A Few Finished Projects

By | May 24, 2020

I’ve been working on some smaller projects this last week. Here is a small mat made from a mini charm pack. I have no idea what the fabric line is but I’m very happy I had some coordinating material in my stash to bind it. It’s now on my nightstand replacing a very ugly mat that I quilted years ago.  I love the zigzag quilting I did on it.

Here are two drawstring bags I made for my husband. He wasn’t fussy about material I used so I used a print that had been languishing in my stash for too long. I used a over lock stitch on the inside seams and didn’t line them like I usually would but I think they will serve his purposes.

I’ve had the Take 4 place mat pattern for a while and finally made it using some Northcott fabric I’d received through a monthly fat quarter club that I used to participate in.

I say they look “Christmas” but hubby says they don’t. I haven’t found backing material or quilted them yet. I enjoyed making these and will definitely be making this pattern again.  It was a fun sew.

Last of all I quilted and machine bound this small 36″ square quilt. It was as fun to make as it was to finish.

This will eventually be donated to the quild’s  comfort quilt program. The backing is the same orange as the binding. I’m really happy with how this turned out.

Diamond Brights Quilt

By | May 17, 2020

I was looking at the entries in a linky party on Friday and I saw a picture of the Fresh Diamond quilt in several colourways on the Samelia’s Mum blog. I had seen the quilt before but here Anorina showed it mocked up on EQ8 with some dark fabric as the background. It immediately caught my eye and I spent the workday thinking about maybe making it. I’ve wanted to do a triangle quilt for someone and why not now as a long weekend project?  Immediately, I  thought of making it with a dark background  and scrappy brights as knew had squares already cut from other projects and enough yardage of a charcoal grey background to make this work.

So after work I confirmed that while I had quite a few squares already cut I didn’t have enough solids/tone on tones to make this work without cutting some more. Then I go back and read the pattern.  My squares are the wrong size by 1/2 an inch but so long as I don’t mind a quilt a slightly different size than hers, that was no reason start cutting from scratch.  So my quilt would be a bit smaller, no big deal I can always add a column or row or just have a quilt that’s slightly smaller.

I started cutting the background and the extra squares I needed and before I knew it I was sewing them together.

Sewing the was fun, the trimming afterwards not so much but it went relatively fast

Time to start laying them out.

I was working on this layout with Marc and he was going on about how I always do random scrappy and why didn’t I do something different this time. So I changed the placement of the colours and came up with this layout

We both liked this layout better than the first one. I have to say doing the layout of the blocks did take some time as the pattern took a while for me to grasp in terms of the orientation of the half square triangles.

So I started sewing blocks together, then rows etc. I have to admit Jack came out to play once or twice when I  rotated a piece or two by accident. Sadly though it was Jack the Ripper and not Jack Daniels that came out. A good thing though as I wouldn’t have kept anything straight with even a drop of alcohol in my system.

I ended up adding a few rows to the original pattern.

To finish it off I added a border the width of my blocks.  Marc suggested I carefully thumbtack the quilt to our fence for pictures!

I’m calling this my Diamond Brights quilt top.  I’m now deciding whether to try quilting it at home or waiting until the quilting studio where I rent time on one of their long arms is open. I have to check the stash but if I recall correctly I have something that should coordinate nicely to use for backing.

I’d say my biggest question is what to do next, but for the state my sewing room is now in. Cleaning up and putting away fabric is next on the agenda.


Two finishes

By | May 15, 2020

This week last week was productive with two finishes! One is a UFO and the other is a current year start.  Having a few long conference calls that didn’t involve video was the secret to my success. Paid attention to the calls but was able to sew binding on while people were talking about things that didn’t include me.

The first one done was this one – a current year start.The green matches the green the brown print but I likely would like the result better if I’d have used one slightly less intense in colour.

The pattern is called Spring Stash and is available  for free. It’s 40″ square.

The second quilt is my Haitch blocks quilt and was finished yesterday.

Looking at the binding I’m now wondering if scrappy would have been better but it’s done and I certainly won’t redoing it. This quilt measures 36″ x 48″.

I’m already working on binding another quilt. It’s not a big one so it probably won’t take long to get done either. I have one more quilt ready for binding to be machine sewn on, and one that’s just waiting to be quilted so this binding marathon may continue a wee bit longer.   It feels good to be getting some traction on getting projects to the finish line.



Designing a Pean Block

By | May 10, 2020

Marc, my husband, has long been a member of a history club called the Society for Creative Anachronism or as it’s more commonly referred to the SCA.  The SCA, which has been around for over 50 years recreates the best parts of middle ages where everyone is of gentle birth and there are no plagues, famines or other nasty things.  Marc’s long been after me to recreate parts or all of his heraldry in quilting. Well this weekend I finally got there.

Part of his heraldry is a pean. A pean is a a yellow (gold) design on a black background that represents the tail of the stoat, a member of the weasel family. Another word for them is ermine spots – the pean however specifically is gold/yellow ermine spots on a black background.

