Tuesday, December 31, 2019

This border took forever...

Foundation paper piecing is a favored technique -- repetition is not. Thirty-six of these blocks nearly made me decide to quit this project and go fishing (or shopping). Anyway, they are done, on the center, and waiting for an idea of what to do with the rest of it. I don't want to make the full quilt as the rest of the borders are more of the same... bitty pieces that take forever. I'm thinking something plain and calling it a lap quilt. Colors are a bit off in this photo but you get the idea. That last border has 916 pieces in it. The geese are about 1 1/8" across the widest part.

It's been a rough week. We had a lovely Christmas Day then late in the evening received the news that my sister fell about 3 pm and broke her hip. She was taken to hospital and had surgery the next day. She has other problems - forgets words and slowly become unable to communicate. She is aware, just can't remember how to talk or do some other things. She is 3 plus hours from us. We planned to go down, but hubby picked up a nasty cold virus right after Christmas and he sounds awful. Doc said his lungs are okay. We were supposed to travel soon, but he is thinking we should cancel. The last time he got sick nearly did him in as he has a compromised immune system and this cold could lead to something worse. Lots of chicken soup and naps happening here!

If I don't get back on for a day or two, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

An easy finish • Jungle Stuffies

Here is another charity quilt. I've a pile of panels suitable for children that will go to a charity called Basically Babies. They make layettes that will cover one year, including duds, quilts and blankets and even match colors etc. These go to families in need. This one was fun. I added borders to the panel and had fun with the quilting. It was a Panto called Gingersnap, but I added eyes and ears to the concentric circles and made them look like stuffy faces.

I'm also working on a guild challenge quilt. The first person gets a photo of a landscape and must make a 18" x 24" quilt inspired by the photo. They send a picture of their quilt (not the original photo) and an artist's statement to quilter number two. 

That person makes an 18" x 24" quilt inspired by the photo and statement from quilter #one. They email a photo of their quilt and statement to #three. And on it goes. There are 10 in each group and the resulting 40 quilts will be on display at Quilt Canada next year. This is exciting, sort of like that telephone game aka known as the gossip game. By the end, the last quilt will be a huge departure from the original photo. I'll post a picture when the rules allow it!

Also working on Halo Medallion. All those arcs are finished so need to put them in their blocks and sew them on... then decide what to do next.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Nosebleed is no more. See comment on last post. Now I'm feeling good and not afraid of it going at it again. Thanks for your care and prayers!

This is a finish, a charity quilt. I went to a guild sewing day and was handed a pile of fabric again to "take it home and make something." Santa squares, other squares with birds and bird fabric, and some red plaid flannel. Apparently these were donated to the guild some time ago and no one wanted to tackle them. I'm naive. I took the pile and this is the result. I bought the red ribbon otherwise the birds just took over. They are still a bit much, kind of like the swirling flocks in that Alfred Hitchcock movie, but Santa is happy and someone will like this quilt.

I'm nearly finished the skinny tree so a picture soon. Also working on that Halo Medallion. All the paper-pieced arcs are a tedious chore, but nearly done. More soon on that one too.

Hopefully, the year will end well. I'm not a Santa person, but am looking forward to celebrating Christmas and baking cookies!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Major setback


Yes, I'm quilting... but slowly and not very often. Major setback this past week with gushing nosebleed that would not stop. Trip to ER, taken in immediately, could not slow it down never mind stop it. Had to have it packed. Painful beyond description plus instant sinus headache. Pain killers did not work. Friday the packing was taken out, but that didn't feel good either. My head is still full of blood clots and mucus. Couldn't breathe through left side until yesterday. Sleeping good, 13 hours on Friday night. This has been NO FUN AT ALL, but I did sew a bit yesterday and today. Three quilts on the go. Progress report later. Great doctors, and God had a reason for the long wait in ER the second time. If interested, the spiritual purpose of all this is on my other blog. It really blesses me to know that the Lord uses even this for good!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Which Way to Dinner?

This finish is about 32" x 40" and made of the leftovers from one that I cut out and made the blocks before deciding to change it (link). It was a great size to practice quilting on, both ruler and free-motion. To my eye, the quilting was clumsy but after it is finished, it looks okay.

Then off to a guild sew day on Saturday and was given 13 blocks and a bunch of fabric to 'make the top.' This is another charity project. Of course the blocks are not all the same size and none of them have points in the right place on the outside edges, but it is starting to look better than I feared. The setting squares will be yellow not dark like the two in the photo. I'll add a white border and make binding out of the leftover print so it will be varied around the outside and nicely frame it.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I've been busy. . .

