Friday, February 28, 2014


My favourite pattern for a quick and easy quilt is Hopscotch. This pattern was designed by the ladies at The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

I have made MANY versions of this quilt and so has everyone else!!!!   The other day, I told Jeanne and Shelley that if they had a dollar for every Hopscotch quilt made - they would be RICH!!!!!

Here are a couple of the latest ones done...........
Ronda bought this flannel kit from The Quilt Patch. The pieces are a big bigger than the normal one - but it is awesome. She got the top together at my most recent Sit n Sew. Oh yes - I press that quilt for her!!!!!

This is the latest one that I have made. This was made for our Outreach program at a local guild.  We got a bundle of 8 FQs and were to make something. I didn't like all the colours together so I split the bundle, added some of my own fabric and got this great kids quilt.  I really like the way it turned out.    Now I have another one on the go (with the remainder of the bundle and more of my fabric).  I was hoping to have it finished yesterday at my Thursday sew day, EXCEPT I cannot count and I cut too many of one piece and not enough of another - so I dug out the extra fabric last night and will get working on it later. 

Got the binding made and need to get the backing an binding. 

I will dig up some of the various versions of Hopscotch. I can't right now as I am on my way for my WAY OVERDUE physical this morning. And because I am getting my blood work done - NO BREAKFAST.   I'm hungry!!!!!!!!!!   I better not have to wait long!

And I would have had more time to blog this morning except that I spent a LOT of time trying to find a specific picture. Now I did find the picture, but only the BLOG version (that means the resolution is NOT good enough for the purpose that I need. )   Oh dear - that means I had better get those pictures tagged and sorted into proper folders. Then this tedious task would NOT have been an issue.   Oh yes - there are THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of pictures to go through. Thank goodness with the Windows Photo Gallery - it is fairly easy to go through them but still a time consuming project.  There are TONS that need to be deleted. OK - got to schedule some time for that.   BUT I also found some amazing pictures that I need to do something with - great memories!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Furniture moving time!!!!!!!!!!

I am always "nagging" about keeping the work surfaces clear.  It is so nice to come in the studio and see the tables empty, the ironing board clear, cutting mats wide open and so on.

I have to admit - I struggle sometimes to keep it that way.  It is easy to tidy up once - throw everything into bags and shut them behind closed doors!!!   Come on - you do that too!!!!

Well I am going to TRY and make an effort (yet again) to keep ahead of things AND to deal with those bags and baskets that are hidden away.

The BIGGEST problem is what to do with new stuff.  I guess you could stop buying, but that doesn't solve the problem. Someone gives you something, someone loans you something or you dig out something from the shelf or bag.  Oh yes - there is NO NEED to buy something in order to make a mess.

If we could DEAL with that stuff IMMEDIATELY  - there would be no MESS.   I know - that sounds simple doesn't it?

And my goal was to use that 2014 shelf to help keep things tidy. While it was "acceptable" to me to have current projects out on the table - when someone came over, then I could put the stuff away on the shelf. The shelf does have room, but I don't think there is enough room to put everything away!!!!!

One of my issues - is my work spaces. I have an excellent sewing table.

Great sewing table - I have to confess - it rarely looks like this, but you should have seen it years ago. There was NO ROOM to do anything on my sewing table including sewing!!!!  I am trying to keep this surface clear because I want to be able to work without things falling on the floor. There is a small work table at the end and it usually gets covered with stuff. 
See - it is covered with stuff.  I have since dealt with a LOT of this stuff. As you know - paperwork is my big issue. There is so much and so many categories of paperwork that it is over whelming and I never get anything done.  So it piled up beside the computer and stayed there. 

I have since cleared that small table off and my paper work is spread out on that table, BUT I categorized it (I know - how easy is that???). So there is a pile of "TO DOs", one for bills, one for reading material, etc. I LOVE IT!!!!!

But another issue was the area beside the computer. A DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!1

I get so excited about clearning up a new area that I forget to take a BEFORE picture. Let's just say that that table (where the box is) was FULL of paper.  And look at the mess on the top part of this desk!!!   A real mess.   So I got myself organized and assembled the little shelf that I had purchased a month ago and now look...............

Oh yes - it looks much better!!!!!!!!!!! The plan now is to put on that empty space ONLY the paperwork necessary for the daily CRITICAL three items or just other things that need to be taken care of within a day or two. And of course I will go the paperwork off the little white table to see what is most urgent. Oh yes - it is all about organization!!!!!!!!!!  

