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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Very Special Quilty Gift


I've never, ever bonded with my laptop,
so by the time it boots up and begins to behave,
I've lost the impetus to write up a post.

Such is the case today.  
Besides that, I miss PicMonkey.
I might have to splurge and purchase a subscription.
I'm not exactly tech savvy, 
and PicMonkey makes it so darned easy.

I wanted to share a quick update on the doggie blocks
I have been working with.




Quilt flimsy number one is being cross hatched as I type.
I miss my Janome!  But, this will do.




I found some cute doggie themed flannel 
at Joann Fabric's most recent sale,
60% off.
Couldn't resist, although I don't often purchase fabric there,
but I picked up 3 different lengths.

To date, I have 2 sets of placemats finished
and 3 flimsies sewn together.
I'm making progress!

Did I mention,
I miss my Janome?
Crosshatching is time consuming,
so I thing organic wavy lines will be used
to quilt the next flimsy.

I've been meaning to share this beautiful quilt
that was gifted to me on my birthday last fall.
My quilty friend, Pat, (on the island)
invited me over for show and tell one afternoon,
not knowing it was my birthday.

After we looked at all her beauties,
she pulled this one out and said,
"I really want you to have this one."




It was a very bright morning,



so, it actually photographed better from the back
with the sun shining through it.

Pat's quilts are very special.
To begin with,
most of her fabrics are upcycled linens
from local thrift shops.
As if that isn't special enough,
they are almost all hand pieced,
hand appliqued, 
and
hand quilted.

I was over the moon,
because no one has ever made a quilt for me before,
and, as I said,
it was my birthday,
and she didn't even know!
It looks very pretty on my bed,
really brightening up my room.

I know you read my blog from time to time,
Pat, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so sweet.

(Over the years, I've often been heard telling people that
when I grow up, I want to be just like Pat!
She's a dear!)

That's all for today!
I'll try to do better next time!

Stay warm, stay safe!
XO,
Karen




Saturday, January 6, 2018

A New Year's Challenge: Consider the Children


Already, we're a week into the new year!  My, how time flies when you’re having fun.  Happy New Year everybody!  I’m 'sew' inspired from reading the many year end/new year posts, I haven't been able to stop sewing long enough to write a post of my own!

First up is a Dog Gone Cute block update!  I’ve been working diligently, and am confident I’ll make my self imposed deadline to have everything completed and delivered by midFebruary.  I can’t tell you what a pleasure it’s been working with all of your blocks!  I’ve pieced group quilts together before and have never had every single block be so perfect!  Thank you all!  Pictures will definitely follow in a future post.

Next, I’m excited to tell you that I am participating in a blog hop next month, and I hope to see you there!  In between working with all those cute pups, I’ve been stitching away on my project, and the more it grows, the more excited I become.  My day is scheduled for Feb. 8, so be sure to pop in for a visit!




This post wouldn’t be complete without talking about some goals for the new year, except I don’t really have any.  But I do have some plans I hope to follow through with during the year.  I always pack my largest piece of luggage with fabric and needed notions for my summer sewing season up on the island.  This year will be no different, except instead of buying random fabric just because I like it, I’m going to choose three to five patterns I’ve either purchased or won, and kit them up.  It will be novel to have everything I need at my fingertips.

Finally, I’m determined to use my scraps as I generate them this year, instead of letting them build up to overflowing, which leads me to my New Year's Challenge: Consider the Children

Quilters are the first to respond with compassion to the catastrophic events that occur over and over again.  But what about the silent sufferers?  Those victims we hear little to nothing about?  The children. The children who are exposed to crime, domestic violence, abuse, fires.......the children who are removed from a scene by the police for their safety, the children who don't have a voice in the media.

My plan is to make as many Owlivia pillows as I can, from my scraps, to donate to my police department, for them to have on hand, to give to children for comfort when they are frightened and need something to hug.




I have made several of these easy, sweet pillows in the past, many as gifts for family and friends, which I've coupled with storybooks about owls.  I've even enlarged the pattern and made bigger ones.  A few years back, I donated a box of them for my local RCMP department to distribute among their cruisers to have on hand for such occurrences as mentioned above. 

They are no bigger than an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper, and each one has it's own personality.  And did I mention, easy?  With all of the bright, bold, colorful fabrics being marketed today, the possibilities are endless.

Dare I challenge you to consider doing the same, or something similar?  Do you belong to a group that's looking for a year long project?  Can you spread a little love and give an innocent, frightened child a perpetual hug to help navigate through a difficult situation?  Will you Consider the Children, too, when generating scraps from your quilty projects?

