Sunday, November 14, 2021



Wanda is making a Kaffe Fassett quilt called Gridlock and I decided to do the same. We are still using a large queen on our king bed so it is about time!

I picked a pile of fabric from my stash in soft blues, golds, purples etc. that blended well but with a good range of values. I wanted soft rather than contrast, muted rather than bright. Blocks finish at 12" so for a king, I need 90 or so, without borders. 

My hubby really likes this. 

So far, these are the ten that are on the wall. The photo shows more contrast than actual, but I took it at night with LED lighting. I'll try the next one in the daytime. These show the darkest fabrics I have and the lightest. Hopefully the range will be a pleasing array!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Leaves and Friends

Our city's quilt guild has an outreach committee that makes charity quilts from donations. The chairperson gave me a few blocks, a few pieces of white fabric, a couple of copies of a pattern, and some backing with, "Here, fix this." I did not have fabric that would work with the colored parts of those blocks, but did have white that would help build them into something. After lots of trial and error, this is the result. It is about 58" square, a little less.

With several people making the blocks, they were not all the same size. A few were too small, or crooked, or sewn with dark thread, etc. so it was a challenge. I ignored the pattern and played with the pieces, adding bits here and there and taking apart parts of some blocks that were wonky. Lots of chopped off points, but it turned out better than expected. I need to put 2" borders on the sides, then quilt it... another challenge. Likely outline the birds and flowers, etc. and put leaves in the white spaces. I'm glad this one is nearly finished.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Scrap Improv

I've two more quilts for refugees finished and given to them. Story another time, but what a joy to bless people whose stories are mind-bending, even life-changing. They have been through so much, and for years. And I complain if someone cuts me off in traffic.

One quilt that I made a few weeks ago had some tiny pieced rectangles left over. (See that quilt here) As I played with them, this is what came out after adding a couple of fat quarters. It is about 24" wide, not large but fun to make after doing several queen-size monsters. As you can see, there may not be enough to do the borders that I'd like, but it will get finished this week and quilted.

I also put together some tree of life blocks that came to my local guild as a donation. There were ten of them and I was asked to make something of them. I didn't have any fabric that would work to make more trees, and didn't want to anyway. One of the ten had cut off corners, so I set it aside, grabbed some wild backing (also a donation) and this is the result. There is 1" sashing between the blocks and 2" border around the nine of them. I cut two large squares from the backing and then cut them in half diagonally. There is enough of that fabric left to do the backing. Also, the binding, which is cut, pressed and ready to use. This is 74" square, a nice size.

The question now is: How do I quilt this? Any suggestions are welcome. Right now, I have no clue. So I'll work on the little one until the answer arrives in the comment section or wherever!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Two Finishes, lots happening

Finally. My TO-DO program keeps reminding me to post, but I tend to procrastinate progress reports in favor of finishes. Sigh.

Anyway, this is a queen-size, long because the man is tall, and these colors because his wife wanted a bit of pink in it, with grey and white solid. They read solid anyway.

The other one is a quilt for a 4 year-old boy who has an abundance of energy, likes bright colors, and enjoys the alphabet. It is 38" x 56" and was fun to do. 

This is a refugee family who fled their home because of death threats. The boy was born after that an has spent all of his little life in one room. Now they are free and he is learning about the big world outside of that room, and his parents are learning new parenting skills!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Busy sewing and a nice surprise

The calendar says I've not posted for nearly a month. Yikes. Busy is the reason. Two more refugee quilts on the go, no photos yet.

The other project is a pattern. I posted it some time ago on Etsy, realizing it was a "little sister" to the bigger nativity scene. One person has it -- a gift to her as the 600th purchaser of the bigger one. Last week she sent me a photo and this note. I love what she did with it:

I finished the banner created using your pattern. I did change how the sky was done and am very happy with the result. This is a 3’ x 5’ banner that will be on one side of our pulpit. There will be a matching scene of the three wise men traveling for the other side. Thank you again for the free pattern. I will be making this again for myself.

Now I must get to work on the queen-size on the longarm and the child's quilt that is an idea and a panel so far!


