Wednesday, December 31, 2014

last post for a busy December

It's the last day of 2014 - wow!  It's been a very busy but wonderful December.  It looks like I won't manage to reach my goal of 52 posts for this year. Oh well,  it's a good goal to move forward to 2015.
So in amongst all the Christmas celebrating, skiing, skating, sledding, swimming and eating I did manage to do a little sewing :0)
 I've enjoyed quite a lot of handquilting.  I'm nearly done the second border of my Crowfoot quilt.  You can see the fill in diagonal line quilting I decided to use in the pieced border. It is so easy to pull this out when company is over or at the end of the day to relax when I'm tired.
 We were away visiting my husband's family for a couple days.  This was the only portable handwork I had to bring with me.  It was shortly finished and then I had to break out my emergency stitching.
 I have been carrying around this mini charm pack together with a paper hexagon template.  It's been in my EPP tin for a very long time.  I had to trace more papers and cut them out with the little scissors I had with me.  I think they look very cheerful - once assembled maybe I'll make a bag?  I was so glad I had this emergency sewing with me - sitting on the couch with nothing for my hands to do is difficult - lol!
 My DH spoiled me with some new books.  I've been really enjoying California Bound so far.  The applique quilts in it are out of this world!
 I've been thinking about this Love Entwined quilt.  I've been watching the progress of a few quilters online.  The free pattern was going to disappear from Esther's website so I printed it.  I had better put this away for awhile and finish my Bird of Paradise quilt first.  I am stuck on the embroidery again and I haven't worked on it at all.  Do the owls really need eyes? ...
 One goal that I did reach was to have my kids' pajamas sewn by Christmas Eve.  I finished the last pj top with just a few hours to spare - whew!  It's kind of a silly picture but I let them arrange themselves and they were much too excited to pose for another.  It looks like the youngest wanted to be the tallest and the oldest wanted to be the shortest - lol.  They are all very huggable in these :0)
And a little stash enhancement also occurred.  My sister's family was visiting and they wanted to drive to Canmore (about an hour away) to skate on a pond with a gorgeous mountain view.  Little did I know that the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop could also be glimpsed through the trees from the pond.  I snatched a few minutes away from skating to snag these FQ's.  I was caught completely by surprise though - I'd have come home with a bulging bag if I had known and brought my purse :0)

I hope 2015 holds many hours of happy stitching for you all!
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

a very little applique

I finished the little bit of applique that I wanted to add to my little Cascadia quilt.  I'm planning to bind it with one of the black fabrics which will frame the finished quilt a little better.  
Now that it is more rectangular it will work better in the spot I want to use it.

I've been busy sewing flannel pajamas for my kids so I don't have much else to show for today. I hope you are all finding a few minutes to do some stitching in this busy season :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

another quiltalong

I put together all the pieces from Lori's Cascadia mystery doll quiltalong.  This was such a fun project to make. It's a good thing she did it as a mystery because I don't think I would have attempted it otherwise with all this piecing at this time of year.  At least there was very little cutting as this mostly came out of my baggie of 1 1/2 inch squares :0)
I have some plans to add some applique to it to make it more rectangular. This was Lori's 10th doll quilt quiltalong and I've participated 8 times.  I have some delightful little quilts that I enjoy using in my home and some little tops waiting to be quilted...  :0) 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The horses are ready to race across the bottom of my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I even started on the embroidery last night.  I added a flower to fill some space between the horses.  The space above the horses backs is just the right size for my initials and the date. I thought about appliquing them on but after getting some good advice I will stick to quilting them in perhaps with colored thread.
 My embroidery encouraging friend was over last night and she taught me how to do stem stitch - again.  I have a bad attitude towards embroidery but I do like what it adds to the applique.  She is very patient with me :0)
Jane of Jane's Threads and Treasures made a version of this quilt as well and I looked very closely at the embroidery on her horses before beginning mine. One more horse to do and some owl eyes as well and I can start assembling the top.  Exciting times :0)  (Of course I still have the side borders to applique)

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

current projects

I started a new project.  A smallish one :0)  I like so much the coffee table cover up that I showed here  and decided to make another.  I wanted a lighter one to use in spring and summer.  Now that I've taken this picture - it looks like a Christmas project... Oh well, these are the colors that go with my living room rug.  
 I need to make 50 blocks to completely cover up my "well aged" coffee table. I have 13 made so far.  It's not a terribly creative project but I wanted something fairly simple for this space.
 I couldn't resist joining in Lori's mystery doll quilt quiltalong.  I hardly had to cut any squares for this as I found plenty of variety in my bag of 1.5 inch squares.  I wanted a few hst's like Lori's so I used squares from the 2 inch bag for those.  This is my first mystery quilt. A doll quilt didn't seem like too big of a commitment :0)  And, Lori's quiltalongs are so fun!
I've been really enjoying quilting feathers in the border of my Crowfoot quilt.   I'm making big, loopy feathers so it's going pretty quick.  I'm over 1/4 finished with them already.  This picture shows how they are sprouting out of the corner motif.
I plan to have the feathered vines meet in the middle of the border.  I will switch back to blue thread to fill in the pieced border up to the feathers with diagonal lines and probably on the other side as well.  I bet that part will go slow...  Anyway, I'm making progress and it is so cozy to sit under this as I work in the evenings.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have half of the bottom border appliqued for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I'm using some shapes from the pattern, some of my own ideas and images from the original quilt.  
 I added some apples for color.  My knowledge of owls is somewhat limited - do owls sit in apple trees??  lol  They were a bit tricky to applique and once done I felt that they needed faces so I scoured my stash looking for owl face fabric.  It's interesting to look at fabric in a whole new way :0)  They still need some embroidery details but I'm sure I can procrastinate about that until the whole border panel is done...
 Another black bird to add some black balance.

