Thursday, January 31, 2019

Free Scrappy Pattern.

A quilter on a  Facebook group was looking for inspiration and ideas  to use up 2.5 inch squares and one of the suggestion was the quilt shown below.  I hadn't seen this before so thought I would share it with you.  It is called Film at Five and it appears to be quite easy.  I think you could also increase the blocks size a little if you wanted.   Here is a link to one person's tutorial.  There are others on line as well.  I believe it to be copyright free so you can make it without permission.

It is still very cold here but supposed to warm up for the weekend.  I have my large batik quilt on the frame as well as a miniature quilt set up for hand quilting.  The latter is for a customer and I haven't done much hand quilting for a while so have to do a practice bit first.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Snow Aliens

Not quilt related but this is a great idea from C. Murphy for those of us that live in deep freeze areas: For emergency use, I bought my husband a Halo Bolt charger, best toy ever! It's a portable battery charger, you don't need to call anyone, one person operation, starts car immediately.

I finished sorting and storing my fabric today.  I have some that is in a couple of drawers but they are earmarked for projects so will stay there.  I got out one of those projects after the sorting was finished and am now working on it.

In between quilting and housework< I have been busy taking photos of our winter beauty.
 I love the shadow and light in this photo. The little oak tree is still hanging on to a few leaves.
 These snow sculptures are lawn furniture and raised gardens.  They look like an odd meeting of snow aliens.

This is the lastest quilt I made for one of my Toronto customers.  I used red and black check fabric to set off all the white T shirts.
Stay warm and safe.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Customer Quilts Finished.

We continue to experience very cold weather.  Hubby had to give my car a boost this morning so I could get to quilt group.  I might have given it a pass except I had to get my customer quilts to a lady who was going to take them to another lady who was going to take them to Toronto area with her.  Did that make sense?  As soon as I got to the Legion where we meet, I turned off the car and then tried to restart.  Nothing.  Obviously something was loose again.  
I took advantage of all the tables to spread out the quilts and trim all the stray threads so they were ready for delivery.  Just as I was finishing that , my friend called to say she was going to leave for the city early because of the predicted bad weather.  Another lady drove me there, (I am blessed with lots of really good friends)  I handed over the quilts and then we came back to try to start the car.  I finally had to call my husband and, naturally, I had no soon done that than a man came over to offer assistance.  What is it with men and cars? As soon as he put the cables on his vehicle, my car started.  Poor hubby was going to have a useless trip.  My car still didn't restart after we got home so I guess my dear one is going to have to do some investigating to see that is loose.
Tomorrow, I am going to finish organizing my fabric and get ready for another quilt.  There is a glare on one side of the photo, but this is one of the customer quilts.  Thanks to hubby for holding it for me.

QuiltE has some more storage ideas to share:

To add to Denise's filing cabinet idea ... put a top on it as your cutting table. A pair or four would make for even more space! The height won't be right, so you'll have some extra slide-in storage space between the filing cabinet(s) top and the table top. Great place to slide in our big quilting rulers. Or batting. Or plastic storage boxes for WIP projects!

If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReUse store nearby, check it for your filing cabinets or other storage possibilities. Years ago, I was in one that had dressers with good slides from a high-end hotel that was doing a total re-do. They would have been perfect for fabric storage. Thought of it at the time, but convinced myself against it. Yes ... I have often wished I had snagged a whole bunch of them and got rid of my eclectic storage mix.

Green Tape ... I use scads of it in the quilting room! Mark the ends of my fabric totes, with the colour to be found inside. Non-storage but quilting uses ... tape the edge of backings to table as I make sandwiches, wrap around leftover binding with the measurement noted, any extra notes I want on my machine about settings or WHY, and more!

And last but by no means least, I have to share this method of clearing the snow from a satellite dish.

. You are lucky you can reach your satellite dish...I have to use a super-soaker water gun or throw pots filled with hot water up at it (and be very careful not to get soaked in the process!).


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Readers Tips

My readers always have great ideas.  Here are a couple more organizing suggestions.  Thank you Denise and QuiltE

I have thought about purchasing a horizontal file cabinet, the one's with 2 long drawers. Then folding and hanging my fabric from the hanging files. 

Green painter's tape works great to hold the fabric in place when folding onto boards. I mostly shop from my stash, so the tape also is used to note the yardage for all pieces over one metre. I know straight away whether it is a realistic option ... or not! :)

Do you have a storage tip or idea that you use?  Let me know so I can share with others.

