Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A non-progress progress report

No progress this week at all. All sewing ground to a halt as we cleaned up for company. That has been an issue with the sewing set up at this new place. My sewing has been spread over several locations, cutting one room, ironing another and sewing machines in a couple other places. Then when we are having some one over, it all has to get cleared out of the living/dining room.

That creative mess I showed you a couple posts ago has turned into this: 2016-12-23 13.14.02
(The artfully draped quilt top is covering the Janome that I left set up) .
All ready to light the Hannukah candles.
And no prospect of a speedy return to sewing chaos until after  New Years. 
But then it will be a whole different chaos as we turn into true empty nesters. Our son is moving out to share an apartment with out daughter. They picked up the keys today and started the move. Most of the big bulky stuff went today ( beds, bureau, bookcases), another load tomorrow.  This is an exciting step for them and for us. Our son has been quite the homebody so seeing him step up and make the big decision to move out is monumental.
Meanwhile, I am claiming the room he moves out of to set up everything all together, sewing, ironing, cutting , just like I used to have. Then I can settle down and do some sewing.
I did have some progress to report last week but never got the post written. Got the borders on this top.

2016-12-21 13.17.53
Linking up with Jo at the Country Junction

Monday, 19 December 2016

Monday Link UP

Friday was the perfect day to snuggle up with a sewing machine and make some tri-rec’s. Not only because it was clue day, it was also a snow day. And I had a head start with a stack of neutral wedges leftover from the previous clue.
More cutting was required for the sides of course. And a trip out to the fabric shed for more purples. Fortunately my hubby had shoveled out in front of the door so I could get it open.

2016-12-14 16.13.17
Here’s my shed, it’s the one on the right, the left is my hubby’s woodworking stuff. On the side facing away from this picture we have giant quilt blocks my hubby made.
IMG_20160910_161200_hdr (1)
And here’s a picture of my block back when he was painting it. I thought I had one of it up on the shed but can’t find it right now.

I don’t have much out there because it isn’t finished but I did use the table there for some cutting back in September and a lot of the fabric stayed.  Things are still in transition around here and haven’t settled down with a defined sewing area, pretty much spread out all over.
but, I did find the purple I wanted, got the side wedges cut and started sewing.  Now to link up with the Quiltvillians
2016-12-19 18.31.06

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

UFO update

An unsuccessful week on the UFOs. Did not get any borders on the string star quilt. I did a fair bit of sewing but most of it was four patches for the mystery and more four patches for a sew-along.
I did find the fabric I wanted for the outer border but now having second thoughts about the inner border. I had wanted blue but looking at them together I’m thinking more towards a brown.
2016-12-14 14.12.18
Or maybe a dark red, or violet.

Fun fabric though. I think they are lace making bobbins. It came with a bunch of stuff given to me two years ago and I haven’t found anything to do with it. I think she was going to use it as a border because it is long, narrow strips of fabric.
I worked on another border for a mystery I took part in back in September. Almost done but need another piece of fabric which is currently out in my shed and means getting geared up to go out in the snow to cut more of it. So I’m just sitting and sewing four patches.

2016-12-14 14.12.35
Lots and lots of four patches. So much so, that I have spread out all over the dining room.

2016-12-14 14.10.12
Linking up with Jo at the Country Junction to see what everyone is doing this week.

Monday, 12 December 2016

On Time and On Track

That’s my mission this week. To have my post ready on Monday for the link up with Bonnie at Quiltville and to have my clues on track.
Despite a busy, busy weekend I have managed to get a good start on Clue 3 plus finish off Clue 1.  So can call this a mission success.  A big help was the pile of purple that was sitting in my 2 inch bin. Back when I started doing Bonnie’s mysteries I didn’t have the scrap users system in place and would be forced to cut from yardage ( or fat quarters) on every clue.  Now when she says 2 inch or 2.5 or even 1.5, I can pull out a bin of strips and be off to the machine in no time at all.  An even bigger help this time was the mystery I was working  on back in September that used both dark purple and lavender which had caused me to increase my stash of those colours.
2016-12-12 10.21.34
No idea how many I have done to this point, I think about 30. This are ready to get pressed and counted in to stacks of ten.

And happy to report that all of Clue Two are present and accounted for.

