Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Birthday present for Paul

I am fairly confident, make that positive that our son Paul does not read my blog. So I am posting a photo of the quilt he is getting for his birthday. We are going to his place for a dinner out and we can give it to him after dinner. This pattern is called Log Cabin Rendition and was a test quilt I did for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. The pattern appeared in their July 2014 edition.
I really need to attack the scrap heap as it is totally out of control. I hate to make resolutions I can't keep so I will state that it needs to be done and I am putting it on my TO DO list but it may not completely disappear. All best wishes for a peaceful Christmas season with safe travels for those who travel. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, December 19, 2014

Oh Scrap!

Cynthia over at Quilting is more fun than Housework (here) is starting a new Linky party in January called Oh Scrap! The Linky party will happen Sunday afternoon. Readers are invited to share Scrap projects that are in the works or finished. Full details are posted on the blog today. She has created a button for the party and if I could figure out or remember how to post it on my side bar I would but here is the image she has created. While you are visiting her blog you may wish to check out her
Scrap Quilt series from this year. There have been some terrific posts. So plan to join the fun in 2015.

Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There are some days when.....

I wish I had a long arm machine or that I had the money to pay a long arm quilter. This week has had several of those days. My son hinted that he needed a replacement quilt for his bed. It is now quilted and the binding attached. I will get to sit under it for a couple of days hand sewing the binding in place. Then it will have its photo taken before it heads to its new home. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crazy Busy, how does it happen?

I completed these test blocks earlier this week. They are for Juliet at The Tartan Kiwi (here). The pattern is now available in her Craftsy shop and the link is available on her home page. The blocks are 7" x 14" finished. If you have a chess player in the family these would make a portion of a lovely gift. I asked if she would be doing any more of the players and she indicated it would depend on whether there was any demand.
I finished the test for a mystery quilt that will be featured over four issues in The Quilt Pattern Magazine. That one I cannot show you but I will say that DH thought it was spectacular. I used a colourway that I don't normally use and find it is a challenge to get outside my comfort zone but I too was happy with the result.
After more than 10 years of regular use DS's bed quilt wore out. He asked his Dad if there was any chance his Mom (me) would be making him a new quilt for his birthday. So you now know what is up next on my list. It is queen size and I am working on pinning it for quilting.
Scrapbag quilters have finished for this calendar year. I am on for the January project. I have picked the pattern just need to fine tune my instructions and make the kits. That doesn't have to be done until the end of January so it is definitely on the back burner.
As the expression goes I need to Stay Calm and Quilt On. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reaching a goal....priceless

I reached my goal of 50 Books read in the 50 Book Pledge. There are so many talented writers out there and my local public library is terrific. I even have a few more weeks of reading time available. I hope Harper Collins continues to do this promotion. You have your own book shelf and a place to add a brief review. I don't do Twitter but I suspect the length of your review is the length of a Twitter comment. Just enough to remind you about the book if you are looking back. I have done this for two years now. It helps me keep track of what I have read, especially titles connected to authors if you are making a suggestion to a friend. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, November 21, 2014

Welcome to Blogathon visitors

What is a blog post without a picture. So I looked for one that reflected some of what I do. I make scrap quilts, I like to use up the last of the little pieces and then 98% of the quilts I make get donated to one cause or another. This little one was made of bonus triangles and was just the right size for the Salvation Army Toy Drive a couple of years ago.
We have had way too much snow this week and the Highway was basically closed from Tuesday to Thursday. I was very happy to see my hubby get back here late on Monday from a few days of babysitting with the grandsons.
The other thing I find myself doing more of lately is testing other designers patterns. This involves making up the pattern in a specific size, checking measurements, yardages, instructional diagrams and making suggestions for any improvements I could identify. It keeps my mind working and I suspect at my age that is a good thing.
Ontario is the last day on the Blogathon and I suspect most you you have found many new friends through this experience. Thank you to Sew Sisters in Toronto for organizing this yet again. I think this week has shown that we Canadians have a good thing going in the blogging department. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Testing quilt blocks and patterns is my Sudoku

