Friday, August 31, 2007

Just A Scrappy Quilt

This is the quilt currently hanging in our dining room. The quilt sure looks so different hanging up as compared to lying on a bed. You see the whole pattern and not just bits of the design (darn, you would see more if my table was not there).

Enjoy and have a great day!

Pattern Source: Fons & Porter magazine, May/June 2000

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Favourite Walk

Here is a peek of the flowers that are blooming on my favourite place to walk. Doesn’t that sky seem to go on forever?

Have a great day!

Monday, August 27, 2007

What a mess!

Work is ongoing with my memory crazy quilt and it’s almost ready for borders. Those will be put on when I return home. This quilt is entirely made from stash. Some of the sashing strips were pieced as there was not enough fabric to make whole ones and I didn’t want to buy more fabric. All that is left of that fabric now is just bits. Yeah! :o)

You think this area is messy …. well, I didn’t take a photo of the rest of the mess. At least all the colours are together dumped on the floor. The mess will get all scooped up and returned to their respective bins and stored away until the next time.

I love making scrap quilts, but just hate the mess that is involved making them.

Someday, I’ll have to show photos of my studio and my stash, but it will need to be sorted and cleaned up first. :o)

Have a great day!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Swap Maple Leaves

I am up north and this is what I’m working on while visiting my Mom. I hope to have all of this finished by the time I return to Toronto (will be away for a few weeks).

There is machine quilting in the ditch through all those squares, but there will be hand quilting in this piece on the border and all around the maple leaves.

This is just a rough mock-up for placement – it will not be the final version as it still needs a lot of tweaking.

The maple leaves were fussy cut from fabric and I’ll attach them using the buttonhole stitch.

I’m liking this one a lot! There is just something about fall and maple leaves against a blue sky. You can probably tell that it is my favourite season of the year.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Lotta Squares

Decisions, decisions …. oh dear, I had a hard time deciding what design should be made for the Four Seasons Swap. Will my partner like it? Panic, panic, panic!

What can I say, I just love squares and there sure are a lot here for this little mini.

What’s next? Perhaps a bit of appliqué? We’ll see.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Making my own memory!

Time has come to empty my scrap bin and it was a surprise to see how much was in there! Many days were spent sorting through this mess so that they can be stored here in my bins (see my post of Apr. 9)

I have yearned for another crazy quilt for a very long time and it was time to stop bemoaning the loss of the one that I remembered.
Well, what’s a girl to do about it? Make my own. No way will it ever match the beauty of my ancestor’s quilt, but it will be mine.
These are what has been made so far. I’ll start making just a lap quilt and decide if it should be made larger or not. As well as quilts for our beds, I really do like to change my dining room quilts around a lot, so we’ll see how far this one goes.

I have decided to do away with a scrap bin and sort my scraps after completion of a quilt and it will be interesting to see how far along this new process will go! :o)
Have a great day!
P.S. Today, I received my Secret Santa name so will have to think about what to make for this swap. BTW, there are tons of new blogs that I have found and it's taking time going through all of them. Visit to see her list of all the quilters that are participating in this swap.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Memory

Our family only had the one quilt that I can remember.

It was a crazy quilt and it was glorious. There was wool, and satin, and silk, and velvet and lace. The embroidery stitches were exquisite and I spent what seemed like gazillion hours looking at them. It is possible that the quilt was made in the early 1900’s as it fit the era and the style of the quilt. The binding was a bit frayed in places.

It was really warm and nice to cuddle under back in those days. With just a wood stove in the kitchen and a coal burning furnace for heat, any warmth was cherished during those very long cold winter nights.

When I would awaken during the night, I would run my fingers around and around the top, feeling the different fabrics and embroidery stitches. It was beautiful to me.

Hurricane Hazel destroyed that quilt on October 15, 1954. I was only 3 years old at the time. When the tail-end of the storm blew into Ontario and roared north to North Bay, our home was flooded out as we were living in a low-lying area and were not far from a creek. Our basement filled with sewer water and ruined everything stored in it.

