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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop



Welcome to my stop on the Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop!  
for hostessing yet another fun blog hop.

Most quilters are compassionate, empathetic, giving people who work hard to create beauty, warmth, and security for others.  They are inspired by the cause, the person, the backstory, the fabric, the future.  Some quilters, like Louise of My Quilt Odyssey, quilt almost entirely for a variety of community groups, and others, like myself, give when they can, or when they are especially moved.  Sew Preeti Quilts is a perfect example of how a Quilter constantly rises to the occasion to make a difference in someone’s life.  She stitches it, she gives it, and then, very eloquently, shares the story.

I seldom keep what I make.  Among my friends, acquaintances, and family, or within my community, there is always someone in need, or with a special occasion to commemorate.  It soothes my soul to reach out by way of my passion to sew.  It generates my enthusiasm and inspires me to cross that finish line when I am thinking of someone in particular with every stitch.

Today's gifties honor special occasions, a cherished friendship and the impending birth of a first born.  I've been diligently working on them to finish them up before I migrate south for the winter. My time is getting short!

Twenty years ago, my daughter graduated from university.  She not only walked away with a degree, but with lasting friendships.  I've been blessed to get to know her friends throughout the years, to witness them becoming successful adults, and to share their joy in establishing their families.



A few posts back, I shared the beginnings of this quilt for Adrienne.  I was excited to be able to use the bonus half square triangles that resulted from constructing Cluck Cluck Sew's hearts to simultaneously piece these Churn Dash blocks by Blossom Heart Quilts.


They shared space on the design wall, and although it was not my original intention, I liked how they looked together so much, I decided to include both blocks into my quilt for Adrienne.


I was not disappointed with the end result!  As a matter of fact, I love it!


And here is a quick glimpse of the backing.  Would you believe that this is the first time I have ever rounded the corners of a quilt?  Finishing up at 54" x 62", it is the perfect size to fold over the back of the couch, and to pull down to snuggle under on a cold winter's evening.  I hope that finally making this quilt means a long overdue trip to Abilene to deliver it in person!

This next quilt only took me a week to put together, but I had already precut the fabrics.  It will be gifted to my only nephew and his sweet wife in celebration of expecting their first baby.  I will be hand delivering it in a very few short weeks as I begin my migration south by first stopping in Maine.


Simple, straight forward sewing for a girl running out of time, and nice big rectangles to showcase a large print, this pattern screamed for me to use the owl fabric bundle that has been sitting on the shelf for the past 5 or 6 years.




I adapted a pattern called Zoo Dwellers by A Bright Corner.  Why, you ask, did I have to adapt such a straight forward design?  Well, as much as I hate to admit this, when I was precutting my fabrics, I didn't pay any attention to the one way designs.  So, instead of a horizontal placement, I had to make mine vertical.  Simple fix.


I added an extra row for the back so I could widen a length of cute fabric that I had on hand.


And I used the serpentine stitch programmed into my Janome to quilt both these quilts to speed up the completion process.

I decided to rename this quilt from Zoo Dwellers to Tree Dwellers, and then got quite a chuckle because my nephew and his blushing bride of 1+ years have just completed building their first home and it's a tree house!  Finishing up at 47" x 58", this baby quilt is large enough to see many years of use.

Thank you for visiting my blog post today.  I think this is the longest post I've ever written in the 10+ years I've been a blogger.  Below is a list of the participating bloggers for the remainder of the hop.  Be sure to visit and show some quilty love!





Sunday, October 27, 2019

Using It Up


Like so many of us,
I am trying to use up the fabrics I have.

When I saw the J/F 2019 issue of Quilty magazine
while going through the checkout at the grocery store,
I was enamored with the cover photo.


I had a basket full of assorted strings
and I love sewing these curved blocks,
so, of course, this issue had to follow me home.

It took very little thought and was lots of fun to make.
Sometimes, it's nice to take an easy route.

(As always, you can click on my pictures to enlarge them.)

