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

 

"All the leaves are down and the sky is grey!"

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I did find a fabric shop in London.  Oh happy times!

I did find a fabric shop in London.  Oh happy times!

Hello Friends.  Since we last visited I have been caught in what feels like a tornado of activity.  So much has happened.  So lets begin!   Hubby and I visited our youngest in the UK.  Its always nice to be able to talk face to face and get a few million hugs in.  Our visits have become extra special now that we have a "son-in-law" to be in the picture.  Yes, they are engaged.  I got to go wedding dress shopping with her, discuss some wedding details and visit the venue where the event will take place.  We are all so happy and excited.  I get teary just talking about it.  Oh Mom!  

Just before we left for London, our oldest called.  We hadn't heard from her in a week or so, and just thought that they were busy.  Well, that was and understatement.  You see she called and told us they were in Newfoundland and had gotten married.  Hubby and I were ever so happy andnot to surprised as they have been together for quiet a few years. They are not big on pomp and circumstance. So happy mommy tears once again. Wishing them a lifetime of love and happiness.

My mommy heart is filled with joy!

My mommy heart is filled with joy!

When we were back home in the middle of October, if was full steam ahead.  The fall chores had fallen behind and winter was coming.  Its surprising how, at this time of year, there is so much to do and so little time to get it all done.  We still had to close up camp and all.   I had some workshops to prep for, so I sequestered myself in the studio.  

The fall workshop "Catch a Falling Star" was a great success.  There were moments of laughter followed by occasional moment of "de-sewing."  New quilters from away and lost of returnees.  Their stars all looked beautiful and I can not wait to see the finished projects.  

A few days later I found myself in Hamilton Ontario.  I was presenting my trunk show to the Hamilton Quilters Guild during one of their evening meeting.   What a great group of quilters.  i even ran into an long time acquaintance.  Thank you so much for making me feel so at home.  A big Hello to Shirley, as it was nice to see a familiar face.  

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Its just little things now as everyone gets ready for the holiday season.  I am looking forward to some down time.  I will not be long arming before Christmas.  You see, Millie, my big machine is packed in her box and heading to Iowa for a good tuneup and such.  I am so looking forward to some "me time" stitching.  The question is, "where do I start?"

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Thanks for dropping by, Until next time, stay safe, keep warm and stitch something. 

First day of Fall. What? Its 28°C!

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Hello Friends.  I love fall!  Cool weather, lots of colour and my favourite sweaters.  Well, today I had to go digging for a summer beach dress.  What's with that?  In a few days, I will be leaving for London England to visit our youngest daughter.  I have been setting out cloths over the past few weeks (trying to be super organized) and when I look at the light weight sweater, new accessory scarf...  Lets just say I hope is cooler in the UK or I may have to go shopping. :)

Back in May, the little one called to ask if I could make some couch quilts for two of her best friends who were getting married this fall.  How can a mother say no, right?  Well, then the calls started.  I shopped for fabric, had a plan in my brain, easy peasy.  So I send along some photos of the fabric I picked and explained my plan.  It turns out, I like "old lady fabric" and my pieces are to little.  After months of back and forth, more trips to the quilt shop and research, I have two lap quilts ready for delivery when we arrive in the Uk.  Talk about being pushed out of your comfort zone.  Next time I think I will just get them to buy a vase!

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It just so happens that taking off for two weeks at the start of October puts a real strain on your schedule.  When I get back, I am out and about teaching for the next 4 week. I have been busy getting everything in order for my workshops and checking things off my "to do" list.  One of those things is a commission quilt that I have been working on the last few months.  All done and delivered.  

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 This fall, I gave Quilting by the River a facelift.  I have a new logo (Thank you Chantal) and will have the launch of my pattern line when I return. The quilters who will be at the November Workshop will be the first to make "Catch a Falling Star".   May I add a big Thank you to everyone who registered early so that I could fly away stress free.  The workshop is full and I am ready to rock when I get back.  I have also brought in a few new notions that I am hoping you will love as much a I do.  You will just have to wait till I get back to see for yourself. 

The ladies here at the studio are well on their way to quilting up a storm while I am gone.  Some are finishing up projects that were not touched all summer. Others have brought in their finished quilts that were done while it rained.  This is Anne's block sampler.  Over the past few years, I have been teaching the ladies how to "Grid" a block and use the Tucker tools to make their units.  Anne wanted to see if she had absorbed my teachings and put together this sampler. Fantastic!

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Its getting on and I have a quilt to long arm before I leave in a few days, so I had better get at it. Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, enjoy the weather and find your favourite sweater.