September QAL Block

…just in the nick of time :)…


I know I don’t usually post on Monday, but just to prove that the block was done before the end of September… And in honour of the season, more colourful this time! Linking my block to the Classic Meets Modern QAL @ Sew At Home Mummy.

And here’s how I know it’s fall:


Happy Monday!


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Premier Week

Well, there hasn’t been much progress around here this week – too many premiers on television to watch :). I’m not a huge television watcher, generally speaking, but it’s always nice to catch the first show of the season of a couple of favourites. As a result, the July Shop Hop quilt is still in progress (it’s half quilted now, but I won’t bore you with another pic of the top as you saw it back here), the September Classic Meets Modern QAL block is not complete (and I might have to post it over the weekend to get it in before the end of the month!) and there has been no additional progress on any of the Way-Back projects….

Television watching, however, does require knitting – and since my sister and I managed to find some beautiful bamboo (with free scarf pattern included – bonus!) at our local knitting guild’s annual show a couple of weeks ago, it’s been a week of knitting!

Here’s the skein of newly purchased yarn:


And here’s what a week of television watching brings:


So, no quilty progress, but I might have a nice green scarf to wear before long – and a good thing too, because fall arrived this past week and the cool weather is on it’s way!

Happy Friday!


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Big and Little

It’s been a beautiful fall week here – even if it is a little cooler than normal for this time of year. Last weekend we made the trip to Point Pelee National Park, about a three hour drive from where we live. Point Pelee is the southernmost point in Canada and a great place for bird and butterfly watching as it is a stop on the migratory route for many bird species as well as Monarch butterflies.

We didn’t see that many butterflies because we weren’t there at the perfect time of day, not to mention the lower numbers of Monarchs generally – probably due to the impacts of reduced habitat (people clearing milkweed). But we did find this little guy sunning himself by the visitor’s centre.


And here’s the view from the point, standing on the last little bit of sand before entering Lake Erie (the waters of which are apparently VERY dangerous here because of the currents around the point) and looking back toward land.


And now for the quilt connection :). You first saw Little a few weeks ago – she was just a top then. But on the way to Point Pelee, she received her final touches, with a beautiful pink binding to compliment her pink ties and frothy pink backing (more on that in a minute). Here she is showing off at the entrance to the park.


And here’s her gorgeous back:


That pink “minky” imitation fabric is as soft as down, if a little hard on the eyes, but still just perfect for someone who will soon be a big sister. MY big sister took one look at Little lying on the floor, pinned and ready for tying and said, “you’ll have a nice strip left of the backing to make a little pillow.” Der, of course – wish I’d thought of that! Pillow to follow in a bit :).

And, for daddy – a second, matching quilt from his polo shirts. This is Big:


Sorry – the last stitch completed on the binding just a little too late for an outside picture (now that it’s fall, it’s becoming a challenge again!). And on the back of Big, a nice blue fleece polka dot:


Maybe not quite a soft as the pink, but still soft, comfy and warm for a daddy to keep warm over the winter (and they DO get winter in Saskatchewan!).

And, all snuggled up together – Big and Little:


And that’s one (1!) Way-Back Project complete! Too bad – no link up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts this week because of technical difficulties (I can relate!), but I would have linked up as this is a double finish :)!

It’s still warm enough to ride my bike to work and this week, Mr. G.B. Heron has moved to my side of the pond on a couple of evenings. I had to stop to take another photo of him, but he was definitely aware of me and actually turned his back to me to let me know what he thought of my presence – having raised children, I’m used to this reaction :).


Here’s to happy trails and a warm autumn!



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Islington Station Finish

Our local weather girl promised a day of sunshine, but it’s been pretty overcast for much of the day – seems like fall is here already. Don’t get me wrong – I love the cooler weather, harvest time and falling leaves. But after the summer we’ve had, it does seem a little premature…. I was hoping for some bright sunlight for the photos of the finished quilt, but I had to make do with what I could get, especially since I was stitching down the rest of the binding as the sun set.

So here’s the finished quilt!


Not too shabby, I think :). I machine quilted in the ditch vertically, using the two centre seams of the bright blocks as a guide (and the ever handy painter’s masking tape), then horizontally using the three centre seams of the neutral blocks as a guide.

Here’s the back:


For the back, I used leftover blocks from the front, a big chunk of green found at Mary Maxim on sale and some pink leftover from (several) other projects, patched together to come up with enough length and width to finish up. If you missed the tutorial last week, you can find it here.


The finished quilt measures in at a generous twin, or double topper size.

I know I linked the finished tutorial up with Finish-it-up-Friday last week over at CrazyMomQuilts, but now that the quilt is finished, I’m linking it up again :).

Happy Fall Friday!


