Friday, 14 July 2017

Two granddaughter quilts finished!

I have been working on quilts for all my grandkids for a couple of years and it was Charity and Katie's turn for a quilt for their bed.  They are 7 years old and born almost exactly a month apart.

This is Charity's quilt.  The pattern is "I used to be a layer cake" by Black Cat Creations.   I made a quilt using this pattern for Charity's older sister Kara which you can see here.  I had a layer cake with the same type of bright colours so we used that one for Charity's quilt since they share a bedroom.  They have bunk beds so it's a little hard to get the size right so I made a pillow case to make up for the lack of length.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it for a better view.)

The finished quilt

Love finding the exact match for backing in the sale bin :-)

pillow case to match
I have a collection of soft, fuzzy stuffed animals and each of the grandkids gets one to snuggle with together with the are the two little doggies that are living with Charity and Katie now :-)

another view of the finished quilt.  I quilted it myself on my Bernina 830 with diagonal wavy lines right through the borders and through the corners of the bargello pattern in every other row using a walking foot.

Katie's quilt is a design by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh quilts.  She posted a note on her blog a year or so ago what we would like to see her design next.  I emailed her that I needed a quilt with flowers for my granddaughter.  She designed a wonderful quilt and I was totally in love with it.   I found this fabric in a quilt shop and that became the focus for finding the colours.

the focus fabric
The finished quilt
It was quilted by Julie Cassidy, a local long arm quilter.  We chose butterflies for the flower garden using turquoise thread.  It was perfect for this quilt

Since I only ended up using one of the focus fabric line in the front of the quilt, I pieced the rest of the fabrics for the back.  That plaid fabric was supposed to be for binding, but the quilt was bigger than I thought so I put it in the back and used 12" lengths of all the colours in the front of the quilt for a pieced binding.

It was a lot of fun piecing all the flowers!

close up of the butterfly quilting - that colour should be light blue :-)

Love the butterfly!

finished quilt

Canada 150 blocks update

We are over the 100 blocks in our Canada 150 project!  The pile of blocks is growing each week.  Here are the blocks for the last four weeks. I have been able to keep up each week, sometimes finishing late Monday night before the next blocks were posted :-).  And we're learning about a lot of Canadian women that we never knew about.  I also got to test a Singer 411G, which my husband had restored, to sew the last 6 blocks.  Sewed like a dream!

Blocks 94 - 96

Blocks 97 - 99

Blocks 100 - 102

Blocks 103 - 105
Testing a Singer 411G on the last 6 blocks :-)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Major catch up on the Canada 150 blocks

It is not good to procrastinate on these blocks!  I got very behind as I was away twice for a few days in the last few weeks and just did not have time to catch up.  I tackled a few blocks yesterday and then decided to really focus today and cut all the rest, including today's posting, this morning and finally got completely caught up.  There were some very time consuming blocks in this bunch and I was glad I saved block #77 for last :-).  That went together really quickly.  Now to see if I can keep up every week again!

It was a lot of fun choosing fabrics for the various blocks. I managed to find a few prints in my stash that fit with the story to go with the block.

Blocks 76 - 78
Blocks 79 - 81

Blocks 82 - 84

Blocks 85 - 87

Blocks 88-90

I had purchased these mini templates on keychains years ago and they sure came in handy for blocks 91 and 92

Blocks 91 - 93

Dear Jane - 63rd block

We got together with our little support group this past Monday and I completed I 13 Sweet Harmony.  This is block #63.  This block is paper pieced.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Canada 150 blocks caught up

I got a little behind on the Canada 150 block project, but am happy to report that I'm all caught up again (up to this week that is LOL).  These blocks are going to look very nice in a quilt.  Here are blocks 58 to 75.  We are half way finished.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dear Jane!!

I finally made a bit of progress on my Dear Jane Quilt.  The last blog post I did was September 22, 2011 when my friend Els was over from Holland for a visit.  She has made 2 Dear Jane quilts.  We met on the Dear Jane internet list and she has now visited me five times and I've visited her twice.  

My Dad had just passed away when Els visited and my Mom passed away in January of 2012.  I lost interest in working on it that winter as my Mom was always so interested in the progress of these blocks.  And, then it became "out of sight, out of mind"!  This year, I realized that I had started this quilt in 2007 with the idea that it would be my 10 year project!  Yikes....this is 2017!  

A few friends here in town were also motivated again to keep working on our quilts and we decided to do a once a month get together to spur one another on.  I have a lot of work to do to get this quilt together by the end of the year!!  I now have 62 blocks finished.  

This morning Beth and I worked on our blocks and I got one completed.  Last month, Jane and I got a block done as well and I also finished an easy one which I found while getting organized for our monthly get togethers.  I got my hand crank machine out for some paper piecing and here are the results:

Paper piecing DJ blocks on my Singer 28 handcrank.  I received this machine from a lady named Jane :-).

I didn't get the points lined up too well on this block, but I'll let it languish in the binder until I decide if it bothers me enough to redo it.  It will never be noticed from the proverbial galloping horse in the overall scheme of things :-).
A 12 Framed Fancy

B 13 Four Corner Press

I 12 Fred's Fair Square

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Last week Saturday, the next pattern was up for the Jolly Little Christmas quilt a long hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Santa Claus was the next block.  Santa Claus was not a thing in my household when I was growing up.  As I am of Dutch heritage, Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, was an exciting event.  On December 5th, we would put out our shoes (we didn't have wooden shoes anymore :-) and we would put hay in and a carrot for Sinterklaas' white horse.  In the morning, we would find candies and a chocolate initial and a few little trinkets in our shoe (if we had been good lol).  That evening, many little packages and surprises would be opened complete with little poems which had something to do with the gift or recipient.  

