Monday, 11 December 2017

Monday Link up

What a way to start a week, two link ups to do. First up Bonnie's Mystery Monday Link UP.
This clue really proved the decision to go with a solid for both my neutral and coral was the right one ( for me at least).  The coral I picked has no right side, so the diamond shape can be cut and flipped either way. Same with the neutral which is almost like a muslin. This means a big saving in cutting time and almost no thought required in sewing , just pick up a piece and sew it.
2017-12-11 11.33.40 I do have to make sure I have an equal number of both but at the moment that isn’t an issue. I just put one through in one direction and the next in the other.
And in between them, I put through a string piece. I have two projects that I am working on with strings. The first is another mystery quilt and that needs the neutral blocks at the top of the picture.  Plus it needs another size going diagonally. I have been working on both
And in the strawberry box at the top of this picture are a whole bunch of shirt strings. I did some cutting of 22017-12-11 inch strips and these are the leftover from the sides . I am using them in a Spider Web quilt from Bonnie’s Free Patterns page. The hope was this would clear out a large amount of the shirts, some of which have been in my stash since I started using shirts several years ago now. However the Spider Web doesn’t seem to consume as much as I hoped and another string quilt out of shirts might be needed. String X maybe?
2017-12-11 11.25.43 I’m not sure how many blocks I will do for this, Bonnie used a 5 X 7 setting which would be 140 of these. I have just been cutting strips of the pinkish fabric into the kite shape and sewing them up. When I finish a bunch, I cut more. There was a yard of the fabric when I started and I just want it gone. The colour didn’t work with any quilt I tried to use it in.  Maybe today I can measure to see what is left and how many more I can get out of it.
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So that was my weekend. We had a snowstorm outside and I just sat and  sewed. I moved these projects to my bedroom machine which a recent rearrangement has placed in front of the window. So I can watch the snow come down and string away. Pure bliss.
Now to link up with  Jo's String Challenge. I’m glad she threw this out there, it’s really given me a kick in the rear to get moving on these.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

UFO update

I finished a whole clue of my current UFO, a mystery from 2015 by Deb over at My Quilty World ,Ribbons of Love.  Unfortunately all I have to show for it is a stack of blocks. Not yet at the point where is starts to look like something.
A whole bunch of sewing left to do, (the blocks on the wall aren't really supposed to go together like that)
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And I also started a project that has been on the to-do list for a long time. Gifts for my husband’s co-workers using fabric picked up on our trip to Iowa.  They are Packers fans so we found some team fabric and I had been tasked with coming up with gifts using it.
2017-12-06 20.47.18 My thought was a wine bottle gift bag and mug-rugs ,aka coasters, with the remains. The Christmas fabric bag was a prototype to test the pattern. Which was a good thing, the pattern I found had the fabric going sideways. Not a big deal with snowmen, a big deal with the lettering on the Packer fabric. So I figured out how to make it with the fabric running the right way. I also need to get some smaller ribbon. All I could find in my stash of non-quilty sewing stuff was inch and a half, really only needs one inch. So two more things to work on, smaller ribbon and the mug-rugs.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this week, off to see what Jo and everyone else have been doing.
Jo's Ufo Challenge

Monday, 4 December 2017

Mystery Link up–Week 2

I missed the first week of link ups. Went down to the sewing room to take a picture and got totally distracted for the rest of the day and most of the week.
To start off, here are my chosen fabrics. Although Bonnie called for all scrappy, this time I am going for two constants. The neutral and the coral. Mostly because this was pretty much the only fabric I had in coral, and there was more than enough of it. I went constant with the neutral also because it was a large piece of fabric in my stash and I wanted to move it out. Plus when the pattern calls for strips I can pull out my Accuquilt and slice a whole bunch.
20171031_105407 At the time I took this picture I thought I would do constant with all the colours but now have a whole selection of browns and blues.
20171204_113022It feels like I am off to a good start on this one. Clue one is finished and Two is cut and well on the way to being finished this week. Looking forward to the next one.
And now to link up with Bonnie

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Update on UFOs

Really feel like I am making some progress this week.
I got back to the Neutral Jacob’s Ladder. Figured out how to make the few strips of special fabric I had go all the way around the border. Then got a back  pieced for it. And they are all hanging on the basting wall ready to be basted. Except I just noticed one of the border needs a touch up with the iron, so it will have to come down again.

