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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Progress Report

I got quite a lot done today. I re-read the pattern and realized that I was assembling it incorrectly, so I took all the triangles off the design wall and re-arranged them. I still have quite a few more to make and then they all have to be sewn together. It is coming together faster than I thought it would. It's really quite simple piecing but the color arrangement is very complex.

Some of my granddaughters were over yesterday and they got busy decorating cupcakes.

These are the result.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fabric Galore

We just got back from a trip to Fargo with our BIL and SIL. I told them I'd make a quilt for them if they bought the fabric so that was the reason for the trip. We went on Dec 26 to take advantage of the boxing day sales. The pile of fabric below is what is needed for the pattern above. They are all absolutely gorgeous fabrics and if I can do justice to them, will make a beautiful quilt. There was a sample quilt in the shop that we all fell in love with. The design is from a local designer and only available in Fargo at Rae-Bon fabrics as far as I know. We'll see what happens. I haven't had a chance to really study the pattern yet but I did notice that the blocks are quite simple. It will come down to the arrangement of the fabrics. We bought lots extra to allow for mistakes.

We stopped at Faye's Henhouse in Mayville on our way home and noticed these two kits. I said to go ahead and get them so now I also have two smaller quilts to do for them. I have never done a kit before. I think there is little extra for mistakes but as I said, if I need more fabric we'll just have to take another little road trip. Sigh!

So, now I'm off to the studio to play.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Something New

This little guy arrived today from Lindsay Jean of SCHNOODLE!. I won him as a prize on her end of the year draw. He cozied up to a soup tureen as soon as he arrived. He'll probably move out to the studio to join the chickens and rabbit that live out there. Thanks so much Lindsay Jean.

Yuriko (our daughter-in-law) came back from a visit with her parents in Japan and she brought me these two gorgeous pieces of fabric. The one on the left is a beautiful heavy cotton with a very fine weave and the one with the black background has an interesting pebbled texture. She told me that the one with the black is a very traditional pattern. I don't think I'll easily be able to cut into these wonderful fabrics!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Going Green

I had a large gift to wrap so I made a large gift bag. It can be used later for laundry or shopping so I made it not too Christmassy. I also put a drawstring in the top so I could close it. I may look for green string to tie in so it will be more in keeping with the season. It has a big pocket on the front and back. The bottom is 14 inches square and it is about 20 inches tall. It's a bit too square to be a shopping bag but that was the size of the gift.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Prize Received

A little while ago I won a draw on Kelley's blog. Today we dressed in really warm clothes and slogged through the snow to the mailbox to find these gorgeous fat quarters along with a piece of Christmas fabric. The second picture shows the four fabrics. Blue is my favorite quilting color and I almost usually have some blue in every quilt, at least for sure in the scrap ones.

Thanks so much Kelley. Keep watching and I'm sure you will see these in a quilt very soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For True and Reve

True and Reve wanted to see their play area now that there is snow, so here goes. This is the entry to the trails. The tracks are all made by deer so you know somebody is enjoying all your hard work!

This was taken in the bush near the Humpy.

And here we have the Humpy. Do you feel like sleeping in it right now? I think it might be a bit drafty!

The tire swing would still be fun though, once you brush the snow off.

Here is the dome. You could still play on it but don't ever lick it. Ask your Mum what happens when you touch cold steel with your tongue when it's below zero. She knows from experience I'm sure.

This is the bridge taken from the creek. I was up to my knees in snow when I took this one.

Here is the bridge before I walked across it. I like the way the cross pieces show under the snow.
I think those are rabbit tracks under the bridge.

This is the second little bridge. When we had a lot of rain last fall, it washed away and now it's sitting on the bank. You'll have to come over and fix it up. You can see more little tracks. There are lots of animals out there but I didn't see any. I guess they are in their nests trying to keep warm.