Over the past couple of years I have spent a fair bit of my quilting time testing. I have the good fortune to be on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks testing team. The blog tour for volume 10 is happening this week. To visit the designers who are featured this year visit the Quilty Pleasures blog here 
I will never be a designer but I can check over and test work other designers have created.
This week I finished sewing a quilt top for a designer who lives in Arkansas. Some place I have never been. We met over the internet and yesterday as I was sending her the photo of the finished top and my comments we had a very interesting exchange. 
She is originally from Finland and I have visited there so I got a wonderful trip down memory lane.
The photo on today's post is one of my test blocks from Volume 10. 
All week the Sew Sisters quilt shop based in Toronto is hosting a Cross Canada Blogathon. They have us hip hopping across the country from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and today back to Alberta. What a great way to meet other Canadian bloggers. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quiltmaker blog tour coming this week

The blog tour for Volume 10 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks is set to begin on Monday of this week. I have been a tester for this magazine since Volume 8. Each and every magazine finds new and talented designers and revisits some of our favourites. Testing for volume 11 has begun. Later this week I will be able to post some photos of my testing blocks. We do not have to specifically follow the suggested colours and once we are done testing, the blocks are ours to keep. I am building quite a supply of 12 1/2" (unfinished) blocks waiting to become a sampler or two. I have found very few issues with the blocks I have had the opportunity to test but we do pick up the odd little bit and that helps the magazine be even better.
Be certain to visit the Quiltmaker blog (here) for the tour schedule.

There have been a number of quilty moments this week. One of the highlights for me was the opportunity to present quilts at the official opening of the most recent Grey Bruce Habitat for Humanity build in Port Elgin. It was a very cold day and the wind and snow were blowing but the Highway was open so I could get to Port Elgin for the presentation. The build was a duplex and the two Mom's made wonderful heartfelt speeches of thanks to all involved. It was definitely a feel good moment. Our Scrapbag group has been involved with these builds for a couple of years. Sometimes providing quilts for the entire family and other times for the children of the family. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Julie at the Tartankiwi has released her Elephant pattern

This is a nice BIG elephant. 24" square. I made it for my son as he has an elephant collection. The final pattern has been edited using the tester feedback so is not exactly the same as this one but close. To see Julie's comments about the pattern or to buy your own copy see her blog (here) for details. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A test I can talk about

Jan at The Colorful Fabriholic posted graphics for this quilt and a sample of each block component. At the end of her blog post she asked for testers and I volunteered. I love the clean modern lines for this quilt. This one is the smallest size (39" square) and will make a perfect Project Linus donation once it is quilted. You can visit her blog (here). Thank you Jan for a delightful easy to follow pattern. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My recent retreat adventure was productive

My local guild, the Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild, held a retreat last week at Crieff. From past experience I know that mindless is my best option. So I took several bags of blocks that were ready to be assembled into quilt tops. My efforts are shown pinned to the design wall. We had show and tell Wednesday evening. In total I got 7 scrap quilt tops assembled.
Crieff is south of Guelph. The work room is spacious and very well lite. The accommodation is somewhat spartan but the group that runs it makes up for that in the dining room where the food is delicious, plentiful and nutritious and they provide options for most know food allergies and conditions. So whether you are vegetarian, need lactose free or are diabetic they provide for you. Needless to say when the list went around for next year I signed up. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's a wonder I got anything done last week

This is the view looking at the home we worked at last week. Our group got one of those perfect fall weeks. We gathered on Monday and sewed until Thursday. Lots of UFO tackling, charity quilt assembling and a couple of applique projects. The floor to ceiling design wall got a work out too. Each one of us was assigned a meal. I took Turkey Vegetable soup and Flax Seed bread and made an apple crisp for dessert. Three of us thought apple crisp was a good idea. It reminded us of the year everyone brought bananas. Our group has been meeting for 25 years now. So wonderful to have girlfriends.
On Friday I packed up my car and drove a short distance down the road to St. Mary's and enjoyed a day playing with Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mabley and a whole lot of colour. My personal jury is out regarding my project but the end of the day critique of each project that Kaffe did was worth the price of admission.
This week has included some stash enhancement, sadly due to the impending closure of two nearby quilt shops. And tidying up after Thanksgiving. Still working on left overs despite the kids taking some home. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sometimes Lightening Strikes Twice

