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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Haven't Been Quilting

Because we have bought ourselves an acreage!  We've been looking for years, and have finally found our ideal property.

The property is 9.5 acres. About 5 are developed, and the rest are currently being farmed by the fellow that farms the rest of the quarter.  The house was built in the 70's and, although it has been very well maintained, it has not been updated since it was built.  It needs some work on the interior, for sure, but, for now, it's very comfortable!

And lookee here!  A barn!  We have no plans to actually use this, but it is gorgeous.  My first thought was "barn quilt block", but Mr. CQT put the kibash on that idea.  Not to worry - there are a couple other buildings that could hold a barn quilt block quite nicely.

There are gorgeous trees everywhere.  We are having a challenge identifying them all.  The previous owner was a bit of an amateur horticulturalist, and the yard is quite nicely landscaped.  We are trying to identify the trees that are here using our "Lois Hole's Favourite Trees and Shrubs" book.  Many of them were not on Lois' favourite list, so that makes it more challenging.  I need to get my sister out here - she's the gardener in the family.

There are several outbuildings. This is one - it was used as a woodshop by the previous owner.  With some work, it could make a good quilt studio.  But, there's also lots of room in the house, so maybe not necessary.  Mr. CQT has a huge shop, so he's in heaven.

It even comes complete with a privy!  Luckily, it's not operational (although, in the first few days, when we were figuring out the well, it might have come in handy).

And, to complete the whole experience, we adopted this little cutie:

This is Ralphie.  There was some confusion about her gender for the first few days, so she's ended up with a sort-of masculine name.  But she comes to it already, so we don't want to change it.  She's border collie, 11 weeks old now, and she's as smart and sassy as can be.

So, this has kept me pretty busy these last three weeks.  I've been on vacation, but Monday, it's back to the office, and only out here on weekends.  I'll have to set up a sewing room here too - I've surprised myself with how much I miss my quilting time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scrap in a Box - the Penultimate Clue

There are some words that I really love.  "Penultimate" is one of them.  I'm not one for big words (in fact, I specialize in plain language writing), but for some reason, penultimate tickles my fancy, and I use it whenever I have the chance.

So, we're almost done the Scrap in a Box Mystery Quilt, designed by Charlotte at Scraptitude Quilts.  In fact, the final clue (or should that be the ultimate clue?) should be up any day!

Here are some of the blocks and corner pieces - laid out as I think the final result will be.  But there still are some extra half square triangles left, so I could be wrong.

scrapbox 9

I'm quite pleased with the look of this, so far!  I even have a name for it - I'm going to call it Tutti Frutti.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Open Wide Zipper Pouch

In the mood for something a little different, I decided to make an Open Wide pouch from Noodlehead's free tutorial.

I have to say that her instructions were very easy to follow, and the bag worked up in no time!

I think, with tne next one I make (and I'm sure there will be a next one), I would make the lining just a bit smaller than the outside.  This was a bit puffy.  But, not to complain!  I'm very happy with the result.

I gave it to my daughter, who is teaching Grade IV this year.  I'm sure she has enough doo-dads to fill it up completely!

I've now bought Noodlehead's Divided Basket pattern. I've seen it being made all over the blogosphere, and each time it looks great!   And, it seems very practical too.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm an Eternal Optimist

I must be -- that's the only way to explain why I'm entering the Finish-Along, even though I rarely have any finishes!

This year, the Finish-Along is hosted by Adrianne at On the Windy Side.  Click on the logo to get to her site.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So, here are my second quarter goals.

These are my blocks from the 2013 Craftsy Block of the Month (the Laura Nownes one).  I wasn't crazy about the layout that was offered, and thought it would be a good chance to try quilt as you go.  So, I've put the smaller ones together, and added white borders to most of them to make 9 blocks that are each about 15 inches.  They all need to be quilted and sewn together.

This one is less ambitious.  The top is all together. It needs a little embroidery to mark the watermelon seeds, and then to quilt it up, just in time to put it on the table and eat watermelon!

This one is a leader - ender project.  I cut scraps into 2 inch squares, and sewed lights to darks, then sewed twosies into foursies and foursies into sixteenies.  (Is that even a word??)  And before I knew it, I had a good sized lap quilt done.  It will be a charity quilt once it's done.  I've actually started quilting this one, so it shouldn't be long.

Think I'll get any of those done?  Of course I will!