Now off to link up while it is still Monday, Whoop Whoop
2016-12-07 10.38.03

Thursday, 8 December 2016

On-going border skirmishes

I did get a UFO completed this week, up to the point of needing a border.  Now a search of the stash to find something suitable.
This wasn’t a Bonnie Hunter pattern, wasn’t even a pattern at all that I know. This was a block exchange with a Facebook quilting group where we all made one of the blocks picked for the month then at the end of the month, names were drawn to receive the blocks. I was lucky enough to win last November’s draw and have been trying to put them together. A big part of it was deciding how to sash them. I didn't want to take attention away from the blocks with a distracting sashing. So I just used 1.5 inch strips of neutrals with a corner stone of a strip fabric to try and mimic the strips of the string blocks. I got them mostly webbed together before the move and they have been stashed away in a box ever since.
2016-12-07 10.11.39
Which, given how beautiful they all are was a terrible place for them. So while we were doing UFO's I decided to pull this one out and finish it up.  I was thinking about a skinny dark blue and then a wider neutral to finish it off but am still pondering it.
  It needs something to tame the edges before I try and quilt. These are stars made of 3.5 inch string blocks, so the edge of the block is made of of dozens of seams. Doing this as an exchange was a wonderful idea. There are so many different types of fabrics in there, I could never have duplicated the effect.
I did get more done on the En Provence Mystery. Even finished Clue Two. But didn’t get a post written Monday and decided not to try and add one later.
2016-12-07 10.37.58
Here’s my clue two in all it’s yumminess. Love this fabric. Good thing, I have lots of it left over.
Linking up with Jo to report my UFO progress and see what’s up at the Junction

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

UFO Challenge Update

Yay, I did accomplish the borders I had set out to finish last week. This is one of two quilts that I am doing as a favour for my sister-in-law. They were started by her late mother and she wanted them to give to her daughters as a memory of their grandmother. She asked me if I would do them last year while we were visiting them and how could I refuse? The first one is an Irish Chain and is already more than half quilted. Hand quilted that is. So I have been nervous about my ability to match the wonderful stitches that are already there, but finally managed to pull it out and get started last month.
The second needed more work. It is a log cabin and had three outer borders planned and the fabric in the bag with it all ready to cut and sew. So  I finally got it out and  gave it my best shot.
2016-11-26 11.07.58


Not something I would have done myself, with all co-coordinating fabrics and all matchy-matchy. But it’s not mine and it has a special memory for my SIL as she and her mother went to a workshop together where this was made. It might even have been a Quilt in A Day sort of thing.
Now I have to get it sandwiched and quilted. And not start piecing something new ( other than Bonnie’s mystery).
Linking up with Jo 

Quiltville Mystery Clue One

Well the big day is finally here, the most wonderful day of the year.  Black Friday, when Bonnie Hunter releases the first clue in the Quiltville Annual Mystery.  And since it isn’t the day after Thanksgiving here in Canada, I don’t have a whole bunch of family gathered around stuffed with turkey. But we did have a full day of errands planned in the city,  I had time to pull out my neutrals and cut some strips before we were off to run errands.
And I even had time later to sew and cut and sew again. But that was it for Friday, and Saturday wasn’t any less busy. We had a dinner party and bonfire with friends so all the fabric and machines spread over the dining table had to be tidied away. The cutting mat to the basement and the sewing machine to the bedroom, where I could continue to sew strips together over the next few days.
By Monday I had the grand total of ten four patches together and a bunch of strips to be ironed and sub-cut. And I didn’t want to post until I had more progress to show. However here it is WEDNESDAY ! and that is still all that is done. So here it is, and I’m linking up with Bonnie. Off to a tortoise-like start but the tortoise did finish well in the end and my quilt from last year is finished,.... almost,... well it just needs the border to be a top.
2016-11-30 11.29.09
well, this is awkward
Just went to link up and unable to. Apparently it is not taking late link up, the page says
"this InLinkz account has expired. You can still view the linkup here "

Guess I'm going to have to get my act together this year and post faster.
Went back today to read more post and found the link up and running so have linked

Thursday, 24 November 2016


I’ve been trying to come up with a clever title but nothing comes to mind. Borders, I have a lot of them to do. Including now, the borders for Allietare   . I delayed writing last Wednesday hoping to get it all together and by Friday I had.
2016-11-18 11.01.20
The only part left to do is trimming the sides and attaching the borders. Oh, and cutting the borders. But at the moment I have at least 4 tops sitting waiting for their borders and some of them have more priority.
So my mission for the rest of this year is to get the borders on all of them and get some of them quilted. Not to get side-tracked into making more tops. ( except Bonnie’s  mystery)
Linking up with Jo  at Jo's Country Junctionto see what everyone else has been doing this week.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Lots of Progress

I made lots of progress this week, despite some very nice weather that made being outside a true joy. I managed to get half of the Allietare laid out and sewn together before getting distracted.
Really, once I had the blocks off the design wall, I couldn’t resist laying out the Smokey Mountain Stars to see what they looked like.  And they looked fabulous, so I carefully removed them in rows and laid Allietare aside while I sewed them.