The trick for me is to not overload the space. I need to keep it strictly with those three items and perhaps one or two others that need to accomplished in the near future.   My brain just CANNOT cope with more.   
And there is the clean cutting table
And the ironing board

 In addition to MY work space (cutting tables, ironing boards and sewing table), there are two groups of work tables in the room.  There were five 60 inch long tables and one 72 inch long table.  That extra long table was a pain in the neck because of the configuration.  It wouldn't fit with the rest of the tables very nicely. The other day when we had sit n sew, there were 8 people and I had to use TWO smaller tables (the little white table which means that I have to clean it off) and a smaller plastic one which I don't like.  SOOOOOOOO    - when Ronda said she wanted a big table like the one I had - it was hers and I immediately bought two more 60 inch tables (which arrived yesterday).  

Now there are SEVEN 60 inch tables which will mean that when I have sit n sew days or any sewing days - seven people will get a good table and hopefully there won't be more than seven people on a given day!!!!!   Trust me - it will be much better. I am excited!!!!!

And now I have a set of three work tables that are CLEAR. I keep them for working on. DUH!!!!   When I want to pin on a border, measure a border or whatever - they are clear.

The other set of tables (I am only keeping two up and two will go up when they are needed) will hold my current projects.

Look at all that room on the left of those tables - that is because I got rid of the big table. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

And here are the two tables with my current work projects - YES - there are a LOT of them. 

 I know that is perhaps more information that you ever wanted to know. But there is a moral to this story.

If something isn't working - don't just keep tolerating the situation. Find a way to fix it. Me - I am still trying to find a way to deal with the paperwork. I am better, but still loads of improvement. The table situation wasn't working either so I found a way to fix that as well. And I need to plan about 10 minutes every day to deal with the "extra stuff" that has accummulated over the course of the day - be it a shopping bag, buttons, paper, fabric or whatever. I MUST NOT let it sit around because somehow this stuff seems to multiply over night and then - well there is no taming it!!!!!!!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. I have a sewing day scheduled and OH MY - there are a couple of things that need to be dealt with before I leave - namely a few things to put away!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear Jane

Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!

We had our Dear Jane class on the weekend. We are SO CLOSE to being finished this quilt.  OK - I stand corrected. THE CLASS is so close to finishing their quilts.   Some of them have the centers complete and are working on the borders.  I so can't wait to see them done.   ALL these ladies deserve a big pat on the back. But perhaps I am getting ahead here. There are still blocks and borders to be completed!!!!

Here is the show n tell from Saturday................



Kathy's corner block


Beth (sorry had to take pictures with my phone because I left my camera at home and was a tad fast on this one!!!)


Cathy is our over achiever and is assembling her borders - they are awesome

Mary - playing catch up on her borders as her top is completely together   (so excited - I blurred the picture)

Bernice (there are a LOT of veggies in this one!)

Not everyone made the class and many people have the quilts on their design walls and don't want to take it down. No problem!!!!!

Hang in there - our big reveal of this quilt will be in September.

I have THREE other quilts that we do on the same day as Dear Jane.  I will show you what we are doing in that class.  But later!!!!

My gym friends are responsible for the lateness of this posting.  They insisted I have breakfast with them and now they want me to learn to swim so I can do a triathalon.   Seriously?????   I could live with the swim part, but a triathalon?  I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!  

On that note - I am out of here.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Oh - SHE is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I was visiting with my parents and in light of the work I have done on the family history book, I was also trying to collect stories. In particular, stories about quilting/sewing in our family.

Then my mom shocked me and brought out some quilts that she had made. Seriously???  Yep - so this is what she showed me.

Bow tie quilt. This was a quilt that my Dad's maternal grandmother made for my parents around the time that they got married in 1954!  I knew of the existence of this quilt, but I honestly thought it was a Dresden Plate. Those TWO bow ties are NOT missing - just a very pale fabric was used or they have severely faded. 
Hand quilted (rather nicely) and what does that mean? My great grandmother quilted it?  It looks like someone with experience quilted it, but we have no knowledge that she did anything else. Did she pay someone to quilt it?  We figure it was one person who quilted it. The pattern has NO regard for the bow tie design - it is the same  motif over and over again, except for the border. Ah - that is why we put LABELS on quilts now!!!!
The quilting on the back of the quilt. Like I said - it is fairly well done. 
The backing was brought to the front and machine stitched down for a binding on three sides. On the fourth side, the top was turned to the back. Ooops - made a mistake perhaps????
Speaking of the back - this is the BACK of that same quilt.  Basically it is a two sided quilt and that backing is centered quite nicely!   I am impressed!!!!!!

