Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Kaleidoscope Calendar

Have I ever told you how I am surrounded by very creative and talented quilters up here in North Bay?  While I am.

I have shown you my Kaleidoscope quilt before.  Here it is again. 


My reason for doing so, is to introduce the 2016 Kaleidoscope calendar that the day guild that I belong to (Near North Quilters' Guild) has published.

What a beauty it is!



We had a bunch of close-up shots of all the kaleidoscope quilts that the members made and it was decided to have them shown on the cover and placed in oval shapes to replicate our logo shape.  Looks like Easter eggs, eh!

A calendar was sent to Ricky Tims (we used his book:  Kool Kaleidoscope Quilts).  This is the letter and explanation of how this calendar came to be.

Dear Ricky,
Our day guild, Near North Quilters’ Guild thought that you might like to have a 2016 calendar showing off our wonderful collection of kaleidoscope quilts.  We are so proud of our accomplishment! 

How did we get started on this project?  Back in the summer of 2013, our then president, Natalie, thought what a great project this would be.  The Program Committee asked the guild if they would be interested in doing a challenge, doing something really different.  They agreed. 

I won’t lie, the pattern was a bit difficult and some members even swore that if they had known what they were getting themselves into, they would never have started.

Started they did.  Thirty members bought your book, Kool Kaleidoscope Quilts and away we went. 
Our books were purchased through a guild member that has a store called The Cottage Quilter (http://thecottagequilter.ca/).  The place where she buys her books from wanted to know why we were ordering an older book.  It didn’t matter how old the book was, we wanted it to complete our challenge.  To us it was NEW.

At our December 2013 meeting, we got the members drawing up their templates and then they went home to study the layout in their books that they liked the best.  At our January 2014 workshop, members came to the meeting with their fabric and sewing machines.  What a grand day that was.  There was some confusion, some frustration but gradually we looked around the room in awe.  Their kaleidoscopes started to take shape.

Meeting after meeting, members were showing off their kaleidoscope tops and then quilts.  This was a magic time.  It was time to put Natalie’s other vision of having a calendar and writing cards into action.  A professional photographer was brought in and photos were taken.  It didn’t matter if they were quilts or tops, we wanted them all. To accommodate all the tops and quilts, two photography sessions were arranged.

After all the photos were taken, it was time to take stock and see how many we had.  Twenty-two photos in total.  How in the world do we take all those photos and put them into a twelve month calendar?  We had to become creative, without insulting any quilter by not giving them proper viewing.  Can you figure out how we did it?

Two quilters that appear in the calendar have blogs.

Deanna (October) has her blog at:  http://www.scrappynanna.blogspot.ca/  She has posted about her Kaleidoscope quilt that she made.  Please go to her post on Monday, March 3, 2014 and scroll down to see all her posts about this quilt.

On my blog (www.appliqueandpatches.blogspot.com) I have posted a few times about the making of my kaleidoscope quilt.  Sadly, for the calendar (Rose Marie Castonguay, July), it was not quilted, but it has since been completed and hanging on my wall.  If you are interested, please visit my blog Applique ‘n Patch Quilting and scroll down to my Labels until you see Kaleidoscope.  Click onto that word and scroll down to the bottom and then read up.

So, enjoy our calendar and thank you for giving us a challenge to remember.

If you want to see some of the kaleidoscope quilts, go here and scroll down.

Below are the writing cards that we produced as well.  One pack (on the left) has all of my Kaleidoscope quilt (we could have all of the same quilt in one pack) and the other pack are assorted.



I wonder what else we will come up with next?  Yep, we are very proud of this project!

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Triangles

My Scrappy Garden top is close to being 3/4 of the way done. 


The section that you see with the arrows above .... well they have all been pinned onto my new tote. 




I just recently made this tote and love it for hauling around my EPP projects to work on.  Perfect for this summer at the cottage.  This tote is also my OPAM for June. 


I've been having some computer woes and that is one reason why there hasn't been a post for the last few weeks.  Friends have been complaining.  To load photos, I have to use my hubby's computer and then use my computer to do the text.  A pain for sure.

In the beginning, I was able to load photos using Internet Explorer and then I couldn't.  Firefox worked great until recently when my computer has been entirely blocked from using that browser.  My only hope is Google chrome.  Those with blogs .... what are you using?

