Saturday, November 26, 2016

Winners and a Finish

I would like to thank everyone
for contributing to the comments on my last post,
"Things My Mother Used to Say".
I got quite a chuckle from some of the responses!

I'd like to add one more from my mom,
something I can hear her telling me several times a day,
"Never leave a room empty handed."
Not being the best housekeeper in the world, 
this little piece of advice keeps me on my toes,
and my house fairly tidy!

The Random Number Generator chose
comment number 37, Lisa Boyer
and comment number 7, Sandi @ Shhh Designs
to each receive 2-20 count Free Spirit Fabrics charm packs.

Congratulations, ladies!
As soon as I receive your addresses, I'll pop them into the mail.

I do have a finish to show you today,
one I am very proud of!

My first real attempt at custom quilting on my Janome Horizon.
I originally blogged about it HERE.

I am going to call this quilt "A Kennebec Wnter".
It is 60" x 60"and took me approximately 30 hours of quilting.

It was a great learning adventure.
I practiced going frontward, sideways, and backwards
and obviously, it's not perfect,
but I gained so much confidence!

Here's a close up.

And a look at it from the back.

I love my Janome and will miss it while I'm away.
I start my annual migration south next Saturday, with my first stop being Boston,
to spend a little time with family and friends,
before making my way to Texas.

Stay safe and warm
as Mother Nature begins to remind us that
yes, it is winter.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things My Mother Used to Say Give-away

My mother has been gone an awfully long time,
having passed away at the young age of fifty in 1982,
but I still hear her words every day.
One of the things she used to tell me is,
"If you don't have anything nice to say,
don't say anything at all."

I bring that up now because quite often
I read a blog post about how upset someone is
after receiving a negative, and sometimes abusive, comment.
My impression of the quilting community
is that we are kind and compassionate people.
Let's try to keep it that way!

Although I vowed NOT to start anything new,
I had a Free Spirit fat quarter bundle
of earth colored solids staring me down,
and it won!

I've been on an HST kick all summer,
and when I saw this quilt block on Anja's site,
I said to myself, "That's it, I'm doing this!"
Wanting a 'man quilt', I got right to work.
I have been cutting, sewing, and trimming 5.5" HSTs by the dozen
and having such fun!

I pinned a batting scrap to a wall hanging
for a quick, small design wall.

I'm loving it so much that when I return in the spring,
my intentions are to rearrange furniture
to make a whole wall available!
This wall would be perfect,
except there is a thermostat dead center!
See it?

Working with Free Spirit solids is a dream,
and last month's Free Spirit Fabrics give-away was so much fun,
I though we should do it again.

Now, my mother had a lot to say,
and I'm sure yours did, too!

For an opportunity to win 2-20 count charm packs
of the 'Earth' Free Spirit solids,
please tell me in your comment
something you remember your mother saying to you!

I will let the random number generator help me pick three winners
This give away will  be open for one week.

(This give away is now closed.)

Thanks for visiting!
Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir, Three Bags...


But not full.

My niece is expecting baby #2 later this month.
Her precious daughter is 4 years old,
so when I send a quilt for the new baby,

I will also include this little zippered pouch.
I think that when you are 4 years old, 
you need someplace to put your treasures!

This zippered pouch was made
If you are at all hesitant about making one,
this is the tutorial for you!
When you are finished, you'll ask yourself,
"Why haven't I made these before now?"
And you'll jump right in
and make another.

Bag number two is my second attempt 
at trying Noodlehead's Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial,
this time with success!

Was it just last summer
I was participating in a scrappy QAL,
then didn't care for the final project?
Or was it the summer before?
I lose track!
Too often!
Sometimes it's kind of scary.
Anyway, I came across the blocks I'd made,
and they said they wanted to be a bag.

I saved the best for last.
Bag number three is a 
Yay me!

Making it was like pulling teeth!   But I did it!

And, you know what?
When I am wintering in Texas,
I bet I make more.
At least two, to give as gifts.
I'm looking forward to cleaning out the bag I use now,
and transferring it's contents
before I go,
(in just over two weeks....YIKES!).

Join me there to see lots and lots of other bags
that have been made, most in the spirit of giving.
Patty has been posting many new tutorials for
making a myriad of useful gifts!
Check it out!!

Thanks for stopping in.
My next post will be another give-away,
so I hope you'll visit again!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Spiral Quilting

I find that I now call all quilts that I make-
'learning quilts',
and this next one is no exception.