I cannot believe the last post was more than a month ago. But I have been busy. I'm working on a charity quilt and one for my living room wall. 

The charity quilt is small so will likely wind up in one of those silent auctions where people either go big and buy a week in the Bahamas, or want something small for a gift. 

The living room is getting an original. We bought new furniture including a long, low TV stand. Not wanting to put it on the wall meant it dropped below the electrical outlet and cable receptacle on the wall that had been hidden. Rumor has it we are getting a bigger TV but in the meantime, I wanted to hide those two little white boxes. So I designed a long skinny tree with dark background and bare branches. I sewed the background together on my machine but the tree is applique. Several more football games and it will be done. No photo except a "before" one... that I cannot find. Sigh.

This past week I made a list of all the kits, patterns, planned projects, etc. and the number was large. So I used one of those 'compare and prioritize' charts. It resulted in a list of what I'd like to get done and in what order. For some reason, this makes me feel better even though it is a bit overwhelming. Too much fabric, too many ideas, no personal assistant! Here is a photo of the one that made 'first to finish' at the top of the list. 

Below is the finished version from the pattern, but because it is a medallion, I can stop when I want to, or when I run out of fabric. My version is paler and prettier than it looks in the above picture. I'm not sure I want to do all those HST, pinwheels, and flying geese, but will finish the FPP arcs.  They are easy and very pretty.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Getting there...

This charity quilt top is finished. I had several 2.5" x 8" pieces left and decided to join them for the binding. A bit of extra stitching and pressing, but I like it. The picture shows the binding pinned around it. I measured and when I did this, it was about 4' short. So much for my math skills. 

After taking the photo I thought another border done this way would look cool, but shook my head. It is already about 74" x 80" and supposed to be a large cuddle quilt, so it is big enough and my body is protesting the piecing marathon of the last few days. I'll gather batting and cut the backing tomorrow. 

My thought is white for the quilting and I'll use a panto. But white? Boring. If i had time, I'd go look for a variegated with white and those colors. Why do I keep thinking of more work to do!! LOL.

We just came home from two weeks on Vancouver Island. I was afraid I'd be bored, wanting to quilt, etc. but it was a wonderfully relaxing time. Took lots of pictures (more inspiration) and visited friends. Nice to be home yet didn't realize how badly I needed a holiday. We stayed in a lovely suite in a two-story walkout with full kitchen, etc. but I didn't cook once! 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Charity Quilt

Wow, how can the weeks fly by? I am quilting. This is on my design wall. Not sure if it will be bigger as there is more fabric, but I'm thinking it should have a white border then a colored one with rectangles and squares. It is a guild quilt. Fabric was donated and I was supposed to finish it a long time ago, but was granted a pass!

I've not fiddle with block placement yet and can see from this photo that I need to move a few of them. It needs vertical sashing and a white border, then maybe more color, another white, and binding. Not decided yet. No name either, but that will come. It is about 64" x 74" so far.

We are having an up/down summer. It was 31C here last Tuesday and 11C the next morning. Rain, sun, wind, no wind -- it's keeping everyone guessing. However, no forest fires filling the air with smoke like last summer.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Finished and Delivered, and a nice surprise!

We went to South Carolina for just over two weeks in June and are now home. Our daughter loved the king quilt and said her hubby "is over the moon" with it! That is about the best compliment ever! I took it down in a very stuffed carry-on and filled it with new duds on the trip home.

While there, we visited Forest City just north of Spartenburg, and found a most lovely shop called Schoolhouse Quilts located in the owner's home. She had a storefront for years, but this might even be better. If you live or ever are close, be sure and visit her. My hubby always checks out the shops we find, and he said this was the best one he'd been in!

I briefly mentioned to this lady, Brenda Arrowood, that I had a pattern on Etsy. She didn't say anything and I didn't elaborate. A couple days later I got an email from her asking if I would sell wholesale. We made a deal and she ordered a few. I mailed them after we arrived back home and she just emailed to tell me they arrived and are displayed. The store will be part of Carolina Shop Hop, so again, be sure to drop in. The Shop Hop has a theme of Christmas, one reason why she wanted my nativity pattern. Cool! Here is a pic of the quilt just in case anyone hasn't seen it...

I am working on a 'made from old shirts' top. Have it on the longarm and enjoying the task of quilting the middle more densely than the outer borders because they are too short and the middle bulges. I cannot believe how easily it is going flat. Who'd have thunk it!! Photo later.

