Wednesday 29 June 2016

Counting on little pieces

After finishing all the 365 Challenge blocks for the month of April, I took a break from it for a little bit. Just long enough to have some fun hauling logs for my cabin, lol.

It's nice to change the pace with a different project every now and again. Now that I am refreshed, I am back with the challenge and started a new month.

May started beautifully with a basket (36 pieces)

Silver Maple (24 pieces)

Ladies Aid (20 pieces) not in love with my choice of fabrics here, but it might stay.

London Roads (29 pieces)

Rhode Island (33 pieces)

Country Farm (28 pieces)

Swamp Angel (25 pieces)
Ooops! Not this one. This is my own creation. lol

This is the real Swamp Angel with a "swamp" in the middle. :^D

The first week of May is done. I used a total of 195 pieces to make 7 blocks.  They aren't that complicated to do but they do consume a lot of time. Still, I love this project and don't regret starting it.

Since we started with little 3.5 inches blocks back in January, the container I chose to house the little blocks is not very big.

It was 3/4 full and I had to do something.  Something like this.

Oh! I like it! I didn't follow the original layout as it takes forever to locate each block and beside, I didn't want two same fabrics too close to each other. So ... Ta-Da!

This one strangely looks like the "Westering Women" Block for June which I'll be sewing today along with this adorable little (6.5) one.

All prepped and waiting for me to sit and sew. I was counting on the little pieces left over from the blocks made this week to complete this one named  Flower Garden Path block.

Until next time...

Joining Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.



Saturday 25 June 2016

Sewing Session Adventure

Last weekend, I was all set to do some major hexies sewing on my Quilt of the Century. Only two more diamonds to attach and another row would have been completed. But it was not meant to be.

Brought all my sewing goods on to the deck, had a big mug of coffee with me and sat under the big umbrella, ready to spend half day right there. Hubby came by, to talk about this and that, then he hushed and pointed at the deck. At that point, I heard it too. What was that noise?

The reason I don't feed the birds in the summer, is for fear of attracting the "wrong" kind of company. We have a chipmunk living in the flower bed and I thought he got himself a little girlfriend and they were frolicking under the deck. While I was cleaning the deck at the beginning of the month, Hubby did some repairs on one side. The noise was coming from that side and suddenly, the sound turned to something like whimper. Could it have hurt itself on something? Curious as I am, I wanted to see what was going on. The flashlight came out and we tried to see, between the boards, who was underneath. It was black and white. SKUNK!

Boy, did we scatter out of there, lol. Since the deck goes all the way to the ground, it is hard to see underneath it. At one point, we saw a little black face poke out. It's just a baby, I said. It won't spray, it's too young. Okay, but where is Mommy?? Mommies can spray and they are very protective too!

Cute little black face came out from its hiding place. It was about the size of a 4-6 weeks old kitten. It could fit in my hand, if I had dared grab it. Then Hubby said there's another one here! pointing at the other side of the deck! Oh! MY! How many are there??!!


Well, there was two little black faces.  Still no Mommy to be found. While I was chasing after these two with the camera, in two different directions, Hubby kept watch for the mother.
One of the wee one returned under the deck. DARN!!

That's how my sewing session was interrupted. With a baby skunk back under the deck, the mood for sewing had dissipate lol. We didn't see the mother, but that's fine, we were not really interested in meeting her personally anyway.

This one explored my garden (of dandelions) from one end to the other. It was so cute but very camera shy. It found another hiding place to spend the rest of the day until it was time to come out at twilight.

We figured they are orphans who had decided our deck was a good place to sleep the day away.  Our talking probably disturbed them.

We do see a lot of wild life, living so close to the forest.  We had many, many skunks, raccoons, porcupines, snakes, squirrels, chipmunks and the likes. We get to see bigger animals too like deer, moose, foxes and even a coyote once.  It's the first time someone adopted us like this though. May it be the last time. Don't get me wrong, I love nature and wouldn't hurt any of them (except spiders!). But since they don't invite me over for a cup of coffee, I don't want them over either. To each his home.

Anywho! They have now moved on and so shall I.

Then came a big gust of wind, sweeping my umbrella over the house. It crashed onto the front lawn.  Well, it broke!! Darn! This weekend, they are calling for 32 degrees (around 90 F). Maybe that's not very hot for some of you, but this is Canada, eh? I need this umbrella or else I won't go outside. Hubby will try to fix the broken ribs on the thing.

I did manage a little bit of hand sewing, driving and waiting for my sons all over town this week. Like so many of you, my son graduated high school. DS2 started a new job and needed some clothes too. So it was a pretty busy week. Looking forward to sit and sew. On "my" deck, lol.

These are the future diamonds for the next row.

Hope you find some time to sew too.

Until next time ...


Joining Angie at A Quilting Reader's Garden for WIPs Be Gone.
Joining Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching  (on Sunday)

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Logging on a full moon

It such a rare event that every news channel is talking about it. June's full moon is on the night of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. I guess we can call it the Solstice Moon. Oh! What a good name for a quilt. (wink!)

