Happy Victoria Day Monday!

To celebrate, here’s a long weekend tutorial for a simple but pretty pink baby/lap-sized quilt. I’m using the charm and mini-charm pre-cuts that I showed you previously, plus two yards of baby pink kona solid.


Directional prints are a challenge with this one as you will see in the photos below, so if you are using any directional prints keep them in mind as you sew!

Cut 6 – 5-inch strips x WOF from your pink solid. Sub-cut these strips into 2 1/2-inch x 5-inch strips. You will have about 96 strips – we’ll use 88 of these.

If you decide to use sashing strips like I did, cut 8 – 1 1/2-inch strips x WOF – sub-cut ONLY 4 of these strips into 13 1/2 inch lengths (you should be able to get three 13 1/2-inch strips from each of the 4 WOF strips for a total of 12).

You will have some pink yardage leftover for use on the back as well as about 8 extra blocks if you use the layout I show – stay tuned for the instructions for the back (in two weeks :)!).

Sew a pink strip to one side of each charm square to make a charm unit – make 44 (most charm packs come with 42 squares – I added a couple of charm squares left over from another pack to make 44 total and I did have one leftover square in the end so adjust as you wish).

Sew the short side of a pink strip to one side of each mini-charm square to make a mini-charm unit- make 44.

(I consistently pressed seam allowances toward the pink throughout.)


Now sew one charm unit to each mini-charm unit to make one block – make sure that you orient the pink strips so that they are beside the charm square and the mini-charm square touches the charm square at their points (see the photo below if that description doesn’t make sense :)).


Now comes the fun part! You can put your blocks together any way that appeals to you. Here are a few suggestions:

Make a little four patch with your mini-charm squares in the centre.


Orient your blocks with the small blocks touching on the diagonal and the large blocks touching on the diagonal.


Or use solid pink blocks with your charm/mini-charm blocks to make an Irish Chain type of arrangement with alternating large and small squares (this arrangement would likely require more pink yardage than the two yards I had available).


I decided that I would go with arrangement number 2 with the addition of a few narrow sashing strips, so to make my blocks I sewed four small blocks together like this:


Make 9 larger units using 4 blocks each in the arrangement above and square up your blocks to 13 1/2-inches.

I wanted a finished size no larger than about 44-inches wide so that I could take advantage of the WOF without the need for sewing together sashing strips to get extra length. To get the finished width, I added 1 1/2-inch x 13 1/2-inch sashing strips between each block as well as the start and end of the row. Your row should measure approximately 44-inches wide.

Trim your 4 remaining 1 1/2-inch x WOF strips to 44-inches long (or the length you need based on your row measurement) and add them between each row as well as at the top and bottom.

And voila!


One pretty pink quilt for a baby, or for you to snuggle under while watching TV :).

I am travelling again this week, so I won’t be able to show you the back or finished quilt for a bit, but if you come back in a couple of weeks, the remaining instructions to finish up will be waiting for you.

Enjoy the holiday!


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Zero Sewing…

…happened this week, and not much knitting either.

But on the plus side, it’s the first long weekend of the summer! A long weekend tutorial is definitely overdue, so stay tuned – and in the meantime, here’s a block:


Happy Victoria Day weekend!


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Blush Bear

In our family, another little one is on the way in August and that means another little bear is required. It’s only fitting that the first grand-niece receive this bear as it has been knitted with some lovely soft, pink (blush?) alpaca yarn gifted to me by Sister #1 (who in turn received it from a generous co-worker). As this is Sister #1’s first grand child, the yarn is now making it’s way back to her family in the form of a bear for grand baby :).


Of course, a little quilt will need to follow to go along with Blush Bear, but since I have until August it might be a few weeks before you see it here.


The yarn is Sol 100% Baby Alpaca (not sure what they call this colour but it does have “BL” on the tag – possibly Blush) and, as always, the pattern is “Baby Bobbi Bear” available through Blue Sky Alpacas.

