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Friday, December 31, 2010

Home Again

One of my friends had to get some tests done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester so I volunteered to accompany her. What trip is complete without a quilt shop? There was a Hancock's with a 60% off sale just down the street from our hotel. I got the fabrics in the photo . I think I exercised quite a bit of restraint!

The next stop was TJ Maxx where there was also a mega sale going on. I got a new suitcase for our trip to Australia, two bathing suits and some running shoes (not that I run...). I thought I was finished shopping when I spied this leather bag. I know, I have dozens of bags but this one was too beautiful to pass up. The back is the same without the butterfly. The price was right so it came home with me.
We drove home just before a big ice storm in Rochester and a predicted blizzard here that didn't actually amount to much. It's good to be home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Today I booked tickets to go to Australia at the end of February. We will be there for a month. We will be taking our 13 year old granddaughter along so she can spend time with her cousins over there. Pretty good Christmas present for all of us I'd say. The picture was taken at Red Rock, NSW, where our daughter lives, when we went there a few years ago.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Day So Far...

Going out to eat this evening so at least I won't have to cook any more today. Tomorrow will be another story.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Sky is Falling

I am making the words "The Sky is Falling" for this piece. After I made the and sky I realized it would look better with the first two words up in the sky and the last two down in the grass. I'll need to make a few more houses too because is falling will be longer than the two houses that are already made.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I wanted to learn how to make words and to space letters properly so I made this Christmas apron. It's not 100% but for a first attempt it's not too bad. Actually, it's my second attempt. The first one ended up in the garbage.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Decision Made

I got a couple of pieces of fabric in town today but in the end I liked the dark hand dyed fabric the best. I may take out some paintsticks and fabric paint to do a bit of embellishing on it when it's all put together. The sashing looks a bit heavy. Maybe I should have made it narrower. I could also quilt it with silver thread and draw stars and other celestial things on it. I'm not sure how well the metalic thread will work on the quilting machine. It goes very fast...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hand Dyes

I have lots of hand dyed fabric left over and it's snow dyeing season once again so I thought I'd start another quilt to use up some of it. I have been waffling over the sashing. I think this one is too dark. I don't have enough of the dotted fabric from the last one. I may have to break down and buy some new fabric. I saw a blue with gold stars that might work...
Meanwhile I made a couple of chicken houses. I am thinking of making words to go with them. Maybe "The Sky is Falling" since these chickens look a bit freaked out.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Yesterday was girls' day out. I went to the big city with three friends. We had a wonderful Indian meal and an afternoon of shopping. Fun, fun.
Today I made another embroidery while I was loading the hand dye quilt on the frame. I didn't have the exact colors suggested so I used variegated thread for the wings, tail and feet. I wonder what I'll do with all these embroideries? Maybe that's what everyone will get for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Piecing Done

I finished piecing this one this morning and now I am dyeing a big piece of fabric blue for the backing. I didn't have anything on hand that really matched the front and there isn't enough of the black and white print to do the back. I'm hoping to get it loaded on the frame later this afternoon.

Monday, December 06, 2010

And Two More Word Quilts

Words and houses just seem to go together. I should have used a darker color for the letters so there would be more contrast, making them easier to read.

This one was for my two Australian grandsons. "Reve" means "Dream" in French. Hence the quote at the bottom.

Another Start

I am still practising away at my embroidery. I did these ones in Christmas colors. I'm still not sure what I'll do with them. Maybe they need a bit of lace around them to become table mats or something like that. They are fairly small.

I needed something easy to work on while stopping and starting to tend to the embroidery machine so I started this one using some of my huge stash of hand dyed fabrics. Some blocks are embellished with paint sticks and a couple have batik stars.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

More Letters

Here is another quilt with words and free pieced animals. It was my first attempt at lower case letters. This is another one I would have a hard time selling or giving away. It's a strange looking horse and a very large goose but kids all love this quilt.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Word Quilts

Because Tonya's new book, Word Play Quilts is being released soon, people have been posting pictures of quilts made using her techniques. Here are a few of mine.

On this one I tried words without spaces between the letters.

This one of the chickens is my favorite. There aren't many words on it but the chickens and the fox are all pieced using the same techniques. It was probably the most difficult quilt I ever did!

I love the words on this one but never liked the landscape. I probably should have taken the word border off and done something else with it but I did finish it.

Friday, December 03, 2010

More Embroidery Practise

While my new machine was working away at this,

I finished quilting this. Now to find some black for the binding. Unfortunately, I'm out of the blue and black dotted fabric.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Musical Mice

Today while playing with my new sewing machine, or I guess waiting while the new sewing machine did its thing, I finished quilting Musical Mice.

Here it is from the back. While watching TV this evening I got half way around the hand sewing of the binding. There's nothing like multi-tasking.

FIrst Embroidery

Here is my first stab at embroidery on the new machine. No fingers were stabbed in the process, unlike when I try hand embroidery. There are only two mistakes. The blue missing at the bottom left is where I ran out of bobbin thread but didn't know what the flashing light was indicating. The brown at the top left is where I started over with another color, not realizing I was done. Moral: Don't work on two machines at the same time until you know them both. I was quilting on the frame while waiting to change colors on this one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The New Machine

We braved near blizzard conditions to go and pick up my prize sewing machine. It's amazing! I have to do a bit of studying before I can try the embroidery on it though. I think it's the top of the Husqvarna line. I love it already!


  • I love this list from Heart and Hands especialy TOADS. I have a few of those...

  • BOM=Block of the Month
  • Charms=Small pieces of fabric, usually squares or hexagons, all different fabrics
  • Charm packs=package of pre-cut squares
  • CQ=Crazy Quilting (traditional quilt pattern with embellisments)
  • COC=Cream on Cream
  • DJ=Dear Jane (a traditional quilt pattern)
  • D4P=Double Four Patch
  • DIC=Double Irish Chain
  • Dimes=10" squares
  • DIY=Do It Yourself
  • DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine
  • EQ=Electric Quilting software, now EQ5,6, or 7
  • F8=Fat 1/8th or 9"x 22"
  • FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
  • FIU=Finish It Up
  • FLIMSY=pieced top
  • FQ=Fat Quarter
  • Frog Stitching=rip it, rip it....ripping stitches out
  • FW=Featherweight (Singer) sewing machine
  • FW=Fusible Web (be care to iron this one, sew with the above)
  • Giterdone=Get 'er Done! Term most often used for ancient or dreaded projects
  • GFG=Grandmother's Flower Garden, a traditional quilt pattern
  • HP=Hand Piecing
  • HQ=Hand Quilting
  • HST=Half-Square Triangle
  • HSY=Haven't Started Yet
  • Jelly Rolls=pre-cut fabric strips, rolled up and sold in a set
  • LA=Long Armer, professional machine quilter
  • LAQ=Long Arm Quilting machine
  • LQ=Liberated Quiltmaking, free form quilting without striving for precision or perfection
  • LQS=Local Quilt Shop
  • MAQ=Mid-Arm Quilter
  • Nickles=5" squares
  • NQR=Not Quilt Related, as in board or group off topic, topic and it's oppostie QR
  • OBW=One-Block Wonder
  • OSMG=old sewing machine guy, your go-to fellow for repairs
  • PFD=fabric that is Prepared For Dying
  • PHD=Project Half Done
  • PIGS=Projects in Grocery Sacks
  • PIM=Project in Mind
  • PIPs=Project in Progress
  • PITs=Projects in Totes
  • PIW=Project in Waiting (not yet a WIP)
  • PP=Paper Piecing
  • QAYG=Quilt As You Go-A quilting/piecing process which incorporates sewing together a block and quilting it at the same time.
  • QUIMM=Quilt In My Mind
  • QUTD=Question Of The Day: quilting group or board top for discussion that day
  • QR=Quilt Related and NQR: it's opposite
  • Quilt Candy=Small charm pieces of fabric, folded up to look like candy
  • QST=Quarter Square Triangles
  • RR=Round Robin (quilt exchange, passing around a group taking turns with it)
  • SABLE=Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
  • SAQM=Small Arm Quilting Machine
  • SaS=Steam a Seam iron on double faced interfacing/non stitching product
  • SEX=Stash Enhancing eXperience (or eXcursion)
  • SID=Stitch In (the) Ditch, quilting technique
  • Siggies=Squares of fabric with signatures and other info on them
  • SnW=Stack 'n Whack, pile them up and cut them all at once block pattern
  • SQ=Simply Quilts
  • Squishy=Envelopes filled with swap fabric or gifts sent/received in the mail
  • STASH=Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
  • SUI=Shopping Under Influence (usually with a friend)
  • SWAN=Swap Without a Name
  • TBQ=To Be Quilted
  • TGIF=Thank Goodness It’s Finished!
  • TIC=Triple Irish Chain, a traditional quilt pattern
  • TOAD=Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
  • TOT=Tone-on-Tone
  • TUFO=Tuesday UFO night, also WUFO etc.
  • UFO=UnFinished Object
  • USO=UnStarted Object
  • WHIM=Work Hidden In Mind
  • WHIMM=Work Hidden In My Mind
  • WIP=Work In Progress
  • WISP=Work In Slow Progress
  • WIVSP=Work In Very Slow Progress
  • WIWMI=Wish It Would Make Itself
  • WOA=Work Of Art
  • WOF=Width of Fabric
  • WOMBAT=Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
  • WOW=White On White
  • WWIT=What Was I Thinking
  • VIP=Very Import Project
  • YBR=Yellow Brick Road, a popular quilting pattern
  • YoYo=a circle of fabric, gathered and sewn into a puffy circle; also one who makes them
  • 401 F=Fabric for Retirement
  • 401 P= Patterns for retirement
  • Monday, November 29, 2010

    Kokopeli Problems

    I finally decided on a border for my Kokopeli quilt. I measured the turquoise rick rack and it looked as it it would just fit. Unfortunately, it didn't .

