Announcing the arrival of Théo the Wonder Puppy and  other Things! 

Thank goodness babies are cute because otherwise I’d be tearing my eyebrows out already. Nope we do not have a new “actual” baby. We have a new puppy.  He is a brindle phantom inter-variety (AKA Moyen or Medium) poodle.  This variety is quite rare in Canada and not recognized by CKC or AKC. It’s kinda a cross between a miniature and a standard poodle.  We hope he will grow up to be about 30 lbs and be a little brother to our big 76 lb Standard Poodle. So far Tigg wants very little to do with the new addition.

Here is Théo.  As  can see, he is fully loaded in the looks department but I don’t want anyone to think he’s just a pretty face. Here he is reading the newspaper with my hubby, which is, I’m sure you’ll agree quite astonishing for a fella as young as he is (talking about Théo, not hubby).


Now on a different topic, I am expecting again….Nope, not expecting a baby….I’m expecting to accomplish lots in my  sewing room this year.  This is what’s already on the agenda.

  • Patchwork City Quilt Along.  This started back in September with members all across Canada and already its coming along nicely. I am in awe of the talents of my fellow quilters in this one. It’s simply shocking how very very talented my friends are.  Stay tuned for further pics from this project.  Here are my  blocks so far. I seem to be stuck on green and orange.
  • Bee Inspired.  This is an online Bee comprised of bloggers I met last year in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. My month is June. I’ve already sent one block off to the states. Only 11 more to go. 

It’s a simple paper pieced Block called Split Hatchet. I love it and am eager to see Sharon’s finished quilt.

  • PEIMQG Round Robin challenge.  My centre  block is boxed up and ready to start its travels beginning at the January meeting on Thursday.  Here is a sneak peak of the box and it’s contents. This one has me very excited.
  • Long Time Gone Quilt-Along.  Holy Heck Hermione.  I did this.  It’s A crazy crazy quilt along that aims to complete this quilt in 4 months. The pattern arrived in the mail earlier this week (and Théo has already chewed the pattern book covers)  so I cannot back out now. Yikes this one may be a bridge too far!

  • Japanese Crosses. I’m not sure where this one is going, but I’ve already got about 24 blocks done on this one.  Here is a quick pic of blocks I’ve made since mid-December. 
  • Marie’s Granddaughter’s Graduation Quilt.  There is very little info on this one yet.  It’s going to be a traditional photo remembrance quilt, which is something way outside my wheelhouse, but it’s always good to try new things.   This one has to be done by June, so stay tuned for pics as we progress.

So that’s it for my projects (I think).  I didn’t include the blocks I’ll make monthly for my PEIMQG Bee block exchange or any special blocks I’ll be making for Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild; and I also didn’t include the “150 Women Quilt” that Selina and I are considering making to celebrate our Nation’s birthday. It’s got 150 six inch blocks and it’s a monthly QAL. We are still thinking about this, not sure how or if we’ll get it done. It’d be really cool and I’d do it in a heartbeat, if I was convinced there was a possibility I could make another 75 blocks.


Here is a picture. Here is a link to the site.  150 Women.  Check it out. It’s an important quilt and one any Canadian quilter should have a look at!

What’s on your plate?

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“Crosses and Xs”, A Picto-Toot’…

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This modern looking beauty is a VERY traditional block.  It is sometimes called Japanese Cross or Crosses and Losses.  Quilters like me have been crushing on it  since the 1930s.  This block was originally credited to Nancy Cabot in 1938 according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Block Patterns.  So there you go…Everything old is new again; what goes around comes around…You get the idea.

I saw this block featured on my  Pinterest feed and I absolutely love it. It looks ahhhmazing in a pastel-y palate and just as great if you are a wild woman like me when you are picking colours for quilts.

(There are more pics and links to finished projects at the end of the Toot).

So without any more chit-chat, here is the Picto Toot that will make a 10.5″ unfinished block.

    This block requires SEVEN FABRICS in any combination. Go. Wild.  I dare you. I did!