Friday, September 3, 2021

No sleep, but it is finished

I stayed up late one night to finish the binding (hand-sewn) and put on the label. Regretted that later but it feels so good to have this one finished. 

The recipient wanted a black quilt. I couldn't do it. Too depressing? Maybe. I used a mottled black for most of the top and backing and stuck in a panel that I just love. If she hates the quilt, I will have no trouble keeping this one. The panel invites you into the scene. I lopped off the sides and put the pieces into flying geese that look like triangular windows up the sides. A bit of a challenge but was not as hard as I dreaded. Used a dark green to frame them and the panel and quilted it mostly with a panto called "Oh My Feathers" ... but went a little wild in the mountains. No quilting on the windows other than in the ditch. Pictures show the results.


The label is cool, a free to use pic found on the web!

Now on to the next ones... a couple and their little boy who loves the English alphabet but not creepy critters. It was a challenge to find fabric without the critters, but it is now on my cutting table. 

Hope everyone is staying safe and well. 





Wednesday, September 1, 2021

I'm still here...

Just so no one gives up on me, that black quilt is keeping me busy. It is quilted, the binding is nearly finished, and I keep getting ideas for more quilts. It will be ready for a new owner before the weekend. I don't have a new photo to show but will soon. 

Here is a repeat from a favorite that is only a queen, but it goes edge to edge on our king bed and is the first big quilt that I made many moons ago. The blocks are 6" and it represents a Scottish hillside. It is soft after lots of curling up in and a few trips through the wash, but as bright as it was back in the day even though I used inexpensive fabric before realizing there was such things as quilt stores and far better options.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

More Purple and a Panel

The previous post showed 6 improv blocks. Here they are with plain scraps the same size and more improv with the leftovers sewn into a 50" top, good for another charity give-away. The photo shows more contrast than the actual quilt top. Some colors do that. I've yet to cut batting and backing. There is enough leftover purple (no kidding) to do a major part of the backing. Don't know if the scraps will be all used, but it is the goal! 

This next one is a start. I was asked to make a black quilt. Couldn't do all black, and since she also wanted a nature theme, this panel seems perfect. It has a real dark green in it so cut off the sides and made dark green triangle windows for them to peek through. More green now all the way around it, but narrow. And the black pieces are sewn on, but no photo. Next time.

Need to keep going. Sometimes it is too easy to procrastinate on the important stuff and do fiddly projects.

Lots happening in our lives too. Some days I just want to sleep all afternoon!

Monday, August 9, 2021

Purple Purge continues. . .

The purple top is done. I had a couple yards of purple for the backing, not quite enough. So I hit the scraps again and made a piece about 20" wide and 76" long, totally improv and so relaxing to put together!  Then I cut the yardage in half lengthwise and stuck those scraps in the middle. Pictures below of the top on the right and the backing on the left, draped over my longarm machine. The long bits of backing on the lower left will be trimmed off to use in the binding, along with a few other scraps.

Of course, there were still scraps left over, so I made six blocks, 10.5" square and used up most of the odds and ends. This shows only two of them. But there are still more hunks of bigger purple pieces. (They multiply in the dark like rabbits...purple is not my favorite color) so the next step: I will cut them 10.5" square if the piece is big enough, or cut in sizes that will sew together to make blocks or rectangles so I can use the six squares with other shapes to make a lap quilt. If there are any purple bits leftover, they will be so little that they will get tossed in the bag of scraps I'm saving for people who who use them to stuff dog beds. This war on scraps has been fun!

ALSO, I have an item for sale. I would like to sell it locally because shipping would be too expensive for a buyer. It is a nearly new, sewing machine rolling cart with an inner case that nicely holds lots of fabric, batting, etc. for taking to classes or on a holiday. That extra case fits inside for storage. It is a deluxe model, barely used. Tons of zippers and compartments and huge! Only issue is I used felt marker to put my name on it. I'm open to offers. These are not on e-bay that I could find, but lesser models are $75 USD. Contact me or comment if you want this and live within a reasonable distance from the home of the new CFL team, the Elks. We can work something out regarding delivery. I will also be advertising this to our guild and maybe elsewhere, but not in a hurry. It has been stored for a long time, used only a few times.



Saturday, July 24, 2021

Playing around...

