Saturday, December 29, 2007

Singing in the New Year and Doll Quilt

These cute caroling dolls were a Christmas gift from my MIL. Aren't they so sweet, I love their red hats and sweaters. In the picture the expressions on their faces look a bit like more of a surprise than singing.

We had been away on Vancouver Island for Christmas and when I got home on boxing day, this wonderful goody package was waiting for me. This is the swap gift from Karen, we did a swap with the 2 of us. I love the wool jacket on the Santa, I will treasure this every year and it will bring back warm memories of our little swap. Along with Santa came other goodies as well. The snowmen wooden blocks, wool and fabric note book (I've already started using this little book to write down my quilting ideas) and she also sent a 12 block stitchery pattern and some chocolaty goodness. I've finished the Junior Mints and now starting on the Lindt Chocolates. Thank you so much Karen, I love everything and will enjoy bringing them out each Christmas. I can't wait to start on the stitcheries, they are only 4x6 so very doable to have 1 done each month.

A little doll quilt for a little girl's birthday, Jade turned 2 years old yesterday. She has a little pink wooden bed for her dollies so I thought making a doll quilt would keep them warm and the pinks are so sweet. The pink fabrics are scraps from another baby quilt I made earlier in the year. Nothing goes to waste.

I hope you are having the Happiest New Year ever. I look forward to 2008 and especially seeing and reading all about your next creative endeavors. I've enjoyed reading all your blogs and meeting new friends and I've learned so much from all of you. Wishing you all the best for the coming year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing you all a fun filled holiday season with family and friends. It's time to relax and enjoy good food with the special people around you.
Both my daughters will have warm feet this season. I really like how these socks turned out. The stripes seem completely random to me, I never did figure out what the pattern was intended to be, they still turned out great. Hand made socks are so comfy to wear, I know she'll will love them.

Thanks for stopping by! I always look forward to reading every comment.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Decorating

Where has the time gone, it's been a week since my last post. I don't feel caught up at all. I still have shopping, wrapping and baking to get done this week. No sewing for me...sigh. I feel so over whelmed this time of year. This week my daughter and I will be spending the day together baking Christmas cookies...I'm really excited because I don't see her enough. She usually has school and work but now she's between semesters at school. I also need to finish some knitting for my daughter, hopefully she will get a pair of socks on Christmas.

Last night we had a fun evening of singing Christmas Carols with MIL and FIL, the audience was part of the caroling and some people were even dancing in the aisles. When it came time to sing 12 days of Christmas the audience participants with singing and standing up when they get to your birthday month and then you sit again until they get back to your month. So having a Feb birthday gave me lots of exercise. On the second day of Xmas my true love sent me Two turtle doves, I was up, down, up down. You know how the song goes. It was truly a lot of fun. Here is a Christmas Angel quilt. My first log cabin quilt done in the early 90's. The angel is all made of log cabins and the trees, stars, her face and shoes have all been appliquéd on top.
This little tree skirt I found recently in my "to do" pile. I made this oh...I'd say well over 10 years ago. I still need to finish the binding....that's very silly since I do like hand sewing bindings.
I really like this Santa wallhanging. He is done with wool and appliquéd on sandcastle fabric. He's got a long fuzzy mustache.
Santa mustache close up.
Another Santa I really like. I didn't make this guy.
Jenny decided the empty Christmas tree box will be a great place to have a nap.

I can't believe it, my next post will be my 100th post. I was planning a giveaway but it's too much for the week before the holidays. So if you don't mind waiting until Jan, I'll have something in the new year.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Decorating

I've been seeing so many blogs with such beautiful Christmas decorating. I think this means I'm way way behind with my decorating, so yesterday I spent the day playing with all my Christmas treasures. Here are two snowmen I made a very long time ago. The taller snowman is made of muslin and the smaller one is made using quilt batting.
A small tree wallhanging I made a few years ago.
This little tree is filled with crocheted snowflakes made by my dear grandma. She's been gone for almost a year now, so I wanted to decorate this little tree in her memory.
I love snowmen. These are made of wood and not made my me.
We had our traditional French dinner at our regular monthly stitching group. Andree made us the meal her mother would make when she was a kid. There was roast pork with pototoes and veggies. The dessert was fresh pineapple grilled and hot chocolates sauce drizzled on top. Sorry I didn't get a picture of was delicious.

