When Life gives you lemon coloured fabric….make pillow forms….or lemonade…your choice 

 

I’ve said this before, but I’m happy to say it again.  I love love love buying fabric online…which is a very good thing because I live in a beautiful place that is quilt shop challenged to say the least. But that’s a topic I already talked about here a while ago.

I am NOT an impulse buyer of fabric.  Really I’m not.  I am one of those folks who fills her virtual shopping cart, then goes back and looks at everything again before deleting items  and thinking about whats in my cart one more time.  So much so that I sometimes get a gentle reminder e-mail from the shop asking me if I am going to purchase the beautiful bits that I’ve collected or not.  Sometimes….I really want to hoard everything in my cart, so I click “checkout” when I really should have pressed “review cart contents” one more time. Sometimes it becomes very very obvious when a fabric packet arrives, that for sure I was NOT reading any of the information regarding size of the pattern, I was just lusting over the pretty colours and designs.

So yes, that happened this spring when I opened a USPS packet to find this 1/2 yard cut of gorgeous yellow and white cotton. The pattern was a whole lot bigger than I expected…but so very very pretty.  I didn’t regret this purchase for a New York minute.  But it obviously wasn’t going to work in the quilt pattern I envisioned using it in, when I purchased it. (Long Time Gone – if you’ve made it you know that the pieces are itsy bitsy.). So what to do…

Hey’s here’s an idea.  Pillow forms.   Thank goodness yellow plays really nice with a lot of modern fabrics.  This is what I ended up with.  

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Love those lemon yellow crosses

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Now, be honest, if I hadn’t confessed to an almost impulse buy, I know you’d have thought I planned these pillow forms in minute detail.  Really.

Don’t you love that they match (another happy accident) without being too matchy matchy.  And don’t those numbers make you want to die from happy giddiness.   I wish I had purchased a whole lot more of that…and now I cannot remember where it came from (which is also the subject of another upcoming post….stay tuned).

Anyway

Every year, Amy, who blogs over atAmy’s Creative Side hosts the Blogger’s Quilt Festival  on her blog.  We are encouraged to link up two quilts and take a moment to visit and be inspired by other bloggers’ oh so amazingly ahhsome quilts.  This post is my second and final linkup.  Thanks for coming to visit.

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Did you do something creative today?

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The grass is always greener on the other side of the neighbour’s fence!

This bright and beautiful quilt is on my mind because it’s that time of the year again.  Every year, Amy, who blogs over at Amy’s Creative Side, hosts the Blogger’s Quilt Festival on her blog.  We are encouraged to link up two quilts and take a moment to visit and be inspired by other bloggers’ oh so amazingly ahhsome quilts.

For some reason this year, I have been all about starting projects that have a finite end date far far into the future.  For instance I am taking part in a Mystery Quilt SAL with my PEIMQG.  I’ve made 124 HSTs already, and that was just for Clue 1…This SAL doesn’t finish for many months. I am also sewing along with the Gnome Angel on another Gypsy Wife quilt. The end date is not until late December with reveal in early 2018.

Thank Goodness for my beautiful Kiss Cross quilt…which is my first link up to the Quilt Festival.

 

I cannot believe I never blogged about her after she was finished.  I know for certain that I showed folks some of my favourite individual blocks, but until now she has never been revealed in all her beauty.

FYI, I photographed this quilt on our  next door neighbour’s fence because it is so freakin picturesque over there.   The only thing missing in this photo is Arrow the horse…He decided he didn’t like having this strange quilt flapping around near his face, on his fence, so he high tailed it over to the other side of the paddock, which is really too bad because that would have been the best foto ever.

Anyway, I really hope you guys like this quilt as much as I do.


 

My “Done and Dusted” List

Lots of folks make “to-do lists” to keep themselves organized, my hubby being one one them.  Me, nope…not so much. I don’t know about you, but I feel like once something is written down on paper and stuck to the refrigerator door with a magnet, that it somehow comes to life.  For instance…right now, while I’m writing this, there is a list on our refrigerator, written by my hubby that is  whispering to me….I can hear it muttering about washing the kitchen windows…repairing the screen in the back porch, sweeping cobwebs out of corners in the garage…along with about five other nasty but mundane chores. Right now, while I’m writing this, I’m doing my best to ignore it,  but I know that as time goes by, the dang thing will start huffing and puffing and before you know it, will be yelling at me to get at my chores.  I DON’T LIKE BEING BOSSED AROUND BY A SCRAP OF PAPER….I’d prefer a scrap of paper that complements me about my successes and confirms that what I’ve done is just as important as the stuff that I still have waiting to do.

