Thursday, December 8, 2016

The best laid plans...

I had finished my 4-patches from Step One of Bonnie Hunter's En Provence mystery quilt Friday night, but ran out of neutrals for Step Two. I'm using white and light cream tone-on-tones so Saturday I headed off to Hamel's and between their remnant baskets, their fat quarter selection and their 20% off regular fabric sale, I picked up about 3 more metres.  I also bought myself a Christmas present:

By the Fireplace is a pattern by a local designer, Barb of Coach House Designs.  She actually is located only a few blocks from my home.  It was designed using Aspen Frost by Basic Grey, and Hamels has several kits with this original fabric in it.  I couldn't resist after seeing the original on display as I entered Hamels, so I bought the kit!

Since I was babysitting my grandson, I decided to wait until evening to sew, and we set about starting to decorate.  Unfortunately, I had an accident and ended up here:

Thank goodness my daughter Sarah was visiting and was able to help me out of the house and to the hospital.  I'll be spending the next little while on the sofa like this:

Of course, it had to be my "driving" leg.  Nothing was broken on the X-ray, but until the swelling goes down, they can't tell what kind of damage I did to my knee. It seems to involve the lateral collateral ligament and possibly the meniscus, and hopefully is only a sprain and not a tear. Since it's been two days, and I still can't put any weight on it, I'm not optimistic. This is how I'll be spending the week until my doctor can check me out on Friday when the swelling will hopefully be down. Luckily, I can still work from home so I won't lose any pay.

Until I can find a way to prop my leg up and sit at a table to cut and sew, I'm stalled so nothing to do but surf the net and dream! (and knit, and hand-sew). I found this new-to-me blog, Crazy Quilter on a Bike, who is going to do Motivational Mondays throughout 2017, and will also share tips on how she going to make changes to manage her UFOs, sewing space and keep herself accountable.  I for one find that blogging helps me stay motivated and I am pledging to blog at least 3 times a week, even if I am the only one to read it! 

Linking up to: and hope to join back in next week!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bonnie Hunter's latest Mystery quilt has begun!

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since I have blogged.  It's been a busy year and I have been sewing, just not much time for writing!  More about what I have been up to later.

Today is about sharing my progress on Bonnie's newest mystery quilt project, En Provence. Last year, I only made a few pieces and then never got back to it, so this year I'm in, full force.

These photos above are Bonnie's inspiration photos.  Although I love the colours, I have pretty much depleted my purples, greens and yellows with her Easy Street and Celtic Solstice patterns, so I went to my stash to see what I had a lot of.  Apparently, I like to buy turquoise and aqua so I went to the internet and found some images when I googled "sea glass". Trying to find sources for these images is like getting into the endless loop on the phone, so I listed the best one I could find.

(image: - links back to pinterest)




I've also been inspired to set up a new board on my Pinterest account - I'll be filling it up soon! So many great ideas. Thanks to the photos, I was able to pull these colours from my stash:

It will definitely be a softer look than if I used Bonnie's colours, but I already love it. I'm not sure how they will be used yet, I'm going to wait and select them as the various clues come out.

I also choose to use a sand colour for my constant, so off to Hamels I went.  I found this in their warehouse sale section, just $8/metre:

It's from the Little House on the Prairie line, with clouds and grass and "dunes" that will work perfectly for a beach theme. I'll just have to make sure I don't have the wagon, sod house or Laura Ingalls in her prairie dress showing up!

Because of my sand-coloured constant, I have chosen to only use white and light off-whites for my neutrals. There might be a little grey that shows up as well ;o). They look darker in the picture because our rainy, gloomy winter season has begun!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Noah's Ark Medallion - finished!

A quilt of my own design - finished for a very special baby boy!

I've had this fabric for 16 years, ever since our only craft store closed. It is a line by Debbie Mumm, called "All Aboard the Ark". I never found a pattern I liked to use the fabric. Finally, two years ago, when my niece first announced she was pregnant after several years of trying, I pulled out the fabric and got started.

It got put aside when the baby was born, and it was a little girl, Eloise. I made this instead, from scraps of fabric and lace used to make her mother clothes by my mother.

Then, surprise!  Just 9 months later, my niece was pregnant again (that seems to happen often).  Lachlin was born just 16 months after his sister.

I made the backing using scraps, with a label bordered by tiny "waves"! (sorry it's sideways, but my photoediting software is kaput)

I quilted with wavy lines, and a scallop stitch on my machine (again, to replicate waves). I just love the texture!

