Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Mission Accomplished

I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself these past few days.  Not only did I get my niece's quilt finished well before the wedding but I managed to finish quilting on another by Sunday. 
That one was a UFO of my sister-in-law’s mother who sadly passed rather quickly two years ago.  While she was lying in the hospital, knowing the end was near, she made a point of telling my sister-in-law that the two quilts she had started and not finished were to go to my sister-in-law’s daughters.   During one of our frequent visits to Nova Scotia my SIL asked me if I would finish them for her to give to her daughters.  That’s the back story, fast forward to two weeks ago, my SIL messages me to ask if the one for her daughter that has just gotten married could be ready for her to take back with them when they come for wedding.   Of course, I said.
2017-10-01 14.53.05
I had gotten the quilt as far as a top, adding the borders was all that was required.  So sandwich and quilt, easy peasy , right?
If I had just done staight lines it would have been easy peasy. But I wanted to step things up a bit and in all my searching of log cabin quilting what stood out the most was the feathering.  So I determined to do feathers in the light half the rounds and stippling in the other half. Which extended the time quite a bit.
Didn't manage to get a pic of the feathers but here is one of the stipple

But I managed to deliver it to her on Sunday, before they left.  Even if it still had chalk marks on it and some thread to still clip.
At the same time I was rushing this through the machine, I was also teaching my daughter to quilt. She came for 12 days, managing to fit in both our Thanksgiving celebration and her cousin’s wedding. Within a day of her arriving, she started asking about how to put together a quilt she wanted to make. Well actually a weighted blanket, but I figured out a way to make it a quilt-as-you-go quilt.

  Breaking it down into block size pieces made it easier for her to sew and to fill with the beads needed for the weight.
We got to spend some great time together over a sewing machine or two.
2017-10-08 14.51.532017-10-12 22.33.18so now to link up with everyone over at Jo’s Country Junction
And see what you all are up to this week.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Almost finished

I have been delaying writing a post hoping to have my niece's wedding quilt to show off.  And it is almost done. Just one last side to sew down the binding on, a quick trip to the washer and it will be out on the clothes line. But, it was a beautiful day out today, so I popped it up on the line with the last bit still in the binding clips.
2017-10-05 12.21.20
Isn’t that spectacular ? Jo and Kelli really knocked it out of the park with this pattern. ( Bohemian Rhapsody from Country Girl Modern ). I am already planning on doing another one. Just need to find the right fabrics.   And the back is almost as good.
2017-10-05 12.20.57
The Polish fabric from the Quilted Twins is gorgeous.   I’m fairly pleased with the results. I have to make it “fairly” because of some errors but I have promised myself not to repeat them to anyone else.   I told you about one of them, the triangle corner that wasn’t there.  I did some un-sewing and put it in. Then on the next row of quilting I found a square turned the wrong way, and un-sewed and fixed that also.
While all this was going on I had a request for a baby quilt. With only two weeks notice. Yikes.  So out came some baby panels from my stash. Additional request, no pink.  Amazingly I managed to find two that met the requirements, quilted one up and offered it to her with the proviso that if this didn’t satisfy, there was another in the works. Of course she wanted the one not finished, so pedal to the floor and several hours later …. okay maybe two days later.  Here they are.
2017-09-23 12.52.272017-09-23 12.53.30
  She picked the Noah’s Ark, as it was a little bigger than the Alphabet.
2017-09-23 12.54.23
Not sure whether to call these finished UFO’s as they hadn’t even been started. They were just potential projects and now one is a finished quilt all ready for another baby.
Now to link up with Jo’s  UFO Progress

