Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back at 2016


I always surprize myself  when I look back at all the quilting projects I finished in the year.   This year there were more smaller projects but they are ones that I use all the time so I can enjoy them more.    I quilted about 90 quilts for clients and that is my goal, 10 quilts a month for 9 months of the year.    I have kept that number steady over the last couple of years and feel it is the right number for me.  Also thank you for letting me know you enjoy my nature and Northern Lights photos,  this pictures was taken on this day last year and is one of my favorites.

Here are the quilts/projects I was able to finish in 2016.

January –Batik Plus Quilt


March – Rapid Fire Hunter Star


April – Chic Sisters


July – City Slicker


July – Ice Cream Cone


August – Mini Charm Pillows


August – Batik Charm Placemats


October – Lori and I published our 8th pattern, Good Vibrations for Highway 10 Designs.

GV Cover pic

reduced back

Etsy pic3

October – Batik Tuffet


November – Necessary Clutch Wallet


December – Quarter Sections


December – Graduation Raffle Quilt


December – Dresden Plate Quilt


Happy New Year to all my blog reader!  I feel so blessed to be part of a wonderful and supportive quilting community.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dresden Quilted!


Well here it is, my last finish of the year, my Dresden Plate quilt!    The fabrics are a cute winter collection called  JOL by Moda and the sashing is brown Essex Linen.   All the information about how I made and appliqued the blocks can be found in this earlier post here.    I wanted the quilting to be traditional so did feathers ( because I love feathers)  on the outer border and in the horizontal sashing.  I wasn’t sure what to do in the vertical sashing and my friend Desley suggested the Egg and Dart design which was perfect. I even took that diamond shape and added it to the Dresden centers.  I also added an extra circle of batting to each center circle, I just tucked it in where I cut the background fabric to take out the freezer paper.    I did a stipple in the background and loops in the Dresden petals.   


I used two different colors of thread on top, a white So Fine for the stipple and a medium brown So Fine for the rest.    I used a grey Bottom Line on the back and it played well with the white on top, no tension issues.  The batting is Quilters Dream Blend batting.


I’m so happy to have my clear lake ice this year, it’s been a few years since the conditions have been just right.  The lake froze fast with little snow on top so that helped create the clear ice.  Its about 20’'  thick now so we have been going for walks out on the lake since there is only about 4 inches of snow on the ground so that makes easy walking.  We didn’t get the blizzard that hit the southern part of our province on Christmas.


Took me about 20 times to flip out the quilt to get it to land just right without having to put any foot prints in the snow!  Its a great feeling when you finally get it to land right where you want it. I have been asked by other bloggers how I do this ( no footprints) and it is just persistence.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Northern Lights on Christmas Day!


I had my eye on my Aurora app all Christmas Day and knew there was a good chance I would catch a glimpse if the sky cleared.  By 10pm the stars were visible and I keep bundling up and running down to the lake to see if they were active. By 11:15pm I had almost given up hope and was going to head to bed when my husband said “ the lights are dancing”.   So we bundles up in our ski pants, Sorel boots, goose down parkas, fur mitts, scarves and toques and headed to the lake.   It was a chilly –30’c and I didn’t even look at the wind-chill, I was determined to get a few pictures as it had been since early October that I last took aurora photos.   The aurora has been active over the past two months but it has been very cloudy here so I missed quite a few opportunities so I wasn’t going to miss this one!


They were quite faint at first but I knew that could change at any second and it did.  They suddenly intensified and danced across the sky with a ribbon of red on the northern edge.    I had to limit my exposure time to 6 seconds or the photos would just be one large ball of green light as they were moving so fast.  



After about 10 minutes they started to fade and we were left to view a soft green glow to the  north.  I’m sure they intensified a few times during the night but we were pretty cold after being outside for 15 minutes and my hand was burning cold from taking my mitt off so often to adjust my camera.  Time to go in for the night.   I hope there will be many more opportunities to capture this beautiful phenomenon this winter!


