Friday, December 28, 2007

An orphan, now a bag!

What became an orphan block, has resulted in a tote bag. This block was first intended to become a jacket but ended up in my orphan bin instead. Also in the bin, was a pack of rail fence blocks and I just cut them up into 1-1/2” strips. Only the portion of the trees (see the blocked out area) was used for the bag and the remainder will be made into something else one day …. perhaps another tote bag.

This bag made its’ way to Peg in Australia for our SSCS.

So, take another look in your orphan bin and see if any blocks can be made into a tote bag.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Couldn't Wait!

I’ve been seeing other folks opening up their SSCS gifts and I decided …. me too!

Juliann sent me this gorgeous wall hanging and in the other packages were a tree/pincushion and a tin box with fabrics and chocolates! I have long been admiring the stitcheries out there in blogland and now there is one in my home. Love, love, love it! Thank you, Juliann!

The chocolates will be devoured at some point and the fabrics will be showing up in a quilt soon.

This will be my last post for this year and to all who celebrate, I just want to wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Talk to you in the New Year with lots more to show you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just a wee peek!

I’ve been playing lately! This is the first time that I’ve done meander quilting and what fun it is! It is a bit addictive doing those swirls and whorls ... I get so involved doing it that sometimes I sort of forget to breathe. :o)

Not bad, eh, for my first time!

Wow …. Did we ever get snow yesterday! Our nephew traveled from Montreal by train and we could not use our car (cars were getting stuck in the snow on our street) to pick him up at the station. We walked there and back. With the wind chill, it was -20C. It was good exercise and put colour in our cheeks. Today, it is digging out time!

Have a great day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

These are crazy and blogging

A few years ago, my SIL was making these stockings and selling them at a local craft show.

When I saw photos of them, we just had to have a pair.

They are so rich and crazy in all their glory. The backing is red velveteen and the scraps are lace and satin and velvet and ……. wonderful! :o)

Sadly, today, I learned that Connie is/was contemplating closing her blog due to lack of time for blogging. Reading the comments left on her post, a lot of us understand where she is coming from as there is a problem with time. Time to blog and time to read blogs. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to re-organize my time spent on blogging as I found that too much time was spent at the computer and not enough time spent working on my quilting.

So, have come to the conclusion that there are 7 days in a week (not new to you, eh) and on Mondays, I will read all blogs that fall within A-C; Tuesdays will be D-G, etc. You get the picture.

There are new blogs and rings popping up all the time now and I want to be able to visit them all as well as my older blogs and I have found that by organizing my list of daily blogs to visit, there is some order of time management in place.

If one of my favourite blogs hasn’t posted in a couple of months, then it’s transferred to a monthly blog that I visit every month. This way, I’m not spending my time looking at an inactive blog.

I know there are bloglines, etc. out there that I can register with, but they have their problems too. Many of us post more than once a week and I would not be able to keep up. So for now, this method works for me.

If you have a great method for blog reading, let’s hear from you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Raining Snowmen

How many of you have purchased printed panels and made them into quilts? I fell in love with this gem many years ago and very quickly put it together and hand quilted it. It still makes me smile whenever I look at it and it gets hung up every year along with all my other quilts! :o)

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve seen my quilts and some of you might be surprised that I use these panels. ;o)

Yesterday, while browsing through blogs, Elsie wrote asking if it was OK to use these printed panels. Why not use them?

There are a few more panels in my stash that will be made up one day.
I’ve received my SSCS swap gifts from Juliann. It is so tempting to open my packages and there will be a tug of war with my self-control until Xmas morning. My DH is not helping at all as he is just as curious as I am to see what is inside them. :o)
Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Stockings, anyone?

I just love these patchwork stockings. They were simple to do and quick with all the quilting done by machine.
Here is the layout that was used to make them up. Browsing through my 2-1/2” squares was easy pickings and my selection came together quickly. Whatever colour was missing, my stash came to the rescue and more 2-1/2” strips were cut to add to my bins of cut pieces for future needs.

The names were hand quilted in. Originally, they were to be done by embroidery, but this way was faster to do.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hand Quilting ... sigh!

What is it about quilting that makes it so tactile? Bren showed her latest quilt that she has been working on and I thought that was a good idea for posting as well.

When I’m working on this quilt, my hand frequently reaches out to touch the completed areas. What is it about the feel of the fabric and the quilting that tempts me to touch and touch again? When I see photos of quilted beauties (done by hand or machine) on your blogs, I wish I could reach into the computer and run my hand over the quilting. Those photos draw me in every time.