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Quilting at last

I didn’t get as much sewing done this past week as I wanted. We had some really nice weather and spent a lot of time outside doing  yard work. Some of it easy, like picking vegetable, some of it arduous. That would be clearing the weed trees and brush from the property lines. When we bought this place it had been allowed to get very overgrown. And what it is overgrown with is an invasive species of shrub called Buckthorn.  Here’s what Ontario Trees and Shrubs webpage has to say about it:
 Notes: Common Buckthorn is a very invasive alien plant, originally from Europe. It can grow up to about 20 feet tall. Please help to slow the spread of this plant by pulling it up whenever you see it. However, please be sure that you're pulling up the right plant, as it can resemble native Dogwoods. The thorns are wicked - watch out for them!
I can attest to the wickedness of the thorns. Tried to grab a pile of branches without my work gloves and got a 2 inch thorn in my finger. Ouch indeed.
After three days of chopping this stuff down, we still have lots of it out there but I was totally worn out. I called a halt and went back to sewing.
bohemian on the wallAnd here it is, Bohemian Rhapsody on the basting wall finally. I thought long and hard over the back. It was really difficult to bring myself to actually cut the Polish fabric I had ordered for this. It was just so lovely. And I didn’t want a plain ordinary back with these spectacular fabrics, it had to stand out. So this is what I came up with. bohemianback
A lot of math when into it. Including adding extra to the side pieces so there is overage for the quilting process.
Perhaps I was patting myself to hard on my back because several hours into the quilting this is what I came across.
bohemianbobo See that big blue triangle…it shouldn’t be a triangle. It should have a floral corner. I put the brakes on and decided to sleep on the decision. Do I try and add the floral piece that is missing? There is only one seam to undo since it an edge piece. And if you look in the big picture you can actually see it. If you follow the vertical centre line of the squares, the bottom right one.
While I think it over, I’m off the walk the yard looking for things that need to be put away from the rain coming today, like the box of potatoes I dug.
And a bonus of the lumberjack work, I actually got to see one of the elusive tree frogs that have been so annoying to listen to all summer. I hope you can see him here on his tree.treefrog ( and no, I didn’t cut his tree down). Now to connect up with Jo and her UFO progress update

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A busy August

is finished and now that all the socializing is over with I can settle down to quilting. That was my thoughts as September started. And it has worked out, mostly.  I quilted a baby panel that has been kicking around in my stash for a long time. No picture as yet, still has to get the binding on.

I also got the Bohemian Rhapsody blocks together. Have had a hard time trying to get a good picture of it, my design wall isn’t big enough for it, my basting wall room had poor lighting. So I thought outside on the clothesline would be perfect to bring out the colours. A little too much wind, but hubby was kind enough to hold it down for me.

2017-09-07 14.13.36 After this, we took off for a trip across the border to pick up fabric from my US mail box.  Some of which was destined to be the backing for this quilt.

2017-09-07 18.59.21

Aren’t they great ? This is some of the Polish fabric that the fabric store half of the Quilted Twins brought back. I was bumbling around trying to think of what to use for a backing when Rachael put these up and the light bulb went off in my head. My niece is part Polish on her mother’s side, since this is a wedding gift for her, Polish fabrics would be perfect.

One of the other packages to pick up was the box of shirts from Jo. 2017-09-07 19.02.09

Isn’t this great, a box just stuffed with goodies. Thanks so much Jo, I’m going to love using these. After so many quilts with my stash of shirts, I was starting to get tired of seeing them. In another attempt to use them up, I started a Spider Web quilt.

Surprisingly these use very little pieces. The longest st2017-09-07 18.57.35rip is only 5’’, so it is going to take a while to work through my pile of shirts.

And the other packages? Well, while I was waiting for Jo’s box, I did order a few more packages of fabric from the Quilted Twins

2017-09-07 19.00.39

With prices so good, I couldn’t resist.

Now to link up with Jo’s UFO Progress

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A finish, hooray.

Well, finished top. I decided last week that a big factor in not getting any UFOs finished was that none were being worked on.  All my effort was being expended on new projects. So pulled out a stack of blocks that have been sitting neglected and figured out what would pull them together.

2017-07-26 16.51.46What was going to be another Film at Five has turned into a Dancing 25 patch.  Finished is better than perfect being the new motto.

A lot of my week was taking up with cutting and cutting and cutting. It seemed like it would go on forever.  But it didn’t and now I am sewing again. This time two non-Bonnie patterns.

One from Becky at Quilted Twins, called Show Off that I hoped would make a dent in my shirts.  Maybe not a dent but it did make me go all though them looking for 49 different patterns. The biggest part of this is a single piece, so no sewing. But a whole bunch of nine patches yet to make.2017-07-30 18.07.14

The other project is a sew-along of a Mickey Depre pattern, Abacus. This needed lots and lots of HST.

2017-07-29 21.20.25

And certainly looks better from a distance. Up close the neutrals seem too distracting to me.

And another sew-along project got finished. I picked up some orders from Quilted Twins which included a piece that I thought would finish off  Nifty Thrift just right. It did.