I'm looking forward to a wonderful, funderful new year!  
I hope you are, too!

XO








Wednesday, December 6, 2017

At Last!


Greetings from Texas!
Finally!

There was no time during this past month
for blogging or sewing, and I only managed to read a few blog posts.
I stayed with my elderly family friend
and she has a very large family.
I certainly got my family "fix", and now I'm totally drained,
so it might be a few days 
before I set up my sewing area(s).

I'd like to thank everyone who checked in with me
during the month!
You're all too sweet and I am very blessed.

During the summer, one of my goals was to learn to sew curves.


And here's my final project,
hanging sweetly on Crafty Daughter's wall.
I tried to include a little glimpse of her drapes so you could see how well it matches.  I am stunned every time I step into the room.

It measures 30" square and was constructed using Free Spirit Solids.
Each block is machine quilted differently and I think if you click on the picture you will be able to see the quilting a little more clearly.  It was lots of fun to make.
I have named it Urban Crop Circles.
I got the inspiration from Quilts My Way,
although I didn't use her templates.

And that's all for now,
until I settle in and spread out!
First up?  Dog Gone Cute blocks, courtesy of all my lovely quilty friends!

Hope your month is off to a grand start!

December already.
Geesh!






Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Scraps Equal Lots of Little Gifties


 Last night was Halloween.
We don't get kids anymore.  They all grew up.
So sad.

Well, since finishing Linda's birthday surprise quilt,
(Happy Birthday, Linda!  Today's your special day!)
I've been winding down my sewing,
and getting ready for my annual migration south.

My summer scrap baskets were full to overflowing,
so thought I'd make a few zippered pouches
to gift my very large extended family
in Massachusetts.


17 pouches later,
they didn't make a dent in my scraps.
Either that, or they kept multiplying each night
while I slept.

Here are a few closer up.
If you click the pictures, you can enlarge them.





I've also finished up some small projects
that kept getting shuffled to the bottom of the pile(s).
Sometimes even for a couple of years,
shame on me.


This little 12" square mini
is called The Forgotten Five
It was fun to make and was a flimsy immediately.
But it took me all this time to quilt it.



I played "What If" and tried making a Granny Square block
with 1.5" squares.  It measures roughly 4.5" square,
was fun to do, and I will definitely be revisiting it again!




And I threw in a couple of key fobs,
just because I could.

Actually, I needed one.
The family I'm gifting the pouches to have 10 daughters,
and one older teenage son.  I had to make him something, too,
and I wasn't too sure he'd appreciate a zippered pouch.
Well, maybe if it was made from camo fabric.
(I showed the Ranger my yard of camo fabric, and it disappeared.
Hmmmm.)

Speaking of gifties,
there are still a few retractable scissors keepers left


Free shipping in the US.
Christmas is coming!
I love mine, 
and don't know how I lived without it all these years.


That's enough for now.

Next week I head to Boston for a few weeks,
then on to TX for the rest of the winter.
Hope I decide on a good hand project between now and when I leave
because being away from my sewing machines for almost a month
is going to be excrutiating!

Oh, one last thing!
Check out this adorable Raggedy Ann that
Sheila made for my great niece!


She made one for big sister a couple of years ago.
Some traditions are worth keeping alive!
Thanks, Sheila!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

XO,
karen

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Too Much Fun in a Nutshell


The NSQBQ girls,
Linda, Sheila, Lesley, and myself,
gave a quilt show at
the 10th Annual Fibre Arts Festival 
in Amherst, NS
this past weekend.


Our venue was the town hall lobby, 
so space was at a premium,
but we made the best of it!



A special thank you to the Town Hall personnel
for tolerating us on such short notice.
We didn't make it easy!
Can you just imagine the four of us buzzing around
trying to set this up right under their noses?
It was quite the flurry of activity.
~
In the meantime,
I've been doing some secret sewing,
and now I can show and tell!

Linda has a very significant birthday coming up,
so I invited some friends and her modern quilt guild
to, as Lesley so aptly phrased it,
"give her a birthday hug by making a block"
for a special birthday signature quilt.

The other Karen, from Sugarfree Quilts, drove down to Amherst
to see our show, and, as prearranged, 
lured Linda away for a little while.

I pinned her quilt over another quilt, 
so it would be the first thing she saw when she came back in.


Upon reentering Town Hall,
she spotted this quilt right away and said,
"What's that quilt?  Where's my wedding quilt?"

"Oh," said Sheila, "we sold that and put this one up in it's place."

Half believing her, Linda approached the quilt with trepidation,


and started looking it all over


.

and then the light dawned


at which point I lost it,
started to cry,
rushed in for a hug,
and missed any more photo opportunities.