Also pleased to be feeling wonderful again. It took six months for my body to decide running on a computer and batteries is a good idea. Now I'm still needing nine hours sleep, and my feet swell a bit at night or when it is hot outside, but nothing compared to the awful year of 2018. I'm so thankful for modern medicine and for the God who keeps His Word — Psalm 73:26. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

By this time soon ...

By this time soon this quilt will be in the hands and on the bed where it belongs. My daughter wanted subway tiles in taupe gradually going from dark to light. This was not as easy as I thought to get the color graduation, but the piecing was simple. Manipulating that much fabric was another story. 

The quilt is 112" wide so it will hang over the bed, and 100" tall. The panto is called "Dazzle" and makes dense quilting, just what she wanted. I had people praying for me to persevere and get it done by yesterday... which I did. Thank You Lord!!

The name: "You are Covered" (Psalm 85:2). 

It looks so good on my bed that I'm thinking of making another king-size - indicating that I've truly lost my mind!


Friday, May 31, 2019

So slow...

Just realized that deleting my weekly reminder to post here does not do the job unless I also do the rest... and the weeks fly by besides. Yikes, it is over a month... 😦

Anyway, I've been busy. We have had several unexpected events in our lives, a couple of health issues, and lots on our plates. Even with all that, my daughter's king-size is nearly quilted. Here is a peek, at least until I give it to her. Deadline looming... This shows one pass of the panto I'm using. It is called "Dazzle" and is small, but what her hubby needs (weight but not thickness) to sleep well. The quilt is in multiple shades of taupe, most of which which were hard to find!

And here is a current charity quilt. The panel is nice, added some pink mini squares and a border. I may add another one. It goes on the longarm as soon as the king is finished.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Odds and Ends

I'm working on my daughter's king-size and don't want to post it yet... also working on a charity baby quilt from a panel. I'll post it when the elaborate border is done. Don't have room on my design wall for it yet so picture taking is a bit more challenging.

A woman in our guild says that she takes every bit of her leftovers from a project and makes blocks out of it, usually 4 inch 4-patches. Wish I'd heard that years ago! I make a twin quilt and had just small pieces left over and made these 6" blocks. I love them and will use them in something -- as long as I don't give in to the temptation and turn them into mug rugs. With sashing, they could be a small mat??

Here us another idea for a larger scrap. It is a small gift or jewelry bag. I left my hand in so you can see the size, about 5" x 7" and quick to make. The drawstring dresses it up.

 If anyone has more ideas for leftovers besides the usual scrappy quilt, I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

One Block Wonder

I made one, but now have to do this again. The blocks are like a kaleidoscope -- impossible to put down because of the surprises. 

Also, I joined a Facebook Group called OBW and they are putting the most colorful and surprising quilts online. Some are made with prints using repeats and some are made with panels. The idea is to buy 7 and incorporated the hexies around one panel. 

Here is one example. The photo isn't the greatest but I love the way the quilter blended the blocks and framed the little angel in the panel. BTW, if you want to join that group, they ask that when you post your project, post a photo of the original fabric... so take a picture before cutting it up.

Here is a photo of the panels I have sitting in the wings to make a OBW. I'm itching to get started but still working on a king-size... Since this panel is 36" wide, it should make a rather large quilt too, once I get the hexies cut and arranged around it, etc. It was on sale at the Hancock's-Paducah online store. There are several that sell panels and some of them are really lovely.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Another one finished...

This is a surprise for a dear friend who turned 90 a few weeks ago. It is not a birthday gift though... the title says it all: "For the Joy that You Bring..." (see Philippians 1:3-5)

I was inspired by a pack of florals in my stash and a table runner pattern from the book "Skinny Quilts and Table Runners." I'd made one in pink florals for a charity auction and it was one of the first items to sell. This one uses the same blocks only more of them. It is 60" x 89" (she is a little lady) and quilted with a panto called "Breath of the Gods."

I had to photo it draped over my long arm because I'm working on my daughter's king-size and it takes up my only design wall. 

This king It is a simple design and should finish quickly. I'm still sleepy all the time, but it is a false feeling. If I get moving, it passes. Doc's assistant calls it "the new normal" 😏

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Is finished really better?

The Dear Jane folks say 'finished is better than perfect' yet sometimes I want to do a better job, or at least a little faster. This was difficult to finish. I started it ions ago, then had heart trouble (A-Fib), cataracts fixed, a couple of problems with one eye, and all sorts of trouble with ambition last year. When my doctors decided a pacemaker would fix the irregular heart, that took the stuffing out of me for a few months. So has adjusting to what my pacemaker nurse calls the "new normal" and being sleepy all the time. (I'm likely going to have them turn it up a bit, pulse is set at 60 so when I wake up I don't feel like getting up - which will make it work harder.)

