Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Woven Lattice quilt

In an effort to catch up on some UFO quilting, and take advantage of a long holiday weekend for myself, I pulled this quilt out of the closet last week. It was completed as a top back in April 2013, so only 4 years in the waiting :)

I had set aside a backing for it, but wasn't really happy with it when I pulled it out. I had the perfect colour flannel available, but wasn't sure there was going to be enough. So I washed and dried it, measured, and it was 1.5" larger than my note said the top was.  Not great, but I can deal with that, I thought.  So I loaded it up on the longarm, laid out the batting, and dropped the quilt top on top of it.  And it was about 2" wider than the backing :( 

I hated the thought of removing the whole thing from the frame, so I thought about it a bit, remembered that I had a similar colour flannel in a different pattern somewhere, and went hunting.  What I found was of course that I had used that flannel on another project.  But I had a 5" strip, 80" long left over - perfect!  I stitched it onto the side, layered everything up again and went to town with my quilting.

Fortunately, I had thought to save some fabric with the quilt top for making binding. So I joined the strips and got the binding onto the quilt right away.

This poor quilt is finally out of the 'to be quilted' pile and into the 'to be bound' pile. Hopefully it won't spend another 4 years there.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Design Wall Monday

My design wall today is a bit confused. These blocks are leftover from one of my mystery quilts. I was trying to change it up, but ended up not liking the new option. So that went back to the original, and I now have all these blocks and a few scrips and scraps left of this fabric. I have no idea what to put with it that won't look completely out of place, so I thought I'd try to see just how many blocks of various designs I can make from the bits and pieces I have left.  They will either become a quilt, or a pile of orphan blocks.

Hop over to PatchworkTimes to see what everyone else is up to today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Scrappy Pineapple

I've been working on this top for quite some time. I bought a pineapple ruler on a whim one day, because I always wanted to make a pineapple quilt and it seemed like a good way to start. I was using it as a leader-ender project for a  while, because making 24 pineapple blocks all at once was just too repetitive for me.  But evetually I just wanted it finished so I moved to the top of the list and found another leader/ender to go with it.

24 blocks were finished and I thought it was done. Then I realized that the blocks finish at 10", not 12", so the top was going to be a bit short of donation size. I set it aside for a while, but it lept into my retreat bag last month and I tossed some border options in with it. Assembled and bordered, it's now ready for quilting.

I like the result, and hopefully the recipient will like bright colours :)  But I have confirmed one thing - the 10" ruler is about 2 rounds short of making a really good pineapple block. I would have liked the white sections to be a bit more prominent and I think 2 extra rounds might have done that for me. So my next pineapple quilt (yah, right) would be done differently.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Triangle Madness

I started this project a week or so ago, trying to use up some leftover triangles from an earlier adventure.  The top is now complete, and sized perfectly for a donation to Victoria's Quilts, once I get it quilted and bound.  I used a few of the additional leftovers to make the pocket for the presentation bag, and I think my triangle collection is now empty and I can move on :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Disappearing Dresden

I took a class earlier this year, to make a "Disappearing Dresden" wall hanging. The class was a lot of fun, and I got to use some of my favourite pretty fabrics.  In retrospect, I wish I had used a couple of different background pieces to allow the dresdens to pop a bit more,  But this will make a lovely spring display for my front window.

It is finally finished and bound and off the sewing room floor, which is a big achievement in itself :)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Starry Beginnings - done!

The binding is on, just in time!  I finished this quilt - which I have decided to call "Starry Beginnings" - in the nick of time to submit for our quilt show.  And then I waited (somewhat) patiently.  And I just found out - it's IN!! So, if you are heading to the CQA show in Toronto in June, my quilt will be part of the Modern Guild exhibit, hosted by the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild.

I pulled one of my usual stunts - when I put the quilt together I used every inch of fabric I had for the background. In fact, I sized the final pieces to do just that.  And then I looked at it and realized I had not reserved anything for binding.  So that took some thinking.

