Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A January finish

What a feeling to have this quilt completed to the "flimsy" stage. I am very happy.

I will be hand-quilting this quilt and am really looking forward to it. I love the fact that I can baste quilts on the longarm. Something this size used to take me a full afternoon to hand-baste. That was back in the days when I had carpeting in the living room and I would pin the backing to the carpet and lay the batting and top on. Then an afternoon of crawling around the floor basting the quilt. My "grumpy knees" surely can't take the abuse anymore. Thanks to Gayle at Mangofeet for the phrase "grumpy knees", it's perfect!

This was my January goal for OMG - One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts, and I'm very please to have completed it.

I'm actually finishing this Sarah Fielke BOM just as the one for 2018 is starting up, literally! This year's is called Simple Folk and there is still lots of time to join in. You can read about it HERE. With the BOM you get the pattern every month as well as a wonderful video tutorial every month.

In the foreground of the picture above, is my Sarah Fielke BOM from 2016, Happy Days, currently being worked on on the longarm.

I'm custom-quilting it, but not overly so. I am having fun with a new-to-me cross-hatching method. It's fairly quick and I think it will unify the blocks in the end.

Hopefully, by this time next week I will have started putting some stitches into Down the Rabbit Hole. 

I am linking up today with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.

It looks to be a dreary end to January. A perfect time to get some sewing done and visit some quilty blogs to get inspired.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, January 26, 2018

A burst of sewing!

This week most of my work on the longarm has been put on hold as I've been nursing a back problem that pops up from time to time. 

I have managed to get a bit of sewing done as I'm ok in a seated position :)

First up was sewing one of the final borders for Down the Rabbit Hole. I held my breath as I pinned it onto the quilt, wondering if it would fit. Luckily, Sarah Fielke designs a pretty good pattern....

This morning I appliqued the final leaf to Down the Rabbit Hole!!

I also finished my Magnolia Mystery offered by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. This is the second mystery I've done thru' Meadow Mist Designs and Cheryl does a wonderful job!

I am going to hold off on quilting this one until I have the time to really have fun with all that open space.

I've also sewn my blocks for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge....what a lot I've accomplished while off "sick"!

Here are my Squared Away blocks...

The block at the top of the picture actually makes my eyes glaze over a bit because of the fabric choices....but I'm leaving it in.

I also have my three birds done for the month....except for their legs, those will come in February hopefully....

Aren't they adorable!!

I do hope to get back to the longarm today as I'm actually working on one of my own quilts, Happy Days, which was the BOM offered by Sarah Fielke in 2016...

I hope my back continues to improve as I have signed up for the Robbie Burns 8k, which is run this Sunday. I have so looked forward to this race (maybe because I get to wear my kilt, or maybe to start the race to bagpipes?). 

Here I am running in my kilt in the Caledonia Race in the Fall which was a warm, muggy day. We were encouraged to dress with a Scottish theme, but I think there weren't more than ten of us that did!

....and such a special feeling crossing the finish line with a good friend, which doesn't happen often...

Today I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Fridays

I am also linking with Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon for TGIFF - Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, and with Angela at So Scrappy to see what others have been working on for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Happy Days

I'm excited this week to have one of my own quilts on the longarm this week.

This is my "Happy Days" quilt, the 2016 BOM designed by Sarah Fielke. I completed the top at a Retreat last Spring and had hoped to have it quilted in time for Fall Fair season, but that did not happen.

I mounted the quilt on the weekend...

...and started the stitch-in-the-ditch sewing yesterday. There's only one problem, I wrenched my back on Sunday and am not able to stand for any length of time, so my work at the longarm is minimal.

At least when I do custom-quilting I can lean on the rails of the longarm :/

Being a bit laid-up means a bit of extra applique time, and some time sewing the final border for my Down the Rabbit Hole!

I'm on track to having this one completed by the end of the month!!

