Monday, June 29, 2009

QNIC (Quilting Night In Canada)

Tonight was QNIC at my house. Nancy and Karen came over to quilt the night away with me. We had iced tea and cookies while we worked away on our projects. Nancy continued to hand quilt her large quilt and Karen started to cut out a new project --a lap quilt. She has been collecting fabric for this project for a while and has been searching through my patterns for the right project. Tonight, she was looking in my recent edition of Quiltmaker and found a pattern that was perfect for the material she had collected. I will take a picture at the next QNIC so you can see her fabric. I worked on sewing the blocks together on my daughter's university quilt, shown above. I did not get it all done but made good progress. I should have it done and up off the floor by the end of the week.

I also worked on the 4 patches for the Bonnie Hunter Christmas mystery. So far, I have the gold and white blocks done and the 4 patches. I have quite a bit of the cutting done as well. I had to purchase some black fabric on the weekend so it will need to be washed before I cut it out. I put all of the pieces in zip loc bags and labelled them with their "part numbers" so I won't get mixed up later...

I still have more cutting out to do on the red pieces as well. I will continue to post pictures of my progress.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Patriotic Table Runner Swap

I recently participated in a Quilted table Yahoo group Patriotic/Friendship Table Runner swap. I just realized I never did post a picture of the runner and gifts that I sent to Lynn in Minnesota! I made her a loyalty card wallet from leftover fabric from the table runner --you can see it open and closed above. I also bought her a London Friendship Quilter's Guild Pin and a fat quarter, which I forgot to put into the pictures! The runner and wallet were made from a charm pack by Moda--I think it was called Prairie Paisley.

The next swap is a Fall Themed runner. I have not decided if I will participate this time around. I have a lot going on in my life over the next little while and may take a brief hiatus from swaps.

Elgin Piecemakers Dinner and Comfort Quilts

Thursday night, the Elgin Piecemakers quilt guild met at the home of one of our members for our annual June dinner. Last year, we had a delicious pot luck dinner. This year, the host quilter's husband offered to cook for us! He got up early and cooked all day--he baked home-made bread , made some wonderful salads, grilled vegetables, salmon and chicken, ... Here is a picture of the table, groaning under the weight of his efforts... We felt like queens! The dishes were both beautifully presented, as you can see, and a feast for the tastebuds as well! I asked if he would consider doing some catering--the answer was yes! I may take him up on this sometime!
I tried a bit of everything, as you can see!

After supper, we had "show and tell" with our Comfort Quilts. We had divided into pairs of quilters earlier in the year and each pair had made a quilt for a cancer patient at the local hospital. Thursday was the big "reveal" of our projects!
This quilt was inspired by the pansy fabric in the border and I am sure it will brighten a chemo patient's day!

Can you tell this quilter's favourite colour is pink?

Three sets of quilters used the same pattern, but different fabrics. I just love how each quilt has a unique look!
This sampler quilt featured blocks made by different members of the group.

This quilt was made entirely of scrappy strips!

This quilt was made from a pack of "Sweet Sixteenths".

I believe you have seen this one before...
These quilts were all machine quilted by a husband of one of our members. He did a great job!

The quilts will be delivered to the chemo ward at the hospital shortly. The local paper is sending a photographer to take a picture. As we enjoyed home-make cake and strawberries, we picked new partners to make more quilts for the chemo patients. These quilts are to be done by our January meeting. Stay tuned for more news of progress on the next quilt.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Layout of the University Quilt

After taking all comments on the first layout into account and some ideas that others had, here is the revised version of the university quilt:I think the wild colours are tamed a bit by putting a framed block in between each larger square. My daughter likes this layout better. We still need to tweak the squares to distribute the colours more evenly.

I also cut out the rest of the lights and all of the golds for the Bonnie Hunter Christmas lights mystery quilt tonight. No photos yet. I will take some when I get some sewing done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

University Quilt...STALLED!

