July 12, 2018

Point Taken

Point Taken by Susan Ache is Splendid Sampler IIs sixth free block. (remember to scroll down) Finally a pieced block that you can go crazy with because there are no points and it uses connector corners.

A super easy block. I had fun adding the stripe, bacon, and even managed to somewhat match up the stripes. 

The tip this week is to pay attention to the pressing because it helps with nesting, matching and piecing seams. 

See Susan's instagram page for cool cross stitch and quilt projects.
Be sure to post your block on Splendid Sampler's fb page.

July 9, 2018

Calgary Stampede Space 10

Howdy and Yahoo! It's that time of year in Calgary. It's Stampede time, where everyone dresses western and parties for 10 days.

This is my fourth year serving a free breakfast of pancakes and sausages and juice for 8 mornings at various malls around the city. I'm over in the kids area where you can make your own rope, rope wooden steers, ride real ponies and pet the barn animals in the petting zoo. If you are in the Calgary area be sure to come for breakfast. Family day was on Sunday at the Stampede grounds. We served about 20,000 people from 8-11 am. Always very interesting.

Afterwards, I love walking through the barns, especially where the heavy horses, draft horses are. I had a chance to see some of the competition. This video is the Unicorn competition. One horse is in front and then two wheel horses behind the lead horse. The lead horse is usually the showboat and pays attention to what is happening ahead of them, ears a almost always forward. The wheel horses, because they are directly in front of the wagon, listen to the driver, ears are back, and do most of the pulling. All three hitches are pulled by Clydesdales. I love the hair, what they call feathers, around their feet. Also on Youtube here. Stampede is streaming live as well.

During Space Block 10 we are travelling to the Moon to see if there is a man in the moon and if it is really made of cheese.

Have a great week and see y'all Thursday for Splendid Sampler's 5th free block.

July 5, 2018


Splendid Sampler II's freebie Block 4, Balance, by Wenche Woldff Hatling from Northern Quilts in Norway is now available here. Remember to get your order in for the book so you can follow along after the 20th block.

This is such a cute block. It reminds me that balance does occur even when a big thing is on a small scale. 

Where is the egg for Sunny Side Up you ask? Look carefully, can you see it? Why it's the ear.
My first tip is for the stand. At first I cut out all the little triangles and had problems lining them up because I'm raw edge fusing and decorative stitching around the edges. Solution: Cut the stool as one cylinder piece and then cut the two top triangles as one piece. So now, I'm only working with two pieces.
The next tip is based on the elephant fabric. I fussy cut the fabric so that the elephant eye would be in a flower. I didn't get it the way I wanted it but I think the eye/flower placement turned out better. It seems the subconscious knew better than the brain. 

"Life is all about balance. You don't always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes it's perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back, and do nothing."
- Lori Deschene

July 2, 2018

Canada Day Scientist

Did everyone survive Canada Day?
My Canada Day started at 3:45 am. Up and at it for the 1.5 hour drive to Canmore to flip pancakes and sausages at Canmore's annual Canada Day celebration, parade and all. Then over to the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop for some goodies for testing my new pattern for Northcott, Scientist. Unfortunately, Northcott's fabric isn't out until this fall but am working on getting the pattern ready for August. Stay tuned. It'll be fabulous for the big or little science person in your life.
border - background - flask - chemical reaction.
On the way home, made a stop in Bragg Creek at the candy and ice cream shop. If you ever get a chance try Limezilla ice cream. Oh yum! If you like lemon or lime, it's the best. Then at the counter there was this taffy treat from my childhood years, some 50 years ago. If you are old  er young enough you'll recognize this. What a great way to finish up the day, ice cream and taffy.

It's Monday, hooray, a hike to wear off the pancakes, sausages (had to taste test for quality control), ice cream and taffy. The rain stayed away making it a glorious day seeing all the woodland flowers.
ridge view


June 28, 2018


Block 3, Clamshells by Helen Stubbings. You can find her at Hugs from Helen

The clams look like eggs in a carton and were tricky. Go here to see Helen's tutorial. For Helen's tutorial I've also used a very light fusible.
What I did was:
1. choose the 10 fabrics and lay them out in the rows I wanted them in.
2. draw and cut out 10 clamshells on freezer paper,
3. cut out the fabric clamshell about 1/4" larger all around,
4. go to the iron - place the fabric wrong side up and the freezer paper template wax side up and press the fabric over the top curved edge so that it sticks to the freezer paper see Step 6 diagram on instructions. Then remove the paper. Press again.
5. laid the top row down stitched then second row stitched and last row stitched.
My flowers are machine freeform embroidered. I used a piece of regular paper for my stabilizer and freeform embroidered, like quilting. Stem and leaves are zigzagged.


