Friday, May 31, 2019

Adjusting My Halo

Halo quilt: QuiltBee
I’m working on Country Cousin on the small design wall because most of the large wall is covered in Halo

Halo quilt: QuiltBee
I enjoy having a quilt on the wall while I work on other things, especially when it’s one that I can get lost in, and this is one of those quilts. It’s a temperature of much of the lighter side of my stash at a point in time and I have to say, I think I have a very nice stash. All of the colours are playing so well together!

Halo quilt: QuiltBee
Its been great fun watching the circles fill in and re-positioning colours until I think I have things just right – it still reminds me of a table full of antique china plates and saucers.

Halo quilt: QuiltBee
I’m thinking that as it works to the outer edges the colours will fade away to soft mauve, light grey, white and cream. And then, as I sat back and gained some perspective, it occurred to me that I could just leave it as it is and make the rest of the pieces in different whites, ghosting the circular shapes of the pieces in the quilting design. I can’t decide. This approach might be more effective for a wall quilt rather than one that I will use on my bed, and I think that I have just about all of the coloured pieces that I need cut already. What to do, what to do? Well, for the time being, sit back and enjoy it while I ponder my options….M

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It's Starting....

Country Cousin quilt: QuiltBee
Things on the small design wall are slowly starting to resemble a quilt.

There's been a fair bit of cutting and sewing of HSTs, both large and small, and soon it should show up as much more progress.

Country Cousin quilt: QuiltBee
For fun, I tried adding in the occasional triangle that wasn't blue (an idea that I liked in the inspiration quilt) but I'm not sure that it does anything for it. I might keep just the green triangles, but I'm not sure; the blue-green floral will definitely stay in the mix. Maybe once I get more of it laid out the hits of colour will make more sense....M

Sunday, May 26, 2019


I was making great progress on the outer round of another four-diamond hexie for Minnie when things suddenly ground to a halt. Obviously I've either miscalculated or misplaced the last of the peach hexies that I need to finish this one off.

It was easier to reach for another diamond rather than to run down to the sewing room and figure out where that fabric is, so I'll start stitching on this one and hope that my math is better.

Minnie has been in the works for several years now and I'm getting close to having enough diamonds to start assembling it. I will need to figure out half diamonds for around the edges but I'm close enough to the end of this one to start contemplating another hand stitching hexie project. This layout (in actuality, a tile floor) has lots of appeal and I'm thinking would be fun to figure out. I would do it in shades of two colours rather than just two solids - lots of scrappy potential there! Good thing, because I think I've cut way more hexies than I need for Minnie....M

Thursday, May 23, 2019


Country Cousin quilt block: QuiltBee
We’ve had lots of traffic to the back yard bird feeders of late, including a very hungry little chipmunk (a.k.a. ‘J. Edgar Hoover’) and a couple of black squirrels. Maybe that’s the reason that I seem to have gone completely ‘squirrel’ this week. Despite having a list as long as my arm of quilts and toppers that I want to make, I headed off on a totally unforeseen tangent.

It’s called Country Cousin and is from a book that I inherited from mom called Scrap Quilts by Judy Martin (1985). Goes to show you how timeless this craft is.

Country Cousin quilt: QuiltBee
This is the layout in the book. Hmmmm. It's okay, but nothing that I would normally stop at.

Country Cousin quilt: QuiltBee
But with a flick of the wrist you can make it look like this. I saw this version on a blog recently (I have to do a better job of tracking where I get my inspiration) where all of the large light and dark triangles butted up against each other, creating a diagonal weave, and the mix of triangles was even scrappier. I needed to try it. 

HSTs: QuiltBee
I tried going back to my wish list several times to see if I could be talked out of it, but apparently not. Ah well, lots of blue and white HSTs in my near future, I guess....M

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

My Head is Still in the Stars

star table topper: QuiltBee
Since I had stars in my head from the Rhubarb Crisp runners I thought I'd finish up a star UFO for the Holly Bazaar and maybe eliminate a smile pile in the sewing room at the same time.

I started this for last year's bazaar but not everything I start gets finished in time, so a little stack of 6" stars has been sitting beside my machine with a pile of potential coordinating fabrics. Many of the pieces were ready to sew so I finished them first. Working on 6" star blocks seemed HUGE compared to the 1 x 2" flying geese, so I breezed through them.

sawtooth star: QuiltBee
Then I had to figure out what to do with them. I had visions of using two versions of the stars throughout (I have a set with the points in mauve and a second set with the points in the mauve floral) but didn't have as many of the first style as I had imagined, and all that mauve was just looking too intense - not enough contrast.

single Irish chain quilt block: QuiltBee
What to do? Try adding a different colour. Voila!

star table topper: QuiltBee
So I spent part of my long weekend putting together two toppers; the second one will go to the Madonna House Gift Shop. Luv how the addition of the green changes and softens the look - very spring like. Now, if only Mother Nature would send a little spring our way....M

Friday, May 17, 2019

440 Tiny Flying Geese Later...

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
I'm a little gob smacked because I just put the finishing touches on the the last of three Rhubarb Crisp table runners. The gob smacked part comes into play not only because they are finished (and in relatively short time for me) but also for the fact that they included 440 tiny 1" x 2" flying geese!