Linking up to Adrianne - On the Windy Side.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Modern Mini Swap

The Calgary Modern Quilt Guild challenged us all to create a modern mini quilt, and at the last meeting, we exchanged them.

You'll recall that the one I made was my idea of a spring theme - windmills.

modern mini

I thought the quilting looked like wind blowing.

In exchange, I received this lovely -- made by Corina:

The pattern is Puddle Jumpers -- again, a great spring theme.  And, in my favourite colours too!

I've already put it to use.

The weather here has smartened up considerably since my last post.  Spring is arriving!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Scrap in a Box Part Two

Plugging along on Charlotte's Scrap in a Box mystery quilt.  This was the second clue.

scrapbox 7

We had to make 82 of these little blocks (4 1/2 inch).  I mixed and matched, so that no one block had two of the same fabrics.

scrapbox 8

Each of them had to be trimmed just a hair (due to my sewing, not Charlotte's instructions!) and the dog ears removed.  That took almost as long as the sewing!

I still can't start to imagine how this quilt will look when it's done.  But, I 'm still loving the colour combination, so I can hardly wait!

Today is Easter Sunday -- for some reason, we've always celebrated it quietly.  Supper tonight will be just Mr. CQ2 and me, and I've cooked up a big pot of clam chowder.  It will go well with the snow we've had today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review: "Sneaky Piecing" by Beth Ferrier

Image borrowed from Amazon

I haven't done a book review on the blog before, and I don't plan to make this a regular thing.  But, I just stumbled upon an unusually good quilting book, and wanted to pass the word along.

Sneaky Piecing gives Beth Ferrier's take on most aspects of quilting - from cutting (which side of the black line do you line up the edge of the fabric with?) to sewing an accurate 1/4 inch seam, to pressing (where she quickly disposes of the "press to the dark" rule).

What amazed me, though, was that there were tips and tricks in here that I have never seen before - and I have done a LOT of reading, class-taking and DVD watching in the last 16 years!  Not just one new idea, but several.  And, she gives the math to make any size of square in a square and flying geese blocks.

Beth's writing style is warm and witty.  I actually laughed out loud a couple times.  I can't say that I have ever done that reading a quilt book before!

I borrowed this book from the library, but I plan on purchasing a copy to keep.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Modern Mini

The Calgary Modern Quilt Guild is having a Mini swap this month.  I took it as a good opportunity to do my own design, and also to practice my free motion quilting.

I usually sew down my binding to the front, then hand stitch it to the back.  I have tried doing it the other way, and machine stitching to the front, but found the fabric bunched up a bit and the stitching was not as neat as I'd like it.  This time -- and I have no idea where I heard of this -- I used a line of white school glue and my iron to baste down the binding on the front.  It held really well, and I was able to stitch it down pretty neatly.  What do you know?

Here's the finished mini - it's 16 x 16:

modern mini

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Making Progress

I've been participating in the Drop and Give Me Twenty challenge over at Quilting Hottie Haven.  I'm plodding along, but I AM making progress.  I am such a slow quilter!

I'm finally, completely finished Sand and Sea Glass.  I made Mr. CQT climb up on a ladder in the snowy back deck to hold it up for me.

As I was hand-sewing the binding on, in my living room, I was pleasantly surprised to find the quilt blends in remarkably well with my grey-green furniture.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but it's become a living room snuggle quilt.

And, I've been keeping up with the Scrap in a Box mystery.

This is Step 2 of the mystery.  I've made 82 of these.  Now, I'm just squaring them up.

Twenty one down - sixty three to go!  I'm really happy with how cheerful these blocks look.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Charity Blocks

I made these a long time ago, but forgot to write about them.

At the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild, we are making charity quilts for bone marrow transplant patients at the local cancer hospital.  We've decided to make blocks, each 15 1/2 inches, so that we can use them to practice our free motion quilting skills.  We've had a couple of good demonstrations by Andrea at Urban Quiltworks.  (Take a look at the quilting on her blog - she is fabulously talented!)

Then, we're going to put them together using the quilt as you go method.

I know you'll be surprised to hear that I had a couple, OK lots of blocks in my UFO piles.  I selected a couple from a BOM I started years ago, and truthfully, will never finish.  I added a little extra fabric to make them 15 1/2 inches, and tried to stretch myself a bit with the quilting.

