Merry Christmas to me! My traveling quilt came home

Back in March, I was invited to join a group of quilters who were starting a Canadian Traveling Quilt group.  I admit that I thought about it for a bit before I said yes, but I am so, so glad that I joined up with them.  Just before Christmas, my traveling quilt came home to me, and it is amazing!

It is awesome!

This quilt started in Lethbridge, and then went off to Ontario and Quebec before going to northern Alberta and then back to Lethbridge. Eight different people, including me, worked on it. And even though I didn’t give any fabrics along or any directions as to what I wanted, it’s still a wonderfully cohesive piece. And now it’s home, where it’s going to stay.

Close up of some amazing embroidery and awesome blocks

Julie did this amazing embroidery down on the bottom. After I had surgery this summer, she emailed me and asked what I wanted (in general terms) and I think, though I can’t remember now cause I was on a lot of painkillers, that I wanted something uplifting. I love the quote she picked. “Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.”

More blocks, love that little envelope.  And the chevron quilting.

Erica made this adorable little envelope block, very fitting for a quilt that traveled all over Canada. This picture also shows some of Deanna’s quilting, the chevron motif, which looks great on the solid navy.

Cute little hexies along the side.

Laura did the hexagons, which are completely adorable. There’s even a little Heather Ross goldfish in there! And I’m actually not sure who did the wonky herringbone block, but it’s wonderful. Everyone made amazing fabric choices.

The whole thing, looking great in the snow

It was really cold when I went outside to take these pictures, but I did anyway, cause this amazing quilt deserved much better lighting than my indoor fluorescent mess. Those blocks on point on the corners are perfect! And I love how it ended up being a square medallion quilt. I think most of the others ended up rectangular.

In my ash tree, where all my quilts eventually end up.

In the ash tree.

And now it’s officially my quilt. My ash tree said so.

Thank you so much to the other quilters who took part in this journey with me. I’ve only seen a few of the other finished quilts, and I’d love to see more of them. And also, now that I’ve got my new Juki (!) I will be finishing Erica’s quilt asap. It’s all basted and ready to go!

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Last Bee Blocks for the year

2014 is coming to a close, and all my bee blocks for the year are done now.  I’m going to mail the last one off today.  I last posted October’s blocks (I think) so these are November and December.

For Canadians Quilt, Dominique requested a sewing machine block, with various colour options.  I picked aqua and red.  M-R (December) went with a seasonal theme and asked for Christmas trees in aqua, grey, and red.

Canadians Quilt Bee blockDecember bee block

For Stash Bee, Sue asked for wonky stars. I know she really likes Heather Ross, and of course I don’t blame her and totally understand why.  So I pulled out some Heather Ross and Munki Munki and got to work.  The block was so much fun that I made her two!

Stash Bee November
Stash Bee November

And finally, for the 4×5 Bee, I made four versions of the same block in the colour scheme of the recipient’s choosing.  I think my favourite one of these is the top right, but I really like how all of them came out.  They have all been received already, and all of my blocks have come in the mail too, but I don’t have a picture of them.  They are gorgeous, so I should take one and post it here.

4x5 Bee Hive 1And, though I considered giving up bees entirely for 2015, I’ve decided to continue in Canadians Quilt for another year, and have also joined a second all Canadian bee.  So here’s to another great year of making blocks for other people, and challenging my design comfort and skill level!

Road Trip Quilt Along is finally done

Way back, when I was just starting this blog, I started this quilt.  I made the first blocks 2.5 years ago.  My plan all along was to make 2 quilts, a dark version and a light version.  The dark version I finished nearly two years ago, in February 2013.  It now lives at my mom’s house.  So this quilt has been lingering a long, long time.

The top has been together for just about as long as the first one has been finished.  I guess I was just tired of the project and wanted to move on to other things. A local friend of mine with a long arm finished it for me. I’m pretty sure it would still not be done if she hadn’t done that.

Road Trip QAL

I am very glad to have it done. Something about having very long-standing WIPs sitting for such a long time gets to me every now and then. I still have a large number of tops waiting to be quilted (8, I think, at last count), but I’ll chip at it a little at a time and eventually that iceberg will be gone.

Road Trip QAL

Mr Apple Pie went outside with me in -25C to help me take these pictures. It looks so nice and crisp against the snow.

Road Trip QAL

Road Trip QAL

I didn’t get a shot of just the backing, but you can see it a little in these shots. It’s the same fabrics as the other version, but the placement of the fabrics is reversed. Also, I realize now that I have not labelled it yet. Oops.

Road Trip QAL

Why does it always have to be windy on quilt shoot days?

Road Trip QAL

My fabric tastes have changed a bit since I started this project. I don’t think red is my favourite colour anymore, but it’s still up there near the top. I tend to use more low-volume than white-on-white for backgrounds in my blocks now. The first block I paper pieced is in this quilt and I remember what a hassle it gave me. Paper piecing doesn’t give me hassles anymore, so it’s a sign that my skills have definitely improved.

It’s interesting to take time to look back on your quilting journey sometimes. And to wonder where I will be on my quilting journey 2.5 years from now. Who knows? For now, I’m glad I can check this one off the list and keep moving forward.