Monday, January 30, 2012

Reminder to self....

Remove pins before sewing over them!

Happy Monday.

xo Nicole

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Make Life!

Hooray!  I have finished my first quilt of 2012.  It's made from a charm pack of Sweetwater's Make Life, some Moda Bella Snow for the background, and polka dots from Make Life for the border and binding.  It's a lovely size for a baby quilt, so good thing that it has a new home with a sweet baby.

I made it for the daughter of a teacher that I work with.  I picked out the fabrics before I knew what the gender of the baby would be, but I knew that it would be perfect.  I used a pattern that I got from Carla at Moda Club last year.  It's super easy and quick to put together.  I really love the graphic quality of it too.  I may just have to make another one day!  It would also be fun to do with a layer cake.

For the backing I used a sweet Japanese print that I got on sale that has little soldiers and cats and dogs and trees marching in rows.  The colours are a fabulous match with the charm pack.  I had thought that I had enough to do the whole back, but it turned out that I was short a bit.  Luckily I had just the perfect amount of red dots left over from the border and binding.  I can't believe how perfectly that it worked out.

I quilted it 1/4" away from the seams; a kind of echo quilt, I guess.  It took quite awhile to get it all quilted.  I used my walking foot and did have some problems with the stitch tension.  Most of the quilting looks okay after I washed it.  I really love how crinkly and soft this quilt got after it came out of the dryer.

My new favourite way to do binding on baby quilts is by machine.  It is so much faster and it will hopefully hold up better to frequent washings.  I am becoming better at it with each quilt I make.

It feels good to get something done.  I can take delight in that!  I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by all my projects that are piling up.  Hopefully I can finish some other things up in the next little while.  I'll try to make up a blog post soon featuring some things I am working on.  Then you can keep me accountable to finishing them!

xo Nicole

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Progress

I am piecing a quilt called Rambling Rose Meets Jamestown for a local quilter. It's going to be a big one - queen size in fact.  I've got the first three blocks done, but have many more to go.  Nine more sample style and 23 log cabins.  The pattern uses templates for cutting out the pieces.  It's the first time that I have used templates and I quite like them. The only pain is when they slip a little in the middle of a cut!  I think I figured my way around that now though.

I worked on this block in the past week.  It took longer than I anticipated, but it came together well enough.  It is called Roanoke Island.  I like the fussy cut flower center.

This block gave me some troubles.  I'm not really sure why, but I misunderstood the directions and had to do a bunch of ripping out.  Oh, my old friend, seam ripper.  This block is called Discovery.

Lastly, I have been working on a sample for my Beginner's Quilt class in the spring at Katja's.  I miscalculated how much background I needed and had to buy some more last week.  Good thing there's lots of it!  I also was not thrilled with my original sashing choice, so I bought a new fabric today for that.  I think it's going to be lovely!

xo Nicole

PS. Sorry about the terrible photos.  Night time lighting is the pits.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Addison's Quilt

Last October/November I sewed up a little quilt for a baby shower for my friend.  I used blocks from my month from The Maple Leaf Bee 2 quilting bee.  I was originally planning to add an off white border around each block and then some scrappy sashing, but in the end it was a perfect quick project for a baby.

I had each of my bee mates sew up some scrappy log cabin blocks a la Denise Schmidt drunk love in a log cabin style.  I sent them out a lovely selection of green, pink, orange and brown prints and solids and I am so pleased with the results.  The hardest thing is capturing the colours accurately on camera.  I tried my best to doctor up the pictures a bit to get you a better idea of what they look like.  However, it just doesn't measure up to seeing it in person.

I quilted it with an all over stipple loop and machine sewed the binding.  I love the bright pink of the binding.  It adds just a little more girly-ness without being over the top.

I pieced the back together with some left over bits of fabric and sewed on a label in an oval shape from a piece of Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line.  I think it may be my favourite part of the quilt!  I hope my friend and her baby girl will enjoy this quilt for many years.

xo Nicole

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcoming 2012

I know that it's a little cliché to review the last year and make goals for the coming year, but it feels satisfying somehow. In the past year there have been many accomplishments and some difficulties.

I have a faithful God who loves me and will always be with me.  I have a loving and supportive husband.  My family relationships and friendships have been deepened and strengthened.  I am blessed with two great jobs and wonderful colleagues. My health is good and is even improving.  We are home-owners and have been blessed with everything that we need.

Even in the midst of unexpected difficulties and hardships, I can be joyful and filled with hope for the future.  I know that my character is being stretched and grown.  I am becoming more of the person that God wants me to be and I am so thankful for this.

In the coming year I have a lot of goals, hopes and dreams.  Some of them are small and some are large.  Some are public and some are private.  I'll share some with you.

:: to make relationships a priority
:: to visit family and friends regularly
:: to teach a quilting class
:: to finish many of my unfinished projects from 2011 (I have three quilts basted that are waiting to be quilted!)
:: to do some of the quilts on my long list
:: to use up lots of my fabric that I already have
:: to be wise with my time
:: to finish crocheting a couple of baby blankets
:: to significantly cut down my sugar intake
:: to make myself do things 'now' rather than 'later'
:: to purge my house of unnecessary clutter and stuff
:: to be a peacemaker

I have heard of people choosing a word to remind them of their top priority for the year and I'd like to do that too.  I'm just not sure what that one all encompassing word would be.  Maybe the word delight. It has the conotation of being content and joyful and thankful.  It makes me feel happy.  I want to take delight in what life offers me.  I want to delight in the Lord.  Yes, that will be my word for the year.  Delight.

xo Nicole