Thursday, July 28, 2011

7. Take part in an online quilt block exchange (virtual quilting bee). AKA Red & Aqua Bee wrap up

My Blocks for the Red & Aqua Bee

1. Pickle Dish blocks for Red & Aqua bee, 2. Red and Aqua Bee March 2010, 3. String pieced blocks for Lisa, 4. Spiderweb block for Susan, 5. Liberated Wedding Ring block for Corey, 6. 2 Mondrian blocks for Suzy, 7. Pinwheel block for Karen, 8. Flying Geese for Karen, 9. HST Star for Karen, 10. Wonky Star for Karen, 11. Asterisk blocks for Ryan, 12. My sample block

Red + Aqua Bee

It's been awhile since I've posted about my progress in the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge but I'd better get busy, because I have just one month left to complete my list! Today, I'm posting about my first virtual quilting bee, the Red and Aqua Bee. It was definitely a learning experience and a challenge! We started off with several paper pieced blocks and I had a chance to refresh my rusty skills. I was often late with my blocks (I blame Canada Post!), but I managed to make them all in the end.

We made Mondrian-inspired improv blocks last summer and I was really pleased with how they came out. We had several people drop out for a variety of reasons and by the time my month came along, I only got blocks back from six seven people (after I wrote this post, I got one last block!). I had the last month in the bee (Feb 2011) and am planning to make a quilt for Ellie with my square in a square blocks.

Lessons learned:
- Canada Post takes forever and I often got blocks from the States with just days before the end of the month, leaving me perpetually behind the 8 ball.
- A stated colour theme got a little repetitive over the course of a year and it might be nice to have a more open-ended bee next time.
- Accountability and communication are key! It's more fun when everyone participates in the bee and posts to Flickr. I don't mind if someone's going to be late if they post about it.
- It's fun to make online friends and then meet them in real life (it turned out that Karen and I joined this bee and then both became members of the new Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild!)
- Despite the hiccups, I'm excited to participate in another bee and looking forward to making more quilting friends!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nine years

Our growing family with the redwood we planted to mark our wedding

Nine years ago today, two high school sweethearts were married. Since we met as geeky 10th graders in Grade 11 math class, I give you our marriage by numbers:

Years of dating before Holly proposed = 8.25
Grandparents at our wedding = 8
Moves = 3 (Burnaby to Vancouver, Vancouver to Victoria, Victoria to Vancouver)
Mortgages = 1
Number of sandwiches willingly made by Holly = 0
Ferry trips to Vancouver Island = 84
Movies watched at The Hollywood Theatre = 75, one for every year they were in business
Children = 2
Anniversaries when Kristi has provided free babysitting = 5
Days I've been happy that I married my best friend = 3288*
*includes two leap years and today, not simply 365 x 9

Just waiting for Kristi to arrive so we can go out for dinner on this lovely Vancouver evening. 
Happy Anniversary, Deano!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ellie's quilt

Exactly one week before Eleanor was due, I decided that I needed to make my baby a quilt. Prior to this, I had chosen not to make a quilt for my second child, because daughter #1 had received so many special handmade blankets when she was born and we were well-stocked. However, once I reached 39 weeks, it was time to go fabric shopping! I thought I didn't have much time left (I was assuming the baby would come a couple of days early, ha!), so I decided on a simple, strip quilt using colours from Kate Spain's Central Park print. The quilt came together quickly, although pin-basting was a pain!

Basting a quilt at nine-months pregnant is tricky! (note hospital bag ready to go on bed)

I decided to make bias binding for the first time (I used a combination of Whipstitch's continuous bias tape tutorial and the Dread Pirate Rodger's tutorial and it worked out wonderfully!) so I could have rounded corners (I was inspired by Lysa's quilt and used Nettie's tutorial)
Hand-sewing the binding on March 24th (seven days overdue)

Bias binding makes it easy to make curved corners!

I was happy with the results and it's been wonderful to have a Mama-made quilt to wrap my little Ellie in! The bonus is that it matches our lime and charcoal stroller perfectly and I didn't even think about that when planning the colours!

Here are a couple pics of the quilt in use:

Details of Ellie's Quilt
Size: 30x40 inches
Fabric: A mix of Kona cottons (including some Kona flannels and corduroys) and the Zoo print in Lawn from Central Park by Kate Spain for Moda
Quilting: straight lines a presser-foot's width from the seams
Batting: bamboo/cotton blend
Label: none yet! Hmm... better get on that now that I know the baby's name and birth date!


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