I think you will all agree with me that technology is wonderful except when it doesn't work.  It is especially irritating when there isn't a logic reason-virus-for the failure.  I recently noticed that I wasn't getting any email on one of my accounts.  As this is the one used for submissions for the local events column I write, I thought that perhaps things were still slow after Christmas.  Then I got a phone call from a regular contributor wondering why her item wasn't in the paper.
I spent some time trying to solve the problem but now am waiting to be contacted by Google.  I hope they get to me quickly as this is a frustration for others-as well as me.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

More Organizing

I have got a lot more fabrics organized but, every time I think I am done, I find more.  However, I am keeping at it.  I have almost finished the last top on my agenda so then I can put away the left overs from it.  I have been looking at a storage unit available at Walmart.  It is wire cubes that can be put together in whatever format works.  I already have a half set that I got at a thrift store and I really like it.  The price is reasonable so I will pick one up when I do my next shopping.
I put up the ironing board to dewrinkle fabric that was using for backing.  

 I didn't put it away again immediately and this is the result.  There are two tops in there that are going to be quilted right away so this mess will be rectified.  Honest.
 This is the method I have been using to store the fabric.  Fold fabric to appropriate size, lay on table and place cardboard on top.
Wrap fabric around the board until you reach the end, fasten with a pin or slip an appropriate sized circle of elastic around it.

We had quite a bit of snow today.  I had to go out around 4 p.m. to sweep the accumulation from my internet satellite.  I am glad I have knee high boots.  I still got some snow on my pants but not much.  I trimmed the hair on wee Heidi's feet this evening as they were getting snow matted.  Hopefully, this will alleviate the need for foot baths  to get rid of the snow balls.
Off to a friends for quilting tomorrow.  I am taking something that I started a few months ago.  I don't want to begin a new project until I have finished some of the old.  I know I say that every year but even a couple done is a couple done.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hardy Quilters

Quilters are a hardy group.  It was minus 30 c. without the wind chill here this morning. School buses weren't running and the frail were told to stay indoors.  Communities opened up warming centres in public places for those who were homeless or otherwise without a means of keeping sufficiently warm.
On a day like this, you would think anyone who didn't have to be out would  stay snuggled into their homes.  A lot were but not the Burk's Falls Village Quilters.  With the exception of a couple who had other appointments, everyone was there.  And, as always, it was a fun day.  We hadn't been able to celebrate the birthday of one member as she had been away for a few weeks because of family issues so we did that today.  We sang Happy Unbirthday to her and had some lovely squares (non caloric like all quilt group food-hah) and a lot of laughs.
In the midst of that and the various conversations, we did quilt.  I cut out some panel squares and the fabric I was using with it and sewed some it together.  After I had one row done, everyone decided to let me know they didn't like my fabric choice.  Well, duh, couldn't you tell me before I started sewing?  I agreed with them actually and, after I got home, found some that looked a lot better.
I finished quilting a top and am adding the binding and then have one more customer quilt to finish-not counting two that haven't been started but aren't needed right away.
Now it is time to watch some television before going to bed.  Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer.
From Facebook:  We are in the midst of a polar vortex.  All those in the south of the province stay in doors.  People living in the north, wear your heavier coat.  (I wore thicker mitts and earmuffs)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Winner! times Two

We have a winner.  Two of them, in fact.  I had so many entries and really wanted to give everyone something so decided to do what I could and have a second draw.
First prize goes to: Dena@livingwaterquilts
Second prize was won by Lisa in Port Hope.
Ladies, send me an email message with your information and I will get your prizes mailed out to you.

Pattern-Next step.  If you are making a queen sized quilt as I did, you will need 60 squares of background and other fabric.  Each square is 6.5".  Draw a line diagonally across each of the background squares and then place it, right sides together, on the contrasting square.  Sew a scant 1/4" on either side of the line.  Cut on the line, press and square to 5.5.  Continue until you have 60 squares.

If you are following along and are interested in receiving the rest of the instructions, send me an your email and the information will be sent to you.
My email

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Free Pattern, Step One.

First step in the instruction for making my batik quilt that I shared last Wednesday.
With the exception of the background fabric, all pieces are cut from 1/2 yard precuts
Cut 8 different 1/2 yard lengths into 5.5 inch squares.  Put each of the squares into a pile with those cut from the same fabric.
Background fabric: 1 yard.
Cut 4 1/2 lengths into 6.5" squares for HST
Step two on Thurs.

I finished the quilt that was on my frame and have another ready to load.  I may make my goal of getting the 3 finished this week.

I hope you have been checking out the other blog hops and entering their draw contests.  They will continue until the end of the month so you have lots of chances to win something.  I will be announcing the winner of my draw at the end of this week.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Free Pattern.

My studio is organized and cleaned.  There is still some fabric to be rolled onto cardboard but everything else is finished.  I am even getting a quilt loaded onto my frame.  I am looking forward to seeing how the new rods work on the carriage.  The test drive was really smooth so hoping I can start doing some more intricate free motion.
Now for some news:  Starting next week, I am going to be giving you the steps needed to make the quilt I did for my Blog Hop post.  I will give you the fabric amounts needed at the beginning of the week and then will add cutting instructions etc.  I hope you will enjoy the pattern.  It isn't difficult but fabric choice will determine how it looks when it is finished.  I suggest that, over the weekend, you start pulling out some half metre/yard pieces of fabric that blend well together with  only one or two that provide contras.  Here is a repeat of the close up  I posted on Wednesday to give you some ideas. Take another look at the whole quilt to see how the various colours work with each other.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Snapping Cold

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my quilt top made with Island Batik's Elk Lodge fabric.  I am really looking forward to getting it quilted but it will have to wait for a bit until I get my customer's orders finished.
I am still working on my studio.  I moved one of the units that holds scraps today and put my thread in the top drawer while purging some of the fabric.  The unit that held the thread will now be for fleece and flannel.  Still lots to do but I am making progress.  I also did a bit of work on my web page.  If you would like to check it out, the link is:
It was really snapping today with the wind chill but I went for a bit of a walk in the afternoon.  I should have put booties on Heidi as we didn't get too far before she let me know her feet where cold.  I did put on one of her coats and should have taken time for the boots as well.  However, I am not sure I would have stayed out much longer anyway.
I hope you are taking time to read the blogs of the other Island Batik Ambassador's.  They are also offering some great prizes. There isn't any rule that says you cannot put your name in for everyone.  I would love to see all of you win something. (Just got back to yesterdays post and click {or copy and paste} the appropriate link.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Getaway Blog Hop

Today is the big day-my turn to write my blog hop post.Island Batik Getaway blog hop
  I had such a great time working with these wonderful Island Batik fabrics.  When I opened the package and saw the beautiful colours and patterns, I knew I wanted to do something special.  Most of our IB challenges  result in wall hangings or something even smaller but that wasn't going to do this time.  I decided on a queen sized quilt.  I was given so much fabric that I didn't worry about not having enough.  I did use one of the blenders for the  background but everything else is from the Elk Lodge line.
I wanted to use a block with a plain centre to show off the focus fabric so I chose to combine Shoofly and Grecian Square  I like the way the fabrics blend into each other and yet still hold their own.
I have been waiting for the batting and a replacement part for my long arm so wasn't able to get the top quilted.  Both arrived today so I am looking forward to getting it on the frame.  I will post more photos when it is finished.  I will be using Hobbs batting as usual (it is the only brand I use as I know I can depend on its quality) and Aurifil thread.
It was hard getting a good photo as the top was much larger than my design wall and there is too much snow to put it on the clothes line which is my normal place for the larger ones.  I have, therefore, taken a few so you can see how well the fabrics play together.

Don't forget to enter your name in the comments to be eligible for the draw.  You will win a selection of the fabrics I used in this quilt.  A reminder:  you must be a follower of this blog so sign up now.  Just click the link on the right side of this post,

Getaway Blog Hop Schedule


Monday, January 7 – Crystal Ball

Maryellen McAuliffe –Mary Mack’s Blog
Sandra Walker- mmm! quilts

Tuesday, January 8 – Ditty

Stephanie Jacobson –Steph Jacobson Designs
Michelle Roberts- Creative Blonde

Wednesday, January 9 – Elk Lodge

Connie Kresin Campbell – Free Motion by the River
Anna Branch –Ark Angel Creations

Thursday, January 10 – Feline Fine

Bea Lee –Bea Quilter
Sharon Parcel- Yellow Cat Designs

Friday, January 11 – Flea Market

Geraldine Wilkins – Living Water Quilter
Jessica Caldwell- Desert Bloom Quilting


Monday, January 14 – Fortune Teller

Sarah Goer –Sarah Goer Quilts
Sherry Shish –Powered by Quilting
Jennifer Fulton –The Inquiring Quilter

Tuesday, January 15 – Gypsy Rose

Jen Strauser –Dizzy Quilter
Janet Yamamoto- Whispers of Yore

Wednesday, January 16 – Paisley Park

Dione Gardner-Stephen- Clever Chameleon
Nancy Scott –Masterpiece Quilting

Thursday, January 17 – Soul Song

Carole Lyles Shaw- Carol Lyles Shaw
Toby Lischko –Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Friday, January 18 – Twilight Chic

Jackie OBrien –If These Threads Could Talk
Tina Dillard- Quilting Affection


Monday, January 21 – Winter Park

Jennifer Thomas- Curlicue Creations
Anita Skjellanger- Quilt In a Not Shell

Tuesday, January 22 – Bazaar

Karen Overton- The Quilt Rambler
Alison Vermilya- Little Bunny Quilts
Turid Bakken- Den syende himmel

Wednesday, January 23 – Blossom

Karen Neary –Sew Karen-ly Created
Leanne Parsons –Devoted Quilter

Thursday, January 24 – Boho

Laura Piland- Slice of Pi Quilts
Suzy Webster- Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Myra Barnes- Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, January 25 – Brookview

Vicki Schlimmer –Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Amy Warner –Sew Incredibly Crazy


Monday, January 28 – French Blue

Pamela Boatright –PamelaQuilts
Joyce Mullis –Hearts Creations

Tuesday, January 29 – Midsummer Night

Kathleen McCormick –Kathleen McMusing
Connie Kauffman – Kauffman Designs

Wednesday, January 30 – Oh Deer

Jen Shaffer- Patterns by Jen
Jeanette Jones –Inchworm Fabrics

Thursday, January 31 – Snow Berry

Sally Mannke –Sally Manke Fiber Artist
Joan Kawano –Moosestash Quilting

Friday, February 1 – Candy Cane Lane and Icicle

Terri Vanden Bosch – Meanderings along Lizard Creek
Anne Wiens –Sweetgrass Creative Designs
Candy Cane Lane
Mania Hatziioannidi –Mania For Quilts
Barbara Gaddy –Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Blog Hop Draw Rules

I was able to spend most of today quilting and worked on two customer tops.  Hubby was out shopping and looking for rods that would replace the runners on my long arm.  When he got home, I tried out his purchase and they worked fine.  He will cut them to the proper length tomorrow and then I can get back at quilting my tops.
This is one of my favourite photos of my siblings and I.  Every year, we would get this drift between our house and the one next door.  It was a great place to play.  I am second from the left. There are 8 years between myself and the youngest, my brother in the front.  Poor mother.  Five children in 8 years.
Tomorrow, I will be posting my blog hop post.  You will then be able to enter my draw.  I am changing my settings so that only followers can comment as you must be a follower to enter.  My draw ends on Jan 18th and the winner will receive a selection of fabric that I used in the quilt.  Other Ambassadors are also having prizes as is Island Batik (  Go to their web site for instructions on how to enter.  I will also publish the list of all the other blog posts so you can see their wonderful projects and enter their draw.
Good luck to everyone,

Monday, January 7, 2019

More Batting Hints

I've had a lot of comments in response to my post on uses of left over batting.  I will pass on the ideas from them after I share something else with you.  I recently signed up as a follower of a blog written by a woman I greatly admire.  She is a great designer and her blog is full of useful information, and free patterns.  One of her freebies is a downloadable weekly planner.  I am using mine to make a note of my quilting and writing projects for the week. Give her a look at:
Connie also a fellow Island Batik Ambassador and she will be sharing her blog hop post the day as mine.  If you haven't done so before, take a look on Wed. to see what she makes from her fabrics. 

Additional ideas for left over batting.  The first one is from Maria who shares a link for a free tutorial on joining batting pieces. - For other free tutorials from TQPM, (The Quilt Pattern Magazine) copy and paste this link. -

Farm Quilter also joins pieces and here is her method and comment as well as a suggestion for another use.

I piece my extra batting together with a large zigzag stitch and make new batting for quilts. I like dense quilting and have never been able to tell the difference between a solid piece of batting and pieced batting in a quilt. It also works quilt well instead of a Swiffer know how well everything sticks to batting!!

I am going to make a cover for my Swiffer style mop and see how it works. I like the idea of everything sticking to it as we get a lot of little bits of wood on the floor every time a new load is brought in for the stove. And, wouldn't it be a great solution for picking up pet hair.

You have 2 more day to sign up as follower of this blog and be eligible to enter my blog hop draw.

I finished organizing my quilt fabric and now have to decide what to do with the flannel.  I will fold and store somewhere but have decided where the where will be.

It is a blustery evening so a good place to be is near the wood stove.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Uses for Left Over Batting

I am continuing to plug away at getting my stash organized.  I think I will be finished tomorrow.  I am tossing a lot of bits and pieces and putting others aside to be cut into charms and other sizes.  I have enough 5" squares to do half a dozen full sized quilts and that isn't counting the batiks!
I found a bag of fat quarters that I forgot I had and they will be perfect for  a child's quilt commission.  If you use fabric that you rediscovered, does that mean you can say it was free?!  I also found a charm pack which will be great for finishing another customer quilt.  If I hadn't done the sort out, I would have been buying more fabric.  Too bad my labour isn't a tax deduction as well.
I can't remember if I mentioned that I didn't get chosen to be an Island Batik Ambassador this year or not.  This means that the January blog hop will be my last project.  I will miss being part of the group and, of course, the fabrics but I do have a lot of things to get accomplished.  I can always apply again next year.  I may have the fabrics used up by then.
A lady on one of my on line groups asked about uses for left over batting.  I suggested making mats for animal shelters but, as I was putting away some of my decorations, I was reminded of something else.  I have a number of fragile ornaments and particularly my nativity figures.  I have made small bags from batting to hold each item.  I then put all the pieces from each nativity together in a larger bag and store it with the manger if it has one.
You could also cut the batting into squares and place between your good china plates and bowls so they don't get marked by the dish above it.
Do you have other uses?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Getting Organized and Blog Hop 2019

I was working on a customer quilt today and  looking through my fabric for something to use for another border when I realized I had no idea what was on the shelves.  I have been either making quilts from Island Batik or customer provided material for so long that I had forgotten what I had in stock.  Of course, the fact that everything was just stuffed wherever it fit didn't help.  I had just read an article on line about using specially made boards for organizing fabric so decided to cut some out of a cardboard box and see how it worked.  I kept at it for most of the day and now have all my larger pieces of fabric nicely stored on the shelves.  There is still quite a bit of smaller pieces plus what has been piled in one corner of the room waiting to be used.

 My nicely organized fabric.  Each roll of at least a meter was put onto boards cut to 8 X 10, fabric pieces less than that amount were put on cardboard half that size.
 This is one of the piles that still need doing.  Some pieces may be small enough to just cut into charm squares.  Others will be given away.
The ends of the fabric were pinned to keep them intact but I am planning on making loops from narrow elastic that can be just slid over roll.  I am hoping this is the start of a new permanently organized stash.
I did something different with my nativity sets this year.  This stand held all but two of the scenes.  I like the idea of them all being in one place so think I will do this again next year.
My day for the Island Batik blog hop is coming up soon.  I am going to have a lot of fabric that is left over after making the quilt.  None is less that 2.5" square and most are 5 inches.  To be eligible for the draw, you will need to be a follower of this blog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Goals

I expect, like me, most of you are starting to get back to  your regular activities.  I also expect you have promised yourself that this is the year you are (a) going to get your stash organized and keep it that way (b) finish all your unfinished projects before starting new ones (c) get fit (d) find a workable solution to end world poverty.
The last project is probably no less likely to happen than any of the others but let's not give up hope.  I believe that if my stash stays tidy for more than a few days, I have done well.  I know I won't finish all my projects but I will try and get a few more finished.  Getting fit will also be done in small steps (pardon the pun).  This month I am going to try and lose the couple of pounds I put on through the holidays.  I can't walk far but I can try and get out each day.
Some of the ladies in the Hands to Hearts group are going to start checking on each other and see how we are doing in the fitness goal.  I think it would also be helpful to have on line buddies for the first two goals.
Of course, all of the above would be easier if I limited the time I spend on the computer but I am trying to be realistic so I know that isn't going to happen.
Do you have any hints on how to achieve your goals? (I prefer the word 'goal' to 'resolution'.)
Happy New Year to you all.  My prayer for you is that no matter what you face this year you will know that you are never alone.