June 25, 2018

Space 9 Sun and Swim

Typical June weather, lightning, thunder and down pour. It was great to be outside today, sunny and warm. Even mama duck and her one little one was out for a paddle in the sun. The rain is making up for last year of no rain. There has been so much rain that the grass is soggy.

Speaking about the Sun, Space block 9 takes us to the Sun but not too close as temperatures are in the low millions. Hope you brought sunscreen and sunglasses and a hat.

Back here on Earth, the rain gave me the excuse to stay home and sew. Hooray, got the remaining Splendid Sampler free blocks done for my Sunny Side Up quilt.

See ya Thursday.

June 21, 2018

Milk and Cookies-Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!  Today is a favourite day because we get just over 16.5 hours of daylight today. I just noticed that my block kinda looks like a sun.
Do you remember coming home after school for milk and cookies? Or hot days, cold milk and yummy cookies? Wasn't it wonderful? Come to think of it, that's probably why I am a cookie monster. My mom made the best cookies. Her oatmeal cookies and unbaked chocolate oatmeal coconut cookies, my favourite.

This week's block Milk and Cookies by Rebecca (Becca) Bryant.  Mine is more like eggs and cheese. Hmm, looks like the mouse got to the cheese before I did.

My tips: This one I machine sewed the circles. Was it crazy? Definitely, but I don't like hand sewing because it takes me so long to sew the pieces together. My stitches are about 10 per inch. This is from doing lots of needlework and why I don't like the last thing about garment making and quilt binding. Call me persnickety. Don't like seeing hems and hand binding takes hours and hours.

I've digressed. All those little tumbler looking pieces in the outer circle, make sure that they form a tight circle without there being extra fabric that you can pinch.

I oops-eyed when cutting the stripe fabric because I wanted it all to go the same direction. But, whatever, it still works. To get the stripes going in the same direction you have to cut the pieces either both RS up or both RS down diagonally in the same direction.

The next tip is for pressing the circle seams. If you want the circle to look like it is sitting on top the press the seam to the inside. If you want the circle to look like it is under the outside piece then press the circle seams to the outside.

Happy Sampling!

June 18, 2018

Party Hardy

Oh yes, I've been partying all week frying up some of the 20 free Splendid Sampler II blocks. I'm over halfway and learning to like applique. Just fuse the fabric, cut out the pieces, fuse to background, decorative machine stitch around them and trim background to size. Woohoo, never have to worry about block size.

This is the next block for the 2018 Murder Mystery. Again, I went the easy way out. They wanted English paper piecing. Oh well. Let's go with the fusible A word, Applique. Have to decorative stitch yet, but it'll take no time to raw edge stitch.

Hope you have been partying hardy as well. Until Thursday happy quilting!

June 13, 2018

Splendid Sampler II Block 1

Hey everyone, as mentioned in Tuesday's post and the Asteroid post Splendid Sampler has begun. If you participated in the first Splendid Sampler of 100 blocks you are in for another awesome treat of another 100 blocks. Book 2 can be preordered from amazon here or Martingale here.
So quilt along with us every Thursday on the Splendid Sampler facebook page. Here is my rendition of the first block of 20 free blocks, Quilt Market, by Alex Veronelli.

The quilt blocks for my quilt, called SUNNY SIDE UP, plated or in the pan, has been so fun. I've been collecting yellow fat eighths and quarters for 4 years to make a quilt from the yellow side of the colour wheel, ie from red yellow to yellow with underlying green. 

What better way than to participate in a quilt along. For those of you use to making the 6" blocks in the 150 Canadian Women program, these are less intense. They are pieced, appliqued (mine by machine), hand embroidered (again mine freehand by machine - like quilting) and paper pieced. As usual I got behind but it took me no time to get caught up. Join us on the Splendid Sampler facebook page.

Remember to have fun and post your blocks.
I'll be posting mine on Next Step Quilt Designs facebook page as well and giving some tips that I did on mine.

June 11, 2018

Spring Flowers Space 8

Rain rain please stay another day. Even though we had at least 6 feet of snow this winter, it is so dry. You can hear the crispy field and mountain grasses under foot. This year, our snow was what you call light and fluffy, not the heavy wet. A foot of the light snow is only 1" rain. This was all great but when it disappeared it either evaporated with the wind or went into the rivers instead of soaking into the ground because one day it was winter the next day was summer. So Spring is now happening in the garden. 

