Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

The quilting is nearly finished on Mariner's Sunset. I'm about 1/3 finished stitching another Celtic Table Runner for my daughter (she specifically requested it). So no new pictures. 

This is the Christmas quilt finished last year and now hanging in the foyer of the church I attend. I received copyright permission to sell the pattern for this one, so am refining that. If you are interested, let me know. I can offer only a few copies.

(ALL PATTERNS ARE SOLD. Sorry to those who wanted one. Email me if you want to be notified when I have other patterns available and include your contact information. This pattern will not be repeated.)
Jan 1, 2016 UPDATE. This quilt was based on a painting that was used for a Christmas card. The copyright holder gave me permission to use the design in a quilt and sell a few patterns. I complied (this is a legal requirement). With so much interest, I tried to get added permission so I could sell more patterns. However, the original copyright holder no longer owns it and could not tell me who does. I tried to find out, but was not able. This means I cannot sell any more patterns for this quilt. So sorry, but I value the right of the owner of the original art to restrict its use. Hope that explains why there are no more patterns!

THE BEST NEWS! As of April 8, 2016. I've managed to secure worldwide, exclusive copyright to use this design in a quilt pattern... so this pattern is for sale again. Please check my Etsy Page for details! 

To all who read this blog, I wish you a Christmas filled with joy, knowing that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son...!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A small Lighthouse

This little project was done way back last April, but I finally got it in a mat and frame, with a label, so now consider it finished. It started out as a patch for Julie's lab coat, but when I found out it was too big, I was kind of glad that I got to keep it. (Sorry, Julie... I know you liked the bird instead...)

Actually, it isn't quilted, but tacked down and sewn to a bit of background. I would love to make more of these landscapes. It is like a postcard only larger,  6 1/4" by 11 3/4" and took about 30 minutes of madly diving into my stash for just the right bits and then madly cutting them up. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Progress Report: Mariner's Sunset

No, I've not died or moved out of cyberspace... just busy. Some of that busyness is quilting progress on this 101" wide by 75" deep quilt. The sky and most of the sea is done, as is the "sun" --- so I'm working on the rocks and the foreground water. After that is done, I still have to applique leaves on the sky and then quilt them. To see a full view, click here. This is a big project, so I'm about ready to make more postcards!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Progress report

These are five blocks for a quilt group - we are each to make floral strip sets in "quilt as you go" fashion. One of the leaders will use narrow sashing strips to join them. I made nine, four in medium tones, five in darker fabrics. She will arrange them by graduation of tones. This will be a charity quilt. 

The other picture is a close-up of some of the quilting on Mariner's Sunset. This shows about 10" in the middle of the compass where the "sun" meets the water. The water has not been quilted but will have horizontal lines of reflection, etc. Now that this is on the machine and square, and controllable, it is more of a "tamed monster" instead of being so intimidation. It's a pleasure to work on, a bit each day, in my style of free motion doodling.

Friday, November 11, 2011

K-6 Scraps from the Strata

This small table topper was inspired by my Scottish heritage that has trouble throwing away leftovers that are large enough to become something else. When making K-4 and K-5, I had triangles and shapes that fit on a smaller version of the triangle normally used to make these Kaleidoscope quilts. So I fiddled with them until I thought they would work, made the pattern to fit the pieces, and this was the result. It was a bit picky, but satisfying in the end. It measures about 21.5" across the widest point. I put a facing on the back instead of a binding around the edges. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Unfettered and Postcards

This quilt is applique, 27" x 23" and quilted in the ditch. It started with a photo of an old gate. The fence and everything else in the photo was falling down and ruined, but the gate stood, an image of strength. After several sketches and value studies, I picked colors from two favorite paintings, raided my stash, and this is the result. The gate turned sideways, in spite of the power of the uprightness of the original image. It just looked better this way. I don't know where to hang it, but am enjoying the results. I also learned that if pieces must hang down, they need to be carefully planned.

These are postcards that I made and will be sending one a month to a "secret sibling." Since she doesn't know me, I doubt she will see them on here, so decided to post them. They are 4" x 6" and were lots of fun to make. I've received two from whoever got my name. When I have all six from her, I'll post them. She is doing a holiday theme. They are yummy!

This is a great way to use bits and pieces. I love the sky in the upper right (I put in the birds with a pen) and the rocks in lower right. That one curled up on me for the photo, but it isn't in real life. A friend ran with this idea and is making all her Christmas cards from bits of fabric leftover from last year's gift-giving!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who needs sleep?