So, I decided to create a list of things I have gotten done (or at least started) this spring and summer.  Here goes….Yikes, did I do anything?  Yessiree Bob I did.  Now in all fairness, some of these beauties  are not quilted yet, but they will be someday and each and every one of them represents creative time spent in my sewing room….which I’m sure all of you will agree is much more satisfying that knocking every cobweb out of the corners in the garage.

  • Caw-Cawphony of Crows.  This was a quilt made up of blocks received from quilt Guild friends and my on-line Bee Inspired Sewing Bee.  I’m sure I blogged about the story behind the quilt, but here is the finished top (right now it is being beautified at Petty Quilt Junction where I take some of my flimsies for finishing.

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I am not by any means a good photographer, but trust me, this quilt is gonna be adorable and the back is special too…so if you don’t see the crows you made here, then they are definitely roosting on the tree on the back of the quilt.  I will post pics of both sides when Robin at Petty Quilt Junction has finished working her magic. (Unfortunately I forgot to take a foto before I sent it off to her).

  • Below are Romeo and Juliette, two pooches I sent off to live with another member of my online sewing bee, Bee Inspired. I hope they are being good dogs and playing nicely with the other pups.  For the Record, I also sent two poodles off to another member of my group this spring, but for some reason I cannot find a foto of them anywhere.

In early September I  finally started (and finished) sewing together my Patchwork City blocks into a flimsy.   I spent the last year making all the blocks in the book of the same name, with a group of online Canadian quilters. OMG these folks are talented, I am overwhelmed and humbled that they welcomed me into their sew-along so openly and am very grateful for all these new friends.

FYI This quilt was impervious to all my pleas to let me add different colours to it.  It was determined that it was going to be mostly green and orange. I confess I was terrified of it most of the winter and spring until I just decided to get over my worries and enjoy the journey this quilt was resolved to take me on. Now  I’m so happy that we hung in there together, despite all my misgivings.   It definitely forced me to spread my wings and leave my comfort zone by at least 100 kilometres!  I finished this flimsy in August and it is in the queue to go to Blueberry Cove Long Arm Quilting or Petty Quilt Junction, as soon as my budget allows.  BTW I did add more sashings between the rows and between the groupings although I was not sure the quilt would be improved by adding more of the taupey gray fabric. However the quilt was convinced that they were needed, and as usual, the quilt was right.  Pictures will follow after the quilting is finished (perhaps in November).

  • I spent a few days making some new pillow covers for the couch in the family room and the back porch furniture. These wee beauties were small enough that I could do some simple quilting on them myself. There is nothing like a new pillow to brighten up a room, I always say! No that is not my husband sitting on the sofa…his name is Walter and he is a grouchy old fella.


  • In August I signed up for the Gypsy Wife Sew Along being hosted by Angie and Nicole of Gnome Angel and SnipsSnippits.  I am calling my version “My Dotty Gypsy Wife”.  We are currently posting our block for week 7 (Indian Hatchet).  Here are the blocks I’ve posted to date and a sneak peek at some other filler blocks.  These are in no order.

Here is where the sneak preview starts. I’m not saying this flimsy is done…but I’m happy to report that I should have something to post on Instagram every Thursday until December.

  • Long Time Gone – A bucket list quilt was finished, quilted and bound and put away in the quilt cupboard in July.  She is gawjus and I love her to death….but OMG she was a wild woman to put together in the small times frames given by the Sew-Along.

Below is a flimsy I call “Clambake with Kaffe” because all fabrics are by Kaffe Fassett.  I am in awe of the vibrant colours and was so enamoured of the dotty fabrics that I ordered a fat quarter pack of the whole line.  I will be making dotty quilts for the next five years.  Be warned.

And that my friends is what is on the inventory of projects that I posted on the refrigerator beside my chore list….I might add that I did this instead of doing any of the chores on the list.  And guess what I DON’T EVEN CARE that I didn’t wash the windows today….Maybe I’ll do them tomorrow…or maybe not…I’ve got a a Michael Miller Fabric Challenge to finish in time to enter into Quilt Con 2018.

Did you do something creative today?

WANTED: A New “Wife”!

Nope I am not considering a plural marriage…but if that’s what you are into, I’d never stand in the way of your happiness…Just saying.

I need another “Gypsy Wife”, because my original “Wife” recently found a happy home with my fabulous niece, who lives far far away in a big city in central Canada.

Some of you may remember I blogged about my first Gypsy Wife journey here and here too.  Please feel free to go there to visit should you want to read about it.  And you can see lots of pictures in that post too. Oh and that’s her above in the Header also.  Isn’t she beautiful?

The first time I undertook to make this outrageous quilt, I did it completely on my own. But not this time.  This time I’m sewing along with at least 1000 other bold and brave souls in the “Gypsy Wife Sew-Along” hosted by Angie, who blogs at Gnome Angel and Nicole who blogs here in Canada at SnipsSnippets.

