Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A Bit of Improv

Disclosure: I don't do improv well, I like structured blocks. But let's give it a whirl and just see what happens. Maybe it will be a reject or a keeper. You be the judge.

I toss bits and pieces in small containers, you know just in case you need that one piece you just tossed. It was time to come up with a game plan to use some of them up. Improv piecing here I come.

box is starting to overflow

triangle cutoffs might as well use a few of them too

After a little sewing I had one 6 1/2'' block hmm not bad, I see possibilities.

those are blacks although they look washed out here
Might as well dive in and make another.

a little more grey in this one
Now what?? Put them on the design wall step back and let inspiration come forth. Look out here goes nothing or everything! 

adding blocks of black, some triangles and strips.... this actually might work
 Make units and more units and start joining them into something coherent.

starting to become interesting, but not quite feeling it
It needs something more at least I feel it does. Dig into more scraps and leftovers. Warning improv can be a little messy. It seems the piece I was sort of looking for, but didn't realize I was looking for them were at the bottom of the box. I didn't take a picture of the mess I made I was in full search mode. I don't work well in a mess and have since cleaned it up.

those blacks didn't photograph worth a darn.

The strips on the side were already sewn with the 3 pieces on a 45. They were leftover from a table runner I made years ago as a gift to a friend who has since passed away. Silly me I have no pictures of it at all and no idea who has it now.

This mini is 28'' by 21'', and is patiently waiting for me to quilt it. 

Now for the question is it a keeper?





An Unscheduled Break

I'm here *Waving wildly* I'm here. Wow it's been a month since my last post, I've been here just dealing with real life.
We took a much needed break and went up North to Killarney to visit our oldest son. It was a well needed time away. His place Avalon Eco Resort, is gorgeous and so peaceful.

looking across Tyson Lake at dusk

peaceful view from the deck

We went kayaking a few times. Enjoyed time with our youngest granddaughter, I had to get in lots of hugs to last until Christmas.

our northern  granddaughter, she loves being outside
I finally got my Pfaff machine back after being in for repairs, this time it was gone for more than 2 months. Unreal! The good news it seems to be working correctly for the first time since I bought it new.
I pulled out my Westalee ruler toe foot and rulers and gave it a bit of a workout. I think I should have made the swirls smaller but other than that I'm happy with it. Now what do I do with this piece?
ruler work and some fmqing

I hope you have been taking some time to enjoy life and the people who are important to you.





Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Christmas in July Blog Hop

A quick and easy wall hanging bringing peace to the holidays. I like applique and this project includes applique. Thanks to Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict for hosting the Christmas in July Blog Hop, I'm pleased to once again be participating. With the temperatures we've been experiencing a little Christmas in July is more than welcome to get us thinking of cooler temperatures. Of course a boost to our Christmas sewing is also always welcome.
 You won't want to miss any of the great ideas so make sure to visit all the blogs participating, the list is at the end of this post.

On to the project, a wall hanging. I started with 4 FQ's and some scraps for the lettering. I used my favourite applique technique Crafted Applique from BuzzinBumble. But you can use whatever your preferred method is.


hanging out with the zucchini

To start pick a FQ or a 16'' by 19'' piece for your background. Using your favourite applique method ie: Steam-a-Seam 2 or Heat'n'Bond or turned edge and hand stitched applique cut out the applique pieces. For the dove a 7 1/2'' by 14'' piece and the lettering a 7'' by 9''. I overlapped the lettering so it looks like script. Layer the dove with back wing, body and top wing oh don't forget to tuck the beak behind the body.

arrangement of the lettering and dove

I left 2'' on each side and 1 1/2'' on the top and bottom from the edges. Stitch the applique to background, I like using the blanket stitch and used Superior MonoPoly thread to stitch the dove and lettering. Trim this piece to 18'' by 15''.

1 1/4'' red border and a 3 1/2'' print border
Add a 1 1/4'' narrow border, red in my photo and a 3 1/2'' print border. 

Aurifil thread colours #5001, #1103 and #2021
For the quilting I went simple, as sometimes less is better. I quilted feathers in the wings, a few lines for the tail feathers, swirls in the outer border and straight lines radiating out from the center in the background.

feathers in the wings and straight lines from the center in the background add a bead or satin stitching for the eye
A quick and easy project to add to my Christmas decorations.

a look at the back

And what is Christmas without a gift, my gift to you is the pattern for the dove and the peace lettering is free at my Craftsy store.

one last look

Make sure to stop by and visit the rest of the bloggers participating in the Christmas in July Blog Hop.

Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th



Saturday, 14 July 2018

12 Days of Christmas in July 2018 Blog Hop




Sarah at Confessions of Fabric Addict is hosting the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. And it starts today, July 14th and ends July 25th.  It's never to early to start thinking about handmade gifts and holiday decor.  Sarah has a great tutorial on her blog today!

Come back on July 21st to see what my Christmas project is. Last year's project was a pillow. You can read about it here.

2017 Christmas in July project



Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st


Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th

Brandy @ Pampered Pettit

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Outside Stars a new Pattern

I would like to introduce you to 'Outside Stars' this is my second pattern to be released from this years #30quiltdesignchallenge. It is a paper pieced pattern. I love stars and as you can see this pattern forms two stars. Mr sun was not co-operating at all, two days of cloud and rain doesn't make for ideal photos.
hanging out with my hostas

This is the baby quilt size I started out with the intentions of making a lap size but real life changed my plans. I will be making the lap size as I love the look, can I say that about my own pattern.

The blocks are 15'' on point. I quilted straightish lines around the stars to make them pop.

straight lines to pop the stars
swirls in the red star centers

The gray fabrics are Northcott 'Canvas', the white is Kona, the black solid is also a Northcott. The red is a mottled red by Moda.
I quilted it with my favourite quilting thread Aurifil in the following colours #1103, #2605, #2024 and #2696.

