Monday, December 29, 2014

Simple sewing

Sometimes a girl just has to sew! 

I had some fabric left over from another quilt:

backing fabric

This is the back of a project that I can’t show just yet. The fabric was in a pile received when a family cleaned out their mother’s sewing room and donated most of her stash.  I decided to use the leftovers in a rail fence quilt, 2.5” strips, 6 inch blocks.  A little figuring showed that I could set aside enough for borders and use the remainder for the strips.

Needed something to go with it, and I came up with these:

rail fence fabrics

These were chosen not because they were the BEST fabrics to go with the feature fabric, but because they would work, they had been waiting a long time to be used and there was enough of each one.  The two on the right are both recycled garments.  I spent some time picking out the darts on the flowered shirt.

Here are the blocks on the wall:

rail fence layout

I’m thinking a narrow dark border, perhaps navy or brown, before adding the print.  This will work out to the right size for a prayer quilt, so it will be donated to the quilting group at church.  And before that I can use it as a sample for a beginner’s quilting class coming up soon. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby quilt!

These pieces are on my design wall today.  This project is still in progress – I promise I’ll show it when it is done.

batik strips 1

I did finish a project recently.  This quilt is for a special baby girl.

Stack deck baby quiltPattern is from Karla Alexander’s book Stack the Deck Revisited.  The technique is fun and quick and I was able to use some fabrics in girlie colours.  I hope the baby and her mother enjoy using the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

New project for Scrap Squad 2014

My latest scrappy project made for Quiltmaker Magazine’s Scrap Squad is up on the Quilty Pleasures blog!  Be sure to check it out:

I had a lot of fun with all the twists and turns of making my quilt.  9-patch-with-sashing1

I used these colours from photos collected on walks around the neighbourhood.







The original quilt is in the November/December issue of Quiltmaker magazine.  The designer named her quilt Christmas Ribbons.  I call my version Corn Maze.  Can you find the path that runs all the way through it?

Corn Maze complete

Monday, October 13, 2014

Playing with blocks and scraps

Sometimes quilters just gotta play!  The Sew Scrappy Club has been playing with the simple little Puss in the Corner Block.

puss corner light chainPuss corner light

It is really just a basic 9-patch with different proportions. 

We’ve discovered that the blocks set next to each other can give some interesting results.

31_Louisa Puss in the Corner

And playing a bit more gives another look.

corner plus lap quilt

I have been working from the scrap bin.  This project used the LAST BIT of several fabrics that have been around for many years.   

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On my wall

Not a new quilt, but a favorite.

I like to hang up this quilt in August. The colours reflect what I see out the window.  Not many weeks ago everything was green and lush but now the bunchgrass on the hills is scorched brown from the summer heat and the Ponderosa pines with their dark coppery trunks loom dark green.  I love this quilt, not just the fabric choices, but the pieced plaid border, not quite straight, and the corners, two mitred, two not mitred.
Tall Pines and Sunshine

The block was adapted from one in Block Base.  I've always meant to make this again, thinking it might work in solid fabrics.  I'll have to see what's in the stash....

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Christmas Quilt



For years I’ve wished for a Christmas quilt.  Wall quilts – oh yes, I have plenty of those for the Christmas season.  Table runners, too.  But not a real put-it-on-the bed or fold-it-on-the-back-of-the-couch QUILT specifically for the Christmas season.

My problem was that I was waiting to be inspired, and I inevitably would get the inspiration early in December – that doesn’t work!  Good intentions – I could finish this in January and be ready for NEXT Christmas, but that never happened, either.

So when the current Scrap Squad project decided it would look good in green and red I was delighted.  I made Christmas Wreath --  in July --  and it is all finished and everything!!  Full story on the Quilty Pleasures blog.  Look here.  And while you are there, check out the rest of the Scrap Squad posts – our team has been making some great quilts this year. 

quilt complete


Monday, August 11, 2014

Leaders and Enders

A couple of years ago, Bonnie Hunter issued a challenge to make Spool blocks as “leaders and enders”. 

spool blocks


I’ve long embraced the principle that one always has another seam to feed into the machine to avoid wasting that few inches of thread between pieces, so I was quite happy to start making 3” spool blocks.




nine-patch blocks


But I also had a good collection of squares, so I made 3” nine-patch blocks as well.  (Yes, a few of those one inch squares are pieced – mustn’t waste fabric, you know!)






