Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

January Blossoms

Well it’s official Christmas is over in our household! We really do enjoy the extra weeks in January when we keep the tree up. Though, now that the days seem longer with a little more daylight with every passing day the boost of the tree lights to our world don’t seem quite as necessary. Also the needles were just starting to fall.

I have a few quilts to share from the last weeks Longarm quilting.

This is one of Joan’s and was such a delight to work on, so bright and well floral! Look at this backing!

The top is so pretty and beautifully pieced.

I have a new phone and have been playing with its camera, the portrait mode is a lot of fun.

This next one really shows the affect of the portrait mode.

Liam is back to in class learning this week, so it will be a little quieter around here this week.

I made and trimmed my flying geese units for flock over the weekend…well I trimmed most of them last night. I find it interesting how much fun I am having piecing with solid fabrics, the collective has been such a great addition to my quilting life!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

A Fresh Start and Life

To the day that is, I am so glad that I can stay home today…I will wait until we hit the warmest part of the day to walk bundled up to get the mail and only because there will be a pkg for me.

Liam will be here soon, today is the last virtual day as the kids return to their classrooms on Monday. Hopefully that will work out. It will be much quieter here but he has already booked March break with us!

Yesterday I read a blog post at Sisterschoice where Nicole shared that she had collected all of the blocks for the Fatquarter Shop 2011 Designer Mystery Block of the Month. She has decided it’s it to make the quilt. Well…. Guess what I have?

The difference is that I have all of my blocks completed and began the finishing kit and then life took a different direction. Years ago my friend Florence used to piece tops for me when I would get too busy and I would quilt for her.

She came by with quilts yesterday and left with the treasure box. So perhaps this year Strawberry Fields will again see the light of day! Thank you for the nudge Nicole!

We had visitors last weekend. Liam had built a special fort knowing who was coming. Jaxson was initially leary of entering the fort so his mom crawled inside and I handed him to her. It didn’t take long before he was inside on his own and climbing the walls.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Sunny

Sunny is the name of the first block of Season 4 of the Color Collective that I have been working on. This Season began November 1st and this block introduced a new to me paper piecing technique.

I don’t usually enjoy paper piecing, it seems so tedious and wasteful however Taras technique was fun and no ripping papers and very little fabric waste. Not only that but as our days become shorter as we get closer to December 21st it was a fantastic palette and block to play with in the moments that I had time to play.

Curved piecing has really been popular these last few years and I was glad to have the glue technique for these blocks!

Fall and winter are especially busy with customer quilts and Christmas coming so my personal piecing time becomes very precious and needed. I decided to focus on Sunny but also accept that the November block most likely wouldn’t be a top until January.

So yesterday with little wind and not too terribly cold weather I laid Sunny over the snow to show you. I am somewhat pondering how I will quilt this top so it might be awhile before I get to that stage.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Flock Block and Rulers and Organization

The second block of this season of the “Color” Collective is called Flock and comes with another fun palette to work with. (designed by Tara Faughnan and organized with Amy Newbold of Sewtopia)

I also added pearl pink into my palette. My new phone camera captured the colours really well considering the picture was taken at night.

I have just begun my flock quilt. The flying geese units are bigger than I usually make and as usual I pulled out my wing clipper ruler for trimming down my units.

These specialty rulers are not necessary as the job can be done with regular quilting rulers. It’s just that along the way in my quilting journey I have accumulated some pretty neat tools.

I was watching Karen Brown of Just Get it Done Quilts on her Q&A you tube, she was talking about cleaning out and organizing rulers.

This brought me to thinking about my collection, as a long time quilter I do have a large collection and at this stage I would not consider parting with any of my rulers.

I keep my most used cutting rulers for piecing close at hand, occasionally I move them as needed for space.

Karen also spoke of getting rid of old worn out cutting mats…the purple one pictured is so well worn however it belonged to a dear friend and I really enjoy using it for quick trims. I find different size and colour mats very useful. My Sunny top is complete and I have been hoping to get a good picture to share, today is looking favourable.

My specialty rulers that I reach for most often are all together and also easily assessable.

I use a lot of bins from the Dollar Store to stay somewhat organized.

Years ago I came across this large board and I have made such good use of it, at one time it sat atop an old dresser and was used as my cutting table. Then at some point and because I needed a large ironing station for customer quilts, I covered it with batting and Teflon ironing fabric. It sits on top of what are meant to be used as laundry room cabinets and is the perfect height for both cutting and pressing.

This space I like to keep just for what I am presently working on. I usually have at least two personal projects on the go at a time. My Long Time Gone is still very close at hand.

