oh baby!

a few months ago, a lovely young woman sent me a message on facebook asking if i could make a quilt for her baby. she wanted it to be gender neutral with bright colours. as the months passed, she had some issues with her pregnancy and as a result found out the sex of the baby.

JOY! JOY! IT’S A BOY!

i pulled a selection of fabrics that i thought would be suitable for a hip and modern baby boy.

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I had been playing with a couple of different ideas for layouts, but hadn’t quite decided what i want to do. mama wanted to have “baby clayton” appliquéd onto the quilt, so i knew i needed to have some negative space in order to do that. i finally settled on half rectangle triangle blocks as a starting point. i played around on eq5 quite a bit until i had something i liked.

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this was my first layout and i was all excited until i realized that i needed my hrt’s going in both directions. me being me, i had cut all of the hrt’s the same way, so this wasn’t going to work. back to the drawing board (or computer in this case)

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thought this layout might work, but it didn’t leave me any negative space for the appliqué. try again.

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then i tried this layout. i thought it would look ok, but after laying the blocks out i thought it was a too busy with all of the different prints. also, i wasn’t thrilled with the idea of breaking up the chevron to put the appliqué on.

in the end, plain and simple won out.

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i was a little leery at first, but once i started assembling into rows i LOVED IT!! i inserted a 5 inch row of solid white for the appliquéd letters. i fused the letters on and did a small zigzag stitch around each one to secure them. i used a cozy flannel for the backing and quilted it using white thread in the dewdrops panto from urban elementz.

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i bound it with my favourite stripes from connecting threads. hubby thought the binding was a little too much, but thats what i loved about it. i love to have something unexpected in my quilts and the binding is a great place to play!

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the mama had quite a surprise a couple of weeks ago. she ended up being rushed into the hospital and delivered a strong and handsome little boy several weeks early. Jesse James Clayton was born on April 12 2015. as he was so early, he is still in the nicu, but he is healthy and growing! congratulations to the new parents! your beautiful son will bring you immeasurable joy!

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Life gets in the way

It’s been an interesting time here lately.  Hockey finally wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, so that has meant a little more free time. However, my sweet man had an accident at work and broke both of his wrists, so i have been playing nursemaid as the poor guy can’t dress or bathe himself. We are settling into a routine now, but it will be a long road before he’s healed. As a result, i haven’t had much time to quilt. I have a fairly substantial list of projects to complete so i had better get on it.

I do want to share a quilt i finished for a dear friend. Cathy has been a friend of the family for many, many years. She is a sweet, kind, loving person, and i am proud to call her my friend. Cathy asked me if i would make a quilt for her mom, so of course i said yes.

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i had this Arkansas Crossroads quilt top completed some time ago, and when i showed it to Cathy, she said it was perfect. i added some borders and quilted it up for her. I made the top using batik scraps and a consistent background fabric to tie it together. I had a hard time trying to find a border fabric that pulled all of the colours i used, but i found one that i liked well enough.

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I used a khaki coloured polyester thread to stitch the swirl ‘n twirl pantograph and i’m pleased with how it turned out. Cathy assured me that her mom would love it and i guess that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

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KA-CHOW!!!

so, i know that i’ve made mention of my issues with procrastination and a busy life in previous posts. this one takes the cake!

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meet Alex’s quilt. Alex’s lovely mom, Diana, asked me to make this for her son almost 8 months ago. 8. months. i am so embarrassed to admit that. it took me about a week of planning to come up with an idea, and another week to track down all of the fabrics, and then three more weeks for it all to arrive. then, of course, i miscalculated for the blue fabric and had to reorder. by this time, the crunch was on for the fall trade show deadline and i just couldn’t get back to it. then hockey, and various Christmas commitments kept me away. Diana has been very gracious and hasn’t given me a hard time at all! thanks friend!

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i finally finished yesterday, but  i couldn’t get outside to take pictures until today. it was miserably cold (-30c) today, so you’ll have to make do with two crappy photos. as i was walking out to the fence with the quilt, i tripped on a chunk of ice and did a face plant into the snow. i put my hands out to break my fall, but since i was sans mittens, my hands were FREEZING as i tried to get the quilt up and get some snaps. i gave up after two.

the centre is a panel, and i pieced the checkered border with 1.75″ black and white squares. the pinwheels measured 14″ finished. it’s a little dicey just winging it sometimes. i really need to come up with a plan before i start. maybe then i won’t have to reorder fabric so often. who am i kidding? i love ordering fabic!!!

so far, i have two things crossed off my list of 21. yay me!! i’m back at it tomorrow!

happy 2015!!

well, once again, life got in the way of blogging. i had a very busy couple of months in the run up to christmas. i kind of overbooked myself, quilt-wise, and with hockey and school events added to the mix, i’m surprised i didn’t lose my marbles.

we went to thunder bay to visit my sweetie’s family for the holidays. it was no where near as horrible a trip as i anticipated. by that i mean my children were surprisingly well behaved, and traveled much better than i thought they would. we had a wonderful time, but it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed.