Heard about this from somewhere, ordered one and fun... It is called a Boogie Board, something like the old Etch a Sketch but bigger. Great for doodling ideas for quilting, and other fun things. Push the button and it's gone. Or take a photo to save it for future reference. About $20 on Amazon and there are many brands. Just don't pay any attention to the "get a second one free" coupon that may come with it. It is a scheme to collect/sell email addresses...

 Also, my apologies for laying trees on their side. Here is the upright view. For some reason, this quilt is much nicer in real time than the photo. Maybe it's because the quilting does not show up well in the photo but it really unifies the quilt.


Below is what I am working on right now. It is a purple purge project, starting with the inset squares on an angle with both inside and the outside done with scraps. I'm not really into purple so am surprised how many scraps I have that are big enough to do these. The center is 4.75" cut and the outer pieces are from 6.5" squares cut in half diagonally with one corner trimmed. I printed a paper template and wound up using it to cut Then without making a bunch more scraps! 😀 Then I decided it is not big enough, so delved into my stash and found more purple to make alternating light/dark squares around the whole thing. It will be about 56" x 64" and good for a Quilt of Valour. If I want it bigger, there will likely be enough leftovers to do a piano key border after that.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Photos of the two finishes...

Red Blocks and Trees. This one is a deeper red than the photo, but close. The pantograph is called Ebb and Flow and feels super nice, soft. For some reason, this one is not very photogenic. I think it looks much better in person! 😀

Something Old, New, and Blue. This is kind of a modern mix with the old fashioned look of Crazy Quilts in the blocks. The panto is called Saffron Blossoms, perfect for a lady from Asia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Legend of Zelda and two more finished!

 The blue and red quilts are finished, waiting for labels and photos. The Legend of Zelda quilt is also waiting for its label to be sewn on, but I do have some photos. Remember, I wanted to quilt this one first, then sew on the iconic design so I didn't have to quilt around it, and so the recipients could take it off if they ever decided this game wasn't what they wanted on a quilt. (That might never happen... the news this week tells of an unopened, first version of it for Nintendo, sold for about $800,000 to a collector. Yikes!) I've never played the game but it seems to be incredibly popular!

Anyway, this was a good decision but difficult. The icon pieces were made by sewing right sides together of gold and green fabric, cutting a slit in the green, and turning it right sides out. I pinned the pieces in place and sewed them on by hand. I'll never do that again. It was hard work, physically hard. The quilt is a king-size and I had to lay most of it on a coffee table so I could manage to get my hands where they needed to be. I used Glide thread, a big help as it is strong and does not twist or shred. About every seven stitches, I did a double or triple to make sure that it was secure. It took a loooooooooong time. The label is an extra triangle and I put the words on it using a transfer for t-shirts etc. that looks cool. Just have to sew it in place and we will deliver this to our grandson and family this weekend.

Now I have a black quilt to make and several charity quilts for our local guild. Need to get at it!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Blue being bound, Red getting quilted...

The blue quilt from my last post is in a pile on our living room coffee table. I'm doing the binding by hand on the back, during hockey games and watching mystery shows. It is fast, again using Glide, the most wonderful thread for this task. It does not twist, break, or annoy in any way!

The red queen-size is on my machine and I'm using a very simple panto called Ebb and Flow. It looks like ocean waves but I'm doing it vertically, so on this quilt, it goes with the brilliant tree panel in the center. She wanted red and a nature theme. I had a few red slab blocks so incorporated them. Many of the fabrics have floral designs or leaves or trees. It was fun to make. Since red is notorious for running, the whole quilt is mostly red with a red backing. Hopefully more pictures soon.

I have one more to make for this family of four. She asked for black, also a nature theme. I have a perfect panel and will put black (but not a solid) around it. So far, it is still in my head, but must come out soon! Making quilts with just a bit of 'guidelines' is fun for me.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Blue Quilt progress...

I offered to make quilts for refugee families thinking with Covid and the crazy amount of paperwork to get them here, I had lots of time. Not. One family is coming in July, a mom and three daughters. The yellow one is done. The blue on is on the longarm, pictured here. The red top is finished and next in line. The black one is still in my mind. I do have the fabric though. It seems best if they are all done before these gals arrive, but I'm not sure it will happen. I do have another life and do need to eat now and then! Sigh. 