Here are the "Thank You" gift we surprised our host with. As we were all bringing out our blocks Andree was puzzled why she wasn't included in making these blocks. Then we told her the blocks were for her. You should have heard her laughing and so very surprised that we would do this for her. I think the blocks really turned out well and coordinate well, that was another pleasant surprise.

Season's Greetings to everyone.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Some Surprises....

As you can see a few chocolates have already been devoured, don't want to waste time just looking at them...teehee. When I got home from our island holiday these are the goodies awaiting my arrival, it was worth the wait. These yummy sweet chocolates Annie sent me all the way from Australia. Thanks so much Annie for a wonderful box of handmade chocolates. And Thanks Sharon for organizing a fun and yummy swap.
This little pink quilt is for a swap with Karen, we talked about doing a swap some months ago but with Karen's house tour which involved redecorating an entire room "you go girl", we decided to put it off until now. I'll show you what she has made me when I receive it, I don't even know what she will send, we promised to surprise each other. If you haven't seen her beautiful house it's well worth a look. Karen has excellent eye for colour and decorating. I wish she could visit me and redo my house...LOL
Here is a close up of the quilting.
More about swaps. Darlene and I have been swapping 9patch blocks for a few months and I've been having a blast exchanging with her, thanks Darlene, I might be late this month...sigh. See my sneak peek post here. Sometimes we send each other little surprises, oh my is it ever fun...teehee. When I told Darlene that I was making the PDG's she offered me some seaside rose fabric. What a great surprise in store for me. Here is my first block done sitting with a gorgeous collection.. I wasn't sure about how the embroidery colours were going to work together but after seeing this picture I think it will be a wonderful combination with the fabrics.
Even more surprises when I got home, does it ever end....oh gosh... don't get me wrong I'm not complaining a Caroline was so sweet to send me this heart pincushion, little strawberry and red trimmed crocheted doily. I love them all, I think the buttons are vintage and the purple lace is hand dyed. Thanks so much Caroline, this certainly is a wonderful package of treasures. Big Smiles from ME!

I feel so lucky to have met these wonderful ladies and I cherish their friendship.

Happy Stitching to Everyone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Hubby and I returned last night from our little island get away. We've been relaxing on the Big Island of Hawaii soaking up the warm sun. This hammock was outside on the grounds of our hotel, next to the ocean and was the prefect spot to watch the sunset.

This is our third trip to the islands but our first trip to the big island. Are timing was prefect as we missed the first big snow fall at home. My daughter was taking care of the house and Jenny (the cat) while we were away and I got a few frantic text messages with "help" where is the shovel and salt???. Fortunately the usual weather here is to have a warm spell after a snow fall and it now looks like it never snowed at all.

Paradise wasn't entirely prefect. Our plane arrived early in the morning, too early to check in to our hotel. We decided a tour of a coffee farm would be a good first day activity. That's when it started....the rain. And not just your whimpy rain drops, this was like stepping under a water fall. The rain cut the tour short and we decided the next best thing would be sit the rain out while enjoying Kona coffee and a chocolate brownie. We sat for a very very long long time, the rain doesn't seem to be letting up, the waitress came around and said the roads are starting to get washed out. Hmmm.....we better go to our hotel. About a 2 minute drive down the road, we saw a few cars stopped on the road in front of us and then we saw it, just like the movies, mud and rocks raging across the road, unbelievable what do we do now? A couple of cars turned around but where would they go?? Soon they discovered more mud and rocks across the road in the other direction as well. And then a pipe next to the road broke and water was shooting up in the sky about 30 feet right behind us. So to make a long story short, we stayed in the car watching raging mud, down pouring rain and water shooting up from the ground for about 2 hours before it let up and the road could finally be cleared. I can't tell you how worried I was that our first night on the island was going to be sleeping in a car. The next day there was almost no signs of all the rocks and mud....incredible experience. The rest of the trip was dry, sunny and stress free....whew.

I have so many things to show you, the packages waiting for me when I got home and the antique shop find I brought home from the island. This was going to be a short post that turned long quickly. I feel like I've missed so much and have so much catching up to do in blogland. I'll be around shortly to read what everyone has been up to this last week.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Basket of Pincushions

Just a few pincushions I decided I needed to make for gifts. These are made using 2-5" circles. Stuffed with polyester filling and embroidery floss used to divide the sections. I thought they needed something a little extra so I made yo-yo's to go under the buttons. If you are interested in making some of your own, visit Whipup for instructions.

Update on Chocolate Swap; I'm still waiting for my chocolates to arrive in the mail...boohoo My partner Annie received the goodies I sent to her. I hope mine from her will arrive soon...yum...yum.

Here's another pincushion using different fabrics.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Little Quilts

So many little quilts popping up everywhere, I couldn't resist making one. This little quilt is from the book "American Doll Quilts" and finished size is 13" x 17". A Simple Girl and Knot Garden have both done several adorable little quilts. They are so sweet and quicker to make than a full size quilt project. I'm definitely hooked on these. The only down side is that these little quilts don't even make a dent in the scrap

There is a small group of us that meet once a month at the same house. We usually go out for lunch but there are times when the host offers to make us lunch. When she makes us lunch it's a wonderful treat because it's always something home made, with the freshest of ingredients. Last month we enjoyed a fabulous Butternut Squash soup and a delightful salmon dip. Our gracious host has offered to make a traditional French Christmas dinner for our next meeting. She'll spend a lot of time shopping at specialty stores to find just the best ingredients for the menu. There will be several appetizers and all the trimmings for our feast. Shopping and preparing all this food is a tremendous amount of work.

So that brings me to the point of this story. I thought wouldn't it be nice for each person in the group to surprise our host with quilt blocks. I found a pattern, picked the background fabric and cut enough background for 12 blocks. These blocks are 8" finished. Each person will make 2 blocks using darks from each of our stash for a total of 12 blocks. The blocks will be presented at our Dec meeting. Our host will be so surprised and really love our way of saying "Thank you" for all her efforts.

Speaking of friends. I received a little goodie package in the mail last week. Carole was very sweet by sending me some chocolates and a cute little tin as well. Thank you are a sweetie.

Monday, November 19, 2007


There is definitely a learning curve when you get a new computer. So now it's taken me longer to do things. The camera is now connected....yippee one hurdle over. The next hurdle is figuring out how to use the new Photoshop S/W. It seems I just learnt how to use the old version, the newer version is changed and so different. I guess, I'll get over these hurdles sooner or later...LOL.Friendship truly does come from the heart. And it's very special when you find a friend that you really connect with. Someone that you can share with and feel very comforted. Quilter's are such a special group who really enjoy sharing handmade gives with their friends. I feel very thankful and lucky when I receive a gift made by a friend. Okay...okay... enough with the mushy stuff...LOL

This teddy bear angel I stitched on muslin and did a small amount of tea dying. The red and yellow fabric is actually flannel. Soft and cuddly friendship pillow. I know....I know no more mushy stuff....
Look what I got from a very special blogger friend. No two fabrics are the same. I love the 30's fabrics, they make such a sweet quilt to look at and always makes me smile. The quilting is excellent. I wish I could quilt like that! Thanks Darlene, I will cherish my little quilt from you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My DH has given me a new computer this week. He carefully copied over all my files and got everything set up for me. What a sweetie he is to me. When I tried to connect the camera this morning....nothing. I've tried to play around and figure it out on my own but it seems I'll have to wait until he gets home to have it fixed. I'm sure it's not something he did, I'm just not doing something right. So no quilting progress pictures to show.

I sent off my Chocolate Swap to my partner in Australia yesterday. I hope Anne will like the chocolate and goodies I sent along.

Have you seen the pincushions Abyquilt has made? She made 8 of these so far. I've made only one so far and I hope to have time to make a bunch more. Here where you'll find the instructions for the pincushion.

Have you checked your Quilter's Horoscope. Darlene posted this and it's really is a hoot.

Aquarius - January 21 to February 18
Aquarius is very gifted and produce exceptionally original quilts. I don't know about this "monkey see monkey do" that's me. But, I do make changes to a project if I don't like what the pattern designer has done.

They are known to invent new techniques that enhance the art form. I don't think so.

They are friendly but their independent nature leads them to prefer to spend time quilting by themselves. Although you can find them in a quilting class, they are the most likely of all signs to choose to learn from books or a video. I've learned everything about quilting from doing. Making mistakes and learning from each one. I take classes only to be around fellow quilters.

However if you ever have a patchwork or quilting dilemma they are the kind of person that you can turn to for help and advice. They are nice and will be thoughtful when making a quilt for friends or family. They will create the quilt with careful consideration of what the individual would like. I like to teach what I know about quilting and it's really exciting to me when a student goes away with learning something new. I will always try and answer a question. Every project I make I think about the person that will receive it and try and personalize the gift.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ta Da

Just a quick post to show my Star Bright quilt top all completed. I'm so impressed that I finished this top in under 2 weeks. The top is big enough for a queen size bed but I feel it needs just a little more overhang so I'm going to add a border. Then off it goes to the machine quilters it will go. BTW the inner border strips took me an entire day to get done. 1" finished was so worth it in the end!

Have a good weekend to all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Star Bright Progress

I've pieced all 26 star blocks. I only need 25 for the quilt, I guess a matching pillow will be nice. I still need to square up all the blocks and add the sashing. I sewed the light and dark 1 1/2" strips of sashing fabrics together and now the task of putting it all together. This was a very quick block to make....well for me to have a big quilt almost finished in 2 weeks, is a really big accomplishment. I hope the sashing will be just as quick to finish...ya right!

I've been having so much fun exchanging 9 patches with Darlene, her post today included the 9 patches I sent last month. We send 20 each month until we have enough. I think Dec we'll be done. Another quilt in self control...LOL. I plan to set the 9 patches on point with an alternating red fabric in between. Here is a sneak peek....stay tuned for more on this quilt.

My list for this week is to finish more 9 patches and My Chocolate Swap to mail off as well.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Star Bright

This is the Buggy Barn class I took last weekend. The Star Bright block is done in 2 stacks of 13 FQ's each, all the lights in one stack and all the darks in another stack. I traced the pattern onto freezer paper and ironed on the top FQ. To cut through all 13 layers of fabric start with a new blade on your large cutter. Works like a dream. The above blocks are partly sewn together.
When both stacks are cut, it's time to do some shuffling of fabric. You can see the darks and lights have been exchanged in each stack. This makes 13 light stars with dark background and 13 dark stars with light background. The centre star is reversed as well but you can't see it because I haven't taken the freezer paper off.
Here is a finished block waiting for trimming. The block will be trimmed to 12 1/2" x 14 1/2". I've now finished the stack of light background blocks.....whew 13 blocks completed. I hope to have time today to work on the second stack of blocks.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I'm behind in blogging and hope to get caught up in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I made this needlepunched "Jack Be Nimble" pillow last year. The pattern is from Country Stitches, I did the pumpkin face a little different than the pattern by filling in all with the black. I used all my favourite Halloween fabrics that I had saved for that special project. I didn't have much of this fabric, I wished that I had more.

I wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween. Don't forget to give lots of treats to the tricker treaters coming to your door.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Swap Block

Where did the week go, I've been busy doing stuff but not sure what stuff I've been doing....LOL

I took a class on Sat for making a Buggy Barn quilt called "Star Bright". Silly me I didn't need to start a new project but the class was free and I had a big stack of FQ's waiting for this quilt. Something new I learned in the class is that you can really cute through 13 layers of fabric as long as the blade is new and you have the larger cutter. My 26 blocks were all cut in about 1 hour. I'll post some progress pictures in a future post.

The other more pressing item that I was working on was this block. A swap I've signed up for. My Tues stitching group is having a swap with another stitching group that meets on Thurs. The deadline to finish the block is today and at our meeting this morning I will be exchanging with someone from the Thurs group. The organizers will be matching people based on each others colour choices. When I get my swap partners block I'm to add a border all the way around. I don't remember the size I'm to make it but I'm sure someone will offer that info today. After I'm done adding the border than it's returned to it's owner. This will be a small table topper when done. My block is from Kim Diehl's book and the block is called Country Whig Rose. You can see Darlene has done all 4 blocks.

Next on my list is to work on the Chocolate Swap from Sharon's blog. We are to make something to put our chocolates in (decorate the box) and send off to our swap partner. My swap partner is Annie from Australia, I'm very excited to get to know her likes and dislikes for chocolate, dark or light, chewing or crunchie? So many questions. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, waiting for those creative juices to start flowing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Letting Go....

My youngest DD moved into her own place this last week. I've been helping her collect up all the necessary household items she might need to get started. We've been packing, shopping and spending some nice quality time together. I won't see her much as she has moved a ferry ride away....It will be so hard not to see her so much. I will need to plan ahead to spend time with her. She certainly seems very happy in her new surroundings, so I feel I need to be happy for her.

Yesterday I spend the day at her new place helping her settle in. This trip was also to bring over my old sewing machine to her as she likes to alter and make her own clothes. We went out for a very nice lunch and walk by the sea shore. On the way back she mentioned a quilt shop in the area and we could stop there. I knew she was thinking of me. When we went in the shop my daughter introduced me to the shop owner....hmmmm she's been here before, well that's not so unusual my DD likes to sew. Then.....the shop owner asked my daughter if she was still interested in a beginner class. Well you can imagine my surprise....what.... she wants to start quilting....could this be real.... My daughter has always been a sewer but never interested in quilting. Oh how all the wheels started turning. I would have to get her the equipment, rotary cutter, ruler and mat. The class isn't until early Jan so that gives me time to get all the supplies she'll need. This is so exciting my DD is interested in quilting....yippee hurray....I'm speechless, she really never showed interest at home, my how anything can change when on their own. I'm very happy and excited about the days when the two of us will have even more in common....quilting.

We had a such a nice visit. Here is a zip pouch I made for her to hold her threads and needles. She loves guitars and music so I stitched a design she would love and could use for a long time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Bag

Sorry the picture is so dark. Photography is not my thing. I like it when there is a sunny day to take the picture outside, the lighting is better on a nice day. It's been gray and rainy here for the last week. The forecast is for more of the I'll do my best to get a decent picture.

I made this bag in one day using 2 charm packs from Moda's Serendipity by Sandy Gervais. The fabric colours are rich browns, rust, green, purple and beige. This will make a really nice fall bag to carry my stitchery or punchneedle projects to meeting. The pattern is from This & That called Flower Patch, I didn't add the applique flower to the front, I didn't think the bag needed it. If you haven't tried this line of patterns I would really recommend them. Her instructions are easy and straight forward, I found this bag easy to make....and ladies there is no zipper. This bag will be a store sample before I can use it for my goodies.

Darlene tagged me to tell 4 things about here we go.

4 jobs I've had
Executive Assistant

4 films I could watch over and over
Little Women
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Sleepless in Seattle
When Harry Met Sally

4 TV shows I watch
CSI Las Vegas
I don't watch much TV

4 Favorite foods
Homemade Soups
Beef Veggie Stew
Spinach Salad

4 Favorite colors

4 Places I would love to be right now
Sunny beach
White sand beach
Lounging on a sunny beach
Snorkeling at a tropical beach

4 Names I love but would/could not use on my children
Rae (my middle name)
Jenny (my cats name)
Jade (didn't hear this name until recently)

4 People I'd love to Tag

That's all I have for today.
Have a great weekend.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Redwork Almost Done

Where has the week gone!. I feel like I haven't accomplished any sewing this week....grrrr. I went shopping for this border fabric and pieced the top of this small quilt, at least that's something done. The size is 34"x 44". I'm very happy with the border fabric I found. It was a bit tricky with the directional fabric, I had to buy extra to line up the flowers in the borders. When I get this one layered and quilted....LOL the binding will be done in a small check but not the same check as the inner blocks. See the small red dots in the embroidery; those are clusters of french knots.

I'm starting on a small bag for a shop sample using charm packs, it's taken me longer than usual to be happy with the fabric combinations....I think when using the whole line of fabric it's a bit harder to come up with a pleasing order for the fabric. I've decided to leave out one entire colour as it's just too busy for me. I think I've got it now and can start making the bag.

Happy Quilting.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Charm Square Quilt

Here's a little trick using charm squares. Some of you might have seen this before. We all need a refresher now and again...right...LOL. Take 9 charms squares (5") and layout same way you would for a 9-patch. Did you see that designer rotary cutter??? When I saw this on Nicole's blog I was just so taken by what a neat idea Olfa has finally come out with something pretty...I just had to have one. Darlene was so sweet and kind enough to send one to me. I'm very thrilled to have a pretty tool for my cutting's mine mine all Thanks Darlene you are a wonderful friend.
The 9-patch blocks is all sewn. Easy so far
Cut the 9-patch block right down the center in both directions. See the new blocks emerging? I think the new blocks are 7". I made a total of 5 9-patches using one charm pack of 45 squares. This gave me 20 of the 7" blocks. Two packages of charms squares made 40 blocks for a lap quilt. It was so fast and easy to make 10 9-patches and then I was ready to cut my blocks.
Option 1: This random layout of twisting and turning the blocks uses 36 of my blocks, makes a square quilt. Lay the blocks in any pleasing order with 6 rows across and 6 rows down.
Option 2: Layout with all blocks placed with the corner square to the left top corner, makes a rectangular shaped quilt. This layout used all 40 blocks. 5 rows across and 8 rows down.
Option 3: Is to place your blocks on point. With this layout I had 1 block left over, I used 39 blocks. There are so many possibilities with this block. Have fun playing around with your layout.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall Swap Arrived

A friend of mine was having a Birthday today so it was a good excuse to go out for a leisurely lunch. The 3 of us met up at a LQS for a fabric fix before lunch. The ladies at the shop showed us a really neat trick with 5" charm packs. I'll do up a couple and show you soon...I promise. We got to the restaurant and since we were celebrating a birthday we decided to start with martini's....mmmm so delicious for such a tiny drink. After I devoured my grilled chicken sandwich and pumpkin soup, we still didn't feel like ending the celebration, so what's next??? Dessert of course....oh I can't even describe our decadent desserts. I had a Sour Cherry Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding....yes it was over the top....but oh so delicious...I think I rolled all the way home LOL.

I found a nice surprise in my mail box when I got home. Well it wasn't completely a surprise. This is my Fall Swap quilt which I;ve been waiting for the mailman to bring. Isn't this so cute with the oak leaves quilted on the front. Sue from Quilting without Guilt has even quilted leaves on the back. Take a look she has posted a picture of the back. What a sweet little autumn quilt "Thank you Sue" for being my swap partner. Sue also sent a few little goodies with my quilt. See the postcard with the flower and the black's all quilted just like any quilt and on the back it's addressed to me with a little message from Sue. The Down Under calendar will be a wonderful addition to my sewing room.
The next swap will be sometime in Nov, check it out if you are thinking of joining the Winter Swap.