Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holiday

If you're anything like me it's been head down, hunkered over the sewing machine while mumbling to myself, why did I leave it to the last minute.  Needless to say, it won't all get done and really, does it matter?  The biggest problem is that I get sidetracked--start one thing, jump to another and before I know it, sewing world looks like a bomb exploded and I can't find anything.  Then the mumbling escalates to grumbling and it's downhill all the way!

So, what have I done?  I made a lap quilt for my niece's little boy because I couldn't give his sister the happy stars quilt without giving him one too.  I asked Carolyn what he liked and it was soccer and red, green and yellow.  My stash was a little sparse for those requests, so black Friday brought out my hunting instincts and I did a little shopping (for me too).

I had some strips of Australian fabric that I used for the strip down the middle and the binding.  The backing was a piece of batik that a friend brought back from her travels and it seemed to go so well with the front.  I hope he likes it.

I had great plans to make a Christmas quilt this year and even bought a pattern from Freshly Pieced, something rare for me. But the pattern intimidated me and once I had made a couple of the poinsettia blocks, the reindeer block and a couple of trees, I realized that it wasn't going to happen this year, if ever!  However, not wanting to waste effort and fabric, I made a couple of mini quilt wall hangings and tried to finish off a less ambitious wall panel for myself, but we're still not there.  Maybe next week.  Other items are for gifts, so won't be making an appearance here.

We've had relentless snow for the last ten days.  It's beautiful, but hard to get around and the power flickers a lot.  I love how the outside lights look in the early morning light, like something from a Christmas commercial.

And of course, Neil is still working on his great wall of wood, the 2014/2015 edition.  Believe it or not, last year's has all been sold.

I probably won't get back to this little space in the universe until the new year, so happy holidays to everyone and I wish you all good health and happiness for 2015.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blogathon Canada

Today it's been snowing and blowing all day, but I've been having fun visiting the far flung corners of Canada.  Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is hosting a wonderful blogathon so we can see what everyone else is up to.  For those of us who don't live in urban areas we can sometimes feel as if we are sewing away in splendid isolation.  This is a chance to connect to all that creativity out there and feel a part of something great!

Here in Quebec, while the wind blew and the snow fell,  I beavered away in sewing world to finish this, my happy stars quilt.

Taking pictures in snow is notoriously difficult as the colours are rarely true, but even indoor shoots can pose a few problems too.  In my case, my official holder upper was not available, so I had to resort to draping it across the sofa (again!) to try and get all the stars.

These blocks were from my Wee Bee Canadian group and one of the things I truly enjoy about collaborative efforts is looking at the variety of fabrics used.  My stash is almost devoid of greens or yellows, and neutrals are especially skimpy, but I was in love with many of the little scraps that showed up.

How can you not smile at this

or this

 or this, that makes me think of frog eggs in the pond.

Thanks for visiting and I hope that you can check out all the talent out there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Done, Finally!

Do you ever have a project that you started with great enthusiasm and excitement only to have it languish half done in a carefully ignored part of your sewing empire.  I have. Not many, mind you, as I believe in finishing before starting, but this one particular project stopped speaking to me.

I started it off with a jelly roll of Carolyn Friedlander fabric and decided to make a granny square with navy sashing.  There's nothing wrong with the project, the fabric, the construction, the quilting, nothing at all.  (Well, there are imperfections, but there always are!) But I'm having a hard time liking it.

I think it's because it's November, and that means short days with little sunshine.  I think the navy, while classy, absorbs too much light for this time of year.  Maybe had I finished it in July, I would have a different feeling.   After my crankiness about variegated thread in my last post, I tried it again, but this time used  a spool from Connecting Threads.  I am pleasantly surprised by how good, and reasonable these threads are. And no, I'm not being paid to mention them!

I will tuck it away until I find a home for it, or until I change my mind--that has been known to happen!  Interestingly, my husband loves it and he rarely comments on the quilts I make.  Maybe that's it, it's meant for a man!

I also put together my "stars" from my month as bee queen.  They were all made with such happy fabrics, but I'm pondering whether it needs another row at the bottom.  It makes a decent lap size quilt as it is, and is still missing the outer sashing.

I have a little girl in mind to receive this, so I won't be dawdling too long to finish it!

I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network and Sew Fresh Quilts, so pop over and have a visit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I'm spending a lot of time quilting something, but it's not ready to show, so I'll just put out my little girl ghost quilt again as I finally finished it off.  It's not an original design, but I already blogged about the link, so just scroll down if you're interested in making your own.

I like how it turned out and will take it down to my mother's nursing home this morning to hang on her door.  I decided to use a 100% cotton variegated thread from Gutermann but remembered half way through why it was sitting unused in my sewing box.  I spent a lot of time rethreading the machine and muttering under my breath as it broke a lot.  Good thing it was a small project.

