Announcing the arrival of Théo the Wonder Puppy and  other Things! 

Thank goodness babies are cute because otherwise I’d be tearing my eyebrows out already. Nope we do not have a new “actual” baby. We have a new puppy.  He is a brindle phantom inter-variety (AKA Moyen or Medium) poodle.  This variety is quite rare in Canada and not recognized by CKC or AKC. It’s kinda a cross between a miniature and a standard poodle.  We hope he will grow up to be about 30 lbs and be a little brother to our big 76 lb Standard Poodle. So far Tigg wants very little to do with the new addition.

Here is Théo.  As  can see, he is fully loaded in the looks department but I don’t want anyone to think he’s just a pretty face. Here he is reading the newspaper with my hubby, which is, I’m sure you’ll agree quite astonishing for a fella as young as he is (talking about Théo, not hubby).


Now on a different topic, I am expecting again….Nope, not expecting a baby….I’m expecting to accomplish lots in my  sewing room this year.  This is what’s already on the agenda.

  • Patchwork City Quilt Along.  This started back in September with members all across Canada and already its coming along nicely. I am in awe of the talents of my fellow quilters in this one. It’s simply shocking how very very talented my friends are.  Stay tuned for further pics from this project.  Here are my  blocks so far. I seem to be stuck on green and orange.
  • Bee Inspired.  This is an online Bee comprised of bloggers I met last year in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. My month is June. I’ve already sent one block off to the states. Only 11 more to go. 

It’s a simple paper pieced Block called Split Hatchet. I love it and am eager to see Sharon’s finished quilt.

  • PEIMQG Round Robin challenge.  My centre  block is boxed up and ready to start its travels beginning at the January meeting on Thursday.  Here is a sneak peak of the box and it’s contents. This one has me very excited.
  • Long Time Gone Quilt-Along.  Holy Heck Hermione.  I did this.  It’s A crazy crazy quilt along that aims to complete this quilt in 4 months. The pattern arrived in the mail earlier this week (and Théo has already chewed the pattern book covers)  so I cannot back out now. Yikes this one may be a bridge too far!

  • Japanese Crosses. I’m not sure where this one is going, but I’ve already got about 24 blocks done on this one.  Here is a quick pic of blocks I’ve made since mid-December. 
  • Marie’s Granddaughter’s Graduation Quilt.  There is very little info on this one yet.  It’s going to be a traditional photo remembrance quilt, which is something way outside my wheelhouse, but it’s always good to try new things.   This one has to be done by June, so stay tuned for pics as we progress.

So that’s it for my projects (I think).  I didn’t include the blocks I’ll make monthly for my PEIMQG Bee block exchange or any special blocks I’ll be making for Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild; and I also didn’t include the “150 Women Quilt” that Selina and I are considering making to celebrate our Nation’s birthday. It’s got 150 six inch blocks and it’s a monthly QAL. We are still thinking about this, not sure how or if we’ll get it done. It’d be really cool and I’d do it in a heartbeat, if I was convinced there was a possibility I could make another 75 blocks.


Here is a picture. Here is a link to the site.  150 Women.  Check it out. It’s an important quilt and one any Canadian quilter should have a look at!

What’s on your plate?

Sticks and Stones may break my bones..

I have a weird and unusual given name.  Its Velda.  When I was younger I detested it.  People couldn’t say it right (and OMG people, its pronounced exactly the way its spelled), or they spelled it wrong.  They called me Velma, or Zelda, or Hilda or even Helga. Once or twice I even got called Thelma.   Holy Heck Hermione, I may have had a bit of a complex.  I have have believed having an UGLY sounding name made me an UGLY person.  Sigh… Having an unusual name, combined with being a middle child, was very very hard for my developing psyche, but in retrospect may have been even harder for my parents than it was for me.  For a month or so waaay back in 1973 I may have actually thought I was a foundling, left in the crib by gypsies!!  LOL. That however is a story for another day, best shared with a bottle of the best red wine you can find….

