Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Apparently I Like Oysters Now

After Montreal we headed to PEI, which was the definitely the highlight of the trip.  The beaches were stunning.

IMG_20171023_150937.jpg

IMG_20171025_114419329

Eddy saw umpteen lighthouses (because he's super into lighthouses.)

IMG_20171023_152841074

Also we saw this.

IMG_20171023_160743929

IMG_20171023_160717879

Whatever this is.

 A weird thing happened, which is that I think I like oysters now.

IMG_20171024_202334141

We also snuck an historic home in on the day we flew home.

IMG_20171026_102346080

IMG_20171026_102246881

Furthermore, Eddy hugged this cow, so overall, pretty great trip.

IMG_20171025_153502830

More to come, though, because I saved the best part of the trip for last.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kites and Triangles and Half-Hexies, Oh my!

My grandma taught me how to quilt and I have tons of reasons to be grateful for that.   This year I wanted to make her a really special quilt for Christmas.  I picked out tons of fabrics I thought she would like, and an old-fashioned pattern that I knew she'd love.

IMG_20171106_142442.jpg

For those who like tesselation, here's a satisfying picture of me cutting and marking millions of kite shapes.

IMG_20171111_152253250

IMG_20171128_095922.jpg

SO MANY.

IMG_20171113_093201325

Eventually, I made the kites into these triangles.

IMG_20171113_100642.jpg

And the triangles into these half hexies.

IMG_20171113_113440.jpg

IMG_20171114_113748.jpg

I arranged my half hexies into rows.

IMG_20171129_122520956

I pieced them all together.

IMG_20171129_170004683

I did a ton of free motion quiting, not all of which I'm 100% happy with, but I am pleased with the overall effect, so let's just never speak of it again.

IMG_20171211_145300861

Here's the finished quilt.

IMG_20171219_134518156

IMG_20171219_134537367

IMG_20171219_134555462

IMG_20171219_134439921

Merry Christmas, Moe! That's what I call my grandma. My brother made it up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

If At First You Don't Go Boating

Eddy took me to Canada for my birthday because he's the best.  Our first stop was Niagara Falls where we got married that one time.

IMG_20171019_102953.jpg

Our original plan was to ride the Maid of the Mist again but Eddy became deathly ill and boats were out of the question. We did manage to sneak in a trip to a weird indoor water park before disaster struck.

IMG_20171019_105907256

We also ate so many honey crullers.

IMG_20171020_174102.jpg

So many, though. Next, we headed to Montreal where we enjoyed so many French language things.

IMG_20171021_103812992

IMG_20171021_173834407

We also enjoyed some river things...

IMG_20171021_124426356_TOP

IMG_20171022_154631705

On an amphibious bus.

IMG_20171022_170836805_TOP

Because if at first you can't ride a boat try, try again.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ornaments, Not Bombs

Each year I make some small quilts to give to friends and family and I'm pretty proud of the little cuties I made this year.

I got just the very cutest fabric this summer. That's right. I bought fabric over the summer. I also pieced all the blocks this summer.

IMG_20170725_105949004_TOP

They're ornaments!  They might look a little like bombs, but they look less like bombs later. Promise.

IMG_20170725_132937640

Later, in December, I did some pretty schmancy free motion quilting and took a fairly lame photo of it.

IMG_20171212_164952764

IMG_20171212_180203.jpg

But this polka-dot binding. Cute.

Here are a few of the finished quilts!

IMG_20171219_103905566

IMG_20171219_104036332

IMG_20171219_104051156

You saw right, those are yawning winter bunnies on the back.

Happy holidays to everyone celebrating!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Clairvoyant Quilting

My brother and his girlfriend, Becky, asked for a quilt this year for Christmas and lucky for me I started my quilting plenty early.  I had just two thoughts about the pattern that I chose, this Kona Color Wheel Pattern from Red Pepper Quilts.  The first thought was that it reminded me of double wedding ring quilts and the second was that it's difficult to keep white quilts clean.

The first thought was fortuitous because my brother and his girlfriend eloped!  That's right, they're married.  Just like adults!  I can't even believe it.  This is my favorite picture from their wedding day.


Good thing I was well into making them a wedding ring quilt when I found out! These are the fabrics I chose way back in the summer.

IMG_20170707_152617985

I cut the strips and made up a little assembly line

IMG_20170726_142424.jpg

IMG_20170726_142944990

so that I could make lots and lots of these little arcs.

IMG_20170802_114138587

IMG_20170818_135609115

IMG_20170831_110942082

When I started assembling them Eddy got interested and wanted to see how I put curves together.

IMG_20170824_193952728

IMG_20170824_194001670

Four arcs make a circle.

IMG_20170906_113156.jpg

IMG_20170907_174312.jpg

I created a layout with a few circles missing because I am artistic and also because I underestimated how much solid fabric I would need.

IMG_20170908_100500452

That inspired me to make a border with a few pieces missing.

IMG_20170908_161150808

Once I had the front pieced, I wanted to do something really special for the back because I took this really great free(!) Craftsy course from Elizabeth Hartman about Creative Quilt Backs.

IMG_20170911_164853.jpg

IMG_20170912_110630.jpg

IMG_20170912_153954.jpg

Then it was basting day.

IMG_20170919_115110058

Basting day is terrible, but it leads to quilting day which is the opposite of terrible.

IMG_20170919_151527040


That second thought from above?  The part about how difficult it is to keep white quilts clean?  Well, that thought was just as fortuitous as the thought about wedding rings because right about this point of the project I realized that the quilt somehow had a stain on it.

IMG_20170926_145233215

I have no idea how this happened. Except that I share a workshop with these three dirtbags.

IMG_20170920_161239335

I tried and tried to get the stain out and it looks a little better than in the photo above, but I stopped short of sending it through the wash because new quilts are just so delightfully flat I like to think of people adding their own wrinkles as they send it through the wash again and again.  I like to think that all I did was take the pressure off of Evan and Becky.  Now they won't feel like they have to keep the quilt *so* spotlessly clean.  You're welcome.

Finally there's binding day.

IMG_20170927_105117430

And here's the finished quilt!

IMG_20171002_181617197

IMG_20171002_181703527

IMG_20171002_181516266

IMG_20171002_181452167

But there were still days of burying threads to go.  Days and days and days.

IMG_20171002_103843604_TOP

At least I had a little help.

Congratulations to Evan and Becky from all of us Westbrooks including the cat!