Finished Projects · Non-Quilt Projects · Sewing Room

Sewing Room Update

I don’t believe a I have a lot to update on this topic, but I need to talk about SOMETHING this week, so here we are!

First stop is the little white shelving unit I keep all the pressing things on. You’ll see that there are some grey fabric boxes on the shelves. In case I didn’t make the clear before, that is where the current projects live! The curtains and bits for the baby quilt are in one box and the two panel quilts are in another. When I finally stop looking at it, the rainbow log cabin block from last week will go in the last one, along with the table runner class, whenever that starts. These bins are only for things I’m currently working on. These are NOT UFOs!! (Apart from the UFO that is due for UFO-class because that makes them work in project … NOT CONFUSING AT ALL). This is how it’s working for now.

Second stop is the closet. This part you are already aware of, but I should mention it officially. I got very tired of fighting with my clothes in the closet (they take up a lot of room, surprisingly!) and moved them into another bedroom. Now I can actually access things I store in the closet!! I’d like to put up more shelving though so I can get things off the floor. We’ll have to see what Husband thinks of that over the summer. For now, I’m very happy to have a place to hang basted quilts! It keeps them off surfaces and reminds me of what I have to do! Speaking of … I REALLY need to quilt that last quilt … I think that might be my February UFO.

Last stop: remember I told you to keep in mind the log cabin block and where it is? Well, it’s proof that I cleaned off my last sewing surface! The secondary cutting area is finally clean! It’s no longer a secondary cutting area though, but that’s okay because …

… I FINALLY have my steam press!! I know!!! I’m so very excited! The first thing I did was press all the pieces for my apron dress!!! Unfortunately, the dress turned out very apron-y and not very dress-y, but it is still finished, which is the main point. And I’ve figured out what parts I need to modify to make it fit a bit better. I might make another? We’ll have to see!

Still focusing on the baby quilt for now. I’d like to have it completely done by next weekend. That’s a bit of an aggressive plan, but we’ll see! Maybe I’ll make it!


Finished Projects · Quilt Designs

Midwinter Sun

I did not start on the baby quilt. I was supposed to, but I got completely distracted. I know none of you are shocked. In my defence, Crazy Quilter distracted me! I’m taking one of her courses … alright, fine, TWO of her courses, but one is every other month so it doesn’t count!!! That’s self-restraint! I wanted to take FIVE of them! Huge self-restraint … and the first class was so inspiring that I made the homework assignment right away! Just for the record, I was not alone. At least one other person made the homework immediately too. I hope she has the Virtual Retreat after this class every time. I’ll be so far ahead it!

The first assignment has to do with Log Cabin blocks. I won’t give away the whole assignment because, well, it’s HER class! You need to sign up for the privileged information! I have made log cabin blocks before (see above). FYI – I made that block wrong. You are supposed to start with the lightest colours of both sides in the middle, then work out to the darkest colour of both at the edges. I accidentally started with the darkest of the whites and the lightest of the blacks in the middle, so it doesn’t have the affect you normally get with log cabins. It was my first log cabin block ever though and I was still learning! It’s been quilted and bound for a very long time and just kicking around doing nothing, so it was easy to locate for the picture. For my homework assignment, I decided to try a new twist on the standard block. It’s called a half log cabin.You start from the corner and work out. As she was talking, I knew right away what I wanted to do for it and what colours I wanted to use. And, of course, I got hyper focused and finished it off, batting, backing, and quilting complete!

You can see I just went around the edge with a blanket stitch, no binding. There’s a reason for that. At the start of this class, my original intention was to make all the projects and try to make a sampler quilt at the end from all the bits we did. HOWEVER … I got inspired by this log cabin block and while I was making it, I got so focused on finished it and hanging it in my room that I completely forgot about my original intention. I was planning on hanging it on my door and making a “Sewing Room” sign to go with it. BUT ONCE AGAIN … I got inspired to make something different without the log cabin block as I started to assemble the rest of the material for the door banner. My attention span is terrible … So now I have a quilted block without a purpose. I have since decided to do all my blocks for the course quilt-as-you-go and maybe I’ll still make a quilt at the end. I can always just do some wall hangings, but I’ll try to wait until the end to decide.

