Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Enough for Now

So yes, they're very cute, but I think that my Hallowe'en diversion with Jacks and Cats is over for now. It is just over six weeks until the next Bonnie Hunter mystery, and before that

At least I finished up all 55 of the wonky nine patches I planned for Jacks and Cats...

...and that feels like a natural stopping point. They will be trimmed to different sizes depending on where they end up in the quilt. Next time I open the box, I will have to finalize my plan for the applique. Right now that still feels tricky, so it's back to the basement for this project!

Technicolor Turkey is going really well, and I'm feeling good about that. And about 20 months after I bought it, I've finally realized that I don't like the fabric I bought for my Allietare border. New fabric is on the way! So I'm hoping that will be an easy finish now too.

With the year end approaching, my list of 2017 finishes is feeling too short. I'll have to see what I can do about that!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Feels like Fall!

Well, the season has finally turned here in Ontario. Even though the colours have not been the best this year, I still love all the gold undertones in the leaves, contrasted against the grey sky. I've been contemplating this colour scheme for Bonnie Hunter's next mystery, but I'll wait until she reveals her colours before I make up my mind. I still think blue & white is a good idea too...

But anyway, Technicolor Turkey is well in hand, so I felt like I could take a break and pull out my old Hallowe'en UFO, Jacks and Cats. I need 55 wonky nine patches for the alternate blocks and pieced border. I'm making them in pairs:

And I've been rediscovering a lot of interesting fabrics in that box! Love those sunflowers above. These oak leaves on the right are terribly dated, but I do still like them. Back in the spring another quilter expressed surprise that I have fabrics from the 90s in my stash. And I was surprised that she was surprised! But I was thinking today that the 90s were 20 years ago, so maybe I am a little out of touch. :D

All the blocks are still waiting for their final trim, but I made reasonable progress today:

I have no illusions that I'm going to finish this quilt this year, but it will be nice to move it along. I've changed my mind several times about how to handle the applique blocks, and more experimentation is necessary. In the meantime, I can play around a little more with these blocks. I think I will give them a little extra improv treatment.

And once these blocks and the border are done, there really will be no more excuses for avoiding the applique.

Plenty to do!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pink Turkey

The RSC17 colour for October is pink, and my three pink Talkin' Turkey blocks are done.

Many people have said they're considering making these blocks too. I highly recommend them!

The design is by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, and in my first post I shared the two places you can find it. It is fun to make and very forgiving, because you do a final trim of the strings before you put on the last round.

Even though I've now made many blocks in many colours, it still surprises me when I put on the last round and the block transforms from sort of messy to sharp and crisp!

And there are hardly any seams to match, either.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!

I hope this is the only pink turkey anyone will be served.

And check out all the other pink entries in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up, right here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Moth Movement

It's the beginning of the month, and the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies continues! Although I haven't posted about my Moth in the Window project since June, there has been steady behind-the-scenes progress nevertheless.

1. I bought more fabric.

I carelessly checked to see what was new from Art Gallery fabrics, and I could not resist a few of these Sage prints by Bari J.

2. I decided (again) to make it bigger.

Reading back, I see that my original plan was 90 blocks, but I know that after the last post I settled on 56. But, now I have more fabrics to use, so the final plan is 81 blocks and just a simple solid border.

3. I cut all the fabric.

This summer I realized that it is a lot easier on my shoulder to cut shorter strips, rather than a full width of fabric. And it is easier to keep the short cut pieces neatly stored and organized, too.

Since I don't have a dedicated studio, this has proven to be a real improvement in the process!

4. I made a few more blocks.

Somehow it really entertains me to have the same fabric in different colourways, like this background fabric here. It's like a poem that rhymes.

5. And a few more...

Yes, this last one on the left is another dud. Two pretty fabrics, not pretty together. But, with 81 blocks to choose from, I'm hoping a few imperfect ones will just blend in.

Right at the end of August I took this photo of our sedum, which was just swarming with honeybees. Driving around the neighbourhood, almost everyone who has a garden has this same plant, so it is good to know that the bees are well fed before they go down for the winter.

For me, I'm sorry I've been MIA for most of the past month. When hurricane Maria was bearing down on Florida, I had my own emergency, with a late night ambulance ride, two difficult and painful procedures, and an unexpectedly long and difficult recovery. It has made me pretty grumpy, and I expect it will still be a few weeks before I am back to normal. But, at least I can still sew a little. :D

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Green for May, Part One

The RSC colour for September is orange, and I finished my three orange blocks for my Technicolor Turkey quilt last week. I still have to catch up for two months that I missed -- multicolour for April, and green for May. When I started looking through my scraps for green, I had a huge pile in no time at all!

That's no surprise since green is my favourite colour. But also, I had a lot of strips left over from my mostly green colourway of Bonnie Hunter's last mystery, En Provence. Remember the flamingos? They still make me happy.

I already have some plans for the next mystery, and I am looking right now at a pile of new fabric that I need to wash for that.

But, first things first. Looking at my pile of green strips, I decided to increase my green blocks from four to six, and divide them into warm, light limes and cool dark forests, same as I did for En Provence.

Then I can send the worst of the yellow blocks, made when I'd cut everything too small, to the orphan box.

And instead of three multicolour blocks, I'll only make two. I'm feeling some doubt about how those are going to turn out! But, that's the fun of the challenge.

The scrap box still yielded an intact female cardinal from my Cardinal Stars quilt! It seemed right to pair her with some Canadian flags, since the cardinals stay with us year round.

So, that finishes up the three forest green blocks. Next week, lime. I'm starting to get the scent of the finish!