Spring is also happening in the sewing room. Way back we mentioned that I have a block in the Splendid Sampler II. Only 3 more sleeps before the program begins June 14, 2018. As with the Splendid Sampler I the blocks run the whole gamut: piecing, applique, paper piecing, embroidery. This week I've been working on the upcoming blocks. Most of them have been applique, a nemesis of mine. But like the 150 Canadian Women quilt perseverance and determination and small surprises are moving me along. I have been experimenting with the stitches on my machine. Got tired of doing the blanket stitch and found out that the daisy stitch was excellent for the small piece. Plus, all the stitching could be done in one round. Woohoo!

Another piece was to be hand embroidered. Instead it was done freehand, just like quilting it, using Wonderfil's Frutti, variegated, in a 90/14 needle and voila, hand embroidery on the machine. Woohoo again! The stems and leaves are satin stitched with Konfetti. 

This week our Space program travels around the Comets. It was hairy a few times when trying to miss the comet tails. Whew, we made it.

Winning can sometimes be as simple as completing one seam.


June 4, 2018

Leaders and Enders

Two weekends, Two awesome quilt shows.
Am loving textured backgrounds and the large dots with the giraffes. 

Kathryn and I happened to see each other at this scrappy quilt made of 2" log cabin blocks. We were talking about how long that it would take to make. I mentioned that this would make a great leader and ender quilt. A What? A Leader and Ender. 

Normally I use a Thread Dog. What? A thread dog. It is a piece of fabric that is a 1.5" to 2" wide piece of scrap fabric folded in half. The length can be any size. Instead of having threads at the beginning of your chain piecing or any piecing, you stitch across the width of the thread dog. This helps prevent the threads from balling up at the beginning of the stitching as well as the fabric getting caught in the feed dogs. When you are finished the stitching, cut the thread dog off from the beginning, leader, and stitch across it, ender, then cut the pieced pieces off.  

So, instead of using the Thread Dog you can stitch together pieces for another quilt that are small, mindless and tedious to make, ie 4-patch units, tumbler blocks, flying geese, even these little log cabins. I have 160 small flying geese to make and this is the perfect way to get them done by using them as leaders and enders.

Here I am using the flying geese for leaders and enders. As I press the chain piecing I also press the flying geese. Even when sewing the rows together in goes a flying goose as a leader and ender.

This is a great technique if you are not in a hurry to make the second quilt. Before you know it you will have all the pieces together and a second quilt completed.

May 28, 2018

Space 7 Last minute quilting

Nothing like leaving the making of a quilt until the last minute! As most of you know I am a White Hatter at YYC. If you have flown through Calgary you may have seen us there. 

Last fall I met a very wonderful young man, who is a Curbside Ambassador at YYC. Well we got to chatting about going to school here and then becoming a Canadian. He studied engineering and then was laid off during the downturn in Alberta and had applied to become a policeman. Before going away on business I learned they are having a baby in August. So, I figure there is plenty of time to make a baby quilt for them, right? Not. Last Friday he tells me he was accepted to police school and his last day is June 2. What! 

What kind of quilt design does one make in a hurry? A disappearing 9-patch of course. I managed to get the top done yesterday and drop off the quilt this morning, Monday, with Deb from Loopy D's. Deb graciously accepted to quilt the quilt. I have such awesome quilters in my area.

This is the quilt top. The binding will be a stripe of primary colours.

The background was going to be white with tiny primary coloured squares but I thought this gray with hearts would be an unexpected interesting background. It turned out wonderfully.

For those of you travelling around in space, block 7, Meteor, is now available.

Enjoy and happy quilting! 

May 21, 2018

Portland Quilt Market Mystery

Whew, made it home. Hectic, fun and wonderful it was at Quilt Market. Instead of flying, I drove, visiting quilt shops along the way. 
Bonners Ferry ID - A Little Comfort Quilting
Coeur d'Alene ID - Bear Paw Quilting & Bernina
Richland WA - Quiltmania
Pasco WA - Janean's Bernina
Kennewick WA - Amelia's Quilt Shop

Quilt market was terrific. Check out some of the quilts in the newest fabrics.
Clair Turpin Design's ladybugs
Hoffman Fabrics
Northern Critters - Elizabeth Hartman
When out for some excellent ribs at Podnah's BBQ. Our waitress was excellent and so fun. After dinner we drove around the neighbourhood to view the rhododendron trees, not shrubs, actual 8 foot trees or higher, in all colours. Purple, red, pink and white. 

Isn't this star block just the cutest? Yes, it is only 6" square. It's for the 2018 Murder Mystery Quilt program. Ah new quilt idea.

"There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor." - Charles Dickens