My first take at this was this:

Excuse the crappy picture please. While I really like this version of the pean, I’d like to have the spots not touching the main body of it. However, that wasn’t the issue with this one – it was matching points and the getting odd angles at the bottom of the pean be smooth where blocks joined together. I finally got it too look okay but I’m not sure I could recreate it without losing it totally . This took me hours. I’d love to get the skill to to recreate this but I’m just not there right now  and realistically I don’t have the concentration or time to devote to it right now.

Today Marc sketched out another pean design that avoided all odd angles and stuck with half square triangles. This one I was able to sew together much more accurately and much quicker.

While I don’t like the bottom part of it as much works quite nicely and Marc seems to like it.. I’ve made this one and plan to make some more with different yellow/gold materials – enough to make Marc a lap quilt. But first I need to get more black and gold material and some new needles for the sewing machine.

Project List as at May 2020

By | May 5, 2020

May has started and it’s time to update my UFO and new projects list.

I’m up to 7 UFO’s done and 1 quilt completed that was started this year.

May’s goal is:

  1. Bind and complete two small quilts
  2. Sew the individual Frolic blocks (this one might be tough, they are slow going and finicky)
  3. Put borders on the orange and blue quilt (Fourth of July)
  4. Quilt 1 small quilt.

Here is the one Frolic block that has been made:

I’m making good progress on my smaller quilts that are easy to quilt on my home sewing machine but as I don’t have access to rent studio time to use the long arm quilting machine my larger quilts have remained undone. When the world is back to normal I’ll be spending a few Saturday’s getting some of my larger quilts quilted so that they can get off of the list this year.

Here is my up-to-date list of UFO’s. Ones with an asterisk were started in 2019.

  1. Alletaire – A Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt – Blocks need fixing and top needs to be finished
  2. Marc’s Gradient Quilt in 3 colours – needs fixing then borders – ABANDONED – WILL RESTART OR DO ANOTHER
  3. Blue 16 patch and Happy Block Quilt – top completed*
  4. Happy to be Square – completed May 5, 2020 *
  5. Happy all Day Long – completed May 20, 2020*
  6. Colour Blocks (“H” Blocks) complete May 14, 2020 *
  7. Light Doggie Quilt Top (VV blocks) – completed and donated to guild *
  8. Dark Doggie Quilt Top (VV blocks) – Completed April 2020 *
  9. Blue and Green “Fourth of July Quilt” – top completed, binding cut *
  10. Blue & Orange “Fourth of July Quilt” – top centre made
  11.  Big and Little patch quilt – completed March 13, 2020*
  12. Broken stripe 9 patch quilt – Completed April 8, 2020*
  13. Too nice to cut lap quilt – top completed
  14. Chain Link Quilt – top completed, backing obtained *
  15. Retreat Grey & Colourful Quilt – top completed, backing obtained *
  16. Stars in the Darkening Sky Done *
  17. Arizona Crossroads – top complete, backing obtained but used on another quilt.
  18. Rainbow Swirl Quilt – top finished, backing obtained
  19. Purple & Green Galaxy Star – top complete, backing obtained
  20. Grand Illusion Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt – borders need to be added
  21.  Purple table Runner – top complete
  22. Peaky and spiky quilt – in progress
  23. Irish Star Quilt – borders, make bigger?
  24. Quilt top (not made by me) found at VV – needs backing (consider giving top to guild)
  25. Whirlygig – top completed? Borders to be added?
  26. Medallion Quilt for Guild Project – in progress *
  27. Black & Brights Livejournal block swap, blocks completed
  28. Scrappy Bonnie Hunter Starstruck Quilt – in top centre together *
  29.  Shannan’s Poly cotton Quilt – in progress
  30. Cross and Chains – top completed, back to be made
  31. Burgundy Star Quilt found at at VV (replace batting & quilt) *
  32. Posies, in progress *
  33. Bonnie Hunter Frolic Mystery Quilt, in progress *
  34. Rainbow scrappy trip around the world quilt, Completed May 23, 2o2o*
  35.  “H” blocks need to figure out layout and how many more to make. *
  36. Idaho Square Dance Baby Quilt   –  Completed March 13, 2020  *
  37. Started Happy Block Quilt *
  38. patches quilt top found ages ago – consider giving to guild for outreach.

2020 Starts 

39. Easy Street(butterflies) – quilt top

40. Suite (aliens) – quilt top

41. Retro Star quilt – completed May 2020

42. Feature your fabric – needs borders.

43. butterflies and four patches – quilt top.

44. Syd’s quilt (blue and grey) – finished and gifted

45. Baby quilt top from Anne with an E auction lot.

46. Scrapbuster quilt in yucky colours.

47. 9″ churn dash blocks.