The final border is a 6" pieced border. There's always a moment when you hold your breath wondering if a long, pieced border will actually fit.

And, guess what?....this one went on so beautifully!....

I have only six more leaves to applique to the opposite applique border (tomorrow morning!), then once I finish piecing the other three borders it will all be sewn together. I can hardly believe it!

Today I am linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Almost done!

I'm finally on the last applique border of Down the Rabbit Hole!

Only about 55 leaves to go...

Many times on quilty Facebook groups the question is asked if one should trim the background away from behind appliqued pieces.

I thought I'd chime in here with what I think. Keep in mind that in the end it's up to you, it's your each his own. 

When I have applique in a quilt and I know it's going to be quilted on the longarm, I leave the background intact. There is no reason, in my opinion to snip it away. The added "bulk" is next to nil and the longarm will have no problem whatsoever quilting it. I may trim a bit if there are multiple layers, but I can't say I remember ever doing this. 

On the other hand, when I'm doing a quilt that I know I'll be hand-quilting, such as Down the Rabbit Hole, I will trim the background as to make hand-quilting a little easier.

Here is a bit of applique from this week....

...and here is the back...all trimmed....

I like the small Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Curved Scissors for the trimming. Can you see the little bit of curve? This is to make it easier to trim without snipping into the applique itself. 

I've tried a pair of the scissors with the "duck-bill" look to them and found them awkward to use. 

No affiliation here....just letting you know what I like.

There's also a theory that you should leave the background intact so as to lend stability to the quilt. I tend to think that once the quilt is all quilted it will be pretty stable.


Is anyone looking for new projects to start on? I'll give you two suggestions (which I first read about over at Kathy's Quilts...I think she and I share the same "Quilt Along Addiction"!).

The first is called It's a "Wild" Life hosted by Sew Incredibly Crazy....just a block per, right???

The second is found at From My Carolina Home and is called Square Dance. This is a mystery and offered in many sizes. I am going to pick the table-topper size....just so I can have fun playing along!

Today I am linking with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


This month the colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is light and medium blue.

As an added bonus, we are offered a quilty project, Squared Away, to do.  

There are sixteen half-square triangles used in this month's block. I happened to come across my stash of Thangles and thought this would be a good opportunity to use them...

I plan on making three blocks each month, and have two done so far...

I like them! Although, I'm not sure I'll continue to use the Thangles. They are a good method, but I can get the same result with the Easy Angle ruler. By using the ruler I skip the step of removing the papers from the Thangles. I'll have a think about it.

Of course, my other project for the RSC18 is to construct three birds per month from the Black Birds pattern designed by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts that I wrote about HERE

Adorable....I think I'll try to get another done this weekend.


I've also completed Clue #5 for the PEI MQG Mystery quilt....

This step used a nifty trick on trimming the rectangles so that are cut just right...see how the seam doesn't run directly corner-to-corner? There was a suggested video to watch to learn the technique which was a huge help!


I think I've been holed up too long in the house because of all the crazy weather lately....I feel like an outing today. 

The Ice Wine Festival in Niagara started this week, so we may plan on a nice drive down to our favourite winery, Kacaba Vineyards and Winery, and sample the food/wine pairing. 

It's too easy for me to become a hermit in the least I can take solace in the fact that we'll be looking forward to Spring in two months, right?

I am linking up with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and linking this post to the PEI Mystery Quilt-along post. Also, for the first time, I am linking with Sew Can She for Show Off Saturday.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Leaves, leaves and more leaves

I've been working away at the leaves on the border of Down the Rabbit Hole. Haha, it seems like that is all I post about lately....but I'm still hoping to be finished by the end of the month.

I took the time last night to pin the different components to the design wall. I folded the quilt in quarters just to see how it's going...

I'm pretty sure I appliqued more leaves than what was called for but I really like it to look full!

I'm planning on the rabbits being on the sides of the quilt, not top and I will sew those borders on the other way so the rabbits won't be hanging off the side of the bed upside-down.

