Shades of Grey

I’m taking a short (partial) break from Shop Hop blocks to finish off these pillows that were requested by The Sister (who requires that I refer to her in this manner :)).


These pillows have a long history: they began life simply as grey/white/black blocks with the little bits of citrus yellow and green thrown in. My mother put them together and then wasn’t as thrilled with the result as she thought she would be. I’m not sure where the original pattern came from but knowing my mother, she would definitely have used one — if you recognize these blocks let me know!

After languishing for a while, The Sister decided to sew the blocks together into a small quilt top. I should really have taken a before photo (I had already deconstructed the top before I thought of it – sorry) but think 5 blocks wide, just like the pillows, and sixteen blocks long. And once again, The Sister was not as thrilled as she had anticipated.

So after seeing the colourful pillows from a few weeks ago, The Sister wondered if they could be transformed into a couple of pillows – obviously the answer to that is yes!


I quilted with vertical, parallel lines spaced about 5/8-inch apart and gave her long zippers to make it super easy to remove the forms for washing. This is the first time I have put tabs on the start and end of a zipper and I like how it worked – here’s a close up of one side of the zipper (zipper open).


I also have to show off the forms without their clothes (gasp – naked!) because I’m almost positive we had pillows with ticking like this fabric when I was growing up.


The forms used up fabric acquired from a de-stash of a friend of my mother’s and the remaining stuffing gifted to me by my mother. It’s nice to have a finish this week (not to mention less in the sewing room) and as I haven’t had one for a bit I’m linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

I will leave you with one more July Shop Hop block – you’ll notice that most of the remaining blocks have some sort of hand sewing, appliqué or paper piecing involved, none of which are my favourites, so they are coming along more slowly. Hoping to have most of them done soon, though!


(Still working on fixing the camera issue :( – hoping to have that done sometime soon, too!)

Happy Friday!


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Summer Sewing

There is not too much going on here as we enter the dog days of summer – although it’s rather overcast right now and there is thunder in the distance so it’s not feeling exactly summery right now. I’m trying to keep up with the July Shop Hop blocks, but that’s about all of the sewing that has happened here this week.


The left block is a Cross Canoe block from Kaleidoscope of Quilts in Exeter, ON (not too far from London, ON).

The centre block is a Puss in the Corner block from the Marsh Store in Ilderton, ON (also not too far from London :)). This is such an interesting store because it has a great deal of history and owner(s) are so enthusiastic in sharing it. Even the block came with this little note at the top: “The Sydenham River runs through Coldstream. In the 1960s a dam was build creating the ‘pond’ out behind the store. This block represents the river, the trail along the river and the blue skies of summer.” How cool that they tied the history of the store to their block :)! I also really liked their finished design – but I’m not quite at that point yet.

And the last one, the star block on the right is my favourite block so far. I love the shadow play on the upper left side of the star and light on the lower right. It’s from Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe in Stratford, ON.

Stay dry out there!


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July in August

Here are the next few blocks in the July Shop Hop series.


This first one is from Quilt Junction in Waterford, Ontario. It’s a cute little shop and we always find far too many nice things there!


In this photo, the upper right block is from Undercover Quilts, in Fergus, Ontario and the lower left is from My Sewing Nook in Caledonia, Ontario.

So far, I’ve completed six of the fifteen blocks. It’s nice to have something small to work on occasionally and a single block is so quick and satisfying.

More to come soon!

Happy Friday,


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More July Blocks

The Shop Hop is officially over as of tomorrow (August 1st), but we had a great time getting out and seeing all of our Southern Ontario shops and collecting the blocks.

And so the blocks begin!


This one is from the Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph, Ontario.


I can’t remember which shop this block came from and I’m away from home right now so will add the information on my return next week. [08/07/15 – Edited to add: this block was from Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. in St. Catherines, Ontario; a new shop for us and the first time we had visited.] This was a flying geese (dutchman’s puzzle) block and I found the bias edges tricky – time to improve some of my techniques, I think!


And while I don’t have the block sewn together yet, I couldn’t resist sharing this barn quilt from the Country Patchworks quilt shop in Woodstock, Ontario. Too cool!

Sadly, I dropped my little camera and it is not working properly right now so I’m taking photos with my phone until I can get it fixed or replaced – so please, bear with me in the meantime!

Have a great Civic Holiday weekend!


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It’s July

…and in Southwestern Ontario, that means the July Shop Hop!

This year the theme is blue and white in honour of five years of shop hopping. I discovered the July Shop Hop only last year (apparently it took until October to finish the quilt), but it’s great fun and an excuse to get out and see some great shops that I don’t normally get to.


This is the first block of several and comes from our local quilt store, Creative Sisters.

Looking forward to sharing more blocks soon!

Have a great Friday,


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More Colour

To join the medium-sized pillow from last week, two more colourful pillows.

First this little guy:


This pillow is based on a tutorial I found over at Crazy Little Projects. I made my centre panel a little narrower to show off the leafy vine fabric (from our Austin trip a few weeks ago) – I think that it looks really sharp against the pink fabric and ric-rac! I also added some free-motion quilting to the centre panel to echo the swirl design and some vertical lines to the leafy vine fabric in the background.

Next up is the biggest pillow of the trio:


This one is from the contact print pillow tutorial over at CrazyMomQuilts. I’ve made this pillow before and used the front of a cardigan instead of the envelope back, but this time I also followed Amanda Jean’s envelope pillow back instructions – so easy!

And I love this shade of blue :).


And here are all three, hanging out together at mom’s house!


Two small finishes, so linking up to Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts!

Have a colourful one!


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I apologize for my absence last week, however, with summer comes summer vacation! And we are currently on our way back from the west but I had to pop in for a minute and share this little pillow that was finished just before leaving.


This pillow came about because of the Scrap Vortex Quilt Along and a comment from my mother a few weeks ago that she thought her new apartment needed more colour. As I was sorting scraps for the QAL, I found many (many!) 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch strips left over from this scrap beauty. Realizing that they are in fact quite colourful led to the pillow.

Here’s what I did – three rows of 15 of those strips are sewn to strips of grey measuring 1 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches. If you’re smarter than I am, you will begin and end with a 2-inch strip and use two 1 1/2-inch strips in between for a nice square 15-inch pillow top. Either way, trim up to either 15 or 15 1/2 inches square and layer with backing and batting. I quilted random-ish vertical lines in the grey about 1/2-inch apart, and a couple of lines in the patchwork. Create an envelope back and sew to the front to complete.

I used these great instructions from Amanda Jean to create the pillow form from leftover curtain lining fabric and stuffing that mom gave me when she moved (I’m slyly returning it to her in a new package :)). Amanda Jean also has a tutorial for making an envelope backed pillow (I usually just use my judgement rather than follow a tutorial, but if you are looking for one, you’ll find it here).

And that’s it – one little finished pillow to add some colour to a new apartment! Linking up to Finish-it-up-Friday.

Happy Friday!


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