Thursday, November 21, 2013

Celebration and Creativity

Good morning everyone from Tracy!
It is a crisp frosty morning here in the Canadian northwest. I took the hummingbird feeders in this morning to keep them warm and my little friends where chittering like crazy ( hummingbird-speak) with delight when I brought them out this morning. I will have to find the little quilted covers I made for the feeders last year - or make new ones!
It is feeling very Christmassy and I have been having fun looking at retro felt/sequin Christmas ornaments. Take a look at this sassy little guy from
Now if I could only score some aqua felt . . .
Our group enjoys celebrating birthdays together with a lunch and quilting to follow - here is a photo of birthday girl Gaye having some birthday fun!
After lunch quilting buddy Pam showed us some wonderful she did at a "Zen Doodling" workshop that she attended - very inspiring. Wonderful work Pam!

Looking forward to the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight where Pam will pick up her winning challenge project. We all had to do a small hanging that represented what we felt represented what modern quilting is all about. There were handed in last month and visitors to Satin Moon Quilt Shop (where we meet) voted. Congratulations Pam!
We're linking to Needle and Thread Thursday!

Needle and Thread Thursday

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Done to the 'Top' Stage!

Tracy here!
I really do love piecing! From the cutting of the fabric into little bits, to sewing and matching seams, to watching pieces grow into blocks and blocks grow into a quilt. Each stage holds a delightful surprise at the end. And no-risk creativity is involved to a great extent with a scrappy quilt - how it goes together is all good.
This has been a challenging year for my family. I would call it "Annus Horribilus" like Queen Elizabeth did one year, if I only knew how to spell it! But God is good and he has surrounded me with great friends and a hobby to turn to when I had time and energy. So getting this top finished was a cause for celebration for me and I was overjoyed to share my creation with my quilting friends.
It was a beautiful sunny day and they suggested that we display the quilt outside. It took Gaye to help get the lighting right, Kim's inspiration to let it wave in the breeze and Pam's patience in waiting for the breeze to take the picture!
Now I get to enjoy the process of planning the border. I had something fancy-dancy in mind as I like piecing and I didn't want to rush past planning the border just to get it done either.  Now that I see it all put together I have something much simpler in mind - you will have to wait and see!
We are linking to Needle and Thread Thursday!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

We Have a Modern Quilt Guild!!!

Kim here!
I'm very happy to tell you that we now have a Modern Quilt Guild on the Island! We had our first meeting last month in one of our quilt shops, Satin Moon. We were jammed in there like sardines but I can tell you, we had fun!! There was a lively discussion about the definition of 'modern' in a quilt. Is it the fabric choices? Is it the pattern? Is it the use of negative space? I don't think we came to any conclusions, but it was fun to hear every-ones ideas. We even had a few notable bloggers, how cool is that? We also were presented with a challenge. If we wanted to participate in it, Satin Moon had little paper bags for sale with a fat quarter of one solid colour inside and a list of the rules. Our challenge project could be 20 inches, no bigger. And it is to be our own interpretation of 'Modern'. We can only use solids, no prints and the quilting could only be straight lines. We could add as many extra solids as we want. This is my first challenge- so exciting!!
Tracy very kindly took some great shots of my project but I can't seem to find them in Picassa :(
So here is another cell phone photo.....the reddish colour was my fat quarter challenge fabric. I'm calling it Positive Space.  Cheeky?
I'm linking up to NTT.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dresden in Progress

Tracy here! A while ago I posted a tutorial on Perfect Circle Applique and it is time to give you the Big Picture of my project. In June a local quilting shop announced a Dresden Plate challenge and the QT's responded with enthusiasm. I thought I might make a small project but once I got going I got the Dresden Plate bug and wanted to make a quilt - a large quilt. I decided to alternate a Dresden Plate block with an Irish Chain block for a light airy look and got started on the Dresden's first. Here is a look at 2 of 18 completed Dresden Plate blocks - they are all hand-appliqued with silk thread and I learned a lot by doing them.
The next thing to do was to design the Irish Chain block - with a clear picture in my mind but a weakness in the drafting department the QT's helped me with my dimensions. I completed a test block and loved how it will set the Dresden Plates 'on point'.
But the large size of the center block didn't give me the delicate look I wanted so I did a test with a nice-patch as the center block and loved the results. Check it out! What do you think?
I made 18 of the cute little 9 patches and next step was to cut 216 - 2 1/2" blocks for the chains. To ensure a balanced but scrappy effect I made 18 piles of 12 - 2 1/2" squares and distributed my colours somewhat evenly. The first fabric 'layer' in each stack might have all the same yellow fabric but the next layer might have 3 different shades of green.
Now I am busy with my piecing assembly line. It is a lot of cutting and piecing but I really enjoy this part and am having a ball.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!
Needle and Thread Thursday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Bit Of Bragging

Last weekend we went to the local fair. It's the Saanichton Fair and it's the longest continually running fair in Canada.
Our friend Gaye (from our Monday afternoon quilting group) entered 4 items and took home a ribbon for each one of them!!! Here they are in no particular order.