 And I thought a sprig of flowers would be nice for the center because on the other side -
there will be 2 race horses galloping along.  I just adore these horses from the original quilt.  They have so much energy and their shape is beautiful.  Julee, one of the posters from the Civil War Bride blog was generous enough to send me the shape for these horses copied from a photo of the original quilt. I decided to put them on the bottom border instead of the side so you don't have to turn your head to view all the parts of the quilt.  (Mine is going to be a wallhanging not a bed quilt like the original was likely intended)  I'm so excited to be getting close with this long, long term project!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

playing with blocks

Now that I have a few Wanderlust blocks made I can play with how to put them together.  Right now I am favoring a straight set like this first picture.
 Bonnie Hunter's pattern has them off set by half and a zigzag pattern develops. I like it too. 
It's fun to play :0)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

a fall finish

I found a fall ufo to machine quilt for a quick finish. I hadn't finished anything in ages -  it feels good :0)
 I hadn't done any machine quilting in months so that part didn't go as well as I would have liked...
 I think it will be better after I wash it.  I'm planning to display it here on the kitchen table so I imagine it won't be long before it needs a wash.
 I always enjoy feathering borders.  I was having a hard time finding a deep rich black to bind it with until I found this black and brown stripe.  I love striped binding :0)
While I was at the LQS I picked out some fabric to make owls for my Bird of Paradise border.  I really don't have these colors in my stash at all.  Anyway, I got home and went to wash them and they had been left on the cutting table of the quilt shop on the other side of the city.  There was other fabric purchased (stash enhancement) and that was what I brought home.  A quick call to the store and the owner promised to send them in the mail.  Canada Post can be dreadfully slow so I wasn't expecting to see them until next week but only 2 days later they arrived.  I will be appliqueing owls this weekend  :0)

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a new project

I started a new project. It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern called Wanderlust in the July/August 2014 Quiltmaker magazine.  I like so many of Bonnie's quilts but have never made one.  Every fall when she gets started on her annual mystery quilt I am so tempted to join in but can't quite let go to invest  in something so unknown. 
 I liked this block when she first showed it on her blog - I think it was her submission for Quiltmakers 100 blocks or something.  Then she made a quilt and it was on the cover of the magazine - tempting me all summer, everytime I walked by the magazines at the grocery store.  After a month I caved... and then this week I started slicing into some fabric.  It's coming out much brighter than I had thought - it seems to have a mind of its own.
 I did make one more 6 inch block.  I wanted to use some of this awesome green striped fabric I found - I love it! 
And, I received a bag of 9 patches in the mail this week. I took part in a repro 9 patch exchange that Barb organized.  It was so fun to open it up and look at all the fabrics people used.  I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet but I will enjoy considering different ideas. 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

top border

Last night I finished stitching the last leaf onto the top border for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I thought I would lay it out with the top row of blocks to get an idea of how it will look.  I am keeping them as blocks for now because they are easier to store.
 It's not a mirror image from side to side but I was aiming for balance and not perfection.  I love the borders on the original quilt - that top border is much freer than mine.  I am trying to personalize this quilt while keeping the elements of the original that I like.
 So my plan is to make the bottom border next.  Then maybe I will have to sew the top together so I will know exactly how long to make the side borders.  The original quilt is put together this way.  It's interesting to do things differently sometimes :0)
 I also find it interesting sometimes to draw and quilt my own quilting designs.  This is what I have drawn for the corners of my Crowfoot quilt. I guess its kind of a feathered pineapple.  I tried quilting it with white thread and I am pleased with how the quilting shows up. There is likely still some soap lines making it look whiter in this picture but the soap markings don't last for long.
I spent a bit of time trying to make a more precise drawing but in the end I decided a freer look was okay too. Here are my templates for tracing and the $2.00 coin I am tracing for the center circles.  I just love quilting feathers and look forward with great pleasure to quilting the feathered vine in the border as well.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

circle progress

Temptation just lurks all over blogland to start something new.  I've been distracting myself by working on as many current projects as possible. I've nearly finished my applique border. I have made it to the final border with my large handquilting project and I pulled out these circle blocks to put some more surrounds on.  I have 6 blocks finished so far. I love the secondary design created when they come together.
There are16 blocks in this Circle Game quilt so I need to not lose focus! 

