Farewell to thee, 2018

Seeing as its New Year’s Eve, I thought I might do a quick recap of my quilt year. Although I didn’t blog until later in the year, I was pretty busy at my machine. Here are a few of the client quilts I completed this year

I took on several new clients in 2018 and I hope to increase my client list even more in 2019. Thank you so much to everyone who trusted me with your quilt tops. I appreciate your business so much!

We took a long overdue family holiday to Thunder Bay

this summer to visit family and to say goodbye to the sweetest soul I’ve ever had the honour of knowing.

Grandpa Z was a man like no other and his absence is felt every single day. The loss of this beautiful man was a heartbreaking tragedy that we will never get over. I am so thankful we have a supportive and loving family to help us through it.

While in Thunder Bay, I was able to deliver a couple of quilts that my dear husband’s aunt waited years for. They were memory quilts for her children from their dad’s clothes.

I also gifted my beautiful niece with a quilt for her birthday. Does it matter that I was 4 months late?

2018 found me with less time to work on my own projects but I was still able to start a few things

I also found a killer deal on an embroidery only machine. I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but I’m pretty excited about it

The very last project I completed for 2018 was a memory quilt for a lovely young lady who graduated from high school in 2017. Her Aunt wanted to make a memory quilt for her, but she was unable to find the time to do it after taking on a new job. That’s where I came in. I was able to get it finished in time for Christmas and word is that she loved it!

I’m spending the holidays in Edmonton with my family and won’t head home until the weekend. I’m pumped to see what 2019 has in store for my little business!

Merry Holidays!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with friends and family! We came home to Edmonton to spend time with my family, and true to form it was a raucous affair with lots of laughs.

Right before the holiday I had an issue with my longarm machine. I blew a fuse and just my luck, I could not find the fuse I needed to save my life. I called and went to about 7 places in my area, but had no luck finding what I needed. Wednesday last, the stars aligned and I found what I needed in Saskatoon. It just so happened that a friend of mine was two blocks away from the store, and she was kind enough to pop in and pick up what I needed. I was a little concerned that there were bigger problems with my machine, but when my husband brought them home I beetled downstairs and put the new fuse in. IT WORKED! I was so relieved! Thursday morning I got the boys on the school bus and headed down to get to work. I had two quilt tops to finish and because they were on the smaller side, I was able to get them done by that afternoon.

They are both such pretty quilts and I was so happy that I could get them finished for my clients before Christmas.

Well, poop

I truly love living in rural Saskatchewan, but it does have its downfalls. Like when your Longarm machine won’t turn on and it’s the last week before Christmas and you’re getting the last of your client’s quilts done, but you don’t have any of the required fuses to get it up and running again. You call around to every place in a 100 km radius that *might* have the fuse you need, but no one has any in stock. You can order what you need online, but there’s no way it will arrive in time for you to get the work done. So you contact your clients and give them the bad news and hope that they are understanding (my wonderful clients are so very kind and understanding. Thank you so much!) Then it can be a giant pain in the a** to live out in the middle of no where. It’s times like this that I miss living in the city. But then I think of the wonderful life we have out here. How my children have freedoms they could never have living in the city. How we have privacy, and solitude, and peace. How we have become self reliant and resourceful. I feel terrible that I won’t be able to complete my clients quilts before Christmas, but as bad as I feel, it’s still worth it to live a life I love out here in the sticks.

A guild show and a new start

Back in September I received a phone call from a lady in a neighbouring town, asking if I’d be interested in having a table at their annual guild show. Of course I jumped at the chance! I was a little unsure of what I would have for displays at my table, but after consulting a few longarm groups on Facebook I decided to have a few samples of my work, a booklet of pantograph patterns that I offer, some business cards, and a handout on my pricing and how to prepare a quilt for your longarm quilter.

I had a pretty good day! I gave out a ton of cards, and more than half of the pamphlets I brought. I met some lovely people as well! I had forgotten how much i enjoy these shows. It was more than 4 years since my last show and I sure hope I don’t wait that long before I do another.

Once the show was done I found myself with a fair amount of work to complete. I spent the entire month of November and the first week of December getting stuff quilted up for all my new customers. I have two memory quilts to complete before Christmas and it’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m confident I can get them done. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I go.

