Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 UFO List

In 2014 I finished four UFOs, made five new quilts start to finish and completed eight projects for the local pregnancy care centre.  I wish my UFO count was higher.  Here's a list of my current UFOs in pictures:

Purple Jacob's ladder - barely started and - is this called Trip around the World?  I don't know - but I'm adding more outside the black border, just to make it larger.

I need to make more string blocks to bring this to a good size - and I'll be working on the Grandmother's Flower Garden for a while.

I haven't decided what to do next with the cream and burgundy - it's not very big. My daughter is posing on a quilt that will go to a charity when it is done.

These pinwheels will likely go to a mission when they are done.  I just got more white for Christmas so I can continue with them now.  The other pinwheels are one block of 9 that are complete in a HST sampler that's been hanging around for years. I think I want at least 12 blocks in that one.

These are a series of breast cancer wall hangings that I'm not certain of the future of.  The Dresdens are huge.  I just came into the grey needed to continue with them.


I also have a mini log cabin and a paper piecing project that I don't have any pictures of.  My 2014 Aurifil challenge is 2 months behind.  Is that a UFO yet?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

In the Calm

a.k.a. "They Say Taupe is Very Soothing"

Size:  92" Square (approximately)

Reason:  I drew my sister Cheryl's name in the Christmas draw.  I've known for years that she has wanted a cream coloured low contrast / low volume quilt.

Fabrics / Best Buys:  For once I dipped into my stash.  Usually I quilt with scraps, but obviously that wasn't going to work for this quilt.  Half to three quarters was out of my own stock, the rest I went out for in two trips.  In an unrelated note, I'm short on creams in my stash.  Must go shopping.

I also completely used up the last of the 10 yards of white I bought last year.  I couldn't have cut another 1.5" strip if the quilt depended on it.

Thoughts:  My husband came up with the a.k.a. - it's from the Oceans 11 remake.  

I really enjoyed this pattern it was super easy to put together.  The whole quilt was finished in three weeks.

Pinning this quilt was an absolute must to make sure that all sashing lines lined up.  Mine didn't in a couple places, but overall I am pleased.

The binding is made from random leftover strips.  I love it.

Lessons Learned / Lessons to Learn:  I quilted this with my walking foot.  Even though I thought I sandwiched it very well, I still got some puckers were perpendicular seams met.  This frustrates me and I wish I knew what I was doing incorrectly.  Perhaps I need to find a walking foot quilting course.  Is it possible to use a walking foot incorrectly??

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Date:  November / December 2013

Size:  Approx 46 x 58

Reason:  I drew my sister Alison's name for Christmas

Fabrics / Best Buys:  I discovered I do not keep purple in my stash.  I had to buy everything.  Shucks.

Thoughts:  This was my first improvised back.  I think.  I learned the concept in a free Craftsy class.

The quilting is both FMQ with a darning foot with the straight-ish lines done with a walking foot.  I think I did the walking foot stuff first and then filled it in with FMQ - there is more than one FMQ design on it.

I think I like the back better.  :)

Lessons learned:  Angles are the difficult.  This quilt was a lot more challenging than I would have thought.  The pattern called for appliqued circles, but I completely wimped out and didn't add them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dancing Butterflies

The coolest thing happened yesterday.  I opened my email to discover that because I had linked my finished quilt ( to her gallery, I had won a random draw for her next tutorial.

I was going to pass on the 2015 class (even though it looked so pretty) because I thought I should take classes in more than just FMQ - I may or may not have purchased two classes on Craftsy.  For half price of course.

This year for Christmas, my husband is giving me the best thing ever- a shopping spree on Connecting Threads. He feels like he is copping out a bit by letting me choose my own present, but I absolutely love taking my time, buying things I would never otherwise (like fun rulers) and perusing the precuts.  Oh joy!  I graciously offered to share the experience with him so he could feel more involved in the process, but he gave me a very expressive look and didn't bother to answer.

Anyway - the reason I mention my husband's gift is because I thought it would be fun to shop for the tutorial with it so I emailed Leah  - who is still putting the finishing touches on her book - and asked if she had a materials list ready.  Within hours she emailed a jpg of the back cover of the book.  I love this girl.  She doesn't stand apart or act like a celebrity and she talks about real life on her blog - her struggles and joys.

It looks like I'll be appliqueing butterflies next year.  Is anyone planning on having a girl in the fall?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Leah Day's Building Blocks

Date: January 1 - October 26, 2014

Size:  48 x 56

Pattern: Building Blocks by Leah Day

Reason:  I love that I can FMQ on my domestic machine and although stippling is wonderful, I wanted to learn new techniques.

Fabric / Best Buys:  Almost entirely scraps.  I only dipped into my stash for the yellow and blue and white.

Thoughts:  This was a really interesting class and learning process.  Even though I've FMQed many quilts before I could feel myself getting more comfortable as the class went on.

I used a 2" binding strip instead of 2½".  It made a nice thin binding.

Lessons Learned:

1)  My sewing machine does not like to FMQ with poly as the top thread (it breaks lots).  Poly in the bobbin works just fine.

