Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - It was a very good year

Quilts 2012

It is time to recap 2012. I finished 10 quilts (the last two photos there are backs to finish off the mosaic). Four have been happily accepted as gifts. One was a tutorial for the 2012 FAL at Quilter in the Gap. Noise gets to go to QuiltCon in Texas. The rest I use all the time.

Small Quilts 2012

I made 9 mini quilts, well Stars is a runner but she might also hang on a wall. Three went to secret partners in swaps. Shattered also gets to go to QuiltCon in Texas. Oh, and Shattered won the mini quilt category in the Tangerine Tango Challenge too.

Bags 2012

I made 11 bags and pouches. Four of these went to secret partners in swaps. Five were created to make two tutorials, one for the September Fluffy Sheep Quilting Newsletter and one for Sarah at Fairyface Design's {Sew} Get Started Tutorial Series. Two bags have been gifted to some special young women. The weekender was part of the Long Weekend Blog Hop.

Small sewing 2012

The other small sewn things group holds gifts, swap items, and pay it forward items. Only the name tag and one set of potholders (item 8) still live with me. And I did get 50 polaroid blocks back for the 50 I sent in Debbie's Picture Perfect Polaroid Block Swap but I have yet to photograph them, oops.

Bee Blocks 1 - 2012

I took part in the 4 x 5 Bee, the Aqua and Orange Bee, the Modern Blocks Bee, Bee Blessed, Free Bee, Always Bee Learning, Bee a {modern}Swapper Bee, and the Modern Stitching Bee. Moving into 2013, only four of these continue and two of those are finishing soon. The blocks take two mosaics.

Bee Blocks 2 - 2012

I love being in internet bees, it is a great way to meet new people and try things you would never have thought of. In 2012 I made 67 bee blocks. I still have one 2012 block left to finish. For 2013 I have decided I need a little more free sewing time so I am not signing up for any more bees for a while.

Swaps sent to me 2012

This last mosaic has pictures of beautiful things that were sent to me in my 2012 swaps. They are so lovely I added more than one photograph. Thank you again to each of my wonderful swap partners. Oh, and I will tell you more about that last package there in a few days, I have not had time to blog a proper thank you about it yet.

In 2012 I continued this blog into its second year. I travelled to London, England to attend the Fat Quarterly Retreat and meet many of my internet blogging friends (I have a ticket to go this coming year too!), I participated a Quilt-A-Long or two and the Finish-A-Long, I hosted my first QAL- the Mod Pop QAL - which is not quite done, I participated in the Travelin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop, I did a bit of pattern testing, I joined the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild, I met many new blogging and real life friends and I had a lot of fun.

Oh and I started a bunch of things that are not finished - I also have chronic startitis. These will be my projects for the 2013 FAL, which I am hosting this year. I hope you will join me for that.

she can quilt

Before you all ask, I have no idea how I got this much done. My house is chronically messy, I never watch TV (but am getting my Christmas gift of a small sewing room TV this week), and I have fallen down in the exercise department. I do intend to improve on those things this year, so I guess I will just have to sleep less this year too.

I think that the real answer to "how do you do it", is that all of my internet and real life quilting friends, people who share with me on this blog, their blogs, on flickr, in bees, swaps, QALs, Guilds, Retreats, Blog Hops, the FAL, and other events continue to inspire me. The inspiration helps with the energy and the time is just found. Thank you all so much.

Added: I am linking this post Fresh Sewing Day which is hosted by Lynne from Lily's Quilts. The blogs who use this link are a constant source of inspiration for me - you can visit the blogs linked there and link up too.

Lily's Quilts

The very best to all of you and yours for this coming New Year. Let's make 2013 an amazing year.



Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'm so excited


Shattered is going to QuiltCon! When I started quilting I did not set out to enter shows, but then I entered some challenges on the internet and that was not so bad. So when QuiltCon had a call for entries into a modern quilt show, I decided that it would not hurt to just give it a try.

I entered Shattered, and she has been accepted. She will get to hang in Austin, Texas where modern quilters will see her. Maybe some of my quilting heros might give her a glance too, as many of them will be there. It is so exciting.


