Monday, July 31, 2006

Double 4 Patch - Border

I tried to add the same sort of scrappy border to my Double 4 Patch that Lucy added to her quilt. However, I don't seem to have achieved the same effect. My daughter nixed the bright orange fabric on the lower right side. My husband wanted to know "What that thing was that was attached to the quilt." This comment was followed by, "Its coming off, isn't it?". I auditioned several of the other fabrics that I have in my stash and......................
...........this is the one that finally received approval from my husband. It has brown stars on a beige background--a little boring if you ask me, but probably better suited to this quilt than the scrap pieces I had picked out.
I have two chunks of this fabric. I will have to do some piecing to get the borders long enough, but this will end up a scrap quilt made entirely out of my stash.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


In a post back in March, I talked about the making of my first quilt - a crazy quilt that I called, Crazy About Chickens. I talked about making this quilt on my Grandmother's treadle sewing machine. This is a picture of that machine.

While my Grandmother was still alive, she gave me her Singer sewing machine. She owned newer, more sophisticated sewing machines since the Singer, but this was my favorite. This machine has character and personality. This machine is the one that I remember fondly while growing up. I was allowed to sew at this machine when I visited with my grandparents. As I look back on it now, I guess I was helping my grandmother "stash bust"! I will never part with this machine, even though, like my grandmother, I have own more modern sewing machines. There is no machine that can sew a more perfect straight stitch than this machine!

My grandfather sold sewing machines for Singer at one time and it was while he was selling for Singer that he bought this machine for my grandmother. Sometime after purchasing this treadle machine, my grandfather converted it to electrical power. It now has a light and foot peddle. A very modern addition to a very traditional machine.

Thanks to the Singer website, you can now look up the year and location your machine was manufactured, just by cross referencing the serial number on the front of the machine.

My machine has the serial number JB134596. According to Singer, she is a French Canadian--manufactured in 1936 at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Double 4 Patch

Today I am going to quilt! I have a day off from work so I am going to make sure I fit in something for me!

Last weekend, I was looking through my inspiration pictures that I have collected from the internet over the years and I came across a quilt that Lucy from Quilting With The Past had posted back in December. Lucy called her quilt, UFO number 5.

I am calling my version of this quilt, Double 4 Patch. (Not very creative I know, just descriptive of the block pattern.) I have decided to make my quilt from my box of pre-cut 3" squares. This means that my blocks finish 10" square. With 24 blocks and an outside 5" border, my quilt should finish about 63" x 88". If I keep to this size range I can make use of existing fabrics in my stash for the backing--a true stash buster.
This is a picture of some of the blocks that I have made already - they are being auditioned on the fabric that I intend to use for the sashings. The three fabrics to the left are the fabrics that I am considering for cornerstones - beige, yellow, and red. I am leaning towards the yellow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Quilt Guild Paint Chip Summer Challenge - Complete

This is my completed Quilt Guild Paint Chip Summer Challenge. I made my project into a pillow. I actually finished this on Saturday but I didn't want to post a picture until I had the pillow form and I could say it was totally complete. I was off work today and so I stopped by the fabric store and picked up the pillow form today. I had pillow forms at home--16", 20", and 22". This pillow is 18" square--the only size I didn't have on hand at home!

I started a new project on Sunday--a double four patch from 3" squares that I had already cut. I am off work tomorrow so I hope to finish the blocks then. I just couldn't bring myself to work on another UFO last weekend. There must be a quilting rule somewhere about completing only one UFO per weekend!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Knee His, Batting, and a Long Arm

I have been working on a customer quilt all week--not because it is a difficult quilt, but because I was spending more time frogging than quilting. I was 2/3 of the way through quilting this queen size quilt when the thread started breaking and bird's nests starting appearing on the back.

I changed the needle, changed the bobbin, changed the bobbin case, checked timing, and adjusted the tension. Nothing I tried came close to fixing the problem.

I was using Bottom Line thread in the needle and in the bobbin. This is a very high quality thread -- something that has been no-fail for me in the past. My machine has always loved this thread and behaved wonderfully.

I noticed as I was quilting that the thread would feed off the thread cone fairly evenly and then it would all of a sudden loop back on itself and feed through the tension disks. I had checked everything else and not discovered the problem. Was it possible that my problem was as simple as the thread not feeding off the cone evenly?

I surfed the internet looking for other quilters who may have had similar problems. I came across a comment someone made about using a knee hi to cover the thread spool to control the thread feeding off the cone. Someone else mentioned putting a bit of polyester batting in the first thread guide.

What could I loose, so I gave both suggestions a try. What do you know--problem fixed! I have posted a picture below so that other long armers who read this blog can have a look at the simple solution that worked for me. Hopefully, I can save someone else a week's worth of time should they ever experience the same difficulty. Note the placement of the batting in the first thread guide and the knee hi on the thread cone. Not the most attractive set up, but definitely worth repeating.