This beautiful display of fabric is the new Tidal Lace line for Windham textiles, coming to a quilt shop near you in January 2015. Why you might ask is it in a photo on my blog??? Well I was, for the second time, allowed the opportunity to make a mini quilt for their display booth at Quilt Market. My little mini is almost ready to leave home. FedEx is coming tomorrow to pick it up. The fabric is wonderful to work with and the design is stunning. If you check Windham's web site you will see that there are 17 fabrics in the line. I got a fat quarter of each piece. The challenge was to make an 18" square quilt that showcased the fabric. Once my little quilt has had it's debut at Quilt Market then I will post a picture.
I am now trying to pack for a few days away with the girls for a little sewing time. I probably have enough projects to work on for a two week retreat and not just four days. but it is always better to have something in reserve. Sadly I will miss the Kincardine Sunset Quilters meeting for the second month in a row.
The physiotherapy is helping my knee and that's a good thing.
Have a great week. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October already? How did that happen?

In emailing back and forth with my daughter I described life right now as crazy busy. I think that sums it up. We are approaching finish it up season. If I could only not be tempted to start new things. I have my samples from last week's workshops to get quilted and then I can donate them. I tested for a new designer, or at least new to me. Finished the top this morning and really like it so add one more to the "to be quilted" pile.
Canada has Quilts of Valour (with a u). Canadian spelling. I discovered this week that a very nice young man that I have met through my local gym has not been the recipient of one of the QoV so I am putting that very close to the top of my TO DO list.
Looking forward to next week with some time away with the G7 sewing and then a Kaffe Fassett workshop on Friday. Then it is turkey time and both our kids and the grandsons are coming up. So it does not look like things will be slowing down soon. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, September 26, 2014

I just haven't had it in me

This is the quilt I made for our friend Ray. He is under going cancer treatments again so this is a hug from his friends north of the border. We have had a busy month, that included what is becoming our annual trip to Stratford. We saw 4 plays starting with Midsummer Night's Dream on Tuesday, then Beaux Strategem, then Crazy for You and finally The Man of LaMancha. We do the matinees and then go out for a nice dinner. Crazy for You and the Man of LaMancha were AMAZING.
I have been to the orthopedic surgeon and it looks like a new knee is in my future but not quite yet. I presented a workshop to the Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild on Scrap Quilts with a focus on 5" squares (charms, nickels). It went well. Then the next day it was my turn to do the workshop at Scrapbag Quilters. I did simple string quilts. So prepared the foundations and then cut the centre strings. And brought 4 huge bags of scraps. Each sewer had a presser and the day went well. I am back to some of my testing for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. And I did a baby quilt for Shelley at Cora's quilts. That pattern is due for release some time in October. So one way and another I have been keeping busy. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It has been a year

And oh my what a year. Our son in law passed away totally unexpectedly one year ago today. Proof that heart disease does not discriminate by age. His son's, our grandsons, are now 6 and 8. They miss their Dad. Our daughter misses him too and she has done everything she possibly can for the boys often at her own expense. Sometimes we wish we lived a little closer but we are content where we are and the boys seem to be happy to spend time with us here.
I hope to get back to some quilting soon. It provides a very real therapeutic outlet. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thank you Laura Robinson

We have had a busy summer in our small town. The tourists are here in full force and with the weather we have had they are probably wishing they were some where else. I have had the good fortune to attend a couple of events organized by Laura Robinson, a local resident. Laura is a free lance journalist and is currently being sued by the former organizer of the Vancouver Olympic Games (2010) because of an article she published about his background. Information that was brought to her attention by First Nations individuals in the British Columbia interior. This legal action has involved HUGE costs and to help off set these costs Laura has arranged for some speaker events. Early in July I attended a evening talk by Charlie Wilkins about his most recent book Little Ship of Fools. He described in detail how he prepared for and then accomplished a voyage that involved 16 individuals rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. Charlie is a Canadian author who writes non-fiction books. I have read a couple of his other books and found them very interesting so what a treat to be able to sit in the same room and then to ask questions. I always wondered how he remembered so much detail and he had his actual moleskin diary with him at the talk. Last week Elaine Tanner (  was the speaker. She was a standout swimmer in the late 60's and still holds a number of Canadian medal records for swimming. She is still a petite person but her story is anything but small. What an interesting speaker and the stories she had to share were so fascinating! It probably helped that I could well remember the time when she was in the headlines as a standout Canadian swimmer.
For more information on Laura's legal situation and the efforts she is making to off set some of her costs please visit her web site (here).  Instead of throwing up her hands, Laura is finding innovative ways to raise funds to help off-set her mounting legal costs. She is a lively, energetic and passionate woman and I am pleased to be able to support her efforts.
And on the quilty front I have been doing some pattern testing and having so much fun with Fandom patterns. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Some say three peas in a pod

