Thursday, January 29, 2015

After the storm

On Tuesday we had a blizzard but nothing like they predicted , the snow came along with the winds but even the winds were not as fierce as first expected therefore we were fortunate not to loose power . I actually enjoy a good storm , seems I can just sit back and relax on those days not feeling I must do anything in particular unless I so desire ;-) Yesterday was rather stormy as well , that snow didn't seem to want to stop .
Today the sun is shining and since we had some freezing rain along with the snow everything is just glistening , Mother Nature sure can paint a beautiful picture .
Oh I know you are saying that is far from beautiful , just a bunch of old weeds in a field but it is one of those situations you had to be there and two seconds before I got there the sun went behind the clouds so the diamonds that were created on these weeds don't show up so well . You can see from this photo we didn't get record snowfall for sure .
Here you can see the ice on the grass and the somewhat stormy sky in the background  . Our sun , ok I admit there isn't much sun , today is going to be replaced with another storm coming sometime tomorrow and another one on Monday into Tuesday , Mother Nature is making up for our rather gentle month of January .  Oh we had plenty of storms but they were rain storms and high winds so no shoveling required , I don't think February will be so kind but hey this is Nova Scotia and we expect this kind of weather in the winter months . I do think winter can be very beautiful ,I am just a tad nervous of the ice and the fact it would be easy to fall  so I am extra cautious .
 So what have I been doing during this stormy weather , well first off I did this block with wool applique , a free BOM by Buttermilk Basin . I know I said I would not be doing any extra BOM's this year but how could I resist such cuteness .
Also it was very quick to do so I enjoyed my sitting and stitching while the snow fell and the winds blew .  Today I am starting on my center block for the Aurifil Bom for 2014 , this was an optional block but as soon as I seen it I knew I had to make it .
You probably can't see the lettering that will eventually be embroidered but it says Love is the Thread that binds all quilters . I mean how could I possibly not do that block , it was to me a no brainer ;-) I chose to use the scraps of my 30's reproduction prints to make the threads on the spools and the green for the base of the spools has been in many of the blocks and will also be the sashing since I have more of that than any other fabric . The sashings actually form spools as well so this should look rather neat I think . I will let you see more as I progress along , I will warn you I am no speed demon;-)
 If you are visiting from the Grow your Blog event you can read that post here  and thanks for the visit .
 Whatever the weather in your neck of the woods I hope you are having a great day with lots of creativity . Thanks again for stopping by .
 hugs Sheila

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow your Blog 2015

Good day , my name is Sheila and I have been blogging here since 2010 , welcome to my blog and welcome to Vicki's Grow your Blog for 2015 . For those of you visiting for the first time let me tell you a little about myself . I love to sew , I love to quilt and I love to create , all of these things make my heart sing but above all my family is most important . I have three wonderful sons and seven adorable grandchildren and a husband who supports my love for quilting . I live in beautiful rural Nova Scotia where I was born and raised .
 I have dabbled in most crafts over the years and started out making garments before the quilting bug struck but once I was bitten there was no turning back  . I love to do scrappy quilts , love the old fashion look of them and the fact they are so frugal and can still wrap someone in love .
 A number of years ago I read an article on making fabric postcards and I joined a yahoo group for postcard exchanges so a new addiction was born , I have had so much fun making and sending postcards for the past four or so years and often will organize a swap here on my blog infact we have one in the works right now , a Valentine swap so if you have ever had the desire to make a postcard stay tuned for future swaps . Here is a collage of some of the many projects I have done over the years ,

A challenge of any kind is also something I enjoy , I love BOM's and sampler quilts and making something using recycled fabrics . If you read my previous post you will see what I mean . My dear Dad passed away two years ago in April and my Mom gave me a few of his ties so I had been trying to come up with a plan for a while now and this week I came up with a plan . My dad loved my work so I wanted to do something I felt he would be proud of and he was intriqued with my landscape work so that became my plan . Now this was indeed a challenge in many ways , first the fabrics are difficult to work with and required me to add a fusible to stabilize them and secondly they didn't look anything like a landscape .  Here is a photo of the ties I used , I should have taken the picture before I had cut them up and used them .