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    Seriously folks, 7 fabrics–Absolutely No Exceptions.

    Now lets get out those rotary cutters and start having fun. Here is how I cut the fabrics for this Toot’.

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    Yikes.  Relax you can do this.  Lets start with the 8 x 2.5″ squares.

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    Use a ruler and a pencil to draw a diagonal line on the back of each of these 8 squares.  You could also fold the squares on the diagonal and press the line – or – use a Hera tool – or – if you are super confident, just wing it (I don’t have that kinda courage).

    Pick up the 4 x 4″ squares and the marked 2.5″ squares and head over to the sewing machine.

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    Place a small square on each of the larger squares (just like in the pic) and sew ’em together right down that line.  Then do it all over again on the opposite corner.  You’ll use two smaller squares on each larger square.  But you knew that already didn’t you?

    After they’re sewn on, flip the smaller squares back on the sewn line, and press,press,press…before you start cutting off the ends.  I find pressing at this stage helps to square everything up, if your stitching line tends to be a bit wonky. Sigh.

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    Now you can cut the undersides away like the above picture.  Flip the small corner triangle back into place. Then just sit for a minute and enjoy how pretty they look (and give yourself a pat on the back for your bold colour choices).

    Okay, moving on to the next section.  Confession time… I  didn’t take very many pictures of this stage… my iPad was perilously close to running out of battery life. Here is the only pic I took.

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    Its pretty self explanatory.  Pick two of the remaining teal 2.5″  blocks  and two lavender (pink?) blocks  to sew together and and sew the last two lavender (pink?) blocks to each side of the teal 6.5″ rectangle.

    Whew…you’re almost there.  Set out your block like this….

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    Sew them together in rows, matching seams if you are that kind of girl, which I’m not… but that’s a story for another day.  Then head back to the pressing station one final time.   I prefer to press the rows towards the cross because it helps to make those pretty crosses pop…but that’s your call. You could also press the seams open to reduce bulk if that’s the kinda thing that makes you crazy. 

    Prepare to be amazed and impressed with yourself.  This is what the finished block will look like.

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    Yay You.  You made a beautifully modern/traditional block.

    And now for your viewing pleasure, here are a few more pics of how this could go together into a quilt and/or what some other colour choices would look like.

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    My personal favourite Color combo–so far!

    The grouping of blocks below came from Flikr.  I love them too because this shows you that more low-key  colorways can also be very effective in this block.

    +&x blocks progress

    You can also go to my Pinterest Feed and find about another gazillion colour choices.  Here is the link for Granny Can Quilt – Modern Granny.  Just scroll through the Board and you will find some great colorways for this block (and lots of other fab-u-lous stuff IMHO!)

    or just click here; or here; or here; Gawjus…Gawjus…Gawjus.

    Update:

    Click  here for a link to a Pinterest tutorial for a 5.5″unfinished block. 

    If by chance you want to make a 15.5 inch unfinished block, here is the cutting information you need. Then just follow along with my tutorial to make a gigantic version. 

    • cut 2 squares 3.5″ and 1 rectangle 3.5″ x 9.5 from the cross fabric
    • Cut 4 squares 3.5″
    • Cut 8 squares 3.5″ for corner triangles
    • Cut 4 squares 6.5″ for Xs

    One last thing I should say…look at all the blocks on my Pinterest Page and you’ll see that you can use the 7 fabrics wherever you want in the block.  As an example, you could make all four arms in the Xs from the same fabric, or from 2, 3 or 4 different ones.  IMHO you should probably make the crosses from the same fabric, so they don’t get lost in the mix, but you could probably get away with using different ones that were very equal in tone and value. Click here to see what I mean.

    Leave me a comment if you like this tutorial; and post some pics if you make the block.  I’d love to link them up here.

    Have an amazingly creative day.

