Sunday, October 15, 2017

Quilting and Binding

Pardon the pun, but this week I've been a quilting machine.

I've now got six hexie table toppers finished so it was time to figure out how to quilt them. I toyed with doing a basic grid pattern but thought better of that and developed a pattern that worked with the seam lines that echo the hexagon at the centre. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the result.

I really like how the orange/gold ones turned out - they are quilted with soft gold thread and it just seems to warm them up even more. And the large pumpkins on the back are just perfect.

I know that the Official Cookie Tester had his heart set on owning one of the ones with a gingham round, but I think I might try and convince him that what he really wants is one of these.

All six hexies are quilted and I also quilted three of the wonky star toppers so binding has been at the top of the TO DO list. Four of the hexies are now finished (yay!); this is what the pile of stitching that was waiting for me looked like when I started the day.

The Official Cookie Tester kept me entertained flicking channels to different football games, so I finished up a couple more and I am looking forward to completing the rest of them this week....M

Friday, October 13, 2017

Branching Out

Here's my latest hexie table topper - they are proving to be a little addictive!

It's a pretty palette and I wish that I had more of that floral fabric but the last scrap that have isn't large enough to fussy cut. Oh well, I think I have other fabrics that I can play with ­čśĆ.

The binding is going to be the same colour as the outer border and I totally squeaked it out of the piece of fabric that I had - there was just a tiny sliver left. I also cut it 1.75" wide on the grain instead of 2" on the bias to make it work, so I'll need to be careful when I sew it onto the topper.

This is the ruler that I used for the centre hexie; there are five different sizes. The idea is that you cut a strip the height that you want and then slide the ruler along, cutting the sides as you go. For this project I just cut all the way around once I had decided on my placement.

Someone left me a question as to whether or not it was worth investing in the ruler but were a no-reply blogger so I thought I'd answer here. I'm not into a lot of specialty rulers but I seem to be into hexies in a big way these days so when I saw this one was on sale, I bit the bullet. I usually draft my own pattern but even if they are out a tiny bit it can be frustrating so this should help. And, as luck would have it, shortly after it arrived I came across the idea of these table toppers, so I'm happy to have a good excuse the use it....M

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

By The Book

The area around my laptop is constantly surrounded by small sticky notes and scraps of paper filled with ideas for quilting projects and tips that I find on blogs or Pinterest. While it started as a good reference, more and more things are getting lost in the shuffle.

There were notes of every shape and size - whatever was handy to scribble on when I came across an idea.

Some of them are sticky notes, a couple of which even found their way onto the back splash in the kitchen. Time to get more organized. A quilting journal to the rescue!

I made this journal cover a couple of years ago but felt that it fit just a tad too snug so I didn't feel comfortable putting it on the table at the Holly Bazaar to sell. It has been languishing in a closet all this time so I decided that I could put it to good use.

I've started collecting all of those odds and sods and transferring them into the book. It just made too much sense.

It's not rocket science but already I'm finding it a big help to have a single resource - it cuts down on digging around for a particular and tiny slip of paper.

It's also nice to be able to enjoy a journal cover that I made as I've given all the others that I've made away. Love the texture of these covers after they are quilted...M

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Giving Thanks

This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and yesterday we enjoyed our turkey dinner with family and friends. It was a smaller group than usual, and this year I hosted the dinner, so lots of change from the tradition of recent years, but still so many reminders of just how much we have to be thankful for.

So, with no turkey dinner on the sched for today I spent a little time at the machine doing what I lovingly refer to as 'sewing for Anglicans', a.k.a. the Holly Bazaar. I had cut a hexie table topper earlier this week and so I put it together. It is a decidedly autumn palette because I want to have more than Christmas themed items for the table.

I liked it so much that I made a second, the only difference being the fussy cut for the centre of the hexie.

I had seen a few ideas online and had recently picked up a hexie ruler so I used the ruler to cut the centre hexies and then varying widths of fabrics ranging from 1.5" to 2.25" with the end result being just over 17" across.

Then, since I was on a roll, I made another. The Official Cookie Tester was quite taken with this one and I think he will be buying it before it hits the bazaar table so I should probably make a second just so the gals actually have something on the table to sell. Seems to happen a lot lately.

I still haven't figured out how to quilt them but for now I have bigger fish to fry. I'm off to wrestle with the Official Cookie Tester for the last piece of pumpkin pie!...M

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


It feels like the Cone of Silence has descended on my blog of late, but there's a really good reason for that. Julia, who I lovingly refer to as my 'favourite niece' (she's also my only niece...) was married over the weekend so there's been lots of prep and company and fun over the last little while, none of which included my sewing machine. There were also several moments of pure bliss. One was when the happy couple rode off from the ceremony in this gorgeous old red truck that the groom, Ryan, spent the last year totally rebuilding. It is magnificent!

Another was when they opened their gift from Julia's parents. Betty finished the gorgeous star quilt that she's been working on for a little longer than Ryan has been working on the truck and it was a huge hit with the newlyweds. It is a work of art. I wasn't smart enough to get more photos of it but will try and do that so that I can share it with you.