Oh well, have a great day!

Friday, June 12, 2015

A bit of uphostery

I caught a cold after coming back from Curacao.  Perhaps on the plane.  Anyway, not much happening these days quilt wise.

Recently, this rocking chair was purchased at a thrift store and it just needed a to have the fabric changed.  This is the after photo.

While undoing the seating, this chair has been re-upholstered once before it came into my hands.  The turquoise is the original.  An extra layer of foam was put onto the seat to make it more comfortable.
What I like about this rocking chair is that it folds.  Perfect for our cottage porch.  There is not much room on the porch and this chair can easily be stored away and taken out when needed.
On the quilting front, my triangles got worked on a bit.  Almost 5 rows done now on the top left section (the missing section is shown in the photo below).
Here is that section of row pinned onto a piece of Styrofoam, ready for me to work on it.
A bear cub was spotted on our neighbour's hill last night.  Their dogs woke them up twice and when they shone a spotlight up the hill, they spotted the cub.  So, where is the mother?

My DH was going to work on the hill this morning, but when the neighbour told him about the bear cub, he had second thoughts.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Been away

Just got back from a week in Curacao.  What a lovely island.  One that we (my sister, niece and I) were in no hurry to leave.

The photos below are from our day in downtown Willemstad.  
We walked on the pontoon bridge to get to the other side (otrobanda).  We did have to make a mad dash to get off the bridge once the warning bells started going.  Not long after we got off the bridge, it opened up to allow a boat to pass through.
This is the punda side of the downtown.  The buildings are so colourful and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  If you want to read more about this special place, go here.  In this photo, you can easily see the pontoon bridge.
 We had lunch at a seaside restaurant in part of the old fort.  Can you see how thick the walls are?
What a view we had for our lunch.  We were close to the harbour and there was much activity with boats coming and going.
All we had to do was lean over our table and deck railing and look at what the waves brought in.   We saw an octopus.
We saw crabs.
 Is this a sea snake or an eel? 

We also saw a small shark but couldn't get a photo of it.  What a splendid day it was.

We did an island tour; went to an Ostrich Farm and did a cave tour.   There was still much to do but we just ran out of time.  I won't be posting photos of these tours.  You will have to go there yourself to see what we did.

If you think that iguanas are harmless .... think again.  This guy was seen around the hotel and beach.  We saw the hotel staff making a wide berth around him and we did the same.  One man didn't and when he leaned in too close to get a good photo of him, the iguana jumped up and bit his finger.  We saw it happen and screamed.  That quick action sure caught us by surprise.


Our trip started off on a sour note.  Our plane out of Toronto was delayed by 8 hrs.  A few of the passengers were not happy about the delay and were rude and obnoxious .... but putting this into perspective, I'm just so thankful that our pilot had the experience and knowledge to recognize there was something wrong and called in the mechanics.  The plane couldn't be fixed and so we disembarked back into the terminal for 8 hrs. until another plane could be brought in for us.  We were all exhausted by the time we arrived in Curacao.  Going through customs was a tad tense and one young male adult lost his cool with customs.  He was lucky not to have been arrested/detained for harassing the customs staff.  I'm not complaining.  I'm just so thankful to be here today alive and writing this post.  Enough said.  Get on with life.

I bought some hand work with me to work on, but it was packed in my checked baggage.  It would have kept me busy while waiting.  Oh well ....

It was too windy on the beach to do any sewing and by night time, I was too tired to do much.  A few petals got done but mostly one panel of petals (on the left) got done once I came home.  This is shaping up very nicely.
 Some triangles came along with me too, but they got worked on at home instead.
There is a fabric store (Ackerman's) in Willemstad and instead of strolling inside, we just kept on walking.  Did I really need more fabric?  Nope.

Even though our trip started off not too well, we didn't let that stop us from having a good time.  It has been a good week.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Leafing away

This post is for my friend, no-blog Mary who has asked for help from afar.  Thanks heavens for the internet and blogs.

No-blog Mary has started doing applique and wanted some instructions on how to get nice pointy leaves.

So ... here goes ...