I got stumped on how to fill the corners, but when this design was issued as part of "The Splendid Sampler" series, it didn't take me long to finish it.

I finished it off with a flanged binding, my favourite way to finish a baby quilt!

Welcome to the world, Lachlin - you are very much loved and wanted!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Another one bites the dust!

One down, 4 more goals to complete!  I got my new hand-crank cleaned and oiled, and learned how to thread it properly.

Isn't she pretty? She's in excellent shape and such a beautiful smooth stitch. The case needs a good feed 'n wax, but is otherwise in good condition as well.  Better shape than the top of my treadle!

The serial number identifies her as a Singer 99, made after November 1940. I was kind of surprised she was that young, as there are no numbers on her tension dial, and there is only a knob for the length of the stitches - no guide.

The kids took turns turning the crank as I corrected the tension, then practiced sewing strips together.

My sewing room is still in disarray after getting a new table, but I was able to make enough room to finish one more block for the Splendid Sampler. 5 of 100 done now!

I'm using these blocks to improve my quilting skills.  Each block gets partially sashed, then quilted in the quilt-as-you-go method.  On Block 7 (Simple Simon) I cut the back too short so before I get too far, I joined it to Block 1 (Hearts Aflutter). It's taken a while, but I finally figured out how to do the sashing and still be able to quilt the blocks individually.

Friday, July 1, 2016

July Goals

Happy Canada Day!

I love this picture! It is so cliched (is that even a word?) However, since a baby beaver was rescued by the local wildlife society this week, just a mile from my home, I have a maple tree in my front yard and I get teased for adding eh? to my sentences there is some truth to it!

Barbara is the author of one of the blogs I follow regularly, Cat Patches., She has been listing her goals on the first of each month, and provides a progress report.  I like that ideas since I have lots to do and keeping a running list in my head doesn't seem to be working.

In July, I would like to (in order):

1. Finish Konner's quilt and get it to him.
2. Clean and oil my new-to-me handcrank so I can start teaching Zoey how to sew.
3. Join the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RBC) and make string blocks for future projects. This month's "colour" is Watermelon - hot pink with a little green for accents.  I think I'll stick to one colour - pink it is!
4. As I have fallen behind on both the 365 Block Challenge and the Splendid Sampler, my goal this month is to ensure I have downloaded all of the blocks.
5. Spend 15 minutes a day in my sewing room doing something - even if all I do is fondle fabric!

No pictures today - I got a new table for the sewing room, so it is in turmoil!

Next month, I post my progress (with photos) and make new goals. My reward, if I complete them
all, is to buy the fabric for this splendid Halloween quilt from Flying Parrots Quilt:

(Although I will confess, I bought some black on white spiders yesterday!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My latest start - The Splendid Sampler

Have you heard of The Splendid Sampler?  100 blocks designed by designers from all over the world, using a wide variety of techniques to expand your knowledge!

I actually sort-of got started, but with so much else on the go, this is simply a project for when I want to do something fun and distracting.

I completed Block 33 - Selvage Block - on June 16:

This is number 4 of 100.  So far, I have managed to make about 1 block a month. At this rate, I'll be finished in 8 1/3 years!
I am quilting as I go, and this block has now been sashed and quilted, but I forgot to take a picture!
The first block I did was #3 - Lots of Love.  This one is sashed and quilted.  This one is a corner block, so the sashing is complete on the top and left hand side (and the right for that matter - I screwed up and made a full sash instead of a partial.

(Pardon the lighting - it was nighttime in late February!)
The third block completed was #5 - Simple Simon, also sashed and quilted.  this one is also destined for the top row, but I have to figure out a method of adding my sashings so that I have room to work on them even after quilted. I think moving forward I am going to put two rows of the sashing on the top and left-sides, and one row on the bottom and right.  When they are sewn together, they will form a complete sashing (by the way, the sashing finishes at 1 1/2"..)
I have also completed Block # 6 - Focus Point, and quilted it with more than stitch-in-the ditch.  I don't have a picture handy, but will post it on my next update!
Stats: Splendid Sampler - started Feb. 28, 2016
4/100 blocks completed by June 16/16 (Blocks 3, 5, 6 and 33)
3 blocks cut and ready for sewing (#1, 2, and 8)
2 blocks hand-sewing in process (#7 and 36)
Fabric used: various '30s reproduction fabrics collected over last 7 years
Moda Bella off-white 9900-200 for background and sashing, estimate 2 metres will be needed)
Backing: garage sale find, approx. 3 yards (will have to mix in some solids or other prints) 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What I'm working on

This past weekend I spent many hours working on quilting - using my domestic machine to quilt the Super Mario twin-size flimsy!