I decided to continue the 'unfinished' theme, by binding two edges, and putting a facing on the other two.  If you look closely, you can see that in this photo.  I considered using a different colour for binding, but could not find anything I liked, so I made due with the scraps I had left of the background fabric.  Fortunately I had a few partial strips which were just wide enough to work for the binding. I think I had 6" leftover when I was done.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Flying Geese

Awhile back I made a quilt from some ombre fabric, with a lot of flying geese. I had a few leftover, plus a lot of the fabric which I ended up not needing for that quilt. It has been sitting in a nice little pile since then, and last weekend I pulled it out.  I had a vision, of making flying geese curving across the quilt, so I decided to make up the rest of the fabric as geese and see what I could do.

First, I made the green circle seen here, thinking that I would make 2 or 3 of these in various sizes. Well, starting with finished flying geese and trying to place them into a circle was a less-than-optimal idea.  It took a lot of time, and a lot of piecing of background fabric, to make this work. So I decided there will be one circle only.

I tried a few swoops of flying geese for the rest (in this first photo, the geese are still attached in pairs, from the "4-at-a-time" flying goose method). I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the end result.  The second photo has all the geese trimmed at various angles to make the swoops. But I'm not getting the feeling I was hoping for from this. So I packed it all up and I'll get it up on my design wall later and see what I can do with it.

The idea here was the geese flying into the circle. But I think I'll scrap that idea and try for general swoops across the fabric around the circle next time I pull it out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recipe Wall Hanging

 I was playing around with a panel I bought a few years ago. It was printed fabric, with a number of recipes on it. When I first bought the fabric, I tried out a couple of the recipes and realized that they are real - and delicious. So I decided that I wanted to make a wall hanging from it for my kitchen. A collection of recipes in fabric.  Later, another Christmas panel came out with different recipes, so I added them to the pile.

I finally cut out the recipes - the challenge was figuring out how to get each recipe with enough seam allowance, since they were set very close together in the fabric. A half-yard turned out to be just enough fabric.

Then I framed them all with red, from the same collection. The next challenge was how to set them.

Each recipe was a different size, and I wanted the frame to be the same size on all (1/2").  So I played around with layouts, and finally came up with something I liked. I didn't want the wall hanging to be too big, so my initial thought of adding some random blocks in the spaces between recipes was scrapped, and I went with a simple white fill.

A friend nicely provided a red fabric for the binding, and I think that will finish this up nicely.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Next project

Continuing my desire to use up some scraps and leftovers from previous projects, I pulled out some triangles that I had used in a project back in April 2015.  So that's not bad - I guess these scraps are only 2 years old. I cut a few (many) additional triangles from my stash (the grey and dark orange).

Unfortunately, I had a brain freeze. If you look closely, the top 2 rows are short 1 triangle each.  So after I put them together and measured - to make sure the quilt was sized correctly for dontation - I thought I'd miscalculated and my quilt was too small. So I cut another 12 triangles and exteneded each row.

Then I assembled row 3, and realized that I was right initially, and it was the first row that was wrong. So, I took away all those extra triangles, added one to each of the top 2 rows, and all should be good now.

Except - I have 12 leftover triangles.  So now I have another quilt to make from the scraps, but 12 isn't enough, so I need to cut some - you see where I'm going with this I'm sure. I will be more careful this time, and make a much smaller quilt (baby quilt), so I don't end up with even more leftovers.

I'm linking up with Judy's design wall Monday today.  Drop by to see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

150 Canadian Women

I spent a day last weekend trying to get caught up on my 150 Canadian Women quilt blocks.  17 completed, after redoing the badly sized block here . I seem to be continuously behind in this endeavor, but I will continue to plug along and hope I don't lose steam before week 50.
These blocks are definitely getting more complex. I can't wait to have a chance to start playing with them on my design wall. Until then, I'm not adding any sashing since I don't know which blocks are on the outside edges.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Star Quilt

I quilted my little heart out, and got this top all done, in time for the quilt show. I hope it gets accepted.

I solicited lots of advice from a couple of online quilting boards (one of which I just discovered) and came up with something I love.  Warning - lots of photos ahead.