I’ve been struggling to get this quilt completed and the more I work on it, its' beauty is revealed and I am determined to finish it soon! My goal is to do at least one block a day, some days I can accomplish 3 blocks … only 42 blocks and the borders to do. The New Year for sure, that is my goal.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just Yo-Yo-ing Along!

Here is another yo-yo Xmas tree hanging that was made a few years ago. This was a great way to lessen my button stash! After sewing clothes since my teen years, there is quite a huge collection and quite a variety showcasing different stages of my life.
This hanging is so vibrant with the colours, the buttons and the beads. A bead was sewn in those empty spaces where the yo-yo’s are joined together. The beads give it a shine when the outdoor light just hits it so.

If you’ve never made a yo-yo …well, try it at least once. They are so easy to make and are a great take-along project.

Have a great day!
I got this pattern from (click onto Holiday patterns and scan through the photos) and you can download the pattern.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter is Here!

And with a vengeance, with lots of snow and freezing rain. Yesterday was a good day to stay indoors and just sew and stay warm and not venture anywhere with the car.

I’m getting closer to assembling my Winter quilt. Just a bit more on the bottom section and then the sides can be sewn together.

When I first started this quilt, the colour choice became evident after going through all my winter fabrics. There was a lot of blues with snowflakes on them. I’m amazed how over the years, I seem to have accumulated a lot of this colour fabric and how perfect they are for this quilt. Snowflakes are the theme, and even the red fabric in the house has some printed on it.

I'm trying to finish the top as soon as possible .... there are Xmas gifts to make and must make time to do those up!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 30, 2007


At our guild a few years ago, we had a request from a member to make up placemats for Meals on Wheels. This is an organization that delivers meals to seniors or house bound folks. All the donated placemats were delivered along with Xmas dinner to clients that year.

These are my five that were made for her. The placemats were made envelope style ….. there are no bindings on them. They went together very quickly and all were machine quilted. I hope they brightened someone’s day! :o)

And, you have a great day, too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mini Yo-Yo

Digging into my archives, here is a little mini that was donated to my guild for a silent auction at their last quilt show.

It was very easy to do and finished up so quickly.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but this was taken in the days before my digital camera.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Starting to Decorate

OK ….. I’m in the Xmas mood early this year! Must be the snow storm we recently had and the Winter quilt that I’ve been working on that has given me the urge to decorate early.

This quilt was finished in April of this year. Since then, I have been itching to hang it up. The time has finally come. :o) The tree blocks were won at a guild meeting a couple of years ago and they were part of a UFO challenge that I participated in at my guild. I just added sashings and borders and quilted it.

Together with the wooden pieces that were painted this autumn and my Jim Shore carvings and a new table tree …. and my angel from Guðrún, this corner of our home is now ready for the festive season.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Winter is Here!

No, seriously …. WINTER has finally arrived here in Toronto. Driving yesterday was a nightmare and so glad that we didn’t have to go anywhere.

Things are coming together quite well for this quilt. Another week or so and it should be pretty close to assembling. The letters are slowing me down, but once you get the hang of it, then they become easier to make.

My sketched design keeps changing. I keep jotting down ideas, cross some old ones off and then think about how a block can be made up.

A couple of my trees looks like they are doing the hula dance ….. it’s so cold and windy here, the trees are dancing to keep warm!

Indeed, it is challenging, but …… what fun to see something in my head come together in fabric.

Did you folks south of the border have a great Thanksgiving yesterday? So, who is going out shopping on Black Friday for bargains?

This week, I finished up my SSCS gift and it's now drying and waiting for a label and then it can be sent to ....... Nope, you will have to wait until after Xmas to see who got what!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just nine patches

Well, this photo shows just the background blocks. Have you guessed that there will be appliqué on this piece? More to come ……

The green in the blocks ….. there really are two different dye lots. Same fabric, but slightly different at the same time. I thought it would add a bit of ‘is it my eyes, or am I seeing things’ trick. :o)

Have a great day!

Monday, November 19, 2007

SSCS Present

Hello, my secret partner ...... I enjoy being surprised ..... so no reveals until Xmas Day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Winter Time

I mean the quilt …. not the weather …. mind you there are a few flurries floating around this morning.

I have been taking the free tutorial classes with Tonya and this is what has been accomplished so far. This has been fun in the making and hopefully it will be done before the end of November. Looking through my stash, there was a lot of blue fabrics with snowflakes on them, so that determined the colours for this quilt. This is sure different from my usual quilts, eh.