This morning I couldn't resist taking a break from leaf-sewing to put a few stitches into a new embroidery, Send My Love, which is the i stitch club 2018 offered by Gail Pan. I blame this "start" squarely on Kathy from Kathy's Quilts

I just stitched a little to appease myself since I want to keep on track with my applique.

The weather has been all over the place lately. Be it frigid cold, snow or what-have-you, it's been difficult to push myself out the door at night to go to my run club. 

This week I took advantage of a relatively new indoor walking/running track that was built as part of the new arena in Cayuga. 

Every time I go there it's obvious that this is a good investment for communities. I see young runners, seniors doing some walking, young mothers with babies in strollers...all enjoying the benefits that this offers.

Sometimes I use an app on my phone when I run called Map My Run. It was obvious the other day that this app does not like 
indoor-track exercise..., I know darn well that I didn't just run 1.4k!!! So funny!

I am linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, January 11, 2018

TBT - Shadow of the Bear

I have made some blog-friends in the last couple of years....many I have yet to meet in person.

One of these is Sandra who writes Musings of a Menopausal Melon. We should have met this past year at a longarm class being offered down Niagara-way, but that was unfortunately cancelled.

The other day, I read that Sandra is starting a once-a-month linky party called Throwback Thursday. Today is the first installment.

When I read that she was doing this, I was literally within an hour of gifting a quilt to a friend. I think it was "meant to be" that I share a picture of this quilt before it made it's way out the door.

I know that all three pictures are basically showing the same image, but I think it's cute that Minnie and Cooper think the picture-taking is all about them!

This quilt is called Shadow of the Bear...since the bear paws are kind of shadowed. A group of us made these quilts in a workshop given by my friend, Deb Allan, in 2001 (we think). 

I'm pretty sure this was a mystery class. It was a lot of sewing and used up a lot of scraps and is probably one of the nicest mystery quilts I have seen. I hand-quilted it and it is gently used, but still in remarkable shape.

What I love most about this quilt is the staggered nature of the log cabin blocks, which adds so much interest and motion to the quilt.

Looking at the pictures, I'm getting flashbacks on trimming up all of those half-square triangles....there was so much work to this quilt...but worth it!

I hope you can visit with Sandra for Throwback Thursday and show her some quilty-love on starting the new linky party. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oops...poor little bird!

Sometime in the last year or so I saw Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts speak at Norfolk County Quilters' Guild. She was a lot of fun and her quilts were wonderful to see in person.

I bought three of her patterns that day.

Lately, as part of the PEIMQG Mystery BOM, I won two more of her patterns!

Have I started any?...nope....until this week. 

We've had quite the spell of frigid weather here since Christmas, it's just now warming up a bit now. On the weekend I had a lovely sew day and as part of it I thought I'd try a block from Lorna's Black Birds quilt that you can see HERE. 

I don't know if it's one of the pitfalls of being a seasoned quilter, but I think I tend to gloss over instructions and kind of wing it (pun intended).

So here is my first attempt at a wee birdie...

I didn't clue in right away that the piece on the right should have been sewn on first :/ (although, if I'd paid attention and read the instructions I wouldn't have made this mistake!).

Here is a new and improved version...

....much better and soooo cute!!! He will get his legs at a later date. I will follow the pattern (this time) and do all the legs for all the birds in one step with strip-piecing.

Lorna advises in the pattern to press seams open...which isn't how us seasoned (there's that word again, do I mean old-school?) quilters have been taught to do things....but, boy, doesn't the piece lay nice and flat and show off the points beautifully.....such as where the tail and body meet.

It takes a bit of extra time, but, for this type of piecing, will be worth it in the end.

On Saturday, I decided to take part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, including the suggested pattern Squared Away. 

But then I read a blog post by Linda at the Pieceful Kingdom. What she is doing for RSC18 is blocks from one of Lorna's patterns, Dog Gone Cute, in the suggested colour of the month. You can read about it HERE.