HOLD UP THOUGH! If you thought at that meant the block was finished, think again!!! While staring into it (I find those colours totally mesmerizing, which is one reason I think it shouldn’t be a wall hanging or I might get distracted!!), I suddenly concluded that simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting is not good enough for this quilt. It needs MORE!!! I uploaded it to a photo app on my iPad, grabbed my trusty stylus, and sketched out a quilting design that I think highlights the sun-motif I picture when I look at these colours. I’m waffling back and forth between doing the quilting in the same thread I did the stitch-in-the-ditch or colour-matching the thread to the fabric on each row. I know that’s more work – that’s not what bothers me. I just don’t know how much I want to emphasize the quilting design. I don’t want to detract from the colours as (to me) that is the main focus of this block. Contrasting thread will certainly stand out, but will it overwhelm it too much? Still thinking on that one.

Did you notice where the first log cabin block picture was taken? Well, keep that in mind. Next week is going to be my sewing room update and that picture will take on a little more meaning when we get there!


Binding · Finished Projects

The Quilt Parade

The Tula quilt is quilted!!! Well, quilted enough.

By the end of last week, I had all the sashing pretty much quilted. I decided to make a goal for myself. My birthday was this week, which marks 4 years of sewing. I decided that I needed to be sleeping under my own quilt on the night of my birthday, so I finished the sashing, the outer border, and the binding. Last step was to finish weaving in all the thread ends and I managed to get that finished on the birthday day! That night, sleep city!!

Not a great picture. As you can see, I went with the purple striped binding. It went the best with the most amount of the edge. I am very happy with the look. There will be a better picture when I finish quilting the blocks … if you zoom in, you may be able to tell that there are still safety pins in the blocks. That’s part of the reason the quilt is folded the way it is – safety pins in! That way, I won’t stick myself in my sleep. 🙂 I want this quilt 100% DONE for the end of February, so I’m not too worried about the pins. That’s a really aggressive plan for 90 blocks, but I’m hoping I can make it? It might be tough to hit, because …

The baby quilt is also ready to go!! I may have ordered WAY too much backing … I think I have enough to make 2 more baby quilts. This is why I should not go fabric shopping late at night. I needed 4 feet of backing, but I ordered 4 YARDS of backing … yeah. Oh well – lots to spare!! It will dictate the colour of the next couple of baby quilts, but oh well!!

The quilt is hanging in the closet, ready to go. I think this is fanatic use of the closet hanger bar! I could also put the quilt on a hanger in a similar fashion and hang it up on the bar, but I REALLY don’t want to get a quilt backlog. This should inspire me to GO GO GO!! March goal – get that sampler quilt finished once and for all!! It’s been 3 years, for crying out loud! Enough is enough!


Finished Projects · UFO

Full Production

I am starting to suspect that January and February are my most productive season. Either that or I’m starting to actually hit that “slowing down” period of life I’m always talking about!

Baby quilt top is finished!! The bearded man block turned out better than expected. I’m glad I changed it! I ordered the backing for the quilt online. This will be my first attempt to quilt with minky … we’ll see how that goes!! We’ll also see how it holds up as a child’s blanket. I know it won’t keep that soft furry feel forever, but I don’t know how well it wears. Baby quilts are perfect guinea pig quilts, in my opinion. Hopefully the parents allow the children to use that quilt to death, which in turn allows me to see how durable certain fabrics or quilting techniques are.

I’ve also FINALLY started quilting my Tula quilt!!! The plan is to quilt all the sashing and border, then bind it, then work on quilting each square. I figure I can pick one row per month as a starting goal and see how far I get. My UFO commitment is to get one quilt half-quilted. I’m really hoping that it will be the Tula quilt (to date, I’m almost finished the horizontal sashing quilting), but I will switch gears as soon as that backing shows up in the mail. That baby is coming early March, which could mean mid-late February if it’s early. Priorities people!

I also have another priority for February, but at may wait until my vacation at the end of that month. And I won’t be talking about it right away because IT’S A SECRET PROJECT! Maybe that will be my week for re-visiting the sewing room and some of the changes I’ve made?


Piecing · Quilt Designs

Well That Was Fast …

If you’re looking for a fast quilt pattern to put together in just a few days of hard work, I think this might be the pattern for you.

Last week I was going to try to get the top together. Well, as you can see …

I’m pretty much there! I have one block left to assemble (already cut out and waiting), then I have to put the blocks together, then add a long strip at the top and bottom, and we have a finished flimsy! A block a night only took about an hour/hour & a half to cut out and sew together. 12 blocks, so that’s a little over a day if you’re only sewing 12 hours a day. This is a retreat quilt!!!

