Thursday, December 31, 2015

Northern Lights on New Years Eve

We were treated to a beautiful display of Northern Lights tonight.  My husband and I got bundled up and took our cameras out onto the lake to get some pictures.  It was a mild evening with the temperatures being -7'c so that was great!  I didn't freeze my hands taking pictures.

This one is looking across our bay at our neighbors house and you can see the clouds starting to roll in.  And the next one is also of another neighbors house that turned out great.

We walked further out into the lake behind an island to block the light from the houses and got this next shot as well as the first picture in this post.

My husband took a picture of me taking pictures of the lights!

This was one of the best aurora events I have seen this year so was a great way to end the year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking Back at 2015

Well another year is coming to a close and this is when I like to look back and remind myself that I did make time for my own personal projects.  Since starting my longarm business I knew it would be important for me to make time for my own quilting and I am happy to see I'm still maintaining that balance.    I quilted 92 client quilts this year which is a number I am very happy with as I schedule 10 a month for the 9 months that I work.  

So here are the projects I was able to finish in 2015. 

January - Simple batik place mats for my table.

April - Lug Nuts table runner that is now displayed at Kick Ass Quilt Shop.

June - Lori and I released a new Highway 10 Designs pattern called Detour.  It is a table runner and four place mats.

June - I made a fun quilt using Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric using our Highway 10 Designs Quarter Sections pattern.

July - Used a Bali Pop called River Rock to make a Popsicle Sticks quilt.

August - Star quilt using bright batiks.  I really wanted to make this quilt but had no plans for it. Then in September my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer so I knew right away it was meant for her and sent it to her for a surprise.

November - Lori and I published another Highway 10 Designs pattern this year and this one is called City Slicker.

December -  Needed a quick project to work on at our guild retreat (remember I don't have any UFO's) so made a baby Quarter Sections quilt.

December - This is my favorite quilt of the year, my Butterflies quilt by Laundry Basket Designs.
I found the perfect spot to hang it, right over my bed.

December - Then the last quilt of the year was my Fair Isle Quilt by Freshly Pieced.  Since finishing it on Christmas day it now has a permanent spot on my couch for the winter.

So 10 finished projects is not too bad for the year.   I have a few projects in the works but the one thing that I'm looking forward to the most in the new year is teaching longarm quilting!  A new year and a new adventure!!

Happy New Year and thanks for visiting my blog!  I wish you all the best in 2016!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Freezing Bubbles

Since I live in a very cold climate it is good to find ways to amuse yourself when it gets down to -30c.  Today, with the help of my husband, we capture soap bubbles freezing.   I was fun to watching the ice crystals form and grow.  It happens quite quickly in these temperatures so was happy to get a few pictures. 

Now this was not my first attempt.  I tried earlier in the day with regular bubble soap, the kind you buy for blowing bubbles with kids, and that didn't work.  So I found a recipe online that worked great.   200ml of warm water, 30ml of white sugar, 35ml of corn syrup and 35ml of dish soap.

I was also able to capture one freezing on video so you can see just how fast this happens.  
Yes I am easily amused!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fair Isle Quilt

My Fair Isle quilt, a pattern by Freshly Pieced, is all done!  I quilted it on Christmas Eve and started the binding that night and finished it Christmas morning.  It was nice have some hand work while sitting by the wood stove drinking eggnog!    I quilted it with the Bora Bora panto as this will be a winter cuddle quilt on my couch and I have already been using it a lot as our normal winter temperatures have arrived!   -20'c during the day and down to -30'c at night so the house is cool.

I used Quilters Dream Blend batting, white So Fine thread on top and white Bottom Line on the back.

I wanted to share a Christmas gift I received from my husband this year.  I discovered a quilter that makes and sell camera straps on IG and just love her work.  Her website is called Jodie's Camera Straps and you can find her shop here.  She has a huge selection to chose from and the straps have a bit of padding so more comfortable than the strap the comes with most DSLR cameras.  

