Monday, May 31, 2010

Design Wall Monday #22

What's on my design wall?
A finished quilt top (some people call these "flimsies")!
This was from the Ladies of the Evening class I attended in March. I added in 8 extra blocks using fabric from my stash. It didn't take long to finish it up since I had pieced the borders in April.
In spite of the warm weather and DH's pnuemonia (which was much better yesterday), it seems I have been accomplishing a lot lately. I finished this quilt  last week and have also finished the hand quilting on this quilt (after 18 years)!   And this weekend, I even sewed the binding on it! I don't know if you can see how similar the border fabric (with a blue background) and the binding fabric (with a peach background) are, but I cannot believe I found this fabric!
I was sewing some BOM kits for guild meeting in April and realized how similar one of the fabrics was to my border fabric. I emailed the BOM coordinator and she had some extra fabric that I could trade. I had looked for binding fabric for about 15 years and there it was right in the guild stash!
Binding is one of my favorite parts of quiltmaking, so I will enjoy working on it during the cooler evenings this week.
Hop on over to Judy's blog and see what other quilters have on their design wall today.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quilt Auction Report

I said in my blogpost on Saturday that I would report on the quilt auction on Sunday, and now that Sunday is almost over... I better get typing!
I took a little video at the auction but I can't figure out how to upload it to my blog, so I'll keep working on that.
In the meantime, here are the photos. This is a shot of our group quilt being auctioned:
It was quilt #17 (of almost 220) so it was auctioned early in the morning and the crowd was about half the size it is around noon. But still it sold for $400 and we were happy about that. To read more about the above quilt - click here.
This was the first look I got of the basket block quilt...isn't it wonderful!?!
To see the blocks I made for this quilt - click here. This was a challenge for the quiltmakers to set together the great variety of blocks they received...some were set on pointe and some not.
The basket quilt was # 60 at the auction and it was sold for $1,200!
The highest selling quilt this year was this a block sampler quilt:

It was sold for $6,400! This seems like a lot of money, but relative to other years it was "low". You can read my report from the 2008 auction here  (highest selling quilt was $25,000) and the 2009 auction here (highest quilt was $7,000).  Every year we say that the prices are lower and the crowd is smaller, because we were very spoiled by the most exciting quilt auction in 2003, when the highest selling quilt went for $44, 000!! Click here to see that one.
Now it is time to start planning for next year's donation quilt!
***Update....I read in Monday's newspaper that $115,000 was raised at this year's auction. 
That sounds fabulous until you compare it to last year's report that stated $320,000 was raised by the quilt auction. It wasn't just my imagination that the crowd was smaller and the bids were lower. ..I guess the economy is really taking it's toll on this event.
*****Tuesday update...apparently the newspaper misreported the amounts brought in. In this article, they must have been referring to the total amount of money raised by the event last year, not just the quilts. This year the quilt auction total was just $500 less than last year, which is good news for relief efforts of the Mennonite Central Committee!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Sampler #21

I am exhausted after a full day of sitting at the quilt auction! I'll write more about that tomorrow after I recover!
Here is my Saturday Sampler block this week:
Block Name: Four Corners (which is the block of the week at the Friday Block Party)
Block Pattern Source: Quilter's Cache
Quick and easy to sew block, and it turned out to be the exact size!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quilt Festival

If you are a blog reader living within driving distance of St. Jacobs, Ontario, you are likely attending some of the Quilt Festival events this week. (Click here for the list of events.)
Every year I try to attend as many of the events as possible. But this year DH has pneumonia and has been in bed since last Saturday, so I have been playing nursemaid, taking him to appointments, getting his prescriptions, going to work and keeping everything at home running relatively smoothly.
But I just can't miss the quilt auction, which I have attended for many years.  So tomorrow, my teenage son is in charge of taking care of his Dad (which should be interesting!) and I am FREE!
I went over tonight to check everything...make sure the quilts are ready!
Here are the tents all set up outside, selling a wide variety of specialty items including crafts, food and flowers.
And here are all the quilts hanging in the arena ready to be admired by potential quilt buyers attending tomorrow's auction.
Here is my comfy seat, reserved and waiting for my butt to be on it all day tomorrow!
Here is the quilt that I made with 3 of my quilting friends.  To see our quilt the day we picked it up from the quilters - click here.  This is our second quilt that we have made to donate - click here to read about last year's.
And here is the finished basket quilt that I contributed some blocks for last June. To read more about the project and see my blocks -click here.  There was a little photo of the quilt pinned beside my block there but I can't wait to see the whole quilt tomorrow!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Finished Quilt!

