Friday, December 17, 2010


1. #01 - Attic Window, 2. #02 - Autumn Tints, 3. #03 - Basket, 4. #04 - Basket Weave, 5. #05 - Bat Wing, 6. #06 - Big Dipper, 7. #07 - Birds In The Air, 8. #08 - Bouquet, 9. #09 - Box, 10. #10 - Bowtie, 11. #11 - Broken Dishes, 12. #12 - Broken Sugar Bowl, 13. #13 - Buckwheat, 14. #14 - Butterfly at the Crossroads, 15. #15 - Buzzard's Roost., 16. #16 - Calico Puzzle, 17. #17 - Cats & Mice, 18. #18 - Century of Progress, 19. #19 - Checkerboard, 20. #20 - Churn Dash, 21. #21 - Contrary Wife, 22. #22 - Corn & Beans, 23. #23 - Country Farm, 24. #24 - Country Path, 25. #25 - Cups & Saucers, 26. #26 - Cut glass dish., 27. #27 - Darting Birds, 28. #28 - Duck & Ducklings, 29. #29 - Economy, 30. #30 - End of Day, 31. #31 - Evening Star, 32. #32 - Farmer's Daughter, 33. #33 - Farmer's Puzzle, 34. #34 - Flock, 35. #35 - Flower Basket, 36. #36 - Flower Garden Path 37. #37 - Flower Pot, 38. #38 - Four Winds, 39. #39 - Friendship, 40. #40 - Friendship Block, 41. #41 - Friendship Star, 42. #42 - Fruit Basket, 43. #43- Garden Path, 44. #44 - Gentleman's Fancy, 45. #45 - Grape Basket, 46. #46 - Hill & Valley, 47. #47 - Homemaker, 48. #48 - Homeward Bound, 49. #49 - Honeycomb, 50. #50 - Honey's Choice, 51. #51 - Hovering Birds, 52. #52 - Hovering Hawks, 53. #53 - Jackknife, 54. #54 - Kitchen Woodbox, 55. #55 - Linoleum, 56. #56 - Maple Leaf, 57. #57 - Morning, 58. #58 - Mother's Dream, 59. #59 - Night & Day, 60. #60 - Noon & Light, 61. #61 - Northern Lights, 62. #62 - Old Windmill, 63. #63 - Ozark Maple Leaf, 64. #64- Peace & Plenty, 65. #65 Peaceful Hours, 66. #66 - Periwinkle, 67. #67 - Pine Tree, 68. #68 - Postage Stamp, 69. #69 - Practical Orchard, 70. #70 - Prairie Queen, 71. #71 - Puss in the Corner, 72. #72 - Railroad

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck The Halls

Working on a little stocking for my sweet little girl :)

So far we have fleece lining, satin cover, and felt with embroidery to decorate. 
But I think it needs more sparkle!

All finished! And please - remind me to never embroider with metallic floss ever ever again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quilting Around The World!

I recently found a very cool place to hang out and talk all things quilting. The lovely ladies over at QATW are super swappers, extremely helpful, and a tonne of fun to be with! Best of all is that you are continually motivated to work on your projects (and to start new ones).

Over the American Thanksgiving weekend I put together my very first set of blocks for one of their swaps - and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I noticed that I cut and pieced MUCH more carefully than I normally would. I'm pretty sure that is a good habit to cultivate!

Here are the swap blocks for Scraptastic that I put together:

They look so pretty and scrappy on my wall I can't wait to mail and swap and see what I get back!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A quick something for my door

With a 2 year old in the house this Christmas will be special for us in new ways. I wanted to do more decorating - and of course, I wanted to accomplish that with fabric!

This is what I tossed together literally from things lying around for our front door.
Merry Christmas at my door!

Some of the quilting details in one section

 Now Santa will know someone crafty lives here, and hopefully he'll stuff my stocking with some things to play with in the new year .. fabric, thread, notions, ...all are fine with me!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Yayyyyy, we did it!

What I did today:

Watched endless amounts of Dora the Explorer while my tiny terror ran in a whirlwind that spouted occasional Spanish words

Made a mad dash to the quilt store to pick up some much needed supplies

Tweaked my blog design (hooray for happy blue!)

