Sunday, July 28, 2013

And She's Back!

Always hard to come home from Hawaii, I find. I love it there so much. But, this time we left the kids at home and I missed them - so that made it easier to get on the return flight! Usually, on the way to the airport, I am making plans to find a job there (haha - I am Canadian), grabbing real estate magazines to look at homes for sale and generally making ridiculous plans to move my life there. Those islands just feel right to me.

This was the view from our hotel room. Just gorgeous.

The same view at night.

On Friday nights our hotel puts on a firework display on the beach. We decided to watch from our room. Let me tell you - we were not disappointed with this show! Though, we were slightly surprised at how CLOSE they were to our balcony and how LOUD they were so close up! We were on the 31st floor and near the end of the building - it felt like we were IN the show haha!

Up on return to good old Maple Ridge, I have been sewing some on this and also spending time contemplating on how these two stacks might go together...

Inspiration in this, this and this maybe? I do love me an HST. I am definitely challenging myself with that first stack of lighter pastel-ish colours (I must admit, I do just love them!), as I have been working with mostly brights lately. I am going to have to sit on this for awhile (I just had an image of me actually sitting...ok, forget it - that's just silly!) and let my creative mind work it out.

I did manage to sneak one small quilty thing home from Waikiki...

Makes me smile sitting on my sewing table. Good memories!

Hope you have all had a great weekend and enjoy your week ahead.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Quick Hello

I have been doing lots of this...

and spending time with my favourite machine making these together...

I moved each of those little suckers all over my design wall about a billion times...well, it felt like a billion...and then happily settled on this arrangement.

Though I did decide to add these in the corners...

These tiny triangles are very reminiscent of the original star quilt. I like the way the diamonds make each block stand out for themselves, rather than blend in as a background.

I am off to Hawaii tomorrow (woohoo!!!) and besides the sewing above, I have been busy busy busy packing and gardening (I didn't want to leave the blueberries for the birds to eat!!!).

Check back in with you all in a week! Hope you all have a good one.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Let's get Acquainted Blog Hop - Hilltop House Edition!!!

Plum and June

Well, HELLLLOOOO all!!! And welcome...what fun to have you pop over for a visit. Wish I could offer you a cup of tea (I'm on a bit of a green tea blitz right now) but you know, the internet and all makes it a bit of an inconvenience! How 'bout I just start right in with a formal introduction and give you a bit of a tour??! Sound good? Ok, let's get at it then.

My name is Lisa - I am a teacher by day (little people - K and Grade 1) and a quilter by all other hours. I also loooove to cook, bake and preserve whatever I can get my hands on (usually in the summer, which is now in my neck of the woods, so look out if you are in this area!)

I live in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. Which is about an hour away from Vancouver, BC - many of you may know/recognize Vancouver (and Whistler) as we hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. For those of you that live in the U.S. it may help to give you a locale - we are about 2.5 hrs north of Seattle. Lots of trees - it is very green and pretty here. The picture above is my current view out my back porch. Actually, we are very lucky here, we have both ocean and mountains in Vancouver, so we get the best of both worlds! My house is actually on the top of a hill - hence the blog name!

A while back, Melissa from Melia May Quilting (Hi Melissa!!!) tagged me in a game of blog tag and I posted my responses to her questions here. If you click on over you will find more info about me.

And just a few more details...I would like to include some quilty info:

What is on your cutting table right now?

Weeelll...I just chopped up a ton of these little critters...

And I am planning on making them into more of these.

Because I just did not get enough of this quilt.

I am also still pining away some ideas for my sashing for these blocks. Read my plan here.

I did manage to find some tone on tone prints and I have chopped them into strips, but I am still trying to work out the 'herringbone' part of my idea. Wish me luck! (Luckily I had planned to give this quilt to my friend in the summer, otherwise I would be a little late as she works with me at school!)

When did you start quilting and who taught you/how did you learn?

I started quilting in the beginning of 2010. I had ALWAYS wanted to quilt - my husband gave me a machine for Christmas 2009 (best gift ever!). I left it in the box for a month or so - terrified of it and then I signed up for a beginners class at a local quilt shop (which is no longer in my town, so sad) and never looked back. All the rest I have learned from bloggers (thank you!!!) - tutorials, advice and of course my own trial and error. My very first ever post on my blog goes into more detail on my sewing inspiration - you can read that here.

What type of sewing machine do you use?

My machine is a Janome 4030 QDC - this machine is my friend. Seriously. It works like a little work horse and does everything I need/want it to do. It is meant for quilting and crafting, so it came with the feet I need, needle up/down and a few other little tricks.

You can find a post about my sewing room here and if you look closely you can see it nestled on the table in this pic.

Recently I had to take my machine in for an overdue tune up/cleaning and I had a really, really hard time parting with it (even though I knew I was going to be out of town for most of the week it was going to be in the shop). I was so sad, that the man behind the counter asked me teasingly if I would like a moment alone with it before I left. Haha!

What is you favourite/least favourite part of quilting?

I love ALL of it. Every single little bit. Yes - even basting haha! It's true, I actually like pinning all those little pins. But my actual favourite part is the quilting. I absolutely love quilting and right now I am on a straight line quilting gig - cannot get enough of the straight lines (and LOTS of them too, I like to quilt very densely).

And I loooove the scraps and saving the snippets. Who knows what I will actually do with them - but goodness, they just can't be thrown away! Late last year I finally organized all my scraps and that felt really good. You can find my organization post here. I loooove to organize and keep things where they belong, I think this is part of what attracts me to quilting - because it seems such an organized and precise art to me.

Do you have any favourite quilting notions?

Definitely my quilting gloves. As you can see in this picture, I use them a lot. I find they keep my hands from getting cramps when gripping/wrestling the quilt through my machine. Obviously, I need a new pair. Any suggestions??? I love these ones, but the fabric store doesn't carry them anymore and I wonder what you all use, if anything???

Do you have any tips/tricks to share?

Labels, labels, labels. Label your quilts. They truly are a part of you. Quilts are our paintings - a label is our signature. Before I used labels, I found my quilts quite hard to give away (it made me feel sad to let them go). Now that I use labels, I find it much easier as I know they will always be marked with my 'signature' and not just out in the 'world all alone' haha! I use labels from Hobbytime on Etsy. They are the 'satin folded care labels' which are the first item featured on the shops home page. They are printed with my blog name on one side and my name on the other. I just sew them into the binding as you see here...

I will leave you with a mosaic of my latest sewing endeavours. Thanks for the visit. Hope you all have a fabulously wonderful weekend - spending time doing your most favourite activities (sewing included here I am sure!!!).

If you have a moment, do visit my friend Martha over at Weekend Doings (have you seen her cookie recipes??? Not to mention her quilts...!!! Both soooo yummy.). This week she is sharing some new blogger advice. Thanks Martha!

Have fun visiting the other bloggers this week on the Let's get Acquainted Blog Hop.

Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher

A BIG shout out goes to Beth from Plum and June - the brains behind this amazing hop. Thanks Beth for your time spent planning and organizing this fab event. I am so pleased to be a part of it!