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 

May 17, 2018

Asteroids space 6 may 15

Spent a few days in paradise, sewing room, working on some secret blocks for the sunny side up (yellow) quilt.

Elaine, from the Crazy Quilter on a Bike, found this article on convenience by Tim Wu, Columbia law professor. For me when it comes to convenience sometimes I think of it as being 'I want it done now'. Many times I've said 'if only I could twitch my nose and have it done, not now but right now'. Tim writes that we need to embrace inconvenience, such as hobbies. Hobbies define us and give us character. They give us time back, expose us to frustration and failure and teach us about us. "We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest." On that point I say go piece that one block that you've been dreading and looks extremely hard. You may find it easier that you think. (When in doubt have a glass of wine.)

Space block 6 is up. Did you know that what I thought was a meteor might actually be a comet or asteroid? Who da thought!

May 7, 2018

Claresholm Ninja Senior

It was so exciting to reconnect with the Claresholm and Calgary quilters at the Fibre Arts and Quilting show last Saturday. I was so glad to see many of you that participated in the 150 Canadian Women program stop by the booth to visit.

Here are a few of some of the wonderful quilts on display.

And now for the Ninja Senior. And I was heavy breathing hiking this morning.

As Arthur says, "You're never to old to be a Ninja!"

April 30, 2018

Spring Happy Space 5

Hooray, Spring is finally here! It was surprising and wonderful to come home from a green grass and trees in leaf place to no snow, lake ice melted and seeing green grass under the last year's grass. I keep saying that I'm going to green turf the front yard so it's green all year round. Just think I'll have the greenest yard in the hood and no mowing.

This week we are in the throngs of getting ready for the Fibre Arts and Quilt Show in Claresholm this Saturday. If you're in the area come on down and see me. They are asking if at all possible to make this block to enter into the quilt raffle. Click here for info then scroll down to March 29.
Has anyone read this book, Solve For Happy, by Mo Gawdat, engineer and Chief Business Officer for Google X. I was intrigued, how can engineering be applied to happiness? I've only read 100 pages so far and it is very thought provoking. It's very interesting to see how a logical mind, as in engineering, mathematical, computer, relates to happiness. Page 50, The Voice is Not You, is ... Really? Hummmm?

Space 5, the final frontier and right through the Black Hole is up and ready.

The little voice in your head is not you. Mo Gawdat

April 23, 2018

Ah Spring Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day. I was challenged to make this 6" block. Since it was my dad's birthday as well and he was a farmer, the block center is gold, representing the brown ground right after seeding surrounded by yellow representing the glorious sun to make plants grow and my dad being the sunshine in my life.

Spring, yes glorious Spring is finally beginning here! It's taken a week for the lake to go from this
to this.

"Be the woman who fixes another woman's crown, without telling the world that it was crooked." - Anonymous

April 16, 2018

Fabric Organization - Space 4

Like me do you spend a lot of time searching for a fabric that you know you have. I also spend a lot of time searching for a certain length of fabric. Frustration. Then when pulling fabric from the shelf sometimes others come out as well because I didn't use a long ruler to separate the fabric on top and bottom of the wanted piece. So now it's in a pile on the floor. And does it get put back properly? Maybe.

This will be the umpteenth organization. Many years ago the fabric was on cardboards, but, there was no consistency in cardboard width. Some are thick; some are thin. And I the fabric reproduced somehow. 😇Then, it went to being folded and put into bins, but, the bins were not square and there was wasted property between the bins. And on, and on until lastly, it was refolded using a 9 1/2" ruler and laid flat, but, hard to see the fabric and if at the bottom of the pile then too hard to pull out. 😣 The plan is to have the fabric go from this 
This is only one shelf unit
to this

It seems like it will take forever to redo, but, it will definitely be better in the long run. I'm using the Original Mini Bolts for the centers. They are 7 1/2" x 11 3/4" white plastic. Since the fabric has to be laid out before rolling onto the Mini Bolt, I'm measuring the yardage at the same time, then rolling the fabric on the mini bolt and putting a label on the top with the yardage written on it.  

For all you Space junkies, block 4 is up. We are travelling through the Milky Way. 

April 9, 2018


My heart goes out to everyone around the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and the truck driver. A huge thank you to those that came upon the accident to report it, the first responders and all the medical and other people involved.

Monday was a reflecting walk through Sandy Beach Park. All the snow kept everything quiet. The sun shone like it was summer. A great place to reflect and be grateful.

One of Calgary's nicknames is Cowtown. How appropriate it was to see a silver cow in the backyard along the Elbow River. 

Over the last year I've been participating in a Super Secret Quilt Project. Last year was a red and cream year doing the 150 Canadian Women quilt. This year is a yellow year. All the colours from brown to dark gold to sunny yellow to orange yellow. I'm calling the quilt Sunny Side Up. More information coming.

Did anyone make a Rocky Mountain Puzzle? Please send an image so we can ooo and ahh over the quilt on facebook.