Finally, a quilt for the cabin: Garden Party by Blackbird Designs

I finished this quilt just in time to give it a good test drive during a short camping trip to Jasper National Park last week!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

It’s so much fun having a quilt to photograph when you’re camping!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

This particular project was a “Shop your Stash” challenge quilt hosted by the Good Time Quilters, one of the guilds I belong to.

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

We paid for the pattern, sight unseen last fall, then had the rest of the year to make something using the pattern as inspiration. The only caveat? You had to shop your stash. And did I ever!

sept-2016-017The pattern is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. It’s a combination of piecing and applique, with little 3-D flower centers.

And, because I always try to learn something new with every project, I decided this quilt was a good opportunity to try out the quilt as you go method.  This allowed me to use up a whole lot of those small pieces of batting that are too big to throw away (because batting is so damned expensive!) but too small to back anything larger than a place mat. I’m not 100% sold on the method, but at least I’ve tried it. 🙂

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The backing is made up of miscellaneous bits and pieces of green & brown fabrics. What I’d call my ugly fabrics.

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Including this interesting piece:

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Mr. C. actually likes the back better than the front.  I guess there’s no accounting for taste, lol.

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It’s quilted free-motion style on my little Janome 2030 in what’s called the stipple pattern .

Folks, this was my very first attempt ever (ever!) doing free-motion quilting, and I’m pretty darned proud of myself. I didn’t quilt inside the flowers…as a result, they’ve puffed up a bit. I like the effect.

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And you know what? It’s 100% made from my stash. I didn’t buy a single new thing to make this quilt. 🙂 This makes my thrifty heart do a happy dance!

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It’s destiny is to live at our cabin at Fox Lake, in the Yukon, where I plan to spend chilly visits snuggled up in front of the fire for years to come. If you come visit, I’ll share a quilt corner with you.  But you might have to fight Mr. C. for it…

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita's quilts

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita’s quilts

Posted in applique, Blog Categories, Camping, Quilting, Quilts, Travel, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On the Needles: Knitting lace on the Snaring River

Mr. C and I went camping in Jasper National Park this week, where we discovered the Snaring River campground. 


The perfect place to plant my chair and listen to the rushing water, clicking needles and my own thoughts for a few hours.


Paradise! 

Posted in Blog Categories, Camping, Knitting | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Disappearing 9-patch Quilt for my Aunt Margy (or Cuzco in the springtime)

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I wanted to make a quilt for my aunt, who has always been a very special person in my life. But time passes and things don’t get done and you know how it goes. (sigh)

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So one day last spring I was sorting my sewing room and I came upon an unfinished quilt top. It’s one I started way back when. Before I had (mostly) mastered the art of matching corners, lol.

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I’m not sure why I put it away and didn’t finish it. I think maybe I felt (at the time) that the colours were too bright, or maybe I didn’t like using grey for the background neutral. I really have no idea.

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Anyway, it was spring when I pulled it out and all the spring flowers were in full bloom. I carried it out and took some pictures with the tulips. And oh my gosh…the quilt just sang!

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Suddenly, every spring colour just jumped out at me, and I realized that every single colour was in the quilt. It screamed Spring!

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That’s one of the things I love about Kate Spain’s fabrics. She really captures the colours in nature.  🙂

020I looked at the grey background and thought of the soft spring rain that comes and melts all the snow, and makes the flowers bloom.

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And I thought to myself, this quilt belongs to my aunt, whose favourite season just happens to be spring.

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Mine, too!

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This is a lap-sized quilt made from the Cuzco collection by Kate Spain. The backing is cream flannel and it was hand quilted in a clam shell pattern. I didn’t wash and dry it before I sent it, but when she does, it will shrink a wee bit and pull around the stitches, creating that wonderful crinkly look that makes a quilt so soft and snuggly.

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Posted in Colours, fabric, Hand Quilting, Quilting, Quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shorts! A thrifty refashion

As you may have figured out, I love experimenting with non-traditional fabric choices, and I love a good thrift store find.

I found these goddess-sized stretchy jeans at the thrift store for $1.50. They didn’t look like they’d ever been worn. I loved the yoga-style waistband. Well, I could use an extra pair of shorts, so home they came.

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First I cut off the waistband and set it aside. Then I used my handy Christie Brinkley shorts pattern as a template. I had to fudge a bit here and there, but I made it work.

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Finally, I cut down the yoga waistband to fit the new shorts and sewed it on.

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I have enough fabric left over from the lower legs to make a skirt.  Another day, though…right now it’s too hot to sew.

 

 

Posted in Creativity, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, sewing, Thrifty | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

“At that time of night, the only traffic consisted of trucks filled with bodies and detainees, and police cars that roamed the streets like lost wolves howling in the darkness of the curfew.”

That sentence was written by Isabel Allende, and can be found at the bottom of page 442 in her 1985 novel, The House of the Spirits.

I honestly think this may be one of the most perfect sentences ever written.

You don’t need to know what the book is about to feel the fear and despair in these words.

I won’t do a book review on The House of the Spirits because there are so many on the internet already.  I will tell you, though, that I’ll probably read it again someday.

What’s on your nightstand?

p442 IsabelAllende

Posted in Books, Writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Highway Knitting

We’re home!

We got home last night after what felt like a (relatively) short drive. The trip that usually takes three nights only took two this time. That’s because instead of driving the entire Alaska Highway, we cut a loop off by taking the Stewart-Cassiar. It’s a full half-day shorter, cutting one night out of the journey. What a difference!  Continue reading

Posted in garden, Knitting, Summer, Whitehorse, yarn | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments