Aug 4, 2017

Drowning in UFOs

I took stock of what I had on the go yesterday and I was shocked. How did I let it get so out of hand? It's not just one craft - it's knitting (2), sewing (1) and quilting (5). And I'm going to be starting another quilt in September. Something has to happen, and I've got time this weekend to see how much I can do.

The knitting is one pair of socks that don't stress me out because they're a travel knitting thing that I can always have at the ready. The other knitting is the shawl that I'm designing and I'd like to get to the end of the sample so that I can finalize the pattern and call it a day.

The sewing is the Too Cool for School satchel in a few Art Gallery prints. I think it would last longer with vinyl on the exterior or if it were canvas or something other than the most beautiful quilting cotton around, but the kid wants it just like that.

The quilting is ends and finishes on a preemie quilt, hand-sewing down the binding on the round robin quilt and three (identical) gift quilts that I need more fabric for (I'll get it tomorrow). Those three tops will then be sandwiched and quilted and I'll machine-stitch the binding on them.

I'm doing a Judy Neimeyer retreat in September and I'll be making the Dragon Star pattern. I'm getting fabric for that one tomorrow too. Very exciting!

I reported a finish a while ago, but only now do I have the photos to prove it. It's my Casual Friday cardigan with modifications. I did 3/4 sleeves and rewrote the pattern for the gauge I wanted so that I didn't have a fabric that I didn't want. If that makes sense to you, we're on the same page knitting-wise. I used 4 skeins of Ocean Park Yarns' hand-dyed yarn and the variation in the colour is really nice. I didn't alternate rows to avoid obvious differences in dye and it worked out great - I looked at the skeins and thought they were close enough, and there you have it.

So I went out to the junction to meet my knitter-friend Karen and she was kind enough to take these photos after dinner. It was a great dinner and it was about a million degrees outside. It was not an ideal day for knitwear. I wear this cardi SO MUCH, though. I love it.

I hope to see Karen again at the start of September. I'll know later today what my plans look like. Stay tuned, Karen!


Jun 27, 2017


I have a beautiful skein of what used to be called CaterpillarGreen and is now called Gauge DyeWorks. I want the perfect shawl pattern for it that's not too boring and not too busy. I couldn't find anything I liked, so I'm designing one for myself. I prefer my shawls asymmetric, so it won't be a centred triangle. It'll be like half the triangle.

In other knitting news, I've worn that Casual Friday cardigan a fair bit and I have thus far failed to have a picture taken. I might have to visit my friend in Nelson for more pictures.

I've finished a few lingering quilts and am now faced with the excitement of starting the cutest little Elizabeth Hartman pattern, or finishing my round robin quilt. I have it partially quilted, but I really need to finish it. I think I will focus on that this week. It won't be anything fancy because it's just too darned big, but it will get done.

I finished this little guy for a coworker who's due in July. Our country's sesquicentennial birthday is on Saturday, so since her baby is due in that month, it seemed like a good fit. I had fun with the quilting in and around the leaf. It's 36 inches square (ish). The red and white are Free Spirit solids and I used a white thread for the white bits and red Aurifil for the red bits. I don't usually do that (use more than one colour), but I didn't want to mess up the design. I used white in the bobbin because the backing fabric is a grey-and-white polka dot with pretty big white dots.

I belong to a traditional quilt guild and we had a show this past weekend. There were so many fabulous quilts hanging - it was a really great source of inspiration. Here are the winners.

CQA award winner.

First place viewers' choice.

Second place viewers' choice (hand-pieced).

Third place viewers' choice.

Also, we have a lizard in the house now. She's a juvenile leopard gecko. I have yet to touch her, but she's fun to look at.


May 26, 2017

Little things

Could they be any cuter? They're made from the preemie-sized pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I should have had something for scale so you could see how wee they are. They're done in worsted weight, so they should actually fit a newborn of full term, but they need a blocking first. And they need buttons. I used a 4.5mm needle as recommended in the pattern for a newborn size with worsted-weight yarn, but I might use a 5mm needle next time.

They're made from leftover yarns and were quick and easy to do. I would just caution a person to mind the instruction for the ssk abbreviation - it's not what you think it is.

I also finished the Casual Friday cardigan for me (except for the buttons) and I've worn it a couple times, but I don't have a picture yet. I deviated from the pattern because my gauge was WAY off and I didn't want to change my needles or my yarn. I rewrote the pattern in consideration of my gauge, and I finished the sleeves without additional decreases at a 3/4 length with seed stitch. You'll see.

Camping last weekend, I saw a shirt with a very interesting design on a young girl. I'm going to sew one up this weekend and we'll see how it turns out. I have a great piece of fabric that I've been dying to use.

Happy Friday!


May 13, 2017


I will admit that I haven't finished hand-sewing the binding on the main quilt from the Katie Pedersen workshop, but the cushion cover and the two preemie quilts are done.

I did straight-line quitling on them both, and used striped binding. The piecing and quilting was all done on my Janome 8900 with Aurifil 50wt in 2600 (dove gray).

On the cushion cover, with the few leftover pieces after all the other quilts were arranged, I did some free-motion swirls. I did an envelope back and although I could find a pillow form to fit, I decided to fill the cushion with quilts. There are two quilts inside, which makes the cushion really heavy and quite solid, but also gives us easy access to the quilts when we are chilly.

This is the straight-line quilting on one of the preemie quilts. I used the sticky-outy bar to get the distance between my last line and my next line, but then I used the width of the foot for the next line. With all the pieces so wonky, it was impossible to use the quilt to keep things straight, so I had to be careful with the first line at the centre joining point, and then follow that line for the rest of the quilting.

This is my super-cute dog. She was lying there so pretty, like she was posing for a picture at the Sears Portrait Studio.

We went to Granville Island for a bit of shopping and we went into the Cloth Shop, which is a lovely little shop. She picked out three Art Gallery fabrics and I'll sort out something to make her. The fabrics have a beautiful hand and will be absolutely delightful to sew with.

I'd better get on with hand-sewing the binding on that Psychadelic Baby quilt. Sixty square inches. It'll be a while.


Apr 11, 2017

And then I made a wallet

I actually made 2 wallets but the first one was really ... overboard. I broke my walking foot on it. It's fixable, but also regularly rebreakable.

Both wallets are made on the Slimline Wallet pattern. Six card slots aren't enough for me, so I added a second unit to the design.

Wallet #1 had the increased bulk of RFID-blocking fabric in the card panels. For the record, I don't think I needed that technology in my fabric but I bought it on impulse and thought I should use it before I forgot was it was. It also had leather from my old couch as its exterior and that added even more bulk. I had trouble getting the stitches to behave and I don't think my machine (a good Janome 8900) would like to do the top-stitching to finish that wallet off.

Super cute Riley Blake fabrics, though, right?

So then I cut the fabric for wallet #2 and didn't use linen on the outside, but instead pieced a 9-patch of 2 kinds of stripes. On the inside, I have three colours of reverse dots.

This is the extra card slot unit:

It's a pretty quick pattern, especially the second time you make it.


Apr 9, 2017

Kinda famous

I went to a workshop led by Maureen Wood on a Judy Neimeyer pattern called Broken Daisy. The pattern gives you templates and instructions for 4 placemats but I didn't bring enough of the gray fabric for 4, so I cut the templates in class for 2. I pulled my fabric months in advance, and forgot that I didn't have enough when I packed it up to go to the workshop.  

I was thinking I may or may not make the other 2. Maureen told me to keep the template pieces so I could do 2 more later (good idea!!). I was thinking of all the placemats my mum had ever made me and that I didn't have space for any more ... I thought the pattern would make a great tote bag and I had just brought home some waxed canvas so that idea bloomed.

I thought that I could make 2 totes with one placemat each, so I drew up a pattern and then got to putting them together.

I quilted the placemats on warm & natural batting with Aurifil 50wt in 2600 dove gray. I love that colour so much that I also bought it in 28wt and I used that to quilt the back panels. It's just a little bit more obvious. One of the backs got a wonky spiralling square and one got a big circlish spiral surrounded by little spirals.

I posted these pictures on the Quiltworx Facebook group and I'm feeling kinda famous. Over 150 people have liked, loved or wowed the post, and 6 have shared it. I've never seen that kind of reaction to anything I've posted ever.

Crazy, right? I mean, I'm no Kardashian, but still.

I'm signed up for the next possible date of a retreat with Maureen and I'll do a full-size quilt pattern then. I love how the patterns are so organized and logical so I don't find the idea of many templates, many papers and many bags daunting. It's going to be rad.


Feb 18, 2017

Organized and improv

I showed you the quilt I made for the preemie program that my kid filmed, so these are the other two that were donated at the same time, bringing my lifetime total to 5:

And this is the flannel I put on the back of them both:

For those 2 quilts, I dug into my collection of 8-patches and 4-patches and lined them up in 16-patches. They aren't totally coordinated or planned, but they work. Each square is finished at 2 inches.

I quilted straight lines on the diagonal through all the white blocks. I used Aurifil 50wt for all the piecing and quilting in colour 2600 - dove gray.

I don't have a ton of space where I live, so I am careful with my scraps. If I have leftover fabric, I tend to chop it into as big a strip I can get, of any length, and then I sort the pieces into bags. I didn't use to keep 2.5 inch pieces - I cut them into squares right away. Then, while I was at quilt camp, I sewed all those squares onto a 2.5" strip of white fabric and then cut them all apart. That gave me a stack of 2-patches. I still have some left as 4- or 8-patches. And I'll probably make more. 😊

I did a Katie Pedersen workshop last weekend (see - the improv class called psychedelic baby - and it was super fun. We made lots of strip-based blocks and you get basically a square shape that you then cut the diagonal block from. That gives you 4 corners of triangles that aren't part of the main quilt.

Here are my blocks all lined up for ironing:

When 4 of the diamond blocks go together, you get this sort of effect:

Then I used my 18 diamonds thusly:

And I sewed 2 of the off-cut triangles together to make squares, and I have 36 of those. I used 16 of them to make this top, using 9.5" squares:

I'll get another top out of the remaining 20 off-cut squares, and they're a little smaller. I'll play with layouts a bit tonight. I could get another 16-piece layout like above, and have 4 left for a cushion front. We'll see! 😊

The piecing for these two tops was all done with the dove gray thread as well. It's my favourite.


Jan 28, 2017

A little catch-up

I've been fairly busy. I like to make time for crafts, and my husband has his own hobbies that I don't share, so I can count on time when he's hunting or shooting arrows or hard-core 4-wheeling as time when I can get stuff done. I couldn't count on a last-minute teenager to choose a school project that has me (gladly) providing the content, but that happened. The project was on the creation of preemie quilts for donation and I had some orphaned blocks that I'd already plotted. It didn't take much time to piece them together and then do a bit of piecing on the back, do some straight-line quilting and bind it up. is the school blog where you can see the finished video. It's about 3 minutes long.

This is the quilt we ended up with - Free Spirit solids and a Kaufman print on the front and back, striped binding, 50w dove gray 2600 Aurifil for the piecing and quilting, and the back just wonky enough:

Then it was time to get on with making the bunting. A person in my modern quilt guild was selling bias tape for 20 bucks. I jumped on it because you never know when you're going to need bias tape. It turned out to be way more bias tape than I thought, so I was a little dismayed. Then, around the same time, I got my mother-in-law's Christmas fabric scraps. She's not a fan of scraps. I shoved them in the cupboard and when I pulled them out later to plan a project, I saw that the scraps were pretty picked-through. There weren't many straight edges to be seen. What to do? Well, I decided to cut whatever triangle sets I could from them so I could make bunting (for decorating). I was cutting and cutting and cutting for so long.