Here is the beauty that it have!  Just love it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!

My goal this week was to finish piecing this Fair Isle Quilt which is a pattern by Freshly Pieced. I fell in love with this patterns Scandinavian theme when I first saw it.  I did change the pattern a bit and turned the top row of red poinsettias into blue snowflakes.  I'm happy I added the blue. I also pieced the reindeer differently than in the pattern. They are suppose to be made with all 1 inch squares but I changed that and used longer strips where I could to save some piecing time.

I'm hoping to quilt this one soon, just need to find a backing.  Think a simple swirly panto will be the way to quilt it as it will be for on our couch in the winter.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours!   I took family pictures like these a few years ago and am very happy I got the opportunity to do it again this year when the sun was shining and everyone was home!  I'm now officially the shortest one in the house.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ice Balls!

Now that the temperatures are getting down to -20'c at night we made our colourful Ice Balls again to decorate our deck railing.   We did these last year and since there were so simple to make we did them again.

The trick we found to make these without making a big mess in your house is to first put 4 to 6 drops of food colour into the balloon and then fill it with water by stretching the end of the balloon over the end of a faucet, like when you fill water balloons but we used regular balloons.  Make sure to hold on tight and not over fill.  You'll figure out what's tight enough and full enough quickly!  We then set them in the snow along our bench so the snow allowed the balloon to keep it's round shape for the most part.  We let them sit outside like this for two days as the snow acts like insulation and the bottom freeze last while the top freezes quickly.

This morning I check to make sure they were frozen solid and them removed the balloons.

 I like how they shine when the sun hits them. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Zoo Littles

I managed to find time to quilt up one of my small quilt this week, a baby Quarter Sections made from a Michael Miller collection called Zoo Littles.   I purchased these fat quarters from Road 17 N when they came to our guild meeting in September.

I am starting to fall in love with the Grunge fabric line!  I added a green Grunge inner border and a pink/purple Grunge outer border.

I quilted it with a panto called Chantilly Lace and used white So Fine thread.  The batting is Quilters Dream Blend.

So nice to finally have blue sky again but that also brought with it the cold temperatures.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cookies and More!

It's Christmas cookie time again!  You might remember I shared Reindeer Cookies last year and you can see those here.  This year I thought it would be appropriate to make 'Melted Snowman' cookies as our December has been very mild but we have had a lot of snow.  We have had 8 more inches fall in the last few days!    This is a large hand sized cookie and the top hat is a cookie too!

I took a few of these to our Quilt Guilds Xmas party last night and our youngest guest was very happy to be the first one to taste them!

I also wanted to share a set of special paintings my very talented neighbor painted for Lori and I.   A few months ago I was at a local art auction and lost the bid on a small painting I really wanted. My neighbor felt bad for me and offered to paint a similar one as he understood why I liked the image so much.  It was a scene along Highway 10 and with our pattern design company being named Highway 10 Designs I thought it would make a great addition to the Shack!  When I showed Lori a picture of the painting she asked if he could make her one too!  And he said no problem!  Both are based on causeways on Highway 10 near my home but to make them different we asked that mine view south and Lori's view north.  They are 12" square.

Here is mine

And here is Lori's.

This week I have been trying my best to piece a Winter themed quilt on a sewing machine that has worn down feed dogs.   This happened gradually so didn't realize just how bad it was getting until our last guild retreat and a friend asked why was I 'pulling' my fabric through my machine....that's what feed dogs are for.  That's when I started comparing my feed dogs to other machines and wow are they almost completely worn down!  So I found a new set of feed dogs online today and paid the express postage to get it here in a week or two.  I have replaced quite a few parts on my machine and think this might be the last as I have been eyeing a new machine!   

This morning the clouds in the eastern sky were a strange shade of blue and drew me outside to take a few pictures of the new fallen snow..  Hope to see the real blue sky again soon as it feels like it has been cloudy for weeks!

Looking west to the nice white clouds!