Goose down, Fleece and Wool!

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Hello friends.  I can’t help but talk about the weather.  Let’s be more exact and comment on consecutive days, (let’s not be nice here) consecutive weeks, with temperatures hovering at -25C and colder.  Now I know that for most of us we pride ourselves on our Canadian cold weather tolerance, but really, -30c with wind chills of -40C.

I AM DONE!  Anywhere warm sounds really nice!   Oh ya, that's next month.  :) 

 

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On the bright side, it’s a perfect time to do some serious quilting. I have abundant projects to finish and a few percolating in the old noggin.  I had a lovely visit with my friend Cindy, of Cindy Bee’s Quilt Shoppe in Espanola the other day.  We played with some fabric combination for a new quilt idea I have and she sure is able to push me out of my comfort box.  It has been brought to my attention that the last few quilts I have designed are red!  Hmmm, it’s funny how that happens and without noticing until you lay them out side by side – Yup, they are all pretty much Red!  So, no red for this next one. More shocking, I was convinced to throw in a Kaffe Fasset. Wait, I think the cold is effecting my judgement.  This new project however, will have to sit on the shelf of a while as I clear up some things off my to-do list.  There is nothing like a stack of new fabric to light a  fire under your butt and get a move on. 

As January settles in, I took some time to get organized and updated my calendar. Well, 2018 will definitely be a year that goes “whoosh”, speeding by like a high-speed train.  As I started filling in my calendar with my booked events there are things in every month up to next November. Trips, workshops and Kids Weddings. This is not a bad thing, but I have to wonder, am I noticing and feeling this way because I now have a planner and keep track of everything or, has it always been like this. Hmmm.  This all brought me to my Word for 2018.

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Momentum -  drive, energy, focus strength.  All synonyms, but captivate a quality I think I will have to draw on for the year.  I thought about Endurance but I think that relates more to the effects of the weather.  Hahaha. 

The Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium is open for registration.  This year I am so excited to be able to bring Tracy Russell here to the North.  Tracy teaches her longarm sketching class all over Canada and the US.  It is going to be a great weekend.  New this year is an additional workshop hosted by Me!  I will be running an open Finishing School for all those PHD’s we have stored and don’t know how to get back to them.  Let’s just say a bit of Spring Cleaning!   Click here to learn more about workshops being offered and how to register. 

Book early as every year it gets filled up faster and faster.

Well it’s about time to stoke the stove, until next time, thanks for dropping by.  Stay safe, stay warm and wear wooly socks!

 

 

 

 

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Happy Holidays! While the merry bells keep ringing...

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Hello Friends.  Whether we are ready for it or not, Christmas is upon us and 2018 is just a week away.  Erin (oldest daughter) rolled in today and had supper in the oven and the wood stove stoked when I got home from Hubby’s office. Now that’s a Christmas present for sure. I have been helping out this past week at the office so there hasn’t been much quilting happening. I did get Millie the longarm back together again after her spa visit.  I am itching to give it a go and see how everything is running. I am hoping for some quilting time over the next few weeks.

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As always, my head is full of ideas and things that I would like to get made.

I was able to throw together a table runner and I think it may be my test quilt on the longarm.  Sometimes I just have to make a little thing to get that feeling of accomplishment.  How about you?

With 2018 fast approaching, I took some time to surf the web and see what is new.  Well, the colour of the year for 2018 is Ultra-violet.  I know a few quilters how are going to be quite happy to have an excuse to throw purple into their quilt projects this year. 

 

Pantone announced “Ultra-Violet” as the official 2018 Color of the Year, a bright, highlighter hue. 

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 Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told the Times that the bright purple shade  “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said by way of explanation. It is found in the cosmos (think of all those swirling purple nebulae!), the wellness movement (amethyst crystals!) and was a favorite color of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who, Ms. Eiseman said, used to wear a purple cape when he was trying to be creative. Ditto Wagner, who liked to surround himself with purple when he was composing.   

By the sounds of it, I should give purple some serious concideration. However, I have a mental image of quilters in their sewing rooms quilting with purple capes on.  LOL

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Each new year I pick a word in January to focus on in my daily tasks.  2017’s word was “Organize”.  I have tried throughout the year to be more organized and I think it has been a success. Except that I have not had time to work on the staff quilt, as it is still in pieces, as it was the night of the office party. Hmmm!!