smokeystarsVery happy with the result but now  it needs a the borders to finish it off pattern .   Actually I now have three tops laid out on my bed waiting for borders.  Turning into a bit of a bottle-neck.
Once I had all the star blocks off the wall, I laid out the four-patches for the Four Patch Revisited . These are still up there. A lot more to do for this project. There are another 200 four-patches to make for the outer border. 
2016-11-08 08.54.39
Now off to link up with Jo

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

UFO update

Finally I can report some progress on UFOs.  I have been picking away on projects but it didn’t really feel like I was getting very far.  I worked on blocks for Allietare during a retreat I participated in back in September but hadn’t gotten the setting triangle pieces finished. I was also working on a Smokey Mountain Stars trying to get all 97 of the neutral block with double flipping corners. They seemed to be taking forever. Annnd I also worked on a Stepping Stones and Bricks while on retreat.
The Bricks and Stepping Stones top was assembled relatively fast since I had the stepping stone 4-patches all together.  And making it even more fun, another retreater brought her bin of 3.5’’ bricks for me to play with. Now that I have it together, I’m thinking it needs another row or two or maybe a large outer border.
2016-11-02 19.41.00

Good progress happened with Smokey Mountain Stars after I got Bonnie’s new ruler set. The bonus buddy ruler made all those flippy corners just fly through my machine. So they are all stacked waiting for a turn on the design wall.
2016-11-02 19.25.35

And the reason they have to wait their turn is the best news today. I have all the pieces for Allietare done and have started to assemble.
2016-11-02 17.28.38
happy dancing all over the place.  I was whining and moaning about not having a design wall to get these blocks in order when I suddenly realized. My closet doors when closed make a blank solid wall. If I hung the new Fons and Porter wall I had by command strip hooks …. and sure enough it worked.
Now to link up with Jo over at the Country Junction and see what everyone else has done.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Back in Blogland again? maybe

It is amazing what information you can find cruising around the blogs. While catching up with my reading, I stumbled across information about installing Windows Live Writer on Windows 10. I had been using Live Writer previous to my upgrade to 10 but couldn’t seem to get it to work afterwards. So I have tried again using the directions given. I hope this will work as I miss the freedom this program gives me in composing my posts.
What I was working on before my summer break; two baby quilts that I finished and delivered while in Nova Scotia for my daughter’s wedding.
zoeyand quilt
This is my great-niece checking out her present

And here is the other quilt and it’s baby

And a final picture from the wedding day.
IMG_8492e (2)
Now to see if I can up-load this to the blog.
And it worked.... sort of. Turns out Live Writer still doesn't work but there is a program called Open Live Writer and it works. So good to go.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

UFO Update

Yikes, it's Thursday already. I had such good intentions to write an update yesterday but the day just slide away in projects. There always seems to be another thing to do here at "the end of the road". That's the name my hubby has given our new place as a word play on the fact that we are literally at the end of a dead end street and that this is meant to be our downsizing for retirement. 

So the update: I did finish the Scrappy Mountain blocks and got them all sewn together. Even while we were busy with family activities and company, having all the blocks sub-cut and stacked up beside my 301 I was able to put in some sewing everyday. However, the grand total came to 44 blocks which seems a strange number and I was sure I had more squares cut at one time but that's what I have here and now. I choose to go with a 5 X 8 layout and use the leftover blocks to swap out some poor colour choices. Blocks that were too close in value so you could hardly see the mountain. And here it is.

Just needs a border to finish it off. It came out an almost square 60'' by 61''. And for a lap quilt that's ok. But putting it aside for a day or two while I finish a baby quilt. Which is also a UFO. We leave for Nova Scotia in three weeks and I suddenly remembered two babies down there that are due quilts. So this required setting up my basting wall again. Well, not really, I could have basted on the floor or dining table but once hubby saw what I was doing he had to get the cardboard and improvise a wall for me. 
( The box of pop is an essential support) It's only temporary as the permanent wall will be installed in the quilting shed yet to be built)
And then before I could get the machine threaded to quilt this, a call to help with some yard work.
 How could I resist? 
So off to link up with Jo and see what everyone has accomplished. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

UFO update

Whoo hoo, I am ready for this update. I have actually been making progress on this. Partly due to an experiment in sub-cutting. While I had my Accucut out doing 2 inch strips for a swap I decided to experiment with sub-cutting the mountains.
It lined up well. The finished HST comes out slightly over 8 inches and just needed trimming up before slicing. This way the cutter does both. It is still a little long and I will have to trim the finished block but I'm happy with the results so far.