Some of you may have noticed I posted a picture of a quilt block last night.  It is currently my favourite block ever.  That photo was supposed to appear right here with the caption “a Rose by any Other Name” .  Its just so pretty.image

But in my eagerness to make one final post in 2016, I clicked the “Publish” Button instead of the “Preview” button and off it went.  Twas late at night, so I was unable to figure out how to get it back into “Draft” form, so to all of you out there who were wondering how many tumblers full of wine I had in my belly when I made that post, please accept my apologies and continue reading below.

Over the past couple of weeks I have made about a gazillion of these blocks, well perhaps 14 might be a more accurate estimate.  This block is commonly known as  Crosses and Losses or Sometimes +s and Xs,  but I did a little research and this block appears way back in 1938 in the Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns as “Japanese Cross”.  Who knows why its maker gave it this name but I love it all the same and have decided I will call the quilt I’m making with this pattern, “Velda’s Cross”  My whole point is this.  Names mean nothing when it comes to the quilt blocks I love, or people either for that matter.img_3246img_3039img_3119img_3156

Here are some more of the Japanese Crosses I’ve made recently. Seriously gawjus every one of them.  Be warned folks, you will see a lot of these blocks this year.

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As you can see this quilt is going to be totally unashamed of its block name.  Its going to be out there, wild, colourful, crazy, beautiful and the way I may (or may not) have been back in the day.

Happy New Year everyone.  Lets make this year the best one yet!!!

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.

 

I think We can…I think We can…I think We can.

Long long ago and far far away in a quieter gentler time–February 2016 I think it was, I, along with my good friends, Joyce, Nancy, Selina and Judy (we call ourselves The Pansys) decided to go out on a limb for our Guild. We agreed to take charge of the Fund Raising Raffle Quilt for the Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild. Now when we did this – to the best of my knowledge – none of us, had ever undertaken a thing of this magnitude before. We knew we were under the gun to get this done.  We had to get a fabulous quilt out into the world…it had to be cut, pieced, sewn, quilted and bound…within two months we figured… so we could start selling raffle tickets.  But on top of that we also had to purchase a raffle ticket license, make and print the tickets, distribute and keep track of tickets and ticket sales, find venues to sell those tickets, find people to man the ticket booths and a whole host of other things. It was gonna be a lot of work. Here is a pic of the gorgeous quilt that my cohort, Joyce offered up for sale to use as our raffle quilt.  Thank you Joyce.  It is a beautiful thing.

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More than a couple of times I wish we had thought a bit longer and harder about that commitment on that cold dark February evening, because that was not all we volunteered for that night. Not by a long shot, Nope, nosiree Bob, it was not. We–Joyce and I–(okay I confess,  I stood up and dragged Joyce up with me) said that we would take on the job of chairing the entire 13th biennial Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild Quilt Show.  OMG Holy Heck Hermione, etc.  Yikes.

Well let me tell you, we have had quite a year.  Our quilt show did come together successfully, and was held on October 14, 15, and 16 in Charlottetown PEI.  Now that its over, we are all, amazingly, still the best of friends, and to all accounts, our show was a fine success.

Over the past 8 months, we have all acquired a whole schwack of new skill sets and brushed up on ones we already had.  We now know how to: acquire and renew a lottery license; choose a venue to suit our event and negotiate pricing for it;  pin down and then bully (kindly) volunteers into doing way more than they signed up for;  search out and encourage vendors to attend our event even though its last minute; plan and publicize the entire event… both on line and in print media (oh and how to be charming TV stars – right Vanna/Selena) and much much more.  And, all the while we were juggling our own lives…together we coped with children leaving the nest; downsizing our homes; parenting our parents; losing a much loved pet family member; taking on new and greater job responsibilities; and so much more.  Yay us!

I want to take this moment to say, from the bottom of my heart,  I’m proud of all of you who worked so hard to make Joyce and I look great.  IMHO, you did a spectacular job. It was such an honour to work with all of you.   Thank you, thank you, thank you.

There is so much more that I should be saying right now, and so many people I should be seeking out and offering up my personal and profound thanks (and I will do that soon) but for now, I think I’ll end this post with….I knew we could, I knew we could, I knew we could.

