Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

I am working on "Arizona"...and so far it is going well....

I am not totally convinced that I like the orange ...I was looking for something a bit darker, more burnt orange like, but couldn't find anything, so decided to go with what I could get.

I have the first couple of blocks done, and only 28 more to go !! :)  Sorry the colors are not quite right, the browns are not that dark, and the little square is black.
So that is my progress for today... now lets go check in at Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network !!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When in doubt ...make them both!

Well, I am still being quite lazy, relaxing down here in Arizona. Enjoying the sun !!
I couldn't decide which magazine quilt pattern I I decided to make them both!

Of course that meant another run back to the quilt store to pick up a few extra bits!! Only problem was the big 30% off sale ended on the weekend, so no big savings for this bit :( ...but of course it is still a bargain compared to prices in Canada !!

So I did spend some time cutting, and hopefully will get some sewing done today.. but first we are going out golfing !

Monday, November 28, 2011

Green belt

Wow! There is an amazing trail system right through the middle if Scottsdale!

It is called the Scottsdale Greenbelt and it goes for about 25 miles apparently!
It is beautiful...goes through several parks, past little lakes an golf courses. It is quite flat so very easy to bike.
 We packed our bikes up into our rental car...fondly referred to as the "sugar cube"  (Kia Soul)

I thought this little car was really ugly when I first saw it, but it kind of grows on you, and has actually been very handy! But I digress....

The trail was well marked, and easy to find our way back to the sugar cube....which is a good thing!!

We saw several tandem bikes...bicycles built for two....

I don't know if they rent them somewhere around here or what...but I see "grounds for divorce" written all over a venture like that!!

Anyway, we spent a couple of hours out biking around the trails, then packed up our bikes in the sugar cube and came home to a hot shower and a glass of wine! Perfect!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Small Business Saturday

I did my best to support Small Business Saturday here in the USA!! It was the least I could do right??   And I did meet my goal of finishing 3 WIP's before buying something felt I deserved a reward!

And besides, I have been golfing with my DH quite a lot.....because he loves to golf...and I like the walk in a pretty park LOL!! (and actually do OK with the golfing too)  But when you put everything you buy (read fabric here) in the context of the price of a golf all works! is what I did to support small business here in favourite quilt store here....Quiltz.

I am planning to make a quilt for our bed here at the condo....

Don't you just love those rich colours???
And this just looked like "Arizona" to I had to get some of that too.

Now I am busy browsing through quilt magazines for some inspiration ...

This is the part I struggle with...trying to decide what I am going to do with fabric that I love.

 I want to show off the prints and colours and make something that is interesting. I tend towards more "modern" designs, maybe because I am lazy..or that I am scared of triangles...but that is what appeals to me.

mmm..guess I will curl up with a cup of coffee and a pile of magazines and wait for the lightening bolt to strike!! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday finish....for the desert!

I really haven't felt very motivated since we arrived in Phoenix, so haven't done very much at all here except golf, and relax.

........ golfbag

But I did manage to get the binding on this little quilt that I started here last winter.

It was the very first quilt that I tried FMQ, so lots and lots of mistakes (dont look too closely !)

But I do really like it, and it is going to live here in the condo in Phoenix, as a throw on the couch, so just for us to curl up with on those cool desert nights!!

I like the touch of red in the binding, it really shows off the reds.

My favourite quilt store here Quiltz is having a big sale this small Saturday... so I think I might have to go check that out.  And just for the record....I DID finish 3 quilts before I went shopping for more fabric.....not the three I had planned, but this one counts..right

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Although we are Canadian, and have already celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada in October, we are down in Arizona right now, so get to enjoy the celebrations here as well.  We watched the Thanksgiving Parade here in Fountain Hills this morning.

So to all my American friends....have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Helloooooo out there....