Tricks of fabric. In my previous post, there were a number of comments about the use of gray fabric in my Trip Around The World quilt.

Actually, there was no gray used, but it sure has that effect with the one fabric that looks kind of blurry. In this close-up, you can see that the fabric (left of the moss green block) is moss green with yellow, blue and cream against a black background. The pattern is quite busy giving the illusion of a different colour from a distance.

After we shot the photo of the quilt, my husband noticed the effect and he wondered if others would too. You folks are quite observant!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Trip Around the World

How many of you have done a Trip Around the World quilt? So far, I have done three and another that is a variation of the design.

What is it about this design that appeals to us all?

For this quilt, there is machine quilting in the ditch and the border is hand quilted. In some of my quilts I do both machine and hand quilting. It really depends on my mood and what I feel like quilting at the time. This quilt is queen size and it is currently gracing our bed.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just winging along

Well, I just have to say that this process is sure different than what I am used to and very rewarding at the same time. No templates …. OMG! Just free form cutting and sewing and those letters are harder than I thought. My first attempt at making the W ended in the garbage (but after parts of it was used for the R). The I has a snowflake button to complete the letter.

For the snow people, felt is being used with stuffing behind them and secured with buttonhole stitching. The little one looks cold, so it is going to get a mini quilt to wrap up in.

The icicles are just strips of fabric sewn on in an random order; but at the same time keeping in mind gravity and points to hang sort of straight down. I am using printer paper as a stabilizer for sewing the strips onto as there are a lot of bias edges with these icicles.

Anyway, it is a lot of fun working on this hanging and it is coming along quicker than first thought.

Thanks, Tonya, for tempting me to join in. :o) I have wanted to do something with letters for a long time now and this is a great opportunity for me to just ‘try’ it.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 9, 2007

What's up Buddy?

I wonder what they were thinking! Good thing the window screen was in place, otherwise the squirrel would have gotten in.

The Cat … she’s just a scaredy cat, but oh how the chipmunks and squirrels just love to tease her. :o) They’ll get up on the window sills and chirp at her or they are at the side door dancing away on the platform while The Cat is inside looking at them.

So, are these two saying ‘goodbye’ for the winter and ‘see you’ next spring?

Next post, there will be something new to show you and it is connected to Tonya’s new class that she has going right now. If you dare to be challenged, join in! I'm stepping right out of my comfort zone, but am willing to give it a try.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Leaves Request

How did I do these leaves, you ask?

The fabric came from Fabricland (this is a Canadian chain store and they have their own fabric) and the leaves were fussy cut out leaving a seam allowance all around. The leaves were appliquéd onto the quilt (using needle turn method) after it was quilted; then buttonhole stitching (very close stitches) were applied by hand. In a few of the leaves, I changed the thread colour as I went around the leaf.

Just regular sewing thread and a very thin sewing needle was used (tried embroidery thread and was not happy with the look).

For the leaves on the tree branch, they were applied without being appliquéd on. The edges were trimmed down right to the leaf edge and just stitched in place with very close buttonhole stitching. I did not use any fusing on the back of the leaves and I really wasn’t too happy with the whole look of them so decided to change my method for the ones sent to Iceland.

Same leaves, two different versions for swap quilts.

There have been a number of suggestions to make the top quilt for my husband and that is exactly what I will be doing. It will be a twin to the one in Iceland.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fall Exchange, part deux!

Please skip over to Guðrún’s blog and take a peek at her quilt that I recently mailed to her.

There was a bit of struggle getting this quilt out the door. My hubby didn’t want this one to go and asked if I could make something else for Guðrún. Jeepers!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Making it Mine

The pattern is from Simple Traditions by Kim Diehl. This lady has fast become my favourite designer. I am not one to buy many books, but her designs have sure grabbed hold of me.
As you can see, I have done a few changes in the design to make it my own.
It is not very often that I copy a pattern exactly as the designer made it.

This little top is now ready for sandwiching and hand quilting and it will be quick and easy to finish, but I will put it aside for now as I need to continue working on my SSCS quilt.
Have a great day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pattern close-up

I had a request to show a close-up of the pattern that Guðrún, at sent to me.
It is an advent calendar and so different with the elves peeking out from behind the tree.
This pattern looks quite easy to make up and I already have a stash of little bells hiding away in one of my bins and white felt; plus everything else needed to make it.
Once my SSCS gift is out of the way, I think this pattern is next on my list to make.
Have a great day!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fall exchange

I have been dancing on tippy toes, anxiously waiting a package to arrive from Iceland and today was the day! :o)

Guðrún, at sent me these gorgeous items. First off there is a doll with a wee mini quilt, an Icelandic cookbook and pattern and tissue packages. On the quilt, is a twinned flag featuring Iceland and Canada. I need to find out how she got this pin.