As you can see, I did modify the man block. I’m not 100% sure I’m happy with it though. My original idea was to give him a chinstrap beard (not what my brother has, but a beard is a beard on a square block), but I thought it made the mouth look funny. I went with a full beard, but now it looks like the bottom half was accidentally dipped in paint! What do you think? I suspect I’m going to rip that block apart tonight and do the chinstrap look. I think it’s better that way than how it is now.

Well that’s been my week and that will be my night! Short and sweet update. Next week will be the start of a quilting marathon. I now have 3 quilts in the queue … including the blanket that is still not on my bed!!!!!! Baby is coming in March, so maybe Auntie M should focus on herself first? We will see!


Non-Quilt Projects · Quilt Designs · UFO

Warp Speed Baby Quilt

I don’t know what lit the fire under me … but I like it!

First up – the curtains. They … did not go according to plan. For future reference, if you ever ask someone to make sheers for you and they charge you handsomely for it, PAY THE MONEY. These things are beyond terrible to work with!!At this point, you can see I have two different lengths and I’m not entirely convinced the hem is straight. I’m sick to death of trying to get them right and I only have 2 more panels to get it right with, so this project is on hold. What I have for now is good enough … especially since we are back in lockdown here in Ontario!! No one is going to see them because no one is supposed to be in my house. They obscure the view from the back yard, so they are fulfilling the required purpose. I am DONE with them for now!

Wonky curtains

With that little nightmare fading behind me, I switched focus to the baby quilt. Again … lockdown, so am I ever glad I already bought the items I needed to work on this!!!! I will probably need to acquire a backing soon, but I can procrastinate on that for a few weeks.

Block 1: the dog block

This is the original pattern by Kelli Fannin created for Riley Blake Designs to go with the Fisher Price fabric they released. I’m not taking too many liberties with this pattern, but I think the dog block can do with some tweaking, don’t you?

There! That looks much better! 😀 Since this quilt is staying in the family, I feel that I can take a could make it look a little more personal without causing any confusion. I’m also planning on altering the bald man (column 2, row 2). Baby’s father (my brother) likes to keep a hair-free dome coupled with a big bushy beard! I haven’t looked at that block yet, but if I can modify it to look more like family … then yay!! Baby’s mother already looks somewhat like the blonde bob-hair lady (column 1, row 1), so the man block should be the only other change I need to make. I’m super excited to flex my design muscles a little bit!!

Completed so far

My UFO class goal for Jan 16 was to have all the fabrics picked out and the dog block done. Since I’m already well past that part, who wants to take bets on how far I can get in another week? Maybe … even … a whole quilt top?? I’m not committing to that, but … wouldn’t that be amazing???


Finished Projects · Non-Quilt Designs · Non-Quilt Projects

2021 – Final Thoughts

First off – sorry for the absence. There were some WordPress issues. As a result, my domain name changed. Hopefully that doesn’t throw anyone off!

So Tula update first. The quilt is finished!!! Well, the quilt top … which was the goal! I’ve also basted the top with batting and backing. I had to order some thread and that is in the mail now, so I should be starting in the new year!! I’m not sure if I’m going to use the blue stripes or the purple stripes for the binding. We’ll have to see what happens!

I love how this top looks completed. I was very worried about how it would go together as there was an over-abundance of elements in this quilt. Light to dark from top to bottom, colour spectrum shift from left to right, but it all came together in the end! And taking out a row was the right call. It would have looked strange on a bed as it hung far down the sides of a queen but barely fit length-wise. Now it’s about the same size as the Skilly&Duff quilt shown below. And Husband went out of his way on more than one occasion to mention that he really likes it. High praise coming from him about a colourful quilt!

For Christmas, I spent a solid 2 weeks where I was sewing at least a little bit every day to get 5 (FIVE?!?!) wallets finished for the ladies of the family. I got them all done the night before (true M fashion right??). I only have a picture of 2 of the finished ones as the rest have been gifted already. I’m so happy with the way they turned out! The outer are made of vinyl (the scallop pattern) and cork. The inside is made of quilt cotton. Most of the inside was bought on sale, but the butterflies are (of course!!) from the Tula Daydream line. They are a perfect focal print!