Outside Stars is a paper pieced pattern and includes freezer paper instructions, which is my favourite way to paper piece. It comes in three sizes Baby 42'' by 42'', Lap 62'' by 84'' and Queen 84'' by 106''.

made by Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life made this beautiful version of my pattern. Thanks Wendy for testing 'Outside Stars'.

You can purchase a pdf of 'Outside Stars' in my Craftsy store.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Twist'n'Turn Published

 I am published!

my name in print!! photo by Quilters Connection 

My quilt 'Twist'n'Turn' is in issue #36 of Quilters Connection.

I haven't received my quilt back from the magazine yet. So here's the one I do have.


I won a gift certificate from The Red Hen Shop last year when I participated in the #30quiltdesignchallenge. Melody was fantastic and helped pull a bundle together. My challenge to myself when I won it was to use it and not stash it. After playing around in EQ7, Twist'n'Turn was born. And the rest is history as they say.

I hope the comment problem is fixed as I love comments. I followed a quick tut from Just Let Me Quilt.
We'll find out together whether it works or not.



Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wish Upon a Star Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Wish Upon A Star blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.
Star Blocks are one of my favourite blocks. Carol has 44 people participating in this hop so sit back and enjoy some star studded blog reading. Thank you Carol for organizing this hop! A complete list of those participating can be found at the end of this post.
My project is a scrappy star block. As this is a scrappy project I will be giving the measurements of the pieces needed to make it and not an overall fabric amount. All seam allowances are a 1/4''.

Scrappy star block in my favourite colour

So here goes. We will be making the 16 patch center first, it is a simple 4 x 4 grid. Grab yourself (8) 2 1/2'' neutral squares and (8) 2 1/2'' coloured squares or colours of choice.

Step 1: Arrange your squares in a 4 x 4 grid. Starting on the top row place a neutral square and a coloured square right sides together, sew a 1/4'' along one side. Do not cut the thread, we are going to chain stitch the remaining sets of squares. Simply feed your sets through until all 8 are sewn together. Press to the dark side.
Now lay your first set on top of your second set right sides together and stitch. Press as above. Row one is done repeat for row 2, 3, and 4.
Lay row 1 and 2 right sides together, butting or locking seams together this helps keep the seams aligned, and stitch along the long edge. Repeat for row 3 and 4. Press seams to one side.
Lay the 2 completed sections right sides together and again lock seams and stitch along the long side.
Congrats you now have a scrappy 16 patch! It should measure 8 1/2'' by 8 1/2''.

16 patch 8 neutrals and 8 green squares


Step 2: Adding the corner triangles.
Cut (2) 7 1/8'' squares. Cut in half diagonally.
Cut (4) 3 1/2'' squares of a neutral fabric for the background. Draw a diagonal line, from corner to corner, on the wrong side of the 3 1/2'' neutral squares. Lay right sides together on the corners of the 7 1/8'' square sew on the diagonal line. If you draw another line 1/2'' away from previous line and sew on that line, then cut apart between sewn lines you will end up with a bonus HST. Flip and press.

1. Cut square in half diagonally. 2. Draw a diagonal line on wrong side of background square, lay right sides together in the corner of the triangle. Sew on drawn line. 3. Cut a 1/4'' from sewn line. 4. Flip and press.

Sew one triangle to each side of the 16 patch unit creating a square in a square, although this is not a traditional square in a square as the points are not a 1/4'', they are 5/8''. Trim to 12 1/2''.

Sew triangle units to 16 patch center

Step 3: Four at a time flying geese.
Cut (1) 7 1/4'' square.
Cut (4) 3 7/8'' squares of neutral fabric or background fabric. Draw a diagonal line, from corner to corner on the wrong side of the four neutral squares. With right sides together, pin two of the neutral squares on the opposite corners of the 7 1/4'' square. Sew a 1/4'' on both sides of drawn line. Cut apart on the drawn line, press toward the neutral squares. With right sides together lay the remaining 3 7/8'' neutral squares on the corner of the above units. Sew a 1/4'' on both sides of the diagonal line. Cut apart on the drawn line line. Press seam out. Trim to 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2''. You now have four perfect flying geese.

1. Lay two background squares on opposite corners draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. 2. stitch a 1/4'' seam on both sides of the drawn line. 3. Cut apart on drawn line 4. Lay a background square in corner, stitch on both sides of drawn line. 5. Cut apart on drawn line 6. Makes 4 flying geese.

Step 4: HST's
Cut (4) 4 3/8'' squares of your neutral fabric and (4) star point colour fabric.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the neutral fabric square. Place right sides together with the star point fabric. Sew a 1/4'' on both sides of the drawn line. Cut diagonally on drawn line. Press to side. Trim to 3 1/2''. Make 8.

1. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the background squares, stitch on both sides of the drawn line. 2. Cut apart. 3. Press open to dark side and trim.

Step 5: Cut (4) 3 1/2'' squares of neutral or background fabric.
Using 2 hst's and one flying goose stitch together. See diagram below. Make four.

Stitch together two hst's and one flying goose. Make four. Add a background square to the both ends of two of the above units.
Refer to my picture below for the layout of the center  and the flying geese units. Join using a 1/4'' seam allowance. Press and trim to 18 1/2'' x 18 1/2''.



I made a small cutting error, when I made my block. I used 3 3/4'' background pieces instead of the 3 1/2''. I guess it pays to read my own directions a little bit more carefully. Now when did I notice the error? Of course after I had the block finished. If you look at the picture of the block at the top of this post you can see my little error.
Now I ask should I fix it or leave it?

Here's the complete list of stars.

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25