Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I've always been fascinated with Drunkard's Path blocks, and found a pattern, using polka dot fabric to make a miniature Drunkard's Path quilt!  I've been hunting for 1 inch polka dots in opposite colours (eg. red with white dots and white with red dots), for a while, and when I found them, it was usually only available in one colourway.  The polka dot fabric also has to have enough background around each dot to cut the blocks.
On my trip to Kitchener-Waterloo, I found the right colourways, but only in 3/4 inch dots. 
So here is how I drafted a template to cut the small blocks.
I began by drawing a 3/4 inch circle.  I used my perfect circle templates to do this, but chose one a bit smaller than 3/4 inch to compensate for the ink line.  Then I drew a vertical line through the centre of the circle, then another at right angles to the first.
When I check the original pattern, the distance from the edge of the quarter circle was half the partial diameter.  The quarter circle was 3/8 inch, so I added another 3/16 inch to the left of the circle.  That made the finished block size 9/16 inch.  I then add the 1/4 inch seam allowance to all four sides which made the cut size  1 1/16 inch square.
I made a second template and taped it to the corner of my small ruler, using this to help line up the corner on each polka dot.  With my fabric, I found I could only cut every other row of dots.
  These are the two blocks that are needed to make the quilt.  I made stacks of pieces, and then made up the simple 4-patch blocks.  These two blocks alternate to make the quilt top.  There are 12 of one block and 13 of the other.
 Here is my finished quilt top.  Mine ended up at 10 1/2 inches square.  I didn't have any fabric the matching shade of blue for a border, but pulled this great dotty fabric from my stash.  I added tiny yellow piping , using the "Piping Hot Binding" method.  It will finish with yellow binding as well.
Now I have to find other drunkard's path variations to play with more polka dots!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I only knit occasionally, usually when I have a good reason, like a new baby in the family.  My nephew and his wife are expecting, so I headed to my local yarn shop to find some fingering weight baby yarn.  All the local chain stores carry sport or double knitting weight, and since I inherited by Mother's collection of knitting books, I prefer to use the vintage patterns.

The first set is from a Beehive book from the late 70's, called Leaf and Lace Set for 3 months size.  I love the texture that the pattern provides for the body of the sweater.
 The second set is called Baby's Eyelet Coat and Bonnet in a 6 month size.  The pattern is from one of my Mother's books, called "Beehive for Bairns Volume 3".  I remembered this pattern, as my Mother knit a set for my first baby, who is now in his early 40's!

Now to change the channel, and get back to quilting!


I managed to get block 2 of "Pushin' Up Spring" stitched.  The lighting in the motel was terrible, so I only stitched a little.

I sat and stitched the ribbons and buttons on the two baby sweaters that I finished for my nephew and his wife.  I tried to take pictures, but the flash made the white sweaters too bright.  I'll try again later in natural light.
I pin basted another baby quilt for my guild's community quilts program.  They gave me 5 panels to quilt for them - one is completed and will be handed in at the meeting/dinner on Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the challenge entries.  I'll try to remember my camera!
Check out what everyone is working on, at Judy's blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Since I was off attending quilt displays for 2 days, of course I picked up some fabric, but just a little....
 I found 3 cute panels for baby/kids quilts, Alphabet Soup book panel, that will be made into a quilt, a bright Noah's Ark panel and a nursery rhyme panel.  I also found large polka dot fabric in opposite colour-ways!  I've been looking for this for some time, but usually found that the dots were too small, too close together or only found it in one colour.  I have a project in mind for a miniature quilt using these dots, so stay tuned!

Fabric used this week            0 yards
Used year to date                   107.05 yards
Fabric added this week          5 yards
Added year to date                37.375 yards
Net used 2011                        69.675

Check out everyone's stash progress at Judy's blog!

Friday, May 27, 2011


DH and I, along with DS2, hit the road on Tuesday afternoon and headed for Kitchener.  DS2 and girlfriend went apartment hunting today, while DH and I headed to St. Jacobs to look at the various "quilt shows" in the small town.  Some were free exhibits, others charged a small fee, but all were wonderful. 