    Teal Mini Swap – I made a mini…I’m gonna get a mini

    Designed by Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs, the Teal Mini Swap is an annual event intended to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, provide funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and to give quilters and sewers a fun little swap

    AmysCreativeSide

    This is my entry into the mini quilt category over at Amy’s Creative Side.  I wrote this post less than a week ago to say thank you for my partner in the Teal Mini Quilt 2016 swap.

    I was moved to participate this year, because my sister-in-law, Helene is currently receiving treatment for a gynaecological cancer.  Chemo was/is scheduled every 3 weeks since mid-August and continues through November, 2016. Helene is a remarkably strong and vibrant woman, but she is overwhelmed with debilitating side effects from chemotherapy.  I hoped I could raise her spirits and your awareness of this monstrous disease by taking part in a very worthy cause.  

    After signing up I was quickly paired with the lovely Ms. Tony Jean Dickerson of Kansas City, MO. As participants we each received a small piece of the specially selected teal swap fabric – this year a lovely Moda teal (its the dark teal square in the picture below!) –  which we were asked to use  when making a mini quilt or mug rug for our swap partner. We were instructed to make our Minis or mug rugs in September and get them delivered to partners no later than October 2. 

    Tony Jean and I quickly became Facebook friends and started chatting via Messenger, e-mail and on the Facebook page created for the swap.  I learned that Tony Jean works for a school system in Kansas City, that she would like a mini-quilt for her new office…and her office is in an ultra modern building with a bold blue and orange colour scheme.  I love orange and blue together, so was eager to start pulling fabric, cutting, piecing, and sewing on the mini for her.  At first I was afraid that the various teal fabrics wouldn’t play well together, but much to my pleasure, all the shades of blue, orange and teal that I pulled went together well.  Here is a photo of the colours I ended up choosing, including the teal fabric provided by the Swap Host and Moda.

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    After poking around Pinterest Boards and pins for a day or two, I found my inspiration in this lovely mini quilt by Terry Aske of Terry Aske Art Quilts.  You can check out her “Mostly Teal” mini quilt in more detail by clicking here if you are so inclined.  You should go, because there are a lot of really beautiful textile and fibre art pieces on her website.  Don’t forget to come back.

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    “Mostly Teal”  by Terry Aske – TerryAskeArtQuilts.com

     

    I knew I didn’t have the skills to make anything nearly as wonderful as this, but I did happen to have lots of fabric snippets in the colours that Tony Jean asked for, as you can see.   So I began…

    It only took one evening to piece my version…which I’m calling sTeal Magnolias. I’m happy to say there were no snags or hiccups during the piecing, and it turned out to be as cute as a button, all blue, green, orange and teal.


    FYI, the mini quilt was supposed to be no more than 18″ square (Tony Jean’s mini did end up just a smidge bigger finished).

    Also FYI, I have absolutely no machine quilting skills at all because I either hand-quilt or send all my tops out to be long-arm quilted.

    Also FYI, I didn’t think I should hand-quilt this fairly modern wonky log cabin, so after I finished piecing the mini, I resolved I would machine quilt it on my Babylock by myself.  Yikes, OMG, Holy Heck Hermione, etc., I was very nervous that after all my hard work, I would wreck it at this stage. So with my heart in my mouth and my fingers crossed, I commenced machine quilting. And HOLY MOLEY IT TURNED OUT GREAT.  See.

    I went with in-the-ditch quilting for the  log cabins and very narrow rows straight lines with some gentle curves every 4th or fifth row. I used my walking foot and a Hera marker to try to keep everything fairly linear,  Here is the back of the quilt.

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    As you can see the back is pieced with scraps I had on hand and a sample block that I had drafted and discarded for the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop (which is a whole ‘nuther story for a whole ‘nuther day).  I hand printed the label with a dark teal pigma pen (so it should last forever), glue basted it to the quilt and quilted it down, then popped it into the mail for my new friend Tony Jean Dickerson in Kansas City, MO. USA.

    I sure hope she likes it.  I am beyond excited to get mine from her  in the mail.  I’ll post  a picture as soon as it gets here.  Yay!