Whew,  I am all a-tingle due to the choices I made about my new “Wife”. This Gypsy is definitely well on her way to being much more free-spirited than the earlier one.  Right up front, she is going to be completely dotty when done (much like me, I expect LOL).  I purchased a FQ bundle of Kaffe Fassett Spots to go along with all the dotty and quasi-spotty fabrics I found in my stash.     Aren’t they ahhhmazing? YES THEY ARE!!!

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IMHO the trick to doing this, is to find a way to control the contrast between the many many dotty blocks so the whole quilt, when finished,  is sensational to see but will not make anyone go cross-eyed or lose their lunch.  This, my friends is much like performing a high wire act–blind-folded and without a net above Niagara Falls,  I’m very afraid it’s apt to make me completely potty before we’re done.  My sole plan is to make the fifty-odd vertical stripes very neutral,  trusting this will give the whole moonstruck quilt some balance.  Right now, I’m seriously considering using only 2 fabrics for the vertical stripes.  I have two excellent pairs of contenders.   Below is a sample of Crosswatch in Onyx and Crosswatch in Aluminum.  Both are from the Hatch Collection, designed by Bread & Butter for Windham Fabrics.  There is nary a spot or a dot to be seen in these beauties, but I think its a fabulous pairing and would look absolutely brilliant in this quilt. And would give my eyes a place to rest…which they are definitely going to need. I LOVE THEM!

But then, I am seriously crushing on my other choices too. There are definitely dots aplenty in this pairing, but not overwhelming I think…These fabrics are designed by Rae Ritchie and are part of the Chroma Basics collection for Dear Stella.  I LOVE THEM TOO!

I think either pair will be stupendous and will do a kick-ass job of showcasing all those brilliant dots and spots.  Right now Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a 25% discount on low volume fabrics….which might possibly be the deciding factor. Stay tuned to see what I decide.  All four fabrics are on the way to my house via the wonder of my magic Visa card, UPS and of course the Internet.  Watch for all these fabrics to  turn up in this or another quilt in the near future.

So…I think this is the first quilt I’ve ever made twice.  I am absolutely over-the-moon, crazy mad in love with Gypsy Wife.  Seriously I shed a quiet tear or two at home in my sewing room after Lobo decided she wanted to make  my original “Gypsy Wife” hers and took her off to live in Toronto with her.  Have you ever loved a quilt pattern as much as that? Did you ever make your own Gypsy Wife?  I’d love to see it if you did.

Just so you know…the block for week one is done and posted on my Instagram Feed.  I love it so much I thought I’d show it here again.  Ain’t she just the cutest thing ever?

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Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, Dracula…ME!

Nope,  this is not a story about mass murderers or witches, or any other terrifying things.  Today,  my friends, I’m talking about the REALLY REALLY scary stuff.   I’m talking about picking up my rotary cutter and slicing into my new Kaffe Fassett fabric.   HA! I heard your gasp of horror!  Get ready to cringe and/or hide your eyes  (wait, please don’t do that, I want you to read the rest of the story first)…because this has the potential to be worse, way way worse,  than any grisly crime scene you can imagine.

Let me explain my dilemma.  Ever since the first time I ever saw Kaffe Fassett fabrics I’ve always hoped that someday I would have the necessary skills and patience to make a fabulously bright, beautiful, stunning quilt containing only fabrics by the awesome Kaffe Fassett. Now, many years later, I’ve come to realize that my skills are not going to get to the level needed to do justice to this designer, therefore I’ve decided to bite the bullet and just make it anyway!

I am not prone to dithering and second guessing myself too much; so immediately after I made my decision, I hopped on-line and ordered a bundle of forty-two 10″ squares of  Kaffe Fassett “Classics” and a FQ bundle of Kaffe Fassett “Spots” from Fabric.com.  They arrived about a week ago and are sitting in my sewing room right now.  As you can imagine, they are just gawjus in shades of fuchsia, lilac,  purple, tangeriney orange, covered with chartusey green chrysanthemums and other floral bits and bobs, or multicoloured swirls and dots and just so so perfect in every way.  AND HERE I AM GETTING READY TO CUT THEM INTO ITTY BITTY BITS. O my freaking goodness.  What is wrong with me?

Needless to say I need help and guidance from my many quilting buddies.  Most Kaffe Fassett quilts I’ve seen are made with quite large blocks because nobody wants to cut up the awesome designs into really tiny pieces.  Pinterest and I spent several hours together over the last few evenings and here are some of the block choices I am auditioning for my quilt.  