2017-11-29 15.56.45 See the border fabric, it is really unique and I have had a hard time figuring out where to use it. So much so , that I chopped up one length for string piecing. That’s why I thought it was going to be tough to get enough to go around. But I had seven strips and given the large blank areas it was easy enough to put all the cut off bits from the sides onto the top and bottom. The colour was a strange one as well, beige with a greenish tinge and it just happened to match the flecks of colour in the brown border. Looking at it now I can see the backing is obviously too large and will have to be cut down.

As well as this, I also worked on the last border of last year’s Bonnie mystery. And can now cross that off the to-do list. It is a completed top.

2017-11-29 15.49.06So, with two UFO’s off my list, what is next? Another mystery, this time from 2015 and from a different designer.
2017-11-29 16.22.27 Three more clues to go.
Now to link up with Jo and see what everyone else has done this week.
Jo's Country Junction

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Weekly UFO update

This is it, the last two days before the new Bonnie Hunter Mystery starts. And have I finished last year’s?  No. Despite all the good intentions last Wednesday, still not done.
At the moment it is heaped up on the ironing board waiting to have the first border ironed. This was the one I thought was missing the units but found them. After getting that all put together, I had a whole bunch of 4 patches left . Was this another ooopsie ? Back to the pattern to check,  no mistake, there is another border.  So now putting that one together.
2017-11-22 11.11.04

The borders on the Jacob’s ladder were sidelined by a brilliant idea that required finding a specific fabric.  It was eventually found and I might get back to working on it soon.
While I was searching for the fabric I wanted for a middle border, I got totally sidetracked by a shirts project. This is one of Becky Petersen’s patterns and I knew I had cut the centre blocks for it some time ago. But totally messed up the room looking though every bin of shirts for them. 
2017-11-22 11.12.14 Finally did find them in a basket on the shelf.  At which point I looked at the mess of shirts and decided something  needed to be done about them. ( but after I put two blocks together, isn’t this cute? The centre has the pocket from the shirt front. That’s why I couldn’t just cut new blocks)
So for the past three days I have been cutting and sorting and stacking. Plus running some through the Accuquilt strip cutters. It feels like I have made some progress.
Now I just have to get it all put away in some order so I can find fabrics when I want them.
2017-11-22 11.10.49 Not much to look at but they are in specific piles and I just need to cut some more strips before I put them away. I found a whole stash of shirt fronts I had forgotten about and now am thinking of doing some aprons from them.  Or just put them back in a bin until after a few more things are finished. Now to see what is happening with everyone else this week and link up with Jo

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

UFO update

Well, the monster quilt is finished. I was so excited about , I even wrote an extra blog post about it Here .
And today, we seemed to be getting a break in the overcast, grey skies so I threw it in the washer. But by the time it had cycled to the end, the sunshine was gone. Still hung it out to take a picture.
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With that done, the question arose, what to do next. There are so many to finish. But with less than two weeks until the mystery starts the only choice could be the last mystery.  And so I started. Much better starting position this year in that all my pieces were made and I had worked on the sashing pieces over the summer so they were all done. It simply was time to put it all together.
2017-11-14 20.45.57A brief panic last night when I came up short 10 units for the border. But I was pretty sure they were done and just missing in the sewing room. So I undertook to rearrange everything looking for them. And got a better shelf arrangement so the bins of pieces I use frequently are closer to hand than the backings which were taking centremost . Soon enough the missing was found, just leaving a mess to put away. And I hope to be able to report this done by next week.
It might have been today but I got another parcel from the Quilted Twins and it sent me off in a totally different direction for most of the day – borders for the neutral Jacobs Ladder.  Heading back down to finish them off as soon as I link up with Jo.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Finished !! Finally

There should be even more exclamation , a fanfare of trumpets perhaps. This has been a long time coming. In the interests of accuracy,  I searched back through my posts to see exactly when I had started these projects.
 The Trip Around the World was started July 2012 making it the longest in the works. It has been finished for a while and hanging around looking for a border.
The Scrappy Bargello panels I used for  borders were cut back in December of 2014.  And the Scrappy Stars have been in the works but not commented on so can't be exactly sure of their start date. They suffered from a dissatisfaction with the yellow fabric. It is more like a brassy/gold and just did not inspire me to finish them. I see that in one post about UFO's ( 8/10/15) I had a bunch done. Sometime after that, I decided to change yellows and made up a bunch which I used to make the top last week. This left three of the brassy stars. Needing a way to make the Bargello strips meet I decided to use them as cornerstones and quickly whipped up another.
And thus the monster was created. My hubby is thrilled, I am warm and the cat approves.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