After Wayne's Trunk Show, I had to get on my computer and play with some nine patches. I'd made a small mat a few years ago from leftover HSTs and just picked two nine patches at random from it. Don't know if Wayne has done these configurations, but it was definitely fun. In the one on the right, some of the HSTs needed to be recolored to make the medallion effect. 

Only problem is that I started it late and didn't get to bed. Maybe I'll call these designs, "With Eyes Propped Open I and II."

For those not familiar with what Wayne does, I drew a nine-patch (used CorelDraw) and rotated, flipped, etc. until I liked it. Changing colors would create more variations. The quilts look complicated, but the blocks are simple. I've already too many UFOs but if God permits sewing machines in heaven, eternity should be long enough....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trunk Show

Yesterday presented a delightful opportunity to meet Wayne and Linda. They were at a quilt shop in my city to present a trunk show, a small part of the quilts from Wayne's amazing mind. For this display, he used quilts that came from the idea of nine-patches and pinwheels only. Each quilt is named after a town in our province. The variety is astonishing. You can go to his blog and click on that category from a list down the side.

While the quilts were even better "in live" than the photos and ideas from the blog, the best part for me was the delightful personalities of Wayne and Linda. They are fun, down-to-earth and very friendly. This matches both their talents in designing and making quilts. 

Hop on over to Wayne's sketchbook and poke around. He has a website, a book on designing, and another one in process. If you are every in Alberta, look him up. He sells patterns too, and his patterns are not only well-executed, but he also gives several suggestion in each for variations in using them, a real bargain that shows his heart... he wants everyone to share in the fun of "I designed this myself!"

Thanks for a super couple of hours, Wayne and Linda!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

In Canada, today is officially Thanksgiving. The turkey is in the oven! However, since being thankful cannot be restricted to one day or to one country, my prayers for all to have a delightful day of being grateful for all good things, such as:

- God's grace and blessing
- freedom to live and work and laugh
- family near and far
- times to play, worship, create
- old friends and new
- the smell of toast in the morning
- a good night's sleep
- warm homes 
- clean water
- dishwashers and coffee makers
- good food from the farmers' market
- the ability to say YES
- good sense to say NO
- color
- ideas and plans 
- clear sky and sunlight
- quilts finished and on the go
- memories
- space for books and fabrics and other stimulating stuff
- and time to make thankful lists, even if I must get busy for now instead of writing forever!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unfettered progress...

This one is now in fabric... and pinned to my design wall. I'm waiting for the Quilt University teacher to say "change this..." or "go for it" and then will sew down the pieces, sandwich and quilt it. I'm planning to put a facing around but there will be three parts that refuse to be inside the box... they are already faced and will be tacked in place last. It is about 22" x 28" - big enough for a fairly simple design. I was dreading trying to do an abstract piece, but this is turning out to be a lot of fun. There are about 30 others in the class and watching what they are doing is very interesting.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quilt University class

Signing up for a class at Quilt University was likely bad timing for me, but I wanted something small to work on alongside that huge Mariner's Sunset, something that didn't tax my muscles or make them ache. 

However, the class has been a challenge nonetheless. I've not done any sort of abstract art, at least not recently or with gusto. This class has pushed me to give that a try. I selected photos, did the sketches, and came up with this one as my choice for the quilt. It was originally a photo of an old gate. It was still upright and the posts and angles said "strength" to me. Even though the fence was down and the gate no longer had any purpose, it also said, "unfettered" strength. So that is what I am going to call it... even though I tipped it over.

This is my drawing, not the quilt. The fabrics are laid out and ready to cut into shapes and sew. I'll post it when completed. Right now, it is only this drawing and an expanded drawing and a big pile of fabrics in these colors!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mariner's Sunset Progress

Last Monday I put this monster on a table (where it hung over all edges) and then on my living room floor to get it squared up so the horizon was level, and to trim the edges, and get the foreground rocks in the right places. Did lots of pinning and basting also. Two-three hours later and I took these pictures. I'm too old to crawl around on the floor so needed a massage on Wednesday! My thighs are still a bit sore but I'm accepting that 'no pain - no gain' bit of wisdom.

That is because this is starting to look the way I hoped. Lots to do yet though... the tulle over the "sun" reflection in the water is cut too large, so you can see a gray circle that will not be there when it is done. Also, there is a patch in the sky that needs some lighter tulle. The leaves that frame the sides and top (scroll to sketch in earlier post) will go on later, after I get some quilting done to hold all this together. It is already pinned to the back leader for my HQ 16, but I might baste it instead. 