I did pick up 3 wonderful panels for baby quilts, as they are always needed by our community quilts program. 
On Saturday, they hold the giant Mennonite Relief quilt auction , and there is a Friday preview of the quilts, with a fair with activities for the family, along with craft sales, great food etc.  Unfortunately, this year we had to return home before the auction.

They did find an apartment, and handed in their application this morning.  They both looked a little "shell shocked" at lunch, as it is finally feeling real - they will be moving in together in July, and plan to get married in the near future!  They've been talking and planning for several months.  DS2 left a couple of resumes with places in town, then kissed his best girl good-bye, and we returned home this afternoon.  Too bad we don't live closer - 4+hours on a good day.

At least this will encourage a more dedicated effort to group all his things and do some serious packing, as he is still working to finish his internship before he can move away.
We are happy for him, but will miss his company greatly.  I even tossed out the idea of moving closer to both sons, but don't think it will happen, as I'd have to make some serious cuts in my quilt supplies, and I can't see myself going back to having a small sewing space again. 

Monday, May 23, 2011


I finished the hand appliques on block 1 of "Pushin up Spring".  I used the back  basting method, drawing the design in reverse on the back of the block.  This seems to give me very accurate applique pieces.  I hand stitched the edges, using silk thread.  I have a collection of around 6 colours from white to black with different shades of neutrals in between, and this thread just disappears into the fabric.  Now off to select fabric for the next block.
Check out what others are working on at Judy's blog.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I finally have something to report, since I finished my Schoolhouse Challenge this week!

Used this week          2.75 yards
Used year to date    107.5 yards
Added this week       0 yards
Added year to date  32.375 yards
Net Used 2011          74.675 yards

Tried to take a picture of my "stack n whack" pinwheel quilt, called Peony Spin, but it is always difficult getting a good pic of a large quilt.
Now back to quilting the second flannel quilt for Community Quilts.  I picked up 5 panels with backing for each yesterday, (donated from our LQS), as the hospital gift shop is short of pastel baby quilts, so I guess these are next on the list!
 Check out everyone's stash progress at Judy's blog.

Friday, May 20, 2011


The latest tradition with the outgoing President of the Limestone Quilters' Guild is to have a quilt challenge for the final meeting of the year.  This year's challenge consisted of using an 8 inch finished schoolhouse block and making a wall hanging, no larger than 20x30 inches.
Of course, I left mine until almost the last minute.  I used a schoolhouse block from EQ7, and pulled some fabrics from my stash.  Since I had lovely "sky" fabric, I didn't want to cut it into small pieces to finish the block, so I made a base layer of sky and grass, then I turned the seam allowances under and machine appliqued the schoolhouse to the background! 
I decided to add some thread painting, so first I stitched a tree
 Then I added the little flowered area......
I added some small buttons to the front of the schoolhouse, for a door knob and the heart because it mimics my guild's logo.....
I decorated the tree and the schoolhouse with tiny quilt blocks, cut from fabric bought many years ago.....
And finally the finished product!
I was amazed at how many sewing related fabrics I found in my stash!  I can't wait to see what others have done.  They will be on display on June 1 at our spring dinner meeting, and they hope to have them on display at the quilt show in June 2012 as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I managed to get the first four background blocks completed for my "Pushin Up Spring" applique project.  The appliques will be added to the 12 blocks over the summer months.
 I had fun laying out the blocks, trying to get different fabrics in each one.  Now I have to dig out my light box (homemade thanks to DH) and mark the back of the first block for the back basting method of applique.  Then I'll head to my stash and choose some fabrics for the first block!

The Napanee quilt show was lovely.  They had more hand-quilted projects this time, and a great variety of quilts, wallhangings etc.  The weather was cool and rainy, so lots of people came to the show.  Then vendors seemed to be quite happy with the turnout and I guess sales were brisk as well.  Their quilt demo area was great - they managed to piece a quilt top during the two days of the show!  Congratulations to the Napanee Heritage Quilt Guild!