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one of the last projects i worked on before we left was a frozen quilt, custom ordered for a little girl for christmas. i wasn’t sure if i would be able to get my hands on a panel, as they are pretty hot right now, but i lucked out! i got the panel in the mail the first week of december. i wasn’t sure what i was going to do, but i knew my client wanted a double sized quilt. once i got the panel, i was able to measure it and start planning out what i was going to do.

i trimmed the panel down so that i could add a couple of plain borders. i wanted to do a border of blocks that looked kind of like snowflakes, so i planned them out with graph paper, and then added borders until i had the correct measurement. i wanted to make the snowflake blocks out of 2 1/2″ strips, so i just played with the math until they fit. then i added more plain borders until it measured 74 x 84. i’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and i think they were too.

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the fabrics i used were from connecting threads. i used ‘lotta dots’ in sangria, ocean mist, violet, azure, and sweet pink for the snowflake blocks, and winter flakes for the background. for the borders, i used ‘swirls’ in imperial blue, and winter flakes. for the backing, i used the leftover blocks and pieced them in with the frozen character fabric. i quilted it with the ‘windy day‘ panto from urban elementz, and essential pro thread in silver.

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now that i’m home, it’s back to the grind. i’ve sat down and made a list of all of the projects i have committed myself to, and it’s already 15 items long. eep!!! i also want to make a list of my ufo’s and chip away at them this year. i know i have more than 30 flimsies made, just waiting to be quilted, so it should be a whopper of a list. i’m thinking if i post it here, i’ll be slightly more accountable. slightly.

edit: i’ve been meaning to post how i came up with the snowflake block. i was following along with Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt. she came out with step 2 at the beginning of december, and that’s when inspiration struck! i sat down with some graph paper and sketched out the double diamond unit. it wasn’t quite what i was looking for, but after playing for a bit, i found what i was looking for. thanks so much, Bonnie!!!

BLOGATHON!!!!

Sew Sisters Blog

Blogathon Canada, put on by one of my FAVOURITE online fabric sources, Sew Sisters, is happening this week, and today is hosted by two wonderful bloggers from my neck of the woods! Heather of Peace.Love.Quilt. from Saskatoon SK, and Lori of Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works from Dauphin MB. If you have stopped by to have a look, welcome!!! I’m so pleased to have you here!

I have been sewing forever! I started when i was 10 (with my mommy’s help) and did garment sewing for years. I had always wanted to quilt, but had no idea where to start. When i was in my early 20’s, i received a mail order card for a quilting book with a bonus of a rotary cutter (hilariously small) and a crappy cutting mat (tiny and definitely NOT self healing). Thus began my journey. I was a woman possessed. I bought quilting magazines and fabric every chance i got. Not knowing any better, the very first project i tackled was a miniature shoofly quilt. It was horrible, but i was hooked! I have dabbled in many other crafts over the years (crochet, knitting, cross stitch, needlepoint, painting) but quilting is the one that feeds my soul. I am fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive partner, who goes out of his way to encourage my creativity. He has always gone above and beyond for me, even insisting that I have a longarm machine. I know, right? He’s a keeper!

I started my blog a couple of years ago, but sadly, i let it fall my the wayside for many months. I have been trying to post regularly, but life keeps getting in the way. Some days i find it a struggle to come up with anything to post. I need to remind myself that I blog for me and I need to enjoy the process.

Please have a look around and say hi! I’m tickled that you stopped by!

Lost month

Somewhere along the line, I lost an entire month. Not sure how, but since it’s been a month since my last post, it’s definitely gone. I have been busy with trade shows every weekend since the end of October, and yesterday was the last of them. I was not terrifically successful, but I did sell a couple of larger pieces, several small items, and I got a couple of side jobs as well, so overall I’m pretty pleased.

I have also been very busy trying to complete several Christmas projects. A friend’s aunt passed away last year, and her daughter (my friends cousin) asked if I could do memorial quilts for her daughters for Christmas. Of course, I was glad to help out. She sent a large duffle bag full of her mother’s pajamas, and I’ve been able to get three good sized lap quilts out of them. As most of the pajamas are knit fabrics, I treated them as I would a t-shirt quilt, and backed them all with fusible interfacing before I cut out the blocks. I bordered each block on two sides with purple fabric to tie everything together, and assembled them into a woven rectangle pattern. I’m pretty happy with how they are turning out.

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I’ve also been hired to make a Frozen quilt for a little girl, and three table runners for a friend of mine. I also have a couple of projects to quilt for customers before Christmas. I had better get to it!! I fully admit to being a procrastinator, but I would rather not give myself grey hair if I can avoid it.

Finish a Quilt? Me?

  I don’t know about you, but i usually have more than one project on the go at any given time. I’m not sure exactly why I can’t stay focused on one thing until it’s complete. Perhaps it’s my perfectionist nature. If something isn’t working the way i think it should, i just set it aside and start something else. I’ve been this way for as long as I’ve been sewing, so you can imagine the plethora of partially completed projects i have kicking around the house. Every once in a while, i go back to something I’ve left and try and at least get it to the flimsy stage. i hate to admit it, but i have about 25 flimsies waiting to be quilted. I know. I need to get my s*** together.  

  Several weeks ago, i started reorganizing my fabric storage. I have left it for months after racing to get ready for this trade show or that, and i have fabric pulled from the shelves and piled everywhere in my sewing area. i did some looking around and decided that the best thing for me to do was to use my 6″ x 24″ ruler to help me fold the fabric neatly and stack it on my shelves. It works great! everything is neat and tidy, and i can see all of the fabrics on the shelf. NO MORE DIGGING!

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Unfortunately, this task has fallen by the wayside, like so many others before it. I got all of my batiks refolded and organized, and a few of the colour groupings tackled. That is where it ended. I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed by the sheer monstrosity of the task, or if I’m just lazy. I seem to have so many things that need my attention and instead of addressing them, i sit on my bum and think about them, and how I’m never going to get it all done. I am fully aware that unless i get off my bum and start, nothing will EVER get done. The first step is getting off the couch. Here i go…..

 

  

Try try again

So, it’s been ages since i’ve blogged., and i feel like a big dud. i started off with a bang, and then quickly lost my gumption. i’ve been thinking about starting up again for quite some time, but could never commit myself to it. i did decide to focus on quilting, as that is truly my passion. I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and inspirations, and often have a difficult time buckling down and actually completing a project. I do hope that by sharing my quilting journey with you, I am able to focus and also be accountable to myself. I would be honoured if you decided to join me!

 

i’m still here!

it has been quite some time since i last sat down to write something, and for that i apologize. it has been a hectic few weeks and i’m just now getting back into the groove of things. lots has happened, so bear with me as i fill you in on the details.

the last thing i posted talked of my reluctance to spend a huge whack of money on a new longarm quilting machine. well, the decision was made for me (kind of). in my haste to get a new machine, i listed my old one and then promptly forgot that i had done so. a week or so later, i was contacted by a lady who was interested in the machine and she drove an hour to come test it out. we haggled over the price a little and couldn’t agree, so she left sans machine. she called me the next day to say she’d give me what i asked for it and we made arrangements for her to pick it up the following saturday. now, it doesn’t seem like this would be an issue, but i had cancelled the order i placed for the new machine and with the old one sold, i had no way of getting anything ready for the evergreen show. i found a very good deal on a show model apqs and went for it. my basement was empty for almost two weeks before my lucey arrived, but the wait was worth it. she is GLORIOUS! i had 11 quilts done in less than a week and had enough done so as not to embarrass myself at the show. i am so glad i upgraded my machine, and can’t help but think that i ‘forgot’ about listing the old one on purpose. yay for me!

harvest went well for curly and he was officially done work at the end of october. it helped that we got a lot of snow the 3rd week of october. it’s going to be a long winter.

i celebrated my 40th birthday at the end of october. for some reason, i feel i have really acheived something and should be walking about with a giant ‘i’m 40! can you effin’ believe it?’ sign around my neck. i don’t know why. any insight?

evergreen was an amazing experience. the venue was beautiful and the whole thing was very well done. there were amazing artists from every medium you can think of: paint, fibre, wood, bead, pottery, food, music, the list goes on. i sold two items, which paid for my table and my gas, but more importantly, i gained experience and got my name out there.

this past week, i finally got my completed quilts listed on my prairie charm facebook page AND i even opened a store on etsy. come have a look at my stuff here https://www.facebook.com/PrairieCharm?ref=hl and here http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrairieCharm.

all this has been going on between regular stuff, like school, chickens, and housework. pfffffffft. housework? who am i kidding?