Last fall, I thought it would be fun
to learn to make wonky log cabin blocks.
As soon as I had a few lined up on the table,
 they told me they wanted to be spiral quilted.

After searching Pinterest,
and checking out a few tutorials,
I contacted Linda, author of Flourishing Palms.
and requested a Spiral Quilting Tutorial.
She didn't disappoint, 
as shortly thereafter, she published a very in depth
and well written tutorial.
Thanks, Linda!

But, it was getting late in the season for me,
and I was only able to complete a couple of blocks
before it was time to  pack things up
and migrate south for the winter.

Last week, I pulled out this UFO and completed it.
I didn't forget how to make the wonky log cabin blocks,
but I did have to brush up on the spiral quilting.

"The big X in the centers?", you ask?
Remember I said this was a learning quilt?
Welllll, I was so excited to start the spiraling process
when Linda published her tutorial,
I forgot to put a backing on my block, so
I quilted them all the same after that little faux pas,
and needed some way to anchor the backing.
To quote a quilty friend of mine,
"It's for a baby.  He/she won't know the difference."
(You know who you are.)

After I put it all together, 
I'd wished I'd made it much larger,
but unless I wanted it to be a UFO for another year,
I had to go with 36"x 36",
calling it my one and only gender neutral baby quilt.
Now, I'm ready for anything,
boy babies, girl babies, and 'I don't know' babies!

The fabrics were passed on to me from
 friends in the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.
I don't often have yardage to work from,
so I thank you very much!

From soggy Cape Breton,
I wish you a sewl-ful week!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

This and That

Autumn is a difficult time of year for me to begin anything new,
and it's sew hard not to!
But this is when I have to focus on finishing up everything
I started during the summer to get ready to travel south.

Elm Street Quilts is hostessing Bag It!
and I love making bags.
Hop on over and check out all of Patty's tutorials
for some gift giving ideas.
Be sure to scroll through her posts so you don't miss a thing!
Maybe you will even win some excellent prizes!

If you hurry,
you can sign up for EasyPatchwork's
but the deadline is today.

I'd like to congratulate the winners
of my Free Spirit Fabrics solids give away.
The random number generator chose
Sheila, author of Sheila's Quilt World
and The Lueken Family 
to each receive a jelly roll.
Sunny (Quilting Dreams) and Lynn (Hey Boo)
were the lucky recipients of the charm packs.
Everyone has been notified
and some have already received their prizes.
I wish I could have sent a prize to everyone!
That said, it was so much fun, let's do it again soon.

I'll be back, maybe with some pictures!
Although life has gotten in the way, but on a positive note,
I have been sewing a little.

Have a wonderful, funderful day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

On My Design Floor

I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to wall space,
so I depend upon my floor to lay out quilts as I work.

I like to keep a couple of baby quilts on hand,
and it seems they all tend toward the female gender!
So, at my Crafty Daughter's urging, I'm concentrating on boys.

This week on my design floor, I am putting together a chevron quilt

As always, just click on the pictures to enlarge.

which looks  quick and easy,
but this is ME!

I'm pretty pokey, slow, and deliberate,
and it's taking me days to make.

I was sewing with someone last month
who whipped up a chevron quilt
It was kind of comical.
I sat in one corner, stitching away,
putt, putt, putt,
and she sat in the opposite corner,
zoom, ZOOM, ZOOM!
YOU know who you are!

Today, I'm squaring up all my blocks.
I used the 'make 8 HSTs at once' method
following this tutorial.
I knew I wanted my quilt to be no more than 40" wide,
so I consulted the provided chart

and decided to cut my beginning squares 8.5" to get 5.5" blocks..
When I sewed them together, I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance
to give me plenty of room to square up the blocks.

When I am squaring up blocks, especially larger sizes,
I place it slightly askew on my cutting mat

to make it a little easier to take that final slice across the top.
That way I'm not contorting myself
and causing my ruler to slip.

Using this method of constructing HSTs means cutting across the bias.
I never spray a finished block with water or starch,
because it causes distortion,
which causes frustration.
Instead, I use spray starch before I cut my strips/squares.
Seems to work very well, for me.

Although I'm not crazy about this quilt
(it looked different in my head)
I'm excited to get it together and under Janome's needle
because I'll be using variagated thread for the first time!