And remember Noise? Well she got accepted too. I really am over the moon. I have to figure out how to make some hanging sleeves and labels and such.

You can count on a lot of pictures. I am going too. I will get to see them hanging there. Can't wait.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me in this quilting thing, it really is all of you who give me the inspiration and motivation to make quilts and the encouragement to be so brazen as to enter them in things like this.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Finish-A-Long

she can quilt

Rhonda from Quilter in the Gap's vision for the Finish-A-Long is that it will move to a new blog each year, well for at least as long as some of us have unfinished quilts and quilty projects. Now, if you have chronic startitis like me, that might be forever.

So she asked and I volunteered and so I get the honour of being the FAL host for 2013. Not to worry, Rhonda will still be around helping out with the FAL, and I will try to do as good a job as she did with it last year, or she will be on my case, I am sure.

Rhonda and I discussed the plan on the old fashioned telephone (she is a skype woman, I am the old fashioned one). We decided to keep the rules and the format basically the same for this next year.

The FAL is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. There will be 4 quarters to the FAL, in each quarter we will post our list of UFOs to finish at the beginning, post our finishes at the end, have tutorials for the week and then post our new list for the next quarter. There will be randomly selected prizes and tutorials to enjoy between the two linky parties.

I have started a page for the FAL which you can get to anytime by clicking the tab under my  new blog header - do you like it - I was making the FAL button (code for the button in on the 2013 FAL page here) and thought it was maybe time to make a header too. The 2013 FAL page is here. If you would like to be a sponsor or write a tutorial, please let me know at shecanquilt [at] gmail [dot] com.

So, the 2012 FAL will finish up at Quilter in the Gap, and if you are like me you are frantically trying to get one more finish done. Don't forget that there will also be wonderful tutorials on Rhonda's blog once the final link is up.

Then head over here for the first quarter 2013 FAL link, which will open on Monday January 7, 2013. I hope you will also grab the button, the code is here.

I am excited to host the FAL, I hope you will join me, support our sponsors and help to encourage all the participants to finish those projects.

Perfect snowflake

I leave you with this picture of the most perfect snowflake (look to the left upper quadrant of the picture). We are having a beautiful snowy holiday this year.



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stars, a table runner

Stars, a table runner

Here is Stars. She is a table runner - or a wall hanging, about 36" x 12". Stars, for all her simplicity, took a long time to imagine and then make.

Oakshott Lipari bundle

Stars began when that fantastic bundle of Oakshott Lipari shot cottons arrived at my house courtesy of Michael Oakshott and Lynne from Lily's Quilts. These shot cottons have a black warp  thread and then a shining colourful one and they are luminous.

Liparis from Oakshot

That is a picture of them after I washed the bundle. The light coloured weft threads are visible and you can see how much the black thread tones down the light colours.

Making Ohio Stars

I was unsure as to how to use these amazing fabrics. They would make the most beautiful cocktail dress but I had smaller pieces to work with. The shining fabric made me think of the night sky and stars. The Ohio Star is such a classic, sophisticated yet simple star - I decided it was a nice fit for these fabrics.

Ohio Stars

I auditioned many things but eventually paired the Liparis with Essex linen in light grey - classic and simple. Eventually many 3" stars were made and pieced.

Ohio Stars

I sought advice about borders and binding from the members of the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild, which, by the way, I have joined this fall. There was no consensus but many people suggested I add a grey border and then a coloured binding, which is ultimately what I decided on.

Stars, a table runner

I quilted it with a grey variegated Superior King Tut thread. I echoed the stars twice and then I quilted the inside square. This approach made many thread ends to mend in, but I think it was worth it. The Liparis are the star of the show, the quilting plays a supporting role - as I had hoped.

Stars, a table runner

You can see the scrappy binding better in the close ups. I had various strips of Liparis left so I used them in a single layer thin binding. It is hand stitched on the back.

And I have yet to wash this one. Many of you will know how much I love the texture that washing adds to my quilts, but I have decided to enjoy this one without the the changes that washing brings for a while.

Stars, a table runner - back

On the back I used this print from Jovial which is a fabric line from last Christmas by Basicgrey. I love those reindeer with bow ties and wreaths, perhaps sophisticated enough to back up the Liparis.

