Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I promise

This quilt festival has been so much fun! Thank you so much everyone for visiting and commenting on my blog.  I really have enjoyed visiting so many new blogs and getting inspired by all of the amazing works that you do. 

That being said, I need to take a break.  I have spent wayyyyy too much time on the computer this weekend and this week checking out new blogs and need to get some of that crafty inspiration into fruition.   At this point, I need to stop.  I feel like I'm spinning my wheels with so much excitement and inspiration, but it's really leading to nowhere except more time on the computer.  I am a major procrastinator and this has been great stuff to feed it.  ;-)  

So tomorrow.  I allow myself a few minutes in the morning with my coffee to wake up to catch up on my computer time (15 minutes) and the rest of the day I commit to accomplishing something quilty.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilt Festival! My featured quilt...

The quilt I'm going to showcase is probably not my best work, nor my favourite.  But it represents a point in my life that I'm very excited about - the time that I took control and found something completely "selfish" and all about me.  

I'll start with the beginning.  I took a beginner class in quilting and completed a rail fence quilt, in colours to match my home decor - browns, reds, some greens.. earthy homey colours.  
Beautiful, but it just wasn't my thing.   I loved the class because it taught me all of the basics such as straightening fabric, cutting tips, mathematical tips, basting, binding, etc.   I recommend anyone to take a beginner course just for that head start.    I found the quilt boring though. And I think it's the fabrics that totally uninspired me.    

After discovering the plethora of fabrics online, initially through ebay, I purchased a few charm packs and strip sets in a bunch of modern colours, modern designs.  Ones that excited, inspired and motivated me to get started.  This is where my featured quilt comes into play.

I saw an online tutorial for a disappearing 9 patch and went with it.   I pieced together, and improvised my way along until I used up all of my fabric and I had a square quilt top done.  And alas, it was too small and needed more fabric.   
 Taking it to my local quilt shop, the owner there helped me choose the turquoise, green and brown borders to highlight the inside blocks.   What was really motivating is that she had never seen a quilt done in these colours before and she just loved it.   So much in fact, that when I returned to the store about a month later,   lo and behold a  quilt with the same colour combinations on display there!  Coincidence or not.. I don't know, but I'll make it my story. 

The quilt is simple - it shows my first stipple around the border, and I did straight echo stitching around the outer blocks.    The cotton chenille was a pain to work with - the fluff was everywhere - in my nose, upstairs, in my clothes...but I love the texture it gives.

This quilt is my favourite, not because of the fabrics or the pattern or the final effect, but more of a personal one.   It represents a turning point for myself personally - finally finding something that was my joy (aside from husband, kids and family of course) that was all about me...not pleasing for someone else, or benefitting someone else, but all about me.  Becoming a wife and mother is one of the most incredible gifts I've been given in my life, but in the process I've lost a bit of myself and my own interests in trying to juggle my "roles".  Quilting is something only I know how to do in this house, I get to choose the fabrics and patterns, I get to splurge and have a little shopping guilt.  I no longer hide behind my passion and call myself jokingly "granny Andrea" with that little bit of embarassment because I like to quilt.  Now, when I quilt, I am Andrea.  I love to quilt.  I am a quilter.    

This quilt represents the time when quilting became my passion, and it marks the beginning of my quilting joy and journey, of me living my life a little more for myself.   *remember to click on the photos for more detail 

and of course, you may be thinking...well, if this isn't her favourite quilt, which one is? 
It's this one. It made me feel like a real quilter.  The blocks were super simple, the colours totally fun and bold, and the machine quilting is what I'm so very proud of.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vintage Bed Linens for quilts

I have been obsessing, well, browsing at this etsy shop for the past few weeks.   I've never thought about making quilts from vintage sheets, but some of them look so pretty.  This favourite bundle and especially this favourite right now look so charming bundled together.   The shipping on them are a bit much for me at the moment though, as I ponder buying brand new all cottons vs vintage poly cottons.     I just love that lemony yellow combo though!  Perhaps I'll just need to find some yellow new stuff for my stash. 

I think I need to wait awhile though, as I just purchased a motherlode,  kona shot cottons,  wonderland charm packs, and katie jump rope fq bundles in geranium and blue.  

Please help me stop building my stash, and get me using it now!!! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Participate in the Online Bloggers Quilt Festival!

