Friday, July 29, 2011


Do you ever have days when everything just seems to work better than the day before?  You know, when the brain is firing, you solve a problem or pull something together that was unravelling, or throw ingredients together for dinner from the fridge and it just works??  Serendipity!!  Today was like that.  It was a productive day at work with some energy left at the end of the day to play with EQ7 and design a pattern.  I love when that happens, and it's infrequent, so I'm going for it!

Tonight I started designing a quilt using my coffee fabrics.  I'm going to call it "Around the Block" .  With my coffee fabrics, the quilt label will  likely say  "Coffee Shop Around the Block".  But I am creating this pattern to sell so I want to give it a generic enough name to apply to different focus fabrics and colourways.

The first block came together great!  There are a total of 30 blocks, 5 x 6.  When the quilt top is done I'll post a picture here.  I want to get the sample made because one of the local quilt shops said she would carry my patterns if I brought in a sample quilt to show.  I can do that!! Maybe not tonight but I got a good start on it.  As soon as I finish the first part of the 30 blocks I'll call it a night.

My friend Terry is coming for breakfast and a sewing date tomorrow (the hubster is out of town and we really need some play time!).  You never know what we'll be working on.  We'll see where the wind blows us tomorrow.  I think my friend will be surprised that I have started yet another new project.  It's obvious that the wind blew in some new creativity tonight so I'm just going to enjoy it and show her what I accomplished tonight.

I am hoping for a good night's sleep tonight and I hope you have one too!

Until next time,


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Drat, Drat and Double Drat!!!

Yesterday I was sharing about putting the backing together for my Irish Chain quilt.  Today, after it was hanging out on the clothesline overnight, the wrinkles were still there.  I touched the fabric to make sure it was dry.  It felt like a high-quality chintz fabric, complete with the sound of high quality cotton, but I decided I  wanted to be sure.  I am thinking about hand quilting the Irish Chain quilt and I want to make sure I'm not fighting polyester fibres.  So I conducted the famous 'burn' test.  If you google it you will find articles about the different ways fibres behave when a flame hits them.

Well, the long and short of it is that one of my fabrics was 100% cotton and the two side panels (which I used to make the quilt backing wide know...a pieced back) is Poly/Cotton.  It melted!  Can't bring myself to use it.  So back to the drawing board.

Thankfully I was able to find something nice and soft at Fabricland for 55% off so now I have ample fabric for the back of this quilt.  Now I just need some energy to baste it together so that it can be quilted.  I'm still not sure if I'll machine quilt it or hand quilt it.  I already have one quilt underway in the hoop and I'm a long way off having it done.

Decisions, decisions.

What do you think?  Here's the picture of the quilt again:

I'd love to do some quilting in the blank squares.  I bought a circular wreath stencil today.  It would be perfect in those blank spots.  But whether or not I should do it by hand or machine is the question.  I'm a bit of a puritan.  I'd like to do either 100% hand or 100% machine ~ not both in the same quilt.

So...what do you think my quilty friends?  Hand or machine?  What does quilt beg for?

Until next time,


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Celtic Knot Mystery Quilt ~ Another Finish!

One of the ladies in my satellite group finished her Celtic Knot quilt.  I've been waiting for this one because I absolutely loved her colours ~ hot pink/light pink, black and white.  Take a look!  It's gorgeous!

Rainy Saturday = Sewing Day ... Warning: eye candy ahead...

Today was the day my satellite group had planned to do our jelly roll races.  It just so happened that it was pouring rain so any guilt for not spending today in the garden was totally gone!

We met at about 9:30 but didn't actually start the race until noon.  The first quilt was done in about an hour and thirty minutes.  Here are some photos of our day:

My stack

Jan's stack ready to go!

Ladies...start your engines!

Terry ~ And we're off!
A short hour and a half later, the tops were done!

Terry's first jelly roll 1600 (race) quilt

Pat's ~ done from her scrap bag for a totally different look


Terry's second one.  Different width strips creates a vertical quilt

Muriel's and Jan's - same jelly roll pack but they turned out different.