This is The 12 Days of Christmas wallhanging.  Gaye has included the story of this quilt, you can see it at the bottom rolled up like a scroll and tied with ribbons. So clever!

Here is Gaye on the left with her lovely assistant Tracy, helping her hold it up for the photos.
This quilt won 1st prize.

This adorable Dresden Plate pillow also won 1st prize. My photos aren't very good quality (sorry) but there is a lot of detail put into this project and it's difficult to see, but trust me- it's beautiful. The buttons were a fun touch too!

This was in the Work In Progress category. Don't you just love that category, lol! If you could win for sheer volume, I would have been a contender but I think you're meant to have a bit of a story along with your project. This one is Gaye's Stack n Whack fans project and Gaye was unsure if the lace she added would be able to stand up to use and washing. So it has been living in the box for a little while. Until we can convince her that the lace is sturdy enough :)
I believe this one got a 2nd prize. 

This one is my favorite.
One year, Karen (another member of our quilt group) suggested a challenge for our us. We all had to bring a fat quarter for each of us plus one for ourselves and use them all in any project we wanted. There was no colour theme at all so we ended up with a very odd assortment of prints. Very Odd. We were allowed to add in 5 extra prints of our own if we wanted. This challenge was a LOT of fun!!! Gaye decided to make a little quilt celebrating our QT Quilters group. 

Top right is a sewing machine with a project on the go. This is the sewing machine Gaye received as a young girl, a child's Singer. And she still has it! I love the crazy goose chase. Pam showed us how to make those. Did I get that name right Pam...crazy goose chase?
My Quilt Infatuation

This part is to remind us how we love to drink tea while quilting. Gaye included 5 tea mugs, one for each of us and 5 spools of thread, all connected and all the tread spills in to the patchwork bowl. The host of each quilt day will put a bowl in the center of the table so we have somewhere to put all our trimmings. And she has included a photo of the 5 of us with our finished challenge projects! You can see why this one is my favorite- it tells the story of us as a group.

On the back, Gaye included a very detailed story of this project. You can see the row of challenge fabrics we were all given and who gave what, plus the extra she added. Gaye is VERY good at documenting all of her projects. A good example for all us quilters!
Our Challenge projects complete. Except for my quilt. :P
Top row from left- Gaye, Pam & Kim
Bottom row left- Karen & Tracy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

                                                        Coins on the sidewalk copycat.
I have to give credit to Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation for all the excellent advice on making this quilt. I saw her quilt Coins on the Sidewalk and I knew I had to make it. Kelly was so very kind with her time and help and she did all the hard math for me. Thanks Kelly!!!!
 I love how this top turned out!!
I used Kona Raisin along with my scraps on this one and I really like it. I will be finishing this one by October to put in a raffle benefiting  Dog Bless. They are a local dog rescue group that pulls dogs from high kill shelters and bring them here to adopt out. Hop over and check out their website, you can read all the happy ending stories.
This quilt measures about 57x57 before quilting.
I'm joining up with Needle and Thread Thursday.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We heart quilts

A few months ago my youngest son asked me if I could make a quilt for his friend. His wife is expecting their first baby. They don't know if it's a boy or a girl. More and more parents are opting to not learn (or share) the sex of their baby. I think it's fun, and a nice surprise to not know. It can be a bit tricky to make a quilt 'gender neutral' but I like the challenge. I would love to hear from other quilters, how they tackle a project like this. I have found that if I add too much purple the quilt can lean to the girly side. No pink. Some blue is fine but not too much. I sometimes sneak a few floral prints in. Maybe I'm pushing it to the girly side with the florals. Gotta be careful with the florals. And the purple. Are these universal rules or am I on my own here?
  I started with a jungle print and orange borders on this quilt and I think it turned out ok. Ben said his friend loved it. Makes me want to make another one!
I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I love making quilted pillows. They're like mini quilts. And who doesn't LOVE a quick finish! A friend of mine is moving to a new home and I thought I'd make her a couple of pillows. I've had Jaybird's Hex n More ruler for a while now, and her pillow pattern, Candy Dish to use it with. Perfect! It's been a lot of fun putting this project together, a bit like a puzzle. The pattern directions are very good too. Don't cut off those little 'ears', they help line up the pieces :)
For basting small projects, I've been using Pinmoors. They're like little rubber plugs you stab your pins into. I like to use long pins, it seems to lie flatter that way. And they're easier on my poor fingers than safety pins! These little things get 2 thumbs up from me!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sewing at Sea!