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
They are just lovely.

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
I liked all of the elements before I started laying them out to sew but I have say that Jo Morton really knew what she was doing when she designed this pattern because when the corner stones were added in they really came to life. And I was more than thrilled to find this gold print in my stash - very similar to the style of print that she used.

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
I don't think that I will ever tire of those little 4" Sawtooth stars; it's so much fun to see them in different colours.

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
When she saw them Jane, was surprised at how tiny the pieces are, particularly the geese, as it didn't really come across in the photos that I had previously posted, so here's a pic with my scissors just to give you a sense of scale. The runners finish off at 14" x 38".

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
They need a good pressing and then I will have to figure out what to do for backing but that's relatively minor in the general scheme of things; I'm thinking that I will ask Roberta to quilt them on the longarm.

If someone had told me that I would have all three of these together inside of a month I would never have believed them - guess I went a little OCD. Happy, happy, happy 😄....M

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Sewing

It has been a terrible year for flooding in our area and dear Jane continues to battle the waters around her home. They have finally started a slow decline but she needs to run pumps 24/7 to fend them off, so a group of us have been doing shifts to help her out. This past weekend was my turn. So, what do quilters do when they are trapped in a cottage surrounded by water? Well, they sew, of course.

I took one of the Rhubarb Crisp runners to show Jane and maybe lift her spirits a little because she was toying with making one too; she also wanted to see how the Bloc Loc ruler worked. I arrived to her sorting fabrics for this very project, so it was great timing.

flying geese: QuiltBee
Her palette is still autumnal, but with more plums and deep rose prints than reds and greens; it is gorgeous – so rich. We were off!

We got everything cut and a good start at the flying geese during the daylight hours and then, while I was on the night watch, I sewed more til I ran out of thread (I didn't trust myself to sleep and wake with an alarm). The last few were finished up the next day and trimmed.

On the second night I spent the wee hours of the morning with Minnie.

Mulligatawny Soup: QuiltBee
Thankfully this time around (she went through this just two years ago!) she has not lost power so to help keep our strength up 😊 she made a fantastic Mulligatawny Soup. OMG it was good. So good that I’ll be making it again tonight for dinner.

Jane's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
She hand stitched the 4-goose units together and has laid everything out. Her cornerstone blocks are more random than the pattern shows and she’s also included a great Kaffe stripe in the mix. 

Jane's Rhubarb Crisp table runner: QuiltBee
I suspect that the next time I see her, which may be later this week, she will have it all together. Keep calm and quilt on....M

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

The Rhubarb's Coming Up!

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner: QuiltBee
More happy progress to report on my Rhubarb Crisp runners. I've still got a batch of stars to finish, but other than that it's time to start laying one out - fun!

The timing seems to be in sync with Mother Nature's schedule too as the rhubarb in the garden is doing its level best to surface, despite the miserable spring we've been having. The last few days have been warmer and drier, which is a blessing, especially for Jane who is dealing with flood waters around her cottage, and the plants like it.

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner: QuiltBee
All of the Flying Geese are together and trimmed and I think that there are a few extras, which is fine - it gives me lots of choice. The pattern called for me to use 12 different dark prints but I really like the super scrappy look so there are several more than that, both light and dark.

It took a little longer on the cutting end of things but I love having the variety. Just had to share this cute little acorn print - makes me smile.

Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp quilted table runner: QuiltBee
Now for the big question - do I finish up all the stars and then start sewing the runners together or do I skip forward a bit and put one together to see what it looks like?....M

Friday, May 03, 2019

A Trimfest

There's been lots of Flying Geese getting their wings clipped around here lately and it's starting to pay off. To be honest, I thought that by now I might have lost interest in them and moved on, but I set up little batches to work on and it's been working out well.

Flying Geese quilt blocks: QuiltBee
The more of them I make the more accurate I get so the trimmings are actually quite tiny, but still enough to make a difference when it comes to making them into sashing units of four.

Flying Geese quilt blocks: QuiltBee
I'll need 32 sashing sets for each of the three runners and I think that right now I have about 70-80 sets together. It's been lots of fun creating the different combinations.

And what do I do with all of those tiny scraps? I tossed them outside near the bird feeder so that the birds can use them to build their nests. They are fine enough that they should do nicely, even for the tiniest birds. Win-win!....M

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The Stars Begin to Align

4" sawtooth star: QuiltBee
I needed a Flying Geese break so I shifted from sewing to cutting and making the 4" stars that I need for the Rhubarb Crisp table runner.

4" sawtooth star: QuiltBee
Great idea, however I didn't totally escape the geese because there are four geese required for each star - they're everywhere!

4" sawtooth stars: QuiltBee
Regardless, it broke things up enough to keep me moving forward rather than getting stalled in all that goose traffic.

Once these three are together I will have enough for the first of three runners. Yes, you heard me correctly, I'm making three! I decided that in addition to mine I'd like to make one for the Holly Bazaar silent auction, and then, well, the third one just seemed like a good idea, so I think it will go to the Madonna House Gift Shop. I do it to myself, don't I?....M