Slicing these up really was my bottle neck and getting a faster way to do it has propelled me forward.
And I thought I had a whole bunch done but when I laid them out for a picture I only had increased my stack by four.
But I have quite a few half blocks waiting for the other half to be sewn.
Plus while watching QuiltCam last night I finished slicing the big blocks into  HST pairs.
Definitely feeling I've accomplished a decent amount for the week. Which is good because it all will be set aside for a family weekend as we all get together to celebrate my in-law's 65th wedding anniversary. My east coast daughter is flying in tonight and our cousin from Boston who we stay with while traveling is arriving Saturday and sleeping here. I don't see much opportunity for sewing in my near future. In addition, that cutting station is on my dining room table and will need to be put away. But I'll put that stack of HST by my 301 and pick away at them when I can.

Now to link up with Jo over at Jo's Country Junction to see what everyone else has been doing.
Opps, I forgot to include a picture of the completed blocks again. All 18 of them.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Challenge time

Once again Jo over at Jo's Country Junction has started another UFO challenge. This seems to fit right in with what I am doing anyway so why not. The challenge is to finish a Bonnie UFO and that's just what I started to do yesterday.
The pattern I've picked is the Majestic Mountains from Bonnie's Free Patterns tab here.  I cut out the squares for this some time ago and started putting the mountains together but didn't like the setting I had chosen. So back to the layouts to pick a new one and off to cut and sew. Heigh Ho.
This is my new piecing set up. Just the 301 and some fabric. Most everything else is either boxed up or down in the basement room, which is still to full to work in. I did get a lot of boxes unpacked and on the shelves.

That was because I was looking for a particular book, Scraps and Shirttails II, so I could work out what was going wrong with my Holy Toledo. I finally found the book but it didn't help. I still couldn't get it together right.

I actually didn't get much sewing done today because it was so nice we spent most of the afternoon and into the evening, working in the yard. It's already starting to look better. Just need to add some flowers.
And I even got to use the ride-on mower today. I did the part way past the second tree. It's a lot of yard. The bare looking part was dug up last fall and we thought it was going to be leveled and seeded but it turns out they aren't coming back to do it so we are working on filling in the ruts and craters and leveling it all out. Maybe if it rains tomorrow I can get some sewing done.
Now to link up with Jo

Monday, 16 May 2016

Finding Focus

Tomorrow it will be two weeks since the horrendous fire raged out of control in Fort McMurray. Our family followed anxiously on facebook as my niece fled  the chaos, first south, then when that road was blocked, north to safety.  And in Nova Scotia my daughter and her fiance waited to hear if his mother had gotten out. This disaster touched so many lives in our country. And of course the next day the call went out for quilts.

Since our people are safe and it looks like my niece has not lost her home, I felt the need to do something for someone. The abandoned Holy Toledo came to mind as being closest to finished ( and I could see the box it was packed in ).  But then lots of activities got in the way of sewing. First it was getting this place in order for company so we could have my in-laws over for Mother’s Day. Done and Done ( although the guest bedroom will now need intense work to sort out what was shoved in there when the weather turned bad and we need seating inside). 
2016-05-16 11.12.38.jpgThen it was time to set up the garden since that was my present. Hubby built me raised beds and bought a load of dirt for them. So that took up a day or two.
Next it was time to get Holy Toledo out of the box and try to repair the mistakes. Several days later, I laid it out to see how it was going and found it even worse. Not only several blocks were turned the wrong way again. But due to a lack of design wall, I had several places where the same fabric was meeting up and really bothering me. So back in a box it goes, Hubby says he doesn't see a problem with it and will be happy to have it, just make it big enough to wrap up in.

So maybe another row or two. In the mean time, I'm moving on to the Majestic Mountains pattern. I have blocks already cut for it and a few assembled. Just have to find the ironing board. I'm pretty sure I saw it around here somewhere....

Monday, 9 May 2016

A month into the transition

Coming up for air, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I've been searching for a title to describe the last few weeks. And nothing does it justice. The move was quite possibly the worst time of my life and that's including three bouts of intense labour ( for three children who were absolutely worth every second). But the thing is, even my worst delivery was less than 24 hours. This went on for over a week. Days of intense packing, loading boxes on a trailer and then unloading, bringing the trailer back and starting all over again the next day. It was insane to think we could ever do it without professional help. And in the end we had to call a company that comes and purges your junk. It took 6 guys 3 hours to empty what was left in the house. But then that wasn't even empty enough, my husband, daughter and I worked another 5 hours and filled a 10 ft truck with every last scrap. All of this in order to fulfil a condition of the contract that said the buyer could hold back money if the house wasn't bare to the bones. And she was enforcing it, even came and checked on the progress twice that day.
But enough of that, it is over and the sun is shining. And soon I might even sew. But first a few pics of the outside.
 This is a shot from the far end of the property. Lots of grass to mow, luckily the ride-on mower came with the house. Too bad the pool did, my husband is not a fan of pools.
 We are on the outskirts of town and can get away with having an outside fire. As long as we have a hot dog near-by to pretend we are cooking. By-laws ya know. So this is the fire pit, only it is more of a mound. Looks like someone was having quite a few fires.
 Too bad we hadn't included the bare-bones condition, all this junk was left behind for us to deal with. Including this tarp shed which is definitely a leaky piece of junk.
The deck is also on the do something about it list. I think I counted 5 different levels.

A quick peek into the most important area.
Soon this will be the sewing room.  Just a small matter of making some order out of a pile of boxes.
I did find an iron and put it to good use. Sewed a pair of curtains for my son's bedroom. 

Slowly we find places for stuff and become familiar with our surroundings  here. Which is good, because I never, ever want to move again. Seriously, not going.

Monday, 14 March 2016

What a difference a day can make

There is some superstition about speaking of good things and causing them to go awry or jinxing them. I'm sure if I google it I could find the whole history of that kind of magical thinking. But I certainly saw an example of it in practice after I posted about our new house-to-be.
The sellers left on March Break. They did not return a signed contract before leaving. They sent back a contract, late again, changing the date from what we had sent. So, legally we have no deal.
So we went looking for another house. And found one. And within 24 hours had viewed the house and had a signed agreement to buy. Such a pleasure working with people who really want to sell and know how to return documents on time.
Now back to packing.
Here's where we will be going

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Where am I ????

Shortly after my last post we started looking at houses in a two stage plan to downsize and simplify our lives in the final year or two before my husband retires. ( he will have the magic number in a years time but isn’t sure if he will go or stay on longer)

Well the plan got accelerated to warp speed when our agent tipped off his office to our house being potentially for sale. Before we could even get ready for listing, we were sold. Which we thought was a good thing, as it meant we didn’t have to prep the house for sale and could focus our efforts instead on the new house. Oh, yeah, we needed a new house.

We found one we wanted and put in an offer. Road-blocks and detours have abounded, the latest being the most egregious. The sellers want to delay the closing another week as they will be away for March break and unable to complete the paper work. We have already had to set the date back a week in order to get the land title cleared up, now another week. Which gives us very little time between the two sales. We had a wonderful plan where we had a whole month to get renovations done and moved in now….not so much.

So that’s where I’ve been, touring houses,measuring rooms, packing boxes ( 24 from the quilting room and still not finished) looking at new cabinets, and tearing my hair out. Not much room in there for sewing.
But I’ll be back…
And maybe I'll be writing from here

Monday, 4 January 2016

Mystery Monday Linkup

What an exciting New Years Eve treat to have the final reveal of the mystery quilt. The only thing that could have made me happier would have been available to sew it up the next day. Unfortunately I was scheduled to work New Years Day so had to wait all day to get at the fabric and see what it made. But once I did, boy did I ever love the blocks. 

 I just put together enough to see the corner. I still have a bunch of units to complete. But definitely eager to get back at them. 

Mostly my week was spent working on these guys. I sewed the stars into quadrants and then sandwiched them to the backing. Given how big this is, I thought doing it this way would make the quilting easier. Then when they are all quilted I'll join them. 

 Another shot of the Allietare blocks. They are so gorgeous, I keep coming back to look at them. For sure they are not going to get sidelined and delegated to UFO.
 While working on getting the blocks together, I dug out another UFO. Back in the spring I started the 4-patch challenge with 1.5'' strips. Looking for something to make with them I picked  4-patch Revisited  from Adventures with Leaders and Enders . I've just been randomly picking away at them all year, not really paying much attention and even forgetting about them after the tumbler challenge started. They came to light again when moving stuff around my sewing room and I decided to give them more attention. 

It's been lots of fun finding colour combinations for these. I can't remember why I decided to use plaids for them other than I had a bunch of strips already to go. Some of the combo haven't been spectacular but I'm leaving them in anyway. 

So that's what I've been up to sewing wise. On the personal side I did get an exciting bit of news also on New Years Eve when we called our daughter in Nova Scotia. She and her fiance have finally set a date for their wedding. This July . . . Seven months from now.... ye gads. I don't know whether to be overjoyed or overwhelmed.
So going over to link up with Quiltville and look at everyone's  pretty quilts instead.