So that is what I'll be doing with my birds this year. I will try to do three per month in the colour of the month :)

I've also been stitching away on lots of leaves on Down the Rabbit Hole..., as of now on January 10th, I'm in pretty good shape to get this done by the end of the month. I can hardly wait to see the whole quilt all sewn together!

I am linking up with Lorna today from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Stitching

So.....after a very long cold snap, supposedly it's getting warmer today....and even more so in the coming week.


My internet has been unbearably slow this weekend. Can it be weather related??? That's what I've been wondering. I guess I'll soon find out.

I've been stitching steadily on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt. This morning it's more vine applique....I'm on the final quarter of what is needed. 

This picture shows how things are looking now. The vine in the lower left is what I am working on today....and probably the next two mornings.

Ignore the big pink's not really there! 

Hopefully the next time you see these borders there will be scads (and scads) of leaves appliqued on!

I seem to be on schedule for having this one done by the end of the month. It will seem strange to not have Down the Rabbit Hole to work on anymore since it's been ongoing for a year....But that's ok, it means a new quilt to be started soon!!

I have a big custom job coming up and that is what is hanging on the design wall behind my borders. It helps me come up with ideas if I can "live with" the quilt for a bit.

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for her first edition of Slow Sunday Stitching of 2018.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A good day to sew!

Woohoo!...looks like Blogger has fixed the problem regarding photos being able to be posted....I'm so glad the problem wasn't something on my end. Evidently this affected quite a few bloggers in the last 24 hours or so!

Yesterday I mentioned that I would be taking part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge offered by Angela at SoScrappy. The challenge this year is called Squared Away and you can read more about it HERE.

I think I will make my blocks at the 7.5" size and today I will try to get started. 

It's another frigid day here, -23celcius at the moment, so a perfect day to dabble in my blue fabric bin to get started on this one.


I seem to have a lot of block-of-the-month type quilts on the go. One is this year's BOM offered by one of my guilds. Here are my blocks so far...

The blocks are large...I think 15"... and fairly quick and easy. I really have no explanation, then, why the block in the lower right of the pic took me three tries!!! 

This is an original quilt designed by TKHarrison from


I think I have broken my old record on how soon I've purchased fabric in a new year. I went out this week to find the final fabrics that I would need for Down the Rabbit Hole. I fully intended on using Shott (sp?) cottons, but ended up buying Grunge, which is a surprise to me as Grunge fabrics are not my favourite!

......and here's a preview of how this border will look...

To take surprising myself even further....just before Christmas I bought the background for the upcoming BOM offered by Sarah Fielke for 2018, Simple Folk. It's another fabric from the Grunge line!... weird!!!  I'm pretty sure that I'll be going with these fun prints for the applique, but I'm kind of tempted to use Liberty-like prints. We'll see.

I am linking up with Angela at SoScrappy for this year's first edition of RSC18.

Please, stay warm and safe!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A new project....already!

Earlier this week I talked about joining in on 6 & 6 in 2018, which you can read about HERE.

Well, I didn't suppose I'd be announcing my first new project of the year yet, but here I go!

There is a blog called So Scrappy that I've read for a couple of years now. She hosts a sewalong of sorts through the year called the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, which I'm sure a lot of you have heard of before. 

I did try the Rainbow Scrap Challenge maybe two years ago, but that project fell off the rails.

This year it sounds fun, and not a lot of work...well, about as much work as you would like to choose to do. 

This year's RSC is called Squared Away and you can read about it HERE or use the "Squared Away" button over in the right margin.

This month's colour is light blues. The block will be released on the first Saturday of the month. It seems like she'd like us to make three of each block....and it can be done in a number of different sizes, you choose.


I've had more to share, including some pictures of my first fabric purchase of the year, but for some reason "blogger" is sending me a message that it can't copy pictures to my blog. I've never seen this message before and I hope it will fix itself.