I have glanced through the cookbook and most ingredients are known to me here in Canada. Mind you, what does Iceland moss taste like?

Guðrún missed out on the sign-up for the Four Season Quilt Swap and wished that we were partners again for this swap if she had signed up. Why not swap between us, we decided.

My package to Guðrún was mailed this past Wednesday, so it will be a while yet before it reaches her.

Company is arriving this afternoon and I will soon be able to share with them my little treasures! :o) :o)

So, Guðrún, you have made my day and my cleaning is going a lot smoother.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Loss of Quilt Size

Have you ever been curious, like me, and measured your quilt at the top stage and then measured it again once the top has been quilted and binding applied?

Well, I did and was totally amazed at the difference of measurements.

Take 'My Crazy Quilt' (from previous post) for instance. The top measured 58” x 66-1/2” and once all quilted up the measurements now are 56” x 64”. And that is just a lap size quilt. For some of my queen size quilts, there have been a 3" loss on all sides!

My fabrics are prewashed and I use mostly polyester batting (prefer it for hand quilting). Washing is done in the machine and line dried. There is a possiblility of more loss if the quilt was dried in the dryer.

Now, I wonder which type of quilting (hand or machine) produces the most size loss?

For our bed, I now know that my top has to measure 97” wide to fit nicely at the sides after being quilted without any bed ruffle.

Just thought you might like to know.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Crazy Quilt

After nearly 53 (no, make that many) years since the loss of my ancestor’s quilt, I now have my replacement and I am very happy with my crazy quilt.

Gwen at had a great idea about writing the story of the loss of my ancestor’s quilt and putting it on the label …. And that is exactly what I’ve done. Thanks Gwen for the idea.

It is hand quilted and I seem to be on a recent kick for circles.

Had a bit of fun making the backing. This is not my usual way and it is just a tad crazy, but I sure do like the effect. Matches the quilt, don’t you think? :o) I still have a lot of this stripe material and will be using it for another crazy backing.

So enjoy and have a great day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another bag

Well, there I go again …. another bag.

These are my two bucket bags that I’ve made so far. The one on the left, the squares were cut at 3-1/4” and the one on the right, the squares were cut at 4”. There is sure a big difference in sizes. With my new bag, the batting used was sturdier and I find that it sure makes the bag stand up better and I am more pleased with the look of it.

So, I’m just bagging along and having a blast making these.

Thanks Andrea,
(June posts) for giving us the great tutorial.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bag, encore

Oh my, how I have been enjoying seeing all the wonderful bags out there in blogland!

Now to add to the mix, here is a bag that I made for my niece to hold her gym clothes. Originally, she wanted to buy some stencils and paint but when she saw these fabrics, well, this is the result.

Have a great day

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wall of Rulers

Here is my collection of rulers. I have a few more rulers tucked away that are not used as often. These rulers are quickly on hand for whenever they are needed. I just have to remind myself to put them back for next time otherwise they will get lost amongst the piles of fabric that is always on my cutting table. Where do you store your rulers?

This concludes the tour of my studio.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Design Wall

At one end of my studio, there are sliding doors and this is where my design wall is. This is a piece of batting that is just clipped to the metal strip that houses the mechanism for the sliding doors. When I need to get into the closet, or if I need to take my design someplace, I can just unclip the batting and do whatever is needed.

The clips are various office varieties that are sturdy enough to hold a bit of weight. I simply used whatever we had on hand.

All those blocks hanging up are my orphan blocks. I’m starting to see a flow or theme with what is there. Maybe they will be made up, after all.

This is my cutting and sewing area.
Have a great day!

Friday, October 12, 2007

An Autumn Sky

There is something about leaves that just holds my fascination for them!

My inspiration for this quilt was a huge maple tree that was on our front lawn. Sad to say it was removed this summer as it was considered a hazardous tree (there was a 5ft. split right down the middle and you could see a bit of daylight through to the other side).

When we first moved into our home 25+ years ago this past September, we eagerly waited for fall to turn the leaves into a blazing colour. After all, this was a maple tree we were talking about here. To our dismay, it was not a sugar maple but a Norway maple and the leaves dropped with barely any colour on them. Any colour was a faint yellow, but mostly they were green leaves.