"That's No Moon"
designed by Megan Collins

While Megan's quilt is 4 blocks by 4 blocks,
I made mine 3 x 4.  With each block finishing at 18" square,
it was plenty big enough
to snuggle under on the couch
on a cold winter's evening.

Last summer, I had placed an order for batting 
from Connecting Threads,
and, as a last minute thought, 
had added some yardage from their clearance pages.
Why not?  At that point, shipping to Canada was free.

It was absolutely perfect for backing this quilt
and...I had ordered exactly enough.


I don't usually get so lucky!

After the many hours I put into FMQing my last quilt,
I was more than happy to straight line quilt this one,
in one inch increments,
just like the original.

~

Before Dorian devastated our coast,
stripping all the foliage off every plant on the property,
I was enjoying the many visitors to my garden-of-sorts.


Atlantis Fritillary

Sharing the 'table' with a Monarch.

I planted Swamp Milkweeds
to encourage the Monarchs to lay their eggs,
but sadly, the storm stripped the leaves from the plants
before the Monarch instars (baby caterpillars) 
were able to mature.
Maybe next year!

Enjoy your day!
Looks like a quilty day to me!
Tomorrow, I will be traveling to the city of Halifax
to spend a few days with Linda,The Scrapmaster.
Color me excited!

XO,
Karen






Monday, October 7, 2019

Forever and a Day


When Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs
announced her plans to have another mystery quilt along
I attempted a fabric pull,
but I didn't have enough background fabric on hand.

I did, however, have the fabric ready for her
State of Being
quilt,
so I decided I'd work on that instead.




It was lots of fun to make.
Orientation of the half square triangles
kept me on my toes 
as I was sewing the diagonal rows together.




I couldn't wait to start free motion quilting it.
I used dot-to-dot quilting 
in all the gray and green triangles and squares.
Then I filled in the white background with concentric swirls,
pebbles, and straight lines.

My island quilty friend had a whole bolt of a gray print,
so we struck a deal,
(more about that in a future post)
and she gave me enough to back the quilt.


(As always, if you click the picture, you'll get an enlargement.)

I love this quilt.
It's the perfect size, 54" x 60".
I used Kona solids
(I prefer Free Spirit, but they're hard to find)
and Auriful thread.

Now, it's time to make a label.
I'm seriously considering renaming the quilt
to Forever and a Day
because that's how long it took
for me to FMQ it.

*

We had our first frost the night before last.
While this isn't my favorite time of year
(I'm a summertime gal)
I was pretty excited because it means
I can harvest the cranberries
from up in the meadow.




Enjoy your day!
Thanks for popping in.
~Karen






Sunday, September 29, 2019

UFO Busting


I am linking up with
to celebrate having finally finished a long-in-the-making flimsie
that you are probably sick of seeing! 
I was sick of seeing it, too, languishing in a bin since 2013.


(You can just click on my pictures
to enlarge them!)

(58" x 72")
You'll only have to look at it one more time,
after it's quilted and bound.
That probably won't be until next summer.

I did notice that I'd left off the bottom sashing at picture time,
but that has since been rectified.

~



I just have to show you this perfect specimen
of a Fly Agaric, (Amanita muscaria).
It was about the size of a man's fist.




Here it is, two days later, 
almost completely flattened out.
It's as big around as the cap minus the visor!
They are quite spectacular.

Thanks for stopping by today!
(I'm sad to see September end.)

Karen


  

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Monday, September 2, 2019

Scrappy is as Scrappy Does

Well, August certainly went by in a blur.

My scrappy heart did a happy dance when it saw this timely post by Blossom Heart Quilts.  I jumped right up, left my morning cup of coffee half full, and got right to work.

Why was I so excited?  Well, 2 seasons ago, I precut a baggie full of scraps into 3.5” x 6.5” rectangles to bring back to Cape Breton for a specific quilt, but once I put it up on my design wall, I didn’t care much for it, so the rectangles have been sitting in my cabinet all this time.  This summer, I decided to use my collection of grays to make Cluck Cluck Sew’s heart blocks and use them up.