I probably won't write another post before I get this figured out, so good-bye for a bit and keep warm!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

6 & 6 in 2018...+3

There all kinds of blog-posts out there offering us motivation to make a dent in some of our UFO's this year.

6 x 6 in 2018 is the one I am choosing to try. You can read about it HERE today at Pomegranate and Chintz.

The concept is to finish six UFO's and have six new projects.

I've wanted to carefully pick the six to finish...they need to be quilts that I'll actually have a chance of sticking to and enjoying, although Meredithe assures us they don't have to be "finishes"...they can have "Significant Progress"!

So, here are mine, in no particular order....

1. Nature's Neutrals

This quilt is so close to being finished. I just need to add two more rows of blocks. I also want it quilted and bound...truly finished.

2. Happy Days

This is one that I'd wanted done last year in time for the Fall Fair, but it didn't happen. It will actually be on the agenda to quilt this month, so it will be first UFO on the list. One of the guild's I belong to is having a quilt show in May and I'd like this in the show.

3. Marvelous Mini

This was a sewalong offered by Temecula Quilt Company. I'd like to finish it to donate to a raffle at the quilt show.

4. My Small World

I barely started this one a while back, not even sure where the bits are, but this is still a quilt I want to get back at and finish. So, for that reason it is going on the list. It may be one that only sees "Significant Progress"....but I'll be good with that!

5. Down the Rabbit Hole

I've been working pretty steadily at this one and would like it done for the quilt show.

6. Border Creek Mysteries

This is the one that I'm a bit red-faced to come clean on. 

My local quilt shop, Quilt Junction, offers the Border Creek Mystery quilts every year. They are beautiful and very well-written patterns. 

I'm currently taking part in my fourth of these mysteries.'s my guilty secret....I've not finished any of three past ones. One of them hasn't even been started. Two of them are so close to being real quilts and I'm practically caught up on the current one.

My sixth on the list will be to finish all three of the ones I've started!!!


So, the next step is to have some "starts" in 2018. This list doesn't have to be complete, as who knows what "squirrels" will pop up through the year!

Here is a bit of my list...


I have signed up for a Kaffe Fassett Mystery that starts in March.


I couldn't resist signing up for the new Sarah Fielke BOM, Simple Folk", since I've enjoyed the last two so much! You can take a peek at the upcoming BOM HERE and perhaps be tempted, too!


I need a new Christmas tree skirt. In December I purchased fabric for it and it will be done in time for Christmas 2018!!!


I'm going to try to take part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge offered by So Scrappy. You can read about it by using the "button" over in the right-hand margin.

I have a couple more that I'm sure will be started, but I think that's all I'll say for now!


For my challenge, I am going to add the " +3 ". I have three small projects that have been hanging around and I'd love to just get them done.

The first is a small candle mat that I've had the kit for for maybe two years...

The second is a name tag holder to wear to guild...I've had the little kit for a year or so...

...and the third is a small kit that I got free at Quilt Canada in June 2017. Should be quick and easy, so no sense in not just getting it done!

Well, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...but also feeling good to have a plan.

Won't you join me in 6 & 6 in 2018

I will be linking up with Pomegranate and Chintz today. Why don't you visit and get inspired by what others will be attempting this year!

Have a good day....and keep warm!!

Monday, January 1, 2018

One Monthly Goal - January

I wasn't sure what I'd do on the first day of the year....but it's so cold outside I think I'll try to spend some time in my sewing room.

I'm going to have a lofty goal for the month of January. My goal is to complete my Down the Rabbit Hole. 

I've got a good start on the final applique borders. I need to come up with fabric choices for the final pieced border.

I am linking up with Elm Street Quilts for OMG - One Monthly Goal. I encourage you to take part in OMG, as it is a good motivational tool to stitch away at those UFO's!

Happy New Year!