Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

January and Florence’s Quilt

January has always felt like a long slow month to me, the weather is usually the coldest we get and it’s typically the quietest month.

It’s been a fun month of quilting both for customers as well as relaxed piecing for myself. I have the backing for my Sunny quilt and a quilting plan…

This quilt that Florence made is so pretty and called for more blossoms.

The backing is a solid Kona in black. I chose to use a silver thread which really popped against the back, however I was unable to capture a good picture of it. So unless you happen to see the quilt live, you will have to take my word for it. The stitches were so pretty!

We spent yesterday, the last Friday of this January with three of our grandchildren. It was a fun filled and very busy day! Snow play and snowmobiling, fort building.

My personal favourite was when Grayson (5yrs) asked what my sewing machine and serger were for so I let him try them…later he said he wished that he lived here…I asked why and he said it was because I have sewing machines!!! He was so excited to show his Dad his new skills when he picked him up!

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

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

December

Each day December feels shorter and daylight wise that is definitely the case. I always look forward to the 21st when the reverse begins. Winter Solstice.

This year we found our tree just days before the first significant snowfall. We go to a close by place where they grow them for people to cut their own tree. It’s always a good walk around as we discuss different trees until we both agree on the perfect one.

Last Sunday was a snow day, and Monday mornings view was so pretty.

My morning coffee view

When I picked Liam up from school on Monday for his weekly sleepover visit, he was so excited about all of the snow. His only complaint was that they didn’t get to have outside recess in the morning due to the temperature being -27c and with the windchill in the -30’s. He told me that wasn’t really very cold!

Erik has been planning to buy jumbo lego blocks for years. We had mentioned them to Liam this fall and he was really onboard with the idea.

The fort was built as soon as we arrived home.

Liam has many ideas for things to build!
Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

This and That

I was asked what the pattern was for the top below. It is by Thimble Blossoms and called Dwell 2. It was a nice project to piece and because I purchased it as a kit there were very few decisions to be made.

Sometimes and in some seasons of life it’s nice to just cut sew and press. I was drawn to this project from quilting one for a customer.

We have had very little rain for months and have enjoyed some really nice weather even into November.

The forecast for tomorrow is for rain 75-100mm for our area and for those further from the lake (Thunder Bay is built on the shore of Lake Superior) will receive the precipitation in snow….and so it begins or so it seems!

I have been enjoying some playtime piecing curves and playing with colour. I had to laugh at myself the other day as I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I made a pretty silly mistake…funny how we don’t always see that what we are doing is wrong…

As soon as I pressed it I knew something was off…had I taken just a little time to stop and look at what I was doing and re think it…

Instead I realized it was late and time to quit for the night. The next morning I was able to quickly take it apart and use the right background.

Well worth the effort!!

I enjoy curved piecing and this project is allowing for a lot of practice.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

UFO’s also known as unfinished objects

If you have been a quilter for any length of time you most likely know about the above term and possibly possess one or more or several UFO’s.

I personally prefer to think of them as works in progress. For what ever reason some projects need the next step maybe a new idea, additional fabric or time to complete. Most of mine are waiting to be quilted and because I put customer quilts first that pile grows. One thing that I am careful to do is to choose and purchase backings so that they are ready for quilting. I also have binding fabrics on hand.

I usually do personal long-arming over the Christmas holidays which will be here before I know it. So it’s time to plan.

This was a kit, I purchased it after quilting a customer quilt and just wanted to piece it. It was a fun relaxing project.
I love this top and have a quilting plan and backing. Sometimes it is just nice to play with a familiar block and colour. I often piece for relaxation.
This one was a kit from Craftsy. I used to really enjoy that site and ordered fabric from them while it was offered.
I do have the 12th block pieced, it is from a designers mystery from The Fat-quarter Shop. I stalled on the finishing kit, it’s all neatly packed away in a box that I enjoy pulling out from time to time. It may resurface this coming year, time will tell. I stalled on it as I didn’t enjoy the suggested piecing technique, I now have a new ruler that will make finishing it a breeze.

Oh and there are more, thankfully I believe that they can become leader ender projects this coming year.

My Moda Block Heads top that I recently completed is also on my list for quilting.

It was with all of those projects on my mind that made me really think hard about starting the colour collective!

My Longtime Gone is still in process… I am still really loving that project and will continue to plug away at it it’s at the halfway mark. I completed the court house step blocks last week.

These blocks take more time in the planning stage than piecing.

So why did I decide to jump into a new project? Because piecing and colour play is fun and relaxing and eventually I will get it all done and if not I am having having fun trying!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

November

Just as I was getting used to October it has slipped away! I woke to a white world brrr! Thankfully for children the weather was nicer for their Halloween adventures.

We enjoyed visits with all but 2 of our grandchildren which made for a fun day and even had 2 groups of trick or treaters which we haven’t had out here in years.

I enjoyed Saturdays class with Jo Avery. I don’t have a lot of experience in improv piecing so it was a good exercise. I haven’t decided whether or not I will continue on with more blocks or just use what I made as a sample.

I had hoped to be a little further along with my Longtime Gone quilt and continue to work on that and budget some of my time for my newest quilting adventure.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Scrap Quilts and Planning

I love this recent customer quilt, it was one of two, this one has such a fun colourful backing.

I chose the pantograph Waterworld as it continues to add the movement in the border fabric.
The fun fabric choice for the backing is delightful!!

I spent part of yesterday rearranging some of my fabrics and checking through my collection of solids…what a surprise to realize how much I have accumulated over the years. Some was gifted from a precious friend who has been along my journey for many years making the up coming plans even more fun.

2022 is coming and before I know it will be here, I am considering goals for myself. I not only plan to work with solids but hope to plan a few leader ender projects and see where that takes me. I have always loved scrappy quilts and I certainly have more than enough variety to play.

My quilting journey brings so much to my life!