My sister and I traveled to the Cleveland area to visit our brother who is a resident in an Assisted Living Facility. It is a long drive for me (9+ hours) so we don't make it often. Bill seemed to know who we were and we had a nice visit. He has good people looking after him and we are thankful for that. I am back home and am anticipating a busy family weekend. My son is coming for a visit and then my daughter is coming up, the boys are here already. Wonder if they will all be in the same place at the same time to sing Happy Birthday to me? Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fandom in Stitches

Fandom in Stitches is a web site with all kinds of fan related patterns. They are mostly paper pieced or stitcheries. There are some amazing designers out there who make designs of popular characters and make them available for free. You are not to make and sell items from the patterns. One of the designers, Lynne Schwarz is working on a series of Disney villains and I tested a couple of her patterns for her. These still need a little embrtoidery detail to finish them off but I will do that after I remove the paper. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, July 25, 2014

Introducing Diana, a new quilt pattern from Cora's Quilts

Shelley from Cora's Quilts (here) put out a call for testers last month. Since I am not a designer and have no aspirations to be one but I am reasonably good at proof reading and following directions I signed on. The table runner I made is from the first pattern I tested for her. The pattern is called Diana and is due for release today. Be sure to visit her site later today as she has a launch post ready to go. With everything that has been happening around here I did not get this quilted, although it is pinned and ready to quilt.
Shelley described the technique she used as pinless and I figured I better follow the directions exactly since I was testing.  I can honestly say this table runner was totally sewn and assembled without the use of pins. The pattern instructions are clearly written with good illustrations and laid out in simple easy to follow steps. I like her writing style and hope to test for her again. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HSTeria my small contribution

Vicki over at Field Trips in Fiber-Adventures in Quilting, hand dyed fabric and fiber art (here) has been running HSTeria for a couple of months. I must admit my half square triangle supply is out of this world but I tend to make pinwheels and more pinwheels. Her contributions and design suggestions are very good and definitely worth having a look at if you too have a large supply of HST waiting to be made into something.
This little baby quilt is 25" by 32". I was given a milk bag full of triangles. Note I said triangles not half square triangles. And for any American followers Canadians buy their grocery store milk in 4 Litre bags. So first of all I had to sew all the triangles together to made a pile of half square triangles. I did that task as Leaders and Enders and tried to  press them as they were created. The Half Square Triangles were 1 3/4" when sewn together. When I was visiting friends for a little retreat I dumped the bag of HST onto the table after dinner and we all sorted them into like bundles. Then I sewed them into the pinwheels and arranged them into a small quilt. There are 130 pinwheel blocks or 520 HST in the quilt. I just stitched in the ditch to quilt it. They served as a good distraction and I do get a boost from making something out of nothing but I am happy it is all done, labelled and ready to donate to my Scrapbag group when we start up again in the fall. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is that yellow with blue or blue with yellow?

I love the simple geometry of the bento box pattern. There are so many different ways to combine the blocks. This one is approximately 30" by 42" and will be for Project Linus. I used 1 1/2" strips for this one. I think I have finally used up the baggie of 1 1/2" pieces that were given to me at a Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild meeting. As the saying goes, so many scraps so little time. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, June 9, 2014

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood

this weekend the boys were taking advantage of what Grandpa could save from their old swing set. We had a nice visit and they are coming back again next weekend. Grandpa has also constructed some new paths through the garden that are good for running. The fenced area is an attempt to keep the rabbits at bay and is working so far.
On the quilting and sewing front I have attached a couple of bindings to Scrapbag quilts and done some machine quilting. Friday I hope to get my regular piecing machine back and will (barring the unforeseen) buy myself a new machine. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hands to Help final check in for 2014