 I did decide enough is enough with these 6 inch blocks.  I think if I make one more block I can put it together as a lap-sized quilt.  The blocks were so fun to make- endless variety and it was great to play with my scraps but its not really the kind of quilt I fall in love with.  I'd rather put the sewing time into making a quilt I really love.
Then there was this little experiment.  I enjoyed cutting and putting this little table topper together but ahhhh!  It doesn't lie flat.  Should I take it apart and try to fix it?  Keep going and hope it will quilt out? Or, abandon it as little distraction that didn't work out? It is my personality to just keep going and see how it goes.  What do you suggest?  :0) 

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

some exciting new fabric

I had some exciting guests for lunch today.  My Mom's cousin and her husband came to visit all the way from the Netherlands.  And just look at what they brought for me - Dutch Chintz!!
 I am just thrilled.  The colors are gorgeous and I want to start working them into all of my projects!
 Even the writing on it I like  :0)  I feel like this is a tangible link to my Dutch Heritage - just like the fabric selvage says.  I can't wait to start sewing with it!
 I have been doing some stitching.  At my guild meeting last night I started a small project using a charm pack of French General fabric - Rue Indienne.  I should have the little top together in the next day or so. I don't really like using charm packs.  I don't like having to line up pinked edges and sew an accurate 1/4 inch seam.  I also always wash my fabric before I use it and this time I couldn't because I needed the full 5 inches of width to cut the diamonds.  Somehow though - I can't seem to stop buying them - lol
I also have been progressing on my Bird of Paradise top border.  I'm starting to think about the side borders.  I think I will draw them first before starting to stitch.  Winging it has been fun but I think I'm done now as I try to get the second side to balance with the first :0) I'm pretty sure the original quilt's top border was done by "winging it" :0)

Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 12, 2014

when is enough enough?

I enjoyed making a few more 6 inch blocks in the last couple of weeks.  
 I thought I'd lay them out together for a picture since the "design floor" was available.  (the toys that often cover this space were cleaned up)
 I have 58 blocks made (only 56 in this layout)  I don't know how I will set them and I don't know how many more I will make.  I do know there will be more :0)  When is enough - enough? 
We definitely had enough of this white stuff fall this week.  We had 35 centimetres over 3 days.  Heavy and wet it caused a lot of damage to our trees and garden.  DD#3 didn't let that stop her from enjoying it.  It should melt tomorrow and hopefully stay away for a few more weeks so we can have fall.
Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

progress anda fab surprise

I have made good progress on my Quilt patis star project this summer.  I love that now when I fold it up it looks like it could even be a completed top :0)
 Not quite though...  I thought I would make it 10 stars wide in this length.  Now I'm not sure that will be wide enough.  I plan to put a fairly wide border of some kind on it.  It maybe a couple more years in the making.  Its such a great portable project.
 I  am the very, very happy winner of Dawn's giveaway on her blog Collector with a Needle.
I was watching for the book in the mail and then when it arrived the package had all this great fabric inside with it.  I was thrilled.  The book is very interesting and it has some great quilts in it.
This one is my favorite.  I'd never seen a Princess Feather quite like this one before.  I love the border on it too - happy and a little bit wonky around the corners.  I would love to start a new applique project inspired by this quilt!!  But, I will resist the temptation and keep working on the 2 current ones until I have a finished top.  Dawn's name appears in the book on the Acknowledgements page.  I feel like I've "met" someone famous :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

where did the summer go?

I spent much of today with back to school preparations.  How can it be that time already?  I have a little sewing progress to share.
 This 6 inch block was really tricky.  Afterwards I told myself  "Just because cutting instructions are given for a 6 inch square doesn't mean you have to make it."  I do really like it though :0)

 2 more - a little less complicated ones.

My top border for my Bird of Paradise quilt is slowly growing.  I can't decide how symmetrical I want it to be - my daughter called this "quilters block"  :0)  I don't think I'm that stuck - I just need to find enough time to sit down and figure it out.  Maybe tonight...
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

flowers again

I'm excited to get back to appliqueing on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  With all of the block embroidery done I am ready to move on to the borders.  I plan to make the borders to suit myself using shapes and ideas from the original quilt, the Threadbear pattern and my own drawing.  
 This is my start on the top border. It feels so good to applique flowers again :0)  It's been nothing but leaves for months!  I'm mostly winging it - feels free and fun to do it that way although already I see that I didn't cut all of my flower centers the same size.  It bothers me a bit but only very little - I'm going to keep going and I can always swap out the flower center later.  I suspect that once all the other leaves and flowers are appliqued I won't notice it at all.

A couple more 6 inch blocks.  There will be more :0)

Happy Stitching!