I really haven't dropped off the edge of the earth....just dropped off to Phoenix for 3 weeks. I hear we escaped just in time...before a big dump of snow and a big drop in temperature!! (little happy dance here)

It is very pretty down here, warm, but not hot. Although we have been golfing in shorts and spent one afternoon sitting at the pool. We are actually in Fountain Hills, the home of the "World Famous Fountain"!!

I do have a sewing machine down here, too, but have not yet had any time to get at it. I have a quilt here that needs a binding...

This was my very first FMQ effort, last year about this time. I can see that I have improved since then, but still love this little quilt. I will try to get busy next week with some sewing.

I also have been eyeing up this mystery quilt along.. I have never joined a quilt along, let alone a mystery quilt along....and with triangle yet!!! anybody who reads this blog knows, triangles scare me!! But maybe???

Monday, November 14, 2011

Eat a Pickle ...Hug a Friend!

This is kind of fun!! We are leaving today for 3 weeks in Phoenix, so better be aware of this National Celebration !!

You can check out their web page at :

National Pickle Day

Who:               You
What:              Celebrate National Pickle Day
When:             November 14th
Where:           All across the US
Why:               To show our appreciation for pickles.
How:               Wear your green, and let everyone know
                         about this day!
Hello! Thanks for visiting our site.  As you can see, you’ve just been invited to help us celebrate National Pickle Day! As pickle lovers, our goal is to make National Pickle Day an official holiday, and spread awareness about this wonderful food. I would suggest you pick up your red pens and circle November 14th on your calendar.  Check out the rest of our site, and remember:
Eat a pickle, hug a friend!
Here is some info...
It’s National Pickle Day! Pickles have been a popular food for thousands of years. In 2030 B.C., cucumbers were imported from India to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles.
In ancient Egypt, people consumed pickles for their nutritional value and because they were thought to enhance beauty. Cleopatra attributed her good looks to her full diet of pickles. Centuries later, Napoleon believed that pickles offered health benefits for his armies, so he offered a huge cash prize to anyone who was able to preserve them safely. 
Today we honor the culinary history of pickles. This versatile vegetable can be enjoyed as a condiment, snack, or side dish. Stock up on your favorite kind of pickles and celebrate National Pickle Day!
Have a happy pickle day!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Smooth operator

When I first started quilting last year I had some problems sandwiching the quilt together. I often seemed to end up with a wrinkle in the backing.

I know some people tape the backing to the floor and then add the other layers, but I have problems crawling around on the floor and not messing up the quilt!! OK, maybe it is just me!
I drape mine over my kitchen counter and for the last couple of quilts, I have been more attentive  and think that the secret to a wrinkle free quilt back is taking more time to smooth!

I am fortunate to have a very large kitchen island counter, so I can drape the quilt over it. I start with the batting down first and smooth backing over it, matching the edges. Then smooth it some more....and then smooth it again.
Once it is all smooth, I flip it over and start smoothing again....till the batting is smooth as possible...

Then I spread out the top and start smoothing it out again. After I think I have all the ripples smoothed out, I smooth it out some more !! Although it takes time, it is time worth spending.

I actually roll the quilt as I work, big loose folds.. so I can move the quilt to get all the way across it. I often flip the whole thing over a couple of times to be sure that I have smoothed out all the little ripples.

Then I pin it.  I know some people like to spray baste, but I don't like the idea of the fumes, or the extra garbage that it produces, so I stay with my simple safety pins. Guess I am just old fashioned that way! just need to get this one quilted !

Friday, November 11, 2011

finishes are relative in my house!

First of all..let us all take a moment to remember all those, from all countries, who have fought, or are fighting for us all. Today is a day to honour them.

But, it is also Friday and OK this really isn't a Friday finish...BUT...
I have been delaying making the backing for "Prairie Meadow" because I wanted to piece in some of the leftover bits and pieces. So now...

the backing is finished !!

I used up most of the bits and pieces from the front of the quilt. It is not totally random (I can't do random!!) so there is some symmetry to the my mind anyway, so that makes me happy : )

Although it is a bit of a "cheat" is still a Friday Finish for me!! So I am going over to link up at Quilt Matters TGIFF!  It is always good inspiration to see what everyone else has finished!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

work in progress

Work in Progress party again...and it is the 1 year anniversary, so check out Freshly Pieced for the Anniversary Edition!!

