Friday became Saturday….

… and Saturday became Sunday – but better late than never, I suppose :)!

Just finished is the baby quilt for a co-worker whose little one arrived a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a look at the front:


The back is a little different this time – I usually border the patchwork strip with white like the ones on the front. This time I actually followed the instructions and inserted the patchwork strip about 16-inches down from the top of the backing fabric. I think it looks nice this way too:


This is the same Stacked Coins Baby Quilt pattern by CrazyMomQuilts that I always use. Now it’s off to the wash so that it’s all crinkly and nice for giving to the new parents!

In other news, here is what the (now) 5-year-old thought about his birthday quilt (it was a thumbs up, in case you can’t tell :)).


Happy (belated) weekend!


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Still in the works…

…well, the posts seem to be slipping from the regular Friday evening into Saturday morning (and on into Saturday afternoon) and for that I apologize! I am attempting to get back to my regular schedule, but for at least one more week it may remain Saturday morning instead.

Not a lot was accomplished this week, but here are a few in-progress items that are a little more complete than they were last week!


I showed you a few of the Quilt-As-You-Go Made Modern blocks last week, and now there are 36 of them! My strategy was to complete all of the blocks and then circle back to do the quilting part. The only reason for my choice is that I wanted to try out a little free motion quilting on the centre yellow strips and I thought it might be more efficient to put the blocks together, quilt the straight lines and then finish up with the free motion loops I have planned for the middle.

You can see above that the lines are done in this block, but the centre is yet to be completed. I also don’t really like the very dense quilting that is so popular right now – I prefer a little less quilting overall, so my lines are placed at a spacing of about a half inch – with many more blocks to be completed, it might take me a while on this one!


I also have another baby quilt to finish up. Another co-worker has a tiny addition to the family and although I tried to get out ahead of things on the baby quilts, the new arrival is here and I still need to finish this one up. It’s the same pattern as all the others – stay tuned for the link next week once it’s finished, if you haven’t come across it here many times before.


And a sneak peak at the back – isn’t that dot fun? I think it should be perfect for a new baby boy :). And apparently, I need yet one more baby quilt for the nephew and his wife who are expecting in August, so there will be at least one more baby quilt in the immediate future.

Happy spring!


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In the works…

I apologize for the late post, but I’m coming off another busy week of travel and this is the first I’ve been able to capture any photos and sit down to write. Also because of travel, it’s WIPs this week and no finish to share, but some weeks are definitely like that around here:).

First, a new knitting project that’s travelling along with me:


It looks simple, and in fact, the directions are rated for an experienced beginner (I would say I meet that or more!) and it still took three attempts before getting this much complete. The pattern has you knitting in the round, but some rows are turned so you’re knitting back and forth on the same stitches and some rows continue around in a circle.

Confusing to say the least, and when I knit it’s usually because I want something mindless to do that keeps my hands busy while “watching” tv not because I want to focus on something. My biggest hang up was, if you turn the work you’re going to have a bit of a gap – until I reread the directions and discovered that I was supposed to wrap the last stitch on the turn rows to make sure those gaps didn’t happen. Proof once again that you should always read your instructions thoroughly before starting!

Also on deck are these nice blocks:


I’m trying out the Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern method from Quilting in the Rain‘s Jera Brandvig. I purchased the book a couple of months ago with a gift card I was given over the holidays and I could hardly wait to begin. Luckily, I was also given a set of precut strips as a Christmas gift so I’ve combined the two to start creating these blocks. They are not quilted (I’ve chosen to sew all of the blocks first) or trimmed to size yet, but I’m about a third of the way to having enough blocks for the quilt that I’m working on.

And here’s another view of those blocks, just to prove that spring is coming to Southern Ontario (yes, that is grass showing under that tree in the background there!).


And now, back to the sewing room (oh how I’ve missed it :)).

Hope you all have a great weekend!


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Monkeying Around

Well, I’ve been working on this one on-and-off since the completion of the Dr. Who scarves before Christmas.


This scarf started as a request from a friend at work, and I had to think about it for a while because I didn’t have a pattern and couldn’t really find one that I liked, free or otherwise. After looking at a lot of versions that others have done, I decided on what seemed to be a reasonable plan based on, but not exactly the same as, what I was seeing. I think that the “monkey-ness” comes through nicely.