     

     

     

     

     

    Berry Fields – my first block design.

    It’s my turn to share the block I made for the Cloud Nine New Block Blog Hop.  And, of course, I wrote a picto-toot to go with it.  Holy O My Goodness.  Who’dathought I could do that.  Should you want to make this block, you will find the some handy-dandy details below.

    First let me say I am completely blown away by the blocks that yesterday’s bloggers posted. I feel so lucky to be part of this blog hop and so excited to see all these lovely blocks.

    Second, let me say, I tried to make sure that this block was never published before.  As you know, that in itself is a very difficult thing because there are so many quilt designer/bloggers out there.  Lets face it folks, it is not at all that outside the realm of possibility that someone thought of this block layout before me.

    Third, please know that if I did design a block that’s already out there in the world with someone’s copyright attached to it, I didn’t do it on purpose…I did a Google Image search and checked Pinterest five ways to Sunday to cover my bases.  And…if you (who own the block pattern) will contact me, I’ll definitely make sure that you, not me, get all the credit for this very cool block.

    So with no further ado, here we go.

    “Berry Fields” – A Block Picto-toot

    Cut the following pieces for one  12 1/2″ (unfinished) block. This block is put together in sections.  Just follow the instructions on the pics and before you know it, you’ll be done.

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    Set out pieces for Section 1 and sew as described on the picture

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    Press seams in this section to the right…

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    Then lay out pieces for Section 2 and sew together as follows:

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    Press seams in this section to the left…

    Use the remaining pieces to lay out Section 3 and sew together as instructed

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    Press seams in this section to the right…

    All that’s left to do is lay out the 3 sections and admire your gawjeus block.

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    Sew the 3 rows together as instructed on the picture and – Holy heck Hermione – you’re finished and its a beautiful block!

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      “Berry Fields”

    by

    grannycanquilt.wordpress.com

    That wasn’t hard at all was it?

    PS:  If you were so inclined, you could make a whole bunch of these blocks and create a quilt.  Give each block a quarter turn and you will get lots of excitement and motion in the quilt top and a cool secondary pattern that will appear just like magic where the coloured rectangles in the corners come together.  Try it and see…

    Now you should definitely go check out all the ahhhmazing blocks made by the others in this blog hop.

    Today’s Group (not including me)

    Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

    Miranda @I Have Purple Hair
    Jennifer @The Inquiring Quilter
    Sarah @123 Quilt
    Leanne @Devoted Quilter
    Jen @Patterns By Jen
    Jennifer @RV Quilting
    Amanda @Quiltologie
    Sharon @Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
    Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
    Jen @Faith and Fabric
    Carole @Carole Lyles Shaw
    Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
    Susan @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
    Katrin @Now What Puppilalla
    Amista @Hilltop Custom Designs
    Nicole @Handwrought Quilts
    Marla @Penny Lane Quilts
    Silvia @A Stranger View
    Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
    Carrie @the zen quilter
    Mary @Quilting is in My Blood

    Yesterday’s Group

    Host: Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    Abigail @Cut & Alter
    Janice @Color, Creating, and Quilting!
    Lorinda @Laurel, Poppy, and Pine
    Melva @Melva Loves Scraps
    Renee @Quilts of a Feather
    Kathryn @Upitis Quilts
    Kim @Leland Ave Studios
    Amanda @this mom quilts
    Holly @Lighthouse Lane Designs
    Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
    Jennifer @Dizzy Quilter
    Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
    Anne @Said With Love
    Suzy @Adventurous Applique and Quilting
    Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
    Kathleen @Smiles From Kate
    Amanda @Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.
    Sarah @Sarah Goer Quilts
    Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
    Jinger @Trials of a Newbie Quilter
    Anja @Anja Quilts
    Daisy @Ants to Sugar

    Tomorrow’s Group

    Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

    Kathy @Kathys Kwilts and More
    Paige @Quilted Blooms
    Mary @Strip Quilts Pass it On
    Allison @Woodberry Way
    Seven @The Concerned Craft
    Olusola @Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co.
    Ann @Brown Paws Quilting
    Jodie @Persimmon + Pear
    Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
    Kitty @Night Quilter
    Francine @Mochawildchild
    Shelley @The Carpenter’s Daughter who Quilts
    Jayne @Twiggy and Opal
    Geraldine @Living Water Quilter
    Shannon @Shannon Fraser Designs
    Lisa @Sunlight In Winter Quilts
    Jessica @Quilty Habit
    Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
    Deanna @Stitches Quilting
    Denise @Craft Traditions

    Trust me, you will be blown away by the ahhhmazing blocks this group has dreamed…and drafted…up.

    Thank you so much to Cloud Nine fabrics for providing this beautiful fabric.  Thanks to our hosts and to everyone who supported me while I was putting the idea for this block together.

     

    My quilty pleasure place

    Today I’m going to a linky party hosted by one of the 2016 new quilt bloggers named Melva who blogs at Melvalovesscraps.blogspot.ca .  Its all about sharing the space where we quilt.  Needless to say I’m excited (and a tiny bit nervous) to share my quilty play place with you.

    First let me say, that I tidied it up quite a bit before I invited you over. And I caution you not to look in the corners, because some of the dust bunnies hiding there are bigger than my sewing machine.

    Here goes.

    When I come into the room, on the left is my cutting table. Many years ago, when I was really into my “contemporary country quilting” stage (is there even such a thing?) I pieced and hand quilted these blocks and hubby had them framed for me as a gift.  (There’s another one on the other wall which you’ll see it in a few minutes).  It was a really amazingly thoughtful gift and it still makes me smile when I see how well those churn dashes are quilted.  They were and still are, one of my all time favourite blocks to make.

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    That cylinder rolled up on the table is my 2016 Teal Mini-Quilt which I’m getting ready to send to my partner Tony Jean Dickerson in the USA.

    My hubby has a silly sense of humour.  He decided to surprise me one day with this wooden portrait of me in “sewing mode”.  Seriously folks, this is what I have to deal with every day.  Below it are several of my fabric bins.  I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t opened these bins except to add more fabrics for a loooooong time.

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    Next up is more of hubby’s creative art work for my walls (its a button and a needle with thread), another log cabin framed quilt and a glimpse of one of my bins of larger cuts of fabric.  Once upon a time those drawers were colour coordinated, starting at the top with green, red, neutral, blue and yellow.  I rarely buy solid colored fabric and often cannot decide what colour is dominant in a fabric, so things hIMG_2430ave gotten a bit muddy over the years.  But it is still one of my best go to spots in the room.  On top of the cabinet is the first mini-quilt I ever made.  I made it for our PEIMQG Tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright, but I didn’t’ like the way it turned out, so now it sits on the top of the cupboard.

    Here is another stash bin.  I’ve opened the “black” drawer at the bottom.  For some reason this is my cats favourite spot to nap and he often comes in and cries for me to open it, so he can curl up in it.  Thank goodness he is not in there now.  That would be mighty embarrassing.

    Next to the bins is a small open cabinet that I use to store backing fabrics and batting.  Sitting on top is another of hubby’s DIY projects. Its a small portable ironing board.

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    A portable pressing surface is a godsend.  Just Saying.  Get one, or make one if you can.

    I also have a ruler storage space here and a spool rack (another hubby project….what would I do without him?)

    Above my sewing space is a large open shelving area, where I am currently using the top shelf to store some WIPs.  My most recent finished quilts look lovely stacked on the bottom.  I enjoy having these close by, where I can look at them every day and know that there will be another finished one there someday soon.

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    Next stop on the tour is the open shelving area on both sides of my sewing area.  This is a very flexible space and currently I am using it to store FQs, books, magazines and albums containing pictures of the quilts I made back in the day before I started storing pics on my computer and Instagram.  As you can see, my “little scraps basket” is getting mighty full so I’ve recently added another one to the top shelf beside my water jug. Yikes I need to get a grip and do something with these.

