Sunday, February 28, 2010

Block # 16: Year's End

This one is an 8 inch block. I made it tonight after supper and hope to finish this post in time to go and put my pj's on to watch the closing ceremonies of the Olympics with my husband. I am getting much better at the points on my triangles since I have been working on these blocks for my sampler quilt. Time to go!

Schoolhouse Block

Block 15 of 25 for my Grateful Heart sampler is done! It was an easy one, finished in under an hour from picking out fabrics to final pressing. I would still like to make another one today.

My husband has been away for the weekend so I have had lots of uninterrupted time to sew, sew, sew! Tonight, we are going to watch the closing ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

A Row of Hearts

Today is the last day of February and I am all caught up, until tomorrow, at least, on Claudia's Row of the Month BOM. I cut out the pieces for the heart blocks last night and sewed them together this afternoon.
There are 8 heart blocks separated by a narrow strip of background fabric.

I sewed the January and February rows together... Looking good!

March 1st is tomorrow and the March row is already posted. Hint: I will be using a green batik for the next row...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Row of the Month--January

Here it is, almost March 1st, and I have finally made the January row for Claudia's Quilt Shop BOM for 2010. The completed blocks are only 4 inch squares and I made 9 of them. Those are very small pieces! There were 20 pieces per block. Lots of sewing, pressing, trimming dog ears, matching, etc.

As you can see, I am using my batik collection to make this quilt.

My first row looks a bit wonky in the picture, but it looks better in person!

I have printed the patterns for February and March already and have February's blocks cut out but not sewn yet. Keep checking back for more progress reports.

This January row took most of the afternoon to make. Tonight, I watched the men's Olympic curling game--Canada won the gold medal!!!

Tomorrow, I want to put the February row together and do another couple of blocks for my sampler quilt.

Wild Geese

This block took a little longer to put together this morning as I had to unsew a few seams when I put it together wrong--Oh well... I fixed it and here it is! Block 14 of 25 for the Grateful Heart sampler I am working on. I hope to do a few more blocks this weekend. I made some spaghetti sauce this morning and the house smells wonderful as it bubbles away in my slow cooker. This is the same sauce my mother made almost every Saturday when I was growing up. Here is the recipe:

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce (I think the original recipe came from the side of a Catelli Spaghetti box--I have adjusted it slightly to suit my preferences!)

1 lb lean ground beef, browned with the fat drained off.
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped finely (My family does not like onions so I don't add them)
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large can diced or ground tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp rosemary

Mix everything together in a big pot and bring to a boil. Turn back to low and let it simmer with the lid on for 4-5 hours. (or you can let it cook all day in your slow cooker on low). This sauce is great with any kind of pasta with parmesean cheese sprinkled on top. I usually make a double batch and freeze it for fast suppers on weeknights when we all get home late and want to eat quickly.


Friday, February 26, 2010

In the Mail tomorrow!!!

Creative Hands won my 20,000 visits give-away a couple of weeks ago. Today, I had a snow day and I finally had time to make her candle mat. I thought a fellow quilter would like a sewing themed candle mat. I will be putting this in the mail tomorrow. I hope Creative Hands has a good place in her sewing room to put her prize! More sewing is on deck for tomorrow. Tonight, I put labels on this candle mat and on the Charity quilt in a previous post. The Canadian Women's curling team won the silver medal!

I will be watching the men's game this weekend too.

Flower Basket

Block #13--This is the first basket block that I have ever made! This block measures 8 1/2 inches. I have already picked the next block I am going to make...

I have some hand sewing ready to do tonight while I watch the women's gold medal curling game... GO CANADA!

12th Sampler Block

This one is called "Rising Star". I have now finished 12/25 blocks for this quilt. I have a whole weekend of sewing time before me so I hope to make a lot of progress on this quilt and other projects that have been UFO's for too long over the next few days. Keep checking back here for my progress!

Charity Quilt Done!

Last night, the Elgin Piecemakers Guild met at the home of one of our members. There was a final show and tell of the 8 quilts that we have made for chemo patients at our local hospital. I had sewn the binding on the quilt that Pat and I had made the night before and only had about 1/2 of the hand sewing done. I worked on it as we sat and chatted before show and tell. Nancy sat beside me and helped me to get it done in time to show it to everyone. Most of the quilts have flannel backs so they are cozy and warm! Our group has received a few thank you notes from the recipients of our quilts and last night, a note from the woman who received the quilt that Beth and I made was read. These quilts are really appreciated and I am so glad that the cancer patients in our community are enjoying our gifts to them.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Grandmother's Quilts

As you know, my grandmother died at the end of January at the age of 98, just days before her 99th birthday. She was a quilter most of her life and made quilts for her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and her great great grandchildren. Many of us brought quilts that Grandma had made for us to the funeral home and displayed them in the visitation room. Grandma made all types of quilts--pieced, appliqued, and whole-cloth embroidered. This embroidered oak leaf and acorn quilt was made for my husband and I as a wedding gift when we got married 21 years ago.
Here is a close up picture of the embroidery and quilting. All of Grandma's quilts were hand quilted. She had a frame which she would set up in her living room and always had a quilt project underway.

This appliqued quilt belongs to my cousin, Carol. There is also some embroidery on this quilt. Here is a close up of one of the flowers.

This "Grandmother's Flower Garden" pieced quilt was made for my cousin Cindy as a wedding gift. We used this quilt as the background for the "5 generations of hands" photo that I took last June.
These two embroidered whole-cloth quilts belong to my Aunt--my Grandmother often added prairie points to the edge of her quilts. The quilting stitches are small and even in this quilt as you can see in the 2nd photo.

This tulip applique quilt was made for me when I was a teenager. My grandmother was a "green" quilter and often used clothing that was worn out to cut pieces for her quilts. My quilt has a white backing. She made this same pattern for my brother but his has a wild flowery print for the backing.

