Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grandmother's Choice and the Maine Quilt Show

I'm back from my bus trip to the Maine Quilt Show. In one word, "Fantastic!" I travelled along the highways from New Brunswick to Maine and back again with 26 quilters from Moncton and area. They accepted this New Brunswick native/Nova Scotian dweller like a dirty shirt! From the time I stepped onto the bus 'till the time I stepped off, it was non-stop quilty sharing, quilty shopping, and quilty viewing of some fabulous quilts at the show. Yes, I did a little shopping, choosing to pick up patterns and quilty items I couldn't necessarily find in my not-so-local quilt shops, but I didn't fill the 68 litre tote I had brought along with me. Restraint can be a good thing, right? I'll share some of my purchases at a later date once I start some new projects.

Before I show you some pictures of quilts from the show, I want to share with you one of my own favorite all-time finishes that I bound in the days leading up to my bus trip.  Grandmother's Choice is a finish! (You could make this too as the instructions are found HERE.) This was a QAL through Barbara Brackman in 2012/2013 that featured a block a week to celebrate the fight for women's right to vote. It is a pretty large quilt, about 90" x 103", made using civil war fabrics and shirtings that I thought would be in keeping with the final project.

Barbara gave us lots of ideas for the settings. I decided to "go big or go home" and chose to set the blocks using a 9-patch with triple sashing, so of course extra time was needed for all that piecing! Machine quilting was done by Ange Ross of Quilting on the Mira who used an edge to edge design.

Barbara provided us with a pdf for the label so I cut and pasted the graphic onto a word document, adding my information with the years that women were given the right to vote in Canada and the US.  I printed this onto Printed Treasures Printable Fabric and quilted the label with some batting to give it some extra punch before I attached it to the back. 

Now, onto the Maine Quilt Show, with just a small sampling of some of the quilts that caught my attention. I didn't want the post to be too picture heavy so will divide the quilt pictures up over a few posts.

Do you see the little "hand" that is attached to the right front of the quilt? That means the quilt is quilted by hand, though there were not too many "hands" in evidence.  

Hope you enjoyed a few snippets from the Maine Quilt Show. The bus trip from Moncton is an annual trip, with profits going to Victoria's Quilts Canada, Moncton chapter. Victoria's Quilts is a volunteer group that provides quilts to those who have been diagnosed with cancer. There are branches across Canada and in the USA. If you want to be on the email list for next year's bus trip, let me know and I'll send your name along to the coordinator. In addition to visiting the show,which included dozens of vendors, we visited several fabric shops and malls while we were there. To find out more about the organization, like how to volunteer, donate, or request a quilt for someone, visit Victoria's Quilts Canada

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Tote, the Maine Quilt Show, and the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival

This morning I finished making a new tote bag. I had been collecting some fat quarters in aquas and blues and decided it was time to cut them up, so I did and I made this...

I chose a pattern by Sherrod Studio called the Tote Along Tool Caddy. I wanted a larger bag so I added some height for a bag that now measures about 14" x 14" x 4". 

I lined it with some matching fabric and managed to sew a little Cuddle Quilter label on it too! 

You may notice the bag can stand up on its own! I decided to try out byannie's Soft a Stable, a product used in place of batting, designed specifically "for bags and beyond". It really does work well. It's fairly thick but very light. My machine sewed through it with ease, though I did sew a little slower than normal and tried to be more precise.

Why did I need a new bag?  'Cause I'm going on a road trip!
Yes, in less than a week, I will be bussing along the highway with a group of quilters on our way to the 2015 Maine Quilt Show in Augusta.

I have wanted to attend this show for years but never had the opportunity until now. I will be travelling with a bus tour that departs from Moncton, New Brunswick, the fourth annual trip arranged as a fundraiser for Victoria's Quilts Canada, a program that provides handmade quilts for people with cancer. 

I love the itinerary! We will be on the road for three nights and four days, visiting quilt and yarn shops, malls, and spending a day at the show complete with over 35 vendors. In fact, the coordinator of the bus tour suggests everyone bring a 68 litre tote for all their purchases. I am practicing this week with my wheelie cart. Guess they must have a huge bus ready for us!

In other news, I was thrilled to see the information being posted recently for the Nova Scotia Fibrearts Festival, an annual event that takes place in Amherst, NS. This year it runs from October 13-17. 