Tucked away in the closet are two bins of sometimes used rulers. They are fun to have and I love being able to share with quilting friends who are just starting out on this journey as friends shared and helped me along my way.

I am fortunate that for most of my quilting journey I have had a dedicated space for my quilting and as empty nesters even more space. I do my best to stay somewhat organized, when I am busy with piecing my room can become a little upside down but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it?

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Marilyns Flower Garden Quilt

Marilyn has been on a stash busting mission for years, her quilts are always so fun and interesting to work on. This latest one was a bit of a walk down memory lane as I recognized many prints.

She told me that she was determined to use up her large floral prints.

I used the pantograph Rhapsody which really flowed beautifully across this quilt adding a lovely floral and leafy dimension.

A nice batik for the backing was a perfect choice and shows of the pretty stitches beautifully
Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

January Quilting and Life

Another anniversary has just passed over the New Year of my APQS Millennium’s arrival December 31, 2004. I began Longarm quilting for others a few months later and continue to love and grow in this wonderful business.

After allowing myself a little down time and time to quilt one for myself, my machine is back to work…of course that means that I am as well.

Just a peek

And another peek

We had scheduled a fun day for Liam and two more grands before Christmas which had to be cancelled due to the gastro crud…so this week we had a redo… the epic nerf gun war, sledding and snowmobiling were in order and lots of fun and laughter!

Erik preparing the sliding hill also known as the snow mountain as the kids call it. This year the addition of the back hoe has helped to grow it.
The biggest kid!

Of course the big winter highlight is when Pappa gets out the snowmobiles. Liam has mastered his driving skills and loves to ride our trails.

Another highlight around here this winter has been the addition of the jumbo lego blocks…they have provided hours of fun! Liam has returned to virtual learning this week and really enjoys his forts for when he is off school.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

All is Calm

The picture below was taken a year ago from our garage roof by Erik last winter. I have shared it on this blog before.

I have been pondering what to write about 2021…it sure was a year of blessings and challenges. The thing about this picture of our home is that it reflects the calm and peace that it brings. Regardless of the challenges that came my way over the year I have been so thankful for this safe sanctuary.

We have been immensely blessed with family and we will soon be adding a seventh grandchild into our lives. Together we have seven daughters who along with their families truly do enrich our lives.

One day in December we were able to have a Christmas celebration with some of our family and all but one grandchild and wow what a busy party that became! Our calm quiet house came to life with so much fun and laughter!

We were so busy living life we forgot pictures…we alway enjoy our tree into the new year.

When discussing Christmas plans with my Dad, I mentioned how I had been craving a prime rib roast dinner like the Sunday dinners that I grew up with. He took up that challenge…he has really become an amazing cook in the last few years! We enjoyed Christmas dinner at my Dads.

I took care of the Yorkshire pudding and gravy and made sure to have horseradish while my youngest and her husband took care of the veggies. I should have taken more pictures but was just enjoying the moments!

Dad cooked the roast in his Green Egg bbq and it was cooked to perfection and carved just right. What a treat!

2021 has taught me many lessons, most of which I had already learned but then life has a way of adding twists and turns and detours. We said goodbye to loved ones, had health scares in the family all along with riding the current seemingly at times never ending pandemic. This year tired me out at times making me realize how very crucial self care is.

Welcome 2022… I greet you with a resolve of more self care!

My January 1, 2022 morning view! Happy New Year!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Quilting and Life

We held a Christmas brunch for the grandkids and family on Sunday it was so fun to watch the kids enjoy each other’s company and open their gifts. The excitement of Christmas is alive and well with the children!

Unfortunately one of the families had had the gastro crud run through their house a week ago and we were sure they were in the clear….we were wrong. Almost everyone came down with it starting on Monday.

I was spared however Liam was not, he rarely gets sick and had never had this. We were both very glad that I could care for him through this. Much to our relief and after sleeping from late Monday night until Wednesday morning with a few wake points he is now back to his happy self. Others are recovering as well.

Liam and I really enjoyed fresh air yesterday

We also made some slime

While he slept I was able to quilt my Moda Blockheads quilt and will work on the binding later today. This is my first personal quilt to be quilted this year!

I first saw this sunshiny backing on a customer quilt and loved it!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Grinch Quilts

Lori has three grandchildren who will be snuggling under some very fun quilts this Christmas.

Our fantastic quilt shop owner Donna of Fuelled by Fabric brought in Grinch fabric which Lori used to make her quilts. She used a layer cake and some yardage.

Each one a little different and with very snuggly backings.

A minky backing always makes me want one for myself
This backing felt almost like a velvet
The fleece backing worked perfectly