Do you have a word of the year?

I will have to spend some time over the holidays to search for my 2018 word of the year.  Please let us know if you would like to try this with me, or perhaps if you have a word for me!

 As we bid adieu to 2017 I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday season.  May your homes be filled with love and laughter.

Thank you for your support and readership. Until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

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Hello Friends.  The Christmas season is in full swing here at the house and studio.  This evening is my husband’s annual Christmas party, which we host here at the house. This year (under advisement from my daughter in the UK) I am making Beef Wellington.  I had my IPad set up on the counter top and had Gordon Ramsey at my side while I seasoned and seared, wrapped and rolled.  What would my Mother say, as cooking now has a chef in your kitchen to walk you through the steps. As I was watching this world renown chef instruct me as to “how to”, I thought about all the videos on the internet that teach us “how to”.  There is virtually steps for everything from build a house to make units for quilts.  I also realized that even though the instruction is at our fingertips, we still have that ability to misinterpret and make mistakes. It is not like Gordon is going to jump out of my IPad and say, “just a minute Carla, that beef is not rolled tight enough!” Is this the most accurate way, or the best way to do something that will lead us to the best results.  So, my conclusion to this cooking experience is anyone can make a video and anyone can tell you “how to”, but it doesn’t mean it is always the best approach for success and does not always make up for someone being by your side watching for those errors that are unexpectedly make in the process.

Oh Goodness!  Quilting is much easier then cooking with Gordon, so fingers crossed and my goal is that the beef is moist and hopefully eatable.  LOL

"Love Links"  

"Love Links"  

Over the years I have posted about the quilt that I make for one of the staff at my Hubby’s office.  Well once again I have left this years’ quilt to the last minute(Ahhh!). Hey what fun would Christmas be if you were not behind in something!  The pattern is called Love Links (pattern by Studio 180 Design™) and it is made solely from flying geese units. Gotta love that Wing Clipper tool™ to make this quilt any size and with points.  It is not sewn together yet, but on the design wall for her viewing and that will just have to do.

I am all done my out and about teaching for a few months.  The last few weekends I have been in Sturgeon Falls O, at their local quilt shop “Diane’s Creative Elements” teaching a few classes.  Last weekend the quilters played with some busy print fabric, the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star Ruler and a technique called “Fussy Cut Lemoynes.”  Here is just a few of the blocks.

Fussy Cut Lemoyne Stars

Fussy Cut Lemoyne Stars

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Once we are on the topic of Lemoyne Stars, my most recent pattern, “Catch a Falling Star” is ready for sale.  I welcome shops to contact me for wholesale inquiries and general quilters can email me for their copy of the pattern.  I have had a few quilters from the Workshop in November, send pictures of their tops they finished.  Keep them coming so I can share your creations.

Catch a Falling Star by Diane Blais

Catch a Falling Star by Diane Blais

As the weather turns colder and darkness sets in earlier every evening, I find myself doing more hand work in front of the television.  I have a few projects in que.  My newest project is “Oh Christmas Tree”.   I love snowmen, so this fits in nicely to the winter décor in the house.  I have used Apliquick interfacing even though the fabric is flannel and a bit thicker then plain cotton.  It has turned nicely with the assistance of the Apliquick tools, and I find that hand stitching the pieces on has been quite easy.  The thicker fabric hides stitches, making this project quite relaxing.  I am using Superior “Kimono silk thread and Bottom Line (60 weight) thread for stitching.  These threads are very fine and sink into the fabric.

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I have also been making this French braid tree skirt that I fell in love with a few months ago.  I had to buy the book, because I saw the tree skirt on Pinterest and fell in love. That darn Pinterest!  Ug!  I am appliqueing a circle on top of the hole and making it a table topper instead. Now I just have to get it quilted – for next year?

Well it is snowing like the dickens outside and a little part of me is a bit nervous and hopes that Mr. Winter does not make driving a problem for the Christmas party tonight.  I have way too much food in the house to even consider cancelling. 

That’s all for now. Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, drive carefully and take time to enjoy the Christmas light