Crafted, cajoled, fretted, fidgeted, kludged, and cursed my new Ordering page into existence! HOORAY! Yup, I"m proud of myself for this one. Now you can order, I can sew, and the world is back in balance again.

And now for the impossible task of getting preschooler's cartoon jingles out of my head.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fabulous Fantastic (for sale!) Ornaments!

 These are my hand crafted origami stars, made from stunning Christmas fabrics. I'm working on 3 sizes, for all your decorating needs ^.^

You know you want some! Get a whole stack - or just a few - and there are so many things you can do with them:
  • Hang them on the tree, of course!
  • Decorate your garlands and wreaths
  • Use one as a wreath at home, the office, in the car
  • Give them as a gift! (Perfect for Secret Santa, Teachers, and anyone else on your list who appreciates "heartfelt homemade")
  • Use them as a bow on a present (on boxes, on wine bottle, etc)
You want them because:
  1. They are stunning and unique and do not say "Made in China" anywhere on them
  2. They are lightweight and can be folded flat for easy shipping and storage
  3. They are toddler and pet proof (tested by my in home experts ..)
  4. Having something handmade to admire during the holidays will make you (and whoever else is on Santa's list) feel warm and fuzzy inside!

Some of the fabrics currently being made into ornaments by my tireless elves ... I mean .. one very tired momma.

You can order now if you have paypal:
Additional payment and ordering options HERE

Specific Colour Instructions

Friday, November 5, 2010

A quote for today

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

"Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty...

"You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

"What you create doesn’t have to be perfect...Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

"If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, November 1, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another handful done!

1. #30 - End of Day, 2. #29 - Economy, 3. #28 - Duck & Ducklings, 4. #08 - Bouquet, 5. #27 - Darting Birds, 6. #25 - Cups & Saucers, 7. #24 - Country Path, 8. #22 - Corn & Beans, 9. #23 - Country Farm

Still having a lot of fun making these blocks! I'm getting much better at the technical aspect of piecing (I think?) and I'm also beginning to really enjoy picking fabrics and colours for each block -- Digging through my stash of scraps, yardage, charm packs, and other pre-cuts has become like a miniature treasure hunt each time I turn a page!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Farmer's Wife Quilt - A few blocks finished!

Working my way through the blocks in Laurie Aaron Hird's book "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt" seems to be as close to taking a quilting class as I can get and still wear pajamas! So for the last few days that is exactly what I have been doing.

Let's try this one ..
The book comes with a disk that includes PDF files for each of the 107 templates used in the blocks -- a separate PDF for each?! Now I'm no publisher but you would think that someone in the disk-making-department would use a bit more common sense. Because no quilter in her right mind is going to want to print 107 pages, especially when some of the templates are 2 1/2 inch blocks or 3 inch triangles. I think they really let the author down on that aspect. I'd scream bloody murder if I put all that time and energy into writing a book and the disk included looked like a 7th grader's geometry project.
{Of course, the publishers & EQ seem to be angling for some extra cash since there is an EQ companion CD you can buy separately. No wonder they put no effort into the free disk!}

Luckily the ones who have gone before me in making this quilt were of like minds, and they rearranged all the templates into a single PDF file of 14 pages. I thought "Woohoo, this I can live with!" and downloaded that baby right away.Then I set to work with my ruler and worked out measurements for quite a few of the simple shapes - even down to 16ths in some cases. Cause there is nooooooo way I am cutting & piecing twenty or more one-inch HSTs the hard way just for one block:
Tiny HSTs .. no problem! Chain em up

The project is definitely helping with my piecing skills (as intended!) I'm primarily working from scraps/stash fabric, so right now the blocks I have made don't look like they will play nice together in a quilt ... But I'll figure something out at the end!

Day 1 Blocks - Err, nice effort but I will remake some of these!
Day 2 Blocks - Now we are getting somewhere!

*Marking the name and number of each of the blocks on a square of masking tape might be a little over-organized, but ... I like it that way :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Books Are Yummy!

