Stars in the Darkening Sky

By | October 6, 2019

A month or two ago I started making 16 patch blocks using 2 inch squares when I should have been using 2.5″ squares of fabric. I made a lot of blocks before I realised I had made an error. 

Not a world ending problem at all though some rather pithy language did occur at the time.  Truth be told, I like sewing together little squares of fabric. I used some of the 16 patches to make my Big & LIttle Patch Quilt but what to do with the rest?

I, of course, started cruising the web to come up with ideas on what do to do with the rest of the blocks (I made a lot of the wrong blocks) and saw this quilt on the web.  It’s described as alternating sawtooth stars and uneven 9 patch blocks. 

YES, that gave me inspiration and got my creative juices going. A dark grey background, scrappy centre sawtooth stars, scrappy centre uneven 9 patch blocks and a lighter grey corner blocks for the 9 patches. Yes that would work! 

Here are my first 9 blocks:

Definite possibilities but I did not want to make this a charity baby quilt and I still had scrappy 16- patch blocks. Another row and column were added. 

I liked the size better but didn’t like the fact that the corners were different on each side. That really bothered me.  So it grew again (Why, yes I had made that many incorrect 16 patches before realising my mistake). I added another row and column and the quilt was square:

Please excuse the craptastic picture. It’s the only one I have at this size. However, at 60″ square I had the same issue I have with all 5 foot square quilts. It’s to me, a weird, not very useful size. 

So back to making 16-patch blocks (I had finally run out) and then a total of 10 more blocks, for a quilt that would finish 60″ x 84″.  That would work as a large lap quilt. Great for snuggling on the couch on cold winter days. 

Laid out on the bed I liked this much more:

And finally the sewn together quilt top: 

I’m really happy with this.  We have obligations the next few weekends that take precedence over quilting (our wedding and honeymoon) but after that  we need to find a wide backing for this and then I’m scheduling Marc and I for a few quilting sessions on the long arm machines at Whirls & Swirls  as I want this one on the couch sooner rather than later. 

En Provence Quilted

By | October 1, 2019

We finally quilted En Provence the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from 2016/2017 this May. I made the quilt in Bonnie’s colourway and am quite pleased with how it turned out. How can I not be when purple is my favourite colour? Marc helped me quilt it on the long arm quilting machines that Whirls and Swirls rent out by the hour.

Here is is on the frame:

APQS Quilting,  En Provence Bonnie Hunter

And here he is hard at work machine quilting. I did do some of the quilting too, I just wasn’t able to take a picture of that.

And the final product off of the long arm looked like this:

I bound it in the same material as the backing as it blended perfectly with the purples on the front. 

It’s finally bound and on our bed!

en provence quilt, Bonnie Hunter Quilt

Next up for Quilting – Starstruck

By | September 24, 2019

This past weekend I cut out batting for 4 small quilts. Thanks to our purchase of 2 rolls of batting this summer, there is no shortage of batting in our house. I still haven’t touched the roll of wool batting.  The batting I cut this weekend was Hobbs 80/20 batting. I’m happy to report we can now close the door to the closet containing the batting without needing to body check it first. 

The first to be quilted is going to be this quilt, Starstruck by Bonnie Hunter that’s going to find a home as a wall hanging in my sewing room. 

Here it is without borders:

starstruck quilt, bonnie hunter, scrappy quilt

Looking at the picture with borders below I think I have a problem with wavy borders and I may need to think about redoing the borders before I start doing any quilting. 

I have a black fabric with a multi-colour print for the back and perhaps the binding. The quilting will be close grid lines in the border and I haven’t quite decided what in the centre. I want to avoid doing grid lines through the blocks. As it’s not going to get high use  I’m too worried if it’s not quilted too densely. 

Medallion Quilt Project

By | September 18, 2019

One of the guild projects at my guild this year is to have members make a medallion quilt. I have to admit when I heard this at first I groaned. Medallion quilts don’t do it for me for one and for another I wasn’t sure I wanted different people working on quilt for me with different skill sets, fabric choices , colour preferences and senses of style.

But then I heard more about this medallion quilt project. We were each to make our entire quilt. We’d make a centre and then every month we’d be given some choices for our next round. We were in complete control. The control freak part of me quite liked this. And going out of my comfort zone I thought wouldn’t be a bad thing. So I’ve decided to jump in and participate.

I’ve made my centre block and I’ve used my stash of Alison Glass Fabrics and a Northcott dark grey fabric and came up with this block: 

Medallion Centre Block, saw tooth star block, Alison Glass fabric Northcott Cotton solids


The first round will be announced shortly. I can’t wait to find out what blocks I will be asked to use. I know it will both stress me out and challenge my creative skills.

Zig Zag Quilt

By | September 12, 2019

This is another of my quilts that came from the Zig Zag Nines quilt by Bonnie Hunter that I ended up deciding not make when it was already partially assembled. Crazy yes, but I just didn’t have a use for a king sized monstrosity of a quilt and the assembly of it was not going well by any stretch of the imagination. 

So I made my own mini Zig Zag quilt that will go to charity. 

I did some simple machine quilting using a wavy stitch on my Sapphire along the seams of the blocks and in a cross-hatch pattern. I wanted a few curves in the quilting to offset all the straight seams in the piecing. 

I found a fun backing for this quilt that reminded me of the tetris video game with the little blocks of various colours. 

scrappy nine patch quilt

This is another quilt off the UFO list. This makes 17 (or maybe 18 I need to double check my list) UFO’s completed this year. Sadly, I’m going to run out of  year before I run out of UFO’s. However, unless I get new start happy between now and December I should start 2020 with less UFO’s than I started 2019 with, so at least progress is being made. 