UFO report M-2

That is two weeks until the mystery with Bonnie starts and how am I doing in clearing out old unfinished projects before starting a new one? Pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
I finished up the sashing on the Stars and got them all together.
2017-11-08 12.45.09 So now it becomes a finished top waiting for some reason to quilt it, like a new baby.  Although I  would have a hard time parting with this project as the fabrics bring back so many memories.
In the same project box as the stars, were the string geese from waaaay back. I searched Bonnie’s blog to figure out how long ago.  The post where she first mentions them was December 2012.  Not sure that these were started at the same time she was working on them but within a year of it.  The pattern is no longer available as a free pattern on her site as she has tweeked it and it’s now in her new book coming out soon.  So I had to improvise on the sashing size between the rows of geese.
2017-11-06 22.45.41Still working on the side and top border. The sashing fabric was from the Quilted Twins, the detail of the picture isn’t fine enough to see the peach colour from the geese is picked up quite nicely. As soon as I saw this fabric I knew they would play nicely together. It's called Splish Splash and comes in lots of other colourways (

And in between these two projects, I lashed together a third.
This one destined for our bed. It is named the Franken-quilt because three different projects were sewn together to make it big enough to cover us.
2017-11-08 09.47.55 It has a centre Trip Around the World, skinny border, Scrappy Bargello strips for a fat border, and Scrappy Stars for corner stones.  One thing I wish now I had done differently would be to extend the skinny border to frame the stars. It sort of looks like they get lost in the bargello. This is on the basting wall right now with backing and batting waiting for me to go baste them together.  The weather here has taken a downward direction temperature wise and I would like to get this on the bed soon.
So quite busy week, although I’ll be playing catch-up on the housework for a day or two soon.  Soon, I promise, well maybe after I quilt Frankie.
Now to link up with Jo and see what she has done this week.  Jo's Country Junction

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

UFO report

Well, this is it, the final weeks before Bonnie’s Mystery Quilt starts. This means a clearing out of projects currently being worked on and cleanup in the sewing room.  Basically clearing the decks for action.
One project cleared up, the neutral/brown Jacob’s ladder. All blocks done, layout done, rows stacked and numbered ready to sew together.  I had the opportunity to just focus on sewing for two whole days and I did. Wasn’t sure just how many I was going to make, original plan was for 48 with a large border but I pushed to get beyond that and made it to 56 before I ran out of steam.  Here they are up on the basting wall on a flannel sheet as my design wall was too small to hold them all.
neautral jacobs Thinking a simple border but will let that thought percolate for a bit.  After all that neutralness, a shot of colour was needed. Especially as we are having numerous grey overcast days.

  So out came some crumb stars. I have two UFOs using crumb stars, the first was Star Splinter from Quiltmaker March/April '13  and the second, Scrappy Stars from Jo Kramer ( link at right on her page)

scrappystarsstarslinter(the pictures loaded in reverse order, Scrappy is the first and then Splinter) 

Scrappy won out and Splinter is back in the project box for another time.
It was so engrossing, the next thing I knew it was 2 in the morning and all 9 blocks were done. I have more centres but the pattern calls for 9 so now comes the sashing.

And stopping here to link up with Jo's UFO challenge before I go back down to my cleaned up sewing room with my re-hung design wall  to cut some sashes.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

UFO Update

Started to write this yesterday, but went down to the sewing room to take a picture and didn't come back to the computer all day.  Can't say I spent the whole day there, had to come up for pee breaks and cat nagging ( feed me, let me out, that sort of thing), but the majority of the time I was sewing.

And.. it was sewing a UFO. I've searched back through my posts and can't find where I've mentioned starting it. Although I see in a folder of pictures that it was already a UFO in 2015. It is the Jacob's Ladder done in neutrals/browns.
This started with a pack of fabric from a guild meeting back in the winter I was a member of the local guild.

When I pulled it out there were 19 blocks made, lots of cut fabric and even more uncut fabric. That was two days ago, now there are 30 blocks made.