Here for your viewing pleasure are just a few pics of the gorgeous items displayed at the show.  We are so lucky to have so many astonishingly talented, humble folks here on the Island.

 

There is nothing wrong that a chunk of chocolate the size of my head cannot fix!

Perhaps that seems a bit outrageous to you…but you are not having the day I’m having, are you?  I thought not!

BTW. I think this chocolate picture looks amazingly tasty. How about you?
I may or may not have mentioned at some point in the last year, that I am Co-Chair of our Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild 13th biennial quilt show. I am very excited about this opportunity and know we are going to have a wonderful show.  We have oodles of excellent volunteers, all who have stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park in true Islander fashion…we have advertised our Show in both our major Island newspapers and various community newspapers and newsletters…we have lots of quilty entries to awe and amaze those who attend the show…we have arranged for tea and cookies to be served to our guests…we have done almost everything that we can do to ensure a spectacular event.  Holy Heck Hermioine, we even have a car quilt ready to drape over someone’s car to showcase the outstanding talents of our group….Why then am I having such a bad day?

Well its all because my dang printer won’t print.  It will scan, it will copy, but it will not print from a document.  Sheeeuks,  I’m about to blow a gasket. The quilt show is only two and one half weeks away and I have yet to print off the database/spreadsheet for our decorating/hanging committee, our admissions committee and/or any other group who needs it.  I have reset the printer twice, checked and rechecked the ink levels, said a prayer or two, a time or two and even slapped it (the printer) up side the head…and it just won’t work, so  I am about to a) curl up into a ball;  b) throw a temper tantrum; or c) mutter a mouthful of really bad, terrible, awful, unladylike, not nice, unkind words.

In case I’m being unclear, I need something to happen which gets my printer up and running very very soon.

And lets also say that you should put these dates on your calendar for the 13th biennial Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild Show.

  • Date:  October 14, 15, and 16, 2016
  • Place:  Jack Blanchard Family Centre, 7 Pond St., Charlottetown, PE
  • Time:  Fri., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, Sat. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. & Sun., Noon to 4 p.m.

There is lots of parking available and you will have an opportunity to drool over all the beautiful quilty items being showcased; vote for your favourite quilt, browse in the merchant mall for all the newest and best fabrics from local shops; purchase a raffle ticket on an awesome king sized bed quilt; and finally — stop in the tea room to enjoy a coffee or tea with friends.I’ll see you there…I’ll be the grey haired granny, running around with a hunk of hair missing from the top of her head…and chocolate on my fingers.

 

 

Katy Lucy, the Quilt

This post is my entry into the Large quilt section of the  Bloggers Quilt Festival – Fall 2016 being hosted by Amy Ellis of AmysCreativeSide.  I call her Katy Lucy because she is going to be gifted to my lovely niece, Katy Lucy B on her big birthday at the end of October.


Yikes…where do I begin with this quilt…its massive (for me at least). It was inspired by Jen Kingwell’s Avatrix Medallion quilt.  Actually I purchased the pattern and made the whole quilt with some modifications, of course…and at the very end just before I sent it off to be quilted by the amazing Liz Dempsey at Blueberry Cove Quilting Studio,  I decided I didn’t like the way the centre medallion looked, so took it out and replaced it with this nested churn dash.  I also changed one of the borders because I just hate making templates (which was required for the outside border row) and since I  loooooove pinwheels, I decided to change up the pattern.  This is one of my favourite pictures of the blocks before they got sewn into that row.  If you click on the menu above, you can see the picto-toot I developed to make that process easier.  There are almost a gazillion pinwheels in that quilt.IMG_1305

This quilt was determined not to be finished for a long time.  I posted about it once when I realized it was lost in the infamous WIP cupboard, and again here when I was found it and started working on it again.

This quilt made an appearance at the Dundas Plowing Match in Dundas PEI in August, where it won itself a blue 2nd place ribbon.  I am quite proud of her (and of her namesake too for that matter).  I hope you like her as much as I do.

Teal Mini Swap – I made a mini…I’m gonna get a mini

Designed by Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs, the Teal Mini Swap is an annual event intended to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, provide funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and to give quilters and sewers a fun little swap

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This is my entry into the mini quilt category over at Amy’s Creative Side.  I wrote this post less than a week ago to say thank you for my partner in the Teal Mini Quilt 2016 swap.

I was moved to participate this year, because my sister-in-law, Helene is currently receiving treatment for a gynaecological cancer.  Chemo was/is scheduled every 3 weeks since mid-August and continues through November, 2016. Helene is a remarkably strong and vibrant woman, but she is overwhelmed with debilitating side effects from chemotherapy.  I hoped I could raise her spirits and your awareness of this monstrous disease by taking part in a very worthy cause.  

After signing up I was quickly paired with the lovely Ms. Tony Jean Dickerson of Kansas City, MO. As participants we each received a small piece of the specially selected teal swap fabric – this year a lovely Moda teal (its the dark teal square in the picture below!) –  which we were asked to use  when making a mini quilt or mug rug for our swap partner. We were instructed to make our Minis or mug rugs in September and get them delivered to partners no later than October 2. 

Tony Jean and I quickly became Facebook friends and started chatting via Messenger, e-mail and on the Facebook page created for the swap.  I learned that Tony Jean works for a school system in Kansas City, that she would like a mini-quilt for her new office…and her office is in an ultra modern building with a bold blue and orange colour scheme.  I love orange and blue together, so was eager to start pulling fabric, cutting, piecing, and sewing on the mini for her.  At first I was afraid that the various teal fabrics wouldn’t play well together, but much to my pleasure, all the shades of blue, orange and teal that I pulled went together well.  Here is a photo of the colours I ended up choosing, including the teal fabric provided by the Swap Host and Moda.

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After poking around Pinterest Boards and pins for a day or two, I found my inspiration in this lovely mini quilt by Terry Aske of Terry Aske Art Quilts.  You can check out her “Mostly Teal” mini quilt in more detail by clicking here if you are so inclined.  You should go, because there are a lot of really beautiful textile and fibre art pieces on her website.  Don’t forget to come back.

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“Mostly Teal”  by Terry Aske – TerryAskeArtQuilts.com

 

I knew I didn’t have the skills to make anything nearly as wonderful as this, but I did happen to have lots of fabric snippets in the colours that Tony Jean asked for, as you can see.   So I began…

It only took one evening to piece my version…which I’m calling sTeal Magnolias. I’m happy to say there were no snags or hiccups during the piecing, and it turned out to be as cute as a button, all blue, green, orange and teal.


FYI, the mini quilt was supposed to be no more than 18″ square (Tony Jean’s mini did end up just a smidge bigger finished).

Also FYI, I have absolutely no machine quilting skills at all because I either hand-quilt or send all my tops out to be long-arm quilted.

Also FYI, I didn’t think I should hand-quilt this fairly modern wonky log cabin, so after I finished piecing the mini, I resolved I would machine quilt it on my Babylock by myself.  Yikes, OMG, Holy Heck Hermione, etc., I was very nervous that after all my hard work, I would wreck it at this stage. So with my heart in my mouth and my fingers crossed, I commenced machine quilting. And HOLY MOLEY IT TURNED OUT GREAT.  See.

I went with in-the-ditch quilting for the  log cabins and very narrow rows straight lines with some gentle curves every 4th or fifth row. I used my walking foot and a Hera marker to try to keep everything fairly linear,  Here is the back of the quilt.

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As you can see the back is pieced with scraps I had on hand and a sample block that I had drafted and discarded for the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop (which is a whole ‘nuther story for a whole ‘nuther day).  I hand printed the label with a dark teal pigma pen (so it should last forever), glue basted it to the quilt and quilted it down, then popped it into the mail for my new friend Tony Jean Dickerson in Kansas City, MO. USA.

I sure hope she likes it.  I am beyond excited to get mine from her  in the mail.  I’ll post  a picture as soon as it gets here.  Yay!