Wednesday, September 19, 2012

India Embroidery Pieces

Stephanie's next door neighbour made a trip to India and purchased crates of linens and bedding items.  Stephanie obained some of these items and brought them over to show me and to discuss quilting some of them.  It was exciting to see what she had and even more exciting when she dashed back home, went to her neighbour's and brought one crate over for me to go through.  I purchased a baker's dozen of the pillow shams she had and have already started taking them apart.  I want to use the embroidered parts and make them into a quilt for Breagha.

Here is a sampling of what I bought.

I just love them,  Each one is about 10 inches square and I am thinking of incorporating them with modern blocks in mostly white with bits of solid colored fabrics throughout.  I'm pretty sure that Breagha will like them and it'll be another quilt to add to her collection.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Addition to the Family


This kitten was making all kinds of racket in the alley.  At first we thought it might be an injured bird since we have numerous bird feeders in our yard but no, it was a tiny ball of fur that created all that noise and pushed itself under the fence and into our arms.  This all happened the evening of Aug. 7, 2012 and at that time, she barely looked old enough to have left her mother.  (In fact, after a visit to the vet, she was too young to have been seperated from her mother as she was only about 4 weeks old).

Both my husband and I have had pets our entire lives.  Not the kind of pets that one gets from a breeder, not even a "breed".  No, we are people who own pets that others have discarded and we do not get to pick a pet, the pet picks us.  Two years ago, we made the decision that we would no longer have any pets and that decision was not made lightly.  Pet ownership is a huge responsibility and with our advancing years, it was time to stop caring for pets. 

Every effort was made to initially try and find the owners.  We felt sure that this kitten had escaped from a home and that someone, anyone, would be desperately trying to find her.  Not ad was placed on Kijjii, a call was made to the SPCA and a description of the kitten was left as well as the area she was found in.  No one was interested.

So on September 10, a firm decision was made to keep her.  She had already been with us so long that it seemed almost cruel to think of finding her another home with another family.  Animals, like people, can not be uprooted and planted with different families every few weeks. 

Under protest, not wanting any more animals......we find ourselves parenting once again and the worst part is that.......we are liking it and we are in love with her. 


This was taken yesterday, September 14, 2012, in my backyard.  Steph is my stepdaughter and has been a cancer survivor many times during her life.  She is about to undergo yet another surgery in Calgary and this quilt will be travelling with her.  During Steph's numerous hospitalizations, she never fails to take a quilt with's become her thing and I am happy to keep her supplied with them.  Even better news is that Steph herself is becoming a quilter and will soon be able to add her own efforts to her collection of quilts. 

The log cabin quilt is near and dear to my heart.  When I first began quilting, a log cabin was one of my first quilts and since then, I find myself going back to the pattern over and over through the years.  That first, original log cabin, is owned by my daughter, Michelle. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Breagha's RAG QUILT

Just completed quilt #14 for my two and a half year old grandaughter.  For some people, that would indicate an excessive number of quilts.   It really isn't when you consider how often these quilts require washing and the fact that there is always one or two on her little bed. 

I ordered the fat quarter bundle from Connecting Threads called "Wild Ones".  They were on sale at a great price so I ordered additional yardage as well.  Bear in mind, this line is flannel, the one medium I don't care to work with, but my daughter loves it and I am beginning to suspect that my grandaughter will too. 

This is the first time I have tried the rag quilt pattern although it seems there is a rag quilt on almost every quilting blog out there.  Looked at numerous tutorials but finally decided the one method I liked best was this one:

Amanda Jean is awesome when it comes to tutorials of any kind.  I love how she encourages you to always "make it your own".  As you know, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone. 

The changes that I made were changes that worked best for me.  Little things that made a big difference. For one thing, I used fusible cotton batting rather than just plain batting.  I can't begin to tell you what a difference it made in keeping those squares together.  Perhaps a little more work as you have to iron them together but definitely worth it.  Amanda used her walking foot to quilt an X, I wanted to practice my stipple quilting so I went wild on all these 5 inch sandwiches.  Other than that, I followed her instructions completely.

I also got a tad creative in photographing this quilt, something I normally don't do.....but I wanted to email these photographs to my daughter, just to see her reaction and of course, it was the reaction I had hoped for, she loved it and emailed me back to let me know that she was keeping this quilt for herself!!!!

After photographing this quilt, I spent the evening worrying about the fact that a rag quilt does not call for a binding.  I worried that the constant pulling on the edges, with the weight of all that flannel, would cause too much strain so I decided to attempt a binding.  Off to Fabricland I went and bought a plain pink flannel meter of fabric, came home, sewed the binding and found it easier than I expected.  Used my walking foot and it travelled over the joins easily. 

And here it is, binding completed.  I am so glad that I did this as it just gives added strength to the quilt.  The thing that I especially like about this pattern is that you can change up the sizing of the quilt so easily just by adding more blocks.  The pattern called for 150 blocks but I made 195 because I wanted it large enough to fit Breagha's Big Girl Bed that she just moved into. 