Stars, a table runner

So that is the story of Stars. She has graced my dining room table over the holidays and will continue to do so into the winter. She reminds me of the clear, cold winter sky, twinkling with stars and shining with northern lights.

Thank you Michael Oakshott and thank you Lynne, it has been great fun to play with these stunning fabrics. And just in case you want some too, Oakshott is having a sale until January 6 (Lipari bundles are here).

I hope you are enjoying the holidays, I am off to start quilting my Mod Pop quilt, I got it basted this morning.



Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas

Happy Holidays!

I wish you the best holiday, of whatever kind you and yours celebrate, full of family, friends, laughter and joy. And all the best for the New Year - let's have an amazing 2013!



Friday, December 21, 2012

21.12.12 - Optimism and the Solstice


If you were making a calendar, would you envision it being useful for 5125 years into the future? The Mayans were a most optimistic people. I think that is the message they meant to send to us, 5125 years into their future - believe in the best of humanity, and just watch what we will do.


And today is the winter solstice - the shortest and darkest day of the year. It means that I get one more minute of sun tomorrow in my day. This is one of my favourite days of the year.

Ohio Stars

There are the stars in the sun, they just shine. I started quilting the runner last night. I love the quilting part.

Ohio Stars

I hope that, despite the awful things that people do and the bad things that happen both personally and on a larger, even huge scale, that we will remain the stunningly optimistic people that those calendar makers envisioned. If we do, imagine where we will be 5125 years from now.

All the best for the holidays and the new year to you and yours. This coming year is going to be amazing.

I will be reading and likely posting here over the holidays, but today is a special day and the day to make this wish for you. Oh and surely this is a felicity, see you over at Felicity's.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday - A list might be helpful before startitis sets in again

Low volume top and EPP - a nice fit I think

It is time to get organized. I hope to take most of the next two weeks off from my day job and just do Christmas. I expect some free time to quilt and I am worried that several new projects will call me - I seem to have chronic startitis. Maybe this list to keep me on track. That one up there is my low volume quilt which is to have appliquéd EPP. Some applique will be nice with a movie and then to back and quilt it.

Windmills and Trees - top

The Windmills and Trees (Pattern by Lynne from Lily's Quilts) quilt back needs to be finished and then this one can be quilted. It is not big so clearly could be finished in no time. Right?

Liberty Squares

My Liberty Squares quilting practice quilt needs a back and then I can use it to practice quilting. The plan is to quilt a few squares a day, different fmq patterns in each solid square. Can't practice until it is basted, that is not a big job, surely.

EPP Hexagons for Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop

This hexie blob can be finished while watching some television. I have plenty of great suggestions for watching. It has progressed some but not enough for a pillow. A pillow is not that big.

Ohio Stars

My Oakshott Lipari Ohio Stars runner will look festive on the table or wall. This one is a priority, all it needs is a border, plain back and some quilting. One night. Maybe two.

Mod Pop Top done!

Now quilting the Mod Pop might take a while longer. It is huge. But I love it so much, I need to get it basted and then plod along with it. First I have to iron the king size sheet that will be the back, surely I can manage that right away.

No - for the No quilt

Here is my first pieced No for the No quilt using Denyse Schmidt's Proverbial Quilt pattern for Krista's Proverbial QAL. This was fun and it will be my piecing project for the holidays as so much of the rest is quilting - quilting is my favourite part, but I do love piecing too.

I need to remember my Finish Along list, there are a few more things there that did not make it into this new list and are due to be done by year end. Clearly I need to hold startitis at bay for a little while longer.

Oh and there is still more shopping, more baking and then wrapping and tidying, I love this time of year. Yikes!

I am linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the Needle and Thread Network. Buttons are on the side. You can see what everyone else has on the go there, well worth the look.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oops, it's Tuesday already - the winner is...

Mod Pop Top done!

Last weekend I baked cookies and I slept in a bit. I read the news and hugged my kids. I tried to understand how unimaginable things can happen and I thought of those families who have suffered such stunning losses.

