Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Spy With My Little Eye, something that is FINISHED!!

This week I finished TWO I Spy quilts!! Done! Bindings done; labels on; DONE!! Can you tell how happy I am about that?!

One is for our GrandBaby Jocelyn who lives in Florida. When her Daddy was a little boy (keeping in mind that this was before cable tv and computers, and do you understand that I mean THANKFULLY before...) we used to play I Spy With My Little Eye something that begins with the letter.... Well you know how to play the game. I am so hopeful that Chris will play this with Jocelyn, and play it on her quilt. I had so much fun shopping for these fabrics and searching high and low for appropriate pieces.

After making the top for Jocelyn's quilt, I mentioned it to a friend of mine and ended up piecing one for her as well. She is the grammie of a little boy and there were two dozen pieces in J's quilt that couldn't appear in his. The hunt was on once again. As it happened, there were many pieces purchased for his quilt and although it looks similar to J's in construction detail, it is quite a bit different. I love his. I love Jocelyn's as well but the second quilt has some corrections and some details missing from the first. That having been said, both are done and they are wonderful. They were machine quilted in Richmond County CB by Betty Gillan and she did a beautiful job on both. Jocelyn's is quilted in a dragon fly motif and the second quilt is done with a random meander with stars. Great choices!!

Two toddlers will get these for Christmas from two sets of G-parents!! What fun is this!!?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


As I have mentioned before, learing a new technique can be great fun and this was GREAT FUN for sure. In October, with eighty other people, I attended a quilters retreat at the beautiful Liscomb Lodge on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. In my group, there were probably fifteen participants and we were graced with the presence of the brilliant Deb Plestid who taught us her Fractured Landscape technique. Not for everyone. I, however, loved it and cannot wait to do another, in which I will correct the mistakes I made in this first attempt.
Choosing the photo was the first hurdle and although I knew from which collection I was going to choose, it took me some time to settle on this particular one. LB and I were driving home from Florida in March and took the Skyline Trail along the Shanendoah Valley with the expressed purpose of getting some photos from which I could choose one for the the retreat workshop. I believe it was a good choice, offering varieties of color and movement with a bit of drama thrown in for effect. I love the picture and I am quite satisfied with the art quilt.
The technique of producing a fractured landscape is slow and painstaking. Fabric selection and placement are key. Mine is flawed, to be sure, but I know more now than I did that day and I am looking forward to doing a second picture, perhaps from the same collection as this one. I will definitely change my fractures and I would love to do one in a monochromatic color choice. Maybe all reds. As long as the darks, mediums and lights are distinct, I think it would be dramatic to do one in just one color. That is a project for a winter's day...and right now, I am busy with those UFO's that must be completed for Christmas.
Foir myself, I would take any workshop lead by Deb Plestid. She is an accomplished and widely recognized fibre artist and she possesses a wonderful ability to break down the steps of a complicated project and make it doable for the interested quilter. Going on this retreat was a teriffic experience and I can't wait to do it again!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Getting back to work

October is a blurr and here we are in the month before Christmas. In the past four weeks, I taught a workshop, went to a retreat, took a workshop, finished the tops of two I Spy quilts (which are currently at the machine quilter's) and flew across the country to visit our son and his wife in Saskatchewan. In addition to that, life happened and all of the usual things had to be done as well, including dinner guests and evenings out. All this having been said, I am getting back on track and finished two projects in the past few days. Attending a workshop and being a participant was great fun and although I had to leave early due to another engagement, I very much enjoyed the whole experience. The bag I completed is from fabric I bought at a lovely quilt store called Periwinkle Quilting in Saskatoon. It will henceforth be my Sask Bag. I found the fabric to be expensive in that lovely shop, perhaps because of the difference in sales tax between our two provinces. Same thing in Alberta. Nonetheless it is a great store and now I have a tangible memento from the trip.

Our Guild's Christmas challenge this year was to use a Nutcracker fabric in some project with the fabric clearly visible. I love making Christmas pillows as they are a great gift and are fun to make. This little pillow is just the right size to place on a chair and not be in the way. It's about fourteen inches square and has a zipper in the back in case it falls victim to an errant mug of egg nog during the holidays.

My biggest project currently in the mix is catching up with all of the other Guild members in making the first steps in our Mystery Quilt. Mine is done in Christmas fabric simply because it's easy to match the fabrics ... everything goes with Christmas!!! This particular quilt has dozens and dozens and then more dozens of half-square triangles and were it not for Ta-Da's, I never would have undertaken the project. I can do eighty-four HST's in MINUTES and after that, it's just cutting. Thanks to the person who devised those little gems. I was initially sold on Thangles, and I do use them for six or eight or ten HST's, but when it comes to hundreds, I prefer the Ta-Da's. There's nothing to tear off and they provide additional stability along that bias seam. I am using my stash for this quilt and had to buy only one fabric, which is a real bonus and it' good to see that the level of my stash is going down.

For some unknown reason, I have not been able to get a quilt on my frame this fall. That is the next project and perhaps it will happen sooner rather than least I hope so!!