This is the back of the quilt.  As we all know, fabric is expensive and a person always has scraps from past projects.  The three different fabrics you see on this backing came from flannels that I had used in Breagha's other quilts.  I had all these pieces of flannel, not enough to do anything with, but too much to throw away.  I used every bit of all the leftovers in making this rag quilt and loved that they got used up.  When I was doing the layout for the front of the rag quilt, I had made up my mind that I would not think about how the back was going to look.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the random backing actually turned out as well as it did. 

This quilt is heavily stippled with machine quilting but I have to admit, it is so soft and the flannel gives it such weight that I am seriously considering making another flannel rag quilt. 

So, that's another quilt for my beloved grandaughter and another entry into the blog that I know she will read one day. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Breagha's Lil Rascals Quilt

This quilt is number 13 for Breagha, if you count the little lap quilt that I made for her. 

All started with Moda's lil rascals charm packs.  I have been purchasing these on Ebay and using them sparingly on other quilts I have made for Breagha.  There were four packs left and I decided not to hoard them any longer but just go ahead and use them up in a quilt made exclusively of lil rascals.

I just love charm packs......whoever invented them for quilters deserves alot of kisses and hugs.

One of my daughter's favorite quilts for Breagha is the Lollipop Quilt so I thought it would be fitting to use the same pattern for the Lil Rascals quilt - a tossed nine patch that uses a fabric line without any fillers. 

The quilt measure 58" square, not a large quilt by any means, but not a small one either.  Breagha has just gone from a crib to a toddler's bed so this size quilt will serve her for a few more years to come.  I know, she already has so many this size but a child can never have too many quilts from Grandma. 

Handquilted the entire quilt with flowers on the largest squares (4 and 1/2"), x's on the longer halved pieces, outlined all the straight lines, hearts in the borders to wrap it up with love.  Used a brown quilting thread.

Backed the quilt in white, so the brown quilting thread I used is very dominant on the back.

Used a dark brown Kona solid for the binding. 

Washed and ready to be boxed up and shipped to Scotland. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When Things Come Together

Mailed Breagha's Berenstain Bears lap quilt over a week ago. Today, I was out shopping and quite by accident, came across some Berenstain Bears books. Purchased these three for Breagha.

But, of course, the one book that made me really happy was Mama's New Job, and guess what Mama does.....she quilts!  It would have been a perfect book if we could change Mama to Grandma, but I'll settle for a book about quilts. 

I will need a picture of Breagha, sitting in her chair, with her Berenstain Bears lap quilt and this book in her hands.  What a good day this has been.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Breagha's Lap Quilt

So far, I have done two doll quilts for Breagha and loved doing them as it gave me a chance to practise free motion quilting.  The other day, my daughter sent me a photo where Breagha was sitting on the couch, using a doll quilt for a lap quilt.  It was so sweet but seriously not big enough to give good coverage.

So....I spent a day or two thinking of a lap quilt for Breagha.  Just recently I bought a yard of Moda's Berenstain Bears.  I loved it but really didn't want to cut it into pieces as you would lose so much of the design.  Lightbulb went on and I decided to use it as a panel.  Then, I also had a wonderful gem bundle of greens that I bought on line from Marmalade Fabrics, all Kona fabric. 

And here it is.  It's 35 x 45 (approximate) and is about the right size for a lap quilt for a two year old. 

I'm not a huge fan of using panels for quilts but I have to admit, I just couldn't bring myself to cutting up this fabric and losing any of it. 

Then, on to my practise run of machine quilting.  It just went so smoothly and all the starts and stops were knotted and buried and the tension was bang on so no messes to contend with.  I started this early in the morning and couldn't stop until I put the last stitch in the binding late last night. 

And here is a view of the back. 

I hope my little grandaughter gets as much pleasure from this quilt as I did in making it for her.  An added bonus is that it is definitely too small for the Quilt Thief to use. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Quilt for Fraser

My grandaughter, Breagha, has a little friend named Fraser.  Fraser inherited Breagha's old picnic quilt.....a quilt that is about 20 years old and has been very well used.  I was mortified, yes, mortified that my daughter, Michelle, did not dispose of that old relic and actually found a home for it at Fraser's house! 

Upon hearing of the above transaction, I immediately started on a brand new quilt for Fraser.  Today, I finished my quest.

Used a free pattern by Karen that owns a quilt shop called Red Rooster Quilts in Dublin, OH.  She simply calls it a Charm Quilt Pattern and it was easy peasy to make.  Thanks Karen!

Started out with 3 of my favorite charm packs:

I treasure these charm packs so I don't use them lightly.  Of course 3 charm packs weren't quite enough so I added in various other "kid friendly" scraps I had and made the quilt 50 inches square, the right size for little people.

It definitely has a scrappy look and feel to it but a child can spend a great deal of time playing I SPY and finding all sorts of interesting things.  Bordered it in a mint green and used a dark green for the binding.

Backed the quilt in white, perhaps not the best color for a little boy but it just seemed to work best.