This is hosted and dreamed up by Amy and it sounds like alot of fun. There are prizes too! I'm a new quilter and I don't have lots of stories, but I'll try and think of something!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Log Cabin Practice Runner

Just practicing doing a log cabin block from scraps in a different way than precut and measured pieces.  I'm in total need of some inspiring fabrics to do projects with, as these just did not cut it for me.   Yes, black, browns and dashes of brick are in my house, but making quilt blocks in these fabrics didn't feel inspiring at all.  
I've purchased some Katie Jump Rope fabric bundles, and I've been spying on some Kaufman aqua and reds that seem to be nice.    Also, I NEED to get a quilt done for my mil (still need to purchase that blue/white fabric, but I get the feeling it will be a blah feeling to quilt)
Maybe it's just a blah time for quilting, and I just need to continue my reading and soaking in of all the gorgeous blogs out there.  I'm in awe of what people create.   

I may need to do some fabric giveaways soon.  

Winter Woes

It's cruel punishment.   The past week has been in the mid teens (celsius) and sunny here.  Out came the sandals, the capri pants and the patio furniture.   The garage was swept and power washed of all the sand and gravel gunk that drops off the winter cars.  Bikes came out and we were ready to begin our summer.   We even had a fire on Saturday night with a glass of wine sitting out on the adirondack chairs and some blankets.  (quilts one day...I can't let them get dirty yet.)

What a cruel trick ole man winter played on us today.   It's just a freak storm, and should just last for the day, and back to nice weather by the end of the week, but still!!!!! 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Plain Spoken, Plain Complete

Binding complete, washed and dried and crinkly goodness included.

Fabric Purchase

Feeling rather confused about what to do next project wise.  Another ADD week.   I went to my favourite local quilt shop that has some of the modern prints that are out there, but not all of them.   And again.  Awestruck by the prices.   15.95 per meter.  Fat quarters were 4.95 and 5.95 each, depending on the line.   *shaking my head just thinking about it*

They did have some older Anna Griffin Christmas fabric on for 1/2 price, so I picked up these: I liked the limey green and the brick reds.  Stash builder for Christmas.

And they had this adorable bird fabric (16.95 per meter, gasp!) but I had to buy a bit of it.  Coincidently, it went really well with the christmas red and lime colours.   I may be able to put them together and disguise the Christmas part.

So, I really need to figure out what to sew next.   I think I need some shopping therapy and build some stash projects.   my problem is that I love everything out there, and can't focus in on a project.  

Sunday, April 05, 2009

My Vancouver week in a few snapshots....

Met up with "Ned"'s new owners, Lorena and Baby Alexander.  Lorena shrieked when she opened Ned and started to cry! (hormones are still kicking her!)

This was at Buntzen Lake...they were filming a movie that day, and I'm guessing it was the Twilight series, New Moon, as the signage on the way in said N.M. Crew  and all the trailers, etc were all set up in the parking lot.  That and it's just the perfect spot for hazy, cloudy, misty vampirish stuff.  Buntzen Lake is where they filmed Lake Placid and Freddy Vs Jason.   It's a 10 minute drive from my sister's place in Port Moody.  It's gorgeous!  Ethan skipped his first rock on the water!  What a pro :-)
A cool shot of my boys at the Vancouver aquarium..

Drove through the rockies to get to Vancouver.   It was gorgeous. Photos just don't get the closeness of what the mountains really are.  They are truly magnificent. I love how you can see the glacier marks that have carved the striations in the rock.  Here are windshield photos:

Met up with friends and family each day,  Trent's grammy, my dad, my sister and brother and their families, my bcbabes (group of friends) whom made my heart strings tug way too much!

Spent a lot of time driving around and really really letting it sink in if it's where we want to live again. OMG the traffic is insane now! In 3 years, the congestion and skyrises and new developments shaving off the mountains are insane.   Coming back to Alberta, you could literally feel the stress of traffic and big city stuff go away.

It was an excellent visit.  A beautiful city, but I think I'm getting spoiled by my smaller city now! Even though we are the capital of Alberta, with all the big city ammenities, there's still so much more room here.  I just miss the forests, lakes, parks and outdoorsy stuff.  If only I could move them here, and bring my family and friends.  Life would be perfect wouldn't it?     

Hit some quilt stores, with much disappointment.  I resign myself to the fact that I'll be shopping at more online stores if my favourite local shop doesn't carry what I want for a decent price. wahh. 

I'm off to get some quilty inspiration and perhaps do a purchase or two for my next projects.   It's great to be back...