If you do your applique using freezer paper, needle turn or paper piecing, you will have a tail at the pointy end of your leaf.  The tail could be on the left or right side. 
With a pair of scissors, stylus or needle, push (flip) that tail inside
so that you don't see it anymore.  See the tip now with no tail sticking out.  It looks nice and pointy.
If there is too much bulk at the point, then you can trim the tail .... but not TOO much.  Leave at least 1/8" of fabric, otherwise the fabric will start to shred and you won't have anything solid to anchor your stitches at the point.
After trimming, flip the tail back inside and using small stitches, sew to the point and then continue sewing around until you have your entire leaf sewn.
This is what it the leaf will look like once all the basting stitches and backing has been cut away
To trim or not trim?  I get that question a lot.  In the beginning of my applique journey, I didn't trim away any fabric on the back of my applique.  Nowadays, I trim or cut away the backing fabric.  Why?  Since I hand quilt a lot of my quilts, there were just too many layers to quilt through and that is why my applique gets trimmed afterwards.  Below, you can see the difference with one side trimmed and not the other.  
Mind you, there will always be an exception to the rule.  In particular, a lady that I know is doing an applique project that has a dress form on each block.  The dress will be stuffed and embellished.  The extra fabric on the back will be left to add extra stability to the dress, otherwise it might have a tendency to sag or become wavy once the quilt is finished.

Are you curious to see what project that leaf will be used for?  A wall hanging of leaves, vines and circles.  I've been seeing this on Pinterest a lot lately and made up my own pattern using EQ7. Yep, another new project!  :o)
Well, no-blog Mary, I hope this helps you!

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

No idle hands here

I have been on a mission to get a summer project ready for traveling to the cottage.  Out came my paper templates and pre-cut fabric pieces for my Scrappy Garden. 

When you last saw it, back in February of this year, it was like this:
After putting in a concentrated effort, my project got to this point where all the triangles were sewn into rows.  The rows are not yet joined together.  That part will come later.
It has taken me almost a week to get this section (that you see on the left)  paper pieced.  All those pieces are just pinned onto the design wall. 
Can you see the difference between the area on the right where all the triangles have been sewn together and the section on the left where the pieces are just pinned onto the design wall.  A lot of pins, eh!
Next step is to take three pieces and sew them together to form a triangle.
 
One triangle down ..... a zillion more to go.  :o)
 
Yep, it will take me all summer to do that section .... but that is OK with me.  I enjoy this process.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Neighbourhood Show & Tell Tea

Last Saturday, May 9, 2015 the two guilds (Near North Quilters' Guild and Northern Lights Quilters' Guild) that I belong to here in North Bay hosted a Neighbourhood Show & Tell Tea.  We invited guilds from as far away as a 4 hr. drive.  They came!  They actually came.

The theme was chickens. Chicken pincushions on the tables.  Each person attending got to take home a small chicken pincushion and one person at each table won the big chicken pincushion.
Chicken blocks.  The idea was to make a chicken block and bring it to the tea and have a chance to win more blocks to make a quilt.
Enough blocks were submitted to give away three sets of twenty-five blocks.  Three lucky winners went home quite happy.
The chicken block pattern came from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 4, (A Bird in the Hand, block #333) and it was designed by Cheryl Brown (quilterchic.com).

We had quilts on display.  These quilts were the result of workshops, BOM and Mystery Quilts presented by both guilds.





But .... what everyone came for was the show & tell.  Each guest who came had to bring something for show & tell.  It was amazing!  The photos below are just a wee taste of what we saw.

Some guests presented their quilts/items in groups of three:

 Most were by themselves.





We not only had quilts, but stitchery pieces as well.  We had large quilts and small quilts.  There was interest to see who had the smallest quilt/item to show. 

Our emcee's for the day were the presidents of both guilds.  Lois and Terry, you did a great job!  They did chicken jokes (of course) and to win the large pincushion .... well .... we even had the chicken dance.  Guests even chimed in with their chicken jokes.

The idea for the Neighbourhood Show and Tell Tea originated with Rayside-Balfour near Sudbury, Ontario.  It has been presented for about 10 years and each year a different guild in a different city will host the tea. 

This was the first time we hosted this show & tell tea in North Bay.  Approximately 200 guests came.  A light luncheon was served at noon.  We also had a mini merchant's mall for our out-of-town guests to browse through and purchase some goodies.  It was an amazing day!  Thank you to all that came to our show and tell.

Have a great day!