I really appreciate that Angela has already revealed the order of the last two RSC colours -- it will be pink in October, and darks in November. I'm determined to finish this flimsy by Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) in the US. Then I can start Bonnie's mystery with a clear conscience!

Click here to see all the other posts for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week. Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Orange Turkey

Turkey à la Orange? I guess that's usually duck.'s back to Bonnie Hunter's Talkin' Turkey blocks and my RSC17 project, Technicolor Turkey.

It's actually about six weeks since I worked on this project, and it was fun to get back to it today. The oranges sure are juicy, aren't they?

And I guess orange represents Florida this week too. Prayers and best wishes for everyone who is hunkered down or getting out before Irma comes ashore tonight.

I know there are a lot of bloggers and families of bloggers living in Florida, including the RSC organizer Angela. So click the link here and wish everyone well!

Saturday, September 2, 2017


So, this is the second time I've said I'm taking a blog break, and then posted again within a week. I'm just going to stop trying to be structured all together!

I won a prize in Pets on Quilts 2017! Olive and Wilma were not able to beat the devious Molly, who cannot possibly be as innocent as she looks. But, they won a great participation prize from Eagle's Wings Quilts. The prize was a generous full set of papers for the English paper pieced Castor and Pollux. But sadly, my hand stitching problems continue, so Cathy agreed to send me her traditionally pieced (yes, traditional now means by machine!) pattern for Sisters Across the Miles instead:

I really love that sunburst effect! And since Olive & Wilma are my sister's cats, it seemed very appropriate.

Plus, as a bonus, Cathy sent me her pattern for Nine in the Pond as well:

It's really pretty, isn't it? In fact, I started tinkering right away with a colour scheme for Sisters that was inspired by Pond!

I have been thinking that it would be great to get it done for Pets on Quilts next year! I know, it is most likely a pipe dream. In any case, big thanks to Cathy for the lovely prize, and to Snoodles too for organizing such a great event.

Now, can you believe it's already September? That means it's time for a new colour for RSC. September is orange, and orange is just another word for cheddar!

It's been a looong time since you've seen this project, the Cheddar Broken Dishes from the October 2016 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.
Back when RSC was blue for July, I made a big push to finish all the indigo HSTs for the broken dishes units.

1,176 indigo HSTs are now sewn, papers removed, dog ears clipped, and neatly pressed!

I still need 60 more, but they are not going to be indigo.

And, as you see, I have eight different cheddars to work with. Those are all now cut, so with luck things should really start to move.

It's a simple design, but I think the impact is going to be huge!
Click here to see the rest of the RSC offerings this week. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Time to Unplug

Ok, seriously, now I really am going to unplug for a while...

It's time for some tidying and re-organization, because the project pile is getting unmanageable. has been unmanageable for some time!

And even though the project pile is getting unmanageable, I'm getting twitchy and ready for something new. (Do you see Olive's tail in the photo?)

I already had one close call with a potential new project last week! So it's time to take charge.

About a month ago I bought this book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I agree with everything she says -- even the weird stuff.

To me, it's not so much a book about tidying, it's a book about how to make decisions. The practice is tidying.

Today I started the process with my clothes (the first step on the list). My wardrobe was already in good shape, I thought, but I still reduced it by more than half. There were some surprises too, for what made the cut and what didn't.

The next step is my books, which is quite a sticky source of attachment for me. But, I'm committed, and interested to see what will happen!

So, I'm going to clear out of blogland for a while.

And with luck, I'll be clearing out the house a little too. Maybe a lot!

Don't wait up. :D

(And no, there is no mention of a quilt fabric stash in Kondo's book. But, I want to do it too. Maybe last! Honestly, I think the books will be the hardest.)

In the meantime, happy stitching!

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Last night I said to myself, "Omigosh, tomorrow is Saturday already!" Saturday is the RSC link up, and I have done very little sewing for two weeks now. But today I managed to shift into gear and make a start on my neutral string units for Rose Boll.

Although, "neutral" seems like the wrong term for all my rosey florals!

A few of these fabrics have been in my stash since the 90s. And of course, I did buy a few more too.

My first thought was to keep these strings very light. But, the alternate sawtooth blocks are quite stark and high contrast. So, I decided to put in the darker pink and gold strings to balance the final quilt a little better.
I am getting keen to see how it will look all together!

This is 14 done, and 50 needed, so there is still a lot to do. But, it feels like good progress.

Click here to see all the other variations on neutral at RSC today!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pets on Proust

Pets on Quilts on Proust

Over at Lily Pad Quilting it's time for the annual Pets on Quilts party. In the "cats on quilts" category, this is one of my quilts, "Black and White and Read all Over," with my sister's well-read cats, Olive and Wilma. And a little Marcel Proust for good measure!


"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes."


"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

The link up is in preview mode now. Click here to view all the other entries. Then come back on August 21 to vote for your favourite!

Many thanks to my sister for rising to the occasion and working for two days to get these two "spontaneous and natural" photos!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Middling Along

I'm back in the middle of Rose Boll this week. Aren't these fabrics gorgeous? I just love them! Click any photo to see them all full sized.

I have to say, it is already looking better than I dared to dream. When I bought the fabric last fall, I admit I felt some guilt about it. Couldn't I have made do with what I had?

Now I have no doubt that it was the right call to buy all the extra reds. The deep reds are needed to hold their own with all the florals.

And, I certainly didn't want to skimp on florals!

The mix of prints is so much fun. This time the pictures really do not do it justice.

Anyway, the middles are all done. The sawtooth edges are next!
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