It has been quite hot here this week (well, anything above 25 degrees celsius is hot for me!!) and it's not exactly quilting weather, however I have managed to get my "Quilt For An Hour" quilt completely finished!
This is a pattern by Judy Laquidara called "Freeze Frame", which she provided to her blog readers last year and if you are interested you can still get the pattern - click here.

Here's my "Freeze Frame" hanging on the clothesline. I think this is a good photo of it and shows off some of the quilting lines. In real life it is not ruffly at the top as it appears to be in the photo...blame it on the clothespins!
Here is my quilt on my favorite lawn chair of the summer...waiting for me to find the clothespins to take the above photo. Obviously I won't need this quilt to lay out in the 30 degree sun!
If you are sitting on your favorite lawn chair drinking some iced tea and surfing blogland on your laptop, and you have lots of time and want to read all about the development of this quilt, from the fabric choices, to the border struggles, and the pieced backing - click here.
If you want to see other finished Freeze Frame quilts - click here.
Thanks again to Judy for another fun quilt, and I look forward to starting her June mystery - if you want to join in the fun - click here for cutting instructions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Design Wall Monday #21

The weather for our Victoria Day weekend turned out to be much better than the weatherman predicted. It was supposed to be rainy and cold, which it was on Saturday, but Sunday and today are beautiful and sunny, allowing me to spend more time outside than I had thought I would. I purchased my vegetable seeds from Hawthorne and my heirloom tomatoes from this cute little place. Now I have everything planted except a few herbs which I need new pots for.
And when it was raining, I did some machine quilting on my QFAH quilt.
Here is the backing that I pieced from the leftover scraps and a few fat quarters. Can you see the grid quilting I did? Just straight lines, nothing fancy.

Here is a close up of my quilting using a different setting on the camera...can you see the quilting now?
And I already have the binding prepared, so after I go visit my mother-in-law today, I might be able to finish this quilt! That would be amazing...a quilt started and finished in the same year!
The other quilt I was hoping to work on this weekend (my 18 year old UFO) didn't get finished, but I did make lots of progress on the hand quilting, and the end is in sight!

To visit other quilters and see their Monday design walls,  click here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Sampler #20

When Santa brought me the Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine for Christmas and I got this idea to make a block a week for a sampler quilt, I had no idea it would be so much fun! Every week I page through the magazine and surf the internet to see what block design appeals to me to try this week.  My only requirements are that it has to be a 12" pieced block.
Here is this week's choice:
Block Name: Bird of Paradise
Block Pattern Designer: Three Creative Studios
Block Pattern Source: Three Creative Studios Block of the Month
It was fun to sew and I think the striped fabric adds movement to the design. I didn't paper piece (the units that have the striped fabric) as suggested but instead I used the Tri-Recs rulers which are easy to use and alway make my blocks come out to the correct size.
Drum roll are my 20 Saturday Sampler blocks placed randomly on the design wall....
It's a little busy! Might need some sashing? And maybe a few more blocks using the dark as the background fabric? It's 48" x 60" now and my design wall is only big enough for one more row at the top, but I'm sure that won't stop me!
Oh well...back into the storage box they go. I have other plans for today. The weather forecast was too rainy to convince the family to go camping, and it's too rainy to work in the garden, so I guess I'll just have to quilt! I have big goals now that I have the long weekend at home - I plan to finish 2 quilts this weekend!!  I am in the home stretch of hand quilting (for 18 years) this quilt and I am ready to machine quilt this one. Think I can do it?!?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Progress on 2 projects!

