Tuesday, May 15, 2018


The weather seems to have settled into spring. We haven't seen a snowflake in a couple of weeks, so maybe it is here to stay.

Spring means that I spent a day, clearing out my sunroom. We were literally shoveling 6 months of dirt and leaves that the dogs had carried in. We can use it again to enjoy the breeze without the bugs. Of course, on Saturday, one of the dogs decided to let himself out by going through the screen. Add the screen to the To Do list.

I finished my Roxy Clutch Wallet.

I love the look and feel of the cork. I considered ordering a frame in gold, but in the end decided to use the one I had, in gun metal. I think it worked well. It isn't as shiny as the gold so it doesn't take away from the sparkle of the cork.

I got all the tiny screws in, and I am looking forward to using it this summer.  My phone even fits.

My quilt group was looking for donations of six inch blocks in Civil War type fabrics. The best I could come up with was some off white and red. It looked okay with the other blocks.

Of course, it is a cat block. It was a free pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

Last week, I started sorting my fabric, in an effort to be able to find things more quickly. It is slow going, as I measure each piece and attach a label. However, I am sure it will make deciding what fabric works for a pattern, much faster. Now, if I can just keep at it.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Spring Retreat III - My Projects

I started my retreat weekend with what I thought would be a quick and simple project. I had a kit for a little block for Quilts of Valour. I opened it, and was surprised that I seemed to have an extra piece of fabric. I started cutting and discovered that I didn't have enough fabric to make the block. I am not sure what happened, but lacking any other fabric to supplement that kit, I just tucked it back into my bag.

So, instead, I made this top.

I did it following the technique for the Jelly Roll Race quilt, but used strips 4.5" by 22". It needs a border. I don't think I have anything that will work in my stash, so I might have to go shopping.

Saturday morning, I started on my major project for the weekend. I made a Roxy clutch.  I had the frame for awhile, and decided the time was now. I found the perfect piece of cork fabric, for the outside, while shopping for something else, of course.

Bright, cheerful, and very much my style.

I still need to attach the frame, but I got most of the work done.

I had the batik in my stash, and it looked like the perfect lining for the cork.

At the last retreat I made this case for my tablet, using some wonderful Tula Pink fabric. It was an envelope style clutch.

After my terrible tablet accident,  my tablet, with it's heavy duty cover, no longer fit into the case. I couldn't bear to waste that lovely fabric, so I had to do some alterations.

I removed the binding, added a pocket for the tablet, and replaced the binding with a longer one. After repositioning  the velcro, I have a new cozy for my tablet.

Finally, I made another Bendy bag.

It didn't come home with me, because its new owner became clear, while at retreat. I gave it to a friend who needed something to keep her cords and chargers in. The fabric is left over from my brief Oriental period.

Just before I left, I finished a pair of socks that I think had been on the needles for nearly a year. I know I took them to Victoria with me, last June.

Not sure if anyone needs wool socks now, but I sent them to their intended owner.

Spring seems to finally arrived. I found these little micro daffodils in my yard. I added the tennis ball to give you an idea of scale. They are just so tiny and so cheery.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Spring Retreat II

Just in case you fear I am still under ice, I have a flower picture.

This is Hepatica, growing next to my front door.

Back to retreat.

Doreen was making a  landscape quilt called "Hidden Path". Sadly, I missed the pieced border.

Joanne was making a thread catcher.

Maureen was making a flannel quilt in plaids. It was lovely and soft.

Helen was making these lovely little bags with hand applique embellishment.

This is the centre of Judy's 1930"s style quilt.

Kathryn was paper piecing and getting a head start on her Christmas gifts.

Judy kindly sent me a picture of her completed top, that I missed catching a picture.

This is another of Judy's tops that I missed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Retreat I

My retreat posts seem to be very popular, so I will repeat these. I am breaking them into 3 posts because I have so many pictures.

I started preparing for retreat days ahead. Leaving things until the last minute doesn't work well for me, and I end up at retreat missing some necessary component or tool.

Bobbins need to be wound, and one must remember to check the bobbin every hour or so, while at retreat. We have all done considerable sewing with no thread in the bobbin and had to repeat the whole thing. Having your bobbins wound ahead makes things go much more smoothly.

As much as possible, I try to cut, fuse and label my projects, kitting them with a picture of the pattern and all the other notions I need to make it. I'll show you later how successful this was.

I arrived Friday, and Saturday morning the weather looked ominous. This was the view from the window of my first room. ( I ended up changing rooms for the second night and the view was the roof of the next building.) However, rainy weather is always good sewing weather. We don't need to step outside at all, since the residence area, dining area and meeting room are all connected.

Maura finished this Alex Anderson inspired top.

Anita was putting together the rows for her quilt.

She had already made these stars.

Lynn was working on a bright version of a BQ quilt. This is BQ 4 , I believe.

Diane was working on a wall hanging based on the book "Points of View".

Margaret as starting a star quilt, but still had a bunch of stars to make.

Kelda finished this top. Didn't catch the name of the pattern.

I have lots more pictures. Check back tomorrow for more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BSJ Completed

Spring is still hiding from us. In the past week, we have had snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, and then back to snow. My view of spring has been limited to my kitchen counter.

The picture was taken just before the snow started, yesterday, so it is kind of dark.

So, I put a push on and finished my Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ). The BSJ has been knit nearly 30,000 times by the people who actually report it on Ravelry. The pattern was created in the sixties by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and holds the fascination of knitters, still today.

You knit a wildly lumpy block of garter stitch.

Then, you look carefully at the picture in the pattern, fold your piece, and you end up with this.

You must knit your first one, completely on blind faith, following the pattern exactly, and trust that all those other knitters can't be wrong. I have knit 5 of these so far. It still amazes me.

You need to seam the shoulders to complete it.

This time, I crocheted my shoulder seams, and I think it makes a nice match to the i-cord bind-off.

 Mitred corners!

This one is a bit large for Bear. I should make him his own, in fingering weight. This one is in DK, SMC Bravo Color, which I found in my stash. It still needs a button and a loop.

Bear thought this was a good choice. It was handmade by Cheryl of Grandma Coco's Designs.

Meanwhile, I have started making kits to go to my retreat weekend. I have learned that one should start two weeks ahead, in case something needed is missing, and must be ordered. I need some interfacing, and with luck it will arrive, today.

First two kits. They contain the fabric, hardware, zippers, a picture of the pattern, and the cutting list. The goal is to have everything cut and the stabilizers fused, before I leave, a week from Friday.

This one is still in the maybe pile. I am not sure I like my fabric choices, yet.

The zipper and the fabric are actually purple, but the dull day was working against me. I want to make a tote bag, but I think the panel is too white to use as an outer fabric. I love the polka dots, with the Kona panel, so they may have to become something else.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pat Sloan Interviews Karen Neary

On Monday, Pat Sloan had Canadian quilt designer Karen Neary on her show.  You can listen here.

I have been a blog fan of Karen for quite awhile. She has inspired me to work outside my comfort zone. I have made 3 of her patterns.

In 2013, I made her Maritime Beauty pattern.

I did a test block first, and turned it into a mug mat.

I made the full pattern, but it took me quite awhile to actually get it quilted.

Just for fun, I also reduced the block and made it into a post card.

I actually cheated on that one and used fusible applique. The other two are paper pieced.

Next up, I made Polly's Posies.

I actually got that one finished in about 6 weeks. Miracles do happen.

Finally, I bought Karen's book quilting Beauties Come in All Shapes and Sizes.

I made "Thistles in the Heather" from the book.

Sadly, it has not yet been quilted. Obviously, I need a better list of my UFOs.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter 2018

In case you were wondering, the forsythia did flower for Easter.

Free flowers, with just a bit of patience and faith that it will work yet again.

You can see the Easter table cloth under them. For reasons that I do not understand, the table cloth is a totally different shape than the table, and every year, I fight to get it onto the table. I use it for Easter dinner, then put it away clean for next year, when I will fight with it again. The cloth is oval. The table is oval, and the silly thing doesn't fit. But it is really cute with bunnies, and flowers all over it. So, I keep it, and complain that it doesn't fit.

The church ladies were asked to make a quilt in record time. I was sick, so I could only cheer from afar. However, I was asked to make a bag for the quilt. I was asked for pink florals, and thought, my stash? I am not a pink floral kind of person. Surprise, I found exactly the right fabric, in my stash.

My usual flat bottom tote, stabilized with quilt batting, in an oriental print. I guess at some point I planned an oriental quilt, but I never found all the fabric I might have wanted. The handles are a fat eighth of a tulip print.

More pink florals, who knew I had this much in my stash.

Of course, the zipper pocket needed a surprise. This are the last of my "dogs doing yoga" fabric.

And a button, to tell the recipient that there was love and prayers involved.