So that my friends is a jelly roll race.

I also managed to finish the Irish Chain quilt top that I bought at the garage sale last weekend.

So happy to have a nice complementary green and pinky creamy fabric for the borders.

I put the backing together.  The quilt will finish at about 83 1/2" wide x 90 " long.  It's hanging on the clothesline tonight to hopefully get some wrinkles out naturally.  I'm hoping to sandwich and start quilting it tomorrow.  We'll see!

Until next time!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

In memory of a very special lady...and Jelly Roll Races

I lost a quilting friend to cancer a few months ago.  She was a wife, mother, grandmother and special friend to a whole bunch of people.  She was an excellent quilter with excellent taste in colours and even won Best of Show in the first Westshore Quilters' Guild quilt show.  And I would say that our satellite group isn't the same without her special laugh and her kind and caring heart, expressed to the community through the gifts of her hands.  She was an amazing lady and quilter and I am richer for having known her.

Why am I sharing this?  Well today was a hard day.  It was the day that her husband and some other quilting friends held a garage sale to clear out her fabric and craft supplies.  It started at 9:00 a.m. so I picked up another quilting friend and we were there at about 9:10.  So many familiar faces in the driveway and so many things to go through.

It was bittersweet.  I know that my friend would be happy to know that her quilting sisters were carrying her fabric away to create things of beauty.  But it was just another reminder that she's really gone.  So for that reason, it was a hard day for me.  I can still hear her laughter in my head and in my mind's eye see her neatly stacked cut squares or triangles ready for piecing.  That was my friend Janet.

So I have some new treasures in my house to add to my stash.  Here are some photos of the items that now live with me until they find their forever homes as quilts that bring comfort:

Twin-sized quilt ready for finishing.   
A double or queen sized Irish Chain ready to finish piecing.  So soft.  I love her colours. 
I had this same fabric and used it to make a baby quilt.  I'm not sure what I'll do with this 'kit'.
And some great patterns to explore.
Sat outside on my deck on the lounge chair looking through these books when I got home.  So many little time!
A great box of mostly neutrals.  I see so many options for scrap quilts with these!
And in this box, more neutrals plus some great country prints, some plaids, some homespun...lots of possibilities.
 After the garage sale our group went for coffee to Evedar's for coffee and to hang out.  Great coffee and baked goods.  Giant cinnamon buns (no I didn't partake but I did enjoy a cheese muffin!). But before Evedar's my friend and I hit Cloth Castle where we were on the hunt for Jelly Rolls for the  Jelly Roll 1600 Races!.  Much to our delight they were 50% off!  I found this great jelly roll for $20!!

They are actually called Tonga Treats!  But they will be perfect for the Jelly Roll Races quilt!

  So that was my Saturday.  Plus a wedding and a few hours work but no sewing today.  There's always tomorrow!

Until next time,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dayspring Farm B&B - July long weekend!

We had a full house last night at the B&B  Our guests were from Alberta and Cape Town, South Africa.  And they were together!  A young couple, originally from South Africa, now living in Alberta were doing a West Coast tour with his parents from Cape Town.   They stayed with us for one night and were outside for breakfast on our back deck:

Now they are off to catch the 10:00 a.m. ferry; and we begin the laundry and dishes in preparation for the next couple coming in tonight to the Queen Suite.

Soon, their sheets will be hanging on the clothesline and here's the quilt from the Queen Suite hanging outside in the fresh air:

I wish you could stand beneath this quilt and smell the heliotrope in those flower pots on the posts.  It's heavenly!!

Now I'm off to load the dishwasher and plan tomorrow's breakfast.  Maybe it will be Baked Blueberry French Toast or a repeat of today's Carrot Pancakes.  We'll see what they feel like.  Our next guests are just finishing off a backpacking trip before heading back to the states tomorrow.  Once the breakfast decisions are made and inventory of ingredients are taken and beds are made, then I hope to spend some more time in my quilt studio working on my Floribunda / Tea Rose quilt.