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) runs an amazing charity quilt drive each year. She puts a tremendous amount of work in behind the scenes, selecting the recipient charities and explaining them via her blog. To encourage international participants she offers the option of making a donation locally. Canadian postage has gone through the roof this year so I opted for the donate locally choice. The little quilt on the left went to Project Linus and the quilt below went to our local Scrapbag group. Having this little "competition" forced (or should I say encouraged) me to finish a couple of tops. I still have a huge line up of tops waiting to be quilts.
My piecing sewing machine decided to have issues just over a week ago so it is at the repair shop. No idea when it will return or if it was terminal. So I have put a deposit down on a new machine, the first new machine in 40+ years and hope to get to the city next week to complete the deal.  Meanwhile back in the sewing room I am taking this as a glorious opportunity to do some major scrap reorganization. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold

My class had its 45th reunion last week. Three of the four of us who lived together were able to be there. My oh my what a lot of visiting took place! The organizers for this reunion had it take place at The Waring House in Picton, Ontario. It is a part of Ontario that I have not spent much time in. There are a huge number of things to do and see even in the "off" season. Wine tours, arts tours, cheddar and ale tours, taste tours to name a few. The Waring House also has a cooking school. I will confess I hit the road on Wednesday morning and drove to Belleville to visit Fun with Stitches a fantastic quilt shop. I helped reduce their inventory. After that I rejoined the wine tour people at their fourth stop for a delicious lunch on the patio. It was the first really lovely day for weather most of us had seen for a long time.
My sewing machine decided to misbehave on Friday afternoon. I drove it to the repair shop on Saturday and while it may not be terminal it is definitely ill. So for the next little while I will be spending time trimming scraps and making kits so that when I get my machine back I can get to work again. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, May 23, 2014

Testing, testing

This is a charming double decker bus Kristy from Quiet Play (here) designed. She emailed  her tester group about a week ago to let us know she had some blocks ready for testing. I picked the bus and it was still available. She has done a whole series with a London theme. They are out at various testers and should likely be available through her Craftsy store soon.
I am almost caught up again with my Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks volume 10 testing. No that is not a typo, volume 9 is available now and Volume 10 will be out in the fall. In the middle of all this my machine ground to a halt. I believe some thread is wrapped around a spot I cannot get to. Or at least I am hoping that is the problem. I phoned my service people and I can take it in for a look see tomorrow morning. So instead of hanging the wash on the line I will be spending 4 hours in the car taking my machine in for servicing. At least it is looking like the weather will be OK and I will get in a little visit with the Grandsons. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hands to Help, check in number two

This is my second Hands to Help. It is all bound and labelled and ready to donate at the next Scrapbag Quilters meeting. It's final dimensions were 41" by 49". It was originally done as a mystery quilt using nickels.
I have been busy with my Quiltmaker testing and one for Kristy at Quiet Play. The Quiltmaker testing is for their 100 Blocks magazine Volume 10. It delights and amazes me how many talented designers there are and this publication gives many of them an opportunity to shine.  Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Tooth Fairy had to make a detour to Grandma's House

The boys are here for the weekend, therefore limited sewing happening. They know that one of the things that makes me shudder is a loose wiggly tooth. So Friday night they were showing me Dylan's wiggly tooth when it came out. We had to take a picture to send to his Mom who is supposed to be pampering herself at home this weekend. The all knowing tooth fairy made it here and surprise, just like everything else inflation has hit the tooth fairy business. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This little quiltlet went to Market, this old quilter is staying home

Early in April Windham Textiles had a blog post offering followers the opportunity to make a mini quilt that would finish 18" square and feature one of their new fabric releases. So I replied to their blog post and ended up with a nice sampling of their new Ava line. It is very traditional in appearance so I thought their would be a disconnect with a thoughly modern design. I went with a star in a star in a star for the background and some origami flowers falling across the background piece. I know it arrived  in New Jersey on time. I hope that somehow I will get to see a picture of their booth.
In other quilty news I have attended two quilt retreats since my last post. The first was in Woodstock and was with the Canadian on-line Quilters group. The hotel we stayed at had set up their well lit meeting room so that we each had lots of room to work. Everyone worked on their own projects but we did do some show and tell, and shared some mini demos. There was a near by quilt show that some attended and a marvelous shopping opportunity. All in all a great time. I went two years ago but life was too crazy at this time last year so even though I had said I would go I had to withdraw.
The second retreat was with some work colleagues. Although we are hardly work colleagues anymore. This year marks our 25th year of get togethers. At first we shared teaching ideas and strategies but gradually as we retired our time together was spent quilting. Finding a window of opportunity for 7 busy women to commit to the time away can be a challenge but in the end this time we had 5 there for the entire time and one who made it for some of the time. Lots of laughs, lots of sewing, good problem solvers always available and of course great food.
Now its time to stay home and get some work done around the house. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hands to Help Check In