You can see a bit of the blue marking pen in the centre of this one - I did manage to get that out before I handed it in.  It's the first time I've used that, and it's not as easy as I thought to remove it!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Scrap-In-A-Box Part One

Charlotte, over at Scrapitude Quilts, posted her first clue for the Scrap-In-A-Box mystery a couple weeks ago.

This week, I completed it - 82 of this little block - each squared up to 2 1/2 inches.

I had a little fun trying out different ways of putting them together.

However, there are lots of cut pieces yet to incorporate into this quilt - I'm sure the finished product will have none of these combinations in it!

I have not forgotten about my Drop and Give Me Twenty commitment.  Today was February 1st, and I actually gave Beth about 200 minutes, being Sunday and all.  I cut my binding for the Sand and Sea Glass quilt...

 ...sewed it on the front, and started hand stitching the back.

Linking up to

Scraptastic Tuesday

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Log Jam has Broken!

Are you like me?  If I have something I feel I have to do, but I don't want to do, then I feel guilty doing anything else - which means I don't get anything done!

I started Sand and Sea Glass back in 2011.  That's three years ago - around the same time I started this blog.  It was a block of the month, and I was pretty good about keeping up with the blocks.  I even put them together fairly promptly.  Then it came time to quilt it.  And I stalled, and stalled.

I actually started quilting it over a year ago.  I got the bright idea to quilt each block differently.  Which meant I had to think up a quilting design for each block - yikes!

It got put on hold while we renovated, last year, and after that, I seemed to be unable to focus on any other project.  In my mind I ought to be finishing the quilting on that monster.  And yet, I wasn't finishing the quilting.  Gak!

While I was off over Christmas, I twisted my own arm, and got back to work on the quilt.  And got it done!  Well, almost - I still have to bind it.

Hopefully, now that this monkey is off my back, I'll be able to get back my quilting mojo!

Here it is, draped over the fence.

Sand and Sea Glass

And, draped the other way round.

I'll post some close-ups, and try and convince Mr. CQT to hold it up for a proper photo after the binding goes on.

Now, I remember that I cut the binding strips for this quilt at the time I put all the blocks together.  But, do you think I can remember where I put them?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Drop and Give me Twenty Time Again

 Drop and Give Me Twenty

I, Colleen, owner of too many UFOs and/or more fabric than I can hope to use up in my lifetime, am joining Quilting Hottie Haven's third  annual DaGMT event, and pledge to quilt for at least 20 minutes, (since Downton Abbey will be almost over, and Outlander doesn't start again until April) every day of the month of February, 2015. In doing so I hope to finish 5 or 6 UFO's (but who am I kidding - I'll be lucky to finish one) and I think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join.

OK, OK, she made me post this pledge - but I DO plan on joining in and you might want to take a look at it her blog.  Beth has a wickedly good sense of humour!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another Scrappy Mystery

Back last winter, I had a few posts about the Scrapitude Mystery quilt.  I was really pleased with the result (which doesn't always happen for me with mystery quilts).

Here is my Scrapitude top

scrapitude top

Have I actually finished the quilt, you ask?  Well, um, no.

But let's not think about that!  Charlotte, the designer of the Scrapitude quilt is running another mystery - Scrap in a Box.  When she did Scrapitude, she didn't have her own blog, so the clues all ran on Sandy's Quilting for the Rest of Us blog.  But this year, Charlotte has her own blog, Scrapitude Quilts, and she is running a new mystery, called Scrap in a Box.  It starts here.

What I liked about Scrapitude, and what will continue with this new mystery, is the slower pace.  I've thought about joining other online mystery quilts, but before I've even made up my mind, they're already on Step 3!!  I'm a slow quilter!  (All of my blog followers are nodding vigorously at this point.)

Charlotte posted her cutting directions in October, and gave us till now to pick fabric and cut. Then, her clues will run once a month.  I can keep up with that.

When I did Scrapitude, I went totally scrappy.  I had never done a scrap quilt before, and was a little nervous, especially in a mystery, with trying to control the colours. And I really liked how it turned out.

But this time, I'm going to restrict the colours a little.  I have this fabric, which I like:

I'm going to use those colours - red, pink, orange and yellow.  The background will be white.  Here are the fabrics I chose.

I've got all my cutting done.  The instructions for the first step went up this week, so I'll be working on it this weekend.

But, on Sunday night, I do have some other plans: