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?

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Quilt-Along with Me

I’m addicted.  Absolutely, completely, totally smitten with this whole idea.  It is so freeing to have no decisions to make and at the end of the day, (or year, or decade) to have another beautiful quilt in my collection.

Be warned though, its really really easy to say “Yes, I’m going to make that” and really really hard to always follow through to the end.  Especially for someone like me, who is like a magpie flitting from one shiny new project to another.  Yikes, OMG, you should just see the UFO’s in my closet…

Twice in my quilting life, so far, I knew the moment I saw a photo, that I had to make the quilt.  The first time was when I saw Sharon McConnell’s Twirling Fans Quilt.  OMG it was so beautiful, I was gobsmacked and awestruck.  Imagine how thrilled I was when I realized I could make my version of the quilt along with her in my first ever QAL.  Here is my finished Ninja Stars.  They could be twins, right?

Then this spring while I was poking around on Pinterest I found pins and pages for quilts by Jen Kingwell. Holy Hannah, I had no words when I first viewed some of her beautiful patterns. I knew the moment I first laid eyes on it that “The Gypsy Wife” was going to be my next project.  I scampered around on the Internet, searching Pinterest, Flikr and Instagram until I found a QAL just starting.  Thank you Hydeeann at Splish, Splash, Stash for all the great planning, photos, first couple months, etc.  Unfortunately this QAL host was unable to continue posting for personal reasons so I followed along with the group through March 2016  and then had to decide to put the half finished top away or tackle the rest of the project on my own.  I decided to continue at my own pace and stumbled along, posting about it a time or two along the way.  I cried a few tears when I thought it might be too complicated, and swore at it more than once…but it’s done, (quilted and bound) and IT IS AMAZING.  Just saying.  Here is a sneak peek, which is all I’m showing because I’m saving it to show at my Kindred Spirits Quilt Show coming up in October.

Last summer I sewed along with Sharon McConnell of Color Girl Quilts  in the  2015 Summer Blockbuster Quilt Along. We made this absolutely lovely quilt using 6″ finished blocks.  Check out the link above to see all the Quilt-Alongs she has hosted.  Awesome, right?

In January, 2016 I committed to making “The Splendid Sampler” with Pat Sloan and a whole crew of other seriously talented designers.  I’m sure most of you have heard of it.  We are a group of about 18,000 (OMG) quilters around the world who are determined, one way or another, to finish this mammoth 100 block project.  I, of course, decided to make two of these quilts.  (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? SERIOUSLY!!!) And, without a doubt folks it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  More than once, I thought I cannot do this anymore (probably because many of the blocks are not to my taste, or alternatively, not what I think the proposed owners of the quilts will like, or even what I thought I was signing on for).  But I am going forward, one step at a time.  Currently we are somewhere around Block 40 and scheduled to finish next February, at a pace of two blocks per week.  I like many others decided early on, that I would start setting the blocks as we go, as I cannot imagine having to set two 100-block quilts at the end.  Here is a sneak peek at the settings for these quilts so far.

I decided at the get-go that I would make the blocks I like and substitute the ones I don’t care for, for blocks taken from Tula Pink’s amazing City Sampler – 100 Modern Quilt Blocks  book… BTW, if ever you get the chance, you should buy or borrow, beg or steal this book.  I bought it and its chock full of absolutely ahhhmazing stuff.

And next, beginning in September,  I along with several others in my PEIMQG are planning to take part in another QAL co-hosted by an extraordinarily talented quilter,  mentor and my good friend and fellow PEIMQG member, Jean Mackie.  This QAL is based on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Patchwork City” quilt(s).  I’ve purchased the book and at this point am planning to make the “Downtown” Version of the quilt.

Someone, please save me from myself.  Its clear to me that there are more quilt-alongs out there than I can possibly finish unless I live to be 103!

 

With a little help from our friends.

Yesterday Phineas the cat paid a visit to the vet because he had some serious matts on his back.  Apparently he decided to embrace his retirement and over the past year or so has grown quite stout.  So stout in fact, he is unable to groom himself properly, which is saying something about his largesse when you consider just exactly how slithery and twisty most cats are.  Not so our Phinny I’m afraid. According to the scale, he weighs an embarrassing 15.7 lbs, almost twice as heavy as his best buddy Ed, who is our other feline fur boy.

Ed is sort of a foppish fellow.  He could be the poster boy for the metrosexual tomcat (if there were such a thing). He keeps his person in pristine condition.  His coat is soft and silky grey, his whiskers are silvery and his feet, breast and the tip of his tail are all sparkling snowy white. There is never a hair out of place on him. He is a beautiful boy. And whenever he is finished grooming himself, he starts working on Phineas… But no matter how hard Ed worked in the last month or so he just couldn’t keep up with all of Phin’s grooming needs, which is why I decided to step in and get the matts clipped off.

What has that got to do with quilting?  Very little actually, but its an example of something I’m thinking about today which is…. Everything turns out better when we all work together. For example, my Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild is holding its bi-annual quilt show in October, 2016.  Its an event to showcase all the excellent quilt artisans here on PEI.  Unfortunately nobody by herself, felt able to take on the mammoth task of organizing this 3 day show; so for many months now, its been up in the air whether there will be a show this year.

Anywhoo, long story short, my group of Pansy ladies stepped up to bat in January and are going to coordinate this event for everyone.  I am confident it will work out great, because between us, we have all the organizing, creative, time management, planning and networking skills to ensure success.

IMG_1068.jpgIMG_1070.jpg Fingers crossed that there will be lots of folks available to help us out, if things start to get matted up…

 

 

All Hail the Pansy Sisters.

No, we are not a 50’s family gospel singing group…although IMHO it would be a great name.

In light of what we have taken on, our little group of 5 like minded quilters must now become more than friends…we are sisters in *@#*%. Here is what happened.

Last night at our monthly Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild meeting, the President was giving us all a much needed talking to about contributing to our joint cause…it turns out our guild of 75+ members does not currently have a vice-president; or a person in charge of our largest annual fund raising project;  or a person or persons to plan our bi-annual quilt show.  Holy Heck Huckleberry Hound, this is not good.

The five of us were sitting in the back row (except Judy, who was smart enough to sit far far away) listening, and feeling a tiny bit guilty about not participating more, when I looked at Joyce and said…You should do it…meaning she should become the new Vice-President, she said NO:NO:NO, then Selina looked at her and whispered “we will help you”.   Nancy, very wisely,  sat there between them saying nothing…. so not knowing exactly what they were talking about (dang my deaf ears) I said “yes of course I will help”.  The next thing I knew Selina had her hand up in the air waving excitedly (Selina is the most outgoing one in our group).  The President acknowledged her and she said “the Pansies will do it”.  For some reason I thought we were volunteering as a group to be the vice-president!  Never mind what I thought, I was wrong.  We had in fact actually volunteered to be in charge of the 2016 raffle quilt, which is a very worthy project and one which the whole group of us can get behind and take on easily.

But, the evening was not over, Nosiree Bob, it was not.  There were still two other very necessary positions to be filled.  By now the bunch of us were all whispering madly among ourselves except Judy, who is sitting on the other side of the aisle, looking at Selina and mouthing… “this is what happens when you have friends”….Thankfully, she was joking, because we need her expertise and know she will do everything possible to make our project successful.

But… I am still sitting in my chair thinking Joyce would be a great vice-president and still encouraging her to take this task on.  She continues to say NO:NO;NO.

By now the President has moved on to whether or not we will have a quilt show this fall because we don’t have anyone to coordinate it. Next thing I knew Joyce was nudging me whispering urgently “we can do this together” and there I was waving my hand in the air.  Yes to make this long story short, Joyce and I agreed to jointly take on coordinating the quilt show.  I can only pray that we have not bitten off more than we can chew.

Stay tuned because who knows what will happen next.