This is the first of my two Hands to Help quilts finished and at the guild meeting for donation to Project Linus. I cannot remember or find the name of the book the pattern came from but it is a Leisure Arts publication all about nickles or charms. The original book idea was for a square quilt and to use a charm pack. Since I prefer a rectangular quilt and didn't have a charm pack I cut from my nickle collection and yardage. The nine patches are made from nickles cut into four. Each small piece is 2 1/2" square. The centre section of the square in a square block is 4".The white surrounding the centre block is a 5" square cut once on the diagonal. This allows the print square to float. I actually have my second quilt finished and it will be getting donated this Wednesday.It has been a busy month with some extra babysitting. Takes me a while to get back at it once the boys head for home. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Starting something new and using my tools

I started Freckled Whimsey's Diamond in the Rough Quilt Along. Don't really know why, the design just appealed to me. She is using 3 1/2" squares but since I had previously cut a pile of scraps into 5" strips I decided to work with them. So my squares are 4 1/2" and I am currently squaring up my HST to be 4 1/2". This is the biggest workout my new BlocLoc ruler has had and I must say I am pleased with the results. I am also using my rotating mat. There are 80 HST blocks to square and I am just over half way there. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 30, 2014

If a picture is worth a thousand words.....

Sarah is holding a link up for your favourite tutorial, or recipe to use while stitching or technique. The photo above is a simple attempt to explain my absolute favourite go to block for a community out reach quilt. The block is made using bricks. The ones in the photo are 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" but you can use any size brick...2 1/2" by 4 1/2", or 3 1/2" by 6 1/2". Some of the reasons I like this block for community outreach sewing is that it is relatively easy to organize a kit. All pieces are cut to the same size. As you are sewing it is self correcting. When the blocks are assembled into rows they are set so that the centre pair is vertical then horizontal and the repeat. this means there are very few places where seams have to meet. a bonus for some stitchers.
Steps for the block:
1 Sew two bricks together along the long edge of the brick.
2 Add a brick to the top and the bottom of previous piece.
3 Sew two sets of bricks together on their short ends.
4. Add these pieces to the sides of your step 2 piece.
I like to start with a big pile of bricks and then I can scatter the colours through out the quilt. This one will be a wild a crazy one but they can be made in just about any colour arrangement you could imagine.The quilt below was made with 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" bricks.

Brown bricks

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Willow Weave a Mystery Quilt Along Finish

Almost a year ago Doreen of Aunt Reen's Place (here) held a mystery jelly roll quilt along. I thought I would join in and the quilt you see is my result. Of course everyone else finished theirs ages ago. It turned out to be much larger than I imagined. At this time I plan to donate it to a raffle sponsored by my local University Women's group. It was decided that this year two of the interest groups would assemble a basket or container that reflects the interests of the group and that this would be available for an in-house raffle at our end of the year meeting. My book group was on the list for this year. So who does not want to snuggle under a lovely big quilt while reading a good book? There will likely be some liquid refreshment and of course some chocolate in our container. With any luck we will raise some funds for the larger group to help off set our meeting room and speaker expenses. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A new challenge for spring, make that a couple of them

Spring must be in the air although from the snow on the ground and the current temperature you would NEVER know it. Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) has started her Hands to Help challenge. Please consider how you can turn your quilting talents into something to help someone who is less fortunate or who might be ill. Sarah has identified three specific charity groups for the challenge but has also left it open for other options, especially for those of us who find putting a quilt in the mail to another country a problem.
Then Paula at SassyQuilter (here) is starting a triangle quilt along. I have some Angry Birds fabric and I bought some Kona solids to go with them and I think they will be just the ticket. I sure hope to see some new sewing in the near future. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, March 21, 2014