Anywho! I was logging like a lunatic yesterday.  Felling all those trees, trimming and cutting and ... lol.

Not that kind of logging. Mine was a whole lot more fun than that! ;^)  Here's some tiny little logs. 

Here's where the logs are stored until I built them into a "wall".  Yep, these are cookie trays from commercial cookie packaging.
I tried the plastic bags to store the pieces while doing Shakespeare in the Park and got tired of opening the bags all the time. So I am back to my old trick: cookie trays.

Different trays have different jobs. Some are perfect for bias tape. 

And of course, knickknacks galore. With four men in the house, I do a lot of cooking but sometimes, store bought snacks are a nice break. And if I buy it, I will use it. But I am digressing. Back to the cabin.

A cabin in progress. Some of these pieces are 3/4 of an inch. Since I started the 365 Challenge, I love things on a different scale. lol. 

Here's four cabins together.
It is a pattern by Judy Martin called the "Shoreline". I love her quilts and her patterns are so well made. Not only does she write the sizes of the pieces (duh! of course!) but the order in which it should be pieced AND which way to press each piece. Love that!!  It is so easy to follow.

Will I be logging again today? That will depend on this little guy.

This is to be expected when working in the forest, hauling logs, right? lol
But I'll keep that for another post. :)<

Joining Julie at JulieKQuilts for Log Cabin Lunacy. Hope to see you there too.

Until next time ...


Sunday 19 June 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching for me

Today, I will catch my breath and slow stitch on my hexagon quilt.

It harder and harder to photograph this quilt as it is getting so large. This morning, I tried it on my bed and was happy to find out that it doesn't need as many rows as first thought. The end is near for this one. Yay!

Sitting on my deck, in the shades, enjoying the birds singing and children playing, I will finish the neutral row and start assembling the diamonds for the next row while I pray and meditate.  So many bad things has happened lately and so many blessings to be grateful for. My day will be a quiet and peaceful one. How about you?

Come visit us at Kathy's place for some Slow Sunday Stitching and to view some eye candy. I'll be there.
Also joining Podunk Pretties for more inspiration and fun.

Until next time ...


Friday 17 June 2016

VoilĂ !! I did it!!

I did it all! So happy! I did my OMG (one monthly goal). This afternoon, I finished cleaning and oiling the deck. During the weekend, it might get a coat of sealer or maybe next week. After diner, I finished all the last blocks of April for the 365 Challenge and June is not over yet! YES!! I am no longer 8 weeks behind but only 6 weeks now. Can I keep up ? Can I get even closer ? For now I just want to enjoy it. :^D

 Kansas Star - 45 pieces

 Blueberry Pie - 49 pieces (I really like this block. Maybe as RSC for next year? Yep, it could work.)

 Windmill - 44 pieces (not sure about this one. It might get another coat of colour before getting into the quilt. We'll see.)
And even the Old Maid is fixed. Okay, maybe not the best of fixes but I thought I had to "make do with what I have" and I did. (See last post for the beginning of this story.) I stitched all around after trimming it. I was afraid it would come apart before I have the chance to assemble it to the quilt.

And now for the stats of all those blocks done in the last few months.

January - 371 pieces
February - 570 pieces 
March - 496 pieces 
April -  853 pieces 

Total so far - 2290 pieces

The best is yet to come in this quilt as some blocks have a whole lot more pieces than those done so far. 

Next block is May first with a beautiful basket block. But first, a glass of wine to celebrate. It is important to celebrate our little victories. :^D

Joining Sarah for Can I get a whoop whoop?
Joining Angie for WIPs be Gone
Joining Heidi for OMG (One Monthly Goal)
Hope you will join us and see what victories other quilters are celebrating.

Until next time ...


Thursday 16 June 2016

Challenge's saga continues ...

It is going so well with my 365 Challenge blocks.

Four bowties sewn into a 3.5 inches square was intimidating me but I made it.

Old bowtie done years ago (wish I still have that purple fabric). The corner pieces are cut at 3.5 inches so the blue block fits in a quarter of the big one. Just to put things into perspective, you know.

Two more little 3.5 inches dark blocks came to join the fun and then ...

on with the BIG 6.5 inches blocks in lighter colours.

side way photo for some funny reason
They look so pale lol.  Card Trick, Four Crowns, Four Patch Sawtooth stars and Army Star. They bring me to April 27.
I think I won't put as much white as demanded by the patterns. I would like my quilt  to be more sand coloured.

So, it was really going well with the blocks until the maid showed up.
April 26 is Old Maid's Ramble. The reason why Old Maid is not in the group photo is because she is ... not presentable.

I had in my "Inspiration File" a picture showing only a portion of a quilt.

from Pinterest 
I so love this picture that I would like to make such a quilt one day. I had no idea of its name but now I do AND I even have the pattern to make it.  Except ...

