Monday, November 30, 2015

Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt-a-long has started! Allietare, Link-up #1

It's that time of year again - when Bonnie Hunter thanks all her followers with a free mystery quilt-a-long! I have participated for the last 4 years, with 2 finished quilts, 1 flimsy and 1 still in pieces to show for it!

This year I had decided that I have way too many projects started, and I wasn't going to do the mystery - but...

I couldn't resist the pull!  I'm only going to make about 1/16th of each of the units, in the hopes I end up with a pillow-size finish.  I haven't pulled my fabrics - I'll do that as each step is released but I did get my first 20 units of Step 1 done. (294/16 = 18.375 rounded up to 20).

How did I come up with 1/16th?  Bonnie usually does large quilts, between a double and queen - so I estimated her quilt will finish at about 80x80; 1/4 is 40x40; 1/16 should be about 20x20 - a nice size pillow cover.

I've used the same grey in several quilts already, and this is the very last of it. I will miss it!

Here are my other Mystery quilts, finished and in progress:

Orca Bay - my first and favourite!  It wasn't until this year that I realized I had made a mistake in assembling the blocks - can you find it? That's the beauty of scrappy quilts - they hide a multitude of mistakes.

Easy Street - the biggest quilt I have ever made.  I upsized this to King-size and gifted it to my daughter and her husband. Quilt-inspector Daisy approved.

Celtic Solstice - I down-sized this one to about twin-size and changed the border. Still in the queue to be quilted.

And finally, Grand Illusion:

I decided to stay within a single designer and mostly one fabric line (Jason Yenter/Shangri-la), but I am not happy working with such limited fabrics. Bonnie's quilts deserve to be scrappy, and appeal to my sense of adventure.  I have finished Step One and working on Step Two.  I'm going to finish up the units I have started, and maybe assemble a smaller quilt.

Be sure to check out what everyone else has been up to at the Linky Party on Bonnie's blog.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas sewing has begun!

Every year I resolve to start Christmas sewing in July, and every year I procrastinate until November. Why be different this year? Never mind that I've had to deal with a possible job loss (now resolved with a promotion and a raise, instead of a layoff) and the resulting depression/anxiety. I'm slowing starting to feel like my old self, so what better therapy then the sewing room.

Shark pencil cases for Alex and Zoey - free pattern from I still have to hand-sew the lining in, and add the button eyes, but that I can do in front of the tv later this week.

The first of nine pillowcases has been made, filled and sent to Alberta for my newest niece, 7-month-old Eloise.  The rest will be filled and given on Boxing Day at our extended family gathering.  Read more about our tradition here.

The rest are cut out and ready to go. 

Alex has been bugging me to learn more about sewing, and has asked for a sewing kit for Christmas.  I think I'm going to make one up for both him and Zoey, and teach them the basics in the new year by helping them make their own stuffies. I know I'll do most of the sewing, but they sure will have fun!

I bought the pattern, Menagerie from in preparation.

My favourite is a bonus one, not shown on the cover, the Squid!

(Photo credits -

In the meantime, I enlisted his help in cutting fabric for some more I-spy quilts.  With 3 new babies in the family in the past year, it's time to get those started.  We needed to add to the collection of 5" squares to choose from, so he helped pick through my latest acquisitions and scraps.  He learned how to safely use a rotary cutter, and how to use a ruler. 

So serious.

Success! He was so proud of himself. We got the first one laid out, making sure all 99 charms are different, and in an alternating pattern of light/dark.  Next, he'll help sew them on my Featherweight.

Once I'm finished this last batch of I-Spy quilts, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all my novelty prints.  I probably have enough to make about 10 more quilts!

I also have a new long-term project distraction.  I'm making another mystery quilt, Shindig Mystery from Hillbilly Handiworks, this time all English paper-piecing.  This piece will measure about 36" across when I finish the remaining 6 points. I could choose to finish it at this point, The First Dance, or complete the full quilt, about 65". 

I have lost track of my fabric purchases, so I am bowing out of the Stash Reports for the remainder of the year.  Next year, I'm really going to try and challenge myself once again to get through the pile of UFOs.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Praying for Paris

sometimes world events put everything into perspective
and we have to remember not to jump to conclusions
and keep our hearts open to those who are suffering
and not let the next generations repeat the mistakes of the past
reflecting today,
Terri in BC
(photo credits from Facebook: Good Housekeeping and Meanwhile in Canada pages)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Depression sucks...

Every since getting a layoff notice on July 15th, my emotions have been on a whirlwind.  3 1/2 months later, I am still working at the same place with no idea how much longer I will be here. My anxiety is through the roof. I have put out numerous resumes, but sadly no phone calls.
Hence I am starting a new 5, 10, 15 plan.
5 minutes to plan my day (so that I don't waste it away wallowing)
10 minutes of some much needed exercise (even that is an effort right now)
15 minutes doing something I enjoy (sewing or scrapbooking)
If I can manage to do these 3 things daily, I tend to do more, but I'm not putting pressure on myself, that only defeats the purpose. (i'm not even putting housework on the list. that only depresses me more....)