Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Quilt top of 2015

I made a quilt back in March of last year and had some left overs that were very plentiful.  As they were balis I couldn't bear to toss them into the garbage so I put them aside in the to do something with some day pile and forgot about them.

Yesterday I was cleaning up that pile and deciding what would be my first WIP of the year and this one came to mind. It was a no brainer really as a quarter of the work as already done in the strip pieces. I just sewed them end to end to be a certain length and added a lovely soft blue grey solid and Voila! a quilt top is made.

not the greatest picture but you get what it looks like.

Next step to make the backing and cut the batting and get this ready to send off to Arlene the long armer.  I think this will make a lovely gift for someones posting out party.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Almost New Year

What a year I had. It is hard to believe that it is coming down to the close and the final grains of sand are pouring out of the hourglass and we start all over again. I like the sound of that - starting over again. I know that can be a challenge but it also is a blessing too, being able to start with a clean slate, a blank canvas and create what your life will be this year. 

I had a great year in 2014. Yes there were some things that truly sucked and were painful at the time, but the grace of God is balm to the soul and the ego and I survived. Never give up no matter how many no's you get, how many doors keep getting slammed in your face, right?! That was the attitude I took even more strongly than I ever have in the past and it was the right thing to do. The greatest lesson was listening to that little voice of the Divine, my personal cheerleader urging me on. And that is exactly what I did.  

Even though not all went to plan, I also had some great things happen - just like most days, weeks, months and years. It’s life. Challenges make me better if I embrace them, even if I have to kick and scream along the way, well, figuratively, not literally! Okay, maybe a few tears, stomps and air-punches.

One of the things I am the most proud of is entering the Ironman. While I did not complete the 50 km course, I did go 34 km until I timed out. While many compete against others my challenge was to compete against myself and use the activity as a spiritual discipline. Kind of like my version of the ancient idea of pilgrimage. It was awesome, painful, hopeful, funny and a whole host of other emotions. I had wonderful team mates who encouraged and yelled at me and rescued me, and I gave others some wonderful tall tales to tell about that crazy Padre from 2 Service Battalion. I hope to do it again this year and cross the finish line, even it if takes me 12 hours to do so. 

Another high is being the person at the right place at the right time. What do I mean by this? From the months of August - Nov I was supporting people who were suicidal. One after another. It felt like it would never end. You would just get one person over a crisis and there would be yet another knock at the door.  But we got through, all of us. Thank God for the blessings of life and meeting us in our lows. 

I got a lot of quilting done despite deploying for a few months and moving from one barracks room to another. I have a sampling of many of those quilts in a mosaic below for you to look at.

Quilty finishes for 2014. All except for 6 quilts whose photos I could not find.
At the end of the year, I like to reflect on something that Arianna Huffington so eloquently says: “Live for your eulogy, not your resume.” I think that this is a great way to step in to the new year that is so full of possibilities yet dreamed of.  I'm pretty excited for the New Year.!
 I’d like to leave you today with the words of one of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke:

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”

Love and blessings to all, 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Vancouver Island

Well Christmas is finally here. I thought it would never get here.  While two weeks out of the month have been so hectic, one could almost say manic paced, the last week prior to Christmas was much quieter.  Amazing how lovely it can be when ones schedule is being managed by oneself and not others.

We plan to spend a quiet Christmas here with not much planned other than taking the dogs to walk at the beach and making a lovely dinner. The Mr. does up a lovely bird, so much better than what I end up with so I am looking forward to it and not doing too much of anything.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

As a child my favorite time of the year was Christmas Eve. It was like a birthday and any other celebration rolled into one.  Considering my career choice it is not surprising I loved going to church and singing my little heart out, trying to blend my voice with the other voices that were around me. Of course it helped that most everyone was in a good upbeat mood that just excited my energy level too.  After church was over we would go to a distant cousins house to eat tasty morsels and sing some more. Around midnight we would head home and wait for Santa to come.

I still like to go to church and sing my heart out and to hear the lesson read out. While we do not have children of our own, its fun to watch my colleagues children prepare for the birth of the Christ child. They get the story and trust so simply in God's plan for all of us and offer the great reminder that we just need to have faith in God cause God's got this...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Finish: Green Plus Quilt

Back in October I made a green plus quilt using up various scraps that I had on hand. I recently got it back from Tracey the long armer and put on the binding.  It is DONE and ready to give it as a gift.
The quilting is  a simple loop that goes all over the quilt. I really like how this quilt looks. I can see another one of these in my future perhaps in rainbow colors?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holy Cow Batman

If you read the post about the Superman quilt, you know I was making some quilts for little boys. I found the Batman fabric relatively easily but this time instead of not liking the block, I didn't like how the fabrics played together.  It was too busy, too much color ( I know weird for me to say) and just unappealing.

On a shopping trip to a local quilt store I found a lovely Batman fabric who's colors were much nicer and decided to use it as the base for the quilt. I added some blue and yellow fabrics, cut out strips and then re sewed them to make a 8"block.  I added in solid blue to make the blocks go further and them laid out the quilt in a pleasing manner.  The quilting is the energetic pantograph in a blue thread that blends it all together.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Greek Cross Quilt Finish

A few months ago for the Joy do. Good stitches bee we were asked to make the Greek cross block in brights.  It is such a lovely effective block that I decided to recreate it and use up my pile of pink scraps up.  Sadly it barely it made it dent.  

 After quilting for over 20 years now, I have to start doing some significant purging on a regular basis or monthly make a scrap quilt in order to keep on top of the scraps.  While it is nice to have a variety of fabrics to make just about anything that one of my bee mates requests, sometimes one can have just too much that does not allow for any new pieces to come in. And making scrappy backs out of the other pieces can make a good dint in things it can also be more time consuming, cause I of course want the back to have some sort of a design if I am going to mix up my fabrics. Is it odd to say that I find it so much easier to do a solid back rather than have to work hard to mix it up. 

When I had some time I made a kit of sorts of all the pink scraps and background material all cut into the appropriate shapes and put them in a ziploc with instructions so I could just take them out and sew. I am finding that the moments some weeks to sew is very limited so having something that I can take up and put down is good. These blocks I can do one in less than 5 min which helps me to feel productive. 


Once I had made 25 blocks I laid them out and played around with a setting that was pleasing. I really like how striking this top is and envision another one coming to this blog sometime soon. The quilting is an all over loop pattern and was done by Tracey.