Anyway, the blue one is twin-size, 12" blocks in a modern arrangement. I decided to use variegated thread and a simple panto to quilt it. This panto is called "Saffron Blossom" and just happened to work out to one motif per block, roughly. It gives the plain blocks a kick and pretty much disappears in the pieced blocks. I'm happy. Hope she likes it. Two of the women are in their early twenties and one is still a teen. It will be great to meet them!

Otherwise, I'm sewing icon pieces to the Legend of Zelda quilt while watching hockey and other stuff after supper. Funny, it was supposed to be a queen-size but wound up a king... and the young gal in the couple it will go to told me this week that she has been bugging her hubby (my grandson) for a king-size bed! So my 'mistake' might turn out for the best after all. 

Hubby is golfing this week. He has been working hard and long (from home) for the past few weeks and deserves some fun time. He 'retired' three years ago and never slowed down. He loves his work too much to say no to all the phone calls for help!

Hope everyone is enjoying sunshine and flowers!

Friday, June 4, 2021

So far so good

This Legend of Zelda icon is coming. The idea of sewing layers and turning them right-side out worked, even with the points. I'm now sewing around the edges for stability. Also made a small sample to see how they will quilt before I put them on the quilt. The first picture has them loosely atop the quilt. The next one shows three sets of triforce triangles tacked to the design wall. The last one is my sample. I'm using Sulky Metallic on the top and Glide in the bobbin. Needed to loosen the top tension just a bit and it is sewing like a dream.

I've designed motifs for each piece. There are a few online and the game company page even has some decorative lines on it, but they are not very interesting. Depending on where you look, there are all kinds of symbolic meanings given to this game. Apparently it started out as a Christian spiritual warfare theme, but appears to have been sold and that theme is not as obvious now. It is still good vs. evil and this triforce is about wisdom, power, and courage... the players need all three in the right proportions to win it. I'm not for depicting evil critters, demonic stuff, etc. and had to do some research before agreeing to make this quilt.

It was hot here today, nice (we wait all winter for days like this) but also nice to be in my studio, lower level where the air conditioned cool air comes down to keep me from having a nap in the afternoon!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Marsh Marigolds and a very messy studio...

Yesterday we went for a picnic (if Subway sandwiches count as picnic fare) and found a park in a nearby town that is huge, basically untouched except for the pathways, and surprise, surprise -- it was full of Marsh Marigolds. I've not seen these for years and felt like a kid in a candy store. They were like dappled sunshine on the forest floor.

As for quilts, the blue refugee top is done, thread and backing ready, just need to prep the batting. I got sidetracked by an idea for a row of carousel horses, went shopping for stuff to decorate them with, and have one drafted and a second one in the works. Why do I do this to myself? OVERLOADED!

Oh, the icon/logo thing for the big green quilt is coming. I have made all the pieces, turned all but the 12 triangles, and need to press and start stitching. The idea from my last post works wonderfully. Thank You, Lord. 

Photos when...

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Question answered!

Last post's question: I found a YouTube answer. It showed how to do a 'fake trapunto' by sewing two layers, right sides together, trimming the seam allowance, then slitting one of them to turn the piece right sides out. She used the slit to put in some stuffing and then sewed the piece on the quilt top.

For me, I can eliminate the stuffing and sew a piece of flannel with the two pieces of fabric so that the flannel is on the inside when I turn it. Then I can sew around the edges, do some fancy quilting on each piece, and then hand or machine sew it on the quilt top. I'll do it, and send pictures. 

The binding is done. I usually do 2.25" but this time used 2/5" and wound up with more on the backside than normal. It is tidy and looks okay though. Also, I used Glide thread since my longarm bobbin was half full and didn't want to leave it that way. I will never go back! Glide does not fray, twist, tangle and sewing it with a fine needle made it almost invisible. Fast is the operative word. This binding was finished in half the time I'd predicted. Glide comes in every color imaginable and is not expensive. A cone will do several quilts plus the bindings. Love this thread!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Legend of Zelda Quilt

 I use a free app called Microsoft To Do to remind my scattered mind about regular tasks and things on my "some day" list. One of those is a "Read / Watch" note that includes videos and so on from The Quilt Show and other resources. 