I have to read the instructions more carefully next time.

The corners don't extend to the 6.5 mark. The worst part? ...

I don't have enough of this fabric to redo the corners !!  Don't even have enough to redo one corner!!  D^:

The good news ? Only three more blocks and I am thru April . Yay!! First, I need to fix the maid. lol.

(It just dawn on me; eventually I have to quilt this little charmer. Would you bet on "365 days quilting challenge"? lol)

Next post, I'll tally the pieces for April and for the year so far also.

Until next time ...


Monday 13 June 2016

365 Challenge - the discoveries

A challenge is meant to push your limits or teach you new techniques and sometimes learn a few things about yourself. The 365 Challenge is certainly all that to me. I have learn a few things, done blocks with a different technique, and I have pushed my limits like never before. The best part (or the scariest part) is that I am not even half way through the quilt yet! So much more to learn.

I have also discovered a thing or two about myself.  Imagine that!!. After 52 years of living with me, I am still learning stuff lol. For instance, I am not a one-block-a-day kind of person. Surprise!! No, not me. I prefer having many blocks all prepped up to sew in one sitting. Since cutting the fabric is my least favourite job, I like to do a few (if not a lot) blocks at once. Then when I sit to sew, I can really see the difference in the quilt I'm working on.

Another thing I have discovered about me is I really don't like mitre corners and if I can't grasp the instruction in a few blocks, I'll give up on it. (See this post)  HA! Funny me! :^D

I also don't always see what the finished block will look like done in the fabrics I have picked ... because I sure wouldn't had picked that if I had known before hand lol.  And sometimes I am very thick when reading instructions. I know I am more visual than auditory but I didn't know it included reading. lol.

I have joined all the borders and corners to the medallion.  I love it. The slanted diamonds border on the left had me reading the instructions so many times  before I get it. When I finally did understood how to do it, I laughed at my inability to figure it out sooner.

April 9 - 15. Note that fourth block on the far right could have used better assortment of fabrics than those I picked. It looked so much better in my head, lol. (Not starting over.)

The next block was Windmill which needed to be "trimmed" ... on point!! I read the instruction over and over. I decided to mark the cuts before cutting it. So happy I did.

Can you see the white lines? That's where I thought I was supposed to cut. It makes a 2.5 inches block instead of a 3.5 block. So I read the instruction again. And draw again.

Finally, I cut it when it was exactly 3.5 inches. Yay!! Much easier to erase a few white lines than starting over again because it was cut wrong. I did that once before, thank you, wont redo that experience!! (I hope anyway.)

So here's April 16 to 18 with April 20.
Where is April 19 you ask? Yes ..., well, ... ummmm ...  I am getting to that one. You see, it is the smallest bowtie I have ever seen and it is intimating me.   8^{

I will muster the courage to tackle it while I am continuing on my primary project; the wooden deck. It is in a very poor shape. So this year, it is getting the TLC it deserves.

The foreground boards are yet to be wash so you can see how bad it gotten. (Well, you can see it in all of my blocks' pictures actually.) The section on the right is washed and dried, the darker section on the left is oiled to rejuvenate the wood. After all this is done and dry, it will get a coat of sealer for the winter. Hope to get it finish before the end of the month so I can sit on it without my brain nagging me about doing another section instead of just sitting here. Whenever my back has enough of that job, I sit in front of the sewing machine.

And that's another discovery; multi-tasking is good for the body! :^D

Joining Making Monday at Love Laugh Quilt
Joining Angie at A Quilting Reader's Garden for WIPs be Gone

Until next time ...   : ' )


Monday 6 June 2016

Chookyshed Sewing Party

This weekend, I've joined Chookyblue for a virtual sewing party. It was fun to sew, knowing that some friends, half way around the world, was doing the same thing. And now we get to see what all these friends worked on during the weekend. Whoohoo! More fun!

It was my youngest son's birthday. He'd turned 18 this weekend. Oh MY! It's officially a house full of grown ups now. Yikes!  (Nooooot!! They still behave like teenagers lol)

I managed, between errands, food, driving teenagers, cakes, food, cleaning, food, drinks (oh! wait, no, that was just me), to do some sewing. Here's what got done.

Three corners for the 365 Challenge medallion. You might notice that the last block is all HSTs. Didn't want to do mitered corners again. lol. HSTs make a lot of seams though, so it a pretty "bumpy" block. Oh well, ... so is life!

 Pre assembled parts of the borders, for the medallion, were sewn together

Not yet sewn together. I sure do like what I see. Oh yes, I got to finish the fourth corner and put this together. It is soooo encouraging to see the medallion like this. :^D

Also, two hexagon diamonds were attached to the Quilt of the Century, at the bottom.

Also did worked on some logs for the cabins .... but that's for another post. hehehe!

So I am linking back to Chookyblue. Hope to see you there too.
I am also joining Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making. 

Until then ... :)<