Head over to Judy's blog to see what others are working on today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Used this week       0 yds
Used year to date   104.3 yds
Added this week     0 yds
Added year to date 32.375 yds
Net used 2011         71.925 yds

I completed a top and pieced the backing and the binding, but it is on a hanger waiting its turn at being quilted.  Then I spent more time making blocks that will have hand applique added over the summer.
I did managed to quilt two quilts for my guild's community quilts program, but they were made by someone else, so don't really count against my stash!
Since Ontario has adapted the "time of use" billing for electricity, my weekends are spent baking, cooking and doing laundry! (weekends are at the lowest rate).  Did most of the week's laundry yesterday, but finishing up today.   DS2 made 4 loaves of whole wheat bread as well.  This morning, I made dough for 4 loaves of spicy fruit bread, cooked the family favourite, chicken wings in mushroom sauce, (a slow simmer recipe), mixed up the meatloaf for dinner and DS2 made a tomato soup cake.  My cooking decisions are made depending on the power usage.  Anything that takes time in the oven, or requires a long cooking time has to be made on the weekends.  My family has already made all the cuts we can to our electric usage, so all the "time of use" billing has done is to almost double our electric bill!
This afternoon I'm picking up a friend and heading for a quilt show in Napanee.  The guild there is only a few years old, and this is their second show.  It will be good to see how they have progressed.

Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I didn't think I'd ever finish cutting parts for my current project.  I dug into my 2 1/2 inch strip bin and cut 48 strips, 96 triangles and 144 squares of a variety of fabric.  Then I cut 12 large squares,  48 strips, 96 triangles and 144 squares of background fabric.  After two days of sewing, I have these.....
 Now I have a stack of pieces, ready to be stitched into blocks.  Then comes the fun part - choosing fabrics for the appliques that fill each centre!  The pattern I'm using is called "Pushin up Spring" which was a block of the month in 2009 from Apple Blossom Quilts.
As soon as I get these stitched together, I have to get to work on my guild's President's Challenge mini quilt.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


My life seems to get busier every day!   I'm cutting the pieces for a dozen appliqued blocks - they have a scrappy pieced frame with applique in the centre.  I found some white on white fabric that I have tons of, for the light, and have been cutting up my 2 1/2 inch strips into parts for the scrappy piecing.
I still have many more squares and triangles to cut before I begin to cut the background fabric!

DS2 will be moving to Kitchener-Waterloo in July, and he is beginning to pack.  During his almost 3 years with us, his belongings have migrated to spots all over the house, so it is interesting trying to remember them all..  When he arrived, all of his boxes were unpacked, then repacked for storage in the garage, since we had limited space.  Now they all have to be opened and re-packed, ready for the moving truck!  He is planning to make an inventory of all his things as well, so lots of extra hands are needed.

He inherited a coffee table from his older brother, but it had seen better days.  DH and I have come up with a plan to make it better, and more useful.  It has a glass insert, so DH is making a box underneath, lit with a rope light, so it can be used as a display space.  He is also making a base for the table, and we purchased 6 baskets to fit underneath for extra storage.  We found a "hammered metal finish" spray paint in a brownish colour, so once the table is re-built, it will be painted.  All of this took many trips to different stores, and lots of discussions about sizes, colours etc.

A neighbour has been cleaning out his Mother's home (she is in a nursing home and not doing well).  DH rescued a small desk from the discard pile, and it has been sanded, primed, and is getting a coat or two of hunter green paint as well.  It has 6 drawers as well as a shallow drawer in the center, and could be used in the bedroom or as a work desk.  Since DS2 and his girlfriend haven't found an apartment yet, we'll see what they need and where it might fit.

We have been trying to make a trip to visit DH's sister, as we have birthday gifts to deliver for 2 of her grandsons, one of which is already a month late!  Since it is supposed to rain on Friday, DH won't be heading out to do some roofing, so we are hoping to make the trip then.  

