Tuesday, February 10, 2015

a relaxing paradise holiday

We have just returned from a month in Kauai, one of the Hawaiian islands.
And yes, it is paradise!
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, and the one that is farthest out from mainland USA.
It is quite different from Maui or Oahu. It is very rural, and very quiet. A great place for a reaxing vacation.

This was the view from our patio (called a lanai in Hawaii)

From here we could sit and drink our morning coffee and watch the whales jumping and splashing off the shore!
Things are pretty laid back here. This is the bus stop on the main road ...

I couldn't help but think it would look even better with a quilt draped over the back!

There is beautiful scenery, several waterfalls,

and wild chickens (yes, chickens!!) all over the place.

One fun stop was the Coco Palm Hotel site. This is now overgrown and really run down, but it the site where Elvis Presley starred in "Blue Hawaii".

There is a 2 hour tour, and we were in luck.....we had an "Elvis" on the tour with us! He enjoyed poising for pictures, re-enacting "Elvis moments"

We also flew over to Oahu for a couple of days on Waikiki, and spent a day touring Pearl Harbor. It is a very interesting place, very moving, and great museums that thoroughly explain the history and events.

You can also tour a submarine and a battle ship - the Missouri (Mighty Mo) - very cool!

It was a great vacation, but a month is a long time, and it was great to get home too. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

But it is still a finish!

I have been working on my scrap quilt this week, but had another important project to get done as well.

My husbands granddaughter has a birthday coming up, and when I saw this fabric on sale for $3 a metre, I knew what I had to make!

She is turning 6, and is a big 'Frozen" fan...can sing all the sons too.
For those of you with small girls or grand daughters, I am sure you can sing along!!

Anyway, we are giving this to her tonight, can't wait to see her face !!

Linking up to TGIFF  over at Quilt Matters this week......it is a finish after all :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WIP Wed...scrap attack continues

I am making an effort to use up scraps, and fabric I already have, rather than buy anything new.  So far , so good! OK, I know it is only Jan 7, but...... so far, so good :)

In my last post I mentioned a scrappy quilt that Debbie was making over at Stitchin' therapy, called Sonja's windows.  It uses 14" strips, which I thought would take a big chunk out of my scrap pile.  I often have long strips from trimming the backing off a quilt, so these were perfect.  It didnt take long to get quite a pile of 14' strips.....

I also trimmed down other bits to sizes that would be useful for my string blocks, and fed the rest of little scraps to my " batting bears". All in all, I made quite a dent in my pile.

You sew the strips together randomly, big enough to get a 14"x14" block

and before I knew it, I had the 10 blocks made.  They are pretty scrappy!  But because I used the long strips of scraps, there are repeats of fabric in most of the blocks, which gives it some unity.

Next step is the 1" "frame" for each block, and then the sashing.  I have a decision to make here. Again, I don't want to buy anything new for this, so here are my choices....
First...two tones of grey. A lighter frame, and darker sashing...

Second...white frame on dark grey sashing....

and Third....white frame on light grey sashing...

What is your vote...I could use some input here!!

Linking up to TN&TN and Freshly Pieced WIP Wed

Monday, January 5, 2015

using more leftovers

In my effort to finish up and clear up leftovers, I pulled out some left over blocks from finished quilts. You know there are always a couple, or the triangle trimmings of the ends of strip sets. I never throw them out, but they tend to just fill up space....so...

I sewed together the strip trimmings from "The Ugly Quilt" to make a few more blocks.

I also sewed together some leftover minky from some previous baby quilts.  Normally I wouldn't sew smaller bits of this together, but why not? It is still soft and cuddly! And it is a leftover quilt afterall !!

So I tried the same with the leftover bits from the "Impossible Quill" quilt.  There really wasn't much left over from that, but it is about 30"x36"  , so will be a small stroller quilt, or maybe a car seat canopy. At least it is together and out of the leftover bin!! Win- win!

Unfortunately, I still have a lot more to use up! I might have to get a bit more creative with some of these....I am not sure these colours lend themselves as well to baby quilts! We will see.

Friday, January 2, 2015

using leftovers.. no paper-string blocks

After making a couple of large quilts, it is fun and relaxing to just play with the leftovers!