So now that the dust is settling I continually find myself smiling at the how special it all was, but it's time to return to reality and refocus on getting things ready for the Holly Bazaar, which is just a month away (eek!). This is the view from my sewing machine table - a star topper that's been laid out for a couple of weeks now and ready to be sewn. Pitter patter.....M

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival: Nantucket

Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival sort of snuck up on me this time around and I almost decided not to participate, but then I noticed that I had a few hours left so I'm adding Nantucket to the other many great entries.

This one was a very spur of the moment project that I started in September of 2015 and it was finished and on the bed for us to enjoy by Christmas, joining my small pile of Christmas quilts. If you follow my blog at all, you will know just what a small miracle that timeline is for a quilt of mine. They tend to simmer quite a while as I flit from one project to another and eventually (often a few years later) a quilt is born.

Long before I knew the name of this quilt I had printed a tiny black and white version of it which had been kicking around my sewing room for a few years. Suddenly, it seemed, it was time to make it. I couldn't resist all of those little red and cream nine patches any longer.

I like my quilts large so there were more rounds of nine patches added than the pattern called for and I still think I could have added another round and not have had it too large.

It's backed with a whimsical red and cream toile,

and Roberta at Cocoa and Quilts worked her magic on it, quilting it with this fabulous feathered swirl that has become an all-time favourite pattern.

It spends much of its time on the guest bed so that we can enjoy it whether it's Christmas or not. Be certain to check out all of the other Festival entries - there's always so much to enjoy....M

Friday, September 22, 2017

Growing Up

I've got a real beauty to share with you today. Linda has been working on this amazing quilt for a few years now and it has just crossed the finish line, ready to be enjoyed. Isn't it spectacular???

It's a wedding gift for one of her daughters and very appropriately called Growing Up; it was designed by Wendy Williams. Ironically, the pattern is in the same issue of Quiltmania as the Anna Levens quilt that I'm working on.

This organic riot of colour and energy is rich in both colour and detail, and it's all hand sewn. I never would have thought of using grey as a background, but it works beautifully - those colours pop.

And that narrow, striped sashing and binding is just so perfect for it. She added a four patch border to the sides and a double four patch border to the top and bottom to get it to the size that she wanted. That meant elongating the appliqu├ę panels as well.

The photos are a bit dark but she has used the most amazing collection of fabrics. I thought I had a close-up of them that I had taken a while back so that I could show them to you but I cannot put my finger on them. Trust me, they are beautiful.

She had Roberta at Cocoa and Quilts quilt it for her and, as usual, it was beautifully done.

Here's the lovely and talented Linda with her masterpiece. Looks happy, doesn't she? ...M

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Blue Period

It's been more than a little busy here lately with one thing or another, but I'm determined to fit some some time in to work on table toppers for the Holly Bazaar.

I had prepped a pile of toppers to quilt for whenever the mood struck me, including the Old Italian block runners, and happily that happened this week.

I liked the size of the blue and white one (4 blocks x 4 blocks) ...

but when I looked at the scrappy runner it just looked waaaay too large for a runner.

So I ripped a couple of seams out and made two smaller 3 x 3 toppers that I'm much happier with (plus I now have three instead of two!). There's three blocks left over so I may work those into another topper, but I wanted to see some progress so I just set them aside for now.

All three are quilted and a pile of blue binding has been made so all are now ready to stitch down the binding on - I've got the first one half finished. That will be my hand stitching today.

I wanted these three ready for next weekend as we are baking pies at the church and one of the gals is interested in buying one, maybe two, for a friend that she will be visiting out in the Maritimes in early October, so they will be 'advance orders' that I will take to her. I'm happy to do that for her but it means that I will still need to make several more for the bazaar table, so I need to keep the pace up ­čśŐ....M

Friday, September 15, 2017

Like Minds

The very same day that I started working on my Holly Bazaar star table toppers I got a call from Anne for a quick tutorial as to how to assemble them - she wanted to work on a few too. You will recall that she and I got together several months ago for a sewing session and she still had pieces cut but needed a little refresher in how everything went together.

She also had several Disappearing Four Patch blocks that were ready to work on, so they went together as well and will become another runner.

Not a bad result for a few hours work, I'd say. She's making them for the Madonna House gift shop and they will soon be looking for Christmas items. If I can swing it I will help add to her stack of toppers.

She also found the time to whip up this little treat and drop a few pieces off. Peach Almond Upside Down Cake. Can you say delicious??? The Official Cookie Tester's eyes popped wider not once, but twice - first when he discovered there was cake in the house, and second when he found out there was Amaretto in it. Still warm, and sooooo good....M

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Betty has started hand stitching another beautiful quilt. The simplicity of the colour palette and the block are combining to create a spectacular result.

It's a simple little block and she's relying on the texture of embroidered vintage white linens to make it sing. It's working!

There's a sprinkling of colour in each of the block that keeps your eye moving and looking for more.

The blocks will finish at about 3" and she'll lay them out in a woven pattern, creating just a little more texture as she goes.

It. Is. Stunning!

The heavy embroidery on some of the pieces combined with lace are spectacular. She is toying with tea dying it when it is all together to give it a more golden/honey tone but has some time to decide on that. In the meantime, she's having fun painting with whites....M