I decided that the blocks could play happily together, and I started turning them into these:

pieced block

There are enough units in the box to play with now, so I have a few up on the wall.  I really like them set straight like this:straight set


But maybe they could go on point.

on-point set


No need to decide yet, I suppose.  There are still mounds of fabric to work through before I have enough for a quilt top. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

It’s a challenge

Last weekend we held our annual informal Friends Challenge.  This gives us an excuse to meet together with friends we see rarely, travel to a quilt shop, and spend the day having lunch together, shopping, and sharing our interpretation of the year’s challenge.

This year the challenge was to make a piece incorporating a 12” block, a 6” block, a 3” block and a star. 

Here’s my piece:

Challenge 2014

The fan blocks are 6”.  The centre is made up of four 3” blocks, and the star measures 12”.  I foundation pieced the fan blades from my collection of plaid fabrics, naively expecting that this would “use them up”.  (We never learn, do we!)  Then I indulged in some feathers for the quilting.  The piece is about 25” square – haven’t decided whether it will go on a table or on the wall. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finished at long last

Many years ago (at least 15, possibly 20) as president of our local guild  I issued a challenge to guild members.  Details are vague in my mind, but selecting fabric colours using the first three letters of our names was part of the challenge.  This  gives me L, O and U – from which I somehow produced a piece that includes purple, white, green and yellow.  Perhaps Lavender and Lemon?  What could the others have been?  I remember paging through my dictionary and being elated at finding a U word that fit the bill – I wonder what it was?

At any rate, the piece is finally completed thanks to the contributions of a friend who stitched the hanging sleeve in place yesterday.   The hexagons are patterns from Sara Nephew’s book Stars and Flowers: Three Sided Patchwork

This quilt is one of what I originally thought to make as a 12-month set of hangings to fit the space over the fireplace in the living room. Only eight more to go!!  (I do hope the rest don’t take me 15 years apiece…) 

Mantel quilt 3 hex

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Quilt for Canada Day

This year I remembered to put up my Maple Leaf quilt in time for July 1.

Canada Day quilt

The label tells me I made this wall-hanging in 2003.  It was an entry for a challenge at one of my favourite places – Katja’s Quilt Shoppe.  We were to make a quilt representing Canada and use the fabric printed with the Canadian flag.  Curiously, this “Canadian” fabric was red, white and blue!  The quilting is words from “O Canada”.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Scrappy Mountain Majesties


I sent a quilt to a special person who is going through some difficult times.  This is a variation of the Delectable Mountains quilt pattern, made from directions on Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville blog – look under the tab for free patterns.  You can check out her blog here.

The quilt started as a collection of coordinating fabric squares.  I teamed them up with solid white to show off the colours.  The quilting is a panto pattern called Lush Leaves.

(The quilt DOES have borders all the way around.  I’m annoyed that I sent off the quilt without first making sure I had a proper picture of it.) 

Majestic Mountains resized

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Another Scrap Squad Post


My third post for Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad 2014 is up on Quiltmaker Magazine’s blog.

You can check out my post by clicking here.

finished Summer Camp

I called my quilt Summer Camp. The colours remind me of endless summer afternoons and evenings.  And I used lots of scraps in the process!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Preemie quilts!


Results of this year’s Mystery Preemie Quilt have been coming in.  Here are pictures of a few preemie quilts (36” square) and smaller memory quilts that will soon be heading to our regional hospital.

Directions are still available – see the Page on the list top right of the blog.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Scrappy Stitching

As Spring weather arrives we get the urge to CLEAN SOMETHING OUT.  I tackled a closet and the cutlery drawer before I realized the cleaning could quite reasonably apply to my sewing room.  I turned to my drawer of 1 1/2” strips pulling out all the short pieces (under 10” long) to put  to use in a simple quilt block.

My notes tell me the block is called Scrap Happy, but I did not record the original source.  I found it hard to compose the individual blocks. I could not seem to get darker and lighter fabrics “balanced”, but then I realized that didn’t matter.  Once the top is assembled the overall effect does not rely on the fabric arrangement in any one block. 

Block centres came from the 2 1/2” drawer.  I used lights, darks, mediums more or less as they came.  By the time I had a selection of blocks on the wall I decided I preferred the effect of the lighter fabric in the centre, but I certainly was not going back to change any of the ones that were made.