Because of this easy fix, I finished the customer quilt tonight. Here it is....
It is a queen size Yellow Brick Road--93" x 110". It feels good to have finished this quilt.

I am exhausted! It is surprising how much stress you put on yourself when you don't understand what is causing a problem. Once the job is done and you can relax, you realize just how tired you really are.

I am going to reward myself tomorrow by working on one of my own projects in the cool of my air conditioned studio. Ahhhhhhhhh.....relief from the heat wave outside!

Thank God It's Friday!

I have not been quilting; but I have been working on a quilt-related activity. I have been trying to trouble shoot what is going wrong with my long arm. I am getting thread breakage and bird's nests on the back of my current project. What takes me minutes to stitch is taking hours to frog. I have about 5 rows left to complete on a queen size quilt for a customer and I would just like to get the job finished!

After work tonight I am going to try again to figure out what is going wrong. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Evelyn, aka Starfishy asked, "Do you have a "landmark" that marks your return home? Evelyn showed us a picture of the harbor near her home. Then Dot of Rantala Rags responded by posting a picture of her landmark; a "Welcome to Montana" sign.

What landmarks stand out from your part of the world?

This is a picture of the mountain that I see from my living room window. (The picture was not taken from my living room window though--I headed to the outskirts of town to get a picture with nothing distracting in the foreground.)

The patch of snow in the middle of the mountain represents an angel. (If you look closely you can see her head, body, and wings.) When the snow melts from this mountain in the spring, this patch of snow is left. This mountain with the angel is definitely something that identifies my town.

Where Are You in the World?

I have added a world map to the left hand side of my blog. This map tracks the location of visitors to my blog and plots those locations on a world map. I can not see details of who you are or what your city is; I can just see the map with the pin points representing the home of each of the visitors to this site.

It appears that there are visitors from Australia, South Africa, Norway, Ireland, France, the United States, and Canada.

It struck me today while I was checking the map, just how small this world is. The World Wide Web or WWW has shrunk this great big planet. We can now communicate and exchange information with people anywhere in the world in seconds. Blogging has become a fabulous method of "getting the message out."

I know that the visitors here include relatives who check in periodically to see what the "latest catch is", family members who suffer from insomnia and use their inability to get a good nights sleep to check this blog in the middle of the night, members of my own quilt guild who don't leave comments on the blog but when I see them at guild meetings remind me that I have not posted recently, friends that I used to see on a daily basis who have moved to other parts of the world, including Arizona, Ontario, and Italy, and there are my new friends--the Stash Quilters who track the feeds from my blog using Bloglines so they can read the "latest"as soon as it is posted. To all of you, I say, "Welcome to my small spot on this planet. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you continue to visit."

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Big One That Didn't Get Away

No quilting for me today. I went to work and on the way home, I stopped at Craft Night at In-SHUCK-ch. I didn't take any projects to work on because I knew I would be busy visiting. I was right. Lots of yaking and and laughing--not too much in the way of completion of projects! It was good to see everyone again.

When I got home, I decided to check Bloglines to see if any of the blogs I regularly read had been updated. As I was reading through my favorites, my daughter shouts from the living room, "Dad is home! And he has a fish!" I called back to my husband, what is it? (Meaning what type of Salmon.) And he calls back, "Blog material!" So you heard it, it is a Salmon of the Blog Material variety, also known as a Spring Salmon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bricks and Stepping Stones - Completed Flimsy

Finally! Here it is--my Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt--completed to the flimsy stage. Now it is ready for quilting.

I stayed up until 11:30 last night putting the borders on. I was afraid if I stopped, I might not finish it the next day. When you are on a role sometimes you need to keep pushing forward.

Today, I had two quilt holders. This quilt is large, 87" x 107". However, my helpers are different heights so one corner is folded over at the top. This quilt top is square, it is just too large and cumbersome to get a good picture of it at this stage.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Road to Ireland

I have seen two different Road to Ireland quilts on other blogs lately. Take a look at Eileen's blog to see her beautiful blue version, and take a look at Linda_J's blog to see her friend's pastel version. Both of these quilts are beautiful!

Now take a look at my version:

I know, what happened; right? My version isn't quite in the same category as Eileen and Linda_J's.

M'Liss Rae Hawley's instructions in her book, "Fat Quarter Quilts", says the following:

"One of my favorite fat-quarter quilts, Road to Ireland was a happy mistake. The blocks came out the way I planned, but not the setting. (My planning consists of marks on napkins, ferry schedules, and the like.) So I rearranged my blocks, and I love the result.

The Road to Ireland setting looks best when there is high contrast between the road fabric and the six fat quarters."

