Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shop Hoppin' with the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild

I had this idea.  What if I invited a bunch the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild to go on a shop hop with me?  What if I said I would drive?  How many quilters could I fit in my van????  And how many others would join us?  Lots!  I think there were 9 of us altogether.  We started at the Spool of Thread in Vancouver.  That was fun!  Forgive the phone pic!

I added some low volume fabrics to the stash and some Liberty.  YUM!

Then we were off to lunch at Canteen Mitra for lunch!  Seriously yummy!  Thanks Cynthia for the great idea!

Fabricana in Coquitlam was the next stop.  Sales!  Lots of them.  We spent some quality time at Fabricana before heading off to Surrey to Save On Fabrics.  Save on Fabrics is a discount fabric store.  You never know what will be there.  They stock quilting fabric, lots of garment fabrics (excellent selection of wool melton cloth) and all sorts of other stuff!  I scored some Anna Maria Horner fabric along with a seaside print that is so wrong it is right!  I have been feeling buyers regret for a year at not buying any of it and was delighted to find a vast quantity this time on a giant roll.  I also found some monkeys, a ditsy floral print and a great black on white dot because I am really trying to build up the low volume options.

I checked in with husband at this point because it was starting to get dark.  I told him we were still on the road.  He decided the whole adventure was like bar hopping for quilters.  Totally.  I then learned we were close to Wineberries.   Why not?  And what a nice shop that was!  I picked up some American Jane rulers.  The first few of us in the door scored the last bit of that until Cynthia unearthed a fat quarter.  The ladies in the shop were delighted to meet Cynthia because they had her entire Christmas line and were almost sold out.  Oh, that was fun!

So here is the rest of what followed me on home.  The sales were great.  I am sure this will be an annual event! And I was so tired when I finally got home!!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013


I made this Perfectly Quilted tote for my Mum for Christmas.  I gave a sneak peak a little bit ago  but I could not reveal the whole thing.  Apparently she was hoping it would come her way when she spotted it in progress on my blog.  She has a thing for blue and white so I had to be particularly obtuse when saying, oh so casually, that I was making it for a "friend."  He he he.

I have said it before and I will say it again.  This is a great pattern.  And this is the other side.

And the inside...

And this is something my Mum made for me.  A bum warmer for my sewing chair.  Clever isn't she????
I did not realize this was something I needed but it has made my sewing so much warmer.  Who knew????
Thanks MUM!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  May there be many quilty surprises under the tree!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Modern Scrappy Bits Swap... Round Five

I received my Modern Scrappy Bits Swap package just the other day and it came all the way from the UK.  Thank you so much, Kath!  She made me a lovely covered journal and then sent a giant pile of scraps which included some lovely linen and a bunch of ribbon.  Nice!!!!

I have joined the Modern Scrappy Bits swap since it started and I have always received fabulous swap packages!  I anticipate another round in the New Year.  Keep an eye out and join in the fun!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Really Random... do bears sleep in the winter?

Not at our house.  Just saying.  Husband was greeted by the sight of one large black bear right in front of the dining room window and headed for the bird feeder this morning.  He thinks it was Edwina, Marvin's mother.
He scared her off with the air horn and she toodled off, down the road. Harumph.

One more day and then I am on holdiays.  Christmas concert done and it was just fabulous.  Pajama day is tomorrow.  How fun is that?  We will finish the school day with a carol sing and then send all the little darlings home with their families for two weeks.

Oh... the little snowman up at the top?  I made him so many years ago and we call him the little guy.  We think he holds the secret of Christmas in his wee wistful lopsided smile.

I received this pen as a gift.  Looks like a nice normal kinda pen.  But wait.  It is has a total James Bond, Inspector Gadget kind of surprise with a USB memory stick inside.  Gotta love that.

Look!  Tomatoes in December!  Husband clipped a chunk off the top of a cherry tomato plant before getting rid of them at the end of summer.  He rooted the cutting and it is now happily growing in the living room window and is producing scads of green cherry tomatoes.  We were hoping that we would have ripe ones for Christmas but it does not look like it.  

Linking up with Cindy at Random Thursday because what can be more random than bears, tomatoes, spy pens and other things?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

work in progress Wednesday...

I have been working on a number of Christmas gifts.   Which I cannot share because the recipients read my blog.  So what I will show you is another Perfectly Quilted Totes in progress.  This is a fabulous Elizabeth Hartman pattern and I have made several of them already.  This is the wide tote.  I have to say that Elizabeth writes really excellent patterns.  The only thing I changed with this is to make the inside facing and the outside top panel deeper.  I decided to do this to make the stitching around the magnetic snap easier.  It was an inspired idea.  I just increased the two pieces by 1/2" and it made all the difference.  This is also a great pattern to use up scraps!  And this is destined to be a gift for a friend.  I think it is just the thing!

I am also sharing what I found on Sunday afternoon when I decided it might be time to give my sewing machine a bit of a clean out.  This is evidence of the fact that I have been sewing.  Gack!  Look at all the fluff!  Seriously.  So yes, I am sewing but I am just not sharing!  I actually took out the vacuum cleaner to tackle this fluff-fest!

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network and Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Oh my goodness...

We had our Fraser Valley Modern Quilt guild Christmas meeting last Thursday evening.  It was wonderful as always and many of us were happy in our pajamas!  I won a door prize from Barb.  3 lovely fat quarters and an adorable little wooden box.  Love it!

We also had a handmade ornament swap.  This is what I took home.  Thanks Bonnie!!!!
Cute or what?

I was just reading through the comments on my Sew Mama Sew giveaway.  I was not able to respond to the comments because there were just too many of them!  I wanted to say that I have read every comment and it was soooooo interesting to read where you all are!  From Israel to Bali to Moscow, all over the States and Canada and right back here to next door in Abbotsford.  Thanks so much for entering and for following along.

Now I am off to do some sewing.  Christmas projects still need some work.

Friday, December 13, 2013

We have a winner!!!!

Thank you so  much to everyone who entered the giveaway!!!  There were over 900 comments.    The winner is.....110 who is Alison from central PA.  Alison, I will send you an email!  Congratulations!

Giveaway Day

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Happy Giveaway Day!   I have a stack of fat quarters and a spool of Aurifil 50wt thread for one lucky quilter. The Fat quarters include a text print from Stof Basics, Kona Ash, Kona Medium Gray and Kona Ruby!  The text print is a great low volume print.  All you have to do is leave a comment telling me where you live for one chance and you get a second chance for following!    Please leave your email if you are a no reply blogger.  Thanks and good luck!  I will ship anywhere!

I will pick a winner on Friday, December 13, 2013 after 5 pm Pacific Daylight Time. 

Check out all the other giveaways at Sew Mama Sew!

Thank you so  much to everyone who entered the giveaway!!!  There were over 900 comments.  Comments are now closed!!!!  The winner is.....110 who is Alison from central PA.  Alison, I will send you an email!  Congratulations!

Giveaway Day

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Christmas Finish...

I finished this table runner bit ago.  I put the top together at our last guild sew in.  All in blues and simple quilting, this will make a lovely Christmas gift for a lovely person.  And I used up some more of the great wall of fabric!!!

I have a tutorial for this wonky star runner if you are interested.  Linking up with Amanda Jean for finish it up Friday!

Don't forget the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway starts Monday and I will be joining in.

Giveaway Day

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lucky Stars Block of the Month... December

I signed up for Elizabeth Dackson's Lucky Stars Block of the month last year. Elizabeth blogs at Don't Call Me Betsy.   13 blocks later, I now know how to put together a variety of paper pieced blocks.  I have a lovely selection of paper pieced star patterns in 2 sizes and while I could put these together in a quilt now, why not keep the fun going?  Elizabeth has put together a whole new year of Lucky Stars blocks and I have signed up again!  I am going to keep this quilt growing.

This is what I have so far.  13 of them.  One for each month and one extra.  That was the practice block.  I have learned a lot about paper piecing.  Can I offer some tips?
- Follow the cutting instructions.  That will save you a lot of anguish as you put your block together.
- Keep a few sewing machine needles strictly for paper piecing because paper really dulls your needle.
-Reduce the stitch length to make tearing the paper off easier.
-Keep all the fabric for the block of the month project in one tub if you are following some sort of colour scheme.  It keeps you organized when the block pattern appears in your email.
-Have fun.  It is supposed to be fun after all!

I line up all the cut up fabric in order of use so I am ready for the block.  One column is for template A and the other for template B.

I am following an organized colour scheme for the blocks.  The Anna Maria Horner fabric (second fabric from the top in the picture just below) is my "boss" fabric and all the other fabrics that I use bounce off of the colours in that print.  Fun!

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network and Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Taking care of business...