2017-08-01 15.36.12

I was really impressed with how I got it to line up so the pattern continues from the sides to the top and bottom.

And that’s it for now. The sun is shining, the garden is growing and I’m off to do some weeding and watering.

But first to link up with Jo and sew what everyone else is doing at Jo’s Country Junction

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

No Progress

No UFO progress to report this week on Jo' link up. I did get the quilt finished last week into the mail.  And thanks to the USPS, the recipient has her gift and sent me a picture of it on her bed.
The expedition to the USPS took most of Friday as I had a bunch of errands to run over the border I had been saving up to do on the same trip.
 Including a trip to my US mail box to pick up my first Quilted Twins orders, and a Quiltville order ( got the new ruler) and a Missouri Star order.
You would think with all this new stuff to play with my weekend would have been spent sewing. You would think wrong. We had an overnight guest and a BBQ to go to Saturday. Then a trip in to  see my in-laws Sunday.
But I eventually did get to unpack my new fabric and tools and play with them. So, since I have no quilts to show, here’s the goodies I’ve acquired.
From the Quilted Twins ( They have become my new addiction. Love their fabric selection and I have downloaded 3 of Becky's quilt patterns and started cutting one.
FQdoggies2017-07-12 11.09.07

Aren’t the doggies great? And they are huge. I don’t know what I’ll do with them but couldn’t resist. Maybe a pillowcase for my dog loving niece.

rulerThis is the new ruler from Bonnie, along with the highlight tabs. Looking forward to using this with the blocks for a new Smokey Mountains quilt I’ve started cutting.

The mailbox over the border hasn’t been the only source of fabric lately. The fabric diet I tried to put myself on has totally collapsed, (just like the food diets). The thrift shops have been calling my name and I have accumulated a bunch of shirts that I am in the process of cutting up. Plus this big piece of what feels like flannel and will make a great backing.

And the sewing group I joined at the seniors centre had a fabric giveaway the last meeting before the summer break. I picked up these pieces then.

While going through the pictures for this post I did find a quilt picture I haven’t shown yet. I took the opportunity of the batting hanging up waiting for Orange Crush to work on my layout for Jo’s Bohemian Rhapsody that I am doing for my niece’s wedding gift. 
It is all taken down and labelled by rows, ready to sew together.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Finish

And I even had it finished by Wednesday.... then got busy and forgot to blog. That's been happening a lot lately. So much socializing going on, that I am not on my computer. And that is a good thing. Some of it planned, like having my kids here for July 1st dinner, some of it not, like friends calling and inviting us over for a swim that turns into dinner and goes on until 11 pm.

But back to quilting. Orange Crush is finished and is going in the mail today for a little cousin in New York. It was her Bat Mitzvah two weeks ago and while we couldn't attend due to another commitment the next day in Toronto, my husband wanted to give her a quilt just as we had for the cousin in San Francisco.  So here it is.
The pieced border had me tearing my hair out for a while. Since I had made mine a different size than Bonnie's the numbers she give didn't correspond and I had to do some high level math. And in the end I had to fudge a little. The bottom border doesn't have the four patch corner, instead it has the flying geese block continuing to the end. That was because the side border had to end with a half goose there. No one will know it wasn't supposed to be that way, and I'm too far away to be telling anyone.
And Garden Party is together and waiting to have the edges trimmed up and borders put on.
Amidst all the fun and outdoor time some quilting happened. Now to link up with  Jo's Ufo Update

Thursday, 22 June 2017

No excuse

There really is no excuse for the delay in posting this UFO update. I had a finish, actually it was two and the second was finished on Monday. However,  yesterday slid out of control when my hubby decided I should go along with him on a trip into the city. It was a fun trip but I got next to nothing done here.
Since my last post I have finished binding both quilts.
2017-06-15 11.40.32
2017-06-21 10.57.46 However, I am not that happy with my Pfefferneuse.  There was quite a bit of bleeding of the red/pinks into the neutrals giving some of the blocks a blurry look.
2017-06-20 18.00.17I have re-washed with more colour catchers than I used the first time and am looking into other solutions. But there is enough of a problem that we decided it would not do for the present it was intended. In addition to the colour bleed, some of the string blocks are parting at the seams. I guess my seam allowance wasn't sufficient  for the fabrics and they are fraying apart.
Lots of quilters on Facebook protested when I declared that, saying that all quilts are beautiful and other comments about it being good enough. But the point is; while it might be “good enough” , it is not my best work. And I am certainly not sending off to distant relatives second rate work.
That means I have to pull out another UFO and finish it up. I guess this is where doing all sorts of sew-alongs online is paying off.  I have Bonnie’s Orange Crush or Garden Party to choose from.
I was favouring Orange Crush because I thought it was further along but then discovered there is a pieced border not done. Whereas I think I have enough of the setting blocks done to put together a smaller version of Garden Party. Off to the sewing room to debate with myself.  But first to link up with Jo.
2017-05-30 13.49.162017-03-22 19.17.26