I moved the trunk I use as a coffee table out of the middle of the great room yesterday so that I could lay out the blocks for my daughter's university quilt. I tried this layout first and asked her to come up and see it. She's a bit worried that there are too many fabrics in the quilt and wondered about using only some of the fabrics and making something less "busy". She wants me to try using the larger squares of fabric with white sashing and blue cornerstones. I told her I would post a picture of the blocks we have and then ask for any ideas other people might come up with. So, here's your assignment: any ideas on how to "tame" this down a bit and come up with something my daughter might like. I told her I would do something different so she would love the quilt. My daughter is worried we "wasted" money and time on the blocks I already made--I told her I would just make them into something else!!! If you have any ideas, please let me know!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cancer Patient Quilt

Quite a few posts back, I blogged about a charity quilt that Beth and I have been making for a cancer patient at our local hospital. I belong to a small guild called the Elgin Piecemakers. In the past we have made placemats for Meals on Wheels. This year, we decided to pair up and each pair was to make a quilt which will be donated to the hospital for a cancer/chemo patient. Beth and I picked a modified Bento Box as our pattern and dug into our stashes to come up with enough fabrics. We purchased the flannel backing and had it quilted by the husband of one of our guild members, who offered to quilt all of the quilts, 9 in total, for a deeply discounted rate. I picked up the quilt last week and tonight, I sewed the binding on while my daughter and I watched "So You Think You Can Dance". Here is a picture of the completed project.

Next week, we are having our last meeting of the year and everyone is bringing their completed charity quilt for show and tell. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's projects. In the fall, we are going to pair up with another guild member and make another quilt for the hospital. I hope this quilt brings warmth and comfort to someone in our community.

This quilt is a lap sized quilt, about 4' by 4'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Grandmother's Hands

This past Sunday, my family went to visit my 98 year old Grandmother at the nursing home where she lives. I brought my camera and tripod with me so that I could take this special 5 generations picture which includes the hands of my grandmother, my aunt, my cousin, another cousin's daughter and another cousin's grand-daughter. The quilt in the background was made by my grandmother for my cousin when she got married--the pattern is called "Grandmother's Flower Garden".

My Grandmother has made dozens of quilts and afghans in her lifetime. Up until a little over a year ago, she was still knitting. All of her children, grandchildren and great grand-children have been blessed by her handiwork. I personally have 4 quilts made by her and my daughter also has one. We each have an afghan as well. I have doilies made by her as well, tucked away in my cedar chest.

I am the only grandchild who has taken up quilting, and in my own way, I am trying to pass on my love to my family and friends with quilted gifts. My grandmother inspired me to take up quilting -- I have been making quilts since I was a teenager. When I go to visit my Grandmother, I try to take along my latest project to show her. Even on a bad day, her face lights up when she sees my quilts.

I would like to be able to say that I came up with the idea for the photograph, but I didn't. My cousin, Donna, sent an e-mail to everyone with a photograph of 5 generations of hands with a story along with it. Below, I have cut and pasted it into my blog. Feel free to pass this idea on to your family and friends.

I was privileged to take a photo of 'Five Generations of Women' shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo, shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar which turned out so beautiful and to be a special keepsake prior to her father's passing.

GRANDMA'S HANDS A must read thru to the end please!!!!!! !!!!!!!

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear strong voice..

'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her.

'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?'

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

'They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

'These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side.'

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quilted Table Swap and University Quilt Progress

Yesterday, my Quilted Table Yahoo group swap table runner arrived in the mail. It was made by a quilter from Eclectic, Alabama. Chris made me a beautiful Italian Pasta themed runner and matching tea towel (the tea towel is way too nice to use!). Here is a picture of the runner and the tea towel. Chris has an embroidery machine and the chef blocks and the herb blocks were done on it. What a lovely gift!!!

I have been working on my daughter's university quilt and have made some progress on some more pieced blocks. I had a couple of friends over for a very small Quilter's (and Knitters!) Night in Canada on Wednesday and I worked on the university quilt while Karen sewed binding on a table runner that she made and Pat started to knit a pair of socks for herself. (I did not take any pictures that night--I will try to remember to do that at the next QNIC.) Here are a few of the blocks completed and some of the blocks that are just about done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My MIL's Birthday Gift

My MIL's birthday was this past Saturday so I made this table topper for her. I have not seen her in the last couple of weeks so I still have it at my house. She does not know about it--so don't tell her if you know her! I like the spring colours! Another UFO off the list of things to do...

I worked on my daughter's university quilt for 30 minutes last night--no pictures yet. I am hosting another quilting (and knitting) night in Canada tomorrow night so I will take some pictures of the quilt in progress and post them here later in the week.

My friends Karen and Jacqui and I went to a quilt show in London Ontario last Saturday. We saw some beautiful quilts: Here are a few pictures taken at the show...