Wednesday 27 March 2013

WiP Wednesday: Baby Bella

It's Wednesday! The sun is actually shining today, the birds are singing and when you go outside it is not bitter. Things are looking up! However, finding a "nice" place for pictures outside this morning was a bit gross. Not sure about you, but our yard looks like this, a beautiful combo of mud and ice

Holy crap try to avert your eyes from the glow of my winter white legs!

But I soldiered on because I wanted to show you the top of the Baby Bella Quilt that I finished this week

I found one patch of pristine snow left

This quilt is bright, cheerful, and feels super scrappy fun! I think it will be perfect for the baby on the way. I debated about putting white sashing between the blocks, but after a consult on the design wall (I consult with my friend 1000 miles away - thank god for FB!) we both decided that no sashing was needed. Without the sashing you can see triangles and awesome shapes everywhere!

the consult

I did run into some problems with this one. I have quite a few bulky seams.

No mystery here, I was rushing, having too much fun and wanting to see the finished top, and not paying attention as I was pressing the individual blocks. But have no fear, I have appropriately reprimanded myself and next time I will be more careful :) 

The batting has been pieced (a little spring cleaning and piecing of batting craps meant I did not need to buy any new batting) and backing ready (going flannel like I always do for baby quilts) so now I just need to decide on how to quilt. Your suggestions? 

Orangie helped me take pictures this morning. He has a spring in his step!

Wow! He looks like a giant in this picture!

Time for basting, better get at it. Your thoughts on a quilting approach would be much appreciated and I would love to know what are you working on this Wednesday!?

I'm Liking up today at Freshly Pieced


Tuesday 26 March 2013

Starburst Mini: A Finish

Here it is - my first mini!

This is the first quilt in the Fresh Mini Quilt Club . It was so fun to make. I cannot wait to see what April brings.

In a timely post, Megan, at Canoe Ridge Creations talked this week about tips and tricks for perfect straight-line quilting. This method of quilting really speaks to me - WAY less intimidating that FMQing :) I did try straight-line quilting last year with mixed results. But while I ran into some obstacles, I was super stoked about the effect that it gives to the finished quilt, so I am going to practice until I get this right. Following Megan's tips (which you can read in full here), this is what I did:


one // a good baste- I basted with spray baste. I love this stuff. 

two // new needle - Check!

three // walking foot - Never leave home without it

four // "needle-down" position - Check!

five // thread - Now this one is tricky. I have always used Gutermann because it is affordable, easily available in my local sewing shops, and I didn't know any different. I see that most quilters use Aurifil, but I just cannot justify spending that extra money. Is this bad? Probably, but ti is what it is.

Six // slow & steady - This was a BIG challenge for me. I sew like I am in a Formula One Race - Fast! How the heck was I going to go slow and steady?? Well, my machine has a (cute) speed guide. I turned her down to turtle and now matter how much I pressed the gas pedal, my machine kept me on track. Going to use this feature more. 


seven // marking - I did not mark. I started by following one pieced seam that ran straight through the top and then used the side of my presser foot to guide me from there. I am not against marking, just impatient :) 

After reading the comments on Megan's original post I also added these steps:

eight // I increased my stitch length a bit. I chose 3, but I think next time I could go bigger

nine // I reversed direction on each row to help reduce distortion

How did all of this go? Swimmingly! I did run into a small problem with a bulky seam, and I tend to get crooked near the end of a quilting line for some reason, but these are learning's and not the end of the world.

On the back I added a couple of hanging corners (I always forget this part, and was in fact halfway through my binding before I remembered), which will hopefully make it easy for this Minis new owner to hang in their home. This quilt is going to be my first Creative Pay it Forward for the year. I wonder who will get it in their mail box??

 A couple more last looks, and then I need to go and get dressed! Seemed more fun to finish off this baby in my PJ's.

Have a Great Day!

Sunday 24 March 2013

The Process Pledge

For the last few days I have been trying to figure out how to get social media buttons on my blog. Let's just say that I am not "techie", so this type of thing can be quite a challenge (aka pain in the butt) for me. After a lot of trial and error I finally did get some working buttons (look right!), but as I was trying to make this work I was thinking about why I blog? Why do I need Social Buttons for in the first place? Sometimes all of this connectedness can get very overwhelming. 

This looks so cute, it sure does not relay the pain it is to figure all of this social media stuff out :)
So why do I blog? Writing and pushing the "publish" button for me has become part of the process for making something by hand. I have always liked to document my process through pictures. I used to keep a scrapbook of quilts that I made. I think this blog is my electronic scrapbook (I would take a pic to show you, but I am in the middle of a move and all things scrapbook are packed...)

