July Shop Hop in Ontario

It’s been a week of blocks here because several quilt stores in Southern Ontario are hosting a Shop Hop for the month of July – and who doesn’t love a Shop Hop :)?

We managed to get out over last weekend to a couple of the stores and we’re hoping to get to several others over the next two weekends. A total of 13 stores are participating in the July Shop Hop – I don’t know if we’ll get to all of them, but we will certainly try. Not only do participants receive a free block pattern but also the material to make the block (also free!) and an opportunity to enter to win some great prizes. Check it out if you’re in Ontario!

This first block is from our local quilt store in Kitchener, the Creative Sisters Quilt Studio.


And this block is from The Quilt Place in Shakespeare.


While the blocks and fabric to make them is free, there is (of course) a finishing kit available for purchase at each store to turn all of the Shop Hop blocks into a complete quilt top. So far, I really like the finished version at the Shakespeare shop – very pretty! – but I will admit that I didn’t notice the finished version at the Kitchener store (I will have to go back :)) and, with more stores ahead of us, we may find another finished arrangement that is equally appealing.

And, since it seemed to be a block week, I also completed my July block for the Classic Meets Modern QAL over at Sew at Home Mummy (and linking up my block over there :)).


I’m enjoying the wonky blocks! And still pleased that I’ve managed to keep up with the blocks – with only five months to go, I should be able to stay on track to the end of the QAL!

And finally for this week, while not a finish, those fabrics unearthed in the flood last week are gradually becoming 6 1/2-inch squares for use in Alzheimer Quilts and reducing the size of the pile considerably.


Hopefully, some of these squares will be a finish (or two!) soon :).

Happy Friday!


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Re – Finish…


The (innocent looking) dog….



I assure you that I am NOT careless with this dog – she’s chewed enough blankets that I exercise caution regarding what is left within reach of her crate when I leave for work each morning. However, she does seem to have legs (or a neck?) that are about six feet long! The furniture has now been rearranged so that the chair, on the back of which the cover typically hangs, is clear on the other side of the room from her. If she can Houdini a blanket into her crate from that distance, a nanny-cam will be in order to find out exactly how she’s doing it!

The blanket is now fixed:


I won’t count this re-finish as a finish, but at least I accomplished something this week :).

We’re just back from vacation (as of Wednesday) and while it’s always nice to get away, it’s nice to be home, too. Unfortunately, while we were away, we had a leak of some sort in our basement. This is one of those good news, bad news types of situations because most of the water seeped from the furnace room into the sewing room (we think the air conditioner iced up).

Bad news – there were boxes stacked in that corner waiting for the Great Sewing Room Organization Project to continue. Of course, the boxes on the bottom had some books and magazines in them (and why wouldn’t they be on the bottom – they would be heavier than the material on top, right?). The water seeped up into these boxes and some of the paper was very wet and had to be disposed of.

Good news – not too much damage and really just three boxes affected. Sorting through unearthed some material that my grandmother gave me at one point (and now I’m afraid I will have to admit that was more than 30 years ago – my grandmother passed away the year before my daughter was born!).


Now that this material has been washed and dried, it seems the type of thing that would make great Alzheimer memory quits (along with the Grandpa leftovers), so I will have to get my act together and begin to construct a few of those for donation. None of this material is quilting cotton, so why she had it (she was also a quilter) is beyond me. And why she thought I would use it, is another question! But I guess she was right because now I will :).

Also unearthed were some old patterns.


This one is from the March/April 1998 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. The pattern is called “Kitty in the Cabin” and was designed by Annie Segal. The version in the picture is very pink – I completed this quilt top with more blues/purples years ago for my daughter. It was intended as a Grade 8 graduation present (yikes!) but never quilted/completed. Now that I’ve unearthed this pattern (and some others) to go along with the quilt top – location known! – I think it’s time to get some of these WIPs finished up and out of the sewing room.

Let the Way-Back Project begin!


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Hello (again :))

This time from beautiful Calgary, Alberta! We are here with son J, daughter E, and the three grandkids. And since we’ve been travelling all week, the only thing remotely crafty I have to share are these crotcheted blocks.


I started these on the last trip (to Washington, D.C.) and, I have to admit, we’ve been so busy visiting and driving that not much more progress has been made. These are for a “Bohemian” blanket – pattern by Paton’s. It will likely take a while to make all of the required blocks, so stay tuned as the finished product will land here eventually.

The cousins…

Prince Albert-20140630-00252

Are enjoying the visit, too (everyone goes to Walmart on vacation, not just us, right? :)).

Happy summer vacation!


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Home Dec Finish

At last!

I’ve been working on this one for a while (as you know). I think the goal was to have the project complete in May – and it’s now the end of June. But a finish is a finish :).

Here’s what the window looked like before.


Yes – The Dog and her friend are responsible for the damage on the right side. They object to the mailman standing on our driveway sorting his deliveries (which I swear he does just to make the dogs bark). Sometimes they get a little carried away – and these bamboo blinds just weren’t made to withstand 70 pounds of offended husky/lab (her friend just barks to add to the chaos factor – the damage is mostly due to The Dog lunging at the window).