The colour in this first one is off, because I was trying to get the quilting lines to show up, but it does give the overall picture of the quilt design and the quilting. There is a swirl border along 2 edges (top and right).  Some peacock features and pebbles for background fill.  And way more straight lines than I wanted to quilt, for the star.

A closeup of the feathers in the background. I love this fill, partly because it's really quick and easy, but gives a great texture to the quilt.

This picture shows the 4 different sections of the background quilting.  Swirl border, with straight lines on the outside. Then some pebbles to fill the spaces between the swirls and peacock feathers.

 If you expand this photo,you can see the details of the star points.

And the star center.

This photo shows the corner, with all the background fill.

The binding plan is to continue the "unfinished" theme - I'll bind the 2 edges near the swirl border, and face the other 2 to give them an unfinished look.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

MIni Quilt

This little quilt - 12" square - is my entry for our Modern Guild linen challenge this year.  The background is linen, the flower and sunbeams are regular cotton. I wish I was a bit more creative and could have done something fancier for the design, but when I put the background together it said "rain" to me. So I decided some sunbeams shining through the clouds onto a flower would be an interesting arrangment.  I call it "Rainy Days and Sun Days", although I guess the song is actually "Rainy Days and Mondays".

Friday, March 31, 2017

A complete incomplete star

And it's done!  Star in progress is a finished top! And if I really move my act, it will be quilted and submitted for the Ottawa Modern Guild show at CQA. I found a backing, so all that is a lacking is my time. Submissions are due tomorrow ...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Oh dear

I was chugging along quite nicely, catching up on my 150 Canadian Women quilt. Then I pressed a couple of them. Pretty sure these are both supposed to be 6"blocks. That 8" block on the left is going to have to try again.  :(

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


It's been a long time since I could claim true finishes from all of my UFOs. These poor little quilties have been sitting in my sewing room, all quilted up and just waiting for binding, for at least 6 months. It's about time they got some attention, so this past week I went on a binding blitz and finished all of them (plus a couple of other projects I found buried in the stack).

The top left is leftover bits from my Kaffe Fassett handkerchief quilt. I have a ton more leftovers to use up, but this was a quick trial during a retreat last year.  Sufficient for a quiltie, but not something I want to do for a large quilt. The rectangles are about 4x6" each, and the whole thing is done with partial seams to make use of irregular sized bits and pieces.

The other 3 are Disappearing Hour Glass blocks.  Each is made from 2 fat quarters, and I discovered that Canadian fat quarters are perfect - two 20" squares results in a 24" block.  The American fat quarter only gave me 18" squares to start with, so I had to add a small border to the finished block to bring it up to the required 24" top.

Bindings on all of these are scrappy, from my binding bin - the tub I throw those final bits of binding into when a quilt is finished.  So this picture is entirely made from my stash/scraps.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Design Wall Monday

This is what's on my design wall today.  I was digging through my scrap bins, and found the bin of leftover bits & pieces. It contains all the partial blocks, pieced strips, and other miscellaneous bits from various quilts that I've made over the years. This particular set of fabric (if you ignore the coloured piano key sitting there) is from a star quilt I made about 3 years ago. I had enough left in each of the strips to make 5 more star points. So then the question was, what to do with 5 (rather than 8) start points.

I played around a bit; seriously considered tossing one point and using just 4 (a much easier number to make an arrangement with). Then it occurred to me to 'build' the star. I put together 4 points, 3 blank sections, and one section that is supposed to look like it is floating into place.  We'll see how it looks once I have all the pieces cut out.

I am using the leftovers from another (unfinished) quilt for the background. I sure hope I didn't need any more of that.  Linking up with Judy today.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A little advertising

A while back I started to hang quilts in my front window. Initially, it was decoration (I have a Hallowe'en quilt, and a Christmas quilt which I put up seasonally). But customers mentioned how easy it was to find my house, when those quilts were displayed. So I contemplated the idea of a quilt for every month, or maybe more realistically for every season. But that project never seems to gain much traction. So I decided that a quick improv-pieced banner would be a good place to start.

