. This first one was actually basted for three years!! I just hated the idea of quilting something so big, but I guess I have been doing more of that now lol. This was a tutorial from In Color Order.

I am glad to finally have this one done, and for a great cause too, win win!

This next one is also a finish for the finish-a-long first quarter, and I rushed to get it finished at the end! This is my Round and Round quilt.

I do so love this one and will probably make another one some day. It is based off a pattern by Thimble Blossoms but I wanted to use just one charm pack. I thought the spiral quilting worked perfectly for this!

I'll be back next week with my list for the next quarter, hopefully I will be able to finish more lol!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A thoughtful post

Just a bit of me rambling on about perspective... I will intersperse with photos for fun :)

I am, by nature, an extremely shy person who is not comfortable in person with many people. But I discovered when I first worked retail when I was younger that I love doing it, I love the interactions with people. Sure you get sore feet and sometimes people are mean and you work when your friends are generally off, but I love it!

My first #quiltforrefugees finished
When I worked in clothing retail I helped people feel better about themselves by helping them find clothes that fit and were flattering... everyone needs an ego boost and they are free to give :)

When I worked at Starbucks I helped set the mood of people's days. Just like Norm in Cheers, I always knew their name, knew their drinks, knew what was going on in their lives, and they knew I would always have a smile for them.

Then I went to school to get a "real job" and became a paralegal. I like the law, it interests me, but it isn't a passion. I am often encouraged to go back to school and become a lawyer, but no thanks, not for me. I don't seek being the top of the heap, that's for other people, I am good where I am.

the second top I pieced for Libs
I am back working retail again, although only part time sadly. And I am thrilled!! I love being back in it and talking to people and helping them out. Recently I had a sweet customer who was making her second ever quilt for her sweet 96 year old grandma who had just moved into a home. She chose a really fun HST pattern with a large heart in the centre. She wanted to have the quilt done for Easter to give it to her Grandma. When she had the top done she brought it in and showed me and picked out a backing and binding. You could just tell how important it was for her to make this for her Grandma. At out guild meeting on Monday she sought me out and let me know that she had gotten a call from her Mom that her Grandma had taken a turn for the worse. She raced around finishing the quilt, binding it at super speed and managed to bring it to her Grandma ten hours before she passed. I cannot tell you how incredibly glad I was that I had been a small part of this gift of love. It's the kind of thing that I was able to be a part simply because I work retail.

a mug rug I made for a swap
You see, when someone talks about someone working in retail it often is coming from a negative place. But I honestly love being able to do it and consider myself lucky.

Thanks for listening to my little tale LOL.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I have been pretty busy lately working on some projects for a few different people. First up, I have been piecing two quilt tops for Libs Elliott. It works out great because I love her patterns and I am getting paid, so pretty much the perfect deal lol. This first one is her new design Cloud Chamber. (before you ask, that is a glass ball that hangs from my kitchen door way, and my design wall is in the hallway beside the kitchen)

Luckily Libs sent all the fabric cut as she has a fabric cutter, because that would have been crazy by hand!

I am about halfway through the second one and hope to send them both to her by next week.

In addition, a guild member started a group for making quilts to donate to the influx of refugees coming to Ottawa. This is something close to my heart so I immediately jumped in.

These blocks will be made in to a quilt for a couple moving near Ottawa, several of us made log cabins and they will be assembled by my friend Laura.

I then grabbed a whole bunch of bright FQs and some low volumes and made this quilt top.

And then I dug through my piles and found these blocks from a few years ago that for some reason I never put together. They were from a bee and I love how fun they are! This will be for a child and I think it is so happy looking! (and yes, now that they are together I have a sudden desire to make a whole bunch more LOL)

I have at least one more planned and then we will see if I have time to make more.

In the midst of all of that I woke up this morning wanting to make something for me. Sometimes you just need to give in, so I made myself the double zip wallet from Anna Graham's book, Handmade Style. I used some long coveted fabric from Aunty Cookie, an Australian designer who has sadly since given it up. I did have a bit of a struggle with the instructions but my friend Julie helped through texts and phone calls and it worked out great!

I did add extra card pockets in case you have the pattern and are wondering,

So that has been (some) of what I have been up to!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Capital Swap

My Modern Quilt Guild decided to swap with the Washington DC Modern Guild as the two national capitals. My partner was #sewtogetherphyliss and she wanted something with cherry blossoms. (The ideas was to make something about that person's capital city, not about our own, a little confusing)

I decided (on my third go around) to try trapunto for the first time... I chose to do the letters reading Washington in a subway sort of style. I printed the letters off, copied them to freezer paper, ironed that to my fabric and then outlined with my Frixion pen.

Then I added two layers of wool batting and sewed the letter outlines with a 1.5 reduced stitch.

After that I carefully cut away all the excess batting leaving only the letter outlines.

As I am sure you can imagine, this was not the quickest mini I have ever done LOL! Then I added another layer of wool batting, machine appliqued my branches on, hand appliqued three different sizes of cherry blossoms and hand embroidered the stamens.

And finally the finished quilt! It ended up at about 20" x 20".

The only thing that bothered me was that I wasn't able to "pop" the perle cotton stamen knots through the back fabric so there are little clusters of dark brown knots on the back, If anyone knows of a secret let me know for next time :)

*edit* I forgot to add that this is one of my goals for the 2016 first quarter finish-a-long! Although I did change some details midway.