Here was the view to the east and it was a gentle glow over top of us.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!


I want to take this opportunity to wish all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!   I also wanted to thank you for visiting my small little corner of the online world of quilting and for leaving comments when you can.   I know many of you enjoy my photos of the ‘quilts in the snow’ and of the Northern Lights and I’m happy to share my northern life with you.  I have always lived where the winters are frigid so have learned to embrace the cold and have fun in it!  

Tim and I were freezing soap bubbles again the other day when it was –26’c.   I have shared this last winter here.


I have been working on my Dresden quilt and it is going well, I’m about half way done.


I also received a wonderful Christmas gift from my husband.  A 150-600mm zoom lens!!!   Now I can work on my wildlife photography skills in the New Year, those otters won’t know I’m there! Smile


I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to sharing more quilty goodness with you in the new year. 


I just realized I’m now the shortest in the family!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cold Weather Fun!


What can you do when it is –30’c with a –40’c windchill… you toss tea!    Why you ask, to make snow of coarse!   When you throw hot water into the air when it is very cold it turns instantly into snow!  If you try it with cold water on a cold day it will just stay water.   If you curious to the science behind it I found this great article which  explains it very well.

Mark Seeley, a climatologist at the University of Minnesota,  explains the phenomenon. He said:

"When it's cold outside, there's hardly any water vapor present in the air, whereas boiling water emits vapor very readily that's why it's steaming. When you throw the water up in the air, it breaks into much smaller droplets, so there's even more surface for water vapor to come off of.

"Now, cold air is very dense, and this makes its capacity to hold water vapor molecules very low. There's just fundamentally less space for the vapor molecules. So when you throw the boiling water up, suddenly the minus 22 air has more water vapor than it has room for. So the vapor precipitates out by clinging to microscopic particles in the air, such as sodium or calcium, and forming crystals. This is just what goes into the formation of snowflakes."

So being the science geeks that my husband and I are we had to try this.  It was also a great opportunity for me to take some cool pictures!


You can also see we only have a few centimeters of snow on the ground too. This is not normal, we usually have a least a 30 cm by now. But this does make it easier to run around out on the ice though. 

We put white lights on one of our evergreens by the lake again this year and it really makes for a lovely display.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Dresden Pieced!


I finished piecing my Dresden yesterday and now to figure out how to quilt it!    I used brown Essex Linen for the centres,sashing and borders and the warmth of the fabric really allows the Dresden blocks to shine!  The JOL fabric collection that I used for the Dresden blocks is one of my favorite winter themed collections and I’m really glad I took the time to make something special with it.


I was out sweeping off the ice rink this morning, it was –28’c with a –38’c windchill.  I could see the ice is about 12” thick now so very safe to walk on.  You should hear it cracking though, I can hear it in the house its so loud as it echoes across the lake!  I’m just so happy to see the sun shining again!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Graduation Quilt


In 2017  my youngest will be graduating from high school, where has the time gone!  I recently attended the high school grad fundraising meeting for the Safe Grad party.  Once learning that two of  main fundraising events the students have relied on in the past might not happen I offered to make and donate a quilt if they were interested in selling tickets to raise money.  This ides was received with great enthusiasm from the committee advisors so I got busy doing what I love to do!  It really is a win win situation!


The school colours are red and black and with 2017 being Canada’s 150 I thought I would combine both celebrations. I picked a Cantik Batik Gemstone strip set called “Canada” and added a black batik background.  The pattern is called Sugar Almonds ( free pattern here), a client used this pattern on a quilt I quilted for her last month.  It shows off the fabric collection well and was the right size for a twin bed so would make a great dorm room quilt for a lucky student!


I quilted it with Ebb and Flow but turned the quilt on it’s side so the design looked like flames to match the torch logo for this years grad class.   I used Black Poly Dream batting, black So Fine thread and black Kona for the backing.


Fingers crossed this turns out to be a good fundraiser for the Safe Grad committee!