This seems fairly common sense to me and yet as you can see, I have missed the "high contrast" part. Perhaps I concentrated too much on the planning stage of making marks on napkins and too little time on the choice of my contrast fabric.

The good thing about this quilt is that it was made entirely from my stash--that part of the plan worked. However, if I had even switched the placement of the red and green fabrics I think the design would have shown up better.

This quilt stalled at the unfinished top stage for years and I finally quilted it up in November 2005 as a practice piece on my long arm.

However, all is not lost. This quilt is currently in my mother's quilt collection. My mother is willing to adopt any of the quilts that I make--especially those that I don't particularly like. In fact, she watches this blog on a regular basis to scope out quilts that can be nabbed in the future!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Night Flight

I have a quilt hanger in the entrance to my house. I like to change the quilt that hangs there on a regular basis. Right now this is the quilt that hangs in that location.

This quilt is Night Flight. My friend Colette and I renamed this quilt, Nightmare. This quilt was made in 1998 when I had only been quilting one year. All the flying geese and triangles presented many challenges for a beginner quilter - hence the name, Nightmare!

This quilt was the second project that I participated in during the "Annual Pre-Christmas Quilt Weekend" on December 6, 1998.

The pictures below were taken that weekend and show Cyndi, Veryan, Colette, Teresa and myself with our projects. Veryan made her blocks into a table runner and had most of the quilting completed by the time the weekend was over. As you can see, Colette's piece was still at the block stage and she couldn't hold it up for the picture. I had some of my blocks together but the border was not yet together.

The top may have been finished in 1998, but it too k until 2002 to get it quilted.

July Celebrations

July is a month of celebrations.

July 7 - Miranda's birthday (Miranda is my son's girlfriend)

July 8 - Harold's birthday (Harold is my husband)

The picture above was taken last Sunday on our deck as we celebrated Harold and Miranda's birthdays.

July 8 - Brenda's birthday (Brenda is my husband's sister. No, they aren't twins. They were born on the same date--not the same day. There are 6 years between them.)

July 8 - Colette's birthday (Colette is one of my good friends who has moved south to Arizona. She has her own blog that can be found at: (Happy belated birthday, Colette. Colette is the only person that I know that can have birthdays year after year and not age a year!)

July 9 - My parents' anniversary. (Usually we celebrate their anniversary at the same time as Harold and Miranda's birthdays but this year they had to travel two provinces away to attend a funeral at the time of their anniversary. We missed them at this year's barbecue celebration.)

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. ~ Richard Bach

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Quilt Guild Paint Chip Summer Challenge - Quilting Complete

Last night I put the borders on my "paint chip challenge project". I spent today quilting the piece and adding the buttons. I saw Dot's challenge project and she made her block into a pillow. I thought that was a fabulous idea and so I think I will borrow it and make my top into a pillow.

I changed the outside border from what I planned on using originally. This piece was also in the fat quarter bundle. The houses on this piece are smaller and I think better suited to this size of a project.


I have been reading in quite a few blogs about the pets that different quilters have. So I thought I would share a little about a pet that I have, a cat named Joey.

Back in 2005, we had two dogs--a large German Shepherd named King that lives predominately outside and a small toy poodle named Nikki that lived predominately inside. By the latter half of 2005, Nikki was definitely showing her age with the numerous health problems she had.

My daughter had been begging for a kitten for quite some time and we had always said, no to her. After all, we already had two dogs, we didn't really need a cat. Finally, my husband said we should probably be saying yes to her, and not continually denying her request to have a cat. After all, we knew we would not likely continue to have two dogs for much longer as we knew that Nikki would likely have to be put down very soon--she was failing fast and there was nothing that could be done for her.

In November my husband thought he had found the perfect kitten for her. My husband works at one of the government's research stations here in Canada and knew of a kitten that was going to be in need of a good home. It had been befriended by the dairy students and they had been carrying it around all day in their pockets. They were going to be returning to university and could not take the kitten with them. Who could resist a pocket-trained kitten?

I agreed that this sounded like the perfect kitten for our daughter and so we broke the news to her. She was so excited! My husband returned to work the next day prepared to claim the kitten only to find out that someone else had beaten him to it. Now what were we to do? We had promised a kitten to our daughter. Well, now the hunt was on. "Mom, if I can find another kitten, can I still get a kitten." I said sure thinking that it would take some time to locate a kitten. Lo and behold she had a friend who needed to find a home for some kittens and we could have one right away.

On December 11, 2005, I sent Dana with her Dad to the farm to have a look at this kitten. I told them both that if Dad felt the kitten was healthy and suitable they could bring it home. (I didn't really think that they would return from that excursion without said kitten.) Dana was so pleased. She brought home a small black ball of fluff--a Persian cross kitten. It was terrified and lived behind our couch for days. We only got glimpses of it from time to time.