And lastly, here are the little dancing guys trying to keep warm! I wanted to take video but it was just too cold. I had to keep my mitts on most of the time or I would have frozen my fingers.
Wish you were here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Words

I started these words last winter and then got tired of working with such cold colors in such cold weather. Now that it has been -30 to 40 the last few days, I brought them out again. I was able to assemble them this time quite easily once I realized that I needed to eliminate one big tree. There are a few things I'd change if I were doing it again but all in all, I'm just happy to be finished assembling it. I still have to sew on the border. That fabric looks like snowflakes from a distance but is actually tiny white flowers. I guess they signal that spring is around the corner.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jenn's Quilt

Today my friend, Jenn, came over and quilted a top she made for her nephew. We chose a free motion cloud sort of pattern and once I got it started she took over. She made a great job and the finished quilt is beautiful.

The picture is a bit blurry. We were starting to lose the light when I took the photo, but you get the idea.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Table Runner Pieced

I got the table runner pieced together this afternoon. It was a precision job all right and I'd give myself about 75% at best. The hardest part was putting the points on the end. The borders were added first and trying to perfectly match that tiny yellow line on an angle was impossible for me. I basted it first and still had to rip back a couple of times. It's far from perfect but not bad for a wonky quilter. I think I'll go with the yellow binding. At first I thought the light blue would be better to tie in the middle blue but in the end yellow looks better. Doing it again I'd be tempted to use orange instead of the light blue. It's about 18x76 inches in size. There is a pattern for matching napkins but I don't have enough blue or ambition.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Table Runner

I have started a complex table runner and even in the photo there are a couple of mistakes that will be ripped out. The original is in Christmas fabrics but I decided to use something less seasonal. It is quite complicated following the pattern when you change the colors. I am going to change the orange for more of the dark blue. On the original, the fabrics were more related in color. I think it's too chaotic now, considering that the pattern is quite precise.

I finished piecing the Wickedly Easy quilt. I debated about a solid border but decided to go with the pattern on this one. I need to get more batting before I can finish it. I'll make the backing from stash though. I still have enough scraps for several dozen more scrap quilts.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Weather!!

I was given this award by Megan at The Bitchy Stitcher. Thanks Megan. I'm pretty lazy so I'll just say that if you want an award, you are nominated.
I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning my sewing studio. Once in awhile it just has to be done. Now I'm all ready to start something new.

The weather here is pretty bad. Here is the forecast for tonight:
Night: Blizzard. Snowfall amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind north 50 km/h gusting to 70. Low minus 27. Extreme wind chill minus 45.
Note that wind chill! It's the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius when it gets down to those temps. I guess that could be called good quilting weather. I wish I could trade a few degrees with all you Australians who are "suffering" from plus 30 and muggy weather.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Games are Back

Here are a couple of circles I made using the Quilters' Games and also being inspired by Judy Morningstar's quilt in the quilt show I saw a couple of months ago. She used light colored fabric on the back and it shows up ever so slightly under the edge seam when you see it in person. These are still a bit rough. I need to perfect sewing in a circle and refine my ideas of what should go in the center. These blocks are 6 inches square. It might be better if they were a bit bigger so there could be more planning in the middle. They are 6 inches because that's the width of my ruler.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Yet Another Bag

I made this bag yesterday, following Kristin's instructions. It is bigger than I expected and I really like it that way. It is about 11 inches high including the ruffle at the top. I like that it is very different on each side. I want to get better drawstrings for it. I should have made the stitching for the casing wider apart, but other than that, I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Winter Frost

This morning the trees were all covered with frost so we went for a walk to get a few photos if the beauty around us. The temperature was -17 but there was no wind so it was nice walking. There are wind chills of -32 predicted for later today so it was good to walk early.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wickedly Easy Quilt

This quilt is indeed wickedly easy. The blocks end up at 16 inches so it doesn't take many to make a large quilt. Sorry the picture is a tiny bit out of focus. I was losing the light as I was taking it. I'll finish the bottom row and probably make one more row before I call it quits. It will probably end up a twin size. The pattern calls for a pieced border that goes around the edge but I may put a plain border between. I'll see how it looks when I get to that stage.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Using Up Scraps

This is a scrap quilt that is using up some of my strings. It's made with 4.5 and 2.5 inch strips. It's called Wickedly Easy Quilts and the pattern is free from
Each block is about 12 inches square. The strips are sewn together, cut into 7.5 inch pieces and then put back together with a 2.5 inch strip. The 2.5 inch strip that is left when you cut the big pieces gets used as a pieced border. I'm not sure how big this one will get but it's growing fast!