The pattern I am working from calls for 48 blocks, I am not sure if I will get that far. But then again I have a bunch of fabric from the Quilted Twins that is blending in just perfectly and I might keep going. The shot of inspiration I got from Jo's neutral quilt and the infusion of new fabrics is just what this project needed to get it going again. Once again linking up with Jo and the UFO update, albeit a day late.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Mission Accomplished

I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself these past few days.  Not only did I get my niece's quilt finished well before the wedding but I managed to finish quilting on another by Sunday. 
That one was a UFO of my sister-in-law’s mother who sadly passed rather quickly two years ago.  While she was lying in the hospital, knowing the end was near, she made a point of telling my sister-in-law that the two quilts she had started and not finished were to go to my sister-in-law’s daughters.   During one of our frequent visits to Nova Scotia my SIL asked me if I would finish them for her to give to her daughters.  That’s the back story, fast forward to two weeks ago, my SIL messages me to ask if the one for her daughter that has just gotten married could be ready for her to take back with them when they come for wedding.   Of course, I said.
2017-10-01 14.53.05
I had gotten the quilt as far as a top, adding the borders was all that was required.  So sandwich and quilt, easy peasy , right?
If I had just done staight lines it would have been easy peasy. But I wanted to step things up a bit and in all my searching of log cabin quilting what stood out the most was the feathering.  So I determined to do feathers in the light half the rounds and stippling in the other half. Which extended the time quite a bit.
Didn't manage to get a pic of the feathers but here is one of the stipple

But I managed to deliver it to her on Sunday, before they left.  Even if it still had chalk marks on it and some thread to still clip.
At the same time I was rushing this through the machine, I was also teaching my daughter to quilt. She came for 12 days, managing to fit in both our Thanksgiving celebration and her cousin’s wedding. Within a day of her arriving, she started asking about how to put together a quilt she wanted to make. Well actually a weighted blanket, but I figured out a way to make it a quilt-as-you-go quilt.

  Breaking it down into block size pieces made it easier for her to sew and to fill with the beads needed for the weight.
We got to spend some great time together over a sewing machine or two.
2017-10-08 14.51.532017-10-12 22.33.18so now to link up with everyone over at Jo’s Country Junction
And see what you all are up to this week.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Almost finished

I have been delaying writing a post hoping to have my niece's wedding quilt to show off.  And it is almost done. Just one last side to sew down the binding on, a quick trip to the washer and it will be out on the clothes line. But, it was a beautiful day out today, so I popped it up on the line with the last bit still in the binding clips.
2017-10-05 12.21.20
Isn’t that spectacular ? Jo and Kelli really knocked it out of the park with this pattern. ( Bohemian Rhapsody from Country Girl Modern ). I am already planning on doing another one. Just need to find the right fabrics.   And the back is almost as good.
2017-10-05 12.20.57
The Polish fabric from the Quilted Twins is gorgeous.   I’m fairly pleased with the results. I have to make it “fairly” because of some errors but I have promised myself not to repeat them to anyone else.   I told you about one of them, the triangle corner that wasn’t there.  I did some un-sewing and put it in. Then on the next row of quilting I found a square turned the wrong way, and un-sewed and fixed that also.
While all this was going on I had a request for a baby quilt. With only two weeks notice. Yikes.  So out came some baby panels from my stash. Additional request, no pink.  Amazingly I managed to find two that met the requirements, quilted one up and offered it to her with the proviso that if this didn’t satisfy, there was another in the works. Of course she wanted the one not finished, so pedal to the floor and several hours later …. okay maybe two days later.  Here they are.
2017-09-23 12.52.272017-09-23 12.53.30
  She picked the Noah’s Ark, as it was a little bigger than the Alphabet.
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Not sure whether to call these finished UFO’s as they hadn’t even been started. They were just potential projects and now one is a finished quilt all ready for another baby.
Now to link up with Jo’s  UFO Progress

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Quilting at last

I didn’t get as much sewing done this past week as I wanted. We had some really nice weather and spent a lot of time outside doing  yard work. Some of it easy, like picking vegetable, some of it arduous. That would be clearing the weed trees and brush from the property lines. When we bought this place it had been allowed to get very overgrown. And what it is overgrown with is an invasive species of shrub called Buckthorn.  Here’s what Ontario Trees and Shrubs webpage has to say about it:
 Notes: Common Buckthorn is a very invasive alien plant, originally from Europe. It can grow up to about 20 feet tall. Please help to slow the spread of this plant by pulling it up whenever you see it. However, please be sure that you're pulling up the right plant, as it can resemble native Dogwoods. The thorns are wicked - watch out for them!
I can attest to the wickedness of the thorns. Tried to grab a pile of branches without my work gloves and got a 2 inch thorn in my finger. Ouch indeed.
After three days of chopping this stuff down, we still have lots of it out there but I was totally worn out. I called a halt and went back to sewing.
bohemian on the wallAnd here it is, Bohemian Rhapsody on the basting wall finally. I thought long and hard over the back. It was really difficult to bring myself to actually cut the Polish fabric I had ordered for this. It was just so lovely. And I didn’t want a plain ordinary back with these spectacular fabrics, it had to stand out. So this is what I came up with. bohemianback
A lot of math when into it. Including adding extra to the side pieces so there is overage for the quilting process.
Perhaps I was patting myself to hard on my back because several hours into the quilting this is what I came across.
bohemianbobo See that big blue triangle…it shouldn’t be a triangle. It should have a floral corner. I put the brakes on and decided to sleep on the decision. Do I try and add the floral piece that is missing? There is only one seam to undo since it an edge piece. And if you look in the big picture you can actually see it. If you follow the vertical centre line of the squares, the bottom right one.
While I think it over, I’m off the walk the yard looking for things that need to be put away from the rain coming today, like the box of potatoes I dug.
And a bonus of the lumberjack work, I actually got to see one of the elusive tree frogs that have been so annoying to listen to all summer. I hope you can see him here on his tree.treefrog ( and no, I didn’t cut his tree down). Now to connect up with Jo and her UFO progress update

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A busy August

is finished and now that all the socializing is over with I can settle down to quilting. That was my thoughts as September started. And it has worked out, mostly.  I quilted a baby panel that has been kicking around in my stash for a long time. No picture as yet, still has to get the binding on.

I also got the Bohemian Rhapsody blocks together. Have had a hard time trying to get a good picture of it, my design wall isn’t big enough for it, my basting wall room had poor lighting. So I thought outside on the clothesline would be perfect to bring out the colours. A little too much wind, but hubby was kind enough to hold it down for me.

2017-09-07 14.13.36 After this, we took off for a trip across the border to pick up fabric from my US mail box.  Some of which was destined to be the backing for this quilt.

2017-09-07 18.59.21

Aren’t they great ? This is some of the Polish fabric that the fabric store half of the Quilted Twins brought back. I was bumbling around trying to think of what to use for a backing when Rachael put these up and the light bulb went off in my head. My niece is part Polish on her mother’s side, since this is a wedding gift for her, Polish fabrics would be perfect.

One of the other packages to pick up was the box of shirts from Jo. 2017-09-07 19.02.09

Isn’t this great, a box just stuffed with goodies. Thanks so much Jo, I’m going to love using these. After so many quilts with my stash of shirts, I was starting to get tired of seeing them. In another attempt to use them up, I started a Spider Web quilt.

Surprisingly these use very little pieces. The longest st2017-09-07 18.57.35rip is only 5’’, so it is going to take a while to work through my pile of shirts.

And the other packages? Well, while I was waiting for Jo’s box, I did order a few more packages of fabric from the Quilted Twins

2017-09-07 19.00.39

With prices so good, I couldn’t resist.

Now to link up with Jo’s UFO Progress

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A finish, hooray.

Well, finished top. I decided last week that a big factor in not getting any UFOs finished was that none were being worked on.  All my effort was being expended on new projects. So pulled out a stack of blocks that have been sitting neglected and figured out what would pull them together.

2017-07-26 16.51.46What was going to be another Film at Five has turned into a Dancing 25 patch.  Finished is better than perfect being the new motto.

A lot of my week was taking up with cutting and cutting and cutting. It seemed like it would go on forever.  But it didn’t and now I am sewing again. This time two non-Bonnie patterns.

One from Becky at Quilted Twins, called Show Off that I hoped would make a dent in my shirts.  Maybe not a dent but it did make me go all though them looking for 49 different patterns. The biggest part of this is a single piece, so no sewing. But a whole bunch of nine patches yet to make.2017-07-30 18.07.14

The other project is a sew-along of a Mickey Depre pattern, Abacus. This needed lots and lots of HST.

2017-07-29 21.20.25

And certainly looks better from a distance. Up close the neutrals seem too distracting to me.

And another sew-along project got finished. I picked up some orders from Quilted Twins which included a piece that I thought would finish off  Nifty Thrift just right. It did.

2017-08-01 15.36.12

I was really impressed with how I got it to line up so the pattern continues from the sides to the top and bottom.

And that’s it for now. The sun is shining, the garden is growing and I’m off to do some weeding and watering.

But first to link up with Jo and sew what everyone else is doing at Jo’s Country Junction