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

UFO update

I held off posting about my progress last week thinking I would have a finish in a day or so. Alas not really a complete finish.
I was quilting Pfefferneuse and while I did get all the quilting done by Thursday, it is still waiting binding and labeling.
2017-06-14 09.40.14 ( the zebra print is a coverlet underneath it, I left off the final border)

The reason I dropped work on this, was to finish a dead-line project. A customer wanted their quilt by the 16th so I had to speed up on it. And I succeeded in getting all the quilting done on it ( Smokey Mountain Stars ).
2017-06-14 09.37.46I am really going to be pained to give up this quilt. The whole time I was quilting it, I fell more in love with it. definitely going to have to do another one.
So that leaves me with two quilts in the queue for binding. Tuesday I spent making bias binding for the both of them. I forget now who I was talking to but someone mentioned that the trouble I was having with my Janome binding tool might be because I wasn’t using bias binding. So I resolved to master making bias binding.
Several mistakes happened including marking my lines the wrong was the first time I did it.2017-06-13 14.59.43
But I persevered and have both cut and ready to go into the tool. So that’s where I’ll be today after I link up with Jo's Ufo Update

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Another finish

Yes ! Another finish, this one an actual UFO from deep in the pile. Probably from 2015 although I haven’t scrolled back through my posts to see the actual date.  It is a pattern called Film At Five and is supposed to be a  5 X 5 grid of blocks but I gave up at 3 X 4 and called it a wrap. At the time I was working on it I remember being exasperated at how long a process it was to get all the sashing done.  Now that I have it quilted I am in love with it again and want to make another.
2017-06-01 11.44.41
I finished hand sewing the binding down last night but wanted to wait and get daytime pictures before posting.
2017-06-01 11.45.17
I thought about an all over quilting pattern but decided to go with outlining the sashing and blocks to emphasise the film strip look. And then a big daisy in the block to anchor the batting. If it had been Warm and Natural type batting  I might have done a  stipple in the block but I was using a high loft polyester batting and that seems to  pucker when I try and stipple it.
All in all very happy with the end results and even happier to have a finish to link up with Jo

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Excuse me…

Could some one please help me? I think I have lost a month somewhere? It starts with A, has 30 days and has totally slipped away on me. Thanks.
Yes, April slipped by me and I did no machine sewing at all, let alone UFO finishing. What was I doing? Well, the first 10 days were part of our vacation on the west coast. I did take along some hand work and sew a few pieces on my long, long time Double Wedding Ring project but nothing significant. Most of the time it was simpler to knit.
And I did give away two quilts that were finished in March.
2017-03-28 12.54.22
The Bricks and Stepping Stones ( a free pattern on Bonnie’s blog).

Quilting the Streak of Sunshine (transportation)
Last post I had been dithering about the quilting on this one. I opted to quilt a quarter inch on both sides of the seam. Something I had seen on other quilts and it worked very well.
2017-03-09 12.26.06
When we returned from vacation I did start cutting a new quilt for my niece’s wedding present. This one is going to be from Jo’s book, her Bohemian Rhapsody. And since I am trying to get all the pieces cut  before I sew, it is still on the cutting table. Which has been changed out twice in the past three weeks. This has resulted in a lot of moving around and reorganizing but has resulted in more floor space and a higher cutting surface.
The rest of the month had been occupied in yard work as the weather permitted. We have lots to do and needed to be out doing it when it ever possible.
I do hope to have more UFOs completed this month. In the moving of boxes to accommodate the table shuffle  a few almost complete tops surfaced and I am trying to finish them off.  Got one to a  finished top stage .
2017-05-01 16.44.55
This is the “Big Block” quilt made with Kaffe Fasset fabrics, I was working on before we moved.  It just needed the top and bottom borders, which I put together yesterday. Part of the urge to finish it off was to free up fabrics for cutting the the Bohemian Rhapsody.
And now to link up with Jo at Jo's Country and see what she’s been working on.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

