February 1, 2015

A Perfect Little Wallet for Christmas from Patti

We had a gift exchange at our Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild's Christmas party and I was so lucky to come home with this perfect little wallet made by Patti of Retired to Quilt. She does such beautiful and inspired work! You should look at her blog to see the other beautiful things she makes.

It was my favourite accessory at a Christmas dinner I went to in Regina.

A Rainbow Dresden for Sheila's Traveling Quilt

I love this traveling quilt project that's happening with our Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild.

I'm a little late finishing my addition to Sheila's traveling quilt. I was supposed to have it done for last Sunday but instead of machine appliquéing it as I planned, I decided to do it by hand, which takes a lot longer. I'm glad I did, though. I think it's pretty sweet!

I chose to make a dresden plate because I recall Sheila comment, at the last Saskatoon Quilt Guild show, "I can never resist a dresden". So here's a dresden just for her. It's the first full dresden I've ever made. I made a couple of wee half dresdens to put on some mug rugs. 

The inner circle is a happy afterthought. I didn't line up it up to to be exactly opposite the outer one. I just placed it where I liked it best. I left enough fabric around the dresden so it can be trimmed a bit if needed for fitting it to the rest of the blocks.

I used the E-Z Dresden Ruler for this. For the outer ring, I cut fabric bits 4 inches in length and then lined it up with the 2" to 6" section of the ruler. The inner ring pieces are cut to 2 inches and then lined up with the bottom of the ruler and the 2" mark. I think the inner ring is 6" across. I didn't measure the outer ring but I left ample background fabric (20" square) so it can be trimmed down a bit if necessary.

I hope Sheila likes it. Sheila blogs at Stitched by Sheila. I love her style.

Here are the other pieces to which my block will be added.  

And a few process photos. Much pinning was done to keep things stable for the hand work. 

More Christmas Oven Mitts

Catching up with Christmas now that I have a few pressing quilt projects finished, here are the oven mitts I made for my daughter, Hannah, her BFF, Dani, and Dani's Mom, who had us over to her place over Christmas.

Dani's Mom has a love affair with all things Paris, just as Patio and I do. These are for her.

Dani and Hannah, who loved their recent trip to Jamaica and who both remind me of my inner-hippy, needed these oven mitts.

Here they are modeling them.

And here is their friend, Ben, showing off his Christmas pie while wearing Hannah's oven mitts. We had such a wonderful Christmas in Vancouver with Hannah and her many friends. We missed having Luke, our son, with us but he was on a beach in Bali at the time. I can hardly wish him away from that.

I must say, I wanted to make myself and Luke some oven mitts, too, but damn, they are hard on my machine. All those layers really challenged my machine! I broke a few needles, too. I won't make the other oven mitts until just before I'm ready to take my machine in for a servicing.

December 8, 2014

Arrows for Lisa's Traveling Quilt


I had been wanting to try these arrows and when Lisa's traveling quilt came to me, I knew this was the right project for them. I used the free tutorial by Carla at Grace and Favour. It's a good tutorial. Easy to follow. The process leaves lots of big scraps but they're big enough to work nicely into other projects, so I don't think of it as waste. For my arrows I fussy cut the arrow heads and the little pieces that form the very bottom tail of the stem.

I love Lisa's colour palette. It's not one I would have thought of. Lisa started with the feathers (another project I want to try - Anna Maria Horner has a free pdf pattern and tutorial for them) and Jaclyn added the flying geese. I especially like the row of narrow flying geese. I've never seen those done like that before. I didn't attach my arrows. I've left them for others to attach as they see fit.

For the end of January I have to have my contribution to Sheila's traveling quilt finished. I know what I'm going to do but won't get started until the new year. The traveling quilts (11 of them) are a time consuming project but I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on it and I can't wait to see what's happening with my Zodia quilt.

Here's the doll quilt I made with my leftovers.


A Quilt for Juliet's Baby Dolls

Carol's grand daughter, Juliet,  has discovered dolls! So she needs a quilt for them, right? I had some leftover trimmings from another project and was happy to put them into this little project. This one really was a quick project ... even for me! It's pretty cute, I think.