It’s a small finish, but still a finish, so I’m linking up to Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Summer has finally arrived – enjoy it!


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Out of Daylight…

But the QAYG Blocks are finished at last!


I will definitely add a better photo tomorrow once the sun comes up, but in the meantime, you’ll recall that this project began with a new book (the one on the left):


And a lovely pack of cheerful pre-cut strips from Brother #1 (who requires that I refer to him in this manner so that it’s clear he is number 1 in terms of both partiality and chronology :)) or his wife, SIL-M – but ether way, one of them had my name for Christmas last year and decided on fabric (which is always an excellent choice!).

So, since this is a new technique for me, here’s what I liked about it:

– It’s easy!
– The directions in the book are clear and easy to follow and lots of ideas are provided so that you can make the projects your own – for instance, I added six blocks because I had extra batting to make my quilt about 54 x 54 inches in size instead of the 48 x 54 size in the book. I also wanted to use up the yellow solid left over from the last professional bag and was able to incorporate it using one of the variations suggested for this pattern.
– When all of the blocks are finished, it takes a fraction of the usual time to add the back and finish the quilt.
– If you want to try your hand at free-motion quilting but, like me, find a larger project too much to manage, this technique is definitely the way to go.

And the only thing I didn’t like? I found I had to have another project going to spell off with while quilting these blocks because there’s a lot more quilting here than I would normally do – I’m probably just impatient, but I really felt that extra time it took to get the blocks finished.

Overall though, the verdict is that I would give this method another try – and I already have plans for what I will make so stay tuned for the next QAYG project.

On the back is the Cabbage Rose cuddle fleece that I’ve used before and seems to have become my go-to choice for quilts like this one where there is not a lot of quilting involved (at least in attaching the back to the front :)).


If you’re interested in the technique and more photos of QAYG quilts, the author blogs over at Quilting in the Rain.

And one last thing – this was my mistake, but I never did get time to purchase the 9 1/2″ square ruler recommended for squaring up the blocks. You can use the ruler or a template, and I really should have used one or the other, but I decided to go ahead and use my cutting mat’s 45-degree line and square up the blocks using my standard rotary cutting ruler.

The results were okay, but not great, because some of the blocks lined up almost perfectly:


And some of them less so:


Definitely suggest getting the ruler – next time! Never-the-less, I’m pleased with the results and since it’s Friday and it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a finish to share, I’m linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts!

08/05/15 – edited to add a better photo (it did take more than a day, but here it is :)):


Happy Friday to you all!


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A Little Hat

It’s been a long and busy week, but I did manage to finish this little hat along the way:


This one was a request from Granddaughter G. and a second version of a purple one that I made for her a couple of years ago. It’s from this book:


The book is called Very Easy Circular Knits (in case you can’t read the cover in the photo above) and, true to its name, the Hat project is very easy and quick to knit. The last time I knit the hat, I finished it with a tassle, but the request was for a pompom this time so hopefully she’ll like that big one perched on top :).

Another view:


Despite the knitting of hats, I’m hoping we get some actual spring like weather in Southern Ontario soon!

Be warm :).


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Well, I’m not exactly sure when the scrappy strips and flowers became the focus project since I was only working on them to give myself a break from the Quilt-As-You-Go blocks, but somehow that’s what happened. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – especially when I ended up with the finished quilt top I showed you last time. But now it’s time to turn back to those QAYG blocks!

You’ll recall that the outer strips were completed with straight lines of quilting approximately one-half inch apart (there was some “eye-balling” involved here :)) and I saved the centre, yellow strips for some free motion quilting practice. Am I ever glad I did!