The big & little patch quilt

By | September 8, 2019

I needed to make 44 – 16 patch blocks to make a border on a quilt.  I’d made more than half of them when I pulled the quilt out and realised I’d been making the blocks with 2″ squares when quilt was based on 2.5″ squares. That was a fun moment – NOT.  Out came the 2.5″ square bin and I had the opportunity to start back at square one. Some swearing may have occurred. The right blocks have now all finally been made and are waiting for me to finish off that quilt 

However, rather than focus on that quilt I’ve been fixated on the 6 inch – 16 patch blocks that I made by accident. What to do with them?  

I searched different settings for the blocks and my friend Bonnie suggested this one after I suggested a much more elaborate one what would have taken much more effort and time.  So, I cut out sashing and made some four patches and came up with setting that looked like this.16 patches, 4 patches and sashing. Quilt layout audition. scrappy quilt

I liked it!

So I started sewing and eventually this is quilt top that I ended up with:

I’m really pleased with how this turned out! I see some wavy quilting to soften the straight lines but other than that I haven’t thought to much yet about how to finish it off. 

I must confess, I never did make a Y2K Quilt.

By | September 5, 2019

I had great intentions to make a Y2K/Millenium quilt back in 1999. 

I traded “squishies” of fabric with other quilters from across the US and Canada and even around the globe so I’d have 2000 unique pieces of fabric to make my special quilt. But despite the best of my intentions no quilt ever got made with them. Maybe everyone else made a quilt but I never got there. 

Fast forward nearly 20 years and I’ve gradually used up those squares in scrap quilts.  Here is what is left of those 3″ square just prior to my cutting them down to 2.5″ squares to be added to my much more used 2.5″ square bin where I’m always looking for more variety. fabric, 3 inch squares

I don’t think I’ve used any of the 2000 squares at the original 3″ size which makes me wonder why we traded that size in the first place.

Here is what was left in the Y2K bin after I pulled all those out:

scrap quilting fabric

Scraps that had no business being there. They are now in the scrap pile waiting to be cut up into usable sizes and properly sorted into their correct boxes or tossed, whatever is most appropriate. 

And now I have a nice empty box:An empty box, hey, does this mean I should start a new project? I’d hate the box to suddenly feel unloved after all these many years.


Rainbow Swirl Quilt

By | September 1, 2019

This quilt top has been made for some time but for some reason I’ve never written about it. It’s like I made it and forgot about it. It really is too lovely a quilt to forget about. 

Like everyone I get many ads for quilt patterns, fabric and supplies. Honestly, most I don’t even open as they get funnelled into folders and only looked at when I get some spare time. And the more time I spend on the computer the less time I spend creating. However this one pattern called Rainbow Swirl from the quilting company caught my eye:

I have no idea why the one dark green square (which nicely isn’t in the pattern) but I liked everything else about the quilt. It looked complicated but I crossed my fingers and downloaded it anyways. 

I was quite reassured when after purchasing it to find out it was all squares and half square triangles along with good illustrations on how to put 16 sections together (4 of which are plain white). The only quibble I had with pattern was that the orange and red sections were very close in colour and hard to tell apart. But that’s me being picky and might even have been the printer. 

Picking the right fabric from my stash might have been the hardest part of the quilt. I angsted for a while but I always seem to find fabric selection the trickiest part. The right fabric is key! I found some lovely Alison Glass fabric as well a some other assorted fabrics that seemed to to the rainbow effect of the star justice. 

I cut the pieces and sewed the half square triangles at home and assembled and sewed the blocks together at a retreat. They quilt top went together very nicely indeed. 

Here is my finished top:

Now to get it quilted (I say that a lot). I have a place on the wall for this one that is *just* big enough.





Chain Link Quilt

By | August 25, 2019

I saw the pattern for the main block in this top somewhere on my travels on the internet. I can’t remember where it was, maybe facebook, but the block pattern stuck with me even though I read that it included partial seams. 

The partial seams turned out to be simple!

I had just enough of the red fabric for the background  to make 25 blocks including the optional sashing which I think really adds to the overall look:

However, it wasn’t a useful size and I had no interest in a square quilt.  And I couldn’t find anymore of the red fabric even with my good google search skills. So I had to get inventive.

This is what I came up with for borders for the top and bottom of the quilt: 

However that still didn’t look finished and I didn’t want to make it a square quilt by putting borders on the sides. However, the sides needed something. So I thought why not duplicate the inner (black) border treatment.

That looks more finished to me even though part of me is screaming that one needs the same border treatment on all 4 sides of the quilt. 

The moral of this tale is that picking a random piece of background fabric that looks like it should be big enough and hoping it will be is not always the best plan. 


Friendship Star Baby Quilt

By | August 17, 2019

This quilt has been sitting in the “to be finished” pile for a few years. Started at a quilt retreat a few years ago, this quilt has had its share of tribulations. First I had intended to make another quilt with these Alison Glass fabrics but I cut the grey background fabric incorrectly and had none left with which to fix my mistake. 

However, I did realise that I could make friendship starts with the blocks I had cut. So I made those, only to find out I didn’t sew them all in the same direction.  Some ripping out and an opportunity to resew occurred.  Then I had 9 blocks and needed to set them. Now what?  I had no more of the background fabric and nine 12″ blocks does not a quilt make. 

I did have a kona grey one shade lighter. I decided I’d use that for sashing and borders and see how it turned out.  While the difference is subtle is it noticeable when you really look at the quilt.  However, I like the interest it gives the quilt. I don’t think it is too jarring to the eye. 

I’m not sure where this quilt is going to end up. Im happier with it than I thought I’d be. 

I finished it with simple in the ditch quilting and some denser quilting in the border.  It’s 43.5″ square, and best of all it’s out of the UFO pile and finally done!