All my fabrics are 1/2 yard cuts from Northcott,
three different lines that played so well together -
Rainforest Romp, A Day in the Amazon, Freestyle,
and for the backing, At the Zoo, from Henry Glass Fabrics.

This is a pretty wordy post, for me.
If you made it all the way to the end,
and you are interested in my scraps for your donor quiltmaking,

please just mention it in your comment!
There's no sense saving them until I revisit them.
Life is paved with good intentions, but it could be forever
before I unearth them again!
so, they're up for grabs!

I hope you are having a quilty day!
If the sun is shining in your corner of the world,
get out and celebrate the day!
Your sewing machine will wait patiently for your return!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Catching the Spirit Give Away

click picture to enlarge

In life, I have always been 'a free spirit'.
The Urban Dictionary defines a free spirit as 
   one who is not restrained.

With designers the likes of Kaffe Fassett,


 Free Spirit Fabrics epitomizes that definition.
Check out their blog for more give away opportunities!

But did you know that Free Spirit also has 
a quality line of solids?

As my sewing experience has grown,
due largely in part to quilting's incredible online presence,
I have become a little bit of a fabric snob.
The very first time I handled Free Spirit solids,

You might remember this Bright Birch Trees quilt I made from all Free Spirit solids,
except the scraps, of course.

I never looked back.
They sew like a dream, they hardly ravel, I've had no bleeding issues,
And I just LOVE how they feel.

With the exception of the Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild's
Kona signature colors,
I've been purging my solids stash,
and am in the process of replacing them with... guessed it!
Free Spirit Fabrics!

To help YOU  'Catch the Spirit',
Free Spirit Fabrics has very generously provided
some fabric bundles for this give away.

I have two 20 piece jelly rolls of pretty pastels to give away,
 plus two prizes of  two 20 count charm packs of the same.
Four chances to win!

Entering is easy peasy!
Just leave a comment!
(I'd really like to know what makes you a free spirit!)

If you happen to be a follower of my blog,
a second comment telling me so will give you an extra chance!

I'd like to extend a big thank you to Free Spirit Fabrics
for making this give away possible!

Thanks for popping in for a visit!
Good luck!

This give away will end at midnight, Atlantic Time Zone.
Monday, October 10.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

October, Already?

Another quick post.
My brain has been sewing,
not writing!

The winner of the Chunky Alphabet Give-away is:
#26, Carol, author of Beads and Birds.
Congratulations, Carol!
Carol is a new-to-me blogger
and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted.
I have met so many new bloggers this year!

Several of you commented that you've never made a zippered pouch.
I know it sounds intimidating,
but Patty at Elm Street Quilts
has a fantastic tutorial for a basic pouch
that you really must try!
She takes all the mystery out of the process
in easy to follow steps.
It's my "go to" tute!
As a matter of fact, I just whipped up another one.
I'll show you later.

Although my sewing machines have been humming,
I don't really have anything to show,
no finishes,
no 'in process' photos,

I decided it was time to try some graffiti quilting free motion doodling,
that it would be the best way to hone my skills.
How many samples can one make?
There is such a big difference between FMQing on a small square
and FMQing on a big quilt.

I decided to tackle my wonky churn dash Checkmark quilt.
It is a pretty bizarre design that, to be honest with you,
 I figure no one will really want,
even though it was lots of fun to make.
So, why not?
Maybe I'll keep a quilt for myself for a change!

I keep a FMQ journal,
log my time, and discuss with myself
what works, what doesn't.
I'm mostly practicing control and travelling.
On this quilt, I am using Aurifil 50 weight white thread,
and sometimes its difficult to see where I have already stitched.
I love my Janome with a passion,
but there isn't a lot of visibility,
so it's a double whammy.

And blinking!  I forget to blink,
so I'm practicing that, too!

And that's about all from
my little corner of the world!

Be sure to click on the picture to see it better!

Here's a little Tern feather
that was floating by on the surface of the water
last time I was out in my kayak.
Won't be many paddling days remaining.

Happy October!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Bag It 2016 and a Give Away

I've been working with a quilty friend
one day a week during the summer months,
teaching her little tricks of the trade!

When she asked to learn how to make a zippered bag,
I jumped at the chance to refresh my memory
and make a giftie!

I was trying to make the Open Wide Zippered Pouch
from a tutorial by Noodlehead
but I confess,
I messed up.
Worked out okay, because it showed her two
different ways to finish the end of the zipper.