48. Steps Quilt – top made (courtesy of Covid19 stress sewing)

49. Gathering Quilt – top made (courtesy of Covid19 stress sewing)

50. Smooches Quilt (Hearts) – top complete

51. Zipper quilt -white – quilted April 2020

52. Zipper quilt – black – Quilted May 2020

53. Diamond Brights – top complete

54. Pean Lap quilt.


Happy to be Square

By | May 5, 2020

I have a couple of conference calls (no video) and a webcast to thank for my latest finish. Hand sewing down a binding really is the perfect way to make what tend to be long winded and not so interesting calls more useful.

Here are a couple of pictures of my Happy to be Square quilt made from what else but happy blocks. 

The fabric for the backing was thrifted for $3.99 and was exactly the right size for this quilt! Not even enough waste to cut out some 1.5″ strips. When the world opens up again and our quilt guild can meet this will be donated to the charity quilt program.

I have several other tops that have been quilted. Next on the agenda to make some binding so I have something to do on more boring calls.  Those calls seem to be happening with some regularity.


My latest project

By | April 30, 2020

Here is my latest project:

The best thing is with pressing to the white (I know, goes against the grain) the seams all nestle. I love nestling seams!

I found this pattern while surfing Pinterest and traced the pattern back to Ramona at  Doodlebugs and Rosebuds quilts.  It caught my eye immediately as something I’d love to make. While Ramona made hers with 2.5″ squares I made mine with 2″ squares. I already had 20 or so 16 patches made with that size of square that were destined for another project I decided not to pursue.

While I used some brights I tried to use those squares that I normally overlooked for not being bright enough. It was odd working out of my comfort zone in terms of the tones and shades used but it still produced a nice bright quilt.

I haven’t put borders on yet as I’m pondering exactly what I want to do and I’m looking at my now much emptier scrap box and pondering if there will be enough in there for a scrappy outer border or if I need to start cutting up some larger scraps to add variety.

Hugs & haitches

By | April 23, 2020

I had scheduled today and tomorrow off quite some time ago for a quilt retreat, that of course, given the current situation with COVID-19 has been cancelled, and rightly so. So instead of quilting with friends I’m taking today and the next three days to quilt.  I’m not as focused today as I had hoped I would be (I’m getting stuff done but am scattered in my focus and taking lots of breaks) but I am working on getting some of my many quilt tops quilted!

I got one quilt quilted this past week, and today finished one I started yesterday after work as well as getting a third one totally quilted! Here is the one I quilted this morning.

I’m calling this my haitches quilt, because of the H shaped blocks. I have a few of these blocks left over from this project and will very likely be making another of these quilts as it was so fun and easy to put together. Bonnie Hunter was making these a few years back and while her version of the quilt was more complicated than I wanted to go hence coming up with this design.

I have layered and spray basted another quilt but the first row I sewed I had the opportunity to unstitch. After the unstitching I decided I needed a break from the quilting part of the process.

So I’m working on putting together another Hundred Hugs Quilt.   This is my go to baby quilt pattern. This may be the 4th or the 5th one I’ve made – I’ve lost track! Here it is so far, with two more rounds to go.

I’ve got the half square triangles made for the next round and probably will assemble that round after I post this. Unless of course I get sucked into more web and blog surfing.

Now I’ve read about all I’ve done today I haven’t been as unfocused as I thought – things are getting done!


By | April 18, 2020

When I read Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict last Sunday she had a guest blogger Sandra Walker showing how to make her Smooches quilt as part of this years Hands2Help challenge.  Sandra, who blogs at mmmquilts.com  had these great instructions for a scrappy quilt with 12 hearts, background, sashing and a border.  I read the directions and it called to me – the quilt was striking, easy and would be perfect for either the guild’s comfort quilt program or the long term care home my father resides in. So it went on my list of quilts to make!

Later that day I was in my sewing room and saw a material with a black background and hearts in bright colours. Well, I had just found the perfect border material! I had recently acquired a black material with bright pin dots that would work perfectly as a background material that would work perfectly with the border fabric and once I realised that, I had to start this quilt. I found material in a rainbow of colours and started sewing hearts. I may have got a bit obsessive about sewing this one because by Thursday night my top was complete.

Isn’t that border material just perfect?

This was so much fun to make and because of the good pressing instructions I think I managed to keep all my points! I’m already wanting to make another one of these.

Dog Themed Quilt

By | April 16, 2020
Thanks to too many conference calls I got another quilt bound this week. Finally something good coming out of what are normally boring conference calls.
This small quilt is 38.5″ x 43.5″ dog themed quilt is my latest UFO (quilt started before 2020) to be finished. I have one more quilted that must have binding applied before next week’s conference call cycle starts so I have more hand sewing to do. Quilting really does help with one’s sanity, and working from home means you can multi-task with things you enjoy! And what the boss doesn’t know….
Lessons from this quilt:
  • Curvy line quilting in the border is more forgiving of the ability to keep a perfect straight line. Enough of straight line border quilting – time to try something different.
  • You can make a cute quilt totally out of your comfort zone colours (I’m not a brown person).
  • Random is possible even with larger pieces.