After making only 4, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go this way, either, but the fun part is that these heart blocks generate bonus HSTs and 1.5” scraps.








So, I quickly made the 8 bonus HSTs into units for Alyse's Double Dash.  They’ll only finish up at 6.5”, a size not included in her pattern, but that’s okay.  The block is adorable!  It will make a wonderful doll quilt for A Doll Like Me!




I have decided to continue making the heart blocks and the Double Dash blocks at the same time.  This created a moral dilemma, however, because I don’t need the pattern to make these units.  But after a beautiful day out in the kayak, when I returned home, I went ahead and bought the pattern anyway.  That’s only fair, right?  Or am I going overboard?  What would you do?

I've been working diligently on my leader/ender quilt, but am going to have to table it until I generate more scraps.  Here is a picture of my progress, 2 out of 5 rows sewn together. 




I have row 3 ready to attach as soon as the sashing strip is pieced, and the remaining blocks are constructed.  They just need to be sashed together.  This quilt top, when finally finished, will measure 58" x 74" with no additional border.  Oh, I did sash the outer edges before I put it away.  I guess that  could be considered as the border.

Today, I am linking up to Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  If you follow this link, you can see how other quilters are making use of all their scraps.



With September upon us, my resident birds have flown the coop, so to say, and have been replaced with the random butterflies and dragonflies.  Here's a picture of one of my favorite backyard visitors.



Twelve-spotted Skimmer
(Libella pulchella)
male

Happy Labor Day!
~Karen

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Softer Palette


A softer palette,
which is a little out of the box for me.




I saw this pretty little quilt, designed by Erika Bea,
 in the February 2018 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting,
and thought it would work well with the plethora
of blue fabrics I inherited a few years back.

So, I picked up some very pale yellow background fabric,
which doesn't show well in the pictures,
kitted it up, and brought it back to Cape Breton with me.
I don't have anything suitable for the back right now,
so it will be relegated to the bottom of the pile,
until the perfect backing materializes!




I was able to cut this fabric into strips (2"),
not all wof, but long enough to strip piece the 9 patches,
which was nice for a change.
Usually, I'm building blocks with little pieces.

I'm not really into blue,
but as long as I'm sewing,
I'm happy.
I enjoyed making this simple, straight forward quilt top,
which finishes up at 68" square,
and I look forward to quilting it.
It will be just the right size to ward of the chill
on a cold, winter's evening.

~

Butterflies at the Beach

I recently spent a few beautiful summer days
along the southwest shore of Nova Scotia mainland.
While hiking this one magnificent headland,
I saw more Monarch Butterflies
than I've ever seen before in any one location.




The Monarch is just as beautiful
on the flip side as on the top.




They were so intent on feasting upon this patch of knapweed,
they didn't mind if I got up close and personal
for just a few minutes.

I hope you are having a sewlful week!
I have been having such a good time
visiting your blogs and seeing what you've been working on
or places you've been vacationing.
~karen



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Scrap Happy


I completed another scrap quilt 
that I had started in TX.
It didn't really use enough scraps to call it
a scrap buster, measuring in
at 54" x 68".

I'll prepare the label today
and package it off
to surprise a very dear family friend.




This quilt caught my eye on Pinterest one day.
It is was the Snowflake Quilt-Along




It looked like fun
and I thought it might play well with
assorted scraps.  I'm not disappointed.
I used it to warm up the Janome, after my long absence,
choosing fun, familiar stitching,
 only in the background,
which you can't really tell is different tone-on-tones.
I use Aurifil thread when I FMQ.
~
The Ranger built me a Chickadee house
from a hollowed out log.
We arrived home from grocery shopping Saturday
just in time to see a baby venture out
and fly away.




The hottest day of the year, so far,
I imagine the choice was
fly or bake.

We contented ourselves by setting up on the back deck
in the shade of the house
and waited for the rest of the babies
to fledge.

It was too hot to do much of anything else,
and it was great entertainment,
lasting most of the day.

Temperatures are pretty close to perfect now.
Hope you're having nice weather, too!

XO,
Karen