At my sewing machine, mostly I got my Mod Pop top done. The internet said, "go large" so I did. It turns out that Julie's queen size is really, in my view, a king size and so is my top. It is 95" x 102" and my king size bed is 80" by 82" - I suppose some folks might want more of an overhang to qualify as king size but to me this is huge enough. Wish me luck with the quilting, it might take a while.

I drew the winner for the Blog Hop Party giveaway but it has taken me a couple of days to do this post. 

Clearly, sometimes it pays to be an early commenter. The winner of the beautiful Architextures bundle is:
I have already emailed Rhonda - who is a fellow Canadian - and this beautiful bundle will be on the way to her pronto. 

Thank you to every one who took the time to enter and share such thoughtful and detailed ideas for books and television series with me. I have read and re-read all the comments and will be settling down with some of them to read or watch over the holidays and into the new year.

And thank you to Michele at Quilters Gallery for hosting the Blog Hop Party, it was a great way to celebrate Michele's 5th blog birthday.

Depression blocks for Cindy

I will end today with this picture of my completed last bee blocks for 2012. These are Depression Blocks (a tutorial is here if you are looking for one) for Cindy in the Modern Stitching Bee. I will hopefully get to the post office before it closes tomorrow (missed it today) and they will be on their way. It is so nice to be finished all my quilting homework for the year.

I have more cookies to bake and things to do, I bet you do too. 



Friday, December 14, 2012

A mini for Manda

Mini Quilt for Manda - BA{m}S Swap

Here is my completed mini quilt for my last swap of the year - the Bee A {modern} Swapper end of the year holiday swap. I have to say that I am really very happy with how it came out. This pattern is Design Studio pattern by Charise Creates.

And I did stitch a lovely needle for that machine, but it was in the parking lot, minutes before I mailed it, which was 20 minutes before closing time on the last day to mail. Oh and I had to unwrap the parcel first as I had forgotten, even though I had send myself an email reminder  the night before when I was too tired to stitch it nicely. So I don't have a picture with the needle.

Mini Quilt for Manda - BA{m}s Swap

My partner was the Manda, who sometimes blogs at Manda Made Quilts. Manda is one of the mamas for this whole bee/swap group and has done a lot of work over this last year keeping the group fun and on track. She had put this Design Studio pattern by Charise Creates in her mosaic and I decided that since she wanted it, she would have it.

I had used a part of this pattern earlier this fall to make a pincushion, and I just repeated the sewing machine fabrics as I really love them. That little label on the sewing machine says Manufactured Specially by Latest (unreadable) Methods. The black fabric is one that actually features the Eiffel Tower but I worked around that to get the flowers and leaves only.

When I found the fabric for the quilt in progress, I was so pleased. It is a print from Jay McCarroll's Habitat, and has just the right scale for this scene.

Mini Quilt for Manda - BA{m}S Swap

The dress fabric is from Centre City by Jay McCarroll, I thought it would show off the folds, look fun and contemporary, and quilty too. The text Sew print and the outside border text is from Mama Said Sew, by Sweetwater. Both the Sweetwater and the Jay McCarroll prints are some of my very favourite fabrics, which I wanted to share in this swap.

The fire engine red (I think it is Kona Tomato) background works so much better than I would have expected. I had learned, via Katherine, that Manda was partial to a red room, and that is why I kept the front of the mini a secret, it is sort of a big give away.


When I reached this stage, I auditioned borders. I am not good at borders, as I don't really like them on most quilts. I realized that by using the black for the machine and the red for the walls, I could, and really needed to, use quite "heavy" or strongly coloured borders to balance those elements. The inner aqua is Essex linen from my Mod Pop quilt and the binding is a Kona from my pile of blues. The black is one of the Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater text prints.

BA{m}S Swap - Ready to wrap and mail

Here is the back, again. The Katie Jump Rope Denyse Schmidt print is really nice displayed like this. The mini is about a 14" square. And, that is also the triple zip pouch that I sent along as the extra - it uses my new Winterkist fabrics which are so fun and colourful. I packed the pouch with some bits from my sewing room - scraps, ribbon, buttons, and such.

Manda has received this package, and I know she loves it. It was a pleasure to make this for her. I am going to call this a Friday Felicity and link up with Felicity at Felicity Quilts.