UFO link up

Whoop, whoop. I have an almost finish. Maybe that was too exuberant as it is still to be quilted.  I found out about a co-worker expecting while at work Friday ( I think I had known and forgotten). So Saturday I looked through my partially completed tops to find something that would finish up fast.  And there it was, one of Bonnie’s Streak of Sunshine free pattern tops I had done in a transportation theme. All it was missing were the borders. Surprisingly, given my previously slow border making, these went together quickly. Of course it is only a baby quilt and only needs one WOF for each side. Plus it had a theme  which simplified picking fabrics. And while checking it over, I realized it was missing boats so that make the final border choice simple. The darker blue interior border is a space-themed fabric which echoed the colours of the interior well.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on the En Provence mystery, so I didn't get back to this until yesterday.
2017-02-21 11.16.35
This is me trying out the basement stairwell as a basting wall. It might work but I was leery of the pins I use scratching up the drywall. For the tryout I only used painters tape.
Fortunately, we are having incredibly mild weather this week, so I opened up my shed and used the basting wall I set up in there.  I was even able to work out there with no heater on and the doors open it is so mild.  Now I just have to get it quilted.
The hold up is an internal debate over the quilting pattern. I have used a diagonal line through the blocks on this pattern in the past and not been thrilled with it. Right now I'm thinking of  either doing an edge to edge squiggle or quilting a quarter inch away from the seams but can’t seem to make a choice. 
So while I’m thinking it over, I’ll link up with Jo over at the Country Junction and see what everyone else is doing.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Final Monday Link up

Oh my, I had such good intentions last weekend for my final link up. I spent all Sunday during Quiltcam getting my blocks finished. All 16 completed, ta da. That was such a great feeling.  I only had three incomplete and three partially incomplete to finish off. Then it was the last set of tri-recs to tidy up, done.  Now, if I could only get the sashing strips together.
And that’s were it still sits. Almost a whole week and no further forward. But it is the last night to link up so I must take a picture of what I have and be content with that. Although I am not content. But a hectic week and a possible case of food poisoning have hampered my efforts at getting more done.  So “no whinning”. It is what it is and possibly further along than last mystery, without further nattering here is is.
2017-02-19 20.54.30 
And now off to link up with Bonnie at Quiltville before it closes.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A few finishes

Most of my finishes lately have not been of quilts but I have been sewing and getting stuff done. Done is good. Quilts done would be better but there are other things that quilts to make.
First was a teapot cosy. This was a project from the group I joined at the village seniors centre. It is listed as a quilting group but so far the three days that I have attended (only meets monthly, the first Tuesday) the projects have been a wreath; a Santa pillow; and now the tea cozy. They did have a small bit of quilting on the last two. Here’s the cozy. teapotcozy

Another finish was a pair of placemats, using a novelty panoramic fabric that I had bought some time ago.

Then some new covers for the couch cushions. My sister sent me a book on ideas for making things out of shirts and also sent a Facebook link to making these covers. The book and link used both the front and back of the shirts but I had a bunch of fronts that I had saved to make aprons. So I pulled them out and paired them with some of my big novelty nautical fabrics.  pillowbackspillowfront
The credit for my increased productivity would be the new sewing area in the basement.  I’ve gotten two of my machines set up down there. I was just focusing on getting the Janome in place but then while doing the tea cozy, I realized that I need another machine often if I have the Janome set up for quilting, or binding. So I rearranged things so I could set up my Featherweight in her card table.
2017-02-02 11.18.43
 The ironing board is behind me which means getting up to go iron but that can be a good thing.
2017-02-02 11.19.56

Still some work to do on making it an efficient sewing room but it already is proving it's worth it. Most important now  is getting my design wall back up. It is scheduled for a repair as  the grommets on each end tore out while it was hanging in my bedroom. 
Now off to see if I can get some actual UFOs done. There being no shortage of UFOs in stock down there. And to link up with Jo over at the Country Junction