Friday, August 30, 2013


I have two more rows of small flowers to make to complete the centre of the quilt!  Then I have to begin making the border units!

I also finished the binding on my Scrappy Split 9-patch Quilt this morning, so I'll have more fabric to count on Sunday's stash report!
Now I have to check my list to see what items need to be completed, and also to think about making my own "kits" to take south for the winter.
DH and I are off to the theatre tonight with some friends, following a pot luck dinner.  I'm making a cherry cobbler - DH's favourite.  I usually make it for his birthday, (he turned 65 yesterday),  but we postponed it a day so we could share.....

Monday, August 26, 2013


My wall is empty!  Here is a picture of the completed Noah's Ark kit...
It was good practice to get the feel of my new machine for free-motion quilting.

Now I am quilting the scrappy split 9-patch quilt that I made a while ago.   I'm stitching feathers in all the pinwheels that form the border.  I got about half of the border done before my back screamed at me for a rest.  Hopefully I'll get more completed today.

Check out all the creativity linked to  Judy's blog, Patchwork Times .

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Fabric used this week  6.875 yards
Fabric used year to date  161 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  50.375 yards
Net fabric used 2013  110.625 yards

I didn't get as much quilting done this week as I had planned, but I did finish quilting the Noah's Ark quilt kit that I found in Michigan, coming home from our visit to Indiana.

I've been inspired by the quilting tutorials found a The Inbox Jaunt!  Thanks Lori... 
 She shares a quilting tutorial each Tuesday, and the loopy leaf that I used on the brown outer border was last week's design.  The Wind, found under the "Quilts/Tutorials" tab, was used on the inner border.  They need to be more rounded, but not bad for my first try at a new design, using a new-to-me machine - still working on the slight learning curve!
Check out everyone's stash progress at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 23, 2013


This is the top row of large flower blocks, just set in place.  They still need to be attached, and the "border" hexagons added to each side.
This is the bottom row of large blocks.
I have few choices of places to photograph the unfinished project.  My current design wall is too small, and the light that comes in the patio door always seems to wash out the colours!
Here is the top so far.  I have many evening's sewing to get these attached!  There will be two more rows of small flower units to be added along with more border hexagons (they are dark burgundy, but appear almost black in all the pictures).  Then I'll be ready to make the side and top and bottom border units.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I managed to get the quilt top finished, and the backing was bought and laundered.  Flannel always shrinks, so I always wash it first!  
Now I have to get the back pieced, and clear my table for some pin basting.  Hopefully I can get the scrappy split 9-patch basted at the same time!

The kit was great, and the instructions were fairly clear.  I did substitute a piece of my own green fabric for the one included, as it was a better colour match.  Binding is made and pinned to the design wall, in plain sight so I don't forget where it is......

 Check out all the creativity at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Fabric used this week  4.625 yards
Fabric used year to date  154.125 yards
Fabric added this week  3.25 yards
Fabric added year to date  50.375 yards
Net used 2013  103.75 yards

I'm much happier when my numbers are in the black!  The fabric was used to make my Christmas Williamsburg Runner, and a Building Blocks Bag, both pictured here.  The fabric added was flannel to use as backing for my latest Noah's Ark quilt, made from a kit purchase on our trip to Indiana.  Hopefully, I'll get Noah and the scrappy split 9-patch quilt basted this week, and get some quilting done.  I want to  put my new machine through its paces!

Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I'm late posting today.  DH and I made a trip to Watertown NY this morning.  I was hunting for a birthday gift for SDIL1, and couldn't find anything around town, so a quick trip south of the border solved the problem.  Soup, salad and breadsticks lunch didn't hurt either!
I've managed to make 11 of the 16 large flower blocks!  A sore knee that needs rest and ice certainly helps, but not with all the other chores, gardening and sewing that keeps staring at me!  These take 24 coloured hexagons for each, along with 22 background and one "mauve center" hexagon.  They seem huge next to some of the other designs.  Now I'm off to cut more background squares - I seem to run out every other day! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The first was my Christmas Williamsburg Runner.  I've used this pattern many times, using various special focal fabrics.  It is made with 1 large focal rectangle, 16 half-square triangle units and 4 squares of background fabric.  