    It was about an inch too short once it was sewn. What to do??

    A few yoyos and problem solved. I may change the lower left one. It fades into the background more than the others.
    Tomorrow I get to pick up my new Husqvarna sewing machine. I haven't seen it but apparently it's an embroidery machine. I can't wait to meet it!

    I Won!

    I entered this quilt in a baby blanket contest held here by a local radio station in aid of our hospital and I won a new Husqvarna sewing machine! There were 163 blankets in the contest so I feel pretty excited to have won out over all that competition. The blankets will be displayed at the Southland Mall and they will be sold by silent auction to raise money.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010


    There was a LOT to be thankful for at this Canadian/American Thanksgiving feast.

    I'm getting hungry again just looking at the pictures!

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    American/Canadian Thanksgiving

    The view out our window this morning. I think the frost is even thicker beautiful and Christmas-like.

    We are invited to our friend's place in North Dakota to celebrate American Thanksgiving a couple of days late because we Canadians didn't get Thursday off work. My contribution is Pumpkin pies, lemon meringue pie, chocolate pecan bourbon pie and bourbon cranberry sauce.

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Fabric Therapy

    I went to Winnipeg today and managed to get in a bit of fabric shopping. The blue at the top is destined to be sky in some more house blocks and the white at the top will be snow. The white at the bottom could also be snow and the green has little flowers so will be good for grass. The pink dots on brown were just irresistible and on sale so what could I do?

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Stormy Weather

    Snowy weather is perfect for quilting. I have made several more blocks with the Kokopeli. I arranged it so that the black with white dots appear to be coming out of the flute like musical notes. I am dyeing some turquoise for the sashing but now I'm thinking the gold musical notes that I got for the cool cats might be a better choice...

    Our studio is cold on the outside but toasty warm inside.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Another one Done

    I finished the binding on this one this morning. It is the first one I have done with polar fleece on the back. I really prefer cotton fabric and batting. It's easier to handle on the frame and I like the weight of it better.
    I added a row of silver rick rack to separate the houses from the border.

    I started this one today. I got the Kokopeli fabric in Santa Fe earlier this year. I am auditioning sashing fabrics. I lean toward the turquoise but will have to dye some more.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    More Houses

    I sewed the houses together using a different coloured stripe than the one I auditioned yesterday. Once I had them all together I realized it was going to be too short so I started making more houses. Unfortunately, I ran out of the cute dotted blue fabric so the rest of the skies are darker and slightly ominous. I will add three more houses to the top and then use the striped fabric as a border. I will still need another border to make it large enough. I'm not sure yet what color that will be. Am I tired of making houses? Not yet!

    Sunday, November 21, 2010


    For a baby quilt contest I thought I should make one with some pastels. This is it so far.

    Art Day (With Cooking)

    Yesterday two of my friends and I had an art and cooking day. We made some cheese (not totally successful because we let the milk for the feta get too hot). Last time I was in China town I bought a soup mix that had all the instructions in Chinese. We decided to give it a try. This picture is the broth steeping. We had no idea what any of the ingredients were but it smelled great.

    Add a few vegetables and voila, a tasty and (I hope) nutritious soup.
    In the studio we played with stamps, paintsticks and stencils. I also did a bit of machine quilting on my latest quilt. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the house. It was a fun day.

    Friday, November 19, 2010


    I got the houses put together with the yellow sashing. I don't like the lower right area but not sure what to do about it. The yellow is too wide there. Maybe I can fill it with quilting or applique something on there. The border looks quite dark in the photo but in real life it's quite bright.


    I went to Winnipeg yesterday and of course, had to stop at a fabric store. I got these four pieces of fabric. I like the bright yellow the best. It has very subtle leaves and ferns on it.

    I bring my hibiscus plant outside for the summer. When I bring it in it always goes crazy flowering. Besides the two flowers, it has 11 buds.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Baby Houses

    They extended the baby blanket contest for an extra week so I thought I'd enter another one if I can get it finished in time. I made these houses today. I'll use quite wide sashing because they are all different sizes. That way I can also bring it up to the required 40 inch size. The fabric on the left is my first audition for the sashing and borders. It looked not bad in the studio but now that I see it on my monitor, I don't like it much. It's too busy and will detract from the houses. I want it to look baby-like but not pink or blue. I have a nice bright yellow that may work or some dot fabric. Or I may break down and buy new fabric if I don't find the perfect one in my stash.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Cool Cats

    Here are the Cool Cats pieced together. I don't have enough music fabric to make the back so I may have to piece some other fabrics together. I'll quilt it with loops and maybe some music notes thrown in.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Froggy Day

    I am almost finished this quilt for a baby blanket contest being held by our local radio station. The winner gets a nice new sewing machine. Then the blankets will be auctioned off to benefit our local hospital. Either way there are winners!

    And the back.