2)  Pencil washes off of white fabric

3)  I don't like premarking quilting patterns, but it really helps with accuracy so suck it up.

4)  Don't undo your work just because it's not perfect.  The triumph is in the learning and growing.

5)  If doing different colour ways front and back try to have ONE colour in common to make choosing a binding colour easier.  Just sayin.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kiwis (And Flies)

Date:  Early 2013 - August 2014


Pattern:  Missouri Star Quilt Company "Pheobe's Flower Box" YouTube video here.

Reason:  I needed to empty my green scraps drawer.  Irony:  My sister gave me a gift of scraps when I was nearly finished the top.  Half of them were green.

Fabric / Best Buys:  I'm fairly sure every single piece in the top is a scrap aside from the sashing and border.  I used darker fabrics wrong side out when I needed a lighter value.  The border is from the box my sister gave me.

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this pattern.  I also loved improvising the back with leftover scraps.  There is a free class on that teaches different methods.  That's where I got the idea.

My seven year old named this quilt.  I tried to shorten it down to Kiwis, but "Kiwis and Flies" stuck in my head.

The flower quilting took a long time.  I got really good at petals by the time flower number 600 rolled around.

Lessons Learned:  Do math better.  Buy more than I think I need.  I found myself a fat quarter short of a discontinued fabric.  I asked for help on Quiltville's FB site.  Someone immediately said she'd mail me what I needed free of charge.  Quilters are the best thing since rotary cutters.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Blessing for Ruth

Date:  July / August 2014

Pattern:  From my head:

Block A:
~  Make crazy quilt blocks and cut them to 6.5".
~  Sew 2.5" strips of white to the crazy blocks
~  Sew 2.5" strips of a colour that matches the crazy block to the white
~  Square block to 10.5"

Block B:
~  Make crazy quilt blocks and cut them to 8.5"
~ Sew 2.5" strips of white around the crazy block
~ Square block to 10.5"

Size:  37 x 47

Reason:  A new baby in our church

Fabric / Best Buys:  All the fabric used was scraps and gifts except for the borders - I took those from my stash.  The binding was a pre-ironed binding given to me by my Aunt.

Thoughts:  I love this pattern  I used it for the first time here.  I've been wanting to use it again ever since.

Lessons Learned:  I finally got up the courage to stitch text into the quilting.  It went really well and fit perfectly  (Numbers 6:24-26)  I'm so excited that it worked.  I'll do it again on my next baby quilt.  It worked really well to run through the motions in my head that my hands needed to make word by word.  It kept me from getting overwhelmed and allowed me to keep calm and not rush.  Winner!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrappy Lattice Garden

Date: 2011 - Feb 2014


Size:  86 x 86

Reason:  My Grandmother has given me hundreds of HSTs.  I'm always looking for good HST patterns.

Fabrics:  Half the HSTs are from my grandmother, the other half from my scraps.  The sashings are from fabric a friend gave me. 

Lessons Learned:  Hand stitching through batik is painful.  Just FYI

Thoughts:  My sister's MIL wanted practice tops to break in her new long arm.  I wish I had had more tops available for her when she asked :)

This quilt is on my bed.  It makes me so happy.  Who knew I love scrappy quilts so much . . .

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teddy Bear-topia

This quilt was designed by my seven year old daughter.  She just assumes that whatever she dreams up I can do (insert super hero costume here).  The very first bit of piecing was a Curved Seam.  I've had very poor success with curved seams so to keep my sanity with this one, I cut the curve from the blue, ironed it under a ¼ inch and used a decorative stitch to sew it to the green.  Then I trimmed away extra green from the seam allowance under the blue.  It worked for me, but I doubt that's how they teach it :)

We used a graphics program to draw the bear then print it, cut it out and piece it back together.  The paper pieces served as our templates.

Note to self:  My background brown was not a whole lot larger than the lighter brown going on top of it - sometimes my satin stitches on the top and bottom layers overlapped.  Either design the background bigger or the foreground smaller. 

I didn't use a iron-on bond product for the larger pieces when I attached them to the background, but I did use interfacing - for the most part that went really well.  The smaller things such as eyes were glued on before they were stitched.

I used interfacing

Another note to self:  Cut background to size AFTER the applique has been sewn on.

Also - tractors are never green in my family's world.  Just sayin'

My daughter also picked all the fabrics and all the thread.  The red inner border was the last thing she picked.  I think it's fantastic.

The Small One also had me do trapunto.  She doesn't even know what that is, but the bear and the clouds have extra layers of fill - the belly has an extra layer again.  I used YouTube videos to teach me the ins and outs.

The whole reason for this quilt was the tie - here it is - the last piece of the puzzle.  Her cousin is due in September.  I hope s/he enjoys the teddy bear.

Date:  May / June 2014

Size:  36 x 40ish

Fabrics / Best Buys:  All these fabrics were from my stash.  The four patches were made from a Hoffman Bali Snap that I was given for Christmas.

Friday, January 24, 2014

PCC 6 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  My goal is to make 6 baby quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre in January.

Fabrics:  Grandma has given me a lot of blocks and HSTs.  Hundreds in fact.  Here are 4 of those blocks and 4 of the HSTs.  Fleece that I don't remember the origins of and a strip of yellow flannel binding that was already ironed were probably also donated to me years ago.

Thoughts:  Once again because I am participating in the Building Blocks Quilt Along with Leah Day, I figured I should suck it up and so these straight lines are entirely done FREE MOTION.  I wonder If I have improved at all.  I've now done three baby blankets doing straight lines this way. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PCC 5 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  My goal is to make 6 baby quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre in January.

Fabrics:  Grandma has given me a lot of blocks.  More than 200.  Here are six of them.

Thoughts:  This is my favourite of the six.

Friday, January 17, 2014

PCC 4 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  My goal is to make 6 baby quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre in January.

Fabrics:  A friend gave me finished and unfinished blocks as well as random pieces of the same fabric.  I used the previously made units to make blocks and made additional blocks from the fabric.

The bindings were end scraps from various bindings that various people have given me - four pieces in all.  (I am a magnet for other people's unfinished projects and scraps and for the most part, I LOVE it).

Thoughts:  Usually I would get out the walking foot to quilt something like this but because I'm doing the Building Blocks Quilt Along with Leah Day, I figured I should suck it up and so these straight lines are entirely done FREE MOTION.  Obviously I need more practice, but still - pretty excited that it worked at all.  I found that rather than doing straight lines left to right or right to left, I preferred to move the quilt back as if I'm sewing a seam.

There is a heart stitched onto the back because I accidentally ripped the fabric after I had quilted most of it.  Yeah.  Winner.

The small prints were so dizzyingly busy together, a white sash was necessary just for a little separation and relief.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

PCC 3 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  I want to make 6 quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre in January

Fabric:  7 blocks Grandma gave me, 2 blocks Anne gave me.

Thoughts:  My daughter begged me to let her quilt so there she is carefully quilting with a walking foot.  She did not too bad :)

I latticed the different sized blocks on two sides each so I could cut them all to the same size for easy piecing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

PCC 2 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  The goal is 6 baby quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre in January.

Fabrics:  This was a long narrow panel that I got in a bag or a box from someone or another.  I cut it apart and stitched it back together in a better shape.

A repurposed baby blanket was used as the back

Thoughts:  I have hundreds of orphan blocks that have been given to me.  I could make baby quilts for months.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PCC 1 of 6

Date:  January 2014

Reason:  6 baby quilts in January for the Pregnancy Care Centre

Fabrics:  A pillow case my grandmother made for me was picked apart and repurposed.  My sister gave the me fleece which I used on the back.  The binding was from two binding scraps that friends gave to me.

Thoughts:  This was both quilted in free motion and with a walking foot.  I tried to use different patterns of free motion quilting for each piece of the centre panel.

Fleece causes great amounts of excess fluff when cut.  Yay for a lint roller.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Date:  2007 - January 2014

Reason:  A friend had a similar wall hanging called "Smittens".  It was just so cute :)

Fabrics:  Nope.  Way too long ago to remember.

Lessons:  If you make a block and it doesn't work, don't put it in.  It's okay to start again.  The unused block(s) can go in an "orphan quilt" at a later time.

Thoughts:  Another UFO bites the dust.  A friend on Facebook claimed this as her own.

Machine quilted in free motion and a with a walking foot.

Friday, January 3, 2014

God's Blessing

Date:  2009 - Jan 2014

Reason:  The Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial

Fabric:  RJR's Count Your Blessings charm pack - My grandma gave it to me for Christmas.

Lessons:  Don't tighten you fabric in a hoop so tightly that flannel seams fray out.  Yeah.

Thoughts:    This was started in 2007 when I first saw the tutorial.  Naturally a charm pack was perfect for trying the new technique.

I was a hand-quilter at this time - I think I must have tightened the quilt too much because some of the fabric frayed apart from the seam.  This annoyed me and into the closet it went.

This is the year of finishing stuff so out it came - I finished quilting it by machine and appliqued hearts over the frayed pieces.  A UFO bites the dust.

Fall For Autumn

Pattern Location:  Australian Patchwork and Quilting Annual 2004 and Vol 12 No 6

Size:  70 x 70

Date:  November 2007 - December 2013

Inspiration:   As a new quilter, I saw this pattern and fell in love.

Special Fabrics:  Grandma gave me a box of scraps.  Many of these made it into this quilt.  I collected fall colours for a long time.  Aunt Sandie found the perfect backing.

Lessons Learned:  
*  Buy quality fabric.  Loose weave is the pits
*  Cut carefully
*  Use heat 'in bond for applique
*  Cut away extra layers when sewing triangles into corners.  The extra layers are really hard to quilt through.
*  Watch beginnings and ends of seams - I have a tendencey to flare out.

This turned into a Christmas gift for my parents-in-law.

The original medallion was out by over half an inch - I unsewed it and made it into a wall hanging.

This quilt was machine quilted.  Some was with a walking foot, the rest was using Leah Day's techniques.