 I had fun machine quilting with my new machine!  I stitched diamond cross-hatching in the focal area, using metallic gold "Sliver" mylar thread - lots of glitz! 
 Then I stitched a pointsettia in each of the background corners using metallic red mylar thread.

Last winter, while in Florida, my quilting group  members made lots of these tote bags.  The pattern is "Building Block Bags" by Indygo Junction.  I finally made mine, using lots of my sewing themed fabrics.  It is a large tote, with an 8 1/2 inch square base, and long, over the shoulder straps.  I added a stiffener in the bottom, as suggested, and the bag stands nicely on the floor or table.  The bag is reversible, with more sewing themed fabrics inside.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Nothing new on my design wall today.  DH spent the day painting the walls in the staircase and hall area leading to my sewing room.  He also added a fresh coat of white to the baseboards and handrails too.  It looks much fresher, although I hope the paint smell goes away by tomorrow.
I did test my new baby, quilting the lastest Christmas runner, and I managed to get the binding stitched before dinner.  I decided on a Bernina 710.  It has the larger throat with all the bells and whistles.  I will never do machine embroidery, so I decided against the 720 (embroidery ready), and the 730 (full embroidery unit etc.)  I have been learning all the ins and outs of fine-tuning and adjusting the stitches to my liking.  

DH had to remove the shelving for painting, so I spent some time sorting through old books, magazines etc., decided what to keep and what to recycle.  We have been trying to downsize our collections - a difficult task!

Head over to Judy's blog, Patchwork Times to see all the creativity!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Fabric used this week 0 yards
Fabric used year to date  147.5 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  47.125 yards
Net used 2013  102.375 yards  

Not much sewing progress this week, BUT, my new sewing machine arrived on Wednesday!  I spent the afternoon playing with all the features.  Since DH made my sewing table, I find it awkward using a machine sitting on a table!  I now have my sewing table altered to fit the larger footprint of my new baby.  At the same time, DH made a large drop-leaf section that I can raise when I am machine quilting.  It is all painted and installed, ready for use tomorrow!
I've spent most of today in the kitchen.  I made a large batch of carrot ginger soup.  It has been blended smooth and is now in the refrigerator for tomorrow.  It is one of those recipes that always tastes better the second day.
Then I sat and cleaned and chopped all the yellow beans.  After cooking them, I made the mustard sauce, then simmered the beans in the sauce before canning them in jars - mostly large ones, but a couple of smaller ones to give away.
Now I have an apple crisp baking in the oven.  It will be great with vanilla frozen yoghurt for dessert.  Thank heavens dinner is simple - leftover jambalaya and fresh green beans!
Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Our good friends are on vacation for a week, and we were asked to help ourselves to any veggies, especially beans, that need picking while they are away.  DH and I headed over this morning before it got too warm -
We picked all this in about 10 minutes, then I spent another 10 pulling weeds!  The yellow beans will be made into mustard bean pickles, a family favourite.  Beets and green beans will be added to our dinner tonight and I only picked 2 small cucumbers, as DH doesn't like them.  If there had been more available, I would have made bread and butter pickles.  We'll be going back every other day until they get home, so I may be able to collect enough for a small batch!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Having a sore knee provides me with lots of hand sewing time!  I have to limit my trips on the stairs, so once I reach the main floor, my chair with the hexagon project always beckons.

It seems that I forgot to turn my photo when I was editing - oh well.....  I've been placing the top on my living-room carpet, but, even on a dull day, the light from the window tends to wash out the colours.  Now that the model railroad is gone, I've suggested to DH that I use the long hallway as a design wall area.  It will make a much larger space for laying out the blocks for future projects.