Then my Mom showed me some quilts that she made..............   (she wrote out the stories so I can record - I haven't gone through them yet)

Dresden Plate

YES - - there are TWO different styles of Dresden Plates in the same quilt. The center fabric is consistent and the fabrics used throughout are the same - just two diferent patterns. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - my mom did NOT know why. 

I guess the left over blocks went into this small quilt which was probably slated for a baby????

The applique is done by machine on both of them. Neither of them is quilted and I brought both of them home with me to finish off.

Then my Mom brought out this one.  Hmmmmmm - Grandmother's Flower Garden. A bit of an unusal setting, but what is even more unusual is the fabric. It is made with what looks like lining fabric???

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Close-up of blocks - LOVE that GOLD (yeah Canada!!!!!!)
Close up of stitching! (and that GOLD fabric)

I believe it is lining material as it frays a LOT!!!!!    The big question - how to quilt this. It is NOT quilted. Should it be done by hand???   Machine????   And will that lining fabric snag??????   Oh boy - that is going to be a tough one.

BUT there was a treasure among those quilts and here it is................

YES - I know it looks like a mish mash of everything and YES - it is a mish mash of stuff that my mom made clothes for us!!!!!!

There are THREE fabrics that I distinctly remember.

The black and white one (just hold that thought), the yellow/brown floral print (wait for it) and that pink/green butterfly fabric. I also remember the orange/brown one. 

First - the pink/green butterfly fabric. I do NOT remember what was made from that fabric, but it is SO FAMILIAR to me. I am not sure whether my mom made herself a blouse - or whether we had matching outfits or whether I made something for myself when I was older, but I so remember that fabric.

OK - so you want to see something cute??????

YEP - that is ME!!!!!!!!!!!!    And do you recognize that fabric??????   YEP - that is the black and white fabric!!!!!    (looks like my mom whacked my bangs off!!!! - I did that once in university - it wasn't pretty!!!!)   (this was taken in June 1962)
I am certain that my mom made a matching one for herself and there is a picture somewhere of the two of us together!!!!

From a different picture (a close up of me in this dress) it appears that it was made from the yellow/brown floral in that picture above. But weren't me and my mom so cute in our matching outfits!!!!    Gosh - I think the drapes were practically made from the same fabric as we practially blend right in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    (this was taken in August 1964)

My mom even had cheater fabric - god knows what she made with that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Anyway - wasn't that a great trip down memory lane????   Well it was for me!!!!!!!!!!!    So important to keep all these stories!!!!!!!!!!!!     I am putting a book together and I had better make it a priority before everyone dies off!!!!!

Speaking of cute - look at this cutey!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll just lie here and check out what happening down stairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

On that note - I had a crazy day with the Sit n Sew ladies - more on that tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

I didn't touch A THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I swear - I did NOT take anything off that shelf.  I really did NOT!!!!!!!   But look what happened.............

A quilt and a book added to these work tables (the book is to be returned to someone so it stays), but the quilt is now put away (it just needs the BBB - bording, binding and backing treatment!!!)

Oh dear - there are those two bags and behind the bags - well that is some of the stuff that I unloaded from my three classes in the day!!!!!!!!!
The cutting mat - filled with stuff that needs to be put away from the classes
Ironing board - more stuff to put away or take photos of!!!!!!

I am happy to report that everything is off the tables and what I could put away is put away. But there is work to be done - pictures to post, sewing and applique to be done and assignments to send out - so it is sitting on the floor by my computer!!!!!!!!!    I hope to get it done after the Sit n Sew.

Oh yes - it just never stops here!!!!!!!!    I made GOOD PROGRESS on Clue Six for the Mystery quilt.  Only two more clues to type up. They get a bit complex since I like to `draw`pictures as well. Hmmmm - perhaps once we have finished the quilt at the guild - I could post the clues on my blog?????  

Happy to report that the latest copy of A Needle Pulling Thread has been published.

Spring 2014 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread

The issue is all about stuff for babies!!!!!!!!!

I wrote an article on some tips for making baby quilts.

Tips on making baby quilts!!!!!!!   

 I must say that as much as I HATE having a deadline - I really like writing those articles and that means I had better get my act together because another one is due VERY SOON!!!!!!

If you are a parent - you will so appreciate this. You know how it is with kids. As they grow up and become their own person - there are many trials and tribulations. There is no manual for this - you have to make it up as you go along. There are times when you wish they were never born (not really - but close!) and then there are those moments when you are SO PROUD of them that it totally cancels out all the bad moments.