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Islington Station Eastbound

Well, it’s late – but the long weekend tutorial is finally here as promised! An in-progress bathroom project and some misguided furniture moving (both stories for another day) conspired to get in the way, but at least the quilt top is finished – and not a moment too soon…

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but a couple of years ago I made the daily commute into Toronto to work. And, as I find so often with my life, I travelled in the opposite direction from the vast majority of people – heading West in the morning and East in the evening, arriving at and departing from the Islington Subway Station. You may also know (or perhaps not) that in Toronto, each subway station has a unique tile design on its walls. I have yet to travel from one end of the system to the other to see all of the different patterns, but it’s something that I would still love to do (when I was commuting, there was never enough time!).

Here are the tiles at the Islington Station that inspired this quilt:


And here’s the design based on my favourite Subway station (sorry – it’s been a rainy evening so I’ll have to provide a better [sunny outdoor] photo when I can):


And if you’d like to make your own version, here is what you will need:


For the quilt top pictured (approximately 62 inches wide by 82 inches long):
3 yards red solid:
– 8 sashing strips measuring 1 1/4″ by the length of your row (about 80″)
– 2 side borders measuring 2″ by the length of your row
– 2 top/bottom borders measuring 2″ by the width of your quilt top (about 62 1/2″)
– 96 strips measuring 1 1/4″ by 6 1/2″
Added 09/12/14 – and I forgot to mention here, you should have enough red yardage leftover for 12 – 2 1/2″ x WOF strips. Sew together two (short 2 1/2″ ends) for the border at the top of the row of extra blocks on the back, two for the border at the bottom of the row of extra blocks, and the remaining 8 for binding to finish the quilt.
1 jelly roll in neutral/low volume colours (mine is Shirtings Floral Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda)
6 fat quarters in bright colours (or you could use 2 charm packs, if you’d prefer)
– cut 6 or 7 – 2 1/2″ strips from each fat quarter for a total of 39 strips

To make the quilt top:

Sort your jelly roll strips into 10 sets of 4 strips each; sew together your sets of 4 strips along the long edges. I like to chain piece whenever possible and for projects like this where I might orient my block in any direction depending on how I want my colours arranged, I always press my seams open to give myself that flexibility. Cut your strip sets into 6 1/2-inch blocks as below.


You should be able to get 60 blocks measuring 8 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ – use 50 for the top and save the extra 10 for a pieced back for this quilt or for use in another project.


Cut your fat quarters into 2 1/2-inch strips; you should be able to get about 6 or 7 strips from each fat quarter – cut a total of 39 strips.


Group the strips into 13 sets of 3 and sew along the long edges as you did with the jelly roll strips sets. Press seams open and cut each set of 3 into 5-inch blocks as below.


You should be able to cut 4 blocks from each set giving you at total of 52 blocks measuring 6 1/2″ x 5″ – we’ll use 49 for the quilt top with 3 extras for a pieced back or another project.

From the red solid, cut 96 – 1 1/4-inch x 6 1/2-inch strips. (Note: I started by cutting 10 of these small strips – enough to put one row together – so that I could measure my row and then cut my sashing and borders. Because the rows are put together vertically rather than horizontally, I was able to verify my row length and then cut my red solid sashing strips to the correct length from my yardage so that I didn’t have seams – almost! I’ll explain in a minute. The point here is that if you want sashing and borders without seams, you might want to cut it from your yardage first before beginning to cut some of the smaller pieces. But you can also feel free to cut sashing strips across the width of the fabric and seam two strips together to get the length you need.)

Sew your 1 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ strips to the top and bottom of 41 of your sets of 3, orienting the block so the strips are vertical as below.


For your remaining 8 blocks, sew the 1 1/4-inch wide red strip to one end only (the top edge of 4 blocks and the bottom of 4 blocks if your fabric is directional – for mine, it didn’t matter).

Lay out your blocks in vertical rows as follows:
Rows 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 – begin and end with a neutral block and use 6 neutral blocks alternating with 5 blocks of brights.
Rows 2, 4, 6 and 8 – start and end your row with the bright blocks that have only one red strip, alternate 5 neutral blocks with another 4 bright blocks in between.


When you’re happy with your arrangement, sew together into vertical rows.


And here’s where you can adjust a little if your seam allowances aren’t perfect :). Measure your rows (or use the measurement you determined above for sashing) and add red strips to the top and bottom of the even numbered rows to make them as long as the odd numbered rows. My rows measured 80″ long – I added 2 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ strips to the top and bottom of my even numbered rows to complete them.

Sew your red sashing strips to the right side of each of your vertical rows (so here’s where I almost didn’t have seams – I cut my sashing strips and then decided that I had enough blocks to add another of each one to the bottom of the quilt top forcing me to go back and patch the sashing to make longer strips! Don’t do what I did – cut it to the right length the first time and save yourself the headache!).