I've developed a method while working on this project.  I add the background hexagons while I'm stitching each different unit.  It makes adding them to the quilt a very quick process.
The next units are large flowers, with each having 24 of the coloured hexagons, one centre and 6 background hexagons before adding the surrounding units.  Don't think I do nothing but stitch hexagons, as I made these 4 large flower units months ago.  I only added the background hexagons to each!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I finished a pieced backing for the scrappy split 9-patch quilt - all from my stash.  I'm trying to clear out fabrics that have spent too long waiting their turn to be a quilt!

I decided to work on a quick project, so I made another Christmas runner.  I'm not sure where I found the pattern, but have made several of these over the years.
I don't make too many "three fabrics" projects, but this one turns out well every time.  It needs a focal fabric for the centre, then two more for background and contrast.  It looks complex, but is made from 16 half square triangle blocks.  I'm hoping to quilt this on my new machine, that is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, (although I haven't had confirmation yet!)

It feels strange to come down the stairs to my sewing room and not pass by the model railway.  There are some large holes in the walls, so we'll be doing some repair and repainting soon.

I received a call from my doctor's office - the earliest I might be able to get my knee repaired is 4-6 months, and that is at a hospital an hour away.  The wait list here is over 1 year.  Some of the larger cities, like Ottawa and Toronto have almost a 2 year wait.  Of course there could be more damage during that time as well.  I guess I'll be making my Disney trips in a wheelchair this winter!  The good thing is that we live in a bungalow in Florida, and at most I have to go up 2 steps, and I have a heated pool to try to exercise.

I guess I'll be busy making quilts this winter as well!

Monday, August 5, 2013


I finally managed to get all the borders on the split 9-patch quilt I've been making.  I dug through two baskets of left-over blocks and found lots of pinwheel and half-square triangle units.  They are all organized and labelled with the finished size, so will be easier to use next time. 

I decided to use pinwheels for the pieced border, but first added a narrow white one.  Some of the blocks were too small, so I added borders either all around or only on two sides, to make the border fit.  After another narrow white border, I returned to the red print that I had used for the centre of each block, and I'll use the same fabric for the binding.
 As usual, I wasn't able to get a picture of the whole quilt top, but the appliqued heart block is centred in the top border, and I have a fan block for the bottom centre.

It feels good to use so many leftover blocks.  I'm always surprised at how many I find, stashed in numerous baskets and bags.  Now I plan to sort through more of them to find them suitable homes.

Check out all the creativity shared at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times. 

DH has made a mess in the basement and my sewing room over the past few days.  He decided to dismantle his N-scale model railway.  Our Godson showed a serious interest, and after talking to his parents, decided it was time to share his hobby.  Fortunately he made it in several pieces, so after taking apart some of the wiring, and cutting a couple of pieces of track, he removed the screws that attached it together, and into the wall, and we carried it out to the garage in sections.

He went through all the articles and books that he had collected, and after some serious downsizing, packed some folders with articles, books and ideas to share.  He also packed up extra track, various bits and pieces, and several bags of landscaping materials.  I helped him load it all into the van this morning, and he is off to deliver it today.  He asked me to come, but I wanted to get some sewing done, as well as press all my new, washed fabric.  Good thing, too, as he had to use the passenger seat in the van to fit in the final boxes!  I'm sure they will be overwhelmed with all the stuff!  It is almost as bad as quilting!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Fabric used this week 0 yards
Fabric used year to date  147.5 yards
Fabric added this week  11.625 yards
Fabric added year to date  47.125 yards
Net used 2013  102.375 yards  

Our trip to Indiana found us in Amish country on a Sunday, when almost everything and everywhere is closed.  So as a consolation, DH took me to two quilt shops in Michigan on the way home.  We had crossed at Windsor/Detroit on the way down.  Getting through the border caused a long wait, and the roads on I-75 south were dreadful.  So on our return trip, we travelled I-69 and crossed at Port Huron/Sarnia.  It was much better, and didn't add any time to our trip.