This pieced quilt belongs to my daughter. Grandma gave it to her when she was around 5 years old. By the time Grandma made this quilt, her piecing was not quite as accurate and her quilting stitches were not as straight and even, but my daughter and I both know that there is love in every stitch and this quilt is treasured as much as the other quilts that Grandma made for us.

This double wedding ring quilt belongs to my cousin, Anne.
This one also belongs to Anne.

I am not sure who owns these two quilts. They were also on display at the funeral home.
When Grandma was not quilting, she was knitting or crocheting. All of us had afghans and doilies made my Grandma as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good-Bye, Denise!

One of the members of the Elgin Piecemakers, Denise, left this morning to move to Nova Scotia. On Monday night, we surprised her with a little good-bye party at Jessie's house. At our meeting in early January, we decided we would each make a blue and white block and Pat O. offered to make the blocks into a quilt as a gift for Denise. Here is my block:

I found a block pattern called "Love in a Mist" on the internet that I used, but I made a mistake putting the pieces together and did not notice until after I had the block together. I decided to leave it as it was. I am not sure if the block I made has a name or not!

Here is a picture of the quilt:

And here is the label: We all signed it!
You may wonder why there is an elephant block in Denise's quilt. (Jacqui made the elephant block.) Many of our Elgin Piecemakers Guild members live in or near St. Thomas, Ontario, home of the Jumbo the Elephant statue shown below. Jumbo was a circus elephant who was killed in St. Thomas in 1885 when he was hit by a train. This statue was unveiled in 1985 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death. This past December, the knitters at "The Little Red Mitten", a local knitting shop which is in an old house across from Jumbo, made him a scarf, which you can see in the picture below.

Jumbo is currently covered in blue shrink plastic to protect him from the elements until the Spring when he will be refurbished. Jacqui thought the blue elephant block would be a good reminder to Denise of how Jumbo looked when she left the area!

My next blog will be about my Grandmother's quilts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Swap

This is the candle mat that I made for a quilter in New York state for the Quilted Table St. Pat's candle mat swap. I mailed it to her a couple of weeks ago and found out last night that she had received it in the mail. I'm so glad she likes it --it is always a bit risky to make something for someone you do not know! I also sent her a couple of little gifts--a charm pack--Moda "Dandelion Girl" and a London Friendship Quilters' Guild pin. I have not received my candle mat yet, but will post a picture when it arrives.

Monday, February 15, 2010

We have a WINNER!

My daughter is home from University for Reading Week--and she is actually doing homework (while watching the Olympics and cheering for Canada, of course!). She agreed to help me to the draw for the give-away this afternoon.

In the Olympic spirit, I decided to use one of my Vancouver 2010 Olympic mittens instead of a hat!
I put all of the names on little pieces of paper and then my daughter put them into the mitten...
She mixed them up....

And pulled out the winner: Creative Hands!

Congratulations! Please send my your snail mail address and I will finish off your candle mat and put it into the mail. Thanks everyone for reading my blog and entering my give-away!


Friendship Stars (fixed!) and Farmer's Fields

After a good night's sleep, I decided to fix the yellow friendship star so it matched the spinning direction of the pink one. I sewed these two blocks together already and like the way they look beside each other, both spinning in the same direction.

This morning, I made "Farmer's Fields". I have a limited supply of the light fabric in my fat quarter bundle so I decided to use pink for the background of this block. I am almost half way there now for this sampler quilt! Still a few challenging blocks coming up!

The next post will announce the winner of my give-away... Stay tuned. If my computer and my camera co-operate, I hope to get this done before 6:30 tonight.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friendship Stars

Tonight's project: two 6 inch friendship star blocks. As you can see from the picture above, they spin in different directions. They will be right beside each other in the quilt. Do you think I should change one to match the other or just leave them as is??? I didn't realize that I had done this until I put them beside each other to take the picture!!!

Grateful Heart Sampler: Corn and Beans

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have now completed 9 of 25 blocks for this sampler quilt. We were away for a few days this past week on vacation. I ended up getting sick and we came home early. I am feeling a bit better today and decided to do a little sewing. I hope to make some more blocks for this quilt later this week. Tomorrow is a statutory holiday here: Family Day. My family will spend the day together watching the Olympics and I may do some sewing too.

Don't forget to post a comment on my blog before tomorrow to have a chance to win a candle mat! I will make the draw at noon (Eastern Standard Time).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free Trade and Economy (and a Give-away!)

I spent the afternoon sewing. I made two more blocks for my Grateful Heart Sampler. The first is called "Free Trade".

The second is called "Economy". And you probably thought I was going to do a stimulating post about the current economic climate in this blog, judging from the title!!! I have completed 8 out of 25 blocks for this quilt.

I noticed on my counter that I am very close to 20,000 views of my blog! I think this should be celebrated with a give-away! On February 15th, I will put the names of all the people who have commented on the February posts on my blog into a hat and pick one to receive a candle mat. So... leave a comment and you will have a chance to win!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Surprises in the Mail

I usually try to put a quilted postcard in our Guild's monthly postcard exchange. Last week, I received this post card made by "The Quilt Rat". The snowmen are cut out from a Christmas card that she received in December! She always comes up with such creative ideas!!!
Yesterday, I received a parcel from Erin at My Patchwork Life. I had entered a give-away at her blog and I won two meters of this beautiful fabric called "Jane's Exotic Garden". I am not sure exactly what I am going to do with this gift yet...Any ideas out there???? Erin wrote me a wonderful note--she loves the idea of sending mail out of the country and wondering if the postal workers want to know how she knows the person she is sending the package to ... Erin and I have never met, but I think we would enjoy spending the day together, quilting, of course!!!