Currently being shipped via Barnes&Noble :)


Be Inspired by the Stories
In 1922, The Farmer's Wife magazine posed this question to their readers: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?" The magazine at that time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters. The best answers to this question are included in this book, along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.

Laurie Aaron Hird provides everything you need to be inspired and create your own sampler quilt:
  • 111 six-inch quilt blocks, with construction diagrams for piecing the blocks and template cutting directions
  • Complete instruction for making a sampler quilt in any traditional size: lap, twin, queen or king
  • CD with easy-to-print, full-sized templates for all 111 blocks, and printable quilt construction diagrams
  • 42 letters from the 1922 Farmer's Wife contest to give you a priceless glimpse into our country's past

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stacky Whacky ..

My camera broke
My glasses broke
My sailboat broke
My OTHER sailboat (family boat) broke
And summer vacation was fun but totally exhausting

On the bright side I was gifted a whole shelf of great quilting magazines and books. You might have heard of this one by Bethany Reynolds ... "Magic Stack n Whack"?

What a great way to cheer up :)
Being able to use a design wall for the very first time helps too ..

Whacked yardage is all by Kona Bay, Nobu Fujiyama collection:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pirates ... Yarrrrr!!

Last week in a nearby city we attended a Pirate Festival with a few friends.
Yup, a Pirate Festival!
So guess who whipped up an eleventh hour costume for her tiny terror of the seas?

Monday, July 19, 2010

A new obsession

I stumbled across the gorgeous work of Sylvia Pippen the other day, and I just can't stay away! If you haven't seen her work or if you admire Sashiko OR applique in general --- check it out!

Left - Her newest book is on my wishlist

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quilter's Poem

The house is dusty
The floors are a mess
Kids getting fussy
I couldn’t care less

The garden needs tending
And laundry too
Some clothes need mending
What’s a quilter to do?

What’s for dinner mom?
What can we eat?
I can’t answer that now
There’s a quilt to complete!

The needle is threaded
And fabric cut out
Go play with your sister
And try not to shout!

My coffee is poured
And the music’s on low
It’s ‘me’ time right now
There’s a quilt to grow

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It looks like blog-land is hit hard by summertime -- and that it is not just me :)

Between visiting family, swimming, boating, swimming, BBQing, swimming, buying fabric, and swimming ---  it has been pretty busy! I'm looking forward to hiding in my air-conditioned basement a.k.a sewing room and getting some quilting done this week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I love Kaufman Imperial Collection ..

While I was in my LQS the other week I spied some fair sized scrap bags for $5.00 each. You can bet I was on those like white on rice! It surprised me that a posh shop like that would have scrap baggies, but hey -- they must have known I was coming. Some of them were strips of odd calicoes ... ick .. but then I saw the holy grail of scrap bags: A big stack of strips from Robert Kaufman's Imperial Collection*!

When I got them home and tenderly laid them out I figured there was about a yard of fabric there, all  2-3 inches wide. And I thought "my goodness these fabrics are so lovely, so pretty, pretty pretty ..." & then "What should I make with them?!"

 This is the pattern I decided on: Modern Chain Quilt from the ever talented Allison @ Cluck Cluck Sew. I give her credit for the pattern because that is where I remember first seeing it, but I know there are many other versions out there. Like this stunning and gorgeous example from my idol, Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers. Have I ever mentioned I want to be Carla when I grow up .... ?

So I had my pattern, my scraps, and an aching mouth I wanted to pretend I didn't have. Thank you dentist ...Thankfully setting to work kept my mind off the pain. Here is the preliminary top:

All that white space calls to me. I am going to have a blast quilting this, I just know it! (And not bad for $5.00 of scraps and some Northcott broadcloth!)

*As much as I wish I could find a proper picture of Imperial collection #5 which has the fabrics I used all I found was the 6th collection. Same idea but more colourways and cultural stuff in that collection. Oh, and the blues are all from the RKaufman fabric fusions lines.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dresden Plate Garden

My latest quilt is washed and photographed and folded, ready to go to a new home! I haven't decided where it is going yet --- either to my parents, or to a good friend as a housewarming gift. But there is no rush in making a decision.