I want you to take a look at the brown tie in the right hand corner , ugly huh , well beside it you will see the back side of that same tie , hmm , what can I use that for .  The tie I used for the sky for two of them is in the upper right hand corner and since you are dealing with bias and a space limitation another challenge arose , not enough to create all three but no fear I came up with a new plan , remember the ugly brown tie , that will become my sky , want to see what I created ?

 This was my first one , my Dad was born in the Highlands of Cape Breton and this what I was trying to depict in this little scene , see the ugly brown tie ? The mountain on the far right is made of the reverse of the tie used for the mountain on the far left . The gold is also the backside of a tie . I loved that greenish one I used for the water , it just naturally has movement , the brown I used next to that as the land did not work so well , when I stitched it the threads between the fabric showed through as white . New plan lets try making them tall and narrow .
Landscape #2 , still using the same tie for the sky , see the blue line at the base of the sky that is part of the fabric and worked well as water , I did have to straigten the line by stitching . Now for #3 I no longer had the width for the sky in the original tie I had used so on to plan #3 .
The ugly brown tie to the rescue , see that lovely sunset it has produced . This one is not yet stitched , I was just auditioning it in the frame to see if it had worked and I quite like it .  I must create at least one more for my Mom and I'd like to have one for myself so more work to do but it was the most fun I have had in a long time , I was really in the zone as they say . Where is your happy place ? Mine is definitely doing something like this , , I hope my sisters and brother will like what I have created with Dad's ties . Do you know what else was special while doing this ? I could smell Dad's aftershave , he was beside me all through the process and I sure hope he was smiling . 
 Thanks so much to Vicki for hosting another Grow your blog, be sure to hop on over to visit with Vicki to see who else is growing their blog , you are sure to find lots of interesting blogs to read and possibly make some new friends . I hope you will take a few minutes to look around and if you like what you see will come again often I would love to have you join me .Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a visit :-)
 Hugs Sheila 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Some Experimenting today plus some mail :-)

It is almost two years now since my Dad passed away and I have wanted to make something to give to my sisters and brother as a little memory of him . My mom gave me a bag of his old ties a while ago and I have been mulling that over in my head as to what I will do with them so today is an experiment day .
What will I make , well you will just have to wait and see as I have no idea if this will work but I will also never know if I don't try right ??  I will use both sides of these ties in some cases to get the effect I hope to achieve , not sure that is a hint or not . I don't have that many to work with but I am determined to use just Dad's ties and there is only one of these that is a silk the rest are cheap polyester ties , my Dad only wore ties to church or special occasions after all he was a horseman ;-) I also don't know at this point if each one will be the same , I need to make three , I have two sisters and one brother and I would like to do one for Mom too .  Wish me luck and I will report back later .

 I had a pleasant surprise earlier this week , a lovely Valentine Postcard from Susan (no blog)  who decided she would take part in my little exchange . This is her first ever postcard and I am super impressed .

 Isn't it sweet ? Thanks so much Susan for swapping with me , my card is in the mail today so it should arrive by Monday with any luck . Just a reminder for this taking part , please try to get the postcards in the mail no later than February 1st . Also don't forget the flicker page I have set up ,, you can upload your postcards there so everyone can see them once our partners have received them . Along with that I would appreciate if you would post about your postcards when you receive them that would be wonderful and thanks for particpating !!
 I am off now to experiment a little , sure hope my plans work ;-) Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day.
 Hugs Sheila

Monday, January 19, 2015

A couple of finishes

Mondays always seem to be busy days for me but I wanted to take a few moments to share a couple of small finishes . My granddaughter Sophia will turn 6 this week so I finished off some pj's and mailed them off late last week . I sure hope they fit , I don't have the opportunity to see her very often so not sure how much she has grown .
I also fell in love with the new BOM project  Snow Happy Hearts by Bunny Hill Designs , I love Anne's work so couldn't resist such cuteness ,however I did not make the ornament instead I did a mini quilt for my table stand .
I had won the fabrics a while ago and they just happen to be Bunny Hill fabrics so just perfect for this little projects . I did some crosshatching for the quilting in the background , fun but a little time consuming . I think I have come to the conclusion I would much rather make the project than quilt it ;-)

 I must run now , lots to take care of but hope you all enjoy a wonderful creative day and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by .
 Hugs Sheila

