Sunday, 19 July 2009

A special quilt for Tracy

About two years ago, Tracy joined my quilt classes at the suggestion of one of my students to help her overcome the lack of motivation she was experiencing after treatments for breast cancer. She loved the class and became a very welcome member of the Hearts and Hands of Elgin County Quilt group which meets once a month on a Monday afternoon. Her ready smile, strong faith and cheerfulness inspires us all through the ups and downs of life!

A few weeks ago, she came to quilt class with the devastating news that the cancer had returned. After many tears and hugs, and a cup of tea, she bravely went back to sewing!! With a heavy heart I emailed the rest of the group to share the news mentioning that we should make a quilt for Tracy to show our love. Several members responded favourably to the idea immediately. We set the following Monday to meet at my house to work on the quilt. I searched around on the internet and found a Valori Wells pattern called Flora, which would be easy to do with a group and was pictured in florals. Tina went to a quilt show on Saturday and bought that exact pattern without reading my suggestion :-). We figured that pattern was meant to be.

Monday morning, Donna, Lena, Audrey, Laurie, Mary Lynn and Tina arrived at 9:00 with sewing machines and floral fabrics ready to get at it. Laurie, Tracy's chemo nurse at the hospital, was a great help in organizing the size of the quilt. We cut and sewed, raided my stash and chatted with tears and love for Tracy, happy that we could do something. We even found a piece of pink flannel for the backing that fit perfectly! By 3:30 that afternoon, the quilt top was finished, layered and pin basted, the binding prepared and the label ready! It really is possible to Quilt in a Day :-).

After supper, I meander quilted the quilt all over with variegated thread and sewed the binding on by machine. Bea was sad she couldn't make it to the sewing bee, so she did the hand sewing of the binding. It was finished the next day! We had hoped to present it to Tracy at our Monday afternoon potluck the next Monday, but she was not able to make it due to doctor's appointments. Tina agreed to drop it off on her way home.

Tracy had a very difficult day that Monday at her appointments and had come home and gone to bed for a nap. When she woke up, there was the quilt. She was very moved to receive the quilt and wrapped herself up in it right away :-).

This past Thursday, Tracy came for her quilt class and brought the quilt along. Several of the ladies from our group joined us for coffee so we could take a picture with Tracy and the quilt. An article with the story of Tracy's quilt will appear in September in a brand new Canadian Quilting magazine, Quilter's Connection. Thanks to Mary Lynn's husband, John, who came to take the group pictures.

Here is Tracy, wrapped up in her cozy quilt:

Lena, Audrey, Mary Lynn, Tracy, me (Jacqui) and Ina were able to come for the photo:
Another picture with Tracy wrapped up in the quilt. From left: Lena, Mary Lynn, Audrey, Tracy, Ina, Tina and Jacqui. Absent were: Bea, Donna, Joyce, Liz, Sue, Cathy, Maria and Laurie.

A few photos of the process of making the quilt. Tina, Mary Lynn and Laurie are organizing the layout on the floor:

Tina, Donna, Audrey and Lena contemplating the arrangement of the floral fabrics. It's easy to get confused when so many people are working on a quilt. At one point, the girls labelled the rows with numbers to stay organized. Mass confusion occured when two row #4's showed up LOL. They did get it all straightened out and the quilt top was successfully put together.

Tina and Lena fussy cutting a pretty fabric:

Mary Lynn is awaiting the next instructions:

Audrey busily sewing fabrics together:

A beehive of activity; Audrey, Lena and Mary Lynn:

Jacqui sewing the sashing strips on the trusty treadle sewing machine. We had 1" left of this pink sashing fabric! Phew!

The meander quilting:

The label which included Tracy's favourite Bible verse from Jeremiah 29: 11. We added Isaiah 49:16 a to the label as well:

The finished quilt with the binding attached by machine:

Admiring the finished quilt with Tracy; Mary Lynn, (Ina behind ML), Jacqui, Tracy, Tina and Lena:

May our faithful God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand, Tracy!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A quilt for Lauren's Lamb

My granddaughter, Lauren came over a few weeks ago and saw some quilt blocks that I had received at my quilt guild the evening before from a tinner project. A half metre of fabric was placed in a coffee tin and a theme taped to the inside of the lid. We had to make a 12 1/2" block using some of the fabric on that theme. Lauren loved the various blocks and then said that her beanie baby lamb, Euwy, would love to have her own quilt :-). I asked her what kind of quilt the lamb would like and she pointed to the lemoyne star block from the tinner project. I led her to my fabric stash and asked her what colours she'd like...she immediately picked up a pink floral fat quarter...that girl knows just what she likes LOL. I was teaching a quilt class that evening and used her chosen fabrics to make a test block....multi tasking :-). Here is a picture of the block I emailed to Lauren for her approval. An email arrived in my inbox saying that Lauren liked the block and so did Euwy.

I finished the binding last night while Lauren sat beside me wondering how a needle with thread could go through fabric :-). Here Euwy is getting wrapped up in her new quilt:

My granddaughter, Lauren and her favourite little Lamb:

Euwy's new little quilt:

I'm thinking that maybe this young lady is ready to try her hand at some sewing of her own soon!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

and we have grass and a new barbecue!

We got the sod in for our house on Friday! That will definitely make for less mud in the house!! It didn't take the guys very long to put it hour and a half and the ground was transformed from dust to lush green grass. Here is the front of the house:

The backyard looks just like a patchwork quilt :-).

We also got a new barbecue on the weekend since we now have a natural gas hookup and our old barbecue was having a few issues. Let the summer begin!

We emptied the whole sewing room on Saturday afternoon!! We hope to put the laminate floor in that room tomorrow. Then I can finally find permanent places for all my sewing stuff and maybe memorize where it all is :-).

Friday, 3 July 2009

We have a new deck!

Haven't been doing a lot of sewing lately as we've been working on the house doing more unpacking and cleaning up. My brother in law and nephew have a deck building company and just finished up making our first deck. It'll be so nice to sit outside since we don't have grass yet. This deck is covered so we should be able to sit here a lot even when it's raining. We have to pick up our patio chairs yet; our kids have been storing them :-). Here is the view to the right side of the deck:

View to the back...we have a ravine here so no neighbours that we can see:

We hope to build a shed under the deck to store the lawnmowers and garden tools:
Railing along the back. We hope to build another deck next summer halfway down to the ground and connect it with a stairs. We will remove the left railing to make the stairs:

It even has a quilt on it already :-). Actually, this one is a little small...I have another one on the go that's bigger which should work perfectly for this table:

We have a natural gas hookup on the deck so now we need to go shopping for a barbecue :-).
The back of the house: