Friday, May 30, 2014

A Little More Fruit Salad

Both Jane and Betty are making great strides with their Fruit Salad quilts and they are proving the point that two quilters can approach the same pattern and create two very different visions. Centres are finished and it's on to the borders.

Betty is creating a curved corner predominantly with blues that pull from the centre of the quilt and will sit up against that gorgeous red floral print. She created a pink and yellow/gold border using more of the triangle pieces to transition from the blues & in the centre.

I cannot put into words just how beautiful that red print is. Just stunning.

And Jane has been off to the races too. She's got more brown and turquoise in hers, but it is equally beautiful.

Unfortunately, this photo is not well focused but it does give you a good feel for the finish - some graphic Kaffe polka dots and flowers combined with a few paisley/eastern influenced prints in fushia and turquoise. I've been told that if you want to see if colours are working together you should squint. Maybe we'll just say that I was squinting for this one... :) M

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring Seduction

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I've got Betty's latest quilt to show you and we celebrated the arrival of a perfectly beautiful Spring day yesterday with some seasonal baking, so it seemed appropriate. First, the quilt.

Betty has finished binding her Double Wedding Ring and had it washed and on the line, so it was ready for it's cameo.

We took the pics at dusk so the light was just perfect for showing off this beauty.

The gingham binding is ideal with the bright prints and the cheery pieced backing. She used a sassy little paisley that I think may have come from mom's stash, and an absolutely gorgeous white with tiny floral bouquets, and worked her magic pulling it all together.

Hopefully this gives you a better look at the coloured Perle cotton threads.

Apparently it was going directly on to her bed to be used as their summer quilt.

We were together for dinner, and, since I was bringing dessert, it seemed only right that we celebrate this sunny day with sweetness made from the first cutting of rhubarb. You know what's coming... (I think I post more about this recipe than any quilt that I have worked on :D ).

Yup. It's Rhubarb Torte season, and it never disappoints.

We had a lovely dinner in the screened in gazebo (don't you just love being able to eat outdoors this time of year?) and enjoyed every last little bit of it.

Here's our happy host and his nod to our American friends and neighbours celebrating Memorial Day this weekend.

Even Baylea seemed to pic rhubarb colours for her after-dinner-nap cushion. Love Spring!....M

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Bloggers Quilt Festival Fun

It's been a while since I've had my act together enough to post a quilt to the semi-annual Blogger's Quilt  Festival that Amy hosts each spring and fall, but this time I'm ready. Well, I was almost ready. The festival opened on the 16th and I finished binding mine last night!

I've entered my Goose Tracks. I started it after our friend Sigrid passed away in 2005 and it is special in so very many ways. It is the first of my quilts that is all pieced by hand and is the first where I 'went off the grid' of making quilts with identical blocks.

In true Sigrid fashion I used several prints for the block backgrounds and to make up the setting squares, which gives it a really comfy, old-fashioned feel. 

The variety of cream fabrics continues in the saw tooth border and the combination of the creams and the wider pink border fabric ends up giving it a lovely lace effect. The backing and the binding are in the same pink as the outer border.

It's also hand quilted. The ladies at our church quilt one or two each winter as a fundraiser and I picked it up last Thursday, just in time to bind and post it. It measures 82" x 94".

I didn't want a lot of quilting on it so the setting blocks have stitching lines set about 1 1/2" apart running vertically through the quilt, and then just enough stitching in the blocks themselves to accent the fabric but not have overkill. In the pink border, double rows of stitching that begin at the base of the saw tooth blocks run perpendicular to the centre.

It didn't start out with a plan for how the blocks would go together, I just started making blocks that I liked and figured out the final layout when they were all finished.

It was a beautiful quilt to work on and I am thrilled to have it finished and to be able to start using it - I think it's totally dreamy. Thanks Amy, for the incentive to finish it off! This one is in the Hand Quilted category but there are several categories, so go check them out on the Festival page and have fun picking your favourites....M

Monday, May 19, 2014

More Happy Little Blocks

I've got Hugs and Kisses all together but it needs a good pressing, so I'll share it with you in a little bit, but there are a few more new blocks made from the HST cuttings to show you.

Three tiny little Churn Dash blocks were my next experiment and they are as sweet as the Dresden Plate; they will finish off at 3 3/4".

There's also four little Pinwheel blocks that will finish at 2 1/2" - I like them in a row or all together in a larger block so there will be more of these to come.

It's going to be fun playing with different layouts as the block collection grows, but with such tiny blocks I don't think it's going to be very big.

The Dresden Plate with the basket block still appeals to me and I've realized that there might be a chance to put the two of them on one block if I make baskets out of the larger HST blocks that I've got, so I'll be interested to see if that works.

Lots more options to try with these little HSTs....M

p.s. Happy Victoria Day weekend to all my Canadian friends! Finally, some lovely sunshine today.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fresh Cookies For Sale

For someone who loves to bake and lives with a guy who seems to inhale peanut butter, you'd think that peanut butter cookies of one sort or another would be a staple in my repertoire. Surprisingly, not so.