Today, I watched an interview by Lisa Walton with Katie Pasquini Masopust. The YouTube link is here. I found it so fascinating. I've seen her quilts but never realized that she first paints her ideas, then takes them apart and sews the painting together to make a template for the quilt. It left me in awe and delighted. 

I'm working on a blue quilt, and putting the binding on the green quilt in my last post as well as trying to figure out how to put the logo on it. It is for a grandson who, with wife and little boy, play a game called the Legend of Zelda. The icon is interesting. Here is one example of how artistic the quilting could look. The three triangles represent power, wisdom and courage. All sorts of ideas for quilting it. I'm going to use my wild imagination.

PROBLEM: I want to make it separately and applique it onto the quilted background ... just in case they ever change their minds and want to remove it. However, I'm not sure how to do it. The thing is in several parts. I have gold fabric that looks a bit like metal. I will turn the edges under, but also want to quilt it before sewing to the green quilt. I will use two layers of flannel to keep it thin and flexible yet give it some body. I'd like to use the longarm but am not sure how to put the design on the fabric. Do I cut it out and baste it to the background, then quilt it on the longarm. Or do I draw it on the fabric and put the whole thing on the backings and quilt it in one big piece then cut it out? If anyone can suggest the best solution, please pop in with your ideas!! This is a new technique for me and I don't have enough fabric to experiment.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Whew! Quilting is done . . .

This quilt on the longarm is 105" x 118" or so, and the quilting is finally done. I used a pantograph from Urbanelementz called "Leafarama" which is only 9" wide so it took forever, but it is easy and perfect for the theme of this humungous quilt.

It is not finished yet. I will bind it (cut and ready to sew on) and then there is a large logo to go in the middle of it. I'm going to make and quilt it, then add... just in case the new owners change their preference and want to remove it later. 

Getting this one on the machine and quilted brought out my procrastination skills. Working on a large one is physically challenging. By the time it was off the machine and the edges trimmed, I could hardly lift it. That was yesterday. Then I picked it up this morning (after eight hours sleep) and could not believe how light it was!

I used a bamboo/silk batting in it, thin and incredibly soft. The drawing for the logo is ready, but I'm not sure I am...!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Donation Quilt "Brown Angles and Squares"

This is the finished quilt from last post. It isn't very big but would go nicely on the lap of a person who gets around in a wheel chair. It is simply quilted and rather striking. The blocks were made by another EDQG member from a 2014 class by Heather Stewart in Ontario who has since retired from teaching. Her pattern is called "Angles and Squares."

I enjoyed finishing this and hope our guild can find a good home for it!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Finishing up a donation

The quilt guild in our city has a 'community' division where members can donate quilts to various organizations that help out people in need. We are not able to get together and sew because of the Covid regulations, but we do have contact through ZOOM etc. 

Last time I was at a 'Community Services'  meeting (seems ages), I took home a bunch of little blocks someone donated. She didn't want to finish them, even included the pattern. A few were sewn into bigger blocks, but most were about 4" square. It didn't take long to put them together as the quilt is not large, about 33" x 56" with the border (I supplied the fabric for it, and the backing and batting) 

First, I have to say doing this is risky. Not everyone matches points or has the same 1/4" seam allowances. I've never met the lady who donated these blocks, but hats off to her... what a delight to put these together without hardly any issues. They fit!

Now it is on my longarm. I'll post a picture of the finish. I'm quilting around the light areas and haven't yet figured out what to do with the darks. Any suggestions would be helpful!  😀


Friday, April 9, 2021

A Re-Do

Despite the hours spent in making a new nativity quilt sample and pattern, I was not happy with the outcome. My fabric choices were too busy and the tones were not working well together. A little voice kept telling me to make another one and do a better job. So I asked a bigger voice and my hubby told me to make another one and do a better job (love that guy).

Actually, it was a bonus because I tried something new for me... using fusible that can be put through the printer and it worked so well that I am re-doing all the pattern instructions to include that option for those who want to avoid tedious tracing. 