Happy Saturday friends!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!!

How do you celebrate our nation's birthday?  Me?  Well, it started off with a walk with a girlfriend and between us three doggies.  My senior Jack Russell, Sara was very well behaved and so were her two, Biggie and Max.  We walked for about 45 minutes and then I felt the need to drop by Fabricland to see if they had a Canada Day sale on.

They did!  I ended up buying 3 meters of batiks at $8.00/meter so that was just a nice addition to my batik stash and then I spotted a lovely buttery yellow fabric which I thought would pair up nicely with a floral in my stash for a quilt which I saw on Bonnie Hunter's blog,, which she is calling "Floribunda".  It's a Jacob's Ladder quilt pattern.  There is a picture of an antique quilt that she either found and snapped a photo of or purchased but in any event, she is recreating it and now so am I.

Here's a picture of my first two blocks started today:
I can't get the photo to rotate properly but this will give you an idea of the colours anyway.  it's going to be a gorgeous summertime quilt.  I think I will name mine "Tea Rose" because the colours remind me of the china pattern.

It took me less than an hour to do these two blocks.  It's fast to put together if you're organized.  I had a busy day today and still need to blog about my dinner on my other blog:

Our guests are out downtown and want to watch the Canada Day fireworks tonight which will mean they will be coming in late.  Do you know what this means?  I can sew fairly late tonight.  Let's just hope my energy level permits me to get a few more of these blocks done.

Thanks to Bonnie Hunter for another inspiring blog post.  I didn't really need to start yet another project (UFO) but what the heck!?  I have to follow my inspiration otherwise it's a chore right?  It's like that for me.  I want to sew what inspires me and this quilt will be a beauty!!

Happy Canada Day friends!

Long Weekend Approaching...

I'm determined to carve out some creative time this weekend.  We have B&B guests during the Canada Day weekend and since my sewing room is directly above their bedroom, courtesy will prevent me from sewing into the wee hours as the vibration of my machine on the table goes straight through the floor. But when they are out exploring our fair city  I have in mind to start a quilt I saw at called "Floribunda".  It's a Jacobs Ladder quilt.  Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville bought an antique quilt done in various shades of yellow and from there the rest of the quilt is scrappy. I have just the right fabric (floral) that I've had in my stash forever.  If I can find a yellow to pair it with it will be a delightful summer quilt.

On the home front:  We had an open house last weekend on Sunday afternoon and one prospective family noticed my Celtic Knot quilt on my king sized bed and asked our realtor where I bought it.  The realtor then happily took them to my quilting room explained that I had made it.  The comment was made "oh yes...a true quilter...more than one project on the go...".  My realtor was so happy that I had one of my quilts on my fact three of the beds in the house and one vignette in my sewing room, one UFO on the wall (tidy) and one hanging in the landing on a curtain rod.  So far, no serious nibbles on the house but I'm glad the quilts are appreciated.  Once a house is staged for sale it becomes less your personality and lifestyle and as bland as possible.  Yuk!   I'm just grateful that I can still see my quilts here and there and that part of my personality is still in this house.

Stay tuned for photos from my creative time this weekend.

Happy Canada Day!!

How did you celebrate?

I went for a walk with a friend.  Between us we had three doggies in tow, my Jack Russell, Sara and her two dogs, Biggie and Max.  It was a great way to spend the morning, exercise, the fragrance of the flowers along the path and some quality girlfriend time.  After our walk I popped into Fabricland which is in the mall near where we walked.  I figured they would have a sale on and I was not disappointed.

I bought some batiks for $8.00/meter and some pale yellow which I have in mind to pair with my floral from my stash for the Floribunda quilt mentioned in my last post.

Here is the quilt I'm copying (Bonnie Hunter purchased this quilt at an antique mall on one of her many travels:  photo source: