Saturday, March 6, 2021

Project Quilt Season 12 Challenge 5

 I discovered Project Quilt last year. The idea is that a challenge is posted on a Sunday and you must have a completed quilt on the theme by the following Sunday. The rules are pretty loose as to what constitutes a "quilt". The rules for this weeks challenge are here:

This week, with the theme of Crazy Patch, I decided to enter.

Tada! I have a completed "quilt". It is 10ish inches by 7ish inches and I call it "Canajan, Eh". The fabric is left over from a quilt I made for Canada 150, and from the apron I made for my son. The binding is left over from something else. It will look lovely under my mug in my sewing room.

I have done machine crazy patch before. This is my camera case.

So, this should have been easy. However, I forgot how I had done it before. So this was my first attempt.

It has two problems. I didn't have enough coordinating scraps for the red, black, and red fabric. and I forgot that you need to trim after each seam.

Yesterday morning, I tossed the whole thing and started over, with a bag of much more coordinated scraps.

Within an hour, I had this. 

I made a practice sandwich to test out the embroidery stitches. From there is was a quick job to finish the piece. I stitched the back side of the binding, this morning, and it is complete. 

And this, of course, is the back. I covered all my stitches with a piece of silly fabric. Looks much tidier.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

I May Have A Problem

 About 15 years ago, we started to foster cats. To date, we have fostered 187 cats in need of a quiet place to stay and get ready to find a forever home. Shortly after that, I started getting gifts of cat fabric. I may have also added a few pieces myself. 

I decided to take inventory today.

I found 17 cat fabric in pieces 1/2 metre or more.

Then, I found another piece.

That doesn't count the scraps and fat quarters. There is lots of variety, too.  I may have a problem. Or maybe, I just have a carefully curated collection of feline fabric art.

I did use some this week.

The Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project is having another fundraiser soon. so I made a set of small pouches. Then, I started looking for something to use for another bag, and was surprised at how much fabric I had. I do have to match the size of the print to the bag. Many of those prints are quite large. You will have to check my next blog to see what I chose.

Meanwhile, the dining room conservatory continues to delight. Today, we saw the first of the amaryllis blooms.

 Two stalks have started to open.

There are three more still to come. As you can see the azalea is still blooming. The hibiscus puts on two or three flowers every week. And, I got a surprise in my groceries, this week.

There were purple carnations at the checkout and the household shopper knew I would delight in them. After nearly a year, stuck at home, little surprises can really cheer one up. 

This week, we also welcomed a new foster cat.

This is Maggie and she is staying with us while she recovers from surgery. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Waste Not!

 My son makes his own craft beer, in his kitchen. Among the byproducts of brewing are "spent grains". These are the grains used in brewing, boiled to get all the sugars out of them, and then strained out and discarded. They are low in carbohydrates and still have a lot of nutrients, so lately, people have been looking for ways to use them, besides throwning them into the "Green Bin" (municipal composting). 

After my son gave me some from his latest batch, I made dog cookies.

In addition to 4 cups of grains, I added some flour, peanut butter, and an egg. Then I mixed them with my hands, and rolled them out.

After 3 hours in the oven, they look very sturdy.  However, the dogs give them 2 paws up.

Spencer Ogg Designs posted a video tutorial for a new pouch. She calls it the Bummity Bum Bag, but I thought that with a bit of work, it would make a nice pouch for carrying masks to school. 

I had the bright idea to make them from denim, and that turned out to be a bit of a problem, but in the end, my lovely vintage Singer was up to the task. Turning them right side out was a challenge. 

They hold three masks, nicely.

Yes, I made more masks.

The "waste not" part of this: all of the fabric was from my scraps. The zippers, stabilizers. hardware and appliques were in my stash. The only materials specific to this are the filter fabric and elastic for the masks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

It's an Ordinary Day

 I have been busy, sewing, and knitting, though I only have one finish to show you.