This one is physically hard work! It is now 101" wide x 75" tall, and I do have a place to hang it, but if anyone knows of a hotel or such that has a nice big blank wall, do let me know! My aches are telling me that I would be glad to sell it to anyone who is interested.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

K-5 - Fractured & Frazzled Flowers

This is K-5 Fractured and Frazzled Flowers. The title came from the fabric, design and the goofy way that I quilted it. Just have to finish sewing on the sleeve and the label and it's done. I'm waiting for the next football game :-) Also added a close up so you can see what I mean by frazzled...

I had enough leftovers from cutting my strata to make another star/kaleidoscope. Yikes, this is addicting. 

I also have Mariner's Sunset on the HQ-16, partly. So it is going to get finished, but it is 101" wide so will take some time to quilt. The water needs more rocks yet.This is only my drawing since I cannot get far enough back from the quilt to take a picture. When it is finished, I'll take it outside for its photo session!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finished: Running in Celtic Circles

This one was finished a week ago, but just did the label so now it is really finished. Started it June 6 in an online class with Quilt University because I wanted some handwork. Nancy Chong's instructions were clear and helpful. The bias was actually easy to make. I'd happily do it again. I quilted around the Celtic design, did lines with a double needle and an outer "border" of quilting with a design using chalk and a purchased template. Did this on my DM.

Now I'm quilting K-5 on my HQ-16 in the same scribble style that Valori Wells is known for. For years, I have looked at the machine quilting done by those who have computerized longarms, and you know what it is like - perfect and totally intimidating. I felt like my work was somehow flawed unless it was like that. Last week, I got a book from the library, Radiant New York Beauties and was so happy to find out that it is okay, even acceptable, to not have your leaves all the same or your squiggles lined up neatly. I quickly dropped my burden and declared, "That is how I want to quilt." I might get more formal with time, but this is a lot more fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

K-4 Floral Explosion - finished. . .

Well, not quite. The label is not on, but that won't take long. Lots of quilting on this one. I laid it on carpet to take the photo, so these corners are just the floor! I decided to leave it "round" - actually six-sided, and put it out on the table in our screened deck.

I'm now quilting the Celtic table runner and trying to keep from starting new things until K-5 is finished, never mind the Mariner's Sunset... and Kali's Cherry Tree... and her Japanese queen-size... and about five others.... sigh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


About half done the quilting on K-5 (no name yet) aka Kaleidoscope #5. It is brighter than the photo. It came out screaming too bright so I toned it down, too much. Sigh.

This other one is a Celtic table runner from a Quilt University class. I'd never taken one before and wanted some handwork to do in the evening. It was fun.  Now I need to figure out how to quilt it. Will likely call it "Running in Celtic Circles" because both fabrics have either circles or round dots on them.

Lovely day today... I should be out pulling weeds. They accumulate quicker than fabric scraps! However, this is much more fun than weed-pulling.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blessings of Friendship

Finally - I can post this one! It was made as a surprise for my friend. It is called, "Blessings of Friendship" and the red is a bit deeper in real life, not quite so bright. I have a couple of detail photos and added them below.

I started this one in January, made good progress, then let it sit for weeks while trying to decide how to quilt it. I could not post it just in case she peeked at my blog. However, we had her and hubby over for tea and peach pie on Sunday and made the presentation. She went home with plans to redecorate her dining room - and a smiling hubby carrying the quilt. 

"Blessings of Friendship" is 41" square, my own design using Ricky Tims rhapsody quilt methods. Applique is fused and sewn with a machine blanket stitch. It was a delight to make. The hardest part was sewing the parts together, also putting on the cording. I did a facing instead of binding. So happy that it is done and to send it to a great home!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Celtic Table Runner

My Internet is out. Canada Post is on strike. I am isolated from the world! Aghhhhhhhhh! So I am taking a Quilt University class and making a table runner that requires hand stitching and relaxing. It is not finished, but coming along. 

I'm also nearly finished a Ricky Tims Rhapsody quilt that is a gift, so picture coming as soon as the person receives the quilt. 

At least I can come to our library, five minutes from home, and use free Wi-fi. Also, amazing how much a person can get done when there is no procrastinating online, reading email, and checking out facebook. But I am reading the blogs that I love...!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Volvox Tertius Escapes to the Garden — and wins a prize!

Last night the Edmonton & District Quilt Guild held their wind-up banquet. Good food, fun and lots of laughter. Several people made mo-jo dolls that were used as a fund-raiser. Honors went to former executive and welcomes to new. 

The annual challenge competition was also a highlight. Seventy-five Kaffe Fassett fat quarters went out, forty-eight 12" square quilts came back. Each must contain 25% of the challenge fabric. They were exhibited last weekend at the show (held every two years) and wow, what a display. No one quilt looked like any other, even at the same size and using that mustard-colored flower fabric. 