Sashings were a handful of light strips and squares from the 2” drawer.  It feels wonderful to have those fabrics OUT of the drawer and into a quilt top!  And of course, those drawers are much tidier now!


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Friday, April 11, 2014

And it’s Scrap Squad time again!


My second scrap squad post is up on Quiltmaker’s Quilty Pleasures blog. Check it out.  Here’s the link: Louisa’s post

While you are there, be sure to go back and read the other Scrap Squad posts, as well.  The six quilts we produced for the first quilt couldn’t have been more different from each other – I’m still trying to decide which I like best.  And I think you are going to see a real variety for this current project as well. Did you see Margaret’s quilt that was featured last week?  The post is here if you missed it.

I enjoyed making Mountain Summer.  And I was grateful to my “mountain-sized” sons for being available to hold it up for an outdoor photo!  The photo has been cropped but you can tell that my guys don’t need to stand on chairs for this job.

full quilt2

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My first Scrap Squad post



My post about my first quilt made for Scrap Squad 2014 is up on Quiltmaker magazine’s blog.  You can check it out here.

It has been great fun working with the Scrap Squad group and it is exciting to see the great variety of interpretations of the quilt we start with!  We are all hard at work on our second project now and those results will start appearing soon.

Quilty Pleasures blog is a busy one and often has several posts a week. Be sure to check it often!  One way of finding all the Scrap Squad posts is to use the search bar at the top of the blog. 

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Shiny black sewing machine

Look at this little darling!
hand crank machine 1
Machine is about 7 inches high.  It is very heavy!
My sister was recently given this hand crank machine.  Her friend Ruth received it about 1930 and has loved it and used it carefully. 

We would love to know more about it.  Some searching on the web has turned up pictures. Machines similar to this were made in Germany by a company called Muller.  This size is classed as “miniature” or “toy”, although its owner tells us she did a lot of sewing on it.   

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Preemie Mystery 2014



The final steps of the mystery quilt are up!  See the link under PAGES top right corner of the blog.

I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of what you’ve done!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Brick by Brick


Carlisle bricks

This picture of a brick wall has been in my Inspiration File for some time.  I love the “checkerboard” arrangement of the bricks.  A recent challenge with friends gave me an opportunity to build my own brick wall quilt based on the picture. 

fabric embellished

I began with a piece of red upholstery fabric.  I fused on some bits of batik fabrics, stitched on some gold mesh and added brown netting.  Then I couched various yarns in place on top of that.





I cut this piece of fabric up into squares and rectangles to make the bricks in my wall.  I was delighted to see that each piece was its own little composition.  I stitched them together with “grout” and added more bricks in the “grout” fabric.  Then I quilted it.  I tried to pack down the plain bricks to put them into the background as the collaged bits are the main part of the design.

Embellished bricks

The piece is about 14” by 27”.


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Saturday, March 1, 2014

More Scrap Squad

Scrap Squad time again.  My post is still a few weeks away, but it is exciting to see what the rest of the group has done.

Check out Nadia's butterflies!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First Scrap Squad 2014 post is up!




Today is the day that the first Scrap Squad post for 2014 appears.  I’m so excited to be part of this group.  You won’t get to see my version of the quilt for some weeks yet, but take a look at what Margaret did with the first assignment!

The Quilty Pleasures blog is here.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Scads of Scotties

scottie block

Recently members of the Sew Scrappy Club have been playing with this block. (Instructions for the block can be found on the Scottie Dog Block page -- the top right of the blog.)

Here are some of the quilts they have made.
Carol G baby quiltCarol put nine Scotties on an adorable baby quilt.

Donna Scottie Dogs
Donna two Scotties

Donna used half a dozen doggies on her baby quilt and two more on a charming table runner. 

Fran Scottie Dog quilt
Don’t you love the embroidered Scotties in the cornerstones of Fran’s quilt?

 Helga Scottie bag

Helga made a mini block and put it on the side of a basket.

Janet Scottie Dog

Janet’s block was made with fabrics discovered at the thrift shop.

I’ve been making my blocks from plaid fabrics…Plaid Scotties_pm
Scottie flannel_pm

…and I’ve found the perfect flannel to use on the back.