I'm also teaching her how to finish her own quilts,
so I took the opportunity to quilt the front and back
differently so she could see she has
options besides sewing a simple grid.

I apologize for the poor pictures. I only snapped them real fast
to show her from the back, because after the pouch was sewn up,
it was difficult to see.

I'm proud to say,
her first zippered pouch was gift worthy!

I'm linking up to
Elm Street Quilts.

Elm Street Quilts

Speaking of Elm Street Quilts,
I continue to have fun with Patty's Chunky Alphabet.

This 14" x 24" pillow cover
was posted in the mail yesterday to my step-cousin.
An intellectually disabled adult,
she recognizes her name in lower case letters,
so this was a fun project
that she will just adore!

I stitch my letters in the evenings, after I clean up the supper dishes.
It's like having a delicious dessert,
without the calories!

I did say there would be a give away!

Patty is graciously supplying a PDF copy of her 
Chunky Alphabet Paper Pieced
as a give away today!

As an extra bonus, Patty just happens to be having
a birthday sale in her Payhip shop through the end of the month!
Just use the coupon code BIRTHDAY
for a 20% discount!
What a deal!
So take a minute and go check it out!

Thanks, Patty!

Just leave a comment to enter the give away.
The Random Number Generator
will choose a winner
one week from today!

Thanks for popping in!

Monday, September 19, 2016

WIPs Be Gone

Look at the beautiful postcard
that I received in the mail from Sheila!

It's almost just like looking out my front window!
I can take it to Texas with me
so I don't forget!
Thanks, Sheila!

A few finishes, finally.
Sometimes, I work on so many things at once,
it takes me awhile to finish any of them.

This Pineapple Blossom quilt has been a WIP
for a very long time.
Each center square carries a signature.
I will be gifting this to a long time friend who's husband is very sick.
She needs a perpetual warm embrace!

This baby/toddler quilt is a top I made in Texas
and brought back to finish on the Janome.
It still lacks a label.

And that's about all!

Today, I'm linking up to

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In My Humble Opinion

There was more than a wee bit of secret sewing happening at my house during the month of August, but today I can show you one finished project, as it has now been gifted.

(please click on picture to enlarge)

In anticipation of a weekend visit to Linda, The Scrapmaster aka The Fabric Pig, I whipped up this cute little banner for Linda's sewing room.

 The paper pieced alphabet that I used is available in the Elm Street Quilts' Craftsy store. Just click right HERE to purchase yours! 

The pig face is a free tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts, which is generously offered HERE!  I have future plans for both patterns, and can't wait to get started!

Visiting Linda is such a delight.  Her family is always so welcoming and supportive, and Linda has so much to share and teach, which she does quite naturally.  I drive away with a lot more knowledge about fabric selection, thread, needles, FMQ than I ever arrive with.

Here is where Linda sits when she does her handwork.  Lots of natural light over her left shoulder.
The perfect spot!

I took the picture because I really like the pillow.  
She has the most awesome pillows and quilts all through the house.
They are soft and wonderful and every one is an invitation
to sit and snuggle up.
Here is one on display by Lesley of The Cuddle Quilter,

gifted to Linda when we had our challenge swap
during the late spring, when the NSQBQ met up
 at the Westville Quilt Show.
(This year's challenge is a round robin,
thus the 'other' secret sewing.
We aren't going to show each other until the big reveal next spring.)

I was quite taken with this beautiful wallhanging at that show,
as a matter of fact, it stopped me dead in my tracks.
No way does the picture do it justice.

Imagine my delight when I discovered it was made by our very own Sheila!
Check out the beautiful detail!

They each have lots to teach me!


Now for my humble opinion:

Creating controversy is what some people do best, however...

.......just because someone makes a statement that you may not agree with, you must remember, it's just one person's opinion. It's not the law.  It's not a rule.  It's not everyone.  It's just one person.  

Bottom line:  If you want to stipple, then stipple.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sweet Summer Days

Another glorious summer day has dawned
here on Cape Breton Island.
We certainly are being rewarded for waiting so long
for it's appearance!

This past Saturday, the NSQBQ (minus one)

(Karen, Lesley, Linda)

was on the road again;
this time, their yearly trek to Pictou, NS for the

(Click picture to enlarge)

annual quilt show.

Sadly, Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World
was unable to join us this year
and we really missed her.