The prizes were awarded last night.I'm so excited because my little effort won Judge's Choice! How can that be? The others were so good and so creative. A nice surprise and a nice ribbon! Very encouraging too.

I had to edit this for the "artist's statement" but here is what this one is about: 

Volvox is one of the most beautiful microscopical sights known. Those who study such tiny wonders have claimed that “nothing compares to the grandeur of a perfect specimen with daughter colonies inside, free-swimming in pond water.” As these cells develop these new colonies, the parent eventually bursts and the daughter colonies evert, escaping to grow into their own expression of being a lovely orb in the pond.

Even though Millifiore looks like the blown glass of the same name, I could not help but notice that this Kaffe Fassett fabric looks much like Volvox. Did he see these tiny, 1000-celled globular algae and decide to change the form to floral? The possibility motivated me to mimic the shape and activity of the Volvox Tertius. My imagination saw it beginning to reproduce itself. Then, as it gazed at the garden around its home, it suddenly decided it was tired of living in ponds and going unnoticed. It was tired of surrounding flowers basking in everyone’s attention. So why not become one with them? So the microscopic cell simply burst with new life and escaped to the garden. It took on the appearance of the flora and began to send out daughter colonies to the envy of all the garden plants who now are unable to eclipse its dazzling beauty.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kaleidoscope progress

Working on more than two quilts at once is fun, but taxing! Here are the latest photos of the kaleidoscope quilts being constructed by our small church group. Isn't it amazing the way one pattern can have so much variety! (Note the old flannel sheets used to pin the pieces to and keep them from getting mixed up.)

The third and fourth one are mine. One of them is pin-basted and ready to quilt. I decided to leave it round and use it on a table. The other one is getting a 1" inner boarder, then another wider border. Not there yet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wonky House

Last Grad Club at our LQS, we were challenged to make a wonky house, not a difficult project. This is mine, created in eight days. I called it "Lives on Prairies... Vacations in Serengeti" and the label says, "Challenged at Grad Club (Earthly Goods) and bored with normal, this little wall hanging evolved -- as did the title. From what is seen, viewers can make up their own story!

A small project like this (17.25" x 25.5") offers lots of opportunities to try new quilt stitches or just need practice with old ones.

I know, I should be posting the kaleidoscopes. Both are ready to sandwich and quilt. I also have another special quilt ready to quilt. Sometimes a person just needs to do something wonky!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Because of Valour

Quilts of Valor began in the United States. Most of you know that these quilts go to wounded soldiers. Not long ago, a woman from our city's quilt guild brought Quilts of Valour to Canada. She has quite a story of how this started.

This picture shows my second donation to QoV. It was made out of those Arrowhead blocks where two squares are sewn right sides together around most of the outside edges, etc., then cut in such a way that most of the piecing happens without cutting the pieces. They look more complicated than they are.

I used almost all the purple and a lot of my green stash for this one. It is about 48" x 66" (I have to spell valor in the British way, but don't have to measure it in metrics!) 

In Canada, much effort is also made to see that all war veterans and casualties from RCMP, police, etc. get a quilt. Reports come back that these quilts are highly valued by the recipients. Our city just had a ground-breaking ceremony for House of Valour, a special care facility for those who suffer from being in a war.

On another note, I've also sewn together one of my kaleidoscopes and am planning a couple of borders. The other one will be sewn together today. Pictures later.  

P.S. I love quilters. One asks me a question, and the next one answers it... before I even read the comments! I do have an excuse for not giving more info about this block. I found it in a magazine, made one to try it, then gave the magazine away. Thank you to Cheri for asking and Michele for answering.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kaleidoscope progress

These are all using the same pattern, but wow -- look at the differences! They are in various stages of completion. The two red/orange/yellow/green ones are mine, with only two shapes in place. However, I've nearly finished one of them today, but haven't had time to get a photo. The others are from our small group at church. There are eight of us making these. Some are making two. Lots of fun! More to come...


Sunday, April 24, 2011


Finally, my house is starting to look normal (whatever normal is) instead of like a warehouse. The new floor is in and most things are back where they belong - or out of the house and gone to a better home! Purging unused stuff is my new favorite pastime.

Also, my big desk is in a new spot and that room is now called a "study" - with books on shelves in the closet and along one wall. 

My sewing studio looks vaguely like a basketball court (smaller, of course) with everything around the edges, but what it lacks in pretty, it makes up for in functional. There is a quilt top in place on my HQ 16, quilting motif selected. Soon, it will be finished. Feels good.

Now, if you could quilt the fabric in this picture, what would you put on it?

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Space changes >>> happy me!

Finally - my desk/writing space is in a different room from sewing/quilting and I am so excited. My attention-deficit, easily distracted mind was yanked by one thing when I was doing the other. Now I'm better able to focus — well, with a few glitches... like no photos today - until I find my camera!

But the bigger-than-I-need desk is in place in its own room (formerly a spare), and all computer, phone, fax, Internet, etc. are plugged in and working. Our son and his fiance lent us some muscle yesterday. We took the desk apart in chunks so we could get it through doors and down the hall. Most of the time I was finding tools for them, or keeping my eyes shut. They stayed for supper and were such a blessing! 

Now I just have to move a bookshelf, put my books in it, and then put away all the stuff we haven't given away that was originally in this room where the desk etc. are now... and get the studio looking more like a studio and less like an abandoned quilt store... but it is coming and I'm so excited. 

In all of this, I've two Kool Kaleidoscopes started on a design wall, my friend's top ready to quilt on another, a Quilt of Valor draped over my HQ 16 rails, and finished a small competition quilt for our city-wide guild. After the entry goes in, I can post a photo of that. Yippee! 

Friday, April 8, 2011


Eight people showed up to make Kaleidoscopes. Some were picking colors. Some were sewing their strata. A few got to the design wall stage. Mine got started but I've changed my mind about the way I want to line up the first piece of the puzzle. Here are photos of a couple others. More later...

The first one has 12 mirror-image pieces from one strata set. The second has 12 + 12 mirror-images pieces cut from two different strata sets. The delight in making this quilt (Ricky Tims creation) is in the surprises!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am finished the top for the "secret" project and still cannot post it, but can post the latest start. Our little quilting group at church (called "Fellowship Peacemakers) decided to do Kaleidoscopes again. This is the Ricky Tims version. I've got the strata done for mine. The colors are even brighter than the photos.
In this project, we cut five pairs of strips and sew them together. The strata is WOF by about 10 inches. From this, we will cut our pieces. It is fun, mainly because no one can guess what the final result will be. Since everyone chooses different fabrics and pattern layouts, watching how everyone's quilts come together is really exciting. Not seen a bad one yet!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still Stitching

Oh, I'm swamped. We are going to put hardwood down in the room where I've had my craft table, stash (in the closet) and two storage cupboards for sewing, quilt bats and other projects. All of the stuff has to come out and be stored elsewhere. When the floor is done, my desk goes in and all the quilt stuff goes in the big studio where my desk is now. This is a giant overhaul. I'm doing a bit each day and am really tired. All that keeps me going is the vision of what it will be like when finished. All my sewing in one room!

However, I'm a tidy-saver, meaning lots of stuff, too much stuff, nicely stored, but too much of it. Deciding what to keep and what gets purged is big-time difficult. I will not live long enough to make use of all the inspiration that is lined up in those shelves. Any tips? My granddaughter says she'll do it for me, but that is scary!

This photo is a quilt I made for her when she played soccer. It is in the team colors. Everyone wanted one at the time. She is now waiting for me to finish her Cherry Tree quilt (picture to the far right on this page).

As for the current other project, I'm busy putting cording in some seams (elaborate surprise quilt). It is coming, but will be a few weeks... 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Animated Blocks

I am working on it daily, but still cannot publish my latest WIP in case the recipient is peeking. This needs to be a total surprise. 

However, I do have an interesting link for you. It is a short film with moving traditional quilt blocks set to music. Starts out a bit boring, but builds interest as it goes. Here is the LINK. This photo is a child's quilt that I made a few years ago. One segment of this film reminded me of it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Liebster Award

Wayne over at Wayne Kollinger's Sketch Book, surprised me today with an award. While he didn't send money, or a trophy or anything, not even some fabric or thread (aw, Wayne), he did email me some nice words. 

This award is one that you receive, but it is also an award that you give. If you receive a Liebster Blog Award you are asked to choose 3 other bloggers and send them one as well.

The criteria for giving the awards are simple.  They go to bloggers who have fewer than 300 followers and who deserve recognition  for a blog well done.    

My three choices, in no particular order, are: 

Elaine at Elaine Adair Pieces because she is a humble lady with a great sense of humor. We've never met but I feel like I've known her forever.

Karol-Ann at SewKalico who lives in two different parts of the world and always has something interesting going on.

Peg at Pieces of my Mind another Canadian who always has interesting things happening in her sewing room and life.

Lots of others, but the rules say three... and the idea is to encourage one another to keep at it!