Hey everyone! Really enjoyed seeing the fantastic projects you are working on. Who says there is no time for sewing in the summer! Barry and I have been enjoying a wonderful sailing trip in non-stop sunshine.  I wanted to share a sewing project that I made for the boat. I found a youtube video for how to make a windscoop and had fun mucking about sail lofts and sailing canvas companies for all the materials. I hauled out my Bernina to do the hard work of sewing through many layers of Sunbrella fabric and found UV polyester thread at Capital Iron - really happy with the result! It kept us cool by funneling air through the cabin.

I also enjoyed spending some time ironing my Dresden Plate blocks on the boat and doing some applique as well. It was fun bringing my little ironing pad, travel iron and the handsewing kit that Kim made me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Monday Quilting

Our little quilt group was a happy one on Monday. Pam is back! Fresh from the Calgary Stampede! Yeehaw!
Tracy is happily sailing somewhere....hope you're taking photos Tracy :)
Here's what we were working on...
 Pam brought her sample from the dye workshop. The photo doesn't do it justice, there are buttons sewn into the long yellow strip. Very clever.
 Gaye made another Dresden pillow to go with the first one. She outdid herself on this one and we all agreed she should enter it in the Saanichton Fair! It's a winner!
 Gaye also got a head start on her Hawaiian print quilt. I am really in love with this one! Good thing I am making one of my own. :)
 Karen got a great deal on somebody's half finished project. A flannel rag quilt. Don't get carpel tunnel Karen! That's going to be very cuddly, can't wait to see that fresh from the dryer....
 This is a Candy Dish pillow cover in progress. Sorry about the poor photo, but you get the idea. This is a Jaybird pattern. It is so much fun to put together. I was worried about sewing triangle to triangle but with her clever ruler, the Hex n More, it was a breeze. I love that ruler!!
 I'm putting the binding on the Churn Dash. I promised Alicia I would have it finished before her baby is born. I hope she's not early.... :o
This is a little heart quilt I'm giving to my son for his friend. 
Look at those white legs! shocking.....
I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Blocks to Calgary

There has been all kinds of bad news this month. A devasting train wreck in Quebec and flooding in Toronto and Calgary. And that's just in Canada. There was another train wreck in France recently too.
It's heartwarming to see some quilters reaching out when they can, to show a little bit of quilt-y love. Use your power for good, right? 
When I saw that Cheryl from Dining Room Empire was jumping in to help organize a block drive, I put down my other sewing project (sorry Alicia- I promise I'll have the quilt done before the baby is born!) and started to make a couple of slabs.  I made one of these quilts from Sunday Morning Quilts already and it was a lot of fun. I gave myself a day and a half to make some blocks and was only able to make two. The blocks need to get to Cheryl by July 30 so I worried about any delay in mailing them.
Here are my two slabs.
They have been mailed :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

    Tracy, our quilting partner-in-crime, had a birthday this week. We usually have lunch or appys and exchange some fun gifts. We have a spending limit of $5 and since I'm a very poor shopper (or just lazy?) I usually try to make something. We do this at Christmas too. I have to admit, I really love planning ahead and making gifts. There are only 5 of us so I only need to make 4 items. That's do-able, eh? I think so.
Deciding what to make for Tracy was pretty easy- she loves to hand quilt. I opted to make her two drawstring bags in different sizes using This tutorial  and a cute pincushion using this tutorial.
  I like to use crushed walnut shells to fill my pincushions. They give them a nice weight and they don't scoot out from under my pin when I stab at it. You can find crushed walnut shells at most pet stores. They are used for lining lizard beds I think.
    I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A summer birthday

Yesterday we had a birthday party- quilters style. Karen always volunteers her place if she's in town, and who can say no to a poolside party? With a beautiful view beyond too!
Karen served us lemonade with fresh mint, straight from her garden. We feasted on meatballs, fresh veggies, fine cheese and a pasta salad, followed by rhubarb cobbler.
After that Tracy opened her presents (the fun part!) and then we had a nice, lazy stroll through Karen's lovely garden. Of course, it's not a quilter style party without some quilting!
Gaye worked on her second Dresden plate pillow- I love those Dresden's!!
The Birthday Girl brought her own Dresden project too. Soooo pretty.
Karen was very busy in the previous weeks, with a Crazy Cats class and also a dyeing session. Here are some of her lovely samples.
I can't wait to see what she makes with those!!! If you look back at the first photo, notice the bottom left corner....That's a sneaky peek at one of her current works. Karen is quite a fabric artist! If I were you, I would snap up some of her beautiful wall-hangings before she gets wildly popular and the prices go through the roof!!
We were missing one of our group though, Pam. I have to be honest- it was weird celebrating and sewing without you. Hurry back to us please :) 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dad's Quilt

 Yesterday was my father's birthday. He's 83. I took him some cannelloni and a Boston cream pie for lunch. Then we walked the dogs in a park on the ocean. It was sunny and warm and he says it was a perfect day.
Over the years Dad has supported my quilting 'habit' and has made me a cabinet with huge drawers, a quilt ladder to hang my quilts on, a counter height cutting table and a quilting frame.
I think he deserved a quilt, don't you?