Between Christmas and New Year’s, I decided to get a part of my life organized that I’ve been contemplating for some time. The TV stand!!! In my house, we have a lot of video game/computers type things, so it became a natural dumping ground for cables, consoles, headphones, etc. I started examining the space before the holidays with the intention of getting it all sorted. I decided that we needed to use fabric bins as they would work well in the space, but the size I needed height-wise to fit on the shelf was not a standard size. Getting what I needed from. Amazon or Wayfair was going to be expensive and I did not want to spend a ton of money on this … so I decided to make the bins!!!! I was initially planning on making all of them myself until I ran across an incredible deal on the smaller bins that was cheaper to buy than to make, so I just focused on the bigger ones. I found a pattern online ( that came very close to being exactly what I wanted! I did make 2 changes to the pattern. First, I turned the box inside out when I assembled it. That was necessary because I was using bulky corrugated cardboard instead of thin cereal box cardboard. The button on bottom she suggested left the box bits hanging out in plain view. For the second part, since I wasn’t buttoning the bottom on, I made a sleeve for the box bottom, put the cardboard in the sleeve, tucked in the end, and put it face-down in the bottom. That adequately provides rigidity. Is it a solid box? No, not really, but those boxes will not be pulled out on a regular bases, so it’s firm enough to hold the shape and look good on the shelf.

Finally, the future as I see it:
1. Baby blanket!!!! We have a new baby coming to the family. IN MARCH. And I hadn’t started the new quilt at all beyond picking out the pattern. Well, I now have all the fabric selected/purchased. Come Jan 1, I will be starting to cut into it!
2. Curtains for the kitchen windows. I’ve been trying to get this part done for about a month, but I made a few different mistakes and each time I did, I didn’t have time to come back to it. I need to get those sheers done in January now!
3. Quilting Tula. Now that the top is finished and the quilt is basted, I need to get the quilting done. At the suggestion of Crazy Quilter, I’m going to quilt all the sashing, then bind the quilt, then do the block quilting over the course of the year! That actually sounds like a really cool idea and I’m all for trying new ideas!

2022 promises to be a sew-tactic year. Thanks for coming along with me so far. I’m excited to keep adventuring with you through another circle around the sun!


Finished Projects · Non-Quilt Designs · Sewing Room

Warm Dreams for Me!

I am SO CLOSE to having a quilt on my bed!! You don’t even know how excited I am! When my last quilt wore out, I just started using old couch throws that we were planning on pitching. I figured on using them for a few months while I made myself a quilt, then life became a madhouse, and here I am 2 years later with no quilt going into the winter. IEEEE!!

I only have 10 blocks left. During the Crazy Quilter’s retreat weekend, I figured I’d focus on my Tula quilt and get that thing ready for quilting! The Tula club weekend had been the one previous, so I had a full list of the blocks left. I cherry-picked blocks from October and November. I’m looking for a fast finish here folks – anything with lots of piecing is going to hit the curb!

Sadly, I’ve been left chomping at the bit ever since. A couple of interferences popped up over the last 2 weeks that set me back. Thank goodness it’s stayed unseasonably warm!! I still have time!

First interference was house-related. We got new windows!! I have been patiently waiting for new windows since the spring! Moving in here late winter meant I didn’t have to deal with them much during the cold season, but my where they ever drafty!! I’m pretty sure they’re the same windows the house was built with circa late 70s early 80s. 40 years is a good run for a window, but it was long past time to upgrade. On at least one window, the plastic flange was so rotten that it simply shattered when I tried to close the window. Needless to say, we’ve had a wonderful supply of fresh air in the house this year! That is all behind us now though and we have lovely new glass to start the winter with. I moved my office into the sewing room for the duration, so I did not touch a sewing machine for A WHOLE WEEK! Horrors!

Second interference was one niece’s birthday. I desperately wanted to make her a nighttie. I’d ordered the fabric before the windows were started, so as soon as the work was done and I was able to pull my sewing machines back out of the closet, I set to work on that!!! Every time I make clothes, I always marvel at how fast I can put them together! Comparing quilts, clothes, and bags, clothes are the clear winner for fast project completion, especially fabrics that don’t need interfacing!! I think I need to make socks next. Who doesn’t like socks??

In the end, not only did I get her nighttie made, but I even had time to make the accompanying cape. Oh, did I not mention the cape? Every nighttie can be transformed into a princess gown with this handy cape mod. I picked up 40cm of satin from Fabricland, cut it in half (her little sister’s birthday is next week – guess what she’s getting? 😉 ), and put seams around it so the satin wouldn’t fray. I double-folded the edges in to make sure there are no exposed edges to fray. Then I put button holes at the top of the cape and sewed buttons to the shoulders of the nighttie. It is that simple … and that awesome! It was an absolute hit!