In my usual procrastinating ways, I presented the flimsy to my grandnephew, Konner, on his 9th birthday, with a promise to quilt it in the next couple of weeks.  I promptly went home, set up my dining room table and ignored it for two weeks.

The rainy weekend didn't let me make any excuses, so not-so-bright and early Saturday morning I got started. Once I got into it, I chastised myself for waiting so long.  Why do I avoid things I enjoy doing?

All the straight-line diagonal quilting is done, as well as outlining the sashing and the outline of the designs.

I started out thinking simply - just get 'er done! Now that the background has been completed, the borders outlined and the edge sewed down and trimmed, I'm looking at the centres of each block and I can visualize more!  I'm going to attempt some straight-line quilting, along with free-motion quilting and play with each block.

  The pipe has cross-hatching in the light green areas, and will have straight vertical lines in the dark green.

Of course, it wasn't all work and no play - I also got to see this little cutie perform in her third dance recital!  She's done ballet the last three years, plus 1/2 year of tap, next year she's going to do tap and hip-hop! Can't believe she just turned 5!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I'm back!! Sunday Stash Report, Week 19 - 2016

Hopefully, for good this time. The last few months have been long and drawn out, but I have climbed over some personal hurdles and hopefully, everything is behind me now.

The last week I've been following the news closely - if you haven't heard, there are horrendous forest fires in northern Alberta, and I have had family and friends that are personally affected. My sister-in-law (ex, actually but we keep in touch) has 3 kids and their families who live in Fort McMurray and they and some of their friends have evacuated to her place near Edmonton, not knowing whether their homes have survived. She has 3 campers and a large tent now camped out in her backyard, with about 20 people and a number of pets for who knows how long.  More than 1600 homes have been lost, and thousands of people have been displaced, and the smoke has reached as far south as Montana and North Dakota (over 1000 miles away). If you are able to help, the Red Cross Canada has set up a relief fund specifically for Fort McMurray, Alberta.   I have, and my community has been amazing - 4 18-wheelers were sent full of the necessities: diapers, underwear and toiletries for the evacuees.

Here are some links to some of the news sites I have been following - the photos are incredible:
CTV Edmonton Facebook Page
Global Edmonton Facebook page

Not much progress has been made on the sewing front. I'm working mostly on block-of-the month/week/day projects, but I have managed to squeak out a few finishes:

A tunic top for my 5-year old granddaughter,

2 nighties for her and her sister, and a pair of camouflage pants for the grandson!  About 3.5 metres out, but I have totally lost track of what has come in, so I'll update once I figure that out!

Added: ?? metres
Added Year to Date: 5.1 metres 
Used/Given away: 3.5 metres
Used/Given away Year to Date: 8.5 metres
Net used or given away in 2016: 3.4 metres

For other stash reports, check out the links at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday Stash Report 2016, Week 5

I've been doing more handwork this month, so no more finishes for January but I'm having fun working on projects.

I started Katja Marek's Millifiore quilt-along using her book "The New Hexagon". 

I made the first hexagon for Rosette #6, and Millie is already proving to have a mind of her own!

It appears that the orange and limey-yellow want to stand out, plus I needed some different fabric to fussy-cut but of course, I have nothing suitable in my hundreds of yards of stash (and I know it's hundreds based on my previous stash reports)!

So off to Hamels I went! These are so not true to colour, but when it's gloomy and rainy, it's hard to get good photos.

While I was there, I picked up the first 3 blocks of the new Canadian Mystery Quilt.  Next year is Canada's 150th anniversary
Added: 1 metres

Added Year to Date: 5.1 metres 
Used/Given away: 5 metres
Used/Given away Year to Date: 5 metres
Added in 2016: 0.1

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Stash Report 2016, Week 3

Doing weekly reports on how my stash moves definitely keeps me motivated! Last week, I powered through to finish this quilt top, that was promised two (yikes!) years ago! I still have to buy some border fabric, but I'll count that separately.

And a quilt top is not complete until it has been inspected - Daisy did her job thoroughly, and then nicely posed! I've done other posts about this quilt - just search for Super Mario or click on the label below.

I've already made the matching pillowcase, which is already in use.

I had experimented with using strips of fabric, instead of all those small squares, but it didn't work out as well as I would have liked, so the quilt top is made up of 1,956 individual 2" squares! 

I'm considering this for the border fabric, bound with red and flannel or minky on the back:

Of course, in order to finish the top, I had to make a small purchase of orange for the Fire Flower and another look at the Christmas clearance rack at Hamel's:

I broke down and bought this print from the Holly's Tree Farm line with no plan. Don't you just love those vintage cars!

Added: 0.8 metres

Added Year to Date: 4.1 metres 
Used/Given away: 5 metres
Used/Given away Year to Date: 5 metres
Used/Given away for 2016: 0.9

I hope to stay in the clear all year, so that means I really have to buckle down and get those UFOs done, because I don't want to give up the fabric shopping!

Linking up with all the other Stashers at Judy's Patchwork Times - come check us out!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Slow Stitching

Have you ever heard of the term "Slow Stitching"? I'm not where it originated but Kathy in Ontario has been hosting a Linky Party called Slow Sunday Stitching since 2012 celebrated the art of handwork. I've always got a bit of embroidery on the go, sometimes cross-stitch and now some "big-stitch" hand quilting, so I'm finally going to join along.

I tend not to slow stitch on Sundays, though, as that is usually a day I can spend at the machine. Instead I stitch in the evenings when I'm watching TV, so I'll use the report to show what I worked on in the previous week.  I get more done when I "have to report", but I know the only person I'm being accountable to is me!

Last night, I  finished what stitching I could get done before assembling my new tote bag:

This is my own design, made with Moda's Honeycomb pre-cuts.  I hope what I vision works out!

Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching!  Come join the fun!

First Sunday Stash Report of 2016

As part of my "Simplify" plan, I really debated starting the stash report for 2016, since I didn't do it very often last year, and quit altogether by about September. Then I realized it made me more accountable (to myself only!) and got me in the sewing room more often. Since I want to clear out my UFOs this year, reporting those finishes will really motivate me to get those done.

Then I promptly fell off the wagon! I needed some solids to finish a block on the Super Mario quilt for my grand-nephew that was promised to him over a year ago.  His is first up on the to-do list and I want to get it done by the end of January.

Added: 3.3 metres

Added Year to Date: 3.3 metres 
Used/Given away: 0 metres
Used/Given away Year to Date: 0 metres
Added for 2016: 3.3 

Hamel's had a huge sale, 50% off Christmas fabrics and 25% of all regular fabrics on the bolt (ends tonight at midnight PST), and although most of the Bella solids that I was looking for were sold out, I did pick up some off-white. I also got some Holly's Tree Farm word polka-dot for 50% off, and a little Good Morning at 25% off. All but the aqua will be used to finish those never-ending UFOs (and maybe a little in my 365 Challenge Blocks).

I then got my Leader & Ender baskets set up:

From left to right: 1 1/2" finished 9-patches (made with 1" strips); Super Mario 2" blocks, and Step Two of Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery Quilt, Grand Illusion. 

Are you planning on joining us this year?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A new year, a new challenge!

It's a new year, so it was time to find a new challenge.  I wanted one that didn't require me to purchase much fabric, rather I wanted to use what I had on hand. I also wanted one that would get me in the sewing room, but not take up too much time, so that I would be inclined to stay in there and work on my massive UFO pile.

I found my challenge, thanks to a fellow quilter! The 365 Challenge Quilt Blocks features mostly 3" finished blocks, but also has some 6" blocks, 12" corner blocks and a 15" medallion centre.  Every day you make a block and at the end of the year, you have a 90"x90" sampler quilt. And as a bonus, it's free (although they are asking for a small donation to offset the server costs - it's easy to do through Paypal).

I love little blocks and most of these only took a few minutes, but that bonus block with its 28 pieces in a 3" block did take about a 1/2 hour. I did switch the colour scheme of the block for Day 3, but the Red Cross just had to be in red & white!

Didn't too bad with matching the seams though!  I can't promise that will always happen, but I take this one!

I used the Easy Angle template to cut my matched pairs of half-square triangles. I swear by this template to create exact-sized HST that only require the dog ears to be trimmed.

Look at those babies - they are 1 1/4" square, and finish at 3/4" inside the block!

These tiny pieces need to be pressed with the seams open, which I don't normally do. I did end up with a few "twisted sisters", but overall the open seams really do help with accuracy on the front!

I'm using an old line of fabric - I had a layer cake of Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater from Moda, and with a few solids, I can make quite a few blocks.  The yardage requirements are quite high for this quilt, but Moda is launching Volume II of the same line in the spring, so if I am keeping up, I can buy similar fabric then.

It's not too late to join the challenge. You can sign up on  Facebook or on the website Hope you join me!