Days (or weeks) later, Mom was showing a lady the basement and explaining that all the trunks had to go (my quilt was in one of those trunks) and I remember asking Mom, “What about the quilt, can we just wash it?” Unfortunately, we could not and that beautiful crazy quilt was no more.

Years later, I asked Mom who made that quilt. She did not know. Mom could never find a signature, or initials, nothing to identify who made it. No one on Mom’s side of the family ever made quilts, so it must have come from a relative on Dad’s side.

Today, when I make a quilt, my name and date is on a label and sewn onto the quilt. I want my descendents to know who made their quilt.

I wish I had that crazy quilt today. I wish …..

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My wee corner

Lately, it has been way toooo hot and humid to do much hand quilting and although this quilt beckons me, it will have to wait for cooler days before I can really put a dent into the quilting. The nights are starting to cool down, so perhaps soon.

The humid weather has removed most of my quilting lines (Clover blue marking pen), so they will have to be re-marked as I go along. Usually, this is how my quilts are marked but for this one, I decided to mark it all first when it was just a top. Oh well, lesson learned. This time, I am using Crayola Washable markers and am keeping my fingers crossed that the lines all come out. I have had good and bad results with these markers. The bad .... well that is a story for another day.

This is my corner of our TV room where I do most of my hand quilting.

Guðrún, can you see your pincushion? I love it and it is truly being used! :o)
Have a great day!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bucket Tote Bag

After being at home for a few days (and after all the wedding fuss), I was in dire need of a quilt fix and what better way than making a tote bag. Have you seen all the bags on the web lately? Aren’t they just awesome!

A while back, I saw this bag at (June posts) and just knew that it was a someday project. Well, that day arrived and here is my version.

The bag was made slightly bigger than the pattern, which suits me fine as it is great for traveling. The handle pattern is new to me and I just love the look and feel of them. With the bit left over from the handles (which were made longer), I made a tab to close the bag and secured the tag with Velcro.

This is a bag that I will certainly make again. Many thanks, Andrea for the great tutorial!

Four Seasons Swap
I have my partner’s name for the swap but it has to remain a secret until my friend receives her quilt. But, I can show you what her quilt will look like as it progresses along. More to come on that!
Have a great day!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dragon Boat Bride

At some point in time, I just had to include a photo of the bride … and this is not the usual pose that you would expect (at least not from me). :o)

My niece has been the coach of this dragon boat for the past few years and the women are her paddlers. They participate in dragon boat festivals and their mandate is to help increase awareness of breast cancer and the importance of self screening and mammograms. The women paddlers are all survivors of breast cancer and they are proof that there is life after cancer.

In this boat is her Mother-in-law and it was she who set-up the bride and groom for a golf tournament. They were blind dates and it was a match made in heaven from the first swing of the club.

It was really important for the paddlers to have the bride pose with them and their boat. They went for a short ride on the water singing “Going to the chapel ….” . The paddlers (minus the bride and MIL) competed in the festival that was held the same day as the wedding.

So, many years down the road, what a story to tell her children and grand-children on what she did on her wedding day (now, now, no snickers here)!
While waiting for the bride to show up for the boat ride, there was a mother duck with her four babies calmly swimming on the opposite side of the dock. The ladies thought it was an omen to her future, that she will have four children. Woohoo … lots of babies to love!

By the way, that is not her dress hanging down in the water. The ladies draped a sheet in the boat so that her dress would not get dirty.

And that brings a close to my wedding posts (hopefully you were not bored).
Have a great day!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Doing the sock dance

Here is the sister who had the honour of wearing the socks that I made for her sock dance. In my post of June 28, I mislead you. It is only the unmarried older siblings who must perform the dance. How is that for being singled out! Yikes!

I think the custom was started centuries ago in an effort to show off any older sibling and give them a chance to become married.

The sister thought the socks were adorable and she was a good sport to wear them for the remainder of the evening.
Have a great day

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wooden you like these gifts?