Pyramid Purse

If anyone is interested in sewing the Pyramid Purse from my previous post, you can find the instructions at Nicole Mallalieu Design.
I took a shortcut and just sewed the lining and front all together leaving a bit of a raw edge on the inside. Maybe I'll try to do it properly on the next one.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Chilly Weather

It was chilly this morning but we went for a walk anyway. It was windy, hence the scarf over my face. It was a bit overcast so the sun glasses ended up in my pocket.
I am working on secret things today so no sewing pictures.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Blogland is awash with free project instructions these days. This is a cute little triangular bag but I can't remember where I found it to give credit where credit is due. It's similar to the famous chicken pincushions but with a zipper on one side. I am thinking it would be pretty cute as a chicken with the eyes beak etc. but still with the zipper. Hmmm... next project maybe.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gate Quilt

We have a stair well right near our front door and were always afraid somebody would fall down. We also used to have a lot of little grandchildren (they are far from little now) that we worried about falling. So we made a gate, but it was ugly so today I decided to make a quilted cover for it. Sorry the picture is a bit dark. I only finished it after the light was gone.
The painting of the whale on the wall to the far right was done by True, my 11 year old grandson. Our family is littered with artists!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beautiful Painting

Alison gave us this beautiful painting when she left yesterday. The colors are not very true in this photo but you get the idea.

I was going to go for a long walk and take photos of the hoar frost on all the trees, but then I heard gunshots. It's the last day of hunting season and, although our land is all posted, I thought it wiser to stay home. This is a bush at the end of our deck, which gives you a bit of an idea of how gorgeous the trees were this morning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Journal Cover and Bag

Today I made a journal cover with a pocket for pencils and a matching bag. I made them as a going away gift for Alison who is going back to Australia on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One More Step Done

I finished the quilting and put the binding on today and I just have to hand sew it down. Unfortunately, I don't have any light green to match the binding. I was in town earlier today but never thought of it. We are going in again on Friday, so I guess the binding will be on hold until then. I quilted it with random loops and the occasional heart thrown in.

I don't like making labels, so I quilted my name, address and the year along one border.
Now I am debating whether I should wash it and let it crinkle or leave it like this. I'm sure it will end up being washed a lot so maybe I should send it pre-crinkled so they won't freak out when it happens with the first wash. It would also hide a couple of technical errors.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ready to Quilt

Here is the baby quilt top all finished. I got some solid orange yesterday but somehow it just didn't do the trick for me so I took that as a sign that I should be using the green.

I did get some very cute backing fabric though. It was about 4 inches too narrow so I thought I'd add a brown stripe. I made a mistake in the cutting so I had to also add the narrower brown stripe. I actually like that better but probably wouldn't have gone to the extra effort if I didn't have to.

Here is a close up of the backing fabric. It is by Debbie Mumm and I think it's really cute.
The quilt is about 45 by 63 so it's really more of a little boy quilt than a baby quilt. Luckily, babies tend to grow into little boys (or girls).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quilt Game Finished (almost)

Here is the quilt game all quilted and enveloped. It was an easier process than I thought it would be and I like how it turned out. I just have to sew on a hanging sleeve and label it. Since it's a wall hanging I think I'll just write on the back with permanent ink.
As for the pattern from yesterday, my son, Robin, is a computer programmer and the quilt is in computer code (binary I think they call it). The top part is numbers and the bottom part is the baby's name, Ronin. If you have an all consuming interest in numbers, you might be interested in Robin's site on numbers called Glyphs.