I’m Baa-ack

It has been a very, very long time since i sat down and wrote a blog. Over two years to be precise. I can’t even recall why i stopped blogging in the first place, but since I’ve decided to start focussing on the LongArm  Quilting side of my business, I thought I might as well dust off my keyboard and start documenting what I’m doing. I do hope you’ll join me

Quarter 4 Finish-a-long

Things have so busy around here I’ve hardly had time to quilt, let alone blog. I definitely need to change that, not only for my own mental health, but to finish some projects for my incredibly patient clients. I’ve decided to join the last leg of the 2016 Finish-a-long to light a fire under my a motivate myself. The idea is to make a list of unfinished projects and then try to complete them before the deadline in order to qualify for some amazing prizes. I may never win, but I’m a sucker for a contest!
My list is as follows:
twin size pineapple blossom in blue
twin size star chain in green
twin size double four patch in pink
quilt denim king size quilt
memory pillow for Noah
triangle quilt for Cadie
In reality, the list COULD be much, much longer, but I need to make the goal attainable. I always have grand aspirations but I have a huge problem when it comes to follow through. Either I lose interest in the project shortly after I begin, or something takes my attention away and then I have trouble getting back into it. Its embarrassing for me to admit, but I have over 30 incomplete projects on the go. I hope that this will help me to cross a few things off my list.
I’m linking my list with Leanne at she can quilt

Finish It Up (two) Friday(s ago)

I’ve been a little negligent with my blog as of late, but I have a good reason. It’s berry picking time here in North Central Saskatchewan
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I have an absolutely amazing orchard on my property (thanks to the previous owners) and I can hardly keep up when berry time comes around. I have a huge raspberry patch, and 23 Saskatoon Berry bushes. I’ve been calling in friends and neighbours to come get berries, as there is no way I can use them all.
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Never in my life have I seen a berry that big! It can get overwhelming, but I remind myself that whatever I don’t freeze, bake with, or make into jam will go to feed the assorted critters we have in the yard.
I have been trying to fit in some sewing time when I can, but there hasn’t been time to write a blog post. Even though i’m a few weeks behind, late is better than not at all, so, here we go….
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This GLORIOUS Dresden Plate belongs to Opal. She got in touch with me last year, right before my honey broke both of his wrists. When she was younger a very special Aunt hand stitched these Dresden Plate blocks from her scraps. Opal has had them for years and finally decided it was time to get them made into a quilt. She chose a black background and the trusted me to put them together for her. It took me way too long to get working on it, but she was so patient and didn’t give me grief. I finally started on it in March, a full year after she had given me the blocks and background fabric.
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I had a blast stitching the plates down. The fabrics were absolutely amazing!! If you look closely you can see where the maker pieced scraps together to make a piece large enough to cut a wedge out, or where she used a different fabric for some of the wedges because she had run out of the original.
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There were 20 – 18 1/2″ plates on 20″ background blocks, so the finished quilt was queen size without the need for sashing or borders. I was thrilled because i wanted the Dresdens to be the star of the show, and they truly are! They pop so beautifully against the black background.
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I machine quilted it with charcoal thread using two layers of polyester batting to keep Opal extra warm as she battles some health issues. The quilt was FINALLY delivered a couple of weeks ago, and she loved it. She’s so happy to have a quilt she can use and love, especially after her Aunt spent so much time hand stitching each and every block.

Linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

A Long Time Coming

Back in February. I had a lady contact me on Facebook about completing some quilting for her. We had a few false starts, but were finally able to connect in the middle of March. She told me that the quilt was for her young son, as she was expecting and he would need to move to a big boy bed soon. We discussed some ideas and went on our way.
When I got it home, I realised that I had really dropped the ball. I had neglected to go over all of the things that are standard when I take on a new client, specifically backing size. For those unfamiliar with longarm quilting, it can be a surprise to learn that backing and batting need to be about 4 inches larger than the top on all sides. I don’t know why I hadn’t mentioned it as it’s part of my spiel, but I hadn’t and the backing wasn’t large enough. I quickly contacted her and we talked over some options. She asked me to see if I had anything that would go and i said I’d get some pictures to her right away. I lied. hahaha! I ended up getting called in to work at the library and my boys were home for spring break, so I had the energy of a sloth. It took me a week before i got some pictures to her. Then I heard nothing for a couple of weeks. I sent her a message. No reply. I tried again the next week. No reply. I was worried that something might have happened. Turns out I was right! She had been in the hospital, having her new baby! There were a few complications so she was there for a few days, and then was busy at home settling in with a toddler and a new babe. She tried to order more of the flannel she already had, but the shop had only a metre in stock so she would have to wait for it to come in.
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Finally, in the middle of May, she got her fabric in. We made arrangements to meet, and I let her know that I wouldn’t be able to get it done until the following week as I had plans to go to Edmonton for the long weekend with my boys. That turned out to be the trip from hell. My van broke down at 10:30 at night in the middle of a rainstorm on a super busy highway. Thankfully, we were close enough to Edmonton that my Mom and Dad were able to come rescue us. My Dad and Uncle went out the next morning only to discover that a bolt had broken and it would need to go in somewhere to be repaired. As it was the long weekend, everything was closed until Tuesday. Sigh. We got an unexpected week long holiday, and made it home ok. I was able to get started on the quilt last week, and after a few hiccups, I got it off the frame yesterday. DSC02198
It turned out great! I love the denim and flannel patches, obviously made from worn out clothes. I love that something that most would throw away can be turned into a beautiful quilt that will give warmth and comfort to a sweet little boy for many, many years.
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I quilted it with grey Essential Pro thread from Connecting Threads, and used the Bumpity pantograph by Four Paws Quilting.
I also did the binding for her and she chose Line Dance from the CT Patriotic Minis line. It looks so nice with just that touch of red!
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It took ages to get this quilt done, but it turned out so well it was worth the extra time.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and Confession of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Throwback Thursday – June Edition

It’s that time again! Well, actually, it’s a week late because the host was away the first Thursday of June. Since she was doing something quilty, I’ll let it slide. hahahaha!

When my sister’s kids were young, I was a career girl with no kids of my own. Needless to say, I was head over heels for my nieces and nephew. They were adorable and hilarious and I loved spending time with them. I desperately wanted children of my own, but since I had none, I focused my energies on them.

One day, I found the CUTEST knit fabric at the Fabricland down the road. I bought enough to make myself and my best girl (oldest niece) some jammies. I took it home, washed it up, and got to work. It was glorious! Thick, and soft and cute as a button! I whipped us up some jammies in time for her next sleepover. They were so cute!!! I ended up going back and getting more fabric, and made a couple pairs for all three of them. The youngest was only 2 at the time, so i was able to squeeze some tiny little nighties out of the leftovers from her sister’s.

For some unknown reason, I held on to the scraps for a few years. Maybe it was because the prints were so sweet, maybe it made me think of when the kids were wee, I dunno. Regardless, a few years into my quilting journey, I decided to make a quilt out of them. I thought I had much more than I actually did so the quilt turned out really, really small, but i stitched it together and hand quilted it, and gave it to my sister for her birthday.

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I don’t even recall what i backed it with, or how i bound it, but I know my sister loves it and still uses it. It reminds her of her wee lambs, when they still loved to snuggle on her lap in their cozy jammies that Auntie Chrissie made them. The kids are all grown up now. The youngest just turned 18 and graduates from high school this weekend. It’s overwhelming to think about how fast the time has gone. It won’t be long and I’ll be watching my boys graduate. I must remind myself to treasure each moment while they still need me so. Maybe i’ll hang on to some clothes and make a memory quilt for myself someday.

Linking up with Jenn @A Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday Vol. 11

Mountains on the Prairie?

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Just before the May long weekend here in Canada, I was lucky enough to quilt this beauty up for Diane S. She has 7 grandchildren  (3 girls, 4 boys) and is making each of them a quilt for graduation. Thankfully, they aren’t all graduating at once! hahahaha!

Diane and her husband are snowbirds, so she works on the quilt tops over the winter in Arizona and brings them back in the spring, ready to quilt. She made this gorgeous quilt for one of her grandsons and I’m sure that when he graduates he will LOVE it!

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Diane used  a combination of regular quilting cotton and Batiks in blues and greys, and a white with grey dots for the background and the effect is stunning. I quilted it in medium grey Essential Pro thread from Connecting Threads with the Jessie’s Swirls panto. She chose Angela Walters wide fabric in Paisley Feathers for the backing.

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The result is a beautiful quilt just perfect for a young man!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!!