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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Is Anyone Out There?

26 Feb 2013 ~  (at 1:30a.m. in the stinking morning - have to go to work in the morning, argghh)

There's supposed to be a snowstorm rolling in tonight.  One can only hope it will be an adult snow day, though it'll never happen.  We adults are supposed to be responsible and get our butts to work regardless as if we've sworn the postal worker's weather oath.  I figure a good excuse would be that I must stay home to make warm quilts in case this storm wreaks havoc.  People are depending on me....for quilts.  Anyway....

It has been a couple of weeks since I decided to start blogging.  So far, I have learned that I know nothing about blogging!  This is going to be a lot of work.

I am so glad that there is the internet because without it I would be able to build this internet thing.  It's kind of ironic when you think about it.  I have to figure out if anyone can actually see my blog or find my blog with a search.  I have no idea.  At this point, it's a picture diary for myself which is not a bad thing.  I might as well get things recorded.  I might need to look at this blog down the road to remember.  One never knows.

Well, I am off to figure more stuff out.  Let me know if you see me.


Friday, 22 February 2013

The Blueberry Patch Crib Quilt

This a baby quilt I made for some friends for the birth of their little boy.  It is a pattern from a book that I will have to go through my library to find in order to give credit where credit is due.

I like the fabric in this quilt.  It gives the illusion that the cuts are crooked and uneven, but they are not.

The label below was done with my embroidery machine.

A quilt for room and board?

This is a quilt I made for the host that billeted our daughter during a soccer tournament on Newfoundland island.  It is a Thimbleberries pattern that I made in Labrador colours.


Raising Money for the Power Bill

A Labrador Welcome

Here is a quilt that I made in 2003 to for a lottery draw to help raise money to the pay the power bill at the Goose Bay, Labrador curling rink.  I made it from a magazine which one day when I come across it again I will give credit to it designer.

I really liked this quilt a lot and though I'd have loved to have kept it, I know it went to a nice home for a nice cause.

I machined pieced it and did the rest by hand - applique, accent stitching and quilting.


We had arrived in Goose Bay just 4 days before Rescue helicopter 420 on a searching and rescue mission went down with 4 souls on board, killing two and severely injuring the other two.

This is a quilt made in memory of that crash in honor of those that were on board and two that died.

Charlene Pulaski's husband was one of the severely injured that day.  Her husband very nearly was not saved because during those days the search and rescue helicopters were painted green making it difficult to find the crash site in the trees on the side of the mountain.

Charlene made it her personal mission and took it all the way to the Defence Minister himself to have the helicopters "put back the way they were" and once again painted yellow and she won.  Hopefully, because of her cause there will be no more helicopter's that can't be found because of camoflage.

Women and young girls came together to make squares for this quilt.  The squares represented all the things that Julie and Colin, who died that day, loved.  Their hobbies, dreams and homes.  It was my job to put it all together.  To make all the squares lay flat so it could be quilted.

It took me exactly 14 days, some 12-14 hours a day to prepare it, quilt it, bind it and prepare it for hanging on time for the a special visit from the Minister of National Defence in a newly yellow painted search and rescue helicopter.  The quilt toured Canada going to all the search and rescue squadrons through out Canada.

The padre's wife asked that quilt birds of peace into the quilt which I did.

  I recall that is was 7 ft. x 4 ft.  I bound it in the search and rescue colours.  I was very heavily quilted and was very heavy.  I had to make a heavy duty hanging system to hold the weight of the quilt.

I do not know where it is today.  Possibly in the Goose Bay, Labrador museum.

75th Birthday Story Quilt

This is a quilt that I made for my step-father's 75th birthday.  I told a story of his life using quilt patterns.  For example the fish tails patterns for the fish tales he told and the Virginia Reel for their love of dance.

I worked day and night on this quilt and from start to finish had it done in just one month, on time for my first trip to Florida, 4800 km from Goose Bay, Labrador by car in the winter, to give it to him in person.  He's gone now, but his story lives on.

The finished quilt pics have yet to be uploaded.  I used my embroidery machine to embroider the meaning of each block in big black letters.

The most challenging block I did was the yellow and blue French star block and I did get it to lay flat!


These are my first attempts at rag quilts.  Since I wanted to see how quickly one could be made I decided to use a single, but busy flannel fabric for each of my granddaughter's and grandson's quilts.  I chose flannel so they would be soft.

I was quite surprised how much fabric it took to make the quilts.  And oh boy, it took forever to snip them after they were sewn.  A day to sew and a day to snip.

 But they are nice and thick and wonderfully soft.  The kids love to cuddle with them.


Here is a little quilt I made for ALQS7 this past fall, an online quilt swapping blog.  It found a new home with a quilter in Nova Scotia.  I couldn't be more thrilled as that is where I am from.

Since it was an international swap I wanted to make it quintessentially Canadian.  What's more Canadian than canoes and snow.  I designed quilting cabin in the mountains where by one can quilt by the light of silver moonbeams cast by a canoe shaped moon.  One can just imagine a quilter inside the cabin with the light on.

Rather than making a plain backing, I used up three heart strips that were in my scrap box stash of quilted things and fabric that hope some day to make it into a project.

CHICKEN SCRATCH Scrappy Baby Quilt

CHICKEN SCRATCH Scrappy Baby Quilt

This is a quilt that made for my grandson.  Several years ago I was into making these little chicken doorstops.  They were made of crazy quilting squares and filled with rice.  I'll have to find a picture of one of the chickens.