I made the top one day at a quilt retreat. And finally got it quilted last week along with a bunch of other little projects that have been sitting around waiting for attention.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I was playing with some leftover bits from my Bonnie Hunter "en Provence" quilt recently.  They've been working their way through the system, as leader/enders for some other projects I'm trying to finish up.  But when I put them up on the wall today, I see I made a small mistake.  Oh well, 7 out of 8 isn't bad :)

Next step - figure out what to do with these little leftovers.  8 12" blocks won't make much of a quilt on their own.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Peace, Love, Quilt mystery

I've been working on a mystery quilt from Love Shack quilts since last October. The basic blocks and layout were finally revealed a couple of weeks ago. The blocks were set in an alternating pattern. I looked at it, and thought I'd like to try something different, so I arranged my blocks in this layout.

It didn't really work for me, because the large heart was not as visible as I had hoped it would be. But I liked hte idea, so I did some playing around on EQ with alternatives.

I came up with this layout, which I definitely love! However, it required a "few" additional blocks.

I spent the past 2 weeks making 9 more border blocks, 50 neutral 16-patch blocks, and 46 neutral 8-patch blocks (for the outer border). I wasn't sure I'd ever finish, but strip piecing is your friend and I managed to get everything done.  I'm pretty happy with the result. Now it goes into the pile to be quilted - and to find a backing for this 96" square quilt.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lost quilts

A few of my quilts have apparently never made it onto the blog after they were completed. This is a "catch-up" post for those. First up is "Contrasts". I made this quilt in 2011, when I had a dream that I might publish a book of quilts. My idea was a series of quilts that were "stitch and slash". Similar to a disappearing 9-patch, a quilt block would be made and then cut in some fashion to create a new, more complex-looking quilt block. Contrasts was my first attempt. A simple block of 3 concentric squares, cut on the diagonal.  I like the final effect, although the placement of some of the seams was awkward in the end result.

This quilt was named "Time Flies" - I felt that it looked like hourglasses set on angles, flying through the air.  I made it by creating large snowball blocks, then cutting them in quarters. That step probably wasn't necessary, as simple squares with one corner snowballed give the same effect.

This is my fibonacci spiral, from way back in August 2011.  I have the photo, but it doesn't seem to have made it onto my blog in finished form. So, I'm just cleaning house here.  The original post about this quilt is here.

And this quilt was an effort to use up scraps that were hanging around from another project. It didn't quite come out as I had hoped. The pinks blended into the background too much.  But it was finished and sent off as a donation.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mystery Quilts

Why is it that all the mystery quilts seem to start at the same time.  I have 3 going on right now. -  2 from guilds,  and one online.  And I know that Bonnie Hunter's mystery will be starting in a few weeks. Maybe I can avoid getting sucked into the New Years Day mystery overload I've done the last few years. The current mysteries are somewhat long term,  running until the spring,  so they should not be too much work each month.

These are my blocks from one of the guild mysteries.  The dark is my background,  and the light is my accent colour -  so I keep having to remind myself to switch the dark and light in the instructions.

As this quilt progressed, I realized that my choice of fabrics was somewhat unfortunate.  The light grey has dark grey in it. The dark grey has light great. And the red has both dark and light grey highlights.  I did some fussy cutting, to try to minimize the overlap between the greys. But in the end,I think my blocks look a bit mushy.  However, I did decide to go with the original layout, with no border. That makes this another perfect donation quilt, and I'm sure someone will love it.  It's all sewn together now, although this picture doesn't show that.  Added to the pile for quilting.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Plus Quilt

Last May I started this project. I thought a "plus" quilt would be a great (and quick) way to use up scraps, and give me a bit of a mental break from the Winding Ways quilt I was working on at the time.