That is my last swap package to send for the year. I still have one coming to me in this same swap. I am going to remember to focus on the message in my in-progress No quilt as new swaps come up, I really want to spend some time in the coming year trying new things on my own schedule and focus. Maybe I need a No quilt for my sewing room too?

Enjoy your Friday. Tomorrow at my house is for baking cookies and shopping, making lists, checking them off and such - yikes!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 . 12 . 12 - hmmm, this and that

BA{m}S Swap - Ready to wrap and mail

That is the back of my last swap commitment of the year, for the Bee A {modern} Swapper group. I put it in the courier yesterday - it was the very last day to mail, it is the holidays, I am mailing from Canada, it was penance for taking so long, yada yada. I can't show the front yet - my partner, if she saw it, would know immediately it was for her. I backed the mini with an out of print Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope print so even the back is lovely. I really want to show you the front, it turned out so well, so that is the good thing about that courier, it should be delivered this week and then I can share.

BA{m}S Swap

The triple zip pouch made from Winterkist fabrics is also really fun and is the small item for my partner. It is wonky thought, the last (top) zipper and I had a huge fight. I am hoping its colourfulness and triple zip utility will make up for that.

A name tag

That is my new name tag. I joined the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild, and we have a challenge to make name tags which reflect our personality/style. I think I did ok. The group is really nice but they are mostly not on line so I am working on encouraging them in that regard. I thought I should join, as I am going to Quiltcon (so excited, more on that soon).

The back of my name tag

The back of my name tag, I guess you are not surprised I went for improv. And a basting pin to hold it onto a borrowed lanyard. The next meeting is tomorrow, so this is done in the nick of time.

My helpers

Here is my tip of the week, you can use your heavy, super cute, bookend guys to hold up your rulers and make some room on your cutting mat. And they can also help your name tags and other small things pose for pictures too. It took me long enough to figure that one out so I am sharing.

I am behind. I looked at my Finish Along list and one of 9 things is done. One. Yikes. Luckily, I don't have to make handmade presents this year. I might sneak in a few knitted hats but there is no pressure for gifts. So maybe I can manage a few more FAL finishes, I am going to try - I have until New Years.  Oh, and I have two sets of bee blocks to finish too. I wonder what else I have forgotten about.

And my last thing to show you today, well there is some adult content coming so look away if you need to (or send the kids off for a minute). This project is not on the FAL list but I am looking forward to working on it. It is my quilt for Krista's Proverbial QAL. I have settled on making a quilt for my office wall - a No quilt.

fabrics for proverbial quilt

The No quilt is for me, to remind me to say No. Generally I say yes on the phone or by email, I say yes because people need me, because I know how to do what they want, because I like to be helpful. But I need to say No more often, I have too much to do and not everything I agree to is a good use of my time, and not every project is good for me.

I have picked out those fabrics. Center City by Jay McCarroll and some solids with various linens for backgrounds. These are some of my most favourite fabrics. The quilt will follow the Proverbial Quilt pattern by Denyse Schmidt, with some additions and variations. I already have some variations, Rebecca (my daughter) has embraced this project and is embroidering. She either thinks I have a streetwise inner voice or need to get one soon. Here is her first block.

For my No quilt

I love it. This is good in all kinds of situations. She has made another, which is ruder and I have not yet taken a picture but I will soon, I expect she is not done with this project yet.

Suggestions for No lines are welcome (edited to add: the ideas do not have to be rude, I am expecting to use many family rated No statements). This is for me, to remind me. The persons asking will not likely ever see the quilt on my wall so it is not a sign to them. And it is not about "I can't" or any other disempowering ideas - of course I can. But I should learn to say No anyway, at least more of the time than I do. I have several lines in mind already, but the wall in my office is very high, there is plenty of room for more.

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to working on this quilt, while I also work on my FAL projects, and watch movies, TV and read books, hang out with family, and enjoy the season.

If you have not yet entered my Architexture giveway, go here to do so - there are no hoops or anything and the prize is excellent.

It is 12 . 12 . 12, that is not going to happen again for a long while. Enjoy your day.