A little testing fun, combivan flower child style

I tested this pattern for Juliet over at Tartankiwi.(here) When I saw the draft of the pattern I could only think of the hippie days of my distant youth. So flowers were called for. There are some issues to be worked out with the pattern for printing in North America. Different paper sizes around the world can be a pain at times. But Juliet is on target to fix the problem. It was a fun pattern to make and the only real issue was margins on paper size. I am looking forward to trying more of her designs. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Good Night Irene sew along

I am making slow but steady progress with this sew along. I have many more 16 patch blocks done than I do the in-betweens. I have been assembling them as leaders and enders so sometimes it takes a while to have the variety one wants for a scrappy quilt.
We have had a very busy month and as a result no many posts to the blog. Our Grandson's were here for a week in February and then last week for their March Break. My goodness it seems quiet here today. Terry of Terry's Treasures who is running the Sew along would tell you there is still time to join in. For information and how to directions see her blog  (here). I am really hoping that some of my massive collection of UFO's will change status to completed and donated in the next few weeks. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A little string play

Our Community Outreach group, the Scrapbag Quilters were given a pile of "off-cuts" of Christmas fabric. I wasn't certain I could make them work but now that I look at the top assembled I think I succeeded. I cut the base fabric 10" and used a simple red for the centre string. The remainder of the block was sewn in the exact same manner for each block. The pattern develops when you put several blocks together. Because some of the pieces were just a little skimpy towards the edge I used a 1/2" seam through out when assembling. This is an example of putting my scraps to work.
We had the boys here all last week and not much serious sewing was accomplished. I need to get back at that soon. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sewing with Certainty Series (and a little Soviet Culture)

Jess at Quilty Habit (here) has run a series that startied in the new year called Sewing with Certainty. While I think it is primarily directed at newer sewers and quilters there is much to be gained by reading her blog posts. In her final post of the series she asked readers to contribute their thoughts on blogging. In particular she asked about starting and/or managing and/or writing a sewing blog. what is our favourite part about blogging and how does blogging affect your quilting.
As it happens this week I did an online workshop about starting a blog. I was the very first to admit I am not a proficient blogger and there are many things I should do but don't so another almost classical case of do as I say not do as I do. 
I set up this blog to record my quilting finishes and to maybe on rare occasions make comments about general topics. I do not have very advanced camera skills and would not even begin to think about do a tutorial. I am happy to describe in words what I have done or if the pattern is something I have written up to send a copy to someone. My favourite part about blogging has to be reading other peoples blogs to see what they are doing. I also love to look at the pictures. So I suspect that visitors to my blog would like to see the same things here. To answer the question how does blogging affect my quilting. Probably in two ways. I am exposed to so many new ideas while visiting other blogs and I want to try them all. Just kidding, I don't have that much time left to quilt. And  it makes me want to put up pictures of better work. 
As to the picture with this post. It is a velvet table cloth we bought in the Soviet Union, when it was still the Soviet Union. We took our kids on a three week tour there almost 30 years ago. We visited Sochi, home of this year's Olympics. This lovely table cloth was one of the sovenirs we brought home. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Today's post is brought to you by the number 5

When my daughter was much younger she loved The Count on Sesame Street. In fact it was a toss up between The Count and Big Bird as to who was her favourite. I am in part a retired Math teacher so I too love numbers (and the things you can do with them). So when Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts (here) asked for testers to test her remaining numbers to complete her A, B, C and numbers one to ten pattern I jumped at the opportunity. This pieced block worked beautifully and it was very easy to put together. I see a "numbers" quilt in the future.
Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to talk online about getting started with blogging. Preparing for the talk sure reminded me about all the things I  do not do well and made me aware of all the things I do not know. But one thing I have found out since I have been blogging is that there is always someone out there who knows how to do whatever you are trying to do and is more than willing to answer your questions.
We did not get the huge snowfall that Toronto and much of southern Ontario had yesterday. What a blessing. We have a little light snow today but nothing that makes getting around difficult. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Leaders and enders a slow but steady way to build a quilt

Terry over at Terry's Treasures (here) is hosting a Quilt Along titled Goodnight Irene.Today marks the beginning of month two. The blocks in the picture are my start on the project. Terry has suggested using 2 1/2" squares and 4 1/2" squares. Since I had what seemed like a limitless supply of 2" squares I down sized my second square to 3 1/2". I do like the look of the project and it is turning my 2" squares into something useful. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The local snow hill keeps growing