I found it easiest to go ahead and add my right and left borders at this point as well, rather than struggle with the entire weight of the quilt top to add them when everything was sewn together. I cut the borders from red solid a little wider than the sashing at 2″.

Now sew your rows together to complete the top.


To make sure that everything was lining up correctly, I folded the bright blocks in half seam to seam and finger pressed on the sashing the location of the centre of the bright block (right there by my top finger).


I then lined this mark up with the middle seam on the neutral blocks (the little crease is where I’m pointing and I’m lining it up with the centre seam of the neutral block).

It really didn’t take too long to do line things up this way and, with a lot of pinning to help, the rows went together without any trouble.

Once your rows are together, add your top and bottom borders to complete the top.

And there you have it! One long weekend tutorial (only one weekend after the long weekend). I’m calling this a finish and linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts – but by next week, I hope to be able to show you the completed quilt as well.

I’m still debating at this point whether to add outer borders to give this quilt a little more width. The problem is that I think it looks quite nice the way it is and I’m afraid additional borders will detract from the tile effect it has now. Thoughts?

And just because I have it here, a slightly different colour combination from a sample that I made up a while ago (mmmmm…. turquoise :)).


Again – it’s late so I’m hope these instructions are clear, but if it isn’t or you have any questions just let me know. And if you do decide to make this quilt, I’d love to see your version!

09/12/14 – Updated to add photo of finished quilt (still not a sunny day :)).


Happy Friday!


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Week of WIPs

While last week was a very productive week, this week not so much. This seems to be the way it is around here ….

However, I did put together this little quilt top using Son J’s polo shirts:


This is a bit of a Way-Back Project because these are shirts that Son J wore in high school (during his preppy phase, I guess). The stripes are all oriented horizontally because that’s the way they were in the shirts and I wanted to reflect that. There are a lot of memories tied up in these shirts, so when Son J moved out and left the shirts behind – legitimately, since they no longer fit him very well – it was a logical next step that they be turned into a quilt.

Or quilts:


These squares are 6 1/2″ in size – daddy sized – and the ones in the little top above are 4 1/2″ in size – daughter sized. Since a little boy will be joining the family soon and receiving the Giraffe Love quilt from last week, it’s only fair that big sister get one, too. And daddy might want a quilt of his own made from his polo shirts …

And what about mommy? There are plans for her as well – you see how it begins …

In the meantime, it’s another long weekend and time for a long weekend tutorial, I think, as I haven’t done one for a while. It may take until next Friday to have something to share, but I’m hoping that I will be able to have a complete project to show (unlike the quilt tops from the last two tutorials that are still hanging around waiting to be finished!).

So watch for something new constructed from these yummy finds:


And, just because it’s been a lovely week weather-wise, here’s a pic of some beautiful Blackeyed Susans growing wild along the bike path.


Not to mention the Goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace – I know it’s fall just around the corner when these old friends begin to bloom (or maybe they aren’t your friends so much if you have allergies :)).


Happy Labour Day weekend everyone!


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Giraffe Love Finish

It’s been a very productive week around here with a quilt finish, a few mug rugs and the August block for the Classic Meets Modern Quilt Along.

First, the giraffes:


This little quilt kit was a lucky find during our travels for the July Shop Hop. The kit came from Quilt Junction in Waterford and is quite appropriate for a little one expected to arrive in November sometime. The older sibling has a giraffe quilt with the Giraffe Love fabric in the citron colourway (see the quilt pictured in the top banner image :)) so it’s only fair that this little one has a quilt the same, but different.

Here’s the back:


Mmmm… that micro chenille is a gorgeous blue and soft as butter. I’m fairly certain that Momma will be pleased with this one – even if Baby won’t know the difference (at first)! Never-the-less, it’s finished and ready for Baby whenever he (we’re told) arrives, so I’m linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts – two weeks in a row :).

And now on to mug rugs – also finished:


I don’t know if mug rugs are still “all that” the way they were a couple of years ago, but another Shop Hop find, this time at the Marsh Store in Ilderton, resulted in a little mini-charm pack of thirties fabrics. In case you want to know how I did it :), I used four 2 1/2″ squares per mug rug, sashed with 1 1/2″ strips of white, quilt in a Greek Key type of arrangement and bind – easy peasy!


On the back of each is a thirties print from the stash – a little white terrier romping across a light blue background. Perfect for relaxing with a treat on the front porch :).

And last, but not least, here is the August QAL block:


Love that pop of turquoise blue! The Churn Dash block is another favourite of mine – the first “big boy” quilt I made for son P. was a Churn Dash block, machine pieced and hand quilted way back when I had more time (in theory anyway!).


Hoping your weekend is filled with great weather and delicious treats :)!


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