Soon it will be Christmas Day…..or Grandma got run over by a reindeer….your choice

At our house, we have been listening to Christmas music for about 3 weeks straight now.  We actually tuned our radio to CFCY in Charlottetown, PEI where the DJs are playing country christmas songs with some of the really old, all time favourites thrown in once in a while. I have to say I really get a kick out of the country hurtin’Christmas songs, while my hubby is a fan of the silly songs.

Speaking of hubbies, I have one who is a Christmas decorating, Ninja.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but my sweetie REALLY REALLY loves it…For example when we moved to PEI, we brought about 30 tubs of decorations with us including more than 40 plastic poinsettias and close to that many Christmas  nutcrackers. And that’s just the bare beginning of the stuff that gets set out at our house in December. We have two fully decorated and lit trees already and about two weeks ago when we were putting them up, he suggested we should consider getting another tree so we could put one in the bedroom…not a word of a lie folks. I  did manage to put a stop to that particular excess but I think I’m lucky and wouldn’t want to change a thing about him.

I am a bit of a grinch in some respects.  I do not like the hustle, bustle, hassle, shopping, parking lot craziness and freaking out that usually culminates around mid-night on December 22…which coincides perfectly with the realization that our budget, and often our contingency budget has run out, but I love the other more homely stuff, like baking cookies with the grandkids, surprising hubby with a batch of homemade peanut brittle (not that its much of a surprise, its actually more like a tradition at our house) or searching out the Christmas quilts that don’t come out any other time of year.

I thought I would share some of the little Christmas Quilts ( and a couple of the nutcrackers) I’ve made over the years to decorate the door to my hubby’s office (because of course he had a whole selection of office decorations too).  Now that he’s retired these little darlings don’t get out much anymore.

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I love this little door quilt (and there are a couple of the nutcrackers!.
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Tangled Christmas Lights – part of the Joy of the Season.

This year we are very excited for two reasons.  First – our son Kevin is coming to PEI to visit us.  He arrives early early in the morning on Boxing Day, so we are saving our Christmas Festivities until Boxing Day.  We will of course have Christmas Dinner with my mom and sister on the big day, but the main party is reserved for Boxing Day afternoon.  We are having friends and family over for Open House (including all the wonderful treats I’ve been baking and buying this month).  We are both looking forward to spending time with close family members.

— AND —

We have gifted ourselves with a brand new puppy.  So there will be a baby in the house again starting December 27, 2016.  I promise I will post pictures of the new addition (its a boy) as soon as he arrives and settles in.  The last few days we have been trying to choose a name to suit our new bundle of joy.  Here is where we are at in that regard.

I love Dino, Fitz, Theo, Matteo and Mozes.  All of these are perfect for a black standard poodle puppy.  Hubby is a big fan of Dantes, Gunner, Tio, Marco and Sparky.  Come back early in the new year to find out what we ended up deciding to call him. There is an off-chance he will be Noel, or Gabriel to celebrate the season.

So that’s it for me in 2016 (I think).  Merry Christmas Everyone.  Enjoy your time with your family and friends.  Eat lots of turkey and stuffing, drink responsibly, be kind to everyone and pay it forward to someone needy if you can.

 

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Bloggers Quilt Festival – Applique Category 

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AmysCreativeSide

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This post is my entry into the Applique section of the  Bloggers Quilt Festival – Fall 2016 being hosted by Amy Ellis of AmysCreativeSide.

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Country Critters

I started planning this quilt late last fall and blogged about it a few times over the course of 2016.  If you feel so inclined, you can read some of those posts here and here. Or, you can take my word for it, that I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I started down the road of “wool appliqué” by designing a quilt to showcase my newfound love….