However, all whining aside, this one is done and ready for its new home -- which is going to be built by early fall... so I didn't need to rush after all. 😊 It was hard to see - small stitches for the applique, and putting a black facing on black backing with black thread. If you have never tried that, I don't recommend it! And I made three mistakes doing the label of all things, but it is finished. About 25" square and for my daughter. Shhh, don't tell her. She asked me to make it, but by now she may have forgotten! It will match the runner I made for her awhile ago. 


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Testing testing

My daughter asked for a king-size but simple quilt, just subway tiles in shades of taupe. She gave me a cushion cover in the color she likes, so I used it to pick the fabrics. Then I took a few of them and made two cushion covers, one in simple quilting that is like bricks and the other using a panto that she liked.

She picked the panto. Now to get all those bricks cut out. They will finish at 3" x 9" so that is a lot of cutting. With my neck and shoulders acting up, I can only do a few at a time. 

Hubby enlarged my design wall, so that is a blessing!

I'd like to find a couple more darker taupes though. Not an easy task. 

Some of what I bought has a bit of texture in it. At first she wanted all solids but that was not possible. Once she saw these samples, she was happy (even though I worried that one of the colors was too brown). Commissions are not always easy, even if they are simple patterns!!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Fun with Ricky Tims

No quilting for a few days, partly because of a seized up neck/shoulder muscle, but mostly because I had the privilege of attending a two-day quilting symposium with Ricky Tims

I cannot say enough. It was amazing. He is considered one of the thirty best quilters in the world. Not only is this man a good teacher, he is also entertaining, humble, plays piano with such sparkle that you don't know whether to cry or get up and dance, teaches photography, and can tell stories with a delightful flare. 

I had a fabulous time. I've made his designs (except the cave man style) and marvel at how he makes elaborate simple. These two days were loaded with new ideas and tips, plus a huge amount of encouragement -- well worth the time and fee. If you have never gone to one and get the opportunity, go. You will not be disappointed. My hubby, a non-quilter, went to the session last night and is still raving!

Hopefully, I can soon post a finish. In the meantime, I've a heating pad on my neck and looking forward to another date with my message therapist!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Applique done on this one during hockey, curling, etc. on TV while it is too cold outside to do much else. Yes, if you look closely there is a pin in this. It marks a spot that needs a bit of TLC. Otherwise, I need to press it, quilt it, put on a backing and a label.

This one has 150 blocks that will be 6" finished. It will be about a twin and is for a lady who will be 90 years old next Tuesday. She is sharp, spry and classy. I keep telling her she needs to share where she gets her amazing wardrobe. Anyway, she doesn't know I'm making this but when she told me she wished she had a quilt for her bed, the Lord whispered "Do it" in my ear.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Projects. . .

Whew, January flew by. I've started a king-size for our daughter. This time it is a simple design, not like our son's beach scene. She wanted subway tiles in graduated shades of taupe. She wasn't sure about the quilting so I made two cushion covers, one with plain lines and the other with the panto called Dazzle. I'll post photos next time. Right now, I'm cutting out bricks (430 or so) that are 9.5" x 3.5" and have already dulled one rotary cutter blade, never mind what this is doing to my muscles (or lack thereof)! 

It isn't the most fascinating design, but she also asked for another Celtic applique to go with this one... A relaxing easy stitch.

I also started a twin-size for a friend. It will be like this only bigger and in peach, yellow, green instead of pink. The fabrics are similar but different colors. This pink one is a table runner that I whipped up for a charity auction. To my surprise, it was fought over.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Changed my mind...

When a friend suggested blue sashing for these red slabs, I cringed. I've never like red/blue combinations unless it was jeans and a cowboy shirt. In this case, the reds are fairly bright and the blues are loud, loud. However, I didn't have anything else in my stash so gave it a shot. When the top was done, I was not overly impressed, so decided to add a piano key border, partly because that would make it big enough for a Quilt of Valour. I had just enough scraps left to do it. Here is the result...

Now I changed my mind about red and blue, not because of the particular values, hues, etc. but because of the balance. The top had too much blue yelling at me, but adding those keys toned down the blue and gave red the prominence. Balance is another thing to think of when making a quilt. 

This photo is the top. I've cut strips for the binding, blue and a bit of red. The backing is a wild pieced thing with almost all my red scraps from that scrap bin plus some blue/red plaids. 

The bin has a few little pieces left and one that is about 8" x 10" so I am happy with that. Of course, my stash still has reds, but bigger pieces, not scraps.