I have been leisurely making my way through some of the classic blocks (Irish Chain, Bear Paw, etc) and Dresden plates were on my list. But I didn't want to do them as I have always seen --- with riotous eye searing prints and dots and checks and whatnot. Bright yes, calico cacophony no! What I came up with was a selection of batiks & some pretty prints, which I alternated with cream spokes. I used a nifty orange/yellow/pink batik for the circle in the centers, and I think they turned out looking like flowers as planned:

And then I wanted to do some applique ... Which I hadn't done until this quilt. I used the freezer paper technique to learn how to do it (never again). Now that I know I think I will stick with fusible web unless I REALLY need turned edges. Raw edge + free motion stitching around the shapes works just fine for me! So the flowers, vines, butterflies, and ladybugs look alright in the picture .. but somewhat raggedy in reality.

I saw a lot of opportunity in the blank spaces between Dresden plates, so I sketched a square on point and subdivided it into 4 triangles and an inner square. The triangles all got the same vine & leaf motif (122 repeats in the quilt total) and the centers each got their own critter --- either a butterfly, hummingbird, or a dragonfly. I also stitched about a 1/4in outside each Dresden plate, and quilted whorls in each flower center in yellow thread.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy Busy Bees!

For most of June I have been working away on my "Dresden Garden" quilt --- which is sooooo nearly finished! With my nose either stuck in a flowery quilt or behind my camera chasing butterflies or sticking my lens in a flower I feel very much like a BEE. In fact I feel like a bee who wishes there was more honey in her kitchen .. I could have used some honey in my tea today since it was miserable, wet, and rainy.

My sweet man was very impressed with the Spring Roses quilt I finished recently for our friends. So impressed, mind you, he has been lavish with his fabric shopping trips. And I certainly won't be complaining! I have picked up 4 yards of wide backing online, a partial bolt of cream broadcloth, several assorted yards of cotton prints, some batik FQs, and a great bag of scraps from Hoffman "imperial" fabrics. I walked out of a very chic quilt store EXTREMELY happy, and of course gave my shopping partner the rundown on how this store scored on the quality/price/style list. He gave it a thumbs up because .. "It is next to the ice cream store." Works for me! Now I can shop for fabric while he has an ice cream cone and relaxes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Homemade Forts Are Great Fun

Last night I finished the last stretch of quilting on the border pieces of my Amish roses --- all 20 feet of feather and cable twist quilting done! Which left many many more feet of hand stitching the backing pieces together. Ick.

But with the end in sight I have been diligently stitching away, and I have gradually come to nickname the quilt "Frankenstein" -- partially because that is what my stitches remind me of, and partially because this quilt is for a friend named Shelley (the story of Frankenstein of course was written by Mary Shelley). My stitches have improved since I draped the quilt up on my quilting frame. But they got a little wobbly when my inspectors showed up and set me to giggling ...

Yep, that is my daughter using my draped quilt as a fort. While wearing a folded FQ on her head as a hat. Playing with some "My Little Ponies" and my other Quilt Inspector.

It didn't help my progress at all but it sure was funny!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures with Quilt-as-you-go.

I have been diligently sewing away at home, in between enjoying some gorgeous weather and of course all the blog posts from the Spring Quilt Market. I would love to go there one year --- I bet it is great fun when quilters take over a city!

My Amish Spring Roses quilt is zipping right along. Here is a picture of one of the side panels --- and about 15 inches of progress on the cable/feather twist motif. Oh boy, only 81 inches left --- on THIS one :D And then of course the other side and also the bottom will need matching feather twisties. Good thing I am having fun doing them!

I do also have the entire center panel done, and the pillow panel with its applique. I definitely need to use larger backing blocks next time I do gigantic applique blocks, because I underestimated the amount they would gather in and it was tricky to stitch the blocks together. I'm a little disappointed with the looseness of the backing between blocks, but maybe if I don't mention it people will think I planned it that way ... as part of the charm of a comfy country quilt ..

And maybe I will have to hand stitch a tuck along the top seams so that the blocks lay flatter and please my sense of quilt propriety.