Well, going through my scrap box I found a ton of these crazy squares I'd made and decided to put them together in a quilt.  As a crib quilt I wanted it to be soft so for the first time I used a modern micro-fiber fabric for the backing.  It turned out really nice and is one of my favourite quilts.

I did my typical crazy doodling quilting.  The name for the quilt came to as I was doing the machine quilting.   The navy fabric is flannel and the crazy squares are cotton.

WIP - Scrappy Purple "I Spy" Quilt


I pieced this quilt last summer expecting to give it to my granddaughter who loves purple.  I had a few children's fabrics that were OK for an I Spy quilt so I used them.  Though after making the quilt, I started swapping I SPY fabric online with other quilters and ended up with a ton of great fabrics.  I ended up making matching I Spy quilts for both our grandchildren using the new fabrics. This quilt was pushed to the side.  I need to quilt it.

Using up all my scraps here...

I started with 5 inch charms for the centers and simply adding sashing as I went along.  I didn't measure the sashing using what I had.  I squared up each block to the same size so they would go together.

WIP - Orange and Pink Reversible Quilt

I have always had several projects on the for a million different reasons and it's no different today.  I still have lots on the go.  What I find fascinating are the all the different reasons that I stop one project to start another and another.  Be it boredom, disappointment, weather, change of circumstance, etc. the journey to get finished is a story in itself.

This past summer I made myself a promise that I was not only going to work through my stash of fabric, but that I was also going to work through my stashed unfinished projects while at the same time documenting the journey of the quilt through the life of the quilter as they are intertwined.

So without further ado...


I started working on this quilt the summer when my youngest daughter was in her last year of high school....three years ago.  It was supposed to be first her September birthday gift, then that year's Christmas gift, then her graduation gift and so on and so on.....   

I am determined to get this done for next Christmas.

The Front

The Back
Leaf Appliques

Quickly Cut Fabric for a Windmill Quilt

This is how I cut and arrange the pieces for a Windmill quilt in 15 minutes.  I will have to make a video tutorial someday that shows how quick this is.  For now, I hope the few pics I have here will be enough to get you going.

Here are the cut pieces arranged in no particular order on my design board after they've been cut.  It's always nice to see where the tutorial pics are leading.

(How did I Make a Design Board in 30 minutes - Look for my pics)

STEP 1 - Square up a regular piece of paper.  I used printer paper - easy enough to pull out of the printer tray :) though any size will work as the lines will be continued beyond the paper.

STEP 2 -   Draw the cutting lines on the piece of paper.  For this particular quilt I used a 2" - 6"  split for the blades.  For an 8" square piece make a mark 2 inches in from the left side of the paper on each of the four sides.  Then joint the dots on opposite sides using a ruler and drawing a line.

Your paper should look like the pic below.
It can be rotated in any direction (should it blow off the table in a gust of wind - ha!) as it is dissected into four identical sections - that's a windmill for ya!

STEP 3 -  Line up the paper square on the grid on your cutting.  IMPORTANT - Be sure to pick a good place on the mat that will be comfortable for you to cut lots of fabric now and in the future because this piece of paper is marking where fabric will be in a moment....

SOME OF YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE NEXT STEP...   It involves a permanent marker

The way I look at it is if saves me time cutting fabric to whip up a quilt and I don't have to drag out any extra tools (and put them away afterwards - hate that part) then I am willing to doodle anything on my mat.  Besides, it's my mat and I'll draw on it if I want to.

            Same pic again below - didn't want you to have to scroll up...  (geesh, am I lazy or what!)

STEP 4 - Being careful not to move the paper, place your ruler on top of the paper lining it up with the drawn line and using a permanent marker (not temporary marker as it will rub off on your fabric later) continue drawing the lines off the paper onto the mat.

Lift the paper and joint the lines so they intersect and look like the lines on the paper.  (See two pics down for how the lines should look).

STEP 5 - Before you lift the paper draw little arrows on your mat that point to the center of each side of the paper.  They will be used later for laying down your fabric.  I drew several arrows which you can see two pics down.

Below you can see how the drawn lines on the mat mimic the lines on the paper.  Here you can see I wrote "CUT" on my lines as they will be the cutting lines.  I later wrote 'Windmill Cutting Line' clarity as I now have other cutting guidelines for different patterns written on my mat since these pics were taken.

Here is a close up of what my mat looks like all marked up with the two cut lines and arrows.  Well, I know that's not a wine ring....  I keep the wine on a separate table!

 STEP..(Next?)   Using sqaures of fabric (here I used 10" charms from a layer cake of fabric I bought on Etsy (I love Etsy) line up about 4-6 squares at a time or whatever you can comfortable cut at once between the arrows so that the fabric is square.  The intersection of the lines will at the center of the squares.

NEXT  - Being careful not to move the fabric line up your ruler on one of the drawn lines and cut.  Then do the same with the second line....TWO CUTS...and you're done.
Imagine if you had your squares ready to go.  You just have to plop them in the "square" you've outlined on your board with the arrows and then cut on the therewo cutting lines.  DONE!
Here are some step by step pics of laying out the pinwheel and the breakdown of the pattern into a square for easy sewing....

I split apart the blades to reveal a square.  This is how the pieces are sewn together.

I hope you enjoyed.  I will be sure up upload pics of the finished quilt soon.