I decided to use a modified log cabin block because I love, love, love partial seams, and because the block seemed to fit the theme that was dancing around in my head (easy peasy, bright and breezy, country/folksy).  Then I dithered for awhile whether to set the blocks square or on point.  Sigh…so many decisions.  As you can see, I finally settled on an “on point” setting  because I wanted some nice large uncluttered spaces to show off the wool appliqué critters.   I should say right now that I didn’t have any patterns for any of these critters.  I found inspiration for them on quilts (or blocks) on Pinterest  and I made simple free hand drawings, which I then transferred to freezer paper and from there it was a piece of cake to cut out these primitive barnyard beauties.  I take no credit for designing these wool appliqué shapes, but am very grateful to all the talented designers who did this work for me.  I would be happy to give credit to any or all of you, if you come forward and claim the designs as your own.

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But, I hung in there and sometime in January, I finished the piecing and appliqué and put it in the hoop for some hand quilting love. You gotta know that it was sometime in the middle of February when I started thinking this was a project which would never be over.  I have no idea why I decided to do so much hand quilting on it, much less the embroidery…Holy Heck Hannah this was supposed to be a simple quilt and it was turning into a mammoth undertaking.  So you can probably imagine how excited I was when I put the last quilting stitch into the little red border and could finally bind it and put it in the “finished” pile sometime in late June or early July.

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It was finished just in time to be entered into the Crapaud Exhibition (a country fair) here on PEI in late July.  I was so thrilled when it won a red ribbon…somehow all those hours put into it, were worth it.

I love this little quilt and hope you do too.

 

 

 

 

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

I’m not…but I did go to a country fair in the little village of Crapaud here on PEI this weekend.

O my gracious Glenda,  it was great! There were “cats and rats and elephants” on display (well, OK, not those actual animals, but there were cows, calves, rabbits galore, sheep, donkeys and so much more).  Country fairs are one of the very real, wonderful things about living a simple lifestyle.  Every summer all over PEI (and probably where you live too), villages are putting their best stuff on display.  For some folks, its veggies and farm critters, for others, (me included), its baked goods and quilts.    Its all about community and country living and I’m so thrilled to be part of it.

Now I get to brag a bit.

IwonIwonIwon.  Holy Heck Hermione. IwonIwonIwon.  Yes, I actually won first place for my quilt.  Here is the proof.  I’m very proud of this win, because there are a lot of really amazing quilters here on PEI and there were lots of beautiful things on display.  This cuddle sized quilt was the subject of a previous post of mine here and was featured on my Instagram feed on more than one occasion when I was trying to decide how to set the blocks.  I also took many many pictures of the critters I appliquéd into the setting squares, when I was working my way through that portion. You can click on the Instagram button on my sidebar and see all the pictures at your leisure, or not at all, totally up to you, no pressure.

 

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But FYI, that was not all I won, Nosiree Bob, it was not.  I amazingly, astoundingly, unbelievably collected a  first place prize for my white bread and second place for my raisin bread (BTW, my mom who is well into her 80s, took second place for her white bread, and first place for her raisin bread – I am very proud of my mom and her bread recipe…clearly both are winners) and….I got a second prize win for my shortbread cookies (here on PEI, we call them Scotch Cookies – don’t ask me why, because I really don’t know).

So all in all it was a very good weekend.  I’m feeling pretty dang fine.  But, the most fabulously wonderful thing about the weekend is that I got my first e-mail instructions for the patchwork city QAL I’m starting with members of my PEIMQG and others all over Canada.  Its gonna be great and scary and terrifying and hard and overwhelming and wonderful.  Trust me you will be seeing lots of posts about this in the next 8 months or so.

O and if anyone is on the Island towards the end of August and feels a need for a decadent dessert, come see me and I’ll hook you up with a ticket or two for our PEIMQG’s first ever “Time out with Textiles” show and dessert party.

Have yourselves an awesomely creative day.

And last but not least for the 2nd Quarter Quilt-Along

2016 FAL

Here is my 2nd quarter link up list. and here is a photo of the finished quilt.  It’s been washed once and while the wool appliqué bits are no longer perfect, I think its still beautiful.

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No name quilt

I have some more pics of this one showing some details of the quilting and the critters a bit better.  Check them out below. Again the pics are really rushed because I forgot all about this one until about 11:30 p.m. last night.