I love the look of string quilts, and when I have nothing in particular on the go I like to add a few to the pile. I know some people use paper to size the blocks, but then you have to tear the paper off....seems like a whole lot of extra work to me!! (have I mentioned that I am lazy?)  Anyway, I find an easy way to do these is just use my trusty 6-1/2 " ruler to size the strips.

I have been using a yellow strip for the centre of each block.  It is 1-1/4" wide.

Then I just dig around in the scrap bin and pull out a strip of whatever is the right length. Just remember that you need to account for the seam so leave the strip a bit longer. I have had to rip a few off when I have tried to squeeze it a bit to close !

These are really random....and yes, in this case, I can do random!!
I keep the strips no less than an inch (although I have done a few smaller!) and usually not larger than 2", or you loose the strip effect.
I just keep adding bits on, sewing and pressing as I go.

I find that this is a great way to use up those triangle bits. I seem to have a lot of from trimming ends of blocks.

They don't look like much while you are working on them...

I use the ruler to trim them down to size..

and then they really look great!

And it doesn't take long to make a few of them..

And put them all together....I love the look!!
Not sure how big this one will get yet.

And don't worry...all those little scraps and trimmings don't go to waste..

I still have my "batting bears" to fill!
And I just found another great way to use up scraps and strips! Check out "Sonja's windows" over at Stitchin Therapy!  Thank you Debbie!! Love this quilt, and just might have to divert a few of my scraps to this one! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

finishing 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, I am intent on finishing things.
I did get my quilts finished for Christmas, one for my daughter, and one for my DIL.

The first one, for my daughter was made from "Elementary" by Moda.  It is a jelly roll quilt, and goes together nicely. I love the colours in this, and fortunately , so does she!

Elementary has lots of print, and formulas in the patterns, it is pretty cool.

The bigger quilt (and now I remember why I dont make them this big very often!!) was a very simple summer quilt for my son and DIL.  It is mostly white, with a feature of bricks of "Field Guide" across the foot.

Sorry the picture here is not very good, I had to  take it quickly before I gave it away, it is very large  and it was so cold I couldn't go outside for a photo shoot!

The other gifts I posted about were all well received as well.  We had a wonderful Christmas time, I hosted Christmas dinner for 24 people.....lots of family, lots of food, lots of noise!   And now we have a few days of quiet up at our lake cabin....lots of snow!

It was -32 C. yesterday, but today is warmer, so I might even venture out for some playtime in the snow!

Happy New Year everyone! I have the champagne chilling now :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Christmas Gift finishes

I am busy trying to get some homemade Christmas gifts ready. I fly home to Canada in a week, so wanted to take some of these back  with me.

Firstly....my daughter wanted a "retro" apron, so here is what I made..

and the best part...it is reversible!!! How cool is that!

It is from this pattern that I found in a little quilt shop here in Arizona.  I don't normally use patterns (and am usually not very good about following them !!) but this one just fit the bill perfectly.

I also bought some Insul Bright, to make some Christmas oven mitts. These cute little mini microwave oven mitts are quick to make.

There is a tutorial here.  I made a couple of changes though.  The Insul Bright instructions state that you should add a layer of batting to absorb moisture, so I added that to the larger pad part.(between the Insul Bright and the lining)  For the little pocket pieces I only used batting, and not the Insul Bright to keep the bulk down a bit. I have to say, though, that turning these little suckers through that small hole is a real challenge....possible , but just barely!! But all is well that ends well, my mom used to say :)

My youngest daughter likes full oven mitts, so I made a pair of those too.  (instructions are on the Insul Bright web page)

I saw the cutest table runner in pinterest!  So I made one of those too. I take no credit for this design, it was from Sea Salt Quilts, she has them in her Etsy store.  It is about 48" long and 12" wide.

And finally I whipped up a couple of my "go to" tote bags for neighbours down here in Fountain Hills.

And in my ongoing effort to use up scraps as I go, I used the leftover bits to sew some matching pouches!

Now I just have to see if I can fit all this stuff (except the tote bags) into my suitcase!!  I also have a couple of quilts at home that I want to try to finish when I get there. We will see how that goes!

Linking up to TGIFF ....today over at Persimon Dreams.