I think I kind of needed a break from the FMQ that I need to do to finish up 2 more quilts,  so more bags!!

Sorry, I know you are probably tired of seeing bags, but thats what is in the works this week!!
Another Daytripper bag...the last of the Christmas gift bags....just need to buy some buttons for the front..

and this one...although I am  not sure I like the red binding on this...might have to change that.

I made one of these before, and had some material leftover, so thought that I would make one more to use it up. They are a nice size, about 18" across. I added a little pocket on the inside this time.

Other works in progress:
  • wonky blocks (no progress)
  • "Prairie Meadow" - needs backing sewed
  • "Paris" - needs backing sewed
  • "Square dance" - ready to baste and quilt
  • pink magic 4 patch -no progress
  • Newfoundlad treasure - no progress, except I bought the fabric I needed to finish cutting out the pieces!!
  • and a few other projects that haven't even been cut out yet!!
Doesn't sound like I am making much progress does it LOL

Oh, and the ballet last night was very good. It was quite modern, so not as traditional as some ballets, and the costumes were beautiful...I love those flowing chiffon skirts and the pointe shoes !! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I have been busy making more of my favourite tote bags...

I know I have posted about these before, but they are such great bags! I use mine all the time. I thought that they would make great gifts for lots of people, so kind of did a whole batch of them. The pattern was from an old quilting magazine, (Izzy & Ivy Design). 

They start out with 15"x22" pieces, and the bag ends up about 11"x14" ...perfect size! There are pockets inside too, which are very handy. 

I use home decor fabric for the outside, and buckram for the interfacing. That makes them very stiff, so the bag actually will stay standing up by itself.

Great for throwing in everything that you need to carry. (p.s. dont try an open can of coke....bad plan....ask me how I know !)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday finishes

There is a fun linky party celebrate finishes!! Check it out!

For a while I thought that this would be my only "finish" this week!! (left over scraps of "Origins")

But then this one just squeaked in !!

It seemed like it took forever to do the quilting!! I think that I am stitching more densely now, hence....more time...more thread!!  Also, I miscalculated the binding and was about a foot short (again!!) so had to go find the scraps and cut some more! You think I would learn to measure twice ?????

The fabric is  a jelly roll of "Comfort" by Moda, the wide border and binding is Arnold's Attic Heart Leaf.
It is one of those jelly roll racers, (thank you Sharon!) instructions here if you haven't seen these before. They are very quick to put together, and I like the simple lines. I always add a border or two, but I love borders, you don't have to have one.

 For backing I used "Molly's Meadow" Scrap Basket Collection (Henry Glass)

I went back to my old standby of echoed teardrops (I am sure there is a proper name for this ???)
but tried to get a bit creative on the is my sketch of what I planned (I saw this somewhere and tried to draw it)

It is not very even, but I was getting better by the end. If this quilt had 6 sides, I'd be doing great by now!! : )

Anyway, this is just for us to use at the cabin...can't you just see us curled up in front of the fire reading a book?? Dont forget that it will soon be minus 40 C. and 4 feet of snow!!

Speaking of reading...this is very funny, I can't stop giggling....The Bloggess.
She is talking about towels.....but I think it would easily apply to fabric LOL!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Border time

Well it is Work in Progress Wednesday, and I am still on my quest to get more of my projects into the "finished" pile!!

So it is time to add the borders and baste them..
I think I have made decisions about what I want to use...


"Prairie Meadow"

and "Chocolate Cherries"..

If I get all these done..I will be one ahead of my promise (to finish 3 quilts in progress) so that should count as a bonus...maybe a trip to the fabric store????

But first I am going to check in Work in Progress, at Freshly Pieced

and also The Needle and Thread Network.

ts always great to catch up on what is going on with everybody else!!