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WIP Wednesday

It has been a very long time since I have shared on WIP Wednesday with the Needle and Thread Network ,maybe 2015 I will get better at that ;-)  So what have I been working on , well a couple of things , my charming star blocks a SAL with Terry and I have three more blocks made and several in the making but I won't bore you with a picture of those right now , I will wait until I finish the top  . I have also been trying to finish off my Aurifil blocks for 2014 , I only had December to do and when I made it is too big , I was very careful with piecing and cutting and remeasured all the way along yet it is still too big so I decided to make a new block and chose first a basket block from Quilters Cache , I got very discouraged when it wasn't quite right either , the points are cut off on the basket , I might be able to fix this one but I was determined to get one right so chose a block from the 2013 Pat Sloan BOM , sorry I don't recall the name of the block but it turned out perfect .

 The block in the upper left corner was the December block which is too large then you can see the basket block to the right and the final correct size block below it , just checked and it is called Good Vibrations . I made all of these blocks using 30's reproduction prints I had on hand and really had to scrounge to get those last couple of blocks but it is great I have used them up . I love the suggested setting for these blocks and will need to make a large block for the center and the whole thing is done on point , wish me luck . I won't get to this for a while as I want to finish off the Charming stars first . I did enjoy taking part although I don't really care for some of these blocks but it is always a great learning process . 
 Today I am starting on some PJ's for my granddaughter a different type of sewing for this very cold day here on the east coast . 
 Before I go I just want to ask those who are participating in the Valentine Postcard exchange if they have all received their partners names and addresses . I think I have them all sent out but want to be sure I don't want to miss anyone and remember mail out date is on or before February 1st. Thanks .
 Thanks to everyone for stopping by today and be sure to hop on over to see what others are up to this week .
 Hugs Sheila 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FNWF Report

                                                        Everyone is WelcoMe

Oops , I am a little late reporting my stitching for Friday Night with Friends hosted by Cheryll . I actually stitched both Thursday evening along with my Aussie friends then again on Friday evening with all the rest of us on this time zone  .
 On Thursday I was stitching up some more of those scraps , I had come across some triangles that were paired together in both red/ beige check and green/ beige check  so what is a girl to do but sew them together to create something useful right ;-)  Here is what I made ...
I know this fabric is at least ten or more years old and I was pleasantly surprised to find just enough of the red to make this border , I will bind it in green ,not the same fabric but close enough . you make do when you are dealing with old scraps . I love the beige check it has a country flavour to it and I am a country girl at heart .
 On Friday evening I decided to sit and stitch some of the binding on my quilt that has been waiting for so long .
I have two sides done and part of the third , I am however experiencing a problem . I love this quilt and wanted it to be extra warm so I chose to use a real alpaca batting , right off the animal and I think I am allergic to it , I get pretty stuffed up just stitching this , the fibres are everywhere so I really don't think I am going to be able to use this on my bed . You can read about this quilt and how we used the alpaca batting here  . I am so disappointed as we quilted this at the church and it is so cosy and warm but obviously a problem for me . Loving these binder clips my friend gave me a few years ago , thanks Diane , they work well .
 Thanks for stopping by today and welcome to those who stopped by via Cheryll .
 Hugs Sheila

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A runner was born from the scrap pile :-)

Are you like me and hate to toss perfectly good scraps ? I might be somewhat of a scrap horder but I do try to use them up in projects when possible and when they get too small for anything they go in a pillowcase to be later made into a dog bed , I am just that frugal or maybe it is that crazy ;-)  Why am I telling you this , well today in my cleaning measures in the sewing room I came across a pile of squares left over from a quilt I had made a few years back , the one I lovingly referred to as the Quilt from Hell ,well that quilt required a LOT of 2.5" squares but it seems I was a little too generous and I ended up with a few leftovers which have sat for way too long so today I made a runner with said scraps , want to see ?
I really like it and will now have to get it quilted and bound before it sits for another few years . 

 Last night I finished up a little wool ornament , this is part of an ornament a month on a FB group I am a member of . It seemed doable so I gave it my best shot , I will say those pieces are very tiny and not that easy for this hand to manipulate but overall it turned out ok .