Last night, M and I had such a good chat while we ate dinner (yes - we ate together - it is happening more often and I so appreciate it!).   Oh my - we chatted about a whole pile of things and we were able to communicate like two grown-up mature adults. I so ENJOYED it. And as our discussion roamed through many subjects, I have to say that I am so proud of her. She has come a LONG way and has accomplished some amazing things. Awesome job M!!!!!!!!!!!      So PROUD of you!!!!!!!!!!!

 However she must have not thought the same way because at 2:30 AM - she woke me up - she must have been having a nightmare because she was either yelling or mumbling loudly.   I failed as a parent - I sent Sammy to see that she was OK!!!!!

On that note - I have to get back to work on my Clue Six before the ladies arrive for Sit n Sew.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Black or white?

Day one of the crazy marathon weekend - DONE!  (And everyone survived!)

I like to spread out and since I have some large spaces to spread out on - well I spread out. So I had to tidy up yesterday morning since people were coming over for a sit n sew. Not only did I have to clean up my sewing projects, but some of the Christmas decorations - well the snowmen and the nutcrackers were still sitting on the tables and had to be put away.

However by the time they arrived - VOILA - clean tables...............
Isn't that INVITING?   Get out your machine and start sewing something????    Anything???

Oh yes - I am faced with that dilemna EVERY DAY. Perhaps that is why I try to cover them with stuff so I won't be tempted to do more????

The other group of work tables (Sharron's machine is having a sleep over until Sharron is back for Sunday's Sit n Sew)
Cutting mats cleared off and so is the ironing board

Now if I could just keep it that way and bring out ONE project at a time so I don't get befuddled?????

Well how about TWO bags worth of current stuff that I NEED to be working on and get finished SOON!!!!!

I am going to limit myself to those TWO bags until I get the stuff done.  

I WILL NOT get anything else out from the shelf
I WILL NOT get anything else out from the shelf
I WILL NOT get anything else out fromt he shelf...............

I say that now - what will happen tonight????  Well the tables must remain clear for the group tomorrow but after they leave - I will NOT be held responsible for what jumps off the shelves!!!!!!!!!!

In keeping with my promise to myself, I cut out TWO quilts last night and both were from the big blue bag.

We had received a package of fat quarters from one of our guilds for community projects. Well I DID NOT like the fabrics they had assembled.   I mean - I did not like all of them together. So I divided the package into two and added some of my own stuff and then I had TWO quilts to do.  Honestly - this mulitplying thing - I have to stop that!!!!!!!!!!

Project One - cut and the pieces on the bottom will be used in the border (there are extras in the cut pieces for the border or it may get a different border than I have planned)

Project Number two - cut
The border pieces for project two

And then I dug out the next project that needs cutting. HEY - I have TWO sewing days coming up this week - Monday and Thursday and I had better make sure there is enough in that basket to keep me going for two days. If anyone is interested - there is room on Thursday............   just saying..........

My problem with this next quilt is what do I frame those blocks with - black or white??????

Black framing or white framing??????    (YES - I know those blocks are VERY BUSY - I will know better next time)
I am leaning towards the white frame and then use black  for a sashing. 

 Got to figure that out tonight and get those cut.

 We had a pretty full house yesterday, although two ladies didn't make it - the weather was pretty ugly in the morning, but turned out to be a glorious day.

Jan was working on her eight-pointed star sample for class today and then she was making a ton of half square triangles.
Gilian and Linda were cutting out quilts.
Gail was working on a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett quilt (yes - why wasn't I taking pictures?????)
Ruth was making a piano key border
Sharron was trimming blocks and then started to assemble her quilt

Isn't that awesome??????    (And HUGE!!!!!!!!!!)

And Pat was making a raggy baby quilt

Raggy quilt before the cutting

It was an awesome day and I have a full house on Sunday as well.

It really is a super opportunity for anyone who wants to get a load of sewing done - hey I do all your pressing and seam ripping. What more could you ask for?????

If anyone is interested - there are still a couple of spots on Sunday, March 23 and Sunday, April 27 as well as Friday, March 21 and April 18. Spaces are VERY LIMITED (so sign up NOW). I had to turn away people for February.  The cost is $40 which is a donation to Hospice Palliative Care in Ontario (you get a tax receipt). Can I reach my goal of $2,500?????   With the current number of sign-ups - I am very close. So sign up and help make it possible. And if you can't participate, but would still like to make a donation or just get more information - here is the link...............

The Healing Cycle web site

Basically iit is a WIN-WIN-WIN day for everyone involved.

On that note - I am out of here. I have a smidgen more prep work for my $10 quilts at The Hobby Horse.  Of course - I always get excited about starting a new class - so fun to see the progress.

Have an AWESOME day!!!!!!!!!!!!