So, a number of years ago, I decided to design a branch of my wished for maple tree and it would have every colour of fall in that tree. Since I’m very fond of the maple block, I decided that my tree would use these blocks. I could have appliquéd on leaves to look more natural, but chose the block instead.

Spaced throughout the quilt, are quilted leaves. I think of them as ghost leaves to represent all the past leaves that have fallen over the years. Yes, there is quite a lot of hand quilting in this piece and well worth it, I think. :o)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Autumn Jacket

I’ve been working lately on finishing my flannel jacket. I just love the colours and fabric in this jacket. The flannel is so luxurious and soft.

During this process, I have ventured into making curves with my walking foot. Very brave of me! :o)

I’m out of town right now and will finish this when I am back again in Toronto in about 3 weeks time. My DH will still post for me but not as often.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Rest of my Stash

These two shelves house the rest of my stash.

Since I do a lot of scrappy and appliqué, I don’t have a lot of yardage pieces; except for backing fabric. Most of my stash is based around FQs.

On the top shelves are my bins for cut squares and strips. These are a great idea for just pulling out a bin and pulling squares for whatever size I need.

So there, now you know what makes the world go around for me. I just won’t show you all the bins for my knitting and beading and painting, etc. That is s whole other story and could be a new blog in itself! :o)

This past week, well, I got mail. Corry at sent me some moo cards (little ones) and what a sweet moo card she made up to go along with them. Corry posted about these cards and I and a few others had never heard of them. I was curious, so Corry sent me these. They are like little business cards and she has her blog address printed on the back of them.

Then my niece and her husband sent me a thank you card for helping out with the wedding and for their quilt. It’s quite a neat card and even shows embossed quilting on it. Would this not make a great wall hanging?

Have a great day!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Not for drying clothes

I use a wooden drying rack for holding my strips of material when they are being worked on. This way, my strips remain wrinkle free and my bin sits on top of the rack, close at hand to hold the pattern, completed blocks, etc.

I tried really hard to get the rack that my Mom used when we were growing up, but my sister would not part with it. Oh darn! :o) I bought this rack this summer, but it is not as sturdy as the old ones; but it will do just fine for my needs.

When this rack is not needed, it folds down very nicely for storing away.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My storage system

This past summer, my studio was reorganized and two new shelving units were purchased. That left me with these two shelves to rethink their role.

The shelf on the left has all of my UFO’s on them. The one on the right is for all new projects. It is so tempting to play with something new, but my goal is to finish one UFO then play.

What do you think of my cardboard bins? They were recycled from a grocery store. They are very sturdy, stack well, fit into the shelves very easily and hold all the stuff for a project that I’m working on. Best of all, they were FREE! :o)

These bins are great for pulling out, working on the project a bit and then putting back on the shelf for another rainy day. No struggling to gain access to my bins, that is what I like.

Overhead is my stash of blue fabrics, star fabrics, Xmas and plaids and stripes.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Handquilting, make that 2

The one thing about hand quilting is that it takes soooooooo long to finish and I do tend to get a little bored (OK a lot sometimes).

So, since my Snow Blossoms is being worked on and over in the corner there sat my crazy quilt all basted and ready to go and I’m just itching to work on it and I’m bored …why can’t I work on both, instead of just the one quilt all the time?

And, that is what I’m doing this past month. I just keep alternating working on these two quilts.

It sure helps to relieve the boredom.
Have a great day!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Location Revealed

In my last post, how many of you figured that the ‘or what’ would reign as the location?
How delighted I was to receive an email from my niece, telling me that she chose the launch of her first solo photography exhibit at a gallery to show not only her photographs but my quilt as well.

It was a true compliment from one artist to another!

It was a great day for both of us!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Turning Leaves

This quilt was made a few years ago and given to another niece. She is a forestry engineer and loves the outdoors and what better pattern for her than a quilt of leaves.

In her other life, she is a professional photographer and her subject is nature.

Upon giving her this quilt, it was requested that she provide a photo of the quilt with her in it and the setting would be of her choice.

I wondered what she would choose. Living in the interior of British Columbia, would she choose a scene with a majestic waterfall; or on top of a mountain; or beside a raging river; or what? What would she choose? Next post, you’ll find out.

Here is a photo of  the back showing all the hand-quilting. Sometimes, when the design on the front is so busy, you have to look at the back to see the quilting.

Have a great day!

Pattern Source: Quiltmaker magazine #87, Sept./Oct. 2002
Edited:  Sept. 21, 2015
From time to time, I have been asked about this pattern.  You can purchase it from this place: