Friday, December 13, 2013

Another finish

This one was an experiment. Have you ever bought a quilting magazine because the patterns looked good, but later you looked at it and said, "What was I thinking?" -- Someone who knows not much about quilting gave me a quilting calendar last year. The first picture on January 1 was this one. I liked the quilt, but ugh, those colors...

So I grabbed some pieces out of my stash and made it in much different colors (sorry, the photos are fuzzy and the colors are a bit off). I'm still not crazy about it, but this shows the difference fabric can make. It also shows how long it can take me to make even a small project... sigh!

Below is the full version. It is about 44" square and the colors are a huge improvement, closer to the small view on the right. I still haven't given it a name (or a label).


Sunday, December 8, 2013

First one from my pattern

Back a few months ago, our small church quilting group made a nativity quilt to hang in the church. I decided to draft and sell the pattern. It came off an old Christmas card and took two years to get copyright permission. Even at that, they gave me permission to make a few, so I did 24 patterns and sold them in a few weeks, asking each person who bought one to send me a photo when it was done. Here is the first completion. It is from Doris, in Ontario, Canada. Didn't she do a great job! I am really excited and hope to do more patterns... 

Sorry, I lightened it up -- a bit too much, but it is lovely! I'm not sure what size she made it, but the original was about 84" wide, as was the pattern, so this looks like she followed it and made the large one. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Still alive, not much quilting

Dropping in to say I'm still here, but not doing much quilting. This is on the longarm but I've not touched it for at least two weeks. Lots of ideas, but the courses I'm taking fill every minute. Good stuff (Masters in Theology) but when I do have a minute, I want to rest my brain and body and just veg. 

I do take time to read most of the blogs that I follow and am excited as usual over the creativity displayed! PBPWMGIFY!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blackberry Quilt

This top is from a kit called Blackberry Throw using Batavian Batiks. It is for someone who wanted a purple quilt, but I'm noticing that purple is hard to photograph! Also, I put the blocks together a bit different from the pattern. The backing and batting are ready to sandwich and I've designed a feathery quilting motif. Problem? Time. Anyone have a solution for that?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Busting my buttons...

Finally, Kali's quilt is finished, framed, labeled... even showed off. Tuesday, when I drove up to my home from the framer, some neighbors were out and about, so they came over and admired while it was still in shrink wrap. One wanted a photo to send to his mother, who is another quilter. I was very excited! 

On Wednesday, I took it to guild and was blessed to show it to more than 150 of my peers. One woman told me she was in the framing store this week and took notice of this quilt. She took pictures of the process and promised to send them to me. How cool is that! Another told me even the quilting made the tree look full of cherries. To top it off, the guest speaker surprised me with an invitation to exhibit it in a show on the west coast. That is astonishing. I'm pumped.

I'm also thankful to God for my granddaughter who challenged me to make this... and she says I can take it wherever, and "If you need any more challenges, I'm here to offer them..." What a blessing she is to me!

Now I need to get to work. More quilts on the go... 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Help for High River...

No quilting for this week. My hubby had meetings in Calgary so I went with him and drove out to High River for a couple of days to help my sister get organized after her flood-damaged basement dried out. She has many orders for her art prints and needed to get back to work, even though the basement is just concrete without walls. She had three feet of water... many people had far more. More than 200 homes have to be bull-dozed. 

We took a big box of quilts for the High River Quilt project. The delivery point had a large room filled with hundreds of quilts donated to restore "some sense of normalcy" to the flood victims, thousands of them. They will take bed quilts, table toppers, wall hangings, anything. If you have something to give, click here for more information. There is a shipping address for USA and one for Canada. This flood has changed the lives of many people. Some of them escaped only with what they were wearing. They lost their home, vehicles, records, everything. 

On a happier note, thousands of people have stepped up to help, including commitments by organizations such as Samaritan's Purse to rebuilt basements for three years, at no charge. My sister's church was brand new, 3M lovely building. It was destroyed. Another denomination has given the pastors' office space, a time slot for their worship services and the two congregations have combined their children's programs, only one example of the unity this flood has brought to Christians in their small city. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

I really am quilting every day... but all of them are surprises for friends so I cannot post pictures. Sigh. Don't give up on me!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top is nearly finished...

This top is a large wall hanging, about 48 x 72, and for a nameless relative who I hope is not reading my blog! Anyway, the basics are done. It still needs a fence at the bottom of the lighthouse and a few other details, like bushes, maybe a few critters in the rocks. I'll put lots of grass and details in with thread as well.

The cherry tree on the right is now ready to be framed. I'll post a photo when that part is done and before my GD gets it. 

FLOOD Report: My sister got into her home to view the damage a week ago last Monday. She said it was "a mess" and was glad that the water wasn't too deep. Wednesday, she was allowed back in to clean up. (The reasons for this are long - like sink holes under the water, some open sewers, electricity still on in places, etc. with officials trying to keep people safe.) She lost her furnace, hot water tank, a pool table, two freezers, her frig (spoiled food) and some of her original art, plus many prints. Garage also had a foot of mud on the floor. A crew came in and by Friday (3 days later) it was "clean and sanitized" with power and water but no gas. She figures it will be months to repair/replace everything. Some folks have no family/friends to help, but there has been a huge outpouring of support. People are driving miles to go there and deliver supplies and food. A nearby Hutterite colony has fed hundreds of evacuees 3 meals a day for several weeks. Janet says there are so many God-things happening that she often weeps for joy... even in the overwhelming amount of need.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I've not posted, or quilted much. My sister and hubby, two of their sons and families live in the totally flooded town of High River, Alberta, population 13,000. After a long wait (dangers under all that water), they were allowed into the mess yesterday. She just told me that today is her "day to cry" as she realizes the extent of their losses and struggles putting precious parts of their life into trash bins. 

My heart aches for her and so many others. We've been told that even the newscasts have not shown the worst of it. The flood waters are still being pumped out of the northeast part of the city that had homes totally covered. Most do not have any utilities. Some businesses are trying to reopen. It is a smelly dirty mess with raw sewage in the water. Cars, boats, other things like sinkholes add to the cleanup and some are perils. A large portion of the homes need to be gutted, some bulldozed. A few escaped the flood but humidity has taken a toll.

If you pray, please remember the population of High River, and if that is too big to think about, pray for Janet and Lyle. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Slow Going

My last post said "each day" but that was far too ambitious. Since then, a heavy course load has kept me at the computer instead of the sewing machine. Here is what it looks like now:

That dark piece is a camera trick - it will also lighten up when I quilt it as there will be some vegetation there. This one keeps calling me, but then there are those deadlines...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lighthouse Progress

The lighthouse is progressing. I put the details on the very top, but need to add some windows. The quilting will add more detail. Each day, the bottom part gets another layer of rocks, grass, etc. Again, the quilting will add more definition. This one is great fun. It is 48" wide and about 72" high. (Just noticed the puckering in the sky... about a five-minute fix, sigh.)

Also, I've got 11-12 patterns now for a "Hobbit" quilt. It is foundation paper-pieced in 7" squares, but I've decided to do those with tiny pieces in 11" blocks. That size will work with the smaller ones if I use 1" sashing. This will be fun and I've a boy in the family that says he will "sleep under it for the rest of his life." The patterns are available through Regina Grewe.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cherry Tree Progress and Lighthouse Start

It is raining here today and we are glad. Our part of the world has been dry and dusty, with wildfires threatening several towns. 

Kali's Cherry Tree: So far the tree is nearly quilted. This was taken with overhead lights so is not as 'pink' as the picture on the right. It is densely stitched with a curly, loopy ribbon design. My hubby says it looks even more "like a bird could fly through it" which makes me happy! Next to quilt will be the grass and sky. This one has been my favorite for a long time, but when it is finished, it will be framed and given to our darling granddaughter. She is a very mature 20 year old who plans to treat it as a heirloom. That helps me to let it go!
Close-up of quilting on Japanese Cherry Tree

No name yet: This lighthouse is a new project (and I hope my DIL is not peeking). She knows it is started but does not know the subject matter, etc. The area below the 'floating" lighthouse will be rocks, grass and a cliff, so there is much piecing left to do. I also will be stitching lines for glass and railing etc. at the top of the lighthouse and putting at least one window in it. 

The sky is in strips using several "sky" fabrics, as is the water. I'm really happy with both so hope I can find just the right fabric for rocks and rugged-looking bottom part. The rocks are more like exposed layers of mountain and will come up over some of this water, especially near the lighthouse. They will extend to the bottom of the paper pattern it is pinned to. It is 48" x 72" and will go high on a living room wall stairway, very open to view from the loving room and the loft above it. 

Beginning of lighthouse quilt
Happy quilting...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

English Country Garden - Finished

Plugging away, a little bit here and there as I study to finish a Masters degree and use quilting as "recess" when my brain starts to hurt!

This one was started in 2008 just to use some floral charm squares that someone gave me. It is not quite 40" square and will likely find a home on someone's knees in a nearby senior's care facility. 

I'm also quilting the cherry tree (on the right) with lots of quilting, so it is taking lots of time. I'm doing it on my Baby Lock because the quilting is more intricate than my skill level on the longarm. It will be good to have it completed as I've procrastinated long enough. I finished the top 2 1/2 years ago. Granddaughter Kali has so much patience with me!

Several other projects are in progress, but no time to take photos. I'm reading blogs though... :-) 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ocean Waves

This is a simple pattern to use up my over-stuffed stash of blues and greens. It is on the design wall in this photo, only has blocks stitched in the top row. Oh, there is not to be a hole in it... that block fell off and I didn't notice... :-) 

It will likely go to Quilts of Valour as it is about 80" square, a good size for a wounded soldier to curl up in. I've the top half-sewn and will post pictures after it is done.

We just returned from a lovely two weeks in South Carolina visiting our D and SIL. Didn't sew at all, or do much of anything. However, there is a great fabric store near Charlotte, NC. It is Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. Vast collection of blending fabrics and novelties. I had to be disciplined and only buy what was on my list.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Not getting much quilting in these days, but do have another finish. This one is off my usual path because of the colors and because I used a pattern. It is called "Antique'd" and is available at Prairie Quilt Mercantile. I shortened the name to simply "Sunrise." It is 66" x 77" and was simple to make.

I'm not a big fan of these colors, but it used them up from my stash and was fun to quilt (on HQ 16). I drew my own pantograph design and found a good way to print it using a software that does banners. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Peaches & Cream Sunrise

The name is based solely on the colors. It is a simple quilt with log cabin type blocks, 66" x 77" and about 2/3 quilted. 

I'm using a panto that I made up. So far I've learned that it is possible to do a design like this if I position the needle and the laser before beginning each block, and also for each 'sashing' design. I need to walk from the back of my HQ 16 to the front each time, but need the exercise!

Of course I cut too many strips. Since they are only 1.5" and too narrow for binding, I decided to just sew them together and make a table mat or maybe cut them into mug rugs. They are about 19-20" long.

What is bugging me is that the colors do not photograph very well. Try double-clicking? 

Anyway, it is nice to have something to work on. I'm taking some online courses (unrelated to quilting) and really need an excuse to get off my aching sit-me-down and move around. I've no plans for this quilt. We have a world-class children's hospital in our city, so it might wind up there.

One more almost finish: The pattern created for "When God Became a Man" is almost sold out. I have one left! If anyone wants it, quickly go to my Etsy site and make your purchase. The link is on this page. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


These blocks are up on the wall in a random fashion as there are more to be made (42 total). They are simple quarter square triangles with sashing done in a Courthouse Step style. At this point, I've called it Random, likely a "working" title until the top is finished.

A friend gave me the pattern, designed and produced by another friend who is her daughter, at Prairie Quilts Mercantile. In the original, antique fabrics are used, so it is called Antique'd. However, I had a bunch of pale and medium florals in soft colors and figured they would look great in this simple pattern. Click on the link to see how changing the fabric selection gives it a different look (and note that this photo is really not like the quilt - ignore the yellowy cast which is not there - my flash was turned off and it is a dreary winter day with low light everywhere)

Also notice in the picture that the blocks on the lower right have no sashing. While this is okay, they are not nearly so interesting put together that way as those finished with random sashing strips. Good design work, Sharon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 First Finish

Kali's Kimono Quilt is finally done. It only took three years (and I still have to sew on the label). I was so scared of quilting it, that I procrastinated a long time. That longarm is a still intimidating, but now that this one is finished, I feel more confident about finishing other UFOs. My quilting is not perfect, but passes the 10 foot test. LOL!

Here it is on my guest room bed for a photo. It is a queen-size, but big enough to go well down on the sides. I'd like to get a full view of it on a wall, but so far haven't figured out an easy way to do that.

I quilted it with Glide... an amazing thread that does not shed or break. I'm buying lots of colors because they have lots of colors! A 1000 m cone is $5 and after all the quilting on this one, the spool looks barely used. Gorgeous stuff!

By the way, if anyone wants the pattern for the nativity quilt, I have 8 left (out of 24) and will not be producing any after they are gone. See previous post for details. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pattern for Sale

Just to let you know, the pattern for this quilt is finally available. I got copyright permission to create it from an old Christmas card, even though I changed the background (minarets were not used at the time Jesus was born). The copyright holder gave me permission to only sell a few patterns. If anyone wants one, they are offered on my Etsy site where you can pay by PayPal, credit card, etc. The pattern is for the smaller size (about 32" square) with directions and permission to enlarge it for the larger one in three panels. It is about 80" wide and a bit longer. The method is fused raw-edge batiks on the black sandwich, then quilted with invisible thread.

I made 24 of them and have already sold 11. Sales are first-come, first serve. The Etsy sight tells how many remain. I will not print any more patterns after they are all sold.

Progress Report: Kali's quilt is quilted and ready for the binding and putting on the crests. Not perfect, but I'm happy!

UPDATE: April 13, 2016. I've managed to secure worldwide, exclusive copyright to use this design in a quilt pattern... so it is for sale again. Please check my Etsy Page for details!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kali's Kimono Quilt and two new projects

Tempting to say 'Kali's Kimono Kwilt' but that is just too cutesy for the writer in me. 

And no, it is not done yet. Christmas and my husband home for nearly two weeks? I was kidding myself. It is about 2/3 done though, and so far, I'm happy. Learned a bunch on the fly too, like how to make nearly invisible joins where I had to stop stitching, cut thread, then start again. Also, it is staying nice and flat/straight, which was a big uncertainty.

I've also learned that with a bit of work, I can do my own pantos. I've lots of inspiration and books, but also the resources needed to scan, re- size and print multiples. This is for my own use and the designs I'm using don't offer pantos.

I've also cut out and began two more tops. One is from a lovely pattern by my friend Sharon at Prairie Quilt Mercantile. Look for the one called "Antique'd"and imagine it in pastels!

The other is from that quilting block-pattern-a day calendar by Accord. My son gave it to me for Christmas. I changed the colors drastically for the first one (January 1-3) and am excited to show it to you. 

No time for photos (as in, when will I ever have time to sew?) but soon...