I love this guild's wall hanging.
The lighthouse is shining right down onto Pictou
on the applique of Nova Scotia mainland.
See Cape Breton Island at the upper right?
And that small land mass in the center is Prince Edward Island.
The red plaid applique on the left is New Brunswick.

This quilt shows the maritimes
appliqued in the different tartans that represent each province.
Extremely clever!
I like clever.

Seemsas though we liked, and photographed, the same quilts,
so I defer you to The Scrapmaster, aka Linda,
and Lesley, The Cuddle Quilter
to see all the quilter's eye candy
on display at the show.

Lesley and Linda brought two beautiful quilted creations to
photograph against the harbor scene at Pictou,

but the wind had other ideas!
See how 'straight out' those flags to the left are flying?
I'm surprised the girls weren't launched skyward!
That's sure a funny image in my mind's eye!

Making memories!
We certainly had fun.


In my last post,
I showed you a picture of Ruddy Turnstones
and gave you a little information 
about them.

Yesterday, I was paddling in a more sheltered location,
and came across more!
I thought you might like to see one closer up.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Check out those bright orange legs!
From a distance, it's head blended right into the rocks.
I kept waiting for him to turn around,
but he was actually staying really, really still
hoping I couldn't see him at all!

Click on picture to enlarge.

The Ruddy Turnstone is so named 
because it is best know for its habit of inserting its bill
under stones, shells, etc., and flipping them over to find food underneath.

The other migrating shorebirds we saw
weren't as obliging as this little guy.

Ahhh, sweet summer!
Hope you are enjoying yours!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Full Force

Summer is in full force
and finding time to sew can be difficult!
But I did manage a few finishes.
As I've already mentioned,
I participated in the Repeat - the QAL

with Patty over at Elm Street Quilts.
I sat each evening after the supper dishes were cleared away
and foundation pieced my letters,
a few at a time.
I called it my dessert!

I quilted it with an all over design
of Angela Walters.
I found the design fun to stitch,
but had trouble making it look random
yet all fit together.

I purchased the whole alphabet here
and have already started a new wall hanging.
As it's a gift, it will have to remain 
a secret sewing project until fall.

Color Play
by the late Carol Turznik
aka MamaCJT

is a finish
with some simple straight line quilting.

I had emailed Carol during the late winter months
to inquire about her health.
During the course of our correspondence,
I asked about the availability of this pattern.
She very kindly dug around and found one lingering in her cache
and sent it to me right away.

Sadly, Carol passed away on May 7th.
Her family has left her blog intact
and I often revisit it for inspiration and rememberence.
Carol was incredibly talented,
loving color and whimsy.
I know she touched the lives of many quilters
around the world,
and that she is greatly missed.


Our first paddle of the season took us out into open ocean
and what a fun ride it was!
While the sea was relatively calm,
the water was rolling in a big way
as it made its approach toward the huge rocks
that so beautifully adorn our coastline.
No breakers, just rolling.

It made it a little difficult to get pictures,
but managed this almost nice one
before I almost crashed into the rocks,
making the Ranger just a little nervous!

(Click picture to enlarge.)

Ruddy Turnstones
(Arenaria interpres)
8" - 10"
"A squat, robust, orange-legged shorebird with a harlequin pattern."

Arenaria is latin for 'sand-loving'.

These shorebirds breed during the summer months in the arctic tundra
and are now on their way south for the winter!


Have a wonderful, funderful weekend!
I am joining the NSQBQ
for a quilt show in Pictou, NS on Saturday!
What are your plans?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Finally Finished

I am very pleased to be able to declare
finally a finish!  
And about time, eh?
(That's Canada Speak.  I practice when I can!)

I eventually finish everything.
Sometimes it's a year,
sometimes it's six years!

You can't really tell in the first picture, 
but I wrapped the upper right hand corner 
binding of the same fabric as the bird 
(and framed the label with that blue, as well).

Speaking of birds......

Seems that in my little world, I mark the passing of time
with the comings and goings of my fine feathered friends.
And oh my, time is passing at warp speed.

I had the pleasure of hosting a breeding pair of Cedar Waxwings 
and was treated to several feeding times throughout the day.
Unable to catch a shot through the leaves of the willow
to show mom tending to baby's needs,
I did get a pretty nice pic of baby with a full tummy.

They are gone, now.

I'm linking up to What a Hoot!  TGIFF

I have also linked to Angie's

Have a great weekend!
It's a long weekend here in Canada.
A civic holiday, I believe, tucked into the calendar 
just to give everyone a day off!