When I was in university one of the gals on our floor made the best peanut butter cookies, but I couldn't seems to get them to turn out the same way (or was it just that they tasted better because someone else made them?).

Over the years I've been on the lookout for a good recipe and I think that I've found it - Loaded Oatmeal Cookies.

Doesn't sound like a peanut butter cookie, does it? But it has peanut butter and just about everything else that's in the pantry - coconut, oatmeal, pecans, & chocolate chips. What a deadly combination!

I needed to bake something for a Relay For Life bake sale so it seemed like the perfect time to test drive these babies, and I'm so glad that I did.

The only change I made was to cut back on the sugar by about 1/4 cup - there's lots of other sweetness in them. When I found them on Pinterest they were being promoted as 'breakfast cookies'. Hmmmmm.

Time to get out of the kitchen and bind another quilt. The gals from the church have just finished quilting my Goose Tracks, so it's next on the agenda....M

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Almost All Together

Hugs & Kisses blocks are all pressed and coming together.

I used the chain stitching method that I mentioned a while back, sewing columns of blocks together, which creates a loose version of the quilt in rows - it's almost like a duck blind when you hold it up (a very pretty duck blind, mind you). The next step is just sewing the rows together. It's a great way to avoid confusion when putting a top together.

I had visions of lots and lots of pinning because of having to align both the seams and the white strips, but it wasn't that bad, probably because it isn't that large....M

Sunday, May 11, 2014


I am always intrigued by just how much happiness we create with a few yards of fabrics, some thread and a bit of batting. We're happy thinking about new projects, happy playing with fabulous prints, and happy dreaming about our next project (or 2, or 20...), to say nothing of the happiness we feel when we finish one off. And, we are equally thrilled when we are able to gift our work to someone close, or someone in need, who is tickled pink to receive it. It's why we quilt.

Proof of that was the recent delivery of Stained Glass (also referred to as Buckeye Beauty, by some). After years of yearning to be living in the country, our good friend Mireille realized her dream last year. It was a big step and one that Anne, Betty and I wanted to celebrate by making a quilt for her new home. You've seen a few posts about Stained Glass and now I can share that this was Mireille's housewarming gift.

Anne started the ball rolling, selecting fabrics and sewing about half the blocks. I cut the last of it, finished the other half of the blocks and put the top together. Baylea consulted on the final block layout.

And then Betty sat down with needle and gorgeous perle cottons and quilted it, beautifully tying together all the elements.

She also finished it off with a prairie point edging, turning them towards the quilt, before she bound it. Lots of steps, lots of fun, lots of love.

Wrapped in happiness, from start to finish. Mission accomplished....M

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Home Stretch

Hugs & Kisses quilt blocks
I'm not spending all of my time playing with little scraps - this is what the home stretch looks like for Hugs & Kisses. I had about 30 blocks to assemble but wasn't sure that I'd have enough variety in the corner blocks (or enough of them, for that matter) so I paired them all up just to make sure.

They are all together now and just need to be pressed and trimmed and then I can start laying it out.

After fretting that I wouldn't have enough fabric to make a decent sized quilt I ended up with 120 blocks, which will give me a top that's roughly 4.5' x 5.5'. There is a bit of pink left over so it will either be binding or a border - we'll see what it looks like when it's all together.

Just love this fabric but I think that it is long out of stock; it's by Moda. Isn't Posh a great name?....M

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Tiny Little Dresden

My obsession with tiny pieces of fabric has spilled over into the cuttings from Hugs & Kisses - a teenie, tiny, adorable little Dresden Plate.

There wasn't much left from my cuttings but all you need for each petal are scraps 1" x 1.5" so I had enough to make at least one, especially with the addition of a few new fabrics. I think there will be enough for a few more.

I have no idea what it will be used for but just couldn't resist the temptation to try one. I thought maybe as the blossom to go atop my baskets but it's too big for the block.

There are 19 petals and the plate itself ends up just about 4.5" wide. Sooooo adorable. There's a downloadable tutorial on the Crafty Fox blog if you are feeling anal...

So many different looks from the same fabric. I'm thinking that there might be a bit of a sampler quilt that comes from all of these little experiments that I've been undertaking. Whatever it will be it's fun!....M

Friday, May 02, 2014

Vintage Wedding Ring

Betty has been busy quilting yet another quilt this winter & spring and, incredibly, has it almost finished. She just seems to be flying through them, especially when you compare it to the speed that I go. This one is the beautiful vintage Double Wedding Ring that Jane gave her last winter. It is going to be a beautiful garage sale find.

She's using rich colours of perle cotton to outline the rings - fuscia, gold, blue, purple, orange and green.

And then white thread for the pattern between the rings that gives the whole thing a very lacy effect...

as well as in the circular motif in the border.

The fabrics look much like Liberty prints, but I don't think that they are. Regardless, they are beautiful and so is the quilt. She is such a speedy little thing that I think the only thing that will slow her down is if we get some warmer weather and she can start moving her energy out to the flower and veggie gardens. I suspect that this will be off the frames before that happens....M