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This quilt was all hand quilted along the edges of the blocks and about 1/2 inch in from the seams, with a one inch  grid in the setting squares, and a simple   vine around the outside edge.  This was my first opportunity to try wool appliqué and after I took a course from Leona and Helen at  our Quilt Guild’s Jamboree this spring, my skills improved greatly.

FYI I drew all the critters on the setting triangles freehand based on photos I saw on Pinterest.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I really love these wool applique shapes.   If you are or know who the original designers are, please notify me so I can give credit where credit is due.

 

 

 

Please pass the Catch-up

Just a quick post to catch you all up with my quilting projects and share my newest quilt-along.   I expect everyone is tired to death of hearing about my experiences with the Splendid Sampler, so I am not going to say much about it, just that these are the most recent blocks completed. I am still making two sets, 1 for “Stefanie’s Splendid Sampler” and 1 “Just for Jessica”. I still don’t have a layout planned for the blocks, but ideas are churning away in my mind. Stay tuned…

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And, now its all about my newest Quilt-Along for 2016 – The Gypsy Wife.  This is an amazing quilt and its been a long time since I was so excited to be pulling fabrics and piecing blocks.  The pattern comes in a 29 page booklet!!! OMG…There are nine multiple block sections. Actually its not difficult, its just a bit convoluted, because of the way the pattern is set out, versus the way I’m putting everything together. Here is what it should look like when its done.

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My apologies to the amazing quilt artist who pieced this, its beautiful, but I cannot locate my source. I promise to give proper credit when I find it.

My fabulous quilt-along blog host is linked here.  Her site is called Splish Splash Stash. Go check it out if you are inclined to.  Its a great place to visit, with some fabulous links and how-to’s.

My Gypsy Wife goes together in sections. To date, I have Section 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 finished.  See…

Today, there is a huge winter storm brewing on PEI, so my plan is to finish Section 7 if all goes well (Section 7 falls directly below all these sections and when its done, I’ll be able to see the whole length together), then on to Section 6, 8 and 9.  Yippee, Hooray, the plan is coming together.

Today is a great day to have an insanely creative day.  Enjoy.

 

Its a “Splendid” Day here on PEI….

Can you believe we have 6 blocks done already on the Splendid Sampler? Holy Heck Hermione time flies when I’m in my sewing room.

And, I wonder how many of you, like me, made at least 2 of each one (except for the flower pot– I loved it the way it turned out the first time)…lookit lookit, its so cute,  I could just kiss it!

Now IMHO, my blocks are super cute, but I would chop off a limb to be as talented as some of the quilters in this group.  Holy Moley.  Here are some of  my favourite blocks to date. I think the Simple Simon block in solids is jaw-droppingly (not sure that’s a real word, but seriously folks) gorgeous.

I took these pics from the Splendid Sampler Facebook Block Link Page.  Its here and well worth taking a look if you have an hour or ten to sit and drool over the beautiful blocks being put out there.

I’m thrilled to be part of this group and so excited that some of my Kindred Spirits guild members are taking part too.  Watch for Roberta Giddings to post her blocks.  She is an amazing quilter. Here are her first five blocks. You can bet hers were perfect the first time around!12798838_10206958917265148_5915050665756633345_n.jpg

Just beautiful….

 

Another finish for the 2016 Finish-Along

My “Dancing Girls” Quilt is finished. It’s a project for the 1st quarter quilt-along. Here is my link to my original finish along post.

Here is was in early January, when I added it to my list of  quilts I want to finish in the first-quarter of 2016…IMG_1489.JPG

It didn’t take me long to find the rest of the blocks and put them together.  Holy Heck that’s really pink!img_1490

Then it was into the hoop in early-mid February

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and FINISHED on February 28, 2016.

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I tried something different on this quilt…I machine quilted the sashing strips in the ditch and hand quilted the dancers and the cornerstones.  I love it and cannot wait to donate it to the Pediatriac Oncology Unit at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Charlottetown, PEI.  If it makes just one little person smile while she is undergoing treatment,  it will be the best quilt I ever make.

Here is my link to my original finish along list.