Here’s a closer view of the monkey faces:


So obviously not my idea, since there are lots of monkey scarves out there, but I did come up with this version on my own so I think I can go ahead and tell you how I did it. My plan ended up as follows (if you’re a knitter and want to know :)):
– the yarn is Paton’s Classic Wool; I found that several other versions had used this yarn as well, and I was able to find it at my local Michael’s store (discounted with a coupon!), so I went with it
– I used 2 balls of Grey Marl, 1 ball of Aran and 1 ball of Red, but if you had a friend with a bit of leftover red yarn in her stash, that would work too because it certainly doesn’t take very much
– I used a 6mm circular needle because I was taking this project along in my suitcase as I travelled and I thought the circular needle would cause me less trouble going through security :)
– use k2, p2 rib throughout
– cast on 50 stitches using Aran
– 20 rows Aran
– 4 rows red
– 10 rows Aran
– continue with the grey marl colour as far as possible, ending so that the right side is facing (row beginning k2) and saving a little yarn for your monkey ears (I really can’t tell you how much – I took a guess and had just enough. You could always buy a third ball to ensure enough yarn as well.)
– reverse the order of the Aran/red rows to finish, starting with 10 rows Aran, then 4 rows red and 20 rows Aran
– cast off in rib

To make the ears, I searched “knit monkey ears” and came up with a free pattern in Ravelry that worked nicely. I won’t give the exact directions for the ears here because I don’t want to infringe on someone’s copyright, but I’m sure you can find the same directions doing a similar search.

– sew the ears on the right side of the scarf at each end; I positioned mine on the second “rib” in from each edge, about 10 rows up from the start of the grey marl
– sew buttons on between the ears for eyes


That’s it – easy peasy! I kind of like the results and I hope my friend will, too!

Happy Friday!


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Metro Hipster Bag

This week’s finish is the Metro Hipster Bag – the pattern (by Betz White – hopefully I’ve remembered/spelled that correctly!) was a find from the Wisconsin trip last summer, and the material from the fall shopping trip. I’m quite pleased with the results!


I love the blue leaf print in the main body of the bag, and while it’s not a perfect match to the solid blue duck cloth, I think the overall effect is not too bad.

The pattern was fairly easy to follow and the instructions were clear with one exception – I had some trouble figuring out how the zipper was to be inserted, because it’s a bit different than the way I’ve done them before. I had to do some ripping out a couple of times before I figured out what was meant by the instructions here, so some extra diagrams might have been helpful (or maybe I didn’t have my thinking cap on that day?). Overall though, the bag was fairly straightforward to put together.


The inside is simple, with only the one extra cushioned pocket intended to safely carry an iPad. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trouble finding things in bags with dark coloured interiors – and that seems to describe most of the bags commercially available. So I chose to line the interior of my bag with this lighter beige – it might get dirty, but at least I’ll be able to see everything!


My only disappointment is that I may not have entirely caught the front flap piece in the seam :(. This may have happened because of the number of layers involved, but I’m usually more careful than this and of course I didn’t notice the issue until after the bag was finished. I’ve decided to wait and see how it wears, but if it’s looking worse after using the bag for a few weeks, I may have to open the side seam and try to reverse engineer to fix it….


I’ll have to see how I like this bag over the next couple of weeks, but I’m already thinking about another one in a different colour way. I have A LOT of trouble finding bags that I like, especially cross-body bags like this one, in colours that aren’t the standard black and brown all the time. So overall, pretty pleased with this finish!

Now I just have to transfer all the stuff I carry around over to the new bag…..

Happy Friday!


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String Quilt Finish!

Here it is – all finished :).


And on the back, lions!


You’ll notice (if you look closely) that some creative patching needed to be done to ensure enough lions to cover the back. In the end it was tight, but definitely worth it to match the pillowcase already finished for Grandson L. Hoping he likes it for his upcoming birthday – obviously, a game will need to be included along with the quilt since he will be just five years old! Maybe a zoo-themed game?

Here’s a close-up of the lions, in case you can’t see them:


Aren’t they cute?

This project has used up so many bits and pieces that were hanging around the sewing room. I would include a new picture, but unfortunately, there are still so many bits and pieces that you wouldn’t notice a difference from the previous picture! The strings are from the many scraps that have been building up over the years; the setting triangles and gold border/binding were remnants acquired from a trip earlier in the year; the wider, paisley border was a remnant found at a sale last summer; and, the lion flannel backing was from a trip to Joann’s a couple of years ago.

A big thanks to Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life for the inspiration to get this one complete and off the books!

I’m also linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts since it’s Friday and the String Quilt is finished!

Happy Friday!


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A Day Late

…but I think worth the wait (not to mention a couple of better daylight photos :)).

This is the way the string blocks looked last Sunday just before leaving on the latest work trip.


And as of this afternoon, they are a complete top!


I really like this little quilt top and once I got going on the string blocks, it came together fairly quickly. The original pattern from over at Quiltville suggested 5 inch outer borders, but I had less than a yard of the blue/gold paisley I used here, a sale find last summer, so I decided to cut the outer borders at 3 1/2 inches wide. Using up what I had on hand seemed more in the spirit of the string quilt than going out and buying more fabric.

Here’s a different view (yes – that’s a lot of snow under that quilt top :)):


I think that with the leftover lion flannel (to match the pillowcase from a couple of weeks ago) on the back, it will make a very nice little quilt for Grandson L. who has a birthday coming up in March. I can only hope that he doesn’t think there is too much pink in the mix.

With the day off for the Family Day holiday on Monday, maybe by this time next week it will be a finish! In the meantime, I’m linking up with Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life.

Happy Valentines Day!


Posted in quilting, sewing, wip | 4 Comments