Here is the outcome. The color is a bit off, but I will use a better camera for the final 'portrait' for Etsy. It is small but can be made any size and with a vast assortment of fabrics, such as using an ombre for the whole sky instead of smaller pieces. Of course the background fabric can be light, dark, or whatever works with the fabrics chosen. The pattern will include coloring sheets and a few ideas to make it unique to whoever makes it!

Now to get the pattern ready and put it on my Etsy page. I've lots on my plate right now and am hoping to get this task finished soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Yellow DONE!

This yellow improv is finished. I still have a few yellow scraps left even though the entire quilt, border and binding (but not the backing) was made from a tiny scrap bin. Amazing. 

This is the quilting on it (see previous two posts for more pictures). I used a panto with butterflies and it went perfectly with the gal who will be receiving this. The binding was hand-done, mostly because I sit with hubby to watch hockey games and hand-sewing keeps me from wanting to be doing something more productive. 

The photo was taken in low daylight and is not very yellow. Here is an earlier one of the bits and pieces that were slapped on my design wall weeks ago. It shows the color better -- except the blue. The one above gets it almost perfectly. I should take a photography course and find out what makes cameras and colors so unpredictable!!

I've also nearly finished a top in all reds. It worried me, but I am excited at the way it turned out so far. The borders go on next and I will post a photo.

Also, not happy with the second nativity quilt so am making another sample. It will go on my Etsy page. Theory: If I don't like it, my customers probably won't either. Photos coming soon. In the meantime, happy quilting...

And a joyous EASTER! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Found wide backing...

 After searching dozens on online stores and finding nothing or "Sold Out" on the wide backings that appealed to me for my yellow scrap quilt (previous post) I went to a local fabric discount store and found wide backing, well, 108" for one and 60" for another, and also a piece of batik that I would have used but enough piecing already!

Here are the three. The top one is already on my longarm hence the funny shadow. I had to turn my camera upsidedown and hold it underneath to get the photo. The yellow works with the top and the oranges work with accents in the top. The gal who is getting this wanted "nature" in it, so flowers and butterflies seem a good choice. Yeah!

The second one was too funky to pass up. It is 108" wide and there was 4 meters left on the bolt so I bought it all. It will work on several things in my think tank. The background is white, don't know why it looks pink in this photo.

The last one is only normal width.  I just love it and wanted to show it to you. I've no plans, but my yellow and orange yellow stash is still here (the yellow quilt used scraps only) so it may wind up in another project... cheerful after a long winter! Please excuse the shadow of my arm across the middle! Never noticed it until it was uploaded here.

There is one store in our province that specializes in wide backings (no yellows/florals though) and one store in North Carolina that sells backings only called Backside Fabrics, but they didn't have one that worked for this quilt either. I did buy one for another quilt but with postage and customs (fabric was over $30 so Canadian customs hit me this time), it was very expensive.  The quilt is for our much-loved grandson and his wife, so don't mind spending the money.

Friday, March 12, 2021

My first totally improv quilt

This top is finished. It will go on the longarm in a day or two. I just love this one. The entire quilt is made from scraps that were in my scrap bins, finding a few other colors to spice it up. I love the shots of blue (not as dark as the photo, more of a teal) and the bits of orange and green. I pulled out a few yellow fat quarters but didn't use any of them. Even the binding is already cut from scraps and will be mostly the darker pieces in the quilt. The backing will likely be one that I bought on sale, but I may go find something more 'golden' to have the same warmth as the front. I'll use a panto with swirls and hearts to finish it off. This will go to a young woman who asked for a yellow quilt.

It is starting to feel like spring. Our parking area for visitors is ice with water on top and the birds are flitting around the yard. The air smells fresh, like it just rained. And I am finally rid of that 'covid' haircut (or lack thereof) and feel like a new person!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Still at it...

 I'm still not finished the yellow improv scrap quilt . . . but getting there. 

Just have a new pic of those wonderful orchids that our son gave me. Now there are 18 blooms on it and all are perfect. Such a delight to watch them come out! 

We are getting warmer weather, much welcome after a week or so of -40 with wind. The melting makes walking from our door out of the complex quite dangerous though. I'd like to go but need cleats!