    The lower shelves provide a perfect spot for me to showcase the beautiful fat quarters I’ve been collecting recently and the ones I’ve pulled for the projects I’m working on now.  It appears that quite without my being actively aware of it, I’ve become a modern quilt enthusiast. Check out all my modern low volume FQs on the middle shelf and large print pretties and stacks of jewel toned FQs.

    Last thing on the list is my design wall.  I know its small, its behind the door, and its usually covered with bits of thread or orphan blocks.  I would be absolutely lost without it (do I need to say that Hubby put that there for me?)

    So there you have it.  This is  where I spend many happy and creative hours every day. The picture is of our granddaughter Jessica when she was a little girl.  I cannot believe that she’s 21 years old already and I’ve been quilting since before she was born.  Time flies scary fast.

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    I know I am extremely lucky to have a dedicated sewing room in our home here on PEI after years of sewing in the basement laundry room in Sherwood Park, Alberta.  This one has a window that looks out over our front yard.  Hubby is the gardener and I take no credit for the beauty that I see whenever I look out any of the windows in our house.  Oh yeah in case you missed it, there is usually at least one big poodle dog sitting on the couch looking out that window or looking at me while I work.

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    He has a very keen eye and often offers constructive criticism of whatever it is I’m working on, unless of course he is trying to catch the cat…

    I hope you enjoyed the visit.  I’m glad you popped in.  Please come back anytime (but don’t be surprised if my sewing room looks like it was hit by a tornado — which is the way it usually looks).

     

     

     

     

    GRANNYcanQUILT…that’s me!

    Hello, and welcome to my tiny piece of cyberspace.

    Lucky me, along with about 55 others, I’m part of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. We are hosted by Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. Way back in the spring,  our hosts divided us into smaller hives and I found myself part of Chery’s tribe.  We call ourselves “Mis-Bee-Hivin’. This is our button.

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    The awesome Amista from Hilltop Custom Designs created it. You should check out her blog, you’ll love it.  You should also come back so you can click on the links to check out these great blogs.

    Kate @ Smiles from Kate

    Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

    Abigail @ Cut and Alter

    Jen @ Faith and Fabric

    Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

    Susan @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts

    Heide @ Heide’s Quilty Hugs

    Hannah @ Unsophisticated and Jejune

    Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting

    Jamie @ Small Town Stitchin

    Irene @ Patchwork and Pastry

    Jen @ Patterns by Jen

    Velda @ GRANNYcanQUILT (that’s me)

    Janice @ Color, Creating and Quilting

    Miranda @ I have purple hair

    Laurel @ Laurel, Poppy and Pine

    I gotta say it makes me flinch to talk about myself, so I decided to re-work a  list of “oh-so-sad-but-true” things about me that I posted on another site a while back.  None of this of  has anything to do with quilting;  but I am however confident it will give you a clearer picture of who I am and what I’m all about.

    1. I am writing this post at 1:30 p.m. and I am still wearing my pyjamas…not such a terrible confession, unless you know as I do, that I did not bother to change out of my pyjamas when I took my dogs for a walk this morning.
    2. I am planning to cook dinner and serve it at no later than 4:45 p.m.
    3. Three times already today, I walked into the kitchen and three times I could not remember why, so three times today, so far, I have opened the cupboard and eaten a cookie while standing there, pondering the contents of the pantry.  In my defence, this behaviour is very similar to that of a teenaged boy.
    4. I had the bed made and  the bathrooms by 10:00 a.m. It was the most exciting part of the morning.  ‘Nuff said about how quiet my life is.
    5. I am supposed to take a cholesterol pill daily.  In order to remember if I took it,  I have to say to my husband, as I am taking my pill…”Honey, I took my pill.” Sigh…Is that not the saddest thing you ever read?

    Lets just say I am recently retired and enjoy a very laid-back lifestyle. Somedays I think I may actually be getting OLD.  Holy O My Goodness.  How did that happen?

    Now on to some other things about me that are actually relevant to the reason for this post.

    • I am a quilter/maker /lover of all things built by a person’s own hand.
    • I have a mother’s pride in every single quilt I have ever made.  Even the wonky weird ones like these. They really are almost like children to me.  If you want to see more, check out this post about my quilty family.
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      Why didn’t I see that line of dark blocks before I sewed this quilt together?
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      Holy Cow…Way too much yellow here
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      These dogs all look like they need a rabies shot.  And where did that blue cat come from?

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      This was supposed to be a “Maple Leaf Quilt”.
    • I have more ideas for quilts percolating in my mind than I can ever make.
    • I blog about quilts and quilting because I cannot, not do so.  Does that make sense?

    At the end of the day and every morning, I am Velda, a person who is

    • old enough to have escaped from the workaday  rat-race;
    • young enough to dream about new possibilities, (perhaps a flower farm? or a goat ranch?)
    • o-so-glad to be enjoying a simple fulfilling lifestyle;
    • married to the love of my life;  and
    • comfortable with the person I’m becoming.  I still have a long way to go,  but I really do try to improve myself or make my world a better place in some small way every day.

    If you are in the mood to continue reading, I’m pleased to share

    A Blogging Tip

    Keep a list  of “someday” posts on your Drafts blog page. Lets face it, getting a post started is always the hardest part of the whole process.  I learned that if I have several drafts stored, I can often turn one into a coherent post.  It doesn’t have to be words, it just needs to be something to tweak a memory, or an idea…And you’d be amazed how helpful a photo, or a quote,  or even a random thought an be in getting your fingers flying across the page.

    A Quilting Tip

    I wrote a post about tips a while back. You can read it if you like. Its called I’m feeling a little bit tipsy this morning! .  Here is an excerpt. Follow the link on the post.  It leads you to a fabulous video that will seriously make your life better on those terrible days when nothing goes together right.

    How to use my seam ripper properly (not that I have ever, in my whole life, ever, made a mistake and had to un-sew a block).  This tip is from Sew Kind of Wonderful, which is one of my favourite modern quilt blogs.  Honestly, we all make mistakes sometimes;  and this little video on how to use a seam ripper ROCKS.  Check it out, then do what I did, go rip out a whole seam just for fun in less than 10 seconds.  The adrenaline rush is amazing and you will feel like SuperQuilter…. Seriously, I dare you.

    A Question for My Fellow Quilters…

    Do you sew?

    My answer is always the same…No, I wish I could, but I cannot sew.  I am a Quilter, I can Quilt.  I cannot wrap my head around the idea of pinning a bunch of fragile, virtually transparent pattern sheets on a large piece of expensive yardage, cutting around them (with scissors, not a rotary cutter OMG)  and expecting that something wearable will be the end product.  The whole notion  of notches, darts and zippers gives me the heebee  jeebies. Don’t even get me started on buttonholes or blind hems. I am terrified of the whole process.  I confess to feeling some shame for this obvious failing of of mine, because I know that many of us came to be quilters out of a love of sewing and that there are amazing seamstresses who also quilt, but not me… I’d really like to know am I the only person who feels like this? And could you tell me how to hem my jeans so they don’t look like they were done by my poodle Tigg and his sidekick Odie.

     My Dream Vacation Spot is right where I’m sitting right now.  I am so lucky to be living here on beautiful PEI Canada, about .5 of a kilometre from one of the top 15 beaches in North America, with a backyard that is like a park (no thanks to me,  I am not a gardener, but my hubby is.

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    And, finally one random thing about me that you might not have guessed.
    I ran a full marathon when I was fifty years old…thats 42.2 kilometres (26.2 miles) of non-stop running for 4 hours and 17 minutes. Yikes.  Even now 10 years later, I smile when I remember how I felt when I crossed that finish line.  I kinda feel the same way now that I’ve finished this post…not really, but a bit anyway!  Thanks for dropping by.  Come back any time.