The first pattern below is called Shimmering Triangles and it is pretty much the same as the traditional corn and beans block. There are a couple ways to put this block together into a quilt and it’s a real contender I think. There are lots of examples of quilts on line like this one. Don’t you just love the way it makes your eyes get all wonky.

 

Here is another very similar block (without four patch centres)  showing the way it is put together.  Looks easy enough, but an awful lot of HSTs. I count 32 in each block. Yikes.  However they are in groups of 8, so I could put them together quick using the Magic 8 method.


But perhaps I should go in a completely different direction.  Am I courageous enough to cut curves to make this Clamshell beauty (this could be done with a drunkards path block template too) 


Scary as heck but OMG I love it. And I have a curve it up ruler that would make it easy(er).  Also I own the quick curve ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful and that would work to make the blocks too. Definitely would show off  the fabrics well I think. 

But then there is this absolutely awesome piece of patchwork calling out for consideration. This pattern is called Curlicue Crush and is basically a square with simple curved blocks surrounding it.  This is less pieces than the shimmering triangles, still has curves and large enough pieces to showcase the beautiful fabrics.

Maybe I should play it safe and fast and go with a large snowball block like this one.

This picture came from a blog about a Kaffe Fassett workshop, so I expect lots of folks have already made this version.  It’s beautiful, simple and perfect for showing off the fabrics.

So what should I do?  Does anyone out there have other ideas?  Perhaps I should just put everything away before I start something and get too freaked out to finish.  Seriously. I am terrified that I will start whacking away at this fabric and have a meltdown of some sort that will leave me and the fabric in a state of ruin.   What do you think?  

I’ve got cabin fever

…and its not because its minus 4 gazillion degrees outside, or because of the wind whistling up my long johns at 90 km per hour, or even the freezing rain/ice pellets ricocheting out of the sky and into my face as I stand outside with our new puppy, crossing my mitten clad fingers that he will do his business before I freeze into an extremely unimpressed icicle. Nosirree Bob its not.

I’ve got a bad case of cabin fever because of the new quilting project I’m working on.  Its another quilt along, this time with Angie over at  Gnome Angel and Snips Snippits. This is not a quilt along for the faint-o-heart.  Holy OMG.  Here is a picture of the pattern book (please ignore the puppy chewed corners – Théo  wants to eat everything he sees).  Its 38 freaky pages long!

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Here is a picture of the actual finished quilt that may someday be mine!

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If you look closely you will see that there are 16 pineapple log cabin blocks spread over the quilt,  9 in one block on the right side about half way down, 4 on the bottom edge left of centre,  and another 3 closer to the top left.  Folks these are 5″ finished blocks. Yes, you read that correctly. The pieces are incredibly, amazingly, shockingly tiny.  There is a template on the back page of the pattern that I could scan and print (if I had a scanner, which naturally I don’t), so I decided to find a similar/same block on line, which I could save and simply print.

Lucky me, I found one.  Its a variation on the pineapple log cabin so I am happy as a pig in a puddle.  I wanted to share the blocks that I’ve finished so far with you.  Here are the 9 that will go together into one block that finishes at 15″.

I think they are adorable.  I admired them for about a day and a half before I broke down and started searching the internet again for blocks that I could modify for the 4 block piece.  Here is what I came up with so far.

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Its a wonky pineapple block.  Also 5″ finished and last but not least…so far

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A couple little birdhouses.  My plan is to make one more birdhouse for the section that has 3 log cabins in a row and 3 more wonky log cabins in other colorways.

Yikes,  I am afraid to even think about the other 4 log cabins, 9 courthouse steps or  21 churn dash blocks that I have to make after the pineapple log cabin variation blocks are done. And that my friends is only a small portion of the madness.

O and did I mention that this QAL kicks off officially in March and finishes in July which is only 4 months.  The schedule is crazy.  Check it out below or read the whole post at GnomeAngel

  1. Bow Tie – Make 2 –
  2. Square in a Square Stars – Make 1
  3. Crosses of the U.K. – Make 6
  4. Jacobs Ladder – Make 9
  5. Trip Around the World – Make 1
  6. Plus a Star – Make 1
  7. Churn Dash – Make 21
  8. Courthouse Steps – Make 9
  9. Log Cabin – Make 4
  10. Half Square Triangle 1 – Make 1
  11. Half Square Triangle 2 – Make 1
  12. Half Square Triangle 3 – Make 1
  13. Flying Geese – Make 64
  14. 60 Degree Triangle – Make 30
  15. Pineapple Log Cabin – Make 16
  16. Checkerboard

And just for a giggle I thought I’d share the scrap basket that I’m using to create this masterpiece – although my PEIMQG friends have kindly kicked in some strips of fabric for me to use.  Thanks again to Robin and Susan.

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Sigh…will I ever learn? I think not.

 

 

 

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?