Our friends' niece has bought a new home, but it needs a new roof.  Her Dad has offered to pay for the materials, and he, her uncle, DH and another friend are providing the volunteer labour.  The shingles and roofing paper etc., are being delivered this afternoon, so they are heading out to load them onto the roof.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I managed to get the first two borders attached to the scrappy hourglass quilt top, and I cut the final border fabric (pinned at the right side).  Since I have my large quilting project completed, I'll be stitching on the final borders, and making binding today.  Then I'll have to search my stash for something to use as backing.  I'm sure I can find a couple of fabrics that need to be used today!
I also brought home two more community quilts in need of quilting - one already pin basted, one not.  I think they have another volunteer to attach and finish the binding, so I don't have to do that as well.

DH and I went to Toronto on Saturday, and had a great pre-Mother's Day lunch with our two sons and their wife and girlfriend.  It was the first time DS1 and wife met the new love of DS2's life.  After lunch, we walked to Dufflets Pastries on Yonge Street, and picked up a decadent dessert - sponge cake with cream filling and raspberries - YUMMM .  No pictures, as usual, as my gang are camera phobic!
Check out what others are working on at Judy's blog.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Used this week  17.75 yds
Used year to date  104.3 yds
Added this week  0 yds
Added year to date  32.375
Net Used 2011  71.925 yds

I finally finished the quilting on my pinwheel stack n whack quilt!  We are supposed to get some sunny weather over the next few days, so I'll be able to get an over-all picture, with the help of DH and DS2.
I quilted around some of the motifs in the pinwheels with gold "sliver" thread, echoing the designs.  The sashing strips are quilted with jade green cotton leaves, meandering back and forth.  The first cream border is stitched with feathered "hooks", and the floral border is stippled with monofilament "invisible" thread.  The final light blue-green border has a repeat of the jade leaves.  I've named this quilt "Peony Spin".
Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I attended the Limestone Quilter's Guild meeting last night.  We had wonderful guests from the Morrisburg guild, who entertained us with a trunk show of wonderful quilts from their guild members.  One after another fabulous quilts were unfolded, so many that one of their members was left at home since the quilts took up so much room in their car!
It was fun for me, meeting members that I only see 4 times a year at meetings (I'm south for the rest), and chatting with friends made at the community quilts get-togethers.

I was thanked for my donation of 5 quilts that I had made over the winter, and the 3 that I quilted this month as well.

   I brought 2 more home to quilt, and plan on attending the next get-together on the 17th.

  Our block of the month program is having another summer challenge of a simple block, made from scraps.

  Last summer over 600 were made and many have been finished into quilts. 
 We are hoping to better our numbers this summer, although I think the community  quilts chairpersons are becoming overwhelmed!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I finally managed to get the 12 scrappy hourglass blocks complete!  My sewing was limited, due to a painful back, but I am on the mend (I hope).  I cut the sashing and cornerstone pieces, so hope to get those stitched today, and the centre of the top completed.
Have to get out to VOTE today too!  Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll have another minority government in Canada this time too........
Next, I have to go into my orphan block bin to search for some more 4-patch blocks made from "leaders and enders" , and I have to decide on the border colour or colours (not sure just what I'll use, as long as it resides in my stash).  I may make a scrappy binding as well - I'll decide when the top is completed.
The pattern is in the current issue of Quiltmaker magazine, and is a scrappy block by Bonnie Hunter.
Check out the rest of the design walls at Judy's blog.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Another nothing week!  I was hoping to have my Oriental pinwheel stack n whack quilt finished this week, but NO inspiration to finish the quilting designs......
I spent a little time at the sewing machine, piecing the scrappy hourglass blocks, but since my back was not co-operating, that project is also stalled.  I managed to bake some muffins this morning, but now my back is tired again, so back to reading and knitting.

0 added......0 used....still at 54.175 used for 2011
I hope everyone else had a better week!  Check it out at Judy's blog.