And by the way – why the heck do people put those things on windows anyway? They were here when we moved in so we sort of inherited them, but they don’t prevent you from seeing out, which would help with the dogs, and they certainly don’t prevent people from seeing in, so no privacy either. Every window in this house has them and we’re slowly getting around to replacing them. Every. Single. One.

So here’s the home dec finish!


I ordered the fabric from fabric.com and it is a P. Kaufman Print (I believe the name is “Watercolor Paisley” twill in turquoise). My biggest fear is that we will tire of this large print quickly but for now it’s colourful and cheerful, which is what I was aiming for, and the paisley isn’t quite as “in your face” now that the pleats have gathered everything.


This is definitely one of the biggest projects, home dec or otherwise, that I’ve ever attempted and it’s certainly not for the feint of heart. It’s not that the sewing is complicated (if you can sew a straight line, you can make draperies) but the sheer amount of fabric to deal with makes things very difficult – especially if you don’t have a lot of space to spread things out. There were several times as I was wrestling with the fabric that I felt like I was fighting a losing battle!

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that the bamboo blinds are still hiding behind the drapes, but as we’re leaving today to see son J. in Saskatchewan, the job of removing those will have to wait until we get back. There’s also a bit of a wonky lining back there (right side) that I will have to work on, but I’m still considering these a finish and linking up with Finish it up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Welcome summer!


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Blocks and Birds

Home dec is still in progress! So in the meantime, here is the June QAL block.


I apologize for the wonky angle – I was trying to minimize my shadow over the block in the photo. But since it’s a wonky block, maybe it doesn’t make that much difference. I’m sure there’s still time to catch up if you’re interested in the Classic Meets Modern QAL over at Sew at Home Mummy – totally amazed that I’ve managed to make each month’s block so far, and before the end of each month!

And here’s a guy I met on the way to work earlier this week:


This fellow was hanging out behind our local university in a storm water pond so I had to stop and take his photo – even though I was running a little late that morning (I will have to pedal faster – or leave earlier). He is definitely a Heron – possibly a Great Blue Heron, although my bird identification isn’t the best.

The reason for the Heron sighting is that I try to ride my bike to work whenever possible because I think it’s good for me and good for the environment, and I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity and ability to do so. I’m also very fortunate to be able to ride mainly on an old rail line that has been turned into a paved bike and walking path through the city, pretty much from one end to the other. I would have taken a photo of the path as well, but unfortunately, it was a little cloudy on the way home tonight and I didn’t think I could get a shot that did it justice. I will update with a view of the trail when I can get a decent picture – sadly the phlox, which was in full bloom along the trail a week ago, has now faded but I’m sure as the summer progresses, another photo op will present itself.

And that’s all I have for this week, so happy trails to you, too!


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Let’s Talk Garden

…because otherwise I don’t have all that much to show for my week! Last weekend I was busy with my motorcycle license (yep – you read that right). In Ontario, we have graduated licensing and as it’s been almost 5 years since I passed my M2 test, it was time to take my M2 exit test to get my full M license. Now I can continue to drive a Vespa indefinitely :).

And I’m probably the only graduate from last weekend whose first thought was – oh great! Now I can go back to sewing! The home dec project is still underway and I think there are only two words for this project – patience and pins.


I do love that paisley, though, and I’m hoping by this time next week I’ll be able to show you a home dec finish.

And now for the garden!


I love the Square Foot Gardening method and purchased the book last year (the author is Mel Bartholomew). I used to participate in a community garden, which was really nice except that there was a lot of shade on my assigned plot and with having to walk/bike/drive several blocks (I know – it’s a hard life!) I seemed to manage to grow more weeds than anything else. This year, I decided my approach should be to increase my gardening space in my own yard as I don’t seem to have a problem puttering around the yard in the evening, even though I often forgot to take myself over to the plot.

The tomatoes seem happy enough.


And a couple of weeks ago, I came across these head/foot boards on Kijiji (total score!).


After some putting some elbow grease into scraping down with a wire brush, priming with a spray primer and then spray painting a nice fresh lilac, this is what the headboard looks like.


I can’t seem to get a picture that shows how nice the purple really is, but trust me – it’s definitely lilac :). And I think it will provide a nice support for any plants that manage to come up once I solve the problem of The Dog running through the garden! I’ll share the footboard once it’s complete as well – maybe if we get some sunshine this weekend.

And the last thing to show for my week is one more (little) mushroom to join the other two from before :).


Not much to show for the week at all :).

Happy gardening!


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Baby Quilt Finish #2

Here’s the second baby quilt – and not a moment too soon! This baby was born in February!


I think the pink/brown/gold colour scheme worked out rather well. Here’s the back:


That brown leaf print was one of those finds that just happened to show up at exactly the right time. It is a David Textiles print (c) Robin Pickens – no other information was on the selvedge. Never-the-less, it is perfect for the back of this quilt and nicely ties everything together.

So that’s two baby quilts ready to go :)!


And as it’s Friday – linking up with Finish it up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Happy Friday!


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