I'm famous!  Cyndi hosted a mini mystery last month and she posted my blocks on her blog - click here to see them!
This week I am getting myself organized for camping season, which means I hope to have lots of relaxing hand work time. It is my goal to finish piecing the blocks and the hand stitching on my Journey of a Quilter project. (It is project #1 on my UFO wish list on my side bar.) I am stitching block #7 and have one more design to stitch on this block, and then I'll only have 2 more blocks to do! I should be able to finish that this summer, eh?!?
Of course it would be easy to accomplish if I didn't start any new projects, and could stay focused for more than a minute, we all know that's not going to happen!
Speaking of which, I want to start Judy's new mystery quilt! So to assuage my guilt a bit, I thought I should maybe finish up my last quilt top made from Judy's QFAH pattern - click here to see it. I put the borders on back in March and it's been ready to go since then...aging gracefully. I sewed together a backing from the leftover scraps, and now the quilt is pin basted and ready to be machine quilted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Design Wall Monday #20

I have been playing with my Cherrywood fabric scraps and trying to get a little more organized about this leaders and enders project that I wrote about on this blog post last month. At that time I was cutting 1 1/4" squares and making little 4 patch blocks. This is what I have on the design wall today.
They have become double 4 patch blocks. I am not matching anything, just picking up random 4 patch blocks and 2" squares from a pile and sewing them together. I'm getting down to the bottom of the "grab bags for crazies" that I bought last year so I have to make some design decisions now. I had thought about alternating an hourglass block but today I'm thinking that a triple 4 patch would be fun!
And did you notice that Judy posted the cutting instructions for her new mystery quilt? Click here to get cutting. I am still washing my fabrics but I'll soon be ready to go!
Click on over to Judy's blog to see the other design wall photos posted.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have two contest announcements to make on this beautiful sunny Sunday. The first is the list of winners of the giveaway for my 500th blog post. I had a quilting friend in yesterday's mini club draw the names using the old fashion method. I printed out the comments from the blog post and she pulled the winning names from a bowl. I'm not advanced enough yet to use the computerized random number generator...and besides, it's more fun when other people are around to enjoy the event! I have already email the winners and found out which gift they preferred in the order the names were picked.
Here are the winners: 1st name is Diane and she picked the mini flag quilt; 2nd name is Andrea and she picked the Fat Quarter bundle, 3rd name is Janet and she picked the mini leaf block kit;  4th name is Marcia and she gets the mini iris block kit.
Congratulations to the winners and I hope you enjoy your little quilty treat coming to you in the mail next week. Thanks again for reading my blog and playing along with my little celebration!
And I won a draw on Pat Sloan's blog 2 weeks ago and look what came in the mail to me! The gift was from Jo Ann Mulally and included her book on working with wool. It was so beautifully wrapped and such a lovely gift to receive...thanks Jo Ann! I must admit I have never worked with wool before, so I am reading the book cover to cover to learn about's a whole new addiction!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Sampler #19

This week's Saturday Sampler block is an easy one from the Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine.

Block Name: Four Patch Star
Block Pattern Designer: Lynn Schiefelbein
Block Pattern Source: Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine (pg. 58)
It was quick and easy to sew but the annoying part of this block was all these extra leftover pieces. Except for the background and the centre squares, there is enough cut for a couple more blocks. But I want each block in my sampler quilt to be different, so I'll just put these triangles in the scrap bag and see if I can use them somewhere else.

Next Saturday will be my 20th sampler block, so I'll put them all up on the design wall and see how the this project is coming along!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anniversary plans

What a busy week! We had planned a little getaway to celebrate our 26th anniversary, but then the husband of a long time friend passed away suddenly and tragically, and we had to change our plans to attend the visitation and funeral. It has been an emotionally draining week, and I do feel especially bad for my longsuffering husband since last year I hauled my sewing machine to our anniversary getaway (read about it here) and 2 years ago I dragged him to a quilt shop hop on our way to our little holiday (click here to read about that),  and this year I made him cancel our celebration plans to go to a funeral. But he promised "for better or worse" and I'm holding him to that!
Of course I did work on some projects late at night...there is no better way to de-stress than doing a little sewing.  I worked on this mini's it looking so far?

And I finished the mini mystery that Cyndi had posted on her blog...don't look below if you still working on yours! You can get the pattern on her blog - click here. She is now offering a stitching mystery if you like to do hand stitching.
If you haven't yet put your name in for my 500th blog post giveaway, do it quick!  (click here)
I'll be drawing the winners soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Design Wall Monday #19

This is what is on my design wall this morning. On the top left is my mini quilt giveaway celebrating my 500th blog post - click here to enter the draw for the quilt and some fabric gifts.
On the top right is my Saturday Sampler block, which looks better on the computer screen than in real life!
The panel (on the lower left) is part of a quilt kit that I bought in Michigan at the Quilted Cottage. I don't buy kits very often but I was drawn to these spring-like floral fabrics and the great price. You can see the fabrics here and download the pattern for free here. The pinwheel blocks (on the bottom right) have been very relaxing to sew. I will make the quilt larger since they were very generous in the amounts of fabric in the kit. Today I am thinking of adding at least one more border with smaller pinwheel blocks and I will definately put pinwheels in the corners of the floral border instead of the blue fabric.
What's on your design wall today? To see more design walls, go visit Judy's blog.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers who are reading my quilt blog!
One of my favorite quilts that I have made is one that I gave to my mother - to see it click here.
We'll be going to visit that quilt...oh yah, and also my mother...and my mother-in-law today.
It's a great day to celebrate all the loving and nurturing women we are privileged to have in our life!
And so it's also the perfect day to finally post my 500th blog post giveaway!
Thank you to each of you who come by to read about my quilting adventures, and who regularly give me feedback and encouragement. It's always amazing to me when I am in quilting stores and people say hello, tell me they read my blog, and ask me questions about my projects, or tease me about things I have written. On Thursday I met a woman who was in a class I taught last year (Hi Trudy...if you're reading today!) who thanked me for writing this blog!
Each of you enrich my life with your humour and ideas, and I can't even imagine my life without blogging now!
So this week I am having a celebration giveaway for my blog readers.
There are 4 of the winners will get the above mini quilt that I made from the kit that the Ice House Quilt shop in Grayling gave out to shop hop customers (see it hanging on the wall in the photo on this blogpost);  1 winner will get a package of 4 sewing theme Fat Quarters, and 2 readers will receive these cute kits for paper pieced blocks.
Leave a comment on this post and I'll put your name in for the draw which will take place some time later this week.
Happy Mother's Day and happy blog reading!

Saturday Sampler #18

Here is my Saturday sampler block...I'm a day late and a dollar short this week!
Block Name: Manhattan Star
Block Pattern Source: DreamCastle Quilts
This is a cool website with some great star block patterns. This 12" block is paper pieced in 12 sections, with a total of 88 pieces. It was a challenge, especially with the seam matching of the dark fabrics, but I enjoyed sewing it.  I wish I had used a variety of lights instead of just one, but that's just my scrappy quilter mind!
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but today I feel totally shopped out!  I have been inside 22 different quilt stores in the past few weeks!! I'm sure that must be a world shopping record - I know it is a record for me!
Yesterday I went on the Goose on the Loose shop hop with my oldest (as in longest time known, not as in the most elderly) quilting friend Louise, whom I've been tagging along after for 20 years! And yesterday, this was how the weather was!'s winter again! That's the view out my car window! But neither rain nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail...well you know how it goes! I won't be visiting another quilting store for a long time!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Traditional vs. Modern