The other thing I like to do is talk about the process of making something. I don't like to just post pictures of finished quilts / projects, I want to talk about everything and show it all! When I visit other blogs I am looking for the process there as well. So much to learn and love out there! 

All of this deep thinking (ha, trust me, it's not that deep, more like a shallow pond) reminded me about the Process Pledge which I saw on Rossie Blog some time ago. Rossie says it brilliantly: 

"The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let's do more!  And let's post about quilts as we work on them.  I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process."

Over 850 others have already taken the pledge, and I am now ready:

I, Adrienne, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.  I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.   

So you probably can't hear it, but trumpets just went off, fireworks flashed and generally a big moment passed. All very exciting! (it's ok if you just rolled your eyes, I did).

To kick off this new pledge I guess I should actually tell you how I got those buttons to work
  • First I searched for free buttons. Free because this is just for fun folks! I found a wonderful set with lots of color options here at Carrie Loves
  • Next I needed to learn how to install the darned things. I searched A LOT for a step by step, simply explained process. I found it here at Beautiful Dawn Designs   
That's it! (wow that does not convey my hours of struggles, but I'm cool with that!).

So will you take the pledge?
I wonder what I will work on tomorrow? But be sure I will be back to tell you all about it.

Thanks for reading today's ramblings

Thursday 21 March 2013

Minis and Babies

I  had such a great sewing day yesterday. I started the day with  a WiP Wednesday report, and once that was out there I just kept going! I delivered my Bee Blocks to the post office and then it was a dash to the mat and machine.

First, I finished the top of my very first Mini Quilt. I have joined the Fresh Mini Quilt Club through  Canoe Ridge Creations.

I have not been drawn to the mini-quilt in the past. Turns out I was being far to practical in my thinking. I mean yes, you cannot use a mini-quilt to keep you warm while watching TV or snuggling in the bed with the furry kids. But a mini-quilt is a piece of art. Hang it on the wall, set it on a table top etc, you can look at it all of the time! The other reason I feel my time for mini quilts has come is because I am really struggling with my quilting skills, either with my walking foot or Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I suspect some is my machine, but a lot is just lack of practice and being afraid to try new things. I think having a smaller project to work on will make all the difference. I will be sure to show you the results. For now, I am just happy today looking in the Top. It is simple and bold all at the same time. I cannot believe what I have been missing by not using just solids in a quilting project. Now I don't know how I did without those color saturated babies! 

Even the scraps of this fabric make me happy
I was taking a break from HSTs, thank goodness there were only a few in this pattern

Next, I got to work on the Bella Baby Quilt. I have to say that I am completely smitten with this fabric. You can feel the quality, and it sews like a dream. In picking a top pattern, I wanted something big enough to show the fabric design, but also highlight the color. I ended up going with this tutorial that I saw on Pinterest (holy hannah would you be as lost without Pinterest as I would be?). 

The thing that struck me about figuring out the widths for cutting etc was that I know virtually nothing about pre-cuts. I mean, yes, I love me a Fat Quarter, but when someone says Jelly Roll, I don't know the measurements etc. After a little web browsing I found this great post on Pre-cuts at Sew4Home . I actually ended up using a pack of Fat Quarters for this project which is totally doable once you know the width of a jelly role is 2.5 " :)

As I was folding the fabric for cutting I just had to stop and take pics. The fabric is pure JOY!

Even the selvage is cool

I have to say I. LOVE. THESE. BLOCKS! 

I got half of them done today and and well on my way to the second half, which I will hopefully finish up this week. I really hope that my friend likes this quilt. It is going to Nova Scotia, and I feel like the fabric is very organic feeling, full of nature (wow, sounding a little pretentious here, hope you get what I mean). 

Enough chatting, best get back to it! 
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday 20 March 2013

WiP Wednesday: Turns out I am Sewing

Last night I was like "I don't have anything to blog about this week". Mind you while I was thinking that I was sewing! It is been a particularly not so good week. But I find a little quilting therapy can make everything ok. My medicine. So this week I have been working on:

Stash Bee Blocks

Sugar Block Club Block

I am starting my very first mini-quilt today! Pretty excited. I have the fabric pulled and as soon as I hit publish on this Post I am going to start cutting

I have pulled fabric for a friend's Baby Quilt. Cutting into my stash of Bella from Lotta Jansdotter. Cannot wait to make something with this gorgeous fabric. Some may think this is not to babyish, but I have a problem with "cute" things, plus the fabrics are fairly generic since we don't know if a girl or boy is on the way

I also refinished a little cheap footstool that I bought at Walmart. This was one of those projects that sat around for six months and then when I actually sat down to do it, only took a couple of hours. I am in love with the way it turned out.

So I have been sewing, who knew!Back to it!