Now to fold it up, package it and ship it off to Scotland.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Breagha's Cartwheels Quilt

Finished quilt #11 for Breagha today.

About this quilt:  The pattern is a modern quilt design by one of my favorite bloggers (crazymomquilts), who also co-authored the book "Sunday Morning Quilts".  The pattern is offered free on her blog and is also featured at the Moda Bake Shop with the recipe for making this quilt.

As a traditional quilter for so many years, I had a little trouble switching gears and going modern.  I don't think my daughter likes modern quilts as much as she does the traditional quilts but it takes a little time to make the transition.  I will always love traditional but I am beginning to love modern - ALOT.

The fabric used in this quilt is from Connecting Threads.  The line is Just Desserts and features all those things that little ones love - ice cream, cupcakes, etc. etc.  The colors are so bright, another feature that appeals to a little one's eye.

The quilt was heavily hand quilted in the open spaces but there is no quilting in the colored fabrics.  It makes the cartwheels stand out even more as they puffed up.

Backed the quilt in a soft, very white muslin fabric.  The solid pink binding matches all the pinks in the quilt as it is from the same fabric line.

And here it is, folded and ready for it's journey to Scotland to a much beloved grandaughter.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Log Cabin

I was so busy babbling about Breagha and Michelle's matching log cabin quilts that I forgot there was yet another matching quilt in the mix! Breagha's baby doll also got one.

And here is baby in her bed, with her quilt.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Breagha's Picnic Quilt arrived in Scotland this morning.  This afternoon (which is evening in Scotland), I happened to facetime my daughter and discovered her sitting on the couch and curled up with Breagha's quilt.

She is definitely a quilt thief - I have caught her numerous times borrowing one of Breagha's quilts.

Her excuse - Breagha isn't old enough to lay claim to things that belong to her specifically!!!!!

As this blog is basically a record for my beloved should be interesting to see how she reacts to this thievery when she is old enough to read, lol.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

UPS Delivery

This quilt book arrived FINALLY today.  I bought my copy from and had to wait for a re-order to come in.

The two talented authors of this book have blogs that I have followed for quite some time.  It was Amanda Jean Nyberg who introduced me to Connecting Threads, an on-line fabric store that I have shopped at many many times in the past couple of years.  Cheryl Arkison lives in Alberta, Canada - next province over from where I live.

Spent an hour or so just skimming the entire book and trust me - it does NOT disappoint.  It's everything I thought it would be and MORE.  It is worth every penny and then some and a book that I think belongs in every serious quilter's library.

If anyone reading this wants to follow two exceptional quilting blogs - try crazymomquilts and naptime quilter. Even if you don't quilt - they are fun to follow. 

Michelle's Log Cabin Quilt

Here is the quilt on our spare bedroom queen size bed.  The quilt measures 84 inches square so that leaves a drape on each side of 12 inches.  The quilt is 12 blocks by 12 blocks, with each block containing 13 pieces for a total of 1,832 pieces in the body of the quilt. 

The pattern was derived from Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Log Cabin book.  However, she used 2 1/2 inch strips where I narrowed it down to 1 1/2 inch strips...pre-sewn.  The width of each strip sewn is 1 inch. 

The entire quilt is handquilted.  That means, it is quilted over every single inch of it.  I used over three spools of quilting thread on this quilt - more than I have ever used on any quilt. 

If you travel through  my blog, you will see that I made Breagha a quilt almost exactly like this one.  Michelle liked it so well that she wanted an identical one for herself.  I loved the idea of having matching mother/daughter quilts made by mom/grandma. 

I backed the quilt in a soft white muslin and here is a view of the quilting on the back.

The binding was done in red to match the red centers of each block.  The border was done in my favorite quilting stencil of hearts as I always feel that I am wrapping it up with love. 

I must say that when my daughter saw the photos of her finished quilt, she was awfully happy.  She did a search on the history of log cabin quilts and loved what she discovered about them.  More than fitting that both she and her daughter, living in Scotland, will each own a log cabin quilt. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Free Motion Quilting

Everytime I practice free motion quilting, I discover something new. I am throughly enjoying the process of learning this skill. AND Breagha ends up with another quilt for her dolls.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Canada Post

Canada Post never makes my day but today was worse than ever!

Finally purchased a box so I could get Breagha's picnic quilt sent. It was long overdue and since spring comes early in Scotland, it just had to be sent.

And here is the receipt! Unbelievable as it was just a tad larger than her other quilts and the average cost of sending them is just under $25.

I have to learn how to squish the quilts to fit in smaller boxes, lol

Monday, February 13, 2012

Breagha's Story Book Quilt

Finished Breagha's 10th quilt this morning. I think she is going to just love this one! No store bought blankets for this child, only quilts made by her grandma.

Did not back it in flannel, backed it in muslin instead. Can't wait to get it packed up and shipped to Scotland. I must apologize for the photos but I have been blogging from my Iphone.  For some reason, I have been unable to upload photos from my digital camera folders to this blog.  And for some reason, the crisp and clear photos from my phone do not come through to the blog very well.