When I saw the Santa Claus block before the quilt along was launched, I emailed Lorna with some links to the Sinterklaas tradition to see if she would be able to design a Dutch version.  Sure enough, when the pattern was posted, there at the bottom was a 'bonus' block which really made my Dutch heart go pitter patter.  Thanks so much Lorna for your generosity!  This just makes me happy! And, the pattern went together so nicely.

Here is the good old Saint himself...isn't he awesome!?  Complete with his trusty staff.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Cardinal

Last week, Sew Fresh Quilts posted the next pattern for the Have a Jolly Little Christmas sew a long.  This was another one of those blocks that has lots of little pieces and angles and seams that need to be matched precisely.  So, I decided to only do 1 block!  Wow, can't believe the self discipline LOL.  Once it was done, I was already sorry I hadn't done a second one, but I can always do one more later, "when I have time", right?  Hmmm...I'll bet that'll never happen!  Here is the also had an eye that required cutting a 3/4" square.  Good practise for precision sewing for sure :-).

Love this cardinal.....the greens are off on the colours..they are much prettier in real life.

I find it a lot easier to lay out all the pieces on a small cutting board as I cut them.  I also press the squares in half and lay them out properly to get the right angles.  This helps a lot when sewing them together and you don't have to label all the pieces with the proper size.  I can then carry the board to my sewing machine and stitch it together.  Works for me :-).

Monday, 27 March 2017

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Saturday morning arrived with the uploading of the next block in the Jolly Little Christmas Quilt a long.  My husband was away for the day so I sent off an email to my friend Deb, who is also working on these blocks, and invited her over to sew a long :-).  We had a fun day together.  It took awhile to cut all the patches for these partridges.  There will definitely not be 8 of these blocks in my future anytime soon :-).  But, we valiantly cut out two blocks each. 

I finally got the blocks finished this afternoon after a lot of "reverse stitching" and careful pressing and pinning.  The eyeballs of the partridges (hard to see on the photos) are 1/4" finished!!  You can hardly hold these pieces to sew them together LOL. I made a mistake on my polka dotted pear and had already trimmed the triangles off when I realized there were only supposed to be two triangles, not four.  I didn't have enough fabric left to cut out another square, so I had to piece there is a blemish on my poor pear.  As my husband said, "It's patchwork"!  I do love the way they turned out. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Deb's partridge pieces

My set up for sewing.  I've used this trusty Singer 15-88 treadle machine to piece all my blocks :-)

Deb getting ready to sew

my more modern partridge

the more traditional partridge

...with a few of the other blocks

....with a few of the modernish blocks

Friday, 24 March 2017

Elgin Piecemaker's Pillow challenge

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild does a challenge every year.  This year Julie and Joanne were in charge and they came up with a very appropriate challenge for Canada's 150th anniversary.  We were all given a 20" pillow form and a 10" piece of Kimono Maple Leaf fabric.  The challenge was to come up with a pillow cover that represents what Canada means to us.  We had to use the complete square of the maple leaf fabric.  

I had an idea almost right away as I was inspired by the neutral backgrounds with applique over it.  I could piece together a background with symbols and words that represent Canada and thought of appliqueing a maple leaf and a tulip on the front to reflect my Dutch heritage.  With three friends, I took part in the 401 Quilt Run shop hop in October 2016 in Eastern Ontario.  Visiting the 14 shops on the shop hop gave me ample opportunity to find appropriate fabrics.  Many of the fabrics represented my Mother's love of sewing and had sayings reflecting her values, love of family and gift of hospitality.  I even found a fabric with rings on it symbolizing my parents engagement by mail in January 1954.  My Dad had immigrated to Canada already with his whole family and my Mom followed about a year later.  We still have the envelope that the ring was sent in by registered mail :-).  

When I actually started the pillow, I ran stuck on the applique because I had to use the whole square of maple leaf fabric and could not think how to cut a tulip and a maple leaf out it!  So, I cut out a maple leaf and appliqued it on the back and put the frame on the front and then I added some tulips to the back as well.  I used up every mm of that maple leaf fabric LOL.

Last night, we had the grand reveal and Cynthia from Cherished Pieces and Jesse, one of our former members, were the judges.  They sure had their work cut out for them. The pillows were amazing!  Many of the backs were as nice as the front and the stories behind the quilts were very moving!  It was a great exercise in stopping and pondering this great country of Canada and what we appreciate about it. (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

the Kimono challenge fabric

result of shopping excursion :-)
my pillow front
the back of the pillow
The group with all the pillows

This is the write up that accompanied my pillow:

My Canada

“My Canada” is inseparably linked to my parents’ immigration from Holland to Canada.  I chose neutral fabrics with symbols and words, each representing an aspect of Canada or a memory of my parents to whom I am grateful for my Canadian citizenship.   Word fabrics were chosen to describe my Mom’s life rules and talents and her love of sewing and hospitality. 
The iconic Canadian maple leaf was cut from the Kimono Maple leaf fabric and appliqued to the back of the pillow on tulip and bicycle fabric representing my roots in Holland. The remaining maple leaf frame was sewn on the front to create another silhouette of this great Canadian Symbol.  From front to back, I can rest comfortably in this great country Canada, which is my own.  This pillow will be proudly displayed in my home for Canada’s 150th celebration.