The other thing I wasn't thrilled about was the way it pooled on the solid borders.  Now that is something I could have thought about ahead of time and used a matching thread, but unfortunately, I didn't, and it's not in my nature to rip out and redo!  Just to be fair to Gutermann threads, I use their polyester ones all the time and have never had issues with them.

I also finished up my Wee Bee Canadian blocks before the end of the month and mailed them off.  The block was Road to Tennessee and scrappy Christmas with no white was requested.  I dusted off my festive scraps and made these.

Some of these fabrics have been in my scrap bag for years, so I was happy to put them all together.  I hope they can blend in with the other blocks!

I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network and Sew Fresh Quilts today.  I love looking at what others are working on and get lots of inspiration from them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I've been sad lately so my sewing is suffering.  No, it's not my aged mother, nor is it my children or husband, but I am still sad.  I've lost a friend and a way of life is over.  Joker was a great horse, one that made me laugh and carried me over the fields and through the woods with great joy.  There was nothing he liked more than striking off into the unknown with his ears twitching as I chatted with him.  I have owned many horses in the last 40 years, but he was special, and my last one.

It feels very self indulgent even mentioning the loss of an animal, but this place is my record of how I feel and what I'm doing, so I decided to share.

In a typical move, here he is after bunting me in the back as if to say, let's get this show on the road!

And here he is doing what he loved best--eating!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Bee Sewing

Most of my sewing this week has been for WeeBee Canadian.  We were asked to do any block we wanted, and this stumped me.  I can still remember in elementary school being told by the teacher to draw "whatever we wanted".  How is any child supposed to do that.  I always drew horses, but maybe flowers would have been good, or pigs, or birds....... Too much choice is never good for me.  I have the same problem when I go shopping for clothes!

So, I trolled the internet and decided to make blocks that were more complex than those I ordinarily choose for my own quilting.

My first one is called Gentlemen's Fancy and I included some crossword puzzle fabric as an homage to my mother's obsession with puzzles.  I can never remember her without one!

The second block is Castles in the Air.  Every morning I sit and watch the sun come up over the mountains while drinking my coffee.  Then the birds arrive and there's a flurry of activity at all the feeders.  It gives me such pleasure just to watch  and think.  

Yesterday's sunrise looked like this.

This is my month to receive blocks as well and I chose an x and + block.  I think that since winter is coming, I'd like bright happy colours to cheer up the grey November that's coming.  This is my example and I'm eager to see what my bee mates come up with.  Think it's bright enough?

Since it is also the ghost and goblin season, I thought I'd try out a cute tutorial at Bryan House Quilts to make boy and girl ghosts.   I made a few changes, using just a solid colour in the frames and am still debating if I'll add a colourful extra row to brighten it up. I like the polka dots and think it might be fun added around the outside.  

I'm linking up to the Needle and Thread Network and hope you take a look. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Time to get out the feather duster and clean the cobwebs off my blog!  I have many things on my design wall, all in a perfect state of unfinishedness,  but, you know, it's summer (oh, wait, maybe it's not!). The leaves are changing colour daily and we've already had a couple of hard frosts.

I did realize that I never blogged about my second-ever quilt.  Of course not, I didn't blog at the time, but we are talking a while ago here.  I decided to make a red, black and white quilt for my mother's bed shortly after she moved into assisted living.  I randomly bought all sorts of fat quarters and yardage from on line sources and set to work.  Of course, I had no pattern and was just winging it as I went along, something I do a lot and something that doesn't always work out.  But anyway, it finished out at a twin bed size and mum loved it.

It's funny, but sometimes I think that the less I "knew" about quilting the more carefree I was.  I quilted however I wanted, I cut and sliced with no worries that it wouldn't work, and generally just had fun.

I still have fun, but seem to worry more about making it right.  Silly me, it's right if I say it is! To take this shot I was teetering on top of an old milk can, but all went well.

This week marks the beginning of the end of the ladies afternoon bridge club.  The first of the snowbirds leaves on Friday, and the others will head off one by one until I'm the only one left.  I decided to use my cards fabric to make a little pouch for Linda to take with her. I did my best to give her good cards, and an ace and king isn't bad!

The inside is a word search pattern to give a nod to her long career as an English teacher.

This summer was the summer of the roof.  After 25 years, it was time to replace the old one and we decided to go with tin.  I do love the sound of rain on a tin roof.  We were lucky with the weather in the month it took to do the job, but there were a couple of days of tarps and high winds--never a good combination.  One of our nephews gave a hand for two days, which really helped.

He also took this terrific shot of the mountains and almost done peak.  Neil has no fear of heights, but just going up the ladder to hold something makes my legs start to shake.

Today is Wednesday so I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.