This carving was done by my oldest brother and presented to the bride and groom as their wedding gift. He is quite the talented individual and has asked the couple if he can borrow the carving for a competition that he is keen to participate in. He spent a gazillion number of hours working on this duck.
Another handmade gift for the fortunate couple! My nephew made this rack using no nails or screws. Holding it together are pegs that are easy to remove and disassemble. Quite clever!

I have dropped mega hints for one just like it. :o)
Have a nice day!

Monday, August 6, 2007


For the past few years, my labels have included care and wash instructions (it is never too late to start).

My descendants down the road may never know what is involved with caring for their quilts unless it is written down for them. I could give them paper instructions, but you know how they can easily become lost. So, what better way than right on the label?

For this quilt, the following instructions have been included:

Keep out of direct sunlight.
Top & bottom: 100% cotton
Batting: 100% polyester
Machine wash gentle cycle, mild detergent, cool water, line dry.
Do not dry clean.

What is simpler than this?

Have a great day!
P.S. I also sneak in the quilt number (#54) on the label someplace. Can you find it?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pillow Shams

Does anyone make pillow shams anymore?

Usually, I make pillow cases using some of the fabric from the quilt to match. The bride requested pillow shams and that is what she got.

Had a bit of dilemma for one of the navy blue blocks had to be pieced to make up these shams. There are only scraps of that fabric left.

Have a nice day!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Binding fix

A number of you were curious about my last post about how to fix those waves .... so here goes!

Do you see these pieces of black yarn at the corner of this quilt? They are the start and finish of my fix. I weave a piece of yarn all throughout the binding (on the inside).

Truly, it really does flatten out my quilt so that it lays flat. Not only that, but if you have a wall hanging with one end that droops a bit, this will help to square it up. Keep in mind, though, that it will not perform miracles. You have to do your part first with sewing on the correct size border, etc. When I do this, my binding feels and looks fuller.

When my quilt is trimmed, I leave at least ½” of batting and backing and my bindings strips are cut at 2-1/2”. I use a single strand of bulky knitting yarn or two strands of 4- ply knitting yarn (if you do double fold over binding, any colour of yarn will do). Yarn must be acrylic as wool yarn will draw moths and they will chew a hole through the cotton to the wool (and we don’t want that).

Starting at one end of a quilt, thread your yarn needle with the yarn and slide the needle inside the binding. The yarn that you see hanging down is the end from the one side of the quilt that was just done.

Push your needle along the binding until you see the binding gathered up. Now, hold onto your needle (hmm, perhaps I should have had that manicure after all) and ease the yarn by grabbing the end of the quilt where you started and pull back gently so that the quilt is no longer gathered. Continue to the end of one side and slide your needle out, cut your yarn leaving a couple of inches. Do this on all four sides of your quilt.

I lay my quilt out on the floor and check to see if all sides lay flat. If one side doesn’t, just pull on the yarn gently until the quilt is flat. Carefully, clip the yarn as close to where it emerges from the binding. You don’t have to secure the yarn as it is not going anywhere.

It works for me with my style of quilts. Please, do whatever works best for you … leave them as is or fix them … it’s your quilt and it’s your choice! :o)

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Waves, be gone!

I never know until the final stitch goes in how my quilt really turns out and I absolutely dread it when my quilt does not lay flat but does the wave. In this case, the wave went completely around the quilt and I could not leave it as is. Heck, I don’t want the couple getting sea-sick just looking at their gift! :o)

But, it can be easily fixed and knitting yarn has been my buddy for a few years now. Blocking does help but it would not be enough for this quilt.
Why does it wave? Whenever my binding is cut on the straight-of-grain, I know for sure there is going to be a problem. Why? There is no stretch with the straight-of-grain. When my binding is cut either on the bias or cross-of-grain, there is never a problem as the binding can be slightly stretched when it is pinned on the quilt and once the binding is finally sewed on, the binding goes back to its’ original size and the quilt borders take shape and lay flat.

Next post, I’ll show you how I fix my binding to lay flat.

Today, I was invited to join a new mini-quilt swap at I think this will be such fun and my name will be added to the list. If you are interested, please take a peek to see what is involved with this swap.
Have a nice day!