When the town plows out our tiny street, they pile up the snow on a vacant lot. This is the snow pile before the last four days of blowing snow. It is even bigger now. Why would a quilting blogger talk about snow? Well all the snow outside has kept me inside sewing. I completed the testing of another quilt for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. It is called Grecian Stars and the pattern will be included in their July issue. Unfortunately I can't show you a picture at this time. As the snow was getting started earlier this week the Kincardine Sunset Quilters held a Mystery Quilt workshop. Denise did one last year and is doing one again this year. The room we have to work in at St. Anthony's Church in Kincardine is lovely and spacious with good lighting. I got to step 7 out of 13. Second day of work is scheduled for this coming Tuesday. (And the Weather Network says 10-15 cm of snow). I have two new blocks to test for Quiltmakers 100 blocks volume 9 and in between I am working on some string blocks. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Testing for talented designers

Kristy at Quiet Play (here) is a talented young Australian designer. I have had the good fortune to test a few of her paper pieced blocks. She will be releasing a set of Aussie animals and another set of Woodland creatures in early February. All the blocks are currently out for tested. I asked for a Koala this time and must have been at the front of the line because that is the pattern I got.
After this little fellow was done I dug through the scrap pile to find an old panel with Koalas on it. I was able to find it and to make this wee little baby quilt using the block and the rearranged panel pieces. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, January 13, 2014

A second Project Linus quilt for January

This little quilt measures 30" by 32". The pinwheels came to me as bonus triangles in a baggie after our Guild's Mystery workshop a year ago. I turned the triangles into pinwheels and found a white with pink print and cut squares the same size as the pinwheels. then some random assembly add a border and quilt. I do like to "make something from nothing". In many cases the triangles would have joined the garbage.
I have been testing some more blocks for the next Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine. There are so many talented designers out there. I am learning and having fun at the same time. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A cheerful first finish for 2014

This cheerful baby quilt was, as is normal for me, made from scraps.Each block consists of three strips and each of those strips measures 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". I set them so they alternate in orientation vertical, horizontal etc. To extend the scraps I added sashing between the blocks and rows. With the border added the final dimensions are 30" by 36".
Because our Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild meeting was postponed (the highway was closed due to blowing snow) I will be able to take it next week for a Project Linus donation. So lets hope the roads stay open.
Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, January 4, 2014

33 Spools no longer filled with thread

In January 2013 Diane Harris at Quiltmaker magazine challenged us to collect our empty spools to see how many we used over the year. In addition to these empty ones I have been using a couple of different large cones of Cansew cotton. I suspect they will empty out over the course of this year. I have always saved the spools. they make good pulleys for Science class and the variety of shapes and sizes make them good for a sorting activity for the primary classroom. Most years I attend the Science Teachers Association of Ontario annual conference and have a bag for my colleagues.
The boys have gone home after their week here and oh my it is quiet. Tonight as the snow swirls outside I think I will curl up with a book. Time for more sewing tomorrow. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Refreshing the pages for 2014

I keep a book (not an electronic list) and my new pages are set up. One page for finished quilts and one for books read. I did start a UFO list and decided that would not be focused on the positive. I looked back over my books read list for 2013 when asked to pick a favourite five and came up with this small list, not in any particular . The Orenda by Joseph Boyden. It has a lot of violence in it that is very graphically described but at the same time it tells the story of the early days in Canada from a different perspective than we normally get. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. This is the latest Inspector Gamache book and the best one yet in my opinion. The series is very character driven. I have read them in order and would recommend doing that but she has gone on record as saying that is unnecessary. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. In this book a poor Chinese girl is asked to be the bride of a dead rich Chinese man. there is a lot of Chinese folk lore about the afterlife in this story. W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton. What can I say, every book is like a visit with an old friend. I suppose once we hit Z I will have to start over at A if I want to visit. Three Souls by Janie Chang is the last of my mini five. Another one with a lot of folklore about the afterlife built in. It complimented The Ghost Bride quite nicely.
At this time of year many new BOM's and Quilt Alongs are starting up. I am resisting for the moment as I have so many quilts that are started one way or another and they need to be finished.
So my wish for any readers who stop by is a happy and most of all a healthy new year. Piecefully, Joanne