 I hung it on my house plant and she looks rather cute there . Can't wait to see what February ornament looks like . 
It is still very cold here so a great day to stay inside and sew . Hope you are having a great day doing something creative . Thansk for stopping by .
 Hugs Sheila 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter has arrived

Sunday  we had a storm , it started out with snow , accumulated about 10 or so cm. , then changed over to freezing rain then rain of which we had enough to wash away the snow we had earlier in the day . Today it has become bitterly cold , the sun is shining and the wind has died down thankfully as it is so ..... cold . I didn't go to the church to quilt today , my joints are not happy and the cold wouldn't be good for them so I decided it was best to stay inside where I am toasty warm. So what am I up to , well I have been sorting out my sewing room , getting it better organized and throwing away some things I no longer need or will use . I am making progress and things already look much better so maybe now I can sew and make some progress on some UFO'S like this one on my design wall .
This is my Charming Stars quilt I have been sewing along with Terry of Terry's Treasures , sadly it has sat neglected for a while now .  I have some blocks set to go so just a matter of getting to work ;-)
 Talking about neglecting I also neglected to share this sweet postcard from Maria that I received just before Christmas and when I was tidying up after Christmas I realized that I hadn't shown you this postcard .
Isn't it adorable , thanks so much Maria !!  
 While we are on the topic of postcards do we have any more interest in taking part in a Valentine swap ???  Obviously we want them to arrive by February 14th so possibly mail out by Feb. 1st should be plenty of time . Eglea I will email you a partner later today so you can get a head start , I know how slow the postal service is for you . Come on now , one little postcard won't take you long and think how much fun it will be to recieve a little fabric valentine in the mail . Let me know and please send your info to me , address , blog if you have one , and email address , thanks in advance .
  I won't keep you any longer I must go cut some binding for a quilt that has been waiting far too long ;- 0
 Thanks for stopping by and hope it is nice and warm where ever you are .
 hugs Sheila

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's a New Year !!

It is now 2015 , a brand new year to celebrate and make the very most of .  I hope you enjoyed a very Happy New Year with your family and the year ahead will be your best ever  . I don't make resolutions as I am pretty sure I wouldn't keep them but I do plan on becoming more organized , purging and decluttering and of course lots of sewing , I wouldn't have a very happy year without being creative . I have some UFO's that are screaming at me to finish them and some BOM'S that need to be made into quilt tops , oh yeah I have lots to keep me busy , how about you , have you made plans for this year??
  I have spent the past couple of days trying to catch up on my BOM's for our guild project and I have one more block that I need to finish but it takes templates which are not printing out the proper size from my printer so I will have to wait on that one for now but here are the blocks I have made so far , not all of these were made the past couple of days , about half of them ,

 Not the best photo , this is on the floor as my design wall is otherwise occupied ;-) I also cut and started to piece the final block for Aurifil for 2014 BOM just a few more stitches and that one will be complete . I will then need to find some fabrics suitable to use for sashings and borders . 
  It has been such a busy time I have not had a chance to share three postcards that arrived on Christmas eve . 
This first one came from Eglea and she mailed this on November 4th and yes it took that long to arrive , I think it must have taken the scenice route or maybe it was being admired by the postal staff  lol!  It is so pretty and done in the colours of the Brazilian flag , how creative Eglea , thanks so much .
This fun card arrived from Sunny just in time for Santa , thanks so much Sunny !!
This pretty landscape postcard depicting the mountains of Idaho where Judy skiis arrived just a couple of days after Christmas , Thanks so much Judy .  
While I am thinking about it , I want to remind the postcard swappers to add their postcards to the flicker page I have set up and while you are there you can browse around to see those that have been uploaded already . Here is the link
 Hope that works .  
Anyone up for a Valentine swap ?? If we get the names assigned real quick we would have lots of time to get those cards made and in the mail . Please let me know if you think this is a good idea and send me your info , mailing address, full name, blog address if you have one and of course your email address , this is very important as I would like to make life a little simpler by copying and pasting . Thanks and hope we do have some interest , they are such fun to create . You make one and you receive one from your partner , if you want more than one partner please let me know that as well . You can start making your card right now so by the time I assign names you will be all set to pop it in the mail . 
That's it from me today , I have to finish disassembling my Christmas decorations and since I have a lot it takes a long time !! 
 Thanks so much for stopping by and again I hope 2015 is a great year for each of you .
 hugs Sheila