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!