Of course, it is more masks. A funny thing happened last week. I had ordered from a local quilt shop, and since they offered it, I got next day local delivery. After 5 days of waiting for my next day delivery, I contacted the store, and discovered that they had accidently dropped my parcel on the neighbour's porch. She offered to go get it and deliver it to my house, but I thought I could walk the 100ft. or so. I did think it odd the the neighbour didn't send it over, or send me a message. It turned out that the parcel was in a plastic bag, with no identification on it at all.  When I sent the neighbour a text, she was happy that I was coming to get it. Since she had taken such good care of the parcel, that contained polypropylene to interline masks, I offered to make her daughters some masks for school. So, these are the ones I have finished so far. I have lots of scraps of fun fabrics, so I will make a few more, in some other patterns.

The dining room conservatory continues to brighten my days.

 We see one or two of these, every week.

The azalea is a riot of colour.

Meanwhile, the amaryllis shows promise of  future blooms with three flower stalks coming, so far.

The other day, I came across an uplifting video of Canadian doctors singing a song from the Newfoundland group, Great Big Sea. They look like they are having a wonderful time. It's a virtual kitchen party!

It's An Ordinary Day by The Canadian Physicians' Virtual Choir

Friday, January 29, 2021

Winter Blahs

 Being in Lockdown, in the dead of winter, is particularly dull. The days are often grey, it is too cold to sit outside. On Wednesday, it was actually warm enough to stand on the patio, for a few minutes, and enjoy some sunshine, but it was short lived. Today, it is -16C and is not expected to get any warmer. 

Surprisingly, I have started reading again. In November and December, I had no interest in books, but I have been reading a lot lately. Most of them are mysteries or romances, nothing really heavy. I did read the Giller Prize winner for 2020, "How to Pronounce Knife". It was interesting, stories told from the prospective of new immigrants. 

I have also been knitting. I started a shawl, in early January, and I have been working away at it. I am now in the last section.

The yarn was a set of  2 skeins, from Zen Yarn Garden, that I received as a gift. I have just changed skeins, for the last section, and the new skein has some pink, and purple, as well as some creamy sections and more of the teal. Maybe I'll add some beads. The yarn has lovely stitch definition and a bit of sparkle.

The only sewing I have done is to finish a hand sanitizer pouch, that I had an order for. It looked like a bunch of others, so I couldn't see the point of taking a picture. I've lost track of how many I've done, but I must be close to 25, now. 

I have lots of ideas of what I might like to do, but I haven't settled on one. My sewing space is chilly, today, so I think knitting will be the way to go, this afternoon.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Done is Better Than Perfect

 I have finished my mystery quilt (well, the binding needs a bit more sewing.) There are a couple of things I'm not completely happy with, but it is finished, quilted, trimmed and the binding is sewn to the front. 

We had snow yesterday. Not unusual except that we have not had significant snow since November. I got up, yesterday and saw this.

They look like magical halos on the fence. They are actually the tomato cages we hang from the fence to keep the dogs from tramping on them in the snow.

In the dining room, we have a touch of spring.

It has lots more flower buds, so we should have flowers for quite awhile, yet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


I again did the Project Quilt Mystery Quilt along at Persimon Dreams . 

I took longer than the time she suggested, but not as long as last year. This year I finished in the first week of January, instead of the second week of February.

Here is my top.

I am currently auditioning the grey border, and I think the answer is yes. It makes it look like the flower is floating in the grey background. The great thing about scrappy projects like this is I used fabrics with bats, spider webs, butterflies and flowers and it all came together.  Now to get it quilted and bound.

I am also taking part in the Just Get It Done Quilts Declutter Challenge. I missed yesterday (because I was otherwise occupied (grandparenting) so I started this morning. I have one corner of my sewing room that has stubbornly resisted my attempts to get it back. I am determined to succeed this time. I spent 15 minutes sorting stuff into garbage, recycling and what are you doing here. I suspect that I will have it cleared up fairly quickly. 

This sticker came in an online order from last week. It is now on my tablet stand in my sewing room, and I can remind myself to just decide on what to do with my stuff, not regret how the mess got there.

This is the order. I took a risk and ordered a mystery box of zipper tape and pulls from Zipper Valley.

 Look at all the gorgeous colours of tape and coils. There is also a large selection of zipper pulls, including a Baby Yoda pull. They still have some of the bright boxes like this one left. I don't think I will need to buy zippers any time soon. However, I feel as though my next project needs to be a zippered bag.