I had leftover bits from making arrows for Lisa's traveling quilt project. I added a few bits of other fabric from the scrap bin. The text fabric is especially dear to me. It's what I used as background fabric for my daughter's quilt and also on Juliet's baby quilt. I was glad that for this project, the scrap piece has the phrase "City of Bridges" in it. *smile*

I made a little pillow out of the backing fabric and because I didn't really like the way the way the centre sting pieced triangles fit together, I covered the joint with a little coordinating yo-yo.

Carol tells me that Juliet has already been tucking her babies in with it multiple times.

The doll modeling the quilt in the photos is my own from when I was a little girl.

Oven Mitts By Me For Christmas

I wanted to give a couple of my friends handmade gifts and so I settled on oven mitts. I need some, too, so at some point I'll make some for myself.

It was fun picking fabrics that suited my friends Pat and Carol. Pat shares my love of Paris and, in particular, with the Eiffel Tower.  The women in the Melody Miller linen print suited Carol, I thought, and I'd been hoarding this little fat quarter for a couple of years waiting for the right project. The orange plaid also reminds me of Carol.

This was also my first time working with Insulbrite ... the tinfoily batting that helps make the mitts heat resistant.

What I learned while making these oven mitts ...

  • Having the right tools makes all the difference ... thank you Hera Marker from Flo! I'd tried it once before but couldn't really see the lines I'd made using it. Since I wasn't going to wash these mitts before giving them, I didn't want to use a marker or chalk so I gave the Hera Marker another shot. While I could hardly see the lines while I was making them at my cutting table, they showed up clear as day when I got to my sewing machine with the Ott-Lite shining on them. PERFECT!! The combo of Hera Marker and Ott Lite is ideal!
  • These oven mitts are super thick! Each side has a muslin layer (for lining), a layer of insul-brite, a layer of batting, another layer of insul-brite, and then the fabric. The quilting squishes it all down quite nicely but the edges are still very thick. Zig-zagging around the edges of the quilted pieces before sewing them together is a good idea. 
  • Reinforcing with extra stitching in "the crotch" and on both sides of the thumb is necessary. 
  • Trimming the edges at the top of the curve and on all sides of the thumb before turning is necessary. Again, you'll be glad you reinforced the seams in those areas.
  • The hardest part of the whole project is turning the mitt right side out. It's a real work out and when you do it, you'll be glad for all that reinforcing.
  • My machine struggled a bit with the thickness when I went over the binding and loop areas. It's pretty thick, that's for sure.
These shouldn't really take so long as they took me to make. I'm always slow.

The pattern and instructions I used can be found at The Good Weekly. After reading other tutorials, I chose to follow a different tutorial for the binding. I bound the ends before sewing them together. I found instructions for that at Sew Hooked.  And to add the loop so they can be hung, I used this tutorial at the Riley Blake Cutting Corners blog. I picked up good collective instructions from all three of these tutorials.

November 24, 2014

Giveaway Winner - Blogathon Canada - Saskatchewan

The giveaway Winner is #128 - jmniffer from Minnesota! Congratulations, jmniffer!

Thanks again to Sew Sisters for providing this giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the Blogathon! 


November 20, 2014

Blogathon Canada Comes to Saskatchewan and Yes, Virginia, There Is A GIVEAWAY

Welcome to the Prairie Leg of Blogathon Canada 2014! I'm blogging from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (not nearly as snowy as Buffalo, I must add. At least not today!).  My Co-Prairie-Host today is the talented Lori from Manitoba who blogs at Night Owl Quilting. Be sure to visit her! Thanks to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop and the other sponsors for sponsoring and organizing this annual event.

Browse through my quilt gallery (tab above) if you're interested in seeing the kinds of things I've made so far. I'm not terribly productive. I refer to myself as the "slowest quilter EVER"! I've only really been quilting for the past 5 years though I have some earlier experiences and long held on to the dream of quilting hoping to really dive into it when I retire someday. As it turned out, I decided that I best not wait for retirement so here I am doing my best to make quilts for "all the people I love". I love SO many people that I know I'll never reach my goal but I'll give it my best shot! My quilting life has been greatly enhanced and expanded by the recent establishing (and my joining) of the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild. Here is where my local quilting peeps are. They nourish and inspire me and make my stomach muscles hurt from all the laughing!

