Poor, Sad Little Shed…

… You look so cold and lonely out there.


And even with a bed of your own (and very long grass when this picture was taken last year, apparently!), you’re not very cheerful. Maybe you need a little quilt of your own?


Or at least a few quilt blocks :).

These blocks are simply 18-inch square pieces of plywood, spray painted with a white base coat, and painted with acrylic paint from Michael’s, then sprayed with a clear coat to finish. I added 18-inch long strips of 2 x 1 inch pine to each side on the back and attached a triangle picture hanger to each side about one third of the way down. Each block is hanging on two screws from the shed door – they can easily be removed, if needed, but I love the look and they will probably remain here all year round!

Why these particular blocks? They have special meaning for me. The Bear’s Paw block at the top was in the first quilt I ever made. It was for daughter E. when she was small and she still has this quilt – though it’s in rough shape now (and not in purple, her favorite colour). The Churn Dash in the middle was in the first “big boy” quilt for middle son P. – it was a single Churn Dash block, but I was trying to work in his favorite colour here (the orange :)) so went with the double Churn Dash block. Youngest son J. chose a beautiful Lone Star quilt for his first “big boy” quilt and, although this star is a little different than a Lone Star for ease of painting, it still makes me think of him (yes, his favorite colour, at least it was in high school, is pink – though that might have been because the girls talked to him when he wore pink :)).

Here’s a closer view:


And since this is a finish – and somewhat quilt related – linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday!

Now to finish the window box… (and cut the grass?).

Hope you’re having a cheerful Friday!


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You may have noticed my absence last week, but it was because we were visiting beautiful Austin, TX for a couple of days vacation and to attend a conference (okay – technically we returned home last Saturday, but between very poor wifi connections, cancelled flights, birthday celebrations and laundry, blogging seemed a lower priority!).

We stayed two blocks from the beautiful Capitol Building and I was lucky enough to walk up Congress Street each afternoon during the conference, after the day’s activities ended, with this building in view.


We saw many lovely attractions while visiting, but a couple of favorites were the Zilker Botanical Gardens…


(We can’t grow cacti like these in Canada!) …And the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


(That sign says “Fibre and Dye Garden” which I thought quite appropriate :).)

But what would a trip be without a visit to at least a couple of quilt stores? First we visited A Quilters Folly:


The lady who helped us here was wonderful and made us feel so welcome. Of course, I had to have these lovelies :)!


And later in the week, we found the Honeybee Quilt Store:


The staff here was also incredibly welcoming and helpful – and more finds!


Now I just have to find a little time for a some sewing!

Hope your travels are as much fun!


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Sweet Dreams

When I visit Jacksonville, Florida, I sometimes get a chance to visit a cute little quilt shop called Ladybug Quilts. The first time I was there, I was greeted by these little guys.


Obviously, they had me at “hello” :) – but what to do with them? This was around the time of the flannel sheep pillowcases, so it occurred to me that little mice with chocolates pillowcases could be the cute summer version. I had unfortunately only picked up a half yard originally, so a second visit was called for in order to acquire the additional yardage to make two matching pillowcases (hardship, I know!).

And here are the results:


At another quilt shop I had come across a blue ticking patterned fabric and while that might have been nice too, I am not displeased with the beige fabric here (and which I had on hand).

Another finish, so linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts! And speaking of CrazyMomQuilts, I’m really looking forward to participating in the Scrap Vortex Quilt Along – but another week of travel is going to interfere with week one (and maybe week two!). I’ll have some catching up to do once I can finally get back into the sewing room next week!

Hope you’ve had a great week!


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Pinky Finish

I’m so pleased that I (just!) managed to finish this little quilt today. First I’ll tell you how the back went together and then show you the final quilt. If you missed the instructions for the top, you can find them here.

Here’s a look at the back:


Remember those extra blocks from the front? Sew 7 of them together in a vertical row, alternating the small square from side to side (or any arrangement that appeals to you!).

Once you have your row of blocks, sew the leftover pink to one side of your row – I had about 29-inches x WOF leftover from the original 2 yards but if you started with more yardage (even a half yard more) you would have enough pink solid to complete the back.

Since I only had the small amount of pink to work with, on the other side of the row to make the back wide enough I really wanted to use the pink polka dot, but I was hoping for enough of this fabric to bind the quilt, too. After cutting 5 strips, 2-inches wide for the binding from the half yard I had available, the 10-inches left wasn’t quite enough to get the total width needed for the back. Some creative piecing was called for, so I added a strip of grey paisley as well. And if you look closely, you’ll see that width of the polka dot was also not a full 44-inches and a little piece of grey had to be added to get the necessary length as well. Thank heavens it all seems to work in the end!

The back was just big enough in the end so I did something that I rarely take the time to do – pin!


Many, many pins :). But it was definitely worth it as this was a small quilt which didn’t take too long to pin, and as a result I had no shifting at all. Down side – lots of pin holes in my hands. Maybe I will have to give the spray adhesive another try for bigger projects, but in the past I’ve ended up feeling like I’m working with a giant piece of sticky tape – not the best situation for me!

I also rarely do free-motion quilting, but with the small size of this quilt I wanted to try something a little different. I quilted a lopsided daisy in the large squares and a leaf in the small squares, diagonally in each direction across the quilt.


The daisy was meant to reflect some of the flowers in the fabrics like this one:


I’m generally pleased with the results – still debating a little whether I should go back and fill in some of the larger gaps in between the diagonals, but for now I’m considering the quilt complete.

And here it is:


Just the right size for a new baby niece and her bear?


Linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Happy June!


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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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