Don't forget, if you haven't already you can now Follow Me on Bloglovin'

Thank you for stopping by

Thursday 14 March 2013

So Long Google Reader

If you haven't heard, Google has announced that on July, 1 2013 they will be completely shutting down Google Reader. When I heard, I will admit, I hit my panic button. How am I going to follow all of my favorite blogs??!

There has been a lot of discussion out there and I tried a couple of different options today and I have moved to using Bloglovin'. It seems fairly easy to use and the move from Google Reader was one-click easy. All I had to do was start a new account and hit the import button and all of the blogs that I currently follow were transferred. Easy Peasy.
If you follow me via Google Reader, please take a couple of minutes to find a new "feeder". You can find me on bloglovin' here

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Do you have any other suggestions? Would love to hear your thoughts.

See you in the feed

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Sally's Squint: A Finish

This is Sally

My husband Max met Sally at his local lunch place four years ago. She was just hanging out. After a couple of days it became clear that Sally had been abandoned. Max invited her to get in his truck to come home, she did, and we have had four amazing years with the sweetest dog that I have ever met. Sally loved going to camp, milk bone parties and especially her Dad. If Max was there, Sally was content, and he gave her the best dog life ever.

that bone was so good she did not have time to lie down

Last week I was working on Squint. Sally spent many hours looking on as I worked on this quilt. On a few occasions she sat looking on expectantly as I worked at the dining room table. I think she was sure that I was holding out on her on delicious morsels even though I let her sniff scissors, fabric etc to convince her there was nothing she would be interested in.

On Thursday night we lost Sally. She passed in her father's arms and we miss her terribly.

You know how songs, or smells, or even tastes remind of us of things? Well quilts are like that for me. Each stitch, or fabric piece can bring me back to a time and place, a sweet or bittersweet memory. Now Squint is the quilt that will remind me of Sally most. I cried over these stitches. The quilt is full of imperfections, some even ugly, but you know what? Sally would not mind.

My husband and I are going to be moving home to our native Nova Scotia this year. We kept telling Sally that she would be a Nova Scotia dog, instead, Sally's Squint will hang in our new home to remind us of her.

Thank you for stopping by

Wednesday 6 March 2013

WiP Wednesday: Half a Squint

Wednesday again, it's funny how they come every week! This week I have been focusing on my latest project: Squint. Now I just came up with this name, and I am not sure if I love it or not, and yet, each time I say it in my head I like it more and more. Why Squint you ask? Because every time you look at this quilt, and maybe give a little squint, you see more and more patterns. I love this! It gives the quilt a lot of movement.


As you can see, I have also titled this post Half a Squint because I only have half of the top done :)I have a story about this, but I will get to that later.

First I must say that this quilt is a shameful copy of Pantone Pop designed by the amazing Katie Pedersen. I have been in love with her quilt since I first saw it, and vowed that I must have one. So yeah, I ordered the same fabrics and here we are today. I hope Katie knows that in my world, copying is the greatest form of compliment that I can give!

So to get to half a top, I spent several days creating the Half Square Triangles that  were needed for the design. If you know anything at all about HSTs, you know there are a lot of steps to get to the finished product. If you are new to HSTs they are made by a lot of this:


 and this

The result is nearly 400 3 1/2 inch HSTs. Phew!

So here is the story about the half a top. I am known to throw up a design wall when I need one. Have flannel sheet and tacks, will travel. I did just that yesterday and started laying out my HSTs.

Great right?! Sure, but I did run into a problem. Said design wall created a delicious pile of fabric on the floor. 

This pool of fun was just too much for my cat Penny to ignore. I woke up in the morning to pouncing,  pawing and half of my design on the floor. Flannel is "sticky", but Velcro it is not. So after some squirts of spray bottle Penny was convinced that the fabric on the floor was actually no fun at all, and I decided that perhaps I should cut my loses and sew together the half left on the wall before moving on. Of course ideally you want to put your whole quilt up on the design wall, but this pattern is very forgiving, so I am not worried.

I did not get a Chance to photograph Penney messing up my stuff (too busy running for squirt bottle) but here she is in a calmer moment. Don't let the curtness fool you, it is all part of her evil plan to control the universe.

Over the next week, Squint will continue and of course I have other projects still on the list:


  • Postage Stamps: DONE
  • Foreign Currency: DONE
  • Squint: Top half done
  • Ascend: Cutting started
  • Baby Quilt for a friend: Not started
  • Flower Chain: Not started
  • UFO Bento Box: Top and back done, needs quilting
  • UFO Happy Retro: Top half done

Well I have said a lot. Time to close my yap and get back to the design wall. Need to keep an eye on that cat. Do you have pet issues that make your quilting "fun"? Would love to hear about them.

I'm linking up today at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for stopping by