Traditional:  tonight I am doing some soothing hand quilting on my oldest UFO - read about it here. I don't hand quilt very many projects, but I sure do enjoy it. I am on the last border, just doing some straight bars, and using my old wooden circular hoop, which I won at a quilt show many years ago. I'm so close to finishing this baby quilt for my daughter.... who is now at University!!! Really LOL!
And after searching for years, I have finally found a perfect fabric for the binding, so I guess I'll finish it up!
But when it's finished...what then? I'll have to dig out another UFO to hand quilt over the next 20 years!!
Modern: my most modern quilting tool is my computer, which I love! This photo shows my work station where I have been putzing around working on a mini mystery quilt. Cyndi has been posting pieces to a mystery quilt on Mondays and I haven't had time to get very far on it until this week - click here to read about the project. This is my progress so far and I hope to finish it up by the weekend...I've sewn most of the 4 steps while listening to Pat Sloan's creative talk radio show on Podcast - click here to find out about that.
These pieces are "large" for me...2 1/2" squares! If I make it again, I'll downsize it for sure...I could probably make a very mini version from my scraps!
Are you going to Shop Hop this week? We have the greatest shop hop around here...5 shops and you get free fabric at each shop, and at your last stop you get a pattern for a project designed specially for the hop! My favorite year was 2008, when I tricked my husband into taking me on the shop hop as part of our anniversary celebration - click here to read about that shop hop and click here to see my finished project, which I'll be carrying around, filling up with the new fabric I will be shopping for to make Judy's new mystery quilt - click here to read about it. I'm so excited because I really need a new project! LOL!
I fished around for some hints about this shop hop's project when I met some store owners at the SewFest last weekend, but they didn't give me any clues. I am on call at work Thursday, working all day Friday and away on the weekend,  so I don't know when I'll get around to all the shops, but you can bet I'll be creative and figure out a way to do it!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Design Wall Monday #18

This is what is on my design wall today.
I started sewing these blocks at SewFest West on the weekend. They are made from a charm pack of 5" squares and I learned how to make the blocks on this SewWonderful tutorial. It's easy and fun and will quickly make up a kids quilt for my guild's comfort quilt donation in June.
Here is the pile of pieces waiting to be finished into blocks.
Wish I didn't have to go to work...I'd sew all day :)

To see other design walls, go to Judy's blog and visit all the blogs listed.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

House call from the Doctor!

Today's blogpost was going to announce my 500th blog post giveaway but I am too sad to do that today. You won't believe today's drama!

The day started out okay. I got up early to head out to the rhubarb patch. This photo was taken last week, and the rhubarb was much higher today, and I could get enough for jam (only need 4 cups). I made the first batch of blueberry rhubarb jam of the season...the rhubarb was fresh but the blueberries were the ones I picked last summer. The jam making went well (good consistency and proper seals) and I quickly had 8 jars canned.
Remember that I told you last week that one of my quilts was accepted into a juried show? I had even emailed to confirm the acceptance of the quilt, and received 2 emails back confirming that it was juried into the show.
Well, today was opening day and guess what? When I got to the show I was given my quilt to take home! Was this some kind of cruel joke? I questioned them about it, but no, that quilt was apparently on the reject list.
How this could have happened, I have no idea. I will email the person who originally emailed me the acceptance letters, but an explanation won't change how this whole debacle felt today.
And then I had to leave that production to load up 4 vehicles worth of my daughter's belongings plus 8 jars of jam, and help move her into her own place (where she will live with 4 of her friends). And my problem is that what I don't want to be at home (the quilt),  is home... and what I do want to be at home (my daughter and all her stuff),  is not!!
So tonight the Doctor had to make a house call!!
I am going to take a nice hot bath, have a little visit with the DR., and call it a day.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday Sampler #17

I thought that for this week's block for my sampler quilt I should pick one of the patterns from the "Middle of the Mitten Shop Hop" quilt - click here to read about that adventure from last weekend. I think the block I picked is called Four Square or Four Star Square... I can't find the pattern today. It was the block from the Fabric Fair store if anyone knows the proper title.
Block Source: Middle of the Mitten Shop Hop quilt
I used a different pink fabric for each star, which was selected from the pile of fabrics I bought on the shop hop!
So now it's a souvenir block!
Here is one of the Shop Hop quilts shown at the store in Grayling called "The Ice House" - click here to explore their website. See my sampler block in the center of the quilt, and how they used one of the star blocks as the cornerstones on the borders?
And see that little cutie wallhanging on the left of the quilt? Check back tomorrow for more information about that quilt!