They aren't all the same size, and I don't have a reliable possible pattern. If I started from yardage, it could have been consistent and planned, but it's scrappy. Some triangles are 8.5in high by 7in wide at the base, which is what I aimed for most often. When I could get a bit more, I went bigger. Most often, I went smaller. I didn't figure out the angle and make sure that all the triangles were the same shape. Wonky.

Then I was sewing and sewing for so long (right sides together). Then I was turning and turning them for so long, and ironing and ironing for less long. Hooray! It's time to sew them together. I shoved them up (gently) into the bias tape with a .5cm gap between the points, which looks like a bigger gap when finished. Why stick with imperial measurements when you can go metric?

All done! 6m of bias tape with room on the ends for hanging.

Purl Soho posted a No Purl Scarf pattern and the smooshiness of it caught my fancy right away. I'm casting on with an alpaca/merino blend that I dyed a while ago. It's sport weight, so I'm holding it double. I'm using 5mm needles. The pattern is written to be knit flat and you couldn't knit it in the round and avoid purls, so I'll stitch the two short ends together at the end. It'll go around at least a couple times so it will become my favourite cowl. Nevermind that I have a cardigan and an angled scarf already on the needles.....

I'm pretty lucky. My mum knits too and she has knit me more socks than I have. I wear a pair every day in the winter. Here they are drying for the coming week.

By the end of this weekend, I'll have this stack turned into about a 13m stretch of bunting.

Then there's this largest stack of the blue triangles that will probably become two strings.

This is turning into the longest post ever, but I'll keep going. On February 11th, I'm doing a workshop with Katie Pederson and these are the fabrics I've picked. I freaking love red and that blue came from my mother-in-law and it's going to give me a good pop of colour. I'll show you when I'm done.

On March 18th, I'm doing a workshop on paper piecing and the pattern is for placemats by Judy Neimeyer. I haven't done any paper piecing really, so it will be good to have a lesson. I'll show you when I'm done.

Happy weekend!


Jan 2, 2017

Happy new year!

Would you look at that? The subject line on these blog posts now defaults to sentence case (capital letter at the start).

I've been busy. Lots of things to report....

I finished this quilt entirely at camp (it was a completed top when I got there) and gave it to my kid for Christmas. She loves it, and she ought to because she picked the fabric, which was bought already cut into tumbler shapes.

And the back, with double-wide fabric that I love love love.

These are two 36" square quilts that I made to donate to the preemie program at the children's hospital. They were supposed to be one quilt for a Riley Blake challenge with the Modern Quilt Guild, but the challenge was really restrictive and I couldn't get the fabrics that I needed.

I sandwiched and quilted those two at quilt camp, and then bound them at home once I received the guild labels.

I made this one entirely at camp, but bound it when I got home. I just ran out of time. It was a panel that I chopped up and redid. It was for my 1.5 year old nephew for Christmas.

On the knitting front, once I had finished a cowl for my kid:

I started a shawl with Caterpillargreen yarn, which is made for shawls and works in such a way that every stripe stays the same height, even though you're increasing every row.

And I also started a Christmas quilt for my neice, using a jelly roll that I picked up in 108 Mile House, close to Sheridan Lake, where we went last summer. 

And I used the leftovers to make this tiny quilt for my neice's cabbage patch kid, which we also got her for Christmas. 

I picked up some 1/8" cotton cording and thought I'd made some bowls or something. That's pretty fine cording and I don't think I'll go that thin again. 

First I made a bowl with some fabric wrapping the cord here and there. Then I made a trivet with different coloured threads.

Today I started cutting up Christmas fabric to make bunting. I'll have more to say on that when it's finished, but to sum it up, I've cut a bunch of triangles in pairs, I'll sew them right sides together, turn them right sides out, and then sew them onto purchased bias tape. I bought some off a guild member and didn't realize it was going to be so much. I also took my mother-in-law's fabric scraps and didn't realize how many Christmas fabrics there would be, nor how oddly shaped the scraps would be. So the triangles for my bunting will not all be the same size, but that's OK. We will call it modern bunting or wonky bunting - your pick.

Happy new year!