We stopped at the Michigan welcome centre and DH picked up a copy of The Country Register.  There were excellent directions to Country Stitches in Lansing MI.  The shop was huge!  They had 3 large classrooms, a huge selection of sewing machines, tons of fabric, and even lots of 1/2 price sale fabric.  There were wonderful quilts displayed everywhere, and the staff was friendly and helpful!  I love striped fabric, especially for bindings, so I got 1/2 yard of two different ones.  The alphabet fabric was on sale, and the crayon fabric had to come home as well.  DH found the multicolour print and said I'd have to get some for my applique work!  I also picked up a cute panel to make a baby quilt - adding it to my collection....

The next shop was at Imlay City MI, called the Pincushion.  It was a smaller shop, but had lots of fabric, including a large selection of panels.  I don't usually buy kits, but this Noah's Ark  quilt caught my eye.  They only had one panel left, but none of the matching block fabric, so a kit came home with me.  There was lovely linen-look fabric in white and cream, so 2 yards had to come home for future red-work.  DH also spotted a beautiful Christmas panel by Timeless Treasures that made the trip as well.  I have a quilt that I hang outside on our home in Florida, and it has finally faded so much ( after hanging for a month every year for the past 15), that it needs to be replaced.  I'll use some of my Christmas stash for backing and binding, so its a real bonus!

I received a call from the dealer about my new machine, and as he'll be coming to my town next week, he'll be delivering it, to save us the trip!!!!  Next Thursday morning, I'll be learning all the ins and outs of my new machine.

Check out all the stash reports at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Not too much progress this week.  We were on a road trip, and I decided to enjoy the summer scenery instead of stitching.  I knew we'd be very busy once we arrived at our friends' home.

The stack on the left is made of duplicates from the remade blocks.  The centre stack has 16 and the right stack has 13.  Only 3 more to go to attach the next two rows!!!!

We attended our Godson, Liam's graduation parade for his two weeks at sea cadet camp.  His dad and middle sister were also able to attend, and took him home afterward.  We had a nice visit and went to lunch together before they headed out.  His sister was able to attend the same camp several years ago, and had returned to be on "staff" her final year, staying for all the sessions.  The cadets receive "pay" for their time on duty as well....

Thursday, August 1, 2013


DH and I are creatures of habit!  We like our days to progress in an orderly fashion, now that we are retired.

We had fun on our trip to Indiana.  It is the most disorganized trip we have ever taken - I guess we are not good at last minute changes anymore!  The biggest regret was forgetting all cameras!!!!  We did manage to visit the civil war era mill and get some buckwheat and whole wheat flour.  We bought some on a visit several years ago and the buckwheat pancakes are amazing.  I got enough to share with my son and his wife too.

DH picked up the guitar that he won on eBay.  He has wanted a Gretsch since he was 13, and now he has a beauty!

We had a great visit with our friends - neighbours in Florida in the winter time.  We saw many members of their family and toured the area.  Of course we ate too much food and laughed, sang songs, played games, rode around the property on his 4-wheeler.

On the way home we stopped at 2 quilt shops - both wonderful!  I'll report on them when I get pictures taken of the fabric I had to bring home.

Of course, my knee decided to act up again, and I'm back to travelling the stairs one at a time.   I called my doctor about the results of my MRI, and I'm waiting for a return call.  I've been going to a physiotherapist, and she called today, after seeing the results, so I know what it shows.  She thinks I'll be referred to an orthopedic specialist, but that will have to wait on my doctor.  We have great medical care, but I get impatient with the wait times.  I'd like to get my life back to normal - walking with no pain, being able to go up and down stairs and ride my bike etc.  I'm doing my stretches, exercises and heat and ice treatments every day, but the knee pain comes and goes.....

Now I'm done with the pity party, I think I better sew something!