Last little thing finished was the father-in-law quilt!!! I’ve got all the threads on the front and the back buried! I made use of my new-to-me rocking chair (maybe I should do a blog post on the fun that was the restoration next) and parked my butt in the chair to get everything tidied up. Tonight, I need to get started on the label for the back. That’s all I have left to do, then it’s wash, dry and out the door!


Binding · Finished Projects · UFO

Moar Powarrrrrr!

Well … The miracle actually happened.

As of last week, it’s finished! From top to bottom, start to finish, DONE! I can’t believe it myself! There is a teeny tiny amount to do left – weave in the thread ends and attach the label – but I’m counting this quilt as a 2021 finish!

After the previous week’s blitz, I only had the Tree of Life block to do. As we all know, that’s a special block for me, so I did a little extra quilting on it. Do you see the little leaves? I got very excited about that part. In fact, I’m still excited about it! I think it’s a perfect way to finish the block quilting portion of this quilt.

Up next was the sashing. I actually had several ideas about the sashing as I was working on it and had settled on fake cursive or waves. I thought waves would be more fitting, but would take longer. After I finished all the blocks and spread it on the bed to roll it, I realized that the quilting looked very busy because each block had completely different quilting designs. I thought that making the sashing busy too may detract from the blocks, so at the last second I decided to go with a simple X pattern on each strip. I used chalk and a ruler to mark the lines, then free-motion stitched the lines. I learned a couple of lessons about this design. First – I like it for sampler quilts! Very simple and clean looking. Second – 16” blocks are too big to quilt that design with a ruler. The first row didn’t look super straight and I got a similar look using the free-motion foot instead. Plus less cumbersome with no ruler and it went faster. Third – If I want those lines to look super straight and crisp in the future, I can only use the ruler on smaller focal blocks. I wanted to use it on the Amish Barns quilt when I finished it, but we’ll have to see. It may be easier to do the larger blocks if I’m only quilting a lap size. Fighting a queen size quilt through the machine while sewing with a ruler is hard!

With the sashing finished, all I had left was the outer border! This one I had picked out from the moment the quilt was finished and I stuck with it. I used the Taj ruler to put a simple design around the border. It will keep everything stitched down, it didn’t take too much time, and it looks neat and clean. Win win win!

Time to put away the quilting feet and rulers!! Whooo!!! Of course, we’re not quite finished, but OH SO CLOSE. First to trim the quilt. I took this opportunity to also measure the quilt dimensions at this point. When I pulled out the binding the night before, I was terrified that I didn’t have enough fabric to do the binding! Measuring the quilt first told me that I had more than enough to get it on. I may even have a fat eighth left over. And when I got the binding on, I cut off a spare 3 inches. How is that for perfect measurement!!

Binding was finished the night before UFO club. I tossed the quilt on the spare bed, took a picture, and sent everything off for my completion check-mark. I’m planning on weaving in the ends and putting on the label when I’m in Sudbury for a few days in November (more on that another day). My FIL may be dropping in this week, though, so I need to find a good place to hide it in the meantime!!


Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) · Quilt Designs · UFO

Ahead Of Schedule!

Sometimes I surprise myself at how much I can get done! I have expectations that X project will take so long, but if I really get in the zone, it feels like I can cut the time in half! Not really, but … it feels that way!

My original UFO class goal was 6 blocks this month, 6 blocks next month, bound and ready for Christmas. I’m on track to have all 12 blocks done by the end of this week! And if I manage that, why not just have the quilt bound and finished so I can move on to other things?

The last few quilt blocks are relatively simple. Inspiration hits different ways I guess. I did try a modified version of the feather. It works okay, but not nice enough that I would try again. I’ll save it for focal quilting in blank spaces.

I did run into one snag while quilting the birds-in-the-air block. I guess I had a piece of scrap on the table that stuck to the back, then got quilted in!! This gave me a chance to use the duckbill scissors that my mum gave me for my birthday this year. I cut the fabric close to the seam, then shredded the fabric and pulled it out. It worked like a charm and I didn’t have to rip out any quilting! Whoop!!

The label is finished (but not printed), the sashing quilting has been figured out, and the binding is picked out. Can I get the whole quilt finished before my UFO class??? Probably not, but that would be nothing short of miraculous!