    Quilt-Along with Me

    I’m addicted.  Absolutely, completely, totally smitten with this whole idea.  It is so freeing to have no decisions to make and at the end of the day, (or year, or decade) to have another beautiful quilt in my collection.

    Be warned though, its really really easy to say “Yes, I’m going to make that” and really really hard to always follow through to the end.  Especially for someone like me, who is like a magpie flitting from one shiny new project to another.  Yikes, OMG, you should just see the UFO’s in my closet…

    Twice in my quilting life, so far, I knew the moment I saw a photo, that I had to make the quilt.  The first time was when I saw Sharon McConnell’s Twirling Fans Quilt.  OMG it was so beautiful, I was gobsmacked and awestruck.  Imagine how thrilled I was when I realized I could make my version of the quilt along with her in my first ever QAL.  Here is my finished Ninja Stars.  They could be twins, right?

    Then this spring while I was poking around on Pinterest I found pins and pages for quilts by Jen Kingwell. Holy Hannah, I had no words when I first viewed some of her beautiful patterns. I knew the moment I first laid eyes on it that “The Gypsy Wife” was going to be my next project.  I scampered around on the Internet, searching Pinterest, Flikr and Instagram until I found a QAL just starting.  Thank you Hydeeann at Splish, Splash, Stash for all the great planning, photos, first couple months, etc.  Unfortunately this QAL host was unable to continue posting for personal reasons so I followed along with the group through March 2016  and then had to decide to put the half finished top away or tackle the rest of the project on my own.  I decided to continue at my own pace and stumbled along, posting about it a time or two along the way.  I cried a few tears when I thought it might be too complicated, and swore at it more than once…but it’s done, (quilted and bound) and IT IS AMAZING.  Just saying.  Here is a sneak peek, which is all I’m showing because I’m saving it to show at my Kindred Spirits Quilt Show coming up in October.

    Last summer I sewed along with Sharon McConnell of Color Girl Quilts  in the  2015 Summer Blockbuster Quilt Along. We made this absolutely lovely quilt using 6″ finished blocks.  Check out the link above to see all the Quilt-Alongs she has hosted.  Awesome, right?

    In January, 2016 I committed to making “The Splendid Sampler” with Pat Sloan and a whole crew of other seriously talented designers.  I’m sure most of you have heard of it.  We are a group of about 18,000 (OMG) quilters around the world who are determined, one way or another, to finish this mammoth 100 block project.  I, of course, decided to make two of these quilts.  (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? SERIOUSLY!!!) And, without a doubt folks it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  More than once, I thought I cannot do this anymore (probably because many of the blocks are not to my taste, or alternatively, not what I think the proposed owners of the quilts will like, or even what I thought I was signing on for).  But I am going forward, one step at a time.  Currently we are somewhere around Block 40 and scheduled to finish next February, at a pace of two blocks per week.  I like many others decided early on, that I would start setting the blocks as we go, as I cannot imagine having to set two 100-block quilts at the end.  Here is a sneak peek at the settings for these quilts so far.

    I decided at the get-go that I would make the blocks I like and substitute the ones I don’t care for, for blocks taken from Tula Pink’s amazing City Sampler – 100 Modern Quilt Blocks  book… BTW, if ever you get the chance, you should buy or borrow, beg or steal this book.  I bought it and its chock full of absolutely ahhhmazing stuff.

    And next, beginning in September,  I along with several others in my PEIMQG are planning to take part in another QAL co-hosted by an extraordinarily talented quilter,  mentor and my good friend and fellow PEIMQG member, Jean Mackie.  This QAL is based on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Patchwork City” quilt(s).  I’ve purchased the book and at this point am planning to make the “Downtown” Version of the quilt.

    Someone, please save me from myself.  Its clear to me that there are more quilt-alongs out there than I can possibly finish unless I live to be 103!