So, just one block above, but all of the blocks are finished and waiting for trimming and sewing into the final quilt top. If you want to practice your FMQ, these Quilt-As-You-Go blocks are definitely the way to go. I’m usually okay if I can get my hands in the right place and establish a rhythm, but the small size of the blocks definitely helps, too. I also have a tendency to speed up in the straight-aways and slow down in the curves and this seems to be exactly opposite to the way that you would want to go to have nice even stitches – but I’m working on it. For now, I really like the way the loopy stitching in the centre strips turned out.

Stay tuned – more to come soon on this one (as soon as I track down a reasonably priced 9 1/2-inch square ruler to trim the blocks – hello, Joann’s!).

In the meantime, I’m thinking about what to do with these lovelies :).


And is it ever nice to see that spring is making an appearance after all!


Hope it’s spring where you are, too!


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I know, I know – it’s very late again for the post, but I have two good reasons. The first is that I was down and out with the flu mid-week so not a lot of sewing was happening for a couple of days. The second I’ll show you in a minute.

But in the meantime, you might remember this lovely “Way-Back” project from the beginning of January.


When I first showed off this WIP, I mentioned that I was conflicted regarding the flower print and a couple of people left very nice comments pointing out, quite rightly, that there wasn’t enough contrast between the print and the scrappy strips to really make the combination work. Those comments were spot on and I totally agree – but I really, really wanted to use that flower print (insert whiny kid voice here). So this scrappy project continued to languish for several more weeks.

And then, it occurred to me, if I can’t find the pattern anyway, who’s to say that I have to use just the scrappy strips and the flower print? Why can’t I add in something to make the two stand out a little more? Because really, it’s the contrast that’s needed to set these two elements apart.

So, off to Joann’s to find a lovely solid in Turkey Red (even the name makes me smile) and, along with the existing strips and print, here’s the result!


I love it! I love the scraps and the flowers; I love the bright, bold colours and the long vertical rows; and most of all, I love that it all came together in spite of having to sort through a few issues. It’s just what I wanted, and since I have lost the pattern (but expect to find it any second now since I’ve finished the top, ’cause that’s how we roll :)) I think I can also tell you “How I Made It.”

It starts with those long strips of 1 1/2-inch by 3 1/2-inch scrap strips – I had 8 rows complete and each long strip has 99 of these little scrap units in it. The number of units in each strip was definitely from the instructions in the original pattern but I have no idea whether there were supposed to be more or less rows included.

And here’s where I ventured out on my own to finish up this quilt top – I added 2-inch strips of Turkey Red to each side of the scrappy rows. I cut my strips from a 98-inch length of material so that I didn’t have to piece strips together (and I had enough length) but you could probably go 2-inches by WOF and piece together on the short edge to get the length you need. I also wasn’t quite as accurate with my seam allowances (apparently) when I did these strips years ago and ended up easing as necessary – I believe in the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy as well, but that doesn’t help when you figure out the wrong length in your mind and then realize afterwards that you should have added an inch to the total length (sigh!). Never-the-less, it did work out.

**Word of advice – measure your completed scrappy rows and then cut the length you need to match them.

And the final piece is to alternate 5-inch wide (because that is the width of my ruler so it’s an easy width to cut) by 98-inch long strips (or length you need) of the flower print with the scrappy strips, beginning and ending with the flower print. I ended up using 8 flower print strips, 14 Turkey Red strips and 7 scrappy strips to make the top – I wasn’t sure if I should add the extra strip, but after trying it on the bed, I decided the top was wide enough and I could save the extra strip for the back.

And ta-da!


It’s nice to know that somedays you CAN have your cake and eat it, too! If this turns out to be a Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life, I will loop back and link up since this was another project motivated by Scraps Monday. Otherwise, I will have to wait for the finish before linking up.

And now for the other reason for the late post:


Time for a living room makeover! I have been painting like crazy all weekend and will provide you with a look at the finished project later this week. For now I will tell you that the drab grey is gone and a warmer, yummier colour is on the walls.

Hope you all have a great week!


Posted in How I Made It, quilting, Scraps Monday, The Way-Back Project, wip | 2 Comments