Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Quilt for a Loved One

Welcome to my blog if this is your first visit. I hope you enjoy your stay here. This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I completed this quilt on Sunday. I've been working madly on it to finish it for a friend who needed some quilt comfort. Her husband died unexpectedly about a month ago, and I knew right away what I needed to do for her.

I gave it to her yesterday and she cried. I may have cried too. She is seriously sweet and genuine and caring, and nobody deserves to have something good in her life more than she does right now.

I made it with diamond balis and used the Turning Twenty pattern. It works so well for large scale prints like these. I am so pleased with how it turned out. This quilt is about 70 x 86". Its the biggest quilt I've ever made and I can't believe that I managed to quilt it on my small machine. I quilted it with loops, spaced quite close together. It took a long time.

For the backing I used a super soft Moda Bella solid green (sorry I don't know the name of the colour). The binding is a periwinkle colour solid that I bought in Egypt at the market.

I wrote a Bible verse on the label, even though I originally planned to quilt the words into the border. I just ran out of time and it was much easier this way. That can be an accomplishment another time.

I hope that you enjoyed hearing the story of this quilt. If you are the praying sort, please pray for my friend and her family. I know that our God listens.

Also, please go check out the other quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival over on Amy's Creative Side. There is a lot of inspiration, so be prepared!

xo Nicole

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mexico Trip

This summer I had the opportunity to go on a missions trip with some people from my church. Our destination was Tijuana, Mexico, and our goal was to build eight basic houses while there. It all sounds so simple, but there was so much more.

Our team of 21 members drove from Kamloops in 3 vans. That's over 2,500 kilometers! We left at 5 am on July 21st. Each day we were assigned a van to be in and it was switched up once each day, so that we could get to know each other really well. Sometimes we got to know too much (as sometimes happens when spending endless hours cooped up in a van). The good news is that we all got along and bonded well.

We finally arrived, with some stops along the way, in Tijuana 4 days later. We had the privilege of attending a Mexican church on Sunday when we arrived. It was really neat to sing and worship God with the people there. I loved seeing how passionate the pastor was in his preaching too.

After church we had our first experience ordering tacos in Spanish at a taco stand. It was really hard for me to remember the names of things the first day, but by the end of the week I had it down pat. And the food was delicious. That was actually one of the things that I was most looking forward to about the trip.

We worked with Mexico Caravan Ministries and stayed in dorms there. They have a very unassuming building in a regular neighbourhood, and the inside is simple as well. They can house up to 100 people there. We slept on triple decker bunkbeds and had to share a very small washroom. Oh, and no showers either. (I have to be honest. This was something that I was very worried about and made me debate whether or not I would go on this trip. I'm not high maintenance, but I do like to keep clean).

Each morning we would get up, get ready, have devotions, eat breakfast and then gather together with the other teams that were there for the week. We sang together and then listened to a speaker. Mexico Caravan Ministries is actually a missions mobilization organization, so their focus was on showing that God calls us to spread the gospel in all the earth. We are to go to all corners of the earth to tell others about Jesus and his death and resurrection. Each morning we had a different speaker who explained different aspects of this. I was challenged in so many ways. The Lord spoke to me about how I can live my life for Him and what He is wanting from me in my life.

After the morning session, our team divided into two and we each went to a different location to build a house for a family. Caravan makes all the decisions about who to build for and since none of us had much Spanish knowledge, we don't know the different situations of each family that we built for. All we know is that they were really grateful for the small, simple structure that we could build for them.

Working together as a team we hammered and nailed and lifted and painted the house into being. There were often children who came by and wanted to help out. It was very sweet. The family we built for each day was also responsible to serve us lunch. It was always exciting to see what kind of food they prepared. I'm thankful that I had no gastrointestinal problems for the whole trip! I just enjoyed what was offered.

After building houses for 4 days, we had a day to serve in another way. We spent the day with boys from a boy's home. We ate lunch and then went to a water park. It was so neat to see all the kids delighted to be at the pool.

We left Mexico early the next morning. We took 5 days to get home and had some really neat experiences. Maybe I'll share some of those in another post. This one's getting rather long!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the highlight of my summer.

xo Nicole

P.S. I didn't bring my own camera with me, so all these pictures are courtesy of my fellow team members.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Canadian

Welcome to our new Canadian! Nader finally got his Canadian citizenship on May 28, 2010. (I know I am late in posting this). Nader and I did not get to sit near to each other, so my limited photos turned out poorly. The photo above was taken after the ceremony.

The ceremony was held in a high school gym just 1 block away from our house on a Friday morning. The judge came from Victoria, but he used to live in Kamloops. I can't remember what his name was. He made an incredible speech about what it means to be Canadian. I was moved.

It was really neat to take part in the oath of citizenship. I have never made such a declaration, as I was born Canadian. It states:
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

After saying the oath, each person becoming Canadian that day received their certificate of citizenship and shook hands with all the dignitaries. Then we ate cake.

Nader was so excited to apply for a passport that he did so right away, and got it within 3 weeks! Now he really wants to take a trip to the US, but that won't be for a little while yet. We have lots of other things planned for now!

If you ever have the chance to attend a citizenship ceremony, I highly recommend it. Its really neat to see people who have worked hard to become Canadians have their dreams fulfilled.

xo Nicole

Monday, July 5, 2010


I made this quilt for our friends, Dave and Kathryn. I had a set of scraps that I got at a great deal quite a long time ago and I decided to make something with them. They were pre-cut and I just randomly sewed them together without a plan. Once I had some chunks, I decided to do a little planning.

I came up with the layout above, but there was a tricky little hole in the middle. With some frustration I figured out how to fill it in. I bet you can't even find the spot! I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I quilted it with an all-over loopy stitch, similar to what I've done in the past, but with bigger loops. I think it has a nice texture to it. I used a dark blue Ikea sheet for the backing and a turquoise solid for the binding. I like how it ties it all together.

Our friends really like the quilt and tell me they use it regularly! Nothing makes me happier than that!

xo Nicole

Carmen's Birthday Quilt

Earlier this spring I decided to participate in a quilt along. I picked out these fabrics and started cutting. I got the solid yellow, a linen cotton blend when I was in Egypt last Christmas. The batiks came from my stash. I found the backing fabric at 50% off on a trip to Burnaby. I love the cherries!

I had the top ready to go in strips to sew into a top, but then we moved. It took some time to get things set up in our new place for sewing to resume.

I then was teaching a friend how to quilt, using the same pattern, so I was distracted. I had the quilt ready for binding for quite a long time and had to show Carmen in advance! I was too excited to hold off any longer.

Finally I bit the bullet and finished hand sewing the binding down (after it sat on the back of my couch for nearly a month)! I gave it to Carmen for her birthday (which was in March) in the beginning of June. She was so thrilled!

I love this quilt because its so cheery and it was really simple to make. If you ever want to learn how to quilt, let me know!

xo Nicole

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Orange Joy

Well before Christmas I tempted you with a peek at the Orange Joy quilt. It was a present for Dana for Christmas, and since she reads this blog, I couldn't give it away, now could I?

I followed the tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew to make this quilt and I am so happy with the results. Its so happy and fresh and just makes you feel good!

I made the back with some orange solids and some left over pieces. I kinda like how it turned out, but my vision wasn't fully met. Oh, well. We all have things to learn each quilt we make.

I made a scrappy binding and love the way that looks. And the orange polka dots are my absolute fave! The quilt ended up being about 60"x60", which is the perfect lap size. I did my signature quilting on it and washed it up to make it all nice and crinkly. Mmmm...my favourite part of quilting.

Dana is super happy with her present and won't let anyone share it with her, so don't even try. ;-)

I would definitely make this pattern again. It came together fairly easily and has so many design possibilities.

xo Nicole

Thursday, April 22, 2010


No, the blog is not abandoned. I can just think of a thousand other things to take my attention away from it! I participated in a siggy swap through p.s. i quilt. I made 101 blocks and will receive 100 blocks back with many signatures from around the world. Well, actually it will only be 98 because 2 people didn't fulfill their commitment. But still, it is going to be cool to get all those blocks back and make a quilt with them.

I've also been to California and enjoyed some time in San Diego, Salton City, and around the Palm Springs area. This picture is in Joshua Tree National Park. I'd love to spend more than one day there. It was so beautiful.

I've also been busy moving (to our first place that we own!!), quilting, reading and who knows what other shenanigans. I'll have to share some pictures of what I've been up to in the near future. Hopefully I can discipline myself to make this something more regular! I'm always inspired by other bloggers.

xo Nicole

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Plaid Reconstructed

Wow, it's been too long since I posted something here! I was away for holidays in Egypt and am finally settling back into my normal life. I have lots of things to share with you. We'll break it down into several posts though. I don't want to overload you.

This quilt was a Christmas gift for my dad. I got the plaid fabrics at Quilt Essential Fabrics in Abbotsford for a great deal. I knew that they were perfect to use in a 'man quilt.' My dad wears lots of plaid shirts and tends towards these same colours too!

I was trying to figure out how to make the best use of them and was browsing lots of books and magazines. I finally found a pattern in a Quilts and More magazine that looked like it would be perfect for my project. I just needed to get some solids.

Well, I ordered some online and was very happy with how they worked with what I had. The nine patch blocks were a little tedious to make, but I chain stitched and somehow they all were made. The rest of the top was pretty quick to put together.

Then I had to decide what to do with the backing. I wanted to do something fun and I had lots of leftovers. I came up with this and was very happy with the results! So I pretty much made a reversible quilt.

The quilting I did is becoming my go-to for quilts. Its a meander with loops thrown in, and its fairly easy and quick. I love the crinkly look it creates after I wash and dry it. I'm so thrilled with the results from this quilt and, most importantly, my dad is too!

Come back soon and I'll share more about quilts I made for Christmas!

xo Nicole