Nikki only lived for another week. She died on December 18, 2005. However, the week she lived with Joey, I swear she taught him everything she knew. Joey exhibits several characteristics that remind me of Nikki--even though he is a cat and Nikki was a dog!

We took the kitten to the vet to have a check up shortly thereafter. We thought the kitten was only 3 months old. The vet had a look at the kitten and said that it might be the size of a 3 month old, but it was definitely older than that - at least 6 months old. Our vet said that the kitten was old enough to be fixed and we could have it de-clawed at the same time. We thought that we would have to wait to have this done until the kitten was older. We ended up leaving the kitten with the vet with a promise to check on it the next day.

When I called the vet the next day to check on how things had gone the vet was laughing so hard she could barely talk. My daughter had named the kitten, Tia, which means princess. The vet was saying to me, "How attached are you to the name, Tia? We have started calling the kitten, Mr. T". Well it turns out that Tia was a boy, not a girl! We took in a 3 month old female kitten to the vet and got back a 6 month old male kitten. We still laugh to this day about this.

Once the kitten came home, Dana started working on a new name and Joey was what stuck. It turns out that Joey has become very much my cat, not my daughter's. This is no fault of my daughter's. She loves Joey--he just prefers to be with me. It doesn't matter what I am doing in the house, Joey is not too far away. Even though he has only been with us for 19 months, I can honestly say I don't know what it was like before he was with us.

These pictures were taken in December 2005 shortly after we got Joey. Notice he has chosen to sleep on the quilts! These pictures surfaced when I had the 35 mm film developed that was in my camera when my digital died just before Grad. What a surprise to see these old photos!

I found this little quiz on the internet. When I answered the questions it told me that my ideal pet was a cat! Imagine that!

Your Ideal Pet is a Cat

You're both aloof, introverted, and moody.
And your friends secretly wish that you were declawed!

Friday, July 7, 2006

What Flower Are You?

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."

I found this on A Peach in Stitches' blog blog. It is fun to answer the questions and see just what flower best represents you.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Quilt Guild Paint Chip Summer Challenge - Center

This is the center of my paint chip challenge quilt. This piece measures 10" square (finished). I put 4 of the pinwheel blocks together--each block is 5" square (finished). This block placement results in a secondary design in the centre of the four blocks with the green and beige pieces reversed.

Some of my points don't quite match so I am thinking about putting a button in the center of each pinwheel.

The next step will be to add a narrow brick red border.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

I made this miniature quilt in 2003 so that I would have something patriotic in the house for July 1st. It measures a mere 14" x 19".

This is the backing - Canada flags.

I picked up some fabric this week on sale at 50% off. It is a floral fabric with Canada flags. I hope to finish the customer quilt I have on the long arm today so that I can cut into this new fabric. I know, I shouldn't be starting something new without finishing more UFOs, but the fabric was so tempting....and this is a long weekend.

Grad - Part II - Ceremony and After Grad

Our youngest has now graduated from high school. I can't believe this is the end of public school for this family!

Yesterday was a fabulous day for such a momentous occasion. The weather was sunny and warm, not a cloud in the sky. We took several pictures at home before the ceremony. The picture above is Dana in the front yard.

This picture was taken after the ceremony. All the grads (57 in all) formed a receiving line in the hall just outside the school gym. You can see how happy Dana is in this picture. She did well, receiving the Jack Lapeyre Memorial Bursary in the amount of $500 from the British Columbia Old Age Pensioners' Organization.

This grad class was described as "eclectic" by one of the teachers. This was evident in the different modes of transportation used to get to the ceremony. One grad and his date arrived in his father's silage truck (see above).

But the award for the most unusual mode of transportation to the ceremony goes to this couple who arrived in a bicycle / carrier combination. Good thing the weather cooperated.

The banquet and dance after the ceremony were great. The theme was "Mardi Gras" and the decorations were top notch. I couldn't resist taking a picture of this carved melon tray--a true work of art!

This was a dry grad event and there had been a year's worth of fund raising efforts that had gone into providing entertainment for the entire evening in order to keep the grads occupied and safe. At midnight, the grads boarded a bus and were transported to a hall in a secret location for the rest of the evening. The theme at this event was a casino and all grads were given play money to gamble with. In the morning, the grads were transported back to town by bus to a local hotel for a buffet breakfast and then they were returned to where they had started at midnight the evening before.

I have just gotten back from picking up Dana with all her loot--she is apparently a great gambler! She had a colour TV, queen size bed spread, suitcase, and movie card with her. She says she even gave some of her money to a friend so she could "buy" something as well. She is exhausted, but it appears it was a great day! I expect her to crash for a few hours. I don't know how she has any steam left!