Linda did email a photo of the wonderful back,
the paper pieced panel contributed by Karen Chase.


I added the right hand column
which consisted of the label and a special block signed by Karen
before I brought it up to size.

That was our weekend in a nut shell!
I'm sure when you visit the other NSQBQ members,
you'll learn more about it.
I know we all agree 
that too much fun equals exhaustion!

Hope you had a wonderful, funderful weekend, too,
and are looking forward to a great week!

XO,
karen


Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Sew" Much Gratitude


I am truly blessed
with some pawsitively awesome quilty friends,
worldwide!

As I visit one blog, and then another,
or take an extra minute to check out Instagram,
I'm seeing Dog Gone Cute blocks
popping up everywhere.




Here is a very poor,
and I apologize for that,
picture of the blocks I've rec'd from 
my Canadian blogger friends,
with a few smaller blocks thrown in by me.

Thank you all!

I will be basking in the afterglow of my birthday
for months to come, when I return to TX,
unite with the rest of them,
and get to work.

I couldn't ask so much of you without giving back.


I've made, and sent, two blocks

"...this blog, written by Kat, sponsors an ongoing project called Covered in Love. Kat is a nurse in a med-surgical unit at East Texas Medical Center. She supports the dying process for some of her patients. Knowing the comfort it provides the patient, and the family of that patient, she tries to provide a quilt for patients nearing the end of their life in the hospital. As the family transitions and grieves the loss of their loved one, they are able to keep the quilt as a treasure to bring them comfort."


                                One more thing before I go:


simple peanut butter cookies, best peanut butter cookies, easy peanut butter cookies, quick peanut butter cookies, how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch


for peanut butter cookies that I've ever made.
You'll want to double the batch!


So, again, thank you all 'sew' very much.
Now, I'm off to research a photo editor to replace PicMonkey!
Any suggetions?

Making a difference, one block at a time, with your help,
~Karen





Monday, September 11, 2017

Disaster Relief Comes in Many Forms

Oh, boy, Mother Nature's wrath shows no mercy.  As I write, I'm worried about the southeastern population of the US and concerned about those already affected by Hurricane Irma.  I can't watch the news because I find it so upsetting.

I know we all want to help, somehow, and it's frustrating to know how.  The needs are overwhelming.

As many of you know, my daughter and SIL reside in Texas.  Although affected by Hurricane Harvey, their home was on the northern fringes of the storm and escaped any devastating damage.  I'd like to thank everyone who reached out with concern for their safety!  It meant a lot to me.

They found a unique way to help by adopting a family in ravished Rockport, TX who lost everything. They made phone contact with them to assess their immediate needs, reached out to their community for donations, then loaded a box trailer full, and personally delivered the goods.  Because of the proximity of her location, only a 2.45 hour drive, this was possible, as will returning to assist with the rebuild of the home.  Genius.  I thought it was a TX initiative, but discovered that they did it on her own.  If more localized families and groups did the same, it would make an incredible difference in any area affected by catastrophic weather.  And we seem to have lots of that.  Florida, you are in my thoughts at this very moment.

My birthday is next week.  I have but one wish.  I want blocks.  Dog Gone Cute blocks.  Lorna had a quilt along awhile back, and offered each of the 8 different dog blocks for free.  They can be stitched up in two sizes.  I'll take either size, any colors.

Here's the link to block one and two,  three and four,  five and six, and blocks 7 and  8.
             
Why, you ask?  Well, after a lot of searching, Crafty Daughter was able to hook up with this family through the nonprofit agency that traveled the 350 miles from Granbury, TX to take on the pets and keep them safe until they could be returned to their families.  I have been asked to make a doggie themed wall hanging for this agency to auction off to help fund their efforts.  Their job isn't over yet.

A wall hanging.  One wall hanging.  While I was showering, where I do my best brainstorming, I thought, "I can do better than that!"  So, here I am, asking for your help.

I would love for you to send me blocks, and will provide a mailing address upon request, but.....this isn't the only pet rescue agency that stepped up to the plate, and if you want to make a few blocks into something for your own pet rescue agency, or any other that you have been made aware of, go for it! And share with me!

I would like to make up sets of placemats, wallhangings, and who knows, maybe even a quilt or two for them to auction off!  These blocks have so much potential and like all of Lorna's blocks, are easy and addictive to make, like eating potato chips.  Thanks, Lorna, for always sharing!

Okay, that's all for today.  
Thank you for reading through this.  
Every little bit helps along the way!

Stay sweet!
~karen