I made this little Christmas ornament the other day for our December Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  We are having a swap.  I used some scraps of Cynthia's Christmas line, Retro Christmas.  I made a little itty bitty wonky star and then quilted it like crazy.  Stuck on some binding and attached a ribbon.  Done!  A little closer...  Nice!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What is up this week?

On Saturday, I spent the day sewing with the fabulous ladies from The Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild.  I shared the instructions with them for the Wonky Star table runner and lots of them were busy making them.  I joined in the fun and made this one, all in blues.  It is going to be a gift.  It was fun to use a bunch of Christmas fabrics that may not have been used any time soon!  And I have to say that it turned out quite nicely!  The runner is all quilted and bond and ready for a photo opportunity.

I also worked on some star blocks for a baby quilt.  That was fun!

And what were other people up to?  Laura and Vera were doing surgery on a sewing machine foot.  They were successful!

 Barb was getting busy with a fabric bowl.  How cool is that?

Lysa was making Christmas stockings and was consulting with Cynthia on trim placement.  I have to say that the stockings were gorgeous!

Lots of Christmas makes underway!  Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday and with the Needle and Thread Network.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wonky Wonky Little Star Table Runner Tutorial

Wonky Wonky
Little Star Table Runner


fabric:  approx. 1/3 of yard cut into
32-4” squares (feel free to use low volume, scrappy white… as long as you have
32 4” squares)

fabric:  Assorted Christmas prints…. This
is just a guide based on the sample.
Feel free to use more prints for more variety.  A full star will require 5-4” squares. This
is a great way to use up Christmas fabric scraps.

Management Tip:  I keep all my Christmas
scraps in one bin. Makes them so much easier to find.

Print A:  10-4” squares
Print B:  9-4” squares
Print C:  9-4” squares
Print D:  6-4” squares
Print E:  6-4” squares

Batting and
Backing:  16” by 40”  (feel free to piece your back and the Batting
will be used as your design wall for this project as well as your batting)

fabric:  about ¼ yard (approx.. 120” of
binding at 2.5” ) You can always make it scrappy.

Please read the instructions all the way through just to make sure you know what you are up to!  You do not sew any of your squares together until your entire table runner is laid out and you are happy with the colour placement.  

Hint!  Use the picture of the completed table runner to help you with your layout.

Wonky Scrappy Little Star Tutorial... because this is just so much

Step One:  Wonky Star preparation

Cut your scraps into 4”squares.  

Cut your background fabric into 4” squares as well. 

For every star you will need  5 of the print squares. 
Leave one square whole and cut 4 of the matching squares on the diagonal
yielding 8 triangles.

Step 2:  Wonky Star construction

Take one background square and place one triangle in the most
wonky way possible as in the above photos.  My wonky may be different from
your wonky and that is just fine.  Let your inner wonky shine!

Stitch with a quarter inch seam.  You can do it!!

Trim your little leftover corner.  I use scissors because I "trim as I go" right at the

Finger press the wonky little star point.  

Then place your next point in true wonky fashion.  Then

Trim the corners here as well.  Make all 4 of your wonky star
points in the same manner but let each be their own wonky individual
self.  The point is that the points do not have to be matching. 

Time to press!  I press the first one and then pile the next
on top, lining up the corners and pressing in a pile until I have all four of
the points in a neat and tidy pressed pile.  You might like to be more
quilt professional and less quilt lazy but I like to get this part done as
quickly as possible. 

*Take your neat and tidy, pressed pile to the cutting mat and trim
all 4 of the point blocks into perfect 4” squares again.  Discard your

Step 3:  Take your four star
point squares and your matching print square and place your newly completed
wonky star into the mix.  Note how the stars are all imbedded or

Hint:  This is one project where you need to build your project as you go.
It is best to start in the middle of the design wall and build outwards.
You will notice as you build the  layout that you also get a cool little
pinwheel thing happening between the stars with your background fabric.
How excellent!

*You will fill in the spots with the leftover star points to
complete the 4 by 10 layout as in the picture above. 

*Once you are happy with the layout and have checked for colour
placement and proximity, start sewing your squares together by rows.

*Once all the rows are completed, then sew the rows
together.  Pin at each seam so your seams match up carefully.  Again,
always check to makes sure your stars are lined up nicely. 
Sandwich, quilt, bind and enjoy

 Options:  You can make your squares different sizes.
I made both a pillow and runner with 2.5" squares.  And a quilt with 4” squares.