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

Off line & off grid in the Yukon

Have we been here nearly a month already? Hard to believe!

This morning I’m sitting up in bed at my in-law’s house in Carcross where we spent the night after celebrating Mr. C’s birthday. Happy Birthday, my beloved!

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We’ll get back to the cabin sometime this afternoon, not too late. So far, my trips to town have been few and far between. And thats okay. Town trips are mainly to run errands and grab a few minutes of internet. I mean it about the few minutes, too…only one hour per day is allowed at the library.  And so, I haven’t opened Facebook in a couple of weeks, nor answered very many email notes. My online life totally neglected at the moment, but honestly, not really missed.

 

imageI’ve been writing (almost) every day for a couple of hours. I’m thick in the middle of novel rewrites. I’ve also been doing a lot of critiquing & beta reading for the writing groups I belong to. I feel as though the learning curve has steepened again, and it’s really wonderful. Writing is something of an emotional roller coaster … One thing I can say, now, is that I’m finally starting to feel like a writer. If that makes any sense. Maybe someday I’ll also be an author, lol!

imageI’ve also been out on the deck nearly every day doing an hour of yoga in the sunshine. And managing to keep up with the Splendid Sampler quilt blocks, for the most part, too. Now that’s a miracle, to be sure!

imageDont be shy…drop on by. There’s beer in the fridge and the kettle’s always on! Thanks to Bill and Heather for the visit the other day and these wonderful photos.

 

Following the Lilacs North

The Collins’ are back in the Land of the Midnight Sun!

This year I brought a knitting project with me to keep my hands occupied when it wasn’t my turn to drive…quite a feat with this guy on my lap.

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Four days later:

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Last year we followed the unfurling leaves north, but this year we left a couple of weeks later, and so it was the lilacs we followed. Back home in Salmon Arm the lilacs were long finished, but by the time we got to Smithers, two easy days of driving, they were in full glory and I got to enjoy them again. Now, here in Whitehorse, the buds are all closed up tight.  I look forward to enjoying their sweet-spicy aroma for a third time at the end of June.

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We didn’t miss the arrival of the Yukon spring entirely, though…we got here just in time to see the last of the leaves unfurl on the shores of Fox Lake.

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Let the summer begin!