As you might have guessed from my blog header, I was a teen in the 70s and I still identify strongly with my inner hippy. I might not look like one on the outside but on the inside, I'm still wearing bell bottoms or cut offs with a wide, purple suede leather belt, a pop top, a fringed vest, water buffalo sandals, and groovin' to my vinyl. Pop art, black light posters, fat albert lights, incense. Love. Peace. And now I quilt.

Here is a sampling of what I've been working on lately. I don't have many finishes right now. Just lots of things on the go.  Forgive the quality of these photos. Darkness has come to the prairies and it's hard to get good enough light in our fortress for proper photos. I'll take better shots of these when I'm home some sunny day and when I can take photos outside.

This is a wedding gift. I just have to add the binding. I can't remember the name of the pattern right now but it was a free one I found on the interwebs. (UPDATE: The pattern is Movement in Squares and it's a free download from Ivory Spring). What I learned with this quilt is that ironing seams open is what works best for me. On the first block I sewed, I ironed to one side as per the instructions but when I joined the pieces together, it just looked bad. I tried the next one with seams pressed open and voila! Perfect! I remade the first block. I really like the IKEA fabric I chose for the back. The colours match the front almost perfectly! I added some extension fabric on the bottom. Lisa (a friend in our modern quilt guild) did the wonderful "tangled squares" quilting on it. 

I've long wanted to make a "Sparkle Punch" quilt and so I'm making this one, also a wedding gift. If I had known how long it would take to make all those 3.5" crazy star blocks, I might never have begun but now that I've got almost 400 of them made, I'm glad I did. I love the look of the rich colours on the warm grey "Moda Weave" background fabric. My plan is to insert some extra large wonky stars (here's the inspiration quilt for that) but first I need to do a full lay out of the smaller stars. This is not an exact science. By the way, there are no orangy colours in this quilt. The light just wasn't good for photos. The colours are all true blue, turqoise, purple, plum, fuschia, and white. 

This is my Fishbowl and Terrarium baby quilt top. I need to get it completed.  It's one for the vault.

I made the flying geese block below. It's to go with the Modern Maples block that was given to me as part of our Guild's Taveling Quilt event. We have 11 participants and we each start a block and pass it to the next person. I have to finish a block for another quilt this week. It's a fun project to be part of but the talents of the others makes this a bit intimidating! (Ahhhh ... outdoor photos ... so much better!)

Now that you've poked around here for a bit, please check out some other Saskatchewan quilt bloggers. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!!

Oh, yes! THE GIVEAWAY ... a stack of fat quarters of Alice Kennedy's Field Study line ...  generously provided by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: Winner is #128 - jmniffer from Minnesota! Congratulations, jmniffer!

Just add a comment ... tell me where you're from and/or anything else you'd like to say.  The giveaway is open to everyone, including international visitors and a winner will be randomly chosen on November 23. I'll make the announcement on November 24.  (Make sure I'm able to reach you by email. If you're email is not provided, I'll have to pick another number.)

FYI ... All of the giveaways during Blogathon Canada are open until November 23 so if you missed any, you can still enter. There's also a giveaway on the Sew Sisters blog, compliments of Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

November 3, 2014

Announcing Blogathon Canada Hosted by Sew Sisters – Nov 17-22



Find new blogs, make new friends, win amazing prizes!


It's almost that time again! From November 17-22 will be the 3rd Annual Quilters' Blogathon Canada hosted by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. Judy, the shop owner has asked me to host the Saskatchewan portion of the event so please come back again on Thursday, November 20 for a special post and a giveaway, courtesy of Sew Sisters Quilt Shop.

Meanwhile, take note of the schedule below. In addition to giveaways on each blog, there will be sponsored giveaways by Aurifil, Northcott, and Robert Kaufman on the Sew Sisters blog during that week.

SCHEDULE - November 17- 22, 2014
Join the party!

If you would like for the host blogger from your province or territory to link your blog in her post please send an email to and your blog will be added to the list. Please note that you need to be a blogger living in Canada and your blog should have posts about quilting or crafting to be eligible.

Grab the Blogathon Canada Button for your blog so you can have a quick link to all the fun!