However, I should have finished the math on this before I started. I just wanted a 50x70" lap quilt, to donate to Victoria's Quilts when it's done.  Simple enough, right?  So I pulled out my 2.5" strip bin, cut a bunch of fabric into sets of 5 squares for the pluses, and started piecing it together.  Then I thought about where this was going.  50x70", at 2" (finished) for each square = 25x35 = 875 squares. Oops.  And, 5 squares per colour means I need 175 different fabrics (actually a few more, because there are partial pluses on the edges of the quilt)

I did manage to finish the quilt, complete with almost 175 different fabrics. And finally this weekend I am going to put it on the longarm and have some fun with it.  As is typical, it does not feel as though I made even a dent in the pile of 2.5" strips in my scrap bins.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fabric Choices

I spent a couple of hours yesterday digging through my stash trying to find fabric for my next project.  I started with this. I bought these purple batiks, along with a couple of coordinating prints, a few years ago. I love the colours, but after looking at this for a bit, the fabrics all started to blend and it seemed too blah.

So, back to the closet, and more fabric came out.  Maybe some greeny-blues and the other coordinating print to spice it up a bit.  Unfortunately my greens are too green, so this didn't feel quite right in person. And I am determined that this quilt will come from stash, so no shopping allowed.

A new direction. I started with the leaf print in the middle and worked out from there. Not bad. However, I'm a bit short on the leaf print :( I think I can fake it - I have another batik in a dark gold that might pass for the leaf print if carefully placed in the design.  And if that doesn't work, the quilt just gets smaller :)

New project, ready to go!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Scrappy Pineapple

I just finished a 2 day in-town retreat with about 35 women from one of my quilt guilds. The beauty of an in town retreat is that we got to leave our machines setup overnight, but went home to sleep in our own beds. I took a couple of projects to finish, my 150 Canadian women quilt to catch up on, and a couple of projects to think about starting if I got that far.

It was a very productive two days. This is my scrappy pineapple quilt that I started back in 2015. I've been working on it as a leader /ender project and finally finished all the blocks. So I took advantage of the retreat to put the top together. All it needs now is a border.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


One of the guilds I belong to makes little quilties - 24" square quilts - which are given to the special care nursery at one of the local hospitals.  Somehow I ended up on the quiltie committee this year, which means making sure we have plently of kits ready to hand out at each meeting, and delivering finished quilties.  Last week we had a "quiltie sew day" where a bunch of us got together to make kits.  It was an amazing day, and with all the help we made over 150 quiltie kits. I then spent a couple of days making backings for half of those little quilties. This is just a small portion of the result - the rest is in 3 large bags in my spare room, waiting for our next guild meeting to hand some out.

One thing I love about these little quilties - aside from how quickly they go together - is that they are the perfect size for practicing free motion quilting.  Big enough to play, but small enough to fit through the machine without a lot of fighting.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Block party

I finished this top a little while back. The blocks were made as part of a block party - 12 of us get together, and each month 1 person picks a block for everyone to make.  The blocks come back to that person, and they have a quilt.  With 12 of us, at the end of the year everyone has a quilt made from blocks created by the other 11 participants.

I found this block in a magazine - it is apparently a variation on Blackford's Beauty.  The size is odd (finishes at 12.5"), but I love the end result. I set it with a narrow sashing and corner stones, to continue the red chain between the blocks.  The border is scraps left over from the quilt. I experiemented with a piano key border, but felt it was too heavy for the quilt and detracted from the look.  I like this one much better. Plus, I only had to make half as many bits to put together the squares in the border :)

I don't know where this quilt will end up. For now, it goes into the 'to be quilted' pile, where hopefully it won't spend too much time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sewing Day

I had a really productive day today at a guild sew-in. Those of us who braved the weather were nice and cozy and lots of sewing was done.

A whole lot of people were working on the guild mystery. I guess that's no surprise, since the final clue came out recently and we are all guild members. The general consensus from that group is that Ugh beats Better. So I'll be moving ahead with the original quilt design on this one.  Now to figure out what to do with 6 blocks and 10 setting triangles when I have absolutely no matching fabric remaining.

I didn't take that quilt with me, since pulling it off the design wall seemed like too much work. Instead, I took my Peace, Love, Quilt mystery from and worked on that.  I got all caught up on step 8, just in time for step 9 to come out at the end of the day. 

