catching up

I’ve written so many blog posts in my mind over the last several weeks. Sadly, none of them have made the (sometimes torturous) journey from my head to my fingertips and onto the keyboard.

So while I’m sorting it all out, and just to let you know that I’m still here, I’ll post a little update from the sewing room.

I finally finished The Friendship Garden quilt!

022All that’s left is sewing on the label.

006Goodness, I didn’t know if I would ever finish this quilt! It just kept demanding more and more. It was ridiculous! I’m only going to give you a brief glimpse here. This quilt has an interesting story but it hasn’t had it’s photo shoot yet. And you know me…a quilt isn’t truly finished until it’s had its picture properly taken, lol! So sorry…you’ll just have to wait for it.

011Last September I started taking a class at my local quilt shop (Threads & Paper in Salmon Arm). The class is called A Quilter’s Garden. It is a beginners machine applique class. Let me stress beginners! It’s perfect for me. Exactly what I need, considering that I am still learning how to use my new sewing machine with all its various stitches and features.

012Each block introduces a different skill, such as couching, and sewing on buttons with the button foot. Sadly, I cannot seem to master the button foot.  Consequently, I’ve been sewing on all the buttons by hand. sigh.

014And the couching. Well okay. I admit that my first try at couching was a complete and absolute bust. In fact, I was so nervous to try it that I didn’t even try!  that’s how much of a bust it was! Instead, I decided to totally redesign the block. Completely. This block (below) isn’t even close to the pattern that we were given.  But I love it!

016Did you notice the sweet little diamond buttons eyes? They make me so happy!

017Of course, I like to do things my own way, so haven’t exactly been following the patterns. I’ve kind of carried on doing my own thing..

018For instance, there aren’t any birds in any of the original patterns. None!  Now, I don’t know why, but I really wanted some birds in there! This quilt just begs for birds, don’t you think?

019They’re so tweet!

And yes, I finally did attempt the couching (above). 🙂

A woeful, sewful tale

I’ve been doing the Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion mystery quilt. “What is that?” asks my non-quilty friend. Bonnie Hunter is a master quilter with many books etc under her … Er…seam ripper. Every year in December & January she hosts a mystery where a clue is posted each week. Each clue is a piece of the quilt that you make. Nothing is left to chance. She even gives you paint chip numbers so you can match your colours accurately. Bonnie Hunter is the absolute queen of scrappy.

I love scrappy. Love love love scrappy quilts. I also try to challenge myself with each new project. And, Bonnie’s quilts are challenging. So it seemed like a match made in heaven.

I made clue number one:

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280 broken dish units. Two Hundred. and Eighty.

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Loved ’em!
Then I made clue number two:

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There are 100 (One Hundred) of these whatever-you-call-em units. 600 pieces/800 seams. Wozers! It took me, like, for-ever, but I did it! Now I am really pumped about the mystery quilt! It’s going to be fabulous! It’s going to be a big quilt, too…over 80″ square. I can’t wait! I love the scrappy turquoise and the scrappy pinks together. Love the pops of yellow and black.

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But…I am waaaay behind. Clue number 5 was posted last week. I’m running out of time! I’ve got to get caught up! I get up this morning totally pumped to sew up clue number 3. Maybe even clue number 4 if I really fly at it and work hard.

I turn on my computer before I’ve even had my coffee.

Eee gads! Today the mystery quilt is revealed! Spoiler alert, spoiler alert! Argh, I looked! I couldn’t help myself.

I don’t like it. At all.

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For the first time ever, I am looking at a Bonnie Hunter quilt that I don’t like. To me it looks like a hot scrappy mess. And it is the one I am making.

I don’t know what to do. Finish it anyway? Take the blocks I’ve already made (and that I like so far) and make something different?

Honestly, I think I’m going to go have a good bawl now.

(Please, Bonnie, don’t be reading this. I love you to pieces, I really do. But just not this particular quilt)

Sob

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In the Spirit of Play (or how I spent my April allowance)

Last January I posted my about word for the year: PLAY!

So, in the spirit of that resolution, I spent almost my entire April allowance on playful inspiration: books!

013I want to knit something bigger than a sock or a hat, but I know myself…I will make the front of something, or a sleeve, and then put the project away. Why? Because I just hate sewing the seams. I actually have an entire knitted sweater – front, back and two sleeves sitting in my basket. It’s been sitting in my basket since…um…gah! I am embarrassed to say it: about 1998. Needless to say, it no longer fits. But the yarn is good! It was expensive! So I’m in the process of unraveling the entire thing so that I can make something lovely with it. Knitted tops with no side seams! Yay!

012Prairie Children and their Quilts because I love anything to do with history and story-telling, and I’ve also become fascinated with miniature quilts. AND Mastering Quilt Marking because I want to expand my hand quilting beyond using purchased templates. I’d love to quilt some of the beautiful, intricate feathers & fans etc. I have the skill to do the hand quilting, but lack the technique of how to get the markings onto the quilt top. Maybe I can practice on a miniature quilt! Boo yah!

014Bread from Sourdough to Rye because I’ve been given the wonderful gift of heritage Yukon sourdough starter (read all about it here – it’s a cool story!) and I’ve been experimenting with baking bread. This book also has breads from all over the world, from challah to chapatti! And The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair because I follow her blog, which is all about yummy Asian-style cooking. (And Jaden is also a quilter, so duh….)

015And then BONUS! Look what my extraordinarily fabulous son of mine sent me for Mother’s Day!

All the indoor rainy-day bases are covered! Over the next couple of months I’ll be saving my allowance for outside play…new hiking boots and a day pack.

A spending allowance is built into our retirement budget.. I’ll post about it soon!

How did you spend your allowance last month?