Every day or two, they seem to be posting new workshops and I was thrilled to see that Linda Hubbards of Fredericton is offering two workshops, one for free motion quilting and one for walking foot quilting. I signed up for the walking foot workshop on the Saturday but am also thinking of taking her Friday workshop on Free Motion Quilting too...I have such a lot to learn! Maybe some of you will join me?

 I will also be meeting up during the festival with my friends from the Nova Scotia Bloggers Quartet, Linda  Scrapmaster, Sheila Sheila's Quilt World, and Karen Kaholly to see the displays and share our quilty inspiration! The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild will have a display set up again this year and I hope to submit a couple of my more modern renditions this year. What a fun time it will be!

It's a great day for quilting!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Artisans Collective Gift Shop

The Artisans Collective gift shop is now open for the season. The shop is located in the Port Hastings Museum in Port Hastings, Cape Breton.  The civic address is 24 Route 19, Port Hastings, Nova Scotia. I am one of 12 local artisans who sell our handcrafted items at the shop during the tourist season with a percentage of all sales going to the museum. 

Earlier today I put together a Face Book page and hope to update it every few days. It would be wonderful if you could visit us virtually by clicking Here to go to the Artisans Collective Facebook page.

If you are coming here from mainland Nova Scotia, you will have to drive across the Canso Causeway. Here is a fabulous picture I found on the net that shows the Causeway from the air...

When you cross the Causeway and drive around the rotary, you will see us on the left on a small hill. This is what we look like from the outside...

and this is some of what you'll see when you come into the shop:

We each take a turn volunteering at the shop every 12 days and my turn is tomorrow. Drop by if you are in the area! 

I couldn't resist this last picture. Woodworker Hubby helped put up our new system to hang quilts. Here he is deep in thought...

It's a great day for quilting!

Friday, July 3, 2015

New Grandson and Quilts

Just returned from a fabulous trip out West meeting our new and first grandbaby! He arrived safe and sound three weeks ago and is doing what all newborns do...eating, crying, peeing, and pooing, in no particular order! 

As for us, we did lots of cuddling, hugging, laughing, cooing and oohing to this sweet little addition to the family. Of course, we had to try out the three quilts I made for him.  Little Letters...

Just Ducky...

and Elephant Parade...

He loves them all! I also made GS a Peekaboo Car Seat Canopy from a free pattern I found HERE. 

It was a wonderful visit. We arrived home yesterday and I miss DD, DSIL, and GS so much...sending virtual hugs from Nana C!

It's a great day for quilting!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Just Call me Nana C

On June 12, we became grandparents for the first time! We are thrilled that our little grandson entered the world safely to greet his mommy and daddy. All is well with the new family and as I said to my daughter, "Who needs sleep anyway?" We'll be meeting him in the near future and will have lots of time to cuddle then. In the meantime, thank goodness for Face timing and Face book!

In between all the excitement, I kept the pedal to the medal to finish my Plus Sign quilt that I told you about last time HERE.

I like to spray baste my quilts, so off I went to the deck on a nice day and put my quilt sandwich on the box that we store our deck chairs in. It rolls easily so it was perfect to use as I moved it around to spray the layers.

I pieced the backing using some yardage I had that also share those bright blues and lime greens! 


I decided to go with straight line quilting, side to side, using a YLI Teal variegated thread.

I started on the same side for each line of stitching and then changed at the midway point to reduce any unwanted rippling. I have a handy dandy quilting attachment by Pfaff that allows me to adjust my quilting lines on either side. 

You can see the quilting lines a little better at this angle.

When it was time to sew on the binding, I rolled my binding around an antique spindle, put the spindle in an empty trash can, and sewed it on as it unravelled  easily from the roll. The things we do to make life easier!

The quilt finishes at 50" x 64", a perfect size for a cuddle quilt. It is now hanging in the Artisans Collective gift shop located at the Port Hastings Museum. The shop opens tomorrow and it is my day to work!  ( Open hours are Monday - Friday from 9-5; starting in July, also open on weekends from 12-4).  If you're in the area, please drop by. I will take my camera tomorrow to get some pictures...always a better selection at the start of the summer!
Thank you for all your wishes for Mom's recovery. I just returned from another trip to Moncton  and I saw a huge improvement from last time. Every day she continues to get better due to the excellent care and support she is receiving from the medical staff, her family, and her friends. 

It's a great day for quilting!