Now I'm back home with a decision to make.  My guild meeting for tonight is cancelled due to weather - so I can either work on a customer quilt on the longarm (which is loaded and ready to go), or I can continue work on Peace. Love, Quilt, since I wasn't orginally going to be home to do the customer quilt anyway.  Somehow I think PLQ is going to win that one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

En Provence!

Since I made the label for this quilt yesterday, I thought it was time to share a photo of it.  This is Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt for this year - en Provence.

 I made all the blocks for the mystery, but when it was done I realized that I have no need for another full-sized bed quilt.  Plus, I had used 2 different background fabrics for the 4-patches as Bonnie suggested. And I made half of the 1/2 square triangles with each of the background fabrics. I didn't like them together in the quilt, so I decided to split up the blocks and make 2 quilts - one lap quilt for me, and a smaller one to donate.

The only catch was that I didn't want to make any additional blocks. I did cave in and make 2 1/2 square triangles to fill out the large quilt. But for the tri-rec setions, I was not going to do any more of those. So the small quilt was cheated and I redesigned the outer rows slightly to work with what blocks I had on hand.

In the end, I have enough pieces left over to make 6 or 7 blocks - all different - so I'll have to come up with some sort of plan for those.

Bonnie's final mystery linkup is up today, so I'll be heading over there to join in.  I really like this quilt. My only disappointment is that I took the easy road and used Bonnie's colours. I hadn't planned to - I really wanted to go my own way. Plus, I was determined to do this from stash. But, when I started pulling from my stash what I ended up with was exactly what Bonnie had. Funny how things work out.  Now, I keep seeing quilts that I think are mine (because there are so many with the same colours). So next year, I need to try harder to go my own way again.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Quilt Labels

Today's output from the sewing room.  I finally took the plunge and invested in some embroidery software so that I can make labels.  They came out pretty well, I think, so maybe my quilts will start getting labels again. The first 2 honours go to Bonnie Hunter's last two mystery quilts.  Luckily they both have purple in them, so I could use the same thread for both.  The labels are ready to go - one quilt is done so I just need to attach it. And the other will hopefully be quilted soon.

The first label is after washing and blocking (to remove the sticky-solvy I used for interfacing). The second is before washing. I'm still playing around with font sizes and positioning, but done is better than perfect, in this case :)

Now I have to decide if I want to turn my big sewing machine into a full-time embroidery setup.  Re-arranging everything for the different configurations is one of the reasons I haven't done this before now.  But if I set it up for embroidery permanently, I'm giving up my nicest sewing machine for piecing.  Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


After yesterday's disappointment, I scrounged up the last of the fabric, and made a few different alternate blocks.  Better?  I'm not sure.  I thought larger red squares between the blocks would help highlight it, but now I'm not convinced.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Well, that didn't turn out like I hoped.

This is a mystery quilt for one of my guilds. The pattern is pretty, but my result is not.  I knew it was risky when I picked the fabrics. I had a set of red & 2 greys in my statsh that I bought some time ago, thinking they'd make a nice quilt. So when this one came up, and my yardages matched, I figured it was time to use those fabrics. I was a bit worried, because each had a fairly large design printed on it - white snowflakes on both the red & dark grey. And dark grey on the light grey.

I ended up tossing some of the cut blocks, where the overall print was too obvious. But in the end I feel like this quilt is pretty mushy.  It might have been ok if the red had less white in it - I don't mind the variation in the dark background fabric, and I did a pretty good job of fussy cutting around the dark print in the light fabric (except in a couple of places). But the red is getting lost 😞

I'll finish sewing it together this weekend, and in the meantime contemplate whether there is any way to save it.  It may just end up in the donation pile - well, it was destined there anyway, but I usually like to donate quilts I'm proud of, and this one doesn't make the cut unfortunately.

Oh well, that's what mysteries are for, in my opinion. Trying things out and figuring out what doesn't work, as much as seeing what does.

I'm linking up for the final day of Judy's quiltathon. I can at least claim something got done this week :)